Drop Dead Diva Alert! Brooke Elliott Visits with Lifetime Moms
It's not every day that you get to wear a boa while being pampered by good looking men wearing angels wings, but that's what happened to me last week when I joined Katja and our Lifetime affiliate moms PartyBluPrints for a fun-filled "Drop Dead Diva" makeover event in midtown Manhattan to celebrate the premiere of Season Two.
While a group of women received chair massages and mani/pedis, the rest of us were anxiously awaiting the arrival of series star Brooke Elliott who has taken the nation by storm with her larger than life portrayal of Deb, a wannabe model trapped in the body of Jane, a plus sized corporate attorney with a heart of gold. The moment Brooke arrived, photographers were snapping away as she made her way over to the fans who were thrilled to get the chance to meet her in person.
Following her appearance, Brooke took time out of her busy schedule to chat with Lifetime Moms about the show, her career and so much more! Take a look or listen in below if you'd like to hear the real deal!
Beth: What has it been like meeting all your fans today in New York City?
Brooke: It has actually been really fun because where we shoot in Georgia we’re kind of in a little bit of a "Drop Dead Diva" bubble. There are some people that recognize me, but I don’t really hear how people feel about the show. And I’ve gotten to experience that today and it’s been really fun to hear how it’s affecting people and what it’s doing for people -which I didn’t really even know. I was just so grateful that they liked it, but I didn’t know that people were actually feeling good and feeling good about themselves because of it. I don’t think anything is more fulfilling than that.
Beth: How exciting is it for you that music is a major component of "Drop Dead Diva"?
Brooke: It’s very exciting - I love Broadway and musical theater - obviously I’ve been doing it a long time - for over a decade. But I really wanted to focus on TV and film. And the fact that I get to marry the two, it’s kind of the best of both worlds. It can’t get any better than that -- it’s really fun.
Beth: Let's talk about the guest stars who have appeared on the show and who we can expect to see this season. Who are some of your favorites?
Brooke: It’s so funny because when people ask me about my favorites, I honestly can’t answer. I learned something from every single one of them and I just looked at them as almost teachers. They’ve become so successful at what they’re doing and they’ve lasted in this career and I was so grateful to have learned from them. Rosie O’Donnell, who has been a mentor in my life and is now a mentor on the show to me and gave me my broadway debut, comes back in season two which is really fun. Faith Prince, who is huge on Broadway also comes back in season two as Jane’s mom. Sharon Lawrence comes back as Deb’s mom and that’s a really fun storyline and we find out she’s hiding something else. Cybill Shepherd was just on in a sort of "Devil Wears Prada" role. I also like to mention our lesser known guest stars - I’m so grateful for anyone who comes on because they find worth on our show.
Beth: What I love about your character Jane is the realness and the confidence she has inside of her. What's it like playing her?
Brooke: It’s really fun. I think more women feel like they are so beautiful and gorgeous on the inside. They just don’t think they look it on the outside. And I love getting to play what we all feel on the inside. Society teaches us from a very young age what we’re supposed to look like. Beauty gets overlooked everywhere we go and it’s such a shame - I think we’re craving the chance to just get to feel as beautiful as we know we are. But we’re told all the time we’re not thin enough, we’re not pretty enough, we’re not good enough moms, we’re not good at our job. The other day - I was like oh my gosh - enough with how we’re not good enough! There’s always 10 ways to be better at this and 10 ways to be better at that. And while I have a lot of self help books, I also feel like we don’t have to hate ourselves!
Beth: How far in advance do you know the storyline?
Brooke: I’m in the middle of reading our 10th episode right now and I shoot it on Monday so I better hurry and get through it. We get them a good week and a half to two weeks before. But before we start, the creator gives us an overall arc of where we’re going to go through the season.
Beth: What are you reading this summer?
Brooke: Mostly I’m reading "Drop Dead Diva" scripts because I spend at least five months engrossed in the show. But I have by my side, David Sedaris’ book, "When You Are Engulfed in Flames."
Beth: Do you want to do more stage work?
Brooke: I always want a foot in the Broadway door or in the theater door in general. Right now I’m really loving what I’m doing on television. I want to do film, I want to produce, and I want to direct. It’s just a matter of when those opportunities come to me, walking through the doors that open.
Beth: You've achieved so much in your career so far - how did you find the perseverance to achieve your goals?
Brooke: A simple answer to that is I’m not exactly sure. A longer version to that is luckily my parents. I have really good parents and really good family and they believed in me and they instilled in me a great sense of self, a great strength of character and I’m very grateful to them for that. Because as I go along the way and meet people who were not lucky enough to have their parents teach them that, it actually kind of makes me cry because I am quite grateful for it. Along the way I obviously met people who weren’t supportive, who said you’re not very pretty, you have a weird look, you’re never going to work that’s not going to happen or your only going to do certain parts. I don’t know what it was, but there was just something in me that said that’s just not true. And that doesn’t mean that I didn’t go through periods feeling insecure or feeling unsure because I think we all have moments of that -- but luckily I somehow just kept going. Which is the trick. Just keep going. You have to believe in yourself - you can’t let anyone take your power because they need it for themselves.
Beth: I wanted to let you know, I watched the season two premiere with my tween daughter and it's so great to have a show that we can watch together!
Brooke: That younger audience is someone I care about. It’s on our minds a lot. In terms of relationships and love and things like that, you want to make it adult enough for the adults but not too adult for the tweens and the ones coming up. Someone out at the mani/pedi truck actually came up to me and said she watches the show with her 14-year-old daughter and "it’s the one show we can watch together and we talk about stuff." Something that inspires growth and talk - how great is that? I think that if I were a mother and something came along that inspired my daughter to come and talk to me, especially when they get into their teen years and they don’t want to talk to me, I’d be so grateful. And that’s why it’s so important for Jane to be so gorgeous and so confident. And granted, she does get knocked off her game sometimes -- but that happens in life. The fact that we show Jane in such a beautiful fashion is really important because girls who are not a size zero (and the majority of them are not) didn’t have this when I was growing up. Hopefully this is a good thing for them today.
Catch clips of "Drop Dead Diva on myLifetime.com" and tune in Sundays at 9 PM et/pt to get your weekly fix!