Exclusive: Ryan Eggold Talks 90210 Day, Season 3 And Creative Castmates

13 09 2010

Take a deep breath. The wait is over. After the second season finale left fans with quite a few cliff-hangers, 90210’s third season begins tonight.  But make no mistake: a new season won’t necessarily bring answers. The one thing we can count on is new storylines.

And, thankfully, I could count on Ryan Eggold (Ryan, 90210) to give me the dish last week as we chatted about the new season, his character’s evolution and just which of his talented castmates he’ll share significant screentime with in the upcoming episodes.

TeenDramaWhore: First off, I wanted to wish you a happy belated birthday.

Ryan Eggold: Oh, thank you very much. I appreciate that.

TDW: Did you celebrate on set?

Eggold: No. I didn’t. I wasn’t working. It’s really funny – I live near Universal Studios and we actually ended up going to Universal Studios. It was just sort of a random, “Why don’t we do this?” and it was a lot of fun. They have a new rollercoaster there that’s awesome.

TDW: Really? I’d love to try it.

Eggold: Yeah, this new Mummy ride. It was fantastic.

TDW: Well, I’ve been meaning to come out to L.A., and I was really bummed that I missed last week’s City of Beverly Hills’ 9-02-10 Day event.

Eggold: Yes! Oh my gosh, it was insane.

TDW: What did it mean to you to be part of the 90210 franchise on that day?

Eggold: It was cool. It was really fun. It was kind of weird because in Beverly Hills, and all over the place actually, they had posters up that said 90210 for 9-02-10 Day, not for the show. But it felt like it was for our show, because I can’t separate 90210 from anything but the show. I’d just see these posters all over town, in L.A. and Hollywood. It was kind of overwhelming, but it was fun. It was fun to be a part of something that means something to the history of a city.

TDW: I was able to watch a live-stream of the red carpet and part of the event online, and what I loved was seeing almost the whole cast there. The whole cast hasn’t been out in public for a while. There were only a few of you at The CW upfront, so this was the first time nearly all of you were together at an event in a long time. It was a really special event.

Eggold: Yeah, that’s true. I didn’t even think about that. It has been a while since everyone’s been out somewhere together. It was fun.

TDW: And you guys got feted with all sorts of amazing food and wine!

Eggold: Oh, there was some incredible food. If you make it out here, you have to eat in Beverly Hills. Everyone was sampling their restaurants, and it was amazing. And I was really hungry, too, so I was walking around eating everything in sight. It was delicious. There’s this place called Bouchon and they had these melons with feta cheese on top of it, and it was the best thing I’ve ever had in my life.

TDW: That’s awesome. So, there were no cast members there from the original series, right?

Eggold: No, there weren’t. I’m not sure why. I don’t know if they invited them or didn’t. I assume they did but I’m not sure. I assumed I’d see at least Jennie Garth (Kelly, Beverly Hills 90210) there or somebody, you know?

TDW: What memories do you have of the original show?

Eggold: I remember Luke Perry (Dylan, Beverly Hills 90210) being just sizzling. And I remember being just too young to be participating in what they were, in the sense that they’d be drinking and going to parties and having sex and all these things, and I’d be like, “What is that? I want to check that out. I don’t really know what it is, but one day I’m going to be a big kid like them and I’m going to do that stuff and it’s going to be awesome.” That’s what I remember.

TDW: That’s really funny, because I was really young when I started watching and it put these ideas in my head of what it was supposed to be like to be a teenager, and I always felt really crappy when my life didn’t measure up to theirs.

Eggold: Yeah, when you didn’t get a Ferrari for your birthday.

TDW: Yeah, exactly. Alright, back to the present day and this show and this show’s cast. A music video by Shenae Grimes (Annie) was recently released, and you starred in it. How did that come about?

Eggold: Shenae wanted to experiment with directing, and she got this song together. We actually ended up recording it here at my place, and had a lot of fun. She was embarrassed to sing, but she did and sounds great. She did a really great job. Everyone that’s seen it has said it looks really great and came out really well, and I agree. I hope she continues directing stuff. It’s fun to mess around with your friends in terms of making a short film or making a little music video or whatever.

TDW: I really loved it, and it was a surprise to see your face in the video and then it was a surprise again to see your name in the credits for providing some of the music as well. It just got me thinking how the whole cast has all these different side projects going on. Quite a few of you are involved in music, from Jessica Lowndes (Adrianna) to Tristan (Wilds, Dixon). All of you have these other avenues of art that you’re experimenting in.

Eggold: Yeah, it’s cool. There’s some really creative people on the show, and it’s really fun. I think everyone’s going to keep doing their little passion projects, whether it’s their music or writing or whatever they’re working on. Shenae’s into photography, too, and everyone’s got different things going on. I know Jessica Lowndes is releasing a single, and Tristan’s trying to put a record together, and I’m sort of trying to put some stuff together. It’ll be cool to start hearing those things, and seeing those things come to fruition.

TDW: I don’t expect you to remember, but I’ve actually interviewed you twice before.

Eggold: Oh, wow.

TDW: It was more than two years ago, on back-to-back days. It was your first CW upfront and the next day you guys came to the PEOPLE magazine offices where I was interning at the time.

Eggold: Yes!

TDW: And you guys just had preliminary ideas of what shape your characters would take, and I don’t think anyone could’ve guessed Ryan would now be struggling with alcohol and his self-confidence and about to be a father. He’s come a long way in just two short seasons.

Eggold: He’s fallen a long ways. It’s so funny to think about that day. When we first were starting the show, we had no idea what to expect.

TDW: I think an original storyline that you guys teased in those first few interviews was possibly a student-teacher romance, and that never happened. I understand showrunners have changed, and storylines are always rewritten. But something I’ve noticed recently is that Ryan isn’t interacting with the West Beverly students as much as he used to.

Eggold: No. He’s definitely more in his own storyline with Jen (Sara Foster). But this season Naomi (AnnaLynne McCord) and I develop sort of a relationship, because I’m having a kid with her sister and sort of being part of the family in that way. Their relationship is affected because of it. Naomi and Jen haven’t been the best of sisters, but through this and her having a nephew, they kind of come back together a bit, which is nice to see. Also because of the Mr. Cannon (Hal Ozsan) stuff, which I caught a glimpse of in the finale of season 2, Naomi’s dealing with some really interesting stuff and some terrible stuff from what happened. I sort of become part of that with her and help her with that. I think Ryan is a good sort of – what’s the word, not role model – he’s a good guy to be a teacher because he’s grounded and he’s got a good heart. He cares for his students. I think he can be there for her. And it’s great to work with AnnaLynne.

TDW: What storylines would you like to see for him, or is there a cast member you haven’t worked with much that you’d like to share some scenes with?

Eggold: I’ve always said that I want to work with Lori (Loughlin, Debbie). That would be a lot of fun. I’d love to do some more stuff with Tristan, just because we have such a great time off set. He’s such a great dude. I often work with my romantic partners, whether it’s Jen or Laurel (Kelly Lynch) or somebody, and I’d like to see [Ryan] branch out of that, and see him develop relationships with the kids, maybe a new character or something.

TDW: I believe you guys are about a quarter of the way through the season in terms of script reads, and I thought it would be fun to play a quick game of Two Truths And A Lie. So if you could give me three plausible spoilers for the upcoming season, two of which are completely true and one of which, while possible, isn’t at all going to happen.

Eggold: Okay, so two things that are true and one’s not. Somebody dies in the first episode. Somebody is born in the first episode. And somebody becomes a woman, who is a man originally, in the first episode.

TDW: Funny. Very nice. Thank you. One last question, and I always ask everyone this because I keep track of it for my readers. I wanted to confirm that you’re not on Twitter. I know you’re not, but people rather hear it from you.

Eggold: I’m not on Twitter. I’m like a caveman. I’m not on Facebook. I don’t even know if MySpace exists anymore. I’m not on Twitter. I feel disconnected. I’m probably a loser because  I’m not on any of these things.

TDW: Well, I don’t think you’re a loser. You’re a hot guy and a star of a popular show. So you’re definitely not in loser territory.

Eggold: I like your interpretation better.

TDW: Thank you. But I would maybe ask your castmates to help set you up with a Twitter account. Nearly all of them have joined in the last year, and I think you have to be next.

Eggold: What do I say? What do you do on Twitter? Do I just say “I’m eating breakfast”?

TDW: Well, AnnaLynne likes to share a lot of her charity endeavors. Trevor (Donovan, Teddy) holds a lot of contests. He gives away swag to his followers. Tristan shares his music, and he’ll go on Ustream and show us him recording his music. People do say what they have for breakfast, and others get to know their fans. It’s what you make of it. It’s like “Choose Your Own Adventure” because you can choose who to follow and who to reply to and all that.

Eggold: It sounds really cool. It sounds like a lot of work.

TDW: Well, there’s no quota for how many times you have to tweet. But if you disappear, I might be upset with you but I’ll get over it eventually.

Eggold: I would like to share a little bit of music. But I would end up writing bizarre comments, just those weird thoughts that you have mid-day that you don’t share with people. I would end up sharing those and everyone would know I’m a total weirdo.

TDW: Well, I think Kanye West has that area covered on Twitter, but there’s room for you, too. And I know fans would love to have you. So if you do it, great.

Eggold: I’m fighting this 21st century but I probably have to join.

TDW Interview Index






Exclusive: Cari Moskow on Being a True Teen Drama Whore

11 04 2010

(Full Disclosure: I conducted this interview in December. For various reasons, it wasn’t published until now. That is not a reflection on Cari at all but rather my own shortcomings. I sincerely apologize to her for the delay.)

I called myself a TeenDramaWhore long before I started this Web site. As I explain on the About The Whore page, a TeenDramaWhore is someone who is obsessed with teen dramas. But what is a true, real-life teen drama whore? That’s easy. Someone who plays a whore on a teen drama!

Cari Moskow has no problem admitting she’s just that, playing a prostitute on One Tree Hill in three different seasons. (Her character, Patty, was first introduced to viewers in Episode 4.04, Can’t Stop This Thing We’ve Started, where Ian “Psycho Derek” Banks–a.k.a. Matt Barr–gets a little, um, psycho with her. ) Moskow gave me the low-down on what she thinks about being Tree Hill’s most recognizable hooker.

TeenDramaWhore: How did you get involved with One Tree Hill in the first place?

Cari Moskow: When I decided to start professionally acting, I was going on lots of auditions in the Southeast and I had an agent that said [the movie] Hounddog needed a stand-in. And I said, “Sure, that would be an awesome opportunity. It sure beats all the random jobs that I’m doing.” So I went on to Hounddog and I stood in for Robin Wright Penn. I became friends with a camera operator, who was actually the DP for One Tree Hill. He just loved me and was like, “You know, you would be great to stand-in on the show. If you ever want to do it sometime, let us know.” So I first did stand-in a little bit.

TDW: For those that don’t know, what does a stand-in do?

Moskow: Every director of photography is different but they want a stand-in who ideally has similar characteristics of the [project’s lead] actress. There’s always a first rehearsal with the actress in the scene. You watch what they’re doing in the rehearsal and then they go into hair and makeup. They’re filming all day and it’s time-consuming. They have to change wardrobe usually, touch-up hair and makeup. So they go into hair and makeup and the stand-in will do the scene, like the actors did. The crew is lighting you. Sometimes they’ll have you do the lines. Whatever they need you to do for the camera shots to get set up for the scene. You learn a lot. It’s a lot of fun. You get to be around the actors. But you also get to practice being comfortable on set, so it was very beneficial for me.

I did this a little bit on One Tree Hill and I had already been acting when I was doing stand-in work. I told the producers and gave them a copy of my acting reel. I was like, “If anything comes up, I’d love to read for the part.” Then one day they said to me, “We want you to read for something. We have something that you might want to go for.” And my agent did not submit me because the role of the prostitute was a brunette and I’m a blonde. But the producers asked me to go in and read. I went and read like everyone else. They had a director in the room and I didn’t know the director, since they have a different director in every episode. I read the sides for the prostitute and I noticed in the room that I had dressed completely differently from everyone else, which I thought was awesome because you have to pick something different to stand out from everyone else. The break-down said something about a rocker tee and leather jacket. I had this jacket that had like fur on it and I had this 80s t-shirt pulled down off my shoulder and a red bra hanging out and I had red lipstick on. I really became the character. I nailed the audition and my agent–because it had to go through her then–ended up calling me and telling me I got the role. That’s pretty much how it happened. It was right place, right time, right look–everything just lined up.

TDW: Did you have any qualms about the role? I mean, it was a) a prostitute and b) one that gets the crap beat out of her.

Moskow: No, I loved it. I really did. As an actress, it’s nice to play something completely different from who you are. That’s what’s fun about it. What I love about acting is that I have my life and what I like to do but I am also able to live in the shoes of someone else. You really experience what [something’s] like. The farther from home, the better. It’s just fun.

TDW: When we saw you again in season 5, [Episode 5.11, You’re Gonna Need Someone On Your Side], it’s Patty again and she’s still a prostitute but now she gets tangled up with Dan [Paul Johansson]. Did the show ask you to come back?

Moskow: Yes. They’ll call you up and ask you to come back and send you the script. That was a lot of fun. It was kind of like Patty cleaned up a little bit but was also back to her old ways.

TDW: Then we saw you again in this season [Episode 7.05, Your Cheatin’ Heart], just a few months ago. We saw you in jail but it was never said whether it was the same character or not.

Moskow: It was the same character. I think they did it for the comedy of it. To show [Patty] is a Tree Hill community member and she’s still around. I think they just thought it was funny because they had prostitutes in the jail cell with Haley [Bethany Joy Galeotti] and were like, “why not just have Patty back?” I’m not a major part of the scene or anything but they thought it would be fun to refresh the memory and show that I’m still around for the fans that do remember. Like, “Well, yep, she’s still getting in trouble.”

TDW: People did recognize your face and did wonder if it was a wink-wink at the audience. Have you done any more standing-in there?

Moskow: No, I’ve actually been living in New York.

TDW: What are you doing there?

Moskow: I went there for training. I got with a studio and I have a manager and an agent there. I’ve worked on some various projects. I’m actually in North Carolina at the moment with family for the holidays. I am moving to L.A. in January. I love New York and I actually miss it so much already but for film and TV, what I’m really concentrating on, and the connections that I have, I feel like L.A. will be a smarter move for me. Every actor struggles with “New York or L.A.? New York or L.A.?” But I’m also a surfer and I love the beach. I’m really into healthy food. It seems like all-around I’ll have a really nice time in L.A.

TDW: Are you originally from the Wilmington area?

Moskow: Yes.

TDW: So you kind of grew up with Dawson’s Creek filming there and One Tree Hill.

Moskow: Yep.

TDW: What do you love about Wilmington?

Moskow: I love the beach. I love that the downtown is right on the water. But I’m a beach girl.

TDW: Any chance we’ll see you again on One Tree Hill?

Moskow: They write the episodes weekly so you probably know as much as I do. I wouldn’t be surprised if something came up. It’s hard to say. But of course I would love to go back. I love filming in a city like Wilmington. Everyone is so friendly and it’s just like family on the set, especially since it’s been seven seasons. So I would definitely love to come back but we will have to see.

TDW: Are you on Twitter?

Moskow: I am not on Twitter, actually. I’m on Facebook and I have a MySpace. But Twitter, I guess I’ll eventually do that. I also have a Web site that I’ve been creating and updating myself. It’s all in steps.

TDW: Baby steps; one thing at a time.

Moskow: Exactly. It takes up a lot of time. There’s only so much you can do.

TDW: Twitter these days is just such a great way to interact with fans. There’s a huge One Tree Hill community there that will hungrily eat up–in a good way–any actor that comes on and is willing to talk with them.

Moskow: I will make it a goal then for 2010 to get on Twitter.

Come back next Sunday for another exclusive interview!

TDW Interview Index





Exclusive: Amber Wallace Talks 90210, Looks Back on One Tree Hill

4 04 2010

Regular TDW readers know what a small world the world of teen dramas is. We see it each week with Six Degrees of Teen Dramas, finding how one actor leads to another. But the best connection is when you need just one actor.

That’s why I was thrilled last December when I spotted Amber Wallace on 90210. Previously seen as Glenda on One Tree Hill, Wallace was introduced on 90210 as Lila, a star reporter for the Blaze. When the show came back from hiatus in early March, we saw Wallace’s role grow.

In our exclusive interview, Wallace and I chatted about her characters on both shows as well as her musical inclinations.

TeenDramaWhore: 90210 viewers first met you in an episode that aired in December [Episode 2.12, Winter Wonderland]. When did you know you would be coming back again?

Amber Wallace: I already knew about the episode with Navid [Michael Steger] and the date [Episode 2.15, What’s Past Is Prologue]. I knew I was going to be in it for, I thought, maybe a couple of episodes. I didn’t realize I was going to be in it for the length that I actually am.

TDW: Wow. So all those episodes back, all those months back, this was technically coming up and we, as viewers, had no idea that the seeds were being planted for this current storyline.

Wallace: Exactly. I think this season they had the writers come in and do this whole outline for the whole thing so they knew what was going to be happening. And, like I said, I thought I was only going to be in a couple of episodes and every time I would go to the script reading, it was like, “Is my character going to be written out this week?”

TDW: But you ended up doing a batch of six.

Wallace: Yes.

TDW: What’s coming up next?

Wallace: The band plays live and everything that goes along with that. That episode is really fun and really cute. Nothing too heartbreaking in that. And then the episode after that, jealousy comes into play.

TDW: It seems that Navid and Lila have the common journalism interest going for them and they remembered they shared a past when they were young. But Navid and Adrianna [Jessica Lowndes] are so different. Do you think opposites attract? Or does Lila have the upper-hand?

Wallace: I don’t know. It really depends. I think when opposites attract, it can be better because things won’t get boring. It kind of adds life to the relationship. You learn things from the other person. Navid and Adrianna, they have such a strong past with the things that they went through, so I think that’s where their bond comes from. But I think it helps to have things to talk about, things in common because that helps with little every day stuff, what you want to do and sharing it with someone else. But it really depends. It can be different.

TDW: Is Lila familiar with everything Adrianna and Navid went through the year before?

Wallace: You know, it never said anything in the script but I made a choice to be aware of most of it. Lila doesn’t run in the same crowd so I don’t think she knows everything that happened but everyone in the school knew that Adrianna was pregnant. I made a choice to have Lila be aware that they went through pretty significant events, regardless of whether I knew exactly what each one of them were. So whether or not Lila knew–weren’t they engaged at one point or something?

TDW: They kind of were.

Wallace: I think that’s something that Lila did not know.

TDW: Coming into this, where you’re playing opposite two characters who have this intricate backstory, did you have to read up on last season or did you watch the episodes or anything?

Wallace: I definitely did. When I found out I was going to be on the show, I went and I got the [first] season and I made sure that I watched all of the episodes. When I was on set, I tried to ask the actors, for the episodes that hadn’t aired yet, “What’s happening? I need to know” and they told me. I think it’s really important to know the [characters] and what’s going on. It can be a little intimidating to go on a set and be a new character and not know anyone, especially when you’re coming between two characters that are so huge in the show so I better have my info straight!

TDW: What’s the deal with you coming back next season? Is it possible?

Wallace: Maybe, yeah. I think it’s one of things where it really depends on how everyone takes Lila, if they like her a lot. It’s one of those things where people need to write in and say, “I really like this character. I’d really like to see her again” and if there’s an overwhelming majority vote on that, then I think it’s a definite possibility that she can come back.

TDW: I can’t interview you and not ask about One Tree Hill, where you played Glenda. Your first episode there was the school shooting [Episode 3.16, With Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept].

Wallace: Right.

TDW: Do you remember what kind of reaction you had when you first read the script for that episode?

Wallace: Well, actually, I was not given the full script for that episode. That episode was very hush-hush because it was so dramatic and so much happened. I wasn’t sure what was going on. I knew that there was a school shooting but I didn’t know who was doing it. Really, I knew what my character knew. I’m stuck in a gym with this girl [Brooke, Sophia Bush] and there’s a shooting going on and we all have to go home. I literally knew what Glenda knew and that kinda helped in the acting. So I had no idea and when I saw the episode, it was so stunning. I felt so honored to be part of something like that. The episode was so beautiful and heartfelt. I cried.

TDW: Were you surprised when the next season came around and they asked you to come back?

Wallace: I was completely surprised and thrilled. I had one scene [Episode 4.04, Can’t Stop This Thing We’ve Started] and I became a goth all of a sudden, which was really funny to me. When we were filming that scene with me and Sophia, they were like, “Oh, we’re going to bring you into wardrobe and get you fitted the next episode.” And I was like, “Next episode? I’m doing another episode?” It was taken episode-by-episode and I wasn’t really sure when I’d be gone. I actually had to turn down an episode. I was asked to be in the finale of that season but I was filming a movie at the time and I couldn’t do it.

TDW: Oh, wow. Did you know what you were going to be doing in the finale?

Wallace: No idea. With that show, I didn’t go to any of the script readings. Sometimes I would get a script and sometimes I wouldn’t. It was a little bit different. The set was kind of different. So I have no idea what I would’ve been doing.

TDW: One of the other episodes you did, though, where you’re paired up with Lucas [Chad Michael Murray], is one of my favorites [Episode 4.13, Pictures of You]. That was a fun episode but there’s such meaning there in the conversations you had, in teaching each other about stereotypes and judging people before you actually know them. Really, you were on for a short amount of time overall, but you took part in two really meaningful, memorable episodes in the series, in  my opinion.

Wallace: Yeah, I guess you’re right. I think it helps that I have a different look from a lot of actresses today. That’s something that I really enjoy because I do tend to play characters that impart that message. It is an important message, not to judge people if they’re different and that people need to be happy with themselves if they are different.

TDW: Going along with that–and I want to word this as respectfully as possible–I’ve seen some comments from people who have said they are thrilled to see Navid with Lila because she’s full-figured. She’s not model-skinny.

Wallace: Curvy, I like to say.

TDW: That’s a great way to put it. The show has gotten criticism in the past for having these lead female characters who are stick-figure thin and now people are refreshed to see this new body type on the show.

Wallace: I’m glad.

TDW: Going back to One Tree Hill for a second, are you still in touch with the cast?

Wallace: No. That’s the funny thing about filming as a recurring character or in a movie or something. You work with people closely for a short amount of time and you do make friends but then you go about your way. I didn’t live in North Carolina. It’s hard to stay in contact with people when you’ve only worked with them for a short amount of time and then you go some place else and your lives go separate ways. I think I’m friends with people on Facebook, maybe, but you never really know who’s actually running their Facebook or who’s running anything.

TDW: Speaking of Facebook, and Twitter, too, I see you’re using them increasingly so to interact with fans. What’s that experience been like?

Wallace: It’s not overwhelming if I’m not really working at the time and people find me with “I really liked your character on this…” Sometimes when an episode, like on Tuesday, airs, you get inundated with messages and it can be a little overwhelming. But it’s really cool. It’s very surreal to have people know who you are from your work. This business is so hard to break into. It’s so hard to get roles and be seen and have people comment on what you do. People are really thrilled when you talk to them. “I can’t believe somebody famous is talking to me!” And I’m like, “What?! Me?!

TDW: You forget that you’re the famous one.

Wallace: Exactly. I’m like, “Uh, I’m thrilled that you’re talking to me!

TDW: Your Twitter handle is AmberBrookeBand. Do you have your own band?

Wallace: I do. I have a band that’s based in Atlanta. When I go back, I try to perform shows and rehearse with them. I’m trying to get them to come out here for month or two so we can book some gigs out in L.A. I’m also writing with another friend, actually this girl Jen, who taught everyone their instruments on 90210. She and I have been writing together. I’m just trying to keep myself creative. I love music.

TDW: In the band on the show, you play the bass, right?

Wallace: Yes.

TDW: Do you play that in real life, too?

Wallace: I don’t. I play guitar in real life, which, obviously, is not the same thing but it helps a lot. Our instructor, Jen, she’s brilliant. She helped me so much. It was a little bit difficult but I think I picked it up pretty quickly.

TDW: What’s next for you?

Wallace: I have some projects possibly on the way. I’m talking to people about that. And then just trying to audition. I just moved to L.A. from Atlanta, when I started filming 90210. I was like, “I’m going to go out and film that, I might as well stay and make the big move and really go for it.” There’s nothing at the moment to talk about, though, but hopefully good things, hopefully more projects. We’ll see.

TDW: Keep us posted!

Come back next Sunday for another exclusive interview!

TDW Interview Index





Exclusive: One Tree Hill Producer on Social Media, Passionate Fans and The Show’s Future

21 03 2010

There’s a lot about teen dramas you can debate: favorite characters, worst couples, best quotes. Few would argue against this: hiatuses suck. They are long, torturous and boring. Luckily for us, the folks behind One Tree Hill have made a seemingly unprecedented move by filling the show’s current 2-month hiatus with daily videos and other content shared via their official Twitter account.

One of the people to thank for all the OTH goodness is associate producer Steve Goldfried. In an exclusive interview, Goldfried discusses the show’s use of social media, thanks the fans for their devotion and comments on where things stand regarding an eighth season.

TeenDramaWhore: How did you first get hooked up with the show?

Steve Goldfried: I was an office production assistant at Tollin/Robinns Productions, which was the production company that One Tree Hill started at. Joe Davola, who is the executive producer, was the president of television there. I actually started by working for Mike Tollin in his office there as the production assistant, which meant I ran scripts around town, made coffee, made copies. Stuff like that. One Tree Hill came about, and I had been there for about 6 months, and Mike Tollin said he wanted to send someone out there to document. Joe Davola had made a deal, I think with MTV, that they would have video cameras shooting behind-the-scenes footage there from the beginning, since Joe’s roots were at MTV and Hilarie [Burton, Peyton], of course, was coming from MTV to be on the show at the time. So they wanted some behind-the-scenes footage and someone there documenting it and they sent me out there to be a set a production assistant but I also carried a video camera around with me while I was doing that. That’s how I got hooked up originally.

TDW: Since then, your role has changed over the years.

Goldfried: It has and it hasn’t. I still carry a video camera around with me all the time on the set, which is cool in a way. Almost all of the behind-the-scenes footage you’ve ever seen of One Tree Hill was shot by me. There’s rare occassions where other crews came in and shot some stuff but most everything is shot by me. Almost all the videos, little behind-the-scenes, the vingettes and the featurettes on the DVDs are produced and edited and shot by me. So it hasn’t changed in that sense but I’ve had an expanded responsibility in other aspects, too, like in actually getting that footage out there. The viral marketing, the social networking side has expanded over the years. When we had more product placement in the show, I worked with the distributor and the network on those deals, and I work on the contests and promotions that we have.

TDW: So your title right now is associate producer but that doesn’t mean the same for everyone that’s an associate producer.

Goldfried: No. I’m probably sort of unique in that, though “producer” can mean a hundred different things in Hollywood. But there are other associate producers and other producers that do I what I do, which is more marketing and promotions.

TDW: The quickest way that you get content to the fans now is through the One Tree Hill Twitter account. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that started during this past summer, right?

Goldfried: Season 7 was when we first got it out there. When we started filming the season, I was taking pictures and tweeting those and sending little updates from the set. Then, just recently, since the Utah trip, we’ve started updating daily with video. At the moment, that’s definitely the quickest way to get stuff out there. The Facebook page has 1.3 million fans so that’s a good way as well.

TDW: What do you think the value is of these social media tools? You didn’t have them when the show started in 2003.

Goldfried: It’s great, although One Tree Hill has always been on the forefront of online viral marketing and social networking. I started a MySpace page for Peyton, when MySpace was kind of hot. Even before that, when I was just a set PA and working on set, [creator] Mark Schwahn was back in L.A. really fostering a relationship with the fans online and doing live chats, listening to the fans and interacting with them. I think that’s one reason why One Tree Hill has such a loyal following. The fans are so passionate about the show because we’ve always tried to connect with them and bring them in. It’s our show–ours and the fans together.

TDW: How is it decided what’s tweeted?

Goldfried: It’s decided based on what we think the fans will enjoy that day and every day that we tweet. If there’s a cool article that we see online or, like right now, putting new video up each day because we’re on this long hiatus, we feel like we’re getting the fans fresh One Tree Hill-related content each day. That’s something we feel like they want and we’ve seen the responses. They do want it and they’re enjoying it. So it’s based on what we think they’ll like and the response that we’re getting on Twitter and Facebook.

TDW: It’s almost seven years since you guys started production. That’s a lot of time to spend on one set. What has been the most surprising thing to you about working on the show?

Goldfried: It’s a tough question to answer because TV is so fast-paced. When you’re working on a TV show, you’re really immersed in it. I don’t know that I’ve really stopped and thought about what the most surprising thing is. It’s all be pretty amazing. It’s been an amazing journey and you have to try to enjoy it as much as possible while you’re doing it and I have. The easy answer is just that it’s lasted this long. As fans of the show know, there’s been a lot of times throughout the seven years, where people thought we were thought getting canceled or it looked like that might happen and then we kept getting picked up. So that’s surprising in a way. The fans are pretty surprising, just how passionate and hardcore they are.

TDW: I think you have one of the strongest fanbases around.

Goldfried: Definitely. We see that. We recognize it and we love it. It’s definitely what has helped keep us on the air so long. We couldn’t have been on for those seven years without the fans.

TDW: You’re obviously very familiar with what the storylines are and what’s being shot on set. Do you have any favorites?

Goldfried: The episode in season 2 where we went to the race track in Charlotte [Episode 2.19, I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning]. That was really fun, crashing cars, being on that track and seeing the stunt cars going around. We actually got to drive the cars around. It had rained the day before and to dry the track out, you actually go and drive on the track to soak up some of the wetness. So the crew got to take the cars out and we each got to take our own and go around the racetrack. That was pretty fun. That was one of my favorite episodes [to work on]. Just recently, this season, I really like the Gubbs storyline. Mike Grubbs is a great guy. Wakey!Wakey! is an awesome band and he’s awesome. I had the chance to see him play a few times live in Wilmington and around and on set. We had this little intimate cast and crew wrap party and he played for everyone. That was pretty incredible. I like all those storylines with the musicians especially. The show itself has such heart. It’s hard to pick [favorites]. I don’t have one ship or anything. It’s all just the heart of it.

TDW: Speaking of the music, the sheer volume of bands you’ve introduced viewers to is overwhelming.

Goldfried: Music is its own character on the show. That’s something Mark and Joe have consciously done from the beginning and done an incredible job with it. It plays a huge role. That’s been fun to be around. Being around all these awesome musicians and seeing them perform live, it’s a really cool thing.

TDW: You and the cast and crew just went to Utah.

Goldfried: Yes, Park City.

TDW: You had tons of fans come out. Was it surprising that so many people came when you’re so far from Wilmington or not a surprise given how fervent the fanbase is?

Goldfried: It was not a surprise. It’s not a surprise anymore. It was for a while. After seven years, and all the mall tours, and the One Tree Hill music tour–back then maybe it was a little surprising but now we know they’re that fervent and they’re going to show up wherever we are, which is great. I think our cast is always very receptive to them, going over to take pictures and sign autographs. They get to interact a little bit.

TDW: There’s a massive fan campaign going on right now to show The CW how much they want the show to continue. From what I’ve heard, that’s gotten back to you guys and you know it’s going on. I’m curious to know the reaction you guys have had to it.

Goldfried: We have heard about that and our reaction is gratitude. It’s awesome. It’s amazing to know that the fans took their own initiative to do that. They’ve done that in past years, too, and we continue to be thankful for it.

TDW: Fans are on the edge of their seats, so anxious to find out what’s going to be.

Goldfried: So are we!

TDW: It seems that various places are reporting that it’s going to be a while. I feel like you guys are in this no man’s land. You can’t go back, you can’t go forward.

Goldfried: That’s sort of the nature of TV. It’s always been that way. It won’t be that much longer. We’ll know soon. But we are in no man’s land. We don’t know when. There’s no hard date or anything that we’ve heard of. The upfronts are in mid-May, as you know I’m sure. So we’ll know by then.

TDW: If this turns out to be the last season or even whenever the last season of the show is, how would you like One Tree Hill to be remembered?

Goldfried: Mark has always said they wanted to make somebody’s favorite show. We were never necessarily the biggest show and we’re certainly not the most promoted show. They just wanted to always make sure it was somebody’s favorite show and I think it ended up being a lot of somebody’s favorite show. I’d like it to be remembered that way, too.

TDW: Any last message for the fans?

Goldfried: We’re really happy that everyone is sending in their messages to The CW. That’s awesome. We really appreciate it. Our new episodes return April 26th, the last four of the season, so everyone make sure you tune in for those because they’re going to be great episodes. Thanks for watching and thank you for the interview.

It’s a double-interview week! Come back Tuesday at noon for another exclusive interview!

TDW Interview Index





Exclusive: Charles Rosin Talks Beverly Hills 90210, showbizzle and More

14 03 2010

Think the Spellings are the only real-life Beverly Hills 90210 family? Think again. Meet the Rosins: Charles, Karen and their daughter Lindsey.

As you may recall from my previous interview with Charles, he was the executive producer of Beverly Hills 90210 for its first five seasons. Karen wrote nearly 20 episodes between 1991 and 1994 and Lindsey had a memorable cameo in Episode 2.o6, Pass/Not Pass, as a little girl asking Brandon (Jason Priestley) to dance the hukilau at the Beverly Hills Beach Club.

I mentioned in January that my interview with Charles was one of my highlights of TDW Year One. I never dreamed I’d interview him once–let alone twice and this time in person. But that’s exactly what happened in January on a weekday morning in New York City, where Charles, Karen and Lindsey came to promote their new media venture, showbizzle.

Charles and I sat down to talk about showbizzle and, of course, Beverly Hills 90210.

TeenDramaWhore: If you had to give your elevator pitch for showbiz, what would you say?

Charles Rosin: Showbizzle is a digital showcase for emerging talent that combines a webseries called showbizzle with a platform for talent away from the immediate pressures of the marketplace. So it’s two mints in one: it’s a show and it’s a resource for emerging artists. The show is populated by emerging artists and it was really conceived by emerging talents, namely Lindsey Rosin being the first one to be showcased, as the writer and director of the majority of the shows. So that’s the basics of it.

Unlike so many people who do webseries, what they’re hoping is “Oh, everybody loves our webseries and we create so much action and energy, FOX or The CW will find us and want to put us on the air.” We’re not interested in that. If we wanted to do something specifically for broadcast or cable, we would go into the room with those people and say “We think this works for your medium because…” But we like this form, the potential of it, the idea that you can just do what you want to do and not have to go through committees. From a business standpoint, there’s ownership potential that works in the current marketplace.

So the premise of the webseries is that Janey, a young wannabe screenwriter, who is very plugged into the culture of Los Angeles, sits in a coffeehouse in L.A. trying to write her screenplay and looking forward to all her friends who stop by and interrupt her from that. That’s the basic premise of it. What is a lot of fun about it is that for someone like yourself and the audience that you know, that although you meet all these disparate characters doing these short little two-minute snackable, for-the-digital-world kind of stories, you start to realize these characters are related and there is a serialized story. It builds to a serialized place. We’re fans of that. We try to do it with humor and insight and with a lack of snarkiness that is so prevalent in the digital world. We try to do a show that’s engaging.

One of our slogans is, “Just take a little bizzle break.” The one thing about all media, all the shows you cover–and thanks for even thinking about showbizzle in relation to it–is what they really are is diversions. Somehow in the last 20 years, the importance of the television business, the shows that are made, have been thrown so far out of proportion because of the material value of it. But all they are–we have a lot of issues going on the world–is just a little place to get a respite, to get a chuckle or a laugh. One of the things that Lindsey really values is when her friends say, “That happened to me” or “I’ve got a story.” The whole social network aspect came from Lindsey saying, “We should ask our viewers what’s happened to them,” because even though it’s very specific to Hollywood, because that’s where we’re set, at the same time trying to get ahead in life and figuring out what you’re going to do and using every connection you have when you’re kind of an adult but not really an adult, is something [everyone goes through] and we wanted to explore that.

TDW: How did showbizzle start? Who came up with the idea?

Rosin: The origins of showbizzle go back to a day in December in 2005 when Disney announced they were selling Lost on iTunes, which effectively meant the end of the syndication model that financed network television. Producers would make X number of shows and if they had enough, they could sell them to the local stations and other places, and that’s how the revenue would come back to the companies and people would profit from that. Fortunately, I benefited from that twice. Once from [Beverly Hills] 90210 and more recently Dawson’s Creek, which moved into profit because of the syndication of it. But when you sell something prior to syndication, it dilutes the value of the syndication and to do something that as dramatic as to put episodes on iTunes the day they’re running or the day after they run is a fundamental change.

I started thinking about that and how network television was going to be changing. In the spirit of “everything old is new again,” I started thinking about branded entertainment, which goes back to the pre-network era, where with the television of the 50s, companies–Chesterfield Cigarettes, Lucky Strike, Kraft, General Electric–would come in and buy the half-hour or the hour and be totally associated with the show, whether it be variety or comedy or drama. They all had that. That’s how the revenue was derived. I started to think about what company had the resources to do this and is currently not an advertiser on network television. I realized that anyone who was going to put their name above an entertainment project was going to do it and want total ownership and control and then go to a network or then go wherever they want to go.

So I approached Starbucks about a project called Starbucks Presents. We did this in the winter-spring in 2006. We were trying to create a social network for the people who use Starbucks, in store or at home, and program hours of different ways to do things. At the core of it was a daily soap opera about what goes on in a coffee house. Showbizzle is the distillation of that idea. By the way, Starbucks’ response was “Don’t bother us. Come back to us in 5 years. We’re in the music business.” They’re no longer in the music business. They’re still in the coffee business.

TDW: Where does the name come from?

Rosin: Well, we wanted to call it hollybizzle for a while but it was taken. So, showbizzle, not quite show business. And certainly Snoop Dogg is very “fo shizzle” and made my kids laugh. We were sitting around the dinner table–I have two other children besides Lindsey–and we came up with that and said let’s see if that one will work. We like the name quite a bit. It’s friendly and open.

TDW: What is your role on a day-to-day basis? Is this now your full-time gig?

Rosin: I teach at UCLA and I still develop shows. I was very active in the business from the late ‘70s to about 2005. Found my name wasn’t on the lists that I liked anymore and this was a place to do it on my own. The idea to get more sponsorships, provide things for the community–that is where I spend a lot of my time [with showbizzle]. I think like 85, 90 percent of the time I still do other forms of writing and developing other projects as well. I like teaching and I like doing this. If J.J. Abrams called, I’d answer.

TDW: What is Lindsey’s role?

Rosin: I get to refer to her as “the talent.” She’s the writer and director. The other woman who did a lot of writing and directing for the first season is a woman named Arika Mittman and Arika just won a Humanitas Prize for an episode of South of Nowhere that she did. Arika was my assistant on Dawson’s Creek. She’s terrific and very talented and gets along very well with Lindsey. Arika, she’s someone who in a different lifetime would’ve been head of daytime. She plotted the serial a little bit with Lindsey. But Lindsey, I say to her–sometimes to her consternation; it’s a family business and all–anytime she’s involved with the site, it’s better on all levels.

TDW: What has been the response you’re getting from people in the business?

Rosin: I think they admire the effort and realize we’re pioneers. This is not formed. People haven’t done things like this. They always ask, “How are you going to finance this?” and I kind of talk about it but steer away from it a little bit. It’s designed to be branded entertainment and we’re here in New York now to try and find brands. We’re hopeful that we can and we present something that has potential and is different. There’s certain things we did in the first year–we did a lot of monologues; we didn’t emphasize the cinema. We’d like to have a little more production value. Lindsey has a lot of ideas for the second season. We know where to pick up the show and what kind of sponsors we’re looking for. Forms follows function, after all…

TDW: You mentioned finding sponsors. Is that what you did on this trip?

Rosin: One of the most difficult aspects of doing webseries is, whether you’re doing six episodes with friends in your dorm room or if you’re trying to do something to ultimately become a daily habit on the web, is to get the levels of support that you need. When you do branded entertainment, you want to get to brands. Brands have not been oriented to this. So we’re starting to see the change and transition as more and more brands advertise or consider sponsorships and realize that it might be worthwhile to look at certain web series, to brand projects and put their name above the title and all that. It’s a question, though, of “how do you get access to that?” One of the ways is you do something and it goes viral and they come to you and say, “How do you do that?” The other way is to do some work, you put it together, you have more ideas, you go to the brand and say, “With your marketing support, we do A, B, C, D and E” and that’s the method we chose. Creatively, I think showbizzle is somewhere in a middle ground or at least between premium high content and user-generated. We want it have the feel of an independent but be scripted.

There was an event [this week] called Brand In Entertainment, which was an event to meet people who are independent purveyors of content and meet brands and those that are interested in the sector or interested in tipping their toe in. It’s a risk-adverse world, especially after the financial meltdown. It’s all going very slowly. But I had meetings with one or two other people who have access to brands and I wanted to let them know what we’re doing. It was a business-oriented trip.

TDW: You mentioned that you have people who are just starting out in Hollywood playing the characters in the webseries. Is anyone getting “noticed” from it? Any success stories?

Rosin: The thing that’s interesting is remember my original definition: digital showcase, emerging talent away from the immediate career pressures of the marketplace. So really, it’s only about a creative expression. Too much discussion in Hollywood has moved away from any form of creative satisfaction and is only based on business elements. That’s why you always hear about returning an investment and all that. Well, what about creative satisfaction? So the goal of [participating] is not necessarily to further a career but to allow them to perform. We are going to try and accelerate it. We’re going to formally announce soon that we’ll have a rotating group of casting directors as residents and we’ll supply short little monologues and encourage our community to perform them, upload the video and guarantee them that the ones the casting directors like the most, they will comment on them and be on the homepage. You get on the digital showcase. You’re in our community and now you get to be singled out. That might help.

This time last year, a cute little blonde came in and started [working for us], making calls to colleges for outreach. She was really nice. One weekend she told me she had to go to New York. For my class at UCLA, I was putting together a list of what [new] shows [the networks] had ordered so we could [evaluate] them and I saw the girl’s name. It was Brittany Robertson [Lux on Life Unexpected]. She was the girl making our calls. I had Subway sandwiches with her for weeks. I sent her an e-mail and said, “Either you get major kudos or someone has stolen your name!” Now she didn’t perform on showbizzle and I don’t think necessarily that people have seen someone on showbizzle and said, “I need that girl or that guy,” but I think it gives people the confidence to be that girl or that guy.

In the second season we may go after a few names that people know to play little characters. It’ll probably make a difference. Two of the biggest names so far have been Fran Kranz, who was on Dollhouse and was just terrific, and James Eckhouse [Jim], who isn’t in the same demographic. But people can come [to showbizzle] for various reasons. As Lindsey likes to say, they can choose their own adventure. They can focus on getting industry resources or they can focus on the show, they can express themselves, they can take a bizzle break from all the troubles in life.

TDW: What lessons from Beverly Hills 90210 have you been able to apply to showbizzle?

Rosin: The main thing I learned from [executive producer] Aaron Spelling is you make a show for an audience. The audience satisfaction really matters. We continue to adjust to what our audience is looking for, what they say they want. The other thing, which I always like to say, is showbizzle is low-budget production. We were able to do a little content for not very much money but still paid people and all that. 90210 was lower-budget production. We had much less money in the first two or three years than what was there afterward. When we built the college set, that was a big thing for us. We didn’t have big restrictions. The first few years we did. We learned how to do something economically and you learn how someone is paying for all this. Usually that someone is your corporation, whether it’s Disney or Fox or Aaron Spelling. In the case of showbizzle, it’s us. You have to be prudent. Production we were able to handle very well. It’s the digital stuff, the Web site stuff that sometimes spirals out of control.

TDW: I was curious to know if you and Karen were already married when you started working on the 90210 or if the relationship was born out of the show.

Rosin: I met a really cute girl in 1976. We were married a year later in 1977. We’ve been together a long time.

TDW: That is a long time.

Rosin: Yes, we’re very old.

TDW: I know she’s had a career of her own but she wrote close to 20 episodes of Beverly Hills 90210.

Rosin: She wrote the best ones. It was an interesting thing. Mr. Spelling had had a bad taste in his mouth about putting a married team on a show from when he did Dynasty. He never really wanted to let Karen come on the staff and be a permanent part. It allowed her to stay home and raise our kids, which is a great thing but at the same time, she really deserved a lot more recognition as a writer, as a writer-producer, and didn’t really get that from 90210 and I always feel badly about that. But it was circumstances beyond our control. I really love collaborating with her, and I really love collaborating with Lindsey, because you find out with writers, all writers have strengths and all writers have weaknesses. A lot of writers who really excel at dialogue have trouble organizing the story, the scene dynamics. That’s what I do in my sleep. But I’ll struggle over dialogue for hours and hours. So it was a really nice fit with us. One thing I would to say anyone who is starting out and is thinking about collaborating, is that you have to feel whomever you’re collaborating with brings more to the party than you do. You’re not carrying them but you’re benefiting from them. And that’s my relationship with Karen as a writer. Anytime we work together, it gets better.

TDW: I know you did commentary for the earlier seasons of the DVD sets.

Rosin: Karen and I were asked to do it on season 3 and I did an interview for season 4.

TDW: Since season 4, there’s been no extras. We’ve had seasons 5-9 with no extras.

Rosin: Want my opinion? Because there’s nothing to say. The show ended with season 5, in my opinion. Season 5, if you were going to do one, the person you’d need to talk to is Luke [Perry, Dylan] because Luke was so important in those first 12, 13 episodes where he has his money stolen and has his whole depression and anger, leading to the crashing of his car. Luke drove those first 13 and it was a pleasure to do them with him. He had such intensity. If he’s not going to talk about it, then what are you going to say? Tiffani [Amber Thiessen, Valerie] would’ve been the other person to talk to for season 5.

TDW: Some of us have also been upset with the cover art and that many songs have been replaced on the DVDs or scenes were cut because of songs issues.

Rosin: Knowing how much Mr. Spelling cared about the audience, the fact that the music isn’t up to the standards that we had, he’d understand it as a businessman but he’d be rolling over in his grave.

TDW: I heard you were once working on a 90210 spin-off concept with Aaron.

Rosin: When we were thinking about moving forward with the college years, we also proposed they could spin-off a West Beverly High series but they didn’t want to do that at that time. Then in the year 2000, Spelling wanted to do it and I was hired to do something on it but it didn’t turn out to be what they were looking for. It was like 90210, the next generation. I think it had the exact tone of the high school shows but it was just for a different generation of high schoolers. Instead we have this bastardized version that’s on now.

TDW: What was your reaction when you first heard about the one that’s on now?

Rosin: The first reaction was that it just shows how important the brand is and how much branding means. Every generation has the right to do anything. I don’t own it. It was Viacom, Spelling. Darren Star created the show. It was more his world than it was mine. I was there to do something much specific. But now I’m more excited by a show like Life Unexpected than recycling shows from a different era just because of their title. I don’t feel [the new show] has that much in common with the original other than it has a high school premise and it’s in Beverly Hills. But tonally, from what I’ve seen, it doesn’t have that much in common.

TDW: Not sure if you’re aware but they recently killed Jackie Taylor [Ann Gillespie].

Rosin: Why?

TDW: They did this whole cancer storyline.

Rosin: I understand that. When you run out of ideas, you get people sick. No offense to Joey [E. Tata, Nat], but we were struggling and had to do 32 episodes. So Nat’s going to have a heart attack [Episode 4.18, Heartbreaker]. If you see characters getting sick like that at random, it’s usually evidence of a bankruptcy of ideas, in my opinion.

TDW: It came out recently that Rob Estes [Harry, 90210] is leaving the show and people are very surprised. “He’s supposed to be our patriarch. He’s supposed to be our Jim Walsh.”

Rosin: I would imagine that you do things like that when you realize a few things have happened. After the 5th year when I left [the original], so did Gabrielle Carteris [Andrea] but so did Jim Eckhouse and Carol Potter [Cindy]. At a certain point, you get to be a mature show. You realize you have to cut your overhead a little bit. You realize the storylines are going to move into a different direction and things are going to be different. So you do make adjustments. Why did Estes leave? Maybe he was profoundly unhappy with what they’ve done with his character. I wouldn’t know that but that’s usually why actors leave. They weren’t satisfied. The show thought they were paying too much money. He wasn’t being utilized, etc.

TDW: It came out recently that Jennie [Garth, Kelly] is sort of cutting ties with the show as well. The media went crazy with it.

Rosin: I only have admiration for Jennie. I don’t see her that often but I know she’s raising a wonderful family. She has political and social issues she’s very committed to. I really admired her on Dancing With The Stars. She wouldn’t have been able to do that at 21, 22. To have that courage, I admire that a lot. Jennie was very loyal to Mr. Spelling, very loyal to 90210 and I’m sure that led her back to [the new show] in a way. One thing you realize is that people do for their careers what they think is best, both in getting in with things and getting out of things. And I never like to comment on that because at a certain point they thought it was a good idea.

TDW: Are you in touch with anyone else?

Rosin: I am. I’m in touch with the guys. Luke, not as much. Hopefully will get back in touch pretty soon. But Jason Priestley [Brandon] I consider a really good friend. I love Ian Ziering [Steve]. He actually helped on showbizzle, doing an interview. And Jim Eckhouse I actually put in front of the camera. So those are the guys pretty much. And I keep in touch with Gabby through her husband, who is my stock broker.

TDW: I spoke with [writer-producer] Larry Mollin recently and he expressed some interest in doing a panel to talk about the show.

Rosin: If you ever want to do something like that, you let me know.

Come back next Sunday for another exclusive interview!

TDW Interview Index





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





Exclusive: Hal Ozsan Reflects on Dawson’s Creek and Dishes 90210 Spoilers (Kind Of)

28 02 2010

How’s this for a twist: when I contacted Hal Ozsan about an interview, I thought he’d be hazy on Dawson’s Creek memories and more than willing to share about his upcoming role on 90210. Turns out it was the opposite. Ozsan had plenty to say about playing the one and only Todd Carr but, despite my best efforts, remained incredibly vague on 90210. Well, 1 out of 2 ain’t bad!

TeenDramaWhore: Let’s start with Dawson’s Creek. Do you remember what attracted you to the role of Todd?

Hal Ozsan: The good stuff, the “juice” of acting, is getting to do and say things you’d never dream of doing and saying in normal, civilized company. But Todd, bless him, was shameless. Case in point… Todd, to Dawson [James Van Der Beek]: “You’re mom’s quite tasty, Leery. Mind if I have a go at her?” [Episode 6.10, Merry Mayhem] You think it, but you’d never say it. So, needless to say, that was one of the most enjoyable gigs I’ve ever had the pleasure of doing. Also, I think Todd was exec producer Tom Kapinos’ secret alter ego, his inner “Tyler Durden,” so he wrote the role with unbridled relish. Every Saturday I couldn’t wait to tear open the envelope with next week’s script in it just to see what asshole-y wonderousness was going to come out of Todd/Tom’s mouth. On the flipside, I think Tom got a kick out of what I was doing, so we’d just sort of feed each other’s shameless-inner-asshole, week after week. We created a monster. It was brilliant.

TDW: I think your accent is one of the reasons people found the character so charming, despite his flaws. Do you know if they were specifically looking for someone who had one?

Ozsan: That’s very nice of you to say. No. Quite the contrary. The day I went to the read for the role there were all sorts of different dudes in there, nearly every possible variation of age, color, ethnicity, sexuality etc. Actually, from what I’ve been told since then, Tom loved me for the role and was pretty much alone in that among the producers. Word has it he had to fight tooth and nail to cast me. I think the accent was more of a hindrance than a help. But it all worked out in the end…Todd was only supposed to be a one-off character in one episode at the top of season 5, but I ended up doing the role for 15 episodes over two seasons.

TDW: The character played on several Hollywood stereotypes. Did you draw your inspiration from anyone?

Ozsan: If I did, would I really admit to it?

TDW: Without getting too personal, did you have any problems with women associating you with Todd’s self-centered, horndog ways?

Ozsan: [Chuckles] Of course not. I think secretly, deep down, every girl loves a scoundrel, right? We’re infinitely more entertaining than some wet blanket that’s “in touch with his feelings.” C’mon, who would you rather shag, Han Solo or Luke Skywalker? Captain Jack Sparrow, or… whoever it is that Orlando Bloom plays in those movies? And besides, Todd was a mush underneath it all. What could be better than a scoundrel with a heart of gold, right?

TDW:Are you still in touch with the cast?

Ozsan: Usually, the life of an actor is not unlike that of a gypsy. You’re never in one place for too long before you have to pack up camp and move to god-knows-where at the drop of hat. So you sort of make your friendships on the fly as your shooting through town. But Dawson’s was one of those VERY rare exceptions to that rule for me. I made extraordinarily dear, life-long friends on that show. James is still one of my best mates to this day and we live right up the street from each other. Michelle [Williams, Jen] is and always will be profoundly dear to me, and I also still see the lovely Busy [Philipps, Audrey] and Kerr [Smith, Jack] from time to time too. Everyone on that set was “good people” as we say in my neck of the woods. No bad eggs.

TDW: What are you doing, if anything, to prepare for your role on 90210?

Ozsan: Hmmm…. I don’t know how to answer that question without giving anything away, so I’ll just be flippant and glib: learning my lines.

TDW: I know you can’t say much, but can you give us a little tease of when we’ll get to see you and what we can expect?

Ozsan: Again, hmmm…. Lot’s of very attractive people in very attractive clothing doing all sorts of scandalously delicious things. General enough for ya?

TDW: What other projects are you working on?

Ozsan: I have three films due out [this] year. Keep your eye out for Peach Plum Pear, a wonderful little independent film where I play one of the biggest douchebags in the history of my career; a thriller called Groupie; and a comedy called Head Over Spurs in Love where– in one particular scene– you’ll get to see me in nothing but a g-string and cowboy boots ( Warning: that’s even scarier than it sounds). 2009 was a really busy year for me so my immediate plans [were] to go back home to London, sleep off my exhaustion, eat a lot of really greasy pub food and hang out with my family. Then… back to L.A. to squeeze into a pair of skinny jeans in time for 90210.

TDW: You were in a pretty successful band for a few years. Any interest in going back to music in the future?

Ozsan: Music was my first love, and I was one of the very few teenagers with a Jim Morrison complex lucky enough to live out my teenage fantasies as a grown up: I got to be the opening band for several of my heroes, got the all-illusive record deal, toured America, heard my songs on the radio and played for two stadiums full of people. So I’m a happy camper. But, sad to say, the music industry is not the place I thought it was. I turned right around and left that party the moment I got through the door…I have no plans on going back in. I love film and TV and I am thrilled with every minute of what I’m doing now. But thanks for asking, that was sweet.

Since there’s no episode of One Tree Hill tomorrow night, come back for a very fun exclusive OTH interview!

TDW Interview Index








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