Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

‘Pants’ a good fit for Amber with ‘Joan’ hung out to dry

Amber Tamblyn
 (The Spokesman-Review)
The Orange County Register

It was a tough week for Amber Tamblyn.

First, she showed up with a nasty head cold to promote her new movie “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.”

The next day, CBS canceled her critically lauded drama “Joan of Arcadia.”

Based on the novel by Ann Brashares, “Sisterhood” stars Tamblyn, America Ferrera, Blake Lively and Alexis Bledel as four lifelong friends about to be separated for the first time over the summer. They discover a pair of thrift-shop jeans that miraculously fit all four, and each take possession of the pants for a week.

The 22-year-old Tamblyn, daughter of actor Russ Tamblyn (“West Side Story”), plays a clever, creative and angry young woman who spends the summer working at a dead-end job near her home, venting her anger by making a documentary that mocks the people in her hometown.

Q. You’re playing another high school student in “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.” What are your memories of high school?

A. I don’t have a lot of memories of school. Most of my socializing was outside of school, and I also was working on “General Hospital” for most of those years. But I do remember high school being a very judgmental place, especially for me.

Q. Is it a case of bad karma that you have to keep repeating that period of your life by playing high school students on television and in the movies? (She also played a doomed teen in the horror flick “The Ring.”)

A. Actually, it’s kind of cool because I never got to live the typical high school experience.

Q. How does this new film fit into your career plans?

A. Well, it’s different than anything I’ve done before, although some people will no doubt try to categorize it as a fluffy film about four giggly girls. To me, it’s not that at all. I think it’s one of the few films in the last 20 years to accurately portray young women.

Q. In what way?

A. It shows them as significant people and not just as stereotypes.

Q. Was there any chance of you not getting into acting, given your background?

A. Oh, there was a very good chance of me not getting into acting. I went to a small, experimental school where you could explore all the arts, and my favorite was always writing (Simon & Schuster is publishing a book of her poetry in the fall). One year, I happened to be in a school play, and it seemed natural and undeniable. That was the turning point.

Q. Did you resist at all?

A. I sort of resisted in the beginning, but it was my dad who resisted the most.

Q. What were his objections?

A. He didn’t want me to feel pressured into it because of him, but mostly, it was about my education. When he was in the business, there was a bad system for kids on the set, but it’s better now.

Q. Did he ever come around?

A. Absolutely. In fact, he probably became the most enthusiastic of anybody. After he saw me work, he told me: “You were born to do this.”

The birthday bunch

Actor Robert Englund (Freddie Krueger) is 56. Actress-comedian Sandra Bernhard is 50. Actress Amanda Pays is 46. Record producer Jimmy Jam is 46. Comedian Colin Quinn is 46. Actor Max Casella (“Doogie Howser, M.D.”) is 38. Actor Paul Giamatti (“Sideways”) is 38. Singer Uncle Kracker is 31. Actress Staci Keanan (“Step by Step,” “My Two Dads”) is 30.