Back when The O.C. was the hottest show around, I usually felt like I was Seth Cohen (Adam Brody), torn between who I liked better. Summer (Rachel Bilson) or Anna (Samaire Armstrong). As a result, I was especially interested in seeing what Samaire (pronounced SAH-MEE-RAH) Armstrong was like when she was at the CTV Upfronts to promote her new show, Dirty Sexy Money. Undoubtedly my favorite new program of the Fall season, Dirty Sexy Money features one of the best ensemble casts on network television today, has great subject material (as evidenced by the show’s title) and is must-see television this Fall. I found Samaire Armstrong to be just as charming in real-life as she was on The O.C. and it was a pleasure to be able to have the chance to talk to her. Not only did I find out more about the show, but I also managed to get an exclusive about her former managers and why she was against posing in Maxim magazine (even though she did it twice). Dirty Sexy Money premieres tonight on CTV airs Wednesdays on ABC.
Murtz Jaffer: You ready to get right into it?
Samaire Armstrong: Yeah.
MJ: I want to start by saying that I have never been more excited to do an interview than this one because I was the biggest Anna fan in the world.
SA: Oh you were?!
MJ: I was totally one of those guys that was watching it and was like ‘what is Seth doing?’
SA: (Laughs loudly). That’s great!
MJ: So let me ask you about the role of Anna (on The O.C.) How important was that role just in terms of profile?
SA: That set my career off. Before then, I was just doing guest stars. When I say ‘just,’ I mean nobody was talking about it. And then The O.C. came and everybody was talking about that television show and it was worldwide. I mean it was everywhere! My parents travel quite a bit and everybody knows Anna from The O.C.! It’s odd…
MJ: Yeah and you weren’t even in the title sequence but I am sure that people could still point you out.
SA: Yeah, yeah, yeah! It was really exciting.
MJ: Were you sad to see the show go or was it a chance to move forward?
SA: For myself?
SA: Exactly, it was a chance to move forward. I was only supposed to do an episode so I stayed on quite a bit longer than I anticipated. The producers and writers were so great to me. The ‘heads up call’ was a very nice call. I did see it as opportunity to move forward because there was only so far I could go as Anna in that storyline.
MJ: Yeah, it’s kind of like Seth and that’s it.
MJ: Now I have to tell you that if I ever got my own TV show, I’d want it to be called Dirty Sexy Money.
MJ: Isn’t that the coolest title for a show of all-time?
SA: It’s pretty cool. It’s growing on me!
MJ: How do you feel about the show?
SA: I think it’s wonderful. I think it’s going to be huge. I really do. Aside from the people the people that are talking about it, the opening sequence… have you seen it?
MJ: I definitely have.
SA: The opening sequence… when we get out of the car…
MJ: YES! My favorite part.
SA: We’re rockstars right?! It’s just too cool.
MJ: And the music!
SA: And the music is sooooo good! Yeah.
MJ: Obviously the character of Juliet Darling, is a big change from anything you have done before…
SA: Right, right, right.
MJ: You’re kind of going from introverted to extroverted in the new role. What was that change like? Because that character doesn’t seem to be you at all!
SA: Not at all. It was so much fun getting to be… it’s interesting because sometimes as an actor or actress, you say your line so loud and boisterous and they call ‘cut’ and everyone is looking at you and it’s like ‘oh god.’ But this time, I have gotten the chance to do loud and boisterous and everyone was like ‘yes, yes! Oh good!’ And that’s when you know you’re nailing it and you’re in the right direction and I just knew where I wanted her to go in this pilot. I mean I don’t know where I want her to go…
MJ: Where you want her to go after?
SA: Right. Yeah. But I knew as far as volume levels in the voice… for me the hardest part was to just to say you’re poor. I mean that’s so not me. The easiest part was to like scream and throw a tantrum! Not that that is still me but that it’s closer to me. I think a lot of people will relate to that, both parents and children alike.
SA: And those are kind of the roles I like to play. The roles that people can be inspired by or relate to.
MJ: And sometimes they are the same thing right?
MJ: Your character tries to commit suicide in the first episode. What was that like? Was it just like ‘oh my god, how wicked is this pilot?!’
MJ: You can’t really make a bigger splash than what Juliet does.
SA: Right! I ate a lot of tic tacs that night. (Laughs).
MJ: (Laughs). She seems like a character with many layers. I don’t think she’s going to be this suicidal girl. Do you have any idea of where she is going to go?
SA: I have no idea. Not a clue. Some of the actors ask the writers, you know, ‘where is my character going?’ and I didn’t ask. And I kind of don’t want to know. There’s something exciting about getting a script and being like ‘woooo!’ You know?
MJ: Right. You are working with a pretty star-studded cast. What is like working with Peter Krause, Donald Sutherland and Jill Clayburgh? I kind of see you as the new kid on the block.
SA: Yeah, yeah. They are a lot of fun to work with. It’s fun to… I don’t think I have to prove myself to anyone but myself but to be able to get up there and say ‘I can handle myself…’ It’s a fun feeling.
MJ: Now I don’t know if I will ever get the chance to talk to somebody that was voted #55 in Maxim Magazine’s Hot 100 of 2005.
SA: Oh was I? (Laughs loudly).
MJ: What goes into a decision like that? Like ‘okay, I am going to do Maxim.’ Is it a ‘should I? Should I not?’
SA: You know what? That was an old manager decision. And to be honest with you, I didn’t want to do it. I just did. I did it twice but I didn’t want to do it either time.
SA: I really got talked into it. They’re fired by the way. I don’t work with those managers. And you can put that on the record!
SA: (Asks publicist in the back). Did you laugh? Did you just laugh? She’s laughing back there!
MJ: Your career hasn’t followed the typical teen actress path. You were born in Japan and raised in the States so how did you end up in Hollywood?
SA: It’s interesting because I remember one time I was in Arizona and I always wanted to be an actress. I was in highschool and I was thinking ‘I am going to end up being on The Jay Leno Show.’ I was laying in my bed and it was like the furthest thing away from Arizona (Los Angeles), and I just knew. I always just knew. I always wanted an Academy Award and I wanted to perform. If you want something bad enough, you’re going to get it I think. So that’s what I thought about.
MJ: Can you tell me a little bit more about Naru?
SA: Naru, it’s a clothing line. It started off with me just sewing clothes for myself and wearing them. I have been sewing my whole life. My birthday’s on Halloween so we’d always sew my costumes and stuff.
SA: I haven’t been able to take care of it (the line) for quite awhile just because it’s been busy but hopefully soon.
MJ: Finally, I have heard a rumor that The Osbournes gave you your dog. Is that true and if so… how did that happen?
SA: Oh yeah! That’s true!
MJ: How did that all go down? Did Ozzy just hand it to you?
SA: (Laughs). No, I had gone over to their house. The first time that I met them and their assistant had gotten a new dog and was like ‘oh, I just lost my dog.’ I had just lost it! (In Sharon Osbourne voice) “You lost your dog? We have a dog that needs a home!” And so they gave it to me. I was like ‘no, no, no.’ I mean I had never even met them before!
MJ: Right, right, right.
SA: And they gave me a dog! They wouldn’t let me leave without it.
MJ: All the guys are going to want me to ask if you’re single or not, so you have to say it on the record. Yes or no?
SA: Not single.
MJ: And the sighs of men everywhere can be heard across the land.
MJ: Finally, why should people watch Dirty Sexy Money?
SA: Oh because of the writing. It’s so funny. I like to laugh. I was laughing hysterically. Belly-aching laughing. It’s visually really exciting and enticing and sometimes there’s lots of… I think people should give it a chance just to see where it goes
MJ: That’s perfect, thank you so much.
SA: Thank you very much.
SAMAIRE ARMSTRONG Young, beautiful, and blonde, Samaire Armstrong seems to fit the prototype of aspiring actresses everywhere. Yet this young starlet on the rise is far from the typical Hollywood breed. Born in Japan and raised in both Hawaii and Arizona, Armstrong knew she wanted to be an actress at the early age of 3. Best known for her role as the stylish Anna Stern on The O.C., Armstrong has since racked up credits that are quickly cementing her place on
Hollywood’s most-wanted list.
Samaire landed her first role on the TV drama, Party of Five (2000), acting alongside young Hollywood veterans Jennifer Love Hewitt and Neve Campbell. Many recurring guest-spots followed including a stint as Laurie on the short lived, but critically acclaimed drama Freaks and Geeks (2000), and the popular late night dramas, ER (2001) and The X-Files (2001), where Samaire played a pivotal role in an exceptionally eerie episode of the well-known series.
Taking her career to new heights, Armstrong ventured off the small screen and into film when she debuted her comedic talents in the 2001 hit, Not Another Teen Movie, which spoofed some of the most memorable moments in teen movie history. She made a splash as a prominent character in the 2003 flick Darkwolf, a hip, erotic twist on the traditional werewolf thriller. She soon was guest-starring on the overnight sensation, The O.C. and cast opposite heart-throb Brad Rowe for the 2004 entertaining, screwball comedy Would I Lie to You? based on Oscar Wilde’s classic, The Importance of Being Earnest. Armstrong also landed a spot on the HBO original series, Entourage, where she played an assistant to a big-shot agent in Hollywood.
When not working on set, the style-conscious actress dabbles in her second love, fashion, which from she has developed her own clothing line, Naru, sold at exclusive stores in Hawaii and L.A.
DIRTY SEXY MONEY
Some people say money is the root of all evil. They may be right. Nick George’s whole life has been lived in the shadow of the Darling family, but as an adult he’s leading the perfect life as an idealistic lawyer, until his father’s suspicious death. The absurdly wealthy Darlings of New York have asked him to take over his father’s job as their personal lawyer, but the money that will allow him the freedom to be an altruistic do-gooder is only part of the picture. That same money pulls him into the dubious doings of the Darling clan. Power, privilege and family money are a volatile cocktail.
Murtz Jaffer is the world's foremost reality television expert and was the host of Reality Obsessed which aired on the TVTropolis and Global Reality Channels in Canada. He has professional writing experience at the Toronto Sun, National Post, TV Guide Canada, TOROMagazine.com and was a former producer at Entertainment Tonight Canada. He was also the editor at Weekendtrips.com.
Join our newsletter
never miss the latest news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary for Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games!