What drew you to
working on a television series?
I wasn't specifically looking for a TV show. I was looking for anything
that would get me excited. I was reading scripts from the film world and
I was reading television scripts. Nothing like this was coming my way
in the film world and I hadn't had a chance to do comedy before. I read
'Pepper Dennis' and by page two I was like this girl is crazy. I want
to get involved with this. If I'm going to commit to potentially five
years of my life on a TV series I wanted it to be fun.
How is your work
day different than a film work day?
It is crazy. I work 16-17 hour days. It is a grind, but it is so deeply
satisfying. It is really challenging though. On a film it sometimes takes
up to a week to do a scene and on this show we do five scenes a day. We
do so many pages on the script before lunchtime. You don't have time to
second-guess yourself because you are always on to the next thing. Weekends
bring on a completely new meaning to me. They never felt more deserved.
Anything you can
share about 'X-Men: The Last Stand?'
I really can't. I don't know what I'm going to do when it comes time to
promote that movie. I can't reveal anything. They really have our hands
tied. They didn't even give us scripts when we first started the movie.
It was one of those top-secret things. I'm very excited about it though.
It is going to be a big one.
My wife is a big
fan, and she said, "Wow, you are interviewing the blue-skinned woman?"
Do you get that reaction a lot?
(Laughs.) Last week the Idols were shooting on the Fox lot, including
Chris Daughtry, who I love. He is my favorite one on there. Apparently
he is a huge 'X-Men' fan and he wanted to meet Mystique. So they brought
him over to the hair and makeup trailer where I was getting ready. I was
sitting there with no makeup and wet hair. He said "Hi" and
I said, "Is this living up to the fantasy?"
It probably did.
(Laughs.) I'm sure it did not. I said, "I'm sorry I don't have the
Do you enjoy physical
I love it. I feel like I have been waiting my whole life to try it out.
I have done all these big action movies and now I get to be funny.
Was that you falling
in the puddle of water in the first episode?
Yes, I took a dive into that disgusting puddle. They set it up downtown
on a city street and I said, "Please tell me you cleaned it up."
(Laughs) It tastes just like E. coli. It was fun and there was plenty
more where that came from. We have pratfalls in every episode.
What kind of research
have you done for this role?
I have been watching a lot of local news. There was a show that was called
'TV's Most Outrageous Moments' and it was all live local TV clips. I collected
all three and brought them over to the writers house and we watched them
all together and laughed our butts off. Now we have the next 50 teasers
for our show. I was watching something on 'Good Day LA' and they had a
reporter filing a report from a moving roller coaster. I called the writers
and [asked], "Could Pepper file a report from a moving roller coaster?"
In real life who
makes you laugh?
Jerry, my fiancé, makes me laugh the hardest and my dogs make me
laugh a lot.
Speaking of Jerry
O'Connell, congrats on your engagement. How are the wedding plans progressing?
Thank you. Obviously we don't have a lot of time to be making plans these
days. We are really enjoying each other's company. We love being engaged.
His schedule is finished for 'Crossing Jordan,' so he has been taking
me to and from work, which is so nice to spend a little extra time together
in the car. We run lines together. We are having a great time. We are
getting married this year, but it will probably be something spontaneous.
Will you be taking
his last name?
(Laughs). I keep on saying I'm going to take the O, so Rebecca O'Romijn.
What about kids?
I would love to. I can't wait.
Do you have any
nieces and nephews?
No. I'm the first born on both sides of my family, so everyone is waiting
for me. They keep saying, "We want grandkids."
You have a new
series, another 'X-Men' movie and a wedding to plan. How do you balance
home and work life?
It is a fine balance. My mantra all day long is harmony. Find the harmony.
I publicly apologize to all my friends that I'm so bad about returning
e-mails. Certain things are put on the backburner. It is all about pacing
myself and finding time on the weekends to go out and do something fun.
It was funny because by the third weekend, I was still catching my breath
by the time the weekend came around. I can barely get out of bed. And
Jerry would say, "You can't let your whole life be 'Pepper Dennis.'"
We still have to go out and do fun things.
What are some of
those fun things?
We go on hikes with our dogs. We go exploring to find new restaurants.
We take drives. Nothing too wild. We are not nightclub people.
So no weekend hang
(Laughs.) No. I don't have the energy for that.
What are some of
your favorite current TV shows?
I love watching TV. I'm not really snobby about what I watch. I love watching
any number of reality shows. I love 'American Idol.' I loved a Bravo show
from last year called 'Show Dogs Moms and Dad' and Kathy Griffin's show
['Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List']. I love '8th and Ocean' on MTV.
Then I try to church it up and watch 'Frontline' and '60 Minutes.'
Being a former model, do you watch 'America's Next Top Model?'
I don't watch it regularly, but when I do it's fun to watch. J. Alexander
taught me how to walk when I was in Paris right before my first fashion
show. He was hired by the agency to teach all the girls how to walk. Tyra
has done a great job with that show. We are old friends, and I'm so happy
What is your all-time
favorite TV show?
It would have to be 'I Love Lucy.' Absolutely.
has it always been a dream to play a comedic role?
Yes. I grew up idolizing Lucille Ball and Goldie Hawn and the women who
have successfully combined beautiful, sexy and funny. There aren't that
many women who can do it. I idolize women who can.
In the past, you
were never offered these roles? You were just a beautiful woman and that
Oh, yeah the model turned actress thing. They can't handle comedy. They
just want to sit around being pretty. (Laughs.)