Interview with Katlin Mastandrea from 'The Middle' and 'Anger Management'

By Bridget Campos

Katlin Mastandrea is a young actress that’s relatively new to world of television. She has showcased her comedic talent on the successful TV show, The Middle. She is also starring in the most anticipated show this summer that will debut Charlie Sheen’s return to television. Katlin tells about her background as a struggling young actress in Hollywood, including what it was like working with her co-stars on Anger Management and also her recurring role as Weird Ashley in an upcoming episode on The Middle. What made you want to be an actress?

Katlin Mastandrea: I’ve always liked to entertain people and make them laugh. Like my little brother, whenever he’s down I would contort my face in various funny positions just to make him laugh. But I really started thinking about acting when I was 10. I sat down with my mom and told her that I did research on acting and I would very much like to do this. After she talked with my dad about it my family was in full support of my career. After getting the feel of acting and going through trial and error, we permanently moved to L.A. in 2009 to hopefully find some work.

TCC: Pursuing a career in acting can be difficult. Who has inspired you to keep going despite any obstacles you went through?

KM: My family - like my mom and brother. Of course my dog! (Laughs) He’s always sitting there looking at me. Their support helped me keep going. Sometimes I would feel down but then I would be like ‘I cannot let this get to me.’ I still have this fighting flame that’s never gone out. That’s always nice to have.

TCC: Are there any stars in particular you would like to work with?

KM: I would have to say Jim Carrey, Helen Bonham Carter, and Johnny Depp. They do such good work when it comes to playing a wide range of characters that are wonderfully expressive and not really ordinary.

TCC: Since you would also like to star in movies, is there any particular genre you feel would showcase your acting skills?

KM: I suppose comedy and drama. But I would like to try any genre just to see how far I can challenge myself. Maybe I would be able to pull off some pretty good work.

TCC: What’s another career you would have liked to do other than acting?

KM: Marine biology. One of the reasons why I like L.A. is the ocean, especially the deep sea. You get to see the sea creatures with several tentacles and kooky, multiple eyes. I just love all that stuff. I also love coral reefs. It is so beautiful. I’ve always wanted to save our ocean because it’s in trouble. Maybe one day make a movie or documentary about that. Helping the marine life is what I’m passionate about. Oh, and acting of course!

TCC: Tell me a little about you role in Anger Management.

KM: I can’t say too much about my character. Only that her name is Olivia and her best friend is Sam, whom is Charlie [Sheen]’s daughter on the show. Sam started a college prep club, which Olivia and some other friends are a part of. That is all I can give about the show until it airs.

But the show is really funny. Even participating at the reading table has been very funny. The whole cast has a great sense of humor, especially Charlie [Sheen]. I did get to work with him a little bit. He has so many ideas in his head. When he gets on set he knows what to do and bounces ideas off the director and everyone else. The set has been a very nice and relaxed environment.

TCC: So you never experienced any of Charlie Sheen’s crazy antics that were widely publicized in the news last year? Does he ever say his famous catchphrases like ‘Tiger Blood’ or ‘Winning’?

KM: From what I’ve seen on the set he’s been very professional. In fact, whenever some of the other young girls and myself were around the set he would try to watch his language.

TCC: You play a recurring role on the series, The Middle. What’s the one thing you like about playing the character, Weird Ashley?

KM: I like that she is not your average high schooler. It’s cool to play someone that is not normal because you can do stuff that’s odd and make it look funny.

TCC: In real life did you ever experience awkward moments in school when you felt like Weird Ashley?

KM: Yeah, when I was in school I would try to blend in but ended up being a wallflower type because I was skeptical about people getting too close to me. But there was a part of me that wanted to be funny and tell jokes. Yet, my awkward side would come out when people would say to me ‘How is that funny?’ So I did experience awkward moments like that.

TCC: What do Middle fans have to look forward to for the prom episode on May 9th?

KM: Axl has by accident asked Weird Ashley out to the prom - again. This year we do get to see the prom, which is nice because last time it was only implied. There is a twist to the story but you just have to tune in and see the fate of our dear Weird Ashley.

Watch the third season of ABC’s The Middle every Wednesday at 8 p.m. (PST)

On June 28 Charlie Sheen’s new series Anger Management will premiere on FX.

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