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Interview: Fishbowl California’s Katrina Bowden

by Charles Trapunski

Katrina Bowden has been an inspiration to us ever since she played Cerie Xerox on 30 Rock. She also ran the New York Marathon (twice!) and this month appears in the critically acclaimed dramedy Fishbowl California by director Michael A. MacRae.

Bowden gives another standout comedic performance (seriously, cast her in more funny roles!) as the girlfriend of the protagonist, who finally puts the man-child in his place and gets him going.

We spoke to the fascinating actress by phone and the following is a condensed and edited version of our conversation.

Brief Take: Congratulations on the movie! I really enjoyed it. 

Katrina Bowden: Thank you. It was a really cool part.

BT: You don’t have any scenes with her, but Kate Flannery is one of the nicest people we’ve ever interviewed. 

KB: Oh she’s just the nicest. And her scene is so incredible, as you probably agree. She’s just so good and so in control of the scene and just so funny. I didn’t get to have any scenes with her but just to meet her and hang out with her was really awesome.

BT: In a number of interviews with your past co-stars they mentioned that you show up to work incredibly prepared. Your work ethic really impressed me. 

KB: Thank you, that’s really nice to hear! I really do a lot of work before I start a project. Every character is so different. Even though I’m one person playing different roles, I have to find different parts of my personality to bring into each different role that I play. The more prepared that I am, the better I feel on set. There’s nothing worse than showing up unprepared, for everything. [giggles] On a personal note, if I had shown up to the set of 30 Rock unprepared, it would have been very embarrassing and not accepted by my peers who were always so prepared and so good at what they did. So I knew right when I started that it was something I had to take really seriously and I think that taught me a very good work ethic very early on, and I carry that into everything else that I do. Plus watching Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin work was like comedy 101. [laughs]

BT: The 30 Rock ensemble were so exceptional at improv that, I imagine, forced everyone to bring their A game all the time. 

KB: Exactly. I think improv is an art form and I think you also have to be really smart in comedy in order to improv. I don’t think it comes naturally to everyone. The more prepared you are and the more aware of what your character would do and say in any situation, the better you are in any kind of comedic scene. I love when I get to improv. I don’t always get to do it on every project, but when I do it’s so much fun.

In the one scene in this film where I get caught with the other guy, that scene was so fun to shoot because there was so much improvising going on. It was a very serious moment for my character so I couldn’t laugh, but it was hard at times.

BT: Tell me a little about your work on Fit Kat, your aspirational lifestyle, health and fitness website. 

KB: I started it over two years ago and I started it because there was always so much fascination around my diet and my exercise and what I did to stay healthy, especially after I ran my first marathon in New York City.

BT: Wow. Well done on running the marathon!

KB: Thank you! I ran it twice – two consecutive years. I don’t know if I’ll ever do it again. [giggles] It was a really fun experience though. It’s the kind of thing where you have bragging rights for the rest of your life but you don’t necessarily need to do it again. It’s a lot of work and it’s really hard on your body.

In terms of my blog, I thought it would be a really fun thing to do to turn that interest and my experiences and my journey and that kind of healthy world into a blog. That way I could talk to fans in a more personal way. I think my blog has been a really great outlet for me to be more open and more myself in the public to everyone looking and watching and reading. I try to write my blog posts as if I’m talking to a friend and show my personality through it. I wanted everything to be as real and as honest as possible. It’s been really fun for me because as an actor, you don’t really get to play yourself very often. Even when you’re promoting something, you’re never fully yourself to people that you’re talking to. So the blog has opened me up in a lot of different ways and connected me with people that I would never have connected with before.

BT: What are some comedies that you’ve been a fan of recently?

KB: This show is a little wacky and weird but it really works – Broad City. I was a huge fan of Key and Peele‘s show when it was on. I thought they were so brilliant and interesting and smart.

BT: I don’t know if you knew this, but your movie Monolith recently got released in Canada through IndieCan Entertainment. 

KB: I did see that. It’s been released at different times in all different countries and it’s really exciting to see the journey that it’s been going on. I love that movie.

BT: What are some of your other projects that you hold a special fondness for and what do you have coming up? 

KB: I loved working on Public Morals and I was so bummed that it didn’t get enough time and a second season. Over the last few years since that show ended I’ve been working on a lot of films. I have a few films that are going to be coming out later this year, I just don’t have exact dates yet since most of them are independent films. Then I’m shooting another film at the end of this summer where I’ll be playing a very different character, and I’m also very excited about that. I also have a small part in a miniseries that I shot at the end of last year, and that should be airing in the late summer or early fall. It’s called One Day She’ll Darken. I’ve really been focusing on taking all different types of roles; roles that are well written and challenging and ones that I’ve never done before, and it’s been really fun.

BT: Do you have a preference for comedic or dramatic roles? 

KB: I love comedy and drama alike so I wouldn’t choose one over the other. I really do love comedy because that’s where I started, so it holds a special place in my heart. I find that it’s really fun to be on a comedy set, so I really love that. I’d also really love to be in an action movie. I think Monolith may have been the most action that I’ve done in a film so I’d love to do something more action packed or a superhero movie, a superhero movie starring women.


Fishbowl California is currently available on all major VOD platforms including Amazon and iTunes

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