GLAY’s original 4-hour live performance took place on July 28th and 29th and was adapted into the special 3-hour concert film, depicting the best moments of the legendary performance on July 29th and featuring many of the band’s greatest hits. Additional information on this special event can be found at: http://www.liveviewing.jp/glay-screenings/.
Since their debut in 1994, GLAY has led the music scene in Japan to become one of the best-selling rock acts in the country and has also garnered a substantial worldwide following. To-date, the 4-piece band has released an astounding 45 singles and has sold more than 40 million albums in Japan alone.
The band name “GLAY” is a deliberate misspelling of the word “gray”, which represents the style of music the members wanted to play; a mixture between rock (black) and pop (white). Takuro, the band’s founder and leader, writes most of Glay’s songs and music and is an ardent Beatles fan and the group’s music is heavily influenced by English as well as American rock fans. Although GLAY primarily composes songs in the rock genre, they have also written songs in styles ranging from reggae to gospel. Due to their musical diversity, beautiful lyrics and wonderful melodies, the band has emerged as one of the most successful and well known bands in Japan, and most of Asia. The members of GLAY are also heavily involved in a variety of social and charitable causes.
Having been a fan of GLAY’s for more than ten years, listening to their music and attending their concerts in Japan and also on their North American tours, I was excited to hear that there will be a screening event presented by Live Viewing Japan of the band’s summer concert “GLAY STADIUM LIVE 2012 THE SUITE ROOM in OSAKA NAGAI STADIUM” at the Big Cinemas Manhattan Theater in New York on October 12th.
To those who are not familiar with “Live Viewing”, it has gotten increasing popular in these few years for concerts and other events to be streamed live to cinemas in Japan. Thus fans who are not able to get tickets to the event itself or are unable to travel to attend are able to participate and enjoy a live broadcast experience, and the event can also reach a wider audience this way.
While this New York presentation of GLAY’s concert from back in July is obviously not being broadcasted live, the opportunity to watch the concert on the big screen with other GLAY fans is still an extremely enjoyable one!
The concerts took place over two days on July 28th and 29th under the titles “7.28 Super Welcome Party” and “7.29 Big Surprise Party”, and the show that was screened is the latter from the 29th. After an heartfelt introduction from Takuro and then a funny opening video featuring the whole band, the concert launched into an exciting and feverish start with “SHUTTER SPEED no Theme” and continued with “Kanojo no Modern”. Also included are favorites such as “Ikiteku Tsuyosa” and “Beloved” as well as newer numbers such as “Route 5 Bayshore Line” and “Bible”, rounding out a set list of sixteen songs and four medleys — one medley each for the songs written by each of the four band members.
The concert was played live before a 50,000 strong audience. GLAY is a band that is known for staging many large scale outdoor concerts, most notably the GLAY EXPO in 2004 with a 100,000 audience, and they are very creative in making such shows a spectacular, memorable, and above all fun event for all their fans.
The theme of the concert, “Hotel GLAY”, is a reprise from their 15th anniversary concerts in 2009, and playing to this, there is a giant hotel facade on the main stage with all the “windows” of the hotel and the middle tower constructed of video screens that are utilized to fantastic effect during the show in addition to the large video screens on either sides of the stage. There is a smaller sub-stage at the far end of the arena, and joining the main stage and sub-stage is a specially built oval track encircling the arena seats thus providing a circular 360-degree stage space that brings the band closer to the audience in the entire stadium wherever they might be.
Playing a concert in a huge stadium is one thing, but the care and thought that goes into really trying to make it a show for each member of the whole audience does not come naturally to all artists, and in this one can really get a sense of how much GLAY truly makes an active effort to reach out to every one of their fans. And it is not only in concept of the staging, but it also requires preparation and determination on the part of the artists too.
In one of his MCs, Teru said that in order to prepare for these concerts, he had put the songs from the set list on his iPod and went for 10 km runs (a bit more than 6 miles) playing the songs because it would take physical training to run the length of the tracks from the main to the sub-stage and be able to sing at the same time.
“(The distance) is far, but we will run as much as our strength will allow!” he declared, and immediately proceeded to run around the entire length of the track during the aptly named number “RUN.” Honestly, in all of the band’s MCs I lost count of how many times the various members of the band said the word “love” -– unabashedly shouting from the bottom of their hearts “I/We love you!” over and over, to “Lets love one another!” “We want your love!”, they are doing all they can to show how much they care and to connect.
And the fans answered them in spades. In any shot of the audience one can see all walks of life, from young women and boys, to mothers with their toddlers and men in their fifties, all of them completely devoted and enjoying every moment. This sense of inclusion also extends to having the lyrics displayed on the video screens so fans will be able to follow along at any point and sing and shout and not have to worry about forgetting the words at key moments (though of course many of them already have the lyrics memorized!).
The concert was also live streamed to seventy-one theaters around Japan and also to theaters in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea, so fans far away from Osaka can also participate real time. “We are all joined by our hearts and our love.” they said, and that is indeed the kind of band GLAY strives to be.
While watching a summer concert three months later on an unseasonably cold fall night in New York did take the immediacy out of the experience somewhat, the passion of the band and the audience more than made up for it in the three hour screening.
My only complaint would be the few sudden cuts to black in the footage when the band was moving between the main and sub stages, and also before the encore. While I appreciate the time saved, a softer fade in and out would have helped to not abruptly pull viewers out of the concert.
In the end it is really up to the live viewing audience as to what experience they will have in the darkened theater, and I was very glad to see people clapping and calling out and participating and enjoying themselves as they would in a live concert. I would definitely recommend GLAY fans in Los Angeles and San Francisco to catch the screenings in November if they can!
Actor Greg Grunberg is one of the well-known actor on television.
Having appeared on hit series such as “LOST”, “Heroes” but also in movies such as “Mission: Impossible III” and “Star Trek”, as well as video games such as “L.A. Noir” and “Gears of War 3″, not only is he well-known, he is one of the busiest actors today.
Grungberg recently starred in the series “Love Bites” and appeared on TV series such as “Hawaii Five-0″, “Psych” and “The Client List”. But one type of series you don’t see him appear often are in sitcoms. And surprisingly, Greg recently appeared in the ABC Family TV 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), which he doesn’t know that she has a secret crush on him.
In an upcoming Christmas episode, Grunberg played the role of Ray Wheeler, the father of Ben and Danny and ex-husband of Bonnie. Grunberg finds out that he is a grandfather and comes to visit and see the baby and take part in a Christmas family photo.
To help promote his appearance on the show, Greg Grunberg recently took part in a media Q&A talking about his role on “Baby Daddy” but also his previous work on television and video games.
Here is the transcript from the Q&A:
Moderator Can you tell us a little bit about how you started working on the show, how you got the part?
G. Grunberg Sure. My agent called me up and said well your dreams have come true. No, that’s not true. No, my agent said, listen I think there’s a really cool show that you’re going to love and your kids can finally watch something that you’re doing.
I’ve been very, very fortunate and had a, what I think is a really nice career so far. Unfortunately all the things I’ve done from Felicity to Alias to Heroes, even Hawaii Five-O, or the other show that I did called Love Bites; they’re all just kind of inappropriate for my kids in one way or another. I’ve been looking to do something, certainly multi-cam and comedy driven, and also it would be great if my kids could watch it.
This show, let me tell you something, I don’t know if you’ve seen the show, I’m sure you have, it’s so funny and its smart; the actors are fantastic, especially with the way my character comes in. They’ve been talking about him so much and he’s such an integral part of this family, it’s just such a fun, kind of cameo and hopefully it will develop into more, who knows, but I’ve had so much fun working on it. So it was really just a fortuitous thing, and again this cast is fantastic, I had a blast.
Moderator Is your character going to come back again, do you know?
G. Grunberg I don’t know, that would be up to you, blog your head off. I have a lot of friends on the show; I made a lot of friends and also Michael Lembeck who’s just brilliant. He and I worked together many, many years ago at the beginning of my career and then, actually a few times, and he is one of the producers and director of that episode.
So he told me, and then a lot of the— everybody at ABC Family has been so supportive during that process of making the show. So it wouldn’t surprise me if I came back, I would love to come back in any way possible. I had a really good time.
Moderator What can you tell us about your character as Ray Wheeler?
G. Grunberg Ray Wheeler is the kind of the much talked about father of the two boys and now grandfather and ex-husband. You know Melissa and I, we had this relationship and it’s hard not to love Melissa, so it was kind of challenging because we were kind of at each other’s throats in a really funny way when I first get introduced on the show.
There are some major surprises to my character, there are a lot of unknowns when I come in, so they’re talking about me like, oh you know it’s dad and their whole reason why my character comes back at this point is because they’re trying to reenact this Christmas card, this tradition that they’ve had on the show, the family has had, of taking a family Christmas picture.
It’s a shock to Melissa and to the family and to our friends, that they’re saying, oh, he’s coming back, he’s back? It’s great to have this kind of mystery behind it and then my character comes in at the very beginning of the episode, so it’s fun. What I loved is the whole holiday aspect of it and the family aspect of it and also working with everybody, they were great.
Moderator What was your favorite part about playing Ray?
G. Grunberg That there were so many sides to him. That he’s kind of an unexpected character with what he does for a living and like there’s this stuff, because he’s been out of the family for so long, so when he comes back it’s kind of like, well dad, so what’s been going on and what are you into?
One of my favorite things is there’s always that tension between a husband and wife that we’re married, they raise these great kids and she is such a funny, she’s so brilliant and she’s so funny, Melissa is, so it was great. You’ll see; I mean they’re all hoping that everything will work out, that we will kind of rekindle our love and how that plays out it’s just really, it’s just done in a funny way. The writers are brilliant and they really came up with something funny.
Moderator Pretty good, glad you were able to call in today.
G. Grunberg Yes, I know; I’m excited. I’m also doing a live, I’m going to be on my Twitter stream taking questions live during the East Coast feed tonight at 8:30, so I wanted, if I could just put that out there @GregGrunberg on Twitter, you can go back and forth while the show is on, which is going to be cool, and that’s tonight.
Moderator I was a big fan of Alias, Heroes, and you’re very short stint on Lost. Comparing them to like Baby Daddy, very different shows, did you have any experience with comedy previously to Baby Daddy?
G. Grunberg I did, I did a show called Love Bites, which was on a different network and it was really funny and then I got to work with Constance Zimmer, who I’ve always been a huge fan of, but that wasn’t multi-cam comedy. You know multi-cam is in front of a live audience, so you really get a direct response from the audience and it’s theater, which is a blast, and especially when your working with actors that can really kind of adjust and if something comes up and it’s really spontaneous and funny, you want to be able to go toe-to-toe with somebody who can give it right back to you; I mean in the little ways.
I mean this show is a very, very well written and the jokes are funny and the situations are great and characters are great, but it was just really a dream. I had such a good time on the show, and like I said before, my kids can see the show, which is great. I’ve done pilots before and I did a sitcom with Michael Lembeck, the director and producer on this many, many years ago called Flying Blind and that was also a comedy.
So I kind of started off— and everything, like on Felicity I always tried to infuse comedy into it. Alias, you know everybody would walk into the room with a gun, I would have a calzone; I tried to be funny, but it usually ended up on the cutting room floor. So this is funny, it’s a good way to be able to do comedy, but also in a way that’s written real.
If you watch the show it’s a sitcom, no question, but the characters are real and the relationships are real. So it’s relatable and it’s not off-putting; you don’t kind of go, no one talks like that, everybody in the show talks like that, they’re real people. So that’s what attracted me to it.
Moderator After Baby Daddy do you prefer a single cam or a multi-cam?
G. Grunberg Both actually, I really just want to do comedy, I really, really want to that, I keep getting drawn into dramas and sci-fi stuff because of the success of Heroes, and I’m never going to turn down reading a script or something that’s just wows me and it’s just incredible.
I’m definitely going to consider it and I would love to, I just love to work and I love to work with a lot of people, but single camera; there was a show on Stars years ago called Head Case. If you haven’t seen that, that’s something to look up, that was sort of loosely scripted in kind of a Curb Your Enthusiasm way and that was a single camera and I loved doing that.
But there’s just really nothing better than, to me, multi-cam where you’re with a group of people that all can hold their own and are great actors and it’s like my band, Band From TV. You know I play in this band, I’m the drummer, if I make a mistake everybody knows it, and there’s something very exciting about that. When you’re in front of a live audience you can play to that and you get more takes and you can fix mistakes, but it’s just a blast. It’s so much fun; it’s the dream job for an actor, especially with a group of people like this. So I had a great time.
Moderator Actually I saw you guys play at Griffith Park a few years back.
G. Grunberg Oh yes, for Netflix. That was awesome, thanks for coming out of that. Did you have a good time?
Moderator It was a great time.
G. Grunberg That was a crazy gig because we had so many celebrities, that was like, Hayden, and Hugh Laurie, and Terri Hatcher, and Jorge Garcia. That was a crazy one, I loved that gig.
Moderator How was it playing a dad of these two young men?
G. Grunberg Well, first of all, they’re awesome. They’re just so great, and then I’m like a kid. I really am, so the fun part about it was that I could let that side of me out. It’s written that way. It was he’s really down there with his kids having fun, even in the first moment I walk in the door. It’s like hey, you know, he’s that kind of dad and hopefully you just love to him right up front.
Then I think hopefully the audience will like Melissa’s character, she kind of breaks and goes, you know what, he’s a great guy I want see. So hopefully the audience will want to see us get together again, and then they’ll love the outcome and the surprises and the stuff that’s revealed about my character, but I just had such a blast.
The weirdest thing for me was getting the script and going wait a minute I’m a grandpa? Hold it, hold it, what? I’m looking for gray hairs on my head, I’m like this is crazy, but there are a lot of people— I got married young and it completely makes sense. I think it works. These two guys, you know I’m 46, so I could definitely play their father and I would not want my 16-year-old to have a baby right now, but it’s possible.
It was great being able to be the dad, being able to have romance stuff going on with that you’re dealing with, and also all the emotional stuff of seeing your granddaughter for the first time. It was really fun.
Moderator Did you get to work with an actual baby, and how was that?
G. Grunberg Yes, they have twins on the show and these babies are great, but they’re not both great at the same time; they’re babies. I worked with babies on Heroes, I had a son, my character had a son on the show and I tell you the weirdest thing is when a baby is on set and he’s more professional than any other actors on set. It’s like when you say action—
Moderator No crying, huh?
G. Grunberg Yes, it doesn’t cry, action and they’re in that robot mode, that’s weird, that’s really weird. You go, wait a minute what is going on, they’re like cyber baby. But that wasn’t the case on this, and it’s a challenge because there’s a live audience. I don’t know how they do it every week, but the kids are great and they pre-shoot also, so you know without the audience we’ll pre-shoot.
But there’s a big difference when that energy of the audience is there, so they’re really brave in the fact that they do shoot with the real kids, with the real baby in front of a live audience and it just works. You know there’s a lot of a chorus of awwww, because the baby’s the cutest baby in the world.
Moderator Spending more time on the whole live audience aspect, how was your experience with that?
G. Grunberg I loved it. It was really cool. The one thing that I, my reveal, like when I come in the door you don’t know who the dad is so, you know, they talk about him, talk about him, talk about him, and then I walk in and as soon as I walked in I had this entrance they’ve shown on the promos where I walk in, I’m like Ben, Ben. I had this big kind of dad’s home kind of moment and it scared the baby when I first walked in, so not only is there the live audience to deal with, but there’s the baby and the whole thing, but it was a blast.
I’ve got to tell you, the idea of— and it’s a lot like this, I have got to say, you know like tonight I’m going to be live Tweeting during the episode on the East Coast at 8:30. There’s this direct response where you see the reaction of the audience and you can actually interact with people and see their direct response.
I mean for 20 years I’ve been acting basically in a vacuum and I have to wait months till I get a call from my aunt that goes, “I don’t understand what just happened on Heroes, can you explain it?” This is like a direct response from the audience and they’re laughing and they’re enjoying and you feed off that, so I loved it.
Moderator As a father yourself, were you able to steer the character in any way, do you provide input on how he should act in this situation or something like that?
G. Grunberg I would have if it wasn’t so well written. There are a lot of parents that are part of the writing staff and Michael Lembeck is a brilliant director and show runner kind of producer/director guy, and I’ve known him forever. There is something that goes along with, I try to bring part of me as much as I— you know, I’m not getting all philosophical, but as a dad you just, it’s more taking stuff off and not playing the dad.
I’ve always tried to be friends with my kids so that they’ll open up to me and tell me stuff, to a limit, I mean you want to be a dad, this was written exactly that way. I mean I wouldn’t have changed anything. It was interesting coming back after; imagine you haven’t seen your dad, your dad left the family a while ago and then he comes back into your life and they really dealt with all that stuff in a great way.
Moderator Actors start out pretty much as young kids or in their teens. You started a little later than that; what were you doing prior to acting and what led you to start?
G. Grunberg Throughout school, throughout elementary school, junior high school, high school, I always dabbled in theater. I did the school plays and stuff but I never considered it a career, it’s a really tough road. I grew up in LA and everyone around me was doing it and my best friend, who was J.J. Abrams, and if you look back on his super eight movies when he was a kid, I star in all of them.
It’s like we were making those movies back then and he was becoming successful and I thought I just have to try this. But before that I was very business minded, too. My character on Felicity was kind of modeled after me. I’ve always had a bunch of different businesses.
Right now I’ve got an app and the number one mobile coupon app on the market called Yowza, and I created that and I’ve always had that kind of entrepreneurial spirit. I’ve applied it to my website, talk about it to help people with epilepsy; talkaboutit.org, and also my band, Band From TV, which is all a charity band with other actors. I have to have an outlet for that. So I would have been in business or I would have been acting and I just gave acting a shot and luckily I’ve had some very successful friends and I learned working with them.
Felicity was kind of my college acting school, I really kind of got my chops on that show and the acting on that show was just incredible; I had great actors all around me, and obviously Alias was just a natural progression after that. But I’ve always wanted to do it and things worked out luckily.
Moderator You just mentioned the person I was going to ask you about in my next question. J.J. Abrams, you guys met when?
G. Grunberg When we were four; four years old. We’ve been friends forever, and by the way, what’s interesting about Baby Daddy is that it’s a sitcom, I’ve always wanted to do a sitcom and J.J.’s—believe it or not—he’s one of the funniest guys you can imagine, he’s just brilliant in every way, but he’s really funny and we have always talked about doing a sitcom together. So now this is my opportunity to kind of go okay, I really want to do it.
That’s why, hopefully tonight everyone will really enjoy the episode and see, if you haven’t seen me do comedy, you’ll see a different side of my acting that hopefully people will like. I mean I try to be as real as possible and stay true to that, but I love the response from the audience and I loved working with all the cast and crew.
Moderator My question is about L.A. Noire; I know you’re in that videogame. Can you tell us a little bit of what your experience was when they captured your face and voice for the videogame?
G. Grunberg Yes, absolutely. I was just playing this last night with my son. I love this videogame. L.A. Noire, as you know it’s a 1930s, 40s detective game set in Los Angeles and it’s very accurate. The thing that I loved about it, I’ve done a bunch of voices for games from Halo to Condemned to Need for Speed, a bunch of things, and this was very different.
This was about 45 to 50 cameras video capturing my face as I was acting, so there is no separation between voice and animation and it just renders kind of an avatar, a moving, acting avatar of me and it’s me. So I remember the best compliment I got was the director— and by the way a lot of great actors on that game from Mad Men and other places from; I forgot the other show, but some great, great actors on there, and you really get a sense of the emotion without any separation.
There have been times when I’ve done voices and suddenly I’m like oh, that guy doesn’t look like me and yet he’s really stiff in his movements and this was just as fluid and especially when you’re interrogating somebody and you want to see subtle clues as to whether they’re guilty or innocent. It was just awesome, it was a great process.
Moderator That’s awesome. Now, have you gotten a chance to play the game with your kids?
G. Grunberg Yes, like I said I was playing it last night and my favorite thing is though, my kid’s friends are like, I’m interrogating you right now Hugo Moller, you’re going down, you’re guilty. And I’m like okay, keep going because I know secrets they don’t know, which is really funny. By the way, there are some secrets in tonight’s episode too, speaking of secrets. So watch Baby Daddy tonight and I’m telling you you’re going to be pleasantly surprised at what you think is the obvious is not; it’s just really, really cool the way they wrote it.
Moderator I want to ask you if you can give me a one liner update like a Tweet on your different projects; I mean Band From TV, Yowza and all, and how on earth can do you manage to find time to join Baby Daddy?
G. Grunberg Well you know, my first and foremost is my acting career and then keeping that going and I put feelers out that I really want to do something good, something funny and a live audience sitcom and something else that my kids could watch. So I did a pilot that did not get picked up, but I had the most incredible people behind it and it was disappointing that it didn’t get picked up, but it just kind of established my love for this medium, and I really wanted to do a sitcom and then this came along and it was perfect.
It was with people I’ve worked before; Michael Lembeck, who’s a genius, and then the cast of the show, they are just stellar, they’re just great. So I had a blast, I just kind of fit in. I only did one episode, I’m hoping that I get to do more; it would be so much fun. It’s just really a great group of people, the network is just growing by leaps and bounds and I think this show is going to be one of those huge hits that’s going to go on for years and years.
There are so many really great characters that they can write for and I hope to be one of them. I do have a lot going on, I have two movies coming out that they’re doing special effects on; one is called Mega Spider and the other’s called End of the World for Sci-Fi Network. Then I’ve got the band, Band from TV, and we’re still raising a lot of money for charity, and my app, Yowza, is doing really well.
So I’ve got a bunch of things cooking, but when the perfect storm hits that’s when it’s really tough, like when I have to go out of town for a meeting. Like right now we’re doing a huge promotion on Yowza so I’ve got to get the word out about that, at the same time I’m talking about Baby Daddy, so it just balances. I make it work and it’s a lot of fun.
Moderator Baby Daddy just got renewed for a second season, any plans there?
G. Grunberg Who knows, I’m hoping that they’re thinking about me right now. My plan is to watch the show, that’s for sure, and hopefully I’ll be watching myself in more episodes. But yes, I don’t think, in my mind there wasn’t a question. After I worked on the show I was like, if an audience sees this show, and ABC Family has a great audience, if they see the show, it’s going to work. It’s funny, it’s relatable, it’s silly at times, but they deal with the real thing, they have a baby to raise.
I loved Raising Hope, it’s another friend of mines show, Greg Garcia’s show and the idea, it just makes it real important when you’re talking about children and babies, and so there’s that level of realism that you can’t get away from and they deal with it on this show.
One of the episodes I loved this year so far was when they thought that someone was supposed to be watching the baby at all times and one thought that the other was watching, and those consequences, the stakes are real high; it’s a baby. So it’s funny, but then it’s a very serious, and that’s what makes for, I think, a really interesting show.
Moderator Could you just talk a tiny bit about working on Lost and the experience since you worked with J.J. and everything?
G. Grunberg Yes, I mean J.J.’s one of my oldest friends. Working with J.J. was working with someone that we have a great shorthand with so there’s no kind of beating around the bush. If first take he didn’t like it, he came up to me and he was like okay that was literally the worst thing I’ve ever seen, let’s go again.
It’s not like how do I tell the actor—you know, we’re best friends and it’s always been like that working with him and Matt Reeves and Bryan Burk and all those guys over there, but it was incredible. I mean I didn’t know on that show Jack was supposed to die, it was the original plan; that character’s supposed to die and I remember talking to J.J. about that in the script and going I don’t think you should do that because he such a great character, and he’s the doctor, and he can help people.
Then Victor Garber, I think, was supposed to play the pilot— was Victor supposed to do it, someone supposed to do it and then J.J. was just trying to figure out what he would have me do in the pilot, just a cameo. That came up and he said, get your butt to Hawaii, let’s shoot this scene and it’s going to be a lot of fun, and I did and it turned out to be a really memorable cameo, and then I did a few flashback episodes and it was just great, it was great. I was so lucky that he—I’m always lucky when somebody that I’ve worked with in the past wants to work with me again, especially my best friend; it was great.
Moderator Who is your favorite Disney character?
G. Grunberg My favorite Disney character is Goofy.
Moderator Disney park?
G. Grunberg Favorite Disney park right now, you’ve got to go with California Adventure. You can’t beat the new cars, you cannot beat California Adventure right now.
Moderator Favorite ride?
G. Grunberg Wow, that’s a tough one. I’m going to go with the new cars ride.
Moderator The new one; that’s great.
G. Grunberg Or actually Soaring Over California. I don’t know, there’s something therapeutic about that ride.
Moderator That is good; we’ve got the same thing out here.
G. Grunberg It’s just incredible. That’s one of those where you go, I mean the Matterhorn is where I pull my celebrity thing and I go, can I go again without getting off and they never let me do it. Can’t get enough of that ride, but Soaring Over California is just awesome, smelling the oranges, come on.
Moderator Well since you’re there, how about your favorite Disney food?
G. Grunberg Favorite Disney food. Well, you know the Country Bear Jamboree; they used to have a barbecue place. I don’t know if they still have that place, but I have to say I’ve eaten at this private thing they have at Disneyland called Club 33 and it’s just awesome. When you find something at Disneyland that you know—you’re so cared for at Disneyland in ways that you don’t even know.
My son had a seizure at Disneyland; they took care of us, and he was fine, but it just was like, there were so many people around looking out for your best interest and making sure you have a great time. It really is just a special place.
Moderator You favorite Disney movie; old or new?
G. Grunberg Wow. My favorite Disney movie was. I mean I would have to say it’s one of the animated movies it’ll either be Up or Finding Nemo. I mean Up is just like, are you kidding me? It makes you cry in the first five minutes and then you’re on this ride. I just loved it.
Moderator You were talking about that you had a lot of friendships on the set of Baby Daddy. Is there anyone you didn’t know that you walked away knowing a little better?
G. Grunberg Most of them I didn’t know. I walked into that situation and it’s always weird too when, because I didn’t audition for it and they were kind enough to ask me to do it and so there is an expectation. They don’t really know what I do comedy-wise except for Michael Lembeck, I’m sure vouched for me because I had worked with him before doing comedy.
Then you’ve got such strong comedy actors, especially Melissa, I mean she is just amazing. So walking into that situation and hoping that she’s going to be a kind of, not a selfish actor and allow me to be funny as well, and that’s exactly what she does. There’s a balance, and all of them do. I mean Jean-Luc, he’s just amazing. They’re really, really good, they know their strengths and they play to them, and it’s in a way that’s like— and they were so welcoming, all of them are so welcoming.
I bring a lot of baggage, and it’s good baggage I hope, but it’s, I have people who know who I am, not in a huge way, but they know who I am, I’ve done other shows and stuff and they couldn’t have been more with their arms open wide saying, hey let’s have fun. All week it just got better, and better, and better and then tape date was a blast. I did want to leave. I was literally like, can I please stay, and luckily my character is a family member, so hopefully they’ll want to bring me back.
Moderator Do you have any plans to work with any of the actors and actresses on any other projects in the future?
G. Grunberg Who knows, I mean you never know. I’m about to start a movie that I’m writing and I’m going to star in and produce so yes, I’m always looking for people that I’ve worked with in the past to— you never want to take— I mean it’s nice to take chances and discover new people, but it’s also great to take somebody up a show like this and kind of say hey, I have something that no one’s ever seen you do, and it could be funny, but also scary and that’s kind of work what I’m working on.
So yes I’m definitely, I always pull from the people in the past that I’ve worked with that I know can nail it. I hate the audition process. I would much rather, and after 25 years of acting I have a lot of people that I’ve loved working with in the past and I always call them up and go hey, let’s do this thing and if they’re available sometimes it’s worked out.
Moderator Any projects in which you can join forces again with Constance Zimmer?
G. Grunberg Oh I hope so. You know right now I’m getting, this time of year there are a lot of pilots that are being developed and sold and I have a lot of people that I’ve work with in the past out there, so I’m getting calls from people going, hey would you be interested in doing this and that and every opportunity that I get I’m always—you know I’m on another show right now called The Client List, the Jennifer Love Hewitt show. There’s an actress that plays my wife over there, so I’ve got two wives on TV right now, man what a blast working with Constance Zimmer. She is one-of-a-kind. She is absolutely brilliant and the two of us together, she’s like this petite beautiful and I’m this big guy, and it’s very funny.
I hope one day that I get to work with her again, and hopefully it will be sooner than later. I just think there’s kind of a magic that happens between the two of us and so we’ll see. She’s constantly looking out for me and I’m looking out for you her when it’s a husband-and-wife thing that we’re getting cast in, so if it works out it’d be great.
Moderator What’s a dream show for you to get start, sort of your bucket list show?
G. Grunberg I really want to play the dad on a sitcom to be perfectly honest. I just had a meeting with my agents about that and I said that is what I want to do or get on a great sitcom that would have an ensemble that I’m part of. I don’t have to carry a show. You know I don’t have to be the lead in the show; I really love the idea of being a character.
I mean if you look at some of the greatest characters like from Seinfeld or even from Felicity, when you say who’s your favorite character from Seinfeld you never say Jerry Seinfeld; he was just the rock. He was so great on that show, but there are these great characters around him that you go, oh George was amazing. That’s what I would love to do. I’d love to be on a show for a long time, like Baby Daddy.
There’s another show that I’ve done called, that’s a competing show, so I shouldn’t mention it but, How to Rock I think it’s called and I play the principal on that show. It’s fun to be that kind of character that kind of pop in. Hopefully tonight people will really love my character on this show, it’s that kind of thing. They’re such solid characters and actors on the show; it’s fun to pop in and do something unexpected.
Moderator Is there anybody you just talked about kind of your dream role, but is there anybody that you want to work with that you haven’t yet?
G. Grunberg Yes, I mean, there are a couple of people. I would love to work with Vince Vaughn, I Tweeted out the other day about that and I just think he’s amazing; he’s really funny and brilliant. I would love to work with Tom Hanks. I did a movie that we were both in, but I didn’t get to actually work with him and he’s just something special. I mean, he’s just so great, he’s so honest.
Then on the silly side who I think is a good actress, really good is, there’s a bunch of them, I mean I could go on and on, but Jim Carrey I think is incredible. You know I have these people that I really want to work with and it’s just as an actor it’s really tough, it’s tough because it’s got to be the right role. They could want to work with you.
I see them, I get surprised sometimes, people, I’ll see a basketball player, a baseball player, another actor and I’m such a fan of theirs and they come up to me and say, oh my God I watched you all the time on this and it’s like what, because people watch TV, you know, and occasionally they’ll say let’s work together, but it has to be the right role, you’ve got to fit that role, so it’s tough. I have a list, but there’s only so much I could do as far as making that happen.
Baby Daddy is seen on Wednesdays at 8:30/7:30c on ABC Family
ABC Family’s Q&A Session with Lea Thompson of “Switched At Birth” (2012) (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)
ABC Family’s Q&A Session with Lea Tompson of “Switched At Birth” (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)
For many people who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s, many will know the name Lea Thompson.
From playing the the popular characters Maggie McFly and Lorraine McFly in the classic”Back to the Future” films or watching her as the star of her ’90s hit sitcom, “Caroline in the City”, Lea Thompson is an actress which many grew up watching. And now a new generation is having the opportunity to watch this talented actress on television.
Lea is back in the hit ABC Family drama series “Switched at Birth” playing the role of loving mother and wife, Kathryn Kennish.
“Switched at Birth” is a one-hour scripted drama that tells the story of two teenage girls who discover they were accidentally switched as newborns in the hospital.
Vanessa Marano plays the character of Bay Kennish, a girl who grew up in a wealthy family with two parents and a brother, while Daphne Vasquez (played by Katie Leclerc), who lost her hearing at an early age due to a case of meningitis, grew up with a single mother in a working class neighborhood. Things come to a dramatic head when both families meet and struggle to learn how to live together for the sake of the girls.
For Lea’s role, Kathryn tries to deal with the fact that her real birth daughter Daphne was raised by a different mother but also trying to balance her love for the daughter that she raised and the daughter that she just found out about and also trying to learn how to communicate with her by learning sign language.
Caring for both young ladies and trying to make sure she doesn’t overstep her boundaries in the way Regina Vasquez raises Daphne, although she is often struggling with it.
The series also stars Lucas Grabeel (“High School Musical”) as Bay’s brother Toby, Constance Marie (“George Lopez”, “Selena”) as Daphne’s mother Regina, Sean Berdy as Emmett and D.W. Moffett as John Kennish.
An ABC Family media Q&A session was recently held with actress Lea Thompson to promote the latest season of “Switched at Birth”.
Here is a transcript from the Q&A session.
Moderator Has Switched at Birth given you maybe a new fan base, or a larger fan base now that there’s much younger viewers?
L. Thompson Yes, it’s been really exciting connecting with a different demographic. It’s also really beautiful for me to get a tweet that says, “Oh, my God Kathryn Kennish is mom, I just saw her in this movie Back to the Future. She plays Lorraine Baines.” It’s like the opposite, they’re discovering my older work, and I really enjoy it. And I also think that this program, the network’s targeted toward teenage girls and their mothers but there’s also men that really like to watch the show with their families. But I think that it’s a really important thing to do a show. I think teenagers, or girls are so complicated and so hard to navigate, and I feel really proud to be part of a program that in some way helps young women have a voice and deal with issues and think about things in a productive way. And I really love that I have that fan base, because I have two teenage daughters, well not anymore, one of them’s 21 and one’s 17, but I just lived through those years and I know how they need good role models and ways of speaking about issues with their moms and sometimes, when you see it on TV, it’s a great way to talk about things. So I’m really happy to have this new group of fans and I’m really excited about the show.
Moderator Like many of your previous characters Kathryn is a very strong, determined woman, and I’m wondering in what ways do you see yourself in her?
L. Thompson Well, what’s very interesting for me about Kathryn is that, she’s a woman who had this insulated life, her husband was a famous baseball player, she’s always had a lot of money and lived in a good neighborhood and thought she had figured it out and done everything perfectly, and then she realizes that she made a terrible mistake and she took the wrong baby home from the hospital and didn’t even know it. So it kind of shocks her into meeting new people and to reaching out and to hanging out with people she never thought she would and learning sign language. Her world is expanding and also, at the same time, her children are getting older and she realizes what is she going to do with the rest of her life, so she goes and she’s writing this book and all of a sudden becoming kind of a career woman, which is changing her whole life.
So I kind of relate to that because both of my kids are now older, and that weird feeling you have when you’ve been concentrating on being a mother for so long. I’ve always been working, I’ve always had a career, but now they don’t need me in the same way and I have to try to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. So that’s one way that I really relate to Kathryn Kennish.
Moderator I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about how life changes for Kathryn, and Kathryn and John specifically, once she has the fame of being a best-selling author.
L. Thompson Well, I think it’s one of those things where you’ve been married for a long time and then all of a sudden the person that you thought you knew everything about changes and your perspective on them changes. Kathryn is just coming into her own, she’s getting a voice of her own, and I think she was always a little more subservient or something to her husband in terms of his fame and him having all the limelight, and now she’s got a little bit of limelight, and it definitely shakes things up. And that’s a really interesting lesson to learn about marriage, is that, and I’ve been married for 23 years, and so things change and you have to adjust to that. And in a lot of ways it’s great. It adds a new spice to your marriage.
And so I think there’s a lot of ups and downs within their marriage, and also there’s a young lawyer that’s helping them with the case against the hospital and he takes a little bit of shine to Kathryn, which is so surprising to her, she hasn’t really thought of herself that way for a long time, so that’s also kind of a shock to their marriage, I think. But D.W. Moffett, who plays my husband, is such a wonderful actor and I have such a great time working with him, I love everything he does, so it’s kind of fun to have conflict and get to act with him that way.
Moderator Another source of conflict might be Angelo. Can you talk a little bit about how that changes the dynamic as well and how Kathryn reaches out and is there for Bay, and Daphne too, through this?
L. Thompson When I first read the pilot I really thought that Kathryn was the bad guy, I really did. I thought “Oh, here she is this entitled rich lady.” And then I said it to Lizzy Weiss and she was like, no, I love her, and so I had to completely change my idea of her. She really is an amazing person. She is the glue that holds this whole new family together. She’s the one that really tries to put her prejudice and her comfort zone aside in order to make everything work and make everyone get along. Angelo, she’s never really trusted Angelo, but for Bay’s sake she has to try to make it work. And she is definitely like me, if I find another person in my family I’m like “Yay, let’s bring them in, let’s try to include everybody,” and I’m a real big family person so I can really relate to that about Kathryn, even though deep down she does not trust Angelo. He’s just too charming. I think it’s much harder on John because he really realizes that he’s not Bay’s father on some level and that’s very, very difficult for him.
Moderator I’ve spoken with most of your cast mates, and I’ve heard so much about your pillows, way back in the beginning and how much they meant to everybody, everybody mentioned it, so I’m curious how did you get that idea and how did you decide who got what kind of pillow?
L. Thompson Oh, that’s so funny. I forgot about that. I don’t know. I just remember, when you get into your creepy little dressing room you’re like I want a nice, clean, soft pillow to rest on, so I just bought these. And I also thought, I got these little fuzzy pillows with little animals on them, and I just looked at them, and I knew the actors, not that well, but I also thought, what would Kathryn, when they were little kids, especially for the kids, how would she see them, and there’s something goofy about my character in kind of a lovable way, she’s very sincere. And so that’s so sweet that they mentioned the pillows. I just thought that that was a good present, better than flowers, because it would keep lasting for the whole run of the show.
Moderator I love that Kathryn had that romantic moment with the younger lawyer, because I’m 36 so I grew up with you in sexy roles, I think that’s how most people think of you, and I’m curious what do you like better, what’s more fun, playing a mom or playing the sexy roles?
L. Thompson Well, moms are sexy, that’s how they got into that predicament in the first place. (laughs)
Moderator Good answer. Good answer.
L. Thompson And I’ve been playing moms, you know, since I was 21, so it’s just different aspects of moms. But I do like the idea of representing the honest truth about women in that they are mothers but they also still have some spark left in them and they still have a lot of drama and excitement, I mean, everyone knows that. So I just really like playing real people or well-rounded characters, and that usually includes romance and all of that. I like that they let me do that, have that moment, because I always tease, we all tease Constance Marie because she has such gorgeous men all the time. And I’m like, you are definitely a fantasy for all those housewives out there, to imagine that they could have this line-up of hunks all going, please love me, please love me. She’s the luckiest girl on TV, I’ve got to say.
Moderator Do you enjoy dramatic or comedy more? And has comedy always come easy to you?
L. Thompson No, comedy’s the hardest thing in the world. But one of the things I really love about Switched at Birth is that D.W. Moffett, Constance Marie, and I are well known for our comedy chops and the fact that Lizzy Weiss cast us was, I thought, a really great sign for the future, because there is a light touch to Switched at Birth, I think. And I’m not really fond of people who don’t have a sense of humor, so I like that our characters, even though there’s a lot of drama and a lot of crying and getting angry and all that, there is still a light touch and a sense of comedy and that all the characters do have a sense of humor, and of course Vanessa Marano is hilarious, she’s like the funniest person I know, she plays Bay on the show, and so that’s one of the things I like about the show. And those procedurals or cop procedurals, I think I’d really have a hard time doing that because everyone’s so serious all the time. At least we get to kind of make fun of ourselves, which is just how I like people to be in general. I hope that answers your question.
Moderator What do you find the most challenging?
L. Thompson On the show? The most challenging thing is learning the sign language, and not just learning the sign language but translating the sign language because it doesn’t exactly translate, which is something everyone should always know about other languages, is that there’s no perfect, direct translation. So when we’re trying to take lines that we’re speaking and signing they’re usually different, you’re not saying exactly what you’re saying, so that becomes challenging and learning the sign language. And of course if you do it too much when you’re not used to it, it hurts your hands and arms.
Moderator Do your daughters watch Switched at Birth? And what do they think of the show?
L. Thompson My daughters love ABC Family and they love the show. And they’re always squealing, and it’s really fun, we all get in my bed and watch the show, which is really fun. I love that it’s a show that they like to watch. They’re 17 and 21, and they’re both actresses, and so it’s just great. And they’re fans of all the actors and they geek out, and it’s really, really awesome.
Moderator There are so many twists and turns on Switched at Birth, do the writers let you know what’s going on ahead of time, or do you find out these surprises as you get each script?
L. Thompson They do not tell us what is going to happen ever. And the only reason that Lizzy Weiss, the creator, doesn’t tell us is because she loves watching us go, Oh, I can’t believe that happened. She really just literally gets some kind of sadistic pleasure out of it, I don’t know, and so it makes for fun. And also always the re-dos, because we always do a re-do, it’s always really fun, sometimes we don’t get the script until right when we’re going to read it through and so we’re right there. What’s nice about it is that we can understand how much fun it is for the fans to discover these things as they happen.
Moderator That’s awesome that you guys are kind of experiencing it in a way kind of like we are as watching it.
L. Thompson Exactly, exactly. And you know, I don’t know how she does it, I don’t know how they come up with such fantastic surprises all the time, but they do, they do. They keep everybody interested. And there’s always some kind of new fabulous, gorgeous guy coming on the show, which we all appreciate.
Moderator Your character, Kathryn, has a daughter who was switched at birth and now in real life how would you react and how would you handle it if you found out one of your real daughters had been switched at birth?
L. Thompson Well, that’s a tough question. I think I probably would react in a lot of the same ways as Kathryn. I think I would try to get to know my daughter and get to know her world. I love family. I love the idea of family. And I try to do whatever I can to keep my family close to the rest of my family, so I think it would be so difficult. One of the things that Kathryn deals with is that she made a terrible mistake. She didn’t know that she was taking the wrong baby home. She didn’t recognize her own baby. So her whole idea of what a good mother she is, is totally rocked. And I can relate to that. I think a lot of women blame themselves for everything, and so I think Kathryn really blames herself, but she instantly loves the daughter she gave birth to, and certainly loves the daughter that she raised. What I think is interesting about the show is how they stay in their families, they stay with the people that they were raised by. Even though we live together we stay pretty close to the people we raised, which I think is really how it would be. And even though people don’t know somebody that was switched at birth, most families have some contact with either someone who was adopted or they were adopted and then they meet their parents, or they have egg donors, or they’re step-children. Our idea of what is family is always evolving and is it nature or is it nurture, so I think that’s what makes the show so viable and interesting to people, one of the things.
Moderator We were talking about your daughters, you’ve got a daughter named Zoey that starred on Disney Channel in several episodes of Suite Life playing Maya.
L. Thompson Right.
Moderator Will we be seeing her back on Disney Channel any time soon?
L. Thompson I don’t know. She just did a movie called Beautiful Creatures that’s coming out in February with Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson, and my other daughter, Madelyn Deutch, is doing a movie called The Wild Ride, about the Kentucky Derby, with Skeet Ulrich. So they’re both acting. I hope they’re going to be on the Disney Channel soon, but I don’t know. They’re both working now.
Moderator Zoey was incredible on The Suite Life and she takes right after her mother as a great actress.
L. Thompson Oh, bless your heart. Thank you so much. I’ll tell her you said that.
Moderator Would you return to Broadway? And if so, what role would you play today?
L. Thompson I would love to. And the one part, which I would never get, is I’d love to play Mama Rose in Gypsy, you know that great part, that’s one part I’d like to play. But you know what, I love acting on stage, so I sure hope I get another great part. I did Sally Bowles in Cabaret on Broadway for many months, and that was one of the great experiences of my life. They actually let me sing a little tiny bit in Switched at Birth this season, whatever part of the season that’s coming up.
Moderator How do you think Mikhail Baryshnikov’s Simon Cowell comment to you about your dancing shaped your life today?
L. Thompson Well, Mikhail Baryshnikov, I was auditioning for ABT and he said, “We’d love to have you, you’re a lovely dancer, but you’re too stocky.” And then I was very sad because I was very thin, and then I quit dancing. I just walked out and I quit dancing, and then I became an actress right away. So it definitely changed my life for the positive, because I’m by far a way more successful actress than I would have been as a dancer. The main thing I got from that was that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but also that sometimes the thing you think is the worst thing in your life is actually the best thing. So it’s an important thing to try to remember when you’re in the depths of some kind of horrible depression, that whatever happened to you might be the best thing that ever happened to you. You just never know, there’s always a greater plan and we’re perhaps not wise enough to know what it is.
Moderator What has been the most challenging aspect of being a mom in today’s generation with social media and technology, Lea?
L. Thompson Well, I don’t really know how to be a mom in any other way, but I’ve tried to stay up on things so that I could know what my kids were talking about and what they’re doing online and Facebook and Twitter and all that stuff and understanding why they like it, and then understanding what to warn them about. But I think it’s always been hard to stay honest with your kids and warn them of the real consequences to the things that they do. I think it’s easy for them to forget, or not want to know the consequences of what they’re going to do. But I think … for me when I inform them of the real problems and the real dangers of what’s going on, I think they get it and it’s only when you don’t understand that they’re, I don’t know, for me I just was really honest with them about why they shouldn’t post a picture of themselves doing this or doing that, you know. But it’s a different world, and no one’s really sure about how it all ends up. But if you use these kinds of things in a positive way, then they can be useful to you in creating community and work.
Moderator How has the cast relationship has evolved over the past couple of seasons?
L. Thompson They’re just the best people. I just love them. Constance makes me laugh every day. Vanessa is the funniest, smartest girl, we call her 911, and we always go, “Thirty years in the business,” like pretending we’re smoking a cigar. She’s just so professional and so interested and so smart and funny, witty. And then Lucas Grabeel has got this heart of gold, he’s so talented. It’s such a joy I get to sing a tiny little song with him in the show, and it was like such a great moment for me. He’s a very special person. And then D.W. Moffett’s hilarious and we just get along like a house on fire. And then Katie Leclerc is the most beautiful, funniest, kindest person I know, so I feel really blessed.
The young girls, you know, this is a hit show, we won awards, it’s getting a lot of attention, and they’ve never let it go to their heads. They’re just professional, happy to have a job, committed, but not difficult to work with. We all come in, if we have to cry we don’t have to make things difficult for each other, we just cry. But when you have to go to work and you have to work for 12 hours and you’re in a relationship that could last for many, many years it’s such a blessing to be with such nice people. I really couldn’t ask for a better crew, and especially because we’re doing drama it’s really fun that everyone’s got a nice sense of humor.
Moderator Certainly technology has evolved over the years. And you also, of course, mentioned Twitter a lot, I’m wondering, if Twitter was around during your Some Kind of Wonderful days or Back to the Future days is that something that you think you would get more instant feedback from fans, or would you have liked to communicate with fans that way, or were you maybe more private?
L. Thompson That was a definitely different time, and I think this is the same for ridiculously famous people, you were separated from your fans. You weren’t supposed to talk to them for fear you’ll say something stupid, which I do every day. But it always felt uncomfortable to me. I really like people. I really like getting a sense of the pulse of what’s going on and what they’re feeling.
I like Twitter because most of the time people are pretty kind and it’s not anonymous really, so people aren’t that gross thing when people are anonymous hiding behind a fake name. It’s just not natural. It’s wrong. If people are going to say something, do you know what I mean, they should say it. It’s bad enough if you can’t look at someone in the eye, but if they’re just saying mean things and hiding behind a fake name it’s very cowardly. But Twitter doesn’t feel like that. It feels like people are generally polite, and so I enjoy that interaction and I enjoy Instagram even more than Facebook and all that. I actually get business done. I was doing radio interviews today, and one of them, we missed one. And he tweeted me like, “Are you okay?” and then I was like “Oh, I’m sorry we missed you,” and I got his number and I called him. So I didn’t make an enemy. I kept an interview, so it’s actually a really interesting way to communicate.
Does that answer your question? Also, sometimes famous people that I know, they’ll communicate with me and we’ll say hey, and they’ll say, do you want to do this charity, and I’ll say, oh, sure. And it’s a really good way to communicate, I think, at least right now for me.
Moderator I’m hoping since Eric Stoltz has been working on Glee a little bit with doing some directing he may coerce you somehow to come over and do an episode so we can hear some more singing from you too.
L. Thompson Oh, I would … any day, yes, that would be awesome. I love Glee and I love Eric. And I think it’s really funny that he’s a director, but I guess we all grew up. I’m a director too. Thank you, though. You tell him to put me on that show.
Moderator Oh, he’s on Twitter, you tell him.
L. Thompson I know. I have talked to him on Twitter, that’s true.
Moderator Around the office here we have a consensus, we think Kathryn might be the best mom on TV right now as far as what’s realistic, but also she’s really good at it, she’s got a lot of stuff coming her way. So I imagine for an actress portraying that character it’s kind of a responsibility. Do you have fans who ask you for parenting advice and how do you respond to that?
L. Thompson I think she is a nice mom, Kathryn, because I think she really tries to open up her mind and really see the kids’ point of view. Like I was saying earlier in the interview I thought she was the bad guy at first, but then I realized she wasn’t. I think she also has a really soft and deep love for people, and compassion, so I think those are qualities that we’d all like in a mom. And in terms of parenting advice, I personally have two children, so I have nothing but respect and admiration for moms. I know what a difficult job it is. So more than advice I usually just have empathy for other moms and how much you have to grow as your children grow and how you have to keep accepting them as different people. As they get older and older you have to accept them as they change and realize that they have their own path and that they’re not like just an extension of you, that they are actually real, whole people that have their own journey, and you know that can be really hard to do. It means that you have to keep growing as they grow. So I guess that’s my advice, but I don’t know. You make a lot of mistakes you have to forgive yourself for too when you’re a mom, because you’re just a person yourself. But it’s interesting, I’ve been playing a mom since I was 21, and moms are just people, they’re all different and they have different ways of doing it.
Moderator I know from experience that the ABC Family audience, they’re sort of in a league of their own as far as their fandom, and I’m curious if you can share with us one or two of your most touching or surprising fan interactions since you started Switched.
L. Thompson Recently I was on the beach with my kids and my neighbor, her daughter can’t hear — she has several other disabilities, but one of them being that she can’t hear — and now she’s about 11 and she’s been my neighbor and I’ve watched this little girl growing through these really intense disabilities, and as soon as she started being able to sign she could come out, her personality could come out. And she recognized me because she loves Switched at Birth because there’s sign language in it. And it really brought tears to my eyes to see her and all the other little girls on the beach who are now learning sign language and learning it from Switched at Birth so they can communicate with this little girl who was stuck in her own little world, which was very frustrating to her. But now she can communicate that she wanted a picture of me that she can take back to her school so she could show off that she knew the mom from Switched at Birth, and it was really touching to me.
So it’s mostly been about that, about how the sign language and the fact that we’re dealing with these issues that these people have been facing without a show to help them out with it, or to make it okay to be deaf and to make it okay to try to communicate with someone even though you don’t know sign language exactly, you’re trying, and that’s all that matters, I think that’s been a really effective and beautiful experience for a lot of people who felt alone. That’s been the most beautiful thing about this show. It really is speaking to an underserved community of people who are deaf or hard of hearing and making other people understand about sign language and interested in learning it themselves.
Moderator Is there any specific guest star you’d like to see on the show?
L. Thompson Brad Pitt, Andrew Garfield. Well, we’re so lucky to have Gilles, and we’ve had such amazing guest stars. We had Meredith Baxter playing my mother. I hope she comes back. I thought she was amazing. And let me think, as the show grows and is on longer we’ll get more and more interesting people. I can’t think of anybody that we should get. I’m sorry. The sky’s the limit.
Moderator Is there anybody that regardless of whether they would guest star on the show, though, that you’d really love to work with, even actors or directors? I’m guessing Brad Pitt.
L. Thompson Well, I’m going to go do a movie called Ping Pong Summer, it sounds like a weird title, but Susan Sarandon’s going to be in it with me and I’m a big fan of hers so I’m really excited to be working with her. It’s always like Christmas for me, it’s like a surprise and I get to work with such wonderful actors. But I think if I ever could work with Meryl Streep, who’s in my opinion the greatest actress of our time, I would love that. That would be the most amazing thing, because everything she does is so inspiring. Apparently if you really need someone to cry in acting class, a girl, you just say Meryl Streep and they cry, “I’ll never be as good.” But I don’t feel that way. I just feel like if I could just act with her, because when you’re acting with somebody you experience them in a completely different way and it’s always profound. Some part of them kind of joins you and it’s awesome. So that’s my answer, my long-winded answer, Meryl Streep.
Moderator Have there been any plot lines that you might have wished went in another direction, or do you have any ideas about how you’d like any of the current plot lines to go?
L. Thompson I do have my ideas. I think the whole book thing kind of came from me, because sometimes you give the writer a little bit of an idea of what you think, and I was really interested for the people who watch the show in exploring the idea of a woman whose kids are getting older and she’s spent her whole life kind of being a housewife and being second to the husband and the kids and the house and just being kind of service and all of a sudden she realizes what is she going to do with the rest of her life now that the kids are getting older. And so I talked about that because I feel that myself with my kids being older, and I said, you know, it would be interesting to see how she blossoms that way. And they came up with the idea of the book and that she wants to have a career of her own.
So I like that plot line and I like the idea that Kathryn is getting a little more Bohemian and a little looser and her world view is opening up a lot, and I like that. I think some of the plot lines I would like to have they won’t do because the character of Kathryn and John, their marriage is very important to the network, so I would like them to have really big problems in their marriage, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.
Moderator Too much drama, huh?
L. Thompson I think they like our relationship, and we do have a really great relationship and we do have great chemistry. I mean, I think we have really good chemistry, D.W. and I, as actors.
Moderator Oh, you do. You definitely do. And the last thing, do you have any preference about how Bay and Emmett’s story is going to go?
L. Thompson I don’t. I think what he did was so terrible I don’t think Kathryn would want them to get back together, but she is pretty accepting. And Emmett has been really trying. He’s been really feeling bad about it. Trust me, I don’t know. They don’t tell us what’s going to happen.
Moderator Switched at Birth is on a Disney owned network. Would you consider doing other Disney projects, and what would be your dream Disney project that you’d love to do?
L. Thompson My dream Disney project that I would love to do, I would love to be a singing voice in one of the animated movies. I never have done that. And I love singing. I would love to be some kind of grand singing witch or something, you know? So that would be mine, something that I could sing in Disney. I think they do those movies so well and I remember my children always having to have the Beauty and the Beast dress, and The Little Mermaid. The Little Mermaid was my favorite movie of theirs and so it just has a really strong place in my heart. I think that some kind of singing role for a Disney animated movie would be my dream.
Moderator Maybe they can create you a new character, Princess Lea.
L. Thompson Perhaps. Instead of Leia, I could be Lea.
Moderator What are some other things that surprised you about your character?
L. Thompson I love Lizzy Weiss, the creator and the main writer on the show, I love that she sees both sides of the coin all the time. She’s a very interesting person. She should kind of be a lawyer or a debate artist, because she can definitely see both sides of the argument and write them so that they’re both right, and that’s a beautiful thing for an actor and for a person to think about. So there’s been a few surprises. I’m actually surprised at how inclusive she is and I’m surprised that when she gets mad sometimes she lets me get really mad and I’m surprised at that, and I’m really surprised at how she can grow. She definitely has grown a lot. There’s been a really good arc for her character, and for someone who’s been so sheltered and her world has been very small and closed in, she’s got an ability to move outside of the box and write her book, I mean, this crazy thing of writing her own book, that’s crazy. I wish I would get to that. I wish Lea Thompson would do that. So that was a big surprise. And of course at the end of these eight episodes there’s a big surprise at the trial that Kathryn does that I was very surprised about.
Moderator What is one surprising thing that you, being in Hollywood that other people might not about that kind of world?
L. Thompson One of the interesting things is that the more that I’ve seen the more famous you get the more miserable you get. It’s a very hard world to live in and I think it’s even worse now with everybody having a camera. I think that that and if you believe your own publicity it’s just misery. Those are some of the things I’ve learned in Hollywood.
Also, honestly, if you do good things, good work, work that you’re proud of from your own perspective, from inside your own self, it doesn’t matter if five people see it or a million people see it. If you do good work the way it feels inside of you is no different. It’s completely the same. And every single little decision you make, every single time that you’re nice to people as opposed to being mean to people, it all adds up to how you feel about yourself and how happy you are. So that’s a surprise, because from the outside it seems like you’re only happy when you’re successful, but the truth is you’re only happy when you’re doing good work and being a good person. So those are surprises in Hollywood. Does that make any sense?
Moderator Oh yes.
L. Thompson Having been in Hollywood for 30 years, that’s how I perceive it. It’s like anything, though, what you put into it is what you take out of it. I just feel like I’ve been always interested in doing good work no matter what the medium is or how much money I’m making or how many people are going to see it, and that’s paid off for me.
Also about the book! Kathryn Kennish wrote it, not me, but the character of Kathryn Kennish wrote this book, which is very interesting, especially for big fans of Switched at Birth, and it’s out today in various online places. I have my own copy. But for big Switched at Birth fans it’s very interesting and nicely written. So there you go, I talked about the book.
For more information on “Switched at Birth”, please visit the official website here.
ABC Family’s Q&A Session with Vanessa Marano of “Switched At Birth” (2012) (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)
ABC Family’s Q&A Session with Vanessa Marano of “Switched At Birth” (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)
It’s time again for “Switched at Birth” and we revisit actress Vanessa Marano, one of the main lead characters of ABC Family’s hit drama series “Switched at Birth”.
Vanessa has starred in TV series such as “Scoundrels”, “The Young and the Restless”, “Dexter” and “Without a Trace”.
“Switched at Birth” is a one-hour scripted drama that tells the story of two teenage girls who discover they were accidentally switched as newborns in the hospital.
Vanessa Marano plays the character of Bay Kennish, a girl who grew up in a wealthy family with two parents and a brother, while Daphne Vasquez (played by Katie Leclerc), who lost her hearing at an early age due to a case of meningitis, grew up with a single mother in a working class neighborhood. Things come to a dramatic head when both families meet and struggle to learn how to live together for the sake of the girls.
The series also stars Lucas Grabeel (“High School Musical”) as Bay’s brother Toby, Lea Thompson (“Back to the Future”, “Caroline in the City”) as her mother Kathryn and Constance Marie (“George Lopez”, “Selena”) as Daphne’s mother Regina.
An ABC Family Q&A session was recently held with Vanessa Marano to promote the latest season of “Switched at Birth”.
Here is a transcript from the Q&A session.
Moderator What can you tease us about Bay and Emmett’s relationship this season?
V. Marano Well, Bay and Emmett left off on pretty shaky ground obviously. She found out that he cheated on her with her ex-best friend Simone, and she’s not too happy about it. In the premiere coming back there’s a lot of denial until finally the climactic scene of the premiere episode where she just lets him have it, and that’s kind of the overall tone of the season is her struggling with accepting what Emmett did. Accepting that she’s in pain about it and accepting a way to forgive him.
Moderator Are there any other coming story lines that you can tease us about?
V. Marano Oh, let’s see, well, obviously there’s the Angelo trial drama. Angelo being Bay’s father and is, of course, illegally in the country and trying to stay in the country, and I believe the big teaser has been Regina in a wedding dress for the fall premiere. Not to give too much away but it looks like everybody’s going to head that way, and then, obviously, the Kennish’s are still suing the hospital and that finally comes to a head this fall season. We finally get a result of who is going to win, the hospital or the Kennish’s.
Moderator So what’s been happening? Could you catch us up with what you’ve been up to since last time we spoke, which I think was in December?
V. Marano Well, let’s see since December we obviously shot the show. We shot the eight episodes that are premiering in the fall. It’s been a lot of that. We just got picked up for a second season of 20 episodes that I’m really excited about. It’s officially our second season so we did 30 episodes of a first season and the second one is around the corner.
Moderator Currently what would you say is coming up with fall with Switched at Birth that you’re most excited about?
V. Marano That I’m most excited about, well let’s see, a lot of new characters get introduced, and as far as Bay goes she starts turning to street art a little bit more again, which she did give up for a while because Emmett got arrested for painting a happy birthday message to her in street art. And so she was kind of shying away from it because of the whole arrest thing, but he cheated on her so now she’s back at it. And she falls into the wrong crowd, and there’s a particular character that she gets introduced to who has a major bad influence on her so a little bit of bad Bay which is a lot of fun.
Moderator You learn sign language on the show, did you do that so you can more accurately portray your character or was that more of a personal decision?
V. Marano That was I had absolutely no choice decision because my character started dating Emmett, and if you are going to start a relationship with somebody who doesn’t speak the language that you speak obviously communication, so I hear, is a big part of a relationship so you want to be able to do that with a person. Obviously reading lips as much as he can do, he can’t do anything about the fact that he couldn’t hear. It was really up to Bay if she wanted the relationship to thrive she needed to find a way to communicate with him so she decided to learn sign language for him, which means the actress portraying Bay, me, needed to learn sign language.
Moderator You’ve got a background in other languages. Did that help you with the process of learning sign language?
V. Marano Absolutely not. Absolutely not. It’s so funny. My father is a language professor and sign language is so different than a verbal language because it is visual. Actually it’s very difficult to learn another language obviously but I’m a visual learner so I found it easier than learning another—like say I speak a little Italian and I found sign language much easier to learn than Italian to the point where I’ve been practicing sign language so much my Italian’s just gotten terrible as a result.
Moderator What do you think is the thing that is the most worrisome or bothersome for her?
V. Marano For Bay I think it’s a fear of not being loved by anyone. Really and truly it’s everything; everything that she finds bothersome and everything that she fears or anything that deeply affects her in a negative way is related to her just wanting to be loved by someone. With the whole switch, from the very beginning, she saw that everyone fled so easily to Daphne. Daphne was very easy to get along with. She’s likable and smart and just lovely and nice, and Bay’s not that easy. Bay has a lot of walls. Bay kind of deflects people with an awkward sense of humor and that was really hard for her because she saw people so easily being able to choose Daphne over her.
And then, her boyfriend chooses Daphne over her and everyone in the world was choosing Daphne over her. When her biological father came back in to the picture she just wanted him to choose her and finally she found someone who did. He (Emmett) actually choose Bay over Daphne in a relationship sense, not in a friendship sense, and that meant the world to her because it meant this is someone who loves me for me and not me pretending to be something that I’m not. And then he betrayed her and cheated on her, which is the ultimate form of choosing somebody over you, and now she’s really damaged again. I think she’s at a place right now where she has lack of trust for all people.
Moderator When you were growing up do you think you would have been more like Daphne or Bay?
V. Marano It’s funny because actually I probably would have been—here’s the thing. I’m not athletic. I have more of a sarcastic sense of humor. I’m more artistic so I’m more like Bay in that sense. That being said, however, Bay and I differ on so many things just from a social standpoint, just from the way that we deal with our family, from the way that we deal with human beings in general. Just from the way that we deal with men, Bay and I are very, very different.
It’s funny. I kind of see a little bit—and I think Katie who plays Daphne can say the same for herself. I think we kind of see a little bit of Bay and Daphne in both of us in real life, which is kind of poetic because Bay and Daphne are actually supposed to be each other in different lives.
Moderator In the finale you and Bay’s birth father had a very interesting conversation where it seems that Bay’s eyes were a little bit opened to his flaws finally. Where are we going to go with that relationship? Is she going to be a little more skeptical about him or is she still a huge supporter? Can you tease a little bit about that relationship?
V. Marano Bay is always a huge supporter of Angelo and I think it goes back to that needing to be loved thing because this is somebody who walked out on Daphne and did something completely horrible, and through that Bays like, “Oh, okay, well, he would hurt me but maybe he couldn’t. Maybe because I am his daughter he’ll love me.” And therefore I think she’s always rooting for him to come around or be the changed person that he says that he is.
You know any child wants their parents together too even though she barely knows her parents she wants them together. In a way it’s sort of making her whole but you need to keep in mind that with Bay she for 16 years thought of herself as a whole person and felt incredibly guilty for not understanding why she felt empty. All of a sudden she understands why — because she was raised by people who aren’t actually related to her by blood, but to top it off she grew up with a father and it’s completely foreign to her to not actually know her father because for 16 years she grew up with a dad. And so she’s kind of like the only one who is still on Angelo’s side. She just wants him to pull through, especially now with breaking up with Emmett it’s like the saving grace for her. It’s the only thing that she’s looking forward to is him hopefully staying in the country.
Moderator Disney Info Net.com covers Disney channel heavily and you have a little sister on there, Laura Marano that stars in Austin & Ally. I’m just wondering how much of an influence have you been on her career?
V. Marano I don’t know if the word influence is the right word. My sister and I started acting at roughly the same time. I wanted to act when I was 6-years old and my mom was an actress and she’s also an acting coach and she owns a children’s theatre. She was in the business for a very long time and was very skeptical about it. Just didn’t think it was a good idea for a child that young to start and also she didn’t want to drive us around, the whole mix of just not wanting to deal with stage moms and not wanting to deal with the business in general.
And so obviously to a little kid no means yes so I kept asking and asking and asking and asking, and finally when I was 8 years old she took me to an agent who she was praying and hoping would turn me down. The agent ended up taking me and my little sister Laura who was 5 years old didn’t audition. She was just there and adorable and funky, and said these words, “I don’t have an agent. Can you be my agent too?” And the agent was like, “Yes. Yes I can.” And so my mom ended up having to drive two little girls around for like ten years.
Moderator Would you be open to guest starring on Austin & Ally or having Laura star on your show Switched at Birth?
V. Marano I think Laura and I are just open to work in general so anyone who wants to have us can have us.
Moderator I know my audience isn’t going to like this question but I think it might be time to find a new love interest for Bay, especially with everything that happened, mix things up a bit. What do you think of that?
V. Marano I think it’s a great idea. I’m all for it. I’m probably one of the few people who shares the opinion of I don’t think Bay and Emmett should necessarily get back together, especially right away. I feel like there’s a lot of betrayal that happened that she needs to work through, and I think a big thing that she could teach herself and teach to him is maybe a way of finding friendship without necessarily a relationship. Like the ultimate test of forgiveness is I can still have you in my life; maybe not in the same way but in a way that still shows friendship.
I don’t think they should get back together personally. I’m like one of the only people in the entire world who thinks that, and it’s probably not going to happen because our writers are big Bay and Emmett fans, and I understand because they’re an awesome couple. But as an actress also I think it’s a fabulous idea that they just get more romantic love interests one right after another if they have to. If I’m in that situation, it’s my work, I’ll do what I have to do. In the premiere episode though Bay does come back with a boyfriend because the Bay that we all know and love does not stay single for very long.
Moderator I’m really excited about The Secret Lives of Dorks and I know it’s probably going to be a while until we actually get to see it, but could you tell our audience a little bit about that film and your role because you have a big role, right?
V. Marano Yeah. Well, I shot that film while I was 17 years old and, believe it or not, I was on the Young and the Restless at that exact same time, and so I was doing night shoots on that movie and day like afternoon shoots on the Young and the Restless and there was a point where I stayed up for 48 hours. Somebody else was driving me but I was stayed awake for 48 hours, it was fine.
Anyway, it’s kind of a high school comedy. It’s about dorks in general and my character Samantha is the female dork. I have a unibrow. Yes I have a unibrow for a good chunk of that movie, and basically it’s a story about coming of age and being comfortable with the side of you that might not necessarily be the coolest side of you. But it’s also a very, very fun little love story too about these two people who connect on a really dorky level.
Moderator What was it like working with Gilles Marini this season?
V. Marano Great. It’s always great to work with him. Everyone loves Gilles Marini. Gilles Marini has a way of walking into a room and just making you light up; he does. He’s French; he knows it. But no he’s really awesome to work with. He’s very creative. He has an accent, reminds me a lot of my dad, which is good since he’s playing my dad. It’s always awkward because whenever you say you’re working with Gilles Marini they’re like, “Oh, my God, he’s so beautiful.” And you’re like, “Yes, he’s playing my father, so yeah.”
Moderator What is Bay’s relationship with the lawsuit that her parents are involved in and she seems to have been very uncomfortable with it and resents it and feels like it’s a sign that the parents who raised her don’t love her. I was wondering if we’re going to have any follow up with that this season. Is she going to come to terms with that or is she going to remain uncomfortable with the lawsuit? Will we see any progress there?
V. Marano We definitely have seen progress there. She’s kind of gotten over it. I think she realized — that was one of her Bay overdramatic moments — that it was not necessarily an attack on her. That it really was just, if anything, for her. Like she was cheated out of a different life and maybe it was for the best but maybe it wasn’t for the best, and definitely it didn’t necessarily affect everyone negatively but it did affect everyone and that’s really what the Kennishes want is just an admission of fault on the hospital’s part.
Bay’s kind of gotten over it, but I think the Kennishes come a long way with it as far as verbalizing it to Bay that they don’t regret the switch, and that they do love her and actually are so happy that things did work out the way they did because they love her and she is their daughter. Not necessarily more than Daphne as their daughter but their daughter in a different way that Daphne will unfortunately never be.
Moderator Is Bay going to be having any reactions to her mother’s book as that progresses, can you tease anything?
V. Marano Yeah. In the season premiere Kathryn is having a book party and I think Bay’s opinions about the book get illuminated, let’s just say. I can say that much.
Moderator You started talking about the relationship between Bay and Emmett and that’s maybe going to be a long process for her to forgive him. What do you think that Emmett could do to speed that along and earn her forgiveness?
V. Marano He does about everything. That poor boy does about everything from romantic gestures to just being completely without anyone else to just constantly reminding her that he is waiting for her and he will wait for as long as it takes for her to move on. But Emmett gets introduced to a different love interest this season so we’ll see what happens because– let me put it to you this way — a cute deaf girl comes into the mix and just saying.
For more information on “Switched at Birth”, please visit the official website here.
We have seen actor Jean-Luc Bilodeau grow up on ABC Family. From “Kyle XY” to starring in the telefilm “16 Wishes” followed by the TV series “No Ordinary Family”. But this time, Bilodeau is the main actor in the new ABC family comedy series “Baby Daddy”.
The half-hour comedy series made its debut in June 2012 and was created by Dan Berendsen, known for his work on the TV series “The Nine Lives of Chloe King”, “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” and “Hannah Montana: The Movie”.
“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.
Actor Jean-Luc Bilodeau recently took part in a media Q&A to promote his new series “Baby Daddy”.
Here is a transcript from the Q&A with Jean-Luc as he talks about working on the series, his character, the cast and more!
Moderator You’re starring in Baby Daddy with Chelsea Kane, a Disney Channel star, and you have worked with a lot of talented Disney Channel stars in the past like Miley Cyrus in LOL, and Debby Ryan in 16 Wishes. What has it been like working with them?
J. Bilodeau It’s great actually. They’re all very talented and intelligent and they’re great to work with on the set. I don’t know what they’re like outside of the work place, but I know that they’re great girls. Well I know what Chelsea and Debby are like mostly outside, but they’re great girls. They get their work done and it was great working with all of them.
Moderator If you had to choose which one to hang out with off camera, which one would you choose?
J. Bilodeau I don’t know. I mean I’m really close to Chelsea because we’ve been working together lately, so I guess I’d say Chelsea just because we already do hang out. The whole cast is really tight so we go out a lot, so I’d definitely have to say Chelsea.
Moderator How did you feel about coming into this show fairly unknown as a lead with Tahj and Melissa on set? How did that feel coming into a show with those two comedy stars.
J. Bilodeau It was nerve-wracking just because they’re so funny and so talented and this is my first sitcom job ever so, I had pretty big shoes to fill because I’m working with the greats. Tahj was born into this style of comedy and Melissa is just incredible. It was a little nerve-wracking because I thought I’d have to par-up with them but it’s great though. I’m learning so much from them. So it’s been an incredible, rewarding experience.
Moderator We remember you from Kyle XY and you’ve grown so much since. How different is it to act in the role you had in Kyle XY to now on Baby Daddy where you’re a father?
J. Bilodeau It’s way different. Aside from the character differences, it’s just a whole different kind of acting style and the schedule is different and the sets are different. It’s a whole different game for me. I was so used to single-cam drama and being a comedic relief on that platform had its own share of difficulties and then switching over to sitcom where it’s comedy all the time and specific comedy, it’s regimented. You have to do certain things to make it funny for the multi-cam audience. So it’s a lot different but it’s a lot of fun and I’m still learning. We’ve only done ten episodes so I’m still getting in the swing of things, obviously, just because it’s my first multi-cam job ever.
Moderator How is it having a baby on the set? Did you have any experience with babies before the show?
J. Bilodeau No, actually, my first day on the set was the first day I’d ever picked up and played with a baby. It was pretty exciting. I was nervous to meet the parents of the kids, but the mom was incredible. Honestly, Baby Daddy was my first time ever interacting with a child that young. They’re just so well-behaved. They work harder than we do. It’s actually a really fun job to work with them.
Moderator How has being on Baby Daddy changed your perception of parenting?
J. Bilodeau It hasn’t really changed it. It’s made it more elevated. I’ve always known that parenting is a really hard job. But working with the kids every day and being so precise on how you handle these kids; I didn’t think it took so much effort and attention and it’s incredible. When you have a kid, you really have to pay all your attention to them and give up your whole life. Working with the kids really amped up my feelings toward having kids; I’m definitely going to wait a long time.
It’s funny because I don’t have to change diapers. I don’t have to soothe the baby while it’s crying; it’s usually passed off to someone else and even when I have the baby, it’s a hard job and I have to pass it off when things aren’t going well. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be, especially with twins, like the girls on our show, what that’s like to be around them 24/7. I’m not a morning person either; waking up in the morning for me is so hard, so I’m definitely going to wait a long time for kids.
Moderator What’s to come with your relationship with Riley and what’s it going to take for Ben to actually wake up to her infatuation with him?
J. Bilodeau Oh I think that it’s going to take him realizing why am I not pursuing this girl; she’s gorgeous. She’s a great mom figure for my kid. I think that it’s just going to hit him eventually and he’s going to play on it because why wouldn’t you? All the factors are there. They just haven’t met up in his head yet. He’s just a little preoccupied because he’s got a kid and he’s young and he’s still trying to date. She’s throwing off the signals so he’s just got to pick them up and I think eventually he will figure it out. He’d be an idiot not to, that’s for sure.
Moderator Yes, is that something that we will see in these first ten episodes or?
J. Bilodeau Definitely tune in. Things change in the whole love triangle but I don’t want to give away too much. But definitely watch and follow that relationship because it does get a little bit elevated.
Moderator Can you talk about how you got started on this series?
J. Bilodeau I started out pretty normal for an actor. I just got the audition, went in for the first audition, call back, and I met the producer. I went back for another producer read. Then back for a director session and then I did two testing auditions for it in front of the network. So pretty normal; I mean, I did know that they were casting this show in October of last year and I really wanted to get in on it but I was away shooting something and it worked in my favor that they ended up recasting the role and I got to go out for it in April of this year. So, I just auditioned and I loved the script and as soon as I got that call, I was so stoked to get to work and it’s been such a rewarding experience ever since. It’s really great.
Moderator Have you’ve learned anything about yourself since you started filming this show?
J. Bilodeau I’ve learned even more that I’m not a good morning person just because we wake up at 7:30/8:00 sometimes and for me, doing that every single day—I’m a very sleepy guy. But I’ve learned that I can work pretty hard under pressure. I didn’t know that I’d be so composed working in front of the audience because the first Friday that we did our audience day or audience taping was the first time I’d ever worked in front of an audience. So that was interesting seeing how I could actually do it. I was really nervous but once the first Friday was over, I was fine. That was definitely a new thing I discovered.
Moderator Going back to the love triangle between Riley, Ben and Danny. In the few episodes that I’ve seen so far, I’ve gotten attached to both Ben and Danny, so it’s going to be tough to find out who Riley eventually ends up with, but do you have a personal preference as to who you would like to end up with Riley?
J. Bilodeau Outside looking in, I want Danny to be with her just because I know Derek and I know he’s a great guy. I’m not watching the character, I’m pretty much watching Derek. He’s just a lovable giant. He’s this big good-looking dude.
You’d think he’d be off doing his own thing, just fooling around, but he’s so in love with this one girl, which is rare, and I think that the audience really appreciates that. From my perspective, I appreciate it more too. But I think once Ben realizes Riley likes him, he’s going to start warming up to that and I think he’s going to reciprocate that and maybe my opinion will change. I don’t know. He’s going to try really hard for it because Riley would be a great mom for Emma and I think he’ll understand that and definitely play on it.
Moderator In future story lines, is there any clash between Ben and Danny that you can talk about because of this?
J. Bilodeau I don’t want to say yet, but Ben, for a little while, is still really clueless that this is all going on, even with Danny’s relationship with her. He doesn’t really put the pieces together and I think that it’s just because he’s preoccupied with work and dating girls and with his baby. So once they both put all the pieces together, I think there’s going to be a clash between all of them; it’ll be interesting to see him actually get excited for it. But I’d definitely tune in to follow that story.
Moderator We talked earlier about you working with Debby Ryan and she has her own show on Disney Channel called Jessie where she portrays a nanny. Do you see any type of crossovers between your show and that show? Or maybe even Melissa & Joey in the future?
J. Bilodeau She’s taking care of kids and I’m taking care of a kid in my show. They’re all very similar. We’re both very young to be taking care of kids and having the responsibility of keeping them safe and happy. It’s just in a different vein, because Disney and ABC Family are a little bit different, and Baby Daddy is a lot more immature of a show than Debby’s show.
Moderator What kind of crossovers would you like to see between maybe Melissa & Joey and Baby Daddy in the future?
J. Bilodeau That would be really funny actually. That’s a funny show and they’re our lead-in. I think that’d be great to do the crossover and our producer and creator, Dan, worked with Melissa on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, so there is our in, if we wanted to do a crossover. I think that’s a possibility as long as we shoot at the same time, I think it would work.
Moderator Is there any chance that we’ll be seeing the baby mama any time soon, without giving away any spoilers?
J. Bilodeau There’s always a chance that she comes back. But I think that I’d rather see Ben take care of his daughter and not have anyone else come in and ruin that because I think if she came back, she’s going to want a part in Emma’s life. That’s the only reason why she’d come back into Ben’s life. So if she does, I hope her involvement with Emma is small because I want this show to always be Baby Daddy and I think it’s really special that there is a relationship between a young father and his baby daughter. You never know. Maybe she comes back this season, next season, I’m not sure. I don’t want to give away too much.
Moderator Say if Jean-Luc was able to cast the mom, the sky’s the limit, who would you pick?
J. Bilodeau The sky is the limit, okay, I’d pick probably Sienna Miller.
Moderator Do you have any other big guest stars coming up in the works in the next few episodes?
J. Bilodeau Yes, we’ve got a couple. Ashley Argota from Disney is showing up in episode seven. Greg Grunberg is coming in episode eight. We’ve got a bunch of heavy hitters coming in and spicing up our show. We’ve got a great season, a lot of crazy stuff. So I’m really happy that we’ve got a bunch of really good players to come on board.
Moderator You mentioned that you are rooting for Danny with Riley because you like how Derek is going after her. But what about for Chelsea’s character, how Riley has been pining after Ben for so long; how do you feel about you’re going for Danny but she’s been in love with Ben for so long?
J. Bilodeau I think she definitely deserves the pay off with Ben and I think it’s going to come eventually. That’s my opinion. I think she’s eventually going to be with Ben. They’ll both figure it out. It’s perfect for Ben and she’s wanted it for so long. But, in the meantime, while Ben is so clueless, I think she’s going to start falling for Danny. I don’t know, I’ve only actually seen ten episodes of the show. So I’m not sure where else it’s going to go but I think that it’s going to go back and forth for a little bit until she decides what’s best for her and what’s best for Emma; but I’m excited to see what happens.
Moderator We mentioned earlier that you worked with Miley Cyrus in the movie LOL. Were you disappointed that the movie did not get the support of the distributor?
J. Bilodeau Yes. They put it together really well. It was a sweet movie and there were a lot of big names attached to that movie and they all did a really good job and Miley did a good job and it was fun working on that set. It’s sad that the hard work was put down a little bit. They clearly just lost interest in it and didn’t promote it as well as they could. But it’s becoming little cult movie, I guess. A lot of people seem to respond to it but yes, it’s disappointing. I was actually looking forward to seeing that have a premiere and getting the attention it deserved.
Moderator How much are you like your character Ben on Baby Daddy?
J. Bilodeau I’m a lot like Ben. I’m a pretty genuine dude. I try to see the best in all situations and I, like Ben, think I would take care of my kid, too, if I were in the same situation. I wouldn’t just send her off to adoption. I wouldn’t let her go. I’d definitely take care of her and it’s great because I have parents just like Melissa, who would help me. I mean every joke, every genuine moment he has, I ground it in my own: what would I do and how would I say it. So I’m not really stretching too far to play Ben.
Moderator If you could be on any other ABC Family show, which would you pick?
J. Bilodeau I want to be on that Pretty Little Liars show because that show gets millions of twitter followers. I want to jump on that show and be someone on there. They’re all very good-looking girls; Pretty Little Liars would be my go to show on the network.
Baby Daddy is seen on Wednesdays at 8:30/7:30c on ABC Family
Q&A Interviews with “Beverly Hills Nannies” Ariane Bellmar and Justin Sylvester (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)
Have you ever wondered about how life would be for a nanny for a popular celebrity or the wealthy would be? Well, now you can with ABC Family’s new reality TV docu-series “Beverly Hills Nannies”.
A series created by Evolution Media (best known for Bravo’s many “Real Housewives” reality TV series), the series follows a group of nannies who have worked for wealthy individuals, celebrities or athletes families in Beverly Hills.
A few of the nanny’s featured in the series are Kristin Lancione is the nanny for Cindy Margolis, Justin Sylvester who was a nanny for Kyle Richards is now the nanny for Marika Tsircou, Amber Valdez who was the nanny for filmmaker Nick Cassavetes and Heather Wahlquist is the nanny for actress and Playboy Bunny Arianne Bellamar and more.
Throughout the series, viewers get the perspective of the nanny of the wealthy families that they nanny for. From the life of working with the wealthy, the interview process and the daily challenges that exist for these nannies. From working with diva mothers, attention-wanting children and even fathers who tend to be a bit too feely/touchy and also seeing the other side of families who just can’t hold on to a nanny for some reason.
But “Beverly Hills Nannies” is a series that spotlights the life of these families and their nannies and because “Beverly Hills Nannies” is an ABC Family series and not Bravo, not all the dirt that people may be familiar with the “Real Housewives” shows will appear in this series. And that’s probably a good thing!
To help promote the series, ABC Family recently held media Q&A’s with actress, Playboy bunny and mother Ariane Bellamar and nanny/ladysitter Justin Sylvester.
Here is a transcript from the media Q&A interview:
Moderator What would you say you were looking for? What was Ari looking for in a nanny, and do you think you got it?
A. Bellamar Well, it’s kind of funny because what we’re looking for in a nanny, we did get. Amber is phenomenal. I happen to think she’s very cute. Nobody showed my rating. I gave her a nine.
But she just really fit into our family. I just really enjoyed her honesty and her ability to be herself as soon as she walked in the door. She just fit into our family.
Moderator Now, there’s a certain chemistry there with Emma. Was that instantaneous, or did they take some time to get to know each other?
A. Bellamar Emma loved Amber from the moment she walked in, and Amber was so easy going. She just has a way with kids. She’s not intimidating. She’s just herself.
I thought that there was a bit of a pretense with the other two nannies. I love Amanda, but she was new to the area. My heart would be in my throat if I had somebody new in LA driving Emma around. I’d be terrified every second.
Then, Shayla just seemed to me just to be a little more self absorbed, which is fine because it’s Los Angeles. Isn’t everybody? But Amber seemed to be herself. She reminds me a lot of another girlfriend of mine. I think that we all connected, and I think she connected with Emma straight away.
Moderator We all see the glamorous side of being a Playboy Bunny, but can you talk about what an average day at the office, so to speak, would be like for you?
A. Bellamar Well, my office is more of a mansion. My day at work’s more like hosting huge parties. But it gets a little stressful.
I was a very unattractive child, and there’s always a part of me that feels like that gangly 15 year-old again walking into those situations. It’s hard to keep your confidence up and to be who you’re hired to be. You’re hired to be a beautiful, glamorous hostess and sometimes it can be a little unnerving.
Moderator If you could join the cast of any TV drama, what series would you like to be on?
A. Bellamar Hands down, True Blood. I am a True Blood fan. I know I’m blonde and not very vampire-like, but I just love it. I am addicted to True Blood.
Moderator You have cameras in your home. What is that like for you and your family?
A. Bellamar It’s a little unnerving. You learn to live around them, but you never quite get used to it. I’ve read a lot of comments about how I can come off … or look like a robot, and it’s because I’m terrified.
So, as the season goes on, you relax into the mode of being around everybody because you also get to know the crew, and the crew ends up being more like an extension of your family. But at first, when everybody’s new, it’s quite the frightening experience.
Moderator How does that influence your decision-making on a day-to-day basis, maybe you won’t do something because the cameras are there?
A. Bellamar I’m honestly a pretty open person. I make fun of myself more than people can make fun of me. So, I do most everything that I would do if the cameras weren’t there.
Moderator How much control do you have over what the audience sees on a weekly basis?
A. Bellamar Well, the only control you have is on the front end, and I think that it’s important to know when filming this type of show, You can only control what you say at the time. Then, the rest is up to the editor. You could send the editor flowers and chocolates and bottles of Dom and hope it turns out nice.
Moderator Could you tell us about a scene from your life that for no other reason didn’t make it onto the show but you wish we got to see it?
J. Sylvester It’s a little to say because it’s only been two episodes and I haven’t seen the rest of them. I’m hoping everything gets put in. I don’t want to spoil anything. I think as of now from the first two episodes, everything I’ve done has been showcased on the show.
Maybe going through Marika’s closet. It’s a very fascinating place, that closet. That didn’t get put on the show.
I think the bickering and the banter between Marika and I, it’s more like brother and sister as opposed to employee and employer. I think that got cut out of the first two episodes. That’s sort of a letdown for me because it’s so funny and it shows the love that Marika and I have for each other. But, also we’re so different. We’re like brother and sister. It’s funny; it’s great and that got cut out.
Moderator It seems like you’re set up to be the break-out star of the nannies. But, do you know if any of the other people might be competing with you? Who do you think is your main competition for being number one nanny of the crew?
J. Sylvester I think everybody. The competition is up in the air. I think everybody brings something different to the table from Amanda who brings her home town humbleness and kindness with her to Shaun who’s an author and an illustrator to even Maggie. I think everyone has that certain something. I’m really excited for you guys to see how Maggie’s story unfolds because Maggie’s got so much to offer that you haven’t seen in the first two episodes that you’re going to be really surprised by at the end of this season.
Moderator You work as a real nanny and you get paid to be a real nanny, but does the show compensate you as well?
J. Sylvester Well, I work as a Ladysitter, and I do get paid. When you’re on reality TV and you have that time, you do get compensated. It’s not anything crazy. But, yes, you do get compensated for your time.
Moderator If you would happen to quit your nanny job or heaven forbid get fired, would the show follow you, or would you have to leave the show at that point?
J. Sylvester It’s so funny. I think at this point you will see there will be a change in my employment and they follow that. Obviously, you saw me on episode two interview Lindsay Faulk. Something changes in the next two weeks.
But, I think as being a part of Nanny and a part of something, there’s always some downtime. There’s some change. It’s my life and I’m a nanny no matter what, if I’m employed or if I’m unemployed. It will follow me if I were to be looking for another job or unemployed at the moment.
Moderator Being from the South, what do you find comparable in the people and culture of California to where you were raised in Louisiana?
J. Sylvester In the big scheme of things, I feel as if I’ve been very lucky to work for the people I have worked for. I think the main thing that brings me back to my roots and that reminds me of home is that no matter how rich, how poor, how busy, or how successful a family is I think the main theme is love throughout. I love every family I’ve been paired with in California thus far in the past few years. It’s been unbelievable.
There are so many different things that are not like Louisiana. There are so many different people. There are so many different jobs, industries, everything. But, in the grand scheme of things, it all comes back to the love that these families have for one another and how much respect they have for one another. The goal is the same, a happy, healthy life.
Moderator Being in California is there anything then that you really miss about Louisiana?
J. Sylvester Yes! The food…I miss the food. I miss the French Quarter in New Orleans. This is really weird – I miss the heat because for some reason, the heat brought everyone together. It’s just a fun place to be during festival season. Louisiana is an unbelievable place. It should be a country on its own.
Moderator What is one unique thing about you that makes you a great nanny?
J. Sylvester I think the one unique thing about myself that makes me a great nanny is that I’m a Ladysitter. As a nanny, you only care for the kids. But, as a Ladysitter, you have a multifaceted job. I’m a personal assistant; I’m a nanny; I’m a stylist; I’m a consultant; I’m a life coach. In this series, you’ll see it all unfold and you’ll see how I play a huge part in not only the kids’ lives, but in the mothers’ lives as well.
Moderator I like that a lot. That really makes you a bigger part of the kids’ lives because I have a five-year-old daughter and I’m all of those things to myself and her and my husband. So, it’s just a bigger part of being a part of their family, I think.
Do you like being nanny-sitter or a Ladysitter better.
J. Sylvester I like being a Ladysitter because it’s…everything put together and your day is very different. But, I think the most rewarding part about being a Ladysitter is every Ladysitting client I’ve ever had has hired me and has wanted to spend more time with their kids. So, what I do is remediate some of the stress for the mom. She can be a better mother, a better wife, and a better business woman.
So, I basically help women juggle it all, because in this day and age, women can have it all. That’s one of the most important things is being able to make someone’s life easier so that they can spend time with their kids. I know the kids appreciate it, I know the moms appreciate it, and I know the husbands appreciate it. It’s an unbelievable job and I would never give it up for the world.
Moderator It’s really cool to see an out man of color on TV. We don’t get enough of that. I’m curious has it helped your career and in what way being black and gay?
J. Sylvester I guess growing up in the South, being black and being gay was supposed to be a taboo. But, I didn’t see it that way. I’ve always been comfortable with who I am, so I never thought about myself as black or gay.
I’ve always just thought about myself as Justin. So, it’s really hard to even gauge that because I don’t even think about people looking at my color or my sexual orientation. I always feel like they need me and my personality. I was surrounded by great people growing up.
I always just relied on who I was and my character and my morals. I don’t know. It’s a tough question. I don’t know if that even plays a factor in my career.
Moderator Some of these other famous housewives and people like that have created these incredible careers. I’m curious what would you like to do? Where can we find you say in a year from now leveraging your success?
J. Sylvester It’s so funny that you ask that because the reason why I’ve always wanted to move to L.A. since I was 13 years old. When I was 13 years old, about two months before Christmas, I saw a GAP holiday commercial. I thought to myself, I have to move to L.A. because I have to be on like a GAP holiday commercial.
That was my dream when I was 13 years old. Every time they would come on, I would put on this cape and I would dance and I would learn the GAP holiday commercials. I would write to GAP and tell them I wanted to be in a holiday commercial. How corny was I at 13?
But, I have a degree in advertising from LSU and I really would like to be either doing something with my degree, or, my biggest goal to date is I would love to empower women, whether it’s through affordable clothing, coming up with a clothing line that’s affordable for the everyday woman with style. That’s a really big dream of mine. I think I’m going to make it happen, hopefully.
Moderator There seems to be a lot of interest on TV these days about nannies. You have Disney Channel’s Jessie, ABC Family’s Melissa and Joey, and to a lesser extent, Baby Daddy. What do you think is the reason that the au pair profession has had an interest generated in them?
J. Sylvester I think the interest comes from watching other reality shows like Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. You almost want to know everything. You’ve seen it from the housewife’s point of view. You’ve seen it from the husband’s point of view. But, you never see it from the help’s point of view.
I think the profession has been around for so long and it has evolved so much that everyone’s interested in it. I think it took shows like Real Housewives and Downton Abbey to really bring it to life and that the help actually had something to say. It was our time. I think the world’s just ready for it. They’re ready for everything – the truth and the nitty-gritty. So, that’s why they’re all interested in the nannies now.
Moderator How do you feel that the scripted shows like Jessie and Melissa and Joey portray the actual work involved in being a nanny?
J. Sylvester I don’t think they show a lot of the tough stuff. Being a nanny is really tough and it’s a lot of pressure because it’s someone else’s children and it’s someone else’s property. So, you really have to be careful. Some of them don’t show some of the real things that people go through being a nanny; like going through puberty with someone or dealing with divorce or single parenting.
It’s very tough to get the real reaction and the real interaction when there are problems and issues like that, like teen pregnancy and drugs and alcohol. I think that sometimes on TV it’s hard to address those things in a scripted sense because not everyone has the same reaction about the same experiences. So, that’s how I think it’s a little bit different.
I think once this show grows, we’ll get deeper and the characters will get deeper and their relationships and the bonds will get deeper. I think it’s all going to evolve. You’re going to see how real life circumstances play a big part in this docu-series as opposed to the scripted.
Moderator Have you ever been asked to do something that you have been taken off guard by or you just refused to do?
J. Sylvester There are a lot of things that you are asked to do. I think sometimes taking to kids about divorce is really hard. At some point, a mom may ask you to do that. That was a request that was brought to me. She thought I would be the best person to talk her daughter about it because we had such a close relationship. She thought that she would take the news from me a little bit better because my parents are separated. It did catch me off guard.
But, I get where she was coming from. She just wanted her daughter to have someone to relate to and to talk to about it. She didn’t think her daughter would be open and honest with her. So, she asked me to do it. Yes, it did catch me off guard. I almost didn’t want to do it because I felt uncomfortable.
But, I’m happy that I did it and I’m happy that I gave that child a place to come and to talk and to vent. Four years later, I still talk to her daughter today about the same issues and about how she’s coping with her parents’ divorce because it’s an ongoing thing and it will be an ongoing thing for the rest of her life. I’m happy to be a part of her life and a part of that chapter for her.
Moderator Is there anything that any past employer or present owns that surprises you as over the top.
J. Sylvester I think at one time an employer had a G-IV jet that she would take everywhere. But, that was the most extravagant thing. She actually got it for her 40th birthday as a gift.
Moderator What is the strangest thing you have seen so far on the show?
J. Sylvester Oh, my god. I think the strangest thing I have to say is Marika’s breast milk. The problem was you didn’t get to see the amount. I wish I could have taken out all of the bags for you because I seriously thought that Marika was hiding like six Guatemalan wet nurses in her attic. I knew she was lying to me and she was hiding them because there was no way Marika can make that much milk.
It was unbelievable. The deep freezer, the freezer-freezer; it was unreal. That to me was probably the gnarliest thing I’ve ever experienced in my life.
Moderator What is she doing with it?
J. Sylvester I have no idea. She was giving it to her dogs. She’s going to save the world with it. She does her hair with it. It’s really unbelievable. But, more power to her that she feeds and pumps that much milk.
Moderator On the show, who are you friends with or closest to?
J. Sylvester I’m closest to Amanda. Towards the end of the season, there will be a divide. You’ll see it play out. It’s actually really, really organic how different groups come together for different reasons.
That’s one of the most exciting and important relationships on this show are the group of friends that are made through something like drama. You’ll see it all play out. I’m really excited for you guys to see it. It’s going to be great.
Moderator Who would you like to be closer to?
J. Sylvester I think I would like to get to know Maggie a lot better because I feel like Maggie has a lot to offer. She’s full of surprises. You’ll see every time we meet, I learn something new about her; every single time. She never ceases to amaze me. She is literally a jack of all trades.
I wish that she would channel that into something. I think she will. I think as the series goes on I think me and Maggie will have a strong relationship.
Moderator What do you really like to do with the kids?
J. Sylvester With the kids, I think my biggest motivation is going outside because as a child my grandmother raised me with my mother. Her rule was if you came in the house you had to take a nap. So, I spent a lot of time outside. As a kid, we ran everywhere in Louisiana because there was just so much land. You can run everywhere. It was basically like a Huckleberry Finn situation.
So, for me my childhood was made so much fun to just be outside with my friends. I think kids these days are in front of a TV, on an iPhone, on an iPad, or in front of a computer too much. I just want to remind them that some of the best times happen with a tree or with a bird and just to be outside because you will never get that time back. You have all this time during your adult life to sit in front of a computer. You’re just wasting it away.
I wish I could be twelve again to run outside and ride a bicycle all day. My favorite thing to do with kids is be anywhere outside: at a park, in the yard, playing basketball. That’s what I like to do.
Moderator What age range of kids you prefer; babies or toddlers?
J. Sylvester I have two age ranges. I like from the ages of three to six because they start saying the darnedest things. They say things that they don’t even realize. They start to mimic people. They start to get their personalities.
Then, I also like girls 13 to 16 because they a little sassy. I like a little fight. I like it when someone gives me a little fight. I like the sassy ages.
Moderator Do you feel that the cameras make your job as the nanny a bit more difficult?
J. Sylvester I think yes because there’s so much pressure. But, I think everyone’s nervous in the first three episodes because the cameras are there. Then, you get used to them. So, then it just becomes natural. It’s kind of scary that it becomes natural, that you have five extra people at your work and you don’t even realize that they’re there. But, yes, it makes it very hard because people will be judging you and not everybody will agree with your methods or how you handle things. It’s your call, it’s your job and they’re going to just have to live with it.
Moderator Do you feel that the cameras maybe have a negative influence and create situations that might not normally occur?
J. Sylvester No. I actually think the cameras subdue the kids that I was watching because they didn’t want to embarrass themselves on camera. But, again, I think once you get used to them being there you kind of open up and you let it go. I think a lot of my time was spent with the lady that I ended up with because I am a Ladysitter.
We opened up a lot. I get really personal about my life and she gets really personal about her life. We figure things out together and we work on our business. We’re just very open and honest. I don’t think the cameras really make a difference toward the end. I think you just want to be yourself and you forget that they’re even there.
Moderator A lot of people would love to see more of you on TV. So, I’m curious if you could guest star on any of the ABC Family dramas, which one would you like to be on?
J. Sylvester Girl, I already have this role picked out. I want to work on Pretty Little Liars and I just want to work as a hot barista at the coffee shop and have one or two lines every now and then and just hang out at the coffee shop because I think it’s cool. I would like my job on Felicity whenever I was a kid. I wanted to work with Steven DeLuca and everybody.
I think if I could be the sassy black gay man that works at the coffee shop and helps the girls figure everything out-that would be like my dream role.
Moderator If you could work for any family, who would your dream employer be?
J. Sylvester It’s so weird. Everyone asks me that question. I think I already had my dream job. Working for Kyle Richards was such an unbelievable experience. It was literally a dream come true and it was the best job to have fresh out of college. I think I had my dream job.
My second dream job I think would have to be working for Beyoncé because she traveled so much. She’s so creative and she has her hand in everything. To learn everything from her would be unbelievable.
Moderator I just saw on Twitter that you use Craig’s List, which I think is super cool and down to earth. I just was curious if you have a budget when it comes to things that you do with the kids or is that just kind of a free for all?
J. Sylvester It just depends on the family. I always try to budget because I’m very weird about money. I didn’t grow up with a lot of money and as a nanny I don’t have that much money. I’ve been balancing checkbooks since I was 15 years old. So, I budget through life no matter what. If I can get a generic brand or secondhand, nicely used something, I will do it before I buy something brand new. That’s just how I am. I’m going to be that way my whole life.
That is something that I would like to bring to the kids that I work with: a sense of responsibility in money management. Just because you can afford it doesn’t mean you necessarily have to have it. That’s my motto. If I can find something that’s secondhand, I would do it in a heartbeat. It has so much more character and it comes with a story.
Moderator Do the employers that you work for like it when you want to take interest in their kids like that; teach them life skills and not just be their babysitter?
J. Sylvester I think that is probably why I’ve held jobs for a long time. I think they do appreciate that. No one wants someone just to come in and see their kids as a way to pay their rent. That’s not what people want. When I’m invested in a job, I want to give 100% of it. I want to give myself wholeheartedly and I want to dedicate myself to my job.
With kids, it’s extra important to do your best and to always be on point because these kids are defining themselves at this moment. They’re looking to you for guidance and to know what to do in life. You’re their role models. You become a part of who they’re going to become. So, for me, yes, I want to put all my heart and soul into it. It’s such a great thing to say that you had an impact on someone’s life.
I think it’s important and I do love it. I think that’s why my Southern hospitality and my Southern upbringing is a testament to that. It’s why I am the way I am.
Moderator Where you see yourself in five years?
J. Sylvester In 2017, I see myself previewing my seventh or eighth collection for Ross or Marshalls or something somewhere where women around the country can afford to be stylish and look good and be great, and just feel great about themselves. That’s really what I want to do is to bring that L.A. flair and that California style to every woman in America at an affordable price.
Moderator Go a little deeper and where do you see yourself in 25 years?
J. Sylvester In 25 years, I see myself going to my daughter’s graduation from Princeton.
I see myself going to my daughter’s graduation from Princeton and talking about the three right behind me, because I’m going to have a Brady Bunch.
Moderator You touched on this a little bit earlier, but can you tell us maybe your most embarrassing or most disgusting moment that you’ve had being a nanny?
J. Sylvester I think my most embarrassing moment of being a nanny was I was 17 years old. When I was 17, I babysat this little girl who came everywhere with me. She was literally like my daughter and I thought it was unbelievable.
I was walking around and I see this guy I have a crush on and we talk in the mall and we’re hanging out. He goes, “Do you smell that?” and I was like, “No, I don’t smell anything.” At this point, the baby was probably about 13 months. I’m holding it against me. I finally started to smell it. I looked down and the little girl had pooped through her diaper and it’s all over me.
It was probably the most embarrassing moment of my life because I thought I was too cool for school. I had this cute baby that I babysat. We were at the mall and I got s**t on my shirt.
Moderator Where would you draw the line and say no, I’m not going to do this. I’m out of here.
J. Sylvester Oh, rubbing Marika’s feet; rubbing Marika’s feet 100%. That was the line. But, you know what? It’s so funny. I have rubbed plenty of wives’ feet when they need it, when they’ve had a long day at work or whatever. I don’t know. If it’s immoral or illegal, I won’t do it.
But, I’m pretty tolerant of a lot of things and a lot of people have a lot of outlandish requests. There’s not a lot I wouldn’t do. I mean if it’s legal and sane, and I wouldn’t get hurt from it or throw up, I’m fine.
Tahj Mowry stars in ABC Family’s “Baby Daddy” as the best friend who tries to help out his buddy Ben in his fatherly duties for a baby he never knew about.
The half-hour comedy series “Baby Daddy” made its debut in June 2012 and was created by Dan Berendsen, known for his work on the TV series “The Nine Lives of Chloe King”, “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” and “Hannah Montana: The Movie”.
“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.
Actor Tahj Mowry recently took part in a media Q&A to help promote his new series “Baby Daddy”.
But as Tahj is making a name for himself in this new series, many people probably have seen him on television before, as he was one of the more recognized child actors in the ’90s.
For those who grew up watching the ABC series “Full House”, many will remember Tahj’s character on the series as Teddy, the good friend of Stephanie Tanner (Jodie Sweetin). Tahj is also the brother of twin actresses, Tia and Tamera who had their own series “Sister, Sister”, which Tahj also appeared in.
But Tahj’s career started goes as far back in 1990 on the series “Who’s the Boss?” and he also did voice work for animated series such as “Sonic the Hedgehog”, “Timon & Pumbaa” and was a long time voice actor for the hit animated series, “Kim Possible”. Tahj has also appeared on “The Game”, “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” and “Desperate Housewives”.
Here is a transcript from the Q&A with Tahj as he talks about working on the series, his character, the cast and also his family:
Moderator Can you start us off by telling us what you can about Tucker and just exactly how well we’re going to get to know him over the course of the rest of the season?
T. Mowry Tucker is definitely a crazy character and I love playing him so much because there are so many layers to him and he is just very hilarious. He’s basically the best friend that everyone would want to have. He’s very outgoing, very fun and energetic, but he has no filter.
So, he doesn’t really know that sometimes the things he says aren’t really the right thing to say or the right time to say them. He gets himself into a lot of trouble sometimes with Ben’s mom; they have their own little relationship going on and they don’t really like each other. So, as the season goes, we’ll definitely see that relationship sort of get even funnier and more awkward when they’re home alone together, which you can imagine can be a little crazy.
Also, you’re definitely going to get to see Tucker’s job in the future, which is going to be a treat. Tucker is that character the baby’s always spitting up on or peeing on or throwing up on. Tucker is always getting into those things.
Moderator Could you talk about any similarities you might have between you and Tucker?
T. Mowry Like Tucker, I’m very fun and I love my friends… and Tucker really loves them; with all of his heart he really does.
Moderator Are there any plans for like a Tucker-centric episode?
T. Mowry There is definitely more Tucker in the future. There is an episode coming up, not this week, but next week, because a new episode isn’t coming on this week; our next new one is going to be airing on the 11th, and Tucker has some problems with Danny’s lucky jersey. He may or may not shrink it. So, that causes a big issue in the episode. We’ll also really get to see the problems with Vanessa, his girlfriend, and if they’re going to stay together or not. Also, Ben and Tucker have a really cool episode, I think it’s episode 7, where they’re fighting for the same girl, and there may or may not be a dance battle.
Moderator You mentioned Vanessa; will we see more of Tucker’s love interests in future episodes?
T. Mowry You may, we may see her in the future. But, as far as the episodes that are lined up now, we won’t see her. But you will know of things that are going on with Vanessa, very much so, because as we all know Tucker is very much whipped with the whole Vanessa situation, which is funny because as a character he puts off as, “I know everything, I mark my food, don’t touch my stuff.” But, he’s not afraid to stand up to this 6’7” man, Ben’s brother, but he gets whipped by his girlfriend in his own life.
Moderator You have two famous sisters, Tia and Tamera. Did they inspire you to get into the entertainment industry?
T. Mowry Actually, no, I was so young. I was the first one to actually start acting because I was super young, and then they had gotten Sister, Sister. They got their show before I had gotten Smart Guy, but as far as like commercials and stuff, I was the first one to actually do that. But, as far as now, we definitely inspire each other, especially when we work together, like when we did Seventeen Again, back in the day, and I did a couple episodes of my sister Tia’s show, The Game, and we inspire each other in life as well. We’re all a very close family, and we have a younger brother who doesn’t act, but we all inspire each other. We’re all super close.
Moderator Are you afraid that since your sisters are so famous that you would end up in their shadow and maybe being recognized for that instead of your own acting abilities and talents?
T. Mowry I feel like if that was to happen it definitely would have already happened because I’ve been acting since I was six. We each do our own projects, like the other reality show. We like working together, but we like to keep it separate, just so we can have our own things going on. We root each other on every day
and we don’t worry about whose shadow anyone else is in. If the fans like it, they like it.
Moderator Around the topic of family, has being an uncle made a difference in how you see your character, Tucker?
T. Mowry Oh, my gosh, it definitely has. I feel like I’m cheating in a way because no one else really has experience, except for Melissa, obviously, because she has a 6-year-old son. It was almost like I was doing research for the role beforehand without knowing, but it definitely helps. Obviously, it’s a whole different thing because you’re doing a television show. While you’re holding the baby or trying to make this baby laugh and trying to keep the baby okay, because they’re young and they don’t know what’s happening really, or actually they kind of do because they are like more professional than we are.
But, it definitely helped, as far as staying in the scene really, because babies can cry at any minute. They may not be having the best moment, so you have to sort of be responsible for getting them back happy again really quick, because not all the time we can cut. So, we have to start a scene and keep going. So, definitely having my little nephew around has helped with that, and getting used to the drool and the spit-up. Now, it’s like nothing to me, “Oh, really, spit up.” So, yes, I’m definitely more prepared than some of the other cast, probably.
Moderator How much of yourself do you put into Tucker?
Moderator That’s a very good question. I try to stay genuine in who Tucker is and, obviously, we’re very different people as characters, me and him. But, I feel like when you act you have to put something of yourself in each character you play, so that it’s different from how anyone else would do it.
You put a stamp on it, “Oh, that’s how Tahj does Tucker.” No one else will ever do Tucker like Tahj, because he’s putting himself in it and, obviously, no one is like you in life. So, if you put yourself into it, any character you play, it’ll be that much more special and that much different from how anyone else would do it. I think that’s why people are really liking Tucker, because I feel like a lot of people know how I am, my character and real life and how I act, and how I’m very fun. So, I try to put that into it and just make it – because, you know, sometimes Tucker can be annoyed at times and sometimes kind of mean; kind of a douche-bag.
I try to keep it light sometimes, and very fun, just so it’s not too much. But, I think that’s why people are loving him so much, because I play him very real. It’s a sitcom, so sometimes that can be hard. You don’t know how you should do it, how over the top you should do it.
So, I try to keep it right in the middle and I feel like people are really gravitating towards Tucker and they can relate to him, even though he’s a trip. I just have fun with him and put a little bit of myself in there, so people are like, “Oh, wow, I really love that.”
Moderator Now that we’ve got the full premise established through those first three episodes, is there going to be any new relationship drama between your guys’ core group that we’re going to see?
T. Mowry Oh, yes, definitely. There is always going to be drama between Bonnie and Tucker, because they do not like each other. It gets even funnier when they have scenes alone coming up, just Tucker and Bonnie, if you can imagine it. I feel like they’re the same person. They both think they know everything, but in reality they know nothing.
So, when they’re together they butt heads because they want to be heard and they want their idea to be done. They are both just ganging up on each other and kind of hate each other, but Melissa and I always joke that maybe it’s because they are secretly in love with each other. Tucker and Danny– you’re going to see them bicker. It’s almost funny because we did an episode where Tucker and Danny have this sort of bromance happening. They go in a man cave and they’re besties, and it’s really funny because he’s huge and I’m normal height, and just seeing the dynamics of Danny and Tucker together are hilarious. So, you’ll definitely see more bickering. It’s almost like they’re dating. It’s really hilarious in this episode that’s coming.
But, and also Ben and Tucker are going to have a little argument in episodes to come when they fight over the same girl. All we’ve seen so far is Tucker and Ben being best friends and they love each other and they’re helping each other out. But we have yet to see best friends fight, and in that episode, I think it’s Episode 7, you’ll really get to see the realistic friendship battle that friends go through, when they like the same girl. So, they may or may not have a dance battle over it in a club. You never know.
Moderator You mentioned earlier, your sisters, Tia and Tamera. What was it like growing up with them? Did you have a lot of competition in trying to get certain jobs?
T. Mowry No, not really at all. So I feel like, first of all, as siblings, there are four of us. We have a younger brother, Tavior, but he doesn’t act, but we’re all really spaced apart in age. I’m seven years older than Tavior, and Tia and Tamera are eight years older than me. I think that’s why we’re so close, because we never really fought, because we’re so far apart in age that there is nothing really to fight about, because we’re all going through these different sections of our lives. Because the age difference is so different.
As far as the work with me and Tia and Tamera, you know, they’re going out for completely different roles than I am. So, there has never ever been that sort of competition, and we’re always behind each other and we support each other in every project that we do, and when we work together it’s even more fun. There has never been competition, because the roles are so – they’re females, I go out for male roles, obviously. So, there is never really like that sort of, like, “oh, I’m going to get this role.”
Moderator You mentioned working with Melissa Peterman. How is she to work with?
T. Mowry Oh, my gosh. Melissa Peterman– I feel so blessed to be able to go to set and watch her work. She’s a comical genius. She’s a sitcom genius. I’ve learned so much from her, and not to mention, she’s just one of the greatest human beings I’ve ever met. I love her from the bottom of my heart.
I don’t know how we get work done, because we’re always joking on set. Me and her, we like invent new TV shows that we’re starring in and we pitch them on set and people start dying. That’s why the scenes that Tucker and Bonnie have are so great, because we live for working in scenes together because it gives us a chance to play. We both come from sitcom backgrounds. So when we’re in scenes together it’s like this magic that happens and we just love it, and I love Melissa. She’s amazing.
Moderator I just found out that you actually played Teddy on Full House. Do you still keep in touch with any of the Full House cast members?
T. Mowry Every now and then I’ll talk to Jodie on Twitter and all that, and Candace is a family friend. She’s very close with my sister, Tamera. So, I see her the most out of everyone, and I love Candace. She’s great.
Moderator I hear you’re a pretty big, Pretty Little Liars fan. How did you get hooked?
T. Mowry Oh, this is a funny story. Actually, before we started shooting this show, me and the cast of Bunheads and newer shows were in the offices and we were talking about all the shows in ABC’s Family, and I had said, “Yes, I never have seen an episode of Pretty Little Liars,” and someone in the office heard me and within five seconds, I had a Season 1 DVD of Pretty Little Liars in my hand. I don’t even know where she came from. She’s like, “Here you go, Tahj.” I’m like, “Whoa, what is happening? How did you get in here?”
So, I have it in my hand and I’m like, “Well, I guess I should watch it. I mean they gave it to me.” What if I’m doing interviews and they ask me about “A.” I want to know. So, I go home, and like I’m staring at the DVD and– I never thought in a million years, I would be watching Pretty Little Liars. So, I’ll put it in, see if it’s good, and the first five minutes in I’m like, “this is the best show on television,” and now it’s horrible, because you’re waiting every week, saying “Oh, my God, I can’t take it. I need to watch this show.” So, I freaking love that show and I’ll tell the world. I don’t even care.
Moderator So, any chances for a Baby Daddy cross over?
T. Mowry That would make my entire career worth even more than it is. Are you serious? That would be hilarious. Would it be single camera, or would it be sitcom? I feel like we should bring them over to the sitcom, to see if they have it!
Moderator You’ve always been such a positive role model and play such positive characters throughout your career. Is that something you take into account when you choose your roles, like this one?
T. Mowry Oh, yes, definitely. That’s very important to me. Obviously, script is a very important process in that, as well. I have to sort of feel myself getting involved in that. Can I get involved in it and will I be able to put forth what I need to put forth to make that character come to life? There is not a lot left of that sort of family programming, and I feel like I’ve made a name for myself in that family realm, and people expect that and they want to see it and they miss it.
The fans are just so amazing because they’ve just been so happy that I’m back on television doing another family show that their whole entire family can sit down and watch, of all ages. I think that’s important too, because with a show like Baby Daddy, I think that’s why it’s doing so well. We came out with amazing numbers and the second week we did even better. I think it’s because people miss that sort of family vibe and that sit-down show that their entire family can watch and talk about later, and that’s what I love doing.
I love making people laugh and I love catering to multiple ages and audiences, and that’s what Baby Daddy does. It’s so heartfelt. It’s so sweet. It’s so cute. It’s real. It’s hilarious. It’s fun. Its quick paced, and it’s that old school sitcom vibe, and I love doing these family roles and that’s what I do. So, why not keep doing it? It works. People love it, and I love it, because there is nothing better than doing what you love, acting, and having a positive message in that as well.
Moderator Are we going to see any of your former co-stars from Smart Guy or Full House or even your sister’s guest star on Baby Daddy?
T. Mowry I have no idea. I have no clue. That could be fun though, definitely.
Moderator All the cast comes from a comedic background and they’re wonderful comedians to start with. Do you all have any sort of input into the direction of the show?
T. Mowry Yes, actually, they’re very cool with us. Our director, Michael Lembeck, who did three seasons of Friends, which we’re so lucky and blessed to have him, because I learn so much from him. But, he calls it playing. He’ll just let us play. He’ll go out there and play. If we get it how it’s on paper at least a couple times, and they’re happy with that, they’ll definitely let us go in and add a little thing here and there or we can pitch jokes if we want, if we feel like they’re okay.
Michael has a thing that he says, if you have a question, just show him, and he’ll say, “Okay, go show me, show it to me.” So, as an actor to have that respect from someone like Michael Lembeck to trust you with jokes and with the timing and with the comedy means the world, because he trusts you and he respects your talent and that’s great to have with a director. We’re so comfortable with him now, and he’s just amazing to work with. So, yes, they definitely listen to our input and, obviously, if it sucks they won’t let us do it.
Moderator Speaking of the cast, no one’s mentioned Chelsea Kane yet. How is she to work with?
T. Mowry Chelsea, we have become the greatest friends. She is so beautiful, so talented. She has a great spirit about her. She’s so great, and she can dance awesome, and I can dance, so when we go out afterwards from work, we have to go dancing because it’s just fun. But, yes, that’s my girl. See, we have so much fun on set, and you’ll get to see more of Tucker and Riley in scenes together too, which I’m pretty sure people want to see that. But, yes, I love working with that girl. She’s amazing.
Moderator I would love to hear about how you made the decision to play college football, and then also –the story about how you ended up returning to show business.
T. Mowry Well, as a lot of people know I’ve been acting since I was five or six years old. I was doing this my entire life, and once I entered tenth grade, I believe it was, I took a break from acting just to be a high school student. I continued to do Kim Possible on Disney just because that was easy and it was voice over. It was very quick. It wasn’t really time consuming, plus that show was amazing. It was super fun to do.
As far as the acting on camera and the movies, I definitely took a break just to be a high school student. I wanted to go to homecoming. I wanted to go to prom. I wanted to graduate. I had been playing football and sports my entire life. I really began to focus on this football thing, and ended up getting a D1 scholarship and played for a year, and then came back for a summer and was like, “wait, do I really want to get beat up every day at practice? Is this something I want to do all the time?” I’m like, “No, I’d rather just like be in front of a camera.”
So, I had to switch again. It was almost like I had missed my true calling or I was missing what I love to do so much and, obviously, in that three or four year span of the football thing I had thought that that was the best thing in the world at that time. Then, when I came back for that summer I realized how much I do love acting and how much I do love entertaining and making people laugh and bringing characters to life. So, I decided to come back to acting and that’s around the time when I did Are We Done Yet with Ice Cube. So, that was my entrance back into the world.
Moderator Besides being an actor, what kind of careers are interesting to you?
T. Mowry Oh, I really find chefs interesting. I wish I could cook like crazy chefs. I would love to do that. For some crazy restaurant. Also, I go part-time at Pepperdine University whenever I’m not working; it’s just been hard to go back to school now because of the show and all that; but I study advertising there. So, advertising is something that really interests me, like commercials and movie advertisements.
Moderator Are you still pursuing your singing career?
T. Mowry Yes, actually, I am. I put it on hold a bit, just for, you know, to be doing Baby Daddy because when you do a sitcom it’s every day, five days a week. It’s very time consuming. But, yes, definitely during our breaks I will be getting back in the studio and working towards that dream I’ve always had of putting an album out. People are really waiting for it, which is cool to see, because I have a lot of U2 videos of me just singing covers and everyone’s like, “come on, come out with an album.” Even our makeup and hair trailer on Baby Daddy are like, “When are you coming out with an album?”
I’m like, “Okay, Geez, I’ll do it.” It’s been a dream of mine to be a professional singer since I was 13, 14. So, in the near future, whenever we’re on breaks from Baby Daddy, I’ll be in the studio.
Moderator You mentioned that you and your sisters like to keep your work a little bit separate. But, are you stopping by on their reality show at all?
T. Mowry Right, maybe in future, who knows? I’m so busy with this show, and they’re so busy with that –reality stuff takes lots of time to do, and– it’s about having 12 cameras around you while you’re eating lunch, that isn’t very appealing to me. So, believe me, they ask me every day, “come over Tahj, please.” I’m like, “Ah, I’m okay; I’d rather not have cameras following me down Sunset.” As for now, I’m just focused on the Baby Daddy thing and not the reality stuff.
Moderator Who is the person most likely to pull a practical joke on set?
T. Mowry Oh, that would probably be either me or Jean-Luc, or Melissa, actually. Me and Melissa would probably do a prank on someone together, because we’re this crazy team that just loves to– we walk around with video cameras and interview people in different voices. We’re crazy on set. I don’t know how we get work done.
But, me and Jean-Luc are definitely crazy. People will stare at us on set, just because we’re having this weird moment together. Some inside joke that happened last week and no one knows what we’re talking about, and we’re just laughing hysterically, and then we’re trying to do a scene and we’re like, oh, yes, we’re at work. Our cast is ridiculous. We’re crazy.
Moderator I did see the one when you did the Jersey Shore, you and Melissa.
T. Mowry Oh, my, which is funny because Melissa and I were just joking on set one day– this was just something that came to our head, because that’s what we do, and we pretend to be other people because we have multiple personalities and we’re crazy. But, someone saw it and they’re like, “oh, my gosh, we need to this as a promo for the show,” and Melissa and I are like, “Okay.” Then, one day at work they came up to us and they’re like, “Are you guys ready to do the Jersey Shore thing?” I’m like, “Oh, we’re really doing that. That was a real idea. Okay, yes, let’s do that.” So, everything you saw was like spur of the moment, no script, just straight from the top of our heads. So, I’m really glad it turned out so funny.
Moderator What Disney character would you equate to each of your fellow cast members? Now, let’s start with Derek.
Moderator Oh, my gosh. Are you kidding me? He’s Gaston. Like, we say that on set. That was the easiest one you could ask me. We actually talk about this on set. He’s Gaston.
Moderator How about Jean-Luc?
T. Mowry Jean-Luc. I feel like he’d be the prince in Cinderella.
Moderator How about Chelsea?
T. Mowry Chelsea is Belle.
Moderator How about Melissa?
T. Mowry Melissa is a combination of every Disney character. I can’t think of one for Melissa, that’s hard.
Moderator Not even a good character, or an evil character, or Fairy Godmother?
T. Mowry Oh, she’s for sure the Fairy Godmother, thank you. She totally is; I didn’t even think of that. Yes, that’s for sure Melissa, without a doubt.
Moderator Now, what character would you be?
T. Mowry Drum roll, please – I’m Aladdin, obviously,
Moderator Being on the show, has that changed your ideas of what parenting is about?
T. Mowry Definitely, I mean it has not changed it, but it has just let me realize how hard it is and that’s it’s not anything to play around with and if you’re not ready to have a child you definitely shouldn’t, because it takes a lot. It’s not about you anymore. It’s about this child, or children.
It is a switch from your normal day life of like, “What am I going to do today?” “What is this day going to benefit, and how is this day going to benefit me,” and it changes. Like, “Wow, the world, my life is completely about my child, who I love so much.”
Everything goes away from what you need and what you want and it’s a selfless act. It’s beautiful, and if you’re not ready to do that, then don’t. If you’re not ready to give 100% to your child, then you definitely shouldn’t even mess around with it.
Moderator I don’t know if you’ve seen other shows like Once Upon A Time? We tend to put hidden Mickeys, which are images of Mickey Mouse, or other Disney characters into the set. Do you have any of those on your set, or better yet, can you put one there?
T. Mowry I’m going to start looking for those now. That’s amazing. Every single week the scripts are so different, and our set design team has to really buckle down and do these sets so fast because its sitcom and the turnaround is no time at all, and they’re so talented. We walk on set and there are episodes coming up where we have a baseball thing going on in the episode, and this dugout just looks so realistic and so beautiful; we have rooftop stuff coming up, which is the rooftop of our apartment building in New York City, and it just looks so beautiful, but now I’m going to start looking for those hidden images. That’s awesome.
Moderator Or better yet, you could even wear a Mickey!
T. Mowry I can totally do that, or I can make my own hidden images and get in trouble. “Who drew that Mickey Mouse?” “Sorry, that was me.”
Baby Daddy is seen on Wednesdays at 8:30/7:30c on ABC Family
In June 2012, ABC Family unveiled their new half-hour comedy series, “Baby Daddy”, which was created by Dan Berendsen (“The Nine Lives of Chloe King”, “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch”, “Hannah Montana: The Movie”).
The series 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), which he doesn’t know that she has a secret crush on him.
To help promote “Baby Daddy”, actress Chelsea Kane recently took part in a media Q&A.
Chelsea was best known in the ABC Family series “Jonas” as the Jonas Bros. family friend Stella Malone.
Chelsea also appeared on the TV series “One Tree Hill” as Tara Richards and on “Fish Hooks” as the character of Bea.
In the Q&A, Chelsea talks about her character, the show and working with the cast. Here is the transcript from the Q&A:
Moderator What was it about Riley that interested you?
C. Kane I loved the character of Riley the minute I read the script. I think the thing that first interested me overall was the entire Baby Daddy concept. I thought it was just absolutely adorable, and the script is really funny, and it’s very rare that you get a script where you’re actually laughing out loud just at the lines on the paper, and I definitely had that with Baby Daddy, so immediately I was hooked.
I always love those characters, these women characters in comedy, women who are able to make fun of themselves. I grew up admiring Goldie Hawn and Jennifer Aniston and Debra Messing, and Riley is definitely in that category of women. She was overweight in high school and kind of butch in high school, and they make fun of her for that, but she’s also a really strong confident, powerful young woman. She’s going to law school. I just love those kinds of characters, just those girl next store, fun, funny, together women, so I was thrilled when they offered me the role of Riley because she was right up my alley.
Moderator What’s been your favorite moment filming so far?
C. Kane Oh, gosh, it’s hard to pick. I think probably some of my favorite moments—we’re such a tight knit cast. We really got lucky that everyone hit it off completely and I think that’s so rare and so special. So when you get us all together in a group, it’s hilarity in twos, and we actually just shot an episode where we’re all in different Christmas costumes, and just the laughs behind the scenes and watching me walk around in a giant gingerbread costume was pretty funny, so we have a good time.
Moderator Is your character Riley going to have a lot of interaction with the actual baby on Baby Daddy?
C. Kane I do have a lot of interaction with the baby, which is amazing. Working with a baby is so much fun. First of all, having a little one around just brings such a light to the set and such a different energy. It’s really fun to watch all these big crew guys and these cute, hot young actors kind of go out of their way to make this little girl smile. They doing like goo-goo, ga-ga faces and it definitely makes our set a really happy place.
Riley, my character, interacts with her a lot. I’m first kind of roped into the whole situation because the boys want a maternal instinct. They need a girl’s point of view and perspective on how to take care of this baby when she first shows up on their doorstep, and so I come over to try to help out and, of course, fall in love with Emma. She’s adorable, and so it’s nice. It takes a village. Everyone on the show has a lot of interaction with the baby, because we are a little family. We’re all raising this little girl together, even though we’re not directly related to her in some ways.
But behind the scenes, it was really interesting for me, too, because I had never held a baby before we started shooting the show, so that was terrifying and it’s been a real learning curve for me getting comfortable with the twins. But now I just love them and now I never want to let them go, we have such a good time when the babies are around.
Moderator Going back to the chemistry you mentioned earlier, from what I’ve seen so far, it looks like the cast has amazing chemistry. Did any of you know each other before Baby Daddy, or did you guys first meet on the set?
C. Kane Yes, the very first time we all met was on the set at shooting the pilot back in November, and that was really cool, especially since there are so many young actors on the show, I feel young Hollywood is a very small town. It’s a small world. Everyone seems to know each other or knows something about each other or someone’s dated someone and there was none of that with this cast. We were all kind of walking into this completely blind having no idea what anyone else is about.
The fact that we’ve hit it off the way that we have is just amazing. I can’t tell you how much I love these people, and I hope they feel the same way about me, but it’s not those relationships of like I really enjoy going to work. It’s definitely that, but it’s also after work, we love to go out. These people I’ll call in the middle of the night if something is wrong and I need help. They’re so amazing and everyone has such great families and friends and we’ve really become a tight knit group, so I have no doubt that we’ll be going through a lot of things in life together on screen and off.
Moderator While on the set, how much are you guys allowed to improvise?
C. Kane We try to stick to the script as much as possible, but we have been given the gift that is Melissa Peterman. She plays Bonnie Wheeler, her mom, and for me as a young female wanting to go into the sitcom world, like I’m so blessed to have someone like that to look up to. I idolize her and she can think on her feet, and she’s so funny and she improvises a lot and comes up with a lot.
She should also have a writing credit on the show, because she’s constantly coming up with new material for our scenes. So that’s really fun because we usually get in front of the live audience, we’ll do one take that’s exactly what the writers have written, one or two takes, of course. Then usually by the third or fourth take, we were allowed to start to play, and that’s when it gets really fun because sometimes something magical happens, but no one expects it, and it gets a really big laugh and it’s fun when you get to see those moments end up on the show.
Moderator I am a younger parent, so I’m super excited to see the show, because I feel like I can just relate to just being young and a mom. What age range do you think the show is really going to relate to? Can the whole family sit down and watch it together? Are there parts where people are just going to—my kid is going to laugh, I’m going to laugh, my husband is going to laugh? What do you think?
C. Kane Oh, first of all, I love that question. It’s so cool, but, yes, I think you’ll really enjoy it as a young parent, too, but it definitely is a show for the entire family. In our live audience, I can sit there and look out and we have little kids. We have people on the show that bring their little ones or people on our crew that have little kids there up to my grandparents have come to the show; and you see older people in our audience and they’re loving it, because it’s just dealing with life at every age.
Of course, our core group are these 20-somethings growing up in the city trying to raise this little girl, but I think parents will enjoy it, because they get to laugh at all the mistakes that kids make when they think how easy parenting is.
Some of my favorite moments are in the first couple episodes when the boys are buying food for the first time, and they’re buying solid food or they’re taking them out for the entire day and they bring one bottle and one diaper, thinking that that will be enough. It’s really cute to watch them learn, and I think adults will like that and I think people my age, college age and older and high school will enjoy it, because we’re their peers and it also doesn’t suck to look at the three lead guys, they’re adorable; and little kids will like it. It’s colorful. There are a lot of funny moments. It’s all about love and family and friendship, and I think that’s what’s so nice about sitcom, it’s an escape. You get to enjoy that half hour of your evening.
Moderator You said that you didn’t have any baby experience, did you have to take any baby 101 classes? Did you have to learn how to handle the baby certain ways or anything like that?
C. Kane No, we didn’t. It was just, we just tried to make the set very comfortable for the babies, because everyone else was really comfort—I kind of didn’t tell anyone that I had no baby experience, because I wanted the job. So it all started, we would bring the babies on set every day for maybe an hour while we were rehearsing just to make them comfortable with our stage, all the people that were going to be there. We would kind of let each character, each cast member hold them for a little while and walk around with them and spend some time with them just so they would be familiar with us.
That’s when everyone realized that I had no idea what I was doing because I was really scared to hold the baby for the first time. So our producer, our executive producer and creator, Dan Berendsen, was the one that really pulled me aside and said, “You look terrified. We got to get you used to it.”
So I just tried to spend a lot of time with the babies. I’ll hang out in their dressing room. They have the biggest dressing room of any of us, it’s pretty funny. They have two cribs and a little play area, so I tried to just learn the same way anyone else would, what works and what doesn’t. It’s definitely been a crash course in parenting for sure.
Moderator You have had a wonderful career with Disney Channel, and a lot of stars coming out of Disney Channel have a difficult time in transitioning to other projects. Have you found it difficult to transition then into other projects, and if not, what is your secret to success with that?
C. Kane I feel like I’ve been very blessed and this transition has been very easy for me and exactly the way I wanted it to go. I loved being on Disney Channel. It was the best time of my life. It was such a wonderful place to grow up. I loved Jonas and the Jonas brothers and everyone that I was able to work with over there. I just feel really lucky that I’ve been able to kind of stay in the Mouse House.
I went from Disney right into Dancing with the Stars on ABC and then from there, I started working with ABC Family almost immediately. I love that, because I love my fans over at Disney Channel, and I think we’ve been through a lot together, and I’m so happy that we’re all able to continue on the same path together.
They were able to watch me on Dancing and now they’re able to watch me in another family friendly, fun show that’s where I get to play a little older. I’m excited that I’m not playing high school anymore. You’ll see scenes when we’re in a bar and I’m holding a glass of champagne and that’s really funny for me to being doing it on camera for the first time; but I’m so happy that my transition has been as smooth as it has gone, because I know it’s a really scary territory to step into once you’re out of Disney Channel. Yes, I hope my fans are able to come on another adventure with me, because they’re the best fans in the world.
Moderator What advice would you give to maybe some of your Disney Channel family members that are maybe having a difficult time with it right now?
C. Kane Well, I think the hardest part is just knowing who you are. It’s still a career path. The kids on Disney Channel are still actors, they’re playing these roles. I think a lot of times those lines are blurred between the roles they play and who they are in real life. I think as long as they know who they are, then they take projects that make them happy, that’s really all that matters. You know, it’s their lives at the end of the day.
For me the projects that make me happy are these projects, dancing and projects that my parents can tune into and my grandmother can tune into and will be proud of. I just continue to audition for those and fight for those roles, and I’ve been really lucky that I’ve been working.
Moderator As the character grows and spends more time with the baby, do you think that we’ll see a kinder, gentler Riley as the season progresses?
C. Kane Yes, I think there are definitely a lot of sweet moments with Riley with all the characters, and I think that’s what makes those moments even more touching is because she is kind of such a tough cookie all the rest of the time. She’s constantly beating up on the boys and or taking their schoolwork seriously or taking something, something very seriously, she’s definitely a Type A personality.
You know when she finally does have those kind of breakthrough moments with Ben or with Danny about how she’s feeling or how she still feels like people see her as fat pants … or … the fat girl from high school, and she feels like she can’t get past that, or with Ben who she has crazy feelings for will never feel the same way about her. I think that makes those moments so much more delicious, because they don’t happen often.
Moderator You’ve done everything. I mean you’ve done TV and a big screen movie and you’ve been on Broadway and you dance. Do you have any real preference right now or is just everything equal across the board?
C. Kane I love that I’ve been able to kind of have a little taste of everything and they’re all amazing for different reasons, but sitcom, I’m so happy here. I’m so happy in the sitcom world, because I grew up doing musical theatre and that was my first love, but I wanted to be on camera.
So to be able to film a show in front of a live audience is unbelievable to have that instant feedback and that energy and hear the laughs and there’s still a show night. Tonight is show night, so I’ll go to set in about an hour, and we’ll rehearse with the cameras; and then we bring in the audience and get hair and makeup and it feels just like you’re putting on a show, so it’s really amazing to have my worlds collide in a sitcom. I love it.
Moderator I was watching the Baby Daddy, the dance off video on ABCFamily.com. How did that come about?
C. Kane You know, that’s a good question. We just kind of decided to fly by the seat of our pants on that one. We were filming an episode that takes place in a nightclub, and that’s our nightclub set, and all of a sudden—we’re a very dancey cast, especially when we have the live audience in there, we play music in between takes. We have a stand-up comedian in the audience to really keep the energy up.
So whenever the music is playing, the cast is constantly dancing on set anyway, just kind of joking around. I think everyone kind of caught that and decided that we needed to just film a little segment where we’re all dancing. So they literally just put on some music and we danced around in the nightclub for about 15 minutes after wrap one day, and we were all laughing pretty hard when we saw that it actually ended up somewhere.
Moderator I have to ask who has the best moves?
C. Kane Oh, definitely, Tahj. Tahj is an incredible dancer. He can breakdance, but I think Melissa gives him a run for his money, but in a very different way. If you’ve seen the video, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
Moderator You mentioned that you have been on Disney and ABC Family, so what my readers really would like to know if you’ve been to Disney World or Disneyland, because you would get points with them if you have.
C. Kane Oh, are you kidding? I practically live at Disneyland. I always have. My mom makes jokes that it’s only fitting that I ended up on the Disney Channel, so I can make back some of the money that we spent at Disneyland growing up.
We were season pass holders, or yearly pass holders from the time I was six years old. I grew up in Arizona, which was a six hour car ride, so summer vacations or spring breaks were always spent driving out to California and going to Disneyland. It was pretty amazing once I started working for the channel to be able to take my family and get the guide or go out to Disney World and go to the parks, so it’s just been an added bonus for sure. I love, love Disneyland.
Moderator Your character portrays sort of like a mother to the babies, and I just wondered if you had to draw on any TV moms, past or present, and who were they?
C. Kane I actually haven’t really drawn from any TV moms, because I don’t think Riley is completely comfortable in being a mother figure as much as she just loves Emma, and she wants what’s best for her and loves to be around her, so she’s almost like the cool aunt. I think Ben takes on the full parenting aspect and then, of course, Bonnie, their mom, who is Emma’s grandmother, brings in that real maternal instinct of knowing all the right things to do and the right things to say and how to really to take care of this little one.
But I feel like Riley probably doesn’t know how to get her to sleep, but Riley will buy her an amazing tutu and some great shoes and play with her all day. She’s more of the fun caregiver, so I haven’t really drawn from anyone. I think I’m just taking from my own experience of what do I do, how do I fix the situation and make this baby happy, so I think a lot of what you see on camera from the actors is us really trying to figure it out in real life.
Moderator What type of mother do you think you would be?
C. Kane You know, it’s pretty funny, because of course being around these babies, I’m like, “Oh, these babies are so cute.” My family members are like, “You are not having a kid. You’re too young,” but I think I have the best mom. She was amazing. I’m an only child and my mom was very involved. She was a room mom. She always cooked dinner and had desserts and she was just the best.
I think I’ll definitely follow in her footsteps as being very involved and one would only hope, right? So I hope that when I do have kids, I can just really focus in on them, and hopefully will have fulfilled other parts of my life, so that I feel happy moving on into motherhood.
Baby Daddy is seen on Wednesdays at 8:30/7:30c on ABC Family
Media Q&A Interview with actress Erica Dasher of ABC Family’s “Jane By Design” (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)
Erica Dasher is the star of the ABC Family’s hit TV series “Jane By Design”.
Prior to working on “Jane By Deisgn”, Erica had appeared on “The Lake” and made her TV debut on “Vicariously”, but now she is playing the role of Jane Quimby, an unpopular teenager who dreams of working in the fashion industry.
When Jane applies for a internship at fashion company Donovan Decker, in New York City, at the interview, Jane is mistaken as an adult and mistaken for someone else. Through the confusion with HR, Jane is hired immediately by her Donovan Decker boss Gray Chandler (as portrayed by Andie MacDowell). And because this is her dream job and the money helps her brother Ben (as portrayed by David Clayton Rogers) to pay the bills. But no one but Ben and her best friend Billy (as portrayed by Nick Roux) know of Jane’s secret and she tries to secretly juggle her life as a regular high school student and a high powered executive in the cutthroat world of the fashion industry.
But when her two worlds start to come together, can she continue to keep her identity a secret?
With the second season premiere of “Jane by Design” now airing on ABC Family, a recent media Q&A interview took place with actress Erica Dasher who talks about the second season, working with new cast member Terry Hatcher, fashion and more.
Here is the transcript from the media Q&A interview with Erica Dasher:
Moderator Why do you think Billy didn’t tell Jane about his feelings in episode 11?
E. Dasher I think Billy was confused. I think it’s a scary thing to completely change the dynamic of the very long relationship and friendship. He had been away for two months in a juvenile detention center and I think maybe even there he learned to be more guarded. So I think it’s a combination of things.
Moderator Do you think that Jane has romantic feelings for him at all?
E. Dasher I think there is a lot of love between those two characters and you never know what that love could possibly turn into. So I think it makes sense, now that they’re growing up, to reexamine that. I think she certainly thinks about it.
Moderator What’s it like to play Jane, and how do you go about bringing her to life?
E. Dasher Well, I love playing Jane. I think she’s an incredibly passionate and vulnerable character and she has a great sense of humor about herself and the world. I was not a popular girl in high school, so it’s not a difficult thing for me to tap into. And I’m also at a point in my life where I am going through what she’s going through. She’s pursuing her dream and it’s starting to be realized and I feel like that very much in the acting world and with this job, it’s my first real professional job, and so it’s all very exciting. In terms of the work I do, the scripts are great and I love working with comedy because it forces you to be on your toes. There’s a certain music to comedy, I think, and finding that is very fun, and also the cast is so wonderful and they give me so much. It’s just great. We have a blast.
Moderator What’s been your favorite episode or scene so far?
E. Dasher Oh, that is difficult. One of my favorite scenes from this season hasn’t happened yet, but Billy and I are home alone, my mother and Ben are both gone, for different reasons, and we have basically completely trashed the house, we’ve watched scary movies and we have pizza everywhere, and it was just a really fun scene to shoot. I love working with Nick. We always have a blast. And then, what else this season, oh, well we shot in New York over a weekend, Brian Depard and I, who plays Eli, and that episode aired last night, where we did a big montage around the city and it was super fun shooting all of that stuff. I love being in New York.
Moderator Has there been anything that’s been difficult for you to do so far on the show?
E. Dasher Running in heels. No, I think the most difficult thing about this show is the very long hours we do, and we move very quickly. Sometimes I’ll get a script and we’ll start shooting it the next day, but I will have been in every scene the day before, so just the sheer nature of the beast makes it difficult to just get the lines down. But really we’re so fortunate, it’s such a positive set and a cast that’s so supportive and we all have such great chemistry. I think in the rehearsal process before they start lighting we really are able to find it rather quickly, which is nice.
Moderator In what ways are you most and least like Jane?
E. Dasher I am most like Jane in that I think I have a goofy sense of humor, the way that she does and hopefully I have infused that a little bit. I think the writers write to that, which is really fun. I’m least like Jane in the boy department. She is magical. There are always a lot of boys after her, and I need to learn.
Moderator Are you happy with the direction that your character is headed this season?
E. Dasher Absolutely. For me it’s been very fun to read the scripts and watch the other character stories develop, and I think … created really three dimensional characters and it’s fun to become invested in them and work with so many different people. And now that there are new characters on the show that are really shaking things up it forces Jane into some different and difficult situations, and with the return of her mother, with the introduction of Zoey and her shifting dynamic with Billy, it’s been a fun and different thing for me to explore. I really like it.
Moderator Is there a time that’s going to come, maybe this season or hopefully the following seasons, that Jane’s going to have to come to terms with losing something or someone because of the double life she’s living?
E. Dasher Absolutely. It’s a very tenuous situation. Certainly with Eli he doesn’t know that she’s in high school. I’m not sure how long she can keep that up. And yes, at any moment, and I think that’s what makes the show so fun, at any moment everything can come crashing down.
Moderator Did you have an interest in fashion before working on the show, and what’s it like to be into the high fashion environment?
E. Dasher I always admired fashion from afar, but I’ve learned so much from the show. It’s really depressing to come home to my own closet, but it’s really been fascinating to immerse myself in this world. Andie MacDowell just was in Paris and she brought me back a history of fashion book and a biography of Prada and Schiaparelli, and it’s fun to learn about the history of all of it and just wearing the clothes and seeing the time and the craftsmanship that designers put in. Obviously our costume designer, Olivia Miles-Payne is a genius and I really love watching her work because she’s created such a beautiful palette for all of these characters and such distinct personalities that are expressed through the clothes and the fashion for all of us, and I think it really does the show right.
Moderator We’ve been talking about Billy a lot, with his new girlfriend how are things between Jane and Billy going to change in the relationship?
E. Dasher It’s interesting, Jane has tried to confront him about what happened last season and he doesn’t want to deal with it. And with the introduction of this new girl, Jane really has to feel things out rather slowly, and I think she’s figuring out what her own feelings are for Billy as well. But it certainly shifts the dynamic, I think.
Moderator What is it like working with Terri Hatcher the director and Terri Hatcher the actress?
E. Dasher Terri Hatcher the director will come in next season, if we get one. She didn’t direct one this season. But as an actress I can already see her director’s eye. She has ideas about how to enhance a scene, both visually and emotionally, she’s a really incredibly smart woman and has been working in this industry for a very long time, and it was so educational watching her. And she’s also just a lot of fun and she gives so much. We were doing a super emotional scene and it’s midnight and we shoot her coverage first, and she was crying and then they turned the cameras around on my brother and I, and she does the same performance. She’s very generous and giving and it was a gift to work with her.
Moderator Where do you see Jane’s relationship with her mother going?
E. Dasher Jane is very excited to have her back, whereas Ben is a little bit wary, and so Jane welcomes her with open arms. But where it goes, I don’t want to give too much away, but her mother is a person who’s afraid of commitment and you never know what’s going to happen. But she really wants to continue to build that relationship.
Moderator What do you think Jane can improve on?
E. Dasher Oh gosh, it’s so funny because I think once that I’m living in Jane’s world she doesn’t do a lot of thinking before acting, so perhaps that, if she thought a little bit before she acted. But it’s almost as if she doesn’t even have time to think, because she’s running back and forth between these two different worlds, so that.
Moderator What do you like most then about Jane?
E. Dasher I like her sense of humor, and I like that she is ambitious and passionate about pursuing her dreams. I think she’s a really good role model for young women and certainly has been for me. She will not quit, which I think is a wonderful quality.
Moderator Is there any chance that India and Jane are going to reconcile this season, or maybe form an ally together?
E. Dasher Oh gosh, good question. India is a cunning, conniving woman, but she was not the mole and I think that if she and Jane are able to confront that, something interesting might develop. But you never really know what India’s going to do. She always has another agenda.
Moderator In real life if you could choose between Nick or Billy, who would you pick?
E. Dasher If I was me, even though I love both of those boys, probably Billy, because I too was an outcast and I get Billy.
Moderator How has your own personal sense of fashion changed since you started playing such a fashionista, and how would you describe your sense of style?
E. Dasher It has changed in two ways. I think when I do red carpets or I’m going out with friends to a nice place I’m more conscious, I make more of an effort about choosing what goes together and I think I take more risks. But also in my daily life I think it’s made me more relaxed, because you’re on the show and you go through two hours of hair and makeup and I’m wearing heels all day and I do all of these costume changes, so in my real life I just want to put on jeans and a t-shirt and no makeup.
Moderator What is the key to running so successfully in those heels all the time on the show?
E. Dasher I don’t know. I broke my ankle before I got the part, or in the process of getting the part, and the whole pilot they framed my feet out and I had a body double, so I always say it’s punishment, for the rest of the show I will be running in heels. I don’t know. But you know we really do, when we know we have scenes where I’m running we make sure I’m in heels that fit very well or are extra tight or have an ankle strap, but it’s no easy task.
Moderator What advice would you give to Jane?
E. Dasher If I could give advice to Jane what would I give? To slow down a little bit and don’t be afraid to tell people how you feel. I think that applies to her mother. I think it applies to Billy. I think it could eventually apply to Eli. I think that that can be a scary thing to do sometimes, but it’s a helpful one.
Moderator What’s your favorite outfit that you’ve worn on the show?
E. Dasher It’s almost such a blur. Oh no, I love the black dress I wore in episode 2, I think it’s a Katy Rodriguez dress and it ties in the back and it has a big full skirt, and I adore that dress. And I like the skull, I think it’s a Betsy Johnson skull onesie that I wore with a red sweater. That’s awesome, too.
Moderator You were talking about the chemistry among the cast members, how much of that chemistry do the fans see in the show?
E. Dasher I hope that that shines through and reads. I think that that’s why the show works, because we work. Nick and I have so much fun working together it’s like I could be exhausted and miserable and I walk on to the set and start a scene with Nick and suddenly I’m in a good mood, because we just play really well off each other. And the same with David, I mean, everybody. The energy is really positive on set, we’re very fortunate. I was cast first, and then they had me come in to do chemistry reads with all the other characters, so it was a really smart thing the producers did at the beginning of the process by making sure that we matched up.
Moderator Speaking of chemistry, what celebrity in real life would you most like to date?
E. Dasher You know I have been asked this question before and I always tell myself that I’m going to think of a really good answer, but I never have one. So let me think right now. Everybody’s so cute. I don’t know. Right now I can only think of Ryan Gosling, but I think just because he’s the most ubiquitous, good looking, talented person, so we’ll go with him.
Tune-in to “Jane By Design” on Tuesday, June 5th at 9/8c!
Celebrities hang out at the Harry & David Moose Munch Bar at the Last Bite Dessert Party during Aspen Food & Wine Classic! (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)
When it comes to food and wine, you know that Aspen delivers!
While many celebrities were in attendance for the “Aspen Food & Wine Classic” (which was held on June 15-17 in Aspen, Colorado). On June 15th, “The Last Bite Dessert Party” was hosted by “Top Chef” judge Gail Simmons and pastry chef Johnny Izzuni. A big hit at the event was the Harry & David life-size Moose and many celebrities such as Giada De Laurentiis, Marcus Samuelsson and Edward Lee hung out at the Harry & David Moose Munch Bar for a night of fun.
Here are a few photos from the event: