When Natalie Hall became a guest star on Drop Dead Diva, she stepped into one of the toughest roles possible- the leading one. In the complicated world of Drop Dead Diva, Brooke Elliott plays Jane, who is really Deb, who is played by Brooke D’Orsay. She also sometimes plays “the real Jane” as in the Jane before Jane was Deb. But what about the real Jane after Jane became Deb? Enter “Britney”- played by Best Guest Actress nominee Natalie Hall- the Jane to real Jane’s Deb. Did any of that make sense?
Don’t worry, Natalie dropped by the Nominee Interview Series to explain everything, including what it’s like to come onto a show 5 seasons in and play the soul of the leading lady.
When did you know you wanted to be an actress?
I don’t remember a specific moment. I started dancing when I was 3 and shortly after started singing. Then acting came along.
I knew when I was around ten I wanted to move to New York. When I was young, I made a lot of home movies with my parents’ videocamera. I was writing and directing my friends in shows I wrote. I was pretty intense about it. They are really hilarious to watch now.
Who are some of the performers who have always inspired you?
I admire so many actors! I love Kate Winslet for her movie choices, Cate Blanchett to me is perfection, but the actress I truly admire is Jane Fonda. She has such strength on and off the camera and has such passion for her work and her charities.
What’s your favorite role you’ve ever played?
Every role I take on, I always have an attachment to. Some more than others, but I always fall in love with who I am playing. You have to in order to be invested in the character. But I don’t have a favorite just yet.
You’re Canadian, right? What part of Canada are you from? When did you move out to LA?
Yes I am Canadian! I was born in Vancouver. After school, I moved to New York City and did theatre for awhile until I was offered All My Children which eventually brought me to Los Angeles. When the show ended I made my way back to New York, which I love.
You did nearly 200 episodes of All My Children from 2009 until its cancellation in 2011. What was your favourite storyline you got to play as Colby Chandler?
Honestly so much happened, I can’t pick a favorite. It was so much fun!
Having stepped into your All My Children role after several other actresses, did that prepare you at all for the experience of playing “Real Jane” on Drop Dead Diva? (A part that’d already been played onscreen by Brooke Elliott).
Every job is so different and presents its own challenges but who doesn’t like a challenge in life? I spoke with Brooke a little bit about Old Jane and I also watched some older episodes to understand Old jane.
How did you prepare for playing a character stuck in a body that wasn’t her own?
Brooke Elliott was very very helpful on set and so sweet to work with. As for Britney, I had to create her on my own. The writing is so smart and funny which makes it easy for me, as the actor, to discover all the parts of Britney and Jane and bring them together. It was fun because I had to create two very different people and put them into one body. It was a blast to do
You returned in the season finale to facilitate the cliffhanger, telling Grayson that “Jane isn’t who you think she is”. Any chance we’re going to see you next season as that story plays out?
I am not totally sure. It would be fun to go back and work at Drop Dead Diva again. I really did enjoy the role and show.
What else are you working on/what’s your next project?
Right now I just finished Starcrossed on the CW. It premiered on Monday, February 17th on The CW. Check it out!
What’s your dream project you’d love to work on or someone you’d love to work with someday?
I would love to do a period piece . I would also love to do some more great theatre work.