Actress JESSICA GARDNER is making it a double-whammy this March with two appearances on television. She’s taking on both comedy and drama with roles on the CBS mega-hit sitcom, “How I Met Your Mother,” on March 18th and then the sultry Lifetime drama, “The Client List,” on March 31st.
She previously caught attention with her appearance on “iCarly,” alongside Hollywood ‘it-girl’ Emma Stone. She’s also been working steadily on some hilarious indie projects including the film “I Want to Get Married” and the successful web series “The Fairy Tales.” In addition, this Warwick, Rhode Island native has been sharing her brand of funny performing stand-up comedy and improv at clubs throughout Los Angeles.
We recently had a chance to catch up with Jessica finding out more about her television roles and her ‘other’ career.
You’re appearing on two network shows this month, “How I Met Your Mother” and “The Client List”; can you tell us about your role in each?
JESSICA: On "How I Met Your Mother", in the episode titled, “The Fortress,” I play an upwardly mobile wife interested in purchasing Barney’s (Neil Patrick Harris) quirky apartment.
Then, on "The Client List", in the episode, “My Main Trial is Yet to Come,” I'm an angry client who causes a scene at Samantha’s (Jennifer Love Hewitt) massage parlor.
Any fun or juicy stories you can share with us from the set?
JESSICA: Well, I’ve seen every episode of "How I Met Your Mother" so even just being on that set was a real thrill. I was trying not to geek out and be like, "I'm sitting in a booth at MacLaren's!" It was great that all the cast members, especially Cobie Smulders, who I worked with the most, were really friendly and professional. My favorite part of the day was improvising funny lines with Cobie and Neil before the director yelled "action". Wonderful experience.
"The Client List" was exciting for me because I have been a longtime fan of director Timothy Busfield. He's so supportive of actors, as an actor himself ("The West Wing", "thritysomething"). Even though I was just in one scene, he made me feel like I was important to the production and told me I was a "fantastic redhead" which made me laugh. And Jennifer Love Hewitt is lovely. She works so hard on that show.
Since one is a sitcom and the other is a drama, do you naturally gravitate toward one genre over the other?
JESSICA: I must admit that I definitely gravitate toward comedy. My dream is to be a series regular on a sitcom. I enjoy watching comedy, I enjoying performing stand-up comedy, and I love improv, too.
You’ve also got another role coming up this summer on the brand new TV show, “The Goodwin Games,” can you share a little bit of this with us?
JESSICA: I play an aerobics instructor who is stuck in the Jane Fonda-era 1980s. Side ponytail, legwarmers, neon colored leotard. I had an absolute blast shooting this and I have some pretty hilarious scenes with the show's star, Becki Newton ("Ugly Betty"). I really hope people watch this series when it airs. It also stars Scott Foley, Beau Bridges, and TJ Miller, and it is so funny.
Not only are you working in front of the camera, but you also help behind the scenes. Tell us a little about your “other” career helping your fellow actors.
JESSICA: Besides acting and comedy, helping educate other actors on the 'business' of acting in Los Angeles is my passion. I own The Actor's Key West, www.actorskeywest.com, an educational studio for actors which connects them with industry casting directors and insiders.
Also, I was a reporter for the actor's magazine Backstage, and I helped create the "Back Stage at the SAG Foundation" panel series where I moderated panels and interviewed some of the biggest stars in the business. I've found that by learning how successful people got to where they are and passing that knowledge on to other actors, I've grown as an actor myself. I love the community of actors in Los Angeles.
And, finally…how can your new fans keep up with your career?
JESSICA: My website is www.jessicagardner.com
I'm on twitter @jessakeenie
And I have a facebook fan page too
Thank you, Jessica. We’ll be watching!