The next phase of Decker’s career rolls out March 31, when she stars in the CBS ensemble sitcom following the lives of a group of twentysomething friends. Despite gracing magazine covers — including the 2010 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue — the 27-year-old says she didn’t have much success in the modeling business.
No, really, says 2010 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover girl Brooklyn Decker, she “wasn’t that successful” as a model.
Happily, her backup plan is working out.
She concentrates on acting now, and the next phase of that career rolls out March 31, as one of six stars in the CBS ensemble sitcom “Friends With Better Lives.”
“I set out to go into acting,” says Decker, who turns 27 on April 12. “And this show is great, because I love comedy.
“I don’t know if I was considered ‘funny’ when I was growing up. … People who have known me for a while would always be really surprised when I would, like, tell a dirty joke.”
The jokes run more toward innuendo on “Friends With Better Lives,” which is about six twentysomething friends who seem to spend all their time together.
f that sounds suspiciously like another famous show with “Friends” in the title, Decker isn’t pretending otherwise. “We’re a different show with different personalities,” she says. “But I’m sure there will be comparisons. Hey, ‘Friends’ is one of my favorite shows.”
The characters in “Friends With Better Lives” have the expected set of neuroses and quirks, particularly in their love lives. Bobby (Kevin Connolly) and Andi (Majandra Delfino) are married with one little kid and another on the way. Their problem, they say, is they have no love life. Will (James Van Der Beek) is just divorced and fooling nobody when he says he loves being free. Kate (Zoe Lister-Jones) wants the perfect man and keeps getting irregulars.
Decker plays Jules, who has just fallen into a relationship with Lowell (Rick Donald). They can’t keep their hands, or much of anything else, off each other. “They’re like two lost little puppies,” says Decker.
Decker’s own life is a little more orderly, since she’s been married to tennis star Andy Roddick since 2009, but she says she does share some traits with Jules. “We’re both huge cheerleaders for our friends,” she says. “We love our friends. I don’t think it’s at all strange that these people would spend all their time with each other.
“When we aren’t in L.A., we live in Texas, and I can totally relate to that open-door policy. We always have people staying for the weekend.”
While Decker hails from North Carolina and remains a serious fan of the North Carolina Tar Heels and Carolina Panthers, she moved to New York when she was 18. She lived here almost five years, and she says she misses it. “It still feels like home when I’m in Brooklyn,” she says — although, parenthetically, she was named for a horse, not the borough.
She finally had to move, she says, because of the acting. “It got to where I was spending two weeks a month in L.A.,” she says. “So it made sense to move.”
That enabled her to join TV’s annual “pilot season” scrum, where every proposed show finds a cast and films an episode.
“Last year was my first pilot season,” she says. “It’s kind of crazy. They say you’re too young for this role, but maybe there’s another character you could do. Then I finally got this show and we shot it and then you don’t know if it’s going to get picked up. So you wait and wait and wait again and finally I got the phone call.”
Still, she says the TV game may be less nerve-racking than modeling. “Sports Illustrated loved me,” she says, “but I wasn’t that successful in the modeling business.”
Really? Despite SI, The Gap, Cosmopolitan and Victoria’s Secret, among others?
“I went a lot of months without any jobs,” she says, and she shows no sign of regret that after the 2011 swimsuit issue, she switched more or less full-time to acting.
“The hours can be just as long,” she says. “But it’s more fun. On our show, on the nights we’re taping, it can run until 10, 11, midnight. So all our spouses come to the tapings. They’re our cheering section. They bring wine and have a party.”
Better lives indeed.
Also added new Still to our gallery.