Interview with Carrie Preston

TV Interview!

 

The cast of ELSBETH visit 1515 Broadway in celebration of the series premiere February 29 on CBS. Carrie Preston, Wendell Pierce and Carra Patterson. Photo from https://www.paramountpressexpress.com

Interview with Carrie Preston, Wendell Pierce, Carra Patterson, Robert King, Michelle King and Jonathan Tolins of “Elsbeth” on CBS by Suzanne 1/31/24

I enjoyed the first episode of this show, which they let us watch ahead of this press panel.  It was great to see everyone here. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to ask a question. Maybe next time! I hope you can check out the show because it’s very good.

This below is the transcript CBS sent me, edited heavily. I’m sorry for any mistakes or things that don’t make sense. I did the best I could!

Victoria Saavedra: Hi, everyone! I’m Victoria Savedra, and on behalf of myself and my partner at CBS studios, Liz Rollnick, we are pleased to welcome you to our panel for “Elsbeth.” “Elsbeth” premieres on Thursday, February 29 on CBS, and will be available to stream live, and On Demand on Paramount+. Elsbeth, a fan-favorite character on “The Good Wife” and “The Good Fight,”  is an astute but unconventional attorney who utilizes her unique tactics, logic, and compelling humor to corner brilliant criminals alongside the NYPD after leaving her successful legal career in Chicago to tackle a new investigative role in New York. Each week, viewers will get to see the crime up-front and follow along how Elspeth cleverly solves the case.

On today’s panel, we have the stars of “Elsbeth”: Emmy Award winner, Carrie Preston, who stars as Elsbeth Tascioni; Wendell Pierce, who stars as Captain C.W. Wagner; and Carra Patterson, who is celebrating a birthday today – Happy birthday, Carra! – and stars as Officer Kaya Blanke; as well as co-creators and executive producers, Robert King and Michelle King; and showrunner and executive producer, Jonathan Tolins.  Before I hand the virtual mic over to co-creator and executive producer, Robert King, for some opening remarks… just a reminder that if you would like to ask a question, please raise your hand in the chat feature, and I will call on you by your screen name when it is your turn.  Over to you, Robert.

Robert King and Michelle King: Thank you. Thanks so much for joining us for our favorite subject, which is us! So, one of the reasons we’re excited about doing, “Elsbeth” is we love the character of Elsbeth. We also love Carrie Preston, and we’re thrilled to work with her in person. [We have] John Tolins in the writers’ room. So it made it seem like a match made in heaven. And then, as if we didn’t want more, Wendell Pierce agreed to join that marriage. The metaphor is getting bad here. Carra Patterson also joined us, who we worked with in a episode of “Evil.” So it was really fun to all get back together, and then joining that marriage. The bed is getting very crowded, but we have guest stars like Stephen Moyer and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jane Krakowski, Linda Lavin and Blair Underwood. And that’s, you know, because we’re only on episode 5 or 6 now. So I also want to say that Wendell’s going to get a wife on the show. Wagner’s wife, who will be played by Gloria Rueben. That has been mentioned nowhere else. So anyway, that’s just to start. We wouldn’t mind doing the rest by listening to your questions and spouting off. So, let’s go, Victoria.

Victoria Saavedra: Thank you, Robert. All right. First question, Whitney Friedlander. Please unmute yourself and ask your question.

Whitney Friedlander: Hi, guys, did not know I was going to be the first question. So lucky me! I wanted to talk to how everyone wants to answer about the decision to set it up as like a “Columbo-style thing, where we know what happened first and then going on, and then Carrie. I wanna know about working with Steven Moyter again, after all these years.

Robert King and Michelle King: Sure.  The first half of the question, Michelle and I, o the pandemic…. I think we all discovered something about ourselves over the pandemic.  We realized that every night, we want to watch an episode of “Columbo” instead of the movies that were thrown our way.  And that just got us thinking, because we always wanted to work with Carrie again, that Elsbeth would make it very good. And you know about that “Columbo” build. It’s a very witty build that it’s not about “whodunnit” in that Agatha Christie way. It’s a HOWdunnit, which seems just as fascinating, if not even more fascinating, because it takes a wittier approach to, you know, puzzle-solving, or problem-solving, because the audience knows where this is headed, and then you could see the bad guy or bad woman reverse and try to get back at Carrie Preston’s character before she can solve it. So it just seemed like it wasn’t explored enough.

Robert King and Michelle King: And, Carrie, what was it like?Stephen Moyer guest stars on "Elsbeth" with series star Carrie Preston on CBS Thursdays.

Carrie Preston: Yeah. And then, it was interesting, right after they had sort of come up with this idea for “Columbo”, then there was this article in the New York Times, where there was this reporter, Elizabeth Vincentelli, and what she was watching during COVID was reruns of “Columbo.”  And then the last line of the article was, “We don’t need a reboot of ‘Columbo. Just give Elsbeth Tascioni her her own show.” So everybody it was in the zeitgeist, and so I am the lucky recipient ofmsaid Zeitgeist. And you know, Robert and Michelle, throughout the years had said, “Oh, we would love to do something with you. We would love to do something,” and then, with the timing, they would just bring me back, you know, periodically on “The Good Wife” and “The Good Fight,”. And then just all of that lined up  to this to this moment happening. And so I’m extremely grateful. And to answer your question about Stephen Moyer…You know, “”True Blood”,” I mean, it holds a special, special place in my heart. I mean, my career sort of took off in a way that it hadn’t before that show, and so we all bonded. You know, we made “True Blood” kind of in a vacuum, and then it started airing. We weren’t even together, so we all bonded over that show, and he in particular, was like a real cast leader – he and Anna together – real cast leaders.  And he’s such a personable person, you know… he’s so outgoing and everything. And so, when they were casting this role on “Elsbeth,” I kept thinking, gosh! He would be so perfect because he’s so charming, but he can also be, you know, really dark, obviously, but having him on set during the pilot was such a comfort to me, because the stakes are really high and we wanted the show to be amazing. And you know you’re nervous. And they wrote this gorgeous — Robert and Michelle wrote this gorgeous script with these epic scenes. This is a very dialogue-heavy show. And so I really wanted somebody who, could, you know, really do that kind of scene work, somebody who understood that, and that’s Steven times of the billion.  And so that just gave me such, you know, real security, you know, in in A, in a, sometimes like nerve wracking situation. It was never that on this this pilot, because of Robert and Michelle and Stephen. And you know, Wendell and Cara.  It was just a really beautiful experience, that pilot time of my life. Really.

Jonathan Tolins: I would just like to say one thing about the the form, the howdunnit form.  Tou know, one of the things that was a little bit scary when Robert and Michelle called me and asked me to take this job was, “Oh, my God! Putting together all those mysteries!” But it actually is a really fun form to work in, and in our writers room, we call it, “the one act play that we open an episode with.” And we see, “How interesting can we make these characters, and this crime, before Elsbeth comes into it?”  And it we play with, you know…. “What do we tell the audience? What do we not tell the audience? What clues do we establish that they can try to find themselves? And which ones are we gonna hide for Elsbeth to find?” So, It’s a wonderful puzzle, and I think that’s one of the reasons why shows like this are so fun to watch. It’s like what they say, “play along at home.”

Wendell Pierce: Picking back on what Jonathan was saying. It was like going over my head. I was so into the thriller and the the whodunnit and howdunnit of the story… It was months later, when we actually started filming. I was like, “Do you realize this is kind of like Columbo?” Because I was so into the crime stories, and the one acts that they put together. And then I said, “Well, this is funny, too, man. I hope people really see and hear the humor.” Columbo was 3 times as long as our show, so we have to really move to put the cases together.

Victoria Saavedra: Great. Vlada Gilman, please unmute yourself and ask your question.

Vlada Gelman – TVLine: Hi, everybody! Thanks for doing this. For the EP’s. There’s a couple of mentions of Carey’s name in the first episode. Can you talk about the decision to reference him, and whether we’ll see him or anybody else from “The Good Fight/Good Wife” universe, and your approach to balancing how much this is a standalone show versus a spin off?

List of panelists on the press panel Carrie Preston, Wendell Pierce, Carra Patterson, Robert King, Michelle King and Jonathan Tolins of "Elsbeth" on CBSRobert King and Michelle King: You’re talking about Carey Agos now, I assume?

Vlada Gelman – TVLine: Yes.

Robert King and Michelle King: Yes, he is referenced. We think about our friends in Chicago, but it’s not our expectation that they’re traveling to New York anytime soon. Elsbeth is is on her own in New York, which is kind of part of the fun that she’s really – she’s enjoying it, and enjoying it on her own.

Carrie Preston: I always say I have friends in Chicago. I rarely see them. Alicia is in New York, though.

Robert King and Michelle King: Yes, yes, she’s not, however, working with the NYPD solving crimes…That’s gonna be such a bad quote, that one, in so many ways.

Victoria Saavedra: A question just came in for you, Carra. How does Officer Blanke’s relationship with Elsbeth evolve beyond the premiere episode?

Carra Patterson: Oh, It evolves pretty quickly. I think she finds this unique bond that develops right away in Elsbeth. The way I look at it is, like, Elsbeth is this fun breath of fresh air that Kaya didn’t know that she needed.  She’s a very dedicated, by-the-book. you know, NYPD officer, hoping to get the approval of her superiors, and you know, she’s not thinking anything else. But this woman is gonna stick around, but as she does, she realizes that Elsbeth sees something in her, and and she respects that because she’s been, you know, trying to work her way up for a while, and I think a lot of people can relate to that. I know I’ve been in those positions where I think, like, if I just do the right thing, people will notice, and it takes a while ’cause most times, people are in their own world and sometimes don’t care, and Elsbeth, like, really, you know, sees something in Kaya. And so yeah, it’s really special. And they have this fun, interesting bond! That evolves pretty quickly right away. So I’m also looking forward it, but I’ve only read up to Episode 4. I haven’t even got the fifth script yet, so I’m curious to see how it continues to grow from there. But it’s already something really special.

Carrie Preston: Yeah, and I’ll I’ll jump in as well, and say, You know, both both Kaya and Elsbeth are underestimated by people around them, and I think that they bond in that way as well, and they see a mutual kind of support system and  relationship to– she’s not a police officer, to kind of justify her being there, and I  because Elsbeth has such a brilliant mind, I think, Kaya, you know, kind of being younger, sort of learns from that, you know unorthodox way of doing things.

Wendell Pierce: and I’m seeing the impact that it has on her, you know, as a commander. I see this thorn in my side, this woman who gives me anxiety. There’s these moments of epiphany where I ultimately see how she is having an impact on this young officer that I have, and it kind of spurs something in me to ask this young officer, “Well, what do you think about it? What is your investigative instinct on this? She’s obviously having an impact on you.” And I see their relationship evolve, and that kind of softens my edges and eases my concerns about who this woman is, investigating my department. I see the brilliance in her, and I love that epiphany and that observation of their relationship, and how it’s growing. It’s fun.

Victoria Saavedra: Amazing. Rob Owen, please unmute yourself and ask your question.

Rob Owen: Hi, for the producers, just a quick question.  Elsbeth had a child in “The Good Wife”. Will that ever be addressed, or should longtime fans just assume that Elsbeth’s ex-husband has custody.

Jonathan Tolins: Well, one of the first things I did was, I went back and watched every episode Elsbeth ever appeared in, and took notes on every bit of information that’s ever been mentioned. Her son was really only mentioned in the first episode, and we did the math. So, Teddy, which is, we have now named him, is in his twenties. It’s not a custody question at this point. We hope not. And he yes, we will hear more about him, and Elsbeth’s relationship with him as his mom.

Rob Owen: Thank you.

 

Victoria Saavedra: Abby Bernstein, please unmute yourself and ask your question.

Abbie Bernstein, Assignment X: Hi, there! This actually sort of follows on the previous question for both the writing producers and Ms. Preston. Had you known that Elsbeth was going to get her own series, is there anything you would have done differently with Elsbeth in the previous series to set this up?

Robert King and Michelle King: I’ll speak only for myself. No, and that sounds a touch arrogant again, like, “Oh, we did it all perfect,” but maybe better just say Carrie did it all perfect. No, I wouldn’t change a single thing. She is ready to walk into her new show exactly as she is. I would have given her an eye patch. Carrie.

Carrie Preston and Carra Patterson star in "Elsbeth" Thursdays on CBS.Carrie Preston: I will say. You know, one of my favorite sayings is, “if it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage,” and so it’s always about the writing for me, and to have been trusted with this incredible role for years, never knowing when I was going to play it again, has been really a truly a gift every time it comes up. And so, when they came to me with this opportunity to play her, you know, all the time, you know, to be the the main course and not the side dish, you know, I found that to be a very delicious and exciting opportunity that I was ready to dive into, and also for myself, just as an actor, finding out more about this woman, you know. When you only have a certain number of scenes, there’s only so much information that you can get. But when you’re there all the time, you’re learning, I’m learning just as much about her new things, or I’m discovering new things. Especially the fact that she’s in this different situation, you know. So she’s a bit of a fish out of water. She’s very confident in the in the legal world, but you know she’s finding her way in this new world, and that’s that’s fun and exciting, too. And with Jonathan and the writers, I think it’s going to be a nice new thing. You know, this is decidedly not “The Good Wife”, and not “The Good Fight”. It’s its own world. It’s lighter, and it’s comedic in nature, I feel. And you know, you’ve got this case of the week, and it’s dealing with that and not politics. So we have a bunch of different new things. So it’s the same woman. But you don’t have to have watched those shows to dive into this show, I think.

Abbie Bernstein, Assignment X: Thank you.

Victoria Saavedra: Jim Halterman, please unmute yourself and ask your question.

Jim Halterman: Hey, everybody… Given what Carrie just said about the show being very comedic, What is the balance? As you’re writing the new scripts moving forward with comedy and drama… Do you want to instill dramatic moments in every episode, or is that more or an organic thing in the writers’ room.

Jonathan Tolins: I write everything funny. I can’t help it. I feel like we spent most of our lives trying to make each other laugh, so that kind of happens. But when you’re dealing with murder, obviously, and getting characters to the point where they will commit murder, there, absolutely, there is drama there… where we also have some investigation stuff going on in our precinct, with these characters that will lead to really dramatic stuff, you know, it’s all instinct. It’s all– I have a wonderful group of writers, and that room is very good at knowing when something feels right, when something feels too much or too little, and I trust that, you know?  You writing is not a conscious exercise. You have to at a certain point feel like you get into the vibe of these characters and let the show, you know, lead you.

Jim Halterman: Can I ask a question of Wendell while we’re on the subject? What do you enjoy doing more, drama or comedy?

Wendell Pierce: Wow! That’s a really good question. To nail something comedically is so difficult. I watch Carrie every day, and I’m just learning so much, you know?  And it’s so difficult, and that is so satisfying when you go, man, that’s great work, you know? So there’s that satisfaction of nailing something because I think that’s it’s more difficult.  To have the balance that I think we have in this show is really wonderful because it’s those dramatic moments where you find out when people lean on humor to feel comfortable or to break through, to deal with their fear, you know, to have the courage to do something. You know, we call it gallows humor. Sometime when they coexist is the Janus, you know, that face mask of comedy and tragedy that happens. That’s the great thing I really am enjoying about the show. I have become the Chatty Kathy on the cast. But no, and it’s because of the nature of the show, you know,  is all these great guest stars, and Carrie and Carra doing such great work. And and you know, I’m this guy, you know, who has to deal, be the commander, and the captain, and doing his political thing and trying to hide some of his history.  And I’m like a kid in a candy store, with all the opportunities that are given in this in the show. Elsbeth., to do drama to do comedy, to do really cinematic stuff, quiet, and at the same time deal with a lot of dialogue. So I’m enjoying the plethora of opportunities that you have given us, Robert.

Carrie Preston: They say – I think it was Robert, Michelle and Jonathan – they all say it’s as if Elsbeth is plopped down in the the middle of a very serious police procedural. So you have this dichotomy, you know, between their plan… They’re sort of in the the black, white, and grey tones of New York City. And then this very bright –I’m at work today. By the way — (wearing a bright outfit) this very bright character plops down into the middle of all that. And I think that creates a really fun tension between the drama and the comedy.

Jonathan Tolins: Yeah, as luck would have it, I worked, you know, I had the good fortune of working on “The Good Fight,” for Robert and Michelle, and became good friends with another producer on that show, Billy Finkelstein, and he asked me to work on his last show, which was “East New York,” which was a CBS New York procedural – go figure. But I worked on that show, not realizing it was putting me in very good stead to understand how to do a CBS procedural police show, and then, you know, be able to bring, you know, what I worked on in the last year. I worked on both “East New York” and “Schmigadoon!,” which, I think put me in the perfect spot.

Victoria Saavedra: Carrie, what do you love about this character? And why do you enjoy playing her?

Carrie Preston: Oh, my gosh! I love her mind! This is a brilliant woman who is so mercurial, so fast, so she’s like quicksilver. She can be saying one thing, thinking another, and her body is doing a third thing. And so that is really fun to navigate, to map out, to play. I spend more time in prep for this character than almost anything else I’ve ever played because of that, and that, you know, I really enjoy finding how, you know, how fast she is with everything, and figuring out what exactly it is that she is thinking, and why she’s saying a certain thing, and what’s making her turn this way and that, and the writing helps with that, of course. But that’s probably my favorite thing about her is her brain, you know?

Victoria Saavedra: Thank you. We have time for one last question. Megan Behnke, please unmute yourself and ask your question.

Megan Behnke: Hi, this question is really for anyone, but… with the show centering on a new case each week, is there anyone at the top of your list that you’d love to have guest star, on top of your current guest stars that are going to be appearing already?

Robert King and Michelle King: John.

Jonathan Tolins: I didn’t. My fear is that the minute you name someone, it’s never gonna happen. So I mean, there are people that I–

Carrie Preston:   Say, “Donald Trump.” Say, “Donald Trump!

Robert King and Michelle King: “The Good Fight,” is over.

Jonathan Tolins: We’ve stopped fighting that fight. Yeah, I don’t want to name anybody.  Although, there were- there are people that I’ve worked with in the past, whom, I’m excited that if the show, you know, launches well, and looks like a thing that people want to do, I am going to woo them like crazy. Because who wouldn’t want to work with this cast in New York? And I know the last thing I just want to say. I think we can keep attracting these great actors, because, you know, and I know this from working in the theater…. What actors want is they want parts with great subtext, aand these are parts where someone killed someone, and they don’t want to show it, and there’s nothing more fun to play than that.

Carrie Preston: Also, you know, we have these really juicy, meaty, meaty scenes. I mean, we’re not doing, like, little, short, one-eighth-of-a-page scenes, you know. We’re doing 7-page dialogue scenes sometimes, and that’s very attractive to actors, to be able to do that on television. You don’t usually get that opportunity.

Victoria Saavedra: Thank you to our panelists, and to all of you for joining. We are going to say goodbye with Carrie Preston, who has some final thoughts.

Carrie Preston: Hopefully, you all can just sense the enthusiasm that we all have for this project. It’s called “Elsbeth,” but there are hundreds of people lifting her up and getting her out into the world. And, you, as journalists, you know, are a gigantic part of that team. So I just wanna thank y’all, you know, from the bottom of my big, enthusiastic Elsbeth heart, you know, for spreading the word about the show. We’re nothing without an audience, and you know, y’all are our connection to that audience. So thank you for your time today, and for being so supportive of this incredible group of artists that I have  the privilege of working with every day. So thank you so very much for your time today.

Victoria Saavedra: Thank you, Carrie.

MORE INFO: Official Site  Trailer

Key art for "Elsbeth" on CBSELSBETH stars Emmy Award winner Carrie Preston as Elsbeth Tascioni, an astute but unconventional attorney who utilizes her singular point of view to make unique observations and corner brilliant criminals alongside the NYPD. After leaving her successful legal career in Chicago to tackle a new investigative role in New York City, Elsbeth finds herself jockeying with the toast of the NYPD, Captain C.W. Wagner (Wendell Pierce), a charismatic and revered leader. Working alongside Elsbeth is Officer Kaya Blanke (Carra Patterson), a stoic and ethical officer who quickly develops an appreciation for Elsbeth’s insightful and offbeat ways. ELSBETH is based on the character featured in THE GOOD WIFE and THE GOOD FIGHT.

Series premiere Thursday, Feb. 29 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network and streaming on Paramount+ (live and on demand for Paramount+ with SHOWTIME subscribers, or on demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers the day after the episode airs).

ON AIR:

ORIGINATION:

Thursday (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT)

New York

FORMAT:

Drama (Filmed in HD)

STARRING:

Carrie Preston

(Elsbeth Tascioni)

Wendell Pierce

(Captain C.W. Wagner)

Carra Patterson

(Officer Kaya Blanke)

PRODUCED BY:

CBS Studios

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS:

Robert King, Michelle King, Liz Glotzer and Jonathan Tolins

Carrie Preston as Elsbeth Tascioni from the CBS original pilot ELSBETH. -- Photo: Elizabeth Fisher/CBS ©2023 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.Carrie Preston is reprising her Emmy Award-winning role as the astute but unconventional attorney Elsbeth Tascioni in the new CBS drama ELSBETH. The beloved character was first introduced in the acclaimed series THE GOOD WIFE on the Network and appeared in THE GOOD FIGHT on Paramount+.

Preston recently spent four seasons starring as Polly in the TNT series “Claws.” Prior to that, she played Arlene Fowler for seven seasons on HBO’s “True Blood,” while also recurring for five seasons on the Network’s PERSON OF INTEREST – playing the love interest to her real-life husband, Michael Emerson.

Other major TV series include the co-leading role in the NBC sitcom “Crowded,” ABC’s LGBTQ rights-driven miniseries “When We Rise” and arcs opposite Hank Azaria in “Brockmire” and Joshua Jackson in “Dr. Death.” Her extensive list of guest star appearances includes ABC’s “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives.”

Preston made her feature film debut in Julia Roberts blockbuster “My Best Friend’s Wedding.” Other notable film roles include scene-stealing performances in “Duplicity,” “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” the Oscar nominated “Transamerica” (as Felicity Huffman’s sister), “That Evening Sun” with Hal Holbrook, “One of These Days” with Joe Cole and “To the Bone” with Keanu Reeves and Lily Collins. She recently played Kevin Bacon’s wife in two films: the Kyra Sedgwick-helmed “Space Oddity” and “THEY/THEM.” She will soon be seen opposite Paul Giamatti in Alexander Payne’s “The Holdovers.”

Trained at Juilliard, Preston made her Broadway debut playing Miranda to Patrick Stewart’s Prospero in “The Tempest” and later played Honey with Stewart and Mercedes Ruehl in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” at The Guthrie Theater. Other stage work includes “Festen” with Jeremy Sisto and Julianna Margulies, “The Rivals,” “Antony and Cleopatra” with Vanessa Redgrave, and playing Mia Farrow’s daughter in James Lapine’s “Fran’s Bed.”

Preston is also a sought-after director. Television credits include two episodes of THE GOOD FIGHT, two episodes of Showtime’s YOUR HONOR and two episodes of “Claws,” in which she also starred. She also directed the Sundance Film Festival feature “That’s What She Said” starring the late Anne Heche, Marcia DeBonis and Alia Shawkat.

Preston lives in New York City with her husband, Michael, and their adopted dog, Chumley. In her free time, Carrie supports LGBTQIA+ rights and GLAAD, is an honorary board member for the new play development organization The New Harmony Project and is a supporter of Parkinson’s disease research. Her birthday is June 21. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @carriepreston.

Wendell Pierce as Captain C.W. Wagner from the CBS original pilot ELSBETH. -- Photo: Elizabeth Fisher/CBS ©2023 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.Wendell Pierce has established himself as a prolific award-winning actor with a body of work on stage, television and film that spans more than three decades. Pierce will star as Captain C.W. Wagner, a charismatic and revered NYPD leader in the new CBS drama ELSBETH, based on the character featured in THE GOOD WIFE and THE GOOD FIGHT.

Universally hailed for his portrayal of Det. Bunk Moreland on HBO’s groundbreaking series “The Wire,” Pierce was also praised for his starring role as Antoine Baptiste on David Simon’s critically acclaimed series “Tremé.” Most recently, he starred as James Greer in “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” alongside John Krasinski, as well as in an episode of the new Fox anthology series “Accused.”

Pierce returned to Broadway in 2022 for a limited engagement to reprise his portrayal of Willy Loman in “Death of a Salesman,” for which he received a Tony Award nomination for Lead Actor in a Play. Pierce made his Broadway debut as Boy Willie in August Wilson’s “Piano Lesson.” His other Broadway credits include Carol Churchill’s “Serious Money” and John Pielmeier’s “Boys of Winter.” Other theater credits include “Cost of Living,” “Brokeology,” “‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore,” “Cymbeline,” “Two Gentleman of Verona,” “Tartuffe,” “Waiting for Godot,” “The Cherry Orchard” and “The Oedipus Cycle.”

In film, Pierce’s wide-ranging work includes Ava Duvernay’s “Selma,” Taylor Hackford’s “Ray,” Spike Lee’s “Malcom X” and “Get on the Bus,” Forest Whittaker’s “Waiting to Exhale,” Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winner “Clemency,” and the Bounce Original Film “Don’t Hang Up,” for which he received an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Male Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Limited Series.

On television, Pierce starred as Robert Zane on USA Network’s “Suits,” and had recurring roles on Showtime’s RAY DONOVAN and NBC’s “Chicago PD.” He appeared in HBO’s award-winning “Confirmation” as Clarence Thomas and “Between the World and Me,” based on the #1 New York Times bestseller by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

A Juilliard alum and a 1981 White House Presidential Scholar in the Arts, Pierce is the recipient of several awards, including the Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in the Theater; the Tribeca Film Festival Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Rev. Tillman in the drama “Burning Cane,” for which he also received Independent Spirit and Gotham Award nominations; a Tony Award as a producer of “Clybourne Park”; and Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special Image Award for his role of Slick in the HBO drama “Life Support,” opposite Queen Latifah.Carra Paterson as Officer Kaya Blanke from the CBS original pilot ELSBETH. -- Photo: Elizabeth Fisher/CBS ©2023 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Pierce is co-owner of Equity Media, the new ownership group of WBOK 1230AM, a 70-year-old legacy Black talk radio station in New Orleans and the oldest Black-owned radio station in Louisiana. Pierce is the author of his memoir, The Wind in the Reeds.

Currently, Pierce splits his residence between New York City and his native New Orleans. His birthday is Dec. 8. Follow him on Twitter @WendellPierce and Instagram @wendellpcg.

Carra Patterson will star as Officer Kaya Blanke, a stoic and ethical officer in the new CBS drama based on the character featured in THE GOOD WIFE and THE GOOD FIGHT, ELSBETH.

Most recently, Patterson starred in “Turner & Hooch” and “Servant.” Television guest appearances include EVIL, “Straight Outta Compton,” “Lovecraft Country,” “The Arrangement,” along with BLUE BLOODS and THE GOOD WIFE on the Network.

Additionally, Patterson will star as Coretta Scott King in the upcoming Higher Ground feature film “Rustin,” directed by George C. Wolfe, opposite Colman Domingo, Chris Rock and Audra McDonald.

Currently, Patterson resides in New York City. Her birthday is Jan. 31. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @CarraPatterson.

 

Carrie Preston, Wendell Pierce, Carra Patterson, Robert King, Michelle King and Jonathan Tolins of "Elsbeth" on CBS

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Interview with Maahra Hill

TV Interview!

 

Maahra Hill stars in "The Irrational on NBC" (photo from her Instagram)

Interview with Maahra Hill of “THe Irrational” on NBC by Suzanne 2/13/24

This was a fun audio interview with the actress who plays FBI agent Marisa Clark on “The Irrational” (and ex-wife to star Jesse L. Martin’s Alec Mercer). I love this show, so it was fun to pick her brain about it (even though they haven’t started on season 2 yet). I hope you enjoy the season finale tonight! I know I will.

 

MORE INFO: Official Site  Season One Trailer   Season Finale Trailer

The Irrational

Mondays on NBC (10-11 p.m. ET/PT)

THE IRRATIONAL -- Pictured: "The Irrational" Key Art -- (Photo by: NBCUniversal)

“The Irrational” follows world-renowned professor of behavioral science Alec Mercer (Jesse L. Martin) as he lends his unique expertise on an array of high-stakes cases involving governments, law enforcement and corporations. His insight and unconventional approach to understanding human behavior lead him and the team on a series of intense, unexpected journeys to solve illogical puzzles and perplexing mysteries.

The cast also includes Maahra Hill as “Marisa,” Travina Springer as “Kylie,” Molly Kunz as “Phoebe,” and Arash DeMaxi as “Rizwan.”THE IRRATIONAL -- Season 1 -- Pictured: Maahra Hill as Marisa -- (Photo by: Sergei Bachlakov/NBC)

Arika Lisanne Mittman, Mark Goffman, Sam Baum and David Frankel executive produce. The show is based on best-selling author Dan Ariely’s book, “Predictably Irrational.”

The show is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group.

Maahra Hill

Marisa, “The Irrational”

Maahra Hill stars as Marisa on the new NBC drama “The Irrational.”

Hill starred as the title role in the OWN series “Delilah” from creator Craig Wright. She garnered rave reviews for her work and was included in Variety’s 2021 lead actress Emmy Awards contenders list.

Prior credits include guest starring on “Black-ish,” “The L Word: Generation,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” “Life in Pieces” and “Speechless.”

 

Maahra Hill stars in "The Irrational on NBC" (photo from her Instagram)

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Interview with Maria Russell

TV Interview!

 

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

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

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

This transcript still needs more editing!

Maria: Hi, Suzanne.

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

Maria: I know,

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

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

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

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

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

Maria: Oh, got it.

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

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

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

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

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

Suzanne: Well, that’s good.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Suzanne: Wow.

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

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

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

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

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

Suzanne: Yes.

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

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

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

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

Maria: Yes, exactly. Exactly.

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

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

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

Maria: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

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

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

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

Maria: Thank you. I appreciate that.

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

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

Suzanne: Wow.

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

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

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

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

Maria: No.

Suzanne: Wow.

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

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

Maria: Yeah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maria: We couldn’t talk about anything.

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

Maria: I know. I know. I know.

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

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

MORE INFO: Official Site  Trailer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Transcript by Descript and video by Clideo

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

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Interview Eliza Bennett

TV Interview!

 

Eliza Bennett stars in "An American in Austin" on Hallmark Channel. (Photo from her Instagram)

Interview with Eliza Bennett of “An American in Austen” on Hallmark by Suzanne 2/15/24

This was a fun little chat with Eliza about her new Hallmark movie. It’s a thrill ride, it has time travel, and it has romance. What more could you want? I hope you watch and enjoy it Feb. 17 on Hallmark!

 

MORE INFO:

Cast: Eliza Bennett, Nicholas Bishop Synopsis: Harriet, who thinks that no real man compares to Mr. Darcy, is transported into Pride & Prejudice and gets an unexpected chance to find out. Genre: Romance, Romantic ComedyEliza will co-star in the Paramount + series, Sexy Beast alongside Sarah Greene, Tamsin Greig, Steven Moyer, and James McArdle. The show is a prequel to the 2000 film which delves into the origin tales of Gal, Teddy, and Don; it is now streaming worldwide.

Audiences may recognize her work from Netflix’s current hit feature, Do Revenge, with Sophie Turner and Camila Mendes. The film re-teamed Eliza with her Sweet/Vicious, writer/director, Jennifer Kaytin Robinson. She also starred as Amanda Carrington in two seasons of the CW’s reboot, Dynasty with Liz Gillies.

Other recent television work includes recurring on ABC’s The Conners opposite Sara Gilbert and John Goodman, Amazon’s comedy pilot, People Just Do Nothing from executive producer, Ash Atalia, and guest-starring with Sterling K. Brown on This Is Us.

Bennett’s breakout came when she played Jules, a college student living a double life, one as a typical sorority girl and the other as a campus vigilante committed to eliminating abusers in MTV’s dark comedy series, Sweet/Vicious.

Variety said: “Eliza Bennett plays Jules, a sorority girl who likes sunset pictures on Instagram and has a bedroom straight out of a pastel Pinterest page. Bennett is asked to sketch all the layers of an earnest character who is pretty square and conformist, but who is also full of confusion and rage and dryly funny from time to time. She pulls off all those rapid transitions without missing a beat”.

Bennett began her career in the United Kingdom on both stage and screen. Her feature credits include the lead role in the New Line’s Inkheart, alongside Brendan Fraser, Paul Bettany, Helen Mirren, and Andy Serkis, critically acclaimed, Nanny McPhee, opposite Emma Thompson, and the Julian Fellowes feature From Time to Time, with Maggie Smith and Dominic West.

Bennett is a seasoned theater performer having starred in numerous West End productions including the lead in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the musical Loserville.

She is a singer/songwriter, having released singles Late Twenties, Visit Me In Georgia, and Hate to Love You in 2022 and a Christmas single, All I Want for Christmas is You with Liz Gillies in 2021.

Bennett splits her time between Los Angeles and the U.K.

 

An American in Austen

Cast: Eliza Bennett, Nicholas Bishop

Synopsis: Harriet, who thinks that no real man compares to Mr. Darcy, is transported into Pride & Prejudice and gets an unexpected chance to find out.
Genre: Romance, Romantic Comedy
Eliza Bennett stars as Harriet in "An American in Austin" on Hallmark Channel. (Photo from Hallmark's site)

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Interview with Jon Lindstrom

TV Interview!

 

Jon Lindstrom, who plays Kevin on "General Hospital" on ABC (photo from his Instagram).

Interview with Jon Lindstrom of “General Hospital” on ABC by Suzanne 2/15/24

It was great to interview veteran actor Jon Lindstrom, who has his first novel, “Hollywood Hustle” out for only 10 days, and it’s already a best seller on USA Today’s Booklist! He’s most known for playing Kevin Collins, and his evil twin Ryan Chamberlain, on “General Hospital” since 1992 (off and on). He was on the soap “Santa Barbara” before that, and of course he also played Craig on “As The World Turns” (where he met his wife, Cady, who played Rosanna) and reprised his roles of Kevin and Ryan on “Port Charles,” the GH spinoff. He’s also been in quite a few films, and many primetime series, most notably “Bosch” on Prime Video and “True Detective” on HBO.

There are many more questions I could have asked him, but we were already on Zoom for a half an hour – I didn’t want to keep him longer. I felt that he was generous enough to speak to me as long as he did. I would have liked to have heard more about his working with Genie Francis (Laura); about playing Ryan; about working with Alley Mills (Heather); about those pitches he mentioned; about Cady; and more.  Buy his book here!  If you love detective novels, you should enjoy this one.  Of course, you can also watch him on “General Hospital” on ABC and HULU.

THIS TRANSCRIPT STILL NEEDS EDITING!

Suzanne: So, thanks for being here today.

Jon: It’s my pleasure to be here. Thanks for asking.

Suzanne: Are you feeling okay? I saw you had a cold….

Jon: Well, you can kind of hear it in my voice. I’m a little froggy, but I’m feeling better today than I did yesterday.

Suzanne: So, when did you, start writing your book and how long did it take you to finish it?

Jon: Oh boy, that’s kind of a loaded question. all in all, it took about four years, but I, I have to qualify that because I had written for about a year and was making good progress. And then all of a sudden the show I’m on being general hospital decided to bring back a dead twin. And suddenly I was working so hard I didn’t have time to write.

I was up every day at 530 to go to the studio and pull off double duty as Kevin and Ryan on GH. So I had to put it down for about a year. And then COVID hit and I was able to pick it up again for about six months. And then of course, the first shows to go back into production during COVID were soap operas.

Suzanne: Right.

Jon: I guess means we’re just a little bit expendable.

Suzanne: You did have strict COVID protocols and vaccine requirements, so..JOHN LINDSTROM GENERAL HOSPITAL – The Emmy-winning daytime drama “General Hospital” airs Monday-Friday (3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. GH18 (ABC/Craig Sjodin)

Jon: We had very strict COVID protocols. Yeah, we, we were a lot of masks. Daily testing, a lot of swabs in the nose. but. We picked up right where we left off. So I had to put the book down again, and that was probably another six months.

And then it took me another year or so through several drafts, working with editors and getting it into shape to actually submit. So all in all, the writing process took about two years, but the entire span was about four.

Suzanne: Okay. And did you have any difficulties getting it published?

Jon: Amazingly, no. I mean, I look at my experience, and my experience really was much easier than I think most people.

Now, of course, I do have a little bit of a platform, in terms of followers and, at Insta and Twitter, and I, I just can’t seem to call it but, excuse me, I, I, I did go to at the behest of an author who I had narrated because I have this little side hustle narrating audio books, which is great for me because I just, I love books. JOHN LINDSTROM GENERAL HOSPITAL – The Emmy-winning daytime drama “General Hospital” airs Monday-Friday (3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. GH18 (ABC/Craig Sjodin)

But one of those authors was the great Alex Finlay he’s one of the best thriller writers, I’ve ever read. I wrote to him to thank him for. The inspiration to get me over that hump and start actually writing a book. And he wrote me right back within five minutes and we’ve since become good friends. but he told me flat out, John, if you’re serious about this, you have to go to the book conferences.

And being that you’re a crime writer, which falls under Thriller Mysteries, you need to go to Thriller Fest. Which is in New York every June. And it’s, it’s huge. Takes over the entire hotel, the Sheraton Hotel in New York City. And, so I went. And that’s where I actually pitched agents. About 12 of them.

Cause there’s a thing they’re called pitch fest. And I recommend anybody do this because there’s just something about sitting down in front of someone. And not only do they get a sense of you, you get a sense of who they are. And I met my agent there. I sat down with a woman named Liza Fleissig from the Liza Royce Agency.

And as soon as I sat down, I liked her. And I think she liked me because we sat and we talked for a few minutes before we even got to my pitch. And that’s who I eventually went with. And she was able to get a deal within a few months. And we had a few offers. Settled with Crooked Lane Books because they just Kind of totally got the book.

Suzanne: So it sounds more like what you do to pitch a series or a movie nowadays than the old time where you just sent in your manuscript.

Jon: Yeah, I, that’s where I had a bit of an advantage because I have pitched movies and TV show ideas and things. So I knew, I knew the basics of how to pitch. When they say five minutes, that means get it down to three because you need a couple of minutes for them to ask questions if they’re interested.

Suzanne: Sure.

Jon: I got my pitch down to one minute, 45 , . I, pardon me, I really wanted to be succinct and straightforward and really nail it. And, and fortunately that worked for me. I had, I pitched 12 agents. I had 12 or requests for the manuscript. So what made you wanna write a detective novel? Is that your favorite genre?

Yeah. Yeah. It’s just, one of my favorite writers was, was Elmore Leonard. I used to read his stuff all the time. and I, and I love the, the OGs of the genre, the Raymond Chandler’s, Dashiell Hammett’s, James Cain, those guys just invented something that’s very specific to Los Angeles.

About that darkness that that lurks underneath the sun and the palm trees and it’s a it’s a really to me. It’s just a really layered fascinating kind of. Setting for stories. So I’ve always loved it. So I just kind of, and right. But, I’ve been living most of my adult life here, except for a few years in New York.

I’ve been here in Los Angeles since I was 20.

Suzanne: Yeah.

Jon: And so I, I know it pretty well.

Suzanne: Oh, by the way, congratulations on getting on the USA Today bestseller list.

Jon: Thank you.

Suzanne: And also congratulations for being on General Hospital over 30 years. That’s amazing.

Jon: Going on 32…

Suzanne: Off and on, but still.

Jon: Yeah, Yeah. I, I go and I come back, but you know what, as long as they keep asking Right. , why not?

Suzanne: That’s right. Well, I, I been watching off and on since 84, mostly on, and so I remember when you started on the show, .

Jon: Wow. 84.

Suzanne: Yeah. I was in college.

Jon: So that’s when people get home.

Yeah. Yeah. If you don’t have grandma or mom watching, it’s college that doesn’t, it’s either college or I watched you with my grandma.

Suzanne: So, what are some other, favorite authors or influences on your writing that you haven’t mentioned yet?

Jon: Well, film noir, definitely. my, my favorite Saturday night now is to stay home and watch TCM. because it, You know, Eddie Muller and Noir Alley comes on every Saturday night. and he digs into a very deep library of, of film noir in that canon that, that was really unlike anything else that was ever made before or since.

You know, it was post war malaise. They were lower budget, so they often had to shoot at night when the rest of the studio was asleep. Wow. There was a lot of night shooting and a lot of use of light and shadow and, beautiful, uh Cinematography. So I, I just, I don’t know. There’s something about that genre where your main character is, is faced with a choice of Do it or don’t do it.

If I do it, whether it’s for love or lust or greed or whatever, even altruism. If I do this as a very good chance, it will end me.

Suzanne: Yeah.

Jon: And he does it anyway. So I, there’s something about having to make a choice like that, that I find very interesting.

Suzanne: And, you were in Bosch, one of my favorite shows. what about Michael Connolly? Did you read a lot of him?

Jon: Oh yeah, I was a big fan. I got turned on to Harry Bosch back in the 1980s, when he started writing them. And, so yeah, to get a season of Bosch as one of his bad guys, was, was, was a bit of a dream come true. And he’s a lovely man. He, he was on set all the time.

So sorry for this cold, but, he, he’s a, he’s a big guy, now I’m 6’1 and he’s, I gotta look up at him, he, but he was the crime writer for the L. A. Times for many years, and he, he’s another one who really gets this city, and really understands how to accurately portray crime here.

And how it gets just kind of somebody asked me the other night. We have our launch event at Book Soup up on Sunset Boulevard, and there was a woman there who I didn’t know, but she asked a really good question. She said, what’s the difference between L. A crime and New York crime? And I thought, wow, that’s, I never thought of that.

But when I, once I did, I remember being down in Soho and I lived in New York and I came out of a restaurant or something right across the street was an armored car that was waiting for the guys to come out and deliver the money. And I see him come out and this crowded street and the guy, has his hand on the handle of his sidearm.

And he looks both ways and looks all around and then signals the guy to come out and they quickly got into that car, that armored car and took off. and I thought that’s the difference. It’s like New York, it’s going to be in your face. If you’re going to hit that place, you’re going to hit it right in the middle of Soho on a Tuesday afternoon.

And it’s, it’s like crime in your face. Whereas here. It’s all it’s easier to kind of hide it under so it’s all spread out. It’s so spread out here that it can happen. And it’s like, if, if a crime falls in the forest, it’s anyone here,

Suzanne: I imagine it’s harder for them to find the culprit too, because if they’re staying in the area, because they have so much more land to cover. Whereas in New York, if they’re going to be in that area, it’s a lot easier.

Jon: And everybody knows you in New York.

Suzanne: Yeah, that’s true.

Jon: Here, again, there’s another layer of this kind of hidden world. You know, I mean, fortunately, I know my neighbors. We all look after each other. But, that’s not always been the case in most places I’ve lived in LA.

Suzanne: No, in California, the whole thing is like that. I grew up there. I’m from San Diego. So we almost never knew my neighbors. Yeah, now that we’ve lived strange phenomenon and it’s, it’s, it was funny because to me that’s normal because that’s how I grew up. But we’ve lived in the South. I’m in Arkansas right now.

We, I know, and my husband just thinks it’s weird because California, but it is nice to know, especially during the pandemic when we were out walking the dog and. Everyone was like, oh, hi, because they were so happy to see, to see anybody, anybody, anybody, but their kids and their family. But, yeah, so that’s awesome.

I understand that completely. and we’re actually moving to New York in June. we, we lived there a long time ago, when I got into GH actually, when I was in college.

Jon: So, are you moving to the city?

Suzanne: No, but we’re going to be about half an hour from there.

Jon: I understand.

Suzanne: We don’t actually know what town we’re moving to yet. We have to find a place, but he’s going to work at SUNY Old Westbury. Oh, great. Congratulations. Thank you. Yeah, I’m really looking forward to it. I want to be in a city again, in a small town here. I won’t know my neighbors.

I read some of the book. I haven’t had time to finish it, but, to me, the description of when sounds a lot like Steve Burton, at least physically.

Jon: Steve was– no, no, no. Steve was not an inspiration at all. There was a Steve, but it was Steve McQueen.

Suzanne: Oh, okay. Well, then they have a lot in common [physically].

Jon: It’s not Steve Burton. Steve, Steve’s way too muscled for Win, Winston green. Now, my inspirations for Wynn were, were Steve McQueen, Kevin Costner, in terms of physicality. and I, I do describe him in there that a director that Winston had worked with described Winston Green as a landmine that’s been stepped on and you’re just waiting for you to step off before he blows, he’s wired tight.

There’s a, there’s an edge to him. but sadly, the other inspiration was, was really Tom Sizemore and some of the other people in my business who have, who came to town with just brilliant talent. I mean, just, you would take Tom Sizemore, just look at his work and Saving Private Ryan and Heat and, he was working with the very best of the best because they wanted him and, and his demons got him.

And, and it really sidelined his career and, yeah, it was very sad, but it’s, that’s, I’ve known a lot of guys like that, just their lives and careers have taken a hard left due to. Due to substance abuse and some made it and some didn’t. Yeah, well, I’d like to see Winston as somebody who made it and got himself together.

but he’s just hanging on. All he’s doing, he’s just hanging on to just trying to keep some stability. So now I hit, I’ll, I’ll let Steve. No, sorry, Steve.

Suzanne: Well, I think if I recall, it was the blue eyes and the buzz cut and I don’t remember what else, but it just sounded like him.

Jon: So I thought more of Steve McQueen in “Bullit.”

Suzanne: No, I can see that. Now that you say that. Just to touch on, you’re talking about sad things, the GH family set, whatever you want to call it, has had a lot of loss in the last year. has that really changed, how things run there or?

Jon: Well, no, it hasn’t changed how we run anything. It’s just, I think we’re all just really aware of how fragile and, and, How quickly something can end.

it’s too bad that people have to pass away before you’re reminded of these things. But yeah, we’ve taken some real hits this year behind the camera and in front of the camera and. You know, we miss them all. So, we just try to appreciate each other when we’re there, I noticed nobody, nobody raises their voice, nobody’s, popping off out of anger.

I noticed a lot, right?

Suzanne: Yeah. There’s a, the fans are very sad too.

Jon: Yeah. Yeah. There was a, there was a huge outpouring from, from people and, and we really, we all heard it and saw it and felt it, very of that. Yeah, I, I know .Jon Lindstrom has portrayed both Kevin and Ryan on "General Hospital" and "Port Charles" on ABC.

Suzanne: All right. so that wasn’t on my list, but I just had to mention that.

So as a first time author, would you say that you’re still learning?

Jon: Oh, definitely, definitely. Yeah. I’m, I’m struggling with book two.

Suzanne: I just, yeah, if you’re gonna, that was my next question. Are you planning to write more?

Jon: Yeah, I, I, book two and book three, I mean, I pitched this really as. a series, maybe all of which would have the word Hollywood in the title.

They’re all crime novels. But, and I tried to keep everything grounded the way Elmore Leonard did, that’s like, this is a real world, that you find these people walking through. but yeah, I, I’m, I’m hoping to, I, suddenly being a bestseller and seeing four stars from everywhere from Amazon to Barnes and Noble, gives you a nice kick of confidence.

So I’m looking back to, I’m getting ready to get back into it.

Suzanne: I bought two of them. I bought the–

Jon: Oh thank you

Suzanne: Kindle version and the, audio version.

Jon: Oh, alright. Which I recorded in my basement.

Suzanne: I know… Oh, in your basement?

Jon: In my basement. Yeah. I have a little collapsible frame with these acoustic blankets.

Suzanne: Wow.

Jon: It’s not a whisper room, which is like silent, but it is fine. But I still have to, I have to suffer helicopters and dogs and leaf blowers. Yeah. , things like that.

Suzanne: I’m torn between… I’m not a big books on tape, what they call, I don’t know what they call them now, audios, fan, because I read really fast, but I wanted to hear your voice and, and hear it that way while, while I was, doing other things.

Jon: So I, I keep going back and forth, but I really liked the accents that you do and the voices.

Oh, great. Thank you. Thanks.

Suzanne: You have a lot of practice from all the voiceovers.

Jon: Yeah, I had a little bit of a, an easy runway to get on that airfield.

Suzanne: I have a tough question. So you can feel free not to answer it. If you don’t like it. I’ve read many good reviews and a few bad ones. Some criticize you for being overly descriptive. Is that writing style or do you plan to cut back on some of the description in your future novels?

Jon: You know, I would say what’s the matter? You never read Stephen King because, if there’s anybody who knows how to, how to, describe a place and place is very important, listen, you got to take, you got to take the bad with the good and you’re not going to make everybody happy.

  There was one guy who, who took issue with my, my description of. Of firearms.

Suzanne: Oh, I saw that one.

Jon: Yeah. Yeah. and you know what? He’s fair enough. He can have his opinion, but I grew up around guns and his point was technically correct. Right? There are automatic weapons. But those are divided into semi automatic and fully automatic.

But when you discern between an automatic weapon or a revolver as in a single or double action revolver, you don’t need those descriptions. Everybody knows what you’re talking about. So, it’s funny. He knocked me off half a star for that, but you know what, Hey, listen, the guy’s got his opinion and that’s what he’d like to read.<br />
and that’s fine. That’s totally fine. the point is he, he still liked the book and the story, so, I say thank you , are you, you can’t, you can’t get bogged down in this, you know?

Suzanne: Yeah.

Jon: This thing of, I mean, that’s one guy, and, and he’s entitled to that opinion as is anybody who says, he overwrites the description.

Well, it is about la it’s also about Hollywood, so you don’t, you can gloss over.

Suzanne: You’re right.

Jon: Don’t have. You don’t have to get mired in it, it says you have to do that too. Yeah, that’s, it, they’re different writing styles and you can’t say one different styles and different tastes and that’s, that’s fine.

I mean, somebody who really knows LA, I can see why they would go, Oh man, this is really overwritten. You know, but somebody who doesn’t, and I hear this more than I hear the opposite there, they really appreciate the, the description of characters and backstory and setting and, and all that stuff. <br />
So, like I said, you can’t, you can’t please everybody.

Suzanne: And as an actor, as an actor, you’re used to people criticizing you and rejecting you and. Giving you bad reviews, all that stuff. So yeah, it’s over the average writer.

It just, yeah, it just comes with the, it just comes with the territory.

Suzanne: Now, talking about GH for a minute, do you, still enjoy playing Kevin even without Ryan?

JOHN LINDSTROM, GENIE FRANCIS GENERAL HOSPITAL – The Emmy-winning daytime drama “General Hospital” airs Monday-Friday (3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. GH18 (ABC/Craig Sjodin)Suzanne: NNow, talking about GH for a minute, do you, still enjoy playing Kevin even without Ryan? Jon: Yeah, well, I like Kevin very much. I think Kevin’s a really good guy. I think that there’s, there’s been kind of a, we, we’ve kind of lost a little bit of Kevin along the way, remember when Kevin was, was first around and we had first gotten rid of. Of Ryan. Kevin was an artist. He was a psychiatrist, but he was an artist who lived in a, in a lighthouse and painted all the time to paint out a demon and, and we’ve kind of, we’ve kind of veered away from that. And, we have some new writers coming in now. So I think that I, I think we’re going to have some, um. I think there’s going to be some changes, in how Kevin, but I mean, that’s a long answer, but to answer your question, I love playing Kevin. I love, I love playing Kevin. I love playing Ryan. I love, I love working with Genie. I love working with Lynn Herring and, and Ken Shriner and everybody that, that goes along in Kevin’s world. You know, he’s, to me, it’s just fun.

Suzanne: There’s so many great, stories that Kevin has had over the years. Although my favorite, I have to say, is on Port Charles. I believe it was the Miracles Happen, book, they called it, when he and Lucy got remarried and the little girl came, showed up. Yeah, but even though later, I think they took the little girl away and he got divorced and all that stuff, but that was my favorite because it was so Christmassy and so happy and, and like, we rarely get enough of those moments.

Jon: Yeah, that’s true. You know, I, I love doing, I love doing Port Charles. It was like, it was like the little half hour that could, and I’m, I know that there was somebody at the network paying attention, but it never felt like that. It always felt like we could. It was like our secret corner of daytime TV where we could do whatever we wanted.

I saw the, the executive producer the other day, Julie Hayden Carruthers, and she, she said the same thing. It goes, I, I know there was somebody at the network, but every time we said we’d like to do this, they just said, okay. You know, that’s great, and we got the vampires and we got the six week books that tell a novella style and really fun things. <br />
Suzanne: Oh, yeah. I’m such a huge fan of that show. but I just, I just occurred to me, didn’t Kevin write a novel, “General Homicide?” And it foretold your future.

Jon: There you go.

Suzanne: Let’s hope nobody gets killed in a way.

Jon: I, I, I wanted to, and it’s, they would never go for it. But, but I had this idea that Kevin could walk into the room and, and Laura is, is reading Hollywood hustle.

I said, Oh, what’s your reading? Oh, it’s Hollywood hustle. I said, Oh, how is it? Oh, it’s good. Oh yeah. Is it better than general homicide? And have her say, better.

Suzanne: That’s funny.

Jon: Kevin will take a double take.

Suzanne: Yeah, I guess the thing that most annoys me about it is that Kevin has a daughter out there that they never mention, Livvie. I mean, she might be dead. Vampire or something.

Jon: She looks just like Kelly Monaco.

Suzanne: II know. She could do a twin role, you know. You’re good.

Jon: Yeah. But it’s just. Yeah, there’s a lot of things that we left on the, on the floor. You know, with the. Yeah. With, General, General Homicide slash Port Charles.

Suzanne: So, how different is it now on GH as opposed to when you started over 30 years ago?

Jon: Well, the main thing that’s changed is the structure of production because, the, budgets everywhere have just been constricted to the point of not being choked. But, and this is true, I mean, virtually on every show that I work on because I do a lot of work outside of General Hospital.

Suzanne: Mm hmm.

Jon: You know, everything is just so damn expensive now that sometimes it can feel like if you cut 10 off the budget, you wouldn’t be able to make the week, but somehow they managed to do it. I think Frank Valentini is a terrific producer. You know, the, the shows themselves, the airtime has been cut down from, I think, 49 minutes and change the rest of being advertising during the hour down to about 36 minutes and change.

So, And yet, ABC keeps pumping money into it. You know, it was right before the pandemic. I think I went up to the editing bay and they were putting in a brand new Abbott system. So the, the network is still investing money into that show. They feel it’s, it’s viable for the future. So. You know, the main thing is, you have to show up with your track shoes on. You don’t get to kind of feel your way through scenes and rehearsals anymore. You need to, you need to show up and do your job quickly and efficiently.

Suzanne: And, so now that you’re a writer, is it, is it harder for you to say other writers lines?

Jon: No.

Suzanne: Oh, you don’t say, Oh, I wish they would have written it this way, or…?

Jon: No, but I mean, we have a lot of permission to just transpose or paraphrase things as long as you get the thought across because the writers in daytime are very good and they know the rule. If it doesn’t move the story forward or expose character, get rid of it.

And they’re pretty good at trimming things down to those two rules. So. There’s really not much you have to change. And if you were to change it, you might be messing up something that’s gonna happen tomorrow, so.

Suzanne: Right, right. And so you posted that you’re playing the president in a new movie. Can you tell us about the new movie?

Jon: Oh, it was a, what is, it’s called a Proof of concept Short.

Suzanne: Oh, okay. So it’s not yet a movie.

Jon: Yeah, I was asked to come down to, to Dallas and play the president for a day while they put together, um. A, essentially a proof of concept real that would show that this movie could work. On a as a film. So I spent the day. It was something. That’s why I have a cold right now because I pushed myself a little too hard over the last week or two. yeah, so I spent the day working with Jesse Metcalf. Who’s a lovely guy. I had worked with him on something before, 8 or 9 years ago. And, and, and then I had to deliver a page and a half monologue as the president and I did it in one take.

Suzanne: Wow, that’s great.

Jon: Well, that’s that. So daytime comes in handy.

Suzanne: Oh, yeah. I was going to mention when we were talking about Bosch…. They have a lot of former daytime stars on there.

Jon: Oh, sure. Yeah, they, that’s what was beautiful about Bosch. They, they didn’t there’s other places that will say, oh, they were on daytime. We don’t want to Bosch doesn’t care. Yeah, you’re either right for the part or you weren’t. And if you were right for it, they didn’t mind what your background was. As long as, as long as you could walk and talk and not trip over the furniture, they were happy. They wanted people who knew what they were doing.

Suzanne: II mean, it’s such a silly, prejudice to have because you guys usually are better actors and better prepared and know everything and can do so much than.

Jon: Yeah. I, listen, I liken it to, to people who knock country music usually don’t even listen to country music. And the same people would go, Oh, well they’re on soap opera.

They don’t, what do they know? They don’t know anything.

Suzanne: Or the people who say, Oh, rap.

Jon: Yeah, I think. Yeah, exactly. You know, the fact is you can dance to rap, may not be able to dance to a death metal, but you can dance to rap.

Suzanne: There’s a lot of people my age who are prejudiced against it because we didn’t grow up with it. And this new thing came along and took over the radio.

Jon: That’s it. Our parents hated the Beatles too.

Suzanne: Exactly. I think my mom loved the Beatles, but that was, I think she’s an outlier. So, is there anything else that you’d like to tell us about your book or GH or any other upcoming work that you have?

Jon: You know, I’m a, I’m a busy guy. I, I try to put everything up online. If you’re curious about what I’m doing, what book signings I’ll be doing, I’ll be doing one, actually. I don’t know when this goes up, but I’ve got one on the 17th of February in Glendale with Michael Easton. who is a terrific, in his own right. Yeah, and Michael’s just such a talented guy, but we’re going to sit down and talk at the Barnes and Noble over there.

Suzanne: Right.

Jon: Two o’clock, Saturday, February 17th. The Americana at Brand. Then I’m going to be flying to New York for the 27th, at the Mysterious Bookshop. I’ll be in Portland. Actually, technically, Beaverton at Powell’s bookstore, because it’s the Beaverton place they do their mystery and thriller events. And, and then we’re looking at, Petaluma, St. Louis, Raleigh, North Carolina, Phoenix.

Suzanne: Wow. You’re not home much.

Jon: I’m not home much. I, I’m a busy guy.

Suzanne: But I know your wife is not home much, either. She’s always flying somewhere.

Jon: she’s always flying somewhere. And I, I have to show the new cover. And the publisher sent that to me there where it says USA Today bestseller.

Suzanne: Oh, great. That’s great.

Jon: Was that backwards to you? Does it look?

Suzanne: No, it looks fine to me.

Jon: Oh, okay. It looks backward on my side, but that’s.

Suzanne: Technical stuff.

Jon: Oh, I’m very excited. I meant to mention that. yeah, I just happened.

Suzanne: I’m behind on about a little less than a month, but I happen to see that Kevin and Laura are going to, adopt ace.

Jon: Yes, yes.

Suzanne: Kevin got put in the hospital by aces by aces mother.

Jon: Yeah. You know, I do wish we had a little more Kevin as may time work out their stuff. But, cause I, and I love working with Avery Pohl. I think she’s just a. but yeah, I, I like that they decided to do that and based on what I’ve seen online, boy, there’s a lot of grandparents out there who are taking on their grandchildren to raise.

Suzanne: Yeah.

Jon: So if we’re going to do it, I hope we do it in a, in a real way. Where it’s, it’s a, it’s a huge undertaking for anybody to be a parent and, I’d like to see it. So, but, like I say, we’ve got new writers coming in. They’ve already started. So we’ll see what, yeah, see what they decide to do. You know, we’re all pretty excited.

Suzanne: II just don’t want the, Laura and Kevin to be stuck in the grandparent mode and not doing anything else.

Jon: No, we’ll try and avoid that.

Suzanne: Yeah, I hope so. All right. Well, thank you so much for talking to me. I really enjoyed it.

Jon Lindstrom taking a fan photo with the author, Suzanne, at the 1998 Port Charles Party.
Jon: My pleasure. Thanks. Thanks so much for having me today.

Suzanne: I’ll send you a

Jon: again, sorry about this froggy voice.

Suzanne: Oh, it doesn’t sound that bad, honestly.

Jon: okay.

Suzanne: II have to send you a picture. I have, that I took, years ago, like 99. I went to GH convention that they have the, fan club events and I have a picture with you, so…

Jon: Oh, great. Send that to me.

Suzanne: I’ll love to. Alright. I’m gonna try to get this out as soon as possible. I’ll let you know.

Jon: Okay. All thanks. Thank you so much.

Jon Lindstrom and Michael Easton event 2/17/24 in L.A.

MORE INFO:

Hollywood Hustle: A Thriller Hardcover – February 6, 2024 by Jon Lindstrom (Author) book cover

Hollywood Hustle: A Thriller Hardcover – February 6, 2024

USA TODAY BESTSELLER

From 4-time Emmy-nominated actor Jon Lindstrom of General Hospital, Bosch, and True Detective fame, comes a gripping debut thriller.

Set in the dark underbelly of the LA film industry, Hollywood Hustle is the perfect read for fans of Alex Finlay and Jeffery Deaver.

Winston Greene, a has-been film star, wakes one morning to find his six-year-old granddaughter at his bedside—traumatized, unattended, and gripping onto a thumb drive. She comes bearing video proof that her mother, Win’s troubled adult daughter, has been kidnapped by a murderous gang demanding all his “movie money” for her safe return. But what they don’t know is…his movie money is long gone.

Unable to go to the police for fear the kidnappers will make good on their promise to kill his daughter, Winston turns to two close friends—a legendary Hollywood stuntman and a disgraced former LAPD detective.

There’s no easy way out for Winston or his daughter—the gang is violent and willing to do anything to get the money they’re after, and Winston begins to realize that to get his daughter back, he’ll have to beat the kidnappers at their own game.

This propulsive and tense thriller will transport readers to the seedier side of LA, depicted in bold prose by a Hollywood insider.

Jon Lindstrom has portrayed both Kevin and Ryan on "General Hospital" and "Port Charles" on ABC.

Jon Robert Lindstrom is an American actor, writer, director, producer, and musician. He is well known for his roles of Kevin Collins and Ryan Chamberlain on the ABC Daytime soap opera General Hospital and its spin-off Port Charles.

Please visit Jon’s site or social to see his next book signing or other events!

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Fan pages: Joan’s Port Charles Archive Unofficial Jon Lindstrom Page

Fans of Jon Lindstrom

Celebrating its 60th anniversary, “General Hospital” continues its tradition of passion, intrigue and adventure that has depicted the ongoing lives of the diverse and evolving citizens of the fictional town of Port Charles set in upstate New York. The glamour and excitement of those who have come to find their destinies in this familiar seaport town intertwine with the lives, loves and fortunes of beloved, well-known faces. As always, love, danger and mind-blowing plot twists abound on “GH” with contemporary storylines and unforgettable characters.

JON LINDSTROM. GENERAL HOSPITAL – “General Hospital: 60 Years of Stars and Storytelling” – ABC’s Emmy® Award-winning daytime drama “General Hospital” will celebrate its milestone 60th anniversary with a primetime special, “General Hospital: 60 Years of Stars and Storytelling,” airing THURSDAY, JAN. 4 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EST), on ABC. (Disney/Christine Bartolucci)

 

Jon Lindstrom, who plays Kevin on "General Hospital" on ABC (photo from his Instagram).

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Interview with Reza Diako

TV Interview!

 

Reza Diako of "The Chosen" on The CW

Interview with Reza Diako of “The Chosen” on The CW by Suzanne 2/2/24

It was great to speak with Reza. He’s got a lovely voice, and he’s very handsome, but he’s also an amazing actor, and I think we’ll see even bigger things from him in the future. I hope you enjoy this interview, and his new role as Philip in “The Chosen.” You can watch it in theaters, and later it will be streaming on the Angel Studios site, on this website, or other sites, and probably on The CW.

 

MORE INFO: Trailer Official Site

"The Chosen" season 3 key artMeet a fisherman struggling with debt, a woman wrestling with demons, and a gifted accountant ostracized from his family and people. See how Jesus changes lives, works His first miracles, and embarks on His ministry to change the world. See Jesus through the eyes of those who knew Him. The Chosen is the first-ever multi-season series about the life of Jesus and the highest crowd-funded TV series project of all time. Watch the show that millions of people won’t stop talking about.

Mission

The Chosen, the first multi-season show about Jesus’s life, hopes to take you deeper into gospel stories by retelling and expounding on the character and intentions of Jesus and those who knew Him.

Reza Diako is an English/Persian actor of Austrian nationality and Iranian origin. He has taken over the role of ‘Apostle Philip’ in the worldwide influential TV series “The Chosen.” A historical drama based on the life of Jesus and those who knew him, the popular series returns in February via its fourth season with a singular viewing experience releasing bi-weekly in theaters. On the big screen, Reza has two upcoming projects: the indie film “The Astronaut” (Kate Mara and Laurence Fishburne) as ‘Ethan Marshall’ the director of NASA and “Reading Lolita in Tehran” alongside award-winning actress Golshifteh Farahani and Zar Mir Ebrahimi. The film is based on the best-selling memoir, and Reza portrays ‘Bahri’, an intellectual literature student caught in the middle of his role as a leading member of the student Islamic society at the University of Allameh Tabatabei in Tehran, and his deep love and respect for both literature for his professor, Azar Nafisi (Golshifteh Farahani), under the backdrop of the early days of Iranian Revolution and the Iran/Iraq War in the early 1980s.

 

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Photo of Philip (Reza Diako) and another character of "The Chosen" from the official Facebook page.

 

Interview with the cast of “Resident Alien”

TV Interview!

 

Sara Tomko, Alice Wetterlund, Corey Reynolds, Levi Fiehler and Meredith Garretson of "Resident Alien" on Syfy

Interview with Sara Tomko, Alice Wetterlund, Corey Reynolds, Levi Fiehler and Meredith Garretson of “Resident Alien” on Syfy by Suzanne 2/6/24

It’s always wonderful to speak this cast. I love everything about this show, especially the actors and the writers. It’s been great to speak with them the last few years. Unfortunately, I didn’t get an opportunity to speak with Alan Tudyk this time, but it’s fine. I’ve spoken to him several times before.  All of the actors are very kind and enjoy talking about their characters and the show. I know you’ll enjoy this upcoming season 3 as much as I have, and these videos. I can’t wait for you to see them!

Meredith Garretson (“Kate Hawthorne”) and Levi Fiehler (“Ben Hawthorne”)

Collage of Levi Fiehler and Meredith Garretson of "Resident Alien" on Syfy

I was originally paired with another reporter, Allison Hazzlett-Rose, but she had technical problems. I haven’t edited these videos, so you will hear me just chatting with the actors at the beginning, before we get to the actual questions. It was a lot of fun to have these 10 minutes.

Corey Reynolds (“Sheriff Mike Thompson”)

NEW YORK COMIC CON -- "Resident Alien World Premiere Screening & Panel" -- Pictured: Corey Reynolds -- (Photo by: Astrid Stawiarz/SYFY)

Originally, I was supposed to speak to Elizabeth Bowen (“Deputy Liv Baker”) and Reynolds, but Elizabeth couldn’t make it. Allison was still having technical problems. This meant I had the full 10 minutes with him. It was pure joy, I admit.

 

Sara Tomko (“Asta Twelvetrees”) and Alice Wetterlund (“D’Arcy Bloom”)

Sara Tomko and Alice Wetterlund of "Resident Alien" on Syfy. Photo from Tomko's Instagram.

Finally, Allison was able to be included in our chat with Sara and Alice. It was an awesome conversation. Both women are so entertaining and love to talk. We had 11 minutes, and the moderator had to cut off the actors because they were running out of time.

Sara Tomko, Alice Wetterlund and Meredith Garretson of "Resident Alien" (from Syfy's Facebook page)

MORE INFO:  Official Site   Trailer

RESIDENT ALIEN -- Pictured: "Resident Alien" Key Art -- (Photo by: SYFY)

Based on the Dark Horse comics, SYFY’s “Resident Alien” follows a crash-landed alien named Harry (Alan Tudyk) whose secret mission is to kill all humans. In season three, Harry is vowing to work with General McCallister (Linda Hamilton) to rid the Earth of the Grey aliens – a task made more difficult when he discovers that the Grey Hybrid Joseph (Enver Gjokaj) has taken a job in town as the new Deputy. Joseph isn’t Harry’s only obstacle – Harry struggles to balance business and his personal life when he falls in love for the first time. Meanwhile, Asta (Sara Tomko) and D’arcy (Alice Wetterlund) move in together and struggle to discover their purpose in the world, Sheriff Mike (Corey Reynolds) and Deputy Liv (Elizabeth Bowen) continue their quest to find out who killed the Alien Tracker, and Ben (Levi Fiehler) and Kate (Meredith Garretson) are forced to deal with the subconscious repercussions of their alien abductions.

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

NEW YORK COMIC CON -- "Resident Alien World Premiere Screening & Panel" -- Pictured: (l-r) Chris Sheridan, Executive Producer, Writer, Resident Alien; Alan Tudyk; Sara Tomko; Corey Reynolds -- (Photo by: Astrid Stawiarz/SYFY)

Sara Tomko

Asta Twelvetrees, “Resident Alien”

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

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

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

Tomko is represented by Bohemia Group and KMR Talent.

Alice Wetterlund

D’Arcy Bloom, “Resident Alien”

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

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

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

Corey Reynolds

Sheriff Mike Thompson, “Resident Alien”

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

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

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

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

Levi Fiehler

Mayor Ben Hawthorne, “Resident Alien”

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

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

Meredith Garretson is a theater, television and film actress based in New York and Los Angeles. She received her MFA from NYU’s prestigious Graduate Acting Program. She also trained for two years in Meisner Technique at the Maggie Flanigan Studio. In 2021, she starred as Ali MacGraw in the acclaimed limited series THE OFFER on Paramount Plus. She plays Kate Hawthorne in the hit series RESIDENT ALIEN on Syfy and Peacock. She is a founding member of SOCIETY Theatre Company in New York City.

 

Alan Tudyk, Sara Tomko, Corey Reynolds, Alice Wetterlund, Levi Fiehler, Elizabeth Bowen, and Chris Sheridan and San Diego Comic-Con (photo from Syfy's Facebook page)

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Interview with Justin Hartley

TV Interview!

 

"Tracker" cast list in the CBS press day 1/31/24

Interview with the cast and executive producer of “Tracker” on CBS by Suzanne 1/31/24

This was a CBS Winter press panel for two new shows, “Tracker” and “Elsbeth.” The latter part will be posted later. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to ask a question, but it was fun to see all of them on camera and hear them talk about the new show. I hope it’s a big success! Don’t miss the premiere, right after the Super Bowl 2/11. It’s an entertaining action/adventure show.

This is the second time I’ve been of a virtual panel with Justin Hartley, who stars as Colter Shaw, who tracks down missing people for the reward. He travels around in an airstream and, of course, has a team of people helping him.  It’s not that straight-forward, though, as we learn that he has a trouble childhood and background.  The last panel with Hartley was for This Is Us a few years ago. I didn’t get to ask him a question then, either. I hope some day that I can speak with him! I’ve been a fan of his since he played Fox on “Passions,” and I also loved him in “Smallville” and “The Young and The Restless.”

Tracey Raab: Hi, everyone. I’m Tracy Raab with the CBS Network Communications team. Thank you for joining us today as we welcome the cast and producers from our new drama series Tracker, which premieres after the Super Bowl, and Elsbeth, which premieres. Thursday, February .  Thank you again for your support, and I will turn it over to Sienna Sanders to begin our Tracker session. Thank you.

Sienna Sanders: I’m Sienna Sanders from CBS publicity, and along with my colleagues, Erin Frailick, Chris Caspers and Susie Adurien, I would like to welcome you all to our winter press conference for a new series, Tracker to premiere on Sunday, February Eleventh, after the Super Bowl. Based on the best-selling Jeffrey Deaver novel, “The Never Game, Tracker follows Colter Shaw, a lone wolf survivalist, who roams the country as a reward seeker. joining us from the set of Tracker in Vancouver, we have star and executive producer, Justin Hartley; and cast members Fiona Renee; Robin Weigart, Abby McEnany, Eric Graise; and executive producer and director, Ken Olin.

Before we begin our Q&A, we would like to invite Justin to share a few opening remarks with all of you. Justin?

Justin Hartley: Hey, y’all. Well, thank you for joining us, and for those of you who watched the show, or several of the shows that were provided. Thank you very much for that. I know everyone’s so busy.  You know, Ken and I worked together, as you know, on This Is Us, and we had this really great culture and great experience together, and developed such a tight friendship, sort of like a family, that we sort of looked at each other, and we said, “We gotta do– we gotta keep doing this. We wanna do another show. And so we were on the lookout for something really great to do together, and we found this book, and we were able to luckily get our hands on it and develop it, and from there find this extraordinary cast to fill out our show. We’re so lucky. And we have, I think, continued that culture that we found on This Is Us in this really wonderful environment. So again, thank you and open up to whatever questions you might have.  Keep them appropriate if you can, you don’t have to. And simple.

Jim Halterman: Hey, guys, I’ll keep this appropriate. Ken, can you tell first just what you saw in the book? Because Justin told me you’re the one that gave him the book. What was it in the book that you saw as a series, and for Justin to kind of take on?

Ken Olin: I had been, I think, both Justin and I, after 6 years of babies and dogs, we wanted to do something that would be fun for us to do. Probably we were looking for something that was a little more story-driven… plot-driven. Justin, you know, wanted to carry a gun and get in fights. So I always– was in the mood to try to find something that maybe harkens back to the old PI shows that I grew up with, which was before most of these people were born, I think. But you know, shows like The Rockford files and Mannix and things like that. But I didn’t want to reboot a show. I wanted to find something that was based on a character who had a more contemporary psychological background. And then I read “The Never Game”. By Jeffrey Deaver, whose work I always have loved, and, I mean, the character is described…it’s like Justin. It’s a character who, I mean, this is a stretch, but looks like a movie star and is tall, and is underestimated– is always underestimated. And I’ve always felt Justin is– I love working with him. I think he’s incredibly talented, and I think he’s… often he surprises people with all of his skills.  I took it to Justin. I said, “Hey, man, I think this would be fun to do. I think we can do a real contemporary version of a PI show, and let’s do it together.” And Justin read it, said, “Good, I’m in. Let’s do it.” And then, yeah, Twentieth [Century Fox] I mean, I think they like the idea of us working together and doing this kind of show. So that was how it came about.

Jim Halterman: Alright, alright, thanks, guys.

Sienna Sanders: We’ll take our next question from Mark Berman.

Marc Berman: I thank you for doing this. My question is, for Justin or Ken, or anybody that wants to answer, actually… you know you. Of course, you mentioned you come off of 6 amazing years on This Is Us. Can you go back to the days of Thirty Something, so a lot of the work that you’ve done has evolved a story, a family element story. Can you talk to me about that? What’s the back story on this show with us? Supposedly this fractured family? What is this family? And why is it fractured?

Ken Olin: So let’s see….I’m exhausted.

Justin Hartley: So, Ken’s done. Yeah, I think I have one more in me. That’s a really good question, actually, and it’s sort of a driver for all of the stuff that you see this character do in his adult life. There’s an element, I think, to most, if not all, of the jobs that he takes… that, and his ability to solve– to find these people, and to get these positive outcomes that comes from the way that he was raised, and the way that he was raised is not necessarily always easy on the palate, I mean. His father was very, very difficult. He had a rough childhood, really unique– strange kind of childhood. But all of those things that he went through when he was younger are things that he was taught, and that he uses  in his current life. And you know, I think a lot of the stories that we tell open up and (correct me if I’m wrong), but I feel like they open up Colter a little bit, in the sense that he then kind of can reflect on his childhood. And oftentimes I think  the way that you remember things might not be actually the way they actually happened, right?  And I think Colter’s kind of figuring that out as well. So, but that’s a major part of our show is the backstory in the family, and he’s got a lot of questions about his, about his childhood and what he ends up, I guess, realizing our assumptions. That might not be true.

Ken Olin: With all of these shows there is some kind of a family created, in most of the procedurals. It’s called a team, and one of the things I found really appealing about this story was: he’s created a family. It’s just that. It’s a family that is, in some ways, I think, representative of a contemporary way of life. Now, where we communicate with our family on Zoom, on phone text, he has a family. It’s just that they’re not all in the same room, I mean, and they can’t all fit in the Airstream. So… but it’s still, I mean, he grew up, you know, he grew up with a very fractured family. There are secrets, mistrust… So you have a character at the center of the show. Who is he? He mistrusts intimacy. He mistrusts those bonds. And yet, at the same time, he’s created those bonds with all of these people that you see here, but they’re kept – in some ways – at a distance, and yet they all interact, and they interact the way a family does… but not in the way that we’re used to seeing, I think.

Sienna Sanders: Great. We’ll take our next question from Bruce Miller.

Bruce Miller: This is for Justin. How difficult is this workload? I’m assuming that on This Is Us you, like…

Ken Olin: Nothing, are you kidding? And This Is Us. It was like, “Justin, Wake up.  Come on, please come to work. Please come to work”, you know. Now, it’s like every day in the rain, the kid is…he’s 26 years old. Look at him.

Justin Hartley: I just remind you that the question was for me. Sorry I’m not warming up.  The workload is great. Look, here’s the thing.  I love it. I’ve always wanted this, and it’s not work. It’s a labor of love. I mean, you have a call time, and you show up. And gosh! People have written stuff for you, and people are lighting you. And I’ve got this amazing support group around me. These guys, I mean… it’s a team effort, for sure. And whether you’re on stage, or out in the middle of the forest in the middle of the night on a Saturday morning. Yeah, in 4 degrees by yourself, or whether it’s you, or whether it’s you guys on stage, or wherever you are. It’s the story that that matters. And when you watch the finished product, it all becomes worth it? So I don’t. I don’t really feel the workload. That’s …I mean, that’s bullshit. I do. It’s hard, it’s really hard. No, it’s not… Look, I mean, I’m not in the renegotiation. I’m not complaining. It’s been great when you get an opportunity to do something that you love and spend a lot of time doing it with people that you love. It’s a joy.

Sienna Sanders: Great. We’ll take our next question from Luaine Lee.

Luaine Lee: Justin, I like that fact that Ken said your character is underestimated, and I think actors are always underestimated at some point. Can you think of a point in your life when you are underestimated?

Justin Hartley: Yeah, I– sort of… gosh! Can I think of a point when I wasn’t? I like being underestimated. I think I think it’s a good place to be. In a place where people expect perfection, and then you don’t deliver, is a worse place to be than if you’re underestimated. I don’t mind being underestimated. It’s fine. I mean, I don’t know. Do you mind being underestimated? I never mind that.  I like low expectations, I guess, is what I know. Yeah, I think that it’s OK. I thrive on that. I don’t mind that at all. I get it, too. It’s all good. It’s all good.

Luaine Lee: Thank you.

Sienna Sanders: Okay, we’ll take our next question from Jamie Steinberg. Jamie?

Jamie Steinberg: Yes, and Justin, how much did the author influence the character you created? Were you close to what he created? Did he talk to you a little bit about fleshing out your version of this individual?

Justin Hartley: Yeah, I would say quite a bit… good question. I would say quite a bit. Ken and I talk about it all the time. It’s actually– you could probably answer that better than me. We worked on this character together, you know? Obviously Jeffrey wrote it, and then you have to figure out a way… What is it that’s so interesting about this character? First of all, what drew you to it? And then from there. How do you adapt it to the screen? Because it doesn’t– There are certain things in the book where this character, he does a lot of calculations and sort of talking to himself in his head.  You just can’t do that on screen. It would be very hard to watch. You’d be reading a lot, and it would be very hard to watch. So you have to figure out a way to show this guy and what’s going on in his head without just having him talking to himself all the time, which, sort of, is not the character. He’s not a weirdo. He’s not constantly talking to himself like Ken, and he’s not haunted. But yeah, we talked a lot about that. Actually, how do you get all of that stuff that we love about the character in the book translated to the screen without losing it, but also without kind of making it look like something it’s not? I think his skill set is very much his skill set: his physicality, his relationship to women. Those things are very similar to the book.

Ken Olin: I think probably the biggest adjustment that we made was to try to use Justin’s sense of humor and his ability. Justin’s. He’s so good with humor. The character in the book isn’t. He just isn’t the same that way. He’s a much more silent kind of character. So we wanted to use Justin’s facility. And also, I think it translates well, in television.  It’s something that’s really appealing, and it’s very appealing about Justin. So that would be, I think, the biggest difference between the character in the book and the character on the show.

Sienna Sanders: It’s great. We’ll take our next question from Mike Hughes.

Mike Hughes: Uh, Justin, when they talk about this character being not as silent as the book? He’s still really silent. He doesn’t talk very much. A strong and silent kind of guy. What’s it like to play that kind of thing after you played [the opposite] for 6 years? Where there was a lot of talk about everything.

Justin Hartley: That’s a great question. Well, in some sense it’s a relief, nd in some sense it’s a daunting task.  You know, when you’re still, and you’re on camera, and you’re still,and you’re not talking, you’re telling the story through your– well, your look, and what’s going on with your body? You’re not. It’s an interesting thing. It’s a bit scary, in a way, because you’re sitting there going. Ok? I’ve been still in silent for a good solid 40 seconds. Is that boring? Is that going to be interesting, I mean, is that going to, you know, make people think that I’m asleep, or something, or..?  But it’s really not. I mean, the writing is good, and the storytelling is great, and if Colter’s listening to something… and I firmly believe that, as far as acting goes…if you actually do what you say you’re doing, sounds like, you know, actually firing a gun or actually stabbing someone or actually punching someone. If you’re emotionally doing what you say that you’re doing, I think that’s very hard to deny or to say that that’s not true or honest. So I love it. I think it’s really cool, too. I love those characters, too. I love watching a character not necessarily talk all the time, but think. As an audience member just sitting here, watching what Bruce Willis might be thinking, and then you sit at the edge of your seat wondering what he’s going to say next. So I’ve always been a fan of those kind of characters. So for me it’s sort of a dream come true. And now we’ll stop talking.

Fiona Rene: And we’ll watch you.

Whitney Friedlander: Hi, there! Thanks everyone for doing this.  Not to bring it up. This Is Us: comparisons are too much. But there was a pivotal episode of This Is Us that aired after a super bowl. And you guys are premiering after a super bowl.  Is there any extra pressure – both because of those things to see how it goes? And also, I wanted to talk to Ken also about the decision to change the name. You said you didn’t want to do a reboot or anything like that. But also, you’re working with an IP that has a known property.  And why you went from calling it “The Never Game” to calling it Tracker.

Ken Olin: Because I can’t remember. Yeah, the Super Bowl part. Yeah. Well, listen. One of the great things for us was when Amy Rice, in fact. from CBS, gave us this time slot early on, with an impending strike and everything else. It was an incredible vote of confidence. Because, you know, there was a much better chance that we were going to have an incredible launch than there was that there was going to be a false schedule to begin with. So that was a huge thing. And yeah, there was pressure. A lot of the pressure became simply practical in that we had to create scripts, generate scripts, and be able to produce a certain number of shows, so we could stay on the air after the Super Bowl, you know, in the weeks coming up, because there was no point in launching a show after the Super Bowl, and then having nothing. So there’s that pressure. It’s better to have this pressure than not have this pressure.  You know, it’s an incredible opportunity, and there’s a tremendous amount of support. So that’s been great.

As far as changing the name goes…the biggest issue was that there’s IP.. with no game involved.  Where there are no games, and I think what we didn’t want was to have people watch the show and see this guy rescuing somebody in the desert and wonder when the game would start. What’s the game — fix the bone or whatever it was. I think that was a big– that was the basis of the decision  It was, look, there is no game involved it. It has to do with, also one of the books and one of the stories. It’s not actually pertinent to what he does or anything else. It was just the title of one of the books about Colter Shaw. And so the title… we did some research on the titles, and this title really stuck with people. So it was a practical decision, and I think a really smart one. Also. I don’t know how many games you wanted to play: Monopoly, not thrilling. That was why we changed the title.

Sienna Sanders: Question to Abby and Robin: How would you describe Teddy and Velma’s relationship to Colter, and with each other?

Abby McEnany: Oh, sure! I think our relationship– my relationship with Velma and Teddy is based on comfort and love and respect, and they’re very different.  But they work off each other their differences. They work off each other, and I think it’s quite lovely. It’s very lived-in to me. It’s very intimate in how small it can be, if that makes sense. And then our relationship with Colter, I think, originally, was like that. Velma was very motherly, and I think it’s come off that more. I’m always excited for Colter to find out like who you’re sleeping with, and like, are you always? Did you not get that? Okay? Maybe that’s something to talk about later. And I just think– I’m always very worried– Abby herself is very worried for him.  Long answer. Sorry, everybody. Anyways, I think he’s really lovely. I think that we consider– in my brain, it’s like, Colter is chosen family. And like, yeah, close, and we look out for him. And I think that he is [family], yeah. And we depend on each other. That’s my takeaway.

Robin Weigert: Yeah, the only thing I would add to that is, I may have, sort of, more the practical head in this duo, and I’m always looking for the job that will give us the most money for the least risk for our boy, you know, and it’s always– it’s never going to be as simple as I think it is, either because if it’s too simple of a job, so he’s not going to remain as excited by it. He’s just not going to be as excited by it. If I’m sending him to look for a car, it’s a safe, easy job, great reward. He may very well find a want ad and be uninterested in that car, and so I have to keep slicing it that way.  And I’m also I have an eye to her, because if he gets into a lot of danger, then it wreaks havoc on our relationship because she  gets concerned and is tempted to want to go and help him. And you know, I’m trying to keep our home intact, as well. So I kind of have a bit of that relationship to the whole thing. We both love him a lot, and I’m just trying to keep this train on the tracks.

Abby McEnany: I’m not allowed to leave the house… we’re not playing. He’s gonna try to leap into, I don’t know… a burning building to keep our home intact. So, yeah. We have a little bit of a different approach. But we have the same goal, and we both don’t tell him. But we both love this guy a lot.

Sienna Sanders: Okay, we’ll pick our next question from Rob Owen.

Rob Owen: For the producers: Will we ever get to see Colter in the same room as Velma and Teddy? And will we learn how they know each other, how they came to know each other?  And last, what happened to Mary McDonnell, and what’s the name of the actress who now plays Colter’s mom?

Ken Olin: Yes. yes, to those questions. Listen. The actress who now plays Colter’s mother is Wendy Crewson.  She’s fantastic. There were, basically– there were certain practical aspects to the character, and what we wanted to do going forward, and how much we would integrate that character into the storylines versus what we had originally thought when we did the pilot. And so the decision, which was mutual, was just…. This is a better situation, economically. It’s a better situation for all of us. Look, the character, and the way we’re going to use her, is changing. And so, therefore, it just made sense to change actors.

Rob Owen: Thank you.

Sienna Sanders: Alright. Now, Eric, are you as tech savvy as Bobby is?

Eric Graise: Oh, yeah. So, I spend most of my life working on hacking, and taking apart computers and stuff. No, Bobby, he’s… yeah. He’s way smarter than I am, different skill set. Yeah, but I identify with him more, on, you know, it’s kind of street level. I like his humor.  He’s definitely into a sense of fashion. That’s kind of my favorite thing about Bobby. But yeah, no,  I’m not the guy you call for computer stuff. I’m more of a Dungeons and Dragons kinda nerd.

Ken Olin:  I just have to tell you… The character that we originally created was about 55 years old… military guy.  This kid came in and did an audition that was so brilliant. We changed everything. And, by the way, we didn’t have anywhere near as clear an idea of who this character was until, you know, Eric came along. I just love working with him. He’s awesome. I don’t like working with anybody else on the show. [Laughter]

Sienna Sanders: Our next question will be from Rick Bentley.

Rick Bentley: Thank you. Hey, Justin? I know you guys have talked about that you’ve changed things from the book. But at the end of the day, you still have that book as a source material. Do you like that idea, or do you prefer, when you’re creating a character, to create your own bible to create your own backstory?

Justin Hartley: Good question. I like both. I think there are fun aspects of both. It’s great to have that source material, though, because week-to-week, as we get these new episodes, new story, new guest stars, new set of circumstances, new job… whatever it might be. You do have that source material. So if you have an acting technique, in a way, I find that you barely ever use it. But the fact that it’s there gives you comfort, right? So, as the stories change week to week, and like, I said, new characters come on in new… I don’t want to call them cases, but new jobs, new set of circumstances. You have that source material. You always have that, sort of, in the back of your head, “What would Colter do?” And you use that source material. At least I do… to decide for yourself, “What would Colter do?” Well, how would he react in this situation, given the source material. So I use it. And I find it’s good to have.

Sienna Sanders: Hey, Fiona, you have now played a lawyer on CBS shows back to back. How does Reenie Green compare to Rebecca Lee?

Ken Olin: Reenie’s alive?

Fiona Rene: What he said?  You know, I think they’re completely different. They’re both lawyers, and they both are a little hard-headed and smart. But Reenie has a lot more fire. She’s got a lot more fire in her, for sure… she’s sassy. She doesn’t take any of his bull. I think she likes to fight, and she doesn’t like to run away. And Rebecca was very much, run away from her problems. Girl, until the end. That answer your question?

Sienna Sanders: Yes, thank you, and we’ll take our last question from Megan Behnke.

Megan Behnke: Hi! My question is for Justin. How would you describe Colter’s personality, and his persistence to be a rewardist, since it’s such an odd career choice?

Justin Hartley: Yeah. I mean. I think he’s, you know…. what I love about him, I think he’s a good man. He’s a good man, and he wants to do good things for people in need. And I think we talk a lot about how he’s a restless guy. He can go in, you know, sort of help a situation. There’s an outcome, and then he leaves. He has a hard time, like you were saying, running away. He has a hard time not running away. I don’t think he intentionally runs away. I just think it’s how he is. He’s afraid of a lot of stuff, oddly enough. And I think that’s why he finds he’s trying to fill this void that is probably unfillable.  But he’s trying to fill it with. You know, these rewards and helping strangers. And, like Ken mentioned, he’s sort of created this family around him to try to fill all these voids that, like I said, I don’t think he can fill, and I also think, at a surface level, I think he enjoys the action and the fun and the excitement, and not being tied down, and the freedom.  But yeah, I think it’s definitely, when you look at his past, his childhood, the way he was brought up, what happened to his father, the questions that he has about his family, and the paranoia that he was surrounded by when he was younger. And then you look at what he does as an adult, it all makes sense, and you go, well, that he’s a product of his environment. What? What? You know, what happened to him as a youth. I hope I got that right, ’cause.e’ve already shot like episodes. [Laughter]

Justin’s Closing Remarks

Justin Hartley: Yeah, well, look, I mean, I’m really, really proud of the show that we put together. It’s a team effort. The culture that I found on This Is Us with that group – with Dan Fogelman, and with Ken, and the whole cast – that we had these lifelong friendships that’ve developed with Chrissy, and Sterling, and Mandy and Milo and everybody. I’m really proud of what we’ve done here, because that was a special time in my life, and I thought, “Man, I’m going to savor every flavor because you never get that back.” And I feel like, somehow, I was able to get a second shot at it, and I’m so happy to be with all of you, and thank you for watching our show. I think we have something really special.  We pour our hearts out or into it, and blood, sweat and tears. And I know everyone’s so busy. So thank you for watching, you will be entertained. And yeah, we do have guns and fighting, so it’s a fun one.

Sienna Sanders: Thank you so much.

MORE INFO: Trailer Official Site

CBS Presents TRACKER ©2024 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRACKER stars Justin Hartley as Colter Shaw, a lone-wolf survivalist who roams the country as a reward seeker, using his expert tracking skills to help private citizens and law enforcement solve all manner of mysteries while contending with his own fractured family. The series is based on the bestselling novel The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver.

Series premiere Sunday, Feb. 11 following SUPER BOWL LVIII on the CBS Television Network and streaming on Paramount+ (live and on demand for Paramount+ with SHOWTIME subscribers, or on demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers the day after the episode airs).

ON AIR:

ORIGINATION:

Sundays (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT)

Vancouver

FORMAT:

Drama (Filmed in HD)

STARRING:

Justin Hartley

(Colter Shaw)

Fiona Rene (Reenie)

Robin Weigert (Teddi)

Abby McEnany (Velma)

Eric Graise (Bobby)

PRODUCED BY:

20th Television

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS:

Justin Hartley, Ken Olin, Elwood Reid and Ben Winters

PRODUCERS:

Jeffrey Deaver

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"Tracker" cast list at the CBS press day 1/31/24 screenshot

 

Interview with Rekha Sharma

TV Interview!

 

Rekha Sharma plays Dr. Neeta Devi on the NBC drama “Transplant.” Screencap from video.

Interview with Rekha Sharma of “Transplant” on NBC by Suzanne 2/2/24

It was wonderful to speak with Rekha. She’s been in so many shows that I love, so it was great to see her join the cast of “Transplant” this year (season 3 for those of us in the U.S.).  She’s very nice and down-to-earth.  I hope you enjoy tonight’s finale of the show, and I look forward to season 4! It already aired in Canada, but not here yet.

MORE INFO: Preview

TRANSPLANT -- Season 3 Gallery -- Pictured: Rekha Sharma as Dr. Neeta Devi -- (Photo by: Yan Turcotte/Sphere Media/CTV)Rekha Sharma
Dr. Devi, “Transplant”

Rekha Sharma plays Dr. Neeta Devi on the NBC drama “Transplant.” Dr. Devi takes over as the Chief of Emergency Medicine and comes to York Memorial with big ideas but finds herself perched atop a glass cliff.

The Canadian actress is most widely known for her powerful and dynamic roles on the Peabody and Emmy Award-winning series “Battlestar Galactica” as well as CBS’s iconic “Star Trek: Discovery.” She most recently co-starred on the Emmy Award-nominated Showtime series “Yellowjackets.”

Her numerous past projects include “Roswell: New Mexico,” “The Imperfects,” “Bingemas,” “United States of Al,” “Another life,” “The 100,” “Supernatural,” “V,” “Smallville” and the feature film “The Core.”

 

Transplant

New Season Premiering Thursday, October 12 on NBC (9 p.m. ET)

The new season of “Transplant” finds Bashir “Bash” Hamed (Hamza Haq, “My Salinger Year”) continuing his journey to start over, but with each new milestone comes a new challenge. While pursuing Canadian citizenship for himself and his younger sister, Amira (Sirena Gulamgaus, “Orphan Black), Bash closely examines who he’s becoming in his adopted country.

Bash, still being asked repeatedly to prove himself, works closely with his colleagues as they move forward following the dramatic conclusion of season two. Everyone continues to find themselves looking to adapt to change and understand how they fit in, both within and beyond the walls of York Memorial Hospital.

After Dr. Bishop’s shocking departure, the team gains a new boss with the forward-thinking Dr. Neeta Devi (Rekha Sharma, “Yellowjackets”). Dr. Devi has big ideas when it comes to overhauling the emergency department at York Memorial.

“Transplant” also stars Laurence Leboeuf as Dr. Magalie “Mags” LeBlanc, Ayisha Issa as Dr. June Curtis, Jim Watson as Dr. Theo Hunter, Torri Higginson as head nurse Claire Malone, Gord Rand as Dr. Mark Novak and Sirena Gulamgaus as Amira.

Creator Joseph Kay serves as showrunner and executive producer. Rachel Langer, Josée Vallée, Jocelyn Deschênes, Bruno Dubé, and Stefan Pleszczynski also executive produce.

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

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

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

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

Interview with creator Joseph Kay of “Transplant” on NBC 10/10/23

 

TRANSPLANT -- Season 3 Gallery -- Pictured: (l-r) Hamza Haq as Dr. Bashir Hamed, Rekha Sharma as Dr. Neeta Devi -- (Photo by: Yan Turcotte/Sphere Media/CTV)

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Interview with Megan Best

TV Interview!

 

Megan Best stars in "Confessions of a Cam Girl" on Lifetime - photo from IMDB.

Interview with Megan Best of “Confessions of a Cam Girl” on Lifetime by Suzanne 1/23/24

It was lovely to speak to Megan. You may know her from “The Watchful Eye” last year on Freeform, where she played the meeker of the two sisters, Darcy. She’s playing a very different character here.  She does very well as a young woman who thinks she knows what she wants and goes after it, even though she may be risking her life or reputation. It’s an exciting Lifetime drama, so you don’t want to miss it, Saturday, 1/27/24, 8/7c.

 

MORE INFO: Official Site Trailer

"Confessions of a Cam Girl" key artInspired by real stories, Confessions of a Cam Girl follows the eighteen-year-old fashion savant Kristen (Megan Best, Dawn) who is set to become the first in her family to graduate college. Her working-class parents are furious when she reveals a plan to attend fashion school instead of college. Her parents refuse to use her college fund for her farfetched dream. Determined to pay for it herself, Kristen secretly creates an online explicit content page to raise $10,000 for dream program. Confident that she can keep her side hustle under wraps, Kristen’s secret unravels and threatens not just her future, but the safety of her family as well.

Confessions of a Cam Girl is produced by Sepia Films for Lifetime. Sheri Singer serves as executive producer. Siobhan Devine directs from a script written by Miriam van Emst.

Megan Best is known for Nobody (2021), Seance (2021) and Vandits (2022). Visit her on Instagram

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Megan Best stars in "Confessions of a Cam Girl" on Lifetime

 

Interviews with creator and actors from “Hightown”

TV Interview!

Starz' "Hightown" creator Rebecca Cutter, and actors Atkins Estimond & Dohn Norwood

Interview with creator Rebecca Cutter, and actors Atkins Estimond & Dohn Norwood in “Hightown” on Starz by Suzanne 1/18/24

This is an action-packed drama with exciting characters. The new season starts January 26th. It was great to speak with the creator, Rebecca Cutter, and two of the actors who play such interesting people.  I didn’t have a lot of time with them, but it was fun.

 

 

MORE INFO: Official site   Trailer

"Hightown" key art“Hightown” – Season 3 – Debuting Friday, January 26

Fishery Service Agent Jackie Quiñones is off the wagon and off the force in the final season of “Hightown,” but that doesn’t stop her from careening into the dark underbelly of picture-perfect Cape Cod to save a missing woman and a murdered sex worker. Meanwhile, her former colleagues Ray Abruzzo and Alan Saintille are focused on taking down drug syndicates, but despite their best efforts, the drugs keep flowing. This attracts Shane Frawley, a gangster from Boston looking to cut himself in on the Cape’s drug trade – and making an enemy of Osito while he’s at it. Alliances are made and old loyalties are questioned in this beautiful but corrupt place where nothing is as it seems.

Monica Raymund (“Chicago Fire,” “The Good Wife”), James Badge Dale (“24,” The Departed), Riley Voelkel (“Roswell, New Mexico,” “The Originals”), Amaury Nolasco (“Prison Break,” “Deception”), Atkins Estimond (“The Resident,” “Lodge 49”) and Dohn Norwood (“Mindhunter,” “The Sinner”) return in their previous roles. Imani Lewis (Eighth Grade, “First Kill”) Mark Boone Junior (“Sons of Anarchy,” “Paradise City”) and Mike Pnniewski (“Madam Secretary”) return in recurring roles while Ana Nogueira (“The Vampire Diaries”), Taja V. Simpson (“The Oval”), Michael Drayer (“Mr. Robot,” “Sneaky Pete”), Garret Dillahunt (12 Years a Slave, “Deadwood”), and Jeanine Serralles (Inside Llewyn Davis, The Woman in the Window) all guest star.

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Dohn Norwood, Monica Raymund and Dohn Norwood in "Hightown" on Starz

 

Interview with Diego Tinoco

TV Interview!

Actor Diego Tinoco of the film "Bad Hombres"

Interview with Diego Tinoco of the film “Bad Hombres” by Suzanne 1/17/24

I enjoyed watching this movie, and I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t exceedingly violent nor gory, and it wasn’t depressing or sad. There was a lot of humor in it, as well. Diego is a remarkable young man, who plays Felix, the main protagonist of the film, even though he’s surrounded by much bigger stars (such as Luke Hemsworth) and other interesting characters. I think we’ll see even bigger things from Diego in the future. I hope you can enjoy this movie, which premieres today in theaters and On Demand, and is on VOD tomorrow.

 

MORE INFO: Official Site  Trailer

BAD HOMBRES | Crime Thriller Starring Tyrese Gibson, Luke Hemsworth, & Diego Tinoco | In Theaters and On Demand 1/26

Falco Ink. and Screen Media Presents

"Bad Hombres" movie key artBAD HOMBRES

Crime Thriller Starring Thomas Jane, Tyrese Gibson, Luke Hemsworth, & Diego Tinoco

In Theaters & On Demand January 26, 2024 Available on DVD March 12, 2024
*Grand Jury Award – Mammoth Film Festival 2023*
*Achievement in Screenwriting – Mammoth Film Festival 2023*

Directed by John Stahlberg Jr. (Crypto, Muzzle)
Written by Rex NewNick Turner, Story by John Stahlberg Jr.
Produced by John Stahlberg Jr.David FrigerioScott MacfarlandOliver Hudson and Wyatt Russell

Starring:
Luke Hemsworth (“Westworld”)
Thomas Jane (The Punisher)
Nick Cassavetes (Face/Off)
Tyrese Gibson (The Fast and The Furious)
Diego Tinoco (“On My Block”)
Hemky Madera (“Queen of the South”)
and Paul Johansson (“One Tree Hill”)

Two undocumented immigrants who take a job digging a hole then learn their employers are criminals. They become embroiled in a blood bath with one revealing a secret past that might save them.

RT: 92 Minutes

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Diego Tinoco stars as Felix in "Bad Hombres"

 

Interview with Lacretta

TV Interview!

 

Lacretta of "Night Court" on NBC

Interview with Lacretta of “Night Court” on NBC by Suzanne 1/16/24

I was very pleased to speak with this actress. I never miss an episode of the show and love all of the characters. It’s gotten even funnier in the second season, IMHO.

 

MORE INFO:

Lacretta

Donna “Gurgs” Gurganous, “Night Court”

NIGHT COURT -- Season 1 -- Pictured: Lacretta as Gurgs -- (Photo by: Robert Trachtenberg/NBC/Warner Bros. Television)

Lacretta stars as Donna “Gurgs” Gurganous on the NBC comedy “Night Court.”

Born and raised in Kansas City, Mo., Lacretta made her stage debut at 14 at the Coterie Theater – an institution in which she holds great affection. It was there where she starred in numerous performances throughout the ’90s, such as “A Wrinkle in Time” and “101 Dalmatians.”

In 2011, she appeared in “Hairspray” at Broadway Rose in Portland. She then originated the role of Levora Verona in the Off-Broadway run of “Disaster!” in 2012 at the Triad in New York, and made her Broadway debut with the same role in 2016.

Following her on-stage success, Lacretta guest starred on “Law & Order,” “30 Rock,” “Broad City” and “Gotham.”

In film, Lacretta appeared in the romantic comedy “Second Act” before making her return to the stage in “Avenue Q” in the closing cast of their Off-Broadway run at New World Stages. She was also featured in the first national tour of “The Book of Mormon.”

In her off time, Lacretta loves gaming and is very active on Twitch TV. In 2022, she helped announce the first Streamers for Education Scholarship for Black Women going into the fields of STEM, Digital Media and film. She is also an avid cook and often shares recipes from “Cretta’s Kitchen” on her Instagram.

She currently resides in Los Angeles.

Night Court

New Season Coming Soon to NBC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Lacretta plays bailiff "Gurgs" on "Night Court on NBC Tuesday nights.

 

Interview with “La Brea” actors and creator

TV Interview!

 

"La Brea" Season 3 Cast banner

Interview with actors Eoin Macken, Zyra Gorecki, Nicholas Gonzalez, Jon Seda, Chiké Okonkwo, Lily Santiago, Josh McKenzie, Rohan Mirchandaney, Jack Martin and Veronica St. Clair, and creator/EP David Appelbaum of “La Brea” on NBC by Suzanne 12/18/23

It was really wonderful to speak with these actors once again, even though it may be the last time. I’m sad that the show is ending. They really packed a lot into each episode, though.

I do have to apologize a bit because I was having a very hectic week, so I didn’t prepare as well as I usually do, and this made nervous, so I was a little off my game. The cast and showrunner were excellent at answering some of my off-the-wall questions and comments, anyway.

Fellow journalist and friend Sammi Turano  of TV Grapevine was in two of the roundtables and then had to leave. I hope you enjoy the interviews, and the show, which premieres tomorrow, Tuesday, January 9th on NBC!

Here’s a scene that we mentioned in two of the interviews, just FYI…

LA BREA -- "Sierra" Episode 301 -- Pictured: (l-r) Eoin Macken as Gavin, Zyra Gorecki as Izzy -- (Photo by: Mark Taylor/NBC)

Video #1 with Eoin Macken, Zyra Gorecki & Nicholas Gonzalez

Video #2 with Eoin Macken, Zyra Gorecki and  Nicholas Gonzalez

Video #3 with Jon Seda and Chiké Okonkwo

Video #4 with Jack Martin and Veronica St. Clair

Video #5 with creator/showrunner David Appelbaum

MORE INFO: Trailer  Official Site

LA BREA -- Pictured: "La Brea" Key Art -- (Photo by: NBC)La Brea

Season 3 Premiere January 9 on NBC (9-10pm ET/PT). Streaming next day on Peacock.

“La Brea” follows an epic family adventure after a massive sinkhole opens in Los Angeles pulling people and buildings into a mysterious and dangerous primeval land where they have no choice but to band together to survive.

The cast includes Eoin Macken, Zyra Gorecki, Chiké Okonkwo, Rohan Mirchandaney, Lily Santiago, Josh Mckenzie, and Jon Seda, with Nicholas Gonzalez, Jack Martin, Veronica St. Clair, Tonantzin Carmelo, and Natalie Zea

Creator/Showrunner David Appelbaum executive produces with Chris Hollier, Peter Traugott, Rachel Kaplan, Avi Nir, and Alon Shtruzman,

“La Brea” is produced by Universal Television and Australia’s Matchbox Pictures, both divisions of Universal Studio Group in association with Keshet Studios.

Hashtag: #LaBrea

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LA BREA -- "Sierra" Episode 301 -- Pictured: (l-r) Nicholas Gonzalez as Levi, Asmara Feik as Petra, Eoin Macken as Gavin, Rohan Mirchandaney as Scott, Chiké Okonkwo as Ty -- (Photo by: Mark Taylor/NBC)

 

Interview with Serinda Swan, Shaun Sipos and Maria Sten

TV Interview!

 

Serinda Swan, Shaun Sipos and Maria Sten of "Reacher" on Prime Video

Press Panel

Interview with Serinda Swan, Shaun Sipos and Maria Sten of “Reacher” on Prime Video by Suzanne 12/12/23

“Reacher” season two is even better, in my opinion, than season one, and the cast additions are part of the reason. Swan and Sipos are talented and able to handle action, drama and comedy equally with no obvious effort (as they’ve proven many times).  I believe the writing is also better, and it has a lot more humor than season one.  Sipos’ character is wise-cracking, but he’s certainly not the only one that has funny lines. Of course, you know with this kind of show that they try to put in humor to balance out the serious drama (and tragedy). I enjoyed speaking to these three actors. Swan was so great in “The Inhumans” and “Coroner,” and Sipos has been in many fine shows that I love, such as “Krypton,” “Dark Matter” and “The Vampire Diaries.” This was a roundtable, so there were other journalists. I was only able to ask one question, unfortunately. Watch the new season now!

MORE INFO: Trailer Official Site

Reacher key art

About

Reacher Season Two begins when veteran military police investigator Jack Reacher (Alan Ritchson) receives a coded message that the members of his former U.S. Army unit, the 110th MP Special Investigations, are being mysteriously and brutally murdered one by one. Pulled from his drifter lifestyle, Reacher reunites with three of his former teammates turned chosen family to investigate, including Frances Neagley (Maria Sten); Karla Dixon (Serinda Swan), a forensic accountant for whom Reacher has long had a soft spot; and fast-talking, switchblade-wielding family man David O’Donnell (Shaun Sipos). Together, they begin to connect the dots in a mystery where the stakes get higher at every turn, and brings about questions of who has betrayed them—and who will die next. Using his inimitable blend of smarts and size, Reacher will stop at nothing to uncover the truth and protect the members of his unit. If there’s one thing Reacher and his team know for certain, it’s that you do not mess with the Special Investigators. This season, get ready for Reacher and the 110th to hit back hard.

Based on Bad Luck and Trouble, the 11th book in Lee Child’s global best-selling series, Reacher Season Two stars Alan Ritchson in the title role of Jack Reacher, with Maria Sten, Serinda Swan, and Shaun Sipos as key members of the 110th MP Special Investigations Unit. Rounding out the cast are Ferdinand Kingsley as A.M., a mercenary that homeland security refers to as a “ghost;” Robert Patrick as Shane Langston, head of security for a private defense contractor with a questionable track record; and Domenick Lombardozzi as tough NYPD detective Guy Russo.

Reacher is produced by Amazon Studios, Skydance Television, and Paramount Television Studios. Based on the novels by Lee Child, who serves as an executive producer, the series is written for television by Emmy-nominated writer Nick Santora (Scorpion, Prison Break), who also executive produces and serves as showrunner. In addition to Santora and Child, the series is executive produced by Don Granger, Scott Sullivan, and Adam Higgs, with David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, and Matt Thunell for Skydance.Scene from "Reacher" season 2. Credit: Brooke Palmer/Prime Video

Social Media
Country Availability

Worldwide

Executive Produced By

Nick Santora, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Don Granger, Lee Child, Scott Sullivan, Adam Higgs, Matt Thunell

Developed By

Nick Santora

Produced By

Amazon Studios, Skydance Television, Paramount Television Studios

Credits

Based on Lee Child’s 11th Jack Reacher novel Bad Luck and Trouble

Produced by
Amazon Studios, Skydance Television, Paramount Television Studios

Developed by
Nick Santora

Showrunner
Nick Santora

Executive Producers
Nick Santora
David Ellison
Dana Goldberg
Don Granger
Lee Child
Scott Sullivan
Adam Higgs
Matt Thunell

Cast
Alan Ritchson
Maria Sten
Serinda Swan
Shaun Sipos
Domenick Lombardozzi
Ferdinand Kingsley
Robert Patrick

Photo Credit: Alejandro DouekMaria Sten

Frances Neagley

Maria Sten most recently starred as Liz Tremayne in the cult hit series Swamp Thing opposite Crystal Reed, Jennifer Beals, Virginia Madsen, Will Patton and Andy Bean, executive produced by James Wan. She is also known for playing the lead role of Jillian Hope Hodgson on Syfy’s Channel Zero.

As an accomplished writer, Sten most recently wrote on ABC’s hit show Big Sky from David E. Kelley and has previously been selected for the 2017 The Black List / Women In Film Episodic Labs, as well as Christina Hodson and Margot Robbie’s Lucky Exports Pitch Program in 2019. Sten debuted her first short, When It Burns, which she wrote, directed, produced and starred in at Uptown Short Film Festival and LA Shorts Fest 2016.

A former professional dancer and model, the multi-lingual Danish/Swedish/Congolese beauty was born in Copenhagen and crowned Miss Denmark 2008.

She is represented by CAA, Grandview, and Granderson Des Rochers.

Serinda Swan plays Karla Dixon in "Reacher" on Prime Video. Photo Credit: Liz RosaSerinda Swan
Karla Dixon

Serinda Swan was born in Vancouver, Canada to a family of artists. Her father and step-mother are both in the theatre world. Father Scott Swan is an established theater director and has an acting studio in Vancouver and stepmother Cheryl Swan is a faculty emeritus who taught post-secondary theatre for over 35 years. Swan’s mother Alandra Napali Kai is a leader in the health and wellness world and runs women’s retreats all around the world.Swan was introduced to the television world with popular shows like Supernatural, Psych, and Hawaii Five-O. In 2009, she was cast as the iconic ‘Zatanna’ in the popular show Smallville.Feature films soon followed with Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief directed by Chris Columbus and Disney’s TRON: Legacy opposite Jeff Bridges. In 2011, Swan was cast as the female lead ‘Erica Reed’, in the series Breakout Kings. After the series’ two-year run, she was cast as a series regular in the hit show GRACELAND which ran until 2015.Swan’s work continued by playing the iconic Anne Bancroft, alongside Jessica Lange in Ryan Murphy’s show FEUD!. Swan was then cast opposite Dwayne Johnson to play his love interest on the hit series Ballers. Simultaneously working with ‘The Rock’, Swan was cast as the female lead in Marvel’s Inhumans opposite Anson Mount and Iwan Rheon. She portrayed the iconic character Medusa, the queen of the Inhumans. Swan is currently leading the cast of CBC’s primetime hit drama series, Coroner which has just completed production last year.On the philanthropic side, Swan is the CEO and Co-Founder of the Education technology company Deedly. Her goal is to give students a choice in the future they want to be a part of and give them the tools and information to achieve it at no cost to them, their teacher, the school or the charity highlighted. Her belief is that education should be free, and through their specific monthlong curriculum they educate students about world issues and the charities that strive to fix them. “Traditional education systems focus on harnessing the capacity of the mind, I want to harness the capacity of the heart.” Deedly will be in over 1000 schools by the end of the year.Swan has worked closely with the UN, staying in refugee camps at the border of south Sudan on an anti-Malaria mission, cycled across the entire country of Cambodia to bring awareness to anti-sex trafficking and has gone skydiving over 10 times at 18,000 feet (North America’s highest skydive) for her yearly fundraiser for anti sex trafficking and women’s equality.Swan was also invited to be one of the headline speakers at TEDXVancouver and recently spoke at the United Nations on International Women’s Day 2018 as well as a panel on how the media and entertainment industry can influence social change.To date, Swan has personally raised over $700,000 for charity and reached over 100 million people with her awareness campaigns.Shaun Sipos plays David O'Donnell in "Reacher" on Prime Video; photo from Amazon press siteShaun SiposDavid O’Donnell

Shaun Sipos (born October 30, 1981[1]) is a Canadian actor, known for playing Jack on the series Complete Savages, Eric Daniels on Life Unexpected, David Breck on series Melrose Place, Aaron Whitmore on The Vampire Diaries, and Adam Strange on Krypton.

Interview with “Reacher” star Alan Ritchson

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Scene from "Reacher" season 2. Credit: Brooke Palmer/Prime Video

 

Interview with Jason Isaacs, Dyan Cannon, Jennifer Grant and Jeff Pope

TV Interview!

 

Jason Isaacs, Dyan Cannon, Jennifer Grant and Jeff Pope of "Archie" on Britbox

Interview with Jason Isaacs, Dyan Cannon, Jennifer Grant and Jeff Pope of “Archie” on Britbox by Jamie 12/5/23

From executive producer Jeff Pope, “Archie,” now on Britbox, brings the little-known story of actor Cary Grant’s rise to stardom, starting with his formative years as the troubled Archie Leach, who overcame his struggles to reinvent himself, to become the superstar the public knew.

Pope, along with Cary Grant’s daughter, Jennifer Grant, and Dyan Cannon, his ex-wife, as well as Jason Isaacs, the actor who stars in the title role, spoke with Jamie Ruby for TVMEG.COM earlier in the week.

The idea to do the series first came to Pope after reading Jennifer Grant’s book, Good Stuff, about her father. “I became fascinated with the kind of wit and humor of the man, as Jennifer relayed,” said Pope. The producer hadn’t realized that Cary had retired, and wanted to know why. “[W]hen he became a father, he gave it all up to become a stay at home dad, and I thought, that was my starting point…when you dig back into his past, you realize, because of his traumatic childhood, he was so determined that he was going to be the best father he could, and not be an absent father, which a continuing movie career would have meant.”

It was ten years ago when he first came to Cannon and told her he wanted to make the movie. “We talked it right into being and now it’s a four hour miniseries, which gives the audience a full bodied look at him,” said Cannon, who wrote memoirs from which the series was also partly based, adding that she was involved in both the casting and the biggest decision making and that she is is thrilled with the way it’s turned out, including the performances.

Jennifer Grant spoke to Isaacs’ performance in particular. “I was very grateful…that we found Jason,” she told the site. “He really had dad’s voice and dad’s mannerisms, and dad’s tenderness, especially, so it was a bizarre process watching my mom and dad.”

Series’ star Isaacs spoke about that transformation during the interview, praising the creative team for the physical part of it. “Mostly it was other people doing the work,” he said. “It was extraordinary costumes that were tailor made by the best tailors in the world and that compensated for my various punches and twists. Liz Headley, our incredible makeup artist gave me a chin and eyes and hair and, obviously, prosthetics when he gets heavy and he’s older. So, a lot of it was done for me.”

It was Grant’s voice that was the most difficult for Isaacs. “I didn’t want to do the voice he does in the movies, because I knew that nobody talks like that in real life,” he said. “I don’t mean the accent. I mean, his speech patterns were so similar, so repeated, that there was no way he was like that when he was being spontaneous. I found only one elicit recording of an interview he gave once, because he didn’t do interviews, and didn’t really want…the world to see who Cary Grant really was. Cary Grant was Archie Leach, and behind closed doors, when he stepped off screen, he was someone entirely different.”

Isaacs learned a lot about Grant during the process. “I don’t think anybody, unless they’ve read the biographies and read Dyan’s book, knew that this man who was famous for one or two things, being suave and debonair, was the very opposite, who seemed the very epitome of certainty and masculinity and solidity, was so fragile and so fractious and so angry at the world and himself,” said the actor.

Watch the miniseries to find out more about Cary Grant yourself, now on Britbox, and be sure to watch the full interviews with the cast and crew below!

MORE INFO: Trailer   Official site

Key art for "Archie" on Britbox

Coming to BritBox in North America December 7, 2023, Archie outlines the life of the infamous Cary Grant. Born in Bristol, England in 1904, to parents Elsie and Elias, Archie narrates the story of a young Archibald Alexander Leach’s troubled childhood and how extreme poverty, his father’s adultery and the loss of his older brother, John, tore the family apart and sent his loving mother into a downward spiral of grief and depression. Jeff Pope’s scripts reveal how deceit, cruelty and one, overpowering lie shaped Archie’s life. At 14 he auditioned for the music hall act, the Bob Pender Troupe, a band of acrobats, stilt walkers, clowns and comedians after seeing them perform at the Bristol Hippodrome. Lean and athletic, he learned the art of stilt walking, and when the troupe went on tour to the US, teenage Archie was intoxicated by the land of opportunity. Believing he had no family to return to in the UK, he decided to stay in the US to try to make his way in showbusiness.

With no thoughts of acting, a chance meeting with the comedian George Burns helped him find his first footing on the acting ladder and a contract with a movie studio who felt he needed to change his name, and Cary Grant was born. The drama intercuts with scenes from 1961 when at the height of his fame, living in Benedict Canyon, Los Angeles, the legendary actor was breaking all box office records, but desperately unhappy in his private life. With two failed marriages behind him, he began to woo an actress he’d seen on a TV show, Dyan Cannon. Thirty-three years his junior, Dyan, didn’t initially fall for his charms turning down his attempts to meet, because she didn’t feel they could ever be a match. Dashingly handsome, suave and sophisticated, Cary continued to pursue her, with introductions to his famous friends, until they eventually wed in Las Vegas in 1965.

The series also stars Laura Aikman (Not Going Out, Gavin and Stacey) as Cary’s formidable ex-wife, actress and filmmaker Dyan Cannon, with Harriet Walter (Succession, Ted Lasso, Killing Eve) as Elsie Leach, Cary’s mother.

Dainton Anderson (Patrick Melrose), Calam Lynch (Bridgerton) and Oaklee Pendergast (Home) play young versions of Archie Leach, and Kara Tointon (Mr Selfridge, The Halcyon, Sound of Music Live) plays young Elsie.

Archie is a 4 x 60 mins drama commissioned by ITV’s Head of Drama, Polly Hill for ITVX. Rebecca Hodgson (Sherwood, The Irregulars, Deep Water, The Road to Coronation Street) is the producer and Paul Andrew Williams (A Confession, London to Brighton, Song for Marion) directs. With the blessing of Cary Grant’s daughter, Jennifer Grant, and ex-wife Dyan Cannon, the pair serve as Executive Producers. Jeff Pope executive produces the series for Etta Pictures with Diederick Santer for BritBox International. The series is coming to BritBox in December 2023.

All of the actors who played Cary Grant in "Archie" on Britbox - Matt Squire _ ITV Studios

Jason Isaacs was born in Liverpool. He studied law at Bristol University but fell in love with the theatre and directed, produced and appeared in dozens of productions there, at the National Student Theatre Festival and at the Edinburgh Festival. He graduated in 1985 but then attended the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and began working in 1988.

Jason’s notable roles include Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, Mr. Darling/Captain Hook in Peter Pan (2003), and many soldiers: Col. William Tavington in Roland Emmerich’s The Patriot (2000), Captain Steele in Ridley Scott’s Blackhawk Down, Major Briggs in Paul Greengrass’s Green Zone, Captain Waggoner in Fury, Captain Lorca in Star Trek: Discovery, Field Marshall Zhukov in Armando Iannucci’s The Death of Stalin and Rear-Admiral Godfrey in John Madden’s Operation Mincemeat. He was Hap in the cult series The OA, Maurice in the WW2 film Good (2008) and Jay in the multi-award winning MASS. He has made many TV series in Britain and the US and has won or been nominated for a Golden Globe, International Emmy, BAFTA, Critics Choice, Peabody, Satellite and many other awards.

On stage he was Louis Ironson in the original productions of Angels in America parts 1 and 2 for the Royal National Theatre and has performed at the Royal Court, Almeida and West End Theatres.

Jason is married to documentary filmmaker Emma Hewitt, who he met at drama school and with whom he has two children.

Laura Aikman and Dyan Cannon and Jason Isaacs as Cary Grant in "Archie" on Britbox; Matt Squire _ ITV StudiosDyan Cannon is the first woman in the history of the Motion Picture Academy to be nominated for Oscars both in front of and behind the camera. Her diligence and determination have been rewarded by many prestigious honors.

She received her first Academy Award nomination for her memorable role as Alice in Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969), opposite Natalie Wood and directed by Paul Mazursky. For her performance, she garnered the coveted New York Film Critics Award.

Dyan received her second Academy Award nomination in the category of Best Live Action Short for writing and directing the 48-minute film, Number One (1976), which she also produced, edited and scored. The New York Times commended the film as one of the best movies ever made concerning children’s development.

She received her third Academy Award nomination for her comedic role as Julia Farnsworth, opposite Warren Beatty, in Heaven Can Wait (1978), for which she won the Golden Globe Award from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Later that year, she starred in another comedy hit, Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978), opposite Peter Sellers and directed by Blake Edwards, and was named Female Star of the Year by NATO (National Association of Theater Owners).

As the singular force behind the motion picture The End of Innocence (1990), Dyan undertook a triumvirate of tasks as writer, director and star. Dyan’s work received amazing reviews from the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times.

Dyan has co-starred on two outstanding prime-time television shows. For several years, she brought her own brand of humor, class and sexiness to the role of Whipper Cone on the Emmy Award winning series Ally McBeal (1997). She then starred as the vivacious and free-spirited Honey Bernstein-Flynn on NBC’s comedy series Three Sisters (2001).

Her filmography is vast and includes TNT’s remake of the Warner Bros.’ Classic Christmas in Connecticut (1992), directed by Arnold Schwarzenegger; Author! Author! (1982) opposite Al Pacino; The Last of Sheila (1973), directed by Herbert Ross; two films directed by Sidney Lumet; Deathtrap (1982), co-starring Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve, and The Anderson Tapes (1971), starring Sean Connery; and Honeysuckle Rose (1980), in which she played Willie Nelson‘s wife and made her debut as a country music singer; Such Good Friends (1971), directed by Otto Preminger…and numerous other films. She has starred on Broadway and in her own musical stage act at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas and Harrah’s in Lake Tahoe. Dyan co-wrote the title song for Chaka Khan‘s album, The Woman I Am, with Brenda Russell.

Dyan wanted to take time off from her acting career to write. During the next nine years, she not only collaborated on a Broadway musical, but wrote her memoir, “Dear Cary,” which was on the New York Times best seller list three different times spanning four years. It is now being made into a miniseries.Laura Aikman and Dyan Cannon and Jason Isaacs as Cary Grant in "Archie" on Britbox; Matt Squire _ ITV Studios

Dyan is recognized as an exceptional motivational speaker for prominent associations and corporations. Children are her passion and most of her work centers around the care and welfare of kids. She is the national spokesperson for the Hemangioma Treatment Foundation, an organization that provides treatment to children all over the world who are afflicted with vascular birthmarks. She is the international executive spokesperson for Operation Lookout, an organization dedicated to recovering missing and exploited children who have been kidnapped from their homes, schools, etc. She has also been national spokesperson for Martin Colette’s Wildlife Waystation, an international refuge that rescues and rehabilitates wild and exotic animals, as well as national spokesperson for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America

In addition, she devotes time and energy to several other charitable organizations such as California’s Special Olympics for physically and mentally challenged athletes and also works with recovering addicts weekly.

Dyan is a permanent court-side fixture at the Los Angeles Lakers basketball games.

Jennifer Grant  is the daughter of actors Cary Grant and Dyan Cannon. Her father initially opposed her becoming an actress. She graduated from Stanford with a degree in history and political science in 1987. Initially, she went to work in a law firm and later tried a stint as a chef. But, finally, she decided to move into acting in 1993, landing her first role on Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990).

Jeff Pope is a British television producer and screenwriter who co-wrote the film Pierrepoint and the television drama The Fattest Man in Britain and who won a BAFTA in 2006 for the drama See No Evil: The Moors Murders. He is also the Head of ITV Productions Factual Drama. Pope wrote the screenplay for the 2018 film Stan & Ollie, and co-wrote the 2022 film The Lost King.

Jamie also had this longer interview with Jason!

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Jason Isaacs, Dyan Cannon, Jennifer Grant and Jeff Pope of "Archie" on Britbox (from Twitter)

 

Interview with Larry Thompson

TV Interview!

 

Taylor Ann Thompson who also stars in Ladies Of The '80s: A Divas Christmas with Larry Thompson, Executive Producer Courtesy of Larry Thompson Entertainment

Interview with Larry A. Thompson, producer of “Ladies of the ’80s: A Divas Christmas” on Lifetime by Suzanne 10/23/23

In a normal year, I would have been able to interview one of the great actresses in this movie, or possibly all of them. However, this interview was during the SAG-Aftra strike, so I was only allowed to speak to the movie’s executive producer. However, it was a great chat because he’s been around a long time. He worked with the Beatles when he was just starting out as a lawyer for EMI! He’s not only a producer, but a manager. In fact, he manages William Shatner, whom I love and would very much like to interview one day. It was awesome to hear his stories in this interview. I hope you enjoy it, too!

The movie is very fun – especially if you enjoy romantic Christmas movies, or if you watched primetime soaps like “Knots Landing,” “Dallas,” “Desperate Housewives,” etc. because the “ladies” of the title are LInda Grey (Sue Ellen on “Dallas”), Loni Anderson (Jennifer of “WKRP in Cincinnati, among other roles – the only “lady” not known for soaps), Morgan Fairchild (of Falcon Crest, Paper Dolls and many daytime soaps), Nicolette Sheridan (Paige of “Knots Landing” and Edie of “Desperate Housewives”), and Donna Mills (Abby in “Knots Landing”). It was great to see them all in this charming film. Thompson’s daughter, Taylor Ann, is the ingenue of the movie.  Christopher Atkins has a small role as Grey’s son (This is hilarious to me because in “Dallas,” their characters had an affair!).  I enjoyed it. It’s fun and very Christmasy. The male lead, Travis Burns, is very handsome and has a killer Aussie accent. Happy Holidays! Don’t miss the movie tomorrow, December 2nd, 2023!

 

MORE INFO: Official Site Trailer

"Ladies of the ’80s: A Divas Christmas" key artIn Ladies of the ’80s: A Divas Christmas, five glamorous ‘80s soap opera stars reunite to share the spotlight to shoot the final Christmas episode of their long-running soap opera. The producer, Alex (Travis Burns) and director Nell (Taylor Ann Thompson), old college friends, do their best to keep things on the rails but as the ladies come together, old rivalries resurface that threaten to tear the whole production apart. With the show nearly canceled before it even begins due to the ladies’ famous diva behavior, they reluctantly agree to set aside their differences and past secrets to “act” as if they all still love each other.  When old sparks reignite between Alex and Nell, the ladies become eager to play cupid and conspire to bring the couple together. Along the way, the divas also discover that the love between them all is still very strong too.

The movie’s theme song Ladies of the ’80s was written by Song Writer Hall of Fame’s Steve Dorff and Michael Jay, produced by Steve Droff, and performed by ’80s pop sensation Tiffany (I Think We’re Alone Now).

Ladies of the ’80s: A Divas Christmas is executive produced for Lifetime by Larry A. Thompson (Liz & Dick, Amish Grace). Christie Will Wolf (Christmas on Candy Cane Lane, The Art of Passion) directs from a script by James Berg & Stan Zimmerman (The Golden Girls, Gilmore Girls) with Robert G. Endara II and Ed Polgardy producing.

About Larry Thompason

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Larry Thompson, Executive Producer, has his hands full while producing Lifetime's Ladies Of The '80s: A Divas Christmas starring (L-R, Linda Gray, Loni Anderson, Larry Thompson, Donna Mills, Morgan Fairchild, and Nicollette Sheridan). - Courtesy of Larry Thompson Entertainment

 

Interview with Kristoffer Polaha, Neal McDonough and Brock Heasley

TV Interview!

 

Kristoffer Polaha, Neal McDonough and Brock Heasley of the movie "The Shift"

Interview with Kristoffer Polaha, Neal McDonough and Brock Heasley of the movie “The Shift” by Suzanne 11/29/23

It was so great to speak to these three. I’m a huge fan of these actors from their past work.  I enjoyed the movie, which is SciFi but also Christian.  It’s not preachy, though, and it’s an exciting action drama. You definitely don’t have to be religious to like it. It’s a fun ride. The cast is very good. Besides these two, it also stars Sean Astin and Elizabeth Tabish. I hope you enjoy this video! I didn’t have very much time to speak with them. I could easily have chatted with them for a half hour each, or more.

 

MORE INFO: Official Site Trailer

Key art for the scifi movie "The Shift"

Film Synopsis:

The Shift is a modern-day retelling of the book of Job. Kevin Garner gets separated from Molly, the love of his life, when a mysterious adversary known as The Benefactor sends him to an alternate dystopian reality. Will hope and faith be enough to find his way back?

Logline:

After a tense encounter with a mysterious stranger with otherworldly powers, a man is banished to a tyrannical, parallel Earth where he fights to get back to the woman he loves.

Tagline:

Infinite worlds. Endless choices. One way out.

Fast Facts:

  • Kristoffer Polaha (Wonder Woman 1984, Mad Men) plays the lead role of Kevin Garner.

  • Neal McDonough (Minority Report, Yellowstone) plays the mysterious figure of The Benefactor.

  • Elizabeth Tabish (The Chosen) plays Molly Garner and Sean Astin (Stranger Things, The Lord of the Rings) plays Gabriel.

  • The film is produced by Ken Carpenter and directed by Brock Heasley.

  • The Shift will be distributed by Angel Studios.

  • The film will be released December 1, 2023.

  • You can Pay it Forward to The Shift to cover the cost of a movie ticket for someone who wouldn’t otherwise be able to see it.

Social Media Accounts:

About the Cast

Kristoffer Polaha

Kristoffer Polaha as Kevin Garner

Kristoffer can currently be seen in Harlen Coben’s new series, Shelter, streaming now on Amazon. Probably best-known for starring in the critically-acclaimed CW series Life Unexpected, more recently Kris starred opposite Angie Harmon in the Lifetime movie, Barstow, and recurred on the cable series Get Shorty opposite Ray Romano and Chris O’Dowd as well as the limited series Condor opposite William Hurt and Max Irons. He also co- starred with Rainn Wilson in the Fox series Backstrom, as well as a number of TV series over the past ten years, including North Shore, Miss Guided, Made in Jersey, Ringer and Valentine, in addition to a multi-season recurring role on the acclaimed series Mad Men and numerous guest stars on both cable and network series. Kris is also well known for his many starring roles in the Hallmark Hall of Fame series of television movies.

On the feature side, Kris stars as the lead in the film The Shift for director Brock Heasley, being released December 2023. He was recently featured as ‘Handsome Man’ in Wonder Woman 1984 for Warner Brother Studios as well as the recently released blockbuster Jurassic World Dominion for Universal Studios. Kris has appeared in numerous independent features, including Where Hope Grows, Back in the Day, Devil’s Knot and Petty Crimes. He recently wrote, directed, and starred in the short film, “A Work of Art,” which premiered at The Cannes Film Festival. Instagram Twitter Facebook Official Site YouTube

Neal McDonough

Neal McDonough as The Benefactor

Trained at the London Academy of Dramatic Arts and Sciences, Neal McDonough has been a fan favorite since his breakout role of Lieutenant Lynn “Buck” Compton in Band of Brothers. and has been featured in popular shows like Justified, Van Helsing, Altered Carbon, and Suits, as well as films including THE WARRANT, RED, MINORITY REPORT, and his role as Timothy ‘Dum Dum’ Dugan in the MARVEL Cinematic Universe. Most recently, Neal delivered a standout performance as Malcolm Beck in Yellowstone, acting opposite Kevin Costner. Above all else, Neal prizes his relationship with his wife Ruvé, their five children, and his devout Catholic faith. Instagram

Brock Heasley

Brock Heasley – Director

Brock Heasley is a writer, filmmaker, and artist. After graduating from California State University Fresno with a degree in Graphic Design, Brock became a full-time Graphic Designer and, later, an Art Director. In 2006, he launched the online comic The SuperFogeys, and then co-created the online comic Monsterplex in 2010, which went on to win the DC Comics Zuda competition. In 2018, Brock’s YA Contemporary novel Paper Bag Mask (Pen Name Publishing) was published, reaching the top of Amazon’s Young Adult Fiction New Release chart in the first week. Brock’s debut memoir, The Other Side of Fear: A True Coming-of-Age Story of Murder, Forgiveness, and the Peace Only Faith Can Bring, released in Fall 2020 from Cedar Fort Publishing. His writing has appeared on the Independent Journal Review and at ForEveryMom.com.

In 2015, Brock left the Graphic Design world for the film world, working on and producing feature films for Tremendum Pictures, Blumhouse Productions, New Line Cinema, Warner Bros., and Lionsgate. In 2017 he released his directorial debut, “The Shift,” about an ordinary man receiving a job offer from the Devil himself. The short film earned him an Outstanding Filmmaker of the Year Award from the Hollywood Dreamz International Film Festival and you can watch it here. His second short film, “The Two Hundred Fifth,” about a young college girl with a dark past that comes back to haunt her on the day she chooses to reveal all to her best friend, had its World Premiere at the renowned Fantasia International Film Festival in 2019.

In early 2023, Brock turned his short film, THE SHIFT, into a feature film to be released theatrically by Angel Studios in December 2023. Expanding on the story from the short, it stars Kristoffer Polaha, Neal McDonough, Elizabeth Tabish, John Billingsley, Rose Reid, Paras Patel, Jordan Alexandra, Jordan Walker Ross, and Sean Astin.

Brock lives with his wife, three daughters, two dogs, and one cat in California. Brock didn’t want another dog, but his girls made a pretty killer PowerPoint presentation and he didn’t want to look like a jerk. Instagram Facebook Twitter

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Kristoffer Polaha and Neal McDonough in the movie "The Shift"

 

Interview with Tim Rozon

TV Interview!

 

Actor Tim Rozon (from his Instagram)

Interview with Tim Rozon of “SurrealEstate” on Syfy by Suzanne 11/16/23

It was great to speak with Tim again. He’s very engaging and fun. I love this show – the writing, the humor, the acting, the scares…it is just worth watching for pure entertainment. Usually we interview the actors before the show starts, but we weren’t able to do that because of the SAG-AFTRA strike. However, I did interview the show’s creator/writer, George R. Olson, so that was cool. I love interviewing writers, directors and producers from shows I love, as well as the actors. I’m very grateful that we have them all back now and available.  There are 3 episodes left as I post this, so I hope you get to watch all the episodes! The last three really wrap things up nicely for this season.

 

MORE INFO: Official Site Season 2 Trailer Episode 8 Sneak Peek

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

Tim Rozon

Luke Roman

Tim’s first major role was playing heartthrob Tommy Quincy opposite Alexz Johnson and Laura Vandervoort for four seasons on the teen drama series “Instant Star” for TeenNick (USA) and CTV (Canada).  He was then cast as the series lead Alex Caine, playing a gang infiltrator, in “Befriend and Betray” for Shaw TV (Canada).   Recent series leads include playing Mutt Schitt on the Emmy juggernaut and Golden Globe winning CBC/Netflix hit comedy “Schitt’s Creek” opposite comedy icons Eugene Levy, Dan Levy, Catherine O’Hara and Chris Elliott; Doc Holliday, the infamous lawman and charismatic gambler, on the fan-fave SyFy series “Wynonna Earp”; Constable Carson Myers, stand up RCMP officer and love interest, on the CBC series “Diggstown” opposite Natasha Henstridge and Vinessa Antoine;  Isaac, lawyer turned outer space rogue, in the SyFy series Vagrant Queen.  Tim is delighted to currently be playing the series leading role of Luke Roman, a real estate agent specializing in haunted homes, on SyFy’s new series “SurrealEstate.”

Tim won a prestigious Gemini Award (the “Canadian Emmy”) for his performance in the series “Flashpoint” (CTV/CBS) and was nominated for another Gemini for work in “Befriend and Betray”.  Tim was thrilled when “Wynonna Earp” won the People’s Choice Award for Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy show in both 2018 and 2020.

Off camera, Tim has many talents in the entertainment business.  He is a voiceover actor, most notably playing a leading role in the animated feature film “The Legend of Sarila”, opposite Christopher Plummer and Genevieve Bujold.  He produced the documentary feature “Shuckers”, about the world of oysters and those who shuck them.  And he is very proud of his work co-writing multiple “Wynonna Earp” graphic novels with creator Beau Smith for IDW.

When not acting, Tim plays the role of restaurateur in Montreal at his hit restaurants Garde Manger and Le Bremner opposite star chef Chuck Hughes.

“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.

“DEARLY DEPARTED” (Wednesday, Nov. 29 at 10 p.m. ET/PT)
The Roman Agency must coach a homeowner into the light when he discovers he’s haunting his own house. The team locates Susan, but can they save her?

“LETTING GO” (Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 10 p.m. ET/PT)
SEASON FINALE: Susan returns to the Roman Agency, but it quickly becomes clear it’s not the Susan they remember. With the entire team in danger, Luke must confront the force within Susan’s house.

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

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

Catch up on last season of “SurrealEstate,” now streaming on Hulu.

Older interview: Tim Rozon of “SurrealEstate” on Syfy 7/8/21

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SURREALESTATE -- “The Butler Didn’t” Episode 203 -- Pictured in this screen grab: (l-r) Tim Rozon as Luke Roman, Sarah Levy as Susan Ireland -- (Photo by: Blue Ice Pictures/SYFY)

 

Interview with Gary Anthony Sturgis

TV Interview!

 

Gary Anthony Sturgis plays warlock Julius on "Wicked City" on ALLBLK

Interview with Gary Anthony Sturgis of “Wicked City” on ALLBLK by Suzanne 11/20/23

I had a blast chatting with Gary! He is so funny, smart and entertaining, and he loves to talk. We’ve been Facebook friends for 14 years, so it was great to finally “meet” face to face. He’s been in many great shows and movies. Not only is he a talented actor, he’s also an accomplished writer!

 

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Gary Anthony Sturgis plays warlock Julius on "Wicked City" on ALLBLKGary Anthony Sturgis is a New Orleans born actor/writer/director best-known for his portrayal of the villain in two of Tyler Perry’s biggest hit films, “Diary of A Mad Black Woman” (as Jamison Jackson) and “Daddy’s Little Girls” (as Joseph Woods). He also co-starred opposite Terrence Howard in “Pride”, as the charming yet sinister pimp/drug dealer Franklin Washington. Recently, he has stepped out the role of bad guy to co-star in the comedy “Chicago Pulaski Jones” with Kel Mitchell and Cedric the Entertainer.

Also a professional voice artist, Sturgis has voiced network promos for UPN, CBS, PBS and ABC, cartoons and video games (Static Shock, Batman, Scooby Doo and The Cyber Chase, Fairly Odd Parents, Spiderman) and is heard on countless commercials for radio and television. His raspy bass-baritone voice that the women find hard to resist has even been heard on national movie trailers and promotions for; “Bones”, “Two Can Play That Game”, “The Others”, “The Brothers” and “The Wood” to name a select few. In addition, he is also the voice for the History Channel’s “K-9 Cops”. For another surprise, Gary also produces and writes rap music and has a successful recording under the moniker Illuminati called Fahrenheit, which is still available on iTunes.

As a writer/producer, Gary is producing some of his own feature-length screenplays (he has written more than ten), and has packaged his works into three and four picture deals and commenced to shopping them around town for financing and distribution. We have only scratched the surface of this multi-faceted creative soul.

Since Sturgis had been writing for years, the next natural progression was to direct. After directing “Lend A Hand”, a 90-second short film for the American Black Film Festival (ABFF), Gary realized that directing was yet another feather he could stick in his talented cap.

Follow Gary on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

WICKED CITY Official Site

"Wicked City" season 2 streams on ALLBLK

A group of urban witches push their powers to new heights and uncover dark secrets that attract dangerous enemies their way. Explore other projects that were filmed in Atlanta, Georgia at https://www.exploregeorgia.org/film.

US RATING: TV-MA

Cast: Vanessa Bell Calloway, Taylor Polidore, Shaquita Smith, Rhonda Morman, Chantal Maurice, Mercedez McDowell, Chanel Mack

Director: Dale S. Lewis

PRESS RELEASE:

LIFE’S A WITCH IN THE ATL

ALLBLK RELEASES TRAILER FOR SEASON TWO OF  SUPERNATURAL DRAMA WICKED CITY  PREMIERING OCTOBER 19 

Cast Includes Vanessa Bell Calloway, Karon Joseph Riley, Taylor Polidore, Shaquita Smith, Mercedez McDowell, Chantal Maurice, Chanel Mack, and more

VIEW TRAILER

New York, NY – October 4, 2023 – Today, ALLBLK, the popular streaming service for Black television from AMC Networks, released the trailer for the sophomore season of supernatural drama, Wicked City. The 8-episode series premieres Thursday, October 19, with new episodes dropping every Thursday exclusively on ALLBLK 

In season one, we followed a coven of Black witches who pushed their supernatural powers to new heights after uncovering dark secrets and accidentally entering the world of the forbidden. This season, three months after failing to stop a magical slaver named The Handler (Karon Joseph Riley, Ambitions), the Atlanta coven find themselves broken and separated. Jordan (Shaquita Smith,The Couch) – who now runs The Mystic Haven – and Angela (Chantal Maurice, P-Valley) try and fail to find Sherise (Chanel Mack, The Harder They Fall) who’s being held captive by The Handler. Mona (Mercedez McDowell, The Resident) has moved away, and Camille (Taylor Polidore, Snowfall) is put in permanent hiding by her birth mother, Claudette (Rhonda Redette Morman, Hush). Unbeknownst to the coven, Tabitha (Vanessa Bell Calloway, Shameless) and Caden (Malika Blessing, The Perfect Man) are trapped inside a nightmare realm as Claudette exacts her revenge. Meanwhile, Sherise is forced to do The Handler’s bidding at his high-class magical supper club “Obsidian Dream.” 

Additional cast includes India Marie Cross (It Wasn’t Me),  Yandy Smith-Harris (Love and Hip Hop Atlanta), Gary Anthony Sturgis (Diary of a Mad Black Woman), Samantha James (Black and Blue), Kamilah Meek (Young Rock), Kurtis D. Glenn (The Assistant 3), Clover J. Adams (Taylor’s Diary), Maurice P. Kerry (Atlanta), Krystal Monique Mosley (Dhoom 3), Michael Silberblatt (Hawkeye), Marco Reese Maldonado (A Killer Romance), Carrie Anne Hunt (Magic Mike XXL), Michael M. Jones (P. Valley) and Sasha McKoon 

Tressa “Azarel” Smallwood (MegaMind Media) and Donte Lee executive produced the series created & written by Kristin Iris Johnson and Serena M. Lee. Head of Content, Brett Dismuke and SVP of Development & Original Production, Unscripted, Nikki Love, executive produce for ALLBLK.  

About ALLBLK 

ALLBLK is an invitation to a world of streaming entertainment that is inclusively, but unapologetically – Black. Featuring a diverse lineup of content that spans across genres and generations, the ALLBLK library includes exclusive original series such asA House DividedandDouble Cross; must-see independent films, nostalgic Black cinema, popular WE tv originals, lively stage plays, and so much more. ALLBLK is available everywhere streaming services are found – iOS, Android, Amazon Prime Video Channels, Apple TV and Apple TV Channels, Roku and Roku Channels, Amazon Fire TV,YouTube TV, Cox, DISH, Sling TV, Charter and more. Atwww.ALLBLK.tv, ALLBLK offers a free 7-day trialand thereafter is just $5.99/month or $59.99/year.Keep up with ALLBLK on Facebook atFacebook.com/WatchALLBLKand Twitter/Instagram @WatchALLBLK. 

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Gary Anthony Sturgis plays warlock Julius on "Wicked City" on ALLBLK

Interview with Bonnie Burroughs

TV Interview!

 

Bonnie Burroughs - Gladys on "General Hosp-tal" on ABC

Interview with Bonnie Burroughs  on “General Hospital” on ABC by Suzanne 11/15/23

This was a lot of fun! Bonnie and I are about the same age. She did such a fabulous job playing Gladys. I hope they bring her back sometime. She was so kind to let me ask as many questions as I wanted.

 

MORE INFO:

pisode: 0829 “08/29/23” Episodic BONNIE BURROUGHS 170020_0255 GENERAL HOSPITAL – Episode “15291” – “General Hospital” airs Monday – Friday, on ABC (check local listings). (ABC/Christine Bartolucci) BONNIE BURROUGHSBonnie Burroughs is an American film and television actress. She is recognized for playing the role of Gladys Corbin on the soap opera “General Hospital.” Burroughs was born in Atlanta, Georgia. Burroughs guest-starred in numerous television programs including Newhart, Boston Legal, Judging Amy, Suddenly Susan, Malcolm in the Middle, My Two Dads, Desperate Housewives, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Dallas, Jake and the Fatman, ER, Hunter and Matlock.[1] She was cast as Stacey Giordano on One Life to Live from 1987. Burroughs was then cast as Dr. Jamie Lawrence on Santa Barbara from 1990 to 1991. She was also cast as Gretchen Lindquist on Days of Our Lives. In 2009, Burroughs starred on the television series Rockville, CA, being cast as Shawn Peters.

GENERAL HOSPITAL – Key Art. (ABC)General Hospital: Season 59 Lead Sheet

Series Celebrates Its 60th Anniversary on April 1, 2023

ABC’s Emmy® Award-winning daytime drama, “General Hospital,” will celebrate its 60th anniversary on April 1, 2023. “GH” is both the longest-running scripted drama and the longest-running American soap opera currently in production. One of four remaining daytime dramas, “General Hospital” holds the record for the most Outstanding Daytime Drama award wins, taking home the prestigious Daytime Emmy Award a record 15 times. Filmed in Hollywood, California, the show aired its 15,000th episode on June 22, 2022.

“GH” continues its tradition of passion, intrigue and adventure that has depicted the ongoing lives of the diverse and evolving citizens of the fictional town of Port Charles set in upstate New York. The glamour and excitement of those who have come to find their destinies in this familiar seaport town intertwine with the lives, loves and fortunes of beloved, well-known faces. As always, love, danger and mind-blowing plot twists abound on “GH” with contemporary storylines and unforgettable characters.

Often ahead of its time, “General Hospital ” is known for elevating awareness for numerous health and social issues, in conjunction with storylines including HIV/AIDS; tolerance and understanding for the gay, lesbian and transgender community; bipolar disorder; spousal abuse; sexual assault; workplace sexual harassment in the #MeToo era; gentrification; war refugees; voting rights and voter suppression; the fight for civil rights and against environmental racism; drug and alcohol addiction; breast cancer awareness; surrogacy and adaption; organ donations;  autism; and Alzheimer’s-related stories are all topics “GH” has trailblazed.

Many popular actors are known for getting their start on “General Hospital” including Demi Moore, John Stamos, Jack Wagner, Mark Hamill, Rick Springfield, Ricky Martin, Amber Tamblin, Emma Samms, Kimberly McCullough, Jonathan Jackson and Richard Dean Anderson.

“General Hospital” was created by husband-and-wife soap writers, Frank and Doris Hursley, and premiered April 1, 1963. In 1978, Gloria Monty was brought in as executive producer and is credited with the creation of the first super-couple, Luke and Laura Spencer. Their 1981 wedding brought in 30 million viewers and remains the highest-rated hour in American soap opera history.

Frank Valentini serves as “GH”’s current executive producer. Chris Van Etten and Dan O’Connor are the show’s co-head writers.

“General Hospital” airs weekdays on ABC.

Follow “General Hospital” (#GeneralHospital) on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Bonnie Burroughs - Gladys on "General Hosp-tal" on ABC

 

Interview with Dominic Monaghan

TV Interview!

 

Dominic Monaghan, star of "Moriarty" on Audible

Interview with Dominic Monaghan, star of “Moriarty” on Audible by Suzanne 11/8/23

It was wonderful to speak with Dominic, who seems just as nice as you might imagine he’d be from his many great roles. As a fan of “Lost,” “Lord of the Rings” and his other work (especially “Moonhaven”), I could have honestly spoken to him for hours. Normally, we only cover TV, and the occasional movie, but this project is so well written and acted, and stars many of my favorite actors, so I couldn’t pass up the chance to cover it here. “Moriarty: The Devil’s Game” premiered last year and was a huge hit. “Moriarty: The Silent Order” premieres Thursday, Nov. 9. You won’t want to miss it. Helen Mirren joins the great cast. If you only listen to ONE audio drama this year, make it this one….especially if you’re a fan of Sherlock Holmes stories.

 

MORE INFO:

Audible Original "Moriarty: The Silent Order" premieres Thursday, 11/9/23, only on Audible.

Audible and Treefort Media Announce Season 2 of Sherlock Holmes Mystery-Thriller Moriarty

Helen Mirren to Star In Moriarty: The Silent Order Alongside Returning Cast Dominic Monaghan, Phil LaMarr and More

Newark, NJ – August 30, 2023 – Audible, Inc., the leading creator and provider of premium audio storytelling, in collaboration with Treefort Media, announced today the return of the hit scripted audio series Moriarty. The second season of Audible’s bold take on the Sherlock Holmes universe continues with Dominic Monaghan (The Lord of the Rings, Lost) in the title role, leading the reimagining of literature’s most captivating rivalries, with Helen Mirren (The QueenGolda)Anya Chalotra (The Witcher), Ross McCall (Green Street Hooligans) and Arielle Goldman (The Knick, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) joining the sensational returning cast including Phil LaMarr (Mad Men) and more. Available exclusively on Audible, Moriarty: The Silent Order was directed by Elliot Blake and written by Charles Kindinger. Moriarty: The Silent Order will debut November 9.

In the latest Moriarty installment, six months after surviving near death at Reichenbach Falls, Professor James Moriarty tracks down the woman he loves in New York City, where she is trapped in the web of The Order – an evil organization that stretches beyond Britain and the Crown. When his attempts to break her free lead to tragedy, Moriarty returns home, determined to bring down the entire global organization. But before he can strike, he makes another shocking discovery: Sherlock Holmes is alive and shares his goal. Moriarty and Holmes must set their animosity aside and join forces to stop the assassination of the American president and a devastating world war.

“Moriarty has always been such an enigmatic character to me and exploring his world through this medium fueled my imagination,” said Dominic Monaghan. “I’m delighted to continue telling his story with Treefort and Audible — and working with Helen Mirren, as his new nemesis in Season 2, was a treat. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed working on it.” Dominic Monaghan, star of "Moriarty" on Audible

“It was lovely to be part of the rich, beautifully realized world of MORIARTY,” said Helen Mirren. “It’s fun for me to take on a villainous role, and I particularly enjoyed delving into the different dimensions of Lady Milverton. This story was my first podcast drama and I couldn’t imagine a more exhilarating story as an entry into the format.”

Moriarty: The Silent Order is part of Audible and Treefort Media’s multi-project development deal to produce original scripted audio series. Season 2 of Moriarty joins Audible’s robust roster of Audible Original audio dramas, including Topic Studios’ The Space Within, Skybound’s Impact Winter Season 1 and Season 2; Kerry Washington’s The Prophecy; Jesse Eisenberg’s When You Finish Saving the WorldThe Miranda ObsessionArmored, from The New York Times bestselling author Mark Greaney; James Patterson’s The Coldest Case starring Aaron Paul; and Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, among many more.

Revisit Season 1 of Moriarty: The Devil’s Game now and listen to Season 2 exclusively on Audible beginning November 9.

ABOUT AUDIBLE, INC.

Audible, Inc., an Amazon.com, Inc. subsidiary (NASDAQ:AMZN), is the leading creator and provider of premium audio storytelling, offering global audiences a powerful way to enhance and enrich their lives through extraordinary content. Audible’s catalog includes more than 800,000 audio titles, including Audible Originals as well as audiobooks and podcasts from leading studios, print, audio and magazine publishers and world-renowned entertainers.

ABOUT TREEFORT MEDIA

TREEFORT MEDIA is an award-winning podcast company specializing in premium audio storytelling. The first season of Moriarty won Best Fiction Podcast at Banff World Media Festival and Killing Hollywood: The Cotton Club Murder won the Webby for Best Scripted Fiction Podcast. Other notable Treefort series include: the weekly true crime series Killer Psyche, investigative series Collapse: Disaster in Surfside with the Miami Herald’s Pulitzer Prize winning team, and Paul Giamatti’s weekly esoteric talkfest Chinwag.

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"Moriarty: The Devil's Game" key art

 

Interview with Stan Brooks

TV Interview!

 

Stan Brooks, director of "Bad Romance: The Vicky White Story" on Lifetime

Interview with Stan Brooks, director of “Bad Romance: The Vicky White Story” on Lifetime by Suzanne 9/15/23

This is an interesting movie, although sad. What makes it stand out from many other TV movies is how accurate it is to the original story. From what the director says here, they went to great pains to make it as close to the original as possible. I believe it because it really does feel real.  All the actors were outstanding in this, particularly the leads, Wendi McLendon-Covey (Vicky) and Rossif Sutherland (Casey).  If you’ve only seen Wendi in comedies, you’ll be surprised at how great she is in this.  I loved Rossif in last year’s “Three Pines” on Prime Video, so I was very happy to see him show up in this. He’s the son of Donald Sutherland and brother to Kiefer Sutherland. He’s definitely inherited the family’s talent and looks.

It was a joy to speak with director Stanley M. Brooks because he’s worked for years as a producer in movies and TV, such as “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (ABC) and “The Lizzie Borden Chronicles” (Lifetime).  He has some amazing stories that you’ll love. I wish I could have picked his brain for hours.  Please watch this Lifetime movie because it’s worth watching. Enjoy our video interview!

 

MORE INFO: Trailer   Official Site

"Bad Romance: The Vicky White Story" key art

Based on a true story, the movie follows Vicky White (Wendi McLendon-Covey), a lonely corrections officer who falls
for a prisoner (Rossif Sutherland), but before she can ensure their happily ever after, she must first break him out of
prison.

Every day for divorced prison corrections officer Vicky White (McLendon-Covey) is like the movie Groundhog DayWendi McLendon-Covey and Rossif Sutherland star in "Bad Romance: The Vicky White Story" premiering Saturday, October 21 at 8p/7c. – mundane, and every day just like the previous. But when new prisoner Casey White (Sutherland) is brought to her facility, the two develop a secret infatuation. Vicky gives Casey special attention, believing he’s the only man to see her the way she wants to be seen. But when Casey’s inevitable transfer to a lengthy prison sentence approaches, Vicky decides to take desperate action. Risking everything, Vicky manages to break Casey out of jail and takes him on the run, eluding authorities on an eleven-day dash for freedom. For Vicky, even the probable tragedy ahead of them is worth the chance to live life fully once more.

Bad Romance: The Vicky White Story is executive produced for Lifetime by Wendi McLendon-Covey, Tom Patricia, Gladys Gonzalez of John Carrabino Management and Howard Braunstein with Stan Brooks directing from a script by Gregory Small and Richard Blaney with Juliette Hagoplan producing the movie. Wendi is repped by UTA manager, Gladys Gonzalez, and attorney David Krintzman.
Stanley M. Brooks is an American film and television producer. He has produced more than 60 productions for film and television as well as several critically acclaimed miniseries including Broken Trail and Prayers for Bobby.

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Stan Brooks with Judith Light and other woman (from his Instagram)

 

Interview with Joe Bob Briggs

TV Interview!

 

John Bloom and Joe Bob Briggs

Interview with John Bloom AKA Joe Bob Briggs of “The Last Drive-In With Joe Bob Briggs” on Shudder by Suzanne 10/18/23

I was very honored to speak to John AKA Joe Bob, whom I’ve admired for a long time. He is an amazingly-accomplished man: an investigative journalist and movie reviewer; a comedy writer and standup act; an actor and showman with three successful late night shows about drive-in movies (mostly horror); and an author nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, several of whose stories and books have been made into movies.  I’ve enjoyed his comedy writing since the early 90’s, and in the meantime, he’s become quite famous, and a hero to horror fans (his followers, which are lovely called “mutants”). I only wish I’d had more time to chat with him. I hope you enjoy our interview. Make sure to check out Joe Bob’s Spooky October shows this month on Shudder!

Rough transcript (we’ll fix it up better later)

Suzanne: We go to Little Rock a few times a year. my husband has meetings there and we love it. I know you grew up there…

Joe Bob: Oh yeah, yeah. No, I know every town in Arkansas because when I was 13 years old, I got a job at the Arkansas Democrat and, in the sports department and I was in charge of high school football. And so, so I learned, I learned every single town that has a high school football team and, And on Friday nights, I would have to, call up the coaches and, and get the info on the games. And so, so yeah, so I know all about Magnolia.

Suzanne: Yeah, I’m sure. Yeah, my husband’s had to drive all over Arkansas and didn’t know it before.

Suzanne: So, yeah, we’ve been all over. I’ve been up to Mountain Home and Fayetteville and all over the place. Yeah. So, well, thanks for being here today. Sure. Um, my husband and I are actually huge fans of yours since the 90s. Um. Wow. Yeah. I appreciate that. Well, you’re welcome. A friend of ours gave us one of your books, Joe Bob Goes Back to the Drive In.

Suzanne: Yeah. And then we subscribed to your newsletter, The Joe Bob Report. So,

Joe Bob: you know about that. That’s like, oh, that goes way back.

Suzanne: Yeah, I think we still have them. Uh, I put them in an album or something or what do you call it? You know, somewhere. Um, so we really love reading your writing and I actually didn’t watch your show because we didn’t have that channel.

Suzanne: Uh, so…

Joe Bob: You didn’t have you didn’t have, oh, the movie channel. Yeah.

Suzanne: Yeah. And do you remember you had a movie review club and you sent around VHS copies movies and then we would write review and then send the, the videotape to the next person on the list. I did that.

Joe Bob: Which, which committee were you on?

Suzanne: I don’t remember. It was a long time ago. I never get my reviews published in your newsletter, but that’s okay. I just because

Joe Bob: we had too many log jammers, they would get the, you would get the VHS and never review it, never look at it. And then the next person would, would, would, would be waiting and waiting and waiting on it. So, so the system eventually broke down from, from negligence.

Suzanne: But you know, it was pre Netflix, so it was great. I loved it. Great. So, congratulations on getting your, show picked up for season

Joe Bob: six. Yeah, I I thought we were going to be doing this one time in 2018. And here we are. Um, we’ve we’ve done something like 180 movies or something.

Joe Bob: We’ve we’ve gone over the top with this thing. So…

Suzanne: Is it still exciting, at this point in your career, to get your show renewed?

Joe Bob: Oh, it’s so much fun. It’s so much fun. I, I’ve been the luckiest guy in the world in TV because I’ve had, I’ve had three shows and none of my shows have ever had time limits. There’s nobody else. There’s nobody else that works in TV who can say that. That’s probably true, yeah. When I was at the movie channel, it was a premium channel. The movie channel was the fourth premium channel. And in terms of number of subscribers, there’s like, everybody had HBO and then most people had HBO and Showtime.

And then if you wanted a third channel, you bought Cinemax. And then if you really, really needed more movies in your life, if you just had to have a fourth premium channel, you bought the movie channel and that’s probably why it wasn’t, you know, available where you were. And so, um. Uh, I w I was always the late, the late night guy.

And so they didn’t, they didn’t care how long I talked, because it was the end of the, end of the day schedule. And then when I went to TNT, I was also the late night guy. And they just, they said to me, you know, it was usually a double feature. And it didn’t have a start time. It didn’t have an end time because it would come on after basketball or something, you know, or something that ended at a weird time.

And then they would just say, you know, as long as you’re done by 6 am, we don’t care. You can finish it for you can finish it. 5. we don’t care. We’ll just put 3 stages in up till 6. and so. And so I never had any time limits at either of those shows. And then I go to a streaming network and it’s like, Oh, well, no time limits.

Joe Bob: Okay. This is great.

Suzanne: Your show’s meant made for streaming. Really?

Joe Bob: I know. I mean, it’s like when we did the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I said to my producer, I said, you know, this is my favorite movie. And he says, yeah, that’s why we’re showing it. And I said, well, You know, I may have to talk like a long time, and he says, as long as you want to talk, so the, the, the, the interruptions, the time on the interruptions is longer than the movie, and I’m, I’m not proud of that, that’s, that’s not a good thing, but, but, enough people have continued to watch that thing and watch it and watch it and watch it over and over again that Um, I guess, you know, occasionally you can get away with that But that’s really the tail wagging the dog and so shutter let me do that and And i’m grateful for that

Suzanne: so you can go back and watch older episodes of your show and go watch the texas Chainsaw Massacre one on there.

Joe Bob: Oh, yeah. Yeah, they keep the library. I mean, sometimes they lose the rights to the movie. Um, but, but they have a, but most most of the movies are still on there. And then they have a section. If they do lose the rights, they have a section called just Joe Bob, where if you’re really nerdy, you can watch the watch the intro and the breaks.

And we tell you the time code. At the break. So if you wanted to sync it up with some you could it’s kind of like a rip tracks thing but but without without talking over the movie, you know, and and so that is that is available and people do watch those. Especially people. Well,

a lot of times, you know, shutter is available in Canada, England. Australia, New Zealand, but a lot of times we don’t have the, we don’t have the rights to the movie in those, in those countries, they still have the just Joe Bob’s and so the really hardcore fans will go in and sync it up with the just Joe Bob’s and, and watch it anyway, but so

Suzanne: that’s cool. I might have to watch Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I’ve never seen that.

Um, you’ve never seen it.

Yeah. You know, I’m actually not a horror fan. I like you. No, and I like low budget movies. I, I, I don’t li I, I don’t mind the showtime blood for Dexter here, but I don’t, you know, I’m sort of squeamish and I don’t like really gross things, so it’s terrible.

Suzanne: I know. I don’t mind spooky or scary, eh, not, not too keen on the. You know, splatter and gore and vomit. Okay.

Joe Bob: Well, we have horror for all, for all tastes. Every sub genre in the world is part of the Shudder library.

Suzanne: Cool. I have watched a few things on Shudder before. So, but anyway, so, October is a big month for you and for Shudder.

Um, you have a Halloween special in two days and the description says that you quote, Celebrate the spooky season in style. With a demonic double feature sure to get your blood pumping and one very scary special guest unquote. Can you tell me more about

Joe Bob: that? I can tell you everything except, the, the titles of the movies because we don’t, we don’t, reveal the titles of the movies in advance.

Okay. And, what I did is I turned over the, I turned over the planning for this year’s Halloween to Darcy, the male girl, because she complains every year that I screw up Halloween. I screw up the Halloween show. And so I said, okay, you do it. And so she’s planning the decorations and the, and the stunts.

And the guests, and I didn’t know who the guests was going to be until I noticed that Dan Housen, you know who that is, you know who Dan Housen is, Dan Housen is a wrestler for AEW who dresses up in, um. Monster makeup, and, and says he’s a demon. And so he’s a professional wrestler who says he’s a demon.

Uh, and so he’s kind of started tweeting about, or what do you call it? X ing about whatever, What he’s going to be doing this Friday night. And so I’ve kind of surmised that Dan housing may be the special spooky guest. So, that’s Darcy’s doing. Yeah. Um, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve met that Dan housing a couple of times.

Then he’s, he’s a, he’s a great, he’s a great guy. Very strange, very strange man. He’s his slogan is I’m very nice. And very evil.

Suzanne: That’s funny. How far in advance do you write and shoot the show?

Joe Bob: Um, I start, I try to. I, as soon as they’ll give me the titles, I start doing deep research on the movies because the fans demand it.

Joe Bob: I mean, if I don’t, if I don’t, by the time the movie airs, even if it’s a movie I’ve seen many times, I watch it again. And then I seek out, you know, additional information about it because, the fans want to know everything they want to know every single thing about the making of the movie, the, the, the box office of the movie, which is actually a hard thing to find because people lie so much about box office and, um.

Joe Bob: And, and, if it’s the fans love the eighties for some reason, they, they love the eighties and they especially love the eighties slashers, you know, so if it’s an 80 slasher, you gotta really know your stuff. Um, and, but, but we’ve shown a lot of, I mean, I think one of the most difficult. Research movies I’ve ever done is the Exorcist 3 because the guy who, William Peter Blatty, who, The exorcist stories, was, he was a Catholic intellectual and he had all these theories about life, religion, God, and the devil and, and exorcism.

Joe Bob: And so he just got lost in this morass of stuff about William. And why certain symbolism is in the movie and all that and I tried to explain it, you know I mean, I didn’t have I didn’t have time to explain all of it But tried to explain it when we when we presented the movie, but I just remember reading article after article about About what laddie may be trying to do in exorcist 3 plus it was a troubled movie it’s one of those movies where they screwed it up and they had to go back and do re shoots and And they, you know, brought in a new actor at the very end to do the actual exorcism.

Joe Bob: And then the special effects didn’t work and I had to reshoot those. And so there was all this stuff and, somehow we got it all in there, but, um.

Suzanne: It happens when they give you unlimited time and you can play as much as

Joe Bob: you want. I know, right? I know, right? You can’t, you can’t skimp on a movie like that.

Joe Bob: No. Um, I mean, The Prowler, no problem. You don’t really need that much time to research The Prowler. You know, but, but there, another one, another one we had, we kind of, We kind of rescued from obscurity, this movie called Demon Wind that was made really at the end of the slasher era. Um, and it’s just so weird that it was hard to find information on it.

Joe Bob: Um, but we showed it. It’s, it’s impossible to describe and really impossible to understand. I don’t really think anybody could summarize the plot accurately, but I noticed about six months after we showed it, it started turning up on midnight shows and theaters all across the country. And so I’m like, okay, well, we revived the fortunes of that guy.

Suzanne: That’s yeah, no, I know what you mean about doing research on trying to find the ratings and box office and stuff like that. I was yesterday. I was trying to find some ratings for some shows in the 70s and that wasn’t, you know, I mean, it was a long time ago, but you think you could find it. I couldn’t find just like certain years.

Suzanne: I mean, I was just like.

Joe Bob: And, and I, I kind of penalize myself because I don’t, I trust very little that’s on the internet, right? And so, so we tend to go for print, print magazines and books and, and, and actual interviews with people, because I just, as a last resort, you know, we. We use the internet as sort of a pointer.

Joe Bob: It points you in certain directions, but we don’t really trust anything on the internet because what will happen is the fans, somebody will Make up a fact or make up a fiction, a fiction that sounds plausible. It sounds plausible, you know, it’s something that might have happened, but it didn’t happen.

Joe Bob: And, and, and, and because it’s interesting, it’ll get, especially if it has to do with, you know, sex, drugs, rock and roll, you know, if it has to do with something spicy, it’ll get, it’ll get mentioned, and

Joe Bob: 100 times on various websites, and then it’ll become fact, even though it’s still not fact, but it’ll become fact because it’s been mentioned so many times on so many websites. Yeah. And so that’s why we don’t trust the internet. Well, I

Suzanne: don’t have unlimited time. Unfortunately, they’re telling me I need to wrap it up. So I really appreciate you talking to me today.

Joe Bob: Sure. Thank you for talking to me.

Suzanne: All right. And good luck with your October things and all the other things that you do. I know you do still do stand up and other you do shows and things.

MORE INFO: Watch the show on Shudder on their site, on YouTube, on Amazon Prime or on AMC+.

"The Last Drive-In With Joe Bob Briggs" Helloween on Shudder

SHUDDER RENEWS

THE LAST DRIVE-IN WITH JOE BOB BRIGGS

FOR A SUPERSIZED SIXTH SEASON

Joe Bob Briggs Signs on to Host More Titles Than Ever Providing a Consistent Presence

on Shudder Throughout the Year

NEW YORK – September 28, 2023 – Shudder, AMC Networks’ premium streaming service for horror, thrillers and the supernatural, announced that it has renewed its hit original series The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs for a supersized sixth season. The expanded season will include a record number of more than 30 titles, starting with a series of seasonal specials then transitioning to a new schedule beginning in March 2024. The show concluded its fifth season on July 21st, with each new episode trending in the Top 10 nationally on Twitter every Friday night.

The sixth season kicked off this month with The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs: The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon special on September 15, featuring special guest Greg Nicotero (The Walking Dead). This season will also feature two Halloween-themed specials in October, a Holiday special in December and a Valentine’s Day special in February. Then, beginning in March 2024, Shudder will roll-out the new schedule of Joe Bob’s signature movie watch parties every other Friday night, featuring single titles and surprises.

“As everyone knows, you should never invite me into your home, because I always show up. Shudder has graciously invited me to stick around for a sixth year, and I intend to use that kindness to haunt your phones, laptops and big-screen TVs with the most ghastly examples of perversity in the history of cinema,” said Joe Bob Briggs. “Plus a few old jokes and some celebrity guests who will still return our phone calls. Put it all together and it spells PARTAY.”

“We’re delighted to bring Joe Bob, Darcy and the rest of The Last Drive-In Team back for our biggest season yet of crazy, scary and crazy-scary movies and specials, with the most entertaining commentary on TV,” said AMC Networks’ Executive Vice President of Streaming Courtney Thomasma. “Joe Bob will be hosting more movie nights than any previous season and we can’t wait to continue the Friday night party with our Shudder family.”

On The Last Drive-In, Briggs, the world’s foremost drive-in movie critic hosts eclectic horror movies, talking about their merits, histories and significance to genre cinema.

Shudder and Briggs first teamed up in July 2018, for the 27-hour marathon intended to be Briggs’ final farewell to televised movie hosting. After the special turned out to be an unprecedented hit, Shudder brought The Last Drive-In back as a weekly series and for multiple holiday specials.

The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs is produced by Matt Manjourides and Justin Martell and directed by Austin Jennings.

  • The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs: Halloween (1978) (Shudder Original Special)

Premieres LIVE Tuesday, October 10 at 10pm on AMC, AMC+ TV and Shudder TV

Joe Bob celebrates the 45th anniversary of this iconic horror film.

  • Joe Bob’s Helloween (Shudder Original Special)

Premieres LIVE Friday, October 20 at 9pm on ShudderTV and AMC+ TV

Horror legend Joe Bob Briggs and his co-host Darcy the Mail Girl celebrate the spooky season in style – with a demonic double-feature sure to get your blood pumping and one very scary special guest.

About Shudder

AMC Networks’ Shudder is a premium streaming video service, super-serving members with the best selection in genre entertainment, covering horror, thrillers and the supernatural. Shudder’s expanding library of film, TV series, and originals is available on most streaming devices in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. For a 7-day, risk-free trial, visit www.shudder.com.

From https://www.texasmonthly.com: John Bloom wrote for Texas Monthly, as both a staff writer and a contributor, from 1978 to 2006. He is a successful investigative journalist, actor, and author who was born in Dallas and raised in Little Rock, and he attended Vanderbilt University on a sportswriting scholarship. His nine books include the true-crime classic Evidence of Love (1984), Profoundly Disturbing: The Shocking Movies That Changed History (2003), and Eccentric Orbits: The Iridium Story (2016). He has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award three times and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize by United Press International for his eyewitness coverage of 9/11. Bloom is best known as his alter ego, Joe Bob Briggs, a nationally syndicated “drive-in movie critic” whose wisecracking take on B movies was featured on two long-running late-night television shows, first on the Movie Channel and then on TNT. That tradition continues with his latest series, The Last Drive-In, currently featured on AMC’s Shudder streaming platform. During the course of his hosting career, Briggs has executive produced 20,000 hours of television and has become the leading authority on exploitation and genre films. In 2022, two true-crime articles he cowrote for Texas Monthly were adapted into the HBO series Love and Death.

Joe Bob’s Official Site

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John Bloom, AKA Joe Bob Briggs, on "The Last Drive-In With Joe Bob Briggs" on Shudder

 

Interview with Josh Berman

TV Interview!

Josh Berman, director of the film "Full Circle"

Interview with director Josh Berman of the film “Full Circle” by Thane 10/17/23

It was great to interview Josh Berman, who directed this movie. Many people will find it inspirational. The film demonstrates how people can continue to thrive, even if their life turns out completely different than what they expect.

We apologize for any confusion during the interview…due to circumstances beyond our control, we were given some wrong information about Josh and his experiences (not his fault).  Well, these things happen! We hope you can go see this movie, which comes out soon.

 

MORE INFO: Official Site  Trailer

Falco Ink, Abramorama Presents Full Circle "Full Circle" poster

Opening in NY October 20th
Opening in LA, Canada & Additional US Cities Beginning October 27th
*World Premiere – 2023 Santa Barbara International Film Festival*
*Feature Film Award Winner – 2023 Wasatch Mountain Film Festival*
*Official Selection – ​​2023 Telluride Mountainfilm*
Directed by: Josh Berman
Featuring: Trevor Kennison and Barry Corbet
Produced by: Conor Smith and Roy Tuscany
Executive Produced by: Andrew Tiner, Kevin McNeely, and Rosemary NcNeely

Faced with a traumatic injury that renders you permanently disabled; how would you reinvent yourself? In 2014, Trevor Kennison’s life was forever altered by a broken back – for worse and for better, in equal measures. Barry Corbet, an intrepid skier, mountaineer, explorer, filmmaker, and Jackson Hole legend, broke his back in a helicopter crash in 1968.  Frustrated by a pre-ADA culture that did not accept or support the disabled, Barry reinvented himself, becoming a seminal leader in the disability community. Full Circle follows Trevor on a path towards post-traumatic growth in parallel with Barry, 50 years later.  Their stories mirror each other, connected through time and space by common locations and motifs; injuries in the Colorado backcountry, rehab at Craig Hospital, fame in Jackson Hole; but also, through their shared resiliency and refusal to let their passion for life be limited by their injuries. Full Circle is an unblinking examination of the challenges of Spinal Cord Injury, and a celebration of the growth that such tragedy can catalyze.

Bringing the ethos of the film into practice Primetime Emmy-nominated composer Mark Crawford (“The Social Dilemma”) chose to work with musicians living with disabilities for the live instrumentation of the score. Mark assembled an all-star team, including Grammy-winning guitarist Eric Howk of Portugal. The Man, world-renowned jazz pianist Justin Kauflin, percussionist Jason Barnes, trumpet player Patrick Henry Hughes, virtuoso violinist Brian Krinke, and members of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, with orchestrator Jeff Kryka preparing the score. Additionally, Eric Howk wrote and recorded a custom song for the credits of the film, titled “What I Am.”  Very much autobiographical, the song brings Eric’s voice into the film in more ways than one, speaking directly to his life experience as a paraplegic confined to a wheelchair.

JOSH BERMAN

Director/DP – Josh Berman started his career in the New York City production scene while earning a degree in Film from Dartmouth College. Josh followed his passion for snow sports to Colorado and has been directing award winning outdoor and action sports films for the past two decades. His background in action sports uniquely equipped him to tackle the challenges of shooting with Trevor in complex and dangerous snow environments.

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Josh Berman, director of the film "Full Circle"