- Associated Press - Thursday, July 12, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) - When Tammy Blanchard was offered a juicy part in the film “Union Square,” she had one big question: Why me?

The filmmaker Nancy Savoca thought the Emmy Award winner and Tony Award nominated actress would be perfect to play an uptight, repressed young woman who lives in an antiseptic apartment.

“When I read the script, I asked her why she thought I could do this,” recalls Blanchard. “And she said, `I just know you can. And you’re going to.’ And I did it. I fell in love with Nancy and I fell in love with the script and it was on.”

In “Union Square,” Blanchard and Mira Sorvino play sisters who have become estranged after a tumultuous upbringing in the Bronx.

Blanchard’s character has fled to Manhattan’s Union Square, where she pretends she’s from Maine and lives an organic life. Her chain-smoking sister arrives on her doorstep and throws her life on its head.

For Blanchard, a stunning brunette with pouty lips who is quick to laugh and easily commands attention when she enters a room, the new part was a departure. She says she’s more likely to be caught in a bar fight than go organic.

“I am definitely not uptight about anything,” she says.

That was made pretty clear during a recent three-episode arc when she jumped aboard the Showtime series “The Big C” playing Giselle, an uninhibited Pilates teacher who has a threesome with Broadway veterans Brian d’Arcy James and John Benjamin Hickey.

“My mother didn’t love it but I loved it,” she says, cracking up.

Blanchard, 35, burst into stardom when she played a young Judy Garland in the 2001 miniseries “Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows,” winning an Emmy in the process. Her film credits include “The Good Shepherd” and “Moneyball.”

The actress has just come off a 500-performance run as a sexy, dancing mistress in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” which earned her a Tony nod. Since it ended in May, she’s been reconnecting with friends and spending more time with her 4-year-old daughter Ava, named after screen siren Ava Gardner. Blanchard is next to star in Woody Allen’s yet-to-be-made film alongside Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin.

She recently sat down with The Associated Press to discuss what it’s like having her nights free again, if she’ll ever return to the stage and why she finds it difficult seeing “Union Square.”

AP: Why is it hard for you to watch the film?

Blanchard: I’ve seen it twice already and I don’t think I could watch it anymore because it’s hard for me to see myself so uptight and so against family. It’s so opposite of everything I am. And organic? I like a good cheeseburger.

AP: You’ve worked with theater veterans and actors who have done TV or movies but not theater. Any difference?

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