Interview with the cast of “La Brea” on NBC

TV Interview!

Actors and showrunner from "La Brea" on NBC

Interview with actors Natalie Zea, Eoin Macken, Nicholas Gonzalez, Veronica St. Clair, and Zyra Gorecki; and executive producer David Appelbaum of “La Brea” on NBC by Suzanne 9/15/22

This was for a TV Critics Assocation panel. They have them twice a year, and they’re a lot of fun. We’re not allowed to use photos, videos or transcripts from them, though, so I’m having to quote and paraphrase what was said here. I hope you enjoy it! I love this show. It’s even more exciting this season.

NBC UNIVERSAL 2022 TCA PRESS TOUR NBC LA BREA
Nicholas Gonzalez, Talent
Zyra Gorecki, Talent
Eoin Macken, Talent
Jack Martin, Talent
Veronica St. Clair, Talent
Natalie Zea, Talent
David Appelbaum, Showrunner/Executive Producer
Virtual via Zoom September 15, 2022

Those of us in the press saw the first episode of the show ahead of time. A lot happens in that first episode, and (MINOR SPOILER) Izzy’s artificial leg is damaged. I tried to ask Zyra Gorecki about that, without giving away too much. She admitted that, “both physically and emotionally, she’s having a very difficult time. So the goal is, obviously, they land in Seattle, they’re trying to make it back to L.A., right? That’s a very long walk. That’s a very long walk with two completely there legs, let alone, you know, one leg and a dad that’s got a lot of issues, you know?” I think she put it very well and without giving spoilers. Just know that all is not what it seems when the show starts! There are many surprises in the first episode, so you don’t want to miss it.

Another member of the press asked whether that idea about her leg was from the writers’ or from Gorecki herself. Showrunner David Appelbaum answered that the writers came up with the idea but consulted Gorecki. Gorecki said that it was “very weird” to imagine herself in 10,000 BC and having that happen.

Many journalists were at the panel and asked their questions. Appelbaum was asked whether this season has the same amount of both CGI and non-CGI special effects as last season. He confirmed that there were many special effects this season because the audience expects that, given the setting. He thinks the audience will enjoy it this season even more. He was also asked about physical things the cast interacts with when there is the CGI effect, such as a mastodon. Applebaum explained that sometimes they just use their imagination, while other times they have a proxy that they use. He praised the cast for their imagination and creativity.

Macken joked that their director, Adam Davidson, waves his hands and runs around, which works for him. Everyone laughed. Gonzalez agreed, saying that it can be hard to keep a straight face when Davidson is dressed up in a blue leotard and doing animal impressions. He and Macken joked a bit more about that.

The actors were then asked whether they had “unique acting challenges” this season. Martin spoke vaguely about some problems involved with being in a different time period and having to imagine his own family at that age. Macken added that he felt the scripts were very exciting. He praised Applebaum for giving the actors details about what’s going on in the story and with their characters, so that they can share in the journey and the action.

Gorecki was also asked about a scene where she pet a particular prehistoric baby animal. She replied that it was a foam head of a baby rhino, which Davidson held and wiggled at her.  She laughed that it was “super entertaining.” She was also asked about how different it is this season, now that she’s working more with CGI and doing more action. She related that it was very different and had to act like this fake animal was trying to hurt her. She told us that “being afraid of something that isn’t there is wild,” and then she laughed.

Next, Martin was asked about having to learn about a new time period in which his character, Josh, lands. He revealed that he was already obsessed with that decade, especially the music and movies that he loves. He consulted with his relatives and looked at old photos to get an idea about the costumes. He can’t wait for us to see it. Applebaum added that Riley is also a huge part of that story with Josh. St. Clair spoke about how great this new storyline is. She praised their new time period, especially the hair, the costumes and the music. She also loved that it was very different from last season when they had to work in the mud, rain and Australian winter. Zea, whose character stays in 10,000 BC, made a joke about how she shouldn’t rub it in, and everyone laughed.

Eve and Levi
LA BREA — “The Next Day” Episode 201 — Pictured: (l-r) Natalie Zea as Eve Harris, Nicholas Gonzalez as Levi Delgado — (Photo by: Sarah Enticknap/NBC)

Gonzalez was asked how his character has evolved since last season. He spoke about how his character is principled and upstanding, yet he had an affair with Eve. Things are different this season because he has to keep everyone safe but is faced with this woman that he loves. He shares that there will be a big test to find out whether friendship or love will win out.

He was also asked whether he still runs because (according to Wikipedia), “he was an accomplished cross-country and track runner, winning the Texas State Championship in the mile and two-mile.” The reporter saw him run when he was in college. Gonzalez answered that he just started running again, so he found it interesting that he was asked this now.

The actors were all asked what they liked most about their characters. Zea told us that she likes that Eve felt like she was just a regular person, but now that she’s faced with this “extraordinary situation,” she is struggling both externally and internally about herself. She also likes that she’s flawed.

Macken shared that he likes how his character is involved with his children and not just his ex-wife. He enjoyed this season’s father-daughter journey, and how Izzy can understand her father more. Gorecki agreed that it’s fun to see how different Izzy and Gavin interact this season, and how she takes more control and grows more.

Martin answered that he thinks his story “is about agency and self actualization.” He likes how Josh is forced to grow up and take on more responsibility than most 17-year-olds and to be heroic, even though “he’s definitely still a kid.”

Gonzalez likes how Levi has to navigate his relationships with Eve and her family, as well as the rest of the characters.

Sinclair likes how Riley is “resilient,” especially when dealing with her father and the other “temperamental men,” even though (as she noted), she’s usually wearing a skirt.

Another question was about what will happen when everyone gets back together – especially with the love triangle, and now that Eve knows that Gavin wasn’t crazy, like she thought.

Zea answered that there will be “Fireworks, baby,” which Applebaum agreed with. She went on to say that she believes they cooperate very well together because of the life or death circumstances. Macken agreed that they had to put their survival ahead of their “emotional complexities.” Gonzalez and Macken joked around a bit about it until Zea said, “All right, boys. You’re both pretty,” which made everyone laugh.

Appelbaum was asked about expanding the original world, which was set in 10,000 BC. He thinks the show has a lot of potential for more growth. He praised NBC, Universal, and all the people that he’s worked with, who have been so supportive, and the writers. He loves how they keep finding “these different layers and elements of what this world is and what the characters are and where the show can go.” He thinks it’s exciting to peel back all the layers. Gonzalez added that as actors, it’s fun to jump into the different time periods and how unpredictable the story is. Martin also chimed in to say how much he likes it when the characters go to different times and places where they’re forced to change.

Gorecki was asked about which city in Michigan she’s from, but she said that it’s a very small town, so she won’t say where because of stalkers. She was also asked how the story about her being an amputee came about. She passed the question to Appelbaum, who said that it was always part of this story, even before they found Gorecki. They did an exhaustive search to find the right actor, he said, and they were very lucky to find Gorecki because “she has this great charisma and this natural talent and just immediately inhabited the role.” He praised her growth in season two.

Appelbaum was asked where he was when he learned that they were being renewed for season two. He laughed and said that they just had a baby, so he was feeding the baby with a bottle when he heard. This was a very sweet way to end our panel!

MORE INFO: Trailer

“La Brea” was a tremendous success in its first season and finished as the number one drama for a first year show. The highly anticipated second season begins Tuesday, September 27th at 9:00 p.m. on NBC and will stream the next day on Peacock.

In Season 2, the Harris family remains separated as Eve is reeling from her son, Josh, having mistakenly gone through a portal to 1988. What she doesn’t know yet is that her estranged husband, Gavin, and their daughter, Izzy, have landed in prehistoric Seattle and now must brave the elements and animals to make their way to L.A. Let’s take a look at a recap of Season 1.

La Brea key artFrom the Official Website:

Tuesdays on NBC (9-10 p.m. ET); Season Premiere: Sept. 27

“La Brea” follows an epic family adventure after a massive sinkhole opens in Los Angeles pulling people and buildings into a mysterious and dangerous primeval land where they have no choice but to band together to survive. In season two, the Harris family remains separated as Eve is reeling from her son, Josh, having mistakenly gone through a portal to 1988. What she doesn’t know yet is that her estranged husband, Gavin, and their daughter, Izzy, have landed in prehistoric Seattle and now must brave the elements and animals to make their way to L.A.

The cast includes Natalie Zea, Eoin Macken, Jon Seda, Nicholas Gonzalez, Chiké Okonkwo, Zyra Gorecki, Jack Martin, Veronica St. Clair, Rohan Mirchandaney, Lily Santiago, Josh McKenzie, Tonantzin Carmelo and Michelle Vergara Moore.

Creator/Showrunner David Appelbaum executive produces with Avi Nir, Alon Shtruzman, Peter Traugott, Rachel Kaplan, Chris Hollier, Adam Davidson, Bryan Wynbrandt, Steven Lilien, Ken Woodruff, and Arika Lisanne Mittman.

LA BREA -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: Natalie Zea as Eve -- (Photo by: Ben King/NBC)

Natalie Zea

Eve Harris, “La Brea”

Natalie Zea stars as Eve Harris in the NBC drama “La Brea.”

Originally from Texas, Zea made her way to New York where she earned a scholarship to the prestigious American Music and Drama Academy. Shortly after graduation, Zea appeared in Off-Broadway productions of the “Three Sisters” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” until a few years later when she made her television debut in an episode of the short-lived WB drama series “D.C.”

Zea has had recurring roles in “9-1-1: Lone Star,” “The Unicorn” and “Members Only” opposite John Stamos. She was also a series regular during the first three seasons of the FX drama “Justified” and brought on as a recurring character for the fourth season. Oher TV projects include “The Following,” “White Famous,” “Californication,” “The Detour” and “Dirty Sexy Money.”

On the theatrical side, she co-starred in “Happily,” which screened at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival.

Zea helped develop Los Angeles’ reputable Lone Star Ensemble, a theater company in which she serves on the board of directors. She has a 6-year-old daughter with her husband, actor Travis Schuldt, and lives in Los Angeles.

LA BREA -- Season: 1 -- Pictured: Eoin Macken as Gavin Harris -- (Photo by: Ben King/NBC)

Eoin Macken

Gavin Harris, “La Brea”

Eoin Macken plays Gavin Harris in the NBC drama “La Brea.”

Macken can also be seen as the male lead in the film “The Cellar,” co-starring Elisha Cuthbert, which premiered at SXSW 2022 and on Shudder. He also wrote, directed and produced “Here Are the Young Men,” adapted from a novel by Rob Doyle, as well as directing and producing the satirical comedy “Grey Elephant.”

Macken’s TV credits include “Stumptown,” “The Night Shift,” “Nightflyers,” “Killing Jesus,” “Merlin” and “The Tudors.” On the film side, Macken’s credits include “Close,” “The Hole in the Ground,” “Here Are the Young Men,” “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter,” “The Forest” and Netflix’s “Till Death,” alongside Megan Fox.

LA BREA -- Season: 1 -- Pictured: Zyra Gorecki as Izzy Harris -- (Photo by: Ben King/NBC)

Zyra Gorecki

Izzy Harris, “La Brea”

Zyra Gorecki plays Izzy Harris in the NBC drama series “La Brea.”

Gorecki is one of the first below-the-knee amputee actresses with a series regular role in a major broadcast television series. Gorecki is involved with the non-profit organization Amputee Blade Runners that helps provide free running prosthetics for amputees.

In addition to her acting career, which includes guest-starring on “Chicago Fire,” Gorecki is an avid runner and skilled athlete who is passionate about living and promoting a sustainable lifestyle.

LA BREA -- Season: 1 -- Pictured: Nicholas Gonzalez as Levi Delgado -- (Photo by: Ben King/NBC)

Nicholas Gonzalez

Levi Delgado, “La Brea”

Nicholas Gonzalez plays Levi Delgado in the NBC drama “La Brea.”

Gonzalez recently wrapped three seasons as a series regular on ABC’s “The Good Doctor.” He can also be seen recurring on ABC Family’s hit series “Pretty Little Liars, ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder” and BET’s “Being Mary Jane.” His other notable TV credits include major recurring arcs on “Sleepy Hollow,” “The Flash” and “Frequency.”

On the feature side, Gonzalez recently co-starred in “Borrego” and “Evil Takes Root.” Other notable feature work includes “Praying for Rain, opposite Jane Seymour; James DeMonaco’s “The Purge: Anarchy,” opposite Frank Grillo; and Jonas Akerlund’s “Spun,” opposite Mickey Rourke.

LA BREA -- Season: 1 -- Pictured: Veroncia St. Clair as Riley Valez -- (Photo by: Ben King/NBC)Veronica St. Clair

Riley Velez, “La Brea”

Veronica St. Clair plays Riley Velez in the NBC drama “La Brea.”

St. Clair can be seen in the Netflix series “Unbelievable,” opposite Kaitlyn Dever, as well as the fourth season of “13 Reasons Why.”

She graduated with a degree in theater arts from the University of San Diego.

LA BREA -- Season: 1 -- Pictured: Jack Martin as Josh Harris -- (Photo by: Ben King/NBC)

Jack Martin

Josh Harris, “La Brea”

Jack Martin plays Josh Harris in the NBC drama “La Brea.”

A Los Angeles-based, actor, writer, and comedian, Martin was most recently seen on CBS’ “All Rise.”

After posting his sketch comedy online during quarantine when the industry was on hold, he exploded on the Internet with his self-produced videos, gaining hundreds of thousands of followers across multiple platforms.

Fresh out of Georgetown University, Martin also studied at New York University’s Tisch Stonestreet Studios Film & TV conservatory, an intensive program focused on screen acting. He had also studied acting and the business side of entertainment through various talent management internships before realizing he was better suited in front of the camera, than behind it.

Martin’s self-referential sense of humor brings something unique to every video he makes. He knows who he is and is not afraid to poke fun at himself.

David Appelbaum

Executive Producer, “La Brea”

David Appelbaum is the creator, showrunner and executive producer of the NBC drama “La Brea.”

Appelbaum was a co-executive producer on “The Enemy Within,” “Wisdom of the Crowd” and “NCIS: New Orleans.”

Appelbaum began his career with four seasons on “The Mentalist.”

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

Back to the Primetime Articles and Interviews Page

Some of the cast of "La Brea" last season

Interviews with Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and AGT contestants

TV Interview!

Howie Mandel and Heidi Klum, judges on "America's Got Talent" on NBC

Interview with Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and contestants of “America’s Got Talent” on NBC by Suzanne 8/9/22

This was a fun night (but very long). Members of the press were invited to watch the live show (Quarterfinals) and then interview some of the judges and most of the contestants! It was very entertaining – even if it did go on for 4 hours! I don’t normally watch shows like this, but I loved it. I can’t wait for the one coming up August 16! These comments below are just my impressions from watching them. All of these artists worked very hard on their acts. I feel bad for the ones that didn’t make it to the next round.

Heidi Klum

Heidi Klum, judge on "America's Got Talent" on NBC

There were two judges there, but Heidi Klum was the one I was able to speak to (see Howie Mandel below). She was very funny and went on for quite a while.

 

Howie Mandel

It was great to see Howie because I used to watch him on “St. Elsewhere” years ago when I was in college. Great show, but he’s really come a long way. He was hilarious in this chat.

 

Amazing Veranica & Her Incredible Friends

Here are my favorites of the acts. I was really hoping this girl would go on to the next round because her act was so adorable. She’s only 12 years old!  Learn More about her Instagram

 

Players Choir

I thought these guys would go on to the next round because they’re very talented. They sing, dance and put on a great show! The crowd clearly loved them. What a great idea to have a choir made out of NFL players! We only got to see a few of them on Zoom, though, because it’s a big group. Learn More   Instagram

 

Avery Dixon

This guy is not only very talented and has a great story, but he puts on a great show and has a lot of charisma. I wasn’t too surprised when he went on to the next round because you could tell the judges really liked him. Official Site  Instagram

 

Don McMillan

There were two comedians among the contestants. They were both OK, but I didn’t think either of them was outstanding.  Don was slightly funnier, I thought, than the other one. Both of them are professionals who perform standup regularly, so what do I know? Official Site  Instagram

 

Lace Larrabee

Lace was funniest, I thought, when she was fighting with Simon during the show, and in our interview, where she was clearly still very angry with him.  Like Don above, she is a professional comic. I don’t think you can fight with the judges, though, and expect to go on to the next round…? Maybe that’s just me. She’s a very busy woman, based in Atlanta. I will say that she has a sharp wit. I would watch her in a good sitcom.  Official Site  Instagram

 

Drake Milligan

I wasn’t as excited about this act as everyone else. To me, he’s just another pretty-boy country singer… but then, I’m not really into country music. The judges and crowd seemed to love him, and he was the other one selected to go on to the next round. He has an album coming out in September, and he’s already going places. Official Site  Instagram

 

Ben Lapidus

This guy does comedy-singing. He thinks he’s a lot funnier than he is. The audience seemed to like him, but I’m not sure why. My question got cut off of the video for some reason. I asked him if he was influenced by “Weird Al” Yankovic. His bit is singing about Parmesan. Sorry, I’m allergic to dairy!  Official Site  Instagram

Oleksandr Yenivatov and Aurélie Yenivatov

Oleksandr is a contortionist, which is a very unusual act. He’s also got a weird-looking face and looks kind of creepy (which he plays to).  Aurélie is his wife and partner in the show, and they’re circus performers by trade.  It’s a very strange act, but I didn’t think he would win because it’s a little unpleasant to watch.  He’s from Ukraine, so he mentions that a lot. In this interview, which was the last one of the night, they paired them with dancers (below).  Learn More  Instagram

Stefanny and Yeeremy

These dancers from Colombia did a great job, but they were nothing special, so I didn’t think they would go on to the next round, either. Unfortunately, the interview was difficult because most of them had very limited English. Learn More  Instagram

 

Amoukanama

This is a group of acrobats from a circus in Guinea. They were very good, but they didn’t really wow the crowd or judges. Official Site  Instagram

 

Ava Swiss

Ava is a pop singer. She’s fine, but she wasn’t outstanding. Her back-story is interesting because she was a survivor of a high school shooting in Oxford, Michigan, last November.  Tragically, there are so many mass shootings now in the U.S. that it hardly stands out (not enough to give her any help in the competition). She was judged on her talent more than her sad backstory. Learn More  Instagram

 

MORE INFO:

The 17th season of “America’s Got Talent” returns with a new set of aspiring performers looking to compete for the ultimate $1 million prize. Executive producer Simon Cowell returns to the star-studded judging panel with global fashion icon Heidi Klum, fan-favorite comedian Howie Mandel and acclaimed actress and international superstar Sofia Vergara. The dynamic Terry Crews returns as host. This season promises to deliver some of the wildest acts to ever grace the “AGT” stage. Official Website

Judges of "America's Got Talent" on NBCAugust 2, 2022

New Supersized Format Means More Acts Than Ever Before Are Set to Compete for $1 Million Prize

“America’s Wildcard” Is Back as Fans Choose an Additional Act to Advance to the Live Shows 

  • “America’s Got Talent,” summer’s most-watched show for the 17th straight year, returns to the Pasadena Civic Center for six weeks of live shows beginning Tuesday, Aug. 9 (8-10 p.m. ET/PT) on NBC. Results shows will air Wednesday nights (8-9 p.m. ET/PT).
  • In a series first, there will be 55 acts, divided into five qualifying rounds, that will perform live for “America’s Got Talent” judges Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara and host Terry Crews. Voting is more important than ever before, as each week, only two acts of the 11 that perform will move directly into the finale – both acts will be decided by viewers from the overnight vote.
  • These top 10 finalists will be joined by an 11th act – a “Final Wildcard” – chosen by the viewers in an Instant Save on Wednesday, September 7th. This vote will consist of four eliminated Live Show acts, each selected by one of the judges.
  • The top 11 finalists will compete one last time for America’s vote and the chance to win a $1 million prize during the two-night finale on Sept. 13 & 14. The winner will also perform in “America’s Got Talent Las Vegas LIVE” at Luxor Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
  • Below are the 54 acts the judges selected for the live shows, including a wide variety of singers, dancers, comedians, contortionists, magicians and more.
  • “America’s Wildcard” spot is back with four acts in contention for the final spot in the live shows. Viewers can go to NBC.com or the “AGT” app to rewatch the four performances and vote for their favorite contestants. Voting is open from Tuesday, Aug. 2 at 7 p.m. ET until Friday, Aug. 5 at 7 a.m. ET. The winning act will perform on the live show on Tuesday, Sept. 6 (8-10 p.m. ET/PT).
  • Throughout the live shows, viewers of “America’s Got Talent” will have a chance to vote for their favorite act at NBC.com/AGTVote and via the “AGT” App (available through Google Play and on the App Store).

AGT promotional poster - Host and Judges of "America's Got Talent" on NBC

The 54 Acts Advancing to the Live Shows Include:

Acapop! @acapopkids https://youtu.be/ncorT1WTZ1I
Aiko Tanaka @aikocomedy https://youtu.be/7aqMHOWXObw
Amanda Mammana @amanda_mammana https://youtu.be/PQGYv6Khk8E
Amazing Veranica
& Her Incredible Friends
@amazingveranica https://youtu.be/OzcnneNlOtI
Amoukanama @amoukanama224 https://youtu.be/a7jZszvFpTY
Aubrey Burchell @aubreyburchellofficial https://youtu.be/kJpF20EtYG4
Ava Swiss @avaswissmusic https://youtu.be/6ahFTM-1y9kk
Avery Dixon * @averydixononsax https://youtu.be/7TOysi_1INs
Bayley Graham @bayley_taps https://youtu.be/R3gZCNMjig4
Ben Lapidus @benlapidusmusic https://youtu.be/2lbv4goST4w
Blade 2 Blade @tyronblade https://youtu.be/Ge4e4H0LWXU
Celia Muñoz @celiamunoz_artist_ https://youtu.be/amMxvPO0JBII
Chapel Heart * @chapelhartband https://youtu.be/WLKmDbDv6j0
Cline Twins @clinetwins https://youtu.be/85-EAq3c26AA
Don McMillan @donmcmillancomedy https://youtu.be/O6yL-piP_ho
Drake Milligan @drakemilligan https://youtu.be/p01x-Mk19n0
Duo Rings @duorings https://youtu.be/O-BZGbxbg5A
Freckled Zelda @thefreckledzelda https://youtu.be/2ILQhbSZ5Kc
Funkanometry @funkanometry_ https://youtu.be/X9b2MV-13xQQ
Fusion Japan @fusionjapan https://youtu.be/xhVV2T66f2I
Harper @thatyellaharper https://youtu.be/C-TkyCwy4CU
Hayden Kristal @haydenkristal https://youtu.be/8INeuzPxLIE
Jack Williams @puppetjack_ https://youtu.be/40jCjWXCgt00
Jannick Holste @jannick_magic https://youtu.be/tSgX0LURIOA
JoJo and Bri @joseph.b.clarke https://youtu.be/bHNQMbShnG8
Kristen Cruz @kristenncruz https://youtu.be/vusp-xMzOfk
Kristy Sellars @kristysellars https://youtu.be/VEqTD157_zw
Lace Larrabee @lacelarrabee https://youtu.be/JbDyhdDGhsEE
Lee Collinson @lee_collinson https://youtu.be/Ytx9u5bjPAg
Lily Meola * @lilymeola https://youtu.be/pamgs-9cxQ0
MPLUSPLUS @mplusplus_official https://youtu.be/ReAusknSMmss
Madison Taylor Baez (Maddie) * @madisonbaezmusic https://youtu.be/Xo_frfPIgC4
Max Ostler @maxostler_ https://youtu.be/OtCZyOQSVPE
Mayyas * @mayyasofficial https://youtu.be/ZD0doCSkBY8
Merissa Beddows @merissaria https://youtu.be/xtrB4tVjxZ88
Mervant Vera @mervant https://youtu.be/KGvbaLl33CY
Metaphysic @metaphysic.ai https://youtu.be/mPU0WNUzsBo
Mia Morris @miamorrismusic https://youtu.be/pFePLRs-u6gg
Mike E Winfield @mikeewinfield https://youtu.be/MGMPcGmjueY
Mr. Pants @thatsmrpants https://youtu.be/7O4KWPsXf8w
Nicolas RIBS @nicolasribsmagicien https://youtu.be/pa2NFcHS91M
Oleksandr Yenivatov @yenivatov https://youtu.be/nuKf2q7okZg
Players Choir @playerschoir https://youtu.be/Gk57yGYAESk
Sara James * @sara_james_music https://youtu.be/HZb-nym3HhA
Shu Takada @shutakada_yoyo https://youtu.be/kz214PN7bsE
Stefanny and Yeeremy @stefannym https://youtu.be/LEbpamA4HNc
The Brown Brothers @gabeandnatebrown https://youtu.be/3dOM9f7nqQ0
The Lazy Generation @thelazygenerationuk https://youtu.be/Im9qJbB7KKg
The Pack Drumline @thepackdrumline https://youtu.be/1K2n1G-joIw
Travis Japan @travis_japan_official https://youtu.be/xnAICeBS63I
urbancrew (Flyers of the South) @urbancrew_official_ig_ph https://youtu.be/Yg4t3iVMtxg
Wyn Starks @wynstarks https://youtu.be/KP5n42pIPVc
XOMG POP! @xomgpop https://youtu.be/WX3QYkTzfygg
Yu Hojin @hojin_yu https://youtu.be/WS7Vvd-Hp1k

*Golden Buzzers

Acts in Contention for “America’s Wildcard”:

Auzzy Blood @auzzyblood https://youtu.be/t9MpF28LMzs
Ben Waites @bjwaites https://youtu.be/oY4FctsUCfw
Debbii Dawson @debbiidawson https://youtu.be/t1P3uoG4KLM
Jordan Conley @loljordancon1ey https://youtu.be/k4d-zrWwglg

Heidi Klum

Judge, “America’s Got Talent”

AMERICA’S GOT TALENT -- Season: 17 -- Pictured: Heidi Klum -- (Photo by: Sami Drasin/NBC)
Heidi Klum serves as a judge on NBC’s hit summertime series “America’s Got Talent.”

Born in Germany, Klum began modeling at the age of 19 and shortly thereafter she appeared on the cover of the 1998 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue which then propelled her career. Klum’s many titles now include supermodel, producer, entrepreneur, television personality, actress, author and fashion designer and she has continued to make an impact across various industries. In 2013, she won an Emmy Award as Outstanding Television Host for her longtime hit, “Project Runway.”

Klum launched her most recent endeavor alongside her frieend Tim Gunn as co-creator, host and executive producer of Amazon Prime Video’s new fashion competition series, “Making the Cut.” Twelve talented designers competed to take their fledging brands to the next level with all the winning looks were shoppable on Amazon.

Klum is also the executive producer and host of “Queen of Drags,” which premiered in Germany in 2019, alongside drag queen Conchita Wurst and German singer Bill Kaulitz of the band Tokio Hotel.

Klum was the host and co-creator of “Project Runway” and also served as an executive producer for 16 seasons. Under Klum’s tenure, the show received 14 consecutive Emmy nominations for Outstanding Reality Competition program, which is the second-most nominations in the category’s history. Klum is also the host and executive producer of “Germany’s Next Top Model,” a runaway hit for 15 seasons.

Author of lifestyle book “Body of Knowledge: 8 Rules of Model Behavior” as well as “Rankin’s Heidilicious” and “Heidi Klum by Rankin,” featuring some of her favorite photos taken by world-renowned photographer Rankin.

Klum’s acting appearances include “The Devil Wears Prada,” “Blow Dry,” “Ella Enchanted,” “Spin City,” “The Life and Death of Peter Sellers,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Parks and Recreation,” “Sex and the City,” “Sesame Street” and a voiceover for “Hoodwinked Too.” She also swam with sharks for an episode for Discovery Channel’s popular “Shark Week” and hosted Lifetime’s “Seriously Funny Kids.” She hosted the 60th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards and has hosted various specials for MTV, TNT and CBS.

Klum has been the face of numerous brand campaigns over the years, worked with many of the world’s top photographers and has graced the cover of every major magazine across the globe.

Known for her epic Halloween bash and earning the nickname Queen of Halloween for her unpredictable, over the top costumes, this October marked the 20th anniversary of Heidi Halloween.

Klum’s charity involvements include work on behalf of such organizations as UNICEF, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the American Red Cross (as part of its Celebrity Cabinet), God’s Love We Deliver, amfAR and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.  Klum also appears in PSAs for Stand Up to Cancer.

Howie Mandel

Judge, “America’s Got Talent”; Host/Executive Producer, “Deal or No Deal”

AMERICA’S GOT TALENT -- Season: 17 -- Pictured: Howie Mandell -- (Photo by: Sami Drasin/NBC)

Howie Mandel begins his 12th season as a judge on NBC’s summer hit “America’s Got Talent.”

Mandel hosts the podcast “Howie Mandel Does Stuff” alongside his daughter. He recently finished production on his new documentary, “Howie Mandel: But Enough About Me.” Other recent projects include judging NBC’s “America’s Got Talent: The Champions,” CNBC’s “Deal or No Deal,” where he served as executive producer and host, and Nat Geo’s “Wild’s Animals Doing Things,” where he co-hosted with his son Alex. He also executive produced the Quibi series “Kirby Jenner.”

In 2019 he released his first solo special in 20 years, “Howie Mandel Presents: Howie Mandel at the Howie Mandel Comedy Club.” In 2020 he teamed up with ePlay Digital and launched the charity “Breakout the Masks,” and mobile game campaign to give back to those involved in the fight against COVID-19. Via Howie’s Games, the first challenge is Outbreak, where players’ points translate to donations of N95 face masks, portable ventilators, gloves and other personal protective equipment to doctors, nurses and more frontline workers. The second game, SwishAR, has users looking for Mandel to join in a backyard basketball game to shoot hoops. Both games are available on the Apple App store and Google Play.

His additional projects as a host, actor, and/or executive producer include “Take It All” and “Howie Do It” for NBC, “Deal With It” for TBS and “Mobbed” for Fox. Previously, Mandel received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program for “Deal or No Deal” and a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Game Show Host for the syndicated version of the show. Mandel’s versatile career has encompassed virtually all aspects of the entertainment spectrum, including television, film and stage. From his work on the Emmy Award-winning “St. Elsewhere,” to the international animated children’s series “Bobby’s World,” Mandel has become a mainstay of the American comedy scene.

In 2009, Mandel added author to his resume when he released his frank, funny and no-holds-barred memoir, “Here’s the Deal: Don’t Touch Me.” The memoir revealed his ongoing struggle with OCD and ADHD, and how it has shaped his life and career. It made the New York Times bestseller list on its first week and remained on the list for several consecutive weeks. Mandel has done countless comedy specials both on cable and network television. He has also hosted his own syndicated talk show, “The Howie Mandel Show” and continues to be a mainstay on the talk show circuit. He also continues to perform as many as 200 stand-up comedy shows each year throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Season 17 premiere:
Tuesday, May 31, 2022 at 10 p.m. ET/PT

Host:
Terry Crews

Judges:
Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Sofia Vergara 

Created by:
Simon Cowell

Executive producers:
Simon Cowell, Sam Donnelly and Jason Raff

Executive in charge:
Mike Hofferth

Co-executive producers:
Ke’alohi Lee Lucero, Adam Shapiro

Senior supervising producers:
Nigel Caaro, Emma Greenhalgh, Meg MacGregor and Lev Mergian

Supervising producers:
Susan A. Moyer, Michelle Taylor

Senior producers:
Chris Crawford (post), Kayla DePew (acts)

Producers:
Maureen Biegas (post), Dan Bowen (post), Kristin Campbell-Taylor (reality), Jamie Citron, Kelsey Cornell (reality), Miles Crowe (post), Courtney Harrell, Jasmine C. Leyva (reality), Jon Menell (post), Liza Pablico, John Piermarini, Bryan Riches (field), Alevil Rincones (post), Cory Smith (reality) and Joe Warwick (reality)

Associate producers:
Keith Glidewell (reality), Angela Green (reality), Christa Irvin, Anjali John, Brianna Solo (reality), Zach Stern (reality), Nicolas Villamar (reality) and James Zukor (reality)

Line producer:
Chase Marbumrung

Director:
Russell Norman

Associate directors:
Carrie Havel , Debbie Palacio and Marty Pasetta Jr.

Associate director/production supervisor:
Casey B. Davis

Production designer:
Joe O’Neil, Florian Wieder

Music supervisor:
Meryl Ginsberg

Music coordinator:
Christa Irvin

Digital producers:
Nick Berry, Anthony Scott, Ausrine Plioplys and Ever Pabon Torres

Art director:
Gregg Rainwater

Lighting designer:
Noah Mitz

Lighting directors:
Michael Berger, Bryan Klunder

Origination:
Los Angeles

Series produced by:
Fremantle and Syco Entertainmen

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

Back to the Primetime Articles and Interviews Page

Heidi Klum, judge on "America's Got Talent" on NBC

How to Watch Days of Our Lives on Peacock!

Steve and Roman looking at a laptop

HOW TO WATCH DAYS ON PEACOCK TV! by Suzanne

Friday, September 9 is the last date that “Days of Our Lives” will air on NBC! We’re sure you’ve already heard this by now. It’s moving to PeacockTV! It will start airing there Sept. 12.

Feeling lost? Don’t worry, we’re all in this same boat!  Most of us didn’t grow up with streaming technology and streaming TV shows.  We’re here to help you. We know – you just want to keep watching your favorite soap, but you’re not sure how this all works.

First, you might find your answers here in this article about streaming. Go read that first! Don’t worry if it’s still confusing.

PeacockTV is a streaming service owned by NBC/Universal. They also own NBC, Syfy, USA Network, E! Telemundo and other cable networks.  PeacockTV is neither a broadcast network like NBC, nor is it a cable network like the others. It’s online only; AKA streaming.  That means you must have some kind of internet in order to access it. Now, you may have that internet already and not realize it. If you’re on Facebook, do email, or get Netflix on your SmartTV, then you probably already have it.

If you’re completely confused about all of this, I would recommend that you find someone you know that is tech-savvy (possibly a son, daughter, nephew, niece or grandchild, or whomever you call when you have computer or electronic problems) and get them to set it up for you. It will save you a lot of hassle and headaches.

PeacockTV is just another streaming service, like Netflix, HULU, Amazon Prime, Paramount+, Disney+ and others.  These services are only accessible via the internet, but they’re a lot more so than they used to be.  Did you know that people over 50 are the fastest-growing audience for streaming services? So you’re not alone.

Now, you may decide that it’s too expensive to have a streaming service. That’s up to you, of course. You may also consider getting rid of your cable or satellite and just having a few streaming services. Some of them, like HULU and YouTube, have live TV… not just movies and TV shows that you can watch any time. Also, a lot of services are doing bundling now to make them cheaper, so you might want to go to Google and research what options you have.

At any rate, “Days of Our Lives” is moving to PeacockTV as of Sept. 12 and will no longer be available on NBC at all.  The upside is that you will probably be able to watch it sooner than you could before. Most TV shows on streaming drop in the early morning.  Also, you can watch them at any time after that – no more having to use your DVR, DVD recorder or VCR if you want to keep a copy for later. Lastly, you can watch many older Days episodes as well as thousands of other shows.

There are three different choices for Peacock services: Free, Premium and Premium Plus. Unfortunately, you can’t watch Days on the Free plan.  The whole reason they’re moving it to PeacockTV is because they can no longer afford to air it for free. (More on that below.)  You can only watch it by subscribing to the Premium service, which is $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year if you pay ahead of time.  The second one is cheaper.  If you get Premium Plus, you will have no commercials. There are other benefits as well, so click on the link to see the options.

However, if you sign up in September, 2022, as a new member, you can get the premium service for only $1.99 a month or just $19.99 for a year. Great deal!

The easiest way to sign up is on a computer, if you have one. Go to  https://www.peacocktv.com and put in your email address to sign up for the free service.  From there, you can check it out and see how it works. OR you can scroll down and click on the purple boxes for Premium or Plus. This will take you to a page with a form to fill out. Once you’ve created your account, you’ll need to give them a credit card for the payment.

If you don’t have a computer, then you can use your phone or tablet. Simply download the Peacock app; once it’s installed, open it and register there the same way as described above.  If you have an Android device, then you can find apps in the Play Store. If you have an Apple iPhone or iPad, then your apps are in iTunes. (Again, you can get help from someone if you don’t know how to do this)  Android has help, and so does Apple. Your cell phone provider may also be of help. For instance, if your phone is with Verizon, you can phone Verizon technical support for help.

If you want to watch Peacock on your TV, then you’ll need a Smart TV or some external device that attaches to your TV, such as a ROKU or Firestick. These are pretty cheap. You can find them very cheap at Wal-Mart or Amazon.

I have a ROKU, and it’s very easy to connect to your TV. I’ve heard that the Firestick is also very easy. With both of these devices, you can watch many streaming channels, not just PeacockTV (and there are many free ones as well).

If you have a computer, you can also hook it up to your TV using an HDMI cable or by using a Google Chromecast device to stream from your computer to your TV. An HDMI cable is pretty cheap. If your laptop doesn’t have an HDMI port, you may need to get an adapter.

Once you have it hooked up, and you’re watching PeacockTV, do a search for “Days of Our Lives” if it’s not already showing up near the top. When you’re there in the Days section, Click on “My Stuff” and then you’ll always have it there in that list, easy to access.

If you need any help, you go to their help page.  If you can’t find what you need there, go to this page for live chat or to send them a message. Feel free to contact us if you need further help!

If you already have the free Peacock plan, then you need to upgrade.  There should be a link on the Peacock app or site on your device that says “account” or if you’re on a computer, go to https://www.peacocktv.com/account/plans Click on “change or cancel plans.” It should be obvious from there…. if you’re on the free version, you might have to add your credit card in order to upgrade.

There are many rumors flying around the internet about this move. NBC/Universal is not trying to be “greedy.” They have a business to run, like anyone else. They’re in the TV business. Whenever they air a TV show, they have pay for it by getting money from sponsors (commercials). If the show’s ratings are too low, then they can’t get money from the sponsors. Their local affiliates will not want to air low-rated shows, either. If they can get more money by airing local shows or re-runs, they will. By moving Days to Peacock, they’re trying to save it rather than cancel it. They’re well aware that it has a long history and millions of fans worldwide. However, right now barely over a million people actually watch it every day. (It’s not just Days that has low ratings – all the daytime soaps are doing poorly in the ratings)  They’re hoping that moving it to Peacock will bring more subscribers and more viewers to the show.  Boycotting NBC or sending them nasty letters will not do any good (even if that makes you feel good).

I’m sure that the network is sad that they will lose some viewers because some won’t be able to watch Days any more because they can’t afford the extra fee or because they don’t have dependable internet. They didn’t have a choice, though, to keep it on NBC… it was this or cancel it. They’re a business and must sometimes make these tough decisions.  It’s not fair, we know…but it’s not fair to expect them to keep losing money, either.

The show will be available on the W Network and other places in Canada. Click on the link to see the details. For other countries, Google it to find out!

Back to the Days of Our Lives Articles Page

Back to the Main Days Page

Jake and Gabi looking at a laptop

Interview with AleXa

TV Interview!

"American Song Contest" winner AleXa on finals night 5/9/22

Interview with AleXa of “American Song Contest” on NBC by Suzanne 5/9/22

After a few months of this music competition show, a winner was finally chosen! K-Pop singer AleXa of Oklahoma took the award for best American Song.  We interviewed her after the show. She was very happy… as you will see in the video. I’ll admit she wasn’t my top favorite, but I’m glad she won because she has a lot of talent and a good song.

MORE INFO:

AleXa with Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson on "American Song Contest" on NBCAmerica’s biggest live entertainment event has arrived! Based on the worldwide phenomenon “Eurovision Song Contest,” organized for 65 years by the European Broadcasting Union and watched by 200 million viewers annually, this amazing musical spectacular combines the competitive spirit of rooting for your favorite sports team with the joy of watching a beloved singing performance.

In the U.S. version of the international megahit, “American Song Contest” will feature live original musical performances, representing all 50 states, five U.S. territories and our nation’s capital, competing to win the country’s vote for the best hit song. The 56 artists span a wide range of performers – from undiscovered talent, up-and-coming new artists, and rising stars to established and legendary icons. An incredible solo artist, duo, group or band will represent each location and perform a new original song, celebrating the depth and variety of different styles and genres across America.

Hosted by Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson, the eight-week live competition consists of three rounds as the artists compete in a series of Qualifying Rounds, followed by the Semi-Finals and the ultimate Grand Final where one state or territory will emerge victorious.

“American Song Contest” is executive produced by Propagate’s Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens, alongside Audrey Morrissey, Amanda Zucker, Kyra Thompson and Gregory Lipstone as well as American Song Contest, Inc.’s Anders Lenhoff, Christer Björkman, Peter Settman and Ola Melzig. Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson also serve as executive producers.

The series is produced by Propagate in association with Universal Television Alternative Studio, a division of Universal Studio Group, and American Song Contest, Inc.

Hashtag: #AmericanSongContest

AMERICAN SONG CONTEST -- “The Live Grand Final” Episode 108 -- Pictured: AleXa (OK) -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)Oklahoma: AleXa

State: Oklahoma
Singer’s name: AleXa
Hometown: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Resident: Seoul, South Korea

Proud to represent the state where she was born and raised until the age of 21, Alex Christine, known professionally as AleXa (알렉사), is a K-pop singer, dancer and songwriter who grew up in Tulsa. A lifelong dancer, AleXa was first drawn to K-pop because of its strong performance identity. After nearly a million fan votes determined her the winner of online talent competition Rising Legends, she was one of the 96 chosen to participate in “Produce 48,” the most competitive audition show in Korea. In 2019, AleXa made her multilingual K-pop debut with “Bomb,” which has received nearly 22 million views to date and hit #7 on Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales chart. A year later AleXa released extended plays “Do Or Die” and “Decoherence,” garnering wins for two of Korea’s most prestigious awards. In 2021, AleXa released Y2K-inspired “ReviveR” with dance track “Xtra,” performed the national anthem for the Los Angeles Dodgers and became the first K-pop artist to host a fan meeting in the metaverse within the action shooter game Scavengers.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

Back to the Primetime Articles and Interviews Page

AMERICAN SONG CONTEST -- “The Live Grand Final” Episode 108 -- Pictured: AleXa (OK) -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

Interview with “American Song Contest” performers

TV Interview!

AMERICAN SONG CONTEST -- “The Live Semi Finals Part 2” Episode 107— Pictured: (l-r) Snoop Dogg, Kelly Clarkson -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

Interview with performers of “American Song Contest” on NBC by Suzanne 5/2/22

This was the virtual red carpet interview for this show’s second semi-finals night. Those of us in the press watch the live show, and then they bring out each of the performers for us to chat with. We typically get one question per performer, although sometimes we can slip in a second one if we’re quick. Sadly, Michael Bolton was not available tonight. We did get everyone else, though. Anyway, while I watch the shows, I always write down their name, where they’re from, and then any possible questions to ask. If I can’t think of any, then I go online and do research. It can be tough sometimes to come up with a question on the spot, even though I’ve been doing this for 14 years. I prefer to think of an unusual or specific question rather than just a generic one. I hope you enjoy these videos! I had a blast. Don’t forget to vote for your favorites Sunday night!

Broderick Jones

He’s definitely one of my favorites because of his great voice. He seemed really nice here, too. To be honest, they all do! They all are so excited and have great energy.

 

Grant Knoche

He’s a great performer and has been performing for a very long time, even at his young age. I think he will go far, regardless of what happens here.

 

Tenelle of American Samoa

She is very enthusiastic and proud of her heritage. I loved hearing her talk about what she was wearing and what it means to her family.

 

John Morgan of North Carolina

This guy is a good singer and songwriter, and he’s already working with big name stars. I don’t think he quite has the star power or song to win this competition, though.

 

Chloe Fredericks of North Dakota

She is very likable, and she seems to have a great life where she balances out work and home life. She’s a good rocker chick!

 

Christian Pagán of Puerto Rico

He is my favorite, and I hope he wins! I really love his song, his energy, his performing, and his story.

 

ENISA of New York

She has a ton of energy and obviously loves what she does, even down to picking out the right costume. She has a great New York attitude, too.

 

Stela Cole of Georgia

This girl is beautiful, but she has a goofiness that makes her more approachable than most beautiful women.  Perhaps that’s because she has a sports background. I’m surprised she isn’t a model, too.

 

Tyler Braden of Tennessee

This guy is a very down-to-earth kind of cowboy dude. I hope he didn’t mind my asking him about wearing his baseball caps.

 

Sweet Taboo of California

It’s funny that these girls are from California because it seems like many of the performers are from more than one state. For instance, Tenelle is really from California, not American Samoa. Tyler Braden is really from Alabama, not Tennesee. I guess they fit the people in where they need them. It was fun to chat with these women and get to know them a little bit. I’m not really into rap music, but they seem like solid performers.

 

MORE INFO:

American Song Contest

Mondays on NBC (8-10 p.m. ET)

America’s biggest live entertainment event has arrived! Based on the worldwide phenomenon “Eurovision Song Contest,” organized for 65 years by the European Broadcasting Union and watched by 200 million viewers annually, this amazing musical spectacular combines the competitive spirit of rooting for your favorite sports team with the joy of watching a beloved singing performance.In the U.S. version of the international megahit, “American Song Contest” will feature live original musical performances, representing all 50 states, five U.S. territories and our nation’s capital, competing to win the country’s vote for the best hit song. The 56 artists span a wide range of performers – from undiscovered talent, up-and-coming new artists, and rising stars to established and legendary icons. An incredible solo artist, duo, group or band will represent each location and perform a new original song, celebrating the depth and variety of different styles and genres across America.Hosted by Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson, the eight-week live competition consists of three rounds as the artists compete in a series of Qualifying Rounds, followed by the Semi-Finals and the ultimate Grand Final where one state or territory will emerge victorious.

“American Song Contest” is executive produced by Propagate’s Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens, alongside Audrey Morrissey, Amanda Zucker, Kyra Thompson and Gregory Lipstone as well as American Song Contest, Inc.’s Anders Lenhoff, Christer Björkman, Peter Settman and Ola Melzig. Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson also serve as executive producers.

The series is produced by Propagate in association with Universal Television Alternative Studio, a division of Universal Studio Group, and American Song Contest, Inc.

Hashtag: #AmericanSongContest

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

Back to the Primetime Articles and Interviews Page

AMERICAN SONG CONTEST -- “Semi-finals” Episode 107 -- Pictured: (l-r) Snoop Dogg, Kelly Clarkson -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

Interview with Galen Gering and Lamon Archey

TV Interview!

Lamon Archey (Eli) on Days of Our Lives on NBC; photo from NBC Galen Gering DAYS OF OUR LIVES -- Season: 55 -- Fifty Fifth Anniversary Portrait -- Pictured: Galen Gering as Rafe Hernandez -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)

 Interview with Lamon Archey and Galen Gering of “Days of Our Lives” by Suzanne 2/20/22

This was an online fan event called, “Days Of Our Lives Q&A Zoom Salem’s Hottest Cops Lamon Archey & Galen Gering.” Although I’m a journalist, I’m also a fan of “Days of Our Lives” and other soaps, so I was happy to pay a small fee (which goes to charity, anyway) to see these two and ask them a question. It was a lot of fun. I wish I had the chance to ask more questions. Maybe someday I will!

Here is the video of my question. You can’t hear me because of the way it was recorded (you can see me at the top, in the little box, asking it). I asked them what they would like to see their character do that they haven’t done before. They gave great answers! Then, below is the transcript of the entire chat. Thane is also another contributor to our site there, and he asks a question as well.  It was very funny to listen to the actors joke around with each other and the fans, and about their characters.

Moderator:   Okay women, behave.

Woman:   Never.

Woman:   It’s funny the majority of the people that I’m doing the other thing with is mostly female, one guy who’s the lawyer

Woman:   Galen. Hello.

Galen:   Hey, everybody.

[crosstalk]

Woman:   I think he’s driving.

Galen:   He is driving. Is this legal? I don’t know.

Moderator:   Okay, good. We’re just waiting for Lamon.

Galen:   Oh, we could be waiting a long time

Woman:   The last time I saw you on Instagram with Tamara, you were in a car.

Galen:   Oh, my god. That’s so true. By the way, those are the only two times I’ve ever been in a car… on one of these, that is.

Woman:   Are you gonna drink while you’re in your car?

Galen:   I think it’s tequila from yesterday.

Woman:   You’ve been playing golf?

Galen:   Yeah, I went out and played nine holes. I have this big tournament this weekend. So, I had to practice a little bit.

Woman:   You throw any shoes at anybody while they’re trying to make a buck?

Galen:   Oh, you saw that video. You know what’s funny is that was on my birthday last year. Yeah, it was right around my birthday last year. So, not far from that, a year ago today.

Women:   Happy belated birthday.

Galen:   Thank you. Yeah, that’s my buddy [unintelligible] he’s a super funny writer. He’s a stand up comedian, too. But man, he’s the slowest golfer on the planet. And we’re like, “Dude, come on!” He said something like, “You guys. You’ve got to be quiet so I can golf straight.” And then I was like, “Oh, do we?”

Woman:   Congratulations on your Rams winning the Super Bowl.

Galen:   Oh, my god. Thanks. I know. You know, what’s funny is –

Woman:   I wasn’t rooting for them.

Woman:   I was; I rooted for them.

Galen:   I know you were. My 49er girl.

Woman:   Yeah, because they knocked them out of the Super Bowl.

Galen:   I know, what a crazy game. Right?

Woman:   Right. Right. Yeah.

Galen:   Honestly, you know I’ve got love for the 49ers. I lived in Northern California. So, if the Rams weren’t in it, I would totally have been rooting for them. In fact, I was rooting for them when they lost in the Super Bowl a couple years ago. Remember that?

Woman:   Right. Right.

Galen:   That’s two heartbreaks.

Woman:   Yeah, I know. Right? Now, we’re gonna lose Jimmy Garoppolo.

Galen:   Yeah. I mean –

Woman:   He’s gonna go follow Brady.

Woman:   Well, the Niners… they want him to come out of retirement.

Galen:   Oh.

Woman:   Because he’s from here. So, you know, he’s from San Mateo. So, he wouldn’t do that.

Galen:   What do you think the chances of that are?

Woman:   I mean, the sky’s the limit for the guy. I mean, he can do whatever he wants. He can go play with the Niners for a year. Well, I’m sure Giselle wants him home.

Galen:   Oh, yeah. How old are his kids?

Woman:   They’re like 12 and 10, or something like that. They’re young.

Galen:   How many years in the league? 22 is it?

Woman:   Yeah, he’s 22 years. Yeah.

Galen:   I mean, that guy.

Woman:   He’s like a machine. He’s like a machine. He’s amazing.

Galen:   He is a machine.

Woman:   He’s a machine. He’s probably not human. We’re gonna find out he’s a Terminator.

Galen:   I don’t know. I don’t think he’s gonna come back.

Woman:   Well, you never know… you might get bored after you know, a year.

Galen:   Yeah, that’s true. Sorry, I’m just looking for headphones. Ill-prepared. Oh, well.

Woman:   I’d like to talk to and see what Lamon’s thoughts are on it, too, because he’s from San Mateo.

Galen:   He’s from where? San Mateo?

Woman:   He’s from San Mateo.

Galen:   Where is that?

Woman:   It’s It’s near San Francisco. We’re 30 minutes South.

Galen:   No, I mean, where’s Lamon?

[crosstalk]

Woman:   Yeah, I messaged him and haven’t heard anything back yet. Do you want to get started?

Moderator:   Yeah. So we’ll get started and see what happens when Lamon comes on. So, on behalf of Penny and Star Image Entertainment, we would like to thank Galen for taking the time to do this today, especially fresh off the golf course. We really appreciate it. So, first, we’re going to bring up Francis. Francis, tell us where you’re from and ask your question.

Woman:   Hey, Galen, it’s nice to see you again. I was here the last time you were here.

Galen:   Thank you so much.

Woman:   I actually don’t have a question. I just wanted to say I’m enjoying the storyline. They’re giving you a little bit more storyline lately. So, I’m enjoying it. I’m enjoying it. But yeah, I just wanted to say hi and say thank you for doing this. I remember way back when in your Passions days, that wasn’t yesterday. So, I just want to wish you all the best and just say hi, just basically all I wanted to do was to say hi to you, and thank you for taking the time to do this.

 

Galen:   I know you have a question for me.

Woman:   No, I don’t. You can ask me if you want. You can ask me if you want. I got nothing, honestly, I don’t.

Galen:   Where are you?

Woman:   I’m in Montreal.

Galen:   Okay. Wow. Is it freezing there right now?

Woman:   Oh, yeah. It’s starting to go down, isn’t it, Penny, starting to go down again? It’s starting to go down again. It’s gotten cold. It was like a cold weekend or cold a few days ago. Then it got warm again. Now it’s cold again. So it’s up and down like a yo-yo.

Galen:   Well, thank you for for being here today. It’s so great. I love to see all familiar faces out there. Truly.

Woman:   Yeah. Well, thank you for taking the time to do this. It’s nice that you guys actually take the time to do this.

Galen:   My pleasure.

Woman:   So, you have a good week.

Galen:   Okay.

Moderator:   Thanks, Francis. Next, we’re going to bring up Michelle Liebowitz. Michelle, tell us where you’re from and ask your question.

Woman:   Hey, Galen, I’m Michelle, I live in Florida. I know you are a big blooper person. What is your most memorable blooper that you could tell us about?

Galen:   That I could tell you about? Well, I’ll tell you guys anything. I feel like the one that’s my favorite one – I’ve told the story of… but I’ll tell you again. And if you’ve heard it, I’ll think of another one. And to be honest with you, the kind of sad part about the whole thing is, I mean, now on Days, so the best bloopers were on Passions. On Passions, we were just out of control. Like, we even have, like, a full-on vendetta against one another as cast mates all the time and against the crew. So, it was crazy.  Like, there was a time I came into my dressing room in the mornings, like seven in the morning. No furniture, nothing. nada, nothing. It was just gone. Didn’t even know where it was. And it was really funny at first… until I was, like, sitting there for, like, two hours on the floor, like, “This is not cool.” But I will say one of my favorite pranks that I pulled was on Chris Douglas. This was on Passions, and he played my brother, Antonio, and he was in a coma for a long time. So, like they always put us in comas on that show, especially if you’ve done something wrong, which we were kind of doing all the time. So, then they would write you in a coma. So, he’s in a coma, and I….. just saw my bike here. – By the way, I have to pick up my bike; remind me when we get off, if anyone has a good memory, to get my bike. – So, at lunchtime, I snuck into the studio, and I put in this thing , it’s called a scat mat, which is designed to keep pets off furniture. So, what happens is the pet would jump up on the furniture, and then it would sense it, and then it would ramp up, and then, I mean, it’s a pretty good shock, like it’s pretty good. So, I put that in his coma bed, and then he got into the bed and was lying there, and all of a sudden he’s like, “Ahhh! You son of a bitch!” I was in the studio laughing, and they had to put these EKG things [on him], you know what I mean? He ripped them off and started chasing me around the studio. That was one of my favorites, just because it was pretty unique. We see all kinds of crazy stuff. We would steal the producer’s car, executive producer Carly’s, and we’d move her car, but somewhere we would fill people’s cars full of fake snow. [It was] just insane. We’re kind of out of control, but it was a lot of fun.

Woman:   That’s awesome.

Galen:   Now we can barely even make a joke. There’s just not time, you know?

Moderator:   Great question, Michelle. Thank you. Next we’re going to bring up Ina. Ina, tell us where you’re from and ask your question.

Woman:   Hey, Galen.

Galen:   Hey, how are you?

Woman:   Good to see you too. I’m from Staten Island, New York. I guess my question is, I just thought of it, actually, since you’re in the car. What is your favorite car?

Galen:   Ooh, that’s a good question. I don’t have one favorite car per se, but like my son, one of my older sons, he’s super into cars. He’s like, “Dad, why don’t you just have this truck?”…Like he’s really into cars, and so he asked me the same question. He’s like, “Well, what if you could get [your] own sports car or something like that?” For me, I would think something like a really cool vintage – I actually was just looking at this old Ferrari you know, kind of like the Magnum PI, a little different, but just a little kind of like 80s funky style, or even a much older one. Or an all Porsche something like kind of classic like that. My friend was going to borrow my car the other day to go to Mammoth, and he has a McLaren. You guys know what that is? Crazy sports car. The doors opening up on the side. Like they go vertically. It’s like a little rocket ship. And I was like, “Oh, this is pretty cool,” but then I ended up going up there and meeting them and taking my car. So, I didn’t have a car for the weekend, but that would have been fun. But I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe we’ll get something soon.

Woman:   I actually like SUVs. I like trucks.

Galen:   Yeah, me too. I have two boys. And we’re just always throwing bikes, and I’m like, I have to get my bike and throw it in right now.

Moderator:   Thank you. Next we’re gonna bring up Sue [unintelligible]. So, tell us where you’re from and ask your question.

Woman:   Hi, Galen. What’s up? I’m from Mineola Island New York. [unintelligible] you can’t really see, because I have my picture in the background. That’s my leg by the way, Galen. You can’t really see it, but i have a Days tattoo.

Galen:   Where’s your leg? Oh.

Woman:   So yeah, I’ve been watching the show since I was like seven, eight years old, and I’m going to be 42 on Mother’s Day. So, you know, I can’t help it. I’ve loved the show all my life. I had a question that just left my brain. Okay, I remember now. What’s it been like working like working off between Tamara and Ari, because, I mean, I the storyline’s been, like, killer, between Ava and Nicole and Rafe and stuff? And I really love how you guys are doing it. I know that Soap Opera Digest says that next week or something in the next like week or so they actually come clean to Ava, so I’m wondering, what’s it been like between the two of them and stuff? How’s it been like working with the two of them and everything?

Galen:   Sure. Good question. Honestly, they’re amazing. Like, they’re both very different as people, but great and obviously very talented. I really liked working with Tamara, and, like the Rafe/Ava story. I don’t think that they thought that the couple or sort of like pseudo-couple, for those two was going to work as well as it did. Then, I felt like they thought they were like, “Oh, let’s keep this going for a while and see how it goes,” because it seemed like it was just going to be this like quick thing that was gonna explode, and then ended up staying together for quite a while. So, it was great. And she’s so volatile and she kind of scares the crap out of me. Honestly. I told her she just has this look. She’s like, “[unintelligible].” I’m like, “Yeah, you’re freaking scary. I feel like you would totally stab me in the neck with a pencil or something.” Hilarious. And then Ari, you know, she’s just kind of wild and funny, and Tamara is a little bit more sort of reserved, whatever, but both really fun and talented, and I love when the three of us actually also have scenes together and –

Woman:   It’s a lot of fun watching you guys work off each other it really is.

Galen:   Thanks. Thanks. Yeah.

Woman:   And you do have some time for for bloopers, because [unintelligible] posted a blooper while back of you fucking with Brock Kelly like the whole like David thing. “Where’s David?” You’re like, “It’s the popo!” You guys mess with Brock so bad.

Galen:   That’s right; I do remember that.

Woman:   You kept laughing. But you have some time for jokes. I like when [unintelligible] posts a little bloopers sometimes between all of you. Like, it makes it real for us. Like, you do like mess around; you do have fun. You do mess up every now and again. But it’s cool.

Galen:   Boy, you know, it’s easy. Actually, there are times when I’m not even meaning to do it. I saw some the other day that haven’t aired yet, with Billy Flynn. He and I are just like, it’s like our work. We always just connect with one another on the sort of like, where’s the honesty level, and I was just thinking something. I wasn’t even thinking something funny. So, he has this really intense scene, and he’s coming in to me, to the police station, and then I’m just looking at him, and I’m just checking, and he’s like, “Bro, don’t do that.” And then I’m like, “I’m not even doing anything.” I’m like, “Don’t you do that.” You know? So, then, now he’s got me thinking that I’m doing something to him and accusing me of it now on camera. So, I’m like, maybe I should do something. I don’t really do much of anything. But then he started laughing, and he’s freaking out on set, and then I started laughing. So, I guess we still do have fun, and we just don’t really set up like elaborate pranks, you know what I mean? Before it was like crazy.

Woman:   Yeah Eric Martsolf had mentioned that to me. He’s like, “On Passions, we could just do whatever the hell we wanted to. We’d screw with each other all the time.”

Galen:   Oh, yeah. We would be 5, 6, 7, 8 takes in, and then the producers would get on the microphone, and they’re like yelling at us. “Come on. We’re gonna move your scenes to another day.” And we’d be like, “Okay.” Now it’s like, “Oh, sorry, sorry.” You like mess up once or twice and you feel like you’re holding up the whole day. It’s just different. Well, we still have fun. It’s just different.

Woman:   I really been enjoying your scenes lately. And I can’t thank you enough. I’m sure Rafe gets off from the trumped charges that Ava was set up on him. I know you can’t say anything, but yeah, I’m really enjoying this. I mean, I know I can’t wait for it to come back tomorrow. It’s like, oh, thank God.

Galen:   Oh, yeah. The Olympics are over.

Woman:   Tomorrow. Finally. Thank God. I’m excited. Yay. All right, cool.

Galen:   It’s the closing ceremony tonight.

Woman:   Yeah, it’s it’s great. I’m waiting, and I’m excited to see what you guys have in store for us the next.

Moderator:   Thank you, Susie.

Woman:   Thank you.

Galen:   Thank you.

Moderator:   Next we’re going to bring up Betty Jean. Betty Jean, tell us where you’re from and ask your question.

Woman:   Hey, Galen. I’m from New Jersey, but I live up here in Nevada City.

Galen:   Yeah, you do.

Woman:   You remember?

Galen:   I do. You’re in your back yard right now?

Woman:   That’s actually my front yard. That’s the water feature in our front yard.

Woman:   Okay. Hold one second Betty Jean, Lamon is here.

Woman:   About time.

Woman:   There he is.

Lamon:   Hello, hello. My apologies for being late. Hi. Hello. I turned off my –

Galen:   Brain?

Lamon:   The whole Wi-Fi, I had turned it off, because it was going so slow. Then, I couldn’t get it back on, but now I’m here.

Woman:   Welcome, Lamon.

Galen:   You must have been panicking.

Lamon:   I was. I was, I was calling Spectrum and everything.

Moderator:   Go ahead, Betty Jean.

Woman:   Galen knows that I live up here in Nevada City. Have you been up in this area at all since you’ve moved away?

Galen:   Oh, yeah, I’ve been there. Man. It’s been a minute though. I’d say probably like, well, you know, time flies. I’d say like, 10 years, but it’s probably more like 15. I’ve been close to there are a lot, but no. I love to see it, though. I bet it’s so quaint and charming as ever, right?

Woman:   Yeah, yeah. Christmas card. Yeah.

Galen:   Yeah. So, for those of you guys who don’t know, it’s just like a cool old gold mining town in northern California and just like one really picturesque Main Street and little offshoots. I mean, you could probably speak to it better since you actually live there, but that was my memory.

Woman:   Yes, it’s still pretty much the same. It’s going through its ebbs and flows of economic revitalization. Like they just redid the National Hotel. They redid the restaurant in there, and they named it the Lola after Lola Montez. So, they’re sticking with the history. So, it’s nice.

Galen:   it’s a beautiful hotel.

Woman:   We’re hoping to get some snow this weekend. We really need the precipitation. We had some storms back in December, but we really haven’t had any.

Galen:   Did you guys get a ton of snow when it snowed like that big, like 10 days?

Woman:   We did. We had two feet when we were out. We had power out. A lot of trees came down this this year and a lot of damage done, and they’re still cleaning up from that. So, it melts off, and then that’s it. So, we’re hoping that Wednesday we get some more.

Galen:   Yeah, fingers crossed. Same here.

Moderator:   Thanks, Betty Jane.

Woman:   You’re welcome. Nice seeing you, Lamon. Sorry you were late.

Moderator:   Next, we’re going to bring up Draya. Draya, tell us where you’re from and ask your question.

Woman:   Hi, Lamon. Hi, Galen. I’m from Florida. My question is actually for both of you. What’s your most embarrassing moment on set? Either on Days or Passions, Galen?

Galen:   Oh, man, it looks like Lamon already thought of one.

Lamon:   Yeah. I actually posted mine. My most embarrassing moment was when I was in the middle of shooting a scene with Sal. It was on our wedding, and she looks, and she points she at my nose, and she goes, “Can we get a tissue for Lamon? You have like a little booger right there, and I don’t want to kiss on your booger.”

Woman:   Oh, no!

Lamon:   Oh, my god, I was so embarrassed. We had a cast on set. It was probably like maybe 10 or 12 of us and everybody was sitting there watching, and then everybody looks at me, and I’m like, “What is it?” because I can’t see myself. I was super embarrassed. I was really embarrassed.

Galen:   Was that like the wedding or something?

Lamon:   Yeah.

Galen:   I think I was there that day. I remember that. I saw it on the feed or something. I was like, “Oh, that’s embarrassing.”

Lamon:   Yeah, that was really embarrassing. I’ll never forget that. But I have the video to remember it.

Galen:   I mean, she could have like pulled you aside a little bit, but she kind of [unintelligible]

Lamon:   That’s what I’m saying! She could have pulled me to the side and said, “Lamon, go get a tissue, because you have like a little boogie right there.” And I was like, “Oh [intelligible],” but no, she let everyone know. “Can we get a tissue for Lamon?” Yeah, so good times. Go ahead, Galen. What’s yours?

Galen:   I mean, honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been that embarrassed on set

Lamon:   You weren’t embarrassed you had to speak to a teddy bear?

Galen:   That’s messed up, bro. [unintelligible], I think, for me, and you know, what’s funny is like, something happened. And I think I like just blacked it out of my memory, because I remember saying, “Oh, next time I get asked what my most embarrassing moment is, I have this,” and I cannot even remember for the life of me. But I will say like, maybe a little different than embarrassing, but it’s like, awful, because like sometimes embarrassing [unintelligible] if it’s not awful, you’re like, “Oh my god, I can’t -” But the awful one is when you’ve got a scene or a bunch of scenes, and in one scene, you just keep going up. Like you can’t get the words right, or the phraseology, or whatever it is. Then, you start to get a little sweat going, and you get a little hot, and you’re thinking it, and then the makeup [unintelligible] starts tapping on you and only makes you sweat more. And then everyone’s looking at you. And I mean, it’s happened a couple times. That’s the worst.

Woman:   Not the orangutan from Passions, Galen?

Galen:   I mean, that was awful, mostly. Most people liked it, but he used to regurgitate in my face… it would hit the back of my arm so hard. Thing was shedding dandruff on you constantly, it was so gross. It smelled like a rotten, I don’t know what. You know what I’m saying?

Moderator:   Thank you, Draya.

Woman:   [unintelligible] sanctuary now.

Galen:   Yeah, that’s where they belong, in the jungle.

Woman:   Thanks, Draya.

Lamon:   I’m sure we’ll have plenty more embarrassing moments to talk about as the days go on.

Moderator:   Next, we’re gonna bring up Linda Williamson. Linda, tell us where you’re from and ask your question.

Woman:   I’m from Western Washington State. My question is, what is the most physically adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

Galen:   Is that for Lamon or for me?

Woman:   Both.

Galen:   Okay. You got anything for that, Lamon? I know you don’t do much.

Lamon:   I stay in the house most of the time. But you know what? Skydiving. Skydiving was definitely the most adventurous thing that I’ve ever done. I’m 40 now, and for 39 years, I had said – not 39 years, but for practically my whole life. I was like, “Oh, I would never go skydiving. That’s something I would -” Am I muted?

Women:   No.

Lamon:   Yeah, I would never ever go skydiving, but I did it. And it was out of this world. I wouldn’t do it again, because I got a lot of seasickness from actually coming down, and the guy who was in charge skydiving, he would actually turn the parachute so we’re on some trail to get back to wherever we needed to go, but that really messed with my stomach. But it was very, very on the edge worthy.

Galen:   The guy’s like trying to make it fun for you, and you’re like, “Hey, please stop with the like back and forth.”

Lamon:   Yeah. Yeah, right before he started doing it he had he asked me he was like, “Do you like roller coasters?” And I was like, “Yeah.” He’s like, “All right,“ and next thing I know [unintelligible] to the side. I won’t do it again, but it was good one time.

Galen:   You know, Lamon, I’ve never actually done that.

Lamon:   Take Dramamine before, if you do.

Galen:   Okay. Oh, Linda, first of all, I want to thank you so much for the picture the other day. Linda printed this cool frame and sent me a framed picture at the top of Mammoth of the sign. It’s awesome. I love it. So, you rock. You always send in the most thoughtful things and the most ridiculous and hilarious letters, which I love. So, I’ll say, you know, I did this crazy kayak, like a 20-mile kayak in Hawaii, through like a private, like, waterfall. So, it was a kayak along the coast, and the current was crazy, so strenuous. It was like a full day; it was like a nine-hour kayak, and as I was living in Miami Beach at the time. One of my best friend’s was a member of a kayak club, so we did a bunch of kayaking. So, I was actually really good at it, but it was insanely hard, but so cool. Like part of it [was], the current would take you into this cove that would open up like the waterfalls coming down on your head, birds are swooping in, and you would go into this glowing giant like volcanic room, and suddenly you [would] be inside this mountain. It was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen. And you are kayaking with turtles and sharks and dolphins, and it was insane. Like National Geographic rated it as one of their top 100 adventures. And that was just so special. You’re going along and waterfalls are coming down. It was just like thousands of waterfalls everywhere on the Nepali coast where it at. It’s just I would highly recommend it, like in a boat, whatever. But if you are susceptible to seasickness, you can get seasick doing that for sure. I remember when we stopped for lunch, and I slept for an hour on a picnic table on a remote little island. It was brutal. So, that was pretty good. There’re so many.

Moderator:   Thank you, Linda. Great question. Next, we’re going to bring up Joanie Vaughn. Joanie, tell us where you’re from and ask your question.

Woman:   Hi, Lamon. Hi, Galen. I’m over in New Bedford, Massachusetts, a big little fishing town here. Biggest capital in the world for fishing, just in case –

Galen:   One of my best friends is from New Bedford.

Woman:   No way! Oh, my God.

Galen:   Yeah.

Woman:   It’s a quaint little town. This question is for both of you. It’s kind of a stupid question, but one I actually had helping in getting, because I had a hard time. Oh, my God, I want to ask you guys a million questions. But the one question is, well, in honor of Kurt Cobain’s birthday, so he’s a favorite of mine. Who’s your favorite band singer? One that you– if you just had nobody else to listen to, that you would want to listen to for the rest of your life.

Galen:   Oh, wow. Well, first of all, I got great taste. I love Kurt Cobain and Nirvana. And actually, just, I went to – Dave Grohl had this really cool thing. He’s the drummer for Nirvana and a bunch of other bands, but he had this really neat – he wrote a book about his journey as a musician and growing up, and I was –

Moderator:   Galen, we lost your sound.

Lamon:   I think, for me, it would be, and I thought a lot about this, and it’s hard to nail down one.

Galen:   It might be for me the Rolling Stones, just because they’re so iconic. They have so many great songs that I love.

Lamon:   Galen’s all over the place right now. I think he was getting the booger out of his nose. That was great!

Galen:   It looks clean to me.

Lamon:   We can’t see to make sure anyway, Galen.

Galen:   Am I back? What happened? Am I back?

Woman:   You are.

Galen:   Shut up, Lamon. [unintelligible] did that to you. Anyway, I’m gonna go Rolling Stones.

Woman:   Love it.

Lamon:   I don’t really know too many bands, but I would say Daughtry. That’s probably one of the few bands that I do listen to. Actually, I’ve seen him live, once. I became a fan years ago from American Idol. That’s when I used to watch American Idol all the time. It’s funny, because American Idol was like one of the few reality TV shows I would sit there and actually cry. So, American Idol. Chris Daughtry. I’m a big fan of them.

Lamon:   I love that. Both you guys, great answers. Thank you so much, and thanks –

Galen:   What about Hip Hop, Lamon?

Lamon:   One rapper, well, he’s passed. If I had no one else to listen to, Tupac. That’s number one.

Galen:   I knew you were going to say that.

Lamon:   Big Tupac fan, yeah.

Galen:   Yeah, he was great.

Moderator:   Thanks Joanie. Great question. Next we’re going to bring up Suzanne. Suzanne, tell us where you’re from and ask your question

Galen:   Hello, Suzanne.

(This is where I asked my question)

Woman:   That’s a good question.

Galen:   What do you think, Lamon?

Lamon:   That’s probably a tougher question for for you, I think, because you know, you’ve been there longer. You’ve been through more things than I have as portraying Eli, but something that –

Galen:   I would say, solve a case.

[crosstalk]

Lamon:   That’s wishful thinking. It’s not gonna ever happen.

Galen:   I know, but like, Lamon and I always had fun working together. We use to be like, “Man, can we just solve a damn case, though?”

Lamon:   Yeah, that’s a tough question. It’s a tough question. I feel like we do everything we – often we do stuff that we don’t want to do. Like, what was it? Zombies. And I’ll never forget the stuff that we did on the island with Christopher and Sal, where Chris had caught that Jungle Fever. Who asked for that? But to answer your question, I mean, something that I haven’t done, I don’t know. I would just say something that would bring in a family member from Eli’s past, just diving into, you know, more of his history. And as far as like pinpointing something in particular, I don’t know, hell, everyone comes back from the dead. So, maybe his dad can come back from the dead. I think that would be beneficial.

Moderator:   Thank you so much, Suzanne. So glad to have you here with us tonight. Next, we’re going to bring up Amber Savage. Amber, tell us where you’re from and ask your question.

Woman:   Hey, guys, I’m from Louisiana. So, unfortunately, I was pulling for Joe Barrow. I’m sorry, Joe. Anyway, I’m from Louisiana, and my question is for both of y’all. Okay, TV show or movie, either one, which is your guilty pleasure, the one that you don’t want anybody to know that you really like?

Galen:   I’m sorry, I lost audio.

Woman:   I said, which one, TV show or movie, is your guilty pleasure? The one you don’t want anyone to know that you really like. This is for both of y’all.

Lamon:   I would say, for me – I mean, if I didn’t want anybody to know you’re about to know now, but I really love the first season of Love is Blind.

Woman:   Oh, my God.

Lamon:   It’s a reality [show]. Somebody else must know about that. I heard, “Oh, my god.”

Woman:   I’m just watching the second season.

Woman:   Oh, my god, love it.

Lamon:   Yeah. I’ve got to watch the second season, but I really love the first season. I actually have searched up some of the people on Instagram to see if they’re still together from the first season. So, Love is Blind. It’s a really good reality show. And for years, I’ve kind of ventured off from reality TV, but that would definitely suck me back in.

Galen:   Oh, you’re doing deep dives on [unintelligible]. Oh my god, I love it.

Lamon:   And I think this was during the time where COVID just hit, so it was like one of those things where, you know, you’ve watched all the Netflix, so I think that was one of the things I got hooked on during that time.

Galen:   That’s amazing. Is it good?

Lamon:   It is really good. It’s really good. Dude, don’t– don’t start it though. Don’t start it.

Galen:   Okay.

Lamon:   You’re gonna get hooked.

Galen:   Now I have to answer the question. I honestly– I don’t really like – I don’t think I have, like, that show. I did watch this show last night though that’s crazy, so I’ll sort of reframe the question, because I don’t really know that I have anything, but Tinder Swindler?

Lamon:   Oh, I saw that.

Galen:   Dude, how crazy is that guy? What was he doing? What’s the point?

Lamon:   Yeah, for you guys. For any of you that don’t know what that show’s about, it’s about this guy who, on Tinder and dating sites, would swindle people, would swindle women, out of their money. He presents himself as like this, not a celebrity, but somebody who has lots and lots and lots of money. And then he gets women to actually give him money when he gets in trouble and [unintelligible].

Galen:   Yeah, don’t give it away. There’s some like crazy plot. I mean, it’s insane, the levels with which the guy is going and he’s spending money to get them to think that he has money. He’s [got] like private jets, all this nonsense, but he’s spending like the last girl’s money. It’s crazy, like, wow. Yeah, seems like a lot of work.

Moderator:   Thanks, Amber. Great question. Next, we’re going to bring up Nadia Potenza. Nadia, tell us where you’re from and ask your question.

Woman:   Hi, Galen Hi, Lamon. I’m from Boston, Massachusetts, and tonight, I’m drinking coffee. So, my question for both of you is, what is your greatest strengths as an actor?

Galen:   That’s a good question. Really good question.

Lamon:   I would say just the – You know what? I actually, like bringing in a level of comedy to, uh, to my scenes whenever possible. So, I would say –

Galen:   You do that on purpose?

[laughter]

Lamon:   Sometimes. So, yeah, I would say just the ability to be able to bring light and humor into my scenes.

Galen:   I would agree with that. We always have fun working together, dude. Oh, man. [unintelligible] I think too, your work’s really honest. You know what I mean? Like, you never seem like you’re pushing, you know what I’m saying? I don’t know. You just always find a moment. It seems very genuine, I would say for you, but that’s pretty good. I think, for me, like, I haven’t had any really of these emotional scenes, but one that’s like really – There’s like hard emotional scenes, I feel like, because we’re lucky enough to work with this character for a long time and other characters. I feel like I can believe in the circumstances pretty easily, as absurd as sometimes they might be, and not judge it too much, if that makes sense. Sometimes you’re like, “Oh my god, this is so ridiculous.” You’re like, “All right, whatever. Here we go.”

Moderator:   Thank you, Nadia.

Galen:   I have an ability to make my co stars laugh.

Lamon:   Oh my gosh, that’s true. That is the truth.

Moderator:   Thanks, Nadia.

Woman:   Thank you. Nice to meet you.

Moderator:   Next, we’re gonna bring up Raylene. Raylene, tell us where you’re from and ask your question.

Woman:   Hi, Galen. Hi, Lamon. Just look for the staircase.

Galen:   Yep.

Lamon:   Can’t miss it.

Galen:   There it is.

Woman:   Nice to spend Sunday with you both So, first of all, Lamon, I wanted to compliment you on your excellent Wi Fi connectivity.

Lamon:   Thank you. I’m in the house now.

Woman:   It’s very good. You’re very sharp and clear picture. So, it’s nice to see.

Lamon:   Thank you.

Woman:   And I’m sorry, Galen. I can’t say the same about you tonight.

Galen:   Is it not clear? But at least [I] was on time.

[laughter]

Woman:   So, there are so many things I wanted to ask both of you, but since Lamon brought up American Idol, and back in the early days, I used to love American Idol too. So, Daughtry didn’t win. Daughtry did not win, so who was your favorite winner of all the seasons that you watched? Who’s your favorite?

Lamon:   Most of the time my favorite got second, like Jennifer Hudson. I think she got second.

Woman:   No, she got six.

Lamon:   Oh, she got six. Oh, God. I think that was the season where the heavy set black guy had one, and I didn’t really like him too much.

Woman:   No, no, that wasn’t the right season.

Lamon:   Wait, Kelly Clarkson. I think Kelly Clarkson. I really liked her. I think she was a winner, if I’m not– if I’m not mistaken.

[crosstalk]

Woman:   First winner. Yeah.

Lamon:   Oh, she was the first… okay. Yeah, yeah, yes. So Kelly Clarkson for sure. And she doesn’t really do so much singing, to my knowledge. Now she’s into talk shows and things like that. Funny how life is gonna turn out.

Woman:   [unintelligible] early on.

Lamon:   Oh, yeah, The Voice is really good too. Yeah, definitely. But yeah, Kelly Clarkson.

Woman:   Do you have an answer there for that, Galen? And did you watch it all?

Galen:   All right, I was having a car situation. This is like my most embarrassing moment.

Lamon:   He’s breaking down right now.

Galen:   I tell you guys this because I have my car on. Not on. I had like the speaker going, and my battery died, and now I’m like blocking the guy who can’t even get out with this truck. So, anyway, good times. What was the question?

[laughter]

Woman:   American Idol singer.

Woman:   Yeah, do you watch American Idol at all?

Galen:   Yeah, you know. Oh, so my favorite singer?

Woman:   Yeah, or winner. I asked him on who his favorite winner was, because Chris Daughtry did not win.

Galen:   Oh, yeah. I like that guy. Who was second last year?

Woman:   I have no clue.

Lamon:   He’s winging this right now, guys.

Galen:   My son was like, super into it, so I would like watch it with them, and I just remember that guy that he thought was gonna win didn’t win, but I can’t remember his name. And I want to say–

Woman:   He was like alternative. He was an alternative artist.

Galen:   Yeah. Thank you.

Woman:   I can’t think of his name.

Galen:   Yeah, but, um, man, those people can sing, I’ll tell you. It’s incredible to be able to do that under that pressure. I don’t know. It’s crazy.

Moderator:   Thanks, Raylene.

Woman:   Thanks, guys.

Lamon:   Thank you, Raylene.

Galen:   Thanks.

Moderator:   Next we’re gonna bring up Thane. Thane is joining joining us from New Zealand and Thane uses text to voice to ask his question. Go ahead. Welcome, Thane.

Thane:   Well, someone I do work for is on the call. I probably shouldn’t do my crazy questions. I am just joking. She already knows I am a complete lunatic. So, guys, soap male characters are usually very stupid. So, I was wondering how you reconcile playing a detective while your character occasionally acts really dumb, for example, in relationships, etc.

Lamon:   That’s definitely a question for Galen.

Galen:   You know, the thing is, Thane, I think you said sometimes dumb; it’s really pretty much all the time. So, yeah, I mean, I think, actually, storyline-wise, like [we’re] moving through a storyline like that right now. I’m not sure exactly how far how much has transpired but I do just remember in this story being like, “Wow, I think I would have figured it out,” or had a greater Inkling. But I don’t know. I think there’s something in the water. We serve it at the at the cop shop there. They put in the coffee, I guess, because, you know, we’re idiots, for lack of a better word. You know, like Peter Sellers, like Pink Panther? Like he wasn’t always the most astute, but he found his way, and I feel like sometimes we do that.

Woman:   Lamon?

Lamon:   Yeah, you know what? It’s, uh, gosh, you know, oftentimes, you fans figure out whatever the crime is two weeks before our characters do, but yeah. I mean, it’s something that the writers have given us, and even though we’re like, “Oh, my god, this is so dumb; like the murderer is walking right next to us with a knife hanging out of their back pocket with blood dripping.” Stuff is right in our face, but we just have to, play as dumb as possible. I mean, there’ve been many times where I’ll go to producers and be like, “This doesn’t make sense. I mean, any idiot would know that, what [it is]; this plays out like this.” And they’re like, ‘Oh, this is the story.” We’ve got to make the best of it. So, our job is to be an idiot, not see it. We just do that.

Woman:   Thank you, Thane. Next, we’re going to bring up Amy Pfeffer. Amy, tell us where you’re from and ask your question.

Woman:   Hi, guys. Hi, Galen. We talked earlier.

Galen:   Hey, Amy.

Woman:   Hi. Lamon. You know, I’m from the San Mateo area, and I wanted to ask you, did you ever hang out at Tanforan Mall, back in the day?

Lamon:   I used to go to Tanforan Mall. Yes, for sure.

Woman:   They’re tearing it down.

Lamon:   Oh, really?

Woman:   Yeah. They’re tearing it down. We think Jeff Bezos bought it.

Lamon:   What?

Woman:   Yeah, they’re tearing it down. I wanted to tell you.

Lamon:   My cousin – Wait, have they already shut it down, right now?

Woman:   No, they’re shutting it down. They’re shutting it down probably in the next couple months.

Lamon:   Oh, my cousin, she works at the Foot Action over there. Wow. I didn’t know that. Okay.

Woman:   A big tech giant bought it, and we think it’s Jeff Bezos.

Lamon:   I wonder what they’re planning to do with that?

Woman:   I don’t know. I don’t know.

Galen:   Like, your cousin’s gonna be working at the Amazon distribution center, Lamon.

Lamon:   She’s pretty smart. She might be able to take your job on the force.

Galen:   Really, being smart is not a prerequisite for my job.

Woman:   I thought it was useless tidbit of information that I thought you might like to know.

Lamon:   Oh, yeah. Thank you for that. Appreciate it.

Moderator:   Thanks, Amy. Next, we are going to bring up Tina Moore. Tina, tell us where you’re from and ask your question.

Woman:   Hi, guys. My name is Tina. And I’m from Asheville, North Carolina.

Galen:   Hey, yo, what’s going on?

Woman:   Oh, not much. How are you?

Galen:   Tina the Terror.

Woman:   Well, first of all, Lamon, I want to say I absolutely love your dog.

Lamon:   Oh, thank you.

Woman:   The cutest thing. She’s adorable. I’m serious. If you ever rent her out for play dates, let me know. So, cute.

Lamon:   Thank you.

Woman:   I love your guys’ relationship.

Lamon:   Me and my dog?

Woman:   No. Well, that, too, but you and Galen, because you just bust each other, and it’s so fun.

Lamon:   Yeah, Galen’s my dog, too.

Woman:   Catch and sit and roll over and all that. So, my question is what do you think is the quirkiest part about your characters? Do you kind of build them, too? Like with Galen, I feel like Rafe has this thing for stuffed animals, like you’ve always had; like with Johnny it was penguins. Do you remember his stuffed penguins?

Galen:   Oh, yeah.

Woman:   And then you’ve never had any scenes with him on those. That’s kind of funny.

Galen:   What?

Woman:   Have you ever, I mean, have you ever had scenes with him, since he’s been back?

Galen:   Who, Lamon?

Woman:   No, Johnny.

Galen:   Oh. No, I have. A couple, not many.

Woman:   Okay, because I don’t think we’ve seen him any of them.

Galen:   Oh right. Well, then, you’ll see them coming up, I guess.

Woman:   Okay. So, I guess my question is –

Galen:   Is he possessed by the devil right now?

Woman:   Yes. So, I guess my question is, do you try to bring out the funny in your character, like the quirky stuff?

Galen:   Do I?

Woman:   Yes. Because I think you’re both funny.

Galen:   Thanks. I mean, I will say like a lot of my scenes involve like very high stakes things, murders and you know, pursuits, so you kind of have to temper it sometimes. Like, as much as I would like to play more times, sometimes, but yeah, I love to do that. I mean, I think we do that often in real life as well, and then people sort of lose sight of it in the acting world at times. And it gives like, fun color. So, it’s definitely a – what’s the word I’m looking for? Like, I think about it, when I can mix it in, and I think that the writers actually do a good job of finding moments for me, knowing sort of like my voice and what I want to do, the character’s voice, and they are actually writing stuff in for me, which is great.

Woman:   Yeah, I think they do, too, and I love the sense of humor that Days has. It’s different than any other show right now.

Galen:   That’s great.

Woman:   Yeah. It’s not like Passions. It’s strange, but it’s funny, and it is a lot of fun to watch. It’s not so serious.

Galen:   Yeah, it can be tongue-in-cheek a little bit and make fun of itself. Yeah, I love that, actually. It’s nice color, I think. Thank you for appreciating that.

Woman:   That’s great, thank you.

Galen:   Look how handsome Lamon is, look at that dude.

Lamon:   But yeah, just tagging on what Galen said. Yeah, I mean, being with a soap, everything is a lot of times drama, drama, drama, like you said, high stakes. And often, the plots or whatever it may be, there isn’t– really isn’t laughing – there’s no laughing matters about it. So, I think whenever we can we try to add some humor in, and even if that’s just having reactions to some of the outlandish things that that are going on.

Woman:   Yes. Looks Yeah.

Lamon:   Yeah, and oftentimes, you may not get to see those, because we’re not the ones speaking. So, it really is a gem when they do actually get a look from someone who’s actually a bystander in the whole scene kind of taking the [unintelligible], like, “What the hell is going on?” But yeah, whenever we can we try to implement that stuff, but it’s not always the easiest thing to do, because what’s going on in the story is such high stakes.

Woman:   Okay, thank you.

Galen:   You’re welcome, Tina.

Moderator:   Next we’re going to bring up Vito, tell us where you’re from and ask your question.

Man:  Hello, Lamon. Hi, Galen. I’m Vito. I do have a question for Galen. I saw on your IMdB page that your parents were hippies.

Galen:   Uh-huh.

Man:  [Unintelligible] lifestyle

Galen:   Say again?

Man:  According to this, they interviewed you, and you said, living the hippie lifestyle was art. You lived on macaroni and cheese and Top Ramen.

Galen:   Yeah, that’s pretty accurate. I would say if there’s one thing that as a parent I love to have for my kids is consistency, and my parents did not offer that in terms of the lifestyle, especially when my parents split up. So, I was just with my mom, who was this crazy artist. There was just a lot going on. She was a wild woman. Then when the rent check would come first of the month, he’d cook for like a week and then who knew? It was just a little sketchy. So, that was the the hard part about being a kid and trying to have also a sense of normalcy, when your mom’s this wild artists and the kids are like – I mean, my car was completely painted. You don’t want to ride in that when you’re a kid. It was called the Duck Mobile, and our joke was my sister and I, because we would duck down, so no one would see us. And that lasted for like a year. I was like, “Nobody knows I’m in the Duck Mobile.” And then one kid found out, and that was it. Yeah. So, that was challenging, but looking back on it, it was I think it was pretty fun. I mean, there weren’t a lot of rules. We could kind of do whatever we wanted, and I think it helped obviously shape me into the person I am today. You know, I’m pretty thick-skinned and don’t take things too seriously most of the time. So, yeah.

Man:  Cool. Thank you.

Lamon:   Apparently I drive a duck mobile myself, and I thought I have a pretty nice car. Whenever I pick up my kids they hop in fast, and they duck, because I play my music loud. They don’t want their friends to see them.

Moderator:   Thanks, Vito.

Galen:   You’re blaring that Daughtry.

Moderator:   Okay, I’m going to bring three people back up who asked their questions before Lamon came on. Galen, you’re more than welcome to stay with us if you want to. Okay, I’m going to bring Betty Jean back up. She has a question for Lamon.

Woman:   Hi, Lamon. Now that you guys are aging the babies, how’s it working with real babies on the set, instead of the dolls?

Lamon:   It’s actually– it’s fun. It helps us as actors to actually have a living breathing baby, but there are times where you’ll have one of the twins – you are dealing with now two babies on set – oftentimes one of them won’t be in the mood. So, we have to deal with that, but overall, it’s a blessing that we don’t have to hold dolls and sit there and pass these crazy, scary-looking dolls. [unintelligible] things like that.

Woman:   But are you working with just two babies? Or is it two sets of twins?

Lamon:   It’s two sets of twins, four for each. And it’s funny, because the Carver babies.. Carver is the boy, but they’re played by girls. Jules, of course, is the girl, but the girls are actually boys.

Galen:   Oh, my god. That’s so weird.

Lamon:   So, it’s crazy, but yeah, to answer your question, it’s more fun to do.

Galen:   I just want to interject, because those babies they have, not the real ones, those babies are crazy-looking.

Lamon:   The dolls?

Galen:   Yeah, with those like popping out of your cupboard or something.

Moderator:   Thanks, Betty Jane. Next, we’re going to bring back up Ina. Ina has a question for Lamon.

Woman:   Hi, Lamon, nice to meet you.

Lamon:   Nice to meet you.

Woman:   My question is, what’s your favorite car?

Lamon:   My favorite car, well it’s definitely gonna be a car I don’t have. Let’s see. Okay, right now, my favorite car, it’s not even out yet. It’s a new Hummer that I have my eye on. It won’t be out until 2024, but it’s an– it’s a– an electric Hummer. If you ever want to sit there and Google– but all-electric Hummer 2024, And you can actually take the top off of that. So yeah, 2024 Hummer.

Galen:   Those things look sweet.

Lamon:   Yeah.

Woman:   Thank you, Ina. And we’re going to bring back up Michelle Leibowitz. Michelle has a question for Lamon.

Woman:   Hi, Lamon. Very nice to meet you.

Lamon:   Nice to meet you, Michelle.

Woman:   I was asking, I know you and Galen are both blooper kings. What’s your most memorable blooper that you’ve had on set?

Lamon:   Well, I’ll say this. The one that I’ve watched the most is probably the blooper with myself, Thou, Galen and – his name is – help me out Galen. I think his dad stole stole a baby. Remember, Galen, we were in a hotel room and he was on the other side of the bed?

Moderator:   Brock Kelly?

Lamon:   Yeah, Brock Kelly. That one, oh my god, we were dying. I actually have it on my Instagram page that blooper where you came into the door, and you said something like “Po po” or something like that. And then it just started, everybody was giggling, and we did not stop laughing. I remember Lucy. She was like, “All right guys, you guys have to settle down,” or something like that. You were like, “No, we need to fire up,” and they actually didn’t even let us finish rehearsing, because we were horsing around too much, or she was like, “We’re gonna go straight to tape. You guys got to settle down.” We could not stop laughing. That one I probably watched the most. That was hilarious.

Galen:   I remember that. They were talking about it earlier, actually, because they were asking about exactly that. And I was like, “We don’t have time for practical jokes,” but I remember that, because I had to bang on it like, “Police!” And I was like, “It’s the po po.” Then you guys just lost it. I don’t know, [there were] some other whole crazy absurdities going on. That was funny.

Lamon:   Often times we’re working with stuff that’s so crazy that any little thing that happens, sometimes it doesn’t even have to be funny, but just anything that happens is just out of the ordinary. One person starts laughing, and next thing you know, everybody has the giggles, and it’s over. It’s over after that.

Galen:   It’s a wrap.

Lamon:   Yeah.

Galen:   Why is that? It’s like, these things become so funny that otherwise wouldn’t really seemingly be funny at all. But I think, because you’re under the pressure of like, “Oh, we got to get this out.” And you’re like, it’s so ridiculous that you’re just, I don’t know, it just becomes hilarious. I don’t know what it is, but then you get the giggles, and you just can’t stop.

Lamon:   There’s something about laughing when you’re not supposed to laugh that just takes it to a whole new height, for sure.

Galen:   The other day, I was telling them like, we have the scenes, Billy’s coming in, I’ll fire it up, and and then he’s like, “Dude, don’t do that to me.” I’m like, “Don’t do what? I didn’t do anything.” He like, “You got that twinkle in your eye.” And I was like, “I’m not doing anything.” Then of course I started doing something, and then I couldn’t stop. And then I’d slap myself, but then it really hurt, and I had a hand mark on my face. I hit myself so hard, I was like, “Oh, my god, it’s not going well.”

Woman:   Well, this brings our time to a close. So, on behalf I know on behalf of Penny and Star Image Entertainment, we want to thank all of you for coming tonight. We want to especially thank Lamon and Galen for taking time out of their busy schedules to be here. Clearly it was no small effort tonight for both of them. I hope you can get home and you don’t have to call [unintelligible] to come rescue you.

Galen:   I have to get a jump. My favorite car right now? The one that starts.

Woman:   Oh, and and Galen don’t forget your bike.

Woman:   So, we always do a toast before we end the night and take some group shots. So, if everybody wants to raise their glass, we want to we want to toast Galen and Lamon, the Salem PD force. Thank you for for joining us, for all you do. Thank you Penny. And thank you to all the fans. It’s all of you that make all of this special. So cheers.

 [crosstalk]

Lamon:   Yeah, thank you.

[crosstalk]

Galen:   Thanks everyone for coming. Thank you Lamon. Happy Sunday.

Lamon:   Happy Sunday.

Woman:   Go Rams, Galen.

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of http://www.scifivision.com

MORE INFO:

Lamon Archey

Eli Grant, “Days of our Lives”

Lamon Archey plays Eli Grant on NBC’s iconic daytime drama “Days of our Lives.”

Born in Northern California, Archey was raised by his grandparents and after graduating high school worked as a carpenter for three years. He soon moved to Los Angeles where, in less than a year, was working as a print, catalog and runway model for some of the world’s top fashion brands and designers, including Macys, the Gap, Kohl’s, Giorgio Armani and Dolce & Gabbana.

Archey sharpened his acting chops and soon began booking commercials for major companies, including McDonald’s, Chase and Old Navy. Beyoncé handpicked Archey as her love interest for Destiny’s Child 2004 music video “Cater 2 U.”

He landed his first acting role on “The Young and the Restless” in 2012 and would go on to appear in various sitcoms, including CBS’ “2 Broke Girls” and Showtime’s “Roadies,” before returning to daytime on “Days of Our Lives.” Originating the role of Eli Grant, the first Black member of the Horton family, Archey garnered critical acclaim for his portrayal of the likeable headstrong character.

A father of three children – two sons, Machiah, 17, and Caden, 11; and daughter, Gaia, 8 –Lamon resides in Los Angeles.

Galen Laius Gering (born February 13, 1971) is an American actor most known for his portrayal of characters on daytime soap operas. He currently plays the role of Rafe Hernandez on the long-running NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives. He also appeared on the NBC daytime soap opera Passions as Luis Lopez-Fitzgerald.

Days of our Lives

Mondays-Fridays on NBC (daytime; check local station for time)

For almost half a century, those words have introduced and underscored NBC’s longest-running drama series. “Days of our Lives,” which turns 55 on Nov. 8, 2020, first premiered as a half-hour drama in 1965 and expanded to an hour 10 years later.

The show is currently in its 55th season and remains a consistent favorite among critics and fans alike. “Days of our Lives” is produced by Corday Productions, Inc. in association with Sony Pictures Television. Ken Corday is the executive producer with co-executive producer Albert Alarr. Ron Carlivati is the head writer. “Days of our Lives” airs nationally on NBC in the United States and in over 15 countries internationally.

The show has garnered 58 Emmy Awards, including most recently 2018’s Outstanding Daytime Drama, and 372 nominations, as well as multiple People’s Choice Awards, GLAAD Media Awards, and Prism Awards. The show’s success stems from its consistent commitment to excellence in writing and storytelling – supported by a diverse ensemble of performers – and an uncanny knack for anticipating viewer interests. With its mix of classic genre traditions and groundbreaking narratives reflecting modern life, “Days of our Lives” remains a perennial favorite among viewers of all ages.

“Days of our Lives” is set in the fictitious Midwestern town of Salem. The core families are Bradys, Hortons and DiMeras, and the multi-layered storylines involve elements of romance, adventure, mystery, comedy and drama.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Eli and Rafe on "Days of Our Lives" on NBC

Interview with Grant Knoche of Texas

TV Interview!

AMERICAN SONG CONTEST -- “The Live Qualifiers Part 3” Episode 103 -- Pictured: Grant Knoche (TX) -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

Interview with Grant Knoche of “American Song Contest” on NBC by Thane 5/5/22

I was very happy to get this interview with Grant. He does such a great job on ASC and is very popular with fans (and with Kelly Clarkson, with whom he shares the home state of Texas!).  Please vote for him if you like his music.

 

Here are the questions I asked:

How does it feel representing Texas in a live TV show?

What does “Mr. Independent” mean to you?

What are the challenges of being a young solo singer?

Why did you join Kidz Bop and what was that like?

As a solo artist, what inspires your music?

These days collaborations are popular. With whom would you want to collaborate?

Is there anything in particular that gets you in the mood to write songs?

What’s your view of modern pop music?

Do you feel that streaming services fairly compensate musicians?

I have watched your latest music videos. How do you come up with ideas for them?

Where can people follow you?

MORE INFO:

AMERICAN SONG CONTEST -- “The Live Qualifiers Part 3” Episode 103 -- Pictured: Grant Knoche (TX) -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)Texas: Grant Knoche

State: Texas
Singer’s name: Grant Knoche
Hometown: Frisco, TX
Resident: Los Angeles, CA

Grant Knoche, 19, taught himself to write and produce in his childhood bedroom and he hasn’t looked back since. Grant’s synth-driven, deep bass and intimate pop songs have all been written and produced by him. On his way to gathering over 900,000 followers, Grant has spent most of his life on the road performing more than 160 shows across America, including on “Today,” at Radio City Music Hall, Woodstock and many other locales. Grant’s debut EP, “Color Me Blue,” has been featured on multiple top playlists and he was recently called out by Ones to Watch as “One of today’s finest rising pop stars.” Grant’s excited to represent his home state of Texas.

American Song Contest

Mondays on NBC (8-10 p.m. ET)

 

America’s biggest live entertainment event has arrived! Based on the worldwide phenomenon “Eurovision Song Contest,” organized for 65 years by the European Broadcasting Union and watched by 200 million viewers annually, this amazing musical spectacular combines the competitive spirit of rooting for your favorite sports team with the joy of watching a beloved singing performance.

In the U.S. version of the international megahit, “American Song Contest” will feature live original musical performances, representing all 50 states, five U.S. territories and our nation’s capital, competing to win the country’s vote for the best hit song. The 56 artists span a wide range of performers – from undiscovered talent, up-and-coming new artists, and rising stars to established and legendary icons. An incredible solo artist, duo, group or band will represent each location and perform a new original song, celebrating the depth and variety of different styles and genres across America.

Hosted by Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson, the eight-week live competition consists of three rounds as the artists compete in a series of Qualifying Rounds, followed by the Semi-Finals and the ultimate Grand Final where one state or territory will emerge victorious.

“American Song Contest” is executive produced by Propagate’s Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens, alongside Audrey Morrissey, Amanda Zucker, Kyra Thompson and Gregory Lipstone as well as American Song Contest, Inc.’s Anders Lenhoff, Christer Björkman, Peter Settman and Ola Melzig. Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson also serve as executive producers.

The series is produced by Propagate in association with Universal Television Alternative Studio, a division of Universal Studio Group, and American Song Contest, Inc.

Hashtag: #AmericanSongContest

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AMERICAN SONG CONTEST -- Episode 103 Contestant Gallery -- Pictured: Grant Knoche (TX) -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)

Interviews with “American Song Contest” performers

TV Interview!

"American Song Contest" April 25 on NBC

Interview with performers of “American Song Contest” on NBC by Thane 4/25/22

I was at this virtual press event with some of the semi-finalists for this show. I watched the first semi-final episode. My favorites were Riker and Jonah, but all the contestants shone this night.

Riker Lynch of Colorado

Sadly, the jury didn’t like him. He’s very upbeat, so I asked him what his motivation is for wanting to spread joy.


Jonah Prill of Montana

His style is more country, so I asked him what he liked about country music.


Ada Leann of Michigan

Ada is the youngest performer; I asked her what the challenges are of being a young singer.


AleXa of Oklahoma

I asked her if she’s inspired by any K pop artists. I liked her tune. I really should listen to more K Pop.


MARi of New Hampshire

I loved her song and asked her what got her in the mood to write such an inspirational song.


Hueston of Rhode Island

I assumed that Hueston likes to reach people through his music, so I asked how it feels to know that he’s reaching people.


Ni/Co of Alabama

I asked whether both of them always writes songs for their duo or whether just one of them writes the songs.


Jared Lee of Massaghusetts

Since his song was called “Shameless,” I asked him whatever the most shameless thing he’s done (that’s he’s comfortable sharing).


Allen Stone of Washington

He wrote his song after becoming a father, so I asked him what his family thinks of his song.


Ryan Charles of Wyoming

His style was influenced by hip hop, so I wanted to know what his favorite hip hop jams were.


Jordan Smith of Kentucky

I felt that “Sparrow” was a powerful song and wanted to know what it meant to him.


MORE INFO:

AMERICAN SONG CONTEST — “Semi-finals” Episode 106

America’s biggest live entertainment event has arrived! Based on the worldwide phenomenon “Eurovision Song Contest,” organized for 65 years by the European Broadcasting Union and watched by 200 million viewers annually, this amazing musical spectacular combines the competitive spirit of rooting for your favorite sports team with the joy of watching a beloved singing performance.

In the U.S. version of the international megahit, “American Song Contest” will feature live original musical performances, representing all 50 states, five U.S. territories and our nation’s capital, competing to win the country’s vote for the best hit song. The 56 artists span a wide range of performers – from undiscovered talent, up-and-coming new artists, and rising stars to established and legendary icons. An incredible solo artist, duo, group or band will represent each location and perform a new original song, celebrating the depth and variety of different styles and genres across America.

Hosted by Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson, the eight-week live competition consists of three rounds as the artists compete in a series of Qualifying Rounds, followed by the Semi-Finals and the ultimate Grand Final where one state or territory will emerge victorious.

“American Song Contest” is executive produced by Propagate’s Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens, alongside Audrey Morrissey, Amanda Zucker, Kyra Thompson and Gregory Lipstone as well as American Song Contest, Inc.’s Anders Lenhoff, Christer Björkman, Peter Settman and Ola Melzig. Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson also serve as executive producers.

The series is produced by Propagate in association with Universal Television Alternative Studio, a division of Universal Studio Group, and American Song Contest, Inc.

Hashtag: #AmericanSongContest

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AMERICAN SONG CONTEST -- “Semi-finals” Episode 106 -- Pictured: (l-r) Snoop Dogg, Kelly Clarkson -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

Interviews with “American Song Contest” contestants 4/4/22

TV Interview!

Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson on "American Song Contest" on NBC

Interview with contestants from “American Song Contest” on NBC by Thane 4/4/22

I haven’t been press for a live event before. I also enjoy music, so I decided to cover this event. I knew of the hosts, so I was hoping to speak to at least one of them.

Watch the episode here if you missed it!

SNOOP DOGG

 

I have previously seen him at a festival in New Zealand, so I was excited to speak to him. This is probably one of the main highlights of the year for me. I asked him if he enjoyed seeing a live audience now that the pandemic is over. I regret this phrasing as the pandemic isn’t really over. There was a period when live events didn’t happen, and I was trying to reference this time. It was great to speak to him!

SABYU OF NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS

 

I could tell he values his home culture, so I wanted to incorporate the people back home in my question. I asked him what they think of his success.

NI/CO OF ALABAMA

 

On reflection, I really should have been asking more music oriented questions as I enjoy learning about music. This was the only time I really took the opportunity to do this. I asked them how do two people write a song.

ALE ZABALA OF FLORIDA

 

I instantly noticed that her performance was very pink themed. (the color, not the singer! LOL!) So I asked her how she decided on that color.

TYLER BRADEN OF TENNESSEE

 

I just thought he had so much raw emotion in his voice. I really enjoyed his singing.

NITRO NITRA OF DELAWARE

 

I really enjoyed the rhythm of her song, so I asked how she chose it.

BRITTANY PFANTZ OF LOUISIANA

 

I really enjoyed the special effects of her song, so I asked how the special effects were chosen.

GRANT KNOCHE OF TEXAS

 

He was definitely my favorite of the night. I noticed he was a really good dancer, so I asked him how long it took to learn the dance moves.

BROOKE ALEXX OF NEW JERSEY

 

I really liked her song, “I Don’t Take Pictures Anymore”. I asked her what her song meant to her.

JESSE LEPROTTI OF SOUTH CAROLINA

 

Since Jesse’s song was inspired by his mom, I was really curious to know what he told her about the song before his performance.

JUDD HOOS OF SOUTH DAKOTA

 

I was curious to know if their song “Bad Girl” was about anyone specific. Watch the video to find the answer!

We didn’t get to interview Jewel (representing Alaska) or Riker Lynch from Colorado.

Jewel did a country song. It was great hearing her on stage. I love her song, “I Love You Always Forever.”

Riker seems to be an upbeat person, and his song “Feel the Love” reflected this..I liked what he was wearing, too!

MORE INFO:

American Song Contest

Mondays on NBC (8-10 p.m. ET); Series Premiere: March 21

America’s biggest live entertainment event has arrived! Based on the worldwide phenomenon “Eurovision Song Contest,” organized for 65 years by the European Broadcasting Union and watched by 200 million viewers annually, this amazing musical spectacular combines the competitive spirit of rooting for your favorite sports team with the joy of watching a beloved singing performance.

In the U.S. version of the international megahit, “American Song Contest” will feature live original musical performances, representing all 50 states, five U.S. territories and our nation’s capital, competing to win the country’s vote for the best hit song. The 56 artists span a wide range of performers – from undiscovered talent, up-and-coming new artists, and rising stars to established and legendary icons. An incredible solo artist, duo, group or band will represent each location and perform a new original song, celebrating the depth and variety of different styles and genres across America.

Hosted by Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson, the eight-week live competition consists of three rounds as the artists compete in a series of Qualifying Rounds, followed by the Semi-Finals and the ultimate Grand Final where one state or territory will emerge victorious.

“American Song Contest” is executive produced by Propagate’s Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens, alongside Audrey Morrissey, Amanda Zucker, Kyra Thompson and Gregory Lipstone as well as American Song Contest, Inc.’s Anders Lenhoff, Christer Björkman, Peter Settman and Ola Melzig. Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson also serve as executive producers.

The series is produced by Propagate in association with Universal Television Alternative Studio, a division of Universal Studio Group, and American Song Contest, Inc.

Hashtag: #AmericanSongContest

AMERICAN SONG CONTEST -- “The Live Qualifiers Part 3” Episode 103 -- Pictured: Snoop Dogg -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

Snoop Dogg

Executive Producer/Host, “American Song Contest”

A multi-platinum artist, actor, philanthropist and entertainment icon, Snoop Dogg has reigned for nearly three decades as an unparalleled force, raising the bar as an award-winning entertainer and globally recognized entrepreneur. Snoop defines entertainment history. He has released 21 studio albums, sold over 40 million albums worldwide, reached No. 1 countless times on Billboard charts internationally and received 20 Grammy nominations.

A California native, Snoop has also appeared in numerous films, such as “Dolemite Is My Name,” “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run,” “The Addams Family,” “Beach Bum,” “Starsky & Hutch,” “Soul Plane” and the Oscar-winning drama “Training Day,” among others. He has also produced several TV shows and films, including Vice’s “Reincarnated,” “Mac & Dean Go to High School” and “Hood of Horror” through his production company, Snoopadelic Films. He made his mark in television when he garnered an Emmy Award nomination as executive producer for the hit VH1 show “Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner.” Snoop was also the executive producer of the Netflix show “Coach Snoop,” “GGN: Double G News,” MTV’s “Mary + Jane” and the TNT game show “Joker’s Wild,” which he also hosted.

Most recently, Snoop has hosted and produced several projects through his Snoopadelic films, including two Peacock originals – “2021 and Done” alongside Kevin Hart, a hilarious retrospective on the year that began with so much promise; and “Olympic Highlights with Kevin Hart and Snoop Dogg,” recapping the Olympics’ most impressive displays of athleticism and the moments that didn’t go as planned.

AMERICAN SONG CONTEST -- “The Live Qualifiers Part 3” Episode 103 -- Pictured: Sabyu (CNMI) -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

Northern Mariana Islands: Sabyu

State: Northern Mariana Islands
Singer’s name: Sabyu
Hometown: Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands
Resident: Olympia, WA

Matthew Sablan, known musically as Sabyu, is a Pacific Islander singer, songwriter, producer, engineer, artist mentor and multi-instrumentalist. He is known for his eclectic music style combining island roots and Stateside influences alike, blending reggae, rock, soul, hip-hop, funk, jazz and world music. Sabyu mentors young artists with a Seattle-based non-profit, Totem Star, guiding aspiring youth along their own music journeys. He makes music to bring all walks of life together in the name of love, spirit and humanity, and wants to let everyone know that even if you come from a small island, you can make big waves around the world.

 

AMERICAN SONG CONTEST -- “The Live Qualifiers Part 3” Episode 103 -- Pictured: Ni/Co (AL) -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

Alabama: Ni/Co

State: Alabama
Group name: Ni/Co
Hometown: Montgomery, AL
Resident: Los Angeles, CA

Ni/Co is a duo made up of Dani Brillhart and Colton Jones. They began gaining popularity in 2019 from their YouTube videos, which have accumulated more than 40 million views. The pop duo has had their music featured on various networks, including the CW, VH1, NBC, BET, TNT, Starz and Freeform. Their growing audience has granted them attention and opportunities to work with brands such as Google, Adobe, Volkswagen, Reese’s, Dell, Chips Ahoy, Fender and more. They have an insatiable passion to perform and pull inspiration from wanting to touch the lives of everyone who hears their music. Ni/Co is so excited to represent Alabama as that is where Colton discovered his love for music and where they played events together which helped them realize their love for performing together, thus creating Ni/Co.

AMERICAN SONG CONTEST -- “The Live Qualifiers Part 3” Episode 103 -- Pictured: Ale Zabala (FL) -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)Florida: Ale Zabala

State: Florida
Singer’s name: Ale Zabala
Hometown: Miami, FL
Resident: Parkland, FL

Alexa Zabala, known professionally as Ale Zabala, is an American singer, songwriter, musician and dancer. She’s a Latin pop artist as well as a writer for other singers and started writing when she was 13. Ale went to college for music business and met her first producer with whom she began writing all of her songs. She released her first single in 2019 and is constantly in music sessions writing for other artists and working on new musical projects. Ale is ready to represent Florida, where she went to her first concert and to school to study music.

AMERICAN SONG CONTEST -- “The Live Qualifiers Part 3” Episode 103 -- Pictured: Tyler Braden (TN) -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)Tennessee: Tyler Braden

State: Tennessee
Singer’s Name: Tyler Braden
Hometown: Montgomery, AL
Resident: Nashville, TN

Tyler Braden was inspired to pursue a musical career from a young age by legend Hank Williams. He moved from his small town in Alabama to Nashville to pursue a career in music, teaching himself guitar and working as a firefighter in the meantime. He’s now a budding star with more than 70 million streams to his name and a growing list of major tour credits. In January, Braden made his Grand Ole Opry debut setting the tone for big things to come this year, including representing Tennessee on “American Song Contest.” Tennessee is where his music career really found its footing and he says he owes it all to the state. Tyler is prepared and excited to represent it in the best way he knows how.

AMERICAN SONG CONTEST -- “The Live Qualifiers Part 3” Episode 103 -- Pictured: Nitro Nitra (DE) -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)Delaware: Nitro Nitra

State: Delaware
Singer’s name: Nitro Nitra
Hometown: Wilmington, DE
Resident: Middletown, DE

Nitro Nitra is a soul-rock singer and has been singing since before she could walk. After moving away, Nitra experienced a spiritual awakening in 2018 that led her to come back to her roots in Delaware. She first performed as Nitro Nitra in 2021 and since then has released an EP, visual album and two singles. Nitra’s goal as a musician is to create a shared experience with her fans where they can open their minds to new levels of existence and awakenings of their own. Nitro Nitra is excited to represent Delaware, where she began her musical journey.

AMERICAN SONG CONTEST -- “The Live Qualifiers Part 3” Episode 103 -- Pictured: Brittany Pfantz (LA) -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)Louisiana: Brittany Pfantz

State: Louisiana
Singer’s name: Brittany Pfantz
Hometown: DeRidder, LA
Resident: Nashville, TN

Brittany Pfantz’s music is perfumed with the sounds she was raised on: Louisiana swamp, rock, gospel, and down-in-your-gut soul. She parades her roots honestly, like the street bands of New Orleans, where she learned how to stay true to the music and to herself. Brittany just finished recording her debut EP with Grammy Award-winning producer Jacquire King and is currently shopping the project and playing shows around Nashville. She is representing Louisiana because even though she lives in Nashville, it will always be in her roots.

AMERICAN SONG CONTEST -- “The Live Qualifiers Part 3” Episode 103 -- Pictured: Grant Knoche (TX) -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)Texas: Grant Knoche

State: Texas
Singer’s name: Grant Knoche
Hometown: Frisco, TX
Resident: Los Angeles, CA

Grant Knoche, 19, taught himself to write and produce in his childhood bedroom and he hasn’t looked back since. Grant’s synth-driven, deep bass and intimate pop songs have all been written and produced by him. On his way to gathering over 900,000 followers, Grant has spent most of his life on the road performing more than 160 shows across America, including on “Today,” at Radio City Music Hall, Woodstock and many other locales. Grant’s debut EP, “Color Me Blue,” has been featured on multiple top playlists and he was recently called out by Ones to Watch as “One of today’s finest rising pop stars.” Grant’s excited to represent his home state of Texas.

AMERICAN SONG CONTEST -- “The Live Qualifiers Part 3” Episode 103 -- Pictured: Brooke Alexx (NJ) -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)New Jersey: Brooke Alexx

State: New Jersey
Singer’s name: Brooke Alexx
Hometown: Old Tappan, NJ
Resident: Nashville, TN

Pop starlet meets girl next door in Brooke Alexx – an Asian-American New Jerseyan songwriter, singer, performer, director and editor. Brooke wields her creative powers to inspire young women just as Taylor Swift inspired her to start writing songs of vulnerability and empowerment at age 13. Her magnetic melodies, paired with her ever-relatable coming-of-age lyrics, have resonated more in 2021 than any other year through a familial-focused EP. Brooke’s confidence and contagious personality oozed into 2022 on the back of her first festival performance at Lollapalooza, a brand collaboration with IKEA and a sync license in Netflix’s film “Resort to Love.”

AMERICAN SONG CONTEST -- “The Live Qualifiers Part 3” Episode 103 -- Pictured: Jesse LeProtti (SC) -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)South Carolina: Jesse LeProtti

State: South Carolina
Singer’s name: Jesse LeProtti
Hometown: Irmo, SC
Resident: Los Angeles, CA

Jesse Christopher Blocker III, known professionally as Jesse LeProtti, is known for his wide vocal range, crisp live performances and diverse music catalog that includes pop, R&B, soul, electronic and many more styles. Jesse strives to bring back “real music,” making listeners feel a sense of deja vu while keeping it 100% authentic to himself. Being from South Carolina has played a huge role in who he is today – musically and mentally. Two of his biggest musical influences, James Brown and Darius Rucker, are from South Carolina. He is proud to represent his home state as the people of South Carolina have the “go getter” and “never give up” mentality which has led him to where he is today.

AMERICAN SONG CONTEST -- “The Live Qualifiers Part 3” Episode 103 -- Pictured: Judd Hoos (SD) -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)South Dakota: Judd Hoos

State: South Dakota
Singer’s name: Judd Hoos
Hometown: Spearfish, SD
Resident: Rapid City, SD

Judd Hoos is a rock band from the Black Hills of South Dakota. The band’s line up consists of  Andy Young, Shane Funk, Keithan Funk, Tyler Bills, and Chase Huseby. In the past 12 months, Judd Hoos has released a new EP, “Not Alone,” organized the Nashville Comes to the Black Hills songwriting camp and hosted the first-ever Judd Hoos Charity Jam. They appeared on multiple tour stops with Nashville rockers the Wild Feathers, played close to 100 Midwest clubs, theaters, festivals and fairs and even shared the stage with rock icon Billy Idol. In addition to recording new music, they have renewed a tour sponsorship deal with Remedy Brewing Company for the second straight year and collaborated on their own IPA, Hoos Joos.

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Thane Pullan and Snoop Dogg

Interview with Chicago Med Actors

TV Interview!

Interview with actors Oliver Platt and Marlyne Barrett, and executive producers Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider of "Chicago Med" on NBC

Interview with actors Oliver Platt and Marlyne Barrett, and executive producers Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider of “Chicago Med” on NBC Suzanne 3/30

This was a really enjoyable part of an NBC virtual press day panel. I love Oliver Platt. I remember first seeing him in “The Three Musketeers,” (1993), where he played Porthos. He was in many great movies and TV series. This show has an amazing cast.

MORE INFO:

Interview with Chicago Fire   Interview with Chicago PD

Interview with actors Oliver Platt and Marlyne Barrett, and executive producers Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider of "Chicago Med" on NBC

From Emmy Award-winning executive producer Dick Wolf (the “Law & Order,” “Chicago” and “FBI” brands), “Chicago Med” is an emotional thrill ride through the day-to-day chaos of the city’s newest state-of-the-art trauma center and into the lives of the courageous doctors, nurses and staff who hold it all together.

Dr. Will Halstead (Nick Gehlfuss) finds his career as an emergency medicine physician in jeopardy, following his cover-up involving a serious ethics violation. Dr. Daniel Charles (Oliver Platt) remains the Sherlock Holmes of psychiatry. Sharon Goodwin (S. Epatha Merkerson), the venerable head of the city’s largest hospital, is under intense fiscal scrutiny to preserve the bottom line while continuing to ensure that all patients receive nothing short of quality care and compassion. Dr. Ethan Choi (Brian Tee), a former Navy flight surgeon and chief of the E.D., begins the season in recovery mode after being shot by a former patient. Now it’s up to the blunt but talented Dr. Dean Archer (Steven Weber) to show what he’s made of as interim chief  at the helm of Chicago’s trusted and busiest ER. Maggie Lockwood (Marlyne Barrett), the charge nurse and eyes, ears and brain of the ER, is skilled and confident but finds herself dealing with profound family issues of her own. Ace surgeon Dr. Crockett Marcel (Dominic Rains), the New Orleans-raised surgeon with a breezy manner, has finally started to let his guard down, earning the respect of his colleagues. And now two new doctors have joined the E.D. family. Dr. Stevie Hammer (Kristen Hager) is a brilliant, scrappy emergency medicine doctor with a surprising past and Dr. Dylan Scott (Guy Lockard) is an ex-cop who’s doing a dual residency in emergency medicine and pediatrics.

Together they will confront Chicago’s most critical medical cases and challenging ethical dilemmas with courage, compassion and state-of-the-art treatment. Inspired by ripped-from-the-headlines cases, “Chicago Med” will weave cutting-edge medicine with the personal drama that comes with working in such a high-intensity environment. Through it all, familiar faces from “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago P.D” will intertwine with Chicago’s finest medical heroes.

Dick Wolf, Diane Frolov, Andrew Schneider, Stephen Hootstein, Derek Haas, Arthur Forney, Matt Olmstead, Michael Brandt and Peter Jankowski are executive producers.

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

Oliver Platt

Dr. Daniel Charles, “Chicago Med”

CHICAGO MED -- Season: 7 -- Pictured: Oliver Platt as Dr. Daniel Charles -- (Photo by: Art Streiber/NBC)
Oliver Platt plays Dr. Daniel Charles on the NBC drama “Chicago Med.”

A multiple Emmy, SAG and Golden Globe Award-nominated actor, Platt’s resume includes recent roles in “Professor Marston and the Wonder Women,” which was nominated for a Saturn Award; “The Ticket,” with Malin Akerman and Dan Stevens; Warren Beatty’s “Rules Don’t Apply,” starring Alden Ehrenreich; “Shut In,” opposite Naomi Watts; “Chef,” opposite Jon Favreau and Dustin Hoffman; “Kill the Messenger,” opposite Jeremy Renner; and Noah Hawley’s Golden Globe-winning television adaptation of “Fargo” for FX.

Platt was featured in the HBO documentary “Love, Marilyn” and the telepic “Bessie,” where he plays writer and artistic photographer Carl Van Vechten. He also co-starred in Showtime’s “The Big C,” starring Laura Linney. Previously, he played George Steinbrenner on the ESPN miniseries “The Bronx is Burning,” opposite John Turturro.

Platt made his producing debut on the indie film “Big Night,” which was co-directed by Stanley Tucci and Campbell Scott. He would later reteam with Tucci in “The Impostors,” which was nominated for the Un Certain Regard Award at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival.

 

Marlyne Barrett

Maggie Lockwood, “Chicago Med”

CHICAGO MED -- Season: 7 -- Pictured: Marlyne Barrett as Maggie Lockwood -- (Photo by: Art Streiber/NBC)
Marlyne Barrett stars as Maggie Lockwood, the beloved charge nurse who is the hospital emergency department’s eyes, ears and heart, in NBC’s medical drama “Chicago Med.”

Recently, Barrett earned her a NAMIC Vision Award nomination for Best Performance-Drama.

Before starring in “Chicago Med,” Barrett was known to audiences for her dynamic portrayal of Council President Nerese Campbell on the critically acclaimed HBO series “The Wire.” She was also Ian McShane’s trustworthy attaché, Tomasina, on NBC’s “Kings” as well as played Felicia Marquand on the popular F/X series “Damages,” opposite Glenn Close and Rose Byrne. In addition, she appeared on John Ridley’s ABC series “American Crime.”

Barrett’s feature credits include “Hitch,” the 2005 Will Smith comedy, and the indie “Quest,” for director Santiago Rizzo. Barrett also executive produced and starred in the Oscar-nominated short film “Night Call.” A film festival favorite, the acclaimed film went on to earn more than 40 awards, including eight best short film awards (including the Short Film Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival), four best of best/audience awards, and three best lead actress awards. Barrett also appeared opposite Marisa Tomei in the independent feature “After Everything,” which was in competition at SXSW and later released in theaters.

After directing more than 20 regional theater productions in New York, Barrett will make her directorial film debut with “Haimerican,” a short film she also wrote and produced. The film will have its premiere at the Cannes International Pan African Film Festival in October 2020.

Barrett, who is Haitian-American, was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Montreal. She currently divides her time between Chicago and Los Angeles and is happily married to Gavin W. Barrett. Coming from a family of doctors, Barrett promised her parents she would get a nursing degree before pursuing an acting career. A registered nurse, Barrett now has the honor and pleasure of playing one on television.

Please visit the official show site at: https://www.nbc.com/chicago-med

For the latest “Chicago Med” news, videos, and photos, please like on Facebook and follow on Twitter and Instagram:
https://www.facebook.com/NBCOneChicago
https://www.twitter.com/NBCOneChicago
https://www.instagram.com/NBCOneChicago/

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Interview with actors Oliver Platt and Marlyne Barrett, and executive producers Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider of "Chicago Med" on NBC

Interview with Laurence Leboeuf

TV Interview!

Laurence Leboeuf of "Transplant" on NBC

Interview with Laurence Leboeuf of “Transplant” on NBC by Suzanne 3/29/22

This was a very fun interview! We did it on Zoom. Unfortunately, the video recording didn’t come out. I hope you can enjoy it, anyway. She’s a wonderful actress, and I really love the show.

1. Mags struggles a bit for a while, with her mentor in the coma. Was that a challenge to play, or fun?

All of the above. It’s always a challenge to bring this character to life because she’s so complicated. Having to deal with not having her mentor around is very difficult for her, and she has to learn how to cope. It’s like her lighthouse has drowned.

2. Then everyone has to contend with the obnoxious new doctor who takes Bishop’s place for awhile, Mark. How was it, welcoming a new actor into the dynamic of the show?

Oh, well, Gord (the actor who plays Mark) is amazing. We had a lot of fun and he fit right in with the rest of us. We were surprised at how well. Even though we hate the character, we liked him as a person. He puts Mags through a lot and makes her doubt herself.

3. Then Mags and Bashir almost kiss and have some awkward moments. When did you know that Mags and Bashir might become a “thing?”

From the beginning, Mags has found him attractive because he’s so smart and has his own unique way of doing things.

4. Without giving us any spoilers, what other challenges does Mags have this season?

Mags has some major changes. She gets interested in cardiology because of what happens with a patient, and it’s really a big deal for her.

5. Now that you’ve been playing her for two seasons, is there anything you’ve learned from her?

I really admire her. She’s very smart and caring. I always want her to be like the Hermione Grainger of the show – the smartest person in the room who comes in and gets the job done.

6. Any fun behind-the-scenes stories you can share?

Oh, there are so many. It’s hard to think of one on the spot. We just have a lot of fun. The only thing I can think of right now is that when we have a lot of medical dialogue to memorize, we joke around a lot about it. We get to know it so well that we know each other’s dialogue, and we rap it or do fun things with it.

7. Do you have any other projects you’re working on besides Transplant?

Not right now because it’s a 10 month shoot, so it takes up all of my time.

8. What has the fan response been like for you so far?

It’s been wonderful. Fans have been really nice and it’s great that we have so many fans and viewers. Now it’s crossed over the border, so that’s nice.

9. Anything else you’d like to say to the fans?

Just thank you for watching and I hope you enjoy this season.

Check out our previous interview with her!

MORE INFO:

Laurence Leboeuf

Dr. Magalie “Mags” Leblanc

TRANSPLANT -- Season 2 -- Pictured: Laurence Leboeuf as Magalie Leblanc -- (Photo by: Yan Turcotte/Sphere Media/CTV/NBC)
Laurence Leboeuf is an award-winning actress from Montreal who stars as Dr. Magalie “Mags” Leblanc in NBC’s “Transplant.” Mags is a ferociously analytical resident who pushes herself relentlessly.

The bilingual actress (French and English) has been acting professionally since 10 years old and rose to stardom with multiple award nominations and wins. She has continuously booked leading roles in both television and film of French Canadian and English-Canadian productions.

Award wins for Leboeuf include the Gemeaux Awards (French Canadian Emmys) for Best Actress in the series “Les Lavigueur,” Best Supporting Actress for her role in the series “Musee Eden” and Best Actress for her role in the series “Marche A. L’ombre,” which also won her the Best Leading Actress award at the French Festival Séries Mania. She also won Best Actress for “Human Trafficking” (featuring Mira Sorvino and Donald Sutherland) at the ACTRA Awards (English Canadian SAG Awards). For her film work, Leboeuf won at the Prix Iris Awards (previously Jutra Awards) for Best Supporting Actress in “My Daughter, My Angel.” Her indie action-comedy film “Turbo Kid” was widely received at the Sundance Film Festival.

Leboeuf was born to actor-parents and grew up surrounded by creative arts. Her dad owned a stage theater for 18 years, which allowed Leboeuf to explore the behind-the-scenes of the craft. She is driven by the passion of acting and the need to be creative with plans to produce and write. Leboeuf enjoys reading and staying active with running, snowboarding and loves to travel.

Transplant

Sundays on NBC (10-11 p.m. ET); Season Premiere: March 6

“Transplant” follows the story of Dr. Bashir “Bash” Hamed (Hamza Haq), a talented doctor and Syrian refugee, who fled his war-torn country with his younger sister, Amira (Sirena Gulamgaus), for a fresh start in Canada. After a truck crashes into the restaurant where he’s been working, Bash earns the chance to practice medicine again by using his field-honed skills to save multiple lives in brilliant fashion, including that of Dr. Jed Bishop (John Hannah), the Chief of Emergency Medicine at York Memorial Hospital in Toronto.

But Bash is told he’ll need to redo his residency in Emergency Medicine from the bottom and despite his obvious talents intuition, and training, starting over is not an easy road and his life experience is not a perfect match for the strict protocols at York Memorial. Through perseverance he makes inroads, developing camaraderie with his new colleagues, including the driven Dr. Magalie “Mags” LeBlanc (Laurence Leboeuf), the reserved and ambitious surgical resident Dr. June Curtis (Ayisha Issa), easy-going pediatric ER physician Dr. Theo Hunter (Jim Watson), head nurse Claire Malone (Torri Higginson) and even earning the respect of Dr. Wendy Atwater (Linda E. Smith), the department’s second-in-command who runs a very tight ship.

Jed Bishop (John Hannah), the team’s demanding, inscrutable boss, looms large and keeps everyone on their toes with a unique compassion and commitment to his staff that also connects them.

Season two picks up with Bash and his fellow residents reeling after Dr. Bishop suffers a stroke. With everything at the hospital destabilized, the place that Bash had started to consider home suddenly feels precarious. As the team adjusts to new colleagues while dealing with the challenges of life, unexpected faces from the past leave Bash seriously doubting whether his transplant into this new world was successful.

Bash’s hard work, compassion and hopefulness tell a universal story about the human ability to not only survive, but ultimately thrive when our lives suddenly change course.

Creator Joseph Kay returns as showrunner and executive producer. Director Stefan Pleszczynski joins as executive producer and will direct six episodes. Additional executive producers include Bruno Dubé, Jocelyn Deschênes, Virginia Rankin, Tara Woodbury, Josée Vallée and Adam Barken.

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

Please visit the official show site at: https://www.nbc.com/transplant.

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

https://www.facebook.com/NBCTransplant/
https://twitter.com/NBCTransplant #Transplant
https://www.instagram.com/nbctransplant/

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Laurence Leboeuf of "Transplant" on NBC

Interview with “Chicago PD” Actors

TV Interview!

Jason Beghe and Marina Squerciati of "Chicago PD" on NBC

Interview with actors Jason Beghe and Marina Squerciati, and executive producer Gwen Sigan of “Chicago P.D.” on NBC by Suzanne 3/30/22

This was from a fun virtual press day with the “Chicago One” actors. They were great at answering our questions!

MORE INFO:

Chicago Fire interview Chicago Med Interview

Jason Beghe and Marina Squerciati of "Chicago PD" on NBCFrom multiple Emmy Award-winning executive producer Dick Wolf and the team behind the hit series “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago Med,” “Chicago P.D.” is a riveting police drama about the men and women of the Chicago Police Department’s elite Intelligence Unit, combatting the city’s most heinous offenses – organized crime, drug trafficking, high-profile murders and beyond.

At the center of “Chicago P.D.” is Sgt. Hank Voight (Jason Beghe), who is at ground zero against the war on crime in Chicago. He will do almost anything to bring criminals to justice. In the past year, Voight has fought to turn over a new leaf, carefully navigating the situation at the P.D. with a new boss who has helped him and the unit adapt to a new reality.

His close-knit team of detectives share his passion for keeping the city safe, including Det. Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer), a committed and ethical detective who previously served in Afghanistan; Officer Adam Ruzek (Patrick John Flueger), a quick-thinker who often leads with his heart; Officer Kim Burgess (Marina Squerciati), a fearless former patrol officer whose research and astute observations often lead the team in the right direction; Officer Kevin Atwater (LaRoyce Hawkins), a bright and quietly charismatic member of the team; and Det. Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos), a seasoned detective whose tough demeanor belies her complicated emotions.

Desk Sgt. Trudy Platt (Amy Morton) runs a tight precinct with a firm hand, although she lets her humor shine through from time to time.

In addition to Wolf, executive producers include Rick Eid, Derek Haas, Arthur W. Forney, Peter Jankowski and Michael Brandt. “Chicago P.D.” is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, in association with Wolf Entertainment.

Please visit the official show site at: https://www.nbc.com/chicago-pd.

For the latest “Chicago P.D.” news, videos, and photos, please like on Facebook, follow on Twitter and Instagram

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Jason Beghe

Sgt. Hank Voight, “Chicago P.D.”

CHICAGO P.D. -- Season: 9 -- Pictured: Jason Beghe as Hank Voight -- (Photo by: Art Streiber/NBC)

Jason Beghe stars as Sgt. Hank Voight, leader of the Chicago P.D. Intelligence Unit in the NBC drama “Chicago P.D.”

Beghe was born and raised in New York City, where he attended the prestigious Collegiate School.

Beghe portrayed a quadriplegic in the George A. Romero film “Monkey Shines: An Experiment in Fear.” He later appeared as a police officer in the film “Thelma & Louise” and played Demi Moore’s love interest in “G.I. Jane.” Other feature-film credits include “X-Men: First Class,” “The Next Three Days,” “One Missed Call” and “Atlas Shrugged: Part II.”

On television, Beghe’s recurring roles include “Chicago Fire,” “Law & Order: SVU” and “Californication.” He has guest-starred on countless series, including “Last Resort,” “Castle,” “NCIS,” “CSI: New York,” “Criminal Minds,” “The Finder,” “Prime Suspect,” “Law & Order: Los Angeles,” “Picket Fences,” “Chicago Hope,” “American Dreams” and “Cane.”

Beghe lives in Los Angeles.

Marina Squerciati

Officer Kim Burgess, “Chicago P.D.”

CHICAGO P.D. -- Season: 9 -- Pictured: Marina Squerciati as Kim Burgess -- (Photo by: Art Streiber/NBC)
Marina Squerciati stars as Officer Kim Burgess in NBC’s hit drama “Chicago P.D.”

Squerciati was last seen in the Reginald Hudlin-directed film “Marshall.” Additional film credits include “It’s Complicated,” along with indies “Alter Egos,” “Central Park” and “Sparks.”

Squerciati earned acclaim portraying Russian spy Irina in the popular FX drama “The Americans.” Additional television credits include “Gossip Girl.” “The Good Wife,” “Blue Bloods,” “Damages” and “Law and Order: SVU.”

In theater, she made her Broadway debut in an adaptation of Ernst Lubitsch’s “To Be or Not to Be.” On Off Broadway, she starred in “Manipulation” and “Beauty of the Father,” and also performed in several regional theater productions, including “The 39 Steps” and “The Underpants.”

Squerciati graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in theater.

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Jason Beghe and Marina Squerciati of "Chicago PD" on NBC

Interview with “Chicago Fire” actors

TV Interview!

actors Eamonn Walker and Hanako Greensmith, and executive producers Derek Haas and Andrea Newman of "Chicago Fire" on NBC

Interview with actors Eamonn Walker and Hanako Greensmith, and executive producers Derek Haas and Andrea Newman of “Chicago Fire” on NBC by Suzanne 3/30/22

This was a fun press day, dubbed One Chicago Day.  OneChicago Wednesdays return with originals on April 6! I’ve spoken with Eamonn before, but it’s always nice to see and hear him because he’s got such a beautiful voice and presence. Hanako is new to me, and fairly new to the show. She’s just been made a regular on the series. We hope to have the transcripts up soon, and don’t miss the show! It’s a very exciting episode and, unlike the other two shows that night, there is no spewing blood or vomit.

MORE INFO:

Interview with Chicago PD  Interview with Chicago Med

“CHICAGO FIRE” — “KEEP YOU SAFE” (Wednesday, April 6 at 9 p.m. ET/PT)
Severide and Kidd work with CPD regarding a suspicious car wreck. Hawkins and Violet’s relationship is in jeopardy. Chloe and Cruz adjust to a new family dynamic.

Chicago Fire

Wednesdays on NBC (9-10 p.m. ET); Returns: Jan. 5

From renowned Emmy Award-winning executive producer Dick Wolf (“Law & Order” brand) and co-creator Derek Haas, the writer behind “3:10 to Yuma,” comes season 10 of the adrenaline-fueled drama “Chicago Fire.” This edge-of-your-seat ride is a look into the professional and personal lives of the firefighters and paramedics of Firehouse 51 as they risk their lives every day to save and protect the citizens of Chicago.

Led by Lt. Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney), Rescue Squad 3 works closely with Lt. Christopher Herrmann (David Eigenberg) on Engine 51 and Lt. Stella Kidd (Miranda Rae Mayo) on Truck 81. Their tireless, never-give-up mindset brings them all closer together – the men and women of Firehouse 51 are more than co-workers, they’re family.

The firehouse also includes Deputy District Chief Wallace Boden (Eamonn Walker), who keeps his house running smoothly and his firefighters prepared to overcome all adversity. Paramedic Sylvie Brett (Kara Killmer) returns alongside seasoned veterans Randy “Mouch” McHolland (Christian Stolte) and Joe Cruz (Joe Minoso).

Completing the team are daredevil Blake Gallo (Alberto Rosende), talented and dedicated Darren Ritter (Daniel Kyri), and 51’s newest addition, headstrong paramedic Violet Mikami (Hanako Greensmith).

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

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

Eamonn Walker of "Chicago Fire" on NBCEamonn Walker

Battalion Chief Wallace Boden, “Chicago Fire”

Eamonn Walker plays Battalion Chief Wallace Boden on the NBC drama “Chicago Fire.”

Walker was born in London and attended Hungerford School in Islington. He went on to study social work at the University of North London, and eventually trained as a dancer. He then joined the Explosive Dance Theatre Company in London. He also studied at the New York Film Academy.

Walker made his professional acting debut in 1983 on stage in London in the musical “Labelled with Love,” based on the music of the pop band Squeeze. In the U.S. he is known for playing Kareem Saïd on the HBO television series “Oz,” for which he won a CableACE Award.

His film roles include “Tears of The Sun” and “Lord of War,” opposite Nicolas Cage. He returned to British television in the ITV1 production of “Othello,” opposite Christopher Eccleston. For his role, he won the Best Male Performance in Television Award at the first Black Film Makers (BFM) Film and Television Awards ceremony.

He made his debut on Broadway, playing Mark Antony in “Julius Caesar,” opposite Denzel Washington as Marcus Brutus. Two years later, he became the first Black actor to play the role of Othello at either the original Globe Theatre or at the modern reconstruction, Shakespeare’s Globe, in London.

He recently starred in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Between Riverside and Crazy” at the Steppenwolf Theater. For his performance as Pops, he was nominated for a Jeff Award and won best actor from the 2016 Black Excellence Award Committee.

Hanako Greensmith of "Chicago Fire" on NBC

Hanako Greensmith

Violet Mikami, “Chicago Fire”

Hanako Greensmith plays Violet Mikami on the NBC drama “Chicago Fire.”

Recent TV credits include “Chicago Med,” “Bull” and “FBI.” She made her New York theater debut in the Off-Broadway production of “Lolita, My Love” and is a graduate of Pace University.

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Eamonn Walker of "Chicago Fire" on NBCHanako Greensmith of "Chicago Fire" on NBC

Interview with Josh Duhamel

TV Interview!

Actors Josh Duhamel, Renée Zellweger, Judy Greer, Glenn Fleshler; and producers Liz Cole, Jenny Klein and Chris McCumber of "The Thing About Pam" on NBC.

Interview with Actors Josh Duhamel, Renée Zellweger, Judy Greer, Glenn Fleshler; and producers Liz Cole, Jenny Klein and Chris McCumber of “The Thing About Pam” on NBC by Suzanne 2/11/22

This show is very well done, so I hope you can watch and enjoy it. It’s a sort of docu-drama, where real actors portray real people in their real situations (in this case, murder), but it’s also done with a slight bit of humor. It has a great cast.

I was very happy to be able to speak to Josh Duhamel, who’s one of my favorite actors. It was great to see Renée Zellweger and Judy Greer, too. Of course Renée is not only the star of the show, but she’s the most famous person in the show and in our panel. Greer does one of the voices on “Archer” on FX, so I’m quite familiar with her. She’s done a lot of other acting, as well. Almost everyone in the press asked Renée or the producers a question, so I was glad to be able to ask Josh one. I felt bad for the other actors that were ignored.

THE THING ABOUT PAM -- "She's a Good Friend" Episode 101 -- Pictured: Renée Zellweger as Pam Hupp -- (Photo by: Skip Bolen/NBC)NBCUNIVERSAL
WINTER 2022 TCA VIRTUAL PRESS TOUR
NBC The Thing About Pam
Josh Duhamel, Talent, “Joel Schwartz”
Glenn Fleshler, Talent, “Russ Faria”
Judy Greer, Talent, “Leah Askey”
Renée Zellweger, Talent, “Pam Hupp”/Executive Producer
Liz Cole, Executive Producer/President, NBC News Studios
Jenny Klein, Showrunner/Executive Producer
Chris McCumber, Executive Producer/President, Blumhouse Television
Virtual via Zoom February 11, 2022
© 2022 NBCUniversal, Inc. All rights reserved.

“The Thing About Pam” is based on the 2011 murder of Betsy Faria that resulted in her husband Russ’s conviction, although he insisted he didn’t kill her. He was later exonerated. This brutal crime set off a chain of events that would expose a diabolical scheme deeply involving Pam Hupp. A thorough examination of the scheme was featured on several episodes of “Dateline NBC,” becoming one of the show’s most popular subjects. It also became the subject of a popular 2019 podcast, “The Thing About Pam,” which has been downloaded over 20 million times. “The Thing About Pam” will premiere Tuesday, March 8th, at 10 p.m., and run for six episodes.

Josh Duhamel in "The Thing About Pam" on NBCHere was my question for Josh: “What can you tell us about your character, Joel?”

He replied, “Gosh, where do I begin?” He told us that he became “pretty good friends” with Joel “throughout this process.” The Joel in the TV show “was just a really fun character to dive into. He’s a defense attorney and has defended the worst of the worst, and I think [he] came into this expecting the same as what’s he done in the past, [which] is defending a guilty man, and [then] he quickly finds out that …Russell didn’t do this.” He enjoyed picking Joel’s brain about how “he evolved throughout the process.” At first Joel was just doing his regular job, but then he realized that his client was not guilty, so he was determined, “like, a dog with a bone” by the end of it. He “really took it personally and really wanted to see justice. And I think that that’s what was really fun for me.” He added, “You know, obviously, it wasn’t as much of a stretch, this character, as it was for Renée or, you know, Glenn, or even Judy, but it was really fun to sort of try to [act out] the frustration that he had to feel throughout this process [because it] was something that was [difficult], but at the same time, he was a really cool dude; never really lost his temper, except for a few times….Me, as Josh, I would have lost it several times, but Joel Schwartz didn’t.” What was interesting for Josh was figuring out how Joel handled that. “And so, he was a really valuable resource for me throughout this whole process, and turns out to be a really great dude.”

Of course, almost everyone wanted to speak with Renée, the star. First, she was asked about her return to TV, since she’s mostly done films. Renée answered that she really liked it. The pace and everything suits her. She said, “I love that it’s quick, and you have to think fast on your feet. Yeah, I enjoyed it a lot. Not so different from making the independent films. You know, you’ve got to make the most of the little bit of time that you have. So, it’s good training, I think, for independent films,” she laughed.

She was next asked to compare the role she played of Judy Garland in he 2019 film with playing Pam, since both were real life people. The reporter figures that she had more leeway to play Pam, since she’s not as famous.

Renée mostly agreed with what was said. There is a lot more material of Judy to use than Pam Hupp. She’s not sure that she has much more freedom to play Pam, since there is some information out there already, and they had to recreate her as best as they could so that people who were familiar with her could recognize her. She admitted, “Yes, of course, I could see that people project their own life experiences in making assumptions about the character of this person, whom they think they know. That felt important. And it’s pretty well established, her looks. So, we did what we could to come as close as we could.”

Renée Zellweger as Pam HuppRenée was also asked how much the prosthetics, costumes and wigs affect her performance and whether those present any special challenges. Renée laughed at that question and said that most of them would agree that using those things benefit an actor as it’s “part of your toolkit that makes it …easier to achieve what it is that you’re trying to, in terms of telling someone else’s story.” Speaking as an actor, she said that “the further you are away from yourself, the safer you feel to explore.” All of the actors went through “pretty remarkable transformations” to represent the real people. She asked Judy if that was “half the fun.” Judy agreed that it does make it easier to act like the person when you “have all that stuff on” and that it is like you’re “hiding” and “don’t feel as vulnerable.” She added, “And the crew is always surprised to see what you really look like when you do show up as yourself.” She laughed.

Josh joked, “Personally, I loved the wig. It made me feel like I had a full head of hair again. Like Judy said, I looked like Tom Hanks in ‘Splash.'” Everyone laughed at that. Judy made a joke at her expense that “Splash” is “such a hip reference. I got my finger on the pulse, you know?” which evoked more laughter.

Renée was asked next what about the character or the writing brought her to the series.

Renée confided that the script hadn’t yet been written when she signed on to the project, but she wanted to be part of the process of creating the show from the materials that were available, such as the podcast and the episodes of “Dateline.” She said that it was “Thrilling to be …alongside to witness that.” She remarked that it was the kind of story that “you couldn’t make up.” She shared with us that she listened to the entire podcast “when I was driving up and down the 5 Freeway, going to take my dog to get his hip replaced up in San Francisco, and I couldn’t believe it.” She called it an “experience of escalating absurdities.” She felt it would make an interesting show and would also allow them to “discuss some really important, current, relevant social issues.” Some people laughed at this as well.

The next reporter asked the producers how they figured out what tone they wanted to use for the series, since it was true crime, and how they cast Renée, and how she had to change her looks to play Pam.

Producer Chris let us know that Renée was the one to call him: “I’ll say this, and I’ll keep it really simple: When a two time Oscar winner calls and says, ‘I’m obsessed with this story, and I want to play Pam, and I want to produce,’ I mean, you say, ‘Yes, yes, yes, and yes.’ And our job, at that point, is to, you know, provide Renée, and the rest of the cast, with all the tools that they need to embody these characters.” He concluded that it was an easy choice, with this cast.

The cast of "The Thing About Pam" on NBCCreator/Producer Jenny also added, “Yes, we’re so lucky to have Renée embodying this totally unique character, and on the show, a lot of the absurdity comes from Pam herself.” She addressed the question about the tone of the show. She described how they had to have a real balance between the tragic story and how it was “so disturbing and unspeakable,” as well as showing the “absurd details that Pam really did or said.” The heart of show, she relayed, was Betsy and her family, and “that grounding emotional center with Russ, or Betsy’s daughter, Mariah. And so, when you’re really feeling their raw pain and frustration, it can actually make Pam’s actions all the more upsetting. So, I’d say it’s a real push and pull between the levity and the drama. It’s like a hybrid.”

Chris praised Jenny’s pitch, where she described the tone of show using examples from “Fargo.” The dark streak of humor comes from Pam’s psyche.

Jenny admitted that she’d never seen someone like Pam on TV before. She’s “completely unfazed when caught in a lie, and changing her story so much. It almost creates like a game for the viewer, where they’re the only ones actually tracking Pam’s lies through her world because they’re the only ones taking in the show as a whole.”

They were also asked why this murder case was different from the others that they wanted to make it into this miniseries.

Jenny let us know that the cooperation between NBC and all of the reporting done by Dateline, along with the other production companies were what infused the horror and other elements into the show. She believes that, “it’s a true-crime story that, in some ways, won’t leave you feeling depressed, but will keep you on the edge of your seat because there’s so many twists and turns.”

Chris asked Liz to chime in on this particular question. Liz revealed that they’ve wanted to make a good script based on one of the “Dateline” stories. This story about Pam Hupp was the only one they considered because it’s so rich and resonates well with “Dateline viewers. She added, “when we first embarked on this, I don’t think I imagined, in my wildest dreams, that we would have Renée Zellweger staring as Pam, and the rest of the incredible cast, and, you know, working with Blumhouse has just been a joy. So, it’s been a wonderful partnership.” Chris agreed with those comments and praised the partnership.

Josh also put in his two cents, saying, “I can’t believe this hasn’t happened earlier” because he’s a long-time “Dateline” fan and remembered thinking that this story would make a great movie or TV show. He stated, “You wouldn’t believe this story if it weren’t true.” To this note, Liz added that they called their second episode “Stranger than Fiction.” She also jokingly said to Josh that they needed to send Josh his own “Dateline” hat. He replied, “Please do. And if you could have Keith Morrison send me a Christmas card every year, that would be great, too.” Liz postulated, “An audio card.” Then, Josh did a fantastic imitation of Keith Morrison, saying, “Merry Christmas, Josh”, so everyone laughed.

The next reporter asked two questions in one, even though we’re not supposed to do that. He or she asked whether any of the real-life family members were involved in creating the show, as well as asked Renée how she prepared to play such an evil person, when she’s not that way at all in real life.

Jenny replied that they took their responsibilities of bringing a real-life story to life seriously. They contacted many of the people involved with Pam Hupp’s case who knew her, and many spoke with them so that they could get the full story. However, she stipulated that they also had to make it a dramatic story for TV, so some of it is fiction. Renée added her answer to what Jenny said. Hearing about the real life Pam, seeing videos, reading books etc. helped prepare her for the role.

Judy Greer as Leah AskeyRenée was also asked about using prosthetics on the show to look like Pam. This type of process was pretty new to Renée, so she learned quite a bit about it. Apparently the pieces often fall off or turn into something else by the end of the day. She had to learn to act more with her whole body covered in these prosthetics. She had to learn a new skill. At the beginning of shooting, it took “about four hours” by prosthetic makeup designer & creator Arjen Tuiten and his team, but then because of his “genius,” they were able to cut it down to 2 1/2 hours. She found it to be quite “fun creatively.” Then she reflected that it might make her “a crazy person to find that fun, gluing stuff to your head every day, but I did find it fun.” She said that Judy also had some prosthetics, but Judy replied that she just put on a wig. Everyone laughed at that. Josh pointed out that she also had contacts to deal with.

Glenn added that he just had to sit there. He couldn’t imagine what Renée had to go through every day, spending hours putting the prosthetics on, and then “show up on set with the spirit that she had and has every day, it’s really remarkable.” He praised her quite a lot.

The next journalist asked about Renée’s accent and how she put on Pam’s attitude. He/she asked if Renée visited a lot of “convenience stores” to get more of a feeling for them (which seemed like kind of an odd question).

Renée said kindly that she loves to take road trips, so convenience stores are not new to her. She had a hard time getting the accent right, saying it was “elusive.” She found that even within the region she lived, Pam had a “peculiar” accent that was uniquely hers. She listened to a lot of recordings of Pam, repeating what she said until she got it right.

Next the producers were asked how they’re able to have the actors portray real-life people (other than Pam) – whether they have to be sensitive to how they are and whether they worry about having them be too comical or whether they get permission.

Glenn Fleshler as Russ FariaJenny replied that they tried as much as possible to stick to the facts, which they had from court transcripts and video coverage (thanks to NBC news). She pointed out that “there’s certainly the law enforcement and prosecution side of the story that is very specific to this town and brings out one of our greater themes, which is about confirmation bias, and what happened to Russ Faria.”

They were also asked about what challenges they faced with creating a fictional story based on a pretty recent true story.

Jenny told us that the goal is to make the viewers feel heartbroken when they should be (about the families involved) and to also “recognize the absurdity” about it.

Chris jumped in to say that they also had the goal to make it a “really great entertaining piece of premium television.” He mentioned that it’s difficult in today’s TV landscape to get people’s attention and to create an event that will make the show break out from the other “millions of hours of shows.”

The producers were also asked about how they went about making this fiction and not just another retelling of the Dateline episodes or a podcast. Jenny praised their “amazing cast” for “bringing these people to life in ways that a podcast, by its nature, simply can’t.” They also “were able to just delve deeper into who Pam is” and really show the emotion of the story to the audience that those other outlets couldn’t do.

When the panel concluded, and the host said that the next panel would be for “Law & Order,” Josh joked, “Can I be on that one, too?” and Jenny replied, “No.” That ended the panel with more laughter. All that laughter is the sign of a great panel, and they also made a great show on top of that. It airs Tuesdays, 10/9c.

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The Thing About Pam

Tuesdays on NBC (10-11 p.m. ET); Series Premiere: March 8

NBC’s “The Thing About Pam” is based on the 2011 murder of Betsy Faria that resulted in her husband Russ’s conviction, although he insisted he didn’t kill her. He was later exonerated. This brutal crime set off a chain of events that would expose a diabolical scheme deeply involving Pam Hupp.

A thorough examination of the scheme was featured on several episodes of “Dateline NBC,” becoming one of the most popular topics to ever air on the hit franchise. It also became the subject of a popular 2019 podcast, “The Thing About Pam,” which has been downloaded over 20 million times.

The series stars Renée Zellweger, Josh Duhamel, Judy Greer, Katy Mixon, Glenn Fleshler, Gideon Adlon, Sean Bridgers, Suanne Spoke and Mac Brandt.

“The Thing About Pam” is executive produced by Renée Zellweger, Carmella Casinelli, Jenny Klein (showrunner), Mary-Margaret Kunze, Scott Winant, Jessika Borsiczky, Liz Cole, Noah Oppenheim, Jason Blum, Chris McCumber and Jeremy Gold.

Blumhouse Television, NBC News Studios and Big Picture Co. will produce.

Renée ZellwegerRenée Zellweger

Pam Hupp, “The Thing About Pam”

Renée Zellweger stars as Pam Hupp in the NBC limited series “The Thing About Pam.”

Zellweger most recently starred as the legendary Judy Garland in “Judy,” winning the Academy Award, BAFTA, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Critics Choice awards for the film.

She will soon begin production on the feature film “The Back Nine” in the role of a former golfer who set her clubs aside to make way for her husband’s pro career and raise her son, only to then turn pro during the “back nine” of her life. Zellweger serves as an executive producer on both “The Back Nine” and “The Thing About Pam” through her production company, Big Picture Co.

Zellweger is known globally for her starring role as the seminal British everywoman in the film “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” for which she received an Oscar nomination, and the sequels “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason” and “Bridget Jones’s Baby.” She also earned an Academy Award nomination as convicted killer Roxie Hart in “Chicago” and won her first Oscar in the category of Best Supporting Actress for Anthony Minghella’s “Cold Mountain.”

After graduating with an English degree from the University of Texas, Zellweger made her feature film debut in Richard Linklater’s seminal coming-of-age film “Dazed and Confused.” Other film roles quickly followed, including “Reality Bites,” “Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation” and “My Boyfriend’s Back.” Zellweger soon after won the affection of audiences with her breakthrough role in “Jerry Maguire.”

Additional credits include “One True Thing,” “Nurse Betty,” “Me, Myself & Irene,” “White Oleander,” and “Cinderella Man.” She has also lent her voice to such animated features as “Shark Tale,” “Bee Movie” and “Monsters vs. Aliens” and made her television debut in the Netflix limited series “What/If.”

Josh DuhamelJosh Duhamel

Joel Schwartz, “The Thing About Pam”

Josh Duhamel plays Joel Schwartz in the NBC limited series “The Thing About Pam.”

Duhamel most recently starred in the Netflix original series “Jupiter’s Legacy,” based on the comic series of the same name. Next up, he co-stars opposite Jennifer Lopez in “Shotgun Wedding,” which is slated for a summer release. Duhamel also recently wrapped the bank heist thriller “Bandit,” alongside Mel Gibson, and the action crime film “Blackout.”

On television, Duhamel is known for his role on the NBC drama “Las Vegas.” Additionally, he lent his voice to Nickelodeon’s Emmy Award-winning animated series “Fanboy & Chum Chum” and starred in several seasons of the long-running ABC soap opera “All My Children,” for which he received three consecutive Daytime Emmy nominations. Other recent TV credits include CBS’ “Battle Creek” and the J.J. Abrams mini-series “11.22.63” on Hulu.

Film credits include “Think Like a Dog,” “The Lost Husband,” “Love, Simon,” “Transformers” and “New Year’s Eve.”

Duhamel made his directorial debut at the 2019 Mammoth Film Festival with “The Buddy Games,” for which he also co-wrote, co-produced, and starred.

Glenn FleshlerGlenn Fleshler

Russ Faria, “The Thing About Pam”

Glenn Fleshler stars as Russ Faria in the NBC limited series “The Thing About Pam.”

Fleshler recently played Randall in “The Joker,” opposite Joaquin Phoenix, and continues to recur on Showtime’s “Billions.” Previously, he portrayed the terrifying Yellow King on the first season of HBO’s “True Detective.”

Other TV roles include “Barry,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “For Life,” “Watchmen,” Waco,” “The Twilight Zone” and “The Night Of.”

In film, Fleshler has worked with A-list directors that include Barry Levinson, Woody Allen, Kenneth Lonergan, Tom McCarthy, JC Chandor, Todd Phillips and Andrew Jarecki.  In the theater, he has worked with directors and playwrights that include Mike Nichols, Tony Kushner, Edward Albee, Tom Stoppard and David Hare.

Fleshler earned an MFA from the NYU Graduate Acting program.

Judy GreerJudy Greer

Leah Askey, “The Thing About Pam”

Judy Greer stars as Leah Askey in the new NBC limited series “The Thing About Pam.”

Greer’s career in both film and television has been extremely prolific, with her appearing in nearly 200 roles to date, including the Blumhouse reboot of “Halloween, directed by David Gordon Green and starring Jamie Lee Curtis. She most recently filmed HBO’s limited series “White House Plumbers,” opposite Woody Harrelson and Justin Theroux, and will be co-starring in “Reboot” from “Modern Family” co-creator Steve Levitan.

Greer’s feature credits include “The Descendants,” “Jurassic World,” Driven,” “Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” and many others.

On the TV side, Greer’s many credits include “Archer,” “Kidding,” “Let’s Go Luna,” “Married,” “Arrested Development,” “Casual,” “Two and a Half Men” and “Masters of Sex.”

Greer made her feature film directorial debut in 2018 with “A Happening of Monumental Proportions.” The film premiered at the Bentonville Film Festival where it won the Audience Spotlight Award. Previously, she directed an AOL original short that documents the practice of Transcendental Meditation and how it has changed the lives of teachers and students who learned the practice from the David Lynch Foundation.

Chris McCumberChris McCumber

Executive Producer, “The Thing About Pam”

Chris McCumber is the President of Blumhouse Television. In his role, he oversees all aspects of the television business for the company, known for pioneering a new model of studio filmmaking: producing high-quality micro-budget films and provocative, award-winning television series.

The multimedia company is one of the most successful independent studios in history with more than $4.8 billion in collective box office receipts from its films and has produced over 150 films and television series.

McCumber oversees a development slate of more than 20 sold projects, with several in production for Netflix, NBC, HBO, Disney+, Peacock and Epix, including the ongoing series “The Horror of Dolores Roach.” Since joining the company a little over one year ago, he has secured rights to develop elusive and highly sought after IP, including Patricia Cornwell’s “Kay Scarpetta” series of books; the WWE’s first dramatic scripted series, “The United States vs. Vince McMahon”; and “Battersea Poltergeist,” based on the wildly popular BBC Radio 4 podcast. He was instrumental in Blumhouse Television and ITV America’s exclusive pact to produce unscripted, large-format television series, developing projects such as “Escape the Maze,” a genre-themed escape and competition format, and “Celebrity Castle,” based on the international hit “I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!”

Upcoming is the highly anticipated NBC limited series “The Thing About Pam,” starring two-time Oscar winner Renée Zellweger; John Lee Hancock’s film “Mr. Harrigan’s Phone,” based on the Stephen King novel for Netflix; “Torn Hearts,” starring Katey Sagal and airing on Epix; and “Worst Roommate Ever,” a docuseries for Netflix.

Before being named President of Blumhouse Television, McCumber held several positions at NBCUniversal over a successful 20-year tenure, most recently as President, Entertainment Networks from 2016-20 overseeing the company’s USA and SYFY cable networks. Prior to that, he held several leadership roles at USA as Senior Vice President, On-Air Promotion and head of marketing before becoming President, USA Network, during which time USA remained the #1 entertainment network on cable for 14 consecutive years – the longest streak in television history – and launched top-rated and award-winning original programming, including “Mr. Robot,” “The Sinner,” “Suits,” “Chrisley Knows Best,” “The Purge,” “Monk” and “Psych.” McCumber also oversaw USA’s long-term relationship with the WWE, including the top-rated marquee programs, “Monday Night Raw” and “NXT.”

Before joining USA, McCumber was creative director for the media and entertainment practice at Lee Hunt Associates and Razorfish, where he led teams focused on brand strategy and creative solutions for linear and broadband entertainment companies. While there, he worked with more than 100 media brands, including NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX/News Corp, Disney, HBO, SiriusXM and Turner Networks

McCumber began his career at MTV Networks as associate producer before joining the on-air promotion team that launched Comedy Central. An accomplished commercial film director, he helmed 14 short films for NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” titled “Fuzzy Memories by Jack Handy.”

McCumber is a government and law graduate of Lafayette College and currently serves on their Board of Trustees. He was recently named to Variety’s 2021 Dealmakers Impact Report alongside Blumhouse CEO and founder Jason Blum and Blumhouse President Charles Layton.

Liz ColeLiz Cole

Executive Producer, “The Thing About Pam”

Liz Cole is the president of NBC News Studios, a new division of NBC News that produces premium documentaries, docuseries and select scripted programming. She is also the executive producer of “Dateline NBC,” the longest-running series in NBC primetime history.

Since launching NBC News Studios in 2020, Cole has developed and executive produced an array of premium documentaries and docuseries, including “Memory Box: Echoes of 9/11,” which screened at the Toronto Film Festival, and the upcoming “Diamond Hands: The Legend of WallStreetBets,” which will premiere at SXSW next month.

Serving as executive producer of “Dateline NBC” since 2011, Cole is responsible for the production of all episodes, investigative reports, podcasts and special series. Now in its 30th season, the series airs across NBC, cable and in broadcast syndication, with hundreds of hours available to stream on Peacock’s Dateline 24/7 channel. The newsmagazine, which was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame in 2019, also reaches millions through its #1 podcasts and its showcast.

Cole has won six Emmy Awards. She is also the recipient of two Peabody Awards, three Edward R. Murrow Awards and two Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Awards.

Cole graduated from Vassar College, where she co-founded the campus TV station, VCTV. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Christian Martin, and their two children.

Jenny KleinJenny Klein

Executive Producer, “The Thing About Pam”

Jenny Klein is executive producer and showrunner for NBC and Blumhouse TV’s limited series “The Thing About Pam.”

Klein is currently in a first-look deal with Blumhouse Television and was previously under an overall deal at Amazon Studios, serving as co-executive producer on the upcoming limited series “Daisy Jones & the Six.” Her past work includes Marvel’s “Jessica Jones” and “The Witcher” for Netflix, for which she co-wrote the #1 Billboard rock single “Toss a Coin to Your Witcher.”

Klein is from Skokie, Ill.

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The cast of "The Thing About Pam" on NBC
THE THING ABOUT PAM — “Red Carpet Event” — Pictured: (l-r) Judy Greer, Glenn Fleshler, Suanne Spoke, Renee Zellweger, Josh Duhamel, Gideon Adlon, Sean Bridgers, Mac Brandt at the Maybourne Beverly Hills, February 28, 2022 — (Photo by: Todd Williamson/NBC)

Interviews with “American Song Contest” contestants 3/28/22

TV Interview!

American Song Contest - Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson, Round 2

Interview with contestants from “American Song Contest” Round 2 on NBC by Krista 3/28/22

This was a lot of fun. I enjoy music competition series, such as my favorite, “American Idol,” so it was great to interview the contestants on the virtual red carpet right after the second qualifying round! Unfortunately, Cruz Rock of the U.S. Virgin Islands was not available.

If you missed their performances, watch them here.  Don’t forget to watch the next round, Monday, April 4th. Contestants include Jewel of Alaska – possibly the most famous of all of the legendary singers participating this season.

Michael Bolton moved on to the next round during this broadcast. You can see our interview with him here!

JONAH PRILL OF MONTANA

 

Jonah Prill was a very personable, friendly guy. I enjoyed listening to him answer the questions and talk about his song. His song Fire It Up was a great song and the feel of the song accomplished everything he wanted it to accomplish. His country music influences are Marty Robbins meets George Strait. He grew up on the old country and he is proud to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather Dean Evans.

MACY GRAY AND MAINO

 

Macy Gray is no stranger to the music scene. She has been an iconic singer/songwriter since 1999 with the release of her triple platinum album “On How Life Is.” She has been able to stay fresh and current with her abilities to write songs that relate to people today. She seems like she really enjoys the music scene and getting out there everyday and learning something from what she does and putting it to use in the next performance.

ENISA OF NEW YORK

 

Enisa from New York is full of energy and just a ball of fire. She wrote the song Greenlight and when it was presented to her to be on this show, she said she had the perfect song for this contest. She had the full performance with the dancing,music, and even the outline of her body with her mic up representing the statue of Liberty. She is a very friendly, outgoing person to talk to.

KING KYOTE OF MAINE

 

King Kyote is a recording artist from Maine who has toured extensively around the Northeast as well as around the country. He is inspired by all types of music especially the Rolling Stones and Muddy Water. He enjoys getting to share his talent with the fans around the world.

JOCELYN OF NEBRASKA

 

Jocelyn from Nebraska is a breath of fresh air. She enjoys writing songs that have positive messages and motivate and inspire. She is inspired by many artists such as Martina McBride, Ed Sheeran, and Shawn Mendez. She partners with Boys Town and Hope Squad which are suicide prevention organizations. She believes in these organizations and wants to spread the message of positivity in her music.

COURTSHIP. OF OREGON

 

Courtship. is from Oregon. Courtship is made up of a friendship between Micah Gordon and Eli Hersch who met at a gig. Their song “Million Dollar Smoothie” is fun and has lots of energy. They were happy to go first because then they could have their performance over and then relax and listen to the other competitors. Their album is due out in 2022.

BRODERICK JONES OF KANSAS

 

Broderick James is a singer/songwriter from Kansas. He wants to become the biggest artist ever to come from Kansas. He was very nice and well mannered showing an interest in the person asking the question. He put together a whole performance, with music, dancers, and the whole works. He seems very humble and a nice guy all the way around.

JORDAN SMITH OF KENTUCKY

 

Jordan Smith is a singer/songwriter from Kentucky and he is also no stranger to the music scene. He won the 9th season of The Voice. Since his win on The Voice he has released 4 albums and toured around the world. He is a very talented guy and seems to be a very friendly, humble guy as well. His song Sparrow is inspired by what we have went through these last two years. He wrote it to inspire others and it was also inspired by scripture where it talks about God feeding the sparrows and taking care of them and how much more he will take care of us. His faith inspires his songwriting and he hopes it can help inspire others.

CHLOE FREDERICKS OF NORTH DAKOTA

 

Chloe Fredericks is from North Dakota and is a singer/songwriter who was inspired by country artists such as Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline. She was raised singing with her dad and enjoyed singing songs such as gospel hymns and a lot of Johnny Cash. She has been working on this song since 2020 and she seems like a sweet young lady.

ALMIRA ZAKY OF VIRGINIA

 

Almira Zaky is from Virginia. Her career as a vocalist began when she was a young age and performed at numerous venues and festivals. She is inspired by artists such as Jojo, and Ariana Grande. She is also very proud of her Indonesian heritage. She hopes to empower young women all around the world with her music and her message.

We were able to interview Cruz Rock, but the recording didn’t come out.  He is from the Virgin Islands and is a Latin Caribbean singer, songwriter and producer. He infuses his ethnic heritage into his musical style and his music infuses several different styles including Caribbean, American and Latin.

MORE INFO:

American Song Contest

Mondays on NBC (8-10 p.m. ET); Series Premiere: March 21

WEBSITE

America’s biggest live entertainment event has arrived! Based on the worldwide phenomenon “Eurovision Song Contest,” organized for 65 years by the European Broadcasting Union and watched by 200 million viewers annually, this amazing musical spectacular combines the competitive spirit of rooting for your favorite sports team with the joy of watching a beloved singing performance.

In the U.S. version of the international megahit, “American Song Contest” will feature live original musical performances, representing all 50 states, five U.S. territories and our nation’s capital, competing to win the country’s vote for the best hit song. The 56 artists span a wide range of performers – from undiscovered talent, up-and-coming new artists, and rising stars to established and legendary icons. An incredible solo artist, duo, group or band will represent each location and perform a new original song, celebrating the depth and variety of different styles and genres across America.

Hosted by Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson, the eight-week live competition consists of three rounds as the artists compete in a series of Qualifying Rounds, followed by the Semi-Finals and the ultimate Grand Final where one state or territory will emerge victorious.

“American Song Contest” is executive produced by Propagate’s Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens, alongside Audrey Morrissey, Amanda Zucker, Kyra Thompson and Gregory Lipstone as well as American Song Contest, Inc.’s Anders Lenhoff, Christer Björkman, Peter Settman and Ola Melzig. Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson also serve as executive producers.

The series is produced by Propagate in association with Universal Television Alternative Studio, a division of Universal Studio Group, and American Song Contest, Inc.

Hashtag: #AmericanSongContest

Jonah PrillMontana: Jonah Prill

State: Montana
Singer’s name: Jonah Prill
Hometown: Billings, MT
Resident: Billings, MT

Over a million people across the country and around the world were initially roped in by Jonah Prill’s cowboy charm and simple way of life with his horses, cowboy charm and Montana lifestyle on TikTok. With his account, Jonah gained a loyal following of over a million people by 2020 to see his journey to country music stardom. From rocking school assemblies in 3rd grade, singing in choirs through europe by highschool, and joining every band in college. It wasn’t long before Prill knew he wanted to release his own music and become a household name in country music. This Casanova’s ability to infuse his country music heritage and down-home upbringing into the lyrics and melodies of his music is what might make him one of the genre’s most intriguing new artists. The grandson of country artist Dean Evans, Prill seems poised to lead a new generation into a new chapter, a chapter filled with pages of an authentic life lived by a simple man from Billings, Montana.

Macy Gray and MainoOhio: Macy Gray

State: Ohio
Singer’s name: Macy Gray
Hometown: Canton, Ohio
Resident: Los Angeles, CA

Macy Gray, the renowned artist, actor and activist from Canton, Ohio, is no stranger to saying what needs to be said and acting on her words. The musical bodies of work she has produced throughout her career are a testament to her exquisite vision and unyielding devotion to her craft. Her sleek, sultry and mature take on R&B draws from decades worth of history. Yet, her ability to still sound forward-thinking and fresh is what reaffirms and reasserts her as a signature rarity in music. Since Macy broke into the music scene in 1999 with the release of her debut triple-platinum album, “On How Life Is,” she has become a powerhouse of R&B and soul, amassed a devoted global fan base and sold more than 25 million total albums globally. A five-time Grammy Award nominee, Gray won for Best Pop Vocal Performance in 2000 for her iconic song “I Try” and has received two BRIT Awards. Macy’s latest album, “The Reset,” will be released later year. The album is primed to create further discussion about what is happening in today’s world and will help redefine what pop music should be while still providing music lovers with good times and a great message. The daughter of a math teacher and a steel factory worker, Gray grew up in a house next to the local farm – a place still near and dear to her heart where she received the encouragement to become the star she is today.

ENISANew York: ENISA

State: New York
Singer’s name: ENISA
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Resident: Brooklyn, NY

New York local ENISA has spent her whole life preparing for this journey as a first-generation American born to Albanian parents. Following her graduation from Brooklyn’s esteemed Edward R. Murrow High School, she attended Brooklyn College and continued to develop her unique musical vision. A series of distinctive cover versions exploded across social media, earning her millions of views and critical acclaim from the likes of Complex, XXL, ThisSongIsSick and more. ENISA continued to hone her diverse musical approach, infusing contemporary soul pop with Middle Eastern flourishes inspired by her own Muslim heritage. Track releases like Scridge and Genda’s viral smash “Karma (Remix)” and such solo singles as “Burn This Bridge” and “Wait for Love” showcased a spectacular knack for raw soul and endless attitude, earning her close to 16 million views and more than 3 million global streams.

King KyoteMaine: King Kyote

State: Maine
Singer’s name: King Kyote
Hometown: York, ME
Resident:  Portland, ME

King Kyote is a recording artist who has toured extensively in the Northeast as well as around the country. Harken to a night of whiskey drinking in a cabin among the Maine pines, King echoes the yells of rock ‘n’ roll’s forefathers while having a deeply rooted harmony with roots rock, singer-songwriter and folk genres. He has played at iconic venues throughout Maine and local festivals, as well as shows with many local popular acts such as Ghosts of Paul Revere, Rustic Overtones and The Mallet Brothers Band.

JocelynNebraska: Jocelyn

State: Nebraska
Singer’s name: Jocelyn
Hometown: Omaha, NE
Resident: Omaha, NE

Nebraska native Jocelyn combines her observant outlook on life, love and music to write positive songs that both motivate and inspire. She has toured with Darius Rucker, Hootie and the Blowfish and Barenaked Ladies. Jocelyn also had the great privilege to partner with Boys Town National Hotline, a Nebraska nonprofit that is dedicated to providing a safe home for children of all races and religions, and Hope Squad on the Kindness Tour, bringing her positive music and message along with suicide prevention resources to schools across the country. She was featured on “Celebrity Undercover Boss” with Rucker and “Showtime at the Apollo” with Steve Harvey. Jocelyn wants to represent Nebraska to spread the message of Boys Town as well as her love for the state.

courtship.Oregon: courtship.

State: Oregon
Band Name: courtship.
Hometown: Portland, OR
Resident: Los Angeles, CA

The best things in life usually happen by accident and the genesis of courtship. is no exception. Micah Gordon and Eli Hirsch were both session musicians in Los Angeles who met at a gig. During their downtime on the first day, they instantly realized they had something special. Micah is a classically trained jazz pianist and was influenced by Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Miles Davis. Eli grew up with the likes of Blink-182, Passion Pit and Weezer and together they’re the Larry David of indie pop. The boys spent the last few years on the road touring with artists such as Dayglow, Passion Pit, the Hunna, Weezer, the Wombats, Magic City Hippies and Night Riots all while garnering millions of streams. The duo’s sophomore album is set to release in 2022 and is a testament to everything that courtship. is – authentic, witty and feel-good. To courtship., Oregon is a magical place where they first started playing in bands and exploring music.

Broderick JonesKansas: Broderick Jones

State: Kansas
Singer’s name: Broderick Jones
Hometown: Little Rock, AR
Resident: Olathe, KS

Broderick Jones is a singer/songwriter known for his smooth vocals and gravitating stage performances. Broderick raked up over 35 million streams alone with no backing, helping him put a spotlight on the city and move closer towards his dream of becoming the biggest artist ever from Kansas. Broderick is thrilled to represent his state and show America that if he can make it from here, than anyone can.

Jordan SmithKentucky: Jordan Smith

State: Kentucky
Singer’s name: Jordan Smith
Hometown: Harlan, KY
Resident: Corbin, KY

Jordan Smith is a singer/songwriter best known for winning season nine of NBC’s hit reality television series “The Voice.” The Kentucky native holds the record as the highest-selling artist in “The Voice” history, dethroning Adele’s “Hello” at #1 on the iTunes charts three times during his run on the show and becoming the first artist ever to replace himself at #1 on the Christian Billboard chart. Jordan has since released four albums and toured extensively around the world, sharing the stage with artists such as Patti LaBelle, Jordin Sparks and Lionel Richie. He also wrote the song “Ashes,” performed by Celine Dion for the movie “Deadpool 2.” Being a Kentuckian is something Jordan has always been proud of and representing the state is an honor.

Chloe FredericksNorth Dakota: Chloe Fredericks

State: North Dakota
Singer’s name: Chloe Fredericks
Hometown: Halliday, ND
Resident: Halliday, ND

Chloe Fredericks grew up listening to some of country music’s great artists, including Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and Emmylou Harris, and often receives comparisons to powerhouse singer-songwriters Adele and Amy Winehouse. Her mom would always call Chloe her “little singing birdy” and some of Chloe’s fondest memories are singing alongside her dad. She was raised on a ranch in North Dakota and learned the cowboy way of living – if you get bucked off of a horse, you get right back on. It’s helped carry Chloe through the more trying times in the ever-changing music business.

Almira ZakyVirginia: Almira Zaky

State: Virginia
Singer’s name: Almira Zaky
Hometown: Herndon, VA
Resident: Herndon, VA

Almira Zaky’s journey as a vocalist began at a young age when she would perform for thousands all around the Washington, D.C., area at several venues including World Bank, the Embassy of Indonesia, University of District of Columbia, University of Maryland, and events such as the annual Cherry Blossom Festival and the Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival. Almira is inspired by artists such as Kehlani, Jhene Aiko, Jojo and Ariana Grande and attributes her rhythmic R&B/pop influence to ’90s-’00s music. Her vibrant presence, outspoken lyrical skill, soulful tone and ability to relate to audiences all over the world has inspired others to become the boss of their own life. Almira, who is Muslim and proud of her Indonesian heritage, is very honored to represent her home state of Virginia, as it is the home to so many hip-hop/R&B musical legends, including Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, Chad Hugo and Missy Elliot.

Interview with last week’s contestants and with Kelly Clarkson

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Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson of "American Song Contest" on NBC

Interview with Michael Bolton

TV Interview!

Michael Bolton at "American Song Contest" on NBC

Interview with Michael Bolton at “American Song Contest” on NBC by Suzanne 3/28/22

It was great to speak with this legend a second time. Last week, Michael Bolton competed in the first episode of “American Song Contest” on NBC. This is a show similar to “Eurovision.”  NBC had this great after-show virtual red carpet for those of us in the press. Unfortunately, between technical problems, background noise, and Michael Bolton being a very quiet speaker, we weren’t able to hear or understand him, nor could we get a good video! Fortunately, it was announced during this week’s show that Michael had been voted to continue in the next round, so NBC was able to get us this short Zoom interview with him to make up for last week. I’m so grateful and happy!

Enjoy this nice CLEAR video! We’ll have the transcript up later.

MORE INFO:

Michael Bolton at "American Song Contest" on NBCConnecticut: Michael Bolton

State: Connecticut
Singer’s name: Michael Bolton
Hometown: New Haven, CT
Resident: Westport, CT

Michael Bolton is a multiple Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter who has sold more than 65 million records globally and continues to tour the world. Bolton is strongly committed to humanitarian causes, especially through the Michael Bolton Charities. In recognition of his artistic achievements, Michael won two Grammys for Best Pop Male Vocal Performance (nominated four times), six American Music Awards, three Emmy Award nominations and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. As a songwriter, he has earned more than 24 BMI & ASCAP Awards, including Songwriter of the Year and the Hitmakers Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame. His coming-of-age story starts in Connecticut, where he was born and raised and most importantly where he discovered his love of singing and songwriting. He’s proud to represent the state as an artist and as someone who still loves going home to Connecticut.

About ‘American Song Contest’:

From the producers of “Eurovision Song Contest” and “The Voice,” the all-live music competition series, hosted by Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson, premieres Monday, March 21 (8:00 – 10:00 pm ET/PT) and will run for eight weeks with the Grand Final on May 9.

“American Song Contest” will feature live new music performances – representing all 50 states, five U.S. territories and our nation’s capital – competing to win the country’s vote for the best hit song. An incredible solo artist, duo or a band will represent each location and perform a new original song, celebrating the depth and variety of different styles and genres across America. The live competition consists of three rounds as the artists compete in a series of Qualifying Rounds, followed by the Semi-Finals and the ultimate Grand Final where one state or territory will emerge victorious.

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Michael Bolton at "American Song Contest" on NBC

Interviews with “American Song Contest” contestants 3/21/22

TV Interview!

Interview with contestants the first qualifier round of “American Song Contest” on NBC by Suzanne 3/21/22

Michael Bolton on Zoom on the red carpet

Monday night was the premiere of “American Song Contest” on NBC. This is the new American version of Eurovision that we talked about last week.  A small group of us journalists watched the live show and then interviewed all 11 contestants for this first round of live qualifiers.  Honestly, I don’t watch most competition or music shows on TV. I just don’t have the time, and I’d rather watch scripted shows. I thought they did a pretty good job with it, though, and I enjoyed watching the contestants and learning about their backstories. I thought that the best song was “Loko” by Christian Pagán of Puerto Rico. The song was very catchy and his performance was great. Clearly, Heuston from Rhode Island also did very well. His song started out slowly and gravel-y-voiced… but got better, and he was aces at singing a ballad that melted everyone’s hearts. He was voted by the judges to go to the next round.

Although my main career is TV journalist and expert, I’m also a singer. I started singing in grade school and was taking voice lessons in high school and all through college.  I’ve still been singing and taking lessons for years, and I was in a band for awhile. So, I’m coming at this music contest from that perspective as well as from the TV show. I found it interesting as TV more than as music. This show is not “The Voice.” The singers here are being judged more for their songwriting and their performing than their singing…not that any of them are terrible singers. These are professional working musicians that do well in their local venues (and some nationally).

Michael Bolton singing in "American Song Contest" March 21, 2022

Mostly, I came here to see and talk to Michael Bolton. His song was not that great, to be honest. I did get to ask him a question, but unfortunately, the sound quality during that part of the interviews on the virtual red carpet was not good, and my recording below is almost unintelligible. I asked him if he wrote the song for this competition, what inspired it, and why he chose it.  He gave a nice, long answer, that I can’t make heads or tails of, which is a darn shame. I hope he makes it to the next round, and then I’ll be able to chat with him again.  His songs were big hits back in the 80’s when I was in college. I loved his biggest hit, “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You?,” which was also recorded by Laura Branigan. In fact, I have also sung that song many times in karaoke, and I always get a good reaction. His other huge hit was his version of “When a Man Loves a Woman.”

Most of the other recordings came out OK. I hope you enjoy them!

Kelly Clarkson and Snoop Dogg in "American Song Contest" 3/21/22

The show itself was fun. Snoop Dogg had a nice kind of laidback attitude to counter Kelly Clarkson’s infectious energy. Stay tuned for more contestants on the next show, Monday 3/28/22 on NBC! If you missed last week’s episode, find it on NBC.

Here are the videos, except for one that I’m missing from Christian Pagán and hope to have tomorrow.

Jake’O from Wisconsin was our first interviewee… I was having great difficulty hearing him… as you can tell by the faces I’m making. He sang a song called “Feel Your Love.” I took myself off video when I wasn’t asking a question because I didn’t want to have to worry about how I looked the whole time! This video clip is from Jamie of http://www.scifivision.com

Here’s Christian Pagán of Puerto Rico! He sang a really fun song, “Loko.” He would be my top pick. My recording didn’t come out, so this is from Jamie of http://www.scifivision.com

Here’s Michael Bolton!  He seemed pretty tired, and his speaking voice was not loud enough, on top of the other technical difficulties and background noise. He sang “Beautiful World.” My recording didn’t come out, so this is from Jamie of http://www.scifivision.com

Here’s the best transcription I could get for this, from TranscriptionPuppy.

Moderator: Hi, guys. We have Michael Bolton.

Michael: Hello.

Moderator: Chris, you’re up first; Beth, you’re on deck, and then Jamie.

Chris: Hi, Michael. How are you? Great performance tonight.

Michaeln: Thank you very much. For a timely song [inaudible] it’s getting harder. Things got harder in the real world.

Chris: It really is. I was just curious, what made you decide to be a part of this experience?

Michael: Oh. Well, songwriting is on the very top of my list of the things I love about music through the years and something that is enduring during [inaudible] function as an artist and a songwriter where I plan on continuing to be surrounded by people who love music and love to write. Things that are very wide, very [inaudible] so much really good, and then, of course, there’s Kelly, who’s spectacular, [inaudible] you got to talk to her on the line and it seems that [inaudible] so I ask my agent to find it well to physically [inaudible] whole made sense to happened then, I wrote [inaduble] of just [inaudible] someone who will work tied up [inaudible] and we wrote a song about knowing how intense [inaudible] great [inaudible] it means the world [inaudible] just make perfect sense to me, I love music [inaudible]

Chris: Thank you so much!

Jamie: Hi, Jamie Ruby here, from SciFiVision. Thank you so much for talking to us tonight. I really enjoyed your song So, obviously, you’ve been doing this for a really long time. Are there still new things to learn after doing something like this about yourself?

Michael: That kind of person who [inaudible] in every area of your life. [inaudible] like more [inaudible] for computers.

Jamie: Thank you.

Moderator: Beth, go ahead.

Beth: Thank you. It was so great seeing you, Michael. This is Beth with Hollywood Junket. I really enjoyed your performance tonight. I was wondering, are there any other contestants seeking your advice on their performances or rehearsals this week?

Michael: Everybody seems to be very [inaudible] and [inaudible] of their career. But I didn’t have [inaudible] always frequently, [inaudible] specifically when they’re inspiring [inaudible] somewhere where I can help them, kind of, avoid the dead ends and waste their time in [inaudible] themselves to [inaudible] something that [inaudible] look forward about this really great, really help [inaudible]

Beth: Thank you so much.

Moderator: Suzanne you’re up next, Justin you’re on deck.

Michael: Hi, Suzanne.

Suzanne: Hi Michael. What made you…what inspired you to write the song that you sang tonight, and what made you choose it for this contest?

Michael Bolton: Ironically, we are actually looking at completely different suggestions and this writing a song [inaudible] online [inaudible] start writing a song and [inaudible] create music [inaudible] I don’t think [inaudible] I don’t wanna [inaudible] imagine kind of threat [inaudible] somehow [inaudible] my mind [inaudible].

Suzanne: Alright, thank you.

Ryan Charles of Wyoming was next. He sang a really fun song, “”New Boot Goofin'” He was dressed like a cowboy, but he raps!

Kelsey Lamb of Arkansas was after him. I was pulling for her because I live in that state, but I don’t think her song, “Never Like This” was exciting enough to win the competition.

Next up was Keyone Starr of Mississippi, who sang “Fire.” Great song!

The next artists was UG Skywalkin of Indiana. His first name is pronounced like the letters U.G. (yoo jee) not like UGH!  He has an interesting backstory, which I asked him about.  His song was “Love in My City.”

AleXa of Oklahoma… she’s part Korean, so she does K-Pop. She put on quite a production, but her song, “Wonderland,” was not very notable.

This girl, Alisabeth Von Presley, of Iowa, sang really well, but I don’t think the song, “Wonder” was very catchy.

Heuston of Rhode Island really wowed everyone with his song, “Held on Too Long.” It was great to chat with him. My husband’s family is from Rhode Island!

Yam Haus is a really enthusiastic group of friends from Minnesota who sang “Ready to Go.” They had a lot of energy. This was our last group to interview.

I hope you enjoyed these interviews!

MORE INFO:

**MEDIA ALERT** ‘American Song Contest’ Series Premiere Virtual Zoom Room Monday, March 21, 2022

What:                  American Song Contest’ Live Series Premiere and Virtual Zoom Room

Watch the live show and have the opportunity to speak with the first 11 artists to perform.  Virtual Zoom Room to follow directly after the premiere.

NBC’s upcoming music competition series “American Song Contest” features live new music performances representing the 50 states, five U.S. territories and our nation’s capital, who will compete to win the country’s vote for the best hit song.  The artists span a wide range of performers, from undiscovered talent, up-and-coming new artists, and rising stars to established and legendary icons.

Who:                   The initial 11 artists performing on the premiere.

To learn more about these artists, visit here.

  • Kelsey Lamb (Arkansas)
  • Michael Bolton (Connecticut)
  • Alisabeth Von Presley (Iowa)
  • UG skywalkin (Indiana)
  • Yam Haus (Minneota)
  • Keyone Starr (Mississippi)
  • AleXa (Oklahoma)
  • Christian Pagán (Puerto Rico)
  • Hueston (Rhode Island)
  • Jake’O (Wisconsin)
  • Ryan Charles (Wyoming)

*All talent subject to availability*

When:                 Monday, March 21, 2022

5:00pm PT           Live Show Taping Begins

7:00pm PT           Live Show Ends/Virtual Zoom Room begins

9:00pm PT           Virtual Zoom Room Closes

About ‘American Song Contest’:

From the producers of “Eurovision Song Contest” and “The Voice,” the all-live music competition series, hosted by Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson, premieres Monday, March 21 (8:00 – 10:00 pm ET/PT) and will run for eight weeks with the Grand Final on May 9.

“American Song Contest” will feature live new music performances – representing all 50 states, five U.S. territories and our nation’s capital – competing to win the country’s vote for the best hit song. An incredible solo artist, duo or a band will represent each location and perform a new original song, celebrating the depth and variety of different styles and genres across America. The live competition consists of three rounds as the artists compete in a series of Qualifying Rounds, followed by the Semi-Finals and the ultimate Grand Final where one state or territory will emerge victorious.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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Michael Bolton of Connecticut

Interview with Kelly Clarkson

TV Interview!

Kelly Clarkson of "American Song Contest" on NBC. Photo from video on etonline.com

Interview with EP and host Kelly Clarkson, EP/showrunner Audrey Morrissey, EP Ben Silverman, EP Anders Lenhoff and EP Christer Björkman of “American Song Contest” on NBC by Suzanne 3/14/22

This was a press conference for the upcoming show, “American Song Contest”. I was just one of many journalists in attendance This sounds like a fun show. It begins Monday, 3/21 on NBC! There are 54 contestants total – one from each state or territory. They compete each week until they narrow it down. You can vote online between the airing of the episode on Monday, and Wednesday. Each of the contestants are professional working musicians, not newbies or amateurs. Based on “Eurovision,” each group performs their original song. So, unlike, say, “The Voice,” they’re being judged more for their performing and songwriting talent than they are for their singing and playing.

Kelly Clarkson was very enthusiastic on Zoom. I’m told that she’s often this way. I don’t watch her show, and I haven’t seen her on anything else, so I’ll have to take their word for it. She certainly loves to talk! I can see why she has a talk show.

Along with Kelly, who’s both co-host and executive producer, were the executive producers and showrunner Audrey Morrissey.  Two of the EPs, Lenhoff and Björkman, were involved with Eurovision, the European music contest that “American Song Contest” is based on.

It was very interesting to learn about this new show, which is different from all of the other singing contests on TV, such as “American Idol,” “The Voice,” “America’s Got Talent,” etc.

The show is the brainchild of EP Ben Silverman, who’s been working for “over 25 years” to try to get the Eurovision rights to make an American version. Eurovision was “not only the first, it’s the most ambitious and unique.” He’s understandably “thrilled” to be finally putting it all together for NBC. He hopes the audience will tune it because it’s live, they have great hosts in Snoop and Kelly and “It’s filled with regional passion and state by state brilliance. And I think you are going to be amazed to see some professionals, some amateurs, all different kinds of genres of music.”

Kelly is looking forward to the world seeing the diversity they have on the show because she knows there are different types of music all over the U.S., including in her home state of Texas. She really hopes that the show helps heal the country because it’s so “divided” right now “because people have their preconceived notions of who is from where. And that’s just not true anymore, especially in such a digital age and the Internet age. We are all very similar more than not. But, also, we do represent different cultures, which is going to be cool.”

You may wonder if larger states like Texas will get more votes than the smaller ones, but Silverman explained that, just like in Eurovision, every state has equal voting power. Kelly believes that people will vote for the artists that like the best – not just the ones in their home state. Kelly had worked with Snoop Dog before on “The Voice” and proclaimed that they worked really well together. “the thing I loved most about him is that he really took his time listening and kind of taking it in, like, each performance.” So she’s very excited to be hosting with him. She pointed out that they both represent vastly different types of music as well as areas of the country.

Producer Morrissey explained that they put out the word to all of professional people they knew, in “a really vast network of A&R scouts, managers, booking agents” from other music shows like “The Voice” and “Songland.” She had to make it show that this show is not like “American Idol” or the other shows. It’s for professional musicians. “This is for the artists, the person who is committed to ‘This is what I’m doing in my life, and I’ve been grinding it and working it on the road for years. I’m kind of a known entity. A&R scouts know about me. Maybe I am about to be signed, or I already have been signed, or I’ve turned down deals because I want to go it alone.'” In the future, they hope to have a mechanism similar to Eurovision, where each state has its own contest and the winner of each contest goes to their show.

Kelly and the other producers are really excited to show us that their show will have the “really over the top costumes and production stage values that” Eurovision has. Silverman noted, “It’s unbelievable, our sets, the spectacle, the costume design, the lighting design, all of the production value.” He cited the finale as being very similar to the type they do on the original Eurovision.

They don’t think that the more famous artists like Jewel will necessarily have an edge over the lesser-known artists in the competition. Each one has to prove themselves in the competition, famous or not. It’s also a great venue for any of the artists to showcase a new song.

Monday, 3/20 I’ll be watching the show and interviewing some of the contestants afterwards, live, so stay tuned!

MORE INFO:

American Song Contest

Mondays on NBC (8-10 p.m. ET); Series Premiere: March 21

America’s biggest live entertainment event has arrived! Based on the worldwide phenomenon “Eurovision Song Contest,” organized for 65 years by the European Broadcasting Union and watched by 200 million viewers annually, this amazing musical spectacular combines the competitive spirit of rooting for your favorite sports team with the joy of watching a beloved singing performance.

In the U.S. version of the international megahit, “American Song Contest” will feature live original musical performances, representing all 50 states, five U.S. territories and our nation’s capital, competing to win the country’s vote for the best hit song. The 56 artists span a wide range of performers – from undiscovered talent, up-and-coming new artists, and rising stars to established and legendary icons. An incredible solo artist, duo, group or band will represent each location and perform a new original song, celebrating the depth and variety of different styles and genres across America.

Hosted by Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson, the eight-week live competition consists of three rounds as the artists compete in a series of Qualifying Rounds, followed by the Semi-Finals and the ultimate Grand Final where one state or territory will emerge victorious.

“American Song Contest” is executive produced by Propagate’s Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owens, alongside Audrey Morrissey, Amanda Zucker, Kyra Thompson and Gregory Lipstone as well as American Song Contest, Inc.’s Anders Lenhoff, Christer Björkman, Peter Settman and Ola Melzig. Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson also serve as executive producers.

The series is produced by Propagate in association with Universal Television Alternative Studio, a division of Universal Studio Group, and American Song Contest, Inc.

Hashtag: #AmericanSongContest

AMERICAN SONG CONTEST— Season: 1 -- Pictured: Kelly Clarkson, Snoop Dogg -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/Dave Bjerke/NBC)Kelly Clarkson

Coach, “The Voice”; Executive Producer/Host, “American Song Contest”; Executive Producer/Host, “The Kelly Clarkson Show”

Kelly Clarkson serves as a coach on NBC’s four-time Emmy Award-winning musical competition series “The Voice.” She won the competition in seasons 14, 15 and 17.

Clarkson will serve as host (with Snoop Dogg) on the new NBC musical competition series “American Song Contest” and she’s currently filming season three of “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” which has already been picked up for a fourth season.

An Emmy-winning talk show host, Grammy Award-winning artist and America’s original idol, Clarkson is one of the most popular artists of this era with total worldwide sales of more than 25 million albums and 40 million singles.

Clarkson recently released her critically acclaimed Grammy-nominated eighth studio album, “Meaning of Life,” and in 2020 released her powerful single “I Dare You,” which she recorded with five other artists in six languages

The Texas-born singer-songwriter first came to fame in 2002 as the winner of the inaugural season of “American Idol.” Clarkson’s debut single, “A Moment Like This,” followed and quickly went to #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100, ultimately ranking as the year’s best-selling single in the U.S. Further, Clarkson is one of pop’s top singles artists, with 17 singles boasting multi-platinum, platinum and gold certifications around the world, including such global favorites as “Miss Independent” and “Because of You.”

Clarkson has released eight studio albums (“Thankful,” “Breakaway,” “My December,” “All I Ever Wanted,” “Stronger,” “Wrapped in Red,” “Piece By Piece,” “Meaning of Life”), one greatest hits album and two children’s books (New York Times Top 10 bestseller “River Rose and the Magical Lullaby” and the follow-up, “River Rose and the Magical Christmas”).

She is the recipient of an array of awards, including two Daytime Emmy Award in 2020 and 2021 for Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host, three Grammys, four American Music Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards, two Academy of Country Music Awards, two American Country Awards and one Country Music Assn. Award. She is also the first artist to top each of Billboard’s pop, adult contemporary, country and dance charts.

Additionally, Clarkson has hosted the “Billboard Music Awards” for the past three years and she also voices the character of Moxy in “Ugly Dolls” and the character of Delta Dawn in “Trolls World Tour.”

Snoop Dogg

Executive Producer/Host, “American Song Contest”

A multi-platinum artist, actor, philanthropist and entertainment icon, Snoop Dogg has reigned for nearly three decades as an unparalleled force, raising the bar as an award-winning entertainer and globally recognized entrepreneur. Snoop defines entertainment history. He has released 21 studio albums, sold over 40 million albums worldwide, reached No. 1 countless times on Billboard charts internationally and received 20 Grammy nominations.

A California native, Snoop has also appeared in numerous films, such as “Dolemite Is My Name,” “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run,” “The Addams Family,” “Beach Bum,” “Starsky & Hutch,” “Soul Plane” and the Oscar-winning drama “Training Day,” among others. He has also produced several TV shows and films, including Vice’s “Reincarnated,” “Mac & Dean Go to High School” and “Hood of Horror” through his production company, Snoopadelic Films. He made his mark in television when he garnered an Emmy Award nomination as executive producer for the hit VH1 show “Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner.” Snoop was also the executive producer of the Netflix show “Coach Snoop,” “GGN: Double G News,” MTV’s “Mary + Jane” and the TNT game show “Joker’s Wild,” which he also hosted.

Most recently, Snoop has hosted and produced several projects through his Snoopadelic films, including two Peacock originals – “2021 and Done” alongside Kevin Hart, a hilarious retrospective on the year that began with so much promise; and “Olympic Highlights with Kevin Hart and Snoop Dogg,” recapping the Olympics’ most impressive delays of athleticism and the moments that didn’t go as planned.

Audrey Morissey, Executive Producer and Showrunner of "American Song Contest" on NBCAudrey Morrissey

Executive Producer, “The Voice”; Executive Producer, “American Song Contest”

Audrey Morrissey is an executive producer and the creative force behind NBC’s all-live music competition series “American Song Contest” as well as four-time Emmy Award-winning music competition series “The Voice.”

A veteran of MTV, she spent nine years at the network in their music and specials division working on high-profile music series and annual event specials, such as “Unplugged,” VMAs and MTV Movie Awards.

After several years in New York, she was sent to Los Angeles to build the West Coast production department for both MTV and VH1.

Morrissey then joined Jimmy Iovine and Doug Morris as the Head of Television for their online music venture, Farmclub.com, and met her future partner, Ivan Dudynsky, with whom she started Live Animals Productions.

Since the formation of Live Animals, Morrissey has executive produced award shows, music specials, reality series, music videos and promos. She has executive produced the Emmy Awards, People’s Choice Awards, MTV Movie Awards, CMT Music Awards and, most recently, Teen Choice Awards. She also created and executive produced the NBC series “Songland.”

In addition to her four Emmy wins as executive producer of “The Voice,” Morrissey has five PGA Awards for Outstanding Producer of Competition Television for her work on the show.

Ben Silverman, Executive Producer of "American Song Contest" on NBCBen Silverman

Executive Producer, “American Song Contest”

Ben Silverman, the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning media entrepreneur, visionary producer and New York Times best-selling author behind “The Office,” is the Chairman and Co-CEO of Propagate Content, creating and producing all forms of content for distribution across a variety of platforms around the world.

Silverman founded two of the media industry’s most renowned super indies, Electus and Reveille. Silverman founded Reveille in 2002 to exploit international formats by selling them in the United States. Prior to launching Electus, Silverman served as Co-Chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios from 2007-09 where he transformed the business model by connecting advertisers and consumers through content in a more profound way. Through his Electus banner, Silverman took a leadership role in digital content, building the #1 comedy site on the Internet, CollegeHumor.com, and extending projects to multiple platforms, including numerous digital projects and partnerships with Yahoo!, Facebook and YouTube.

Pioneering content at the forefront of the entertainment industry, Silverman has created and executive produced major network, cable and digital platform hits, including Golden Globe and Peabody award-winning shows “The Office,” “Ugly Betty,” “The Biggest Loser” and “The Tudors,” as well as hits such as “Jane the Virgin,” “Marco Polo” and “Flaked” with Will Arnett and Mitch Hurwitz for Netflix, NBC’s transformative TV commerce show “Fashion Star” and “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” on Nat Geo. Silverman has also produced feature films, including “My Boyfriend’s Meds,” “Mansome” and “Hands of Stone,” the biopic of Roberto Duran starring Robert De Niro, Usher and Edgar Ramirez that premiered at Cannes Film Festival.

Silverman’s Propagate has offices in Los Angeles, New York, and Paris. Its recent credits include the critically acclaimed sports doc series “Untold” on Netflix, the US Women’s soccer doc “LFG” that premiered at Tribeca and now streams on HBO Max, the Emmy-nominated “Hillary” that premiered at Sundance and now streams on Hulu, “Notre Dame: Our Lady of Paris” on ABC, the “Go-Big Show” on TBS and the upcoming “American Song Contest” for NBC, as well as the unscripted “Nov. 13: Attack on Paris,” “Haunted” and “Prank Encounters” for Netflix, and “In Search Of” and “Kings of Pain” for History.

On the scripted side, Propagate’s scripted credits include “Shaka Zulu” for Showtime, “Remote” for Comedy Central and “Pinches Momias” for Univision, as well as “Rebelde” streaming on Netflix, “Let’s Be Real” on Fox, “Blood and Treasure” and “Broke” for CBS, and “Charmed” for the CW. Propagate also created and produced the podcast “An Oral History of the Office” for Spotify and the New York Times bestselling book “Welcome to Dunder Mifflin,” based on the podcast. Propagate’s expanding portfolio of companies includes Electus (“You vs. Wild,” “Running Wild With Bear Grylls,” “Jane the Virgin,” “Fashion Star”), Big Breakfast (“Adam Ruins Everything”, “Hot Date”), Notional (“Chopped” franchise), and talent management firms Artists First, Authentic Talent & Literary Management and Select Management.

Anders Lenhoff

Executive Producer, “American Song Contest”

Anders Lenhoff is one of the elite TV creatives in Europe with a career-spanning almost three decades having created, produced and/or directed 15 different TV shows that rated above 10% of the population.

In addition to serving as show producer for the Eurovision Song Contest, as well as Melodifestivalen, his other credits include the first ever season of “Expedition: Robinson, Survivor” and international versions of the hit UK panel comedies “QI” and “Have I Got News for You.”

Lenhoff also created and ran “The Commission,” a 12-episode political drama that was nominated for Prix d’Europe. In addition, he produced a highly comedy talk show in Sweden, three annual award shows, directed a long-running Swedish drama series and sketch-comedy series “Reuter & Skoog” and “Hipp Hipp,” the latter of which won a Silver Rose as the best light entertainment in Europe.

Christer Björkman

Anders Lenhoff and Christer BjörkmanExecutive Producer, “American Song Contest”

Christer Björkman is a living legend among Eurovision fans.

An avid fan of the competition since early childhood, he dreamed of competing as an artist in the Swedish selection show. In 1992, his dream came through. He entered and won and got to represent Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest.

However, his true legacy began in 2002 when he was appointed Contest Producer and Creative Director for “Melodifestivalen,” the Swedish selection show for the ESC. At the time, “Melodifestivalen” was a crumbling format in steep decline, but with Björkman at the helm, it quickly turned into one of the biggest TV success stories in the world of television. “Melodifestivalen” has been the biggest entertainment show in Scandinavia for almost two decades.

During Björkman’s reign, Sweden has won the ESC twice, making it the second most successful competing country in history. Björkman is also the most experienced ESC producer ever and consults for broadcasters all over Europe.

Björkman was awarded a Rose d’Or for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2016.

Proofread and Edited by Brenda

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AMERICAN SONG CONTEST— Season: 1 -- Pictured: Kelly Clarkson -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)

Interview with Bradley Constant, Uli Latukefu and Adrian Groulx

TV Interview!

Bradley Constant, Uli Latukefu and Adrian Groulx of "Young Rock" on NBC

Interview with Bradley Constant, Uli Latukefu and Adrian Groulx of “Young Rock” on NBC Thane 3/9/22

Speaking with these three young men was almost like talking to “The Rock” himself! They were a lot of fun to chat with. I especially enjoyed hearing about Uli and Bradley’s workouts.  Don’t miss the Season 2 premiere 3/15!

Jamie: Bradley, I love the dynamics between teenage Duane and Ata. Talk about what we will be exploring in their relationship this season.

Bradley: Oh yeah. That’s– I will agree with you. I love that relationship just as much. Coming back this season, I was really hoping to have more scenes that would show that special dynamic between Dwayne and his mom because me and my mom are so close and she’s always been there for me and that’s always been kind of a staple in me becoming who I am, and this season, it really opens up a lot more in my timeline, especially, Dwayne really leaned on his mom. When things were really hard, she was always there for him. When he was lost, she always found them and kind of kept them moving forward and always staying positive. And this season, there’s a lot more of that.

Jamie: Uli, Stacy mentioned that she’ll be getting to work more with you this season as well because you’re more grown and you’re exploring the older aspects of Dwayne a lot as well. And she noted that 20-year-old Dwayne also butts heads a lot with hi mom as well. And it’s hard to parent from far away, you know, you’re in Miami at this time. What did Dwayne talk about with you about their relationship as far as mother and son being so loving and so close, yet being so far away at this point in their lives?

Uli: Yeah, we didn’t actually– Dwayne and I didn’t actually hit on anything with that for this season. But I always knew from the outset, from season one, that their relationship was really really close… is really, really close. The distance thing for me… it doesn’t matter where– Dwayne could be across, you know, the other side of the world and Ata could be on the other side, you know, as they are often at times. But they’re so close, they’ll be on the phone with each other. And that’s the same thing that happens now in our show. It’s like, they’re never far from each other at all. Ata is always checking in or, [saying] “Have you done this? We’ve done this, we’ve done this. Have you received this package?” or whatnot. And I think that’s how a mum is, you know? My mum was always checking up on me, or [asking] why wasn’t I at home at particular time. Um, let’s not get into that…

(Laughter)

Uli: But that’s what moms do. We’re their babies. So with Dwayne and Ata, it’s no different,

Stephanie: So, um, Adrian, one of my favorite parts of the show is the relationship between young Dewey and Andre the Giant. Is that something we’re going to get to continue to see more of in season two?

Adrian: I definitely agree with you. That is definitely one of my favorite aspects of my character’s scenes. And we will get to see a little bit more of Andre and Dewey having some fun.

Stephanie: And, Uli, you’re up to the point where The Rock becomes The Rock. Did you have to learn how to wrestle to play The Rock as he learned how to wrestle.

I did. And we don’t actually jump straight into Dwayne becoming the rock. Obviously he had a quite a bit of a transition from when he stopped playing football. So it was almost like it was parallel with my own learning of how to wrestle. In the storyline Dwayne is learning how to get everything down pat, and so was I, as an actor. So I learned, but I loved it. I grew up playing football, uh, Rugby Union here in Australia. So the contact was– I just felt in my element and, uh, and took to it pretty quickly. So… So, uh, you know, we’ll see… we’ll see if the wrestling fans agree.

Stephanie: We always hear stories from young wrestlers about when they took their first bump. So what was that like for you?

Uli: Oh my gosh. Let’s just say a few crash mats. It was, uh, yeah, it was tough. It’s not as easy, and I will say this, you know… I think the general perception outside of wrestling fans is that it’s all make believe, but I guarantee you, the hits are real. And your body.. We ended up shooting 13-hour days. And then at the end of those 13 hours, come and rehearse wrestling. So your body feels it, and full credit to everyone who gets into the squaredd circle, as they say.

Stephanie: And, Bradley (and for everyone), you guys all got to actually work together in the Christmas episode. Is that something you’d like to do more of in other, maybe special episodes?

Bradley: Oh, are you kidding me? I would love that. There’s so many, like, fun ideas you can think of. You could do, like, a Halloween episode. I would love to do a musical episode. We can all be in something like that. That’d be pretty cool.

Uli: Yeah.

Bradley: I know that the opportunities are endless. I’d love to do it.

Uli: We pitched it, by the way.

Bradley: Yeah, we pitched it.

Uli: So Joseph Lee Anderson and I (sorry, I don’t know if we have time for this, but) were singing backstage, and just fooling around. And then, uh, Brian Goatz, who’s the producer from Seven Bucks (Production) was there, and he started recording. And then sent it to DJ. So I dunno if that’s, you know, potentially, we could have a [musical] “Young Rock.”

Bradley: And they can both sing… just about everyone on this show can actually really sing. You know what? Let’s go for it.

Stephanie: Thank you.

Moderator: Okay. Next we have Thane with The TV MegaSite.

Uli: Hey, Thane.

Bradley: What’s up?

Thane: Bradley and Uli, do you spend a lot of time working out? How much time per week?

Uli: I’ll take this one. Uh, I train maybe five days, depending, five days a week. I really enjoy staying in shape and going to the gym and working out. It helps me quite a lot. Um, so yeah, so I mix up weight training with, um, Very little cardio. So that’s what I that’s what I like to do.

(Bradley laughs at his cardio comment)

Bradley: During filming, me and my buddy, Michael, we would.. we’d go to the gym every morning at 3:00 AM. And that was the first time I’ve ever been that religious about it. Like this season, it was probably the most I’ve ever worked out in my life. I really enjoyed it. And it’s, like, it’s followed me ever since. So it’s about six, seven days a week now. I’ll take off and do… I’ll do more cardio because I like it. (Laughs)

Uli: By the way, Bradley was up at 3:00 AM every morning. This is no word of a lie. And I would see him and another cast mate (who I can’t announce) at the gym every morning, 3:30, you know, so kudos to you, bruh.

Thane: Did you have to work hard to try to act like The Rock? And did he give you any pointers?

Bradley: Uli, you can go first, man.

Uli: Uh, yeah, “Don’t be terrible.” No, he didn’t say that.

(Laughter)

Uli: Uh, he really– Dwayne’s great. He gave us a lot of freedom, and basically, the number one thing for me through our conversations was — particularly in his younger years — he was very driven. He was very focused about achieving something. He wasn’t too sure about what that was or what that looked like. But he knew he was meant for something great. And he was willing to put in the work. And I think for me, Dwayne’s advice was, “Always keep that in the back of your mind, that I’m willing to do the work and get to where I want to get to,” with the two hands that he has.

Bradley: For me, he just told me to have belief in myself, you know, and also, that I was in good hands. And I really was, like having Uli around, having all over producers around… everyone. That’s a part of the “Young Rock” technical team. You know, they’ve got our backs and, you know, leaning into that. You don’t really have to copy anything, and everybody’s got you taken care of. I’m sure, Adrian, you can agree?

Adrian: Yeah, everyone is really, really amazing on, uh, on the cast and crew. I didn’t really get to talk to Duane too much about how to play and, Uh, portray the role. So I kind of.. while I was reading the script side, I had a little fun with it. Maybe, uh, improvised a couple of things. But I didn’t really think too hard about it ’cause I just didn’t want to overthink it. So I , you know, played around with it.

 

Watch our other “Young Rock” Interviews with Stacey Leilua and Joseph Lee Anderson and Ana Tuisila and Matthew Willig

MORE INFO:

Young Rock

Tuesdays on NBC (8-8:30 p.m. ET); Season Premiere: March 15

The second season of “Young Rock” delves back into Dwayne Johnson’s life, continuing the storylines from season one while also introducing new chapters we haven’t yet seen. As Dwayne and his loving, resilient family face new challenges and meet new wild characters of professional wrestling, Dwayne contemplates embracing the grind of professional wrestling himself. The show will explore the crazy rollercoaster that has shaped Dwayne into the man he is today and the larger-than-life people he’s met along the way.

Dwayne Johnson, Joseph Lee Anderson, Stacey Leilua, Ana Tuisila, Adrian Groulx, Bradley Constant, Uli Latukefu, Fasitua Amosa, John Tui and Matthew Willig star.

Created by Nahnatchka Khan and Jeff Chiang and inspired by Dwayne Johnson’s life. Nahnatchka Khan, Jeff Chiang, Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, Jennifer Carreras, Hiram Garcia, Brian Gewirtz and Jeffrey Walker serve as executive producers.

“Young Rock” is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, Seven Bucks Productions and Fierce Baby Productions.

Bradley Constant

Dwayne Johnson (15 years old), “Young Rock”

YOUNG ROCK -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: Bradley Constant as Dwayne Johnson -- (Photo by: Mark Taylor/NBC)
Bradley Constant plays 15-year-old Dwayne Johnson in the new NBC comedy “Young Rock.” Alabama-born Constant began pursuing acting at 12 and convinced his mom to move him to New York City where he would study and begin to gain experience in the industry. The tough environment and fast-paced productivity of the city prepared him for an even bigger move to Los Angeles, where he is now based. Constant previously appeared in the 2018 film “Following Phil” and has had roles in several shorts before landing the part in “Young Rock.” Constant is a die-hard sports fan who also enjoys gaming, bass fishing and golfing.

 

 

 

 

Uli Latukefu

Dwayne Johnson (age 18-20), “Young Rock”

YOUNG ROCK -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: Uli Latukefu as Dwayne Johnson -- (Photo by: Mark Taylor/NBC)
Uli Latukefu plays 18-20-year-old Dwayne Johnson on the new NBC comedy “Young Rock.” Latukefu will next be seen in Taika Waititi’s feature “Next Goal Wins,” opposite Michael Fassbender and Elizabeth Moss, and was most recently seen in Kriv Stenders’ feature “Danger Close” as well as the new Foxtel drama series “The End.” He also starred in the comedy series “Sando,” the third season of the Nine Network’s “Doctor Doctor” and the drama series “Harrow.” Other screen credits include Ridley Scott’s feature “Alien: Covenant” and Netflix’s epic drama “Marco Polo.” Latukefu was previously featured in Chris Lilley’s “Jonah From Tonga” and the critically acclaimed Foxtel series “Devil’s Playground,” which was awarded the 2015 Silver Logie for Most Outstanding Telemovie and the 2015 AACTA Award for Best Telefeature or Miniseries. He made his Broadway debut in “Peter Pan” at New York’s New Victory Theatre, graduated from Australia’s prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in 2012 and was a 2016 Heath Ledger Scholarship finalist.

 

Adrian Groulx

Dwayne Johnson (age 10), “Young Rock”

YOUNG ROCK -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: Adrian Groulx as Dwayne Johnson -- (Photo by: Mark Taylor/NBC)
Adrian Groulx plays 10-year-old Dwayne Johnson on the new NBC comedy “Young Rock.” Groulx is a Toronto-based actor who will next be seen on the Apple+ series “See,” starring Jason Momoa. Previously, he was a series regular on the CBC series “The Adventures of Napkin Man” and also appeared in the Hallmark Channel movie “The Christmas Cure.” In his free time, Groulx enjoys playing sports and spending time with his family.

 

 

 

 

 

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Bradley Constant, Uli Latukefu and Adrian Groulx of "Young Rock" on NBC

Interview with Ana Tuisila and Matthew Willig

TV Interview!

Ana Tuisila and Matthew Willig of "Young Rock" on NBC

Interview with Ana Tuisila and Matthew Willig of “Young Rock” on NBC  on Lifetime by Thane 3/9/22

Willig plays family friend “André the Giant” and Tuisila plays Lia, the feisty grandma of young Dewey. It was quite a treat to speak with them. They do a great job on the show. I was especially interested to hear from Tuisila because we’re both from New Zealand! I was looking forward to asking Willig about how they got him a similar height to Andre the great, and his answer didn’t disappoint.

Question: Hi, Matthew, did you have any trepidation about playing a legend like Andre the Giant? Because you know, wrestling fans like me, we take Andre pretty seriously.

Matthew: [Laughs] You know, I didn’t…I think I was so into it right away and so excited about doing it that by the time, you know — literally as I booked the job, I was already watching videos and starting the voice process of it all. There’s no question that every now and then I will pause and say, “God, I hope to God that I am giving it some justice,” because that is so important to me.

After season one, I did have some really nice feedback, which is important. Number one, from Dwayne; and number two, from some people who either knew of Andre or knew him back in the day. So I’m not going to be perfect. I know it’s my interpretation. But yes, there’s obviously some trepidation.

It can be…there has been a few moments where I said, “God, am I even close?” You know, to this. But again, it’s my interpretation. I’m always bringing the love, trying to be honest as I can with it. And I’m hoping that’s kind of getting through.

Question: I just love the friendship between young Dewey and Andre. It’s probably my favorite thing about the show. And I’m wondering how we will see that continue to develop in season 2?

Matthew: Thank you. It’s obviously it’s my favorite part as well. And it’s something that I think, you know, people were not only shocked that there was that relationship, but number two, that it was close like that.

Yes, season two, you will see some more of Big Andre imposing his knowledge on little Dewey as he moves forward in life. The stakes are getting higher. The things that little Dewey is worrying about — girls, things like that, you know, love… Andre has some things to say and kind of, you know, as we go along, we see him sort of setting him straight. I’m looking forward to your guys seeing him, at least.

Question: Ana, we saw last season that your character was fighting to keep her wrestlers on her payroll. How will we see her handling her employees this season? And what kind of obstacles will she be facing as the promoter?

Ana: Thank you for the question. I couldn’t wait to answer your question because I’m so excited about season two, because you’re going to see more of Lia, in terms of answering that question. So just wait for season two because all will be revealed. There’s so there’s going to be more of her and her relationship with the so-called promoters in the wrestling field, and how she copes with trying to maintain her own business. So it’ll all be revealed in season two, and it’s more fun and funnier…a lot of, un-PC things will be happening. but, yeah, she gets the business rolling. And yes, it’s going to be in season two. So it’d be more about that to come. Yeah.

Question: Matthew, what kind of insight Did Dwayne offer you into his relationship with Andre when he was a kid?

Matthew: You know, it started with the fact that he called him Uncle Andre. He was literally that sort of character for him. You know, he was someone that was around that period a lot, always in and out of Hawaii. So, at that age, he didn’t see as the scary Andre. He saw the loving Andre, who he was. He used to treat him like a jungle gym, you know? So there was sort of that part of it, and Duane said right away, number one, the man embodied respect, which he learned very early on. And number two, there was a lot of love that he felt for young people and people his age. And he kind of even felt that back then, that Andre was almost like a kid himself. And I think we can appreciate the fact that someone that large and sort of that, uh, scary to a certain degree, the fact that he has that other side of him that is this loving, genuinely caring sort of individual. And so those are the kinds of things that Dwayne told me right off the bat and what has kind of led me into the character that I portrayed in the last two seasons.

Thane: Matthew, you are shorter than the real Andre. Do they give you lifts for your shoes, or (did they) just (use) camera angles to make you look taller?

Matthew: (Laughs) I’m always rooting for camera angles, but I will say that, when we first started, especially, there were lifts in my wrestling boots and also in the boots that I wore for everyday dress, which was a pain in the ass. I gotta be honest. I had a whole new appreciation for women and when they wear heels because I was basically wearing heels on set. So, yeah, so there’s that. Listen, I’m never going to be seven-foot-whatever Andre was, but I think even being 6’7/ 6’8, you know, I think we’re able to play with that and have that sort of distinction between,the normal size person and what Andre was.

Thane: Ana, what preparation did you do, if any, to play the role, since it’s based on a real person?

Ana: Very little is known about Lia Maivia, so the only preparation I had was help from, Dwayne Johnson, and his mother, Ata. So I asked for any dialogue or any tapes of…Well, they don’t call them tapes these days… Anything that could give me some idea of how she spoke. So, it was more information from Ata and Dwayne Johnson, and my own experience as a Samoan woman and mother sort of helped the role a bit because it’s very similar in terms of how strong and fearless she is. I mean, my own mother and mother-in-law are of the same ilk. So, in terms of that it wasn’t so hard. From knowing who Lia was, just feedback and information and advice from Dwayne and his mother, Ata.

Question: Ana, Lia is such a fun over-the-top character. Did you get notes from the family about how far you could take her?

Ana: Thank you. That’s a great question, but, no, I didn’t get any… limitation from the parents as how far. But from those that knew Lia, like Jeff Chiang, the writer… he grew up with knowing who Lia was. And Brian Gewirtz from Seven Bucks. They knew Lia, and they would say to me, “She was a hard case woman.” and “She had a great sense of humor and, you know, some of us were quite scared of it.” So it was all information from people who knew – and are part of the production team – who she was. So, it was just that information. And from, as I said before, Ata and Dwayne of who their mother was, and no, I just went with how it was written, from my own experience. And then, you know, from the producers and the writers (who would sometimes say, “Stop, I never got that.” So I think it’s more around experience and how the writers wanted it, and how the direction… so, and the family said, you know, they didn’t give me any, “don’t go too far because she’s–” I know from my own experiences.. (sound garbled here) But I must say she was a very un-PC woman, you know, if there’s such a word… she would just let fly. And that was wonderful. That’s the wonderful thing about her, that you can just say things, that you can wear slapping gloves and slap the wrestlers around. I love that. and it’s how she was and a lot of fun. Yeah.

Question: I love the relationship between Lia and Ata… she’s kind of overbearing, but also very loving and supportive. What kind of relationship, or at least, what kind of dialogue do they tell you about the relationship that the two of them shared?

Ana: Well, there’d be more of that in season two. There’ll be a lot of revelation around that relationship between Ata and Lia, in terms of passing on the business. And so, there are some twists and turns…but in terms of dialogue around their relationship, again, it’s about experience between mother and daughter, being a mother and a daughter of a similar age. So, I guess it’s the same with how I answered Stephanie’s question as a lot of feedback from the writers, from the production team who knew the relationship between these two. So there’s a lot of direction, a lot of advice and feedback, but also, from personal experience… and it’s also between Stacy and I, like, “Hmm, I don’t feel comfortable about that. Can we change?” So there was also some, Some vehicle for both Stacy and I to ask the writers if we could change a little bit so that it made it a bit more comfortable and a bit more real.

So there was a lot of talking behind the scenes before we filmed. So, I guess that’s what came across, which is really, really good to hear that it’s portrayed that way. And that’s how it was — a lot of work, but. you know, a lot of good personal experiences. Yes.

 

Watch our other “Young Rock” Interviews with Stacey Leilua and Joseph Lee Anderson and Bradley Constant, Uli Latukefu and Adrian Groulx

MORE INFO:

Young Rock

Tuesdays on NBC (8-8:30 p.m. ET); Season Premiere: March 15

The second season of “Young Rock” delves back into Dwayne Johnson’s life, continuing the storylines from season one while also introducing new chapters we haven’t yet seen. As Dwayne and his loving, resilient family face new challenges and meet new wild characters of professional wrestling, Dwayne contemplates embracing the grind of professional wrestling himself. The show will explore the crazy rollercoaster that has shaped Dwayne into the man he is today and the larger-than-life people he’s met along the way.

Dwayne Johnson, Joseph Lee Anderson, Stacey Leilua, Ana Tuisila, Adrian Groulx, Bradley Constant, Uli Latukefu, Fasitua Amosa, John Tui and Matthew Willig star.

Created by Nahnatchka Khan and Jeff Chiang and inspired by Dwayne Johnson’s life. Nahnatchka Khan, Jeff Chiang, Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, Jennifer Carreras, Hiram Garcia, Brian Gewirtz and Jeffrey Walker serve as executive producers.

“Young Rock” is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, Seven Bucks Productions and Fierce Baby Productions.

Ana Tuisila

Lia Maivia, “Young Rock”

YOUNG ROCK -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: Ana Tuisila as Lia Maivia -- (Photo by: Mark Taylor/NBC)
Ana Tuisila stars as Lia Maivia on NBC’s new comedy “Young Rock.” Tuisila’s career spans over two decades in film, television and theater. Her most memorable performance is in “The Songmaker’s Chair,” a stage production written by esteemed international author, poet and playwright Albert Wendt, and directed by Nathaniel Lees and Nancy Brunning. Following a successful season, the show later participated in the International Arts Festival at Te Papa Museum in New Zealand. Tuisila has starred in two short films on location in Samoa, Vai and Liliu, which have both been recognized throughout film festivals globally. She speaks fluent Samoan as well as having familiarity with other Pacific languages.
YOUNG ROCK -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: (l-r) Matthew Willig as Andre The Giant, Adrian Groulx as Dwayne Johnson -- (Photo by: Mark Taylor/NBC)Matthew Joseph Willig (born January 21, 1969) is an American actor and former American football offensive tackle in the National Football League.

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Ana Tuisila and Matthew Willig of "Young Rock" on NBC

Interview with Stacey Leilua and Joseph Lee Anderson

TV Interview!

Stacey Leilua and Joseph Lee Anderson of "Young Roung" on NBC

Interview with Stacey Leilua and Joseph Lee Anderson of “Young Rock” on NBC by Thane 3/9/22

It was wonderful to talk to these two actors. They clearly have a great time playing young Dewey’s parents.

 

The transcript will be up soon. Enjoy the video!

Watch our other “Young Rock” Interviews with Ana Tuisila and Matthew Willig and Bradley Constant, Uli Latukefu and Adrian Groulx

MORE INFO:

Young Rock

Tuesdays on NBC (8-8:30 p.m. ET); Season Premiere: March 15

The second season of “Young Rock” delves back into Dwayne Johnson’s life, continuing the storylines from season one while also introducing new chapters we haven’t yet seen. As Dwayne and his loving, resilient family face new challenges and meet new wild characters of professional wrestling, Dwayne contemplates embracing the grind of professional wrestling himself. The show will explore the crazy rollercoaster that has shaped Dwayne into the man he is today and the larger-than-life people he’s met along the way.

Dwayne Johnson, Joseph Lee Anderson, Stacey Leilua, Ana Tuisila, Adrian Groulx, Bradley Constant, Uli Latukefu, Fasitua Amosa, John Tui and Matthew Willig star.

Created by Nahnatchka Khan and Jeff Chiang and inspired by Dwayne Johnson’s life. Nahnatchka Khan, Jeff Chiang, Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, Jennifer Carreras, Hiram Garcia, Brian Gewirtz and Jeffrey Walker serve as executive producers.

“Young Rock” is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, Seven Bucks Productions and Fierce Baby Productions.

Joseph Lee Anderson

Rocky Johnson, “Young Rock”

YOUNG ROCK -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: Joseph Lee Anderson as Rocky Johnson -- (Photo by: Mark Taylor/NBC)
Joseph Lee Anderson plays Rocky Johnson in the NBC comedy series “Young Rock.” Anderson has appeared in the Oscar-nominated film “Harriet,” recurred on “S.W.A.T.” and has guest starred on “Timeless,” “American Soul” and others. He also directed and starred in the critically acclaimed short film “The Jog,” which premiered at South By Southwest. A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stacey Leilua

Ata Johnson, “Young Rock”

YOUNG ROCK -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: Stacey Leilua as Ata Johnson -- (Photo by: Mark Taylor/NBC)
Stacey Leilua plays Ata Johnson on the new NBC comedy “Young Rock.” Leilua is of Samoan, Maori and English heritage and based in New Zealand. She graduated from one of New Zealand’s leading drama schools: UNITEC School of Performing & Screen Arts, where she majored in acting. Leilua has worked on a variety of productions, including New Zealand’s longest-running series, Shortland Street.” Other credits of note are the UK/NZ feature film ”Love Birds” and the highly acclaimed web series “The Factory,” which she also co-executive produced alongside Kila Kokonut Krew under the mentorship of Robin Scholes, one of New Zealand’s most well-known producers. Leilua has also worked as a presenter (“Homai Te Paki Paki”) and director with the South Auckland-based theatre company Kila Kokonut Krew. Most recently she performed in Tusiata Avia’s ”Wild Dogs Under My Skirt,” which won Production of the Year at the 2018 Wellington Theatre Awards. The production was picked up for a season at the Soho Playhouse in New York in January 2020 where it played to full houses every night.

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Stacey Leilua and Joseph Lee Anderson of "Young Roung" on NBC

Interview with Mike Cabellon and Bobby Moynihan

TV Interview!

Mike Cabellon and Bobby Moynihan of "Mr. Mayor" on NBC

Interview with Mike Cabellon and Bobby Moynihan of “Mr. Mayor” on NBC by Suzanne 3/8/22

These NBC panels are always fun. We had 3 interviews with the top 6 cast members of this funny show. You may know Moynihan from “Saturday NIght Live.”  These guys are both really funny, as you’ll see in the video. It was just great fun to chat with them. It was like having our own personal SNL comedians to perform for us.

 

Enjoy the video! Here’s the transcript:

Ross: Hi guys, I’m Ross Crystal from Showbiz Express, and thank you for taking time out to do this. Really appreciate it. Let me start with Bobby. Describe — as we move into the new season — describe your character and how it changes because you’re the Comms guy.

Bobby: I’m the comms director, that is correct. Jayden grows up a little bit this season. He’s got to make some hard decisions; no more living in Mom’s basement. He gets his own apartment. He starts to become a little more independent, and he’s got to do his job, and he’s got to make some real decisions at work, and we see how that affects him and how insane it makes him. [Chuckles]

Ross: I’ll keep to the one and come back, If I may, do a follow-up.

Suzanne Hi, my name is Suzanne, and I run TVMEG.COM. Let’s see… Mike, if you had to do Tommy’s job in real life, could you do it well?

Mike: Oh, God. No, not in the slightest. [Laughs] The Strategist, as I found in my research before season one, I found is primarily a campaign role, and you kinda just go from campaign to campaign. So in that sense, I was like, oh, yeah, it’s kind of like acting, or going from gig to gig. But then when you look at the actual job of, like, trying to advise a politician on what to do next…? I’m the most indecisive person in the world. If I sit at a diner.. you know how, like, a diner is like a menu, it’s like a book? I’m like, I’ll be there for an hour before I can decide. So I would be absolute trash at this job. [Everyone laughs]

Suzanne: All right. And, Bobby, how are you and Jayden the same, and how are you different?

Bobby: Just clothes. Just clothing choices. [Laughs] No, I think we are similar in some ways and very different in many others. There’s an innocence to both of us that I wish I didn’t have as much as Jayden does. Jayden, dollar-heart, nickel-brain on Jayden. But I think Jayden’s a little smarter than he thinks he is. For me in real life, the jury’s still out. We’ll see.

Suzanne: Thank you.

Karen: Hi, I’m Karen Moul from Scifivision.com. We have some new characters in the office this year with the I team showing up, and I was hoping you guys could talk a little bit about how that affects the dynamic in the office and your characters, I guess, without spoiling too much. And maybe Mike could speak first for a sec?

Mike: Sure. this is sort of, I think, one of the big character arcs for Tommy this season… In season one, I feel like Tommy is not expressly antagonistic or whatever in the office, but he thinks he’s better than everyone. So as soon as the I Team is introduced, he sort of sides with everyone else because now they’re like new outsiders to hate on, and I think that it’s this really interesting dynamic because, like, all the interoffice dynamics that exist in season one kind of shift, in light of these new people coming in. And that’s been such an exciting dynamic play this season because, it’s all new and it feels fresh from last season.

Karen: Thank you.

Bobby: Yeah. Towards the end of the season we get — I don’t want to spoil anything — but we get some, some awesome, really wonderful new characters, like, wonderful television characters. I can’t spoil anything, but it gets better and better.

Mike: Yeah.

Karen: Great. Thank you.

Dano: Hi, Dano from The Nocturnal. So, sitcoms are kind of built off chemistry, but your characters have this sort of, anti- chemistry. You’re at loggerheads with one another, and I was wondering, now that you’re on season two, how that, you know, off-screen chemistry between you two and comedic, you know, rapport between you, how does that change in this new season?

Bobby: I always feel like Tommy is my older brother, even though he’s younger than me. We’ll show, like, Jayden — and I feel like there’s a lot, like, they get closer, but also, like, brothers…We have a “Succession” relationship this season, and I can’t wait for people to see it. It’s so much fun!

Mike: No matter how close we get, we’re never more than a step away from like giving each other a noogie, you know what I mean?

Dano: Is that in real life, too? Or just with the characters?

Mike: In real life, it’s constant noogies. That’s how we greet each other in the morning in the makeup trailer. It’s like, “Hey, I know you have to do his hair, but one second… let me just mess it up a little.”

Bobby: He’s a bully. Mike bullies me constantly. No, I love Mike. It’s the best. I think we’re two sweet gentlemen who plays two sweet gentlemen, also, who don’t get along, but they try to. Jayden’s a lot. I don’t know if I would get along with Jayden. [Laughter]

Ross: Mike, if I can ask you… well, actually both of you, but Mike, you’ve got a background in sketch comedy. How does sketch comedy really aid you, or in some ways, perhaps not, in this show?

Mike: First of all, thank you for acknowledging that I am the foremost authority on sketch comedy on this cast.

Bobby: [Laughs]

Mike: I will say one thing that sketch comedy prepares you to do is get off-book really quickly because you’re getting rewrites and scripts day of, and the amount of material that Tina Fey and Robert Carlock churn through is… you could make a whole ‘nother show just with, like, the reject pile that they write. And so frequently, we’ll get these new sides. And, I’m grateful that I have years of experience of just like looking at a page and going, “Okay, got it” and being able to go in, and fully inhabit a character like on the spot without thinking too deeply about it, which, you know, is why I’ll never win an academy award like Holly Hunter, because she really gets deep into character, and I’m very shallow, very surface level there. But I think that that is, like a hard skill that I think is underrated for a lot of actors.

Ross: And Bobby, I mean, for you, how much does SNL come into play here? How much does that experience there come in here? How much latitude do you have?

Bobby: It’s a similar experience in the sense of, I think, Tina and Robert are people who went through the SNL machine and, two of the best, easily, to do it. And I think that they have now created a couple different universes in television, a couple of different TV shows where it’s their thing, and this is how they do it. And it’s very SNL-inspired, which means everyone is expected to be great and do great. And they do. But it doesn’t have the complete terror and anxiety that SNL does. And we get to go home and sleep at normal hours because Ted Danson’s contract is great. [Chuckles] Tt’s wonderful. It’s the best. I’m very familiar with that world of, like, “let’s create this wonderful thing and do it with all these very, very talented people.” And they’ve amassed an insanely talented crew and cast and makes it very easy and fun.

Dano: Does anything change or evolve with that — your collaborative relationship with the Tina Fey over the years?

Bobby: Yeah, I’m less terrified. In the beginning, I mean… I think she’s the most influential person that ever walked through those doors at SNL. She’s brilliant, and she has created so much from it, and I was in awe of her. My first episode of SNL was the first time she did Sarah Palin, and it was my first time doing the show, and I just stopped everything to watch her do it, and was just, like, “Look at this! Look at her and Amy!” It was nuts. But now… I text her now. I’ve gotten to the point where I feel comfortable texting her and not like a child when I do that. [Laughs]

Suzanne: For both of you– do you get to do any kind of improvisation or ad-libbing, or is only what’s on the page?

Mike: We do get to improvise a lot. I think, regardless of the show, Bobby and I probably would, anyway, because we can’t help ourselves. But the funny thing is, maybe 2% of the ad-libs make it into the final cut because Tina and Robert make such perfect scripts right off the bat that they don’t need improvement. They don’t need to be supplemented or augmented by whatever stupid thoughts we’re having on the day. But we do get to play around a lot. Usually we’ll do a few takes as scripted, and then we’ll do a couple of… we play around, and then the editor just throws it right in the garbage.

Bobby: All these improvs are few and far between, but they are assassin precise and he often gets them in.

Suzanne: Wow.

Bobby: I would say, he’s the most successful.

Suzanne: Well, I hope they show up in the DVD as extras or something. That would be cool.

Mike: I hope we get DVDs. That physical object would be great.

Suzanne: Thank you.

Karen: One of the great things about the show, is the way it takes on some very real political issues in LA. In the first five episodes, there seems to be a little bit of a through line with the very real homeless issue. I wonder if you could maybe just tease or preview for our readers, some of the topics, both serious and absurd that the show might take on this season.

Bobby: I think this season is about the mayor trying to do his job better and really trying to make a difference… And what he thinks that is best for LA and kind of the rest of the people dealing with that, and deciding if those choices are the right choices, or if he’s doing it to be, you know, for himself, or is he doing it really for the city? I think that’s a lot… what this season is about.

Mike: I think our writers do a really good job of not trying to make any statements about how the world should be run in real life. Although, this season, Jayden does have one idea that sort of unifies LA with the rest of the world; but it is a good idea, but I don’t think our writers are ever, you know, prescriptive of thinking they could do a better job in politics. I think we’re kind of towing the line of, okay, this show takes place in the political realm, but we’re not here to say that we’re experts on the matter, in any sense.

Bobby: Although I would love president Tina Fey. I think I would take that.

Mike: Heh, heh.

Ross: And then doing your research, do you ever take a trip down to City Hhall?

Mike: We did, in season one, before we shot the pilot, a few of us went down to City Hall and got the real pins that we wear on our lapels in the show, which is cool. I don’t think we go back too frequently, though.

Bobby: I’m there now. I’m there every day. [Laughter]

Ross: Do you find the humor right there?

Mike: There is a certain kind of humor that you can observe just by walking around the halls. We sat in on, like, a public hearing, and I think that that is well-worn territory, thanks to “Parks and Rec,” so I don’t know how much of that we’ll be doing… but there are given characters in any great American city, and Los Angeles certainly has, some of the bigger characters I’ve ever seen.

Suzanne: Do you ever get any feedback from people in LA about how your show handles Los Angeles and the people in it?

Mike: Yeah, actually, yeah. I’ve heard from a lot of people who either worked in LA City Hall or other local politics and are pleasantly surprised at how… it’s funny because they say that we nailed the minutiae of being in an office really well. And I think that speaks to the universality of, like, it doesn’t matter what industry we’re in, because we’re not aiming to specifically try and be like, “This is what it’s like to work in City Hall.” It’s more, just an office comedy. I think that’s what makes every office comedy sort of relatable.

Bobby: No one brings it up to me cause I haven’t– I don’t leave the house. [Laughter]

Mike: “Notorious recluse Bobby Moynihan.”

Check out our other “Mr. Mayor” interviews with Ted Danson and Holly Hunter and  Vella Lovell and Kyla Kenedy

MORE INFO:

Trailer

Mr. Mayor PosterSeason Premiere: March 15

“Mr. Mayor” follows a retired businessman (Ted Danson) who runs for mayor of Los Angeles to prove he’s “still got it.” Once he wins, he has to figure out what he stands for, gain the respect of his biggest critic (Holly Hunter) and connect with his teenage daughter, all while trying to get anything right for America’s second weirdest city.
The series stars Ted Danson, Holly Hunter, Vella Lovell, Mike Cabellon, Kyla Kenedy and Bobby Moynihan.
“Mr. Mayor” is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, Little Stranger, Bevel Gears and 3 Arts Entertainment. Robert Carlock, Tina Fey, Jeff Richmond and David Miner will executive produce. Eric Gurian will serve as a co-executive producer.

Mike Cabellon

Tommy Tomás, “Mr. Mayor”

MR. MAYOR -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: Mike Cabellon as Tommy Tomas -- (Photo by: Robert Trachtenberg/NBC)

Mike Cabellon stars as Chief Strategist Tommy Tomás on NBC’s new comedy “Mr. Mayor.”

Mike Cabellon is a Los Angeles-based Filipino-American actor (“Orange Is the New Black,” “Crashing”) and writer (Comedy Central). He was trained at UCB and is currently an active performer, director, producer and head writer for Webby Award-winning “Story Pirates” podcast.

Cabellon and his sketch team GEIL have created countless sketches and two acclaimed web series: “Early to Rise” (2020) and “Night Crew” (2018). “Early to Rise” won the Audience Award at the 2020 SeriesFest. “Night Crew” premiered on Comedy Central’s digital channels after becoming an official selection for the New York Television Festival, where they landed a development deal with Comedy Central. Together, GEIL has appeared on FunnyOrDie and Adult Swim, as well as screened sketches at Quickie Fest and Red Hot Video Fun Time.

Cabellon’s time in New York included five straight seasons with the BoogieManja sketch program, putting up a new sketch show every single month at the PIT Theater, as well as five straight years of hosting a bar quiz every week with Geeks Who Drink.

He has performed on stages all over the country, including the Del Close Marathon, Comedy Hack Day, Austin Sketch Fest, Frigid Fest (part of the U.S. Association of Fringe Festivals), UCB’s 3×3 Tournament, NYC Improv Festival, SHRTWV Short Theater Festival, Penn Station Area Sketch Fest and a paid corporate improv show on the Las Vegas strip when he was 16. Notable live shows include “Mike Cabellon Is: The Bachelor – LIVE!” a small role in “Hockey Cops,” and hosting “Witching Hour” featuring Jo Firestone and Aparna Nancherla.

His last name rhymes with babylon, grab a swan, crab ’n’ prawn, slab of flan, drab chiffon or lab/salon.

Cabellon is a member of SAG-AFTRA and is represented by Authentic Talent & Literary Management, CAA, and Frankfurt Kurnit.

Bobby Moynihan

Jayden Kwapis, “Mr. Mayor”

MR. MAYOR -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: Bobby Moynihan as Jayden Kwapis -- (Photo by: Robert Trachtenberg/NBC)

Bobby Moynihan stars as Jayden Kwapis in the NBC comedy “Mr. Mayor.”

Moynihan was a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” for nine seasons where he originated beloved characters such as Drunk Uncle and co-wrote and appeared in the popular David S. Pumpkins sketch starring Tom Hanks, which spawned a Halloween animated special for NBC  and is now streaming on Hulu.

Moynihan’s other television credits include “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Documentary Now!,” “Drunk History,” “The Simpsons,” “Miracle Workers,” “Girls,” “Portlandia” and “Me, Myself & I.” His voiceover credits range from Cartoon Network’s “We Bare Bears,” “DuckTales” and “Stars Wars Resistance,” both for DisneyXD.

On the film side, Moynihan’s voice talents can be heard on Pixar’s “Inside Out” and “Monsters University,” as well as other features.

His all-improvised podcast on Stitcher, “Celebrity Sighting! with Jonathan Biting!” features Moynihan as the always candid and always hammered Jonathan Biting talking to guests about their celebrity encounters.

 

 

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Mr. Mayor - Season 2 Cast

Interview with Vella Lovell and Kyle Kenedy

TV Interview!

Kyla Kenedy and Vella Lovell of "Mr. Mayor" on NBC

Interview with Kyla Kenedy and Vella Lovell of “Mr. Mayor” on NBC by Suzanne 3/8/22

This was a fun panel day that we had with the 6 main actors from the show. These two women were paired together. We had a lot of fun, as you can see in the video. It was great to ask them about the show, which is very funny and returns 3/15 on NBC.

 

Kyla: Hello! How is everyone?

Ross: Doing well And thank you. Thank you for joining us and doing this. And, let me begin with Kyla, you’ve got an interesting role, and first step out, you’re at the DMV.

Kyla: Right.

Ross: First of all, was that the real DMV, a phony DMV? What’d you guys do there?

Kyla: It was actually an old police station, but it felt just like a real DMV. I had just gotten my license pretty close to where we shot that, and I felt like I was going back in time a little bit. I mean, down to the lines you, ’cause you know, you do so much waiting around on set that I truly, around hour five, was like, “I am in a real DMV right now.”

Ross: And for both of you, what is new for you this season? Different direction, different way you were approaching the role? Vella?

Vella: Well, my character gets a love interest this season. So that was a totally new dynamic, to get to work with someone new, Yedoye Travis, who’s amazing, and to kind of see that different side of your character. You know, you audition for these shows, and you have two scenes, and you can’t possibly get to every color of a character in that audition. So it’s really fun to, you know, two years in, discover new colors. And how does Mikayla fall in love, and how does Mikayla ask someone out? And all of those different things.

Vella: Yeah, I think this season Orly gets to spend a lot more time in the office with her dad, which was just really fun – a side of her that we really didn’t dive into that much in season one. And she kind of gets to interact with everyone else in the office more, which leads to some pretty fun storylines and some interesting situations. But that, that was so much funding to do this season.

Ross: Very cool.

Suzanne: Vella, you got to sing a lot in “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” Will there be any singing on the show this season?

Vella: Well, unfortunately, I think we established that Mikayla is a terrible singer. So…I actually think there is a little bit of singing. I’m not sure if they’ve cut it or not, but it’s not great. I’m going to go ahead and say that,

Kyla: We got blessed a little [laughs].

Vella: Yeah. It’s not, it’s off very off key. So apologies…

Suzanne: I liked the Christmas song that you all did, even though most of you weren’t doing anything but humming or whatever.

Kyla: Yeah, it was hard.

Vella: Yeah. That was fun.

Dano: Dano from The Nocturnal. So I’m a Los Angeles native myself, and a lot of stuff with the show really hits very close to home. So I was wondering what (for both of you)– Kyla, you have the relationship with the very embarrassing father and, Vella, you’re a young professional navigating life in LA… if there’s any moments where like, you’re reading the script and you’re like, “Oh man, this is just way too real.”

Kyla: Yeah, I think that happens all the time. Like, our writing is so, so good that I think there’s a little bit of truth behind every joke, which is what makes the show so special and fun to watch. But, no, I definitely have so many moments, even when we’re filming a scene where I’m like, “This could absolutely happen tomorrow in a Whole Foods.”

Vella: Yeah, I think there was one script that ended up getting… this part, got cut, but McKayla was in a long distance relationship with someone who lived in Venice. And that is a real thing in LA, when you live on the east side and someone lives on the west side, it truly feels long distance. So there’s a lot of things that just creep up and are very… they’re very… they’re so real that they’re hilarious.

Karen: I was going to ask a similar question. There are ways in which the show feels a little bit like “Seinfeld” did about New York city. That if, you know… if you’re from New York, there was this extra layer of humor there. I actually really wanted to ask Kyla, however, in particular, you are the one…maybe you are the youngest, and Orly spends a lot of time, like, schooling her father. “You can’t say that, you can’t do that. That’s not how you use Tik Tok.” And I wonder how much of that you’re drawing from your real life? And I, you know, Ted’s the same age as this character, right? And you’re working with a lot of older people, and is this happening on set?

Kyla: I mean, a little bit. I do think there have been moments, like, Ted and I did a fun little video where I told him like, slang that me and my peers were using, and he would try and guess the meaning of it. But there are definitely so many funny moments, but we’ll do a table reading, and Ted would kind of fidget, [and say], “So, what does this mean exactly?” But I think that, you know, that’s the fun of it, and that’s what makes the show so special because it is like real life. There are times when my mom will call me and go, “What does this mean? Somebody just texted me this and I have no idea how I’m supposed to respond.” But yeah, no, there’s definitely a lot of truth behind it.

Vella: I mean, I have to ask Kyla how she knows what to post on Tik ToK. ‘Cause I don’t, and how to work it, or how you know what to post. And she’s just…

Kyla: Right? I know, we like, just kind of.. right when the season ended, all started talking about potentially next season, maybe making a (???) video together, figuring it out myself if I’m being honest.

Vella: You’re gonna have to spearhead that.

Kyla: Yeah, right? I go in with a lot of false confidence and that’s really how I get through it.

Ross: On camera, you guys have become a very reverent family, and listening to you right now, you’ve got those qualities. Was there a bonding that came very quickly? Did it take awhile, Vella? What was that like for the cast – and Kyla, too – what was that like for you guys?

Vella: Yeah. I mean, we had only shot, I think, a month or two when we got shut down for COVID. So a lot of our bonding, I think, came during COVID in that time. We would just zoom a lot, and check in on each other, and we have our text chain, and I think we kind of skipped a few steps in terms of working together for months and slowly getting to know each other.
We just went straight to “How are you doing? Are you okay? What’s going on? How’s your family?”

Kyla: I think most of the time when you start a new series, you know, you’re kind of interacting with everyone in between breaks on set. And then when you rehearse, you’re doing your lines and whatnot, and then you all go home for the day. So with us being in zoom within the first month, you guys knew what my bedroom looked like, my cat, my family situation… I think we all just kind of had nothing but time. So it was like a hundred lunch breaks, all put into, like, how many months? So we did definitely come back to it, filming, like we were going into season five of our show – relationship-wise, just because we bonded so much.

Suzanne: Kyla, you were on CSI about 10 years ago when Ted Danson was starring in it. Did you have scenes with him then? And did he remember you when you started this show?

Kyla: Okay. So I did do CSI, but to preface it, I was a corpse.

(Laughter)

Kyla: So Ted and I did have a scene, but it was me lying in a bed, no longer living. So it wasn’t anything too memorable, but I think it was one of those things where we had talked about it, he kind of remembered…? Yes, no, but I was like eight and I didn’t say anything. I just kind of got to go to craft services, eat a lot of food and sleep for 20 minutes. It was a pretty sweet deal. But I think, I think I definitely do probably remember it a little bit more.

Vella: I did not know that.

Suzanne: So, bow that they’ve brought the show back, Vella, that’s your chance. You’ve got to go play a dead body on the new CSI.

Kyla: Yeah, everybody’s doing it.

Vella: I would love to. It sounds — it sounds very relaxing.

Suzanne: You can’t move, though. That’s the only thing.

Dano: One of my favorite Super Bowl commercials last month was the NBC one with Ted Danson. I was wondering if you guys, you know, how you reacted to that, if you’re roasted a bit for that, or… yeah. What were your thoughts on that?

Vella: I think I just texted, like, “Ted!” or something… It was the one where he’s the king of NBC, right?

Dano: Right, And then every other NBC person’s getting annoyed, you know, that Ted, or Keenan, “why not me?” You know?

Vella: Well, it’s the 40th anniversary of “Cheers,” so, I mean, it’s hard to (???)

Kyla: Right, he earned it.

Vella: He earned it. 40 years on a network. I mean, that’s… that’s pretty impressive. I don’t think we roasted him at all. Maybe we should!

Kyla: We can designate somebody to come through.

Vella: “Hey, man…”

Karen: I wanted to ask you guys: I think all of us have seen the first five episodes and, we’ve seen some really fun guest stars on, mostly with Ted. Do you guys get any like good guest star time this year? Do you want to tease anything about who you got to work with, or are you not allowed to say?

Vella: I don’t know. I know there’s some great people that come through. I don’t think, oh, there’s an amazing person that we got to work with, but yeah. I don’t know if we’re supposed to, I don’t know if we can talk about them, I guess.

Host: Not at this point, but excited for you guys to see all the many surprises coming up for this season.

Vella: Yeah. There’s some really great people– some really great comedy people.

Kyla: I guess we think, everyone, because of who’s behind the show. I feel really lucky. I’ve noticed everyone that comes in – even if they have one line – they are so on point, and are so amazing and really do the best job that they possibly can, which I think makes every scene so special. So I do always look forward to, you know, when we read the script to seeing who’s going to come in and who’s gonna play this crazy role. But we have, we have a lot of funny, funny characters that pop in this season for sure.

Vella: Yeah, definitely.

Check out our other “Mr. Mayor” interviews with Ted Danson and Holly Hunter and Mike Cabellon and Bobby Moynihan

MORE INFO:

Trailer

Mr. Mayor PosterSeason Premiere: March 15

“Mr. Mayor” follows a retired businessman (Ted Danson) who runs for mayor of Los Angeles to prove he’s “still got it.” Once he wins, he has to figure out what he stands for, gain the respect of his biggest critic (Holly Hunter) and connect with his teenage daughter, all while trying to get anything right for America’s second weirdest city.
The series stars Ted Danson, Holly Hunter, Vella Lovell, Mike Cabellon, Kyla Kenedy and Bobby Moynihan.
“Mr. Mayor” is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, Little Stranger, Bevel Gears and 3 Arts Entertainment. Robert Carlock, Tina Fey, Jeff Richmond and David Miner will executive produce. Eric Gurian will serve as a co-executive producer.

Kyla Kenedy

Orly Bremer, “Mr. Mayor”

MR. MAYOR -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: Kyla Kenedy as Orly Bremer -- (Photo by: Robert Trachtenberg/NBC)

Kyla Kenedy stars as mayor Neil Bremer’s (Ted Danson) daughter Orly Bremer on NBC’s new comedy “Mr. Mayor.”

Kenedy has spent nearly a decade building an impressive resume for an actress her age. She has worked steadily in film and television and across multiple genres. She is most recognizable from her roles on the ABC sitcom “Speechless” and for her recurring role on the international hit show “The Walking Dead.”

For the younger set, Kenedy is known for her role as a regular on the Amazon series “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” On the big screen, she was last seen opposite Jeremy Sisto in the independent feature “Love Is All You Need?” for which she won the Best Actress Award at the Napa Valley Film Festival.

Kenedy began her career at 8 in Charleston, S.C., booking print and local jobs. She moved to Atlanta and quickly expanded to commercials and films, where she landed a small role in the Farrelly brothers feature film “The Three Stooges.” Shortly thereafter, Kenedy was cast in her first lead role as the title character in the award-winning made-for-TV movie “Raising Izzie,” for which she won the Grace Award at the 21st Movieguide Awards, and a Young Artist Award for Best Actress.

Kenedy relocated to Los Angeles and has gone on to appear in a steady stream of dramatic and comedic projects, including heavily recurring roles on “Night Shift” and “The New Normal” “for which she was again nominated for a Young Artist Award for Best Actress in a Guest Starring Role.

Kenedy currently lives in Los Angeles, and loves reading, traveling, and all outdoor activities.

Vella Lovell

Mikaela Shaw, “Mr. Mayor”

MR. MAYOR -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: Vella Lovell as Mikaela Shaw -- (Photo by: Robert Trachtenberg/NBC)

Vella Lovell stars as Chief of Staff Mikaela Shaw on the NBC comedy “Mr. Mayor.”

Lovell is best known for her standout series regular role as Heather Davis on all four seasons of CW’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” She is currently recurring in the new Amazon Prime coming-of-age series “As We See It.” Lovell is also the voice of Mermista in the animated Netflix series “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power” (2020 Critics’ Choice Nominee – Best Animated Series).

On the film side, she is best known for her role in the indie hit “The Big Sick” and recently starred in the Comedy Central holiday parody movie “A Clüsterfünke Christmas,” which was written and produced by “Saturday Night Live” alums Rachel Dratch and Ana Gasteyer.

A graduate from the Juilliard School, Lovell has a bachelor’s degree from New York University. While at Julliard, she played Anna Mae in Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottages’ “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark,” and Lady Macbeth in an adaptation of “Macbeth.” She has also performed in “The Bacchae,” directed by JoAnne Akalaitis at Shakespeare in the Park, and “The Great Recession” as well as “Kaspar Hauser” at the Flea Theater.

At Williamstown Theatre Festival, she was seen in “A Streetcar Named Desire,” directed by David Cromer, “When You’re Here” by Samuel Hunter and “Camp Monster.”

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Vella Lovell and Kyla Kennedy of "Mr. Mayor" on NBC

Interview with Ted Danson and Holly Hunter

TV Interview!

Holly Hunter and Ted Danson on Zoom interview for "Mr. Mayor" on NBC 3/8/22

Interview with Ted Danson and Holly Hunter of “Mr. Mayor” on NBC by Suzanne 3/8/22

It was so great to speak with these two legendary actors. Holly is an Oscar winner and of course, Ted Danson has been on TV for a very long time and is still bringing the laughs on this NBC show. They’re clearing having a great time. This was a press panel, so I was only able to ask one question. The other questions are from other journalists. I would have loved to have asked many more questions. Maybe someday I will! Don’t miss the show, which returns tomorrow, Tuesday night on NBC! It’s even funnier this season.

 

Ross: Hi guys. Ross Crystal from Showbiz Express. Ted, Holly, thank you so much for doing this and congratulations on the new season. Let me begin with you, Ted. How do we move into the new season? How does the mayor approach this new term, f I may?

Ted: Well, I think he probably has come to the realization that, just because he wanted to prove to himself and his daughter that life wasn’t over, and he ran to be mayor does not necessarily qualify him to be the mayor. [Chuckles] So this year he decides to right away hire somebody he calls the innovation team. You know, the brightest, youngest brains in California, to start shaping his administration and it creates a huge amount of friction in the office. It does provide a love affair for one of the characters, but it really just messes things up even more.

Ross: And Holly, Arpi is as annoying this time around as she’s ever been. What is it about this character that you love?

Holly: I’m just kind of gobsmacked by that. I hardly know how to proceed.

Ross: Hee, hee.

Ted: He’s an older white gentleman, Holly, you know, like the mayor…

Holly: Oh, right. It’s so interesting to think about the I team… the Innovation guys coming in… because Arpi works from…she’s like, old school. She is analog. And in a way, that’s the way city halls all across the United States operate. You know, they’re grassroots, from the ground up. “Can somebody please, tighten the manhole cover that is clattering every time a car goes over it?” I mean, you’ve got those kinds of issues that are coming into city hall. People screaming about whatever…the curbs not being at level on their street. I mean, it’s from the ground up that council members are dealing with issues in their city. From that, all the way to homelessness and traffic in Los Angeles. So the challenge for Arpi in this season, dealing with these Silicon Valley guys who come in with virtual reality approaches to problems is like…it’s so beyond annoying.

Ted: Yeah, I love that we’re in the age of man discovering the real meaning of mansplaining and beginning to realize that “Dear Lord, I never opened my mouth without actually starting to mansplain something.” And I think, you know, to have Neil Bremmer who has taken a sweet (he’s a good guy, but) a very shallow cut on life and is now explaining to Arpi how the city should be run. It has to be the most maddening thing in the world for her character. Because she does desperately care the old fashioned way — really care — about what they’re doing.

Ted: Hey Ross. Did I throw you under the bus? I’m sorry, buddy. Forgive me.

Ross: Oh, no, not at all. I was just wondering, as Mayor Garcetti leaves office and goes to be an ambassador, has he ever called you? Has he ever said, “Hey Ted… seriously?”

Ted: I think he has… I just didn’t want to take his calls.

Ross: [Laughs]

Suzanne: Ted, your character is a rich, entitled, clueless, self-involved guy. Was there anyone in real life that you think about when you’re portraying him?

Ted: I just…shave, look in the mirror, and go, “I got it. I got it. Thank you, Ted.” And off I go.

[Laughter]

Ted: You know, we’re all discovering things about ourselves, gratefully, slightly painfully, during the last couple of years. How entitled! I can just look at myself — how unknowingly entitled I am. I’m a thoughtful, sweet, liberal enlightened man. And I’m not, you know, I’m not. I thought I was. So, truly, I do feel like I was made for this part. And, I think, like the mayor… I, Ted am willing to change, but it’s very hard for me to see myself accurately… how silly I am, you know?

Suzanne: And Holly, you were just talking about the innovations and everything. In real life, on sets…you’ve been around for awhile. Does it ever bother you? Do you ever have that same sort of reaction when younger people come in, onset or anything like that? Do they make you feel like they want to reinvent everything [whereas] you’ve been doing it awhile, [but] they’re like, no…

Holly: Yeah, no, no, that doesn’t happen because you know, what’s so wild is… in a way, I could, I might be able to speak for most actors, but I think most actors, in some ways, are kind of childlike. So many actors that I love, the actors that I love, and adore working with, they’re kind of childlike… they’re children, in a way. Actors are… you spend your entire career changing, adapting….You’re doing things you’ve never done before. So many sets that I come on to… almost every set that I ever go onto. There’s no one that I know. I am meeting everyone for the first time on that set, ever. And I am used to that, and I’m sure Ted can say the same thing.

So actors have this liquidity… they’ve got a fluidity about change that I admire, and I love, and I’ve chosen to do movies, and chosen to work with people who often are breaking through to the other side in terms of form, how movies are made… [For instance], Terrence Malick. When I worked with him on a movie. I wanted to work with Terry to see how he made them and wow. He blew my mind! And working with Catherine Hardwood on “Thirteen,” she was making “Thirteen” in a way that I’d never seen– I’d never experienced before. This also is– it’s just a completely new form for me. So it keeps me changing. I gotta be up for it, and I love that challenge.

Suzanne: Right. Thanks!

Karen: Hi, I’m Karen Moul from SciFiVision. Ah, that’s actually, Suzanne, a great lead-in to my question, which is: What’s it like, now, settling into the second season behind the scenes with a cast that’s in place. I don’t know if COVID protocols are loostening, but maybe Holly first could talk about, what the climate is like, with your second season starting?

Holly: Well, joyful because we have this fantastic DP, David Miller, and he’s a wonderful touchstone because all sets are a little different and how everything is set up is a little bit different. And he provides us with this beautiful kind of structure that we can then go crazy in. We learned the structure from David, and then we all just go wild. We know what the perimeters are of our playing field. And for me to get more acquainted with that… you know, and Ted always, already was very acquainted with working with him. That that’s been very delightful, and I guess there’s just a little more confidence and intimacy with our characters. There had been an automatic kind of chemistry that existed between this cast that we’re all – I think – grateful for because you know, that doesn’t have to happen. And it did with us. There’s a kismet there.

Karen: And Ted, you’re a veteran of the sitcom format and have done many years. This is not your first, I guess, renewal second season. Do you have anything to add to all these comments?

Ted: Yeah, I mean, Holly said the word joyful. (clears his throat) Pardon me… It was joyful. COVID, as you suggested, had relaxed a little…we were still tested and did all of that. But when we got in front of the cameras, we could rehearse without masks, and there was a freedom that didn’t exist the first season. And there was also… we had taken a three- or four-month break, like the world did. And during that time, as a cast, we Zoomed a lot. We stayed in touch. We shared (like everybody did), because it was so intensely real, that the world was locked down, that we shared at a level that we probably wouldn’t have been able to, if we’d had a normal, season after season after season. We really got to know each other and appreciate each other. So when we got back together, not only was that a joy, a freedom of being able to be happily, joyfully, creative… But also, the writers and the actors were discovering who they were. You know, there’s always a process in the beginning where writers will say, “Have your character do this, do that.” And then you’re like, “No, that didn’t work. That didn’t work. That worked.” You know? So there’s a process of discovering who you are as a group, as a show, and, I think we kind of jelled last season, and it was joyful for all of us to appreciate the other characters, appreciate the other actors, and bounce off of such amazing players. It was very exciting.

Karen: Thank you.

Dano: Hi there, Dano from Nocturnal. So, for both Holly and Ted…You guys have both, worked with a lot of different comedic styles and, Tina Fey has her own cadence and brand. Is there a difference in approach or learning curve, versus like a “Bored to Death” and “Cheers” to this, or with Holly, a Coen brothers script to this… I guess, Ted, you also had a Coen-inspired script with “Fargo.” What’s the difference in approaching it?

Ted: Well, Robert and Tina are very fast. It’s much more of a… I grew up in a, “Here comes a joke. Pretty good joke, right?” You know, and the audience would laugh and you’d go on. There was a pause, there was a, you know, a kind of one thing at a time. And, this is very, very, very fast. You’re doing shots, you’re pointing out something political, but you’re kind of firing over your shoulder as you go galloping by. So the speed, the elevated quality of the writing, the words…It’s a challenge. I mean, your job as an actor is to ground whatever you’re doing in some kind of reality. And Tina and Robert are pulling you the other way going, “Nah, let’s shoot for the moon.” But your job remains the same. So that tension of making whatever it is they’re asking you to do, real, is I think the joy, the challenge and the excitement of what we’re doing.

And let me just add one thing about Holly hunter. You know, I can be a nice actor, meaning, I know what you want, so I’ll give it to you. You know, here it comes, you know, and that can be slightly boring sometimes. I watch Holly insist on grounding what it is she’s doing. It couldn’t be as far-fetched as you can imagine, but it’s still grounded and you never let go of that, Holly, and it’s a real inspiration for the rest of…for me, I’ll speak for myself.

Check out our other “Mr. Mayor” interviews with Vella Lovell and Kyla Kenedy and Mike Cabellon and Bobby Moynihan

MORE INFO:

Trailer

Mr. Mayor PosterSeason Premiere: March 15

“Mr. Mayor” follows a retired businessman (Ted Danson) who runs for mayor of Los Angeles to prove he’s “still got it.” Once he wins, he has to figure out what he stands for, gain the respect of his biggest critic (Holly Hunter) and connect with his teenage daughter, all while trying to get anything right for America’s second weirdest city.
The series stars Ted Danson, Holly Hunter, Vella Lovell, Mike Cabellon, Kyla Kenedy and Bobby Moynihan.
“Mr. Mayor” is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, Little Stranger, Bevel Gears and 3 Arts Entertainment. Robert Carlock, Tina Fey, Jeff Richmond and David Miner will executive produce. Eric Gurian will serve as a co-executive producer.

Ted Danson

Mayor Neil Bremer, “Mr. Mayor”

MR. MAYOR -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: Ted Danson as Neil Bremer -- (Photo by: Robert Trachtenberg/NBC)

Ted Danson stars as Mayor Neil Bremer on the NBC comedy “Mr. Mayor.”

Danson is a Golden Globe- and Emmy Award-winning actor known for an array of exceptional performances, most memorably for his portrayal of Boston bartender Sam Malone on NBC’s multi-award winning and iconic comedy “Cheers,” which ran for 11 seasons and won three Emmys as best comedy series. He recently starred in creator Michael Schur’s acclaimed NBC comedy series “The Good Place” for which he was nominated for his 14th Emmy Award for outstanding lead actor and received a Critics Choice Award for his role as Michael.

Other recent credits include the 10th season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” FX’s critically acclaimed second season of “Fargo,” CBS’ long-running “CSI” and “CSI: Cyber,” FX’s “Damages,” as well as Golden Globe nominated role on CBS’ “Becker.”

In film, Danson was seen in 2018 in “Hearts Beat Loud,” a drama music film that premiered at Sundance. He has also appeared in several other high-profile projects, including the 1987 blockbuster hit “Three Men and a Baby” and its sequel, “Three Men and a Little Lady.” He also had a co-starring role in Steven Spielberg’s World War II masterpiece “Saving Private Ryan.”

Raised outside Flagstaff, Ariz., Danson attended Stanford University where he became interested in drama during his second year in school. He then transferred to Carnegie Mellon University and graduated in 1972 with his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in drama. After graduation, he was hired as an understudy in Tom Stoppard’s Off Broadway production “The Real Inspector Hound.” Danson relocated to Los Angeles in 1978 to help manage the Actor’s Institute for a year-and-a-half while he taught there. Six months after his arrival, Danson earned a role in “The Onion Field” and co-starred in the TV movie “The Women’s Room.”

In addition to acting and producing, Danson is an environmental activist, co-founding the American Oceans Campaign (AOC) in 1987 to alert Americans to the life-threatening hazards created by oil spills, off-shore development, toxic wastes, sewage pollution and other ocean abuses. The AOC merged with Oceana in 2001. Oceana works to teach citizens how they can participate in protecting and restoring marine resources, and to show Congress that Americans are concerned with these issues.

Danson resides in Los Angeles with his wife, actress Mary Steenburgen.

Holly Hunter

Arpi Meskimen, “Mr. Mayor

Holly Hunter stars as Deputy Mayor Arpi Meskimen on the NBC comedy “Mr. Mayor.”

Hunter has been nominated for four Academy Awards for the films “Broadcast News,” “The Firm,” “The Piano” and “Thirteen.” In 1993, she won the Academy Award and Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival for her performance in “The Piano.” In 2008, Hunter received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2009, she was awarded the Women in Film Lucy Award.

Most recently Hunter was seen as rival CEO Rhea Jarrell in HBO’s hit drama “Succession” and Showtime’s highly anticipated miniseries “The Comey Rule.”

Hunter reprised her iconic voice role as Elastigirl in the highly anticipated sequel to the animated hit films “The Incredibles,” alongside Craig T. Nelson and Samuel L. Jackson.

Hunter co-starred in “The Big Sick,” which won the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Comedy as well as be Oscar nominated for Best Original Screenplay. For her supporting role, Hunter was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild and Independent Spirit Award, and was honored with a Career Achievement Award at the 2018 Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Hunter was nominated for an Academy Award for her role as a mother dealing with her daughter’s wild and rebellious behavior in the film “Thirteen,” directed by Catherine Hardwicke. Hunter was also honored with nominations from the Hollywood Foreign Press, SAG, BAFTA and the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. for this role.

Hunter received the Academy Award for her performance as a mute Scottish widow in Jane Campion’s “The Piano.” For this role, she received the Cannes Film Festival Award, British Academy Film Award, New York Film Critics Circle Award, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, National Board of Review Award and a Golden Globe Award, all for best actress. That same year, Hunter garnered an Academy Award nomination for her performance as the investigative secretary in “The Firm,” based on the John Grisham novel.

MR. MAYOR -- Season: 2 -- Pictured: (l-r) Holly Hunter as Arpi Meskimen, Ted Danson as Neil Bremer -- (Photo by: Robert Trachtenberg/NBC)Hunter was nominated for another Academy Award for her portrayal of a driven career-woman producer in “Broadcast News.” For this role, she received the New York Film Critics Circle Award, Los Angeles Film Critics Award, National Board of Review Award and Berlin Film Festival Award, all for best actress.

Hunter made her television series debut in TNT’s drama “Saving Grace,” which earned her nominations for two Emmy Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards and a Golden Globe Award for Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series. “Saving Grace” ended after four seasons in 2010.

Hunter starred in ABC’s “When Billie Beat Bobby” where she portrayed tennis legend Billie Jean King in the 1973 “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match between King and Wimbledon champion Bobby Riggs. The role garnered her an Emmy nomination for Best Actress in a Television Miniseries or Movie.

Hunter was nominated for an Emmy for her role in Showtime’s “Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her.” The film tells stories about love and loss in the lives of five women. The film won an award in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival and also screened at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival. Hunter also starred in Showtime’s original movie “Harlan County War,” for which she garnered both an Emmy and Golden Globe nomination for Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie.

Hunter was seen in the Sundance Channel series “Top of the Lake,” co-starring Elisabeth Moss, written and directed by Oscar winner Jane Campion. Hunter’s performance garnered her a Screen Actor’s Guild nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries.

She also starred in “The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom,” for which she won the Emmy for Best Actress. This role also garnered her a Golden Globe nomination. She starred as Jane Roe in NBC’s “Roe vs. Wade” and was awarded the Emmy for her performance.

In 1982, Hunter made her Broadway debut in Beth Henley’s “Crimes of the Heart” followed by “The Wake of Jamey Foster.” She was most recently seen on stage in the revival of David Rabe’s Tony Award-winning play “Sticks and Bones,” opposite Richard Chamberlain, Nadia Gan, Morocco Omari, Bill Pullman, Ben Schnetzer and Raviv Ullman. Hunter starred in Marina Carr’s “By the Bog of Cats,” directed by Dominic Cooke at Wyndham’s Theater in London.

Hunter co-produced and starred in Beth Henley’s “Control Freaks” and produced Ray Barry’s “Mother’ Son” at the Met Theatre in Los Angeles.

Other New York stage appearances include “The Miss Firecracker Contest,” “Battery,” The Person I Once Was,” “A Weekend Near Madison” and “Impossible Marriage.”

Hunter resides in New York.

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Ted Danson and Holly Hunter of "Mr. Mayor" on NBC (Photo by: Robert Trachtenberg/NBC)

Interview with Hamza Haq and John Hannah

TV Interview!

John Hannah and Hamza Haq of "Transplant" on NBC

Interview with John Hannah and Hamza Haq of “Transplant” on NBC by Suzanne 3/1/22

This was a fun chat. I interviewed Hamza in 2020. It was great to meet John Hannah. He’s been in so many wonderful shows and movies that I love, like “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Damages,” “Spartacus,” “The Mummy,” “Alias,” and his starring role in “McCallum.”

Suzanne: How are you guys doing?

Hamza: Wonderful.

Suzanne: Nice to meet you, John.

John: Nice to meet you, Suzanne.

Suzanne: And Hamza. It’s great to see you again.

Hamza: Nice to see you too.

Suzanne: You cut your hair. I don’t recognize you.

John: Is that for work, Hamza?

Hamza: Yeah.

John: You working just now?

Hamza: Yeah, I just wrapped yesterday.

John: Okay, good, good. Sorry, Suzanne.

Suzanne: That’s okay. Is this a movie that you just wrapped?

Hamza: Yeah, I just dropped this surreal indie comedy movie that I’m filming here in Montreal, or Vancouver, rather, directed by Kim Albright and starring Anna McGuire. So, it was a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun.

Suzanne: Does it have a title?

Hamza: It’s called With Love and a Major Organ.

Suzanne: That sounds like an indie title, doesn’t it?

Hamza: Very much, yeah.

Suzanne: Yeah, so when did you guys film season two? Because when I talked to you in 2020, you hadn’t started filming yet?

John: Yeah, we didn’t start until 2021. We were supposed to start late 2020, and then it got pushed and shoved and pulled and pushed, and we ended up starting late February 2020 – 2021, sorry, I’m all mixed up. This is ‘22 isn’t it?

Suzanne: Yeah. What year is it? I don’t know.

John: It’s just about a week ago. This time last year, actually.

Hamza: Yeah.

Suzanne: Oh, wow. Okay, that’s a long time. Do you remember what happened? It takes like a year. [laughs]

John: Well there were these doctors…

Suzanne: So, in the first episode Bash says everything changes, which seems to set the tone for the season, wouldn’t you say?

Hamza: I would. I did. Yeah, it’s just yeah, it there’re so many new elements that the wonderful thing about how it’s been written and how it was presented is that like any bit of comfort that anybody found in in season one is thrown into chaos in season two, right from the off. So, we see everybody just swim through that chaos.

Suzanne: Bishop actually had a pretty bad season one, because he was shot in the head, and then had a stroke.

John: I was drilled, but it saved my life. I made dumb choices.

Suzanne: It was funny, when I saw that with him drilling in your head, because there used to be a soap opera called Port Charles, and the very first episode was a spin off from General Hospital, very first episode, they had that same thing. The intern drilled with a regular drill into this woman’s head, and everybody’s like, “Oh, that’s ridiculous. That’s ridiculous.” Apparently, it’s no longer ridiculous.

John: I mean, it’s not necessarily the way doctors would choose to do it, but needs must, you know, when the devil rides.

Hamza: Like the equivalent of like tying a string to your tooth and closing the door when you need to extract, you know what I mean? It’s kind of the same thing. A dentist wouldn’t do it, but it worked.

Suzanne: Or like when they always seem to do a medical shows when somebody is having that problem breathing, and they stick the inner lining of the pen and tube, and then it happens so much. I’m sure it doesn’t happen that much in real life, but it always happened on every medical show.

Hamza: I haven’t I haven’t done it yet, but it’s early in the day.

Suzanne: So, there’re a lot of politics in this season. John, can you talk about what Bishop faces this season, all of the things that he faced?

John: Yeah, I mean, Bishop kind of played a bit fast and loose with what he should have done and should have declared and his own health in season one, and that got us to where it got him to, back in bed. And season two in a lot of ways is navigating through those choices, politics. It’s corporate politics, really, isn’t it? I mean, the medical profession is no different from any other corporation, and for somebody to get to the top, they have to be fairly skilled at kind of maneuvering as well as being talented at the hospital, at the medical stuff and man management. So, yeah, he deals a lot with that. And the second season, which is kind of interesting, I think that we have the medical procedures, the things that happen. We have the human side of it, and then there is this corporate shark infested water that is, again, perhaps from a liberal point of view, he’s cynically trying to manipulate to hold on to his position.

Suzanne: And we saw this guy come in, Mark Novak, while he was unavailable. Then, we saw, I believe, six episodes, and he leaves at the end. Does he come back later this season? Can you tell us if you’re allowed to?

Hamza: We’re not.

John: Are we not? [unintelligible] I think he’s there and it sets up this conflict in styles, and I think that that works well, in terms of the the jeopardy that it puts pressure upon his history with Novak. It also puts Hamza’s character in a lot of jeopardy as well, because, obviously, I have a sort of protective cloak around them. So, I mean, I think anybody who understands drama would look at it and say there’s a lot of potential there. So, chances are, he comes back.

Suzanne: Okay, and Hamza, your character, he’s actually doing pretty well at first, it seems like. He gets an apartment of his own, or house of his own, and his girl girlfriend – fiancé – comes back to life. And he’s got something going on there with Mags maybe, and then his fiancé shows up and kind of throws a wrench into that. What can you talk about this season with regards to that?

Hamza: Well, we see Bash struggle a lot with the life that he’s creating for himself versus the life that he thought he lost. It’s more about, obviously, in that respect, not any of the medical drama stuff, because there’s a lot of stuff that happens there as well, and Bash gets roped into the politics of the inner workings of the [unintelligible].

John: He’s in the firing line as well, isn’t it?

Hamza: Yeah, there’re a few things that happen where Bishop and Bash’s personal and professional relationship [is] tested quite a bit, in terms of how they’re gonna move forward, and the same can be said about Bash and Raniya, his fiancé who comes back. She’s a representation of a life that he had lost, and now, the potential to bring that up again, and to restart and pick up where they left off, it’s a very exciting thing for Bash, and it’s something that he jumps into head on. It’s not until a little bit later in the season that he starts to feel that maybe he wasn’t in the same mental and emotional space that he was five years ago, because he absolutely isn’t. Everything has, like I said, changed, and he’s now moved away from the man that he used to be, and we’ll see how it tests that relationship, not only with Raniya, but with his sister, Amira, and with Mags as well.

Suzanne: And I can’t wait to see what happens next with his little sister, because the last one I saw was when Raniya was leaving, I’m sure she’s not gonna be too happy about that.

Hamza: No, she is not. I can say that much.

Suzanne: Right, and at least he’s going through therapy now. So, that also probably puts him in a different place like you were talking about.

Hamza: Yes.

Suzanne: I don’t think I would want a doctor who’s having hallucinations. Maybe it’s just me.

Hamza: You don’t know; maybe they’re having them already. You never know. If he saves the life and you get the job done, then his hallucinations are his own business, you know? [laughs]

Suzanne: Yes, in TV. In real life, I don’t know about that. Maybe you might pick up something by accident. It’s not a drill when he needs to get your head, you never know. So, how many episodes total are there? I’ve seen six.

Hamza: There’s seven more to go.

Suzanne: Seven more. Oh, good. So, it is actually thirteen this season. That’s good to know. And anything else that you’d like to tell us about the season, or anything else you’ve got going on, John?

John: I mean, I just I think the show, it keeps twisting and turning, as you say. There’s the politics of it, which is the jeopardy that we’re both in, and that puts a strain on our relationship, our closeness, which I think’s natural. It shakes it up a bit. Everyone’s in jeopardy with what’s going on. The guy on the right has keep it going for the whole thirteen, I think. Hamza, you?

Hamza: Yeah, I just think that just from a storyline perspective, we got very lucky with season two that the writers gave so much richness to all the characters, and we really dive a lot deeper into everybody, and not just, you know, you’re talking to Bishop and Bashir now, but, for fans of the show, everybody across the board has a much richer, more well balanced, like, human story to tell. Like, we dive into Mag’s personal life. Theo’s exploring his, you know, the contentiousness of him being this traveling doctor, and his being apart from his family, and then the relationship between June and her father, and also like her struggle between the two surgical residents as well, or surgical attendings rather, and it’s just so much more well balanced and dives into an emotional depth and a storyline interest that we didn’t see in in season one across the board for everybody. So, I hope everybody appreciates that, because there was a concerted effort to make sure that we see these characters as full rounded humans, and having seen the second season, I think we achieve that.

Suzanne: And are you allowed to tell us whether your character and Mags are ever going to actually kiss?

Hamza: No, as in, “no, I’m not allowed to tell you.”

Suzanne: Okay, I have to figure that happens at some point.

John: [unintelligible] know that you don’t or know that you do?

Hamza: I’m not allowed to say.

Suzanne: Well, I think I’m gonna guess that they are, just because they keep coming so close, but you never know; it’s TV.

Hamza: Tune in next week to see more on Transplant! Will Bash and Mags kiss? Will Bishop finally get – you know?

Suzanne: We want to know these things. You’ve got to have those ships nowadays. And John, what about your character and Claire? Is there anything you can tell us about that?

John: Yeah, I mean, there’s a second chances. I think the theme for Bishop is very much second season, second chances, and that’s true for Claire. That’s true for his relationship with Claire as well, and maybe this is the right time for them to come together, but, again, there’re some twists and turns in that the difference between what you think you want, and what really happens is, you know, we maybe take those choices and then discover that it wasn’t right, or maybe we don’t take them and wish that we had. I don’t want to give too much away, but there is certainly a journey that they go on together, and they care for each other deeply. They’ve had a lot of time together. That doesn’t necessarily always make it an easy path, though. As Hamza was saying, [it’s] the second season, so we’re not introducing the character[s]. We know the refugee story. Hamza is now embedded in the hospital, and that allows the time to spread out with the other characters via Hamza, and as we get to know them spin off on those other stories, which I think gives the show a richer tapestry. Not at all Hamza to say that it wasn’t rich before, but as you were mentioning, it allows us to get to know those other characters also.

Hamza: One hundred percent.

Suzanne: All right. Well, thank you guys. I appreciate you taking the time today, and I hope you don’t have too many other press that you have to talk to and that you have a great rest of your day.

John: Oh no, it’s always a pleasure. I mean, we spend eight months doing the show. It takes ten minutes to talk to someone to get the word out there, and that’s what hopefully brings the audience in. So, thank you for talking to us.

Suzanne: Great, thank you so much. Bye.

Interview Transcribed by Jamie of http://www.scifivision.com

MORE INFO:

Transplant

Sundays on NBC (10-11 p.m. ET); Season Premiere: March 6

“Transplant” follows the story of Dr. Bashir “Bash” Hamed (Hamza Haq), a talented doctor and Syrian refugee, who fled his war-torn country with his younger sister, Amira (Sirena Gulamgaus), for a fresh start in Canada. After a truck crashes into the restaurant where he’s been working, Bash earns the chance to practice medicine again by using his field-honed skills to save multiple lives in brilliant fashion, including that of Dr. Jed Bishop (John Hannah), the Chief of Emergency Medicine at York Memorial Hospital in Toronto.

But Bash is told he’ll need to redo his residency in Emergency Medicine from the bottom and despite his obvious talents intuition, and training, starting over is not an easy road and his life experience is not a perfect match for the strict protocols at York Memorial. Through perseverance he makes inroads, developing camaraderie with his new colleagues, including the driven Dr. Magalie “Mags” LeBlanc (Laurence Leboeuf), the reserved and ambitious surgical resident Dr. June Curtis (Ayisha Issa), easy-going pediatric ER physician Dr. Theo Hunter (Jim Watson), head nurse Claire Malone (Torri Higginson) and even earning the respect of Dr. Wendy Atwater (Linda E. Smith), the department’s second-in-command who runs a very tight ship.

Jed Bishop (John Hannah), the team’s demanding, inscrutable boss, looms large and keeps everyone on their toes with a unique compassion and commitment to his staff that also connects them.

Season two picks up with Bash and his fellow residents reeling after Dr. Bishop suffers a stroke. With everything at the hospital destabilized, the place that Bash had started to consider home suddenly feels precarious. As the team adjusts to new colleagues while dealing with the challenges of life, unexpected faces from the past leave Bash seriously doubting whether his transplant into this new world was successful.

Bash’s hard work, compassion and hopefulness tell a universal story about the human ability to not only survive, but ultimately thrive when our lives suddenly change course.

Creator Joseph Kay returns as showrunner and executive producer. Director Stefan Pleszczynski joins as executive producer and will direct six episodes. Additional executive producers include Bruno Dubé, Jocelyn Deschênes, Virginia Rankin, Tara Woodbury, Josée Vallée and Adam Barken.

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

Please visit the official show site at: https://www.nbc.com/transplant.

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

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John Hannah

Dr. Jed Bishop

TRANSPLANT -- Season 2 -- Pictured: John Hannah as Jed Bishop -- (Photo by: Yan Turcotte/Sphere Media/CTV/NBC)
John David Hannah stars as Dr. Jed Bishop, the legendary, elusive and inscrutable Chief of Emergency Medicine who keeps his staff on their toes and always at the ready, in NBC’s drama “Transplant.”

Hannah came to prominence in “Four Weddings and a Funeral, for which he was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. His other film appearances include “Sliding Doors” and “The Mummy” trilogy.

His television roles include “McCallum,” “Rebus,” “New Street Law,” “Cold Blood,” “Spartacus,” “A Touch of Cloth,” “Atlantis,” “Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D,” “Overboard” and “Trust Me.”

Hamza Haq

Bashir “Bash” Hamed

TRANSPLANT -- Season 2 -- Pictured: Hamza Haq as Bashir Hamed -- (Photo by: Yan Turcotte/Sphere Media/CTV/NBC)
Hamza Haq stars as Bashir “Bash” Hamed in NBC’s “Transplant,” a trained ER doctor who fled his native Syria to come to Canada. He must overcome numerous obstacles to resume his career in the high-stakes world of emergency medicine.

A Canadian Screen Award winner for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series (2021), Haq was also honored as one of Canada’s Rising Stars by the Hollywood Reporter in 2017.

In 2018, Haq appeared alongside William Shatner and Russell Peters as twins Amal and Gopal in the CTV miniseries “Indian Detective,” and earned critical acclaim in the CBC drama “This Life,” for which he earned a 2018 Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Guest Performance. Other notable credits include recurring roles on the Cinemax series “Jett”
opposite Carla Gugino; “Quantico,” starring Priyanka Chopra; and “The Art of More,” with Dennis Quaid and Kate Bosworth.

Additional television credits include “Designated Survivor,” “The Bold Type,” “Being Human” and “Best Laid Plans.” He hosted two seasons of the International Emmy Award-nominated children’s series “Look Kool” and plays Jassie on the CBC Gem digital original drama “The 410.” On the big screen, Haq has appeared in “Bon Cop,” “Bad Cop 2” with Colm Feore, “The Death” and “Life of John F. Donovan” directed by Xavier Dolan, Darren Aronofsky’s “Mother!” and “Run This Town,” detailing the turbulent final year of Rob Ford’s tenure as the mayor of Toronto. He also had a role in “My Salinger Year,” which opened the 70th Berlin International Film Festival in 2020.

Haq is a 2020 recipient of RBC’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrants Award and recently partnered with the Canada Media Fund’s Made | Nous campaign as ambassador to celebrate Islamic History Month. He spoke at the 2021 TEDx Toronto Fall digital event series “Uncharted,” using his public platform to speak on issues important to him, including refugees’ rights, racial
injustice and combating stereotypes, and was honored as Playback’s Breakout Star of the Year.

Raised in Ottawa, Haq is youngest of four siblings born in Saudi Arabia to Pakistani parents and has called Canada home for almost 20 years. He holds a bachelor of arts in film studies with a minor in law from Carleton University.

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John Hannah and Hamza Haq of "Transplant" on NBC