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Tampa actress Walker braces for debut in ABC comedy series

Dreama Walker never considered auditioning for the role of the "B----" in the new series "Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23." Sure, the actress can play a bad girl with the best of them (she was the conniving high-schooler Becca on CBS' "The Good Wife"), but she relishes her new role as the more amiable June because, she says, she sees a bit of herself in the character. "There's definitely a sliver of myself in June," Walker, a Tampa native, says enthusiastically about the role she landed over a year ago. "She's very driven; naïve in the best way; a quirky, empathetic, sweet person who sometimes misreads things, gets impulsive and jumps into things. But she always sees the best in people." The midseason-replacement comedy, which debuts at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday on ABC, follows June (Dreama) as she moves to New York and winds up living with Chloe (Krysten Ritter), a roommate who proves to be, you guessed it, the B---- in the series.
While the B-word may make some people uncomfortable, it's not meant to be derogatory, Walker says. "As a woman, it's certainly not my favorite word, but in this sense, (Chloe) is an assertive, super-get-ahead, take-charge woman," says Walker, 25. "When women take on the role of a man, sometimes they'll get called that word. Chloe puts herself first and she's selfish, but it's not meant to be bad at all." Walker, who says her passion has always been singing, began her acting career in Tampa, performing in community theater, acting groups and in Spanish Lyric Theater productions. Shortly after graduating from Plant High School in 2004, she moved to New York in hopes of launching a music career. She auditioned for a few casting agents, and it wasn't long before she landed the role of Hazel Williams in "Gossip Girl" and Becca in "The Good Wife," along with appearances on "Law & Order", "Ugly Betty" and "Mercy." She also appeared on the big screen in "Goodbye Baby" "Sex and the City" and "Gran Torino." "I wanted to be a singer and write songs," says Walker, who now lives in Los Angeles. "I always loved acting, but I wasn't sure how attainable it was. It seemed crazy I could actually be an actress. Now I've been doing it for seven years." Rene Gonzalez, founder of Tampa's Spanish Lyric Theatre, says he still can remember Walker's pipes. Walker starred in a production of "The Sound of Music" as the youngest of the seven children. One of the scenes required her to scream. "We couldn't believe the scream that came out of that young girl," recalls Gonzalez. "We used to call Dreama 'Screama' because she would scream and make your hair stand on edge." He isn't surprised by Walker's success. "She was a very good (actress)," he says. "She's a beautiful girl, very intense, very dedicated and very professional. If anyone had a right to make it, she was it." Walker says she loves to make people laugh, and her role as June allows her to flex her comedic talents. She describes the relationship between June and Chloe as "Tom and Jerry." "I definitely see it as a female version of the "Odd Couple," with some 'Mean Girls' in it," she says with a laugh. "And I'm Lindsay Lohan. I think (the show) celebrates different kinds of women. Every woman can identify with us because we are on extremely different ends of the spectrum." Has she ever had a roommate like Chloe? "No, thank God. Oh my goodness, no." she says. "I never had to put up with anything like that. Thank goodness; no way."

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