While many didn't like Eva Grubb, Tina Louise thought the character was interesting
Why have one Ginger when you can have two: the real one and a look-alike?
Ginger and the group were so close to finally leaving the island, but a special guest had other plans. Tina Louise perfected the role of Ginger on Gilligan's Island. Yet, the actress got to play a different character, Eva Grubb, in the episode "All About Eva."
In an interview with The Atlanta Constitution in 1966, Louise revealed that she looked so different as Eva that the actors' union required the show to give her special credit. "Viewers won't even suspect that I'm playing both characters unless, of course, they pay close attention to the credits," she began. "[I] look so completely different as Eva Grubb that the actors' union required [that I] be given a special credit stating that I play both parts."
How exactly did Louise pull this new character off? It was simple. "They simply left off the mouth, the eyes, the hair-do, and they photographed me from my bad side," she said.
Ginger had her moments on the show, but she never hit someone on the head with a coconut, tied them up and tried to steal their identity. Eva Grubb did, however, and she wasn't ashamed of it. Grubb was the first dramatic role on Gilligan's Island, which leaned more toward comedy. Louise felt that the character was interesting.
"They finally gave me something interesting to do," the actress said. "I play an unhappy, very plain school teacher who is very neurotic. She comes to the island to escape from reality, and she is very depressed to find Gilligan and his gang there. All she wants to do is sit in the shade of a coconut tree and dream dreamy thoughts. Meanwhile, Gilligan (Bob Denver) and crew plot to ride her [little] old boat to freedom."
Some viewers didn't like the role, and was happy she only appeared in one episode.
The interviewer, Paul Jones, wrote in the article that he'd known Louise for years and couldn't wrap his head around why an actress of her status would be on a show like Gilligan's Island. He asked "how she got trapped" in the show, and she told him that she didn't like the part of Ginger particularly but enjoyed the steady employment.
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As we have read already, Tina Louise was hungry for serious roles. Certainly an extensive resume, as I remember her in Mannix alright. I thought WWW too, but don't see the credit there, so maybe not. The Gilligan's Iland "Ginger" role did stereotype her. But she has such a definite personality, that was part of it.