TeenNick's new show, Gigantic, is all about famous friends trying to navigate Hollywood, which is nothing new to star Jolene Purdy. She played Cherita Chen in the cult classic Donnie Darko and Cat's friend Mandella on the TV show 10 Things I Hate About You, and now she's commanding the small stage again as Piper Katins on Gigantic. J-14 talked exclusively to Jolene to find out all about her character Piper, where she'll be for Gigantic's premiere, and what it's like to work with hotties like Tony Oller and Ryan Rottman!
J-14: What is your character Piper Katins like?
Jolene Purdy: Piper is adopted by this mega action star father, so that's how she's related to the Hollywood scene. Piper is a lot of things. She's confident in who she is. She doesn't back down. She doesn't let anyone stand in her way. She's bold and outrageous. She also has this other side that she lets down her guard -- she lets her best friend, Anna [played by Grace Gummer], see that a little bit.
J-14: Do you have any plans for the premiere?
Jolene: We're actually all going to get together at the producer's house and watch it together as a cast.
J-14: Which Gigantic cast member are you the closest to?
Jolene: I'm pretty close with Gia, and I love Grace. Grace and I worked together almost every day when we were shooting. And I carpool to set with Malcolm David Kelly, who plays my brother.
J-14: Are there any set secrets that you can tell us about?
Jolene: I don't think you really get to see how beautiful some of the stuff is. Some of the locations that we shot in Malibu and all over Hollywood were just insane and gorgeous.
J-14: What has it been like to work with such costars, like Jake Gyllenhaal, Tony Oller, and Ryan Rottman?
Jolene: Jake Gyllenhaal is such a nice guy. When I wrapped [Donnie Darko], he said some really nice things to me like, "You should be happy with the work that you've done on this film. Think about the people that are bullied and how they're going to relate to you. A bully sitting in the movie theater watching will think, 'Gee, this is really how I make someone feel?'" Tony is a spaz, but so genuine, sweet, and nice. He's like my little brother. And Ryan is cool. Ryan and I talked about some dating advice stuff. He's Papa Ryan, my big brother.
Gigantic premieres Saturday, October 8, at 10 p.m. on TeenNick.
Photo: Courtesy of James Dimmock/TeenNick