Courtney Ford just learned how to land the juicy role that jumpstarts a quiescent career: Decide to leave the business.
“The truth is, I was quitting,” says Ford, now poised to gain notice on Showtime’s “Dexter” as an ambitious reporter looking to solve some Miami murders by getting close to one of the title killer’s detective colleagues. “I’d been doing this for 10 years, and I’d done some indie films, and guest-starred a bunch, and tested for so many pilots.”
A rangy brunette, she even bleached her hair blonde to contrast with an already-cast brunette at callbacks last season. She still didn’t get the gig.
When the “Dexter” audition emerged, Ford “didn’t really want to go on it. I said, ‘OK, this will be my last one.’ A couple of days later, they said I got it. It didn’t make any sense, but it changed the trajectory of my whole life.”
Hollywood was always in the L.A. native’s blood.
“All of my family is involved in the business in some respect. My mom produced musicvideos in the ’80s. I have an uncle that’s a sound man. My little sister and I grew up on soundstages. We’d end up where they were doing ‘Pee-wee’s Big Adventure’ or ‘Beetlejuice’ and go and poke and play around in there. It was kind of like growing up in the circus.”
Scripter-to-be Roberto Orci (“Fringe”) became her stepbrother during high school when their parents married. Certainly it would be very Hollywood if he ended up writing a part for her somewhere down the road.
How to make it happen? Well, if Ford’s job history says anything, maybe it’s just best to stop trying.