Interview with the cast of “Let The Right One In”

TV Interview!

"Let the Right One In" cast on Showtime.

Interview with actors Demián Bichir, Anika Noni Rose, Madison Taylor Baez and Grace Gummer; and EPs Andrew Hinderaker and Seith Mann on “Let The Right One In” on Showtime by Suzanne 9/20/22

This was another TCA panel – this one from Showtime.  I really enjoyed the episodes I’ve seen of this show so far. It’s a very good drama that just happens to have some vampires. Demián Bichir plays a man (Mark) whose little girl (Eleanor) is a vampire, so he works tirelessly to keep her alive (no matter what he has to do) and to try to find a cure for her.  There’s a lot of mystery about whether the vampires have a virus or what. Madison Taylor Baez plays the little girl. I’ve interviewed her a few times. The first time was for the TV show “Selena,” where she played the young Selena. More recently was for her competing in “America’s Got Talent.” She is an amazing singer. I doubt she’ll be singing in this series, though. Too bad because I know Anika Noni Rose is also a great singer. Hey, if they can do it on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”….  I have to also note that I loved Demián Bichir in this fun primetime soap a few years ago called “Grand Hotel.” I was very upset when they canceled it.  Anyway, Grace Gummer plays a scientist (Claire) who finds out that her brother is an ailing vampire. Their father has been trying to find a cure, too. Anika Noni Rose plays a cop (Naomi) that lives next door to Mark and Eleanor with her son, Isaiah. It’s a really interesting drama with a lot of family drama as well as the supernatural stuff. It’s unique in that way. The vampires are not “cool” or “sexy” like in many shows. They’re more like addicts and victims. Anyway, it’s really good, so make sure you watch it. It airs tonight, Friday, Oct. 7 on streaming and OnDemand, and then it airs on Sunday on Showtime.

SHOWTIME FALL TCA PRESS CONFERENCE
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN
Demián Bichir – “Mark Kane” / Producer (he/him)
Anika Noni Rose – “Naomi Cole” (she/her)
Madison Taylor Baez – “Eleanor Kane” (she/her)
Grace Gummer – “Claire Logan” (she/her)
Andrew Hinderaker – Showrunner / Executive Producer (he/him)
Seith Mann – Director / Executive Producer (he/him)

Virtual via Zoom
September 20, 2022
© 2022 Showtime. All Rights Reserved.

Here is the introduction in our panel to the show: Next up we have the new Showtime genre-bending thriller “Let the Right One In,” starring Oscar nominee Demián Bichir. Bichir and Madison Taylor Baez play father and daughter, Mark and Eleanor, whose lives have never been the same since Eleanor was turned into a vampire a decade ago. Keeping the secret and staying alive present not only terrifying but emotionally-charged challenges, especially when Mark and Eleanor become enmeshed in the lives of others. “Let the Right One In” will premiere on streaming and on-demand Friday, October 7th, before its on air debut on Showtime Sunday, October 9th.

I tried very hard not to give spoilers in my question, so the producer gave me a pat on the back for that. First I mentioned that Maddie was on AGT recently and how well she sang. Then I asked my question: “Why does Demián’s character..I don’t want to give any spoilers; but, at the end, he does something kind of monstrous even though he’s human, and he is doing it for human reasons. Why does he choose to do that rather than, say, choose a few different other people and get the blood gradually without doing what he did?” I know, that was a very tortured question…

Producer Andrew Hinderaker offered to let Demián answer, but Demián let him instead. He said, “I want to commend your ability to ask a very specific question without spoiling. That was incredible.” Aw, that was such a nice thing to say. He alluded to “certain rules” in the show (as all vampire stories have), that they’re trying to stick to. Also, he said that Mark (Demián’s character) is trying to keep his child from starving, so he’s under pressure to do that, and quickly. He referenced the other producer, Seith, who had spoke earlier about the “core and the center and the lengths that we go to to take care of our children, and so there are specific rules that will only make that clear as we go forward. That’s what I’ll say to try to answer as eloquently as you do without spoiling anything as well.” I blushed and thanked him for his compliment. No one has ever called me eloquent before!

The other press asked their questions. Demián was asked what attracted him to the project and to tell us how he became producer as well. Demián spoke at length about how much he loved the original film, and how great the showrunner Andrew and EP Seith are. He said that when they audition actors, the actors audition them as well, “to make sure that they are wonderful people, knowledgeable and, you know, cultured if we are lucky.” He was very impressed with how Andrew was able to turn the movie’s story into a series. He had worked for Showtime before and remembered how brave they are when they let them create and say whatever they want. He said that he gets emotional talking about the great cast, especially “these three beautiful ladies.” He made a soccer analogy (what they call fútbol in his country) when he said, “I’m only as good on the field as when I have a beautiful team around me. And I have to say it’s been a tour de force every time we have scenes together, and it’s been wonderful.” He’s very grateful for all that he’s been given by Showtime, the cast, Tomorrow Studios, Andrew and Seith. He didn’t really answer the second question, but he gave a great answer, anyway.

The producers were asked to tell us how they took the movie and made it into a TV show, such as what they added and what they took away. Andrew answered first. He was touched by Demián’s words and agreed that they’re all having the same wonderful experience. He loves seeing his cast on Zoom. He says they’re “really just an extraordinary team of people and team of artists.” He believes the movie was the best horror movie ever made as well as very moving. He likes to begin with an emotional connection. The relationship between the two children in the film (one of whom is a vampire – not really a child) is “just astonishingly beautiful and poignant and poetic, and so there’s an opportunity to use that as an aesthetic inspiration.” That’s how they came up with the relationship between Eleanor and Isaiah. He wanted to use the parent-child relationship to explore the idea of a child struggling with addiction. He felt that it was “this incredible gift” to take these seeds in the film and create a new story for the show, to “explore the lengths that this father would go to to keep his daughter alive.” He reiterated that the characters in the TV series are brand new and not the same as the ones in the movie. It’s set in NYC in the current day (the movie was set in Stockholm, in 1980). They also created Naomi and Isaiah as well as the other family with a vampire, where Claire is the sister. Although it’s a new story, he feels that it’s “a love letter to the film.”

Seith chimed in to say that he also loved the movie, and the book. He was blown away by the pilot and the relationship between Mark and Eleanor. He admired the way he took this “beloved movie and found room to create a whole new dynamic.” He praised the way Andrew wrote the characters, which made him excited to work on it.

Another reporter, who hadn’t seen the movie, wanted to know if there would be some sort of explanation to explain what happened in the movie for the TV viewers who didn’t see it, especially regarding how the vampire infection came about.

Andrew joked that they need that reporter in the writer’s room and then asked Maddie to answer the question. Maddie said in a cagey way, “there’s definitely a way that all of this started, and it may or may not be answered. It most likely is, but, yes, you will get background information sometime this season.” Grace added that you don’t have to watch the movie to know what’s going on with the show or to enjoy it (and that’s true, for sure).

The group was asked why they think vampires are so popular in TV, since there are so many new vampire shows coming out. Andrew answered that, compared to all of the other monsters, vampires are the “most human.” They look and talk like us and their method of attack is “intimate.” He thinks we find them “exciting and thrilling.” They love writing for them on this show because they are so “deeply human,” which also makes it “more terrifying.”

Seith was asked how much he uses of the two previous movies, how he distinguishes the new series from those, what choices he makes and how much he shoots at night.

Seith admitted that he’s never seen the American remake of the Swedish film and didn’t want it to influence him. He feels that there’s “more love” in Andrew’s script than there was in the original movie (and more relationships). He wanted to make the city feel very “cold” and “harsh,” like the film, but with more light and love in the center of it. They used that metaphor when they shot the show. He spoke about how the show is different from the film by necessity. They loved the original but then had to “do your own thing.” He and Andrew had to rely on their own instincts as filmmakers to do that.

Maddie was asked what kind of physical and emotional adjustments he had to make “to become this predatory, dark character.” The reporter was impressed with her animalistic movements and asked if she had to train specially for that.

She replied that when she first got the script, she knew that she would have to go to “certain lengths,” which she had to accept. It worked out for her. She fell in love with the role right away. She spoke of late nights with blood all over her face but said that it was all worth it. She didn’t go through any particular training for her “unnatural movement” but just did it the best way she could. She’s excited to see the finished project.

The next journalist was a latina, who said that she was excited to see latinas in a fantasy world. She asked Demián and Maddie about working together and what we should expect from them in the series this season. Maddie said that she always enjoys working with Demián because she learns so much, and they formed a bond from working together and hanging out, which they took into their scenes. She said that he’s “just an amazing person, an amazing actor.” Demián said that he feels the same way about her. He was a child actor, too, so working with children always reminds him of those days. Watching Maddie and Ian makes him admire how much fun they have playing, and he praises the producers for creating such a great space where, even though it’s a dark show, the children can play and have fun. He said that Maddie is a “because she’s a true professional,” so she makes everything easy. She’s also never taken a break from the shooting, other than going to school. She’s always prepared, even though the role is very physically and emotionally demanding. He relates that it took a toil on him, he “was drained,” but the kids were not.

Another reporter asked how Maddie’s singing (which she loves) “informs” her acting and vice versa. Maddie gave a very intelligent answer about how singing and acting both get different aspects from each other. They both use different movements and emotions. She likes to take the styles from singing into her acting.

Grace was asked a tough question about where she finds her character’s “moral center,” since her brother is a vampire and her father is kind of a jerk. She feels that’s the main theme of the series: Where does the moral center lie? Her character was not in the movie. The writers gave her an impression of what Claire was like, and they answered her questions about her very well. She reveals that Grace is “very complicated” and “does very questionable things to save her brother and to find a cure.” She sees her as an “adversary to Demián’s character.” The show toes the line between good and evil. She believes everyone lives in the grey zone as three dimensional, complicated people.”

Grace was also asked if her family enjoys vampire stories, and has she shown them this series. Grace admitted that she had never been into them before, and she hadn’t seen the movie at first. She loved it, once she saw it. She learned a lot about vampires from this show and the movie.

Andrew was asked what their “vampire rules” are because every vampire movie or show seems to have their own rules. Andrew didn’t want to spoil too much but did tell us that vampires have to be invited in (alluding to the title of the show). Also, a line in the novel says that being a vampire is like an infection, and they repeat that in the movie, so he discussed that idea with a virologist. The doctor was happy to talk about vampires. The vampires can’t go in the sun and only eat blood. I thought this part was interesting. The virologist “talked about the part of the brain that very specifically manages pigmentation in the skin that acts as a shield for UV radiation from the sun being the same part of the brain that deals with the flight or fight mechanism and the mechanisms that would exist that would shut off the body to accept anything but oxygenated blood.” That became the idea for Claire, a scientist, who is trying a cure or treatment for her brother, and for Mark, who’s trying to find the same for his daughter. Obviously science can’t explain all of it, such as being invited into someone’s home. They tried to be as realistic as possible with the vampire mythology being explained by science to a certain extent.

Grace added that the vampires on the show are more like real people who happen to be victims. They’re not just “scary monsters or violent predators,” which is what makes them different from other vampire movies or shows. He added that because of these mechanisms in the brain, the vampire attacks “can be quite vicious and quite violent,” which is why Naomi is investigating “these homicides that are so gruesome and so violent in their nature,” which seem to be done some kind of monster.

Anika was asked how her character being a detective brought to her character and how it informed her “as a human being.” Anika thinks that her being a cop means that she’s more watchful than most neighbors and notices more. Mark and Ellie are hoping that they’ll be more comfortable there, but they can’t really be, since they live next door to Naomi. She always suspects the worst of people (even though she wants to see the best in people). Andrew praised the way she answered that question. He just spoke to the writing and how the characters and their stories weaved together well.

Seith praised the way Andrew wrote Isiah to be such a three-dimensional character because he wasn’t in the film. He likes the story between Isaiah and his mom, and how she tries to be a good parent to this bullied boy, but sometimes she fails (like most parents do).

Anika was asked how it works for her character to be the single mom as well as the hunter and how that affected her approach to the role. Anika praised the writing because Naomi is written as a real person and not your typical TV mom. She loves that this character is a hunter as well as loves her child. She often has the conflict between being a good mom and being a hunter or protector. She loves how Naomi is multifaceted and who changes constantly because of all that she’s juggling. She expressed that as an actor, she doesn’t like the “mom role” usually because it’s boring. Naomi, though, “is dealing with her own issues, who is tortured with her own things, but also has the capacity for great, strong, intense love, which makes for really good decisions and really bad decisions all in the same space.”

Anika was also asked whether she ever wanted to make any changes to the role or script. She explained how actors often know the character very well and want to ask questions or suggest changes, but in this case, they were very open to her questions and suggestions. They didn’t view it as a challenge, like some writers or producers would. She’s “grateful to be in this space.”

Demián has his own restaurant in Mexico, so he was asked how much of that real life experience he brought to this role (because Mark works as a chef). He told us about how he came to New York when he was 22, “trying to learn English,” and he “worked at a Mexican restaurant” while he was starting as an actor. He and his friend opened a restaurant in Mexico that’s been there “for 22 years,” and he still loves to go there and cook. He compares cooking to the theater, “from picking up the right products and picking up the right elements and making sure that everything’s right there on the table before you begin cooking. This is so similar to art in general.” He agreed that this helped him with the role. He’s very happy that Mark is a cook.

MORE INFO: Trailer

key art for "Let The Right One In" on Showtime

SHOWTIME ANNOUNCES PREMIERE DATE AND RELEASES OFFICIAL FIRST-LOOK TEASER FOR NEW THRILLER LET THE RIGHT ONE IN

The 10-Part Drama Will Debut on Non-Linear Platforms on Friday, October 7
And Premiere On-Air on Sunday, Oct 9 at 10 p.m. ET/PT

A picture containing person, nightDescription automatically generated

Photo: Francisco Roman/SHOWTIME

LOS ANGELES – July 26, 2022 – SHOWTIME will debut its new thriller drama LET THE RIGHT ONE IN on streaming and on demand for all SHOWTIME subscribers on Friday, October 7, before making its on-air debut on Sunday, October 9 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Led by Oscar® nominee Demián Bichir (A Better Life), the 10-episode series from Tomorrow Studios (Snowpiercer) also stars Tony winner Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls, Power), Grace Gummer (Mr. Robot), Madison Taylor Baez (Selena: The Series), Kevin Carroll (Snowfall), Ian Foreman (Merry Wish-Mas), Jacob Buster (Colony) and Nick Stahl (Fear the Walking Dead).

To watch and share the first look of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, visit: https://youtu.be/_abIA–OY3Y.

Inspired by the original hit Swedish novel and film, the series centers on Mark (Bichir) and his daughter Eleanor (Baez),whose lives were changed 10 years earlier when she was turned into a vampire. Locked in at age 12, perhaps forever, Eleanor lives a closed-in life, able to go out only at night, while her father does his best to provide her with the humanblood she needs to stay alive. With these emotionally charged and terrifying ingredients as a starting point, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN will upend genre expectations, turning a naturalistic lens on human frailty, strength and compassion.

LET THE RIGHT ONE IN is executive produced byaward-winning playwright, writer and producer Andrew Hinderaker (Away, PENNY DREADFUL) who also serves as showrunner. Seith Mann (HOMELAND, #FreeRayshawn, Raising Dion) is also an executive producer and directed the pilot, as well as multiple episodes. Marty Adelstein and Becky Clements are executive producers for Tomorrow Studios (an ITV Studios partnership).Alissa Bachner is co-executive producing, and Bichir serves as a producer on the series.

Demián Bichir Nájera (born August 1, 1963) is a Mexican actor. After starring in telenovelas, he began to appear in Hollywood films. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in A Better Life.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Eleanor (Madison Taylor Baez ) about to bite Isiaiah's (Ian Foreman) neck on "Let The Right One In" on Showtime

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 the cast and creators of “CSI: Vegas”

TV Interview!

 

"CSI: Vegas" banner

Interview with Paula Newsome, Marg Helgenberger, Matt Lauria, Mandeep Dhillon, Jason Tracey and Anthony Zuicker of “CSI: Vegas” on CBS by Suzanne 9/16/22

It was great to be on this TCA panel and ask Marg Helgenberger a question. I’ve watched the show since it’s first episode, so I’m a huge fan. I think the newer version is just as good! Although the original cast is missed, I’m glad they’re able to bring some of them back, occasionally.

CBS 2022 FALL TCA PRESS TOUR
“CSI: VEGAS”
Paula Newsome, Marg Helgenberger, Matt Lauria, Mandeep Dhillon, Jason Tracey (showrunner/EP) and Anthony Zuicker (EP/creator).
Virtual via Zoom September 16, 2022
© 2022 CBS. All rights reserved.
Opening remarks: The new season premieres Thursday, September 29th and will also be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+. Joining our panel today is our showrunner, Jason Tracey; “CSI” creator, Anthony Zuiker; Paula Newsome who plays Maxine Roby; reprising her role as Catherine Willows, Marg Helgenberger; Matt Lauria as Joshua Folsom; and Mandeep Dhillon as Allie Rajan. This is a fantastic time in the “CSI” culture, coming back after five iterations. We started this whole shebang on October 6th of the year 2000. Yet here we are on our 841st episode in a 21 episode run season with “CSI: Vegas” with a fantastic showrunner Jason Tracey and an awesome cast. Our show has always been about justice for victims. We’re a forensic procedural show. We’re still here solving crime and providing hope. And we welcome you and we’re very excited about season two.

CBS 2022 Fall TCA Press Tour: CSI: Vegas Panel

CSI: Vegas, the iconic crime procedural series that has captivated audiences for decades, is back with a second season, and the CBS 2022 Fall TCA Press Tour provided a unique opportunity to dive into the world of forensic science once more. In this virtual panel, key figures from the show, including showrunner Jason Tracey, creator Anthony Zuiker, and the talented cast members, Paula Newsome, Marg Helgenberger, Matt Lauria, and Mandeep Dhillon, offered a fascinating glimpse into the upcoming season and the enduring legacy of “CSI.”

The panel began with a warm welcome from Sienna Sanders of CBS Network Publicity and Rachel Wesolowski from CBS Studios. They introduced the panelists, setting the stage for a lively discussion about the show’s evolution, themes, and its profound impact on both the entertainment industry and the real world.

Creator Anthony Zuiker, reflecting on the show’s enduring popularity, said, “It’s our show that has always been about justice for victims. We’re a forensic procedural show. We’re still here solving crime and providing hope.” With 841 episodes under its belt, CSI: Vegas continues to deliver gripping stories of justice through the lens of forensic science.

The first question addressed the unresolved serial killer storyline from the previous season. Showrunner Jason Tracey assured fans that this storyline would indeed continue but not immediately. He emphasized that the show would explore other compelling narratives before delving deeper into the serial killer plot.

A highlight of the panel was the collaboration between Marg Helgenberger and Anthony Zuiker on a Catherine-centric episode. The two reminisced about a breakfast meeting at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where they discussed the episode’s creation. Helgenberger revealed that their motivation for the episode came from the personal loss of their mothers, making the episode particularly meaningful to both of them.

Marg Helgenberger, who reprises her role as Catherine Willows, shared her experiences working with a new cast and a different set. She expressed her gratitude for the warm welcome she received from the new team, praising their professionalism and enthusiasm. Despite the changes, Helgenberger conveyed her love for the character and her excitement about exploring Catherine’s continued growth.

The panel delved into the fascinating world of forensic technology, with a focus on the advancements that have excited the creators and writers. Jason Tracey mentioned intriguing developments in arson technology and molecular map making, while Anthony Zuiker shared his experiences at a facial reconstructionist workshop in Austin, Texas. He highlighted that advancements in both old and new technologies continue to play a vital role in the show.

Phenotyping, a technique using DNA to determine physical characteristics, was discussed as a valuable tool for storytelling and investigative purposes in the series. Paula Newsome, who plays Max Roby, a geneticist on the show, emphasized how the series highlights the real-life dedication of forensic professionals who work tirelessly to solve cases.

Marg Helgenberger’s return to the role of Catherine Willows was a significant topic of discussion. She shared her personal journey of rediscovering the character after a hiatus, explaining that she missed Catherine’s passion, swagger, and spunk. Helgenberger also discussed the personal growth she has experienced, both as an actress and as an individual, through her portrayal of Catherine.

The panelists reflected on the unique legacy of “CSI,” a series that has inspired countless individuals to pursue careers in forensic science. Anthony Zuiker recalled that when the show first aired, there were only 10 applications for crime scene analyst positions, but today, there are over 10,000 submissions annually. The show’s influence on aspiring forensic professionals has been immense.

Paula Newsome, who portrays Max Roby, the boss of the crime lab, shared her thoughts on the importance of representation. She expressed the significance of being a woman in a leadership role in a male-dominated field and how her character sets an example for others interested in forensic science.

The panel concluded on a heartfelt note, with the cast and creators expressing their gratitude to the real-life forensic scientists who inspire their work. Marg Helgenberger dedicated the season to these dedicated professionals and emphasized the importance of science, facts, and evidence in a world often marred by divisiveness.

As “CSI: Vegas” returns for its second season, it continues to uphold its legacy of showcasing the power of forensic science in seeking justice for victims. With a talented cast, engaging storylines, and a commitment to authenticity, the series remains a beloved and enduring fixture in the world of crime procedural television.

MORE INFO: Trailer

CSI: VEGAS returns for its third season and continues the legacy of the global hit franchise. Amidst the neon lights and long shadows, dark threats lurk in Sin City. Maxine Roby (Paula Newsome) leads her brilliant team of crime scene investigators – Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger), Allie Rajan (Mandeep Dhillon), Detective Serena Chavez (Ariana Guerra), Chris Park (Jay Lee) and Beau Finado (Lex Medlin) – as they use science to solve baffling mysteries. Chief among them: who framed their colleague, Joshua Folsom (Matt Lauria), for a gruesome murder? The most daunting and dangerous cases in the history of this storied franchise are coming, and the team will have to deploy the latest forensic techniques to preserve and serve justice in Sin City.

FORMAT:

Drama (Filmed in HD)

 

STARRING:

Paula Newsome

(Maxine Roby)

Marg Helgenberger

(Catherine Willows)

Matt Lauria

(Joshua Folsom)

Mandeep Dhillon

(Allie Rajan)

Ariana Guerra

(Detective Serena Chavez)

Lex Medlin

Jay Lee

(Beau Finado)

(Chris Park)

PRODUCED BY:

CBS Studios in association with Jerry Bruckheimer Television

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS:

Jason Tracey, Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman, KristieAnne Reed, Anthony Zuiker, Carol Mendelsohn, Ann Donahue, Craig O’Neill, William Petersen, Cindy Chvatal, Steven H. Kram and Steven H. Blume

Marg Helgenberger (Catherine Willows) on "CSI: Vegas" on CBS. CSI: Vegas Season 2 Photo: Sonja Flemming ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Marg Helgenberger reprises her role as Catherine Willows, a single mother working as a crime scene analyst, in season two of “CSI: VEGAS.” She earned two Emmy Award nominations as well as two Golden Globe nominations for this role in the critically acclaimed series “CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION.” Helgenberger ended her twelfth season of this global hit series in 2013.

Helgenberger was last seen in the CBS series “All Rise.”  She also starred in “Intelligence” and “Under the Dome” for the Network. Marg’s breakout role as K.C. on “China Beach,” won her an Emmy Award in 1990.

In Fall of 2017, she starred in the off-Broadway premiere of Theresa Rebeck’s play “What We’re Up Against” at the WP Theatre. Other recent stage appearances include the Arena Stage production of “The Little Foxes” in which she played Regina and the Barrington Stage Company’s production of “The Other Place.”

Helgenberger appeared in the May 2019 Universal/Amblin release of “A Dog’s Journey,” starring alongside Dennis Quaid. Her other film credits include: “Erin Brockovich,” “Mr. Brooks,” “In Good Company,” “Fire Down Below,” “Species,” “My Fellow Americans,” “Cowboy Way,” “Bad Boys,” and “Always.” She has also appeared in numerous mini-series including starring as Patsy Ramsey in the highly rated CBS miniseries, “Perfect Murder, Perfect Town” based on the bestselling book about the unsolved murder of Jon Benet Ramsey.

Helgenberger was raised in North Bend, Nebraska, and is a graduate of Northwestern University. She currently resides in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter @MargHelgen and Instagram @Marghelgenberger.

Paula Newsom (Maxine Roby) on "CSI: Vegas" on CBS. CSI: Vegas Season 2 Photo: Sonja Flemming ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Veteran film, television and stage actress Paula Newsome, prior to CSI: VEGAS, is best known for her standout performance opposite Henry Winkler and Bill Hader as the fierce, funny, and fragile ‘Detective Janice Moss’ in HBO’s Emmy-winning series “Barry,” and hanging from a car in the international blockbuster “Spider-Man No Way Home”.

Newsome was born and raised in Chicago. Four months after moving to New York, she was cast in Lincoln Center’s Tony Award-winning “Carousel.” She then performed in several Off-Broadway and regional productions, before making her big screen debut opposite Dolly Parton in the romantic comedy “Straight Talk.”

Newsome co-starred alongside Angie Harmon in the police drama “Women’s Murder Club.” She has made numerous guest star appearances on notable television series, most recently an emotional arc on the popular Dick Wolf franchise’s “Chicago Med” and Steven Bochco’s “City of Angels,” with Viola Davis and Gabriel Union. Other television credits include “Suits,” “Transparent,” “Pretty Little Liars,” “NCIS,”, “Suburgatory” and “How to Get Away with Murder,” opposite Viola Davis.

On the big screen, Newsome appeared in “Guess Who” opposite Bernie Mac and Ashton Kutcher, “Little Miss Sunshine,” “Things We Lost in the Fire,” “Black or White” and “Reign Over Me” alongside Don Cheadle, Adam Sandler and Jada Pinkett Smith.

Newsome attended Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri and earned her degree in Musical Theatre. She is trilingual, speaking English, French and Italian, and enjoys riding horses. Currently, she resides in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter @mepaulanewsome and Instagram @therealpaulanewsome.

Matt Lauria (Josh Folsom) on "CSI: Vegas" on CBS. CSI: Vegas Season 2 Photo: Sonja Flemming ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Matt Lauria is perhaps best known to audiences for his role as ‘Luke Cafferty’ on “Friday Night Lights.” Most recently, he co-starred opposite Juno Temple in Sky TV’s original series “Little Birds” in the UK; opposite Hailey Steinfeld in the Apple series “Dickinson”; and on the Paramount+ series “Tell Me A Story.” For four years, Lauria starred in the critically acclaimed drama “Kingdom.” His additional television credits include Shawn Ryan’s “The Chicago Code,” Jason Katims’ “Parenthood” and “Lipstick Jungle,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” on the Network, “Burn Notice,” “The Forgotten,” “Traitors,” “30 Rock” and the ‘February’ episode of “Down” from Hulu/Blumhouse.

In film, Lauria will next be seen opposite Andrea Riseborough and Allison Janney in “To Leslie.” He last appeared alongside Samuel Jackson and Jesse T. Usher in New Line’s “Shaft,” and with Gina Rodriguez and Anthony Mackey in Catherine Hardwick’s “Miss Bala” for Sony. On the stage, Lauria starred in Paul Down Calaizzo’s play “Really Really” at MCC for director David Cromer, and David Auburn’s “(Proof) An Upset”.

Lauria was born in Washington, D.C. and is a graduate of University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Currently, he lives in Los Angeles.

Mandeep Dhillon (Allie Rajan) on "CSI: Vegas" on CBS. CSI: Vegas Season 2 Photo: Sonja Flemming ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Before CSI: VEGAS, Mandeep Dhillon is perhaps best known for her reprisal of sarcastic and uptight math-geek ‘Saz Kaur’ on the BBC hit “Some Girls” written by Bernadette Davis. Recently, she starred in a pivotal role in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” In 2020, she starred alongside Ricky Gervais in season two of the critically acclaimed Netflix series “After Life.” Also, she starred opposite David Morrissey in the BBC crime thriller “The City and the City,” and alongside Ashley Walters and Noel Clarke in Sky 1’s cop crime thriller “Bulletproof.”

Prominence on the big screen came in “David Brent: Life on the Road,” alongside Ricky Gervais. It was nominated for best comedy at the National Film Awards. Other film credits include Jamie Adams’ “A Wonderful Christmas Time” and “Garfield,” for which she won Best Actress at the Underwire Film Festival.

Dhillon’s television credits include “Doctor Who,” “24: Live Another Day,” “Finding Fatimah,” “Hospital People,” “Wolfblood,” “Fried” “Whitechapel” and “Lucky Man,” written and produced by Marvel movies legend Stan Lee. Additionally, Dhillon stars in a new BBC3 sitcom, “Avoidance,” as writer Romesh Ranganthan’s sister Danielle.

Dhillon hails from London and currently resides in Los Angeles. She trained at the prestigious Central School of Speech and Drama. Her birthday is Dec. 21. Follow her on Instagram @mandidhillon.

Jason Tracey wrote and served as an executive producer on “Elementary,” on the Network, and “Burn Notice” on USA. Prior to that, he was a child. Well behaved. The kind that would not bother you if you sat next to them on an airplane.

Anthony E. Zuiker is the creator of the “CSI” franchise, which has earned the title of the “most-watched show in the world,” spawned three television spin-offs (“CSI: Cyber,” “CSI: Miami” and “CSI: New York,” all on the Network), aired hundreds of episodes, and even garnered a GUINNESS WORLD RECORD®. As one of the most groundbreaking storytellers today, Zuiker continues to innovate across every platform, from TV to Digital to Books and Broadway. He was the creator of “Cybergeddon,” the first digital blockbuster for Yahoo and the best-selling digi-novel series “Level 26.” In addition to his publishing company, Zuiker Press, which he co-owns and co-runs with wife, Michelle, Zuiker is also executive producing the “Soul Train” musical for Broadway.

Zuiker grew up in Las Vegas and currently lives in Los Angeles. His birthday is August 17. Follow him on Instagram @aezuiker.

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Lex Medlin, Paula Newsom and Eric Szmanda on "CSI: Vegas" on CBS. CSI: Vegas Season 2 Photo: Sonja Flemming ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

 

Queer As Folk Cast List

Nathan, Stuart and Vince

UK Cast List

Stuart Jones – Aidan Gillen
Vince Tyler – Craig Kelly
Nathan Maloney – Charlie Hunnam
Hazel Tyler – Denise Black
Bernard Thomas – Andy Devine
Romey Sullivan – Esther Hall
Janice Maloney – Caroline O’Neill
Sandra Docherty – Alison Burrows
Donna Clarke – Carla Henry
Rosalie Cotter – Caroline Pegg
Baby Alfred – Alfie Robinson
Alexander Perry – Antony Cotton
Lisa Levene – Saira Todd
Christian Hobbs – Ben Maguire

Brian and Justin

U.S. Cast List

Brian Kinney – Gale Harold
Michael Novotny – Hal Sparks
Justin Taylor – Randy Harrison
Emmett Honeycutt – Peter Paige
Ted Schmidt – Scott Lowell
Lindsay Peterson – Thea Gill
Melanie Marcus – Michelle Clunie
Debbie Novotny – Sharon Gless
Professor Ben Bruckner – Robert Gant
Jennifer Taylor – Sherry Miller
Vic Grassi – Jack Wetherall
James ‘Hunter’ Montgomery – Harris Allan
Detective Carl Horvath – Peter MacNeill
Daphne Chanders – Makyla Smith
Cynthia – Stephanie Moore
Gus Peterson-Marcus – Logan Hoover / Kegan Hoover
Dr. David Cameron – Chris Potter
Blake Wyzecki – Dean Armstrong
Tracy – Lindsey Connell
Christopher Mark Hobbs – Alec McClure
Ethan Gold – Fab Filippo
Gardner Vance – Carlo Rota
Rodney – Gary Brennan
Drew Boyd – Matt Battaglia
Police Chief Stockwell – David Gianopoulos
Passerby – Diane Higgins

Queer As Folk 2022 cast

U.S. Reboot (2022)

Mingus – Fin Argus
Shar – CG
Ruthie O’Neil – Jesse James Keitel
Julian Beaumont – Ryan O’Connell
Noah Hernandez – Johnny Sibilly
Brodie Beaumont – Devin Way
Brenda Beaumont – Kim Cattrall
Marvin – Eric Graise
Bussey – Armand Fields
Daddius Miller – Chris Renfro
Judy – Juliette Lewis
Jake – Brandon Gilpin
Jack Cole Jordan – Benito Skinner
Ali – Sachin Bhatt
Mina – Delish Da Goodness
Winston Beaumont – Ed Begley Jr.
Laveau Contraire – herself

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Queer As Folk UK

Review of “Skymed”

TV Review!

"SkyMed" Key Art

“Skymed” on Paramount+ Review by Suzanne 7/20/22

This show reminds me a little bit of “Chicago Med” or “Chicago Fire,” with a bit of “ER” thrown in. What makes it unusual is that it takes place in northern Canada, in the wilderness. It’s a Canadian show, but we’re seeing it down here on streaming. Most of the actors are newbies, and Canadian, but you’ll probably recognize veteran actor Aaron Ashmore, who plays Weezer, the senior person on the team.

Every ensemble show like this starts from a new person’s point of view, so we, the audience, can learn who is who and what is what. In this show, it’s nurse Hayley, played by Natasha Calis. She has left the big city to get away to the wilderness, but we don’t know why. She’s not the only one, either.

There’s quite a bit of action and adventure in the show to keep your attention. It remains to be seen whether it ever rises above the level of your average broadcast network TV show.

MORE INFORMATION:

Interview with Natasha Calis, Morgan Holmstrom, Kheon Clarke and Thomas Elms of “SkyMed” on Paramount+  7/6/22

Trailer

MEDICAL DRAMA “SKYMED” LAUNCHES SUNDAY, JULY 10, EXCLUSIVELY ON PARAMOUNT+ IN THE U.S.

All Nine Episodes of “SkyMed” Will Debut at Launch

The Series Is Produced by Piazza Entertainment

in Association with CBC and CBS Studios

June 16, 2022 – Paramount+ today announced all nine episodes of the new medical drama series SKYMED will be available to stream exclusively on the service in the U.S., beginning Sunday, July 10.

SKYMED follows the triumphs, heartbreaks and tribulations of budding nurses and pilots flying air ambulances in remote Northern Canada. Weaving together intense character journeys with high-stakes medical rescues, a diverse cast of young medical responders must rely on each other for survival at 20,000 feet in the air.

The series stars Natasha Calis (“Nurses”) as Hayley, Ace “Aason” Nadjiwon (“Batwoman”) as Bodie, Morgan Holmstrom (“Siberia”) as Crystal, Praneet Akilla (NANCY DREW) as Chopper, Thomas Elms (“The Order”) as Nowak, Mercedes Morris (“Between”) as Lexi, Kheon Clarke (RIVERDALE) as Tristan, and Braeden Clarke (“Outlander”) as Jeremy.

SKYMED is produced by Piazza Entertainment in association withCBC and CBS Studios. The series is created by Julie Puckrin, who also serves as executive producer along with Vanessa Piazza, Ron Murphy and Gillian Hormel. The series will be distributed internationally by Paramount Global Content Distribution.

About Paramount+

Paramount+, a direct-to-consumer digital subscription video on-demand and live streaming service, combines live sports, breaking news and a mountain of entertainment. The premium streaming service features an expansive library of original series, hit shows and popular movies across every genre from world-renowned brands and production studios, including BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures and the Smithsonian Channel. The service is also the streaming home to unmatched sports programming, including every CBS Sports event, from golf to football to basketball and more, plus exclusive streaming rights for major sports properties, including some of the world’s biggest and most popular soccer leagues. Paramount+ also enables subscribers to stream local CBS stations live across the U.S. in addition to the ability to stream CBS News Streaming Network for 24/7 news, CBS Sports HQ for sports news and analysis and ET Live for entertainment coverage.

For more information about Paramount+, please visit www.paramountplus.com and follow @ParamountPlus on social platforms.

About CBS Studios

CBS Studios is one of the world’s leading suppliers of entertainment programming, with more than 60 series currently in production for broadcast and cable networks, streaming services and other emerging platforms. The Studio’s expansive portfolio spans a diverse slate of commercially successful and critically acclaimed scripted programming, which includes genre-defining franchises such as “NCIS,” “CSI” and the ever-growing “Star Trek” universe, award-winning late night and daytime talk shows, as well as an extensive library of iconic intellectual property. The Studio also develops and produces local language and international content originating outside of the U.S. with series in the U.K., Europe, the Middle East and Australia.

About Piazza Entertainment

Piazza Entertainment Ltd, was founded in 2016 by Executive Producer Vanessa Piazza (“Lost Girl,” “Dark Matter,” “Nurses,” “XIII,” “The Other Half”). Piazza Entertainment is a film and television production company established to create premium television programming for the domestic and international markets. Piazza previously was partnered under a multi-year first look deal with international distributor and studio Entertainment One. That first look arrangement concluded at the end of 2019. In 2020, Edith Myers (former CEO of Pinewood Studios, former COO of the Scott Group of Companies) joined as CFO. Currently Piazza Entertainment has several projects in development.

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

"Leave It All on The Ice" Episode #109 - Aaron Ashmore as Wheezer, Natasha Calls as Hayley, and Praneet Akilla as Chopper

Review of “Flowers in the Attic: The Origin”

TV Review!

"Flowers in the Attic: The Origin" key art

“Flowers in the Attic: The Origin” on Lifetime Review by Suzanne 7/20/22

“Flowers in the Attic: The Origin” This is the prequel miniseries to the classic movie “Flowers in the Attic,” which I’ve never seen. It apparently involved a stern religious grandmother who locks her grandchildren in the attic. There is incest and rape in that drama. This shows how the grandma got to that point. Both are based on novels. “Flowers in the Attic” came out in 1979 from the pen of V.C. Andrews. She wrote many sequels, but only the first book was filmed (twice). This new miniseries is based on “Garden of Shadows” by Andrew Neiderman, who is now taking over V.C. Andrews’ characters.

I’ve only seen the first part so far, but I enjoyed it. I’m not a big fan of prequels because we know how the characters are going to end up (and it’s usually not good). There are many great actors in this. Most of them, such as Kelsey Grammar and Harry Hamlin, play small parts and aren’t on screen very long. Kate Mulgrew (“Star Trek: Prodigy”) and Paul Wesley (“Star Trek: Strange New Worlds”) also play small roles. I wasn’t familiar with any of the main stars of the miniseries, but Max Irons, who plays the husband, is the son of Jeremy Irons. He does a good job.

The main star of the show is Jemima Rooper, who plays Olivia (the aforementioned Grandma). She is excellent as the woman who starts out as the bookish maiden but becomes first a victim of horrible circumstances and then gets steely and strong (but ultimately, not very nice, I’m afraid).

You should check it out whether or not you like the “Flowers in the Attic” books or movies as it’s compelling drama (if a bit lurid at times).

Interview with Jemima Rooper, Max Irons, T’Shan Williams, Alana Boden and Paul Sciarrotta of “Flowers in the Attic: The Origin” on Lifetime 6/22/22

MORE INFORMATION:

Flowers in the Attic: The Origin tells the story of the headstrong and determined Olivia Winfield (Rooper) who is working alongside her beloved father (Hamlin) when she finds herself unexpectedly wooed by one of the nation’s most eligible bachelors, Malcom Foxworth (Irons). After a whirlwind romance, Olivia finds herself as the mistress of the imposing Foxworth Hall, where she soon discovers that the fairytale life she expected has quickly become a nightmare.  Under Malcolm’s debonair exterior lies a dark heart, and a twisted evil lurks inside Foxworth Hall that will threaten Olivia’s happiness and that of her children. Her attempts to keep them all safe ultimately push Olivia to become to most terrifying version of herself, leading to her inevitable—and notorious—decision to lock her grandchildren in the attic…

https://www.high-endrolex.com/22

Dodd stars as Olivia’s daughter, Corinne; while Williams takes on the role Foxworth Hall’s longtime staff member and Olivia’s observant housekeeper, Nella. Mulgrew plays Mrs. Steiner, Malcom’s loyal house manager and head of the Foxworth Hall staff. Grammer portrays Malcom’s illustrious father Garland Foxworth, who is married to new wife Alicia, played by Boden. Wesley stars as John Amos, Olivia’s cousin whose revelations change her life forever and Callum Kerr stars as Christopher, a close relative of the Foxworth family whose life will be eternally intertwined with Corrine’s from the moment they set eyes on each other.

Additional talent starring in the four-part miniseries event includes Luke Fetherston, Buck Braithwaite, Jordan Peters, Evelyn Miller, Rawdat Quadri, Emmanuel Ogunjinmi, David Witts, Carla Woodcock and Peter Bramhill.

Flowers in the Attic: The Origin is an A+E Studios production in association with Sutton St. Productions and CBS Studios. Paul Sciarrotta serves as executive producer. Jennie Snyder Urman and Joanna Klein serve as executive producers for Sutton St. Productions and CBS Studios. Zoë Rocha serves as executive producer for RubyRock Pictures, Gary Pearl executive produces for Aquarius Content and Dan Angel executive produces. Declan O’Dwyer also executive produces and directed part one and part two of the miniseries. Robin Sheppard serves as director for parts three and four. Scripts are from executive producer Paul Sciarrotta, as well as Amy Rardin and Conner Good. Flowers in the Attic: The Origin is based on the prequel novel, Garden of Shadows by Andrew Neiderman. The miniseries was made with support of the Romanian Government.

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

Irons and Rooper in "Flowers in the Attic: The Origin" on Lifetime

Interview with Hamza Haq

TV Interview!

TRANSPLANT — “Locked” Episode 211 — Pictured: (l-r) Hamza Haq as Dr. Bashir “Bash” Hamed, Nora Guerch as Rania — (Photo by: Yan Turcotte/Sphere Media/CTV/NBC)

Interview with Hamza Haq of “Transplant” on NBC by Suzanne 7/12/22

This was my third interview with Hamza, and I look forward to doing more. He is always so nice in our interviews. You should be watching his show, “Transplant,” if you’re not already. It’s an excellent series and won two Gemini awards this past season (The Canadian equivalent to the Emmys). I’m really looking forward to season 3. Don’t miss this week’s exciting cliffhanger! It’s a doozy.

Here’s the transcript of our interview. It’s not completely edited yet, so check back!

TRANSPLANT — “Free For What” Episode 213 — Pictured: (l-r) Hamza Haq as Dr. Bashir “Bash” Hamed, Sirena Gulamgaus as Amira Hamed — (Photo by: Yan Turcotte/Sphere Media/CTV/NBC)Suzanne: How are you today?

Hamza: I’m doing well. How are you?

Suzanne: I’m alright. I’m kind of awake. kind of awake.

Hamza: That’s good. Where are you in the world?

Suzanne: I’m in a little town in southern Arkansas, so I’m in the central time zone and, I just didn’t sleep well last night.

Hamza: So I’ve. And so good hands up if you can’t sleep well.

Suzanne: Yeah, with me, it’s just allergies

Hamza: has their videos off. I know they put their hands up too, so don’t

Suzanne: yeah, that’s right. That’s right. So, oh, I like your necklace.

Hamza: Thank you. It’s prayer beads from the motherland that my mom got for me.

Suzanne: Oh, nice. Nice.

Hamza: so, Africa anyway.

Suzanne: Oh, cool. Cool. So you’re all decked out today.

Hamza: had a photo shoot. Luckily enough. They were just like, Hey, let’s schedule some interviews. I’m like, great. I’ll do so. Let’s do it all at once.

Suzanne: Yeah, no, you look good. so, congratulations on getting a third season in Canada.

Hamza: Thank you. Thank you so much.

Suzanne: I hope that NBC picks it up again too. I have a good feeling about it and my fingers are crossed for you.

Hamza: Thank you. Thank you so much.

Suzanne: And have you shot the third season yet, or started shooting it?

Hamza: We’re shooting it currently. yeah, we’re in, we’re in production. We’re filming episodes eight and nine of, of 13. And, we’re gonna go. Or probably to, towards the end of October.

Suzanne: Wow. Okay, good. Bash has been going through a lot of, PTSD still this season and maybe some survivors guilt based on what we saw. can you speak about that?

Hamza: Yeah, I mean this, you know, this season, you know, last season we focused on his trouble. Concile. the death of his parents and, you know, therapy never ends. So like now he’s, he’s coming to terms with, with, the time he spent in captivity, in, in, in Syria when he was captured by the regime soldiers and, is haunted by the presence of, or the, or the specter of the man who was, locked Alongside him. And, and yeah, like that’s, that was. You know, it was a, a, a story point that was difficult to, to film, to, to attain. But, you know, we’re, we’re so grateful that, that, everybody who lent their voices, to, You know, to tell that story were so generous and, and brave with, with, with everything that happened in there, with all of their experience surrounding, captivity and all of that, you know, hopefully we did justice, the story, the man who plays Omar in the Mo in the, in the show as Ahman Mary, who is, you know, who’s a, you know, he’s, he’s now he was a consultant. he’s from Syria. He fled as well. And. he’s now a, a writer on season three, so we’re, you know, we’re extremely lucky to have him. He’s a tremendously gifted artist and, and just a all around good dude.

Suzanne: Oh, wow. That’s great. That’s great.

Hamza: Yeah.

Suzanne: And last time you and I spoke, we talked about this possible romance with Mags, and in the second half of the season, you two grow closer and we see how that works out in the last episode. Are you glad that the writers took it very slow?

Hamza: I think, you know, it’s, we, we needed time to, to get to know these people and, and to build their relationship. and, it’s You know, whichever, whichever way it’s gonna go after this season. I think, I think if there wasn’t a little bit of tension or a little bit of anticipation, or, you know, that that’s how that’s really how life works, you know, it, it has to build up like that. They’re both going through such, different things individually that, that, that, you know, the timing worked. As it was meant to. So, I, I don’t, I don’t necessarily think the writers, deliberately took it slow. I just think that this was the natural evolution of, of the characters and it was, you know, him showing up at her doorstep at the end of it, was just, about time.

Suzanne: Right. And, I’m thinking it could be a triangle or more. I think Dr. NOK might be interested in her, judging from the interaction. Little interaction they had. And, I’m thinking maybe RO could return change her mind next season, and then we’ve got a quadrangle. What do you, what do you think about that?

Hamza: We’ll see? that’s all I can say about that.

Suzanne: Well, right. it seems like most of what we’ve seen about your character was about him being a refugee, a brother, and a doctor. Very little about actually being Muslim. Do you think we’ll see more about that?

Hamza: I hope so. I, I, and I don’t think, you know, I don’t think we need to, we need to be seeing him praying all the time or, you know, speaking, you know, speaking the language, like saying aah and Ella and all of these things. I think, you know, the fact that we acknowledge it, that it’s, you know, it’s peripheral in his life and it’s sort of. Everything he does, he’s doing as a Muslim. So I, I, you know, I even beg to differ that, you know, even him being a doctor, him being a brother and him being a refugee, he’s doing all of those things as a Muslim. And, I think it’s important to know that it’s, it’s, it’s a part of everything that he does. just because it’s not on display, all the time. Like even when. You know, even when he’s doing things that aren’t Islamic, you know, like when he’s, you know, hooking up with a social worker and in season one or he’s, you know, saving lives or when he is, you know, all of those things are him doing it as a Muslim. And, you know, so I think, I think that’s a, that’s an important focal point. Just because we’re not seeing it all the time. Doesn’t change the facts that he is, you know?

Suzanne: Right. I forgot about the social worker. Thank you. Now this might seem unrelated, but it’s, it’s kind of got a point. Have you watched any of the show, Ms. Marvel, or are you aware of it?

Hamza: I am aware of it. I’ve seen the, I’ve seen the first episode. and, I know I want to, like, as soon as I watch the first episode, I’m just like, I am tired of waiting a week, so I need to finish watch it. but I’ve seen the first episode. I thought it was terrific. Yeah. Yeah, they do. They do a good job of there.

Suzanne: I, I, you know, I, I only mentioned it since she’s Pakistani and I know. So wanted to make sure you knew about that really great show.

Hamza: Great. Shout, shout out, shout out to, to my boy saga who’s on that show as well. He plays the brother he plays on, on the show, so.

Suzanne: Oh, good.

Hamza: Yeah.

Suzanne: And is there anything else you can tell us about what might happen in third season? Any, anything at all?

Hamza: You know, we’ll we see, We see a different version of, of, of Bash than, than we’ve seen in, in the past, you know, with this, with this contract that, that Bishop is able to, secure for him. there’s a bit more, confidence and arrogance that he can exude because he’s. Obviously he thinks very highly of himself as a doctor, and considered himself highly capable, but there’s always been this like protocol thing where you can’t prove it or, you know, it’s one more, one wrong move and you’re out kind of thing. And, and I think without that, tension or that pressure that’s being put on him, I think he’s, he’s able to flourish and, and flex his chops more as, as an individual, for better or for worse. So, you know, as far as Bash’s storyline is concerned, I think, I think we’ll see a different version of him, than, than, than what you, what you’ve seen before. Yeah.

Suzanne: I like the way they lightened him up more in the last couple of episodes and made him

Hamza: Yeah.

Suzanne: Gave him a way to sort of move forward. That was, that was well done. and do you have any other projects that you’ve been doing when you’re not shooting or promoting Transplant that you can tell us about?

Hamza: Yeah. In between season two and, Between season two and, three, I, I did two independent films, so I did my first French Canadian film by director Stephan Lale. It’s a project called Viking. And, and then I did, another feature directed by Kim Albright, starring Adam McGuire. it’s called with love and a major organ. they’re both kind of dark comedies, substantially different from transplant and, yeah, they, they were both a lot of fun and, you know, I’m sure they’re gearing up to do the, the festival circuit or something like that, in the, in the near future. So yeah, keeping an eye in an ear out for those two.

Suzanne: And is the French Canadian one in French or French and English or

Hamza: It’s it’s in, it’s in predominantly French. I speak French in the middle.

Suzanne: I was gonna say, you speak French. That’s great. How many languages do you speak? Quite a few, right?

Hamza: Like three-ish plus minus, you know what I mean? Like Urdu, English, and French. And then, you know, like technically Hindi, like if you wanna say that, like, you know, nobody really speaks Urdo anymore. Nobody really speaks Hindi anymore. We sort of kind of speak this like amalgamated, you know, Bollywood language that is kind of simplest versions of both those languages into one. Hamza: So, so yeah, Yeah. So three-ish, I don’t speak Arabic. Make sure you write that down. I learn it for the show. I can understand if they’re, you know, same root languages, but, but yeah, I don’t, I, I don’t speak that.
Suzanne: Okay. Well, great. I appreciate you talking to me so much today and, of course, hopefully there will be another one in the future. This is our third meeting. We’re like buddies now.

Hamza: Yeah, we’re homies now.

MORE INFO:

Promo

TRANSPLANT -- Season 2 -- Pictured: Hamza Haq as Bashir Hamed -- (Photo by: Yan Turcotte/Sphere Media/CTV/NBC)

“Transplant” follows the story of Dr. Bashir “Bash” Hamed (Hamza Haq), a talented doctor and Syrian refugee, who fled his war-torn country with his younger sister, Amira (Sirena Gulamgaus), for a fresh start in Canada. After a truck crashes into the restaurant where he’s been working, Bash earns the chance to practice medicine again by using his field-honed skills to save multiple lives in brilliant fashion, including that of Dr. Jed Bishop (John Hannah), the Chief of Emergency Medicine at York Memorial Hospital in Toronto.

But Bash is told he’ll need to redo his residency in Emergency Medicine from the bottom and despite his obvious talents intuition, and training, starting over is not an easy road and his life experience is not a perfect match for the strict protocols at York Memorial. Through perseverance he makes inroads, developing camaraderie with his new colleagues, including the driven Dr. Magalie “Mags” LeBlanc (Laurence Leboeuf), the reserved and ambitious surgical resident Dr. June Curtis (Ayisha Issa), easy-going pediatric ER physician Dr. Theo Hunter (Jim Watson), head nurse Claire Malone (Torri Higginson) and even earning the respect of Dr. Wendy Atwater (Linda E. Smith), the department’s second-in-command who runs a very tight ship.

Jed Bishop (John Hannah), the team’s demanding, inscrutable boss, looms large and keeps everyone on their toes with a unique compassion and commitment to his staff that also connects them.

Season two picks up with Bash and his fellow residents reeling after Dr. Bishop suffers a stroke. With everything at the hospital destabilized, the place that Bash had started to consider home suddenly feels precarious. As the team adjusts to new colleagues while dealing with the challenges of life, unexpected faces from the past leave Bash seriously doubting whether his transplant into this new world was successful.

Bash’s hard work, compassion and hopefulness tell a universal story about the human ability to not only survive, but ultimately thrive when our lives suddenly change course.

Creator Joseph Kay returns as showrunner and executive producer. Director Stefan Pleszczynski joins as executive producer and will direct six episodes. Additional executive producers include Bruno Dubé, Jocelyn Deschênes, Virginia Rankin, Tara Woodbury, Josée Vallée and Adam Barken.

“Transplant” is produced by Sphere Media in association with CTV and Universal International Studios, a division of Universal Studio Group.

Please visit the official show site at: https://www.nbc.com/transplant.

For the latest “Transplant” news, videos, and photos, please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram:

https://www.facebook.com/NBCTransplant/
https://twitter.com/NBCTransplant #Transplant
https://www.instagram.com/nbctransplant/

Hamza Haq stars as Bashir “Bash” Hamed in NBC’s “Transplant,” a trained ER doctor who fled his native Syria to come to Canada. He must overcome numerous obstacles to resume his career in the high-stakes world of emergency medicine.

A Canadian Screen Award winner for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series (2021), Haq was also honored as one of Canada’s Rising Stars by the Hollywood Reporter in 2017.

In 2018, Haq appeared alongside William Shatner and Russell Peters as twins Amal and Gopal in the CTV miniseries “Indian Detective,” and earned critical acclaim in the CBC drama “This Life,” for which he earned a 2018 Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Guest Performance. Other notable credits include recurring roles on the Cinemax series “Jett”
opposite Carla Gugino; “Quantico,” starring Priyanka Chopra; and “The Art of More,” with Dennis Quaid and Kate Bosworth.

Additional television credits include “Designated Survivor,” “The Bold Type,” “Being Human” and “Best Laid Plans.” He hosted two seasons of the International Emmy Award-nominated children’s series “Look Kool” and plays Jassie on the CBC Gem digital original drama “The 410.” On the big screen, Haq has appeared in “Bon Cop,” “Bad Cop 2” with Colm Feore, “The Death” and “Life of John F. Donovan” directed by Xavier Dolan, Darren Aronofsky’s “Mother!” and “Run This Town,” detailing the turbulent final year of Rob Ford’s tenure as the mayor of Toronto. He also had a role in “My Salinger Year,” which opened the 70th Berlin International Film Festival in 2020.

Haq is a 2020 recipient of RBC’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrants Award and recently partnered with the Canada Media Fund’s Made | Nous campaign as ambassador to celebrate Islamic History Month. He spoke at the 2021 TEDx Toronto Fall digital event series “Uncharted,” using his public platform to speak on issues important to him, including refugees’ rights, racial
injustice and combating stereotypes, and was honored as Playback’s Breakout Star of the Year.

Raised in Ottawa, Haq is youngest of four siblings born in Saudi Arabia to Pakistani parents and has called Canada home for almost 20 years. He holds a bachelor of arts in film studies with a minor in law from Carleton University.

SciFiVision Interview with Hamza Haq 7/16/22

John Hannah and Hamza Haq of “Transplant” on NBC 3/1/22

Hamza Haq of “Transplant” on NBC 10/9/20

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Back to the Primetime Articles and Interviews Page

TRANSPLANT — “Free For What” Episode 213 — Pictured: (l-r) Hamza Haq as Dr. Bashir “Bash” Hamed, Fayçal Azzouz as Khaled — (Photo by: Yan Turcotte/Sphere Media/CTV/NBC)

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

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poster for "Jailbreak Lovers"

Interview with Hilda Martin, Lachlan Quarmby, and Rachel Boyd

TV Interview!

Hilda Martin and Lachlan Quarmby star in He's Not Worth Dying For premiering Saturday, June 25 at 8p/7cLachlan Quarmby and Rachel Boyd star in He's Not Worth Dying For premiering Saturday, June 25 at 8p/7c

Interview with Hilda Martin, Lachlan Quarmby, and Rachel Boyd of “He’s Not Worth Dying For” on Lifetime by Suzanne 6/1/22

This was from a press day featuring three “ripped from the headlines” movies airing this summer. It was great to speak with these young actors. I only wish star Robin Givens had been there.

MODERATOR: Hi, everybody. Our next panel for today is the talented cast of “He’s Not Worth Dying For.” Please welcome Hilda Martin, Lachlan Quarmby, and Rachel Boyd. Hi, you guys. Thank you so much for taking the time to be with us today.

LACHLAN QUARMBY: Thank you. Happy to be here.

RACHEL BOYD: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Our first question is from Jamie Ruby.

QUESTION: Hi, guys. Thanks for talking to us. So how familiar were you all with kind of this story and kind you talk a bit about sort of the research that you did into it for all of you?

LACHLAN QUARMBY: Sure.

RACHEL BOYD: Do you want to start?

LACHLAN QUARMBY: You go, you go.

HILDA MARTIN: Well, I didn’t know much but I do have a liking for crime documentaries, so as soon as I got that and was told it was based/inspired by true stories, as a true story, I Googled it right away, but before then I had no knowing of the story.

RACHEL BOYD: Yeah. I think that like for me when I first got the audition script I actually somehow missed the words “based on a true story” when I was reading the description of it, so I had no idea until the callback that I was auditioning for something that was based on a true story, but I think, for me, like, seeing the sides and the character, I really connected to it, because it’s such an experience that a lot of young people on social media, and especially young women can relate to in how we are taught to, like, compete for a man’s exclusive love, and then how that manifests in different ways in the age of social media, and how that has real effects on our self-wroth and the way that we behave as people and change our character.

LACHLAN QUARMBY: Yeah, I hadn’t heard of it at the time. In 2009, I was living in Canberra, Australia, which might as well have been about as far away as you can be. But, yeah, I was the same, as soon as I got the script and heard it was a real story I looked it up and had such like an emotional reaction to just how much of a tragic experience it was and, yeah, it was kind of exciting to get to audient to play something like that.

QUESTION: Great. Thank you so much.

LACHLAN QUARMBY: Thank you.

RACHEL BOYD: thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you. Our next question is from Tamara Rollins.

QUESTION: Hi, guys. Can you hear me?

LACHLAN QUARMBY: Hi.

RACHEL BOYD: Yes.

QUESTION: Hi. So nowadays social media can be used as a tool to destroy lives. Some people tend to separate social media from our actual lives. They deem it as two separate entities. Do you guys feel that social media in our real day-to-day lives are one entity or two separate worlds?

RACHEL BOYD: I would say that I think that social media is real but also fake, because what it is is it’s taking a person and letting them choose what they want to highlight and choose how they want to be perceived in the world, and what you see on social media as much as we often treat it, like that is that person and that is the full representation of them, it’s not a real accurate representation of a person, of a real human being who is full and flawed. So I think that they’re different in that way, but the really unfortunate thing and kind of what we wanted to tackle in the movie is that people blur those lines together, and they treat people like they aren’t really human beings on social media when it really is really us. We’re just kind of creating a highlight reel.

QUESTION: Thank you.

LACHLAN QUARMBY: Yeah. I’ll add to that. I agree. I think that a lot of people out there are probably having this sort of duality in personality versus real life on social media, but it’s not for me to say as to how you should manage it. I personally think that it’s best to just do everything in moderation. You know, if you are going to put something up there that is a version of you that may not be the exact version of yourself then it can be the kind of thing that you’re aspiring to be, or the kind of person that you’re trying to be like, but it’s just managing which is which and just being like honest with yourself. As long as you know what you’re all about and stuff like that then I think it’s manageable.

QUESTION: Thank you.

HILDA MARTIN: I think the same thing. I specifically had a hard time with kind of splitting — with kind of being the same person and having like a reality, being real on social media for the longest, and I don’t see that be a possibility now because you’re still — Like in social media you’re not you. You’re never going to be. You’re going to be torn apart, if you want like an extensive amount of people kind of following you, unless you just want yourself and close friends, but other than that it’s like you have to be someone that society wants on social media. So that’s like totally different, and I could see the same for Isla, who is trying to kind of be this person and this colorful person, this bright person, but on the other side in her real life it’s the total opposite, so totally different.

QUESTION: Thank you.

Robin Givens stars in He's Not Worth Dying For premiering Saturday, June 25 at 8p/7cMODERATOR: Thank you. We also have some pre-submitted questions from journalists who could not be here today. This question is for Hilda. Hilda, you have some pretty intense scenes with Robin Givens who plays your mother in the movie. What was it like working with a veteran actress, and did she give you any advice or were there any fun times together on the set?

HILDA MARTIN: It was great working with Robin. I think like she kind of let me — She didn’t really — You know, working with a veteran and you’re not one yourself, you kind of feel like you’re not good enough, but there’s a lot of moments where she kind of like, A, gave me tips on certain scenes and, B, kind of like applauded me for certain scenes, and kind of like validation, which I like, but there’s quite a few moments that she kind of made me laugh, and one of them was Grace is being a bitch to, like harsh mood to her mom, and as soon as the scene got cut she was like I would have whooped you in real life. I would have whooped you hard. Never do that to me in real life. My kids would never. And another scene was with Jake, Lachlan, and it was a family dinner and like you just never know when stuff happens. She had like this, she had a green bean that she was chewing mid-scene, and it was her turn to talk, and like it wasn’t going down, so like that cut was like the funniest part, because we’re just watching her chew. She’s like (imitates chewing), mm um hm, um hm, one sec, um hm.

(Laughter.)

HILDA MARTIN: And she hadn’t thought of like — She is fun. She’s great to work with. She’s like a mom. She was actually like a mom and, yeah.

MODERATOR: That’s awesome. Thank you, Hilda. Our next question is from Suzanne at TVMEG.COM

QUESTION: Hi, I was wondering if any of you had done any Lifetime movies before and whether you could compare them to other work that you’ve done elsewhere — whether they were slower or faster or what other things you can think of that would be different?

LACHLAN QUARMBY: Yeah, I had a small role on like a Christmas one before. So it was kind of fun to play the differences in tone in terms of like the sort of lighter Christmas one and then the darker reality of like this one. I really enjoyed it, the mixing up, because it is a different way to come about it from an acting point of view in terms of like the tone, the network, and like the genre as well. You got to play with all of those elements, and I have no idea what I’m doing typically, because it’s so early on. So it’s really funny to have like a producer or a director just say, like, “Hey, like this is actually more the way that it is done for this type of film,” and I was always like, “Oh, cool. Great.” That’s awesome to learn and use going forward, yeah.

RACHEL BOYD: Yeah. I also think that, I mean, personally, I hadn’t done anything, any other work with Lifetime before, but I also think it’s so interesting to mention that this was mine, Hilda’s and Lachlan’s, all of our first lead roles in a feature-length film. So that was really, really fun, and it was really great to experience that with the three of us. I think that all of us ending up being our first time really brought a new energy to the set that we really liked where we were just very eager to work and play and have a lot of fun with each other. So I had to mention that.

QUESTION: Great. Hilda.

HILDA MARTIN: It was also my, yeah, my first time as well. What I would interesting, what I like to find out is like what does Lifetime like cast to wear, and like the other show that I’ve done was a different wardrobe and seeing like how characters are kind of like created, developed like look-wise on different platforms like Lifetime, for example. That was cool. But like also the first time in having like a great cast to work with.

RACHEL BOYD: Aw.

HILDA MARTIN: It kind of made it exciting and easier, I think, something you (inaudible @ 00:34:14), so, yeah.

QUESTION: Well, thank you.

HILDA MARTIN: Thanks.

LACHLAN QUARMBY: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you. Our next question is from Mike Hughes.

QUESTION: Yeah. I wasn’t sure if my mute — can you hear me now?

GROUP: Yes. We can hear you.

QUESTION: Okay. Cool. Rachel, actors obviously have to be able to turn it on quickly when the camera is on, but it’s much more so what Isla had to do, because just you’re solo on a camera and (just be big @ 00:34:40) the moment she goes on. So what’s it like to do the scenes where Isla is really over the top and on her own before a camera?

RACHEL BOYD: Yeah. I think that’s something for me that I really did a lot in preparation for the role was learning exactly what that physicality was, because I knew that Isla’s character needed — She needed to be able to walk into a room and command it and hold the power in it just with her body and how she moved around, so that was kind of something I really wanted to focus on. And, yeah, that just came through I think sometimes if she was putting on the performance of like “Influence Isla” then it was a lot for me finding those places in my body where that energy was. Like I think there’s like a scene at the beginning. Hilda and I were talking about it the other day, but it’s like she’s walking into the store, and she’s kind of doing like this crazy like “Clueless” walk, and it’s just I think it gives me that energy from within me instead of me keeping the same body language the entire time. And then I also liked working with the physicality, because it gave me space to also be Isla when she’s not being big and over the top, and she’s just being, you know, a regular girl who’s just lonely and confused, and how does her body change. And then I think having that like drastic difference helps, too, when you saw her being bigger.

QUESTION: Cool. Thanks.

Rachel Boyd stars in He's Not Worth Dying For premiering Saturday, June 25 at 8p/7cRACHEL BOYD: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Our next question’s from Cynthia Horner.

QUESTION: Hello. My question is for all of you. I really enjoyed the film, and I’d like to know what advice would you give to young people that are watching — They’re going to be watching the film, and we all know people who’ve been in similar situations even though the ending may not be the same, but the fact that there are so many situations where people are being cheated on or whatever, so can you each talk about your character and the way those dynamics were so that other people that are watching the film may decide not to make some of those mistakes.

RACHEL BOYD: Yeah. I can start. Are you guys —

LACHLAN QUARMBY: Go for it, Rach.

RACHEL BOYD: Okay. I think, for me, I’ve always, always wanted this to be the message that people take away from the whole movie, and with Isla especially is that there’s no manifestation of love or validation, be it like a boy or followers and likes and comments on Instagram that is ever worth losing yourself for and affecting your own self-worth to please. I think I want people to know that they are one hundred percent significant and one hundred percent enough just in themselves, and that outward validation will always come and go, but that it really is that inner self-worth that you should focus so much of your energies on. Yeah.

QUESTION: Good answer.

HILDA MARTIN: Yeah, I’d go with the same. I think for me it was value. I think we all, like the whole cast, like all three of us wanted to feel valued from social media, from a boy, but relationship-wise, I think that like what I want people to know, because like, again, nearly all of us have gone through it, it’s like not forgetting our worth, not feeling that we need someone else, and that could be a male or a female in a relationship, remembering your worth, and if you’re not receiving that worth it’s, as hard as it is, it’s just like let go, and when they say love is blind they also mean love is also deaf, because a lot of times you’re also told and you can hear the words, and I just hope that they remember how like valuable and like worthy they are, yes.

QUESTION: Okay. Thank you.

LACHLAN QUARMBY: Yeah. I would also just add that I agree with everything the girls said there but, you know, I think it’s in the title, right? It is a cautionary tale. That’s what we’re hoping people will take away is that it’s — and most of it is just not worth it. Even a lot of the stuff that seems really important at the time and seem so like at the forefront of your life, because it’s at your fingertips on that device, on that social media platform, it just seems like it’s so much worth it, but if you just put it down, and you take a step back, then it’s probably not going to be worth all of this pain or bleeding into your real, you know, personal life and causing you anxiety or whatever. And, I mean, for Jake, it’s the whole thing is just he brings all these problems on himself and stuff like that, and he doesn’t really have a support network around him to tell him like, “Hey, like you’re basically you’re being an idiot.” Again, flipping through the script, the first time I read it being like, you know, you’re not supposed to judge a character but idiot, dumb ass, that’s stupid —

RACHEL BOYD: He makes it hard.

LACHLAN QUARMBY: What are you doing? What are you doing, man? Somebody just needs to tell this guy, please, stop, stop doing these things. So I hope that people take away from that, that you need to help yourself but may also people who are close to people witnessing them going through stuff like this that you can also step in and help them with that as well. Yeah.

QUESTION: Fantastic answers. Thank you so much.

RACHEL BOYD: Thanks, Cynthia.

LACHLAN QUARMBY: Thanks.

MODERATOR: Our next question is from Steve Gidlow.

QUESTION: Hey, everyone. Just I’m assuming you’re all on social media. So I was just wondering if being so immersed in the darker side of it, did it change your perception of how you deal with your own social media now?

RACHEL BOYD: something that I really like about the movie is that we’ve all been living in the dark side of social media, all the time. What this movie does though is holds up a mirror to the reality that we’ve been living in and how we reduce people and their self-worth and value to their viral abilities and how we turn real human suffering into its own like entertainment genre on social media, and it’s really horrible, and it’s something that everybody who’s on social media is immersed in one way or another. But what the movie does is it holds up a mirror to the realities of that and how those facets of social media have real-world repercussions on people, and their lives and their feelings.

LACHLAN QUARMBY: I would say that, for me, personally, the changes that I’ve made it’s just made me more conscious and more aware of purpose and point behind posts. Like why am I actually posting this, and I’ve stopped myself a couple times being like is this for me? Is this something that I like? Or is this actually for other people? Is this to get a reaction out of other people? Is this to make people feel a certain way about me and, at those points, I stop. So I’m just trying to be posting more positive stuff. You know, sometimes it’s cheesy, sometimes it’s silly but I’d rather put —

RACHEL BOYD: Sometimes it’s a dance.

LACHLAN QUARMBY: These guys make fun of me all the time but that’s fine. I’d rather post something that’s a bit cheesy and a bit more positive than something that was coming from the wrong place in my heart, I guess. So, yeah, I’m more conscious of that.

QUESTION: Gotcha. And Hilda.

HILDA MARTIN: It just, for me, it validated the change that I made before the movie of like just not giving in to like being that person, like that perfect person on social media and kind of giving in to the dark social media side, but — Because, again, there are — After the movie, obviously, there’s people who are going to be look at our social media and like kind of giving that image of me being perfect is not going to be the message I was kind of like that people — wanted people to take away from the movie itself. So kind of just of I did make a change, and I was kind of proud of that, and just loving myself, posting whatever I love whether it’s like a picture of a flower or just me unedited, hopefully.

QUESTION: Thank so much.

HILDA MARTIN: (Inaudible @ 00:43:25).

QUESTION: Thanks.

HILDA MARTIN: Thanks.

MODERATOR: Thank you. Our next question is from Luaine Lee.

QUESTION: Yes. Part of the danger of social media is rejection by your peers, but acting is involved with total rejection all the time. So I’m wondering how do each of you cope with the rejection that happens to you when you’re trying out for roles?

RACHEL BOYD: That’s a great question. Hilda, do you want to start?

HILDA MARTIN: Sure. Well, I’m pretty new to the industry, so I was researching a lot of like veteran actors and their comments on the whole industry, and the one thing that they mentioned is never take it as — Like always take it with a grain of salt, and so whenever I do an audition I like — like with this one, I — because I did watch the documentary before like right when I was auditioning, so I did see that it was a girl of not my shade, like white, Caucasian, so I knew I wasn’t going to get it. So it’s — I go in just giving my agents what they want without knowing what I’m going to get back, so I think I already implemented that in my head and not getting it doesn’t sting as much as other people — as it would other people but, yeah, I kind of like already ingrained it, “I’m not getting it.” And when I do it’s like cherry on top.

QUESTION: Great. Rachel?

RACHEL BOYD: Yeah. I think, you know, this kind of takes me back because Lochlyn Munro is in the movie as well, and the day that he was on set he was giving all of us young eager actors with big ears like advice about the industry, and something that he said in relation to auditions specifically that really resonated with me was he goes in when he gets sides, and he says, “I want to land the character. I don’t want to land the role.” Like his first priority is land the character and, for me, that really made me feel better, because then it takes the pressure off of it, and it just becomes this thing that I do because I love it, and it’s my craft, and it makes me feel so happy, so getting sides now since speaking with Lochlyn Munro and just seeing it as how do I give this character all of the emotional empathy that I can to claim them and have that be as true and honest to me as possible, and then when I do that, and I can watch it back and feel proud of myself that it — I’m working on that being enough satisfaction for myself and not depending on all of my happiness on like what a third party will think of it, and just kind of focusing on like being proud and celebrating little wins even if they don’t result in a job.

QUESTION: Lachlan?

LACHLAN QUARMBY: Yeah, look, in high school I was rejected by a few women, so I think that actually was good practice to set me — I say a few. It was all of them in high school. So, you know, it’s just you take it, you learn from it. When I submit an audition I just forget about it straightaway. It’s just, it’s gone. You just go in, be yourself, do your best. I was quite similar to Hilda. You know, when I got this and looked up the real person I was like, “Yeah, that is not me at all, so I’m just going to do something and send it, and then just completely forget about it,” and that way you’re not waiting by the phone, you know, and because that’s really when you suffer twice when you wait and you worry and all of that sort of stuff. Sometimes it’s easier said than done. Like I’m not going to lie. Sometimes the rejection does affect you personally, and it can hurt. But it’s all about, I think surrounding yourself with the right people in your personal life, friends and family and stuff, keeping your head on your shoulders like nice and straight and everything, and you just keep going because eventually, you know, good things will happen. It’s meant to be.

RACHEL BOYD: Yeah. And, Lachlan, now look at you. You’re in a movie, you got two girlfriends, so. And they don’t want to reject you. So you’re doing —

LACHLAN QUARMBY: That was the whole —

RACHEL BOYD: It’s like quite full circle for you.

LACHLAN QUARMBY: It’s a perfect opportunity, yeah.

RACHEL BOYD: perfect. A big slap in the face to those girls. Look at him now, (laughs.)

LACHLAN QUARMBY: I’m going to link them. I’m going to send them a link to it, yeah.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you, everyone. That’s our time for today.

RACHEL BOYD: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you to Hilda, Lachlan, and Rachel for being here today, and everyone please tune into “He’s Not Worth Dying For,” Saturday, June 25th at 8/7 Central.

RACHEL BOYD: Yay.

LACHLAN QUARMBY: Thank you.

RACHEL BOYD: Thanks.

MORE INFO:

Poster for "He's Not Worth Dying For" on Lifetime

Inspired by a true events, He’s Not Worth Dying For follows the intertwined real and social media lives of Isla (Rachel Boyd), a 19-year-old girl who has established herself as a beauty and fashion influencer and Grace (Hilda Martin) the expected valedictorian of her class with hopes of a veterinary career. Though both are very different, they unknowingly share one thing in common – Jake (Lachlan Quarmby) – who is dating them both without their knowledge. When Isla and Grace discover that Jake was cheating on them, the girls turn on each other in a jealous rivalry and use their arsenal of social media platforms to badmouth and attack one another. While their followers take sides and pit them against each other, their hatred for one another escalates into a real life fight that ultimately turns deadly. Robin Givens stars as Grace’s mother, Cher, while Lochlyn Munro stars as the District Attorney investigating the case.

He’s Not Worth Dying For is produced by Doomed Productions Inc for Lifetime with Tim Johnson, Orly Adelson, Stacy Mandelberg and Jon Eskenas serving as executive producers. Kevin Fair directs from a script written by Jacqueline Zambrano.

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Hilda Martin and Robin Givens stars in He's Not Worth Dying For premiering Saturday, June 25 at 8p/7c

Interview with Tosin Cole

TV Interview!

Tosin Cole stars in "61st Street" on AMC

 

Interview with Tosin Cole of “61st Street” on AMC by Suzanne 4/12/22

It was great to speak with Tosin because he’s an amazing actor. I really loved him on “Doctor Who” and was so sorry that he left there. He’s gone on to bigger and better roles, though, such as his outstanding work in this series. You should really make sure to watch it!

We’ll have the transcript up here at some point!

MORE INFO: Official Trailer

61st Street posterAMC Networks announced today the premiere date for its highly anticipated new drama 61st Street, starring Emmy®-winner Courtney B. Vance,  ahead of the series’ world premiere at SXSW.  From BAFTA-winner Peter Moffat, J. David Shanks and Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society, the series debuts Sunday, April 10 at 10pm ET/PT on AMC, with the first two episodes streaming on AMC+ and ALLBLK. New episodes will rollout  weekly, on Sundays, and be available one week early on AMC+ and ALLBLK.

From AMC Studios, 61st Street is a propulsive thriller which courses through the dark heart of the infamous Chicago criminal justice system as police and prosecutors investigate a deadly drug bust that threatens to unravel the Tosin Cole stars in "61st Street" on AMCpolice department’s code of silence. Vance (The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story, Lovecraft Country), leads an ensemble cast that includes Emmy®-nominee Aunjanue Ellis (When They See Us, King Richard), Mark O’Brien (City on a Hill, Blue Bayou), Holt McCallany (Mindhunter, Lights Out), Tosin Cole (Doctor Who, Hollyoaks), Andrene Ward-Hammond (Your Honor, Manifest) and Bentley Green (Snowfall, Sweet Magnolias).

The series is executive produced by Moffat (The Night Of, Your Honor), Shanks  (The Chi, Seven Seconds, Shots Fired), Outlier Society’s Jordan and Elizabeth Raposo (Just Mercy, David Makes Man), Alana Mayo (Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, Just Mercy), Jeff Freilich (Lodge 49, Dispatches from Elsewhere) and Hilary Salmon (MotherFatherSon, The Night Of, London Spy).

About AMC Networks Inc.

Tosin Cole in "61st Street" on AMCAMC Networks is a global entertainment company known for its popular and critically acclaimed content. Its portfolio of brands includes AMC, BBC AMERICA (operated through a joint venture with BBC Studios), IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv, IFC Films, and a number of fast-growing streaming services, including the AMC+ premium streaming bundle, Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and ALLBLK. AMC Studios, the Company’s in-house studio, production and distribution operation, is behind award-winning owned series and franchises, including The Walking Dead, the highest-rated series in cable history. The Company also operates AMC Networks International, its international programming business, and 25/7 Media, its production services business.

About AMC+

AMC+ is the company’s new premium streaming bundle featuring an extensive lineup of popular and critically acclaimed original programming from AMC, BBC America, IFC, and SundanceTV and full access to targeted streaming services Shudder, Sundance Now and IFC Films Unlimited, which feature content such as A Discovery of Witches, Creepshow, and Boyhood. The service features a continually refreshed library of commercial-free content, including fan favorites Mad Men, Halt & Catch Fire, Turn: Washington’s Spies, Hell on Wheels, NOS4A2, Rectify, Orphan Black, Portlandia, and series from The Walking Dead Universe, among many others. The service also offers a growing slate of original and exclusive series including Gangs of London, Kin, The North Water, Ragdoll, The Beast Must Die, Too Close, The Salisbury Poisonings, Cold Courage, Spy City, Ultra City Smiths, Anna, Anne Boleyn, Firebite, and La Fortuna. AMC+ recently launched in Canada and Australia, and is available in the U.S. through AMCPlus.com, the AMC+ app, and a number of digital and cable partners.

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Courtney B. Vance and Tosin Cole of "61st Street" on AMC

Review of “Lucifer: The Complete Fifth Season”

DVD Review!

Lucifer: The Complete Fifth Season DVD cover

“Lucifer: The Complete Fifth Season” Review by Suzanne 3/25/22

This has always been a fun and entertaining show. Credit for that goes to the writers and their sparkling dialogue and inventive stories, as well as the charm of star Tom Ellis. The show keeps you guessing about what is really going on. Is it a supernatural show? Is it a soap opera? Is it a cop show? Or is it all of those? Yet, unlike other shows which try to be more than one thing at a time, it doesn’t ever falter or get confusing.

I watched these episodes, even though I’ve only seen the first episode of the entire series, yet I was not lost or confused. It’s very easy to just pick up these set and enjoy it. Check it out!

Unfortunately, for a DVD set, it is lacking in features. All they have are the deleted scenes and the gag reel. If you like that sort of thing, you might wait until the show is over and get the “complete series” set, where they’ll probably have more options.

Buy this DVD

MORE INFORMATION:

Indulge Your Deepest Desires & Bring on the Heat

Lucifer:

The Sixth & Final Season

Your Final Date with the Devil Arrives on Blu-rayTM and DVD September 13

BURBANK, CA (June 29, 2022) – After six hell-raising seasons Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and DC mark the end of an epic era with the final installment of the action-packed series with the release of Lucifer: The Sixth and Final Season on DVD September 13, 2022. Lucifans can purchase the final set to add to their collection which, in addition to all 10 fiery episodes from season six, also contains deleted scenes and a gag reel. Lucifer: The Sixth and Final Season is priced to own at $24.98 SRP for the DVD ($29.98 in Canada) and will also be available on Blu-ray courtesy of Warner Archive Collection. Warner Archive Blu-ray releases are easily found at www.warnerarchive.com and on your favorite online retailer sites.

Put on your devilish grins – as Lucifer: The Complete Series will also be available, containing all 93 exhilarating episodes from the phenomenal series, as well as countless hours of bonus features from all six epic, not-to-be-missed seasons. Lucifer: The Complete Series is priced to own on DVD for $112.99 SRP ($134.99 in Canada).

In the sixth and final season of Lucifer, we close the chapter on our crime-solving Devil. With Los Angeles no longer the battleground for his angelic siblings, Lucifer’s relationship with Chloe has never been stronger. Life is good. But if we know anything about this fallen angel, it’s that his past always finds a way of catching up to him!

The series stars Tom Ellis (Rush, The Fades), Lauren German (A Walk To Remember), Kevin Alejandro (Parenthood), DB Woodside (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Lesley-Ann Brandt (Sparticus), Aimee Garcia (George Lopez) and Rachael Harris (The Good Wife). Based on the characters from DC created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg, Lucifer is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer Television in association with Warner Bros. Television. Developed by Tom Kapinos (Californication), the series is executive produced by Jerry Bruckheimer (CSI franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean films), Jonathan Littman (The Amazing Race, CSI franchise), Joe Henderson (White Collar, Almost Human), Ildy Modrovich (CSI: Miami, Californication), KristiAnne Reed (CSI: Cyber), Jason Ning (The Expanse, Perception) and Tom Ellis.

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gag Reel

10 ONE-HOUR EPISODES

  1. Nothing Ever Changes Around Here
  2. Buckets of Baggage
  3. Yabba Dabba Do Me
  4. Pin the Tail on the Daddy
  5. The Murder of Lucifer Morningstar
  6. A Lot Dirtier Than That
  7. My Best Fiend’s Wedding
  8. Save the Devil, Save the World
  9. Goodbye Lucifer
  10. Partners ‘Til the End

DIGITAL

Lucifer: The Complete Sixth Season will be available to own September 12, 2022 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

Street Date: September 13, 2022

DVD Presented in 16×9 widescreen format

Audio – English (5.1)

Subtitles – English SDH

LUCIFER: THE SIXTH AND FINAL SEASON

DVD Price: $24.98 SRP ($29.98 in Canada)

3-Discs (3 DVD-9s)

Running Time: Feature: Approx. 600 Minutes

Enhanced Content: Approx. 10 Minutes

LUCIFER: THE COMPLETE SERIES

DVD Price: $112.99 SRP ($134.99 in Canada)

19 Discs (19 DVD 9’s)

Running Time: Feature: Approx. 5,580 min

Enhanced Content: Approx. 150 mins

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 DC

DC, a Warner Bros. Discovery Company, creates iconic characters, enduring stories, and immersive experiences that inspire and entertain audiences of every generation around the world and is one of the world’s largest publishers of comics and graphic novels. As a creative division, DC is charged with strategically integrating its stories and characters across film, television, consumer products, home entertainment, interactive games, and the DC Universe Infinite digital subscription service and community engagement portal. For more information visit dccomics.com and dcuniverseinfinite.com.

LUCIFER and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © DC.

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, 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, Warner Bros. Television, WB Games, New Line Cinema, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies, Discovery en Español, Hogar de HGTV and others. For more information, please visit www.wbd.com.

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

Lucifer: The Complete Fifth Season key art for Netflix

Interview with Cynthia Kaye McWilliams

TV Interview!

Cynthia Kaye McWilliams in "The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey" on Apple TV+

Interview with Cynthia Kaye McWilliams of “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey” on Apple TV+ by Suzanne 2/28/22

This is such a great series. It started out a little depressing, but it gets much better. I hope you can watch it! It’s only 6 episodes. All of the cast is great in it, especially the two leads, Samuel L. Jackson and Dominique Fishback. They get the majority of the screentime.  Cynthia’s character, Sensia, is seen in many flashbacks or hallucinations. It was so nice to chat with her!

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

Suzanne:   So, tell us how this part came about for you.

Cynthia:   Much like any, just an audition from my agent, but as soon as I saw it, I mean the second I saw it, I saw Walter Mosley’s name attached, who’s a novelist I’m a huge fan of. I immediately got interested a little bit more. Then, of course, when I saw that Sam Jackson was leading, I just thought, “What? Sam Jackson’s doing television? Oh, my goodness! What is this?” And I started thumbing through the pages, and I instantly thought, “Oh, I have to be a part of this.” I loved the script. I love the book. I love this incredibly dynamic, fierce woman in Cynthia. I loved the way that she loved him without apology, and boldly. And I really enjoy the character that exists in a memory but is so alive because of how fully she occupied his present when she was there and the way that that vibrance is able to pierce through the fog of his dementia and anchor him and motivate and challenge him to be bold again and go after his memories.

Suzanne:   As for your experience acting in the role and filming it, what did you like best about it?

Cynthia:   Oh, well, I mean, definitely, just being able to be on a set with such incredible performers. Sam, of course, leading that cast, but all of them. I mean, I think it’s just such a joy. It’s such a joy when you get to have like sort of the trifecta of working on good material with fantastic actors and in an environment that is actually supporting and encouraging, you know, creativity and play, and where the producers and the cameraman and the directors are all serving the story. I think that’s just the most exciting thing for any actor is to be in a space. And there’s no actor, no actor I’ve ever worked with who is more interested in serving the story than Sam Jackson. He’s such a persona. He’s such an icon, but he is also just a gifted, trained, practiced actor, and he loves what he does. He loves the story. He’s so passionate about it. And sometimes I think that’s where all of that, you know, Sam mother-effin Jackson comes from, because he’s so just passionate about getting the mother effin story, right? You know?

Suzanne:   He makes it look easy to doesn’t he?

Cynthia:   He sure does. Man, I tell you, I am blown away. I got to watch just a bit of the series, and I was so excited just to see what it looked like. I just am so impressed with every time we think we’ve seen all of what Sam Jackson can do, he just wows us with another thing. I’m excited for audiences to see this other character, this new and different and challenging place that he’s gone. Very excited.

Suzanne:   Yeah, I binge-watched it a Saturday, I think. Oh, my gosh, it was so good. It was really good. It makes me wish there could be a sequel, but I don’t see how they do that.

Cynthia:   I know; I know. It’s one of those things, you’re always like, when you get involved with something that’s a limited series, there’s a joy about it, but there’s also like, “Oh…” I’m from the theater, so I am very used to the idea that like we’re in this space and time and everything we share with an audience this night is all it’s ever going to be, and it’ll never happen again exactly the same way. And that’s sad, because you kind of wish you could trap it, or [if] you have a great night, you’re like, “Oh, I wish I could just take that performance and put it on and keep giving it to the audiences,” but it’s also the most beautiful thing. That’s what I loved about theater is just that it’s so special because it’s only that once, and it’s just between us. And I feel like a limited series is very similar and that we’re giving you this thing. We’ve labored for this one piece of art, and we’re gonna give it to you, but once it’s done, it’s done.

Suzanne:   Yeah, that’s for sure. Have you ever played anyone from the past before?

Cynthia:   In theater? Yes. On television? No, like not an actual historical figure, I don’t think. I’m scanning my memories really quickly and making sure I’m not lying and passing something up, but no, I don’t think so. Yes, in television. I’ve done all contemporary pieces, whether that be comedy or drama. Yes, I’m trying to [remember]. I’m scanning so hard when people ask me what have you ever done, and you’re thinking, “I can’t remember everything,” but no, I don’t think so.

Suzanne:   Yeah, I do that too. It’s like, “Oh, I interviewed that person? I don’t even remember it was so long ago.”

Cynthia:   I can’t remember what I for lunch yesterday. I don’t know. [laughs]

MORE INFO:

Cynthia Kaye McWilliamsCynthia Kaye McWilliams was born in Berlin, Germany, grew up primarily in Kansas City, Kansas and graduated from the prestigious Theater School of DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. Just out of college, Cynthia booked a supporting role in Warner Brothers’ The Lake House, followed by a recurring role on FOX’s Prison Break. She then landed a lead role in the pilot, Family Practice and later, another FOX series, Chicago Code.

She moved from Chicago to Los Angeles for a dream job to play sitcom wife to Damon Wayans in a CBS pilot. Though the pilot didn’t go, a few months later she would land a series regular on NAACP award winning comedy, The Real Husbands of Hollywood opposite the hilarious Kevin Hart. Cynthia filmed 5 seasons of RHOH and meanwhile had recurring roles on Survivors Remorse on STARZ, ABC’s Nashville, Bosch on Amazon and booked the lead in the NBC drama pilot, Love is a Four Letter Word.

Switching gears, Cynthia took on the role of sitcom mom Regina in the Netflix’s Prince of Peoria taped in front of a live studio audience at famous Sunset/Gower studios. She associate produced and starred in the holiday comedy, Twas the Chaos before Christmas, returned to the stage in Inda Craig Galvan’s, Black Super Hero Magic Mama at the Geffen Playhouse and joined the cast of Disney Channel original Upside Down Magic which is now streaming on Disney+

Cynthia recently returned from Mexico where she was filming the new drama series, Coyote starting Michael Chiklis. Coyote premiers January 7th, 2021 on CBS All Access. Cynthia also thoroughly enjoys her voiceover career having voiced for multiple characters and shows on Cartoon Network, animated feature film, Bilal and several video games including narrating Valorant, voicing Senna in League of Legends, T-Bug in CyberPunk 2077, Spartan Tanaka in Halo 5, roles in Disintegration, Far Cry 5 & 6, State of Decay 2, Tell Me Why and more.

Cynthia champions women & minorities creating their own content, supports arts education and loves all things food, wine and travel.

Poster for "The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey" on Apple TV+The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey

Release date: March 11, 2022

Trailer

“The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey” stars Samuel L. Jackson as Ptolemy Grey, an ailing man forgotten by his family, by his friends, and by even himself. Suddenly left without his trusted caretaker and on the brink of sinking even deeper into a lonely dementia, Ptolemy is assigned to the care of orphaned teenager Robyn, played by Dominique Fishback. When they learn about a treatment that can restore Ptolemy’s dementia-addled memories, it begins a journey toward shocking truths about the past, present and future.

The six-episode limited series will debut will debut globally Friday, March 11 on Apple TV+ with the first two episodes, followed by one new episode weekly, every Friday.

Episode 1

Reggie

Ptolemy Grey’s memory is getting worse. After learning his grand-nephew is no longer there for him, Ptolemy’s niece assigns him a new caretaker.

Episode 2

Robyn

Kicked out by Niecie, Robyn moves in with Ptolemy and accompanies him to a doctor’s appointment for an experimental treatment.

Episode 3

Sensia

Ptolemy begins treatment to restore his memories, drifting in and out of fever dreams about his life as Robyn keeps vigil at his side.

From Apple TV+

ABOUT “THE LAST DAYS OF PTOLEMY GREY”:

“The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey” will premiere with 2 episodes globally on Friday, March 11 with new episodes premiering weekly on Friday thereafter, exclusively on Apple TV+.

Jackson stars as Ptolemy Grey, an ailing man forgotten by his family, by his friends, by even himself. Suddenly left without his trusted caretaker and on the brink of sinking even deeper into a lonely dementia, Ptolemy is assigned to the care of orphaned teenager Robyn, who is played by Dominique Fishback (“Judas and the Black Messiah”). When they learn about a treatment that can restore Ptolemy’s dementia-addled memories, it begins a journey toward shocking truths about the past, present and future.

In addition to Jackson and Fishback, the Apple Original limited series stars Walton Goggins (“Justified,” “The Unicorn”), Marsha Stephanie Blake (“I Am Your Woman,” “When They See Us”), Damon Gupton (“Black Lightning,” “Bates Motel”), Cynthia Kaye McWilliams (“Coyote,” “Real Husbands of Hollywood”) and Omar Miller (“The Unicorn,” “Ballers”).

“The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey” is produced by Apple Studios and Anonymous Content. Serving as executive producers alongside Jackson and Mosley are David Levine and Eli Selden for Anonymous Content, Diane Houslin, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, and Ramin Bahrani.

ABOUT APPLE TV+

Apple TV+ is available on the Apple TV app in over 100 countries and regions, on over 1 billion screens, including iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, popular smart TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony, VIZIO, TCL, and others, Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices, Chromecast with Google TV, PlayStation and Xbox gaming consoles, and attv.apple.com, for $4.99 per month with a seven-day free trial. For a limited time, customers who purchase and activate a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, or iPod touch can enjoy three months of Apple TV+ for free.*

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Interview with Cynthia Kaye McWilliams

Interview with Hamza Haq and John Hannah

TV Interview!

John Hannah and Hamza Haq of "Transplant" on NBC

Interview with John Hannah and Hamza Haq of “Transplant” on NBC by Suzanne 3/1/22

This was a fun chat. I interviewed Hamza in 2020. It was great to meet John Hannah. He’s been in so many wonderful shows and movies that I love, like “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Damages,” “Spartacus,” “The Mummy,” “Alias,” and his starring role in “McCallum.”

Suzanne: How are you guys doing?

Hamza: Wonderful.

Suzanne: Nice to meet you, John.

John: Nice to meet you, Suzanne.

Suzanne: And Hamza. It’s great to see you again.

Hamza: Nice to see you too.

Suzanne: You cut your hair. I don’t recognize you.

John: Is that for work, Hamza?

Hamza: Yeah.

John: You working just now?

Hamza: Yeah, I just wrapped yesterday.

John: Okay, good, good. Sorry, Suzanne.

Suzanne: That’s okay. Is this a movie that you just wrapped?

Hamza: Yeah, I just dropped this surreal indie comedy movie that I’m filming here in Montreal, or Vancouver, rather, directed by Kim Albright and starring Anna McGuire. So, it was a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun.

Suzanne: Does it have a title?

Hamza: It’s called With Love and a Major Organ.

Suzanne: That sounds like an indie title, doesn’t it?

Hamza: Very much, yeah.

Suzanne: Yeah, so when did you guys film season two? Because when I talked to you in 2020, you hadn’t started filming yet?

John: Yeah, we didn’t start until 2021. We were supposed to start late 2020, and then it got pushed and shoved and pulled and pushed, and we ended up starting late February 2020 – 2021, sorry, I’m all mixed up. This is ‘22 isn’t it?

Suzanne: Yeah. What year is it? I don’t know.

John: It’s just about a week ago. This time last year, actually.

Hamza: Yeah.

Suzanne: Oh, wow. Okay, that’s a long time. Do you remember what happened? It takes like a year. [laughs]

John: Well there were these doctors…

Suzanne: So, in the first episode Bash says everything changes, which seems to set the tone for the season, wouldn’t you say?

Hamza: I would. I did. Yeah, it’s just yeah, it there’re so many new elements that the wonderful thing about how it’s been written and how it was presented is that like any bit of comfort that anybody found in in season one is thrown into chaos in season two, right from the off. So, we see everybody just swim through that chaos.

Suzanne: Bishop actually had a pretty bad season one, because he was shot in the head, and then had a stroke.

John: I was drilled, but it saved my life. I made dumb choices.

Suzanne: It was funny, when I saw that with him drilling in your head, because there used to be a soap opera called Port Charles, and the very first episode was a spin off from General Hospital, very first episode, they had that same thing. The intern drilled with a regular drill into this woman’s head, and everybody’s like, “Oh, that’s ridiculous. That’s ridiculous.” Apparently, it’s no longer ridiculous.

John: I mean, it’s not necessarily the way doctors would choose to do it, but needs must, you know, when the devil rides.

Hamza: Like the equivalent of like tying a string to your tooth and closing the door when you need to extract, you know what I mean? It’s kind of the same thing. A dentist wouldn’t do it, but it worked.

Suzanne: Or like when they always seem to do a medical shows when somebody is having that problem breathing, and they stick the inner lining of the pen and tube, and then it happens so much. I’m sure it doesn’t happen that much in real life, but it always happened on every medical show.

Hamza: I haven’t I haven’t done it yet, but it’s early in the day.

Suzanne: So, there’re a lot of politics in this season. John, can you talk about what Bishop faces this season, all of the things that he faced?

John: Yeah, I mean, Bishop kind of played a bit fast and loose with what he should have done and should have declared and his own health in season one, and that got us to where it got him to, back in bed. And season two in a lot of ways is navigating through those choices, politics. It’s corporate politics, really, isn’t it? I mean, the medical profession is no different from any other corporation, and for somebody to get to the top, they have to be fairly skilled at kind of maneuvering as well as being talented at the hospital, at the medical stuff and man management. So, yeah, he deals a lot with that. And the second season, which is kind of interesting, I think that we have the medical procedures, the things that happen. We have the human side of it, and then there is this corporate shark infested water that is, again, perhaps from a liberal point of view, he’s cynically trying to manipulate to hold on to his position.

Suzanne: And we saw this guy come in, Mark Novak, while he was unavailable. Then, we saw, I believe, six episodes, and he leaves at the end. Does he come back later this season? Can you tell us if you’re allowed to?

Hamza: We’re not.

John: Are we not? [unintelligible] I think he’s there and it sets up this conflict in styles, and I think that that works well, in terms of the the jeopardy that it puts pressure upon his history with Novak. It also puts Hamza’s character in a lot of jeopardy as well, because, obviously, I have a sort of protective cloak around them. So, I mean, I think anybody who understands drama would look at it and say there’s a lot of potential there. So, chances are, he comes back.

Suzanne: Okay, and Hamza, your character, he’s actually doing pretty well at first, it seems like. He gets an apartment of his own, or house of his own, and his girl girlfriend – fiancé – comes back to life. And he’s got something going on there with Mags maybe, and then his fiancé shows up and kind of throws a wrench into that. What can you talk about this season with regards to that?

Hamza: Well, we see Bash struggle a lot with the life that he’s creating for himself versus the life that he thought he lost. It’s more about, obviously, in that respect, not any of the medical drama stuff, because there’s a lot of stuff that happens there as well, and Bash gets roped into the politics of the inner workings of the [unintelligible].

John: He’s in the firing line as well, isn’t it?

Hamza: Yeah, there’re a few things that happen where Bishop and Bash’s personal and professional relationship [is] tested quite a bit, in terms of how they’re gonna move forward, and the same can be said about Bash and Raniya, his fiancé who comes back. She’s a representation of a life that he had lost, and now, the potential to bring that up again, and to restart and pick up where they left off, it’s a very exciting thing for Bash, and it’s something that he jumps into head on. It’s not until a little bit later in the season that he starts to feel that maybe he wasn’t in the same mental and emotional space that he was five years ago, because he absolutely isn’t. Everything has, like I said, changed, and he’s now moved away from the man that he used to be, and we’ll see how it tests that relationship, not only with Raniya, but with his sister, Amira, and with Mags as well.

Suzanne: And I can’t wait to see what happens next with his little sister, because the last one I saw was when Raniya was leaving, I’m sure she’s not gonna be too happy about that.

Hamza: No, she is not. I can say that much.

Suzanne: Right, and at least he’s going through therapy now. So, that also probably puts him in a different place like you were talking about.

Hamza: Yes.

Suzanne: I don’t think I would want a doctor who’s having hallucinations. Maybe it’s just me.

Hamza: You don’t know; maybe they’re having them already. You never know. If he saves the life and you get the job done, then his hallucinations are his own business, you know? [laughs]

Suzanne: Yes, in TV. In real life, I don’t know about that. Maybe you might pick up something by accident. It’s not a drill when he needs to get your head, you never know. So, how many episodes total are there? I’ve seen six.

Hamza: There’s seven more to go.

Suzanne: Seven more. Oh, good. So, it is actually thirteen this season. That’s good to know. And anything else that you’d like to tell us about the season, or anything else you’ve got going on, John?

John: I mean, I just I think the show, it keeps twisting and turning, as you say. There’s the politics of it, which is the jeopardy that we’re both in, and that puts a strain on our relationship, our closeness, which I think’s natural. It shakes it up a bit. Everyone’s in jeopardy with what’s going on. The guy on the right has keep it going for the whole thirteen, I think. Hamza, you?

Hamza: Yeah, I just think that just from a storyline perspective, we got very lucky with season two that the writers gave so much richness to all the characters, and we really dive a lot deeper into everybody, and not just, you know, you’re talking to Bishop and Bashir now, but, for fans of the show, everybody across the board has a much richer, more well balanced, like, human story to tell. Like, we dive into Mag’s personal life. Theo’s exploring his, you know, the contentiousness of him being this traveling doctor, and his being apart from his family, and then the relationship between June and her father, and also like her struggle between the two surgical residents as well, or surgical attendings rather, and it’s just so much more well balanced and dives into an emotional depth and a storyline interest that we didn’t see in in season one across the board for everybody. So, I hope everybody appreciates that, because there was a concerted effort to make sure that we see these characters as full rounded humans, and having seen the second season, I think we achieve that.

Suzanne: And are you allowed to tell us whether your character and Mags are ever going to actually kiss?

Hamza: No, as in, “no, I’m not allowed to tell you.”

Suzanne: Okay, I have to figure that happens at some point.

John: [unintelligible] know that you don’t or know that you do?

Hamza: I’m not allowed to say.

Suzanne: Well, I think I’m gonna guess that they are, just because they keep coming so close, but you never know; it’s TV.

Hamza: Tune in next week to see more on Transplant! Will Bash and Mags kiss? Will Bishop finally get – you know?

Suzanne: We want to know these things. You’ve got to have those ships nowadays. And John, what about your character and Claire? Is there anything you can tell us about that?

John: Yeah, I mean, there’s a second chances. I think the theme for Bishop is very much second season, second chances, and that’s true for Claire. That’s true for his relationship with Claire as well, and maybe this is the right time for them to come together, but, again, there’re some twists and turns in that the difference between what you think you want, and what really happens is, you know, we maybe take those choices and then discover that it wasn’t right, or maybe we don’t take them and wish that we had. I don’t want to give too much away, but there is certainly a journey that they go on together, and they care for each other deeply. They’ve had a lot of time together. That doesn’t necessarily always make it an easy path, though. As Hamza was saying, [it’s] the second season, so we’re not introducing the character[s]. We know the refugee story. Hamza is now embedded in the hospital, and that allows the time to spread out with the other characters via Hamza, and as we get to know them spin off on those other stories, which I think gives the show a richer tapestry. Not at all Hamza to say that it wasn’t rich before, but as you were mentioning, it allows us to get to know those other characters also.

Hamza: One hundred percent.

Suzanne: All right. Well, thank you guys. I appreciate you taking the time today, and I hope you don’t have too many other press that you have to talk to and that you have a great rest of your day.

John: Oh no, it’s always a pleasure. I mean, we spend eight months doing the show. It takes ten minutes to talk to someone to get the word out there, and that’s what hopefully brings the audience in. So, thank you for talking to us.

Suzanne: Great, thank you so much. Bye.

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

MORE INFO:

Transplant

Sundays on NBC (10-11 p.m. ET); Season Premiere: March 6

“Transplant” follows the story of Dr. Bashir “Bash” Hamed (Hamza Haq), a talented doctor and Syrian refugee, who fled his war-torn country with his younger sister, Amira (Sirena Gulamgaus), for a fresh start in Canada. After a truck crashes into the restaurant where he’s been working, Bash earns the chance to practice medicine again by using his field-honed skills to save multiple lives in brilliant fashion, including that of Dr. Jed Bishop (John Hannah), the Chief of Emergency Medicine at York Memorial Hospital in Toronto.

But Bash is told he’ll need to redo his residency in Emergency Medicine from the bottom and despite his obvious talents intuition, and training, starting over is not an easy road and his life experience is not a perfect match for the strict protocols at York Memorial. Through perseverance he makes inroads, developing camaraderie with his new colleagues, including the driven Dr. Magalie “Mags” LeBlanc (Laurence Leboeuf), the reserved and ambitious surgical resident Dr. June Curtis (Ayisha Issa), easy-going pediatric ER physician Dr. Theo Hunter (Jim Watson), head nurse Claire Malone (Torri Higginson) and even earning the respect of Dr. Wendy Atwater (Linda E. Smith), the department’s second-in-command who runs a very tight ship.

Jed Bishop (John Hannah), the team’s demanding, inscrutable boss, looms large and keeps everyone on their toes with a unique compassion and commitment to his staff that also connects them.

Season two picks up with Bash and his fellow residents reeling after Dr. Bishop suffers a stroke. With everything at the hospital destabilized, the place that Bash had started to consider home suddenly feels precarious. As the team adjusts to new colleagues while dealing with the challenges of life, unexpected faces from the past leave Bash seriously doubting whether his transplant into this new world was successful.

Bash’s hard work, compassion and hopefulness tell a universal story about the human ability to not only survive, but ultimately thrive when our lives suddenly change course.

Creator Joseph Kay returns as showrunner and executive producer. Director Stefan Pleszczynski joins as executive producer and will direct six episodes. Additional executive producers include Bruno Dubé, Jocelyn Deschênes, Virginia Rankin, Tara Woodbury, Josée Vallée and Adam Barken.

“Transplant” is produced by Sphere Media in association with CTV and Universal International Studios, a division of Universal Studio Group.

Please visit the official show site at: https://www.nbc.com/transplant.

For the latest “Transplant” news, videos, and photos, please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram:

https://www.facebook.com/NBCTransplant/
https://twitter.com/NBCTransplant #Transplant
https://www.instagram.com/nbctransplant/

John Hannah

Dr. Jed Bishop

TRANSPLANT -- Season 2 -- Pictured: John Hannah as Jed Bishop -- (Photo by: Yan Turcotte/Sphere Media/CTV/NBC)
John David Hannah stars as Dr. Jed Bishop, the legendary, elusive and inscrutable Chief of Emergency Medicine who keeps his staff on their toes and always at the ready, in NBC’s drama “Transplant.”

Hannah came to prominence in “Four Weddings and a Funeral, for which he was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. His other film appearances include “Sliding Doors” and “The Mummy” trilogy.

His television roles include “McCallum,” “Rebus,” “New Street Law,” “Cold Blood,” “Spartacus,” “A Touch of Cloth,” “Atlantis,” “Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D,” “Overboard” and “Trust Me.”

Hamza Haq

Bashir “Bash” Hamed

TRANSPLANT -- Season 2 -- Pictured: Hamza Haq as Bashir Hamed -- (Photo by: Yan Turcotte/Sphere Media/CTV/NBC)
Hamza Haq stars as Bashir “Bash” Hamed in NBC’s “Transplant,” a trained ER doctor who fled his native Syria to come to Canada. He must overcome numerous obstacles to resume his career in the high-stakes world of emergency medicine.

A Canadian Screen Award winner for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series (2021), Haq was also honored as one of Canada’s Rising Stars by the Hollywood Reporter in 2017.

In 2018, Haq appeared alongside William Shatner and Russell Peters as twins Amal and Gopal in the CTV miniseries “Indian Detective,” and earned critical acclaim in the CBC drama “This Life,” for which he earned a 2018 Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Guest Performance. Other notable credits include recurring roles on the Cinemax series “Jett”
opposite Carla Gugino; “Quantico,” starring Priyanka Chopra; and “The Art of More,” with Dennis Quaid and Kate Bosworth.

Additional television credits include “Designated Survivor,” “The Bold Type,” “Being Human” and “Best Laid Plans.” He hosted two seasons of the International Emmy Award-nominated children’s series “Look Kool” and plays Jassie on the CBC Gem digital original drama “The 410.” On the big screen, Haq has appeared in “Bon Cop,” “Bad Cop 2” with Colm Feore, “The Death” and “Life of John F. Donovan” directed by Xavier Dolan, Darren Aronofsky’s “Mother!” and “Run This Town,” detailing the turbulent final year of Rob Ford’s tenure as the mayor of Toronto. He also had a role in “My Salinger Year,” which opened the 70th Berlin International Film Festival in 2020.

Haq is a 2020 recipient of RBC’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrants Award and recently partnered with the Canada Media Fund’s Made | Nous campaign as ambassador to celebrate Islamic History Month. He spoke at the 2021 TEDx Toronto Fall digital event series “Uncharted,” using his public platform to speak on issues important to him, including refugees’ rights, racial
injustice and combating stereotypes, and was honored as Playback’s Breakout Star of the Year.

Raised in Ottawa, Haq is youngest of four siblings born in Saudi Arabia to Pakistani parents and has called Canada home for almost 20 years. He holds a bachelor of arts in film studies with a minor in law from Carleton University.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

Back to the Primetime Articles and Interviews Page

John Hannah and Hamza Haq of "Transplant" on NBC

Interview with Ben Savage, Lindsay Navarro, Erica Durance and Abby Hernandez

TV Interview!

Panel for "The Girl in the Shed"

Interview with actors Ben Savage, Lindsay Navarro, Erica Durance and EP Abby Hernandez of “Girl in the Shed: the Kidnapping of Abby Hernandez” on Lifetime by Suzanne 1/10/22

This was a very weird movie to watch. It was very creepy. Everyone did a good job in it. It was odd having the actual victim in the movie there in the panel, though. I think that was a first for me. It was wonderful to speak to Erica Durance because she was so great in this film as well as in “Smallville,” “Saving Hope” and “Supergirl.” Ben did an amazing job. If you’ve seen him in comedies before, this movie will really surprise you.

MODERATOR: Hi, everyone. Please welcome Executive Producer Abby Hernandez and stars Ben Savage, Lindsay Navarro and Erica Durance of “Girl in the Shed: the Kidnapping of Abby Hernandez.” Thank you all for being here today.

LINDSAY NAVARRO: (Waves.) Hi.

BEN SAVAGE: Hi.

ABBY HERNANDEZ: Hello.

MODERATOR: Thank you. Our first question is from Right on Digital.

QUESTION: Hi. Am I muted?

MODERATOR: You’re good.

QUESTION: Hi. This question is for anyone who would like to answer it. Tell us a behind-the-scenes story about something that took place on set.

LINDSAY NAVARRO: Behind the scenes, hmm. Erica, Ben, you got anything? There’s so much that happened.

QUESTION: You can tell us a fun fact.

LINDSAY NAVARRO: I’ve got one. I’ve got one. Okay. So, there was a scene where Abby and Kibby are outside. It’s their first time being — it’s Abby’s first time being outside in I believe six months. And there’s a scene where she has this moment, a beautiful moment with a horse. But in reality, this horse was not having it. He did not want to be there. So there’s a couple scenes that where you see this beautiful, majestic horse and then there’s another one where you see a close-up of my face. The horse is not there because the horse has taken off. It like completely jetted. It was quite funny and all of us were a little bit scared because he was running across the field. Yeah, it was a great time.

ABBY HERNANDEZ: That’s hilarious.

LINDSAY NAVARRO: Yeah.

ERICA DURANCE: Not to do any spoilers, but remember when we, Lindsay, we had to walk in the field and we had to be looking straight up and it had to be very graceful.

LINDSAY NAVARRO: Oh yeah.

ERICA DURANCE: We kept trying to avoid all the — I don’t know there was a bunch of cow pies and all sorts of stuff. And so you’re trying to have this like ethereal really beautiful moment and we’re trying to spot check each other somehow by not looking down.

LINDSAY NAVARRO: Yeah, fun times.

MODERATOR: Thank you. Abby, did you have a chance to speak with the cast before they shot the film?

ABBY HERNANDEZ: Yes. Pretty much everybody, all the main characters, everybody that’s here.

MODERATOR: Awesome, thank you. Noah Wilson, you’re up next.

QUESTION: Hello, everyone. By the way, Erica, great to see you again.

ERICA DURANCE: Oh hi, Noah. I don’t see you, but I hear you and I know your voice.

QUESTION: Yes. Well, it’s so great to be with you guys. First off, Abby, I do want to ask you, you know, being executive producer, but also this being your story, how was it like to relive this, something that happened thank you personally, but it come to life in a movie on Lifetime based on a true story?

ABBY HERNANDEZ: Obviously, it’s a weird experience to have this happen in the first place. And then to have it made into a movie is obviously like an even weirder experience. But ultimately, I did find it healing in a weird way just to have it out there.

QUESTION (from Noah): Lindsay, you know, this is a film based on the real-life kidnapping of, you know, Abby. You know, 14 years old. Learning her full story, what was it like for you to personally portray Abby on the screen and act out some of the scenes of what actually went on in her, you know, real life?

LINDSAY NAVARRO: Yeah, wow. There was such a responsibility that came with that. It being a true story, knowing that Abby was a part of the project. That was one of the reasons why I wanted to do it as well knowing that Abby was on board. So it was challenging in that way. And but it all made it easier knowing that I could get in touch with Abby and we could talk things through. So for that I will be so — I will be forever grateful having her there, accessible on What’s App getting to video chat with her. But yeah, it made it heavier and it was challenging to walk through those scenes knowing that she had experienced this. And there was that weight that came with it.

QUESTION (from Noah): You know, Erica, last question goes to you, my friend. What will viewers learn from watching this movie look forward based on Abby’s real-life story?

ERICA DURANCE: Oh, I don’t know if that should be — thank you for giving that to me. I think that’s more of an Abby question. I suppose I can only share part of what I learned playing the part of Zenya in it and in speaking with her. Is the absurdity, the cruelty of life, the beauty that can come out of things that are awful and with Zenya, I found that she was just so incredibly powerful and strong and but yeah, I was kind of awe struck in dealing with her and talking to her. So originally when I was going to do this, she talked to me through her whole experience and it was incredibly generous of her. It was a three-hour phone call. But yeah, I don’t quite know how to answer that succinctly which is why I’m bumbling about. But it’s the human spirit and what we are capable of doing or what we are capable of doing to each other, how we are capable of finding our way around it in some way. But I do feel like I’m kind of — I’m the actor playing it. It wasn’t my story in that sense. I think it will be really awe-inspiring for a lot of people.

QUESTION (from Noah): Absolutely. Thank you guys so much. I appreciate it. Great to see you again, Erica.

ERICA DURANCE: You too.

LINDSAY NAVARRO: Thank you, Noah.

QUESTION: Bye guys, thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you. Jay Bobbin?

QUESTION: Thank you very much. Erica, actually my question is also for you. It puts a different twist on what was just asked. The mother role on all these projects…

ERICA DURANCE: I hope I do better this time. Anybody else can kind of chime in as I bumble about.

QUESTION: I’m sure you’ll do fine. The mother role on these projects. It’s interesting because depending on how it’s cast, whose playing it, how much they’re given attention in the script, we’ve seen Jenny Garth do it and she did it to a great extent in the one that she was in. Joely Fisher did one and she had maybe a few scenes here and there. It was largely, “Where’s my daughter? What happened to my daughter?, etc.” With you, as you approach this, how did you approach the mother role? Because you want to make your mark, but even as you said, it’s really the daughter’s story. How did you go about portraying the mother to make your mark in the film based on what you’d read in the script?

Erica Durance and Lindsay NavarroERICA DURANCE: Well, the first thing that I did was talk to Zenya. And I think that’s very important when you know you’re doing a true story so you’re portraying somebody else. You have to get inside as much as they’ll allow you access, to their process and what it was like. And so because she was so incredibly generous as I said in really walking me through the scenario and like Lindsay had mentioned there was a couple of moments on the set where I was going to do a scene that was specific and to something that kind of had happened to her. And I just had a last minute need to call her and go, “What was it you did when this happened?” And she was just right there. And just so helpful. So that gave me a blueprint of how she would have done it. And then at the end of the day, you have to take the situation that you’re dealing with and process it in the way that you would just naturally, if you can be natural, but how you would respond to those given situations as truthfully as you can. And for myself, it was tricky because I have little kids. And so I knew that there was going to be a point where I would probably step into a zone which was difficult to come back to and figure out how to separate myself from it. But you kind of have to dive into it. And so for myself then because it was such an intense, every day was intense and they shot my stuff all very sequentially so I had, you know, five days and it was all the scenes. And it was all of it all at once in that way. I just kind of locked myself in my green room and listened to music constantly and then just tried to give it my best. And I depended a lot on Jess Harmon who was our wonderful director to help guide me through those different nuances and what she believed was truthful and maybe not as truthful or kept me on point with the story as close as I could be.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you so much. Ben and Lindsay, most of your scenes are together. What was it like working together for this project and how did you tap into these characters? Of course after speaking with Abby and crafting the relationship?

LINDSAY NAVARRO: Ben, you go for it. You go for it.

BEN SAVAGE: I think that it’s such a difficult subject and it’s such a complicated story that I think Lindsay and I both wanted to be very careful about how we approached the subject and how we approached the relationship. And I think when we first got started, I think Lindsay and I were both a little apprehensive about making sure that we did this properly. But I think we gelled together as well as we could. I mean Lindsay is a total pro. And we had a wonderful crew, a wonderful cast, a terrific director with Jess Harmon. And I think we worked together as well as we could. It’s a tough subject and I think everyone wanted to be very sensitive to everything we were going through. But yeah, it was an interesting journey.

LINDSAY NAVARRO: Yeah. We gave each other space when we needed to have space when there was a difficult scene coming up that we needed to film where it was perhaps more emotional or more physically demanding. We would give each other that needed space. And then there were other times where Ben and I would check in with one another make sure we were doing okay. I really appreciated that from Ben actually that he would come over and just ensure that I was comfortable, I was content. And truly, I mean you said it, right Ben? We had an amazing cast, amazing crew that made everything feel very safe and easy to drop into. But it was a challenge.

MODERATOR: Thank you both so much. Rick Bentley?

QUESTION: Hi. Thanks for coming. Abby, I can’t even pretend to wrap my head around the hell on earth you went through with this. I’m just wondering where you found the strength and the courage to face it again through this production? And ultimately, what do you want to come out of this?

ABBY HERNANDEZ: Ultimately, I guess I’ll answer the last question first. What I want to come out of this is awareness I guess. I think that a lot of teenagers, since, you know, the age of social media and socialness is such an important thing. I think everybody, or not everybody but a lot of people have that a voice in the back of their head. You know, if I disappeared it wouldn’t matter. And I learned that yeah, it does matter. It affects a lot of people and it will forever. And then I guess, you know, the first question, how did I must the courage to, you know, sign off to do this movie. You know, it’s nothing new to me. It’s something — it’s in here constantly. Has been in there since 2013. I’m almost kind of numb to it, you know what I mean? And I feel like the world has progressed since then. You know, when at first I did not want to give Kibby up. I was really, you know, under tight pressure. And that’s when I gave up and I said I know the name of the person. But we’re in a day and age now where I think, you know, it’s encouraged to be honest about what’s going on. I don’t feel as scared anymore.

QUESTION (from Rick): And Abby, if I can follow-up real quickly, have you seen the final film?

ABBY HERNANDEZ: Yes.

QUESTION: Was it a tough watch?

ABBY HERNANDEZ: Yeah.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you so much. Thank you, Abby. Abbie Bernstein?

QUESTION: Hi. Thank you all for doing this. For Ms. Hernandez, can you talk about changes made between reality and the film either for time or dramatic clarity or things that they felt would help people understand the story better that maybe happened differently?

ABBY HERNANDEZ: Sure. I think the ultimate thing that, you know, trust in the movie seemed to be kind of linear. At first it was nothing and then it grew. I think in real life, Kibby was almost in sort of a way — I don’t know want to say manic, but he would trust me and then no trust. Trust me and then no trust. So marijuana cleaning was one of the very first things that happened in October. In the movie it was portrayed afterwards once he had really gained my trust. So I think that’s basically what it was. And ultimately that’s kind of true. I mean he didn’t trust me at first really at all to see his face or know his name. But later on, he did. I think that’s a good way of portraying it.

QUESTION: So his psychological ping-ponging was made more streamlined for the film.

ABBY HERNANDEZ: Yes, exactly.

QUESTION: And were there any things about you that you thought, oh I wouldn’t have done it like that or gee, I wish I had done it like that?

ABBY HERNANDEZ: Lindsay was more classy than me. (Laughs.) Gosh. I don’t know. I mean I really don’t know.

QUESTION: Well, thank you very much.

ABBY HERNANDEZ: Yeah.

MODERATOR: Thank you. Suzanne Lanoue?

QUESTION: Hi. Can you hear me okay?

BEN SAVAGE: Yeah.

QUESTION: Okay, good. Ben, you usually play the good guy. Have you ever played this kind of psycho role before? And was it challenging?

BEN SAVAGE: It was certainly a change of pace for me. But again, I just, as everyone said here, I think it was such an important story to tell. And I was just happy to be a part of the storytelling in the film. And yeah, certainly a departure, but you know, it was a very interesting role to play.

QUESTION: I’ll bet. And Erica, were you familiar with everyone that worked on the show before? Had you worked with any of them previously?

ERICA DURANCE: I knew Jess Harmon through her family. So I kind of knew of her, but I hadn’t met anyone else. I was of course familiar with Lindsay and Ben. And Abby somewhat through the news, right? But otherwise, it was all — yeah it was kind of the first day meeting everybody.

LINDSAY NAVARRO: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Great. Thank you so much guys.

BEN SAVAGE: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you. We have time for one more with the Hollywood Times.

QUESTION: Hi. Could you talk about this film, how it’s relevant to the others that are in Lifetime’s girls’ initiative? And also what can — maybe talk about what can young women learn from watching the film?

MODERATOR: The first question I just want to jump in for a second. The first question is more of a question that we are happy to get you an answer to on the press side. But the cast can answer the second one.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you.

ERICA DURANCE: Sorry. Can you repeat the second one again?

QUESTION: Yeah, what can young women learn from watching this film?

ABBY HERNANDEZ: Keep your cool.

LINDSAY NAVARRO: Sorry, Abby. Go ahead.

ABBY HERNANDEZ: Oh I just said to keep your cool which is easier said than done especially as I’ve gotten older, but yeah.

ERICA DURANCE: Abby, one of the things that your mother said to me and you mentioned and in some of the earlier conversations we had which still shocks me to this day is your ability to — where you kept your cool in a way, the way your mother described it was to somehow find a way of seeing the humanity in the person that was treating you so cruelly.

ABBY HERNANDEZ: Mm-hmm.

ERICA DURANCE: And use that as a survival technique. And that still to this day is just shocking to me that you were able to somehow see that and find a way to make a connection with this person who was doing these things.

LINDSAY NAVARRO: Mm-hmm.

ERICA DURANCE: And spoke to such a huge amount of power and strength and I believe the young gals and whoever’s watching this, men or women, I think that that will be something that resonates a lot.

BEN SAVAGE: If I could just add, jump on that. I would just say I certainly can’t speak about what women can take away, but I think a larger message of course that I certainly took away from it was just strength and strength of character. And I think everyone associated with this film was so impressed with Abby and her story. And I do think there are some lessons to be learned here. But again, I’m just glad that we were all able to come together and tell this wonderful story as best the way we could. And Lindsay, I think you should jump in, too.

LINDSAY NAVARRO: Yeah, yeah. I was just going to add on as well, the tremendous courage that Abby had and continues to have in being so passionate about sharing this story as well. It’s truly remarkable. And I’m with you, Ben. I think it’s — for a larger audience, I think a lot of people are going to be inspired and will continue to be inspired by Abby’s story. And the crew, yeah the crew valued it so much as well. Everyone was so careful about telling the story as truthfully as we could and with such passion into telling it. So I think people can take away this hope, the power of prayer, the power of faith and the power of not giving up.

QUESTION: Wonderful, thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you so much. Thank you to the cast and to Abby. You were all fantastic in this film. Please make sure to tune in to “Girl in the Shed: The Kidnapping of Abby Hernandez” on February 26th at 8, 7 Central. Thank you all so much for being here today.

MORE INFO:

“Girl in the Shed: the Kidnapping of Abby Hernandez.” posterGirl in the Shed: The Kidnapping of Abby Hernandez is the true story of 14-year-old freshman Abby Hernandez (Lindsay Navarro) who vanished while walking home from school in North Conway, New Hampshire.  Kicking off the state’s largest search, Abby’s disappearance left her family, especially her mother Zenya (Erica Durance), investigators and the community mystified of her whereabouts. Taken by Nathaniel Kibby (Ben Savage), Abby was kept is a soundproof container and forced to wear a shock collar while enduring psychological, sexual and emotional abuse. Despite suffering daily torture, Abby kept hope alive that she would one day be able to see her family again.

Girl in the Shed: The Kidnapping of Abby Hernandez is produced by Sprott Productions Inc in association with Johnson Production Group and executive produced by Abigail Hernandez, Stacy Mandelberg and Michael Vickerman who also wrote the script. Jessica Harmon directed.

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Ben Savage and Lindsay Navarro

Interview with the cast of “The Endgame”

TV Interview!

Morena Baccarin and Ryan Michelle Bathe of "The Endgame" on NBC

Interview with actors Morena Baccarin, Ryan Michelle Bathé, Costa Ronin and executive producers Jake Coburn and Nick Wootton of “The Endgame” on “NBC” by Suzanne 2/11/22

This was part of a larger NBC panel for TCA. I really enjoyed watching this show because it’s exciting. It really keeps you on the edge of your seat.  The actors are really good. I would have watched it just because Morena Baccarin is always good. You may know her from “Firefly,” “Gotham” or the “Deadpool” movies. She’s always outstanding. Ryan Michelle Bathé does a good job as the heroine. Noah Bean is also in the cast; I loved him in many roles, such as “Damages” and “Nikita.” I interviewed Costa Ronin before, and he’s an excellent actor and nice person.  Make sure you check it out! It’s a little bit like “Blacklist,” mixed with “Killing Eve” and “Blindspot,” and a dash of “Queen of the South.” Yet it’s definitely its own thing.

Most of the questions were directed at Morena Baccarin, so I asked a question for both women. Most of the good questions had already been asked. First, I told them how much I loved the show. Then I asked, “Did either of you have much input into either your character or the clothing that you get to wear in the show?” They kind of laughed at my question, which is fine. Morena replied that they did have conversations beforehand about their characters and how these two women related to each other. Their two characters are so tied together that you can’t have one without the other. She also said that “the clothing is very important to this character.” When we first see Elena, she’s “coming out of this box in a dress,” so they had trouble, at first, finding the right gown so that she could amazing. The effect she described is, “it’s a very strange and incredible moment to see this international arms dealer being captured in a giant ball gown.” She had tried on many dresses and hadn’t found the one she liked. She was on the Upper East Side of New York for a doctor’s appointment. She had some time to kill, so she walked into the Carolina Herrera shop and saw the dress immediately. She said to herself “That’s the one,” tried it on and sent the producers a photo of it. They did look into other options, but this was the one that she felt gives you the right feeling that they wanted Elena to invoke in the audience when they saw her coming out of the box. EP and showrunner Nick Wooton agreed. Once she found that dress, they tried to see if anything else came close, but nothing did. Morena joked, “And now I’m stuck with this dress forever.” Nick joked with her but then made it clear that she does change clothes at some point. Morena asked if Ryan had anything to add, but Ryan made her own joke by saying, “No. Val is just a bit of a sparrow… just rolls around in the dirt with the pigeons and just, kind of, gets on, stomp, stomp, stomp.” I think she was just saying that Val’s clothes are no big deal compared to Elena’s. It was a funny way of saying it, though.

Here are the questions asked by other journalists on the panel. Most of the questions were directed at Morena, since most people are probably more familiar with her work. Here are the questions for her. She was asked how it was being the lead of the show (since this is her first lead role). Morena thinks that she and Ryan are equal leads on the show and that Ryan gets more screen time than she does. She noted, “it’s fun to be No. 1 on the call sheet, but the work is definitely not all on me.”

She was also asked what about the script or character attracted her to it. She answered that she always wanted to play a larger-than-life character who plays for “high stakes.” Also, she liked the humor in the series and felt that it was a page-turner as she read it. She also enjoyed that it’s about two people who happen to be women. They’re both “after the same thing,” even though they’re on opposite sides.

Next Morena was asked if she had to do any type of physical stunt work or training for her, or what things she did to embody the “beautiful essence” of Elena. Morena told us that the accent was the biggest thing for her that she had to embrace and work very hard to perfect. It’s not one she’s done before, but it was “a lot of fun to create this part.” Going back to my question, she confirmed that she had a lot of discussions with the producers about the accent, who the character was, etc. She thinks Val has a lot more action to do than Elena.

Morena was asked if she thinks Elena will be an anti-hero that “the audience will root for.” Morena joked that the dress made her do “weird things” and then seriously agreed that she believes that Elena is not really a villain because she’s fighting for a good cause. Any “villain” has to have good reasons in their minds to do what they do. Usually it’s because of someone they’re connected to, which is the case here. She believes that anyone who watches the first episode or two will be rooting for both Elena and Val. Nick chimed in that the first arc of the show starts of looking like there’s a good guy and a bad guy, and then the series explores their characters, and some gray areas. Then there’s a “gradual shift over this ten day period of time.” It might end up in a very different place.

Morena was asked what new challenges the role has brought to her (which is a similar question to the one she was asked before). She answered it differently, though. The character is very complicated, so they get to explore who Elena is, what makes her tick, and “her emotional arc and life.” She’s always asking Nick what Elena’s motivation is in each episode so that she could make sure to know what drives her and to make her real, not like a cartoon. She’s had trouble with the accent and gets help from Costa with that. She stressed that, “the acts that are happening around her that she’s orchestrated are enormous.” She also had to make sure to “have fun” with the part. If she doesn’t have fun, then she loses the audience. It has to be “grounded in reality” and not too out there, so she’s always questioning whether she’s acting too broadly or not. She compares it to being in “bumper cars” while trying to find Elena.

Ryan was asked some questions. She was previously in “Boston Legal” and “All Rise” as lawyers, and now she’s an FBI agent. In real life, she went to Stanford and NYU. She was asked if she ever wanted to be a doctor, lawyer, etc. and how she decided to become an actor. Interesting question. Costa joked, “You could have had a real job is what he’s saying.”

Ryan replied that she did consider becoming a lawyer and an FBI agent. She also wanted to become a pilot in the Air Force and fly fighter jets, but she was told she couldn’t do that (probably because it’s very tough to get to do that job, especially for women). There were many things she wanted to do, but that led her to become an actor because then she gets to play all of these things. She’s glad that she doesn’t have to actually arrest or shoot anyone. Then she joked, “Jake and Nick know about my shooting” and Nick replied, “Steady aim. Steady eye. She’s dead eye.” Well, I wish I had asked whether he was being facetious or not.

Ryan was asked about graduating from Stanford. Issa Rae also came from there. She was asked if she saw that other black students were going there to build the drama program. She was also asked how she feels about starting a new show when her husband’s show is ending (she’s married to Sterling K. Brown of “This Is Us”). Ryan praised Stanford and their “wonderful alumni community.” She noted that it was a Stanford woman that gave her “my first big job in Hollywood.” She told us that she’s sad about the end of the Pearsons and his show, just like she feels “all of America is.” She said that Sterling has made “great friends” there. She thinks that her starting a new show dovetails nicely with his ending and feels it would be too difficult to both be starting 2 new shows at the same time.

Another press person asked her about Val’s motivations on the show because she seems so “pure.” He wondered what else she’s about. Ryan let us know that each show is a new day in the story, so time passes differently there than out here in the real world. Her description made total sense, “”it’s like if you dropped into the worst five days of someone’s life, you would think that that five days was it, and you wouldn’t know that they like cheeseburgers” (for instance). She joked that she and Morean really tried to get it into the show that she likes cheeseburgers. Morena cracked her own joked, “We have a pitch for you after this,” so Nick replied, “Done. It’s already written.”

Ryan continued to explain that we don’t know too much about Ryan at first because she’s just so focused on these tough days in her life, not anything else that’s going on in her life. “right now,” she explained, “she’s got to get her girl and, in the process, unravel an international government conspiracy.”

Another reporter told Ryan how much she adores her and that she’s happy to see her in this cool show. She asked if she’s correct to assume that this is a type of Robin Hood story. Ryan agreed with that, and Morena agreed that there are definitely aspects of that other story. Ryan added that it has to do with what Elena does with the money, but she’s not allowed to tell us about it.

Nick explained that the story is more about the corruption going on in public institutions, that is “in plain sight.” Elena is pointing out the flaws in the systems. The real world flaws are informing their “narrative.” They have no shortage of real world issues to use for future episodes because of everything that goes on in the world.

Another fan of Ryan’s asked whether she would have time to be on “All Rise,” now that it’s on OWN, as well as “First Wives Club,” since she’s in this show. Ryan confided that she just loves “All Rise” and the people there. She especially praised star Simone Missick, whom she called a “queen” and compared her to “Nefertiti.” She hopes they can make the schedule work for her to be on “All Rise” as well.

Poor Costa had been largely ignored, so it was nice to see that someone finally asked him a question. He was asked about his character and what made him want to take the role. He’s played a criminal in many shows, such as “The Americans” and “Homeland.” Costa admitted that it’s “the best script I have read in the last two years.” He’s very excited to be part of it. It’s more than just a crime show. It combines many elements. It does have a lot of action, but there are “quiet moments” which show why the characters are doing things. It’s not a one-note show. He compared it to a symphony, saying, “you have a little bit of this, you have a little bit of that.” Each episode brings more incredible story. He really praised the writers and said he’s proud to be part of it.

Executive Producers Nick and Jake were asked if the series was shot in New York, or whether it was just a few external shots. He also asked if there were any financial considerations, such as tax credits, or if shooting was affected by the pandemic.

Nick confirmed that it was shot entirely in NYC. He joked, “Money has never entered into the conversation for one second about this show. It is shockingly carte blanche.” Nick loves the city. His mom was “born and raised in The Bronx,” and he’s spent a lot of time there. He described why he thinks it’s best place for any crime drama: “the density of humanity, the beauty of the sky line, the water, the range of socioeconomics. Everything about New York lends itself to a great show, as we’ve seen a thousand times and we’ll see many times more. To me it’s the most exciting city in the world to shoot in.” They did get tax credit but could have shot it somewhere cheaper. They chose New York instead.

MORE INFO:

"The Endgame" on NBC starring Morena Baccarin and Ryan Michelle BathéA pulse-pounding high-stakes two-hander about Elena Federova, a recently captured international arms dealer and brilliant criminal mastermind who orchestrates a number of coordinated bank heists throughout New York City for a mysterious purpose. Her antagonist is Val Turner, the principled, relentless and socially outcast FBI agent who will stop at nothing to foil her ambitious plan. The gripping heist drama reveals how far some people will go for love, justice and the most valuable commodity in the world: the truth.

Morena Baccarin, Ryan Michelle Bathé, Costa Ronin, Jordan Johnson-Hinds, Kamal Bolden, Noah Bean and Mark Damon Espinoza star.

Nicholas Wootton writes and executive produces. Jake Coburn, Julie Plec, Emily Cummins, Andrew Schneider and Justin Lin, who directed the pilot, will also executive produce.

“The Endgame” is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, with Nicholas Wootton Productions, Jake Coburn Productions, My So-Called Company and Perfect Storm Entertainment.

Morena Baccarin

Elena Federova, “The Endgame”

THE ENDGAME — Season: 1 -- Pictured: Morena Baccarin as Elena Federova -- (Photo by: Zach Dilgard/NBC)
Morena Baccarin plays Elena Federova on the new NBC drama “The Endgame.”

Baccarin recently starred in the film “The Good House” and has a role in the upcoming “Last Looks,” an action-suspense film opposite Charlie Hunnam. She is best known as the female lead in the “Deadpool” franchise. Other film credits include “Greenland,” “Ode to Joy, “Framing John DeLorean” and “Spy.”

Baccarin captured the attention of audiences and critics for her Emmy Award-nominated performance in “Homeland,” alongside Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin. She began her career in “Firefly,” was a series regular on “Gotham” and the sci-fi drama “V,” and recurred on “The Mentalist.”

Baccarin is actively involved with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), whose mission is “to help people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover and gain control of their future.” She also sits on the board of Waterwell, a civic-minded theater company that inspires audiences and students to change the world they live in.

Baccarin was born in Rio de Janeiro and moved with her family to New York at the age of 7. She is a graduate of the prestigious Juilliard School and resides in New York with her husband and two children.

Ryan Michelle Bathé

Val Turner, “The Endgame”

THE ENDGAME — Season: 1 -- Pictured: Ryan Michelle Bathe as Val Turner -- (Photo by: Zach Dilgard/NBC)
Ryan Michelle Bathé stars as Val Turner in the new NBC drama “The Endgame.”

In 2020, Bathé starred in the Emmy Award-nominated Amazon film “Sylvie’s Love” and CBS’ “All Rise.” Since 2019, she has starred in the BET+ series “First Wives Club,” based on the 1996 film. Her many television credits include “The Rookie,” “Empire,” “This Is Us,” “Army Wives,” “Retired at 35,” “ER,” “Boston Legal” and “How I Met Your Mother.”

On stage, Bathé has performed in Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” and “Much to Do About Nothing” at the Old Guthrie Theatre and Old Globe Theatre, respectively. She also co-starred in the musical “The Hot Mikado” at the Ford Theater in Washington, D.C.

Two years ago Bathé launched Down on Maple Productions and signed a first-look deal with ViacomCBS MTV Entertainment Group. The partnership covers content created and/or developed for television and new media with the focus on identifying emerging talent and underrepresented voices.

She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, an organization whose members are dedicated to sisterhood, scholarship and service. Combining her passion for helping children and philanthropy, Bathé is also a passionate member of Alliance of Moms, a membership-based program that supports pregnant and parenting teens in foster care in Los Angeles County.

Bathé was born in St. Louis and raised in Stamford, Conn. She graduated from Stanford University and earned her MFA in acting from New York University. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.

Costa Ronin of "The Endgame" on NBCCosta Ronin

Sergey Vodianov, “The Endgame”

Costa Ronin plays Sergey Vodianov in the new NBC drama “The Endgame.”

Ronin, who was born and raised on the west coast of Russia, recently completed principal photography on the independent feature “ISS,” starring opposite Chris Messina. He was recently be seen in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and is best known for his roles in the hit drama series “The Americans” and “Homeland.”

Other TV credits include “Splitting Up Together,” “Extant” and “Gotham.

Nick Wooten

Executive Producer, “The Endgame”

Nick Wootton is an Emmy Award-winning television writer and producer. He has written for various critically acclaimed drama series, including “Chuck,” “Prison Break,” “Law & Order,” “NYPD Blue” and “Scorpion.”

Wootton won the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series in 1998 for his work on “NYPD Blue.”

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Morena Baccarin and Ryan Michelle Bathe of "The Endgame" on NBC

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.

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poster for "Sister Boniface Mysteries"

Interview with Yael Stone, Rob Collins and Shantae Barnes-Cowan

TV Interview!

Firebite poster

Interview with Yael Stone, Rob Collins and Shantae Barnes-Cowan of “Firebite” on AMC+ by Thane 12/9/21

This was my second interview for TVMEG.COM and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There was a small panel of press asking questions; two of them are mine (they have my name on them).

Question: Can you start by talking about what it was that first attracted you to the show, why you wanted to do it?

Rob: I can take that first. Warwick Thorton, I’d always wanted to work with him. I got a small taste of it on an Australian series called Mystery Road, the second series. He’s kind of just one of our go-to amazing directors. So, there was that and vampire killer. So, those two things combined, I just had to do this project.

Shantae: I auditioned at the start of the year on another project, and I met with Warwick. That was my first time meeting him, and he sort of gave me a little [bit] inside of it, and it sounded really cool, so I was up for it. And I heard it was gonna be really big. [laughs] So, yeah, I got really excited. I still can’t believe I won the role of Shanika, because I heard hundreds auditioned for it, but I’m happy I did, because it turned out really fun and deadly. [laughs] So, yeah, and I’m happy.

Question: All right. What about you, Yael?

Yael: I guess I should say that we’re so lucky that Shantae won the role as well, because she’s incredible in the show. Also, Warwick [was] definitely a massive kind of draw card for this project. And the scripts that I was sent were just so fascinating. I just felt like we have not done this before. We’ve not addressed Indigenous Australian history and a kind of violent colonial Australian history in this way before, using a vampire metaphor before, and I think it’s extraordinarily creative. It’s a really clever way in telling that story, and it’s got heaps of joy and laughs and fun, and then, at it’s heart, it’s got this incredibly powerful and incredibly serious metaphor as well.

Question: So, the question is, since, just like you mentioned, that was rather ambitious and probably the first of its kind in it’s take… [of] colonial exploitation and native history and racism, and combining it with elements of fantasy, like vampires and monster hunters. So, I wanted to know, what are your thoughts on it?

Rob: Speaking of fantasy, I mean, growing up in Australia, you are told a particular version of our colonial past, and that was certainly true for me. And like anything, it’s only as an adult, that you get time to sort of reflect on things, and as an indigenous man in Australia, what that kind of really means. So, I’d have to say, for me, in particular, that sort of revelation came through sort of in my mid 20s, and now, being a 40-year-old man with kids of my own who are indigenous, I think it’s important to give them a true sense of their place in this country. And I think at the heart of it as well, that’s what Warwick, I think, is trying to tackle in this series. So, for me, it was vitally important. I mean, I made the quip earlier that it was working with Warwick, and it was vampire hunting and all that kind of stuff that drew me to the role, but I think this idea of rewriting history kind of, in a sense, I found really kind of cool, because when you talk about fantasy, there are a few fantasies that we as everyday Australians accept as fact. And in fact, it’s such a powder keg here in Australia that I think this series is really going to agitate in a good way, and like the best series do, get you to think about, “Well, what is your accepted version of this country and your place in it and your family’s place in it and your forebearer’s place in it?” I think it’s a really timely discussion to have, and as genre does in its best way, it’s kind of subversive in that way, because it’s killing and it’s vampires; it’s action, and it’s fun. It’s laughs; it’s explosions and amazing sets, but then we’re able to sort of snake that that key message in amidst all the chaos.

Shantae: Yeah. Sort of what Rob was saying, the history of our culture and our land, you know, getting invaded, and from the white men, I think it’s important to tell, because as blackfellows, we’re strong about that. It’s our past; it’s our history, and it’s our culture, and we, as a culture, are proud. To tell it and show it to the world, I think is pretty cool, to show in this way, as well as the vampires. For me, it’s like the vampires feeding on blackfellow blood is sort of like, that is invasion for our culture. That’s how I see it, and it’s just cool to tell in that way. I think the world is gonna love it and our culture and our story.

Yael: I don’t know if I could answer the question any better than that. So, maybe I’ll take a different angle and say, it’s also fascinating; think about it, landing in an American audience first, and then across the world, potentially. I lived in the States for seven years, and I always felt there was this strange absence of a discussion in the kind of mainstream media about the Indigenous stories of the states. And I wonder, Rob said, maybe it’ll be a bit of a “powder keg for Australia moment;” maybe it sparks discussions elsewhere as as well, because these fantastical histories exist everywhere, and the more we face them, the more we can can address some of the healing that needs to happen. So yeah, maybe we’re putting a little match to the powder keg.

Thane: Thane here from TVMEG.com. Question to everyone: What training did you have for the fight scenes?

Rob: Training for the fight scenes? Well, actually the first week, Shantae, wasn’t it? We got in –

Shantae: Yeah.

Rob: They made us do awful things like push ups and sit ups and jumping around. We had an intense week of personal training in rehearsals, yeah.

Shantae: Yeah, we had like the personal training first and then went straight to rehearsals like reading. Yeah, it was crazy.

Rob: We had a really crack team of stunt people, wonderful people, but super across what we needed to do, and we were in the lucky position of getting in really early when we had a fight sequence coming up. So, in the early days, at least, we had lots of preparation to be able to knock those things down. So, it was a sort of coordinated approach of getting generally fit and working through choreography for the big fight sequences.

Question: Can you maybe talk about just overall having worked on this project, is there anything that you learned about yourself, either as a person, or an actor, just in general, something that you can think of that you didn’t know, maybe, before you started?

Rob: Oh, good question.

Yael: When when you do sign on for a project, sometimes you don’t know what you’re in for, because the story has sort of yet to fully unfold in terms of scripts. And in a way, coming back to Thane’s question, that physical element of embodying things and embodying kind of like those violent situations, it can be quite confronting. I’ve never done a lot of that kind of stuff before, so embodying some of that more physical element was a bit of a surprise for me, and a surprise in terms of that you don’t know what you’re signing on for. Then, in the actual moment, when you find yourself in all kinds of wild situations – like we were down in this crazy opal mine, these actual opal mines, and you catch yourself, and you think, “Oh, my Lord, I would never do this in my real life,” but suddenly, you’re there, and getting the shot is the most important thing, and you wouldn’t be anywhere else but down at the bottom of that opal mine.

Rob: Yeah, just building on that idea of uncertainty that Yael said, I think that’s probably the biggest thing as an actor and a person I’ve learned through this experience. We moved at such a rapid pace, and I don’t think I’ve ever been this busy in my life. I’ve spent most days on set. So, being able to sort of trust in what preparation you’ve done, trust in other people’s vision, [and] hand over a bit of the control to these wonderful creatives was a big learning curve, for me. I’m someone who’s really cerebral. I mean, I like to think about things a lot when it comes to performance and character. I wasn’t afforded that kind of opportunity on this, in a good way. So, embracing the chaos and accepting that the work is there and relinquishing some of that control to these fabulous creatives was a big learning curve for me, and one that I’d love to take into every project, because while it was terrifying, it was also very freeing and very liberating.

Shantae: For me, I feel like every day was learning, because I just haven’t had as much experience. It was just so good being around Rob and Yael and all the other, you know, older, experienced actors and actresses –

Rob: [clears throat] Not that much older.

Question: I was going to say, you called them old there! [laughs]

Shantae: [laughs] More experienced, [and] to learn from them is really cool, and I’m still learning to this day, still gonna keep learning, but yeah, I haven’t had a job this long as well. So, it was challenging as well, being away from family and learning about being, not alone, but, you know, by yourself, learning as a teenager and just keeping in that positive mental state. [It] was learning for me, and yeah, just meeting everyone on set, and the big crew and cast. I feel like that was one of my best learning things, I guess. But yeah, I learned a lot on this job.

Yael: It’s worth saying as well that Shantae also graduated high school while she was doing this job.

Question: Yeah, that’s got to be hard.

Yael: It was no mean feat. It was amazing to watch her juggle everything and learning everything and doing all that independence work of living away from your family, plus school, plus this huge job. She did an incredible job.

Rob: Yeah, I second that. She had her homework in the makeup trailer most mornings. It was incredible.

Question: So, based on the initial concept or the initial sketch or outline, what attracted you most or impressed you more most about your characters?

Rob: I guess I’ll take that first. I’ve done mainly TV in Australia, and my characters are very straight, steady, contained; they have it together in some certain degree. Tyson was, I think I can say this, the most fun I’ve had with a character, because he’s anything but that. So, strangely, it feels like in terms of my film persona, it’s really different, but my children, especially my oldest girl, has seen some of the show, just rough scenes, and says it’s oddly how I am at home. So, Tyson, there are elements of him that are closer to how I am in my private life, not necessarily my public face. So, it kind of drew that out of me, which is a kind of a fun thing. And I think, looking at the character off the page, it’s that stuff that I connected to: he’s fun; he’s silly. He has a very silly relationship – well, silly and serious with Shanika, which reminded me a lot of my own relationship with my daughters here. So, yeah, he’s chaos, but he’s a lot of heart as well. So, it felt really familiar to me.

Shantae: I felt like, my character found herself more at the end of the story…I was still quite strong, and I was smart and tech savvy and all that, but I wasn’t really powerful. I feel I was more powerful in the end. I had to go through a journey to really find that in myself. But I love my character. I feel I’m just underrated. I don’t know; there’s just something about Shanika that not many people would expect from a teenager, and, obviously, Tyson taught her growing up how to fight vampires; that’s pretty cool. So, she uses that in the classroom against classmates. She actually fights a lot at the school. [laughs] So, yeah, she definitely has some skills in life, and she’s strong, and she’s smart. She is smart, I would say.

Yael: I think it’s taken me a while, but I can say it out loud, “I think I’m a character actor.” [laughs] And Ellie, for me, is a real kind of character role. It’s probably not there in those first three episodes, so it’s kind of hard to talk about, given you guys have seen so little of her journey, I guess, and I don’t want to give anything away. So, let me give a silly answer. She has an accent, and I like accents. So, that’s why.

Thane: Shantae, was that you on the motorcycle, or a stunt double? And if it was you, how did you prepare?

Shantae: No, that was my stunt double, Tess. She’s my perfect stunt double. She’s like, you know, same skin type, a little bit shorter. So, it looks exactly like me, but it wasn’t. What they did is they would put her on the motorbike, and then they’d quickly get me at the end, just getting off the motorbike. So, yeah, they cut it really well. I really wish I’d learned how to ride motorbikes, because it’s really cool.

Yael: I mean, it sounds like you’re pretty into stunts. We had an amazing team, and I’m just not gonna say that [my stunt double] did any of my stunts. I’m just gonna be like, “Yeah, I did all of that.” [laughs] Everything you see, it’s all me, but actually, Rob, you maybe did everything, didn’t you, like did pretty much everything yourself?

Rob: I did everything but anything that looked a bit “hurty.” So, Cory, my stunt double, did that and all the driving as well. There are over 2500 manholes in Coober Pedy, so they didn’t trust me to drive a car at speed, weaving through those poles. And I have to say, Cory did an amazing job there. In fact, this is a good point to shout out to our amazing stunt team, led by Nathan [Lawson], that were not only great people, really supportive, but the fight sequences in this show are something else. They’re certainly the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of pretending to be in.

Yael: They also played a lot of the vampires. They got dressed up a lot, and they got killed a lot.

Rob: Yeah.

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

MORE INFO:

Trailer

Scene from "Firebite"AMC STUDIOS GREENLIGHTS FIREBITE, A CO-PRODUCTION WITH SEE-SAW FILMS TO PREMIERE ON AMC+ LATER THIS YEAR

June 08, 2021

High-Octane Fantasy Follows Two Indigenous Australians on Quest to Battle Last Colony of Vampires in South Australia 

NEW YORK, NY, June 8, 2021 – AMC Studios today announced that it has greenlit a new original series called Firebite. A co-production with See-Saw Films, the series will be filmed in Australia this summer and is expected to appear on AMC+ later this year.

Firebite is a high-octane, highly original spin on the Vampire genre and fantasy series that follows two Indigenous Australian hunters, Tyson and Shanika, on their quest to battle the last colony of vampires in the middle of the South Australian desert.

Created, written and to be directed by Australia’s most celebrated Indigenous auteur voice, Warwick Thornton (Samson and Delilah, Sweet Country) together with Brendan Fletcher (Mad Bastards), the series is set in a remote desert mining town, a hive for the last vampire stronghold shipped from Britain to Australia in 1788 by the colonial superpower to eradicate the Indigenous populations.

Sheltering from the sun in the underground mines and tunnels that surround the town until the present day, the colony’s numbers and hunger is growing. War is coming. Tyson and Shanika stand vanguard to the war. But what hope does an expertly reckless man full of bravado and a 17-year-old orphan possibly have to defeat these vicious blood-thirsty parasites, when legions of warriors before them have failed?

Executive Producers for See-Saw Films are Rachel Gardner, Emile Sherman and Iain Canning, alongside Thornton and Fletcher. See-Saw’s Simon Gillis serves as Co-Executive Producer.

Paul Ranford (Stateless, True History of the Kelly Gang) will produce the series alongside Indigenous filmmaker Dena Curtis (Elements, Grace Beside Me), who is co-producing. The writing team include Kodie Bedford and newcomers Devi Telfer and Josh Sambono.

The season will be comprised of eight, one-hour episodes and will be filmed on the traditional Country of the Antakirinja Matu-Yankunytjatjara people of the Western Desert and Kaurna People of the Adelaide Plains in and around Adelaide, the regional town of Coober Pedy and at the Adelaide Studios in South Australia.

The deal was negotiated by Rebecca Hardman for See-Saw Films and Scott Stein for AMC. The series has received major funding from the South Australian Film Corporation. The production is providing employment opportunities for First Nations practitioners.

“This is an original and highly entertaining series we can’t wait to bring to AMC+, and one that expands our already fruitful creative partnership with See-Saw Films after very successful collaborations on the wildly original State of the Union and the rare gem that was Top of the Lake,” said Dan McDermott, president of original programming for AMC Networks and co-head of AMC Studios. “We are excited to tell this story authentically, in Australia with Indigenous storytellers, cast and crew and on Indigenous lands.”

Warwick Thornton and Brendan Fletcher said, “We are really proud of the worthy and important stories we’ve brought to the screen over the last twenty years. Now it’s time for some rock and roll.”

Rachel Gardner, See-Saw Films’ Head of Drama Australia and Executive Producer said, “It’s incredibly exciting to be bringing Warwick and Brendan’s unique vision to the screen with a high-octane explosive story that draws on the complex themes of colonisation and racial prejudice, driven by Indigenous storytellers.”

See-Saw’s Managing Directors, and Executive Producers Emile Sherman and Iain Canning said, “We are thrilled to be working with Warwick Thornton and Brendan Fletcher, who are such formidable storytellers, on this hugely original, action packed new show, headlined by so many wonderfully talented Indigenous voices. It’s fantastic to be collaborating once again with our friends at AMC who champion such original programming, and continually back great talent.”

Warwick Thornton is one of Australia’s most notable directors and Indigenous voices. Thornton (Samson and Deliah, Sweet Country) and Brendan Fletcher (Mad Bastards) are both known for their powerful and gritty feature films. Samson and Delilah won the Camera D’Or at Cannes and Sweet Country won the Special Jury Prize at Venice Film Festival as well as the Platform Prize at the Toronto Film Festival. Mad Bastards was nominated for the Special Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival. Together Brendan and Warwick were commissioned by the Australian Government to co-direct the first ever International TV campaign to promote Aboriginal Tourism. The campaign was seen by over 30 million people worldwide. They collaborated again on the Award-Winning documentary We Don’t Need A Map, which opened the 2017 Sydney Film Festival. Firebite is their first television series as Creators – their goal was to create something they want to watch – fast paced, highly imagined and entertaining.

Warwick and Brendan are repped by UTA and by attorney Darren Tratter.

About See-Saw Films

See-Saw Films is a world leading film and television production house, founded in 2008 by Academy Award®, BAFTA and Emmy winning producers Iain Canning and Emile Sherman, with offices in London and Sydney.

See-Saw’s first television series was the multi-award winning first season of Jane Campion’s ‘Top of the Lake’. Campion returned with ‘Top of The Lake: China Girl’ starring Elisabeth Moss, Nicole Kidman and Gwendoline Christie which premiered at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for a Golden Globe.  ‘State of the Union’, written by Nick Hornby, directed by Stephen Frears and starring Rosamund Pike and Chris O’Dowd had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival 2019 and won three Emmy Awards. Recent projects include Samantha Strauss’ ‘The End’ for Foxtel, Sky Atlantic and Showtime, starring Harriet Walter and Frances O’Connor. Upcoming projects include ‘The North Water’ for BBC Two written and directed by Andrew Haigh, starring Colin Farrell, Jack O’Connell and Stephen Graham; ‘Slow Horses’ for Apple TV+, starring Gary Oldman; a second season of ‘State of the Union’ written by Nick Hornby, directed by Stephen Frears and starring Brendan Gleeson, Patricia Clarkson and Esco Jouléy; ‘The Essex Serpent’ for Apple TV+ to be directed by Clio Barnard, starring Claire Danes and Tom Hiddleston; and ‘Heartstopper’ for Netflix, to be directed by Euros Lyn.

See-Saw produced the six-time Academy Award® nominated Lion, starring Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara, as well as The King’s Speech, which was nominated for twelve and won four Academy Awards® in 2011 including Best Motion Picture. Recent projects include Widows directed by Steve McQueen and starring Viola Davis and Ammonite, written and directed by Francis Lee, starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan. Upcoming film projects include Operation Mincemeat, directed by John Madden and starring Colin Firth, Matthew Macfadyen and Kelly Macdonald; The Unknown Man starring Joel Edgerton and Sean Harris; and The Power Of The Dog, written and directed by Jane Campion, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons;

About AMC Networks Inc. 

AMC Networks is a global entertainment company known for its popular and critically-acclaimed content. Its portfolio of brands includes AMC, BBC AMERICA (operated through a joint venture with BBC Studios), IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv, IFC Films, and a number of fast-growing streaming services, including the AMC+ premium streaming bundle, Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and ALLBLK. AMC Studios, the Company’s in-house studio, production and distribution operation, is behind award-winning owned series and franchises, including The Walking Dead, the highest-rated series in cable history. The Company also operates AMC Networks International, its international programming business, and 25/7 Media, its production services business.

AMC+ ORIGINAL SERIES FIREBITE BEGINS PRODUCTION IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA WITH YAEL STONE, ROB COLLINS, CALLAN MULVEY & SHANTAE BARNES-COWAN IN LEADING ROLES

August 23, 2021

TONY KRAVITZ JOINS WARWICK THORNTON & BRENDAN FLETCHER AS DIRECTOR

AN AMC STUDIOS CO-PRODUCTION WITH SEE-SAW FILMS, FIREBITE DEBUTS ON AMC+ THIS WINTER

NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 23, 2021 – AMC+ announced today the start of production on the Original Series Firebite in South Australia this week, with Yael Stone (Orange is the New Black), Rob Collins (Cleverman, Extraction) and Callan Mulvey (Avengers: End Game) in leading roles. The series will also introduce Indigenous Australian star Shantae Barnes-Cowan. A co-production between AMC Studios and  See-Saw Films, Firebite is a high-octane, highly original spin on the Vampire genre and fantasy series that follows two Indigenous Australian hunters, Tyson (Collins) and Shanika (Barnes-Cowan), on their quest to battle the last colony of vampires in the middle of the South Australian desert. The series is comprised of eight, one-hour episodes set to debut on AMC+ this winter.

Created and written by Australia’s most celebrated Indigenous auteur voice, Warwick Thornton (Samson and Delilah, Sweet Country), who also directs along with Brendan Fletcher (Mad Bastards) and Tony Krawitz (The Tall Man, Dead Europe)Firebite is set in a remote desert mining town, a hive for the last vampire stronghold shipped from Britain to Australia in 1788 by the colonial superpower to eradicate the Indigenous populations. Sheltering from the sun in the underground mines and tunnels that surround the town until the present day, the colony’s numbers and hunger is growing. War is coming. Tyson and Shanika stand vanguard to the war. But what hope does an expertly reckless man full of bravado and a 17-year-old orphan possibly have to defeat these vicious blood-thirsty parasites, when legions of warriors before them have failed?

Thornton and Fletcher said, “Our only rule was to find great people, no matter where they came from. We have actors who’ve worked on big Hollywood blockbusters, and others that are flying in from remote Aboriginal communities who light up the screen with natural presence. To us, they are all movie stars.”

Executive Producer Rachel Gardner said: “We love our cast. They bring these characters to life with authenticity, power and a solid dose of naughty. It feels like this is going to be something special.”

Kristin Jones, Executive Vice President, International Programming and Program Innovation, AMC Networks said: “We are committed to creating compelling programming with diverse voices and representation for our viewers, and Firebite delivers on this goal. We’re thrilled to bring this unique original series to life authentically with a stellar cast and crew on Indigenous lands with Indigenous storytelling.”

See-Saw’s Managing Directors and Executive Producers Emile Sherman and Iain Canning said: “As we start principal photography, we’re delighted to announce our exceptional cast and the addition of our friend Tony Krawitz to the directing team. Led by visionary director Warwick Thornton, we’re going to be in for an exciting ride”

Kristin Jones is overseeing the series for AMC Networks. Executive Producers for See-Saw Films are Emile Sherman and Iain Canning, alongside Rachel Gardner, Thornton and Fletcher. See-Saw’s Simon Gillis serves as co-executive producer, with Libby Sharpe as co-producer and Billy Bowring as associate producer. Paul Ranford (Stateless, True History of the Kelly Gang) will produce the series alongside Indigenous filmmaker Dena Curtis (Elements, Grace Beside Me), who is co-producing. The writing team include Kodie Bedford and newcomers Devi Telfer and Josh Sambono.

Yael Stone is represented by Lisa Mann and Elly Speer, Lisa Mann Creative Management (Australia) and, in the US, by Jason Gutman, The Gersh Agency, and Andy Corren, Andy Corren Management. Rob Collins and Callan Mulvey are represented by Sarah Nathan, Shanahan Management (Australia). Rob Collins’ US representative is Matt Shaffer, Innovative Artists. Callan Mulvey’s US representatives are Kim Hodgert, Anonymous Content, and Jim Dempsey, Paradigm. Shantae Barnes-Cowan is represented by Peter Gunn and Ali Roberts, Actors Management International.

The series has received major funding from the South Australian Film Corporation. The production is providing employment opportunities for First Nations practitioners.

AMC+ RELEASES FIRST-LOOK IMAGES FROM NEW ORIGINAL VAMPIRE FANTASY SERIES FIREBITE, PREMIERING DECEMBER 16

November 04, 2021

An AMC Studios Original Production with See-Saw Films, the Eight-Episode Series Stars Yael Stone, Rob Collins, Callan Mulvey and Shantae Barnes-Cowan


NEW YORK – November 4, 2021 – AMC+ released today first-look images from its highly original vampire fantasy series Firebite, which is set to premiere Thursday, December 16 on the premium streaming bundle. The eight-episode series, rolling out with new episodes every Thursday, stars Yael Stone (Orange is the New Black), Rob Collins (Cleverman, Extraction), Callan Mulvey (Avengers: End Game) and Indigenous Australian star Shantae Barnes-Cowan. An AMC Studios original production with See-Saw Films, Firebite takes a new spin on the vampire genre, following two Indigenous Australian hunters, Tyson (Collins) and Shanika (Barnes-Cowan), on their quest to battle the last colony of vampires in the middle of the South Australian desert.

Created, directed and written by Australia’s most celebrated Indigenous auteur voice, Warwick Thornton (Samson and Delilah, Sweet Country) alongside Brendan Fletcher (Mad Bastards), with Tony Krawitz (The Tall Man, Dead Europe) joining as director, Firebite is set in a remote desert mining town, a hive for the last vampire stronghold shipped from Britain to Australia in 1788 by the colonial superpower to eradicate the Indigenous populations. Sheltering from the sun in the underground mines and tunnels that surround the town until the present day, the colony’s numbers and hunger is growing. War is coming. Tyson and Shanika stand vanguard to the war. But what hope does an expertly reckless man full of bravado and a 17-year-old orphan possibly have to defeat these vicious blood-thirsty parasites, when legions of warriors before them have failed?

Kristin Jones is overseeing the series for AMC Networks. Executive producers for See-Saw Films are Emile Sherman and Iain Canning, alongside Rachel Gardner, Thornton and Fletcher. See-Saw’s Simon Gillis and Kodie Bedford serve as co-executive producers with Kodie Bedford as script producer, Libby Sharpe as co-producer and Billy Bowring as associate producer. Paul Ranford (Stateless, True History of the Kelly Gang) produces the series alongside Indigenous filmmaker Dena Curtis (Elements, Grace Beside Me), who is co-producing.

AMC Studios Content Distribution is managing worldwide sales.

AMC+ RELEASES TRAILER AND KEY ART FOR FIREBITE

December 09, 2021

AMC+ released today the trailer and key art for the original vampire fantasy series Firebite, premiering Thursday, December 16 on the premium streaming bundle with new episodes to follow every Thursday. The eight-episode series takes a new spin on the vampire genre, following two Indigenous Australian hunters, Tyson (Rob Collins, Cleverman, Extraction) and Shanika (Indigenous Australian star Shantae Barnes-Cowan), on their quest to battle the last colony of vampires in the middle of the South Australian desert. The series also stars Yael Stone (Orange is the New Black) and Callan Mulvey (Avengers: End Game), amongst others.

Created, directed and written by Australia’s most celebrated Indigenous auteur voice, Warwick Thornton (Samson and Delilah, Sweet Country) alongside Brendan Fletcher (Mad Bastards), with Tony Krawitz (The Tall Man, Dead Europe) joining as director, Firebite is an AMC Studios original production with See-Saw Films.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

Back to the Primetime Articles and Interviews Page

Press panel for "Firebite"

Interview with Shannen Doherty, Favour Onwuka, and Jenika Rose

TV Interview!

Shannen Doherty and Favour Onwuka star in "Dying to Belong" on Lifetime

Interview with Shannen Doherty, Favour Onwuka, and Jenika Rose of “Dying to Belong” on Lifetime by Suzanne 9/14/21

This movie is a remake of a 1997 film. It’s very sad that sororities and fraternities still have hazing, even all of these years later. I enjoyed the movie, which airs Saturday, 10/9. I hope you do, too.

LIfetime had a press day, which included this movie and part of its cast.  Shannen Doherty plays the mom of a girl, Riley, that is hazed at her university’s sorority. Favour Onwuka plays the girl’s friend, Olivia, who is also hazed and tries to get information about the sorority for a newspaper article. It was great to speak with them all, and the executive producer, Danielle Von Zerneck. Shannen has been battling cancer for a while, but she looked great!

My question has my name on it. All of the other questions are from other journalists.

MODERATOR:  Our next panel is “Dying to Belong.”  Please welcome back Shannen Doherty alongside executive producer Danielle von Zerneck and our stars Favour Onwuka and Jenika Rose.  Thank you guys for being here.  We really appreciate your time.  Our first question is from Jamie Ruby.

QUESTION:  Hi, guys.  Thanks for talking to us.  This is for the actors.  I’m just curious did you know how many people die from hazing at sororities, because I definitely learned about that after watching this, and how did that affect how you played your characters?

JENIKA ROSE:  You go first.

FAVOUR ONWUKA:  Yeah, that was something I found out about while researching on this project, because being in Canada you don’t really have sororities here, so it was a new thing for me to learn about, and it’s so sad to find out that people are still dying.  It’s still happening.  It’s terrible because it’s so senseless.  It’s such a senseless way to die.

JENIKA ROSE:  And in the ways that they die, how they’re provoked by their so-called “sisters,” it was just it was really chilling to read and learn about.

MODERATOR:  Thank you.  Our next question is going to be from Suzanne.

Suzanne:  Hi.  I was wondering, Shannen, you’ve been acting since you were a little kid.  There are a lot of young women in this movie.  Did you have any particular advice for them?The girls in an initiation on "Dying to Belong" on Lifetime

SHANNEN DOHERTY:  I don’t think so.  You would have to ask these two, beautiful girls.  Yeah, I don’t think so.  I got very, very, very lucky this year in the people that I got to work with.  Danielle and I have done a movie before together, and as a producer she’s phenomenal and she’s caring.  She understands you.  She hears you.  She never gets flustered.  You don’t.  I mean, she’s really, really, really special and wonderful.  Our director, Gail Harvey, who I’ve also worked with before, it’s just I love her madly.  But working with these two girls was sort of a, you know, I’m going to be brutally honest, you never really know what you’re getting with people this age, you just don’t, and what I encountered was not only two hard working girls who constantly were putting their best foot forward, but they’re also kind and considerate and intelligent.  I don’t know if this is answering your question, but I just felt like I had to say that about everybody in this room right now, because I was really taken aback by how wonderful — and I think I said something to Danielle like maybe first or second day — I was like, God, like they’re really talented — really, really talented.  So I don’t know.  Did I give you any advice?  I didn’t have to.  Like they’re pros.

BOTH:

You did.

JENIKA ROSE:  You did a lot without like specifically being like, “Hey, here’s a hot tip.”  It was more just like observing you, and then you’d just like come over to us and just say something and then walk away, and it was wisdom, but I don’t know if you knew that it was, but it was very helpful, and there are lots of like little things that just pushed us forward.

FAVOUR ONWUKA:  Yeah.  And to add to that, it was a lot of modeling, at least for me, because this was my first lead, so I was taking notes from you.  I was like, “Oh, okay, that’s what Shannen’s doing, and she looks relaxed.  I should be relaxed.”  You know, I was just watching you and learning, and there were times where I’d come up in between — There was one particular time where I came up in between and I was like, “How do you do it,” and you were just like, “Well, this is what I’ve learned,” and you told me that, honestly, it takes time.  It’s something you build up over the years and, yeah, I really — I wrote, I took down notes.  Everything you said I was like, “Must do this.”  So, yes, thank you for all your advice.  It was amazing to have you.

JENIKA ROSE:  Thank you so much.

SHANNEN DOHERTY:  Thank you for being, like, the absolute, you know, beautiful, dedicated actors that you both are.  You honestly blew me away, and I have seen the movie.  I understand that neither one of you have yet.

DANIELLE von ZERNECK:  No.

JENIKA ROSE:  No.

SHANNEN DOHERTY:  But I have seen it and you guys are phenomenal in it.  Everybody did a great job and, Danielle, obviously, you should be proud, which I know you are.

DANIELLE von ZERNECK:  Very proud.  And I just, sorry — not to make this a love fest — but, at the same time, Shannen, like, the generosity of spirit that you bring, obviously, to every frickin’ thing you do was so — It was a beautiful thing to see all of these really newer to the form actors — (phone rings.) Oh, shit.  Sorry, guys.  And —

(Laughter.)

DANIELLE von ZERNECK:  Oh, my God.  I’m sorry, guys.  Okay.  Newer to the form, but watching you, they were so in awe and you just, as they said, watching that kind of generational thing, it was gorgeous.  Okay.

SHANNEN DOHERTY:  Did I start this by saying that she never gets flustered, because we just saw her get all flustered.

(Laughter.)

Suzanne:  Thank you.

MODERATOR:  Thank you, guys.  Our next question is from Jay Bobbin.

QUESTION:  Hi.  My question, actually, is for Danielle, and if your phone goes off again feel free to say anything you want; I’m fine.  Your dad is one of the prolific greats in this field, and when you tackle a project, and I know you’ve been on this side of the camera for a while, do you consult with him about the projects you want to do?  And then I’ve got a follow up for you.

DANIELLE von ZERNECK:  Okay, yeah, yeah.  I mean, how many people can get mentored by their father and it be meaningful?  I mean I feel very, very grateful to have that human in my life, and I love that Shannen’s been a part of both of those as well; like, that’s crazy, you know.  And, yeah, no, I love — Yes, I did always talk to him and not just about sort of — I think for me it was a little like, “Oh, I really think that there is a new way for this story to be told,” so that was like always my impulse with both movies and, especially this one, I was like (makes noise.)  I was talking to Favour and Jenica about this.  Like it’s like sorority movies are like female-ish — male gaze, normally and really thought like, “Oh, let’s put a female gaze on this all around.”  And my dad has always been incredibly supportive.  He loves it.  He loves that TV movies are still have something to say, and I think are really having an interesting renaissance, and I love that the definition of a TV movie is changing, and it’s nice to be part of that and to sort of still have my dad be here to see it.

QUESTION:  My follow up for you is – you did so much work in front of the cameras, what do you feel your arc was as a producer, because you knew what it was like to have the camera on you, how was it for you to be behind the camera?  When I say calling the shots I mean that loosely, not like a director, but how was that transition for you?

DANIELLE von ZERNECK:  It was long and arduous and the only thing I can say is that being an actress for a small amount of time the best thing about it is that every time you do an audition you’re basically selling yourself.  You’re selling, right?  And so when you move into producing and you’re selling a project it was so much easier to sell something that wasn’t me.  And, so, that, in a weird way, the acting stuff was really, really helpful, all the skills I learned.  And what’s crazy now, like I really don’t remember being an actress, it feels very foreign to me, so I’m always like so in awe of actors, because they have to — I don’t know.  I just feel like the work that they have to do is sometimes not noticed as much because they have to keep it different.  It’s like I get to go and I sign things and I run around, but actors sort of have to keep their emotional sanity about them, and these skills that now I just feel like I don’t know how you do it.  I really don’t.

QUESTION:  Thank you very much.

MODERATOR:  Thank you.  We have time for one more question and that’s going to be Jamie.  Jamie.

QUESTION:  Sorry.  I’m just going to say did you guys research anything like into mental health?  I was just curious kind of how you prepared for that part of it.

JENIKA ROSE:   Yeah.  My character has severe general anxiety disorder, and I didn’t know too much about that.  I just sort of knew about people have anxiety, but this was a specific heightened part of anxiety, and I actually have a severe learning disability, so a lot of my character’s experiences were things that I’ve experienced myself in the past when I was younger and being around girls, especially.  So a lot of the situations that my character was in like really rang true, and I did have a best friend that I’ve had for a really long time, that was sort of Favour’s character, that helps one through those times and those people are really special.  So I really connected with that part of the anxiety and just I really wanted to show it in its true light and represent it properly, because I’m sure some people that have it, I didn’t want them to watch it and be like, “Mm, I wouldn’t be like that in that situation.”  So I just really wanted to do my best to make it as truthful as possible.

MORE INFO:

Preview

SHANNEN DOHERTY, FAVOUR ONWUKA
AND JENIKA ROSE
HEADLINE REMAKE OF THE 90’s CLASSIC FILM
DYING TO BELONG

DTB_04242021_DP_0295_TD

Los Angeles, CA (August 10, 2021) – Lifetime brings the classic film Dying to Belong to a whole new generation, with Shannen Doherty, Favour Onwuka (Supergirl) and Jenika Rose (iZombie) starring.  Revealing the harsh realities of toxic friendships and sorority hazing culture, Dying to Belong is a remake of the 1997 film of the same name, which starred Hilary Swank, Sarah Chalke, Jenna von Oÿ and Mark-Paul Gosselaar. Dying to Belong will debut this fall on Lifetime.

When journalism major Olivia (Onwuka) meets Riley (Rose), a shy freshman who suffers from anxiety, they become fast friends. Riley, whose mother Katherine (Doherty) was a legacy Pi Gamma Beta, decides to rush in hopes of following Katherine’s footsteps and is ecstatic when Olivia joins her. Sensing the opportunity to go undercover to write a story about hazing practices, Olivia soon discovers there are deadly secrets involved in being part of the “sisterhood.”

From 1959 to 2019, there has been at least one hazing death reported each year, and thirty reported within the last decade1. 95% of students hazed do not report it to officials2. Due to the pandemic, 2020 was the first year no hazing deaths were reported. Within the first two weeks of students returning to campus in 2021, two hazing deaths have already been reported.

Dying to Belong marks Doherty’s second movie for Lifetime this year as she also stars in List of a Lifetime, the network’s centerpiece of the Stop Breast Cancer for Life campaign, for which Doherty directed special content that will roll out in October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

As part of Lifetime’s commitment to hiring women in key production roles under the Broader Focus initiative, Dying to Belong is produced by Pink Buffalo Films and Wishing Floor Films with Danielle von Zerneck (The Christmas Set Up) executive producing, Gail Harvey (Gone Mom: The Disappearance of Jennifer Dulos) directs from a script from Caitlin D. Freyers (Wynona Earp). Shawn Angelski (Story of a Girl) also serves as executive producer. The original film’s producers included Frank von Zerneck, Danielle von Zerneck’s father.

 

 

 

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Shannen Doherty and Favour Onwuka star in "Dying to Belong" on Lifetime

Review of “FBI: International”

TV Review!

"FBI: International" cast on CBS

“FBI: International” on CBS Review by Suzanne 9/25/21

I have to admit that I’m not a fan of the “FBI” shows. I just find them a bit boring and formulaic. They have some good actors, but they just don’t excite me very much. If I had nothing better to do, I would watch them, or the “NCIS” shows, or the “Law and Order” shows, or…. Zzzzzzzzz    I’m sorry! I dozed off a second there, just trying to remember all of these franchise shows. (Ha ha!)

These series all seem geared toward action junkies or old people. I mean REALLY old because I’m 60, which is pretty old, and they don’t hold any great thrill for me. But I know they’re very popular. They must be – why else would they now have THREE of them, all on the same night? I guess the three hours of programming is a good match against shows like “The Masked Singer” on FOX.

This new series is set in Europe. Unlike “FBI” and “FBI: Most Wanted,” the show has mostly young people. There is no wise older person to show the young people how it should be done. That might be a mistake, but we’ll have to wait and see how the stories play out.

I watched the three-episode premiere this week (tying all three series together), and I was impressed with the fact that I could watch all three without really knowing any of the other characters on the shows. They make it really easy to follow. You could watch any of these shows and not worry about episodes that you missed. They’re all pretty self-contained.

The international aspect of the show makes it very interesting. They have to deal with things that the other shows don’t, such as worrying about local law enforcement more and not being able to carry guns. I like that detail of it a lot.

Check it out and see if it appeals to you.

MORE INFORMATION:

From Emmy Award winner Dick Wolf and the team behind FBI and the “Law & Order” brand, faced-paced drama FBI: INTERNATIONAL is the third iteration of the successful FBI brand that follows the elite operatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s International Fly Team. Headquartered in Budapest, they travel the world with the mission of tracking and neutralizing threats against American citizens wherever they may be, putting their lives on the line to protect the U.S. and its people. The Fly Team’s Special Agent Scott Forrester, their accomplished and dedicated leader, puts his missions ahead of his personal life and is rarely seen without the team’s “secret weapon” – their trusty Schutzhund dog, Tank. Second in command is Special Agent Jamie Kellett, not afraid to tussle – in an alley or courtroom – and her extensive network of informants is a powerful resource. Special Agent Andre Raines shines in the field and makes good use of his accounting background in tracking criminal enterprises’ moving money; and the group’s newest member is Special Agent Cameron Vo, a competitive West Point grad who excels at interrogation and strategy. A key part of the mix is the unflappable Europol Agent Katrin Jaeger, a multilinguistic liaison between the FBI Fly Team and each host country they inhabit. Always at the scene where American interests are at risk, FBI: INTERNATIONAL is a globe-trotting depiction of law enforcement overseas.

The series premieres at a special time on Tuesday, Sept. 21 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) as part of a three-hour crossover premiere event with FBI and FBI: MOST WANTED to kick off the new season of “All-FBI Tuesdays” on the CBS Television Network and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.
ON AIR: Tuesday (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) as of Sept. 28
ORIGINATION: Budapest
FORMAT Drama (Filmed in HD)
STARRING: Luke Kleintank (Special Agent Scott Forrester)
Heida Reed (Special Agent Jamie Kellett)
Carter Redwood (Special Agent Andre Raines)
Vinessa Vidotto (Special Agent Cameron Vo)
AND: Christiane Paul (Europol Agent Katrin Jaeger)
PRODUCED BY: Wolf Entertainment and Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, in association with CBS Studios
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Dick Wolf, Derek Haas, Matt Olmstead, Michael Katleman, Arthur Forney and Peter Jankowski

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"FBI: International" cast on CBS

Interview with Christopher Meloni

TV Interview!

Christopher Meloni of "Law & Order: Organized Crime" on NBC

Interview with Christopher Meloni of “Law & Order: Organized Crime” on NBC by Suzanne 9/13/21

We had a chat via Zoom with NBC stars for the TCA panels. This particular panel was supposed to feature Mariska Hargitay (Olivia Benson) as well as Christopher Meloni (Elliot Stabler), but she was held up due to a change in her shooting schedule. That was a real shame because we would have all loved to see her with him. He didn’t seem as if he was in a great mood, but he gave each question serious thought and consideration.

If you’re reading this, you probably know already that he played the same character on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” for 11 years. He left at the end of season 11 because of a contract dispute. Last April he returned to SVU and then premiered this new show, OC, but with plenty of crossover between the two shows (especially with Hargitay).

I asked him the question that everyone wants to know… I knew that he probably couldn’t answer it, but I was interested in how he would handle the question, either way. I said, “I’m on a lot of “Law & Order” Facebook groups, and most of them seem to want your characters to have a real love affair. Should they stay hopeful on that score? Anything you can tell us. I know you can’t give spoilers.” He replied, “Sure. Hope springs eternal. I mean, why  not? I think it’s going to be a collaborative effort between both showrunners for “SVU” and “OC,” and I believe, with Mariska and I, to kind of figure it all out. It’s a complicated relationship. So, we’ll see.”  That was actually a lot more positive answer than I expected. It was very diplomatic, for sure.

Here are more questions from the panel.  This was the next question:  Elliot goes undercover this season, so he was asked whether this would affect his relationship with his former partner, Benson (Hargitay), since they were close last season. He mentioned that he had spoken to real-life undercover cops, and they had confirmed that they do tend to lose themselves in their jobs.  He thinks Elliot is doing that, as well as still dealing with the stress of losing his wife and all that he went through last season, and not sure how Benson fits into his life (both personally and professionally). Benson sees that he might be going through all this.  He and Benson do engage with each other professional quite a bit, and ” and a little bit from the personal side.”

He was also asked whether he’d learned anything about himself from his years of playing Elliot. He responded, “I’ve learned a lot about myself. It’s been a wonderful journey. I think because, you know, to play this character for as long as I have, or I guess any character, but I always thought of him as a man under pressure, and has maybe examined how I engage the world, how I deal with personal relationships, how maybe certain blind spots that I have, and I’ve had to work on. You know, you really do grow with the character. Because as you mature as a human being, I think you bring those lessons to bear to your character. So, you know, you march hand—in—hand with the thing that you’ve created. And it’s been very rewarding. So, I’ve learned more than I could speak of in this short of time.”

Someone else asked why Dick Wolf decided (possibly in collaboration with him or other writers) to put Elliot in Organized Crime rather than in other possibly detective groups. He asserted that it was Wolf’s idea from the beginning. He feels that it was because there was so much rich storytelling that could be told about the crime families and how they work, and that one crime family investigation would fit well into an 8-episode format. He was also asked whether there might be a possibility of any mention of his cop character in Syfy’s “Happy,” but he didn’t think they would do that because they were in two different universes. He compared it to having a crossover between “Grey’s Anatomy” and a Marvel Universe show.

Another person from the press asked him about “the most emotional and challenging story lines to play on a personal level, something that was difficult” for him to play. He gave an interesting answer, “Well, you know, anytime I’ve had to deal with children and traumas inflicted upon children, those are always — those always strike a very deep chord. I’ve always found those very difficult, but oddly enough, kind of the easiest to play, because there’s no searching for the emotional content within myself. You know, I know exactly how I feel. I’m very — there’s such clarity in my place in this world when children are involved.”

I’m sure he’s been asked this question many times: whether he ever had the itch to go back and play Stabler after he left SVU back in 2011. He asserted that he never looked back. Once he was done, that was it. He enjoyed acting in other projects and traveling. He added, “I think to Dick’s credit, he — I don’t know — maybe he sensed I wasn’t as interested in revisiting how, you know, the “SVU” tells a story, which is great, and they do it so wonderfully. So, when he pitched this more serialized expression of his latest idea of a “Law & Order” show, the “OC,” I really thought it was kind of a stroke of genius. I didn’t think that was even kind of anything he was thinking about. So, I was pleasantly pleased and surprised and excited when I got the pitch. And it was just on the basis of the type of storytelling that the “OC” allows us. And I just think it just allows for a little more in—depth analysis of characters and relationships and that kind of stuff. So, I appreciated that. And I think with Ilene Chaiken running the show, it’s really lived up to what Dick had hoped for.”

He was asked if he’d ever binge-watched “Law & Order” SVU,” but he admitted that he never had. He was there when it was filmed, and that was enough. The same journalist also asked him if he would tell us about the “four new recurring characters” on the second season. He seemed taken aback by that question. He named three – “Dash Mihok, Vinnie Jones, Lolita Davidovich and Michael Raymond-James.”  He said that some of the cast are part of their task force and some are from the new crime family they’ll be going after.  He elaborated, “We’re dealing with an Albanian crime family. You get to see a little bit of the hierarchy. It’s very much a family organization. And there’s a kind of Shakespearean intrigue that surrounds it.” That sounds interesting!

Since he mentioned leaving SVU earlier, he was asked about Mariska, “What has been the greatest joy of working with her? What
qualities does she have that has made the journey a real joy for you? And what have been some of the challenges?” He gave a very long answer. Basically, he said that they were two strong personalities that worked well together. The characters were, “finding each
other’s dance steps. And I would argue we found those dance steps 80 percent of the time, but 20 percent of the time we didn’t. And, you know, that’s where — I don’t know — just stuff happens. And it can be creatively wonderful stuff, and it can be challenging stuff. And it’s just stuff. Because at the end of the day, I think we see each other and know each other at our cores, and we love and honor and respect each other’s gifts. We have forgiven each other’s trespasses.” He said that they grew up together on the show . They both built their own separate families at the same time and both had each other’s best interests at heart.  He was quite effusive in his praise of her: “She’s open and honest and trustworthy and a ball of light. She radiates a goodness and a warmth and an inclusiveness. You know, she’s just a wonderful energy to be around. And she’s a hard worker. ” He praised her for how she carried on after he left the show.” They like working together and look forward to it. He never really answered the question about any challenges.

Next he was asked whether any parts of Elliot had rubbed off on him, or vice versa. He didn’t think so. He compared Elliot to himself, saying that Elliot was both more flawed and more heroic than he. He went on, “I think we both strive for the same sense of justice that, you know — I mean, I think this is life, right? And it’s difficult if you have a sense of right and wrong, and the world makes it difficult for one who has a sense of honor and justice, and you see reality is at times difficult in that regard. So, I would like to — I would strive to be as honorable as Elliott is, as flawed as he is. But no. We both have the same kind of walk, and that’s about it, I think.”

He was asked whether he thought all of the spinoffs were a good thing or not. He thinks that they’re both good and bad as it’s part of their business. It’s expensive to “It’s expensive to launch a show, very expensive to maintain a show, and very expensive to get eyeballs to the show, to your product. So, I just kind of think those pressures lend itself to that kind of programming.” He thinks the audience doesn’t mind as long as the product is a good one.

He was also asked why he thinks fans are so crazy about a Benson-Stabler relationship. He thinks that part of the reason is because their parting in 2011 was so abrupt, and they had so much chemistry for years before that. There was never any kind of answer as to the will-they-or-won’t-they question.

Another writer asked how his working with Mariska different this time than it was the first time around. He answered that they were young and didn’t know each other the first time around. It was all new, fresh and exciting. This time, when he returned, it felt both important and comfortable. “And I haven’t examined it beyond that… “I don’t have that relationship with any other actor walking the earth, because I’ve never worked with anyone for as long as I had with Mariska.” They were revisiting their relationship. “all of that in a package of grief, because of the circumstances under which I was reintroduced. So, it was a completely different dynamic, and yet I think the cornerstone of it all was a playfulness, a humor that we just always have with each other, and a camaraderie. Love and camaraderie.”

He was asked a good storyline question about whether Stabler would still be working with the team or whether he’ll be more in charge this season.  He responded that Sgt. Bell is definitely still in command, not Elliot. He went on, “I find it a very interesting dynamic. I was surprised by it all, and I loved it. I thought it was a very good idea. Danielle Moné Truitt is wonderful to work with. Yeah. So, yeah. Elliott is more on the outside in the first series of eight from the unit. They’re kind of more of the, you know — they’re HQ to whom I report, and they do the logistical hard work while Elliott tries to get intel and is on the inside.”

The last person pointed out that Meloni is also great at comedy. He asked which he would like to do next, after he leaves OC? He instantly replied without hesitation that it would be comedy.  “I’m in one swimming pool and I want to go try the other, see how the other water — how refreshing the other water is.”  Well, let’s hope that’s not for a long time…at least not until we see how he and Olivia are able to really connect, finally.

Please visit our “Law and Order” site!

MORE INFO:

Season 2 Preview  Episode 202 Preview

Christopher Meloni of "Law & Order: Organized Crime" on NBC“LAW & ORDER: ORGANIZED CRIME”

“THE MAN WITH NO IDENTITY”

ORIGINAL

09/23/2021 (10:00PM – 11:00PM) (Thursday) : SEASON PREMIERE – After taking down Wheatley’s (Dylan McDermott) drug empire and discovering his wife’s killer, Det. Stabler (Christopher Meloni) must infiltrate a notorious crime family aiming to take over New York City’s cocaine trade. Sgt. Bell (Danielle Moné Truitt) is forced to work with a rival colleague when their investigations collide. Also starring Ainsley Seiger.

TV-14

The series stars Christopher Meloni, Dylan McDermott, Danielle Moné Truitt, Tamara Taylor and Ainsley Seiger.

Dick Wolf, Ilene Chaiken, Fred Berner, Terry Miller, Arthur Forney and Peter Jankowski serve as executive producers. “Law & Order: Organized Crime” is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, in association with Wolf Entertainment.

Christopher Meloni

Elliot Stabler, “Law & Order: Organized Crime”

Christopher Meloni returns to his iconic character, Elliot Stabler, in the new NBC drama series “Law & Order: Organized Crime.”

Meloni was last seen starring on the Hulu British comedy “Maxxx.”

Meloni starred in SYFY’s dark comedy “Happy!” based on Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson’s graphic novel. In addition to his starring role as Nick Sax, he directed an episode as well as executive produced the series. Meloni also co-starred in the third season of the critically acclaimed Hulu series “The Handmaid’s Tale” as Commander Winslow, a powerful and magnetic commander who hosts the Waterfords on an important trip.

Meloni had a guest arc on the breakout FX series “Pose,” from Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. He also appeared in the landmark historical series “Underground,” executive produced by John Legend, and directed an episode.

Following his breakout role on “NYPD Blue,” Meloni was cast in HBO’s gritty prison drama “Oz” and then moved on to “Law & Order: SVU,” where he received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. Following his 12 seasons on “SVU,” Meloni returned to HBO in Alan Ball’s wildly popular drama “True Blood” and the Julie Louis-Dreyfus-starrer “Veep.”

On the film side, Meloni’s credits include “Diary of a Teenage Girl,” “White Bird in a Blizzard,” “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For,” “Man of Steel,” “42,” “They Came Together,” the Terry Gilliam films “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and “Twelve Monkeys,” “Bound,” “Runaway Bride,”  “Nights in Rodanthe,” and the cult favorites “Wet Hot American Summer,” “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle” and its first sequel, “Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay.”

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Mariska Hargitay of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and Christopher Meloni of "Law & Order: Organized Crime" on NBC

DVD Review of “The Equalizer: Season One”

TV Review!

The Equalizer: Season One DVD cover

“The Equalizer: Season One” Review by Suzanne 9/15/21

This is a vigilante show, which is similar to a superhero show. There’s a thin line that sometimes can be hard to find. Batman is a vigilante, but he has no super powers.  Robyn McCall (Queen Latifah) is a former CIA agent who now secretly helps people who are victims of evil doers (especially female victims).  She has a team helping her, including her former CIA handler (played by the amazing Chris Noth). She tries to redeem herself with each person she helps – she has a lot to make up for from her shady past. She also lives with her Aunt Vi (the always-underrated Lorraine Toussaint), who helps her raise her teenaged daughter, Delilah.

There’s a lot of great action in the show, but the violence has been toned down quite a bit since the 80’s version of this series.  Perhaps they think that female audience members won’t like it. At any rate, it gives them time to focus more on story and characters. The first season was a big hit, and the second season is doing pretty well. CBS is packed with remakes and reboots, but this show stands out as one of the best. Queen Latifah herself deserves a lot of the credit, but the writing is also very good.

The DVD has some nice extras: 3 behind-the-scenes specials, as well as the regular deleted scenes and gag reel. This would make a good gift for any teen or adult.

MORE INFORMATION:

Buy This DVD!

THE EQUALIZER: SEASON ONE
Street Date: September 21
Format: DVD
Description: THE EQUALIZER is a reimagining of the classic series following Robyn McCall, an enigmatic woman with a mysterious background who uses her extensive skills as a former CIA operative to help those with nowhere else to turn. McCall presents to most as an average single mom who is quietly raising her teenage daughter. But to a trusted few, she is The Equalizer – an anonymous guardian angel and defender of the downtrodden, who’s also dogged in her pursuit of personal redemption. Robyn’s clandestine work remains a secret from her smart and observant daughter, Delilah, and her aunt Vi, who lives with Robyn to help her balance life as a working mother. Joining Robyn as champions of justice are William Bishop, her former CIA handler and longtime friend; Melody “Mel” Bayani, an edgy bar owner and a colleague from Robyn’s past; and Harry Keshegian, a paranoid and brilliant white-hat hacker. As Robyn aids the oppressed and exploited, her work garners the attention of shrewd NYPD Detective Marcus Dante, who doggedly seeks to uncover the identity of the vigilante known as The Equalizer.

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cast of "The Equalizer" on CBS

Interview with Jeff Daniels and Maura Tierney

TV Interview!

 

"American Rust" cast

Interview with Jeff Daniels, Maura Tierney, Bill Camp, David Alvarez, Alex Neustaedter, Julia Mayorga, Mark Pellegrino, Rob Yang (he/him) and showrunner/EP Dan Futterman of “American Rust” on Showtime by Suzanne 8/24/21

This is such a talented cast. We usually only get one question, at most, for these TV Critics Association press panels, so I was very torn about whom to ask a question. Thankfully, I was able to ask questions of Jeff Daniels and Maura Tierney, and then later, David Alvarez, so I was ecstatic. I asked Jeff about the motivations behind what his character, Del, does, in the first episode, to cover up for Grace’s son, who appears to have murdered someone.  Then I asked Maura a rather lame question about being in a triangle between him and Mark Pellegrino’s character (Virgil). She gave it a much better answer than it deserved. Then I asked David about his character, who is a little away from what the others are doing, since his character, Isaac, wanders around town a bit. However, he’s quite important to the story. He did the best he could, not wanting to share spoilers.

I hope you can watch this show, which is based on a best-selling novel…it has really good writing and acting. It’s a little dark and slow, so I hope that doesn’t disappoint anyone.

The TCA doesn’t allow us to take photos, recordings, etc. but here’s my article:

: “American Rust” Premieres on SHOWTIME: A Complicated Family Drama and Murder Mystery

On Sunday, September 12th, SHOWTIME is set to premiere its latest compelling drama series, “American Rust.” This intricately woven tale of family, crime, and the American Dream boasts a stellar ensemble cast and promises to captivate viewers from the very first episode.

“American Rust” is a gripping narrative anchored by the exceptional performances of Jeff Daniels, Maura Tierney, Bill Camp, David Alvarez, Alex Neustaedter, Julia Mayorga, Mark Pellegrino, and Rob Yang. Showrunner and executive producer Dan Futterman has masterfully adapted Philipp Meyer’s novel into a riveting television experience.

As the premiere date draws near, the cast and creative team gathered for a panel discussion to offer insights into the series and the unique challenges they faced during production.

A Year of Reflection and Adaptation

During the panel discussion, Dan Futterman shed light on how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the production of “American Rust.” He shared that after a table read, the production had to be shut down temporarily. The yearlong delay provided a unique opportunity to refine the scripts, making them more efficient and practical for shooting under pandemic-related restrictions.

“We did lots of cutting of extraneous scenes,” Futterman explained. “You end up doing more of that in the editing room. But it was helpful to be able to do that up front.”

While the core story remained intact, the pandemic-induced hiatus allowed the team to streamline the narrative, ensuring it would be feasible to shoot given the constraints imposed by the ongoing health crisis.

Jeff Daniels: The Complexity of Del Harris

Jeff Daniels, who plays the central character, Del Harris, discussed the complexities of his role. Del is a character grappling with contradictions, a man of honor who struggles with addiction and often takes on the roles of cop, judge, and jury when under the influence of narcotics.

Daniels emphasized the character’s duality, saying, “A lot of what we’re going for in this is real people, their good and their bad, their strong and their weak. Just like people in real life.”

He also pointed out that Del’s commitment to the rule of law and his desire to do the right thing in a world where that is often challenged by circumstances sets him apart from other characters.

Comparing Del to Atticus Finch

When asked if Del could be compared to Atticus Finch, another iconic character he portrayed in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Daniels drew a parallel between the two but highlighted a crucial difference.

“Only in — much like Jim Comey, the three of them believed in the rule of law, believed in right and wrong, telling the truth. That’s where Del kind of veers off. He kind of fudges that. So that’s kind of where it ends,” Daniels noted.

He went on to emphasize that, despite the challenges Del faces, his commitment to doing the right thing remains a central aspect of his character.

The Challenge of Doing the Right Thing

Continuing the discussion on doing the right thing, Daniels remarked, “I guess you’ve got to fight for that nowadays. I guess you might not — maybe right doesn’t matter anymore. Maybe truth doesn’t matter. Maybe facts don’t matter. All the things that we’ve been living with for the last four or five years.”

Del’s unwavering commitment to the law and decency in a world where these values are often questioned or compromised is a defining characteristic that sets him apart as a character.

Navigating the Perils of Young Adulthood

David Alvarez, Alex Neustaedter, and Julia Mayorga, who play younger characters in “American Rust,” discussed the challenges their characters face as young adults. They emphasized that the series reflects the idea that young people’s lives can quickly take unexpected turns, highlighting the precariousness of youth and the potential long-term consequences of their actions.

Alvarez noted, “Each decision we make throughout the season is really important. It will impact the rest of our story and our journey and who we become as people.”

Mayorga added, “It follows you, and you can’t get rid of it. Maybe the truth comes out. It’s just difficult. I think you have to be mindful, even this young, of what we do.”

The younger cast members explored the theme of mistakes and their enduring impact, emphasizing that in today’s world, actions have consequences, and being mindful of one’s choices is crucial.

Jeff Daniels: Transitioning to Television

Jeff Daniels, known for his illustrious career in theater and film, addressed his transition to television over the past decade. He attributed this shift to the evolution of television and the opportunities it now offers actors.

“The honest answer is Jim Gandolfini made it happen,” Daniels said. He explained how cable networks like SHOWTIME, HBO, and streaming platforms have transformed the landscape of television, providing actors with diverse and challenging roles.

He also emphasized that television has allowed actors to delve deeper into their characters over the course of a series, an opportunity not always available in film.

A Riveting and Timely Drama

“American Rust” is a multifaceted drama that delves into the complexities of family, justice, and the American Dream. With its talented cast, compelling storytelling, and timely themes, the series promises to be a standout addition to SHOWTIME’s lineup.

As viewers prepare to embark on this journey through the rust belt of America, they can expect a gripping narrative that raises profound questions about morality, responsibility, and the pursuit of justice in a world where the lines between right and wrong are often blurred.

“American Rust” premieres on SHOWTIME on Sunday, September 12th, and is set to be a must-watch series for fans of compelling drama and thought-provoking storytelling.

MORE INFO: Teaser

"AmKey Art for AMERICAN RUST. Photo credit: Matthias Clamer/SHOWTIME.erican

ABOUT THE SHOW

Starring Emmy winner and Tony nominee Jeff Daniels (THE COMEY RULE, The Newsroom, Godless, The Looming Tower) and Emmy nominee Maura Tierney (YOUR HONOR, THE AFFAIR, The Report, Beautiful Boy), on Sunday, September 12 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The season will consist of nine episodes. Daniels also executive produces the series, reteaming with Oscar nominee Dan Futterman (The Looming Tower, Capote, Foxcatcher), who serves as executive producer, writer and showrunner. The series, currently in production in Pittsburgh, is co-produced with Boat Rocker Studios.

AMERICAN RUST also stars Bill Camp (The Queen’s Gambit), David Alvarez (West Side Story), Alex Neustaedter (Colony), Julia Mayorga (It Is Decidedly So), Mark Pellegrino (Supernatural) and Rob Yang (The Resident). The series is executive produced by Futterman, Daniels, Michael De Luca (Escape From Dannemora), Adam Rapp (The Looming Tower), Paul Martino (Inside Game), Katie O’Connell Marsh (Narcos, Hannibal) for Boat Rocker Studios, and Elisa Ellis.

Based on Philipp Meyer’s celebrated debut novel, AMERICAN RUST is a compelling family drama and a timeless story of wanting a brighter future while being held prisoner by the past. The story of survival and transcendence is told through the eyes of complicated and compromised chief of police Del Harris (Daniels) of a Pennsylvania Rust Belt town full of good people making bad choices. When news of a murder rips through the town, Harris must decide what lengths he is willing to take to protect the son of the woman he loves (Tierney).

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Jeff Daniels and Maura Tierney in "American Rust" on Showtime

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Interview with Sadie Calvano, Evan Roderick, Tom Stevens and Judith Verno

TV Interview!

 

Sadie Calvano, Evan Roderick, Tom Stevens and Judith Verno of "Secret's of a Marine's Wife" on Lifetime - photos from Lifetime and social media

Interview with actors Sadie Calvano, Evan Roderick, and Tom Stevens, and executive producer Judith Verno in “Secrets of a Marine’s Wife” on Lifetime by Suzanne 5/19/21

This movie was very interesting and had a great cast. I was glad to speak with them. I’d interviewed Tom Stevens before about his role in “Deadly Class” on Syfy, so it was great to see him again. I hope you enjoyed the movie! It was an interesting mystery and romance story, but tragic.

SECRETS OF A MARINE’S WIFE

Moderator: Hi everyone, thank you for joining us. I am very pleased to welcome our panelists from Secrets of a Marine’s Wife, including Sadie Calvano, who plays Erin Corwin, Evan Roderick who plays her husband John Corwin, Tom Stevens, who plays Chris Lee, joined by executive producer Judith Verno.

Just a quick reminder if you’d like to ask a question, at the bottom of your screen please hit the raise your hand button at the bottom of the screen.  Depending on what version of zoom you have, it might be under the reactions button or the participants button. I will be answering questions as they come in an I wanted to start with one pre-submitted question that’s for everybody. And that question is Erin Corwin’s Story is very tragic. What do you hope viewers will take away from this movie?

Sadie Calvano: I’ll start. Hi everyone, I’m Sadie. I would really like viewers to take away from this movie  is that this isn’t a story that questions Erin’s sexual choices. This isn’t a story that talks about how because she had an affair, she got murdered. This is a story that is about complex relationships about a young girl who was looking for love and connection and who was going through a really tough time in her life and looking for support and fell in the hands of someone who brutally murdered her. And I really hope that people are able to see the story of love and seeking and are able to fall in love with her and wonder.

Tom Stevens: Yeah, and I like..Evan.

Evan Roderick: Yeah. You know, and like speaking from Jon’s perspective too, it’s a story

about forgiveness as well ,and you know, because these characters are so young that you know they hold such a, I guess, there is such an expectation on this relationship to work too, so you know, I think it was important to keep Erin in a light you know, and she was a really good person and we had to honor her story. I hope people can see that when they see the movie.

Tom Stevens: Yeah, I gotta say that like jumping off of what Sadie was saying is they had a relationship that was kind of…It was too young.

People got married very early and well. What we were telling the story of is what Chris and Aaron found was almost like an intimacy that they hadn’t really experienced before. It just so happened that she chose to go with somebody that had some serious mental issues.

Judith Verno (Executive Producer): Yeah, I mean, I think that what’s important is nobody should pay for their mistake with their life. And that’s the message here. And to find stories that are relatable at their core but can also serve as a cautionary tale, especially for a younger generation. I think that’s important to tap into for Lifetime.

Moderator: Thank you all. The next question is from Suzanne from TVMeg.

Suzanne Lanoue (TVMeg): Hi, good morning. Let me ask, Tom, what do you think? What did you do to prepare for this very complex role?

Tom Stevens: Yeah, Chris, is uh, he kind of travels through a lot of different emotional realms throughout the film. The guy is dealing with suicide. He’s dealing with an unhappy marriage. Finding this new experience with his neighbor Erin and also everything that he’s kind of dealing with, with his experience with going over to Afghanistan.

And I just kind of took it day by day…I’ve done a lot of military research myself. I knew the story. I knew the case very well, so I listened to the book and I used the chapters about Chris and I just I tried to find as much that I could use out of that book as possible to add color to him every day.

Suzanne Lanoue (TVMeg): Great, and Evan – your role is almost saint-like.

I know actors like to do… usually they like to play the bad guy because there’s so many different layers, and you get to vent your emotions and all that kind of thing. Well, what did you do to make your role speak to you and have fun with it?

Evan Roderick: As much as I think the center of it is he’s just a guy that loves this person so much you know. And I mean, personally, I know. I know what that feels like to love someone so much that you do anything for them. So I think that kind of was the center of Jon.

But I’ve never shot a gun before this movie. I’m so Canadian, I know. But you know I spent some time at the gun range in the gym. I watched all the Dateline stuff to prepare as well so but yeah, at the center of it he’s just a guy that’s just so in love with this woman. So that was kind of what I always hung onto.

Suzanne Lanoue (TVMeg): Great. And Sadie, when they were doing the scenes… where they were showing him strangling your character, did you, uh..Can you tell us how you did that?  How it was done? Sort of physically and special effects wise? Was there a stunt person?

Sadie Calvano: Sure, yeah, there was some people involved. However, Tom I also participated. They had me in this like strapped suit and that clipped on to Tom’s back. I wore a necklace that was made out of like elastic that looked like what would have been choking her but it wasn’t connected to anything so that I stayed completely safe and then on the back of my suit there was a clip that the poles attached to for Tom. And we had some staff people help us out with different positions. Each shot kind of varied what the arrangement was, whether it was me with a stunt person or Tom with a staff person or me with Tom. But we had really amazing stunt people that kept us very safe and were so sensitive to the nature of that scene and made sure that we stayed protected emotionally and physically in what was a very strenuous scene.

Suzanne Lanoue (TVMeg): Alright, well, thank you. I really enjoyed it. I love the movie. It was sad in the end, but it was good.

Sadie Calvano: Thank you.

Modderator: Thank you Suzanne. Ok, this next question is from Lisa Steinberg.

Lisa Steinberg (Starry Magazine): Hi thank you guys so much for talking with us today. Evan. you’re playing a marine in this and you touched on a bit about the physical aspect of it and getting into shape.

Was there something different you did to prepare for the role of a marine? Or you know, just you stay fit and it was just more upping your time at the gym.?

Evan Roderick: Good question. Well, I think you know when you’re an actor, you kind of have to try to stay in shape all year round anyway. But I think mainly it was about learning about the culture of being a Marine. Like these people are, they’re living in these complexes a lot of the time, you know, like in our movie and they’re like it’s just like this big tight knit family, you know. So I think the biggest learning curve for me was just kind of learning the culture and how they spend their time. And like I said, you know, just trying to get the mechanics of being able to work a gun and hold a gun properly without looking like a fool. I think that was pretty important as well. So just yeah, a couple of those kind of things, but it was very, it was a lot of fun. I had a lot of fun doing it so yeah.

Moderator: Thank you Evan.   And the next question is from Jamie Ruby.

Jamie Ruby (SciFi Vision): So do you guys have a favorite scene that you could tease?

Tom Stevens: I’d say the pool scene. The pool scene was really fun to shoot, we were just in the pool all day, just swimming.  It was great.

Evan Roderick: I think I agree.

Tom Stevens: Anything in the complex.

Sadie Calvano and Tom Stevens

Sadie Calvano: I actually think that I would say that one of my favorite scenes is the scene that we shot in the diner. I feel like it is really different from the rest of the film.  And I think that there is a moment in that where we see the cracks really starting to appear.

And I think that we’re able to see that end of the day, like these are just two young kids that don’t really know what they’re doing, that are struggling to make decisions and doing the best they can. Umm and I like I think that’s a scene where we’re really able to see their humanity in a way that is different from the rest of the film. So that was one of my favorites to shoot

Evan Roderick: I loved shooting that scene too.  It was fun.

Moderator: Thank you guys. The next question is from Jay Bobbin.

Jay Bobbin (Gracenote): Hello everyone, thanks for doing this. Sadie my question is for you.  For Mom fans like my mom, who are such devotees of that show and know you so well as Violet and maybe haven’t seen you doing much else, what would you say to them before they watch you in this?

Sadie Calvano: I’d say thank you so much for watching Mom. Mom was such a huge part of my

life and of my personhood. I was kid when I started on Mom. You know I was 15 and so it shaped such a big part of my life and obviously of my career. So first I would say thank you so much and that I hope you like the finale because it just aired.

Umm and secondly, I would say that this is a really exciting project for you to get to watch because it’s not like Violet at all. You know, I think the thing that was so exciting about this was that next to Why Women Kill this is one of the first roles where I really got to play a woman, a person who’s not just like an angry bratty teenager. You know she has these like romantic complex relationships and I think you really get to see a different side of me in this project and I hope you enjoy it.

Jay Bobbin (Gracenote): Thank you.

Moderator: Thank you Jay. I think we have time for one more question, maybe two. The next question is from Steve Gidlow of Media Village

Steve Gidlow (Media Village): My question is actually for Sadie.  I was just wondering how familiar were you with this story before joining the project. Had you heard about it before? Or was it all sort of news to you?

Sadie Calvano: That’s a great question. I must confess in my  day to day life I am a bit of a crime junkie. I really love watching murder shows probably an unhealthy amount. But I did know about this story before I got offered this job. I grew up in LA. My boyfriend’s mom lives in Palm Springs, and this was a huge story in that area particularly, so I was familiar with the case I remembered reading about it when it happened and, yeah, I definitely was familiar.

Steve Gidlow (Media Village):  And quickly. Is there a chance you’re going back to Why Women Kill?

Sadie Calvano: Oh, I would love that. I would love that so much. I guess time will tell. I know that with Season 2 they were planning on doing all new cast and all new stories, but the door is, you know always a sliver open and we’ll see what the future brings. I would love to work with Mark Cherry again in the future, so I don’t know, fingers crossed

Steve Gidlow (Media Village): Awesome. Thanks so much.

Sadie Calvano: Of course

Moderator: Thanks so much, Steve. Thank you Sadie. The last question is for Judith.

As an executive producer for this movie, what interested you in Erin’s story.

Judith Verno: Well, I really do like doing stories that start with something where you feel it’s relatable and I do like doing stories that focus on a younger generation. It’s an area that I’ve worked on before and I welcome it.

I think that as Sadie and Tom and Evan alluded to, you know Erin is a really good person. And to be able to message that you can have flaws, make mistakes, be young and not wind up dead is important to me and so I love the true crime genre, I love the setting of this. I don’t think there’s been a lot of true crime that’s in a military environment, but most of all, I really love working with young people. We had an amazing cast and to be able to pay tribute to Erin who is a victim in the truest sense, and have a teachable moment for viewers, but also be entertaining, is you know it’s a great kind of story to be able to have the privilege to tell.

Moderator: That’s great. Well listen, thank you guys for participating.

We really appreciate it. And just a quick reminder to everyone that Secrets of a Marine’s Wife will premieres on Saturday, June 19th on Lifetime. So check it out, and thank you to all of our panelists and hold tight for our next panel.

MORE INFO:

"Secrets of a Marine's Wife" key art

SECRETS OF A MARINE‘S WIFE PREMIERES SATURDAY, JUNE 19
Secrets of a Marine‘s Wife is based on the true story of 19-year-old Erin Corwin (Sadie Calvano), who was married to U.S. Marine Corporal Jon Corwin (Evan Roderick) and expecting her first child, when she suddenly went missing. Erin’s disappearance sparked a grueling search led by family, friends and local law enforcement in the extreme conditions of the Joshua Tree National Park until her body was found two months later at the bottom of an abandoned mineshaft. Suspicions mounted quickly in the tight knit Marine community, and residents began to wonder if the killer was one of their own.  In their investigation, detectives uncover a friendship turned illicit relationship between Erin and her neighbor, Marine Christopher Lee (Tom Stevens), which consumed them both and called into question the paternity of Erin’s baby. Was this a motive for murder?  Who was responsible? Investigators work to discover answers to these questions and to unmask who killed Erin Corwin. Secrets of a Marine‘s Wife is produced by Front Street Pictures for Lifetime, with Sony Pictures Television distributing. Judith Verno/Peace Out Productions and Sharlene Martin/Martin Literary & Media Management serve as executive producers. Manu Boyer directs from a script written by Richard Blaney and Gregory Small.

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Sadie Calvano and Evan Roderick

Primetime DVD Review: “Your Honor”

DVD Review!

"Your Honor" DVD cover

“Your Honor” Review by Suzanne 6/10/21

This was a very good series on Showtime. It’s what they call a “limited series,” meaning it’s just 10 episodes and there will be no more…at least, as far as we know. Anyway, Bryan Cranston stars as an upstanding New Orleans judge who has to bend or break the rules when his son gets involved in a hit-and-run.

I enjoyed the show when I saw a few episodes on Showtime, but it’s nice to have the whole series to watch. It’s very gripping and complex, and the performances are outstanding. It has a nice twist at the end. I think that this series is one that you’ll either love or hate.

Aside from a few deleted scenes, there are no extras on the DVD. That’s too bad. It would have been nice to hear interviews with the cast, writer, directors and more. Perhaps they’ll come out with a better DVD version later with all of that.

MORE INFORMATION:

Buy it here!

From CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment, SHOWTIME® legal drama YOUR HONOR will be arriving on DVD on June 15.

In his first return to television since “Breaking Bad”, Golden Globe® nominee Bryan Cranston stars as respected New Orleans Judge Michael Desiato in the limited series. After his teenage son Adam (Hunter Doohan, “Truth Be Told”) is involved in a hit-and-run incident, Judge Michael Desiato must tread carefully through a high-stakes game of lies, deceit and impossible choices. Unbeknownst to Adam, the victim is the son of much-feared crime boss Jimmy Baxter (Michael Stuhlbarg, Call Me By Your Name) and his wife, Gina (Emmy® and Golden Globe® nominee Hope Davis, The Special Relationship), who are both out for vengeance and will not stop until justice is served on their own terms.

YOUR HONOR
Street Date: June 15
Format: DVD
Description: The 10-episode legal thriller stars Cranston as Michael Desiato, a respected New Orleans judge whose teenage son, Adam (Doohan), is involved in a hit-and-run that leads to a high-stakes game of lies, deceit and impossible choices. Stuhlbarg stars as Jimmy Baxter, the much-feared head of a crime family opposite Davis as his wife, Gina, who might be even more dangerous than her husband.

The series also stars Carmen Ejogo (Selma), Isiah Whitlock Jr. (BlacKkKlansman), and Sofia Black-D’Elia (“The Night Of”). Guest stars include Maura Tierney (“The Affair”), Amy Landecker (“Transparent”), Margo Martindale (“The Americans”), Lorraine Toussaint (“Orange Is the New Black”), Chet Hanks (“Empire”), Lamar Johnson (The Hate U Give) and Lilli Kay (“Chambers”).

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

(L-R): Hunter Doohan as Adam Desiato and Bryan Cranston as Michael Desiato in YOUR HONOR, "Part Two". Photo Credit: Skip Bolen/SHOWTIME.

Interview with Jesse Soffer and Jason Beghe

TV Interview!

Jesse Soffer and Jason Beghe of “Chicago PD” on NBC

Interview with Jesse Soffer and Jason Beghe of “Chicago PD” on NBC by Suzanne 3/23/21

These two are the stars of their show, but they’re humble. It was a pleasure to speak with them and listen to them answer all of the questions.

Here’s the video version of it.

Question:   You guys are doing a great job. The show’s been on for quite a long time now. Are you sort of settling into your characters, or, this year, when people have been looking at police officers a little differently, has that changed your approach at all to how you play your character?

Jason:   Jesse? Or do you want me to [go]?

Jesse:   No, it hasn’t changed my approach at all. We were actually just talking about this. I think our show does a good job of portraying everyone as a human being. Whether or not you’re on the right or wrong side of the law, whether or not you’re on this side or that side of politics or have an idea, everybody’s human. So, no, my idea of Jay hasn’t changed, but everything is growth. You know, “what’s going on in current events?” If we’re playing the reality of it, and we’re truthful, then cops today are seeing things in the news and they’re hearing discussions and they’re having to think about it. So, obviously, that’s going on with Jay; that’s one point that’s going on with everybody. So, that would be the only way that it’s changed the way you absorb the information around you.

Question:   Well, Jason, your cop actually started out as a bad cop and then transitioned to being more upstanding.

Jason:   Well, I’m not sure if that’s a question, but I can also just say that, the first day I showed up on Chicago Fire, producers, they said to me, the first thing they said was, “Oh, you’re a bad guy.” And I said, “No, I’m not.” And, of course, they showed and portrayed, wrote him as a bad guy. He was doing a lot of bad things, but for me to play it, you rarely come across a bad person who thinks they’re a bad person. He’s just a person, and he’s doing what he thinks is right. We come up with solutions to cope.

Remember, he attacked Casey in the beginning, because he’s trying to protect his son. I don’t know if you have children, but he might go pretty far. To keep your child – I mean, my son was going to go to jail and be in an environment with people who I put there, and he probably would have been raped to death. And yes, he did something bad, but was that justice? Voight certainly thought not, and he was willing to go to great lengths to protect his son. From Casey’s point of view, he is a bad guy. From his son, Justin’s view, he is a loving father.

So, the thing that’s interesting is that nobody is one thing or another, and the more we get to know people, I think, the more we are able to understand them and therefore love them. That, to me, is what’s interesting about life and playing a character for this long, that you get to understand that people – there’s always something there; there’s something to love. We’re not one thing or another. Things change in moments, and he’s having a hard time right now. He’s not a guy big on self reflection, and he’s being forced to [reflect]. It’s difficult, and I think his knees may hit the ground this season, but he’s a strong guy. I think that to be who he is, I imagine his knees have hit the ground in the past, and those are the moments where you either stay down on the canvas or you get up, and you’re recreated and better. I find that fun, and it keeps me interested, both personally, and also artistically, playing the guy.

Suzanne:   Hi. It’s great to talk to both of you. Jesse, I used to watch you on As the World Turns, so I’m big a fan.

Jesse:   Oh, man.

Suzanne:   That was a while ago. And I went on all of the One Chicago Facebook groups and on Twitter, and I got quite a few responses. People want to talk to you guys. So, Jennifer wanted to ask Jesse; she’s heard during two different interviews that you wanted Jay to go skydiving, and she wanted to know if you had gone skydiving, and if you liked it.

Jesse:   I don’t know who this Jennifer is, but I will tell you right now, she’s a liar, because I have never once said that I wanted to go skydiving. If I did, maybe I was on drugs when I said it. I’d love to see the tape.

Jason:   I doubt that he said it.

Jesse:   Show me the tape. Prove it to me. There’s no way I said it. So, no, I don’t want Jay to go skydiving. I don’t need to have an episode about that.

Suzanne:   Maybe she was playing with me.

Jesse:   Yeah, maybe.

Suzanne:   Sorry about that.

Jesse:   No, you’re fine.

Suzanne:   And let’s see, another Jennifer, who goes by Jen, wants to know, Jason, we noticed that Sam and Voight are trusting each other now. Can we expect a romantic involvement?

Jason:   You know, it’s funny. That’s, I think, the third time I’ve been asked that.

Jesse:   This is clearly a thing. This is a thing.

Jason:   And I just find it – I have to turn the question back on the question. I mean, I understand it, but just because you’re trusting somebody, and granted, she’s probably one of the most attractive people you’ve ever put on a television screen, but trust and connection and love doesn’t always mean sex and romance.

Suzanne:   On TV though, it kind of does.

Jason:   Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Maybe I like that, that it that it doesn’t have to be that, and I also think that – this is just me personally, [but] I don’t think there’s much sexier than mystery. I don’t want to get too poetic, but on the great romantic poem, Ode on a Grecian Urn, [there are] these two lovers that are painted on this urn, and they’re at that moment where they’re about to kiss, and the whole thesis is that’s the best moment, not the kiss, and not the lovemaking, but that’s where all the energy is. So, I tend to think that I’d like to keep it there, but we’ll see. I wouldn’t throw a fit if I was forced to kiss her, Nicole Parker.

Suzanne:   Thank you. Thank you guys.

Question:   You guys have been on for like, seven, eight years now, and as actors – because I’ve felt that, especially in theater, repetition can make it boring or can make it more interesting. Has the character at times, does it become boring? Or, how do you keep it interesting and fresh? And the biggest thing is, do you have more control over the narrative in any way, because you have played the character for so long, by talking to the writers and EPs to contribute to the storytelling? Jason, you can go first.

Jason:   Yeah, I’ve never gotten bored. If I did, I probably would either quit or get fired. Just like my [character], I hope I don’t get bored, [as] Jason, either. I mean, I’ve got a lot to work on. I’ve got a lot to grow and change, and so does Voight, and he also loves his job. His job brings surprises and new things every day, and he likes doing it well. It’s a puzzle to solve, and the stakes are high. He makes a difference, so he’s engaged. That character, he’s growing and changing all the time. It’s not like you get the character, just like it’s not like you’ve gotten yourself, and you’re done. You know, it’s a work in progress, and same with him. And I think in my relationship with Voight is like a relationship. I learned from him; he learned from me. Then, you play the scene and see what happens. It’s exciting. It’s exciting.

Question:   [Have you] talked the writers and EP in terms of conducive stories now?

Jason:   Oh, yeah. Absolutely. We have a very collaborative environment, particularly with Ricky now running the show.  And I’m highly respectful, and he’s amazingly good. All our writers are, and if I don’t understand something or agree, it’s not like I go, “You’re wrong.” I say, “Help me understand.” And there may be a thesis and an anti-thesis, but there’s always a synthesis. We work together, because they don’t want me to do something that I don’t understand or don’t believe, and they’re the ones who are helping me discover, leading me in the direction where I continue to create and discover who Voight is and who he is becoming.

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

MORE INFO:

Jesse Lee Soffer

Det. Jay Halstead, “Chicago P.D.”

CHICAGO P.D. -- Season: 5 -- Pictured: Jesse Lee Soffer as Jay Halstead -- (Photo by: James Dimmock/NBC)

Jesse Lee Soffer stars as brash young police detective Jay Halstead in the hit NBC drama “Chicago P.D.”

Born in Ossining, N.Y., Soffer’s acting career began at age 6 when he landed a Kix cereal commercial. He made his feature-film debut two years later opposite John Goodman and Cathy Moriarty in “Matinee.” Soon thereafter, he was cast as Susan Sarandon and Sam Shepard’s son in the family drama “Safe Passage” and as Bobby in both “The Brady Bunch Movie” and “A Very Brady Sequel.”

Continuing to work with some of the biggest names in the industry, Soffer starred as a runaway-turned-sleuth in the television movie “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler,” opposite Lauren Bacall, and then worked with director Richard Shepard in AMC’s longform presentation of “The Royale.”

In 1998, Soffer was cast as a series regular in the ABC comedy “Two of a Kind,” starring Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. When it ended, he returned to the East Coast and took a role on the CBS daytime serial “Guiding Light.”

After four months on the show, Soffer decided to focus on his studies and put himself through the Gunnery Boarding School in Connecticut. Upon graduation, Soffer realized that he still yearned to act and quickly landed a major contract role on the CBS daytime drama “As the World Turns.” His portrayal of troubled youth Will Munson earned him three consecutive Daytime Emmy nominations for outstanding younger actor in a drama series in 2006-08, as well as a Soap Opera Digest Award nomination for outstanding younger lead actor.

Soffer made his return to the big screen in Davis Guggenheim’s independent film “Gracie,” playing the son of Elizabeth Shue and Dermot Mulroney, and also appeared in the film “In Time.” In primetime television, Soffer had a co-starring role in the Fox series “The Mob Doctor” and had guest roles in series including “CSI: Miami,” “The Mentalist” and “Rizzoli & Isles.”

Jason Beghe

Sgt. Hank Voight, “Chicago P.D.”

CHICAGO P.D. -- Season: 5 -- Pictured: Jason Beghe as Hank Voight -- (Photo by: James Dimmock/NBC)

Jason Beghe stars as Sgt. Hank Voight, leader of the Chicago P.D. Intelligence Unit in the NBC drama “Chicago P.D.”

Beghe was born and raised in New York City, where he attended the prestigious Collegiate School.

Beghe portrayed a quadriplegic in the George A. Romero film “Monkey Shines: An Experiment in Fear.” He later appeared as a police officer in the film “Thelma & Louise” and played Demi Moore’s love interest in “G.I. Jane.” Other feature-film credits include “X-Men: First Class,” “The Next Three Days,” “One Missed Call” and “Atlas Shrugged: Part II.”

On television, Beghe’s recurring roles include “Chicago Fire,” “Law & Order: SVU” and “Californication.” He has guest-starred on countless series, including “Last Resort,” “Castle,” “NCIS,” “CSI: New York,” “Criminal Minds,” “The Finder,” “Prime Suspect,” “Law & Order: Los Angeles,” “Picket Fences,” “Chicago Hope,” “American Dreams” and “Cane.”

Beghe lives in Los Angeles.

From multiple Emmy Award-winning executive producer Dick Wolf and the team behind the hit series “Chicago Fire,” ‘Chicago P.D.” is a riveting police drama about the men and women of the Chicago Police Department’s elite Intelligence Unit, combatting the city’s most heinous offenses – organized crime, drug trafficking, high profile murders and beyond.

At the center of “Chicago P.D.” is Det. Sgt. Hank Voight (Jason Beghe), who is at ground zero against the war on crime in Chicago.  He will do anything to bring criminals to justice.

Hand-picked as the head of the unit is Voight, who has assembled a team of diverse detectives who share his passion and commitment to keep the city safe. They include Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer), a brash young detective who previously saw active military duty in Afghanistan; Officer Kim Burgess (Marina Squerciati), who has proven herself valuable to the team after being brought up from patrol on several past cases; Officer Adam Ruzek (Patrick John Flueger), a quick-witted cadet plucked from the police academy; Officer Kevin Atwater (LaRoyce Hawkins), a charismatic patrolman who was brought upstairs; and Det. Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos), the newest member of the team with killer instincts, humor and smarts. After going head to head with Voight, the two find a mutual respect for one another and see the value in working together.

Desk Sgt. Trudy Platt (Amy Morton) runs a tight precinct with tough love, although she lets her softer more vulnerable side shine through from time to time.

In addition to Wolf, executive producers include Rick Eid, Peter Jankowski, Arthur W. Forney, Derek Haas and Eriq La Salle.

“Chicago P.D.” is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, in association with Wolf Entertainment.

Please visit the official show site at: https://www.nbc.com/chicago-pd.

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Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Jesse Soffer and Jason Beghe of “Chicago PD” on NBC