Q&A Interview with “My Future Boyfriend” stars Sara Rue and Barry Watson (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)
April 12, 2011 by Dennis Amith
Sara Rue (“Less than Perfect”, “Pearl Harbor”, “Rules of Engagement) and Barry Watson (“Boogeyman”, “Sorority Boys”, “What About Brian”) star in the ABC Family film “My Future Boyfriend”.
The film is about a curious human from a well-ordered but loveless future, P-A-X-497/341 (aka Pax), played by Barry Watson, returns to the year 2011 to satisfy his curiosity about such archaic concepts as love, passion and winds up making his own discoveries when he meets the woman of his dreams, Elizabeth Barrett, portrayed by Sara Rue, a newly published romance novelist.
When Pax doesn’t return to the future by the given deadline, Bob (Fred Willard), his fellow scientist, travels back in time to find Pax. Meanwhile as Elizabeth is helping Pax learn about love, she ends up confiding in her colleague, played by Valerie Harper, about her own upcoming “surprise” engagement.
Recently, a Q&A was held for “My Future Boyfriend” stars Sara Rue and Barry Watson. Here is a transcript of the Q&A interview:
Moderator As there’s such great chemistry between the two of you in the film, was it natural for you all or did it take a little bit of time for you to find your footing?
B. Watson Well, I have a weird man-crush on Al Pacino, so I just pretended she was Al Pacino the whole time. No. Go ahead Sara. I’ll let you answer that.
S. Rue I thought we had great chemistry from the get-go. We flew into Atlanta for—we only had a day or two of rehearsals, and it—I don’t know. I just felt like it was a natural thing. We hadn’t met before we got there. You never know what you’re going to get, but I thought we were really lucky and just instantly had a nice repartee. We had a lot of improv back and forth. It was really fun. Actually, I did a lot of improving, and Barry just did a lot of, “Uh-huh.”
B. Watson Yeah. I don’t do improv at all. No. Exactly what Sara said, you never know what you’re getting kind of into, especially when you haven’t—sometimes you have the opportunity to meet the person before you start working, but for us, we didn’t have that opportunity. I think we got really lucky.
Moderator How did you both come to be a part of the film?
B. Watson I think I jumped on board first. Is that right Sara?
S. Rue Yeah.
B. Watson Yes. I jumped on board first just because I read it, and I just loved Pax. I just loved everything about him, and I just thought he would be a fun character to play for a month. I remember when Sara’s name came on board, and I was like, “Yeah, she’d be great.” I was familiar with her work, but like we had said before, we’d never met. I thought she’d be perfect.
S. Rue They sent me the script, and Barry was attached, and I read and thought it was so cute, and I loved it. Then I heard that he had said, “Oh, I think Sara would be great.” I guess he had spoken up for me at ABC Family, which was super nice. So then I was flattered, and then I was like, “Well, I guess I have to take the job now because Barry Watson is pretty much demanding it.” So that’s sort of how I came to be in the project. I was just joking; he didn’t demand anything.
Moderator What did you enjoy the most about filming?
S. Rue Honestly, it’s so weird to say because Barry’s on the line, but like we said earlier, had a really great chemistry. I just enjoyed going to work every day because we got along so well, and it was such an easy, fun shoot. I think, honestly, it’s one of the best working experiences I’ve ever had. It was just so easy and everything just sort of flowed really nicely. So that—just the overall ease and happiness of the whole production for me was just wonderful, and I felt we were lucky to be a part of it, and it was fun to go to work every day. So I just enjoyed the whole thing.
B. Watson Yeah. I think, for me—we didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for working on this, but I think the best part of it was Michael, our director, really gave Sara and I the freedom to play a little bit. A lot of the stuff we did was on the page, but there’s some stuff that—he gave us the freedom to kind of play around with a little bit. I think the greatest thing about it was Sara and I being able to work off each other and being able to play and make it not only, hopefully, more interesting for the audience but more interesting for ourselves and more fun for us. I think the more fun we had on it, the better the whole project would come across. I think we, hopefully, accomplished that.
Moderator How would each one of you describe your characters’ major motivations.
B. Watson Well, I think for me, with Pax, he comes into this world and he’s kind of like a child. He comes from this utopian society where nothing really, really exciting happens and nothing really, really bad happens. So I think, for him, he’s like a kid in a candy store being able to experience all these different types of people he’s never met before. So for me, it was just bringing in my inner child every day and just, basically, acting like a child. Who doesn’t want to be able to do that for their job? So I guess that was my motivation.
S. Rue I think for me with Elizabeth, she had a job to do, and this strange guy comes into her office and she’s sort of assigned his crazy story. So her job was to get the best story and to get the most information out of him that she possibly could, and then while she’s doing that, somewhere along the line she falls for him. It is all that childlike innocence that she falls in love with, so it was woven very nicely for those reasons, I think.
Moderator Can you both talk about what you learned about true love after working within the theme of finding love?
S. Rue What did I learn about true love? Wow. I guess, me being engaged—I’m getting married in less than six weeks now, which is insane. I think “trust your gut instinct” would be, I guess, what I learned from the film and from playing a character who’s forced into this situation with this weird guy, and there’s something inside of her that’s like, “Trust him, and listen to him,” and her gut instinct is that this guy’s telling her the truth. So I’ve always believed when it comes to relationships and love that usually your first instinct is the right one, and especially when it comes to judging character in people and letting yourself fall for a good person as opposed to a bad person. You have to trust your gut. So I think that’s part of the message of the movie is that she should’ve just trusted her gut a little bit more with him.
B. Watson Yeah. I think what Sara was saying is how I feel as well, but I think the one thing I think I probably learned was that—and it kind of feeds off of who my character was this innocent sort of guy from the future. But I think as we get older, people get more and more jaded about love, and I think if people still had that—like what Sara was saying, your first instinct. But it’s that innocence, I think, it gets jaded as you get older, but if you could still keep that innocence that you have when you’re young and you’re falling in love, that’s real. I think a lot of us don’t really accept that into our lives anymore.
Moderator Since Facebook has become a big part of our future, do you guys ever fear someone coming back from the past to find true love?
B. Watson Well, I don’t do Facebook or anything like that. I’m afraid.
S. Rue Barry doesn’t tweet. I tried to get him to tweet the whole time that we were doing the movie. I don’t know if he even knows how to check his e-mail. So Barry has no fear.
B. Watson I did. I checked my e-mail to do this conversation today.
S. Rue Barry has no fears of anything technological because he doesn’t use any technology. I, on the other hand, find it creepy when old boyfriends follow me on Twitter.
Moderator One of the things that struck me when I read about My Future Boyfriend was that this is a story about a romance novelist who’s named Elizabeth Barrett, who sounds a lot like Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice, which I think is the beginning of all romance novels. Do you have a favorite romance novel or novelist?
S. Rue It’s funny. I don’t really read much romance. I’m more into books written for fourteen-year-old girls, like Twilight and The Hunger Game—true story. I haven’t really read any romance novels.
Moderator What about you Barry? Do you read romance novels?
B. Watson You know what? I think I read enough romantic comedies in script form.
S. Rue Yeah.
B. Watson Yeah. I don’t read any sort of romance novels, and if I did, I don’t think I would admit it right now.
Moderator How much of yourselves are your characters—are real?
B. Watson I think that with whatever role you play, I think you have to have a little bit of yourself in each thing you do. With me, with Pax, I think there’s a lot of me in Pax, whether I knew that before I took the job—but I think you discover that as you go along. Also, I think to have Pax be a real character, if I didn’t bring a lot of myself into him, then I don’t think it really would’ve worked. If I tried to create this character that was too far away from who I really am, I don’t think it would’ve worked. So I think there’s quite a bit of Pax in me.
S. Rue Yeah, I would agree with that. For me, again, I always feel like just little pieces of my personality are always sprinkled across any of the characters I play. So some of her quirks—the footage I’d seen—I’m like, “Oh yeah. That looks like me,” and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s weird. It’s never planned to come out that way, but I think a lot of her timing is like mine in real life.
Moderator Sara I’ve been a fan of yours since Less Than Perfect, so I’m really excited to see My Future Boyfriend.
S. Rue Oh, thank you. I think you’ll like it. It’s really cute. I thought it was really cute when we were filming it. It was exciting to work on something that we were like, “Oh, this is good.” Every day we would be like, “Oh, that was a good scene. I felt really good about that.” It was great. It was a great experience.
Moderator I was just wondering, were there any behind the scenes set stories you guys would like to share?
S. Rue Oh, I know a good, cute story. Barry Watson had a bromance with our second AD named Cheeba and they were always hanging out, and I was very jealous. I’d be like, “Where are you guys going tonight?” and they would tell me and I would be like, “Well, can I come along, or is it just the two of you?” Sometimes it would just be the two of them, and they wouldn’t let me come.
B. Watson Yeah. Me and Cheeba—my buddy.
S. Rue Yeah, they fell in love.
B. Watson Well, you know what? You fly away to shoot these things, and you have to—he was the first person I met when I got there, and he became my on-set buddy or my bromance. I’m sorry, me and Cheeba.
Moderator Can you talk about working with the wonderful Valerie Harper and Fred Willard—both of you?
S. Rue Sure. I’ll go first. I’ll talk about Val, and you talk about Fred—deal?
B. Watson Okay. Perfect.
S. Rue Working with Valerie was so much fun. Shortly after we started working together, I started saying on-set that when I grow up, I want to be like Valerie Harper. Because on her days off—I mean, she was wonderful on-set, and then on her days off she would be like, “Today I walked six miles to the aquarium, and then I toured the whole aquarium. Then someone recognized me, and then they took me on a private tour, and I did this whole thing. Then the next day I went to the museum; I sat by myself for an hour.” She walked every day, everywhere, all over Atlanta, all by herself and did all these cool things every time on her day off. She is the most vivacious, lively, wonderful, funny, awesome woman. She was just so much fun to be around.
Our last night shooting, we shot all night. I was worried that she was going to be—it’s hard on anybody, but I was worried that she was going to be super pooped come two, three ‘o clock in the morning, but I think she had more energy and spunk than any of us—like all of us put together. I’d say by 4 a.m., I was like, “I’m feeling it; I’m a little tired,” and she was just raring to go, and she was just full of life and fun, and she had great stories. It was awesome working with her.
She had actually been on Less Than Perfect, so we had worked together before years ago. She played on of Andy Dick’s lesbian moms. So I knew she was awesome, but it was really great to have the time with her in Atlanta.
B. Watson Now we’re going to talk about Fred. He’s not quite as exciting as Valerie Harper.
Fred was great. There was a big, big chunk of the first part of the shoot that was just me and Fred because Sara wasn’t in town yet. So I spent a lot of time working with Fred, and we had very simple conversation. He’s a great guy. He almost killed me one day during a stunt and driving scene. We almost smashed into a brick wall, going 40 miles an hour, but other than that, I love the guy.
All we basically talked about was the hotel’s apple cobbler because he just loved it. In fact, the day he flew back to Los Angeles I said, “Fred, it was great working with you,” and he just looked at me and said, “Man, I’m really going to miss that apple cobbler.” He could’ve cared less about me. All he cared about was the apple cobbler.
S. Rue He loved that. It’s true. He talked about it all the time. He loved that apple cobbler. I never had it. Was it really that good?
B. Watson I did. I had it one of the last days that we were there, and he’s right. It’s one of the best apple cobblers I’ve ever had.
Moderator What was it about these characters that interested you in playing them when you first read the script?
S. Rue Well for me, I loved the idea of playing a hopeless romantic, and I think at her heart, that’s what Elizabeth is. She writes these romance novels, and she’s kind of stuck in this wacky day job where she’s reporting, and then basically for her, I felt like her worlds were colliding. I thought that was fun to play because she couldn’t allow herself to sort have these feelings that she thought she was having for this strange guy from the future, and yet, she was having them. So it was fun for me to play somebody who loves love and loves romance, but then wouldn’t let herself really have it. So that, to me, was really interesting.
B. Watson I think, for me, it’s pretty obvious with Pax—who wouldn’t want to play a character like Pax? He’s somebody that’s completely innocent and so new to this world that he’s come into. So every little thing is like a discovery, and it’s like being a child again. So it was really fun to—even when I wasn’t working, I was trying to do things that were what I thought Pax would be like, and trying to pretend that I was seeing some of these things for the first time. I think it’s probably a good thing for everybody to do at some point is to kind of look at the world and life the way Pax did throughout this movie. So I think that’s really what drew me to want to do this—to do the movie and play Pax.
Moderator Can you discuss any other projects that you’re currently working on?
B. Watson Well, I did a pilot that’s not going get picked up. Right now, I’m either going to Atlanta or I’m going to Vancouver at the end of the month. I just don’t know where I’m going yet. So there’s two projects that are up in the air for me right now, but I’ll know by the end of the month where I’m going. Actually, I’ll know by the end of today or tomorrow where I’m going.
S. Rue For me, I’ve just been—it’s been a little bit nuts. I’ve been doing an arc on Rules of Engagement this season. I’m playing Patrick Warburton and Megyn Price’s lesbian surrogate, which is awesome. I think I get pregnant this week, so that’s exciting. I think the insemination takes this week, so thumbs up for that. Then I actually just did this crazy—this bathing suit shoot thing, so I’m going to New York. Then I’m getting married, so I’m taking the whole month of May off.
B. Watson Wait, wait, hold on a second, Sara. What’s the New York bathing—
S. Rue Okay, look. I did a bikini shoot—relax.
B. Watson I didn’t know about this. I thought we talk about everything.
S. Rue I know. Well, I didn’t tell people because I wanted to be able to back out gracefully if I so chose. I’ve been shooting a campaign, so it’s been crazy. But now I can actually focus on wedding plans and honeymoon plans and real life stuff. It’s funny, Barry and I have both been doing this so long— sometimes it’s hard to work in having a real life activity that is equally as important as work stuff. So that’s what I’m trying to do now. I’m trying to take a little bit of time and actually get married and have a honeymoon and do some real life things that will be fun.
My Future Boyfriend – Watch Wednesday, April 20 at 5/4c
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