Newlywed JoAnna Garcia Swisher, star of ABC sitcom Better with You, graces the April cover of Latina magazine, which hits newsstands on March 15th.
The Cuban American actress opens up to Latina about her recent nuptials to New York Yankees slugger Nick Swisher, how they nurture their long-distance relationship and their plans for the future.
On her favorite wedding moment: “The minute I saw Nick at the end of the aisle, as I was talking towards him with my father on my arm – I’ll never forget it.”
On marriage: “I have a very realistic image of what marriage should be. It takes effort but it shouldn’t be the hardest thing that you do. The key to our relationship is just an extreme amount of respect for each other.”
On athletes & fidelity: “Monogamy is a tricky thing. I don’t think it’s for everyone, but I’ve chosen that life and there’s no question in my relationship.”
On the honeymoon phase: “We’re doing it all the time! I mean, c’mon, he married a girl in her 30s!”
On their future: “We would like to start trying [to have a baby] as soon as we can.”
On being naughty & nice: “I fancy myself to be quite sexy at times – I’m as naughty as I am sweet!”
Plus, another interview where JoAnna discusses Better With You:
Can you tell us what Better With You is about?
"It's basically a relationship comedy. It's centred around one family with three different relationships. My parents have been married for 37 years. I have an older sister named Maddie and she is in a pretty committed monogamous relationship for nine years and has no plans to get married and is completely comfortable with that. My character, Mia, is the youngest daughter. I meet this rocker boy named Casey, we fall in love, I get pregnant and we're getting married - all within six weeks. It's like, 'We're in love, let's do it - let's have a baby and get married'."
Are you that impulsive?
"I had my day! I was a little more impulsive when I was younger, although when I met my husband I knew pretty quickly he was the one for me. I straddle the idea of throwing caution to the wind!"
What's Mia like?
"She's a free spirit. She lives her life in a way that's just, 'Don't worry about things, everything will work out'. She's definitely a successful businesswoman, she takes care of herself, but when it comes to living life she lives with her heart first and thinks about things later."
When I watched the show, I thought that Mia was completely different from your Privileged character Megan...
"Yes, definitely! Megan was probably one of my favorite characters that I've ever had the privilege to play, no pun intended. She and I shared a lot of the same [characteristics] - a little bit klutzy, clumsy, sometimes says what she thinks and sometimes regrets it. Mia is so much fun for me to play because I'm impressed by her constantly. I'm always like, 'Wow, she is a brave girl'."
What's Mia and Casey's relationship like?
"I've become so fond of it. It's become one of my favorite relationships that I've had the opportunity to work with. It's really pure. Casey is who he is, he's not trying to impress anybody. He's a really nice person but he really lives his life by this simple code of, 'I'm a good person and I'm going to be who I am'. I find that he's a lot like my husband and I think that's why I love Casey so much. My husband is so sweet and he is who he is, like him or lump him. I just love that purity and I think Mia is attracted to that. It's very refreshing, in a way. Their relationship is very real in a very sweet sense."
You mentioned your husband - baseball player Nick Swisher. He guest starred in Better With You recently, didn't he?
"He did! My husband plays for a team in New York so it was a perfect backdrop and an opportunity for him to come on and play around with us. It was really fun. I was so proud of him - I thought he did such a great job."
How does Mia get on with her sister?
"I think Mia and Maddie are as close as two sisters can be. They have a language that nobody can understand, they fight like cats and dogs, they beat the crap out of each other growing up, but there's just this deep committed love. There's no real rivalry or jealousy between the two of them. It's really just two sisters that admire each other for what they lack and protect each other for what they lack. Maddie's always looking over and making sure things are okay for Mia because she is really in awe of the fact that I threw caution to the wind and lived my life without thinking things through but it always seems to work out. I think even though it's the thing she fears most about me because she worries about me, it's the thing she admires most. And I admire her for her careful thinking and her career and her commitment."
What's it been like working with the rest of the cast?
"It's really magical. It's not often that you get to work with people you truly adore. Jennifer Finnigan, who plays Maddie, and I have known each other for many years. I've always rooted for her and adored her and we've been friends so when we got the opportunity to work together it was really exciting. We already had that camaraderie and that love and we had been rooting each other on for so many years as actresses. Then you bring in all these people that I've never worked with before but I've grown to love in a way I can't even explain. We really have become a family. I know that might be overused a little bit but there's just a lot of love. The boys are particularly close with each other and I've been lucky enough to break into that circle. I love sitting in the dressing room when the three of them are chatting about life and love. I have learned a lot!"
What do you think makes Better With You different from other sitcoms?
"I believe what makes great television is wanting to watch particular characters. We all have very similar lives even though we all have different circumstances. The running themes of our lives are all the same - looking for love, looking for success. There is something that is so human about this show and so funny but real. The one thing I'm so proud of is that it's been airing in the States for six or seven months and people always come up to me and say, 'I relate to it'. I think that's what makes good television. You turn on the TV and it's interesting people doing things that make you feel like you're not... Well, we're all weird, all humans are weird, so it's like, 'Oh, I'm not so strange!'"
You appeared on Gossip Girl before - do you think you'll ever return?
"Oh gosh, I don't know. If they'll have me, of course I would go back. I enjoyed Gossip Girl so much. I cannot tell you how impressed I am with the cast of that show. I was so intimidated doing that show because I thought, 'Oh my gosh, those people are so young and gorgeous and I'm a million years old and I need a spray tan and I'm going to be wearing all these fabulous clothes'. But they made me feel so comfortable and they welcomed me with open arms. I was just so impressed with how kind they all were - they were all so lovely."
Are there any other shows you'd like to guest star on?
"Modern Family is one of my favorite shows on television right now. I just think that show is so brilliantly done. It's so fun, I love it. Eric Stonestreet I could just sit and watch forever. They're all great. That would be on the top of my list. But there are so many great shows right now. I would love to go to Hawaii and do Hawaii Five-0, because who doesn't want to work in Hawaii?"
What do you think Better With You's chances for renewal are?
"I'm very hopeful. I think we really hit our stride and I'm really excited for the audience to be able to see episodes in the near future. I'm most proud of the last half of our season. I just think we all gelled together as a cast, the writing became tremendous and we have some really fun guest stars - Derek Hough is guesting on our show and Larry King. I would love to see the show go as long as ABC will have us. Obviously, it's a business, so... [But] I believe we're hitting our stride and we're just getting better and better, so I hope very much for another season."
Why do you think we should tune in to watch Better With You?
"It's got a very fun vibe. It's an easy 22 minutes - you sit down and you have fun and hope you'll love our family. I think that's really what keeps people coming back - it's that our family's interesting. It's a little bit off color, a little bit wrong, but always with good intentions. I hope that people just relate to it."
I've loved JoAnna since Reba, which I miss a lot! And I love Better With You!