A graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Jo Newman is a gorgeous, up-and-coming actress who’s about to make her big screen debut in the upcoming film Love and Other Drugs, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway. Newman has made numerous TV appearances including spots on Gossip Girl, The Sopranos and Law and Order: SUV. I had the chance to speak with Jo about her acting background, TV experiences and her excitement over the November 24th release of her first feature film.

CS: So where are you from originally?

JN: I was born in a little hippie town in western Massachusetts and then I was in New York for 8 years and I moved out here in January.

CS: So in your hippie town did you grow up a Patriots fan?

JN: I somehow along the way became an Eagles fan (laughs)

CS: An Eagles fan from Massachusettes? Wait a minute.

JN: Eagles fan.

CS: So you said you just came out in January, how does the West Coast compare to the East Coast?

JN: Well, obviously the weather is fantastic

CS: Right, no complaints here.

JN: It seems like this is absolutely where the concentration of the industry is. You know it was a much more eclectic mix of people in New York. I’m really happy to be here. I feel really motivated. I feel good and encouraged and it feels good. And I just love riding around in a convertible in January.

CS: (laughs) Yeah, that’s awesome. So did you get into modeling before you started doing acting?

JN: No, I moved to New York when I was 17 and I went to the American Musical and Dramatic Academy which is an acting conservatory. I decided I wanted a much deeper and more thorough education and I got into Tisch at NYU. So I studied Meisner for two years, Shakespeare, Viewpoints with Mary Overly and then I did some television school for the last two years I was there and really got into it. Then my first job after NYU, I think I graduated and a month later I got a spot on The Sopranos. Things were rocking and rolling in New York. I figured after I cast this move, I did some very cool modeling campaigns and then I got a great spot on Law & Order and I figured “okay, time to try L.A.”

CS: So was it totally awesome being on The Sopranos?

JN: Oh my god, it was so much fun. I was a month out of college, I’m on set and I had a scene where they killed my boyfriend. So I’m wearing this J.Lo type dress – it’s down to my bellybutton – I’m 21 years old and I’m being splattered with blood on everything.

CS: (laughs)

JN: I could not have had a better time, it was awesome.

CS: So how many takes did you have to get splattered?

JN: A lot. I mean, a lot a lot. I mean those guys were perfectionists. It felt like being on a movie set. I think that was one of the reasons that it took so long to get the seasons out there, because it just took them a long time to shoot it. I probably got blood splattered on me like 25 times.

CS: Oh wow.

JN: And there’s a guy under the table with a little blood apparatus.

CS: (laughs)

JN: Yea, I had to keep my legs crossed during that scene.

CS: Oh geez.

JN: (laughs)

CS: So what was your role on Law & Order?

JN: On Law & Order I got – it was on SVU.

CS: Okay.

JN: I played a girl who works in a copying – like a Kinko’s – shop and she was the last person to see the victim alive. She was a super ditz, and I had hot pink underwear sticking out of my jeans.

CS: (laughs)

JN: And I got interrogated by Chris Meloni. It was a blast!

CS: Oh nice. So is that guy really intense or what?

JN: He turns it on for the camera and in between takes he’s showing me pictures of his kids on his iPhone. He’s a good actor you know he just … I don’t know if it’s because we all know him as a detective but he’s just shifts into the role so seamlessly. It’s a good acting study for a young person.

More >