Becki Newton, Ugly Betty
's scene-stealing bad girl Becki Newton
talks to TV Guide about shaking her booty, stalking Tim Gunn and finding love. (ABC's Ugly Betty
airs Thursdays at 8 pm/ET.)
TV Guide: How do you get in touch with your inner vixen to play Amanda?
Becki Newton: I think of the girls I used to meet at New York City auditions. Girls have a great way of sizing each other up with a look that can debilitate everyone. I was usually the victim of that. I've always been more the Betty than the Amanda. But after years of studying those girls, I've learned how to channel it.
TV Guide: You felt like Betty?
Newton: Always. I think everyone does. The Amandas of the world are covering up a lot of pain by trying to be the one who makes other people feel bad instead of being the one who feels bad.
TV Guide: Amanda has a very specific walk — explain.
Newton: Amanda believes that wherever she is, she's on the runway. Whether it's in the office hallway or walking down the street, the world is her runway. At all times she feels like everyone is staring at her — or they should be.
TV Guide: You're married to actor Chris Diamantopoulos [who stars in the new miniseries The Starter Wife with Debra Messing]. What's your love story?
Newton: We met on the subway platform in Times Square at rush hour. We walked by each other and our eyes met. I started laughing because I got busted checking out this handsome guy. He tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Excuse me, I'm lost." He lived a block away!
TV Guide: You weren't nervous about dating a guy you met in the subway?
Newton: [Laughs] At the time he was in The Full Monty on Broadway. I bought a front-row seat. I saw the full monty and I was like, "There's my husband. Done."
TV Guide: Sweet! Speaking of, you and Michael Urie (Marc) have great chemistry as wicked friends. Are you close off screen, too?
Newton: We are. He makes me laugh all day long. I don't know when it happened, but we just started stalking each other. When he's not on set I need to know where he is. We send a lot of texts.
TV Guide: What do you do on set when you are not shooting?
Newton: I do laps and get in everyone's business. When Tim Gunn was here, I literally walked back and forth outside his trailer. He came out, and I was like, "Oh, you're here? Hi!" I'm a huge Project Runway fan.
TV Guide: What's your biggest passion besides acting?
Newton: Family. The biggest adjustment being on the West Coast is that my family is on the East Coast. I grew up in a house in the Connecticut woods. We're an easygoing, fun family. We have a Fourth of July party and a volleyball tournament and the losers have to do "the loser dance," which is carefully choreographed by the winning team.
TV Guide: What kind of kid were you?
Newton: Kinda brainy, a little artsy, had a bowl haircut that I did myself. Had some green Doc Martens boots that I wore with everything. I wasn't the coolest kid on the block, but I did my own thing.
TV Guide: Tell me a secret about life on the Betty set.
Newton: America [Ferrera], Michael and I have been known to have a dance party. America was born with a dance party — she's been known to bust a move. When in doubt, shake the booty.
TV Guide: Has your life changed a lot being on such a hit show?
Newton: Because I am so different from Amanda, people don't necessarily notice me in real life. A few have come up to me and said, "You look like that girl on Ugly Betty." And I'm like, "I really should watch that show and check her out."
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