If you've seen Jane By Design on ABC Family, then you've seen India de Beaufort. She plays the fashion-forward mean girl of the office, also named India, who catches your attention with her harsh speech and picture-perfect looks. She gives a convincing performance that you'd expect from someone who has always dreamed of being on television-- but India didn't always have her sights set on acting. The beautiful London-born actress had been pursuing a music career until a director convinced her to start focusing more on acting. And aren't we all glad that happened.
Are you still in LA right now?
I've been Jumping around all over the place lately, a little LA, a little London, and then my first ever fashion week in New York city. All my clothes are in suitcases right now, summer dresses and winter coats, so I'm ready for any weather, and I love the palm trees as much as the snow. It's all an adventure.
In "Jane By Design," you play the part of India Jourdain, the mean girl of Jane's "adult" world. She has her redeeming moments-- as well as an amazing sense of style. Do you share anything with the character besides the name?
I think we're both strong ambitious women. I don't think we dress the same or make the same choices, but there's a piece of me in there for sure.
You started as a singer. Do you still actively record and perform?
I still write and record. I haven't performed for a long time. Theatrical work kind of took over, but I still need a creative outlet to keep me sane, and I have a mini studio set up and a piano where I like to run away to sometimes. I'm a terrible pianist, but its good enough for my ears. Its like my own version of therapy. It's a great way to figure out how you're feeling.
What was the turning point that made you decide that acting was what you really wanted to pursue? Did it happen over time, or was it more a sudden realization?
It really was all luck and advice. I booked a role in a movie, and the Director swayed me. He knew I wanted to be a musician but strongly urged me to pursue a career in comedy, and I listened. Thank god I listened.
You've said on your Twitter, as well on other interviews, that you always play the villain. Is it fun to play?
Tons of fun. It's incredibly liberating.
Would you like the chance to play the nice girl in the future?
I would love it. Bring it on.
What's been your favorite on-set experience so far?
Probably shooting in the pool at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. It was surreal.
You don't naturally have an American accent-- do you ever have trouble with it?
It comes out pretty easily most of the time, so much so that I feel like I'm having to work harder to keep my native accent, because I really don't want to lose it. Sometimes I trip up if there are lots of R's in a sentence, one after another, but after I've run it a few times, my mouth figures it out somehow.
"Jane By Design" is based around style and fashion-- what is your personal style? Any designers/ trends you love?
Vivienne Westwood has been my idol since I was 10 years old. My mums friend, Bonni Bryg, is a stylist, and she used to let me run wild in her closet. Her Vivienne Westwood pieces stood out from everything else, and it stayed with me. To this day I have a picture of Vivienne Westwood on my bedroom wall, and a Vivienne Westwood belt that Bonni gave me in my closet. I just adore her period style. My own style is quite simple and vintage, I'd liked to think I'm aiming for a chic french feel.
Have you made any strong friendships on the show? Is there anyone in particular you hang out with on your off-days?
John A Norris is a Writer and Co Executive Producer on the show, he also wrote for me on One Tree Hill, and we have become great friends. I so admire his talent, and he's incredibly funny and kind. Erica and I have had a ton of fun being girly together, and its great to have Rowley around, a fellow Brit. We bring each other food from England if either of us go home. He always gets me pickled onion Monster Munch.
When you're not on set, what are we likely to find you doing?
Something creative. I love Sugar craft and cake decorating, I love fashion design, and sewing ( I studied fashion at Esher College), or writing, or just making silly gifts for friends. I also love flea markets and junking. I love finding vintage clothes and furniture and revamping them. I seriously need to get out more.
Sometimes you tweet about charities. Do you have a current charity-of-choice you'd like to give a shout-out to?
Yes. The Next Right Thing. My boyfriend, Todd Grinnell, who plays Mr Hunter on Jane By Design, travels back and forth from the Ivory coast, bringing children in need to the US for life saving surgery, and they are always looking for funding and volunteers. It's a grass roots charity that makes a big difference, but right now they can only bring one child at a time and would love to bring more. They also contribute in other ways, building bridges and access for small villages, and they are currently working on saving an old structure and turning it into a school for the local children. You can read all about it and donate anything you can by going to his blog www.takeitwithme.blogspot.com.
We're still early on in the year, did you make any New Year's resolutions? How're they holding up?
I'm trying to be open and say yes. I just have to keep remembering to do it.
What's your favorite kind of cuisine?
My mums home cooking.
When you're having an off day, where (or to whom) do you look for motivation?
Isolation is bad. I try to call my friends or family, and get out of the house, and forget that I ever had a bad day to begin with. I always find some motivation on the way.
If someone close to you had to pick three words to describe you, what do you think they would be?
I would like to say loyal, creative and fun.
What's your favorite quote?
'For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.' Audrey Hepburn.
Last, but not least, what can we expect to see from you in the future?
Hopefully more Jane By Design. I'd love to combine my love of crafts with my work, and maybe design more. I'd also love to work my way back to music eventually. Who knows what will happen, but whatever comes, hopefully I'll remember to be open and say yes!