Interview with George Olson

TV Interview!

 

George R. Olson, creator/writer/producer/showrunner of "SurrealEstate" on Syfy

Interview with Showrunner/creator/writer/EP George R. Olson of “SurrealEstate” on Syfy by Suzanne 10/16/23

It was really fun to speak with George about such an entertaining show. I’ve enjoyed “SurrealEstate” since the first episode because it has interesting stories of drama and horror, with a lot of humor and a good cast. I tried hard to get him to tell me if a certain character dies this season, but he wouldn’t budge…not that I expected him to! But it was all in fun, anyway. You don’t want to miss this season, which started October 4th on Syfy. It airs Wednesdays on Syfy, but you can also watch it on their website for free and on HULU the next day. You can watch season one on HULU as well.

 

MORE INFO:

SURREALESTATE -- Pictured: "SurrealEstate" Key Art -- (Photo by: SYFY)

SYFY logo
SurrealEstate

Wednesdays on SYFY(10-11pm ET/PT); Season Premiere: October 4

“SurrealEstate” follows real estate agent Luke Roman and an elite team of specialists that handle the cases no one else can: haunted and possessed houses that literally scare would-be buyers away. Researching, investigating and “fixing” the things that go bump in the night, the team works to create closure – and closings – even as they struggle with demons of their own.

201 “TRUST THE PROCESS” (Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 10 p.m. ET/PT)
Without his special powers, Luke struggles to handle an engaged property by instinct alone. Susan falls in love at first sight with a mysterious home that has a special power over her.

202 “TRUTH IN ADVERTISING” (Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 10 p.m. ET/PT)
Luke deals with a TV ghost hunter and his crew filming at a client’s legendary property. Susan investigates a seaside B&B where strange, provocative noises are scaring guests away.

203 “THE BUTLER DIDN’T” (Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 10 p.m. ET/PT)
When a client is taken hostage by a vengeful ghost, the Roman Agency must solve a decades-old murder mystery to save him before it’s too late.

204 “I PUT A SPELL ON YOU” (Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 10 p.m. ET/PT)
Luke sparks with a charming homeowner while negotiating a land deal. Zooey goes out on her first sales call as a newly minted real estate agent.

SurrealEstate” stars Tim Rozon, Sarah Levy, Adam Korson, Maurice Dean Wint, Savannah Basley and Elena Juatco.

The series was created by George R. Olson. Olson, Lance Samuels, Danishka Esterhazy, Armand Leo, Daniel Iron, Neil Tabatznik, Cosima Von Spreti and Kevin Anweiler executive produce.

George R. Olson

creator, showrunner, and executive producer

George Olson is a recovering advertising executive, having spent most of his career as creative director, partner and chief creative officer at one of Colorado’s largest advertising agencies. Several years ago, seeking the dangerous head rush of writing something longer than thirty seconds, George began writing for film.

One of his first efforts, a bio-pic of Nikola Tesla, won a screenwriting competition and attracted the attention of director Barry Sonnenfeld, who developed the script with him. He wrote a short film, KILLING KEVIN, which was an official selection at 18 international film festivals. Another one of his original screenplays, WHITEFISH, won another competition and he developed that script with actor/director John Turturro. Since then, George has written a number of features including MASTER RACE, the story of Jesse Owens at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, with Anthony Mackie attached to star.

Along the way, George began writing for television and has developed a number of original pilots including BITTERROOT, which he sold as a pitch to USA Network. Several of George’s original spec pilots are in various stages of development around town, including POISON COUNTY which he is developing with Mark Burnett and MGM Television. MGM also hired him to create and write the pilot for GODSPEED, a one-hour drama set in the world of NASCAR.  He has adapted his one-hour pilot FIRST PERSON SHOOTER with e-One into a made-for-TV film for Crackle. George sold his original spec pilot THE NATURE OF YOUR EMERGENCY to Keshet Studios, and sold his pitch for RUTHLESS to CBS Studios and developed the pilot for the CW Network.  Most recently, George’s original pilot SURREAL ESTATE was ordered to series by SYFY, with George serving as Showrunner and Executive Producer.

Splitting his time between Colorado, Los Angeles, Canada, features and television, George has no outside interests that he is aware of.

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George R. Olson with "SurrealEstate" cast

 

Interview with Jeff Astrof

TV Interview!

 

Creator Jeff Astrof and star Gus Birney of "Shining Vale" on Starz

Interview with EP Jeff Astrof of “Shining Vale” on Starz by Suzanne 10/10/23

It was really fun to speak with Jeff. again.  He wears a lot of hats as no only Co-Creator of the show, but also Writer, Showrunner and Executive Producer. He’s very passionate about the show, and who can blame him? It’s a great series, with an amazing mixture of comedy, drama and humor. It also has a wonderful cast: Courtney Cox, Greg Kinnear, Mira Sorvino, Merrin Dungey, Judith Light, Sherilyn Fenn, Allison Tolman, Gus Birney and Dylan Gage. I love it because it’s horror, but it’s not gross like so many horror movies or shows are.

If you missed the first season, you can stream it now on the Starz site, Amazon or ROKU. It’s definitely worth watching, and Jeff is justifiably proud of all of their efforts. You don’t want to miss season two, which premieres “October 13 at midnight ET on the Starz app, all Starz streaming and on-demand platforms and on Lionsgate+ streaming platform in the U.K. and Ireland; on linear at 9 p.m. ET/PT in the U.S. and Canada. New episodes will drop weekly on Fridays at midnight” (from Deadline).

 

MORE INFO: Official Site Trailer

"Shining Vale" on Starz key art

JEFF ASTROF
Executive Producer; Co-Creator; Showrunner; Writer, Ep. 201, 208
Jeff Astrof is a writer/producer who has worked in television way longer than he ever
thought possible. Jeff came to prominence as one of the original writers of “Friends,”
where he co-wrote several notable episodes, including “The One After the Super Bowl”
which was seen by over 51 million viewers. Additionally, his background work on the
show as “hot guy at party”, “guy late for plane” and “disappointed hockey fan” remain
examples of overacting to this day. Jeff also wrote on all five seasons of “The New
Adventures of Old Christine,” where Julia Louis-Dreyfus won her first post-Seinfeld
Emmy, and he was co-creator of the critically-acclaimed “Trial & Error,” starring John
Lithgow and Kristin Chenoweth. “Shining Vale” reunites Jeff with fellow “Friends” alum
Courteney Cox. As EP/Showrunner of the show, Jeff has mandated that he is not
allowed to act in it.

About “Shining Vale”

Season one of “Shining Vale” introduced Pat and Terry Phelps, a dysfunctional family that tried to run from their problems by moving their kids into a Victorian mansion in small-town Connecticut. The only problem? It may be haunted. Once settled in, Pat encountered Rosemary, a demon who possessed her body and turned her life upside down. When the family steps in to “save” Pat, they commit her to a psychiatric hospital where she sees an old photo of a nurse who looks just like her demon Rosemary.

Season two kicks off four months later, when Pat’s insurance runs out and she is released from the psychiatric hospital early. Pat returns home, determined to pick up the pieces of her broken family, but she quickly finds out her children don’t need her, Terry doesn’t remember her and to make matters worse, Pat’s new neighbor Ruth looks exactly like Rosemary. Meanwhile, the house starts to reveal the shocking secrets of its dark past. Every mother feels like they live in an insane asylum, but Pat may be right!

“Shining Vale” Online

Twitter: @ShiningVale | @STARZ

Instagram: @ShiningValeSTARZ  | @STARZ

Facebook: @ShiningValeSTARZ | @STARZ

Join the conversation with #ShiningVale and #STARZ

“Shining Vale” season two is set to premiere on Friday, October 13th, at midnight ET on the STARZ app, all STARZ streaming and on-demand platforms and on LIONSGATE+ streaming platform in the U.K. and Ireland. On linear, it will debut on STARZ on Friday, October 13th, at 9PM ET/PT in the U.S. and Canada. New episodes will be available to stream weekly on Fridays at midnight on the STARZ app, all STARZ streaming and on-demand platforms and will air weekly on the STARZ linear platform.

Our Interview with Jeff for Season One of “Shining Vale.”

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"Shining Vale" on Starz key art

 

Interviews with Ignacio Diaz-Silverio, Stakiah Lynn Washington, Martin Martinez and Nigel Siwabessy of “Primo” on Freevee by Suzanne 5/10/23

TV Interview!

 

Ignacio Diaz-Silverio, Stakiah Lynn Washington, Martin Martinez and Nigel Siwabessy of "Primo" on Freevee

Interviews with Ignacio Diaz-Silverio, Stakiah Lynn Washington, Martin Martinez and Nigel Siwabessy of “Primo” on Freevee by Suzanne 5/10/23

I watched all of this new show, and I really enjoyed it. It made me laugh, and it tugged at my heart. It has comedy, romance and more! I hope you enjoy it. It premieres 5/19/23 on Freevee (Prime). It was great to speak with these young actors. Watch the show here!

Ignacio Diaz-Silverio and Stakiah Lynn Washington of "Primo" on Freevee

 

Martin Martinez and Nigel Siwabessy of "Primo" on Freevee

 

MORE INFO: Trailer

Key art from "Primo" on FreeveeThe coming-of-age, single-camera comedy, inspired by Serrano’s life growing up in San Antonio, TX, follows Rafa Gonzales, a wide-eyed 16-year-old being raised by his clever mother, Drea, and his five overbearing uncles (Rollie, Mike, Ryan, Jay, and Mondo) as they live their lives on the southside of San Antonio. Rafa is at an inflection point, as three big life moments coincide: he and his friends are nearing the end of high school; he’s pretty sure he just met the girl of his dreams; and he just found out he has a real chance to become the first person in his family to go to college. Over the course of the series, the group—Rafa, his mom, uncles, friends, and crush—will all affect each other and help one another grow in ways they weren’t expecting, whether they like it or not.

Country Availability

Germany, United Kingdom, United States, Austria

Executive Produced By

Shea Serrano, Michael Schur, David Miner, Morgan Sackett, Peter Murrieta, Lisa Muse Bryant

Created By

Shea Serrano

Produced By

Amazon Studios and Universal Television

Ignacio Diaz-Silverio

Ignacio Diaz-Silverio will next star in the Amazon series, PRIMO, and can currently be seen alongside Florence Pugh and Morgan Freeman in Zach Braff’s A GOOD PERSON (MGM).  Ignacio most recently starred in Samuel D. Hunter’s A BRIGHT NEW BOISE at the Signature Theatre and was nominated for a 2023 Helen Hayes Award for his work in JOHN PROCTOR IS THE VILLAIN in a performance the Washington Post called, “Knockout acting.”  Ignacio will soon be seen in the upcoming independent feature, DEPARTING SENIORS and he lends his voice to the popular podcast, THE BYSTANDERS with Jane Lunch and Darren Criss. Other credits include CBS’ THE GOOD FIGHT and the Apple TV’s SUSPICION.

 

Stakiah Washington

Stakiah Lynn Washington is an actor, playwright, and director from Flint, Michigan. As a child, she fell in love with the arts and performed in plays at church, sang in the choir, and played musical instruments. In 2017, Washington was a finalist in the August Wilson Monologue Competition. She pursued her BFA in Theatre Studies from Meadows School of the Arts after graduating high school.

While at SMU, she was a part of many productions, including We the InvisiblesSmart People, and most notably, The Black Album, written and directed by Regina Taylor.

After graduating, Washington landed the lead role in Everything Is Both, which will open in theaters in the fall of 2022!

Washington is represented by Corey Simon and Sean Butler at Cultivate Entertainment Partners

Stakiah Lynn Washington is an actor, playwright, and director from Flint, Michigan. As a child, she fell in love with the arts and performed in plays at church, sang in the choir, and played musical instruments. In 2017, Washington was a finalist in the August Wilson Monologue Competition. She pursued her BFA in Theatre Studies from Meadows School of the Arts after graduating high school.

While at SMU, she was a part of many productions, including We the InvisiblesSmart People, and most notably, The Black Album, written and directed by Regina Taylor.

After graduating, Washington landed the lead role in Everything Is Both, which will open in theaters in the fall of 2022!

Martin Martinez

Martin Martinez was born in Sacramento, CA. After graduating at 16, Martinez secured his first lead in the play Jesse. Following his break, Martinez appeared in projects such as Shameless, Marvels Runaways, NCIS Hawaii, Chicago PD, The Fosters, Never Have I Ever, and Pachinko. He most recently recurred on MAGNUM P.I. for CBS.  Martin Martinez was born in Sacramento, CA. After graduating at 16, Martinez secured his first lead in the play Jesse. Following his break, Martinez appeared in projects such as Shameless, Marvels Runaways, NCIS Hawaii, Chicago PD, The Fosters, Never Have I Ever, and Pachinko. He most recently recurred on MAGNUM P.I. for CBS.

Nigel Siwabessy

Nigel Siwabessy grew up in Long Beach, CA and has been acting for over six years. In his spare time, he enjoys fitness and traveling the world.

Amazon Freevee Debuts Official Trailer for Highly Anticipated Comedy Series Primo, Premiering May 19

Mar 21, 2023

Series hails from New York Times best-selling author Shea Serrano and
Emmy-winning producer Michael Schur (
The Good PlaceParks and Recreation)

Watch the Official Trailer HERE

ALL REVIEWS AND SENTIMENT ARE EMBARGOED UNTIL MONDAY, MAY 15, AT 6:00AM PT/9:00AM ET

CULVER CITY, California—March 21, 2023—Today, Amazon Freevee released the official trailer and key art for the Freevee Original scripted comedy series Primo, premiering on the service on May 19 and executive produced by New York Times best-selling author Shea Serrano and Emmy-winning producer Michael Schur (The Good Place, Parks and Recreation). All eight episodes of the first season will be available to stream exclusively on Amazon Freevee in the U.S., the UK, Germany, and Austria beginning on May 19.

The coming-of-age, single-camera comedy, inspired by Serrano’s life growing up in San Antonio, TX, follows Rafa Gonzales, a wide-eyed 16-year-old being raised by his clever mother, Drea, and his five overbearing uncles (Rollie, Mike, Ryan, Jay, and Mondo) as they live their lives on the southside of San Antonio. Rafa is at an inflection point, as three big life moments coincide: he and his friends are nearing the end of high school; he’s pretty sure he just met the girl of his dreams; and he just found out he has a real chance to become the first person in his family to go to college. Over the course of the series, the group—Rafa, his mom, uncles, friends, and crush—will all affect each other and help one another grow in ways they weren’t expecting, whether they like it or not.

Primo stars Ignacio Diaz-Silverio (The Good Fight), Johnny Rey Diaz (Grey’s Anatomy), Christina Vidal (The Terminal List, Taina), Henri Esteve (Grown-ish, Homecoming), Martin Martinez (Magnum P.I.), Jonathan Medina (The Purge), Carlos Santos (Gentefied), Nigel Siwabessy (Stop the Bleeding!), Efrain Villa (Better Call Saul), and Stakiah Lynn Washington (Everything is Both).

Serrano serves as creator and executive producer for the series, alongside executive producers Michael Schur via Fremulon, David Miner for 3 Arts Entertainment, and Morgan Sackett. Peter Murrieta and Lisa Muse Bryant also serve as executive producers. Kabir Akhtar directed the pilot episode. The series is produced by Amazon Studios and Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group.

Spanning drama and comedy, scripted and unscripted, Amazon Freevee uniquely offers premium Originals on a free streaming service. Originals include High School, the critically acclaimed coming-of-age series based on Tegan and Sara Quin’s best-selling memoir; Greg Garcia’s comedy series Sprung; and the cooking competition series featuring a cast of home chefs, America’s Test Kitchen: The Next Generation. Additional upcoming Originals include the concert special Monumental: Ellie Goulding at Kew Gardens, premiering March 31, and the new documentary-style comedy series starring James Marsden, Jury Duty, premiering April 7.

About Universal Television
Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, is one of the largest and most successful television production companies in the United States. The studio currently produces more than 50 primetime comedies and dramas as well as late-night programs for a variety of network, cable, and digital platforms. Acclaimed series produced by Universal Television include Hacks, Never Have I Ever, Girls5eva, Rutherford Falls, Kenan, Schmigadoon!, Mr. Mayor, Young Rock, Saved By the Bell, New Amsterdam, Master of None, Russian Doll, The Equalizer, and Dick Wolf’s enormously successful Law & OrderChicago, and FBI-branded series.

Amazon Freevee, formerly IMDb TV
Amazon Freevee is a streaming video service with thousands of premium movies and TV shows, including Originals and FAST channels, available anytime, for free.

  • Expansive Catalog: Amazon Freevee offers viewers ambitious Originals, including Bosch: Legacy; Emmy-winning court program Judy Justice; coming-of-age drama High School; reality design series Hollywood Houselift with Jeff Lewis; comedy series Sprung; music documentary Post Malone: Runaway; heist drama Leverage: Redemption; spy thriller Alex Rider; and the sports docuseries UNINTERRUPTED’s Top Class: The Life and Times of the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers. Combined with an always updating library of broadly appealing hit movies and TV shows across a wide selection of genres, and a catalog of more than 200 FAST channels, including Judy Justice and Crime 360, Amazon Freevee delivers customers the content they would expect to see on a paid service.
  • Free: The entire catalog of content on the service is free. No paid subscriptions necessary.
  • Limited Ads: Freevee provides customers highly sought content supported by limited advertising.
  • Instant Access: Freevee is available as an app on Fire TV, Fire Tablets, and within the Prime Video app. Freevee is available as an app on third party devices including Roku, Samsung smart TVs (2017-2021 models), Apple TV 4K, Apple TV HD, Comcast’s Xfinity Flex, Xfinity X1, Chromecast with Google TV, NVIDIA SHIELD and other Android TV devices, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 consoles, as well as LG Smart TVs (2018-2021 models). The app is also available on iPhone, iPad, and Android mobile devices.

To learn more about Amazon Freevee, visit www.amazon.com/freevee and follow @AmazonFreevee.

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Ignacio Diaz-Silverio, Stakiah Lynn Washington, Martin Martinez and Nigel Siwabessy of "Primo" on Freevee

 

Interview with Jason Stuart and Mitch Hara

TV Interview!

 

Jason Stuart and Mitch Hara, stars of "Smothered" on YouTube!

Interview with Jason Stuart and Mitch Hara, creators and stars of “Smothered” on YouTube by Suzanne 5/5/23

This was so much fun. It’s always great to speak with comedians because they make me laugh so hard. I hope you enjoy this video as much as I did. Don’t miss their show on YouTube! Season 2 premiered May 12 and it’s even funnier than season 1.  This is NSFW, and neither is the series, but don’t let that stop you! Watch both seasons here – They’re short form, so it won’t take you long!

MORE INFO: Trailer

Key art for "Smothered" on YouTubeSmothered is the short form series from creators Jason Stuart & Mitch Hara which will be coming back for its highly anticipated 2nd season in May 2023 on all major streaming services including Amazon. Smothered was named ‘One of the best comedy series’ by Amazon for their first season and was nominated for the Spotlight Award at the Indie Series Awards. Stuart, a respected actor/comedian/activist with over 150 film & TV credits, and in 2022 was named one of Out Magazine’s OUT 100 (which highlights the most popular and influential LGBTQIA+ celebrities in the US), won Best Actor in a Comedy Series for Smothered’s first season by the Indie Series Awards. Mitch Hara is a graduate from the acclaimed Actor’s Studio in NYC and has appeared on numerous film and television series. Season 2 of Smothered promises to be even bigger and better than season 1 and boasts an impressive cast of guest stars that include Amanda Bearse (Married w/ Children), Jai Rodriguez (Bros), Carole White (Laverne & Shirley), Scott Krinsky (Chuck), and more. Smothered follows an entitled bickering boomer aged gay couple (Stuart & Hara) who, because they can’t afford to get a divorce, try and salvage their hideous relationship in therapy hell before they kill each other and everyone else.

Both Stuart and Hara were nominated for Best Actor, and the series for Best Digital Series, at the Queertly Awards and are on the list for consideration for Outstanding Actors & Series for the Emmy Awards.

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Key art for "Smothered" on YouTube

 

Interviews with Alex Borstein, Tony Shalhoub, Marin Hinkle, Kevin Pollak, Caroline Aaron and Alfie Fuller

TV Interviews!

 

Prime Video Celebrates Final Season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Shalhoub and Hinkle - Credit: Marion Curtis/Starpix for Prime Video Copyright: StarPix©2023 All others - Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Prime Video Copyright: 2023 Getty Images Description: NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 11: Alex Borstein, Tony Shalhoub, Marin Hinkle, Kevin Pollak, Caroline Aaron and Alfie Fuller attend as Prime Video celebrates the final season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel at The High Line Room at The Standard Highline on April 11, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Prime Video)

Interview with Alex Borstein, Tony Shalhoub, Marin Hinkle, Kevin Pollak, Caroline Aaron and Alfie Fuller of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” on Prime Video by Suzanne 4/10/23

It was thrilling to speak to these amazing actors, some of whom I’ve been watching for decades. This is a great show with lots of drama and comedy. They do a wonderful job of portraying the period, too (similar to “Mad Men.”). It’s sad that the show is ending after 5 seasons. I was especially excited to speak with Alex (because she plays Lois in “Family Guy“) and Tony Shalhoub (who is brilliant in everything, but especially “Monk”).

Alex also has a special coming out later this month, “Alex Borstein: Corsets & Clown Suits.” It’s off-beat, raunchy and hilarious. I was invited to a special press screening this week for the special in NYC, but sadly, I couldn’t go. I’m sure that would have been fantastic. Shalhoub is doing a “Monk” movie with the rest of the cast, on Peacock, so I can’t wait for that.  I was particularly delighted when Kevin Pollak did his William Shatner imitation for me! By the way, a few of the questions here came from fans in the Facebook group Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Group. Season 5 has some new incredible guest-stars that you’re sure to love.  Please enjoy season 5 and these videos!

Alex Borstein (Susie) and Alfie Fuller (Dinah)

Alex Borstein (Susie) and Alfie Fuller (Dinah) of "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" on Amazon Prime

 

Kevin Pollak (Moishe) and Caroline Aaron (Shirley)

Kevin Pollak (Moishe) and Caroline Aaron (Shirley) of "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" on Amazon Prime

 

Interview with Marin Hinkle (Rose) and Tony Shalhoub (Abe) of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” on Amazon Prime

Marin Hinkle (Rose) and Tony Shalhoub (Abe) of "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" on Amazon Prime

 

MORE INFO: Trailer

"The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" key art - Amazon PrimeShow Description
In the fifth and final season, Midge finds herself closer than ever to the success she’s dreamed of, only to discover that closer than ever is still so far away.

Credits
Creator
Amy Sherman-PalladinoExecutive Producers, Writers, Directors, Music Supervisors
Amy Sherman-Palladino
Daniel PalladinoCo-Executive Producer
Dhana GilbertKey cast
Rachel Brosnahan – “Miriam “Midge” Maisel”
Tony Shalhoub – “Abe Weissman”
Alex Borstein – “Susie Myerson”
Marin Hinkle – “Rose Weissman”
Michael Zegen – “Joel Maisel”
Kevin Pollak – “Moishe Maisel”
Caroline Aaron – “Shirley Maisel”
Luke Kirby – “Lenny Bruce”
Reid Scott – “Gordon Ford”
Alfie Fuller – “Dinah Rutledge”
Jason Ralph – “Mike Carr”

MIDGE’S FINAL BOW – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Debuts Official Teaser and Key Art For Upcoming Fifth and Final Season, Premiering April 14 on Prime Video

Mar 02, 2023 Maisel goes “Tits up” with a seven-week series send-off

CULVER CITY, California—March 2, 2023—Today, the beloved and celebrated Prime Video series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel revealed the official teaser, key art, and premiere date for the groundbreaking series’ fifth and final season. The series, which has delighted fans for the past six years, will kick off on April 14, 2023 with a three-episode premiere and new episodes weekly.

After burning bridges and being cut from tour, Midge Maisel persisted through Season Four, rebuilding her career and reputation. The final moments of the season culminated with Midge leaving Carnegie Hall reinvigorated and ready to weather any blizzard. After an epiphany in front ofThe Gordon Ford Show’s snowy billboard, Midge is ready to “Go forward” and fight for her ascent to stardom—equipped with her quick wit and sharp tongue, and nothing else to lose.

In the fifth and final season, Midge finds herself closer than ever to the success she’s dreamed of, only to discover that closer than ever is still so far away.

Creator Amy Sherman-Palladino and executive producer Daniel Palladino have “exactly” known the series’ “last images” and “last moment” since the Season Four finale last year.

An awards juggernaut, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel has won 20 Primetime Emmy Awards,  including Outstanding Comedy Series; six Critics Choice Awards; four Screen Actors Guild Awards; three Golden Globe Awards; and more. The series has become one of the most acclaimed and beloved shows on television and changed the game of the streaming industry.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, from renowned creator Amy Sherman-Palladino and executive producerDaniel Palladino, is written and directed by Sherman-Palladino and Palladino, and stars Emmy winnerRachel Brosnahan, four-time Emmy winner Tony Shalhoub, three-time Emmy winner Alex Borstein, Emmy nominee Marin Hinkle, Michael Zegen, Kevin Pollak, Caroline Aaron, SAG Award winner Reid Scott, Alfie Fuller, and Jason Ralph.

MAISEL SEASON FIVE SYNOPSIS
In the fifth and final season, Midge finds herself closer than ever to the success she’s dreamed of, only to discover that closer than ever is still so far away.

SOCIAL HANDLES
Hashtag: #MrsMaisel
Facebook/Twitter/Instagram: @MaiselTV

Alex Borstein: Corsets & Clown Suits Musical Comedy Special to Premiere on Prime Video

Mar 03, 2023

Step right up and behold this new ringmaster of comedy in her special, premiering worldwide April 18

CULVER CITY, California— Alex Borstein, three-time Emmy winner and one of the stars of the hit series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, is set to release her first Amazon Original comedy special, Alex Borstein: Corsets & Clown Suits. The special will premiere on Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide on April 18, 2023.

Alex Borstein: Corsets & Clown Suits is a deeply personal and wildly fictitious account of one woman’s attempt to f*** with perception. A night of comedy, music, and waxing rhapsodic.

A unique comedic special that will lead audiences into Alex Borstein’s mind through a marriage of humor and music,Corsets & Clown Suits is equal parts provocative and whimsical. Borstein’s self-penned performance showcases her captivating form of storytelling with the help of her muse and maestro, Barcelona-native musicians, Eric Mills and Salva Rey.

Alex Borstein: Corsets & Clown Suits was filmed at The Wolford Theatre—the fictional burlesque club from Season Four of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. The special also tapped into the award-winning Mrs. Maisel crafts team: production designer Bill Groom, cinematographer M. David Mullen, music supervisor Robin Urdang, music consultant Stewart Lerman, set decorator Ellen Christiansen, sound editor Ron Bochar, sound mixer Mathew Price, and editors Tim Streeto and Zana Bochar.

Alex Borstein is a multi-hyphenate talent who acts, produces, voices the character Lois Griffin on FOX’s Family Guy, and wrote for Showtime’s long-running series Shameless. She also starred alongside Laurie Metcalf and Niecy Nash in HBO’s Getting On, where she brought the vulnerable character of Dawn Forchette to life. Getting On rose to critical acclaim during its three seasons, as it followed the daily lives of nurses and doctors struggling with the dark comedic realities of caring for the elderly in an overwhelmed health care system.

Borstein has won two Primetime Emmys, two SAG Awards, and two Critics Choice Awards for her turn as Susie Myerson on Prime Video’s award-winning series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She also took an Emmy home for her voice-over work as Lois Griffin on FOX’s long-running mega-hit, Family Guy.

In film, Borstein was seen in Love the Coopers with Alan Arkin and Diane Keaton. She also appeared in Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways to Die in The West and in MacFarlane’s feature film directorial debut, Ted. Previously, Borstein appeared opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Scott Frank’s The Lookout, in Bad Santa with Billy Bob Thornton, and in The Lizzie McGuire Movie with Hilary Duff. Not just a comedic actress, Borstein starred alongside George Clooney in the six-time Academy Award-nominated film Good Night, and Good Luck, which earned her a Screen Actors Guild nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in Motion Picture. The film was also nominated for multiple Golden Globe and BAFTA awards, and was awarded Movie of the Year by the American Film Institute.

Alex Borstein: Corsets & Clown Suits is produced by Amazon Studios. Borstein, Dhana Rivera Gilbert, and Scott Ellis serve as executive producers. Sal Carino and Matthew Shapiro are producers. Ellis directed the special.

About Prime Video
Prime Video offers customers a vast collection of movies, series, and sports
—all available to watch on hundreds of compatible devices.

  Included with Prime Video: Watch movies, series, and sports, including Thursday Night Football. Enjoy series and films including Emmy winners The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls,Emmy-nominated satirical superhero drama The Boys, and the smash hits The Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Shotgun Wedding, Samaritan, Thirteen Lives, The Tender Bar, Being the Ricardos, The Tomorrow War, Reacher, and Coming 2 America. Prime members also get access to licensed content.

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Prime Video Celebrates Final Season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Credit: Marion Curtis/Starpix for Prime Video Copyright: StarPix©2023 Description: New York, NY - 4/11/23 - The Cast and Crew attends Prime Video’s Celebration of the Final Season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. PICTURED: The Cast and Crew . PHOTO by: Marion Curtis/Starpix for Prime Video. LOCATION: The High Line Room at The Standard

 

Interview with India de Beaufort

TV Interview!

India de Beaufort of "Night Court" on NBC

Interview with India de Beaufort of “Night Court” on NBC by Suzanne 3/9/23

This was a fun interview with India! She’s not only a talented actress but singer as well. Check out her latest video! Most of our video was about her starring role in the new “Night Court” as the prosecuting attorney, Olivia. She’s very funny! I was a huge fan of the original “Night Court” years ago, and I was happy to see that the new one is enjoyable as well. I loved Melissa Rauch already for her role in “The Big Bang Theory,” and of course, John Larroquette is always awesome in everything he does.

 

 

Suzanne:   Congratulations on the show getting renewed. That’s great.

India:   Thank you. Yay!

Suzanne:   Yay! You’ve been in some of my favorite shows with very long names, like Kevin Probably Saves the World, which I just love, and Zoe’s Extraordinary Playlist.

India:   It’s true. I do keep ending up in shows with very long names.

Suzanne:   Well, maybe since Night Court is short, it will last longer. So, tell us how you first got involved with the show. What was your audition process like?

India:   I had just auditioned for another Peacock show. I just tested for a Peacock show that I didn’t get the part, and I was taking a little break with my husband. We were in a hotel together, and my phone rang the day that I found out I didn’t get that part, and my rep said, “Hey, we have something for you. It’s not the role that’s just gone. It’s something new, same kind of network, but it’s a straight to test,” which is a lovely thing to have happen. The test is essentially the part of the process where it’s down to you and maybe three or four other actors. You have a work session, work the part, and then you tape these days, most likely a test, and that gets shown to the studio and network, and they make a decision. So, I was fortunate enough to kind of skip all the initial hurdles that happened before that, went on to my work session with Melissa and Dan and Pam Fryman and Juel Bestrop, our casting director, had a hoot, loved them. Then we made the tape, send it off, and a few days later, I got a call that I got the job.

Suzanne:   That’s great. I thought you were British and had a British accent for some reason.

India:   I am British. My accent’s messed up. So, if I’m with my mom, the British accent comes out a whole lot more, and ironically, she’s the same. She’s from the north of England and was born with a very thick northern accent but has lived in London her whole life. So, when she’s in London, she’s very well spoken and posh, and then somebody from my family in Liverpool will call her and all of a sudden her thick scouse accent comes out. So, apparently we’re just a mess of accents, as they say.

Suzanne:   Well, it’s good for you, because you can play the American accent really well.

India:   The issue is that I now have to pay attention either way, because right now as we’re speaking, there’ll be certain words that come out where you can hear my English accent. So, now, no matter what I’m doing, I have to put on an accent. Otherwise, I just end up like a transatlantic hybrid.

Suzanne:   It’s funny. My husband’s family is from New England, and he was a baby when they left there, but his parents had very thick accents. They moved to California when he was a baby. So, he speaks with this weird accent, and he often gets accused of sounding like he’s from England or something because he says certain words strangely compared to the rest of us, which is funny.

India:   It’s fascinating. I wonder if we’ll end up sounding the same in the end.

Suzanne:   Yeah. So, had you watched the original Night Court before you got the part?

India:   I watched it once they called and said that they wanted me to test for the role. I went and checked it out so that I could get a feel for what the show was. We didn’t get it in England, I don’t think. I asked my mom, and she said she had never seen it, but I knew what it was; I just had never watched the show. So, I watched it, auditioned for it, got the job, and then binged and continued to watch it through the season, which was kind of nice, because I’d watch an episode and then go into work and be like, “So John, tell me about that time that you were jumping on tables, or jumping into a closet, or about specific guest stars,” and it was kind of neat to have that experience.

Suzanne:   Have you watched it all now, or are you still watching it?

India:   No, I still have to watch the last couple of seasons, which I’m planning to do before I start filming this current season. It’s also a delightful show to get to watch. If I didn’t have a four year old, I would I get to watch a lot more TV.

Suzanne:   Right, right. Did they give you much backstory for your character, or did you just go by the dialogue and the script?

India:   You get a breakdown when you audition. So, I had a breakdown of the character, and I got to see sort of the general gist of where they wanted to go with the role, but I think a lot of it actually also happens after you book the job. I think they have an idea. You have an idea. Hopefully it aligns. And then throughout the course of the show, we start to discover more about the character, and I think the writer is linked to your skill set and what you’re bringing to the role and she sort of evolves [it]. We do it together, I guess, throughout the [unintelligible].

Suzanne:   Is there going to be more that we learn this season about your character in terms of her family or whatever?

India:   I think we get little tidbits of information from Olivia along the way. I’m certainly hoping that in the next season, we get a little bit more. But yeah, she kind of has a nice journey throughout the course of the series, in terms of her relationship with Night Court and what it means to her, and that’s sort of a sweet sideline to follow along with.

Suzanne:   Okay, and what’s been the most challenging part of playing Olivia?

India:   The most challenging part. Not breaking on set. [laughs] Honestly. I mean, Lacretta is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met, and Olivia and Gurgs have a lot of scenes together, and she just gets me. I am the worst for being the first to go. Then, once you throw in John Larroquette throwing out zingers, it’s impossible [to keep] a straight face, and I’ve never been good at that. I’ve always been terrible for stifling a laugh. So, yes, that’s the biggest challenge.NIGHT COURT -- “The Apartment” Episode 103 -- Pictured: (l-r) India de Beaufort as Olivia, Lacretta as Donna Gurgs -- (Photo by: Jordin Althaus/NBC/Warner Bros. Television)

Suzanne:   And is there anything you can tell us about the remaining episodes that aren’t spoilers?

India:   Yeah, we have some of my favorites coming up. Lyric Lewis is going to be on the show, Melissa Villaseñor, Pete Holmes. We have some really great episodes down the line, and we may or may not have some other interesting guest stars that I may or may not be able to talk about. That should be very interesting for our audience.

Suzanne:   Oh, cool. Oh, and you mentioned that it’s easy to break up on the set. Are there any behind the scenes funny stories, anything like that?

India:   I mean, we’ve had a lot of accidents. [laughs] This poor guy came in to be in one of our – I think it was one of the earlier episodes. Wait, I should check that I’m not saying a spoiler. Yeah, I’m going to have to put a tab in that, because I’m not sure. I don’t know if I’m spoiling something or not. We have some animals all over the place repeatedly. We’ve got a really fun episode coming up that’s sort of around weddings, which is one of my favorites. Oh, Kurt Fuller also is going to be joining the cast down the line. There’s fun stuff to come.

Suzanne:   Oh, cool. And you’ve done comedy, drama, voiceover. Which do you enjoy the most?

India:   I think multicam, to me, is the biggest challenge, and I’m hoping to really learn and shape the way that I attack multicam. I just want to keep getting better and better and better at it. Thanks to getting to observe the people around me, hopefully I will learn from them, and that will help me in that journey. The most professionally fulfilled I think I’ve ever felt was probably on Zoe’s Extraordinary Playlist. I think there was a moment when I was shooting the song “Happier” with John, and both of us were standing there flooding with tears. We had been crying for four hours straight, because it’s this emotional breakup: danc[ing], singing, a beautiful performance moment, and I just remember kind of standing there thinking, “Wow, I’m really using every single skill set I have ever had in one, two minute piece.” I think both John and I kind of noted the how magical that moment was to make that together, and also to make it somebody I loved so much, it was really, really special.

Suzanne:   Great. And is there anything else besides Night Court that you’re working on or that you have coming out that you can tell us about?

India:   You can check me out on Netflix right now Firefly Lane, season two of Firefly Lane, and also in Slumberland, starring Jason Momoa and Marlow Barkley, which is a really delightful movie directed by Francis Lawrence, from The Hunger Games franchise. Currently I just directed my second music video, which I’m currently editing that [will] hopefully come out in the next couple of months.

Suzanne:   Great. Well, thank you so much. I really appreciate talking to me, and I look forward to the rest of Night Court.

India:   This was a pleasure. Thanks so much for checking out the show.

Suzanne:   All right. Thank you. Bye!

India:   Bye!

Transcribed by Jamie of SciFiVision

MORE INFO:

NIGHT COURT -- Pictured: "Night Court" Key Art -- (Photo by: NBC)Night Court Tuesdays on NBC (8-8:30 p.m. ET): Two-Episode Series Premiere: Jan. 17 (8-8:30 and 8:30-9 p.m. ET)

The eternally optimistic Abby Stone follows in the footsteps of her revered late father, Judge Harry Stone, as she takes on the challenge of overseeing the night shift of a Manhattan arraignment court.

Abby always sees the best in people and her passion for justice is undeniable. In her quest to bring order and dignity to the court and reign in its colorful crew of oddballs, she enlists former night court district attorney Dan Fielding to serve as the court’s public defender. Still exceedingly self-confident, Fielding must adjust to a new boss and a new job – defending the downtrodden. And, beneath his arrogant demeanor, there is an empathetic side to Fielding that Abby is determined to unearth.

They both must contend with Olivia, the court’s officious assistant district attorney. Driven and ambitious, she views the night court as a steppingstone on her way to bigger things. Neil is the court’s neurotic clerk who loved that his job came with low expectations. That is until a new idealistic judge showed up looking to push him out of his comfort zone.

Rounding out the staff is Donna “Gurgs” Gurganous, the night court’s sharp-witted bailiff. Gurgs takes her job very seriously and is fiercely protective of her night court colleagues.

From executive producer and writer Dan Rubin (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), “Night Court” is based on the original hit series that ran for nine seasons on NBC. Melissa Rauch and Winston Rauch executive produce through their After January Productions. Mona Garcea oversees for After January Productions and John Larroquette serves as a producer.

“Night Court” is produced by Rauch’s After January Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television and Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group.

NIGHT COURT -- Season 1 -- Pictured: India de Beaufort as Olivia -- (Photo by: Robert Trachtenberg/NBC/Warner Bros. Television)India de Beaufort
Olivia, “Night Court”
India de Beaufort plays Olivia in the NBC comedy “Night Court.”

De Beaufort’s TV credits include “One Day at a Time,” “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist,” “Younger,” “NCIS: LA,” “Chicago P.D.,” “Necessary Roughness” and “One Tree Hill.” Other projects include “Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire,” “Kevin Probably Saves the World,” “Blood & Oil” and “Jane by Design.”

Additionally, she will be seen recurring in Netflix’s hit series “Firefly Lane.”

Voice credits include series regular roles in “All Hail King Julien,” “It’s Pony” and Nickelodeon’s “Max & the Midknights.” Additional voice credits include an arc in “Fast & Furious: Spy Racers.”

Retaining her fashion influence, her jewelry line June Riot sold out. She continues to lean into her design education, having shown her first fashion collection at New York Fashion Week in 2012.

De Beaufort resides in Los Angeles with her husband actor, Todd Grinnell; their son, Crosby; and dog Kid.

More about India

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India de Beaufort and Melissa Rauch of "Night Court" on NBC

Interview with Noah Wyle, Gina Bellman, Beth Riesgraf and Aleyse Shannon

TV Interview!

Gina Bellman, Beth Riesgraf and Aleyse Shannon in "Leverage: Redemption" on Freevee

Interview with Noah Wyle, Gina Bellman, Beth Riesgraf and Aleyse Shannon of “Leverage” on Freevee by Suzanne 11/2/22

I always enjoy speaking with the actors from this great show! This was my first time speaking with Noah Wyle, who joined last season. Note that there are three different short interviews below. Season 2 drops on Free Nov. 16. I’ve seen the first three episodes, and they were even better than last season. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Noah Wyle (Harry)

I’ve enjoyed most of Noah’s roles in “ER,” “Falling Skies” and “The Librarian,” so it was awesome to speak with him. I felt like he was not in the best mood (I’m sure it must be exhausting to go through so much press each time), but he definitely warmed to me.

Noah Wyle of "Leverage: Redemption" on Freevee (photo from Amazon press site)

Beth Riesgraf and Aleyse Shannon of "Leverage Redemption" on Freevee

Beth Riesgraf (Parker) and Aleyse Shannon (Breanna)

These two were in great spirits and fun to speak with. They shared the wonderful news about Aldis being in more episodes this season.

Gina Bellman (Sophie)

Gina was lovely to speak with. Unfortunately, the audio and video was not the best quality. I hope you can enjoy it, anyway!

Gina Bellman as Sophie in "Leverage: Redemption" on Freevee

Gina Bellman (Sophie) and Noah Wyle (Harry) on "Leverage: Redemption" on Freevee

MORE INFO:

Amazon Freevee’s Hot Heist Drama Series Leverage: Redemption Returns on November 16 ​​​​​​​Exclusively in the U.S. and UK

Sep 29, 2022
The official Season Two trailer and key art now available

WATCH THE TRAILER 
HERE

CULVER CITY, California—September 29, 2022— Amazon Freevee announced today the return of its fan-fueled heist drama Leverage: Redemption premiering on November 16 exclusively in the U.S. and UK. Leverage: Redemption follows a Robin Hood-esque team of criminals as they stage elaborate cons against wealthy and powerful individuals on behalf of clients who have been wronged. The second season consists of 13 episodes with the first three episodes available immediately and a new episode releasing each Wednesday until the season finale on January 25, 2023. The fan-favorite first season of Leverage: Redemption is also available on demand and as a FAST channel on Amazon Freevee.

In Season Two, corporate bad guys and dirty dealers are stepping on the little guy in their quest for money and power and the Leverage team is back to teach them a lesson. No matter the danger, when someone needs help, they provide…Leverage. This time around, their criminal skills are put to the test by everything from a husband-and-wife team running a multi-level marketing scam and a shipping magnate dumping boatloads of plastic waste to a music producer who abuses his position over vulnerable women.  This season also sees an old friend of Sophie’s unexpectedly coming out of the woodwork, making her question her choices.

Leverage: Redemption stars Gina Bellman as Sophie Devereaux, Beth Riesgraf as Parker, Christian Kane as Eliot Spencer, Aldis Hodge as Alec Hardison, Noah Wyle as Harry Wilson, and Aleyse Shannon as Breanna Casey.  Season Two guest stars include Pierson Fodé, Alanna Masterson, Anand Desai-Barochia, Steve Coulter, and Doug Savant.

Kate Rorick serves as co-showrunner and executive producer, alongside co-showrunner and executive producer Dean Devlin, and executive producers Marc Roskin and Rachel Olschan-Wilson of Electric Entertainment. John Rogers and Chris Downey served as consulting producers.

About Electric Entertainmen
Headquartered in Los AngelesElectric Entertainment is an independent studio headed by veteran producer Dean Devlin along with his partners Marc Roskin and Rachel Olschan-Wilson. Electric Entertainment also houses acquisitions and sales divisions, with domestic sales headed up by Steve Saltman and the international division headed by Sonia Mehandjiyska. Electric also has a satellite office located in Vancouver, Canada.

Among Electric’s hit television series are The Librarians and Leverage, which ran for four and five seasons respectively on TNT, The Outpost, which premiered its fourth season on The CW in 2021, and is now streaming on Amazon Freevee, and Almost Paradise, which is currently streaming on Amazon Freevee after having premiered on WGN America. Season two of Almost Paradise is currently in production. Electric’s new series The Ark is currently in post-production for the SYFY Channel. Electric’s spin-off continuation of Leverage, Leverage: Redemption, is currently streaming in the U.S. and the U.K. on Amazon Freevee, as one of the service’s first original programs.

Electric’s Feature Films have included Bad Samaritan starring David Tennant and Robert Sheehan, the award-winning film Say My Name starring Lisa Brenner and Nick Blood, the critically acclaimed documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?, and most recently The Deal starring Sumalee Montano and Emma Fischer. Electric also acquires, distributes and sells worldwide rights to Electric’s produced and acquired content, as well as theatrical films from around the world, including Blood On The Crown, starring Harvey Keitel and Malcolm McDowell, Heavy, starring Sophie Turner and Daniel Zovatto, Rob Reiner’s historical biopic LBJ, starring Woody Harrelson, and Book Of Love, starring Jessica Biel and Jason Sudeikis. The company’s domestic distribution division, headed by Steve Saltman, is a full-service operation serving all significant outlets with various rights to films and series including: TVOD, EST, AVOD, SVOD, PTV, Linear Basic Cable and Broadcast.

Amazon Freevee, formerly IMDb TV
Amazon Freevee is a free ad-supported streaming video service with thousands of premium movies and TV shows, including Originals and FAST channels, available anytime, for free.

  • Expansive Catalog: Amazon Freevee offers viewers ambitious Originals, including Bosch: Legacy; Emmy-winning court program Judy Justice; reality design series Hollywood Houselift with Jeff Lewis; comedy series Sprung; music documentary Post Malone: Runaway; heist drama Leverage: Redemption; spy thriller Alex Rider; and the sports docuseries UNINTERRUPTED’s Top Class: The Life and Times of the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers. Combined with an always updating library of broadly appealing hit movies and TV shows across a wide selection of genres, and a catalog of more than 100 FAST channels, Freevee delivers customers the content they would expect to see on a paid service.
  • Free: The entire catalog of content on the service is free. No paid subscriptions necessary.
  • Limited Ads: Freevee provides customers highly sought content supported by limited advertising.
  • Instant Access: Freevee is available as an app on Fire TV, Fire Tablets, and as a free Channel within Prime Video, across hundreds of devices. Freevee content can also be accessed within the “Free with Ads” tab and “Live TV” tab on Prime Video. Freevee is available as an app on third party devices including Roku, Samsung smart TVs (2017-2021 models), Apple TV 4K, Apple TV HD, Comcast’s Xfinity Flex, Xfinity X1, Chromecast with Google TV, NVIDIA SHIELD and other Android TV devices, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 consoles, as well as LG Smart TVs (2018-2021 models). The app is also available on iPhone, iPad, and Android mobile devices.
Ep 201 – The Debutante Job (Premieres 11/16)
Logline: The team pulls Harry back into the fold to help a journalist investigating the corrupt president of a small eastern European nation. But when the journalist is grabbed, our team has to infiltrate a London Ball to extract him.
Ep 202 – The One Man’s Trash Job (Premieres 11/16)
Logline: The crew finds out that a shady plastics exporter whose dumping threatens local waters is smuggling black market antiquities on his barges, and plots to relieve him of his ill-gotten gains.
Ep 203 – The Tournament Job (Premieres 11/16)
Logline: The team has to infiltrate an e-sports tournament to stop a ruthless team owner from mentally and physically abusing his young players.
Noah Wylie as Harry

Noah Wyle

Harry Wilson

Noah Wyle is an actor, writer, producer and director. He is a multiple Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominee and winner best known for his work throughout twelve seasons on NBC’s celebrated and critically acclaimed medical drama ER. In his role as Dr. John Carter, Wyle became known to audiences worldwide. Wyle recently wrapped a starring role in Leverage: Redemption for IMDb TV, Amazon’s free streaming service.

Most recently, Wyle starred in Ava DuVernay & Greg Berlanti’s limited series The Red Line for CBS. His work garnered him a Critics Choice Award for Best Actor in a Limited Series. Wyle’s other recent work includes Matthew Weiner’s The Romanoffs, TNT’s critically acclaimed sci-fi series Falling Skies and his long-running TNT series The Librarians, on which he also served as an Executive Producer.

Wyle’s credits include the critically acclaimed roles as Steve Jobs in the Emmy-nominated Pirates of Silicon Valley for TNT. He starred in Oliver Stone’s 2008 drama W in the role of Secretary of Commerce Don Evans. Wyle appeared in the Rod Lurie-directed drama Nothing But the Truth alongside Angela Bassett and Kate Beckinsale. In 2009, he was seen in William Olsson’s An American Affair, which starred Gretchen Mol. He also starred in and associate-produced The Myth of Fingerprints for director Bart Freundlich. Wyle’s additional feature film credits include Warner Brothers’ White Oleander, Columbia Pictures’ EnoughDonnie DarkoSwing Kids and Aaron Sorkin & Rob Reiner’s A Few Good Men.

Gina Bellman

Sophie Devereaux

Gina Bellman is a New Zealand-born British actress known for her work on both sides of the Atlantic. Bellman has recently reprised her leading role in the exciting new season of Leverage: Redemption for IMDb TV, produced by Amazon Studios and Electric Entertainment.

The original five seasons of Leverage for TNT earned her a Saturn Award Best Supporting Actress nomination and a passionate fanbase as the glamorous and ingenious grifter Sophie Devereaux.

Recent roles include Karen in NBC’s Emerald City and crime boss Elena Markedis in the critically acclaimed Sky series Bulletproof alongside Noel Clarke and Ashley Walters.

She starred opposite James Nesbit in the BBC, Golden Globe-nominated limited series Jekyll, and has a cult following for her portrayal of Crazy Jane in the multi-award-winning comedy series Coupling – both written by Steven Moffat.

Her television work includes leading roles and guest appearances in many productions such as Henry IXRipper Street, The Wrong Door, Waking the Dead, Hotel Babylon, Jonathan Creek, Ted and Ralph, Only Fools and Horses and Blackeyes.

Film roles include – Permanent Vacation, Zerophilia, Sitting Ducks, Pressure Points, Married Unmarried, Seven Days to Live, Paranoia, Silent Trigger, Everything I Like, Secret Friends, Leon the Pig Farmer and King David.

Bellman has appeared regularly at the Royal National Theatre in award-winning productions such as The Crucible: director Mike Leigh’s Two Thousand Years: Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle & Dick and From Morning to Midnight. Her West End theatre includes The Rocky Horror Show, Hamlet, Speed the Plow, Twilight of the Golds and Orson’s Shadow, in which she played the part of Vivian Leigh and as Marilyn Monroe in Insignificance.

Bellman appears regularly at Literary festivals reading poetry and is a repertory performer with educational charity Word Theatre.

Beth Riesgraf

Parker

Beth Riesgraf is best known for starring in TNT’s award-winning drama, Leverage opposite Timothy Hutton, Gina Bellman, Aldis Hodge and Christian Kane; and in USA’s Complications opposite Jason O’Mara, Jessica Szohr, Gregory Fears and Lauren Stamile. Riesgraf recently starred in the CBS All Access show 68 Whiskey, produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard. She will reprise her role as Parker in the reimagination of Leverage: Redemption for IMDb TV. She also directed multiple episodes for the upcoming series.

Riesgraf’s other notable TV credits include a recurring role in Stranger Things and as Dr. Maeve Donovan on Criminal Minds. She has guest-starred on numerous shows, including Seal Team, The Mentalist, My Name is Earl, Without a Trace, NCIS, Killer Woman, Perception, The Librarians and How I Met Your Mother.

On the big screen, Riesgraf was last seen in In Search of Fellini opposite Maria Bello and Ksenia Solo. Her previous credits include starring opposite Rory Culkin, Martin Starr and Jack Kesy in Shut In; the silent independent film The White Door opposite Giovanni Ribisi, which she also co-produced; the feature film Alvin and the Chipmunks; and the independent films Nobody and Let’s Be Civil Kenneth. She can also be seen in the web series Caper opposite Harry Shum Jr., Abby Miller and Hartley Sawyer on the Geek & Sundry channel.

Aleyse Shannon

Breanna Casey

Aleyse Shannon will soon be seen starring in Netflix’s anticipated Feature Film Beauty, written by Lena Waithe and directed by Andrew Dosunmu. She recently wrapped production as a series regular on IMDb TV’s Leverage: Redemption. Shannon starred alongside Imogen Poots in Sophia Takal’s Blumhouse-remake of Black Christmas. She received her BFA from the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University. Immediately upon graduating, Shannon had booked a season-long arc in the first season of CW’s reboot of Charmed, a fun guest lead on CW’s Anthology Series Night Time, and a supporting role in the feature Inez & Doug & Kira, directed by Julia Kots.

Credits

Co-Showrunners and Executive Producers
Kate Rorick
Dean Devlin

Executive Producers
Marc Roskin and Rachel Olschan-Wilson of Electric Entertainment

Consulting Producers
John Rogers
Chris Downey

Cast
Gina Bellman
Christian Kane
Beth Riesgraf
Aleyse Shannon
Noah Wyle
Aldis Hodge

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The cast of "Leverage: Redemption" in a season 2 scene

Interview with the cast of “Lopez Vs. Lopez”

TV Interview!

 

LOPEZ VS LOPEZ -- "Lopez vs Lopez - Premiere Event" NeueHouse Hollywood -- Pictured: (l-r) Matt Shively, Al Madrigal, Mayan Lopez, George Lopez, Selenis Leyva, Laci Mosley -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)

Interview with Executive Producers Bruce Helford and Debby Wolfe, and actors George Lopez, Selenis Leyva, Mayan Lopez, Al Madrigal, and Matt Shively of “Lopez vs. Lopez” on NBC by Suzanne 9/15/22

I enjoyed speaking with these actors because they’re all very funny. Because it was a TCA panel, I was only able to ask one question, so I chose to ask George and Maya what it was like to work with each other (since they’re father and daughter in real life). I would have loved to chatted with Al as well. It’s a pretty funny sitcom, and it’s based on their real lives.  For some reason, George was wearing sunglasses during the entire interview. I thought that was strange, since we were all indoors.

NBC UNIVERSAL 2022 TCA PRESS TOUR
LOPEZ VS. LOPEZ

Selenis Leyva, Talent
George Lopez, Talent/Executive Producer
Mayan Lopez, Talent/Producer
Al Madrigal, Talent
Matt Shively, Talent
Bruce Helford, Executive Producer
Debby Wolfe, Showrunner/Executive Producer

Virtual via Zoom
September 15, 2022
© 2022 NBC Universal. All rights reserved.

In a virtual press conference via Zoom at the NBC Universal 2022 TCA Press Tour, the cast and producers of the upcoming series “Lopez vs. Lopez” gathered to discuss the highly-anticipated show. The talent-filled panel included Selenis Leyva, George Lopez, Mayan Lopez, Al Madrigal, Matt Shively, Bruce Helford, and Debby Wolfe, who shared insights into the show’s creation, its autobiographical elements, and the significance of representation in the Latinx community.NBCUNIVERSAL EVENTS -- NBCUniversal Press Tour, January 15, 2023 -- Pictured: (l-r) NBC’s “Lopez vs. Lopez”, Mayan Lopez, George Lopez -- (Photo by: Todd Williamson/NBCUniversal)

“Lopez vs. Lopez” is a working-class family comedy that delves into themes of dysfunction, reconnection, and the rollercoaster of emotions that come with family dynamics. The series is set to premiere on Friday, November 4th, at 8 p.m. on NBC, with subsequent episodes streaming on Peacock the following day.

During the panel, a clip from “Lopez vs. Lopez” was shown, giving the press a glimpse of the show’s humor and heart. The cast and producers, seated in two rows on the Zoom call, were ready to answer questions and discuss their experiences working on the series.

Mayan Lopez, who plays a version of herself on the show, was asked about the autobiographical elements of her character and the similarities to her real-life relationship with her father, George Lopez. Mayan shared that her parents divorced about ten years ago, and there was a period of estrangement between her and her father for approximately three years. However, the pandemic brought them back together, and they started creating TikToks as a way to reconnect. This eventually led to the birth of the idea for “Lopez vs. Lopez.” Mayan emphasized that while her character’s story reflects her own experiences, it also draws from the stories of the show’s writers and explores the cultural aspects of Latino parent-child relationships.

George Lopez, both talent and executive producer on the show, was asked about the differences between “Lopez vs. Lopez” and his previous show, “George Lopez.” He highlighted the evolution of comedy, changes in social media, and the availability of talented actors, making the production process easier. Bruce Helford, executive producer, added that the casting landscape has changed significantly, allowing for more diverse and talented performers, particularly within the Latinx community.

Debby Wolfe, showrunner and executive producer, praised George Lopez and his previous show for paving the way for Latinx talent and opening doors for diverse stories. She emphasized that “Lopez vs. Lopez” continues that legacy, bringing together a talented cast and crew to share authentic and relatable experiences.

Selenis Leyva, who plays a fictionalized version of a real person in the show, spoke about her approach to the role and the blending of her own experiences with the character. She highlighted the complexity and talent of George Lopez and Mayan Lopez, emphasizing that while they play versions of themselves, their performances require depth and skill. Debby Wolfe clarified that Selenis’ character, Rosie, is a fictionalized blend of various Latina moms, drawing inspiration from her own mother and other Latina writers in the room.

The panel also discussed the unique experience of working with family members. Mayan expressed gratitude for the opportunity to work alongside her father and called it a gift and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. George Lopez shared his admiration for the talented cast and the joy of being able to work with his daughter. The show’s executive producer, Bruce Helford, praised the genuine connection between George and Mayan on and off-screen, noting that their real-life bond shines through their performances.

Matt Shively, another cast member, discussed his role as Quinten on the show and how it differs from his previous comedic roles. He mentioned the emotional depth required for his character and expressed gratitude for the opportunity to work with the talented ensemble.

Throughout the panel, the importance of representation in the Latinx community was a recurring theme. Debby Wolfe acknowledged the progress made in recent years but stressed the need for further advancements in on-screen and behind-the-scenes representation. She highlighted the responsibility of “Lopez vs. Lopez” to tell authentic stories and open doors for Latinx talent.

NBCUNIVERSAL EVENTS -- NBCUniversal Press Tour, January 15, 2023 -- Pictured: NBC’s “Lopez vs. Lopez”, George Lopez -- (Photo by: Todd Williamson/NBCUniversal)In conclusion, the cast and producers expressed their excitement for “Lopez vs. Lopez” and its potential to resonate with audiences, sparking conversations and connections within their own families. They recognized the significance of being part of a show that represents the Latinx community while telling universal stories of flawed, yet loving families.

“Lopez vs. Lopez” is poised to make its mark as a groundbreaking comedy, continuing the legacy set by George Lopez and opening doors for diverse storytelling and representation on television.

 

MORE INFO:

"Lopez vs. Lopez" key artGeorge Lopez is back in primetime and this time he’s bringing his real-life daughter, Mayan. This hilarious and heartwarming comedy tells the story of a working-class old-school Latino who moves in with his modern Gen Z daughter as they rebuild their dysfunctional relationship one argument at a time. It’s old vs. new, father vs. daughter, Lopez vs. Lopez.

“Lopez vs Lopez” is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group in association with Mohawk Productions, Travieso Productions, Mi Vida Loba and 3 Arts.

George Lopez

George Lopez/Executive Producer, “Lopez vs. Lopez”

LOPEZ VS. LOPEZ -- Season: Pilot -- Pictured: George Lopez as George -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)
George Lopez plays himself and executive produces the new NBC comedy “Lopez vs. Lopez.”

Lopez has broken ground for Latino comics by embracing his ethnicity, confronting racial stereotypes, and fighting for his community on and off the stage. He will join the DC universe in 2023 in the superhero film “Blue Beetle.”

Lopez’s “OMG Hi!” comedy tour concluded in the fall. He has four HBO specials on his resume: “The Wall” (2017), “It’s Not Me, It’s You” (2012), “Tall, Dark and Chicano” (2009), which was nominated for a Best Comedy Album Grammy Award, and “America’s Mexican” (2007).

On television, Lopez produced and starred in “Lopez,” a semi-autobiographical single camera sitcom for two seasons on TV Land. In 2014, Lopez co-created and starred in the multi-camera ensemble comedy “Saint George” for FX. He hosted TBS’ inaugural late-night talk show, “Lopez Tonight,” for two seasons, marking Lopez’s return to series television after co-creating, writing, producing and starring in ABC’s groundbreaking hit sitcom “George Lopez,” which ran for six seasons.

Lopez’s extensive film credits include “Walking with Herb,” “Western No Man’s Land,” “The Tax Collector,” “El Chicano,” “Valentine’s Day,” “The Spy Next Door” and “The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl.” He starred in and produced the inspirational drama “Spare Parts,” based on a true story about four undocumented Mexican-American teens who team up to build a robot for a national competition. Lopez has lent his voice to a string of animated films, including “Rio,” “Smurfs,” “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” and the “Cats & Dogs” franchises.

In May 2004, Lopez’s autobiography “Why You Crying?” earned a spot on The New York Times Bestseller Top 20 List. Lopez released his second memoir in 2013, “I’m Not Gonna Lie and Other Lies You Tell When You Turn 50.”

Time magazine named him one of the 25 Most Influential Hispanics in America in 2005 and the Harris Poll named him one of the Top Ten Favorite Television Personalities. The following year, Lopez received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Mayan Lopez, “Lopez vs. Lopez”

LOPEZ VS. LOPEZ -- Season: Pilot -- Pictured: Mayan Lopez as Maya -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)

Mayan Lopez plays Mayan Lopez on the new NBC comedy “Lopez vs. Lopez.”

Lopez, who is an actress, producer and Tik Tok influencer, grew upon the set of the hit television series “George Lopez,” which started filming when she was 5 years old.

To help launch her career, Lopez received extensive training at the Conservatory Program at Second City Chicago and Columbia College Chicago’s Comedy Writing and Performance Program. She honed her improv skills while performing with various improv troupes late at night at Second City after the Main Stage shows and also did voiceover work for the local Chicago and regional Midwest market.

Lopez left Chicago and returned to Los Angeles just as the pandemic struck. In quarantine and with no auditions, she started to do Tik Tok videos as a creative outlet and her account took off.

Her other credits include “Handsome: A Netflix Murder Mystery,” “Other People,” “Jersey,” “Mr. Troop Mom” and “George Lopez.”

Selenis Leyva

Rosie “Lopez vs. Lopez”

LOPEZ VS. LOPEZ -- Season: Pilot -- Pictured: Selenis Leyva as Rosie -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)
Selenis Leyva portrays Rosie on the new NBC comedy “Lopez vs. Lopez.”

Leyva is best known for her co-starring role on the Netflix hit series “Orange Is the New Black” and in the Disney+ original “Diary of a Future President.” For her work on the latter, she won a 2021 Gracie Award, which honors standout women in entertainment and news programming that addresses timely topics and social issues.

Up next, Leyva will star alongside John Boyega and Connie Britton in the drama “Breaking,” which opens in theaters Aug. 26.  Leyva and her “Breaking” cast won the Special Jury Award for Ensemble Cast in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at this year’s Sundance. She will also star alongside Michael B. Jordan in the highly anticipated “Creed III,” opening Nov. 23. Leyva recently wrapped production on the HBO Max comedy series “Gordita Chronicles,” which will chronicle the life of a 12-year-old Dominican girl who struggles to fit into 1980s Miami as her family pursues the American dream.

Matt Shively

Quinten, “Lopez vs. Lopez”

LOPEZ VS. LOPEZ -- Season: Pilot -- Pictured: Matt Shively as Quinten -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)

Matt Shively plays Quinten on the new NBC comedy “Lopez vs. Lopez.”

Following high school, Shively launched his career in 2008 with a role on Nickelodeon’s “True Jackson VP.” In addition to a series regular role on the ABC comedy “The Real O’Neals,” other prominent series in which Shively has appeared include “The Purge,” “American Housewife,” “Santa Clarita Diet,” “Teen Wolf,” “CSI,” “Aquarius,” “SMILF,” “Me, Myself and I,” “The Resident,” “Last Man Standing” and “Grand Hotel.”

On the film side, Shively made his way to the big screen in 2012 in “Paranormal Activity 4.” Other movies on his resume include “Power Rangers,” “Father of the Year,” “The Wedding Year,” “Bucky and the Squirrels,” “Expelled,” “Underwater Upside Down” and “Mark, Mary + Some Other People.”

Last year Shively joined the cast “Players,” Paramount+’s upcoming esports series.

LOPEZ VS LOPEZ -- "Lopez vs Lopez - Premiere Event" NeueHouse Hollywood -- Pictured: Al Madrigal -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)Al Madrigal

Oscar, “Lopez vs. Lopez”

Al Madrigal plays Oscar on the new NBC comedy “Lopez vs. Lopez.”

Madrigal’s film credits include “The Way Back” with co-star Ben Affleck. He’s has also been seen in “Night School,” alongside Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish; “Morbius,” alongside Jared Leto; and “Hollywood Stargirl,” opposite Judy Greer and Uma Thurman.

On television, Madrigal is best known as the senior Latino correspondent on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” a series regular and writer on Showtime’s “I’m Dying Up Here” and served as a writer, actor, and producer on the CBS show “Broke.”

Madrigal and fellow comedian Bill Burr co-founded All Things Comedy, which is a leading comedy podcast network featuring shows hosted by some of the industry’s top comedians that has over 15 million listeners and 50+ shows.

Bruce Helford

Executive Producer, “Lopez vs. Lopez”

Bruce Helford is the supervising writer and an executive producer on the new NBC comedy “Lopez vs. Lopez.”

Helford co-created “The Drew Carey Show” and served as executive producer for its entire run from 1995-2004. He also created or co-created “The Norm Show,” “Wanda at Large,” “Freddie,” “George Lopez,” “Nikki,” “Bless This House,” “The Oblongs,” “Anger Management” and “Kevin Can Wait.”

After serving as executive producer and head writer on the fifth season of “Roseanne” in 1992, he returned as executive producer and head writer for the revival and series spinoff, “The Conners.”

Debby Wolfe

Executive Producer, “Lopez vs. Lopez”

Debby Wolfe is the showrunner and an executive producer on the new NBC comedy “Lopez vs. Lopez.”

Wolfe’s other credits include “The Conners” for ABC, “Primo” for Freevee, “Love, Victor” for Hulu and “One Day at a Time” for Netflix. She previously had development at Amazon, Disney+ and CBS.

Her award-winning short films have screened in festivals worldwide, including Tribeca, NBC Universal Short Cuts, the BET Urbanworld Film Festival and the HBO NYC Latino Film Festival.

Despite her many accomplishments in comedy, Wolfe’s Salvadorian mother still doesn’t think she’s funny. Her Jewish father says he could do her job better.

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NBCUNIVERSAL EVENTS -- NBCUniversal Press Tour, January 15, 2023 -- Pictured: (l-r) NBC’s “Lopez vs. Lopez”, Selenis Leyva, George Lopez, Mayan Lopez -- (Photo by: Todd Williamson/NBCUniversal)

 

Interview with Skylar Astin

TV Interview!

 

Skylar Astin and Marcia Gay Hardin of "So Help Me Todd" on CBS. Photos from paramountpressexpress.com

Interview with Scott Prendergast, Elizabeth Klaviter, Marcia Gay Harden, Skylar Astin, Madeline Wise, Tristen J. Winger, Inga Schlingmann and Rosa Arrendondo of “So Help Me Todd” on CBS by Suzanne 9/21/23

CBS 2022 TCA PRESS TOUR
“SO HELP ME TODD”
Scott Prendergast, Creator/Executive Producer; Elizabeth Klaviter, Showrunner/Executive Producer; and actors Marcia Gay Harden, Skylar Astin, Madeline Wise, Tristen J. Winger, Inga Schlingmann and Rosa Arrendondo
Virtual via Zoom September 21 2022
©2022 CBS All rights reserved.

Here were some introductory remarks about the show. First, from the moderator: The series is inspired by our creator and executive producer Scott show premieres Thursday, September 29th, at 9/8 Central on CBS and Paramount+.
Joining us today is the cast and executive producers of the series. Please welcome creator and executive producer Scott Prendergast, showrunner and executive producer Elizabeth Klaviter, stars Marcia Gay Harden, Skylar Astin, Madeline Wise, Tristen J. Winger, Inga Schlingmann, and Rosa Arredondo.

The second remarks were from the creator/EP Scott Prendergast: “I’m so happy to be here with my showrunner Elizabeth Klaviter and our six incredible cast members. Just a quick recap. This show is based on a true story. My mother’s husband did disappear and I helped her find him and that’s where we drew the inspiration for the show. So it’s very exciting to be here. The cast is incredible. And I’ll just quickly tell you that when I pitched the show, the first thing I said to CBS was if you took Alicia, the lawyer, from “The Good Wife” and Kalinda, the investigator, made them mother and son and had them do “Moonlighting,” that’s the show, and here we are a year and a half later.

This press panel was for the TV Critics Association. They give us a transcript of the interviews, but we’re not allowed to post them verbatim, and there’s no video or audio.

This is a fun new dramady starring Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden (whom you may remember from “Law and Order” and other shows) and Skylar Astin, who’s probably best known for playing Zoey’s love interest in “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” (ZEP) I spoke with Marcia before, years ago, so I was very happy to get a chance to speak to Skylar because I really loved ZEP.
CBS/Paramount let us watch one episode before airing. It’s a quirky show, and those rarely do well on TV, but you never know. One of the more interesting things about it is that the idea for the story came from the show’s creator’s real life experiences.

With these large press panels, we’re lucky to get one question in, so I was ecstatic to ask him if he would be singing on this show. He not only starred in ZEP but was in the musical movie “Pitch Perfect.” He said that they had no plans to do that yet. He didn’t think his character, Todd, would be a very good singer.

The follow-up question to mine asked if filming the show was easier because there wasn’t choreography and everything, like on ZEP and Pitch Perfect. He felt very comfortable doing musicals, but this show has its own “specific rhythm,” so he treats it the same way. He was talking about the dialogue, which is “very rhythmic.”

“So Help Me Todd: A Quirky Blend of Comedy and Mystery Unveiled in CBS’ New Series”

In a recent Television Critics Association (TCA) panel, the creators, cast, and executive producers of CBS’ upcoming series “So Help Me Todd” gathered to share insights into this intriguing blend of comedy and mystery. The series, set to premiere on Thursday, September 29th, at 9/8 Central, promises to captivate viewers with its unique storyline and a cast that seamlessly mixes humor and drama.

Inspiration from Real Life

The show’s creator and executive producer, Scott Prendergast, kicked off the event by sharing the series’ origin story. He revealed that the inspiration for “So Help Me Todd” came from a real-life experience where his mother’s husband disappeared, and he played a pivotal role in helping her find him. This deeply personal narrative forms the foundation of the show’s premise.

Prendergast described the series as a blend of “The Good Wife,” “Moonlighting,” and classic CBS procedurals, with a strong focus on the unique mother-son dynamic at its core.

Balancing Comedy and Mystery

A recurring theme during the panel discussion was how the show successfully balances comedy and mystery. Skylar Astin, who plays the titular character Todd, explained that while the show has its comedic moments, it also explores deeper emotional aspects. Astin noted that Todd is a complex character, and he enjoys portraying the character’s messiness and vulnerability.

Executive producer Elizabeth Klaviter emphasized that the humor in the show is grounded in authentic character development. The cast’s performances and the witty scripts allow viewers to relate to the characters while enjoying the comedic elements.

A Cast of Characters

The cast of “So Help Me Todd” includes the talented Marcia Gay Harden, Skylar Astin, Madeline Wise, Tristen J. Winger, Inga Schlingmann, and Rosa Arredondo. Each actor brings their unique qualities to the series, contributing to the chemistry that makes the show stand out.

Finding Laughter in the Unusual

One of the standout aspects of the show is its willingness to embrace humor in unusual situations. Scott Prendergast shared a real-life anecdote where he pretended to be someone else to locate a missing person. This blend of absurdity and suspense is at the heart of “So Help Me Todd,” making it an engaging and entertaining watch.

Plans for the Future

When asked about the show’s future, Scott Prendergast revealed that they have ambitious plans for seven seasons. He believes that the evolving mother-son relationship and the characters’ growth will provide endless material for captivating storylines. The panelists expressed their excitement about exploring the family dynamics further, including relationships between siblings, colleagues, and adversaries.

A Quirky Family Saga Awaits

As the panel concluded, it was evident that “So Help Me Todd” promises to be a unique addition to CBS’ lineup, offering viewers a captivating blend of comedy and mystery while delving deep into the intricacies of family dynamics. With a strong cast and a commitment to maintaining the delicate balance between humor and drama, this series is poised to become a must-watch this fall.

Prepare to embark on a journey with the Todd family as they navigate life’s twists, turns, and absurdities, all while seeking answers to intriguing mysteries. Tune in on September 29th to catch the premiere of “So Help Me Todd” on CBS and Paramount+.

 

MORE INFO: Trailer

So Help Me Todd Skylar Astin and Marcia Gay Harden Photo: CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

SO HELP ME TODD stars Academy Award winner Marcia Gay Harden and Skylar Astin as razor-sharp, meticulous attorney Margaret Wright (Harden) and Todd (Astin), her talented but scruffy, aimless son whom she hires as her law firm’s in-house investigator. As the black sheep of the well-heeled Wright family, Todd is a laidback, quick-thinking, excellent former private detective who fell on hard times after his flexible interpretation of the law got his license revoked. Margaret’s penchant for excellence and strict adherence to the law is at complete odds with Todd’s scrappy methods of finding his way through sticky situations: by the seat of his wrinkled pants. When Todd inadvertently teams with his mother on a case, she’s surprised to find herself duly impressed by – and proud of – his crafty ability to sleuth out information with his charm and his wide-ranging tech savvy. At last, Margaret sees a way to put her son on a “suitable” path to living an adult, financially solvent life she approves of, and she asks him to join her firm. Todd agrees, since it means getting his license back and once again doing the job he excels at and loves. Mother and son working together is a big first step toward mending their fragile, dysfunctional relationship, and they may even come away with a better understanding of each other at this pivotal point in their lives. But whether Todd and Margaret will be able to accept each other for who they are is another case entirely.

Marcia Gay Harden Photo: CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.Marcia Gay Harden

July 2022

Academy Award-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden has forged an incomparable body of work, and like a chameleon she transforms into each character she plays. Her critically lauded performances are myriad – from glamorous Ava Gardner in “Sinatra,” to artist Lee Krasner in “Pollock” (winning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress), to the down-and-out Celeste in “Mystic River” (Oscar-nominated in the same category) – and her versatility has been praised in other films such as “Miller’s Crossing,” “The First Wives Club,” “Meet Joe Black,” “Mona Lisa Smile,” “The Hoax” and “Used People.”

Harden stars in the comedy series “Uncoupled” opposite Neil Patrick Harris. She plays a socialite in the middle of a bitter divorce who commiserates with Harris’ character when his husband walks out on him.

On the film side, Harden will be seen in “Roadside’s Gigi & Nate” with Jim Belushi, Josephine Langford and Charlie Rowe, set for a September theater release, along with Greg Mattola’s “Confess, Fletch” opposite Jon Hamm.

Currently, she recurs on the Emmy-nominated series “The Morning Show” opposite Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, for which she was just nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series. Most recently, she starred in the Amy Poehler-directed comedy “Moxie” and the miniseries “Barkskins.”

Harden lives in Los Angeles. Her birth date is August 14. She can be followed on Twitter @MGH_8 and Instagram @mgh_8.

So Help Me Todd Skylar Astin Photo: CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.Skylar Astin

July 2022

Skylar Astin is a celebrated actor with a varied career across stage and screen. This past summer, Astin returned to the theater in the Off-Broadway revival of “Little Shop of Horrors” as Seymour, directed by Tony winner Michael Mayer. Also, he appeared in the documentary “Spring Awakening: Those You’ve Known.” Astin and the rest of the cast revisited their roles and re-sparked the cultural phenomenon which put Astin on the map and went on to win eight Tony Awards in 2007. Following the release of the documentary, he performed a special rendition of “Touch Me” at this year’s Tony Awards with the original cast.

Most recently, Astin starred in two seasons of “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” alongside Jane Levy, Mary Steenburgen and Peter Gallagher.

Additional television credits include appearing opposite Golden Globe-winner Rachel Bloom in the final season of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” the Golden Globe-nominated dark comedy “Graves,” Frank Coraci’s comedy “Hot Air,” “Ground Floor,” “Girls,” “Halt and Catch Fire,” “House” and “Love Bites.”

Astin is perhaps best known for his star turn as Jesse in the hit “Pitch Perfect” franchise. Additional big screen credits include “Ghosts of War,” “21 and Over” opposite Miles Teller, “Taking Woodstock” for director Ang Lee, the Sundance cult-hit “Hamlet 2,” “Flock of Dudes,” “Cavemen” and the beloved animated film “Wreck It Ralph.”

In 2020, Astin appeared in “Secret Society of Second Born Royals,” an original live action film. Astin was nominated for a Critics’ Choice Award in the category of Best Actor in a Superhero Movie for his role in this film.

A native New Yorker, Astin portrayed the iconic role of Tony in Carnegie Hall’s performance of “West Side Story” and received rave reviews in Encore’s production of Kurt Vonnegut’s “God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater.” He was also seen in Pulitzer Prize nominee Theresa Rebeck’s play, “What We’re Up Against.”

Currently, Astin resides in Los Angeles. He can be followed on Twitter @SkylarAstin and Instagram @skylarastin.

So Help Me Todd Madeline Wise Photo: CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.Madeline Wise

July 2022

 

Madeline Wise is an actress with a diverse background. After studying at Bard College, with a stint at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, she co-founded New Saloon Theatre Co. and worked extensively in the downtown theatre scene in New York.

Wise made her television debut in season three of the Pete Holmes semi-autobiographical comedy “Crashing,” produced by Judd Apatow. She also played Sir Patrick Stewart’s mother in season two of STAR TREK: PICARD and has appeared in “Single Drunk Female,” EVIL and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

Her film credits include Noah Hutton’s sci-fi “Lapsis” and Sophia Silver’s meditation on adolescent female friendship “Over/Under.”

Currently, she resides in New York. Her birth date is March 1 and she can be found on Twitter and Instagram at @wise_dumb.

So Help Me Todd Tristen J. Winger Photo: CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.Tristen J. Winger

June 2023

Born and raised in South-Central Los Angeles, Winger discovered his love for acting at a young age. He notes he was a “TGIF” kid, looking forward to Friday nights where he could tune in to “Family Matters” and see himself represented for the first time on television through Jaleel White and his on-screen character Steve Urkel. Winger attended the Amazing Grace Conservatory (AGC), where he was able to hone his craft in theater, bringing characters to life on stage. He went on to attend the King Drew Magnet High School of Medicine and Science, where he became friends with Issa Rae (who would eventually give him his first big break with “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl”), graduating one year early. While Winger initially thought he would pursue a career in the medical field, even studying science, math and engineering at California State University Northridge, the performing arts kept calling his name. He dabbled in music production and audio engineering, learning to produce and make music while in college, and took a few retail jobs while he auditioned for acting projects in Los Angeles. While working at the Apple store he landed one of his first big jobs on “Insecure,” and he has been booking film and television projects ever since.

On television, Winger has played a variety of characters that come from many different backgrounds. He is best known for his role as Thug Yoda on the award-winning series “Insecure” from creator/writer/producer Issa Rae. His other credits include “Bigger,” “East of La Brea,” “50 Central,” “Almost 30,” and his first big break, comedy web series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” opposite Issa Rae, which debuted on YouTube in 2011.

Winger’s feature film credits include Tripp in the short film “The Hostage,” which was accepted into the Nantucket Film Festival. Winger also appeared in the award-winning short “Baldwin Beauty,” which went to the Sundance Film Festival in 2020 and was nominated for Short Film Grand Jury Prize and Best Short Film. The project was also nominated for a NAACP Image Award in 2020 for Outstanding Short Form (Live Action).

Winger frequently lends his voice to projects. He voiced multiple characters in the highly popular PlayStation 5 video game “Horizon: Forbidden West.” Recently, he starred in the podcast “We Stay Looking” (six episodes), which was produced by HBO Max. The podcast was nominated at the 2022 Ambies for Best Scriptwriting, Fiction and secured back-to-back wins at the 2021 and 2022 Webby Awards in the Podcasts – Scripted (Fiction) (Limited-Series & Specials) category.

Winger is passionate about giving back to his community and bringing awareness to the growing food insecurity issues in South L.A. Winger is also an advocate for shining a light on the stigma around mental health and lack of adequate mental health resources for Black men, as he has been on a personal journey through therapy and building deeper, meaningful relationships with others, and himself. For years, Winger has championed the Amazing Grace Conservatory where he got his start, supporting emerging artists and at-risk youth in the performing and digital arts by offering a well-rounded and culturally enriching educational program in an environment that is nurturing for their personal, artistic and professional growth.

Currently, Winger lives in South-Central L.A. with his rescue dog, a Yorkiepoo named Frito. He can be found on Instagram and Twitter at @tristenjwinger.

So Help Me Todd Inga Schlingmann Photo: CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.Inga Schlingmann

June 2023

Inga Schlingmann is a first-generation American, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Taiwan and Germany. She attended NYU, where she was pre-med and majored in art history, with minors in chemistry and psychology.

While at NYU, Schlingmann was crowned Miss Manhattan, with a platform focused on lowering infant and maternal mortality rates. After NYU, she worked with Americorp as a birth doula and lactation aide for underserved and undocumented women in Brooklyn.

Schlingmann left healthcare to work at Bloomberg LP and later went on to work for LinkedIn, where she was a senior account director when she landed the role of Susan in SO HELP ME TODD.

Schlingmann currently resides in New York. Follow her on Instagram @ingaschlingmann.

So Help Me Todd Rosa Arredondo Photo: CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.Rosa Arredondo

June 2023

Rosa Arredondo’s career includes work in film, television and on stage. An Alvin Ailey-trained dancer, Arredondo transitioned to acting early in her career, though she continues to take dance class regularly. Her most recent film, “The Secret Art of Human Flight,” appeared in competition at the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival.

Arredondo’s stage credits include the Blair Underwood/Daphne Rubin-Vega Broadway production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” at the Broadhurst Theatre, Sonnet Repertory’s production of “The Maids” and Arredondo’s one-woman show “Journeys,” which she wrote, produced and performed herself as part of the Female Forward Festival at The Royal Family Theater in N.Y.C.

Currently, she resides in New York. Her birthday is Jan. 13.

Read Eva’s Review of the show!

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So Help Me Todd Skylar Astin and Marcia Gay Harden Photo: CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Interview with “Resident Alien” actors and showrunner

TV Interview!

Chris Sheridan, Alan Tudyk, Alice Wetterlund, Levi Fiehler, Corey Reynolds, and Elizabeth Bowen

Interview with showrunner Chris Sheridan and actors Alan Tudyk, Alice Wetterlund, Levi Fiehler, Corey Reynolds, and Elizabeth Bowen of “Resident Alien” on Syfy by Suzanne 8/8/22

This was from a fun press day to promote the return of the show for the second half of season 2. First there was a TCA panel (Television Critics of America) where all of these actors plus star Sara Tomko (Asta) answered some questions. Then we had 3 junkets with the other actors and Chris Sheridan. You’ll see videos of those below.

During the TCA panel, we saw this excellent trailer that you should watch as it reminds us where we left off back in March!  They also announced, for those of us who hadn’t heard, that the show was renewed for season 3 “due to its incredibly passionate fan base!”  So, yay, fans!  Below are the highlights from the TCA panel.

Showrunner/creator/writer Chris Sheridan shared that they do allow for a lot of improv on the show. He was asked specifically about Harry’s alien language.  Most of that is all Alan Tudyk’s doing. Alan also joked that at the recent San Diego Comic-Con, they expected him to speak in the alien language at the drop of a hat, which he wasn’t prepared to do. He promised that he will learn to do that before the next con, though.

Sara was asked about what her character goes through this season. She replied that they had a lot of scripts to shoot in a very short time (and more than last season), but Chris lets them know ahead of time what their characters will be experiencing, so they can prepare a little better. She spoke quite a bit about being the only person in the main cast that’s not a comedian. She enjoys reacting to them, and laughing at their jokes, but she’s not funny like they are. There’s a point in one of the upcoming episodes where Asta is very happy because of an alien thing that happens to her, and it took Sara a bit to wrap her head around that because Asta is normally not very happy, so she had to talk to Chris to get an idea about what she should be like. She concluded, “I just really tried to make it as organic and truthful in the moment.”   Later in the panel, when the cast were all asked if they ever felt like an alien, she shared that she felt a bit like one, being the more serious person amidst all the comics.

The actors were asked what they learned from their characters. Alice was almost the only one to take the question seriously. She analyzed D’arcy, saying that she’s “self-absorbed” and doesn’t realize how her actions not only hurt herself but others around her.  She’s starting to understand that, and she thinks it’s good to keep that in mind. Elizabeth also said that she’s learned that “listening and observing will teach you a lot more than talking.” That’s very true! I need to learn that, too.

Alan joked that he learned that he loves pizza, but then he explained that he has a lot of food allergies, so they made him special pizza that he could eat. That was very cool to learn because I have that, too. I hope he can learn to make his own pizza or can find some other people to make them for him. At the mention of food, Sara added that she doesn’t like it when actors don’t eat on the set when there’s food there. She has to eat food if it’s in front of her.  Levi and Sarah both agreed that they hate tight jeans. Levi has had to wear a lot of those as his character.

Alan was asked whether he’s content to be doing so much scifi.  Alan reflected for a moment and then said with a laugh that he’s happy. He enjoys all the work he gets. He noted that he did a play in L.A. right before season 2, which he really enjoyed (doing live stage), but the great thing about playing Harry or doing any scifi is that you get to do all sorts of unusual things that you wouldn’t normally get to do. He mused that you can do everything, all in one. “There can be physical comedy, which you rarely ever get to do in television or in film, and it can also be very touching and have very intimate moments.” He went on to talk about how much he enjoyed working with the dog and the kids on the show. He said that the dog is very smart and a good boy.

Then they were all asked the question about feeling like an alien. Alan related it to being invited to a party that you really don’t want to go to, but you have to go and pretend to be having a good time. Corey shared that he has anxiety, so anything social like that makes him feel anxious.  Then Alice did this hilarious riff where she pretended to be a stuck-up socialite going into JC Penney’s for the first time.

Chris was asked about the third season, so he told us that it would be 12 episodes, which he’s already started working on.  It won’t be split up into two parts like season 2 was, and there will be one arc for the whole season. He explained a little bit about how the show was developed. First he envisioned it as 10 episodes per season, going 4 or 5 seasons. Then they had 16 episodes for season 2, which changed things. He added that these shows are “organic beasts” that change a lot, anyway. He explained, “things that you weren’t sure were going to work work really well. Things you thought were going to work don’t work well at all” so you constantly have to adjust for these changes. The show is “constantly evolving.”  He also said that the chemistry of the actors gives you more ideas about how to change the story.

He also spoke a bit about Asta and Harry’s emotional growth this season, which you’ll see more of in the upcoming episodes. Asta has to deal with the fact that she shot and killed someone, and Harry is dealing with the fact that he almost died.

Alan was also asked a semi-serious question about he and Nathan Fillion guest-starring on each other’s shows. Alan replied that it was just their friendship. He joked, “I was never on [an episode of] “Castle,” so I’ve got a lot of making up to do.”

The cast was also asked about whether they were worried when there was a big break in the middle of season 2. They were all fine with it, but some fans were worried and impatient.

The trailer revealed that we’ll see more of Terry O’Quinn’s character. Also, there’s a new detective that joins the show named Lena Torres, played by Nicola Correia-Damude.

Here are the videos from the junket. We all laughed a lot, so I’m sure you will, too.

 

 

 

MORE INFO: Another Trailer

"Resident Alien" poster

Based on the Dark Horse comics, SYFY’s “Resident Alien” follows a crash-landed alien named Harry (Alan Tudyk) whose secret mission is to kill all humans. In season two, Harry is once again stranded on Earth where he must confront the consequences of having failed his people’s mission to destroy the human race. The second half of Season 2 picks up in the immediate aftermath of the shocking action Asta (Sara Tomko) took to save Harry’s life. They must deal with the emotional fallout of the night all while searching for the alien baby – a search that leads to big realizations for each of them. Meanwhile, Sheriff Mike (Corey Reynolds) and Deputy Liv (Elizabeth Bowen) solve a big case, Ben (Levi Fiehler) attempts to sell Patience on a new resort, and D’arcy (Alice Wetterlund) fights the challenge of a lifetime. The series also stars Judah Prehn.

From UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group, in association with Amblin TV and Dark Horse Entertainment, “Resident Alien” was adapted to television by executive producer Chris Sheridan. Mike Richardson and Keith Goldberg of Dark Horse Entertainment, Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank of Amblin TV, Robert Duncan McNeill, Christian Taylor and Nastaran Dibai also executive produce.

Alan Tudyk

Harry Vanderspeigle, “Resident Alien”; Devil, “Devil May Care”

Alan Tudyk stars in the SYFY drama “Resident Alien” as Harry Vanderspeigle, an alien who crash lands onto Earth and must pass himself off as a small-town human doctor.

He also recently voiced the role of Devil in “Devil May Care,” which also aired on SYFY. In addition, Tudyk voices the maniacal Joker in DC Universe’s “Harley Quinn” animated series on HBO Max. Tudyk also voiced Tuk-Tuk in the Oscar-nominated film “Raya and the Last Dragon” as well as Pico the Toucan in Disney’s hit film “Encanto.”

In 2016, Tudyk appeared in Lucasfilm’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” as the scene-stealing security droid, ‘K-2SO.’ Directed by Gareth Edwards, the film grossed over $1 billion at the global box office and was the first live action Star Wars spin-off. He also voiced characters in two Academy-Award nominated animated films, playing the ‘Duke of Weaselton’ in Disney’s “Zootopia” and the rooster ‘Hei Hei’ in Disney’s “Moana.”

Tudyk is also the creator, executive producer and star of the Emmy nominated series “Con Man,” which was funded via Indiegogo with a record-breaking $3.2 million donation from over 46,000 fans. “Con Man” debuted at Lionsgate’s Comic Con HQ in 2015 and later aired on SYFY. Loosely based on Tudyk and Nathan Fillion’s experiences starring in “Firefly,” “Con Man” centered on the post-show life of ‘Wray Nerely’ (Tudyk) after “Spectrum,” a sci-fi TV series canceled before its time that later became a cult classic. In 2016, Tudyk, along with Fillion, also launched “Con Man: The Game” based on the series which allowed players to build and host their own comic book conventions.

Tudyk has shown audiences wide versatility in numerous television shows and a plethora of feature films. Recently, he co-starred in the Jay Roach 2015 SAG Award nominated feature “Trumbo,” opposite Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane, Helen Mirren and John Goodman as well as 2014’s “Welcome to Me” with Kristin Wiig. In 2013, Tudyk co-starred in the well-received Jackie Robinson biopic, “42,” opposite Chadwick Boseman as former Philadelphia Phillies manager ‘Ben Chapman.’ He made his feature film debut in 1998, when he first appeared opposite Robin Williams in “Patch Adams.”

Tudyk’s role in the Disney animated feature, “Wreck-It Ralph,” garnered him an Annie Award for his role as ‘King Candy.” He can also be heard in its sequel, “Ralph Breaks the Internet” as ‘KnowsMore.” Tudyk has also loaned his voice to ‘The Duke of Weaselton’ in Disney’s Academy Award-winning film “Frozen,” ‘Alister Krei’ in “Big Hero 6” and ‘Ludo’ and ‘King Butterfly’ on the Disney Channel series, “Star vs. the Forces of Evil.”

His additional film credits also include: “28 Days,” “A Knight’s Tale,” “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story,” “Death at a Funeral” (the original UK version), “Knocked Up,” “Tucker and Dale vs Evil,” “3:10 to Yuma,” “Serenity,” “Premature,” “Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter” and “Transformers 3.” Additionally, Tudyk motion performed the lead robot, ‘Sonny,’ in “I, Robot” opposite Will Smith.

In television, Tudyk can currently be seen in DC Universe’s “Doom Patrol” and season three of Netflix’s “Santa Clarita Diet.” He was a series regular on the critically acclaimed ABC comedy, “Suburgatory” as well as on NBC’s workplace comedy “Powerless” and BBC America’s “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. His work on Joss Whedon’s “Firefly,” has been highly lauded by fans and has gained him a strong cult following. Tudyk also appeared in “Strangers with Candy,” “Dollhouse,” “Frasier,” “Justified” and “Arrested Development.” He also was the host of “Newsreaders,” written and produced by Rob Corddry and David Wain, on Adult Swim.

Tudyk attended the prestigious Juilliard School in New York and has starred on Broadway opposite Kristin Chenoweth in “Epic Proportions,” played ‘Lancelot’ with the original cast in Monty Python’s “Spamalot,” as well as the lead role of ‘Peter’ in “Prelude to a Kiss” opposite John Mahoney.

Tudyk grew up in Plano, Texas and currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife.

He is represented by The Coronel Group and Gersh.

Chris Sheridan

Executive Producer, “Resident Alien”

Chris Sheridan serves as executive producer of SYFY’s “Resident Alien.”

Five-time Emmy nominee and BAFTA nominee, Sheridan has been a television writer and producer for 26 years. He has produced more than 400 episodes of television, including 17 seasons on the Fox Network animated hit, “Family Guy” where he acted as co-showrunner from 2004 to 2009. He remains a consulting producer on “Family Guy,” and has a feature film in development with Josephson Entertainment.

Corey Reynolds

Sheriff Mike Thompson, “Resident Alien”

Corey Reynolds stars in the SYFY drama “Resident Alien” as Mike Thompson, the local sheriff who runs the town with a chip on his shoulder, a cowboy hat on his head and an iron fist.

Reynolds is best known for his role on “The Closer,” which he starred on for six seasons. He will next be seen as a guest star in Apple’s “The Afterparty.” He’s recurred on “All American,” “Red Line,” “Criminal Minds,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Masters of Sex” and “Murder in the First.” He has guest starred on “Seal Team” and “Chicago P.D.”

On the film side, he was last seen on screen in “Straight Outta Compton” and also appeared in “Selma,” opposite David Oyelowo and Common.

Reynolds was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in Broadway’s production of “Hairspray.”

Alice Wetterlund

D’Arcy Bloom, “Resident Alien”

Alice Wetterlund stars in SYFY’s “Resident Alien” as “D’Arcy Bloom,” the charismatic bartender at the local pub who, as a former Olympic snowboarder, is also a part of the avalanche control team.

Wetterlund has performed her non-yelling brand of comedy nationally at colleges, clubs, and festivals such as Just for Laughs, Bridgetown, Moon Tower, Women in Comedy, SF Sketchfest, RIOT LA, Bonnaroo and more.

She is known for her character “Carla” on HBO’s “Silicon Valley” and played “Kelly Grady” on TBS’ “People of Earth.” She can also be seen in the movie “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” as “Cousin Terry.” She has performed her stand up on “Conan” and currently co-hosts the popular podcast “Treks and the City” with Veronica Osorio. She recently wrapped “Search & Destroy” for Hulu, produced by Carrie Brownstein. Wetterlund can currently be seen on the latest season of Netflix’s “Glow.” Her hourlong stand-up special premiered on Amazon in August.

Elizabeth Bowen

Deputy Liv Baker, “Resident Alien”

Elizabeth Bowen plays Deputy Liv Baker on the hit SYFY series “Resident Alien.”

Bowen was raised on Vancouver Island in Nanaimo, British Columbia. She attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts – West before moving back to Canada to work on improv comedy while pursuing film and television roles.

Bowen credits her role in season two of FX’s “Fargo” as a career turning point. Bowen’s other credits include recurring roles on Amazon’s “Upload” and Hulu’s “Woke,” as well as the Freeform holiday movie “Angry Angel.”

She is based in Vancouver, B.C.

Levi Fiehler

Mayor Ben Hawthorne, “Resident Alien”

Levi Fiehler stars in the SYFY drama “Resident Alien” as Ben Hawthorne, the naive town mayor whose 8-year-old son is suspicious that the new local doctor is an alien.

Fiehler was born in Juneau, Alaska where he trained as an actor at Perseverance Theatre. His career took off when he booked a lead role on “Fetching,” which was an original series for Michael Eisner’s company, Vuguru. Prior to “Fetching,” Fiehler was a series regular on Ron Howard’s series “Mars” for National Geographic. Other work includes “The Fosters,” “Ray Donovan,” “Murder in the First” and “CSI.”

Sara Tomko

Asta Twelvetrees, “Resident Alien”

Sara Tomko stars in SYFY’s “Resident Alien” as Asta Twelvetrees. Strong and sarcastic, she works with Harry at the town’s health clinic.

Tomko is known for her recurring roles on “Sneaky Pete” and “Once Upon a Time,” as well as her appearances on “The Leftovers” and “The Son.”

She started her career in experimental theatre and musicals in Virginia, later moving to Los Angeles in 2007 to pursue film. Her first independent film roles aired on SYFY, and she is thrilled that her TV career has brought her full circle. She is an actor, singer, producer, poet an artist.

Tomko is represented by Bohemia Group and KMR Talent.

SciFiVision’s interview with Alan Tudyk and Chris Sheridan

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Tudyk, Reynolds, Bowen and Correia-Damude

Interview with Catherine Bell and Tom Stevens

TV Interview!

Tom Stevens and Catherine Bell of "Jailbreak Lovers" on Lifetime

Interview with Tom Stevens and Catherine Bell of “Jailbreak Lovers” on Lifetime by Suzanne 6/1/22

This was from a LIfetime press day covering three different movies. It was great to speak to Catherine Bell, who has been on so many series and in many movies. I’ve spoken with Tom Stevens a few times before. They were both great in this movie. Even though the movie is about two felons, it has a humorous side to it that improves on the story. I enjoyed it. Also, there are many dogs, which elevates it even further.

MODERATOR:  Wonderful. Well, thank you all for coming to our Summer 2022 Virtual Press Day. Please join me in welcoming the stars of “Jailbreak Lovers.” We have with us today executive producer and star Catherine Bell along with her costar Tom Stevens. First up is Tamara.

QUESTION:  Hi, how are you?

TOM STEVENS:  I’m good, Tamara, how you doing?

QUESTION:  I’m good. Thank you. So Toby always followed the rules and did what was expected of her. Can you guys identify with the character’s desire to be carefree, coloring outside the lines, not being perfect, or simply being wild and free for once?

CATHERINE BELL:  Well, I think probably anyone could relate to that.  Hopefully, people don’t resort to this sort of a, (laughs) craziness but, you know, I think there’s always that idea of, like, “Ooh, what if I, you know, broke the rules and did something wild for a moment.” I think that’s what – I wanted to at least give a sense of like – People are always going why would someone do this? Why would someone break the law and do something like this and, hopefully, we give you guys a little insight into where that comes from.

QUESTION:  Thank you.

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah, and I agree. I think that every person needs to kind of check in on their life at some point and go am I coloring too within the lines, o do I need to go outside of my comfort zone, because I think out of your comfort zone, outside your comfort zone is where you really learn who you are.

CATHERINE BELL:  Yeah.

QUESTION:  Thank you.

MODERATOR:  Wonderful. Thank you. Up next, we have a question from Suzanne. Suzanne, you may feel free to unmute.

QUESTION:  Hi. Catherine, since you were a producer on this movie, did you have any influence over the tone of the movie? It’s a little less serious than most Lifetime movies I’ve seen.

CATHERINE BELL:  You know, Katie Boland is our beautiful director. She brought her vision to this, which was this playful and high-energy and sexy and fun spirit. You know, I really — I think Tom and I both really enjoyed making this movie because it had all of that in it. It was just this fast-paced and just wild adventure that these two were on and, you know, definitely you have some say as a producer, but I got to say it all just kind of came together magically. There wasn’t a whole lot to do except become this character on my end, you know.

QUESTION:  And that same for you, Tom?

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah, no, I mean, I didn’t have the same kind of hand in it as Catherine did, but I mean it was what we brought kind of fit exactly what Katie wanted, what Catherine and I were doing, and it was just so fun to just — Like we shot so many scenes kind of like back to back to back to back and we always found like a fun way of connecting as these two people, because in the prison it was like a secret love, and then when we were out in the cabin it was more spontaneous and free, and every single time Catherine and I brought like a really strong connection and, yeah, it was just always fun. You know, every scene was always fun to shoot.

QUESTION:  Well, thanks. It was fun to watch.

CATHERINE BELL:  We joke we want to do a sequel. I don’t think it’ll happen. They’re not together, but we had too much making it.

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah.

QUESTION:  As long as you have dogs. That’s the good thing.

CATHERINE BELL:  Right, exactly.

TOM STEVENS:  Prison pen pals and dogs.

QUESTION:  Thank you.

MODERATOR:  Wonderful. Thank you, Suzanne. Up next we have Jamie. Jamie, you may feel free to unmute.

QUESTION:  Hi, thanks for talking to us today.  So can you kind of talk about when you’re doing something that’s based on real people, like, how — Can you talk about balancing kind of what you pull from that versus what you’re able to creatively add from yourself, for both of you?

CATHERINE BELL:  Tom, you go.

TOM STEVENS:  Oh, you want me to go.

CATHERINE BELL:  Yeah.

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah, Jamie, good to see you again.

QUESTION:  You too.

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah, it’s I think with John, he — like with Maynard, uh, there wasn’t a lot about him.  There’s kind of the story.  There’s a lot of Moll and like of everything that she went through, but for John it was kind of more free for me to just bring the foil to her husband, do you know what I mean? Like I had to represent something that was something that she was missing in her life, and it was a more free experience to build the character rather than actually like, you know, having interviews that I could bounce off of, like Catherine obviously had.

CATHERINE BELL:  Yeah. I, on the other hand, had a lot of interviews, and I watched all the ones that I could find of Toby.  Obviously, I don’t look anything like her so I gave that up quickly.  But there’s an essence to her that I tried to get.  You know, there’s just she’s got that little bit of the Kansas accent and, yeah, just this sweet woman who really just was totally taken by surprise by this guy, and it just completely altered the course of her life.  But, yeah, it was a lot of fun trying to become this woman who is very different than myself.

QUESTION:  Thank you so much, both of you.

CATHERINE BELL:  Thank you.

TOM STEVENS:  Thanks, Jamie.

MODERATOR:  Thank you, Jamie.  Up next is Mike Hughes. Mike, feel free to unmute.

QUESTION:  Okay. There we go. Okay, cool. Probably shortly after you finish this another real-life case like this came up in Alabama where someone escaped with (inaudible). I was wondering did this give you like special interest in it? Did you kind of follow that news story extra special? Do you may root for them or anything like that?

CATHERINE BELL:  I mean, you know, yeah, it was unbelievable that that happened. It was like, okay, life imitating art imitating real life, you know. It’s interesting that this happens a fair amount, you know, that these guys are in this unusual situation in a prison and fall for each other. The idea for me of crossing that line and going, “Yeah, let’s break out of jail,” I mean, really, you’re never going to get away with it, you know. That one ended very tragically but, yeah, it’s just fascinating.

QUESTION:  You didn’t root for them —

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah.

CATHERINE BELL:  What’s that?

TOM STEVENS:  Were you rooting for them, Catherine?

CATHERINE BELL:  Was I (laughs), I mean, I don’t think — no, I wasn’t really thinking about it either way. It was very, very sad, of course, how it ended but, yeah, I would have preferred a happier ending than that, for sure.

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah. And we kind of tell – we kind of tell the fictitious fun side of this, and I mean the true story between Toby and John is, you know, a little darker than this like in reality than the story that we told, and I’m sure that that story was darker, too. So, I mean, we can have with this because we’re making a movie about it but, you know, these people were going through something.  Yeah, it’s more serious when it’s real.

QUESTION:  Okay. Thanks.

MODERATOR:  Wonderful. Thank you, Mike. Up next we have Jay Bobbin. Jay, feel free to unmute.

QUESTION:  Hi, folks. Hi, Catherine. How are you?

CATHERINE BELL:  Hi, Jay.

QUESTION:  Hi, good to see you.

TOM STEVENS:  Hi, Jay.

QUESTION:  Catherine, question for you. You’ve done non-edgy for so many years now.  To step back into something that is decidedly edgy, an actor acts, obviously, that’s their profession, but was it an easy thing for you or did it take working up to this a little bit having done Cassie for so many years?

CATHERINE BELL:  Yeah, you know what? It’s always challenging to me, which is probably why I love acting so much.  It’s never just like, oh, a piece of cake.  Like it’s like, oh, who is this person, and in the beginning you don’t know who they are or how to become them and watching her interviews and kind of just trying to work on that was a beautiful challenge. I really loved it – really, really love stepping into this. And, yeah, edgy, edgy and also a very kind of withdrawn, like kind of toned-down person as well, someone who’s not so confident or whatever. So it was just a lot of fun for me to play all of those things.

QUESTION:  Thanks a lot.

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah, it was fun to witness, actually. It was fun to watch you build the character, yeah, yeah.

CATHERINE BELL:  Thank you. We had so much fun together.

TOM STEVENS:  I know.

MODERATOR:  Thank you, Jay.  Up next we have “Starry Constellation Magazine.”

QUESTION:  Well, Tom, they say you should never work with ids and animals onscreen, and you worked with a number of dogs. Talk about the training you went through for dog training.

TOM STEVENS:  So I’m an advocate for Cesar Mila and everything that he does with behavioral science and dog science, and I have a dog of my own that I have put through a rigorous training, and it comes naturally to me to be around animals and to be like an alpha or like a calm sort of presence with them. So that wasn’t hard for me.  What was when the dogs didn’t care that I was a calm presence or authoritative presence, and they were like my trainer’s behind the camera, and I could do whatever I want right now for the next thirty seconds while the cameras are rolling, and he starts eating a toy in the middle of our scene.  So there’s like there’s certain things that you can’t control when like a dog’s just on the side, and he just kind of starts doing his own thing, but there’s like a lot of things that you can do to just be like the calm presence for the dogs that they respect. They say don’t work with animals because animals are in the moment, and the audience will always be drawn to them, so it kind of forces you to be in the moment with the dog, and then it’s interesting for the audience to watch.

MODERATOR:  Awesome. Thank you. Up next we have Cynthia Horner.

QUESTION:  Hello.

CATHERINE BELL:  Hi.

TOM STEVENS:  Hi, hi, hi.

QUESTION:  I would like to ask both of you this question what is a memorable behind the scenes moment that you can tell us about when you were filming?

TOM STEVENS:  Hm.

CATHERINE BELL:  Hm.

TOM STEVENS:  There were a lot, there were a lot.

CATHERINE BELL:  I instantly thought of the car chase stuff.  That was just so much fun.

TOM STEVENS:  That was so much fun.

CATHERINE BELL:  Yeah. Actually, driving and then on the top of the truck where they’re towing you and you’re pretending there’s so much going on. We had some good laughs.

TOM STEVENS:  And getting arrested. I think I loved the feeling as when we got out of week one, when we got out of the prison. I mean we were shooting a prison movie so a lot of it had to be done on location in this corrections facility, and it felt very much like repeated scenes, like we were doing like similar scenes over and over and over again in this box, and then when we got out of that week it was like this freedom just opened up, and it really felt like the characters got to like go and see new places, and go to different restaurants, and do all this stuff. It was very much what the character is going through. So I love that like transition into the Toby and John being free period.

CATHERINE BELL:  True. I also really loved all the stuff in the cabin. It was just such a tiny, little cabin and our whole crew really bonded. Just it was, you know, just — It was Halloween, too, right, and the crew came in with the crazy costumes on and we were in our Toby and John costumes —

TOM STEVENS:  In our little, yeah — And it like nearly drowned us in rain. It was pouring rain so hard. It was like flooding around the cabin, it was crazy. And then our DP is in a Sumo suit, and it was hilarious.

QUESTION:  Wow, you guys had great stories to tell. Thank you.

TOM STEVENS:  No worries, Cynthia.

CATHERINE BELL:  Thank you, Cynthia.

MODERATOR:  Wonderful. Thank you, Cynthia. Up next we have Rick Bentley. Rick?

QUESTION:  Hi, can you hear me?

CATHERINE BELL: (Inaudible @ 00:14:32).

QUESTION:  Great. I’m sorry. Hey, Catherine, I’m just curious. This sort of ripped from the headlines, it’s something that’s been going on for years, and obviously there’s a big audience for that out there, do you think it’s a situation of people being sort of living vicariously through these wild moments or is it there by the grace of God goes me?

CATHERINE BELL:  Oh, man. You know, I’m sure it’s just that natural curiosity that all humans have of like what is going on in someone’s else world, you know. And, yes, this is a crazy world. It’s something that, hopefully, most people will never experience, and then there’s that other, you know, the concept of what were thinking? Why would somebody do that? So, hopefully, they get a little taste of that with what Tom and I did, you know, just the how they fell in love and what led this to this crazy idea that they might get away with running away together, you know.

QUESTION:  Thank you.

CATHERINE BELL:  Thank you.

MODERATOR:  Awesome. Thank you, Rick. Up next is Luaine Lee. Luaine.

QUESTION:  Yeah, Catherine, you were talking about the challenge and how you really adore the challenge in acting, and you’ve been doing it a long time, so what is it that you like best about acting and television, and what do you like the least?

CATHERINE BELL:  In television as opposed to film you mean or just in general, acting?

QUESTION:  Well, just in general acting.

CATHERINE BELL:  Yeah. I think I love so much about it. I love the process. I love the finding the character, and as I mentioned, the challenges of that, it keeps me on my toes and always wanting to improve and be better and even up until the scene is over, you’re still okay, “Well, the next take I want to try this. I want to do that. I want to make this better or different.” I love the camaraderie, and there’s just such a sense of family on these shows that you do together, movies, shows, whatever. You just meet such beautiful people, and so much I love about it. I love the effect it has on people when they’re watching it. I think probably I love the adventure of travel and going to different locations, but sometimes that’s challenging for my family, you know, just to be away so much, so that’s probably, if I could say here’s something I don’t like about it, sometimes that gets challenging. But, again, you just — I’ m so grateful for what I get to do, so I got no complaints.

QUESTION:  So what’s the worst part of it?

CATHERINE BELL:  Yeah, I think that, you know, being along in a hotel room for weeks at a time, especially in COVID.  There was one stretch I took my son to Toronto for “Good Witch”. It was thirteen weeks away from home. I couldn’t go back and forth because of the travel quarantine. That was intense.

QUESTION:  Oh, wow. Thank you.

CATHERINE BELL:  Yeah, thank you.

MODERATOR:  Thank you, Luaine. And then we have Steve (Gitmo @ 00:17:26). Steve?

QUESTION:  Hey, how are you guys?

CATHERINE BELL:  Hey, good.

TOM STEVENS:  I’m good.

QUESTION:  Good. I just wanted to ask how familiar were you or at all familiar with this story? Was it all kind of news to both of you when you got the script?

CATHERINE BELL:  I haven’t heard of it at all. When I started telling people about it a lot of people remembered seeing it on the news. It was on “Dateline” and “Anderson Cooper” and all of that, but I hadn’t heard of it at all. You, Tom?

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah, no, same. The escaping out of prison in a dog crate. I think it maybe a rang a bell but maybe I’m like, yeah, maybe that’s just a logical way to sneak out of prison.  But the case itself I hadn’t heard anything about it, then I started reading the script, and it was just so fun.

CATHERINE BELL:  Yeah.

QUESTION:  And, Tom, can you actually fit in a dog crate?

TOM STEVENS:  Easily, easily. That dog crate was too easy to fit into. I wanted a smaller one. I wanted to do contortion, you know.

QUESTION:  Thanks so much.

TOM STEVENS:  Thank you.

QUESTION:  Awesome. Thank you.  And we’re going to be wrapping here momentarily but I see two more hands are up. Jamie from SciFi Vision, did you have another question?

QUESTION:  Yeah, I can go again. I was going to ask about the dog crate, but so what did the two of you learn about yourselves from working on this show either as performers or just as people in general?

CATHERINE BELL:  Ooh.

TOM STEVENS:  Ooh.

CATHERINE BELL:  Wow. Tom, do you want to answer? I want to think about that.

TOM STEVENS:  I think what I learned about myself was it’s — With all the challenges that came with this there’s a lot of layers to John and playing John, and when I ever felt like I was kind of lost in it all I knew I had to do was connect with Catherine, and I don’t know if I learned that about myself, but I did learn that I can trust in Catherine whenever I feel like I’m lost in a scene. Is that me learning something? I don’t know. I learned that about Catherine.

CATHERINE BELL:  Hm, thank you. Yeah, I had such an incredible time working with you and our connection. It was just really, really special; really, just like you said, you just look in your eyes and it was like all there, and I don’t know.

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah.

CATHERINE BELL:  It was probably just a great realization that I can do this sort of a role, which was so different for me and being able to trust in you and just making that happen. It was so magical.

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah.

QUESTION:  Well, thank you and I enjoyed it, so.

TOM STEVENS:  Thank you, Jamie. We loved it, too.

MODERATOR:  Awesome, and now our final question is from Mike Hughes. Mike?

QUESTION:  Yeah. I’ll just ask real briefly, all your impressions of working when you were in the correction facility there, it looked like it wasn’t a high security one. It looked like it was maybe medium or a low-security facility. Nothing struck you about it there and did you get a chance to interact with the prisoners at all? Were they friendly to you? Just give us your overall impressions.

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah.

CATHERINE BELL:  Yeah. Well, it wasn’t an active prison, so it was actually shut down. So, but still I, for me, it was very — And, Tom, you were the one in the cell, but so cold, so impersonal. I can’t even imagine being in a cell like that for years or for life. It’s just wow, where I really just realized what that experience could be like, just a little taste of it.

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah. Again, it’s an old youth center, so it’s a youth correction center in Burnaby that we were shooting in and all the other prisoners were background so, you know, not actual prisoners, but I did get a chance on my other show in Halifax I got to talk to a lady on our crew who had spent four months in prison that year on a charge that she was serving from years prior. It just all caught up with her, and she’s a good friend of mine and we sat down and just like hatch — She gave me as much insight on what living in prison was like, and I just asked for words that would come up in her mind every day, like what’s something that you would think every single day, and frustration is a big one, and you can feel frustrated places like that because it, like Catherine said, it’s so confined and so isolating, and there’s no time, and you just — It’s very plain and uncomfortable. Like there’s no cushions. So you can imagine a human being whose mind needs stimulation become completely frustrated in a situation like that.

QUESTION:  Okay, thanks.

MODERATOR:  Thank you. And thank you, Catherine and Tom for joining us today. “Jailbreak Lovers” premieres Saturday, July 2nd, at 08:00 p.m., seven Central only on Lifetime. Stay tuned for “He’s Not Worth Dying For” in a moment.

MORE INFO:

Official Lifetime Site and Preview

Inspired by a true story, Jailbreak Lovers follows Toby (Catherine Bell), a woman who always played by the rules. Toby never ran a red light, married the only boy she ever dated, raised a family and went to church. She did everything she was supposed to do. When Toby loses her job and starts a non-profit to rehabilitate abused, rescued dogs at the local prison no one could have anticipated that she would end up on the run, shacked up with her younger lover John (Tom Stevens), a convicted murderer. The star-crossed lovers hatch a plan to break John out of prison by smuggling him out in one of the dog crates, sparking a federal manhunt.

Jailbreak Lovers is produced for Lifetime by Crate Productions Inc. Catherine Bell, Angela Mancuso, Stacy Mandelberg and up-and-coming director Katie Boland are executive producers. Supervising producers are Oliver DeCaigny and Tom Stanford. Boland directed from a script by Anne-Marie Hess and Jodie Burke.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

Back to the Primetime Articles and Interviews Page

poster for "Jailbreak Lovers"

Review of “Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Eleventh Season”

DVD Review!

"Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Eleventh Season" DVD cover

“Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Eleventh Season” Review by Suzanne 6/10/21

This is my favorite comedy, since “Frasier” left the air. Yes, “Seinfeld” was very good, but I liked “Frasier” better. “Curb” is better than both. In part, that’s because it’s on HBO. Larry David can come up with these great ideas that would never have worked on broadcast TV.  This season, they had some great guest stars such as Jon Hamm and Tracey Ullman.  One of the new characters, Maria Sofia (Keyla Monterroso Mejia), is polarizing among fans. She’s both annoying and hilarious. More importantly, she makes Larry funnier.  Leon is also one of our favorite characters, and he continues to make us laugh uproariously.

I hope you can enjoy these episodes as much as we did. Each season is only 10 episodes, and it’s hard to wait between seasons while Larry comes up with the ideas and perfects them.

The DVD, unfortunately, doesn’t have any features or extras.  At least, though, you shouldn’t have too much trouble taking off the shrink wrap.

Buy this DVD

MORE INFORMATION:

HBO’s Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award Winning TV Series

Brings Home the Antics

CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM:

THE COMPLETE ELEVENTH SEASON

Contains All 10 Hilarious Episodes from the Eleventh Season

Available on DVD June 14, 2022

BURBANK, CA (April 19, 2022) – HBO’s iconic comedic series, from writer/producer/comedian Larry David, will have you laughing in your seats as Warner Bros. Home Entertainment releases Curb Your EnthusiasmThe Complete Eleventh Season on DVD June 14, 2022. Life will be prett-ay, prett-ay, prett-ay good as you binge on all 10 episodes from the outrageous eleventh season. Curb Your EnthusiasmThe Complete Eleventh Season will retail for $19.99 SRP ($24.99 in Canada) and will also be available to own on Digital via purchase from all major digital retailers. All seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm are now available for streaming on HBO Max.

Starring Larry David as an over-the-top version of himself, the iconic Emmy® and Golden Globe®-winning comedy series Curb Your Enthusiasm offers a tongue-in-cheek depiction of the writer/producer/comedian’s fictionalized life. With Jeff Garlin (as manager Jeff Greene), Susie Essman (as Jeff’s wife Susie), Cheryl Hines (as Larry’s ex-wife Cheryl), JB Smoove (as Leon), and Richard Lewis and Ted Danson (as themselves), all reprising their roles alongside a rotating cast of familiar faces, including Vince Vaughn (as Freddy Funkhouser) and Tracey Ullman (as Irma Kostroski), Season 11 finds Larry once again seeking and dispensing his own peculiar brand of social justice.

Curb Your Enthusiasm is created by Larry David; executive producers, Larry David, Jeff Garlin, Jeff Schaffer; co-executive producer, Laura Streicher; consulting producers, Jon Hayman, Steve Leff.

10 EPISODES

  1. The Five-Foot Fence
  2. Angel Muffin
  3. The Mini Bar
  4. The Watermelon
  5. IRASSHAIMASE!
  6. Man Fights Tiny Woman
  7. Irma Kostroski
  8. What Have I Done?
  9. Igor, Gregor, & Timor
  10. The Mormon Advantage

DIGITAL

Curb Your Enthusiasm is currently available to own on Digital. Digital purchase allows consumers to instantly stream and download to watch anywhere and anytime on their favorite devices. Digital movies and TV shows are available from various digital retailers including Prime Video, Apple TV, Google Play, Vudu and others.

BASICS

Release Date: Jun 14, 2022

Presented in 16×9 widescreen format

Running Time: Feature: Approx. 330 mins

DVD Price: $19.99 ($24.99 in Canada)

2 Discs (2 DVD-9s)

Audio: English (5.1)

Subtitles: ESDH

About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment’s physical and digital distribution businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. An industry leader since its inception, WBHE oversees the global distribution of content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD) and digital media in the form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels. WBHE distributes its product through third party retail partners and licensees.

About Warner Bros. Discovery

Warner Bros. Discovery (NASDAQ: WBD) is a leading global media and entertainment company that creates and distributes the world’s most differentiated and complete portfolio of content and brands across television, film and streaming. Available in more than 220 countries and territories and 50 languages, Warner Bros. Discovery inspires, informs and entertains audiences worldwide through its iconic brands and products including: Discovery Channel, discovery+, CNN, CNN+, DC, Eurosport, HBO, HBO Max, HGTV, Food Network, OWN, Investigation Discovery, TLC, Magnolia Network, TNT, TBS, truTV, Travel Channel, MotorTrend, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies and others. For more information, please visit www.wbd.com.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

The opinions in these articles are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of TVMEG.COM or its other volunteers.

Larry with Irma Kostroski in Season 11

Interview with Chi McBride

TV Interview!

"How We Roll" cast on CBS

Interview with actors from “How We Roll” on CBS by Suzanne 3/23/22

This was a nice CBS press day – my first with them. I was very happy to be included, even though I was only able to ask one question.

This seems like a fun sitcom, so I’ll definitely be checking it out when it airs tomorrow.

CBS SPRING 2022 VIRTUAL PRESS DAY
“How We Roll” with actors Pete Holmes, Katie Lowes, Chi McBride, Julie White and Mark Gross, Executive Producer
Virtual via Zoom
March 23, 2022
© 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.
“How We Roll” premieres Thursday, March 31st, at 9:30 p.m. Eastern on CBS, and streaming on Paramount Plus.

The show is based on the life of real-life Midwestern dad, Tom Smallwood, who decided to pursue his dream of becoming a pro bowler after he was laid off from his job

There was a video from Brian d’Arcy James, Executive Producer, who couldn’t be there. He told us about how the show came about. He heard about Smallwood because they’re both from Saginaw, MN. He fell in love with the idea of this guy deciding to follow his dream, regardless of the odds against him, in order to take care of his family. They loved and supported him, and so did his whole community. James thought this would make a great story. It’s certainly an interesting idea. I don’t think there’s every been a sitcom about bowling before. There was the comedy-drama, “Ed,” about a lawyer who returns to his hometown and buys a bowling alley…he practiced law out of it. There have been many sitcoms about working class people who go bowling regularly, such as “Laverne and Shirley” and “Roseanne.” There’s never been one that’s mostly about bowling, let alone one that is about a professional bowler. I just hope it’s funny because that’s my main criteria for a comedy. It has to make me laugh, often, or I won’t keep watching it. We’ll see!

I was really happy to be able to ask Chi McBride a question because he’s been in so many great shows I’ve watched and loved, such as “Boston Public,” “Human Target,” “House” and many more. I asked him, “You’ve done a lot of dramas over the past — I don’t know, how long it’s been…. A couple of decades. But you got your start in sitcoms. So, what was it that attracted you to this project?”

He gave me an unexpectedly heartfelt answer. It was really nice. He confided that not only did he “love the story,” but he could relate to it. He said, “30 years ago, I left my successful career at the phone company when I was making $300 a week, against the advice of my broker.” He drove from Atlanta to California to be in show business. He mentioned that he had a lot of confidence. He probably had some money to keep him afloat for awhile, too, is my guess, since he decided he wouldn’t be a waiter or anything like that. He credits that confidence with getting into the business, which he’s worked in for 30 years. He can identify with the situation because everyone thought he was crazy, too, for taking this chance.

He talked about his character, Archie, who is a mentor to the main character, Tom (played by Pete Holmes). He told us that Archie has believed in Tom since he was a child. He really loves characters like Archie and felt that this was “a wonderful opportunity.” Also, he added that he knew all the other people in the cast and their work. He praised them for being both talented and “lovely people at the same time.” He shared that it’s “been a real gas, to tell you the truth.” Going back to my question about having done mostly drama for a long time, he did admit that he hadn’t been “in front of three camera format in 25 years” (that’s how they shoot sitcoms), so he found it “daunting” at first. He gave credit to director Mark Cendrowski for helping him figure it out and get over that bump road. He joked, “it was like riding a bike. Like, when you ride a bike into a tree at first.” He was very funny throughout his answer, and we all laughed a lot. The whole panel was pretty funny. Anyway, he concluded that he’s “just glad to be here” and that the basic story inspired him.

Producer Mark Gross talked about his part in bringing the show to life. He wanted to write something with hope in it. James told him about the Tom Smallwood story. He praised Tom’s beautiful writing about Tom and his story. It really inspired him. He spoke in detail about how he worked on it feverishly (sometimes literally, when he had COVID). He can’t believe that they got such an “incredible, amazing cast.” He thinks Tom’s story is filled with miracles.

Pete Holmes was asked to compare his other show, “Crashing,” based on his early days of trying to make it as a comedian, to this one, since they’re both about someone giving up steady work to pursue their dreams.

Pete answered that he never though of that comparison before. He confided that his parents didn’t seem too concerned about his becoming a comedian. He added, “I don’t know if that’s because they believed in me, or they just weren’t paying attention.” Everyone laughed, so he riffed on that idea for a minute. It was hilarious. Then he told us, more seriously, that his parents were always very supportive of him, and other people he knew ere, too. He believes that you should get rid of the “naysayers” in your life if you want to be successful. He also mentioned that he always saw some other comedians that were unsuccessful because they were always comparing themselves or their careers to other comedians, which he referred to as “comedy cancer.” He told us that Mark Gross and one of the other writers (Tommy Johnagin) are both great stand-up performers and writers. He talked about how he and his wife read the script when he got it, praying that it was good. They enjoyed it and laughed, and appreciated that the wife was not just the usual TV “nagging wife.” It reminds him of the series “Ted Lasso,” in the sense that the wife believes more in Tom than he does. He also thought that the other characters were not stereotypes, either. Back to the question, he said that he’s very grateful that he didn’t have people doubting him when he was starting out. He “was one of the first people to go to college” in his family, so they said that he could do whatever he wanted after that.

Another reporter asked a question, but unfortunately, the actors didn’t answer it seriously. It was a very funny time for all of us, though. He/she asked what the actors found it easiest and most difficult as far as connecting to their character. Instead, Pete joked about the other new CBS show “Beyond the Edge,” saying that “I thought the monkeys that were encroaching on our camp were really difficult.” From then on, it only got funnier. I can only hope that the real show is half as funny as these guys were in this panel.

MORE INFO:

CBS ANNOUNCES NEW COMEDY “HOW WE ROLL” TO PREMIERE THURSDAY, MARCH 31 AT 9:30 PM

How We Roll,” Formerly Titled “Smallwood,” Stars Pete Holmes, Katie Lowes,

Chi McBride, Julie White and Mason Wells, and Is Based on the Life of

Professional Bowler Tom Smallwood

CBS will premiere the new comedy HOW WE ROLL (formerly titled “Smallwood”) on Thursday, March 31 (9:30-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, after B POSITIVE completes its second season order. The series will also be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+*. Based on the life story of professional bowler Tom Smallwood, the series stars Pete Holmes as Tom, a stoic Midwest husband and dad who gets laid off from a car assembly line and makes the extraordinary decision to provide for his family by following his dream of becoming a professional bowler.

As a skilled player, Tom knows that in bowling you get two chances: no matter what you do with the first ball, you get another one to make it right – the ultimate second chance. Keeping that in mind, he begins his new career with the loving “OK” from his wife, Jen (Katie Lowes); the unfaltering support of Archie (Chi McBride), his mentor and the proud owner of Archie’s Lanes: Home of the Curly Fry; the cautious backing of his protective mom, Helen (Julie White); and the encouragement of his son, Sam (Mason Wells). It remains to be seen if Tom will strike it big on the pro bowler circuit, but right now, the pins are set, he’s taking his second shot, and it’s 300 or bust.

HOW WE ROLL is produced by CBS Studios. Mark Gross, David Hollander and Brian d’Arcy James are the executive producers. Mark Cendrowski directed the pilot.

*Paramount+ Premium subscribers will have access to stream live via the live feed of their local CBS affiliate on the service as well as on demand. Essential-tier subscribers will have access to on-demand the day after the episode airs.

Official CBS website: https://www.cbs.com/shows/how-we-roll/

BIOS

Pete Holesm on "How We Roll" on CBSPete Holmes (Tom on HOW WE ROLL)

Pete Holmes is a nationally touring standup comedian, actor, “Christ-leaning spiritual seeker,” improviser, writer, cartoonist, and late-night host. Most recently, “Comedy Sex God,” Pete’s first book, was published May 14, 2019 by Harper Wave. Part autobiography, part philosophical inquiry, and part spiritual quest, “Comedy Sex God” is a hilarious, profound, and enlightening romp around his fertile mind.

In March 2019, Pete’s semi-autobiographical HBO comedy series, “Crashing,” that he created, starred in and executive-produced alongside Judd Apatow, celebrated its third and final season. “Crashing” was critically acclaimed and followed a stand-up comic (Holmes) who reevaluates his life and enters the New York comedy scene after discovering his wife’s infidelity. Currently, Pete is the host of the wildly popular podcast, “You Made It Weird,” which is a comedic exploration of the meaning of life with guests ranging from Deepak Chopra and Elizabeth Gilbert, to Seth Rogen and Garry Shandling. With more than 660 episodes, “You Made It Weird” has been downloaded over six million times and is recognized annually as a top podcast.

Since 2011, Pete has starred in CollegeHumor’s hilarious web series, “Badman.” “Badman” parodies the Christopher Nolan Batman films, with Pete playing the Caped Crusader as oblivious and incompetent, much to the annoyance of friends and foes alike. Pete also provided the voice for the talking baby in the award-winning E*TRADE ad-campaign.

An accomplished standup, with three hour-long television specials (HBO’s “Pete Holmes: Dirty Clean,” HBO’s “Pete Holmes: Faces and Sounds,” and Comedy Central’s “Pete Holmes: Nice Try, The Devil!”) and innumerous late-night appearances, Pete also hosted his own late-night TBS talk show, “The Pete Holmes Show,” that aired for two seasons. Pete has written for several television series, including “The Simpsons” and “Outsourced,” and many of his cartoons have been published in “The New Yorker,” which he thinks is pretty neat.

Currently, Holmes lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter. His birthday is March 30. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @peteholmes.

Chi McBride as "Archie" from the CBS series HOW WE ROLL, premiering Thursday, March 31 (9:30-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on the CBS app and Paramount+. Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.Chi McBride (Archie in HOW WE ROLL)

A prolific actor in both television and film, Chi McBride most recently starred in the hit series “Hawaii Five-0” as Captain Lou Grover, on the Network.

McBride’s extensive feature credits include “I, Robot,” “The Terminal,” “Draft Day” with Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner, “Annapolis,” “The Kid” with Bruce Willis, “Gone in Sixty Seconds” with Nick Cage, “The Distinguished Gentleman” with Eddie Murphy, and the Oscar-nominated “What’s Love Got to Do With It.”

He is also known for his principal roles in Bryan Fuller’s “Pushing Daisies” and David E. Kelley’s “Boston Public.” McBride has also lent his voice to the Marvel world playing the iconic ‘Nick Fury’ in multiple animated series, including “Avengers Assemble.”

McBride is from Chicago and currently resides in Los Angeles. His birthday is Sept. 23.

Katie Lowes as "Jen" from the CBS series HOW WE ROLL, premiering Thursday, March 31 (9:30-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on the CBS app and Paramount+. Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.Katie Lowes (Jen on HOW WE ROLL)

Katie Lowes is a force on both stage and screen. She is perhaps best known for starring as ‘Quinn Perkins’ for the entire seven seasons of the hit series “Scandal.” Lowes starred opposite a stellar cast including Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn in the fan favorite series created by Shonda Rhimes.

Recently, Lowes starred in the original television movie CHRISTMAS TAKES FLIGHT, on the Network. Currently, she stars in Shonda Rhimes’s Netflix series “Inventing Anna,” alongside Anna Chlumsky, Julia Garner and Laverne Cox.

Lowes is in the fourth season of her popular parenting podcast, “Katie’s Crib,” which is produced by Shondaland in partnership with iHeartRadio. “Katie’s Crib,” which launched in Spring 2018, is a weekly podcast covering the unexpected joys, pains, foibles, and hilarity of new motherhood. Each episode highlights a specific parenting issue from a variety of different points of view. Lowes conducts frank, intimate conversation with fellow moms (such as A-List actresses Kristen Bell, America Ferrera, and more) about the ups and downs of being a new parent.

In summer 2021, Lowes lent her voice to Netflix’s animated film “Vivo.” The film also featured voices from Lin-Manuel Miranda, Zoe Saldana, Gloria Estefan, Nicole Byer and more, with Miranda writing several songs for the movie.

In fall 2018, Lowes made her Broadway debut, starring in the Tony-nominated musical “Waitress,” with Katharine McPhee. Lowes played the role of ‘Dawn’ opposite her real-life husband, actor Adam Shapiro.

Lowes is no stranger to the big or small screen. Over the years she has appeared in big budget films, such as Disney’s “Ralph Breaks the Internet” and Dreamworks’ “Transformers 2,” Bad Robot’s “Super 8” directed by JJ Abrams and was the voice of Abigail in the 2015 Academy Award-winning animated feature film “Big Hero 6.” In addition, she voiced an animated character in the 2015 Academy Award-winning animated short film, “Feast,” as well as the Oscar-nominated Disney film “Wreck It Ralph.” Lowes was the inspiration behind the motion and movement work for Idina Menzel’s character, Elsa, in the movie “Frozen.”

Additionally, she has appeared in several independent films, including “Dinner for Four,” “The Job,” “Callers” and “Bear” and “Café.” She has been a guest star on hit series, such as “The Closer,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Private Practice,” “Leverage,” “Castle,” “The Sopranos,” “NCIS,” on the Network, and was a series regular on “Easy Money,” created by producers of “The Sopranos.”

Lowes is regularly seen guest co-hosting “Live with Kelly and Ryan” alongside Ryan Seacrest.

Born in Queens, New York, Lowes is a graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Lowes is the co-artistic director of IAMA Theatre Company, which was named one of the top 20 regional theatres in the country. IAMA is in the midst of its 13th season in Los Angeles.

Currently, Lowes lives in Los Angeles with her husband. Her birthday is Sept. 22. Follow her on Twitter @KatieQLowes and on Instagram @ktqlowes.

Julie White as "Helen" from the CBS series HOW WE ROLL, premiering Thursday, March 31 (9:30-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on the CBS app and Paramount+. Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Julie White (Helen on HOW WE ROLL)

 Julie White is a Tony Award winner for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play for her role in “The Little Dog Laughed,” and starred in Joe Mantello’s 2015 production of Lisa D’Amour’s play “Airline Highway,” for which she was nominated for Tony, Drama Desk and Drama League awards.

Tony-nominated for her performance in the 2019 Taylor Mac-created “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus” on Broadway opposite Nathan Lane, White earlier starred on Broadway in Lucas Hnath’s “A Doll’s House 2” with Stephen Henderson and Jane Houdyshell, and opposite Matthew Broderick and Annaleigh Ashford in the revival of A.R. Gurney’s “Sylvia” for director Dan Sullivan.

White’s additional Broadway credits include “Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike,” “The Heidi Chronicles,” and Off-Broadway credits “The Understudy” and “Fiction” for The Roundabout, “Twelfth Night” at The Delacorte for The Public Theatre and “Bad Dates” for Playwrights Horizons, to name some favorites. She won an Obie Award, The Elliot Norton Award, the Ovation Award and been nominated multiple times for Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, and Drama League Awards.

On television, White recurred as Antoinette, “Nurse Jackie”s AA sponsor; opposite John Goodman in the Garry Trudeau/Amazon series “Alpha House”; and spent a season on “Go On” opposite Matthew Perry, for which she won the Gracie Award. Other memorable TV roles are Mitzi Dalton Huntley in Alan Ball’s “Six Feet Under,” Nadine Swoboda on “Grace Under Fire,” Dr. Anne Morella on “Law & Order: SVU” and comedy appearances on cult favorites “You’re the Worst” and “Man Seeking Woman.”

Coming up, in addition to HOW WE ROLL, White will appear in the new Apple + series “Roar” among an all-star cast, including Nicole Kidman and Cynthia Erivo, as well as the Apple+ miniseries “WeCrashed” opposite Anne Hathaway. Other television credits include White starring opposite Kiefer Sutherland and Anthony Edwards on the final season of “Designated Survivor” and appearing in the critically acclaimed limited series “Mrs. America,” with Cate Blanchett and Sarah Paulson.

On the big screen, White appeared in “Lincoln” for Steven Spielberg opposite Daniel Day Lewis and Sally Field, in addition to being a staple on the indie scene in such festival films as “Breaking Upwards,” “Hello I Must Be Going,” “Morning,” “My Idiot Brother” and “Life Partners.” Additional studio features include the massively successful “Transformers” franchise, “Michael Clayton” opposite George Clooney, “The Astronaut Farmer” with Billy Bob Thornton, and the animated film “Monsters and Aliens”.

White resides in Northern Westchester, NY, when not filming. Her birthday is June 4. Follow her on Instagram @missjuliewhite.

Mark Gross, producer/writer for "How We Roll" on CBS.

Mark Gross is a producer and writer, known for Mike & Molly (2010), Man with a Plan (2016) and Gary Unmarried (2008).

 

 

 

 

 

PETE HOLMES STARS IN THE NEW COMEDY INSPIRED BY THE LIFE OF PROFESSIONAL BOWLER TOM SMALLWOOD, WHO MAKES THE EXTRAORDINARY DECISION TO FOLLOW HIS DREAM OF BECOMING A PROFESSIONAL BOWLER, ON THE SERIES PREMIERE OF “HOW WE ROLL,” THURSDAY, MARCH 31

Katie Lowes, Chi McBride, Julie White and Mason Wells Also Star

“Pilot” – Pete Holmes stars in a new comedy inspired by the life of professional bowler Tom Smallwood, who gets laid off from his factory job and makes the extraordinary decision to follow his dream of becoming a professional bowler, on the series premiere of the CBS Original series HOW WE ROLL, Thursday, March 31 (9:30-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+*. Katie Lowes, Chi McBride, Julie White and Mason Wells also star.

As a skilled player, Tom (Holmes) knows that in bowling you get two chances; no matter what you do with the first ball, you get another one to make it right – the ultimate second chance. Keeping that in mind, Tom begins his new career with the loving okay from his wife, Jen (Lowes); the unfaltering support of Archie (McBride), his mentor and the proud owner of Archie’s Lanes: Home of the Curly Fry; the cautious backing of his protective mom, Helen (White); and the encouragement of his son, Sam (Wells). It remains to be seen if Tom will strike it big on the Pro Bowler circuit, but right now, the pins are set, he’s taking his second shot and it’s 300 or bust!

REGULAR CAST:

Pete Holmes (Tom)
Katie Lowes (Jen)
Chi McBride (Archie)
Julie White (Helen)
Mason Wells (Sam)

RECURRING CAST:

Tahj Mowry (Lewell)
Amanda Perez (Tia)
Greg Romero Wilson (William)
Matt McCarthy (Carl)
Judy Kain (Mimi)

WRITTEN BY: Mark Gross

DIRECTED BY: Mark Cendrowski

TOM MUST CHOOSE BETWEEN LOYALTY TO ARCHIE, HIS MENTOR AND COACH, AND MONEY WHEN HE’S OFFERED A NEW SPONSORSHIP DEAL, BUT HE CAN ONLY FEATURE ONE LOGO ON HIS BOWLING SHIRT, ON “HOW WE ROLL,” THURSDAY, APRIL 7

“The Sponsor” – Tom must choose between loyalty to his mentor, Archie, and money when his first TV interview leads to a new sponsorship deal, but he can only feature one logo on his bowling shirt: Archie Lanes, Home of the Curly Fry, or Powell Mortuary. Also, Jen’s boss stifles her creativity at the salon, on the CBS Original series HOW WE ROLL, Thursday, April 7 (9:30-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+*.

REGULAR CAST:

Pete Holmes (Tom)
Katie Lowes (Jen)
Chi McBride (Archie)
Julie White (Helen)
Mason Wells (Sam)

RECURRING CAST:

Tahj Mowry (Lewell)
Amanda Perez (Tia)
Greg Romero Wilson (William)
Matt McCarthy (Carl)
Judy Kain (Mimi)

GUEST CAST:

McKale Jude Bingham (Lee)
Kerrice Ayanna Brooks (Hannah)
Brittany Baker (TV Reporter)
Sarah Lilly (Sandy)
French Stewart (Jacob Powell)

WRITTEN BY: Michael Glouberman

DIRECTED BY: Betsy Thomas

GENRE: Comedy

TOM CONSIDERS SELLING HIS PRIZED BASEBALL CARD COLLECTION IN ORDER TO BRING IN SOME MUCH-NEEDED CASH TO TREAT JEN, WHO’S BEEN WORKING EXTRA HOURS, ON “HOW WE ROLL,” THURSDAY, APRIL 14

“The Hustle” – Looking for ways to make extra cash, Tom considers selling his prized baseball card collection so he can treat Jen, who’s been working extra hours at the salon, on the CBS Original series HOW WE ROLL, Thursday, April 14 (9:30-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+*.

REGULAR CAST:

Pete Holmes (Tom)
Katie Lowes (Jen)
Chi McBride (Archie)
Julie White (Helen)
Mason Wells (Sam)

RECURRING CAST:

Tahj Mowry (Lewell)
Amanda Perez (Tia)
Greg Romero Wilson (William)
Matt McCarthy (Carl)
Judy Kain (Mimi)

GUEST CAST:

Greg Winter (Ben)
Sean Cook (Brad)
Laura Buckles (Brenda)

WRITTEN BY: Tommy Johnagin

DIRECTED BY: Betsy Thomas

GENRE: Comedy

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Interview with Bradley Constant, Uli Latukefu and Adrian Groulx

TV Interview!

Bradley Constant, Uli Latukefu and Adrian Groulx of "Young Rock" on NBC

Interview with Bradley Constant, Uli Latukefu and Adrian Groulx of “Young Rock” on NBC Thane 3/9/22

Speaking with these three young men was almost like talking to “The Rock” himself! They were a lot of fun to chat with. I especially enjoyed hearing about Uli and Bradley’s workouts.  Don’t miss the Season 2 premiere 3/15!

Jamie: Bradley, I love the dynamics between teenage Duane and Ata. Talk about what we will be exploring in their relationship this season.

Bradley: Oh yeah. That’s– I will agree with you. I love that relationship just as much. Coming back this season, I was really hoping to have more scenes that would show that special dynamic between Dwayne and his mom because me and my mom are so close and she’s always been there for me and that’s always been kind of a staple in me becoming who I am, and this season, it really opens up a lot more in my timeline, especially, Dwayne really leaned on his mom. When things were really hard, she was always there for him. When he was lost, she always found them and kind of kept them moving forward and always staying positive. And this season, there’s a lot more of that.

Jamie: Uli, Stacy mentioned that she’ll be getting to work more with you this season as well because you’re more grown and you’re exploring the older aspects of Dwayne a lot as well. And she noted that 20-year-old Dwayne also butts heads a lot with hi mom as well. And it’s hard to parent from far away, you know, you’re in Miami at this time. What did Dwayne talk about with you about their relationship as far as mother and son being so loving and so close, yet being so far away at this point in their lives?

Uli: Yeah, we didn’t actually– Dwayne and I didn’t actually hit on anything with that for this season. But I always knew from the outset, from season one, that their relationship was really really close… is really, really close. The distance thing for me… it doesn’t matter where– Dwayne could be across, you know, the other side of the world and Ata could be on the other side, you know, as they are often at times. But they’re so close, they’ll be on the phone with each other. And that’s the same thing that happens now in our show. It’s like, they’re never far from each other at all. Ata is always checking in or, [saying] “Have you done this? We’ve done this, we’ve done this. Have you received this package?” or whatnot. And I think that’s how a mum is, you know? My mum was always checking up on me, or [asking] why wasn’t I at home at particular time. Um, let’s not get into that…

(Laughter)

Uli: But that’s what moms do. We’re their babies. So with Dwayne and Ata, it’s no different,

Stephanie: So, um, Adrian, one of my favorite parts of the show is the relationship between young Dewey and Andre the Giant. Is that something we’re going to get to continue to see more of in season two?

Adrian: I definitely agree with you. That is definitely one of my favorite aspects of my character’s scenes. And we will get to see a little bit more of Andre and Dewey having some fun.

Stephanie: And, Uli, you’re up to the point where The Rock becomes The Rock. Did you have to learn how to wrestle to play The Rock as he learned how to wrestle.

I did. And we don’t actually jump straight into Dwayne becoming the rock. Obviously he had a quite a bit of a transition from when he stopped playing football. So it was almost like it was parallel with my own learning of how to wrestle. In the storyline Dwayne is learning how to get everything down pat, and so was I, as an actor. So I learned, but I loved it. I grew up playing football, uh, Rugby Union here in Australia. So the contact was– I just felt in my element and, uh, and took to it pretty quickly. So… So, uh, you know, we’ll see… we’ll see if the wrestling fans agree.

Stephanie: We always hear stories from young wrestlers about when they took their first bump. So what was that like for you?

Uli: Oh my gosh. Let’s just say a few crash mats. It was, uh, yeah, it was tough. It’s not as easy, and I will say this, you know… I think the general perception outside of wrestling fans is that it’s all make believe, but I guarantee you, the hits are real. And your body.. We ended up shooting 13-hour days. And then at the end of those 13 hours, come and rehearse wrestling. So your body feels it, and full credit to everyone who gets into the squaredd circle, as they say.

Stephanie: And, Bradley (and for everyone), you guys all got to actually work together in the Christmas episode. Is that something you’d like to do more of in other, maybe special episodes?

Bradley: Oh, are you kidding me? I would love that. There’s so many, like, fun ideas you can think of. You could do, like, a Halloween episode. I would love to do a musical episode. We can all be in something like that. That’d be pretty cool.

Uli: Yeah.

Bradley: I know that the opportunities are endless. I’d love to do it.

Uli: We pitched it, by the way.

Bradley: Yeah, we pitched it.

Uli: So Joseph Lee Anderson and I (sorry, I don’t know if we have time for this, but) were singing backstage, and just fooling around. And then, uh, Brian Goatz, who’s the producer from Seven Bucks (Production) was there, and he started recording. And then sent it to DJ. So I dunno if that’s, you know, potentially, we could have a [musical] “Young Rock.”

Bradley: And they can both sing… just about everyone on this show can actually really sing. You know what? Let’s go for it.

Stephanie: Thank you.

Moderator: Okay. Next we have Thane with The TV MegaSite.

Uli: Hey, Thane.

Bradley: What’s up?

Thane: Bradley and Uli, do you spend a lot of time working out? How much time per week?

Uli: I’ll take this one. Uh, I train maybe five days, depending, five days a week. I really enjoy staying in shape and going to the gym and working out. It helps me quite a lot. Um, so yeah, so I mix up weight training with, um, Very little cardio. So that’s what I that’s what I like to do.

(Bradley laughs at his cardio comment)

Bradley: During filming, me and my buddy, Michael, we would.. we’d go to the gym every morning at 3:00 AM. And that was the first time I’ve ever been that religious about it. Like this season, it was probably the most I’ve ever worked out in my life. I really enjoyed it. And it’s, like, it’s followed me ever since. So it’s about six, seven days a week now. I’ll take off and do… I’ll do more cardio because I like it. (Laughs)

Uli: By the way, Bradley was up at 3:00 AM every morning. This is no word of a lie. And I would see him and another cast mate (who I can’t announce) at the gym every morning, 3:30, you know, so kudos to you, bruh.

Thane: Did you have to work hard to try to act like The Rock? And did he give you any pointers?

Bradley: Uli, you can go first, man.

Uli: Uh, yeah, “Don’t be terrible.” No, he didn’t say that.

(Laughter)

Uli: Uh, he really– Dwayne’s great. He gave us a lot of freedom, and basically, the number one thing for me through our conversations was — particularly in his younger years — he was very driven. He was very focused about achieving something. He wasn’t too sure about what that was or what that looked like. But he knew he was meant for something great. And he was willing to put in the work. And I think for me, Dwayne’s advice was, “Always keep that in the back of your mind, that I’m willing to do the work and get to where I want to get to,” with the two hands that he has.

Bradley: For me, he just told me to have belief in myself, you know, and also, that I was in good hands. And I really was, like having Uli around, having all over producers around… everyone. That’s a part of the “Young Rock” technical team. You know, they’ve got our backs and, you know, leaning into that. You don’t really have to copy anything, and everybody’s got you taken care of. I’m sure, Adrian, you can agree?

Adrian: Yeah, everyone is really, really amazing on, uh, on the cast and crew. I didn’t really get to talk to Duane too much about how to play and, Uh, portray the role. So I kind of.. while I was reading the script side, I had a little fun with it. Maybe, uh, improvised a couple of things. But I didn’t really think too hard about it ’cause I just didn’t want to overthink it. So I , you know, played around with it.

 

Watch our other “Young Rock” Interviews with Stacey Leilua and Joseph Lee Anderson and Ana Tuisila and Matthew Willig

MORE INFO:

Young Rock

Tuesdays on NBC (8-8:30 p.m. ET); Season Premiere: March 15

The second season of “Young Rock” delves back into Dwayne Johnson’s life, continuing the storylines from season one while also introducing new chapters we haven’t yet seen. As Dwayne and his loving, resilient family face new challenges and meet new wild characters of professional wrestling, Dwayne contemplates embracing the grind of professional wrestling himself. The show will explore the crazy rollercoaster that has shaped Dwayne into the man he is today and the larger-than-life people he’s met along the way.

Dwayne Johnson, Joseph Lee Anderson, Stacey Leilua, Ana Tuisila, Adrian Groulx, Bradley Constant, Uli Latukefu, Fasitua Amosa, John Tui and Matthew Willig star.

Created by Nahnatchka Khan and Jeff Chiang and inspired by Dwayne Johnson’s life. Nahnatchka Khan, Jeff Chiang, Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, Jennifer Carreras, Hiram Garcia, Brian Gewirtz and Jeffrey Walker serve as executive producers.

“Young Rock” is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, Seven Bucks Productions and Fierce Baby Productions.

Bradley Constant

Dwayne Johnson (15 years old), “Young Rock”

YOUNG ROCK -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: Bradley Constant as Dwayne Johnson -- (Photo by: Mark Taylor/NBC)
Bradley Constant plays 15-year-old Dwayne Johnson in the new NBC comedy “Young Rock.” Alabama-born Constant began pursuing acting at 12 and convinced his mom to move him to New York City where he would study and begin to gain experience in the industry. The tough environment and fast-paced productivity of the city prepared him for an even bigger move to Los Angeles, where he is now based. Constant previously appeared in the 2018 film “Following Phil” and has had roles in several shorts before landing the part in “Young Rock.” Constant is a die-hard sports fan who also enjoys gaming, bass fishing and golfing.

 

 

 

 

Uli Latukefu

Dwayne Johnson (age 18-20), “Young Rock”

YOUNG ROCK -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: Uli Latukefu as Dwayne Johnson -- (Photo by: Mark Taylor/NBC)
Uli Latukefu plays 18-20-year-old Dwayne Johnson on the new NBC comedy “Young Rock.” Latukefu will next be seen in Taika Waititi’s feature “Next Goal Wins,” opposite Michael Fassbender and Elizabeth Moss, and was most recently seen in Kriv Stenders’ feature “Danger Close” as well as the new Foxtel drama series “The End.” He also starred in the comedy series “Sando,” the third season of the Nine Network’s “Doctor Doctor” and the drama series “Harrow.” Other screen credits include Ridley Scott’s feature “Alien: Covenant” and Netflix’s epic drama “Marco Polo.” Latukefu was previously featured in Chris Lilley’s “Jonah From Tonga” and the critically acclaimed Foxtel series “Devil’s Playground,” which was awarded the 2015 Silver Logie for Most Outstanding Telemovie and the 2015 AACTA Award for Best Telefeature or Miniseries. He made his Broadway debut in “Peter Pan” at New York’s New Victory Theatre, graduated from Australia’s prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in 2012 and was a 2016 Heath Ledger Scholarship finalist.

 

Adrian Groulx

Dwayne Johnson (age 10), “Young Rock”

YOUNG ROCK -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: Adrian Groulx as Dwayne Johnson -- (Photo by: Mark Taylor/NBC)
Adrian Groulx plays 10-year-old Dwayne Johnson on the new NBC comedy “Young Rock.” Groulx is a Toronto-based actor who will next be seen on the Apple+ series “See,” starring Jason Momoa. Previously, he was a series regular on the CBC series “The Adventures of Napkin Man” and also appeared in the Hallmark Channel movie “The Christmas Cure.” In his free time, Groulx enjoys playing sports and spending time with his family.

 

 

 

 

 

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Bradley Constant, Uli Latukefu and Adrian Groulx of "Young Rock" on NBC

Interview with Ana Tuisila and Matthew Willig

TV Interview!

Ana Tuisila and Matthew Willig of "Young Rock" on NBC

Interview with Ana Tuisila and Matthew Willig of “Young Rock” on NBC  on Lifetime by Thane 3/9/22

Willig plays family friend “André the Giant” and Tuisila plays Lia, the feisty grandma of young Dewey. It was quite a treat to speak with them. They do a great job on the show. I was especially interested to hear from Tuisila because we’re both from New Zealand! I was looking forward to asking Willig about how they got him a similar height to Andre the great, and his answer didn’t disappoint.

Question: Hi, Matthew, did you have any trepidation about playing a legend like Andre the Giant? Because you know, wrestling fans like me, we take Andre pretty seriously.

Matthew: [Laughs] You know, I didn’t…I think I was so into it right away and so excited about doing it that by the time, you know — literally as I booked the job, I was already watching videos and starting the voice process of it all. There’s no question that every now and then I will pause and say, “God, I hope to God that I am giving it some justice,” because that is so important to me.

After season one, I did have some really nice feedback, which is important. Number one, from Dwayne; and number two, from some people who either knew of Andre or knew him back in the day. So I’m not going to be perfect. I know it’s my interpretation. But yes, there’s obviously some trepidation.

It can be…there has been a few moments where I said, “God, am I even close?” You know, to this. But again, it’s my interpretation. I’m always bringing the love, trying to be honest as I can with it. And I’m hoping that’s kind of getting through.

Question: I just love the friendship between young Dewey and Andre. It’s probably my favorite thing about the show. And I’m wondering how we will see that continue to develop in season 2?

Matthew: Thank you. It’s obviously it’s my favorite part as well. And it’s something that I think, you know, people were not only shocked that there was that relationship, but number two, that it was close like that.

Yes, season two, you will see some more of Big Andre imposing his knowledge on little Dewey as he moves forward in life. The stakes are getting higher. The things that little Dewey is worrying about — girls, things like that, you know, love… Andre has some things to say and kind of, you know, as we go along, we see him sort of setting him straight. I’m looking forward to your guys seeing him, at least.

Question: Ana, we saw last season that your character was fighting to keep her wrestlers on her payroll. How will we see her handling her employees this season? And what kind of obstacles will she be facing as the promoter?

Ana: Thank you for the question. I couldn’t wait to answer your question because I’m so excited about season two, because you’re going to see more of Lia, in terms of answering that question. So just wait for season two because all will be revealed. There’s so there’s going to be more of her and her relationship with the so-called promoters in the wrestling field, and how she copes with trying to maintain her own business. So it’ll all be revealed in season two, and it’s more fun and funnier…a lot of, un-PC things will be happening. but, yeah, she gets the business rolling. And yes, it’s going to be in season two. So it’d be more about that to come. Yeah.

Question: Matthew, what kind of insight Did Dwayne offer you into his relationship with Andre when he was a kid?

Matthew: You know, it started with the fact that he called him Uncle Andre. He was literally that sort of character for him. You know, he was someone that was around that period a lot, always in and out of Hawaii. So, at that age, he didn’t see as the scary Andre. He saw the loving Andre, who he was. He used to treat him like a jungle gym, you know? So there was sort of that part of it, and Duane said right away, number one, the man embodied respect, which he learned very early on. And number two, there was a lot of love that he felt for young people and people his age. And he kind of even felt that back then, that Andre was almost like a kid himself. And I think we can appreciate the fact that someone that large and sort of that, uh, scary to a certain degree, the fact that he has that other side of him that is this loving, genuinely caring sort of individual. And so those are the kinds of things that Dwayne told me right off the bat and what has kind of led me into the character that I portrayed in the last two seasons.

Thane: Matthew, you are shorter than the real Andre. Do they give you lifts for your shoes, or (did they) just (use) camera angles to make you look taller?

Matthew: (Laughs) I’m always rooting for camera angles, but I will say that, when we first started, especially, there were lifts in my wrestling boots and also in the boots that I wore for everyday dress, which was a pain in the ass. I gotta be honest. I had a whole new appreciation for women and when they wear heels because I was basically wearing heels on set. So, yeah, so there’s that. Listen, I’m never going to be seven-foot-whatever Andre was, but I think even being 6’7/ 6’8, you know, I think we’re able to play with that and have that sort of distinction between,the normal size person and what Andre was.

Thane: Ana, what preparation did you do, if any, to play the role, since it’s based on a real person?

Ana: Very little is known about Lia Maivia, so the only preparation I had was help from, Dwayne Johnson, and his mother, Ata. So I asked for any dialogue or any tapes of…Well, they don’t call them tapes these days… Anything that could give me some idea of how she spoke. So, it was more information from Ata and Dwayne Johnson, and my own experience as a Samoan woman and mother sort of helped the role a bit because it’s very similar in terms of how strong and fearless she is. I mean, my own mother and mother-in-law are of the same ilk. So, in terms of that it wasn’t so hard. From knowing who Lia was, just feedback and information and advice from Dwayne and his mother, Ata.

Question: Ana, Lia is such a fun over-the-top character. Did you get notes from the family about how far you could take her?

Ana: Thank you. That’s a great question, but, no, I didn’t get any… limitation from the parents as how far. But from those that knew Lia, like Jeff Chiang, the writer… he grew up with knowing who Lia was. And Brian Gewirtz from Seven Bucks. They knew Lia, and they would say to me, “She was a hard case woman.” and “She had a great sense of humor and, you know, some of us were quite scared of it.” So it was all information from people who knew – and are part of the production team – who she was. So, it was just that information. And from, as I said before, Ata and Dwayne of who their mother was, and no, I just went with how it was written, from my own experience. And then, you know, from the producers and the writers (who would sometimes say, “Stop, I never got that.” So I think it’s more around experience and how the writers wanted it, and how the direction… so, and the family said, you know, they didn’t give me any, “don’t go too far because she’s–” I know from my own experiences.. (sound garbled here) But I must say she was a very un-PC woman, you know, if there’s such a word… she would just let fly. And that was wonderful. That’s the wonderful thing about her, that you can just say things, that you can wear slapping gloves and slap the wrestlers around. I love that. and it’s how she was and a lot of fun. Yeah.

Question: I love the relationship between Lia and Ata… she’s kind of overbearing, but also very loving and supportive. What kind of relationship, or at least, what kind of dialogue do they tell you about the relationship that the two of them shared?

Ana: Well, there’d be more of that in season two. There’ll be a lot of revelation around that relationship between Ata and Lia, in terms of passing on the business. And so, there are some twists and turns…but in terms of dialogue around their relationship, again, it’s about experience between mother and daughter, being a mother and a daughter of a similar age. So, I guess it’s the same with how I answered Stephanie’s question as a lot of feedback from the writers, from the production team who knew the relationship between these two. So there’s a lot of direction, a lot of advice and feedback, but also, from personal experience… and it’s also between Stacy and I, like, “Hmm, I don’t feel comfortable about that. Can we change?” So there was also some, Some vehicle for both Stacy and I to ask the writers if we could change a little bit so that it made it a bit more comfortable and a bit more real.

So there was a lot of talking behind the scenes before we filmed. So, I guess that’s what came across, which is really, really good to hear that it’s portrayed that way. And that’s how it was — a lot of work, but. you know, a lot of good personal experiences. Yes.

 

Watch our other “Young Rock” Interviews with Stacey Leilua and Joseph Lee Anderson and Bradley Constant, Uli Latukefu and Adrian Groulx

MORE INFO:

Young Rock

Tuesdays on NBC (8-8:30 p.m. ET); Season Premiere: March 15

The second season of “Young Rock” delves back into Dwayne Johnson’s life, continuing the storylines from season one while also introducing new chapters we haven’t yet seen. As Dwayne and his loving, resilient family face new challenges and meet new wild characters of professional wrestling, Dwayne contemplates embracing the grind of professional wrestling himself. The show will explore the crazy rollercoaster that has shaped Dwayne into the man he is today and the larger-than-life people he’s met along the way.

Dwayne Johnson, Joseph Lee Anderson, Stacey Leilua, Ana Tuisila, Adrian Groulx, Bradley Constant, Uli Latukefu, Fasitua Amosa, John Tui and Matthew Willig star.

Created by Nahnatchka Khan and Jeff Chiang and inspired by Dwayne Johnson’s life. Nahnatchka Khan, Jeff Chiang, Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, Jennifer Carreras, Hiram Garcia, Brian Gewirtz and Jeffrey Walker serve as executive producers.

“Young Rock” is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, Seven Bucks Productions and Fierce Baby Productions.

Ana Tuisila

Lia Maivia, “Young Rock”

YOUNG ROCK -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: Ana Tuisila as Lia Maivia -- (Photo by: Mark Taylor/NBC)
Ana Tuisila stars as Lia Maivia on NBC’s new comedy “Young Rock.” Tuisila’s career spans over two decades in film, television and theater. Her most memorable performance is in “The Songmaker’s Chair,” a stage production written by esteemed international author, poet and playwright Albert Wendt, and directed by Nathaniel Lees and Nancy Brunning. Following a successful season, the show later participated in the International Arts Festival at Te Papa Museum in New Zealand. Tuisila has starred in two short films on location in Samoa, Vai and Liliu, which have both been recognized throughout film festivals globally. She speaks fluent Samoan as well as having familiarity with other Pacific languages.
YOUNG ROCK -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: (l-r) Matthew Willig as Andre The Giant, Adrian Groulx as Dwayne Johnson -- (Photo by: Mark Taylor/NBC)Matthew Joseph Willig (born January 21, 1969) is an American actor and former American football offensive tackle in the National Football League.

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Ana Tuisila and Matthew Willig of "Young Rock" on NBC

Interview with Stacey Leilua and Joseph Lee Anderson

TV Interview!

Stacey Leilua and Joseph Lee Anderson of "Young Roung" on NBC

Interview with Stacey Leilua and Joseph Lee Anderson of “Young Rock” on NBC by Thane 3/9/22

It was wonderful to talk to these two actors. They clearly have a great time playing young Dewey’s parents.

 

The transcript will be up soon. Enjoy the video!

Watch our other “Young Rock” Interviews with Ana Tuisila and Matthew Willig and Bradley Constant, Uli Latukefu and Adrian Groulx

MORE INFO:

Young Rock

Tuesdays on NBC (8-8:30 p.m. ET); Season Premiere: March 15

The second season of “Young Rock” delves back into Dwayne Johnson’s life, continuing the storylines from season one while also introducing new chapters we haven’t yet seen. As Dwayne and his loving, resilient family face new challenges and meet new wild characters of professional wrestling, Dwayne contemplates embracing the grind of professional wrestling himself. The show will explore the crazy rollercoaster that has shaped Dwayne into the man he is today and the larger-than-life people he’s met along the way.

Dwayne Johnson, Joseph Lee Anderson, Stacey Leilua, Ana Tuisila, Adrian Groulx, Bradley Constant, Uli Latukefu, Fasitua Amosa, John Tui and Matthew Willig star.

Created by Nahnatchka Khan and Jeff Chiang and inspired by Dwayne Johnson’s life. Nahnatchka Khan, Jeff Chiang, Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, Jennifer Carreras, Hiram Garcia, Brian Gewirtz and Jeffrey Walker serve as executive producers.

“Young Rock” is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, Seven Bucks Productions and Fierce Baby Productions.

Joseph Lee Anderson

Rocky Johnson, “Young Rock”

YOUNG ROCK -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: Joseph Lee Anderson as Rocky Johnson -- (Photo by: Mark Taylor/NBC)
Joseph Lee Anderson plays Rocky Johnson in the NBC comedy series “Young Rock.” Anderson has appeared in the Oscar-nominated film “Harriet,” recurred on “S.W.A.T.” and has guest starred on “Timeless,” “American Soul” and others. He also directed and starred in the critically acclaimed short film “The Jog,” which premiered at South By Southwest. A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stacey Leilua

Ata Johnson, “Young Rock”

YOUNG ROCK -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: Stacey Leilua as Ata Johnson -- (Photo by: Mark Taylor/NBC)
Stacey Leilua plays Ata Johnson on the new NBC comedy “Young Rock.” Leilua is of Samoan, Maori and English heritage and based in New Zealand. She graduated from one of New Zealand’s leading drama schools: UNITEC School of Performing & Screen Arts, where she majored in acting. Leilua has worked on a variety of productions, including New Zealand’s longest-running series, Shortland Street.” Other credits of note are the UK/NZ feature film ”Love Birds” and the highly acclaimed web series “The Factory,” which she also co-executive produced alongside Kila Kokonut Krew under the mentorship of Robin Scholes, one of New Zealand’s most well-known producers. Leilua has also worked as a presenter (“Homai Te Paki Paki”) and director with the South Auckland-based theatre company Kila Kokonut Krew. Most recently she performed in Tusiata Avia’s ”Wild Dogs Under My Skirt,” which won Production of the Year at the 2018 Wellington Theatre Awards. The production was picked up for a season at the Soho Playhouse in New York in January 2020 where it played to full houses every night.

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Stacey Leilua and Joseph Lee Anderson of "Young Roung" on NBC

Interview with Mike Cabellon and Bobby Moynihan

TV Interview!

Mike Cabellon and Bobby Moynihan of "Mr. Mayor" on NBC

Interview with Mike Cabellon and Bobby Moynihan of “Mr. Mayor” on NBC by Suzanne 3/8/22

These NBC panels are always fun. We had 3 interviews with the top 6 cast members of this funny show. You may know Moynihan from “Saturday NIght Live.”  These guys are both really funny, as you’ll see in the video. It was just great fun to chat with them. It was like having our own personal SNL comedians to perform for us.

 

Enjoy the video! Here’s the transcript:

Ross: Hi guys, I’m Ross Crystal from Showbiz Express, and thank you for taking time out to do this. Really appreciate it. Let me start with Bobby. Describe — as we move into the new season — describe your character and how it changes because you’re the Comms guy.

Bobby: I’m the comms director, that is correct. Jayden grows up a little bit this season. He’s got to make some hard decisions; no more living in Mom’s basement. He gets his own apartment. He starts to become a little more independent, and he’s got to do his job, and he’s got to make some real decisions at work, and we see how that affects him and how insane it makes him. [Chuckles]

Ross: I’ll keep to the one and come back, If I may, do a follow-up.

Suzanne Hi, my name is Suzanne, and I run TVMEG.COM. Let’s see… Mike, if you had to do Tommy’s job in real life, could you do it well?

Mike: Oh, God. No, not in the slightest. [Laughs] The Strategist, as I found in my research before season one, I found is primarily a campaign role, and you kinda just go from campaign to campaign. So in that sense, I was like, oh, yeah, it’s kind of like acting, or going from gig to gig. But then when you look at the actual job of, like, trying to advise a politician on what to do next…? I’m the most indecisive person in the world. If I sit at a diner.. you know how, like, a diner is like a menu, it’s like a book? I’m like, I’ll be there for an hour before I can decide. So I would be absolute trash at this job. [Everyone laughs]

Suzanne: All right. And, Bobby, how are you and Jayden the same, and how are you different?

Bobby: Just clothes. Just clothing choices. [Laughs] No, I think we are similar in some ways and very different in many others. There’s an innocence to both of us that I wish I didn’t have as much as Jayden does. Jayden, dollar-heart, nickel-brain on Jayden. But I think Jayden’s a little smarter than he thinks he is. For me in real life, the jury’s still out. We’ll see.

Suzanne: Thank you.

Karen: Hi, I’m Karen Moul from Scifivision.com. We have some new characters in the office this year with the I team showing up, and I was hoping you guys could talk a little bit about how that affects the dynamic in the office and your characters, I guess, without spoiling too much. And maybe Mike could speak first for a sec?

Mike: Sure. this is sort of, I think, one of the big character arcs for Tommy this season… In season one, I feel like Tommy is not expressly antagonistic or whatever in the office, but he thinks he’s better than everyone. So as soon as the I Team is introduced, he sort of sides with everyone else because now they’re like new outsiders to hate on, and I think that it’s this really interesting dynamic because, like, all the interoffice dynamics that exist in season one kind of shift, in light of these new people coming in. And that’s been such an exciting dynamic play this season because, it’s all new and it feels fresh from last season.

Karen: Thank you.

Bobby: Yeah. Towards the end of the season we get — I don’t want to spoil anything — but we get some, some awesome, really wonderful new characters, like, wonderful television characters. I can’t spoil anything, but it gets better and better.

Mike: Yeah.

Karen: Great. Thank you.

Dano: Hi, Dano from The Nocturnal. So, sitcoms are kind of built off chemistry, but your characters have this sort of, anti- chemistry. You’re at loggerheads with one another, and I was wondering, now that you’re on season two, how that, you know, off-screen chemistry between you two and comedic, you know, rapport between you, how does that change in this new season?

Bobby: I always feel like Tommy is my older brother, even though he’s younger than me. We’ll show, like, Jayden — and I feel like there’s a lot, like, they get closer, but also, like, brothers…We have a “Succession” relationship this season, and I can’t wait for people to see it. It’s so much fun!

Mike: No matter how close we get, we’re never more than a step away from like giving each other a noogie, you know what I mean?

Dano: Is that in real life, too? Or just with the characters?

Mike: In real life, it’s constant noogies. That’s how we greet each other in the morning in the makeup trailer. It’s like, “Hey, I know you have to do his hair, but one second… let me just mess it up a little.”

Bobby: He’s a bully. Mike bullies me constantly. No, I love Mike. It’s the best. I think we’re two sweet gentlemen who plays two sweet gentlemen, also, who don’t get along, but they try to. Jayden’s a lot. I don’t know if I would get along with Jayden. [Laughter]

Ross: Mike, if I can ask you… well, actually both of you, but Mike, you’ve got a background in sketch comedy. How does sketch comedy really aid you, or in some ways, perhaps not, in this show?

Mike: First of all, thank you for acknowledging that I am the foremost authority on sketch comedy on this cast.

Bobby: [Laughs]

Mike: I will say one thing that sketch comedy prepares you to do is get off-book really quickly because you’re getting rewrites and scripts day of, and the amount of material that Tina Fey and Robert Carlock churn through is… you could make a whole ‘nother show just with, like, the reject pile that they write. And so frequently, we’ll get these new sides. And, I’m grateful that I have years of experience of just like looking at a page and going, “Okay, got it” and being able to go in, and fully inhabit a character like on the spot without thinking too deeply about it, which, you know, is why I’ll never win an academy award like Holly Hunter, because she really gets deep into character, and I’m very shallow, very surface level there. But I think that that is, like a hard skill that I think is underrated for a lot of actors.

Ross: And Bobby, I mean, for you, how much does SNL come into play here? How much does that experience there come in here? How much latitude do you have?

Bobby: It’s a similar experience in the sense of, I think, Tina and Robert are people who went through the SNL machine and, two of the best, easily, to do it. And I think that they have now created a couple different universes in television, a couple of different TV shows where it’s their thing, and this is how they do it. And it’s very SNL-inspired, which means everyone is expected to be great and do great. And they do. But it doesn’t have the complete terror and anxiety that SNL does. And we get to go home and sleep at normal hours because Ted Danson’s contract is great. [Chuckles] Tt’s wonderful. It’s the best. I’m very familiar with that world of, like, “let’s create this wonderful thing and do it with all these very, very talented people.” And they’ve amassed an insanely talented crew and cast and makes it very easy and fun.

Dano: Does anything change or evolve with that — your collaborative relationship with the Tina Fey over the years?

Bobby: Yeah, I’m less terrified. In the beginning, I mean… I think she’s the most influential person that ever walked through those doors at SNL. She’s brilliant, and she has created so much from it, and I was in awe of her. My first episode of SNL was the first time she did Sarah Palin, and it was my first time doing the show, and I just stopped everything to watch her do it, and was just, like, “Look at this! Look at her and Amy!” It was nuts. But now… I text her now. I’ve gotten to the point where I feel comfortable texting her and not like a child when I do that. [Laughs]

Suzanne: For both of you– do you get to do any kind of improvisation or ad-libbing, or is only what’s on the page?

Mike: We do get to improvise a lot. I think, regardless of the show, Bobby and I probably would, anyway, because we can’t help ourselves. But the funny thing is, maybe 2% of the ad-libs make it into the final cut because Tina and Robert make such perfect scripts right off the bat that they don’t need improvement. They don’t need to be supplemented or augmented by whatever stupid thoughts we’re having on the day. But we do get to play around a lot. Usually we’ll do a few takes as scripted, and then we’ll do a couple of… we play around, and then the editor just throws it right in the garbage.

Bobby: All these improvs are few and far between, but they are assassin precise and he often gets them in.

Suzanne: Wow.

Bobby: I would say, he’s the most successful.

Suzanne: Well, I hope they show up in the DVD as extras or something. That would be cool.

Mike: I hope we get DVDs. That physical object would be great.

Suzanne: Thank you.

Karen: One of the great things about the show, is the way it takes on some very real political issues in LA. In the first five episodes, there seems to be a little bit of a through line with the very real homeless issue. I wonder if you could maybe just tease or preview for our readers, some of the topics, both serious and absurd that the show might take on this season.

Bobby: I think this season is about the mayor trying to do his job better and really trying to make a difference… And what he thinks that is best for LA and kind of the rest of the people dealing with that, and deciding if those choices are the right choices, or if he’s doing it to be, you know, for himself, or is he doing it really for the city? I think that’s a lot… what this season is about.

Mike: I think our writers do a really good job of not trying to make any statements about how the world should be run in real life. Although, this season, Jayden does have one idea that sort of unifies LA with the rest of the world; but it is a good idea, but I don’t think our writers are ever, you know, prescriptive of thinking they could do a better job in politics. I think we’re kind of towing the line of, okay, this show takes place in the political realm, but we’re not here to say that we’re experts on the matter, in any sense.

Bobby: Although I would love president Tina Fey. I think I would take that.

Mike: Heh, heh.

Ross: And then doing your research, do you ever take a trip down to City Hhall?

Mike: We did, in season one, before we shot the pilot, a few of us went down to City Hall and got the real pins that we wear on our lapels in the show, which is cool. I don’t think we go back too frequently, though.

Bobby: I’m there now. I’m there every day. [Laughter]

Ross: Do you find the humor right there?

Mike: There is a certain kind of humor that you can observe just by walking around the halls. We sat in on, like, a public hearing, and I think that that is well-worn territory, thanks to “Parks and Rec,” so I don’t know how much of that we’ll be doing… but there are given characters in any great American city, and Los Angeles certainly has, some of the bigger characters I’ve ever seen.

Suzanne: Do you ever get any feedback from people in LA about how your show handles Los Angeles and the people in it?

Mike: Yeah, actually, yeah. I’ve heard from a lot of people who either worked in LA City Hall or other local politics and are pleasantly surprised at how… it’s funny because they say that we nailed the minutiae of being in an office really well. And I think that speaks to the universality of, like, it doesn’t matter what industry we’re in, because we’re not aiming to specifically try and be like, “This is what it’s like to work in City Hall.” It’s more, just an office comedy. I think that’s what makes every office comedy sort of relatable.

Bobby: No one brings it up to me cause I haven’t– I don’t leave the house. [Laughter]

Mike: “Notorious recluse Bobby Moynihan.”

Check out our other “Mr. Mayor” interviews with Ted Danson and Holly Hunter and  Vella Lovell and Kyla Kenedy

MORE INFO:

Trailer

Mr. Mayor PosterSeason Premiere: March 15

“Mr. Mayor” follows a retired businessman (Ted Danson) who runs for mayor of Los Angeles to prove he’s “still got it.” Once he wins, he has to figure out what he stands for, gain the respect of his biggest critic (Holly Hunter) and connect with his teenage daughter, all while trying to get anything right for America’s second weirdest city.
The series stars Ted Danson, Holly Hunter, Vella Lovell, Mike Cabellon, Kyla Kenedy and Bobby Moynihan.
“Mr. Mayor” is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, Little Stranger, Bevel Gears and 3 Arts Entertainment. Robert Carlock, Tina Fey, Jeff Richmond and David Miner will executive produce. Eric Gurian will serve as a co-executive producer.

Mike Cabellon

Tommy Tomás, “Mr. Mayor”

MR. MAYOR -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: Mike Cabellon as Tommy Tomas -- (Photo by: Robert Trachtenberg/NBC)

Mike Cabellon stars as Chief Strategist Tommy Tomás on NBC’s new comedy “Mr. Mayor.”

Mike Cabellon is a Los Angeles-based Filipino-American actor (“Orange Is the New Black,” “Crashing”) and writer (Comedy Central). He was trained at UCB and is currently an active performer, director, producer and head writer for Webby Award-winning “Story Pirates” podcast.

Cabellon and his sketch team GEIL have created countless sketches and two acclaimed web series: “Early to Rise” (2020) and “Night Crew” (2018). “Early to Rise” won the Audience Award at the 2020 SeriesFest. “Night Crew” premiered on Comedy Central’s digital channels after becoming an official selection for the New York Television Festival, where they landed a development deal with Comedy Central. Together, GEIL has appeared on FunnyOrDie and Adult Swim, as well as screened sketches at Quickie Fest and Red Hot Video Fun Time.

Cabellon’s time in New York included five straight seasons with the BoogieManja sketch program, putting up a new sketch show every single month at the PIT Theater, as well as five straight years of hosting a bar quiz every week with Geeks Who Drink.

He has performed on stages all over the country, including the Del Close Marathon, Comedy Hack Day, Austin Sketch Fest, Frigid Fest (part of the U.S. Association of Fringe Festivals), UCB’s 3×3 Tournament, NYC Improv Festival, SHRTWV Short Theater Festival, Penn Station Area Sketch Fest and a paid corporate improv show on the Las Vegas strip when he was 16. Notable live shows include “Mike Cabellon Is: The Bachelor – LIVE!” a small role in “Hockey Cops,” and hosting “Witching Hour” featuring Jo Firestone and Aparna Nancherla.

His last name rhymes with babylon, grab a swan, crab ’n’ prawn, slab of flan, drab chiffon or lab/salon.

Cabellon is a member of SAG-AFTRA and is represented by Authentic Talent & Literary Management, CAA, and Frankfurt Kurnit.

Bobby Moynihan

Jayden Kwapis, “Mr. Mayor”

MR. MAYOR -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: Bobby Moynihan as Jayden Kwapis -- (Photo by: Robert Trachtenberg/NBC)

Bobby Moynihan stars as Jayden Kwapis in the NBC comedy “Mr. Mayor.”

Moynihan was a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” for nine seasons where he originated beloved characters such as Drunk Uncle and co-wrote and appeared in the popular David S. Pumpkins sketch starring Tom Hanks, which spawned a Halloween animated special for NBC  and is now streaming on Hulu.

Moynihan’s other television credits include “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Documentary Now!,” “Drunk History,” “The Simpsons,” “Miracle Workers,” “Girls,” “Portlandia” and “Me, Myself & I.” His voiceover credits range from Cartoon Network’s “We Bare Bears,” “DuckTales” and “Stars Wars Resistance,” both for DisneyXD.

On the film side, Moynihan’s voice talents can be heard on Pixar’s “Inside Out” and “Monsters University,” as well as other features.

His all-improvised podcast on Stitcher, “Celebrity Sighting! with Jonathan Biting!” features Moynihan as the always candid and always hammered Jonathan Biting talking to guests about their celebrity encounters.

 

 

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Mr. Mayor - Season 2 Cast

Interview with Vella Lovell and Kyle Kenedy

TV Interview!

Kyla Kenedy and Vella Lovell of "Mr. Mayor" on NBC

Interview with Kyla Kenedy and Vella Lovell of “Mr. Mayor” on NBC by Suzanne 3/8/22

This was a fun panel day that we had with the 6 main actors from the show. These two women were paired together. We had a lot of fun, as you can see in the video. It was great to ask them about the show, which is very funny and returns 3/15 on NBC.

 

Kyla: Hello! How is everyone?

Ross: Doing well And thank you. Thank you for joining us and doing this. And, let me begin with Kyla, you’ve got an interesting role, and first step out, you’re at the DMV.

Kyla: Right.

Ross: First of all, was that the real DMV, a phony DMV? What’d you guys do there?

Kyla: It was actually an old police station, but it felt just like a real DMV. I had just gotten my license pretty close to where we shot that, and I felt like I was going back in time a little bit. I mean, down to the lines you, ’cause you know, you do so much waiting around on set that I truly, around hour five, was like, “I am in a real DMV right now.”

Ross: And for both of you, what is new for you this season? Different direction, different way you were approaching the role? Vella?

Vella: Well, my character gets a love interest this season. So that was a totally new dynamic, to get to work with someone new, Yedoye Travis, who’s amazing, and to kind of see that different side of your character. You know, you audition for these shows, and you have two scenes, and you can’t possibly get to every color of a character in that audition. So it’s really fun to, you know, two years in, discover new colors. And how does Mikayla fall in love, and how does Mikayla ask someone out? And all of those different things.

Vella: Yeah, I think this season Orly gets to spend a lot more time in the office with her dad, which was just really fun – a side of her that we really didn’t dive into that much in season one. And she kind of gets to interact with everyone else in the office more, which leads to some pretty fun storylines and some interesting situations. But that, that was so much funding to do this season.

Ross: Very cool.

Suzanne: Vella, you got to sing a lot in “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” Will there be any singing on the show this season?

Vella: Well, unfortunately, I think we established that Mikayla is a terrible singer. So…I actually think there is a little bit of singing. I’m not sure if they’ve cut it or not, but it’s not great. I’m going to go ahead and say that,

Kyla: We got blessed a little [laughs].

Vella: Yeah. It’s not, it’s off very off key. So apologies…

Suzanne: I liked the Christmas song that you all did, even though most of you weren’t doing anything but humming or whatever.

Kyla: Yeah, it was hard.

Vella: Yeah. That was fun.

Dano: Dano from The Nocturnal. So I’m a Los Angeles native myself, and a lot of stuff with the show really hits very close to home. So I was wondering what (for both of you)– Kyla, you have the relationship with the very embarrassing father and, Vella, you’re a young professional navigating life in LA… if there’s any moments where like, you’re reading the script and you’re like, “Oh man, this is just way too real.”

Kyla: Yeah, I think that happens all the time. Like, our writing is so, so good that I think there’s a little bit of truth behind every joke, which is what makes the show so special and fun to watch. But, no, I definitely have so many moments, even when we’re filming a scene where I’m like, “This could absolutely happen tomorrow in a Whole Foods.”

Vella: Yeah, I think there was one script that ended up getting… this part, got cut, but McKayla was in a long distance relationship with someone who lived in Venice. And that is a real thing in LA, when you live on the east side and someone lives on the west side, it truly feels long distance. So there’s a lot of things that just creep up and are very… they’re very… they’re so real that they’re hilarious.

Karen: I was going to ask a similar question. There are ways in which the show feels a little bit like “Seinfeld” did about New York city. That if, you know… if you’re from New York, there was this extra layer of humor there. I actually really wanted to ask Kyla, however, in particular, you are the one…maybe you are the youngest, and Orly spends a lot of time, like, schooling her father. “You can’t say that, you can’t do that. That’s not how you use Tik Tok.” And I wonder how much of that you’re drawing from your real life? And I, you know, Ted’s the same age as this character, right? And you’re working with a lot of older people, and is this happening on set?

Kyla: I mean, a little bit. I do think there have been moments, like, Ted and I did a fun little video where I told him like, slang that me and my peers were using, and he would try and guess the meaning of it. But there are definitely so many funny moments, but we’ll do a table reading, and Ted would kind of fidget, [and say], “So, what does this mean exactly?” But I think that, you know, that’s the fun of it, and that’s what makes the show so special because it is like real life. There are times when my mom will call me and go, “What does this mean? Somebody just texted me this and I have no idea how I’m supposed to respond.” But yeah, no, there’s definitely a lot of truth behind it.

Vella: I mean, I have to ask Kyla how she knows what to post on Tik ToK. ‘Cause I don’t, and how to work it, or how you know what to post. And she’s just…

Kyla: Right? I know, we like, just kind of.. right when the season ended, all started talking about potentially next season, maybe making a (???) video together, figuring it out myself if I’m being honest.

Vella: You’re gonna have to spearhead that.

Kyla: Yeah, right? I go in with a lot of false confidence and that’s really how I get through it.

Ross: On camera, you guys have become a very reverent family, and listening to you right now, you’ve got those qualities. Was there a bonding that came very quickly? Did it take awhile, Vella? What was that like for the cast – and Kyla, too – what was that like for you guys?

Vella: Yeah. I mean, we had only shot, I think, a month or two when we got shut down for COVID. So a lot of our bonding, I think, came during COVID in that time. We would just zoom a lot, and check in on each other, and we have our text chain, and I think we kind of skipped a few steps in terms of working together for months and slowly getting to know each other.
We just went straight to “How are you doing? Are you okay? What’s going on? How’s your family?”

Kyla: I think most of the time when you start a new series, you know, you’re kind of interacting with everyone in between breaks on set. And then when you rehearse, you’re doing your lines and whatnot, and then you all go home for the day. So with us being in zoom within the first month, you guys knew what my bedroom looked like, my cat, my family situation… I think we all just kind of had nothing but time. So it was like a hundred lunch breaks, all put into, like, how many months? So we did definitely come back to it, filming, like we were going into season five of our show – relationship-wise, just because we bonded so much.

Suzanne: Kyla, you were on CSI about 10 years ago when Ted Danson was starring in it. Did you have scenes with him then? And did he remember you when you started this show?

Kyla: Okay. So I did do CSI, but to preface it, I was a corpse.

(Laughter)

Kyla: So Ted and I did have a scene, but it was me lying in a bed, no longer living. So it wasn’t anything too memorable, but I think it was one of those things where we had talked about it, he kind of remembered…? Yes, no, but I was like eight and I didn’t say anything. I just kind of got to go to craft services, eat a lot of food and sleep for 20 minutes. It was a pretty sweet deal. But I think, I think I definitely do probably remember it a little bit more.

Vella: I did not know that.

Suzanne: So, bow that they’ve brought the show back, Vella, that’s your chance. You’ve got to go play a dead body on the new CSI.

Kyla: Yeah, everybody’s doing it.

Vella: I would love to. It sounds — it sounds very relaxing.

Suzanne: You can’t move, though. That’s the only thing.

Dano: One of my favorite Super Bowl commercials last month was the NBC one with Ted Danson. I was wondering if you guys, you know, how you reacted to that, if you’re roasted a bit for that, or… yeah. What were your thoughts on that?

Vella: I think I just texted, like, “Ted!” or something… It was the one where he’s the king of NBC, right?

Dano: Right, And then every other NBC person’s getting annoyed, you know, that Ted, or Keenan, “why not me?” You know?

Vella: Well, it’s the 40th anniversary of “Cheers,” so, I mean, it’s hard to (???)

Kyla: Right, he earned it.

Vella: He earned it. 40 years on a network. I mean, that’s… that’s pretty impressive. I don’t think we roasted him at all. Maybe we should!

Kyla: We can designate somebody to come through.

Vella: “Hey, man…”

Karen: I wanted to ask you guys: I think all of us have seen the first five episodes and, we’ve seen some really fun guest stars on, mostly with Ted. Do you guys get any like good guest star time this year? Do you want to tease anything about who you got to work with, or are you not allowed to say?

Vella: I don’t know. I know there’s some great people that come through. I don’t think, oh, there’s an amazing person that we got to work with, but yeah. I don’t know if we’re supposed to, I don’t know if we can talk about them, I guess.

Host: Not at this point, but excited for you guys to see all the many surprises coming up for this season.

Vella: Yeah. There’s some really great people– some really great comedy people.

Kyla: I guess we think, everyone, because of who’s behind the show. I feel really lucky. I’ve noticed everyone that comes in – even if they have one line – they are so on point, and are so amazing and really do the best job that they possibly can, which I think makes every scene so special. So I do always look forward to, you know, when we read the script to seeing who’s going to come in and who’s gonna play this crazy role. But we have, we have a lot of funny, funny characters that pop in this season for sure.

Vella: Yeah, definitely.

Check out our other “Mr. Mayor” interviews with Ted Danson and Holly Hunter and Mike Cabellon and Bobby Moynihan

MORE INFO:

Trailer

Mr. Mayor PosterSeason Premiere: March 15

“Mr. Mayor” follows a retired businessman (Ted Danson) who runs for mayor of Los Angeles to prove he’s “still got it.” Once he wins, he has to figure out what he stands for, gain the respect of his biggest critic (Holly Hunter) and connect with his teenage daughter, all while trying to get anything right for America’s second weirdest city.
The series stars Ted Danson, Holly Hunter, Vella Lovell, Mike Cabellon, Kyla Kenedy and Bobby Moynihan.
“Mr. Mayor” is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, Little Stranger, Bevel Gears and 3 Arts Entertainment. Robert Carlock, Tina Fey, Jeff Richmond and David Miner will executive produce. Eric Gurian will serve as a co-executive producer.

Kyla Kenedy

Orly Bremer, “Mr. Mayor”

MR. MAYOR -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: Kyla Kenedy as Orly Bremer -- (Photo by: Robert Trachtenberg/NBC)

Kyla Kenedy stars as mayor Neil Bremer’s (Ted Danson) daughter Orly Bremer on NBC’s new comedy “Mr. Mayor.”

Kenedy has spent nearly a decade building an impressive resume for an actress her age. She has worked steadily in film and television and across multiple genres. She is most recognizable from her roles on the ABC sitcom “Speechless” and for her recurring role on the international hit show “The Walking Dead.”

For the younger set, Kenedy is known for her role as a regular on the Amazon series “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” On the big screen, she was last seen opposite Jeremy Sisto in the independent feature “Love Is All You Need?” for which she won the Best Actress Award at the Napa Valley Film Festival.

Kenedy began her career at 8 in Charleston, S.C., booking print and local jobs. She moved to Atlanta and quickly expanded to commercials and films, where she landed a small role in the Farrelly brothers feature film “The Three Stooges.” Shortly thereafter, Kenedy was cast in her first lead role as the title character in the award-winning made-for-TV movie “Raising Izzie,” for which she won the Grace Award at the 21st Movieguide Awards, and a Young Artist Award for Best Actress.

Kenedy relocated to Los Angeles and has gone on to appear in a steady stream of dramatic and comedic projects, including heavily recurring roles on “Night Shift” and “The New Normal” “for which she was again nominated for a Young Artist Award for Best Actress in a Guest Starring Role.

Kenedy currently lives in Los Angeles, and loves reading, traveling, and all outdoor activities.

Vella Lovell

Mikaela Shaw, “Mr. Mayor”

MR. MAYOR -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: Vella Lovell as Mikaela Shaw -- (Photo by: Robert Trachtenberg/NBC)

Vella Lovell stars as Chief of Staff Mikaela Shaw on the NBC comedy “Mr. Mayor.”

Lovell is best known for her standout series regular role as Heather Davis on all four seasons of CW’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” She is currently recurring in the new Amazon Prime coming-of-age series “As We See It.” Lovell is also the voice of Mermista in the animated Netflix series “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power” (2020 Critics’ Choice Nominee – Best Animated Series).

On the film side, she is best known for her role in the indie hit “The Big Sick” and recently starred in the Comedy Central holiday parody movie “A Clüsterfünke Christmas,” which was written and produced by “Saturday Night Live” alums Rachel Dratch and Ana Gasteyer.

A graduate from the Juilliard School, Lovell has a bachelor’s degree from New York University. While at Julliard, she played Anna Mae in Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottages’ “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark,” and Lady Macbeth in an adaptation of “Macbeth.” She has also performed in “The Bacchae,” directed by JoAnne Akalaitis at Shakespeare in the Park, and “The Great Recession” as well as “Kaspar Hauser” at the Flea Theater.

At Williamstown Theatre Festival, she was seen in “A Streetcar Named Desire,” directed by David Cromer, “When You’re Here” by Samuel Hunter and “Camp Monster.”

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Vella Lovell and Kyla Kennedy of "Mr. Mayor" on NBC

Interview with Ted Danson and Holly Hunter

TV Interview!

 

Holly Hunter and Ted Danson on Zoom interview for "Mr. Mayor" on NBC 3/8/22

Interview with Ted Danson and Holly Hunter of “Mr. Mayor” on NBC by Suzanne 3/8/22

It was so great to speak with these two legendary actors. Holly is an Oscar winner and of course, Ted Danson has been on TV for a very long time and is still bringing the laughs on this NBC show. They’re clearing having a great time. This was a press panel, so I was only able to ask one question. The other questions are from other journalists. I would have loved to have asked many more questions. Maybe someday I will! Don’t miss the show, which returns tomorrow, Tuesday night on NBC! It’s even funnier this season.

 

Ross: Hi guys. Ross Crystal from Showbiz Express. Ted, Holly, thank you so much for doing this and congratulations on the new season. Let me begin with you, Ted. How do we move into the new season? How does the mayor approach this new term, f I may?

Ted: Well, I think he probably has come to the realization that, just because he wanted to prove to himself and his daughter that life wasn’t over, and he ran to be mayor does not necessarily qualify him to be the mayor. [Chuckles] So this year he decides to right away hire somebody he calls the innovation team. You know, the brightest, youngest brains in California, to start shaping his administration and it creates a huge amount of friction in the office. It does provide a love affair for one of the characters, but it really just messes things up even more.

Ross: And Holly, Arpi is as annoying this time around as she’s ever been. What is it about this character that you love?

Holly: I’m just kind of gobsmacked by that. I hardly know how to proceed.

Ross: Hee, hee.

Ted: He’s an older white gentleman, Holly, you know, like the mayor…

Holly: Oh, right. It’s so interesting to think about the I team… the Innovation guys coming in… because Arpi works from…she’s like, old school. She is analog. And in a way, that’s the way city halls all across the United States operate. You know, they’re grassroots, from the ground up. “Can somebody please, tighten the manhole cover that is clattering every time a car goes over it?” I mean, you’ve got those kinds of issues that are coming into city hall. People screaming about whatever…the curbs not being at level on their street. I mean, it’s from the ground up that council members are dealing with issues in their city. From that, all the way to homelessness and traffic in Los Angeles. So the challenge for Arpi in this season, dealing with these Silicon Valley guys who come in with virtual reality approaches to problems is like…it’s so beyond annoying.

Ted: Yeah, I love that we’re in the age of man discovering the real meaning of mansplaining and beginning to realize that “Dear Lord, I never opened my mouth without actually starting to mansplain something.” And I think, you know, to have Neil Bremmer who has taken a sweet (he’s a good guy, but) a very shallow cut on life and is now explaining to Arpi how the city should be run. It has to be the most maddening thing in the world for her character. Because she does desperately care the old fashioned way — really care — about what they’re doing.

Ted: Hey Ross. Did I throw you under the bus? I’m sorry, buddy. Forgive me.

Ross: Oh, no, not at all. I was just wondering, as Mayor Garcetti leaves office and goes to be an ambassador, has he ever called you? Has he ever said, “Hey Ted… seriously?”

Ted: I think he has… I just didn’t want to take his calls.

Ross: [Laughs]

Suzanne: Ted, your character is a rich, entitled, clueless, self-involved guy. Was there anyone in real life that you think about when you’re portraying him?

Ted: I just…shave, look in the mirror, and go, “I got it. I got it. Thank you, Ted.” And off I go.

[Laughter]

Ted: You know, we’re all discovering things about ourselves, gratefully, slightly painfully, during the last couple of years. How entitled! I can just look at myself — how unknowingly entitled I am. I’m a thoughtful, sweet, liberal enlightened man. And I’m not, you know, I’m not. I thought I was. So, truly, I do feel like I was made for this part. And, I think, like the mayor… I, Ted am willing to change, but it’s very hard for me to see myself accurately… how silly I am, you know?

Suzanne: And Holly, you were just talking about the innovations and everything. In real life, on sets…you’ve been around for awhile. Does it ever bother you? Do you ever have that same sort of reaction when younger people come in, onset or anything like that? Do they make you feel like they want to reinvent everything [whereas] you’ve been doing it awhile, [but] they’re like, no…

Holly: Yeah, no, no, that doesn’t happen because you know, what’s so wild is… in a way, I could, I might be able to speak for most actors, but I think most actors, in some ways, are kind of childlike. So many actors that I love, the actors that I love, and adore working with, they’re kind of childlike… they’re children, in a way. Actors are… you spend your entire career changing, adapting….You’re doing things you’ve never done before. So many sets that I come on to… almost every set that I ever go onto. There’s no one that I know. I am meeting everyone for the first time on that set, ever. And I am used to that, and I’m sure Ted can say the same thing.

So actors have this liquidity… they’ve got a fluidity about change that I admire, and I love, and I’ve chosen to do movies, and chosen to work with people who often are breaking through to the other side in terms of form, how movies are made… [For instance], Terrence Malick. When I worked with him on a movie. I wanted to work with Terry to see how he made them and wow. He blew my mind! And working with Catherine Hardwood on “Thirteen,” she was making “Thirteen” in a way that I’d never seen– I’d never experienced before. This also is– it’s just a completely new form for me. So it keeps me changing. I gotta be up for it, and I love that challenge.

Suzanne: Right. Thanks!

Karen: Hi, I’m Karen Moul from SciFiVision. Ah, that’s actually, Suzanne, a great lead-in to my question, which is: What’s it like, now, settling into the second season behind the scenes with a cast that’s in place. I don’t know if COVID protocols are loostening, but maybe Holly first could talk about, what the climate is like, with your second season starting?

Holly: Well, joyful because we have this fantastic DP, David Miller, and he’s a wonderful touchstone because all sets are a little different and how everything is set up is a little bit different. And he provides us with this beautiful kind of structure that we can then go crazy in. We learned the structure from David, and then we all just go wild. We know what the perimeters are of our playing field. And for me to get more acquainted with that… you know, and Ted always, already was very acquainted with working with him. That that’s been very delightful, and I guess there’s just a little more confidence and intimacy with our characters. There had been an automatic kind of chemistry that existed between this cast that we’re all – I think – grateful for because you know, that doesn’t have to happen. And it did with us. There’s a kismet there.

Karen: And Ted, you’re a veteran of the sitcom format and have done many years. This is not your first, I guess, renewal second season. Do you have anything to add to all these comments?

Ted: Yeah, I mean, Holly said the word joyful. (clears his throat) Pardon me… It was joyful. COVID, as you suggested, had relaxed a little…we were still tested and did all of that. But when we got in front of the cameras, we could rehearse without masks, and there was a freedom that didn’t exist the first season. And there was also… we had taken a three- or four-month break, like the world did. And during that time, as a cast, we Zoomed a lot. We stayed in touch. We shared (like everybody did), because it was so intensely real, that the world was locked down, that we shared at a level that we probably wouldn’t have been able to, if we’d had a normal, season after season after season. We really got to know each other and appreciate each other. So when we got back together, not only was that a joy, a freedom of being able to be happily, joyfully, creative… But also, the writers and the actors were discovering who they were. You know, there’s always a process in the beginning where writers will say, “Have your character do this, do that.” And then you’re like, “No, that didn’t work. That didn’t work. That worked.” You know? So there’s a process of discovering who you are as a group, as a show, and, I think we kind of jelled last season, and it was joyful for all of us to appreciate the other characters, appreciate the other actors, and bounce off of such amazing players. It was very exciting.

Karen: Thank you.

Dano: Hi there, Dano from Nocturnal. So, for both Holly and Ted…You guys have both, worked with a lot of different comedic styles and, Tina Fey has her own cadence and brand. Is there a difference in approach or learning curve, versus like a “Bored to Death” and “Cheers” to this, or with Holly, a Coen brothers script to this… I guess, Ted, you also had a Coen-inspired script with “Fargo.” What’s the difference in approaching it?

Ted: Well, Robert and Tina are very fast. It’s much more of a… I grew up in a, “Here comes a joke. Pretty good joke, right?” You know, and the audience would laugh and you’d go on. There was a pause, there was a, you know, a kind of one thing at a time. And, this is very, very, very fast. You’re doing shots, you’re pointing out something political, but you’re kind of firing over your shoulder as you go galloping by. So the speed, the elevated quality of the writing, the words…It’s a challenge. I mean, your job as an actor is to ground whatever you’re doing in some kind of reality. And Tina and Robert are pulling you the other way going, “Nah, let’s shoot for the moon.” But your job remains the same. So that tension of making whatever it is they’re asking you to do, real, is I think the joy, the challenge and the excitement of what we’re doing.

And let me just add one thing about Holly hunter. You know, I can be a nice actor, meaning, I know what you want, so I’ll give it to you. You know, here it comes, you know, and that can be slightly boring sometimes. I watch Holly insist on grounding what it is she’s doing. It couldn’t be as far-fetched as you can imagine, but it’s still grounded and you never let go of that, Holly, and it’s a real inspiration for the rest of…for me, I’ll speak for myself.

Check out our other “Mr. Mayor” interviews with Vella Lovell and Kyla Kenedy and Mike Cabellon and Bobby Moynihan

MORE INFO:

Trailer

Mr. Mayor PosterSeason Premiere: March 15

“Mr. Mayor” follows a retired businessman (Ted Danson) who runs for mayor of Los Angeles to prove he’s “still got it.” Once he wins, he has to figure out what he stands for, gain the respect of his biggest critic (Holly Hunter) and connect with his teenage daughter, all while trying to get anything right for America’s second weirdest city.
The series stars Ted Danson, Holly Hunter, Vella Lovell, Mike Cabellon, Kyla Kenedy and Bobby Moynihan.
“Mr. Mayor” is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, Little Stranger, Bevel Gears and 3 Arts Entertainment. Robert Carlock, Tina Fey, Jeff Richmond and David Miner will executive produce. Eric Gurian will serve as a co-executive producer.

Ted Danson

Mayor Neil Bremer, “Mr. Mayor”

MR. MAYOR -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: Ted Danson as Neil Bremer -- (Photo by: Robert Trachtenberg/NBC)

Ted Danson stars as Mayor Neil Bremer on the NBC comedy “Mr. Mayor.”

Danson is a Golden Globe- and Emmy Award-winning actor known for an array of exceptional performances, most memorably for his portrayal of Boston bartender Sam Malone on NBC’s multi-award winning and iconic comedy “Cheers,” which ran for 11 seasons and won three Emmys as best comedy series. He recently starred in creator Michael Schur’s acclaimed NBC comedy series “The Good Place” for which he was nominated for his 14th Emmy Award for outstanding lead actor and received a Critics Choice Award for his role as Michael.

Other recent credits include the 10th season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” FX’s critically acclaimed second season of “Fargo,” CBS’ long-running “CSI” and “CSI: Cyber,” FX’s “Damages,” as well as Golden Globe nominated role on CBS’ “Becker.”

In film, Danson was seen in 2018 in “Hearts Beat Loud,” a drama music film that premiered at Sundance. He has also appeared in several other high-profile projects, including the 1987 blockbuster hit “Three Men and a Baby” and its sequel, “Three Men and a Little Lady.” He also had a co-starring role in Steven Spielberg’s World War II masterpiece “Saving Private Ryan.”

Raised outside Flagstaff, Ariz., Danson attended Stanford University where he became interested in drama during his second year in school. He then transferred to Carnegie Mellon University and graduated in 1972 with his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in drama. After graduation, he was hired as an understudy in Tom Stoppard’s Off Broadway production “The Real Inspector Hound.” Danson relocated to Los Angeles in 1978 to help manage the Actor’s Institute for a year-and-a-half while he taught there. Six months after his arrival, Danson earned a role in “The Onion Field” and co-starred in the TV movie “The Women’s Room.”

In addition to acting and producing, Danson is an environmental activist, co-founding the American Oceans Campaign (AOC) in 1987 to alert Americans to the life-threatening hazards created by oil spills, off-shore development, toxic wastes, sewage pollution and other ocean abuses. The AOC merged with Oceana in 2001. Oceana works to teach citizens how they can participate in protecting and restoring marine resources, and to show Congress that Americans are concerned with these issues.

Danson resides in Los Angeles with his wife, actress Mary Steenburgen.

Holly Hunter

Arpi Meskimen, “Mr. Mayor

Holly Hunter stars as Deputy Mayor Arpi Meskimen on the NBC comedy “Mr. Mayor.”

Hunter has been nominated for four Academy Awards for the films “Broadcast News,” “The Firm,” “The Piano” and “Thirteen.” In 1993, she won the Academy Award and Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival for her performance in “The Piano.” In 2008, Hunter received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2009, she was awarded the Women in Film Lucy Award.

Most recently Hunter was seen as rival CEO Rhea Jarrell in HBO’s hit drama “Succession” and Showtime’s highly anticipated miniseries “The Comey Rule.”

Hunter reprised her iconic voice role as Elastigirl in the highly anticipated sequel to the animated hit films “The Incredibles,” alongside Craig T. Nelson and Samuel L. Jackson.

Hunter co-starred in “The Big Sick,” which won the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Comedy as well as be Oscar nominated for Best Original Screenplay. For her supporting role, Hunter was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild and Independent Spirit Award, and was honored with a Career Achievement Award at the 2018 Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Hunter was nominated for an Academy Award for her role as a mother dealing with her daughter’s wild and rebellious behavior in the film “Thirteen,” directed by Catherine Hardwicke. Hunter was also honored with nominations from the Hollywood Foreign Press, SAG, BAFTA and the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. for this role.

Hunter received the Academy Award for her performance as a mute Scottish widow in Jane Campion’s “The Piano.” For this role, she received the Cannes Film Festival Award, British Academy Film Award, New York Film Critics Circle Award, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, National Board of Review Award and a Golden Globe Award, all for best actress. That same year, Hunter garnered an Academy Award nomination for her performance as the investigative secretary in “The Firm,” based on the John Grisham novel.

MR. MAYOR -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: (l-r) Holly Hunter as Arpi Meskimen, Ted Danson as Neil Bremer -- (Photo by: Robert Trachtenberg/NBC)Hunter was nominated for another Academy Award for her portrayal of a driven career-woman producer in “Broadcast News.” For this role, she received the New York Film Critics Circle Award, Los Angeles Film Critics Award, National Board of Review Award and Berlin Film Festival Award, all for best actress.

Hunter made her television series debut in TNT’s drama “Saving Grace,” which earned her nominations for two Emmy Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards and a Golden Globe Award for Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series. “Saving Grace” ended after four seasons in 2010.

Hunter starred in ABC’s “When Billie Beat Bobby” where she portrayed tennis legend Billie Jean King in the 1973 “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match between King and Wimbledon champion Bobby Riggs. The role garnered her an Emmy nomination for Best Actress in a Television Miniseries or Movie.

Hunter was nominated for an Emmy for her role in Showtime’s “Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her.” The film tells stories about love and loss in the lives of five women. The film won an award in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival and also screened at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival. Hunter also starred in Showtime’s original movie “Harlan County War,” for which she garnered both an Emmy and Golden Globe nomination for Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie.

Hunter was seen in the Sundance Channel series “Top of the Lake,” co-starring Elisabeth Moss, written and directed by Oscar winner Jane Campion. Hunter’s performance garnered her a Screen Actor’s Guild nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries.

She also starred in “The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom,” for which she won the Emmy for Best Actress. This role also garnered her a Golden Globe nomination. She starred as Jane Roe in NBC’s “Roe vs. Wade” and was awarded the Emmy for her performance.

In 1982, Hunter made her Broadway debut in Beth Henley’s “Crimes of the Heart” followed by “The Wake of Jamey Foster.” She was most recently seen on stage in the revival of David Rabe’s Tony Award-winning play “Sticks and Bones,” opposite Richard Chamberlain, Nadia Gan, Morocco Omari, Bill Pullman, Ben Schnetzer and Raviv Ullman. Hunter starred in Marina Carr’s “By the Bog of Cats,” directed by Dominic Cooke at Wyndham’s Theater in London.

Hunter co-produced and starred in Beth Henley’s “Control Freaks” and produced Ray Barry’s “Mother’ Son” at the Met Theatre in Los Angeles.

Other New York stage appearances include “The Miss Firecracker Contest,” “Battery,” The Person I Once Was,” “A Weekend Near Madison” and “Impossible Marriage.”

Hunter resides in New York.

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Holly Hunter and Ted Danson of "Mr. Mayor" on NBC

Interview with Judith Light

TV Interview!

Judith Light as Joan in "Shining Vale" on Starz

Interview with Judith Light of “shining Vale” on Starz by Suzanne 2/7/22

It was lovely to speak to such an amazing actress. I first saw her on “Who’s the Boss?” back in the 80’s. I’ve seen her in so many other great shows, such as “Transparent,” “Law and Order,” “Ugly Betty,” “Dietland,” “Dallas” and so much more. She’s great in this, like usual You may not even recognize her.  The first few questions are from me, and the others were from other journalists in this roundtable press junket we did.

Suzanne: Hi. When you’re playing your character, is there anyone in particular that you modeled her after?

Judith: No, no. What an interesting question. No, I think that what happened was that they created her as they saw her. Now, maybe the writers had somebody in mind. Maybe they knew somebody that had had some of these issues, but no. It was just like, there it was, right on the page.

Suzanne: Thank you.

Judith: Yeah, you bet.

Suzanne: I know you got your TV start on One Life to Live. If one of the four remaining daytime soaps were to offer you a really good role, around your schedule, whether it was recurring, or guest starring or long term, would you consider it?

Judith: You know, years ago I used to say I wouldn’t do this, and I’m never going to do that. I’m not going to be in a soap opera, and I’m not going to be in a sitcom, and I’m never going to marry an actor, and I’m never going to move to California. You know, I’m not terribly trustworthy. So, I would only answer that to say to you, I will allow myself to stay open to everything and to see how things evolve and what comes to me. I don’t look at something and say, “I’ll never do that.” It’s just it’s not a way to be as a human being, and it’s not a way to live. Who knows what could happen? I have no idea. So, good questions.

Question: …Tell us a little bit about her. She’s kind of a character, but has a part of her life that we won’t get into, but kind of had a dark period in her life, I guess the best way to put it?

Judith: Yeah, yeah. I love that you’re being deferential to not giving away a lot of the information, which I know they appreciate, and so do I. We’re talking about mental illness. I mean, you’re talking about a woman who, as an adult, a lot of her adult life is she’s dealing with mental illness, and the fact that this show is able to talk about that in such a way within the body and the context of comedy and horror and drama and paranormal is just quite incredible, I think. I just think it’s extraordinary. So, that’s one of the things that we’re dealing with is women and mental illness.

Question: Congratulations on being a part of such an interesting show. How long did you have to keep the secret that you were cast in this series?

Judith: Not for very long. I mean, it really happened quite, quite quickly. I mean, I read the script, and then they sent me the pilot to look at, and I was like, “Oh, I’m in.” So, it wasn’t really a very long time. They send it to me, and then we talked about it, and we shot it.

Question: And to follow up on that, was there a personal highlight for you? Because often things that are funny are not always off camera hilarious, the most fun thing ever, and then, vice versa. You’ll find that in dramas, the second they say cut, everyone is laughing their heads off and having a blast. So, is there a highlight?

Judith: The highlight was really getting to work with Courtney and with Greg and with Gus Birney. And to be in a show, like you say, I mean, that’s written and conceived by Jeff Astrof and Sharon Horgan and such a team of women writers, I mean, literally, this is a question for you and everybody who’s watching the show. “How do you write a show that’s a comedy and a drama and a horror show and paranormal?” I don’t even know how you can think about that. You said congratulations on being a part of this show. I am beside myself. I think people are just – I can’t even say think. I know people are going to be absolutely enchanted by this.

Question: You’ve done a lot of darker roles lately. Is there something about these characters that really makes you want to embody them? Or is it just things that come across your desk, and you’re like, “Okay, that’s an interesting role. I’d love to pursue that.”

Judith: I go for the role. I go for what it says about women and their stories. We’re storytellers, you know, just like you all. You’re the storytellers. You tell our stories, and that’s why talking to you is so interesting; it’s so vital. I look at a character. I look at the story. I look at what it’s saying. I see that women are writing for women about women’s issues, women and their artistry, women and their menopause, women and aging, women and their sexuality, women and their mental illness. So, that’s compelling to me. And to do it within, like I just said before, within the context of a show that’s funny and dramatic and tender and fragile and poignant and scary is just – You’re smiling. It’s true. It’s like it’s it’s a joy. It’s a real joy.

Question: As far as dialogue, do you get a chance to play with the words a little bit? Or do you have to stay verbatim to the script?

Judith: No, there’s no law. I mean, if there’s something that I want to talk to the producers about, they’re incredibly open, but when you see a show like this, and the way this is written, I wouldn’t touch this with a ten-foot pole. I mean, I wouldn’t even think to be able to do that. If I have questions, I’ll ask them, but not with something like this. They’re open and flexible, which is also a dream. It’s really great.

Question: Just a quick follow up, there is a scene where you have a moment with one of your grandchildren, and that was a really serious scene, and I really appreciated that scene. You both brought it, and it was so great to see you flexing those muscles.

Judith: Oh, thank you, thank you so much. That was all as all on the page. That’s all on the page. And you know, you can try something as as an actor, and you can throw it out. They might have said to me, “Don’t go there. Go to the funny, or go to the scary. Don’t do that. Don’t make it that deep or that real,” but they didn’t say that. So, that’s what I was saying. And in responding to your other question, which is, I wouldn’t ask them to change anything or rewrite anything. But if you work the way that I do is you just throw out a lot of stuff, and I say to somebody, “Look, this is the smorgasbord; you choose what you want.” And if they want something else, then they tell you. But thank you for noticing. That is a very powerful scene.

Question: So, when somebody looks at your IMDB or your credits, in general, you’ve been working nonstop, and it’s a variety of genres and projects. There’re not a lot of people who do dramatic stuff like you, yet we’re also on Family Guy. So, you’ve also been prolific as a humanitarian, and charitable work as well and standing up for women’s causes, in a wonderful way. Are there a lot of hobbies for you, or does it really all your free time goes back into the craft?

Judith: I wouldn’t say hobbies, but there are things in life that I do that I spend time on that feed my work, a lot of reading, a lot of investigation of psychology. Also, now, I’m starting to produce, and I have a bunch of projects in development. So, those are the things that I’m drawn to doing. I am curious about a lot of different things, and curiosity is the link to me to creativity. If you’re curious about something, you move into a direction of being creative in relation to it. Also, I love working in teams. So, I love being able to be around other people who are also curious and creative, and that’s where a lot of the energy goes. My husband and I are creating a lot of work together. So, that’s also exciting for me.

Question: So, it sounds like stay tuned to keep checking the IMDB to see how much you’re working.

Judith: There you go. There you go. That’s right.

Question: It’s such an honor, I must say to speak with you, and I’ve been a longtime fan of yours. Do you have any favorite projects of yours that truly hold a dear place in your heart? I mean, we recently saw you on American Crime Story. That was a beautiful arc, and there’re so many roles that stand out, of course, over the years, but are there certain roles that still hold a special place for you?

Judith: Oh, you’re so sweet. Thank you. Thank you for saying that. Well, I love American Crime. I love working with Ryan. I mean, talk about a visionary. He’s an incredible person. I would have to say, I did a play years ago, where I took over – I hadn’t been on stage for twenty-two years, and then I took over for a brilliant actor named Kathleen Chalfant in a play called Wit. It was about a woman who was dying of fourth stage ovarian cancer, and that one I hold very close still. I was terrified to do it. I had to shave my head. I had to be naked on stage. There were a lot of things that I had to confront, personally, that were very transformational for me as far as my life was concerned. It wasn’t about my career anymore. It was really about my life and the things that I needed to not be afraid of and to take a chance to take a risk. I did it for almost a year. I did it in New York for about six months. Then, I did it on tour in Boston and San Francisco and Washington, DC, and Florida. Every one of the experiences around that was life changing and affirming for me, and that one I hold I hold very close, very dear. Also, the other things that I’ve done on stage, like Other Desert Cities, just that brilliant, brilliant play by Jon Robin Baitz. I just walked into that family, and that was very, very special to me, getting to work with Joe Mantello and Robbie and then Richard Greenberg, on The Assembled Parties. Those are two other plays that I did. Most of the work that I’ve done stays with me. Not the character; I let go of the character, but the holiness, I guess, is what I would say. And I mean that in a holistic way, that those characters have meant a great deal to me, particularly when you do a long run, like we did with Lombardi. Those things, they stay. They’re embedded, and I really treasure them greatly. I really do.

Question: So, it just seems like the producing side is kind of tapping into a new area for you. How has that been to kind of take a project from an idea and put it together?

Judith: It’s been interesting. It’s more I’m learning from several different producers that I’m working with in the development of these projects. I’m at a place called Brillstein Creative Partners, and I’m working with some really brilliant, extraordinary women producers that I’m learning a lot from, like Amy Powell and Dakota DeBellis. There are people that are on these projects that I’m working on that I’m watching and learning from and seeing how to put something together. Right now we’re in the stages of looking at reading material, finding the writers. Who’s going to be the best team for this? And it takes a long time, and it takes a lot of discipline and diligence and a lot of hard work to put it together. I’m learning, and I’m watching, and I’m seeing that these are people that really know what they’re doing and really know what they’re talking about. So, I’m really in the learning stage. So, I’ll keep you posted. I’ll let you know how it’s going.

Here is the audio version of it.

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of http://www.scifivision.com

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Judith Light as Joan in "Shining Vale" on StarzSHINING VALE

Season 1 8 Episodes 2022

“Shining Vale” is a horror comedy about a dysfunctional family that moves from the city to a small town into a house in which terrible atrocities have taken place. But no one seems to notice except for Pat, who’s convinced she’s either depressed or possessed – turns out, the symptoms are exactly the same. Patricia “Pat” Phelps (Courteney Cox) is a former “wild child” who rose to fame by writing a raunchy, drug-and-alcohol-soaked women’s empowerment novel (a.k.a. lady porn). Fast forward 17 years later, Pat is clean and sober but totally unfulfilled. She still hasn’t written her second novel, she can’t remember the last time she had sex with her husband (Greg Kinnear), and her teenage kids are at that stage where they want you dead. She was a faithful wife until her one slip-up: she had a torrid affair with the hot, young handyman who came over to fix the sink while Terry was at work. In a last-ditch effort to save their marriage, she and Terry cash in all their savings and move the family from the “crazy” of the city to a large, old house in the suburbs that has a storied past of its own. Everyone has their demons, but for Pat Phelps, they may be real. Cox plays the lead role of Patricia “Pat” Phelps, with Kinnear playing her ever-optimistic husband, Terry Phelps, whose patience and self-control will be tested like never before. Mira Sorvino plays Rosemary, who is either Pat’s alter ego, a split personality, her id, her muse, or a demon trying to possess her. Dungey plays Kam, Pat’s oldest friend and book editor. Gus Birney and Dylan Gage also star as Pat and Terry’s teenage kids, Gaynor and Jake.

Multiple Tony and Emmy award-winning actress JUDITH LIGHT is known for her extensive body of television, film, and onstage work, for which she recently received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Opposite Bette Midler, Ben Platt, and Gwyneth Paltrow, she currently stars in Ryan Murphy’s Netflix series The Politician. Most recently, Light starred in Transparent, Amazon Prime’s Golden Globe-winning series, created by Jill Soloway, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination and multiple Emmy and Critics’ Choice nominations. In 2018, her role in Ryan Murphy’s Emmy and Golden Globe-winning series, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, garnered her an Emmy and Critics Choice nomination. More here

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Judith Light as Joan in "Shining Vale" on Starz

Interview with Merrin Dungey

TV Interview!

Merrin Dungey attends the premiere of her new Starz series Shining Vale on Monday (February 28) at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 28: Merrin Dungey attends the premiere of STARZ “Shining Vale” at TCL Chinese Theatre on February 28, 2022 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage)

Interview with Merrin Dungey of “Shining Vale” on Starz by Suzanne 2/7/22

I was delighted to speak with Merrin Dungey because she’s been in so many wonderful series, such as “Alias,” “Once Upon a Time,” “The Resident,” “Star Trek: Picard,” “Hollywood Heights,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Big Little Lies” and much more. I don’t know why she’s not starring in her own series by now. She has a fairly small role in this show (at least in the first season), but she’s great in it. I hope they give her more to do in the second season. It was wonderful to speak to her!

The first few questions were mine, and the rest are from the other reporters that were in our virtual room during this press junket. I put one of theirs in sooner so you could see that I was replying, in part, to what she had said when she was answering the other questions.

Suzanne: Hi! So, besides being Pat’s friend and editor, what else can you tell us about your character?

Our favorite photo of Merrin DungeyMerrin: Well, it’s not simply just that I’m her friend and her editor. I’m sort of the engine that keeps the story going, because without what I need from her, that’s what leads her to make the decisions that she makes along the way, and I feel that my character is her moral center and her life raft, like the one outside of everything else that’s happening that she clings to. She is like, this is the person that can help me move things forward. I feel like she’s also a little desperate to please. Where there is a sister like relationship that we have, I feel that it’s a long standing relationship. I was there for the beginning. I probably was the one who discovered her and brought her along and got the first book success, hence why I’ve been on this horse and stuck by her so long through her rehabs, through her ins and outs, and having children and all the whatnot, but my patience runs thin, and I have bosses to answer to at this point as well. So, there is a point at which the rubber meets the road, and I feel that without me, you don’t have the show. You don’t have that engine to keep her chasing what she’s chasing to finish the book.

Question: When you had the pleasure of auditioning for the show, did you actually read any of your character’s lines, or were the sides just totally random stuff in there and they were gauging your connectivity to it all that way?

Merrin: No, it’s all written. I mean, I believe that I added some stuff at the end. This is the thing I miss the most about in person auditions, because I’m great in a room, because I like people, and I like to have fun. I honestly, truly believe that some of my success and things have happened – I mean, like, at the end of the day, when you are auditioning for something for a series that could go for six years, you want to know, “Do I like this person? Do I want to spend time with this person?” That’s part of the game. But I believe I sent some stuff about what I was wearing in my audition. They have you do like the, “Hi, I’m Merrin Dungey, and I live in Los Angeles, and I am willing to -” you know, whatever you say, all the things, like “I’m five, nine,” or whatever your height is, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I made some stupid joke about my pants. Like, I was not wearing [pants]…and I think that that helps. Although I’m fully dressed today. I have high heels on; I do the whole thing.

Suzanne: You look very nice today, by the way. So, it’s been sixteen years since “Alias” went off the air, and I know that both of your characters died, but nobody really dies in those type of shows. Do you think that we’ll ever see a reunion series or movie, and would you do it?

Merrin: Yes. Hopefully. And yes. And yes. Look, Jennifer got us all back together for the most part, for a 20th anniversary. Yeah, it was super, super fun to see everyone and just connect and hang out, but I think that we are all game for that. And I would hope that – I feel that Bad Francie lives. She lives somewhere on, you know, life support somewhere or she’s T-2; she’s a robot. So, it would be great. I would love it very much. I would be wholly disappointed if they did do it, and I did not get to reprise any sort of – I don’t care even if it’s a flashback, but not a flashback to Good Francie, because, who cares?

Question: Merrin, I’ve been watching your acting for, it’s like twenty-ish years now. You’ve played every profession on the planet. And this one, we see you playing Pat’s oldest friend and book editor, but not the first time you’ve worked in the publishing industry on screen. One of my favorite shows ever, You’re the Worst, you were working at a publishing industry.

Merrin: I thought I was a PR agent in that. I was at a publishing agency, but as a PR agent for him, getting him all those interviews.

Question: Related to all that, I’m curious how much work goes into seeking the professions and learning the ins and outs before you’re appearing as that on screen?

Merrin: That’s a great question. Thank you very much. I think I don’t necessarily dive into [it] so heavily, unless it’s like detective work, because that’s so much more foreign to what I know. To play a publishing editor or book editor or even a CEO, there just is sort of like, what’s the gravitas? What is the nature of [how you are] presenting, as opposed to what is it you actually do? Because unless you really see me doing what it is that I have to do, like when I do detective stuff, it’s just kind of, there’s usually a different objective for my character. So, I don’t have to worry so much about what it is that I do as a therapist or any of those sorts of things.

Question: I love this world for you, and it’s such a beautiful relationship that the two of you share, that Pat shares with Kam. What does Kam particularly see in her? I mean, obviously, you mentioned that she probably discovered her, but is there something special that you feel like she initially saw in her, and what continues to have her stand by her side?

Merrin: You know, we all have that friend, don’t we? It’s just kind of like a little bit of a like sister relationship, the one that you kind of need to take care of and put under your wing, and she’s constantly effing up, and I have to [be] like, “Okay, how can we – ” I mean, I certainly have had those people in my life, and I think that that’s what Cam sees in her. There’s talent amongst the ruins, and she wants the best for her. She loves her. She also wants to get paid. You know what I’m saying? Sadly, [there’s] a financial component ultimately here, and there does come a point at which [it’s] like, my neck’s on the line. So, it is a two fold relationship.

Question: They do say “never mix business with pleasure.”

Question: So, she has some great dialogue. Talk about that and how it really plays into kind of like, what I love about her, that snarky side of her and all these great lines that she has.

Merrin: Well, thank you. We get to play. That’s the great thing about the show is that there is room to play, and Courtney’s always game. She’s such a great sparring partner as you can well imagine. She’s so witty and sharp and funny, and Jeff Astrof comes in with the zingers at all times. We played a lot with – you know, anytime you open the scene or you end the scene, there’s a lot of room to sort of have fun and improv and do some stuff. So, from that comes some of the zingers and the stuff…And the late night shoots. You get tired, and then you start saying stuff, and it just happens, and it’s fun.

Question: You do take on so wonderfully these dramatic roles. Is there something about this character or maybe about drama series in general that really draws you to that genre?

Merrin: Well, this is a horror comedy. So, it’s not really a drama, and this is my first time doing that. Although I guess American Horror Stories is sort of like a horror comedy. Look, I go where the goods are. I go where there’s some great fun and good people. I feel like, in my later years in particular, I have been able to work with some [outstanding] – Listen, my entire career I’ve worked with some great people: Aaron Sorkin, Sir Patrick Stewart, Jane Fonda, Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon. I’ve been very, very lucky. It’s ridiculous, you know, Bryan Cranston. I mean, it’s crazy. So, I just feel like I fell out of the lucky tree, and I hit every branch on the way down. So, to continue that streak with Greg Kinnear and Mira Sorvino and Courtney Cox, again, it’s like, “Are you kidding?” This is a dream come true. It’s crazy.

Question: You do it so wonderfully.

Merrin: Thank you. Did I answer your question? Because I feel like maybe didn’t answer your question, but, yes, I’m happy to work with great people. I don’t care what they’re doing. I did an online thing with Con Man, I think was an online series with Nathan Fillion, because it was like, “Nathan Fillon, sure, yeah. Alan Tudyk, yep.”

Question: So, you checked a few boxes. You’re in the Star Trek arena, live action and animation, and horror, you’ve done Lucifer, of course. Now, you’re doing this, although you’re not in the horror aspect per se, at least not yet, but what’s it like to kind of play in those playgrounds and to visit those kind of worlds?

Merrin: Awesome. I mean, it’s such a gift. It’s complicated when you do something like a Picard, because doing that is much like doing an ER in an OR kind of thing, because, I don’t know about you, but I don’t know what I’m talking about. You know what I’m saying? Like, I’m not in space. I’m not with the Romulans. I don’t understand what we’re talking about. So, it took me a long time to sort of pull in what I know about what I know and being a television interviewer, and then how does that work? What points am I trying to hit? We had so much rehearsal for that, because it was six big pages with him, with Sir Patrick Stewart, and we had a blast. It was the longest, hardest day of my life, except for when I did the fight with Jennifer, but in terms of concentration and what it is and having to do, you know, I’m like spinning a sphere or something. You’re dealing with things that are CGI that don’t exist. That is complicated. At least when I was doing Once Upon a Time, even though there was CGI in that, it’s still more grounded in terms of what you’re saying. I think that’s the hardest part. It’s harder to play in those playgrounds, because they’re fantastical, so you are trying to pull in what you know about the real world and attribute it to something that doesn’t exist. But for other people, this is really real, and I’m very proud of myself, particularly for Picard, because people are mad at me…I was like, “Good. I did what I was supposed to.” I had no idea what I was talking about! [laughs]

Here is the audio version of it.

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of http://www.scifivision.com

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Trailer

Part of the "Shining Vale" poster with Merrin Dungey and Courtney Cox.

SHINING VALE

Season 1 8 Episodes 2022

“Shining Vale” is a horror comedy about a dysfunctional family that moves from the city to a small town into a house in which terrible atrocities have taken place. But no one seems to notice except for Pat, who’s convinced she’s either depressed or possessed – turns out, the symptoms are exactly the same. Patricia “Pat” Phelps (Courteney Cox) is a former “wild child” who rose to fame by writing a raunchy, drug-and-alcohol-soaked women’s empowerment novel (a.k.a. lady porn). Fast forward 17 years later, Pat is clean and sober but totally unfulfilled. She still hasn’t written her second novel, she can’t remember the last time she had sex with her husband (Greg Kinnear), and her teenage kids are at that stage where they want you dead. She was a faithful wife until her one slip-up: she had a torrid affair with the hot, young handyman who came over to fix the sink while Terry was at work. In a last-ditch effort to save their marriage, she and Terry cash in all their savings and move the family from the “crazy” of the city to a large, old house in the suburbs that has a storied past of its own. Everyone has their demons, but for Pat Phelps, they may be real. Cox plays the lead role of Patricia “Pat” Phelps, with Kinnear playing her ever-optimistic husband, Terry Phelps, whose patience and self-control will be tested like never before. Mira Sorvino plays Rosemary, who is either Pat’s alter ego, a split personality, her id, her muse, or a demon trying to possess her. Dungey plays Kam, Pat’s oldest friend and book editor. Gus Birney and Dylan Gage also star as Pat and Terry’s teenage kids, Gaynor and Jake.

In addition to “Shining Vale”, Merrin Dungey will be seen in a recurring role on the up- coming season of “Lucifer”. Fresh from her strong turn as CJ Emerson on ABC’s limited series “The Fix”, Dungey returned to the critically lauded Emmy winning HBO series “Big Little Lies” as Detective Quinlan, appearing on screen with Oscar winners Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and the legendary Meryl Streep; all nominated for a SAG Award for Best Ensemble. She co-starred as CEO Claire Thorpe on Fox’s “The Resident”, and on a number of ABC hits including “Once Upon A Time” and “Conviction”. Guest star roles range from the groundbreaking turn as Francie Calfo/Alison Doren in the critically acclaimed award-winning “Alias”, and as a Queen of Darkness, Ursula, in “Once Upon A Time”. Other guest appearances include hit shows including “Seinfeld”, “Friends”, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, “Episodes”, “The West Wing” and “Shameless”. Recurring roles include “Chasing Life”, “Brooklyn 99”, “Malcolm in the Middle”, “Revenge” and over 35 episodes of “The King of Queens”. Dungey is an accomplished stand-up comedian, and has performed in Montreal’s Just For Laughs Festival, as well as on “Premium Blend” on Comedy Central. She has appeared on the big screen opposite Pierce Brosnan in Some Kind of Beautiful and the Warner Bros comedy CHiPs opposite Dax Shepard. She is a UCLA Theater School Graduate and the youngest recipient of the UCLA Annual Acting Award, as well as the Natalie Wood Prize

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Merrin Dungey as Kam in "Shining Vale" on Starz, seen here with Courtney Cox (Pat).

Interview with Mira Sorvino

TV Interview!

Mira Sorvino stars as Rosemary in "The Shining Vale" on Starz

Interview with Mira Sorvino of “Shining Vale” on Starz by Suzanne 2/7/22

This is a great show! I fell in love with it when I saw the first episode months ago. Now I’ve seen 6 of the episodes (there are a total of 7).  It’s a creepy horror show and a funny comedy as well. The actors in it are perfect. Mira Sorvino is the right combination of weird and sexy as Rosemary, one of the house’s inhabitants. I was very happy to speak to her about it, even if it was only a brief interview. The other questions are from other journalists.

Suzanne: Can you tell us what the most fun thing was about filming the show and also the most challenging aspect of playing the character?

Mira: Well, those two both came to play in you know – So, Jeff being the amazing, wonderful, generous showrunner that he is, when I told him, “Oh, I would love it if she could dance,” because in those old 50s movies that she’s in love with, they always had these dance numbers,” and all of a sudden he wrote me and Courtney and Greg like a little dance bit at the beginning of one of the later episodes. I was overjoyed and terrified, because I had hung up my pointe shoes at fourteen, although I’d taken like eight years of classes and as an adult actually still studied, still studied ballet, still studied some jazz, did like salsa and ballroom stuff for some of the other movies I’ve done, like Summer of Sam. So, I got to do this scene that, it’s very brief, but it’s like an homage to Fred Astaire and the coat rack or Gene Kelly and the mop, the boom. And I couldn’t have had more fun, and I couldn’t have been more nervous. I worked on it for a week with the choreographer, trying to appear, trying to show up like a real dancer. Liz Friedman was the director, and she used to direct videos and dance, and she knows all about dance. So, I was like, “Oh, my God,” but I ended up being really happy with it and proud of it and had the time in my life. So, it was both as much fun as one could have on a day of work and as nervous I could be on a set, because I’m not a professional dancer. Like acting is kind of under my feet now; like I know what I’m doing, even if certain scenes will be more challenging than others emotionally, or I’ll have more work to do on a certain aspect of preparation. I’m not a professional dancer, so getting to dance in a professional scene was a joy, but it was also a terror, but I loved it. I was so grateful. So grateful.

Suzanne: I look forward to seeing it. Thanks. When people recognize you, and they tell you how much they like you, what is the movie or show that you’re most recognized for? Is it Romy and Michele, or something else?

Mira: Absolutely. People say, “I’m the Mary.” You know, they do stuff like that, like when they meet me. Yeah, that’s the one.

Suzanne: That’s definitely the one. All right. Well, thanks a lot.

Mira: Thank you.

Question: Hi, it’s great to talk to you; been a big fan of yours for many years, more than I should admit, but I gotta ask you, what’s it kind of like – and I’m going to be delicate about this – to kind of play a character that’s a little retro?

Mira Sorvino and Courtney Cox from "Shining Vale" on StarzMira: You don’t have to be delicate about it. I mean, she’s from the 50s. The historical person of Rosemary, who lived in the house seventy years ago, lived in the 50s with her family, and she was a very miserable person with dreams of grandeur and dreams of a different life that she couldn’t achieve. Then, her, you know, ectoplasmic manifestation in the present, is trying to cozy up to Pat Phelps, Courtney Cox’s character; [it has] still got all the trappings of that era. She talks like a character from a movie or TV series from the time. And the crazy part is, I don’t even know whether real people talk that way, but all the evidence that we have, like when I watched Leave It to Beaver or Ozzie and Harriet, or The Donna Reed Show, everyone’s talking in that patois. Then, you’ve got these fantastic, more crime thrillers, which I watched for inspiration, and I think that’s how she sees herself. She wants to see herself as this sort of silver screen, like, you know, power woman. She’s a little bit silly, so she doesn’t quite – it’s not as powerful as she hopes, but she’s trying to be what she wasn’t in life. So, in her real life, she was disempowered and hopeful and then squashed. Her new manifestation is all like verve and “Let’s do it baby!” you know, “Let’s drink!” And I loved it. I loved having that anachronistic vibe, so that it was a clear contrast with the current day people and that still, though, her message was modern, even though she was doing it in archaic way. It’s like, “Are you happy with your life? Is this all you really expected to get out of life? Are you letting other people’s expectations rule what you can be? Why don’t you take charge of your own life; be everything that you want to be? Experience life the way you want it. It’s time for you,” is sort of what she’s saying, even though she’s saying it, like, “Let’s go to Paris and throw a fantastic party.” So, I just love being her. It’s really fun.

Question: Earlier today, I had the pleasure of speaking with Jeff, and he was talking about how no matter how big the stars were, they wanted to be in the show and were willing to demonstrate, “Hey, I don’t care where I am on the [call sheet], I want to be on the show.” How did you first find out about it?

Mira: I think my agents found out about it, and I read the script and had a talk with Jeff, and he sent me later scenes from it, because, obviously, in the first episode, I’m kind of a discovery towards the end. But he sent me some of the tiki bar scenes where you really see her at work, trying to enlist Pat to come over and be her sister and adventure[r]. And I was really intrigued. Then, I got to do a zoom meet with Courtney, who I’d met before, but like, you know, artistically about the project. It seemed like a wonderful fit and was going to be fantastic. So, I was so excited about it, and it has proven to be one of my favorite jobs I’ve ever had, honestly.

Question: It’s such a pleasure to speak with you; I’ve been a longtime fan, and I have to say, Romy and Michele is one of my absolute favorite movies. I’m sure you basically hear that every day at this point of your life.

Mira: I’m very grateful that people love it so much.

Question: With this particular role of Rosemary, did it take stepping into the costume for you to really embody her, or did you just find her based on the wonderful words on the page?

Mira: It was a combo. It was like, once I first started working on her, I actually had an old 50s dress that I ended up wearing into one of the fittings, because it was giving me vibes of her, and I offered to bleach my hair completely platinum so that I could be more ghosty and 50s-ish, and that helped. Then, I just started watching The Donna Reed Show and Ozzie and Harriet and then all these 50s noire movies, because I felt like historical Rosemary was like a normal person who was somewhat repressed, maybe a little high-strung, definitely sort of held down by her husband. He was very abusive and neglectful and controlled her within an inch of her life. The ghost rosemary, the spirit Rosemary, is everything Rosemary hoped to be in life but couldn’t really be. So, now, she’s fabulous. Now, she’s got these tremendous costumes. Now, she’s got these lofty [unintelligible], and she’s hosting. She’s hosting people in her own bar. “Come on in. Let me pour you a drink, darling.” She’s just living that life that she wished that she could live, given the parameters of the narrow vision of what a great life looked like to her at the time. So, yeah, it was sort of working on the two characters, because at certain points in the show, you see her as Rosemary, like the real Rosemary, and most of the time, you’re seeing the spirit Rosemary, but sometimes real Rosemary comes through in spirit Rosemary. Like, there’s a moment – because I think you’ve seen the bathroom scene, right? So, at the mirror, real Rosemary comes through there. So, it’s like spirit Rosemary’s in the bath, and then real Rosemary tries to break through. And real Rosemary is in a lot of pain. So, it’s a very interesting, fun challenge to play this multilayered, not even just person, you know, spirit.

Mira Sorvino from "Shining Vale" on StarzQuestion: What’s it like to balance all of that, including the horror and the comedy elements in there too?

Mira: Well, I find that if you make a character sort of odd enough or quirky enough, if the writing is funny, just delivering it in character will make it funny. So, you know, because she is somewhat anachronistic and has so much excitement for things that other [people] would not consider exciting, or doesn’t know that smoking is bad for you, or just all these things that just set her apart, like the comedy sort of took care of itself in a way. The horror was also largely delivered by the way scenes start or end or whether there’re jump-scares. It’s only as her sort of progressive and her sort of darker nature starts growing, that’s when I had to really be part of the scare in an active way, because I had to be – you had to believe me capable of harm, which I had to sort of dig into the the darker trauma of the past Rosemary’s life to bring that gravitas to highfalutin modernism…I don’t know, it’s like inside the workings of a weird mind right now.

Question: With a character like Rosemary, there’s a lot of work; there’s a lot of craft to it. Are you able to turn off thirty seconds after they yell “cut”? Or is it the kind of thing where you spend days as that character, and you can’t snap out of it?

Mira: I can snap out of it now. I mean, the kinds of things you don’t snap out of so easily are really, really depressing things like when I played Norma Jean and Marilyn. And then the last thing we shot the day before Christmas Eve was her dying in the ambulance, because in that show, she dies in the ambulance. Then, [I] flew back to New York and had jetlag; it took me two weeks to surface. I was really depressed and sad and dark. When I did The Grey Zone, an incredible movie that no one has seen about a successful rebellion at Auschwitz, perpetrated by the Sonderkommando, and the women who were just like slave labor in the munitions factories. That’s such a dark movie, and the fate of all those people was so devastating. That hung with me for weeks and weeks, and I had nightmares. But when you’re doing something that’s a little bit lighter and more sort of deftly switches from the dark to light back again, psychologically, it’s pretty easy to bounce out of it. Like, I would have fun rehearsing my stuff, but then, I have four children, so don’t really have the luxury of staying in character. I don’t. Like I have a very real life that awaits me the second I even look at my phone and have a million texts from this child and that one and that school and this one, you know, it’s just a lot going on. But I think it’s also experience, the fact that I’ve been doing this for so long makes it easy for me to jump in and jump out of it.

Question: Thank you. And as you’ve heard earlier, Romy and Michele in this household, also a staple. So, thank you for that.

Mira: Thank you.

Question: This is such a beautiful role for you, and you are a part of social media. Are you a looking forward to that instant fan feedback finally to something people are going to get to see you in lately? And also, what do you think it is about the series that’s really going to make it a fast fan favorite?

Mira: Well, I can just say that everybody that we’ve spoken today [unintelligible] has said how much they love it, and that’s really rare. It’s really rare for every journalist you talk to to have unbridled, genuine enthusiasm when they’re talking about something. It didn’t feel like a work day. “Okay, today, we’re talking this actor about this project.” It’s like, “Wow, I really enjoyed this; this was so much fun. I can’t wait to see the rest of it.” Like everybody’s talking like that. So, I do have high hopes that actually the general public will feel the same way. And, you know, when we act, we don’t do it to act in our bathroom; we do it to connect with people. So, I’m really looking forward to having the fans like it. I’m looking forward to them enjoying it, that it means something, since you’re not in front of a live audience. If you were a theater actor, you would know right away from just the breath in the room, whether people were attached to it or not, and certainly by the end by the amount of applause or standing ovations or whatever. Our only way is if people really like the film, and then we get to hear from [unintelligible] the show, and we get to hear from them over over the ether. And that will be fun; I’m looking forward to it.

Here is the audio version of it.

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of http://www.scifivision.com

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Trailer

poster for "Shining Vale"SHINING VALE

Season 1 8 Episodes 2022

“Shining Vale” is a horror comedy about a dysfunctional family that moves from the city to a small town into a house in which terrible atrocities have taken place. But no one seems to notice except for Pat, who’s convinced she’s either depressed or possessed – turns out, the symptoms are exactly the same. Patricia “Pat” Phelps (Courteney Cox) is a former “wild child” who rose to fame by writing a raunchy, drug-and-alcohol-soaked women’s empowerment novel (a.k.a. lady porn). Fast forward 17 years later, Pat is clean and sober but totally unfulfilled. She still hasn’t written her second novel, she can’t remember the last time she had sex with her husband (Greg Kinnear), and her teenage kids are at that stage where they want you dead. She was a faithful wife until her one slip-up: she had a torrid affair with the hot, young handyman who came over to fix the sink while Terry was at work. In a last-ditch effort to save their marriage, she and Terry cash in all their savings and move the family from the “crazy” of the city to a large, old house in the suburbs that has a storied past of its own. Everyone has their demons, but for Pat Phelps, they may be real. Cox plays the lead role of Patricia “Pat” Phelps, with Kinnear playing her ever-optimistic husband, Terry Phelps, whose patience and self-control will be tested like never before. Mira Sorvino plays Rosemary, who is either Pat’s alter ego, a split personality, her id, her muse, or a demon trying to possess her. Dungey plays Kam, Pat’s oldest friend and book editor. Gus Birney and Dylan Gage also star as Pat and Terry’s teenage kids, Gaynor and Jake.

Mira Sorvino (Rosemary) was most recently seen in Ryan Murphy’s Emmy nominated limited series “Hollywood”, (Netflix) as the Lana Turner-inspired star Jeanne Crandall. Other recent credits include the 20 th Century feature Stuber and director Mary Harron’s thriller The Expecting.

Sorvino won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice Award, National Board of Review and New York Film Critics Circle for her performance in Mighty Aphrodite. She received additional Golden Globe nominations for her performances in the miniseries “Human Trafficking” and for her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe in HBO’s Norma Jean And Marilyn (also earning her an Emmy Award nomination). In 2016, she was awarded Best Supporting Actress by the Milano International Film Festival for her work in Mothers And Daughters opposite Sharon Stone and Susan Sarandon.

Other notable film performances include Spike Lee’s Summer Of Sam, Guillermo del Toro’s Mimic, Nancy Savoca’s Union Square, Antoine Fuqua’s Replacement Killers, Robert Redford’s Quiz Show, the comedy cult classic Romy And Michelle’s High School Reunion, Ted Demme’s Beautiful Girls, Triumph Of Love and Terry George’s Reservation Road.

Other television credits include “Badland”, a memorable 4-episode turn on Modern Family, “Startup”, and the limited series Intruders opposite Millie Bobby Brown for BBC America. She produced Griffin Dunne’s comedy Famous which was an official selection of the Cannes Film Festival, and associate produced Rob Weiss’ Amongst Friends and the documentary Freedom To Broadcast Hate.

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Mira Sorvino as Rosemary in "Shining Vale"

Interview with Tommy Davidson

TV Interview!

 

Tommy Davidson

Interview with Tommy Davidson of “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder” on Disney+ by Suzanne 2/15/22

It was a lot of fun to speak to Tommy! Not just because I’m so familiar with his earlier work, but because he’s just a funny guy who frequently breaks into funny voices. We definitely bonded over growing up in the 70’s, watching cartoons.

Suzanne: Can you tell us how “The Proud Family” reboot came about?

Tommy: It came about [from] a phone call, and it was a phone call that took about fifteen years to get made. All of a sudden, I get a phone call from Ralph Farquhar and Bruce Smith. If they’re calling me, I know it’s “The Proud Family”. We were down for 15 years; we were up for for six, and here, we get an opportunity to do something so beautiful, again. I get this call, and I’m going, “Are you kidding me?” And they’re like, “We’re not kidding you, man. We’re not kidding you.” So, of course, I said “Yes.” We all said, “Yes.” We all met over at Disney Studios, all the actors that were in it, who we love so much, and the new ones. We all met over there at Disney Studios and just laid out our voices just to get everything back into balance. It was the same feeling. It was the same feeling, but better, because now we’ve got new adults. We got a whole world of kids that are now 29-30. We got a whole new world of kids in a new world that we have, an animated series that deals with everything that’s in real time in this real world, and it’s still just for the kids.

Suzanne: Great, and which network is it on, and how many episodes are there?

Tommy: It’s actually on Disney Plus.

Suzanne: Disney plus, okay.

Tommy: Yeah, it’s actually on Disney Plus.

Suzanne: And how many episodes are there?

Tommy: You know what? I don’t know how many episodes, but it’s enough for us. I believe we’re up to like 20.

Suzanne: Okay, that’s good.

Tommy: I’m glad you asked me, nice and early.

Suzanne: And how much voice work had you done before you did the original Proud Family?

Tommy: Oh, really? Okay, that question. [laughs] Now, you’re going to take me back. Yeah, you’re gonna take me back to my Datsun 610. I’ve been doing voice work ever since I got to Hollywood in ‘87 and was doing voice work, doing dubs for movies. I moved into doing cartoon voices for “Ren & Stimpy” and for “The Simpsons.” I did animated work and would come in and get like thirty bucks per session to cover all of the different voices in all these different cartoons. So, I played character voices. So, the main [one] that I nailed was this one, is The Proud Family.

Suzanne: When you were a kid, were you one of those kids that was always doing silly voices?

Tommy: Not only that, I was the expert at cartoons. I’m one of those kids that – we didn’t have cartoons at nighttime unless it was the holidays, so if we’re seeing a cartoon at night, we’re going, “This is a cartoon that’s on in the nighttime!” because we had to wait for Saturday morning or after school. So, I grew up with all the mainstays. I was there when “Scooby Doo” premiered. I was there when “Hong Kong Phooey” premiered. I grew up on on “The Wacky Races” and “The Pink Panther” and all the Warner Brothers cartoons, all the Hanna-Barbera, from “The Jetsons” all the way through to “Magilla Gorilla.” So, it was like the [unintelligible] and all this, so my whole childhood was enriched by cartoons, and, of course, the main cartoon was “The Jackson Five” cartoon. Jackson Five and “Fat Albert,” because those were the first cartoons that really focused on an African American audience.

Suzanne: I watched those. I’m like two years older than you.

Tommy: Okay, okay.

Suzanne: I grew up with all those, and then sometime during the weekdays in the afternoon, you had the reruns of the old ones, like “Bugs Bunny” and “Road Runner.” All those.

Tommy: Oh, yeah. We know those by heart.

Suzanne: Yeah.

Tommy: We know those so much.

Suzanne: Yeah. And which guest stars were you most happy to see for this new version?

Tommy: Nas X with his really edgy and crazy career, and groundbreaking. It was just good to see him. And the episode is fun. It’s funny, is colorful, and it’s palatable. You know, it’s right on time.

"In Living Color" castSuzanne: Great. Go back a little bit again. Do you ever still see the people that you worked with on “In Living Color?”

Tommy: Oh yeah, all the time. We pass each other, like not even ships in the night, like on a roller coaster. Vroom. The roller coaster going the other way. “Where you going?” “I’m going to New York.” “I’m going to California.” Vroom. You know, we’re just passing each other. I just ran into Marlon Wayans at a comedy club. I texted everybody yesterday, because it was an article about our halftime Super Bowl special that we did that was groundbreaking. So, everybody texted me back and said “Wow, I didn’t see this.” We still are in tandem.

Suzanne: That’s great. I know they tried to reboot it in 2012. Do you think they’d ever tried to do it again with the some of the original cast, where you do a special or something?

Tommy: Well, that’s one of the things that really rests on Keenan Ivory Wayans who’s really the brainchild and the genius behind this. If he called us right now, we’d all stop and go and do it. It’s like the Avengers. We’re like the Avengers. You know what I mean? We all get in our vehicles and start, you know, dun dun dun [unintelligible] stuff and we all come in. Like the Avengers, we all meet, and there’s the big fella over here, and Captain America over here, and Black Panther over here, and we’re ready for action.

Suzanne: That’s great. Yeah, my husband and I used to watch “In Living Color” every week. We just loved it. So, it’s great to meet you.

Tommy: Yeah, the best. Thank you so much. We changed society more than I thought. I mean, you look at TV now, and what we did now is just a staple. Everything is filled with color. Everything is filled with hip hop. Everything is filled with this progressive kind of comedy. Everything has it, and all of our writers went out into the market and created shows like “Friends” and “Martin.” I mean, you can’t really watch TV without someone from “In Living Color” [either] as a director or writer, someone being right there. I did Cedric the Entertainer’s show the other night, “The Neighborhood,” and lo and behold, one of the executive producers was Keenan’s assistant.

"Strictly Business" DVD coverSuzanne: Wow.

Tommy: I mean, we have deep roots.

Suzanne: We also saw your your movie, “Strictly Business,” and really enjoyed that, and it was a huge hit. I think nowadays they would probably do a sequel or two, right?

Tommy: I would like that. I would really like that, just to see where Bobby and his partner are now. I did that on purpose; I did that movie on purpose. I had a choice to do whatever movie I wanted to do, and I chose that, because I thought it was a good story about just a regular brother from the hood, from the projects in Harlem, who gets with a business grad from Harvard, and they go to a black bank, get a loan, and start their own business, all over a hot chick. I mean, how can you beat that?

Suzanne: Right, and that was very of the time too.

Tommy: Oh, yeah. There was not really a movie like that for us at that time for African Americans, for that spectrum of society. There wasn’t really. So, that was the first one. So many Joseph C. Phillip, Halle Berry and Tommy Davidson in "Strictly Business" promo stillCEOs, African American CEOs of companies and business owners, they’d always come to me and say, “When I was a kid,” or “when I was in school, that movie made me want to be in business.”

Suzanne: Wow. That’s great. That’s quite an effect.

Tommy: Yeah.

Suzanne: It’s wonderful. I was watching some of your other interviews. You had quite an interesting personal history growing up. Would you ever consider making that into a movie or a TV series, like Chris Rock did with “Everybody Hates Chris?”

Tommy: I’d like to do something like that, but what I’d like to do in particular is probably do a docu-comedy so that I can cover every aspect of what that brings to bear in reality for me. And the way that society is now, that could make a really, really heavy impact, which is bringing forth the information from what I experienced with the beautiful people that were around me and developed me into this human that I am.

Suzanne: That sounds interesting too, either way. And when people see you, and they recognize you, what do they must recognize you for now?

Tommy: You know, it’s hard, because everybody has a different one. Everybody has something different. So, they’ll recognize me from doing Varnel Hill on “Martin,” or they’ll recognize me from being Oscar Proud on “The Proud Family,” or they’ll recognize me from doing the million talk shows that I do. You can’t tell what movie they’re gonna say they love. You know, “I loved Woo.” “I loved Booty Call.” “I loved Ace Ventura with you and Jim [Carrey].” You know, “I loved Bamboozled with Spike Lee.” You never know. Or there’s somebody who just loved the character that I did on In Living Color, if it’s the simple cook in the back, “Pick it up!” [unintelligible] There’re so many different things, that I’m the lucky one. I’m the lucky one, because I can never really get too down, emotionally, because there’s always somebody coming up to me with a bright face going, “The thing you did with – ” you know, “My grandmother’s right here. She wants to meet you,” or “My cousin’s here; can you meet him?” I always get an uplift.

Suzanne: That must be very rewarding.

Tommy: Yeah, yeah, I like to call it “closed-heart surgery”. You know, there’s open-heart surgery where you’ve got to open it up, and you’ve got to get in there. Well, me as a comic traveling on the road, and me doing movies, I can actually affect the heart in a positive way, just right where it is. You know, “closed-heart surgery.”

Suzanne: That’s great. That’s a good phrase. And is there anything else that you’d like to tell us about “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder?”

Tommy: We’re louder and prouder. We’re going into the new millennium. Penny’s in high school. The father’s going crazy, like I did with my daughters when puberty started kicking in and boys started coming around. I’m like, “What is going on here?” And Oscar is in that state where he’s like, “You can wear that dress, but you’ve got to wear tennis shoes with it!” [laughs] He’s just like, “What are these? What are these, rubber bands?!” and it ends up being – you know what I mean? So, it’s like it’s actually autobiographical for me, too. I have a fifteen year-old. I also have a twenty nine year-old girl. So, raising her, and they’re totally two different generations, but it’s just basic fun. That’s the beautiful thing about it is that with all the complexities in this society, right now, The Proud Family still focuses on simple, all-American ethics. All-American ethics, the kind that I’ve watched on The Brady Bunch or Andy Griffith or The Flintstones or Leave It to Beaver, or Bewitched. Every episode ended up like, “I learned something about being good. I learned about being a good person.”

Suzanne: Yeah, that’s good.

Tommy: I’m glad that’s not out of style.

Suzanne: No, especially not with kid shows.

Tommy: Yeah, right, especially not, yeah.

Suzanne: And do you have any other projects coming up that you can tell us about?

Tommy: Oh, yeah, I just released my first single, called “Sweet Reunion.” You can catch it on YouTube, Apple or Spotify or anywhere. I’m finally getting into the music industry, which I’ve been wanting to do all my life. I’m working with musicians all over the world, and that’s just a beautiful thing. I launched a book, right before the pandemic and during the pandemic, where I got a chance to really talk about my life and my journey and how I came into this world, and that’s a beautiful thing, too. I’m touring with Mike Epps around around the world. I developed my own film and television company. So, we’re getting into developing projects around the industry, and [I have] a little girl, a little ten year-old girl.

Suzanne: You’re busy.

Tommy: My recent production, you know?

Suzanne: And you’re about to go on “The Wendy Williams Show,” right?

Tommy: Oh, yeah. Oh yeah. She’s an old friend. We knew each other before her show, and she’s like me; she’s a loyalist. Like once a friend, you’re a friend. I’ve done her show so many different times, and she’s such a wonderful person and has a lot to offer. She somehow balances gossip with goodness. I don’t know how that’s done, but it’s done

Suzanne: Was that your baby we just heard?

Tommy: Yeah.

Suzanne: Hi. What a cutie. Well, I appreciate you taking the time to talk to me this morning.

Tommy: Thank you. Thank you so much. It’s always a pleasure to be representing in the market where I come from, which is basically the 70s.

Suzanne: Yeah, 70s rule.

Tommy: 70s rule. We got bused together to school and changed everything. So, thank you.

Suzanne: All right. Thank you very much. Talk to you later.

Tommy: You too. Bye.

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of http://www.scifivision.com

MORE INFO:

Tommy DavidsonKnown for a myriad of iconic filmed content, TOMMY DAVIDSON continues to bring a fresh take to each and every project he in which he stars or participates in. First up this month is his newest tv project, The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder, in which Davidson returns as the patriarch, ‘Oscar Proud,’ in the fan favorite, iconic series with the 2022 reboot exclusive to Disney+.

Here’s a quick preview at the official clip!

Davidson, who tours the country endlessly selling out arenas from coast to coast, every weekend, is joined on the Proud reboot with his co-stars reprising their roles: Kyla Pratt as Penny Proud, Paula Jai Parker as Trudy Proud, JoMarie Payton as Suga Mama, Cedric the Entertainer as Uncle Bobby, Karen Malina White as Dijonay Jones, Soleil Moon Frye as Zoey Howzer, Alisa Reyes as LaCienega Boulevardez, Carlos Mencia as Felix Boulevardez, Maria Canals-Barrera as Sunset Boulevardez and Alvaro Gutierrez as Papi in the animated family sitcom from acclaimed creator/executive producer Bruce W. Smith and executive producer Ralph Farquhar, who led the original series.

Guest-starring 2022 voice cast includes: Lizzo, Lil Nas X, Chance the Rapper, Normani, Leslie Odom Jr., Tiffany Haddish, Lena Waithe, Anthony Anderson, Gabrielle Union, Debbie Allen, James Pickens Jr., Courtney B. Vance, Jane Lynch, Marsai Martin, Jaden Smith, Glynn Turman, Lamorne Morris, Brenda Song, Tina Knowles, Eva Longoria, Holly Robinson Peete, Al Roker and more. All previous seasons of “The Proud Family” are now also available on Disney+.

For more on Tommy, go to his website: https://www.thetommydavidson.com

The Proud Family launches on Wednesday, Feb. 23rd.

The Proud Family: Louder and ProuderDisney+ Orders “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder,” the Long-Awaited Revival of the Groundbreaking Animated Series

Bruce W. Smith and Ralph Farquhar Return to Helm All-New Episodes with Original Voice Cast

Disney+ has ordered the long-anticipated revival of the groundbreaking animated series “The Proud Family” which, 18 years after its Disney Channel premiere, is still beloved for its characters, stories and multilayered humor and for its messages about inclusion and cultural diversity in a smart, modern way. The new animated family sitcom “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder” is currently in production at Disney Television Animation with Academy Award-winning creator/executive producer Bruce W. Smith and executive producer Ralph Farquhar, who led the original series, at the helm, reuniting them with Calvin Brown, Jr. who is co-executive producer and story editor.

All previous seasons of “The Proud Family” are currently available on Disney+.

In a joint statement, Smith and Farquhar said, “In our minds, the show never really went away, as we still had tons of stories left to tell. It’s the perfect time to bring back this show, and we can’t wait to take fans, old and new alike, on this journey with us.”

Picking up the story of its central character Penny Proud, the new series will also include her madcap family: parents Oscar and Trudy, twin siblings BeBe and CeCe, and her grandmother Suga Mama (and Puff!). Of course, it would not be “The Proud Family” without Penny’s loyal crew Dijonay Jones, LaCienega Boulevardez and Zoey Howzer, among others.

Disney+ and Disney Television Animation also released concept art featuring the main characters from the upcoming series.

Reprising their voice roles are: Kyla Pratt as Penny Proud, Tommy Davidson as Oscar Proud, Paula Jai Parker as Trudy Proud, Jo Marie Payton as Suga Mama, Karen Malina White as Dijonay Jones, Soleil Moon Frye as Zoey Howzer and Alisa Reyes as LaCienega Boulevardez. Cedric the Entertainer will also return as Uncle Bobby Proud.

“The show’s humor and relatable stories are as relevant with audiences today as ever,” said Agnes Chu, senior vice president, Content, Disney+. “Our audiences have loved rediscovering their favorite episodes of ‘The Proud Family,’ and we’re excited Bruce, Ralph, Calvin, and the returning cast are creating new stories for their new home on Disney+.”

Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Channels Worldwide, said, “The genius of the original ‘Proud Family’ series was that, under the guise of a family comedy, it provided a brilliant social commentary on our life and times. With this new series, Bruce and Ralph will once again challenge everyone to think differently about the world we share.”

About Disney+

Disney+ is the dedicated streaming home for movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and more. From The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International segment, Disney+ is available on most internet-connected devices and offers commercial-free programming with a variety of original feature-length films, documentaries, live-action and animated series and short-form content. Alongside unprecedented access to Disney’s incredible library of film and television entertainment, the service is also the exclusive streaming home for the latest releases from The Walt Disney Studios. Visit DisneyPlus.com to subscribe and/or learn more about the service.

About Disney Television Animation

Disney Television Animation (DTVA), established in November 1984, is an industry leader in the creation of animated television for preschoolers, kids and tweens across Disney-branded channels and platforms. The animation studio is home to hit television series including “DuckTales,” “Phineas and Ferb,” “Gravity Falls,” “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” “Sofia the First,” “Elena of Avalor” and the “Mickey Mouse” shorts.

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Tommy Davidson

Interview with Lorna Watson, Jerry Iwu, Max Brown and Will Trotter

TV Interview!

Lorna Watson, Jerry Iwu, Max Brown and Will Trotter of "Sister Boniface Mysteries" on BritBox

Interview with stars Lorna Watson, Jerry Iwu, Max Brown and producer Will Trotter of “Sister Boniface Myseries” on Britbox by Suzanne 2/9/22

BritBox logoThe Britbox Winter TCA panel started with the “Sister Boniface Mysteries,” which had premiered February 8, the day before, in the U.S. (in the UK, it premieres March 11 on the UKTV Drama channel). It’s a fun, quirky show, despite being a murder mystery. We had all three major cast members in attendance, as well as the producer, Will Trotter.

Sister Boniface (played by “The IT Crowd”‘s Lorna Watson) is an unusual nun who drives a Vespa around the small town of “Great Slaughter” and helps the local police solve murders. In the spirit of shows like “Murder, She Wrote” and “Grantchester,” this small town happens to have many murders. Although the series takes place in the 1960’s, Sister B. has advanced knowledge of forensics and a PhD in chemistry. The policemen, DI Sam Gillespie (played by Max Brown, whom you may recognize from “Beauty and the Beast” as well as many other shows) and DS Felix Livingstone (played by Jerry Iwu, “Sex Education”), are grateful to have the good sister’s help (as unusual as it is). The show is smartly written and is not only a good mystery series but explores issues that are still relevant today, such as sexism, racism, class division and more. However, the show is not at all preachy or heavy-handed.

Although Sister Boniface is very intelligent, Watson believes that she is quite innocent and has a “childlike element” as well as often being “silly.” Watson admits that she, too, can sometimes be “surprisingly naïve.” She has never played such a smart character before, so it was a “real joy” to put on the habit again. Getting into character was easy because the nun’s habit helped so much. She dubbed it a “quite transformative costume.” She also shared that the costume is quite freeing because she doesn’t have to spend much time in makeup. Before shooting, she spoke with the other characters playing nuns about where they would place their hands and so forth.

At Trotter’s urging, Watson told us an amusing story. When the director of the first episode, Paul Gibson, saw her, he acted like he didn’t know her because she was dressed as herself, not as Sister Boniface. He had no idea how she really looked out of the nun’s habit. He later came by and apologized. Lorna is hopeful that others will be the same way, so that she will be able to keep her anonymity if she runs into fans.

Watson told us that she had only ridden a Vespa once before, while on vacation. It took her quite a while to get used to driving it on the show to make it look natural. She also did a wheelie, but not on purpose. Brown joked with her about running the Vespa into his police car and how huge the Vespa’s sidecar is. Iwu joked that he “never felt terrified” while riding in the sidecar with her.

Iwu’s character Felix arrives in town in the first episode, expecting to be working in London, much to his disappointment. Eventually, the mistake is corrected, and he heads towards London, but of course, predictably, he ends up staying (I don’t think that’s really a spoiler). Not much else in the show is predictable, I’m glad to say. My only other observation about Felix is that he certainly wears a lot of suits for someone who came from a tropical country like Bermuda! Every TV show seems to have someone like Felix that arrives new into the situation so that he (and we) can be told what’s going on. Iwu told us that Felix observes about the town, “this is insane. Why is everyone killing themselves or killing each other?”

Brown noted that they all had great chemistry. The series started filming with episode 4, but they all “fell into our characters and our relationships” immediately. Watson agreed that they did “form a bond very quickly”. Brown observed that having all of these characters around in nun’s habits made them all want to behave better on set, but Watson and the other nuns felt that it was a very relaxed set. Brown and Iwu joked that a group of nuns is called a “gaggle.”

The cast was asked which mysteries they liked to read or watch.  Brown told us that his favorite mysteries to read are the classic Sherlock Holmes stories, but he’s also looking forward to the upcoming Hugh Laurie series, “Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?” (which comes out this spring on Britbox). Iwu grew up with “Murder, She Wrote.” Watson grew up with “Columbo” and also enjoys the Miss Marple movies. She joked that now she can solve the mysteries with her “new forensic skills.”

Trotter observed that the combination of Watson’s “fabulous face,” which he described as “owl-like,” combined with the habit and the glasses, gave them a lot of character to work with. He said, somewhat facetiously, “the blinking of the eyes every now and again are just like little messages to the directors: cut there, cut there, closer there.” Her pushing her glasses up on her nose became part of the quirkiness of the character. He also spoke a little bit about why we love mysteries so much, particularly this type, which he called “cozy crime.”

Trotter assured us that the Catholic Church has been fully supportive of “Father Brown” and most likely will for this show, too, because it doesn’t put them in a bad light, and the nuns are three dimensional characters (not caricatures). Also, the show is very light and fun. It doesn’t have blood and gore or other dark things.

The convent in the series is shot at a school, “Princethorpe College,” which used to be a convent, so it looks authentic. It has a chapel and stained-glass windows. Trotter’s children went there because he lives nearby. The rest of the show is mostly “shot in the Cotswolds” which is also where “Father Brown” is shot. He praised the area, which is “fantastic” with many large churches, homes and “beautiful rolling countryside.” He called the area “timeless,” which makes it great for shooting this show, set 50 years ago. He explained that “all the stone is the same and the architecture is just beautiful.” It was made “in the 16th century and so on.” Watson was “super-excited” to be there and to see where Sister Boniface sleeps each night, and to see her crime lab/winery. Iwu praised the locations they use as “beautiful” but observed that the convent in particular has a calming effect.

At the very end of our interview, Trotter revealed that the series has been renewed for season two (or as the Brits call it, “Series 2”). Everyone was happy and excited to hear it. Don’t miss this wonderful series, especially if you love mysteries.

MORE INFO:

Photos from "Sister Boniface Mysteries" on Britbox

From the makers of Father Brown and Shakespeare & Hathaway – Private Investigators comes this light-hearted murder mystery series starring a Vespa driving, crime solving Catholic nun: Sister Boniface. It’s the 1960s and police forensics are rudimentary. Luckily the residents of Great Slaughter, nestled deep in the British countryside, have a secret weapon. Sister Boniface. This nun might be predisposed to forgive – but she’s also one hell of an amateur detective. If there’s evidence to be found, Boniface will find it, with a little help from dashing maverick DI Sam Gillespie and buttoned-up Bermudan DS Felix Livingstone, who’s horrified to be stuck in the eccentric world of Great Slaughter.

poster for "Sister Boniface Mysteries"
Sister Boniface Mysteries
Picture Shows: L-R – Ruth Penny (MIRANDA RAISON), DS Felix Livingstone (JERRY IWU), Sister Boniface (LORNA WATSON), DI Sam Gillespie (MAX BROWN), WPC Peggy Button (AMI METCALF)

Lorna Watson Bio
Lorna Watson is an actress and writer, known for The IT Crowd, The Wrong Door and Horrible Histories.
She has a strong background in comedy as the co-creator of the sketch comedy show, Watson & Oliver.
Most recently, Lorna reprised her role as Sister Boniface from the popular Father Brown series. She stars
in the upcoming BritBox Original spinoff series, Sister Boniface Mysteries.

Jerry Iwu Bio

Jerry can currently be seen as the guest lead Oba in the latest series of SEX EDUCATION for
Netflix.

Following this, he will be seen as the series regular role of DS Felix Livingstone in The Sister
Boniface Mysteries for Britbox/BBC Studios which will premiere in early 2022.

After graduating from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, he went straight into
filming Innocent (Series 2) for ITV opposite Katherine Kelly and Shaun Dooley. Alongside this, he
filmed a significant role in Intruder for Channel 5 and ITV Global.

Prior to this, he played the role of Neville in the IFTA-nominated Conor McDermottroe’s
feature Halal Daddy opposite Sarah Bolger and Colm Meaney.

Whilst at Central, he played the leading role in Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal directed by
Suzanne Gorman.

His other credits include Hastings in Richard The III, Stanley in Street Car Named Desire, Orsino
in Twelfth Night and Tuzenbach in The Three Sisters.

Max Brown Bio
Max Brown is an English actor with an impressive career spanning across film and television. He
first appeared on screens in 2001 to play Danny Hartson in BBC’s Grange Hill. Since then, he
has appeared in several hit television shows including The Royals, Mistresses, Agent
Carter, Spooks (MI-5) and Foyles War. Some of Max’s most notable roles include Edward
Seymour in The Tudors for Showtime and Evan Marks in the CW’s Beauty and the Beast series.
He has also been seen in films including the Downton Abbeymovie for Carnival Film &
Television, 29/29 and Stone Village Films’ Turistas and Flutter for Sunrise Films. Most recently,
Max played DI Sam Gillespie in Sister Boniface Mysteries, a new BritBox Original serie
s.

Will Trotter Bio
After nearly 30 years with the BBC, in 2014 Will took up the role of Head of Midlands Drama.
From his office in the Drama Village, Birmingham, he is responsible for overseeing a team
of over 200 people and delivering over 130 hours of Television Drama every year.

Alongside the hugely successful Continuing Drama – Doctors, Will has consistently
developed and produced new returning series including Land Girls, Father Brown, WPC
56, The Coroner, and Shakespeare & Hathaway – Private Investigators and most
recently Sister Boniface Mysteries. In the past year he also developed and Exec Produced a
four-part serial of Oscar Wilde’s The Canterville Ghost for BYU.

Will specialises in pre-watershed crime that has an international appeal – Father Brown
currently sells to over 230 territories, Shakespeare and Hathaway was the most viewed
new TV series in its first year of the BBC Showcase event. Essentially though Will thrives on
making great drama and exploiting ideas commercially and as part of BBC Studios.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Dexter VS. Resident Alien

20 Ways in Which “Dexter: New Blood” and “Resident Alien” are similar!

Michael C. Hall as Dexter and Alan Tudyk as Harry

Dexter: New Blood

1. Dexter is a serial killer who has killed hundreds of bad people.
2. Dexter lives in a small, woodsy, snowy town in the fictional town of Iron Lake, NY.
3. Dexter has a cabin out in the woods, away from everyone in the nearby small town.
4. Dexter is dating a smart, pretty, intuitive Native American woman named Angela, who has a daughter. Angela adopted her daughter after her mother gave her up.

Julia Jones as Angela and Sara Tomko as Asta
5. Dexter says he loves Angela, but we’re not entirely sure he does or if he’s capable of that kind of love.
6. Dexter spent 10 years hiding out, trying to blend in and not to kill anyone.
7. Dexter chops up his victims and feeds them into the town incinerator (sometimes hiding them near his cabin).
8. Dexter’s teenaged son came to town, surprising him and creating conflict. They become close.
9. A mystery in the show is that someone else is murdering teenaged girls.
10. Dexter tries to avoid a handsome, suspicious African-American cop named Logan.
11. Sometimes Dexter hallucinates dead relatives, who guide him (really it’s his subconscious).
12.  Dexter is cute, in a goofy kind of way.
13.  We hear Dexter’s thoughts in voiceover.
14. The show is a one-hour black comedy, or a drama with many humorous elements.
15.  The show has excellent writing and acting.
16.  Many great actors have guest-starred over the years (in the original “Dexter” as well as the current show).
17. Dexter’s father’s name was Harry, and his son Harrison was named after him.
18. The show has many devoted fans.
19. Michael X. Hall (star of “Dexter”) was born February 1, 1971 (less than a month and a half before Alan Tudyk, star of “Resident Alien”).
20. Fans hope there will be a second season.

Resident Alien

1. Harry is an alien who killed the real Harry, a human, and took his place (after his spaceship crashed). Also, he spent the first season trying to fix his spaceship so he could complete his mission: to set off a device that will kill everyone on earth.
2. Harry lives in a small, woodsy, snowy town in the fictional town of Paradise, CO.
3. Harry lives in a cabin out on a lake, away from everyone in the nearby small town.
4. Harry is dating a smart, pretty, intuitive Native American woman named Asta, who has a daughter. Asta recently reconnected with her daughter, whom she gave up.
5. Harry and Asta have grown close and seem to have real feelings for each other, but we’re not sure if he’s capable of love, since he’s an alien.
6. Harry spent a year after arriving on earth, trying to blend in.
7. Harry chopped up the real Harry and hid him in his freezer.
8. The mayor’s young son, Max, can see the real alien and causes trouble for him. They become close.
9. A mystery in the show is that the real Harry murdered beloved town doctor Sam.
10. Harry tries to avoid a handsome, suspicious African-American Sherrif named Mike.
11.  Sometimes Harry hallucinates the real (dead) Harry, who acts as his subconscious.
12. Harry is cute, in a goofy sort of way.
13. We hear Harry’s thoughts in voiceover.
14. The show is a one-hour comedy, or a scifi drama with many humorous elements.
15. The show has excellent writing and acting.
16.  Many great actors guest-starred in the first season (and that will continue in the second season).
17. The alien that now calls himself “Harry” is the star of the show.
18. The show has many devoted fans.
19. Alan Tudyk (star of “Resident Alien”) was born March 16, 1971 (less than a month and a half after Michael C. Hall, star of “Dexter”).
20. Fans were elated to hear that there will be a second season (starting January 26).

Alano Miller as Logan and Corey Reynolds as Mike

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