Interview with actors Sadie Calvano, Evan Roderick, and Tom Stevens, and executive producer Judith Verno in “Secrets of a Marine’s Wife” on Lifetime by Suzanne 5/19/21
This movie was very interesting and had a great cast. I was glad to speak with them. I’d interviewed Tom Stevens before about his role in “Deadly Class” on Syfy, so it was great to see him again. I hope you enjoyed the movie! It was an interesting mystery and romance story, but tragic.
SECRETS OF A MARINE’S WIFE
Moderator: Hi everyone, thank you for joining us. I am very pleased to welcome our panelists from Secrets of a Marine’s Wife, including Sadie Calvano, who plays Erin Corwin, Evan Roderick who plays her husband John Corwin, Tom Stevens, who plays Chris Lee, joined by executive producer Judith Verno.
Just a quick reminder if you’d like to ask a question, at the bottom of your screen please hit the raise your hand button at the bottom of the screen. Depending on what version of zoom you have, it might be under the reactions button or the participants button. I will be answering questions as they come in an I wanted to start with one pre-submitted question that’s for everybody. And that question is Erin Corwin’s Story is very tragic. What do you hope viewers will take away from this movie?
Sadie Calvano: I’ll start. Hi everyone, I’m Sadie. I would really like viewers to take away from this movie is that this isn’t a story that questions Erin’s sexual choices. This isn’t a story that talks about how because she had an affair, she got murdered. This is a story that is about complex relationships about a young girl who was looking for love and connection and who was going through a really tough time in her life and looking for support and fell in the hands of someone who brutally murdered her. And I really hope that people are able to see the story of love and seeking and are able to fall in love with her and wonder.
Tom Stevens: Yeah, and I like..Evan.
Evan Roderick: Yeah. You know, and like speaking from Jon’s perspective too, it’s a story
about forgiveness as well ,and you know, because these characters are so young that you know they hold such a, I guess, there is such an expectation on this relationship to work too, so you know, I think it was important to keep Erin in a light you know, and she was a really good person and we had to honor her story. I hope people can see that when they see the movie.
Tom Stevens: Yeah, I gotta say that like jumping off of what Sadie was saying is they had a relationship that was kind of…It was too young.
People got married very early and well. What we were telling the story of is what Chris and Aaron found was almost like an intimacy that they hadn’t really experienced before. It just so happened that she chose to go with somebody that had some serious mental issues.
Judith Verno (Executive Producer): Yeah, I mean, I think that what’s important is nobody should pay for their mistake with their life. And that’s the message here. And to find stories that are relatable at their core but can also serve as a cautionary tale, especially for a younger generation. I think that’s important to tap into for Lifetime.
Moderator: Thank you all. The next question is from Suzanne from TVMeg.
Suzanne Lanoue (TVMeg): Hi, good morning. Let me ask, Tom, what do you think? What did you do to prepare for this very complex role?
Tom Stevens: Yeah, Chris, is uh, he kind of travels through a lot of different emotional realms throughout the film. The guy is dealing with suicide. He’s dealing with an unhappy marriage. Finding this new experience with his neighbor Erin and also everything that he’s kind of dealing with, with his experience with going over to Afghanistan.
And I just kind of took it day by day…I’ve done a lot of military research myself. I knew the story. I knew the case very well, so I listened to the book and I used the chapters about Chris and I just I tried to find as much that I could use out of that book as possible to add color to him every day.
Suzanne Lanoue (TVMeg): Great, and Evan – your role is almost saint-like.
I know actors like to do… usually they like to play the bad guy because there’s so many different layers, and you get to vent your emotions and all that kind of thing. Well, what did you do to make your role speak to you and have fun with it?
Evan Roderick: As much as I think the center of it is he’s just a guy that loves this person so much you know. And I mean, personally, I know. I know what that feels like to love someone so much that you do anything for them. So I think that kind of was the center of Jon.
But I’ve never shot a gun before this movie. I’m so Canadian, I know. But you know I spent some time at the gun range in the gym. I watched all the Dateline stuff to prepare as well so but yeah, at the center of it he’s just a guy that’s just so in love with this woman. So that was kind of what I always hung onto.
Suzanne Lanoue (TVMeg): Great. And Sadie, when they were doing the scenes… where they were showing him strangling your character, did you, uh..Can you tell us how you did that? How it was done? Sort of physically and special effects wise? Was there a stunt person?
Sadie Calvano: Sure, yeah, there was some people involved. However, Tom I also participated. They had me in this like strapped suit and that clipped on to Tom’s back. I wore a necklace that was made out of like elastic that looked like what would have been choking her but it wasn’t connected to anything so that I stayed completely safe and then on the back of my suit there was a clip that the poles attached to for Tom. And we had some staff people help us out with different positions. Each shot kind of varied what the arrangement was, whether it was me with a stunt person or Tom with a staff person or me with Tom. But we had really amazing stunt people that kept us very safe and were so sensitive to the nature of that scene and made sure that we stayed protected emotionally and physically in what was a very strenuous scene.
Suzanne Lanoue (TVMeg): Alright, well, thank you. I really enjoyed it. I love the movie. It was sad in the end, but it was good.
Sadie Calvano: Thank you.
Modderator: Thank you Suzanne. Ok, this next question is from Lisa Steinberg.
Lisa Steinberg (Starry Magazine): Hi thank you guys so much for talking with us today. Evan. you’re playing a marine in this and you touched on a bit about the physical aspect of it and getting into shape.
Was there something different you did to prepare for the role of a marine? Or you know, just you stay fit and it was just more upping your time at the gym.?
Evan Roderick: Good question. Well, I think you know when you’re an actor, you kind of have to try to stay in shape all year round anyway. But I think mainly it was about learning about the culture of being a Marine. Like these people are, they’re living in these complexes a lot of the time, you know, like in our movie and they’re like it’s just like this big tight knit family, you know. So I think the biggest learning curve for me was just kind of learning the culture and how they spend their time. And like I said, you know, just trying to get the mechanics of being able to work a gun and hold a gun properly without looking like a fool. I think that was pretty important as well. So just yeah, a couple of those kind of things, but it was very, it was a lot of fun. I had a lot of fun doing it so yeah.
Moderator: Thank you Evan. And the next question is from Jamie Ruby.
Jamie Ruby (SciFi Vision): So do you guys have a favorite scene that you could tease?
Tom Stevens: I’d say the pool scene. The pool scene was really fun to shoot, we were just in the pool all day, just swimming. It was great.
Evan Roderick: I think I agree.
Tom Stevens: Anything in the complex.
Sadie Calvano: I actually think that I would say that one of my favorite scenes is the scene that we shot in the diner. I feel like it is really different from the rest of the film. And I think that there is a moment in that where we see the cracks really starting to appear.
And I think that we’re able to see that end of the day, like these are just two young kids that don’t really know what they’re doing, that are struggling to make decisions and doing the best they can. Umm and I like I think that’s a scene where we’re really able to see their humanity in a way that is different from the rest of the film. So that was one of my favorites to shoot
Evan Roderick: I loved shooting that scene too. It was fun.
Moderator: Thank you guys. The next question is from Jay Bobbin.
Jay Bobbin (Gracenote): Hello everyone, thanks for doing this. Sadie my question is for you. For Mom fans like my mom, who are such devotees of that show and know you so well as Violet and maybe haven’t seen you doing much else, what would you say to them before they watch you in this?
Sadie Calvano: I’d say thank you so much for watching Mom. Mom was such a huge part of my
life and of my personhood. I was kid when I started on Mom. You know I was 15 and so it shaped such a big part of my life and obviously of my career. So first I would say thank you so much and that I hope you like the finale because it just aired.
Umm and secondly, I would say that this is a really exciting project for you to get to watch because it’s not like Violet at all. You know, I think the thing that was so exciting about this was that next to Why Women Kill this is one of the first roles where I really got to play a woman, a person who’s not just like an angry bratty teenager. You know she has these like romantic complex relationships and I think you really get to see a different side of me in this project and I hope you enjoy it.
Jay Bobbin (Gracenote): Thank you.
Moderator: Thank you Jay. I think we have time for one more question, maybe two. The next question is from Steve Gidlow of Media Village
Steve Gidlow (Media Village): My question is actually for Sadie. I was just wondering how familiar were you with this story before joining the project. Had you heard about it before? Or was it all sort of news to you?
Sadie Calvano: That’s a great question. I must confess in my day to day life I am a bit of a crime junkie. I really love watching murder shows probably an unhealthy amount. But I did know about this story before I got offered this job. I grew up in LA. My boyfriend’s mom lives in Palm Springs, and this was a huge story in that area particularly, so I was familiar with the case I remembered reading about it when it happened and, yeah, I definitely was familiar.
Steve Gidlow (Media Village): And quickly. Is there a chance you’re going back to Why Women Kill?
Sadie Calvano: Oh, I would love that. I would love that so much. I guess time will tell. I know that with Season 2 they were planning on doing all new cast and all new stories, but the door is, you know always a sliver open and we’ll see what the future brings. I would love to work with Mark Cherry again in the future, so I don’t know, fingers crossed
Steve Gidlow (Media Village): Awesome. Thanks so much.
Sadie Calvano: Of course
Moderator: Thanks so much, Steve. Thank you Sadie. The last question is for Judith.
As an executive producer for this movie, what interested you in Erin’s story.
Judith Verno: Well, I really do like doing stories that start with something where you feel it’s relatable and I do like doing stories that focus on a younger generation. It’s an area that I’ve worked on before and I welcome it.
I think that as Sadie and Tom and Evan alluded to, you know Erin is a really good person. And to be able to message that you can have flaws, make mistakes, be young and not wind up dead is important to me and so I love the true crime genre, I love the setting of this. I don’t think there’s been a lot of true crime that’s in a military environment, but most of all, I really love working with young people. We had an amazing cast and to be able to pay tribute to Erin who is a victim in the truest sense, and have a teachable moment for viewers, but also be entertaining, is you know it’s a great kind of story to be able to have the privilege to tell.
Moderator: That’s great. Well listen, thank you guys for participating.
We really appreciate it. And just a quick reminder to everyone that Secrets of a Marine’s Wife will premieres on Saturday, June 19th on Lifetime. So check it out, and thank you to all of our panelists and hold tight for our next panel.
Proofread and Edited by Brenda