Hey, don't make her career talk to the hand, just because she's
beautiful. At one time, Katrina Bowden may have been voted Esquire's
Sexiest Woman Alive, and she is (so far) best known as Cerie, the vapid
model/intern/Liz-Lemon foil on 30
Rock, but that doesn't mean she doesn't deserve to be taken
seriously and win some roles with a little meat on the bone.
This is happening. Ed Burns writes, directs and executive produces Public
Morals on TNT, which follows the lives, trials and
lip-biting temptations of New York City's Vice Squad in the
pre-gentrified New York City of the Sixties.
it, Katrina plays a tried-and-true Noo Yawk stereotype, but screw that:
she kicks that convention out of bed and turns the tiresome cliché on
its head, reimagining that usually flat character type into two more
"She's a prostitute, which seems kind of simple on paper," Katrina tells
me, "but she isn't typically like a prostitute character. She's sweet
and innocent and mysterious and you don't know if she's lying. She's a
full character. There are so many layers to her."
Just like on 30 Rock, Public
Morals allows Katrina to play against some serious
heavyweights, including Burns, Michael Rapaport and Elizabeth Masucci.
One of the co-executive producers is a name that turns almost as many
heads as if Katrina just walked by: Steven Spielberg. So, no, this isn't
another SAG-card-renewal obligation to throw on the ol' IMDb.
wanted to play her outside of what her chosen career path was," Katrina
says, making it totally believable "that a cop would actually like her
and fall in love with her and pursue a relationship with her. She seems
more like a real person than somebody who is trying to buddy up to a
show is a deliverable in the wake of the new normal for post-Mad
Men/Breaking Bad cable television. The bat signal is
projected in the sky for considerable talent like Ed Burns, whose knack
for adding heft and lift can take traditional cable networks to a new
"He's a very inspiring person," she says of Burns. "He wants to do what
he wants to do, and he actually gets it done. At the same time, he's
just a very cool and normal guy. He's really great to be around. He
directed all of the episodes in the first season, so as both an actor
and a director, he knows how to talk to you and get your point across.
His whole attitude is wonderful. His story is based on a lot of what his
father went through. His father was a plainclothes officer in the Public
Morals division in New York City in the Sixties, so he would come to the
set a lot and tell us stories. It all comes from a real place. It's
something that means a lot to him and his family."
It's always nice to work with a super genius talent, as a rising tide
lifts all boats. The same magic happened with a boss from another job:
Tina Fey on 30 Rock.
was so young when I started on 30
Rock," she says. "I
was 17. [Tina] was a great role model from the very start, very
inspiring, especially as a woman doing what she has been able to do.
She's just a wonderful person. I just can't say enough good things about
Katrina really Cerie, and vice-versa? If so, say it ain't so, Katrina/Cerie!
don't think I am," she says. "People are often like, 'Wow, you're not
like her at all.' Or 'Wow, you don't dress like [she did].' The writing
on 30 Rock was so
perfect. My goal for every line was to make another character look
stupid or old or embarrassed; but also, you wanted to like her at the
same time. She wasn't supposed to be mean. I just had to find new and
interesting ways to try to come up with ways to deliver the lines so
that you still liked her and just kind of laughed at her instead of
thinking that she was mean."
The New Jersey native started modeling early (dad would drive her into
the city for castings and auditions), which led to the 30
Rock gig, and later, being voted Esquire's
Sexiest Woman Alive.
only held the title for a year, but it was very, very cool," she says.
Men the world over know and understand all too frustratingly well how
and why Katrina is sexy, but what is sexy to her?
"Someone who is confident," she answers, without hesitation. "I think
confidence wins all in that department for me. The way you hold
yourself. Just being who you are and being okay with that. Often we
question ourselves and we're not so positive, and being always so sure
of yourself is hard to attain all the time. So I find it sexy when I
find somebody being very confident in what they are doing. And I think
humor is sexy too, being able to laugh at yourself and find humor in
things. Life is so short, we can't take it too seriously. I think all of
those things create a very cool personality."
Now that the career is in first gear, Katrina divides her time between
coasts, but she'll take Manhattan. Yep, the very same city that co-stars
with her. Katrina's New York cleans up real nice and is on its best
behavior, unlike the characters on Public
"I've been living there for nine years now, so I feel like I'm
officially a New Yorker," she says. "It changes you. And waiting in line
at Starbucks takes more than three minutes."
True, sometimes a New York minute takes more like three minutes, but it
looks like Katrina is quickly making her way to the front of the line.
Find out more about Public Morals here.
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