INTERVIEW: Sally Pressman (Roxy LeBlanc) from Army Wives

August 28th, 2009 by

If you haven’t watched Army Wives, what are you waiting for? It is in its third triumphant season, and it is an amazing show. It is so unique because it covers a topic that isn’t seen anywhere else on tv, and is not afraid to shy away from real issues. It may air on Lifetime, but it’s not just for women. There are army husbands, children, and friends too. I absolutely love it. I think the acting is fantastic, the storylines are genuine and interesting, and I look forward to it every Sunday night. I can’t say enough great things about this show. I recently had a chance to chat with Sally Pressman, who plays the free-spirited Roxy LeBlanc, about her character, meeting real army wives, and what we might expect from her for the rest of the season.

I have to say, I love Army Wives.
Thank you.

What do you like most about playing Roxy?
I think she’s just the best character to play. She’s so much fun, she’s so honest, she’s so loving, and I also love when she sticks her foot in her mouth all the time. And I like that she doesn’t take anyone’s crap, you know, but she’s a really good person at the same time.

A big storyline this season has been the revitalization of the Hump Bar. Why do you think it’s so important for Roxy to be independent and have this place for herself?
Yes definitely. I think the big thing this season has been like you know, they made the Hump Bar when they made it Betty’s, kind of like an Applebees. It lost its like, hump bar feel, so the main thing this season was right off the bat trying to get it back on track as like the nitty gritty, southern, no-frills bar. That was a really important thing, because that really is what represents Roxy. You know? And I think it had gotten away from what it was the first season, and became something else and then in the third season it was like, you have to stop apologizing for who you are. No apologies. Just be who you are, and let the restaurant be who you are.

You grew up in New York. What is it like playing someone from the South, how different is it?
It’s very different. There’s no question about it. You know, I’m from New York, so it’s very interesting to play someone from the south–like from the heart of the south, too–the kind of trailer park part of the south is so interesting. And we shoot in the south, so it’s easy in that regard, and it’s a community that I love being a part of. I love that we get to shoot in Charleston, I just love it.

Do you film on an actual army base, or just a reconstructed one?
We film on an old Navy base, not an actual army base. We also film on stages, and all around Charleston. The set is more indigenous to Charleston than it is to an actual post.

And another big storyline has been the new family dog, Lucky. Is it hard being mean to him?
It’s impossible because I’m like the biggest dog person ever. I couldn’t love dogs and animals more. I’m actually vegan, so like dogs and animals are like humans to me. I just love them so much. So the trainer actually had to tell me a trick…whenever I’m yelling at the dog, I look over the dog’s eyes, and then yell. And when you do that, it doesn’t associate that you’re yelling at it. So I’m there yelling right over the dog’s eyes–like a couple inches over the dog’s eyes. (laughs).

(laughs) Well that’s good that he knows that you like him.
I know. After they would yell cut, I’d be like “I love you, I’m sorry, I love you, I love you.”

Army Wives tackles a lot of really tough issues, but it also has some funny moments, too. How do you think the show keeps a balance between the two?
I think the writers work really hard to strike that balance. There is a lot of drama intrinsically…we have a lot of fun together on set, and they try to capture all of that too…you know, the humor and the fun and the fact that these women really love each other, and they love their families. And a lot of the time, just dealing with trauma, you just have to laugh.

The cast has done a lot of community service–like last season with Army Wives Gives Back. How was that?
It’s amazing. You know, we’ve done a lot of stuff with army wives and it’s phenomenal. We get the best response from them, and it’s great to like get in the community, that we’re every day having to represent.

Have you met a lot of Army Wives through the show?
Oh yeah. Oh my God, so many. And I think that you know, we’ve got about 4 million viewers for the show, and I think like 3.99 million of them are army wives. We’ve got the fullest support.

The show really centers around this group of friends. What is it like working with your cast?
We’re so unbelievably blessed, because we all get along so well. And we’re all professionals, and we all like each other, and it’s kind of like an extended family that we all have there.

Do you have a favorite episode that you’ve filmed?
Well, it’s an upcoming episode. It’s a flashback to a different decade. And it was a huge undertaking, and we were all kind of like “ughh, this is going to be so frustrating, this is going to be so annoying, this is going to be so much work,” and it was, it was so, so, so much work, but I think it’s going to turn out to be just epic. I think it’s going to be phenomenal.

You have a background in ballet, did you always know you wanted to be an actress or did you switch gears at some point?
I did. I mean there was a point when I realized that it was really the performance that I was the most attached to, that it wasn’t as much the dancing, that I just loved being on stage and performing. And when I was in college, I took a break from dancing and acting and it was at that point when I came back that I was like I want to do acting for the rest of my life.

Without giving too much away, can you give us a little teaser of what we can expect from Roxy and the rest of the season?
The biggest way that I can give [a teaser] and not give anything away, is that Roxy’s got two main worlds. She’s got the world at home, and she’s got the world at her bar. I think the end of the season, there’s a big change to both of those worlds. And there’s not a calamity, but something that Roxy and Trevor have been discussing through the whole season, and even into the second s
eason comes to a head. And so that’s really the biggest thing. And I think viewers are really going to like it.

I’ve also heard you are a big tv fan. What are your favorite shows?
The ones that are on my mind right now, because they are just starting are Mad Men (of course, absolutely huge). I’m a new huge fan of Hung, which is on HBO. I also love Grey’s Anatomy and Lost and 30 Rock, and The Office. Those are like huge, huge favorites of mine. And I love Dexter. I can watch the Food Network like 24/7, which I’m actually in the process of watching right now.

What would you say to viewers who have maybe only seen a few episodes, or haven’t tuned in yet–why should they watch Army Wives?

I think the reason why you should watch Army Wives, is because there’s something very addicting about it. And as much as I think that people say it’s kind of like a soap opera, it actually represents real life and I think the actors on the show–every single one of them–really portrays the reality of the situation. And I also think that there aren’t a lot of tv shows on that can say that they’re helping a group of people, that they mean something to a group of people. And it’s a group of people that’s very pertinent in the world we’re living in right now, and I think that everyone kind of needs to be exposed to that…see what is going on in the home front.

Is there anything else you want to add?
I’m so happy that you’re a fan of the show. It just makes me so happy.

Of course! I look forward to watching it every week. Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me.
Thank you!

Army Wives airs every Sunday night at 10pm on Lifetime. The season finale is October 11th.

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