Monday, October 08, 2012

Different beautiful people populate ‘Diva’

(Published Oct. 7, PDI-Entertainment)
By Oliver M. Pulumbarit

“It’s a great show about identity,” said actress Brooke Elliott, who plays a supermodel reincarnated into a plus-sized lawyer on the comedy-drama series “Drop Dead Diva.”

Elliott plays Deb, a recently deceased model whose soul immediately inhabits the body of another recently dead person, the brilliant lawyer Jane. The shallow Deb inherits Jane’s knowledge and responsibilities, and learns to view life differently.

Describing the hit show as “a lot of fun,” Elliott discussed the character’s evolution with the Inquirer and other Asian publications during a recent phone interview.

“I’m a mixture of both characters,” she said, relating to Deb’s “girly” qualities and Jane’s more serious inclinations. “I love to laugh. I made sure Deb had that [trait]. I can relate to Jane, too…I was good in school, so I can understand being book-smart.”

Elliott, 37, took up Musical Theatre Performance in Western Michigan University. Prior to “Drop Dead Diva,” she appeared in touring productions “Beauty and the Beast” and “Wicked.”

She now sees her TV character differently, appreciating its evolution through the years.
She related: “I’ve gotten to know her over the four seasons that we’ve done. I love how she’s grown. In the first season, she really struggled with wanting her own life back. She just was refusing to accept anything about Jane’s life.”

But Deb doesn’t feel trapped and hesitant anymore. “I’ve really enjoyed seasons two to four, how she’s actually accepted [her new life] wholly. She’s seen how great this life can be and how beautiful she is. I really love that. She’s grown so much. Deb isn’t as close-minded and shallow as before!”

Elliott added that it was also fun to portray a more acclimated and comfortable character. She admitted she wasn’t sure if fans could relate to the self-esteem issues tackled on the show.

“The point would be to watch it without having to think, ‘Wow, she’s not a size zero!’—that’s just how that person looks like,” she said. “In terms of young girls, I hope they’re getting to see different types of beautiful people on TV. We don’t all fit in the same tiny box. They can be wonderful and they don’t have to starve themselves! Hopefully, that’s coming across.”

As for the fantastical aspects of the show, Elliott stated that she believes in life after death: “Could something like this happen? I don’t know. Maybe there are people walking around us [who are in such a situation]. I do believe in an afterlife, for sure.”
And if given a choice, she knows specifically where to reincarnate: “I would love to go into a man’s body. I would love to know what they’re thinking, feeling, what they go through, how society pressures them, to look or be a certain way. I’d just love to know what’s going on in a man!”

(Season four of “Drop Dead Diva” airs weeknights on beTV, 8:30 p.m.)

‘Minute to Win It’
Contestants take part in 60-second challenges in season 2 of the game show “Minute to Win It,” airing 6:10 p.m. weeknights on Fox.

‘Phineas and Ferb’
“Phines and Ferb” are genius brothers creating everything they can imagine during their never-ending summer. The animated series airs weeknights, 6:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Disney Channel.

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