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ABC Family/Freeform Brings Shadow World to Life in Boston in Promotion of Highly Anticipated “Shadowhunters”

January 6, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

ABC FAMILY, SOON TO BE RENAMED FREEFORM, BRINGS THE SHADOW WORLD TO LIFE IN BOSTON WITH AN EXCITING AUGMENTED REALITY EXPERIENCE

First of its Kind in the U.S., Bus Shelter Brings Shadow World Creatures to Life in Promotion of the Highly Anticipated ABC Family Series “Shadowhunters”

Burbank, CA (January 5, 2016) – ABC Family has taken their marketing campaign for the new original series “Shadowhunters” to an all-new level by transforming a bus shelter in Boston into an augmented reality experience. Having never been done before in the United States, it has changed the way we see the city streets. From December 7 to January 18, the innovative DOOH campaign reveals the Shadow World and its dangerous creatures in promotion of the January 12 premiere date of “Shadowhunters.” ABC Family is becoming Freeform on January 12, 2016.

The interactive spectacle takes place at a bus shelter located on the intersection between Boylston Street and Clarendon Street in Boston. The digital screen shows a live camera feed of the street ahead, giving the illusion of a see-through display. However, as people wait and watch, a portal emerges over the street ahead giving participants a chance to see what a Shadowhunter sees. A number of incredible scenarios unfold as passers-by catch glimpses of the Shadow World, a place of demons, werewolves and vampires that mortal humans (known as “mundanes”) can’t normally see.

Based on the bestselling young adult fantasy book series “The Mortal Instruments” by Cassandra Clare, “Shadowhunters” follows Clary Fray, who finds out on her birthday that she is not who she thinks she is but rather comes from a long line of Shadowhunters – human-angel hybrids who hunt down demons. Now thrown into the world of demon hunting after her mother is kidnapped, Clary must rely on the mysterious Jace and his fellow Shadowhunters Isabelle and Alec to navigate this new dark world. With her best friend, Simon, in tow, Clary must now live among faeries, warlocks, vampires and werewolves to find answers that could help her find her mother.
Nothing is as it seems, including her close family friend Luke, who knows more than he is letting on, as well as the enigmatic warlock Magnus Bane, who could hold the key to unlocking Clary’s past.
“Shadowhunters” is produced by Constantin Film and executive-produced by Ed Decter and McG. McG will also direct the first episode. The series stars Katherine McNamara as Clary Fray, Dominic Sherwood as Jace Wayland, Alberto Rosende as Simon, Emeraude Toubia as Isabelle Lightwood, Matthew Daddario as Alec Lightwood, Isaiah Mustafa as Luke Garroway, and Harry Shum Jr. as Magnus Bane. “Shadowhunters” will premiere on TUESDAY, JANUARY 12 (9:00 – 10:00 p.m. EST).    

Part of the Disney|ABC Television Group, ABC Family (to be renamed Freeform) is distributed in 94 million homes. The network entertains and connects to audiences with bold, relatable programming that celebrates the epic adventure of becoming an adult, from first kiss to first kid. The programming is a combination of network-defining original series and original movies, quality acquired series and blockbuster theatricals. “WATCH ABC Family” (also to be renamed Freeform) is an authenticated service which allows viewers with participating TV subscription services access to 24/7 live viewing of the network, as well as continued on-demand access to such popular series at home and on-the-go via a wide array of devices. The network is also the destination for annual holiday events with “13 Nights of Halloween” and “25 Days of Christmas.”

 

ABC FAMILY ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL WINTER PREMIERE DATES

October 26, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

New Series “Recovery Road” and Fan Favorite “The Fosters” Premiere January 18

“Young & Hungry” and “Baby Daddy” Return with All-New Episodes February 3

These Series Join Previously Announced January Premieres for

“Pretty Little Liars” and “Shadowhunters”

Burbank, CA (October 23, 2015) – ABC Family reveals its winter premiere dates for new scripted drama “Recovery Road” and fan favorites “The Fosters,” “Young & Hungry,” and “Baby Daddy.” These series join previously announced January premieres for “Pretty Little Liars” and “Shadowhunters”. ABC Family is becoming Freeform in January 2016.

The critically acclaimed family drama “The Fosters” returns with new episodes on Monday, January 18th at 8:00pm ET/PT. As the third season of “The Fosters” continues, the family settles into a new dynamic now that Callie is permanently adopted. Callie and Brandon share a significant secret but focus on their interests to help them move on with their lives. A serious medical issue for Stef results in a clash of opinion between her wife Lena and her mother, Sharon. Jude must deal with his boyfriend’s decision to move away while Jesus and Mariana are surprised when an old friend returns. Loyalties are questioned while new relationships develop, and family ties bring love and support amid the chaos of life. The series stars Teri Polo, Sherri Saum, Hayden Byerly, Noah Centineo, David Lambert, Maia Mitchell, Danny Nucci, and Cierra Ramirez. Guest stars this season include Rosie O’Donnell, Annie Potts, Rob Morrow, and Kelli Williams.

“Recovery Road” premieres on Monday, January 18th at 9:00pm ET/PT. Based on the popular young adult novel by Blake Nelson, the series focuses on a teenage girl dealing with addiction. Maddie has a reputation as a party girl who doesn’t think she has a problem, until she’s confronted one day by her school guidance counselor and is forced to choose between expulsion and rehab. Maddie makes the difficult decision to live with other recovering addicts at a sober living facility while facing the daily pressures of her teenage life. “Recovery Road” stars Jessica Sula, Alexis Carra, Sebastian De Souza, Daniel Franzese, Sharon Leal, Kyla Pratt, and David Witts.

“Young & Hungry” season three premieres on Wednesday, February 3rd at 8:00pm ET/PT. In October’s season finale, Gabi drove off in a food truck with Josh’s younger brother, Jake, leaving a conflicted Josh to stand there and watch her leave. Clearly he still loves her, and in season three, Gabi will realize she has feelings for Josh as well. But that doesn’t mean getting together is easy, especially with Jake around, a food truck business to run, and Gabi’s continuing goal of being the next Julia Child. Meanwhile, Elliot and Alan’s new marriage bliss is tested when Elliot inherits something unexpected. The series stars Emily Osment, Jonathan Sadowski, Rex Lee, Aimee Carrero, and Kym Whitley.

The winter premiere of “Baby Daddy,” premieres on Wednesday, February 3rd at 8:30p.m. ET/PT. The premiere picks up with Riley reacting to Danny’s surprising marriage proposal. Ben tries to move on from Riley and meets a new neighbor with whom he shares a lot in common. Ben hires a new manager for the bar, which turns out to be an old high school crush. Tucker resolves to move ahead in his television career. Ben is also dealing with a headstrong Emma, who has learned the word “No.” And Bonnie and Brad try to finally redo their aborted wedding. The series stars Jean-Luc Bilodeau, Derek Theler, Tahj Mowry, Melissa Peterman, and Chelsea Kane. Guest stars this season include Mary Hart, Daniella Monet and Jonna Walsh.

SUMMARY OF ABC FAMILY (FREEFORM) WINTER SCHEDULE:

Tuesday, January 12th 8:00–9:00 PM ET/PT – Winter premiere of “Pretty Little Liars”

Tuesday, January 12th at 9:00–10:00 PM ET/PT – Series premiere of “Shadowhunters”

Monday, January 18th 8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT – Winter premiere of “The Fosters”

Monday, January 18th 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT – Series premiere of “Recovery Road”

Wednesday, February 3rd 8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT – Winter premiere of “Young & Hungry”

Wednesday, February 3rd 8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT – Winter premiere of “Baby Daddy”

Part of the Disney|ABC Television Group, ABC Family (to be renamed Freeform in January 2016) is distributed in 94 million homes. The network entertains and connects to audiences with bold, relatable programming that celebrates the epic adventure of becoming an adult, from first kiss to first kid. The programming is a combination of network-defining original series and original movies, quality acquired series and blockbuster theatricals. “WATCH ABC Family” (also to be renamed Freeform in January 2016) is an authenticated service which allows viewers with participating TV subscription services access to 24/7 live viewing of the network, as well as continued on-demand access to such popular series at home and on-the-go via a wide array of devices. The network is also the destination for annual holiday events with “13 Nights of Halloween” and “25 Days of Christmas.”

 

TWO IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER THAN ONE ON AN ALL-NEW EPISODE OF “YOUNG & HUNGRY,” AIRING WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30th AT 8:00PM ET/PT

September 12, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

YOUNG & HUNGRY - ABC Family's "Young & Hungry" stars Kym Whitley as Yolanda, Rex Lee as Elliot Park, Emily Osment as Gabi Diamond, Jonathan Sadowski as Josh Kaminski and Aimee Carrero as Sofia Rodriguez. (ABC FAMILY/Bob D'Amico)

YOUNG & HUNGRY – ABC Family’s “Young & Hungry” stars Kym Whitley as Yolanda, Rex Lee as Elliot Park, Emily Osment as Gabi Diamond, Jonathan Sadowski as Josh Kaminski and Aimee Carrero as Sofia Rodriguez. (ABC FAMILY/Bob D’Amico)


 

Josie Loren (“The Mentalist”) Guest Stars

Burbank, CA (September 10, 2015) – Gabi and Sofia have met their match on an all-new episode of “Young & Hungry,” airing on Wednesday, September 30th at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.

In “Young & Doppelganger,” it’s Gay Pride in San Francisco, and since they have a perfect view of the parade route, Gabi gets the brilliant idea to sublet their apartment for the weekend. Sofia can’t take one more of Gabi’s wild schemes and refuses to let strangers stay in their apartment. But when renters Sam (Josie Loren) and Gracie (Kimberley Crossman) arrive, a fight ensues, and it turns out Gabi and Sofia have more in common with the strangers than each other. Josh is thrilled when he is invited to participate in an Ed Talk, but his stage fright causes his lecture to take an embarrassing turn. Meanwhile, Yolanda and Elliot’s weekend of partying doesn’t turn out quite like they expected.

In its most reason season “Young & Hungry” ranked as cable’s No. 1 original series in its Wednesday-at-8 timeslot among adults 18-49, adults 18-34 and key female demos.  Launch to date, “Young & Hungry” is ABC Family’s #1 comedy in Women 18-34, Viewers 12-34 and Females 12-34. The series and cast have been nominated for five Teen Choice Awards since its premiere last summer.

“Young & Hungry” is produced by David Holden, Ashley Tisdale, Jessica Rhoades, Caryn Lucas, and Eric Tannenbaum and Kim Tannenbaum in association with CBS Television Studios. Gabi Moskowitz, of BrokeAssGourmet.com, is a San Francisco based food blogger and contributed to the development of this project. The series stars Emily Osment, Jonathan Sadowski, Aimee Carrero, Kym Whitley and Rex Lee.

 

ABC Family’s Q&A Session with Italia Ricci of “Chasing Life” (2014) (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)

June 9, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

ABC Family’s Q&A Session with Italia Ricci of “Chasing Life” (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)

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On June 10th, ABC Family will show the premiere episode of “Chasing Life” starring Italia Ricci, Mary Page Keller, Aisha Dee, Richard Brancatisano and Haley Ramm.  The series is an adaptation of the Televisa Spanish-language Mexican TV series “Terminales”.

With the season premiere coming up, ABC family recently held a Q&A with lead actress Italia Ricci (“Don Jon”, “American Pie Presents Beta House”, “Unnatural History”, “Secret Girlfriend”, “Aaron Stone”) about her new role and more about the series and what viewers can expect.

In the series, Italia Ricci plays the character of April, a reporter who tries to balance her life with her widowed mother Sara (portrayed by Mary Page Keller) and her rebellious younger sister Brenna (portrayed by Haley Ramm), her grandmother and co-workers.

But just when she is trying to succeed in her career as a journalist and having a new boyfriend, she finds out that she has cancer.  And now, April is determined to fight cancer and enjoy life the best she can.

Here is a transcript from the Q&A session.

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Moderator    Will we see more of your character’s chemo process? What sort of research did you conduct to prepare?

Italia   You will see more of that, absolutely, because it’s all part of the horrible process that cancer throws at people, but you will see the stages. And the research — immediately after I booked the role, I thought I was going to learn everything I could about cancer, become and expert and be able to handle anything that the writers threw at me. But then I realized that my character doesn’t know everything about cancer and so I thought it would be better for my performance if I didn’t know more about it than April knew. So I wasn’t anticipating anything that was going to happen to her.

Moderator   What attracted you to Chasing Life and your role as April?

Italia   The show itself is just so incredible and it’s real. It could be happening to anybody. It is happening to anybody. It has happened and it will be happening and it’s such a real story and it’s written so well and it’s so inspiring. It has so much of everything in it that I’ve wanted to be a part of telling it. I feel so lucky —I was just an actor sent in on a mission to go in. I wasn’t sifting through scripts being like “I only want this one.” This is when I got the audition I was auditioning for everything during the pilot season and this one was like a golden ticket. This is the role that you’re just like “Oh my gosh, this is going to be one that everybody is trying to get.” I got so lucky.

Moderator    Did you know Scott Michael Foster from Greek? What’s it like working with him again?

Italia   We didn’t really stay in touch after the episode of Greek, which was five and a half years ago or something. He didn’t even remember me at the table read for Chasing Life for the second episode [laughs]. I introduced myself and I was like “we worked together” and he’s like “really, when?” I was like, “oh wow” because we had to kiss in Greek. But we are so close now. He’s hilarious. You can see we’ve had to post a couple of videos talking about the show and I can’t keep a straight face when I’m with him. He’s hilarious and he’s so talented it’s insane. It’s sort of intimidating sometimes and I’m like “can you try to suck a little more because you’re making me look really bad.” [laughs]

Moderator   How would you describe your character April?

Italia   She’s so many things. She’s just a regular girl. She’s a stubborn, smart, ambitious girl who just wants happiness and success in her career and love, everything that most people want. She’s written so well that I feel like she’s every man’s woman because she’s not always in the same head space. She gets giddy and girly and goofy and then she’ll just be an angry drunk, we’re all a little bit bipolar [laughs]. It’s just the way the world works, but she’s so inspiring and she makes mistakes and then she relies on people to help. She’s not a hero. She’s definitely a role model, but she knows she’s not perfect. I think that’s really important for a character we want audiences to relate to.

Moderator   How did you get your start in acting and what do you enjoy most about it?

Italia   I started when I was really young. I did a lot of local theatre. I always enjoyed it. I was always putting on shows for my family or even just myself in the mirror being a total psychopath just screaming monologues till I was crying or laughing or a complete nut case. And then I went to college and got my degree in drama, but I’m very much a Type A. I’m not really much of a risk taker. I’m very calculated, so I didn’t really want to just move out to LA and try my best at something that I didn’t know for sure I could succeed at.

So I decided to go to law school to do entertainment law. This way I could be in the industry, but in a controlled career within it. But before I got to start law school, a friend of mine is with an agency and was an extra on a movie near my hometown one summer and asked if I wanted to go for the day and get paid to pretend I was at a party. And the writer saw me and asked me to audition for a role and I got it and they wrote me into the next one and it all just sort of snowballed. I’m the luckiest girl in the world.

Moderator    Do you think Chasing Life can properly portray what cancer patients go through?

Italia   The show isn’t all about cancer. From the people that I’ve spoken to everybody goes through it differently, so there’s no one way to try and show the world what somebody would be experiencing. So I did my best to play April as authentically as we can within the confines of entertainment television. I’m sure there will be some people who completely disagree with how she’s reacting to certain things physically and emotionally and then there’s some people who might say that’s exactly what they experienced, or what they saw somebody experience.

I hope people can at least understand. They’re going to know it’s still television. It’s not a documentary, but at the same time being on set doing some of those scenes, it does get scary when you have to remind yourself that you’re not sick.

Moderator    How do writers keep a show like this from getting too dark or depressing with such a heavy subject matter?

Italia   People just have to take my word for it, it’s not depressing. It’s not dark. It’s not going to leave you feeling heavy after you watch it. The writers are so brilliant. It’s funny. They deliver the bad stuff or the dramatic stuff and then it’s right back at it just like real life is. There’s comedy in it and there’s so much more to it than the cancer. It’s about friendship and her family and her romance and there are episodes that you totally forget that she’s even sick.

Moderator    What was your experience like filming in Boston?

Italia   I had never been to Boston before shooting the Chasing Life pilot in 2012. I love it there! It’s so amazing and the sense of community there and it makes you feel like you’re in the movies. I found myself speaking like the locals saying “wicked good” and stuff, which I’m sure everybody in Boston hates, but I had a lot of fun there. Everybody was go grateful for us to bring the show there and they were all really informed about it, too. I went beside the hotel to get a bottle of wine somewhere and the guy asked me what I was doing. I was like “I’m here for a new show” and he goes “is it the one about the journalist?” And I was like “oh my gosh; you know the show! That is so cool.” Anyhow, I was more excited than he was. I almost wanted to take him out for dinner I was so excited.

And the food, oh my gosh, the food. Every time we go to do exterior shots, I leave ten pounds heavier. Good God, I love the North End. I love it!

Moderator    Are there any other favorite landmarks that stuck out to you in Boston?

Italia   I don’t have a lot of time off when I’m there to get to play, but the cast and I did get to go to Harvard, which is cool, very touristy. We all bought sweatpants. We went to the Beacon Hill, because that’s where the Carver family lives, which was also really, really cool. We got to shoot in Fenway, which actually got cut out of the pilot, but we spent the whole day shooting in Fenway. It was really, really cool. I think Fenway was probably the coolest, but I really do wish that I had more time. I went to the aquarium one day by myself. That was really nice, too. I want to explore it so much. There’s one street you feel like you’re in Europe and then the next street it looks like New York — there’s just so much to it.

Moderator   What was your favorite part about filming “Chasing Life”?

Italia   My favorite part about filming the show, we’ve got pretty good food on set [laughs]. Yesterday we had a mac and cheese bar, like four different types of mac and cheese, it was bizarre; it was amazing. But really, the cast and crew are my favorite things. I am so excited to go to work every day. They are some of my favorite people in the entire world. One camera man moved to another show in the middle of shooting and I broke down and cried on set. But definitely the cast and crew.

Moderator    How are you and your character April are alike?

Italia We’re both pretty stubborn and hyper organized. I can’t function if there’s a dirty dish in the sink or if things aren’t where they belong. My friends when they come over, they’ll just try and mess with me by like turning a vase, rotating it, so that the handle is not out or something and I’ll stop in the middle of the room and notice something is different; this is not okay [laughs]. I’m a little OCD, so I think April and I share that. There’s a bunch of jokes in the show about how organized she is and I think that’s really the writers just taking shots at me. I wish I was as ballsy as her. I hope to be. She’s actually inspired me a lot more than I expected her to, which is great.

Moderator   What was the audition process like for you? What was your reaction when you found out you got the role?

Italia  The audition process, I was so nervous about this audition because it was for such a great role. Besides one other series that I did called Unnatural History, I had only ever played quintessential stereotypical hot girl one or something, so when this one came up, I was like “oh my gosh, it’s real.” It’s something that I can actually lose myself in and become and something that’s going to scare the hell out of me because I don’t know if I’m good enough for it.

So I went to the first audition right after getting a couple of shots because I was getting my green card and I’m not good with needles, much like April, so I felt a little green. I didn’t even remember the audition. I remember getting into the car and just crying and thinking I ruined it; I screwed it up. I called my agent to see if I could get another appointment and they’re like “actually you’re screen testing” and I just about peed my pants [laughs]. Then I screen tested against two other girls who were amazing and then I booked it and I got the call October 9, 2012. I was at McDonalds and I grabbed my Big Mac, forgot my fries and went and had Big Macs and champagne at my manager’s.

My friend has a video of me getting the call and screaming and running around McDonalds like a complete psycho.

Moderator   Do you feel like this role will give you more opportunities as an amazing actress?

Italia   There’s so much to do with April and it’s so exciting that some days I get to come in and bawl my eyes out; and some days I get to come in and scream my head off. And some days I get to come in and laugh like a hyena. April gets to do so much and I don’t have to wake up and play the same tone every day, which keeps it so interesting and I think keeps the performance fresh. I feel like I’m just sitting here crossing my fingers and hoping people enjoy watching me, but I just hope that people relate and are interested in what I’ve done with her. I’m just so terrified still.

Moderator   What is the hardest part about playing April?

Italia   At the beginning the hardest parts were days when I would have scenes where I’d have to get to a pretty emotional place and then we would finish the scene and move on to a happy scene or a regular scene. I would feel like I hadn’t finished letting all those emotions out, so I would end up just crying in my car on the way home or in the shower or something just to let it out [laughs], so I didn’t project it onto to some other part of my life that didn’t deserve it.

But now that I’m getting a lot of fan mail and people are sharing their stories with me and it’s so beautiful and I’m so grateful that I can be somebody that makes them feel like they’re being heard. The hardest part, I don’t feel so great when I get to come home and not be sick when there are so many people who can’t turn it off.

Moderator   What’s the atmosphere like on set?

Italia  It’s amazing! We’re constantly laughing in between takes, you’re making all these jokes, but I feel like that’s just sort of what you have to do sometimes. Everybody just gets along so well and we know so much about each other, crew included. Everybody does such a fantastic job. We’re all just so grateful to be there. There are no egos anywhere. It’s like I have this gigantic new family that I get to hang out with every day and I would do it for free.

Moderator  What is April’s role and relationship like within her family?

Italia   April’s dad passed away two years before the pilot in a car accident, so she’s become almost the rock, the man in the house so to speak. Her mom is still dealing with it in her own way and her sister is just trying to become who she is and her grandma is just hilarious, so April is sort of keeping it all together. And you learn that she was planning to move away after college, but had to stay home to be there for the family, so she’s definitely the foundation that keeps all the wheels turning.

When she gets sick, I think a lot of her hesitation before coming clean about being sick is because she doesn’t want the people who she feels she has to take care of are needing to take care of her. She feels so much responsibility to make sure that everybody is happy and when she tells them that she’s going to need the help now and she can’t play that role as well as she would before then, then she thinks it will sort of all fall apart. Obviously she’s scared. She’s terrified.

Moderator   What will viewers be most surprised by when they watch Chasing Life?
Italia   How funny it is. The pilot is always tough and general audiences don’t always realize that you have to jam so many stories and so many characters and so much information into a pilot episode that a lot of the times it’s not like the rest of episodes. But even in our pilot, you feel that it’s not heavy. It’s a feel good show. It’s a feel good family show and I think that people are going to be surprised at how much more they’re going to laugh than cry.

Moderator   What has been your favorite episode to film?

Italia   The sixth episode was fun because I got to drive around in a Maserati as fast as I could, which was pretty cool. It’s more or so just moments in different episodes, scenes that are a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to this one scene in the finale that I’m going to be filming next week, but I can’t tell you what it is. I would say driving the Maserati around was pretty cool!

 

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Moderator   Can you share anything about the new upcoming season?

Italia   The season is going to explore how the diagnosis elevates all of the stakes in April’s life. All of her decisions matter to her a little bit more than she thought they did at this point and how she handles that and the mistakes that she makes and the victories that she also accomplishes. It’s interesting to see her whole world getting massaged because of this big awful thing, but people can expect to see so many things. I read the scripts and I get so into it like “seriously, what, where, why?” It’s so cool.

Moderator    Did you do any journalism or interview research to prep since your character is a journalist?

Italia When we filmed in Boston, we filmed at the Boston Globe, so I took some time and walked around and watched people more for physical mannerisms and posture and to see what being zoned in as a journalist looks like. I’ve been interviewed a few times, but I was never seeing this in the building at the desk, so that was really good.

Being interviewed now I feel like I’ve blacked out and then I finish the interview and I’m like “did I make any sense?” [laughs] But it’s hard now because I don’t want to be repetitive but I can only answer with the truth and what I know. So it’s frustrating and sort of embarrassing when I break down and cry like a baby!

Moderator    Do you have some autumn memory that you can share?

Italia   Yes, my birthday is in October, so those were always pretty great right near Halloween! But my favorite Halloween costume would probably be my parents would always bandage me up and say I was a mummy every time; it was so great. One year my dad built a shower around me with a rod and curtain and everything, so I was just walking roundabout in a shower; that was pretty cool, too.

Moderator     What is something you hope fans get from the show?

Italia  Hope and inspiration to never give up.

Moderator   What is at the top of your bucket list right now?

Italia  I feel like I should say something super prophetic, but I don’t [laughs]. I would say to travel. I’ve never really traveled much, so it would be nice to be able to do that.

Moderator   Where would you like to go?

Italia  I would like to go to Italy.

Moderator   How difficult is it to portray the shows subject matter?

Italia   As an audience member, I enjoy watching things that make me feel represented and I feel like people are interested in seeing this because no matter what role you play, there might be somebody you can relate to, whether it’s the mom of somebody who’s sick or the best friend or the boss. There’s something that you’re like “okay, I can relate to that and I feel that validation,” it piques a lot of people’s interest if they can find something that they relate to. And then there are people who just want to feel like they’re not alone in this and they’re not. There are so many people that feel everything that every character is feeling in the show.

I’ve seen The Fault in Our Stars, and it’s pretty similar to our show. The types of cancers are different and some of the plot points, but it’s a wonderful movie and I hope people watch it. But 50/50, when Joseph Gordon Levitt and I had reshoots for the movie we did, he actually is the one that pulled me aside and was like “I think it’s amazing what you’re doing, but don’t forget that you’re not sick.” I never really took it to heart before I started shooting and now I’m so grateful that he had said that to me, because like I said, that’s sometimes the hardest part.

Moderator    Do you feel because you’ve taken on a role like this that means that now you have a responsibility when you’re off the set to help with cancer awareness?

Italia     Yes, absolutely. As soon as I booked it, I was like what can I do. It always felt like this massive dark presence that I was uncomfortable addressing or even looking at because I didn’t know very much about it. Now it’s all about awareness we’re bringing and we’re taking that stigma away from that. We’re taking the power away from that and I think that’s great.

When I first started shooting and even when I booked it, it didn’t really cross my mind that people would look at me and I would be taking on these responsibilities. I don’t want to screw it up. I obviously hope that it’s going to help some people, but I’m still just a really lucky girl who booked a really great job.
Moderator     Can you talk about the significance behind all the things April is chasing in Chasing Life?

Italia  Oh gosh, she’s chasing everything! She’s chasing that success as a journalist. She’s chasing the happiness for her mother to find love after her father. She’s chasing her sister all around as she’s figuring out who she is becoming. She’s chasing —before she gets diagnosed —she was already chasing life. You can see she’s already working hard. The first scene of the episode shows you that, but now she’s just got to run a bit faster.

Moderator    Could you talk a little bit more about what people are writing you and what that’s meant to you?

Italia   People just share their stories or whether it’s having known someone or knowing someone or being someone who has been diagnosed. I get these letters and they’re just so amazing and inspiring to me. These guys are the real heroes. It’s incredible, the strength of the young adults and adults and children with cancer that I’m beginning to know. It’s a little overwhelming, but in a great way. I wish I could do more for them than just respond to a message. I wish I could really make a difference and I guess listening is all I could really do at this point, but I’m always going to try and do everything I can.
Moderator    If you could play any other character on the show, who would you choose and why?

Italia     I think maybe Beth, she’s just so funny and snarky and she’s got a great accent and her clothes are amazing. She’s got the coolest wardrobe. April’s is pretty cool, too, but I think it would be fun to play Beth. I think it would be fun to play all of them. Leo is a pretty fun character, too, because you think he’s a jerk for a lot of the time, because he’s just so sarcastic and ridiculous, but yes I think Beth.

 

For more information on “Chasing Life”, please visit the official website here

Media Q&A with Cassie Scerbo of ABC Family’s “Baby Daddy” (2014) (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)

February 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

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Cassandra (Cassie) Scerbo is a familiar face for ABC Family.

Her breakthrough role was in the TV series “Make It or Break It” as gymnast Lauren Tanner and appeared in movies such as “Teen Sporit”, “A Holiday Heist” and most recently in the cult film “Sharknado”.

Currently Cassie Scerbo is the voice of Heidi Weinerman in “Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja” and will now appear in the ABC Family comedy series “Baby Daddy”.

“Baby Daddy” stars Jean-Luc Bilodeau as Ben, a man who’s ex-girlfriend left a baby girl on his door step. Now Ben, the surprised and inexperienced new father, must raise the baby with the help of his mother Bonnie (as portrayed by Melissa Peterman), his brother Danny (as portrayed by Derek Theler), his best friend Tucker (as portrayed by Tahj Mowry) and his close female friend Riley (as portrayed by Chelsea Kane), who happens to have a secret crush on him.

Cassie Scerbo will play the role of Heather, a young woman who will cause trouble for Riley.

In promotion for her appearance on “Babby Daddy”, Cassie recently took part in a media Q&A.  Here is a transcript from the Q&A with Cassie Scerbo:

babydaddy

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Moderator    What attracted you to the role of the frenemy character you will be playing on Baby Daddy?

Cassie    I knew Chelsea before I even read the part of the show! I just love her, I think she’s great. I was really excited to work with her. My character basically comes in and stirs up a bunch of trouble for Chelsea’s character [Riley]. I tend to have a lot of fun with these characters and happen to be cast as this type of girl very often so it’s very fun for me — I guess I play it quite well! It was just fun to hop back on board and play another fun, catty character and stir up some trouble.

Moderator    Were you a fan of Baby Daddy before you got the role?

Cassie    Yes!  I was actually just laughing about this with somebody.  I was on ABC Family for a couple years on “Make It or Break It”, and I’m that person that is such a fan of their own network.  When I was on the show, I would watch so many shows on the network, Switched at Birth, Pretty Little Liars.  Now, I’m very into Twisted.  So, I was very aware of Baby Daddy and I was a fan.  I’m a fan of all the shows.  I think they’re great!

Moderator    How does your character on Baby Daddy compare to your character on Make It or Break It?

Cassie    We all know that my character on Make It or Break It [Lauren Tanner] was pretty snarky and catty.  She was kind of the “B-word” of the show [laughs].  Make It or Break It was a drama and Lauren Tanner had a lot of layers.  She had a very vulnerable side, and I think as the show progressed, people were able to understand why she was so promiscuous and always causing trouble. There were a lot of things in her life that had caused her to be that way.

With my character on Baby Daddy [Heather], it’s a comedy.  She just comes in right off the bat super snarky.  It’s just one of those girls you’re like “Ugh, I can’t stand you!” [laughs].

Heather is just better than Riley in everything by a little bit and it’s really funny.  There are just so many funny things that happen throughout the two episodes, but I would say they’re both very catty; yet, the difference is that on Make It or Break It, I was playing a much younger character.  In this show, I’m playing a young attorney, and it is a little bit of an age difference and whatnot. It’s a comedy opposed to a drama, but it’s just another one of those fun catty characters that you just can’t help but to hate.

Moderator    How was it working with the Baby Daddy cast?  

Cassie    I honestly had the best time!  They are such a down-to-earth cast.  They’re so much fun.  I still keep in touch with all of them, I think they’re amazing.  They’re like one big family.  Definitely one of the most amazing casts I’ve ever worked with by far.

Moderator    How did your guest appearance on Baby Daddy get started?  

Cassie    I actually had gone out for a bunch of auditions that week and they had all went really well, and I’d been waiting. I was waiting around like every actor does to hear feedback and to figure out if I booked one of these jobs. Then the phone rang and I was like “Oh, so which one was it, which one that I auditioned for” and they’re like “No, we actually have a different offer on the table,” and I think the fact that I’ve been a part of ABC Family for a couple years now, they just felt that I would fit this character really well and they had offered me the role. I didn’t actually audition for the role of Heather, but I was so excited when I got that phone call.  I was like “Look at that, I’m sitting here around my phone wondering what on earth it’s going to be and it’s the one I didn’t audition for,” but I was so excited and it was such a surprise. I said yes right away because I already knew Chelsea and I love her.  I think she’s an amazing girl.  I was so excited to work with her and I was happy to be back on ABC Family.

Moderator    Do you prefer working on TV or films, since you’re really well rounded in both areas?

Cassie    It honestly just depends on the script.  People sometimes ask would you rather pursue film in the future, is it going to be TV, and it’s honestly just whatever script comes along that intrigues me that I get to try something new and pursue a different character.

Moderator    How did the cast welcome you to the show?

Cassie    The first day on comedy you start off doing your table readout on Monday, and I had to come in so sick.  I had food poisoning the night before, of course [laughs].  I walked in and thought “Oh my God, this is so embarrassing! It’s my first day here, I’m clearly ill & pale just trying to battle this terrible sickness [laughs],” and everybody was so welcoming. They were all asking if I needed anything to help me out. It was so good to see Chelsea.  It was so fitting!

Because it’s ABC Family, there were a lot of the same people in the room.  I know some of the executive producers very well, and our dialogue coach, Eva Charney was there. Also, the costume designer is the same costume designer for Make It or Break It. It felt so familiar to me because I had known a lot of the faces in the room, and then on top of it, everyone was just so welcoming. Everybody was so kind, and they’re just so fun.  They’re just such a fun cast.

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Moderator    Who was the biggest jokester on set?

Cassie    I think everybody is so funny on that set!  Melissa Peterman, she’s so great with improv and she’s always throwing the most hilarious lines out there — especially during the live tapings.  It’s such a different adrenaline rush, so some of these fun & different things come out. It’s really exciting and it’s obviously different from Make It or Break It, which is a drama.  They’re both great, but it was just cool to try something different and to have this live audience. So many things are just so exciting, you have this adrenaline running.

I can’t think of specific moments, but we all had a great time.  We would laugh constantly and try different things while shooting. There’s this one scene in my second episode, “The Bet”, where Ben is in a hospital bed and there’s one line he says that I lost it every single time [laughs]. It was even on the gag reel at the wrap party a couple weeks back.  I could not keep it together.  It’s just the little things with comedy and with live audiences that give you this rush.

Moderator    Are there any other acting genres you are hoping to get into?

Cassie    Yes, every genre if I can!  I think that’s the best part about being an actor is that you get to step out of the box and try out all these different characters. You also learn so much about an array of people playing these different characters and researching how they would act in certain situations. I think that’s the beauty of acting.  I would love to take on many different types of characters and roles.

I want to play the furthest thing from who I am, that’s always the most fun. That’s why I took those science fiction roles because they were just so fun and they were just so different. I finally get to play a tomboy – and mess with guns and sharks and random sea vampires, and I mean that’s what I think it’s all about.  It’s just having fun, trying out different things.  I would like to dabble in many different genres.

Moderator    Who has influenced you the most in acting?

Cassie    There’s so many! First of all, I don’t know any young actress who wouldn’t say Meryl Streep.  She’s incredible.  I would do anything to work with her, just to be on set and learn from her.  I’m a big fan of Leonardo DiCaprio from his roles in Titanic, Romeo and Juliet, Gilbert Grape, so definitely big fan of him.  I love Ashley Judd.

I love some of these younger actresses out there that are so incredible. Blake Lively, she has had a great career path.  I think it’s so cool the different things she’s done, going from Gossip Girl, which is a fun & younger audience with all of the clothes and teen drama — to Savages and The Town with the really gritty roles.  There are so many.

Moderator    What was it like filming in front of a live studio audience?

Cassie    It’s so fun!  My parents actually were in town visiting that weekend and they got to be there and watch right front and center.  Your nerves are in knots, but it’s so exciting.  It’s so different because you have a couple of takes, but just the fact that there are people watching you.  It’s just really exciting.

You have the director, the producer, everyone behind the scenes and they’ll give you different notes here and there and you try different things out and it’s really exciting to do that in front of an audience. It makes it so much more fun to act just knowing that you’re entertaining people. It raises the bar a little bit and makes you a bit nervous but excited.

Moderator    What are some of your talents outside of acting?

Cassie    Sometimes it surprises people because I come off as this blonde, bubbly girly-girl, but I’m actually really into boxing.  I’ve been boxing for seven years. That’s one of my favorite things to do, one of my favorite sports. Ever since I skydived two years ago for charity, I’ve been really into that.  I love skydiving now.  My mom hates the fact that I love it [laughs]. Oddly enough, my roommate is a professional skydiver, so I’m dabbling in that.  It’s crazy but it’s so much fun.  I did karate for a very long time.  I was a high Brown Belt in Taekwondo.

That sometimes surprises people, and another thing is I also played soccer for nine years.  So, I’m actually kind of a tomboy underneath the girly appearance and the high heels.

Moderator    Do you have any other upcoming projects?

Cassie    As of now, it’s just pilot season. I’m just auditioning.  There are a couple of great projects I’m crossing my fingers on that I’m really excited about. I’m on a cartoon on Disney Channel.  It’s a new cartoon.  It’s called Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja and it’s just so fun.  It’s just a different thing, and you can go in your pajamas and just have some of the different voices.  I play Heidi Weinerman.

I’m getting back into my music.  I finally released a very simple fun cover video because I told my fans when I reached 100,000 followers on Twitter that I would.  So, I released my first one and I look forward to continuously releasing some others.

Moderator    What are some of the hardest thing about adjusting from the east to west coasts?

Cassie    For me, it’s being away from my family.  I have a very big Italian family. It’s like the Scerbos’ Sunday dinners.  Every time my parents are in town, they cook a huge pot of sauce and a ton of meatballs and pasta and everyone’s like “Oh, can I come this Sunday, can I come!?”  So, it’s just being away from my family and we have a lot of traditions and we’re a very close family.  So, that’s hard for me.

It’s just a different pace too.  California is a lot more laid back whereas—even though it’s the entertainment industry and all, but the vibe is way more laid back. On the East Coast, especially in New York, which is where I was born and I grew up part of my life before we moved to Florida, like every other New Yorker, New York is so fast paced.  It’s just very different.  So, I would say that would be the main difference really.

Moderator    Do you ever get the chance to visit the Disney parks in Florida?

Cassie    Yes!  That was my favorite thing in the world was to go to Orlando and go to all the different parks and water parks.  ABC Family had hooked it up and I spent my 22nd birthday there!  I have loved Disney my whole life. So, I got my family and a couple friends out, and I just went there almost two years ago now for my 22nd birthday and had the best time. Ever since I was a kid I’ve been enjoying the parks.

Moderator    What’s your favorite Disney Park?

Cassie    I would say Magic Kingdom.

Moderator    What is your favorite Disney attraction or ride?

Cassie    I really love Space Mountain.  It’s just so cool.  It’s super dark with all the stars and I’m just really into all that.

Moderator    What is your favorite Disney character?

Cassie    If we’re going to do princesses, I’d have to say Belle.  When you’re a little girl, you want to look like the princess that looks like you and I was always like the blonde little girl that just wanted to be Belle.  I just wanted to be Belle.  So, she’s always been my favorite.
Baby Daddy is seen on Wednesdays at 8:30/7:30c on ABC Family

Media Q&A with Nicole Gale Anderson of ABC Family’s “Ravenswood” (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)

February 6, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

NICOLE GALE ANDERSON

Actress Nicole Gale Anderson may be known for her supporting role on the Jonas Brothers series “Jonas” and others may be familiar with her from the series “Beauty and the Beast”, but now Nicole stars in the hit ABC family show “Ravenswood”.

A series that takes place in the fictional town of Ravenswood, Pennsylvania, the series revolves around five strangers whose lives become intertwined by a deadly curse that has plagued Ravenswood for generations. And now all five work together to solve the mysterious curse.

Nicole Gale Anderson plays the role of Miranda Collins, a teenager who has lived as a foster child and takes off to Ravenswood to find her uncle, the person who raised her but put her in a foster home as a child.

Having died in the series and now as an immortal ghost, Miranda assists others to find out more about the mysteries in Ravenswood, Miranda uses her power to find victims of the curse that has affected people of Ravenswood.

To help promote ABC Family’s “Ravenswood”, Nicole Gale Anderson recently took part in a media Q&A.  Here is a transcript from the Q&A:

NICOLE GALE ANDERSON, ASHLEY BENSON, TYLER BLACKBURN

Moderator    How does Miranda handle Hanna showing up in Ravenswood?

Nicole    Well, see Hanna shows up by surprising everyone, so it definitely takes Caleb and Miranda off guard for sure.  But she’s very respectful of what they’ve shared together, and she really likes Hanna.  I mean Hanna was so helpful and supportive of her journey to Ravenswood and having Caleb stay out there with her. So she definitely allows for them to talk things through, but she’s definitely heartbroken for sure.

Moderator    What are your hopes for Miranda in the second season?

Nicole    I would like to see maybe more of her connecting with her uncle again, maybe he’ll be able to start seeing her.  And then maybe something like, I don’t know, a ghost companion.

Moderator    Did you know before you got the role of Miranda that you’d be playing a ghost character?

Nicole    I did.  Yes, I found out during the testing process.  So during the original audition I had no idea, during the callback I had no idea, and then when it came time for me to go to studio network and have my chemistry reads with Tyler. The new scene that they added to the audition process was the scene where Caleb sees Miranda for the first time as a ghost.  So I was going through it, preparing for the test, and I was just like, “Whoa, wait.  What?  She’s a ghost?”  And then my next thought was, “Oh, wait, so if I get this and then I die I have to make sure that I die in a really comfortable outfit.”

Moderator    Did you have to do any research about ghosts or the paranormal for your portrayal of Miranda?

Nicole    I did a little bit just for fun.  I watched a couple of movies, like Ghost with Patrick Swayze.  Yes.  But it’s an ABC Family ghost, and I think at the end of the day Miranda, even though she is a ghost, she still is Miranda and she still was the girl that she was before all of this.  She just has a lot of other problems in her life now.  But, yes, I have fun with it.

Moderator    Were you excited to learn that your character was killed in the first show, since it’s something you’ve never really done before?

Nicole    Yes, I think that with the ghost component of Miranda aside, Miranda as a character in itself is just different than anything I’ve played before.  I’ve played the hyperactive, bubbly Macy and I’ve played a lot of mean girls before, but never really played a bad ass, if you will.  And even though Miranda has a sweet side, she definitely is, I think, stronger and more outspoken than a lot of the other characters I’ve played.  So, yes, I think I’ve really just been enjoying playing that kind of role.

Moderator    How do you interact with other actors who aren’t able to see Miranda’s ghost?

Nicole    I think my biggest challenge playing a ghost has just been not being able to touch anything.  As an actor you want to fill the scene with movement — like if you’re walking through a kitchen you go into the cupboard and get a glass of water and you fill it up, and it keeps a realness to the scene and a realness to your character.  But as a ghost I can’t touch anything, I can’t play with anything, and if I sit down on a couch it can’t sink underneath me because ghosts can’t transfer energy in that way.  So I think that for me is it’s been a challenge for me being able to feel comfortable within a scene.

Then as far as all of the sneaking up on people, especially with Steven, who plays Uncle Collins, we’ve just had fun with it.  I’m just always like, “I’m just always snooping on you.”  So, yes, that part of it I think is fun.

I get to watch really cool scenes! There was one between Uncle Collins and Mrs. Matheson in the police station, I think it was in the last episode, and it was just a beautiful, well-played scene.  Being able to watch them as two actors connecting that way — I just had to stand there and watch them do their thing. So, yes, it’s fun!

Moderator    How did you handle of the spiders being on set for the most recent episode?

Nicole    It was really creepy!  I hate spiders, and I thought they were just going to tease you.  I went in and I had no idea that they were planning on having a huge tarantula on set.  But the wrangler was so awesome, and he was just taking them out and playing with them and scratching their heads. So that made me feel a lot better, and luckily I didn’t have to have it on me; it was all on Tyler.  So, yes, I think being able to have that on set made it easier for me to naturally react to it, because I hate spiders.  So reacting in that scene was just easier.

Moderator    What is it like working with Meg Foster?

Nicole    She’s brilliant, I love her! One of my favorite moments with her is when Miranda decides to haunt Mrs. Grunwald, and she gets up right by her ear and says, “I’m getting better at this,” and that whole moment playing that out with her.  She was just giving me tips on acting along the way and telling me certain things about inflections in your voice and little nuances that you could add in to just make it fuller.  Every time I work with her I learn something new.  She’s amazing.

Moderator        What do you find most rewarding about playing Miranda?

Nicole    Being able to go in and do what I love to do every day has been really awesome, and to be a part of this really successful team has been really exciting.

But my favorite part about playing Miranda specifically has just been the transition that’s she gone through, being so confident and just really tough and sure of herself to then lose everything, including her life, and then starting from square one.  She became vulnerable and scared and timid, and she really lost herself in the way.  So I think being able to progress throughout the season and help her get her fight and spunk back. Especially in episode 108 where she enters Remy’s dream and takes on Abaddon I think that was a really pivotal point for her in terms of becoming more of her own person again.

Moderator    What is it like working with Tyler Blackburn?

Nicole    Oh, it’s the best!  I honestly couldn’t ask for a better partner in all of this.  Ever since the Pretty Little Liars episode he’s been amazing.  He’s been a big support throughout this whole thing.  Any time we have questions or concerns or anything, we can call each other up and vent it out and just be there for each other throughout the whole process.  So, yes, he’s really collaborative and a huge professional and a really easy person to get along with.  I could just go on; he’s great.

Moderator    What is your favorite part about filming Ravenswood?

Nicole    Probably just working with the cast!  We have so much fun.  Brett is hilarious; anything that he just says, anything that comes out of his mouth I’m immediately laughing.  I had a lot of fun getting to know Merritt, and we hung out a lot off set and it was really nice to have a gal pal in New Orleans.  So, yes, I think getting to know the cast this first season has been a lot of fun.

Moderator    Do you ever get scared or experience anything supernatural like your characters?

Nicole    I don’t think anybody ever sees anything supernatural.  I think that the show has definitely made us paranoid, like if anything slightly odd happens we’re just immediately like, “Oh, my gosh, where’s the ghost?  What is happening?”  But nothing actually supernatural has happened, I don’t think, but it’s made for a lot of good on set pranks.  Steven totally got Tyler just by pranking him when we shooting in a haunted abandoned children’s hospital.  It’s made for good pranks, but I don’t think anything has really happened.

NICOLE GALE ANDERSON

 

Moderator    How does the costume designer approach the changing wardrobe of Miranda since she is a ghost?

Nicole    The opportunity that Miranda has to change from the green jacket to the purple sweater was in her dream state, where she was at her parents’ house and she had that closet and she was changing in and out of her pajamas and everything just felt real to her.  So she was able to change in that world. I was like, “Gosh when she was in Remy’s closet in her dream in episode 108 she should have stole a bunch of clothes, have like five different wardrobe changes.”  But she didn’t; they were too busy running away from Abaddon, so totally understandable.

As far as collaborating with the costume designer, there are a good three or four different versions of those outfits so I don’t have to keep wearing the same one over and over and over again.  I think when we chose the purple sweater, even though Miranda was more punk when we met her in the Pretty Little Liars episode; she had the garter belt with the big jacket, the big jean jacket and she just looked a bit more punk.  We figured with her being at her parents’ house and her being happier we wanted something softer, and then it just ended up playing for the rest of the season.

Moderator    Is there any hope for your ghost character to ever have a physical connection?

Nicole    I think that the huge cliffhanger at the season finale will definitely leave that window of opportunity open for Miranda. There’s definitely a huge cliffhanger at the end of the season; it’s literally the last scene of the episode where Miranda could have a ghost companion.  So you will see!

Moderator    What’s your most and least favorite thing about your character, Miranda?

Nicole    My favorite thing about her is that she’s so loyal.  She will bend over backwards for anyone that she cares about, and I think that’s a really nice quality to play in a character. The fact that I can really like Miranda and enjoy playing her in that sense has been a lot of fun.  My least favorite part about playing Miranda is not being able to change clothes!

Moderator    What’s your favorite episode that’s aired so far?

Nicole    My favorite episode was the winter return episode, it was episode 106 with all of the flashbacks.  I had so much fun being able to change in general, but also being able to dress up in all of the old Edwardian clothing.  It was a lot of fun for me!  I love historical fiction and Keira Knightley movies, so I was eating it up.

Moderator    Has anyone ever considered what could happen to Miranda if they do break the curse?

Nicole    Yes, definitely.  It’s all discussed during this huge showdown between the kids of the pack and Abaddon in the season finale.  There’s this huge battle between them, and there are a lot of questions that are answered as far as Miranda being able to come back to life or staying dead.  It’s all brought to the surface during this whole battle.

Moderator    Do you think the gang should be thinking about ways to bring Miranda back before they do anything drastic?

Nicole    I don’t think they’ve really thought of it as a possibility up until the showdown.  I think Miranda’s finally coming to terms with being a ghost and being content.  Well, not content, but just more accepting of her situation.  I don’t think they’ve really thought whether or not to be able to bring her back.

Moderator    Have you had a chance to go out and experience the haunted city of New Orleans?

Nicole    I visited New Orleans two times prior to shooting Ravenswood, so I had already gone on the haunted history tours and all of that stuff, because I love all of that!

I think while I was down there I was pretty busy shooting the show.  But I know that Brett had a lot of weird things happen to him in his apartment; he said that he felt a ghost in his bathroom.  So after that I was like, “Well I’m never hanging out in your apartment again.  I guess hangouts are now in my place. [laughs]” I think the city’s really, really cool in that way. You feel it in the energy and in the people.

Moderator    What do you think is going to happen with Mr. Collins’?

Nicole    I think Steven does such a great job at confusing people!  His true colors finally show in this upcoming episode and during the season finale, which I think will be very exciting for fans to see.

Moderator    If you could play any other character on Ravenswood, who would it be?

Nicole    I would probably want to be Remy.  I think she’s a really smart and quirky character. Her sleeping nightmares have been a really cool aspect to her storyline as well.

Moderator    How did you get your start in acting?

Nicole    I started acting when I was 13. It all began with this random pageant that I decided to sign up for, and one thing led to another and I finally come out to LA for one pilot season, and it ended up going well.  Ever since then I’ve been taking commercial gigs and print modeling. Then it led to a couple of pilots, and after that I booked JONAS when I was 18; that kind of started everything.

Moderator    Do you ever hang out with the Jonas brothers since the filming of Jonas?

Nicole    We hung out a couple of times since we’ve wrapped; it’s an annual reunion for the cast.  We’re all busy; Kevin’s all the way on the East Coast getting ready to be a dad!  But we definitely try to all get together when we can.

Moderator    What are your thoughts about Kevin and Danielle expecting their baby?

Nicole    I think it’s all so exciting!  When we were shooting JONAS they were still this long-distance couple, not even engaged or married yet. So to see them married and moving back to Jersey and having a kid is all really, really exciting.  I think Danielle is so sweet.  She’s going to be the best mom ever; she’s just so soft-spoken and nurturing.  I’m very excited for them!

Images are courtesy of © 2013 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.

Q&A with Sterling Knight of “Melissa & Joey” (2014)

February 2, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

TAYLOR SPREITLER, STERLING KNIGHT

Sterling Knight as Zander and Taylor Spreitler as Lennox Scanlon on ABC Family’s “Melissa & Joey” (Image courtesy of ABC FAMILY)

Actor Sterling Knight is known for his Disney Channel role, starring alongside Demi Lovato in “Sonny with a Chance” (2009-2011)and also on the show “So Random!” (2011-2012), as a talented singer/guitarist, he showing his musical talent in the 2010 Disney Channel film “StarStruck”.

And now, Sterling Knight has joined the cast of ABC Family’s sitcom “Melissa & Joey” as the character Zander, a good friend of Lennox Scanlon (portrayed by Taylor Spreitler).

To promote the current season of “Melissa & Joey”, Sterling too part in a media Q&A.

Here is a transcript from the media Q&A:

Key Art

Moderator     How did you meet Demi Lovato?

 

 

Sterling        I actually met Demi at the audition for the pilot of Sonny with a Chance, which is interesting given the fact that we’re both from Texas; she’s from Dallas, I’m from Houston.  But we actually met in the audition in front of all of the producers and writers and all the scary people in suits.  I think, actually, our first meeting or second meeting is online on YouTube in my audition video.

 

 

 

Moderator      Do you hang out with the cast of Sonny with a Chance and So Random?

 

 

Sterling            We do, we all try and get together every once in a while.  It’s been a couple years now — everybody’s pretty busy on other things, but we do try and make time and hang out with each other.  It’s a good little family that we all started out with, and it’s always fun to get the gang back together.

 

 

 

Moderator       Could you describe your character on Melissa & Joey?

 

 Sterling       Zander is the nicest lovable idiot, I think.  He’s not the brightest bulb in the batch.  He constantly puts his foot in his mouth, but he’s very well intentioned and he wants good things for people. He just kind of ends up messing things up every once in a while and can’t really get his foot out of his mouth.  He’s been really fun to play.

 

 

 

Moderator       What is it like working with Taylor Spreitler?

 

 

Sterling            Well it’s helpful playing against Taylor’s character, because her character’s humor is so dry and witty, it makes my job a lot easier to sell the dummy a little bit.  But I’ve known Taylor for years; I think we’ve been friends for, gosh, seven years, eight years now.  So it’s been really exciting to finally get to work with somebody that I’ve known for so long.

We have a really great relationship, both personally and professionally.  We hang out outside of work, and it’s always nice to go into your job and have a friend there and hang out.  We usually make each other laugh when we’re not making each other angry [laughs]. 

 

 

 

Moderator       What would you tell those readers who haven’t yet watched Melissa & Joey?

 

 

Sterling              I think the writing on Melissa & Joey is probably one of the better sitcom writings I’ve watched, and especially these later seasons. Obviously because I’m there, I think the writing’s gotten a lot better [laughs].  But every show it takes them a while to kind of find their groove, and I think this show has really found it.  I think it explores the ABC Family tagline. It does explore a modern take on the household, and especially the banter between Melissa and Joey is kind of priceless. I’m a big fan of the show!

 

 

 

Moderator                                 Will you and Joey Lawrence ever work on some music together?

 

 

Sterling        Actually a couple weeks ago I brought my guitar to set, just because I wasn’t very heavy in one of the episodes so there’s a lot of downtime.  So I was messing around with the guitar, and Joey came in and we had a little jam session.  I mean that was fun, but I don’t know if that will ever happen professionally.  He may not want to work with me; he’s a lot more talented, especially as a dancer, than I am [laughs].

TAYLOR SPREITLER, STERLING KNIGHT, MELISSA JOAN HART

 

 

Moderator     What is it like to film in front of a live studio audience?

 

 

Sterling                                       I love it!  I grew up in theater, so the multi-camera sitcom with a live audience is about as close to putting on a play as you can get while still not having to rehearse for 19 weeks and then do eight shows a week, which is always kind of nice.  But I really think that it makes something special out of a weird, awkward situation.  As soon as the audience is there it kind of freshens everything up; all the jokes that you’ve been hearing and rehearsing all week get new energy and new life, and I know that the entire cast responds really well with a good high-energy audience.  It’s really fun to hear people screaming at you while you’re trying to take directions.

 

 

 

Moderator        How hard is it to keep a straight face while filming?

 

 

Sterling                                       Impossible. I’m really bad at it, which is awful.  I’ll go ahead and I’ll throw myself under the bus here, I actually practice keeping a straight face sometimes.  So I’ll watch really funny standup comedy routines or something like that and try to not laugh while watching it. Which essentially makes watching the stand up comedy not enjoyable, because I don’t get to laugh.  But it’s really difficult; that’s something that I have trouble with.  I don’t know, everybody on that show is capable of making me laugh, so it’s hard.

 

 

 

Moderator           Who is the funniest on set?

 

 

Sterling           Everybody’s funny in different ways.  Melissa has out-of-context quotes that are just so left field and they’re hilarious, but Joey has better rant comedy.  If he gets really worked up about something he’ll take a good two minutes and just kind of let loose on a topic, and that’s hilarious.  Everybody has their own kind of style, but I don’t know, Joey probably makes me laugh more than anybody.

 

 

 

Moderator     What’s your most and least favorite thing about your character, Zander?

 

 

Sterling         Probably my most favorite thing about Zander is sort of his likeability.  He’s just a good guy and he’s trying, which is pretty different from the Chad Dillon Cooper on Sonny with a Chance and So Random, who was the likeable jerk, or at least I tried to make him likeable. So I think my favorite part is Zander is just a genuinely good person and it’s hard to get mad at him or dislike him in any way.

 

 

                                                      My least favorite part is probably that he’s an artist, simply because I can’t draw a stick figure very well but I have to pretend I’m making these amazing sketches and photos. I have to hold the pencil like an artist would, and I feel useless every time.  Every time they hand me the sketchpad I’m like, “I don’t know what to do.”

 

 

 

Moderator        What is your favorite character you’ve gotten to play in your career?”

 

 

Sterling                                       Character wise was probably either Chad Dillon Cooper from Sonny with a Chance or Alex from 17 Again.  Just because the Chad character was so ridiculous and very not like myself. And then the Alex character from 17 Again — I used to be that kid, and so it was nice getting back in that socially awkward position, like you don’t enjoy going to high school. So I know not to take for granted that progress I’ve made socially.

 

 

 

Moderator      What other TV shows beside Melissa & Joey are you watching?

 

 

Sterling          Well, I mean I just got done with Breaking Bad, and that was quite epic, obviously, because it’s Breaking Bad.  I’m actually kind of behind on a lot of the shows.  So I’m in season two or season three of Nip/Tuck, so I’m catching up on a lot of the really good television shows from a couple years ago. 

 

 

But the ones that are currently on, obviously I’m anticipating the next season of Game of Thrones, like everybody.  And, oh goodness, Shameless is like my guilty pleasure, because I hate admitting that I watch it because the characters are just such bad people [laughs].  But the acting and the writing on it are phenomenal, and I just can’t get enough of it.  So that’s probably my guilty pleasure right now.

 

 

 

Moderator        If you could pick someone to work with, either past or present, who would it be and why?

 

 

Sterling             Leonardo DiCaprio.  That’s probably too quick of a response, but I’ve always really liked his work and his choices.  Oddly enough, I don’t see it, but a lot of people say I remind them of a young Leo.  I don’t see it, but I’ll take the compliment. 

 

 

 

He started out in a sitcom like I did, you know he started out with Growing Pains, and I think that the choices he’s made as an actor creatively and professionally navigating those uncharted waters, just trying to figure everything out, I think he’s done a really good job of it.  He’s gone all across the board with the characters and the movies that he’s done, and I find that really respectful.  That’s probably the guy I would want to work with just to sit him down and pick his brain a little bit.

 

 

 

Moderator                                 Can you compare working with ABC Family and Disney Channel?

 

 

Sterling                                       Well, they’re in the same building, but on different floors.  That’s fun; I know exactly where I’m going when I have a meeting.  But I think they’re pretty similar; they run a tight ship in regards to how they do their shows and the network’s interest level in the production.  But, obviously, we get to say a little more on ABC Family, which is always exciting.  But I think it’s fairly similar, other than the sexy jokes and some of the content’s a little different. 

 

 

 

But I think it’s a nice step for me personally.  I think Melissa & Joey’s been great.  I love working there, and it is a natural progression for my fans.  But they’re getting older, it’s been a couple years since the Disney stuff, and I think the content is age appropriate for that late teen, early 20s demographic.  Yes, it’s been great.

 

 

 

Moderator       If Disney Channel would bring back So Random or Sonny with a Chance would you go for a reunion?

 

 

Sterling         Yes, I’d love to do a reunion show, get the whole gang back together and go make some laughs.  I think that would be really fun.  So, yes, I’m down!

 

 

 

Moderator         How familiar were you with Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence as actors on notable shows in the 80’s and 90’s?

 

 

Sterling                                       It was actually pretty funny.  I’m usually not very star struck or get nervous or anything like that, but I grew up on Clarissa Explains It All and Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Drive Me Crazy.  And then Joey’s stuff, I watched Brotherly Love religiously, which was his show with Matt and Andy on the Disney Channel, and all those Disney movies that all the Lawrence brothers did. 

 

 

 

So I was actually very nervous to be on set, you know I grew up watching these guys.  They couldn’t be nicer people and nicer co-stars.  They’re very welcoming and very professional.  Obviously they both know what they’re doing, been doing it for long enough.  So it’s been a real blessing to work with them.  They’re just good people.

 

 

 

Moderator      Can you recall the very first moment that you went on set and filmed a scene with them?

 

 

Sterling        Absolutely.  I just remember it was so nice having Taylor there, because I could pull her aside and go, “Ah, oh my God, that’s, oh it’s Melissa Joan Hart.”  And she’s like, “Calm down” so Taylor was a really helpful friend to have there to calm me down as we’re rehearsing and I’m getting to know everybody.  It’s tricky when you’re a recurring character coming in for the first time; you’re a guest in their house, and you have to navigate those waters carefully.  But they’re fantastic, so my nerves were for nothing.

 

 

 

Moderator     How do you feel about Mel and Joe dating on the show?

 

 

Sterling     I love it!  I especially love it because I know that they’re not attracted to each other at all on camera, so it’s kind of funny to have to watch them go, “I don’t want to kiss you.  Uh.  Okay” [laughs]. 

 

I know a lot of the times with these shows where it’s two people that you really want to get together – when they finally do a lot that magic and tension is gone, but I think that both Melissa and Joey have done a really great job keeping that chemistry there. That banter keeps everyone interested. I think that’s the best part of the show, their banter together.

 

 

 

Moderator    What is it like on set since you’ve done both television and film?

 

 

Sterling        I’m going to go ahead and say a multi-camera sitcom is pretty much the best job in the entertainment industry; it’s as close to 9-to-5 as you can get, it’s Monday through Friday, and you can have a social life outside of work, which is nice.  And movies is shooting six days a week, sometimes fourteen hours, sixteen hours a day, and I love that.

 

So they’re both very different and they’re both challenging for different reasons.  I’m just weird enough to enjoy being covered in my own blood and mud and climbing through the swamps of Louisiana for sixteen hours a day, and put me in a nice, cushy soundstage for a couple hours to rehearse.  I’m good either way!

 

 

 

Moderator      Which country would you like to visit?

 

 

Sterling            A couple years ago I went to Australia and New Zealand and I had the time of my life, so I would love to go back there again.  But places that I haven’t been — probably Japan or England, and England would probably be easier to navigate seeing as we speak close to the same language.

 

 

 

Moderator     What is your favorite food?

 

 

Sterling            My favorite food is actually escargot, as weird as that sounds, and that’s only because I never get to have it.  That’s always just a nice, special thing that I get to have every once in a while. 

But my favorite food that I actually get to eat more often than not is just a good steak.  I’m a Texas boy, so you get me a good steak and some veggies, and I’m good.

Images: (ABC FAMILY/Bruce Birmelin)
TAYLOR SPREITLER, STERLING KNIGHT, MELISSA JOAN HART

 

Media Q&A with Cierra Ramirez (2014) (of ABC Family’s “The Fosters”) (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)

January 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

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Cierra Ramirez has come a long way as an actress. From earlier roles on “CSI: Miami”, “Desperate Housewives”, Cierra would eventually appear in multiple episodes of “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” and on the final season of “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” and her first feature film with Ava Mendes in the 2012 film “Girl in Progress”.

Cierra Ramirez is one of the stars of the ABC drama “The Fosters”, playing the character Mariana Foster.

The series revolves around a bi-racial lesbian couple Lena (portrayed by Sherri Saum) and Stef (portrayed by Teri Polo) who raise a biological son and several adoptive children. Lena, an altruistic school principal wants to save children and tries to introduce new children into the family, while Stef is a police officer who is not always aware that Lena has brought new additions to their growing family. Especially with the addition of Callie (portrayed by Maia Mitchell), a troubled teenager who is known to turn family’s lives upside down.

Previously in the series, the character of Mariana Foster is one of the adopted daughters who is the fraternal twin sister of Jesus. She is popular, smart and cares for her appearances a lot. But she has recently connected with her real mother who needs money and so Mariana resorts to drug trafficking. But when she gets in trouble, she puts the blame on the new adopted and troubled girl of the family, Callie.

With the second half of the season for  “The Fosters” airing on ABC Family, a media Q&A was recently held with Cierra Ramirez to promote the second half of the season.

Here is a transcript from the Q&A:

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Moderator    What do you think has made The Fosters such a quick fan favorite series?
        
Cierra    The fact that it deals with topics and issues that are so real and relevant right now in the world — but they aren’t often on television for the viewers to see.  I think it has done really well, being able to connect to the audiences. That’s the best part about the series — having people approach you saying that they really relate to a certain character or storyline.  That’s what the whole idea of the show is, it’s so universal.  I think that’s really awesome to see.

Moderator    Who are some of the great guest stars we’ll be seeing this season?

Cierra    Well, you did see Rosie O’Donnell, that’s going to be really awesome.  I’m really
excited for that.  I wasn’t really a part of that whole filming process, so I’m    excited for that as well.  Garrett Clayton will be guest starring as one of Mariana’s possible love interests, so that’s going to be interesting as well.

Moderator    Will this half of the season finally give Mariana the chance to be happy with her new possibly love interest?

Cierra    Well, you did see Mariana deal with some very dark issues on the first half of the season, so it has definitely lightened up.  But I wouldn’t say that it’s all just gone.  A lot of her stuff will come back to haunt her, so you can definitely look forward to some dark stuff coming up.

Moderator    Would you say Mariana is struggling without Lexi around?  

Cierra    It is a story that will continue, and you’ve kind of seen how the relationship and dynamic has changed with Lexi now dating her brother. You’re going to see how that kind of comes into play.  And with her leaving, yes, I definitely think that she will miss Lexi in her life.

Moderator    What has been Mariana’s most important & pivotal moment?

Cierra    I think it would have to be episode 9, where Stef is in the hospital. You see all of the issues that she’s dealt with bottle up and come out.  The reason her mother is in the hospital is because of her, so she’s left with this guilt.  She got shot because she was in contact with the biological mom and with that she wonders if Lena and Stef want to keep her or if they still love her.  I think that she really needed to hear from Lena and Stef that she really is part of this family. It was just something she dealt with, growing up and being curious it did get her into some trouble, and I think that at the end of the day she really needed to know that she was loved.  I think that’s one of my favorite moments.

That was my most favorite.  It was the toughest.  I’m a sucker for anything, you know, I’m very dramatic. I love crying, and I just think that episode was just so beautiful.

Moderator    Is there anything that you would like to have changed about the character in the past?

Cierra    Up until now, she’s no longer keeping in contact with her mother.  I think that was one thing I was a little iffy about, was how close she was getting with her mom, and you see the results of that.

Moderator    Is there anything special you’ve had to do in order to prepare yourself for the role of Mariana?

Cierra    I didn’t really know much about foster care, so my learning process was gradual with the pilot. The cast and crew also helped out. Luckily we’ve been able to meet with foster care companies, and we were able to meet a lot of kids who come from the foster care system. They’ve been able to give feedback, tell us how they relate to something, or if they don’t relate to something.  It’s been really great to see how they relate to The Fosters, and I think that has really helped me shape my character as well.

Moderator    How much of Cierra are you allowed to bring to Mariana?

Cierra    One thing I’m really big about is that I love nail polish!  I just love getting my nails done and I’m really into really funky colors and patterns. They’ve really helped me bring that into Mariana.  I think that’s helped shape her style – she’s very daring and colorful. I love being able to bring the Cierra nails into Mariana.

Moderator    How does Mariana feel about the near loss of a potential sister after Callie ran away?

Cierra    I think that’s really hard, especially coming from a fostering background.  Up until the Foster’s Mariana hasn’t really known a family, and up until Callie she was the only girl sibling in the household. At first she was a little territorial and she didn’t really take a liking to Callie.  But you’ve seen their relationship bond. They’ve gotten so close, and for her to leave like that was hard on the whole family, especially Brandon. I think it is really hard.  She’s never had a sisterly figure in her life, and for Callie to disappear like that was very hard.

Moderator    What do you think Mariana would be like as a girlfriend?

Cierra    She’s never had a boyfriend, so she’s going to have a little hit-or-miss. She’s not going to really know how to be a girlfriend, but I think at the end of the day she will be very romantic and thoughtful.  She’s very creative, so I think she would be very romantic.

Moderator    What is it like working with Garrett Clayton?

Cierra    It’s awesome!  Our friendship actually started from our mutual obsession with Kristen Wiig. We’re just constantly doing some of her impersonations and impressions. I love working with him.  He’s such a great actor and he brings so much to his character Chase. I’m really excited to see how it all turns out and have a blast with him on set.

Moderator    Can you give away any hints behind Mariana’s deep and dark secrets?

Cierra    She doesn’t really have as many this half of the season, but like I said, her mistakes will definitely come back to haunt her.

Moderator    Do you see Mariana as the nice girl she is portrayed to be, or something more?

Cierra    I see Mariana as a 15-year-old girl who is growing and with that she’s going to make a few mistakes here and there.  At the end of the day she loves her family and it means the world to her.  But she is growing and she comes from a different background. She’s very curious, but she’s sassy, she’s witty, she’s loving and caring at the same time. I love her.  I think she’s a great character and I love being able to portray her.

Moderator    How are these perceived expectations of teen normalcy (having a boyfriend) going to affect her actions this half of the season?

Cierra    It actually unravels in one of the upcoming episodes. There is a lot of pressure, and especially if there’s competition. I don’t want to say too much but there might be a little competition in the running towards a love interest.  But, yes, there will be pressure, and you’ll see that all unravel.

Moderator    What other actresses do you look up to?

Cierra    Angelina Jolie!  She is fabulous, on and off screen. I just think she’s an awesome person.  I love Kate del Castillo, I’ve got to represent for my Latinas.  Rachel McAdams is such a beautiful person.  They are all some of my biggest inspirations.

Moderator    What is it like working on The Foster’s set?

Cierra    Oh, it is amazing!  It’s constant laughter.  They really are a great reason to wake up early in the morning.  Whenever I’m rolling out of bed and my bed is just so comfy, I just look forward to seeing them.  They make the day go by so much faster.  It’s honestly not work.  It’s so much fun.  The relationships on and off screen are just so light, it’s just so full of love.  I love it.  It’s a dream.

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Moderator    What issues in the upcoming episodes would you like to see Mariana take on?  

Cierra    If I had to go back to the idea of pressures, pressuring in the teen dating life, I think maybe dealing with the idea of sex or virginity. They have touched it briefly on the show. But I think it’s different with a girl. I think Mariana would be interesting in that scenario. You might be able to see something like that on this upcoming season.  It will be interesting.

Moderator    Is there any type of social issue or a problem that you would not like to see Mariana take on?

Cierra    No, actually.  The one thing I really admire about the writers is that they can really touch base with a lot of different topics really fast, but it all blends so well and all of the storylines just match.  I love the idea of touching so many different universal topics that people can relate to.  I think that’s really awesome.  I don’t think I would be against anything.

Moderator    How is working on The Fosters similar or different than working on The Secret Life of the American Teenager?

Cierra    When I was on The Secret Life of the American Teenager I had signed on the last season of a total of five, so Iwas the new kid on the block.  That was different because on The Fosters we started as strangers on this pilot and took it on from there. It was kind of a whole different ballgame with The Secret Life, coming in as the new student.  Everyone on The Secret Life was so welcoming and so warm, it was a family already. It was so much fun acting on The Secret Life — the drama, I couldn’t get over it, it was awesome.  It was the same in the sense that on both sets the cast and crew were just such family, so that was really fun. It was such a huge blessing to hop on one awesome project to another. It’s been a great ride!

Moderator    Did you already know that you had this role before The Secret Life ended?

Cierra    No, actually.  My auditioning process was very different.  The creator of The Secret Life had called to tell me that The Secret Life was no longer being picked up for another season, so I got on the phone with my agent and I told him, “I’m out here.  I really want to get a new project,” and he told me about The Fosters, but they were already testing for the role of Mariana.  As a spur of the moment I wanted to put myself on tape. The day after we sent it in, I found out that I had booked the role, so it was a really different process. It was a huge blessing.  It was really unexpected.

Moderator    Is there a possibility of something happening between Mariana, Zac and Chase?

Cierra    Oh, I don’t want to give too much away, but maybe you’re on to something! You know she’s never had a boyfriend, so a lot of that topic will surface and there could possibly be a love triangle.

Moderator    What do you think about Jesus finding a new love outside of Lexi?

Cierra    I don’t think that Mariana’s going to be okay with that.  The idea of him dating Lexi — it took so long for her to be okay with. Now that she’s fine with it and she’s away, I don’t know how that’s all going to pan out for Jesus.

Moderator    What does Mariana feel about Brandon and Callie’s relationship?

Cierra    Her relationship with Callie has grown and progressed so much over the first half of the season into this sisterly relationship. She’s known Brandon for so much of her life, that’s her brother, and for them to be dating, I don’t think she approves.  Cierra is definitely Team Brallie, but Mariana’s definitely not.  I’ve got to say I love those moments.  Brandon’s truth comes to play — you’ll see how the whole Foster family really approves or disapproves of it.

Moderator    What is it like working with Hayden Byerly?

Cierra    Hayden is literally a 40-year-old man trapped in a 13-year-old body.  He is the most mature person, he’s probably the most mature out of everyone in the cast, I swear.  He’s so awesome, so giving, and I love being able to work with him.  I love those moments too, because I just love his character Jude. Being able to interact with him as Mariana is just so awesome.  I love it.  I think you’ll definitely see a lot more of them and their friendship in this season.

Moderator    What information or advice do you receive from your friends and family regarding the show and subject matters?

Cierra    My family is just so supportive of everything I’ve taken on, and they are the first people to tell me about the episode! They’re always watching it live and I love hearing their feedback. They love everything that The Fosters has talked about or dealt with, and the same for my friends.  It’s just been so amazing, the whole process and the whole ride of the show. It’s a huge blessing that people like it so much.  It’s really fun to hear that from my family and friends as well.

Moderator    If you could take on the role of any other character on The Fosters who would it be?

Cierra    Probably Jude, just because he has a special place in my heart – if I was a boy [laughs]! I think he has so much underneath that has come into play, and he’s such a strong character, he’s so brave. For a 13-year-old boy he’s just so brave with everything he’s had to deal with, it’s just so cool.  I definitely would want to be Jude.

Moderator    If you weren’t an actress what do you think you’d be doing?

Cierra    I would probably want to be an investigator.  It’s always just been a dream of mine.  I love mysteries and stuff like that!

Moderator    What are some of your other talents other than acting?

Cierra    I originally got into acting through singing.  I grew up in Texas, so I would do lots of local county fairs, so I grew up competing.  I did a competition here in L.A. and they had acting as another category, and since I was out here I thought I might as well just try it.  I didn’t know that I’d end up falling in love with it, I got my agent through that competition, and I’ve been with him ever since.  I love singing and I love acting!

Moderator    Have there been any noteworthy stories or great perceptions from fans that you’ve received?

Cierra    You know that’s one of the main things I love being able to experience — the fans coming up and saying that they relate to a certain subject.  I met a few lesbian couples raising families and blended families, and I’ve been able to speak with them about the show. They’re so excited about the fact that there’s something on the air that they can relate to.  I think that’s just so awesome that the show is honestly making history. It’s ground breaking and it’s real, and being able to speak with fans is just an awesome thing.

For more information on “The Fosters”, please visit the official website.

“The Fosters” airs on ABC Family on Monday nights, 9/8c

Media Q&A with Britne Oldford of “Ravenswood” (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)

November 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

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In our second Q&A feature for “Ravenswood”, this week we feature actress Britne Oldford.

The Canadian/American actress who was trained in music, dance and theatre, Britne made her television debut back in 2008 for the TV series, “The Latest Buzz” and would later be cast for the TV series “Skins” and “American Horror Story”.

And eventually landing the role of Remy Beaumont in ABC Family’s “Ravenswood”, a spinoff of the popular hit drama series “Pretty Little Liars”.

A series that takes place in the fictional town of Ravenswood, Pennsylvania, the series revolves around five strangers whose lives become intertwined by a deadly curse that has plagued Ravenswood for generations. And now all five work together to solve the mysterious curse.

The series connection to “Pretty Little Liars” is through the character Caleb Rivers (portrayed by Tyler Blackburn), who goes to Ravenswood to help his girlfriend Hanna Marin (portrayed by Ashley Benson). While en route to Ravenswood, he meets Miranda Collins (portrayed by Nicole Gale Anderson), who is going to Ravenswood to find her last remaining relative. And while she visits her uncle’s home, something freakish happens and she ends up rescuing Hanna.

Hanna asks Caleb to stay in Ravenswood to help Miranda and for some unknown reason, he finds a tombstone with his name and picture in the town cemetery, and it’s enough for him to stay in Ravenswood a little longer.

In the series, Britne Oldford’s character Remy is an employee at the Ravenswood newspaper, “Ravenswood Gazette”.  Her father is the editor-in-chief and she helps Caleb find the death record of his lookalike.  She is also the girlfriend of Luke Matheson (portrayed by Brett Dier) and is the first person to discover the theory of the Ravenswood curse.

To help promote “Ravenswood”, Britne Oldford recently took part in an ABC Media Q&A.  Here is a transcript of the media Q&A:

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Moderator    Will the relationship between Remy and Luke continue to evolve or will Remy focus more on the curse?

Britne    I think that the curse is all consuming at the moment, and will continue to be.  But the relationships with everyone do evolve and do grow, so I think that that’s definitely something that we’ll see in later episodes.

Moderator    Will viewers continue to learn about the curse in the winter finale, and what the pact actually is?

Britne    We find out a lot more information about the pact and, perhaps, potential people who are involved in the mid-season or the winter finale.

Moderator    Could you describe your character for those who may not be watching?

Britne    Remy Beaumont is a very bright, determined, I think fairly stubborn at times, young woman who’s always seeking justice and wants to find out the truth behind everything that’s going on in her town.

Moderator    What would you say drew you to this role?

Britne    What drew me to the role of Remy, and the show in general, is that I do love supernatural things and shows – especially growing up. She was a strong female, and I think that there needs to be more strong female roles out there, especially for everyone, for every age group, but young women, and I thought that she could possibly be a role model and that’s why I was drawn to her.

Moderator    Will we also see any more development with Remy’s relationship with her family?

Britne    Yes!  All of the characters family relationships develop gradually throughout the season. There isn’t too much that happens in the fifth episode with regards to that, but you’ll definitely see more.

Moderator    Is there anything that you’ve brought to the role that may not necessarily have been in the script?

Britne    I think that what I’ve brought to the role would be just a level of composure that wasn’t necessarily specified with the character of Remy.  But otherwise, she’s been pretty straightforward.

Moderator    What is it like working so closely with Brett Dier?

Britne    Working with Brett is always so lovely.  He’s an absolute riot on set, and we’re really good friends so it’s always a good time.

Moderator    What’s the best encounter you’ve had with fans in New Orleans?

Britne    We go to the movies a lot, and the people who work there have seen us go very often – so they recognize us, and have kind of taken a liking to us.  So it’s just great being able to talk with them, have some R&R and talk about just anything in a very casual setting.

Moderator    What is your favorite part of watching the show as a fan?

Britne    I get so engulfed in it even though I read all of the scripts, and I’m there filming it. I love watching all of the spooks. Also, knowing that the fans are watching and that they’re having an even more intense experience than I am.

Moderator    If you could compare Ravenswood to any other supernatural show, what would it be?

Britne    I have to compare it to Scooby Doo, but just because there’s a younger group of people with these mysteries and what have you.  I think that it’s very different because there is a group of young teenagers in a town having their relationships grow, and seeing the characters evolve as people as well as trying to figure out what’s going on with this curse, and how it’s affecting them.  There are a lot of ensemble teen TV shows out there that do not have supernatural aspects to it, or undertones, so I think that’s how it’s different.

Moderator    Has Remy always been a sleepwalker, or is this something that has started because of the curse?

Britne    Ah ha!  You will definitely be finding that out very soon.

Moderator    How did you get your start in acting?

Britne    I got started in acting professionally only when I was about 17.  I was born and raised in Toronto, and I went to an art school there called Earl Haig Secondary School, which I loved, and I was a drama major so I was studying theatre very heavily. I thought I would be doing theatre for pretty much the rest of my life, being happy doing it back home, but I went to an open call for Skins, which was the first big show that I was on, or big project in general, and from then on I’ve been doing this whole thing.

Moderator    How did you feel when you found out that you got the role?

Britne    Oh, I was thrilled!  I was so happy when I found out that I got the role of Remy, because I was originally going out for Miranda, and it got down to Nicole and I, and I knew she was going to get it.  She had the look, she had it — I just knew.  And I was going along for the ride, and just having a great time that day, and then the following day I was at the airport and got a call from my management and my agent and they were like, “There’s good news and bad news.” and I was like, “Oh.  Well, of course the bad news is that I didn’t get it.” And they were like, “Good news.  They’re offering you a different role.”  So I was thrilled that I got a job, first off, and then when they told me about Remy, I was so pleased.  I was so pleased.”

Moderator    What is your dynamic like on set with Tyler, Nicole, Merritt and Brett?

Britne    We’re all pretty funny, and crazy loud people.  So when we’re all on set together it’s a total riot!  Fortunately, we get things done, but the dynamic between everyone is very different, but we all care about each other very much.

Moderator    How do you feel about the interactive social media of the series and live tweeting the episodes?

Britne    I think that it’s awesome to be a part of this whole family and to really be able to connect with the fans because they are a huge reason why we’re on the air. They’re really the backbone of bringing the show to life and keeping it going, as well as our careers as artists outside of the show.  So it’s a huge deal, and I’m so grateful to have them and to be able to share with them.

Moderator    Is there anything that you can hint or tease about the mystery happening between Collins and Mrs. Grunwald?

Britne    There is a lot of mystery on them.  Honestly, I have no idea.  I know that they have a definite connection, and they are working together, but in regards to what they are working towards?  I don’t know!

Moderator    Is Remy’s personal style and fashion similar to your personal style or is a bit different?

Britne    My personal style is definitely way different than Remy’s; way, way, way different.  I wear too much black, I always have ever since I was a kid.  But it’s funny, though, because I have noticed that some of her style has been creeping into mine, especially color-wise. I’m realizing that I can mix and match really crazy things and it look interesting, if not good.  So yes, our styles are definitely different —she’s quite preppy and kind of quirky, and I’m kind of more quirky and dark.

Images are courtesy of © 2013 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.

Media Q&A with Merritt Patterson of “Ravenswood” (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)

November 2, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

merritt

With the popularity of ABC Family’s “Pretty Little Liars”, it was a matter of time before a spin-off series would be created.  And sure enough, I. Marlene King, Oliver Goldstick and Joseph Doughtery would eventually create a teen drama mystery-thriller known as “Ravenswood”.

A series that takes place in the fictional town of Ravenswood, Pennsylvania, the series revolves around five strangers whose lives become intertwined by a deadly curse that has plagued Ravenswood for generations.  And now all five work together to solve the mysterious curse.

The series connection to “Pretty Little Liars” is through the character Caleb Rivers (portrayed by Tyler Blackburn), who goes to Ravenswood to help his girlfriend Hanna Marin (portrayed by Ashley Benson).  While en route to Ravenswood, he meets Miranda Collins (portrayed by Nicole Gale Anderson), who is going to Ravenswood to find her last remaining relative.  And while she visits her uncle’s home, something freakish happens and she ends up rescuing Hanna.

Hanna asks Caleb to stay in Ravenswood to help Miranda and for some unknown reason, he finds a tombstone with his name and picture in the town cemetery, and it’s enough for him to stay in Ravenswood a little longer.

In the series, among the five teens are twins Luke (portrayed by Brett Dier) and Olivia Matheson (portrayed by Merritt Patterson).  A young woman who wants to live her life and is often concerned of what people say about her mother.

Both characters were recently introduced in the “Pretty Little  Liars” 2013 Halloween special.

To help promote “Ravenswood” and the Halloween special, Merritt Patterson recently took part in an ABC Media Q&A.

Patterson made her acting debut on the ABC Family show “Kyle XY” and was cast in the film “Percy Jackson: The Lighting Thief” and also has starred in “Supernatural and the Disney feature “Radio Rebel”.

Recently, Patterson co-starred alongside Kim Coates (“Sons of Anarchy”) in the feature film “Rufus” and will also appear in the upcoming films “Primary”, “Kid Cannabis” and “Wolves”.

Here is a transcript of the media Q&A with Merritt Patterson:

ravenswood

Moderator: How do you feel about Olivia becoming a fan favorite?

Merritt: It’s really exciting. This is all new to me, so I’m very excited and I’m glad people responded well to Olivia.

Moderator: What did you bring to the role that may not necessarily have been in the script?

Merritt: Olivia and I are really similar, which was great as far as our tendencies and how we deal with things. I think I brought more of a subtle characteristic to her because she is prom queen. And I think when you think of prom queen, you think of over-the-top. It’s in my nature to be a little bit more subtle, so I think I added that to her character.

Moderator:  What can we expect from your character in the first few episodes?

Merritt: Olivia’s kind of in a different social bracket at the beginning of the show, which is why I think she’s a little bit more separate; but obviously, as the curse continues and they continue to find out more, she’s brought together with the other four. She continues to do research on her father’s murder, and she also has a supernatural experience for herself coming up, which is pretty exciting; so I’m looking forward to both those events.

Moderator: Can fans expect the same twists and turns that Pretty Little Liars is famous for? Do you personally enjoy those elements?

Merritt: Definitely, yes! I think that’s what’s really great about our show and what’s similar to Pretty Little Liars — are the cliffhangers, twists and turns. So you can definitely expect lots of those; and I love that. It keeps you on the edge of your seat and it keeps it interesting. I’m excited, and I think people will respond well to that.

Moderator: Do you think the subtle sparks between Miranda and Caleb will put a strain on Hanna and Caleb’s relationship?

Merritt: Yes, I think it will. I think the fact that he is in a different town, that would put a strain on any relationship. Miranda and Caleb are very similar. Their characters are very similar, so they get along really well right off the bat, which could be taken wrong from someone else, especially in a different town.

Moderator: Will Hanna be visiting Ravenswood often?

Merritt: She doesn’t during the beginning. They definitely do keep in contact, it’s mainly over phone conversations, so she is in some of our episodes, but not in person; not yet.

Moderator: Is there any one particular media – between big screen movies and TV production – that you prefer?

Merritt: No, not really. I’ve always been drawn to film just because that’s what I love. As far as being on the sets and working with people — I love being on a set and being a character and doing a story. Each one is so great because you’re learning about a different character, so you get to learn different aspects that you might not have otherwise known. I’m open to everything.

Moderator: Do you find it hard to break out of film mode? How do you lighten things up from all of the drama on Ravenswood?

Merritt: Yes, this is new to me—the drama—and the first few episodes were very dramatic. We’re introducing the storylines and the characters, which makes it action packed. That was a bit crazy, but now things have started to get into a different pace. All of the cast gets along really well. So as soon as they’re saying cut, we’re laughing and making jokes which keeps things really light; so it’s really great.

Moderator: What is Olivia’s relationship like with her brother?

Merritt: I think their relationship right now is strained. I think the whole family is strained. They’re going through a lot with the murder of their father, and her mom has been hiding out. She’s obviously struggling, and I think Luke deals with it by being very angry. I don’t think he knows how to deal with it; neither does Olivia, but she’s trying to pretend like everything’s okay. I don’t know if it has fully hit her yet, but I think their relationship is very strained because of that. She doesn’t understand Luke’s process and how he’s dealing with the events. There’s some miscommunication there, but ultimately they’re twins. They’re family and they love each other and they’ll always have each other’s back. I think it’s like any relationship with siblings. I think it’s very up and down.

Moderator: How did you feel when you learned that you had gotten the role?

Merritt: Oh my gosh, I was so excited. It was crazy. When I auditioned for it, I put it on tape in Canada because I’m based in Vancouver, B.C. At the time, I didn’t really think I had a chance, because it was an American television show. Usually it’s a lot harder for Canadians to get on American shows unless they’re filming in Canada; then we kind of have a leg-up, so I was shocked and ecstatic.

Moderator: Can you tease a bit about the dynamic of the character relationships with one another?

Merritt: We all have stronger connections with different people. Olivia and her brother have a strong connection; and then Luke has a strong connection with Remy, because they’re dating. It’s a bit rough right now with their parents, but they have that. Remy and Caleb kind of bond, you see in the first episode that they’re immediately drawn together because they both want to find out more information on this curse. Then, obviously Caleb and Miranda have a connection, and they’re friends right off the bat. It’s like we each have a stronger connection with someone else in it. In the third episode, I build a stronger bond with Miranda, which was really exciting; I was happy for that. There’s a bit of a riff between Caleb and Luke, because Luke is very protective over myself and Remy. I don’t think he knows Caleb yet, so he doesn’t really know what to think of him. For the most part, we all get along, which is good, because we’re all going through this together.

Moderator: How much are these new events going to alienate Olivia from her friends and her social standing as the homecoming queen?

Merritt: I think she feels ostracized. She is realizing that the things she thought were important before are no longer important to her. That kind of separates her from her friends and it strains the relationships.

Moderator: What was it like to film Olivia’s “turning point” when she realized everything is changing?

Merritt: In episode two you see more of the strain on her relationship with her friends and her boyfriend. You see a lot of strain in episode two that she’s growing further and further apart from them because she’s so distracted by everything that’s going on.

Moderator: Why do you think the town of Ravenswood is treating Olivia so bad after her father’s murder?

Merritt: The town of Ravenswood thinks that our mother killed our father, so the whole family is being ignored and hated. They think that our mom murdered our father and therefore we’re all connected to this murder. I think they’re just putting us out there on our own. Nobody really trusts or respects our mom, and therefore the kids are being painted that way as well.

Moderator: What do you think it would take to get out from under the bad treatment from the town?

Merritt: I think Luke and Olivia are trying to figure out who murdered their father, because it doesn’t seem like the cops or anyone in the town is. They’re really pushing to find out who did it, so they start to take things into their own hands and they find clues along the way. Once the murderer is revealed, that will obviously help and make people realize.

Moderator: What’s your favorite aspect of Olivia?

Merritt: I like that she’s a very caring person; she cares a lot about all the people around her, and she’s very protective of them all, and I enjoy that about her. She’s not this crazy popular girl who lives in her own world. Yet she’s still homecoming queen.

Moderator: How does being ostracized affect her as a person?

Merritt: She’s really floating right now. She’s unsure, grasping for anything at this point because it’s all new. She’s constantly making new revelations, like “Oh, that’s what I used to love – it doesn’t mean so much to me now,” and “Oh, this person that I had so much in common with now feels so different”. So she’s constantly dealing with that. The curse isn’t a good thing, but at least she has something with those five people that she can connect to.

Moderator: How do you feel about the transition between Vancouver and Los Angeles?

Merritt: I actually have remained based in Vancouver. I have been to L.A. for testing; I did live there for about a month last year during pilot season, but I haven’t done the big transition yet. I was waiting for the right moment. I would love to be down there, but it just hasn’t presented itself yet. I do love L.A., and it’s definitely a different vibe because the entire city is involved in the industry. Whereas, Vancouver, it’s a very small group of people in the industry, so it’s definitely a huge change. I enjoyed it while I was down there, and I would like to be down there again soon.

Moderator Is there another female actress you feel could portray Olivia?

Merritt: I don’t know off the top of my head. I immediately think of Jennifer Lawrence and Shailene Woodley. They’re the right age bracket and they’re amazing; so either of them could play it really well I think.

Moderator Have there been times when you were actually scared or creeped out on set?

Merritt: Oh, for sure! The great thing about New Orleans is that it’s on location, and the locations here are amazing. There’s so much charm and history to this city. We’ve filmed a lot in a graveyard, which surprisingly isn’t that creepy, they’re really beautiful. We have filmed in an abandoned hospital and we heard stories that part of it was haunted. There was water dripping from the ceiling and people have heard footsteps. So there had definitely been a few times we were like, “Oh, did you hear that?” I’m sure we’re getting ourselves worked up, but it’s for sure on our minds.

Moderator How hard is it for you as an actress to convey the creepy feeling of the show to the audience?

Merritt: The locations are huge, and they play a huge part because it’s so much easier to get into that headspace and that energy when you’re surrounded by an actual location that adds itself to the scene. That’s helpful, and the writing is wonderful too, so it’s pretty easy, and once we all get into the scene and we start going, we build off of each other and that helps as well.

Moderator: Is there anyone on the set of Ravenswood that you look up to as a mentor, or get along with really well?

Merritt: We all get along really well, and I think we’re really lucky to have the cast that we have, especially the core five. Everyone’s done a lot and they’re well rounded in all different aspects of television and film. Tyler obviously has been through this already with ABC Family and Pretty Little Liars, so he understands how the whole process works. That’s all new to me, so it’s good to have him and watch how he deals with it. Then, obviously Meg, who plays Mrs. Grunwald, has been in the industry for a while, and she’s really talented. Having her around is really great, and hearing her stories and having her opinions. She’s a really great person to have if you have any questions or if you’re concerned about something, talking to her is really great. She’s wonderful. I actually have a scene with her that we just filmed and it is my first one-on-one scene with her. She’s so intense that she would throw me and I would lose my lines because she was just in my face. It was crazy and wonderful, she’s brilliant.

Moderator What is your favorite Disney Park?

Merritt: I’ve only ever been to Disneyland, which I loved. I loved California Adventure. Tower of Terror is by far my favorite. I would like to go to Disney World! I actually had this little girl on our set, Isabelle, who plays Max — She is from Florida and was telling me all about Disney World the other day. There’s a ton of different rides. I love amusement parks.

Moderator: What’s your favorite Disney ride?

Merritt: Probably Space Mountain. I love that one.

Moderator: What’s your favorite food or restaurant in the parks?

Merritt: Last time I was there I had pineapple soft-serve and it was amazing. I’ve never had it before and I think I ate two or three; they’re so good!

Moderator: What’s your favorite Disney character?

Merritt: It’s probably one of the Disney princesses. I grew up watching those movies as a kid, and I loved them. I love Belle; she’s one of my favorites, and Ariel, those are probably my top two.

Moderator: Is fashion something important to your character and the show in general?

Merritt: Definitely! I think it helps define a character. We’re lucky Blair [head of Ravenswood wardrobe] is so wonderful! I think what Olivia is wearing is helping her and helping me get into her character. I think that goes for all of us. I love Miranda’s outfits, too. I would personally dress more like Miranda, but I have fun with Olivia’s wardrobe.

Moderator: What’s your relationship to the ABC Family social media now that you’re on the show?

Merritt: I’ve always had a Facebook, and I did get Twitter about a year ago. It wasn’t until the last few months that everything has really started to blow up. During the premiere last week, my Twitter was crazy! It’s kind of overwhelming. It’s a bit of a learning curve, but it’s fun, and I feel like I’m getting the hang of it. I did get an Instagram account because of the show. I thought that would be good. I like Instagram because it’s like a little photo diary. I’m getting the hang of it.

Moderator: What is your Twitter account for everyone to follow?

Merritt: It’s @MerrittPattrsn. Thanks for asking!

Images are courtesy of © 2013 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.

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