FHM (US) – 2003
Brainiacs rejoice! Angel’s resident geek loses more than her glasses.
Hollywood has a way of providing us with unrealistic expectations, as anyone who’s ever tried to cure an ill child with the wet nose of a puppy will attest. Similarly, in real life, having an ugly girl shake her hair loose and take off her glasses doesn’t produce an unexpected beauty. It produces a heinous chick who can’t see. Blame your disillusionment on filmmakers who cast smoking hotties as even the mousiest social outcasts. Those seeking proof need only look at the TV show Angel, where the bookish demon-buster Winifred “Fred” Burkle is played by the devilishly gorgeous Amy Acker.
It’s no wonder then that after only a little more than a year on the show, LA is already abuzz with talk about the 26-year-old Dallas native. “There was this one rumor that I was getting married to the guy who played the demon Skip on our show,” Amy explains. “But I’ve never even met him. One day, when I drove onto the Paramount lot with my boyfriend, the security guard was like, ‘Wow! You’re already cheating on your fiancé!’ I didn’t know what he was talking about, until he pointed to my boyfriend and said, ‘That’s not Skip the Demon!'”
Not only is Amy not dating any hell spawn, she’s doing her best to take them down. “The producers won’t let me kick any ass on the show yet, but I keep trying to throw it in,” she explains. “I studied theater in college, and we were trained in all sorts of combat: hand-to-hand, rapier, dagger and quarterstaff. Today, I’d hold my own in a broadsword fight–if it were choreographed.”
Before landing the full-time part of Fred, Amy studied ballet for 14 years (“I can put both legs behind my head and walk on my hands”), worked as a model in Japan (“I like to do a little Bon Jovi karaoke”) and studied acting at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She originally came to LA for an MTV pilot that never made it on the air. More recently, her appearance in William Shatner’s sci-fi-horror opus Groom Lake proved, well, memorable. “Working with William Shatner was definitely an experience,” Amy says. “What you see on TV is what he’s like in real life.” And how was Big Willie’s wig-like hair dome? “It’s not a wig. But I don’t think his hair is natural.”
Scary developments in male hair replacement aren’t the only things threatening Amy’s well-being, however. The Angel set is rife with danger. “I seem to be the only one who gets hurt,” she confides. “I can be standing there, not involved in the fight, and someone will swing their sword and it will hit me in the face. Once, I was being brought down after hanging from the ceiling and this huge metal bar fell on my head. I was like, ‘Don’t cry. Don’t cry.’ I told people, ‘I’m fine. It doesn’t hurt.’ Then I walked off the set and started bawling.”
Disappointingly, Amy did not seek comfort by snuggling up to sexy co-stars Charisma Carpenter and Stephanie Romanov in some kind of Buffy-subplot-inspired lesbian tryst. “Of the two, Fred would definitely pick Charisma Carpenter’s character, Cordelia,” reveals the raven-tressed lovely. And what if it were Amy doing the choosing? “If you gave me both, I’d take ’em.”