What do you call a 26-year-old actress who was raised Muslim in Georgia, dates a hockey star, and currently stars opposite J.Lo and a malingering canine? We call her Noureen DeWulf.
Qstn: You’re currently in The Back-up Plan. What can you tell us about your role?
Noureen DeWulf: I play Daphne, Jennifer Lopez’s employee and friend. We work in a pet store in Brooklyn. I’m kind of a hipster—the whole wardrobe was inspired by American Apparel.
Qstn: Did you and the animals get along?
Noureen DeWulf: There’s something about working with animals—you can’t really control what’s going to happen. It’s very funny to have a dog as your co-star. We actually had one dog that they trained to play a handicapped pet. These dogs have more training than some of the actors I work with. It’s insane.
Qstn: You’re also in the upcoming MTV series The Hard Times of RJ Berger, about a well-endowed high schooler.
Noureen DeWulf: Yeah, I play a high school sophomore who moves with her family from the U.K. She and RJ are neighbors and then they become… he has his first, um… he has a couple firsts with her. [laughs]
Qstn: Sounds scandalous. Is it nerd love?
Noureen DeWulf: She’s definitely a dorky kid. She has a fascination with video games. Like, “Oh my God, World of Warcraft! What level are you on!?”
Qstn: “What skills do you have?!”
Noureen DeWulf: Wait, do you really play World of Warcraft?
Qstn: Me? No.
Noureen DeWulf: I was in more of the artsy crowd in high school.
Qstn: Right, but you grew up in a strict Muslim household in Georgia. Was it hard to transition to Hollywood films and sexy photo shoots?
Noureen DeWulf: I don’t know if, ironically, it was because I was raised as a Muslim in the South, but I realized the value in being true to who you really are. I’m used to always being different, in any context. People always want to know how I grew up, so I just say I grew up Muslim. That’s the truth. Two Muslim girls can write me two extremely different letters—and they do. Some are very supportive, and some question what I do. I’ve just got so many things going on inside. I don’t know how to resolve all of them other than being true to who I am.
Qstn: You’re actually in an indie called The Taqwacores, about the Muslim punk rock scene. You wear a burkha for most of the film. Did that make acting easier or harder?
Noureen DeWulf: I was just so scared to become invisible, so I made my choices extremely bold. I would do these mantras about projecting myself outward through the sheet. In Hollywood cinema, you’re used to making everything subtle. But with this character, I couldn’t throw any emotion away because there’s no face to rely on.
Qstn: You’re dating Ryan Miller, NHL goalie and silver medalist from Team USA. Are you a sports fan?
Noureen DeWulf: I didn’t know anything about hockey before I met him. But I do enjoy being with somebody who is so very good at what he does. And I’ve been to many games now. I watch. I understand it.
Qstn: How comfortable are you on skates?
Noureen DeWulf: I don’t think I’ve put on a pair of skates since I was ten years old.
Qstn: So you’re not going to be taking shots at him any time soon.
Noureen DeWulf: Oh, no … not on the ice.