News Roundup: Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill and 90210

23 08 2010
  • TV Guide Magazine has a few Gossip Girl spoilers.
  • Jessica Szohr (Vanessa, Gossip Girl) is on the cover of Nylon’s September issue.
  • Interview has an, um, interview with Taylor Momsen (Jenny, Gossip Girl).
  • Everly, featuring Bethany Joy Galeotti (Haley, One Tree Hill), has a new website.
  • Austin Nichols (Julian, One Tree Hill) has started a humorous (parody?) Twitter account under the name @SensitiveJulian.
  • Tristan Wilds (Dixon, 90210) tweeted that he started a blog.
  • The Beverly Hills 90210 Season 10 DVD will be released November 2. TVShowsOnDVD.com has a look at the cover art and reports that The Final Goodbye will be included as a bonus feature. (The set itself is being marketed as The Final Season, as opposed to The Tenth Season.) While I am happy that there are special features again (it’s the first time since season 4), I wonder if its inclusion and the timing of the release means there won’t be a complete series set. They are not only missing out on the opportunity to market it for Christmas, but to have it come out on a year of double anniversaries for the show. But I suppose anything is possible own the road. And at first I was thrilled to see what I thought was an authentic cover photo – as in, it was an original group photo with all of the tenth season’s regular cast members; no one was photoshopped in or out like in the past and the photo wasn’t otherwise altered in any way- but I doubled-checked and a Google search of the original photo shows they did make some subtle, needless changes. It’s pretty amazing: ten seasons, ten DVDs and not one with appropriate and/or unedited cover art! The photo on the top left also looks suspicious but I can’t say for sure without seeing the cover first-hand. Also, it’s interesting that there’s three pictures of Tori Spelling (Donna) on the front and another on the side. I mean, are two solo pics necessary? Really? Also, love how Vincent Young (Noah) went from being left off the covers for seasons 8 and 9, but gets two pictures on this one. Sigh.
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Exclusive: Meet The MunnRoyds!

1 03 2010

In my Real-Life Relationships series, I wrote how One Tree Hill held the honor of being the only teen drama to ever have married cast members. But they also held the dishonor of being the only show with divorced cast members when that same couple split. I’m happy to say honor has been restored this season with the introduction of Scott Holroyd as David. Holroyd’s recurring role meant he was starring on the very same show his wife, Allison Munn, has been on as Lauren for more than a year now.

Munn and Holroyd haven’t yet had the privilege of sharing scenes together but the excitement of just working on the same set has pleased them both. They were also more than enthusiastic about doing a joint interview and officially introducing everyone to the MunnRoyds.

TeenDramaWhore: Is this your first joint interview?

Munn: This is our first joint interview–except for the man who married us. We had an interview with the man who married us and that was equally as fun.

TDW: I am very honored, then, to be your first professional joint interview.

Munn: It’s very exciting. We’re having some wine and sitting down. This is fun.

Holroyd: You got the exclusive.

TDW: I’m very excited. Allison, we covered a lot of ground in our first interview, but something I forgot to ask you was how you got involved with One Tree Hill in the first place. Was it the typical casting call-audition route?

Munn: It was. The part came down the pipes and I went in. It was cool because I was sitting in the room waiting for everyone and I didn’t know who was actually going to be in the audition but [creator] Mark Schwahn walks in and I had known Mark back when I was on What I Like About You. Mark used to come by our set a lot so I was excited to see him again because he was always so nice. And then my friend Joe Davola walked. He’s one of the producers on One Tree Hill but he was also one of the producers on What I Like About You. So it was just a little mini-reunion and it took a minute to have the actual audition because we had to catch each other up on our lives. So that was fun. Then I auditioned and I think I found out that night that I got the part. It was kind of perfect because the day I flew in, I got into Wilmington at night and it was the show’s Christmas party. I went in and I went straight to the Christmas party and got to meet everyone there, which was a lot of fun.

TDW: That’s a great way to ease the stress of having to meet everyone when you first get on set.

Munn: Oh, yeah. It’s stressful when you guest-star on a show because they’re a tight-knit group and you’re a stranger coming into their world. But these people could not have been more accommodating or nice. It’s truly been a blessing to meet these people.

TDW: Your first episode was when Jamie [Jackson Brundage] asks you out on his little date [Episode 6.16, Screenwriter‘s Blues]. Did you sign on to do just that one episode or did you know there would be more?

Munn: I was only booked for that episode and when I read the scenes, the way they originally read, there was supposed to be a flirtation with Dan [Paul Johansson]. But they were very careful to not make it that way. I don’t know if they had it in their minds that I would go on. I finished that episode and I came home over the holidays and Mark Schwahn called me and pitched me the [storyline] that I would start dating Skills [Antwon Tanner]. That was really exciting. That was a great call to get.

TDW: I’m sure. So, Scott, last year did you visit Allison on set at all?

Holroyd: Yes, actually. I knew Joe from the What I Like About Days. I met Schwahn during Allison’s work on One Tree Hill and Mark was familiar some of the work I had done. I went and visited the Jerry Rice episode [7.01, 4:30 a.m. (Apparently They Were Traveling Abroad)]. I was in North Carolina during that time and Allison texted me and said, “Hey, do you know who Jerry Rice is?”

Munn: No, I think I texted you like, “Hey, have you ever heard of some guy named Jerry Rice?” Clearly I had no idea who he was.

Holroyd: And I was like, “Uh, yes! He’s only the best wide receiver in the history of the NFL.” And she was like “Well, I’m playing football with him right now.” I turned the car around and went to set. That was the first time I was on set and hung out with everybody there.

Munn: The greatest thing also about these people is that we also got to know a lot of them back here [in Los Angeles]. When they’re not in production in North Carolina, we tend to hang out and go to dinner here in Los Angeles. So he had met them socially as well here.

TDW: So then when the part of David came up, did you have a formal audition?

Holroyd: Yeah, I went in and read for Mark. It was a typical audition and then I got the call when I was in North Carolina to visit Allison and visit family. I got the offer when I was there so I ended up not leaving North Carolina and staying for the rest of the summer to shoot [my] first four episodes. It was actually perfect timing and a perfect situation because it’s always nice to work with friends. Mark had become a pal through all of this when Allison was in season 6. We’d hang out, like she said, go out to dinner with he and his wife. It was just a fun situation for us both and it was also fun to be home because Allison and I are both from that area. My mom and dad live in Myrtle Beach, which is 45 minutes away from Wilmington so that whole summer Allison and I were there with both of our dogs and it was the best summer on record for us.

Munn: It really was. We always say there’s very few times in your life when you’re having a wonderful time and you’re aware of how lucky you are and aware of the fact you’re going to look back on this moment in your life and reflect on it and say, “Wow, remember when we got to do that?” We were very aware of how good we had it this past summer. It was wonderful.

Holroyd: Was this the first time you were working on the same project?

Munn: Well, technically no. We were both on That 70’s Show. We were never on set at the same time. Scott did an episode and I think I did the episode after him. So technically we had but not like this.

TDW: On One Tree Hill, Lauren is a much a happier character than David has been. Scott, as someone who is happily married in real life, is it difficult to get into David’s frame of mind or do you embrace the challenge of playing someone so different from you?

Holroyd: You always embrace it. It’s fun. You can kind of empathize and understand. We’ve all had disappointments and adversity in our lives and you grasp onto that to figure out where the character’s coming from. So the challenge was fun.

Munn: Believe it or not, this is one of the nicer characters he’s played. He usually plays like rapists…

Holroyd: Murderers, wife-beaters.

Munn: Wife-beaters. So, yeah, this has been a departure from his normal roles.

Holroyd: Yeah, so when I got the offer from Mark, he was like, “Yeah, this is not like the things you normally play” because he had seen some of my work before. He was like, “Gosh! There is no vigilance in [David]. He’s a nice guy.”

Munn: I think Joe Davola was surprised, too, because Joe knew mostly his work when he on Dirty Sexy Money. I don’t know if you saw his arc on that but he ran the gamut. He hit women–

Holroyd: Pistol-whipped a woman.

Munn: Pistol-whipped a woman, he shot a person, he killed a person. It was a lot for them to wrap their head around, to have Scott be the nice guy for a change. I loved seeing that. I mean, yeah, he was in pain but it was really neat for me to see Scott play that role.

TDW: At what point did you know you’d be coming back for the Taylor [Lindsey McKeon] storyline?

Holroyd: Mark called and he was happy with how things had turned out and the arc of the story. He said there’d be some more stuff coming down the pipe. That’s all I knew. I didn’t know in what way I was going to be used or what way David was going to come back but he said there’d be more stuff for me to do. So when I got the call for the next little bit with Taylor and when I read the script, I was like, “Ohhhkay. Okay.” That’s when you see a little bit of David’s…kind of vindictive side. Maybe vindictive isn’t the right word.

Munn: No, he was kind of vindictive.

TDW: I was going to say vindictive, too.

Holroyd: Yeah, but it wasn’t really honest vindictiveness. It was more…

TDW: It came from a place of hurt.

Holroyd: Yes. It came from hurt. And when he realized it was all a lie, that’s when he kind of bailed on the whole thing because he was really just relying on Taylor. I think Taylor was honest in her approach to her sisters and I think David was just kind of going along with that, like “Okay.” I think David was looking at it as “Quinn hurt me. How can I hurt her back?” Taylor was the way to do that. I think that’s how that all came about. I think David kind of relished the moments, like at the dinner scene. I think David was just relishing watching Quinn [Shantel Van Santen], even though Quinn stayed above it all. But I think he relished it until he found out she didn’t really sleep with Clay [Robert Buckley]. That’s when his world really came crashing down again. David just got–

Munn: He got kicked. He got hammered.

Holroyd: He got kicked on all sides. Even when he tried to be forceful and be a little vindictive, he got hit again. I felt bad for David and I fought for David and I thought he was right in how he approached things. I agreed with him.

Munn: I really loved seeing those flashback scenes with him and Shantel [Episode 7.07, I And Love And You] because it was nice to see David happy and in a good place. That added, for me, a lot of depth to both their characters.

TDW: It did. It gave us the point of view of where David was coming from–what was the marriage he had with Quinn like? You would think anyone would be upset they’re getting divorced but we didn’t know what Quinn was leaving behind.

Munn: Right. And it’s hard because they had such a great thing. I think a lot of people were like, “Why is Quinn leaving this great marriage?” but, being in a relationship that actually works, you do really change a lot as people. If you don’t grow together, the growing apart feels so lonely and I think that’s what Quinn was really haunted by, her loneliness. David wasn’t the man she originally married.

Holroyd: Of course, I’m gonna side with David. I don’t think he necessarily changed.

Munn: I think he grew up.

Holroyd: I think he was thinking ahead and he was growing up and evolving and thinking, “Hey, I have a passion”–which was Quinn’s thing, “Stick to your passion”–“but if the passion doesn’t pay the bills, let’s be honest. You don’t want to be motivated by money but money is to an extent a necessity, so let me get a job that affords us a life that we can live on and grow and have a family.” So I saw where David was coming from. I don’t think he necessarily changed who he was; he just wanted to better his family. That’s my opinion on David but, of course, I’m going to stick up for my man.

TDW: I think the fans saw it from both sides. I think there were people were questioning, “What is Quinn doing?” and they wanted to see more of David. And there were people who accepted she wasn’t happy and wanted a change and to move on. I would also venture to guess a lot of the fans are younger and not married, so it might’ve been hard to understand. Maybe because they’re not married, they think that moving on is an easier thing to do.

Munn: Yeah, that’s intuitive.

Holroyd: A lot of people were asking, “Why?” A lot people were getting frustrated with the Quinn storyline and asking “Why would she want to move on? She has no reason.” And my explanation for the storyline was when you grow, you either grow together or you grow apart and sometimes you grow apart. It’s as simple as that. I think that frustrated people. It’s so simple that it frustrated people. It would’ve been a lot of easier had there been infidelity or something else. But it was just a matter of just growing apart. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.

TDW: I’ve been wondering where Quinn and David lived. I think the implication was that you guys were out of town. But I think people liked David and I know I would’ve liked to see him stick around and I came up with a way to have him stick but I didn’t know if he actually lived in Tree Hill or not.

Munn: I don’t think he does live in Tree Hill.

Holroyd: I don’t think he does either.

Munn: But what’s your way to make him stick? I want to hear it! I like it!

TDW: Well, David was in his own way a filmmaker. I guess documentary was more his style but he liked filmmaking. And you have another filmmaker in Tree Hill–you have Julian [Austin Nichols] making his movie. And I can easily see David trying to get a job on the set to be near Quinn, even though she’s moving on with Clay. You can just extend the length of that triangle, where Quinn has to deal with having her ex-husband living in town with them and working with her sister’s friend’s boyfriend, ‘cause everybody in Tree Hill is connected.

Munn: And Julian needs a good guy friend to hang out with.

TDW: He does.

Munn: And David needs a nice girlfriend who, perhaps, is a schoolteacher.

Holroyd: Named Lauren.

Munn: Named Lauren.

Holroyd: That’s a petition! Petition it! David and Lauren!

TDW: That would be great! Could you imagine if we got that going?

Holroyd: That would be insane.

TDW: I think working on Julian’s film is a totally plausible way to have David stick around and evolve into more than just Quinn’s ex.

Munn: I think you’re right.

Holroyd: Put it out there, Shari! Put it out there!

Munn: It’s up to you! I think you’re right. I think the Julian connection makes a lot of sense.

TDW: With Lauren, in 7.12 [Some Roads Leave Nowhere], that was the last episode before a hiatus for us and we saw Skills go to L.A. and people thought that was it for Skills and that therefore that would be it for Lauren. Did you think that, too, or did you know about the plans to tie her in with Mouth [Lee Norris] later on?

Munn: I didn’t know it was going to be with Mouth. I knew something was going to happen. They had the idea to have Skills come back and I would be dating someone else. I didn’t know it was going to be Mouth. So during those first scenes when I hang out with Mouth [Episode 7.14, Family Affair], I come and clean up the apartment and all that–

Holroyd: CSI-style.

Munn: Yeah, the CSI kind of stuff. We didn’t know we were going to be paired off. What I was told is that the writers watched those scenes and they could see a lot chemistry between the two of us and wrote to that.

TDW: Wow! I never would’ve guessed that it happened in that order!

Munn: I know! Me either. I remember actually talking to Paul Johansson, who directed that episode. I was like, “Look. I’ve been hanging out with this guy all day”–and typically on shows like One Tree Hill when that happens, usually romance springs from it–and I remember saying to him, “Do we need to be really careful to avoid any sort of romantic tension?” And he said, “Don’t play to it and don’t play against it. Just play the scene as it is. You don’t need to think that far ahead.” And I was like, “Okay, fine.” But I still didn’t expect us to end up having any sort of liaison, that’s for sure.

TDW: That’s such a treat to know because people watched those scenes and said, “Oh, I know what’s coming! Mouth and Lauren are getting together!”

Munn: Right! They saw it before us. That’s what some of the writers told me. It’s kind of neat that they do pay attention to that stuff and they write to it. I love that.

TDW: So then you did find out and what was your reaction?

Munn: I felt bad! As Allison, I felt bad because of Millie [Lisa Goldstein]. I didn’t feel bad because of Lauren’s relationship with Skills because of what had come out in some of the scenes. Skills moved. He didn’t ask me to move with him. When I pressured him, he was like “Fine, go with me” but that felt like it was half-hearted so I said no. And then we kept up a phone relationship for a while but then it just petered out, like he stopped calling me. I think it had been from the time Skills left and Lauren started having feelings for Mouth, I think it had been a while. It wasn’t just like a month. I think it was 3-6 months in the way the linear storyline goes. So I think that’s enough time for a relationship to peter out. Lauren kind of knew the relationship was done. We’ll see what happens with Skills. Maybe it wasn’t done on his end.

TDW: I do have a question about that but I want to go to back to something you just said. You as Allison felt bad for Millie?

Munn: Yeah, because I think their relationship has been so sweet. I love Mouth and Millie together. Of course, over the course of this season, she has treated Mouth very, very poorly and I do think Mouth deserves better. I’m pulled in both directions. When I was watching it–it’s funny, because I don’t watch it as the actress; I watch it as a fan. I love the show. So when I was watching the episode when he asked Lauren out, I was rooting for him. I wanted him to ask Lauren out because I cared for Mouth and I feel like right now Lauren is much more stable choice than Millie–however, that being said, I really do like him and Millie together.

TDW: I’m already seeing two fandoms brewing. People who not only think Mouth and Millie are the endgame for Mouth’s character but just have been attached to this couple since season 5. And then there’s other people that are just tired of the drama, tired of the back and forth and also really like Lauren and see potential in the coupling with Mouth.

Munn: Mouth is such a stand-up guy. He’s so good. And so far what we’ve seen from Lauren is that she’s grounded and good as well. I can see why the fans who are really protective of Mouth would be glad that he gravitates towards Lauren now because she seems safe. Millie’s not safe right now.

TDW: In the last episode [Episode 7.18, The Last Day Of Our Acquaintance], we first saw Lauren say, “I’ll be your partner-in-crime but I’m not going to be your rebound.” And at the end of the episode, she kind of says, “Okay, I was kind of lying. I was worried that you were going to be my rebound.” Where do you think she was coming from there?

Munn: Well, actually, in that–Joe Davola was directing that episode and he had a really great note at the beginning of that scene. And what you guys didn’t see because I think it was cut out of the episode was that a lot of us were at the funeral. You didn’t see us all at the funeral for Haley’s [Bethany Joy Galleoti] mom.

TDW: Wow! Thank you for telling me that! Keep going, please!

Munn: There was a moment in the script that was cut out of what you guys saw. Mouth looks over at Millie and Millie smiles at him and I look at that. No, wait, I don’t think Millie’s smiles  at him. It was just a moment where they pan across and they see Millie, they see Mouth and then Mouth sees me. And pretty soon, like I don’t think it’s the next scene but it’s pretty close to that, I come and knock on the door and I say my piece to Mouth. So Joe had a really good note for me. He was like, “Look. You’ve just been to a funeral. You’ve seen that life is short. You’re feeling lonely. Carpe diem.”

TDW: Nothing against the way they do the show or anything but that’s so helpful to know. That would’ve enhanced things, because you two only had two scenes in that episode that aired.

Munn: That’s true.

TDW: You had the first scene where you’re walking in town and the scene when you come to his apartment. It was very little of you two and some people said it felt weird having that second scene mixed in with the trauma of Lydia’s [Bess Armstrong] death and the funeral and what Haley was going through afterward. But there’s such another layer to it when you tell me now that you guys were at the funeral and that kind of motivated Lauren.

Munn: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I see what you’re saying. I guess it did help them [in how it aired] because they wanted the audience to be surprised by her actions but you’re right, character-wise, it did seem to come a little bit more out of nowhere.

TDW: Let me just ask you another question about the funeral. Was there any planned dialogue for that or was it always just supposed to be montage-style with a song playing?

Munn: Actually, now that you say that, I remember when we were shooting it the only dialogue was this woman who did the service. It was the typical “ashes to ashes, death to death” speech. It was sort of chilling. I was surprised to see how short that sequence was. But I think the sisters did such a great, great job–Joy and Shantel and Lindsey. They did such a great job. They made me want to cry when I saw that. But I did notice that the “ashes to ashes, death to the death,” that whole speech was taken out. So there was definitely that dialogue and there were other moments. I know you got to see Brooke [Sophia Bush] and Julian. I forget who else they showed at the funeral but they did film me and Millie and Mouth also.

TDW: That’s good to know.

Munn: It made a lot of sense for me when I read it. I hadn’t even thought about that [since] because sometimes when you’re watching the episodes, you forget what you originally said or the original flow. I didn’t even think that that might be a little jarring. That makes a lot of sense now.

TDW: In the promo for the next batch episodes, there’s a really quick scene of Skills punching Mouth. Can you tease a little bit about what gets them to that point?

Munn: Well, I think you can probably guess what might lead to that, as per what we just talked about.

TDW: Well, you mentioned before how to you it seemed the relationship with Skills petered out because he stopped calling. But when he walks in the door in that last episode, he’s back to calling you “baby” and I got the sense that maybe things weren’t so over.

Munn: Yeah, you might be right with that. It’s funny how things can be miscommunicated but from what I knew and what Lauren knew, he had stopped calling. Lauren had called him more and he had quit returning her phone calls. And she had relayed that information to Mouth, not to lead him on but because they were friends. She was confiding in him, like, “We don’t really talk anymore. He doesn’t call me back. I don’t even know how he’s doing.” She was actually finding out more of how he was doing through Mouth than through actually talking to Skills. So when he walks back in the door and he’s like “Hey, baby!” completely casual, I think Lauren was really taken aback by that.

TDW: I think we were, too.  So now I guess you’re going to have these two friends pitted against each other.

Munn: Yeah, and it’s a shame because they have a really solid friendship. I hate that for them.

TDW: And their friendship goes back to the very first episode of the show.

Munn: Yep, the pilot. That’s a shame. Never let a lady come between you, boys!

TDW: Well, if the show lived by that, we would’ve missed out on countless storylines!

Munn: Scott just whispered “bros before hos.” That’s a twist on the “Clothes Over Bros.”

TDW: Well, that’s something Brooke and Peyton [Hilarie Burton] used to say to each other. They used to say, “Hos over bros” and once it became “Hos over psychos” [Episode 4.16, You Call It Madness, But I Call It Love]. Anyway, I know Antwon tweeted that he’s in like three of the last four episodes.

Munn: Yes, I think so. I’m forgetting how many we shot. I know he’s around, definitely. I don’t know that he’s in all of the last ones. I don’t know how much I can say without giving away too much. He’s in–sorry, I’m counting–yep, you’re right. It’s three of the last four, correct.

TDW: Can you say how many more you are in?

Munn: I just wrapped for the season and they have another one to shoot. I don’t think they’ll get mad at me for saying this but I’m not in the last two.

TDW: Oh, you’re not in the last two?

Munn: No, but I don’t think that has anything to do with the story. They’re just wrapping their season and I’m not one of the main characters, you know?

TDW: Okay, so you’re not in 7.21 or 22.

Munn: Right. But that’s not a big spoiler anything. It’s not like I get shot or I drown or anything.

TDW: What are you hearing about a season eight?

Munn: You know, nobody really knows what quite to think yet. I look at the ratings versus the ratings of other shows on the network and I think we stand a pretty good chance.

Holroyd: If you’re asking me as a fan, I think it’s definitely going to get picked up for an eighth season.

Munn: I like that. I like where his head is at! I really hope so.

Holroyd: But that’s me as a fan.

Munn: That’s Scott as fan. Honestly, I talked to the major players this week and nobody really knows for sure. But everyone is very optimistic, if that helps.

TDW: Do you know if you have a future on the show if there’s an eighth season?

Munn: You know, I never know. I would hope so but I never know.

Holroyd: David and Lauren!

Munn: David and Lauren all the way!

TDW: I would totally buy it. You guys already have the chemistry.

Munn: I know. Lauren and David and David and Skills. Oops, sorry, not David and Skills–that would be a whole different show! Who else can David date? Hmm…

Holroyd: David and Haley, what?!

Munn: Aw, no! That would be a disaster!

Holroyd: All the Scott sisters, yes!

Munn: No way!

TDW: Scott, We’ll see you next on Chuck, right?

Holroyd: Yes.

Munn: It’s very exciting. He has a really good arc on Chuck.

Holroyd: Here’s the only problem: it airs Monday nights at 8!

TDW: I know!

Holroyd: So people have to be able to record two shows at once or have two televisions. They have to watch One Tree Hill.

Munn: They have to watch One Tree Hill! If you have to choose, choose One Tree Hill but if you have another option, choose One Tree Hill and Chuck.

Holroyd: Right, there you go. I think my stuff starts in a couple of months, probably mid-April, late April. I don’t know when the season ends for One Tree Hill.

Munn: I don’t know. Shari, you probably have a better idea than I do.

TDW: The show comes back from hiatus April 26 and if it airs the last four episodes in a row, that takes through May 17.

Holroyd: Uht-oh, there’s gonna be an overlap. You need to be able to record two shows at once.

TDW: So right now the next step for you both, besides Chuck, is pilot season.

Munn: Oh, good lord, it’s a nightmare!

Holroyd: Yes.

TDW: Can you tell me a little bit about that nightmare?

Munn: It’s a nightmare in the best way. The networks are buying a lot of pilots this season. So we have been completely inundated with auditions. Sometimes it’s up to three a day and it’s exhausting. It’s one of those where you have a change of clothes in your car and you go to one and you either change in the bathroom of that one or in the car on the way to the next one. It’s been pretty crazy.

TDW: Are any of these for leading roles?

Munn: Oh, yeah. They’re all for leading roles.

TDW: That’s awesome!

Munn: Yeah, it’s great. We’re reading some really good scripts. There’s good stuff out there right now. It’s an exciting time for actors in L.A.

TDW: By chance, any of the same projects?

Munn: No! I wish!

Holroyd: That’s why One Tree Hill was such a blessing. That doesn’t often, if ever.

Munn: The planets really have to be aligned for you to even get a job. So for you to get a job co-starring your husband, it’s pretty close to impossible.

TDW: I sincerely hope it happens. It’s great having you both on One Tree Hill but it would be even better to see you in a scene together.

Munn: It would be really fun to act with Scott. I’m a huge fan of his. It would be a lot of fun. And it would be really fun to continue to get to do interviews this way because we are having a blast!

TDW: I am, too! Are you guys still drinking your wine?

Munn: Yes, we actually just poured more!

Holroyd: Cheers! (glasses clink)

TDW: I heard that! That’s great. I really appreciate your time.

Munn: Absolutely, Shari. I have to say I really respect what you do. I’ve been to your site and I think you have really great interviews. You ask such great questions. You get some really cool interviews and I just have to say I’m super-impressed with you.

TDW: Wow, thank you very much! That means a lot to me. Can I print that?!

Munn: Print it and reproduce it anywhere you want! I’m very much impressed with your journalistic skills.

Holroyd: And we’re excited that this is our first dual interview. You got the exclusive.

Munn: Yeah, you’ve got the MunnRoyds.

TDW: The MunnRoyds! Do people actually call you that?

Munn: Yes!

Holroyd: We do!

Munn: We call ourselves that and we forced our friends to call us that. It could be the title of a sitcom, “Hangin’ With The MunnRoyds.”

Holroyd: There’s Brangelina; we’re the MunnRoyds!

TDW: That works!

Munn: It sounds like a terrible infection you’d get on your foot.

Holroyd: “Oh man, I’ve got a terrible case of the MunnRoyds!”

Munn: But it works for us.

TDW: Allison, have you thought about changing your name professionally?

Munn: I haven’t.

Holroyd: No.

Munn: Holroyd is a pretty difficult name. I’m taking it personally and it’ll be on my driver’s license and all that eventually but professionally, as Scott can tell you–he’s begged me, “Honey, I promise you, you don’t have to take this name!”–it’s a burden sometimes.

Holroyd: She’s worked very hard to make a name for herself as Allison Munn. She’s made a great name for herself. It’s hard enough to have a career in this business but it’s even harder with a name like Holroyd. I’m proud of my name–

Munn: I love your name!

Holroyd: But it doesn’t make things easier.

Munn: You have to spell it about five times with each person.

Holroyd: My name is not Scott Holroyd, it’s “Scott Holroyd, H-O-L-R-O-Y-D.”

Munn: “No, it’s H-O-L-R-O-Y-D. No, not I-D, Y-D. H-O-L-No, yes, H-O-L-R-O-Y-D, yes, that’s the name!”

Holroyd: That’s my goal. I just want people to know my name.

H & M: (singing) “Say my name, say my name”

TDW: Can I make a little request, Scott? Actually to both of you. You both need to tweet a bit more.

Munn: I know! It’s hard. I get nervous. And I know Scott gets even more nervous than I do.

TDW: Why are you nervous?

Munn: Because it goes out there to a lot of people! I get shy, Shari, I get shy!

TDW: I think fans just love it because it’s really unprecedented access. Before this, we were lucky if people had official sites and actually updated them. So this is a great connection. If we don’t interact with you, we’re still hearing from you and the fans just feel closer to you.

Munn: You’re right. It’s true. And I like having that kind of access, where I can write fans back. I usually direct message fans. You feel like you have access but you don’t feel completely accessible, which is nice. I think Twitter’s really great for that.

TDW: There’s actually a fan account on there for you, linked to a fansite, I think.

Munn: Really? I’ll google myself later and find it. Awesome! I’ll do that tonight.

TDW: You guys should start a joint Web site, how about that?

Munn: Babe, we should start a joint Web site and then we could do Flip videos of us hanging out.

Holroyd: That wouldn’t be boring.

Munn: That wouldn’t be boring at all. I think it’s the need to feel creative that’s a little bit stressful.

Holroyd: The need to be witty.

Munn: Yeah, I have to think of something smart and funny to say. That’s where I get stymied a little bit.

TDW: Two suggestions.

Munn: Okay, perfect.

TDW: Mike Grubbs [Grubbs], he has a blog. And he does little blog posts but he also does short little videos from the set or other places in his life. They’re maybe, like, a minute long but they’re funny. And Jana Kramer [Alex] and her fiancé, I guess it’s his Web site but there’s like episodes of their life on there and we actually got to see footage of his marriage proposal.

Munn: I saw some of that and that was incredible! That was so cool to be able to see. I love Jana Kramer. But I haven’t seen all of their videos. I have to check those out.

TDW: I have to admit I haven’t seen all of them either and it’s kind of weird that I don’t actually know them but I saw them get engaged.

Munn: I know, right?

TDW: But, anyway, I think people love to think the characters on their show are together in real life and that can be a blessing and curse but here we have two people who are together and I think people would be interested in seeing more of it if you guys were willing to put it out there.

Munn: That’s a cool idea. Maybe we will. Babe, what do you think?

Holroyd: Shari, you may have a point.

Munn: I forced him to get the Twitter account. He’s been very hesitant to do any of the social media stuff.

TDW: I know it’s hard for some people who worry about it being a big invasion of privacy and the stalking that happens in real life is transferred to online.

Munn: Yes. And I think for people who are in a position to be stalked, like pretty famous people, I can understand why they’d be scared of that stuff. It would stink I think to be a celebrity and say I’m at a certain place for lunch and have people show up. I think that’s where some people should draw the line.

TDW: The whole service is what you make of it. People say, “I don’t want to know when so-and-so is going to the bathroom.” Well, then don’t follow the person who tells you when they’re going to the bathroom.

Munn: Exactly. You’re right. It’s like when people are upset about something that’s on television. Well, then change the channel. You have a choice.

TDW: Right. People forget what is actually in their control.

Munn: Scott is so excited he can follow Conan [O’Brien] now. That was a big day.

Holroyd: He just joined. He tweets once a day. He doesn’t follow anyone. He’s got like 500,000 followers. His first tweet was…

TDW: With his squirrel!

Holroyd: “Today I interviewed a squirrel in my backyard and then threw to commercial. Somebody help me.”

Munn: I love the fact that in his picture he’s got a full beard.

Holroyd: He’s embracing his unemployment.

TDW: If Conan can tweet once a day, Scott, so can you!

H & M: Oh!!!!

Munn: Way to bring it back, Shari. Shari for the win!

Holroyd: Alright, I got you. I accept your challenge.

TDW: I’m going to hold you to that! I’ll give you tomorrow off because I’m going to publish this Monday night. Monday can start your Twitter Challenge!

Munn: Can it be a week? The Twitter Challenge Week? I’ll force him to do it.

Holroyd: Okay.

TDW: Okay, starting Monday, I’ll see if you do it.

Munn: It’s on, Shari. He just said he accepted.

Holroyd: Yeah, I accept. You throw it down and I will accept it!

Munn: I’ll make sure he follows through.

TDW: Well, thank you guys so much. If nothing else, I’m just honored to be in your history book as your first joint interview.

Holroyd: There you go!

Munn: We’re the ones who are honored. We had a good time. We really did. This was fun.

TDW: Well, thank you so much. Keep drinking your wine, relax, have a good night.

Munn: Thank you so much, Shari. You, too!

TDW: Goodnight guys!

Come back Sunday for another exclusive interview!

TDW Interview Index





Favorite Holiday Episodes, Pt. 5

25 12 2009

MONDAY: Beverly Hills 90210

TUESDAY: Dawson’s Creek

WEDNESDAY: The O.C.

THURSDAY: One Tree Hill

TODAY: Gossip Girl and 90210

GOSSIP GIRL

1. Episode 1.11, Roman Holiday

In Gossip Girl’s three seasons, this is the only Christmas episode we’ve been treated to and, thankfully, I look back on it pretty fondly. At the time I was a Serena-Dan shipper (and still am, for the most part) and they had a really sweet storyline this episode, which culminated in them sharing one incredible X-mas gift: their bodies! The episode also significantly advances the Rufus-Lily storyline that had been slowly building: we have Rufus realize his marriage with Allison can’t be saved and admit Lily’s been what’s missing from his life. Unfortunately, around the same time, Bart proposes to Lily. The third main storyline–Blair’s hope for the perfect Christmas is comically toyed with when her father comes to town along with his lover–I could take or leave.

90210

1. Episode 2.12, Winter Wonderland

Okay, so this technically isn’t a holiday episode but I’m including it anyway. After all, isn’t “winter wonderland” just the PC-way of saying Christmastime? And, besides, this was a pretty amazing episode–and I never even come close to saying that about this show. But this ep had what I love most: unrequited love, love triangles and several drawn-out storylines coming to a climax, rewarding viewers for their patience. We have Teddy pining for Silver, Dixon’s feelings for Silver reawakened, Liam & Naomi reunited by a selfless Ivy, Naomi’s well-warranted apologies to Annie and a jaw-dropping confrontation between Annie and Jasper. No doubt about it: this was my gift this holiday season.

What’s your favorite holiday episode?





Favorite Holiday Episodes, Pt. 4

24 12 2009

MONDAY: Beverly Hills 90210

TUESDAY: Dawson’s Creek

WEDNESDAY: The O.C.

TODAY: One Tree Hill

1. Episode 4.10, Songs to Live and Die By

This episode is noteworthy for all kinds of reasons. First, among the many things OTH does well is flashbacks, flashforwards and alternate universes. Those episode are usually automatic wins in my book and this one is no exception. OTH also works off a crazy timeline that prevents holidays on our calendar from matching up with the Tree Hill calendar. Even this episode aired the first week in December, though it was clearly meant to be the only Christmas episode we’d likely ever get. Like The O.C.’s Chrismukk-huh?, we have a main character–Lucas–unconscious. And like Beverly Hill 90210’s It’s A Totally Happening Life, we have a spin on the classic Christmas movie It’s A Wonderful Life. The O.C.’s episode teased us with the return of Marissa while this show actually gives us Keith back, even if it’s just as a ghost and only for this episode. It tugs on heartstrings again and again, especially with Haley also unconscious, pays respect to the past, asks a powerful question (does it pay to be a good person?) and sets up a huge story arc for the rest of the season with Lucas trying to find out who really killed Keith. It’s one of my favorite episodes of the entire series.

Tomorrow we’ll finish with Gossip Girl and 90210.





Favorite Holiday Episodes, Pt. 2

22 12 2009

YESTERDAY: Beverly Hills 90210

TODAY: Dawson’s Creek

1. Episode 4.10, Self Reliance

This is the first time the show addresses Christmas and it takes part over two episodes. In 4.09 we have the Leery’s Christmas party. But I chose 4.10 as that one to highlight because it’s in that we see the party’s after-effects. Specifically, Joey and Pacey are each dealing with their own reaction to Dawson and Gretchen’s kiss at the party. It leads to a beautifully emotional scene with Joey and Dawson when he gives her a touching Christmas gift.

(Skip to 6:10)

2. Episode 6.10, Merry Mayhem

The only other time we get a Christmas episode is in the final season. The whole episode is pretty great–I love seeing Joey’s relationship with her father–but the standout scene here is Christmas dinner where it goes from comedic to dramatic when a drugged-out Audrey exposes some harsh truths that no one else has the courage to say.

(Skip to 2:00)

Tomorrow we move on to The O.C.!





Favorite Holiday Episodes

21 12 2009

It’s that time of year. Whether snow is falling by you or not, it’s likely holiday fever is running rampant.

Television shows, including teen dramas, are known for considering the holidays to be “gifts”–easy excuses for getting all the characters together in one place and having drama ensue. But when this is done year in and year out by seemingly a bazillion shows each year, it can become stale after a while.

In the teen drama world, there’s been a few gems. This week we’ll take a look at some of my favorite Christmas-Hanukkah-New Year’s-Plain Ol’ Winter episodes, show-by-show.

TODAY: Beverly Hills 90210

1. Episode 3.16, It’s a Totally Happening Life

The title is obviously a reference to It’s a Wonderful Life, the plot of which the show kind of  toys with. In this episode, two angels–one who is trying to advance in the angel world–take a look at what should be a normal day for our Beverly Hills gang–albeit, one with fighting among nearly all the characters and a bus ride that could prove deadly. One of the angels serves as a narrator, explaining to the other the dynamics among the characters (it can be quite humorous at times) and even pausing or rewinding as it jumps from storyline to storyline and back again. I remember hating this episode years ago but as I watch it now, I see the storytelling as creative instead of annoying and the message heartfelt instead of cheesy. And, of course, it doesn’t hurt that one of the storylines centers around one of my favorite love triangles, Brenda-Dylan-Kelly.

2. Episode 5.14, Injustice For All

Beverly Hills 90210 was on for 10 years, which means it had quite a few Christmas episodes. Heck, even one of the characters–Donna–shared a birthday with the holiday. But nothing gave me more pleasure than when they incorporated Hanukkah into the mix. As a member of the tribe–though, to be honest, one who alternately hates and loves the religion–I always feel pride when pop culture gives Judaism some attention. It’s partly why I identified with Andrea so much (one major difference: no marriage and baby in college for me!). In this episode, Andrea throws a Hanukkah party and we get latkes and dreidel games, just a few episodes after a chilling storyline on anti-Semitism (Episode 5.11, Hate Is Just A Four-Letter Word).

3. Episode 6.16, Turn Back the Clock

Like my first pick, this episode sheds the linear storytelling format in favor of flashbacks. As some of the characters sit around recounting a disastrous New Year’s Eve, they’re slowly joined by more and more of the gang who provide additional details. The episode also features performances by The Corrs, including a great rendition of the holiday classic “Auld Lang Syne.”

Come back tomorrow for a Dawson’s Creek Christmas gone wrong!





Exclusive: John Wesley Shipp On Being A Dawson’s Creek Dad

20 12 2009

What’s better than a dad? A superhero dad. And, yes, my friends, they do exist. Look no further than John Wesley Shipp. Not only did he play a bonafide masked crusader in The Flash as, um, The Flash but he was also the most kick ass dad Capeside ever had on Dawson’s Creek.

Shipp and I discussed Mitch’s most memorable scenes, the heyday of soap operas and his independent film work.

TeenDramaWhore: What was it like living and filming in Wilmington? It’s so far from Los Angeles where most things are filmed.

John Wesley Shipp: You know, it’s funny. Not just in terms of where to work but at different points in my career when I’ve really wanted to have an experience, I’ve noticed that if I really hold it in my mind, the experience will present itself. Right before Dawson’s happened, I was thinking, you know, I’m sick of living in L.A., the land of perpetual glare. I sure would like to do a series somewhere that had seasons. I’m from the Southeast, so close to my family, which is all in Atlanta, would be nice. Not a series like The Flash, where I’m killing myself every day, practically opening a vein with each episode. But something that had some interest and was cool. Dawson’s Creek presented itself so it’s kind of what I asked for. At least in the beginning, the parents had vital storylines. Of course, they were subsidiary but they were independent and intersecting with what the kids were experiencing. That was fun. It was fun for a couple of years and then it was fun again at the very end. But in terms of working in Wilmington, Wilmington’s a cool town. I love the fact that the water–which Dawson’s Creek used very effectively–was almost a character in the series. It was very effectively used. It’s very much a part of the landscape. And the town is sort of like traditional, small town, historical society, Southeastern coastal town meets Hollywood. And then there’s the beach culture. On one side, it’s all new, the Outer Banks, cool places, houses to rent, condos. The other side, which is on the Cape Fear River, is older, historical. They had downtown candlelit carriage rides to view the houses that had been restored. There’s a river culture. There’s even a little sophistication in it. They had this wild club there for a while. They have cool cigar bars and eateries and restaurants down on the river. So I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it a lot. I also think that given the fact that the show exploded the way it did and we had such a young cast–and I know it was a pain in the ass for them being separated as the years went on–I think the production probably benefited from the fact that we weren’t in L.A. or we weren’t in the fastest-track place, because those kids became international stars overnight. Even as intelligent and well-intentioned as they were, it probably would’ve been very heady stuff for them had we been, say, in L.A.

TDW: Let’s throw New York into the mix, because you filmed in New York City, too, when you were on Guiding Light.

Shipp: Yeah, I lived in New York City for 14 years. I love New York City. I started my career there and I had my first success there. When I was living there, I was living there the way you’d want to live there. I had a great apartment on the Upper West Side overlooking the river and I had a house on six-and-a-half acres in Woodstock to go to on the weekends. So that kind of was the ideal way to live in New York. Then I went back in 1992 for a year when I did Dancing with Lughnasa on Broadway and a stint on All My Children. I don’t know if it was my youth or my success that I remember fondly or if it’s entirely New York but I’m actually wanting to move back there. L.A. can be very oppressive. There’s many opportunities about L.A.; I don’t want to be a whiner about it. But it is a one-industry town and everyone is in the motion picture industry. Everyone has a script in tow and everyone is an actor and everyone is a producer and everyone is on the hustle, getting this project made–you know what I mean? It can be a bit mind-numbing. Plus all that sun. New York is, as they call it, the great teeming metropolis. It’s teeming with life. Everybody does something different and nobody is particularly impressed with what you do because everybody is so busy carving out a piece of the rock themselves, a piece of that island for themselves. It’s just such a melting pot and it’s exciting. You walk out onto those streets and you’re alive. So many different people from so many different worlds. I think for an artist or an actor, it’s probably much healthier creatively to live in New York than L.A. But I’ll only speak for myself.

TDW: If you came back to New York City, would you want to do Broadway again or another soap? One of the ones that’s still here, anyway.

Shipp: I don’t know about daytime. Daytime seems to be in a pretty tough spot at the moment. I wonder, and I’ve heard speculation, about whether there will be any daytime dramas left in 5-7 years. Certainly I would like to do theater. I’m attached right now to the production of a little play with the Firebone Theatre Company called Song of the Bow. I’m attached to that and they’re looking at production next September. I’m also, after our phone interview, talking to a producer from Atlanta. He’s actually in New York right now checking out theater space. They’re taking the play from Atlanta to New York in January and he’s talking to me about the possibility of whether it would be a good fit for me. I would love that. I would love going back to New York doing a play. I think it would be the best thing for me right now so we’ll see. We’ll see if it holds true that what I hold in my mind happens. Of course, first choice, I’d really like to do an interesting series in New York because (whispers) that’s a lot more money. We’ll see what happens.

TDW: What was your reaction when you found out Guiding Light was going off the air after 72 years?

Shipp: Well, the Guiding Light I knew, from everything I had heard, no longer existed. They weren’t shooting in a studio anymore. It was practically students with handheld cameras in driveways.

TDW: That was very much my understanding of it as well, from what I’ve read and from watching it.

Shipp: I would watch it. It would be on at the gym and I’d look up. I just thought the production values had flipped. I was at a Guiding Light Emmy party at Krista Tesreau’s on August 29 in L.A. I have some pictures up from that party on my Facebook page. It seemed like ancient history. I left that show, what, 25 years ago? A quarter of a century. It was exciting. Guiding Light was a great time and it was a great time to be in daytime. That and when I went over and did the story on As The World Turns with Julianne Moore and Steven Weber. It was a time when the youth explosion, the numbers, the ratings were way up from what they had ever been before. As a consequence, the networks and Proctor & Gamble were putting money in. I went to the Spanish Islands on location. I went to St. Croix on location. Of course we also went more regionally. I don’t think they did even local locations anymore. We went up to Connecticut, Kent Falls, where we did the whole Laurel Falls Kelly-Morgan wedding and story. It was an exciting time. If you were going to do daytime, the early to mid-80s was the time to do it. I was very fortunate to work for Douglas Marland on both Guiding Light and As The World Turns. I had the best of the best in my daytime experience.

TDW: So if that was so wonderful, what 10-15 years later made you switch not only to primetime but a teen drama?

Shipp: It was what was offered. I mean, I had been through The Flash and that was disappointing in many ways. It was handled so badly by the network and that’s not just my opinion. That’s the network’s opinion. We had a number of things going against us for that show, even though we were a critical hit and the industry really dug us. But we had a network that had the oldest demographic so all of our in-house advertising fell on deaf ears. Plus we debuted in the fall and then we were off for baseball because CBS had the World Series that year. So we went on and off then we went back on. Then the Gulf War broke out. Then we went back on and George H.W. Bush threw up in Japan so we were preempted again. Then they moved our night. So it was impossible to find an audience, although it’s doing well now on DVD. It was released in 2006. So after that I went back to New York and did the play Dancing at Lughnasa on Broadway and a series of guest shots and TV movies and things like that. And then Dawson’s Creek presented itself. The interesting thing about that is they had already shot the 20-minute pilot presentation. I believe at the time they were auditioning for Mitch, I was in Moab, Utah with David Carradine, Lee Majors, Cathy Lee Crosby and Michelle Greene doing a movie called the Lost Treasure of Dos Santos. What a cast, huh? It was a riot. But, anyway, then I heard about this project. They were deciding to go in a different direction with the father and they sent me the pilot presentation. If you can think back to before Dawson’s Creek exploded on TV–and as a result of it, so many spin-offs and so many teen dramas and so much saturation and copy-cat shows to the point where it became something of a cultural joke almost–if you think back before Dawson’s Creek, there was nothing like it. I mean, yeah, you had Beverly Hills 90210 but it was completely different in tone. The kids were beautiful and–ours were, too–but theirs were popular and sexy and with it and hip, slick and cool and, let’s face it, didn’t have the brain power of our characters. What was interesting about Dawson’s is that it was not slick. The kids were not hip, slick and cool. They were a little bit on the outside. Joey Potter [Katie Holmes], that whole story–not exactly your typical teen queen there with the problems in her family. Pacey Witter’s [Joshua Jackson] father being a drunk. And that Michelle Williams [Jen] character being a real outcast at the beginning. And even Dawson [James Van Der Beek], his mom cheating on his dad and experimenting with an open relationship. There really was nothing like it. And, also, I noticed the language that these kids were using. I thought, wow! We were even criticized for that. We’re writing up to the youth audience; we’re not writing down to them. Why would you criticize that? Isn’t that a good thing? You mean the dialogue is too smart? That’s a criticism? But, anyway, how did I come to do it–I didn’t really look it as a teen drama. Now, when [creator] Kevin Williamson left the show [between seasons 2 and 3] and it became more and more of that and the parents were increasingly de-emphasized, that led to my leaving. At the end of the four seasons and the kids were going to be going to college, I saw the handwriting on the wall. We would be standing in the background with Lily and waving at Parents Day and I really had no interest in doing that. So when they wanted to renegotiate our contact, I set my price really high. Then they started production on the fifth season and two weeks into production, the WB shut them down because they had no story and that’s when Paul Stupin came to me in L.A. and said if we gave you the money you were asking, would you come back and kill the character? I kind of budged my heart for a minute but I have to tell you, it was a great decision. It was the perfect time to leave Dawson’s Creek. I did indeed get two beautiful episodes that made me feel like the previous four years had been about something. You know what I mean?

TDW: Yes. Those episodes [5.03, Capeside Revisited & 5.04, The Long Goodbye] are just incredibly moving. For a show that was, at times, a lot about sadness, those really stand out as sadder moments and turning points for Dawson, his mom, for the way that it affected his relationship with Joey. We got that in that episode after Mitch’s death. We see how his death has affected everyone as there’s those flashbacks or re-imaginings of Mitch with each of the characters.

Shipp: And imagine for me–what a sendoff?! And what a tribute to Mitch. I mean, I really got to tie up each relationship. I got a retrospective of what Mitch had been and, as you say, what he had meant to everyone and went out on a real high note. It worked out really well for me.

TDW: The other scene [in episode 2.05, Full Moon Rising] that stands out in my mind–and I was talking about it to someone just a few weeks ago; they were watching the series for the first time–was the scene where you’re in the kitchen with Dawson and he’s kind of confronting Mitch about having an open marriage and Mitch kind of breaks down and says, you know, “I was never taught what to do if my wife had an affair.” And the way that you just delivered that line was just heartbreaking.

Shipp: Honey, thank you so much. I loved that. Kevin Williamson wrote that episode. I didn’t even have to act it, you know what I mean? Just the idea of this man and those words. You can barely even say them. I think I even heard you choke up trying to say them.

TDW: Yeah, it’s true.

Shipp: “My dad taught me how to do this, he taught me had to do that but he never taught me what to do if my wife cheated on me. I never knew to ask.” I mean, I can barely say those lines now. So beautifully written and so incredibly vulnerable, particularly for a male character on television. I love that scene. I love that episode.

TDW: Did you keep up with the show or its storylines after you left?

Shipp: Not at all. I never saw it after I left. And it’s not that I sat down and made a conscious decision and it’s not that I had a resentment about the way things went down, because it was totally a collaboration. They needed something from me and I wanted something from them and we both got it. But, having said that, when you’re such an integral part of a family–and that’s what you become and it’s also an impact of being in Wilmington because we only really had each other. So on the weekends, you’ll be going out on boats and going out to Masonboro Island, we’d throw the football around, ride around on wave runners. We did everything together so it was very much a family and to know that your family was going on without you, it was too sad for me. I really had to make a clean break. It’s interesting. They had asked me to come back recently. AFI–was it in AFI?

TDW: The Paley Center. They had the panel.

Shipp: They asked me to come and be a part of it but I couldn’t do it. I think James did it and Meredith [Monroe, Andie].

TDW: Yep. It was James, Meredith, Kevin, Paul Stupin and Busy Philipps [Audrey].

Shipp: They had actually asked me to do it and I wish I could’ve. That would’ve made me feel like a part–it would’ve completed something for me to be able to do it. But I’ve been up in San Jose. I’ve been very busy and I just got back from doing an independent film in Ohio that I’m very excited about and had another, a comedy with Jodie Sweetin, play to really good notices at two film festivals, one in Wilmington.  And another film I had premiered in New Orleans at the New Orleans Film Festival in the last several months so, you know, I’ve been busy. But one thing James had said–they said something about the death of his father and he said “I was really sad because I wouldn’t get to see John anymore” and that’s the way it was. I was literally killed off. When you leave a show, you leave a show. And it was accentuated by the fact that we were sequestered in Wilmington. So, no, I never saw an episode after I left.

TDW: Well, I can tell you that, in the series finale, Gale [Mary-Margaret Humes] actually remarried.

Shipp: Yeah, I knew that because I keep in touch with Mary-Margaret. But do you know that I just found out–and I mean a couple of months ago–that Jen died, right?

TDW: Yes.

Shipp: I just found that out, like two months ago.

TDW: If you have the time, I really recommend picking up the complete series and watching the last two seasons. The emotion that we talked about earlier was there for Jen’s and maybe that goes back to the fact that Kevin Williamson returned for the series finale after he had been gone for so long. You really had his voice, his emotion and his rawness that he would put into things.

Shipp: I’ll tell you, those are good words to describe it. It seemed to me that–this goes back to the pilot presentation when I first watched it–this had a sound and a look and a feel that was unlike anything that was on television. It’s difficult now to imagine as there’s been so many copy-cats and spin-offs and it’s been run into the ground. There was a rawness amidst the sophistication. There was a bumpiness, a sense of dis-ease about the emotional lives. And also I always felt that Kevin really was Dawson, I think. I haven’t had this discussion with him. I could be wrong. But I thought we were seeing all of this life on the creek through the eyes of Dawson, which were Kevin Williamson’s eyes. I felt for James after Kevin left because I really felt that Kevin is the only one that really gets Dawson and I’m sure that was difficult for James after Kevin left. It was much easier to write for Pacey, much easier to write for Joey. To a lesser degree I think it was easier to write for Jen. I don’t really think they quite knew–they experimented with different things. But it was easier to write for Pacey and Joey. But the more awkward unique perspective of a Dawson was Kevin’s voice. I mean, my god, Greg Berlanti is a wonderful writer and oh, god, the man–I just blanked on his name–who wrote my last two episodes was just brilliant and some of the best stuff I had. But I do feel the show suffered from Kevin’s awkwardness and the lack of the Kevin’s awkwardness. There was something really awkward in the writing of Dawson that Kevin really got that we missed after he left.

TDW: Going back to you and your storylines, did you think the show gave a realistic portrayal of parent-child and husband-wife relationships?

Shipp: I don’t know about realism. I think realism is overrated. I would say it gave an interesting perspective. One thing I will say is with the explosion of information with the Internet and the sophistication of kids–I mean, my nine-year-old niece and twelve-year-old nephew have their computers in school and their this and their that and they’re so much more aware of the world and what’s going on–that I sort of think that the parents, adults, have a much wider ranger of possibilities. They’re not locked into authoritarian roles in modern society. In other words, in the 40s and 50s you started wearing suits and you got a corporate job and the dad was the head of the house and the mother was the nurturer and the father was the provider and everybody knew what their roles were and everybody got old very soon. I sort of think after the 60s and 70s and all that, and certainly today, there’s a much wider range of possibilities and, in a sense, the kids are growing up faster and the parents aren’t growing up as fast, getting old as fast. So they’re meeting in the middle. Does that make sense? I know what I’m trying to say. It’s that consequently you have a lot of more options. What I enjoyed was when Kevin would turn the–and he did it many times–he would turn the father-son relationship on its head. Another thing we were criticized for. I read things saying what kind of parents were these, what kind of role models, blah, blah, blah. But what I enjoyed was the intentional flip-flopping, the parent becomes the child and the child becomes the parent. I think that was interesting writing. Is it realistic? I don’t know. Again, I think realism is overrated. If I want realism, I don’t have to ever turn on the TV. I just live my life. But I think it has to be true but it doesn’t have to necessarily be real if there’s a sense of truth in it, and I think there was. I was tickled to death that Dawson goes out on his first date and I’m more comfortable talking about it than he is. I tell him, “Have fun, play safe.” And he’s all “For chrissake, dad!”  You know, coming in and finding his parents making love on the coffee table, he’s totally grossed out and disgusted by that but I thought that was great. I loved that. It certainly was more fun for me as an actor than if I had to come in and be “the dad,” you know what I mean? I mean, who was Mitch? What did he do for a living? Who was this goofy, kind of lovable, sensitive, lost character? There was a certain wisdom that he had, simple wisdom. Certainly he wasn’t the stereotypical patriarch of the family and I was glad ‘cause that would’ve been boring as hell.

TDW: Are you recognized for the role at all when you walk down the street?

Shipp: Oh, yeah. Constantly. You know what I’m most amazed about? And my mom has picked up on this, too. The amount of times I get recognized for Guiding Light. I wouldn’t even recognize myself from Guiding Light! But the two things I get recognized the most for are, of course, Dawson’s Creek and The Flash.

TDW: Are you back in touch with any of the Dawson’s Creek cast or crew?

Shipp: Yeah. I never was out of touch with some of the people. Mary-Margaret and I, in fact, our friendship if anything has grown deeper since the show. We’re very close. We’re constantly in touch and she kind of plays the mom role and gets the gang together every now and then. I haven’t talked to Katie in years but she and I have messaged. She sent a message through an agent at the premiere of a movie but she’s got her own thing going on now and that’s consuming her. I’ve actually seen Meredith several times and her husband. Michelle, of course, has been in New York. The person I’ve most consistently been with–and I keep up with everybody through her–is Mary-Margaret.

TDW: One of the films–I think you already mentioned it–that you’ve been working on is Port City.

Shipp: Yeah, that was the comedy with Jodie Sweetin at the festival in Wilmington.

TDW: Well, coincidentally, that also stars Matthew Laurance and Barabra Alyn Woods, who also played parents on teen dramas.

Shipp: Oh, yeah.

TDW: Matthew was on 90210 [as Mel] and Barbara was on One Tree Hill [as Deb].

Shipp: It’s like, where do teen drama parents go to die? Port City. (laughs) And then this last film that I did–I just got back a couple of weeks ago from Ohio where we filmed it–was a company out of Chicago called Glass City Films. It’s a wonderful script called Separation Anxiety, in which a young man either falls to his death accidentally from an icy dam or commits suicide and we don’t know which. His two best friends, one female and one male–there’s also some sexual tension there that we find out about–and his father, who is me, spend the movie trying to make sense out of his death based on what we need to believe. Interestingly enough, the father needed to believe it was suicide, which I immediately found interesting. He saw his son as kind of a drifter, where his life was just sort of a series of accidents. It was intolerable for him to think that at the end of his life, it was just one more accident. He needed to believe that it was an intentional act that he set out to accomplish and accomplished. Now isn’t that an interesting perspective? That’s not something I’ve ever seen, where his father needs to believe his son committed suicide. We fight it out, the three of us–me and the two best friends. Most of my scenes are with the girl who–that’s a complicated relationship so I won’t go into it but it’s more than just best buddies with her and my son. We spend a lot of time hashing and thrashing that out and what we need to believe and finally come to an accommodation where I’m able to go bury my son. It was a good group of people, a talented crew and cast. I can’t wait to see it put together.

TDW: Where we can we actually see you next? Is Port City going to get a wide release or is it just doing festivals?

Shipp: I don’t know. Karma Police, which debuted at the Dallas Film Festival the year before last, is out on DVD and on I think–I can’t keep up with these sites–Blockbuster Online or Netflix, so I know it’s out there. Grotesque, my little short film that I’m so proud of, we banged out in New Orleans last year in about a week. I play a priest with a dubious past. That’s online and the trailer for that is in my Facebook videos and there’s a link to the actual 29-minute version. And then Separation Anxiety will also do the festival market.

TDW: Do you like the festivals better than a major motion picture that’s in theaters everywhere?

Shipp: No. I would rather it be straight to theaters. Again, it’s a matter of what’s offered. I will say one thing–and it’s not just my particular insight–but there’s a lot more creative freedom the less money there is riding on a project, you know what I mean? The more money, the more hands in the pie. The more sets of suits that have their handprints on the script and the edit and the this and the that, the more of a business it is. I understand that. It’s wonderful and spontaneous and creative working in an independent film atmosphere but make no mistake: I would not turn down an A film that would be set for a major release.

TDW: I hope to see you in one soon! And I’d really like to see Port City.

Shipp: You know, it’s funny. I was kind of worried about it because it’s sort of a screwball comedy and my character’s really a jerk, a goofy filthy jerk and that’s not necessarily been my trademark but all the feedback I’ve gotten is “Wow! What a great departure! You should do more comedy!,” which my brother has been telling me for years because he knows how innately ridiculous I am. But I’ve managed to shield the rest of the world from that.

TDW: Hopefully not for long!

Shipp: I’ve actually taken off the last year, for all intents and purposes. Those projects that I mentioned came to me of their own volition. I’ve not been interviewing. I’ve not been auditioning. My dad came up to San Jose to pastor a new liberal church out here that’s been facing some difficulty and then he had heart surgery. Well, I came up to San Jose and they ended up losing their music director and my background is music. I was an opera major at Indiana University in Bloomington before switching my major to theater and I’ve studied keyboards since the age of 5 so I grew up with music of the church and for the last year, that’s been my primary occupation–rediscovering my love of music and my spirituality in a very inclusive and liberal atmosphere. It’s been great for me being of service to my parents, who are now back in Atlanta. My dad’s doing fine. And I agreed to stay on at the church through Christmas, the Christmas Eve service. So I have two more Sundays to plan musically and then I’ll be flying to Atlanta to be with my family and probably re-engage my career full-time beginning in February.

TDW: Mary-Beth Peil was an opera major as well.

Shipp: Yep. She has a glorious voice. A wonderful woman. People who only knew who her from Dawson’s Creek have no idea who that woman is.

TDW: I interviewed her, via e-mail actually, last month and I would’ve loved to hear her real voice because I know her Grams voice isn’t actually hers.

Shipp: No, she’s young and sexy and funny. You just wouldn’t know her with her hair down and all that. And she tends to be play those severe, more matronly parts because she’s good at it. She’s on a series now, isn’t she?

TDW: Yes, The Good Wife with Julianna Margulies.

Shipp: Right.

TDW: Alright, well, I’m glad we were finally able to connect.

Shipp: My pleasure, Shari. It’s been great talking to you.

Come back next week for another exclusive interview!

TDW Interview Index








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