Interview with Julian Works and Paulina Chávez

TV Interview!

 

Julian Works and Paulina Chávez star in the film "The Long Game."

Interview with Julian Works and Paulina Chávez of the film “The Long Game” by Suzanne 4/5/24

This is a really good movie, so you don’t want to miss it. It’s entertaining, it has great characters and acting, and it also has a lot of heart. It’s based on a true story, which gives it validity. Also, it resonates in today’s world, where there’s still a lot of prejudice against any immigrants, or any people with dark skin. I enjoyed speaking with stars Julian Works (who plays Joe Trevino) and Paulina Chávez (who plays his girlfriend, Daniela). You can also see Works in “9-1-1: Lone Star” – Season 5 premieres this Fall. I would have loved to speak to the other stars – Jay Hernandez, Dennis Quaid, Cheese Marin – as well. They all doing an outstanding job in the movie.

 

MORE INFO:

Key art for "The Long Game"THE LONG GAME 

Based On the Book “Mustang Miracle” By Humberto G. Garcia

Starring Jay Hernandez, Dennis Quaid, Cheech Marin

Executive Produced by Canelo Álvarez

WILL BE RELEASED IN THEATERS NATIONWIDE ON APRIL 12, 2024

WATCH THE TRAILER HERE

SYNOPSIS

In 1956, JB Peña and his wife moved to the small town of Del Rio, TX, partly for a job as a school superintendent, but mostly to fulfill JB’s dream of joining the prestigious, all-white Del Rio Country Club. So when JB is rejected on the basis of his skin color, he is devastated. But his world soon collides with a group of young latino golf caddies who work at the country club, and JB is inspired by the handmade course the boys built in the country to teach themselves golf. With little experience and even fewer resources, JB convinces the boys to start their own high school golf team, starting them all on a journey where they learn that it takes more than just golf skills to make history. Based on Mustang Miracle by Humberto G. Garcia.

Julian Works most recently starred in the Blumhouse anthology series “Into The Dark: School Spirit,” and recurred in the cable drama “The Affair,” opposite Dominic West. His additional credits include the drama series “American Crime,” as well as the feature films “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” and the Sundance Film Festival Award nominee “All She Can.”

Mexican American Actress Paulina Chávez (“The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia”, “Fate: The Winx Saga”) will star opposite Eva Longoria, Cheech Marin, and Jesse Garcia in the Disney+ feature film Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Chávez will play ‘Mia Garcia’, the 16-year-old sister to ‘Alexander’ who is every inch an independent minded, intelligent, eye-rolling teenager. Convinced that her 11-year-old brother Alexander has the worst luck in the entire world, Mia is frequently appalled and horrified as the family road trip disintegrates into disaster after disaster. But, oddly enough, when they’ve lost just about everything and it’s just the family and nature, Mia is the first one to appreciate the beauty of the world around them, which clearly touches her.From writer Matt Lopez and director Marvin Lemus, Alexander tells the story of 11-year-old Alexander Garcia who feels like he is the unluckiest kid in the world. The film is produced by Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, and Lisa Henson. Marisol Roncali and Chelsea Ellis Bloch serve as casting directors.

Chávez is best known for her breakthrough leading role as the titular ‘Ashley Garcia’, the world’s first and only 15-year-old robotics engineer and rocket scientist, in Netflix’s “The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia”. Most recently, she starred as the series regular ‘Flora’ in Netflix’s sci-fi/fantasy series “Fate: The Winx Saga.” A rising star in both film and television, her film THE LONG GAME is set to premiere at the upcoming SXSW Festival on March 12th, 2023. The film is based on the true story five young Mexican-American golf caddies who against the odds would go on and successfully compete against wealthy all-white golf teams in 1955 South Texas.

Born in El Paso, TX, at the age of six Paulina and her family moved to San Antonio, TX where she discovered her love of acting through her school’s theater program. She joined drama club in second grade and immersed herself in theatre, playing lead roles in Aladdin Jr., Beauty and the Beast Jr., The Little Mermaid Jr. among others. She began auditioning and booking roles for various short films, movies, voice-overs, regional commercials, as well as national TV commercials for Coca-Cola and ‘Food Feuds: Latin Food’ alongside award-winning chef Aarón Sánchez. She additionally landed co-starred as ‘Isabella’ in the thriller-series “Padre Pio” and landed the role of ‘Young Kim Kardashian’ in the TV series, “Scandal Made Me Famous”. 

In addition to acting, Paulina’s other passion is music and she began taking vocal lessons at a young age in preparation for musicals. She counts a wide range of musical influences including Shakira, Alejandro Fernandez, Luis Miguel, and Billie Eilish. Paulina also played the violin in a San Antonio-based mariachi group which she continually praises for helping maintain her connection to her Latin roots. 

When she is not acting or singing, animal lover Paulina enjoys spending time with her rescue cats Whiskey and Bublé. She is also an advocate for the Latinx community and focuses her attention on giving back. Paulina began offering a yearly scholarship for youth within her local San Antonio community in 2020. Is is currently working in partnership with The Salvation Army SA to select students for her scholarship ‘Be Your Own Kind of Genius’.

You can follow Paulina Chávez on Instagram at @PaulinafChavez

 

Directed by Julio Quintana

Written by  Julio Quintana, Jennifer C. Stetson & Paco Farias

Starring Jay Hernandez, Dennis Quaid, Cheech Marin, Julian Works, Jaina Lee Ortiz, Brett Cullen, Oscar Nunez,  Richard Robichaux, Paulina Chavez

Produced by Javier Chapa, Ben Howard, Dennis Quaid, Laura Quaid, Marla Quintana

Julian Works as Joe Trevino, Dennis Quaid as Frank Mitchell, and more, in the movie "The Long Game."Executive Produced by Canelo Álvarez, Jay Hernandez, Phillip Braun, Jason Michael Gerber, Sherrese Clarke Soares, Alexis Garcia, Humberto G. Garcia, Christian Sosa, John Williams, Veronica B. Jones, Jennifer Kuczaj, Simon Wise, Colleen Barshop, Vincent Cordero, Carlos Osorio, Juan Pablo Solano Vergara, Simón Beltrán Echeverri, Brian Eddy, Jeff Grossberg, Jack Shemtov, Ricky Joshi, Jeff Moseley, Julio M. Quintana, Jennifer Kuczaj, Michael E. Hollingsworth, Matthew Dwyer, David E. Campbell, Tim Mahler, Carter Pope, Jesse Mandujano

Running Time: 112 Minutes

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Interview with Beau Bridges and Rob Mayes

TV Interview!

 

Beau Bridges, Rob Mayes, Stratton Leopold and William Wages of the film "The Neon Highway," which premieres March 15.

Interviews with Beau Bridges, Rob Mayes, Stratton Leopold and William Wages of the film “The Neon Highway” by Suzanne 3/6/24

This is such a good movie, and the actors did an amazing job. It was really great to speak with them, and the writer/director and producer. I grew up watching Lloyd, Beau and Jeff Bridges, so it was an honor to speak to Beau. This is a role that seems meant for him, and he excels in it. I hope people remember it come Oscar time next year.  I can’t believe he hasn’t won one already! He should have won for “The Fabulous Baker Boys,” at least.  The focus of the movie is Rob’s character, Wayne, and then we meet Beau’s character, Claude, and the two carry the movie. I’m glad it was not too depressing, either, because so many indie movies are. I hope you can check it out because it’s a really inspiring and human story. It also has some outstanding music. Enjoy the videos!  Rob is much more handsome in real life than he is in the movie! “The Neon Highway” premieres tomorrow, March 15, 2024.

Rob Mayes stars in "The Neon Highway," premiering March 15 in select theaters.Beau Bridges stars in "The Neon Highway," premiering March 15 in select theaters.

Stars Rob Mayes and Beau Bridges

 

Lee Brice, Rob Mayes & Beau Bridges in THE NEON HIGHWAY (Credit: Daniel Delgado/ Mountain Movies)

Producer Stratton Leopold and writer/director William Wages

"The Neon Highway" key artMORE INFO: Official Site  Trailer

THE NEON HIGHWAY, STARRING EMMY®, GOLDEN GLOBE AND GRAMMY® WINNER BEAU BRIDGES AND ROB MAYES SETS HEARTLAND THEATRICAL RELEASE ON MARCH 15, 2024

Presented by Mountain Movies and produced by veteran filmmaker Stratton Leopold (The Sum Of All Fears, Mission: Impossible II), THE NEON HIGHWAY will release theatrically on March 15. Directed by William Wages (Yellowstone, Lethal Weapon) and co-written by Wages and Phillip Rob Bellury (A Ride To Heaven, Remember This), the film stars Emmy®, Golden Globe and GRAMMY® winner Beau Bridges (The Fabulous Baker Boys, Eden), who was recently honored with the Icon Award from The Family Film & TV Awards, recognizing the significance of family entertainment.

THE NEON HIGHWAY also stars Rob Mayes (Legends, NCIS), Sam Hennings (The Work and the Glory franchise), Sandra Lee-Oian Thomas (Mr. Mercedes, Superstition), T.J. Power (Eat Pray Love, Offspring), Brett Gentile (We’re The Millers, The Walking Dead) and Ezekiel Bridges (Spiral, Mr. Mayor) along with GRAMMY® and CMA winner Pam Tillis as herself and Curb recording artist Lee Brice as Lamont Johnson.

About The Film: Twenty years ago, Wayne (Mayes), an aspiring singer/songwriter, was a heartbeat away from making it in Nashville when a car accident derailed his ambitions. Now working a 9-5 job and struggling to support his family, Wayne has a fateful encounter with waning country music great Claude Allen (Bridges) who reignites Claude’s musical dreams. Together they go to Nashville with one of Wayne’s songs, believing that with Claude’s fame and contacts, they can make it big. The problem is the industry has Rob Mayes and Beau Bridges star in "The Neon Highway," out March 14 in select theaters. changed and no one is interested in the song – or Claude. Devastated and out of options, Wayne creates a way to get the song out to the public; not for himself, but for Claude.

“I couldn’t be more excited to bring THE NEON HIGHWAY to audiences throughout the country,” said Producer Stratton Leopold. “This film means a great deal to me, and after spending so much time working on mass entertainment it is a privilege to bring this film to audiences across the American Heartland, and to share a story about the music that fills our lives.”

Arturo Sandoval – Cuban-American jazz legend and multiple GRAMMY winner – composed the movie’s score with Curb Records releasing. The performance scenes were captured live as performed on set by musicians including Mayes, Brice and rising country newcomer, Grace Asbury.

The film’s first song and title track, “The Neon Highway” was released January 26th. The track was written by Dallas Davidson (“I Don’t Dance,” “Crash My Party”) and performed by two-time ACM winner and GRAMMY and CMA nominee, Brice.

THE NEON HIGHWAY opens March 15th in Los Angeles and in select markets including Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Memphis, Nashville, Orlando, and San Antonio.

THE NEON HIGHWAY is a Mountain Movies production and is distributed by Freestyle Releasing. Stratton Leopold serves as producer with Lori Berlanga as Co-Producer. William Wages, Phillip Rob Bellury, and Craig Miller, Executive Produced.

Beau Bridges and Lloyd Bridges at the 44th Emmy Awards, August 1982 (photo credit Alan Light/Public domain)

From IMdB: Beau Bridges was born in Hollywood, and is the son of actor Lloyd Bridges and his wife, who was his college sweetheart, Dorothy Dean Bridges. Born just two days after the attack on Pearl Harbour, he was delivered by candlelight because of a power blackout. Named Lloyd Vernet Bridges III, his parents immediately started calling him Beau after Ashley Wilkes’ son in Gone with the Wind (1939), a book they were reading at the time. His younger brother, actor Jeff Bridges, was born in 1949 and a sister, Cindy Bridges, the following year.

Although only 5’10”, Beau played basketball for UCLA his freshman year. The following year he transferred to the University of Hawaii, but dropped out to pursue acting and got his first major role in 1967. During his first marriage to Julie Landifield, they adopted Casey Bridges and then had Jordan Bridges. He and his second wife, Wendy Treece Bridges, have three children from this marriage: Dylan Bridges (born 1985); Emily Bridges, (born 1987) and Ezekiel Jeffry Bridges.

Beau likes to play guitar and collects Native American percussion instruments. He also loves the ocean, including swimming and surfing. He is also active in environmental causes and handgun control.

From Wikipedia: Rob Mayes is an American actor, musician, and model. He is best known for starring as the title character in the 2012 horror comedy film John Dies at the End, as well as portraying Tommy Nutter in the short-lived comedy drama television series Jane by Design. He also played Barry in the 2019 film Maybe I’m FineVisit his website to hear and see more about this multi-talented actor/singer!

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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 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"

 

Interview with Karen Lam

TV Interview!

 

Writer/Director/Producer Karen Lam; Photo by Tallulah Photography - © opiatepix

Interview with Karen Lam of the movie “The Curse of Willow Song” by Thane 9/9/23

It was great to talk to award-winning filmmaker Karen Lam about her upcoming horror movie, “The Curse Of Willow Song.” This movie won multiple awards, but I found her very humble about it. I can tell that she’s in it for the love of art, and she loves working with people.  Make sure to check out the trailer because it’s really cool.

 

MORE INFO: VIEW AND SHARE THE TRAILER!

Director/producer/writer Karen Lam (from her cats' Instagram)Canadian writer, director, and producer KAREN LAM is promoting her upcoming film THE CURSE OF WILLOW SONG, on digital and DVD September 26.

Lam grew up in Brandon, Manitoba. Lam‘s father, a professor, would show his daughter horror films that she cites as an influence for her work. Lam also lists Gothic literature and Asian horror films as influences. After receiving a law degree from the University of British Columbia, Lam began working at BC Film.

Lam‘s first featured-length film was Stained (2010), a thriller starring Tinsel Korey. A year later the horror revenge short Doll Parts (2011) was released and distributed, which Lam credits for paving the way for Stained to get viewership in the United States. She landed on Hollywood’s map with the starry horror Evangeline in 2013.

KAREN LAM‘S HIGHLY ANTICIPATED COMES TO DIGITAL SEPTEMBER 26

THE CURSE OF WILLOW SONG

Key art for the film, "The Curse of Willow Song"

STARRING VALERIE TIAN FROM “THE MAGICIANS”, “ARROW” AND JENNIFER’S BODY

Karen Lam‘s highly-anticipated The Curse of Willow Song, starring Jennifer Body’s Valerie Tian, has been picked up by Uncork’d Entertainment. The horror pic, receiving great early buzz thanks to its strong special effects, will release on both digital and DVD formats in the fall.

“The Curse of Willow Song has so much to offer. It will appeal for the genre audience but also the Asian community – as represented in front of and behind camera”, said Keith Leopard, President Uncork’d Entertainment. “Karen Lam is truly one of the most exceptional filmmakers out there, and The Curse of Willow Song reiterates that.”

Willow Song, a recovering addict and parolee, struggles to start over. Willow finds herself in a concrete wasteland. Facing isolation and displacement, shadows creep into Willow’s mind and her nightmares become too real.

The Curse of Willow Song will release on Digital and DVD September 26, 2023.

About Uncork’d Entertainment

Uncork’d Entertainment was founded in July, 2012 by Keith Leopard, a Home Entertainment industry veteran with more than 23 years of experience in purchasing, acquisitions, merchandising, marketing and analysis of major studio and independent supplier to the home entertainment market.

The Company focuses on distribution in six areas: Digital Media, Physical Home Entertainment, Aggregation, Theatrical and Television, Foreign Sales, and has secured relationships across all platforms to ensure your film reaches the widest audience possible.

Keith and his team are committed to maximizing revenue, controlling costs, and assuring their Content Partners the highest quality of service, a commitment to market and merchandise their film and a rewarding experience by partnering with Uncork’d Entertainment.

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Writer/Director/Producer Karen Lam; Photo by Tallulah Photography - © opiatepix
Writer/Director/Producer Karen Lam; Photo by Tallulah Photography – © opiatepix

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Interview with the creators of “The Inventor”

TV Interview!

 

Writer/co-director Jim Capobiano, co-director Pierrce-Luc Granjon and composer Alex Mandel of "The Inventor"

Interview with writer/co-director Jim Capobianco, co-director Pierrce-Luc Granjon and composer Alex Mandel of the movie “The Inventor” by Suzanne 8/10/23

This is a cute stop-motion animated movie about Leonardo da Vinci and his quest to find out the secret of life. It’s great for kids, families, or anyone. The music is very good, too.

The first interview was with the show’s directors, Jim Capobianco and Pierre-Luc Granjon; Capobianco was also the writer. The second interview was with Alex Mandel, who wrote the music. Both interviews were very enjoyable. I hope you can go see this film, which comes out September 15.

Writer/co-director Jim Capobiano and composer Alex Mandel of "The Inventor"

 

 

 

MORE INFO:

"The Inventor" key art

THE INVENTOR

WATCH THE OFFICIAL TRAILER HERE

SYNOPSIS

Directed and written by Jim Capobianco (the Academy Award®-nominated screenwriter of “Ratatouille”) and co-directed by Pierre-Luc GranjonTHE INVENTOR is a stop-motion adventure film about the life of Leonardo da Vinci featuring the voices of Stephen Fry, Daisy Ridley, Marion Cotillard, Gauthier Battoue, and Matt Berry.

The insatiably curious and headstrong inventor/artist Leonardo da Vinci (Fry) leaves Italy to join the French court where he can freely experiment, invent flying contraptions and incredible machines, and study the human body. Joined in his adventure by the audacious Princess Marguerite (Ridley), Leonardo attempts to uncover the answer to the ultimate question: “What is the meaning of life?”

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Leonardo di Vinci of "The Inventor"

 

Interview with Monique T. Parent

TV/Movie Interview!

 

Monique T. Parent (from her Instagram)

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

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

 

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

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

Instagram

"That's a Wrap" key art

THAT’S A WRAP

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

DIRECTED BY Marcel Walz

ON DIGITAL AUGUST 25

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

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

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

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

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

 

Interview with Shila Ommi

TV Interview!

 

Shila Ommi, star of the Disney/Pixar film "Elemental"

Interview with Shila Ommi of the movie “Elemental” and “Tehran” on Apple TV+ by Suzanne 6/15/23

It was really fun to speak with Shila. The movie looks really good (and great for kids). I saw the trailer last week when I went to see “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.” Shila plays Cinder, the mom of the main character, Ember (Leah Lewis).

 

MORE INFO: Official Site Trailer

"Elemental" key art

CINDER LUMEN (Shila Ommiis Firetown’s resident matchmaker, utilizing her natural gift that allows her to smell true love in a Fire person’s smoke, whether they know it or not. She boasts numerous matches throughout her tenure—she’s proud of her track record—but this brusque, no-nonsense and traditional mom has yet to find a match for her daughter.  Elsewhere audiences can see Shila Ommi on the Apple TV+ espionage thriller, “Tehran.” Shila Ommi is one of the returning co-stars of Apple TV+, espionage thriller, “Tehran,” now streaming season two now on Apple TV+.  Ommi portrays the character of Nahid Kamali, the wife of Shaun Toub’s character Faraz Kamali (a skilled investigator with the Revolutionary Guards), and she also shared the screen with the iconic Glenn Close, and in season two. The heart pounding “Tehran,” which has earned the comparison in the media already of “24” meets “The Americans,” is must watch TV at it’s finest.

Shila Ommi is an American/ actress, born in Tehran, and has lived in Los Angeles since onslaught of the 1979 Iranian Revolution.  Her mother was a poet and her father a philanthropist, real estate mogul, and the founder and CEO of Iran’s largest construction company, Vima Co.  At an early age, Ommi witnessed the wrath of the Islamic regime. Ommi’s father was also on their hit list, but her family had the chance to flee the country, leaving behind their wealth and all their belongings to begin a new life in the United States.

Today, Shila Ommi is a prominent actress in the Iranian communities in diaspora.  For over a decade, she toured the globe as the lead actress and co-artistic director of Workshop 79, a theatre company spearheaded by acclaimed Iranian playwright/director/actor Houshang Touzie (“A Simple Wedding,” “Argo”). The founder of the LA based theater group, Turquoise Heart Productions,  Ommi uses theater art as a form of healing and activism, writes, directs, and acts in theatre pieces that share the Iranian experience with American audiences, and the exile experience with Iranians abroad. She is recently directed a play commissioned by the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health.

Ommi portrays the character Nahid, in the acclaimed espionage thriller, “Tehran,” with seasons 1 & 2 streaming now on Apple TV+ . She portrayed the character of Yasmin in the Apple TV+ anthology series “Little America” co-starring with Shaun Toub (who is also her screen husband in “Tehran”).  Ommi is also a voice-over artist and performs regularly in animated films and web series.  She is the voice of all the characters, male and female in a cartoon series called “NOPM: Special Forces” which was commissioned by the Boromand Foundation, a human rights organization focused on Iran’s human rights violations. She is narrating a video about deforestation, and a film about Iran… both coming out by the end of this year.

Elemental

PG

June 16, 2023

Animation

Disney and Pixar’s “Elemental” is an all-new, original feature film set in Element City, where fire-, water-, land- and air residents live together. The story introduces Ember, a tough, quick-witted and fiery young woman, whose friendship with a fun, sappy, go-with-the-flow guy named Wade challenges her beliefs about the world they live in.

  • Directed By

    Peter Sohn
  • Produced By

    Denise Ream

Cast

Leah Lewis, Mamoudou Athie

Rated PG

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Cinder - portrayed by Shila Ommi in "Elemental"

 

Interview with Tatyana Ali, Alpha Nicky Mulowa and Ni’Cola Mitchell

TV Interview!

 

Tatyana Ali, Alpha Nicky Mulowa and Ni'Cola Mitchell of "Giving Hope: The Ni'Cola Mitchell Story" on Lifetime

Interview with Tatyana Ali, Alpha Nicky Mulowa and Ni’Cola Mitchell of “Giving Hope: The Ni’Cola Mitchell Story” on Lifetime by Suzanne 3/8/23

This was an interesting movie because it was based on a real story of a woman who went through poverty, traumaTatyana Ali stars in "Giving Hope: The Ni'Cola Mitchell Story" on Lifetime and loss, yet she was saved by her inner intelligence, strength and perseverance. She went on to use this drive and determination to help young girls who are at-risk, even though she was a single mother with very little funds. It’s truly an inspirational story. Ali did a wonderful job with the role, and it was great to not only talk to her about the movie, but also the film’s director, and the real-life Ni’Cola Mitchell, on whom the movie is based. You can learn more here about Mitchell’s organization, Girls Who Brunch.

 

 

MORE INFO: Trailer Official Site

poster for "Giving Hope: The Ni'Cola Mitchell Story" on LifetimeTatyana Ali stars in Giving Hope: The Ni’Cola Mitchell Story, the emotional true story of best-selling author and inspirational speaker Ni’Cola Mitchell, who after experiencing sexual violence as a young girl, founded an organization dedicated to saving at risk girls from abuse and exploitation.

Ni’Cola Mitchell (Tatyana Ali), successful author, publisher and speaker, realizes at a book signing that her calling is to help disadvantaged girls. Ni’Cola understands what it is like to overcome huge hurdles in life including a difficult childhood and a cancer diagnosis, and after putting her own writing career on hold, she launches Girls Who Brunch, events designed to make young women feel seen and empowered. With the support of her sister Nene (Nadine Whiteman Roden) and daughters Diamond (Kudakwashe Rutendo) and Destani (Mikalah Reid-Beckette), she pours everything she has into the organization, including her own money and mobilizes volunteers, coaches and community leaders to help host events. Ni’Cola is named A Woman of Worth by L’Oréal and sponsorship opportunities begin to come in, helping Girls Who Brunch expand nationally and travel to dozens of cities across the country, reaching tens of thousands of girls in the process.

Giving Hope: The Ni’Cola Mitchell Story is produced by Champlin Media. Executive producers are Barbara Fisher, Tom Berry, Suzanne Chapman and Ni’Cola Mitchell. Producers are Adam Gowland, Jordana Aarons and Cassandra Keenan. Alpha Nicky directs from a script written by Adam Rockoff.

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Tatyana Ali, Kudakwashe Rutendo and Mikalah Reid-Beckette in "Giving Hope: The Ni'Cola Mitchell Story" on Lifetime

 

Interviews with Scott Hamm Duenas and Kipp Tribble

TV Interviews!

Scott Hamm Duenas and Kipp Tribble of film "Rebroken"

Interviews with Scott Hamm Duenas and Kipp Tribble of the film “Rebroken” by Thane 3/3/23

I had a great interview with Scott, who has been in “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and “General Hospital,” among many other roles. He stars as Will in this new film “Rebroken.” Kipp was a fascinating person to talk to as he’s so prolific in the thriller genre. He co-stars in the movie; both actors co-wrote the movie.

Scott Hamm Duenas of film "Rebroken"

 

Kipp Tribble of film "Rebroken"

 

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Gravitas Ventures logoSTARRING TOBIN BELL

REBROKEN

A devastated father receives recordings from a mysterious stranger that allow him to communicate with his recently deceased daughter in a new thriller from director Kenny Yates

On Digital Platforms March 7, 2023 from Gravitas Ventures

Directed by: Kenny Yates

Starring: Scott Hamm Duenas, Tobin Bell, Kipp Tribble

Tobin Bell, star of the SAW franchise joins Scott Hamm Duenas (Evil at the Door, “General Hospital”) in REBROKEN, premiering On Digital Platforms March 7 from Gravitas Ventures.

Scott Hamm Duenas of film "Rebroken"Will is a devastated father who spends his time between court-ordered grief counseling and drinking himself into oblivion. He repeats the cycle of despair every day with no plans to stop, until he meets a mysterious stranger who gives him some old vinyl recordings. After Will listens to the records, he suddenly starts receiving messages from his recently deceased daughter. As the communications from his daughter grow more and more frequent, Will becomes convinced that these recordings hold the answer to bring his daughter back from the dead. But just as he is closing in on the truth, he starts to suspect that his counseling group has ulterior motives. After the stranger disappears, Will races against time to find him so he can get the last recording, or his chance to bring his daughter back might be gone forever.

Also starring Kipp Tribble, Alison Haislip, Nija Okoro, Kenny Yates, Richard Siegelman, Blake Koren, and Billy Walker, REBROKEN is written by Kipp Tribble and Scott Hamm Duenas, and directed by Kenny Yates.

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Kipp Tribble and other cast members of the film "Rebroken"

Interview with Garcelle Beauvais, Linda Park, Iyana Halley, Taylor Mosby and Derrica Wilson

TV Interview!

Garcelle Beauvais and Taylor Mosby of "Black Girl Missing" on Lifetime

Interview with Garcelle Beauvais, Linda Park, Taylor Mosby Iyana Halley and Derrica Wilson of “Black Girl Missing” on Lifetime by Suzanne 2/2/23

This is a powerful movie about a woman losing one of her children, and the lengths she goes through to find her, and to make the police and press take her seriously. It’s fictional but based on many true stories. This is part of Lifetime’s “Ripped From the Headlines” press panels. It first airs Saturday, March 4th.

 

MORE INFO: Official Site and Trailer

Beauvais and other cast in "Black Girl Missing" on LifetimeWhen Cheryl (Garcelle Beauvais) gets into an argument with her daughter Lauren (Iyana Halley) over her desire to drop out of college, she initially thinks Lauren is simply ignoring her calls and texts, but Cheryl soon realizes Lauren is missing.  While she attempts to get help from authorities and the media, they quickly dismiss the case, labeling Lauren as a runaway while they are all too consumed with another case – that of a missing white girl. Desperate to find Lauren, Cheryl and her 15-year-old daughter Marley (Taylor Mosby) enlist the help of a dedicated community of amateur internet sleuths to try to find Lauren. Cheryl also discovers the Black and Missing Foundation and is horrified to discover the disparity in how missing persons of color cases are treated with significant lack of media attention and law enforcement resources.

The movie also stars Linda Park, as Elise, a local reporter who tries to help Cheryl, against the orders of the news director.

Derrica and Natalie Wilson, founders of Black and Missing Foundation, serve as consultants on the film. Black and Missing Foundation, Inc. (BAMF) has been established as a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring awareness to missing persons of color, provide vital resources and tools to missing person’s families and friends and to educate the minority community on personal safety. Garcelle Beauvais will also be featured in a new PSA in support of Black and Missing Foundation’s efforts.

Black Girl Missing is produced for Lifetime by Johnson Production Group in association with Motion Content Group.  Garcelle Beauvais, Tim Johnson, Stacy Mandelberg, Gordon Gilbertson, Jason Egenberg, Richard Foster and Chet Fenster are executive producers. Delmar Washington (Outsiders) directs from a script written by Kale Futterman (Samir).

As a companion to the movie, Lifetime will debut the special, Beyond the Headlines: Black Girl Missing, following true stories of black and missing women featuring interviews with their families and Black and Missing Foundations’s involvement in the cases. Produced by AMS, Andy Streitfeld serves as EP and Kim Clemons is the showrunner. Natalie and Derrica Wilson of the Black and Missing Foundation are also consultants.

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Linda Park in "Black Girls Missing" on Lifetime

Interview with Peter Parros

TV Interview!

Peter Parros of the film "Who Are You People"

Interview with Peter Parros of the film “Who Are You People” by Suzanne 2/17/23Peter Parros of the film "Who Are You People"

I’m very happy to speak with Peter, whom I’ve in so many shows, starting with “One Life to Live,” where hey played Ben Price from 1994-15, and then on “As The World Turns,” where he played Ben Harris from 1987 to 2009. More recently, he starred in “The Haves and the Have Nots” on OWN. He has done many other shows and movies over the years.  This movie is an indy film about a teen girl, Alex (Ema Horvath), who has trouble connecting with her mom, Judith (Alyssa Milano) and step-dad, Carey (John Ales), and she wants to meet her bio dad, Karl (Devon Sawa).  It’s an interesting movie because it takes a dark turn towards the end. There are many twists and turns.  The writing is really good, and the characters are rich and complex. Ben Epstein wrote and directed it.  Even though Peter has a relatively small part as the town sheriff, his character is also complex. As I told him in our interview, it should have been a TV series because of the writing and the interesting characters. I want to see what else happens with these people. I hope you enjoy the movie, coming to select theaters and VOD February 24!

 

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thumbnail for key art or poster for "Who Are You People"?“Who Are You People” stars Ema Horvath (“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power,” What Lies Below”),  Devon Sawa (“Gasoline Alley,” “Final Destination”),  Yeardley Smith (“The Simpsons,” “Maximum Overdrive”), Peter Parros (“Real Genius,” Knight Rider”), Siddharth Dhananjay (“Bloodshot,” “Undone”), Reid Miller (“Joe Bell,” “You”),  with John Ales (“Euphoria,” True Story”), and Alyssa Milano (“Brazen,” “Charmed”). “Who Are You People”  premiered at the Mammoth Film Festival where Horvath won Best Actress.

Unfolding through the eyes of our 16-year-old protagonist Alex’s (Ema Horvath) eyes, her limited knowledge and perspective gradually opening-up as she learns more of the circumstances that surround her. Humanity gives no easy answers when faced with another truth: sometimes life’s biggest questions far outlast the answers. A cinematic sibling to critically acclaimed films like “Ordinary People,” Epstein’s  voice as a filmmaker is authentic and questioning – something we believe audiences will respond to – launching them to have bigger personal conversations.

“Who Are You People” is written & directed by Ben Epstein; produced by Jordan Foley  (“Alone,” “American Woman”), Toby Louie (Night Owls,” “Good Crazy”), Ben Epstein, and Nick Smith (“Alone,” “All Square”); executive produced by Alyssa Milano, Graham Moore (“The Imitation Game,” “The Holdout”), Yeardley Smith, Ben Cornwell (“Gracefully Grayson,” “All Square”), Fred Chandler  (“The Art of Racing in the Race,” “Gossamer Folds”), Neely Eisenstein (“Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,” “Plus One”), AJ Gordon (“The Dark Divide,” “All the Wilderness”), Irka Zazulak, Melissa Pianko, and Rod Cooper ; co-produced by Rob Nelson (“Bad Parents,” “Brand New, Old Love”), and Benjy Caplan (“New Orleans, Mon Amour”); with Cinematography by Bobby Lam  (“A Leading Man,” “Under Wraps”); edited by Jeff Bernier (“Retro Report,” “Rabbit”); and original music by Aaron Zigman(“The Notebook, “Wakefield”).

“Who Are You People” iTunes: Pre-Order Link:  https://apple.co/3X5ih07

 “Who Are You People” Synopsis:
After a botched attempt to seduce her teacher, 16-year-old Alex (Horvath) runs away from boarding school to seek out the biological father (Sawa) that her mother (Milano) and presumed father (Ales) always kept hidden and learn the dark secret of her roots.

About the Director:
Ben Epstein is the writer/director of the feature film WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE. He served as the Creator/Showrunner/Director for two seasons of the Complex series IN THE VAULT. He is also the creator and Co-Executive Producer of the MTV dramedy HAPPYLAND, and currently serves as a Co-Executive Producer on an upcoming series for Netflix.

Ben is currently developing a TV series with Lionsgate and Temple Hill and a feature with John Wells Productions. His screenplay THE PROSPECT, which chronicles Michael Jordan’s baseball career, was featured on the Black List. Ben realized a lifelong nerd dream by writing several issues of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book. His short fiction has appeared in the Rattling Wall Literary Journal.

Ben graduated from the NYU film program, where his thesis film THE REUNION won First Prize Wasserman/King Award at the NYU First Run Film Festival and numerous awards at other festivals. His feature script for WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE was also awarded the $75,000 NYU Columbus/Vague Alumni Production Grant by director Chris Columbus.
Ben is a member of the WGA and DGA. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and never tires of describing himself in the third person.

Peter Parros of the film "Who Are You People"Peter Parros

Peter Parros began his acting career at American Theatre Arts in Hollywood, CA. After performing in stage productions, commercials and television, his big break came when he won the series regular role of “RC3” Reginald Cornelius III on the hit TV show Knight Rider. He was later cast as Officer Gus Grant, the series lead, on the new Adam 12 series with Ethan Wayne. Peter has appeared in hundreds of television episodes spanning several series, including Seinfeld, The Family Man,Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Bones, CSI: Miami, Law and Order, Sherri, Royal Pains and Castle. Feature film credits include Death Before Dishonor and Real Genius.

For seven years, he played Dr. Ben Harris on the Best Daytime Drama Emmy Winner As The World Turns—a role that earned Peter two NAACP Image Award Nominations. Daytime fans also know him for his contract role as Dr. Ben Price on One Life To Live and Leo Baines on The Young and the Restless.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Peter currently resides in Los Angeles, California. He loves spending time on the ocean and has partnered with the Boys and Girls Club to introduce urban youth to the joys of sailing.

Another great article about the movie

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Peter Parros of the film "Who Are You People"

Interview with Connor Floyd

TV Interview!

Connor Floyd of "The Last Deal" and "The Young and The Restless" on CBS

Interview with Connor Floyd of the movie “The Last Deal” and “The Young & The Restless” on CBS by Suzanne 2/3/23

It was great to speak with Connor! We had a fun – but brief – chat. He has a small part in this new movie, “The Last Deal,” which is an action thriller starring Anthony Molinari.  To be fair, everyone’s part in this is pretty small, aside from Molinari. The only other actor that has many lines in the movie is Mister Fitzgerald, who plays Bobby.  Connor’s role last for just a few minutes.  He’s a young actor, still building his resume. Right now most of his work is on “The Young & The Restless,” where he plays Chance. I was happy to speak to him about both the film and the show.

Connor Floyd plays Chance on "The Young and The Restless"

 

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"The Last Deal" key art

IN THEATERS NATIONWIDE FEB 3

ON DEMAND FEB 7

THE LAST DEAL

January 5, 2023 : Sala Baker, known to Lord of the Rings fans as Sauron, stars in the non-stop action thrill ride THE LAST DEAL, coming to theaters Feb 3 and digital Feb 7.

The pic, a captivating profusion of HEAT and SAVAGES, nabbed Best Director at the Boston Film Festival, and later, the Jury Prize for Best Performance at the San Antonio Film Festival.

Black market marijuana dealer Vince is living the high life in Los Angeles, but everything changes when new laws pass making cannabis legal. With limited dispensary licenses available, Vince may be squeezed out of the business. He’s desperate to make one final score, but borrows money from the wrong people.

Directed by Jonathan Salemi, and also starring Anthony Molinari (Tenet), Mister Fitzgerald (“F.B.I.”), Jeffri Lauren (Inside & Out), Mike Ferguson (Ebola Rex), Conner Floyd (“The Young & The Restless”), and Gigi Gustin (The Retaliators), THE LAST DEAL is a Scatena & Rosner Films release.

Connor Floyd plays Chance on "The Young and The Restless"Conner Floyd joined the cast of The Young and the Restless in November 2021 as “Phillip Chance Chancellor IV”. Conner was born and raised in Austin, Texas. He attended the University of Tulsa where he was three-year letter winner playing both wide receiver and punt returner for the Golden Hurricane. After college, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. His past credits include the television movies, Malicious Motives, A Kiss on Candy Cane Lane, and Help Wanted and appearances in several independent films.

In his spare time he enjoys filmmaking, playing guitar, watching football, and enjoying the outdoors.

His birthday is October 20. Follow him on Instagram @connergfloyd

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Connor Floyd in the movie, "The Last Deal"

Interview with Mike Manning

TV Interview!

Mike Manning of "The Way Out"

Interview with Mike Manning of the film “The Way Out” by Thane 1/16/23

It was great to catch up with Mike Manning about a new thriller he appears in. His TV credits include “This Is Us” and “Days Of Our Lives“. If you like horror/thriller movies, then he’s worth a follow.

 

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"The Way Out" movie key art

ON DIGITAL WORLDWIDE FEB 10, 2023

VIEW AND SHARE THE TRAILER!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXIoXo_rrt4

From writer/director Barry Jay, and starring Jonny Beauchamp (“Penny Dreadful”), Emmy winner Mike Manning (“Teen Wolf”, “This is Us”), Ashleigh Murray (“Riverdale”), and Sherri Shepherd (“Life is Perfect”), an unnerving and riveting thriller from Terror Films hitting digital February 10, 2023.

Alex is an aspiring singer/songwriter, a drug addict who’s been damaged from childhood abuse. After the death of his father and inheriting the family home, he takes in a roommate, a fighter, who takes Alex under his wing, teaching him how to fight back and stand up to abusers. But soon this leads Alex down a dark path that threatens his sobriety and his life.

“I disagree”, says Barry Jay (Killer Therapy, The Chosen). “Absence doesn’t always make the heart grow fonder. Sometimes it gives you the time and distance to gain the clarity to see how badly you were mistreated and the courage to finally do something about it. That was me – I moved out of an abusive household when I was 20 years old. I had been abused until after I was a senior in high school. Severely underweight, shut down, feared everyone and everything and with good reason. Sobriety was a gift that helped me heal through all of that, a day at a time and that is the inspiration for THE WAY OUT.

My hope is to send a message to the abuser and the abused. To the abuser, I hope to show the ripple effect of their heinous actions, and how it can boomerang back to them, rightfully destroying their lives. To the abused, I hope to show there is hope, hope for better days, ability to find the self-esteem and strength to create boundaries, how forgiveness can be the thing that helps you finally drop the rock so you can create a better new and healthy life.”

THE WAY OUT is on digital February 10, 2023 worldwide from Terror Films.

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Mike Manning of "The Way Out" - photo from Instagram

Interview with Zhao Ji and Yu Zhou of “New Gods: Yang Jian”

TV Interview!

Zhao Ji and Yu Zhou of "New Gods: Yang Jian"

Interview with director Zhao Ji and producer Yu Zhou of the movie “New Gods: Yang Jian” by Suzanne 1/11/23

This is a really cool  animated Chinese film that comes out January 20th. I don’t normally watch anime, but I really enjoyed it. It has beautiful animation and tells a great story with a lot of action. The story is based on Chinese folk lore. This movie was a big hit in China, so now it’s premiering here in the U.S. with an English-speaking cast. Everyone associated with the movie is Asian, including the American actors dubbing it. We had a really interesting interview. I’m sorry for any mistakes in the transcript below. Between the accents, the Chinese words used, and the fact that one of them was ill, it was a bit difficult.

Here is the audio interview, which we made into a slideshow video. Below is the transcript.

 

Yu:   I’m the co-founder and president of Light Chaser Animation. Very nice to meet you.

Ji:   I’m Ji Zhao, director of New Gods: Yang Jian.

Yu:   Yeah, also, as you know, Ji is also the director of Whitesnake, New Gods, and Nezha Reborn. Very productive. Okay, back to you guys. Any question? Feel free to ask.

Suzanne:   So, my first question is for Ji. How is directing an animated movie like this different from a live action feature?

Ji:   Well, I do work both in animation production and live action production, but I haven’t got a chance to direct a live action movie yet. So, for my experience, I think animation is more creative, because you can create [things that don’t] really happen in the real world. In my live action career, I was an editor, a film editor. From an editor perspective, most of the time, you have to choose the footage from what you already have, but from an animation perspective, you can create [it] when you don’t have that footage. “Oh, I need something,” then we can [just] make it. So, from that I think it’s more creative and more fun. That’s why I changed my career from live action to animation.

Caroline:  Ji, I’ve seen your films and I think you seem to be a big fan of Mad Max. I want to ask you, what are your cinematic inspirations, whether Chinese or in the West?

Ji:   Actually the animation filmmakers in China, I think, is quite young compared to the Hollywood or other countries’ animators…Sorry about my English. I haven’t used it –-

Yu:   Since the premiere of Whitesnake.

Ji:   Yeah, three or four years since I’ve spoken English. Okay. I think we grew up with a lot of Western movies, and we’ve seen all kinds [from] Hollywood or like anime from Japan. We won’t say that. That’s part of our experience. So I never saw – like for film it’s an international language. There’s no quite age that you have to do something from the Eastern point of view or Western point of view. Most of them comes from your heart, comes from your own experience. I think – you mentioned Mad Max, but I think Mad Max, you only see that from the punk. I mean, the punk style, but punk does not belongs to any culture. Chinese can have [their] own punk because punk is a spirit not only a racial style. Just because you haven’t seen a lot of Chinese punk movies doesn’t means Chinese culture cannot be punk. Especially when we do the hero like the New Gods, [unintelligible]. That hero himself is a very punk hero in his heart. So, I think it’s fun to combine what we learn from the Western culture and mix with our own culture and create what from our generations point of view, to create a movie like what we saw is the new generation of Chinese heroes.

Matthew Swigonski:  The art style is pretty incredible. Did you have a certain inspiration of what you drew for the entire world? You mentioned punk, it seems kind of like it was based off of steampunk a bit.

Ji:   I would call that silk punk instead of  steampunk. Steampunk is part of the –

(Crosstalk)

Yu:   industrialization.

Ji:   Right, the 18th to 19th centuries, from the British culture. That’s [where] steampunk original artwork comes from, but for our film, I think we’re trying to create in Chinese Asian, because it’s a Chinese gods’ world. When you think about gods, they’re always more advanced than the technology, culture, everything. They have to be more advanced than people, than human people. So, when I’m trying to create the spirit world, I think they could be more modern. They could mix modern elements, combine something we’re familiar with, or modern life with what we saw, but we’re very familiar with Chinese original culture. So that’s more like we combine modern China or modern technology with traditional Chinese culture when we imagine the spirit world.

Ephney Tsai:   You’ve mentioned that you hope these films can showcase the essence of traditional Chinese culture through a modern perspective. Why do you think that this is an important objective to have?

Ji:   When I was a kid, I watched like old TV shows of Chinese [unintelligible] mythology. Yeah, the Chinese mythology story from the TV shows. They always imagined people flying from one place to another, stand[ing] on a cloth. And just like the Superman, they just fly from here to there. Because I think during that time, airplanes in China are very few; people won’t see a lot of that. For Asian China, for Asian people, they can now imagine that there is an aircraft flying from one place to another. But every generation, the creator, the filmmaker, the artists should make things from their experience. I think for our generation, we grew up seeing that technology grows very fast. So, that’s actually just part of our life. So I think why the spirit cannot fly with a ship with the aircraft. I remember one time I was on an airplane…taking off. I was seated next to the window, and when the the plane [crossed] the clouds, I saw the beautiful cloud ocean. At that time, I thought maybe in ancient time, the gods, the spirits, they probably just see that. They want to [be] sailing among the cloud ocean. But I think that’s part of, more than life, part of the technology that makes me think that way. For the Asian artists, they’d never really be up in the sky. So, they cannot imagine that way.

Yu:   Hopefully I can add a few comments…I want to create some Chinese, Asian or Chinese culture combined with modern technology. Because I think it’s, as he said, flying through the clouds in the sky as a god is something we are as the Chinese people quite familiar [with] from our childhood. Our film, actually the main focus is for the first audience [who] are Chinese. So we’re trying to present what they’re familiar with, what they like. And also, we’re trying to give them some surprise. If you can only give them what they know, [it’s] kind of boring. So that’s the principle, the bottom line of our creativity, where we get our creativity, and also for ourselves, we also liked that kind of style. They call it, after the Muller report [used] that new word called Oriental punk. Other people that create it are calling it that word. Yeah.

Suzanne:   I guess I’m next again. By the way, I loved when the little dragon went through the sky. I briefly lived in Chinatown in Honolulu, and I used to love whenever they had the big parades with the dragons. So, that was pretty cool, to see that. There’s certainly a lot to see in this movie; visually it’s fantastic. So, I have a two part question. Who came up with the names of the movies? And was there any concern that people might confuse it with the old DC Comic by Jack Kirby, New Gods?

Ji:   Oh, okay. So, when we create this series, it’s a series movie, we were trying to make something different. In China, the Chinese name of the movie is Xin shen bang. Xin means new. So it’s new, but the original version of the story, the function that’s the original version of the story. So, we’re trying to tell our audience in China this is a totally new version. We use the same characters, same heroes, but it’s a different different point of view or a different timeline of the story. So we call this new Xin shen bang. When we translate to English, “Xin shen bang” is a rank. It’s a list. It’s a rank of the heroes in the Chinese Asian history, who is the number one, number two, number three. So, when we translate that, we’re trying to make it simple. We call it New Gods, and –

Yu:   Actually we didn’t notice…

Ji:   Yeah we didn’t notice that DC has a similar name.

Yu:   Thank you for pointing that out. That will probably create some discussion, dispute. It might be a good thing to to know.

 

Suzanne:   I think they were gonna do a New Gods movie, and they decided not to, so I guess you lucked out there.

Ji:   I didn’t know that.

Yu:   But the function of the story in China is like a proud mother and on top of her years. Everybody knows the story and is familiar with it. And what we did is we based it on that legend. We put on the same serial but in a new era, like modern China. Because they’re gods, they will not die. They will live through all ages. So, even around us, that’s the way we are telling our stories. So, since this [won’t] be the last series – actually we are probably very soon – not very soon. In at least three years, we’ll create another sequel. Yeah.

Suzanne:   Great. Thank you.

Caroline:  So to Ji, I wanted to ask, so from Whitesnake to New Gods., how would you say your animation direction has evolved over the years?

Ji:   I think for me, it’s a quite fast learning experience. Whitesnake I remember it released on

Yu:   Actually yesterday it was a four year anniversary.

Ji:   Yeah, right. Right. Right. Right.

Yu:   January 11.

Ji:   Yeah, So, during these four years I released three animation movies. That’s probably a very –

Yu:   A record. Three years. Three films.

Ji:   Yeah, so, for me it’s a very fast learning experience during those four years. During Whitesnake, I think I was trying to adapt, trying to learn how to be a director, so at that time there will be like some director points of view or directors style, it’s more like all of the team. We were trying to learn the new way of how to make animation so fast. And for the next two movies – because Whitesnake, I co-directed with another director, so the next two movies for me, every time I tried to take a step to try something new I never tried before, that’s always when I create a new movie. For New Gods, obviously that’s a different style, combining modern and Asian story and I never – lucky for us in China we don’t have that censorship rating for animation. I know in Hollywood you guys have like PG, G,  whatever the rating, but in China we don’t have that. So, I think animation can tell any kind of story. Even if we wanted we could do a horror story. So, I think it’s cool, because animation, more like media, not only [unintelligible] because when you think animation is [unintelligible] is more like a family film or kids film but then you think we could try to make something more for like a young audience and especially when like in Light Chaser all of our members probably under 30 years old…So, I think it’s cool is for old energy. So, most of our members, most of our colleagues, they don’t even have a kid. How we can make a movie for kids is pretty hard. We don’t even understand how kids react or why kids laugh, so I think is cool like for New Gods and Nezha we find something very –

(Crosstalk)

Yu:   More adventures. we take more of a risk. Big risk

Ji:   Try something like very new and totally new style more than to tell Asian story, and for Yang Jian, for me, the latest one, I think is combines Asian style, Chinese –

(Crosstalk)

Ji:   …ink style kind of Chinese paintings style combined with some CGI technology combined with some punk style. So, for me, like racial wise is a totally different race. Totally different adventure. At the same time, I think, I’m always trying to make the story. This story’s never been told in the original story, I mean, the original Asian fairy tales.

Yu:   Exactly. So, the audience can always expect something new from Light Chaser. Not a retelling, not to repeat it. Something new has been made.

Ji:   So, I think for me, after these three movies, I’m quite confident with what I already know, but I also found I have a lot of things I don’t know. I think it’s very lucky I’ve gotten a change to [unintelligible]. I grew up at the same time when I [was making the] movie.

Yu:   Yeah, you also become a philosopher. The more you know you know, the more you don’t know. That’s very good

Ji:   Yeah, so I’m pretty confident with the next movie, Light Chaser Animation and myself, we all will be better.

Yu:   [unintelligible] it’s a little bit diplomatic but we always believe that will be the next one.

Matthew Swigonski:  What’s one thing you wish viewers would take away after watching this film? Is there one thing you wish that they would think about or learn something they didn’t realize?

Ji:   Yeah, I think – it’s a good question; it’s good question. I think it’s different, because most of [the audience] I think is the Chinese audience and what they will think. I never [think about] what the audience from the world, what they will think, because the difference is the Chinese audience is familiar with the original story. So, what they will see is the different version of the hero, because [from] their point of view they thought that the hero should be like a hero up in sky. He will be very strong and never lose, and he’ll be like a god, a war god. But what we create, that person is more like a human. He really had a lot of –

Yu:   A lot of downtime.

Ji:   Right, Yeah, so  probably from a Chinese point of view, they will think every person in their life they have their their high point and also have their down point. But for the people [of the world] I think this movie…we’re trying to make people think our family is always around us [whether] they really are here or they are already in a spirit world. So, they will always be your energy whether they’re physically next to you or not.

Yu:   Yeah, There’s some similarity. You remind me of Coco. When your family member, your grandparents have passed away, actually they didn’t die. They’re still a young man. But here like it was Yang Jian – I’m sure you have all seen the movie – if your mom passed away, she is always around you. She’s protecting you; she still carries you, also the world, but it in a bigger sense. It’s a big love. You love the family; you love the world. Peace, happiness. So, I think that is a universal theme. We hope people no matter where they are they can understand. They can be touched by these feelings, this story.

Ji:   I know we don’t put much [in] talking about that. In the movie you couldn’t see that very obviously. But I think like the like the main character Yang Jian, like the hero, most of his thoughts he never speaks out. That’s just in his mind. When he looked up to the sky in the stars, [he’s] thinking something; he remembers something. I think that’s part of the Asian or oriental people’s experience. We won’t say everything out [loud]. Most of the things probably you just keep in your heart.

Yu:   Yeah that’s more like Asian China. We’re more kind of introverts. He looks in silence but it’s the feeling, a very strong feeling, expressed by the the very subtle [movements]. Where you’re looking at even very very gentle very small move[ments]. I think these can – I’m sure our audience in China they have got the heavy touch and the love very much. I mean, here with Yang Jian we created a very unique god, different from Monkey King from [unintelligible]. He’s very human. People, particularly the female audience, they fell in love with Yang Jian. They saw that she’s a perfect partner, not virtual. So, if a god is lovable or reliable and very real, I think it’s as if we recall what we what we got so far. I think it’s something we can we can draw.

Ephney Tsai:   With the movies being based off of the classical Chinese mythical characters and folklore, how do you choose which god you want to create the story about?

Ji:   Well, very obviously we tried to choose the one [that is] more famous, because we get [a bigger] audience. Probably Nezha, the first one, was the most famous one, and Yang Jian is probably the second. Yeah, that’s  probably the number one reason why we chose him. I think this character, Yang Jian, has never been really told as a main character in the media before, and for me I always imagined – because in all the works before Yang Jian is more like two two characters. I don’t know what two characters.

Question:   Like a supporting character?

Ji:   Yeah. supporting character Yes. He’s more like a guy people will have a certain character up there. they’re just like, “Oh, we mentioned him. He always like a war god and just always [has the] same face, one poker face.” But I don’t think he’s like that. I think that character has more to tell. He’s half human, half god. His father is human and his mother is a god. He has to have some part of him human and have the human experience and human heart. We’ve just created the first human Yang Jian in the Chinese hero history.

Suzanne:   Can you tell us about auditioning the English dub cast?

Yu:   We have not – I’m sorry. Actually, probably [our] colleague is more familiar with a casting crew…We haven’t seen –

Ji:   We cannot fly right now [and haven’t] for a couple years. That’s why our English sucks right now. We haven’t used it for a long time. So, we actually would really like to be involved in that part. But yeah,

Yu:   Yeah, but we have been working together remotely. I have to say our colleagues did a great job assemble all the dub crew, all the voice actors, and we have seen their work, and we have a high level of confidence that they did a great job. Also like two years ago, we worked together on Whitesnake, and they also [did] a fantastic job. We haven’t seen the whole film yet. But I also look forward to seeing it as well. By the way, have you guys seen the film? We haven’t seen the English dubbed version yet. Have you guys you have seen it? No.

Suzanne:   I saw the subtitled version; they sent me the other one later, and I haven’t gotten around to watching it.

Yu:   Yeah, yeah, I have to say, I’m sure to see the subtitle version is kind of painful, because to read it and understand it is very quite difficult. Very easily you lose track.

Ji:   I think it’s a really hard job to put like Chinese language into an English version; it is a difficult job. It’s a very difficult job, because a lot of the lines they’re like kind of you know, like points.

Yu:   Yes. Yeah.

Ji:   And it’s hard. It’s easy for the Chinese audience to get, but yeah, I don’t even know how to translate it. And you have to match the

Yu:   Mouth movements.

Ji:   Yeah, the mouths. So, I think they did a very good job, a very beautiful job translating that into English.

Yu:   Yeah. So next week, let’s do some promotion. You guys are more than welcome to join the premiere on January 20.

Suzanne:   If it was playing near me, I would.

Transcribed by Jamie of SciFiVision

MORE INFO: Trailer

Yang Jian poster

GKIDS logo

*** OPENING DAY ANNOUNCEMENT ***

NEW GODS: YANG JIAN

OPENS IN THEATERS NATIONWIDE ON JANUARY 20 

A film by Ji Zhao.

NEW GODS: YANG JIAN will open on January 20 at the following venues and markets

Phoenix (Prescott), AZ

Chandler Fashion Ctr 20

AMC Ahwatukee 24

Touchstar Luxury Cinemas-Sonora Village 9

Arizona Mills 25 with IMAX

Tuscon, AZ

Tucson Spectrum 18

Bakersfield, CA

Valley Plaza 16

Los Angeles, CA

Foothill Center 10

Cerritos 16

Laemmle Glendale

Landmark Westwood

Academy 6

San Francisco, CA

Rohnert Park with Titan XC

CGV San Francisco 14

Denver, CO

AMC Westminster 24 with IMAX, Dolby, Prime

Jacksonville, FL

AMC Regency 24 with IMAX, Dolby

Miami, Florida

AMC Sunset Place 24 with IMAX, Dolby

Orlando, FL

AMC Altamonte Mall 18 with IMAX, Dolby

CW Theaters – Cinemaworld

Tampa, FL

AMC Veterans 24 with IMAX, Dolby

Atlanta, GA

AMC Southlake Pavilion 24 with IMAX, Dolby

Savannah, GA

Royal Cinemas Pooler IMAX

Honolulu, HI

Consolidated Pearlridge West 16

Cons Victoria Ward Stadium 16

Cons Mililani 14 with TITAN LUXE

Chicago, IL

Marcus Addison Cinema 21 with UltraScreen

AMC Niles 12 with IMAX

Kansas City, KS

AMC DINE-IN Studio 28 KC with IMAX,Dolby

Baltimore, MD

AMC White Marsh 16 with IMAX, Dolby

Detroit, MI

Emagine Canton 19 + Super EMAX

Emagine Novi 17 + Super EMAX

Emagine Rochester Hills 13 + EMAX

AMC Forum 30 with IMAX, Dolby

Grand Rapids, MI

Celebration – Grand Rapids North 17 + IMAX

Celebration – Crossroads 15 + IMAX

Lansing, MI

Celebration – Lansing 20 + IMAX

Minneapolis-St.Paul, MN

Emagine Eagan 15 + EMAX

Marcus Oakdale Cinema 17 with UltraScreen

St. Louis, MO

Marcus Ronnie’s 20 Cine + IMAX

Concord, NC

AMC Concord Mills 24 with IMAX, Dolby

Omaha, NE

Marcus Majestic Cinema of Omaha 19

Cherry Hill, NJ

AMC Cherry Hill 24 with IMAX, Dolby

Elizabeth, NJ

AMC Jersey Gardens 20 with IMAX, Dolby

New York, NY

IFC Center

Columbus, OH

Gateway Film Center

Eugene, OR

Broadway Metro

Bensalem, PA

AMC Neshaminy 24 with IMAX, Dolby

Providence, RI

Lincoln Mall 16

Columbia, SC

BTM Dutch Square Cinema 14

Nashville, TN

AMC CLASSIC Murfreesboro 16

Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX

AMC DINE-IN Grapevine 30 w/IMAX, Dolby

AMC DINE-IN Mesquite 30 with IMAX, Dolby

Houston, TX

AMC Gulf Pointe 30 with IMAX, Dolby

AMC Fountains 18 with IMAX

San Antonio, TX

Palladium 19 IMAX + AVX

Salt Lake City, UT

Megaplex Theatres Jordan Commons + IMAX

Megaplex Theatres @ Geneva + IMAX

Megaplex Theatres at Valley Fair Mall + IMAX

Alexandria, VA

AMC Hoffman 22 with IMAX, Dolby

Richmond, VA

BTC Movieland at Blvd Sq 17

Seattle, WA

AMC Southcenter 16 with IMAX, Dolby

Milwaukee, WI

Marcus Majestic Cinema of Brookfield 16 with UltraScreen

Running time: 126 minutes

Thirteen years after Yang Jian (known to some as Erlang Shen) imprisoned his sister beneath a mountain, the once powerful god now scrapes by as a penniless bounty hunter. When a mysterious woman hires him for a new job, Yang Jian soon finds himself chasing down a familiar figure. He must stop Chenxiang, his long-lost nephew, who is in search of the magical lotus lantern that will free his mother, even if it will bring catastrophe. As Yang Jian confronts the actions of his past, he must face a host of dangerous vigilantes seeking the same treasure with the power to alter the balance of their worlds.

This latest entry in the New Gods universe from Light Chaser Animation (White Snake, New Gods: Nezha Reborn) features awe-inspiring action sequences set against breathtaking and wildly imaginative environments. Combining ancient lore with dazzling animation, New Gods: Yang Jian is a timeless adventure of epic proportions featuring one of China’s legendary mythic figures.

DIRECTED BY: ZHAO Ji

SCREENPLAY BY: MU Chuan

ENGLISH CAST: Nicholas Andrew Louie, Christine Lin, Parry Shen, Luke Naphat Sath & James Sie

PRODUCED BY: LU Xi

STUDIO: Light Chaser Animation

RUNNING TIME: 128 minutes

LANGUAGE: Mandarin, English Language Dub

Original title: Xin shen bang: Yang Jian

TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | YOUTUBE | TIKTOK |

NewGodsYangJian.com

GKIDS is the producer and distributor of award-winning feature animation for both adult and family audiences. Since 2010, the company has scored an astounding 12 Best Animated Feature Oscar® nominations with The Secret of Kells in 2010, A Cat in Paris and Chico & Rita in 2012, Ernest & Celestine in 2014, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya and Song of the Sea in 2015, Boy and the World and When Marnie Was There in 2016, My Life as a Zucchini in 2017, The Breadwinner in 2018, Mirai in 2019, and Wolfwalkers in 2021.

GKIDS handles North American distribution for the famed Studio Ghibli library of films, one of the world’s most coveted animation collections with titles Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke and others; as well as the critically acclaimed television series, Neon Genesis Evangelion.

GKIDS is also the founder and host of ANIMATION IS FILM, the annual LA-based film festival which embraces the highest aspirations of animation as a cinematic art form, and is a vocal advocate for filmmakers who push the boundaries of the medium to its fullest range of artistic expressions. www.gkids.com

DIRECTOR ZHAO LI

ZHAO Ji studied at the Communication University of China and UCLA. He has nine years of working experience in the field of filmmaking and has participated in the editing of a number of films home and abroad, such as The Karate Kid: The Grandmaster, Swordsmen and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Zhao worked as the editor and post-production supervisor of Little Door Gods, Tea Pets, Cats and Peachtopia. Zhao made his directorial debut with co-director Amp Wong on Light Chaser Animation’s 2019 film White Snake, a breakout success in China and an official selection of Animation Is Film. In 2021, Zhao directed New Gods: Nezha Reborn, the first film in Light Chaser Animation’s New Gods universe, which re-imagines classic Chinese mythology. Zhao’s latest film, New Gods: Yang Jian, is the follow-up to New Gods: Nezha Reborn and the second entrant in Light Chaser Animation’s exciting new world.

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publicity still from "New Gods: Yang Jian"

Interview with Steve Guttenberg, Cybil Shepherd, Jennifer Grey, Jaime King and Celina Sinden

TV Interview!

thumbnail for Lifetime's Notorious Women Panel

Interview with actors Steve Guttenberg, Cybil Shepherd, Jennifer Grey, Jaime King and Celina Sinden and Executive Vice President of Scripted Programming Tanya Lopez of 4 films on Lifetime by Suzanne 1/6/23

There are four movies coming up on Lifetime that they held this panel for. Each movie focus on a the real-life story of a woman who committed some crime(s). Cybil Shepherd stars in “How to Murder Your Husband: The Nancy Brophy Story.” Steve Guttenberg plays her husband, a chef. Nancy is a frustrated novelist.  In another movie, Celina Sinden plays the infamous murderer Jodi Arias in “Bad Behind Bars.” However, the star of the movie not really Jodi/Celina. It’s told from the perspective of one of her prison friends, Donavan Bering. Jodi manipulates her and another woman into doing her bidding as she awaits trial. I think these two movies were the best of the lot.. Jennifer Grey stars in “Gwen Shamblin: Starving for Salvation.” Shamblin started a weight-loss program in her church, which became its own church and cult.  Jaime King stars in “Hoax: The Kidnapping of Sherri Papini.”  Papini faked her own kidnapping and conned people out of a lot of money, playing the victim. She seems to be the most sympathetic character among all of these women.

It was a very fun press call. Usually, Lifetime will have a series of panels that go on for a few hours in a day. For some reason, they decided to have us interview all of the women from these movies together. It made it a bit more fun. Cybill Shepherd and Steve Guttenberg were particularly entertaining.

There was a problem with the video at the very beginning.

 

MORE INFO:

Cybil Shepherd as Nancy Brophy and Steve Guttenberg as Daniel.
How to Murder Your Husband: The Nancy Brophy Story
Saturday, January 14 at 8p/7c

Based on a true story, Nancy Crampton-Brophy (Cybill Shepherd), seemed to have a knack for writing about murder. The Portland-based romance-thriller novelist authored books about relationships that were tumultuous, while using seductive men on the covers to lure in her readers. Often, her books featured women protagonists who fantasized about killing their own husbands or fleeing their husbands and faking their own deaths. And then, in 2022 in a shocking turn of events, Brophy was convicted of killing her own husband (Steve Guttenberg).

How to Murder Your Husband: The Nancy Brophy Story is produced by Front Street Pictures and is being distributed by Sony Pictures Television. Judith Verno through Peace Out Productions serves as executive producer. Stephen Tolkin directs from a script which he penned.

Celinda Sinden, Tricia Black and Lynn Rafferty in "Bad Behind Bars: Jodi Arias."

Bad Behind Bars: Jodi Arias

Premieres Saturday, Jan. 21 at 8/7c and Stream Next Day

In this follow-up to one of Lifetime’s most successful true crime movies, Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret, we will see a whole new side of the infamous murderess and the story that has captivated the world for nearly a decade. Celinda Sinden stars in the new movie, Bad Behind Bars: Jodi Arias as Jodi, who has just been arrested and sent to prison while she awaits trial for murdering her boyfriend, Travis Alexander. When she arrived in jail, Jodi charms her way through prison and befriends a couple, Donavan Bering and Tracy Brown. The three inmates became inseparable, Donovan and Tracy doing anything and everything Jodi asked — even letting the murderess tattoo her name on one of them. Donovan was released from prison as Jodi’s trial drew near and agreed to be Jodi’s mouthpiece, posting on her social pages and defending her friend to the world. But when the details of the case and Jodi’s story were no longer adding up and Donovan refused to continue to do her former friend’s bidding, Jodi’s vengeful side emerged. Stars Celina Sinden, Tricia Black, Lynn Rafferty, Karl Campbell, Adesola Adesina, Michelle Haffey, Christine Noble, and Maggie Cassella (2023).

Jaime King, Matt Hamilton, and the actors who play their kids in "Hoax: The Kidnapping of Sherri Papini."

Hoax: The Kidnapping of Sherri Papini
Saturday, January 28 at 8p/7c

Jaime King stars as Sherri Papini in the film about the nation-wide, shocking story of a young mother of two, who disappears while jogging near her home, leading to national headlines as concerned citizens searched for her whereabouts. When she reappeared three weeks later on Thanksgiving Day, Sherri claimed she was abducted by two Hispanic women who chained and repeatedly abused her. While Sherri’s return was celebrated, the state never stopped searching for her kidnappers. Four years later, Sherri’s world came crashing down as evidence revealed her kidnapping was all a hoax perpetrated by Sherri herself to spend time with her ex-boyfriend. Sherri was arrested and ultimately sentenced to 18 months in prison for lying to federal agents, creating hysteria in the community and wasting police time and funding with her nearly successful, elaborate scheme. Matt Hamilton (Girl in Room 13) stars as Sherri’s devoted husband, Keith.

Hoax: The Kidnapping of Sherri Papini is written by Katie Boland is executive produced by Tim Johnson, Stacy Mandelberg and Jocelyn Freid and directed by Marta Borowski

Jennifer Grey as Gwen Shamblin and Vincent Walsh as Joe Lara in "Gwen Shamblin: Starving for Salvation"

Gwen Shamblin: Starving for Salvation
Saturday, February 4 at 8p/7c
Jennifer Grey stars as the controversial religious leader and Christian diet guru who positioned herself as God’s prophet and preached the virtues of being thin in the new Lifetime original movie, Gwen Shamblin: Starving for Salvation. As the founder of the Tennessee-based Remnant Fellowship Church and the Weigh Down Workshop – a massively successful Christian-based diet program that preached the virtue of a slim waist and the power of prayer for weight loss – Gwen Shamblin Lara was a rare woman to lead a Southern megachurch. As her church grew across the nation, so did her iron-fisted grip as its leader— accumulating power and money, while creating a larger-than-life public persona with dramatically teased and towering hair. At the peak of her power and influence, Gwen demanded that church members alienate themselves from anyone who was not a member, banished those that became overweight, threatened legal action against dissenters, and advocated for strict punishment of those who failed to follow church tenets. But Gwen’s reign suddenly came to a tragic end in May 2021, when the plane that her husband Joe was flying crashed shortly after takeoff, killing Gwen, Joe, their son-in-law, and four other Church leaders.

Gwen Shamblin: Starving for Salvation is produced by Muse Entertainment production for Lifetime and is executive produced by Nancy Bennett and Jesse Prupas. John L’Ecuyer directs from a script by Gregory Small and Richard Blaney. Muse Distribution International handles foreign sales.

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Lifetime press panel

Interview with Mario Lopez and Jana Kramer

TV Interview!

Mario Lopez and Jana Kramer of "Steppin' into the Holiday" on Lifetime

Interview with Mario Lopez and Jana Kramer of “Steppin’ into the Holiday” on Lifetime by Suzanne 11/7/22

This is a fun Christmas movie with a lot of dancing. I’ve spoke with Jana before, but not Mario. It was nice to chat with them both, of course. This is a better movie than the last one I saw him in. I didn’t realize that he got his start dancing when he was very young. I also didn’t realize that he’s from Chula Vista, which is right near where I grew up! It sounds a little bit like he had a cold during the interview because he was sounding congested and drinking a lot of water. I hope he feels better!  Anyway, you should check out this festive movie. Two trailers below and then the interview.

MORE INFO: Trailer

Steppin' Into the Holiday key art

Former Broadway star Billy Holiday (Mario Lopez) returns to his hometown for Christmas after being abruptly fired as the host-producer-judge of the hit TV series “Celebrity Dance Off.”  While there, he encounters Rae (Jana Kramer), the charismatic owner of the local dance studio, where Billy’s 12-year-old nephew is her standout student. This Christmas, Rae is planning a dance recital fundraiser with the goal of taking her students to see a Broadway show in New York City. Billy volunteers to help Rae with the recital by reviving the town’s traditional Christmas Eve show, which was once a showcase for local talent. With Billy’s knack for producing and Rae’s knowledge of all things local, their collaboration clicks and romantic sparks start flying!

Cheri Oteri stars as Dallas, Billy’s high-powered, fast-talking, Hollywood agent. Dallas scrambles to find Billy work after he is fired by his boss, Wayne, played by Mario Cantone, a network executive who is equal parts charming and ruthless! Courtney Lopez , Mario’s real-life wife, also appears in the film as Joanna, the charismatic host of “Celebrity Dance Off,” who is tapped to replace Billy (her former fling) as executive producer and head judge after his popularity hits the skids.

Steppin’ Into the Holiday is produced by Via Mar and Roberts Media, LLC. in association with Motion Content Group.  Jeff Stearns, Mark Roberts, Mario Lopez, Jana Kramer, Richard Foster and Chet Fenster serving as Executive Producers. David Kendall directs from a script by Aliza Murrieta and Peter Murrieta.

Mario Lopez is an American actor and television host. He has appeared on several television series, in films, and on Broadway. He is known for his portrayal of A.C. Slater on Saved by the Bell, Saved by the Bell: The College Years, and the 2020 sequel series. He has appeared in numerous projects since, including the third season of Dancing with the Stars and as host for the syndicated entertainment news magazine shows Extra and Access Hollywood. He has also hosted America’s Best Dance Crew for MTV. In 2012, he co-hosted the second season of the American version of The X Factor with Khloé Kardashian, and was the sole host for the third and final season.

Jana Rae Kramer is an American country music singer and actress. She is known for her role as Alex Dupre on the television series One Tree Hill. Kramer began her musical career in 2012 and has released two albums: Jana Kramer (2012) and Thirty One (2015). The albums produced seven charted singles on Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay, including the top 10 hits “Why Ya Wanna” and “I Got the Boy”. She competed on season 23 of Dancing with the Stars, finishing in fourth place. (These two biographies are from Wikipedia)

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Mario Lopez and Jana Kramer dancing in "Steppin' into the Holiday" on Lifetime

Interview with Melissa Joan Hart, Emily Kinney, Justin Gaston, Rita Moreno and Marissa Jaret Winokur

TV Interview!

Melissa Joan Hart, Emily Kinney, Justin Gaston, Rita Moreno and Marissa Jaret Winokur of "Santa Bootcamp" on Lifetime

Interview with Melissa Joan Hart, Emily Kinney, Justin Gaston, Rita Moreno and Marissa Jaret Winokur of “Santa Bootcamp” on Lifetime by Suzanne 11/7/22

This was a very fun movie and more original than your average Christmas movie. It was a great honor to speak with Rita Moreno because I grew up singing along with the “West Side Story” Broadway album, and I loved the movie. She played Anita in the movie and won an Oscar for it. She’s the only EGOT I’ve ever interviewed. It was also nice to speak to the others, of course, especially Justin Gaston, who was on “Days of Our Lives” and is married to Melissa Ordaway (Abby on “Young and The Restless“). They were all fun, but Rita was hilarious in her answers.

MORE INFO:

Santa Bootcamp key art

Lifetime Site and Preview When event planner Emily Strauss (Emily Kinney, The Walking Dead) is hired by mall magnate Ed Mancini (Patrick Cassidy, Castle) to stage the ultimate Christmas Gala for his most important investors, Emily finds herself being sent to bootcamp – Santa Bootcamp – to find the perfect Santa and the inspiration she will need to make the evening a success. While there, Emily meets Belle (Rita Moreno, West Side Story), the bootcamp’s drill sergeant with a heart of gold, who helps Emily rediscover the magic of Christmas and find romance along the way. Additional stars include Tony® award winner Marissa Jaret Winokur, Justin Gaston, John Schuck, and deaf actors Deanne Bray and Zyra Singleton.

Santa Bootcamp is directed by Melissa Joan Hart, who also serves as executive producer, long with Irene Dreayer, Gina Rugolo Judd, and Paula Hart. The film is produced by Hartbreak Films Inc with a script written by Michael J. Murray.

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Emily Kinney and Rita Moreno in "Santa Bootcamp" on Lifetime

Interview with Brooke Elliott, Brandon Quinn and Danny Pintauro

TV Interview!

Brooke Elliott, Brandon Quinn and Danny Pintauro

Interview with Brooke Elliott, Brandon Quinn and Danny Pintauro of “A Country Christmas Harmony” on Lifetime by Suzanne 11/7/22

This is an enjoyable movie, but I really hate the title. The big song in the movie is called “Sweet Sixteen Christmas,” so that should have been the title. Perhaps they thought it would be confusing, since there are no teens in the movie? I don’t know. But please don’t let the forgettable title deter you from watching this. It really has very little to do with country music, even though the main character, Chrissy (played so well by Brooke Elliott) is supposed to be a Nashville star.  The music doesn’t sound very countrified to me.

It was great to speak to the actors. You may remember Brooke from her previous Lifetime series “Drop Dead Diva,” or her current show, “Sweet Magnolias” on Netflix. Her co-star in the latter, Brandon Quinn, also stars in this movie with her as Luke – the guy she left behind.  Danny Pintauro is most known for his role as a teen on “Who’s the Boss” years ago. In this new movie, he’s going back into acting. He does a fine job, but it’s a fairly small role. It was interesting to hear him talk about his life and how it led to this movie.

MORE INFO:

A Country Christmas Harmony key art

Lifetime’s Site

Before Chrissy Kessler’s (Brooke Elliott) meteoric rise to fame, the country music superstar was just a small-town girl with dreams of the big time. Now, with her record sales on a rapid decline, Chrissy is strong-armed by an unrelenting record executive to return to the hometown she left behind to perform a live Christmas concert. Accompanying her on this journey is her longtime supportive assistant Eugene (Danny Pintauro). Luke Covington’s (Brandon Quinn) quiet life is suddenly disrupted when he runs into Chrissy, his ex-girlfriend and former country music duo partner, who disappeared on him to pursue her solo career all those years ago. After a tempestuous rainstorm forces the ex-sweethearts to seek shelter in Luke’s ranch home, the two realize that the only way they’ll survive the holidays is with the other’s help.

A Country Christmas Harmony is produced by MarVista Entertainment and The Ninth House.  Megan Ellstrom, Larry Grimaldi, Hannah Pillemer and Fernando Szew Executive Produce for MarVista Entertainment, and Autumn Federici and Jake Helgren Produce for The Ninth House. Brooke Elliott also serves as Executive Producer. Gary Entin and Edmund Entin write and direct.

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A scene from "A Country Christmas Harmony"

Interview with Michael Consuelos

TV Interview!

Jennifer Irwin and Michael Consuelos of "Let's Get Physical" on Lifetime

Interview with Jennifer Irwin and Michael Consuelos of “Let’s Get Physical” on Lifetime by Krista 10/6/22

It was great to speak to these two actors from this movie. Michael’s parents are actors/talk show hosts Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, who met while working on “All My Children” years ago, so it’s nice to see their grown son also as an actor. This was a panel that Lifetime had for the movie, where those of us in the press asked questions. The movie airs Saturday, 10/15 on Lifetime! Watch the trailer below before the interview…

MORE INFO:

Jenna Dewan, star of "Let's Get Physical" on Lifetime key art

Lifetime Announces Two New Ripped From the Headlines Movies from EPs Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, Jenna Dewan Set to Star and EP

KELLY RIPA AND MARK CONSUELOS EXECUTIVE PRODUCE
TWO NEW RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES FILMS
THROUGH MILOJO PRODUCTIONS BANNER

JENNA DEWAN TO HEADLINE AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCE
ORIGINAL MOVIE
LET’S GET PHYSICAL
WITH JENNIFER IRWIN AND MICHAEL CONSUELOS
 

LEA THOMPSON, ZACH GILFORD, AND ALICIA WITT STAR IN
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF CARI FARVER

BOTH FILMS WILL DEBUT THIS OCTOBER

New York, NY – August 11 – Lifetime announces two new Ripped from the Headlines movies, Let’s Get Physical and The Disappearance of Cari Farver from executive producers Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, under their Milojo Productions banner as part of the previously announced partnership with Lifetime. Let’s Get Physical stars and is also executive produced by Jenna Dewan via her Everheart Productions with Kyle McNally, and features Jennifer Irwin and Michael ConsuelosThe Disappearance of Cari Farver stars Lea Thompson, Zach Gilford and Alicia Witt. Both films will debut this October on Lifetime.

Michael Consuelos of "Let's Get Physical" on LifetimeInspired by actual events, Let’s Get Physical is the story of fitness instructor Sadie (Jenna Dewan, The Rookie) who by day, taught fitness and dance to soccer moms, but by night led a double life running a sophisticated prostitution ring with a customer list that included very prominent men in the community. After an anonymous tip, authorities raided her studio, leading to Sadie’s indictment and ignited a firestorm in the small town leading everyone to ask, who exactly was on the client list.  Dewan executive produces and stars alongside Jennifer Irwin (The Goldbergs) and Michael Consuelos (Riverdale). Let’s Get Physical is set to premiere Saturday, October 15 at 8/7c.

Let’s Get Physical is executive produced by Milojo Productions, Johnson Management Group, Inc., and Everheart Productions. Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos and Albert Bianchini serve as executive producers for Milojo. Michael Halpern serves as executive producer for Milojo. Jenna Dewan and Kyle McNally executive produce for Everheart Productions. Robin Hayes directs from a script written by Margaux Froley and Kelly Fullerton.

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Jenna Dewan, star of "Let's Get Physical" on Lifetime

Interview with Alicia Witt

TV Interview!

Alicia Witt, star of The Disappearance of Cari Farver on Lifetime

Interview with actress Alicia Witt and producer Linda Burnham of “The Disappearance of Cari Farver” on Lifetime by Krista 10/6/22

This was an enjoyable press call. Alicia is a really great actress. I’ve only seen her before in “That 70’s Show,” but she’s an underrated dramatic actress, as she proves in this film.

MORE INFO: Preview

The Disappearance of Cari Farver key artThe Disappearance of Cari Farver is based on a true story and the subject of Leslie Rule’s bestselling true-crime book A Tangled Web. Dave Kroupa (Zach Gilford, Good Girls, Friday Night Lights) is shocked when his new girlfriend, Cari Farver (Rebecca Amzallag), starts sending him demanding texts. When Dave ends the relationship, he finds himself on the receiving end of an onslaught of twisted messages from Cari, who has abruptly disappeared. Dave’s ex-girlfriend, Liz (Alicia Witt, Friday Night Lights, The Walking Dead), also begins receiving harassing texts from Cari, resulting in a dangerous situation for them both. Meanwhile, Cari’s mother Nancy (Lea Thompson, Back to the Future, Switched at Birth) continually searches for her, keeping the pressure on the police who eventually uncover a shocking discovery. The Disappearance of Cari Farver premieres Saturday, October 8 at 8/7c.

The Disappearance of Cari Farver is executive produced by Milojo Productions, Howard Braunstein Films, and Media Nation. Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos and Albert Bianchini serve as executive producers for Milojo. Michael Halpern serves as producer for Milojo. Howard Braunstein and Linda Berman also executive produce. Danishka Esterhazy directs from a script written by Tawnya Bhattacharya and Ali Laventhol (Bel Air, My Life with the Walter Boys).

Producers Kelly Ripa and Mark ConsuelosLifetime Announces Two New Ripped From the Headlines Movies from EPs Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, Jenna Dewan Set to Star and EP

KELLY RIPA AND MARK CONSUELOS EXECUTIVE PRODUCE
TWO NEW RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES FILMS
THROUGH MILOJO PRODUCTIONS BANNER

JENNA DEWAN TO HEADLINE AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCE
ORIGINAL MOVIE
LET’S GET PHYSICAL
WITH JENNIFER IRWIN AND MICHAEL CONSUELOS
 

LEA THOMPSON, ZACH GILFORD, AND ALICIA WITT STAR IN
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF CARI FARVER

BOTH FILMS WILL DEBUT THIS OCTOBER

New York, NY – August 11 – Lifetime announces two new Ripped from the Headlines movies, Let’s Get Physical and The Disappearance of Cari Farver from executive producers Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, under their Milojo Productions banner as part of the previously announced partnership with Lifetime. Let’s Get Physical stars and is also executive produced by Jenna Dewan via her Everheart Productions with Kyle McNally, and features Jennifer Irwin and Michael ConsuelosThe Disappearance of Cari Farver stars Lea Thompson, Zach Gilford and Alicia Witt. Both films will debut this October on Lifetime.

The Disappearance of Cari Farver is based on a true story and the subject of Leslie Rule’s bestselling true-crime book A Tangled Web. Dave Kroupa (Zach Gilford, Good Girls, Friday Night Lights) is shocked when his new girlfriend, Cari Farver (Rebecca Amzallag), starts sending him demanding texts. When Dave ends the relationship, he finds himself on the receiving end of an onslaught of twisted messages from Cari, who has abruptly disappeared. Dave’s ex-girlfriend, Liz (Alicia Witt, Friday Night Lights, The Walking Dead), also begins receiving harassing texts from Cari, resulting in a dangerous situation for them both. Meanwhile, Cari’s mother Nancy (Lea Thompson, Back to the Future, Switched at Birth) continually searches for her, keeping the pressure on the police who eventually uncover a shocking discovery. The Disappearance of Cari Farver premieres Saturday, October 8 at 8/7c.

Inspired by actual events, Let’s Get Physical is the story of fitness instructor Sadie (Jenna Dewan, The Rookie) who by day, taught fitness and dance to soccer moms, but by night led a double life running a sophisticated prostitution ring with a customer list that included very prominent men in the community. After an anonymous tip, authorities raided her studio, leading to Sadie’s indictment and ignited a firestorm in the small town leading everyone to ask, who exactly was on the client list.  Dewan executive produces and stars alongside Jennifer Irwin (The Goldbergs) and Michael Consuelos (Riverdale). Let’s Get Physical is set to premiere Saturday, October 15 at 8/7c.

The Disappearance of Cari Farver is executive produced by Milojo Productions, Howard Braunstein Films, and Media Nation. Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos and Albert Bianchini serve as executive producers for Milojo. Michael Halpern serves as executive producer for Milojo. Howard Braunstein and Linda Berman also executive produce. Danishka Esterhazy directs from a script written by Tawnya Bhattacharya and Ali Laventhol (Bel Air, My Life with the Walter Boys).

Let’s Get Physical is executive produced by Milojo Productions, Johnson Management Group, Inc., and Everheart Productions. Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos and Albert Bianchini serve as executive producers for Milojo. Michael Halpern serves as executive producer for Milojo. Jenna Dewan and Kyle McNally executive produce for Everheart Productions. Robin Hayes directs from a script written by Margaux Froley and Kelly Fullerton.

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Alicia Witt as Cari Farver in "The Disappearance of Cari Farver" on Lifetime

Interview with Jaime Ray Newman

TV Interview!

Jaime Ray Newman of "MK Ultra"

Interview with Jaime Ray Newman of the movie “MK Ultra” by Suzanne 10/4/22

It was really great to speak with Jaime about her part in this movie, and about “General Hospital” (where she played Kristina, Jaime Ray Newman in "MK Ultra"Alexis’ sister) and more. I had a lot of fun. The movie comes out today, Oct. 7, in theaters and On Demand. I highly recommend it because it’s a good psychological horror thriller. Anson Mount (Star Trek: Strange New Worlds) stars in it, and Jaime plays his wife. It’s a fairly small role, but she’s great in it.

Oh, one little correction. The actress in the movie that I referred to (Jen Richards) is not the same actress as the one that guest-starred on “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.” That’s what I get for talking off the top of my head, rather than looking it up to make sure. That actress is Jesse James Keitel. They look very similar, but they are not the same. Maybe they could play sisters in some future movie or TV show!

MORE INFO: Trailer

MK Ultra key art

presents 
The Mind-Bending ThrillerMK ULTRA

In Theaters & On Demand October 7

Starring Anson Mount, Jaime Ray Newman, Jason Patric, Jen Richards, Alon Aboutboul and David Jensen
Written and Directed by Ex-Intelligence Officer Joseph Sorrentino

Based on the infamous CIA drug experiments from the early 1960s, this psychological thriller follows a brilliant psychiatrist (Anson Mount) who unknowingly becomes entangled with a dangerous government entity fixated on mind control.

Under Project MK Ultra, the CIA ran an illegal human experimentation program intended to develop procedures and identify drugs such as LSD that could be used in interrogations to weaken individuals and force confessions through brainwashing and psychological torture.

Jaime Ray Newman (born April 2, 1978) is an American actress, producer and singer. She is known for starring as Kristina Cassadine in the soap opera General Hospital, Mindy O’Dell in the drama series Veronica Mars, Kat Gardener in the fantasy series Eastwick, Lt. Laura Cadman in the science-fiction series Stargate Atlantis, Tess Fontana in the science-fiction series Eureka, Kat Petrova in the drama-thriller series Red Widow, Sam Gordon in the comedy-drama series Mind Games, Allison Roth in the crime drama series Wicked City, and Sarah Lieberman in the Marvel series The Punisher.

Along with her husband Guy Nattiv, she won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film in 2019 for producing the drama Skin (2018).

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Jaime Ray Newman of "MK Ultra"

Interview with Ashley Jones

TV Interview!

Star Ashley Jones of "What Happened to My Sister?"

Interview with Ashley Jones of “What Happened to My Sister?” on Lifetime by Suzanne 9/16/22

This was a fun interview last week with Ashley! I interviewed her 9 years ago for another Lifetime movie (Gosh, where does the time go?).  She’s always very kind and beautiful. Don’t miss her new movie as well as the LMN marathon of her previous movies all day Friday, September 23! She is most known for being on the soaps, such as “The Bold and The Beautiful,” “General Hospital” and “The Young and The Restless.”

MORE INFO: Official Site Trailer

Star Ashley Jones of "What Happened to My Sister?"

LMN Favorite Ashley Jones Returns With New Thrillers

LMN FAVORITE ASHLEY JONES RETURNS WITH NEW THRILLERS

SECRET LIVES OF COLLEGE ESCORTS
MARKS ASHLEY JONES’ DIRECTORIAL DEBUT
AND STARS PILOT PAISLEY-ROSE, LAURIE FORTIER AND BRIANA CUOCO
FOR AN AUGUST 19 PREMIERE

WHAT HAPPENED TO MY SISTER?
STARS ASHLEY JONES, LAURYN SPEIGHTS AND MONIQUE STRAW
AND PREMIERES SEPTEMBER 23

NEW YORK, NY (August 4, 2022) – LMN favorite Ashley Jones returns to the network with a two pack of films this summer including the premiere of Secret Lives of College Escorts starring Pilot Paisley-Rose, Laurie Fortier and Briana Cuoco on August 19 at 8/7c  which marks Daytime Emmy Award nominee Ashley Jones directorial debut, and What Happened to My Sister? on September 23 at 8/7c which Jones, Lauryn Speights and Monique Straw star in.  Additionally, LMN will run a marathon of movies featuring Jones on September 23 leading into the premiere of What Happened to My Sister?

What Happened to My Sister?
Friday, September 23 at 8/7c

Drea (Lauryn Speights, The Good Place), a freshman at college, decides to rush the same sorority her sister Gabi (Heather Harris, Broken Mirror) died rushing two years earlier in hopes of finding out the truth about her death.  Monique Straw (Fast Color) and Ashley Jones also star.

Ashley Jones Official Site Facebook Twitter Instagram

Star Ashley Jones (Bridget, Bold and the Beautiful) of "What Happened to My Sister?"

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Our Other Bold and the Beautiful Interviews

Our Other General Hospital Interviews

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Star Ashley Jones of "What Happened to My Sister?"

Interview with Grace Caroline Currey

TV Interview!

Grace Caroline Currey (“Becky”) in FALL

Interview with Grace Caroline Currey of the movie “Fall” by Suzanne 8/10/22

Grace Caroline Currey (from her Instagram)It was really great to speak with this lovely young actress who stars in “FALL.” She is outstanding in this exciting movie. You don’t want to miss it; it comes out tomorrow, August 12. Trailer

You might recognize her from one of her many TV shows and movie appearances. She’s probably best known for playing Mary in the “Shazam!” movies. The second one comes out later this year. I can’t wait because I love superhero movies, and the first one was pretty good.

When she was younger, she played the young Natalie Wood in the TV miniseries “The Mystery of Natalie Wood”; and she played the young Melinda in “Ghost Whisperer“; and she played the young Victoria in “Revenge“!  Those are some of my favorite shows.  Now that she’s older, she can play so many different roles and has many movies coming out.

 

 

MORE INFO:

Grace Caroline Currey in "The Fall"

Grace Caroline Currey (Becky)

Grace Caroline Currey has been in back-to-back films across every genre. Grace
stars as the lead in the Lionsgate adventure thriller, FALL, directed by Scott Mann
and set to hit theaters August 12, 2022. Next up for Grace is her portrayal of
Superhero Mary/Mary Bromfield in the Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment franchise
sequel, Shazam: Fury of the Gods, set to hit screens December 21, 2022. Prior to
that she starred in New Line’s popular Conjuring franchise, Annabelle:
Creation. Grace brings her boyfriend home to meet the parents in the rom com, Most
Guys Are Losers, based on the best-selling book, which was recently released in
theaters. She has studied at the renowned Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in
London and was nominated for Best Actress at the Milan International Film Festival
for her role in Badland, an indie feature with Vinessa Shaw. She is also a level 6
ballerina to boot!

https://www.high-endrolex.com/20

Official Site for “FALL”

Fall posterFrom the Producers of 47 Meters Down

Dropping in Theaters Only on August 12, 2022
PRODUCTION NOTES
RUNNING TIME: 107 minutes
RATING: PG-1

SYNOPSIS

For best friends Becky (Grace Caroline Currey) and Hunter (Virginia Gardner), life is all about conquering fears and pushing limits. But after they climb 2,000 feet to the top of a remote, abandoned radio tower, they find themselves stranded with no way down. Now Becky and Hunter’s expert climbing skills will be put to the ultimate test as they desperately fight to survive the elements, a lack of supplies, and vertigo-inducing heights in this adrenaline-fueled thriller from the producers of 47 Meters Down. Costarring Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
A nerve-shredding, knuckle-whitening, vertigo-inducing action thriller, FALL tells the
terrifying tale of climbers Becky (Grace Caroline Currey) and Hunter (Virginia
Gardner) who ascend the abandoned 2,000-ft B67 TV Tower in the California desert
as a means of moving on from the death of Becky’s husband Dan (Mason Gooding)
in a climbing accident a year earlier. But when the tower’s external ladder gives way,
the two best friends find themselves stuck on a platform at the top. Too high to use
their cell phones to ring for help, the pair must find a way down. Or die trying.
FALL began life as a short film idea hatched by British-born, L.A.-based
writer-director Scott Mann (Heist) and his regular cowriter Jonathan Frank (The
Tournament) in response to a production company’s call for experiential shorts.
“They were looking at experiential shorts, action thrillers, and we pitched this,” recalls
Mann. “We got so excited about the idea of the fear of falling and the horror of
heights, that it almost wrote itself for 25-30 pages. They wanted to make it, but then
the whole thing shut down.”

Grace Caroline Currey (Left, “Becky”) and Virginia Gardner (Right, “Hunter”) in FALLWith the short film series cancelled, Mann and Frank decided to expand their
idea into a feature, on spec, and see if they could get it set up somewhere else.
“We’ve written specs before, but this was the most fun to write because the two of us
kind of lived it and acted it out as we went on, trying to think what we would do in the
situation that the girls find themselves in,” continues Mann who built a paper version
of the platform at the top of the tower so he and Frank could perch on it, “to figure
out what to do and really play on the horror and tension. We wanted it to be the
ultimate fear-of-heights movie, so we looked at previous films and wrote the script
accordingly.”

Among those cinematic references were Martin Campbell’s 2000 survival
thriller Vertical Limit, Brad Bird’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, in which Tom
Cruise’s Ethan Hunt scales the outside of the 2,717-foot Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai,
and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi & Jimmy Chin’s incredible Oscar®-winning
documentary Free Solo which detailed Alex Honnold’s quest to climb El Capitan in
Yosemite National Park without ropes (2018, Documentary, Feature – Elizabeth Chai
Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin, Evan Hayes and Shannon Dill).

“The experience of watching Free Solo was a big influence,” Mann recalls. “It
got me thinking about the psychology of the fear of heights as opposed to just a
visual medium because in Free Solo you are with the character, you can hear him
breathe and the reflectance of fear is where it’s at. There’s a psychological fear I
think we all go through at heights. Even a lot of climbing videos on the internet tap
into that well. It’s the reaction, the ‘Oh my God, oh my God’ that influenced how Fall
would eventually play out. From an experiential point of view, you’ve got to put
yourself through the eyes of the character, be with them, and then you climb it with
them. So, you’ve done it together. What we wanted to get was a feeling of being raw
and real at height and very human. So that was the backbone of it all.”

Grace Caroline Currey (Left, “Becky”) and Virginia Gardner (Right, “Hunter”) in FALLOne of the things that makes FALL unique is its location. Namely, the real-life
2,000-foot-high B67 TV tower — the fourth highest structure in the U.S. “What we
found was there were a lot of internet videos of daredevils doing crazy stuff, but they
were usually climbing things like cranes,” explains Mann. “So, we said, let’s find
somewhere that would be the ultimate place to get stuck, and we came across this
tower in California. When you’re at the bottom looking up, the tower seems to go out
into infinity, into the clouds. It is a marvel of architecture. And being in the desert,
made for a very barren, difficult place to survive in the first instance, let alone 2,000
feet up.”

Initially, both the short script and Mann and Frank’s first draft of the feature
version focused on a boyfriend-girlfriend couple stuck on the tower, but for the
second draft they decided to center the story on two female friends, with Becky
losing her husband Dan at the start of the film in a tragic climbing accident and being
unable to cope. The character was inspired by a member of Mann’s wife’s family
whose husband had died young. “It’s quite personal,” says Mann. “It was the first
time someone my age, in my family, had died. And I’d seen her go through a lot of
the things Becky goes through in the script; finding the strength and the will to live
after such a world-changing loss. Also, Covid was rearing its head when we wrote
this, and the world was going into this grief-stricken place that felt more relevant as
we went forward.”

“Becky and her husband are adventuring types,” says Grace Caroline Currey
who plays her. “They love to climb and push their limits and seek out extraordinary
experiences, and at the start of the film we have a very different Becky to the one we
meet post Dan’s accident. She’s consumed with grief, loss, a lack of self and a lack
of desire to live, and through the film Becky finds her fight again and wants to live.
Scott had mentioned she was largely based on his brother-in-law’s widow and how
she survived him. They were this adventure couple, although he died of cancer.”

Grace Caroline Currey in "FALL"Becky’s best friend Hunter is a daredevil YouTuber who has her own reason
to be devasted by Dan’s death. “Hunter is a vlogger,” reveals Virginia Gardner who
plays her, “so I watched a lot of YouTube and Instagram influencer videos for some
ideas on her larger-than-life influencer persona ‘Danger D.’ But we wanted to keep
her grounded as well. And we learn there is more than meets the eye to Hunter.”

As with Becky, Hunter was also inspired by a real person, in this case one of
Mann’s wife’s friends. “We used her as the basis,” he admits, “but it is a friend type
that I see a lot, the adventurer who is always searching for something, but is not sure
what. The idea was that Becky retracted, went internal and went into herself, while
Hunter escaped and ran away. They’re two very different personality types who,
typically, become best friends because they need each other’s dynamics, but,
obviously, deal with death and trauma differently.”

THE BIG-SCREEN EXPERIENCE
From the beginning, Mann envisioned FALL as a movie, a film made for the big
screen. “I wanted to do something that had genuinely theatrical potential,” he
reflects. The idea with this was to really go for it.”

“This is a unique experience that you have to see in theatres,” says producer
James Harris (47 Meters Down). “It’s like a ride. Vertigo is one of our biggest fears,
and this film maximises it.”

Given that most of FALL takes place on a small, circular platform at the top of
a 2,000-foot TV tower, Mann wrestled with the best way to make his movie. Initially,
Mann considered using a version of the Volume — the ground-breaking curved LED
screen backdrop on which digital environments are displayed — that had been
pioneered for the first season of the Star Wars/Disney+ show “The Mandalorian.”
“We looked at designing a ‘Mandalorian’ stage that you could look down upon, which
would give you a depth background. But there are limitations to that technology
which meant it wasn’t going to work out.” Plus, there was the budgetary issue. “It’s
enormously expensive to do.”

The second option was to find a mountain where Mann could build the upper
portion of the tower, then film the actors on it against a real background, which
because of the height and positioning would make them appear to be thousands of
feet in the air. “Then you’re able to look down and it’s only from certain angles that
you see the ground is there,” he continues. “Originally, I wanted to do it next to a
steep drop.”

This practical approach required his two leads to not only be able to climb for
real, but more importantly, have a head for heights. During the audition process,
Mann would show Becky and Hunter auditionees a sketch of the proposed tower
built on the edge of a cliff, and tell them they would be up there for real. “In an effort
to weed out the real ones from the fake ones, I would tell them, ‘You’re going to be
really high up so bear that in mind.’ I tried to scare them into being serious about the
fact they were going to be on top of a mountain. And that did weed out people who
weren’t fit for the purpose. I could see it in their eyes, even though they said, ‘I could
do that.’ I was thinking, ‘You can’t.’ The honest ones, like Grace and Ginni, were like,
‘This sounds f**ed up and terrifying, but I’ll give it a go.’”

“I read the script and thought it was really exciting and exhilarating and would
require a lot of discipline,” remembers Currey, whose credits include Shazam!,
Annabelle: Creation, and TV’s “Revenge.” “Scott told me how much he wanted to
shoot practically which is the kind of stuff you hope to work on, something
immersive, that really makes you feel like you’re there. He was gauging to see if I’d
be able to cope with it, but I have a background in dance, so the technical nature of it
really appealed to me. I did go through a phase where I did have a membership at a
climbing gym, and I saw a lot of parallels between climbing and dance. I started
nerding out about climbing and how excited I was at the idea of what he was
proposing.”

“Scott made it clear it was going to be a very physical movie filmed on a real
60-foot tower. I told him I was so excited for the challenge and didn’t have a fear of
heights,” says Gardner, who costarred in TV’s “Runaways” as well as the 2018
Halloween reboot. “It also was right in the middle of Covid so the idea of being so
active and outside every day after being locked down for so long was very appealing.
I had done a lot of indoor rock climbing in the past and worked with a personal
trainer to make sure I would be able to handle the physical requirements.”

“We also discussed Becky and how easy it could be to have her come off too
despairing,” she continues, “because she has been through so much and there is so
much sadness and she is so paralyzed by her grief. And there are many moments
where she speaks up and says she can’t climb, she can’t do what’s in front of her, so
I expressed to Scott that I wanted to make sure she didn’t come off too complaining,
and you feel compassion for her, because you should.”

“Hunter is a rebel and Becky is the heart of the movie,” says Harris. “We went
through a very lengthy casting process and the chemistry between Ginni and Grace
was amazing.”

“I was lucky the financers and producers backed the idea of going for the best
actors, as opposed to the biggest names,” adds Mann, “because from a theatrical
point of view, the tower is the star.”

Because of Covid, all auditions needed to be done over Zoom. “Which was
awkward,” says Mann, “although a few of them did lock themselves up for a period to
do it together.”

“I expressed to Scott I don’t like auditioning, it makes me very uncomfortable,
how unnatural it is,” recalls Currey. “And because so many of Becky’s scenes are
with Hunter, he suggested we should do a chemistry read with the potential
Hunters.” A chemistry read is when actors audition with other potential cast. “I was
sent over a couple of names and one of those was Virginia Gardner, and so I
Instagram-stalked them, and slid into their DMs and said, did they want to practice
before our reads? Ginni responded right away, and she and I rehearsed the day
before our read. I immediately liked her so much and hoped she was going to be
Hunter, and I hoped I would be Becky. Later, Scott told us he felt the fact that we
pursued each other outside the chemistry read and rehearsed together spoke to how
we were going to apply ourselves to the film in general, so I guess preparation paid
off.”

“There were some good actresses who auditioned but what I found with
Grace and Ginni was they had great discipline,” recalls Mann. “Very different
dynamics as actors. Ginni’s extremely controlled, Grace is much more emotive and
method, but they had a real good chemistry and really helped each other. They just
seemed like friends, and they couldn’t help but bond.”

In the small but pivotal role of Becky’s husband Dan — who is killed in a
climbing accident in the opening sequence but whose presence looms large over the
film — is Mason Gooding, one of the stars of the latest Scream. “I loved his energy,”
says Mann of Gooding. “Again, it was a Zoom meeting, but I found him extremely
charismatic and honest. He had a vulnerable charisma about him I liked for Becky’s
partner, who’s a bit softer around the edges and is not your typical alpha male. I also
wanted someone you might think is going to be in the whole movie.”

“Mason is amazing,” adds producer Harris. “He’s going to be a superstar. We
were so lucky to have him.”

Rounding out the rest of the main cast is Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Becky’s
dad. “I’d worked with him and Robert De Niro on a film called Heist and had a great
time,” notes Mann. “I’ve always loved Jeff as an actor and became friends on that.
So, when we wrote the dad character, we literally wrote it for Jeff, thinking, ‘Okay,
who’s the most caring, empathetic, vulnerable dad you can pick out of a pile?’ It’s
Jeffrey Dean Morgan. And he was up for it.”

With his main cast in place, Mann set about rehearsing with his two leads at
ground level, knowing that once they were on location and up the tower, things
would be much trickier. Having utilized a paper platform during the writing stage to
act out the movie with Frank, Mann built a wooden one in his backyard and invited
Currey and Gardner over to play. “We blocked out the movie very thoroughly over
the course of a couple of days, so there was no doubt about any of it.”

“It was the platform and the pole, propped on some boxes or some crates and
we mostly spent the time figuring out how two people could possibly sleep on such a
small platform,” Currey recalls. “We played around with the different physical
configurations our bodies could make on the platform for it to be believable. If our
characters had been sitting for hours, how might they sit? There were also specific
scenes to block, like when Becky and Hunter discuss the affair. Scott had it in his
mind we would be back to back. And many of the scenes that required action and
movement we had to figure out beforehand because when we shot it, we were going
to be so high up and Scott would be far away, and it would have been very tricky to
figure out scenes in that circumstance. But because we blocked it ahead of time it
allowed for efficiency when it came to shooting.”

To recreate the lower portion of the tower on location, Mann approached the
designers of the real one in California that had been their inspiration during the
writing process and had them construct the first 15 feet in the desert just outside of
Los Angeles, in a place near Palmdale called Rocky Buttes. “They built a section of
tower on the ground there, which was safe, but we made it look rusty and
abandoned, and we had the girls climb up that,” recalls Mann. “And then, past a
certain point, it becomes a CGI extension.”

For the upper portion of the tower, Mann needed to find a mountaintop within
easy reach of Los Angeles, given they were planning to shoot while the U.S. was still
in the throes of Covid and there was uncertainty whether cast and crew were allowed
to stay in hotels overnight. “I would drive around in my wife’s SUV out to the desert,
to all these strange places I would find on Google maps, to try and find the correct
mountain with the right landscape,” he recalls. “Because you’re shooting outdoors,
you’ve got to consider where the sun is, the cinematography of it, everything. Also,
how do you get a Technocrane [a telescopic camera crane] up a mountain?”
Eventually, after several weeks, Mann found the perfect spot in Shadow
Mountain near Victorville. “It’s in the middle of nowhere,” he says. “But frankly, on the
top of that mountain, when you’re looking out, filming it for real, it looks amazing.”

BATTLING THE ELEMENTS
Once the mountaintop location was chosen, production designer Scott Daniel
(Wrong Turn) built two different towers of varying height, the tallest being around 60
feet, not including the final section with the light, as well as a five-foot high platform
for shooting closeups. “We were limited by engineering how high you could make it,
what we could get up there safely and construct to make it safe,” explains Mann of
the main tower. “Also, there was a limit on the height of the Technocrane which only
goes 70 or 80 feet up. If we made it too high, we wouldn’t get the look down and the
swing round, so we reduced its height.”

Even so, it was still plenty high. “Obviously, with actors we must be very
careful, and everything must be safe, but when you were climbing up it was quite
scary,” says Mann. “The first time I went there with Ginni and Grace I went first, so I
wasn’t asking it just of them. I remember climbing that ladder all the way at the top,
and it’s hard to get on the top, because there’s a ridge and you must really trust the
fact that if you do fall, you’re attached with a wire that’s going to save you. But I
remember getting up there, thinking, oh my God, that’s horrible, because when you
look out, your mind says, I’m 2,000 feet in the air, and you have to look back around
to realize, oh, it’s okay, there are people down there, 60 feet away. But when Grace
got to the top, she burst into tears. I think it was relief, because the other thing that
makes it feel very high is the wind, and the platform is rocking and swinging and
shaking. So they were very brave. And then from there it got easier.”

“When we first climbed up the tower, Scott went first, and in general
throughout the shoot, he did make sure to show us he was in it with us, which
speaks so much to the kind of director he is,” recalls Currey. “And when we got to
the top, there was a big relief. What was so exciting for me was seeing how high up
we were, feeling how strong the wind was, the elements, and the view was insane. It
was just this immersive feeling and I teared up because I felt so excited.”

“I remember the first climb being taxing and long,” says Gardner. “But the
more we did it the easier it got, although our hands were covered in blisters from so
much climbing. The first time we made it to the top Scott went first so we felt
confident. I remember how beautiful the sunset was and feeling the excitement and
adrenaline Hunter would be feeling in the moment when she reaches the top.”
Both actors wore harnesses which were attached to a safety cable that went
from the ground, up through the center column and out of the pole at the very top,
and back down again. “The characters having real harnesses on helped,” laughs
Mann. “Like, don’t take your harness off until this page [of the script.] So, if they’re
standing or moving around, they know if they fall, they’re safe, although the idea that
you’ve got to trust a tiny cable with your life is a little bit terrifying.”

What helped is that the riggers responsible were the same guys who did the
big tower stunt with Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. “Our stunt
coordinator Ingrid Kleinig said, ‘I know the best riggers and they’re not working at the
minute because of Covid, so let’s see if they want to help us.’ And they came out and
did all the rigging. So each actor had their own safety person. The most special
effects in this movie arguably are the safety wire removals,” says Mann, who
estimates FALL has about a thousand visual effects shots, mostly wire removal and
also digitally erasing the mountain from shots and replacing it with aerial footage of
the flat desert at the tower’s base in Palmdale for downward-looking shots.
“Climbing the ladder for the first time, we were getting to know the wires and
the rigging,” says Currey. “The most important thing for me was to understand how it
worked. If I feel safe, the more trust I have to go for the stunts. So, we would sit into
our harnesses and feel the wire take our weight and know there’s this safety net
that’s always with you. Trust was a major component for us diving into so many of
our stunts. Without it, we wouldn’t have been so brave.”

While Currey and Gardner had their own stunt doubles — Alice Rietveld for
the former, Alice Ford for the latter — both did many of the stunts themselves,
including hanging off the platform one-handed to take a selfie. “They did all that stuff
themselves and it is quite terrifying,” says Mann. “But the more we see their faces,
the more we’re with them. Audiences know when it’s a stunt double. They can sense
it because you change your film grammar around it.

“One of my favorite shots in the movie is where Grace is hanging off the
ladder and the ladder comes down and she lets go. That’s really Grace doing that
whole shot, doing that full drop. Originally, I was planning to start with her, then have
the stunt double drop and do face replacement. But in the end, she was like, ‘I want
to do it,’ and she went for it. It was great that our leads loved the experience and felt
safe. The shot where Hunter first climbs down to lower the phone, that’s really Ginni
doing all that. And I hold that take as long as I can, because at one point, Ginni
almost slips. But those kinds of shots are physically demanding and Ginni and Grace
just went for it.”

“The stunts were a lot of fun,” says Currey. “They were athletic and required
work but were fun and invigorating. We were pushing our mental and physical
stamina each day. But I couldn’t be prouder knowing I gave it my all and had such a
wild experience. Ginni and I often look at each other and go, ‘Did that really happen?
That was insane.’ But we were given the time and the space to test the stunts out
and try them and rehearse them and understand them, which made all the difference
and really enabled us to have trust between the riggers, our stunt coordinator,
everyone involved. I felt safe to speak up and say, ‘This feels a little scary,’ and then
we’d figure out what I needed to do to feel I understood what I was doing.”

“The climbing scenes were challenging but it was so much fun to do it all
practically and not in front of a green screen,” agrees Gardner. “It added some real
grit to the scenes and made our lives easier as actors when we could interact with
the real environment. It’s not often you get to do so many of your own stunts, and
getting the thrill of falling off a building that high and hanging off with one hand was
an unforgettable experience! To get to shoot those scenes with the wind hitting our
faces and the sun beating on our backs and the ground so far below gives you the
feeling you’re in the situation. Also, so many of our scenes we are climbing up the
ladder, and so we would climb up and go up and down. Those scenes took days to
shoot, but I think the physical exhaustion of it made our job easier.”

To communicate with his two leads while they were perched on a tiny platform
60 feet off the ground required Mann to use a bullhorn. “I wouldn’t normally use one,
but it was too windy to talk via radio,” he recalls. “I also had a feed of their mics, so I
could always hear what they were saying.”

Grace Caroline Currey in our Zoom chat!“Being directed by Scott with a bullhorn 60 feet below us was so funny,”
remembers Gardner. “He knew exactly what he wanted and would often play badass movie soundtracks on a loudspeaker while we were headed up the tower to get
us in the mood. If we were up there for a while, they would use a pulley system to
send up sunscreen and water.” But whenever there was something a bit more
intimate to film or discuss, Mann would hop a ride on a 70-foot cherry picker to lift
him up to platform level. “I could be beside them and the camera, and I could talk to
them, so it was a bit more normal. But it was very physical for me, for everyone,
scorching temperatures, crazy conditions.”

Partnering with Mann on making FALL as cinematic an experience as
possible was Spanish-born cinematographer MacGregor (Vivarium). “He was
amazing. He’s a director as well, is super talented and, like me, is into his
technology,” says Mann. “His rule to me was production value in a movie is dictated
by location. If you get the location right and you’re filming it for real, and you get the
sun in the right place and everything else, you don’t need anything else. You just film
the desert at the right time of day, and it looks incredible. This film has a low budget
for what it is. And it looks bigger than that because of that rule — filming real stuff.”
On the first day of shooting on the mountaintop, the weather turned nasty.

“The first day was a disaster,” remembers Mann. “It got really windy, windier than it
had been on any of the prep days. And at a certain point when the wind reaches 50
miles an hour, it’s too dangerous to be near that tower in case it blows over. So we
had to stop filming and get people in a safe place or off the mountain and there was
a threat the tower might collapse. There was a building at the top of the mountain, an
old radio hut, and we got everyone inside and there was a bloody sandstorm outside.
It was horrendous, like Dune or something. And then the low tower we built for
closeups blew away.”

“We had flying ant infestation, bee infestation, rain, thunder, lightning,
windstorms, the whole gamut,” remembers Currey. “You’re out there in nature and
nature is deciding when you shoot and when you don’t. I mean, we had to be very
careful being so high up on the tower because the winds would get intense, and if
they reached a certain speed, we had to climb down because it was too dangerous.
That was a little stressful at first, but eventually we understood we didn’t get to
dictate the schedule, the weather did. It felt like Indiana Jones. It felt like we were on
an adventure every day. The dirt, the dust, the grime. I took a selfie of myself on the
first day to send to my husband and I looked so fresh and chipper, and about 30
minutes later, being in the wind, I took another, and I am not chipper anymore.”
“It was crazy,” agrees producer Harris. “We were probably the first movie
made after Covid struck and we had those protocols plus all the plagues of the
Bible…it was crazy. But Capstone, our financiers, were very brave taking the risk
and plowing ahead.”

The remainder of the four-week mountaintop shoot was no less challenging,
with cast and crew pushed to their collective limits daily. “There were lots of physical
challenges, but we didn’t have any Covid cases the whole shoot,” says Mann. “Still,
we had about five hurricanes. There were fires nearby that blocked out the view. We
had several lightning incidents, and we had to be very careful because the girls were
standing on a big metal pole at the top of the mountain.”

The production also had to contend with a host of insects, including a swarm
of locusts and an infestation of bees. “After it rained, locusts collected inside the
tower and when we went to film, they all came out and we got swarmed on,” recalls
Mann. “Every other day we would have some physical or environmental disaster.
And we would just have to keep filming.”

“We had a lot of crazy issues at the beginning,” notes Gardner. “We had a
locust invasion and Scott had to use a massive vacuum-like device and suck up all
the bugs. Then we had a bee infestation. I got stung twice during takes. And to top it
all off, we had a thunder and rainstorm that almost ruined all our set dressing. But
we all had a great attitude about it and had to laugh it off and roll with the punches.”
Ultimately, Mann feels all the various environmental challenges were to the
film’s benefit. “They shifted the look of the movie,” he reveals. “At the time I thought,
this is disaster, because it’s all going to look completely different. But I’m glad of it
now. And my favorite moments in the movie are when we had something challenging
happen, like when it’s windy when our leads are on top. That’s real wind. As
everyone says, that’s free production value.”

While filming on a tower on top of a mountain exposed to the elements was
challenging enough, the final week of shooting, which mostly featured scenes in act
one — prior to Becky and Hunter’s tower climb — were among the hardest to
capture due to Covid. “The shoot for the tower element and the mountain we did in
one run and, apart from all the disasters, we got through it,” recalls Mann.
With Jeffrey Dean Morgan in a bubble shooting AMC’s “The Walking Dead” in
North Carolina, it was decided that Mann, Currey, and a small crew would fly to him,
build the bar set there, film the scene with Becky and her dad and then fly home to
L.A. But after Mann landed in North Carolina, he got a text from Currey saying she’d
come down with Covid, so she couldn’t travel. Rather than waste the trip and lose
the opportunity to shoot Morgan, Mann opted to build the bar set and film the scene
with Morgan with a double for Becky, before rebuilding the set four months later in
L.A. where Currey acted opposite a double for Morgan.

“So, the truth is, they never met in real life,” chuckles Mann, “and we filmed
both halves of that scene at different ends of the country. It was crazy. And one of
those filmmaking tricks we had to go through.”

CAST AND CREW BIOGRAPHIES

Scott Mann (Cowriter, Director)
Scott is a seasoned Hollywood director and producer, working with A-list talent on
several blockbuster films. His credits include Heist, Final Score, and The
Tournament. Mann has directed talent such as Robert De Niro, Pierce Brosnan,
David Bautista, Robert Carlyle, Kate Bosworth, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Bruce
Willis. Scott has been at the forefront of the visual effects domain for over 25 years
and has had a lifelong passion for science, innovation, and storytelling.

Virginia Gardner (Hunter)
Virginia Gardner is best known for starring as Karolina Dean in the Hulu original
series of Marvel’s “Runaways” and Vicky in Universal Pictures’ Halloween. She
made her feature debut as Christina Raskin in Paramount’s Project Almanac, and
since then has appeared in various films including Goat, Little Bitches, Monster
Party, Starfish, and All the Bright Places. In television, she can be seen in HBO’s
“The Righteous Gemstones,” FX’s “American Horror Stories,” and Starz’s “Gaslit.”
She will next be seen starring opposite Dylan Sprouse in Voltage’s Beautiful
Disaster.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan (James)
Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s charisma, undeniable charm, and versatility have landed him
a variety of prestigious films and television series working alongside award-winning
actors and filmmakers. Having worked nonstop the past few years, Morgan
continues to capture the attention of Hollywood and has emerged as one of the
industry’s most sought-after leading men.

Morgan can currently be seen in the hit AMC series, “The Walking Dead,” where he
made his debut in the final episode of season six as the infamous antagonist,
Negan. This performance earned him a 2016 Critics’ Choice Award for Best Guest
Performer in a Drama Series. He also won Best Villain at the 2017 MTV Movie and
TV Awards for his work in season seven. The 11th and final season of “The Walking
Dead” is currently airing on AMC.

Following the conclusion of “The Walking Dead”, Morgan will reprise his role of
Negan in the upcoming spin-off series “Isle of the Dead.” Along with Lauren Cohan
reprising her role as Maggie, “Isle of the Dead” will follow the pair through postapocalyptic Manhattan. Morgan and Cohan will also serve as executive producers on
the series that is set to premiere in 2023 on AMC.
Other recent projects include “Friday Night in with The Morgans”, which premiered in
April 2020 on AMC. The talk show was produced and hosted by Morgan and his
wife, Hilarie Burton Morgan, and was filmed from their home in upstate New York
during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. On the film side, recent credits
include Warner Brothers’ Rampage, directed by Brad Peyton, alongside Dwayne
Johnson and Naomie Harris; Walkaway Joe alongside David Strathairn and under
the direction of Tom Wright; The Postcard Killings with Famke Janssen for director
Danis Tanovic; and horror film The Unholy based on the best-selling James Herbert
novel Shrine.

Morgan began his career in television. In 2005 and 2006, he endeared himself to
television audiences worldwide with three concurrent recurring roles – on the CW
series “Supernatural” as John Winchester, on the ABC hit series “Grey’s Anatomy”
as transplant patient Denny Duquette, and on Showtime’s award-winning comedy
series “Weeds” as Judah Botwin, all of which made Morgan a universal fan favorite.
He then starred in the feature film P.S. I Love You with Hilary Swank and he
captivated genre fans as Edward Blake / Comedian in Watchmen for director Zack
Snyder, an adaptation of the iconic graphic novel. Morgan went on to star in The
Losers, an adaptation of DC-Vertigo’s acclaimed comic book series, produced by
Joel Silver and directed by Sylvain White, and in Ang Lee’s film Taking Woodstock.
He then appeared in the murder mystery Texas Killing Fields alongside Sam
Worthington, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Jessica Chastain.

Morgan’s additional feature film credits include Peace, Love & Misunderstanding
alongside Catherine Keener, Jane Fonda, and Elizabeth Olsen for director Bruce
Beresford; the thriller The Possession with Kyra Sedgwick for producer Sam Raimi;
Red Dawn, the reboot of the 1984 action movie; The Salvation with Eva Green and
Mads Mikkelsen which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival; Heist alongside
Robert De Niro; Solace opposite Anthony Hopkins, Colin Farrell, and Abbie Cornish;
Desierto alongside Gael García Bernal; and in 2016 he re-teamed with Zack Snyder,
making a cameo appearance in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

On the television side, Morgan’s additional credits include the award-winning CBS
series “The Good Wife,” the critically acclaimed Starz series “Magic City,” the CBS
series “Extant” alongside Halle Berry and produced by Steven Spielberg, and the
Emmy®-nominated History Channel miniseries “Texas Rising” with Bill Paxton and
Ray Liotta.

Morgan currently resides on a farm in Hudson Valley, New York, with his wife and
two children.

Mason Gooding (Dan)
Mason Gooding is quickly making a name for himself. He can currently be seen
starring in Hulu’s “Love, Victor” opposite Michael Cimino and Rachel Hilson. The
series, set in the world of the 2018 film Love, Simon, returned for its third and final
season on June 15.

This year, Gooding was seen starring in Paramount Pictures’ Scream alongside
Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Jack Quaid, Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, and
Dylan Minnette. He was also seen in the Amazon rom com I Want You Back
alongside Charlie Day and Jenny Slate and in Christopher Winterbauer’s Moonshot
for HBO MAX alongside Lana Condor and Cole Sprouse.

Upcoming, Gooding will be seen starring in Sam Hayes’ indie feature Pools
alongside Ariel Winter.

In 2021, Gooding lent his voice to QCODE Media’s neo-noir podcast series “Electric
Easy,” which featured original music from Kesha and Chloe Bailey. In
2019, Gooding starred in Olivia Wilde’s critically acclaimed Booksmart opposite
Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever. The film made its world premiere at the 2019
SXSW Film Festival where it was nominated for the Audience Award.
Later that year, he was seen in Netflix’s Let It Snow alongside Kiernan Shipka,
Odeya Rush, and Isabela Merced. The romantic comedy, based on the John Green
novel of the same name, was released in November 2019.

On the small screen, Gooding’s credits include: “Ballers,” “Everything’s Gonna Be
Okay,” “Star Trek: Picard,” and “The Good Doctor.”

Madison Beer (Songwriter, “I Have Never Felt More Alive”)
Following unprecedented success as an independent artist, rising pop star Madison
Beer released her major label album debut, Life Support, in early 2021. The album, a
strong personal and artistic statement, received acclaim from the likes of V
Magazine, Nylon, and NME who called it a “thrilling listen.” Life Support features
certified platinum single “Selfish,” and “Boyshit,” which Billboard said, “…makes a
late case for one of the best pop chorus openings of 2020.” The album saw Madison
continue to command creative through writing her own songs, producing, and
creating her own visuals. Most recently she released “Reckless,” the first track to
come from her next project. The song was her personal best streaming week debut
on Spotify and currently has over 222 million streams on the platform. Madison has
seen partnerships with beauty brands like Fenty Beauty and Morphe Cosmetics,
which she showcased in her edition of Vogue’s marquee video series “Beauty
Secrets.” Her episode is one of the highest-performing installments with over 12
million views on YouTube, and it went viral on TikTok, selling out the Morphe
products featured globally for six months. Madison is also the face of Victoria’s
Secret’s line of Tease Fragrances, with a campaign shot by legendary photographer
Mario Sorrenti. Currently, Madison has over 4.2 billion streams across her catalogue
globally and commands a highly engaged social following of over 32 million on
Instagram, 17 million on TikTok, and 3 million on Twitter.

CAST & CREW LIST

LIONSGATE AND CAPSTONE GLOBAL
PRESENT
A TEA SHOP PRODUCTION
A CAPSTONE STUDIOS PRODUCTION
IN ASSOCIATION WITH FLAWLESS
IN ASSOCIATION WITH COUSIN JONES
IN ASSOCIATION WITH BUZZFEED STUDIOS

Directed by
Scott Mann
Written by
Jonathan Frank & Scott Mann
Produced by
James Harris and Mark Lane
Scott Mann
Produced by
Christian Mercuri
David Haring
Director of Photography
MacGregor
Production Designer
Scott Daniel
Editor
Rob Hall
Original Score Composed and Produced by
Tim Despic
Supervising Sound Designers
Alex Joseph
David Barber, M.P.S.E.
Re-recording Mixer
David Barber, CAS
VFX Supervisor
Matt Gardocki
Costume Designer
Lisa Catalina
Casting by
Colin Jones
Line Producer
Brianna Lee Johnson
Executive Produced by
Roman Viaris
Barry Brooker
Executive Produced by
John Long
Dan Asma
Unit Production Manager
Brianna Lee Johnson
First Assistant Director
Doug Turner
Second Assistant Director
Tami Kumin
CAST
Becky Connor Grace Caroline Currey
Shiloh Hunter Virginia Gardner
Dan Connor Mason Gooding
James Connor Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Steve Jasper Cole
Randy Darrell Dennis
Police Officer Bamm Ericsen
Diner Server Julia Mitchell
Flower Girl Evie Mann
Page Boy Joseph Mann
Confused Truck Driver Nick Lynes
Bar Man Branden Currey
Associate Producer
Ashley Waldron
Stunt Coordinator / Second Unit Director Ingrid Kleinig
Assistant Stunt Coordinator Genevieve Aitken
Key Stunt Rigger Chris Daniels
Stunt Utility Anthony Genova
Stunt Utility Jess King
Becky Stunt Double Alice Rietveld
Hunter Stunt Double Alice Ford
Rock Climbing Consultant Tai Devore
Becky Climbing Double Miya Tsudome
Hunter Climbing Double Jennifer Poe
Dan Climbing Double Chip Powell
Opening Stunts
Stunt Coordinator T.J. White
Dan Stunt Double Matthew Osborn
Stunt Utility Hank Kingi Jr.
Stunt Utility Ken Fournier
Stunt Utility Jimmy Ramono
Stunt Utility Jennifer Caputo
Production Supervisor Annie B. Compton
Assistant Production Supervisor Turner Fair
Key Set PA Chloe Huckins
Set PA Trevor Messenger
Set PA Eddy Gudakov
A Cam Operator Nick Muller
2nd Unit DP/B Cam Operator Geoff George
A Cam First Assistant Camera Nicholas Kramer
Additional AC (A Cam) Jacob Rosenblatt
Second Assistant Camera Sasha Wright
B Cam 1st AC Litong Zhen
Digital Imaging Technician Jack Damon
Script Supervisor Barbara Abelar
Production Sound Mixer Chris Polczinski
Boom Operator Tasha Ladwig
Casting Associate Marta Noguera
SFX Boyd Lacosse
Gaffer Mike Van Meter
Best Boy Electric Mitch Pratt
Electric Ronnie Ausborne
Key Grip Jesse Curl
Best Boy Grip Angel Villarreal
Best Boy Grip Alex Harris
Grip Daniel Vlahos
Grip Austin Nelson
Key Grip Jason Younger
Best Boy Grip Mitch Elliott
Grip Ryker Wells
Grip Ivan Garcia
Art Consultant Gabor Norman
Prop Master Bryan Staerkel
Art PA Samuel Figueroa
Scenic Darren Cheeks
Techno Crane Op Brett Folk
Techno Crane Op Harrison Reilly
Techno Crane Op Corey Kiefer
Techno Crane Op Brian Shreiner
Drone Pilot Chase Ellison
Drone Pilot Justin Enrique
Department Head Make Up Erin Blinn
Additional Make Up Brittany White
Department Head Hair Lauren McKeever
Animal Wrangler Mark Schwaiger
Dog Wrangler Ali Santoro
Production Accountant Sue McGraw
Assistant Production Accountant Chelsea McGraw
Production Secretary Mellinda Hensley
Office Production Assistant Ali Pinkerton
Location Managers Derek Tramont
Mitchell Gutman
Permit Service Miles Per Gallon
Key Set Medic Lindsey Roberts
Health and Safety Manager Jerry TerHorst
Health and Safety PA Nicole Daley
Caterer Moore Culinary Services
Security Bruno Mora
NC Goods & Services Lighthouse Films
Brad Walker
Michelle Roca
Kendall Stetson
Vicka Hanson
Ash Christ
Mikel Barton
Michael “Shawn” Lewellan
Alan “Shorty” Swanson
Paige Marsicano
Ben Pellington
Adrian Kohann
Kristen Bell
Paul Sitler
Ashley Spillane
Aaron Kelly
Brielle Barozzini
Nico Guerra
Marco Guerra
Yukimi Bishop
Josiah Graf
Kristen Shaughnessy
JD Lanier
Kristi Ray
Medical Advisor Dr Patrick Yu
(Corporate Medical Advisors)
Accounting & Tax Incentive Services Greenslate
Production and Finance Legal Services Levin Law Corp.
Ronald J. Levin
Rylan Mitchell
Erica Zohar
Associate Editor Michael Cheung
Assistant Editor Esther Sokolow
Music Supervisor Phil Canning
Original Song Music Supervisor Ashley Waldron
Completion Guarantee Film Finances
Mandy Yaeger
Helen Sam
Lieve Jansen
Insurance Services Daniel R’Bibo
Alex Ekizian
Rosita Roque
Head of Development Tea Shop Productions Lieve Jansen
Leo Darby
Head of Development Flawless Lieve Jansen
Sarah Mann
Audio Post Services Provided by Juniper Post, Inc.
Sound Supervisor David Kitchens, M.P.S.E.
Supervising Sound Designers Alex Joseph
David Barber, M.P.S.E.
Re-recording Mixer David Barber, CAS
Dialogue Editor Jeffery Alan Jones
ADR Mixer Alan Jaye
Sound Effects Editors Rob Walker
Payam Hosseinian
Foley Artist Gonzalo “Bino” Espinoza
Foley Editor Jackson Kitchens
Audio Post Accountant Stacy Kitchens
Additional ADR Recording Jed Elliot
Original Score composed and produced by Tim Despic
Composer/ Additional music by James Edward Barker
Music performed by Tim Despic, James Edward Barker and the Van Ness
Orchestra
Music mixed by Tim Despic
Digital Intermediate Services Provided by
TUNNEL POST
DI Producers Heather Toll
Shirley Luong
Alan Pao
DI Colorist Sebastian Perez-Burchard
Conform Editor J.D. Moore
Additional VFX Pulls Taylor Mahony
Visual Effects by
TUNNEL POST
Visual Effects Supervisors Shirley Luong
Heather Toll
Lead Compositors May Satsuki Asai
Wanyan Zhu
Compositors Gigi Babityan
Austin Brown
Xuncheng Chen
Grant Inouye
Yongfeng Lin
Cheng Qiu
Dandan Xiao
Roto Artists Victor Franco
Mia Chang
Additional VFX Supervision Koala FX
Consulting VFX Producer Dasha Sherman
Consulting VFX Supervisor Menelaos Pampoukidis
Lead VFX Artist Antoni Zakheos
VFX Artist Artem Isaakyan
GARDOCKI DIGITAL
VFX Supervisor Matt Gardocki
VFX Artists Jacob Brewer
Peter Epps
Candido Garcia
Sophia Post
Alex Stager
DEKOY
VFX Principal/Founder David Matheny
VFX Production Manager Grace Kao
VFX Artists Christian Feliciano
Brian Recktenwald
VFX2GO
Visual Effects Producers Jake Akuna
Christian Curry Akuna
Supervising Producer
(Sancio VFX Studios) Naresh Botha
Manager Karthik Sabbani
Coordinator Priscilla John
Visual Effects Artists Jake Akuna
Praveen Jambula
Varshini Botha
Anil Kancharla
Sunny Kandimalla
Sunil Kalyan
POSTVFX
Composite Supervisor Edward Anderson
Senior Compositor Ivan Pena Ortiz
22 DOGS STUDIO
VFX Executive Producers Andrea Marotti
Carlo Tosi
VFX Producer Giulio Campiglia
VFX Executive Supervisor Max Pareschi
VFX Lead Compositor Artist Thomas Kremer (II)
VFX Compositor Artists Andrew Antonyuk
Roman Antonyuk
Alexey Ermak
Polina Frolova
Vladislav Kravchenko
Mila Kremere
Dimitrijs Mass
Max Radukha
Roman Sagenov
VFXaddART
VFX Supervisor Eduard Karamshuk
Compositing Artists Aleksandr Pertsovoy
Denis Knyzev
Oleksandr Kuzmin
Dmytro Syrovatsky
Dmytro Shmidt
FLAWLESS
Nick Lynes
Sean Danischevsky
Stuart Lawrence
Allar Kaasik
Hyeongwoo Kim
Praveen Ilangoven
Pablo Garrido
Lindsey Morrow
Gaurav Bharaj
Piran Smith
Christian Theobalt
Jim Rivera
Gary Scullion
Paul Duhig
Alejandra Esquerro
Ryan Axe
BUZZFEED STUDIOS
Head of Studio Richard Alan Reid
Marketing Executive Dan Katt
Creative Executive Ayla Norris-Smith
Production Executive Sam Linder
Distribution & Strategy Executive Jason Nadel
Production Coordinator Brianna McFadden
Creative Will Hunt
STOCK FOOTAGE
Vulture Stock footage supplied by Film Studio Aves/Creatas Video via Getty Images
All Other Footage used under license from shutterstock.com
MUSIC CREDITS
“I Have Never Felt More Alive”
Written by Madison Beer and Leroy Clampitt
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Interview with Catherine Bell and Tom Stevens

TV Interview!

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

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

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

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

QUESTION:  Hi, how are you?

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

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

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

QUESTION:  Thank you.

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

CATHERINE BELL:  Yeah.

QUESTION:  Thank you.

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

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

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

QUESTION:  And that same for you, Tom?

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

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

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

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah.

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

CATHERINE BELL:  Right, exactly.

TOM STEVENS:  Prison pen pals and dogs.

QUESTION:  Thank you.

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

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

CATHERINE BELL:  Tom, you go.

TOM STEVENS:  Oh, you want me to go.

CATHERINE BELL:  Yeah.

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

QUESTION:  You too.

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

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

QUESTION:  Thank you so much, both of you.

CATHERINE BELL:  Thank you.

TOM STEVENS:  Thanks, Jamie.

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

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

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

QUESTION:  You didn’t root for them —

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah.

CATHERINE BELL:  What’s that?

TOM STEVENS:  Were you rooting for them, Catherine?

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

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

QUESTION:  Okay. Thanks.

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

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

CATHERINE BELL:  Hi, Jay.

QUESTION:  Hi, good to see you.

TOM STEVENS:  Hi, Jay.

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

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

QUESTION:  Thanks a lot.

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

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

TOM STEVENS:  I know.

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

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

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

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

QUESTION:  Hello.

CATHERINE BELL:  Hi.

TOM STEVENS:  Hi, hi, hi.

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

TOM STEVENS:  Hm.

CATHERINE BELL:  Hm.

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

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

TOM STEVENS:  That was so much fun.

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

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

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

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

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

TOM STEVENS:  No worries, Cynthia.

CATHERINE BELL:  Thank you, Cynthia.

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

QUESTION:  Hi, can you hear me?

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

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

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

QUESTION:  Thank you.

CATHERINE BELL:  Thank you.

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

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

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

QUESTION:  Well, just in general acting.

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

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

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

QUESTION:  Oh, wow. Thank you.

CATHERINE BELL:  Yeah, thank you.

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

QUESTION:  Hey, how are you guys?

CATHERINE BELL:  Hey, good.

TOM STEVENS:  I’m good.

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

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

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

CATHERINE BELL:  Yeah.

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

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

QUESTION:  Thanks so much.

TOM STEVENS:  Thank you.

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

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

CATHERINE BELL:  Ooh.

TOM STEVENS:  Ooh.

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

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

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

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah.

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

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah.

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

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

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

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

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah.

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

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

QUESTION:  Okay, thanks.

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

MORE INFO:

Official Lifetime Site and Preview

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

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

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poster for "Jailbreak Lovers"