Julie White, who stars opposite Matthew Perry on NBC's Go On, says she discovered her passion for acting quite by accident. The Austin-raised actress was late to her high school sophomore English class so often that she racked up 2 1/2 hours of detention. Then, when she showed up to serve her time, she discovered that her English teacher was holding auditions for a production of Guys and Dolls. White auditioned and won the role of Miss Adelaide. She has been a dedicated performer -- or "a ham," as she puts it -- ever since. White says she's having a blast on Go On, an unlikely comedy in which mismatched members of a therapy group are dealing with loss. "I love its irreverent sense of humor," she says of Go On, which airs at 8 p.m. Tuesday. "A show about death and grief shouldn't be this funny."
1 Are you like or unlike your character, Anne, the "mean" member of the support group?
I don't think she's mean. What I'm discovering about Anne is she's extremely sensible and logical. I'm like Spock to Matthew Perry's Kirk. She's just so dignified, she covers up her sadness with this fierce amount of effort. That makes her appear to be angry and mean. But I'm not like that. My world view is that things are funny.
2 Which would make you happier: if the show motivated viewers who need therapy to give it a try or if, instead, it inspired people to ham it up for the camera when a Google Maps car drives by?
It would be great if viewers who are feeling down look at this show and say, "Oh, I get it. I'm not alone. This happens to everyone." But they also should ham it up for the Google car, just like we did in the pilot.
3 Of the different acting jobs you have had, from Broadway to movies to TV, do you have a favorite?
I just feel blessed that I get to do it all. I've done Shakespeare in the Park. I've done big summer blockbusters with robots. I've done big TV shows and tiny independent films. I've done highbrow stuff and lowbrow stuff. And I sometimes think, "Oh, my gosh, I can't believe I do this for a living."
4 Speaking of movies with robots, do you have a huge fan base of young boys because you were in all the "Transformers" movies?
It's weird sometimes what roles you get called out for. I was at the grocery store and there were a bunch of boys, ages 14 to 17, raising money for their local high school football program or something. I didn't want to buy their candy bars, but I gave them money to support the program. And they were like, "You're her, aren't you?" And I knew they weren't referring to Shakespeare in the Park. These were Transformers boys!
5 And you're OK with that?
I didn't mind at all. I also have two nephews in Dallas, one of whom goes to Highland Park High School. And let me just say that I have answered many of their questions about Megan Fox. And I did so happily.
-- David Martindale, Special to the Star-Telegram