Now playing Vince's sexy new agent on HBO's Entourage (returning Sunday at 10 pm/ET), Carla Gugino talks to TV Guide about hanging with the boys, working with Pauly Shore and her secret talent. Hmmm....
TV Guide: How does it feel being the new girl in a boys' club like Entourage?
Carla Gugino: It's the most natural thing in the world for me, actually. I've always been friends with lots of guys, and these guys have been incredibly welcoming. Sure, they're men — and good-looking men, to boot — but it's not a big testosterone fest on set. It feels like going to play, not to work.
TV Guide: You play Vince's new agent, Amanda. Will Vince be doing less "Aquaman" now and more of, say, whatever Nora Ephron's directing?
Gugino: She's not overly emotional. Believe me, Amanda's tough. Just because she's a woman and she's sexy doesn't mean she can't go toe-to-toe with the roughest, most macho agents out there.
TV Guide: Can you give us an example?
Gugino: She has this altercation with Ari at Vince's birthday and at the end of it she says, "Want me to walk you to your car? This town's not safe for a bitch." I'm telling you, look out!
TV Guide: Your first day on set was filmed courtside at a real L.A. Lakers game. How crazy was that?
Gugino: It might have been the most fun I ever had, but it was also totally distracting. There's Kobe Bryant! Here's Jack Nicholson! Everybody's staring at Vince and his crew. I thought to myself, "God help me, if I can remember my lines."
TV Guide: Vince has a crush on Amanda. Isn't that a conflict of some kind?
Gugino: Let's just say, their relationship causes all sorts of relationships on the show to get more complicated.
TV Guide: You've appeared in nearly 50 movies and TV shows. Who was cooler to work with: Robert De Niro (This Boy's Life) or Pauly Shore (Son-in-Law)?
Gugino: The funny thing is how differently those two were treated. People are so intimidated by De Niro that nobody bothers him. But with Pauly, it was a total mob scene. Everywhere we went, it was a giant party.
TV Guide: And you just worked with Russell Crowe on American Gangster. What can you tell us about him that we might not already know?
Gugino: The thing that maybe surprises people is that Russell's a really funny guy and a smart guy.
TV Guide: How do you feel about the fact that, because of the Spy Kids movies, you're the go-to actress for hot moms?
Gugino: Well, I've played prostitutes, I've played drug users, and now this. It's funny. I have two stepkids [the children of longtime boyfriend, director Sebastian Gutierrez] who are really close to me, and I love kids, but I'm not a mom. I was way too young to have ever played that character in Spy Kids!
TV Guide: What's it like when you Google yourself?
Gugino: I rarely do that because when I do, it's weird. There's a website called carlaguginoonline.com that has more information and more pictures of me than I have of myself. As an actor, you think you're doing this work in a bubble, but then you see something like that and, whoa, they're analyzing your ankle tattoo in great detail. It's flattering, but honestly, I don't know where people find the time.
TV Guide: Your aunt is Carol Merrill of Let's Make a Deal fame. Please settle this once and for all: Is it behind door No. 1, door No. 2 or door No. 3?
Gugino: Ha! I went on The View recently and that's all Rosie wanted to know, too. The truth is, I'd buy whatever was behind Carol Merrill. She guided me into this business, and she's been one of my best advice-givers.
TV Guide: What are you watching on TV besides Entourage?
Gugino: Friday Night Lights is an amazing show — Connie Britton is one of my closest friends. Here's what I love: Initially, you think it's about high-school football, but when you watch it, it's about people and small-town dynamics. It feels intimate and raw.
TV Guide: Any secret talents we should know about?
Gugino: I speak alfalfa.
TV Guide: Alfalfa?
Gugino: Yes, it's a made-up language my grandparents used when they were talking about Christmas gifts. But of course, the kids figured it out. Here's what it sounds like: "Calfarlalfa Gulfugilfinolfo."
TV Guide: Huh?
Gugino: It means "Carla Gugino"!