Jenna Dewan: I Earned Amazing Karma In A Past Life
By Jarett Wieselman
Lifetime set the bar high for Sunday night deliciousness with Devious Maids, but the network has served up a spellbinding second act with Witches of East End, their latest dramedy starring Jenna Dewan, Rachel Boston, Julia Ormond and Madchen Amick as one wickedly wonderful family.
Sunday promises to bring resolution to last week's cliffhanger (how does one escape a haunted painting?) while also expanding upon The Beauchamp's history, which gives all four actresses the unique ability to play countless incarnations of their character throughout history. Turns out, Jenna Dewan recognized the unusual opportunity this show afforded immediately upon reading the premiere script!
ETonline: Before this show, were you a "believer?"
Jenna Dewan: As a kid, I was always drawn to the spiritual and supernatural side of life; thinking there was something bigger than us that's always around and can tap into every day. So I don't think it was any coincidence that this role came to me, it was kind of tailor-made for me. I read the script and all the elements were there: it was fun, had good character development, strong female voices, dysfunctional family dynamics, romance, funny situations and an interesting tone I've never seen on a show. It's not fully campy, not fully soap opera, not fully dramatic; it has all those elements which make it so much fun. And then I got to the part where my character became stuck in the 1920s at the end of the episode and was so in.
ETonline: Your chemistry with Rachel Boston, who plays your sister, is uncanny. Did you know one another before this show?
Dewan: No, we didn't! But it's funny because we met for the first time at her screentest and we met for 5 seconds and had this instant bond. Our energies matched so well. There was no learning curve; we just instantly fell into these roles and I knew Rachel had to play my sister. We joke that we might have actually been sisters in a past life. It's like catching lightning in a bottle. Sometimes the chemistry builds towards that after working with someone for a while; very rarely do you meet the actor for 5 seconds and feel like family. That's the most important thing about this show because you want the four girls to feel like family. We really lucked out.
ETonline: When you got to dig into Frea as a character, what did you like about her?
Dewan: I love her free-spirit and rebellious streak and her sassy side and the fact she's completely ruled by her passions and emotions and, in an endearing way, can't help herself from making these bad decisions and is forced to fix them later. I thought that was interesting because I think women often fight that instinct in themselves. Frea doesn't care; she's going to do what she wants to do, so I knew she'd get herself into a lot of trouble, which is fun to play. But it also sets up a unique arc of evolving and growing and learning.
ETonline: And it's hard to fault her free spirit when it lands her in bed with both Dash and Killian.
Dewan: Right? And it doesn't hurt that they cast the two hottest guys to play brothers. I guess Frea's predicament is pretty understandable.
ETonline: It's a good thing you're so sweet, because with those two guys at work and Channing Tatum at home, people might start to get mad at you.
Dewan: [laughs] I know, I know. Speaking of past lives, I must have been a nun or something in a past life that gave me amazing karma in this life.
ETonline: Looking ahead, what are you excited for the audience to see as this season progresses?
Dewan: I think they're going to really relate to the family drama and the obstacles they face, plus the heightened stakes that come from learning this huge secret. We're figuring out how to harness our powers and still dealing with dysfunctional family dynamics while this evil force is trying to destroy us. There are so many things fans will be intrigued by and relate to. Plus, who doesn't like to have a guilty pleasure on Sunday nights?
Witches of East End airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on Lifetime.