I had the pleasure of speaking with Erika Christensen who starred as Julia Braverman-Graham on the NBC family drama series Parenthood. This fall she will be joining forces with ABC for her new television show, Wicked City. Follow me, as we journey through the world of Erika Christensen.
Renisha Marie: Let’s begin by discussing your affiliation with Lean Cuisine. How did the union come about?
Erika Christensen: I’m pretty vocal about my healthy lifestyle choices. They came to me and told me what they were doing with the brand and I’m pretty much in alignment with everything they learn from their focus groups. I do try to eat organic, high protein and gluten free. I really admire what they’re doing and I thought they were approaching it in a realistic way. The way they were overhauling the brand was the same way that an individual might approach overhauling their diet and taking it one step at a time.
I’ve been giving Lean Cuisine my own feedback as well and then I get to talk to everybody like you about how much I love to exercise. It all comes under the same heading. It’s fun for me.
Renisha Marie: You will be joining forces this fall with ABC for your new TV show, Wicked City, which is set to air on October 27th at 10:00 pm. How did the connection transpire?
Erika Christensen:With Wicked City, I was actually originally thinking about another role. I came in to meet with the producers and do some scenes with them and they said, “what do you think about playing Betty?” I hadn’t thought about playing Betty, at all. In fact, my first reaction was, who is Betty? Because he had a different name in the original script. But then I found her really interesting and we read some Betty scenes and they gave me the role. I was the first person on board for the pilot.
There are so many elements of this that I really like. First of all, Betty is 180 degrees from Julia Braverman-Graham. She’s not confident. She’s a damaged soul. She hasn’t had a happy and healthy family upbringing. She’s really not very confident and has any luck with men. All of these things kind of put her right in the position of falling really hard for Kent who is a serial killer. She seems to be pretty in; hook line and sink her. She’s going to go down the rabbit hole with him. She has a lot to learn about herself in these eleven episodes and so do we. I’m really curious to see how quickly she changes from when we first meet her as this soft spoken Nurse and single mom to wherever she ends up.
Renisha Marie:I viewed the trailer for Wicked City, which is packed with suspense, romance, action and full of drama. This is going to be one of the hottest shows this fall. Entertainment that will keep viewers hanging on the edge of their seats craving for more. What measures, if any, did you take to prepare for your role as Betty Beaumont?
Erika Christensen: I did some research into women that have been involved romantically with convicted murders. It’s a very dark little pool to dip into; that kind of decided that this is something we want to focus on, making it really interestingly relatable.
It started out really as kind of a what if, for me. What if you fell in love with someone who is really dangerous?
Renisha Marie: How do you manage a busy career, make time for your family, as well as incorporate health and fitness into your life?
Erika Christensen: Honestly, it’s just keeping those things in focus as the priorities. I really, really love my job. There are definitely times where family and fitness kind of are pushed to the side. But it’s only for specific stents. My home life is very much about getting up in the morning and getting to the gym or getting on my bicycle and making sure that I get to cook dinner for my boyfriend. Hang out with my family, hopefully once a week. Thankfully also, let’s be honest. Technology is hugely helpful. FaceTime is a life saver for relationships and for family. That is definitely part of it. And just sharing. I have pictures from work that I’m sending to my family. I send them scripts that I’m working on so they can be excited and know what’s up with me.
Renisha Marie: Please tell your fans something fun or funny about yourself that many people may not know.
Erika Christensen: Oh God. Fun or Funny? Okay let’s see. Let’s see. Hopefully it’s fun to know that I cook a lot. If you came over to my house I would want to cook for you. I’m always experimenting. I’m not much of a recipe follower. I make granola and I’m like, try this granola, it’s got truffle sauce on it. I brought a new seed from the health food store, like, what is this?
Renisha Marie: Now that’s fun. I would love to try your granola. Yummy! What advice if any, do you have for those looking to take on a career in the entertainment industry?
Erika Christensen: I would say start wherever you can. No matter where you live, there’s a local community that is involved with theatre or even young people in school plays. Definitely just get involved. The key to being something is doing that thing. Being an actor is definitely not about sitting around on set and having a cigarette or something. It’s about acting. The more you can audition, then that’s the best thing ever because you learn so much and you get your face out there and you grow your confidence. I would say when you get to a point that you really feel like I can do this then your good. And honestly, if you want more specifics. Here’s a really specific piece of advice that I give a lot of people. Call the Screen Actors Guild and ask them for a list of legitimate agents. They have a list and will give it to you for free.
Renisha Marie: Wonderful, thank you so much. You have been so awesome. This concludes our interview. It’s been a pleasure speaking with you. I wish you continued success.