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“Shemar goes to every single play I’ve ever done ever since I’ve met him,” she says.
“All of them do, actually.”The daughter of elementary school teachers (dad was band director and an opera singer, as well), Vangsness grew up in Southern California’s theater community but didn’t quite fit in.
“From the time I was about 7 until I was about 13 or 14, I looked like I was Pat from ,” she laughs.
“I’m not exaggerating, remotely.”A target of bullies, Vangsness wants to do an It Gets Better video to remind kids that being different is okay — and so is letting your “freak flag fly.” Vangsness says she developed her own unique sense of style: “I dress like a 7-year-old space pilot.
It stars an ensemble that Vangsness says is like one big family, including Moore, Paget Brewster, A. Cook, Thomas Gibson, Matthew Gray Gubler, and Joe Mantegna.
costar Kirsten Vangsness figure out that she is, as she says, “super queer.” Over brunch at her favorite café in the Larchmont Village neighborhood of Los Angeles, Vangsness laughs as she tells the story.“Season 1 was right when I was coming out,” remembers the 39-year-old actress, who stars as Penelope Garcia on the hit CBS drama opposite Moore (as flirty coworker Derek Morgan).“It was like one of the coolest things to sit there with Shemar. I had two lines, and they kept making my part a little bigger.“Melanie always says, ‘I know we’re ready to leave the house when you’ve pulled out the scissors.’ I’ll be like, ‘I want to wear that jacket, [but] I don’t like these sleeves.’ And I’ll just take scissors to things.”Vangsness describes her on-screen persona as “geek chic, the-smart-is-sexy” kind of girl.“There’s the size thing, the nerdy thing, the I’m going to dress like this, I’m not going to play dumb.
We got along famously and he was flirting with me and I remember thinking, I must be queer.
I should be reacting differently to what he’s doing.”Now in its seventh season, was the 10th-highest-rated show on TV this spring, and at one point it’s drawn 26 million viewers.