Moses finally tells Devon that he is considering some other career options besides medicine.
Lily spends some time with Johnny since he has a tummy ache and he asks her to stay home with him rather than go to work.
Sharon is rattled when Adam tells her that she was attracted to him because he was, a bad boy. Adam is rattled when Victoria tells him not to underestimate her because she is the one he should fear the most. Adam remembers that those are the words that Victoria said to him in the dream he had after the kidney transplant.
Ashland wants Victoria to go with him on a trip to New York. Victoria returns home from her errands and finds Ashland passed out on the couch. Ashland tells her its an anxiety attack…he has them when he is under a lot of pressure. Victoria wonders if the merger caused his anxiety and she thinks the merger may have been a bad idea.
Naya recants her confession of Richard’s murder but refuses to help Michael with the investigation he is opening about Sutton.
Stitch suggests to Abby and Tessa that someone from Tess’ past may have kidnapped Mariah to get revenge on her. Abby and Tessa worry that something bad may have happened to Mariah as another day goes by without a response from Mariah to any of the texts they have sent to her.
Victoria tells Billy and Nikki that Ashland will be moving in with her. Nikki worries that Victoria will be heartbroken when Ashland dies but she tells Victoria that she trusts her to make the right decision about her life. Billy shares the same worry as Nikki, but he is also upset that Victoria wants the kids to spend more time with him and Lily while Ashland is staying with her. Billy feels that Victoria is kicking her kids out of the house so she can live with Ashland. Victoria explains that she is protecting the kids and the arrangement will only be for a few months.
Billy and Phyllis work on a plan to find out Sally and Tara’s secrets. Sally overhears Phyllis mention Tara’s name to Billy and she heads straight to the Abbott Mansion to warn Tara to be careful around Billy and Phyllis. Tara cries and tells Jack Phyllis blames her for Kyle and Summer’s broken engagement and Phyllis said some awful things to her that she can’t repeat to him.
Devon gets upset when Amanda tells him Sutton threatened her. Devon tells Sutton that if anything happens to Amanda, he will have to deal with him. Amanda asks Victor to back Sutton into such a tight corner that he will be forced to tell the truth about the death of her father. Victor tells Sutton he has a problem with Amanda, but he knows what to do to handle the problem.
Faith tells Moses she wants to take their relationship slowly for now, so they agree to be good friends.
Amanda can’t find any information about Sutton so she asks Lily for help but Lily says she doesn’t have any reporters that have connections that go far back enough to find information about Sutton. Lily advises Amanda to ask Victor to help her.
Billy asks for Phyllis to help him find out what the connection is between Sally and Tara and he tells Phyllis that he saw them talking at the park but he couldn’t hear their conversation. Phyllis is happy that Billy has the same suspicions about Sally and Tara and she is more than happy to help Billy find out what Sally and Tara are hiding from everyone. Phyllis has a talk with Tara and later sends a text to Billy telling him they need to talk.
Abby, Sharon, and Tessa are very worried about Mariah because she has only sent them texts saying that she set up some exploratory meetings for work because she needed to get away for a few days. Stitch tells Sharon he was about to return home to Iowa when he was offered a job at Memorial and decided to stay in town for an interview. Sharon tells Stitch that she, Abby, and Tessa are worried about Mariah so after Stitch talks to Sharon he heads over to the Chancellor mansion to offer his support to Abby.
Interview with Tim Rozon of “SurrealEstate” on Syfy by Suzanne 7/8/21
I enjoyed speaking with Tim again about this new show! It’s a good show and very enjoyable. He was very nice in the interview as you’ll see. I hope the show is a big success!
Originally, I was supposed to interview his co-star, Sarah Levy, as well, but she had a conflict. Then, after I left the interview room, she was out there, waiting to go to someone else’s interview. I guess her other meeting ended early. So I took the opportunity to say hi and tell her how much I loved her show. When I mentioned that I had watched 8 episodes, she said, “8 episodes? I’ve only seen one!” just like Tim does in this interview! I laughed and said, “Press room…you gotta go to the press room. Someone get this woman access to the show!” She said, “Well, I guess I would have to be a member of the press, then.” I said, “I guess so.” It was so funny that she had the same exact reaction.
We were told to only ask 2 questions (although, as you’ll see, some people asked more than that), but he couldn’t answer my first question because of some secret project that he’s on (or auditioned for), so I asked two more.
Suzanne: All right. When I chatted with you in March, you had blonde hair, and I thought it was for this role, but apparently not. So, what role was it for?
Tim: Yeah, these are these are things that I cannot talk about.
Suzanne: Oh, okay. That’s fine. So, let me ask you a simple question. Somebody else will probably ask you, but do you believe in ghosts in real life?
Tim: Yeah, the answer is is complicated, because had you asked me preproduction of SurrealEstate, I would have said “no.” Postproduction, now after going through it, I’m not so sure anymore. Now, I myself did not experience anything surreal, but we did have a number of guest stars that did have a ghostly experience. They all stayed at the same very famous hotel in Newfoundland, which is supposedly haunted. I won’t say the name of it. Actually, people probably want to go there, because it’s haunted, but I don’t think they’re known as being a haunted hotel, or they want to be known as being haunted. But, yeah, a lot of guest stars, they experienced something. So, that’s a lot of people to be in on some sort of plot or lie to say that there’s something else ghostly among us.
Suzanne: Wow. Well, maybe it’s the power of suggestion. I don’t know.
Tim: I don’t know. I don’t know.
Suzanne: So, the show has some quirky humor in it. Is it all in the script, or do they let the actors put things in?
Tim: I mean, George Olsen, the showrunner, head writer, creator, he’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. He’s also one of the funniest, a really, really dry wit. It makes a lot of sense actually, why they hired Sarah [Levy], because they’re both very smart and very comedic and smart in their comedy. I don’t know if that makes sense, but, yeah, I think he understood how strong Sarah is at comedy. So, Susan had a lot more of it than Luke. Luke went into the comedy a little bit mostly with the Susan stuff, to be honest. Yeah, a lot of credit, I would say, to the cast, the incredible cast that was hired. They’re all great at it. They have the ability to do both the scary stuff and the comedy. So, that’s a great casting, starting with Sarah and then, you know, Adam Korson, Savannah Basley, Tennille Read, Maurice Dean Wint, they just all are able to do it great. So, that’s great. And I find Luke’s kind of like the straight guy of the comedy troupe, so I can do that.
Suzanne: All right. I love the eight episodes. I can’t wait to see the rest.
Tim: What? You saw all eight?!
Suzanne: All eight, yeah.
Tim: Tell me. I haven’t seen anything.
Suzanne: Somebody get this man a link to the press site so he can see it. Thank you so much.
Tim: Thank you.
Question: So, speaking of guest stars, can you talk about what it was like reuniting with Melanie [Scrofano] for Episode Three?
Tim: Yeah, it was great, especially because, before the two episodes she directed, she guest starred, which I think was a really great way to do it, because she gets to meet the whole crew before she has to direct. But working with Mel, it’s just, we know each other so well, and it was a real kick to see her in a totally different character than Wynonna, because she’s such a strong actor, too, that she brought none of Wynonna to the new character. It’s an interesting character. I mean, I don’t want to spoil too much, but she has a lot to play with, and she does it quite remarkably. But, yeah, I mean, I love acting with her, and if I could work on every show for the rest of my career with her, I wouldn’t complain.
Question: Luke has the ability to see and talk to ghosts. Is that something that you wish you could do? Or would you rather have some other supernatural power?
Tim: No, definitely not; speaking to ghosts is not for me. My favorite superhero is the Silver Surfer. This is a guy who sits alone on a surfboard in the in the cosmos just floating around thinking about life. He’s pretty much a loner. So, that’s where my head’s at if I’m going to go into the superhero realm of things. I definitely don’t want to speak to ghosts. No.
Question: Working on this series, has it changed your opinion of realtors at all?
Tim: One hundred percent, yeah. I mean, there’s so much that goes on there that I didn’t know. It was tricky. There’s a whole new lingo to real estate that I was not aware of that I had to learn, and it is a true thing that if a house is haunted, well, implied to be haunted, it will affect the market value of that house. These are real things that I had no idea, but, then, you look into it, and they’re all real. Very cool stuff. Yeah. Very cool stuff. I started looking at houses differently too, like when I came home, I’m like, “Okay, you know what? The bathroom’s in a good spot. Okay, we’re good. We’re good.”
Question: I love you as Luke, what was it that drew you to be a part of this role?
Tim: Oh, you know, it was one of those things. I was still filming Wynonna [Earp] when the opportunity came up, and I was screen testing on the weekend for this and doing Zooms with George and Danishka [Esterhazy] and trying to convince them that I was the right Luke. The thing that I think drew me to it was it was so different than Doc Holliday that I was playing at the time, and there was so much work. You know, Doc Holliday really doesn’t talk too much, and Luke, he talks a lot. So, to be honest, I was pretty scared, in a good way, like in a challenge way. I never had any doubt that I could do it, but it was a lot to do, and I was up to the challenge, I’ll say that. I was excited for it. I was excited to get into a new role. I was excited to shave, to be honest.
Question: Well, that was one iconic mustache.
Tim: Yeah, great on set, but walking around in real life [is another thing].
Question: This is a wonderful, because it combines drama; it combines comedy. Was that something that was really exciting for you as well?
Tim: One hundred percent. I mean, life every day, it throws everything at us. You know, sometimes these television shows they just lean into one way of the way things have to be. A lot of people, including myself, deal with scary things with humor. You know, if I’m scared, I’m the first person that’s gonna be laughing. Like if we’re on a camping trip, and it’s dark, and someone’s telling ghost stories, I’m laughing, because the alternative is just not fun. I’d rather be laughing than be scared.
Question: What do you think it is then about SurrealEstate that’s gonna make it such a fast fan favorite sci-fi hit?
Tim: The group, the family dynamic. You know, it’s cool, because we deal with a different, I’ll say, house, every episode, and that house has a different surreality to it. You know, there’s something about that house that quite isn’t right. And at the same time, there’s something about the people who are selling or trying to fix that house that there’s something not right about each and every one of us. And it’s going to be the audience’s kind of joy to figure out what those things are. But I think as a team, when we come together, we really mesh well together. You know, it’s one of those things where it shows you that family is what you make family to be, and I think we find our family. I think they’re are a bunch of loners who don’t really have anybody who kind of found home in each other, and at the same time, they’re dealing with ghosts, perhaps.
Question: So, you’ve already mentioned that SurrealEstate follows a house of the week type format where there’s a new property to sell each episode, but also sprinkled in are these little pieces of Luke’s backstory, and the viewer gradually sees how layered and complex he is. Can you talk about his personal journey this season?
Tim: Yeah, I mean, you just did a great job of it, I thought. I’m gonna copy/paste that going forward. Yeah, I mean, it’s complex. He’s got a lot going on, and we’ll will figure out – the layers will start to come away, and you’ll start to figure out who Luke is. I think the first couple episodes people are going to think he’s a certain way, and then later will realize he’s maybe not all business all the time. There is a sensitive side to him. He’s a complex character, which I loved. And I love in the beginning, I think, he’s been through all this stuff before so many times that I think it’s great that the Susan character comes, because Luke, he can take a little joy in watching her go through some of the things that he’s well accustomed to at this point.
Question: He doesn’t bat an eye when all this crazy stuff happens around him.
Question: You spoke about Susan, and Luke hires her as the newest member at the Roman Agency. Your colleagues there always comment about the high turnover for new hires. What do you think Luke sees in her that would make her a valuable addition to the group?
Tim: Well, number one, I think they’ve known about each other in this business for quite some time, and I think he has a lot of respect for what she can do as a salesperson. At the end of the day, Luke Roman loves to sell houses. He’s a salesman, and he loves real estate, and so does Susan Ireland. No matter what they’re dealing with, trust me, every episode, they want to sell that house that they’re dealing with. So, I think it’s a lot of mutual respect and kind of what I got into before, he enjoys that he’s kind of been through some of the stuff she’s going through now, I mean, within selling the houses, the specialty houses she was not accustomed to selling before.
Tim’s first major role was playing heartthrob Tommy Quincy opposite Alexz Johnson and Laura Vandervoort for four seasons on the teen drama series “Instant Star” for TeenNick (USA) and CTV (Canada). He was then cast as the series lead Alex Caine, playing a gang infiltrator, in “Befriend and Betray” for Shaw TV (Canada). Recent series leads include playing Mutt Schitt on the Emmy juggernaut and Golden Globe winning CBC/Netflix hit comedy “Schitt’s Creek” opposite comedy icons Eugene Levy, Dan Levy, Catherine O’Hara and Chris Elliott; Doc Holliday, the infamous lawman and charismatic gambler, on the fan-fave SyFy series “Wynonna Earp”; Constable Carson Myers, stand up RCMP officer and love interest, on the CBC series “Diggstown” opposite Natasha Henstridge and Vinessa Antoine; Isaac, lawyer turned outer space rogue, in the SyFy series Vagrant Queen. Tim is delighted to currently be playing the series leading role of Luke Roman, a real estate agent specializing in haunted homes, on SyFy’s new series “SurrealEstate.”
Tim won a prestigious Gemini Award (the “Canadian Emmy”) for his performance in the series “Flashpoint” (CTV/CBS) and was nominated for another Gemini for work in “Befriend and Betray”. Tim was thrilled when “Wynonna Earp” won the People’s Choice Award for Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy show in both 2018 and 2020.
Off camera, Tim has many talents in the entertainment business. He is a voiceover actor, most notably playing a leading role in the animated feature film “The Legend of Sarila”, opposite Christopher Plummer and Genevieve Bujold. He produced the documentary feature “Shuckers”, about the world of oysters and those who shuck them. And he is very proud of his work co-writing multiple “Wynonna Earp” graphic novels with creator Beau Smith for IDW.
When not acting, Tim plays the role of restaurateur in Montreal at his hit restaurants Garde Manger and Le Bremner opposite star chef Chuck Hughes
“SurrealEstate” follows real estate agent Luke Roman and an elite team of specialists that handle the cases no one else can: haunted and possessed houses that literally scare would-be buyers away. Researching, investigating and “fixing” the things that go bump in the night, the team works to create closure – and closings – even as they struggle with demons of their own.
The first season of SYFY’s scripted drama “SurrealEstate” is set to premiere Friday, July 16 at 10 p.m. EST.
The 10-episode, hour-long drama includes “Schitts Creek” alum Tim Rozon and Sarah Levy, Adam Korson, Maurice Dean Wint and Tennille Read.
“SurrealEstate” is produced by Blue Ice Pictures and George R. Olson serves as the executive producer and showrunner. Lance Samuels, Daniel Iron, Armand Leo and Danishka Esterhazy also executive produce.
Melanie Scrofano is set to direct two episodes following her directorial debut in “Wynonna Earp” Season 4. She joins directors Paul Fox, Danishka Esterhazy and Paolo Barzman.
“Pennyworth: The Complete 2nd Season [Blu-ray]” Review by Suzanne 7/14/21
I apologize for the lateness of this review…they usually send me these weeks in advance, but this one came a day late.
I love this show. Then again, I love anything remotely related to Batman. Also, Bruno Heller is co-creator of the series, and he developed the TV series “Gotham” on FOX, which I also loved. Both shows are prequels for “Batman” but have their own unique stories and twisted histories. Unlike “Gotham,” this series has very little to do with Batman. It centers on the Cold War history of Alfred, Batman’s “butler,” and Batman’s parents, Bruce and Martha. This is all original to the show, although I’m sure they were heavily influenced by both “Gotham” and the comics.
Yet this is still a fantasy show because there are public executions in London, and a secret society called The Raven Society tries to take over the British government. We know from “Gotham” that Alfred is a former SAS officer, so they’ve expanded on that quite a bit. He has PTSD in this series but runs a security firm. In this season season, he runs a black market club in Soho, and he might be moving to America soon.
The first season was very good. I’ve enjoyed this second season as well. Like the first season, it has a lot of action (violence), intrigue, and complex stories. There are many characters to keep track of, but not too many. I didn’t find it hard to follow, or boring. I love these kinds of shows.
I hope it gets a third season as well. The general theory out on the net seems to be that the show will move to HBO Max. We’ll have to wait and see what happens there.
Unfortunately, there are no features at all. That’s too bad.
Announces Upcoming TV and Animation Titles from Warner Archive Collection in July
Burbank, CA (June 15, 2021) – Warner Bros. Home Entertainment brings consumers the opportunity to own more fan-favorite programming from the past several decades from the Warner Archive Collection. In July, four new titles will be released via Warner Archive including Pennyworth: The Complete Second Season, C.B. Strike: Lethal White,Head of the Class: The Complete Third Season Available and The Herculoids: The Complete Original Series.
Pennyworth: The Complete Second Season
Available on Blu-ray & DVD 7/13/21
A year after the explosive events of last season, England finds itself embroiled in a devastating civil war, with the powerful, neo-fascist Raven Union, led by Lord Harwood (Jason Flemyng) threatening to control the entire country. North London remains one of the few resistance holdouts remaining. It’s here in the West End Neutral Zone, that we find Alfred Pennyworth (Jack Bannon). After years in the British Army, his training with the SAS has taught him to be a cynical optimist – expecting the worst, but knowing that he can handle it. Now running The Delaney, a black-market Soho club that welcomes everyone, regardless of their politics, Alfred, with his SAS mates, “Bazza” (Hainsley Lloyd Bennett) and “Daveboy” (Ryan Fletcher), is now in search of a way out – before London, and his country, burns itself to the ground. And he’s got his eye on America.
Victoria asks Ashland to move in with her and admits to him she is falling in love with him. Ashland tells Victoria that he shouldn’t have let their relationship go so far and he must go back to New York. Ashland and Victoria announce the merger of their two companies via a live c stream. Ashland also announces that he is ill but he doesn’t mention he has cancer.
Victor thinks Adam has lost his killer instinct, but Adam tells Victor he thinks Victoria won’t be able to handle the details of the merger and he will be ready to take Locke Communications once the deal falls apart. Billy tells Jack that he thinks Victoria is in love with Ashland and she will be hurt if he dies.
Sally asks Tara to meet her at the park. Sally asks Tara if she leaked the video that she took at the park. Tara admits to Sally that she sent a copy of the video to herself before she erased the video from Sally’s phone. Sally doesn’t appreciate being lied to by Tara and being put in an awkward position. Sally storms off and Tara leaves smiling because her plan worked but the ladies are unaware that Billy overheard their conversation.
Moses and Faith have a fun day together riding horses at the ranch. Moses asks Faith where she thinks their relationship is going and she tells him they are best friends. Faith later tells Nikki what happened with Moses and admits that she froze and didn’t know what to say to Moses. Nikki tells Faith that she will have another chance to tell Moses how she feels about him. Moses tells Nate and Elena about what happened with Faith and Elena tells Moses maybe Faith got scared about taking the next step in their relationship but he shouldn’t give up on her he should just wait until she is ready to take the next step in their relationship.
Sutton talks to Amanda and Imani about the strategy to defend their mother Naya in court. Amanda doesn’t tell Sutton anything about the defense strategy and says that if they need his help they will let him know.
Iman I continues to flirt with Nate although she knows Elena is his girlfriend. An anonymous video is sent to all the media outlets in town that shows when Ashland had a shortness of breath episode in the park in front of Harrison. Billy and Lily have a long discussion about whether they should post the video on their website. Billy and Lily decide not to post the video because the more interesting story is finding out the identity of the person who took the video.
Sharon is happy that she got a text from Mariah saying that she is sorry she worried everyone, but her phone died and she just saw all the messages when she charged her phone. Ashland tells Victoria that the deal to merge their two companies is done and now they can make the announcement to the public.
Michael assigns Rey to guard Chelsea while she is taking care of her mother in Minnesota. Sharon isn’t happy that Rey is going with Chelsea. Victor is upset with Adam because Adam is letting Connor go with Chelsea to Minnesota. Victor assigns a member of his security team to go with Chelsea, Connor, and Rey to Minnesota and keep him updated with everything that happens with them.
Ashley, Billy, and Traci get a chance to spend some time with Tara and Harrison and welcome them into the Abbott family. Billy advises Kyle to be careful around Tara because she could be lonely since she is getting divorced. Kyle tells Billy to mind his own business and stay out of his personal life. Billy later tells Lily he thinks Tara is hiding something and he wants to find out what it is, so he can keep the promise he made to Summer of being a friend to Kyle.
Nick says a tearful goodbye to Summer and promises her he won’t be hard on Kyle because she wants Kyle to be happy. Nick gets a surprise visit from Phyllis and he decides to, spend an extra day in Milan so he can show Phyllis the city.
Lily wants Nina to write a series of feature stories about the new guard versus the old guard in the business world. Nina is excited to accept the assignment and do in-depth stories of the leaders of the business world.
Adam lets Chelsea spend the day with Connor at the park. Adam tells Chelsea that he spoke to Victor and he is talking to the judge about an early release for her. Adam gets a call from Chelsea’s mom Anita and she tells Adam she needs hip replacement surgery and she needs Chelsea to come help her while she recovers from surgery. Adam asks Chelsea if she set this up to get out of the hospital. Chelsea tells Adam she didn’t set this up and pleads with Adam to ask the judge for permission to go take care of her mother. Chelsea also asks Adam if she can take Connor with het on the trip.
Faith worries that Adam will interfere in Sharon and Rey’s marriage again now that he and Connor are living at the ranch. Sharon assures Faith that her marriage to Rey is solid and Adam can’t come between them so she has no need to worry.
Victor tries to postpone his trip to Italy but Nikki persuades him they need to check on Summer and see how she is, adjusting to her new job.
Dr. Hedges lets Chelsea spend some time at the park so she can get some fresh air. Adam tells Chelsea that he will talk to Victor and persuade him to get her an early release from the hospital as long as she agrees to have outpatient treatment. Adam also makes Chelsea promise to not run, away with Connor. Adam talks to Victor later and persuades him that Chelsea is ready for, early release.
Kevin pleads with Chloe to stay away from Chelsea and not help her with her schemes. Kevin worries that Michael will find out that she was Chelsea’s accomplice in poisoning Rey.
Abby, Nina, and Tessa are worried about Mariah because she texted she was going on a business trip but she hasn’t texted any of them back this morning. Abby calls Jack who tells her he had no idea Mariah was going on a business trip. Adam decides to let Connor see Chelsea in the park after Rey tells him that he saw Chelsea in the park and she needs to see Connor.
Amanda tells Nate and Elena about her relationship with Imani and Naya and Nate and Elena promise to keep it a secret. Elena is a bit annoyed because Imani keeps flirting with Nate and she notices they have some chemistry.
Victoria promises Ashland that she will spend the time he has left with him without insisting he get treatment for his illness. Billy and Lily ask Nate if one of their colleagues could have lung cancer if he has shortness of breath. Nate says yes and that their colleague needs to see a doctor as soon as possible. Billy asks Victoria to confirm Ashland’s diagnosis and her non-answer leads him to go talk to Ashland. Billy writes down an offer for Locke Communications and Ashland looks at the offer and tells Billy he will call him if he accepts the offer.
Victor tells Adam the truth about how he kept Chelsea out of jail. Adam talks to doctor Hedges and asks him his opinion about her condition. The doctor says Chelsea has some mental issues but she is a great con artist. The doctor tells Adam and Victor how Chelsea got him to admit he took part in Victor’s plan to keep her out of jail. Adam decides to give Chelsea a chance to return to her life but Victor tells Adam to tell Chelsea that if she double crosses them she will never see Connor again.
Moses tells Faith that he is wondering if he still wants to be a doctor but he doesn’t want to tell Devon because Devon might tell his mother who might want him to return to New York.
Chelsea gets the upper hand on Dr. Hedges when she records him on her phone admitting that Victor is paying him to keep her in the mental hospital. Chelsea tells the doctor that if he doesn’t say she is healthy she will have her friend Chloe send the recording to the medical board. Dr Hedges heads to Victor’s office to tell him about his problem with Chelsea but he is unable to say anything because Adam is with Victor and Adam wants to know if there is anything wrong with Chelsea.
Amanda gets Naya out of jail on bail and she and Iman try to persuade Naya to recant her confession to Richard’s murder and say that Sutton gave the order to kill Richard. Naya insists on protecting her father. Amanda lies and tells Naya she won’t mention Sutton in her defense in court. Amanda and Imani are really going to team up to prove Sutton is guilty of Richard’s murder. Stitch says goodbye to Abby and says he is headed home to Iowa but later he runs into Mariah once again after her jog in the park.
Ashland feels like a new man after he and Victoria make love. Ashland and Victoria have lunch at Society where he experiences shortness of breath in front of Adam. Ashland later worries that he and Victoria are getting too close and wonders if they should end their personal relationship, so Victoria won’t be hurt when he dies. Adam later tells Victor what happened at Society with Ashland and suggests that they take over Locke Communications Group before Victoria has a chance to make a move on the company.
Kyle and Tara spend most of the night talking since she has always suffered from insomnia. Kyle cries as he deletes Summer’s phone number and picture from his phone. Kyle and Tara talk about the time they spent together in the Hamptons. Kyle tells Tara that he is going to concentrate on Harrison and work while he deals with his love life one day at a time.
Jack and Sally have a long talk over drinks about her plans for the future and Jack puts Sally firmly in the friend zone telling her that a romantic relationship between them is not a good idea.
Victoria thinks Ashland should announce their merger so that the press will stop trying to find out about his illness. Ashland tells Victoria that he doesn’t care about the press and that they shouldn’t rush the merger of their two companies.
Stitch asks Victor how Abby is really doing and Victor tells him Abby is happily married to Chance and excited about her baby that is on the way. Abby, Mariah, and Tessa stay up late talking about the baby since Mariah can’t sleep. Mariah describes to Abby what it feels like to have the baby inside of her. Abby and Tessa go upstairs to bed while Mariah stays downstairs for a few minutes and tells the baby that when he is born he will have a lot of people who love him. The audience sees Stitch standing outside the house watching Mariah through the window.
Kyle faces a life without Summer but he is determined to concentrate on his work and his son.
Tara and Sally are both very happy and consider the first day without Summer in town the first day of their bright future.
Stitch arrives at Abby’s house with a gift for the baby. Abby, Devon, and Mariah fill Stitch in on what has been going on since he has been gone. Stitch asks Abby to go to his boss’s retirement party with him and she politely declines his invitation.
Jack questions Phyllis about why Summer left town and Phyllis tells him that Summer couldn’t handle the situation with Tara and Harrison. Sally is in such a good mood she asks Jack to have a friendly drink but Phyllis tells him not to do it. Jack tells Phyllis that his personal life is none of her business. Jack meets Sally for one drink at Society.
Victoria is also tired of everyone butting into her personal life and after long discussions about Ashland with Victor and Nikki she decides to accept Ashland’s invitation to go to Los Angeles.
Nina asks Lily if she can be a freelance reporter for Chancellor Communications since she intends to stay in town until Abby and Chance’s baby is born. Lily is impressed when she hears Nina’s experience as a reporter considering she is known for writing novels and screenplays. Lily tells Nina she may have a story for her but first she has to talk to Billy. Billy interviews Tara to try and confirm the rumor that Ashland is dying but she tells her that her soon to be ex-husband doesn’t confide in her about his health anymore.
Billy asks Tara if he should be worried about Ashland’s relationship with Victoria. Tara tells Billy that Ashland is only using Victoria to soothe his bruised ego. Billy asks Victor to talk to Victoria and tell her that continuing her relationship with Ashland will hurt her.
Sutton asks Amanda to be Nana’s lawyer because she was suffering from post-partum depression when she killed Richard. Amanda tells Sutton that she knows he killed Richard and Naya is taking the blame to protect him.
Ashland asks Victoria to go to Los Angeles with him and while they are talking Ashland begins to cough and Victoria worries that Ashland’s health is getting worse. Ashland leaves Victoria’s office and sees Victor getting off the elevator the two men say hello and Ashland gets on the elevator. Victor goes in and asks Victoria if the rumors that Ashland is dying are true.
Adam tells Victor that he isn’t sleeping well at his place because he keeps having memories of how he drove Chelsea to her current mental condition. Adam tells Victor that he is thinking of selling his penthouses and moving to a new place. Victor asks Adam to consider moving to the ranch and living in the tack house. Adam says he will think about it and he is surprised he and Victor have come this far in their relationship.
Chelsea tells Chloe she has to act like she is making progress so that they will release her from the hospital. Chelsea tells Chloe that it is the only way she can be with Connor. Adam goes to the mental hospital to visit Chelsea and tell her Connor will be coming home soon. Adam also tells Chelsea he is considering moving to the ranch. Chelsea thinks Adam is preparing to take Connor away from her since he knows she won’t be able to see Connor if he is living at the ranch. Chelsea tells Adam that while she has been at the hospital she has learned that he is her biggest enemy.
Tara is happy that Kyle is sharing all his troubles with her and everything worked according to her and Sally’s plan.
The National Inquisitor publishes an article claiming Ashland only has six months to live. Ashland confronts Tara because he thinks she leaked the information to the tabloid. Tara tells Ashland she would never do that because she isn’t a vindictive person. Billy runs into Ashland and tries to confirm the story but Ashland denies the story saying that it is just tabloid gossip.
Lily talks to Victoria who tells her that it is just a rumor designed to make Ashland look weak. Lily later tells Billy what Victoria said and he is sure that the story is true since he knows Victoria better than almost anyone. Nikki notices a Locke Communications file on Victoria’s desk and Victoria tells Nikki she is close to a merger with Locke Communications to preserve Ashland’s legacy but she makes Nikki promise not to tell anyone about the impending deal with Ashland.
Suzanne: Why did you decide to make a video series about acting?
Chi: …I’ve been frustrated for 20 years. You know, I own a company called Element Management. I bought the company. So, you know, every year used to be nine schools they consider the Ivy League school for actors. I went to one of them called ATT – Yale, Julliard, NYU, Temple University, Carnegie Mellon, but the problem of those most pseudo schools is, every year they would have a showcase in New York and Los Angeles, and the power to be would go there to watch the show, and that’s how you’d get discovered if you got the goods and all that. But the frustrating thing is that I started realizing that even the school that I went to, I was at the right age to go to it, but everybody else wasn’t. I was like, 18 when I went, but it was a master program. So, suddenly a school like Temple University, NYU, Juilliard, no, actually, Yale, ACT. So, those schools are master programs. So, your career is over before it begins when you graduate from these schools, because it’s a young business, and if you’re going to start out your career, it should be around 21, and hopefully, you get the maturity and the training there, that would be ideal. So, it’s very frustrating.
And then, the reality is, they don’t talk about the business. You spend – you know, you talk about USC, the last time I checked it’s $268,000 to get your four year degree, and when you come out, it’s an undergraduate program, which is good, but when you come out, kind of your career is over. I mean, when you come out, you don’t know anything about the business, how to break in, how to get your SAG card, how to do anything about it.
And the reason you know nothing about it has to do with the people who are teaching can’t teach the business, because they never made it, or they’re not in it. So, you can’t teach something you don’t know. Like, say for example, I use as an example so you can understand what I’m talking about – death. We all kind of know what death is. We see it on TV; we read it. We know somebody who it has happened to; we see it in films and all that, but do we really know what death is or the grieving of death or the nuance that death comes with? No, not until somebody who is close to us [dies]. Like my mom died two years ago. And then, you realize what death means, the five stages. Do you grieve? How long is the grieving? You realize, you know, it never ends. You miss the person, and somewhere along the line, you have to have acceptance and all of that. So, sort of same thing with the acting business. You cannot teach something if you never experienced it. If you don’t do it, if you’re not out there doing it, or you never succeeded, or you don’t know –
The changing environment of show business is drastic sometimes. Like 2008 with the crash, but they were in the process of changing the industry. We changed to digital; it used to be hardcopy, like people who submitted picture resume hardcopy but never tried to change into digital to submit everything online. And the guy who owned a breakdown service literally monopolized the entire industry. He’s sitting on a cash cow, I would call it.
But anyway, there were 30% of actors that [were] dropped. I mean, they just couldn’t understand how to change over work, because when they were 35 or 40, they didn’t know how to deal with internet or how to transfer a resume to that thing. And the agency business and the manager business does not work either, because you have so many clients, and they couldn’t take care of them. So there’re tons of working actor who just got dropped and had no representation. And it took them a while if [they] applied for representation. So, those are the changes like that, and they are so drastic and so dramatic, that if you don’t teach these things, then people don’t know, and that’s the problem with the schools.
So, I wanted to do this six years ago, and I taught like the classes three times only, and I’m not a teacher. Really, I did it for my clients, and then, literally, I just got bored talking about it over and over. And then somebody gave me an idea. They said, “Why don’t you put it on tape? Then, you never have to talk about it.” And I said, “Good idea,” and then suddenly, once I started the process, it just got bigger and bigger and bigger. It became seven episodes, and over 12 hours of everything about the business, nothing about the craft. You know, I think the craft is being taken care of. So, nothing about the craft. So, you can get this thing at masteringthebusinessofacting.com. And I didn’t want to charge that much money either, because I think the kids already have been – I’m going to use a slang word – screwed over, in this education already. I just did not want to charge more than $199 or whatever to get this seven, episodes, twelve hours of information all about the business on every aspect of business. And it covers three different kinds of actors: the one who want to break into the business, the working actors, and the rising stars.
Suzanne: How many people have bought into your program so far? If you can say?
Chi: A lot. We actually did [better] than we imagined. What’s fascinating about marketing in the what we call [unintelligible] ecommerce, I guess…Yeah. So, it’s fascinating how you use Facebook, Instagram, Google, you know, they only target the people who have interest in this business. So, imagine, in the old days, if you are advertising something, you pay millions of dollars on TV, and half your audience are never reached; they don’t need it. But this is specific. It’s not going to target somebody who’s interested in nursing, interested in skiing or anything. You have to be interested in show business or have somewhere along line…[They use an algorithm] I guess, so they can know who you are. So, when you go to Google, or you go to your Facebook or whatever and that, those ads will pop up.
Suzanne: It’s the same on my site, we have that kind of Google Ads with targeted advertising.
Chi: Right. So, we did really, really well for just basically three months. We launched like February 23. But my intention is I think we could make a deal with this school that’s very interested in it already. And I want to start in high school, because I went to high school performing arts, and also then definitely undergraduate, because you cannot teach the craft and not talk about the business. The business is 60%, but you can take a bad actor who knows about the business and understands the business, who will have a better chance of succeeding than a great actor who doesn’t understanding anything about the business.
Suzanne: Right. Now you used to be an actor, and then you became a manager, so what prompted you to make that move?
Chi: Well, I am I’m still an actor. I just love to act. Acting is my favorite talent of them all. I’m an actor, writer, director, producer and [have] my own management company. So, I’m about to produce a TV series. It’s seven seasons, 13 episodes, called Life in Threes. It’s inspired by a true story, really, really great. I’m very excited about it.
But being an actor, the change over has a lot to do with I just [understood] the business really [quickly], because I’ve been into acting since I was 10. So, there’re a lot at of mistakes I made as an actor, but I succeeded at a very young age. I worked a lot.
[Like,] I just graduated on a Saturday, came down here on a Sunday. There was a writer strike. After three months it was over, and I worked like like crazy. I think it only took four years, and I got my own TV show, but I was guest starring all over the place. I think I was tired of it, and then my show came along.
But I’ve worked a lot, and the mistakes I made, and I think, again, I talk about it, and mastering the business of acting, I wish I had guidance. I managed a few, I only managed five people. I personally only managed five people, but my other people manage other people. But I personally have managed five people and these people made a lot of money. [I could] just sit on my ass and make tons of money right now because they’re all working. But I wish I had someone like me, guiding me, and I look back and I say well, “Would you be able to find somebody like you?” And the answer is probably no, because – let me be clear here, so that people don’t think I’m a pompous ass here. I don’t know anything about how to change a tire. I don’t know how to do oil change, and if you ask me to clean my house, I don’t know how to do that. I don’t know anything about how to operate my computer without my assistant. I don’t know how to fax [anything] if it’s new equipment. If it’s equipment I’ve used before, sure I would know how to do it, but I’m a terrible driver. I’m a walking stereotype. So, you can name all that, but this is one area that I can say that I really know what I’m talking about, which is the acting business and the acting stuff.
So, when I was starting out, I wish I had met someone who I really could trust and believed that they could guide me, and could gladly say, “Chi, what the hell are you doing? You’re 27 years old. You don’t need to direct a movie right now; wait until you’re 40!” So, that was a mistake I made, as an actor. There was no reason for me to direct a movie when my career as an actor was on the rise. You know, “Finish the series, make big budget movies and all that, you know…wait for the right project to come along.”
This discrimination – being an Asian actor in Hollywood is not easy [for] someone like me, how I look, my height, and all that. I usually get jobs that are really tough to get, and they’re strong acting jobs. So, visually, I don’t look like your typical, whatever you want that to be, because I’m almost like a leading man trapped in a character body.
So, in a way, when I directed the movie, it took me five years out of the game. And when you’re five years out of the game, some people think you’re just dead. So, in two of those years I had to promote the movie and get it into the theaters. Now we made money [on the movie] called Catfish and Black Bean Sauce; we made money and all that, but the problem comes – then I decided, to answer your question about why it matters, I bought the management company, because I wanted to control half the information, but then I discovered that I’m actually good at what I do as a manager. I could understand the business and all that. And when you have success, and you know what you’re talking about, it’s how you make things happen. People will listen to you.
So, that’s what I wish I had, but I don’t think anyone at that time would be that aggressive. And you have to understand, the agency business and the management business is a bunch of crap, in a way. So let me tell you – do you mind if I tell you about the agency business?
Suzanne: A little bit. Yeah, go ahead.
Chi: It’s a scam. It’s an illusion. So, let’s let’s break it down to two tiers. Okay, the first tier [is] CA, ICM, William Morris, and Endeavour. Second tier is Giersh, Innovative, APA, Abrams, or now they call themselves Eight Threes, whatever. So, at the first tier, CA, you have 5000 clients, and you have 100 agents. 100 agents cannot take care of 5000 clients. They can’t. It’s impossible. So, the people who make money are being taken care of. So, you can literally take care of 1/3 of your clients; the rest you really can’t. So, you bullshit around until people figure it out. You know, it is what it is. That’s why they say you will get lost in these places. Then you should go to second tiers. Like you take Giersh. You cannot have 22 agents to take care of 3000 clients, so, the same thing, and sometimes they make fake auditions.
Suzanne: What do you mean, fake auditions?
Chi: They make fake auditions and give them to their clients and pretend like it’s a real audition.
Suzanne: Really? Wow.
Chi: Yeah! I know…I mean, last year, even including this year on forward, it’s all self tape. Self tape has been around for seven, eight years. Last year and this year, it’s all self [taping].
So, a client can [unintelligible] “Oh, you got one?” “We got you one. Here’s your audition,” this and all that.
And then, you get all excited and the role looks so right for you, and you put your energy and time into it. You get your coach. You put it on tape and all that, and you send it in, and you give it to your agent. They say, “Great. Let’s see where it goes.” It [goes] nowhere. They pretend to download it, so you don’t know where it went.
And the reality, so what’s the problem? Okay, so let’s just say you are an actress in your 30s and the role was so right for you, and you’re so excited and all that, and you let’s say you’re a white actress, but what you don’t realize is the break that I sent you only had [unintelligible] they could get the listing enough to produce it and casting, and the storyline, what the story is about. But what you realize, if you look deeper into the breakdown of what they sent you, is the age is missing, and the ethnicity is missing. So, you’re 30 something, but they’re really looking for a 20 something year old character, and you’re white, but the role is for a black girl.
Suzanne: So, they faked it. Yeah, I see what you’re saying.
Chi: So, even if it’s real, they didn’t know and call you in for it. Even if it’s a white role and the character [unintelligible], they didn’t call you in. So a lot of people, like I have kids that I manage who are saying, “Gee, my friend Michael got a lot of auditions. I don’t know how he gets so many auditions.” I say, “Really? Okay.” But you know, I get suspicious. Even the watermark doesn’t even say his name, because it’s a fake audition. The watermark doesn’t say your name? If you’re name’s not on there, then it’s a fake audition. But they have to do it, because, like what I said, you cannot cater to 3000 clients when you have 22 agents. You can’t!
Suzanne: Well, you answered a question before I even asked [you], so that’s good.
Chi: The manager problem is this. Managers these days, you’ve got to be very careful, because the old school managers are a dying breed. We consider ourselves old school managers, and we charge 15%. But…there’re more managers than agents now, and each company pops up out of nowhere, and then you look deeper into it and you realize, “Oh, there’re a bunch of agents who got fired or decided to quit their jobs and form a management company.” So, here’s the problem with it. You cannot be a mommy; you cannot be a daddy until you become a mommy. So, what I call an agent is a “daddy,” and a manager’s a “mommy.” And so if you’ve been a daddy for 15 years, your personalities are set, and you can’t switch to be a mommy or think you can be a mommy. You don’t know how to be a mommy. You bring every skill set that you had as a daddy into a mommy’s job, and it doesn’t work, because what is called managing, managing the actors for a job, you are not just sending them out on auditions. So, these people are [unintelligible] clients only like 10 minutes or whatever and all that, because they don’t know how to operate as a manager, because, what did they do? They bring these skills; they have like 60 clients. You can’t be a manager and have 60 clients. You’re an agent. And of course you charge 10%, but then you get all the perks of being a manager. You can produce; some people can get 15%. You get residuals, which an agent can’t get. If any manager has over 30 clients, I say they’re not real good managers. You can’t.
Suzanne: So, you were talking before about, you’re not a teacher, and you put this video series together. So, did you ever foresee that maybe you would ever, like tour around the country giving talks about acting and getting people to sign up? Or is that not something that you were interested in?
Chi: I tend to do two Q&As a year. They have two packages. One is for the seven episode 13 webinar, and every year, there will still be changes, you know, like I talk about COVID now. Then, there’s going to be new stuff and all that. So, I would add on. I would tape a day to talk about seven to ten segments and then add on two Q&As every six months. So, then it’s a three hour thing. And then we will add onto that every year. So, people can opt in to the lifetime which is $100 more, or $299, and that will be a lifetime for life. And then every year you get new information from mastering the business of acting. And it should be that, because things change all the time.
Suzanne: So, that’s on all online?
Chi: It’s online, all online, and yeah, I think I can promote this thing for two more months, and then after this, I think I’m ready to go to my next project. I just can’t. I’m not a teacher nor am I one of those people. You know, I think a teacher is somebody who is very nurturing and has a lot of patience. That’s not me. And I think it’s a wonderful thing when people can teach.
Suzanne: Okay, what is your next project? You have an idea yet?
Chi: Oh, no, no, I have it. It’s called Life in Threes.
Suzanne: Your series that you’re talking about?
Chi: Yeah, it tells a story about an 85 year old Chinese woman with early stage dementia, who moves into a nursing home in Philadelphia in order to take care of one last piece of unfinished business before the disease gets the best of her. It’s there that she [becomes] friends with a young Caucasian orderly and a African American nurse. She helps them to make sense of their lives as she recounts the story of her life’s journey that begins in China, moves on to Vietnam, and ends in contemporary America.
Suzanne: And are you basing this on a relative of yours?
Chi: My mom.
Suzanne: Your mom. Okay.
Chi: Yeah, it’s a true story about my mother [unintelligible] especially an epic story that spans seven decades, while three lives unravel in the present. So, it’s a story about three characters, and each season is a decade. So it [starts] in the 20s.
Suzanne: That sounds interesting.
Chi: Oh, it’s the four years that…I was able to write it better when she passed away. It’s something I’d been wanting to do for a long time. I didn’t know how to. It’s basically Joy Luck Club meets This is Us.
Suzanne: Yeah, okay, I can see that. I have two more short questions for you before I have to go on to another call I have. So, I saw that Tyler Christopher is one of your clients. I’m a longtime fan of his from watching the soaps. So, what’s he doing now?
Chi: He’s in Indiana, and he’s waiting for a role right for him. [He] have to come back out. And you know, this year is really tough if you’re not in town. It’s just really, really tough to be able to do what you need to do, but he’s doing well. And he told me he’s ready to come back, so get him a role. I said, when everything’s calmed down, we’ll definitely do that.
Suzanne: Okay. Well, I’m looking forward to seeing him on my TV again.
Chi: Yeah, it’s crazy how he made a lot of money on the soap. It’s very rare that people can make the kind of money on a soap.
Suzanne: Yeah, and now I have a slightly more serious question. It’s seems like Hollywood is hiring more people of color, including Asians, for not only acting roles, but writers, directors and so forth. Do you think they’re making real changes? Or do you think it’s kind of a passing fad, and they’ll try to revert back to their old ways.
Chi: I think the change will stay. Here’s the reason why. Not only the pressure and the reality of the world is changing and all that, it has to do with with – and it’s good news and bad news for American minorities. It’s a global market. So, if you look at, let’s just say film is an easy way to talk about it. So, if you look at it, it’s a global market, and you’re going to need to represent everything globally. So, if you watch a movie, like Wonder Woman or anything like that, you’ll see they will cast people from different countries. Like, have you seen The Martian?
Suzanne: No, I haven’t.
Chi: [For] The Martian just somebody just came up with the idea, you know, we need to connect the Chinese into this movie, how do we do that? So, they add just one little storyline that they are going to need a Chinese rocket booster into the storyline, that the Chinese are going to help them out. By adding that storyline, before they even shoot a frame, they will guarantee themselves $150 million that will pay the bills [unintelligible] the budget. So, right there, you can understand why the global market is forcing the change. So, is the [unintelligible] true? Yes, it is. And it’s a little harsh right now.
First of all, Caucasian actors – and usually, like I remember, I have to take one of my clients, the kid that I’d nurtured for 10 years, and I want him to hear it. Because, you know, I’m busy with the mommy, and you know, he’s your child, sometimes they don’t listen to you after you’ve been with them for a long time. So, I forced him to listen to an agent that we were signing, a big agent. I said, “Tell him what’s going on with the market and understand what’s going on.” So, he said, “[unintelligible] really simple.” I said, “Okay.”
Five years ago or whatever, you have a cast. Let’s just say, this is your cast on a TV show. You have maybe four Caucasian actors, and then you add one black and one Hispanic. That’d be your cast. Now the cast is going to be forced to change. Your cast can be maybe two Caucasians, you know, one African American, one Asian, and one Latino. So, literally, half the jobs of Caucasian actors are gone. So, is that something that’s going to stay? I believe so. I think once you start in that direction, it’s hard to change back. It’s the same thing about about gays in America. If you if you look at what happened in the 90s, with with Will & Grace and other shows, Glee, and on and on, I mean, did the writer purposely start changing things little by little? And before you know it, now, the gays are not an issue. But right now, [transgender] is. You know, people have a discrimination towards transgenders. But as a gay man, or whatever, and all that, you know, it’s not that big of an issue anymore, not for the kids. If I’m a high school kid [unintelligible] it’s no big deal.
So, how do you reverse that? You can’t. You don’t. You don’t want to reverse that.
So, I think the #metoo movement did a wonderful thing for women and for minorities and all of that, that it forced the industry to not allow to ask for your quote, that’s by law now. So, by not [being] able to ask about your quote, then they cannot. In the old days, there’s no way a woman could match the money. You know, if you look at like the show called – the Kevin Spacey show – what was that show?
Suzanne: Oh, I know the one you’re talking about. I can’t think of the name either.
Chi: Yeah. So, it took her four years or three years, actually. She was not getting paid what he was getting. He was getting 450 and back in and all that. So, finally the #metoo movement – before the #metoo movement came along, her manager was smart enough to do a TV [unintelligible] on her, and her TV [unintelligible] was much bigger than his, and then pointed out that she’s bigger than he is. And it’s true. Who the hell would like Kevin Spacey? Nobody likes Kevin Spacey. So, she got the same money as he did…So now they put this thing in that you cannot ask about people’s quote. Then you have to pay everybody the same way. Depends on what roles, what position they’re in, in the cast ranking.
Actor turned Hollywood Manager, Chi Muoi Lo, has taken his 30 years of experience in the entertainment industry and created a 7-episode online subscription series, Mastering the Business of Acting. Hearing thousands of stories of how young actors have been exploited in the entertainment industry, he felt that he needed to share his knowledge in a way that set him apart from other programs offering similar advice. Mastering the Business of Acting primarily focuses on those trying to break into the business, it also includes information necessary for the working actors and rising stars. He has also included insight from industry professionals such as John Frank Levy (4X Emmy Award-Winning Casting Director), Todd Eisner (Talent Agent at 3Arts),Karen Molina White (Actress, “Proud Family”) and Nancy Hower (Director of Startrek Voyager).
Chi covers a variety of topics ranging from:
How to break into the business
How to maintain a successful acting career
The art and business of auditioning
The new technological advancements that now all actors are expected to be experienced in
Born in Phan Rang, Vietnam, to Chinese parents Chi moved to the U.S. at the age of two after the fall of Saigon. Upon their arrival, Chi and his family were placed in the Indian Town Gap Refugee Camp where they became sponsored by the Jewish League of America and moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was there that Chi was raised with his nine brothers and three sisters. He caught the acting bug at age 10 and when he finally decided to make the move to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of acting, Chi had the luck he hoped for, booking roles and working continuously. He left his mark with his outstanding performance starring in the critically acclaimed and highly rated Vanishing Son mini-series and starred in MOW Faith of My Father, Sucker Free City and Shannon’s Deal. He has also appeared as Guest Lead on numerous shows such as on “Nip Tuck,” “Cold Case,” “Murder in The First,” “CSI,” “NYPD Blue,” “Malcolm in the Middle,” “Smallville,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and many more.
Chi is the owner of the production company, Black Hawk Entertainment and the CEO of the talent management company Allen Edelman Management. His clients include Karen Malina White (Disney’s “I Didn’t Do It”), Steven Krueger(CW’s “Roswell: New Mexico”),Tyler Christopher(“Days of Our Lives”), and many more. Chi’s debut as an actor-writer-director was with the feature film Catfish In Black Bean Sauce and was met with great success and made Variety’s “Top 50 of 2001 Limited-Release Winner At The Box Office.” As a manager, he nurtured the careers of countless clients over the years. Through this nurturing, he has heard countless experiences that actors have shared with him about their auditions, and he has done it all for his clients – pitching, dealing with talent agents and casting agents, negotiating series deals and film deals with studios.
Interview with Richard Brooks and Victoria Rowell of “The Ruth and the Ruthless” on BET+ by Suzanne 5/25/21
This was such a fun interview! You probably know Victoria from “The Young and the Restless” or “Diagnosis Murder” years ago. You may know Richard from “Law & Order,” “Good Trouble,” “The Haves and the Have Nots” or many other shows. Between the two of them, they have an impressive list of credits. Victoria not only stars in the show but also created, produced and directed it. With her history at Y&R, and all of her friends and colleagues in the daytime soap industry, she has a lot of rich material to spoof.
Suzanne: I’m glad I got to talk to both of you. Victoria…I interviewed you in 2014 over the phone for, I think, it was one of your Chandler family Christmas movies.
Victoria: Oh, sure. Sure. With Melinda Williams. Yes.
Suzanne: Those are great.
Victoria: Thank you.
Suzanne: And Richard, you’ve been some of my favorite shows like Bosch – I love that show – and Law & Order, of course, I mean, my gosh.
Richard: Oh, yeah. Bosch was fun too.
Victoria: Yeah, now he’s doing Shameless.
Suzanne: He’s everywhere.
…So, the trailer for season four looks hilarious. I like how you’re making fun of the soap actors having to use mannequins and things like that. That was really brilliant. That’s not a question; that’s just a compliment, but if you want to expand on that, feel free.
Victoria: Well, with COVID, obviously, different productions, we’re resorting to different ways of getting the scenes in the can, whether it was actually using the spouses or significant others of the actual actors, so they could be close, and they were in their own bubble. I don’t know if you know that. So, the kissing scenes are actually done with husbands and/or wives in soap opera. And certainly mannequins were being used, and I just thought, “God, I’ve gotta put it in the show.” I mean, this is fantastic. So, that was it, and the actors were amenable to it. We had a lot of fun with it, at the same time, including COVID as a character.
Suzanne: All right, and a lot of masks and jokes about masks and that kind of thing.
Victoria: Right, and not really making fun of actors. I never want to say that. I’m not making fun of daytime, but the situations that we find ourselves in in daytime, because the reality is that we are producing 64 pages a day, and anything that is producing a movie in one day, the wheels are going to come off the rails, but I defer to Richard, who’s also a producer on the show.
Richard: Well, I didn’t get to work with a mannequin, but it was fun. It was fun. It was definitely fun. A lot of the cast had fun with that.
Suzanne: I think they used it most on The Bold and the Beautiful, and then they later made fun of themselves with it by having a character (Thomas) who was obsessed with the mannequin who looked like the woman (Hope) he was obsessed with, and then he had a brain tumor, a head injury or something, and her husband (Liam) walked in on him making out with the mannequin and flew off the handle. So, they’re good at making fun of [it] too.
Richard: Oh, that’s funny, yeah.
Victoria: Right, right.
Suzanne: It was ridiculous. It was ridiculous.
Victoria: So, we’re happy to be on BET+, our new home. It is an opportunity for our viewers, our fans, to watch all four seasons; they can binge watch. There’s a hashtag binge-watch weekend on BET+, and, of course, Richard was nominated for an Emmy. We’ve won Best Ensemble Cast, and our audience is growing with this bigger platform.
Suzanne: Yeah, that’s really great. I have to sign up. I haven’t signed up yet.
Victoria: Oh, yes, you must, and there’s a seven day free trial. Go for it. $9.99 a month.
Suzanne: Yeah, I belong to all the others. It adds up, doesn’t it?
Victoria: It does.
Suzanne: So, seasons one through three had six episodes each, and I was looking on Amazon; it said that there’s five episodes this season. Is there any particular reason for that?
Victoria: COVID. You know, just we were so fortunate to be able to shoot; this is a SAG-AFRTA production, but we were able to produce a really cogent, soapalicious, scintillating season of five episodes.
Richard, what did you think about the pace at [which] we were going and what we were able to produce?
Richard: Well, I mean, it’s always such a smooth pace. I mean, you’re such a great director and create such a good environment for all the cast and the actors. So, I think we all just have fun, and it’s always fun whenever we get to come back and do the show and do another season and all get together. You’ve created such a great family environment for everyone. So, I know the pace didn’t seem hectic or anything. I felt we went really smooth, and it was really organized and tight, and it was just great that we were able to get another season together.
Victoria: Thank you, Richard. And that’s how it went.
Of course, we’re held to the same standards. If you’re new media production or ultra low budget, you’re still held to the same COVID safety standards. So, we had our COVID safety officer on set; we had a nurse. We had to do testing, [have] individually packaged meals, I mean, all the COVID safety protocols are in place. Of course, SAG rep visits [the] set, and I always want my actors, as would any producer or producers on a show – You don’t want to get shut down, and you certainly want the environment to be safe but happy, and we achieve that each season.
Suzanne: And do you know yet whether they’ll be a season five?
Victoria: We don’t know yet, but I always write on speculation that I will get picked up, and so I just finished working on Richards courtroom scene. You know, he’s involved in the art forgery business. So, I continue to write, and I work with a wonderful writing consultant, Victoria Christopher Murray, and I just keep going. You know, it has momentum, and we’re really privileged to be able to work, certainly during a global pandemic, and we enjoy working together. Richard and I have been working together for like, 25 years. We started on Diagnosis Murder working together.
Richard: I like when you said you’re gonna try to get Dick Van Dyke to come in. That’d be so great.
Suzanne: Wouldn’t that be great?
Richard: Yeah, he was so amazing to work with.
Suzanne: Yeah, he’s still working.
Richard: He’s the nicest man. He was the nicest man on the show when we did that.
Suzanne: Yeah, I watched all of that show.
Richard: Having his family there with him, that was just so cool. I really loved that, you know?
Victoria: Yeah, yeah, he’s really –
Richard: You were doing two shows. I remember when we met, she just blew me away, because she was running two shows at the same time, like full time cast member on that and on on your soap, but it was crazy.
Victoria: The Young & the Restless, yeah.
Richard: The Young & the Restless, yeah. It was just so energized, and they just made it all work. I was like, “Wow, anything is possible in Hollywood.”
Victoria: Anything is possible.
Richard: You know what I mean?
Victoria: That was Viacom CBS, and by the way, Bryton James, who plays the rapper, Traque, on The Rich & the Ruthless, Suzanne, he played my foster son, then my adoptive son, on The Young & the Restless, Devon. So, he came on and did a guest star role. So, people have to tune in to watch that, but he just was nominated today for Best Supporting Actor on The Young & the Restless. So, we hope he’ll win an Emmy for us on The Rich & the Ruthless.
Suzanne: Oh, that’d be nice.
Richard: Oh, wow, that’s great.
Suzanne: Yeah, I will say, what you said about anything is possible, if you have as much talent and drive and energy as she has –
Richard: Really, exactly. It’s incredible. It’s incredible, and these are based on her novels, too. So, she’s a novelist also.
Suzanne: Yeah, I was going to say…
Richard: So, [she’s] just prolific. Fiction and non-fiction.Suzanne: …When I interviewed you in 2014, you were talking about [how] you were writing, I think, you called it at the time, The Rich & the Restless, and I remember thinking, “Restless,” they might think that’s too close to The Young & the Restless, and then you made a TV series out of it. So, that’s amazing.
Victoria: It really is a testament to putting, you know, the power of the pen and carrying it all the way through. And, you know, it started with an artist residence [at] the Hambidge, in Georgia. I got a fellowship, if you will, artist residency, and I was able to finish one of the two books. And it starts with just the discipline. As you know, Suzanne, and certainly Richard knows, [it’s] just staying in the chair and finishing the manuscript and just having a passion for your project.
I have a great cast. We have Alesha Renee, who’s now recurring on Kenan. We’ve got Robert R’ichard, who plays our son. Richard plays my husband, and I play, obviously, his wife. Robert R’ichard is going to be starring on Harlem, the series Harlem. And then, we have Akilah Releford. We have Vivian Lamolli, who’s starring in All the Queen’s Men along with Chrystale Wilson. I mean, the list goes on. Our actors are working actors. So, I’m so fortunate to have this incredible cast. Michael Colyar.
Suzanne: I was looking at your cast list last night, and I had seen in the previews that you have Shadoe Stevens, and I remember him from the early 80s when he was doing the Federated commercials. Did you ever see those?
Victoria: I didn’t see those.
Suzanne: You should go on YouTube and look. There’s a compilation of all of his hilarious commercials for this electronics store in California.
Victoria: He’s great. He’s great. He’s very supportive, and he’s an integral part of the cast…
Richard: I was going to say, “He’s so funny, too.” He’s just so funny on the show.
Victoria: He’s hilarious.
Suzanne: Even in the promo I saw he was really funny. I went back and watched the promos for the other seasons too, so I could sort of get a sense for them. I think your promos are getting better too.
Victoria: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah, we’re really happy with BET+. BET+ has really come on board and pushed the series and into another dimension, and looking forward, obviously, to what the consensus will be after the summer, and hopefully we’ll have a pickup.
And I have a second soap opera, as well. So, we’ll see what happens.
Suzanne: Do you have a title for that one?
Victoria: I do. I do, but I won’t say it yet.
Suzanne: Okay. What else can you tell us? For those who haven’t watched it yet, what can you tell us about season four?
Victoria: Well, I’ll start, and Richard, if you want to chime in anywhere, but season four, we pick up with the devastating fan club cruise for The Rich & the Ruthless, Destination Nowhere, and the boat is faulty, because the Barringers, well, Max Berenger (R’ichard), our son, is trying to cut corners and save money. So, he leases a faulty boat, which takes on water. So, that was our cliffhanger for the fan club cruise. Season five picks up with who survived out there in the treacherous waters off the coast, and we see some of our cast stranded. We see some of our cast and the Barringers who have survived, and some of them have not really been able to maintain all of their faculties. Some people are seeing ghosts. Richard chime in anywhere.
Richard: Yeah, and then, our son, Max, is trying to take advantage of our misfortune and our predicament to seize control of the of the soap opera. So, we’re fighting with him. It’s good; it’s a lot of fun. It’s a lot of fun. We’re still trying to maintain the show and keep the show going.
Victoria: Yeah, he’s always trying to prove himself. He’s like – you know, his parents are iconic in the business, right? [It’s] the only black-owned broadcast soap opera in Hollywood, and Max wants to be a movie producer. He wants to be a rap producer. He’s trying to do everything and anything to get out from under the shadow of his parents. So, he makes mistakes.
I do want to say that we have fabulous soap opera vets on the show. We have Brenda Epperson, who played Ashley Abbott on The Young & the Restless. We have Kimberlin Brown [who] played…a major villain on The Young & the Restless. I think she just went over to General Hospital. So, we want to encourage soap fans and film and primetime fans, because we covered the gamut in terms of talent. There’s something for everybody, and it is a dram-com.
Richard: And it does all happened during COVID. So, it’s funny that we’re persisting to do the show in the series with all the COVID protocols and complications that come from doing it with masks on and stuff like that. So, it’s really funny.
Suzanne: Are Brenda and Kimberlin in season four, as well?
Victoria: Brenda’s is in season four, and she has a very prominent role in season four as network exec head of daytime, Edith Norman, and she plays a part that she hasn’t been given the opportunity to play in her career. She’s just so treacherous. She grabs her chest when she sees her performances. I mean, she takes your breath away, but it’s fun for her to play.
We also have fabulous comedians. We have Gabi Sanalitro, we have Elaine Ballace, and we have newcomers to the show. We have Guerin Berry.
Richard: Michael Colyar.
Victoria: Michael Colyar, who was mentioned. So, we’re fortunate to have this incredible cast. Kristen Mako, who’s a newcomer. Yeah.
Suzanne: So Richard, you’ve never been in a daytime soap opera before, right?
Richard: No, no, I haven’t, no.
Suzanne: In real life, I mean.
Suzanne: So, Victoria, of course, spent many years on The Young & the Restless, and she wisely used her knowledge and experience from that show to satirize in The Rich & the Ruthless. Was there anything in the script that surprised you to learn about soaps?
Richard: Well, I mean, you know, whenever I speak with Victoria, she tells me some of the stories. I mean, what really surprised me the most is that this is based on some real experiences, all the things that happen on the show and all throughout the seasons and stuff. The pace of it is crazy, you know, that they that they’re able to produce the shows in a day, which is amazing to me, and just the level that the actors bring to it, just the work ethic. I think people miss that a lot of times. They don’t realize [it]; they see it as fun or sort of easy, whatever. I don’t think they really realize how challenging that is as an actor, to stay on top of it, to try to go home and learn your lines, and then still be there on the set and just stay focused and give a turnout, great performance. So, it was fun. You know, this one is great, though, to me, because I love the comedy level to it. I just love that we get to have fun and put a little bit of a spoof spin on it, and then, just the freedom that we have. Also, this one is funny, because this is one of the larger casts I think that I’ve been on with the show this consistent. And the fact that she’s able to put together this amazing cast, such a large cast, that adds to it, all these things add to how much fun it is. So, yeah, but I mean, I’ve had a few opportunities, I guess, to be on soaps, but it never panned out. I wasn’t available, but, yeah, I like it. I think it would be funny.
Suzanne: Yeah, you probably have a larger cast than like actual soaps, daytime broadcast soaps. General Hospital has a huge cast; you probably have a bigger one, looking at the list.
Richard: Yeah, exactly.
Victoria: You know, soaps have about 30 cast members. So, we’re right about there; we’re like, 27.
Suzanne: I think one of the things that they do now, because they can’t afford to pay as much as they used to; they can’t afford to pay as many regular actors, is they do this – I know at least two of them do this constant revolving door of characters, or they’ll have like two or three that are always on, and then everybody else, they go out of town, and then they come back. They do that, and it drives the fans crazy. I’m sure the actors aren’t too happy about it. But what are you gonna do when the costs and the ratings and everything – I don’t know if you ever touched on that in the show or not, because…you’re characters are on a shoestring [budget].
Victoria: Well, in season one, Richard does address it. He calls Willie Turner (Colyar), who plays the judge, the gardener, the butler; he plays this black character, plays multiple characters on the show. He calls him into his office – and Richard, do you want to expound on [that]? [unintelligible]
Richard: Yeah, I tell him I have to cut his salary in half with cutbacks. He goes, “Half?!” He thinks he’s coming in to get a raise. So, it’s really funny. He comes in all confident and like, “Yeah, I know you called me in, and I’m gonna get a promotion. I’m gonna get a thing.” And I’m like, “No, I cut you in half. Sorry Willie.”
Suzanne: Yeah, now they don’t have those big splashy weddings anymore. They’ll have like, five people and and some guy who’s always the minister, even though he’s not really. He’s like, “Oh, I did the online minister thing.” Like, there’s this guy Carter on The Bold and the Beautiful, and they’re finally giving him an actual story. Before he would just be the guy who married everybody, and he was a lawyer. So, they don’t unfortunately have those big splashy weddings that they used to have with all the whole cast.
Richard: Oh, yeah.
Victoria: Yeah. So, we do address it, is the point. We’re constantly addressing. Every season we address cuts. We’re constantly arguing. Like in season four, Edith Norman, played by Brenda Epperson, along with Robert R’ichard tell the wardrobe mistress, played by consummate actress Dawnn Lewis, that she has to identify and put used wardrobe on different actors. And she’s like, “What wardrobe? You make a return everything that has a price tag on it.” We’re constantly [addressing] . It’s always in the script.
Suzanne: That is funny.
So, let’s see. Victoria, what have you learned most about writing, directing, and producing since you first started working on this show?…
Victoria: Well, I’ve been producing live shows for like 20 years for fundraisers, big shows, like with Patti Austin, and Yolanda Adams, and Sharon Stone, and Sheila E. I’ve been doing that for a long time. I stopped doing it, because it requires a lot of work to do a live show with big talent like that, but I include that as part of my experience, of course, and coming from theater and ballet. So, all of that has informed what I do today, as a producer, for sure.
And in terms of writing, of course, Viacom CBS gave me my first – Dick Van Dyke gave me my first [script] writing opportunity, and I really – I guess, in summary, it’s the sum of all of my experiences that inform running a tight ship that is malleable at the same time and fun to work in. as Richard described. So, I’m as good as my team. My first ADs, my second ADs, my DP, you know, my team, all my hair and make-up [team], right down to the food. And my SAG-AFRTRA rep, of course, my cast led by Richard. So, I’ve learned through people I’ve worked with, being on the set with a Dick Van Dyke; it starts at the top down, the tone of the set. It starts with the top down on the other side of the camera, so I’ve just learned to be sensitive to that.
Suzanne: Are you still going to be writing books, or you’re focusing just on the TV shows right now?
Victoria: I may do another book. I have another book that I want to write, but my scripts – I’m working on a Christmas movie right now, and I have a Christmas movie coming out on BET that I directed this December starring Bill Bellamy, titled A Rich Christmas.
Richard, what are you working on right now?
Richard: Well, I’m writing also a little bit. Yeah, I have a new screenplay I’m working on. And yeah, I’m just working on The Rich & the Ruthless.
Victoria: I have a question for Richard. How was it working on Shameless recently?
Richard: Shameless was really, really fun. You know, Bill [Macy] was just a great, great character. And, again, it was a little bit more comedy. So, that was just really – I got to play Big Liam. It was like a future Liam, the little son on the show, with all his attitude and his his language and a way to, like, talk to his his father and cut them down. So it’s just, it is really shameless. I mean, that show is really funny. They push it; they push the envelope so far that it’s incredible. And I think this is their last season or the last season coming up. So, it was great to just get to talk to Bill a little bit behind the scenes too and just see what that experience has been like, what he’s looking forward to, in the future. And we go back, too. We started with Law & Order. He was on the show…
Richard: In one of the first seasons, I think, actually, when we first started it. And his wife, we graduated high school together; we went to art school, Interlochen Arts Academy. So, it’s a small world. You know, it’s great. With Hollywood, I think you get a lot of years and in the game. You’ve connected with people, and then when you get to reconnect, like with Victoria and I, it’s always like you just pick up right from where you left off. That kind of thing about being an actor is one of the things I really love. A lot of times it’s just one of those those great fortunate things to have a long career.
Suzanne: I’m trying to remember. I remember you playing Paul Robinette. Was it only on Law & Order? Were you an SVU as well? Did you cross over?
Richard: The only one I crossed over was when they had Chicago Justice. Robinette came in for that season of that show, but, yeah, I’ve recurred a lot as a defense attorney now from leaving the practice and to join. And now I think they’re going to come up with a Law & Order for the defense. I think that’s in development. I think that was picked up.
Richard: Hopefully Robinette will get to reappear there.
Suzanne: That would be great. I couldn’t remember if they’d killed off your character or not, because there’s so many characters on Law & Order.
Richard: Yeah, no, it’s a great universe. It’s so good.
Victoria: I played a judge on SVU, a recurring judge. So, that was cool, but, yeah, Richard’s right. It’s full circle, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention we also have a number of wonderful – Davetta Sherwood, also from Y&R, has guest starred. Dorien Wilson, who plays Pastor Bell. Starletta DuPois. I mean, you can see we have a big cast. They don’t play every season, but we’re so fortunate.
Suzanne: And Richard, I heard you singing on YouTube. You have quite a voice.
Richard: Thank you. Yeah, I’m trying to get I’m trying to get Victoria to write me in to sing a little bit and serenade her sometime on the set.
Victoria: It’s coming. It’s coming.
Suzanne: I listened to your Bill Wither’s song, and that was good.
Richard: Thank you. Yeah, I love that. Yes, you know, social media now is a great opportunity to kind of express a little, you know, talents that you don’t really get to do a lot with. So, I want to do more with the music, but that’ll be fun.
Suzanne: Okay, so any anything else you’d like to tell your fans?
Victoria: Well, I just like to remind folks to get their BET+ subscription, #TheRichAndTheRuthless. You can reach me on instagram and twitter @VictoriaRowell. Richard?
Richard: Yeah, same thing. Yes. Support the show. We appreciate all the fans who have supported all these seasons and crossed over from BET+, and you can follow me also. @RichardBrooksJr on Twitter, @RichardLeeBrooks on IG, or Richard Brooks on Facebook. That way just continue to support us; we really appreciate everybody, and we really love that we have this opportunity to do this show.
VICTORIA ROWELL STARS IN THE AWARD-WINNING SERIES, “THE RICH AND THE RUTHLESS” BEGINNING THURSDAY, MAY 13 – SERIES HAS NEW HOME FOR SEASON FOUR ON BET PLUS (BET+)
VICTORIA ROWELL STARS IN THE AWARD-WINNING SERIES, “THE RICH AND THE RUTHLESS” BEGINNING THURSDAY, MAY 13 – SERIES HAS NEW HOME FOR SEASON FOUR ON BET PLUS (BET+)
New York, NY, May 3, 2021 – Emmy nominated and 11-time NAACP Image Award-winning actress and New York Times best-selling author, Victoria Rowell and Days Ferry Productions, announce BET Plus (BET+) is the exciting new home for her hit series, THE RICH AND THE RUTHLESS Season 4, premiering May 13. Seasons 1-3 are now streaming on BET+.
Fan favorite THE RICH AND THE RUTHLESS is a behind-the-scenes, dram-com soap that follows the fictional story of the first black owned family sudser on broadcast television, stopping at nothing to stay in power.
This critically-acclaimed Daytime Emmy-nominated series won Best Ensemble Cast and Best Lead Actress by the Independent Series Awards.
The series stars Richard Brooks (Good Trouble; Shameless), Victoria Rowell (Birdie), Alesha Renee (Kenan), Robert Ri’chard (Harlem), Chrystale Wilson (All the Queens Men), Michael Colyar (BET’s Hollywood Heartbreak), Dawnn Lewis (Star Trek; Lower Decks), Vivian Lamolli (All the Queens Men), Kristen Mako (The Big Rant), Bryton James (The Young & The Restless) and new talent Akilah Releford.
Season 4 of THE RICH AND THE RUTHLESS is executive produced by Victoria Rowell in association with Days Ferry Productions, Carletta S. Hurt, Richard Brooks, Vanzil Burke and Jill Warner. Head Writer, Victoria Rowell. Writing Consultant, Victoria Christopher Murray.
BET+ is the premium streaming service for the Black community offering thousands of hours of hit movies, TV shows, stage plays and more. With new, exclusive originals premiering each month, BET+ offers the best of Black culture with titles like First Wives Club, Ruthless, Bigger, The Family Business and American Gangster: Trap Queens from revered creators like Tracy Oliver, Tyler Perry, Will Packer and Carl Weber, to name a few. BET+ members can watch as much as they want anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen and always commercial-free. Visit BET.Plus to learn more about BET+, a joint venture between BET Networks and Tyler Perry Studios, and follow @BETPlus for the latest news and updates.
ABOUT VICTORIA ROWELL: Rowell is an EMMY nominated comedic and dramatic artist. She co-starred in the LIFETIME TV remake of Jane Austen’s classic, “Pride & Prejudice” as Catherine Darcy. Her executive produced and directed movie, “Jacqueline and Jilly,” addressing the Opioid addiction crisis in a well to do Virginian black family, was met with praise and released on UMC.TV and also aired on BET in 2020.
Rowell teamed up again with AMC Networks/RLJ Entertainment streamer / UMC.tvwith her interior design prowess, and first AMC Networks/UMC.tv Original (DYI) limited Series, “Trash vs Treasure,” with low-income clientele — which launched in July 2020
Rowell historically directed Viacom/CBS BET HER movie, “Everything Is Fine,” focusing on mental wellness in a black family which premiered in July 2020 and starred Charmin Lee and LaRonn Marzett. Rowell appeared in two subsequent BET HER movies from the same series, “The Waiting Room: A Long Look in the Mirror” and “Like, Comment, Subscribe” in October 2020 as part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Rowell/Days Ferry Productions also co-produced a five-part, behind the scenes, “Secrets of a Soap Opera Diva” podcast with Entertainment Speakers Bureau, available now wherever podcasts are available, such as Apple, Spotify and more.
Rowell co-stars with director/actor, Greg Alan Williams in the dramatic, criminal justice feature film, “Birdie”, releasing this month.
Rowell has worked with creative luminaries such as: Anne Rice, Misty Copeland, Anne Roth, Neema Barnette, Sharon Stone, Twyla Tharp, Kasi Lemmons, Denyce Graves, Colleen Atwood, Terri Lyne Carrington, Milos Forman, Irwin Winkler, Richard Brooks, Samuel L. Jackson, Peter Medak, Johnathan Lynn, Patrick Demarchelier, Bruce Webber, Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Bruce Willis, Jan de Bont, Peter/Bobby Farrelly, Eddie Murphy, Dick Van Dyke, Jim Carey, Beau Bridges, Harry Lennix, Anthony Tudor, Forest Whitaker and more. CBS, Viacom, Universal, Sony, NBC, ABC, AMC, Disney, Warner Brothers, Fox, MGM, HBO and UMC, Amazon, and ROKU.
Rowell co-executive produced several UPtv Christmas holiday movies for Uplifting Entertainment Network. UPTV boasts over 70 million subscribers worldwide.
Rowell has also been highly acclaimed from her work as an advocate for foster children and communities underserved in the arts. In addition to her long time and illustrious acting career, she is a NY Times best-selling author and an in-demand speaker. She has two adult children, Maya and Jasper, and resides in LA.
Actor Richard Brooks was born in Cleveland, Ohio.
Brooks has appeared in numerous television shows but is perhaps best known as ADA Paul Robinette, starring opposite Michael Moriarty’s Ben Stone, in the original LAW & ORDER. He is also known for his role as the notorious space bounty hunter, Jubal Early, in the short-lived cult hit FIREFLY. He starred in the USA Network’s sci-fi comedy series GOOD VS. EVIL, as secret-agent-for-good Henry McNeil. And he was unforgettable in his powerful embodiment of Frederick Douglass in the award-winning PBS American Experience docudrama mini-series THE ABOLITIONISTS.
In addition to his recent television work on THE HAVES AND THE HAVENOTS, BOSCH, CHICAGO PD, SHAMELESS, and others, Richard received his second consecutive Best Lead Actor Daytime Emmy Nomination for his work on the BET+ series THE RICH AND THE RUTHLESS, in which he stars opposite the shows’ creator, Victoria Rowell. No one can forget Brooks as Gabrielle Union’s big brother, Patrick, on the award-winning BET drama BEING MARY JANE.
This multitalented artist, in addition to his acting roles, is also a singer, writer, director and producer. He was last seen on the stage originating the role of Harmond Wilks in the world premiere production of August Wilson’s RADIO GOLF at Yale Rep Theatre.
Richard is presently recurring on GOOD TROUBLE on FreeForm Network. Brooks resides in Los Angeles and New York and is involved in many charity organizations since he is always motivated to “giving back”.
Abby’s ex-husband Stitch returns to Genoa City for his former boss’ retirement party at the hospital. Stitch and Abby talk and Abby tells Stitch that Mariah is carrying her and Chances baby because she is unable to carry a child to term. Stitch tells Abby that his son Max hasn’t recovered from his brain tumor. Abby later tells Nina the short version of why her marriage to Stitch ended and how she feels badly that Max isn’t any better while she is so happy with her life. Stitch sits alone and remembers the happy and sad moments of his marriage to Abby.
Amanda tells Devon that she feels betrayed and hurt by Naya because they kept the truth about her father from her.
Imani has a heated argument with Amanda because Naya turned herself in to the Genoa City police and told the police she killed Richard. Imani tells Amanda Naya didn’t want Sittings political career to suffer.
Kyle, Nick, and Lauren try to persuade Summer not to go to Italy but she tells them she can’t pass up the wonderful opportunity. Summer also tells Kyle she doesn’t love him anymore, but Kyle doesn’t believe her.
Sally and Tara celebrate that their plan worked by having coffee together at Crimson Lights and telling each other what they will both gain from Summer going to Italy. Kyle is at the Abbott mansion drinking when Tara arrives and offers to help him since he looks upset.
Interview with Max Talisman of the movie “Things Like This” by Suzanne 4/13/21
It was so nice to speak with Max. He has a lot of energy and enthusiasm. I think he’ll do great things!
Suzanne: So, what’s your film about?
Max: So, the film is about two guys with the same name, who fall in love. Basically, what I’ve noticed is that every movie that has to do with gay characters is all about the coming out part of a gay life, but there’s so much that happens after that. So, that’s literally just the beginning of a gay person’s life as someone in the community. I just noticed that there were no movies like that, so I was like, “I have to write this. This is what I have to write. I have to write a movie about two men who fall in love where coming out just isn’t part of the story. It’s already happened.”
Suzanne: So, they’re in their twenties, basically?
Max: Yeah, they’re in their mid-twenties, and they’re just experiencing love and all the fears that come with falling in love.
Suzanne: Okay, actually, that makes me think of another question. Had there been any movies about gay people in college?
Max: I don’t think there have been. I think there have been a lot of – I mean, not a lot. There’s still not a lot of content for, you know, queer people. There’ve been movies about high school, with people coming out in high school. I can’t think of any gay people in college, especially not ones that have to do with post coming out.
Suzanne: Right. Well, there’s your next movie.
Suzanne: So, what made you want to become a writer and director?
Max: I think it was just the past led me here. I’ve been a performer since I was very, very young, and a few years back I noticed that there weren’t a lot of roles for someone with my body type – I’m a plus size actor – and especially not the type of roles that I felt like I should be playing or I should be auditioning for. So, I decided that I should be writing them. I’m lucky that I have the ability to write, and I just decided to start writing the roles that I wanted to be playing.
Suzanne: Okay. And had you done any shorter films before this or been been involved in film class? Anything like that?
Max: No. I mean, I’ve been an actor, obviously, on multiple sets, TV and film, and I’ve learned while I’ve been there. Basically, the truth is that this movie is about telling the story of these two people falling in love. It’s not a technical film. It’s really about the story and the connection between these two people. So, I just I felt, after interviewing multiple directors and going through that, I just didn’t find someone who was able to tell the story in the same way that I knew I could.
Suzanne: Okay, so you did interview other directors. Did you shadow anyone or anything like that?
Max: No, I didn’t shadow anyone. I did interview other directors, but just like I said, at the end of the day, it felt like I needed to be the person to tell the story.
Suzanne: Okay. And did did you learn a lot about directing while you were actually doing your movie?
Max: So we haven’t – we’re filming in the fall.
Suzanne: Oh, you’re not filming yet?
Max: We’re filming this fall. We’re filming in September and October. So, I haven’t learned that much about filming yet through the film, because we haven’t done it yet, but I’m I’m ready to learn, and I’m open to everything.
Suzanne: Okay, and so what was your preparation for writing the film? Did you just sit down and write? Did you have an outline? What did you do?
Max: I’m someone who very much lets the story lead me wherever it feels like it needs to go. So, I didn’t have an outline. I just sat down, and it led me where it needed to. So, I wrote the first draft within a week, and the plot has stayed the same. Obviously, it’s been through hundreds and hundreds of edits since then, but the plot has remained the same since the first draft, and, yeah, I wrote the first draft within a week, and from there, it’s just became the film that it is now.
Suzanne: Wow, that’s great. That’s working fast too.
Max: One hundred percent.
Suzanne: And had you done a lot of writing before, like, in school or just for fun or –
Max: So, I’d written a television show, and I filmed a pilot. This was the first feature that I ever wrote, and just like I said, it kind of just, you know, flowed out of me. So, as soon as I started writing, it just felt unstoppable that I had to get it down.
Suzanne: You have some great veteran TV and movie actors. Tell us about all the casting that you went through.
Max: We have an insane cast. It’s pretty amazing. It’s pretty unreal. I mean, we have multiple Academy Award nominee Ryan Kinnon. She’s the first female to be nominated both in front and behind the camera. She’s an icon in every sense of the word, and Eric Roberts, who’s an Academy Award nominee, and is an icon himself. We have T-Boz, who’s one of the most famous musical artists of all time. I mean, it’s just, this cast is unbelievable, and it’s so exciting to get to work with these absolute supernovas. So, I’m just beside myself. We really just got lucky during COVID, because people were able to read things, which is, you know, a side part of this horrible, horrible thing that we’ve been going through, but we have been able to get scripts to people, and they’ve been able to take a look at it in a way that they weren’t before. So, that’s definitely changed. It’s made us able to cast this movie with people like Jasmin Savoy Brown, who’s been a friend of mine for a while, but because of her having time to read the script, now she’s a part of this feature. And she’s so excited to make it, and I’m so excited to meet with her. And Charlie Tahan, who’s from Ozark, he was in Super Dark Times with me, and we’ve been friends since, and he was the first person I went to with the script, and he’s so excited to make this film. So, it’s just been a journey. I’m creating this incredible cast, like, with Terry Moore, who’s one of the last living stars of a Hollywood Golden Age. And Willem, who’s one of the most famous [unintelligible] in this entire world, like we are just beside ourselves with this cast. It’s unreal.
Suzanne: Yeah, it’s a really great cast. So, what else was involved in getting your film made? I mean, I know you haven’t shot it yet, but tell us about how you got started and all that. Financing and whatever else you had to do?
Max: Yeah, well, actually it’s been extremely intense. Definitely getting it to the right people has been a journey. Getting it to people who believe in making a queer film, it’s intense. And it hasn’t been the easiest process, but it’s also been a process that now we’re working with the people we trust to make this film, and to make it right, and that’s definitely been lucky in the end. You know that what you want is to make the movie with the people who want to make it for exactly the kind of feature it is, but it’s definitely been a journey of getting in front of a lot of different people, and editing it and getting it in front of more people, but that’s kind of what it’s been like.
Suzanne: That’s great. So, your shooting in the fall, and how long do you think shooting will take?
Max: Yeah, so we’re planning for a twenty-eight day shoot. We’re planning for a twenty-eight day shoot, and we’re just really excited. We’ll be shooting in up in Canada, and we’re thrilled with everything that’s going on. So, yeah.
Suzanne: And is there anything else you want to tell us about the film?
Max: Just that I’m so excited to get it to everyone. It’s been a journey, like I said, to get this thing made, but now that we’re here ready to film, in pre-production, I’m just so thrilled, and I’m so happy. I think this is exactly the movie that people will want to see and need to see, just because love is universal, and the people falling in love are universal. And I’m just so thrilled to be able to tell this story with the cast and the team that we’ve built.
Suzanne: Okay, and who would you say are your influences as far as writing and directing?
Max: I mean, I think I take influence from a lot of different things I watched, definitely. I mean, I’ve been hugely influenced by the comedy of Tina Fey in 30 Rock, for sure. I mean, I watched that show so many times, and I definitely, in a lot of ways, write with her comedic beats. I read once that someone said, like, “It isn’t cliche,” I think it was Mindy Kaling said that it isn’t cliche to say that Tina Fey’s the influence for everyone, because there’s a reason that she is, and I agree with that. She’s so talented. She’s so gifted in comedy, and I’ve definitely been taking from her, like not taking from her, but being influenced by her and her writing. Then, there’re so many other filmmakers who I definitely have been influenced by, and I’ve been allowing myself through the last few years to be more influenced by it. Definitely Judd Apatow’s done a lot of work that has influenced me, especially Trainwreck by Amy Schumer, that has had a huge impact on me, and Bridesmaids, Kristen Wigg, that’s definitely influenced me. So, yeah, I’ve definitely been watching things, and I’ve been soaking them up as much as possible.
Suzanne: Great, and so you mentioned mostly comedy people, so would you say that your movie is funny?
Max: Oh, yeah. It’s a romantic comedy with a big emphasis on the comedy part. Yeah, definitely. I hope it’s funny, and yes it is, but, I mean, that’s for other people to decide, but it was written as a comedy.
Suzanne: Great. And what about directing? Are there particular directors that you admire that you think you should be like, besides Judd Apatow?
Max: Yeah, you know, it’s tough to like, rattle people off right away. I’m trying to think of specific people, but it’s just I watch a lot of romantic comedies these days, especially my favorite ones. I mean, obviously, Rob Reiner is a huge one, and I mean, I’m getting to work with his children. Jake Reiner, and Robby Reiner are both in this feature, and Jake is executive producing it as well. So, that’s a huge thing to be, you know, he’s really the father of modern romantic comedy, Rob Reiner. Obviously, he’s influenced me. When Harry Met Sally, Princess Bride, and now to be able to work with his kids and be able to create something for the new generation with them, I mean, that’s thrilling.
Suzanne: Cool. I didn’t mean to put you on the spot trying to find names.
Max: No worries.
Suzanne: So, it’s probably a little early to ask you this, but do you have other projects that you’re thinking about for the future that you’re working on?
Max: Yeah, so, actually, already we’re working through my my next feature, which is called Don’t Kiss a Werewolf Boy, and it’s an LGBTQI horror comedy, and I’m really, really excited to dive into that one, [unintelligible] because it’s very different from things like this. Obviously, it’s a horror comedy, but it’s genre bending. It has a lot of different influences, too, but that one’s super, super exciting.
Suzanne: Is there gonna like some spoofing of things like Teen Wolf and I Was a Teenage Werewolf and things like that?
Max: It’s not a spoof at all. It takes influences, but it’s really its own story. It doesn’t have to do with those.
Suzanne: Okay, anything else?
Max: No, with Werewolf, we’re in the very beginnings of casting it, getting it ready, and I’ll be filming it once we wrap things like this.
Suzanne: Cool. So, you’ve already written it.
Max: Oh, yeah. Yeah, it’s been written years ago.
Suzanne: Okay. Who would you cast if you had had your pick of people?
Max: I’m not sure I can say that, because we’re literally in the process of casting people right now. So, I don’t want to jump the gun, but definitely we are talking to some people who I’m very excited about.
Suzanne: Cool. Cool. I think the first – I don’t know if you’ve ever seen it. Did you ever see the old An American Werewolf in London?
Max: I have seen it. Yes.
Suzanne: Yeah, I think that was the first werewolf movie that was actually, you know, good and had good special effects and makeup and that kind of thing.
Max: One hundred percent.
Suzanne: Yeah. Well, cool. I look forward to seeing both of them.
Actor, singer, writer and creative force, Max Talisman is set to make his directorial debut in his upcoming romantic comedy, THINGS LIKE THIS. The film stars Charlie Tahan (Netflix’s “Ozark”), Eric Roberts (THE DARK KNIGHT) and Miles Tagtmeyer (DISNEY DESCENDANTS: SCHOOL OF SECRETS), and tells a story of two guys who fall in love and while everything seems to align for them to be together, they begin to question fate as they encounter an obstacle.
Growing up in Washington DC, Max started performing in 3rd grade. He participated in musical theatre, including productions at the Musical Theatre Center (MTC), one of the leading performing arts education organizations for young people in the Washington DC area. It was the moment when he played the 2nd lead role in the through-composed musical, “Caroline, or Change” that he felt theatre was his calling.
When his senior year of high school began, Max made the courageous move to NYC to follow his passion for theatre. He joined the Broadway Artists Alliance, a professional training academy for promising young musical theatre performers right in the heart of New York City.After living in the big apple for 5 years, he decided to make his way to Hollywood, California. He’s appeared in The Orchard’s SUPER DARK TIMES, TBS’ “Search Party” and NBC’s “The Blacklist”.
Overcoming Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease (LCPD) and anxiety, this rising star doesn’t let these challenges prevent him from enjoying his life. He has a keen love for sports and when he’s not watching games on TV or at stadiums, he keeps up with the standings/scores on teams such as the LA Lakers, the Washington Redskins and the Baltimore Orioles. He is also an avid tennis and ping pong player, crediting Serena Williams as his role model.
Consumed by wanderlust with a curiosity for cultures, Max has traveled all around the world from Argentina to Zimbabwe, Austria, Germany, Italy, England, Iceland, Greece, Africa and Costa Rica.
With a life of travel, art, and hobbies, Max hopes to incorporate all his current and future life experiences in all he does. He hopes to be a role model for the LGBTQ community and break stereotypical barriers/roles in Hollywood.
Interview with Lauren Lee Smith, Marc Blucas, Linda Purl and Patrick Duffy in “Doomsday Mom: The Lori Vallow Story” on Lifetime by Suzanne 5/19/21
I’ll admit I did gush a little talking to these fine actors. I’m familiar with them all from their previous TV roles. I literally grew up watching Linda Purl and Patrick Duffy in the 70’s, and I saw Marc Blucas and Lauren Lee Smith in their great scifi/fantasy roles later on. It was hard not to tell them how much I enjoyed their work. They were very kind and even made some fun jokes during the interview. This was a press call that was part of a series of calls we did all on that same day for Lifetime movies this summer.
DOOMSDAY MOM PANEL
Moderator: Hi all, our next panel is Doomsday Mom, The Lori Vallow Story. I’d like to introduce our cast Lauren Lee Smith, Marc Blucas, Linda Purl and Patrick Duffy.
Hi everyone. Question is for Lauren, how familiar were you with the Lori Vallow case before taking on this role? And what was the most surprising thing you learned about the case that you wanted to make sure it was portrayed on screen and the same to you, Marc?
Lauren Lee Smith: Wow, no, I actually wasn’t. It was at a time where I think we were all in full blown, lockdown covid craziness and I was up here in Toronto with my young daughter just trying to sort of keep sane and there was no TV around. So I had no idea about this story. It first was brought to my attention through our director, actually Bradley Walsh. He had reached out to me a couple of weeks before shooting and we were just sort of catching up and he was asking me like what I would like to do next and then I was like yeah I’m really looking for something you know to sort of sink my teeth into and challenge me in a new, exciting way. And yeah, it’s sort of it all, one thing led to another and and then yeah, I found out that that I would be coming to do this with him. And I think what surprised me the most was, you know, just the initial sort of the initial reaction of finding out the story in general and finding out exactly who this this woman is and what had happened. I think the initial shock.
Moderator: How about you Marc?
Marc Blucas: You know, for me you know I had known about it and it’s I guess in the in a very peripheral kind of way and it had been a year since everything had happened. So you know, the first thing I did as we probably all do, is you get on the Internet. Boom, you type these two in and the first thing that came up was the mug shot and to me two things came to my right mind right away when I saw them that really attracted me to the project and taking on the role of Chad which was when I saw that I saw two people, and this is going to sound very shallow at first, but you kind of look at Lori on the surface and in a very just first glance way, it’s like, oh, there’s a you know,very attractive, you know woman there and then you see Chad and I was like, oh, maybe not so much, and I was like oh what was the initial draw? And the other thing I thought about that about that mug shot was that in his face I saw remorse an in hers I didn’t and from what I had recalled the story and what I just started the research of it, It was kind of like it really felt like and again we have a lot here, we don’t have all the answers to just yet, but that Chad really started going, taking Lori down a very committed path and at some point in their journey, it’s almost like she leapfrog him in in the in the power dynamics or in the commitment of their beliefs. And I just thought that was a fascinating study, not only is as an actor, but as a singular character, but seeing how we could make that relationship evolve because what the public know, we already know that the public knows so much. So what Lauren and I and Bradley had all talked about is like, what we don’t know is what happened behind closed doors between these two people and exploring that to see this journey and how they get to make these decisions that they made, I thought, was an interesting study.
Moderator: Thanks so much. Our next question is from Jamie.
Jamie Ruby (SciFi Vision): Sorry, forgot to unmute there for a second. Thanks for talking to us guys. So obviously these characters are based on real life people but what I want to know is what part of yourselves did you bring into the roles?
Lauren Lee Smith: Well. That’s a tough one, but.
Marc Blucas: Well, I’m a passionate person. That there.
Jamie Ruby (SciFi Vision): You know, maybe there’s a better way to say it, how did you connect to them as people? Maybe that was a better way to phrase it.
Marc Blucas: Uh, I again, I, it was kind of said in jest, but you know…look, I mean at the end of the day, these are not great people and it’s our jobs as actors to kind of find how we can like them ourselves and portray something that’s three dimensional and real. And at the end of the day, I just said it in a way, it’s just like hey look I’m a very committed and passionate person and I’m about different things that I think that Chad was committed and passionate about and what he tried to do or what he tried to bring people together as a leader, I guess in this. But there’s no, you can’t question the fact that they had a conviction of what they believed, and I may not be in the same category in what they believed, but having that kind of conviction I could relate to and start there from.
Lauren Lee Smith: Yeah, exactly like that’s really sort of all you can do. You know with these characters is find exactly that and then you know just trying to come and find the little moments you can of sort of humanity, you know, I’m a mother, so trying to sort of find those moments where you know you could see her love for JJ and for Tylee and sort of really infused that as much as possible. But yeah, other than that it was that wasn’t the easiest part of this job.
Jamie Ruby (SciFi Vision): Patrick, Linda anything to add?
Patrick Duffy: Well, we have the easier track of these characters. We had to be the sort of calming, and rational side of looking at all of these horrific things that were happening. So, you know, we were grandparents in and of itself and as a grandparent myself I know what that feels like and I could then was able to completely support what Linda was doing as really the fire brand of the two characters that we played. She was the relentless one that was in pursuit of justice in an ongoing situation, which is even more difficult in making this film. And I credit everybody from Karen and Ann and the actors Marc and Lauren and Bradley and everybody with being able to thread that fine line of fiction that we are doing based on a real story but keep these, especially those two characters, you know keeping them in a humanity arena so that it does not become,
I mean it in this way, it does not become cartoonish, in its evilness that it that everybody has to recognize a bit of humanity that contains that devilish nature and we are in control of it most of the time. And that, to me, is the interesting part about the script, and let the two lead actors were you know, really tasked with doing which is amazing and plus the fact we never except for
one little Christmas dinner scene, we never shared the camera with either of those two characters, so we had our own little movie going that you guys didn’t even know about.
Marc Blucas: That’s why you said yes to the job we know.
Lauren Lee Smith: We get it.
Linda Purl: I think the you know as Lauren said and Mark two that we’re all parents, and so it ignites certainly the Mama bear in me and I mean it. It’s actually unimaginable. Thank God, you know, the horror that this that this tale unfolds. But I think that that you know unbelievable journey of not knowing where your loved ones are, was interesting to visit.
Moderator: Thanks Jamie. Jay, You’re up next.
Jay Bobbin (Gracenote): Hello everyone, thank you for doing this. Actually my question is for Patrick and Linda is nice to see you together, since we know you’re together and I hope that doesn’t sound too and ingracious. But were the two of you cast a package deal in this? Or was one of you cast 1st and super suggested the other person?
Patrick Duffy: Well, we were driving to Colorado from California when the phone rang and we almost made a U turn but we said no we gotta, we gotta get back to change our underwear and then go back to work so. But I actually I think you know, in deference, I think Linda’s name might have been mentioned first in terms of this when I look at the chronology and the phone messages, and then you know the conversations that all of your people have when you’re doing these things, so you know, I think the sequence was Linda and Patrick, not Patrick and Linda.
Linda Purl: I think it was Patrick and Linda.
Patrick Duffy: But it doesn’t matter. It was our first chance to work together. Yeah, you know, first chance to actually play a husband and wife, which was even more, and the other thing that Linda keeps saying, and so I’m stealing all of her good lines, that it’s the first time as actors we’ve ever walked to the set holding hands with the person you’re with.
Linda Purl: It felt weird but yeah, I guess it’s OK. At the end of a scene, I guess, Patrick patted me on the bottom and said nice job honey and I thought, well, that’s the first time that’s ever happened. It was fun.
Patrick Duffy: It was wonderful and yeah, and it was a great thing for us because you never know.
Linda Purl: It could have been a disaster.
Patrick Duffy: We could have completely polar opposite ways.
Linda Purl: That’s how you’re gonna do the scene?
Patrick Duffy: Yeah, well, I usually have a drink before every scene.
Marc Blucas: It was at least reassuring. I was so glad to see you were still together. Are they flying together? Or independently?
Linda Purl: Quarantine was the challenge. It was like are we gonna make it through 14 days of quarantine? But we did. Yeah it was fun.
Jay Bobbin (Gracenote): Thank you both.
Moderator: Thank you so much. Suzanne. You’re up next.
Suzanne Lanoue (TVMeg): Hi, thanks for the call, I’m so familiar with all your guys’ work. I grew up in the 70s, and so I love Patrick and Linda from so many different things, especially Dallas, of course. One of my favorite shows growing up… and Marc from Buffy and other projects, and Lauren from Mutant X and so many great things. So I’m just honored to talk to you all.. but I was wondering, Linda and Patrick, if you could give us any background as to what you think your characters were like before the movie started, and then how they progressed. Some of us haven’t actually seen the movie because it wasn’t on the screener site, so…
Linda Purl: We don’t know that much really. I mean just what’s available on the on the Internet and what the script gave us, but they seem to be very hardworking, family-oriented people, smart successful in their careers and then suddenly this. You know, they were a very closely knit family would say, right?
Patrick Duffy: And if you’re if you’re asking the question personally, what happens to us after doing something like this? Although we weren’t in the depths that Lauren and Marc were, but you, you are affected by it, especially when you have children. And now that I have four grandchildren, and, it is inconceivable first of all, to right minded people that these things actually occur and you enter going into this reading the script, I’m doing it but in the in the heat of the scenes of which we were together as a couple. It builds and your fascination and repulsion build at the same time as to what these human beings have to go through and what they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. And you get just a smattering of it by having occupied their space for a moment, and you look at your children differently because you know what the potential is and it does affect you, and it affected me, not deeply in the sense that I’m tormented by it, but I am aware of it in different depth now of what the potential is in the human being. And it’s frightening and encouraging in terms of who you look at as your characters in this film.
Suzanne Lanoue (TVMeg): And Linda, did you have anything to add to that?
Linda Purl: oh thank you, well
Patrick Duffy: I don’t see how she could.
Linda Purl: I thought it was brilliant. It was really. I was in the Grand Canyon with my son, who was then about 8 years old and I lost him for the ten longest minutes of my life, and it’s an out of body electric shock experience that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. So I was able to, you know, sort of conjure that up when we’re looking for justice when we’re looking for the grandkids, or were when we know my brother’s been killed. And so, but I think you know, as Patrick says, you just drop to your knees grateful that your family is safe and it tends to highlight that gratitude in our lives when you walk down, even for a few minutes, the road of these people who have lost so much. I have no idea how you recover from that.
Suzanne Lanoue (TVMeg): And Lauren, what do you think? How do you think the character or the real person however you like to interpret it, how she went from two loving parents to becoming this person who ends up killing her own children?
Lauren Lee Smith: Yeah, I mean, that’s definitely something that I had to sort of. I think play around with in my own sort of interpretation of this character, even though you know it’s she’s very much alive and we, you know, know certain facts about her. I think for me, just on a personal level, to sort of dig into this, this character and sort of not justified, but give you know some sort of back story and create this sort of you know back story in my own head for her so you know it’s very strange. I don’t know, I don’t I don’t. It’s unimaginable to me how someone can go from, you know, having this sort of being brought up in this loving family, which is is what we’ve been, you know told to believe to you, know becoming this person who would do these absolutely heinous things. So yeah, I guess the only way that that I was able to sort of come to terms with it is to sort of yeah to really come up with my own back story that perhaps you know her, her past and her childhood and her personal life and whatever is maybe not exactly what we evolved, you know, read or seen or believed up until this point that there perhaps is some major trauma or some major incidents or some whatever it could possibly be to bring her to the point that she you know is at and was at in her life. I answered it, took it upon myself to do that.
Marc Blucas: You’re being very sweet for not throwing me under the bus. Suzanne, the reality is, is that when we both got there, we were freaking out and I had called Lauren immediately and I said, alright, ’cause that’s the big question, right, how did they go from everyday people that we assume, think and decide and have a moral compass in a certain direction, suddenly getting to the point where they’re going to kill their kids and then walk around in Hawaii and think that, like as if nothing has happened, and we literally sat there and got Karen and Bradley on the phone after we made our, you know,4 gigabyte list of questions that we had. This is real, and how do we tackle this because this is it and it goes back to what I had said before,a little bit about that kind of like commitment and passion for something that you suddenly get so, the blinders get on so much that everything all the collateral damage that happens you, end up not seeing. And so, it was almost, I give Lauren a lot of credit because it was it was kind of a two part process of creating Chad for me. Like I we really kind of had to approach these characters together in a sense as one because, I was in the process of gaining weight, so I kept saying can we meet back at the croissant place? We kind of kept going to anywhere I could eat massive amounts of food to keep gaining weight for the role and trying to tackle and make sense of that question and going through beat by beat of saying OK, here’s the arc of this, when does this moment happen? Where they decide to go beyond the point of no return, almost.
Suzanne Lanoue (TVMeg): Alright, thank you guys, great answers.
Moderator: Thank you so much. We have time for one more an if there was anyone who had a question and wants it answered, feel free to email us and we’re happy to get answers for you. So Rick, you will be our last question.
Rick Bentley (Tribune): Thank you. Hey Patrick and Linda, you play characters that are one generation of removed from the central story here. I’m just wondering when you go into those characters when you start thinking about them, did you think of them as people who should have felt guilty should have felt some responsibility, should have would have been in complete denial, I mean, how do you know where you start from on a point with parents of people who are parents of people who are involved with something like this?
Linda Purl: Well, I don’t think denial, although maybe we missed that, maybe we should have. No, I think that you know their merit in this in this story is that they. Is that they fearlessly sort of faced this possibility and became the champions for truth and protection. And I think that’s sort of a cautionary tale maybe to take away from the film, in that in these kinds of situations don’t fail to act. These people did not fail to act and all their actions and seeking of truth and pushing the police and the detectives it was. Too late, but in another instance it might not have been, and so you know in these kinds of horrid situations any one of us you know, God forbid we’re in it, but you, have to, you have to be vigilant and you have to be forceful.
Patrick Duffy: Yeah, I think there is an element of self-reflection when this happens. Maybe not regret or denial, but you know, as a parent, now my children are in their 40s but, you know when there would be rough patches in their upbringing where they might do things outside of the box that I thought was appropriate behavior, here is an element in me that says should I have foreseen this? Should I have forestalled this? Was there something I should have or could have or might have said that just would have deflected it enough? So for my character in this, although Linda’s character was much more doggedly active, my character was written as somewhat more passive and quiet, and I think part of that was that self-reflection of he was the, you know, quote, unquote, chauvinistically sounding, but the bread earner, the man of the family. And yet all of this happened, how could that happen on his watch had to be part of his processing, so that was the only thing that I could say where I might have felt a bit responsible as a character for the outcome, not that I thought I the character did anything wrong, but what could he have done, I think was the divergent point for me of accepting responsibility partially for what happened.
Linda Purl: And that’s probably human nature too. In any disaster, there’s that lovely phrase, magical thinking, and that we all know what on earth, no matter how irrational, what could I have done? How could I have changed things? How could I have missed the signs? I mean, I think we all go through these kinds of thoughts.
Doomsday Mom is based on the true story of Lori Vallow (Lauren Lee Smith), who gained national attention when her children, JJ and Tylee, were reported missing from their Idaho home in the Fall of 2019. As investigators learned of Lori and her husband Chad Daybell’s (Marc Blucas) involvement in a doomsday-prepper group, a trail of mystery was revealed spanning five states and numerous questionable deaths, before the bodies of JJ and Tylee were found in the backyard of Chad’s home in June 2020. Linda Purl and Patrick Duffy also star.
Doomsday Mom is produced by Lighthouse Pictures for Lifetime, with Sony Pictures Television distributing. Karen Glass and Tom Mazza of Everywhere Studios and Judith Verno of Peace Out Productions serve as executive producers. Stephen Tolkin wrote the script and Bradley Walsh directs.
Mrs. Toliver finds Naya and Richard’s cell phone records and tells Amanda and Devon that Richard called Sittings office, and he also made a five minute call to Naya a week before he was supposed to meet with Amanda’s foster parents. Amanda confronts Naya and gets her to admit she did speak to Richard and he was going to do whatever it took to find his daughters. Amanda assumes that Naya told Sutton what Richard was planning to do and Sutton had him killed to protect his career. Naya insists that her father isn’t a killer but Amanda doesn’t believe a word that comes out of her mouth.
Kyle, Phyllis, and Nick are all confused by Summer’s sudden decision to take the job in Italy. Summer tells all of them that she can’t handle Tara and Harrison living in Genoa City and that the job is a great opportunity to advance her career. Kyle goes back to his and Summer’s hotel suite determined to show Summer that he loves her and persuade her to stay. Tara sends a text to Sally telling her that their plan worked and Summer is going to Italy.
Victoria meets Harrison and spend some time with him.
Ashland tells Victoria that his lawyers are looking over her merger proposal. Victoria tells Billy to stay out of her personal life.
Adam and Nick continue to bond as brothers when Nick defends Adam from Billy when they get into a verbal argument.
Phyllis talks with Nick about Summer’s job offer but makes him promise not to tell Summer what they talked about because its a secret. Phyllis talks things through with Nick and she begins to wonder if Summer is being forced to take the job in Italy. Summer arrives at Society ready to have a talk with Kyle.
Chelsea has a horrible nightmare in which Adam, Victor, and Rey tell her she will never leave the mental hospital.
Adam and Nick have a talk and Nick advises Adam to concentrate on Connor and find the right way to tell him about Chelsea’s illness. Nick also advises Adam to help Connor deal with Chelsea’s illness until Chelsea is better.
Elena turns down the job in Baltimore when Nate tells her that he never stopped loving her and wants her to stay in town.
Jack tells Tara the story of his bitter custody battle for Kyle when he was a little boy. Summer tells Phyllis about the job offer she got from the fashion house in Italy.
Summer doesn’t tell Phyllis that Tara is forcing her to take the job or she won’t let Kyle see Harrison again. Phyllis knows Summer is holding something back and isn’t telling her the whole story. Phyllis advises Summer to search her soul and find the truth before she makes a decision about the job. Summer calls Kyle and asks him if he could come to their suite instead of staying at the Abbott house because she doesn’t want to be alone tonight.
“Drunk History: The Complete Series” Review by Suzanne 6/20/21
This is not my kind of show. I’ve never found it funny. I know someone must have, though, because it was on Comedy Central for 6 seasons!
Hosted by comedian Derek waters, the basic premise is that celebrities pretend to be drunk and re-tell some event from history (and they act it out as well). Now, they do claim that they’re really drinking, but how much are they drinking, and how drunk are they, really? I can’t imagine most celebrities really wanting to let the public see them in a very drunken state. My guess is that they actually drink very little.
The actors are given information packets with research about a particular historic topic beforehand. Some of the parts are pre-recorded and rehearsed. Basically, the whole thing is fake in order to produce “comedy.” Which is fine if it’s funny, but it’s not. I’m sorry, but to me it’s never funny, and it’s very lame. Maybe it’s because I grew up with an alcoholic father (who took me to bars), but I just don’t find drunk people all that funny. People THINK they’re very funny when they’re drunk, but they’re not.
If you’re a fan of the show, then this set is really for you. Seasons 5 and 6 have never been released on DVD before. There are a few extras on the set as well, such as extended and deleted scenes, outtakes and sober reveals.
From Comedy Central and Paramount Home Entertainment, DrunkHistory: The Complete Series will be arriving on DVD on June 29th.
Prepare yourself for an unconventional history lesson with Comedy Central’s comedic television series, DrunkHistory: The Complete Series, arriving on DVD featuring the entire six seasons, including the previous unreleased seasons five and six! Cast includes host Derek Waters and ever-changing guest stars including Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures), Laura Dern (“Twin Peaks”), Ryan Gosling (La La Land), Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids), and Lin Manuel Miranda (Hamilton), and many more.
DrunkHistory : The Complete Series
Street Date: June 29th
Description: The comedic series, first airing in 2013, follows host Derek Waters and his group of inebriated guest stars as they travel through different U.S. cities while attempting to tell stories and re-enacting famous events in history. The series is based on the award-winning web series: Funny or Die.
“Batman: The Long Halloween Part One” (Blu-ray+Digital) Review by Suzanne 6/20/20
It’s always great to see a new DC animated movie, but this one is pretty slow moving. I’m sure it was very difficult to take the very long comic book series and adapt it to a movie (or even two movies as they’ve done here). Still, there seems to be too many characters, and the pacing is a bit slow.
The movie had Batman, Alfred, Commissioner Gordon ahd his family, Harvey Dent and his wife, Selina Kyle/Catwoman, The Joker, Solomon Grundy, and a bunch of mobsters and other Batman villains. It’s just too much. They should have made it into a series instead.
Still, if you’re a Batman fan, you’ll probably love it. Just make sure you pay careful attention, and sit back and enjoy. Even though it’s a little slow, it’s still definitely worth watching. I just wish they had put the whole thing together in one DVD, rather than making us wait for the second part. However, it’s smart marketing to bring out the second part later on, near Halloween, I’m sure… since it’s a calendar-based story that goes from Halloween to Halloween. The way they’ve laid it out in two parts makes good sense to the story, but it does leave you hanging a bit.
Jensen Ackles (“Supernatural“) voices Batman; Josh Duhamel (“Jupiter’s Legacy”) voices Harvey Dent; the late Naya Rivera (“Glee”); Titus Welliver (“Bosch”) voices Falcone; and Billy Burke (“Revolution”) voices Gordon. The other actors are not familiar to me, but they’re all outstanding. Troy Baker’s Joker brings to mind both Mark Hamill’s and the late Cesar Romero’s versions. The artwork is also top-notch, of course. It’s so close to reality that you almost forget you’re watching a cartoon.
Unfortunately, there are few extras. Most of them are trailers or special features that are about other upcoming DC animated movies, or they’re previous cartoons from other Batman series that are similar to this one. The only relevant one is the features that talks about “Batman: The Long Halloween Part Two.” It’s very interesting. It looks like we’ll be seeing Poison Ivy, Scarecrow and other familiar Batman villains that we didn’t see in Part One.
I’m sure that if you read the original comic, this is all very familiar to you. I read it, but it was at least a decade ago, so I don’t remember it very well. I just remember that it was very good.
HOLIDAY MURDERS LEAD GOTHAM CITY’S CRIME-FIGHTING TRIUMVIRATE TO EXTREME MEASURES IN
BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN, PART ONE
COMING TO DIGITAL & BLU-RAY™ ON JUNE 22, 2021
JENSEN ACKLES, NAYA RIVERA, JOSH DUHAMEL, BILLY BURKE, DAVID DASTMALCHIAN, TITUS WELLIVER LEAD ALL-STAR CAST IN LATEST DC UNIVERSE MOVIES OFFERING
Twitter Pitch: BATMAN THE LONG HALLOWEEN PART ONE on Digital & Blu-ray 6/22/21. Featuring @JensenAckles @joshduhamel @billy_burke @Dastmalchian @TroyBakerVA @welliver_titus @AmyLandecker @Julie_Nathanson @JackQuaid92 @FredTatasciore @iamtimsheridan @WBHomeEnt @DCComics #LongHalloween1
BURBANK, CA (April 8, 2021) – Atrocious serial killings on holidays in Gotham send The World’s Greatest Detective into action – confronting both organized crime and a mysterious murderer – in Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One, the next entry in the popular series of the DC UniverseMovies. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, DC and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, the feature-length animated film – which will be accompanied by the latest DC Showcase animated short, The Losers – is set for release on Digital and Blu-ray on June 22, 2021.
Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One will be available on Blu-ray (USA $29.98 SRP; Canada $39.99 SRP) as well as on Digital. The Blu-ray features a Blu-ray disc with the film in hi-definition and a digital version of the movie. Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One will be available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack at a later date in 2022 as a combined presentation of the film with Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two.
Inspired by the iconic mid-1990s DC story from Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One begins as a brutal murder on Halloween prompts Gotham’s young vigilante, the Batman, to form a pact with the city’s only two uncorrupt lawmen (Police Captain James Gordan and District Attorney Harvey Dent) in order to take down The Roman, head of the notorious and powerful Falcone Crime Family. But when more deaths occur on Thanksgiving and Christmas, it becomes clear that, instead of ordinary gang violence, they’re also dealing with a serial killer – the identity of whom, with each conflicting clue, grows harder to discern. Few cases have ever tested the wits of the World’s Greatest Detective like the mystery behind the Holiday Killer.
Lauded for his performance as Red Hood/Jason Todd in 2010’s Batman Under the Red Hood, Jensen Ackles (Supernatural, Smallville) returns to the DC Universe Movies as the title character of Batman/Bruce Wayne. The late Naya Rivera (Glee), who passed away in 2020, gives one of her final performances as Catwoman/Selina Kyle. The all-star cast includes Josh Duhamel (Transformers, Las Vegas) as Harvey Dent, Billy Burke (Twilight, Revolution, Zoo) as James Gordon, Titus Welliver (Bosch, Deadwood, The Town) as Carmine Falcone, David Dastmalchian (The Suicide Squad, Ant-Man, Dune, The Dark Knight) as Calendar Man, Troy Baker (The Last of Us, Batman: Arkham Knight) as Joker, Amy Landecker (Your Honor, Transparent) as Barbara Gordon, Julie Nathanson (Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay) as Gilda Dent, Jack Quaid (The Boys, The Hunger Games) as Alberto, Fred Tatasciore (American Dad!, Family Guy) as Solomon Grundy and Alastair Duncan (The Batman, Batman Unlimited franchise) as Alfred. Additional voices provided by Frances Callier, Greg Chun, Gary Leroi Gray and Jim Pirri.
Chris Palmer (Superman: Man of Tomorrow) directs Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One from a screenplay by Tim Sheridan (Reign of the Supermen, Superman: Man of Tomorrow). Producers are Jim Krieg (Batman: Gotham by Gaslight) and Kimberly S. Moreau (Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). Butch Lukic (Justice Society: World War II, Superman: Man of Tomorrow) is Supervising Producer. Executive Producer is Michael Uslan. Sam Register is Executive Producer.
Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One – Special Features
Blu-ray and Digital
DC Showcase – The Losers (New Animated Short) – The legendary rag-tag team of World War II outcasts – Captain Storm, Johnny Cloud, “Mile-a Minute” Jones, rookie Gunner and Sarge – find themselves marooned on an uncharted island in the South Pacific that is completely overrun with dinosaurs! Their would-be ally on this deadly mission, the mysterious and beautiful Fan Long of the Chinese Security Agency, tells them their job is to rescue the scientists that have been sent to study the time/space anomaly. Perhaps… but what is her mission?
A Sneak Peek at the next DC Universe Movie – An advance look at the next animated film in the popular DC UniverseMovies collection, Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two.
From the DC Vault – Batman: The Animated Series – “Christmas With The Joker”
From the DC Vault – Batman: The Animated Series – “It’s Never Too Late”
Looking for a refresher course on animated super hero entertainment before seeing Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One? Check out the wide array of DC Universe Movies now available on HBO Max.
Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One will also be available on Movies Anywhere. Using the free Movies Anywhere app and website, consumers can access all their eligible movies by connecting their Movies Anywhere account with their participating digital retailer accounts.
DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION ELEMENTS
On June 22, 2021, Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One will be available to own in high definition and standard definition from select digital retailers including Amazon, the Apple TV app, FandangoNOW, PlayStation, Vudu, Xbox and others. On July 6, 2021, Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One will be made available digitally on Video On Demand services from cable and satellite providers, and on select gaming consoles.
ABOUT MOVIES ANYWHERE
Movies Anywhere is a digital movie platform that enables movie fans to discover, access, and watch their favorite digital movies in one place. Movies Anywhere brings together a library of nearly 7,500 digital movies from Sony Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox Film, The Walt Disney Studios (including Disney, Pixar, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm), Universal Pictures (including DreamWorks and Illumination Entertainment) and Warner Bros., and will continue to expand the consumer experience as more content providers, digital retailers and platforms are added. By connecting participating digital retailers that include Amazon Prime Video, the Apple TV app, FandangoNOW, Google Play, and Vudu, movie fans can now bring together their digital movie collections (whether purchased or redeemed) in one place and enjoy them from the comfort of their living rooms, and across multiple devices and platforms, including Amazon Fire devices; Android devices and Android TV; Apple TV, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch; Chromecast; Roku® devices and popular browsers. Movie fans can also redeem digital codes found in eligible Blu-ray and DVD disc packages from participating studios and enjoy them through Movies Anywhere. Movies Anywhere – your movies, together at last.
Digital movies or TV episodes allow fans to watch a digital version of their movie or TV show anywhere, on their favorite devices. Digital movies or TV episodes are included with the purchase of specially marked Blu-ray discs. With digital, consumers are able to instantly stream and download movies and TV shows to TVs, computers, tablets and smartphones through retail services. For more information on compatible devices and services go to wb.com/digitalmoviefaq. Consult a digital retailer for details and requirements and for a list of digital-compatible devices.
Blu-ray $29.98 USA, $39.99 Canada
Blu-ray Languages: English, Spanish, French, German
Blu-ray Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, German, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian
Running Time: 85 minutes
Rated PG-13 for violence, bloody images, language and some smoking
About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Inc.:
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment’s physical and digital distribution businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. An industry leader since its inception, WBHE oversees the global distribution of content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD) and digital media in the form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels. WBHE distributes its product through third party retail partners and licensees.
DC, a WarnerMedia Company, creates iconic characters, enduring stories, and immersive experiences that inspire and entertain audiences of every generation around the world and is one of the world’s largest publishers of comics and graphic novels. As a creative division, DC is charged with strategically integrating its stories and characters across film, television, consumer products, home entertainment, interactive games, DC UNIVERSE INFINITE digital subscription service and community engagement portal. For more information visit dccomics.com and dcuniverseinfinite.com.
Warner Bros. Animation (WBA) is one of the leading producers of animation in the entertainment industry, producing and developing projects for multiple platforms, both domestically and internationally. WBA’s current series include Animaniacs for Hulu, Green Eggs and Ham for Netflix, Aquaman: King of Atlantis, Batwheels, Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, Harley Quinn,Jellystone!, Little Ellen, Looney Tunes Cartoons, Tiny Toons Looniversity, Velma and Young Justice for HBO Max, DC Super Hero Girls, Teen Titans Go!, ThunderCats Roar for Cartoon Network, Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz, Scooby-Doo! and Guess Who?, The Tom and Jerry Show and Yabba-Dabba Dinosaurs! for Boomerang. WBA’s full-length theatrical film, Teen Titans GO! to the Movies, was released in summer 2018. As home to the iconic animated characters from the DC, Hanna-Barbera, MGM and Looney Tunes libraries, WBA also produces highly successful animated films — including the DC Universe Movies — for DVD, Blu-ray® and digital media. One of the most-honored animation studios in history, WBA has won six Academy Awards®, 35 Emmy® Awards, the George Foster Peabody Award, a BAFTA Children’s Award, an Environmental Media Award, a Parents’ Choice Award, the HUMANITAS Prize, two Prism Awards and 20 Annie Awards (honoring excellence in animation).