'Doom Patrol' Season 1 EXCLUSIVE: April Bowlby on Elasti-Woman's ability to keep her head when chaos reigns
April Bowlby spoke with MEAWW about her acting career and her casting as Rita Farr on DC's 'Doom Patrol' which premieres on April 15
April Bowlby, who plays Rita Farr aka Elasti-Woman on DC's 'Doom Patrol', is known for her portrayal of Kandi on ABC's 'Two and a Half Men' and for playing Barney Stinson's ex-girlfriend Crazy Meg on CBS's 'How I Met Your Mother. She also had a 78-episode stint on the dramedy series 'Drop Dead Diva' where she played Stacy Barrett.
However, 38-year-old actress' career has taken a slightly more serious turn with her casting as Rita Farr on DC's upcoming 'Doom Patrol'. Rita is a famous '50s actress who is left disfigured and has her career destroyed after coming in contact with unusual gaseous fumes from an underwater volcano while filming in Africa. She joins 'Doom Patrol' and, with their help, she learns to control her new powers.
April told MEAWW that she is super excited about her first ever superhero role and, in preparation for the role of a '50s star, she picked up Rita Hayworth’s biography which she read thoroughly in order to mimic the exaggerated way in which vintage movie stars emoted. She also watched Bette Davis' 'The Star' along with Gloria Swanson's 'Sunset Boulevard' in order to get a feel of the era and get into the mind of a actress in the '50s.
She also read Grant Morrison's 'Doom Patrol' to understand the world better and to develop the dark sense of humor that resides in Rita's character. She says that she became a fan of Grant Morrison's work after reading the graphic novels. She believes that the live-adaptation stayed true to the novels while still managing to pepper the series with little gems from Bob Haney's silver age version of the comics.
She believes the writers were successful in marrying the script to the comics. Given the sheer depth of the series, she compares it to a Russian doll saying, "The more layers you remove, the more is presented to you."
Now that 'Doom Patrol' is finished filming, April said that her fellow actors and actresses, who were all strangers once, have found rhythm and unity in their work. "I think the coolest thing about filming our show is that every one of the actors is a little bit like their character and you just realize that it’s such a blessing to be with these people."
When asked how she felt about playing Rita as opposed to Kandi, April said, "I love that my roles are evolving. Kandi was this useful, fun character on ‘Two and a Half Men’. Now, I get to play a strong woman who’s dealing with self-worth issues, and it makes me really happy that there’s an evolution in my character."
April describes her character to be a "very superficial" one. "She presents herself to the world very put together, very beautiful and contained, but you find out through the series that she’s really trying to keep herself together and is an anti-hero because she doesn’t really enjoy who she really is."
The actress says Rita is so "layered and terrible" that it was fun to play her. She says the show explores the "human condition" and shows that behind every terrible quality of our anti-heroes, there's a "vulnerable, heartbreaking back story".
April feels Rita has an important story to tell and says she relates to the character quite a bit. "You have to present yourself to the world in a certain way, but on the inside, you’re like barely holding on."
April is drawn to writing and has recently started a podcast called '75reads' with her longtime friend Jo Bozarth where they cover David Bowie's list of 75 books.
April will be seen as the beautiful but troubled Rita Farr in DC's 'Doom Patrol'. The series will premiere April 15 exclusively on www.dcuniverse.com.