Drop Dead Diva’s resident player Josh Stamberg gives us the 411 on Serena Williams, Brandy, love and fatherhood
The truth is- I have been a Lifetime movie and series lover since Meredith Baxter showed us her Best Betty Broderick. There is something positively primal about Lifetime movies and series that on some level always resonate with me. In each character I see a piece of myself; in the strong willed woman, the half demented one, the one who bravely fights valiantly for her kids, the one whose spouse has been unfaithful- I am all these women, and all of them are me.Lifetime movies and series have this uncanny ability to draw upon our most base emotions and craft characters- who reflect what women want to see on screen- powerful, vulnerable, headstrong, determined, feminine, and yes incredibly flawed female characters. Why? Because as women, all of those behaviors and feelings are what ultimately comprise us as human beings.
Being a lifetime mom and a serious DROP DEAD DIVA superfan I had the opportunity to interview their resident bad boy playa Josh Stamberg and get his feelings about starring in a Lifetime network series as well as, his fierec love and loyalty to his real life family. But first a lil background for those of you not steeped in all things DROP DEAD DIVA…
Reason number 305 why I love this show- its main protagonist is a voluptuous, smart as a whip attorney at face value, but her back story is that her soul, her essence is that of a shallow wannabe model who dies in a sudden car accident, and as opposed to going straight up to heaven (or wherever the heck our souls do go once we pass on) her soul resurfaces in the body of this brilliant, plus-size and recently deceased attorney, Jane. And that’s the cool part of this character- superficially she is not a cookie cutter blonde, blue-eyed size zero as she was in her former life. This new body she resides in, and has to find her comfort zone in, is that of an average woman. And it’s just really fun watching her navigate this new world, body and all, while in her mind and heart remembering the body she once inhabited and the life that was once hers, and trying to make sense of it all.
And now onto this tall drink of water Drop Dead Diva” series regular Josh Stamberg who I got to chat with about his upcoming storyline where his character gets into a bitter custody battle with the woman who plays the mother of his child Brandy Norwood airing THIS Sunday, July 8. For two episodes this season, Brandy reprises her role as Elisa Shayne, a former girlfriend of Josh Stamberg’s character, Jay Parker. After a short stint working at the firm, Elisa fled town with her son after it was revealed that Parker (Josh Stamberg) is his father. Now Jay’s son is back in his life but when Elisa reveals she plans to move him to Canada away from Jay, Jay takes legal action. During the trial, Elisa enlists her lawyer, played by SERENA WILLIAMS to help her win her case.
Married my sugar daddy: how did you prepare for this role, and this part of your character’s storyline development?
Josh Stamberg: I am married and have a four year old daughter. This season I’ve really been able to draw on my experience in terms of being a parent– although I have no experience with custody battles– I just draw on the what ifs. The horrible notions of the hypothetical- the idea of having my daughter aware from me helped me prepare for that mindset of what my character Jay Parker was going through.
Married my sugar daddy: You like tennis and Serena Williams guest stars on an Drop dead Diva with you-what was that like?
Josh Stamberg: The second biggest highlight of my life, after being a dad was- getting to play tennis with Serena Williams – she came to the set with her tennis coach, a big guy. And she invited me to come to the Peachtree facility and play with her. I played soccer in college and Europe- and I’ve always played tennis– it’s a great sport because your age isn’t a factor. When Serena invited me to play I ran to wardrobe I put on some weird shorts- I probably looked like loser and when I get to the facility to practice with her there were two hundred people crowding around us watching us. I was freaking out like a teenager– it was so much fun- I think she was surprised that I could play. She and her tennis trainer worked out for an hour and a half so I also got to see her training-then she invited me back on the court. The truth is I already had a crush on her and I think Brandy might have mentioned it to her.
Married my sugar daddy: Before you joined the cast of Drop Dead Diva were you a lifetime network fan?
Josh Stamberg: I was certainly aware of lifetime- although not very well versed in programming- I did have concerns about it- from a gender perspective- but being a part of this cast has been an amazing opportunity for me to build on audience I hadn’t been exposed to- The writing is really good, although I sometimes take issue with how one dimensional the male characters are–as opposed to the women – but the truth is lifetime has provided strong and solid roles for women which is crucial-in Hollywood. And in the four years I’ve been working for lifetime- the quality and character development has really risen across the board – in terms of their original movies and series- and it’s nice to be a part of that.
Married my sugar daddy:The premise of Drop Dead Diva– do you believe a soul can be reborn and live on?
Josh Stamberg: I’d like to believe that lots of things are possible and although it’s an unusual concept having a child and being a parent and the fact that my own daughter was born as my father was dying…well I’m optimistic and open and think that lots of things could happen.
Married my Sugar Daddy: What has it been like working with Brandy?
Josh Stamberg: I’m crazy about working with Brandy. She’s a real pro- she always comes totally prepared and she’s got such a lovely energy– she will just start singing in between takes and her voice is insane!
Married my sugar daddy: What has been the biggest lesson being a dad has taught you?
Josh Stamberg: The hardest thing for me has been slowing down. I like to be really active and accomplish lots of things and being a father has forced me to slow down and be really present. It sounds cliche but I’ve really had to learn to unplug and be present moment to moment. It’s funny as a parent just as you feel like you’re getting a handle on the challenges and mastering that one phase- my daughter is already in another phase! I guess the best part is waking up to her in my life and going to sleep knowing that she’s there and all the stuff that happens during the day- and well she has a great sense of humor!
The kid who plays my son on show- is super cute- not a weird actor kid- I love spending time with him and have been able to develop a friendship with him that I hope comes across on the screen. I really just use the notion of not having my daughter every day- drawing on what it’s not like to have something and the threat of that .
Married my sugar daddy: Do you think Jay Parker is going back to his womanizing ways?
Josh Stamberg: Suffice it to say- the pendulum swings back and there will be a fascinating twist at the end of the season. In terms of our characters Jay Parker and Kim Caswell- there’s a lot of back and forth and a big shift in this story line–they move closer and there’s a lot happening.
Married my sugar daddy: What about working with Brooke Elliot?
Josh Stamberg: Brooke Eliot and I have a great dynamic– at its best I compare it to the moonlighting relationship– it has great dynamic love/hate – I love when we get to work together our characters are great foils to one another.
Don’t forget to tune into to Drop Dead Diva this July 8 with featured guest stars Brandy Norwood, Serena Williams when Jay Parker enlists Kim’s help in a custody hearing for his son Eric when his ex Elisa (Norwood) hires a high-profile, hard-ass attorney Kelly Stevens (Williams) to fight for sole-custody of Eric.