Interview with star Jana Kramer and producer Orly Adelson of “Soccer Mom Madam” on Lifetime by Suzanne 5/19/21
I enjoyed speaking with these two women about the Lifetime movie. It was interesting to hear about the real-life story and how they made the movie. This was part of a virtual press junket for several Lifetime summer movies that we’re covering this summer.
SOCCER MOM MADAM
Moderator: Hi everybody, our next panel is soccer mom madam and with us today is Jana Kramer, and executive producer. Orly Adelson. Hi ladies.
Orly & Jana: Hi. Hi
Moderator: how are you
Orly Adelson (Executive Producer): good
Moderator: thank you guys so much for being here today.
Orly Adelson: Thank you for having us
Moderator: Of course. our first question is for Orly. Orly. Knowing that this is inspired by a true story, what made you want to turn it into a film?
Orly Adelson: I was compelled by the idea of a mother by day and a Madam by night, and how those two lives ultimately are going to collide, and that journey is what intrigued me about it. And it’s about human things. It’s about betrayal. It’s about family. It’s about love. It’s all the things that we encounter every day and she encountered it differently.
Moderator: Thanks Orly, our first – our next question is from Jay Bobbin.
Jay Bobbin (Gracenote): Hello Jana, thanks so much for doing this. Good to see you.
Jana Kramer: Of course. good to see you too.
Jay Bobbin (Gracenote): Thank you. You’ve done so many heartwarming projects in recent years, but those who know you from your earlier acting years remember how sassy you were – as it were – on One Tree Hill. Is it particularly pleasurable for you to return to this type of character now?
Jana Kramer: Jay, I couldn’t tell you how happy I was to read this script and talk to Orly.
I mean, I pretty much begged her. I was like I’ll do whatever – this script is so amazing. It’s fun and it’s sassy and it’s, you know there’s depth to it and it just made me feel excited.
Not that I don’t love, you know, the, you know the sweet Christmas movies and stuff, but there’s something about really going there – vulnerably and emotionally and just, you know, remembering why I love acting so much. Because you can just bring in so much of your personal life and you know it’s just – it’s fun and you know there were some really heavy days on set ’cause I had to get super emotional. But, I was like oh like this is this is the best day. So – I was thrilled that I got it and I was yeah – I was very happy.
Jay Bobbin: Thank you.
Moderator: Thank you, our next question is from Lisa.
Lisa (Starry Magazine): Hi, thank you both for taking some time to speak with us today. Jana, what were some of your favorite moments from filming this? Was there a particular scene that stands out to you that was really challenging or something that really was interesting that you felt you worked on for this particular one?
Jana: You know, I’ll say thanks for the question Lisa. I personally enjoyed the time that I spent.
The girls were, you know, They were family to this – the woman that it was inspired by, and just the camaraderie that all of us girls had filming together – the fun that we had. You know, there’s a scene in particular where we went to this event and I’m basically trying to pick out the millionaires in the room. And just like, us going in there, as strong women and just the -again, the fun that we had together – it was really nice to feel empowered and also have you know, the support. Women supporting each other. And yeah, I just I loved the girls so much in this movie and they’ve stayed friends. So I think that was the kind of you know silver lining with this doing, this film was just having that friendship.
Moderator: Great, our next question is from Rick Bentley.
Rick Bentley (Tribune): Jenna, I’m just curious. These films are ripped from the headlines,
so from an acting perspective, Do you look at that and go: great I can find some source material to help me build a character. Or do you go – Oh crap, people know this story, what am I going to do differently?
Jana Kramer: Yeah sure, and Orly and I had a conversation about that ’cause I was fortunate to talk to the woman that this movie is portrayed about. And you know, I was kind of talking to Orly and I’m like man, like you know she’s got a little bit of an accent and so I was started freaking out as an actor ’cause I’m like, What if I don’t live up to like who she is and you know how she actually had her mannerisms and Orly really let me just take on their role. she reminded me that yes, it’s based on a true story, but to bring my story into it, and I think that the marriage of both of those worked really well. Don’t you agree Orly?
Orly Adelson: Yeah, ’cause it was inspired by her. And so the authenticity of the movie is because we have the access to stories – to the journey. But yet you have to embark and embody that character in your own way.
Jana Kramer: Absolutely.
Orly Adelson: And Jana did it brilliantly, By the way. how many actresses had this ability
to show vulnerability and strength? Be likable? Because that’s so important for this character – yet be tough. That’s a challenge that I really – I – sitting there and watching her film every day was really thrilling. To see how she could move quickly between all of these mine fields.
Jana Kramer: Thanks, Orly.
Moderator: Our next question is from Jamie Ruby.
Jamie Ruby (SciFi Vision): Hi Jana – and I don’t know – Orly may have just mentioned some of these things now, but I was wondering if you could talk about some of the things that you found most challenging.
Jana Kramer: Oh man – the things I found most challenging, UM? You know, I – So once I got the idea out of my head that OK I don’t have to portray this person exactly. I think – kind of what Orly mentioned was what was challenging is making sure that – I didn’t want people to….. ’cause like when you hear something like oh Madam – oh like what’s wrong with her? Or I wanted people to see that she was just doing the best that she could and to have that like ability too – is like – you know as a mom as a single mom, it’s like I I’m going to do what I have to do to support my kids and it may not be what you like but you know I have to do what I have to do. And so my biggest challenge, I guess it was just making sure that I kept her focus on the kids and you know it started to – and it was har ’cause then you’ll see like in the storyline, that you know she kind of gets a little bit lost, but bringing it back to the heart of why she worked so hard.
Jamie Ruby (SciFi Vision): Orly, What about you? What did you find the hardest thing?
Orly Adelson: For me it was really, how can we make it authentic? How can we really tell this story? So it’s not something you’ve seen in another movie because she had – Anna Gristina
had a different journey and that journey is important to tell in the way that it was inspired by her, not by other characters before that. So I think our writer, Barbara Marshall did an incredible job immediately by tying everything together through a narrative of girls that care about each other. Family that cares about each other – and so the disappointments were much harder at the end. And I don’t know how many of you saw the end and I won’t give it up but for me, that last scene of Jana in the movie – while she was filming it, I cried and then when we were editing I cried because it was true to the losses, the ups and down and at the end of the day; the price you pay.
Jamie Ruby (SciFi Vision): Great, thank you so much both of you.
Jana Kramer: Thanks Jamie.
Moderator: Thank you guys. I think we have another question from Rick.
Rick Bentley (Tribune): Yeah, I’m sorry Orly, I just want to get a little clarification here. You’ve mentioned the term authentic and you also talked about inspired by. When you’re dealing with a story like this what is the benefit of just basing a story on a real event and not just saying I’m just going to create this fictional story about a soccer mom where you don’t have to worry about – You know how authentic you stay and how you know how much you can sway from that that original story?
Orly Adelson: I think it’s a very thin line here between taking the heart of a story and telling it versus every moment to verify – Oh, this happened that way? Now I have three people that I have to verify that it happened this way. Was this the girl? Now I need to make sure that the
girl was portrayed exactly correctly – versus I spoke to 2 girls, Never met them, spoke to them anonymously. And so it’s a little different than having to have then all the rights to that girl and make sure that she said that word versus didn’t say that word. It’s just the nuance between inspired to telling the story as a true story. ‘Cause even when you tell it from the point of view of Anna, it’s her POV that’s already a skewed POV.
Jana Kramer: Sure.
Orly Adelson: But that’s the point of view that was interesting to us.
Moderator: Thank you Orly. I think we have time for one more question from Suzanne.
Suzanne Lanoue (TVMeg): Hi! I was wondering, Orly, if you could tell us what you think might have happened, either from the real story, or from what you would do if you, say, had a sequel. What happened in your mind after that last scene. Does she stay on the pig farm? Does she get back together? Does her daughter forgive her? Does she get her life back together? What do you think?
Jana Kramer: You want the perfect bow don’t you? Like what happens, it’s like, oh, if I could always, ask that question.
Suzanne Lanoue (TVMeg): You know, I’m like – what happened?
Orly Adelson: You know, here it is. She will never do it again. She has gotten married. And she still has all the pigs. And she raises pigs and sends me pictures. She’s a unique character, really unique, and Jana got an opportunity to talk to her. She’s very unique, very honest, and very unique.
Suzanne Lanoue (TVMeg): And Jana, what was it like for you working with the kids on the show?
Jana Kramer: Oh, they were so sweet. Every age with them. The younger kids were so sweet.
And then the girl who played Mia. I mean, she’s a doll and I still, you know, text with her and I kind of felt like, you know, her mom when I left because I was, you know,
giving her tips about you know, don’t take anything from bullies and like you’re beautiful and like believe in yourself and you know it was cool ’cause I was able to help her in on of the scenes that we did. She was wanting to use some teardrops and I remember this one actor, actually, Austin Nichols, I was having a hard time crying on the set of One Tree Hill ’cause I was
just blocked emotionally and he held my hands and I just started crying. And so I said to her, I was like you don’t need that tear stick ’cause I know, you know the stuff that you’ve told me.
You’ve got a lot in in your heart and I was like you need to use it. So, in the middle of the scene I just held her hands and I was like, just look at me and then she just starts crying and I’m like yes! Like it just feels good to like help and like you know give back to like to someone-
like Austin did for me and just like to tap into those emotions and yeah, they were great. It was so fun. Thank you.
Suzanne Lanoue (TVMeg): That was a great story.
Moderator: Well, thank you all for your questions. An Orly and Jana thank you so much for being here with us today. I know that everyone is looking forward to June 6 to watch this movie and everyone stay tuned for our next panel.
Proofread and Edited by Brenda