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

TV Interview!

thumbnail for Lifetime's Notorious Women Panel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bad Behind Bars: Jodi Arias

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Lifetime press panel

Interview with Keshia Knight Pulliam, Brad James, Tim Reid and Angela Tucker

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Keshia Knight Pulliam, Brad James, Tim Reid and Angela Tucker of "A New Orleans Noel" on Lifetime

Interview with Keshia Knight Pulliam, Brad James, Tim Reid and Angela Tucker of “A New Orleans Noel” on Lifetime by Suzanne 11/7/22

This was a fun panel with these actors for a really nice holiday movie. The movie is set in New Orleans, of course, and the character of Loretta, played by Patti LaBelle, is based on a real person, Loretta Brown, who started the successful business Loretta’s Authentic Pralines. She was the first black woman to start a confectionery company in New Orleans. She passed away earlier this year.  Keshia Knight Pulliam, whom you may remember as Rudy from “The Cosby Show,” or her many other series and movies, stars as an architect, and her real-life husband Brad James plays a competing architect, former school rival and, of course, love interest in this rom-com Christmas movie. The legendary Tim Reid plays Loretta’s flame Marcel. It was fun to speak with them, along with writer/director Angela Tucker. Just be prepared to have your mouth water when you watch this movie! Pralines are delicious, and Lifetime kindly sent us a holiday gift basket that included some of Loretta’s yummy pralines. I was inspired to make some of my own this Christmas as well (although they’re not nearly as good).

Enjoy the video interview!

 

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"A New Orleans Noel" key art

Trailer and Lifetime Official Site

Grace Hill (Keshia Knight Pulliam) and Anthony Brown (Brad James) could not be more different. Despite having gone to college to study architecture together, their lives took them on completely separate paths. However, when they’re both hired to work together on the home of Loretta Brown (Patti LaBelle)—a New Orleans praline icon —the two find themselves working together at Christmas…and butting heads over more than just architecture. When Anthony and his family discover that Grace will be celebrating Christmas alone, they invite her to take part in their traditions and their celebrations. Soon, fiercely independent Grace begins to learn the importance of family and community, while modern Anthony learns to embrace tradition and the magic of Christmas. But when Grace is offered a new job far away from New Orleans she’ll have to decide if she’ll leave, or follow her heart.

Tim Reid stars as Marcel Lirette, a handsome, retired friend who moves back to town after years away and catches the eye of Lorretta.

A New Orleans Noel is produced by Evergreen Films with Daniel Lewis, Rick Carter, Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Leonardis and Keshia Knight Pulliam serving as Executive Producers. Script by Angela Tucker and Alys Murray and directed by Angela Tucker.

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Scene from "A New Orleans Noel" on Lifetime

Interview with Kelsey and Spencer Grammer

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Interview with Kelsey and Spencer Grammer of "The 12 Days of Christmas Eve" on Lifetime

Interview with Kelsey and Spencer Grammer of “The 12 Days of Christmas Eve” on Lifetime by Suzanne 11/7/22

It was truly an honor to speak with Kelsey Grammer because he’s such a great actor. As I told him, “Frasier” is one of my favorite shows. I was in college when he was on “Cheers,” and then I kept watching him on “Frasier” (which was even funnier than “Cheers,” in my opinion), until the end. He was also amazing later in the drama “Boss.” His daughter, Spencer, who stars in this with him (as his daughter, natch), is also a really good actress in her own right. Daytime fans may recognize from when she played Lucy on “As The World Turns,” before she went on to primetime success. Anyway, this is a really good holiday movie. It’s a sort of mash-up between “Groundhog Day” and “A Christmas Carol,” but it’s got a modern spin and a lot of humor. Grammer plays Brian, the head of a Radio Shack-like company who has to mend fences with his daughter, Michelle, and granddaughter, and find the true meaning of Christmas, in 12 days.  Grammer handles both the drama and comedy in the movie easily. Uschi Umscheid plays Spencer’s daughter, Harkin, who’s just precious and a good actress (especially for her age). Diana Toshiko is a lot of fun as a zany startup woman, Nina, who wants to buy Brian’s company. Mitch Poulos does a wonderful job as Santa. I hope you enjoy the movie and this interview! You can’t help but be touched by the affection displayed by Kelsey and Spencer Grammer for each other.

 

MORE INFO: Lifetime Site

"The 12 Days of Christmas Eve" on Lifetime key art

The 12 Days of Christmas Eve is the story of Brian Conway (Kelsey Grammer), a successful businessman whose relationships with those around him have really suffered.  While this Christmas season has been the most successful for his business, he’s divorced, his relationship with his daughter Michelle (Spencer Grammer) is strained and he doesn’t have a meaningful connection with his only granddaughter.  After Brian gets into a car accident on Christmas Eve, Santa gives him twelve chances to re-do the day and repair the relationships in his life to find the true meaning of Christmas. For Brian, these twelve days are a journey of self-realization about life, love and happiness as he attempts to right the wrongs of his life in pursuit of the Christmas spirit.

The concept for The 12 Days of Christmas Eve originated from Kelsey Grammer’s production company, Grammnet NH Productions, and developed in house by Lifetime.  Grammnet NH Productions produced alongside Johnson Production Group.  Kelsey Grammer, Tom Russo (Frasier, Light as a Feather, The Game) and Jordan McMahon (The Game) are executive producers. The script is written by Eirene Tran Donahue (A Sugar & Spice Holiday) and directed by Dustin Rikert (Two Tickets to Paradise).

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Kelsey Grammer, Spencer Grammer and Uschi Umscheid in "The 12 Days of Christmas Eve" on Lifetime

Interview with Mario Lopez and Jana Kramer

TV Interview!

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

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

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

 

MORE INFO: Trailer

Steppin' Into the Holiday key art

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TV Interview!

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

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

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

 

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Santa Bootcamp key art

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

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

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

Interview with Brooke Elliott, Brandon Quinn and Danny Pintauro

TV Interview!

Brooke Elliott, Brandon Quinn and Danny Pintauro

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

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

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

 

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A Country Christmas Harmony key art

Lifetime’s Site

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

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

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A scene from "A Country Christmas Harmony"

Interview with Michael Consuelos

TV Interview!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BOTH FILMS WILL DEBUT THIS OCTOBER

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

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

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

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

Interview with Alicia Witt

TV Interview!

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

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

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

 

MORE INFO: Preview

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

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

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

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

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

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

BOTH FILMS WILL DEBUT THIS OCTOBER

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interview with Ashley Jones

TV Interview!

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

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

This was a fun interview last week with Ashley! I interviewed her 9 years ago for another Lifetime movie (Gosh, where does the time go?).  She always very kind and beautiful. Don’t miss her new movie as well as the LMN marathon of her movies all day Friday, September 23!

 

MORE INFO: Official Site Trailer

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

LMN Favorite Ashley Jones Returns With New Thrillers

LMN FAVORITE ASHLEY JONES RETURNS WITH NEW THRILLERS

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

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

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

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

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

Ashley Jones Official Site Facebook Twitter Instagram

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

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Review of “Flowers in the Attic: The Origin”

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"Flowers in the Attic: The Origin" key art

“Flowers in the Attic: The Origin” on Lifetime Review by Suzanne 7/20/22

“Flowers in the Attic: The Origin” This is the prequel miniseries to the classic movie “Flowers in the Attic,” which I’ve never seen. It apparently involved a stern religious grandmother who locks her grandchildren in the attic. There is incest and rape in that drama. This shows how the grandma got to that point. Both are based on novels. “Flowers in the Attic” came out in 1979 from the pen of V.C. Andrews. She wrote many sequels, but only the first book was filmed (twice). This new miniseries is based on “Garden of Shadows” by Andrew Neiderman, who is now taking over V.C. Andrews’ characters.

I’ve only seen the first part so far, but I enjoyed it. I’m not a big fan of prequels because we know how the characters are going to end up (and it’s usually not good). There are many great actors in this. Most of them, such as Kelsey Grammar and Harry Hamlin, play small parts and aren’t on screen very long. Kate Mulgrew (“Star Trek: Prodigy”) and Paul Wesley (“Star Trek: Strange New Worlds”) also play small roles. I wasn’t familiar with any of the main stars of the miniseries, but Max Irons, who plays the husband, is the son of Jeremy Irons. He does a good job.

The main star of the show is Jemima Rooper, who plays Olivia (the aforementioned Grandma). She is excellent as the woman who starts out as the bookish maiden but becomes first a victim of horrible circumstances and then gets steely and strong (but ultimately, not very nice, I’m afraid).

You should check it out whether or not you like the “Flowers in the Attic” books or movies as it’s compelling drama (if a bit lurid at times).

Interview with Jemima Rooper, Max Irons, T’Shan Williams, Alana Boden and Paul Sciarrotta of “Flowers in the Attic: The Origin” on Lifetime 6/22/22

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Flowers in the Attic: The Origin tells the story of the headstrong and determined Olivia Winfield (Rooper) who is working alongside her beloved father (Hamlin) when she finds herself unexpectedly wooed by one of the nation’s most eligible bachelors, Malcom Foxworth (Irons). After a whirlwind romance, Olivia finds herself as the mistress of the imposing Foxworth Hall, where she soon discovers that the fairytale life she expected has quickly become a nightmare.  Under Malcolm’s debonair exterior lies a dark heart, and a twisted evil lurks inside Foxworth Hall that will threaten Olivia’s happiness and that of her children. Her attempts to keep them all safe ultimately push Olivia to become to most terrifying version of herself, leading to her inevitable—and notorious—decision to lock her grandchildren in the attic…

Dodd stars as Olivia’s daughter, Corinne; while Williams takes on the role Foxworth Hall’s longtime staff member and Olivia’s observant housekeeper, Nella. Mulgrew plays Mrs. Steiner, Malcom’s loyal house manager and head of the Foxworth Hall staff. Grammer portrays Malcom’s illustrious father Garland Foxworth, who is married to new wife Alicia, played by Boden. Wesley stars as John Amos, Olivia’s cousin whose revelations change her life forever and Callum Kerr stars as Christopher, a close relative of the Foxworth family whose life will be eternally intertwined with Corrine’s from the moment they set eyes on each other.

Additional talent starring in the four-part miniseries event includes Luke Fetherston, Buck Braithwaite, Jordan Peters, Evelyn Miller, Rawdat Quadri, Emmanuel Ogunjinmi, David Witts, Carla Woodcock and Peter Bramhill.

Flowers in the Attic: The Origin is an A+E Studios production in association with Sutton St. Productions and CBS Studios. Paul Sciarrotta serves as executive producer. Jennie Snyder Urman and Joanna Klein serve as executive producers for Sutton St. Productions and CBS Studios. Zoë Rocha serves as executive producer for RubyRock Pictures, Gary Pearl executive produces for Aquarius Content and Dan Angel executive produces. Declan O’Dwyer also executive produces and directed part one and part two of the miniseries. Robin Sheppard serves as director for parts three and four. Scripts are from executive producer Paul Sciarrotta, as well as Amy Rardin and Conner Good. Flowers in the Attic: The Origin is based on the prequel novel, Garden of Shadows by Andrew Neiderman. The miniseries was made with support of the Romanian Government.

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Irons and Rooper in "Flowers in the Attic: The Origin" on Lifetime

Interview with Jemima Rooper, Max Irons, T’Shan Williams, Alana Boden and Paul Sciarrotta

TV Interview!

"Flowers in the Attic: The Origin" actors in panel

Interview with actors Jemima Rooper, Max Irons, T’Shan Williams, Alana Boden and EP Paul Sciarrotta of “Flowers In the Attic: The Origin” on Lifetime by Suzanne 6/22/22

This was a Lifetime event where we watched the first episode of this series and then asked the actors and executive producer questions.  It was unusual that we watched the episode first, live, right before the Q&A. Usually they put the episodes up on their press site for us to watch on our own time. It was nice to chat with these nice people, most of whom are British! The characters they’re playing are all Americans, though. I enjoyed the show and the panel. I hope you like the show! It’s a four-part miniseries that airs every Saturday starting tonight, July 9, on Lifetime.

 

Here’s the transcript, but it’s not edited yet. Check back to see it!

Please welcome our panelists for today’s Q&A with stars Jemima Rooper, Max Irons, T’Shan Williams, Alana Boden and executive producer Paul Sciarrotta. Hi everyone.

Thank you for being here today. Paul, our first question is for you. You both executive-produced and co-wrote “Flowers in the Attic: The Origin.” We understand that you were in close contact with VC Andrews ghost writer, Andrew Nierman. Can you please tell us a little bit about that process?

Paul: Sure. Yeah. We started about four years ago when the project was brought to me, and I, of course, had read Flowers in the Attic,” you know, maybe a long time ago. and I wasn’t, at the time, even aware there was this prequel book… and when I found out it existed and that Andrew wrote it, I was very excited. So it’s actually the first book that he wrote in the VC catalog…The first of, I think over a hundred, now, that he’s written. So it’s been a valuable resource to have him on speed dial all the time. I would call him, always. I still do for any questions I might have, if I’m ever unsure about story point or if something is totally correct. Or, you know, of the world. I can just check with him, and he has his finger on the pulse of all things VC. So it was…I was very lucky to have him be a part of the project.

Awesome. I will take some questions from the audience. Just a reminder. If you can, please make sure you have your first and last name so I can call upon you correctly. Our first question is from Suzanne at TVMEG.COM. Please unmute yourself to ask your question.

Suzanne: Hey, how are you all? I really enjoyed that. That was a good movie… or, it wasn’t a movie, I know, but it was. Let me ask you, Max: What did you do to prepare yourself for this role of being this horrible, horrible person?

Maxi: Hi, Suzanne. Well, I think for me, firstly, I had to get past the fact that he was horrible quite quickly. I had to look and find why he was the way he was, how he had learned to cope with the world as the world presented itself to him. So, the formative things I think in Malcolm’s life were his mother and father. His mother was the center of his universe was taught him about emotions, about love, about, you know, everything. They coexisted for the first few years of his life almost entirely. And then, all of a sudden, she left, and his father wasn’t around to help him process that or make any sense of that. You know, there was no modern psychology to come to his aid. He had tutors. He was sent away to a boy’s school, and he had to make sense of that. And so he did, and he hardened himself to the world and where his father had been through his, you know, through Malcolm’s understanding headness and not particularly capable. Self-serving Malcolm discovered duty and, and, you know, rigid a rigid work ethic and, you know, uh, where Malcolm had shame, he, he sought to, to, to elevate the Foxworth name and his business and make himself triumphant and powerful. And so, yeah, it was just looking at his younger self and yeah, and, and going from there.

All right. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you. Our next question is from my cues. Yeah, this is a question for Elena. Um, this is a really unusual role for you. Um, it’s, it’s not pretty unusual to have a romantic scene with someone who’s 43 years older than you are, but it’s not the cliche kind because you warmly like the man and he warmly liked you.

So it’s, it’s not any kind of cliche. So tell us a little bit about playing it, getting in the mood. And were you really familiar with Kelsey grammar ahead of time? To what extent did this become kind of a, a, a big challenge. Yeah. Um, I mean, Kelsey is absolutely fantastic and he made me feel so comfortable for some of the, some of the scenes, because like there is, there is like that really, um, really big age gap.

Um, But I think in terms of getting prepared, you know, we, we just took some time to, we worked with an intimacy coordinator. We took some time to figure out, um, how we think their relationship would be, how, what we were comfortable with. Um, and yeah, it was, it was actually really, really interesting to sort of work on that.

And, um, you know, I think for me, it’s, it is genuine love between the two of them. So to make sure that was, that was how it, how it was, you know, Perceived as the audience was, was really important. Um, but yeah, it was, yeah, it was really, it was really interesting Dean, like I say, he’s fantastic. And he was, you know, always making sure I was feeling comfortable and, um, just really worked with me and we worked together to hopefully create something that, that comes across really genuine.

Okay. Thanks. Thank you so much. Our next question is from Hanta Smith.

Please unmute yourself to ask your question. Oh, okay. Is there, um, video on here? No video, just audio and we can hear you. Oh, okay. Perfect. Hi everyone. Thank you so much for your time. I’m so excited for everyone and it’s exciting series. I would love to know what was it like, you know, interacting with everyone on set and also what can the viewers expect when watching this awesome series?

Anyone can take that question, right? Uh I’ll I’ll go. I’ll go. I’ll jump in. Um, uh, it was, we shot the series, um, sort of in the height of the pandemic. We all relocated to Romania for four months. Um, and we became, uh, a lovely family, not quite the twisted family of the show. Um, and I think, uh, You know, I, I adored working with every single person on set and, uh, what was amazing is that as we were there after more time, the episode that you’ve just watched is very much just sort of the beginning, but from episode two and three to four, the whole thing opens up the children grow up.

Um, they come into it, um, the, the whole sort of premise six fans and, um, the whole S. Expands. And, uh, that was what it was like for us. Uh, in Romania, we suddenly got this injection of, uh, new minds and hearts and then while we were working and, um, and it was just. You know, gorgeous in, in every respect and despite, you know, how dark some of it gets.

Um, it, it was always a very happy set. I think sometimes when you’re doing things that are a bit darker or a bit more serious, you kind of find the fun a bit more on set. So it’s more enjoyable. Um, I think people are sometimes more miserable during comedy . Um, we had, yeah, we just had, uh, a beautiful time with, uh, a lot of really amazing people and we all just felt really happy to be working at a time.

Uh, it definitely felt like a luxury. Awesome. Thank you so much. thank you so much for your question. Our next question is from Jared Horton.

Hi, can you guys hear me? Yes. I am. Well, first of all, congratulations on the series. I thought it was great. Um, when I’m watching movies and TVs, I’m really big on dialogue and I thought you guys had some great dialogue within the series. I was wondering it was something that you picked up within your character that you took from, um, Um, afterwards in your own personal life, like she made the comment that a mother said forgiveness and revenge.

And I was just wondering, did is anything that you guys picked up far as wisdom or life lessons that you picked up from your character or just in general? Great question. I’ve started doing voiceovers in my everyday life. I now describe everything’s doing I’m going downstairs in the morning. Um, uh, no, I really, um, that’s a great question.

Um, No, I don’t think I, I sort of, sort of hope I haven’t taken anything of Olivia into my day to day life, but I tell you what I was thinking about this earlier today. Um, playing, playing that part, playing that kind of a role, um, playing this character that. I, I feel like it’s very far removed from who I am as a person, but she was so vivid on the page.

Uh, Paul’s writing what he did. Um, I sort of never had any questions as how to play her. And, uh, there’s something about playing Olivia. That for me was incredibly empowering and I sort of feel like that element of it I’ve taken. I hope that’s great. That’s great. Well, I think you did do a great job with the role.

Thanks. Um, I think it’s a great series. I look forward, um, to watching it more and congratulations to you guys, especially pulling it off during the pandemic. I just think you guys did a great job, pulling it off. KU kudos you guys over there. Thank you. Thank you so much. Our next question is from Dominique Clark from Ben worthy media.

Hello, all. Congratulations on this series. I mean, the trailer gave me goosebumps and I’m so excited that we’re finally getting the origin story of the grandmother who locked our children in the attic. Um, Seeing the story through Olivia’s eyes shows how evil isn’t born, it’s made. Right. And specifically for the ladies here, how did Olivia’s transformation throughout this series transform your individual characters?

How did you change as she did? I think, I will say with, um, Nell’s character, I think as she was a, a longstanding staff member at Foxworth hall and was quite used to, as max was saying, like the rigid rules of how it works. Um, I think meeting. Olivia and seeing that she had a bit of bite and spark really kind of opened up their friendship a little bit and it made it grow, which was really quite interesting to discover with Jemima.

Um, yeah, cuz I think, yeah, I think she, her character really like challenges him and um, and yeah, and I think with N working there for so long, um, and I guess. Conforming in, in a way until she kind of meets Olivia. I think it’s, um, I think she definitely, um, like made an impact on her arrival for vanilla.

Thank you. Any other other ladies or folks wanna share? No, that was too

Okay, great. Thank you guys so much. And congratulations again. Thank you our next, oh, thank you so much. Our next questions from Pauls.

All right. Hello? Hello. Thank you so much for being with us today. And, um, congratulations, uh, on this, this is fantastic. Uh, I gotta note because these characters are so different from you personally, um, everything about them, where they’re from, you know, and different time, everything, uh, what kind of Headspace do you have to for each of the actors?

Do you have to put yourself in to, to play these really dark roles? Cool. My personal experience, which may well be very different to the others. So, um, they, they must say as well, um, uh, the, the sort of amount that Olivia had dialogue wise, um, and scene wise, especially sort of at the beginning, it kind of eased up a little as we got into it.

Um, Sort of so full on. Um, I remember I just had to be, I just to get one foot in front of the other and to know my lines and turn up on set was what I could manage at the time. Um, which in a way is really liberating and kind of makes it easier because otherwise you can. Get, I very often get stuck in my own head and think too much about everything.

Um, and sometimes, you know, after the event, you look at things and think, oh, I wish I wish I’d thought about this, or I wish I’d done that differently. Um, but. Such a sort of big undertaking in so many ways is actually in some ways easier and, and, uh, yeah, more, more freeing, more liberating, um, than sometimes not having so far to go with a character.

Um, it’s, you know, I find it easier to be further away from myself, I think, but, and normally I do lots of research, but, uh, in this. I, and I, I think with regards to Malcolm, um, you know, a lot of credit goes to Paul for, for, you know, when, when the writing’s good, it helps those neurons connect sort of effortlessly, and you don’t have to.

To force anything, but sort of, it returns to my first, um, thing I said at the beginning that, you know, when, when you are evil, when a person’s evil, they don’t wander around thinking they’re evil. You know, they, they wander around thinking what they’re doing is right and proper. And just, but I, I do know, um, I spent quite a lot of time in the early days trying to convince people that I wasn’t an asshole.

There was a, there was a picture of me in the production office. You know, all the actors have their faces up in the production office. And my everyone elses was lovely. My picture, I looked like an asshole, like really smug. And then I thought, oh shit, they’ve seen that. Now I’m cast as this, this asshole.

How is your so I, I, I dunno if I can say anyway, I spent a lot of time giving people cups of tea, that sort of thing. And, and trying not to be an asshole. Um, yeah. Yeah. Sorry. Todd was one thing there too. Um, like Jeremiah was saying we had a lot to do in a limited amount of time. And, um, I, I can’t necessarily speak to what everyone did individually creatively to prepare for that, but I certainly can speak for when they showed up, everyone was on point, smiling, prepared, professional, lovely.

Um, and that is, you know, that’s pretty special when that all comes together. So I felt like the lucky recipient of all that on my end. So thank you to you guys. Thank you so much, Paul and max, that was a great answer. And you are allowed to curse here, so it’s okay. oh really? Oh, great. Let’s go away. OK.

Thank you so much. Thanks, Paul. Our next question is from women for the culture.

Please unmute yourself to ask your question. There you go. Okay. Hi. Thank you guys for having me. My name is Natasha and I’m with women for the culture. My question is for, to Sean. Um, I just wanted to ask you, so from the moment we meet your character, Noah, we can tell just by looking in her eyes that she’s compassionate, caring and knows something that everybody doesn’t know right now, especially when we see the scene from your daughter.

But I just wanted to know why do you think black women’s first instinct is to go into protective mold, even when we barely know, um, their person. Well, I think if you think about the time that this is set in, um, it’s a very, very good question. And I found myself asking that question in my process as well.

Um, especially in scenes where I found myself helping, um, Olivia and. Because in some ways, she’s very much the more compass of, of, um, the story when all of this madness is going on. And sometimes I find myself asking that question as well, um, for my process, but, um, I think is she’s a rock for her family and she’s also a very fiercely loyal friend and, um, And I think if, if we look at the time, as I was about to say, if we look at the time that this is set in, it would be very unlikely that her and Olivia would probably even strike up a friendship with one that’s lasting anyway.

So it’s just a, a very specific circumstance that they have kind of built their friendship on. And I guess you’ll see more, more about that when the other episodes come out and more be clear, um, about, um, maybe ask, answer your question more, but, um, yeah, I can say that. She’s got a really good heart, I think.

Yeah. Thank you so much for that answer. And I can’t wait to see Noah’s, uh, story unfold more throughout the series. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. Our next question is from Karen Mo from sci-fi vision. Hi everybody. Um, thanks for doing this. My question is for Paul, I’ll try to keep it short. Um, flowers in the attic has been adapted before.

I think the last time lifetime did so was in 2014 and 15. Um, in the, since then audience standards and industry standards for how you adapt and present some of this really sensitive, uh, material rape incest abuse. Um, Has really changed. And I wonder if you could speak for a minute about your approach and lifetime’s approach and how it may have evolved in the last few years.

Sure. Um, I can’t speak to how their other, um, flowers movies were produced. I wasn’t a part of those back then, but I do know that from the very beginning of my working with them, they were, um, incredibly supportive, incredibly collaborative. Um, and what we had was this, um, this source material. Where so much of the main character story was based on this sexual assault.

And it was a balancing act that I worked with with my, um, my, my producing team in Los Angeles and all the great executives at a and E in lifetime, trying to figure out just how much of that assault do we show and how do we show it. Um, and in order to tell the story best, uh, and I hope we struck. A good balance.

Um, I was very grateful to have such, um, open partners with it. And the other piece of it was Jemma for the, um, on set. We talked, um, a lot with the intimacy quarters and everyone else, but even about certain lines, you remember, we were talking about a line in the fourth movie, um, with Paul Wesley and, and Jemima.

And it was something about how she didn’t wanna, like, I think the line I had written was allow someone to control me again. And we talked a lot about that in that tent of all the mosquitoes. I remember that. Um, we changed the line. Um, and I think it’s that kind of conversation, um, that I hope helped tell Olivia’s story in a thoughtful and sensitive and productive way.

Thank you. Thank you so much. Our next question is from Mr. Dark eye podcast.

Please unmute yourself to ask your question. Thank you. Yes. All right. Can Y. Yes, we, yeah. All right. So my question is for max, um, in your role, like with you having to be evil and, um, you know, play that role so well, what was your inspiration to be so into the character the way you was and how did you really tap in?

Oh God. Um, I, for fear of repeating myself, um, You know, there there’s, there was a few, obviously the cast, uh, helped enormously. Um, you know, also as an actor, when you have wonderful costumes and you have wonderful sets that also helps a great deal. Um, but yeah, I just, I like, like I said, I sort of just had to tune into the, the child inside of Malcolm.

That was the tapping in, uh, and, and, you know, these days we, we are so there’s so much modern. There’s therapy available. There’s psychology and there’s, you know, the way parents work with their children. Now it was these things were unheard of in those days. Um, and we, we take these things for granted, modern parental thinking and, and trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder and all these sorts of things.

Um, Malcolm was just left to figure it out and it didn’t, he didn’t figure it out. He didn’t. Do a good job, but he, he, he did so in a way that enabled him to survive. Um, and that’s how I have to look at Malcolm. Uh, and, and out of that way of thinking comes his evil. And, and that for me is, is a byproduct of that, that interior life think.

Thank you for that. And you did a very convincing job, so that just means you’re good at what you do. thanks. You guys also very kind and put a lot of people on set at ease with his kindness with, with, with that kind of material. Um, and it takes a very special to person to do that. And we had that in that, so, yes.

Oh, thanks. Cool. I’d like to add as well that, um, I know probably a lot. Male actors who would just a approach it as is wouldn’t, wouldn’t struggle playing this sort of a role would probably quite enjoy it. And max is, you know, the opposite of Malcolm. He is, um, such a lovely person. And for him to get to those places was a struggle.

And the struggle is what makes the character more interesting and more layered. And so it’s only better for that. I. I agree. Nice guys go. This is nice. Thank you so much for your question. Our next question is from Towanda Blake.

Hi. Um, my question is what was it like filming inside of a, the pandemic? And did, do you think that offered you more? I’d say it stretched you more to bring perfection to your characters.

Yes, I think, uh, in a way it did, it was this sort of quite surreal bubble. Um, I think for us all to be away from home for as long as we were, um, normally people, if you are filming, you know, outside of home, you are in and out or, um, You’re not really with each other. And it was such a shared experience, the whole thing, onset and offset, and, uh, Yeah, I think there was such a, a lovely feeling because you did, everyone felt really grateful and really privileged to be working.

And it was also really interesting work and everyone really looked out for each other, the, the credo all the way through the crew from the top to the bottom, um, it, it felt very collaborative and very supportive. And I think that’s quite rare to that extent. And, um, and that made. Very special. Um, it wasn’t just another job, I think.

Thank you. Awesome. Thank you. We have time for one more. Our last questions from Aries, urban bridges.

Hi, everybody. I’m gonna echo everybody else. You guys did a great job. I love the movie. I’m gonna address my question to Taan. Besides it being an epic book. First, what made you want to be a part of this role and play Nella and flowers on the. Oh, because, because she’s not part of the books because, because I could, because I could, um, Paul really gave me the reigns to like build on her from the ground up and I kind of just got to implement her story, um, where it wasn’t there before.

And, um, yeah, so I just got to bring this completely fresh character to such a huge franchise of, of a book. Um, Book series and I just, and I thought her character was really interesting, um, and layered and, um, Yeah. And quite exciting and important as well to the story. Yeah. Um, as I said, like her being, um, like the moral compass of, of the story for a lot of the, a lot of this, um, episodes, um, and her family, which you’ll get to meet in the other episodes and, and yeah, you get to see a bit more of her when you see her family as well.

And that’s all really exciting and they’re all brilliant actors as well. And yeah, so it, I mean, it. It wasn’t hard. That’s, that’s an easy, it wasn’t very hard. yeah, it makes a lot of sense, but you brought the character. Great job again. Continued success. Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you everyone for such great questions.

Thank you to our panelists. You guys were amazing as always. And thank you all for joining today’s advanced screening of part one. If we did not get to your question, I know we dropped this in the chat as well.

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Official Site and Preview

"Flowers in the Attic: The Origin" key art

Flowers in the Attic: The Origin tells the story of the headstrong and determined Olivia Winfield (Rooper) who is working alongside her beloved father (Hamlin) when she finds herself unexpectedly wooed by one of the nation’s most eligible bachelors, Malcom Foxworth (Irons). After a whirlwind romance, Olivia finds herself as the mistress of the imposing Foxworth Hall, where she soon discovers that the fairytale life she expected has quickly become a nightmare.  Under Malcolm’s debonair exterior lies a dark heart, and a twisted evil lurks inside Foxworth Hall that will threaten Olivia’s happiness and that of her children. Her attempts to keep them all safe ultimately push Olivia to become to most terrifying version of herself, leading to her inevitable—and notorious—decision to lock her grandchildren in the attic…

Dodd stars as Olivia’s daughter, Corinne; while Williams takes on the role Foxworth Hall’s longtime staff member and Olivia’s observant housekeeper, Nella. Mulgrew plays Mrs. Steiner, Malcom’s loyal house manager and head of the Foxworth Hall staff. Grammer portrays Malcom’s illustrious father Garland Foxworth, who is married to new wife Alicia, played by Boden. Wesley stars as John Amos, Olivia’s cousin whose revelations change her life forever and Callum Kerr stars as Christopher, a close relative of the Foxworth family whose life will be eternally intertwined with Corrine’s from the moment they set eyes on each other.

Additional talent starring in the four-part miniseries event includes Luke Fetherston, Buck Braithwaite, Jordan Peters, Evelyn Miller, Rawdat Quadri, Emmanuel Ogunjinmi, David Witts, Carla Woodcock and Peter Bramhill.

Flowers in the Attic: The Origin is an A+E Studios production in association with Sutton St. Productions and CBS Studios. Paul Sciarrotta serves as executive producer. Jennie Snyder Urman and Joanna Klein serve as executive producers for Sutton St. Productions and CBS Studios. Zoë Rocha serves as executive producer for RubyRock Pictures, Gary Pearl executive produces for Aquarius Content and Dan Angel executive produces. Declan O’Dwyer also executive produces and directed part one and part two of the miniseries. Robin Sheppard serves as director for parts three and four. Scripts are from executive producer Paul Sciarrotta, as well as Amy Rardin and Conner Good. Flowers in the Attic: The Origin is based on the prequel novel, Garden of Shadows by Andrew Neiderman. The miniseries was made with support of the Romanian Government.

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Irons and Rooper in "Flowers in the Attic: The Origin" on Lifetime

Interview with Catherine Bell and Tom Stevens

TV Interview!

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

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

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

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

QUESTION:  Hi, how are you?

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

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

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

QUESTION:  Thank you.

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

CATHERINE BELL:  Yeah.

QUESTION:  Thank you.

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

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

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

QUESTION:  And that same for you, Tom?

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

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

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

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah.

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

CATHERINE BELL:  Right, exactly.

TOM STEVENS:  Prison pen pals and dogs.

QUESTION:  Thank you.

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

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

CATHERINE BELL:  Tom, you go.

TOM STEVENS:  Oh, you want me to go.

CATHERINE BELL:  Yeah.

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

QUESTION:  You too.

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

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

QUESTION:  Thank you so much, both of you.

CATHERINE BELL:  Thank you.

TOM STEVENS:  Thanks, Jamie.

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

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

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

QUESTION:  You didn’t root for them —

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah.

CATHERINE BELL:  What’s that?

TOM STEVENS:  Were you rooting for them, Catherine?

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

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

QUESTION:  Okay. Thanks.

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

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

CATHERINE BELL:  Hi, Jay.

QUESTION:  Hi, good to see you.

TOM STEVENS:  Hi, Jay.

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

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

QUESTION:  Thanks a lot.

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

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

TOM STEVENS:  I know.

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

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

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

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

QUESTION:  Hello.

CATHERINE BELL:  Hi.

TOM STEVENS:  Hi, hi, hi.

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

TOM STEVENS:  Hm.

CATHERINE BELL:  Hm.

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

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

TOM STEVENS:  That was so much fun.

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

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

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

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

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

TOM STEVENS:  No worries, Cynthia.

CATHERINE BELL:  Thank you, Cynthia.

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

QUESTION:  Hi, can you hear me?

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

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

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

QUESTION:  Thank you.

CATHERINE BELL:  Thank you.

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

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

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

QUESTION:  Well, just in general acting.

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

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

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

QUESTION:  Oh, wow. Thank you.

CATHERINE BELL:  Yeah, thank you.

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

QUESTION:  Hey, how are you guys?

CATHERINE BELL:  Hey, good.

TOM STEVENS:  I’m good.

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

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

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

CATHERINE BELL:  Yeah.

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

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

QUESTION:  Thanks so much.

TOM STEVENS:  Thank you.

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

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

CATHERINE BELL:  Ooh.

TOM STEVENS:  Ooh.

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

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

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

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah.

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

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah.

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

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

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

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

TOM STEVENS:  Yeah.

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

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

QUESTION:  Okay, thanks.

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

MORE INFO:

Official Lifetime Site and Preview

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

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

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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poster for "Jailbreak Lovers"

Interview with Hilda Martin, Lachlan Quarmby, and Rachel Boyd

TV Interview!

Hilda Martin and Lachlan Quarmby star in He's Not Worth Dying For premiering Saturday, June 25 at 8p/7cLachlan Quarmby and Rachel Boyd star in He's Not Worth Dying For premiering Saturday, June 25 at 8p/7c

Interview with Hilda Martin, Lachlan Quarmby, and Rachel Boyd of “He’s Not Worth Dying For” on Lifetime by Suzanne 6/1/22

This was from a press day featuring three “ripped from the headlines” movies airing this summer. It was great to speak with these young actors. I only wish star Robin Givens had been there.

MODERATOR: Hi, everybody. Our next panel for today is the talented cast of “He’s Not Worth Dying For.” Please welcome Hilda Martin, Lachlan Quarmby, and Rachel Boyd. Hi, you guys. Thank you so much for taking the time to be with us today.

LACHLAN QUARMBY: Thank you. Happy to be here.

RACHEL BOYD: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Our first question is from Jamie Ruby.

QUESTION: Hi, guys. Thanks for talking to us. So how familiar were you all with kind of this story and kind you talk a bit about sort of the research that you did into it for all of you?

LACHLAN QUARMBY: Sure.

RACHEL BOYD: Do you want to start?

LACHLAN QUARMBY: You go, you go.

HILDA MARTIN: Well, I didn’t know much but I do have a liking for crime documentaries, so as soon as I got that and was told it was based/inspired by true stories, as a true story, I Googled it right away, but before then I had no knowing of the story.

RACHEL BOYD: Yeah. I think that like for me when I first got the audition script I actually somehow missed the words “based on a true story” when I was reading the description of it, so I had no idea until the callback that I was auditioning for something that was based on a true story, but I think, for me, like, seeing the sides and the character, I really connected to it, because it’s such an experience that a lot of young people on social media, and especially young women can relate to in how we are taught to, like, compete for a man’s exclusive love, and then how that manifests in different ways in the age of social media, and how that has real effects on our self-wroth and the way that we behave as people and change our character.

LACHLAN QUARMBY: Yeah, I hadn’t heard of it at the time. In 2009, I was living in Canberra, Australia, which might as well have been about as far away as you can be. But, yeah, I was the same, as soon as I got the script and heard it was a real story I looked it up and had such like an emotional reaction to just how much of a tragic experience it was and, yeah, it was kind of exciting to get to audient to play something like that.

QUESTION: Great. Thank you so much.

LACHLAN QUARMBY: Thank you.

RACHEL BOYD: thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you. Our next question is from Tamara Rollins.

QUESTION: Hi, guys. Can you hear me?

LACHLAN QUARMBY: Hi.

RACHEL BOYD: Yes.

QUESTION: Hi. So nowadays social media can be used as a tool to destroy lives. Some people tend to separate social media from our actual lives. They deem it as two separate entities. Do you guys feel that social media in our real day-to-day lives are one entity or two separate worlds?

RACHEL BOYD: I would say that I think that social media is real but also fake, because what it is is it’s taking a person and letting them choose what they want to highlight and choose how they want to be perceived in the world, and what you see on social media as much as we often treat it, like that is that person and that is the full representation of them, it’s not a real accurate representation of a person, of a real human being who is full and flawed. So I think that they’re different in that way, but the really unfortunate thing and kind of what we wanted to tackle in the movie is that people blur those lines together, and they treat people like they aren’t really human beings on social media when it really is really us. We’re just kind of creating a highlight reel.

QUESTION: Thank you.

LACHLAN QUARMBY: Yeah. I’ll add to that. I agree. I think that a lot of people out there are probably having this sort of duality in personality versus real life on social media, but it’s not for me to say as to how you should manage it. I personally think that it’s best to just do everything in moderation. You know, if you are going to put something up there that is a version of you that may not be the exact version of yourself then it can be the kind of thing that you’re aspiring to be, or the kind of person that you’re trying to be like, but it’s just managing which is which and just being like honest with yourself. As long as you know what you’re all about and stuff like that then I think it’s manageable.

QUESTION: Thank you.

HILDA MARTIN: I think the same thing. I specifically had a hard time with kind of splitting — with kind of being the same person and having like a reality, being real on social media for the longest, and I don’t see that be a possibility now because you’re still — Like in social media you’re not you. You’re never going to be. You’re going to be torn apart, if you want like an extensive amount of people kind of following you, unless you just want yourself and close friends, but other than that it’s like you have to be someone that society wants on social media. So that’s like totally different, and I could see the same for Isla, who is trying to kind of be this person and this colorful person, this bright person, but on the other side in her real life it’s the total opposite, so totally different.

QUESTION: Thank you.

Robin Givens stars in He's Not Worth Dying For premiering Saturday, June 25 at 8p/7cMODERATOR: Thank you. We also have some pre-submitted questions from journalists who could not be here today. This question is for Hilda. Hilda, you have some pretty intense scenes with Robin Givens who plays your mother in the movie. What was it like working with a veteran actress, and did she give you any advice or were there any fun times together on the set?

HILDA MARTIN: It was great working with Robin. I think like she kind of let me — She didn’t really — You know, working with a veteran and you’re not one yourself, you kind of feel like you’re not good enough, but there’s a lot of moments where she kind of like, A, gave me tips on certain scenes and, B, kind of like applauded me for certain scenes, and kind of like validation, which I like, but there’s quite a few moments that she kind of made me laugh, and one of them was Grace is being a bitch to, like harsh mood to her mom, and as soon as the scene got cut she was like I would have whooped you in real life. I would have whooped you hard. Never do that to me in real life. My kids would never. And another scene was with Jake, Lachlan, and it was a family dinner and like you just never know when stuff happens. She had like this, she had a green bean that she was chewing mid-scene, and it was her turn to talk, and like it wasn’t going down, so like that cut was like the funniest part, because we’re just watching her chew. She’s like (imitates chewing), mm um hm, um hm, one sec, um hm.

(Laughter.)

HILDA MARTIN: And she hadn’t thought of like — She is fun. She’s great to work with. She’s like a mom. She was actually like a mom and, yeah.

MODERATOR: That’s awesome. Thank you, Hilda. Our next question is from Suzanne at TVMEG.COM

QUESTION: Hi, I was wondering if any of you had done any Lifetime movies before and whether you could compare them to other work that you’ve done elsewhere — whether they were slower or faster or what other things you can think of that would be different?

LACHLAN QUARMBY: Yeah, I had a small role on like a Christmas one before. So it was kind of fun to play the differences in tone in terms of like the sort of lighter Christmas one and then the darker reality of like this one. I really enjoyed it, the mixing up, because it is a different way to come about it from an acting point of view in terms of like the tone, the network, and like the genre as well. You got to play with all of those elements, and I have no idea what I’m doing typically, because it’s so early on. So it’s really funny to have like a producer or a director just say, like, “Hey, like this is actually more the way that it is done for this type of film,” and I was always like, “Oh, cool. Great.” That’s awesome to learn and use going forward, yeah.

RACHEL BOYD: Yeah. I also think that, I mean, personally, I hadn’t done anything, any other work with Lifetime before, but I also think it’s so interesting to mention that this was mine, Hilda’s and Lachlan’s, all of our first lead roles in a feature-length film. So that was really, really fun, and it was really great to experience that with the three of us. I think that all of us ending up being our first time really brought a new energy to the set that we really liked where we were just very eager to work and play and have a lot of fun with each other. So I had to mention that.

QUESTION: Great. Hilda.

HILDA MARTIN: It was also my, yeah, my first time as well. What I would interesting, what I like to find out is like what does Lifetime like cast to wear, and like the other show that I’ve done was a different wardrobe and seeing like how characters are kind of like created, developed like look-wise on different platforms like Lifetime, for example. That was cool. But like also the first time in having like a great cast to work with.

RACHEL BOYD: Aw.

HILDA MARTIN: It kind of made it exciting and easier, I think, something you (inaudible @ 00:34:14), so, yeah.

QUESTION: Well, thank you.

HILDA MARTIN: Thanks.

LACHLAN QUARMBY: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you. Our next question is from Mike Hughes.

QUESTION: Yeah. I wasn’t sure if my mute — can you hear me now?

GROUP: Yes. We can hear you.

QUESTION: Okay. Cool. Rachel, actors obviously have to be able to turn it on quickly when the camera is on, but it’s much more so what Isla had to do, because just you’re solo on a camera and (just be big @ 00:34:40) the moment she goes on. So what’s it like to do the scenes where Isla is really over the top and on her own before a camera?

RACHEL BOYD: Yeah. I think that’s something for me that I really did a lot in preparation for the role was learning exactly what that physicality was, because I knew that Isla’s character needed — She needed to be able to walk into a room and command it and hold the power in it just with her body and how she moved around, so that was kind of something I really wanted to focus on. And, yeah, that just came through I think sometimes if she was putting on the performance of like “Influence Isla” then it was a lot for me finding those places in my body where that energy was. Like I think there’s like a scene at the beginning. Hilda and I were talking about it the other day, but it’s like she’s walking into the store, and she’s kind of doing like this crazy like “Clueless” walk, and it’s just I think it gives me that energy from within me instead of me keeping the same body language the entire time. And then I also liked working with the physicality, because it gave me space to also be Isla when she’s not being big and over the top, and she’s just being, you know, a regular girl who’s just lonely and confused, and how does her body change. And then I think having that like drastic difference helps, too, when you saw her being bigger.

QUESTION: Cool. Thanks.

Rachel Boyd stars in He's Not Worth Dying For premiering Saturday, June 25 at 8p/7cRACHEL BOYD: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Our next question’s from Cynthia Horner.

QUESTION: Hello. My question is for all of you. I really enjoyed the film, and I’d like to know what advice would you give to young people that are watching — They’re going to be watching the film, and we all know people who’ve been in similar situations even though the ending may not be the same, but the fact that there are so many situations where people are being cheated on or whatever, so can you each talk about your character and the way those dynamics were so that other people that are watching the film may decide not to make some of those mistakes.

RACHEL BOYD: Yeah. I can start. Are you guys —

LACHLAN QUARMBY: Go for it, Rach.

RACHEL BOYD: Okay. I think, for me, I’ve always, always wanted this to be the message that people take away from the whole movie, and with Isla especially is that there’s no manifestation of love or validation, be it like a boy or followers and likes and comments on Instagram that is ever worth losing yourself for and affecting your own self-worth to please. I think I want people to know that they are one hundred percent significant and one hundred percent enough just in themselves, and that outward validation will always come and go, but that it really is that inner self-worth that you should focus so much of your energies on. Yeah.

QUESTION: Good answer.

HILDA MARTIN: Yeah, I’d go with the same. I think for me it was value. I think we all, like the whole cast, like all three of us wanted to feel valued from social media, from a boy, but relationship-wise, I think that like what I want people to know, because like, again, nearly all of us have gone through it, it’s like not forgetting our worth, not feeling that we need someone else, and that could be a male or a female in a relationship, remembering your worth, and if you’re not receiving that worth it’s, as hard as it is, it’s just like let go, and when they say love is blind they also mean love is also deaf, because a lot of times you’re also told and you can hear the words, and I just hope that they remember how like valuable and like worthy they are, yes.

QUESTION: Okay. Thank you.

LACHLAN QUARMBY: Yeah. I would also just add that I agree with everything the girls said there but, you know, I think it’s in the title, right? It is a cautionary tale. That’s what we’re hoping people will take away is that it’s — and most of it is just not worth it. Even a lot of the stuff that seems really important at the time and seem so like at the forefront of your life, because it’s at your fingertips on that device, on that social media platform, it just seems like it’s so much worth it, but if you just put it down, and you take a step back, then it’s probably not going to be worth all of this pain or bleeding into your real, you know, personal life and causing you anxiety or whatever. And, I mean, for Jake, it’s the whole thing is just he brings all these problems on himself and stuff like that, and he doesn’t really have a support network around him to tell him like, “Hey, like you’re basically you’re being an idiot.” Again, flipping through the script, the first time I read it being like, you know, you’re not supposed to judge a character but idiot, dumb ass, that’s stupid —

RACHEL BOYD: He makes it hard.

LACHLAN QUARMBY: What are you doing? What are you doing, man? Somebody just needs to tell this guy, please, stop, stop doing these things. So I hope that people take away from that, that you need to help yourself but may also people who are close to people witnessing them going through stuff like this that you can also step in and help them with that as well. Yeah.

QUESTION: Fantastic answers. Thank you so much.

RACHEL BOYD: Thanks, Cynthia.

LACHLAN QUARMBY: Thanks.

MODERATOR: Our next question is from Steve Gidlow.

QUESTION: Hey, everyone. Just I’m assuming you’re all on social media. So I was just wondering if being so immersed in the darker side of it, did it change your perception of how you deal with your own social media now?

RACHEL BOYD: something that I really like about the movie is that we’ve all been living in the dark side of social media, all the time. What this movie does though is holds up a mirror to the reality that we’ve been living in and how we reduce people and their self-worth and value to their viral abilities and how we turn real human suffering into its own like entertainment genre on social media, and it’s really horrible, and it’s something that everybody who’s on social media is immersed in one way or another. But what the movie does is it holds up a mirror to the realities of that and how those facets of social media have real-world repercussions on people, and their lives and their feelings.

LACHLAN QUARMBY: I would say that, for me, personally, the changes that I’ve made it’s just made me more conscious and more aware of purpose and point behind posts. Like why am I actually posting this, and I’ve stopped myself a couple times being like is this for me? Is this something that I like? Or is this actually for other people? Is this to get a reaction out of other people? Is this to make people feel a certain way about me and, at those points, I stop. So I’m just trying to be posting more positive stuff. You know, sometimes it’s cheesy, sometimes it’s silly but I’d rather put —

RACHEL BOYD: Sometimes it’s a dance.

LACHLAN QUARMBY: These guys make fun of me all the time but that’s fine. I’d rather post something that’s a bit cheesy and a bit more positive than something that was coming from the wrong place in my heart, I guess. So, yeah, I’m more conscious of that.

QUESTION: Gotcha. And Hilda.

HILDA MARTIN: It just, for me, it validated the change that I made before the movie of like just not giving in to like being that person, like that perfect person on social media and kind of giving in to the dark social media side, but — Because, again, there are — After the movie, obviously, there’s people who are going to be look at our social media and like kind of giving that image of me being perfect is not going to be the message I was kind of like that people — wanted people to take away from the movie itself. So kind of just of I did make a change, and I was kind of proud of that, and just loving myself, posting whatever I love whether it’s like a picture of a flower or just me unedited, hopefully.

QUESTION: Thank so much.

HILDA MARTIN: (Inaudible @ 00:43:25).

QUESTION: Thanks.

HILDA MARTIN: Thanks.

MODERATOR: Thank you. Our next question is from Luaine Lee.

QUESTION: Yes. Part of the danger of social media is rejection by your peers, but acting is involved with total rejection all the time. So I’m wondering how do each of you cope with the rejection that happens to you when you’re trying out for roles?

RACHEL BOYD: That’s a great question. Hilda, do you want to start?

HILDA MARTIN: Sure. Well, I’m pretty new to the industry, so I was researching a lot of like veteran actors and their comments on the whole industry, and the one thing that they mentioned is never take it as — Like always take it with a grain of salt, and so whenever I do an audition I like — like with this one, I — because I did watch the documentary before like right when I was auditioning, so I did see that it was a girl of not my shade, like white, Caucasian, so I knew I wasn’t going to get it. So it’s — I go in just giving my agents what they want without knowing what I’m going to get back, so I think I already implemented that in my head and not getting it doesn’t sting as much as other people — as it would other people but, yeah, I kind of like already ingrained it, “I’m not getting it.” And when I do it’s like cherry on top.

QUESTION: Great. Rachel?

RACHEL BOYD: Yeah. I think, you know, this kind of takes me back because Lochlyn Munro is in the movie as well, and the day that he was on set he was giving all of us young eager actors with big ears like advice about the industry, and something that he said in relation to auditions specifically that really resonated with me was he goes in when he gets sides, and he says, “I want to land the character. I don’t want to land the role.” Like his first priority is land the character and, for me, that really made me feel better, because then it takes the pressure off of it, and it just becomes this thing that I do because I love it, and it’s my craft, and it makes me feel so happy, so getting sides now since speaking with Lochlyn Munro and just seeing it as how do I give this character all of the emotional empathy that I can to claim them and have that be as true and honest to me as possible, and then when I do that, and I can watch it back and feel proud of myself that it — I’m working on that being enough satisfaction for myself and not depending on all of my happiness on like what a third party will think of it, and just kind of focusing on like being proud and celebrating little wins even if they don’t result in a job.

QUESTION: Lachlan?

LACHLAN QUARMBY: Yeah, look, in high school I was rejected by a few women, so I think that actually was good practice to set me — I say a few. It was all of them in high school. So, you know, it’s just you take it, you learn from it. When I submit an audition I just forget about it straightaway. It’s just, it’s gone. You just go in, be yourself, do your best. I was quite similar to Hilda. You know, when I got this and looked up the real person I was like, “Yeah, that is not me at all, so I’m just going to do something and send it, and then just completely forget about it,” and that way you’re not waiting by the phone, you know, and because that’s really when you suffer twice when you wait and you worry and all of that sort of stuff. Sometimes it’s easier said than done. Like I’m not going to lie. Sometimes the rejection does affect you personally, and it can hurt. But it’s all about, I think surrounding yourself with the right people in your personal life, friends and family and stuff, keeping your head on your shoulders like nice and straight and everything, and you just keep going because eventually, you know, good things will happen. It’s meant to be.

RACHEL BOYD: Yeah. And, Lachlan, now look at you. You’re in a movie, you got two girlfriends, so. And they don’t want to reject you. So you’re doing —

LACHLAN QUARMBY: That was the whole —

RACHEL BOYD: It’s like quite full circle for you.

LACHLAN QUARMBY: It’s a perfect opportunity, yeah.

RACHEL BOYD: perfect. A big slap in the face to those girls. Look at him now, (laughs.)

LACHLAN QUARMBY: I’m going to link them. I’m going to send them a link to it, yeah.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you, everyone. That’s our time for today.

RACHEL BOYD: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you to Hilda, Lachlan, and Rachel for being here today, and everyone please tune into “He’s Not Worth Dying For,” Saturday, June 25th at 8/7 Central.

RACHEL BOYD: Yay.

LACHLAN QUARMBY: Thank you.

RACHEL BOYD: Thanks.

MORE INFO:

Poster for "He's Not Worth Dying For" on Lifetime

Inspired by a true events, He’s Not Worth Dying For follows the intertwined real and social media lives of Isla (Rachel Boyd), a 19-year-old girl who has established herself as a beauty and fashion influencer and Grace (Hilda Martin) the expected valedictorian of her class with hopes of a veterinary career. Though both are very different, they unknowingly share one thing in common – Jake (Lachlan Quarmby) – who is dating them both without their knowledge. When Isla and Grace discover that Jake was cheating on them, the girls turn on each other in a jealous rivalry and use their arsenal of social media platforms to badmouth and attack one another. While their followers take sides and pit them against each other, their hatred for one another escalates into a real life fight that ultimately turns deadly. Robin Givens stars as Grace’s mother, Cher, while Lochlyn Munro stars as the District Attorney investigating the case.

He’s Not Worth Dying For is produced by Doomed Productions Inc for Lifetime with Tim Johnson, Orly Adelson, Stacy Mandelberg and Jon Eskenas serving as executive producers. Kevin Fair directs from a script written by Jacqueline Zambrano.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

Back to the Primetime Articles and Interviews Page

Hilda Martin and Robin Givens stars in He's Not Worth Dying For premiering Saturday, June 25 at 8p/7c

Interview with cast of “Suitcase Killer: The Melanie McGuire Story”

TV Interview!

 

 

Lifetime press day panel for "Suitcase Killer: The Melanie McGuire Story"

Interview with actors Candice King, Michael Roark and Jackson Hurst; EP Kim Raver; and Director Nicole L. Thompson of “Suitcase Killer: The Melanie McGuire Story” on Lifetime by Suzanne 6/1/22

This is your typical LIfetime thriller, based on a true story.  Candice King does a great job as the title character. This was from a larger Lifetime press panel. I hope you enjoy it!

 

If you have trouble with the video, watch it here!

MODERATOR: Please join me in welcoming the cast and creatives from “Suitcase Killer: The Melanie McGuire Story.” We have with us today Executive Producer Kim Raver; Director Nicole L. Thompson who makes her directorial debut with this movie; Candice King who plays Melanie McGuire; Michael Roark who plays Melanie’s husband and victim; and, Jackson Hurst who plays the doctor with whom Melanie is having an affair. I’m going to now open the floor to questions. If you would like to ask a question, just a quick reminder at the bottom there’s a reactions button. You can raise your hand, and I will get to as many questions as possible, and we’re just going to get started right now.

QUESTION: Thank you very much. Hi, everyone. Kim, my question is for you. I know you’ve been producing for a while. When you get a project like this do you automatically look for a role for yourself in it, or do you not look for a role in it, or I’m not sure which way that question really cuts, but obviously we know your acting credentials, so it strikes me that perhaps you might have pursued the role of the prosecutor had you wanted it. Can you talk about that a little bit?

KIM RAVER: Sure. Hi, Jay. Thank you for your question. I actually don’t look for a role for myself. I, you know, I love the fact that I can kind of be a creative and my job is on “Grey’s” acting in it. So it’s, I think, you know, my partner, Manuel Boyer, who’s also executive producer on this, we look for things that are story driven and, for sure, I’m looking for really interesting characters. But the way that I can kind of produce is, in a way, if I’m not acting in it. But I still I think my acting drive helps me kind of search out for really interesting characters and really interesting female characters. So I think my first thing is, yes, I would imagine how an actor would want to play it or perceive it, because if it’s something that I find interesting I’m hoping that other actors as talented as this group, you know, is as interested. So I think for me it’s character driven, but it’s more about me not acting in it so that I can kind of do it simultaneously.

QUESTION: Thank you very much.

QUESTION: Thank you. Candice, I’m just curious. Your career has been filled with fantasy roles and that strangeness that comes in those kind of characters, but when you do a project like this do you sometimes think that life is stranger than fiction, than the fictional fantasy worlds?

CANDICE KING: Yes, absolutely. Even in some of the circumstances we found ourselves filming in. I mean, essentially, recreating what is, of course, in real life, a horrific scene of a body being cut up in a bathtub. I oddly felt right at home with a bunch of fake blood and, you know, being thrown at my face and, you know, fake saw sounds. It really brought me back to some “Vampire Diaries” days, so absolutely real life and fantasy can obvious — There’s a lot of parallels, shockingly.

QUESTION: To follow up, Candice, real quickly, what do you do as far as thinking their state-of-mind? Do you think this person I’m playing is a guilty person or somebody that doesn’t understand guilt? What kind of state-of-mind do you get yourself into?

CANDICE KING: Ooh, well, that’s a big question for anyone that was on set with me, because I get very into stories, and especially true life crime stories. So I talked everybody’s ear off about this case. For me, personally, I really just felt that it was my responsibility to tell Melanie’s story, as those were the shoes that I was filling, and this was someone who, by her own account, she is a mother who was scared and as in an abusive relationship, and who was also very dedicated to her job and who was not perfect. She had many, many faults, self-admittedly. So I really felt that kind — listening to her testimony and that she had given to her lawyers, and as well as there’s a great podcast called “Direct Appeal” in which she spoke for hours, there’s hours of recording of her sharing her story and her experiences that I listened to. So that’s more kind of the direction in which — or at least that’s what I was showing up to set with, you know, also while following the script that we have.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Rick. I have an email request that we received for Nicole. Nicole, you’re a first-time director. What was your experience like bringing this shocking story to television?

NICOLE THOMPSON: It was a great experience being able to work with this very talented cast and crew. As a first-time feature director, it was very important to me to make sure that I did the research to give the story justice and make sure that the facts shine through and showing the characters in fullness, right. Candice spoke to how being flawed, but also having a humanity side to it, so just wanting to make sure that the characters were portrayed properly, but also making sure that film had a full story arc all from beginning to end.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Nicole.

QUESTION: Yeah. This is also for Nicole. Interestingly enough, at the last session, we had a Black actress told a story about how she knew she wasn’t getting the role, because the real life person was Caucasian, and she got the role anyway, and so I was wondering, I wanted to ask you are we closer to having real colorblind casting now? Have you sensed any of that at all? And also are we closer to getting rid of that huge gap of there weren’t enough Black people behind the screen, scenes as directors and producers and so on?

NICOLE THOMPSON: Great question. I think Hollywood has definitely began progressing, but I think we still have more to go. I think in terms of your first question with colorblind casting, when I’m looking for cast I’m looking for the best person who can play the role, so I can’t speak for every director or every company, but — and that’s something that’s a priority for me. And I’m happy with the way things are progressing as well as, you know, seeing more people of color in leadership roles behind the camera, so but I would say, back to my first point, we definitely are taking steps further but there’s still more to go, and I’m very thankful to Lifetime who allowed this opportunity, the Broader Focus Initiative is to put more women in opportunities of leadership roles behind the camera, so that’s why I think because of leaders like Lifetime there is a change.

QUESTION: Okay. Cool, thanks.

KIM RAVER: Yeah, I’m going to add into that. I really do feel that Lifetime is like what Nicole was saying. They really are taking the steps to give opportunities to women and to women of color, and in order to make those changes we need to have those positions filled by women and Women of Color, and Lifetime is really doing that, and I think as producers, too, we’re really trying to support that, and we have Lifetime’s support, which is it’s really encouraging, and it’s just the steps and moving in the right direction of where we need to go and then, you know, we’re lucky to have the talent of Nicole to be able to direct a movie like this, and Lifetime giving those opportunities. So, yeah, it’s nice that that’s happening, and it’s happening at Lifetime.

QUESTION: Cool. Thanks.

MODERATOR: Thank you. The next question is an email question for Michael Roark. You play Melanie’s husband in the film, who she subsequently murders. What was the biggest challenge you faced in playing him?

MICHAEL ROARK: Well, initially, you know, obviously, whenever we’re doing a story that’s, you know, we’re doing a real-life story here we’re going where are the resources, what are the facts, and the biggest challenge I faced initially was two things. One was while there was a whole lot of information on Melanie there really wasn’t a whole lot on Bill. I was actually surprised how little could be found on Bill. So, you know, I had to do my work, kind of fill in a lot of those gaps and find my own interpretation. And the other is just the speed at which we move. You know, especially when we’re doing film you never know how much time you have to prepare something, so we moved very quickly on this, so that was a challenge but that’s not atypical for making films.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Michael.

QUESTION: Hi, for Candice, this is such a dark role. How long did you shake off a long day of embodying this character?

CANDICE KING: You know, I’d like to say that really going into — tequila. That’s the straight answer. No. I mean, the reality is that we, you know, as to what Michael was just saying, we shot so much in such a short amount of time, which I mean we were — we all were together for many, many hours within this three-week period, so there wasn’t a lot of time to really shake off the character, which I actually appreciated because, which sounds so silly, I usually don’t say things like that, but I really did get so deeply involved with reading as much as I could about this case and Melanie, because it is such a wild and tragic and fascinating story of so many flawed individuals, and even just the prosecution and the defense attorneys, that could be a whole other film in itself, just those two characters and real-life people. So there wasn’t a lot of shaking everything off, but I was totally happy with that, because I really could not get enough of the story and really convincing myself that I was going to solve it. I was just going to solve every, you know, unanswerable question to this case by obsessing over it for these few weeks.

MODERATOR: Thank you.

QUESTION: Hi, how are you guys?

GROUP: (Hellos.)

QUESTION: So Melanie did gruesome things in order to have the life she wanted. How do you guys feel about her maintaining her innocence even though the evidence proved otherwise? Do you think she was in denial or simply disassociated herself from the crime itself?

MICHAEL ROARK: Ooh, that’s juicy.

Candice King stars in"Suitcase Killer: The Melanie McGuire Story" on LifetimeCANDICE KING: Well, there’s a lot of circumstantial evidence against Melanie, but that’s what I think is so fascinating about this case is that the actual physical evidence specifically to the condo in which her and Bill lived in they couldn’t find anything within that condo, and that’s what I think — Regardless of what you believe on either side of the case, you have to take that into consideration is, you know, they went four or five times. They took piping from the sinks and to test it and found nothing. So regardless of which side you stand on just, you know, the evidence alone it’s just really interesting based off of what the prosecution came to the courts with.

MICHAEL ROARK: I’ll chime in here. This is something we talked about endlessly on set as well. I do agree. There is, you know, if you look at the facts of the case there’s so many other things other than just, you know, the facts that were presented that even the discovery in the trial seemed like it was a bit off, so we’re not even sure the facts that were presented, you know, are all the information that’s there. And now there’s no smoking gun evidence but, at the same time, Melanie had some really behavior that kind of looks like someone who would be guilty. So, I mean, and this is obviously very much just like the minimal amount that we can, you know, just say like, you know — The case goes on and on but, for me, like how did it affect me coming in, it didn’t. I mean, I played Bill the way I would play Bill, and do I think there’s more to it? Do I think she was guilty? I don’t know. I’ve got opinions on it, but I’d like to hear what everyone else has to say.

QUESTION: Thank you.

KIM RAVER: Yeah, I think — Go ahead —

JACKSON HURST: Yeah, I will take it just for (a hair @ 01:04:05), you know, I was kind of torn. I went in thinking she was guilty, guilty, guilty as charged, and then I started listening to the podcast, of course, and I started doing my own research, and then I realized through, yeah, the forensic evidence that was completely lacking. It was circumstantial evidence and it’s crazy. I mean, you could get into the specifics of a few things but I, to this day, am still pretty torn. But, I mean, that’s what makes it such a riveting story, and Lifetime did a good job, Nicole did a good job at not forcing you to choose sides within the movie but just telling the story and then from there the audience can pick a side however they see fit, and then somebody can break Melanie out of jail and everything — everybody would be happy, boom.

QUESTION: Thank you.

KIM RAVER: I think that’s what’s so great about this film. I mean, the talent in it that tells the story, and the directing of it, that it’s this incredible roller coaster of back and forth, and there’s just there’s moments where you’re like, “Oh, my God. She did it.” “Oh, my God. She didn’t do it.” You know, and I think that that — I mean, unfortunately, it’s a real story, but I think that’s what makes a true crime story to watch so appealing is that there is so much back and forth, and it is such a sort of a ride that you go from one side to the other and just makes it a really great true crime story.

NICOLE THOMPSON: Yes, and I would add, you know, throughout the entire time it was pretty hard not to be torn, because it’s seeing both accounts, but also our goal was to kind of keep it in a way that the audience can, in return, make their decision.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you.

QUESTION: Hey, my question’s actually for Candice. Did you have to put your mindset in the fact that she was innocent to get an accurate portrayal of her, because I would imagine if you thought she was guilty, I’m not going to ask you to pick sides here, but I’m just wondering did you go into this thinking, yeah, she has to be innocent for me to accurately portray her?

CANDICE KING: Yeah, I mean, I think what any actor usually says to a question like this is that you have to go in servicing the character. So, of course, even though the character is a real person, you know, I am going in telling her story. Now what everyone’s just also shared is there are two different narratives. You know, there’s her story and there is, you know, the reason why she’s in jail, the fact that others believed the prosecution’s story and what they said happened. So, of course, yes, I showed up playing Melanie McGuire as Melanie McGuire and what she shared was her, you know, she still to this day declares innocence, you know, and she passed a polygraph test. It’s not admissible in court, but it’s there. So that’s absolutely the role that I came to. That’s who I was, whose story I was there sharing also while acting out the script and the story that you guys will all see, because it is, of course, we are sharing an entertainment version of these events. So as everyone has said you’re going to have moments of like did she, did she not, and that’s why we’re all turning on the TV to watch something.

QUESTION: Great. Thanks so much.

KIM RAVER: And I think what Candice does so well in this movie, which is so difficult, is it’s not like a one-dimensional “is she guilty/is she not guilty.” She’s such a human being with so many different layers, and that’s really her specific performance in all of these incredible moments and multilayered moments that it just also makes it — It’s so appealing to watch, because you’re watching this real human being go through and navigate such kind of intricate details of her life, and I think that that’s also what’s so fascinating, and it’s performed so well by you, Candice, and really kind of brings us into her world of how someone gets there whether they’re guilty or not guilty, and so that’s also the beauty of the performance.

CANDICE KING: Thank you.

MODERATOR: And so the next question is for Jackson Hurst. What is tough about playing a bad guy of sorts as the doctor who’s having an affair with Melanie McGuire?

JACKSON HURST: Bad guy?

KIM RAVER: I was like bad, (laughs.)

JACKSON HURST: This is news to me. This is the first I’m hearing this.

(Laughter.)

JACKSON HURST: You know what, it’s you don’t look at yourself as a bad guy. In my case, I looked at myself as an endocrinologist who’s in love with a woman, and that’s essentially it, and everything revolves around love, you know, and then at the end of the day did she kill somebody and stuff him in a suitcase, maybe. Do I still love her? Yeah, you know, and at the end of the day, it’s we go to court. I’m sure you guys have all seen the story, but it’s tough to justify all of your actions, but in this case, I loved her, and that’s pretty much it.

MODERATOR: Thank you so much.

QUESTION: I’m here. Yes, I really enjoyed the film, and I’m looking forward to watching it again once it actually comes on TV on June 18th. Can you all talk about any behind-the-scenes moment that was interesting that we wouldn’t have known about since we were not there on set with you?

CANDICE KING: I mean, I think that what was really interesting was how many times we’d find ourselves filming a scene and, all of a sudden, everyone would just stop for a minute and ran — like different people in the crew would go, “I don’t know if she did it. I don’t know if she did — “ because we, and then we’d find ourselves in another scene where they’d go, “No, no, no, no, no, this seems like she did it,” and just it was interesting to be acting out these two different, very different accounts that were presented in court, and I think the two ones — which, Nicole, you can expand on — but the two ones that stick out to me were, one, how much fake blood was in that bathroom and even if you were to drain a body of blood there would still be — You know, if you’ve ever been in a surgical room, my dad’s a doctor, so I’ve been lucky enough to witness a surgery, and it’s messy. You know, it’s not — it’s clean but it’s still very hard to keep it perfectly clean, but they’re going to have blood on the walls, and then the second thing would be throwing suitcases over the bridge, because we actually did that, and they were very difficult, and less than what Melanie would have been pushing over the bridge.

NICOLE THOMPSON: Yes, I can’t chime in with that. Uh, Candice did an amazing job at just demonstrating lifting those suitcases and how much they would have actually weighed in real life, and like it’s like this is actually really difficult to do so just experiencing that, to have it come to life, it was definitely a testament to, you know, what some might say how could this happen or how could it not happen, but I would just say that whether you agree or disagree those moments were definitely some things that we can keep with us as we think about the journey of making this film.

MODERATOR: Thank you. I think we have time for one more question.

QUESTION: Yeah. I wanted to ask you, Candice, the year on “Vampire Diaries,” what do you think you learned from that experience that you could apply to this one?

CANDICE KING: Shaving cream gets out fake blood when it (stains to your skin @ 01:12:46).

KIM RAVER: And tequila at night. No, I’m just kidding.

CANDICE KING: And tequila at night, yes. Those are both two very important facts. I mean, I think what I would apply — We had very long hours. We had a lot of nights on that show. We were 22 to 24 episodes a season, so I think making a lot happen in a short amount of time but, obviously, my time on “Vampire” was very special. You know, it immediately kind of bonds you when you are working those kind of hours together. So I think that that’s also something that could be applied to this experience. We’re all coming in. We were all — You know, the story really did take a hold of all of us at different points throughout the experience. It’s impossible for it not to, and so just to immediately all be showing up to make the best story that we could together is something that I was delighted to be able to experience with a new group of individuals in such a short amount of time.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you. Well, that concludes today’s Virtual Press Day. Just a quick reminder that “Suitcase Killer: The Melanie McGuire Story” premieres on Saturday, June 18th at 8/7 Central. A special thank you to the cast and creatives from “Suitcase Killer” and all the panelists that joined us today. Thank you, everyone. As a quick reminder, transcripts and recordings will be available beginning tomorrow. If we didn’t get to your question please feel free to email us at LifetimePR@aenetworks.com, and please be sure to tune into all of our incredible movies all season long, and follow us on social at @LifetimeTV and @LifetimeTVPR. Have a great week and thank you so much.

MORE INFO:

Trailer

poster for "Suitcase Killer: The Melanie McGuire Story"

Based on a shocking true story, Melanie McGuire (Candice King) was an exceptional fertility nurse, married to her ex-Navy husband Bill (Michael Roark) and doting mother of two boys. When she falls for Brad (Jackson Hurst), a doctor at her clinic, and gets entangled in a steamy love affair, Melanie does the unthinkable. After drugging and murdering Bill, she dismembers him and places the body parts into three suitcases, throwing them into Chesapeake Bay. But when the suitcases are found on the shores of Virginia Beach, an investigation is launched leading to Melanie as the prime suspect. Led by the efforts of assistant attorney general Patti Prezioso (Wendie Malick), authorities eventually bring Melanie to justice, who despite being convicted, continues to maintain her innocence.

Suitcase Killer: The Melanie McGuire Story is produced by Swirl Films and Big Dreams
Entertainment. Executive producers are Manu Boyer and Kim Raver. As part of the Broader Focus initiative, Nicole L.Thompson makes her directorial debut from a script by Peter O’Brien.

Candice King, star of "Suitcase Killer: The Melanie McGuire Story" on Lifetime.Candice René King is an American actress and singer. She is best known for her role as Caroline Forbes in The CW supernatural drama series The Vampire Diaries and her recurring role as the same character on the spin-off series The Originals and Legacies.

 

 

Michael RoarkMichael Roark was born in Schaumburg, Illinois, USA as Michael Sean Roark. He is an actor, producer and a licensed attorney, known for his roles as Marshall Bennett in Bennett’s War (2019), Kyle Johnson in Beauty and the Beast (2012), Travis Crawford in The Young and the Restless (1973) and Colton Donavan in Driven (2018). He has starred in several television series including Sleepy Hollow (2013), Finding Carter (2014), Banshee (2013) and Grey’s Anatomy (2005).

 

Jackson HurstJackson Ryan Hurst is an American actor. He is best known for portraying Grayson Kent on the Lifetime comedy series Drop Dead Diva.

 

 

 

Kim RaverKimberly Jayne Raver is an American actress and producer. She is best known for television roles as Dr. Teddy Altman on ABC’s medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, Kim Zambrano on Third Watch, and Audrey Raines on 24.

 

 

Nicole L. ThompsonNicole L. Thompson is a filmmaker born and raised in Newark, New Jersey. Nicole L. Thompson is the Director of Lifetime Network’s film Suitcase Killer: The Melanie McGuire Story. Nicole is also the Producer for Nickelodeon’s Noggin animated children’s show Rhymes Through Times featuring Nick Jr. characters. Nicole graduated from USC with a MFA in Film & TV Production. Recently, Nicole served as the 2nd Unit Director of Lifetime Television Network Original Film Envy.

 

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Candice King stars in"Suitcase Killer: The Melanie McGuire Story"

Interview with Nathan Witte

TV Interview!

Nathan Witte of "Greed" on Lifetime

Interview with Nathan Witte of “Greed” on Lifetime by Suzanne 3/23/22

This press day with Lifetime stars was great fun. The actors chatted a lot with us about this season’s Seven Deadly Sins movie series. Since these movies are about the seven deadly sins, there is a religious element in each of them. In this one, Zuri (Monique Coleman) is a preacher’s daughter, and we see a bit of that influence from her parents, and there are some scenes with preaching.

With these press calls, we basically get one question. I had interviewed Monique before, so I chose to speak with Nathan Witte because he’s been on several shows I like, such as “Arrow” and “Superman and Lois.” I put my questions first, but you can see the others below that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MORE INFO:

LIFETIME GREENLIGHTS NEXT TWO MOVIES FROM THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS ANTHOLOGY WITH WRATH STARRING MICHELLE WILLIAMSTINA KNOWLES-LAWSON, ROMEO MILLER AND ANTONIO CUPO

AND GREED STARRING MONIQUE COLEMAN, LISARAYE MCCOY, ERIC BENÉT AND NATHAN WITTE

FROM EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS T.D. JAKESDERRICK WILLIAMS AND SHAUN ROBINSON FILMS WILL DEBUT ON BACK-TO-BACK SATURDAYS STARTING APRIL 16

Los Angeles, CA – February 17, 2022 – On the heels of last year’s popular Lust and Envy movies seen by over 9.4 million viewers in their airings, Lifetime announces the next two Seven Deadly Sins Anthology movie installments, Wrath and Greed, from executive producers T.D. Jakes, Derrick Williams and Shaun Robinson. Based on the series of books by Victoria Christopher Murray, Wrath: A Seven Deadly Sins Story stars Michelle Williams (Destiny’s Child), Tina Knowles-Lawson (Profiled: The Black Man), Romeo Miller (Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection) and Antonio Cupo (Blood & Treasure) while Greed: A Seven Deadly Sins Story is headlined by Monique Coleman (A Christmas Dance Reunion), LisaRaye McCoy (A House Divided), Eric Benét (Real Husbands of Hollywood) and Nathan Witte (Merry Liddle Christmas Baby).
Below are the movie descriptions and premiere dates.
GREED: A SEVEN DEADLY SINS STORY
Saturday, April 23 at 8/7c
Interior decorator Zuri Maxwell (Monique Coleman) had it all – a career she adored, loving family and friends,
and a good man in her life, artist Stephon Gardner (Nathan Witte). But greed threatens to destroy everything,
when Zuri meets handsome benefactor and entrepreneur Godfrey Anderson (Eric Benét) and his fabulously
wealthy aunt Miss Viv (LisaRaye McCoy). They have everything Zuri thinks she wants. As Godfrey
romances her, she compromises the values and morals that should guide her in an effort to be part of the
moneyed world she so desperately wants to be part of.
Wrath: A Seven Deadly Sins Story and Greed: A Seven Deadly Sins Story are produced by Wrath
Productions Inc and Greed Productions Inc respectively in association with T.D. Jakes Enterprises and
RobinHood Productions. T.D. Jakes, Derrick Williams, and Shaun Robinson serve as executive
producers. Wrath and Greed are directed by Troy Scott from scripts written by Richard Blaney and Gregory
Small (Wrath) and Wuese Houston-Jibo (Greed).

ABOUT LIFETIME

Celebrating 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 and breakout non-fiction series and documentaries. 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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"Greed" poster

Interview with Michelle Williams, Romeo Miller and Anthony Cupo

TV Interview!

poster for "Wrath" on Lifetime 4/16

Interview with Michelle Williams, Romeo Miller and Anthony Cupo of “Wrath” on Lifetime by Suzanne 3/23/22

This was a fun press conference that Lifetime held for this season’s Seven Deadly Sins movie series. The first one is “Wrath,” airing tonight, and then next week is “Greed” on April 23. The plot for this one is mostly like a standard Lifetime movie where the main character, Chastity (played by singer/actress Michelle Williams) meets a new handsome guy, Xavier (Anthony Cupo), and he turns out to be someone that you don’t want to date (no spoilers here!).  There is an added religious element that you may or may not like. It’s not as religious as “Greed,” though. You might recall that Williams was one third of the hit R&B group Destiny’s Child, along with Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland.  Beyoncé’s mom, Tina Knowles-Lawson, plays Sarah, Chastity’s mom, so that’s pretty cool.  Rap star Romeo Miller plays Roger, Chastity’s former high school boyfriend. You may recognize Cupo from his acting career as he’s been in many things. He’s really the best actor in the group. It was great to speak with all of the main stars of the movie! Here is the video of my question, and we hope to have a transcript soon of the entire press chat. Don’t miss the movie tonight!

MORE INFO:

Trailer

LIFETIME GREENLIGHTS NEXT TWO MOVIES 

FROM THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS ANTHOLOGY WITH 

 

WRATH STARRING 

MICHELLE WILLIAMSTINA KNOWLES-LAWSON,

ROMEO MILLER AND ANTONIO CUPO


AND 
GREED STARRING MONIQUE COLEMAN, LISARAYE MCCOY,

ERIC BENÉT AND NATHAN WITTE

 

FROM EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS T.D. JAKES

DERRICK WILLIAMS AND SHAUN ROBINSON


FILMS WILL DEBUT ON BACK-TO-BACK SATURDAYS

STARTING APRIL 16

Los Angeles, CA – February 17, 2022 – On the heels of last year’s popular Lust and Envy movies seen by over 9.4 million viewers in their airings, Lifetime announces the next two Seven Deadly Sins Anthology movie installments, Wrath and Greed, from executive producers T.D. Jakes, Derrick Williams and Shaun Robinson. Based on the series of books by Victoria Christopher Murray, Wrath: A Seven Deadly Sins Story stars Michelle Williams (Destiny’s Child), Tina Knowles-Lawson (Profiled: The Black Man), Romeo Miller (Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection) and Antonio Cupo (Blood & Treasure) while Greed: A Seven Deadly Sins Story is headlined by Monique Coleman (A Christmas Dance Reunion), LisaRaye McCoy (A House Divided), Eric Benét (Real Husbands of Hollywood) and Nathan Witte (Merry Liddle Christmas Baby).
Below are the movie descriptions and premiere dates.
(L to R): Wrath stars Romeo Miller, Michelle Williams, Peter Bryant and Tina Knowles-Lawson.

WRATH: A SEVEN DEADLY SINS STORY

Saturday, April 16 at 8/7c

After single lawyer Chastity Jeffries (Michelle Williams) meets Xavier Collins (Antonio Cupo), he seems to be everything she is looking for in a partner—handsome, smart and a lawyer as well.  As his affection turns to obsession, Chastity realizes that she has been swept up by Xavier’s passion and abandoned her principles. When Xavier’s jealousy and wrath lead to suspicious actions and dangerous threats, Chastity confides in her mother Sarah (Tina Knowles-Lawson) and turns to her former childhood boyfriend Roger Thompkins (Romeo Miller). But in the end, it is Chastity that will have to fight to save herself.

ABOUT LIFETIME

Celebrating 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 and breakout non-fiction series and documentaries. 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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Michelle Williams and Romeo Miller in "Wrath" on Lifetime

Interview with Lisa Berry

TV Interview!

Lisa Berry, Rainbow Sun Francks, Henderson Wade and Humberly González of "Fallen Angels Murder Club" movies on Lifetime.

Interview with Lisa Berry, Rainbow Sun Francks, Henderson Wade and Humberly González of “Fallen Angels Murder Club” movies on Lifetime by Suzanne 3/22/22

It was great to have a Zoom press call with these actors. “Fallen Angels Murder Club: Friends to Die For” airs Saturday, 4/2 and “Fallen Angels Murder Club: Heroes and Felons” airs next Saturday, 4/9.  The movies star singer/actress Toni Braxton, who was not in attendance.  Eddie Cibrian also stars in the first movie (SPOILER: I believe he’s the murder victim). I really wanted to ask Rainbow a question, but unfortunately, he arrived late and had to leave early. It was kind of amusing because when the conference started, he was on the subway, which we could see from his video.  Then he was in his apartment for awhile, and then he was gone again!  The main reason I wanted to speak with him because he was so great in “Stargate: Atlantis.” However, I was even happier to speak with Lisa Berry, who is the second lead in the series, and the others. She starred as Billie in “Supernatural,” so it was really great to interview her. I hope you can enjoy both movies, which are murder mysteries. More details about them below.

Here’s our interview with Lisa! We’ll have more videos soon as well as the transcript…

MORE INFO:

Lifetime’s Site for the movies

"Fallen Angels Murder Club" posterAbout Fallen Angels Murder Club: Friends to Die For

Premieres Saturday, April 2 at 8/7 C

In the first installment, the members of the Fallen Angels Murder Club must have two things in common – a love for books and have a criminal record. Hollis Morgan (Braxton) meets both requirements. Left holding the bag in an insurance fraud scheme concocted by her ex-husband, Hollis served her time and now hopes the court will pardon her conviction so she can fulfill her dream of becoming a lawyer. But when a member of her book club is murdered in a scene straight out of the previous night’s novel, Hollis becomes the subject of police scrutiny. Refusing to get stuck "Fallen Angels Murder Club" castwith another bad rap, Hollis sets out to investigate her fellow club members and after a second book-inspired murder, she races to identify the killer before she becomes the next victim. Also stars Eddie Cibrian (Northern Lights, CSI Miami).

 

 

 

 

Trailer:

About Fallen Angels Murder Club: Heroes and Felons

Premieres Saturday, April 9 at 8/7 C

In the second movie, the members of the Fallen Angels Murder Club must band together again as they search for answers surrounding the death of one of their own. Hollis finds herself at the center of the investigation when a journalist reporting on the murder also winds up dead. As bodies begin to stack up, and Hollis connects "Fallen Angels Murder Club" castthe dots, she must solve the murders before its too late. Kelly Hu also stars. (List of a Lifetime, Scorpion King).

Additional ‘angels’ for the anthology include Lisa Berry (Working Moms, Supernatural) as “Abby Caldwell,” Yanic Truesdale (Gilmore Girls) as “Gene Donovan,” Humberly González (Ginny & Georgia) as “Rena Gabriel,” Rainbow Sun Francks (Umbrella Academy) as “Miller Thornton” and Raoul Bhaneja (Blind Spot, Clarice, The Lost Symbol) as “Rory Sharma.”

Henderson Wade (Dear White People, Riverdale), Kaitlyn Leeb (Spinning Out), Rob Stewart (Killjoys, Suits, Nikita), Keith D. Robinson (Dreamgirls, Saints & Sinners) and Shawn Ahmed also star. The Fallen Angels Murder Club films are produced for Lifetime by Brain Power Studio and executive produced by Beth Stevenson, Nancy Yeaman, Toni Braxton and Rhonda Baraka. The films fall in line with Lifetime.

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Lisa Berry, Rainbow Sun Francks, Henderson Wade and Humberly González of "Fallen Angels Murder Club" movies on Lifetime.

Interview with Ben Savage, Lindsay Navarro, Erica Durance and Abby Hernandez

TV Interview!

Panel for "The Girl in the Shed"

Interview with actors Ben Savage, Lindsay Navarro, Erica Durance and EP Abby Hernandez of “Girl in the Shed: the Kidnapping of Abby Hernandez” on Lifetime by Suzanne 1/10/22

This was a very weird movie to watch. It was very creepy. Everyone did a good job in it. It was odd having the actual victim in the movie there in the panel, though. I think that was a first for me. It was wonderful to speak to Erica Durance because she was so great in this film as well as in “Smallville,” “Saving Hope” and “Supergirl.” Ben did an amazing job. If you’ve seen him in comedies before, this movie will really surprise you.

MODERATOR: Hi, everyone. Please welcome Executive Producer Abby Hernandez and stars Ben Savage, Lindsay Navarro and Erica Durance of “Girl in the Shed: the Kidnapping of Abby Hernandez.” Thank you all for being here today.

LINDSAY NAVARRO: (Waves.) Hi.

BEN SAVAGE: Hi.

ABBY HERNANDEZ: Hello.

MODERATOR: Thank you. Our first question is from Right on Digital.

QUESTION: Hi. Am I muted?

MODERATOR: You’re good.

QUESTION: Hi. This question is for anyone who would like to answer it. Tell us a behind-the-scenes story about something that took place on set.

LINDSAY NAVARRO: Behind the scenes, hmm. Erica, Ben, you got anything? There’s so much that happened.

QUESTION: You can tell us a fun fact.

LINDSAY NAVARRO: I’ve got one. I’ve got one. Okay. So, there was a scene where Abby and Kibby are outside. It’s their first time being — it’s Abby’s first time being outside in I believe six months. And there’s a scene where she has this moment, a beautiful moment with a horse. But in reality, this horse was not having it. He did not want to be there. So there’s a couple scenes that where you see this beautiful, majestic horse and then there’s another one where you see a close-up of my face. The horse is not there because the horse has taken off. It like completely jetted. It was quite funny and all of us were a little bit scared because he was running across the field. Yeah, it was a great time.

ABBY HERNANDEZ: That’s hilarious.

LINDSAY NAVARRO: Yeah.

ERICA DURANCE: Not to do any spoilers, but remember when we, Lindsay, we had to walk in the field and we had to be looking straight up and it had to be very graceful.

LINDSAY NAVARRO: Oh yeah.

ERICA DURANCE: We kept trying to avoid all the — I don’t know there was a bunch of cow pies and all sorts of stuff. And so you’re trying to have this like ethereal really beautiful moment and we’re trying to spot check each other somehow by not looking down.

LINDSAY NAVARRO: Yeah, fun times.

MODERATOR: Thank you. Abby, did you have a chance to speak with the cast before they shot the film?

ABBY HERNANDEZ: Yes. Pretty much everybody, all the main characters, everybody that’s here.

MODERATOR: Awesome, thank you. Noah Wilson, you’re up next.

QUESTION: Hello, everyone. By the way, Erica, great to see you again.

ERICA DURANCE: Oh hi, Noah. I don’t see you, but I hear you and I know your voice.

QUESTION: Yes. Well, it’s so great to be with you guys. First off, Abby, I do want to ask you, you know, being executive producer, but also this being your story, how was it like to relive this, something that happened thank you personally, but it come to life in a movie on Lifetime based on a true story?

ABBY HERNANDEZ: Obviously, it’s a weird experience to have this happen in the first place. And then to have it made into a movie is obviously like an even weirder experience. But ultimately, I did find it healing in a weird way just to have it out there.

QUESTION (from Noah): Lindsay, you know, this is a film based on the real-life kidnapping of, you know, Abby. You know, 14 years old. Learning her full story, what was it like for you to personally portray Abby on the screen and act out some of the scenes of what actually went on in her, you know, real life?

LINDSAY NAVARRO: Yeah, wow. There was such a responsibility that came with that. It being a true story, knowing that Abby was a part of the project. That was one of the reasons why I wanted to do it as well knowing that Abby was on board. So it was challenging in that way. And but it all made it easier knowing that I could get in touch with Abby and we could talk things through. So for that I will be so — I will be forever grateful having her there, accessible on What’s App getting to video chat with her. But yeah, it made it heavier and it was challenging to walk through those scenes knowing that she had experienced this. And there was that weight that came with it.

QUESTION (from Noah): You know, Erica, last question goes to you, my friend. What will viewers learn from watching this movie look forward based on Abby’s real-life story?

ERICA DURANCE: Oh, I don’t know if that should be — thank you for giving that to me. I think that’s more of an Abby question. I suppose I can only share part of what I learned playing the part of Zenya in it and in speaking with her. Is the absurdity, the cruelty of life, the beauty that can come out of things that are awful and with Zenya, I found that she was just so incredibly powerful and strong and but yeah, I was kind of awe struck in dealing with her and talking to her. So originally when I was going to do this, she talked to me through her whole experience and it was incredibly generous of her. It was a three-hour phone call. But yeah, I don’t quite know how to answer that succinctly which is why I’m bumbling about. But it’s the human spirit and what we are capable of doing or what we are capable of doing to each other, how we are capable of finding our way around it in some way. But I do feel like I’m kind of — I’m the actor playing it. It wasn’t my story in that sense. I think it will be really awe-inspiring for a lot of people.

QUESTION (from Noah): Absolutely. Thank you guys so much. I appreciate it. Great to see you again, Erica.

ERICA DURANCE: You too.

LINDSAY NAVARRO: Thank you, Noah.

QUESTION: Bye guys, thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you. Jay Bobbin?

QUESTION: Thank you very much. Erica, actually my question is also for you. It puts a different twist on what was just asked. The mother role on all these projects…

ERICA DURANCE: I hope I do better this time. Anybody else can kind of chime in as I bumble about.

QUESTION: I’m sure you’ll do fine. The mother role on these projects. It’s interesting because depending on how it’s cast, whose playing it, how much they’re given attention in the script, we’ve seen Jenny Garth do it and she did it to a great extent in the one that she was in. Joely Fisher did one and she had maybe a few scenes here and there. It was largely, “Where’s my daughter? What happened to my daughter?, etc.” With you, as you approach this, how did you approach the mother role? Because you want to make your mark, but even as you said, it’s really the daughter’s story. How did you go about portraying the mother to make your mark in the film based on what you’d read in the script?

Erica Durance and Lindsay NavarroERICA DURANCE: Well, the first thing that I did was talk to Zenya. And I think that’s very important when you know you’re doing a true story so you’re portraying somebody else. You have to get inside as much as they’ll allow you access, to their process and what it was like. And so because she was so incredibly generous as I said in really walking me through the scenario and like Lindsay had mentioned there was a couple of moments on the set where I was going to do a scene that was specific and to something that kind of had happened to her. And I just had a last minute need to call her and go, “What was it you did when this happened?” And she was just right there. And just so helpful. So that gave me a blueprint of how she would have done it. And then at the end of the day, you have to take the situation that you’re dealing with and process it in the way that you would just naturally, if you can be natural, but how you would respond to those given situations as truthfully as you can. And for myself, it was tricky because I have little kids. And so I knew that there was going to be a point where I would probably step into a zone which was difficult to come back to and figure out how to separate myself from it. But you kind of have to dive into it. And so for myself then because it was such an intense, every day was intense and they shot my stuff all very sequentially so I had, you know, five days and it was all the scenes. And it was all of it all at once in that way. I just kind of locked myself in my green room and listened to music constantly and then just tried to give it my best. And I depended a lot on Jess Harmon who was our wonderful director to help guide me through those different nuances and what she believed was truthful and maybe not as truthful or kept me on point with the story as close as I could be.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you so much. Ben and Lindsay, most of your scenes are together. What was it like working together for this project and how did you tap into these characters? Of course after speaking with Abby and crafting the relationship?

LINDSAY NAVARRO: Ben, you go for it. You go for it.

BEN SAVAGE: I think that it’s such a difficult subject and it’s such a complicated story that I think Lindsay and I both wanted to be very careful about how we approached the subject and how we approached the relationship. And I think when we first got started, I think Lindsay and I were both a little apprehensive about making sure that we did this properly. But I think we gelled together as well as we could. I mean Lindsay is a total pro. And we had a wonderful crew, a wonderful cast, a terrific director with Jess Harmon. And I think we worked together as well as we could. It’s a tough subject and I think everyone wanted to be very sensitive to everything we were going through. But yeah, it was an interesting journey.

LINDSAY NAVARRO: Yeah. We gave each other space when we needed to have space when there was a difficult scene coming up that we needed to film where it was perhaps more emotional or more physically demanding. We would give each other that needed space. And then there were other times where Ben and I would check in with one another make sure we were doing okay. I really appreciated that from Ben actually that he would come over and just ensure that I was comfortable, I was content. And truly, I mean you said it, right Ben? We had an amazing cast, amazing crew that made everything feel very safe and easy to drop into. But it was a challenge.

MODERATOR: Thank you both so much. Rick Bentley?

QUESTION: Hi. Thanks for coming. Abby, I can’t even pretend to wrap my head around the hell on earth you went through with this. I’m just wondering where you found the strength and the courage to face it again through this production? And ultimately, what do you want to come out of this?

ABBY HERNANDEZ: Ultimately, I guess I’ll answer the last question first. What I want to come out of this is awareness I guess. I think that a lot of teenagers, since, you know, the age of social media and socialness is such an important thing. I think everybody, or not everybody but a lot of people have that a voice in the back of their head. You know, if I disappeared it wouldn’t matter. And I learned that yeah, it does matter. It affects a lot of people and it will forever. And then I guess, you know, the first question, how did I must the courage to, you know, sign off to do this movie. You know, it’s nothing new to me. It’s something — it’s in here constantly. Has been in there since 2013. I’m almost kind of numb to it, you know what I mean? And I feel like the world has progressed since then. You know, when at first I did not want to give Kibby up. I was really, you know, under tight pressure. And that’s when I gave up and I said I know the name of the person. But we’re in a day and age now where I think, you know, it’s encouraged to be honest about what’s going on. I don’t feel as scared anymore.

QUESTION (from Rick): And Abby, if I can follow-up real quickly, have you seen the final film?

ABBY HERNANDEZ: Yes.

QUESTION: Was it a tough watch?

ABBY HERNANDEZ: Yeah.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you so much. Thank you, Abby. Abbie Bernstein?

QUESTION: Hi. Thank you all for doing this. For Ms. Hernandez, can you talk about changes made between reality and the film either for time or dramatic clarity or things that they felt would help people understand the story better that maybe happened differently?

ABBY HERNANDEZ: Sure. I think the ultimate thing that, you know, trust in the movie seemed to be kind of linear. At first it was nothing and then it grew. I think in real life, Kibby was almost in sort of a way — I don’t know want to say manic, but he would trust me and then no trust. Trust me and then no trust. So marijuana cleaning was one of the very first things that happened in October. In the movie it was portrayed afterwards once he had really gained my trust. So I think that’s basically what it was. And ultimately that’s kind of true. I mean he didn’t trust me at first really at all to see his face or know his name. But later on, he did. I think that’s a good way of portraying it.

QUESTION: So his psychological ping-ponging was made more streamlined for the film.

ABBY HERNANDEZ: Yes, exactly.

QUESTION: And were there any things about you that you thought, oh I wouldn’t have done it like that or gee, I wish I had done it like that?

ABBY HERNANDEZ: Lindsay was more classy than me. (Laughs.) Gosh. I don’t know. I mean I really don’t know.

QUESTION: Well, thank you very much.

ABBY HERNANDEZ: Yeah.

MODERATOR: Thank you. Suzanne Lanoue?

QUESTION: Hi. Can you hear me okay?

BEN SAVAGE: Yeah.

QUESTION: Okay, good. Ben, you usually play the good guy. Have you ever played this kind of psycho role before? And was it challenging?

BEN SAVAGE: It was certainly a change of pace for me. But again, I just, as everyone said here, I think it was such an important story to tell. And I was just happy to be a part of the storytelling in the film. And yeah, certainly a departure, but you know, it was a very interesting role to play.

QUESTION: I’ll bet. And Erica, were you familiar with everyone that worked on the show before? Had you worked with any of them previously?

ERICA DURANCE: I knew Jess Harmon through her family. So I kind of knew of her, but I hadn’t met anyone else. I was of course familiar with Lindsay and Ben. And Abby somewhat through the news, right? But otherwise, it was all — yeah it was kind of the first day meeting everybody.

LINDSAY NAVARRO: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Great. Thank you so much guys.

BEN SAVAGE: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you. We have time for one more with the Hollywood Times.

QUESTION: Hi. Could you talk about this film, how it’s relevant to the others that are in Lifetime’s girls’ initiative? And also what can — maybe talk about what can young women learn from watching the film?

MODERATOR: The first question I just want to jump in for a second. The first question is more of a question that we are happy to get you an answer to on the press side. But the cast can answer the second one.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you.

ERICA DURANCE: Sorry. Can you repeat the second one again?

QUESTION: Yeah, what can young women learn from watching this film?

ABBY HERNANDEZ: Keep your cool.

LINDSAY NAVARRO: Sorry, Abby. Go ahead.

ABBY HERNANDEZ: Oh I just said to keep your cool which is easier said than done especially as I’ve gotten older, but yeah.

ERICA DURANCE: Abby, one of the things that your mother said to me and you mentioned and in some of the earlier conversations we had which still shocks me to this day is your ability to — where you kept your cool in a way, the way your mother described it was to somehow find a way of seeing the humanity in the person that was treating you so cruelly.

ABBY HERNANDEZ: Mm-hmm.

ERICA DURANCE: And use that as a survival technique. And that still to this day is just shocking to me that you were able to somehow see that and find a way to make a connection with this person who was doing these things.

LINDSAY NAVARRO: Mm-hmm.

ERICA DURANCE: And spoke to such a huge amount of power and strength and I believe the young gals and whoever’s watching this, men or women, I think that that will be something that resonates a lot.

BEN SAVAGE: If I could just add, jump on that. I would just say I certainly can’t speak about what women can take away, but I think a larger message of course that I certainly took away from it was just strength and strength of character. And I think everyone associated with this film was so impressed with Abby and her story. And I do think there are some lessons to be learned here. But again, I’m just glad that we were all able to come together and tell this wonderful story as best the way we could. And Lindsay, I think you should jump in, too.

LINDSAY NAVARRO: Yeah, yeah. I was just going to add on as well, the tremendous courage that Abby had and continues to have in being so passionate about sharing this story as well. It’s truly remarkable. And I’m with you, Ben. I think it’s — for a larger audience, I think a lot of people are going to be inspired and will continue to be inspired by Abby’s story. And the crew, yeah the crew valued it so much as well. Everyone was so careful about telling the story as truthfully as we could and with such passion into telling it. So I think people can take away this hope, the power of prayer, the power of faith and the power of not giving up.

QUESTION: Wonderful, thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you so much. Thank you to the cast and to Abby. You were all fantastic in this film. Please make sure to tune in to “Girl in the Shed: The Kidnapping of Abby Hernandez” on February 26th at 8, 7 Central. Thank you all so much for being here today.

MORE INFO:

“Girl in the Shed: the Kidnapping of Abby Hernandez.” posterGirl in the Shed: The Kidnapping of Abby Hernandez is the true story of 14-year-old freshman Abby Hernandez (Lindsay Navarro) who vanished while walking home from school in North Conway, New Hampshire.  Kicking off the state’s largest search, Abby’s disappearance left her family, especially her mother Zenya (Erica Durance), investigators and the community mystified of her whereabouts. Taken by Nathaniel Kibby (Ben Savage), Abby was kept is a soundproof container and forced to wear a shock collar while enduring psychological, sexual and emotional abuse. Despite suffering daily torture, Abby kept hope alive that she would one day be able to see her family again.

Girl in the Shed: The Kidnapping of Abby Hernandez is produced by Sprott Productions Inc in association with Johnson Production Group and executive produced by Abigail Hernandez, Stacy Mandelberg and Michael Vickerman who also wrote the script. Jessica Harmon directed.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Ben Savage and Lindsay Navarro

Interview with Garcelle Beauvais, Alison Thornton, Malia Baker, and Emma Tremblay

TV Interview!

Lifetime panel with Garcelle Beauvais, Alison Thornton, Malia Baker, and Emma Tremblay

Interview with Garcelle Beauvais, Alison Thornton, Malia Baker, and Emma Tremblay of “Caught in His Web” on Lifetime by Suzanne 1/10/22

This was a very interesting movie about high school girls being cyber-stalked. Garcelle Beauvais plays the police detective that helps them. It was a part of a larger Lifetime Panel with many other movies. It’s an interesting movie to watch. My question is toward the end.

MODERATOR: Hi, everyone, and welcome to our very last panel of Lifetime’s press day. I’d like to introduce the cast of “Caught in His Web.” Please welcome Garcelle Beauvais, Alison Thornton, Malia Baker, and Emma Tremblay. Let’s go ahead and get to our first question from Karen at Sci-Fi Vision. Karen?

QUESTION: Hi, everybody. I really enjoyed the film and the twists on this problem. I wanted to ask you guys, Garcelle, as a parent, I think you have teenagers at home, and the rest of the cast, all you are young ladies, either high school age or it’s not that far behind you, and I wanted to ask how much you were aware of this type of problem in high schools.

GARCELLE BEAUVAIS: First of all, I want to say hi to the cast. I love these girls.

All: Hi.

GARCELLE BEAUVAIS: For me, one of the reasons why it was so important not only to be a part of it but to get the word out is because it can happen, and I’m always trying to use things as cautionary tales for my boys. And I always say don’t ever give your personal information to anyone but obviously these girls did, and they just got targeted. I think this film is really important.

ALISON THORNTON: Yeah. I um — I had friends in high school who had their photos shared, unfortunately. I feel like it’s something that is really common nowadays. Sending a picture is like currency, especially I think in the age of COVID when everyone’s separate. So I think that it’s a really important message.

EMMA TREMBLAY: I grew up in a house where my parents were very aware of what I was doing online just for my own safety and protection, and I’m just grateful that I had that support system and I never had to experience anything as traumatic as what we go through in this movie because it’s terrifying because it’s totally real and happens and I was just lucky enough to be aware of it as I grew up and just avoided that danger.

MALIA BAKER: For sure. I mean I agree. I feel like especially being a young girl in today’s society, you have to normalize kind of almost connotation of this can happen, and if you take pictures, it’s kind of inevitable for that to happen and I feel like this movie just dives deep into it on a great level, and it’s really important, and I’m glad that we’re able to share the message.

QUESTION: Great. Thank you very much.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Karen. Our next is from Starry Constellation Magazine. All right. We can come back to you in just a few moments. How about we go to Noah Wilson. Noah?

QUESTION: Hello, everyone. It’s so great to be here with you guys to speak a little more about “Caught in His Web.” Garcelle, I want to ask you first. I feel like this is so relevant in today’s world because so many are trapped in crazy things on the internet and social media. But what made this movie project, one day, you definitely were game to do?

GARCELLE BEAUVAIS: Well, I had never worked for Lifetime believe it or not. I’ve been in the industry for 100+ years. So that definitely was an opportunity that I didn’t want to pass. But like you said, it’s such an important thing. We share so much of our lives on social media that you would think that these young girls could have some privacy when needed, and the fact that you share — if you share one photo — you know, nowadays, people can change things. They can even do videos and, you know, edit them so it looks like you’re doing something. So to me, it was really, really important, and having 14-year-old boys, I try to stress to a point where they’re like, “Mom, not everybody’s bad.” And I’m like, “No, not everybody’s bad but there’s a lot of people who want to take advantage,” and I feel like that’s what this movie speaks about. Even if you’re a great kid, great grades, you abide by the rules, this can also happen to you, and I think that’s the message too.

QUESTION: Garcelle, have you ever come across a sticky situation being on social media, being a public figure in the public eye?

GARCELLE BEAUVAIS: Yeah. Absolutely. I think I’m always careful. Now, I don’t post in real-time. If I go to an event, I will post the next day so I’m not literally at the event when I post just out of caution. But I also feel like, for me, when I posed for Playboy, that was a really big deal for me because not a lot of black women get to be on the cover and it was a big deal, and I only shot, you know, my top. I only exposed my top, and I feel like there are pictures out that people have edited that are not me. So that can — it can ruin a career. It can ruin your life. If certain things are put out there that are not your image or not what you’ve done, and so it’s just scary all around. Although social media can also be great but that aspect I think is really scary.

QUESTION: Lastly, to all of the girls that are on here right now that are part of the film, “Caught in His Web,” what did you guys learn personally from Garcelle? Did you learn anything and take anything away from her?

ALISON THORNTON: Yeah. I mean watching how Garcelle composes herself on set is really inspiring. I remember we were doing a scene — I can’t say what it is because it’s a spoiler but there was a note that I feel like I was having trouble understanding, and I did a take, and then I did a different take trying to incorporate the note, and then I remember we just had a moment where I spoke to her about it, and then we spoke to Hannah, the director, and she’s so good at being assertive in terms of asking for what you need and clarification and also just being so warm to everyone and so supportive on set. It made for such a wonderful and open environment to work with which I was very grateful for.

GARCELLE BEAUVAIS: Aw, thank you. I love that. They were so great. I love all of them equally.

EMMA TREMBLAY: I can totally bounce off of what Alison said because I feel the exact same way. Garcelle made set just so comfortable and, of course, I was like, oh, my gosh, I’m working with Garcelle. And she was just the sweetest, most wonderful woman to work with, and just you were all incredible.

GARCELLE BEAUVAIS: Thank you.

MALIA BAKER: I definitely agree with everything you girls just said. I’d also say there was this one — there was a few days actually where the call sheet got messed up, and our scenes were all being switched around, and I remember Garcelle had this huge monologue, and she was ready but they changed some of the lines, and she was trying to get it ready but by the time that we were filming, she got them all down, and I think just thinking on my feet, and like you guys said, being assertive, knowing what I want, and not being afraid to ask for it. It’s really important on set, and I feel like you can kind of get shuffled into that, no, it’s okay, thank you. That kind of realm. So it’s great to learn.

QUESTION: Thank you guys so much. Congrats on the film.

EMMA TREMBLAY: Thank you.

MALIA BAKER: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Up next, we have April Neal. April?

QUESTION: Hi, everyone. Thanks for doing this. Okay, so when I watched the film, and I’m a parent, all I could think about, and I want everyone’s input on this, is that smartphones, not cellphones but smartphones that have internet connectivity, there should be an age limit because it seems to amplify the worst of all of the things that we experience growing up, and kids are notoriously bad at containing themselves and exercising caution with something that easy to use. I wanted your opinion. Garcelle, especially you, and also the cast. Would there be an age for the younger cast? Would there be an age acceptable for you to have just a cellphone and not a smartphone and then make the transition when you’re more emotionally able to handle the responsibility that you guys go?

EMMA TREMBLAY: You go ahead.

ALISON THORNTON: I actually think that that’s a great idea. I mean I personally didn’t get a smartphone until I think I was 15. But yeah. I think what you said is a really great point because I remember even when I was younger, I would send silly photos to my friends on Snapchat and whatnot, and people would screenshot them without me knowing, and I think that — I remember having someone come to my school and talk about this actually and say on an app like Snapchat, you think that what you’re sending is gonna disappear in a few seconds, and it doesn’t even occur to you that people — like, whenever you send something like that, even if it’s a silly photo or something that you wouldn’t want everyone to see, you don’t know whose eyes are gonna be on it, and even at 13, 14, I, for some reason, that didn’t click in my mind. So I think I mean having just a normal cellphone, not a smartphone maybe is fine just for emergencies if you’re taking the bus home or whatever but I mean, for me, I probably would’ve — I think 15 was a good age for me to get my smartphone just for emails and whatnot.

EMMA TREMBLAY: Yeah. For me, I was 12. It was just when I started walking to school by myself, so my parents were like, okay, now you can have a phone. And I feel like just being introduced to social media and the internet and a slower way and just a good environment was really nice. Just not having that exposure to discover myself, I feel like that’s just really dangerous because there’s so much on the internet that is just endless, and it’s kind of scary to think that there could be little kids out there just seeing things that they shouldn’t be seeing. It’s a scary place.

MALIA BAKER: Sure. Yeah. I agree. I mean I think it’s definitely a debatable topic. I have a younger sister who’s 11, and I was around 11, 12, when I got my first phone, and she has one now, and there was always gonna be that kind of protectiveness I think when she has that, and a lot of with the apps nowadays, like Alison said, you can just send things, and you don’t know that they’re being screenshotted or like Emma said, you can discover a lot of things that you shouldn’t necessarily be discovering at that young of an age. But I feel like on the other flip side of it, there’s a lot of great things that you can be creative with or just share information that you think is important if you want to use your voice. Even just looking up photos of puppies. There are great aspects to it but as long — I think they come hand-in-hand with some of the scarier parts, and I think they’re both really important to take into account.

GARCELLE BEAUVAIS: Yeah. I agree with everything you guys are saying. As a parent, it’s scary. The minute you hand your kids a phone, whether it’s 11, 12, 13, and it’s just scary because they have access to everything, and you can do the parental codes, and I’m sure you guys can agree that there’s ways around those parental codes. (Laughs.) And so I worry. I worry all the time, and you can’t live your life in fear but I think you can also be aware of some of the pitfalls. And I hope this is what the movie does. I am having a screening at my house when this airs with my kids and their friends because I really want the message out there.

MODERATOR: Thank you, April. We’re gonna move onto our next question from Jay Bobbin.

QUESTION: Hello, everyone. Just curious about the nature of Whoopi’s involvement in this. Obviously, she’s talking about issues every day on “The View,” and she’s very invested in what she chooses to deal with subject-wise. Could any of you who had direct contact with her on this talk about the nature of her involvement?

GARCELLE BEAUVAIS: Unfortunately, because she’s so booked and busy, she wasn’t on set. She was working in New York on “The View” of course. But I think she chooses her projects carefully. I would assume she has grandchildren and this was probably a topic that she could connect to and spread the word.

QUESTION: Thank you very much. Loved you in “Flight” by the way with Denzel Washington, Garcelle.

GARCELLE BEAUVAIS: Thank you.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Jay. Up next, we have Luanne Lee. Luanne?

QUESTION: Hi. Garcelle, you acted as sort of a mentor to the girls when you were making this film. But do you have any cautionary tales for them about being an actor?

GARCELLE BEAUVAIS: Let me just tell you. These young ladies have their heads on right. They are professional. They are sweet. They are kind, and I love their relationship. I don’t know if you guys even knew each other prior to this but I felt like there was an instant kinship between them. I would say, for me, always show up prepared, and cautionary tales, if something doesn’t feel right to you in your gut, there’s probably a reason, and always follow that.

QUESTION: Thank you.

GARCELLE BEAUVAIS: You’re welcome.

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

QUESTION: Thank you. Emma, Alison, and Malia, you’re three young women dealing in this crazy social media world to begin with. But then you add in that layer that the three of you decided to get into acting at a young age. Did you have more conversations with people about how the social media world was going to increase for you because of that or did it create more concerns? Have you put up more firewall? How has that sort of ramped up what you were already dealing with as young women anyway?

MALIA BAKER: Yeah. I mean I feel like having social media is kind of the automatic go-to especially when you are more in the public. It can be terrifying. I was not a natural social media dealer. I didn’t have Instagram or Snapchat, and then when I got into acting, they were like, you need to get these things, and I was like, oh, great. That sounds amazing. So it wasn’t a natural ease into this whole big world, and I feel like growing up, like you said, kind of getting into this industry at a younger age, it is a necessity, and as great as it can be, it can also be like Garcelle mentioned earlier, a little scary, posting things in the moment or having your locations on. There are just certain priorities that need to be taken care of and accountability that needs to be had when we’re thinking about all the aspects of this.

EMMA TREMBLAY: For me, social media was really — it was easy to get into because my parents were like just with me the whole time and explained everything so well and explained all the dangers and all the positive things, and so, for me, yeah, it was a really nice introduction into it, and I have a good relationship with social media, and I’m thankful for that because like I’ve always said, it’s a scary place.

ALISON THORNTON: Yeah. I would agree with both of you guys on that. I, like Malia, it wasn’t natural for me to be on social media. I wasn’t on it before I was acting, and even now, sometimes it feels like there’s this weird pressure to post and to keep people up to date with what I’m doing which I’m still kind of coming to terms with. Sometimes I do silly things like I’ll post something and then five seconds later, be like, “No, I can’t post that,” and then delete it right away. So I’m still navigating social media but we’ll see.

EMMA TREMBLAY: We all are.

GARCELLE BEAUVAIS: We all are.

QUESTION: Thank you very much.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Rick. And we actually have time for one more question, and I’m gonna give that to The Hollywood Times.

QUESTION: Hi, Garcelle.

GARCELLE BEAUVAIS: Hi.

QUESTION: I know sextortion is an ongoing issue here, and I was just wondering, how much of this film — and maybe you can give an example — is based on actual events?

GARCELLE BEAUVAIS: Oh, well, it definitely is based on actual events. I think what’s happening is that we’re all sort of learning how to navigate this social media world, and I think with kids, remember when you were a kid? I think everything was rosy and you were so hopeful and full of life and trusted people. And I think the cautionary tale is not that you can’t trust people, especially if you’re in high school because you need to make friends but it’s what you share with people, and if someone’s asking you to share something inappropriate, it’s probably inappropriate to do so, and I have two 14-year-old boys, and I try to tell them if someone sends you a picture of someone, do not forward that picture to another friend because that’s how it all gets started. So it’s real events but then applied to how modern and how dependent we are on these devices that we hold onto all day.

QUESTION: Okay. Thank you very much.

GARCELLE BEAUVAIS: You’re welcome.

MODERATOR: I actually lied. We do have time for more questions. So let’s get some more in. Suzanne?

QUESTION: Hi. How are you guys doing today?

GARCELLE BEAUVAIS: Good. How are you?

QUESTION: All right. Thanks for being here. I was going to ask… Garcelle, can you talk to us at all about the development as far as your part of it, the development of the movie?

GARCELLE BEAUVAIS: Yeah. For me, when I got the script, I was fascinated. At first, I thought how does someone get to control your life like that? And it was really a deep dive into how people hack the information they get, what they do to it, identity theft. I mean it was a lot in terms of going down that rabbit hole and realizing how much someone can have an effect on your life, someone who’s not even in your home, who you don’t really have contact with. So, for me, it’s really getting into that mindset that I wanted to understand what the girls were going through but at the same time, I felt like my character was not tech savvy and had to learn a lot as she went along. So it was about learning a lot but then letting it go so that it didn’t appear that I had all the answers. Does that make sense?

QUESTION: Yes, it does. Thank you. And the actor that played the hacker girl that helped out was really good, too.

GARCELLE BEAUVAIS: Yeah. She was really great. Morgan was really great.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Suzanne. Up next, we have Abby.

QUESTION: Sorry. I’m sorry. I thought you said the other one was the last question. For Ms. Beauvais, I think you would be the point person on this question. Too often, the law enforcement doesn’t even take actual rape seriously much less sexual harassment. What is there about this case even in the story that had the law enforcement taking it seriously?

GARCELLE BEAUVAIS: Well, I think the fact that my character sort of pushed that along because, at first, even when Alison’s character went to the precinct to report it, it was kind of brushed aside. Like, okay, these girls say these guys are — this guy is coming after them but there wasn’t really any concrete proof, and especially, I would have to say in the tech world, sometimes, a lot of adults, me included, don’t know everything that these kids can get into. So it’s always with law enforcement, I feel like until something bad happens, they really can’t do anything about it. But I felt like my character at least took it seriously enough and I think it was maybe because of the connection of these young girls to sort of delve a little deeper and see what she could find out and hopefully catch this guy.

QUESTION: Have you ever been inspired by anything, bad interactions you’ve had online to look further into who the heck is this idiot?

GARCELLE BEAUVAIS: No. I just block and delete. (Laughs.) I don’t have that much time. But I just think it’s unfortunate that somebody who you don’t even know — not a real interaction with can really ruin your life, and I think that’s a cautionary tale for all of us, really, whether you’re young or old.

QUESTION: Thanks very much.

MODERATOR: Thank you. And, finally, our last question is from Right On Digital. Right On?

QUESTION: Hello? Hi. Can you hear me? Okay. My question is this: this is a hypothetical question. If you all were going to a high school or junior high school to speak to the students in reference to the fact that this film has come out, what is the message that you would like to relate to the young people that would hear you speak?

GARCELLE BEAUVAIS: You guys want to go first?

ALISON THORNTON: That’s a really good question. I think that, personally, what I would say is my biggest takeaway from shooting the movie is just pay attention to the power that people, especially women in this case, can have when they believe each other and when they support each other. I think that a lot of the times today, there’s this culture of being a savage and being cold and not necessarily being nice to each other, and I think that this movie is really empowering because it kind of shows the opposite effect of that and how there’s way more power united and how you can actually take down predators and you can just go to such intense lengths when you just believe people and support them.

MALIA BAKER: I agree with Alison 100%. You said it perfectly. And I feel like this film has such in-your-face kind of messaging. Nothing is really kind of filtered in a sense that you need to look really, really hard for the underlying meaning of the film. It’s there and being united and having young women especially being united on this front, there’s amazing moments in the movie where you see that happening, and I feel like, going forward with this film and with other ones in general, it’s just really empowering to see it, especially coming from kind of the same perspective on the world as I think a lot of young people watching this movie will feel.

QUESTION: Okay.

EMMA TREMBLAY: I personally love what Alison said and what I was kind of thinking is my favorite part of the film is just the fact that these girls are so much stronger together and just the way that they form their team is so beautiful and fun to watch, and I’m so glad that I got to work with Malia and Alison as my two classmates. They were incredible. And then Garcelle as well. We were just a great team. We were a great team together.

GARCELLE BEAUVAIS: We were a great team. And I think what I would — I agree with everything these young girls have said but I also feel like it can happen to anyone. I think that’s what I would say in my conversation with the students is that it can happen to anyone. Just be careful.

QUESTION: Thank you for such wonderful answers. Very inspiring.

MODERATOR: Awesome. Well, thank you, and thank you to the “Caught in His Web” panelists along with all of our amazing other panels today for joining us. With that, Lifetime’s press day is officially concluded. Thank you, everyone. As a reminder, transcripts and recordings will be available beginning tomorrow. If we didn’t get to a question, please email us at lifetimepr@aenetworks.com, and please be sure to tune into all of our incredible movies all season long. Follow us on social @lifetimetv and @lifetimetvpr. Have an incredible week.

MORE INFO:

Trailer

"Caught in His Web" poster

Inspired by actual events, Caught in His Web tells the horrifying story of Emma (Alison Thorton), Olivia (Malia Baker) and Gabby (Emma Tremblay) who are each unknowingly tormented by a mysterious cyberbully by the name “Blake.” Infiltrating each of their lives by hacking into their cell phones and computers, “Blake” coerces them to send nude photos and continually harasses them and tracks their every move. Feeling extremely alone and experiencing anxiety, depression and fear, the girls later discover they are not alone in being tormented.  They  decide to join forces and enlist the help of Detective Holland (Garcelle Beauvais), in the hunt to unmask their harasser and end their nightmare.

Caught in His Web is produced for Lifetime by Cyber Productions, Inc. in association with Johnson Production Group.  Whoopi Goldberg (The View, The Stand, A Day Late and a Dollar Short), Tim Johnson (Sleepwalking in Suburbia, Toxic Skies), Stacy Mandelberg (Invasion, Haunting Sarah), Jason Egenberg (Des & Lou, Unthinkable), Jack Heller (Mainstream, Zombieland 2), Tom Leonardis (A Day Late and a Dollar Short, Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley), Brendan Deneen (Gangland Undercover) and Scott Veltri (Mainstream) are executive producers.  Caitlin de Lisser-Ellen is co-executive producer.  Hannah Cheesman (Succor, The Boathouse) directs from a script written by Danielle Iman (Riverdale, Pretty Little Liars).

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Emma (Alison Thornton), Olivia (Malia Baker) and Gabby (Emma Tremblay)

Interview with Letoya Luckett, Kierra Sheard-Kelly, Ta’Rhonda Jones and Drew Sidora

TV Interview!

panel for "Line Sisters" on Lifetime

Interview with Letoya Luckett, Kierra Sheard-Kelly, Ta’Rhonda Jones and Drew Sidora of “Line Sisters” on Lifetime by Suzanne 1/10/22

This was an interesting movie because it combined two popular Lifetime subjects: sorority girls and murder. I’d never heard of any of these actresses, although some of them looked very familiar. They had a lot of energy and were very fun in the panel, so it made things enjoyable.

MODERATOR: Hello, everyone. Our next panel is for “Line Sisters.” And today we have the cast of the film with us. Letoya Luckett, Kierra Sheard-Kelly, Ta’Rhonda Jones and Drew Sidora.

(All waving.)

DREW SIDORA: What up, y’all?

MODERATOR: Thank you all for being here. Our first question is for all of you, the whole cast. What drew each of you to your roles and how did you prepare for them?

LETOYA LUCKETT: Okay, I’ll go first.

DREW SIDORA: Yeah, you go first.

LETOYA LUCKETT: (Laughs.) I think for me it was like really jumping over the hurdle of fear for me and doing my first horror film. Val was kind of close to home because she had a real chill personality, very professional. She seemed to be kind of the one that every kind of — everyone’s drawn to confide in. And she just tried to take care of everyone and I kind of see that in myself sometimes, sometimes too much. But I think for me to be a part of a horror film was like oh my god I’m going to do it. And I’ve always wanted to be a part of a sorority and I think this is the closest I’m going to ever get. So yeah, that’s the reason why I was drawn to it.

TA’RHONDA JONES: I’m going to piggyback off of you, Toya.

DREW SIDORA: Yeah.

TA’RHONDA JONES: Because I think that was the same thing for me. It was like oh…

LETOYA LUCKETT: Yeah.

TA’RHONDA JONES: … I get to be a sorority sister? Okay, cool. I’m in. And then, too, my character Simone, she was from Chicago and it was very similar to my background. A little rough around the edges and things like that, always being reckless. So I was like yeah, why not? Sure.

DREW SIDORA: Yeah. I think we could all say that. I think my dream of being in a sorority, I was like, oh yes, let me tap into this. And also working with African American women that we can come together in sisterhood. I think that that’s something powerful to be a part of. And you really want to showcase that. So any time I get an opportunity to work alongside beautiful women, I definitely jumped on it. But my character Dominique, she’s a lot of fun. You know, she’s fun. She’s quirky. And she loves her palo santos, her meditation and I just felt really connected to that. You know, her positivity and just always looking on the bright side of things. I felt like that was a place that I was in my life that I wanted to try to project in that moment. So I gravitated to her instantly.

KIERRA SHEARD-KELLY: I second all of what they said. All of the (inaudible). I wanted to be a part of the sorority, too. Cassandra was a woman of faith and so that is what I am. So I was the one that was praying the sisters through on god’s train. Because that usually is what I am doing. And I am a sister or women’s empowerment advocate so that was really just my thing, too. And these women are amazing, every last one of them, so I was excited to just glean from each and every one of them myself.

MODERATOR: That’s awesome. Thank you, guys. Our next question is from the Hollywood Times.

QUESTION: Hi there. Are any of you actually part of a sorority?

TA’RHONDA JONES: No.

DREW SIDORA: No.

(All laugh.)

DREW SIDORA: Only APO now.

TA’RHONDA JONES: Yeah, exactly.

KIERRA SHEARD-KELLY: Oh.

QUESTION: Okay, so another question. During the filming process, did any of you actually get frightened for real?

TA’RHONDA JONES: What? Yes.

KIERRA SHEARD-KELLY: I did.

LETOYA LUCKETT: I did.

DREW SIDORA: Yeah, yeah.

KIERRA SHEARD-KELLY: The water, I think all of the sisters could swim. I couldn’t swim so I kept looking back at them like, y’all going to help me out or something? So I was really nervous about that. And I was actually in the process of — my grandfather was sick and I just lost him to COVID. And so I was really drawing that passion and that fear from that space to kind of have me drop in. But that was my experience behind and in the scenes.

QUESTION: Oh yeah. Sorry. All right, thank you, ladies.

MODERATOR: Thank you.

KIERRA SHEARD-KELLY: (Inaudible)

MODERATOR: Our next question is from Suzanne from “TV Meg”.

QUESTION: Hi, ladies. Did any of you know each other before filming or had you worked together before?

TA’RHONDA JONES: No.

LETOYA LUCKETT: Yes.

TA’RHONDA JONES: But it felt like it. Not for me, but it felt like. I feel like I’ve been knowing these girls for a long time because the chemistry was out of this world when we first linked up. So it was amazing.

DREW SIDORA: Absolutely.

LETOYA LUCKETT: Absolutely. Kierra and I actually — my first film ever, “Preacher’s Kid,” we played somewhat like best friends. We sang in the same choir together.

KIERRA SHEARD-KELLY: Yeah.

LETOYA LUCKETT: So it was so cool. And I’m a huge fan of hers. I listen to her and her worship music and all of that daily, so to be in this space with her and to share the screen with her was an honor once again.

KIERRA SHEARD-KELLY: The same. It was an honor for me, too. I’m a fan of all of the ladies and LETOYA, too. But one of the cooler things was like LETOYA said we were sisters or friends before so we were friends again. And it felt like a family reunion for me.

LETOYA LUCKETT: Yeah.

KIERRA SHEARD-KELLY: Because I also had the opportunity to work with Drew as well in a film called “Blessed and Cursed.” So it felt like a reunion. And then Ta’Rhonda just felt like the cousin that just…

DREW SIDORA: You always wanted.

LETOYA LUCKETT: Always.

KIERRA SHEARD-KELLY: So yes.

QUESTION: What about any of the crew or the other actors on the show, the movie?

TA’RHONDA JONES: No. The only person I was connected to was one of the guys, one of the Lifetime execs at the time because he was the one who actually offered me the role. But that was about it. Other than that, we didn’t know anybody. But honestly, it literally felt like Kierra said, family reunion because everybody literally just, I don’t know. It was like this unison.

DREW SIDORA: Instant connection, yeah, yeah. It was.

LETOYA LUCKETT: Shout out to Swirl Films. I’ve worked with them several times so.

DREW SIDORA: Yeah, same here. Swirl Films.

DREW SIDORA: Yeah, absolutely. They always provide a very family-oriented feel.

LETOYA LUCKETT: Yes.

DREW SIDORA: So that’s what I love and I would work with them forever.

LETOYA LUCKETT: Absolutely.

QUESTION: Okay.

MODERATOR: All right. Thank you so much, ladies.

KIERRA SHEARD-KELLY: I was getting ready to add. I thought it was also kind of awesome that we actually bonded as sisters. You know how when sisters know, okay this sister she ain’t on today so we going to leave her alone.

(Laughs.)

KIERRA SHEARD-KELLY: We started picking up on each other’s energy.

DREW SIDORA: That is so true. Oh my god.

LETOYA LUCKETT: Facts.

DREW SIDORA: That is so funny.

QUESTION: That’s awesome. Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thanks, you guys. Our next question is from Noah Wilson.

QUESTION: Hello, everyone. Happy press day for “Line Sisters.” Yeah.

(Cheering.)

QUESTION: Come on, ladies. Let’s do a happy dance.

(All doing happy dance.)

QUESTION: On the Zoom. Oh I love it.

(Laughs.)

QUESTION: All right, ladies. I want to ask y’all, what were some of the most dramatic or intense scenes for all of you when shooting “Line Sisters” as this movie goes, based around four sorority sisters who reunite at a black Greek weekend?

DREW SIDORA: For me, it was the snake. The snake. I thought they were going to have, I don’t know in my mind I thought it was going to be like a robotic prop snake.

LETOYA LUCKETT: Uh uh.

DREW SIDORA: And when they brought that thing out, I was like wait a minute. And I had to lay next to a real snake. I’ve never done a horror movie so for me as this is my introduction with a snake, I mean I felt like a G after. I was like I got this. Like that scream and that reaction, that was all a hundred percent real because I was absolutely…

QUESTION: I couldn’t do it. I do not like a snake.

DREW SIDORA: Yeah, yeah.

LETOYA LUCKETT: I would say for me the scene where we come face-to-face with the killer finally. And we’re in the basement and it was such a dark moment. And I just remember before we actually started shooting how everybody just like settled in to their, you know, their space, everything, their character. And it was super –duper quiet. And then you just heard us weeping all of us individually. And in order to was super tough. I don’t know why. I think everybody was, you know, having their own thing going on at the time, but I feel like that was one of the most emotional scenes for all of us and probably one of the darker scenes for all of us. And my girl that plays that role, the role of the killer, she nailed it. I was like, “Sis!”. (Claps.)

DREW SIDORA: She had us really spooked.

LETOYA LUCKETT: I was like I was shook.

DREW SIDORA: I was really afraid.

LETOYA LUCKETT: I was shook for real.

DREW SIDORA: Yeah.

LETOYA LUCKETT: Yeah. That was super intense.

TA’RHONDA JONES: Yeah, same, Toya. But I think it was more so the physical. Whenever somebody, we had to punch, kick, stunts, this, that. And sometimes, you know, in real life it’s don’t touch me. Don’t hit me because I’ll hit you back for real. (Laughs.) And I think trying to like pull back from reality, acting, reality, acting, take it back. I think that was more intense for me because it gets a little physical sometimes.

DREW SIDORA: Yeah.

KIERRA SHEARD-KELLY: And I’m sorry I don’t mean to toot our own horn, but I can say I feel like we delivered that sister piece because for me when I heard one sister speaking up for me, like oh she got my back. Or if I heard her crying over there, I would even feed off, like “What you crying about?” But we had to stay in that space. So it really was a sister moment that we, like the movie had us to drop into and it had us appreciate somebody having your back. Like if your blood not there, you got some other sisters that will definitely look out.

DREW SIDORA: Yeah.

KIERRA SHEARD-KELLY: And I think that…

LETOYA LUCKETT: Absolutely.

KIERRA SHEARD-KELLY: …exudes through the film as well.

DREW SIDORA: Absolutely.

QUESTION: Thank you, guys. I appreciate it. Y’all have a good day.

LETOYA LUCKETT: You, too. Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you. Our next question is from Starry Constellation Magazine.

QUESTION: Hi, ladies. This is such an intense film. How did you all shake off a long day of shooting?

TA’RHONDA JONES: I think with the cast, they made it easy for you to shake it off.

KIERRA SHEARD-KELLY: Yes.

TA’RHONDA JONES: Because everybody’s personality was just so grounded and friendly and welcoming. And I think it was just like all right we’re done. All right, time to go home.

LETOYA LUCKETT: Mm-hmm, yes.

TA’RHONDA JONES: Or where are we going next? Let’s go to dinner.

DREW SIDORA: Let’s go eat.

LETOYA LUCKETT: But you know what? So I was about to say (inaudible) but Ta’Rhonda created this — it was such a beautiful moment. We tried to do it during filming, but we ended up doing it on the last day.

DREW SIDORA: Yes.

LETOYA LUCKETT: Of shooting. And brought these beautiful lanterns and we wrote our dreams and aspirations that we had and we lit them and sent them into the sky. And it was just such a beautiful moment. We felt like a family. To experience something like that with people that we didn’t know for long, but in that moment it felt like we’ve known each other for years. I haven’t had that on a set before. To really set intentions with beautiful people and in such a wonderful moment. I still think about that moment. I need another lantern by the way. I need one.

[OVERTALKING]

QUESTION: Five minutes into 2020 you need another lantern?

LETOYA LUCKETT: Yes.

DREW SIDORA: Mustard seeds.

LETOYA LUCKETT: The mustard seeds. I still got mine.

DREW SIDORA: Yes, me too. They’re in my purse. I mentioned they’re in my purse, yeah.

LETOYA LUCKETT: Well, thank you for that, mama.

DREW SIDORA: Yes.

TA’RHONDA JONES: You’re welcome.

DREW SIDORA: We love you, Ta’Rhonda. That meant everything.

QUESTION: Thank you, ladies.

MODERATOR: Our next question is going to be from Howard Benjamin.

QUESTION: My question is for LETOYA. How did your background in music prepare you for a life as an actress?

LETOYA LUCKETT: Well, that’s a good question. I think the best way to answer. It is kind of like surrendering to whatever the role calls for. You have to do that in music. Whatever the lyrics call for, I feel that I learned that from doing, well, being a singer since I was about 12 or five, but professionally 12. And I felt like because I was so rooted in that, I just took some of the things that I learned and brought it into this. But I will say it’s a whole new world. It really, really is. I don’t think — they have the similarities, but I think they’re totally different. I think with music, especially if you’re a writer, you’re writing from your experiences. Whereas with an actress, you’re portraying the character. You’re, you know, you’re representing that person. You’re living out one of their stories. And I mean I do that with songs sometimes. I do that with music sometimes, but I mean not in the way that you do with building a character. And I’ve been asked the question a lot. Like which do you prefer? I still don’t know. I still can’t decide. I’m in love with both of them. But yeah, I’m so glad that I’ve had so many wonderful experiences and not so wonderful experiences as a singer that I could, you know, bring into the acting space.

QUESTION: Thank you so much.

LETOYA LUCKETT: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you. Our next question is from Right On Digital.

QUESTION: Hi, this is Cynthia Horner.

LETOYA LUCKETT: Cynthia.

QUESTION: I’ve met all of you before.

DREW SIDORA: Yes.

LETOYA LUCKETT: We love some Cynthia.

QUESTION: I want to tell you that I enjoyed the film especially since I am actually in a sorority. So therefore, it was…

LETOYA LUCKETT: How did we do?

QUESTION: I’m a member of Sigma Gamma Rho sorority. They wear blue and gold.

LETOYA LUCKETT: Wow.

QUESTION: But anyway, I’d like you all to talk a little bit more about the sisterhood since you all formed such an amazing bond. Sisterhood was mentioned briefly, but can each of you tell me what is your definition of sisterhood now that you’ve done this movie?

TA’RHONDA JONES: I think for me…

LETOYA LUCKETT: Don’t want to go first.

TA’RHONDA JONES: I’ll go. I think for me because I do have five sisters. There’s eight of us. My mother has eight children. And sisterhood for me is just simply being there. And I think in this movie it taught me here today, gone today. Not here today, gone tomorrow. It’s literally here today, gone today. So whatever it is that you got going on, or whatever mess you might got going on with this particular person, just put it behind you and just make amends especially if this person — if you really consider this person your sister, your blood, your family, whatever. And one thing for me, anybody who knows me knows that I’m all about like Kierra said, women’s empowerment, togetherness, unison. And sisterhood just simply means that unison, togetherness and just simply being there for one another.

DREW SIDORA: That’s it. (Claps.)

KIERRA SHEARD-KELLY: I think, too, for sisterhood, true sisterhood is when you can sit in a circle of women who are secure within themselves, but understand that we each have something different to offer. So there no need for a competition or a comparison. And I think that’s when it’s even more powerful for us to deliver. So literally the film had us to see you’re stepping on my line. And we had to let our sister speak. So it was so many moving components, you know, as a part of this experience that really showed us. Because I used to say, oh we’re going to take all of that with the sororities, but I see why that process is necessary. Because you have to prove yourself to your sister. And so it even had me to honor what the sororities or the fraternities, what you all do in your community. And then it’s like if I’m out of a job, you’re going to come through for me. And so I really loved how sisterhood was defined for me in this movie because it was a life or death matter. It was like, all right, I know usually I don’t speak up. Usually you speaking up for me, but you’re going to see that I’m going to speak up for all of us today. And so that to me, it even kind of pushes a woman forward if you allow me to say it that way. So sisterhood, it builds up each other if I can say it that way.

LETOYA LUCKETT: Yeah.

MODERATOR: Thank you so much. Drew and LeToya, did you guys also want to answer?

LETOYA LUCKETT: Oh sure. I think it’s having a tribe that you can trust, having a group of women that you can be there for, be your true self, be transparent with and know that they got you, good or bad, I like showing up to be that for someone and I like knowing that I got it. And I feel like even in the short amount of time that we were together, we were there for each other. Any time we needed each other or wanted to talk about something, I felt that I could trust them in that moment that I was in the trust tree. That I was in a safe space.

DREW SIDORA: Yeah.

LETOYA LUCKETT: And it’s nothing like having that. You know what I mean? I don’t have any blood sisters. I have a blood brother. But I’ve been so blessed with a community of women who I know got me, front, back and side to side.

KIERRA SHEARD-KELLY: Yeah.

LETOYA LUCKETT: That’s what I say to that.

DREW SIDORA: Yeah. And I agree with what everyone said. I have three sisters and it’s like no matter if you’re having a good day, a bad day, you’re getting along with them or y’all just had an argument, it’s the ability to just, you know, project that love and that vulnerability. Because I’m not going to lie, I have taken some time off from work having my children and I wasn’t in my most confident space. I never even told y’all this, but come in to work. I was like I just want to do a good job. You know, I just want to do what god gave me this gift to do and it’s been a while. But being around you all, you guys were so vulnerable and just share your true self. It was like even if I wasn’t having a good day, you guys were there with laughs. Ta’Rhonda with her energy, you know, here with a word, you know. And I just felt like spiritually there was a connectedness. And I think outside of friendships or anything else, with sisterhood there’s a spiritual connectedness that I think we were all able to share working together on this project. So I appreciate all of y’all for that moment that you guys, I’ve never had an opportunity to share. But I literally was going through it the day before we started filming and you guys really helped me in that moment to build up my confidence, so yeah.

KIERRA SHEARD-KELLY: We love you.

TA’RHONDA JONES: (Laughs.)

QUESTION: Thank you so much. This was the interview of a lifetime.

LETOYA LUCKETT: (Laughs.)

DREW SIDORA: We are so silly.

MODERATOR: Thank you guys all so, so much. That’s all we have time for today. But please tune into “Line Sisters” Saturday, February 12th at 8, 7 Central on Lifetime.

(All cheer.)

MORE INFO:

Preview

About the Movie

Line Sisters follows four sorority sisters- Valerie (LeToya Luckett), Cassandra (Kierra Sheard-Kelly), Simona (Ta’Rhonda Jones) and Dominique (Drew Sidora) – as they reunite at a Black Greek Weekend celebration held on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Having pledged the Alpha Beta Omega Sorority, Inc., they share more than the bonds of sisterhood, after the mysterious death of the dean of pledges 15 years prior. But the past comes knocking on their door as they arrive to the island and strange and inexplicable things begin to happen to each one of them, threatening to unearth the deadly secret that may tear them apart.

Line Sisters is produced by Big Dreams Entertainment in association with Undaunted Content for Lifetime and is executive produced by D’Angela Proctor and Leslie Greif. Tailiah Breon directs from a script written by Jasmine S. Greene and Scott Mullen.

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poster for "Line Sisters" on LIfetime

Interview with Amber Riley and Raven Goodwin

TV Interview!

Amber Riley and Raven Goodwin

Interview with Amber Riley and Raven Goodwin of “Single Black Female” on Lifetime by Suzanne 1/10/22

This was from a Lifetime Press Day about a month ago. I enjoyed it, and this is a fun thriller. I saw the original movie “Single White Female” a long time ago, so I don’t remember it all that well, but I think it was just as scary as this one. It was great to chat with these ladies. Amber Riley was fabulous on “Glee” years ago and continues to show her wide range of drama, comedy and music. I’m not as familiar with Raven, but she’s done many movies and was also on “Glee” in a smaller role. Both women did a fantastic job in this movie. Their hair, makeup and costume people also did a phenomenal job making them look more like each other, too.

QUESTION: Well, hello, and welcome to our third panel of the day. We have both of our amazing stars Amber Riley and Raven Goodwin for the upcoming premiere of “Single Black Female.” Hi, Raven. Hi, Riley.

RAVEN GOODWIN: Hey.

MODERATOR: All right. Shall we get started?

RAVEN GOODWIN: Yes.

MODERATOR: Let’s go ahead and we will actually start with Noah Wilson. Noah?

QUESTION: Thanks, guys. It’s so great to be here with you. By the way – oh, my gosh – you ladies look fabulous. Can I just say it right now on the Zoom of the Zoom?

AMBER RILEY: Yeah.

RAVEN GOODWIN: Thank you.

QUESTION: So, Amber, my first question comes to you. The casting was spot on, as your costar joining you right now, Raven Goodwin, could, I feel like, be your real-life sister as the two of you favor in the movie, and so many fans will watch it and think the same thing. So how is it like to work with Raven and create this movie together really as a dynamic duo?

AMBER RILEY: Honestly, it was amazing. Number one, Raven and I are already friends and have been for years, because my industry twin, and I would see her pop up on my IMDB. Like people would mix us up, or like the Getty images like when we would do red carpets and, so. And then I was already a fan watching her career coming up. So we took a picture years ago. We went to Essence Festival and literally manifested doing this, doing a movie together. Thousands of comments and likes are under that picture of us saying like, “Come on, Hollywood, put us in a movie together already.” Like so this was a literal dream come true and manifestation of something that we wanted, so it was amazing.

QUESTION: Now, Raven, a lot of fans have said to us they feel like they have been waiting for this movie for such a long time. What do you want fans to, most importantly, think about when they watch this movie through its full length?

RAVEN GOODWIN: You know, for me, having two voluptuous, like, dope, black women star in a thriller it’s kind of unheard of. So I want them to have fun watching the film. I feel like it’s, you know, that’s the thing about thrillers. We want to be spooked. We want to be, you know (fake screams), and I want them to really be weirded out and really — I want them to talk to the screen. I want them to have the experience of watching that cult classic thriller that you just can’t take your eyes off of. That’s what I want.

QUESTION: Thank you, ladies, so much. I appreciate it. Have a good day.

RAVEN GOODWIN: Yeah, you too.

AMBER RILEY: Thank you.

RAVEN GOODWIN: Thank you.

QUESTION: Bye-bye.

MODERATOR: Thank you. All right. And next up we have Jay Bobbin.

QUESTION: Hello, ladies. How are you?

RAVEN GOODWIN: Hey, good. How are you?

QUESTION: Thank you for doing this. Good. Thank you. You know, going back to the comment about people have been waiting for this for a long time, “Singe White Female” was thirty years ago. Are you surprised this did not happen sooner than now?

AMBER RILEY: (Laughs.)

RAVEN GOODWIN: I mean, I feel like timing is everything. I feel like it’s a good time for it. You know, “Single White Female” is a classic. It’s such a fun film. So this coming now, I just feel like it’s perfect timing, honestly. Yeah.

AMBER RILEY: Yeah. I was kind of surprised, because it is such a cult classic —

RAVEN GOODWIN: Yeah.

AMBER RILEY: That when I got the email, and I was reading that they were doing it I was like has there ever — like has there been a remake of this? Or is this the very first one? But, yeah, like Raven said, yeah, timing is everything, and I think it’s going to be — I think people are going to be pleasantly, pleasantly surprised. It’s worth the wait.

QUESTION: And following that quickly, if I could, being that it has been thirty years do you feel there are things that can be done with the concept now, you knowing what the full content of the movie is, do you think certain things can be done now that maybe could not have been done in the three decades in between?

RAVEN GOODWIN: I feel like the first –Like “Singe White Female” was pretty wild. (Laughs.) It was really out of control. So, no, I mean, I feel like, yeah, I feel it’s just about the same of shock value to me. But it’s just going to be during this time and, you know, black girls, (laughs).

QUESTION: Thank you very much. Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Jay. All right. Up next, we have Karen from SciFi Vision. Karen, you can unmute.

QUESTION: Hi, I have a question for Amber. One of the keys to this movie is your performance, which starts out pretty restrained and then gets a little crazier and a little crazier until kind of bonkers near the end, and I was wondering how much fun was it to get in touch with your inner Simone, and was she always there or was it tough to find her?

AMBER RILEY: You just asked me if I’m a little loony? I feel like that’s what you’re —

QUESTION: No, no. We all have a few thoughts now and then.

AMBER RILEY: No, actually, it was a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun, and there were some moments where I actually disturbed myself, because I had to tap into, I had to tap into (laughs) — Raven is like, oh, my God. No, I had to tap into uncomfortable moments that I would never do and get outside of myself, and when you can get outside of yourself you really, in those moments, feel like an actor, you know what I’m saying? And so it was fun, and we all have those sides, like we all have those thoughts, and common sense kicks in and morals kind of kick in, but I kind of I had to put all of that to the side, and even though it was uncomfortable it was also sometimes a great feeling to take years of aggression and feelings that you have and kind of just put it into that moment.

RAVEN GOODWIN: Yeah. We got into the transpo van, and she was like, “Raven, you want to see my scary face?”

(Laughter.)

RAVEN GOODWIN: It was scary, (laughs).

AMBER RILEY: Total weirdo, total weirdo.

MODERATOR: Awesome. Thank you, Karen. Did you have another follow-up?

QUESTION: I’m sure people are going to love it. Thanks.

MODERATOR: Thanks, Karen.

QUESTION: Well, I didn’t want to take too much time. I wanted to ask Raven, you had to play the flipside of that and be really afraid for your life near the end of it. I assume you’ve never been in such a position. So what was it like playing — to be really (audio glitch).

RAVEN GOODWIN: I mean it’s something I always dreamed out. I love horror and thriller films, and I always wanted to be the girl running and (gestures) like dragging my leg and looking back and falling and that’s just, you know, something I always wanted to play with. So I had a lot of fun with it, and it was really fun to be opposite of Amber and her in that — I mean, it was funny because we’ve known each other for over a decade, so there were times where we just wanted to laugh, and it was hard to be afraid of her, because she’s like a sister. So but for the most part it was just I just had fun with it. I just made sure I had a good time playing Monica. Yeah.

QUESTION: Thank you very much.

RAVEN GOODWIN: Welcome.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Karen. Next up we have Suzanne. Suzanne, feel free to unmute.

QUESTION: Hi. I really like this movie. It was so much fun and a good, intense, horror movie. So can you tell us what things they might have done? You said you already looked a bit alike. What else did they do to try to make you look more alike —

AMBER RILEY: (Audio glitch).

QUESTION: Hello?

MODERATOR: You might have cut out. Can you repeat the question?

RAVEN GOODWIN: Yes.

QUESTION: I’m sorry. Can you hear me now?

MODERATOR: Yeah.

RAVEN GOODWIN: Yes.

QUESTION: Okay. I was saying… what things did they do to try to make you look more alike besides how you already look?

AMBER RILEY: Well, in the beginning, I mean, I think hair and makeup. Shoutout to our hair and makeup team. I think that they kind of conceptualized with production, and they all had the conversation about what our hair and our makeup would look, and there were different stages, too. I know for my character there were different stages from her kind of going from a plain Jane to you’ll see her trying to kind of morph into Monica’s — wait, am I Monica or — You know the whole movie I always forgot which character I was.

RAVEN GOODWIN: You’re Simone. I’m Monica.

AMBER RILEY: I’m Simone. You’re Monica. Okay. Yeah. Her morphing into Monica. So, yeah, shoutout to the hair and makeup team. They did an amazing job.

RAVEN GOODWIN: Yes. Killed it.

QUESTION: And have you ever played a psycho girl before?

AMBER RILEY: On TV and in film? No.

RAVEN GOODWIN: Ah, (laughs).

AMBER RILEY: Ask my fiancé. He may have something else to say about that.

RAVEN GOODWIN: Hilarious.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Suzanne. All right. Up next we have the “Hollywood Times.”

QUESTION: Hello. Can you briefly describe the casting process? Did you already have actors in mind?

RAVEN GOODWIN: I did. I mentioned Janet Hubert as my mother. That was like something I was very kind of adamant about. We’ve built such a amazing relationship since 2019. That’s when I met her, and we just clicked. So I wanted to work with her again, and I think we have amazing chemistry on and off the screen, and I didn’t know that Amber loved her — well, obviously, we all love her — but I didn’t know Amber loved her so much, and she wanted to meet Amber. So it was just a good collaboration and meeting of the minds. You know, Korin and Monique, they worked, our producers, they worked really hard to get Janet onboard, and then when we found out K. was — K. Michelle was joining the cast, I just though it was perfect, and then we have Devale Ellis and just new talent and classic talent, legendary talent in this film, so I just really cannot wait for everyone to see how the cast comes together and the chemistry, because it was pretty good, pretty good chemistry there.

QUESTION: Thank you, Raven.

RAVEN GOODWIN: You’re welcome.

MODERATOR: Thank you. Up next we have Ronda. Ronda, feel free to unmute.

QUESTION: Hey, hi. Congrats, Raven, on your recent nuptial. But for both of you guys what were the qualities of each of your character — for Raven, you, Monica — and Amber, you, Simone, that you like had no difficulty relating to, that was more like your own?

AMBER RILEY: That we had — I’m sorry. It dropped out a little bit for me. That we had — what was that —

QUESTION: No difficulty relating to. What characteristics did your character have that were similar to your own?

AMBER RILEY: Oh. I think, for me, it was I had to tap into insecurities that I had about myself, and I know, for me, growing up there weren’t many people that looked like me. So when I found a singer or an actor, which most of them were in theater, I wanted to model after that person, and so that insecurity that she has, that insecurity that Simone has, not feeling good enough and wanting to be Monica, I did tap into that, back into that kind of that little girl that was like I aspire to be someone else. I don’t want to be me. I don’t know who I am. So I think that kind of not knowing where you are and going back into that insecure, unmolded person, I don’t even know if unmolded is a word, it is now if it isn’t, (laughs) that that was (audio glitch @ 01:01:43).

RAVEN GOODWIN: Unmute, Amber.

QUESTION: You muted, Amber.

AMBER RILEY: My bad. That was easier for me to grab. That was the end of what I said.

(Laughter.)

RAVEN GOODWIN: For me, you know, Monica in the film, in the beginning of the film, she loses her dad. So the grieving piece for me, my dad died in July, and we shot the film in late September, early October. Was it October? So the grieving piece is where I connected with Monica, all the moments where we had to bring back that piece of her life that would never be the same. I had to tap in, and although it was difficult it was kind of healing to kind of go through that with Monica kind of at the same time and just kind of empathize and sympathize to what she was going through at the time.

QUESTION: Thank you. Condolences to you as well.

RAVEN GOODWIN: Thank you, thank you, thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Ronda. We actually have an email question in. We know that this movie does take a dark turn, but were there any memorable moments during filming that you both enjoyed?

RAVEN GOODWIN: Of course. Like we said, we’ve known each other for years. So if it was us taking our wigs off at random times, I mean, especially —

AMBER RILEY: Raven cannot keep that wig on.

RAVEN GOODWIN: I cannot keep my wig –I want to take this one off right now. I cannot keep the wig on. I will take my wig off in between breaks. Us playing music in the trailer. We had a scene with K. Michelle, myself, and Amber when it was kind of towards the end of production, and we just sat in my trailer, and we just we did what black women do best. We kee-kee’d. We, you know, it might have been some spirits. (laughs) And we ate, and we just had —

AMBER RILEY: (Fo’ sho @ 01:03:51).

RAVEN GOODWIN: Look, look, and we just had a amazing time. So memories like that you can’t really get back. Also, Janet being terribly afraid of the fire on set was just “huh-larious.” She looked like a little kid. All you see is the back of her head like this (gestures)(just getting @ 01:04:07). She’s ducking —

AMBER RILEY: Making sure it did not get out of control.

RAVEN GOODWIN: It sure did not get out of control. So just memories like that I’ll hold on to for the rest of my life. I’m super grateful for this experience, yeah.

AMBER RILEY: I think, for me, it’s the fact that we got to do most of our own stunts, and I — First of all, Raven is really strong. I need y’all to understand that if I ever go anywhere with Raven she’s handling the heavyweight, and I’m handling the lightweight and, period, because the girl was dragging me.

RAVEN GOODWIN: Oh, my God.

AMBER RILEY: She’s so strong. But, honestly, us being plus-size black women in a thriller, and we got to get physical, and we got to — And the team, I’m so sorry that I don’t know our stunt coordinator’s name, but our stunt coordinator and the stuntwomen that was teaching us what to do and stepped in, they were so hands-on, so amazing, professional, really taught us how to be safe but also make everything look so real, and everything looks so real and so great. So, for me, yes, the kee-keeing and all of that was absolutely amazing, which I expected that anyway, because everybody in the film was really dope. But, on top of that, just from the work that we did, that day of doing stunts was very difficult. It was really hard. (laughs) It was really hard but (audio glitch @ 01:05:42) —

RAVEN GOODWIN:
Holes in walls, it was just crazy, (for real @ 01:05:45) —

AMBER RILEY: Oh, my God. Just from the stunts, it looks amazing, it looks amazing.

RAVEN GOODWIN: It does.

MODERATOR: Wonderful. Well, that is actually all the time that we have today. So thank you, Amber, and thank you, Raven, for joining us today. Don’t forget “Single Black Female” premieres Saturday February 5th at 8/7 Central. And please stay tuned for our upcoming panel, “Line Sisters.”

(Thank yous and good-byes.)

AMBER RILEY: Love you, Raven.

RAVEN GOODWIN: Love you.

MORE INFO:

Trailer

Reeling from the death of her beloved father and a difficult breakup, Monica (Raven Goodwin), is ready to move forward with her life as she tries to land the new hosting job for an afternoon talk show.  When she hires a new assistant, Simone (Amber Riley), the two quickly become close friends as Simone moves in next door and completely immerses herself in Monica’s life.  But underneath her sweet exterior, Simone harbors a dark secret and as time goes on cracks in her façade begin to appear.  Monica decides to sever ties once and for all with Simone, but Simone has other plans and is determined to take over Monica’s life for good. K. Michelle also stars.

Single Black Female is directed by Shari Carpenter and written by Tessa Evelyn Scott and Sa’Rah L. Jones.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Single Black Female poster

Interview with Carolyn Hennesy

TV Interview!

Carolyn Hennesy

Interview with Carolyn Hennesy of “General Hospital” on ABC and “Vanished: Searching for My Sister” on Lifetime by Suzanne 1/19/22

This was such a fun call! Carolyn is very sweet and friendly. I really enjoyed chatting with her. You can probably tell that by reading or listening to us gab.

Don’t miss her movie this Saturday, January 22 on Lifetime. She does play a small part, but it’s worth watching. It’s a good suspense drama.

Suzanne: It’s nice to meet you.

Carolyn: Nice to meet you, too.

Suzanne: I want to let you know that my site TVMEG.com has been around for twenty-five years, and I’ve been interviewing TV actors, directors, producers, for about fifteen years. So, I just wanted to let you know… I’m not some rank amateur, even though, today I feel like one.

Carolyn: Jacqueline would never set me up with a rank amateur. I knew that from the start.

Suzanne: Oh, good, good. Just to let you know. I’m also a General Hospital fan, and I’ve been watching since 1984.

Carolyn: Wonderful.

Suzanne: So, I’m very excited to speak with you. I watched the Lifetime movie, it was very interesting. Tell us how this part came about for you.

Carolyn: It’s very simple. I told the director, Timothy Woodward Jr., who directed and is one of the producers of Studio City with Sean Canaan, I said to him one day on the set of Studio City, I said, “What’s our next project? What are we doing together?” And he said, “Well, interestingly enough, I’ve got this feature that’s going in Atlanta,” and I said, “Terrific, when do I show up?” And he laughed, and then he said, “You show up at this time.” So, yeah, I just basically told the director. I said, “We’re going to do something together. What is it?” This was it.

Suzanne: Well, that’s good that it worked.

Carolyn: Right. I mean, it’s so rare that you kind of bypass the audition process. It’s actually becoming a little more frequent for me, but this is one of those wonderful times where he just said, “Yeah, this is your role. Show up on set at this time.”

Suzanne: Well, that’s great. Well, he knew you already. So, why bother having an audition? He knows what you can do.

Carolyn: Yeah, and he knew what I was like to work with. He knew my set behavior and set protocol until it’s over. So yeah, all worked out. I was a proven commodity.

Suzanne: Right. And where was it filmed, and how long did it take?

Carolyn: It was filmed in Atlanta, and I was there for about – I was in Atlanta for I think it was a week all told. Actually, probably more like ten days. I think I was in Atlanta for about ten days. Now, that was my portion. The filming, I think it was a three week shoot. I believe it was a three week shoot.

Suzanne: And all done in Atlanta?

Carolyn: Yeah, well, on the outskirts of Atlanta, in various locales.

Suzanne: All right, great. And how was it playing a police detective, and have you played one before?

Carolyn: Have I ever played a police detective before? That’s a very good question. [laughs] You would think I would remember that. I might have. I just can’t remember at the moment.

Suzanne: No, I understand. I understand completely. Once you’ve done things many, many times. I’ll be like, sometimes I’ll get an interview request. “Oh, I would love to interview that person.” Then, “wait, wait. I interviewed them already, like 2012. Oops. I completely forgot.”

Carolyn: Yeah, people will say, “Carolyn, have you ever played a lawyer?” It’s like, “Have I?” Yes, in fact, I play one now.

Suzanne: Right, and was it very different from playing a lawyer, playing a police detective?

Carolyn: Well, this particular police detective is very stoic, very calm, very skeptical, a little jaded, a little hardened. So, there wasn’t the usual [unintelligible] that I have with Diane Miller or basically any of my other characters, almost any of them. She was a little more grounded, a little more stern, and just hard. You know, she’s seen it all; nothing surprises her. Nothing shocks her; that kind of character. And basically, Jasmine had the bulk of the dialogue in our scene. Kind of, not quite a “yes man,” but she’s the kind of person that doesn’t speak except when she really has something to say. She doesn’t talk for the sake of talking.

Suzanne: Well, that’s good, less dialogue to have to memorize

Carolyn: Oh, this seems really easy. Jasmine does most of the talking. I just say, you know, “Hold up there, Missy,” or something like that. Yeah, it was a little easy.

Suzanne: You just had to sit there and look pretty; that was your role.

Carolyn: I had to sit there and look as pretty as I possibly could, you know, three in the morning in the cold and rainy Atlanta.

Suzanne: Yeah, it can get cold rainy there. We used to live about three hours from there, so, yeah.

Carolyn: It can get cold and rainy, and you think, “Well, listen, this is Georgia.” You just don’t accept cold and rainy out of out of the Deep South, you just don’t. Then, when it happens, you think “Well, my goodness.” You know, it’s like Wisconsin, but the hair and the makeup people were top of their game, as was wardrobe, basically everybody, but the hair and makeup people were really first class. So, I never really had to worry about looking good, looking my best, actually.

Suzanne: Good. Yeah. Funny thing about the Deep South, it’s a large area, and the weather is crazy. I’m in Arkansas, and today it’s in the 60s, and last week we had snow. So, you never know. You just never know.

Carolyn: That’s what they say about the weather. “Just wait ten minutes. It’ll change.”

Suzanne: Yeah, I mean, it’s not like I grew up in Southern California, so it’s nothing like that at all.

Carolyn: And it’s interesting, because it was bitter cold this morning, and when I say “bitter cold,” you know.

Suzanne: No, I know. So, you and Jasmine, you play partners. Did you do to do anything to get to know each other better or to make you work more like partners beforehand?

Carolyn: Beforehand, no. It sort of came afterwards. She’s just a lovely individual. She’s so wonderful, so professional. And again, she’s one of these people that she’s been in the business so long. She’s seen it all. She’s done it all, but she makes cheesecake, and she brought in a couple of cheesecakes for the hair and makeup department, or, actually, that’s what that’s where they landed. Everybody was coming in to get some of Jasmine’s cheesecake. But then we started talking about some of the restaurants and some of the things to do in Atlanta proper, and my favorite restaurant in Atlanta. Maybe it’s the top three in in the United States, for me. It’s called Mary Mac’s Tea Room.

Suzanne: I know where that is. Yeah, I stayed at the hotel right across the street from there.

Carolyn: Well, Jasmine lives catty corner. So, I was there once on my own, as I am want to do, because [they] basically do anything. But after filming, I think I was to leave the next day, and I think it was a Monday, or we had one more day of filming, I can’t remember what it was, but Jasmine met me there. I’ve got pictures of more food on that table. They just kept bringing us stuff. We were ordering it but they just kept loading [up our plates]. Jasmine and I basically ate our weight in fried chicken and tomato pie and broccoli souffle. We just had the best time. And of course she was recognized. She’s recognized all over America. And she’s so gracious, so lovely. Then, every once in a while, somebody would look at me and go, “Oh, I know you, my kids watch Jessie.” I am like, “Thank you. Thank you very much.” Jasmine was like, “She’s on General Hospital.” [laughs] Thank you, Jasmine, my publicist.

Suzanne: You’ve done so much. So, you’re bound to be noticed for something.

Carolyn: But everyone loved A Different World. So, she still gets recognized. And she’s, again, so lovely, and that voice is so unique. [unintelligible] It’s Jasmine’s curse to bear, and she does it with great aplomb.

Suzanne: And this movie has two actors from early 90s hits sitcoms and three soap actors. So, was there any joking around about either of those things?…[Jasmine and] Tatyana Ali, from Fresh Prince.

Carolyn: …Again, one of the more lovely professional, gracious, funny individuals that I’ve ever worked with. She’s just lovely. She and Jasmine were basically the only ones I really worked with.

Suzanne: Tatyana was also on The Young & the Restless and of course, Justin (Bruening) was on All My Children.

Carolyn: That’s right. Again, I didn’t work with a lot of them, or didn’t closely with a lot of them. I worked certainly with Jasmine and Tatyana, but you’re absolutely right.

Suzanne: And I was wondering if you had any joking around about that or about the sitcom thing?

Carolyn: No, no, not really, because, again, I didn’t really work with them.

Suzanne: That’s fine. Did you see Tatyana when she was dressed up as both Jade and Kayla, and did you know it was the same actress?

Carolyn: I did not see her dressed up as Kayla, but I saw photos, I should say that. I saw photos, and yeah, a different person. And from what I understand, she navigated those waters just expertly.

Suzanne: Yes, she did.

Carolyn: She really did. I actually can’t wait to see the film. I’ve not seen it. [laughs] I’ve seen little bits and pieces, but nothing of her as Kayla.

Suzanne: The reason I asked is because I’d read an article where Justin was saying when he saw her dressed up as Kayla [he] didn’t recognize her and didn’t know who that person was and thought it was some other actress and had not been talking to her. Then, once once she spoke, he’s like, “Oh, I’m so sorry. I wasn’t talking to you.”

Carolyn: Right, right. It was a complete and utter transformation. There again, that’s due in large part to the hair and makeup people. They work magic.

Suzanne: Now, I have a question about GH, and you can feel free to say “no comment” or “move along” or whatever. I’m wondering about the mood of the cast and crew right now, because I know you had some actors leave, and there was some public fighting. Has this affected anyone?

Carolyn: You know what’s interesting? I.. actually, I go back to work a week from tomorrow. I have not been there…I was there one day before Christmas, and things were fine. I’ll just say “fine.” The mood was not elevated. The mood wasn’t depressed. Was it a different dynamic onset? Yes, it was, because everyone knew what happened. So, we all have a job to do. Everyone was professional enough not to discuss it, at least the actors that I worked with that day, and I actually only worked with Laura Wright, who is a consummate professional.

Suzanne: I was going to say, it’s probably the scene that was on this week, where Diane and Carly talk around stuff.

Carolyn: Yes. We have become gal pals. Who would have thunk it? Who would have thought that Carly and Diane could become close friends? And yes, we are.

Suzanne: Well, I guess after it’s been long enough.

Carolyn: Exactly, exactly, after long enough. Diane gets to know somebody long enough, and you know, we’re bosom buddies.

Suzanne: Well, I mean, even Sam and Carly were friends, and they did some terrible things to each other a long time ago.

Carolyn: Right! It just goes to show. Then, give it a few years, they’ll change back, and then their twin will come on the scene, and everyone will be confused, and then they’ll be possessed, or they’ll be in a coma.

Suzanne: And touching on that note, I had asked some GH fans on various Facebook groups if they had any questions for you. Many, many fans said to say that they love Diane, and that you’re a great actress. They didn’t say great. They said wonderful and a lot of other compliments I didn’t write down. They just love you, and they wish you had a bigger role in the show. I told them that wasn’t up to you.

Carolyn: No, it’s not up to me, but I wholeheartedly agree. Yes. And tell them, bless them for all of those wonderful comments, and I wholeheartedly agree.

Suzanne: And a few wanted to know if Diane might get another love interest soon. If you can tell us that or if you know anything about that?

Carolyn: Not that I know, but there again, I’m not on the fifth floor, in on those decisions. So, I will say that I did an event with Chris Rogers over the weekend, and Tristan looked at me and said, “We should really get together on the show.” And I said, “You can make that happen. You can go to Frank Valentini and say, ‘Guess what I’d like?’”

Suzanne: That would be an awesome couple. That would be great.

Carolyn: Wouldn’t that be so hilarious?

Suzanne: It would be so funny.

Carolyn: It would be so much fun.

Suzanne: Yes, definitely. I’ll have the fans start a petition.

Carolyn: Start a petition, exactly. Diane and Robert. Yeah. What should happen should be that we should butt heads in court and realize exactly how smart each other is and how fun each other is and how capable, and it should it should progress from there.

Suzanne: Right, or with Martin; that would also be good.

Carolyn: I would love that. I mean, my gosh. Michael Knight, come on. Michael Knight whose skin is better than a twenty-five year old, for God’s sake. I don’t know what he does. He must have a painting going to hell in an attic somewhere. I’m just saying.

Suzanne: Yes, I was so glad to see him join. I know there’re lots of All My Children fans who are so glad to see him join the show.

Carolyn: Yeah. So am I.

Suzanne: This was what I was going to touch on from what we were talking before about Diane and her friends. Sylvia wants to know if Diane will be having any scenes soon with Alexis, and whether they’re still besties.

Carolyn: Well, I do not know if I’m having scenes soon. As I say, I know I’m working a week from tomorrow, but I don’t know what those things are yet, as far as I’m concerned, and I think as far as Diane’s concerned, we’re still besties. Absolutely. You know, you don’t find someone like an Alexis on the show and then kind of let them go. I do wish that the powers that be had let Diane in a little bit more on Alexis’s stay in prison, be a little bit more involved in her recovery. So, I do wish that, but there again, I just stand on my mark and say my lines. [laughs]

Suzanne: You do your job, keep your head down, and hope for the best.

Carolyn: Keep my head down, show up on time, make sure I’m wearing the right shoes, and [unintelligible].

Suzanne: So, here’s a question, again, this wasn’t on the list, but it just occurred to me, because I thought about this before. Why do they have women on TV wear high heels? We can’t see your feet.

Carolyn: Well, honestly, for me, I can only speak for me, it actually helps. It elongates the leg. It makes you stand a little straighter, at least it does for me, and it completes the look. Certainly with Diane wearing a suit, or if you’re wearing a gown, sometimes you will see the feet, that’s number one, but number two is it completes the look, and for this actress, it helps fully flesh out the character.

Suzanne: Well, that makes sense…

Carolyn: And believe me, I wouldn’t I wouldn’t put on slippers or sneakers or low flats if I was in court and you couldn’t see my feet. I would never do it, because you want to hear the “click click click” as Diane walks back to her seat. You want to hear the “click click” as she’s rising and walking into the center of the courtroom. It’s very deliberate, and you know something profound is going to come out because of the way she walks in those heels, and that’s all part of the dynamic of that character in that moment, because you want to be able to use every tool that you’ve got.

Suzanne: Right, it’s part of the TV magic in a way, because fans wouldn’t necessarily notice it, but if it was gone, we’d probably say something is off. We might not notice the “click,” but if it was gone, we’d be, “Huh, what is wrong?”

Carolyn: Exactly. “What’s she got on her feet?”

Suzanne: Another fan, and I think her name is Hueann, loves your red hair and wants to know what your secret is for looking so young.

Carolyn: $200 a month.

Suzanne: Getting your hair done?

Carolyn: [laughs] Yes. My secret for looking so young? Well, that is all attitude. That’s just attitude. If you have the correct attitude for your own brain, then you could walk down the street wearing a gunny sack, and the next day, people would be wearing gunny sacks. It’s all attitude and the way you approach life and the way you approach your age, and etc, etc, etc. So, I’m very lucky that I do have what I think is just a great attitude towards living, and that keeps me young. Also, I work out on a track. So, that keeps me young too.

Suzanne: Right. Yeah, actually, I think you’re almost exactly – your birthday is in February, right?

Carolyn: No, June.

Suzanne: Oh, June, okay. So, you’re about six months younger than I am. I saw that. I was like, “Oh, okay.” That was just funny.

Carolyn: When is your birth date?

Suzanne:
Oh, December 3rd, ‘61.

Carolyn:
Oh, great.

Suzanne: So, I know what you mean when you talk about forgetting stuff. It seems to get worse as I get older. I’m lucky if I know what I had for lunch yesterday.

Carolyn: Truly.

Suzanne: One last question. Maggie wants to know, which client of Diane’s would you say is the one that causes the most trouble, and which client causes the least trouble? Or what would Diane say?

Carolyn: The most trouble is a toss up between Jason Morgan and Sonny Corinthos, and the least trouble – Does she have a client that causes her the least trouble? There is no such thing as the least trouble in Port Charles, certainly not with Diane’s clients. They’re all wonderful, fabulous train wrecks.

Suzanne: You mentioned the possession thing earlier, that would be great. I know they don’t want to do something like that on GH anymore. I love the stuff in the 80s when they did things like that. I wish they would bring that kind of thing back like when they had the alien. I don’t know if you saw that.

Carolyn: I remember a little bit, and there was an island and someone was a Mayan princess.

Suzanne: Yes. Felicia was a Mayan princess. No, not Mayan; she’s an Aztec princess.

Carolyn: Aztec princess. So sorry. So sorry.

Suzanne: Yes, in fact, I started watching in ‘84, like I said, and it was before Felicia came on, and [there] was something to do with a necklace. There’s always a necklace, right?

Carolyn: There’s always the necklace.

Suzanne: Aztec necklace and she was dressed as a boy and hiding under Frisco’s bed.

Carolyn: As one does.

Suzanne: Exactly, but that wasn’t nearly as odd as when Robin got involved with the Ancient One in the Asian quarter and they discovered Casey the Alien, and he had some magical crystals from his planet, and the bad guys in the Asian quarter had them, something to do with that. I don’t remember the exact story, but it was very – I love that.

Carolyn: …The fans will remember.

Suzanne: Yes, the fans will. Well, I’m a fan but like I said, I have to look everything up.

Carolyn: Oh, of course, yeah, me too. That’s so funny.

Suzanne: That would be great if they did something like that nowadays. I don’t know if the fans would like it. They seem to be more into realism.

Carolyn: They do seem to be, don’t they? But it would be a little fun.

Suzanne: It would be.

Carolyn: It would be a boat load of fun. A boat load of fun, I’ll tell you that. Especially If Diane saw an alien, and no one believed her.

Suzanne: Well, you would think of all people you might believe Diane, because she’s so no-nonsense and down to earth.

Carolyn: That’s absolutely true. That’s absolutely true. It’s like if Diane walked in and said, “I just saw a spaceship.”

Suzanne: Or they’d wonder what she drank — if she drank too much at her lunch.

Carolyn: Exactly, and, you know, Diane’s been known to do that. It’s that simple.

Suzanne: Yeah, I guess the closest they’ve come in modern times was when they sort of touched on the vampire thing, but they were sort of cagey about it. It’s like, did it happen? Didn’t it happen. And it was Lucy, so nobody believed her.

Carolyn: Well, no, I mean, would you? I mean, let’s face it, she’s an alien herself.

Suzanne: Yeah, exactly. Well, she was a vampire hunter. Well, I appreciate your talking at me.

Carolyn: I loved it. Let’s do it again.

Suzanne: All right, and I am telling everybody about the movie, and I hope you get lots of people watching, and we look forward to the next one.

Carolyn: Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. We’ll talk at you again, okay?

Suzanne: Thank you. Bye bye.

Carolyn: Thank you so much. Bye bye.

Here is the audio version of it.

Here’s our panel interview with Tatyana Ali, Justin Bruening, Carolyn Hennesy and Treach!

MORE INFO:

Trailer: Vanished: Searching For My Sister

"Vanished: Searching For My Sister" on Lifetime posterVANISHED: SEARCHING FOR MY SISTER

Premieres Saturday, January 22ndat 8p/7c

Twins Jada and Kayla (both played by Tatyana Ali) could not be more opposite: Jada being the mild- mannered sister with an office job, and Kayla the wild child. Recently divorced from her husband Warren (Justin Bruening), Kayla asks Jada to watch her daughter while she sets up her new apartment. But after a few days with no word from Kayla, Jada begins to worry and reports her sister missing. With no leads and the police investigation at a standstill, Jada takes matters into her own hands. She disguises herself as her sister and gets pulled into a world of drugs and deceit in order to learn the shocking truth about what really happened to Kayla.

Vanished: Searching for My Sister also stars Jasmine Guy, Carolyn Hennesy and Anthony “Treach” Criss. The film is produced by Big Dreams Entertainment and Leslie Greif serves as executive producer. Tim Woodward Jr. directs from a script written by Christina Welsh.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Carolyn Hennesy in "Vanished: Searching For My Sister" on Lifetime

Interview with Tatyana Ali, Justin Bruening, Carolyn Hennesy and Treach

TV Interview!

Lifetime panel

Interview with Tatyana Ali, Justin Bruening, Carolyn Hennesy and Treach of “Vanished: Searching For My Sister” on Lifetime by Suzanne 1/10/22

This was an intriguing movie with many different actors. The panel was for Lifetime with quite a few panels that day. This was the only one where I didn’t get to ask a question. It’s okay, though. There were many great questions asked. I enjoyed seeing this great cast. Jasmine Guy is also in the movie, and she’s fabulous. I was just happy to see Justin Bruening again (as he was great as Jamie on “All My Children“) and Carolyn Hennesy (she plays Diane on “General Hospital“).  Tatyana does a fine job with her dual role as sisters Kayla and Jada. Also, I didn’t know that “Treach” was the leader of the rap group Naughty By Nature. Stay tuned soon for my one-on-one interview with Carolyn Hennesy!

MODERATOR: Hi, everyone. Welcome to our “Vanished: Searching For My Sister” panel. Today we have Tatyana Ali, Justin Bruening, Carolyn Hennesy and Treach. Thank you guys all for being here.

CAROLYN HENNESY: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Our first question is an email question, and it comes in asking for the entire cast how was this movie standout compared to other projects that you’ve all acted in?

TREACH: Well, for me, I had the honor of working with a legend like Tatyana right there. I’ve grown up, I was watching her. You know the history so just to have the pleasure of getting on there is really when you know Jasmine Guy and Justin, these great actors, you got to understand you’ve got to really come here prepared, because they are legendary these guys here. So it was just a whole different vibe with just knowing that you were in great hands. You know when you step on a set with production and everything, you see how it’s rolling you’re like, yeah, this is one of them right here.

CAROLYN HENNESY: Well, for me, it was really cold in Atlanta, so there was that. My trailer had no heat so that was fun, but it was all the more exciting to get inside when we did have those scenes inside. Yay! And be able to work with Tatyana, and Tatyana on this panel is the only one that I worked with, because my scenes were with her and Jasmine pretty much primarily. And so Jasmine’s just everything you would expect her to be. She’s a hoot-and-a-half, and she’s so, she’s a consummate professional as is Tatyana, but Tatyana was not quite as funny, because she was threatened with she’s going to be killed at any moment, her character. So she was very, very serious, and we were kind of coming at her with don’t do what we all know you’re going to do and that is double as your sister. So it was really a tremendous amount of fun to keep it fun and light on the set, and then when the cameras rolled we were just in it, but I was pretty much cold all the time, so that was me.

(Laughter.)

Tatyana Ali as Kayla, pretending to be JadaJUSTIN BRUENING: I didn’t have that problem but working with Tatyana was amazing. Watching her transform into two different, entirely different people was just phenomenal. I mean, there was even a moment when she did her whole transformation into Kayla, and we were sitting across from each other, and like we had on masks on and stuff, but I didn’t know it was her, because I’d never seen her. I mean, I just worked with her twenty minutes before that, and I was like sitting across from this woman. I’m like, “Who’s that?”

(Laughter.)

JUSTIN BRUENING: “They just let anybody in on this set. It’s just strange.”

TATYANA ALI: I remember that. We had such a rapport during the whole shoot, and I was like, “Wow, is he having a bad day? Like what, why are you staring at me that way?”

JUSTIN BRUENING: I’m shy. I was shy. I didn’t know who that was. It’s a new person. Nobody introduced me. I felt bad. Yeah, it was great.

TATYANA ALI: For me, what was different about this one, the cast is so amazing, and the crew, and I just had an incredible time working with everybody. Treach, there was a point when it was one of the scenes in the trailer when you kind of grip me up in the club, and I don’t even know if you noticed, but I had to take a moment afterwards, because you are scary. When you want to be. You’re so like kind and wonderful, and you just scared the bejesus out of me, like, for real. Yeah, just working with everybody was amazing. Especially, I was so excited when I read the script, like the fact that it’s based on a true story and that this really happened, that a woman really went undercover as her twin. All of that was so exciting. I love the notion of not allowing your loved one to remain a statistic or not be cared about; that someone would fight so hard to make sure that her sister, who has been through addiction, been through all these things, that her life mattered. I really loved that and so into it, and then right before I started working I was like, “Oh, my God. What did I get myself into?” But y’all saved me, so thank you.

(Laughter.)

MODERATOR: Thank you, everybody. Our next question is from Rick Bentley.

QUESTION: Thank you very much. Tatyana, do actors when they start their career think, “Oh, boy. I hope one day I get to play a twin?” Or “Oh, my God. I hope I don’t ever have to play a twin?”

Kayla (Tatyana Ali) and her ex-husband, played by Phillip Mullings, Jr.TATYANA ALI: (laughs) Maybe, “Oh, my God. I don’t ever have to play — I hope I don’t ever have to play a twin.” I, actually, no, it was really a wonderful sort of like experiment, and especially in the kind of truncated schedule that we have there were days when I went back and forth between the sisters, and it can make you feel a little bit crazy. Like our makeup and hair department and costumes, they were really like a refuge for me on those days. But it’s fun. You kind of have to use literally like everything you know or think you know or might guess at to, not just create two people, but then also a relationship, the relationship between them, the history between them. That was really fun, actually. It’s kind of like you might not hope to do it, but it could be a dream to be able to do it.

QUESTION: A quick follow-up. Did you color code your script or did you put markers to who you were for the day?

TATYANA ALI: I’m super anal. I always color code my script even if it’s one person.

(Laughter.)

TATYANA ALI: So, yeah, I keep a binder. I’m not at the iPad script yet phase —

JUSTIN BRUENING: Yeah.

QUESTION: Thank you very much.

MODERATOR: Thanks, Rick. Our next question is from “Right On! Digital.”

QUESTION: Hello? Can you hear me?

TATYANA ALI: Hi.

TREACH: Hi.

JUSTIN BRUENING: Hi.

QUESTION: Okay. Hi. My question is for Tatyana. We’ve known about your work for years, and we’ve publicized you many times in “Right On! Magazine.” You talked about the fact that it can make you a little crazy playing two characters in one. What was it like actually preparing for a role where you’re actually playing two people, because that’s an enormous amount of responsibility to have that much dialogue. So what was your secret to actually preparing?

TATYANA ALI: Just, you know, it’s similar to the way I prepare for just playing one role except you just double it. They both have their, they’re sisters, so they have their shared pasts, and they’re sisters, so they also have things that only the two of them know that the rest of the world don’t know. They both have their own wishes and desires and hopes and dreams, and so it’s all it’s the same, it’s just more. And so even with when I was kind of prepping for it and doing my own rehearsals like I just tried to kind of schedule the time, so there’d be like days working on one, and then days working on the other so I didn’t have to get confused. And then their style, like, for me, once I start, once I am in their hair, in their clothes, and then all of the things, their walk or their body language, all those things that I tried to –I always work on those things but just with twins it’s like I was trying to differentiate them a little bit more, but once all those pieces come together then it’s kind of like they kind of, it meets somewhere. I felt that I guess that’s how it happened.

(Laughter.)

QUESTION: All right. Well, thank you. Hi, Treach.

TREACH: Hello.

QUESTION: And one —

MODERATOR: And — Oh, sorry.

QUESTION: May I ask Treach a question while we have him?

MODERATOR: Of course.

QUESTION: Okay. Treach, hi.

TREACH: Hello.

QUESTION: Cynthia from “Right On! Magazine.” What was it like on the set? Is there a fun fact you can tell us about, something that we wouldn’t know because we weren’t there?

TREACH: Yeah. I mean, there’s certain times you get into stuff, like you’ll have a scene. Like, for instance, I was rolling upon a motorcycle. I’m not even half good on a pedal bike.

(Laughter.)

TREACH: So I got to really show my acting skills. I had to find, okay, the clutch and when I do should I look (audio glitch @ 00:38:07), but I know people that ride motorcycles and stuff, so I had to do what I knew they do without doing nothing.

(Laughter.)

TATYANA ALI: You look good on that bike.

TREACH: Thank you. But the movie magic makes things happen. So I know, like, certain, like I said, it was certain things that I naturally don’t do at all. When I do a movie it’s so fun to me because I got to really make sure they think I know what I’m doing.

QUESTION: Okay. Thank you.

TREACH: You’re welcome.

MODERATOR: Thank you. Our next question is from Abbie Bernstein.

QUESTION: Sorry. It took me a second to find my unmute. Good morning. Thank you all for doing this. Question for anybody or everybody who’d like to take it. Is there any difference between doing a Lifetime thriller and a different network or an indie film with thriller subject matter and the same schedule and budget? Is there anything specific to working for Lifetime?

CAROLYN HENNESY: There’s a lot more blood on an independent.

(Laughter.)

JUSTIN BRUENING: Yeah.

CAROLYN HENNESY: It’s the truth. It’s the absolute truth.

JUSTIN BRUENING: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

CAROLYN HENNESY: And the things you can get away with on an independent thriller, um hm. Yeah, the Lifetime audience would pass on that, so.

JUSTIN BRUENING: Yeah.

CAROLYN HENNESY: But (audio glitch @ 00:39:33).

QUESTION: Is there —

TREACH: You know, for this type of movie, like, everyone goes to Lifetime to watch these types of movies, but the masses, one thing that’s beautiful about Lifetime, the masses is going to tune in.

CAROLYN HENNESY: Yeah.

TREACH: They have a long list of anything that like what comes on Lifetime I’m here. So it’s just a honor to be on Lifetime, because you know that following, that cult following is goin’ be there for you.

Justin Bruening and Tatyana AliJUSTIN BRUENING: Well —

QUESTION: Is there any — Oh, sorry.

JUSTIN BRUENING: I was going to say that’s a tough question, because I think our Director Tim Woodward sort of filmed it like an independent, like I think he went for that.

CAROLYN HENNESY: True.

JUSTIN BRUENING: So I think there’s some stuff that ended up on the cutting room floor, speaking of blood.

(Laughter.)

JUSTIN BRUENING: There was a little bit, but — a lot — but, yeah, I mean, I think that — I think he really — that I think he set that as his benchmark, and he went for that, but I think that we had to tone it down for Lifetime, for that audience, but I think we filmed it the same way we would film an independent film.

TATYANA ALI: Yeah. I’ve worked with Lifetime many times now, and I always feel really supported by the network and by the executives. That’s always a really good feeling, and they stay in communication while you’re filming and that’s awesome but to also know, it’s true, there’s this very wide audience, and there’s something about Lifetime. Like I always think about my cousins and my family because I know they’re going to be watching it. Like I can’t, I got to make them proud. Like they are (audio glitch @ 00:41:09), everyone’s going to be texting me while it’s on, and there’s something about that that’s actually really special.

CAROLYN HENNESY: I think also with it being Lifetime — very often in an independent you don’t get the justice that you want at the end. Things are left unresolved, and sometimes you can leave the theater or whatever you’re viewing it on unsatisfied, that’s not going to happen with a Lifetime thriller. Things are going to be wrapped up. Everyone’s going to be happy and vindicated, and you’re going to end up being thrilled during the movie, but all will be well at the end pretty much, or maybe not this with this one. I don’t know —

QUESTION: Does it affect your performances in any way?

CAROLYN HENNESY: Say that again?

QUESTION: I’m sorry. Does it affect your performances in any way either knowing there isn’t going to be that much blood or that everything is going to be resolved at the end? Do you play with more fervor and less frustration? Or do you perform it the same way you would perform a more ambiguously ended material?

CAROLYN HENNESY: Whatever is honest for the character is how you go.

JUSTIN BRUENING: Um-hm.

CAROLYN HENNESY: So it doesn’t matter if it’s a soap opera.

TATYANA ALI: That’s right.

CAROLYN HENNESY: Or a Lifetime or a Darren Bousman “Saw” franchise films. It’s all, for me, for me. I mean —

JUSTIN BRUENING: Yeah, I agree with that.

TATYANA ALI: Yeah, ditto.

QUESTION: Thank you very much.

TREACH: You’re welcome.

MODERATOR: Thank you. Our next question is from Luaine Lee.

QUESTION: Tatyana, which twin was more difficult to play and why?

TATYANA ALI: Huh, you know, I guess I would have to say Jada, because I certainly get to play her more, but often during the film, and it sometimes led to a little bit of confusion when we were filming, I spent a lot of time playing — I spent a lot of time — I’m sorry. Did I leave? I spent a lot of time playing Jada pretending to be Kayla, and those were probably the most challenging parts, playing someone you love, kind of Jada putting on Kayla’s wigs, going out into Kayla’s world which, you know, she’s heard of but never really participated in, just the longing to know what’s happened to her sister and to find her. I think Jada pretending to be Kayla was the most challenging, for sure.

QUESTION: Were you scared to do it?

TATYANA ALI: I was excited at first and then as I got closer and closer, yeah, I was scared, but that, I’ve come to learn that that’s — If I’m not intimidated by what I’m trying to do then I’m almost like not that excited about it, so nerves to me are like a good sign that I’m stretching myself. So, yeah, I was.

QUESTION: Thanks.

MODERATOR: Thank you. We have time for one more question and that’s going to be from Noah Wilson.

QUESTION: Hello, everyone. It’s so great to be here with you guys. Tatyana, I do want to ask you, taking on two roles could you ever see yourself doing it again?

TATYANA ALI: (laughs) I had a lot of fun doing it. I would love to do it on a project where we had more time. It was hard to switch on the same day. That was really hard to go back and forth on the same day, and when I was prepping for it I saw a lot of films where actors played multiple characters and twins and sisters and even read a lot of interviews of the process, but we had three weeks, so. I would. I would try it again. I thought it was — I was exhausted when it was done, but it was thrilling, and I really liked playing a character like Kayla, even for the short period of time that I do in the film. I’ve never really, I’ve never been able, given the chance to play somebody like her, and she really stole my heart.

QUESTION: Yes. Well, I enjoyed you in “A Picture Perfect Holiday” and I cannot wait to see you in “Vanished: Searching For My Sister.” Thank you so much, guys.

CAROLYN HENNESY: Thank you.

TREACH: Thank you.

JUSTIN BRUENING: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Thank you so much to all the panelists and everyone that attended. Please tune in to “Vanished: Searching For My Sister” on January 22nd at 8/7 Central. Thanks you guys.

TATYANA ALI: Love you, guys. Good to see.

TREACH: Thank you.

CAROLYN HENNESY: You too, honey.

JUSTIN BRUENING: Thank you.

TREACH: Love y’all. Peace.

TATYANA ALI: Bye.

JUSTIN BRUENING: Happy 2022!

Check out our one-on-one interview with Carolyn Hennesy!

MORE INFO:

"Vanished: Searching For My Sister" on Lifetime posterTwins Jada and Kayla (both played by Tatyana Ali) could not be more opposite: Jada being the mild-mannered sister with an office job, and Kayla the wild child. Recently divorced from her husband Warren (Justin Bruening), Kayla asks Jada to watch her daughter while she sets up her new apartment.  But after a few days with no word from Kayla, Jada begins to worry and reports her sister missing. With no leads and the police investigation at a standstill, Jada takes matters into her own hands.  She disguises herself as her sister and gets pulled into a world of drugs and deceit in order to learn the shocking truth about what really happened to Kayla.

Vanished: Searching for My Sister also stars Jasmine Guy, Carolyn Hennesy and Anthony “Treach” Criss.

The film is produced by Big Dreams Entertainment and Leslie Greif serves as executive producer. Tim Woodward Jr. directs from a script written by Christina Welsh.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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"Vanished: Searching For My Sister" panel for Lifetime

Interview with actors from “Safe Room”

TV Interview!

Nicole Ari Parker and Nik Sanchez

Interview with actors from “Safe Room” on Lifetime by Suzanne 1/10/22

This was from another Lifetime Press Panel on Zoom. It was a lot of fun. I enjoyed this movie, too. It was a good, suspenseful drama. The actors did a great job. I was the third questioner below.

MODERATOR: Please join me in welcoming the cast of “Safe Room.” We have with us today the stars Nicole Ari Parker, her husband Boris Kodjoe, who not only stars in the movie but is also making his directorial debut, Drea De Matteo, Mackenzie Astin, and the talented Nik Sanchez.

NICOLE ARI PARKER: Woo hoo.

BORIS KODJOE: Hey, what up?

NICOLE ARI PARKER: What up?

MODERATOR: I’m going to get us started immediately with questions from the floor and, once again if you’d like to ask a question please raise your hand, and we have a lot already, so I’m going to get started. The first question goes to Jay Bobbin. Jay, if you can unmute your line.

QUESTION: Hello, thank you very much. Hi, everyone. Thanks for doing this. Boris, when you’re doing something like this the space you have to work with is somewhat limited, obviously. Can you talk a little bit about the challenges and how you meet those to keep your camera moving within such a finite space and keep things active and just keep things in motion?

BORIS KODJOE: That’s a great question. You know, one of the things that I discussed with my DP, Jay Feather, who’s a genius, who — We discussed expanding out of the room by way of creating visuals that pull you in and that create a different sort of angle and a different vision. And so we talked to Luie Garcia, who is our amazing production designer, and she really created magic in that room and every wall, if you noticed, every wall was different, and everything sort of looked different that gave us a different perspective. When the camera was where the front door was and looked into the room there was an amazing wallpaper, I don’t know if you remember, that sort of took us out of the room into nature, but it was definitely at the forefront of my mind, because I didn’t want the audience to feel like we were constricted, and then it’d turn into sort of like a boring thing every time they head into the space.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Our next question goes to Rick Bentley.

QUESTION: Thank you very much. And, Nicole, I have to imagine that the easiest part of doing this role was the motherly instinct to protect. Can you just talk about was that set, and you just had to work on all the other aspects?

NICOLE ARI PARKER: Well, when I met Nik Sanchez it was very easy to love him and want to protect him. So, yes, I am a mom, but also that does not always translate when you have to — when the movie’s cast, but Nik was so generous with me, because when you’re playing a parent it’s not just the title of mom. It’s the small things, the way you touch your son or your daughter, the way you hug them and talk to them, and I really wanted to respect Nik’s space, and he let me violate him with kisses and hugs.

[LAUGHTER]

NICOLE ARI PARKER: So, yeah, it was a wonderful experience to work with such a talented young actor playing my son.

QUESTION: If I can quickly ask Nik to respond.

NIK SANCHEZ: Yeah.

QUESTION: How was it working with Nicole?

NIK SANCHEZ: Well, she was amazing. She felt like a real mom to me, and both Boris and Nicole knew that this was going to be like their first movie project, so like they made sure like before, we had lunch together, and like they made sure that I felt comfortable and knew what was going on and, immediately, I already like knew that me and Nicole were going to get along, and it really felt like I had two moms on set because like, yeah, they were just amazing, and you and Nicole was amazing.

QUESTION: Thank you.

NIK SANCHEZ: Yeah.

NICOLE ARI PARKER: Shout out to your mom, Naomi, who is incredible and also very kind and patient with me because part of revealing a relationship is what happens in private and between a mother and a son or a mother and a daughter. How do you really be there for your kid in crisis, and then in the confines of shooting it like what is the aspect that we can show in this moment. And Naomi, Nik’s mom, said these are the kind of things I do when I’m at home with Nik and Damaya (SP), and this is how I solve a crisis, and so I’m really grateful for her presence on set.

MODERATOR: Thank you, and thank you, Rick. The next question goes to Suzanne with “TVMeg.”

NICOLE ARI PARKER: Hi, Drea.

DREA DE MATTEO: Hi, Nicole. You look really, really, really cute right now.

NICOLE ARI PARKER: So do you.

DREA DE MATTEO: I was going to text you, but I’m like I’m just going to stay still. I’m going to be cool.

NICOLE ARI PARKER: I was thinking the same thing. I was like —

DREA DE MATTEO: I was like she looks smokin’.

NICOLE ARI PARKER: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Suzanne, go right ahead with your question.

QUESTION: Okay. Can you hear me now?

BORIS KODJOE: Yeah. Hi, Suzanne, speak up.

QUESTION: Okay, hi. Sorry. So I really love this movie. It’s such an interesting idea and has so many twists and turns. You didn’t know what was going to happen next. Boris, did you write the movie or just direct it, just to clarify for me real quick?

BORIS KODJOE: No, I did not write the movie. The movie was written by the amazing — I keep pronouncing her name wrong. Help me. Her name is… sorry. I did not write the movie. I made some tweaks and changes to accommodate the location and some of the aspects we have to deal with. Also, in terms of the characters I made some changes to accommodate all the amazing actors we have but, no, I did not write the movie and before you leave us I will have the name of the incredible writer who wrote this movie.

QUESTION: All right. And what attracted you to the script?

BORIS KODJOE: The mother/son relationship is what attracted me to the script. Obviously, there are circumstances that are high stakes and dangerous and suspenseful, which lent itself to heighten the stakes to the point where it’s life or death. But, to me, at the core was the mother and son relationship, because when you have a child on the spectrum, as a parent, you constantly put out fires. You deal with and you manage your child, and there’s a whole lot of things we project on our children, but throughout the movie the relationship between the mother and the son changes, and she really sees him in a different light, because he steps up and at the end, I can’t give it away, but really comes into his own.

QUESTION: Yes, thank you so much.

BORIS KODJOE: And her name is Nneka, by the way. Nneka, Nneka — How do you pronounce it? Gerstle?

NICOLE ARI PARKER: I think it’s Gerstle.

BORIS KODJOE: Nneka Gerstle is her name.

QUESTION: Thank you so much.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Suzanne.

NICOLE ARI PARKER: And it’s N-N-E-K-A.

BORIS KODJOE: N-N-E-K-A, Nneka.

NICOLE ARI PARKER: Watch her be like my name is [SOUNDS LIKE: Neeka Ga-still-lay].

(Laughter.)

DREA DE MATTEO: This is my favorite conversation.

MODERATOR: The next question goes to the “Hollywood Times.” If you could unmute your mic.

QUESTION: Oh, good morning. I have a question for Boris, and then I have a follow-up for Nicole. How was it stepping in behind the camera and directing the film? Did you find it challenging to direct and star in the film?

BORIS KODJOE: Thanks for the question. Actually, that was not the most challenging part. The most — Hello?

QUESTION: That’s not me talking.

BORIS KODJOE: Okay. Can you hear me?

QUESTION: Yeah, I can hear you.

BORIS KODJOE: The most challenging part for me was to get all my ideas and my vision into this very sort of constrained schedule. We didn’t have a lot of time, and it made it very challenging for me, and I had to be very creative with —

NICOLE ARI PARKER: Very quickly.

BORIS KODJOE: –with Jay Feather, my DP. We had to figure out ways to tell the story and to respect my vision while not going over budget. That was the most challenging part to me.

NICOLE ARI PARKER: You were also really nervous to meet Drea.

BORIS KODJOE: Yes, I was very nervous to meet Drea.

NICOLE ARI PARKER: Because she’s the bomb.

BORIS KODJOE: That was the second most challenging part of shooting this movie.

DREA DE MATTEO: Oh, because I’m so scary.

NICOLE ARI PARKER: We did not know how sweet and kind and shy and delicate she was. You know, she has this massive presence and persona —

BORIS KODJOE: Persona, yes. She’s a delicate flower.

NICOLE ARI PARKER: She’s totally a delicate flower.

BORIS KODJOE: On a meadow, somewhere in a black forest. I had no idea.

DREA DE MATTEO: It’s the eyebrows, the mean eyebrows.

BORIS KODJOE: But we had a lot of challenges. We had flooding on the set. We had an active shooter in the neighborhood who made it really hard for us to continue.

NICOLE ARI PARKER: We had the cicadas, the 17-year, yeah.

BORIS KODJOE: Cicadas came and descended down —

NICOLE ARI PARKER: Right on the house with the sound department, and we can’t shoot anything.

BORIS KODJOE: And we had the camera truck stolen, so —

NICOLE ARI PARKER: Well, just the, the entire truck wasn’t stolen, just the cameras in the camera truck.

BORIS KODJOE: In the camera truck.

NICOLE ARI PARKER: Yeah.

BORIS KODJOE: Yeah. So a lot of challenges but with these beautiful people here that you see, and the quarterback next to me, I was able to pull through; Jay Feather, the DP; obviously, Dominique Telson, our producer, and we got it done.

QUESTION: Nicole, you’ve shared seamlessly, actually, shared the screen with Boris over a decade, but was it easy taking direction from him because he is your real husband? And do you feel like he made it a point to try and exceed your expectations?

NICOLE ARI PARKER: Well, I think that we have such a great rapport back and forth because we did meet on “Soul Food” twenty years ago in a TV setting, so we know how a set runs. My first impulse was to collaborate, so he would tell me something day one, and I would be like, “Well, actually, if you just push in and then da-da-da-da-da,” and I realized like halfway through the sentence, because everybody was silent — I think, Mack, you were there that day — I just, in that moment, I was like we’ve got one take, and we have to do it in four minutes, okay? And he is the captain of the ship, and I have to just let him do it. So I pushed back like day one, scene one.

BORIS KODJOE: Yeah.

NICOLE ARI PARKER: And then after that I just did what he said.

BORIS KODJOE: Well, she realized that a lot of preparation went into setting up these shots and, you know —

NICOLE ARI PARKER: Yes.

BORIS KODJOE: — I had the confined space, time, a lot of things to deal with, and I think she realized that I had through those things numerous times, and I had plan A, B, C, D, E, F, G ready to go.

NICOLE ARI PARKER: Yeah. And I looked Mack’s face. I was like, “Because you’re an actor, right? Mack, you get it. You get what I’m saying, that if you just run in and then fall he can just shoot it from…” and Mack just looked at me like (Makes face.)

MACKENZIE ASTIN: Got to make this day, got to make this day —

BORIS KODJOE: He pled the fifth, he pled the fifth.

NICOLE ARI PARKER: He (totally pled the fifth @ 00:14:07).

BORIS KODJOE: He pled the fifth. He was hiding behind his mask. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: Thank you both for doing this today.

BORIS & NICOLE: Thank you.

MODERATOR: The next question is an email question for Drea. Drea, you have a huge fan following from “The Sopranos,” and in this movie you play the villain Rocco, who’s also a tough-talking type. Did you like playing Rocco?

DREA DE MATTEO: I really, really did. I think, well, this has been the month of me playing psychopaths, just the beginning of it. So I think I’m used to playing a victim, so it was nice to victimize somebody else. There’s a real freedom that comes with being a psychopath. You’re just not careful about anything, nothing is calculated. Everything is just, you know, it just all hangs out. So, yes, I really enjoyed being able to be this awful human being. There’s no redeeming qualities here.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Drea. The next question is from Karen Moul. Karen, if you can unmute your mic.

QUESTION: Hi, everybody. Hi from Baltimore. I’m calling you from my place in Baltimore.

NICOLE ARI PARKER: Hi, Karen.

BORIS KODJOE: Hey.

QUESTION: In fact, Mack and I are neighbors and go to the same restaurant.

MODERATOR: Ask a question.

BORIS KODJOE: Wow.

QUESTION: When I read about this movie I thought Drea De Matteo and Mackenzie Astin as the heavies, that’s a little unexpected, and then halfway through the film I thought these two need like a spinoff like a workplace comedy with these characters, and I wonder if you could talk about where you guys found your chemistry together and for these two characters, and how you enjoyed playing them together.

DREA DE MATTEO: Go Mack.

MACKENZIE ASTIN: Well, I’ll go ahead and say that I think like the universe helped establish the chemistry. Drea and I have known each other for about twenty years now. An old friend of mine that I worked with ended up working with her and connected us, and we became friends. So I actually sort of got this job because Drea recommended me, so there’s an instant chemistry boost right there, but we’ve known each other twenty some-odd years now, so that stuff’s sort of already in there, which is great, actually. And the opportunity to work together after being friends for so long absolutely destroyed our friendship. (Laughter.)

BORIS KODJOE: Karen, I want to jump in here real quick because, yes, it’s not true. He didn’t get the job because Drea recommended him. He got the job because —

NICOLE ARI PARKER: He got the audition because Drea recommended him.

BORIS KODJOE: Exactly. He got the audition because Drea recommended him.

NICOLE ARI PARKER: And then killed it.

BORIS KODJOE: And he slaughtered and incinerated the audition.

NICOLE ARI PARKER: And I’m from Baltimore, and my mother and father still live in Baltimore, so I was like you got to give it to Baltimore, man. You got to give it to Baltimore.

BORIS KODJOE: No, he came in and it was scorched earth.

NICOLE ARI PARKER: Yeah. He shut it down.

BORIS KODJOE: He took the role.

MACKENZIE ASTIN: Well, a lot of stuff conspired to make it all come together for which I’m super grateful, because it’s not that often that a job comes to town, and it was good to get onboard.

QUESTION: Well, Dominic and Rocco were a lot of fun and very scary, so thanks a lot.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Karen. The next question is from Noah Wilson.

QUESTION: Hello, everyone. It’s so great to be here with you guys. Boris, I wanted to ask you my first question. Congratulations on this being your directorial debut. It being with Lifetime, could you ever see yourself direct more movies with Lifetime down the road, because this is such a fantastic film. So many are going to love to “Safe Room.” It’s so intense.

BORIS KODJOE: Wow. Thank you. Thank you, Noah.

NICOLE ARI PARKER: Wow.

BORIS KODJOE: Thank you for these kind words, and I was delighted to work with Lifetime. Tanya Lopez was amazing. She really supported the project. She loved it, as well as Mekita Faiye who was our executive over there. It was a delight. I’m forever grateful for them for thinking about me for this movie and, hopefully, yes, absolutely. I’d love to do more work with them.

QUESTION: Now how was it like to not only direct but star in the movie with your wife and get to work together as partners on this, because you don’t see a lot of Hollywood stars get to work with their husband or wife in a movie, so how was that like?

BORIS KODJOE: That’s true. Like my wife said earlier, we met on a set, so we were very much accustomed to the environment of a professional setting, and we thrive in that setting, and so working with her again was a dream because, first of all, she makes me better, and she is, you know, she was a top dog, and her energy and her professionalism sort of transcended the whole set. Everybody had to step it up a notch when she stepped on set, and I love to see that. And I’m forever grateful for these people here on our Zoom. They really came to play, which I loved. All I had to do was really set the stage and then get out the way. They were all phenomenal.

NICOLE ARI PARKER: I think Nik kind of stepped up everyone’s game.

BORIS KODJOE: Yeah. Definitely.

NICOLE ARI PARKER: Yeah.

BORIS KODJOE: Nik’s energy —

NICOLE ARI PARKER: He was like that’s not your line.

BORIS KODJOE: Yeah. He was very specific about everybody’s lines.

NIK SANCHEZ: Thank you.

NICOLE ARI PARKER: Are you (audio glitch @ 00:19:36).

(Laughter.)

QUESTION: No, you guys, I want to ask the rest of the cast that are on the Zoom chat how is it like to take direction from Boris? Did you guys think he nailed down his first directorial debut?

NICOLE ARI PARKER: No pressure.

MACKENZIE ASTIN: Yeah.

DREA DE MATTEO: Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I —

MACKENZIE ASTIN: Hundred percent.

NIK SANCHEZ: Yeah.

MACKENZIE ASTIN: I don’t want to take up too much space in this, but I definitely — and I definitely talk too much — but like this guy, I don’t know, I absolutely loved it. This guy had a plan, and when stuff went wrong he had a way to counter it, and when stuff went wrong the second time he had a way to counter that. I don’t know where it comes from, but it was a treat to work with a guy who is such a natural at leading a team.

BORIS KODJOE: Wow. Thank you.

DREA DE MATTEO: Yeah. I mean, I’ve been on too many film sets, TV sets for sure, and I thought that Boris seemed like he had been doing this longer than all of the seasoned directors I’ve ever worked with.

BORIS KODJOE: Oh, my goodness.

NICOLE ARI PARKER: And I knew like, and it was funny when you were talking about Nicole, like, “Well, I want to do it like this,” and I was just like I’m just going to park and bark. I’m going to do whatever he says to do. I don’t know. Park and bark. Here I go. I’ll make anything fit into a tiny space, so it was easy. You really are awesome, Boris.

BORIS KODJOE: Thank you so much.

NICOLE ARI PARKER: You really are. Like there’s a confidence that you have that’s like and which it just there was no question. Okay, if he says do this then I’m going to do this. I don’t care.

(Laughter.)

MODERATOR: Thank you all. I’m sorry. We have to move on to our next question, because we just have a few more minutes left and we are trying to get through as many as possible. But thank you, Noah, and thank you to the cast.

QUESTION: Thank you, guys.

MODERATOR: The next question is for Starry Constellation Mag.

BORIS KODJOE: Wow.

QUESTION: Hi, guys. Nik, what was it like for you doing a character that’s on the spectrum? Did you study much about this in order to portray the character properly?

BORIS KODJOE: Hang on a second, hold on.

NIK SANCHEZ: Well, I mean, like playing an autistic, sorry, since I am autistic playing autistic just feels like, you know, a man playing a man. It’s part of who I am, but what I most like about playing Ian is the fact that it helps me learn more about like myself, and my own aspects of my own autism, and what other people on the spectrum go through, too. And Ian loves a lot of things like videogames, STEM, like gadgets, cars, basically, you name it. He’s a big geek, but I love those similar things. Ian and I are very similar when it comes to our character and our traits, and I really enjoyed playing this role. It made me feel like that if I was in a similar situation like he was I would be able to be brave and confident just like he was.

QUESTION: Well, it was wonderful to watch you. You really excelled in this role.

NIK SANCHEZ: Thank you.

BORIS KODJOE: Well said.

MODERATOR: Thank you so much, Nik. Thank you. I think we have room for one more question, and that will be the “Hollywood Times.”

QUESTION: Hi, there. One more time. Thank you. Do any of the writers or actors have experience dealing with children on the autistic spectrum, and how did you all ensure the authenticity of Ian’s character?

BORIS KODJOE: Well, first of all, we did a lot of research and partnered with organizations who support children and young adults on the spectrum. We wanted to make sure, again, we wanted to make sure that this comes across with full authenticity and truth, and that’s why I fought to hire and actor who was on the spectrum. And Nik, he superseded any expectations that I had going into this project, and I was so delighted and grateful to have him onboard. He really, like Nicole said, he made everybody step up around him and not just in front of the camera, but also just the energy on set changed when he stepped on the set, which is amazing to watch. Representation is everything. It is truly important, because it creates normalcy around whatever we’re talking about, in this case, autism. And we wanted to shed a light, because we want to make sure that young actors on the spectrum are supported, and the opportunities increase in the industry. It’s much needed. It’s time, and it’s completely normal. The problem has been that we project too much on these performers, on these kids, young adults, and that’s our own problem, and this experience has been eye-opening for me in that we should talk less and listen more, and Nik has taught us a whole lot in those four weeks we spent together.

NICOLE ARI PARKER: And it also helped us understand, and you, as a director, you were saying how you would hire Nik for anything.

BORIS KODJOE: Yeah.

NICOLE ARI PARKER: It wouldn’t have to be the narrative around a child or a teenager on the spectrum; that his talent and his work ethic were so tremendous that he could, you know, play any role in any film —

BORIS KODJOE: Yeah. Hundred percent. So specific. So prepared. So professional. I aspire to be like Nik.

(Laughter.)

NIK SANCHEZ: What?

BORIS KODJOE: To be honest with you. And I thought I was prepared and disciplined being German.

NICOLE ARI PARKER: Oh, man.

NIK SANCHEZ: (Inaudible @ 00:25:25) like that.

QUESTION: Wonderful answer. Thank you. And thank you to the “Safe Room” team.

MODERATOR: Thank you to the entire cast of “Safe Room.” It’s been great having you. I really appreciate it and thank you to the press for asking your great questions. Just a reminder, “Safe Room” premieres Saturday, January 15th at 8/7 Central on Lifetime.

MORE INFO:

Preview

Safe Room centers on recently widowed Lila Jackson (Ari Parker) and her 14-year-old autistic son Ian (Sanchez).  Since the death of her husband, Lila is grateful for their kind neighbor Neil Hargrove (Kodjoe), who looks out for them.  After Ian accidentally witnesses a break-in in the house across the street and records the horrific murder of the homeowner, Lila becomes embroiled in a deadly struggle to protect her son from intruders Dominic (Astin) and Rocco (De Matteo), who will stop at nothing to retrieve the video evidence of the crime and silence them. Hiding and trapped in a makeshift panic room created by her late husband, Lila and Ian must use all of their strength and intelligence to outsmart the intruders to save themselves.

Additional cast members include Monica Calhoun who appears as Officer Armani and Julito McCullum as a repairman.

Lifetime has worked with the organization RespectAbility in review of the script to ensure as much authenticity as possible in the portrayal of Ian. The role of Ian is played by Nik Sanchez who is on the autism spectrumAs part of Lifetime’s advocacy efforts, resources to learn more about autism will be provided at the end of the film.

Safe Room is produced by Astute Films for Lifetime. Executive producers include Dominique Telson and Karen Kaufman Wilson. Boris Kodjoe directs from a script by Nneka Gerstle.

LIFETIME ANNOUNCES AIRDATES FOR “SAFE ROOM” AND “VANISHED: SEARCHING FOR MY SISTER”

LIFETIME SETS AIRDATES FOR
NEW ORIGINAL THRILLERS FOR JANUARY 2022

 SAFE ROOM
DEBUTS JANUARY 15
STARRING NICOLE ARI PARKER, DREA DE MATTEO,
MACKENZIE ASTIN, NIK SANCHEZ
AND BORIS KODJOE, IN HIS DIRECTORIAL DEBUT

 VANISHED: SEARCHING FOR MY SISTER
PREMIERES JANUARY 22

STARRING TATYANA ALIJUSTIN BRUENING, JASMINE GUY,
CAROLYN HENNESY AND ANTHONY “TREACH” CRISS

LOS ANGELES, CA (Nov 16, 2021) – Lifetime unveils airdates for two new suspense-filled original movies— Safe Room and Vanished: Searching For My Sister—scheduled to premiere on back to back weekends in January 2022. Marking his directorial debut, Boris Kodjoe directs real-life wife Nicole Ari Parker (Chicago P.D., Empire), Drea de Matteo (The Sopranos), Nik Sanchez (The Rookie) and Mackenzie Astin (The Magicians) in the home invasion movie Safe Room (formerly known as Safe Space), premiering Saturday, January 15th at 8p/7c. The following weekend, the chills and thrills continue with the story of a sister who poses as her missing twin in Vanished: Searching For My Sister, starring Tatyana Ali (Love That Girl) playing both twins, Justin Bruening (Sweet Magnolias) and Jasmine Guy (Grey’s Anatomy). Vanished: Searching For My Sister premieres on Saturday, January 22nd at 8p/7c.

Full movie descriptions below.

SAFE ROOM
Premieres Saturday, January 15TH at 8p/7c

The Lifetime thriller, Safe Room, centers on recently widowed Lila Jackson (Nicole Ari Parker) and her 14-year-old autistic son Ian (Nik Sanchez).  Since the death of her husband, Lila is grateful for their kind neighbor Neil (Boris Kodjoe), who looks out for them.  After Ian accidentally witnesses a break-in in the house across the street and records the horrific murder of the homeowner, Lila becomes embroiled in a deadly struggle to protect her son from intruders Dominic (Mackenzie Astin) and Rocco (Drea De Matteo), who will stop at nothing to retrieve the video evidence of the crime and silence them. Hiding and trapped in a makeshift panic room created by her late husband, Lila and Ian must use all of their strength and intelligence to outsmart the intruders to save themselves.

Lifetime has worked with the organization RespectAbility in review of the script to ensure as much authenticity as possible in the portrayal of Ian. The role of Ian is played by Nik Sanchez who is on the autism spectrumAs part of Lifetime’s advocacy efforts, resources to learn more about autism will be provided at the end of the film.

Safe Room is produced by Astute Films for Lifetime. Executive producers include Dominique Telson and Karen Kaufman Wilson. Boris Kodjoe directs from a script by Nneka Gerstle.

VANISHED: SEARCHING FOR MY SISTER
Premieres Saturday, January 22nd at 8p/7c

Twins Jada and Kayla (both played by Tatyana Ali) could not be more opposite: Jada being the mild-mannered sister with an office job, and Kayla the wild child. Recently divorced from her husband Warren (Justin Bruening), Kayla asks Jada to watch her daughter while she sets up her new apartment.  But after a few days with no word from Kayla, Jada begins to worry and reports her sister missing. With no leads and the police investigation at a standstill, Jada takes matters into her own hands.  She disguises herself as her sister and gets pulled into a world of drugs and deceit in order to learn the shocking truth about what really happened to Kayla.

Vanished: Searching for My Sister also stars Jasmine Guy, Carolyn Hennesy and Anthony “Treach” Criss.

The film is produced by Big Dreams Entertainment and Leslie Greif serves as executive producer. Tim Woodward Jr. directs from a script written by Christina Welsh.

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.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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poster for "Safe Room" on Lifetime

Interview with Ryan McPartlin, Jana Kramer and Maria Menounos

TV Interview!

Ryan McPartlin, Jana Kramer and Maria Menounos in Lifetime's "The Holiday Fixup"

Interview with Ryan McPartlin, Jana Kramer and Maria Menounos of “The Holiday Fixup” on Lifetime by Suzanne 11/8/21

This is a fun movie, particularly if you like DIY projects, and the press panel for the movie was highly entertaining. These are some very attractive people, for one thing. Ryan was on “Passions” years ago, and he still looks great! Of course, it goes without saying that everyone’s acting is top of the line, too. I’ve enjoyed all of the Lifetime holiday movies this year. I hope you do, too.

MODERATOR:

Hi, everyone. Our next panel is “The Holiday Fixup.” Please welcome EP and stars, Jana Kramer, and Ryan McPartlin, and star Maria Menounos.

JANA KRAMER:

Hi. Hi, guys. Hi, Ryan. Hi, Maria.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Hi, guys.

JANA KRAMER:

Hi.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Hi. Can you guys hear me?

JANA KRAMER:

The team’s all back.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

I know.

MODERATOR:

Before we get into the questions, today we have a pre-submitted question. What was it like filming a holiday movie all together in the dead of summer in Connecticut?

JANA KRAMER:

(Laughs.).

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

(Laugh.) I love your laugh.

JANA KRAMER:

Exactly that. Exactly that.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

It’s perfect. That’s it.

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

It was hot. It was so fun though. I love these guys so much. Jana and Ryan are gems, and we just have the best time.

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah. I will say that, I feel like we got pretty lucky guys. Like it could have been —

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Yeah.

JANA KRAMER:

I mean, we had a few (hot) days, but the days that we were outside I felt like we were blessed with not like, you know (not too hot)– And I think there was only one day, I was like “I think I might pass out.” But, Ryan, it doesn’t matter if it was sunny or not, Ryan was going to always have a fan —

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Oh, yeah.

JANA KRAMER:

Whether it was sunny, not sunny. I mean, that man sweats so much, like, thank God it wasn’t hotter —

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

It didn’t help that I was taking a supplement that I found out afterwards —

JANA KRAMER:

Yep.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

— causes excessive sweating.

JANA KRAMER:

Uh huh.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

And then we’re in sweaters in the dead of summer, and I’ve done this multiple times, as Jana has as well, — so I’m always preparing the crew and production saying, hey, we need some ice packs. We need fans standing by. I need dryers to dry the hair. I didn’t want to hold up production…and somehow it’s always like the afterthought, right? And then when the sweat starts coming and you’re holding up production everybody’s like send as many people to the store as possible. We need to get fans. We need dryers. We need everything.

JANA KRAMER:

I needed Gatorade. That was my ask. I was like I need a Gatorade. I’m feeling lightheaded…but it was so fun —

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

I was a little upset that when I was pouring sweat, I’d look at you guys and you’re like, no, not a drop.

JANA KRAMER:

We glisten. Ryan sweats. Maria and I didn’t —

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Yeah. That’s right. That’s right.

MODERATOR:

Suzanne. Please let us know your question.

QUESTION:

Oh, hi, guys. I enjoyed the movie. I’m not really into DIY, but what about you? Ryan, do you do DIY in real life? (Laughter.)

JANA KRAMER:

Wait, can I answer that, please?

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Go ahead. Go ahead.

JANA KRAMER:

Because the first time that I ever met Ryan — Suzanne, thank you for watching the movie — but the first time that Ryan and I actually Facetime’d he was trying to hang blinds, I think it was, and doing a terrible job. So, Ryan,  —

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

And that was the last time I’ve done anything around the house. Well, no, no, no…I had to fix a doorknob last night. I went to Home Depot and then Loew’s – had three different people explain to me how to do it, and I was like, I’m just going to hire somebody. It’s not my jam.

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah.

QUESTION:

Okay. Well, and the snowball fight was the most fun of all the movie, I thought. Was that as fun for you to shoot as it was for us to watch?

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

It was super fun, and that was the hottest day, too, you guys. That was the only day that was excruciating —

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

It was the hottest day.

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah. That was the hottest day, and then I feel like, Maria, you and I became a little competitive. Like we were legit pushing each other at the start of doing that. We’re like “it’s going down” —

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Yeah.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

That was Brian Herzlinger, our director – he wanted to have his “Saving Private Ryan” moment where he was going to get all this camera action and get the really artistic movement as — Well, you see it in the trailer as Maria and Jana are just unloading on each other and getting very competitive with each other.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

It was so fun

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah.

QUESTION:

Oh, thank you.

JANA KRAMER:

It was kind of funny, too, Brian wanted a “Saving Private Ryan” moment. Like you do know this is a Christmas movie, right? But it was so much fun —

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Oh, and actually these guys championed my husband having a cameo in the movie, and that was the scene he made the snow. He’s Nick the Snowman.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Nick the Snowman.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Um hm.

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah.

QUESTION:

Oh. Great. Thank you so much.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Thank you.

MODERATOR:

Thank you. That’s awesome. Damina, your question next?

JANA KRAMER:

Oh, you’re muted, sweetie. Can we unmute her?

MODERATOR:

We can come back. We’ll come back – – Oh, there you are. Damina? Okay, we’ll come back. Steven, you’re up next. Steven.

JANA KRAMER:

How’s the photo, Ryan? Do you need your ID?

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

I got you. I got you. You always get me every time and I never know it until later.

QUESTION:

Did you guys call me?

MODERATOR:

Yes.

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah, it’s your turn, buddy.

QUESTION:

Thank you. Here we go. All right. So, yes, talk to us about this amazing film. Ryan, I see that you’re doing your thing. You’ve still out here ever since the “Passions” days.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Thank you for that.

QUESTION:

Oh, yeah. You look amazing. All of you look great.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Thank you.

QUESTION:

Happy holidays.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Yeah. Happy Holidays to you. Go ahead, Jana.

QUESTION:

So, talk to us about the film, and how is it? Is it challenging coming up with the chemistry between cast members? How long does that normally take?

JANA KRAMER:

Ryan, you kick it off.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Well, we got to Zoom…Jana and I, fortunately, had all these Zoom’ing sessions with our writer who is amazing, Jessica Etting. And so there was a couple times that Jana and I were on the same page — but not some of the other voices, because there’s a whole lot of voices — and you just look at the camera in one of these Zoom meetings and you’d kind of look at each other and try and stifle a little of laughter…it was like being in class and just locking eyes with somebody who was in on the joke. And so Jana and I felt like we were in on the same joke that everybody wasn’t in on, and that kind of kicked off our friendship.

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah. No, we had…I mean, pretty much instant chemistry. The same with Maria and I. Every time I’ve been with Maria, we had that and I’m like, oh, that’s going to be easy to play best friends with her, because every time I see her I feel like she’s such a close friend. And then with Ryan it’s like we had that kind of, you know — that brotherly/sister, fun banter, fun – it’s that good energy. So that part was really easy, to have the chemistry. And then we were all teammates together. We all helped each other out, and when I got super tired, Ryan was there to pump me up.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

There was no pumping you up when were that tired. When you’re that tired nobody can do anything about it. But I will say, back to the chemistry with Maria, too — Maria and I started talking about trying to do something in the Christmas space together at least two years ago, right? Sometime around two years ago…

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Oh, yeah. Yeah.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

And when I saw her at a Christmas party, I was like, oh, my God, I got to talk to Maria about being in this space…and Maria and I have known each other for years. I threw a touchdown pass, or was it you to me? No, it was me to you, right?

MARIA MENOUNOS:

You to me, yeah. (I throw it back @ 00:28:34) —

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Yeah. It was, yeah, we have the footage. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

I’m such a giver.

Ryan McPartlin and Jana Kramer in "The Holiday Fixup" on Lifetime 11/8RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Yeah. Well, you did throw an extra point then. You were playing quarterback and played like — did a two-point conversion. It was amazing. I got the footage.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Oh, you’re right.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Yep. But, no, Maria — when I saw her at this party that we were at, I was like, Maria, you have to be in this Christmas space and then…you go, Maria, I don’t want to monopolize this conversation.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Not at all. Yeah, I’ve said this, I think it was just super cool. Ryan saw a little doc that I did on my experience with my parents getting COVID at the same time, and I did this little like 19-minute piece, and he saw it and sent me this beautiful email about how much it moved him, and how he was going to really kind of cherish those moments with his family even more, and it was just a beautiful letter…and one thing led to another and all of a sudden, I was getting on a plane to Connecticut to make this movie with them. And it was very much needed for me at the time. I just lost my mom, and I got to go back to Connecticut, and stay in my bed, and be with my dad, and get to have fun with these guys every day. And I do think that it’s super rare to have just such instant chemistry with everybody, and we all just clicked so fast and so easily. I was doing Jana’s makeup at one point. Jana’s fanning Ryan. Like everybody was helping each other, and it was really special. So, I told them, I’m like, I just want to be able to do this every summer with you guys, because I love them so much, and we have just such a great team all around.

MODERATOR:

That’s really beautiful. Thank you. Thank you so much. And, Jana, wow. Ryan really coming for you about being tired on set. We have your back.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Thank you.

MODERATOR:

And, Jamie, the next question is from you. Jamie Ruby, sorry. We have another Jamie.

QUESTION:

I was going to say which Jamie.

MODERATOR:

Sorry, Jamie Ruby.

QUESTION:

It’s okay. And, Maria, I think you sort of just answered this partially but maybe you can add more to it, but for all of you, what was it originally though that made you want to do this film?

JANA KRAMER:

I’ll start — because I had had a meeting about a different movie a few days prior to talking to Ryan and the producers of this film, and it was something about… Well, one of the reasons I really wanted to do it, because I’ve always wanted to work with Ryan and it was cool because there wasn’t a script, so I was able to kind of put my two cents into it. This is Ryan’s idea that he’s had for a long time, so it was cool to be able to actually collaborate and help bring the story to life as opposed to showing up on the page. Because usually we just get the script and we read it, we like it, or we don’t. But to be able to kind of have a say was really cool and one of the main draws of doing this film. I was like, okay, cool, I can actually have a little bit of a say in it, and Ryan was open to all of that. So that was neat.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

She had a lot of say in it, not just a little bit of say, because when — It’s not that you’re that over opinionated, Jana –It’s like I really respected her opinions and she had very good input, ideas, story points. She’s done this, you know, she’s done as many of these as probably I have, I’d say. And you don’t want the redundancy of doing the same story over-and-over-again. So, you look for ways to say how can it be different? How is it different than the other stuff out there, and that’s what I’m really proud of — especially how we would talk out some of these things, if it was a real relationship and a real life and we were playing real exes. And the way that I saw the story ending is not necessarily the way that Jana saw it from her perspective. So, when our writer, Jessica Koosed Etting, heard her response if I said one thing and then Jana said, well, I would say this — it just turned everything. So, you got to kind of play like you would in, you know, onstage in a theater, in a class together. And you go, oh, that’s interesting…if that’s how you would really react let’s work that into the story and still tie it up nicely to deliver to the audience what they expect, but in a different way than that expect it.

JANA KRAMER:

Sure, yep.

MODERATOR:

Our next question is from Jamie Steinberg.

QUESTION:

Hi, thank you guys so much for your time. Jana and Ryan if you could talk about how you stepped in as executive producers. Was this something of a passion project that came across your desk, or did they offer you a role of EP after you singed on to the film?

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

No, this was something where if you are involved creatively as an actor, from the get-go, like we both were you know — this started with Jessica Koosed Etting and I flushing out a different story, but then we adapted it towards Christmas a little bit, and then quite honestly the whole thing changed when Jana came onboard. We just started talking about the movies we loved. Jana, if you want to talk about that and some of the romantic comedies, some of the Christmas movies we loved…and we started saying, okay, what are those themes that we want to play with.

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah, and that’s something, too, because Ryan and I have done so many of these Christmas movies it was something that I had a conversation with Lifetime about and was like, I really want to be able to bring my ideas to the table. So, I would like to moving forward be able to executive produce, just so that way I, you know — because making Christmas movies are so much fun. They’re easy. They’re light. They’re fun — but I also want to bring a little bit of complications to things, or a little bit of my own touch to things and to have that voice, and that way. I don’t know, Ryan, if it felt the same way for you, but I felt really, really, really, proud of this one, because I felt like I had so much more to…I offered so much more in this film than I have in the other ones. And, yeah, I loved all the other ones, but this one…I was like, man, this is — It’s the first thing I’ve ever executive produced! So that was kind of cool to just be like — I was proud of myself and I was proud of you. It was fun.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Yeah. And I feel like, you know, Maria, hopefully, you felt your voice was the heard the same as, any producer or actor would be — come on in if they had ideas and wanted to play. It was nice because it was like a safe artists’ space, you know. That’s what we wanted to create.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

A hundred percent. I will say they were amazing executive producers. Not only did they feed the crew, got coffee trucks — they did all the things that really great producers do to keep everybody happy, keep everybody going. They always say it starts at the top and literally it was a perfect experience all the way through for everybody. We all loved it. We all had the best time. Everybody was excited, and everybody was onboard with making the best movie we could while having fun. So that is why I’m committed to how do we do this every summer together? How do we add in some time where we always can make a movie together, keep the same crew, keep the same thing…

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Yeah. I’d love that. And we also got to give credit to Stephanie and Margaret, our other executive producers —

JANA KRAMER:

Absolutely.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

— they really gave us that freedom to jump in and produce alongside them. They did a lot of the hard, dirty work, I’d say, as producers dealing with the budgets and the overtime and the schedules and all that stuff since we really want to stay in the creative space, and that’s what we were able to do, thank God.

JANA KRAMER:

Although, I think that part’s fun, but I’ll do that later.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Yeah.

MODERATOR:

Thank you. Our next question is from Jay Bobbin.

QUESTION:

Hello, everyone. Maria, have you ever interviewed Jana? Is that where this friendship started, and if that is where it started, how do you remember the interview going?

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Well, I will say that I have zero memory. This is where I throw my brain tumor card down. I can’t remember anything. My husband’s my USB drive…but, yes, I know I’ve interviewed Jana — but we were also friendly just in the business and with Ryan the same thing. So, I can’t say I remember the first moment I laid eyes on this beautiful woman.

JANA KRAMER:

I remember you helped me out with “Dancing with the Stars” because I remember you were there at “Dancing with the Stars” and Val was your partner, right? He was like you —

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Yeah. No, Val, he was like the fake doctor on the set.

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah. He’s like you need to talk to Maria, because she also hurt her ribs or something like that. So, I just remember you being so nice and just so willing to… I mean, we talked for a while and then it just, again, it just felt like — man, we’re talking like we’re real friends. It was such a friendly conversation —

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Yeah.

JANA KRAMER:

I just remember hanging up on that and being like, wow, she’s special, a special person.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Thanks. Thanks, friend. Yeah, I never remember how I meet anybody, to be honest, because I am just I’m so excited to see everybody and meet people when I meet them that it just floats away.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Except for when someone throws you a touchdown pass.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Yes. But you just had to remind me that I threw you a two-point conversion. I don’t remember —

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Yeah. That’s right.

QUESTION:

Thank you.

MODERATOR:

Thank you.

JANA KRAMER:

Thanks, (Jay @ 00:38:09).

MODERATOR:

We have time for one last question. Samantha.

QUESTION:

Hi. Jana, I’m really curious about with the social media aspect of this role, I loved how you all really leaned into the positive aspects of it just with the world complaining so much about the problems, and I’m just curious about the intention behind making that such a large part of your character’s job in the film.

JANA KRAMER:

Yeah. It was fun. I mean, especially because I’m like “I don’t know how to do this.” Meanwhile, my whole entire life is social media, so that was kind of fun to do that. But also, I think what I learned…actually, yes, we showed how it can bring people together. But, for me, personally, what I took away from the movie the most is actually about putting the phone down. It’s what we always talked about, the one character, Rita’s character — where it’s back in the day when we didn’t have the cell phones and we were able to just disconnect and be in a room together and not be glued to Instagram or the phone. And that’s what I took away from it the most – it is just having that distraction away to really just be present with the people in front of me. So that’s something that I would like to lean more into.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

I think that social media caught us all by storm, you know, and there were no rules. There was no teaching moment. We didn’t come up in school with teachers saying you should compartmentalize this. And then the job of these apps and the social media companies is to see how many hours they can get out of your day spent on these apps. So, there is a lot of benefit to it and there’s a lot of, you know, businesses that thrive from it. Our small business that we have came about because of social media and there’s a lot of charities that do very well — but it is a danger, and it’s going to be. It’s interesting that the back-and-forth that our characters had about compartmentalizing and what to use it for, and how to use it, and I think that’s a real conversation that should be had in every household right now.

JANA KRAMER:

Um hm.

MODERATOR:

Thank you so much. Thank you to the cast and Eps of “The Holiday Fixup.” Please make sure to tune in on December 11.

JANA KRAMER:

Thanks, guys. Appreciate it. Thank you very much —

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Thank you.

JANA KRAMER:

Thank you very much.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Bye.

JANA KRAMER:

Do we hang up now? Okay. Bye, guys.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

Bye, guys.

MARIA MENOUNOS:

Okay, bye.

RYAN MCPARTLIN:

We’ll talk to you all later.

JANA KRAMER:

Okay.

MORE INFO:

Preview

Lifetime Reveals Full Holiday Movie Slate for Annual IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFETIME Programming Event Beginning November 12th, Including 30 New Premieres In 30 Days Kicking Off After Thanksgiving to Count Down to Christmas

Lifetime Reveals Full Holiday Movie Slate for Annual

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFETIME

Programming Event Beginning November 12th

Including 30 New Premieres In 30 Days

Kicking Off After Thanksgiving to Count Down to Christmas

Talent Around the Tree This Year Includes

Kelly Rowland, Reba McEntire, Melissa Joan Hart, Mario Lopez, Tia Mowry, Smokey Robinson, Jana Kramer, Marie Osmond, Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman, Tatyana Ali, Roselyn Sánchez, Jacky Lai, Mýa, Ryan McPartlin, Thomas Cadrot, Bresha Webb, Candice King, Emeraude Tobia, Aimee Garcia, Haylie Duff, Ricki Lake, Kirk Franklin, John Schneider, Maria Menounos, Chad Michael Murray, AnnaLynne McCord, and Many Others

Los Angeles, CA – September 28, 2021 – Get ready for the most cheerful holiday season yet! Lifetime announces its largest holiday movie slate ever for the network’s annual It’s a Wonderful Lifetime programming event, kicking off November 12th with five new movies Fridays and Saturdays, and a premiere on Sunday, November 21st.  Then, once the Thanksgiving feast is over and for the first time ever, Lifetime will premiere 30 new movies, in 30 days, with a new movie EVERY DAY from November 26 through December 25. As the #1 holiday movie destination, Lifetime’s 2021 It’s a Wonderful Lifetime slate will feature 35 new movies and over 1000 hours of holiday programming.

In case that’s not enough excitement for you – get ready for It’s a Wonderful Lifetime Holiday Movie Preview hosted by Tia Mowry (star of this year’s Miracle in Motor City)! This special will preview Lifetime’s upcoming 2021 Christmas Movies and will be available on VOD beginning October 24 and will premiere on Lifetime November 7 at 10am ET/PT. In addition to sneak peeks and cast interviews, Tia will share a special holiday treat or cocktail recipe to go with each movie previewed!

At Lifetime it’s never too early to get in the spirit! Beginning October 15, Lifetime VOD will have 10 of your favorite holiday titles available to screen. And if you just can’t get enough – starting November 12, LMC will have 50 of Lifetime’s best holiday movies available to stream!

The Holiday Fix Up

Starring Jana Kramer, Ryan McPartlin & Maria Menounos

12/11 at 8pm / 7c

When Sam (Jana Kramer), the designer behind a popular home renovation show, returns to her hometown during the holidays to help renovate the Bell Harbor Inn, she gets paired with Coop (Ryan McPartlin) as her lead contractor. The only problem – he’s the guy who broke her heart and she’s the one who got away.  Sparks fly as they work closely to get the renovations done in time for the inn’s annual Christmas Eve Harborfest. Will they be able to fix the mistakes of their past to build a future together? Maria Menounos also stars.

The Holiday Fix Up is produced by Off Camera Entertainment with Stephanie Slack, Margret H. Huddleston, Jana Kramer and Ryan McPartlin as Executive Producers. Written by Jessica Koosed Etting and directed by Brian Herzlinger.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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poster for "The Holiday Fixup"