Monday, May 18, 2009

Interview Privileged: JoAnna Garcia Keeps the Faith

Prior to landing the leading role on the CW’s nighttime drama Privileged, JoAnna Garcia was best known for her co-starring roles in Reba and Party of Five. Now, as Privileged lies on the cusp of finding out if the show has been renewed for a second season, JoAnna is keeping herself pretty busy.

She has been tapped to co-star in two pilots: one for Fox called Cop House and another untitled comedy for NBC starring Henry Winkler. (JoAnna gushes, “I think Henry Winkler might be my favorite person on the planet.”) While she is excited about both new projects, JoAnna wants to make one thing clear to the very passionate and very vocal Privileged fans: “Obviously, ALL of my commitments lie with Privileged. My whole heart is with Privileged, and I really believe it will be picked up for the second season.”

She went into filming these two pilots with everyone being aware that she might not be available to continue her role. “It would take a project that’s really special to get me to do another series (if Privileged is not picked up), and I really feel like both of these projects were really special, so I wasn’t sure how all of that would pan out. But I did let everyone know that I am definitely on the Privileged train.”

From Entertainment Weekly to TV Guide and every trade magazine and newspaper in between, people have been championing this show since it premiered in the fall of 2008. “In the beginning, our show didn’t really get a lot of promotion, so I was so pleasantly surprised by how well we were received, especially Megan. I think Megan is such and appealing character and I am so proud to play her. It feels really, really, really good to have people I respect in the business behind the show.”

The universal appeal of Megan is a big reason the show has such a strong fan base, and JoAnna also considers herself a fan of Megan. “When I first read the script, I felt like Megan was a really strong female role, and television lacked a girl in her 20s who is wholesome and good and strong and makes mistakes and falls flat on her face. She is emotional, intelligent and funny. She empowers young girls and is a real role model. The way I feel about Megan runs a lot deeper than just an actress taking a job.”

Privileged is in a class all its own in a market flooded with sensational, unrealistic shows geared toward the younger set. JoAnna explains: “There is a place for all types of characters and shows in television. There is a place for 90210 and Gossip Girl and that escapism. Privileged has that escapism quality, but on the flip side you have a very real girl that I think every girl in America can relate to.”

JoAnna is the first one to give credit where credit is due when complimented on the intelligence and realism of the show. “It’s a direct reflection of a writing staff that values the intelligence of our viewers and fans, and writes to that. They are always thinking about what our loyal viewers want to see next.”

Only time will tell what is next for our friends at Privileged, and JoAnna has high hopes for its renewal. “I just have a good feeling that we all will have a lot more Privileged in our future.”