Piper Perabo: Beautiful Coyote and Golden Globe Nominee Returns in Covert Affairs

It was sometime around the beginning of the millennium. I was not particularly busy. I was bored. I decided to go to the movies. I looked at the list of films playing. There was nothing special at the local umpteen-plex. I just kind of made a choice at random. Off I went to see Coyote Ugly.

Coyote Ugly, it turned out, was a film that thoroughly entertained me. High art? No. But then again, how many movies that I go to qualify for that category. However, I found the film enjoyable and touching. Jaded types might criticize me. They’re likely to say the flick was corny. My response? Who said corny can’t be touching and enjoyable?

Here was the tale of a Jersey gal, played by Piper Perabo, aspiring to be a songwriter. She moves to New York City to give it a go and, among other things, ends up working at a bar called Coyote Ugly. This is a watering hole where the bartenders are attractive females who dance on the bar and are flirty and wisecracking with their customers.

There’s the bar owner played by Maria Bello. She never gets up on the bar and dances. What a shame. There’s Tyra Banks as a bartender who quickly leaves to go to law school. Another notable is the beautiful Bridget Moynahan, as a tough yet attractive mixologist if there ever was one. Izabella Miko plays a blonde, cutie pie Russian bartender. She seems perfect in the role. I don’t think I’ve seen her in a movie, though, since Coyote.

Anyway, the star of the show is Perabo who goes on to live her dream. She becomes a bartender at the place, dances on the bar and even wows the crowd singing along to Blondie tune, One Way or Another. Eventually, through persistence and the help of her new boyfriend, played by Adam Garcia, she finds success as a songwriter. The end of the movie has LeAnn Rimes singing her song, Can’t Stop the Moonlight. The ever popular John Goodman plays Piper’s dad in the film.

I had never seen Ms. Perabo before. But I thought her work in Coyote Ugly was well done. She played her role perfectly, a mix of vulnerability and Jersey girl savvy. As far as her looks, she was the beautiful girl next door. I thought she was well cast for the role. I also thought that, based on her talents, she would be the next big thing out of Hollywood.

For whatever reason, Perabo did not take moviedom by storm. In fact, I’ve never seen her in another movie, though she has been in them. I wondered if she was on a Jennifer Beals/Flashdance trajectory? Or was it a Jennifer Grey/Dirty Dancing trajectory? You know, young woman is in a music-oriented movie, does a dance, movie does well, actress’s career – not so much.

Like I said, Piper Perabo has been in films since Coyote Ugly, but she has not become a household name. Maybe, now, things will change.

Piper has the lead role in the television drama Covert Affairs on USA Network. It is now going into its second season. She was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role in the show. Emmanuelle Vaugier, who played Mia in Two and a Half Men, has a recurring role on the program. She was interviewed by Chris Yandek, here on CYInterview, a few months ago. You can find the interview here.

I haven’t seen Covert Affairs but knowing Ms. Perabo is in it, I will certainly look for it. She’s a talented actress. The second season is scheduled to kick off on Tuesday, June 7th at 10 PM Eastern Time on USA Network.

Image: Chris Sharp / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You can reach me with your questions and comments at Jay@CYinterview.com Like today’s column? Check back frequently.