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Love is in the Air (and on TV)

Actress Analeigh Tipton dishes on blind dates, two-night stands and nerding out

As a young figure skater in Sacramento, Analeigh Tipton dreamed of going to Hollywood, though not necessarily to be in front of the cameras. “I always knew I wanted to write and direct but found my way into modeling because I needed work,” recalls the former America’s Next Top Model participant. After realizing it was not for her, (“I’m terrible on the runway, and I have much too opinionated thoughts”) she hired an agent who suggested she try acting and soon began to book small roles in films like Crazy, Stupid, Love and Warm Bodies. “Acting is like skating in a way; you’re living in someone else’s imagination and telling a story which is what I loved about it.” This month Tipton has two projects debuting on both the big and small screens. In Manhattan Love Story, she plays Dana, who is set up by her friends on a blind date in the first episode.

Are blind dates your thing?

I’ve done online dating but it’s hard to have a real blind date nowadays with Facebook, etc. I’m pretty nerdy and a big tomboy so I’m a hard one to set up.

Dana is a bit quirky and unlike how female love interests are generally portrayed on TV—what has been your favorite part of the show so far?

We just filmed an episode on larping (Live Action Role Playing) because my character is a secret larping celebrity. Dana likes things that you wouldn’t expect, and as the relationship builds, all of these weird little things start coming out which keeps the show fun. 

Megan, your character in A Two Night Stand, is involved in a different sort of love story. Do you think she and Dana would get along?

Oh man, they’d probably terrify each other. What’s wonderful about Megan is that she is the opposite of anything picture perfect. She’s kind of annoying and she states her mind, but it’s all a façade. She’s clearly vulnerable and puts up these walls, but slowly you see a crack in the different layers. Dana is similar because she is bubbly and light until you realize the fact that this is a girl who suddenly moved to New York and no one really knows why.

Manhattan Love Story airs Tuesdays at 8:30 on ABC.