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Perhaps best known for her recurring role as Wendy the Waitress on the hit comedy How I Met Your Mother, Charlene Amoia, although no longer serving drinks to the raucous gang at MacLaren’s, is instead serving it to Hollywood by avoiding the dreaded curse of being typecast.

“I’ve been lucky to have been cast in some really cool dramas as well as thrillers, horror movies and comedies, so I don’t feel like I’ve been put in any sort of box,” the actress told us.

Since hanging up her waitress gown with the series finale of How I Met Your Mother last year, Charlene has been keeping busy with an upcoming cameo in Sleepy Hollows and the impending release of several films. Adrenaline, a drama about a drag racer who is left paralysed after a crash, has just released in cinemas and is just one of many films the actress will be appearing in over coming months.

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But before Charlene was busy hitting up the red carpets, she was serving drinks and helping the gang of How I Met Your Mother get drunk as Wendy the Waitress. Appearing in 19 episodes of the long running comedy, the often blissfully unaware waitress Charlene played was originally only meant to get a one episode run. “The role was originally written for one episode. I wouldn’t say I charmed my way into more episodes but more that I lucked my way into them,” Charlene confessed.

Charlene’s experience as Wendy and being on set of How I Met Your Mother was an incredibly positive one, “It was always a blast to play Wendy and to be on the set…The showrunners had a gift of finding exceptional people and getting them all working in one place!”

Among these people was none other than Neil Patrick Harris who played supreme wingman and pick up master Barney Stinson. “It’s no surprise that Neil is a great guy in addition to being a truly exceptional talent,” Charlene told us.

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Fittingly her favourite Wendy moment from the show came in the episode ‘The Platinum Rule’ where Barney seduces and dumps the waitress in true playboy fashion. “It was so neat to play her guileless while Barney was clearly giving her the run around. That’s what I liked about her most, she was just kind of clueless!”

Actors often struggle actively watching a project they are a part of, Charlene however just couldn’t resist. “When something is done as well as HIMYM, it’s impossible for it to be hard to watch.”

In between tending McLaren’s bar, Charlene was already looking to other projects, chief among them an appearance in the 2008 movie Seven Pounds. Recalling her brief but unforgettable role she said, “It was a really great experience for me because I got to work with Will Smith and Woody Harrelson all in one day. You really can’t beat that!”

When asked how it was working alongside a Hollywood elite like Will Smith, Charlene told us that it was, “Truly amazing. He is a movie star in every wonderful sense of the word. Kind, magnetic, funny and incredibly charismatic.” Turns out he’s as nice as we all hoped.

Having balanced a string of tv and movie appearances throughout her career, Charlene admits that whatever the medium, she is just happy to be doing what she loves. “I am so in love with the craft of acting of any kind so it doesn’t matter to me what medium it comes in.”

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With McLaren’s bar no longer needing tending after How I Met Your Mother came to an emotional end, Charlene was quick to make the most of her new free time starring in Fat, an indie film looking at a man’s battle with food addiction. “Fat is a great example of important indie film making. This movie shed a light on food addiction and mental illness in a way I haven’t seen done in the media yet,” she told us proudly.

Coincidently Charlene is a health and fitness advocate when not acting with the actress telling us, “Without our health, we have nothing right? I personally believe that maintaining your health as much as possible is the key to a happy and productive life!”

When asked about the future and what else her already very productive life has in store, she expressed her excitement at her film ‘Not a Stranger’, which she described as, “a really heart-warming movie in the vein of Good Will Hunting.” Be sure to keep an eye out for her in this and other projects including an appearance in TV show Sleepy Hollow later this year.

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Charlene Amoia is well and truly serving it up to the myth of TV show typecasting by hanging up her Wendy the Waitress gown with a healthy shot of reverence but an eye firmly on the future.

Interview by Joshua Thomas

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