Interview with Adriyan Rae

TV Interview!

Adriyan Rae (Gianna on "Chicago Fire") - photo credit: Diana Ragland

Interview with Adriyan Rae (Gianna) of “Chicago Fire” on NBC by Suzanne 11/16/20

This was a quick interview, but it was enjoyable. Adriyan appears to be a very easy-going person. She first appeared last week in “Chicago Fire” as the new paramedic, Gianna, and is already very popular with fans.

Suzanne:   So, I read that your set shut down for two weeks due to COVID.

Adriyan:   Yeah, because we were following some COVID protocols.

Suzanne:   Right, and from what I hear, a lot of shows have been shut down. Once they get started again, they shut down, because somebody tests positive or whatever.

Adriyan:   It could be cast; it could be crew. It could be someone in the office, but just because, you know, there’s a whole universe shooting…

(a little bit of audio missing – my recorder stopped working for a very brief period.)

Suzanne:   Do you guys have to quarantine, or are you just not working?

Adriyan:   It depends on everyone’s situation, which is different. The protocols are that whoever tests positive, that’s guarded under the privacy of HIPAA. So, we don’t know who it is. Then whoever tests positive, the studio does know, of course, and they do contact tracing, whoever that person would have been in contact with, they go and they reach out to those people. They ask them certain questions, a certain amount of questions, that will tell them if they were a Type A contact or a Type B, a Zone A or Zone B. Then, from there, based on that, that’s where you’re deemed to have to quarantine or not. We’re still being tested, and as you’re tested, your results come in, and you know what to do from there. They’ll let you know what to do from there. Yes, that’s where we stand.

Suzanne:   Thank you, that’s a really good explanation. I don’t think ever actually – I mean, I knew sort of what contact tracing was, but I didn’t have an actual explanation. So, thank you.

Adriyan:   You’re welcome.

Suzanne:   And had you watched any of the Chicago shows before getting this role?

Adriyan:   I have, yeah.

Suzanne:   Chicago Fire specifically?

Adriyan:   I’ve dabbled in Chicago PD the most. That’s why when I was auditioning before, when I said I was auditioning for two years prior to getting this role, most of those were all auditions from Chicago PD. So, I did watch that as research and, you know, follow up with it, because it’s very intriguing. So, yeah, and then of course, when I got the auditions for this, I started watching Chicago Fire. I hadn’t necessarily watched Chicago Fire prior, but I started watching it in July. So, I was able to catch all the way up by the time I started shooting.

Suzanne:   Were you nervous at all coming into a show where you’re sort of the new girl?

Adriyan:   You know, when you come to these shows where they’re well oiled machines, and they’re in their late seasons, everybody has their own friends, and you know, they’re adults. Some of them are just like, “I’m here for work. That’s it,” but this show was completely different. Of course you have some jitters about going to a new job. Everybody does, whether it’s acting, whether you work in finance, or even work in accounting, anything, you have some jitters when you go in on your first day of work. So, of course, but I was welcomed with open arms, and it was so warm and welcoming and loving and just super helpful. Anything I needed, helping me figure out – because they knew I had never been to Chicago before, helping me figure out what neighborhoods are good and what neighborhoods were good for this food, and if I like that food, this is over here. This is where this kind of quilt – like you’re looking for the Marshalls or the Jewel, it’s over here. I didn’t even know the Jewel was the grocery store there. They were just there every step of the way. Super helpful.

Suzanne:   Oh, that’s nice. Were there any particularly friendly cast members who put you the most at ease?

Adriyan:   Well, all of them. I mean, the people that I met first were Miranda [Rae Mayo] and Kara [Killmer]. Kara actually reached out and was like, “Hey, you want to just jump on a call so we can get to know each other?” I was like, “Yeah, let’s do that.” Then, Miranda reached out and was like, “Hey girl, you’re beautiful. Hi. I’m on Chicago Fire too. Congratulations.” And Daniel, I was so happy for Daniel. I had never met him, but when I had seen his announcement, I was like, “Oh, this is great.” I actually reached out to him. I was like, “This is so late. Congratulations.” He probably didn’t even know who I was at the time.

Those were my first interactions, but as soon as I got to hair and makeup, I think, my first day, Eamonn [Walker] was in the chair, and we’re not allowed to talk in hair and makeup, so after we got out, I had my mask; I was putting my mask on. He had his on, and then we’re walking to our trailers and he goes, “Hey, I’ve seen your work prior to this. Respect.” And I was like, “Oh, God! He watched my old show.”   He was just super nice. He was like, “Anything you need; let me know. I’ll show you the ropes.” He was just super there, like everybody. Super warm; just amazing.

Suzanne:   That’s great. You had to move to Chicago to film?

Adriyan:   Yes, I’m there to film for sure.

Suzanne:   How are you liking Chicago?

Adriyan:   Oh, it’s a beautiful city. It’s so freakin pretty; it’s amazing. It’s so beautiful. I’m acclimating to the weather, of course, but I really love the diversity and the different foods. It’s such good food there. It’s really hard not to get that.

Suzanne:   I know what you mean. We usually go to Chicago in April for a conference, and we didn’t get to go this year, and we were so disappointed.

Adriyan:   Right, you missed out on some food.

Suzanne:   Yeah, I love the restaurants there.

And did they give you much character background before you started filming?

Adriyan:   Well, actually, yeah, I sat down with the writers, and I wanted to know her backstory that they created. And it, ironically, was the same situation; it was just like, wow. I was meant for this, because I created the backstory for her for auditioning, and then when I met with the writers, and they told me her [backstory], I was like, “Oh my God, shut up! I literally have it written down right now.” So, yeah, they shared it with me, and we kinda like ended up merging it together, because it aligned so well. It’s constantly a backstory that’s growing as we understand more about her and learn more about her.

Suzanne:   Is there anything you can tell us about the role that we haven’t already seen or that’ll be happening with her this season?

Adriyan:   I think that viewers can look forward to someone that’s really relatable and that she is transitioning and someone who has been through things in life and has kind of got these walls up. There comes a point in time in your life, when you’ve been going through things all of your life, and you put these guards up, put these walls up. Then, there’s a point where you’re kind of like, “Are these necessary anymore?” And then people around you are like, “You know, you don’t have to be. It’s okay if you’re not,” and you’re like, “I don’t know about that.” So, the journey of her exploring that and going through that I think it’s something to look forward to and I think that most people can relate to.

Suzanne:   I enjoyed the first episode. It was like, “Wow, there’s a cliffhanger, literally.”

So, what’s nice about having – I’m sure the writers loved coming up with your character, because they like it when they can have a person who comes in and the viewer gets to see the show through your eyes as somebody who’s new and meeting everybody…So, usually, when they start out a new show, they do that. They have one person who’s new to the group or whatever, and then the viewers learn about the rest of the people through that person’s eyes. So, having you come in when they’ve already been an established show, it helps any new viewers, and it’s really good for the show.

Adriyan:   Yeah.

Suzanne:   Do you have any favorite behind the scenes moments?

Adriyan:   I do, and I’m going to share them at a later date. So, I think that if viewers follow my Instagram, I’ll be posting them there on my Insta Story, and they can follow me at “AdriyanRae,” and that is on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Suzanne:   Cool. And I was sorry to hear that Vagrant Queen was cancelled. That was a good show. I like sci-fi.

Adriyan:  Awesome

Suzanne:   How long was there between you finding out that you won’t be going back to that show and that you were hired on Chicago Fire?

Adriyan:   I found out Vagrant was canceled the second week of June. I received my first audition for Chicago Fire in July. I booked the role the first week of August.

Suzanne:   Wow. So, that was quick. I bet you were relieved.

Adriyan:  Yes.

Suzanne:   I always wondered, and let me know if this question is weird or whatever, but… I used to watch this show, and the show was all about, mainly, this one guy, and maybe, you know, a couple other people, but he was the star of the show, and then that show got canceled, and he went on to another show, and he was part of an ensemble. I was wondering, as an actor, how does your ego handle that? Was that difficult for you, or just no big deal to you?

Adriyan:   I can’t speak for all actors, but me, as a person, I try not to operate in my ego. I think it’s one of the reasons my personality fits well was the cast and crew of Chicago Fire, because it’s just not a case of that. It’s just, I am an actor, and whether I’m number one on the call sheet or number fourteen, or number seven, it doesn’t matter. My character is important enough to be written into the script, and I’m just going to go out there, and I’m going to do what I love and my best and create this character and do the work. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s about. It’s not about what number you on the call sheet.

Suzanne:   Well, that’s a really good attitude to have.

Adriyan:   Thank you.

Suzanne:   I think people that have that kind of attitude probably do a lot better in your job than people with a lot more drama.

Adriyan:   Yeah, ego is a fickle thing to operate in.

Suzanne:   Yeah, your job is not easy. I know that, because with all the rejections that you get, I don’t think I could handle it.

Adriyan:   Yeah, it’s a lot. Like you could put your heart on the line, and you’re like, “This was the greatest audition I’ve ever done!” And they’re like, “That’s not good enough for us.”

Suzanne:   “That’s not what we’re looking for.”

Okay, so do you have any other projects coming out that you can tell us about?

Adriyan:   Well, you know, filming this show in the middle of pandemic is a project in itself, but I’m also working on getting my scholarship fund, the Heart & Soul Scholarship, presented by #LoveandLight Media, my company, getting that off the ground so we can we can provide funding or some type of help to children who are underprivileged, to get some post secondary education, which is very necessary. So, that we are diligently working on amidst everything else.

Suzanne:   Cool, and is there a website for that?

Adriyan:   It’s under my website at .

Suzanne:   I’ll check that out. Anything else you’d like to tell fans of the show?

Adriyan:   Viewers of the show, I would like to tell you all that you are loved and appreciated and to stay encouraged and to make sure that you control your anxiety and don’t let your anxiety control you in the midst of these trying times.

NOTE: Some of the questions were submitted by fans on Facebook.

Here is the audio version of it. Part one and Part two. My recorder stopped near the beginning, so I had to start again.

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of


About Adriyan Rae

A triple-threat singer, actress and model, Rae is distinguishing herself as a star on the rise in Hollywood. Rae has recently starred in the horror-thriller series Light as a Feather, and has guest-starred on various shows including Atlanta, American Soul, and Star. On the big screen, Rae has had roles in Superfly with Jennifer Morrison, Trevor Jackson, and Michael Kenneth Williams, and Burning Sands alongside Alfre Woodard and Trevante Rhodes. She starred on “Vagrant Queen” earlier this year on Syfy.

Born in the small city of Seaford, Delaware, Rae was raised by a single mother who instilled in her the belief that she could accomplish anything she put her heart and mind to. She attended the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia where she earned two bachelor’s degrees, one in Physician Assistant Studies and the other in Medical Laboratory Science. Following college, she discovered a passion for performing and since then has worked tirelessly to hone her talents as a singer and actress. She is classically trained in theater and has extensively trained in comedy, improv and TV/film acting.

Rae currently resides in Los Angeles.

From renowned Emmy Award-winning executive producer Dick Wolf (“Law & Order” brand) and co-creator Derek Haas, the writer behind “3:10 to Yuma,” comes season nine of the high-octane drama “Chicago Fire,” an edge-of-your-seat view look at the lives of everyday heroes committed to one of America’s noblest professions. The firefighters, rescue squad and paramedics of Chicago Firehouse 51 risk their lives week in and week out to save and protect the citizens of their incredible city.

The family inside Firehouse 51 knows no other way than to lay it all on the line for each other. Capt. Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer) leads the Truck Company and brash Lt. Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) runs the Rescue Squad.

The firehouse also includes Battalion Chief Wallace Boden (Eamonn Walker), a fireman’s fireman. As chief of 51, Boden keeps his house running smoothly and his firefighters prepared to overcome all adversity. Paramedic Sylvie Brett (Kara Killmer) returns alongside seasoned veterans Christopher Herrmann (David Eigenberg) and Randy “Mouch” McHolland (Christian Stolte) as well as resourceful firefighter Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo).

Completing the team are dependable squad member Joe Cruz (Joe Minoso), daredevil Blake Gallo (Alberto Rosende), engine newbie Darren Ritter (Daniel Kyri) and the newest addition, paramedic Gianna Mackey (Adriyan Rae).

Executive producers are Dick Wolf, Derek Haas, Todd Arnow, Andrea Newman, Michael Gilvary, Michael Brandt, Reza Tabrizi, Arthur Forney and Peter Jankowski.

“Chicago Fire” is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, in association with Wolf Entertainment.

Please visit the official show site at:

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

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

Back to the Primetime Articles and Interviews Page

CHICAGO FIRE -- "Rattle Second City" Episode 901 -- Pictured: Adriyan Rae as Gianna Mackey -- (Photo by: Adrian S. Burrows Sr./NBC)

Interview with Carly Hughes

TV Interview!

Carly Hughes of "The Christmas Edition" on Lifetime 11/15/20

Interview with Carly Hughes of “The Christmas Edition” on Lifetime by Suzanne 10/27/20

This was a very entertaining call. Carly has an amazing personality as well as so much acting and singing talent. Don’t miss this fun Christmas movie she’s appearing in. It was really interesting to hear how they got it moving, even during the pandemic.

Suzanne:   So, tell us how this part came about for you.

Carly:   I was offered the job through Lifetime. They were like, “Can you be in Utah by tomorrow?” And I was quarantined, sitting on my couch, like, “What?”

They drove from Utah, picked me up, and I was in Utah the next day, ready for the rollercoaster ride of filming a Christmas movie in the heat of summer and Utah during the height of a pandemic.

Suzanne:   So, this was a quick thing.

Carly:   Yeah. It was like, “Be here. Let’s do it. Bye.”

Suzanne:   So, did they give you any background information about who Jackie is, besides what’s in the script?

Carly:  Oh, no, not really. I mean, it was all fast and furious. I got in the trailer; they drove me 13 hours. I got there and got acclimated, and we started filming. I was able to read the script the night before, but I just was like, “Well, I’m gonna go with my gut, and they’ll tell me if I’m wrong,” and hopefully I was spot on.

Suzanne:   So, they have the whole thing set up safely for the pandemic; you have to take tests?

Carly:   Yeah, we had to all get tested prior to leaving. I mean, they were all there before me. So, I had to get tested before I left and then tested soon as I landed there. Then, every 72 hours thereafter, everyone did, which actually took away some anxiety for me, because, you know, I had been quarantined alone that whole time and just fine. You know what I mean? I didn’t miss people enough to risk my life. So, it was a big thing for me to go and be amongst strangers, because I knew no one there, but the protocols they followed made it a lot easier.

Suzanne:   Good, good. I keep hearing that from people who are filming. They’re doing all these protocols. The daytime soaps were the first ones to start that, and then everybody said, “Oh, okay, well, they’re doing it.”

Carly:   Yeah. I know they did. I think the first one was like The Bold and the Beautiful, but they all tested positive right away, so they had to shut it down. I think they were actually one of the first, and then they were able to come back. But now, there’s a good protocol to follow and the testing and all of that. So, it can be done.

Suzanne:   Yeah, that’s good. And had you worked with any of the casting crew before?

Carly:   No, no, I knew no one, and also, the funny thing is that I still don’t really know the crew, because they had to wear masks for the entire time. So, I never saw their faces. That was the first time in doing any show in the history of doing shows that I could not tell you what our crew looked like. It’s funny. Let them be outside of their masks. Like I knew them by their masks. I think I saw maybe two one day while they were eating lunch, and I was like, “Who are you?”

Suzanne:   That’s funny. So, in the future, they’ll be like, “Hey, you remember me?” “Oh, no.”

Carly:   I know, I will one hundred percent be like, “What?” “We did The Christmas Edition together.” I’ll be like, “Okay.”

Suzanne:   So it was filmed in Utah. How long did it take?

Carly:   We actually shot this in 14 days. Isn’t that insane?

Suzanne:   Yeah, that’s crazy. That’s the first thing I’ve heard of this before, because whenever I usually interview somebody from like a Lifetime movie or whatever, they say, “Oh, yeah, we shot this last year. It took us two months.”

Carly:   Yeah, I know. Normally that is the case, but then all of the year it was shut down until things got a protocol and things to follow. So, everything was pushed back. So, we had to really crank these out. I mean, Lifetime did great. They did, I think, thirty new movies during the pandemic, all fast and furious but artfully done.

Suzanne:   Yeah, I watched it, and it was good. You couldn’t tell that it was rushed at all.

Carly:   Thank you.

Suzanne:   Yeah, I enjoyed it.

Carly:   I mean, the timing is rushed, because who wants to do anything in that short amount of time? But in terms of being on set and filming it, we didn’t feel rushed at all. We got to actually create moments and make make some, you know, authentic moments, even in that short timeframe. So, that was nice.

Suzanne:   Yeah, and you did a good job as Jackie, because she’s kind of uptight at the beginning, and then she slowly relaxed.

Carly:   Thank you. You know, I tried to give her some levels.

Suzanne:   I really enjoyed that song you sang. That was in the script, right?

Carly:   Yeah, well, it was a different song originally, and I think it was just a snippet. Once I came on, I was like, “Okay, how about we maybe do this one?” It gets tricky with public domains and deciding on a song. Then, we got to work to see what part of the song, because they didn’t know me prior; they didn’t really know what I what he did for a living. So, they had no idea until I got there. They’re like, “Oh, wait, you do this for a living?” I’m like, “Yeah.” So, we made a cute little moment out of it.

Suzanne:   Yeah, that was cool. I wish there had been more singing actually.

Carly:   Me too! I was like, “All right, that just means you guys have to hire me for another Christmas movie where I sing the whole movie.”

Suzanne:   That’s right. I see there are a lot of clips on YouTube of you singing. Are there any albums that we can hear you sing on?

Carly:   Just all the cast albums of all the Broadway shows. It’s so funny. I was I was going to do a Christmas album this year, because I was supposed to be in New York for two months, but all my New York gigs got canceled on Friday, March 13th, when we got locked down. So, there went everything I had planned for New York, but it’s fine. So, now I can spend this time getting it all together for when I am with my band again in New York, but I think, fingers crossed, given this pandemic and the limited space and availability, I’m gonna try to do a few Christmas songs like an EP this year. If I can get my band together virtually.

Suzanne:  Yeah, things have changed quite a bit; haven’t they?

Carly:   Oh, my gosh.

Suzanne:   I was happy to see Aloma Wright in the movie. She’s amazing.

Carly:   Oh, she amazing. It was such an honor to work with her. I mean, she’s the definition of those that have come before you. Watching her and getting to work with her up close and personal and seeing how – you know, I always find it interesting in every project, TV and film and Broadway, getting to see how your scene partners work and how their brains tick and how they maneuver their roles, because everyone’s different. I find it so interesting. She’s just a joy.

Suzanne:   Yeah, I love how when they do these movies, they try to bring in all different generations. Then, there’s always somebody that – like, I’m older, so there’s somebody I grew up with, and I didn’t grow with her, but I know her from a lot of different stuff. She’s done Suits. She was great in Suits. If you ever get chance to see –

Carly:   Scrubs. Suits and Scrubs. I mean, she’s done everything.

Suzanne:   Yeah. Grey’s Anatomy, Days of Our Lives. She was on Days of Our Lives for a long time.

Carly:   Oh my gosh, really?

Suzanne:   Yeah.

Carly:   I mean, she’s done everything. I love when you have those people that you’re like, “Okay, there’s always a surprise.” Like, no matter what, there’s gonna always be like, “She did that?” Aloma’s one of those people.

Suzanne:   Yeah, that’s fun. And how much did you know about Marie Osmond before working with her?

Carly:   I mean, tons, because she’s in this business. I kind of know most things about [her], because I find it interesting, and we had two degrees of separation. I knew some producers at The Talk when she was hosting The Talk, but it was great to work with her too, and surreal. Like, “My mom, my parents, grew up watching you; that’s how long you’ve been around, and now I’m actually working with you.“ It’s so crazy, the turn of events.

Suzanne:   Yeah, I bet. When I was in high school, she had a variety show with her brother, The Donnie and Marie Show.

Carly:   Yeah, I know, and I saw reruns whenever they were on TV Land when they play like The Brady Bunch, and then it’d be like The Donnie and Marie Show.

Suzanne:   That’s great. So, what was the most challenging thing about playing this role?

Carly:   Honestly, one of the most challenging things about playing this role was wearing 18 layers of wool in 100 degree weather in August. Honestly, that was probably the most challenging, that and it being shot in 14 days, but but the weather and the layers were the most challenging, because you’re supposed to be looking like you’re shivering in Alaska, but really, you have a cable-knit sweater, a ski suit, fur-lined boots, a scarf, a puffy coat, a wool hat, and gloves on.

Suzanne:   And what was the most fun part of the movie?

Carly:   The most fun part was – I don’t know. It’s so it’s so cliche to say the whole thing, but getting to actually live in a Christmas village, so to speak, a quarantined Christmas village, and make this magic at a time when the world is so crazy, it was a much needed stray from reality for me.

Suzanne:   Yeah, I bet that was fun.

Carly:   Yeah, it was amazing.

Suzanne:   Yeah, I was watching another Christmas movie that they hadn’t finished yet, and a lot of it was special effects, and I’m watching the unfinished version, and it says, “FX here.”

Carly:   “Snow here.”

Suzanne:   Yeah, and I was thinking when I was watching your movie, I’m like, “Well, which which part of this is real?”

Carly:   I heard that from someone else. I haven’t seen it yet, but I heard somebody else was like, “This looks cool.” Like, all right, I’ll take that.

Suzanne:   Yeah, when you start seeing that thing, it makes you doubt everything you see.

Carly:   I know. You’re like, “What’s real and what’s not?” because now I’ve seen the before and the after.

Suzanne:   So, you’re still working on American Housewife as well?

Carly:   I will be, yeah, in the first episode of season five, and then I will no longer be.

Suzanne:   Okay, and it’s premiering tomorrow, right?

Carly:   Yeah, it’s a fun one too.

Suzanne:   Oh, good. Anything you can tell us about season five or the episode you’re in?

Carly:   It’s so crazy, because we shot half of it before the pandemic, but then we got locked down, so we had to finish it after. My brain is like, “What? Christmas? Where are we again?” There’s a huge graduation that takes place and then a surprise that takes place after graduation with a principal and Maria. You know, the girls are up to their regular antics that breakfast. We haven’t tended to stray from that formula on Housewife. Yeah, so we’re kind of up to our old bag of tricks.

Suzanne:   Cool, and they had all the same changes that you had in the movie as far as the pandemic, the safety things?

Carly:   Yes, no production is allowed to go back to filming without testing every, I think, 72 hours and without protocols on set with hair and makeup and face shields and screenings and masks. I think they actually have to wear an N 95, and no one’s in one huge trailer anymore. A lot of productions makeup is split up, one person per room and [unintelligible]. They’ve really almost got it down to an art. I mean, every production is a little different, but the protocol is the same.

Suzanne:   It must be interesting to have to completely do things differently all of a sudden after doing it for years.

Carly:   Yeah, it’s insane, because, you get into a routine of doing anything that you’ve done forever. Even if it’s something small that changes, you know, like I go to hair and makeup, then I put on a costume, and then I go to set. Now it’s like, no, you wait to get your temperature, you probably get a swab up your nose, you go to one person for hair maybe, another for makeup maybe, and then you go sit by yourself until you’re directed to [go on set]. You know, it’s very interesting, but you have to just adopt these things as a new norm because they’re going to be around for a while.

Suzanne:   Does that make for longer hours for you guys?

Carly:   Yeah, I think for a while it will make it longer for everyone until you get into the swing of it, and then, like anything, it starts to speed up and you’re like, “Okay, we got this down to a science.” But now it’s just being optimistically cautious, because everyone has to be negative in order for production to stay up between the hair and makeup and actors and crew. Everyone has to test negative. So, if there’s one person positive, it ruins it.

Suzanne:   Yeah. You said about The Bold and the Beautiful, they actually had the same thing happen on Days of Our Lives. They had to shut down for two weeks again after somebody was negative, but it didn’t affect their schedule that much, so it was good.

Carly:   That’s good. I know [unintelligible].

Suzanne:   So, do you have anything else you’re working on that you can tell us about?

Carly:   I’m working on a cookbook based on all my cooking segments I’ve done this quarantine on my Instagram. So, that is actually exciting, and it’s nice to stray a little bit until I await the next big gig in terms of TV and film. It’s like I have other other, you know, irons in the fire.

Suzanne:   So, you were working on that during the pandemic. What else were you doing during the pandemic?

Carly:   Yeah, I do cooking segments on Cooking with Carly on my Instagram, and so the recipes that I’ve just thought of either in the moment or the day before, I cook them step by step and then do our tasting. So, between March and now, I have a vast number of recipes that I’ve just made my own that are actually delicious. So, now I can hunker down and [be] thankful that that’s one thing the pandemic has given all of us, is time. So, there’s no excuse now. Like, I may not want to make my bed, which is fine, but now there’s no excuse not to write the recipes down, get it together, and make something out of it.

Suzanne:   That’s cool. I started following you this morning Instagram, so I’ll have to look back at some of your recipes.

Carly:   Oh, yeah, when you get a moment today, I just did a cooking segment yesterday. They’re always in my Insta Story, and so the most recent one I did last night is still in my Insta Stories. Then after that, I always put them in my highlights, so you can go to the highlights and see the other recipes.

Suzanne:   Okay, good. I’ll check that out then. I like to cook.

Carly:   Yeah, it’s so good.

Suzanne:   Actually, I like to bake more than I like to cook but –

Carly:   That’s my mom. My mom’s like, “I’ll cook if i have to, but I love to bake.”

Suzanne:   Exactly. When you have to cook for other people, it’s more of a chore.

Carly:   Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

Suzanne:   All right. Well, thanks a lot. I really appreciate your talking to me today.

Carly:   Thank you so much for taking the time.

Suzanne:   And you have a good Halloween and everything.

Carly:   Thank you. Happy Holidays. Happy Christmas.

Suzanne:   Yes. You’re already in the Christmas mood, aren’t you?

Carly:   I am. I’m starting decorating this week. I’m not even kidding.

Suzanne:   Oh, wow. I have to take down all my Halloween decorations.

Carly:   I’m leaving the Halloween outside, and I’m gonna start my winter wonderland inside, because, you know, I go in, so it takes me a moment to get my theme going and get inspired. All different stages.

Suzanne:   Well, you have fun. I’ll look forward to seeing the pictures when you post them on Instagram.

Carly:   I will, thank you.

Suzanne:   All right, thank you.

Here is the audio version of it.

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of


Video Clip #1 On her first morning in Lantern Grove, Jackie (Carly Hughes) meets several of the locals: including Finn (Rob Mayes), the Mayor (Rick Macy), and Teddy (Langi Tuifua).

Video Clip #2 Media tycoon Melanie (Marie Osmond) considers acquiring the small town Lantern Grove press, much to the surprise of its editor Jackie (Carly Hughes).

Carly Hughes of "The Christmas Edition" on Lifetime 11/15/20There’s nothing like bringing a little, much-needed holiday cheer to the viewing audience at the most tumultuous tine any of us have experienced.  As one of our favorite journalists, we are coming to you first regarding one of the most anticipated new movies to air next month, Hybrid’s The Christmas Edition, starring Carly Hughes, Rob Mayes, Marie Osmond and  Aloma Wright premiering November 15th,  8pm ET/PT on Lifetime.

The Peter Sullivan-directed gem stars Carly Hughes (American Housewives) as ‘Jackie,’ an up-and-coming journalist, who finds that her life is at a crossroads until she finds an unexpected opportunity – to run a small-town newspaper in Alaska. Jackie decides to give it a try and relocates to the remote, picture-perfect small town. Using a series of Christmas articles, she’s able to quickly return the newspaper to profitability, and soon falls in love… both with her new home and the handsome son of the paper’s former owner. However, when her old boss announces plans to take over the paper for herself, Jackie will need a Christmas miracle to save it.  No Christmas movie is complete without a consequential appearance by the likes of singular  Marie Osmond  who portrays the newspaper owner which puts Hughes’ character at the most important crossroads of her career."The Christmas Edition" on Lifetime 11/15/20

The Christmas Edition is produced by Hybrid LLC with Jeff Schenck and Barry Barnholtz executive producing. Peter Sullivan, who has become one of the network’s favorite masters behind the lens, directed from a script by Anna White.

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Carly Hughes of "The Christmas Edition" on Lifetime 11/15/20

Interview with Aliyah Royale

TV Interview!

Aliyah Royale of "The Walking Dead: World Beyond" on AMC

Interview with Aliyah Royale of “The Walking Dead: World Beyond” on AMC by Suzanne 11/3/20

This was a very fun interview. She’s very professional and knowledgeable for someone as young as she is, since she’s been acting for a long time. I really enjoy her show, which is a little different from the other two “Walking Dead” shows.

Suzanne:   So, tell us how you got the role of Iris…

Aliyah:   Oh, my goodness! I had actually auditioned under these, I guess I’ll just call them – fake sides. It wasn’t the real script, and her name wasn’t Iris yet. I can’t remember what her name was, but it was a scene where she was giving this student council meeting. She’s the class president. She’s telling everyone, “What do you need from me? What do you need done?” and they’re telling her what they need from her. Then the scene switches – the same scene; it’s one scene all the way through – the scene switches, and she’s in the classroom by herself. Everyone has left, and she just breaks, and she starts bawling, having a full on mental breakdown. She just cannot catch a break. She can’t catch her breath either. I remember going like, “Wow, that’s crazy,” especially to be depicted in a young person, the fact that we can handle our business so long in life, you know, go through the motions, but then when we’re finally stopped, and we have a moment to ourselves, sometimes we’re not okay. And the fact that I had no idea if this is Iris with the fact that I was looking at this character and these sides, I was like, “Oh my god, I’m totally playing this role.” I’m like, “This is going to be so much fun.” I had totally forgotten that it was a Walking Dead project, because if I would have remembered that, I would have been scared out of my wits and terrified of walkers. The fact that I even got the role, it’s an insane opportunity. I’m happy to be here.

Suzanne:   So, when you have to take on the role of Iris, what do you do mentally or physically to prepare for it?

Aliyah:   Physically, the moment we touched down in Virginia, we had to do a lot of just physical training, hand to hand combat working with different weapons. My weapon is actually really long. She’s taller than me, and I’m 5’3’’, and she’s super heavy. So, getting used to having that on me for several hours a day and working and running, jumping, doing stuff with it, I definitely had to switch up my lifestyle. I love food; I love a good cheeseburger. I love my carbs. I definitely had to adopt, or attempt to adopt, a healthier eating lifestyle when you’re on a show that does stunts and has such a like physically vigorous role, just getting into it in general. Although, she’s a lot like me. She’s young, but she’s fierce. She’s motivated. She knows what she wants. She just really has to figure out how to execute it, but she’s doing what she wants. And I love playing a young adult, especially a young woman painted that way.

Suzanne:   Have all 10 episodes for the season been filmed already?

Aliyah:   Yes, we filmed all the episodes; we shot from July to December of last year, so totally pre-pandemic.

Suzanne:   Have you started yet on Season Two?

Aliyah:   We have our writers room up and running. Right now we had to push back production due to pandemic reasons, but early 2021 we’re back in motion. Season Two is already even crazier than season one, so I’m super excited.

Suzanne:   How was it living in Virginia?

Aliyah:   My mother was actually born in Virginia, and I have lived in Virginia before. It’s no like foreign place to me. It was crazy actually, being on the ground shooting in the backwoods. We had to go to the outskirts of Virginia to shoot, because we have to shoot in the forest, the woods, and really rundown abandoned locations. It was crazy. It was like 105 degrees with the most absurd humidity you can ever imagine. Sometimes there would even be lightning storms in the summer while it’s 100 degrees. Virginia’s strange place.

Suzanne:   Yeah, I’ve lived in Georgia, Alabama, and now I live in Arkansas, so I know how those thunderstorms can be, and the humidity.

Aliyah:   I did not know that there were thunderstorms in the summer. I guess I just didn’t remember that growing up. It was crazy.

Suzanne:   And it doesn’t always cool off afterwards, either, like you would expect it to.

Aliyah:   No, not at all.

Suzanne:   So, I hope you don’t think this question is rude or too private, so tell me to move on if it is, but… is Royale your real last name, or is it “royal?”

Aliyah:   That’s awesome that you asked that. My first name, my legal first name, is Aliyah Royale. So, Royale is not my last name. It’s part of my first name. It’s a fun little thing. It’s like Mary Jane or something like that. Whatever, you know, my parents were bougie. That’s the most I can say about that.

Suzanne:   That’s fine. I mean, usually I go to like Wikipedia and look it up, and they’ll say, “Oh, her original name was blah, blah, blah,” but you’re not on Wikipedia. You gotta get on there!

Aliyah:   You know, I think that was the new source that I was trying – we were specifically told not to use it in school essays and everything. I think like, “If it’s on Wikipedia, is it even true?”

Suzanne:   Yeah, most of Wikipedia is true, just because anybody can add stuff, but they have people who oversee it and throw out stuff (that’s not true).

Aliyah:   Yeah, my birthday is still wrong on Google. I haven’t gotten around to fixing it.

Suzanne:   I understand. Google can be hit or miss. They have all kinds of different sources. But I think, as far as TV, at least, and celebrities, Wikipedia is usually fairly accurate. I mean, they’ll leave out stuff sometimes…

Aliyah:   Yeah, absolutely.

Suzanne:   So, it was announced there are only 2 seasons of the show. How do you feel about that?

Aliyah:   I think, honestly, just where I came from, the first, like, 2, 3 years of my career, I was doing background work, extra work. I wasn’t getting any auditions. I really just had no chance. So, to be just working regularly, I’m blessed whether I get to do it for 2, 10 seasons. I am just blessed to be here, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to go to work every day and do what I love, because I remember sitting on the bench waiting for this opportunity for 3 years.

Suzanne:   Were you a fan of the other Walking Dead shows before you got the show?

Aliyah:   No, no. I I think I was 9 or 10 when the first season of The Walking Dead came out, and I could scare pretty easily as a child. So, the undead walkers, they– they held a special place in my nightmares. I avoided them at all costs; but my two brothers were immediate fans. They still are just completely into all that. I’m even working on a show they have adored for 10 plus years. I’m a fan now.

Suzanne:   That’s good. Yeah, I don’t actually watch the other two shows. I’m not a fan of zombies at all. So, I don’t even like watching them on TV, if I can help it.

Aliyah:   They’re just so scary. I don’t know why, but there’s one creature – like I can handle, I don’t know, like ghosts or spirits, vampires, werewolves, whatever you want to come up with, but those? I’d rather have to sit face to face with a clown. Be near a walker? Like, no way.

Suzanne:   Because they’re gross and creepy. You can run away from them, but still. And you can tell whoever you see – that’s in charge – that I’m very glad they don’t seem to have as many gross zombies on your show as they do on the other two, at least so far.

Aliyah:   Yeah, our show is definitely more character-based, story-based. You have the action and the gore when it’s necessary and pertinent to the story, but it’s really important for us – I think this is the first series where we’re really, really focused on just developing really cool storylines with characters that anyone can identify with.

Suzanne:   Yes, definitely. I love that. That’s the best thing about TV, as opposed to movies, is the characters and the development of the characters.

What is the most challenging part of playing Iris?

Aliyah:   Just, growing up, I’m a military brat. I am the youngest, but I just grew up very – I knew who I was the moment I came out the womb; that’s just who I am. Playing Iris, you know, she is younger than me, but it’s also this idea that she’s a kid, and I have to keep some of that naivety to her, but it was also important to me to keep the strength that she has, the fierceness. You know what I mean? She’s not living in fear. There’s a difference between a teen who was rebellious and a teen who’s just curious and just wants to learn. I mean, it was important to me to keep her naive qualities and that innocence that I didn’t really have growing up, while still maintaining her confidence, her assertiveness, and just the way that she decides her fate. That’s an interesting life to learn when you’re a young age, and I can say it thoughtfully, because I did live it.

Suzanne:   What’s been the most fun part of playing Iris?

Aliyah:   Oh, definitely just the stunts, and never have I ever done stunt work in my career. I mean, I’m only 20; I’m pretty new at this, but being able to just slice and dice and work with my weapons, it really makes you feel like a type of superhero, a type of warrior. I’m thankful for that opportunity, because I have so much fun with my weapon, and whether we go 2 seasons or 10 seasons, I am taking her home with me, for sure.

Suzanne:   So, are you’re gonna get into martial arts and stuff now do you think, after the show’s over?

Aliyah:   Oh, my goodness. You know, I’ve always wanted to play kind of like Nikita, that kind of role going forwards, and Red Sparrow, some sort of like special intelligence kind of role. I’d totally be down for it. I think that’s a fabulous opportunity. I definitely have to get in better shape though. I have to get real serious, like some Marvel superhero type of training for sure.

Suzanne:   Do you have any fun or interesting behind the scenes stories that you can share with us?

Aliyah:   There’s a reason Alexa [Mansour] and I are very, very close, actually. Virginia is a very haunted place, and in my first week being there, I was in my apartment; I was sleeping. I woke up from this ridiculously terrifying nightmare, and I went to open my bedroom door, and a spirit walked right through me. It scared the daylights out of me, because not that I don’t believe in paranormal activity, but I stay far away from it for the most part. The fact that just this thing, just the way that I felt after, I had called my mom screaming, kicking, crying. I was like, “Mom, I can’t be here. You don’t understand what just happened. Something literally walked through me; it was so strange.” And it’s funny, because I’ve gone to set and talked about it. Everyone’s like “Oh, yeah, this is Virginia. That happens all the time.” Everyone here has a ghost story about Virginia. I remember calling my sister, well, Alexa who plays my sister on the show. I was like, “Bro, there was a whole ghost in my apartment,” and she was like, “Say yes; move in with me,” and I did. We lived together the entire rest of the shoot the whole six months. We were inseparable. That’s my best friend.

Suzanne:   Oh, cool. That’s really nice. And did you see any more ghosts once you moved in with her?

Aliyah:   No, no more ghosts at all. That was the end of that, but you know, I’m not upset about that.

Suzanne:   Well, I guess that’s a good note to end on, then.

Aliyah:   Exactly.

Suzanne:   Well, thank you very much. I really appreciate you talking to me.

Aliyah:   Thank you. I can’t wait till we talk again.

Suzanne:   Yes, yeah. I really enjoyed the show, and I will keep watching.

Aliyah:   Oh, my God, thank you so much. I think episode seven is one of my favorites, because Iris gets a little– a little love interest; I’m excited.

Here is the audio version of it.

Additional questions that fans posted and Aliyah answered via email:

Suzanne:  Do you feel that the post apocalypse would really be the way it is on the show?

Aliyah:   In many ways, yes. I think the living conditions are especially accurate! There’s no hot showers, no more pizza delivery. Then in terms of how people interact with each other: there’s definitely a greater push and pull between neighboring communities. You’re in survival mode at all times. It’s so much harder to trust someone. But you also want to be able to meet and befriend someone else because it’s so rare. World Beyond does a great job of throwing light on these issues in a realistic way.

Suzanne:  Even though the show itself is so far a completely separate storyline than the other two main shows, do you feel at all connected to the other two Walking Dead shows?

Aliyah:   World Beyond is its own entity and that’s evident from the way it’s shot to the way the storyline develops. And that’s what makes it significant. We’re still showing the daily struggles and problems that arise in the apocalypse, just from a new place and a new perspective. And that’s why it’s a valuable Walking Dead series.

Suzanne:  Will we learn more about the CRM?

Aliyah:   Absolutely! Season 1 shows a lot of hidden looks into the operations of the Civic Republic and the CRM. But Season 2 goes even deeper. We are going to learn a lot from Julia Ormond’s character, Col. Elizabeth Kublek.

Suzanne:  Do you think there would be a crossover to the other shows?

Aliyah:   I sure hope so! It would be a blessing to collaborate with the legends on the other series. There’s so much possibility in the Walking Dead universe.

Suzanne:  What were your thoughts about the first big herd that Iris and company had to fight?

Aliyah:   That was one of my favorite scenes to shoot. Everyone working together to keep each other alive. There may be disagreements within the group on which road to take and how best to execute a mission. But when it comes to life and death situations with these walkers, we’re always going to band together and fight until everyone is safe.

Suzanne:  What’s your favorite episode of the first season and why?

Aliyah:   My favorite episode is number four! The moment where Silas and Iris are dancing in the school gym and the other students appear around them is so special to me. I never had that experience in high school. So getting that moment from World Beyond means everything to me.

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of

MORE INFO:Aliyah Royale of "The Walking Dead: World Beyond" on AMC

Proclaimed as “one of this year’s biggest and most respected breakout stars” as told to The Hollywood Reporter, the multi-talented, charismatic and beautiful actress Aliyah Royale is undoubtedly Hollywood’s next big superstar as she stars as the lead in the highly-anticipated television spin-off series “The Walking Dead: World Beyond,” co-created by TWD mainstay Scott M. Gimple and showrunner Matt Negrete. Based on the extremely popular AMC series, “TWD: World Beyond” is a gritty drama set 10 years following the apocalypse and is a coming-of-age experience for the youth who grew up in the decade following the outbreak. It will expand upon the already established apocalyptic society and introduce a new group of young characters led by Aliyah’s character ‘Iris Bennett’ and her sister ‘Hope’ (Alexis Mansour) who are the first generation raised in the apocalypse and have never known a world beyond. “The Walking Dead: World Beyond” premieres this Sunday, October 4th at 10:00pm ET/9c on AMC following the season finale of “The Walking Dead.”
‘Iris Bennett’ (Aliyah Royale) is a well-liked, above-average high school student who has spent the decade living with her adopted sister within an enclosed community and literally walled off from the dangerous world outside. A smart student leader, Iris is proud to be following in her scientist father’s footsteps to one day bring back the world to what it was. Just as she’s starting to wonder if she’s been living her life for everyone but herself, an unforeseen event pushes Iris to lead a seemingly impossible cross-country quest. As Iris and the group leave the sheltered world behind, they will be challenged and will forge deep friendships through shared experience, trauma, the love of family and ties that run deep.
The quest aspect makes it very different beyond the fact that these kids are unlike characters we’ve seen before. They’ve grown up in all of this but they’ve also grown up in relative safety. So they’re aware of the world and of walkers but they’ve grown up behind walls so they’re not out there mixing it up with the walkers and the dangers.
– Scott M. Gimple (The Walking Dead showrunner & AMC’s Chief Content Officer)
Born in Maryland, Royale is a self-described “military brat” who grew up living on military bases in Michigan, Kentucky, Fort Knox, Baltimore, Macomb, and San Jose. She was an excellent student enrolled in honors and AP classes while also taking concurrent classes at a community college. She began acting at a young age and participated in local musical theater (including Playhouse West), church and school plays, and took acting classes which eventually led her to tell her mom she wanted to move to Los Angeles and pursue her craft professionally. In addition to being a talented actress, Royale always had a huge love for fashion and had the talent and skillset to participate as a kid designer in “Project Runway: Threads and The Designer Kids Project.” After moving to Los Angeles, Royale booked roles in commercials, television and film such as TNT’s “Major Crimes,” Bounce TV’s “Mann and Wife,” NBC TV movie “Strange Calls,” and her first TV series debut in the CBS limited series by Ava Duvernay and Greg Berlanti “The Red Line” in which she received rave reviews for her beautiful yet heartbreaking role as Jira, an adopted teenage daughter of an interracial male couple who is grieving the death of one father, an unarmed black doctor who was mistakenly shot by a white police officer during a drugstore robbery. This emotionally demanding role brought the young actress to the spotlight.
In addition to her passion for acting and fashion, Royale is a huge movie buff and is a lover of classic films like Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, A Street Car Named Desire, Cape Fear and Schindler’s List, to name a few. She’s a fan of every genre, from comedy to fantasy, and gets her acting inspiration from movie star icons Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn. Royale is also an avid reader and writer and one day hopes to start her own production company. Playing similar roles as an adopted child in both “The Red Line” and “The Walking Dead: World Beyond” and being raised by a single mother following her parent’s divorce as a teenager, Royale aims to help kids in foster and to create luxury housing communities for low-income, single family households.

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Aliyah Royale of "The Walking Dead: World Beyond" on AMC

Interview with Laurence Leboeuf

TV Interview!

Laurence Leboeuf of "Transplant" Tuesdays on NBC

Interview with Laurence Leboeuf (Mags) of “Transplant” Tuesdays on NBC  by Suzanne 10/30/20

I had a lot of fun interviewing Laurence! She is very nice and easy-going. I love her character on “Transplant.”  What an amazing person, too, to have accomplished so much at a young age. She’s had quite a career already, since she started at such a young age.

Suzanne:   So, do you pronounce your name like “Laurence?”

Laurence:   Yeah, exactly. [pronounces it] “Laurence.”

Suzanne:   Okay, great. I just wanted to make sure I got it right.

Laurence:   Yeah, thank you.

Suzanne:   So, we’re seeing your season one here in the US. Can you go back to tell us how the audition process for the role went?

Laurence:   Oh, actually, I have to say that I had worked with a couple people from a show prior to Transplant that was called 19-2 here in Canada. I think they just knew my work, and they saw me in this role, and they offered me the part. It was really amazing.

Suzanne:   So, you didn’t have to audition or anything?

Laurence:   No, exactly. I read the script, and I just fell in love with the scripts and with Mags, and I just decided to jump in and be on board.

Suzanne:   Great. Did you know any of the cast already?

Laurence:   I didn’t; I really didn’t. Hamza [Haq] and I have a friend in common, but we never met. I’d heard of him, but I never met him. I just heard great things about him. I didn’t know Jim [Watson] either. And I knew Ayisha [Issa], because she had done a French Canadian show as well, and so I knew her work, but I had never met her either. John Hannah, either. So, it was all new; all discoveries.

Suzanne:   Your character is very intense, very driven. How do you prepare to get in character?

Laurence:   Well, what was lovely about Transplant, was that we had the opportunity to have boot camps prior to shooting. So, even during shooting on the weekends, we’d have boot camps with doctors and stuff. We’d run through the big scenes and stuff. We had boot camps before we even started shooting and [would] just to go over what the most common maneuvers of doctors are and what it feels like in the ER and stuff like that. So, that was really enriching.

Then, the biggest challenge, for me, was the dialogue, the medical dialogue, that I really wanted to deliver super fast. So, my days were a lot about practicing my lines and making sure I got all those lines down. That’s mostly how I would prepare for this role.

Suzanne:   How are you like her? Is there anything in her that is like you?

Laurence:   I mean, she’s a very passionate person, and I think I have that too in my work. I am not as much a workaholic as she is, but I definitely I have that passion for the business that I’m in and what I do. I think we we kind of share that but, she’s effective. I tend to like to live outside my job.

Suzanne:   You’re from Montreal, right?

Laurence:   I am, yes.

Suzanne:   That’s a great city.

Laurence:   You’ve been?

Suzanne:   Oh, yeah. My husband and I both love it. We’ve been there a few times, with great restaurants and everything. Yeah, my husband’s family’s actually originally from Quebec City. He doesn’t speak any French.

Laurence:   It’s hard to learn, I have to admit.

Suzanne:   We’re older, so his father is even older. So, his grandparents came over and his father spoke French and went to a French only school in the US until he was 14.

Laurence:   Oh my God, wow.

Suzanne:   Yeah. So that’s bizarre, isn’t it?

Laurence:   That’s nice.

Suzanne:   But he didn’t pass it on to his son; I don’t know why.

So, this might be an odd question, but did anyone ever give you a hard time having a name that’s spelled like, “Laurence,” or did you avoid that, because you’re from Montreal?

Laurence:   Well, you know, here, in French, it’s a common name, so there’s no problem. I guess, maybe in Canada, they’re a bit more used to the French sounding names. In the States, I did have like a bit of – because there’s no W, and because sometimes it’s mostly like a guy’s name, sometimes it’s created a little awkward moment in audition rooms. You know what? People ask, “How do you pronounce it?” Then, that’s it.

Suzanne:   That’s good. It’s probably good that you weren’t in the US or somewhere where kids are cruel.

Laurence:   Exactly. No, I was never teased.

Suzanne:   Oh, that’s good. Now your parents were actors, did they approve of you becoming an actor as well?

Laurence:   They are. They’re both actors in Quebec, so they don’t really speak English. So, they do a lot of theater here in Montreal and around Quebec, and my dad owned a theater for 18 years, and they’re both into TV as well. So, when I started saying when I was really young that I wanted to be an actress, they were just like, “Are you sure?” Like, “Okay, let’s try.” Then, I started auditioning and never stopped since then. So, you know, I think they had no choice. So, they embraced my choice.

Suzanne:   Did they give you some good advice about it?

Laurence:   They did, but I’ve been very independent in that way of, you know, finding my own way of working, and because I started so young, I don’t know, there’s something instinctive about it, and I’ve been very independent. So [they’re] always very impressed and very proud that I speak English and that I’m, making a career out of it.

Suzanne:   The cast of your show seems to work very well together. How long did it take for you to feel like sort of a cohesive unit?

Laurence:   I mean, I have to admit that right away, it felt like we were on the same boat. We all met at our first boot camp. You’re all kind of virgins of this, you know, medical realm and you’re kind of learning at the same stage, and everyone’s a bit scared, and everyone’s a bit excited and nervous. So, I think we all met in the same mood, and right away, we kind of clicked and felt like, “Okay, we’re gonna do this all together. We’re gonna be together for like, eight months, maybe a couple years, and why not?” And I think right away, we just kind of bonded, and it was then great after that. Ever since, it just went more and more, and it’s great.

Suzanne:  Oh, cool. Is there anyone particular from the show that you tend to hang out with?

Laurence:   I mean, I work a lot with Hamza, so we spent a lot of time together on and off. We kind of have the same childish, goofy kind of style backstage, so running around a little bit and doing funny stuff. You know, he was kind of my partner for that, but it’s not like it’s – with everybody really, I mean, we’re pretty close. It’s a big studio. So, there’s one corridor that has all the actors’ chairs, and then we just hang out,

Suzanne:   Have they told you yet when you’ll be back filming season two?

Laurence:   I mean, you know, it’s been this whole pandemic thing. It’s been pushed a couple of times. I think, now what we’re hearing, is the end of January when we start the second season. So, fingers crossed that nothing’s going to get worse and that we’re gonna have to push again, but hopefully not, because I know productions have started, and it’s doable.

Suzanne:   So, I watched the next episode, and your character goes through a lot trying to figure out how to do her job without getting so involved, and she has to give up her car. That was funny. It’s supposed to be kind of sad at the end, but I was kind of like, “Oh, she had to give up her car; that’s terrible.”

Laurence:   Yeah.

Suzanne:   So, will we see any romance for her and maybe another doctor? Or do you know?

Laurence:   I mean, I do know.

Suzanne:   But you can’t say.

Laurence:   I think, what I can say, is just there’s some tension a little bit with someone, but I think it’s something that’s going to have to be discovered, maybe on another season. For now, she’s very job focused and very obsessed.

Suzanne:   Well, she and Bashir are the obvious couple. I don’t know if they’re gonna go that way or not.

Laurence:   I mean, they have something; obviously they have great chemistry, and they get along. They’re intrigued by each other, and I think, you know, maybe something will grow, or not.

Suzanne:   Well, it was funny in that episode when he was looking for a place to stay, and he was talking to her, and then she got the other doctor to give him a place to stay. I thought that was interesting, because since she’s hardly ever home, I would have thought that she would have just said, “Oh, well come stay at my place. I’m never there anyway.”

Laurence:   Maybe the fact that she had a one bedroom, that would have been maybe a bit more awkward to be with the sister, and, you know, when you don’t know somebody living on your couch. At least Theo has two bedrooms and more space; I think that’s how she thought of it.

Suzanne:   Well, it was nice that they pulled that little switch on us. That was unexpected.

Laurence:   Yeah, Mags shares, that’s for sure.

Suzanne:   Yeah, definitely. It’s nice that they’re taking that kind of stuff slowly though, because they’re not making it like Grey’s Anatomy, or ER, some of these shows where it seems like the romances between the characters are more important than the medical stuff.

Laurence:   Yeah, I think they found a great balance there, and also, it’s intriguing. It really is, even for us reading it. We’re kind of waiting for or expecting certain things, and then we get thrown another ball, and we’re like, “Okay then, not yet.” Then, also, we’re discovering, and it’s intriguing to do that slowly, and I like that. I like that a lot.

Suzanne:   Anything else you can tell us about your character and her journey?

Laurence:   I think, for this first season of Magalie’s journey, she’s really trying to find that balance with her career and her personal life. I think we’re gonna see her get to the end of the rope with how much she takes on, so I think it’s a bit of that crash that we’re gonna witness with Mags.

Suzanne:   Okay, and what have you been doing to keep busy during the pandemic?

Laurence:   What have I been doing?

Suzanne:   Yeah, like how do you spend your time?

Laurence:   Oh, my God, I’ve done so much, I feel, and nothing at the same time! I’ve read so many books. This summer was amazing, because I have a country house, so I was able to be on the lake and sail and paddle board and do all that stuff. So, that was amazing.

And thank God I had that space; I felt very lucky. I’ve been doing stuff like learning my African countries and improving my capitals, you know, stuff like that. I don’t know, a lot of reading, a lot of watching movies that I haven’t seen, a lot of cooking, that kind of stuff; we’re trying to trying to be positive.

Suzanne:   Do you have any other projects coming out that you can tell us about? Anything besides Transplant?

Laurence:   For now, I’m pretty much on hold for that. So, I am just gonna focus on the second season coming up.

Here is the audio version of it.

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of



Dr. Magalie “Mags” Leblanc


Laurence Leboeuf stars as Dr. Magalie “Mags” Leblanc, a ferociously analytical second-year resident who puts enormous pressure on herself to go the extra mile, in NBC’s drama “Transplant.”

Whether in French or English, Leboeuf welcomes opportunities to work in both languages. She has been working since 11 and is a well-respected Canadian actor, following in her parents’ footsteps.

With the release of “Turbo Kid,” Leboeuf was launched onto the international stage. The film was very well received at several festivals, including Sundance, SXSW and Fantasia Film Festival.

In addition to the successful drama “19-2,” other credits include the psychological thriller “Mont Foster” and “Apapacho – Une Caresse Pour L’Ame,” written and directed by acclaimed director Marquise Lepage.

Leboeuf is passionate about her charity work and over the years has collaborated with numerous causes, including Centraide, Oxfam and Habitat for Humanity.


11/10/2020 (10:01PM – 11:00PM) (Tuesday) : Bashir attends to a worried couple at the hospital expecting their first child. Dr. Bishop puts Mags to the test by evaluating her performance in the emergency department. Theo is unpleasantly surprised by an unhappy patient. Dr. Atwater gives June an interesting case to evaluate. TV-14 Promo

Video Clip  featuring Laurence! (EXCLUSIVE!)

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

Back to the Primetime Articles and Interviews Page

Laurence Leboeuf (Mags) of "Transplant" on NBC

Interview with Tim Reid

TV Interview!

Tim Reid Actor, Comedian, Filmmaker and Social Activist was the guest speaker at the United States Department of Agriculture Black History Month celebration “Black Women in American Culture and History” in Washington, DC Thursday, February 16, 2012. Reid spoke of the importance of women in his family, life and of the contributions of Black women to American history. Reid produced a documentary for USDA Cultural Transformation.

Interview with Tim Reid of “A Welcome Home Christmas” on Lifetime by Suzanne 10/28/20

I really enjoyed this interview. Most people are probably familiar with his work through his many roles, starting with Venus Flytrap in “WKRP in Cinncinnati,” or Lt. Brown in “Simon & Simon,” Ray in “Sister, Sister,” Bishop Jeffries in “Greenleaf,” or his many other roles. I just loved him in those first two series, so I made sure to watch him after that. I’m a huge fan. He’s a brilliant person and activist as well as actor and filmmaker. He’s not the star of this Lifetime holiday movie, but he’s an important part of it.  Don’t miss it because it’s fun, romantic and inspiring.

Suzanne:   So, how did your part in this movie come about?

Tim:   Someone called me, and I said, “Yes.” The old fashioned way.

Suzanne:   Oh!  So, do you find that you don’t have to interview so much anymore? They just call you?

Tim:   No, sometimes. You know, I’ve been fortunate enough to have done a Christmas movie for the last, I guess, four or five years, and I’ve done a couple of them through Lifetime, Oprah, and a few other places, Hallmark. So, they were familiar with my work and thought that I would fit the role of General O’Toole. I said, “Yes.” I got the script, and I liked it. It was dealing with something that’s current today: soldiers and coming home and some of the angst that they go through. I thought, “Oh, it’s a nice theme; it’s a different way to do a Christmas movie.” So, I came on, and they did a wonderful job.

Suzanne:   Yeah, I watched it. It was good. I enjoyed it.

Tim:   I was pleased to be a part of it.

Suzanne:   Were you familiar with any of the cast and crew?

Tim:   Not before. Well, of course, Charlene [Tilton], I knew her from from the old days, but other than Charlene, I did not know the other actors. [They were] very nice actors and good people.

We were all under a very difficult shoot, because we one of the first movies, if not the first movie, to have to operate under the new rules and regulations from both unions, SAG-AFTRA, and DGA and APSE, and so we were sort of like the test case. It was very difficult, but that being said, I applaud the crew and the production team and, of course, the cast for putting up with these rules. There wasn’t anything that anybody could do to stop it. I mean, our businesses look different than the rest of the world, because we have not only strong unions, but we have a sense – we know our business is a very dangerous business. People don’t realize how dangerous making a movie can be, but it is, and it’s one that doesn’t have a lot of tolerance for debate. It is very dictatorial, based on you take the job, the calls for you to do a particular task, lighting, acting, whatever, makeup, and you’re told these are the rules. You have to wear a mask, and you can’t take that mask off until the director yells action, if you’re an actor. If you’re not an actor, you don’t take it off at all. And you will be tested. Every other day, someone will stick a cotton swab up your nose, and you will do that every other day.

Now you have the option of saying, “You are violating my rights,”  [but] then you go home, and somebody else will come in and do that job. So, if you don’t want to do it, don’t come. If you come, these are the rules.

And I think because of that, it was very difficult when you’ve got so many people, actors and crews, and you have to be tested; the cost of that, one hundred dollars a pop. We were there three weeks. We had to stay in quarantine for one full week, because somebody did come down [with it], were tested positive, I should say. So, from that point on, I was under quarantine in a hotel in the middle of somewhere in Tennessee, where I think you’d go for witness protection, but there was nothing going on there, and the hotel was on lockdown, so I couldn’t leave. I was stuck there for several days in the middle of this pandemic, and it was a test of character for everybody.

And you’ve got to remember, when we’re shooting, you see these wonderful shots of us, and there’s no masks. The directors just yells, “Roll camera,” and everybody who’s in front of the camera takes off their mask. Everybody behind the camera, every human being, has a mask on. You know, we’re supposed to be playing winter, right? It’s 85 degrees, and I got on a coat, and we’ve got snow, fake snow, around, and you’ve got to act like it’s cold. Imagine working with a mask on at 80 something degrees, carrying heavy equipment and all of that. It wasn’t an easy job, but everybody worked hard. I think the look of it is certainly good, and the performances are good, but I give my hat to the crew and the production unit, because it was like a war. I mean, it really was difficult for them, more so than I’ve ever had to go through anything like that.

Now everybody has to do it; we were some of the first to do it, but we pulled it off. I appreciate the opportunity. I learned from it, and I applied it in my work and what we’re doing.

Suzanne:   Good. Yeah, when I watched it, it was a very rough take, and I’m used to seeing the screeners ahead of time, but it seemed like there was more than usual of these little things where it said [on the screen] , “visual effects, add snow,” whatever.

Tim:   Well, yeah, it was 80, 90 degrees some days, and it was for the exterior stuff. It was not easy, but even interior is hot inside. We’re in hangars and offices and, you know, air conditioning is in some of these buildings. They were not active buildings, because the quarantine closed down the city. I mean, this town was pretty much shut down. So, it was an interesting shoot.

Suzanne:   I’m sure. I’m hearing that a lot from various people I’ve been interviewing. It sort of adds an interesting layer to the interviews, that people have been talking about the pandemic or the shooting.

Tim:   Well, it tests your character, that’s for sure. But here’s the news: if you don’t want to do the job, go home; somebody else will do it.

Suzanne:   I thought it was funny when they paired your character with Charlene Tilton. She’s so much shorter than you are.

Tim:   Yes, I’ve known Charlene from way back when she was on Dallas. So, when they told me I was working with her, I said, “Oh, wonderful,” and then I thought, “Oh my god, she comes to my elbow, but we worked it out, [with] a few apple boxes here and there. We were fine. I hadn’t seen her in many, many years.

Suzanne:   Yeah, she’s looking good.

Tim:   Yeah, she’s hanging in there. She’s still got that vivacious character and fun sense of humor.

Suzanne:   It added to the comedy of the of the characters, I think, that she’s so much shorter than you are.

Tim:   Yes. It does happen in real life.

Suzanne:   So, I was in high school when WKRP was on. So, I remember watching you on that, and I loved Simon & Simon, and I watched Frank’s Place, and I really loved Linc’s; I wanted to tell you.

Tim:   Wow, [that’s rare] for somebody bring that up. That was my pet project.

Suzanne:   I was so upset when it didn’t go longer than a couple years.

Tim:   I’m upset that they won’t give me the 33 episodes. I did 33 episodes. I’m trying to get them back, because they deficit financed Viacom Productions, then they were sold to CBS. So, I’ve been trying to get them back, because I want to put them on streaming, then do maybe four more, five more episodes of today. You know, those people today, those who would come and then are recasted. But I thought now that show would be a wonderful show. Just think of the politics we could get into.

Suzanne:   I think it was a little bit ahead of its time, right?

Tim:   Yeah. I’m tired of being ahead of the time. Linc’s was ahead of the time. I want to be right up with what’s happening.

Suzanne:   Well, that was the first time I noticed – I don’t know if it was her first role, but Golden Brooks.

Tim:   It was her first role.

Suzanne:   She was so great.

Tim:   Also, a young man who played the cab driver from Nigeria in the first 10 or 12 episodes, he went on to do Oz and is big time actor now. That was his first job.

Suzanne:   So, which role do people usually recognize your most for?

Tim:   It depends on the age. I’ve been around for almost 45 years in the business, so, you know, your father and grandfather would know me from WKRP. Some baby boomers would know me from, like you say, Simon & Simon or That 70’s Show, and then the young people know me from Sister, Sister.

Suzanne:   Yeah, and I guess that’s streaming somewhere too.

Tim:   Yeah, it’s setting a record. I mean, it’s the most watch streaming show on Netflix of any brought  back show like that. So, people are finding it, and I think the timing of what’s going on with young people, especially the Z generation, they’re seeing themselves reflected in the show in a way that normally wouldn’t take the time to watch, but because everybody’s in lock down, I think [binge-watching] is helping a show like that. Once a week, it’s hard to stay in tune to the characters, but when you watch three or four of them in a row, you are there. You’re into these characters. You watch the nuances and the pathos and all that stuff that’s happening. You don’t see on them; you forget, but when you’re in it [you do]. And I’ve had some correspondence with people who are watching, and they’re saying, basically, that they saw it in reruns, but they never knew this was going on, the lessons.

Suzanne:   Yeah, I think there’s a lot of 90s nostalgia right now, too, so there’re a lot of people who grew up watching those shows that are going back and finding them.

Tim:   Yeah.

Suzanne:   Tell me about your new streaming network.

Tim:   Legacy of a People Network, that’s the full title, but the logo title is LGCY of a People Network. That’s what you can find me on; if you go on our webpage, it will be LGCY of a People Network. I chose a platform and advertising based platform to put all the content on, but what you do, if you go to my webpage, is you’re one click away from any title that you see there. We are trying to create a more international view of the African diaspora wherever they may find themselves. We have production, connections and talent, behind the camera talent, writers, producers, in London, in Nigeria, and Ethiopia, and now in South Africa, and they will be providing the original content and some of their other content.

Then, of course, I’m doing original content here. We’re going to be doing some talent; we’ve got some exciting talent coming up. We’ve got a young lady from South Africa, who is in the mole of Trevor Noah. I’m giving her a show called The Theta Show. It’s a talk show, but it starts out small, 15 to 20 minutes, and then we’ll see where we go with it. She’s very funny, a great singer and opinionated, feminist, and I think there’s nothing like that in the nighttime programming in America. So, hopefully, she’ll find a spot.

All these shows, they’re organically being created. So, we’re following how people respond to them and the subject matter, but I’ve seen so far three or four episodes, and I’m very excited about where this could go and how a talent could come out of it.


We have a young lady from Ethiopia doing cooking, lifestyle, and fashion, and Sally May, she’s an international model and all that, so we’re trying to bring it in. And we can redo a fitness show from someone. Again, these are a more personality driven shows as opposed to about fitness, but she’s certainly gonna shake up a few things with what she’s doing.

And I’m doing some stuff; we’re doing a talk show. Well, actually, it’s not a talk show. I call it a documentary. It’s a combination documentary talk show. We’ve done five episodes.

So, things like that. We’ve just going out there and seeing what we can do and give a different view of culture. You know, see it through someone else’s eyes for a while.

Suzanne:   Yeah, I looked it over briefly. Interesting!

Suzanne:   So, what have you been doing to keep busy during the pandemic?

Tim:   Just what I just explained. I think one thing I didn’t realize, is that launching a network was going to be [so] involved, other than just content as it is. I had just returned from shooting over in Ethiopia. We went on lockdown. So, that is what actually caused me to think about doing the channel once on lockdown. You know, we’ve got to finish work we do on this project. So, I thought, you know what? I got all this stuff in my library, and I know these filmmakers, emerging filmmakers, why don’t we just put up something and stream it out there? So, I got this idea probably in March. It’s been in the back of my head for a while, but, I mean, I would say the idea I got the boldness to do it in March, and we took off from there.

So, I’ve been busy, busier than I imagined to be. My studio is a media center; it’s only about 10 minutes from where I live here in Richmond. So, between this and my home, is where I’ve been, and we try to keep them safe and clean, and very few people are involved. We never have more than three or four people in our shoot or wherever it is at one time, and everybody wears masks. So, it’s been easier to adapt to that kind of working atmosphere. So, we’ve been very busy. I did travel to shoot the movie. Other than that, that’s all I’ve been doing, creating content.

Suzanne:   Most of the things you’ve mentioned were nonfiction. Are you going to have fictional content as well?

Tim:   Yeah, we have in the movie shorts – I call them shorter shorts – you will find a lot of fictional [content]. As a matter of fact, we just we put up a couple of sci-fi pieces from one of my associates in London, and we will be adding more movies. The movies, of course, are the hardest thing to really get, but I wanted where we just put a movie up. I want to do sort of a Turner Classic movie style. In other words, context; I want to put the movie in context. I want somebody to talk about what was going on in the world when the movie was made, how the movie either was affected by what was going on or affected what was going on, and then in the end, what happened to these people? Who were they? Even in a classic movie.

So, the ones we have up now, one of my favorite movies that fits now, is Native Son, the original Native Son, with the writer, an author playing himself in it.

Then we have a movie from London, one of my associates in London, his movie, Emotional Backgammon. That is a mystery shocker at the end, but again, deals with the issues that are in our [world] now.

Then we have two more coming. We have a movie with people Sidney Poitier and Eartha Kit and [John] McIntyre from the 50s, I think, called The Mark of the Hawk, and it deals with the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya.

So, those, and then we’re doing another movie; we’re bringing a movie from Ethiopia that will be subtitled about the war in Ethiopia, but it’s a love story. Different things that you won’t see on normal television.

Suzanne:   That sounds interesting. I’m gonna have to check that out.

Tim:   Yeah, it’s called “Here’s to Movies,” and if you go to our page, you’ll see a little thing, click on it, and it will take you straight there. Hopefully, I mean, what I want the page to be, is one click away from anything that we have.

Suzanne:   You mentioned Native Son. Is that by Richard Wright?

Tim:   Yes, Richard Wright.

Suzanne:   I read that a while ago.

Tim:   This was the movie that he made…It’s from the 50s; I think 52 or 53.

Suzanne:   I have to watch that.

So, do you have anything else coming out that you can tell us about?

Tim:   I can say I’m springing talent. We have some new programs. Every week, I put up something new, a lot of documentaries, a lot of lifestyles.

We just put up a new cooking show, I mean, a new episode of the cooking show, and we’re going to add stuff every week; there’s going to be something new going up.

I’m launching a comedian out of South Africa, probably in two weeks, putting her up, and we have a thing called “She Speaks,” which is going to be a a piece for women, spoken word artists. I’m going to have – I already shot some time ago a thing with Nikki Giovanni, she will speak. I’ve got a young lady named Gina Loring out of LA, who’s a very powerful spoken word artist. It’s a place where women can go in and say and respond the way that they feel and not become concerned about staying within any kind of format. So, I have offered it to about three women, and one of them has already sent something out, and that’s gonna go up probably in another two weeks, week after next. So, things like that.

I want to give people a voice. It’s time we see the world through other eyes instead of the standard structure of network television, or even Netflix. I mean, Netflix is gobbling up as much content as they possibly can. I understand that. But, again, context, you know?

Suzanne:   It seems to be, I don’t know if it’s just a temporary thing or if it’s gonna keep going, but it does seem like the networks are all doing a lot more African American content and stars than they were before.

Tim:   Yes, they are acquiring it, and I think that the talent pool is so large; it’s so great, so many different kinds of talent both in front of behind the camera, but my major push, and it’s not a complaint, it’s a reality, is until we get people within the confines of the corporations that make decisions, the green lighters, a lot of this stuff is still going to be filtered. In other words, it has to fit the format of the controlling the people who control the propaganda; let’s put it in a very direct way. So, I hope, and I know that there are people out there who want to be free of that and begin to reveal culture through their eyes and not have to put the filter, the confines of the structure of the network, or we only do things that are this kind of stuff, but we want to do stuff that relates to this and have a place where you can go and someone says to you, as I’m saying to these creative people, “Tell us your story, and explain it, and express it in the way that you feel best suits your your purpose. What’s your purpose? Who’s your audience?” And I know, in the time that I’ve produced television for network, you seldom get that. You have a structure; you have a genre. You have this, and within that.

I mean, you look back at comedies. Until recently, 95% of all comedies were written and created by white people.

Suzanne:   Right.

Tim:   Black comedies, I mean. Not just comedies. People are asking me about Seinfeld. They said, “Were you a fan of Seinfeld?” I said, “Not really.” It wasn’t that I didn’t like it, but there were never any black people on it. Why would I sit down and watch something – [It was] one of the reasons I didn’t go to Woody Allen movies; why would I go to a Woody Allen movie? There are no [black] people. It doesn’t sound anything like the reality that I live in.

But we’re now beginning to see from all kinds of structures, you know, comedies that deal more from the propaganda point of view of the creators. I like that. I mean, that’s storytelling, I like to see people who have the ability to tell their story, their way.

Suzanne:   Yeah, we need more shows like Black-ish. That’s a good one; I love that show.

Tim:   I have not watched it. I think I watched one episode.

…We have a tendency in our business, and it’s a very crude way to say it, but we eat our own waste, you know what I mean? It’s like, if you’re going to be a creator, you have to be able to – first you study the masters. You learn your craft; you find a style and a master that makes you feel like this. “This is the path that will allow me to discover myself.” Once you do discover yourself, then you have to become a master. You have to begin to create the kind of things that someone else will want to follow. And I think be free to tell your story, you have to have people who will commit, to give you that freedom.

I think that Netflix, Apple Plus, and all that stuff, they are [going in] the right direction. However, when you start something, the first thing you do is bring in the old players. You go to your tried and true. So, that’s not really doing anything dangerous. Of course, Spielberg’s going to give you a good show, of course, you know, all the people – I just saw on Comedy Central, Jon Stewart has gotten a show. Great; that’s wonderful, but that’s not being daring.

Give me a show like I’m giving this young lady out of South Africa; give somebody a show who has talent and enhance the passion and see what they can come up with. If it works, it works. If it doesn’t, it will not. So, I don’t see that kind from the people who control the space and the time. They’ll try things, and if it works, it works, but as soon as it works, then it becomes the model for everybody else, but there’s an incredible talent pool out there in all cultures. [There’s] a great talent pool, and I think the young generation, especially z generation, are more interested now in new and interesting concepts, because they’ve got to create a new world for us, because we can’t do it, obviously. If this the world that we have created, if this is what we plan as a model, we’re in deep trouble. So, we need some young energy, some passion, that will say, “All right, I don’t like what you guys have done. I’m going to do it this way.” Now, we’re not going to like that, but out of that will come a new thing, and I think that change is a wonderful thing. We need to change more, give opportunity for change, us old timers.

Suzanne:   Right. I think there should be more dramas. You see a lot of black comedies and soap operas dramas, but you don’t see shows like – well, take that one that you did a long while ago, Snoops. You don’t see any cop shows or private eyes or anything different than just, you know, soap operas, really.

Tim:   Well, you know, I say, stealing from the masses, Snoops was literally The Thin Man. That’s what it was…The network just could not get their head around it, and the audience.

I remember one of the worst write-ups I’ve ever had for anything I’ve ever created for television came out of the New York Post. I can’t think of the guy’s name, but he was a serial writer for New York. He basically said, “Snoops, out there, Tim Reid, at a time when black people are struggling and living in the thing, he comes out with a show with this state department professor at Georgetown, how dare him. He’s not showing real black life,” and I’m going, “What? This is insane.” In other words, you know, Jared said a few weeks ago that we should all pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, and most of us don’t want to do it, but then, when you do it, you’re criticized for portraying a world that they can’t comprehend. In other words, he can’t comprehend that a black woman would be working for the State Department and a black man is a professor at Georgetown. He just couldn’t comprehend them living in in Georgetown. I was like, “Oh man, this is sad.” You know, what hurt me about the review, is he didn’t really review the show; it’s just he was so upset that I had the audacity to put a whirl in, when I’m saying, “Even then I knew black billionaires.” I knew people better than those two characters, but unless you can conceive of that –

There’s a wonderful show coming out of South Africa called Queen Sono.

Suzanne:   Yeah, that’s really good; I saw that.

Tim:   Is that not a wonderful show?

Suzanne:   It is.

Tim:   I love the writing, because I love how they have exposed apartheid. They actually pulled the curtain back and showed you the man behind the curtain, and in that way they tell the story. And I’m like, “Wow, these guys are awake.” They are writing some really interesting scenarios in a drama format, and the young lady, she’s incredible. I mean, she makes James Bond look like a wimp, but I like that, and it’s coming out of South Africa, and it’s well done. It looks good. It has great use of of camera work and lighting and wardrobe. More of those. I want to see those come from not just [there]. I certainly love this country, and now that I can’t travel anywhere else, I gotta love it more, but there are so many other cultures, including of the African diaspora, that should be exposed. Nigeria is beginning to get exposed more about fashion, out of Ghana. I mean, there’re some exciting things happening, as opposed to just what’s happening in the world of hip hop, the world in America. You know, all of entertainment in America is focused around 40 some million people, but there are 20 million Caribbean’s; there are 110 million Ethiopians. There are 180 million Nigerians. The African continent is a billion people of African descent. You got 10, 12 million Europeans. How are they living?

Suzanne:   Well, I think that’s one good thing about Netflix, is they have a lot of shows that Americans wouldn’t see otherwise. They have a lot of foreign shows on there.

Tim:   Yes, and they’re changing, you know, until they run out of money, and if they keep doing what they’re doing, they will do that soon, but they are the only – There are a lot of people following them that try and do [that], but they are the first ones to realize that if you just keep eating the same diet, it’s going to affect [things], because they’re global. I mean, my little thing is global. You can reach me anywhere in the world on the internet. So, I’m global.

Here is the audio version of it.

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of


Jana Kramer and Brendan Quinn star in "A Welcome Home Christmas" on Lifetime Saturday, 11/7/20. Photo by Brandon Bassler.

A Welcome Home Christmas Starring Jana Kramer, Brandon Quinn, Tim Reid, Charlene Tilton, Craig Morgan
11/7 at 8pm ET/PT Repeats on Veteran’s Day 11/11

Chloe (Jana Kramer) has always supported various military organizations, including the town’s Army toy drive for Christmas.  This year, she is paired up with Michael (Brandon Quinn), a vet who recently returned home, and together they recruit other veterans and active military personnel to help in the cause. As the community gears up for the Officer’s Christmas Ball, where all the kids will meet Santa Claus and receive their gifts, Michael and Chloe begin to realize the greatest gift this season has been each other’s company. Craig Morgan also stars. A Welcome Home Christmas is produced by Johnson Production Group with Timothy O. Johnson and Michael Vickerman serving as executive producers. Brian Herzlinger directs from a script by T. Booker James.

Tim Reid’s bio from IMDB

Tim Reid was born December 19, 1944 in Norfolk, Virginia and came from a troubled, impoverished childhood. He straightened out his life enough to attend Norfolk State College (now University) and graduate with a business administration degree. He worked for Du Pont in Chicago for a period of time in the late 60s and married his first wife Rita, whom he met at college. They had two children, Tim Reid II (born 1968) and Tori Reid (born 1971); both are currently involved in entertainment. His first taste of the limelight came around the turn of the 70s when he met an insurance agent named Tom Dreesen, and the two of them decided to form a nightclub act called “Tim and Tom”. Within six years, both the team and his first marriage had dissolved. At this juncture, Tim decided to focus completely on acting, took up drama classes, and worked as a comic. TV and commercial work started coming his way, finding regular placements on a number of variety series that starred Frankie Avalon, The 5th Dimension singers Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., and Richard Pryor in the late 70s.

His biggest break, however, came after nabbing the cool and very hip role of “Venus Flytrap” on TV’s WKRP in Cincinnati (1978). It is this radio disc jockey character for which Tim is still best known. Other TV series came his way, including Simon & Simon (1981) as Lt. Marcel “Downtown” Brown. Once firmly established, Tim started taking more control over his career. After fronting a number of series including Frank’s Place (1987), Snoops (1989) and, most notably, Sister, Sister (1994), he and wife, Daphne Reid, co-founded their own production studio (New Millenium Studios), the first ever built in his native state of Virginia. The short-lived program Linc’s (1998), starring both Tim and Daphne, was the first to come out of the studio. Over the years, Daphne has been a frequent partner to Tim both in front and behind the camera lens, as actress and co-producer. Toning down his slick facade over the years, the handsome, mustachioed actor has dedicated himself to films and other projects that have raised social issues as well as increase black awareness. More recently, in 2002, he released his film For Real (2003), which was made at his studio. It took an updated African-American spin on the “Pygmalion” story and starred Tim in the “Henry Higgins” role. The film opened the fifth anniversary of the Hollywood Black Film Festival.

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Tim Reid as General O'Toole in "A Welcome Home Christmas" on Lifetime. Photo be Brandon Bassler.

Interview with Eli Henry

TV Interview!

Eli Henry on "Connecting..." on NBC.

Interview with Eli Henry of “Connecting…” on NBC by Suzanne 10/8/20

This was a really interesting interview. I watched the first 3 episodes of the show last night. What was very exciting was the way they’re filming this show remotely, over the iPhone. It makes it a fairly unique show.

Suzanne: Tell us how you got the role of Rufus.

Ely:   Sure. Well, it came at a point in lockdown when I’d pretty much sacrificed myself to doing nothing. I’d accepted the fact that it was going to be a while before any work came up. Occasionally, there’d be some auditions for, you know, things shot traditionally on a set with everybody, and it kind of felt like fan fiction to me. I was kind of like, “Yeah, okay, sure, you’re gonna make this?”

Then, when I got this audition, it was cool, because they said [what] the plan was, how they’re planning on shooting it, and they wanted the audition to be unique and [to] make it your own. You know, usually it’s just in front of a blank wall with someone reading off to you, but this time, they encouraged you to do it where you would shoot it in your home. So, I am lucky enough to have this bizarre, detached garage office in my home, and it’s covered in wood paneling, and it looks like a conspiracy bunker. So, I went in there; I brought as much vitamin C cold medicine, all the masks. I had a face shield and just kind of put it all over the frame. It was nice to be able to have a place to vent all of my COVID frustrations, and, yeah, I’m glad that everyone at NBC agreed.

Suzanne:   Great. So, when did the filming take place?

Ely:   Well, we’re shooting episode eight. Actually, we’re finishing it tonight and tomorrow, but we started very quickly after I got hired, and we’ve been going for a while, I guess, a couple months now.

You know, [it] was a very, very quick turnaround audition. I got tested, maybe a week later, and I was hired the next day, and the day I was hired, they said, “Okay, tomorrow, you’re gonna do the workplace safety meeting on Zoom in the morning.” Then, it was like we hit the ground running. From that point on, it was non stop deliveries of props and equipment and all this stuff to me. It was like Santa Claus when he starts getting all the packages nonstop. It was just like that. It’s kind of amazing that we’ve reached the end of these first eight episodes now, because of how busy I’ve been.

Suzanne:   So there’s eight episodes total?

Ely:   So far; fingers crossed for more, but that’s where we’re at.

Suzanne:   I’m a little confused. Was the show filmed virtually? I mean, in your home, or do they have a set for you to go to?

Ely:   It was completely in our homes.

Suzanne:   Wow.

Ely:   We all have gotten a crash course in technology. We filmed the show entirely on iPhone 11. So, the only people that I have ever seen in a work context from the show, are PAs would come at the end of the day and pick up my phone and drop off a new one. So, I have one phone on my desk, which I use as the camera, and another phone I use to control that phone. And then I’m on zoom on my computer with the cast and crew.

And that’s how we do it. I have a mic I plug into the phone; I have a mic I wear, and at the end of the day, we sanitize the phone, sanitize the sound card and give it to the PA, and it’s the whole process.

Suzanne:   Wow, that’s amazing. So, they should be paying you to be a cameraman too, right?

Ely:   You know, the decision of how much to pay me is above my pay grade.

Suzanne:   It seems like they should at least put you in the union for like camera, sound, makeup, all the stuff you’re doing.

Ely:   I mean, I am very sure, but at the same time, I don’t need to be paying those union fees.

Suzanne:   Well, yeah. Well, if they paid you the same for all those.

Ely:   You know what? I think I’d like to hire you to be rep.

Suzanne:   Right. I feel bad though. I feel bad for the people who normally do those things, I hope they’re able to do something.

Ely:   They’re actually still involved, because these are complex things that we are required to do, and they’re in unusual circumstances. We have an entire crew on Zoom who is there to walk us through everything. So, when they’re setting up cameras, setting up lights, we have our incredible crew, camera department, saying, you know, to change this, do that move there, makeup and hair on there, too. I’ll get a text saying, “Powder your forehead; fix your hair,” that kind of stuff. So, everyone’s still there.

Suzanne:   Oh, that’s good.

Ely:   It’s funny, because it’s a whole group of people who I’m sure would much rather be doing it themselves too. I’m not good at these things.

Suzanne:   Well, they had to get, I guess, smart people on both sides to be able to [do it]. You had to learn a lot of stuff, and then they had to learn a lot of stuff and convey it to you. That’s amazing.

Ely:   For sure. It’s incredible as to how different it is; you know, we’re on episode eight now from episode one. The setup time used to take a long time there was a whole thing, but then we’ve developed our own language of just memorizing settings and doing all these things. I’m sure everyone on the cast is now so much smarter or so much more technologically proficient than we were right before all of this.

Suzanne:   Right. Well, it makes sense; you have shortcuts now.

Ely:   Exactly.

Suzanne:   You and your cast mates really seem like you’ve been good friends a long time. Did you do any type of pre tape bonding to make that happen?

Ely:   You know, we didn’t, really, before we got started. I think the minute we got hired, Parvesh [Cheena] started a Whatsapp group chat for us and gave us a place to all communicate, and we reached out to each other on social media, found out who of us have mutual friends, people in common.

I think it was just kind of an interesting thing, where I remember I was saying when we first started, I had resigned myself to not meeting anybody new for months. I’m very much an extrovert. I very much like to socialize. So, I was kind of accepting of the fact that I wasn’t going to meet anybody. So, then we all got this chance to get to know a whole new group of people, and I think we all just jumped at it. It’s such a loving, wonderful group, and based on the nature of the show and how different it is and, well, how new it is, I think we were all perfectly willing to just dive in headfirst. We check in with each other often; the group text is is chaotic and frequent. We’ve had Zoom hangs outside of recording to just chat and catch up, and there have been a couple socially distanced gatherings outdoors. I’ve gone over to Jill [Knox] and Keith [Powell]’s place; they’ve got a huge backyard. I went over with my girlfriend; we sat far away, but that was even, you know, a month after we started.

So, it is kind of amazing to see that we actually made this chemistry without having spent much time together.

Suzanne:   Yeah, good. I’m glad you guys were able to get together and be friends in real life.

Ely:   Yeah, for sure.

Suzanne:   Had you met any of the cast or crew previously?

Ely:   No, I had not. I mean, I think I’d auditioned for something Martin [Gero] had created, a show called La Complex. I’d auditioned for that when I was living in Canada. Brendan Gall, Martin Gero, and I are all Canadian. So, he remembered me from that, but that was maybe ten years ago. Then, I’ve had mutual friends with some of the other cast and friends with one of the writers, Carl Tart, who is going to be on the show later.

So, it was one of those things where when we had that first Zoom workplace meeting, and, you know, the whole crew’s on Zoom. I remember just looking through trying to figure out who everyone was, seeing my friend Carl and sending him a message on Instagram and just trying to pick out who might be in the cast. It was very interesting, kind of Where’s Waldo situation.

Suzanne:   When you do the Zoom thing, it has to be on the phone, right? You can’t have like a big computer screen.

Ely:   I have a desktop computer, so my setup is different. Every one of the actors has a bit of a different setup, and I’m fortunate that I’m always in this bunker, so my angle is basically the same. So, I can have my tripod in front of my big desktop computer, and I have the zoom on there, so that makes it easier in terms of seeing the actors. When we actually do the scenes, we’re doing it straight to the to the lens of the camera, but we do one rehearsal before we actually record, where we just look at the computer screen, so we know what each other is doing. Because otherwise, we’re just kind of winging it.

Suzanne:   Yeah, that’s a lot of people to try to see on a little phone, or even a big phone.

Ely:   It can certainly be overwhelming.

Suzanne:   Aside from the obvious things, what was the biggest challenge you faced during filming?

Ely:   I think the technology was a challenge in its own sense of, of course, we could have expected that these things are not designed to be doing what we’re doing with them, but we’ve all found a way. I think it’s certainly a challenge to know what to do with yourself with all this going on.

I think beyond the actual show and filming the show, it’s an incredible experience and an incredible thing to be on an NBC sitcom. It’s definitely the dream for an actor to wind up in this situation, yet at the same time, we’re still on lockdown. We’re still in our homes; we’re still not going out. Things are still closed; there’s still a pandemic. There’s still a social justice movement going on. So, it’s definitely bizarre and challenging to accept that this is happening at the same time as, you know, I finish shooting and then I’m still in my house.

I drove to go see the billboard that we had on the Sunset Strip, but then back to my house. I got the premiere tonight, but I’m still in my house. iI’s hard to wrap your mind around, I think.

Suzanne:   Right. Well, at least you have a good commute, though.

Ely:   Yes, my commutes great. Fortunately, I’m very rarely late.

Suzanne:   And no more LA traffic, so that’s good.

Ely:   Yes, exactly.

Suzanne:   What was the best thing about playing this character?

Ely:   You know, I think that, for me, playing Rufus has been a lot of fun, because we’re not entirely dissimilar. I’m not as crazy as he is. I’m not as out there, but I certainly take this virus a little bit more seriously than a lot of people I know. So, getting some of the pandemic aggression out in a funny way was very nice for me.

I think it’s also nice, because he genuinely cares about his friends. I think there are people that can be angry, and certainly I spoke about it with Brendan and Martin about not making him too grading and angry, but he’s somebody who genuinely cares. When he gets mad, it’s because he’s worried about his friend, and that was nice.

Suzanne:   Actually, that’s one of the things I like about this show is the people seem very real, and you know, your character could have gone too far. You don’t want to be one of those sitcoms, where you’re like, “Oh, I hate that person. Why are they using that person so much?”

Ely:   Right, exactly.


That drives me away from sitcoms, sometimes.

What do you think audiences will like most about the show?

Ely:   I’m hoping that audiences enjoy seeing people who are going through what they have gone through and are still going through. From my perspective, I think we’re seeing a lot of people in the country and in the world wanting this to be done. They want the virus, the pandemic, to be over, and they want to kind of think of it as out of sight out of mind. But I know that there’re so so many more of us who are still taking it seriously, still being careful, so we can take care of our friends and our neighbors and our family and, you know, keeping people from getting sick and doing what we can to protect everyone else. I think it’ll be really nice for them to see people doing that, too and still having a good time being together and still being connected. I think that that’s gonna be wonderful. But also, the people that don’t do that stuff, they can laugh at us for whatever reason they deem necessary. Something for everyone.

Suzanne:   That’s right.

And what had you been doing to pass the time, as it were, during the pandemic before this?

Ely:   Well, before I got the show, I definitely went through all the phases. I think we all did. I was baking. I really got to a point where I was really nailing this Julia Child sandwich bread, a white sandwich bread recipe, and I got that down – a lot of butter. That was good; I was doing that.

My girlfriend and I were doing a lot of movie marathons. Early on the pandemic, we watched all the Harry Potter movies, watched a lot of TV, but, interestingly enough, it took until yesterday to do our first puzzle. We bought 1000 piece puzzle we just started. I don’t know how it took us this long, well, at least what I didn’t know until we started. Then, I was like, “Right, hat’s why we didn’t do this.” We had missing pieces or dropped the puzzle on the ground; it’s a whole thing. But it’s been it’s gonna be a challenge, and that’s my next project, is getting this puzzle built.

Suzanne:   Wow. I have a friend who likes puzzles, and she was having trouble finding puzzles at the beginning of this. I think, eventually, they were more available.

…It’s like the toilet paper. You couldn’t get it for a while, because people were hoarding it, but then now you can get it.

Ely:   Exactly. I live near a small independent board game and comic book shop. I went there to get the puzzle, and the guy that runs place was like, “You know, I wouldn’t say we’re recession proof, but certainly for this, whenever when everyone’s stuck at home and they need entertainment, we’re in a good spot. I can imagine that everyone was selling out of puzzles.

Suzanne:   Right, and probably the comic books too.

Ely:   Yeah, exactly.

Suzanne:   So, do you have any other projects coming up, or that you’ve been working towards, or were working towards, before the pandemic?

Ely:   Nothing that I can really speak to right now. There’s always stuff kind of up in the air, and I think with the pandemic, it put a lot of a pause on a lot of things, and I think we’re just kind of waiting it out.

But I write stuff, and I think that the best stuff I was doing before the pandemic, that I’d like to do more of eventually, is a friend of mine runs a home alone film challenge that he started at the beginning of all this, where you’d have one weekend to write, direct, edit, and star in a movie by yourself at home. So, in a way, it prepared me very well for this, because we use the same app that we’re using to shoot the show on. So, I made a few little films, and it got my creative juices flowing in a really nice way. So, hopefully more stuff like that in the future.

Here is the audio version of it.

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of



Ely Henry plays Rufus on the new NBC comedy “Connecting…”

Henry, who has been a professional actor since 2003, started his career in Toronto working on films such as “Cheaper by the Dozen 2” and “Mean Girls,” as well as TV shows and specials, including “Skins” and “I, Martin Short, Goes Home.”

Since moving to Los Angeles in 2012, he has had recurring roles on “Suburgatory” and “Twisted,” and guest-starring roles on “The Middle,” “Good Luck Charlie” and “Superstore.”

Henry had leading roles in the superhero comedy film “Zeroes” and the indie drama “Some Freaks,” from executive producer Neil LaBute. He also had a leading role in the animated film “Smallfoot” with LeBron James, Channing Tatum, Gina Rodriguez and Danny DeVito.

Henry also had a recurring role on Showtime’s “Roadies,” created by Oscar winner Cameron Crowe and executive produced by J.J. Abrams.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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poster for "Connecting..." on NBC

Interview with Hamza Haq

TV Interview!

Hanza Haq of "Transplant" (photo from Fabrice Gaetan/Sphere Media/NBC)

Interview with Hanza Haq of “Transplant” on NBC by Suzanne 10/9/20

It was great to speak with Hanza, who’s a smart, thoughtful guy, clearly on the rise. I’m enjoying watching his work on this show.  If you haven’t watched “Transplant,” yet, you’re really missing out.

Suzanne:   So, tell us how the audition for your show went. I know it was a while ago now.

Hamza:  Well, I had a pre-existing relationship with both CTV, the network, and Joe, the showrunner, on two different shows. So, when they decided to partner up together, I was kind of the unofficial front runner…[But then] they wanted a Syrian for the role. So, they told me, you know, “We all wanted you to play it, but we’re really going to make a concerted effort to try to find a Syrian within Canada to really tell the story.”

As much as I didn’t like losing a part, if there was Pakistani character that I didn’t even get to read for, I would have been quite upset. So, I just accepted that that was the way that it was gonna be.

Then they did their due diligence, and they searched for actors of Syrian decent across Canada for several months, and I was just fortunate that they couldn’t find him.

I’m sure…just given the nature of the opportunity certain people get and what they hear about it, you know, I ended up getting the part, and I’ve been doing my best to do justice to it ever since.

Suzanne:   Great.


Have you started shooting season two yet?

Hamza:  We have not. We have not. We were slated for August, and here we are in cozy old October, still waiting. You know, frustration aside, everybody’s very happy to make sure that we provide a safe environment for everybody to work and all that jazz, cope with precautions, etc, etc.

Suzanne:   Yeah, I hope they start on that soon, because, the the daytime soaps here in the US have already started all back. They just do it very safely. I don’t know the details, but I guess they test everyone regularly, and everyone wears masks, and whatever else they do. Some of the other shows, I think some of the primetime shows, have started, but you never know, right?

Hamza:  Absolutely not.

Suzanne:   Did you do any research for the role before you started filming it?

Hamza:  Oh, of course, I mean, as far as the medical stuff is concerned, we’re all very happy that we had – first things first, the writers did all their research to make sure that everything was medically accurate. Then all of us on the cast, we went to boot camp to try to, you know, choreograph all the things that we have to do in trauma situations and surgeries and all of those things. So, that was taken care of.

As far as character is concerned, I was given several documentaries and readings and novels to sort of get into the mindset and really understand better the the conflict that happened and is currently happening in Syria still ten years after the fact, you know, since [then], and just trying to understand and have conversations with people who went through it or something similar. We had a wide range of consultants who lived this exact experience, who were able to be very generous with their time and their experiences. So, all that money [went] to bringing this to life.

Suzanne:   Great. And what about your accent? What are you basing that on?

Hamza:  So, I had a couple of dialect coaches to help get the accent right. Then there was some fine tuning based on the region that he [is from]. You know, he’s from Aleppo, so we tried to get that regional accent but also tried to use a little bit of the fact that he may have gone to school in more of an upper scale, maybe British, educational system, that kind of thing. So, there’re a couple subtleties here that aren’t completely, you know, Syrian Syrian, but it’s sort of an amalgamation of his life experiences. So, I worked with about three or four people tirelessly, and three of them were actually Syrian refugees. So, I was very happy to have that experience – fortunate, rather.

Suzanne:   Wow. So, it’s very authentic, in a lot of ways, this show.

Hamza:  We’re doing our best, I think. With such an important story, I think everybody is just going to try to do their best to do justice to the story and the experiences of the people who went through it. So, I think authenticity was definitely the goal, and I certainly hope we hit it in a lot of areas. And there’s a lot of areas yet to go, and, hopefully, we’ll hit those in seasons two, three, etc.

Suzanne:   I saw a video of you, and you had tattoos on your hands. Do they have to cover those up with makeup when you do the show?

Hamza:  No…it was just Henna.

Suzanne:   Oh, temporary?

Hamza:  I had a little red carpet affair in Berlin, and I like to flex my own culture and get a little South Asian Henna done before the ceremony or whatever. So, yeah, that was fun, but it it faded within four or five days.

Suzanne:   Okay, so it was temporary. So, were you surprised when the show got picked up for TV in the US?

Hamza:  I’m cocky, but no. It’s a very good show; the goal was to try to get as many eyes on it as possible. It’s a very universal story. So, we heard, “Hey, they have enough faith in the show that they’re gonna take this to American audiences,” and everything like that. So, I will say I was very happy when it happened, but surprised, no. It was like, “Well yes.” The fact that it happened, you know, we’re all very fortunate. We’re very blessed with the getting such tremendous feedback from American audiences. Also, it’s very nice.

Suzanne:   Oh, good. So, you’ve gotten a lot of fan reaction?

Hamza:  Yeah, I mean, I’m not on Twitter, which is where a lot of those things happen, so, I hear about a lot of these things, which is really great. The numbers don’t lie, either, you know, the team will [be] like, “We held 4 million or $3 million,” or however many it was. That’s just great. So, I would imagine that if people are maintaining it, there’s x amount of million people watching it every day, I would imagine that it’s generally positive, that those who are watching it are enjoying it. So, I’m happy about that.

Suzanne:   Well, I see you on Instagram. Is that not you? Or somebody posting for you?

Hamza:  No, Instagram is me; Instagram is me, but I try not to get too big headed. So, I don’t read all the comments. It’s really easy for me to get big headed, and I love the attention, and I love all that stuff. But I try my best not to lean too far into it. I’m grateful. I’m grateful, yes, everybody commenting on my eyelashes. I appreciate it. Yes, they are real. Yes, I’m sorry that a lot of people have to spend a lot of money getting these eyelashes, but, sorry, I got them from my dad.

Suzanne:   So, how are you and Bashir different besides the obvious, like not being Syrian.

Hamza:  Bashir has a tremendous amount of confidence in who he is as a person. His ability to stay steadfast in decision making outside of his work is something that I very much look up to; I’m very easily influenced by other people. I’m quite insecure about a lot of things, and Bashir has this very, you know, fortified sense of self and a sense of identity, which is something that I’m working towards.

Where we’re similar, is our brashness and our arrogance when it comes to the jobs that we do. I [lose] the insecurity as soon as I’m on set. I feel like I know what I’m doing, and I feel like I can tell a story. And sometimes, I would say, not to the degree that Bashir is, I can rub people the wrong way in terms of, you know, like me arguing with the director or the writer that this is the way that it should be done and everything like that. I don’t think it gets to a point where I’m ever yelling or going behind someone’s back being sneaky about anything, but when it comes to work, I think we’re both similarly confident in what we do.

Suzanne:   The only problems he seems to have, is the whole PTSD and not wanting to get help for it and maybe a little too much pride that some people have, you know, not wanting to get help, not admitting that he has problems.

Hamza:  Yeah, that’s a predominantly male issue, I think. I think a lot of guys can relate to that. That wasn’t too far of a stretch for me either, like, “No, I got it. It’s fine.”

Suzanne:   What can you tell us about working with Sirena, who plays your little sister?

Hamza:  Oh, those are easiest scenes. I feel so connected to her and protective of her. You know, a young actress comes on to set, and you just want to make sure that she’s doing okay, and it was very easy. I see her as my little sister, and I want her to succeed, and I want her to be safe. I want her to have fun and learn and all of those things. So, you know, the dialogue just lent itself to this very immediate connection that the two of us already had. So, it was beautiful. Like, it’s not difficult to want to provide, you know, to want to make the world a better place for Amira, or Sirena as well.

Suzanne:   Yeah, the scenes with her, you can tell that you like her, and she’s adorable. So, I can’t imagine even now.

Hamza:  Yeah, she’s really cool. Easily she’s gonna be the biggest star out of this. Right now I’ll go on record saying she’s going to be the biggest star out of all of us, mark my words.

Suzanne:   Do you have any funny stories about filming the show?

Hamza:  I have several. I just don’t know what I’m allowed to say.

Did you know John Hannah was in The Mummy? He hates that I keep bringing that up, but I would say that on the first day that we all met, I was so excited when I heard that he was going to be a part of the show. And I thought we waited a whole 30 seconds before we yelled that at him. I was like, “I’ve seen that movie like one hundred times. It’s my favorite movie,” and stuff like that. I think the more I say it, the more it grinds his gears a bit, but I’m never gonna stop doing it.

Suzanne:   Oh, that’s funny.

Hamza:  Yeah, I mean, the whole thing was really fun. Like, you know, we would all get together after work, like often party together. You know, we went rock climbing with Jim Watson, and we did Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with Ayisha Issa, you know what I mean? You know, anytime we wanted a good restaurant to go to (unintelligible) incredible, you know, recommendation, and she could get those reservations too. So, it was just everybody brought their own thing to it. And we just loved each other from go.

Suzanne:   Oh, that’s cool. That’s great. Yeah, it’s it’s a great cast. I enjoy it. I liked him; he was in so many great TV shows. And Tori Higginson, she was wonderful in Stargate Atlantis. I don’t know if you ever saw that show.

Hamza:  Yeah, I worked with her on the show in Canada as well, called This Life. That’s where I worked with Joseph Kay before. So, it was really nice when she joined the team as well.

Suzanne:   Oh, cool. That’s nice. Yeah, it’s always nice to see people you know, already. Is there anything else that you’d like to tell your fans?

Hamza:  Keep on watching. I’m grateful that people are learning so much about Muslim culture and Arab culture and, you know, go up there and vote. Register to vote and make your voices heard.

Suzanne:   Well, thank you. And I really enjoyed the show. I’ve been watching it. NBC let me have all the episodes, but I like to watch them on the TV. So, I enjoy it. And I’ve been telling everybody to watch it. So, good luck, and I hope – and you said you already have a second season right? You just haven’t filmed it yet.

Hamza:  Yeah, we’ve been picked up, and we’re we’re in limbo, like much of the world. But, hopefully, as soon as we get we get the go ahead, we’ll be all like tremendously happy to continue telling the story.

Here is the audio version of it.

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of


Bashir “Bash” Hamed



Hamza Haq stars as Bashir “Bash” Hamed, the new ER doctor who fled his native Syria and must overcome numerous obstacles to resume his career in the high-stakes world of emergency medicine, in NBC’s drama “Transplant.”

Raised in Ottawa, Haq is the youngest of four siblings born in Saudi Arabia to Pakistani parents and has called Canada home for almost 20 years.

His television credits include the CTV miniseries “Indian Detective,” opposite William Shatner, Russell Peters and Anupam Kher; the CBC Gem crime-drama miniseries “The 410”; and the CBC drama “This Life,” which garnered critical acclaim and earned him a 2018 Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Guest Performance.

He has had recurring roles on the Cinemax series “Jett,” starring Carla Gugino; “Quantico,” opposite Priyanka Chopra; and “The Art of More,” co-starring Dennis Quaid and Kate Bosworth. Other notable credits include “Designated Survivor,” “The Bold Type,” “Being Human,” “Michael: Tuesdays and Thursdays” and “Best Laid Plans.” Haq also served as host of the TVOKids program “Look Kool.”

On the big screen, he’s held supporting roles in “Bon Cop Bad Cop 2,” with Colm Feore; “The Death and Life of John F. Donovan,” directed by Xavier Dolan; Darren Aronofsky’s “Mother!”; “Run this Town,” opposite Mena Massoud and Nina Dobrev; and most recently, “My Salinger Year,” starring Margaret Qualley and Sigourney Weaver.

In 2017, he was named one of Canada’s Rising Stars by the Hollywood Reporter. Haq holds a Bachelor of Arts in film studies with a minor in law from Carleton University.

August 2020


Premiere: Sept. 1, 2020

When Dr. Bashir Hamed (Hamza Haq, “Quantico”), a charismatic Syrian doctor with battle-tested skills in emergency medicine, flees his war-torn homeland, he and younger sister Amira (Sirena Gulamgaus) become refugees, struggling to forge a new life in Canada. But if Bash ever wants to be a doctor again, he must redo his medical training from the ground up and obtaining a coveted residency position is nearly impossible.

When a horrific truck crash nearly kills a senior doctor right in front of him, Bash saves the doctor’s life and earns a residency in the biggest Emergency Department of the best hospital in Toronto.

Yet for all Bash’s experience, it’s a tough road. Bash’s training is different, his life experience are unique to him and he’s not an exact match for his new colleagues, who include Dr. Magalie “Mags” LeBlanc (Laurence Leboeuf, “The Disappearance”), a ferociously analytical second-year resident who pushes herself relentlessly; Dr. June Curtis (Ayisha Issa, “Polar”), a reserved, ambitious surgical resident whose loyalty doesn’t come easily; and Dr. Theo Hunter (Jim Watson, “Mary Kills People”), a pediatric Emergency Fellow whose small-town upbringing is cracking wide open as life at the hospital changes his worldview.

The team works tirelessly to save lives and win the approval of the legendary head of the Emergency Department, Dr. Jed Bishop (John Hannah, “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”), all the while managed by sharp-eyed, acerbic Dr. Wendy Atwater (Linda E. Smith, “19-2”) and supported by longtime head nurse, the deadpan, confident Claire Malone (Torri Higginson, “This Life”).

Through it all, Bash tries to meet the demand of his new country and new job, while trying to pay the bills, raise his little sister and carve out a new life for them both in this unfamiliar land. It’s a journey that’s universal to people everywhere. Bash aims high and is determined to succeed, and those around are quick to see that his passion and hopefulness are contagious. But will his newfound life reject him, or will this “transplant” take?

A major success story as CTV’s the most-watched Canadian series in total viewers this broadcast year, “Transplant” will showcase its bold and powerful storytelling to a brand-new audience.

Joseph Kay, Jocelyn Deschênes, Bruno Dubé, Randy Lennox, Virginia Rankin, Jeremy Spry and Tara Woodbury serve as executive producers.

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

August 2020

Please visit the official show site at:

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

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Hanza Haq of "Transplant" (photo from Fabrice Gaetan/Sphere Media/NBC) TRANSPLANT -- "Trigger Warning" Episode 106 -- Pictured: (l-r) Hamza Haq as Dr. Bashir "Bash" Hamed, Jihn Hannah as Dr.Jed Bishop -- (Photo by: Yan Turcotte/Sphere Media/CTV/NBC)

Interview with Miguel Chavez

TV Interview!

Miguel Chavez of "A.P. Bio" on Peacock

Interview with Miguel Chavez of “A.P. Bio” on Peacock by Suzanne 10/6/20

This was a fun interview. Miguel interviewed me first before I interviewed him! He seems very nice and we had a great time.

Suzanne:   So, take us back to the beginning to when you auditioned for your role of Eduardo on AP Bio. How did that go?

Miguel:   Yes. So, the audition process was very typical to how an actor goes out for a role. My agent, my manager, emailed me the the audition notification. I got the sides for – if you really I don’t know what sides are, sides are the material that you’re given to prepare for the audition. And I went into Wendy O’Brien casting. Wendy O’Brien is the casting director; she’s a very, very lovely woman. And when I auditioned for the show, my first thought looking, researching the show was, “Oh, I can see myself in the role of this show.”So, for better or for worse, I could see myself being with a bunch of dorks. And what ended up happening, was I auditioned, and I felt like I did good. I felt like I understood the humor that they were going for, and I let it go. You know, you’ve auditioned so many times, you just have to let it go. So, that’s what I did. Like a day later, two days later, I get the message from my reps that I am strongly pinned for the roll, which means that I’m like the number one pick. On the Thursday of the week of my audition – I auditioned on a Tuesday – Thursday of that week, I find out that I got the part. And I was excited, nervous. It’s just a really bizarre feeling when you get a job finally. And then Friday, I go to my first table read with the whole cast and crew as member of the show.

Suzanne:   That’s cool. And you came in during the second season, right?

Miguel:   Yes, I did. I came in during the second season of AP Bio. I was a little nervous, because the cast knew each other, but you know what? They were really kind.

Suzanne:   So, did it kind of feel like going to a new school?

Miguel:   Yeah, actually. That’s a great question. It really felt like going to a new school. You want to be liked; you want to be respected. You want to keep your job, but fortunately, I’ve had enough life happen to me where I could keep things in perspective. And what mattered to me most was serving the story, serving my crew, and just being professional on set.

Suzanne:   Great. So, they made you feel welcome.

Miguel:   They did, and Barbara Stoll, our producer, works very hard to create a very safe environment on set.

Suzanne:   Oh, good, good. And I see that you’re from Rancho Cucamonga. I used to live in Riverside for a while.

Miguel:   You did? No you didn’t.

Suzanne:   No I did for about eight years. We went to a Quakes game in Rancho Cucamonga once.

Miguel:   That’s amazing.

Suzanne:   Is that where you grew up?

Miguel:   Yes, that is where I grew up. As a matter of fact, I’m staying in Rancho right now during this quarantine.

Suzanne:   Okay, that’s cool. Did you go to Quakes games when you’re growing up?

Miguel:   You know what, maybe I went to one, but my family was never much of a baseball family. So, we didn’t go to a Quakes – I should go though. I would like to before I leave Rancho,  just to experience more of my local hometown stuff.

Suzanne:   Right. Well, when when we were in Riverside, they had – I can’t remember the name. Oh, first we had the Red Wave, and then it was the Riverside Pilots. So, we would sometimes go to their other games, like Lake Arrowhead and all that. It was right down the street from us. So, it was something to do.

Suzanne:   So, you’re living in Rancho Cucamonga right now because of the pandemic, or do you have another place?

Miguel:   That is correct. Yeah. You know what, being in LA was was the plan, but this pandemic happened. So, I just moved back in with my folks during this pandemic.

Suzanne:   Yeah, might as well. Right?

Miguel:   Might as well. A lot of people are doing it. I mean, you know, pandemics happen.

Suzanne:   So, how is Eduardo different from you?

Miguel:   Eduardo, I like to think, well, Eduardo dresses way differently from me. He dresses like he’s a grandpa, you know, with corduroy pants, like a button down dress shirt and a sweater vest. So, that’s how he dresses.His sense of style isn’t really there. So, I like to think mine is slightly better than his. We’re both really similar. He’s just like an extreme version of me, like he’s super awkward. I’m not super awkward, but I can be awkward. He’s super nervous around girls. I can get nervous, but not as much as Eduardo. But we’re both very kind people, and we both have our friend’s back.

Suzanne:   Cool. And have you heard yet whether there’s gonna be a season four?

Miguel:   You know what, I am just a mere actor on the show. I have not heard yet. I’ve heard the reviews for season three are really great, and our show does show numbers in regards to streaming views. However, I haven’t heard anything.

Suzanne:   Okay. I read quite a few reviews, and they were pretty much all positive. The ones that I read.

Miguel:   Yeah, there were really positive reviews.

Suzanne:   If someone hasn’t watched all of season three yet, which episode would you tell them to watch that features Eduardo the most?

Miguel:   That’s a great question. The episode that I would recommend people watch the most is an episode where my character and my best friend – because all my episodes, pretty much the thing about me in the show, it’s more of me and my best friend doing things, and my duo, best friend is Victor (Jacob Houston) in the show, and getting into shenanigans is our issue. So, I would recommend what people watch, is “Get Hoppy.” That’s a really fun episode from season three.

Suzanne:   Okay. I just watched the first two before your call, and I was grimacing when you had the throwing star stuck in your leg. I was like,”Ooh.”

Miguel:   Oh, that’s funny. So many things happen on set you forget about them, but yeah, pretty much our props guy, David Hect, he runs props on my show, and he’s a wonderful man. He just strapped a belt to my leg, and he attached a shooting star to it, or whatever it’s called. And that’s how they did it.

Suzanne:   I was very glad when she pulled it out that it didn’t have blood gushing out. But that would be a very different show.

Miguel:   That’s that’s like off brand, like HBO, and we’re not actually that way.

Suzanne:   That’s right. And do you have any other projects that you were working on either before or after the pandemic started?

Miguel:   I’m just writing. Right now I have my writing partner. Michael Goldenberg and I are just writing a workplace comedy about tour guides at a studio. I used to be a tour guide at Paramount Pictures, so we know that world pretty well.

Suzanne:   Paramount, I haven’t been to that one. I grew up when Universal was the big one that everybody went to. Before it had all the rides and everything, it was just a studio tour. Then I think I went to Warner Brothers, because we were near there or somebody wanted to go. I’ll have to check Paramount out. Do they still have a tour?

Miguel:   Yeah, I think you’d really like it. It’s a really lovely tour, and the tour guides are a bunch of sweethearts, and you get a really good experience. It really gives you the classical field of Hollywood, Hollywood what it used to be.

Suzanne:   Well, they say, ‘Write what you know,” so sounds like you’re doing that.

Miguel:   Yeah, so I know a lot about that life.

Suzanne:   What do you think that you want to get involved in, in the future? As far as acting, directing, writing, what else?

Miguel:   You know, there’s so many things I want to do, and this is a very crazy industry I’m in. What I try to tell myself, is just to let my career blossom in front of me and just be pleasantly surprised by the roles I get. And now I just try to do that. I mean, I would love to play I don’t know, the detective in this or that, but I mean, there’s just so much that’s out of my control that I just have to have a sense of surrender when I go out for roles. Fortunately, I get to play roles that are different from me and that surprise me. I didn’t think I’d get cast as Eduardo, but in retrospect, I should know my work, and he’s been a lot of fun to play.

Suzanne:   Good. And so what have you been doing to keep busy during the pandemic?

Miguel:   You know, a lot of exercise. Yeah, I built the gym in my garage and just a lot of exercise. I’ve never had so much structure, so just exercising every day and reading a lot of books.

Suzanne:   What are you reading right now?

Miguel:   Right now I’m reading The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. I’m rereading that book.

Suzanne:   Oh, rereading. Yeah, I [read] that a long time ago. I should reread that one of these days.

Miguel:   Yeah. What about you? Do you like to read?

Suzanne:   I do, but I haven’t had much time to read. I have a Kindle, and it’s got about a thousand books on it I haven’t read. I read a lot in the past, but yeah, I need to get back to it. Yeah, I read I read some magazines, mostly.

Miguel:   Which ones?

Suzanne:   Well, my site covers a lot of daytime as well as primetime, so I read Soap Opera Digest, Entertainment Weekly, Vanity Fair, and Good Housekeeping, which I got for like, ten bucks for a year.  They keep sending it to me, and I’m like, “Okay, it’s only ten bucks, whatever.” That’s how they get you.

Miguel:   Good Housekeeping, yeah I should read that one.

Suzanne:   Yeah, it’s mostly what they would call a women’s magazine. It’s like recipes and makeup and you know, stuff like that.

Miguel:   Yeah, that’s funny. Who knows, maybe I’ll get something out of it.

Suzanne:   You never know. Well go to the dentist or something. You’ll probably find a copy there.

Miguel:   That’s hilarious. Now that you mention it, I do recall seeing those there at those places.

Suzanne:   So, what talents do you have besides acting and writing?

Miguel:   You know what, before I started working as an actor, I was a stunt man. I went to stunt school for a year, just to do something with my life and learn new skills. So, I was doing stunt training, so I know how to fall and how to get my butt kicked in class, just that type of work. However, now, depending on the stunt, I’d probably have a stunt man do some of my stunts, that way I don’t get hurt on set.

Suzanne:   Right. They take a lot of risks.

Miguel:   Oh, yeah, your life is dangerous, like one time I was on set. I was a stunt man on this non-union film, and I fell on cement like fifteen times at least, ten to fifteen times. My body felt really fatigued the next day.

Suzanne:   Well, it’s good that you work out so much. So, even if you did do it, you might not hurt yourself so much.

Miguel:   Yeah. I mean, you spend a lot of your time in classes learning how to fall. It’s crazy; it’s absolutely crazy.

Suzanne:   Yeah. And is there anything else that you’d like to tell your fans about you or the show?

Miguel:   You know, it’s a show that is funny. It’s not really that dark, and it’s easy to watch with your friends and family. So if you want to find something to watch that will make you laugh and smile during these crazy times, watch AP Bio season three.

Suzanne:   All right, great. Thank you so much for the call. I really appreciate it.

Miguel:   Likewise, thank you so much for having me.

Suzanne:   All right. Talk to you later.

Miguel:   Bye.

Suzanne:   Bye.

Here is the audio version of it.

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of


Making waves as one to watch in Peacock’s comedy series “A.P. Bio,” (now streaming it’s third season on NBCUniversal’s streaming service) we would love to arrange an interview with you and breakout star Miguel Chavez to discuss his hit comedy series. Miguel is also available to discuss working alongside Glenn Howerton (FX’s “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”), and Jean Villepique (Netflix’s “BoJack Horseman”), his other current projects, as well as his career overall.
A.P. Bio centers around a Harvard philosophy professor, Jack Carson Griffin (Glenn Howerton) who loses out on his dream job to his rival Miles Leonard (Tom Bennett), he is forced to return to  Ohio and work as an advanced placement (A.P.) biology teacher at Whitlock High School. Jack makes it clear to his class that he will not be teaching any biology but later realizes that he has a room full of honor-roll students. Jack decides to use them for his own benefit and to get revenge on Miles. Eager to prove that he is still king of the castle, Principal Durbin (Patton Oswalt) struggles to keep Griffin under control. Miguel plays the role of ‘Eduardo,’ a shy, introverted student who’s best friends with the nerdy, Victor Kozlowski. Eduardo’s main focus is to obtain what every high school boy puts his main energy into, finding a girlfriend.
Miguel was born and raised in Southern California to a Mexican father and a half-Korean, half-Mexican mother. Miguel first discovered his love of the arts and acting at the young age 13 and began participating in community theater, as well as school paly productions and playing the saxophone in band. Continuing to grow and develop his love for the entertainment industry, he majored in filmmaking and graduated with a BA from Woodbury University in Burbank, CA. After graduation, Miguel enrolled in a stunt school, Stunts in Motion, where he trained under fight choreographer, certified stunt coordinator/performer, Jack Huang.
On his free time, Miguel is dedicated to his fitness regimen, working out 6 days a week, weightlifting and practicing Yoga. An avid reader, he enjoys books such the high fantasy novel Lord of the Rings and Thirsty: Thirst, a self-help book. He hopes to be a role model for the Latinx and Asian community and to continue the on-going conversation of how important representation, diversity and inclusivity is in Hollywood.

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Miguel Chavez of "A.P. Bio" on Peacock

Interview with McKenzie Westmore

TV Interview!

McKenzie Westmore

Interview with McKenzie Westmore of the new sitcom”Y’All-R Family” on YouTube by Suzanne 9/23/20

This was an email interview, but I’ve interviewed McKenzie a few times before over the phone, in 2012 and 2017 when she was on “Face Off” on Syfy (see links below).  She’s always very nice.

1. Suzanne: So tell us about the makeup challenge…What is it, and how did you decide to start doing it on social media?

McKenzie: The makeup challenge is for artists of all levels to create a themed makeup each week and have the chance to win an amazing massage prize from Relaxacare, makeup swag and digitally meet and be critiqued by some of the biggest names in the makeup industry.

As we started the lockdown with Covid, my stylist Darshan Gress mentioned to me how someone from Top Chef was holding weekly contests. We both felt what a great idea to not only bring a piece of Face Off back to everyone, but more importantly, give a mental outlet to artists all over the world!

2. Suzanne: And Relaxacare is your sponsor for that? How did that come about?

McKenzie: I became friends with the owner sometime last year through social media. We became fast friends amd their products are top notch!! Even though not makeup-related, I thought, “What better prize to give to someone each week in the form of health and stress relief, especially during these times?”

3. Suzanne: I noticed that there’s also a petition with almost 30,000 signatures to bring “Face Off” back on Syfy. Is that still a possibility?

McKenzie: I guess anything is possible. I haven’t heard word of it coming back, but I do feel there is still a world and life for it to come back at some point.

4. Suzanne: Many fans know you from the soaps. Are you still auditioning for acting work in daytime or primetime?

McKenzie: I feel my fanbase is actually strongest from the soap world. I digitally audition once in a while for fun but have been busy with Westmore Beauty and QVC. If the right project comes along, I’ll definitely think about jumping back in the saddle. Especially if it’s back in the soap world.

5. Suzanne: I think it would be great if you joined “Days of Our Lives” as a new love interest for Rafe (Galen Gering), especially since his main love interest, Hope (Kristian Alfonso) just left the show. I miss Shuis!

McKenzie: I miss Shuis too! 🙂
I would love nothing more than to join Days! I’m so sad Kristian is gone!!

6. Suzanne: Do you think that there’s a stigma (as many have said) against daytime actors?

McKenzie: At one point, perhaps… but I don’t think so anymore. I think people have come to realize how difficult it is to do daytime. In prime time or movies, you’re doing a page a day. [For] daytime, I would memorize 25-50 pages a day, 8 episodes a week for 9 years straight!

7. Suzanne: You’re still doing a show on QVC, correct?

McKenzie: Yes, you can find me often on QVC with my cosmetic company Westmore Beauty. I usually post on my Instagram page as to when I’ll be on especially in my Stories.

8. Suzanne: What have you been doing to keep healthy and/or productive during the pandemic?

McKenzie: Personally, I take time to weight train an hour a day and either do HIIT training or long walks on my treadmill. I always make sure to do 10,000 steps or more a day. I drink a gallon of water daily. I get a massage in my Relaxacare chair daily, which has truly saved my sanity and back! That chair is worth every penny, especially during these times!

I do a lot of at-home skin care treatments, and I’m about to start another weekly show with Westmore Beauty, bringing fans into my home, as well as beauty tips and secrets with my dad.

9. Suzanne: What else are you working on?

McKenzie: I’ve written a few scripts that obviously have been put on hold. I have a few exciting things about to be announced! 😉

10. Suzanne: Do you have a particular charity that you’re passionate about?

McKenzie: I’m big on mental health awareness so This Is My Brave has become one. Because I battle Tourette Syndrome, their association is another I donate to. And my third is the California Wildlife Foundation to help rehabilitate stranded animals.

Suzanne: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions!

McKenzie: Thank you! Xo

Interview with McKenzie Westmore of “Face Off” on Syfy 2/23/17

Interview with McKenzie Westmore of “Face off” on Syfy 8/15/12


McKenzie is busy on social media with her makeup sites and makeup challenge. She appears in the new YouTube sitcom “Y’all R Family” (see trailer and site below).

Actress best known as Sheridan Crane Lopez Fitzgerald from the NBC soap opera, Passions (1999-2008)
Dr. Riley Sinclair in a recurring role on the ABC soap opera, All My Children (2008)
Host of SyFy Channel’s FaceOff (2011-2018)
Founder of Westmore Beauty Where McKenzie can be seen doing promos on QVC.
McKenzie is currently doing McKenzie’s Makeup Challenge on her Instagram page, which is sponsored by Relaxacare.


McKenzie’s main Instagram  Westmore Beauty on Instagram Makeup Challenge on Instagram

Twitter Facebook

Y’all R Family Site Trailer

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McKenzie Westmore

Interview with Alan Silva

TV Interview!

Alan Silva performers on "America's Got Talent"

Interview with Alan Silva of “America’s Got Talent” on NBC by Suzanne 9/19/20

This was such a fun interview with Alan! He’s got a lot of personality and talent. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. I’m so excited to watch Tuesday’s show to see who wins…

Here is the audio version of it.

Suzanne: Hi, Alan. How are you?

Alan: Hi, I’m doing great. How are you?

Suzanne: Good. Good. You’ve been rehearsing?

Alan: Yes, I’ve been rehearsing and practicing and creating. It’s been kind of like a roller coaster right now.

Suzanne: Well, congratulations on advancing to the finale.

Alan: Thank you. Thank you very much. It’s really exciting.

Suzanne: Sure. Did you go out and celebrate?

Alan: No, we didn’t have much time to celebrate. I think we’re going to have to just maybe have a big celebration when everything is finished, for sure.

Suzanne: And you must have something pretty big planned for the finale?

Alan: Yeah. I mean, we have to step it up, for sure. And I’ve been trying to always be creative and come up with something exciting and something different. So, my plan is to do something different again. Hopefully I can impress everyone.

Suzanne: Yeah, I’m sure everybody’s looking forward to seeing what you have up your sleeve.

Alan: I think that’s what I what I see most of the time. People are like, “I can’t wait to watch what you’re going to come up with next for your next performance.” So, I think people have the expectation already to see something different. So, I’m excited.

Suzanne: Yeah. And among the other contestants, who do you think is your greatest competition?

Alan: Oh, my gosh, that’s a great question, because, for me, I think all of them are my greatest competition. I mean, we’re all different in different talents. Everybody’s so talented, but we’re all different. Now we have, for example, the Bellow Sisters. They are more in my field, which is the performance, acrobatic arts. They are competition for me. Then, we have the other people. They’re not categorized in that category, but we have the BAD Salsa; they’re great dancers, and so dynamic. Then, we have the singers. We have Roberta [Battaglia]; it’s so amazing to hear her sing, and she’s so young to have that voice and that talent. Then, we have Daneliya [Tuleshova], and we have Cristina Rae. You have so many people – Brandon Leake. You know, for me, literally all of them are a huge competition for me. But, you know, at the end of the day, I think [I am] my own big competition. I’m competing against myself and trying to be better than I was last time, basically.

Suzanne: So, now that you’ve been on the show for a while, what has surprised you the most?

Alan: Well, I did have some surprises with people that actually ended up going home who I didn’t think were going home. That was, I think, for me, one of the biggest surprises that I had in terms of results. At this point, I don’t think anything surprises me anymore, because everyone’s game at this point. Everyone made it to the finals, so I can’t really tell if there is one exact thing for me that is a big surprise.

Suzanne: Okay, and besides not falling or hitting those spikes, what was your biggest challenge so far?

Alan: Oh, my gosh, every time it’s been a big challenge, especially in the quarter finals when I had so much trouble with with the weather and being wet, trying not to slip and fall. That was really stressful at the moment. I think, for me, right now, one of the biggest challenges that I’m having, is that I injured my shoulder. So, to be able to deliver a great performance for the finals with an injured shoulder, that, for now, is my biggest challenge.

Suzanne: Wow, yeah. Do they have a doctor there? Do they have somebody who can help you out?

Alan: Yeah, I mean, we have everybody here that can help us out, but it’s just because of one of the movements that I did. Basically, I pulled my muscle, my shoulder, like the ligaments. So, there’s not really much that they can do for that, just try to rest, and it will heal itself, but that means if I rest, I’m not going to be prepared for the finals. So, I decided to push forward and keep going, trying to be as safe as possible.

Suzanne: Sure. Now what precautions have they taken to minimize everyone’s risk to the Coronavirus?

Alan: Oh my gosh, this is huge; the precautions they took are really big. They’re really serious about that. Yeah, we have to be wearing a mask all the time. We’re actually tested every other day for COVID. They want to make sure that everyone is safe, keeping the social distancing at all times, even when we have to be transported; it’s like 1% of the time in the car and things like that. So, they’re being [careful] with the food and everything. It’s sealed. They’re being super, super, super cautious about everything.

Suzanne: Good. You’re filming in LA, right?

Alan: I am in LA, yes. We even have to be quarantined; we’re not allowed to go anywhere.

Suzanne: Oh, wow.

Alan: Yeah, they’re trying to create this protective bubble.

Suzanne: That’s good though. Do they put you up in a hotel and provide all of your meals and that kind of thing?

Alan: Yeah, they take really good care of us. We are in a beautiful hotel, and we are not far from the studio, so it’s easy to go for practice and during shooting days and all of that. It’s beautiful. The way they do everything is really high level. We are treated like superstars.

Suzanne: You had a brother that competed in an earlier season. Were they put up in the same place, or was it different? I read that you had a brother or some relative that competed in an earlier season?

Alan: Oh, yes. It was my brother, who was Alfredo from the games. He competed on season eleven.

Suzanne: Did they put him up in the same place? Or do you know?

Alan: I don’t think it was the same place.

Publicist: I can answer that. It wasn’t the same place, because we were at the Dolby Theatre at the time, but now, due to COVID, we’ve moved the production to Universal Studios.

Alan: Exactly.

Suzanne: Oh, so it was a different hotel. I was just curious.

Publicist: Different parts of town. We’re in Universal Studios right now, and the Dolby Theater is in Hollywood.

Suzanne: Okay. And how many hours a day do you practice normally?

Alan: Well, for the last two days, I practiced from three until ten – three in the afternoon until ten at night.

Suzanne: Wow.

Alan: Yes. [laughs] It’s a lot of work. People sometimes don’t think that. I guess they think I just go out there and fly. [laughs]

Suzanne: And you live in Las Vegas, right?

Alan: Yes, I do. I live in Vegas.

Suzanne: So, you must be glad to get away from the temperatures there a little bit.

Alan: Right, because it’s so hot. It was like 118 before I left Vegas. I don’t know what the weather is like now, but it’s been pretty warm here too. I mean, it’s very similar, and I kind of like it; it’s like the summery [months].

Suzanne: That’s good. My sister lives in Vegas, and I think she said it was going to be around 100, so I guess it’s come down a little bit.

Alan: It’s so funny. You can literally just like fry an egg on your windshield.

Suzanne: [laughs] I know. Their air conditioning went out for a few days, and they live in apartments, so they were just dying.

Alan: That’s the worst, right? That happened to me before. [laughs]

Suzanne: So, are you are you still performing in Vegas? If people go to Vegas, can they see you perform there?

Alan: No, they cannot, because when the whole COVID situation [started], the shows closed, and none of us have the jobs now.

Suzanne: Oh, they haven’t reopened the shows at all?

Alan: No, so I don’t have a job to go to now. I don’t have to work, so it was just perfect timing for me to be on AGT and eventually earn a spot. And that would be a dream come true, if I can have my own show in Vegas. That would be amazing.

Suzanne: Wow. I had no idea. I knew they’d opened the casinos up. I didn’t know they hadn’t opened the shows up. That’s interesting.

So, I read that you want to act. Do you have an agent yet for that?

Alan: I don’t have an agent yet. I did a couple of things in the past, acting-wise. I don’t know if I can talk about it, but I did (unintelligible) in 2007. But I would like to go that route, because it’s something that I really love. I’ve always been passionate for acting; it’s just opportunities didn’t come up. So, hopefully people can see me in a different light and it will open up more doors and opportunities.

Suzanne: Yeah, sure. I mean, if you win this, surely you’ll get some connections from that.

Alan: Right.

Suzanne: So, last question, what would you like to say to your fans out there?

Alan: For my fans, I just would like to say, I really appreciate all of them. I’ve been receiving so many messages of love from them and support. I really, really appreciate it. They think sometimes that we don’t read the messages, but we do get to read them. Sometimes we cannot reply to everyone, and I apologize, because it’s a lot of people to reply to, but I just want to tell them that, if anything, I just want to be able to inspire them and to just bring hope for them, and that they know that they can reach for the stars, that the sky’s the limit, and they can pursue their dreams and goals. I just hope that they see me up here, getting to the finals; I just hope that they look at me and say, “Hey, if he did it, I can also do it.”

Suzanne: Alright, well, thank you. I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to me, especially on a Saturday.

It’s okay. Thank you so much. I really appreciate you reaching out.

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of

AMERICA'S GOT TALENT -- "Semi-Finals" Episode 1519 -- Pictured: (l-r) Terry Crews, Alan Silva -- (Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC)


Alan’s Bio:  Alan J. Silva was born in Brazil. He comes from a long line of performers and is the sixth generation of circus performers in his family. He started performing at the age of 6. He trained in and performed many circus disciplines, including but not limited to Russian bar, clowning, tumbling and flying trapeze. It wasn’t until he was 16, though, that he found his true passion was aerial silks. Soon after mastering his craft, he traveled Brazil, performing as the first male artist to fly on aerial silks for circuses and festivals all over the country. Then in 2000, he had an opportunity to audition for his dream circus that only accepted the best of the best artists to be part of the company. However, it wouldn’t be for another two years that he’d be called to create a character and act for the show that would eventually open on the Las Vegas strip. Since 2003, Alan has called the USA home and is proud to have earned his citizenship in 2017. While working and living in Las Vegas, he met and married his wife, and they are now parents of two amazing young children that may follow in his foot steps

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Alan Silva performers on "America's Got Talent"

Alan Silva performs America's Got Talent - Season 15

Interview with Crystal Hunt

TV Interview!

Crystal Hunt

Interview with Crystal Hunt of “Mood Swings” on PureFlix by Suzanne 8/14/20

It was great to speak with Crystal!  She’s a lot of fun. I used to watch her on “Guiding Light” and “One Life to Live”  She’s good at playing the villain, but she’s very sweet and down-to-earth in real life.

Here is the audio version of it.  Here’s the transcript!

Suzanne: So, when did you create the series? And when was it filmed?

Crystal: We shot it the year right before Christmas, year before last, and I created it when Donna Mills and Vanessa Marcil and I did that show “Queens Of Drama.” We were given a challenge. So, I create a treatment for a series that we think should be on the air. And so, my name is chosen, but Donna loved the concept of doing a female ensemble comedy and always loved “The Golden Girls,” and, you know, her favorite’s “I Love Lucy” like me. She loves Lucy a lot. So, we have a very similar sense of the style of comedy we like. And I just didn’t let her down. I was like, “Oh my God, I can’t believe we’re actually doing this.” She’s like, “You realize how big of a deal this is.” And she’s like, “There’s nobody in our industry that says they’re actually gonna do something and they actually follow through.” I’m like, “Well, I’m from Florida. I think it’s different.”

Suzanne: So had you done any writing before this?

Crystal: I had never, but I didn’t really have much of a choice once I saw what the budget was, and also timeframe before production needed to start by. And I didn’t realize just how many – because I’m not a writer, I didn’t realize just how – okay, I take it back. I did take poetry writing and things like that. I’ve always enjoyed that growing up. I’d just never formally written. So, I never really knew about writers rooms and all these different components and all these other people that add to the mix that actually makes up each episode. So, I realized really quickly, that yeah, this is too much work for anyone person in the time frame we need it. So, I happen to be friends with one of the writers of “The Golden Girls,” and I said, “Listen, I know that you [don’t want?] to do this for a long time, but it’s happening, but here’s the deal. It has to be done in this amount of time.” He’s like, “Okay, so possible.” I’m like, “Yeah, and here’s what it is. You’ll have me and one of my friends and we will -“ She has written some things. I was like, “So, she has a little bit of experience.” I said, “And I’m watching Judd Apatow Masterclass first.” I said, “So, while I finish up wrapping up the shooting the season on this other show.” I was like, “I will be watching a masterclass, so I know I can at least have an idea that I can make notes” I’m like, “And then lets beat board the whole thing out, and then let us create some female heavy content, and then you can run with it.” He’s like, “Okay, this sounds nuts but I think that it might actually be doable if you guys can do that.” He’s like, “That’s the key, like that’s where the writer room comes in, is you get to get ideas from a bunch of different heads, and a lot of different visions and takes on everything and that’s kind of what makes comedy so great.” So, it was a lesson and also opened up the doors to a lot of work right at the tail end of wrapping up season two of our show.

Suzanne: Wow. So, so, so it was difficult, but you figured out how to get help and get it all together.

Crystal: 100%. Tons of notes, tons of calls for questions and whatnot, but we got down to a really good rhythm. Some episodes, that will seem the most daunting to do, because they seem like they had the most content, turned out to be some of the easiest, and the ones that we thought were going to be the easiest, we’re like, “What? I don’t know, what do you mean?

Suzanne: So I know you’d worked for Pure Flix before, did that make it easier to sell it to them?

Crystal: Oh, it had already been sold. They had actually asked when I was actually negotiating my deal for season two. [Unintelligible] asked, “What happened to that show you pitched on, ‘Queens of Drama’?” “I mean, I do plan to do it at some point, but I just haven’t gotten around it yet.” He’s like, “Can you give me a rough pitch?” And I’m like, “Well, I haven’t even looked at the treatment in years, but yes.

Crystal: Like twenty minutes later, he’s like, “Let’s do like eight or ten episodes. Let’s just figure out like, what the beat board is and let’s do it. Like the episode, like what’s the season’s going to comprise of, and let’s do it.” So, just a treatment

Suzanne: Great. And so, did you first meet and work with Donna Mills with the “Queens of Drama,” or her did you know her from before?

Crystal: No, we actually have friends in common. One of the first executive researchers to ever hire her was a gentleman named John Conboy. He [unintelligible] “Santa Barbara” and “Capitol.” And he actually gave her one of my first jobs. He hired me for my first job on “The Guiding Light.”

Suzanne: Oh, good.

Crystal: Yeah, so, we had a lot of paths that crossed, but yes, we didn’t formally meet until “Queens of Drama.” And we’ve been like, yeah, there might be an age difference, but she and I, like you couldn’t find too closer pals. I love her pieces. She’s like family, as is her husband and daughter. They just didn’t realize they were gonna gain family from Florida, but they did…Joan Collins is a good friend of hers and Joan worked on “Guiding Light” with me. There’re just a lot of crossovers in our industry that you really don’t think of until that happens and you’re like, “Oh, oh, that’s where we know each other.” There’re so many times the things like that happen and it’s like, “Okay, now I’m not surprised anymore. Just go with it.”

Suzanne: Yeah, I read about that all the time. You’ll hear about somebody being cast and they’ll be like, “Oh, I know so and so, because we used to meet each other in the same auditions, or we took an acting class or something like that. And you’re like, “Oh, okay.”

Crystal: That happens a lot. Where like you used to, you know, do some sort of like workshop whatever with an actor and you run into them again, and then there’s like some sort of crossover.

Suzanne: Yeah. And I guess you see that a lot on Twitter too. Some actor that you know from one thing and then you’ll be talking to another actor, and you’re like, I wonder how they know each other? It’s always something like that.

Crystal: So true. And it does; it happens a lot. That’s because there’s not that many, especially in New York, there weren’t that many really reputable coaches that did workshops and whatnot. So, you had to have at least some credits on your belt to even get in there. So, if you were part of it, chances are you’re gonna see people that you’ve seen either on auditions or have worked with. [dog is barking]

Suzanne: Is that your dog?

Crystal: No, it is not. It’s my mother’s unruly dog. He is right next to me, barking next to me. I’m like, “What is she barking at?” We’re here in Florida for my mom’s birthday. So yeah, her dogs, though I love them to pieces. I got them for her, so obviously, I think they’re beautiful and I love them, but holy moly. They bark at everything

Suzanne: Yeah, that’s we always try to get dog that doesn’t bark if we can help it.

Crystal: Mine does not. I am very proud to say that.

Crystal: I’m answering a text; I have to get to an appointment that my mom’s at. Sorry I was asking on my dad’s [unintelligible] because they were walking in. My mom’s like – I told her, I’m like, “I have an interview to do on my drive over there.” Like I didn’t realize the time it was, because I was like, “I know I’ll be getting a call at that time. So I’ll head over there.

Crystal: I told him too, I was like…I surprised my mom got like this whole like, UV filtration system in their house and stuff like that, because she’s a cancer survivor…and really good it gets all the crap out of the water and stuff but also doesn’t have that water. So, I don’t know if you have long hair, but it doesn’t have that water softener feel that makes you feel like you can’t ever get your shampoo out of your hair. Because we hate it but also don’t want to have her breathing in carcinogens like they clean water with. So, I do that and the guy didn’t know what he was doing exactly, and it flooded a quarter of my parents’ house.

Suzanne: Oh, no.

Crystal: Yeah, this all happened in the last 48 hours, so it’s been fun.

Suzanne: You’ve been having a week.

Crystal: Yeah, exactly. I was like, “Friday might be a little hectic, but don’t worry. Even if I’m talking on the road, I’ll be talking.

Suzanne: Well, that’s good that you can multitask.

Crystal: [unintelligible] disaster.

Suzanne: Did you know any of the other people in your cast? You have a great cast for the show. Did you know any of them before they were cast?

Crystal: Oh, 100%, yeah. Well, obviously, Donna wrote the role for, and then Dyan Cannon she called me, and I was just like, that was beyond a pinch yourself moment. I mean, her her manager called a couple times, and I was explaining that the character that would be great for her would be be – She wanted to roll of Wanda, but I said I’ve written that for Donna, but the roll of her sister would be fabulous for her. She’s wild and crazy and a blast. But she wasn’t set to come until season two. Well, a couple of calls later, I get a call from Diane pitching me to have her come in a little bit in season one and then full time in season two. And I’m sorry yeah, it was a week before production, but you can’t get a call like that and not make it happen.

Suzanne: Right. Right. Wow. That’s great. Yeah, she’s wonderful.

Crystal: And I couldn’t have met a more unbelievable human being. She’s just incredible. Such an angel.

Suzanne: And what about Robin Riker? Did you know her before?

Crystal: Robin Riker, I actually know her through “The Golden Girls” writer; he wrote for her on “Mash.” It was so much crossover. It was crazy. And then several of my former cast mates from other soaps that are on there too, like the guy who plays my ex husband, Scott Bailey. We worked together since I was seventeen on “Guiding Light.” And a lot of people, because ultimately, I mean, Joan Collins has come out and said, “You know, soap opera stars are about the hardest working people in the business.” Because the thing is, there is no other workload like it. Like it’s the only thing that you see five days a week, every week that [unintelligible] training, and so it’s less of a series in the way that when people watch series, they watch ten, twelve episodes of something, and then they have to wait for another season to come out. Whereas it develops a totally different relationship with your fan base. Because it’s no longer like, “Oh my god!” It’s not that; it’s legitimately like they’ll come up to you and give you a piece of their mind and tell you, you know, “You need to stop giving this person a hard time,” and blah, blah, blah, bla, blah and are totally 100% in it, but like there is no like, “Hi, nice to meet you.” It’s like,”Why don’t you leave your your stepmother alone and give her a break.” And because it creates such a real family type relationship, that people forget that they don’t actually know you as a person, and also that you’re portraying a character. So, the separation is a little off, but there’s never a dull moment, I can tell you that.

Suzanne: So did you get more people coming up to you when you were playing Lizzie or when you’re playing Stacy?

Crystal: Oh, that’s a good question. I think just as much but just different, because I was so young when I was playing Lizzy. I had a lot of people like concerned, like there are a lot people waiting outside the studio tracks, like trying to introduce me to Christianity, even though if they ever looked up anything that I had said set about myself – I grew up Pentecostal Church of God and went to a bad Baptist school. So like, there’s really not much you can tell me that I haven’t heard ad nauseum, because I had to learn absolutely every single subject every kid learns in school, only the subject and how it relates to the Bible. But like they truly are concerned that I came from like a very sweet sort of nurturing side, whereas with Stacey, I think they are like, “She’s old enough to know better!” And they would give me an earful. It’s funny; it’s just different fans, because the fans – I feel like it sounds crazy, but the fans for CBS, it’s like they’re just 100% away from ABC fans. They’re just totally different types of people and demographics. It’s so weird. You would never ever think that a network would change, you know, what your fan base is going to be. Like, for instance, like “Guiding Light,” I would say, it’s definitely more of a legacy show. Like there was a lot one people that watched it, because it was like passed down to them like it was like an heirloom or something. Whereas I’d say ABC, it was the first time I actually had a lot of young fans.

Suzanne: That makes sense.

Crystal: Because there was such a broad demographic for ABC shows. ,So it was just it was it was crazy to see, because you don’t really know it until you experience it.

Suzanne: Right. Well, I watched you a little bit on “Guiding Light” and when you were on “One Life to Live,” and I liked you. You did a good job on both, but I didn’t like Stacy, because I liked Gigi and Rex together

Crystal: Yeah, nobody likes breaking up of the couples.

Suzanne: No, no, exactly…Do you still do you still know Ron? Didn’t Ron Carlivati write your character?

Crystal: My character, yes he did. He wrote my character for “GH.” No, not “GH,” for “One Life to Live.” He is at “GH” now. Yeah, he wrote my character for “One Life.” He’s such a sweetheart.

Suzanne: Yeah I thought I had read that he wrote all that, because I was like, well okay hope he does better now….Like I said you did a great job, you know, I just didn’t like Stacy. You know, it’s hard to like somebody who was so awful all the time.

Crystal: I hear you.

Suzanne: So I was wondering why – I’m sure you get a lot of flack from fans for that.

Crystal: Oh, for sure, but yeah, but that’s the one thing is I think that it probably helps that I already had covered some ground in daytime, because then there are at least enough people out there that knew that Crystal isn’t like that.

Crystal: So, I think that it saved me a little bit. I think a lot of people are trying to figure out how much of Lizzie was really me and how much of it was just the character. And because they didn’t know me from anything, because I was in the middle of my senior year of high school when I got cast. So, I think that since it established that I was not alone and doing all these crazy things, that I must not be so bad. There wasn’t like terrible hate mail. I like that. There has been, but not really as much for Stacey anymore, just because they like them together, you know, and they get used to that. And I completely understand it, but every show has to have that person.

Suzanne: Well, it probably helped you too, if you weren’t just thrown in as that being your first first character. You might have had a lot of trouble with how people treated you.

Crystal: I’m not gonna lie. I have pretty thick skin. I have a huge family that all think that they are like practical jokers and standup comics. I think there’s 99.99% sarcasm in our family. And they’re always pulling pranks on you and all that stuff. So, I feel like they’re so full of crap anyway, all the time that I just have gotten such thick skin to everything that I’m always ready to have a great response, to where I feel like I was already seasoned to handle anything at that point.

Suzanne: They prepared you for life.

Crystal: Oh, yes. No, it’s a good thing. I recommend it. Huge families are fabulous.

Suzanne: What else can you tell us about the series? It comes out in October, right?

Crystal: it came out the end of last October.

Suzanne: Okay.

Crystal: You know, like right before the whole world went on pause.

Suzanne: Crazy.

Crystal: Back when you could go to the movie theater.

Suzanne: Well, it’s a good thing it’s not a movie then.

Crystal: It’s funny though. It’s funny, because I there were so many films I did want to see. And I’m like, what’s gonna happen? Like they gotta put it on streaming somehow, but I guess they have to make a deal. And next thing you know, all these deals are being made with the shows and films that I wanted to see at the theater. They’re now streaming on streaming services. It’s so weird. It’s so weird.

Suzanne: It is weird, because all of a sudden, the definition of a movie has completely changed, hasn’t it?

Crystal: Yeah, I mean, it’s strange though. I mean, I know this has been going on for a long time now, but it still feels like if I were to wake up tomorrow, and this is all just some wacky dream, I wouldn’t be surprised. Like, it just feels so surreal. You know what I mean?

Suzanne: Yeah, I know exactly what you mean.

Crystal: it’s just too many things and too much negativity all at once. It’s just you hate seeing like, you know, this is all because of COVID and it’s messing with people brain chemicals, keeping them like the you know, sheltered up in their homes all the time and all that stuff. I mean, it’s not healthy, and then all the stuff that’s been happening in the media, the police forces and different things. It’s just like, really? Like right now? Like come on.

Suzanne: And then you’ve got what was it? Murder hornets. I don’t know what else, so many things. And then we’ve got an election coming up, so everything’s all amped up anyway in the news.

Crystal: Yeah, it’s true. It’s too much, and I refuse to watch the news. I’m not that person. If I flip on the news, it’s really hard to give me any kind of like, remote anxiety about something, but I just don’t understand. Like, it just puts you in a bad mood.

Suzanne: Yeah, it’s depressing.

Crystal: It takes you from a good mood to just being like, “blah,” so quick.

Suzanne: I know, even on a good year, it’s depressing. And this is not a good year.

Crystal: I feel like you watch it for five minutes and know what they’re gonna talk about for the next few hours. It’s like it’s cyclical. Everybody kind of rehashes certain things.

Crystal: But like, my mother loves my watching the news, and she was actually quarantined with me in LA, because she just had spine surgery. And I’m like, “Listen, Lady, I’m making some hard rules here. You can watch ten minutes a day, and if there’s something big happening, that there is some special thing that night, that there’s like some sort of thing that you feel like you need to get updated on, then we’ll see.” But it already is awful that we were in the hospital for as long as we were and then now we’re going to be trapped in this condo for as long as we are going to be and we don’t know when we are going to be let out, but then to actually have some depressing material to watch. No, thank you.

Suzanne: Yeah, that’s an older person thing, I think, watching the new over and over and over.

Crystal: It is; it really is. I’m like, if it’s important I’m sure I’ll get some sort of like, alert on my phone or something.

Suzanne: Yeah, my mother-in-law lived with us for five years, and all she watched was the news and reruns of “Law & Order.” That was is.

Crystal: Oh my God. That was my mother’s favorite. She loves that. What’s the one that Mariska Hargitay’s on?

Suzanne: Oh, “SVU.” Yeah.

Crystal: She loves that. [imitating] “Oh, I just love her, and she looks just like her mother.”

Suzanne: Yes, that’s true. She does.

Suzanne: “Just like her mother.”

Suzanne: And it’s funny, because there seems to be like, no matter what time of day you turn on the TV, there’s a “Law & Order” playing somewhere.

Crystal: It’s so true. There’re so many of them. I don’t know how they keep up with all those. Same with “CSI.” It’s like, what time is in?

Suzanne: The original “CSI” was in Vegas, and then they had one New York and one in Miami.

Crystal: Hold on “CSI” in Vegas was before New York?

Suzanne: Oh, yeah.

Crystal: See, I never knew that.

Suzanne: Yep.

Crystal: Unreal.

Suzanne: If you have any TV questions, you can always ask me. I know these things.

Crystal: I love it. I knew nothing about current television until the pandemic, because I then binged watched the first time every bit of content I think that’s probably out there.

Suzanne: There’s a lot.

Crystal: I’m a huge documentary fan, so I definitely hit those pretty hard.

Suzanne: Oh, that’s good. Yeah, there’s a lot of those. They have a lot more of those I think now too. It seems like it anyway.

Crystal: They do, and I feel like I’m seeing a lot more of those still like being made too, because I think they might fall under, well, non-union I imagine, so they probably don’t have as many laws that they have to abide by.

Suzanne: Yeah. Is that your phone?

Crystal: No, that was just the car let me know that I’m close to the curb.

Suzanne: Okay, so –

Crystal: It’s nice when the car talks to you, you know?

Suzanne: Well, you know, we’re not too far off from the whole talking car thing.

Crystal: I know right? There’re actually cars out there there, or are going to be cars out there, I think there already are, that drive themselves. That scares the crap out of me. Like there’re already enough bad drivers on the road. We don’t need any driverless cars.

Suzanne: Well, I like the idea, actually. I don’t I don’t like to drive, so it’s great for me.

Crystal: I love the idea, if it was like “The Jetsons.” I always say, that’s like the ultimate car-

Suzanne: Wait, wait, wait, wait. You want a car that drives itself, but in the air?

Crystal: Yeah! See, that’s just it. I love the concept. The problem is that I just feel like nothing ever works the way it’s projected to, so that’s my only fear, is that as a realist, it sounds fabulous, but let’s be honest, what’s the safety rating on this?

Suzanne: I think most people probably wait until they’ve been out for a while, and we all know exactly how safe they are, hopefully.

Crystal: Yes, I hope so. I do hope so.

Suzanne: I’m just giving you a hard time, I hope you know,

Crystal: Yeah. I will wait until I see how they fare, because I know there were a lot of different little things kind of like that that they were testing out, like Uber Eats and Postmates and things like that, like robotic things, and they didn’t work out so hot. So, it’s a great idea, but if it works seamlessly, if it’s flawless and great.

Suzanne: Right. Well, probably most accidents are caused by people, so, you know, if the cars are working okay and the people are not getting in the way then –

Crystal: That’s true, and as long as there is that then they’re won’t be any people falling asleep at the wheel, so that’s good.

Suzanne: Yeah, exactly, or are getting drunk or whatever.

Crystal: Very true. Uber will go out of business.

Suzanne: Yeah. So anything else you can tell us about the series for people who haven’t watched it yet?

Crystal: It is my personal modern take/twist on “The Golden Girls,” me coming from a huge, huge family of diverse ranges of ages, because all of the people in our family have kids in their early 20s and do it again their 40s, so there’re a lot of big age gaps. So, the one thing I wanted to do differently with my spin, because I know how interesting it makes things, is have someone from each decade. Because there is something that you don’t even need to write when you have women of every decade dealing with all different levels of estrogen and lack thereof, having to cohabitate and dealing with their randomly different issues. You know, it’s already fun. There’s already gonna be something entertaining there.

Suzanne: And you said you’re working on the second season now?

Crystal: No, I’m actually waiting for anybody to get back to the office to even hear anything. I know our ratings are the top show, so that’s good. But nobody’s at the office. So, it’s kind of hard.

Suzanne: Okay, but you you wrote the second season already?

Crystal: I have a list, yeah. Bob and I [unintelligible] started sorry, actually making notes of stuff as we were shooting of stuff that we want for episodes for the second season. So yes, we have a rough outline of it.

Suzanne: Cool. And do you think that the first season will be out on DVD?

Crystal: That’s a good question. I haven’t really given it much thought, because, I mean, we can sell it as a DVD, we just haven’t really gone into that, because the people who buy, it’s a different type of distribution. So, the people who would buy to do that aren’t in their offices to even have those calls yet. So, it kind of makes it hard in that way. But it is definitely a possibility. It’s just a bridge that hasn’t been crossed yet, because it is a different kind of distribution all together.

Suzanne: Yeah, I think it would work. I mean, I haven’t seen it, but I think it sounds like it would work for DVD, because you have people of all ages, and those of us who watch DVDs are older, so it would work.

Crystal: Yeah, absolutely, of course. If Netflix works, then a DVD would work. Yeah, exactly. Ultimately, it’s handy, so you have them all there readily available.

Suzanne: Right, and not everybody – there’re so many streaming services and you know, you can’t you can’t buy them all.

Crystal: You are not kidding. That is so true.

Suzanne: Well, anyway, I appreciate you calling me, and I enjoyed it. Like I said, I used to watch you all the time on the soap, so I do feel like I know you. See, like those other fans.

Crystal: Thank you, I appreciate it.

Suzanne: But you’re nicer than, you know, either of your other characters.

Crystal: Thank you. I hope so. Otherwise, I think I’d be creating some crazy publicity if I was. If I was anything like them, I can assure you, I’d probably be emulating it.

Suzanne: That’s right. All right. Well, thanks very much, and I look forward to check it out the show.

Crystal: Me too. Same here. I’d love to hear what you think.

Suzanne: Thank you.

Crystal: Thank you.

Suzanne: Bye bye.

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of

MORE INFO:Crystal Hunt

Emmy-nominated actress Crystal Hunt, who first captured America’s attention at age 17 when she was cast as the troubled teenager ‘Lizzie Spaulding’ on the iconic CBS daytime series “Guiding Light.” Now Crystal is the writer, creator, producer and star of the new TV series “Mood Swings” that gives a modern spin on “Golden Girls.” The comedy airs on streaming service Pure Flix and follows four generations of women thrown together by circumstance to live under one roof and survive in Los Angeles. It is directed by Emmy nominated comedy director Sean Lambert (“The Larry Sanders Show,” “Freaks and Greeks”) and features Crystal’s fellow soap stars Donna Mills (“General Hospital”) and Robin Riker (“The Bold and the Beautiful”), and Oscar-nominated actress Dyan Cannon.

Mood Swings castDisillusioned with the pace of Hollywood and feeling there was a need for a great female ensemble comedy such as “Golden Girls,” “I Love Lucy,” and “Designing Women” which she grew up watching, Crystal took her career into her own hands to embrace the legacy of these female driven shows, while adding her own modern twist. Crystal Hunt is the creative and comedic force behind the series which follows ‘Farrah’ (Crystal Hunt) who after being recently divorced deals with an enormous mortgage on a Malibu mansion and so takes on roommates to earn money to support herself and her eight-year-old son ‘Ryder.’

Crystal’s new roommates include ‘Coco’ (Robin Riker), a disgruntled working woman, ‘Dani’ (BAD MOMS’ Christina DeRosa), a Canadian-Italian “culinary wizard” and aspiring actress, and ‘Emilia’ (“Ballers'” Sophia Gasca), a Dominican entrepreneur trying to secure U.S. citizenship. Jason Earles (Disney’s “Hannah Montana”) stars as ‘Farah’s’ live-in, slacker handyman.

After being spotted by an agent at the Actors Workshop in New York as a teenager, Crystal was quickly offered a role on “Guiding Light” that would last four years and earn the teenage actress an Emmy nomination. Coinciding with her rigorous television schedule, Hunt got her break into motion pictures, appearing opposite Zac Efron in the feel-good family movie THE DERBY STALLION.

Crystal returned to her television roots in 2009 when she was cast as the devious stripper ‘Stacy Morasco’ on the ABC daytime series “One Life To Live”, where she would stay for three years. She also starred on the docuseries “Queens of Drama” that followed a powerful cast of former daytime and primetime stars as they work in front of and behind the cameras to create, develop, pitch and produce a new steamy, serialized, primetime drama.

Enjoy Crystal’s remarkable behind the scenes Hollywood journey from developing the concept, writing the scripts, selling the series, casting and so much more.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

Back to the Primetime Articles and Interviews Page

Crystal Hunt in the soaps

Interview with Rico Torres

TV Interview!

actor Rico Torres

Interview with Rico Torres of “Ballers” on HBO and “Penny Dreadful: City of Angels” on Showtime by Suzanne 8/3/20

This was a fun interview. Rico has a lot of energy and enthusiasm, and we got along very well. I think he’ll have big success in the future. If he doesn’t, it sure won’t be for lack of trying.

Here is the audio version of it.

Suzanne: I’m sorry to hear that you were bullied in high school. I was bullied in elementary and junior high, so I know how you feel.

Rico: Yeah, it was junior high; it was middle school and high school. I mean, that is the toughest time for any kid. You think the world is going to end. You think it’s literally – like, yeah, it’s insane. Because now after, you know, you graduated, none of that matters. None of that matters, right? I went through this entire journey and I never, never told anybody. You know, I never told my parents; I never told my brothers. I remember coming home one day actually, I think this was like in eighth or ninth grade, my black eye, my face was just tore up. And I told my parents, you know, I ran into a door. I remember that so vividly. And I actually got beat up. And yeah, I mean, you know, my middle and high school, I was bullied, because I had asthma, because I had anorexia. And what made matters worse, was, I guess, I was born – I hate saying this, because I hate being cocky and stuff, but I’m not I’m not ugly. You know?

So, I guess a lot of girls were attracted to me, and that just made matters worse, because a lot of guys would get mad, so mad, because I had all these different things. You already know. One thing led to another, and it was just so awful. And for so many years, I fell into such a like depressive, anxious – it was for years years, and I kind of I guess I played video games to get my mind off of things. And I tell the story all the time. I remember only eating like one or two (meal tickets?) a day. And I guess I wasn’t even aware that I even had anorexia, because I was getting bullied. You know what I mean? (Unintelligible), my dad was never home, this and that, this thing will kill somebody. It’s going to make somebody commit suicide.

But it wasn’t until, you know, one day I remember, I literally just stared at myself in the mirror for like an hour. And I literally said – because after, you know, countless meetings with the doctor and I was like, “Yo, problem, man,” and I never took any of the medications, and then my mom would try to feed me more, but I said “no,” and I just simply wasn’t aware of it. When I’d stare at myself in the mirror, and I said, “Yo, problem,” that’s when everything changed. I’m like, I’ve been bullied, I keep denying the help from my parents, the doctors. That was the solution to everything, admitting to myself that I have a problem. And after that, I mean, then I reached out for help. I’m was like, “Mom, please send me anything,” whatever. And then my brother I get from the time I was working out, I’m like, “Please show me anything. I can’t I can’t keep this up.” And then one thing led to another, and then I gained confidence from working out, from eating, and the rest is history. I broke out of that. I broke out of that.

Suzanne: Yeah, that’s tough. And I think boys can be bullied a lot worse than girls. I mean, girls can be bullied for sure, and girls are mean and catty and all that, but the physical stuff i think is more of a boys thing. You know, it’s much worse.

Rico: Agreed. It’s horrible.

Suzanne: Yeah, I lucked out, because I went from sort of a ghetto school in middle school, or junior high, they called it back there, to a nice – I was in a foster home, so I got into a nice foster home in a really nice area where the kids didn’t do stuff like that. So, I was lucky. I was still a total geek, and they probably talked about me behind my back, but nobody punched me or beat me up or anything, but I know how you feel, up to a certain extent, obviously. But you turned your life around. That’s good that you were able to do that. It was good that you were able to turn your life around like that.

Rico: Oh, yeah. Oh, man, to be honest with you, as we’re talking about all this, and as I, you know, sit here and think about everything that’s happened in my life, I don’t regret anything. I sit here and I’m smiling; I’m telling you I’m not even lying, because all that really shaped me to who I am today. I mean, I don’t know if you read it, but I went to school, I went to college for pre med. I was following this doctor route kind of like for years and years and years. And I crossed off all these items off the checklist, you know, like (unintelligible), medical missions trips, shadowing doctors, this and that, and I mean, next thing you know, I don’t know, like senior year of college, I just know I broke out again, just continuously breaking out of like this paradigm that we’re all raised to believe in. And because, for years, I followed that, and then I guess I got into modeling, because I’m like, I can make money off of this; everybody always told me.

I got into that, you know, and one thing led to another. A modeling agent, I guess, who was also part talent agent, got me an audition. I’m like, “What is that?” And I went to it, and I did awful. But then I guess I got a callback and I’m like, “What is that?” I’m like, I’ve got take this seriously. They gave me the numbers. They’re like, “If you get this, this is a lead role for a feature film. If you get this, you know, you get $900 a day for 15 days,” and I’m like, “That’s $15,000 in two weeks? That’s crazy.” Yeah.

So, then I actually tried really hard. I got into the room with two producers. And, I mean, long story short, I didn’t get it, but, I mean, for the Cruises (?) to literally say, “I love your style,” that’s crazy. And they kind of opened my eyes to the whole new world. And I’m like, medicine, I don’t even like it. I was going with traditional medicine, and I’m into holistics. I hate the whole traditional medicine, because the pharmaceutical industry is killing the entire world. I mean, the US, because that’s the most profitable industry in the US. So, I mean, I was just following, I don’t know, it’s crazy. I don’t know how to explain it.

Suzanne: No, it makes sense. It totally makes sense now, how you went from being wanting to be a doctor to be an actor. At first, I thought, how did that happen? But no, the way you explained it makes perfect sense. You didn’t really have your heart in the doctor thing, and then you started the modeling, and then that led to the acting, and now that makes a lot of sense.

Rico: And then the app thing led to just like, entrepreneurial ventures. And then next thing, you know, my book is being published September 1st, because I actually love writing. Who would have thought? Like if I’d never broke out of that, you know, pre med just doctor doctor doctor doctor, I’d have never found out what I actually truly like to do and what I’m actually truly talented talented in. Oh, that’s crazy.

Suzanne: Well, I didn’t know that you can write. What was the book that you wrote?

Rico: Oh yeah, it’s about “Know your norms.” So, basically, I mean, it just talks about social norms. It talks about it from from the moment you’re born, to the moment you kind of die. So, it’s like all that in between, and it starts from the very beginning. I incorporate some of my personal life experiences in there, because I believe that storytelling changes the world. So, I incorporate some of my own stories, you know, the anorexia – I was I was born into the color blue, because I’m a boy. Like, girls are born to the color pink. Girls are given toys; boys are given guns and cars. You know what I mean? Since are born, we are being tricked. And it’s that paradigm that I’m talking about. We’re being tricked into just following these rules made by society. And that’s why like 1% of the world are quote, unquote, aware of all of this and like 99% aren’t, and they simply just follow that entire, you know, playbook that’s given them for their entire life, and they don’t realize or find out about, you know, anything else in the world. So, I mean, I’m so excited about this book that I made. It truly came from the heart. I love it. I was like, this is crazy. Hopefully, it opens up so many other people’s eyes and minds like it did to me. I mean, I just try to make people aware.

Suzanne: Can we buy that on Amazon? Is it on there?

Rico: Absolutely. We publish a lot of places. Because this is my first book. I’m so publishing everywhere. Hopefully, you know, my second or third book, which I’m actually already working on my second book, hopefully, you know, when my second or third book, I actually, you know, get a literary agent and the traditional publishing and etc, etc. I’m used to the whole game. So, I was looking at it like, oh –

Suzanne: Well, it sounds it sounds really good. You know, I agree with what you’re saying, because, obviously, we all know, to a certain extent, that the whole thing about school is not just there to inform you, it’s there to mold you to be a good citizen. And your parents try to do the same thing. But one thing I’ve always thought is that people don’t plan their lives they do like you said, whatever their parents tell them, the schools tell them, and we’re all told, you must get a good job. You must go to college, you must get married, you must have kids, all that stuff, and few people question it. And then, if something terrible happens, like a divorce, they’re completely thrown, because they never considered it. And we put all this thought and money into the wedding, but nobody really talks about the marriage or whether you should have kids and all that stuff. So yeah, I totally see what you’re saying. I’ve always thought that.

Rico: And then like exactly what you’re saying, then if you go even more in depth, it’s literally just years and years and years of your life just wasted, just trying to follow your parents’ expectations or society’s expectations. And then you’re trapped, and then you become unhappy and it’s like no, do what you love, and that’s it.

Suzanne: And it causes things like anorexia, with society always telling us we have to be skinny to be beautiful.

Rico: Oh, yeah. There’s so many. Oh, and I feel so strongly about mental health, especially because of social media. I hate it. Oh, man. Oh, man, living here in LA. I’ve only lived here like, a little under two years. I’ve already been exposed to all of the type of people that are just crazy about their image. And I’m like, “What are you doing.” And then what they do when they post all this other stuff on Instagram and whatnot, they’re just, you know, the average person or the average Joe, the normal person who really doesn’t get exposed to all this you know, in LA or Hollywood, Atlanta (?) or whatnot. They see that and then they believe that to be true; they believe that that’s what you need to be successful. They believe that you need to look a certain way. And they just use square[screw?] everybodys lined up, man.

Suzanne: Right. That’s true. Yeah, my sister-in-law and her husband are from LA and they lived there a while, and it was all about you have to you have to put up – and she wasn’t even an actress for very long. But you have to put on this show for people you have to always look perfect, and you have to be seen, and I was like, “What?” I thought it was crazy. So, I know what you’re saying. And then everybody there is just pressured to do that, and, you know, it’s crazy.

Rico: Yeah, and while I’m still, you know, honestly, why I’m still here and why I’m still, you know, striving to do all these things in TV and film, and I guess, in the realm of Hollywood is because well, first of all, I needed a break. Somebody in your family has to break out. Somebody has to break out of that, you know, generational norm because, you know, you need to build that generational wealth and my entire family’s core, and core as in financially and core, you know, inside…I was going to say, it’s kind of like how Tupac’s dead – you know who Tupac is, right? Tupac Shakur. Yeah, I don’t know, I just love his message. I love everything that he’s ever – aside from that whole gang stuff, gang related stuff, I don’t approve of that. But like, I love hearing people’s misfortunes, but to have Tupac, and how he broke out of that, and how he’s so intellectual and he just wanted to inspire and spark someone’s brain to kind of do exactly, not exactly the same, but, you get what I’m saying right? I can’t explain it right.

Suzanne: Yeah. No, it’s all right; I understand. So, were you in drama at all in high school or you didn’t do anything like that?

Rico: Absolutely not. That’s why I love it, there is no there are no rules. I’m not big. I’m not an A-List or anything like that, but in under two years, I’ve already been, you know, featured in some of these big productions. I may not have had a leading role or anything like that, but I still landed something in these huge productions. And I’m still getting massive auditions, getting all this recognition and stuff. I’ve never taken an acting class in my life. So, like people go through all this schooling and stuff, and all I mean, there are no rules. You set your own rules.

Suzanne: Well, I wasn’t thinking so much training. It’s just it’s a lot of fun in high school. I did drama in high school.

Rico: Yeah, I’ve heard I’ve heard Yeah, yeah, I missed out on that. I’ve heard it’s a lot of fun.

Suzanne: It is a lot of fun.

Rico: Like the improv side of stuff, yeah, I would have loved to do all that.

Suzanne: So, you’ve never done any stage plays or anything like that, just TV and movies?

Rico: Yep.

Suzanne: Oh, cool. Well, you might one day, right? You might do a play or something.

Rico: Anything is possible; I might do everything. Absolutely. I’m actually taking vocal classes. So, I’m bilingual; I’m Colombian, and I really like Latin music. So, I’m trying to get into that.

Suzanne: Cool.

Rico: Not into the industry; I hate the industry. Well, like you said, for fun.

Suzanne: For fun, yeah, right. And, you know, since you’re smart and you like to write, you might, who knows, you might write a play one day or a screenplay.

Rico: Oh, I already wrote one.

Suzanne: Oh, good. I figured, right?

Rico:  I wrote a screenplay for a trilogy. I don’t know how to get that to distribution. I don’t know how to get that to the right eyes. I don’t know anything. I’m kind of like learning as I go. But yeah, it was amazing. I would love to see that actually come to fruition. Kind of like “Rocky,” kind of like Sylvester Stallone, how he wrote “Rocky,” that’s kind of like what I’m trying to do with my screenplay.

Suzanne: Cool. So what would you say is your biggest role so far?

Rico: I would say the one from “Ballers,” but I just –

Suzanne:  Sorry, is that a tough question?

Rico: Yeah, it is, because it was such a small role. So it’s like, ah, it sucks.

Suzanne: That’s all right. That’s okay. That’s fine. That’s an honest answer.

Rico: I mean, I‘ve only been at this for a year and a half. I want a lot more than just, you know, two or three scenes.

Suzanne: Yeah, well, you just gotta give it time. You’ll you’ll get there. It’s good that you’re proud of what you’ve done so far. That’s good. I think a lot of people fail because of lack of confidence, so that’s good.

Rico: Yeah, exactly. I’m not afraid to take on you know, under five roles. I’m not even afraid to be an extra. I did that, you know, all first coming out here. I did extra, extra, extra, extra extra. A lot of people don’t care about that, but like, no, I mean, Tiffani Haddish was an extra. I mean, Sylvester Stallone was an extra. I mean, they did a lot of extra stuff.

Suzanne: Yeah, that’s how they get started.

The IMDb says that you’re in a film called “LA Rush.” Do you know when when that’ll come out?

Rico: Who knows. I did that in the very beginning. It’s already been like a year and a half, two years. I don’t know why that’s still in production.

Suzanne: Well, maybe the pandemic affected it.

Rico: This Covid, man, it takes me so many of my projects that I’m hopefully going to be in.

Suzanne: Yeah, we’re all in the same boat on that, I think, especially people who have projects going in Hollywood.

Do you have anything else that you were working on before the pandemic hit, like shows or auditions or whatever?

Rico:  Oh, a bunch of them. I had like, three or four and then like a bunch of auditions and stuff, but everything is just being delayed. I mean, series, pilots, like this and that. I don’t know if they don’t even want me anymore. It’s crazy. I don’t know. I don’t know anything. I understand; I understand.

Suzanne: Ask your agent about the soap operas, because they’re all going back in production now. They’re they started before any of the other shows.

Rico: Soap Operas?

Suzanne: Yeah, daytime soaps.

Rico: My agent sucks. I don’t ever go out for anything in Spanish. I’m kidding. I’m learning; I’m going. I’ve been through, in a matter of a year and a half, I’ve been through like three managers, three agents, this and that. And it’s like, and it’s not because of me. It’s not because of me because, you know, I’m just trying to get work. I’m like, “Hey, you know, anything that you need, let me know. I’ll go on five auditions every single day. Let’s go.” You know what I mean?

Some of them don’t get back to me. And I’m like, come on. Like, really? I’m just trying to work. I’m trying to make you money.

Suzanne: Yeah. I don’t know how some people get their jobs.

Rico: So, I mean, yeah, I’m just taking it slow. You know, something will come up. I mean, with that, with commercials, with modeling, I have so many things, so many routes, so many seeds planted. It’s like, one of them’s going to blow up, you know?

Suzanne: So, what have you been working on for the past four months besides writing? Anything else? I’m sure you must.

Rico: Yeah, I love to write. I have a couple businesses. I’m developing an app, but that’s going to take some time.

I’m in the process of creating actually a men’s cosmetics line. Again, that’s going to take several months so, what else? Yeah, I’d have to look at all my stuff, but a lot of stuff. I mean, everything is especially like, pending, like how can I even talk about it.

Suzanne: What we’ve been doing just to relax or have fun?

Rico: I just work every day. No, I go to the gym every day, take my mind off of things. I meditate, you know, 30 minutes before I go to sleep and 30 minutes after I wake up, to keep my mind sane from all this stuff, especially because I came out here alone. I left everybody and everything over there in Florida. So, I’ve been at this alone, and sometimes it gets to me, and then especially when you’re single. I just feel like everybody here has the worst intentions possible, and it kind of messes with you mentally. I keep myself sane by working out, and – oOh sorry go ahead.

Suzanne: I was just going to say, you got therapy before to help you with the depression, anxiety and anorexia, did they also teach you how to eat right and all that kind of thing?

Rico: I did not follow. I’ve always had a problem of following directions in order. I don’t know why, I mean, I don’t want to some stubborn, but I just learned things on my own. I mean, asked for help, but on my own terms. I don’t know. It’s so weird. It’s so weird, do I sound bad saying all this?

Suzanne: No, no, no. You have your opinions and you have confidence. That’s good.

Rico: Yeah. So, I mean, for example, like, you know, like doctors were telling me this. I mean, it’s because I’ve been diagnosed incorrectly. And then I hear stories of other people being diagnosed incorrectly and given wrong medications, and this, this, and that, and how corrupt everything and everyone is. And it’s like, oh my God, so, I do my own research. But the doctor tells me I have this, this, and that, and then I started doing my own research. I started looking at peer reviewed articles, I start looking at studies, I [would] actually go get the exams, expensive exams, to make sure if what they’re saying is true, and more than likely, it’s not. I mean, I’ve been through – I was (unintelligible) accident, you know, in 2015, and I had to have jaw surgery. Yeah, my whole mouth split open. He was just, I mean, I don’t even know how my life today. But yeah, I actually had jaw surgery. And my surgeon, I mean, he did a great job. You know, he put it back together, but he put it back together incorrectly. What else can go wrong? Right?

I mean, I just find this out what, three, four years later, and I have not stopped looking at myself in the mirror, you know, every single day, every single morning I look at myself and I see the bottom jaw is just all crooked. And I mean, yeah, I’m a confident human being, but it’s like, I look at that every day, you know, and then I have problems with my nose, and it’s because of that. So, I mean, I have to go to a doctor, like many, many, many doctors, and try to figure out what the heck is wrong with me. You know, if it’s neurological or if there’s a nerve damage. And what about my jaw? You know, because it’s diameters off, and how do I correct that with all surgery, because surgery will just ruin you even more. Sorry, I’m ranting.

Suzanne: No, no, it’s fine.

Rico: I don’t even know what the point of me saying that was.

Suzanne: Well, you know, you made me forget now what I asked you, but that’s okay.

Do you have any advice for kids who are bullied or for kids who want to become actors?

Rico: So for the bully ones, you got to ask for help. I mean, if you’re being bullied, my advice would be to actually just sit down. I feel like people, kids, get away from your parents for a little bit, or your friends or whatever, just be alone for a little bit and actually just think about stuff, just think about what you’re doing, who you are, what’s happening around you, the bullying and all that. Because people are always with somebody, always with parents, so there’s always an opinion. There’s always a “I’m so scared to tell them I’m being bullied or whatnot.” But when you go by yourself – I’ve been by myself a lot. That’s how I’m aware of so many things. When you’re by yourself you think; you get into your thoughts a lot. The problem with that is you can’t be by yourself for too long, because that’s when you go crazy, right? That’s when somebody who’s not, you know, strong willed, strong minded, they’ll fall into a very bad, very bad state of mind. But take a week or two weeks or whatever, and actually just be by yourself. Go to the library by yourself and just think about what’s going on, and then and then admit it. You know, a lot of people don’t admit it. That’s the problem with America. You know, a lot of parents. They say to their kids, “You’re not fat; you’re big boned.” No, you’re fat. I’m sorry. I like the tough love. No, it’s true. Because that kid, their entire childhood is going to just go through their life thinking they’re just big boned. Right? And if they admit to themselves that they’re fat or overweight, that they’re obese, then you can do something about it, the first step in anything and any solution is admitting. Become aware that there’s a problem. Make or work towards finding a solution. But, yeah, to that I say, take some time to be alone, away from everybody and everything in all of society’s pressures and restrictions, and this, this, and that.

And then for the acting thing, I would never recommend a child to do this. It’s crazy. And I say that, because at least my children aren’t going to do it. I mean, at least until they’re 18, then they can do whatever they want. You know what I mean? Because, I mean, there’s a bunch of child actors that become – yeah. And the reason for that, I believe at least, is because they don’t go through, you know, a normal life. So, at like 12 or 14 or whatever, when they instantly become famous, when they instantly get access to all this money, they can get whatever they want. When they instantly get all this fame, you’re in the public eye. You can’t do anything, you know what I mean? You can’t do anything, and then like you’re out; you’re just trying to play basketball, right? And you know, you have all these pop rocks in here, whatnot. And you’re like, I can’t even have fun. So, you don’t even get the opportunity to live your life.

Suzanne: Yeah, I think it really depends on the parents they have, how normal they are, and also, the kid itself, you know, how they view what they’re doing? Yeah. Because I know some actors, they started age five, and then they go on to have a successful career, and they’re normal, but they probably had normal parents. I mean, by normal, you know, the parents supported them and let them make the decision about whether they wanted to do it and that kind of stuff. But the ones who have stage moms or whatever, it’s not so good.

Rico: Yeah, and that’s the thing though. If you’re a successful actor, celebrity, whatever, you have kids.

I mean, honestly, it all falls on the parents, because if you think we’re all right, and it’s kind of like what we were saying earlier, teach them. Teach them that a lot of the things in Hollywood are just fake. Teach them that a lot of that stuff does not matter. It’s meaningless. It’s just, a way of creating art, but then a lot of the things that follow that are just a lot of fakeness and this, this and that. And then, you know, if you teach them a certain way, and the reality, then you kind of teach them the normality and the enjoyment of life, of the little things. And teach them it’s about nature and trees and this isn’t that. I mean, I know that’s kind of like weird I even just – like, what are you talking about? But it will all make sense for the kid.

Suzanne: Yeah, they have to have a normal childhood, whether they’re acting or not.

Rico: Exactly. But, I mean, yeah, if somebody wanted to follow the acting route or whatever at whatever age, my advice is to not listen to anybody. Because I’ve only been at this a year and a half, or two years, and before my career even started – you know how I told you I was with like three managers, or three agents or whatever, how many times each and every single one of them have told me, “I’m going to end your career before it even starts. You don’t know how small the town is. You’re never going to get a job ever again.” I’m like, “Okay, wow, thanks for being so nice. I hope you have a better day.” I mean, no wonder. If you have a weak mind, you’re going to get destroyed in this industry. You’re going to get eaten alive. It’s crazy how all these people threaten you.

Suzanne: That’s sad. Well, I’m glad you were able to get past that and rise above those people.

Rico: Yeah, I’m still getting through it. There’re still millions of rejections and millions of people trying to threaten me. Whatever.

Suzanne: Yeah, no I understand. well I hope I hope that you can get into some – the I know a lot of the auditions now are through self tapes. So, hopefully you can do some of that. That would be good, instead of having to wait for the pandemic to be over.

Rico: Yeah, yep.

Suzanne: Yeah, well, I think the whole industry is waiting to see – whether they know it or not, they’re waiting to see what happens with the daytime soaps, because they’re the first ones to start back, and they’re utilizing all these different ways, between camera tricks, ways to be safe, and all those different things. So, if they can do it, then the rest of, you know, TV and movies can follow, hopefully.

Rico: Yeah. I’m so excited to get back to work. It’s so much fun creating art.

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

Rico: Oh, absolutely. I appreciate you talking to me.

Suzanne: And thanks for checking out my website. And we’re moving our site to TVMEG.COM, and we’ve already moved a lot over there. So, check it out. That’s where your interview will be.

Rico: Oh, cool, yeah, absolutely.

Suzanne: Great. Thank you.

Rico: Thank you so much. Have a great day.

Suzanne: You, too. Bye.

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of


actor Rico TorresYoung Hollywood’s newest Latin-American heartthrob Rico Torres, recognized for his latest roles on actor Rico TorresShowtime’s “Penny Dreadful: City of Angels” and HBO’s “Ballers,” in addition to countless international fashion campaigns. From a shy teen diagnosed with anorexia to becoming a hotly-tipped face to watch in Hollywood, Rico hopes to share his remarkable story to inspire other young people to reach for their dreams.

The Columbian actor was born in Florida after his parents immigrated to America while his mother was still pregnant with him. He graduated pre-med from Columbia University, but instead of attending medical school he sacrificed and risked everything to follow his dreams and moved to Los Angeles from Tampa with only $500 in his pocket to pursue Hollywood greatness. After only a year and a half of putting in sweat and tears in L.A., Rico is available to share his remarkable story of chasing and fulfilling his American dream.

When Rico isn’t in front of the camera, he enjoys staying fit and eating healthy. However, at a young age Rico suffered from anorexia. This caused him to be severely bullied as a teenager which led to anxiety and depression. Rico’s parents also divorced while he was in high school, and he lived with his mother who was working two full-time entry jobs to make ends meet. Rico then took on the of working and taking care of his family. All his past experiences (good or bad) have caused him to have a very special outlook on life and he takes nothing for granted. Rico sees them as beautiful and inspiring moments in his life that have shaped him into who he is today.

With over 100k followers on Instagram along with soon to be announced acting projects on the horizon, we would love to arrange an interview with you and Rico to discuss his meteoric Hollywood rise, fitness & nutrition tips, and inspiring story to teens and young people everywhere.

actor Rico Torres

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actor Rico Torres

Interview with Serinda Swan and Morwyn Brebner

TV Interview!

Serinda Swan of "Coroner" on The CWMorwyn Brebner from "Coroner" on The CW

Interview with actress Serinda Swan and executive producer Morwyn Brebner from “Coroner” on The CW by Suzanne 7/31/20

Jamie Ruby of SciFiVision asked me to sub for her in this last-minute interview when she had a family emergency. I was happy to do it.

Both of these women seemed very nice, and they were happy to talk about their show. I just loved Serinda as “Zatanna” on “Smallville” (my favorite superheroine of all time, actually), and she was great in “The Inhumans” as well. I know a lot of people said terrible things about that show, but it wasn’t that bad. I grew up reading those comics, so I enjoyed it.  I’m glad she was able to star in this successful Canadian show.  The CW has picked it up, so it premieres Wednesday, August 5.  In Canada, they’ve seen two seasons already and are preparing for the third.

I watched the first two shows and enjoyed them.  It’s a good detective show (even if she is a coroner – of course she solves crimes!).   Roger Cross, one of my favorite Canadian actors, stars as her detective partner, Donovan McAvoy. It’s got some very interesting characters, so I hope you can check it out.

You can read the interview on Jamie’s site.


Coroner poster

On August 5th, The CW will introduce U.S. audiences to the hit Canadian show, CORONER.  The show’s debut on the CBC network in Canada was the net’s highest rated new drama in four years, and in the UK, it was the highest rated drama EVER on Universal TV.  We will be airing the first two seasons of the show this fall and season three of the series has already been greenlit and starts filming next month in Canada!

CORONER is a compelling, character-driven drama starring Serinda Swan (“Ballers,” “Inhumans,” “Graceland”) as Dr. Jenny Cooper, a recently-widowed doctor who becomes the city’s new Coroner.  The series is a gripping look at a woman committed to discovering the truth on behalf of the deceased.

View Coroner Promo Here

Show Description:

In the character driven one-hour drama CORONER Dr. Jenny Cooper (Serinda Swan), a recently widowed, newly appointed coroner investigates any suspicious, unnatural or sudden deaths in Toronto. The series reflects the rich racial, class and gender diversity of the city. Each death brings Jenny into a new arena in the city and sparks buzzworthy themes…As CORONER, Jenny taps into her intuition, as much as her intellect and heart, as she solves cases along with the help of Homicide Detective Donovan “Mac” McAvoy (Roger Cross), a man who isn’t afraid of challenging status quo; pathologist Dr. Dwayne Allen (Lovell Adams-Gray), his assistant River Baitz (Kiley May); and Alison Trent (Tamara Podemski), Jenny’s assistant who keeps it real. And while Jenny solves mysterious deaths, she also deals with clinical anxiety, a teenage son, Ross (Ehren Kassam), who is still grieving the death of his father, and the prospect of starting a new relationship with the enigmatic Liam (Éric Bruneau).

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Coroner poster

Interview with Aidan Pierce Brennan

TV Interview!

Aidan Pierce Brennan

Interview with Aidan Pierce  Brennan of “NOS4A2” on AMC by Suzanne 7/30/20

This was a fun interview. He seems like a very nice, normal young man. He’s got an excellent start to his career.  He does an amazing job on NOS4A2. Don’t miss his episode this week, Sunday, 8/2 on AMC where he’ll play a young Charlie Manx!  Adult Charlie is played by Zachary Quinto, who’s the villain of the show. We finally see his backstory.

Here is the audio version of the interview.  The transcript below is edited quite a lot for clarity.

Aidan: Hi, how are you?

Suzanne: Okay, how are you, Aidan?

Aidan: I’m good. I’m good.

Suzanne: Good. So, before you were doing TV and movies, did you do any acting?

Aidan: As in theater?

Suzanne: Yes.

Aidan: I actually… I’ve never done theater, and I think that’s because I never.. I never really had that type of.. I think it really takes a lot of pure confidence to get up on that stage and project, and I don’t.. I don’t.. I never really.. I never really could do that, and I really I am not super theatrical. Which is not to say that it’s something I’ll never do because it’s something I’m definitely interested in, but I don’t think, I don’t think I have ever had that, the confidence to go up there and do that.

Suzanne: Oh. Well, I hope you’ll do it sometime because it sure is a lot of fun.

Aidan: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I love.. I love growing.

Suzanne: Yeah.

Aidan: I live right outside of the city. So, hopefully when social distancing ends, and, you know…

Suzanne: Right.

Aidan: …Out of quarantine, I’ll get to see some more plays ’cause I really like some of them.

Suzanne: Sure. And what did your parents think about your wanting to be an actor?

Aidan: Well, my mom, when she was growing up, I think she did some commercials. I think some modeling. And the movie that actually inspired me to start acting was “Stand By Me.” It’s one of my favorite movies, and River Phoenix’ performance in that, I think, really just… I mean, I watched that with my dad and, and my mom, my entire family… we watched it together and I was really blown away. I kept saying to the natural roots I.. his performance in that, how someone could create a character like this, and I just– I was raving about his performance. I was really impressed by how someone could do this, and I was telling them, I got to do this. I have to try to get into acting. I have to pursue this, and we went to this place and I said..

Suzanne: Oh, cool. So they’ve been pretty supportive the whole time.

Aidan: Absolutely. Oh, absolutely… especially my mom.

Suzanne: Great! What was the audition process like for “NOS4A2”?

Aidan:, I believe it was.. I feel like.. it was a while ago.. It was over a year ago. No, a little less than a year ago, I would say. So, I think it was just one audition, and it was in the city, I think. Yeah, and then I heard a few days later. They put me on hold for a minute and then a couple days later I found out that I got the role.  It was pretty exciting because the same day, the same call with my manager, he said that I also booked another role at the very same time.

Suzanne: Oh, great.

Aidan: So, that was.. that was pretty fun. And yeah [laughs].

Suzanne: And had you watched “NOS4A2” before that or.. or uh.. anything?

Aidan: No, but I’d heard of that. I’d heard about the book, and then I heard people start talking about the show a lot — recently, before my audition.

Suzanne: Cool.

Aidan: So when I.. when I saw that I was auditioning for “NOS4A2″… I’d heard.. I’d heard it before.

Suzanne: All right, and was it fun to film that?

Aidan: Definitely. Definitely. Charlie Manx is such a fun character to play, especially since I had a lot of freedom because I was supposed to be playing  this character that really wasn’t that Charlie Manx everyone knows… I mean, this character has a lot more innocence to him and a lot more.. and I guess a lot less.. uh, menacing and grim.I had a lot of freedom in the sense that like this character is nothing like Charlie Manx and filming that was a lot of fun.  The entire environment was very, much like the show, in the best way possible, but we filmed this wooded area.  It was right on the water, and it was really foggy, so it had this spooky atmosphere. And yeah, it was it was a great time filming, and I.. I really enjoyed playing this character.

Suzanne: And there are a lot of kids on that show. Did you hang out with them? Or were your scenes shot separately?

Aidan: My scenes were shot separately, unfortunately. But our family friend’s daughter is actually on that show.

Suzanne: Oh! [laughs]

Aidan: So yeah, she plays Millie.

Suzanne: Cool. Oh, Millie. Yeah. That’s a great character.

Aidan: Yeah. Yeah [laughs].

Suzanne: So, what do you find most fun about acting?

Aidan:  Trying to become a whole new character. I think that’s the part that really excites me the most. Just losing yourself in these characters, whether it’s just auditioning or… I have such a passion for  just transforming into someone who’s completely not like you at all and doing your best…that’s really exciting to me. I think it takes a lot of understanding the characters and listening. It takes a lot of basing it off of yourself and real life experiences… to me that’s really exciting.

Suzanne: Okay.  A lot of the shows you’ve been in are pretty violent. Are you allowed to watch them? [laughs]

Aidan: [laughs] For the most part, no. I mean, I watched most of them, and some with the scenes I was in..

Suzanne: Right.

Aidan: But for the most part, my parents don’t really let me watch that much violent stuff.

Suzanne: Right? It’s probably a good idea. [laughs]

Aidan: Right?

Suzanne: I mean, I can’t I can’t even watch The Punisher. I’m just like.. no. [laughs]

Aidan: Yeah.. yeah that is pretty scary. My.. my dad really loves that.

Suzanne: Oh, I’m sure. [laughs]

Aidan: And you know.. I watched a lot of the episodes, but not with all the violent stuff.

Suzanne: Right.

Aidan: My parents say, don’t watch that.

Suzanne: Yeah. I loved “Daredevil.” I grew up reading the comics…

Aidan: Right, right.

Suzanne: But it was a bit too violent for me.

Aidan: Right. [laughs]

Suzanne: But “The Punisher” is way worse. [laughs] I couldn’t watch that… So, you’ve been doing some movies, too. How have those been different from working in TV?

Aidan:  Well, I really haven’t had a bad experience on any set. I mean, I’m really enjoying myself, and.. TV, movies, anything.. But I think the main difference is the characters I play. So far, with TV shows, I’ve gotten to play characters… Charlie Manx, Ray Donovan, Frank Castle Jr…. I think the main difference is these characters because both sides were… With a TV job, I get to play darker characters that challenge me a little more. For a movie like “The Secret: Dare to Dream,”  I played someone pretty close to home… just a normal kid. That’s the main difference so far. I’ve had fun with either one of them, but I think the main difference so far is the characters that I got to play.

Suzanne: Okay. Yeah. I was looking over the things you’ve been in, and you often play the younger version of some guy.

Aidan: Yeah.. [laughs] Yeah.

Suzanne: That’s cool. You’ve been doing some things based on comic books. Do you read comic books for fun?

Aidan:  Yes,  I was raised into that because my uncle is very into Marvel Comics, and he would show me older comics, like the Incredible Hulk, or just mainly superhero comics. But yeah, that’s always been something that’s interesting to me.

Suzanne: Oh, I’m sure and…Oh, you got to work with Katie Holmes in the “The Secret: Dare to Dream.”   You know that she was in one of the Batman movies right?

Aidan: Yeah, yeah.

Suzanne: That must really cool-

Aidan: She’s Rachel. Yeah, I do.

Suzanne: That’s got.. yeah, do you think..

Aidan: That was.. that was cool.

Suzanne: Do you think that you’ll probably.. after the pandemic and everything… go to Comic-Con or something like that?

Aidan: I would love to..

Suzanne: Yeah.

Aidan: Since we were little, my brother and I, we obviously love everything about that.  We really like to see movies, and we really like comics.. We always have. And I’d like to go.. if my mom would take me.

Suzanne: Yeah, that’s great. are you based in LA, or New York or..?

Aidan: I’m based a little outside of New York.

Suzanne: Okay. Well, they have the New York Comic-Con there. So that would be good. [laughs]

Aidan: Right? Yeah.

Suzanne: Cool.  If you don’t mind my asking, how old are you now?

Aidan: I’m fourteen.

Suzanne: Okay, that’s good. So you’re just starting high school?

Aidan: l’m going to start high school, hopefully. I guess in a month or so.

Suzanne: Oh great, great. Are you excited?

Aidan: Oh, yeah yeah. Excited and scared.

Suzanne: Yeah. [laughs] Oh, you’ll be fine. So for “Extra Innings,” did you have to train much for all the baseball scenes?

Aidan: I did because you know previous to that…I only really played basketball and lacrosse.  I really never got around to playing baseball very much, except for little league in kindergarten.  I didn’t really know the first thing about baseball.  But I got it together with a trainer and… and even with my director.. we’ve been training in baseball a little bit. But that was hard, too, because I had to base my playing style and baseball stance off of someone else – who’s already very good at baseball – the guy who played the older version of me in the movie.

Suzanne: Right.

Aidan: So, yeah, but that was really fun, and I’m glad I got to play baseball because I really liked it.

Suzanne: Cool. Do you think you might play baseball in school? Now that you’ve done it more?

Aidan: Maybe,but baseball season is the same time as lacrosse season. They’re both in the spring. So I don’t think I’d be able to play in school, but I still watch baseball at home, and I still play baseball with my friends every once in a while.

Suzanne: Right. Well, it’s the only sport on TV right now. So.. [laughs]

Aidan: Yeah, right.

Suzanne: Yeah. My husband’s a big huge baseball fan so.. [laughs]

Aidan: Right.

Suzanne: Now, your movie “The Secret: Dare to Dream” looks good.  What can you tell us about working on that movie?

Aidan: Iit was really one of the best experiences of my life — it was all really exciting because I’ve really never had to leave school or leave home in that extended amount of time for a role, previous to that… That was, I think, two months, or maybe a month and three weeks, in New Orleans, Louisiana. And that was beyond exciting.  Of course my mom was with me, but I had to say goodbye to my brother, my dad, my dogs. And that was a little scary, but you know, when I got there, I got to work with a lot of people I respect a lot. I just had a really great time in that set, working with my family in the movie and that was.. that was really — big time — one of the best experiences of my life.

Suzanne: Cool!  Abd New Orleans is a really cool place, too.. very different from New York.

Aidan: Yeah. Yeah, I loved it there.

Suzanne: Yeah, it’s.. its beautiful there.  So what have you been doing? What have you been up to during the past four months of staying at home?

Aidan: Well…. you know… still going on auditions, but I can’t really go to the city anymore, so all of them are self tapes from home.

Suzanne: Right.

Aidan: Still watching a lot of movies almost every day. Tryin’ to play sports, tryin’ to stay active. I’m trying to convince my parents to let me hang out with my friends a little bit more, but like I’m still practicing social distancing, so I can’t really see much of them. But yeah, I mean, I’m trying to stay busy the last couple weeks.

Suzanne: Okay, cool. Well, thank you. I really appreciate you taking the time for this call.

Aidan: It’s my pleasure. Thank you so much for having me.

interview Transcribed by TranscriptionPuppy


Aidan booked his first role at the age of eight on the web series “Sitters.” From there, he’s continued to hone his craft on bigger and more ambitious projects including the award-winning film “Extra Innings” (Winner: Best Film, Manhattan Film Festival 2019), as well as a recurring role on the Marvel/Netflix series “The Punisher.” Making his network television debut on the cult-favorite ABC series “Forever,” he has been gaining momentum and acclaim ever since. Recently, Brennan was seen portraying a young Ray Donavon on Showtime’s series of the same name, and upcoming he’ll be seen starring opposite Katie Holmes, Jerry O’Connell and Josh Lucas in “The Secret” (Link to trailer:


View Sneak Peek HERE

Season two of AMC’s NOS4A2 continues on Sunday, July 12th at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT, with the full season set to also simulcast on BBC America. In Sunday’s all-new episode, entitled “The Lake House,” Charlie Manx is on the hunt, Vic and her family go into hiding with Maggie and Wayne suffers mysterious nightmares while Tabitha chases a lead on Bing.

In NOS4A2’s second season, Vic McQueen (Ashleigh Cummings) remains more determined than ever to destroy Charlie Manx (Zachary Quinto). Charlie, having faced his own mortality, emerges desperate for revenge against Vic. This time, he sets his sights on the person who means most to Vic – her eight-year-old son Wayne. The race for Wayne’s soul sends Vic and Charlie on a high-speed collision course, forcing both to confront the mistakes of their pasts in order to secure a hold on Wayne’s future. The series’ second season stars Emmy®-nominated actor and producer Zachary Quinto and rising star Ashleigh Cummings, along with Jahkara Smith, Olafur Darri Olafsson, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Virginia Kull, Jonathan Langdon, Ashley Romans, Jason David and Mattea Conforti.

Based on Joe Hill’s best-selling novel of the same name, NOS4A2 is executive produced by showrunner Jami O’Brien (Fear the Walking Dead, Hell on Wheels) and Hill. The series is produced by AMC Studios in association with Tornante Television.

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Aidan Pierce Brennan in "NOS4A2" as Young Charlie Manx.

Interview with Jason Weems

TV Interview!

Jason Weems

Interview with comedian Jason Weems by Suzanne 7/28/20

This interview was done via email. I watched his comedy special. He’s very funny! I hope you can check it out.

1. What age were you when you first started writing jokes or performing?


I was 15 or 16 when I first remember writing jokes, and I got my first taste of being on a stage (with a mic in my hand) in front of a crowd in high school. I hosted a fashion show and remember the feeling of getting big laughs from simply sharing my thoughts. It instantly grabbed me, and I fell deeply in love with comedy. It wasn’t until years later in college that I tried my first official attempt at standup. Up until that point I was the host who was surprisingly funny, but there was no pressure because there was no expectation. It’s a completely new level of pressure & expertise required when you’re announced as a comedian and people who paid money actually EXPECT for you to be funny. Let’s just say the first attempt wasn’t very fruitful, LOL.


2. Which comedians did you watch growing up and that influenced you?


I watched whoever was accessible when I first got into standup. Some of my earliest memories of standup were Comic View on BET and those HBO half-hour specials that used to come on. I was a student to it all though. The Original Kings Of Comedy had a really profound impression on me. I loved everything about that special. The ingenuity, the energy, the creativity, the jewels they dropped, it all was scripture to me. Some of my influences comedically have been Chappelle, Rock, DL Hughley, Jamie Foxx, Robin Harris, Tommy Davidson and I’ve got a ton of peers who I admire and who inspire me.


3. Are other people in your family funny as well?


Absolutely. No one that has made a website like me or anything, LOL, but definitely funny. My Father is probably my earliest comedic influence. He’s a stoic man to the majority of the world that meets him, but to his family & those closest to him, he’s a straight FOOL !!! He introduced me & my brother to an array of horribly funny movies and moments in life. You know those movies that are so terrible that they’re actually good somehow. I can still clearly remember sitting on the couch with him and my older brother when I was little watching the worst movies and just crying laughing. I’m talking straight weeping with laughter. My wife & kids are in a league of their own and ready for their own sitcom. They’re just waiting on the right money deal to come through. They make me run away laughing its so damn funny.


4. Doing standup, do you travel a lot? Is your wife supportive of that?


I did a fair amount of traveling pre-Rona, pre-Dying & pre-Fatherhood, but I try to keep it as close to home as possible nowadays. I’m not a big national name just yet (hopefully my new comedy special Unknown changes that), so I really try to make the gigs I take make sense. My family is priority one always for me, so really being selective with my calendar is important. I take my boys to school and pick them up daily. I do homework with them and never miss a thing, so I select shows that support that. Shows that I can drive to and be back home by the morning to get my boys up. The ones I get on a plane for are either career-advancing opportunities or bank account advancing opportunities. Everything else is a hard pass, LOL. Luckily, my wife who is my biggest fan has always supported me in all things comedy. She is in many ways the catalyst that finally made me take the full leap into it.


5. Have you gotten much feedback from fans or others since you almost died? Obviously there’s been a lot of press…


So much. I’ve had too many meaningful exchanges with folks to remember them all, but there has been a ton of feedback. All positive. Whether its been people commenting on my story who heard Season 3 of First Day Back Podcast where the entire ordeal is masterfully documented by Tally Abecassis, or folks who came to the filming of my latest comedy special Unknown which drops on Amazon August 4th, 2020. A lot of people have reached out sharing their own tales with death & their feelings surrounding it all. I’ve had some really great conversations and connections with folks.


6. Did you go to college, and if so, what did you major in?


Indeed I did. I attended the mighty Morgan State University here in my beautiful hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. I kind of majored in Elementary Education, but they were tripping, so I took the quick exit and graduated with a degree in Family & Consumer Sciences. Which is a fancy way of saying Home Economics aka “I Wasted 40 Grand Mom & Dad”.


7. How many years have you been doing standup?


September 27, 2006 is my standup comedy anniversary. So this fall will mark 14 years for me if the world doesn’t self destruct before then.


8. Who is the most famous comedian that you’ve met while doing comedy and traveling?


I’ve met a lot of famous comics during my years of service, LOL, but hands down it would have to be Dave Chappelle. The funniest thing, it wasn’t even in a comedy environment. It wasn’t at a club, or in Los Angeles or NYC at some late night spot. It was right here in my lovely hometown of Baltimore, Maryland at a fundraiser for his God-brother Ben Jealous who was running as the Democratic nominee for Governor here in Maryland. My wife Dionne Joyner- Weems and one of her closest friends and business partners Shelonda Stokes finagled the opportunity for me to attend and I took full advantage of it. I’m a big fan of still writing by hand, and for buying beautiful blank cards and writing real sentiments to those you love and care for. Dave Chappelle is one of those people for me, so that’s what I did. I found the greatest blank card and spilled all of my thoughts & gratitude for him into it. I wasn’t sure how I was gonna get it in his hands and how it would be received, but I wasn’t leaving that swanky ass garden party without giving one of my greatest inspirations his flowers while he is here. About 30 minutes into the soirée, my wife and I were speaking to the hosts of the event about their lovely home when I saw Chappelle and his publicist Carla Simms walk-in (lovely woman). I gave my wife the “Chappelle and his publicist Carla Simms just walked in eyes” and I broke away from telling the host that his home was lovely, LOL. By the time I made it out to the garden area, Chappelle was already swarmed by everybody and their ancestors. I played it cool, and the universe conspired. A few minutes later, it was as if the comedic forces that govern our world saw fit that we meet. We bumped into each other and got caught into a great quick conversation. We talked about standup briefly, I made him spit laugh, push me and run in the opposite direction which is one of the highest compliments in comedic black culture and I was able to personally hand him my 4 page handwritten card and express to him verbally his impact on my trajectory in life. It was powerful and a moment I’ll always hold close.


9. Did your doctors ever tell you why your nebulizer didn’t work well enough that night that you died?


That sentiment was never relayed to me exactly. They feel like the most likely culprit was a glass of wine I sipped at the venue prior to going on stage that night in Philly (May 3, 2017). My pulmonologist feels that it was the sulfites found in the wine & even possibly the type of barrel that wine was stored in (my pulmonologist is also a part-time detective). And I had unfortunately already collapsed by the time the folks who tried to assist me hooked my nebulizer up (I need a new pit crew, lol).


10. Do you have better control of your asthma now?


I feel like I do, but I did on May 3, 2017, too. I take all of my prescribed meds, exercise, eat right and pray, not much more I can do. It’s a scary reality of mine, but my reality nonetheless.


11. Is performing in clubs and being on the road bad for your asthma (is there a lot of smoking, for instance)?


It can be. Most of the venues I choose to work are pretty good about regulating that type of stuff in the areas the performers are in, but there is of course some of that to a certain degree (even if it’s from peers). The stress of traveling, sleeping in airports, and driving insanely long distances can be detrimental, which is why I avoid it as much as “financially feasible” right now, LOL.


12. What plans or preparations have you made since almost dying? For example, seeing a financial planner, etc.


Life Insurance was ramped up immediately after & my travel schedule shifted (as outlined in question 4) to accommodate my health concerns. Oh, and I stopped drinking wine IMMEDIATELY !!! #DamnThatWine


13. Do you have a bucket list? If so, what’s on it?


To not die from asthma. To see every continent. To sell my script & develop my sitcom. To see my kids grow up & their kids grow up. To put out more comedy specials. For this comedy special Jason Weems: Unknown to do something insane that no one ever expected. To secure my kid’s financial futures & their kid’s financial futures from doing what I love. To walk outside without a face mask & damn flame thrower would be nice.


14. Have your kids ever heard or seen daddy perform, or are they too young?


They have actually seen me two times now. My boys are 8 & 6 (twins). The first time they accompanied me to a show I had at The Kennedy Center while my wife was away for a work retreat. They got to see Daddy in another element as they waited with myself and a few other comics in the green room that night. They sat backstage as I closed the show, and I brought them out on stage to uproarious applause at the end of the night. The second time is when we filmed “Jason Weems: Unknown” before a Sold-Out crowd. That night was electric, and folks can get some of that electricity on August 4th when it begins streaming on Amazon.


15. How did you and your wife meet?


We met our first day of college on the steps of Holmes Hall at our beloved Morgan State University here in Baltimore. Our relationship grew into a deep friendship as we served in student government together (I was class king & she was class president), and we began dating officially our Junior year. Although everybody said they knew we were together since that first day of college on the steps of Holmes Hall. And we stillllllll together, LOL.


Jason Weems

Jason Weems, proud Baltimore native and renowned comic known for his quick wit and drive for life since he died for 5 minutes in 2017, has a brand new hour of comedy coming out at the top of August 2020, on 800 Pound Gorilla Pictures, available everywhere comedy is sold or streamed in both video and audio album format.

Jason Weems is a comedic genius, actor and writer who has been featured on NBC’S Last Comic Standing, Fox and HBO. In 2014, his online series “The Lunchtime Show” premiered on Marlon Wayans’ comedy platform

Weems began performing comedy after getting hit extremely hard in JF football; he slid under the opposing team’s bench and his shoes came off. After he got that laugh, the rest is history. He’s always been able to see the humor in anything around him. It took years before he finally found his way to a mic, but he says his first attempt was even funnier than the shoes coming off.

He is a long-time favorite in the DMV who has headlined at premier comedy clubs and festivals nationally, including the exclusive “invitation-only” Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal. Film critics have also recognized Jason’s emotional range in his lead role in the comedic drama, “Wits End”.




Watch the Trailer

Hour Comedy Special Drops August 4, 2020 on 800 Pound Gorilla Pictures

All PR Inquiries to Kathryn Musilek:

Jason Weems, proud Baltimore native and renowned comic known for his quick wit and drive for life since he died for 5 minutes in 2017, has a brand new hour of comedy, Unknown coming out at the top of August 2020, on 800 Pound Gorilla Pictures, available everywhere comedy is sold or streamed in both video and audio album format. 

On May 3, 2017, Jason Weems died after a stand-up performance in Philadelphia. No pulse. No heartbeat. 5-minutes. He awoke 16-hours later in the hospital labeled as “Unknown”. This life altering experience re-ignited his comedic drive to never allow his life or his talent to be overlooked again. The Guardian and Washington Post spoke to Weems early last year about the event which largely informs the upcoming hour of new material. The New Yorker covered his 6-part series on the award winning podcast, First Day Back as well, which gives listeners an in-depth description of his near-death experience. 

With vast themes including hope, resilience, life & death, Weems finds his way to levity and joy in Unknown.

Jason Weems’ love & spark for comedy goes all the back to his childhood where chronic asthma kept him sidelined from many everyday activities. He spent many days sitting on his apartment steps watching other kids play freely & observing every detail of life. During these times and countless hospitalizations, he discovered his ability to shift the energy in a room with his words and observations. It was a liberating feeling that allowed him to not feel captive to his condition. 

As years went on, he discovered that often the funniest things came from moments that started out misfortunately. Like a moment during his very brief JV high school football playing days, where he was hit so hard that he slid under the opposing team’s bench and lost his shoes (both of them). His embarrassing incident ended up being a go to story around friends, and it brought Weems to realize how much he loved finding the humor even in his most unfortunate moments. 

Years later, his response to his near-death experience was no different. In fact, before Weems even left the hospital he was writing jokes, asking his wife to note them in his cell phone so he wouldn’t forget.

Jason Weems is a comedic genius, actor and writer who has been featured on NBC’S Last Comic Standing, Fox and HBO. In 2014, his online series The Lunchtime Show premiered on Marlon Wayans’ comedy platform

He is a long-time favorite in the DMV who has headlined at premier comedy clubs and festivals nationally, including the exclusive “invitation-only” Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal. Film critics have also recognized Jason’s emotional range in his lead role in the comedic drama, Wits End

Jason Weems Online:






Photos by Ryan Stevenson

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Interview with Carlo Arrechea

TV Interview!

Carlo Arrechea - photo credit: Rafael Paiva

Interview with Carlo Arrechea of “S.W.A.T.” on CBS by Suzanne 7/22/20

This was a very nice chat with up-and-coming young actor Carlo Arrechea.  Although he has quite a Cuban accent, I had no problem understanding him. He was really interesting to speak to.

Here is the audio version of it.  Here is the transcript:

Suzanne:  I’m good. I’m doing well. So you’re in California?

Carlo: I am. What about you?

Suzanne: I’m in a little town you never heard of in Arkansas.

Carlo: Okay, so what’s the time zone – is it eastern time?

Suzanne: Central.

Carlo: Central time, Okay, okay.

Suzanne: Yeah, yeah, actually, I’m actually from San Diego originally, so…

Carlo: Okay.

Suzanne: …but we live here now.

Carlo: Nice. That was actually the first city from California I ever visit before leaving LA. I loved it. I fell in love with San Diego.

Suzanne: Oh, yeah, it’s wonderful there. It’s expensive to live there, though.

Carlo: It is, it is. I mean, nowadays, everywhere, I think is.

Suzanne: That’s true. Yeah, everywhere worth living. Definitely. So you started acting when you were very young, right?

Carlo: Yeah. When I was six.

Suzanne: Six, wow.

Carlo: Yeah, maybe even before, but like my first TV role in Cuba was when I was six.

Suzanne: Wow. And I think I read that your your parents and grandparents also were actors?

Carlo: Yeah, my mom was an actress in Cuba, and my grandfather was an actor as well. They both gave up. My mom, when when we moved to Miami, she gave up, because, you know, it was a lot to – it’s like starting from zero, and also the accent, because let’s say, Miami, if you want to do Latino market, you have to speak like natural Spanish and, you know, a lot of stuff is different. So, she was like, “You know what,? I don’t want to continue acting.” And my grandfather, actually, he was a professional actor since I think 17 or 16, but he gave up, too. He became a teacher. So, yeah, so [unintelligible] and, you know, to continue and everything that I do, it’s not only for my calling and my passion, it’s also because of them, you know?

Suzanne: Right. Yeah. Well, a lot of actors, yeah, just don’t make it, and you just never know. And I think you’re right, that, you know, you have to keep going and going and see what happens. Especially when you’re young.

Carlo: Yeah, you have to. I mean, if you have that, you know, that flame in your heart, you have to keep going in. You know, you’re gonna get a lot of nos but you’re gonna get that yes that’s gonna change your life, you know. So, yeah, never give up on your dreams.

Suzanne: Yeah, that’s true. Well, and a lot of people do. They change as they get older; they change what they think they want to do. And so you just never know what life is gonna hand you.

Carlo: I also think you have to be open, you know, to be open if you have, I don’t know, you have a higher purpose or a higher calling or just a change, you know, also to be open to that, but as long as you have it in you, I think you should definitely don’t give up.

Suzanne: Right. Now, your family moved to Miami in 2002. Can you can you tell us about that? How did that work?

Carlo: So, um, so my mom, we won the visa lottery.

Suzanne: Oh, okay.

Carlo: Yeah, we were very blessed. And so we left Cuba in 2002. And, you know, honestly, since day one, I felt that I was at home, you know, even that I had to learn English and to adapt to a new country, but I felt like I was home, you know, so much abundance and diversity and, I don’t know, it’s just different energy, you know?

Suzanne: Yeah. Miami’s a great city.

Carlo: Yeah, it’s full of Cubans.

Suzanne: Yeah, it is.

Carlo: I felt like I was home without Castro.

Suzanne: Right. Well, it’s a very exciting city. There’s a lot of color and partying, and just it’s a fun place.

Carlo: Yeah. A lot of flavor.

Suzanne: Definitely. And so, I didn’t even know there was a visa lottery. That’s interesting. I have to read more about that.

Carlo: Yeah. I don’t know if that’s still happening with, you know, so many changes. But yeah, and it’s funny because my mom, when she – I don’t know how to say like, she played the visa lottery, or she, I don’t know, she signed the papers. I don’t know, that was actually, I think it was 1998.

Suzanne: Oh, okay.

Carlo: So, yeah, and it was funny, because she even, you know, forgot about it. Like she didn’t even know that. You have to wait so many years, but it was a beautiful surprise.

Suzanne: Sure, sure. I was going to say something, now I forgot….. Oh, well. So you didn’t know English before you moved here?

Carlo: Not at all; I didn’t. So, the first thing, when I started school in Miami, they have a program. It’s called ESL, English as a second language. So, yeah, that was, you know, I had like a few classes in English, but most of the classes, they were like, like the teacher, I think, was required to speak Spanish as well, you know, to help the kids. So, yeah, so I had to learn the language. And the only thing that I think I regret, but I mean, it’s part of my journey, is that when you have, you know, so many teachers and a lot of, you know, friends or students that they speak Spanish, you just want to hang out with them.

Suzanne: Right.

Carlo: So, um, I don’t know, I think, I don’t know, if I could change something, it would be like try to speak English as much as you can, you know, especially because this is your new home.

Suzanne: Right.

Carlo: I mean, don’t forget your Spanish but, you know.

Suzanne: No, I understand you completely. I think that’s the problem. What happens with a lot of Latino immigrants is they’re in their own family and their own community and other students, and they don’t learn it as quickly as say somebody from, I don’t know, Vietnam or something that are stuck in the middle of an area where there are no other people that speak his language, for instance, you know?

Carlo: Yeah. I mean, no, it could be very controversial, this, but I just think that you come to, you know, a new home. Also, it doesn’t mean that you have to change who you are, but also adapt.

Carlo: So yeah, like don’t forget who you are, but adapt and learn the language.

Suzanne: Right, right. Yeah, I understand. I was a teacher for a while in California, and we had – actually, I don’t speak Spanish that well, but I was sort of, not a substitute teacher, but you know, I had a whole class that spoke Spanish and tried to teach the math and it was all different levels of how much English they knew. So, it was difficult, but we did have a couple of kids that were not Spanish speakers, but they spoke another language. And I think they learned faster, because like, we were just talking about they were immersed in English only, and so they had to learn, you know?

Carlo: Yeah. And I think you will take advantage of that when you when you get older as well.

Suzanne: Yeah, no, it’s definitely advantageous to learn the language of the country you’re in.

Carlo: Of course.

Suzanne: And I remember what I was going to ask you; it was about… do you remember a few years ago, when they lifted the visiting Cuba ban… did anyone in your family go back and visit? Or…?

Carlo: No, no, to be honest, no. My family has their own point of view. And I respect that, you know, they left Cuba even before I was born. So actually, in Cuba, it was only my mom and my grandfather. My father died in a car accident when I was 17 years born.

Suzanne: Oh, I’m sorry.

Carlo: So, I didn’t even get to know him. Yeah, so all my family, especially from my mom’s side, they were all in the states in Miami. And they have their own, you know, point of view. They don’t want to go back to Cuba, and I respect it. I understand. So, yeah, no one has been back.

Carlo: So, if they lift that ban again, are you going to go back and visit sometime maybe?

Carlo: You know, I would like to, because, you know, it’s the place that I was born, and I feel very proud of my roots, you know, even that my home is United States, and I’ve lived longer here now. But I would like to, yeah, of course. You know, I want to like feel, now that I’m older, I’m an adult now, I want to feel, you know, that flavor, the Cuban people, the Cuban energy, but at some point. And I would love actually even to film something there. So, that would be nice. Yeah.

Suzanne: Yeah, that would be nice. I’d we’d like to visit there sometime too. We were thinking about it, and then it didn’t last very long, unfortunately, the lift of the ban.

Carlo Arrechea in "S.W.A.T." on CBSSuzanne:  I watched your episode of “SWAT;” you were really good.

Carlo: Thank you. Thank you so much. I feel very blessed and grateful because of this. I mean, this was my US primetime debut, and I’m also a contender for an Emmy. So, I will find out all that next week. So, I’m very excited.

Suzanne: Oh, great. That’s great; I hope you get it. So, did you already know how to box before that episode?

Carlo: No, I never boxed in my entire life, and I had a great team coaching. I also hired a coach before the audition when I went to casting, so I wanted to, you know, feel confident, as much as I could. And then when I booked the role, they actually had me with with this amazing team that I was rehearsing every day, and because we were doing – so we shot this this episode like in the middle of December, and then we had like a holiday break, the Christmas break. So, in that break, it was, you know, it was perfect timing, because I was like non stop training. And then we shot all the boxing scenes in beginning of this year. So, it was perfect timing. So that’s why, I guess, it looks real.

Suzanne: It does, it does. And now did they make you shave your head for that role? Or did you already wear it that way?

Carlo: So actually, because I audition with – I had probably like, not long, not like I haven’t now, but I had, you know, yeah, they made me shave my head. They asked me, and I was like, “Yes.”

Suzanne: Okay. Sure. Whatever you need, right?

Carlo: Yeah, whatever you need. I just wanted you know, and it also helped me to embody that character, shaving my head.

Suzanne: Yeah, I guess a lot of boxers do that now so like people can’t grab their hair or something. I don’t know. I have no idea. But so what was the cast and crew like?

Carlo: The what?

Suzanne: The cast and the crew of “SWAT.”

Carlo: Oh, “SWAT.” Oh my god. They were, wow, they were so warm. Like I felt like it was like my family, you know? Like the writers, they were so happy to have me; the cast were so nice and helpful. I don’t know, it was like, I think, I mean, I’ve been working since little, but “SWAT,” it’s been like, I think, one of the most special experiences in my life, because everyone was so nice and sweet and like, whatever you need. They were there, you know?

Suzanne: That’s nice. yeah. You didn’t have any scenes with Shemar Moore, did you? I can’t remember.

Carlo: I did not. I did not, no.

Suzanne: But you did meet him though?

Carlo: Yeah, but I met him. He was so nice.

Suzanne: He’s a nice guy. I met him in the 90s. We were living in Riverside, which is near LA, and he and a bunch of other celebrities came out for a softball game against local, so my husband was playing on other team.

Carlo: Oh, nice.

Suzanne: Yeah, and he used to be on a show called “The Young and the Restless.” It’s a soap opera.

Carlo: Yeah, I heard.

Suzanne: So, he was on that at the time. And I watched that. So I was like, “Oh, I got my picture taken with him.” So, I’m glad he was nice.

Carlo: He’s gentleman. He’s such a great guy.

Suzanne: Yeah, I know. He’s really nice to his fans on Instagram and Twitter, too.

Carlo: Yeah, he is; he definitely is.

Suzanne: So, working on “SWAT” was a lot different than working on other shows that you’ve been on.

Carlo: It was very different to be honest. The only thing that is the same is the passion. You know, my passion for acting and energy. But it was just different, because, I don’t know. It’s just, I don’t want to throw anything into, you know, in the bus.

Carlo: But, it’s just different, because, you know, we work with unions. We have the SAG-AFTRA here in the English market, in the US market. And even though you don’t – in Miami, I shot a Nickelodeon show for the Latino market for almost three years. It’s just different, you know. It’s another, not lifestyle, but it’s another –

Suzanne: Right, I know what you mean.

Carlo: Another level.

Carlo: Another level, to be honest.

Suzanne: Well, they have a higher budget, I imagine; that probably helps.

Carlo: And they have a huge budget, especially for this episode. Yeah, so I guess money motivates.

Suzanne: It does. Unfortunately, it does. Do you have anything else coming out or that you’re working on?

Carlo: Well, everything’s stopped.

Suzanne: Right.

Carlo: You know, everything is stopped; however, everything started to pick up. I have something cooking. I cannot say it yet, because, you know, they don’t let me, but it’s very exciting. Very different from “SWAT” and from the Nickelodeon and from everything that I have done. So, I’m very excited about that. Yeah, I just can’t wait to start, because I mean, it’s been said, I mean, it’s co-creating and, you know.

Suzanne: Yeah. What have you been doing it at home in the last three months… or is it four months?

Carlo: Yeah, so I know. I don’t even know –

Suzanne: I know. What day is it? I don’t know.

Carlo: Yeah, so I’ve been reading a lot, working on myself, you know, my mental health, to be honest, improving myself. I love to meditate. So, I’ve been doing that a lot. Working out. I adopted a puppy. So, he became my entire life now. And, you know, just becoming better day by day and trying to stay positive, you know, and lead by example.

Suzanne: So are you on Instagram?

Carlo: Yeah, I am.

Suzanne: Let’s see under –

Carlo: Carlo Arrechea.

Suzanne: Just under – yeah, you’re probably the only one. There you are. Okay. So have you posted some pictures of your puppy on there?

Carlo: No, I have not. I posted on Insta story.

Suzanne: What’s –

Carlo: Like the stories that last for 24 hours..

Suzanne: Oh, the story on Instagram. Okay, I’ll check that out. I want to see the puppy. All right. Well, thank you very much. I really appreciate you talking to me today.

Carlo: Thank you so much for having me. It means a lot, you know having the support and the love from the US press. So, it means a lot to me. Thank you so much.

Suzanne: Good luck on the Emmy. I’ll be pulling for you.

Carlo: Thank you. Thank you. I’m so excited. I’m anxious. I’m excited. I have so many mixed feelings, but whatever happens, you know, just to be there already, it means a lot, you know?

Suzanne: Yeah. Okay. Thank you. Talk to you later.

Carlo: Thank you so much. Bye, Suzanne.

Suzanne: Bye bye.

Transcribed by Jamie of


Sizzling hot Havana, Cuba-born bilingual actor Carlo Arrechea is a star on the rise in Hollywood, recently making his U.S. prime time debut in the CBS hit TV Carlo Arrecheaseries S.W.A.T. where he portrayed ‘Gio Torres’, a middleweight Cuban boxer, aka “The Caribbean King.” In the series, Torres is a prize fighter set to win a huge upcoming match when his pregnant wife if kidnapped and held for ransom. He enlists the S.W.A.T. team and works with them to retrieve his wife right in time for the delivery of their first child. The heartfelt role has garnered him much media attention and was one that was especially significant to him as it tied back to his Cuban roots.

A third-generation actor, Arrechea’s career began at the age of 6 when he played the son to his biological mother in a telenovela in his home country of Cuba. He fell in love with the craft and was selected as one of the stars of the children’s show “Los Chicos Altura” (“The High Kids”). In 2002 his family moved to Miami and he faced a culture shock that made him rethink acting. He decided to study psychology in college but dropped out after only one semester to return to his true passion. It was during this time that he got into theater and started receiving a lot of attention for his stage performances including “El Solar de la Palangana de Oro” by Raúl de Cárdenas, a work that opened many doors for him and earned him press coverage as the “new face of acting” by People en Español.

From theater, he jumped into television where he began with small roles in well-known Telemundo and Univision telenovelas Carlo Arrecheasuch as “Más saber el diablo”, “El Cartel 2” and “Alguien te Mira”. He also starred in two short films, “Fate’s Decree” directed by Michael Ruiz and the super production “El Manantial”, with renowned Sam Bradley as director. His career thus began to roll, and his name to be known on the Miami scene. Not long after he was cast in the successful Nickelodeon Latin America series “Grachi” which he starred in for three seasons (152 episodes). It was during this time that he also starred in his first leading film role in the romantic comedy La ReBúsqueda, the highest-grossing Salvadoran film in the country’s history.

After his success in Latin America, Arrechea decided to move to Los Angeles to begin his crossover into the U.S. market. Throughout his acting career, he has starred in several television commercials, including the Johnnie Walker national commercial which toasts to immigrants and highlights their grueling path towards citizenship. He is a member of SAG-AFTRA and is an alumnus of the Stella Adler Academy of Acting. As a Cuban-born actor, Arrechea has always looked up to the original Latin Comedy star Desi Arnaz and a dream role for him would be to reprise the role of ‘Ricky Ricardo’ in a comedy series or film.

In his free time Arrechea enjoys reading, meditating, and exercising, and sees every day the opportunity to grow and improve in all aspects. He also enjoys volunteering for The Ronald McDonald House, where he feeds, plays games, and speaks with children and parents who have seriously ill children or family members in hospital.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Interview with Martin Gero

TV Interview!

BLINDSPOT -- Paley Center Screening and Panel Discussion Event -- Martin Gero appears at the "Blindspot: Screening and Panel Discussion" event at the Paley Center for Media in New York on Monday, April 11, 2016 -- (Photo by: Cindy Ord/NBC) 2014 NBCUniversal Media, LLC.

Interview with Martin Gero, creator of “Blindspot” on NBC by Suzanne 7/21/20

It was great to speak with Martin because I just love this show, and he’s a very nice guy who answered my questions well. This week is the series finale, which is too bad.  We only had a few minutes to chat, but I got quite a few questions in, nonetheless.  I interviewed him 5 years ago as well.

Here is the audio version of it and here’s the transcript. Enjoy!

Suzanne: Hi, how are you?

Martin: I’m doing great.

Suzanne: Good, good. Okay, they tell me I have fifteen minutes. So, I will get right on to the questions.

Martin: All right, let’s do it.

Suzanne: All right. So, do you think that fans will be happy with the last episode?

Martin: Yes, I mean, I hope they will be. You know, we’ve been working on this last episode for a little over a year now. And it was really important for us for it to be a, you know, a cathartic experience and a kind of celebration of the show as we close it all down.

Suzanne: And I don’t know if you can tell me this or not, but will there be any cliffhangers or unresolved issues?

Martin: Ah, great question. Um, no, I don’t think so. It feels pretty resolute.

Suzanne: Okay, good. Now congratulations, by the way, on a hundred episodes.

Martin: Thank you. It’s overwhelming, and it’s truly because of our fans. You know, if we did not have this incredible rabid fan base that demanded the final season, we wouldn’t be here. So, like we understand who our bosses are, and we know who we’re working for, and hopefully they’ve enjoyed the lessons.

Suzanne: Is that something that you ever envisioned when the show started, making a hundred episodes?

Martin: Sure, you envision it, you know, you hope.

Suzanne: Yeah.

Martin: You know, every time you start one of these things, you hope it will go forever, but I truly, I’m truly overwhelmed that we were able to get it to here. It was a very difficult show to make and, you know, went through a lot of evolutions and went through a lot of different time slots, and the fact that the fans always found it, is something that is like still completely overwhelming to this day.

Suzanne: So, what was difficult about it to make?

Martin: Well, it’s just a huge show. I mean, like it’s a grueling show, you know, a lot of people don’t realize what it takes. This is a year round gig for most people. It takes about ten months to shoot these shows, you know; we shot in sixteen different countries. You know, like, just the scope of it having to do, you know, these big action set pieces are just very complicated. So, it’s just a Sisyphean undertaking, you know, hundreds and hundreds of people working on on this, you know, round the clock, so it’s just a, you know, it’s a grind, but I have twenty-two episodes a year. It’s really hard.

Suzanne: So, what is the hardest part for you about having the show come to an end?

Martin: I think, you know, one of the great things about the show was the collection of extraordinary artists and people that we had put together, you know, on the daily about, you know, two hundred fifty, two hundred people were working on the show, and we had incredibly high retention for all five years. So, we really just got to know everybody. It was a small community and truly one of the best crews I’ve ever worked with. And so, you know, it’s kind of heartbreaking that this like very curated and eclectic group of like, incredible people are now all gonna scatter into the wind to go to other projects, but I’ll miss seeing my friends every day.

Suzanne: Okay, and the characters changed a little bit here and there. Which character surprised you the most as far as one that you didn’t plan on becoming a major character that would last for a while?

Martin: Well, I definitely think Rich Dotcom was like you know, never meant to be a series regular and never meant to be the – and returned to be the heart of the show in the final season. You know? I think, you know, that was just we thought like, what a fun bad guy for one episode, and then I think Ennis Esmer did such an incredible job with him, and David McWhirter, who directed that episode. It really brought so much fun and life to the character, that we were like, oh, man, you know, we should do this again. And then you know, you’re like, well, maybe we’ll do this a couple times a year. And then you have the insane bottom (?), like, wait, isn’t this one of the best parts of the show? Should this guy be a lead? And trying to figure out how to make that transition to, you know, deranged killer to everybody’s best friend. So, that was an unexpected and really fun arc to try to organically pull off.

Suzanne: Right, from what I’ve seen, I think he and Patterson are everybody’s favorite characters, for sure.

Martin: I think, yeah, I mean, they’re definitely my favorite characters. I don’t think there’s any – they’re just so much fun.

Suzanne: Yeah.

Martin: Look, although a lot of people think, you know, I have the – I match, you know, my physical attractiveness to of course, Kurt Weller, and Jaime Alexander. You know, I’m most like Rich Dotcom and Patterson. Those are the ones that are closest to me [unintelligible].

Suzanne: So, what else do you have coming up now?

Martin: Well, a couple of things. One, Christina Kim, who was an executive producer on the show, has created a new take, a reboot on “Kung Fu,” now executive producing with the Berlanti team. And so, that’ll be on The CW next year. We’re really, really excited…

Suzanne: Oh, great.

Martin: …about that. Ramping up to try to figure out how to shoot now. And then Brendan Gall and I, who was also an executive producer on the show, have a new half hour comedy coming to NBC in the fall that’s a socially distance comedy. It’s about a group of friends that are trying to stay connected and process everything that’s going on during the pandemic.

Suzanne: Oh, is that called “Connecting?” I think I saw about that.

Martin: That’s right, yeah.

Suzanne: Okay, good. You’ll make my brother very happy. He loved “Kung Fu” so much. He’ll be happy to hear that it’s coming back.

Martin: Oh, great. Yeah, it’s really, really cool. You know, the pilot, or part of the pilot, was directed by Hannelle Cooper, who – Culpepper. Sorry, Hanelle Culpepper, who did the pilot for “Picard.” And it’s like, it’s just a really cool reinvention of the series that it like, feels very exciting and prescient and great.

Suzanne: Oh, great.

Christina: And Suzanne, we just have like about two, three minutes left so you know.

Suzanne: Okay, I actually posted on all the “Blindspot” Facebook groups to see if anybody had questions, but I’m not gonna have time for many of them, it sounds like, but a lot of people wanted to know if there was any possibility that there would be another season whether on this network or another one or a spin-off.

Martin: There’s definitely no possibility for another season; this was our intended plan. When we pitched them season five, we asked for it to be the final season. So, you know, it’s not like the show got canceled or anything. It’s like we asked for the show to shut down, and that may confuse some people, but for us, you know, this is always the story that I wanted to have a beginning middle and an end. And this felt like the right amount of episodes for the creative team. So, you know, everything good must come to an end, and so this will be the last season of “Blindspot.” And then as far as the spin off, you know, who knows? I certainly would be open to some ideas. You know, there are some dangling some like soft pitches for spin-offs in the finale. And you know, never say never.

Suzanne: Okay, well thank you very much. I really appreciate you taking the time here.

Martin: Absolutely. I super appreciate talking to you.

Suzanne: All right, thank you.

Christina: Thanks, Suzanne

Martin: Bye bye.

Suzanne: Bye bye.

Transcribed by Jamie of


07/23/2020 (09:00PM – 10:00PM) (Thursday) : Blindspot’s 100th and final episode. Turn off your mind relax and float down stream…it is not dying…it is not dying.

Martin Gero

Executive Producer, “Blindspot”

Creator Martin Gero serves as an executive producer on the NBC drama “Blindspot.”

Gero created the critically acclaimed series “The L.A. Complex,” for which he also directed a majority of episodes. Previously, Gero helped run all three seasons of the HBO series “Bored to Death,” which starred Jason Schwartzman, Ted Danson and Zach Galifianakis.

Gero started out working on “Stargate Atlantis,” eventually running the show as well as directing several episodes. On the movie side, he wrote and directed the cult classic “YPF” and is currently working on the “Bored to Death” feature film.

Gero resides in Los Angeles.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

Back to the Primetime Articles and Interviews Page

BLINDSPOT -- "Iunne Ennui" Episode 511 -- Pictured: Martin Gero, Creator and Executive Producer -- (Photo by: Scott McDermott/NBC/Warner Brothers) 2019 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Interview with Bill Hutchinson and Brianna Ramirez

TV Interview!

Bill and Brie from "Marrying Millions" on Lifetime

Interview with Bill and Brianna of “Marrying Millions” on Lifetime by Suzanne 7/13/20

I don’t watch many reality shows, including this one.  I wasn’t sure  how this interview would go, but it was a lot of fun and turned out great.  Don’t miss the show’s second season premiere August 5th!

Here is the audio version of it.

Suzanne: Hey, guys. Thanks for coming today.

Bill: Well, I wish we were coming, but we are sitting in our house, so I guess that’s second-best, right?

Suzanne: Close enough. Are you in Miami still?

Bill: We are. We flew to Miami with a bunch of kids on Friday, and it has been raining here almost non-stop, but it’s still beautiful, and we are happy to be here.

Suzanne: Well, that’s good.  I’m about four hours from Dallas, so when I was watching scenes of you guys from the first season, the first thing you went into a restaurant that I had been to, so I was like, “Oh, that’s cool.” [laughter]

Bill: Oh, yeah. Did you see us in KĀI, the restaurant at Legacy West?

Suzanne: I saw you on that one, too, but that was not the one — it was Toulouse.

Bill: Oh, Toulouse, yeah — one of my favorites.

Suzanne: Great food there, yeah.

Bill: So, where do you live — four hours from Dallas?

Suzanne: I live in Southern Arkansas, in a little town called Magnolia.

Bill: Oh! Is that where that movie was filmed?

Suzanne: Which movie?

Bill: Famous movie with Julia Roberts.

Suzanne: I have no idea. [laughter]. Oh, I know which movie you’re talking about, but I don’t think it was about our Magnolia — might have been another Magnolia. There are several.

Bill: Well, that sounds nice.

Suzanne: it’s pretty here — it’s very hot and humid, but you know how that’s, being in Miami.

Bill: Yeah, I think it’s hot and humid just about everywhere, right? Summertime and the Southern United States, right?

Suzanne: Right. So, I was watching, I hadn’t watched the show before today, so I was watching some of the first season. I didn’t get through all of them yet. So, pardon me if I asked you questions that were probably answered in the first season.

Brie: Yeah, it’s okay.

Bill: We are fine with that.

Suzanne: So, how did you get on the show in the first place, in the first season? How did it come about?

Bill: Well, we were asked to be on the show. We were not seeking any attention, and we got this call, and we did a computer interview — a Skype interview — and we asked them how they knew about us, and they didn’t want to tell us. So, we were not really looking for any publicity, and so we turned it down many times, but the production company was very persistent, kept calling us, kept proposing that we would get it on the show, and eventually, we invited the producer, who lives in New York City, to come down here to our home in Miami and sit down in our living room with us and just spend some time together, and we can tell him our fears, our concerns, the reason why we didn’t want to be on the show, and he could try and influence us otherwise — and you know the end result because we are on the show.

He ended up influencing us and telling us that he was not wanting to film a train wreck. He was actually wanting to film a very beautiful, sweet, romantic story of the two of us, along with several other couples in this show called “Marry Millions” that didn’t even have a name yet at that time. We were hesitant, but we agreed to sign on, and we are very happy that we did because we had a wonderful experience in Season One, which you just watched, and then when they invited us back to film Season Two, we had an even more fun experience. We really had a great time doing it. That has been a wonderful adventure for both of us. Right, Brie?

Brie: Yeah, loved it.

Suzanne: that’s good. How long have the two of you been together now?

Brie: We have been together for about three and a half years now.

Suzanne: Great.

Bill: Yes, that’s right. Brie is twenty-two right now, and we met when she was eighteen.

Brie: Yes.

Bill: So, it has going on for four years.

Suzanne: Okay, and did you actually get married yet?

Bill: Well, we can’t tell you.

Suzanne: Okay.

Bill: [laughter]

Suzanne: So, it didn’t happen in the first season?

Bill: Sorry. [laughter]

Suzanne: That’s okay.

Bill: I don’t want to get in trouble here.

Suzanne: That’s fine. Feel free. Did you know that they would ask you back for a second season?

Bill: No, we didn’t know. In fact, after we watched Season One, which we enjoyed watching with our family and friends, it just went silent. It just was over, and nobody called up. Obviously, we heard that we grew up a pretty large fan base, and they were all reaching out to us. We made a lot of friends — Brie is making quite a lot of friends from the TV show — but we didn’t hear anything for weeks and months, and finally, we wrote to– we emailed the production company and said, “Hey, did Lifetime like us? Are we going to be coming back?” and they said, “Well, we hadn’t heard anything.” So, we all just sort of waited for several months, and all of a sudden, one day, the call came. Brie got the call on her phone. I got the call on my phone. The show is a success, and they wanted us back, and it made us feel very happy.

Suzanne: Great. So, how has being on the show affected your relationship?

Brie: I don’t think being in the show has affected our relationship at all. I guess, really, it made us feel things that we hadn’t even crossed over yet — we hadn’t gone past that battle. It let us take a look at ourselves and see if this is what we want.

Bill: When you say we hadn’t gotten to that battle, what are you talking about?

Brie: Prior to the show, we’d touched on marriage very seldom. It was not something that either of us pushed for, and I think, being on the show, [it was] something that we talked about a little bit more openly and frequently. Prior to the show, we were not really talking about it as much. We had touched base on the marriage topic, but it was not anything that either of us was bringing up.

Bill: Okay, that’s a good point. Right. So, it made us confront issues that we hadn’t even been thinking about just as we were dating.

Suzanne: Right. Okay. Well, that’s good.

Bill: I think, when you said the word “battle,” I was like, “What battle? What are you talking about?” We got along great before the show. We had a little bit of drama during Season One, and here we are, loving life, still together. So, we are still getting along great.

Suzanne: Well, I did see a clip of the two of you arguing about her going out all night dancing and not texting you back.

Bill: Well, that’s true, and that was a real episode. You know, Brie is forty years younger than I’m, and so she has these interests that I’m no longer interested in, like going out late night and dancing with her girl friends, or making girl friends, or going to nightclubs. When you’re sixty-one years old, you sort of burn out, and you sort of lose interest in that side of life. I’m very understanding of her needs — I used to be twenty-two once myself — and so she did go out, but she stayed out very late. If you watch the whole show, I think she didn’t come back ’till like three in the morning.

Suzanne: Right.

Brie: It was a lack of communication, honey. I forgot to text you back.

Bill: I had been texting you all night.

Suzanne: [laughter] I don’t mean to bring it up.

Bill: She is with her new girl friends, I don’t know where she is, and she is not responding to my text, and so I get pretty upset.

Suzanne: I didn’t mean to bring up a sore topic. [laughter]

Bill: [laughter]

Brie: [laughter] that’s okay.

Suzanne: Just have to let it go. Yeah, well, I have been married thirty-eight years, so I know how it’s. Couples are going to have fights, and these things sometimes come up later, and there’s always at least one person that doesn’t want to forget about, like, “Remember that time you did that thing?” [laughter]

Bill: Exactly.

Suzanne: My advice is just to let it go. I’m sorry, what?

Brie: You said you have been married thirty-seven years, what’s the secret?

Suzanne: Thirty-eight years at the end of this month, yes. I don’t know; I guess we are just very committed. I mean, obviously, we love each other — we wouldn’t be able to stand to be around each other for this long if otherwise. [laughter]

Bill: The secret is, she doesn’t go to night clubs ’till three AM.

Suzanne: Well, it’s funny. When you were talking about that, I think it depends on the person because I would love to go to nightclubs — and I’m fifty-eight — but my husband has always been a very stay-at-home type, so he doesn’t like doing that stuff so much, although if we go to Vegas or something, he will stay out a little later, but he’s not a night person, and I’m more of a night person. He would rather go to a friend’s house or stay at home or something, not go to a nightclub. So, I think it just depends on the person.

Bill: You all sound a lot like us.

Suzanne: Yeah? Well, there’s only three and a half years between us, and he’s not rich, but, uh, in some ways….

Bill: Well, that doesn’t really have a lot to do with our relationship, to be honest.

Suzanne: Well, that’s good.

Bill: We’re a very normal relationship, but I probably like to eat leftovers more than Brie does. Money doesn’t really come into daily life. It just happens to be.

Brie: Well, I think a lot of people have a misconception of how rich people act and maybe their attitudes, and personality, and I’m lucky to say that I found someone who is a regular guy and is a simple guy who knows how to hold a conversation. He knows to be respectful to his spouse, who also wants the same respect back. I think it’s much more than just if you’re rich, or if that’s his personality because he’s rich.

Suzanne: Right. Well, no, I agree with that. Go ahead.

Brie: And hopefully, that’s something we can convey on Season Two, and they can really get a feel for who he is, not only for everything that we have done on Season One as well.

Suzanne: Okay. Yeah, I will say one thing, that I come from a similar background to you, Brie, and my husband comes from– are you there? Hello?

Bill: Yeah, we are here.

Suzanne: Sorry, there’s a lot of static there. And my husband comes from a more middle class, more educated upbringing. So, thereis some more similarity there. I understand what you’re getting at, and yeah, just because somebody has more money doesn’t make them a different person, really.

Bill: Yeah, I come from a very modest background. My father is a Methodist minister, and we grew up as missionaries in Monterrey, Mexico.

Suzanne: Wow!

Bill: They were missionaries down there for thirty-five years. So, I came back to the United States after spending ten years in Mexico, as I came to SMU in Dallas, ib a preacher’s kid scholarship. I definitely have a very modest and humble beginning.

Suzanne: Wow, that’s great. Do you both speak Spanish, then?

Bill: [foreign language]

Suzanne: [laughter]

Bill: Do you know what that means?

Suzanne: I know a little bit of it.

Bill: What I said yes, we both speak Spanish. But when she gets mad at me, she always speaks in Spanish.

Suzanne: [laughter] That was like the old “I Love Lucy Show”, right? Whenever Ricky would get mad, he would swear at her in Spanish.

Bill: Yeah, exactly. Well, I don’t think Brie really watched that show.

Brie: Of course I have.

Bill: You watched “I Love Lucy?”

Brie:  (not sure what she said here)

Suzanne: Everybody has watched that “I Love Lucy,” I think.

Bill: Oh, yeah.

Suzanne: It’s on in reruns everywhere, right?

Bill: Yeah.

Suzanne: So, I would like each of you to choose one thing that you like best about the other person.

Bill: Okay.

Brie: Nice.

Bill: Do you want me to start, honey? I would say that Brie’s sweetness. She has a heart of gold. Watching her interact with her family, with her mother, with her father, with my children, won me over. She is probably the sweetest, most loving person I have ever met. Your turn, honey.

Brie: I shouldn’t have let you go first because that’s really hard to follow.

Suzanne: [laughter]

Bill: It’s true.

Brie: My favorite thing about you would be the common sense that you bring.,  You have this aura around you, and we could be in the middle of a tornado, and you would say, “Oh, honey, this is just a little wind. Your hair looks great.” You have this ability to calm and persuade and just put me at peace, and I watch you do that with the children, with my family members, I watch you.  And watching you calming my father when you first met him, it was a beautiful thing. Because my father can be a very tense man, a very quiet man. I said, you got him out of his comfort zone to giggle and laugh, and talk to you. That meant a lot. I think you do that with everybody you access, and because I’m a little bit of a ball of nerves sometimes, I really appreciate that you have that in  you, thankfully.

Bill: Thank you, honey.

Suzanne: Yeah, I could definitely tell that he’s more outgoing than you are.

Brie: Oh, yes, I’m definitely the introvert.

Bill: Brie is the introvert, and I’m the extrovert.

Suzanne: Right.

Bill: You have to be an extrovert in business because we are out there doing deals, and we are meeting people, and we are networking, and if you’re not an extrovert, you’re not going to get very far.

Suzanne: Right. In a way, you’re kind of a salesman, especially if you’re
doing real estate, you have to do that.

Bill: Well, I am. I am a salesman. you’re right. So, whether you’re selling real estate, or whether you’re selling yourself to your partner or your partner’s family, or you’re selling your dream, or you’re selling your idea, your wisdom, I’m sort of always selling. In fact, that’s funny, when we were filming Season One, the director had to always take me aside and say, “Hey, Bill, you can tone it down a little bit. Like, even when you’re on camera, just talking, you’re doing it forcefully, like if you’re pushing something or you’re selling something.” They said, “Just be yourself. You don’t have to always be selling something.” It was sort of actually quite a funny moment.

Suzanne: Right. Yeah, that makes sense. The two of you both have great charisma on camera.

Bill: That’s very sweet of you because I can tell you, when we watch ourselves, we don’t really see that in ourselves. I actually cringe when I watch myself personally because I think I don’t really like the way I usually come across, to be honest with you. What you don’t know about movie stars is that sometimes they don’t watch their own movies. They don’t like seeing themselves on the big screen, on the silver screen, and I thought that’s a bunch of BS. I’m sure they love watching themselves. Then, I watched myself on Season One, and I was cringing. I like watching it, but I’m also terrified at the same time. What about you, Brie?

Brie: I feel the same way. I do enjoy it because it’s a fun show, but I wish
I could just skip ourselves and get to the other couple because I see things like, “Oh, my hair,” or “I had something in my teeth,” or I made some weird hand gesture because I got too nervous, and so it definitely is cringey watching yourself. But we laugh about it, and we make jokes, and it’s fun.

Bill: Yes, it’s fun.

Suzanne: Yeah, I think everybody is their own worst critic that way.

Bill: Yes.

Brie: Yes.

Suzanne: So, Brie, what are you doing? Are you doing anything? Like, have you started a business or working in his business or anything like that?

Brie: Oh, ever since the pandemic….actually, I’d been working in a furniture showroom in the design district. Since the pandemic hit, no, we’ve been doing  appointments only, which is very limited. I’ve actually put a  pause on working for a while. The kids are out of school, and it’s so hard for them when we’re moving around a lot. I want to make sure to be here for the family. So, right now, we are just taking advantage of  the pandemic to get a few days off.

Suzanne: Sure, that makes sense.

Brie: No business yet, but I do enjoy working. I think it’s a very important part of someone’s life. You have to interact with other people, you have to keep your brain stimulated, and so I would love to go back to work as soon as possible.

Suzanne: Great. And were either of you a fan of reality shows before you were on the show?

Brie: Yes. Oh, “90 Day Fiancé” was our go-to.

Bill: We are updated to “90 Day Fiancé.” I also love to watch “The Bachelor.” We have always loved reality TV. It has been something that calms us down in the evening. With get in bed, we like to watch a good reality TV show. I like that much better than scripted TV, just because it seems like voyeurism. you’re watching real people in real situations, and like Brie said, “90 Day Fiancé,” is just hilarious. The couples that they find and the struggles that they go through, trying to make their relationships work, so one of them can get a visa to be here in America, we find it just hilarious and captivating. Then, I love the gamesmanship of The Bachelor, having some guy, having to pick between twenty-five women and narrowing it down all the way down to two, and then proposing for one of them. I have always enjoyed watching that show. Brie, you watched that with me, but I don’t think you liked it as much as I did.

Brie: I’m not a big fan of men picking out of a big group of women and trying them all out until they find somebody they like, so that show’s not big on my radar. I’m more likely to binge-watch Judge Judy on my phone while he watches “The Bachelor.”

Suzanne: [laughter] that’s funny.

Brie: I’ll watch some “Law and Order,” but definitely, reality TV is fun to watch at night. It just gives us some quality time in bed together.

Bill: My favorite one is now “Marrying Millions,” for sure.

Suzanne: [laughter] And have you given any thought to maybe going on another reality show or becoming actors — anything like that?

Brie: No…

Bill: Not really. We would stay with this show as long as they would have us because Season One was fun, and Season Two was even better. We had so much fun of filming Season Two that if they invited us back for a Season Three, we would gladly sign up for it. But obviously, it’s too early to talk about that because we haven’t even watched Season Two on TV yet. Eventually, they will get tired of us, then we’ll be their past, but we would love to stay with this particular show as long as they would like to have us. Otherwise, we love our lives, so it’s not like we’re needy and looking for something to come our way. We really enjoy life a lot, and we’re very blessed with beautiful lives.

Suzanne: Last question. Why should fans tune in to this season of your show?

Bill: Brie, you want to take that one?

Brie: [stammers] I’ll let you get it.

Bill: Okay. Well, I’ll say why. Because, in addition to five new couples — and it’s always fun to learn who the new couples are and what’s the peculiarity in their relationships — the fact that season two has two couples coming back from the first season is really special because the fans have already gotten to know us. So, Season One ended on cliffhangers. The other couple, he got stood up when they were about to walk down the aisle. So, we were about to watch the wedding, and then all of a sudden, she called it off. So, that’s a cliffhanger for me. I can’t wait to watch Season Two just to understand and learn what happened to the other couple that had been invited back for Season Two. As far as our relationship, people are watching us going through the trials and tribulations of our age difference, the wealth gap between her family and me, the fact that I’m older than both of Brie’s parents. It’s an unusual relationship, and yet we’re trying to make it work even though I spend a lot of time listening to the wisdom of my ex-wife, Kathleen, who is very opposed to our relationship — but I want her to accept me. I want her to be happy with this decision of mine — and yet, I can’t seem to get her to sign up for this relationship, even though she thinks Brie is a nice girl. So, us bringing these struggles and these issues to Season Two, I think will be very interesting and exciting for people to watch — and that’s why they are going to want to tune in to Season Two and see what happens to me and Brie.

Suzanne: Well, great. And I do think that as your relationship progresses, if you guys get to stay married, whatever, for a while, they’ll come around — that’s what happens — so eventually, they have to accept you, right?

Bill: That’s some good wisdom from you, and I appreciate you telling us that, because we do want to keep both of our extended families united and loving us, and we don’t want to hurt anybody. We never have wanted to hurt anybody. So, where this relationship has really gone against the grain for people in both of our families, our goals have been to win people over by watching us, watching our love for each other, and realizing that this isn’t fake and it’s real and it’s meaningful and it’s deep to both of us. So, we really do want to win over family members and understand each other better. Our relationship is not perfect. As you witnessed in Season One, we got in a fight over Brie’s desire to be a twenty-two-year-old and go out and do shots and be dumb.

Brie: Hey, it wasn’t “dumb.” What did you do at 22 years old? [laughter] I don’t want to hear it.

Suzanne: [laughter]

Bill: Well, honey, I learned a long time ago not to do shots.

Brie: But it’s definitely, what he said is right because we are two completely different people that come from different paths. He’s lived a whole life before I was even born, and it’s beautiful to really understand each other, and when you come to these problems, actually being able to work it out or talk to someone that you trust, I think it’s important, and we want people to see that.

Suzanne: Well, great. And I think, too, what comes over in your relationship is that Brie, even though you’re young, you’re kind of what they call an “old soul” — you’re very mature, and you know what is what, and he’s open to that. He’s not some guy stuck in the past, so I think that’s what works.

Bill: [laughter] I agree with that. Brie is like an old soul, even though that’s a cliché, but you know what itis? I’m still like a young man. I call myself a golden retriever. I mean well, I’m friendly, and yet I sort of bumble around and knock things over and upset people when I’m not meaning to, and so we sort of meet in the middle.

Suzanne: That’s right.

Bill: …in a very nice way.

Suzanne: I appreciate–

Tracy: I think we have got to wrap it up.

Suzanne: That’s fine. I appreciate it, and thank you guys so much.

Bill: It was great talking with you.

Suzanne: Yeah, you too.

Bill: Thanks for the interview.

Brie: Thank you.

Suzanne: Alright, good luck.

Bill: Thank you, Tracy!

Suzanne: Bye.

Bill: Okay, bye-bye.

Brie: Thanks, bye-bye.


Transcribed by TranscriptionPuppy


Lifetime Press Release header



Catch Up Special Marrying Millions: Couples Journey So Far Debuts July 29

Facebook Live Extensions of the Premiere and Finale To Be Hosted by Glamour’s West Coast Editor, Jessica Radloff


LOS ANGELES, CA (June 29, 2020) – Lifetime’s hit series Marrying Millions returns for a second season with seven couples and more relationships under the microscope than ever before, premiering Wednesday, August 5, at 10 pm ET/PT.  Five new couples join the series with returning favorites Bill and Brianna from Dallas and Gentille and Brian from Las Vegas.  From the creators of 90 Day FiancéMarrying Millions follows relationships where one partner is incredibly wealthy and the other is definitively not, leading the couple to face intense scrutiny from family and friends and questions about whether it’s true love…or true love of the money and lavish lifestyles. While these love stories may sound like modern-day fairytales, they are not without major challenges as the couples must try to bridge their vast differences and fit into each other worlds.

Marrying Millions: Couples Journey So Far premieres the week prior on Wednesday, July 29, at 10 pm ET/PT to provide a look at what’s life’s been like for Bill and Brianna and Gentille and Brian since season one.

“Marrying Millions continues to expand our unique relationship content,“ said Gena McCarthy, EVP Development and Programming Lifetime Unscripted.  “We’re excited to introduce five outrageously relatable new couples as they all navigate clashes of class, culture and background in pursuit of love and the American Dream.”

Following the premiere on August 5th, at 11pm ET/8pm PT, Glamour’s West Coast Editor, Jessica Radloff, will be joined LIVE for a social aftershow with some of the Marrying Millions couples to chat about the premiere on Lifetime’s Facebook Page.  The aftershow will also be available on IGTV and YouTube.  A second social LIVE aftershow is also slated for September 23, at 11pm ET/8pm PT to discuss the finale of the first half of the season.

Bill and Brianna (RETURNING COUPLE) – Dallas, TX

Bill, who describes himself as 61 years young, founded and currently runs a commercial real estate company with investments in the billions.  Twice divorced, Bill met Brianna, 22, at a popular restaurant in Dallas where Brianna was a hostess and the two began dating.  Despite an almost 40-year age gap, these two couldn’t be more in love with one another.  Now that Brianna has become more accustomed to the tribulations of fitting in with Dallas high society, Bill must decide whether or not he’s finally ready to settle down and propose.

Gentille and Brian (RETURNING COUPLE) – Las Vegas, NV

Gentille is a real estate investor who buys and sells extravagant homes, and in doing so, lives an extraordinarily lavish lifestyle.  On the other hand, Brian works construction and lives at home with his parents.  Much to Brian’s dismay, Gentille called off their engagement at the altar. Brian isn’t ready to let go yet and holds out hope that the pair can get back together, but the question remains whether or not Gentille is willing to rekindle things.

Rodney and Desiry 
Washington, DC & Los Angeles, CA

Multi-millionaire Rodney and his girlfriend Desiry are head over heels for each other, despite living separately on opposite coasts. Rodney made his fortune in the wine industry, which has given him the ability to take care of Desiry, who works for a non-profit. But with Rodney living outside Washington, DC, and Desiry residing in Los Angeles, their relationship has its share of challenges, including the fact that they have kept their relationship a secret.

Dani and Donovan – McKinney, TX

After a missed connection while attending the same high school, it was fate that brought these two back together down the line. From humble beginnings and raised by a single mother, Donovan now runs a highly successful multi-million dollar real estate company where he employs his girlfriend, Dani. Now that he has found success, he enjoys spoiling his girlfriend with lavish gifts and trips around the world.  But issues simmer just below the surface, as Dani resents being a low-paid employee of Donovan.

Rick and Erica – Miami Beach, FL

Erica is a 23-year old small town girl from Springfield, Illinois, while 68-year old Rick lives aboard his yacht in Miami Beach.  The shock factor of their 45 year age gap hasn’t worn off on family and friends, including most notably Erica’s 5th degree black belt father, who doesn’t understand their relationship. Rick met Erica through social media, and after liking some of her photos, moved quickly to ask her to live with him on his yacht.

Kevin and Kattie – San Diego, CA

Kevin (30) is a self-made multi-millionaire who first met Kattie (23) when she traveled to one of Kevin’s speaking events in Mexico. Despite a net worth approaching $50M, Kevin is frugal with his money when it comes to spending on his girlfriend. This draws the ire of several of Kattie’s friends, who don’t understand why she is in a relationship with Kevin, despite her assurances that their love is pure.

Nonie and Reese – Seattle, WA

Nonie made a name for herself in the London fashion scene as a nail tech, working her way up to eventually launch several successful international beauty brands. She met her polar opposite, Reese, 17 years her junior, after swiping right on Tinder and the pair have been inseparable ever since. Nonie has a fierce work ethic which has led her to obtain properties in New York, London and Seattle. Reese, on the other hand, occasionally works as an arborist and lives at a skate house with several buddies.

Marrying Millions is produced by Sharp Entertainment for Lifetime and executive produced by Matt Sharp, Dan Adler, Jason Hollis and Kate Bernstein. Gena McCarthy and Cat Rodriguez executive produce and Juliet Barrack is supervising producer for Lifetime.

About Sharp Entertainment
SHARP Entertainment is a New York-based television production house with a record of creating and producing groundbreaking unscripted television. Founded by producer Matt Sharp in 2003, Sharp has flourished to become one of the industry’s leading production enterprises, delivering thousands of hours of programming and achieving an unmatched track record of ratings success across multiple networks.

About Lifetime

Celebrating over 35 years of entertaining audiences, Lifetime is a premier entertainment destination for women dedicated to offering the highest quality original programming spanning award-winning movies, high-quality scripted series and breakout non-fiction series.  Lifetime has an impressive legacy in public affairs, bringing attention to social issues that women care about with initiatives such as the long-running Stop Breast Cancer for Life, Stop Violence Against Women, and Broader Focus, a major global initiative dedicated to supporting and hiring female directors, writers and producers, including women of color, to make its content.  Lifetime Television®, LMN®, Lifetime Real Women® and Lifetime Digital™ are part of Lifetime Entertainment Services, LLC, a subsidiary of A+E Networks. A+E Networks is a joint venture of the Disney-ABC Television Group and Hearst Corporation.

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Bill and Brie from "Marrying Millions" on Lifetime

Interview with Chelsea Caldwell and Jake Norton

TV Interview!

Chelsea Caldwell and Jake Norton of "Happily Ever Avatar" on HBO

Interview with Chelsea Caldwell and Jake Norton of “Happily Ever Avatar” on HBOMax by Suzanne 7/14/20

I had never seen this show before, but I enjoyed watching it. I’m not a big fan of reality shows, but they do this one well. It’s HBO, so of course they do. I watched most of the episodes to prepare for this interview.  I would say that Jake and Chelsea are the most stable of the three couples and are more likely to stay together.  The guys in the first couple have way too many jealousies and hangups.  The second couple is long-distance and already having problems with it.  Jake and Chelsea live together and seem to be doing fine.

I’m also not a gamer, but I have a brother, a sister-in-law, and a brother-in-law who are all into gaming. They’re older people, but nowadays most young people do play video games of one sort or another. I was taking classes part-time until recently, and most of my fellow students were gamers.  They even have a Game and Animation Design major.  Watching these gamers on this show, I can tell you that there are many people like this who spend most of their free time gaming.

Anyway, hope you enjoy the interview. They seem like nice people.

1. So how did this show come about for you?

Jake – Chelsea actually found it and wanted to try it. And here we are now.
Chelsea – I think I had tagged us in at a Comic Con on Instagram, and I got a random message from someone with the casting call so I asked Jake if it was something we should apply for. I genuinely didn’t think we would be chosen for it.

2. Have you watched the episodes?

Jake – I have not.
Chelsea – I did, yes.

3. Do you feel like the final “cut” is accurate and they treated you fairly?

Jake – N/A
Chelsea – Yeah, I feel like it’s pretty genuine, but it was definitely weird seeing our faces on HBO Max.

4. Did you meet the other couples in the show?

Jake – We did not.
Chelsea – Nope, we know as much as you all know from watching the show.

5. Have you gotten good or bad feedback from gamers about the show?

Jake – I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback in regards to the show.
Chelsea – I haven’t had any feedback from gaming friends, just from family, and they think its cute.

6. What are your “real life” jobs?

Jake – I am your average IT guy.
Chelsea – I manage a beauty supply store.

7. Are you both still living in Kansas?

Jake – Yes we are. Just moved but still in Kansas
Chelsea – Yep! Different area from where we were at time of filming, but still Kansas.

8. How long have you been together now?

Jake – 9 years.
Chelsea – 9 years.

9. Any plans to do more TV or online streaming shows?

Jake – I actually stream on Twitch under the name Hxcsasquatch, but as far as doing another show? I don’t plan on it.
Chelsea – I wouldn’t say I have plans. Jake keeps trying to get me to stream on Twitch and has helped me get it set up to be able to, but it’s not something I’ve done yet. And as far as more TV, who knows. It’s not something that has presented itself yet, but it’s not something I would completely write off doing.

10. Jake, please tell us about your podcast.

Jake – I am part of a podcast called The Boss Battle Show with my two friends Adam and Gordy. It’s a show where we talk about video games and news related to them. Currently we are on a break as we reorganize some stuff and figure out some formatting, but we should be back to it soon enough.

11. Have you heard anything yet about a possible season 2?

Jake – I have not, no. Chelsea has shared that she may be interested in a season 2.
Chelsea – We haven’t heard anything about there being a 2nd season yet, but I’m not opposed to doing one if the opportunity arises.

12. Do you guys ever play D&D or Magic?

Jake – I play D&D, at certain points in the year, 4 times a week. I play Magic Arena a lot now. At one point I was trying to go pro in physical Magic but the cards weren’t in my favor. No pun intended.

Chelsea – D&D is not something I have gotten into like Jake has. I’m not big on the roleplaying aspect of it, to be completely honest. But we do have a campaign that we’re playing with one of my best friends in Australia that started out as a one shot for her husband’s birthday that we’ve decided to continue. And as far as Magic goes, I played a few games with Jake a while back and never really played again.

13. Chelsea, what do you miss most about California?

Chelsea – Number one would 100% be my family and friends. It’s been a few years since the move, but it’s still really hard being away from them. I also miss Disneyland, as silly as that is. I had an annual pass and went a ton. And something I didn’t think I’d miss but I actually do is the beach. I didn’t go a whole lot, but there’s been days where I wish I could go, and now that I can’t, I miss it.

14. Have you experienced Winter in Kansas yet?

Jake – Several times over.
Chelsea – Yep! I think that’s one of my favorite things living here is having the different seasons. I always get super excited when we get snow!

15. How has the virus affected your lives?

Jake – It’s been a big change. I personally had some plans this year for us. Experience new things. But the virus had other plans. For now. We stay in as much as we can.
Chelsea – It’s been a really weird time, that’s for sure. A few trips back home have had to be cancelled for now, so that’s fairly upsetting, but it is what it is. We’re just still trying to do what we can to quarantine as much as possible.

16. What do you hope that viewers take away from watching your show?

Jake – Love can be found in all kinds of places.
Chelsea – That you can start out a relationship online and have it turn out to be something amazing.


 Video Preview



Gamers-in-Love Docu-Series follows Three Couples from Virtual to IRL (In Real Life); 12 episode series produced by Stage 13, Magical Elves Shows the Love that comes from Behind the Avatar

LOS ANGELES – June 11, 2020 – Stage 13, the award-winning and EMMY© nominated original content studio, and Magical Elves, leading producer of award-winning, non-fiction content including “Nailed It!,” and “Top Chef,” have premiered their gamers-in-love docu-series “Happily Ever Avatar” on HBO Max. The 12-episode short-form series follows three young couples who find love while playing a video game and take the leap from virtual to real life.

The series was created by Stage 13 and Magical Elves to show couples going from finding their match virtually to real life. With the enormous popularity of multiplayer games, people around the world are linking online like never before. Games like World of Warcraft, League of Legends, and Elders Scrolls are connecting people online, and some are even falling in love…behind their avatars. Follow three young couples that meet online through their avatars. From long-distance lovers meeting IRL (in real life) for the first time to happy couples who are faced with the next stage of their relationship, viewers will see how they all play the game called love. As in gaming, some move to the next level of their relationship and see if these n00bs’ (newbies) love connection can survive the virtual and real world.

Amadeus Balmaceda
Karoline Rodriguez

Nick Theurer
Tony (Anthony) Bernardo

Jake Norton
Chelsea Caldwell

Executive Producers:
Dan Cutforth
Jane Lipsitz
Casey Kriley
Allison Schermerhorn

Co-Executive Producer:
Melissa Purner

For Stage 13:
Shari Scorca, VP, Unscripted
Marcel Fuentes, Director, Unscripted
Jenny McNicholas, VP, Production

The Cast:

Amadeus Balmaceda and Karoline Rodriguez
Amadeus and Karoline met playing Elder Scrolls Online. They immediately bonded over their Latin heritage and began a virtual relationship. Amadeus considers leveling up on their relationship and traveling from Texas to Connecticut to finally meet Karoline in person. Even if making that trip confirms their feelings, the couple must face the challenge of a long-distance relationship. Will Amadeus move to Connecticut for Karoline, or will their love buckle under the many miles that separate them?

Chelsea Caldwell and Jake Norton
Jake and Chelsea met playing World of Warcraft. After an initial dislike of each other, they bonded during an all-night raid that left the two of them talking constantly. After months of constant communication, they officially became a couple…before ever meeting in person. Then after living together in California for two years, Jake’s job takes him to Kansas, and Chelsea decides to join him. Faced with adjusting in Kansas, Jake finds himself content with his virtual friends while Chelsea is homesick and wants to make friends IRL. Despite their social life, both know they want to be together forever, but is Chelsea more ready for marriage than Jake?

Nick Theurer and Tony (Anthony) Bernardo
Nick and Tony met at a League of Legends gaming tournament. For Nick, it was love at first sight. He forced their teams to play against one another and ultimately won a date with a reluctant Tony, who thought Nick was straight! Nick wants to ask Tony to move in with him, but Tony is still hesitant about trusting Nick. Will Tony’s insecurities push Nick away, or will he be able to commit and truly fall in love?

“Happily Ever Avatar” was produced by Stage 13 with Magical Elves for HBO Max.


“We wanted to show the union of gaming and love, and the notion that we live in and with technology and people find each other in different ways. One is through the world of gaming by using avatars to showcase their personality. It’s a different way of showing love,” said Shari Scorca, VP, Unscripted, Stage 13.

“When we were making ‘Happily Ever Avatar,’ you could tell this was something special,” said Casey Kriley and Jo Sharon, co-CEOs of Magical Elves. “The experiences of real-world couples who developed true relationships through the world of gaming resonated with us in a meaningful way. We are so happy we are able to showcase these unique people with diverse backgrounds and their love stories.”

“Watching a couple meet for the first time in person really cannot be topped and we see that in this series,” said Allison Schermerhorn, Executive Producer and Showrunner. “We tried to show all levels of relationships, including the relationship of an LGBTQ gamer couple. Anyone who’s met online knows there’s a big difference between talking with someone in-game, over email and text, and seeing and talking to them in person. We show what it’s like from that first meeting through being connected in real life, not just through an avatar in a game.”

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Chelsea Caldwell and Jake Norton of "Happily Ever Avatar" on HBO Max

Interview with John Savage

TV Interview!

John Savage Emmy picture

Interview with John Savage of “SEAL Team” on Lifetime by Suzanne 7/1/20

This was quite a fun interview.  John is being considered for an Emmy nomination for his recurring role as  Emmet Quinn (Sonny’s father) on SEALTeam.  He is quite a character and very interesting to chat with. He’s had a long and amazing career that started in “The Deer Hunter” with Robert DeNiro and Meryl Streep.  He went on to many great movies, such as “Hair,” “The Onion Field,” “Godfather III,” “Do the Right Thing” and a lot more, including many TV roles. My favorite was his role in “Dark Angel” as Lydecker.  I hope he gets the nomination and wins!  We had an amusing chat.

Here is the audio version of it.

John: I’m glad I reached you.

Suzanne: Yes.

John: I’m kind of excited about coming to be able to just express my feelings. What an honor it is being considered for an Emmy, as a guest [performer].

Suzanne: Yeah, that is awesome. That is wonderful.

John: Yes.  The show has meant a lot to me. They are one of the things I have kept looking for was just to see some contact with their home life. When somebody goes back man or a woman he has officers back to Camp. There are leaders and experience back at this camp in the middle of, I forget, Pakistan. I have got a lot of my friends have been sitting service in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and Vietnam and second world war. Some of them are up there in age and get they have gotten that supply for years. They have been acting with others in recovery for veteran activity and also in their community and Korean War. Let us not forget the Invisible War.

Suzanne: That is right.

John: A lot of people and that is what this show has done. It has got people, it has put people in the service, home.

Suzanne: Right.

John: And I just see the interplay on this camp between a team that has been around, the middle of these people have not hit the age of 30, yet. And they have been there for ten to fifteen years or at least in the back of duty-

Suzanne: Okay.

John: And you see their interplay with newcomers, like my son and I show, AJ Buckley here was shiny coin and understand that every coin. He gets ticked off where … some new guy starts laughing at the situation like, “You guys. Hey. How you been you little one out. Do not worry about it. You got to be always some smack”. You know, you are talking down to me because you cannot predict the future. You have got to stay prepared. I mean, somebody comes along and offers a back rub or another way for him to make a lot of money by doing his old trade. It is going to be a tough decision for him, you know, and human beings have a lot of trouble in a lot of our lives just being. And the difficulties we are facing in our country today. Demand what this team shows, is working together, working through the differences

Suzanne: Right.

John: When somebody comes back from active duty away from the team and away from camp and it has been difficult. Maybe he lost his partner, a sniper, what is these issues even with others and he wants to stay by himself and sit in the corner is he has got a team around them. I got to shake it up either I shake him up, they are going to talk to him, they are going to hold him, they are going to let him stick his swing at them, you know, they are going to move through this because they can not isolate, they have got to keep working together.

Suzanne: Right.

John: And the people around them understand that, you know, the people who have been in act of duty, the going through the issue of dealing with outside directions coming in and like, and the feeling like, I had as a little tiny boy about my dad’s experience in recovery and you know, he went through losing a squad as a tough six-footed gunner in the Marine Corps in the court Guadalcanal and anything wrong with guys he did not know who  … one service in Europe and at that point, my life, it was his young men to all of being at home to me, the next four or five years old. Dealing with recovery after service in North Korea, you know, I know women who had dealt with the first world war as children and this excitement of success. They were going to the two extremes. The government was absolutely helping, these people are broke, they were broke for a long time. My family, the community still we are living. If you could, If you could have get somebody find a kid. My dad’s life is a number of all moments who had a basketball, you know, if the key was not to share it you still think, you know, you play, you play with that ball,

Suzanne: Right.

John: And you are going to places where people like to play. Baby, they were different color, baby you argue, baby you fought over a rough play, Maybe you do it, but you played basketball. My dad was a freaky with like six feet tall at one thirteen or fourteen. But you know, I see a lot of more-

Suzanne: Right.

John: -kids on a street corner hanging out at one kid who is sixty, sixty-five and he is thirteen, fourteen years old.

Suzanne: Yes,

John: My dad commemorated here walking into when we finally got to have a house and live it. Which was government-

Suzanne: Sure.

John: -Do not make it sound a major cooperative, corporation getting a tax break.

Suzanne: Right.

John: And he had GI bill, so even though no work was available and he, but he would get up and see to the people in the community, men who serve them. He physically brought me to visiting the kind restaurant. It has only two tables in that place. I only thought decorations but it was a man who served in American forces and he was Italian and had family in Italy and I learned all this as I was growing up.

Suzanne: Okay.

John: You know, he introduced himself to manhood, served and they were willing to talk and share their experiences and these guys would get in the corner, usually in town, at our house went high. With the leather cut, Blacksmith Road, and I could not figure out what they would never hear any dialogue. You know, what are you talking about? They’ll kind of crunch together but they were supporting each other.

Suzanne: Right.

John: With a drink in their hand, you know, drinking was the thing, they were quiet and usually peaceful, strong men. Unless, they were dreaming nightmares at night like my dad. And again, you know, Rhythm women respect him, but they would not want to usually went to college. And that whole idea of opening schools up to men who lived close to Adelphi University or that gratitude and my daddy got the plan of basketball team.

Suzanne: Yes.

John: To do not fly-.

Suzanne: That is great.

John: We could all of the basketball games in Adelphi. As he grew up, he got a car, you know, there’s a GI Bill, you made it clear.

Suzanne: Wow.

John: You know, you can brag about new brand new Studebaker, you know, that car was four hundred dollars, you know,

Suzanne: Oh, you will not back down. Yes.

John: That car is four hundred dollars and they see my mama told me years later while that house we bought in Levittown with the help of the GI bill was five thousand dollars. And it might have even been less but those houses were tiny little boxes, right? No songs and my generation from Pete Seeger and other brilliant, not now, I am listening more to those songs on the radio.

Suzanne: Yes.

John: Called the Graham Station, you know, wow! these guys still some of them are still around. I know women and the songs are beautiful like they were then and you know, the idea that we look at those places that were you know, as a kid, I loved it for me, it was heaven. But can I start hearing, you know, the criticism of these areas, you know, too close together. Looking there now and I know those trees that grew that we planted, covering the houses. You can not see the houses for the amount of growth that –

Suzanne: Right.

John: There is few and I have not been there a long time but I was. Twenty, thirty years ago, I went through to go to the hospital I was born in, better Brooke hospital, to just do some kind of a meeting with others in my programs and oh my God, it is still a shame that hospital. Guys are not  …

Suzanne: Yes.

John: Guys have been more maybe ten bucks. Wanted to, you know, rejuvenating something on new machine, you know, but it is still the same and for me. I remember eating being born here, you know, for some storage, my mom told me.

Suzanne: All right.

John: An isolation, isolated because I had, you know, weak lungs. I was very premature. My twin died, sister.  … Tough. Name is John when he would be paid but then the issue having polio in there.

Suzanne: Oh right.

John: That came around the fifties, I was weak. Everybody have one look like a fool. But I was paralyzed. What is it had the flu my buddies all my age had the flu. No, it was not a flu.

Suzanne: Yes.

John: I did not even make they called it the flu at that time. I remember the words right, but I ended up being paralyzed and I could not breathe. And my joy, I found happiness because I had to. Being stuck in that iron lung. I could read-

Suzanne: Does today, sir, does today’s pandemic remind you a bit of that time? Yes.

John: Deeply, deeply, deeply, fear is a false evidence appearing real. We have fear in many things today. Where is the reality?

Suzzane: Yes.

John: How we adapt, how do we accept certain things? How do we accept the danger of others or of children being in communities or rooms or other areas that they may not even get sick, but they do and they do, they do get very sick. I mean, I have family members who are in COVID hospitals-

Suzanne: Really?

John: -to working as nurses or service. They are there holding the hands of dying people. They have been with other activities and these children that are sick. The courage because they have no energy-

Suzanne: Sure.

John: -but I feel like I am burning up from the inside out. I barely can get those words out-

Suzanne: Yes,

John: -that night they died.

Suzanne: Well, let us hope they get the vaccine like they did with polio.

John: Well, with the fathers of a lot of my buddy who got polio, one man was a psychiatrist, a wonderful man is helping me and my mom with the therapy because I was a premature kid and had issues with things and physically, mostly. But the, he had crippled and he had to wear the braces on his legs.

Suzanne: Right.

John: What will it sound, doc [?]. Well he has not called me or you will be all right, you had a different form of childhood polio you will get to, you will be okay. I didn’t, I didn’t, I didn’t really believe that-

Suzanne: Right.

John: -and then you know, within a year or two, he died, sort of the other father. What is this disease? We do not know.

Suzanne: Yes.

John: You can not tell me there is no more different diseases out there waiting, you know-

Suzanne: Right.

John: -we are living in a changing world. We are so gifted for so many things in this country. How do we help people in India? How do we help people in Africa? How do we do this? How do we do that? Well, if you can not go there go to a different community here.

Suzanne: Right.

John: Pick some friends. Do not try to do things by yourself, but catch some friends that think to say, well, I want buddies do not think the same way as me. All right, even women are going to sell out, “Zip it, John.”, you know, with the idea, we get together because these other ways to go. These wrecks, they put this area to this movie about this experience and what their lives were for years after service in Iraq and Iran, in or in Vietnam. It has brings us to now what they went through. It would be government relationship with friends, with family, with community, and it’s uplifting it, moving it, heartbreaking because the courage is there. The beauty of this effort among each other and these guys have the political opinion. We do not discuss whatever.

Suzanne: That is good.

John: You know, because I can get off the track. Really. Why do not we maybe do this and they have those little podcast, like I share with them and they get out of it about people’s activities and maybe this was a good well that was appropriate why could not have done this. Why do not we go help those people that cut their shocks, destroyed. Let us see what we can do. This guys can not, most of them don’t have that much money. Or tools I am actually help to move again refining the last four measures. But when I see this show, feel pain, I see what they are doing now.

Suzanne: Yes.

John: I see their activity after coming home, after we united, after dealing with each other’s issues, whatever they might be, actions, emotional, physical. Let us get things going, now. Let us look at it, now. What can we do now and a lot of that reactionary stuff, you know, it is going on internationally.

Suzanne: Sure.

John: Let us get groups together that actually, you know, fight all those people of different color or kill those people from that country. That is whatever, communism. Do this, do that. Give me a break. You know, give me a break. What can we do?

Suzanne: Right.

John: We can do what we are doing, taking one step at a time.

Suzanne: So, had you watched your team before you were on the show. I mean, did you watch them regularly as a fan?

John: Yes, as best as I could. We have had issues, my girlfriend and I. I wanted that too much, not between us but just these area of a place burned down.

Suzanne: Oh no. Oh no, no. Let me have the fires.

John: How we have to keep hiding places, work, etcetera, issue with that and I have been blessed, you know, with this show.

Suzanne: That is good.

John: And feel things for me. It made me feel like, If I die tomorrow it is worth it. You know-

Suzanne: Right.

John. -I mean what I have been doing.

Suzanne: Well, you have had a long great career anyway, but yes, this is a great capper on that, regardless, right?

John: Are you trying to tell me I’m getting old-

Suzanne: No, no. No. I was just reading through all the movies and things you have been on are so many.

John: We have to talk more sometimes. All right.

Suzanne: Okay.

John: I admire your position in this activity.

Suzanne: Well, thank you.

John: Journalism.

Suzanne: Yes.

John: Journallism. It is for me, it is a part of journalism

Suzanne: It is. Yes.

John: It is gorgeous. It is great.

Suzanne: Well, thank you.

John: My grandson who is mix race, South American. He is twenty six years old, who is very young, he has written for three of the major papers.

Suzanne: Wow.

John: He is an athlete. He is a great, fun-loving guy, most of the time. He was on the Boston Globe in northeastern, a great school.

Suzanne: He is doing better than me.

John: Huh?

Suzanne: He is doing better than me.

John: He is gonna look up to you. He has got to. You know, and now, and then he, now he is to the Wall Street Journal. He was always interested in the community with other buddies.

Suzanne: That is great.

John: They are still up together, still till now, some issues they face is part of what our world is having to deal with today about unity of people who came here from Muslim countries.

Suzanne: Yes.

John: Oh my God.

Suzanne: They go through a lot here. Yes.

John: And again, I mean, it is difficult for, are they going to be against the forest with me or against me, you know, and it is hard. It is hard for them. It is hard for us, languages different people have different dressing could be different and there was one kid in the family who was late and only behind and came over Lake from Uzbekistan in their original chechnya background forced out by Russian. They did not have any more food in those countries. After that fall wall, the Iron Curtain, I mean. They kind of, the connection to Moscow fell apart.

Suzanne: Oh, Yes.

John: And the area and effort for trying to work more maybe with connection to the Western World. Well, ninety-nine percent of those people, had no way to make connection to Western World.

Suzanne: Sure.

John: Christian Jewish and other Muslim groups coming into those areas to help with service. They bring a little food, a little medicine, a little and you know what difference that makes to their survival, you know, I have stories with people who were kidnapped. In Afghanistan I can not, and men and women and the people kidnapped and more young voice, but they were part of the Taliban.

Suzanne: All right. Yes.

John: And yet, were not connected at that time with a major leadership. They put the women on cots, they had rifles and they will make him commit for them to make connection with the Americans. Marines. Army. Who will kill them and yet, at the same time they do not want to let go of those weapons. We kept praying that Americans come quickly. And they did, they wanted their family to get more help who had no, I am not man in that area, the roads are destroyed. They need help with food. They need help with medicine.

Suzanne: Right.

John: And that is what this crew was there to do for.

Suzanne: That is good. Yes.

John: And the people as best they could. Hey, America. All over the world people may be aggravated about it. I got yelled at after a couple years working with young people in South Africa with the development of a new Union and finally one of my friends who was a native of the community there because he is always talking and he stood up and said “Mr. Savage, doing on a South African we going to handle this now.”, you know, and that was it, it was like, okay, I got you. The ups and downs is still going on but we were a team.

Suzanne: That’s good. So, you do a lot of this. So you do a lot of this outreach and helping communities and that kind of thing?

John: Well, right now, but I still have the telephone, I still have the Zoom. And my feelings, you know, I am an actor. I’m a dreamer I live with hope, I have to the opposite end of that for me finding a middle is difficult for me, you know, I get very emotional. And you know, I have to take a breath once in a while.

Suzanne: I understand.

John: I love a good script. Yeah, God.

Suzanne: So, can I ask you, do you were in four episodes of sales team, right? And do you know which one you know, which one that they are considering you for an Emmy or is it all for?

John: Well, I believe it is the last one. It is a gentle scene, over solution. I believe that no. I don’t know. I think they gave me your for to suggest which I thought and I thought it was the gentle one of reconciliation.

Suzanne: At the great, at the mother’s, at the mother’s grave site you try about that one?
John: Yes.

Suzanne: Oh, Okay. And do you know it, sorry, go ahead.

John: No, I can keep talking with the fact that I did getting attention because of this show. Even with the dialogue with these men and women. I mean the leader of the Seal team, David Boreneaz. That is always important. He is losing his sense of purpose, men died that he is trying to get to do these things. His people, his family, his guys. The commitment and service is really tough, you know. My dad had a bunch of guys from the shop. Crack. Crack Rifleman in the Marines do a much tinier than him, but they are all in their mind. They were they were white. They were very strong appreciations of Southern dialogue, some of it as gentlemen very nice, very beautiful issues of home and only black it will ever become president, the dialogue went away. They want to ignore it, some bad. You kept him okay, but that did not participate in that-

Suzanne: Right.

John: But he was the toughest kid in the group and he did not fight with them. You just brought them to the presence. And we are here and if they felt they knew that they were trained for it and believe me when a man gets that is nice someone cut his throat at night. From having called in from the army. I will name it but the you know, nobody knew when they are trained Marines. How did we know? Why is not somebody awake? You know, I do not know what they want to I am imagining that and they were a team they had to. One you people are keeping me alive because I’m keeping you alive. And that’s why we’ are here. That is it.

Suzanne: Right.

John: And he lost them and he had dreams about not making it. Not saving the people, he cared about them. But believe me, as soon as he got home his whole idea with my mom was active civil rights duty.

Suzanne: That is great.

John: Two wars. They wanted depression, have all gone through depression. Who does he go to find the best basketball players? So, you know tell me about it and the idea that when we got older and people were dating different races, but one who continue to have us her relationship and some of those women who came to help us at the house with my mom or she put you in there in her shop, these women had children. They call me now. They are still alive in North Carolina, have a shop, which my mom, they thank my mom for helping him put that together. They are working with church groups for kids and they have lost their houses in a second flood. Yeah, you know today that I can not tell you. it is just when you see these stories on TV it brings stuff back.

Suzanne: Yes.

John: Suddenly, here are in their life. She said say to me, I do not know. I do not know which goes to, they from different races and they are married. What are those children going to deal, how they got to deal with this. How are those children? She was scared. Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea. You know, what are those kids are eight more? All right. How are you dealing with us?

Suzanne: Yes. it’s always something huh.

John: Maybe it is better.

Suzanne: There is always something to do with her. Right?

John: Yes. Really. It is again. I don’t know what how do work and it’s come up a few times in my profession and other areas of mental health, the areas of narcissism. It is not like an accusation if it is like a lot of work. Like mental health, “Get away from me.”, witchcraft. Okay. Yeah. All right. Well, you know why people get together and play games maybe, go for a book club about poker game, sure, whatever. Why? because we need each other.

Suzanne: Yes, it is tough. It is tough right now. It is tough right now because so many people are isolated and they cannot get together.

John: There are many more, there is a list of the people have not committed suicide for military service. My last couple months is very high in the air force.

Suzanne: Yes.

John: Why? Pick a number. Mental health, frustration, no money, no job, whatever.

Suzanne: Yes. It is got to be probably pretty high in Hmong civilians right now to in the last few months people not used to being unsociable.

John: I think it is one of the coolest coolest places we have lived so far and it has got, it is an apartment building but we have got this much more area here, there is more space, more spacious and it is cheaper.

Suzanne: Good.

John: It has got a swimming pool.

Suzanne: Oh, that is nice.

John: People who are giving space.

Suzanne: That is good.

John: A lot of the apartments. They have to move out because they can not sleep at night and their ritual of screaming at each other all night long. Oh, God. Yeah, you know my girlfriend. She is right. What are they going to do to each other. “Maybe we should call the police”. I said “Well, in my experience with police activity when a couple is together like that. They actually love each other and they kill the police officers. I’m trying to help.”, you know, maybe we should just you know, both of us need to take a walk, living in a small place together. Maybe space between each other is helpful.

Suzanne: Yeah, definitely.

John: You know older cultures do not shake hands, you know, they do not go and run and hug each other right away. Out of respect, they bow from a distance because in the old days, maybe somebody hold a weapon in the other hand, you know, but that is like New York, so I am familiar with that. This is our chance we have a lot of gratitude is necessary. Thank you.

Suzanne: Right.

John: We could be we could have been dead by now. We got another chance. Give us a break.

Suzanne: For now.

John: So, I do not know. I love your laugh.

Suzanne: Thank you. Well, I appreciate it. And I appreciate your making me laugh.

John: Good, good. Well, this show might have some little rough humor to look at me. Sometimes, the craziness that we do between semi train each other and then the next up it is like a lot with men they need that senior officer, a woman now saying, you guys you two guys say one more word. I will put you both down in a break for a week or two. Whatever. Like I am going to hit the ground for a thousand push-ups. You can not leave till you finish. However, whatever the demand is they have to answer to a higher power.

Suzanne: Right.

John: They have to let go of the thinking they may still have emotions. Just gotta walk with it for a while. Let go, you know God blesses. We need, we need help a lot today.

Suzanne: Yes.

John: Yes to that. I think you do not mind being liked. Appreciate it.

Suzanne: Oh, yes. Well, thanks so much for calling me. I really do appreciate, I have watched so many of your movies and things over the years and I am only about 13 years younger than you. So I am not some young reporter in case you did not know I saw I sound yeah.

John: You know, the youth is there. That means there is something going, you know, sometimes the excited, excited juvenile behavior, right, is appropriate but when you can feel the sense of a heart, that is young and yet the consciousness of wisdom in the background.

Suzanne: Yeah. That is a good thing.

John: You have got that. You are a professional.

Suzanne: Thank you.

John: You are handling. What I consider, well, it is not a difficult role, but it is.

Suzanne: It can be.

John: Work is different.

Suzanne: Yes.

John: You know, what is it like when you get home to the failure you the same?

Suzanne: Well, luckily. Luckily for me I get to work at home. So, that is good.

John: Now you are here, we are getting to work at home. Okay?

Suzanne: Yes, I always worked at home.

John: You live alone?

Suzanne: No, I have my husband and my dog and, but I get to work at home. So, I have my own website.

John: How much does a dog help in a relationship?

Suzanne: It does help. Yes. She is goofy. And she makes us laugh and you can not stay mad.

John: I could hear every once in a while, you could schedule like a private meeting, either he goes or you go.  … your dog, you know, whatever. Exactly, I had that one bunny rabbit, I would not have gotten it but I blame her, the two of us. We saw this wonderful Latina woman, my girlfriend speaks Spanish and I get to listen to the beautiful language. Maybe, I have learned. but there are words that I forget and the woman had two baby bunnies and her little thing and she is talking to her about. Yes, and I do not know what is going on. But she is there to take two little, one little tiny bunny out and hold it, you know, we are both looking at it both are looking at each other like, you know, no, no, no, no ,no, no, no, no, yes. We bought, we bought it for a few dollars. And now that this little baby girl. Oh God, it is our baby. It is our child. Yeah, let us look into the eyes of the soul. And we know her, she knows us, and understands some of us, she will thump her foot when she hears my loud voice. And she will go under the couch. That is a violence that I watched on TV. Sometimes, same thing. Powder [?] the room and tighten another room.

Suzanne: Yes. Our last dog did that whenever he heard loud sounds whether it was us arguing or the TV or the thunder, whatever it was. He would go run in the other room.

John: All right, right, right. Yeah. Find a place, find a safe place quick. Or they want to share in the conversation, and my, little bunny, does have a small voice.

Suzanne: Really?

John: If you went to her up there when she is concentrating on something in her cage, and does not want to be bothered and I want a pair of this or move something inside, she will bite it, pull it back and growl like a lion, very straight.

Suzanne: That is strange.

John: I did not know that about bunnies.

Suzanne: I did not either.

John: Well, we gave that tiny bunny a whole head of lettuce. I gave her a whole head of lettuce, just to sit and see how, she picked it up and threw it, up in the air, this thing was two inches long, and I know you got to be careful, but not you sweetheart, very gentle.

Suzanne: That’s funny.

John: I hope I’m not pushing you to follow this.

Suzanne: What’s that?

John: I am really appreciating, you know, my chance to talk about my team that I had a time. I think it is great. And your child has called.

Suzanne: Yes. She barks whenever anyone walks by the house, so it is okay.

John: Yes. She wants to share in the community.

Suzanne: She wants to protect them. So yeah. I appreciate it. Go ahead.

John: It is my pleasure. If you have anything you would like to discuss, please call or contact my email.

Suzanne: Okay.

John: I think you have that or not. We have yours.

Suzanne: Yes.

John: And my girlfriend has been trying to just make sure that we stay in touch with all the folks that we contact on this.

Suzanne: Okay.

John: Wonderful effort.

Suzanne: Well, thanks.

John: Because we have nobody else to talk to. God bless and-

Suzanne: Thank you.

John: -in your work.

Suzanne: All right. Thanks. Good luck on your nomination.

John: I appreciate that a lot. All right, I am praying for everybody in the seal team and the real ones, too. Have a good day.

Suzanne: Thank you.

John: You are part of the team.

Suzanne: All right.

John: Take care.

Transcribed by Transcription Puppy


John SavageIt’s rare for an actor the caliber of JOHN SAVAGE, primarily known for exquisite turns in iconic films like Deer Hunter, The Thin Red Line and Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thin  to transition to television for a standout role.  But when it is a recurring role on a top-rated, critically lauded series like Seal Team (CBS, Wednesdays, 9pm). Savage jumped at the opportunity.  And now his portrayal of ‘Emmet Quinn,’ the father of devoted Seal Team character, ‘Sonny Quinn’ (A.J. Buckley), is a leading Emmy contender as Guest Actor in a Drama Series, for Savage’s emotional performance as patriarch of the family legacy and the father-son relationship is put to the test before America’s eyes.

Savage, whose career was launched in the motion picture, Milos Forman’s Hair, is credited for standout roles in numerous landmark films.  As he assumes the role of stoic and proud patriarch in a multi-arc special guest star appearance, Savage brings a gravitasse to ‘Emmet Quinn’SEAL Team who was raised to love two things: his land and his wife with equal commitment.  “When my on screen’s persona’s wife tragically passed away before her time, I poured my grief for her into the land — to the detriment and disillusionment of our young children,” says John of his Seal Team character.  Now, decades later, Savage’s ‘Emmet’ is forced to confront the push-pull relationship he has had with son, AJ Buckley’s ‘Sonny,’ for so very many years it takes the crisis of literally nearly losing the family farm to discover what truly is important in life. The military top-rated primetime drama that follows the professional and personal lives of the most elite unit of Navy SEALs as they train, plan, and execute the most dangerous, high-stakes missions the country can ask of them stars David Boreanaz, Max Thieriot, Jessica Pare, Neil Brown Jr. and Toni Trucks.

Savage’s all new episodes aired as Seal Team was wrapping its third season in April and are re-airing all summer on CBS:

The shows are also available on CBS All Access.

Savage’s intense focus on the subtleties of this Emmy contending role is something you truly will want to spotlight in an interview that will be one long remembered. High res series stills, background material and selected scenes (from Seal Team as well as his current critically lauded feature, The Last Full Measure with Sebastian Stan, Samuel Jackson, Ed Harris and more) are available upon request. This past week, John was cast in the starring role of the hard-nosed judge presiding over the case in a new feature film, domestic abuse drama Finding Nicole, based on the Chris Cuomo-fronted CNN doc, Inside Evil – Until Death Do Us Part which will be shooting in Michigan later this year.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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John Savage as Emmet Quinn in "SEAL Team."

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Cane and Lily

Interview with Tim Russ

TV Interview!

Veteran Actor Tim Russ

Interview with Tim Russ of “Star Trek: Voyager,” “iCarly” and many other TV shows and movies by Suzanne 6/30/20

This interview was one that I actually sought out, which is rare for me. I usually get invited to interviews via email, but lately I’ve been more pro-active and have been emailing PR reps to ask for interviews. I received an email from a new upcoming channel called The Atomic Channel. A lot of it was about Nichelle  Nichols (ex-Uhura, original Star Trek), and her work for NASA. Tim Russ was mentioned, too, as hosting a new show for the channel. So I asked them if I could interview either actor. Unfortunately, Nichols has a health condition that prohibits her from doing interviews.  They told me that I would have to contact Tim Russ directly.  I thought, “Oh, is it that easy?” Apparently it was. I found his website and emailed him.  He very kindly replied, and we set up the interview.

Make no mistake, this man is very busy, so it was very nice of him to take time out to let me interview him. He has quite a few movies and shows coming out, not the least of which is the upcoming “Where’s My Jetpack?” on the Atomic Channel, which they haven’t started filming yet.  He also has a band and a family. You will hear all about it here. I informed him upfront that I was not going to ask him a lot of “Star Trek: Voyager” questions because this site pretty much covered everything I could have possibly asked in their interview with him last week.  I enjoyed talking to him about the future, social media, music, his daughter, astronomy and more.  He’s a very cool guy. Perhaps the coolest person I’ve ever talked to.

Here is the audio version of it.

Suzanne: Growing up, you moved around a lot. How did that impact you?

Tim: Well, it probably led to my choosing this as a career because there was a lot of insecurity in terms of not knowing where you were going to be year after year. Not knowing if and when you were going to move. If you made friends, you’re only with them for a short period of time. That’s very typical to the kind of lifestyle there is in terms of working in film, television or theater, the same kind of thing.

Suzanne: Sure.

Tim: There’s a lot of uncertainty. There’s getting close to people for a period of time, and then not seeing them again after that, going our separate ways. And I think having to adapt to different situations in different places also, I think it lends itself to that sort of lifestyle, which is you’re not sure what’s going to happen next. It doesn’t bother me that much. It had an effect that was [inaudible 00:01:21] probably beneficial for my pursuing a-

Suzanne: Well, that’s good.

Tim: An acting career.

Suzanne: That’s good. When did you get interested in acting?

Tim: I was 16, in high school. I took an acting class a few times. I really liked it, really enjoyed it. Then I did a couple of musical plays in high school, same time. I got a really big kick out of that as well. So I decided to go and study it in college.

Suzanne: Great.

Tim: It was as early as I was 16. I think I was 16 or so.

Suzanne: Do you remember what musicals you did in high school?

Tim: I did West Side Story and You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown. I did those two. I also play music. I started playing music when I was about 15, as well. I was playing guitar. I was performing in bands during that same time. So, I mean, I got started in all of that stuff roughly at the same age.

Suzanne: Sure. Yeah. I was in high school musicals. West Side Story is actually my favorite musical. So-

Tim: That’s good.

Suzanne: That’s a great one. I saw that you did some graduate theater work at Illinois State University. Did you graduate there?

Tim: No. I went to Austin, Texas. [inaudible 00:02:30] University, four year school. Bachelor’s degree down there. Then I went and did some postgraduate work in Illinois State University, on a scholarship. I didn’t stay there more than a year, about a half. Then I came back home. I didn’t get a Master’s degree. I just stayed there for a short time and came back home.

Suzanne: Okay. I got you. My husband’s a professor and we’ve moved a lot. We were there two years at Illinois State, so that’s why I asked.

Tim: Oh, okay. Yeah. It was all right. I did a show when I was there. I did a play and then the rest of it was just classroom work, mostly. It wasn’t as fulfilling as it was in Austin when I was pursuing my Bachelor’s degree. That was a much better college because it was a lot of hands on.

Suzanne: Right.

Tim: [inaudible 00:03:18] University is not so much hands. There’s a lot more theory and class work. It was all right but I wasn’t that interested in doing it. So, I could have possibly stayed longer and done… I would have had to put in another semester or a year, something like that to try to get that degree but I don’t know. At the time, I didn’t feel it was necessary.

Suzanne: Well, I had no idea that so many famous actors went through there. It’s amazing.

Tim: Yeah. There’s a few that have gone through there. Looking at it from the timing standpoint, it might’ve been… if I hadn’t left when I did and then moved to Los Angeles when I did, I don’t know if my career path would’ve been the same. I might have missed the career path. It’s very possible that I would not have done what I’ve done now. I don’t know how it would have turned out. That would have been an alternative universe for the story because I have no idea if that would have hurt me or helped me staying longer there then moving to California and maybe not moving to Los Angeles when I did it. I don’t know. I don’t know how it would have worked out.

Suzanne: It’s hard to look back on all your choices in life and try to second guess them because you just don’t know what would have happened, right?

Tim: It’s impossible.

Suzanne: Yeah.

Tim: It’s impossible to do other than looking back. Yeah.

Suzanne: Yeah. Now, you’ve had a long career in many types of shows and movies from sci fi to comedy to soap operas. Do you have a favorite genre?

Tim: It depends on the circumstance. I like doing sitcoms because you have, in many cases, a live audience. They’re a lot more exciting and thrilling, adrenaline pumping than doing… and its immediate feedback [inaudible 00:05:21] stage than doing straight film and television in terms of single camera. So, the genre doesn’t really matter that much other than I would enjoy doing, period pieces or, in terms of films, action pieces in terms of films, things like that would be a lot of fun. They’re a lot more of a challenge to me. In that regard, I have enjoyed doing those types of projects. Sci fi is fine. It’s interesting. It could be fun and kind of challenge as well, as the genre for a type of film to work on. In those respects, yes. Film, television, if it was standard stuff, it would be action and sci fi, period pieces. And if it was comedy, sitcoms would be great or television as well for those students. Stage is always fun just because, why? I would enjoy doing those genre in the [inaudible 00:06:25] that they’re in.

Suzanne: Is there any type that you haven’t done yet that you would like to do?

Tim: I haven’t done a lot of period stuff and that’s what I would like to do. I haven’t done hardly any period pieces. Most of them have been contemporary or science fiction feature pieces, but not in the past, half period pieces. I would love to do something like that. Have not have a chance to do too many. I’ve done maybe one or two.

Suzanne: Well, I think you’d probably have to move to England to do something like… They seem to do a lot of those over there.

Tim: That’s entirely possible. That is entirely possible. I’ve done a Western, which was a kick. I’ve done… Let’s see, late 1800s. I’ve done a couple of pieces in the late 1800s that were pretty interesting, that were different, but literally only a couple. Not many more.

Suzanne: Tell us about the show, Where’s My Jetpack?, on the new Atomic TV channel.

Tim: Well, I haven’t done that show yet.

Suzanne: Oh okay.

Tim: It’s on the slate of stuff that they want to do on that screening thing that they’re putting together. I have not done that. I haven’t spoken to them in a long time about how that’s going to be. It’s going to be some kind of TV talk show format, and it’s going to be a show based on futurism. Based on where the future might lead us, what we might have in the future, where it might go and what we have now compared to what was projected, decades ago.

Suzanne: Cool.

Tim: That’s the concept of that show. We haven’t actually filmed or taped any of that yet.

Suzanne: Okay. I wasn’t sure from the description of whether it was going to be a regular thing or it was a one time thing, so it’s going to be a regular thing?

Tim: I think it’s supposed to be a regular thing, semi-regular. I don’t know how many episodes they’re going to do. [inaudible 00:08:29] having different guests on every time they do it and it might be once a month or something like that, that they actually put a show together and put it on. That’s probably what the schedule will be, once a month. Then they’ll run that for a while and then do the next one and run that one. Or it might be every two weeks. I have no idea because they haven’t actually gone into production on that yet.

Suzanne: Right. Well maybe they’re waiting to see what happens with the whole pandemic.

Tim: Yeah. Yeah. There is that isn’t there? Really nagging and annoying pandemic.

Suzanne: Yeah, I follow you on Twitter. So I see all your tweets.

Tim: Do you?

Suzanne: You’re active on there.

Tim: They come in waves. I think there was a wave last night and this morning. Yeah. I don’t know. That’s kind of been my outlet here of late, rather than trying to do a podcast or anything like that. People keep wanting me to do podcasts and [inaudible 00:09:41]. That’s seems like a lot of work to do all that. I almost want to say to myself, “Who cares?” I rant about whatever it might be, the subject. Who’s going to care whether I got that going on or not. I mean, it’s just setting up a microphone and blabbing for half an hour, about whatever. I just don’t see that as being that big a deal. Whereas, the Twitter, I can just put those out in the soundbites and pretty quick and I can post things that people have sent to me, just pass them along. That’s cool, relevant. I do that. I think it’s an important forum. I mean, we were discussing the most important issues in the country.

Suzanne: Right.

Tim: Via tweet, now. I mean, they’re [inaudible 00:10:38] via somebody tweeting, including the leader of the country who is using that forum. I mean, that’s never been done before, along with a myriad of other things that haven’t been done before. So, if everybody’s wanting to be on board and do it, since I started using it, there’s been quite a response in terms of followers. I was not aware that would happen, but apparently it has.

Suzanne: Oh yeah.

Tim: Yeah, yeah. It shouldn’t matter whether or not I worked on a television show or whatever I’m into business. It shouldn’t matter.

Suzanne: Right.

Tim: What I post on their in terms of that. It generally isn’t that. I don’t usually talk about anything that has to do with Trek. It’s usually politics and social issues that are happening and anyone should be on top of and aware of and tuned into what is happening.

Suzanne: Well, probably people read what you say and they decide whether they want to keep all… if they’re just interested in Star Trek, they’re probably not going to keep reading what you say. You probably have gotten people more interested in the subject.

Tim: Yeah. I’m thinking it’s the case. I still get a lot of Trek stuff on there. People respond with Trek stuff, which is fine. I don’t mind that. It’s just, if they’re also getting a dose of what’s happening and what’s going on and becoming aware of, and maybe even passing that information on and talking to other people about it, getting a discussion going. Even if it’s just getting a discussion going, that’s a good thing. Just to get people to show that they’re aware of it. I’m not talking about… I don’t tweet about sports. I don’t tweet about the Kardashians. Tweeting about stuff that’s actually really relevant and important. If people can get on board with that because, if they’re asleep and one day they wake up and they don’t recognize anything and it’s going to be too late by that time to be aware of stuff.

Suzanne: Now, have you… I forgot what I was going to say. Oh, sorry, I lost my train here. You had a lot of interest in astronomy. Are you still doing that?

Tim: Absolutely. I post stuff on Twitter. I post the images that I take on Twitter and on Instagram and Facebook as well. I’ve been doing it for 35 years. I own about seven or eight telephones. I’m actually an ambassador for one right now. Sort of a rep for a brand new one, that I’ve been imaging with, lately. It’s Unistellar EVscope combination, their name. It’s really a nice piece unique to the astronomy in that it sort of merges across the line between an optical telescope, one that you could look at through the naked eye and see objects and a camera. You’re basically combining both of those elements into one piece where you can still look at the object through the eye piece. Yet, you can also image and download the object that you’re looking at to be able to send it to other people so they can see it as well-

Suzanne: Oh, that’s nice.

Tim: Outside of the telescope. That’s what that’s for. It’s pretty cool piece.

Suzanne: Do you post those on Instagram, the photos?

Tim: Oh yes. I post the photos on Instagram and Twitter. Go on my Twitter feed, they’re all on there. Have I don’t know-

Suzanne: Okay. I have to go look there.

Tim: Seven, eight, 10 on there. I just posted some recently. As a matter of fact, last week I posted some more. So yeah, they’re on there and it’s a really sweet piece of equipment. I use the other ones as well. They’re optical. I look at planets, the moon and all that kind of stuff. I’ve been doing it for, I guess, up to 35 years. I know it’s been past 35.

Suzanne: There seems to be a renewed interest now in space travel. Do you think we’ll ever move to other planets or travel the stars?

Tim: Yeah. We will eventually do all of that. We’ve covered this globe by exploration and also by migration. As a species, I think we’re destined to do the same thing in space. We will evolve physiologically. We will develop technologies that will allow us to make that transition. That’s a tough transition because we’re not designed for space. Not by any means are we designed for space. It’s been one of the most hostile environments you can imagine. We will have to adapt. That’s what we’re really good at. We will adapt our environment space and we will adapt ourselves physiologically in space, as well.
We will eventually, genetically evolve to a point where we can survive or live on another world, perhaps breathing another type of atmosphere perhaps, and dealing with a lower gravity and things like that. We will eventually evolve to the point of where we can live anywhere. Space travel will… It’s already started. It’s not going to be any stopping it. It’s going to happen.

Suzanne: Good.

Tim: So, yeah. It’ll be fascinating to see it starting and really getting going in my lifetime. [inaudible 00:16:37] and my daughter certainly witness the changes and things like that. Yeah. It’s going to happen.

Suzanne: That’s good. I like that positive Star Trek type of vision for the future, rather than so many… there’s so many negative ones out there, now. I guess, because so many bad things are happening in real life.

Tim: Yeah. Yeah. Well, being earthbound is, that’s another challenge in itself. What remains of earth, people who are [inaudible 00:17:04] and staying on earth is going to require revolutionary, heavy lifting as well. We have to figure out how we’re going to deal with ever increasing population and depleting resources and the waste generated and the effects on climate, et cetera. We’re going to have to deal with our home planet, almost in the same way. We will be dealing with our gene cells genetically and modifying ourselves, genetically. We will be eradicating disease. We will be not having to suffer pandemics. We will be resistant to all kinds of things. We’re doing it with plants, now. We’re going to be doing it with people as we go along. Injuries and recovery from this and fixing physical issues, occurring.
It’s all going to change. That I think is positive. It’s very positive, but at the same time, we have to deal with the size of our population and the food and water that we have to keep everyone alive. And also, the whatever quality of living there may be for 8 billion plus, whatever comes out to be people. That’s-

Suzanne: Right.

Tim: That’s the challenge that we have here on earth. We will have to apply the same technology, the same type of innovation and invention by those brilliant minds to come, that will have to deal with solving those problems and those issues in a collective effort by nations and nations leaders to put the priority of humankind and people, families first over everything else. Material wealth, for example. [crosstalk 00:18:53].

Suzanne: Well, I sure hope that does happen.

Tim: Yeah. That’s where we’re going to have to head.

Suzanne: You mentioned your daughter. I know she’s acting as well. Did she get your love for astronomy?

Tim: Does she what now?

Suzanne: Did she picked up your astronomy interest?

Tim: Oh, well, did you say is she interested in Astronomy? Or did you say is she interested in the career? I missed the last part.

Suzanne: No, I said, I know she’s acting. Is she also doing astronomy? Does she have that interest?

Tim: Oh no, no. She doesn’t have that bug right now. She’s much more into, let’s see, her boyfriend dancing and singing and acting. She’s much more into that, than she is Astronomy. She’s still a young one and has not really picked up any outside hobbies, really.

Suzanne: She’s a singer like you though?

Tim: What’s that?

Suzanne: She’s a singer like you?

Tim: Yes, she does sing. Yeah, she does sing. She’s got a couple of recordings that are on iTunes right now and she’s still pursues it from time to time. It depends on the job or gig that might come up. She has done a number of musical plays and shows and things, and she’s a really good dancer. She actually choreographed hip hop performances with a dance crew that she has. She trying to stay up on all of that right now.

Suzanne: Oh, great.

Tim: Yeah. She’s still interested in all that.

Suzanne: That’s cool. I noticed that your singing voice is very different from your speaking voice. It’s a little more raspy. Who were your influences in singing?

Tim: Well, there are a number of influences because I’ve been listening to music for 45, 50 years.

Suzanne: Sure.

Tim: It’s been everything from back in the day with some of the super groups that existed. Fantana, Sly And The Family Stone, the rock group, Chicago, things like that. And then moving on it to, I’d say a little bit of Bruce Hornsby, Peter Gabriel. There’s been a lot of singers and bands I’ve really been influenced by. Some RnB groups and things like that. There’s stuff that I have recorded and that I did perform live is quite a variety of material. I used to… I’ve played everything from hard rock, back in the 60s and 70s, to RnB [inaudible 00:21:32] 70s. Into pop in general, top 40, which encompasses a lot of stuff. Into folk, music, guitar, acoustic guitar, solo vocal did that for a long time.
And then back into top 40 and alternative and, kind of, what I’m doing now, which is sort of classic rock. There’s old school roots music, moves and things like that-

Suzanne: Yeah, I was going-

Tim: I’ve [crosstalk 00:22:00] the entire gamut. My voice has sort of matured and sort of evolved into having a range of different styles. I use that range. So yeah, I’ll get… some of the stuff might be a little bluesy, and a little bit more gravel range. And then I can turn around and sing, Keb Mo or Eagle Eye Cherry or something in the next minute.

Suzanne: Okay, great. Yeah. I only listened to a few on your YouTube channel and it was very bluesy.

Tim: Yeah. There’s some of the stuff that’s blues based on there. On iTunes, I’ve got a wider variety of stuff on that, as far as all those songs go. There’s a whole big range of things on there. The stuff on YouTube is probably the band demo. I don’t know which one you heard. I think it might have been the live band demo. I’ve got maybe one or two of those on there. [crosstalk 00:00:23:00].

Suzanne: One was a recording. I think you were by yourself on the other one, but I’m not sure.

Tim: Yeah. I’ve got two music videos on there. One is called, We. The other one is called, Lead Me Home. And-

Suzanne: That’s the one, yeah.

Tim: They’re pretty different. Yeah. Lead Me Home. And then there’s one called We, which is more, I want to say 80s, techno pop. Completely, day and night different, from Lead Me Home, the one you listened to. [crosstalk 00:23:25] that’s on there is called, We.

Suzanne: I’ll have to check that out.

Tim: If you listen to that, you will see the difference. And then I’ve got band demos my band live band demos. Tim Russ crew are also on there. That’ll give you a smattering of the live performance and the difference between all the songs.

Suzanne: Okay. It sounds like you have quite a range. I understand because I’m a singer too. I do all kinds of stuff.

Tim: Oh, are you?

Suzanne: Yeah. I mean, I’m about five years younger than you are. I know a lot of the same kind of music. I had a band briefly, but we live in a small town now, so there’s not much of a musical presence here.

Tim: Yeah?

Suzanne: So when we move-

Tim: You sing? What style did you sing?

Suzanne: Well, I like oldies, rock and pop from the 60s and 70s, little bit of 80s. That’s pretty much… but I’ve done musicals and stuff like that. I took voice lessons.

Tim: Is it more rock? Or is it more [crosstalk 00:24:21].

Suzanne: I used to be a music major, and I took classical training, and I did that kind of music, and I was really into musicals. Then I got into karaoke, where it’s mostly pop and rock. I did that for many years and I still do that quite a bit when I can go out. Then lately, I’ve been taking lessons again and I’ve been focusing more on musicals. So it just depends on my mood. Just like you, different styles. (I forgot to mention that I was also in a band, briefly)

Tim: That’s cool.

Suzanne: Yeah. It’s fun.

Tim: The band stuff is always fun. Fronting a band is always fun. To me it’s always been a question more of choosing the right songs rather than how well it’s been or didn’t sing. I did more just getting the right tune that seems to work with audiences on a regular basis, or that seems to work with the band.

Suzanne: Right.

Tim: That’s been my experience more so than whether I liked it a whole hell of a lot or whether it was popular or on unknown or whatever. I tend to pick songs that are not that well known because I like to rearrange and do my own stuff with them. I don’t write that much of my own material because I’m personally not always in touch with all the stuff I’ve written. So I don’t usually perform it. I’d rather perform really good songs period.

Suzanne: Sure.

Tim: Good meaning, they work with me and they work with the band and they also work with the audience.

Suzanne: Right, right.

Tim: Play attractive and appropriate to the instrumentation that you have also in the setting that you have. I mean, to stand there and pound the ground and scream and holler some song out there that’s just mostly noise and not a lot of vocals, it waste of time.

Suzanne: Exactly.

Tim: My band is vocally driven. The songs have to have meaning. The lyrics got to mean something. They got to have something going on. The types of songs, the [inaudible 00:26:32] have to be a variety of stuff. My thing is about the variety.

Suzanne: That’s good.

Tim: If you listen to a 45 minute set, you’ve heard 12 different groups and 12 different types of songs, all in the same genre, same ballpark based on the instrumentation that I have. But, I want to say tasty. I want to say that they’re not going to give you a headache. It’s not some bracket or noise that I’m going to play just because I wrote it. I don’t give a rat’s ass if I wrote it, man. I just care about whether it’s a good song, man. Then, if nobody responds to the tune when I play it at three or four different gigs, then I’m going to cut it. I mean-

Suzanne: That’s good.

Tim: If I don’t get the feedback, if I don’t get a reaction from it, [inaudible 00:27:19]. If you don’t feel that coming back to you, then it’s no good. It’s just not working. I’ll dump it. To me, it’s just about, whether the track has to be right. The song has to be right. The setting you’re playing in has to be just right. Otherwise, it’s just a waste of time. A lot of people make that mistake. It’s not picking the right tune.

Suzanne: I think you’re right. I think too many bands pick, “Oh, this is easy. Let’s do that,” rather than trying to get something better.

Tim: Yeah. Yeah. The song, the tune, the song’s only got a couple of changes in it or whatever it might be. And that’s fine. It’s just that what the song is. Is it a track that works with your band? Works with your vocals? Works with the band and works with the audience and the shedding and the instrumentation that you have? If it works like that, it could be simple or it could be complicated as long as it works. I was doing one not long ago, trying to get this damn tune. I kept trying it and trying it and trying it. It had a few changes in it. It was not as simplest song in the world, but it was just not working.

Suzanne: All right. Sometimes, yeah.

Tim: It just didn’t work. It just never coalesced really.

Suzanne: Well. You never know. You come back to it later, in a few years, you might decide you like it.

Tim: No. I’ll just dump it and get something else. I’ll just replace it with something new, something different. I’ll grab something right off Shazam, if it’s a great tune. I’m going to go grab that and did that one. Nobody’s ever heard of it, but it’s a good track. Let me run that down.

Suzanne: Sure. Why not?

Tim: Not too many super popular. I don’t do super, super from… I don’t do classic pop tunes that much. Maybe a couple of them here and there, but not… well, some that are just way too popular to play live. You just don’t want to do that. Let them beat me to the ground [inaudible 00:29:18]. So I don’t tend to do that.

Suzanne: I understand I could go the rest of my life without hearing, Mustang Sally, from a band ever again.

Tim: Yeah. Wouldn’t that be something, right? Mustang Sally.

Suzanne: Oh my gosh.

Tim: Yeah. Like that. Yeah. Old Time Rock And Roll. [inaudible 00:29:32] Old Time Rock And Roll. Yeah. We’re not doing that. That goes into the wedding bands, in a pile somewhere.

Suzanne: There you go.

Tim: That’s where that belongs.

Suzanne: All right, well, I think I’ve taken up enough of your time and I really appreciate it.

Tim: Thank you very much. No worries. I’m glad you got some stuff for that. Is this going to be an article that you’re doing or?

Suzanne: Yes. Yes.

Tim: All right. Cool.

Suzanne: Well, I do interviews and TV actors. I’ve been doing it for about 15 years and I was taking classes for a few years and I graduated again. I’ve been trying to get more interviews to try to, yeah.

Tim: Very cool.

Suzanne: It’s fun.

Tim: You say the class is in Journalism? Is that what it was?

Suzanne: Yes. They were mass comm, mass media courses and I graduated-

Tim: Mass comm. Mass media. There’s a lot of mass media out there now.

Suzanne: Oh, there sure is. So-

Tim: It is a smorgasbord. It’s a free for all. That’s what it is.

Suzanne: It’s hard to get heard, even though my site’s been around since, before the turn of the century, as they say.

Tim: Yeah. Well, there’s been people writing stories about stuff that’s happening since the [inaudible 00:30:53] play tablets. The Symarians. I mean, that’s been written down since that long ago and I think they just found some [inaudible 00:31:05] that’s even older than that by a couple of thousand years. Anyway, that’s cool. That’s what it is now. All at our fingertips. We just pull it up.

Suzanne: That’s right. That’s right. Well, I appreciate it. I will send you a link when it comes out. If you could send me links to you and your daughter’s iTunes songs, that would be great.

Tim: Oh yeah. Shoot. Let me figure that out. I think they’re on… I don’t know if I have them on, they’re not going to be on the channel because I don’t have… you have to have a picture with one of the songs. The other one, she had a music video for, with a friend. This was a while back. I’ll send the one I recorded with her in the studio, then. This was a while ago. Her voice has changed since then.

Suzanne: Sure.

Tim: The other one after that she did, and she did it, a friend of hers in a studio, which is one of a dance pop tune. It’s not that great in my opinion. Somebody else wrote it and she recorded it. I said, “Ah, whatever.” I paid for the music video, to get it done but it’s kind of a bubble gum pop track. I think I’ll send Mystery to you. That’s like a regular song. It would be something for Disney radio. Disney radio, pop radio station, wherever they have. It would be something suitable for that or something. I’ll do that. That’ll be probably just, I’ll just send the link to whatever. I’ll send the track to you.

Suzanne: Okay, whichever works.

Tim: You can check the video out called, We, on YouTube, that’s on my channel. You can see the difference between the songs. That one is mine. We, is mine. Lead Me Home, is not. Lead Me Home is somebody else.

Suzanne: Well, thank you.

Tim: All right. Thank you.

Transcribed by


The AtomicTV streaming channel is coming. Like in the early days of Netflix, Hulu and, Amazon we will compiling a library of classic sci-fi films and television shows as well as creating original content, both scripted and non-scripted.

Such as: WHERE’S MY JETPACK – An entertaining news program, hosted by Tim Russ of Star Trek: Voyager fame, who will discuss the history and current development of future technology such as flying cars and the personal jetpack.  What happened to the future promised to us in the past?

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

Back to the Primetime Articles and Interviews Page

Tim Russ as Tuvok on Star Trek: Voyager

Interview with Lyndsy Fonseca

TV Interview!

Lyndsy Fonseca - photo from

Interview with Lyndsy Fonseca of “You Can’t Take My Daughter” on Lifetime by Suzanne 6/30/20

This was a wonderful interview! Lyndsy is such a great actress. She was so nice on this call, and we had a fun chat. Make sure you watch her movie on Sunday, 6pm July 7! More info below the interview.

Here is the audio version of it.

Lyndsy: Hi Suzanne.

Suzanne: Hi Lindsay. How are you?

Lyndsy: I’m doing good. How are you?

Suzanne: Pretty good. Can’t complain.

Lyndsy: Good.

Suzanne: So I’ll get right to it because I know you’re running late.

Lyndsy: Okay. Thank you.

Suzanne: You’ve been acting professionally since you were 13, correct?

Lyndsy: That’s right. Yeah.

Suzanne: And did your parents support you on this pretty much?

Lyndsy: Oh my gosh. The only reason I was able to do it. We lived in Northern California around Oakland area, and I wanted to do it so badly that they would fly me back and forth for auditions. It was really when I got the three year contract on The Young and The Restless, my parents decided to move for me. They sold their house, quit their jobs, and we all moved to Los Angeles.

Suzanne: Wow.

Lyndsy: We started a whole new life here. So they have made all of this possible. Yeah.

Suzanne: Yeah. That’s quite a commitment.

Lyndsy: It is. Yes.

Suzanne: Yeah. I used to watch you as Colleen on Young and The Restless.

Lyndsy: Oh my gosh.

Suzanne: Yeah. Yeah. I’ve been watching that show off and on since 1986 when I was in college. So before you were born.

Lyndsy: And a lot of people are still there. Yeah.

Suzanne: Some of them, yeah. So what was the best thing about working on that show?

Lyndsy: Oh gosh. It was like a bootcamp. It was so… It was the only job I ever knew, so I didn’t have anything to compare it to. We were shooting like 30 pages a day. The pace of it was so fast that anything since then has been pretty easy compared to how much lines I have to learn, or the fast paced schedule of television. I think doing a soap opera was a really great training ground.

Suzanne: Right? Yeah. I’ve heard that. I’ve heard their work even faster now. I don’t know how they do that.

Lyndsy: I don’t even know how either.

Suzanne: Do you ever still watch Young and The Restless or keep up with the people that you knew from it?

Lyndsy: I do talk to Crystal quite a lot. We keep in contact, but gosh, no. I don’t watch the show just because I have a two year old, and I don’t really get to watch much.

Suzanne: That keeps you busy.

Lyndsy: Are you there?

Suzanne: Yeah. I’m here.

Lyndsy: I’m sorry. You just cut out for a second.

Suzanne: Oh, sorry. I said that keeps you busy having a two year old.

Lyndsy: Oh, yes. Yes it does.

Suzanne: So is it the terrible twos yet? Or just…

Lyndsy: You know, I get why they say terrible twos for sure. We had… I think right when she turned two, she’s two now and four months and it ebbs and flows. They want more individualism, but they’re not quite ready to do things, and they get frustrated, and it’s just been an amazing learning experience to be a parent. I loved every… Even the challenging moments are fascinating from a psychology point of view. I love diving into a parenting book and figuring it out and understanding it. It’s so fun.

Suzanne: Okay, great. I saw that you were married to your former Costar, Noah.

Lyndsy: Yes.

Suzanne: Yes, he’s great. I love him.

Lyndsy: I love him too.

Suzanne: Yes, I know you do. He’s always good too. So I…

Lyndsy: He’s a great actor and a great father, and a great husband.

Suzanne: I used to watch your show, so I like that.

Lyndsy: Oh, good.

Suzanne: Yeah. Your other show. You’ve been on so many, it’s hard to keep track. So you’ve done so many TV shows and movies since The Younger and The Restless. What made you want to do this particular Lifetime movie?

Lyndsy: Well, I think mostly because I was impressed that they didn’t shy away from some pretty explicit and difficult things to talk about and to portray. I was impressed how they were telling a true story, and I thought it would be a great honor to play a woman who has been through so much and prevail through. Not only is a great mom and a great person, but she dedicated her life to changing the policies that were not in place to protect her. So I just was really impressed that Lifetime cared about a story like this. Tori, the director, she was so committed to telling this truthfully that I felt like I was in good hands. My experience with Lifetime after doing five films many years ago, was such a great experience as well. So I knew that it would be a good partnership.

Suzanne: Yeah. I watched it this morning. It was very intense, especially at the beginning, but it was good.

Lyndsy: Thank you. Yeah, it is intense.

Suzanne: It’s a little hard to watch in that sense. Yeah. It’s just in the wow. They did that.

Lyndsy: I know. The great thing is, is that to portray her and to shoot, it was probably only a fraction of what it was like for her to live it. So it was the least… I felt like telling the story was really important.

Suzanne: Right. Now, it first aired back in February? And have you gotten a lot of feedback about it?

Lyndsy: Yeah, I have. I think a lot of women who have been through similar situations have responded to it, and I know that Lifetime has had really good, positive feedback about people being aware that this isn’t actually a Countrywide law. Still, there’s a couple of States that don’t protect women from this situation. So I think overall, just politically and getting the word out, it’s been really a great… I think it’s been very important.

Suzanne: Yeah. I’m sure it must’ve opened a lot of people’s eyes about the laws regarding rape. Did it surprise you when you-

Lyndsy: Oh, my Gosh, totally surprised me. I couldn’t believe what she’d been through, and the fact that there were so many women that have gone through it and are going through it. It just blew my mind. It just seems like a story I wanted to tell.

Suzanne: Right. And what was the toughest part about filming the movie for you?

Lyndsy: I probably just the balance of shooting all day with such heavy material, and making sure I had time to spend with my baby. My real family at home and that balance, but it was only a month shoot, so it was something I knew I needed to fully dive into and commit to because it was going to be important. The thing that was amazing, that surprised me was Analynn, the woman I played, she was so concerned about my emotional wellbeing. She said, “I just I want to make sure that you are okay doing the subject matter.” And I just was in awe of the fact that after everything she’s actually been through, she was worried about me pretending to go through some of this stuff. I was just… It just goes to show what kind of a person and loving human she is.

Suzanne: And what did you enjoy most about making the film?

Lyndsy: I really enjoyed working with a female director, especially with the subject matter and the collective. I think just as a crew, the crew knew that this was a story that was real, and the respect that we all needed to have for one another, and have each other’s back. I think when you’re doing something that the story like this people are just there for the greater good. They’re not just fooling around and stuff. So it felt really important. I just really wanted to make her proud, and other women that have been through this, I just wanted them to feel like it was authentic and that they could relate to it.

Suzanne: And when it came to the physical scenes, did you have a stunt double or was that all you?

Lyndsy: Yeah. I did have a stunt double, and coming from Nikita and my fighting days. I did all my own fighting on Nikita. It was really not that… It was very easy as far as stunt wise, but because it wasn’t an action show, everybody was like the producers, the director, and the writers, everyone was like, no, no, no Lyndsy, don’t’ do that. I’m like, guys, I can’t do this, I swear. I’ve done plenty of stunt scenes, but they were so worried that I’d hurt myself. So I had to let the [inaudible 00:09:06]. She as great, but it’s just part of… I like to get physically involved in all of it because I just think it helps the other performance aspects of it if it’s all together. But yeah, it was emotionally draining and tricky for those certain things.

Suzanne: And had you worked with Kirstie Alley before?

Lyndsy: No, I had not. I had not met her before or worked with her, but she was lovely. She was great. She came in, she’s a ball of energy. She’s funny. She’s spiky. She’s [inaudible 00:09:43]. It was great. I was just telling the story that she was a great breath of fresh air because we were doing some pretty dark, heavy subject matter. And Kirstie, as a person, is always cracking jokes.

Suzanne: Oh, that’s good.

Lyndsy: So it was really fun to have her around.

Suzanne: I’ll bet. Did you know that she got her start on a Star Trek movie?

Lyndsy: Oh really? No, I didn’t.

Suzanne: The second Start Trek movie.

Lyndsy: I watched her on Cheers, and [crosstalk 00:10:12] plenty of her work.

Suzanne: I don’t remember if this was… Now that I think about it, it might’ve been… My memory is terrible, but it was either her first movie or right before Cheers, I don’t remember which, but it was Star Trek, The Wrath of Kanya. She played a Vulcan. Imagine being that funny, and cracking jokes, and having to keep a straight face as a Vulcan.

Lyndsy: I’m sure the crew loves it. She is fun.

Suzanne: That’s good. Now so did you have any… With that comedy in mind, did you have any funny or interesting stories about the filming? I know it was quick.

Lyndsy: Gosh, I think just being on location in Atlanta was really fun, and the whole cast was incredible. I was just saying that the girl who played my daughter was this incredible prodigy. She was so… I’ve worked with lots of kids, and she was the most normal kid, but loved her performing. She was such a joy to work with, and I was so lucky to be able to play her mom. And yeah, it was just overall… And actually Dimitri, the actor who played the rapist was one of the most kind, loving, generous people. And he made the experience really great because after every taste would be like, “Are you okay?” He was just always checking in on me. And I was just amazed by how well he would be able to play this person, and then how kind good he was real life. He was amazing.

Suzanne: Oh, that’s nice.

Lyndsy: Yeah.

Suzanne: So it’s great that Lifetime is showing the movie again during their 30th Anniversary. Independence Day Marathon. Were you happy to hear about this?

Lyndsy: Yes, I was so honored that it would be a part of a marathon. Its so great. I’m so glad more people will get to see it while we’re all celebrating all the great films that Lifetime has done.

Suzanne: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Do you have anything else coming out that was filmed pre COVID-19? If anything?

Lyndsy: No. I’m actually waiting. I’m about to go shoot a Disney Plus show called Turner and Hooch. So we’re just waiting on all the new side regulations and travel precautions and all the things we have to worry about in today’s time. So I’m just preparing and getting ready for that. Getting our cast rounded out, and I’m really excited and looking forward to it. It’ll be… Hopefully it will start shooting in another month or two.

Suzanne: Cool. Do you know who your costars are on that? Anybody I’ve heard of?

Lyndsy: Yeah. Josh Peck. Josh Peck is the lead, I play his sister. We’ve got a few other people that are about to. I don’t want to mention anything that is finalized, so I’ll just leave it with Josh. He’s great. I’m so excited. We worked together on Grandfathered and have known each other since we were a little kids in the acting world. So we’re both parents now and playing brother and sister and it’s like, I’m so excited, and he’s so funny and yeah. There’s going to be lots of slobbery dogs running around the set. It’s going to be fun.

Suzanne: Good, good. I’ll have to check that out. And so what have you been doing while you’re staying at home?

Lyndsy: So my husband was shooting in New York, and so as were as a family out there, and then everything shut down. So we have basically been quarantined with his mom on the East coast for like four months, and just living in a small town in Connecticut, and out in country, and just trying to stay out of busy cities. We finally decided we need to come home, and get our dog. I’s just been a tricky transition back into the LA life.

Suzanne: Wow.

Lyndsy: Yeah. We’re just trying to navigate. We just been back only a week now, so it’s been tricky with a two year old trying to figure out things to do, and go be with her, and keep her busy. So we’re just trying to stay safe, and use the time to just appreciate one another and be home. We’re lucky to just be able to be home. So that’s what we’re doing.

Suzanne: You flew on an airplane home?

Lyndsy: Yes, we did. We survived, and we got tested, and we’re free and clear. So we’re feeling like we got through that hurdle.

Suzanne: Yeah. I don’t know anyone at anyone flying right now, but yeah, that’s good. It’s pretty… You probably didn’t want to drive country with a two year old.

Lyndsy: It was definitely not an option. We probably would have, if we didn’t have her, but she was great. The flight was only half full, and she was so good, and everyone wore their masks. We just tried to be healthy as possible. And then luckily it worked.

Suzanne: That’s good. That’s good.

Lyndsy: Yeah.

Suzanne: All right. Well, when you’re talking about being in a small town in Connecticut, it reminded me of one of those cable movies. Christmas movie or something.

Lyndsy: No, totally. It was, it was like that. And we were just trying to survive this pandemic in our own little bubble and try and get through it. But we had to come back to reality soon enough, get ready for my next show and stuff. So, yeah, but it was great. I’m grateful for the time and it’s just, everyone’s doing the best that they can right now.

Suzanne: Right. And I’m glad you’re all staying safe and I hope you all get to go back to production soon. I know it’s up in the air still.

Lyndsy: Yeah. Thank you. I know. Every day we’re just getting more and more information, and it’ll happen.

Suzanne: Yeah. Well the soap operas are just now starting back to film again. I think everybody… Maybe the other industry is waiting to see what happens with them.

Lyndsy: Yeah. I know. I know we’ll be one of the first shows too, to go back, and I think we’re all just trying to… We know we’re the little Guinea pigs of big production. So I think we’re just trying to… I know the producers are working hard to get all the protocols and just do it safely as possible.

Suzanne: Right. Well, at least being a kid show, you won’t have to worry as much about things like kissing and stuff like that. Like they do in the store.

Lyndsy: No, I feel I’m so grateful. I [inaudible 00:16:33] just that. There’s no kissing, no sex scenes. No nothing. It’s just a family comedy. So I’m like, thank goodness.

Suzanne: Yeah. That’s good. Yeah. All right. Well, so thanks so much for talking to us today.

Lyndsy: Oh my gosh. It was a pleasure. Thank you so much.

Suzanne: All right. See you later.

Lyndsy: Bye.

Transcribed by


You Can't Take My Daughter movie posterIndependence Day Marathon Info –

Lifetime continues to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Lifetime Original Movies this summer with a special Independence Day weekend marathon, featuring 10 popular throwback titles from Lifetime’s movie vault and two new film premieres.


11a: Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story (2003) Thora Birch

12:30p: Steel Magnolias (2012) Alfre Woodard & Queen Latifah

2p: Abducted: The Carlina White Story (2012) Aunjanue Ellis & Keke Palmer

4p: Fab Five: The Texas Cheerleading Scandal (2008) Jenna Dewan & Ashley Benson

6p: Bad Seed (2018) Rob Lowe

8p: The Twisted Nanny (New to Lifetime Premiere – previously aired on LMN)


10a: We Were the Mulvaneys (2002) Blythe Danner & Beau Bridges

12p: The Pregnancy Pact (2010) Thora Birch & Nancy Travis

2p: Taken from Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story (2011) Taraji P Henson & Terry O’Quinn

4p: Lizzie Borden Took an Ax (2014) Christina Ricci

6p: You Can’t Take My Daughter (2020) Kirstie Alley & Lyndsy Fonseca

8p: Driven to the Edge (New Premiere)

Saturday, July 4th

All Times ET/PT

Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story – 11am PT/ET

Thora Birch and Kelly Lynch (2003)
Based on the true story of Liz Murray (Birch), Homeless to Harvard tells the moving story of a young woman, raised in poverty by loving yet drug-addicted parents, who is determined to rise above her station in life and into the Ivy League.

Steel Magnolias –12:30pm PT/ET

Queen Latifah, Phylicia Rashad, Jill Scott and Alfre Woodard  (2012)
Six women congregate at Truvy’s beauty shop to ponder life’s mysteries and support each other over the years through all of their personal triumphs and tragedies. The television adaptation is based on the iconic play and 1989 film of the same name.

Abducted: The Carlina White Story – 2pm

Aunjanue Ellis, Keke Palmer and Sherri Shepherd (2012) 
A young woman who was abducted as an infant from a New York hospital works to solve her own kidnapping and find her biological parents. Based on a true story.

Fab Five: The Texas Cheerleading Scandal – 4pm

Jenna Dewan, Ashley Benson, and Tatum O’Neal (2008) 

A gutsy teacher fights to end the reign of misbehavior enjoyed by five beautiful, well-connected cheerleaders given carte blanche to do as they please at school. Based on a true story

The Bad Seed – 6pm

Rob Lowe and Mckenna Grace (2018)
Executive producer, director and star Rob Lowe re-imagines the iconic 1956 psychological horror film, The Bad Seed. Lowe stars as a single father who seems to have everything under control. But when a terrible tragedy takes place at his daughter Emma’s (Grace) school, he is forced to question everything he thought he knew about his beloved child.


The Twisted Nanny – 8pm

Tara Erickson, Annika Foster, Joey Rae Blair and Brey Chandet

When single mother Julia (Erickson) realizes night nanny Olivia (Foster) is turning her children against her, Julia must fight to prove that Olivia is not who she says she is before she gets custody of the kids for good.

Sunday, July 5th

All Times ET/PT

We Were the Mulvaneys – 10am

Beau Bridges, Blythe Danner, and Tammy Blanchard (2002) 

A close-knit rural family is shattered by the emotional toll of shame and rage in the aftermath of a rape.

The Pregnancy Pact – 12pm

Thora Birch, Nancy Travis and Camryn Manheim (2010)
The Pregnancy Pact explores the cost of teen pregnancy with a fictional story set against the backdrop of actual news reports from June 2008. A blogger investigating a sudden spike in teenage pregnancies in her hometown finds herself at the center of media firestorm surrounding the teens’ “pregnancy pact.”

Taken from Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story – 2pm  

Taraji P Henson & Terry O’Quinn (2011)

When her young son is abducted by his biological father, Tiffany flies to Korea to execute a high-stakes plan to bring her boy home. Based on a true story.

Lizzie Borden Took an Ax – 4pm

Christina Ricci, Billy Campbell and Clea DuVall (2014)
One of the most legendary figures in American history, Lizzie Borden (Ricci) was one of the first women to whet the public’s voracious interest in scandalous crimes with her own gruesome story involving the brutal murder of her parents.

You Can’t Take My Daughter – 6pm

Kirstie Alley & Lyndsy Fonseca (2020)

Amy Thompson (Fonseca) is a vibrant law student in Charlotte who is attacked and raped by Demetri a friend of a friend she met once. Discovering that she is pregnant, Amy makes the difficult decision to keep her baby, despite the fact that Demetri continues to harass her as she waits for the long-delayed trial. She gives birth and decides to start over in Atlanta. Six years later, Demetri finds her and, to her horror, sues her for custody of her daughter.


Driven to the Edge – 8pm

Taylor Spreitler and Danielle Burgess 

Fashion designer Tess (Spreitler) is a true millennial obsessed with using rideshare apps to get wherever she needs to go. When she meets a new friend, Jaye (Burgess), during a car ride as a fellow passenger, they immediately form a strong bond. But as Tess’s friends start to question Jaye’s odd behavior and even recognize Jaye as one of their past rideshare drivers, Tess slowly realizes the new friend she’s made is harboring a disturbingly dark secret with an agenda to ensure Tess never leaves her.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Lyndsy Fonseca (Amy) and Madison Johnson (Maddy) in "You Can't Take My Daughter"