Rising Star Bianca Kajlich: Series Star Also Knows Life Among the Soccer WAGs
By Stacy Jenel Smith
The British tabloids have been making rivals out of Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham and Bianca Kajlich - months before the most well-known soccer star in the world, David Beckham, is due to make his debut as the new $250 million player of the L.A. Galaxy.
Kajlich, you see, is wed to top American soccer star Landon Donovan, up 'til now the Galaxy's top man.
That makes her tops among what U.K. soccer fans refer to as the WAGs - that is, Wives and Girlfriends of players -- in the United States.
In England, "There is almost as much press and publicity about the WAGs as about the athletes themselves," Kajlich notes.
The media - here and abroad - have talked a lot about the shift within the Galaxy thanks to the landmark Beckham deal. Referring to Donovan, who gets a reported $900,000 a season, one Los Angeles sports writer summed up, "the Designated Superstar of Major League Soccer for the past two seasons later this year becomes David Beckham's Galaxy Sidekick." The move would be "disconcerting" to many, he added, but Donovan is "the most level-headed star in sports."
It's nice to report that his wife comes off quite level-headed as well.
Beyond their spouses' respective positions on the same team and their shared destiny, Bianca, like Posh, is very beautiful. And like the former Spice Girls pop singer, actress Bianca has her own claims to fame - starring in the CBS comedy "Rules of Engagement" after amassing a credit list that includes the series "Dawson's Creek," "Rock Me Baby" and "Boston Public," as well as the big screen "Halloween: Resurrection."
The 29-year-old, Seattle-born Kajlich admits, "I didn't know anything about Major League Soccer before my husband and I got together." But by now, she is used to the duality of her fame, her own projects being showcased in the entertainment section of the paper while she's referred to as Donovan's wife in the sports section.
"I love the dynamic we have," she says. "We don't have to come home and talk about 'the biz,' but still we each have someone who innately understands the craziness of it all. When we have to cancel plans on each other, we understand."
With the high demands of their respective careers, "We make time to be together, and it's not only that we make the time, but we make that time worth it. We make the most of the time we have. The great thing is that we both genuinely enjoy being at the other's work place. There's nothing more fantastic to me than going to see his team play."
Bianca refers to her fellow Galaxy WAGs as "like a big family. When the boys go out of town, the wives and girlfriends get together and watch the games together, and it's wonderful to have that network."
Meanwhile, her work life is a whole different world. She and Oliver Hudson, who previously worked together on "Dawson's Creek," play a newly engaged couple, Patrick Warburton and Megyn Price play an established couple, and David Spade plays their single friend on "Rules of Engagement."
"My first audition was last July, and I thought they hated me," she recalls. "Then they called me at night and said, 'We want you to come back again when more of the producers are here.' Then I didn't hear back again, so I thought I was done. Then the final time I was called I was in Seattle with my family, and I got word they wanted to test me for it. There were five different girls who could not have looked more different, so I realized they didn't know what they wanted. They were going to throw the whole lot against the wall and see what sticks. It's fine," she adds. "I'm definitely willing to fight a little bit for a role."
Bianca recalls, "You go into an auditorium-sized room with a bazillion people in it, none of whom are prone to laughing. All the network executives are there, and they don't let on what they're looking for."
She admits she was "definitely" nervous, but notes, "I think the day I stop getting nervous about it is the day I should stop doing it altogether."
Once the arduous casting process resulted in her nailing her role, she was happy to return to working with Hudson. They'd become friends back in the "Dawson's" days, but hadn't seen one another "in a couple of years." His wife, Erinn, is also a friend, Bianca says.
She's glad to have close relationships both inside and outside of Hollywood. "Actors' lives are a little shaky," comments Bianca. "It's hard to find balance. You need to be flexible. When you're in your twenties, you're still figuring out who you are. It's paramount to have family and friends who are not in the business."
And she certainly does.