Samantha Abby is a queer power player in the making. The 29-year-old founder of Penny Lane Pictures will star alongside wife Laura in Bravo’s new season of Newlyweds, which premieres on March 10. The Hollywood agent-turned-Manhattan creative spoke with AfterEllen about meeting her future wife in the sorority house, producing the successful queer web series The Curious Cook and the downside of becoming an heiress at 30.
AfterEllen.com: You started off your entertainment career at CAA, one of the most competitive talent agencies in the country. What did you take from that experience?
Samantha Abby: All the agents work off each other. It’s that sorority feeling of “We’re in this together.” The people I met at CAA are my friends and contacts for life.
AE: When did you come out in your career?
SA: I was never out at CAA. I came out in 2009, when I started working for an ebook company startup. I was their first hire, and it was such a small work environment that I really couldn’t hide it.
AE: How did you come out?
SC: I told my boss after the company holiday party. We’d been drinking and were in the cab on the way home. She was an old school publishing woman and she just kinda looked at me and said, “Did you think I didn’t know?” It was so cute and funny, and I realized how ridiculous I was being. Who cares? I actually felt silly for being worried about it.
AE: How do you identify?
SC: I don’t really know. I’ve been with men and I’ve been with women. I feel like Laura is just my person. She’s the one who challenges me, the one who makes me want to get up in the morning and be a better person. So I don’t really know that there’s an identification for me. I’m not so much into labels.
AE: How did you and Laura meet?
SC: She hates when I tell people this, but Laura was actually my sorority big sister! We met through AEPHI at Emerson College and the friendship blossomed into a flirtation. We were very on and off, and struggled with our relationship for most of college. It started in 2004 but became official in 2006.
AE: After experiencing Los Angeles life through CAA, you both moved to New York City. What’s your day to day life in New York like?
SC: We live on the Upper East Side.
AE: How posh.
Samantha: No, it’s completely anti-climactic. Now that we’re getting our new subway system in a couple years, you can tell that a lot of places from the East Village and Soho are moving back.
AE: Who are your favorite queer characters?
SC: My favorite queer characters are also the center of my favorite show: The Fosters on ABC Family. I love Stef and Lena’s relationship.