Zuniga came to fame opposite John Cusack on the teen classic, A Sure Thing. Through numerous roles through the '80s and '90s she carved herself a reputation as a go-to actress for parts that required a certain amount of…
"They always wanted me to play the smart girl. I am smart," she says and laughs during a lunch break for One Tree Hill.
Zuniga's performance on Melrose Place altered that perception adding layers of darkness, passion and at times cunningness with her portrayal of Jo Reynolds for 109 episodes.
She admits it was a stroke of fate and a higher power that led her to a Wild West set in British Columbia to portray a Mail Order Bride.
Zuniga plays a con artist fleeing an 1800s baddie in Greg Evigan who wants her for stealing a large amount of cash.
Posing as her recently deceased friend who was set to go to Montana and marry, Zuniga's character instead makes the journey and the adventure and romance commences.
SheKnows: How was One Tree Hill?
Daphne Zuniga: It really was fun. Earlier that year a strike was about to happen. I felt like I was on vacation. I got this call. I had heard of this show. I knew it was these good-looking kids (laughs). I talked to the creator, Mark Schwahn, and he told me he wanted me to play the villain. I'm always the normal one. You have to be a bitch. OK! I can do that, I have that in me for sure. It was fun to go in and have something to focus on one quality. Just be the mother who has no clue what mother means. I was just visiting, then I could leave, it was fun.
SheKnows: Like a nephew, fun kid, but not yours.
Daphne Zuniga: (Laughs) True! It was also cool for me being on location. They put you on location in North Carolina. Just coming in to do my thing, it was a real gift.
SheKnows: That's the universe at work again.
Daphne Zuniga: My agent said you're leaving Tuesday and that was Thursday. That, I love about this business. There's a lot to not love, but to go off and be told you have to be a cowgirl on Tuesday. I learned how to ride a horse. I learned how to shoot a shotgun. I got to wear corsets and petticoats and heard cattle.
SheKnows: Where was it filmed, sounds miles from Melrose?
Daphne Zuniga: (Laughs) Outside of Vancouver. We got to ride the most amazing horses up there.
SheKnows: How was working with My Two Dads' Greg Evigan?
Daphne Zuniga: Yes, Greg is my favorite costar now. He's so fantastic. He plays a bad guy, I never met him. I had never seen BJ and the Bear, but he plays this guy is after me because I stole money from him. Up until that point, I was someone who worked for him as a saloon girl, a pickpocket, the bootlegging circuit. The story opens up and I'm avoiding him going off to Montana as a mail order bride to escape him. Then, he comes and gets me.
SheKnows: Definitely a wrinkle on the mail-order-bride movies of the past. You're there for sinister reasons.
Daphne Zuniga: Yeah, it's like I'm a fugitive. We had such fun Greg and I pitched a story, a western, based on these characters so, they liked our pitch, so we'll see.
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