Sokoloff brings experience to role as bride in ‘Maneater’

By Rick Bentley

Marla Sokoloff immediately knew she and Sarah Chalke were going to get along when they met for drinks before the start of filming their Lifetime miniseries “Maneater.”

“We were both about to get married. I asked Sarah if she wanted to see a picture of my dress. We pulled out our iPhones and saw we’d both picked out the same wedding dress,” Sokoloff said in a telephone interview.

The actress joked she wants it on the record she picked out her dress first. First or not, it was also a little anti-climactic. Sokoloff has played a bride in her last five acting jobs, including “Maneater,” so she has had plenty of practice trying on wedding gowns.

“Maneater,” which airs at 9 tonight and Sunday night, is based on Gigi Levangie Grazer’s best-selling book about shallow socialite Clarissa Alpert (Chalke). The years she’s spent hanging out with Hollywood’s power players have started to add up. Alpert decides she’s getting married. All she needs is the right groom.

She shares her ups and downs with three very different friends played by Noureen DeWulf, Judy Greer and Sokoloff. The four women are the West Coast answer to “Sex and the City.”

Sokoloff wanted the role of Jennifer, a reserved society woman who hides a passionate side. Although the 28-year-old Danville, Calif., native has been acting since she was 12, she had never played a character like this.

“She’s that country club, pearl-wearing kind of person. They did ask me to cut my hair for the part. I originally didn’t want to because I was getting married in November and I wanted long hair. I finally decided to do it, and it really helped me get into the character,” Sokoloff said.

There’s a chance Sokoloff could return to the role of Jennifer. The last miniseries based on a Grazer novel, “The Starter Wife,” was turned into a cable series. It depends on how well the miniseries does in the ratings.

Sokoloff’s credits include the TV shows “Home Improvement,” “Friends” and “7th Heaven” and the films “Dude, Where’s My Car?” and “Crazylove.” She spent five seasons on the law drama “The Practice,” but it is her eight episodes on “Full House” as Gia Mahan that most people recall.

“I don’t know why that role is the one they remember. It seems to me a different lifetime ago,” Sokoloff says.

Sokoloff didn’t need a wedding gown for her next acting job. She plays a scientist out to save the world in the NBC miniseries “Meteor,” to air July 12 and 19.

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