Celebrity Interview: Jaime Pressly

jaime presslyWhen F. Scott Fitzgerald declared “There are no second acts in American lives,” he had obviously never met anyone like Jaime Pressly, a woman with a remarkable capacity for reinventing herself while staying thoroughly authentic.

Pressly is best known for her remarkable run as a slapstick siren on TV’s My Name Is Earl, but the former teen model shows quite another side on her new show I Hate My Teenage Daughter, in which she plays a more mature, conservative mom. It’s hard to say whether life imitates art or vice versa, but these days, Pressly, 34, also embraces motherhood with her 4-year-old son, Dezi, and slows down to enjoy the simple pleasures of suburban Los Angeles.

By E.C. Gladstone

You came west from North Carolina to model. What’s your earliest memory of L.A.?

I remember going into the place that used to be called Bar One, right across Sunset Boulevard from where BOA is now, and I had my Aunt Cissy with me from North Carolina, and the first thing I see is Billy Idol! And he was completely gone out of his mind, bloodshot eyes, white hair. I was very naïve at the time. I remember thinking, “He must be really tired!”

What part of town do you live in now?

I live in the Valley, Sherman Oaks. It’s more family-oriented. All the parents know each other and the kids play together. We have the neighborhood house. Where do you like to go there? Crave is one of my favorite places to eat. The food is yummy and healthy—I like that you can sit outside. The owner, Abe, is the nicest guy ever…. Rocco’s is a great sports bar. Umami Burger in Studio City. And I love the neighborhood Whole Foods—everybody knows each other. Nothing here is going to be like back home, but at least it feels homey. Everything is within walking distance or a five-minute drive. And there’s no paparazzi.

Any shopping suggestions?

Westfield Topanga mall. They have the greatest children’s area…. You can get lunch when it’s too hot for the park.

Although there are a lot of nice parks in the Valley.

Well, Balboa Park needs to be spoken of. Aside from the fact it has great golf courses, one of the playground areas cost like $3 million, there’s the little lake, you can do the paddle boats, and you can fish, there’s tons of birds. That’s my favorite park, for sure.

Do you fish, Jaime?

Yeah, I grew up on a boat in North Carolina, the real Dawson’s Creek. So I grew up fishing. I do it when I go home.

Where do you like to take friends when they visit L.A.?

I think our restaurants are so much better than they used to be, and I think there’s a better nightlife now than there used to be. Of course I’m older now, and I couldn’t care less to go to a club. The Hollywood Bowl is one of the most amazing experiences anybody could have—going to see Adele, being able to bring your own wine and cheese and sit with friends. And the Ford Amphitheatre, that’s cool.

It sounds like you have totally shifted into “mommy” mode.

Gladly. I’m 34 now. Different things become important when you’re a parent. I go out once in a while and when I do, I really enjoy myself. Whereas if you go out all the time, it’s the same people every night, same crowd. But I am going to see the Black Keys in Chinatown tonight!

LA things to do

Anthony C. Beilenson Park (Balboa Park) 6300 Balboa Blvd., Van Nuys, 818.756.9743

Crave Cafe 14504 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, 818.990.7888

Ford Amphitheatre 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. E., Hollywood, 323.461.3673

Hollywood Bowl 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, 323.850.2000

Rocco’s Tavern 12514 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 818.985.9876

Umami Burger 12159 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 818.985.9876

Westfield Topanga Canyon 2200 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Woodland Hills, 818.594.8740

Whole Foods Market 12905 Riverside Drive, Sherman Oaks, 818.762.5548

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