The 2011 "Dancing With the Stars" mirror ball champ took a leap into the acting world acting when she appeared on Tuesday night's episode of ABC's edgy sitcom, "Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23." The episode "Bar Lies" had the perky pro dancer playing a part she knows well: A glamorous ballroom dancer competing on a TV dance competition.
But Smirnoff's sitcom persona was a tad different than her real life, ultra-competitive self. On the show --which featured a fictionalized "Dancing With the Stars" competition -- she was partnered with former "Superman" actor Dean Cain, who was a shoe-in to win the coveted mirror ball trophy until he and Karina witnessed the jaw dropping moves of "Dawson's Creek" heartthrob James Van Der Beek.
Karina's advice to her partner (and something she would never say in real life)?
"Well, we can always go for second place."
Of course, this comes after the Cuban-heel donning Van Der Beek (who plays a hilarious spoof of himself on "Apt. 23") rallied to have Karina as his partner. When he heard that his rival, Cain, was partnered with the mirror ball champion while he was paired with the show's worst pro dancer -- an eight-time loser (the fictional Angie Beckencort, played by Missi Pyle) -- he said, "So it's over; it's over before it begins." Van Der Beek even tried to trade Cain his timeshare on the Mexican Riviera for the winning "DWTS" pro.
Van Der Beek told TV Guide that the "Don't Trust the B----"/"Dancing With the Stars" crossover was his idea and revealed that it took him four months to train for one dancing scene.
"It was great to have Karina, because it felt authentic. I did [ask for tips]," he said.
The "Dancing With the Stars" crossover may be a first for the TV sitcom, but this isn't Karina Smirnoff's first foray into the acting arena. In 2007 she played a gypsy on an episode of the Disney series "Hannah Montana." She's also been working on a film project with her former "DWTS" partner Ralph Macchio.
Of her acting aspirations, the 34-year-old professional dancer told Us Weekly, "I feel like I've always acted within a dance. Now I get to just act, and I'm extremely excited for the opportunity."
Of course, with the recent acting additions to her resume, do "Dancing With the Stars" fans have to worry that the Ukrainian beauty may be skipping the upcoming season of the ballroom competition to work on more acting projects? Nothing has been announced regarding the "DWTS" Season 16 cast, but in case Karina's looking for a dream partner, we'd love to see her take on a real-life tango with Superman!
"Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23" airs on Tuesdays at 9:30 PM ET on ABC.
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- Karina Smirnoff
- James Van Der Beek