A Candid Conversation with Joanna Garcia who Talks PRIVILEGED, REBA, REVENGE OF THE BRIDESMAIDS & BETTER WITH YOU

In anticipation of her new ABC Family original movie REVENGE OF THE BRIDESMAIDS (airing this Sunday July 18 at 8PM) which has the actress teaming up with Raven-Symoné in an effort to bring down their conniving gold-digger of an ex-friend, we had the privilege of talking to Joanna Garcia. What did she have to say about the movie, her brilliant-but-canceled CW series PRIVILEGED and her new ABC series BETTER WITH YOU? Find out for yourself after the jump.

Before we get into you new ABC series BETTER WITH YOU and this weekend’s ABC Family Disney movie REVENGE OF THE BRIDESMAIDS I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask you about PRIVILEGED.
Joanna Garcia: I am more proud of PRIVILEGED than I’ve been of anything I have ever done. It was such an amazing experience. I think that we had an idea that it might be coming to an end as the CW was about to launch the Fall lineup, but we were shocked, completely shocked nonetheless. We knew that we were not exactly the same type of show that the CW was sort of known for, but we were really proud of our message. That’s the one thing that I’m really proud of, we had a strong voice and never strayed from that. It was pretty heartbreaking.

Well you should know fans such as myself still remain somewhat bitter towards the CW. Seriously, fans never forget! As an actor I imagine it’s slightly easier to let go and move on?
A week after we were canceled I was on a plane to go do GOSSIP GIRL and that was sort of a whirlwind of like, “Okay i’ll guess i’ll go back to work with you guys [the CW] and go do this really fun show in New York,” And the truth is, I had an amazing time in New York and I love the city. It really was one of those things that you do as an actor, kind of pick up the pieces and move on. But I meet people every single day that ask me about PRIVILEGED, literally every single day and it always warms my heart.

Since making your way onto Hollywood’s radar with a memorable guest arc on PARTY OF FIVE you’ve played so many different roles. What are some of the factors that you take into account when choosing a role?
In the early stages of your career you sort of just hope to work. But then as time goes on and you’re afforded more opportunity you really start to think about what you want to do. Knowing what it’s like to be on a show for six years [REBA], which really was such an amazing experience, really dictates the roles I choose now. Especially knowing that I’ve had it so good where I’ve worked with great people,w here it was truly a family and a very collaborative experience. It sounds all very pollyanna, but it was very real. I learned so much about comedy on REBA and when you come from a situation like that, you always want it that good and that’s how I choose everything.

I loved REBA. What was it like working on a very comedy that was so under appreciated by the network?
In a way we were kind of thankful we flew under the radar a bit. We still air, I think four or five times a day around the country, thirty something times a day around the world. I’m grateful we were able to do enough episodes that our show can live on that way. In fact, I think our show has become more popular in syndication than it did on a smaller network like the WB on Friday night, which was our timeslot forever.

Were the ‘people’ like co-star Raven Symone what attracted you to REVENGE OF THE BRIDESMAIDS?
REVENGE OF THE BRIDESMADS was an opportunity to work with a network that I really admired. I think ABC Family is an incredible network, with such quality programming and I really respect everything they do.

REVENGE OF THE BRIDESMAIDS was a fun little movie, but having recently had the chance to watch the pilot for your new ABC series BETTER WITH YOU – which by the way I can’t say enough good thing about — I have to ask: Did you know from reading the script that it would turn out as good as it did?
It’s funny. I sat down with Shanna [Goldberg-Meehan], our head writer who is probably most well known for running FRIENDS for many years when I was in the process of meeting with writers knowing that I wanted to go back to comedy. We were at the Beverly Hills Hotel and Shanna said, “You don’t have to my show, all I ask is that you come back to comedy.” And I was like, “Wow!” That was really nice. I read the script and I knew right away I was going to sign onto work with this woman. Then we went into the casting process and were so lucky to get Jennifer Finnigan who plays my sister. And then slowly but surely we found these incredible guys to play our significant others. Then our parents came in, Debra Jo Rupp and Kurt Fuller, we’re like bowing down to them. They are truly the cherry on top of that show, not to mention Jimmy Burrows signing on to direct. We did this great pilot, the day after I flew to New Orleans to start REVENGE OF THE BRIDESMAIDS, and while we were shooting I found out the show was picked up. And not only that we’re airing before MODERN FAMILY and after THE MIDDLE. I’m like, could it get any better? Pinch me!

And finally, were you at all apprehensive about the similarities between your new character Mia’s ‘situation’ and Cheyenne’s predicament on REBA?
Oh totally! At first I was not really interested on being pregnant again on TV. But Shanna [Goldberg-Meehan] promised me that she did a great job with Jennifer Aniston on FRIENDS and I though, “All right, I can do that.”

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  • Nick

    Love Joanna.

    Typo: It's “Rupp,” not Rump. :)

  • http://www.thetvaddict.com/ The TV Addict

    As always the freelance editing is much appreciated!

  • http://stayinginwithvlada.com Vlada

    Who did she play on Party of Five? I don't remember her character, Hallie.