Brooke's acting breakthrough was in her role as "Samantha" on the popular TV series "Melrose Place." Since then, she appeared in 2000's "Playing Mona Lisa" and "The Replacements" and 2002's "Kiss The Bride." Brooke Langton first gained exposure on everyone's favorite comely beach-bouncer series, Baywatch. A native Texan, it may seem fitting considering her freshman role that Langton studied Marine Biology at San Diego State University before making the leap from the classroom to the small screen. Living in Japan and modeling for eight months before moving to L.A. to pursue a career in acting, Langton got involved with theater in Portland and Texas before breaking into television on Baywatch and Beverly Hills 90210. After appearing in such made-for-television movies as Moment of Truth: A Mother's Deception (1994) and Eye of the Stalker (1995), Langton landed a role on 90210's mature (at least age-wise) cousin, Melrose Place. Later gaining notice for her role in Doug Liman's breakthrough indie hit Swingers in 1996, Langton returned to television for her role in The Net before going back to the big screen in The Replacements (2000). After the cancellation of The Net, Langton began work on another television series, When I Grow Up (2001). Following the cancellation of that short-lived series, Langton returned to the big screen with roles in Playing Mona Lisa, Kiss the Bride, and The Hulk. She is engaged to be married to Carl Hagmier in February 2005. Brooke was born on November 27, 1970, in Arizona, USA.
Brooke Langton talks sex
The ascent "If you want to get to know me," says Brooke Langton, her hazel eyes lit with mischief, "you have to see me with my dogs." Which is how I found myself schlepping up a massive incline in the wilderness over the Pacific Coast Highway, tracking two huge hairballs named Riley and Blue. Barely winded, in loose-fitting sweats and muddy sneaks, Brooke bounds up the craggy trail, chatting enthusiasticalty about her dam-about-to-burst stardom. Having survived the cheese on Melrose Place and the spy-jinks as the small-screen Sandra Bullock on USA's The Net, Brooke is now huddling up with Keanu Reeves in the fall football comedy The Replacements—a Slapshot meets Any Given Sunday with more hit potential than Mike Tyson. Leaping from rock to rock, defying gravity, Brooke clearly has the drive to make it to the top. I, on the other hand, am trailing woefully behind, resolved to my middling existence and to giving up cigarettes. Then I gather enough oxygen to recall that I don't smoke.
[Breathless] Replacements...football...are you...a fan?
Oh, yeah. I'm superathletic. I love football. In the movie, Keanu is a replacement quarterback, and I'm his All-American girlfriend, a cheerleader. I actually did some cheerleading in junior high school. For the shoot, we put on a halftime show during a Baltimore Ravens game, and I totally felt the turn-on that football players and cheerleaders must feel when they're in a stadium full of 60,000 people staring directly at them. The energy that mass of people is hurling at them—it's awesome.
Good...break for you...this film?
Want...to...get out...of TV?
I hope so. My mom used to take me to four or five movies a day on the weekends, so I was always much more into films than TV. Still, I had a great time doing series work, especially on Melrose. But films are where my heart is—so why not follow my heart?
What's...with you...and these dogs?
They are just so open with their love. If I leave the room and come back after 10 seconds, Riley jumps all over me and licks me. God, imagine if people did that with other people they love. Imagine if I greeted my boyfriend that way. One time, i had a huge fight with a boyfriend. Riley came over to me, licked the tears off my face and sat on my lap. I thought, God, I really hope I can be with someone who's even a little bit like that.
The Summit We're in the clouds. The ocean is a thin, blue line hundreds of feet below us. Riley and Blue sniff around, occupying themselves with their dog duties, while Brooke and I sit down to catch my breath in a clearing of grass. We breeze through the vitals—born in Arizona; father a "poetic, foul-mouthed geologist"; parents divorced; followed Mom to Illinois, then Texas, then Los Angeles—and then get to the good parts. For instance, she's a graduate of the school of George Clooney flings. But, despite my devious interview tactics, she'll only say that she and ER-boy are DOA. Still, I have to wonder: Was the hike tougher than she lets on, or is Brooke starting to blush? In either case, it works for me.
Tell us about your very first kiss.
It was in a cornfield in Illinois, and I was in the fifth grade. We did that classic note thing in class: "Do you like me? Circle yes/no/maybe." So, we met after school in the field behind his house, and I knew something really great was going to happen. We were standing there for maybe 10 minutes, smiling, laughing, turning away, then there was this sudden, simultaneous smack of the lips. That was it. But it was something that I remember as very beautiful. Kissing someone can really tell you a lot about him. It's a way of expressing yourself, without getting graphic.
We're not shy. Be as graphic as you like.
The burn I get from great sex is like what I get from acting in a scene when it's really, really good. You can also get it from a great conversation: a perfect synchronicity, a synergy. And when I feel that, I like to really devour it, go into it all the way.
Are we still talking about sex?
OK, listen. I was in Australia, scuba diving 150 feet down. There's a peacefulness down there—the sound of your breathing through the oxygen tank, a fish swimming by your mask. It's the thrill of being in the midst of perfection. Like riding a horse, full-speed, no bridle, bareback. That perfect fluid motion. You're at a concert, and all these people just get it at the same time. You're talking to someone, and there's that balanced give and take. That energy: That's orgasmic. Making love, being completely at one with someone, experiencing that closeness is what's really beautiful. It's not about sex as much as it's about connection. That's the mystery and the romance of it.
What else makes you feel sexy?
Sometimes I want to put on high heels and a tight dress and give people a taste of my femininity. When I'm not in love, I want to feel really, really sexy. In those times, I want to be more of a woman and feel beautiful. Most of the time, I live my life like a tomboy—snowboarding or waterskiing—but there are times when I want to give that feminine boost to myself—and to other people. It's like a gift: Here I am. I went into this photo session not really wanting to, you know, go too far. Before I knew it, I was in a bathtub, down to a rubber bikini.
What were you thinking?
I thought, Maybe they won't be able to see the apple pie I just ate. I love eating. If we were eating right now, the whole interview would be about me eating. If I didn't walk my dogs every day, I'd be a blimp.
The Descent A chill kicks up from the ocean below, and the mist begins to consume the mountain. Brooke and I begin our trek down. As we stumble and slide along the tight, rock-strewn path, I casually step between the beguiling, babbling Brooke and a 200-foot drop into the spiky pines below. She looks at me, confused. I explain that men have to do things like that. It's the macho gene. Then I think about changing my shorts.
Does it bother you that I may be the only thing between you and certain death?
No, I love that. It's so sweet. When guys say, "Let me get that for you; let me carry that," or when I know that they have one eye watching over me—that's very sexy. There's a balance between masculine and feminine. It's important that women have women friends and don't demand that their guy be a girlfriend. There's an honorable difference between men and women.
But you said you were a tomboy.
I am. I have that quality of being totally independent and not needing anyone. I still need that masculine energy. I'm glad you see me as feminine, because there is a part of me that can get lost in the masculine.
What do men find most feminine and attractive about you?
Definitely not my bazooka-size boobies. Frankly, I don't know. Some days I'm perfectly happy, and some days I just want to go back to the womb and start over. Maybe you can help me. What do you think? How's my pinky fingernail? How's my bottom lip? Is it good-looking enough?
Sometimes I look at magazines and think, Why does every woman have to be naked or next to naked? Then I realize that this is the modern form of an ancient truth: Men are in awe of women. It can be represented by the body, but it's really the whole package of being a woman—the way of thinking and feeling and being—that affects people. And today, with all this non-gender-specific, politically correct thinking around, there's an even greater need for icons of women who look great in a bikini. The question is: Am I one of them?
Three cheers for Brooke Langton
To research her role in the football comedy The Replacements, Brooke Langton visited numerous Los Angeles strip bars.
Langton plays Annabelle Farrell, the cheerleading coach for the fictional Washington Sentinels.
When the players go on strike, her cheerleaders walk in support.
Annabelle has to look for replacements of her own and the only dancers available work in a local strip club.
It makes for some interesting choreography to say the least.
"I watched a lot of pole dancing and some rather interesting duo acts to get the moves we had to use in the film," reveals Langton who is best known as Samantha Riley on Melrose Place and the girl on the run in the TV version of Sandra Bullock's hit film The Net.
The actual cheerleaders in our film are all Broadway dancers. They are completely uninhibited which was a blessing in disguise. I didn't get to see my cheerleading costume until a couple of days before filming. I was shocked at how scant they are.
For the first couple of days, I'd wrap a blanket around me as soon as the cameras stopped rolling. The other girls were so comfortable with their bodies and it eventually rubbed off on me."
In The Replacements, Langton plays Keanu Reeves' love interest. She says she was impressed how the star handles his celebrity.
"When we were filming our driving scene, people would hang out of windows or yell from street corners. They love Keanu and he was so generous with his responses. There was never even a hint that he found any of this intrusive."
Langton insists she doesn't remember any details about her big kissing scene with Reeves.
"I compare it to being in a car accident. There's so much adrenaline rushing through you that you remember being in the accident but you don't remember any of the details. I know it was a great experience. I just can't be any more specific."
Brooke Langton: Caught in The Net's Paranoia
Brooke Langton says she's feeling a teeny bit paranoid these days. It's not that she believes that getting on the internet to read reviews of The Net could cause agents of evil to access her files; it's more concern that her cell phone might be giving her brain cancer, or panic if her dogs bark that someone's breaking into her home. "The other night I was dreaming, and I woke up and there was a guy standing in my room, and he had bowling pins for legs!" she recalled recently in a telephone conversation as she strolled down a Vancouver street near the studio. "I was like, OK. He's not real. He's a bowling pin-legged guy. He's just a dream! It's like my mind is more stimulated to be fearful because of what I play every day, but I'm pretty adjusted to it by now."
Langton is in the midst of filming her first season of The Net, the USA Network's techno-thriller based on the Sandra Bullock film of the same name. The series already has a cult following (not surprisingly, on the internet) and a wide crossover audience among fans of USA's most successful show, La Femme Nikita. There are some striking similarities between the series - tough, resourceful, gorgeous heroines, trapped by secret government organizations, for starters - but Langton's Angela Bennett has marked differences from Peta Wilson's Nikita.
"I think getting to play a female lead that wasn't La Femme Nikita, that didn't have to be like a hired assassin, was a cool opportunity," said Langton, who added that she loves Sandra Bullock and was excited at the chance to play a role that Bullock had played. "People have compared me to her, so I understood why I got the offer - we both have that dark-haired, sort of girl-next-door disposition. It's so rare to get a really great part. She's been a great character."
Shortly after wrapping her longtime role on Melrose Place as Samantha Reilly, Langton was offered the role on The Net without an audition. She "had to go in for the big round-the-table, sort-of-scary, let's-see-if-we-get-along meeting" with Rob Cowan (who had produced the movie along with Irwin Winkler) and the USA network executives, "but we did get along, so it was great." After several years on a broadcast network hit, Langton found that there are advantages to being on a cable series.
"I think there's a lot more freedom and a lot more understanding," she said. "They give you a lot more time to get on your feet than a network does. When I was on Extreme, we thought we had a great series but they killed us after seven episodes. And it was just because we weren't beating Friends - we were on Thursday nights at 8:00. I think being on a cable network, we get a little more creative freedom as well. She changes all the time, and I knew that would happen because there's a plethora of stories with the internet, we play with any storyline that you see on the news. I feel really fulfilled being on the show. "
Yet playing a woman pursued from all directions is not precisely empowering; "em-paranoid-ing" is the term Langton uses. "I'm up and turning on the lights and checking the alarm - I don't think I ever did that before," she laughed. "But I think I'm getting stronger from all the physical stuff that we do. And sort of growing - I feel like I'm not really 22 anymore. When you play a character like I played with Samantha Reilly, I sort of had her disposition about myself, so I think in my own life it's reflecting, I feel more in-control."
The part requires a great deal of physical work on Langton's part, like white-water rafting and considerable jumping and running. She has stunt doubles "who do the killer stuff, like flipping a car or crashing things," but the role taxes her stamina so much that she doesn't need to work out to do stunt work. "Are you kidding? I work eighteen hours a day, Monday through Friday, every week since April," she laughed. "On the weekends I'm usually working till Saturday morning, so I usually sleep all day. And I get up 5 a.m. on Monday morning. So I have not worked out since before April. I think staying on my feet all the time probably keeps the potatoes off me."
The company has filmed 14 episodes so far of the 22 planned for this season, and won't get a break till December. Fortunately, the group is close and enjoying the work. "I love our crew, we're a big family," reported the Texas native. "And Vancouver is amazing - I've only been here during the summer, but it's one of the most beautiful places I've ever been on Earth. It's very innovative, it's sort of different, there's a lot of very hip locations to shoot in. I think that makes it fun: we're always on a different location every week, all week long. It's really got a lot to offer."
What's hardest for the actress is finding time to be creative in the acting, given the breakneck pace of production. "It's hard to really take the time that's necessary when you're shooting a show as fast as we do, as often as we do," she said. "Sometimes I haven't even read the script revisions when I'm shooting the scenes. I think that's frustrating: it's like we shoot a movie every week, but we have so little time to do it. The challenge is to make it good work at the pace that we move at."
Langton noted that since she works so many hours a day at the show, she has to be careful not to become immersed in the dark world Angela Bennett inhabits. "Our reality as a crew is making a facade - we're there all the time, we don't really have time for a real life, our whole reality is this!" she pointed out. "It's challenging to keep it light. But a friend of mine came to visit me, he said, 'How fun! Every day you go to work and you guys make this big theater production, you set up all these stages and these lights and you do this acting stuff, and then they feed you and then you go home. What a fun job!' And it's true, we're very blessed. It's fun."
The actress claimed she "fell" into acting and joked that she tells people who want to act that if they can do anything else, they should. "I had the stamina and the endurance to stay in it because I can handle rejection, and I knew there wasn't a lot else that I wanted to do, or maybe that I could do - I think that if you have that, you can make it through the rejections. But it's so hard to be an actress," she noted. "It's like 500 auditions before you ever have a callback usually in Hollywood, you know? I never thought I was going to do it, but I persevered. I didn't start acting till I was about 22, which is late. I guess it came together quickly, but it seems like it's been years."
Langton has quite a list of genre credits, including Sliders and Terminal Velocity in addition to her current role, which she credits to her physical type. She observed, "I'm not a very feminine girl, I'm more of a tomboy girl, so I can play action people more than I would be playing, like, Kim Basinger in L.A. Confidential. I think it's more my physicality. It's cool, it's sort of what God gave you, you go with it. If I had huge breasts and blonde hair, I'd be playing that role right now on Star Trek in a really tight rubber suit or something! So I don't mind it at all."
She did get some experience playing a femme fatale on Melrose Place, when her character, who started out sweet, began to "go bad." Langton thinks that was inevitable: "Every Melrose character is going to go sort of crazy because that's the nature and essence of that show. I was a little bummed, but it's funny - a lot more people recognize me and know who I am from the badness that my character played in the end than when she was a good, sweet soul. I think people do respond to craziness: that's why the show has been going on for seven years or whatever."
Was she sorry to leave the hit series? "No, not at all," she responded without hesitation. "If Spelling had wanted me back, I would have gone and done what they wanted; I'm very easy. Whatever! Now I'm moving on. I like change, change is good." She would like to appear on Homicide, and is sorry she never got a chance to appear on The Larry Sanders Show before it went off the air. Langton finds comedy to be "the hardest thing in the world, much harder than doing drama or action," but would like to be on a show like Seinfeld as well.
Before she started working on The Net, Langton shot a John Hughes film, Reach the Rock, which she greatly enjoyed because it gave her the opportunity to work with a director she'd enjoyed for years. "Because I grew up with Some Kind of Wonderful and The Breakfast Club, the shooting was a big high for me. I don't know about how the actual character will come out, but I really enjoyed that." She plays Alessandro Nivola's love interest in the film, which is expected to be released early next year.
"I think I've liked shooting movies because they're shorter, so you get to sort of pop in and do your thing and leave. It's like two months, instead of a series," Langton said, adding that the free spirit of the profession and all the moving around are her favorite aspects, though she wants to take her dogs with her. She has thought about writing for the screen, but not yet attempted it. "We have this joke on our show, whenever any of us says anything about writers, we're always like, 'It's a lot different when you're staring at 66 blank pages,isn't it?' I think that to ever stare at a blank script and make a great story would be a big accomplishment. That shuts us up if we don't ever like a line, writing is such an amazing feat."
"I think to write would be a great accomplishment, but I don't know...I might have some babies, and move to Jamaica!" Langton continued with a laugh. "I'm proud of just surviving, and staying with what's most important, which are friends and animals and long-term things. I try to take care of what's around me instead of saving the world - my character can save the world!" She believes that her biggest accomplishment "is knowing that I haven't reached my biggest accomplishment."
In terms of feedback, Langton noted wryly that she has read some wonderful reviews of her performances and some "really miserable" ones. "Sometimes fan mail is like, 'You rock, Brooke! I love you!' and other times it's like, 'I hate you, why do you have to be on TV every week?'" Despite what happened to her character on the net, "I would like to go on the internet and respond; I just have not ever had less time in my life. I haven't even checked my mail in four months, let alone what people are saying online."
The network has moved the series repeats to follow La Femme Nikita, its most successful show, and is considering moving The Net to Sunday night right before the new La Femme Nikita episodes. "That's a really amazing show, isn't it?" Langton pondered. "Our show is very different, but from what I've heard, Nikita was very different its first year. You find sort of a fold where you're comfortable, and it starts to really flow. I think that's where we're going. A lot of it is about our relationships together, how we react to each other - it doesn't really have to do with whether we're going to find the diamond mine or not. Shows that hit big successes, that's usually what they're dealing with, isn't it?"
The biggest upcoming surprise on The Net will be the identity of The Sorcerer, currently voiced by Tim Curry, but Langton isn't talking about who it is. "If I do, I'm fired, it's in my contract!" she laughed, though she does note, "The new kid, he's awesome. That's going to be the coolest new story point: who the sorcerer is and where that goes. As we go on, we're going to have the coolest toys, the coolest new computers. All the new stuff! Technotalk!"
Understandably, Langton's a bit exhausted these days. "My brain is fried," she apologized. "I haven't had a day off since April, so if you don't find me funny, it's because I'm barely staying awake - I do hundreds of interviews, they made me go do the Leno show and the Magic Johnson show, on five hours of sleep a night, and then I get two days off. Sunday night, my personality comes back, I remember funny things in my life." The actress chatted about coffee shops in Vancouver, horrible Canadian cellular phones, and her pets, concluding, "If you don't think this is a great article, catch me on Sunday night and we'll do it again!"