Interview with George Olson

TV Interview!

 

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

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

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

 

MORE INFO:

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

SYFY logo
SurrealEstate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

George R. Olson

creator, showrunner, and executive producer

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

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

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

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

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George R. Olson with "SurrealEstate" cast

 

Interview with Jeff Astrof

TV Interview!

 

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

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

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

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

 

MORE INFO: Official Site Trailer

"Shining Vale" on Starz key art

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

About “Shining Vale”

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

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

“Shining Vale” Online

Twitter: @ShiningVale | @STARZ

Instagram: @ShiningValeSTARZ  | @STARZ

Facebook: @ShiningValeSTARZ | @STARZ

Join the conversation with #ShiningVale and #STARZ

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

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

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"Shining Vale" on Starz key art

 

Interview with Monique T. Parent

TV/Movie Interview!

 

Monique T. Parent (from her Instagram)

Interview with Monique T. Parent of “That’s a Wrap!” by Suzanne 8/9/23

It was nice to speak to Monique. We had a great chat. I even asked her about some makeup things after our “official” chat here. She’s had a long and interesting career. I’m not a big fan of horror movies…especially “slasher flicks” like this one, but it has quite a lot of comedy and art to it that was fascinating to see.  Monique did a great job in it.

 

"Blood Scarab" poster starring Monique T. ParentMORE INFO: Trailer

Known as ”The Thinking Man’s Sex Symbol”,  the sci-fi and horror vet also runs a YouTube channel offering makeup and hair tips for women over 40 as well as sharing her life as an actress. She is an advocate for celebrating natural beauty and graceful aging. She lives in L.A with her two cats.

Instagram

"That's a Wrap" key art

THAT’S A WRAP

STARRING Cerina Vincent, Monique T.Parent, Sarah French, Gigi Gustin, Dave Sheridan

DIRECTED BY Marcel Walz

ON DIGITAL AUGUST 25

Award winning director Marcel Walz’s upcoming horror/thriller THAT’S A WRAP is scheduled to release on digital platforms on August 25th, 2023 from Quiver Distribution.  Cerina Vincent (Cabin Fever), Monique T. Parent (Jurassic City), Sarah French (Space Wars : The Quest for Deepstar), Gigi Gustin (The Retaliators) and Dave Sheridan (The Devil’s Rejects) star in a film written by Joe Knetter and Robert L. Lucas.

The cast of a film arrive to a wrap party, but someone has dressed up as the slasher in the film, and begins to stage their own kill scenes. One by one, the cast disappear until the true nature of the evening is revealed.

Joe Knetter, Marcel Walz and Sarah French produce, with BJ Mezek, Andreas Tremmel, Justus Heinz, Yazid Benfeghoul,  Tina Limbeck , Robert L. Lucas and Kai E. Bogatzki executive producing.

Says director Walz (Blind, Pretty Boy), “I’m so excited to have a colorful Giallo slasher as the first movie from our own production company, Neon Noir. Everyone involved in this project brought so much love and talent to the table and made the whole process from start to finish something special. I know the audience will see the love in the end product. My favorite film of all time is Wes Craven’s Scream. That’s a Wrap is a fun meta slasher that showcases my love for that series of films combined with my love of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story. As a gay director I’m thrilled to have an opportunity to have LGBTQ characters represented in the film. One even plays a key part in a scene that will no doubt get people talking about how that kill is something they’ve never seen before. It’s so ridiculous. I love it.”

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Monique T. Parent in "That's a Wrap" (from her Instagram)

 

What You Need to Know About ‘The Last of Us’

TV Interview!

What You Need to Know About ‘The Last of Us’ by Jodi

Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey of "The Last of Us" on HBO

As most of you may already know, “The Last of Us” adventure HBO series adaptation has roots in the mega-popular video game that was launched on the PlayStation platform in 2013. Receiving prestigious awards, it has created a global gaming community, it’s not surprising that the show has already taken the youth by storm. Unlike many other video games, it also had a very emotional storyline, which has been transferred to the show well. The general storyline revolves around the destroyed modern civilization and the 14 years old girl who is the main protagonist of the story. Being immune, she is also the last hope of humanity as she learns to survive in the destroyed world.

What You Need to Know About “The Last of Us” 

– The Immunity Aspect.

Watching the series, you will question this part most of all, as you might keep asking yourself about the reasons behind Ellie’s immunity. Ellie was exposed to the infection at a young age and discovered she was immune. At the same time, Ellie is not contagious, even though it will take her time and some suffering to learn about that.

– Learning How to Fight Desperation.

Another important thing in the series is learning how to fight desperation. The reason why the game and the show became so popular is related to the desperation that most of us are going through. As the world has been through the pandemic, the game became even more relevant as many of us have seen ourselves in the character of Ellie as we fought daily challenges. If you are feeling desperate and feel like never going to college, you have to see the show and learn that you are a fighter as well who can be the change and prove to yourself and others that you can still make it no matter what!

– An Element of Social Distancing.

Another vital point that the show makes is the very nature of the quarantine zones portrayed in the show and the aspect of the social distancing that comes with so much more. We can learn about anger management and the ways how different people understand the rules and the necessities of isolation. Both the game and the series portray it quite well!

Finding The Hope No Matter What.

Many people all over the world fell in love with the show because it has been translated by people from the gaming community. Although there were minor differences, it was done with so much passion that people have learned this version even without approaching translation moviemaking services. Nevertheless, suppose you want to achieve better clarity in your language or learn a foreign language. In that case, it’s always better to contact a professional linguist to ensure that no important aspects have been missed. Sometimes it’s a little phrase or an expression that can make a world of difference.

It’s All About Cooperation 

As you are playing the famous game or following the characters on screen, you will also notice the rare chemistry between the characters of Ellie and Joel, as they represent a powerful example of cooperation and finding the reason to fight and survive. While some people might approach it as yet another “zombie apocalypse” flick, it is way more than that because it shows the fragility of our world and the necessity to cooperate and fight the means to go further and think beyond the darkness and desolation that surrounds us.

MORE INFO:

Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey of "The Last of Us" on HBOHBO Original Drama Series THE LAST OF US Debuts January 15

  • The nine-episode first season of the HBO Original drama series THE LAST OF US debuts SUNDAY, JANUARY 15 at 9:00p.m. ET/PT on HBO and will be available to stream in 4K on HBO Max.
  • Logline: THE LAST OF US takes place 20 years after modern civilization has been destroyed. Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal and heartbreaking journey as they both must traverse the U.S. and depend on each other for survival.
  • Cast: Pedro Pascal as Joel, Bella Ramsey as Ellie, Gabriel Luna as Tommy, Anna Torv as Tess, Nico Parker as Sarah, Murray Bartlett as Frank, Nick Offerman as Bill, Melanie Lynskey as Kathleen, Storm Reid as Riley, Merle Dandridge as Marlene, Jeffrey Pierce as Perry, Lamar Johnson as Henry, Keivonn Woodard as Sam, Graham Greene as Marlon, and Elaine Miles as Florence. Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker also star.
  • Credits: THE LAST OF US, based on the critically acclaimed video game of the same name developed by Naughty Dog exclusively for the PlayStation® platforms, is written and executive produced by Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann. The series is a co-production with Sony Pictures Television and is executive produced by Carolyn Strauss, Evan Wells, Asad Qizilbash, Carter Swan, and Rose Lam. Production companies: PlayStation Productions, Word Games, The Mighty Mint, and Naughty Dog.

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Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey of "The Last of Us" on HBO

Interview with Tongayi Chirisa and Harry Hamlin

TV Interview!

Tongayi Chirisa and Harry Hamlin of "Anne Rice's Mayfair Witches" on AMC/AMC+

 

Interview with Tongayi Chirisa and Harry Hamlin of “Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches” on AMC/AMC+ by Suzanne 12/7/22

This is an interesting show. I haven’t read the books that this series is based on, so I can’t tell you how accurate it is or not. However, with just a cursory reading about the books online, it does seem pretty different in some ways. Some characters have been condensed, invented or changed. If you’re a purist, then you probably shouldn’t watch it. Otherwise, if you loved the books, or you like shows about witches, then you should check it out because it’s enjoyable. It stars Alexandra Daddario as the main character, Dr. Rowan Mayfair, who finds out after her mother dies that she has a family that she never knew, and strange powers.

I was able to join in this panel interview with Tongayi Chririsa, who stars as the handsome Ciprien Grieve; who helps her out; and Harry Hamlin, who plays her Uncle Cortland. It was a very fun interview. I’ve loved watching Harry Hamlin ever since he starred in “L.A. Law” in the 80’s. Did you know that Harry Hamlin was the “Sexiest Man Alive” in 1987? Only the third one in history, too. He’s definitely my first one to interview. I hope you enjoy this transcript and the show, which airs Jan. 4 on AMC+ and Jan. 8 on AMC.

KAREN BUTLER:   Can you both describe your characters and tell us why you wanted to play them?

TONGAYI CHIRISA:   Okay, my character is Ciprian Grieve. He works for the Talamasca, and he has this ability. He’s an empath, and he has this ability to touch people or objects, and he can see into their past. And I thin the biggest thing that drew me to this was just the world, Anne Rice, and the genre that we’re in. And just for the character, just the challenges that he goes through, and just the ability to be able to feel the emotions of everything and everyone was just too alluring for me not to try and take a stab at it. So, I was drawn by the character and just the world, and just to work with Esta and Alex was just, like, “Oh, yeah, this is an opportunity that I will not let slip.”

KAREN BUTLER:   How about you, Harry?

HARRY HAMLIN:   Well, I play Cortland, Mayfair, and he’s the patriarch of this family of witches that have been evolving since the 16th century or something in Scotland. And I don’t have any powers, because the powers are mainly passed down through the women in the family. It’s sort of a matriarchal society in the family, and my job, as in my character, is to hold the family together. I’m kind of the fun uncle in the family. And I was drawn to to play the character, which is, by the way, the most delicious character I’ve played since the very first movie I did in 1977, which was called Movie Movie. I love that character, and this is most fun I’ve had since then. So, it’s been a long time, but I’m having a great time with this guy. They’ve let me create a character that may not be the character that Esta had in mind when she first wrote the script, but the good news is that they were writing the scripts as we were filming. So, they were able to see what each of us brought to the characters that they had written, and then they were able to expand on that in [the] writing. So, in a way they adapted their characters to us, to what we brought to it, and I love it when we when a show goes like that.

RIJU DASGUPTA:  So, what was it like to work with Alexandra Daddario, and did you think she was the perfect role for this series?

HARRY HAMLIN:   You take that one, Tongayi.

TONGAYI CHIRISA:   Yeah, I mean, Alex, what I liked about working with her is that she’s your everyday next door neighbor type of person. I think she just has the sense of freedom and just being very approachable, which made the work that much easier. So, when we had to go into scenes that most people will find uncomfortable, just there was that sense of security and sense of trust within each of us that allowed us to be as free as we needed to be to accomplish the scene. Yeah, Alex is a star in her own right. She’s an Emmy nominated actress. So, it doesn’t hurt to have people of that caliber working alongside, and who are just really nice people.

ASHLEY:   I’m curious if you could talk a little bit about the differences between the novels and the series. I know, in particular, there’re some differences with the characters that you’re playing, but if you want to speak to that, or just overall, some of the differences that we’ll see.

HARRY HAMLIN:   For fans of the books, they’ve taken the characters who, in the case of Cyprien they’ve amalgamated to characters, but in my case, the character of Cortland is not alive during the present day, but I’m very glad that they’ve resurrected him and I get to play him in this, because I love playing this guy. So, I don’t think there’s a lot of similarity between the character of Cortland in the books and the character of Cortland [in the series] other than the fact that he’s the patriarch of the family. And, I did draw some of the things from the book that I put into the character, but mainly, I relied on what was on the page in the pilot script to develop the character.

TONGAYI CHIRISA:   And I think just the story in itself. Esta did a great job of really capturing the essence of Anne Rice and some of the richer themes that convey who she was, and just the world that she created. This was her home, and just incorporating the finer – I mean, if you read the first book, you know it was so rich in detail, 1000 plus pages. There’s no way we could have incorporated all the themes, but I think she did a great job in just really bunching them together to give us the essence of the story, because the season itself, it starts the way the book starts and how it ends, and they’ve managed to keep that within the framework of season one. So, it doesn’t veer too much off from what we see in the narrative of the book. So, it still keeps the authentic essence of what Anne was conveying in the story.

SUZANNE LANOUE:   Hi. I was wondering if you could both speak to your characters’ personal motivations about how they act on the show?

HARRY HAMLIN:   Okay, so my motivation is to number one, stay alive, because [unintelligible] by people in this family who have powers, and also, there’s a cipher, a character that we don’t know quite from what dimension he comes, but he’s also a character, Lasher, that could at any moment do serious damage to me, because I don’t have any powers, other than the power of manipulation and charm. So, I’m constantly trying to hold the family together and get them to do the right thing and get these witches to behave in the right way so that they can have the best life possible and I can become as wealthy as possible, because my motivation is really, I’m a narcissistic sort of avuncular character in this, who, I think, I lose my way in episodes that you haven’t seen yet. I can’t go into that too deeply; I will be letting the cat out of the bag.

TONGAYI CHIRISA:   Yeah, I think for Cyprien, [when] it starts, his motivation is more about allegiance and obligation, just with his background of how he grew up and how he was integrated into the Talamasca. So, I think it is a sense of, like, “I need to do this, because of how I was treated and how somebody brought me in and took care of me and put me into this organization.” But when he meets Rowan, there’s a sudden shift, because as a person that has always been very closed – that’s why he wears the gloves. He keeps the world out, and he doesn’t want anybody into his personal space, because that might be too overbearing for him. But interacting with Rowan, you start to see him becoming very vulnerable and allowing somebody into his space that’s never been tapped into. And, obviously, that leads to situationships and circumstances, because he compromises his integrity, compromises the work that he’s supposed to do just to observe and to watch, and chooses to get involved. As a result, you see things beginning to unfold with him and Rowan’s character to the culmination of what we see at the end of the season.

JESSICA:   I wanted to ask specifically about the mythology of the series and the books and how it’s so big. How was it for you to come in to this and wrap your arms around it, speaking of mythology?

HARRY HAMLIN:   is that directed to me, to Harry?

JESSICA:   To both of you.

HARRY HAMLIN:   Well, I was not that familiar with Anne Rice coming into it, because I’m not the right generation. She was writing for people who were younger than I [was]. mean, not that she was writing for [them], but that was the generation that really caught fire with her work. So, I missed it. But being a student of mythology, as I have been, I was very attracted to this world, which is, I’ve not been a fan of vampires and witches in my life. I didn’t see many of the those series that were on TV about vampires and stuff. I did see the movie Interview with a Vampire years ago, which is my only exposure to witches and vampires. In fact, but now, having entered this world of Anne Rice and having been a part of it, I see that it’s very rich, and it’s actually an exploration of the human condition, from the sort of the mystical angle of witches and vampires, and I’m kind of digging it. So, I think I’m gonna go back and explore it now, in my old age. I’m gonna check out all these vampire movies and stuff. So, I don’t know if that answers your question, but it shows you where I am, anyway, with it.

JESSICA:   No, it totally does. And Tongayi, I was curious about, because you’re part of the Talamasca in this, and that’s their whole thing –

TONGAYI CHIRISA:   Yeah.

JESSICA:   How was that for you to come into this and kind of delve in?

TONGAYI CHIRISA:   You know, what’s interesting? I think my first introduction to the world of Anne Rice was the movie and then Queen of the Damned with Aaliyah, and then just the movies like Dracula that we used to watch, which were just visceral in the way that they were just really dark and gritty. So, you fast forward to last year, and this thing comes onto your table, and it’s like suddenly the memories start coming back, like, “Oh, I remember that.” But with Anne Rice’s world, I think I walked into this thing naive, and the closest thing I could connect it to was the Shield in the MCU Universe. I was like, “Okay, so the Talamasca are this entity that observes the supernatural, but they can’t get involved until absolutely necessary.” So, we are monitoring all over the world, the supernatural, so it was kinda like, “Oh my gosh, this can go in so many avenues,” which was just like, “Okay, this is exciting for me,” because how much of the external worlds have infiltrated the Talamasca. You know, is everybody who they say they really are? Like, are people undercover? So, just thinking about what can and what it could be was just enthralling to me to be a part of this and to just say, “Look, I don’t know too much.” And I think that kind of aids to my character, being unaware of what’s really going on, just as to be the innocence of Ciprien in his journey, because as things unravel, it affects him, because the people he thought he could trust, he can’t trust anymore, because somebody lied to him. So, I think just figuring it out is what I am enjoying the most, because I don’t need to have the answers to know where this is going.

RIJU DASGUPTA:  My question is about the Mayfair house. That is one creepy location. What was it like filming there?

HARRY HAMLIN:   Oh, it was great. What an amazing place to film. And they also recreated a lot of it on the soundstage too, but we actually film in the house, which was, I mean, to be just inside there and soak in the history of that house was truly amazing. Go ahead, Tongayi.

TONGAYI CHIRISA:   Well, we couldn’t actually get the real one, but they were able to get one that was similar. So, like I was saying, they actually reproduced the outside, and the internal stuff we had to do it on stage, but I think the spirit of New Orleans and the spirit of Anne Rice lives, because we filmed in the same street that the house was in, and just interacting with people and how much people knew of who she was, like, getting pedestrians talking about who she was and this house, it just added so much more value to what we’re doing. You actually walk into this space with a little more reverence, because now you have an embodiment of her spirit within the community. So, now you approach it with the kind of respect that it deserves. So, it was special in and of itself, and just New Orleans, as a whole, was just a magical place.

ASHLEY:   I’m curious to know, for each of you, personally, what was the most fun part about working on this, about filming, or just portraying your particular characters? What was the most fun thing for you?

HARRY HAMLIN:   I’m gonna go with that one because – no, you go first Tongayi; you go first.

TONGAYI CHIRISA:   I think the most fun part was just just coming to work and it not feeling like it was work, because I think everybody just understood the assignment. We came to explore; we came to learn. And the grace that was given to us as actors to really figure it out and discuss [it], if it didn’t work, we’d just pivot and try something else. So, I think that, for me, was the best. And the freedom to do so without any backlash, so to speak, was really nice.

HARRY HAMLIN:   Yeah, the environment that we were shooting in was very conducive to improvisation, to coming up with new ideas. The most fun thing, for me, is that after we filmed most of the season, they saw that the character that I had built throughout the season was different from the character that was presented in the very first scene where I was introduced in the piece, so they rewrote that scene. They came to me and said, “So, listen, we want to rewrite the scene, because we want to have Cortland introduced in a sort of bigger way. We’re gonna have you audition an alligator and a 10-foot-long python, and you’re gonna get to pick whether you want to work with this alligator, or this.” So, ultimately, I chose the python, because the alligator was a terrible actor. I mean, kind of very wooden, but the snake, on the other hand, was really vibrant and great to work with. Just one of my favorite partners in the in the whole piece was a 10-foot-long python.

Transcribed by Jamie of https://scifivision.com/

MORE INFO:

Key art for "Anne Rice's Mayfair Witches" on AMC/AMC+

AMC NETWORKS TO LAUNCH THE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED ANNE RICE’S MAYFAIR WITCHES ACROSS ALL FIVE OF ITS LINEAR NETWORKS

December 21, 2022

BBC AMERICA, IFC, SundanceTV and WEtv Join AMC and AMC+ for a World Premiere Event on Sunday, January 8 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT

Second Series in the Anne Rice Immortal Universe Stars Alexandra Daddario, Jack Huston, Tongayi Chirisa and Harry Hamlin

NEW YORK – DECEMBER 21, 2022 – AMC Networks announced today that the highly anticipated series Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches will debut across all five of its linear networks with BBC AMERICA, IFC, SundanceTV and WEtv joining AMC and AMC+ for a world premiere event on Sunday, January 8 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches is the second endeavor in the Anne Rice Immortal Universe, debuting on the heels of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire, which became the number two new drama on ad-supported cable in 2022 and the number one new series launch in AMC+ history.

Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches is a wildly entertaining series in our emerging Anne Rice Immortal Universe, with a terrific creative team and cast, led by Alexandra Daddario as an unforgettable Rowan Mayfair,” said Dan McDermott, president of entertainment and AMC Studios for AMC Networks. “We want to give this series the broadest possible launch across all five of our national networks, especially coming just a few months after the first season of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire, which was so well-received by viewers and critics.”

Based on Rice’s best-selling trilogy, “Lives of the Mayfair Witches,” the eight-episode series focuses on an intuitive young neurosurgeon, Rowan Fielding (Alexandra Daddario), who discovers that she is the unlikely heir to a family of witches. As she grapples with her newfound powers, she must contend with a sinister presence that has haunted her family for generations.

In addition to Emmy-nominated lead Daddario, Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches stars Jack Huston as Lasher, Tongayi Chirisa as Ciprien Grieve and Harry Hamlin as Cortland Mayfair. The series is executive produced by Mark Johnson, Showrunner Esta Spalding, Writer Michelle Ashford, Director Michael Uppendahl, and Jeff Freilich, and is produced by AMC Studios.

The series premiere episode, written by Spalding and Ashford and directed by Uppendahl, will also stream on Shudder, Sundance Now, Acorn, and ALLBLK beginning Thursday, January 12.

About AMC Networks

AMC Networks (Nasdaq: AMCX) is a global entertainment company known for its popular and critically acclaimed content. Its brands include targeted streaming services AMC+, Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now, ALLBLK and the anime focused HIDIVE streaming service, in addition to AMC, BBC AMERICA (operated through a joint venture with BBC Studios), IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv, IFC Films and RLJE Films. AMC Studios, the Company’s in-house studio, production and distribution operation, is behind some of the biggest titles and brands known to a global audience, including The Walking Dead, the Anne Rice catalog and the Agatha Christie library.  The Company also operates AMC Networks International, its international programming business, and 25/7 Media, its production services business.

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Alexandra Daddario and Harry Hamlin of "Anne Rice's Mayfair Witches" on AMC/AMC+

Interview with Jacob Anderson, Sam Reid and Bailey Bass

TV Interview!

The actors and producers of "Interview with a Vampire" on AMC/AMC+ (from their Facebook page)

Interview with Jacob Anderson, Sam Reid and Bailey Bass of “Interview with The Vampire” on AMC and AMC+ by Suzanne 9/29/22

This was a fun roundtable with the three stars of this great new vampire show. If you love vampire shows, or the Anne Rice novels, you should love this show. It’s very well done, and these actors are great in it. Jacob plays Louie, and we see the story through his eyes as told to ailing reporter Daniel Molloy (Eric Bogosian, who’s outstanding as always). Sam Reid plays LeStat, the seductive vamp that turns Louie and becomes his friend, lover, mentor, etc. Bailey plays Claudia, the young woman that joins them. They were very kind and fun to interview.

Suzanne:   Hi, I’m Suzanne Lanoue from TVMEG.com, and I’ve watched the first episode. I didn’t get screeners till this morning, so I only got to watch the first one so far, but I’m really enjoying it. It just grabs you and drags you in. So, congratulations on being renewed for season two already, which is great. Do you know when you’ll be starting to film season two, or have you already started filming it?

JACOB ANDERSON:   We haven’t started. We haven’t started shooting, no.

SAM REID:   Probably, I don’t know if we can say anything. [Laughs]

Suzanne:   Have they told you yet?

JACOB ANDERSON:   They haven’t not told us anything.

Suzanne:  [Chuckles} OK, well, thank you!

Jamie from SCIFI VISION:  Hi, I’m Jamie Ruby from SciFi Vision. Thanks for talking to us today, I really enjoyed the first five episodes that we’ve seen. So, for the three of you, can you kind of talk about how you balanced what you pulled from the book versus what you added with your own spin on it?

SAM REID:   Hello, Jamie, I’ll answer that. No. But I would say that anything for myself and my character, my own spin probably came from my own interpretation of the books and Rolins’ work. So, I wasn’t really trying to put any of my own spin on it. It’s just how I imagined it to be, really.

JACOB ANDERSON:   Yeah. I second that. It’s like, you will always view a character through your own lens to an extent and then it’s just kind of, I mean, I guess with anything, it’s like, do other do the other creative people like that, and do they want to discuss it? But you don’t want to mess with this. Like the combination of Anne Rice’s writing and Rolins’ writing, you don’t really want to touch it, you don’t want to just sort of throw your own stuff in just for the sake of it.

SAM REID:   They’re so dense already the characters that it sort of would be a shame to try and deviate too much of thing.

JACOB ANDERSON:   What could you possibly add?

SAM REID:   Yeah.

BAILEY BASS:   I feel the exact same way. It’s really, yes, we were cast because there’s something special in us that Rolin and the entire team really enjoyed when we were doing our auditions. But other than that, it’s really just doing the research and the book, reading the scripts, doing our own technique, and then just coming and creating in this world.

Jamie:  Okay, great. Thank you so much.

Jamie from STARRY MAG:  This is Jamie Steinberg, with Starry Constellation Magazine. Jacob, this is another deeply tortured soul for you to portray. Is there something about these kinds of characters that really draw you to them? Or is this them finding their way to you? Or is it something you see in them that really resonates with you and makes you want to portray them?

JACOB ANDERSON:   I think it’s a combination of both. We find each other. I think I’m slightly less like Grey Worm than I am like Louis. But yeah, I mean, I think you normally want to be like very boundaried when you talk about things and be like, “Oh, well, I’m so removed from the character, and I’m brilliant at acting and blah blah blah blah blah”. But to be honest, yeah, I feel very, very connected to Louis. It’s the thing that bothered me about how Anne Rice wrote him, and also how Rolin wrote him as well. Yeah, I’m drawn to characters who are searching. And I’d ask him questions, not just about the world, but about their place in it and what they contribute or don’t contribute to it. But yeah, I also I felt like it would be like, narcissistic of me to be like, “I am the only person who can play Louis.” But namely, because there is somebody else that’s done it, as well. Many people.

Jamie:  Well, I think you brings such a unique take on it, though, because of the artistry you have. Both of these characters that you mentioned, have just been wonderfully nuanced, I think through your portrayal. So it might be just a little bit time for you to pat yourself on the back for what you’ve brought to the role on your own.

JACOB ANDERSON:   This one’s for you, Bailey.

QUESTION:   Question for Jacob and Sam, one of the really interesting things about this particular adaptation is the romance that we kind of finally get to see between Louis and Lestat. Can you speak to that a little bit? What does it mean to you to be able to portray that relationship in that way?

SAM REID:   Well, I think AMC has the rights to the entire Vampire Chronicles, and so it’s very important to make sure that relationship is established early on. Particularly as the books progress, it becomes much more clear that they are in a very intense romantic relationship. So, I think it’s it’s great to make sure that we’re serving the story correctly. And it wouldn’t be Anne Rice’s Interview With The Vampire if it wasn’t there. So, yeah.

QUESTION:   I was wondering, and this is kind of specifically for Bailey and Sam, the show doesn’t shy away from race or that being a factor at all for their very long life experience. Was that important to you? And were you afraid of any ignorant backlash, because previously, the characters were paid by white actors?

BAILEY BASS:   I was really excited to play Claudia. It’s really a dream to play such a complex character that’s very loud and unapologetic. I honestly didn’t think twice about anything else. I just knew that Rolin was very intentional about the actors that he wanted to cast in the show, and I’m very fortunate that I was one of them. I just dove into all the research. I read the book. I would cross reference the book and the script and see the quotes that Rolin took from the book and was very intentional about adding them into the script. After doing all the research, I mean, I became Claudia and it was fun to play her.

JACOB ANDERSON:   Yeah, I think something that Rolin’s done, which is – I’m almost loath to call it important, but like it creates a richness is that this isn’t a colorblind casting situation. Louis’ central question is about his humanity and his place in humanity. I think that if you were to cast a black actor or black actors for Louis and Claudia, and to not address that, you’d take a lot away from that question of their humanity. I’m glad that we don’t shy away from it. And in terms of backlash, I just don’t want to give it energy anymore. Like I just – people are going to – I think people need to be seen. Sometimes they’ll say anything to be seen or recognized, and it’s sad, but it’s the internet.

QUESTION:   I would love for you to talk a little bit about what it’s like just being vampires, being able to play vampires when biting people and having these kinds of scenes. What goes into that and how much fun is that to play? How difficult is that to play?

SAM REID:  

It’s very fun. It’s very fun. Yeah, you know, because we’ve got a lot of elements that come into every scene. So, they’re very beautiful, sort of rich dialogue-heavy scenes, but we also have this whole element of the vampire, you know, he kills, so we’ll be pausing for the blood to be put in. We had all these different types of blood that we’d been drinking and tasting, and they made us hibicus flavored blood when we had to drink large amounts of it.

JACOB ANDERSON:  

It did not taste like hibiscus. It tasted like it was like a Sour Patch Kid.

SAM REID:   Yeah.

JACOB ANDERSON:   But in liquid form.

SAM REID:   But there’s a lot of thought and consideration [that had] gone into this. But yeah, it’s so much fun, really. Vampires are, I think, the best type of monster, because they have so much humanity. They’re so articulate. They experience a huge amount. Anne Rice is responsible for our shift in vampires, because she puts the perspective into the eyes of the monster, and you have empathy for them. So, it’s very fun to do these really extreme, horrific things, but also with a level of understanding and empathy and bringing that into the character. So, it’s a fun thing to do.

JACOB ANDERSON:   It’s the best! It’s the best. The best monsters.

Jamie from SCIFI VISION:  So, obviously, you guys do go to some really dark places, though, with your characters. Can you sort of talk about getting into that headspace, and how you sort of, I guess, get back out of it? Is it hard to sort of go there? For all three of you.

BAILEY BASS:   Yeah, it’s hard. We had such long days that it kind of, for me personally, it was hard for me to differ[entiate], like, who’s Claudia and who’s Bailey. So, I kind of had to, like really sit with myself and reflect, but it’s hard. But then also, this is what I love to do, and playing such an extreme character, that’s what makes it fun is that I get to relive and be in these spaces that I would never normally be in if I didn’t get to play Claudia. But the dark, even though it’s dark and everything, I definitely enjoyed it. And I had Sam and Jacob, which they were incredible scene partners, and we all had each other. We made sure that throughout the whole process, our mental health, even though we’re like hysterically crying sometimes that afterwards, our mental health was still good,

SAM REID:   I think to Bailey’s point, like, sometimes the darkest jobs or the darkest sets where the material is the most bleak are the most fun, because, we instinctively know how to just kind of like, help ourselves through that. So, we’ll be making a lot of jokes. You know, it is ridiculous, sometimes what we’re doing, and you have to step back and think [laughs] You know, we’re suspended in the air, covered in blood, so we just kept it light. It was a fun thing to do.

JACOB ANDERSON:   Yeah, I agree. I mean, it’s dense. It’s dense, so you need to focus on the language as well. Like, aside from, yeah, we had a lot of fun, but when you’re doing the scene, you focus on what you’re doing. And I think if you let yourself get dragged into it too much, then hard to to do your job, I think.

Jamie from STARRY MAG:  Bailey, this is such a beautiful costume you have. Talk about when you first saw what you’d be wearing for the series, and if you had any input, and if it takes really putting on that costume to embody your character.

BAILEY BASS:   Costume is one of my favorite things in my job, being able to speak with the costume designer and be able to talk about what she saw when she read the script, because it’s not just me, it’s a big collaboration of an incredible crew that helps make us look good, basically. And to be able to talk to hair, makeup, and costume and get to know what their first ideas were when they read the script, and then being able to collaborate with them and say what I thought, was really, really fun. And the costume designer for this show, Carol, was just so collaborative. I came in and we were talking about posture. That’s a very big thing for Claudia, because in the beginning, she’s like fourteen years old, and she’s excited being a vampire. She would shrug a lot and just walked like, however and had terrible posture. So, the costume designer would think about that when she was making the costumes. And then also I have to look like a little girl. So, she created these beautiful bows along with making sure that the shape of my costumes hid any curves possible. So, when I put them on, I really felt like a little girl. So, when I was doing the scenes where Claudia is struggling, she wants to be a woman, and I’m sitting in this pink dress that it’s not flattering to anything that’s me as Bailey, it was really easy to feel what Claudia would be feeling at that moment.

Suzanne:   I really enjoyed the wedding scene and your dancing, Jacob; that was great. Was that actually you dancing? And did you have to train for that, or did you already know how, and will there be any more singing or dancing in the show?

JACOB ANDERSON:   That was me and Steven Norfleet, who plays Paul, and we had about a month to train, to practice. I don’t know if you’ve ever done tap dancing, but it’s like learning how to walk again, like how to walk for the first time, like to get your brain to coordinate in that way and to like shift the weight of your body is really confusing. And to add to that we did a lot of our lessons on Sikkim (???). And it’s all like, it’s all sound. You like making music with your feet, but with the lag of, of like, you know, doing it online. But you just drill; you just drill it every day. You drill it every day, and just you have to listen. It’s less about like being mechanical about your body and just like listening to the sound. But there is there is more dancing in the show.

Suzanne:   Oh, good.

JACOB ANDERSON:   Yeah. It was in the trailer, right?

SAM REID:   Yeah, the three of us did dancing lessons.

JACOB ANDERSON:   Yeah, we did.

QUESTION:   I’m curious to just have any of you or all of you talk a little bit about what you love most about the dynamic between all three of your characters, either once Claudia comes in, or kind of as that progresses.

JACOB ANDERSON:   I find it, I think from Louis’ point of view, he’s trying to recreate a kind of family dynamic that he is grieving for in his human life. I think it’s probably the thing that he misses most in some ways. It’s like a grounding thing, is his brother and his sister and his mom, maybe to a lesser extent, but maybe not. So, I find the way that it kind of goes for them, and for him, it’s kind of unexpected. I think he wanted, he was hoping that in bringing somebody else into their family, I think he thought that Claudia might be like him. [laughs] So, it’s interesting. I feel like an outcast, but to also be a part of – I mean, I’ll let Bailey talk more about about that part of it, but really, Claudia ends up being sort of forgotten about a little bit, and their dynamic, which is sad.

BAILEY BASS:   I think what’s wonderful though, is that there’s really no protagonist or antagonist. It changes through every scene in every episode, because these characters are so specific and complex, and Rolin Jones, the writer of the show, did an incredible job of explaining in depth why we do what we do. There’s a reason why we kill the people that we do, why we hurt each other. And because of that, the viewer kind of feels bad for the person hurting the other, but then also feels bad for the person being hurt.

QUESTION:   So, obviously, as vampires, your characters live very long lives. Which era would you like to see, be able to play your character in?

JACOB ANDERSON:   80s 80s 80s. I want the pastels. I want the hair. Let’s go, 80s.

SAM REID:   I’d probably do the 1700s. I think Lestat really that is where he’s from, and that’s the era in which he was born into, so I’d quite like to see him in that in that era.

BAILEY BASS:   I just want to get to the 50s. Like, I just want Claudia to get to the 50s so I can wear all those skirts and just explore more hairstyles, because we evolved. Doing the prep work, there wasn’t a lot of hairstyles – we had a horrible of time looking for photos of black girls in that time period with very versatile hair, which we know they existed, just no one took pictures of them. So, to be able to expand that more and show women who have curly hair, that this is what they look like in that time. I’d love to expand that and go into the 40s and 50s.

Transcribed by Jamie Ruby of ScifiVision

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"Interview with a Vampire" key art

AMC+ KICKS OFF OCTOBER WITH HIGHLY ANTICIPATED PREMIERES FOR THE WALKING DEAD, WHICH BEGINS ITS EPIC EIGHT-EPISODE CONCLUSION, AND ANNE RICE’S INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE

September 16, 2022

New York, NY – September 16, 2022 – This fall, AMC Networks’ targeted streaming services will feature a number of highly anticipated series debuts and sendoffs including the premieres of the final season of The Walking Dead, and the eagerly-awaited new series Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire, both on October 2, the series finale of acclaimed Kevin Can F**K Himself on October 3, the season finale of AMC+ Original Pantheon on October 13, as well as the return of popular IFC Original series, Documentary Now! and Sherman’s Showcase, on October 19 and October 26, respectively.

This month also features exclusive new film premieres rolling out every week in October with AMC+ Exclusive Films from Shudder’s Halloween lineup, including horror comedy Deadstream (October 6), Italian thriller Dark Glasses (October 13), gothic fairytale She Will (October 13), the latest installment in anthology franchise, V/H/S/99 (October 20) and the diabolically entertaining Resurrection (October 28).

The company’s targeted streamers also set to bring viewers an extensive catalogue of compelling dramas, fan-favorite franchises, highly anticipated films and timely collections on AMC+, Acorn TV, ALLBLK, IFC Films Unlimited, Shudder and Sundance Now, and the newly acquired anime-focused HIDIVE, all month long.

  • Anne Rice’s Interview with The Vampire

Two-Episode Series Premiere Sunday, October 2; Subsequent Episodes Available One Week Early on AMC+ 

A sensuous, contemporary reinvention of Anne Rice’s revolutionary gothic novel, Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire follows Louis de Pointe du Lac (Jacob Anderson), Lestat de Lioncourt (Sam Reid) and Claudia’s (Bailey Bass) epic story of love, blood, and the perils of immortality, as told to journalist Daniel Molloy (Eric Bogosian). Chafing at the limitations of life as a black man in 1900s New Orleans, Louis finds it impossible to resist the rakish Lestat De Lioncourt’s offer of the ultimate escape: joining him as his vampire companion.  But Louis’s intoxicating new powers come with a violent price, and the introduction of Lestat’s newest fledgling, the child vampire Claudia, soon sets them on a decades-long path of revenge and atonement.

AMC NETWORKS DOUBLES DOWN ON ANNE RICE’S ICONIC FRANCHISE WITH RENEWAL OF ANNE RICE’S INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE FOR A SECOND SEASON, AHEAD OF SERIES’ ANTICIPATED DEBUT ON OCTOBER 2

September 28, 2022

NEW YORK – September 28, 2022 – AMC Networks announced today the renewal of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire for a second season, ahead of the new series’ anticipated debut on AMC and AMC+ on Sunday, October 2. A sensuous, contemporary adaptation of Rice’s revolutionary gothic novel, Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire follows Louis de Pointe du Lac (Jacob Anderson), Lestat de Lioncourt (Sam Reid) and Claudia’s (Bailey Bass) epic story of love, blood, and the perils of immortality, as told to journalist Daniel Molloy (Eric Bogosian). The 8-episode second season will be set in Europe with Oscar and Emmy Award-winning producer Mark Johnson (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, Halt and Catch Fire, Rectify) and Showrunner Rolin Jones (Perry Mason, Friday Night Lights) executive producing.

“The scope and breadth of this show, and what Mark and Rolin have delivered, is just stupendous. They have rendered the rich and vibrant world of Anne Rice’s Interview in a wonderful way, and we’re incredibly proud.  From the set build, to production design, costumes and more — no detail was overlooked. This stellar cast deliver powerful performances that emotionally connect us to these characters and their humanity,” said Dan McDermott, president of original programming for AMC Networks and AMC Studios. “We look forward to sharing the final product of this extraordinary effort with audiences in just a few short days and are thrilled that this story will continue. This is only the beginning of an entire Universe featuring enthralling stories and characters that capture the spirit of Anne Rice’s amazing work.”

Said Johnson: “The opportunity to revisit the passionate and shocking world of Louis, Lestat and Claudia is irresistible. We will happily walk through the doorway that AMC has so kindly opened for us and deliver a season two that takes full advantage of the wonders bestowed upon us by Anne Rice.”

Said Jones: “Bulgaria. Romania. Paris. (Ah Paris!) San Francisco. New Orleans. Dubai. The writing staff of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire is honored, humbled, and hungry to add more stamps to our vamps’ passport books. All praises be to our fearless network, we shall endeavor not to screw it up.”

The company will also launch an Interview with the Vampire Podcast, hosted by writer/comedian/vampire-enthusiast Naomi Ekperigin, with the first preview episode available today.  Each week, Ekperigin will be joined by the actors and writers behind the show – unpacking the twists and turns of every episode.  Podcast episodes will feature exclusive behind-the-scenes stories from the set and writers’ room and take a deep dive on the history of the vampire genre with horror experts sharing how the vampire lore has changed and morphed over time – and what has compelled us to follow these terrifying, seductive creatures across centuries. New podcast episodes are available each week wherever you get your podcasts following new episodes of Interview with the Vampire on AMC and AMC+.  The AMC+ Interview with the Vampire Podcast is produced by AMC in conjunction with Pineapple Street Studios.

Ekperigin’s writing credits include BROAD CITY, SEARCH PARTY, MRS. FLETCHER, GREAT NEWS, and DIFFICULT PEOPLE. She has developed for ABC and Comedy Central and is currently developing for Hulu. Ekperigin’s acting credits include Apple’s MYTHIC QUEST, ME TIME, with Kevin Hart and Mark Wahlberg, SEARCH PARTY and SINGLE PARENTS. She co-hosts the popular live show and podcast COUPLES THERAPY with her partner Andy Beckerman and I LOVE A LIFETIME MOVIE with fellow comedian Megan Gailey. As a comedian, she has appeared on 2 DOPE QUEENS on HBO and LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS. Her half-hour special is on Netflix as part of their series, THE STANDUPS.

AMC Networks acquired the rights to Rice’s iconic works, encompassing 18 titles including The Vampire Chronicles and The Lives Of The Mayfair Witches series, in 2020 with Interview as the first title to be developed and greenlit to series.  The second series, Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches, starring Alexandra Daddario, Jack Huston, Tongayi Chirisa and Harry Hamlin and executive produced by Johnson, Showrunner Esta Spalding (Masters of Sex), Writer Michelle Ashford (Masters of Sex), Director Michael Uppendahl and Jeff Freilich, is set to debut in January.

AMC Networks holds the comprehensive rights for this world renowned and globally coveted intellectual property to develop for its own television networks and streaming services under the AMC Studios umbrella, as well as external partner licensing, with the late Anne Rice and her son Christopher Rice serving as executive producers on all series and films. Together, The Vampire Chronicles and The Lives of the Mayfair series have sold more than 150 million copies worldwide.

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.

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Sam Reid as Lestat De Lioncourt, Jacob Anderson as Louis De Point Du Lac and Bailey Bass as Claudia - Interview with the Vampire _ Season 1, Episode 7 - Photo Credit: Alfonso Bresciani/AMC

Interview with Bret Lada

TV Interview!

Bret Lada

Interview with Bret Lada of “The Andy Baker Tape” by Thane 8/3/22

It was such an honor to interview Bret Lada. Check out his multi-award winning film “The Andy Baker Tape” if you like horror.

 

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Bret LadaBRET LADA, known for his role as Sergeant Mel Axelrod on Amazon’s ALPHA HOUSE, has a new film THE ANDY BAKER TAPE (see below).

LADA, wrote, directed and starred in the film, a frightening BLAIR WITCH-style Found Footage film being released in August.

In addition to appearing in ALPHA HOUSE with John Goodman, Lada played Jack Price in LAW & ORDER : SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT and Troy Mallick in Z : THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING.

In October of 2020 food blogger Jeff Blake and his half-brother Andy Baker hit the road on a food tour that had the potential to change their lives. They were never seen again. This is their footage…

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Coming August 5

THE AWARD-WINNING FOUND FOOTAGE HORROR IN THE TRADITION OF BLAIR WITCH

THE ANDY BAKER TAPE

The Andy Baker Tape posterAlpha House’s Bret Lada writes, directs and stars in unnerving found footage horror pic The Andy Baker Tape, releasing this August from Terror Films.

In October of 2020 food blogger Jeff Blake and his half-brother Andy Baker hit the road on a food tour that had the potential to change their lives. They were never seen again. This is their footage…

Lada, who co-wrote and stars in the pic with Dustin Fontaine, says, “The Andy Baker Tape was written, shot, and edited in a 6-month period during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Created by a displaced screen actor, an out-of-work Blue Man, an Australian-based sound engineer, and a first-time female producer; this film is a testament to creation and keeping the artistic spirit alive while the rest of the world was forced into hibernation. Our story is a joyride of laughs, thrills, and suspense. My team and I are delighted to share it with you.”

A multi-award-winner on the festival circuit, The Andy Baker Tape premieres on the Terror Films Channel August 5 before a wide digital on August 12 and the Kings of Horror on August 19.

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Bret Lada

Interview with Judith Light

TV Interview!

Judith Light as Joan in "Shining Vale" on Starz

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

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

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

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

Suzanne: Thank you.

Judith: Yeah, you bet.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is the audio version of it.

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

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

Season 1 8 Episodes 2022

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

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

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Judith Light as Joan in "Shining Vale" on Starz

Interview with Merrin Dungey

TV Interview!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Question: You do it so wonderfully.

Merrin: Thank you. Did I answer your question? Because I feel like maybe didn’t answer your question, but, yes, I’m happy to work with great people. I don’t care what they’re doing. I did an online thing with Con Man, I think was an online series with Nathan Fillion, because it was like, “Nathan Fillon, sure, yeah. Alan Tudyk, yep.”

Question: So, you checked a few boxes. You’re in the Star Trek arena, live action and animation, and horror, you’ve done Lucifer, of course. Now, you’re doing this, although you’re not in the horror aspect per se, at least not yet, but what’s it like to kind of play in those playgrounds and to visit those kind of worlds?

Merrin: Awesome. I mean, it’s such a gift. It’s complicated when you do something like a Picard, because doing that is much like doing an ER in an OR kind of thing, because, I don’t know about you, but I don’t know what I’m talking about. You know what I’m saying? Like, I’m not in space. I’m not with the Romulans. I don’t understand what we’re talking about. So, it took me a long time to sort of pull in what I know about what I know and being a television interviewer, and then how does that work? What points am I trying to hit? We had so much rehearsal for that, because it was six big pages with him, with Sir Patrick Stewart, and we had a blast. It was the longest, hardest day of my life, except for when I did the fight with Jennifer, but in terms of concentration and what it is and having to do, you know, I’m like spinning a sphere or something. You’re dealing with things that are CGI that don’t exist. That is complicated. At least when I was doing Once Upon a Time, even though there was CGI in that, it’s still more grounded in terms of what you’re saying. I think that’s the hardest part. It’s harder to play in those playgrounds, because they’re fantastical, so you are trying to pull in what you know about the real world and attribute it to something that doesn’t exist. But for other people, this is really real, and I’m very proud of myself, particularly for Picard, because people are mad at me…I was like, “Good. I did what I was supposed to.” I had no idea what I was talking about! [laughs]

Here is the audio version of it.

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

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Trailer

Part of the "Shining Vale" poster with Merrin Dungey and Courtney Cox.

SHINING VALE

Season 1 8 Episodes 2022

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

In addition to “Shining Vale”, Merrin Dungey will be seen in a recurring role on the up- coming season of “Lucifer”. Fresh from her strong turn as CJ Emerson on ABC’s limited series “The Fix”, Dungey returned to the critically lauded Emmy winning HBO series “Big Little Lies” as Detective Quinlan, appearing on screen with Oscar winners Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and the legendary Meryl Streep; all nominated for a SAG Award for Best Ensemble. She co-starred as CEO Claire Thorpe on Fox’s “The Resident”, and on a number of ABC hits including “Once Upon A Time” and “Conviction”. Guest star roles range from the groundbreaking turn as Francie Calfo/Alison Doren in the critically acclaimed award-winning “Alias”, and as a Queen of Darkness, Ursula, in “Once Upon A Time”. Other guest appearances include hit shows including “Seinfeld”, “Friends”, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, “Episodes”, “The West Wing” and “Shameless”. Recurring roles include “Chasing Life”, “Brooklyn 99”, “Malcolm in the Middle”, “Revenge” and over 35 episodes of “The King of Queens”. Dungey is an accomplished stand-up comedian, and has performed in Montreal’s Just For Laughs Festival, as well as on “Premium Blend” on Comedy Central. She has appeared on the big screen opposite Pierce Brosnan in Some Kind of Beautiful and the Warner Bros comedy CHiPs opposite Dax Shepard. She is a UCLA Theater School Graduate and the youngest recipient of the UCLA Annual Acting Award, as well as the Natalie Wood Prize

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Merrin Dungey as Kam in "Shining Vale" on Starz, seen here with Courtney Cox (Pat).

Interview with Mira Sorvino

TV Interview!

Mira Sorvino stars as Rosemary in "The Shining Vale" on Starz

Interview with Mira Sorvino of “Shining Vale” on Starz by Suzanne 2/7/22

This is a great show! I fell in love with it when I saw the first episode months ago. Now I’ve seen 6 of the episodes (there are a total of 7).  It’s a creepy horror show and a funny comedy as well. The actors in it are perfect. Mira Sorvino is the right combination of weird and sexy as Rosemary, one of the house’s inhabitants. I was very happy to speak to her about it, even if it was only a brief interview. The other questions are from other journalists.

Suzanne: Can you tell us what the most fun thing was about filming the show and also the most challenging aspect of playing the character?

Mira: Well, those two both came to play in you know – So, Jeff being the amazing, wonderful, generous showrunner that he is, when I told him, “Oh, I would love it if she could dance,” because in those old 50s movies that she’s in love with, they always had these dance numbers,” and all of a sudden he wrote me and Courtney and Greg like a little dance bit at the beginning of one of the later episodes. I was overjoyed and terrified, because I had hung up my pointe shoes at fourteen, although I’d taken like eight years of classes and as an adult actually still studied, still studied ballet, still studied some jazz, did like salsa and ballroom stuff for some of the other movies I’ve done, like Summer of Sam. So, I got to do this scene that, it’s very brief, but it’s like an homage to Fred Astaire and the coat rack or Gene Kelly and the mop, the boom. And I couldn’t have had more fun, and I couldn’t have been more nervous. I worked on it for a week with the choreographer, trying to appear, trying to show up like a real dancer. Liz Friedman was the director, and she used to direct videos and dance, and she knows all about dance. So, I was like, “Oh, my God,” but I ended up being really happy with it and proud of it and had the time in my life. So, it was both as much fun as one could have on a day of work and as nervous I could be on a set, because I’m not a professional dancer. Like acting is kind of under my feet now; like I know what I’m doing, even if certain scenes will be more challenging than others emotionally, or I’ll have more work to do on a certain aspect of preparation. I’m not a professional dancer, so getting to dance in a professional scene was a joy, but it was also a terror, but I loved it. I was so grateful. So grateful.

Suzanne: I look forward to seeing it. Thanks. When people recognize you, and they tell you how much they like you, what is the movie or show that you’re most recognized for? Is it Romy and Michele, or something else?

Mira: Absolutely. People say, “I’m the Mary.” You know, they do stuff like that, like when they meet me. Yeah, that’s the one.

Suzanne: That’s definitely the one. All right. Well, thanks a lot.

Mira: Thank you.

Question: Hi, it’s great to talk to you; been a big fan of yours for many years, more than I should admit, but I gotta ask you, what’s it kind of like – and I’m going to be delicate about this – to kind of play a character that’s a little retro?

Mira Sorvino and Courtney Cox from "Shining Vale" on StarzMira: You don’t have to be delicate about it. I mean, she’s from the 50s. The historical person of Rosemary, who lived in the house seventy years ago, lived in the 50s with her family, and she was a very miserable person with dreams of grandeur and dreams of a different life that she couldn’t achieve. Then, her, you know, ectoplasmic manifestation in the present, is trying to cozy up to Pat Phelps, Courtney Cox’s character; [it has] still got all the trappings of that era. She talks like a character from a movie or TV series from the time. And the crazy part is, I don’t even know whether real people talk that way, but all the evidence that we have, like when I watched Leave It to Beaver or Ozzie and Harriet, or The Donna Reed Show, everyone’s talking in that patois. Then, you’ve got these fantastic, more crime thrillers, which I watched for inspiration, and I think that’s how she sees herself. She wants to see herself as this sort of silver screen, like, you know, power woman. She’s a little bit silly, so she doesn’t quite – it’s not as powerful as she hopes, but she’s trying to be what she wasn’t in life. So, in her real life, she was disempowered and hopeful and then squashed. Her new manifestation is all like verve and “Let’s do it baby!” you know, “Let’s drink!” And I loved it. I loved having that anachronistic vibe, so that it was a clear contrast with the current day people and that still, though, her message was modern, even though she was doing it in archaic way. It’s like, “Are you happy with your life? Is this all you really expected to get out of life? Are you letting other people’s expectations rule what you can be? Why don’t you take charge of your own life; be everything that you want to be? Experience life the way you want it. It’s time for you,” is sort of what she’s saying, even though she’s saying it, like, “Let’s go to Paris and throw a fantastic party.” So, I just love being her. It’s really fun.

Question: Earlier today, I had the pleasure of speaking with Jeff, and he was talking about how no matter how big the stars were, they wanted to be in the show and were willing to demonstrate, “Hey, I don’t care where I am on the [call sheet], I want to be on the show.” How did you first find out about it?

Mira: I think my agents found out about it, and I read the script and had a talk with Jeff, and he sent me later scenes from it, because, obviously, in the first episode, I’m kind of a discovery towards the end. But he sent me some of the tiki bar scenes where you really see her at work, trying to enlist Pat to come over and be her sister and adventure[r]. And I was really intrigued. Then, I got to do a zoom meet with Courtney, who I’d met before, but like, you know, artistically about the project. It seemed like a wonderful fit and was going to be fantastic. So, I was so excited about it, and it has proven to be one of my favorite jobs I’ve ever had, honestly.

Question: It’s such a pleasure to speak with you; I’ve been a longtime fan, and I have to say, Romy and Michele is one of my absolute favorite movies. I’m sure you basically hear that every day at this point of your life.

Mira: I’m very grateful that people love it so much.

Question: With this particular role of Rosemary, did it take stepping into the costume for you to really embody her, or did you just find her based on the wonderful words on the page?

Mira: It was a combo. It was like, once I first started working on her, I actually had an old 50s dress that I ended up wearing into one of the fittings, because it was giving me vibes of her, and I offered to bleach my hair completely platinum so that I could be more ghosty and 50s-ish, and that helped. Then, I just started watching The Donna Reed Show and Ozzie and Harriet and then all these 50s noire movies, because I felt like historical Rosemary was like a normal person who was somewhat repressed, maybe a little high-strung, definitely sort of held down by her husband. He was very abusive and neglectful and controlled her within an inch of her life. The ghost rosemary, the spirit Rosemary, is everything Rosemary hoped to be in life but couldn’t really be. So, now, she’s fabulous. Now, she’s got these tremendous costumes. Now, she’s got these lofty [unintelligible], and she’s hosting. She’s hosting people in her own bar. “Come on in. Let me pour you a drink, darling.” She’s just living that life that she wished that she could live, given the parameters of the narrow vision of what a great life looked like to her at the time. So, yeah, it was sort of working on the two characters, because at certain points in the show, you see her as Rosemary, like the real Rosemary, and most of the time, you’re seeing the spirit Rosemary, but sometimes real Rosemary comes through in spirit Rosemary. Like, there’s a moment – because I think you’ve seen the bathroom scene, right? So, at the mirror, real Rosemary comes through there. So, it’s like spirit Rosemary’s in the bath, and then real Rosemary tries to break through. And real Rosemary is in a lot of pain. So, it’s a very interesting, fun challenge to play this multilayered, not even just person, you know, spirit.

Mira Sorvino from "Shining Vale" on StarzQuestion: What’s it like to balance all of that, including the horror and the comedy elements in there too?

Mira: Well, I find that if you make a character sort of odd enough or quirky enough, if the writing is funny, just delivering it in character will make it funny. So, you know, because she is somewhat anachronistic and has so much excitement for things that other [people] would not consider exciting, or doesn’t know that smoking is bad for you, or just all these things that just set her apart, like the comedy sort of took care of itself in a way. The horror was also largely delivered by the way scenes start or end or whether there’re jump-scares. It’s only as her sort of progressive and her sort of darker nature starts growing, that’s when I had to really be part of the scare in an active way, because I had to be – you had to believe me capable of harm, which I had to sort of dig into the the darker trauma of the past Rosemary’s life to bring that gravitas to highfalutin modernism…I don’t know, it’s like inside the workings of a weird mind right now.

Question: With a character like Rosemary, there’s a lot of work; there’s a lot of craft to it. Are you able to turn off thirty seconds after they yell “cut”? Or is it the kind of thing where you spend days as that character, and you can’t snap out of it?

Mira: I can snap out of it now. I mean, the kinds of things you don’t snap out of so easily are really, really depressing things like when I played Norma Jean and Marilyn. And then the last thing we shot the day before Christmas Eve was her dying in the ambulance, because in that show, she dies in the ambulance. Then, [I] flew back to New York and had jetlag; it took me two weeks to surface. I was really depressed and sad and dark. When I did The Grey Zone, an incredible movie that no one has seen about a successful rebellion at Auschwitz, perpetrated by the Sonderkommando, and the women who were just like slave labor in the munitions factories. That’s such a dark movie, and the fate of all those people was so devastating. That hung with me for weeks and weeks, and I had nightmares. But when you’re doing something that’s a little bit lighter and more sort of deftly switches from the dark to light back again, psychologically, it’s pretty easy to bounce out of it. Like, I would have fun rehearsing my stuff, but then, I have four children, so don’t really have the luxury of staying in character. I don’t. Like I have a very real life that awaits me the second I even look at my phone and have a million texts from this child and that one and that school and this one, you know, it’s just a lot going on. But I think it’s also experience, the fact that I’ve been doing this for so long makes it easy for me to jump in and jump out of it.

Question: Thank you. And as you’ve heard earlier, Romy and Michele in this household, also a staple. So, thank you for that.

Mira: Thank you.

Question: This is such a beautiful role for you, and you are a part of social media. Are you a looking forward to that instant fan feedback finally to something people are going to get to see you in lately? And also, what do you think it is about the series that’s really going to make it a fast fan favorite?

Mira: Well, I can just say that everybody that we’ve spoken today [unintelligible] has said how much they love it, and that’s really rare. It’s really rare for every journalist you talk to to have unbridled, genuine enthusiasm when they’re talking about something. It didn’t feel like a work day. “Okay, today, we’re talking this actor about this project.” It’s like, “Wow, I really enjoyed this; this was so much fun. I can’t wait to see the rest of it.” Like everybody’s talking like that. So, I do have high hopes that actually the general public will feel the same way. And, you know, when we act, we don’t do it to act in our bathroom; we do it to connect with people. So, I’m really looking forward to having the fans like it. I’m looking forward to them enjoying it, that it means something, since you’re not in front of a live audience. If you were a theater actor, you would know right away from just the breath in the room, whether people were attached to it or not, and certainly by the end by the amount of applause or standing ovations or whatever. Our only way is if people really like the film, and then we get to hear from [unintelligible] the show, and we get to hear from them over over the ether. And that will be fun; I’m looking forward to it.

Here is the audio version of it.

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

MORE INFO:

Trailer

poster for "Shining Vale"SHINING VALE

Season 1 8 Episodes 2022

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

Mira Sorvino (Rosemary) was most recently seen in Ryan Murphy’s Emmy nominated limited series “Hollywood”, (Netflix) as the Lana Turner-inspired star Jeanne Crandall. Other recent credits include the 20 th Century feature Stuber and director Mary Harron’s thriller The Expecting.

Sorvino won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice Award, National Board of Review and New York Film Critics Circle for her performance in Mighty Aphrodite. She received additional Golden Globe nominations for her performances in the miniseries “Human Trafficking” and for her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe in HBO’s Norma Jean And Marilyn (also earning her an Emmy Award nomination). In 2016, she was awarded Best Supporting Actress by the Milano International Film Festival for her work in Mothers And Daughters opposite Sharon Stone and Susan Sarandon.

Other notable film performances include Spike Lee’s Summer Of Sam, Guillermo del Toro’s Mimic, Nancy Savoca’s Union Square, Antoine Fuqua’s Replacement Killers, Robert Redford’s Quiz Show, the comedy cult classic Romy And Michelle’s High School Reunion, Ted Demme’s Beautiful Girls, Triumph Of Love and Terry George’s Reservation Road.

Other television credits include “Badland”, a memorable 4-episode turn on Modern Family, “Startup”, and the limited series Intruders opposite Millie Bobby Brown for BBC America. She produced Griffin Dunne’s comedy Famous which was an official selection of the Cannes Film Festival, and associate produced Rob Weiss’ Amongst Friends and the documentary Freedom To Broadcast Hate.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Mira Sorvino as Rosemary in "Shining Vale"

Interview with Eugene Byrd

TV Interview!

Eugene Byrd

Interview with Eugene Byrd of the movie “Immanence” and many TV shows by Suzanne 1/28/22

This was a very fun interview! I always liked Eugene in the many series I’ve seen him in since “Bones,” but this chat with him showed just how much fun he can be and why he’s such a great character actor who can do film, TV, comedies, drama, scifi, voiceovers – anything. He’s really versatile and laid-back. If you like horror, you’ll probably like this movie, “Immanence.” It has a mixture of horror and supernatural/religious phenomenon. Do make sure you watch him in “Secrets of Sulphur Springs” and the other projects mentioned.

Suzanne:   So, tell us how your role in this movie came about?

Eugene:   Well, I got a phone call from a really good friend of mine, Michael Beach (the star of “Immanence”), and Michael was like, “Hey, listen, man. I’m gonna get you. So, just come on and play with me, man; play with me. Let’s play. Let’s do this thing together. Let’s do it, and you’ll just have a good time.” And I was like, “First of all, who is this?” But then I was like, “Listen, man, if you really like this script, and you really think it’s a good idea -” because I had met Kerry and Summer at an event, and it was really great. I hadn’t seen the script. I heard him talk about it. I had no idea. Then, Beach called me and said, “Yeah, I want you to do it.” I said, “Okay, cool.” I hadn’t seen the script. I took him at his word, and his word was good, because, I ended up enjoying Davis and the idea that this script was playing with.

Suzanne:   Okay, great. So, no audition necessary. That’s good.

Eugene:   No, those are the best things, when you get that offer, when you get a friend beg you. I love when Beach has to beg me, “Come on, man, do something.” I’m like, “Yeah, I got you by the ropes.”

Suzanne:   So, did they give you any backstory at all on your character or just the script?

Eugene:   Beach gave me the backstory. Then, when I talked to Summer and Kerry, they gave me the script, but I had already signed on. I already trusted my friend, because I know he has really good taste, and especially when it comes to independent films, and doing something that’s very interesting and different. So, once I got the script, I started to delve into Davis and say, “Okay, he’s the fun guy.” He’s the guy that likes to have fun, make jokes. But obviously, he changes, as everybody does, as the script goes on.

Suzanne:   I noticed that your character is kind of the “dumb guy” who has to ask everything–

Eugene:   I don’t know that I’d call him a dumb guy [laughs]

Suzanne:   Wait, let me finish. “Dumb” in the way that he doesn’t know all this science stuff. So, they have to explain it to him, and in doing so they’re explaining it to us. So you’re that guy.

Eugene:   Yeah, I’m the audience, but it’s funny, because he still says, “So, you guys are chasing aliens?” And they’re like, “No, see, we’re after these extraterrestrials.” And I’m like, “Aliens. I don’t know why you can’t just drop it down in layman’s terms.”

Suzanne:   Right. It’s a pretty small cast. Did that make it more fun, having such a small cast?

Eugene:   Oh, it made it more fun, because at least two of the people I knew, and and then I knew Summer and Kerry, but not fully yet. I knew Asenneth’s husband, and then I just met Kasia. I think what it did for us is that everybody’s personality worked it [together] in that way. Sometimes everybody’s personality – but you’re on a boat together, for twelve hours, from 4pm to 4pm. If you don’t get to know each other and get to have fun, you’re gonna be miserable.

Suzanne:   So, you filmed on an actual boat?

Davis in "Immanence" played by Eugene ByrdEugene:   Oh, we filmed on an actual boat. This was an actual boat, and we were on the actual water. And I was not excited about it, because I can’t swim, and I don’t like boats. So, this was a lot of faith. They kinda lied to me. They kind of lied to me a little bit and didn’t tell me we’re going out on the water. Then, they kind of let it out that, “Oh yeah, we’re getting on the water,” and I’m like, “What are you talking about?” [unintelligible] on a boat. They’re “Like no, we got to go out.” Yeah.

Suzanne:   Well, I’m not a good swimmer, but I do like boats, but I guess you couldn’t have a life jacket or anything on while you were filming…

Eugene:   I didn’t wear one, because I was like, “You know what? I’m just gonna jump off the boat immediately onto the pier,” if there’s a pier. If there’s no pier, then, “Well, you know what? Life was good.” [laughs]

Suzanne:   And have you done any horror movies before?

Eugene:   Yes. Well, I guess you could call – I’ve done a couple, but the one that I did that everybody knows, Anacondas, which I guess is action, horror, comedy in a weird way. So, I had done that. And I’m a huge fan of horror films, so that was the other thing. I was like, “Yes, I’ll do this.” And I was working on a horror film with a friend of mine, too, independent. So yeah, this was right up my alley.

Suzanne:   Oh, that’s good. At the beginning of the movie, some of the characters are not religious, and some are. Where does your character fit into that range of beliefs?

Eugene:   You know, with Davis, I played a more sort of, like, he grew up with a religious background, but he doesn’t really follow anything. He’s pretty much a tech guy. He believes in money and believes in those type of things, but it didn’t take him long to fully believe, to know that something was up. I think that’s a lot of people these days. There’s spirituality, and there’s an underlying belief, but you kind of leave it away as you get older and you pursue different things, and that’s how I played Davis.

Suzanne:   And if this isn’t too personal, where do your own beliefs fit into that?

Eugene:   I grew up Baptist. I’m spiritual. I’m spiritual, because I grew up Baptist, and I have a lot of ideologies that are around me, like my manager when I was growing up was Jewish. My mom’s best friend was Seven Day Adventists. I went to Catholic school. So I mean, you could pretty much – I dated a Buddhist. So, you can put all of these pieces together and know that I had a lot of influences – oh and one of my best friends is Muslim. Do you see what I’m saying? So, for me, I don’t really follow a denomination.

Suzanne:   Okay. Yeah, I live in a Baptist town right now, a small southern town in Arkansas.

Eugene:   Wow. I don’t even know how to put that together. It’s a lot.

Suzanne:   No, I know. I’m from San Diego. So, it’s very different.

Eugene:   It’s extremely different.

Suzanne:   Yeah. Were there any particular challenges for you in doing the role?

Eugene:   No, I mean, other than the boat, and possibly having to swim? No, no other challenges. I mean, it’s always a challenge. When you’re taking on a role where science and religion are a part, and you’re playing this sort of, “How do I play this guy?” but when it came to being an actor, no challenges. When it came to me being on that boat and then dealing with different people trying to figure out how – It ended up being like smooth in that respect.

Suzanne:   What about as far as COVID? Was that a problem at all?

Eugene:   There was no COVID. Well, COVID wasn’t known yet.

Suzanne:   Oh, wow. This was filmed long ago.

Eugene:   This was the end of 2019. I think we heard that there was something, but it was overseas, but no, we had no COVID issues.

Suzanne:   Oh, well, that’s good. I can’t imagine filming in a small area with a bunch of people.

Eugene:   It wouldn’t even have happened, because well, it could have, because, some of the people stayed down in the area. They didn’t go back home. So, it would have been a version of the bubble. I guess everybody goes into this thing, and they don’t leave it for about sixteen to twenty days. So, I guess we could have done it that way, but yeah, we didn’t know anything about COVID at that time.

Suzanne:   And now you’d just all be vaccinated and tested frequently and that kind of thing.

Eugene:   Tested like crazy, but at the same time, I don’t know. If you’re in the bubble, you can’t move. You can’t go see family or friends, and you test once or twice in the beginning. I don’t think COVID would have been an issue at that point.

Suzanne:   How long did it take to film?

Davis in "Immanence" played by Eugene ByrdEugene:   It was sixteen days. I could be wrong. I’m trying to remember– I think it was sixteen days. And it was all night. All night shoots. So, it was switching straight from [day] and that’s it. So [unintelligible] every day.

Suzanne:   Wow. Yeah, it’s –

Eugene:   Six days a week.

Suzanne:   It’s a nice atmosphere, kind of claustrophobic and night and everything.

Eugene:   Yeah.

Suzanne:   It made for good horror atmosphere. I see that you’re doing some voiceover work with Spidey and His Amazing Friends. Do you enjoy doing voiceover?

Eugene:   Yeah. I loved doing voiceovers. It’s so freeing, because there’s no worry about how you look. You know, I don’t have to go through hair and makeup. I could go in in my pajamas, and not have to brush my teeth. I [did] brush my teeth though, [laughs] but I don’t have to go and be something in front of the camera; I just have to let my voice and my acting do the talking, and that’s a lot of fun. And doing Spidey and His Amazing Friends for Disney has been a lot of fun, just because I could play in a comic book world. I’m a nerd. I grew up a huge comic fan. The fact that I’m playing Miles Morales’s father is crazy to me. It’s fun.

Suzanne:   That’s good. And you’ve been in so many shows, including The Cosby Show, when you were just a teen. Do people recognize you for that, or mostly for your newer shows and movies?

Eugene:   I think if you grew up on The Cosby Show, or you grew up on the shows I did when I was younger – you know what, I do get called out for it quite quite a bit, but they’re usually either older, closer to my age, or just a little – but closer my age, but rarely do I get younger people like in their twenties going, “You were on Cosby,” because it’s been off the air for so long, and there’s no way they would know, unless they watch TV Land, and then I’ll be surprised they know it.

Suzanne:   How old were you when you started acting? You were pretty young, right?

Eugene:   Yeah, I started off when I was seven years old. So yeah, it’s been a long time. This year – wow – will be my fortieth year.

Suzanne:   You’re lucky that not only do you still look very young and can play really young roles and have most of your career, but you’re not one of those child actors that either had terrible problems or look unusual. Some of the child actors, they look like children, and then when they grow up, they look kind of weird.

Eugene:  I do look kind of weird. I got lucky in the fact that I never took this business – you know, I looked at it as fun. Then, when it became a job, I had to reorder, because I think every child actor has to reorder exactly what it is, because when you’re a child actor, your job is your life. You know, you’re an actor, so you kind of identify yourself as an actor and then what all those things mean. But I can’t sit there and say that I haven’t had my own issues with it, because you’re trying to re-identify yourself, and you’re trying to make sure you have longevity. I think a lot of people [are] trying to be stars, or they were stars, and then they are no longer stars, and they had to deal with that aspect. Luckily for me, I’ve always been sort of in the middle. I’ve been a known actor, but I’ve never hit the stardom level where I can’t walk down the street, and then all of a sudden [I can’t].

Suzanne:   Yeah, I’ve seen you on a lot of shows, but I don’t think I really – no offense – didn’t notice you until –

Eugene:   I appreciate that, though.

Eugene Byrd as Andy Diggle in "Arrow"Suzanne:   – until your role in Arrow. That was such a great role for you. Even though it was a superhero show, did you feel that challenged you more than some of your earlier roles?

Eugene:   Roles are challenging, because they’re a role I haven’t played. So, there’s always a different psychology attached to each character that I enjoy, or I try to push myself a little further in certain roles when I get them. And by the way, I did not take offense to that, because I pride myself on people not knowing, because the fact is I try to disappear in my role. I try to play my roles honestly, and if you don’t remember me, that’s cool, but if you start going, “Wait a minute…” that means there’s some recognition, but you don’t know what it is, and I’m fine with that, just because I’d rather keep my anonymity a little bit. I think that’s [where] a lot of actors, a lot of people have issues. That’s what happens; they lose that anonymity, and they can’t move around the world the way they would like.

Suzanne:   It’s got to be difficult, a lot of pressure on people.

Eugene:   I know a few people who have exploded, and it’s been difficult for them. Yeah.

David Ramsey (John) and Eugene Byrd (Andy) in "Arrow" btsSuzanne:   Getting back to Arrow, I mean, it was a great role with you and and the guy that plays Diggle, your brother?

Eugene:   We’ve played brothers before.

Suzanne:   Oh, you did?

Eugene:   Yeah. We did a pilot together called The Proud Family, and it was with Gabrielle Union and  Essence Atkins and Selma Hopkins, and it was a really great cast. We just didn’t get picked up, but David and I kept in touch as friends. And then one day…he was like, “Hey, I want you to play my brother,” and I was like, “Oh, Okay.” I knew he was in Arrow, but I was like, “Man, that would be a dream come true.” And it was fun, because I got to play a duplicitous character, which I feel like I’ve [done] a lot [laughs], but it’s like I’m like playing the duality of a guy who’s evil, and then all of a sudden, he’s good, but he never was good. He was always [evil]. So, that was fun. That was fun.

Suzanne:   Yeah, it was good. It is very surprising. We never knew he was, but he was always sympathetic, because you were playing him, and you’re very likable on screen. I also loved your character on Bones, that seemed very similar to the role you played on Crossing Jordan.

Eugene Byrd as Clark in "Bones"
BONES: Brennan (Emily Deschanel, R) and Dr. Clark Edison (guest star Eugene Byrd) continue to investigate who framed Booth for murder in the “The Lance to the Heart” episode of BONES airing Thursday, Oct. 2 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2014 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jordin Althaus/FOX

Eugene:   Right, which, I think, helped me, gave me a quick way to jump in. Because Sydney is a little bit – actually, Sydney was way more open than Clark ever was. Clark was always super buttoned up very much like Bones, you know, and the fact that “I don’t share my personal life; this is about the work,” and then as time goes on, he starts letting himself be loose and being more of a personable person in that show. I love that show. That was like one of my favorite shows I ever did. I did it for ten years, and I have two of my best friends from that show.

Suzanne:   Okay, can you tell us which ones?

Eugene:   Pej Vahdat, who was Arastoo, and Michael Grant Terry, who played Wendell. So, they’re two of my closest friends.

Suzanne:   He’s on another show. I can’t think of which one.

Eugene:   Pej?

Suzanne:   No, Michael.

Eugene:   Michael did Roswell.

Suzanne:   Yeah, I think just something else though. I can’t remember it. Never mind.

Eugene:   He did a Lifetime – was it a Hallmark or a Lifetime show? I want to say it was Hallmark.

Suzanne:   I think it is something on Showtime or STARZ, but I can’t remember.

Eugene:   He’s got something he was doing, but those are only two I know we’ve talked about. If it’s something else, he’s gonna be mad at me that I don’t know.  [laughs]

Suzanne:   It’s fine. You can’t be expected to remember all these shows.

Eugene:   Pej right now is doing like a thousand things. Sometimes I’m like, “Which one is this again?”

Suzanne:   Well, I’m glad to hear that the Squints are still friends.

Eugene:   We all are. You know, the beautiful part about that show is we all had great chemistry with each other, and that’s rare. That’s rare where the recurrings have great chemistry with the regulars, and it feels like we’re all regulars.

Suzanne:   No, definitely. And do you have any other projects that you’re working on that you can tell us about?

Eugene:   Oh, that I could tell you about? Well, you know, actually, they’re all on right now. They’re all coming out. Today is The Legend of Vox Machina, a cartoon for Amazon Prime, where I play Captain Jared. And then Secrets of Sulphur Springs. Just everything else I can’t even talk about yet.

Suzanne:   I love that show. You’re coming up on that?

Eugene:   My character showed up fully last week, and today –

Suzanne:   Oh, I haven’t watched last week’s yet.

Eugene:   You see him way more today.

Suzanne:   Okay, cool. I haven’t watched last week’s yet. I know it’s a kid’s show, and I don’t have any children –

Eugene:   But here’s the funny thing, I watched it. It’s more for everyone. I’ve realize that, because before I even did it, I was like, “This is a kid’s show. All right, I’ll just do it.” Then, I worked with the kids, and I worked with the other actors, and two of them I knew, well, three; three people I knew on that show. And I was surprised. I was surprised how accessible it was for adults and that the kids were just natural. I got to work with Elle Graham most of the time; she plays Savannah, the little blonde girl. Well, she’s not little, that girl’s tall. [laughs] I had such a great time working with that cast and that crew. So, I’m glad you like it. It just surprised me.

Suzanne:   Yeah, I don’t remember why I started watching. Oh, because the people who wrote it used to write in soap operas, and I watch soap operas.

Eugene:   Ah, yes. That’s right. I think Tracy did – I don’t know about Charles. Charles did 90210, which is what I did. I did the original 90210.

Suzanne:   He’s been on a lot of those types of things, and I think daytime briefly too. But yeah, I like that show. I’m always telling people watch the show.

Eugene:   The funny thing is because they think it’s a kid show, they’re not thinking that you’re going to watch something that’s still appealing to you as well and that’s wholesome and interesting. I wouldn’t have believed that either. If you asked, if you told me.

Suzanne:   Yeah, well, I have a lot of science fiction friends, and so, I would tell them, “it’s got time travel!”

Eugene:   It does, and I’m curious what you’re gonna think about this season we’re doing right now, this season that just came out. It’s interesting, and it deals with, obviously, time again, but there’s an even deeper mystery now.

Suzanne:   Well, they’ve got to change it up every season. And anything else that you’d like to say to your fans?

Eugene:   Thank you for supporting me all these years, and there’s some stuff coming up. I can’t talk about it, but it should be very, very interesting.

Suzanne:   All right, great. Well, thank you for joining me today. I really enjoyed it.

Eugene:   I had a great time.

Here is the video version of it.

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

MORE INFO:

Trailer

Poster for the movie "Immanence"Buffalo 8 has announced the acquisition of IMMANENCE from filmmaker Kerry Bellessa. The thriller/horror film will be available on demand a several digital streamers, including iTunes, February 4.

While investigating a meteor strike in the Bermuda Triangle, a team of radio astronomers discover a mysterious signal in the deep sea that could be the world’s first contact with extraterrestrials. After witnessing various impossible phenomena, the team becomes convinced that something is trying to communicate with them.

Aboard their boat is Jonah (Michael Beach, Aquaman, “S.W.A.T.”), a loner with a mysterious past and cryptic motives. His faith leads him to suggest that this communication may be a manifestation of divinity, a hypothesis which the scientists immediately reject.

Soon the communications go from inexplicable to terrifying, threatening not only the team’s beliefs, but also their lives. When chaos culminates in an ominous revelation that makes everyone a threat, the team must fight for sanity and survival in a nightmare against the ultimate evil.

IMMANENCE: Fast FactsRelease Date: Friday, February 4, 2022
Genre: Thriller/Horror
Rating and Run Time: Not rated (R equivalent), 90 mins.
Short Summary: Radio astronomers discover a mysterious signal in the deep sea that could be contact with extraterrestrials. After several terrifying manifestations threaten their beliefs, the team must fight to survive the ultimate evil.
Director: Kerry Bellessa
Writers: Kerry Bellessa And Joshua Oram
Producers: Kerry Bellessa, Summer Bellessa, Michael Beach
Cinematographer: Oscar Ignacio Jiménez
Starring: Michael Beach, Summer Bellessa, Eugene Byrd, Anthony Ruivivar, Kasia Pilewicz,  Asenneth Del Toro, Jamie Mcshane

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Eugene Byrd

Interview with Cybil Lake

TV Interview!

actress Cybil Lake

Interview with Cybil Lake of the film “Central Park Dark” by Krista

Cybil was very nice and excited to talk to me. She is so enthusiastic about her work and seems to be a hard worker. She talks about how she is always pitching an idea and always coming up with new ideas. I think some of the ideas she is pitching are interesting, and I hope they will come to fruition. I wish her the best in all her endeavors.

Krista: How did you get started in acting and how did you decide you wanted to write and direct?

Cybil: I have always loved performing. I have always loved acting and writing. I kind of like, even as a kid, you know, and as soon as I could, like even in high school and junior high [break in audio] …Everybody’s student films. I was at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and then, from there, I started making my own films, because I [knew] a lot of actors at that point, and I saw how it was really hard for them to find any roles. So, since I was a writer, I just kind of wrote my own part. Most of the things that I think about I create, so I can act in them. I usually don’t get story inspirations with other characters, not always. I’m more excited when it’s a female lead that I can play, because thus far those roles haven’t been given to me. Thus far.

Krista: Well, hopefully that will change.

Cybil: Yeah.

Krista: For your new movie Central Park Dark, I see you directed as well as acted, portraying Anna. How did the idea for that movie come about and the idea to direct as well as act in it?

Cybil: I was actually working on a serious project. I was writing sort of a serious project, and then I decided I wanted to write something that was light and fun and entertainment. It was like I just wanted entertainment after that more serious project that I was working on. I thought, “You know, that’s why I like movies.” I like movies to kind of – well, for two reasons. One is for entertainment…which is educational, which is like documentaries, but the rest is really entertainment and having the chance to have an adventure.

So, I love the dynamic of the three characters. You know, I love a love triangle. Love triangles are like my thing, because I think at the heart of everything, a lot of arguments and a lot of stories always boil down to a love triangle. And this initially started as a love triangle, because Tom (Tom Sizemore) is married to a friend that is having an affair with [my character]. That has drama inherent in it. 100% there’s drama inherent in that situation, because there’s going to be problems. Someone’s going to get hurt; someone’s going to get mad.

Krista: What was your experience like directing and acting in the movie? How did you balance that?

Cybil: Since I’m sort of used to it, I enjoy it. As long as I give myself a second to switch gears, it’s okay. There are some times in the movie when I can tell that I didn’t, if I remember that I didn’t. So, I think I can see it on the screen, but I don’t know if other people can. So, if I give myself the same time that I give other actors, then I’m good.

Krista: Without giving anything away, can you give a short summary of what the movie is about?

Cybil: Yes. So, the tagline that we’ve been using, is it’s a one night stand that turns into a never ending nightmare. So, basically, Tom is an alcoholic married doctor who during a relapse reconnects with Anna, my character, and I’m an unstable woman with whom he has a past. We start up again; I think we’re gonna have this great relationship, and then he kind of lets me know that’s not going to happen, that it was just a mistake. So, in a heated argument, I jump out of the window, and then I begin to torment him. So, it’s unclear if I’m alive or not. So, that’s when it kind of shifts into more horror elements. And a part of the story…Anna appears to Tom in his dreams and lets him in on a secret about the long history of dark forces in Central Park. Then, she uses these forces to take revenge on Tom. Then, Tom is trying to get back to his normal life and keep a secret from Brenda (Margaret Reed), and it’s sort of a descent into more of a nightmare.

Krista: Oh, wow, that sounds like a great movie.

Cybil: Thank you. Thank you.

Krista: What was it like working with Tom Sizemore? Did you know him, or had you worked with him before?

Cybil: No, I didn’t. I didn’t know him. I reached out, and it was perfect timing. He had a window before another project, and I was pregnant at the time, so I had to shoot now as well, so we shot ASAP. You know, there wasn’t much pre production or anything. I wish there was a little more planning; we jumped into it. He’s a great professional. I kept my eye on him most of the shoot, that was the biggest job that I had. He was [did] professional work. He knew his lines, and he was very good with showing up when he needed to.

Krista: I just didn’t know if you had known him in the past or if he was a new contact.

Cybil: It was a new contact, and we hit it off well. We had things in common. We both struggled with addiction, so that’s a good bond. That kind of levels the fear, and you can talk to each other with a common language and have an understanding and compassion for each other. We were lucky. Actually, I think looking back, there was sort of a rapport that we had immediately, and that’s actually just luck too. You know, with having never met somebody, that’s not always achievable. You see it even on movies and TV shows. You’re like, “Those people don’t look like a couple.”

Krista: What was the biggest challenge for you for Central Park Dark, and did the pandemic impact any of the filming or anything?

Cybil: The biggest challenge was definitely the budget, because we didn’t have one. When that ended up being a bigger problem, because I also rushed to [into] shooting, and so I had problems with the script. I probably could have done a rewrite, but there wasn’t a time for it. So, I tried to fix it in the editing process and [with] reshooting, I think, two times. I did what I could, and I kind of rewrote the story when I was editing. But, for sure, in an independent film, always I would say that answer is going to be cash flow. You’re just not able to do certain things with with a small budget, but I also think that sometimes those constraints open up the project to creative answers instead of monetary ones.

Krista: Think outside the box.

Cybil: Yeah, exactly.

Krista: What was your favorite moment from Central Park Dark, either on screen or behind the scenes?

Cybil: Because I’m a mushy mother now, I would say the ending – this isn’t giving it away, don’t worry. She’s holding a baby. That was my three month old baby, which I had in reshoots. So, seeing him, that was the best.

Krista: I can imagine.

Cybil: But I also love the scene when we have a really heated argument, and that was definitely my favorite stuff. The horror stuff I enjoyed. I surprised myself, and I liked that stuff, but I really liked the heated, you know, one person to another person argument, because as an actor, that’s the most fun, because it’s sort of alive. It is on fire. He was really angry at me, and it’s kind of fun.

Krista: Well, how does acting and directing in Central Park Dark compare to the other work that you’ve done in the past?

Cybil: You know, I think that [for] this I had to learn all the ugly technical details. I knew some things, like I knew how to edit, you know, rudimentary, and things like that. But it taught me to really persevere in complete, like completion became the option, because I could I could quit. I could set it aside, knowing it has issues, but instead, compelling myself to complete it was the biggest challenge. It really shows me there’s something to be said about finishing a project, even if it’s going to be imperfect, because actually, things that have a $200 million budget are also super imperfect. So, just finishing it. And now, I feel that I’ve had a lot of opportunities with the press, and it’s something I get to talk about while I move forward, and I’m ultimately proud of accomplishing it, of completing it. Completing a film is probably the hardest thing. As an actor, you go, and you do a few days here and there. When you’re done, you don’t even hear again [from] the TV shows and network stuff, like I rarely even hear people say, “I saw you on such and such.” I’ve never seen most of my work, because there wasn’t any communication. It’s interesting. So, it’s night and day. This is maybe too much control, because there’re too many details. This is, for me, personally, wearing too many hats. I love just showing up and acting. I think that’s what I’m going to be looking forward to more of. I think that’s hopefully within my future, because the nitty gritty technical stuff can be rough…

Krista: I understand that.

Cybil: Yeah.

Krista: I see that you recently moved from New York City to Los Angeles. How’s that been?

Cybil: Oh my gosh. I mean, talk about crazy timing. I guess I moved here seven months before the pandemic, and now I can’t believe it, because I’ve been here for a year and a half. So, I can’t believe that now, the majority of my time in California has been pandemic life, which is different all around. It’s a big shift, because I’ve been in Manhattan, in Brooklyn, in New York City for a long, long time, 22 years. This is – I’m used to [unintelligible], but people say, because of the pandemic, that’s not really there now, but I really thrive in – I like the feeling of a crowd and that there’s lots of people around. I like the activity, it gives you this sense [that] there’s always something that’s about to happen, even if there’s not. And that’s what’s actually kind of weird, is that now, living somewhere different, I’m like, “Oh, wow.” Like, even then, if you want to make something happen, you actually just have to do it, but with New York, you sort of think you’re just gonna be swept up and something’s gonna happen. Here it’s just like flatline. It’s just not loud. There’s not that energy. Just, especially with the pandemic, it’s like you and your mind, and me and my mind and my two tablets.

Krista: [When you moved] to Los Angeles, was it for an acting career to hopefully give you more opportunities?

Cybil: Yeah, yeah, exactly. And actually, both, ironically, fell through. It’s funny, but not graceful, actually, because I do really like LA, and I’ve been out here for different things, but even with those opportunities, I was bummed out that they fell apart, which, that’s what happens with projects. I mean, in fact my project would be one of those many that fall apart, if I didn’t say, “Let’s reshoot.” [unintelligible] It’s so interesting, because now I really see how easy things can just fall apart, you know, because problems come up.

Krista: Do you have any other upcoming projects that you can tell us about?

Cybil: Yes, I have a feature film that I wrote. It’s called White Lies and Darker Ones, and I can tell you that’s about Nina, a mother who seeks revenge for her daughter’s death, [but] instead uncovers the small town’s darkest secrets, including those within her own marriage. So, that’s a dark thriller.

I was pitching that for a little bit, and then people were kind of saying, “You know what? We’re not doing dark stuff.” So, then, I wrote a dramedy, you know, because I think the pandemic people were like, “We need lighter stuff.” That was the feedback I was getting from different people I pitched it to. And pitching now is 100% on Zoom and Skype. So, then, I wrote a dramedy called by Bicoastal, and that’s a fish out of water drama about a New Yorker who moved to LA to become a talent agent while struggling to stay sober and reconnect with her husband and find forgiveness. So, that’s a little bit lighter.

So, those are some of my options. Then, I also started writing something called Really Light, because I was like, they keep saying “light.” I’ve got to write something lighter. I started writing something called the Malibu Mother of Two. I just started writing that one.

Krista: Oh, well, they all sound good. I hope they all come to fruition.

Cybil: Thank you, thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

Krista: What do you do when you’re not writing, acting, or directing? What do you do in your free time?

Cybil: I was going to say, I start pitching, pitching people the ideas. I meditate and [unintelligible]. I meditate, and I go to the beach, and I take care of my two toddlers. I also paint; I love painting.

Krista: I like the beach too.

Cybil: The beach is the best. I grew up in Rhode Island, which is on the East Coast, and now I’m on the west coast. It’s different. It’s different but equally beautiful, but it’s really different. Unless you were near the beach in the pandemic when everything shuts down. We can still go and sit in the sand, and that’s something really to do, and go for a long walk or run. So, I do that a lot. Yeah, even when things are closed, and there’s mountains here, which is really cool. We go hiking as well. It’s just the quality of life in California is superduper high. It’s a quality, beautiful place. It’s expensive, and it’s gorgeous.

Krista: Sounds pretty peaceful, and it probably helps a lot to clear your head and give you some inspiration.

Cybil: Absolutely, totally, totally. I think I’m actually more creative here, and I am so surprised, because I don’t know, like I’ve just been creative in this pandemic and over here in California. I don’t know what it is, and I don’t know what’s contributing into it to it, but I’ve been feeling like I just have a lot of different ideas.

I wrote another project called Moontown, and I was pitching that, but that was too big budget. I’m just always trying to hustle these days, because I think that’s the only way that things can happen. I actually I want to believe that things will just kind of roll towards me now peacefully. That would be nice.

Krista: What is the most memorable piece of advice that you’ve ever been given that has helped you in your career?

Cybil: I would say it’s really simple, but it’s be inside your own skin, because as an actor, that’s really good advice. Be inside your own skin, because that’s sort of like a ground view. So, I always find that very powerful.

Krista: Be yourself.

Cybil: Yeah, totally.

Krista: What piece of advice or tips would you give to someone who wants to get into a career with acting or directing?

Cybil: Definitely, I would say, start making your own work. You know, learn the mistakes, because I remember when I made my first short films, you make a film, you make so many mistakes and learn so much quickly, and then you do it again. And then you do it again. That’s the same feature that shows you just that you – it is always learning. Be willing to be learning. Be open to always be learning. It doesn’t stop; you have to keep working. You have to keep working on your own development as an artist, and you can choose to anytime give up, but if you really want to succeed, you have to really just stay on the path. You have to really stay on the path.

What I regret is I got discouraged when I was in my 20s. I made a feature film that was really good selling myself. In today’s market, I could totally sell it, [but] back then, there weren’t too many options. It was like you either get in Sundance, or you just sort of have a few small things and that’s it, but today, it’s so different. I mean, there’re so many outlets. And I got discouraged, and I kind of didn’t do stuff in film and TV for a few years. I really regret that time. I should have just kept going, but it pulled me back in anyway. I got cast in a commercial, and then I remembered how much I enjoyed acting, and I kind of got roped back into the business. When I did that, when I decided to come back, I was like, “Okay, but you have to understand, it’s unfair, and you have to deal with that.”…It’s an unfair business; you’re going to have a lot of failure. I have had so much failure that I don’t like to even tell people who are starting out. People ask me for advice. I don’t even want to tell them the truth. You don’t want to know. You don’t want to know, because the people who achieve it really young and continue to do so forever are real exceptions. You have to love it, and if you don’t love it, don’t do it; do something else.

Krista: I would say that you probably have to achieve your dreams and go for your dreams, but you probably have to also learn to accept the word “no.”

Cybil: Totally, totally, totally, totally, totally. Yeah. It’s all you’re gonna hear. In fact, I heard a producer, and I was like, I hope that’s not true, but I once heard a producer say, “You have to hear 1000 no’s before you even get a meeting.” I was like, “I don’t want to hear that.” I don’t know if I believed him. I hope he was exaggerating.

Krista: Well, that’s all the questions that I have for today. I thank you very much for talking with us. Talking was me today. I really did enjoy it. I hope that Central Park Dark will be very successful for you, and I hope all your upcoming projects will come about as well.

Cybil: Well, thank you so much. I am so happy we got to talk. It was super fun…It’s on Amazon and iTunes. Central Park Dark is on Amazon and iTunes now.

Here is the audio version of it.

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

MORE INFO:

Cybil Lake stars in the horror/thriller film CENTRAL PARK DARK, about a one-night stand that turns into a neveCentral Park Dark posterr-ending nightmare. Cybil is also the director of this mind-bending horror film that follows ‘Thomas’ (Tom Sizemore), an alcoholic married doctor who has a one-night stand with ‘Nina’ (Cybil).

Please see new trailer here: Central Park Dark Official Trailer

CENTRAL PARK DARK is a ‘Fatal Attraction meets Blair Witch Project set in Central Park’. Cybil recast Central Park as a darker place of unknown forces. The picturesque parts of the park are displayed, but Cybil’s film digs into the park’s underbelly, the off-limits woods that might as well be in the middle of nowhere. This film illustrates how individuals can be completely isolated in a city of nine million people.

Cybil Lake in "Central Park Dark"Cybil Lake is an American actor and filmmaker who has significant experience in the TV and film world. Her TV credits include “The Black List” with James Spader on NBC, “The Following” with Kevin Bacon on Fox, and “Show Me a Hero” directed by Academy Award Winner Paul Haggis for HBO. She has written, directed, and acted in numerous shorts, including An Echo Remains, which she screened at the Cannes Film Festival. Cybil was selected by NBC for a new filmmaker’s program, The Screening Room in 2010. She’s a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where she majored in film and acting.Tom Sizemore in "Central Park Dark"

Tom Sizemore who stars alongside Lake, has established himself as an unforgettable tough-guy actor, sought by the most respected directors in Hollywood. His first break came when Oliver Stone cast him in BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY and NATURAL BORN KILLERS. Sizemore wowed audiences and critics in Michael Mann’s crime thriller, HEAT. He was then cast in Martin Scorsese’s BRINGING OUT THE DEAD, RED PLANET, PEARL HARBOR. He then starred in Steven Spielberg’s WWII epic SAVING PRIVATE RYAN followed by another leading role in BLACK HAWK DOWN directed by Ridley Scott. Recently, he starred in “Shooter” on USA Network with Mark Wahlberg and the reboot of the TV series “Twin Peaks” directed by David Lynch.

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actress Cybil Lake

Primetime TV Review: “30 Coins”

TV Review!

30 Coins' Montaner and Silvestre

“30 Coins” on HBO Review by Suzanne 1/9/21

If you like horror (not just the gross-out kind), you should love this show. It’s in Spanish, though, so you do have to pay attention if you’re not a native speaker and you’re watching the English subtitles. This show really grabbed me right at the beginning. They don’t play around. The first thing you see is horrible, and more terrible things follow. The show reminds me a bit of the Exorcist TV series, but it’s got even more shocks. There’s very little that’s subtle here; however, they do have a lot of surprises.

The heroine of the show is Elena (Megan Montaner), a veterinarian who witnesses some horrific things. Paco (Miguel Ángel Silvestre) is the handsome mayor of their small town. He runs a butchering plant and was pushed into running by his domineering wife (Macarena Gómez). Paco is called when something really weird happens with Elena and this newborn baby.

The other main character is Padre Vergara (Eduard Fernández), who’s new to town. He has a history with exorcism. He claims that he doesn’t believe in the devil any more, but we know that he’s seen otherwise. He’s called in by Paco about the baby.

The 30 coins in the title refers to the pieces of silver given to Judas. The show’s “theme song” shows Christ’s crucifixion, and then Judas’ hanging, in vivid detail. Apparently the devil (or someone in Hell) wants the coins back, but they’re scattered all over the world.

I’m really trying hard not to post a spoiler here because it’s important, in a horror movie, not to spoil the really terrifying, shocking or gruesome things that happen. I’ll just say that there is plenty to be had, and all I watched was the first episode. I watched it late at night, so I had to watch a couple of lighter shows afterwards, to make sure I didn’t have nightmares. Watch this in the daytime. It’s very compelling.

MORE INFORMATION:

Directed and co-written by acclaimed horror master Álex de la Iglesia (The Day of the Beast, The Last Circus), 30 Coins takes viewers into a world where nothing is as it seems, and nobody can be trusted.

The eight-episode drama series follows Father Vergara (Eduard Fernández), an exorcist, boxer, and ex-convict who is exiled by the church to be the priest of a remote town in Spain. As his past and old enemies come back to haunt him, strange things begin to happen. An unlikely task force forms as Mayor Paco (Miguel Ángel Silvestre) and local vet Elena (Megan Montaner) seek the truth, while reality is distorted by a cursed coin which is at the heart of a global conspiracy.

30 Coins is co-written by Álex de la Iglesia and Jorge Guerricaechevarría. Executive producers for HBO Europe are Steve Matthews, Miguel Salvat, and Antony Root. Álex de la Iglesia and Carolina Bang are executive producers for Pokeepsie Films. The series was produced with participation from HBO Latin America.

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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.

"30 Coins" promotional pic