Exclusive: Melinda Clarke Reflects on The O.C., Dishes on The Vampire Diaries and Nikita

9 05 2010

Last June I did a TDW series called “Teen Drama’s Villainous Characters,” looking at the villains of each series. Included in part three was The O.C.’s Julie Cooper. (Though, oddly enough, I forgot to include her in my Biggest Vixens series!) But a recent interview with Julie’s alter-ego, Melinda Clarke, reminded me that there was also something endearing about Julie. As Clarke told the Los Angeles Times last month, “Julie Cooper, though flawed and motivated by the wrong things, strived to be the best parent that she could be.” I thought today, Mother’s Day, would be an interesting day to reflect on that.

In my own exclusive interview with Clarke, we discussed Julie’s series-long transformation, where she thinks the character might be today and how Julie might be connected to Clarke’s character on The Vampire Diaries. Clarke also dished on her CW pilot Nikita.

TeenDramaWhore: Do you remember what your audition for The O.C. was like?

Melinda Clarke: Oh, yes. Actually, my first audition was for the role of Kirsten Cohen [who ended up being played by Kelly Rowan].

TDW: Wow, I don’t think I knew that!

Clarke: I was younger than the character. I was younger than both the characters, actually. But it was a regular role. In the pilot, Julie was only a guest star. I read for [Kirsten] but I was asked to come back for the other character. When I came in for the Julie role, I made sure that [executive producer] Josh Schwartz and the casting director knew that I grew up in Orange County. I was literally going to the audition and then driving to my mom’s house down in Orange County. And, of course, it was a completely different world. I did not grow up in the “O.C.” world. I grew up in kind of a liberal artsy family and on the beach, which is beautiful. But it definitely wasn’t the Julie Cooper world. And I just remember having so much fun with the Julie role. She was clearly just such a money-digging whore. To me, it’s so funny now to see The Real Housewives of Orange County because you realize it exists and that’s what Julie was. Julie was obviously the original housewife. Except they have a lot more plastic on their bodies than Julie did! Thank goodness. And I remember when I got the role, it went down to the last minute. The casting director, Patrick Rush–I had actually been in an episode of Everwood.

TDW: I know! That was one of my favorite shows.

Clarke: He was able to show a scene or two from that to the network, so they could offer me the role. I was up for the role but I got a role in Battlestar Galactica, the one that Tricia Helfer ended up doing. And of course she’s a perfect, beautiful, stunning swimsuit model who can act her butt off. She ended up doing that role but they wouldn’t let me out of the contract. When you audition for a show, you sign a contract. And they can decide between however many people they want. They weren’t letting me out of the contract to do The O.C. It was literally down to the last hour before they finally let me go so I could go do The O.C. And the rest is history. It turned into a great role.

TDW: It did. When did you realize that the show was a hit?

Clarke: There were a lot of different reasons why people gravitated to it. It was a good script. It was a great script.  We had Josh Schwartz writing great scripts. Great cast. We also had the advantage of being after American Idol on Wednesday nights. I think the first time we realized it was a really big hit was at a fan appearance down on one of the piers, I think down in Redondo Beach. We were each put into limos and driven up over the hill and down to the pier and there were thousands and thousands of kids and fans–and the show had only been on like a month or two. I think that’s when we all realized, “Woah! This is something that people are responding to. Very much so.” It was very soon.

TDW: When you look back on the show today, do you have a favorite storyline?

Clarke: The first thing that comes to mind is Julie living in the trailer park [in season 3]. Because it was just, would she do it or not? There’s one particular scene where Julie’s in cowboy boots, a cut-off jean skirt, a tank top, and a thong, chewing [tobacco] and watching Nascar …and Kirsten shows up [Episode 3.10, The Chrismukkah Bar Mitz-vahkkah]. That was one of my favorite scenes of the whole show. And the first season, I remember reading a script where she has this little affair with Luke [Chris Carmack] and she picks up the phone and calls him very stealth-like [Episode 1.20, The Telenovela]. It’s that scene in particular where she says like, “Meet me at the hotel. Knock twice. I’ll be there. And Luke, this is a booty call.” When I read that, I was like “I officially love this show!” The lines [in the show] were just fantastic. It’s so about creating culture instead of reflecting it. We were creating pop culture.

TDW: You were. You guys definitely left a mark.

Clarke: And there was a scene, I think in the same episode, when Caleb [Alan Dale] shows up late at night with the flowers and I say, “Is this a booty call?” And he goes, “What’s a boo-tee…call?” “When you show up unannounced with the crappy carnations from Ralph’s with the idea that I might just want (blank).”

TDW: Yes! So funny.

Clarke: And the last season, Marissa [Mischa Barton] gave me a lot to do emotionally. It was definitely an incredible arc for me as an actress to start with this woman who was so superficial but, of course, she’s not just one-dimensional, she’s multi-dimensional. Starting in her pink Juicy sweat suit outfit and then by the end she’s graduated from college and moving on with her life. She’s a survivor. And I miss her.

TDW: Julie was obviously very affected by Marissa’s death. Did you have any reservations about how that would go over with the fans?

Clarke: Oh my goodness, everyone was shocked. From what I understand, the official story is that they just felt like they couldn’t do any more to this character or any more with the character. She had been through hell and back. She’d been through so much. What more could they write? Or at least that’s what I heard. I don’t really know if it ended up being the best idea. It definitely gave me a lot to do, which was fantastic. I think the last season was really interesting. I don’t know. I think the show could’ve gone longer than it did. It didn’t even finish a full fourth season. But I don’t know. You’d have to ask those involved. There’s a lot of different reasons why people think it ended. We were also moved from Wednesdays at 9 after American Idol to Thursday at 8 against Friends. And then we were moved to Thursday at 9 against CSI. It’s a little bit tough to keep up with those.

TDW: As you said, the show ended with Julie getting her degree [Episode 4.16, The End’s Not Near, It’s Here].

Clarke: Which I actually have as a prop!

TDW: Oh, wow, you got to take that home?

Clarke: Yes. I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone what it actually says, what she got her degree in.

TDW: I would love to know!

Clarke: It wasn’t ever part of the script but the prop guys had fun with it. It says she got a degree in psychology but she also double majored in paranormal studies.

TDW: That’s really funny. So, if you had to guess, where do you think Julie is today?

Clarke: Well, let’s see. They did the “years in the future” thing, so I think, chronologically, she’d still be getting her degree.

TDW: True.

Clarke: But if you wanted to start from there, she’s probably…she’s probably still unmarried and dating when she wants but being a good mom to her son, who would have to be somewhere around 10 now or something like that. I think she probably opened her own business and has been very successful with it. I don’t know if she was able to do anything with her degree or not. Oh my goodness, maybe she’s a psychic now, like John Edwards!

TDW: You know, that would make her a great fit for The Vampire Diaries. You could just go right over.

Clarke: Kelly Donovan’s basically Julie Cooper now! But [unlike Julie], she’s drinking away.

TDW: On The Vampire Diaries, you worked with Paul Wesley [Donnie] and he appeared on one episode of The O.C. [Episode 1.05, The Outsider].

Clarke: Yes, it was very memorable.

TDW: Did you meet him back then?

Clarke: No, we actually met in Atlanta back in January. He’s good friends with Ben McKenzie [Ryan]. We said hello and I definitely remembered him, even though we never actually met. So we got to meet in Atlanta in 20 degree weather at night.

TDW: Ooh, that sounds fun.

Clarke: Yes. It is absolutely fun. It was an extreme winter in Atlanta this year.

TDW: Now you’re back in California, I hope.

Clarke: Yes. I was in Atlanta for two weeks, came home for a while, went back for another week, came back for a while, and then went back for two more weeks and them came back for a while and then went to Toronto for three weeks. So this California girl has definitely learned I can survive in cold weather but it’s not my favorite!

TDW: Were you already familiar with Kevin Williamson’s work on Dawson’s Creek and the Scream movies?

Clarke: Yes. I was fan of Dawson’s Creek. I was always very impressed with the characters on that show, their development and how smart he made the characters. Their conversations, their situations. They definitely had a very talented cast and a lot of them have moved on to do really amazing work.

TDW: I always saw The O.C. as the next step in the genre after Dawson’s Creek.

Clarke: There were things that Dawson’s Creek did that were a little more cerebral and The O.C. was a little bit more humorous. Very intelligent humor.

TDW: Right. I think the Dawson’s Creek had a philosophical intelligence whereas The O.C. had wit.

Clarke: Wit. Exactly.

TDW: With The Vampire Diaries, I have to ask: are you Team Damon or Team Stefan? Or, you can be Team Kelly, too!

Clarke: It was fun to work with Ian [Somerhalder] because there’s a looseness to him, to his character. He definitely brings a lot to the character. It’s not just lines on the page. And I think Kelly is similar to that. We don’t really know why Kelly is such a bad mother, why she does what she does, like drinking, and where she’s been. They definitely didn’t explain that so that leaves a lot to be explored in the future if she comes back.

TDW: That’s what the hope is. That we’ll see you again next season and delve into that.

Clarke: I’m not dead yet! I don’t think they have any intention of killing her. But it was definitely a little bit of a taste or a tease to have this character around to make her son’s life miserable but then ultimately leave town as a sacrifice, realizing she doesn’t make her son’s life any better.

TDW: You were cast in the pilot Nikita, which is also on The CW. So if Nikita is picked up, would you be able to do both shows?

Clarke: Technically, yes. Legally, yes. They’re both on the same network. It would probably be more of a scheduling situation. It would be up to the powers that be, the producers on Nikita, the producers on The Vampire Diaries. They’re such different characters and they don’t conflict as far as characters go but you would have to be within certain parameters. It’s more of a scheduling thing.

TDW: For those that aren’t familiar with the original La Femme Nikita show or even for those that are, what will this show be about?

Clarke: Well, Nikita was a runaway girl with no life, who was forced into becoming an assassin. There’s been different versions: a French film, American film, Canadian television show. This version is an updated version. Nikita is now not within the Division. She got out. She’s now played by Maggie Q. Brilliant casting. People may remember her from Mission Impossible 3. So she’s now out of the Division and she’s trying to make things very difficult for the Division. And we’ll also be focusing on the new young recruits who are trained to be assassins for the Division. But they’re essentially held against their will. They have to become an assassin or die. There’s a new young nikita and her character is played by Lyndsy Fonseca. People will remember her from Desperate Housewives but she’s now in Hot Tub Time Machine, which is a very cute movie. I think she’s in Kick-Ass, too. So she’s a hot actress right now. She’s our second lead. And my character is Amanda, one of the operatives and mentors within Division. She’s definitely not going down to the bar drinking shots. She’s a very strong and calculating and tough woman.

TDW: So are you doing action stunts?

Clarke: I would expect so. I would expect every single person on this show would have some action. It seems very alien [to the network] but there’s a lot of younger characters who will fulfill the CW demographic. I think the character of Alex, Lyndsy’s character, is supposed to be 19 years old. But there’s a lot of action, so I think young men will like it, too. Not just the young ladies.

TDW: Are you feeling confident about a series pick-up? Have you guys heard anything yet from The CW?

Clarke: Maybe I’m just jinxing everything by even talking about it. But, no, we don’t know. I have the highest of high hopes. Whenever you do a pilot and the network’s studios put money into the pilot, you’re going to hear positive feedback because they wouldn’t want to spend the money unless they’d like to get it on television. So hopefully this isn’t speaking before I should be talking about it but I think The CW is really behind it and I hope it does end up on the network, that they give us the chance.

TDW: I do, too. When you were cast in The Vampire Diaries, there were a lot of comments from people who were happy but who also want you back on their screen more permanently, not just guest roles.

Clarke: I like the ensemble situation [with permanent roles]. It’s nice to be able to have a life with my daughter and still work.

TDW: Right. And it means we’re seeing you regularly. We’re not waiting for the next guest role.

Clarke: I did one episode of Entourage last year but it was probably one of my favorite things I’ve done in a long time. It was a great scene with Jeremy Piven. I played myself. It was a brilliant thing. It was a fictitious version of Melinda Clarke. They had me come out of the Paramount lot and, of course, there’s these huge posters for my own television show. [The character] is a spy by night and a mom by day. I just thought that was very clever. I love that show. I would love to do a show like that more often. The industry is recovering from the single worst time in history. From the writer’s strike to the potential SAG strike. The lack of material. All of these things. The numbers of everything have gone down in every way, shape and form. It’s just a matter of finding the right thing and I’m really happy Warner Bros. and McG are producing Nikita and Danny Cannon from CSI is directing.

TDW: I forgot McG was doing it! He executive produced The O.C. as well. So it’s kind of like a little reunion.

Clarke: And, of course, he produces Chuck and Supernatural, [the latter of] which is on The CW, too. It all sounds like a wonderful recipe and I feel like Warner Bros. is behind it. Very much so. But you never know. You never know. Some great pilots never get on television. It’s a shame. But I think they feel good about this. And if it doesn’t go, you go after the next thing. Maybe I’ll go to Atlanta, Georgia more often.

TDW: Last question: There have been a few Twitter accounts claiming to be you and they’re not you. Can you just state for the record whether you’re on Twitter?

Clarke: I am not on Twitter in any way, shape or form.

TDW: Good, thank you.

Clarke: In fact, Kelly Rowan sent me a text not too long ago saying, “Did you know you and I are having conversations on Twitter?”

TDW: Yes! I saw that! There were two accounts that talked with each other, claiming to be you guys.

Clarke: We had a good laugh over that because neither one of us have the time for Twitter. Maybe we should. But I haven’t ever done anything like that.

Come back next Sunday for another exclusive interview!

TDW Interview Index

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Exclusive: Get To Know Mike Grubbs of One Tree Hill and Wakey!Wakey!

31 01 2010

Among One Tree Hill’s crop of fresh faces this season is Grubbs, a bartender at Tric. If you’re wondering where the name comes from (Is he supposed to be grubby? Chubby? Just an odd duck?), meet Mike Grubbs, the actor who plays him.

In our exclusive interview, Grubbs explains how his band Wakey!Wakey! led to a role on One Tree Hill, who his character may or may not get together with and how he uses Twitter to interact with his growing fanbase.

TeenDramaWhore: Let’s start at the very beginning. How did you first get involved with the show?

Mike Grubbs: It’s actually a very interesting story, Shari. A friend of [OTH creator] Mark Schwahn’s saw me play. She called Mark and said, “When you’re in New York next time, let me know. I’ll arrange it so this guy plays where you’re at.” Mark came to town and I got a call the night of. I was actually out on a date at the time and I got a call saying, “We need you to go to this place to play for Mark” and I was like, “Well, actually, you know, it’s kind of a bad night for me.” At that time I didn’t know Mark but they explained to me who he was and everything. So I said, “Yeah. Okay. I might as well try it.” But I was on a date so it took me a little while to get out there. Mark sat at this open mic night for three hours waiting to hear me play, which is pretty amazing. Most record executives, the way they handle hearing someone play for them  is you’ll fly out to where they are and go to their office and sit in some cold waiting room until whenever they’re ready to let you in and do the audition. They’ll give you maybe about 5 minutes of their time usually but Mark came and sat for 3 hours to hear me play at this open mic in Brooklyn, which just kind of points to the fact that he’s doing something right. I think that’s why shows like One Tree Hill get such good music and good people. So he came and saw me play. He was really into the songs I played and he said, “I really want to use those on the show.” So the first song was “War Sweater” and he used that on the season finale last year [Episode 6.24, Remember Me As A Time Of Day].

Then Mark and I just really became friends. It wasn’t about a professional relationship for us. When he came to New York, we’d hang out. When I went to L.A., we’d hang out. And then he was here a few months ago and we were finishing this new album we working on so I called him and said, “Hey man, I want to play you my new album,” just ‘cause he’s my friend. So we sat down and I played it for him and he was like, “I’m really into this. I really like this music and I want to help you release it. Why don’t I write you a few cameos on the show and we’ll try to have you perform on the show and bring as much attention to the project as we can?” And I was like, “Oh, this is amazing!” He knew I was a bartender–I was bartending at the time–so he wrote this little cameo for me as the bartender on the show and that went really well so that led to another. They wrote me into the next episode and then the next one and the next thing you know, now I’m Grubbs on the show and kind of a regular occurrence on it. It’s kind of cool.

TDW: How familiar were you with the show previously?

Grubbs: I had watched the earlier seasons of the show but had fallen out of touch with it for a while. I love TV and I love to watch TV but I’m kind of more of a sci-fi nerd. I really like Battlestar Galactica and nerdy stuff like that. Lost. Those are my shows. So the drama stuff hadn’t really been as much on my radar for a while so I didn’t really know what I was getting into. It was really cool to see once I actually started researching the show and catching up on what was going on. It changed so much and was so good. They had these really exciting new characters and I was just really proud to be a part of the show at this point.

TDW: It’s funny because a lot people didn’t know you were an actual musician. I saw some comments online saying, “Wait–was the bartender the guy at the piano at the end of that episode?” when you performed “Brooklyn” [Episode 7.12, Some Roads Lead Nowhere]. People explained to them that, yes, it was the character of Grubbs at the piano but the actor is also Mike Grubbs who has his own band.

Grubbs: Everyone started to piece it together. I can’t say for sure what’s going to happen but I think it might become more clear to people in the next few episodes what my part is in everything.

TDW: Was there ever a question of what name to give the character or was it just Grubbs from the outset?

Grubbs: Mark had always known me as Grubbs. That was my nickname throughout college. So it was like, what kind of bartender name can they give me? And I guess at that point, the natural name was just Grubbs. I mean, that’s who I am and he wanted the character to be as much like me as possible. So that was pretty locked in pretty early.

TDW: You were in a few episodes before we actually saw you perform rather than have that aspect of your character revealed right off the bat. Do you know what went into that decision?

Grubbs: I just think it’s something that’s maybe more exciting for the viewers, to watch the growth of the character that way. I also think, in all honesty, that Mark just wanted to make sure that I didn’t completely suck before he put me on as this character. The fact that I started as just this bartender gives us a little more arc to the character, makes it a little more exciting. But that’s really who I am. I’ve been this guy who is working every day and living a really real, normal existence just tending bar and working like everyone else. I’m not someone who’s just a musician. It kind of humanizes the character as well.

TDW: You are, without a doubt, the most recognizable face of Wakey!Wakey! but the other people you play with, what have they said about your experiences on the show?

Grubbs: They’re really stoked about it. They, of course, love the attention it brings to the project and everything. It’s really fun. The first episode I was ever on, we got together and it was just a small group of friends. They were all really close friends to me because I didn’t want it to be–like all of my friends came to me and said, “We have to throw a huge party! You’re going to be on TV!” and all this stuff. Everyone was really excited. But I wanted it to be quiet because I wanted people to actually watch the show. I didn’t want it to be a raging party with the TV on in the background and then we’d just miss it. So we kept it really small but the majority of the band was there for that. They’re super-supportive, they’re super into it and they’re really excited about it. They’re proud of me and they’re happy. It’s cool.

TDW: Can you give us any hints on what’s coming up with Grubbs and how many more episodes you’ll be in?

Grubbs: I don’t really know for a fact but I think you’re going to be seeing a fair amount more of me. But as far as what’s going to happen to my character, all I can say is of the scripts I’ve read so far, it’s really cool and it’s really exciting. People are going to love it.

TDW: There’s two little fandoms brewing. There’s some people who think Grubbs and Miranda [India de Beaufort] are going to have something going on.

Grubbs: I’ve definitely heard that one.

TDW: And there’s others that are looking for some cougar action with Victoria [Daphne Zuniga].

Grubbs: Yeah, you know, I’ve actually seen people suggest that. I saw another one suggesting I get together with Sophia Bush [Brooke], which is really funny because I love that people not only want to pair me with Brooke but her mother as well! I love that people are speculating about it because it means maybe I’m doing my job well or the writers are doing their job well and people are excited about it. As far as who my character will end up with, man, I think that all of those actresses you just mentioned are the coolest chicks in the world and I would be thrilled to be with any of them.

TDW: That’s a great answer. So what would you say has been the easiest thing working on the show, the most difficult and the most surprising?

Grubbs:I would say the easiest part of working on the show has been how accepting the cast has been of me. The first night that I got down there, James Lafferty [Nathan], Stephen Colletti [Chase] and Shantel VanSanten [Quinn]–and, actually, I think Robert Buckley [Clay] was there as well. All these people came out. I think Mark set it up so that everyone I was working on my first scene with came out to meet me so I would be comfortable with everyone the next day and they would know who I was. Honestly, they are just the most accepting and wonderful people you can ever think of working with.

That actually leads really well to the next question, the most difficult part of working on the show. It’s funny because the most difficult part of the show for me is getting used to acting on camera. I have an actual background in theater and I’ve done a lot of acting before as a theater actor but never as a screen actor so the changeover to that has been really challenging for me. I really feel lucky to have such great people on set with me and working with me to kind of teach me. The scenes that I have with India or Sophia or [Bethany Joy Galeotti, Haley], there’s always sweet, little hints that they give me. You know, “Keep your eyes up here,” “Make sure the camera catches this kind of thing”–things that you really want to look out for when filming these kind of things and it’s really amazing how much they’ve helped me. So the most difficult thing has been getting used to filming.

The most surprising thing I think was definitely how big the production scale is. I knew what One Tree Hill was, I had seen the show before and I knew Mark and all that stuff but you never can imagine what it’s like to be on set and in the process of filming until you’re there. There’s literally like a hundred crew members, a hundred extras. There’s things flying around past your head–cameras, lights, everything. It’s really overwhelming. So probably the scale of it is the most surprising thing.

TDW: Do you have any favorite anecdotes from the set or from hanging out with everyone?

Grubbs: Wow. There’s just so many great moments we have down there. When the cast goes out, it’s always a blast because everyone is super cool. We really are like a family. My favorite anecdote ever would be the first episode that I did down there [Episode 7.09, Now You Lift Your Eyes To The Sun]. Like I said before, it was completely overwhelming to me. The first day I walked on set, I didn’t know where I could go or what I could do, what was off-limits, when I was making a fool of myself. It was a whole different world and I didn’t know the etiquette of it or anything. As the day went on, I slowly became more comfortable and suddenly, before I knew it, the day was over and the episode was over for me. The first episode I was in, it was just a very small scene. So they wrapped the day and Mark Schwahn was on set and Sophia Bush was directing and, as they wrapped, finishing my last take, I didn’t really know what was going on because they do so many different takes and so many different angles and everything so I didn’t know if they were turning around or whatever and then one of the guys that works with us and says “Hey, man. That’s it for the day. You did a great job. We’re all done.” And I was like, “Okay, cool” and I kind of had a “That’s it?” moment, you know, where I was like, “Okay, well, I guess I go home now and I don’t know if I’ll ever be back” because at first it was just like a one episode cameo. So I was slowly kind of wandering off set, not knowing where to go or what to do and I heard someone yell from the other side of the room–to this day, I’m not sure who it was. I don’t know if it was Mark. I don’t know if it was Sophia. Austin Nichols [Julian] was on set that day; it could’ve been him. It could’ve been one of the other producers. All the guys that work on the show are just so cool. But somebody yells, “Hey, everybody! Can you just stop what you’re doing”–and, literally, at this point there’s like a 100 crew members on set and a 100 extras so I’m in a room with 200 people and everyone stops and turns around–“Can everyone please put their hands together for Michael Grubbs. It’s his first day ever on set, wrapping his first-ever episode” and the whole room just burst out. By that time I was friends with everybody and everyone was cheering for me. That was probably the coolest moment ever in the whole process so far.

TDW: That’s sweet. How is Wilmington treating you? It’s a bit different than Brooklyn…

Grubbs: Wilmington is quite different from Brooklyn. But it’s a really cool town. I don’t think people realize how great they have it there. The people that I’ve met, the locals and stuff, are all super sweet and super kind. There’s some really cool bars, some really cool restaurants down there, too. It’s a great scene. There’s some great little clothing stores. There’s a little place called Edge of Urge that I try to hit once every time I’m down there. They have great clothes. It’s funny that I would go all the way to Wilmington to buy clothes when I live in Brooklyn, a place where there’s so many great stores and stuff but that’s just something in Wilmington they do really well.

TDW: What’s next for Wakey!Wakey!?

Grubbs: The next thing we have coming out is this album on February 2nd. It’s called “Almost Everything I Wish I’d Said The Last Time I Saw You.” It’s our first real live studio album and we’re super proud of it. We got really great distribution so it’s going to be widely available and just kind of another introduction of Wakey!Wakey! to America so I’m really excited to see how that goes and get that out there.

TDW: You’ve done a great job of capitalizing on social media tools like Twitter and video blogs. What value do you think they have?

Grubbs: I think there’s a big difference between actors and musicians. One of the big differences is actors, unless they’re trying to build some general form of celebrity, really want their social media to be private because they’re not trying to brand themselves. They’re trying to get people to watch the show that they’re on. They don’t really want people to take as much interest in them. For someone like myself–or India’s actually in the same boat. She’s a fantastic singer and has a MySpace page and has a lot of great music on it. For someone like her or someone like me, using Twitter, using blogs, using MySpace and different outlets to get to people to kind of spread the word of what we’re doing with the band and other stuff is a totally vital tool. I want people to know me. I want people to know my band. I want people to feel comfortable with me and my music and everything. One Tree Hill fans are so cool and so supportive of the show and they work really hard to find music. If a song’s on the show, everybody goes and finds it, which is just amazing. If they like it on the show, they talk about it and they get out there and they’re asking about it. They have just such a great community online, I’d be stupid not to talk to them and try and put my name out there as much as possible and get people to see me and follow me on Twitter and come to my Facebook page. So I think social networking is just vital. Not to mention the way it allows me to interact with the fans and just kind of connect with them; it’s really cool. I would say it’s absolutely a vital tool for anyone and definitely something to watch. So I hope everyone comes and follows me on Twitter!

TDW: You’ve had people send you questions through Twitter that you then answer through videoblogs on your Tumblr. How did that start?

Grubbs: The first day I was on set, my manager told me our goal should be to answer every question we got on Twitter and kind of let all the other stuff go. The first appearance I had on the show, the response was pretty overwhelming. We got hundreds of letters and stuff. So to respond to everyone was pretty possible. I sat down and tried to respond to all the tweets one by one and it took me like a week. I finally got it done and I went to my manager and was like, “There’s no way I can do this. There’s no way I can make this my life because all I would do is sit there and answer tweets.” So we decided the best way to do it would be to do the series “Ask Grubbs.” Basically every Wednesday what we do is I’ll sit down and pick some random questions from Twitter–I can’t answer them all but I’ll pick as many as I can–and answer them on a videoblog. So every Wednesday they can come check it out and maybe they’ll see me answer their question on the blog. It’s kind of cool that way. It’s a great way for me to easily connect with people. For instance, on the last one that I posted, there was a girl that said she fell down and hurt her leg and she was at home with ice on it listening to Wakey!Wakey!. Such a sweet, sweet little message and for me to tweet back to that seems kind of shallow. To just say, “Oh, thanks. I hope your leg feels better” seems empty. So if I get to actually go on camera and say, “Hey, you! Thank you for listening to us and I’m glad that we’re making you feel better,” it feels a lot more direct.

Come back tomorrow night after One Tree Hill to find out how you can win an autographed copy of “Almost Everything I Wish I’d Said The Last Time I Saw You” and get a shout-out on Grubbs’  blog.

Then come back next week for another exclusive interview!

TDW Interview Index








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