Charlene AmoiaCharlene Amoia is probably most widely recognized as the character “Wendy the Waitress” from the hit TV series How I Met Your Mother. She also has dozens of television and film roles to her credit and most recently has taken on the role of Sandy in the television series Sons of Thunder on the Pure Flix streaming app.

You’ve been very busy recently, haven’t you?


Well, you know, it’s funny because it sometimes looks that way because certain things come out at a certain time, but I haven’t been that busy lately. It’s just when things are released. It kind of looks like oh, there’s a lot going on right now but we just shot it a while ago.

So just like everyone else, you’ve been affected by the pandemic and things are just kind of getting caught up then I guess, right?

Yeah, big time, things have changed a lot for all of us, but certainly with the business.
Overall though, in your career you’ve been really busy. Your IMDB lists 93 Acting credits which for a young actress like yourself is pretty impressive.

Thank you, I’ve always just been of the attitude that work begets work. So, unless it’s compromising a value of mine, I try to say yes.

You’ve got tons of credits on TV shows, a lot of supporting character roles. This wasn’t something that you originally planned on doing when you were younger, was it?

Oh, no, I was a very shy kid so I can’t imagine that I would have ever thought that I would be comfortable speaking in front of other people. I was fine once I got to know someone, but strangers and all that.

When I had my first audition, I experienced sort of an aha moment that felt really alive and so I wanted to follow that and when I did it, things started opening up slowly, but I fell in love with the craft of acting and everything about acting. It’s always different with each job. And that was something that appealed to me and studying people, I’ve always loved to do. Studying the character and watching people, it just kind of fit something inside.

You started out as a model, like a lot of actresses do, right?

Yeah, I did. I randomly fell into some local modeling when I was in school, just because a girl needed someone to fill her place for a show. I did it and then got signed with their agent and did some random jobs and that’s how I got an audition out of the blue and that kind of told me which direction I was going to take my life.

What was your first memorable role that you had as an actress?

There’s a couple of roles that I did, like one act plays and stuff that were really memorable. The whole experience of them, there was a lot of depth to the characters, and they were hard roles, but super fulfilling. And so I would say just some theater that I’ve done locally. It’s not gotten a lot of attention; it was just something I would end up doing in an acting class, then doing a one act for the school or something like that. It really allowed me to dive in deeply to some really nuanced characters, which was super fun.

You like meaningful roles. I can tell from some of the really good roles that you’ve had in independent films. I think of you playing the bartender in the movie Fat. That was a really good movie.

That was written and directed by my friend, Mark Phinney, who I was in a theater group with, and Melvin Rodriguez who played the main character was also a good friend from this theater group. Mark was writing his life story and Melvin decided to play the role and gained a bunch of weight to play the role and we both flew out to Boston and did it as a collaboration for our friend.

It was a really fun experience, because it was a group of friends putting something together that was very personal to the writer and so for that reason, it was great. And then it was received really well and did well in the Toronto Film Festival, which was lovely to have those accolades for Mark.

Not a Stranger, another one that I recently watched and thought it was a good film.

It was supposed to be called Old Bob originally and the writer of that film I think was a fan of How I Met Your Mother and so he reached out and asked me if I wanted to play this character. Initially she was written a lot more ditzy, but when the director came on board, they just felt like she shouldn’t be that way so she just changed to an authentic maternal character dealing with the circumstances. That was a great experience as well.

You play maternal really well. Last year you did that movie in The Conjuring series, The Devil Made Me Do it, once again, playing a mother and a nurturing character.

Yeah, that’s a funny thing because for the longest time I just never wanted children. Whenever I would date anyone, they were like, you’d be the perfect mom, and it always ended up being a thing. They wanted in the end to have a family, and so if it was anybody that I was in a serious relationship with, it ended up being a breaking point. Really all my life people see me and think mom, and then I think, just in this last decade I’ve really grown into that where I’m comfortable with it. So I think it’s coming up a lot in the work too, which is great, because I recognize that it’s an essence that I have that I’m naturally this way.

I don’t think a woman has to have children to have maternal instincts. You’ve also done a fair amount of horror too. Last year as we mentioned, The Conjuring movie came out and also the three-part series Fear Street. You played a totally different character in that show, kind of a bitch really.

It’s just funny. My agent was like, “Oh, I think this would be really right for you.” And she was just a wealthy snooty lady and I’m like, “Interesting you seeing me that way.” But I went and put on this character and it was nice to play because I’ve never actually played that. So that was fun to do.

All these are great roles but it seems like you’re forever going to be known as Wendy the Waitress. Do you ever get tired of talking about that?

Wendy The Waitress

Charlene Amoia as Wendy The Waitress from How I Met Your Mother

No, not really. It was a great show. It was a great experience and I’m appreciative that people care about her character because she wasn’t a huge character, but she was there and so it’s nice that she was recognized and appreciated.

I think it’s funny, because even the characters referred to you as Wendy the Waitress. Was there ever any time that your last name was mentioned?

No, we don’t know what her last name is. We see her get married at the end so she had a last name before Waitress, it then changed, but no, it never was mentioned.

What’s your favorite episode from that show that you performed in?

It was definitely The Platinum Rule. It was so much fun to have the story arc and conflict, and just to see her make the mistakes she was gonna make and have to ride through that.

Do you have any good stories from your years doing that show, any crazy behind the scenes stories that you can share?

I don’t think I have any crazy behind the scenes stories. I mean, as a whole, it was a very jovial group of people. People made a lot of jokes, and it was a really nice atmosphere to be around.

Something that a lot of people may not realize was that Bob Saget was the narrator on that show. Did you know Bob at all? I was just wondering because we lost him recently, another one gone too soon.

I met him once because he was very active in a cause I’m sure you’ve heard of Scleroderma Research Foundation (SRF). It’s been in the news. I went to a big event where they were raising funds for it so I met him briefly. I didn’t know him well but I know everybody just thought of him as being a really, really sweet, kind, genuine person.

Sons of Thunder Redemption, premiered on January 13th. My first thought was, Okay, this is just kind of a knockoff of Sons of Anarchy or something because, Sons of Thunder, guy on a motorcycle, but Sons of Thunder comes right out of the Bible. It’s actually the name for two of Jesus’ apostles. Tell me a little bit about this new series that you’re in?

It could be looked at as sort of Sons of Anarchy seeks redemption. It’s a specific guy who’s had a past that is coming into faith and redemptive lifestyle and the struggle in that and having to revisit some characters from the past and acknowledge some hurts he’s responsible for, which was me, really hurt me because we were engaged and he was full of just mischief and addiction and bad decisions. And so him having to make amends for those things and my character having to process through the anger still and bitterness and ultimately, pushed into should this person to be forgiven and am I capable of doing that?

You have a pretty big role in this show.

It’s a six-episode season and I’m one of the characters in all of the episodes, and it starts off with him looking to find me and us bumping into each other and then having to deal with that.

There was a movie that you were in several years ago called She where you were actually a producer, as well as the lead role. Tell me about that. I’m curious about that project because with you being a producer as well it sounds like it was something that was really meaningful to you.

Yeah, it’s about a one-eyed dog and this was my dog at the time, which comes into my character’s life. She just sees this little abandoned one-eyed dog and while she’s going through grief and loss and through this terrible breakup, this dog comes into her life and brings her joy again. It’s a piece about the healing that can happen with an animal and it was my dog at the time and so that’s why I helped produce it.

Do you have any aspirations to do any of the behind the scenes work with film production or television production?

I think if something like that came around and made sense, absolutely if it’s a passion project.

What’s next for you? Is there anything that we have to look forward to?

I did do an indie film that they’re going to push into the festival circuit so I don’t know timing or really anything about that yet. But you know it’s very much the actor’s life to not know what’s coming next. So, I’m going to wait and see things just like a lot of other artists.

Charlene can be found at:

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