Q&A: Brittany Ishibashi of USA’s Political Animals
Orange County's own stars in new six-part series.
July 18, 2012
Orange County native Brittany Ishibashi currently stars as Anne Ogami, an interior designer engaged to a JFK Jr.-esque member of a political family dynasty in the six-part USA drama, Political Animals. A behind-closed-doors look at the dynamics of this powerful family, Political Animals’s strong ensemble cast includes Sigourney Weaver, Ellen Burstyn, Carla Gugino, Sebastian Stan, and James Wolk as Ishibashi’s husband-to-be. We caught up with Ishibashi on politics, her new role, and life in LA.
What was it like to work with the iconic actresses that are on the show?
BRITTANY ISHIBASHI: It’s an artist’s dream. I literally kept pitching myself everyday just because working on a show with strong, great writing and strong, dynamic women, is just so fun. All three of them—Sigourney, Ellen, and Carla, are fantastically vibrant and spirited.
What did you do to prepare for this part?
BI: I researched a lot on political dynasties, America’s “royal” families, and read books on the Kennedys on the Clintons. It was [also] fascinating to read about these women that came from the outside, who were so smart, composed, and passionate in their own personal lives, then married into these families and everything was under this magnify glass. Seeing how they dealt with that sudden pressure and scrutiny was interesting.
You play one of these women, a sort of Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, who is struggling to adjust to the spotlight. Being a Hollywood actress, could you relate to that feeling of your private life suddenly being made public?
BI: I’m in no way in any place where I have to worry about people caring what I do yet. I have a lot of friends who do and it’s interesting to watch. I think the easiest thing for me to identify with was the concept of a face that you put on for the public regardless of what may be going on inside.
Were you passionate about politics prior to being on the show?
BI: I first really got involved in the 2008 election because it was the first time I was actually moved, motivated, and empowered.
You grew up in Southern California. Where do you live now, and what do you love about the neighborhood?
BI: My husband and I just bought a home in Studio City, which we love. We used to be in the heart of West Hollywood, which was great for our 20s, but now we have a huge yard and fruit trees. It’s a wonderful little meditative sanctuary that we can both come back to.
Playing an interior designer, did you pick up any tips for your new home?
BI: I took so many pictures on set because it was amazing. I kept sending them to my husband saying, 'How about these curtains for the family room?'
LAC celebrates the women of its May/June 2013 issue at Palihouse in West Hollywood.