'Go On's' Julie White on how 'Guys and Dolls' saved her from detention

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Julie White was having a terrific week: Her character, Anne on NBC's "Go On," had an important storyline; her indie film, "Language of a Broken Heart," opened; and her voice was the only other one heard in Holland Taylor's one-woman Broadway show, "Ann."

White, who has been an actor for decades, is happy.

"Go On," which airs Thursday, April 4, revolves around a grief counseling group Matthew Perry's character must attend.

"I love that my character is such an unusual character on television," White tells Zap2it of Anne, a lesbian whose partner died. "She is really a woman not about the male gaze at all, and with no apology at all. She is not part of the landscape.

"After you have acted as long as I have, your criteria for a part is, 'Please let it not be embarrassing in any way!' " White says.

White grew up in an artsy home in Austin, Texas. Her mom had been a theater major in the 1950s, and there was a player piano in the house. Though they staged plays and sang, she hadn't considered a future in acting.

It was detention that brought about her career. White's English teacher gave her detention whenever she was late, and soon she was loaded down with hours. White marched herself to the auditorium to serve her time, and the teacher was holding auditions.

"I watched auditions of 'Guys and Dolls' and saw those other kids, who did not have a player piano at home," White says. "I thought, 'I could do that.' I asked Mr. Singleton, 'If I go up and audition, would it lessen my detention?' I had only served about an hour. 'Yes. If you will audition, I will consider your detention served,' [he said]. So I learned the song and, of course, got the part."

Always in purse: "I hope that my keys are always in my purse," she says. "I am truly bad with keys."

Best dish she cooks: Fried chicken

Homestead: Family has had a ranch in Texas for over a century. "I can't wait to get out there when we finish shooting and see the bluebonnets," she says.

Favorite movies: "I loved 'Gone With the Wind.' The other that is really hokey is 'It's a Wonderful Life.' As far as a recent movie, I love 'Lincoln' and am very proud of it. 'The Adjustment Bureau' - it is the most romantic movie, and Matt Damon and this beautiful girl, Emily Blunt, have the most magical chemistry."

Favorite books: "I read the whole 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy every 10 years because I love it so much. As a Texan, I love Larry McMurtry. 'Lonesome Dove' is just stellar. I read all the time. I have so many books stacked up. Yesterday I read a book cover to cover, 'Chanel Bonfire,' a memoir of the most fabulous childhood written by Wendy Lawless. I love George Saunders."

Favorite music: "I have very lowbrow tastes, and I will go through periods where I listen to pop music on the radio, whatever (it) is. I love Beyonce, Mumford & Sons, Willie Nelson, Miranda Lambert and ... Carrie Underwood. I like big ballad singers who make you cry. With Pandora radio, you can make your own station, and I went to a friend's house, and I stole her station, all that Brazilian music, Astrud Gilberto."

Photo/Video credit: NBC