Friday, May 24, 2013

Interview: Jamie Luner Is The Perfect Boss

I know Jamie Luner best for her years on “Melrose Place” as the once-sweet but soon conniving and vicious Lexi Sterling. She got her start on the 1980s sitcom “Just the Ten of Us,” which I loved as a kid. Since then, she’s been on “Growing Pains,” “All My Children,” “The Profiler,” “CSI: Miami,” “NCIS,” “Supernatural” and a ton of other things. This weekend, she stars in the Lifetime Movie Network’s original movie “The Perfect Boss” (which premieres May 24 at 8 p.m. ET/PT and re-airs throughout the weekend). Jamie plays cutthroat pharmaceutical exec Jessica Slade, who will do anything to be a success. I spoke with Jamie about her role, and about her time on “Melrose.”

Celebrity Extra: After watching this movie, I can say that is definitely Crazytown, but in a good way — so much danger, backstabbing and intrigue. What were some things about it that appealed to you that made you want to play the role?

Jamie Luner: (Laughs) Crazytown — I love that. And it’s true! I’ve been playing lots of roles that were away from that sort of powerhouse woman, and it was really refreshing to get back to that. I have been playing moms and teachers a lot, and I think variety is good. I really appreciated Jessica’s strength — and also it’s just fun to play the bad girl. It was also a treat to get to work with Linden Ashby again. You know, he and I played husband and wife on “Melrose Place.” That was nostalgic and really nice and comfortable to be able to work with him there.

CE: Was it just like old times working with him again?

JL: It was wonderful to see him again. It had been a long time. We were quite tickled to work together again. We met a couple of days before we started shooting to go over the script, but it took us a day just to catch up and chat. There was definitely an air of familiarity there, which is wonderful, because when you do these projects, so often they happen so quickly and you have to build a backstory, but we actually had history. We do work very well together. We have a lot of trust in each other, and we know how the other works. It was a treat for both of us.

CE: We find out Jessica had a tough childhood with an alcoholic mother and abusive stepfather. How did that play a role in who she became as an adult?

JL: When you’re a child, there is so much that goes on that you subconsciously work from. And whatever she had gone through — it can either debilitate or catapult you in any direction. She used her past to catapult her into getting away from that world. She got her validation from being successful in business, since she never got it from love. I don’t think her actions come from vindictiveness. It is just pure survival.

CE: You filmed this in Canada, right? How was the filming experience?

JL: We filmed in Ottawa, the capital. It took about three and a half weeks. This was my second time shooting with the Lifetime Movie Network in Ottawa. It’s a magical town. It is so beautiful, and the cross-culture of the European and French-Canadian is so pleasant. I love listening to French, and I just love Canadians. I find them to be some of the sweetest people. Everything was blooming, and the food is wonderful.

CE: I know you best as Lexi on “Melrose Place.” Do you get recognized for that the most out of all the roles you’ve played?

JL: Yes, I do. I’m so fortunate to have been on such iconic shows that are so memorable. That time was such a chapter in all of our lives — television was so different than it is today. It was such an impactful show on so many people. I get a little nostalgic about it, and I’m definitely recognized for it by a lot of people who have enjoyed it.

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