As she sits poolside in the Hollywood Hills, wearing a black American Apparel bathing suit that barely covers the goods, a drop of sweat trickles down Brianne Howey’s flawless skin. But even twirling around on Steve Madden heels, the industrious 25-year- old maintains an air of class that signals she’s not just another bombshell.
Known mostly for stints on various TV series—Twisted,Hart of Dixie, and Revenge—the Southern California native has just landed her first major motion picture role, appearing in this fall’s Horrible Bosses 2, the sequel to the 2011 comedy hit. And fortunately for her and for men everywhere, she’s a workaholic. Which means we’ll soon be seeing even more of her…though not all of her, unless it’s for the right artistic reasons.
Did growing up near Hollywood make you want to act?
Every Tuesday night, we’d go to my dad’s house and watch a Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen movie. Maybe that affected me subconsciously, but I didn’t necessarily want to be an actor. I wanted to be a flight attendant, because we traveled and moved around so much when I was little. When I saw View from the Top, Christina Applegate and GwynethPaltrow made being a flight attendant seem like the coolest job ever.
You went to an all-girls Catholic high school. Were the other students as wicked as people say?
Any private school is going to have a little bit of that. My school had a lot of cliques, but everyone was wearing the same thing, no one had any makeup on, and no one did their hair. But what was cool is that there was no drama. You’d hear stories about other all-girls schools in the area, where girls were hooking up in the bathroom, but I didn’t see it. All the drama was on the weekends.
Were you a goody two-shoes?
Yeah, I was definitely a good girl. I cared a lot about my grades. Looking back, I probably should have chilled out a little, but I’m working on that.
You worked with three comedy bigwigs in Horrible Bosses 2: Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, and Charlie Day. Were you nervous?
It was scary, but you kind of find your groove. Seeing them in action was really inspiring. They are the real deal.
Is it hard not to break character when you’re working with such funny costars?
Yes. The first few days, I took it very seriously and I didn’t laugh. But as time goes on, everyone loosens up and ends up silly and goofy.
In Twisted, there was an episode where you kissed Kylie Bunbury. Did you enjoy that scene?
It wasn’t as awkward as I thought it was going to be. Luckily, we clicked right off the bat. We were both like, “OK, this is happening!”
Did the two of you practice?
No. We saved it for a real take. What I found almost more intimidating than kissing a girl was being the aggressor. As a girl, you are not normally the aggressor. At least, I’m normally not. I like to be pursued.
Was she the first girl you kissed?
Yes, and she will forever hold a special place in my heart. It happened again in the next episode, and by then it was a breeze.
You’ve described yourself as “type A, organized, and slightly controlling.” Would you consider yourself OCD?
Probably borderline, yes. I mean, OCD definitely helps you always be on time, and your apartment is always clean.
You also studied drama at NYU. Does it bother you to be typecast as a dumb blonde?
I graduated college a semester early; I’m not so dumb. Recently, I’ve had a lot of roles where I play a good girl gone bad. I have a very sweet, all-American look, and then there’s a big reveal, where I’m walking down the street, swigging tequila.
Would you ever get naked for a role?
Maybe with a body double. There are plenty of roles I wouldn’t take, because I’m not comfortable doing that. I’d get naked if it were for the right reasons, but most of the time, it’s not the right reasons, it’s just for shock value.
It seems like you post lots of pictures of food online. Are you a card-carrying foodie?
I love food! I consider myself a foodie—I love to eat and love going to new restaurants. I am a better baker than cook, though. I love baking banana bread and lemon–poppy seed muffins and chocolate chip cookies. And I love chicken strips, and a good tuna melt. I think I’ve seen every reality food show. It’s all I watch. I love Top Chef,Chopped,Iron Chef. But I don’t love Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. I mean, Guy Fieri—why don’t they make him change his hair?
Check out images from Brianne's Maxim photoshoot here.
Photos by Blossom Berkofsky