“Coyote Ugly really felt enormous. It was a Jerry Bruckheimer project and they had put a lot of money into the movie. So it was a lot bigger than I’d ever imagined.”
- Bridget Moynahan
(Interview follows photo series)
INTERVIEW AND STORY BY MICHAEL WILLIAMS
Speaking with Bridget was much more like having a fun catch up with an old friend than a formal interview. She and I first had first met on a photo shoot back in her modelling days when she was appearing on covers of magazines like french Vogue. What I immediately loved about Bridget back then and still do now is her total down to earth nature and hilarious sense of humor. She is by her own admission a self proclaimed goofball and a bit of tomboy. During our half hour talk, we caught up on some old gossip, the presidential election of 2016, but mostly about the evolution of her career and all of the exciting projects coming out. Despite her success that far exceeds many of the model-turned-actress careers Bridget remains as humble as ever and her goofball sense of humor is firmly intact.
Imagista: You had a very successful modeling career prior to becoming an actress. Was it the modeling that led you to acting or had you always wanted to become an actress?
Bridget Moynahan: While in high school I auditioned for a school play and felt really great about it but my teachers said that I’d have to chose between drama or sports. I was like “no, I have to play sports” so I ended up not pursuing acting in high school.
Imagista: What kinds of sports were you into?
BM: I played soccer, basketball, and lacrosse. Sports were a priority for me. But then while modeling, I did a lot of TV commercials and they were so lucrative and so much fun. Then a friend suggested that I go to acting school so I starting doing that in my spare time. I had the desire to act and the opportunities that modeling provided me allowed me to laser focus on acting.
Imagista: And what about modeling then? How did you get into that?
BM: Apparently, or so my mother tells me now, I had been approached to model several times in my life but I didn’t remember being approached. My parents really didn’t want me to become a model. Then in senior year of high, a friend of mine wanted to model so I took her to the local John Casablanca Modeling Center (laughs). I don’t know if those schools even exist anymore because it all seems to be done on Instagram now.
Imagista: You studied acting in New York City?
BM: Yes. I’d go to work for modeling during the day then take acting classes at night with a woman named Cay Michael Patton. I attended classes with her for about three years and worked on plays before I started auditioning. When I started auditioning I landed the roles for Sex In The City and Coyote Ugly right around the same time. It was a good way start. It was great too because the roles I was playing were totally different characters so good to be seen playing two very different characters right off the bat.
Imagista: How comfortable were you during the filming of both and which did you shoot first?
BM: I think I did Sex In The City first and it was totally nerve wracking because it was a well known show and it had these amazing actresses. I think I was lucky that my character really didn’t have any lines. My character was really this entity for Carrie. I didn’t have tons of lines but I was there a lot.
Imagista: How did everyone on the set of Sex In The City treat you?
BM: They all treated me really well, but you kinda just had to jump into the show. It was like double dutch. You just had to jump in and make sure that you had your stuff down. It was a good learning experience for me for sure. I was also doing a small independent film when I was cast for Coyote Ugly too so I was basically doing three projects at once.
Imagista: What was filming Coyote Ugly like?
BM: Coyote Ugly really felt enormous. It was a Jerry Bruckheimer project and they had put a lot of money into the movie. So it was a lot bigger than I’d ever imagined.
Imagista: Tells us about Blue Bloods…you’ve been working on it for how many years now?
BM: We’re in the seventh season which is the longest show I’ve ever been on.
Imagista: Does Blue Bloods have a scheduled ending or is it one of those shows that’s going to keep on going?
BM: Who knows…knock on wood…I think as long as we’re getting the numbers and as long as the actors want to participate, I can’t imagine why they would stop.
Imagista: What is it like working on Blue Bloods?
BM: It’s been great. We’ve lucked out in that we have a really great cast where there’s no drama and everyone gets along. The writing too has just gotten better and better over the years. It’s a very, very comfortable show to be on. I think everyone really loves being on the show. It’s still challenging. So for us it’s something that really want to keep doing and hoping that people keep responding to it. There’s just something nice in the consistency of working on a show that has run this long. We’ve all been through alot together too.
Imagista: What are you working on or have coming out that you’re excited about? I see you have a movie called Drunk Parents coming out. Please tell me it’s a comedy? (laughs)
BM: Yes, it’s a comedy. The script had me in tears. It’s ridiculous. Alex Baldwin’s character is married to Salma Hayek’s character in the film and it’s basically a story about two people who have been living way beyond their means and all chaos stems from that. Absolutely absurd situations unfold. I was definitely outside of my comfort zone because everyone that I was working with were very successful and talented comedic actors. I mean I was sitting with Jim Gaffigan at the table and working with Alex Baldwin and Salma Hayek who is…she is so funny but she’s also such a kind sweetheart, and so generous. I mean I really don’t think I’ve met anyone nicer than her in my life. I really mean that. It was such a joy to meet such a star and have them be so kind.
Imagista: And how was it working alongside Alex Baldwin? My 11 year old son and I have bumped into him randomly a few times in Amagansett and he’s always so funny and engaging with my son in particular. I was amazed at how natural and warm he was just randomly walking around in public, almost as if he were the mayor or something. It’s actually kinda surreal seeing him like that because he’s Alex Baldwin but you forget it because he’s just so comfortable with who he is that he makes you feel comfortable too.
BM: He’s exactly how you describe him. He’s charismatic. He’s comfortable and at ease and he makes you feel so welcome. But, you know, I’m sitting there star struck a bit because he’s an icon. So, I had a couple of days on that and I’m really hoping I’m still in the movie. (laughs). I could be on the editing floor. (laughs again).
Imagista: So should I call them and tell them how funny you are? I remember my first impressions of you were always how funny I thought you were, especially for a model. Model’s are sort of taught that they’re not supposed to be too funny for some reason. Honestly, you have one of the funniest laughs ever too. I’ll edit this part of the interview out.
BM: Shall we say “unique”? (giggles, laughs). It’s true. And you don’t have to edit this part of the interview out.
Imagista: You’ve got a lot going on…tell us about the movie with Keanu, John Wick: Chapter 2?
BM: Well, John Wick 1 was a big hit. It’s a really dangerous sexy movie. I was so psyched to be in it, and if you haven’t seen it then my apologies for the spoiler alert but I die in it. So I’m glad they brought me back. John Wick 2 was super awesome for me. I’m in through a series of story flashbacks. I’m sorry I ruined the first one for you by the way. (laughs)
Imagista: Yeah, thanks for that. (laughs)
BM: Sorry. (laughs)
Imagista: The photos that you shot for Imagista with photographer Tina Turnbow look so cool by the way. They’re very street and raw. I’m really happy you guys shot that way instead of something overly styled and mainstream.
BM: I have to say. I had seen her work and really loved it. I think we made some beautiful photos that day. The shoot was on the day after the election and so we were all in shock and not feeling great. I was devastated and emotional. I called Tina in tears not sure if I could shoot. I actually canceled everything on my schedule that day. But Tina said, “why don’t I come over anyway?”. So I did and we just talked.
For me it’s not about Republican or Democrat, it’s just that there were so many offensive things said, offensive to so many people that I care about and love that I felt scared for my friends, my people, my family, and for people in general. You know, scared. And Tina said well “maybe it’s important that we make something beautiful today”. The hairdresser, my friend Alberto Guzman came over and we kinda bonded over our concerns from this election result and the importance of art and of creating something beautiful. Then we went to Maya and the owner there is french. We all agreed that we thought we should make something beautiful out of this day. It was a really nice distraction from our worries. I think I will always see those photos and remember that day. That day felt really important.
Imagista: Just a wrap up question. Is there anything else that you would like to talk about?
BM: I’d love to mention the charities that I work with because they’re really important to me. I’ve been working with the Hole In The Wall Game Camp which is a camp that was started by Paul Newman and gives the camp experience to kids with cancer and other metabolic illnesses. It’s such a special place. It allows kids to go up there and just be kids rather than kids with illnesses. I’ve also been working with Jump Start which is an organization that brings educational programs to kids in low income neighborhoods.
I’m also really jazzed up about the environment right now, especially with this new administration that might be an area of world that will be overlooked and need a lot of support. I’m trying to find my fit in that area too. It’s an issue that we’ve all overlooked and just can’t anymore.