TORONTO – She’s gone from palling around with Rick the Temp to portraying one of Matthew McConaughey’s love interests.
Five years after leaving MuchMusic to pursue an acting career, former VJ Amanda Walsh appears in the light-hearted rom-com “The Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” next week, playing a bridesmaid alongside lead actress Jennifer Garner.
It’s her most high-profile role since leaving the all-music station for Hollywood, where the 27-year-old now shares a house with four others in show business, including another actress from “The Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.”
“It feels a bit like a reality show in here, but it’s funny,” Walsh says of her chaotic living arrangement, which includes a roommate in the fashion business, a publicist who works from home with an intern, and a photographer.
“Sometimes there’ll be photo shoots in the house – you’ll come home and there’ll be like, (mimicking Britney Spears’ pop hit in a high-pitched singing voice) ‘Gimme gimme more, gimme more’ and a random model walks by.”
“It’s very, very L.A.”
It’s also proving to be a promising move for the young actress.
Since moving south, Walsh scored a role in the short-lived Lorne Michaels series, “Sons & Daughters,” as well as bit parts in films including “Disturbia” and the TV shows, “Smallville,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “Veronica Mars.”
Walsh says she’s in the midst of moving to a place of her own in the Valley, and is excited by new career prospects that include the upcoming McConaughey vehicle and a role in the HBO pilot, “Washingtonienne.”
The TV show centres on the lives of three women forging a career for themselves in D.C. It’s executive produced by “Sex and the City”‘s Sarah Jessica Parker and based on the semi-autobiographical book by Jessica Cutler about the sexploits of a low-level female congressional staffer.
“I play Laura, who’s the Republican from a small town and she’s sort of a little oblivious, doesn’t have much of a social life because she’s just really devoted to her work,” says Walsh, who also happens to bear a striking resemblance to blond right-wing talk show host, Elizabeth Hasselbeck of “The View.”
“It’s a comedy kind of the way ‘Sex In the City’ is a comedy,” adds Walsh, whose co-stars are Rachael Taylor and Bitsie Tulloch. “We’re on our little life adventures in our late 20s, trying to make careers for ourselves and make lives for ourselves in D.C.”
The pilot was shot last fall and has been in limbo ever since.
But acting is a waiting game Walsh says she’s getting used to, noting she auditioned for “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” more than a year ago. It was shot in Boston last winter and the frosty season in which the film is set – it’s chock full of snow-covered vistas to go along with its “A Christmas Carol”-plot – seems out of place as the rest of the movie world gears up for summer releases.
In the film, McConaughey plays a playboy bachelor who is haunted by the spirit of past girlfriends at his brother’s winter wedding.
Walsh says the first time she met McConaughey, the actor almost lived up to a dubious reputation forged years back when he was arrested for drug possession while dancing naked and playing the bongos.
“I was coming out of the bathroom and he was playing (a piece of equipment) like bongos,” Walsh says of an encounter on set.
“Like, he was just hitting it. And I was like, ‘Wow, that’s such a perfect moment of everything you hear,’ and you have these ideas (about McConaughey), so it was kind of funny. But actually working with him, I think he’s a really nice, very charming, easy-going guy…. He was always totally on his game, really hard-working.”
Walsh says large-scale gigs like these are inspiring her own transformation from teen VJ to working actress.
“I feel really, really grateful that I am where I am right now. I’m sort of kind of pinching myself still,” says Walsh, born in Rigaud, Que.
“When you first move to a new city, you’re like…’I can’t believe it’s going to take years until I feel comfortable here.’ But it’s finally happened.”
“Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” opens May 1.