Amber Tamblyn on Two and a Half Men's 'Queer' Addition and What She Would Look for in a Girl

Two and a Half Men Lesbian DaughterMennnnnnn… and a young woman.

When CBS’ Two and a Half Men opens Season 11 tonight at 9:30/8:30c, Amber Tamblyn comes a-knocking as the daughter Charlie Harper never knew he had. Yet Jenny shares much in common with her late dad — including a love for (lots of) women.

In this candid, quippy TVLine Q&A, TV’s erstwhile Joan of Arcadia sets the record straight on her character’s “label,” cheers her cherubic countenance and reveals what she would look for in a lady love(r).

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TVLINE | What preconceptions about your character, that you’ve read or heard or been presented with, would you like to correct right off the bat?
[Thinks...] God, nothing. I think it’s been perfectly handled. I think maybe I would say that I think we’re describing Jenny as a gay character, and I actually think she’s queer. That would be my thought. I haven’t said that yet, but that’s my thought.

TVLINE | How do you delineate the two?
Well, that’s specifically for the gay community to understand, in the sense that it’s very complicated for Jenny. I’ve given a lot of thought to that, and I think the queer community is less about definition. It’s more about a community of culture. That would be my thought about it, because a lot of people are like, “I’ve heard some say she’s bi, and I’ve heard other writers say she’s gay. Which is it?”

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TVLINE | What was a bigger consideration for you in taking this role — Two and a Half Men’s somewhat stormy past or perhaps your limited multi-cam sitcom experience?
I can say I don’t think that there was any hesitation. Nothing. The minute I read the material, I was in. I was totally excited to go in and even read for it. I had a really strong opinion about how I thought the character should be, so I went in and gave a presentation of who I thought Jenny was, which was masculine and feminine at the same time with a big hearty laugh, open for anything, game for anything. In general, a sort of unapologetic, tough heroine.

TVLINE | Is there a reason she shows up at this particular time? Does she know Charlie’s dead?
She does know, yeah. I think she’s just sort of searching. She moved to L.A. to become an actress, and I think that’s sort of a secondary conversation on top of the fact that Los Angeles is the mecca of partying and lifestyle and hot ladies. I think that’s really what Jenny is after.

TVLINE | What’s her immediate read on Alan and Walden,Nangnangnangnang in one sentence each?
Alan is very sweet. Walden dresses funny.

TVLINE | Are they almost at a loss what to do with you?
I think it’s difficult for them. Jenny is sort of a stray cat that’s super-stoked to get a bowl of milk. Do you know what I mean? She’s like, “Great, what couch am I sleeping on? Where do you guys keep the empty flasks?” That’s Jenny’s attitude. They’re more like concerned parents trying to figure out how to help, what to do with her. They’re confused and baffled and all of that at the same time.

TVLINE | What might Emily Quartermaine’s dead mom in Heaven think if she’s watching the show on Thursday nights?
I know. I know. I think her name was Paige? I can’t believe I remember that. [Tamblyn's first TV role, at age 12, was General Hospital's Emily.] What would Paige do? That’s a great bumper sticker.

TVLINE | You’re playing 25, younger than your actual years. Can you believe you’re already cheating your age at this point in your career?
Let me tell you something — as a 30-year-old woman it’s a treat, because I have the face of a darling 14-year-old angel and the teeth of an infant, so I’m often told that I look too young to play my age, which is totally true and fair. It’s kind of fun for me to play something that’s not a 21-year-old.

TVLINE | If Jenny’s a 25-year-old aspiring actress, is it safe to say she’s not the best actress?
Oh, you’re going to have to wait until Episode 4 to find that out.

TVLINE | What would your type be if you were into girls?
Who says I’m not…? I don’t know. I think I would probably be much more into how that girl could get down on a dance floor and less so much about how pretty she was.

TVLINE | Any flowers or words of encouragement from your dead TV dad, Mr. Sheen?
Actually, he gave me his phone number through somebody else. I think he just was in general reaching out to say, “Hey, I’m here for any reason. If you have any questions or want to talk about anything, I’m here” — which I think is super-classy and awesome.

TVLINE | You’re making your Two and a Half Men debut on the 10th anniversary of Joan of Arcadia’s premiere. Kismet?
Oh my God, is that true?! Wow….

TVLINE | In 10 years, you’ve gone from channeling gods to raising hell — is that one way to put it?
I think you just found the title of your article.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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17 Comments
  1. JJM says:

    Chances are her ‘aspiring’ acting is just pornography.

  2. Cherry says:

    I have never watched this show, it’s never appealed to me. But I will definitely tune in for Amber, she’s a really great talented actress. I hope this works out for her!

  3. Jovi says:

    Since she obviously leans more toward the femme side, I guess she’ll be looking for someone more butch. Portia looking for Ellen? I look forward to the fresh twist.

  4. liz says:

    for the first time ever I will be tuning in to watch Two and a Half Men. And Amber’s preference of ‘queer’ over ‘gay’ shows how she actually gets it. Everytime she speaks, she just keeps raising in my estimation.

  5. Tori says:

    I have been a fan of Amber’s work since her GH days but I do worry that the show will have her character sleeping with Walden’s character which I guess would fit into the “Queer” concept of no labels. I definitely want to see the character meet her paternal Grandmother, that should be a blast.

  6. Gerald says:

    I really miss Joan of Arcadia and love Amber, but if I watched her on this show it might destroy my view of her. I’m not a fan of Two and Half Men. I don’t think adding Amber will change that.

  7. Diane says:

    I am so excited, can’t wait for tonight!! My husband and I both think Two and a Half Men is hilarious and I have loved Amber since Joan of Arcadia. Btw, we are both in our mid 70s, dosen’t mean you can’t have a sense of humor!!

  8. Brian says:

    As a gay man, I find Amber’s character offensive. She was clearly added in to prop up the sleazy straight guy fantasy. This idea of “queer” is offensive to the GLBT community. Oh,, and isn’t it interesting that the producers added a WOMAN and not a MAN who is into both sexes? Interesting double standard.

    Hollywood liberals are afraid of men who are into both men and women.

    • Robb says:

      Dude relax, this casting could save the show imo, stop reading to much into it.

    • the only one who seems offended here is you! I am considered bisexual I guess if we’re putting labels but I prefer women. For the woman who corrected someone saying that sometimes femmes prefer femmes thank you! I think it is a great addition to the cast because they didn’t want to be redundant havinh in another male character necause of how snotty Agnes T.Jones has become.you need to relax and just calm down. It irritates me people like you trying to find offensive things where there is no insult intended. I am sure the community is fine. Two and a Half Men isn’t taking a shot and I think the way that Amber is playing it she is being very respectful. Just be comfortable with who you are in your own skin and quit trying to cause some sort of “revolution”. Give it a chance before you hate it. I haven’t cared for it much since Charlie has been gone andbecause I feel they’ve ruined Alan’s character making a little too creepy but I still hope for better days as I am with this.

  9. Brian says:

    Wouldn’t a bisexual man have been more interesting? Or are the producers of Two And A Half Men homophobic towards the concept of male bisexuality? We all know that women are afraid of male bisexuality. It takes away a woman’s power.

    As for Amber, her character is offensive to the GLBT community.

    • What is with all the closed minded and matter of fact ASSumptions here? Women are not afraid of bisexual men. I know this because I am a woman and being considered bisexual the thought of a bisexual man doesn’t bother me at all! People deserve to live their lives and try to find love wherever they can find it.Don’t put
      your thoughts or feelings on someone else when they’re not true. You are making
      generalizations and it makes you sound moronic.

  10. RJB says:

    Joan of Arcadia was a show that left you something to think about each week. Whatever 2.5 Men’s appeal is, it isn’t uplifting, nor is it funny. I wish Amber Tamblyn much success, but hopefully someone will come to their senses and cancel her current show promptly, letting her work on something worthwhile.

  11. i never watched this show before, but i will deff check it out for Amber. She’s great.

  12. amyss says:

    With that interview it’s obvious now that her character will be de-gayed in future episodes, probably sleep with Kutcher’s character, and she’s only doing damage-control (she’s queer! not gay! it’s complicated for her!). So dissapointing and homophobic.

  13. Laura says:

    I think Amber is going to save the show!