Interview with Maria Russell

TV Interview!

 

Maria Russell played Inez in the hit reality comedy "Jury Duty" on Freevee. (photo from her Instagram)

Interview with Maria Russell of “Jury Duty” on Freevee by Suzanne 1/25/24

It was lovely to speak with Maria. I binge-watched the show, which I hadn’t really heard of, for some reason, even though it was a big hit last spring. I’m so glad I did because it’s hilarious and unique. I hope you can watch it if you haven’t already. I really hope that they find a way to have a second season, too.  Please watch and enjoy the video, too. This is an audio-only video, but I’ve made it into  a video slideshow of photos of Maria.

This transcript still needs more editing!

Maria: Hi, Suzanne.

Suzanne: Hi, uh, I watched the show last night. I somehow missed it last spring when everyone else was, I don’t know. So many shows to watch,

Maria: I know,

Suzanne: but it was great. I loved it. I enjoyed it. So unique and it’s funny.

Maria: So funny. Thank you so much. It was a wild ride.

Suzanne: I’ll bet. uh, when the, the press release I got said, uh, docu series, similar to the office. I’m like, uh, not at all like that. It’s way back. Yeah, exactly. It’s very unique indeed. And who would have known it would become part of pop culture. It’s. Really bizarre and amazing. It’s really, the only thing I could think of that was similar is there was a reality show years ago.  I don’t think it lasted more. And it wasn’t that successful called Joe Schmo where it was like a reality show. But the joke, I was the only one who didn’t know that everyone else was actors. But it wasn’t.

Maria: Yes. I, I heard of it. I never got to see it though.

Suzanne: Yes. I never saw it. I never saw it either. I just saw like the ads for it and I thought,

Maria: Oh, got it.

Suzanne: This is again, way better. So, so, uh, tell us about your character, uh, Inez.

Maria: Yes. Inez de Leon is fabulous. She’s this self-proclaimed boss babe with a real passion for fashion. And when she finds out that, that there’s a position for, foreperson, that’s her goal. She wants to be foreperson. and then she sadly loses that role to Ronald, no hard feelings, but then she ends up finding her new purpose in this courtroom, this jury and being the lunch-ordering queen, and also, the point-person to coordinate all of the outings like going to Margaritaville.

Suzanne: Right. And, uh, but you’re not, I mean, you’re playing the character, but….

Maria: Yes, that’s what’s weird about this show.  It’s like you’re playing the character, but then you’re really you. So it’s strange.

It is strange. And, and honestly, we have, I have this conversation many times that I always say that we’re all kind of like our characters in a way. And the beautiful thing about this show and even starting out with it is that the producers and directors and everybody involved really gave us carte blanche to really, create this, these, give us creative freedom to create these, these characters from the ground up.

Suzanne: Well, that’s good.

Maria: Yeah, no, it was wonderful because, one thing that they did say was that be careful of going way too far off because then we’re going to have to remember everything because, this went on for three and a half weeks. So what I, I had to, what I did was every night I would go home and write down everything that Ronald and Inez spoke about because I had to keep track of the lies. Or the not truth or what I told him, so I had to just be very wary of that because he caught on, he was really smart, he was really sharp, so he would remember a lot of things.  And I was, Inez and Ronald were very close, so I had to remember everything, like, on the show at the time I was married and in real life, Maria. And on the show, I was divorced, but I still had my wedding ring on because I, Maria couldn’t get it off because Maria gained weight during COVID. So I kind of use that as also as part of my, uh, part of my backstory.

Suzanne: Well, that’s cool. I noticed that in the last episode when they did a lot of flashbacks and talking about stuff that there were scenes we didn’t get to see in the show, and I hope that maybe they’ll do a DVD if they haven’t already, so that we can see a lot of the stuff that they cut out, because I’m sure there’s lots they cut out, because it’s a lot.

Maria: Oh my gosh. I think we were, yeah, I think we were saying it’s probably like more than 50 hours.

Suzanne: Yeah, when he wants to see the boring courtroom scenes that you had just to throw off the scent,

Maria: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah.

Suzanne: I read a good article yesterday. An interview with James Marsden.  So there was a lot of information there that I enjoyed reading. so was it, was it nerve wracking at all? Uh, I know you got to create your character and there was a lot of improv involved, right?

Maria: Oh, oh yeah. 90 percent of it was. Improvised because and then the rest of it, there were suggested lines or scenarios.  But again, we were, we were at the mercy of Ronald because we didn’t know what he was going to say or do. So, Ronald goes to the left, we have to go to the left, so a lot of it was the unknown.

Suzanne: Wow.

Maria: So. Yeah. It was, it was quite scary at moments because you didn’t want to be the one to, to blow them up.  Yes. To blow up the whole thing.

Suzanne: Oh my gosh. I can’t imagine what they would have done if you, if somebody had done that, it’s like, or what if Ronald had turned out not to be the, such a nice guy, that would have been all different.

Maria: Yes. Yes. I mean, literally at any given moment, the gig could have been up, the jig would be up.

Suzanne: Yeah. Well, you lucked out that it wasn’t. So had you done some improv before?

Maria: Yeah. So my, I’ve done a lot of, hidden camera shows. I did a lot of sketch. I had a Broadway show that it was, Thought of bright autobiographical called little Tina Christmas special. So I had improv in my background, but is as far as long form improv.  I didn’t, more of a comedic actress. That’s my, that’s my background really. But, sketch and creating characters.

Suzanne: Yes.

Maria: That’s my, that’s my, my, my space.

Suzanne: So, Are you all still keeping in touch? Good friends? You get together? What?

Maria: We do. I’m actually going to see Ronald over the weekend. Yeah. And, and Tricia, we’re going to go play pickleball.  So yes, we all very much love each other. We’re on different group text, uh, texting chains, and we all very much love and support one another. It’s, it’s like this little family. It’s like this little club too, because, doing the show. We had to have such a level of trust for one another and that we’re going to have each other’s back because it was scary.  Like, I think more than anything initially, it was scary because it was, everything was just the unknown and you really, the pressure of, of messing it up, of blowing it up, that was, scary, but at the same time there had to be. This, this part of yourself to surrender to the moment and just be in the moment.  And then that’s when the nerves would go away.

Suzanne: Oh, that’s, you sort of got lost in your character a little bit.

Maria: Yes, exactly. Exactly.

Suzanne: Yeah. You hear about all the time. Actors say, Oh, we were like a family. I don’t think it’s true most of the time, but you had such a unique experience that I think it probably is true.

Maria: Oh, it’s really true. Yeah, it’s like this club because this, we had to really have each other’s backs like completely and implicitly because like I said at any moment. Ronald would find out or, or, or be curious about something or question something. And so we were always, there for each other.  And yeah, that’s why, it’s a little bit different than any other show, because this one was like, we had to have this complete surrender to one another as well.

Suzanne: Yeah. Yeah, that’s it’d be kind of like making a movie, except you were on more and together more.

Maria: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

Suzanne: So, besides the sort of working without a net aspect, what was the hardest part of working, uh, making the show?

Maria: Wow. I think there’s a few things I think. as much as I, it was. really one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I think the most difficult part was, is that what you guys don’t get to see is that, is that after the show, after I’m sorry, not after the show, after each day, after we wrapped each day, it’s exhausting because our call time, we would have to show up at the Huntington Park court at around five or six Hair and makeup ready.   Okay camera ready So you couldn’t get ready there. We had to be ready, ready to rock and roll. And we would end around five or six, but it was, there was never a cut. There was never a break. So, not like in a regular show film where, there’s a break. Okay. Now you guys have, two hours for a break or whatever it is.  There’s no cuts. So it’s like you had to be completely present at all times. So I think that was the difficult time. Cause I remember I would be like. I don’t want to talk to anybody. I don’t want to see anybody and the weekends. I just want to go to sleep. I just want to like veg out because we would have to take notes.  What did Ronald say? Is there something important that we should know for the next day or we’re not, we’re no longer doing the scene because Ronald, Ronald. So we’re cutting this out and adding this. So it was literally, I mean, day to day, it would change.

Suzanne: That sounds very stressful and exhausting, but at least work paid off and you got a big successful show.  Very funny. And I don’t say that lightly because, although I do like to laugh, a lot of today’s comedies, I don’t find very funny. I’m older, so I like the old ones. I agree with you though. Very funny.

Maria: Thank you. I appreciate that.

Suzanne: So besides the fact that it was successful and you made these friends, what was the best part of making the show?

Maria: Oh gosh. I think the best part of it was, I mean, it’s going to sound so like Pollyanna. The friendships made. With all these wonderful actors and I think it, it shows because there was such chemistry with all of us and we didn’t test together either, by the way.

Suzanne: Wow.

Maria: We didn’t, we didn’t test. We met for the first time during rehearsal day one.   So it was, we, we all connected on so many levels and I think it’s, it’s such a rarity to have that, I mean, at least for me and I get along with everybody, but it’s just such, it’s such a deeper connection with, with your, with your cast mates just because of the nature of the show and, and it’s special.  So I would, and, and also I have to say with, with our producers and directors, they had our backs at all times. I mean, we were so lucky to have them so lucky to have them because we never felt like we were going to fall. whenever, I mean, we may not have known what we were doing at times. They’re like, do you know what you’re doing?  And they’re like, no, I’m like me too. I don’t know what, what are we doing? So, but we never felt like we weren’t taken care of. So that was really important. We didn’t feel alone.

Suzanne: Yeah. When they showed the people on behind the scenes, behind the cameras and everything, it looked like they were really had a tough job, but they were on the ball looked like,

Maria: Oh, 100%.  They were with us. 100%. So that was nice to know that there was. there. that you weren’t, you weren’t alone.

Suzanne: Yeah. Have you ever been in jury duty in real life?

Maria: No.

Suzanne: Wow.

Maria: I almost did. But then, so I got picked, but then they settled. Oh, so I never got to experience it.

Suzanne: Uh, yeah, you’re not missing much.

Maria: Yeah.

Suzanne: Well, I was unfortunately in a really bad experience. But the good thing about it is that now if they call me for jury duty, I just talk about how horrible it was. And they’re like, okay, you don’t have to. There you go. See, now you use my trauma.

Maria: Yes, I love it. I love it.

Suzanne: Do you think you might get a second season? You think they’ll be able to come up with something to do it?

Maria: Listen, the optimistic Maria says absolutely a hundred percent, but who knows, I know, part of me is like, yes, let’s do a second season. That would be amazing. And then the other side, the other part of me is like, We have something so special. I don’t know if we’d be able to recreate that again.  And I don’t know if I would want to, because it was so special. It was one of a kind and I don’t know.

Suzanne: Yeah. Yeah. It’s almost like I think in order to do a second season, they’d have to wait a while and then have a completely new group of people, because otherwise people would know.

Maria: And see, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t want that.  I wouldn’t want that. I would want it to be me. No second season if it’s not all the same cast. Forget about it.

Suzanne: Well, it’s like an anthology show. Let’s call it that.

Maria: Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Suzanne: So, are you, are you still in, Tacoma FD and are you working on season five yet?

Maria: So we did the fourth season. It’s now available on Netflix, which is really cool cause it was just on true TV.  Um, so fourth season we did. And is now airing and I didn’t, I haven’t heard anything about a season five yet. So I’m hoping, I’m hoping, but, I don’t know, right. Fingers crossed.

Suzanne: Yes. Now that’s a funny show, too. I haven’t had time to watch it very much, but the little bit I’ve seen of it, it’s been very good.

Maria: Oh, my God. It’s so fun. And it’s, oh, my God. Those guys are hilarious. My Lord.

Suzanne: So do you have anything else coming out that you’d like to tell us about?

Maria: Well, I can’t talk about it per se, but I am going to be working on a film in March, which is very exciting, but I’m not able to talk about it.

Suzanne: Yeah. But yeah, that’s good. I’m glad you have more, more to do.

Maria: Yes, it’s exciting. And, with the strike over, it’s kind of, it pushed everything. It kind of, with the award season too, it’s been, it’s been very busy on that front. So things are starting to pick up a little bit more now too, which is great because, the whole year basically was like,

Suzanne: Yeah, I know.  I didn’t have a lot of interviews. Yeah, you guys were all on strike.

Maria: We couldn’t talk about anything.

Suzanne: Yeah, no, I was, I had like directors and, and, uh, producers, writers. I mean, it was interesting. Don’t get me wrong, but I have very many. So, yeah. Okay. I’ve had enough of you. No, it’s just, I like, actually, I wish I got to speak with more writers because they’re the ones that like create the show and they know more about the stuff going on.  But, but I like to talk to actors. So it’s hard.

Maria: I know. I know. I know.

Suzanne: Well, I really appreciate you talking to me today

Maria: and of course it was so nice talking to you, Suzanne.

MORE INFO: Official Site  Trailer

"Jury Duty" key artMaria Russell (Mexican/Lithuanian descent) stands out in the comedic realm, gaining prominence through her role as the self-proclaimed boss babe ‘Inez De Leon’ in the acclaimed series “Jury Duty” on Amazon Freevee/Amazon Prime. Vying for the role of foreperson, she sadly loses to Ronald, but finds her purpose as the lunch ordering queen and coordinating all the fun outings for the jury.

This documentary-style show, a runaway hit starring James Marsden, offers a behind-the-scenes look into the American jury trial system. The series has garnered significant acclaim, earning numerous award nominations, including recognition at the Golden Globes (Best Musical/Comedy Series), Emmys (4 nominations), Independent Spirit Awards (Best New Scripted Series), and the prestigious honor of Best Ensemble Cast in a New Scripted Series. Additionally, the AFI Awards have recognized “Jury Duty” by including it in their top 10 television series of 2023 and winner of a 2023 TV Critics Award.

Maria has built an illustrious career in both television and film, earning her international acclaim, while establishing a solid foundation in Hollywood. On the television front, her versatile talent has graced hit series such as MTV’s “Teen Wolf,” ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” CBS’ “Criminal Minds,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” and recurring roles in the award-winning soap operas “General Hospital” and “The Bold and the Beautiful,” among others. Recently, Maria showcased her comedic prowess in HBO Max’s “Tacoma FD,” portraying the loveable, yet assertive ‘Lt. Salazar’

In the film realm, Maria is best known for her role in the Warner Bros. award-winning horror film “Lights Out,” produced by James Wan. In this chilling production, she shared the screen with acclaimed actors Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, and Maria Bello. Up next, Maria stars in the film “In Flight,” alongside Cristo Fernández (Ted Lasso) and Tiffany Smith (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3). Additionally, she has left her mark in the independent film circuit.

Annually, Maria graces the stage in the Off Broadway sensation, “The Latina Christmas Special,” a production she co-wrote and stars in at The Soho Playhouse in New York. Her captivating performance and the show itself have garnered widespread acclaim, earning Critics Choice recognition from the Los Angeles Times for five consecutive years.

Maria showcases a diverse array of talents, highlighting an acting range that spans from lighthearted and unconventional comedy to fearless, unapologetic humor, as well as compelling and intense dramatic performances. Throughout her career, Maria has consistently aimed to forge connections with people. Looking ahead, she aspires to extend her impact by venturing into producing and directing, driven by a passion for crafting characters intricately woven into meaningful stories, with a particular emphasis on narratives centered around redemption.

With a foundation in classical ballet, Maria brings a wealth of professional dancing experience that spans various genres, including ballet, jazz, Latin/salsa, and hip hop. Beyond the dance floor, she passionately engages in diverse forms of fitness, such as kickboxing, Bar Method, and pickleball. An avid globetrotter, Maria is on a mission to explore the world, having already visited 16 countries. As a bilingual (Spanish/English) actress, she not only expresses her love for the performing arts but also extends her affection to animals.

Maria currently calls Los Angeles home, sharing her space with her beloved Maltipoo and Schnoodle, affectionately named Boris and Natasha.

 

Transcript by Descript and video by Clideo

Maria Russell played Inez in the hit reality comedy "Jury Duty" on Freevee. (photo from her Instagram)

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Interview with Christian Kane

TV Interview!

 

Christian Kane in "Almost Paradise" season 2 on Freevee

Interview with Christian Kane of “Almost Paradise” on Freevee by Suzanne 6/28/23

It’s always nice to speak with Christian! Unfortunately, he was having technical difficulties, so we had to do an audio interview instead of a video one. He was very sweet about it and offered to do another one any time. I hope you enjoy the little slideshow video I made from the audio below! Don’t miss season 2 of “Almost Paradise.” It’s a really fun show on Freevee. That’s the Prime Video streaming service that’s free! Lots of other enjoyable shows on there.

 

Suzanne: My first zoom call ever was with you and Dean (Devlin) back in April 2020.

Christian: Oh my gosh, what were we doing – “Almost Paradise?”

Suzanne: Yeah. First season.

Christian: Yeah, that’s Right. Exactly. Oh my gosh. That’s so crazy.

Suzanne: It seems like a long time ago now.

Christian: That might have been my first Zoom call as well. I gotta be honest with you.

Suzanne: Yeah. And I think we had a few difficulties with the sound on that one. So, I guess now we’re even.

Christian: Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate you taking the time to talk to us and talk to me about this. I appreciate your help, man. I’m really proud of the show. So, the more people that can know about it, I just love it.

Suzanne: Oh, yeah. I love it, too. It’s great. I’ve only watched two episodes so far of the new one, but I’m enjoying it.

Christian: Oh, fantastic. That’s fantastic. Yeah.

Suzanne: So, what are some new challenges that Alex faces this season?

Christian: Well, the fun thing about Alex is that, you know, he always thinks he’s right. When the season opens up, you see that he’s pretty proud of himself. He’s walking around with a little pep in his step that he didn’t have first season, because he was sick, you know what I mean? And he thought it was physical. But when you actually think about it, it was more mental than anything else. So, now he feels like he’s overcome that. So, I mean, he’s back in business. He’s the Alex of old. And then, you know, it doesn’t take very long for him to get right back into trouble where he was. And that’s the funnest part about watching this show and more or less watching Alex Walker, is that he always thinks he’s got everything under control. He never has anything under control. And I’ve sort of said this before, but, you know, it’s really fun, and I think this makes good television. There aren’t a lot of shows out there like that. I’m very fortunate with the writing they give me, but it is so much fun to root for someone to do well, at the same time really rooting for the fact that he messes up so he’s in a pickle, you know? And that’s just the beauty of this show, that you want him to do well, because you’re a fan. But, man, isn’t it a better show when when everything goes wrong and he messed it up? It’s just so great.

Suzanne: Yeah, I think similar to Eliot, on the other show, is it. They’re both at their best when they’re fighting, because they have a little trouble handling everything else.

Christian: That’s exactly what it is. That’s exactly when they shine, is in situations like that. That’s funny that you picked that up. Yeah. And it’s really crazy, because I’ve tried to differentiate between both of those characters in the fights, and I think we’ve done a pretty good job. I mean, Alex is more of a bar brawler, and Eliot’s a precision fighter. But once I get into it, and these guys move fast, especially in the Philippines. They’re really good at what they do. And when they start moving so fast that I’ve just got to move fast, and I turn right back into Eliot, but I don’t think anybody cares about that as long as you can tell the difference between the two characters, which you can.

Suzanne: Right, right. And are you still doing your own stunts?

Christian: I’m still doing my own stunts. Yeah. I’m doing my own stunts. I’ve let a little bit of the choreography go. A guy I worked with for a long time on Leverage, Lex Damis, has come out as the stunt coordinator. I just didn’t have time on Leverage to really be involved that much. I’ll change some things, but he’s really good at what he does. And he’s one of my best friends and has been for over 10 years. He’s my golf partner. I trust him with what he’s doing, which is why I brought him in on Almost Paradise. I’ve got no time at all. I literally worked six months straight. I didn’t have one day off, and it’s not “Woe is me.” I prefer that. Idle hands are not good for me, and I love to work, because I really feel like I’m on vacation when I’m at work, no matter where I’m at. And I just did not have time to do it. So, we had Rodney – Rodney Cook came in, and Julian, and you know, these are ex military guys. They’re really good at what they do. And I’ve kind of realized at this point in my life, I’m still doing my own stunts, nobody fights for me. Nobody does stunts for me ever, but I just I don’t have time to fight anymore, and it just takes up too much of my soul. So, I would rather just go and learn the fight and fight and I think that helps out a lot as well, because I’m starting to listen to some other ideas other than stupid Christian Kane being Eliot Spencer.

Suzanne: And did you get injured at all this season?

Christian: Which season? Season of Leverage or season of – no not on Almost Paradise. I mean everything hurts. You know what I mean? This is bone to bone. I mean this is not jumping off a building onto a mat. This is going literally bone to bone with people. So, everything always hurts, but I don’t mind it. I don’t mind it. You know me, I’m a Steve McQueen fan and a big Tom Cruise fan, and as long as they let me keep doing my own stuff, man, it just is exhilarating for me. I love to say to people, “Slow it down, and see if you can catch me not on there,” because they can’t.

Suzanne: And you say it took six months to film the season?

Christian: Six months, yeah. It was six months in New Orleans for Leverage. And then I had one day in Los Angeles, literally one day to pack my bag and get on the plane for another six months in the Philippines. And like I said, I’m not complaining, I’m blessed. I would not trade it for the world.

Suzanne: So, overall on the show, are there any big changes in the second season? You know how sometimes on TV shows they they change things from season to season?

Christian Kane and Samantha Richelle in "Almost Paradise" season 2 on Freevee!Christian: You know, some people do. I mean, there’s no big changes. We love the storylines. The storylines are all new. The stakes are a little bit higher, which is great. As long as your stakes get higher every season, that’s the show that you’re doing. That means you’ve got a successful show. And we did that this year. You know, I’m coming [from] Dean Devlin school, you know what I mean? Which is, you know, how many seasons did I do Leverage? How many seasons of The Librarians were [there]? We’re on season two of Almost Paradise. You know, if it’s not broke, he doesn’t try to fix it. The shows that we do, you know, it’s not a comedy; it’s not a drama; it’s not an action movie. It’s all three of them rolled into one. That’s why, you know, we’re never going to be up for an award where it’s the best drama or the best – you know what I mean? The only awards we win are when we win the People’s Choice Award, because people love the show, you know? So, he doesn’t change it that much, because there’s kids watching it. There’s adults watching it; there’s families that watch the show. So, he does a really good job of not changing it too much to where you’re just blown out of it.

Suzanne: Yeah. Okay. I don’t mean to put you on the spot, but can you name any of the fun guest stars this season?

Christian: Well, I’ll tell you what we did. We did an episode where Lisa Brenner, who is Dean Devlin’s wife, she comes into play my wife, my ex-wife, which was a lot of fun, because I’ve known her as long as I’ve known Dean, 2007. And all we do is argue, and then when they say cut, we start laughing at each other. And we didn’t have to shake hands and introduce ourselves and go, “Hey, I’m playing Alex Walker
[unintelligible] it was like, first scene up was in a car, we had a huge argument scene, and we did it, and then we started laughing. It was fun not to have to learn who somebody is. You already know who they are. So, that was a lot of fun coming in. Let’s see. I don’t know. I mean, I just don’t know when this is coming out. I’m not sure if I’m gonna get in trouble.

Suzanne: Well, I’m not gonna put it in until like the day before the show starts.

Christian: Okay. I mean, we’ve got a good guy coming in. I don’t see how it’s not going to be seen, but I mean, Dante Bosco comes in. He was on Hook, everybody’s favorite kid on Hook. It’s fun to see him in the light that he’s playing. That was a lot of fun to to have him coming in. And then the cat’s already out of the bag on this guy. John Story comes back and does such a spectacular job on a couple of episodes. And he played Lockhart first season and became a fan favorite. And so to have him back this year, was just tremendous.

Suzanne: Right? And I know Reese Richie is going to be in the first episode as the priest.

Christian: Yeah, Reese was so great, man. He did such a good job. My friend Maureen comes in as for a little role, who’s Asia’s Next Top Model. She did such a great job. Yeah. She was a friend that I invited in, and she said “yes,” which I thought was very nice. You know, it’s the usual suspects, man. Some of us are a little older, but we all still play just like a family, man. It’s been really incredible.

Suzanne: So nobody from Leverage.

Christian: Christian Kane comes in from Leverage.

Suzanne: Nobody else.

Christian: No, no, nobody else, man. But I tell you what, you know, after the time that we took off we had – Well, John Story was on Leverage, but it was awhile back, and Lisa Brenner was on Leverage. Pretty much Dean regurgitates people all the time. But it’s funny, because we had so much downtime because of COVID, because of the pandemic. And I love talking about this. When we went back to Leverage, it was like a second didn’t go by. I mean, Dean Devlin was very smart. He put all of us a huge scene with all of us in in the same room, and it just took two seconds to go back into character. We all knew our characters, and we all knew our dynamic with each other. And I didn’t know if that was gonna work on Almost Paradise, because I don’t know them as well, but it absolutely worked. We touched down. Everybody got into character. And we did the first scene and it was like, “Wow, we’re back.” And that, just normally, it takes a little bit on a television series, well, just entertainment in general, and it didn’t at all. I was so proud of these guys. It made job so much easier, and I think it comes off on screen too. You can see it.

 

Suzanne: Yeah, watching season two is just like… it just took off from season one, and there was no break at all. Are there a lot of differences between filming in the Philippines and in the US?

Christian: Oh, my God. It’s night and day. You know, we were filming “Leverage” through the pandemic. I mean, we filmed it through the pandemic, and you couldn’t even go back to the Philippines at that point. They would not let you in. Right before we were getting ready to shoot, a typhoon came in and leveled the Philippines. I feel bad about talking about us when it actually took lives and homes, but it completely took our stages out. So, we had to build stages miles away, just to be able to go. The heat is something that’s unlike anything. But I’ll tell you, half of the people that got stuck there during COVID, the first time they were there for three to four months after the first season. Not one of them didn’t come back. They all wanted to come back. We have such a good family. And I tell you, it seems easier to film in the United States, but there’s a family out there that I have that made it so incredibly easy to film in the Philippines, because we all just absolutely love each other. It’s a different vibe out there, man. These people have really become become part of my family. So, there’s a camaraderie there that that sometimes you don’t get in the United States. Everybody just wants to go home. These guys just want to hang out. And you know, we’re all giving each other hugs and celebrating and laughing and it’s so much fun.

Suzanne: That’s nice. And the food is great there.

Christian: Well, the food’s great. Not only that, but the fact is that we have breakfast together. We have lunch together; we have dinner together. We don’t go home; we all sit around. When we wrap, we all sit down and have another meal. We don’t do that in America. It just builds camaraderie like you’ve never seen. So, the food is great. The food is plentiful. There’s always a lot of food.

Suzanne: Yeah, I have a friend who’s married to a Filipino lady, and also I lived in Hawaii for a few years and there’s a lot of Philippine people. They throw great parties.

Christian: Yeah, I mean, it’s just it’s incredible. When we throw a party we – and the great thing about it is in the Philippines, when we film a party, we actually cater it, and as soon as we’re done filming that scene, we all go through and eat whatever we had onset, which is fantastic. So, we have parties once every two weeks.

Suzanne: That’s great you got to do all that, all those fights and all that training, because otherwise you’d be 200 pounds, right?

Christian: Listen, man, I gained 15 pounds in New Orleans just because, I mean, well with COVID you couldn’t go to the gym and everything there was fried. I went to the Philippines, I ate whatever I wanted, and I lost 10 pounds. I mean, pig, I’m eating rice. I’m you’re eating rice at every meal. It’s just crazy. You’re eating – it was spam. They call it something else, but it’s basically spam. You know? Hawaiin/Filipino, and I lost weight, man, because you’re just sweating all day. You’re doing fights. And so it was paradise for me – almost.

Suzanne: I see what you did there.

Christian: You like that? Yeah. It’s just been a blast, and I’m so excited about this season. And I really would encourage people – we come out on Freevee on the 21st of July. I really hope that even if you’ve seen it, you go back through and take a gander at it, the first seaso. Freevee’s also been nice enough that now Almost Paradise the first season’s on Freevee. So, you can watch that and then gear up for the show. And I just really don’t know if I’ve ever been this proud of something coming out. I really enjoy what we did on this thing.

Suzanne: I have two questions for you that you probably don’t know the answer, or if you do, you can’t say, but let me ask them anyway. One is, do you know anything about what’s going to happen on Friday as far as the actors?

Christian: I don’t know what’s going to happen with that. It’s a little discerning, because the writers strike is not over yet. So, I figured that if the writers sort of made some leeway there, that there might not be something that we have to do. So, I really honestly don’t know, and I don’t honestly know where I stand on it either. I wish that I was more informed of actually everything that the writers or the the actors are trying to shoot for. But I feel like now watching what the writers are going through, there’s a possibility that the actors could strike.

Suzanne: Okay, and the second question is, have you heard anything about Leverage: Redemption season three?

Christian: I have not, because of the writers strike. I mean, everybody, like everyone just had to hang everything up. You know what I mean? I’ve heard ideas. I’ve heard some really good ideas about a season three. Dean went over some storylines with me, and it’s just fantastic. It’s really honestly, like, fantastic. It’s where Leverage needs to go. And it’s very exciting to the point where it could be our best season yet, just because of where we’re starting and where we have to go. But you know, then of course, it’s over, and they can’t talk about it, and they can’t even get together. I mean, they can’t call each other and say, you know, “What about this?” So, we’re sort of in a holding pattern right now as well as everybody else.

Suzanne: Yeah. Okay. Well, thank you. Those are better answers than I thought you might have. Better than saying, “I don’t know.”

Christian: Yeah, exactly.

Suzanne: And you own a chain of sushi restaurants called Sunda?

Christian: Sunda, Sunday without the y. Yeah, there’s one in Chicago, which I don’t own. My buddy Billy Deck owns [it]. Billy was the security guard I fought. I gave him a little roll. He was a security guard I fought a couple of times. It was a brutal fight on Leverage last season. Billy owns it. He’s really good friends with David Schwimmer. He was on Friends, you know, stuff like that. But he owns the restaurant. I’m an investor, but I get to say that I own it, because I do own some of it. And it’s one. There’s a Sunda in the Gulch in Nashville. I just got back from there. It’s so beautiful. We just won number one restaurant there, number one in Chicago. We’re opening another one on Chicago. I’m not familiar with – I love Chicago. I’m not familiar where the A train [is], but it’s somewhere like A train ish, I don’t know. But next week one opens up in Tampa, Florida. So, we’re really, really excited about that. And I do have a piece in all those.

Suzanne: Oh, great. Yeah, I think I’ve been to Tampa once or twice. They have some great restaurants there.

Christian: They do. Look up Sunda when you get there, because I think you’ll be really, really impressed. I’m biased, but the food is incredible. And Billy’s half Filipino. So, it’s this Asian fusion. So, it’s really Japanese. There’s some Chinese, but it’s really Japanese. But there’re like six or seven things on the restaurant that are completely Filipino, and people don’t know what it is, because they’re not familiar with Filipino food. So, he snuck them in, and people are absolutely loving it now.

Suzanne: So, it’s not just sushi.

Christian: It’s Asian fusion.

Suzanne: Okay, good. Good.

Christian: You can get noodles. You can get – He brought in one of the best guys out of Japan for Chicago, and he came to Nashville for two years to instruct their guy. So, you can get straight up sushi, and you get your Filipino food.

Suzanne: Wonderful. Sounds wonderful. We’ll have to try it.

Christian: Please do.

Suzanne: If nothing else, next time we’re in Chicago… because we usually go there in April every year.

Christian: Yes, absolutely. I mean, he literally just won the number one restaurant in Chicago.

Suzanne: Oh, nice. Wow. Okay. Well, thank you. I appreciate you talking to me today. And I hope we get to where I can see your handsome face next time.

Christian: Let’s do that. Let me know when you need me.

Suzanne: Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

Christian: You got it.

Transcript by Jamie

Our other interviews with Christian Kane:

MORE INFO:

Here’s an exclusive video clip of the season!

Video clip from Episode 206 – Episode description: Ernesto tries to convince Alex that death is not the end.

"Almost Paradise" season 2 key art

Almost Paradise Season Two With Christian Kane Premieres July 21 on Amazon Freevee

Jun 12, 2023

Art Acuña and Samantha Richelle return as series regulars

REVIEWS AND SENTIMENT EMBARGOED UNTIL MONDAY, JULY 17
Watch the Official Trailer
HERE
View Key Art
HERE
Episodic Photos
HERE
The Full Season Now Available on Screeners.com

CULVER CITY, California—June 12, 2023— Amazon Freevee has released the official trailer for the second season of Almost Paradise and announced it will premiere July 21. All 10 episodes from the season will be available on premiere day exclusively on Freevee in the U.S. and UK. Christian Kane returns to star along with returning executive producers and co-showrunners, Dean Devlin and Gary Rosen.

Kane is Alex Walker, a former U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent forced into early retirement. The combination of his partner’s betrayal and a life-threatening battle with hypertension has sent him as far from the madness as he can get—to a small tropical island in the Philippine archipelago. He now runs the gift shop in the island’s luxury resort hotel, which attracts the rich, powerful, and sometimes criminal elite from around the world. Despite his best efforts to transition from Jason Bourne to Jimmy Buffett, Alex is pulled back into a world of dangerous people and deadly situations—either through his friends in the local police, Kai Mendoza (Samantha Richelle) and Ernesto Alamares (Art Acuña), or encounters with people from his old life. And the problem is that he likes it.

Almost Paradise was shot entirely in the Philippines. Marc Roskin and Rachel Olschan-Wilson of Electric Entertainment executive produce alongside co-showrunners Devlin and Rosen. Mark Franco co-produces.

The first season of Almost Paradise is available now on Freevee for viewers looking to catch up on Alex’s adventures.

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

Among Electric’s hit television series are “Leverage: Redemption” the spin-off continuation of “Leverage,” which ran for five seasons on TNT.  Both series are currently streaming in the U.S. and the U.K. on Amazon Freevee.  “Leverage: Redemption” premiered its second season in November 2022. “Almost Paradise” is currently streaming on Amazon Freevee after having premiered on WGN America. Season 2 of “Almost Paradise” will premiere July 21 on Amazon Freevee in the U.S and UK. Electric’s new series “The Ark” premiered February 1, 2023 on SYFY and has been green-lit for a second season. Other Electric series include “The Librarians” which ran for four seasons on TNT, and “The Outpost,” which premiered its 4th season on The CW in 2021, and is now streaming on Amazon Freevee. 

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

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

  • Expansive Catalog: Amazon Freevee offers viewers ambitious Originals, including Bosch: Legacy; Emmy-winning court program Judy Justice; coming-of-age drama High School; docu-comedy series Jury Duty; performance special Monumental: Ellie Goulding at Kew Gardens; reality design series Hollywood Houselift with Jeff Lewis; comedy series Sprung; music documentary Post Malone: Runaway; heist drama Leverage: Redemption; spy thriller Alex Rider; and the sports docu-series UNINTERRUPTED’s Top Class: The Life and Times of the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers. Combined with an always updating library of broadly appealing hit movies and TV shows across a wide selection of genres, and a catalog of more than 250 FAST channels, including Judy Justice and Crime 360, Amazon Freevee delivers customers the content they would expect to see on a paid service.
  • The entire catalog of content on the service is free. No paid subscriptions necessary.
  • Limited Ads: Amazon Freevee provides customers highly sought content supported by limited advertising.
  • Instant Access: Amazon Freevee is available as an app on Fire TV, Fire Tablets, and within the Prime Video app. Amazon Freevee is available as an app on third party devices including Roku, Samsung smart TVs (2017-2021 models), Apple TV 4K, Apple TV HD, Comcast’s Xfinity Flex, Xfinity X1, Chromecast with Google TV, NVIDIA SHIELD and other Android TV devices, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 consoles, as well as LG Smart TVs (2018-2021 models). The app is also available on iPhone, iPad, and Android mobile devices.

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

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Arthur Acuña, Christian Kane and Samantha Richelle in "Almost Paradise" season 2 on Freevee!

 

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

TV Interview!

 

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

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

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

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

 

Martin Martinez and Nigel Siwabessy of "Primo" on Freevee

 

MORE INFO: Trailer

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

Country Availability

Germany, United Kingdom, United States, Austria

Executive Produced By

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

Created By

Shea Serrano

Produced By

Amazon Studios and Universal Television

Ignacio Diaz-Silverio

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

 

Stakiah Washington

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Martin Martinez

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

Nigel Siwabessy

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

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

Mar 21, 2023

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

Watch the Official Trailer HERE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

Back to the Primetime Articles and Interviews Page

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

 

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

TV Interview!

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

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

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

Noah Wyle (Harry)

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

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

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

Beth Riesgraf (Parker) and Aleyse Shannon (Breanna)

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

Gina Bellman (Sophie)

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

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

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

MORE INFO:

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

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

WATCH THE TRAILER 
HERE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Noah Wyle

Harry Wilson

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

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

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

Gina Bellman

Sophie Devereaux

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beth Riesgraf

Parker

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

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

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

Aleyse Shannon

Breanna Casey

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

Credits

Co-Showrunners and Executive Producers
Kate Rorick
Dean Devlin

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

Consulting Producers
John Rogers
Chris Downey

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

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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