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





News Roundup: Gossip Girl, The O.C., 90210 and One Tree Hill

18 03 2010




Dawn Ostroff on One Tree Hill’s Renewal Chances

5 03 2010

THR: What’s the likelihood of “One Tree Hill” coming back?

Ostroff: We’re encouraged. We think (creator) Mark Schwahn has done a great job with the show. The fans are the most loyal and dedicated I think I’ve ever seen. They have some 1.6 million fans on Facebook. Too early too tell, but creatively we feel the show is in a really good place.

THR: What about “Life Unexpected”?

Ostroff: That’s really too early too tell.

THR: Looking at the number of drama pilots you have, is it fair to assume that there won’t be slots for both “One Tree Hill” and “Life Unexpected”?

Ostroff: Too soon to say anything yet.

Credit: The Hollywood Reporter





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: One Tree Hill’s Cullen Moss on the Evolution of Junk, Making of Dear John and Blood Done Sign My Name

21 02 2010

Think One Tree Hill is the only place to catch Cullen Moss? Not true, my friends, not true. In the month of February alone, Moss had two movies come out in theaters, the based-on-a-novel Dear John and the based-on-a-true-story Blood Done Sign My Name.

But there’s no denying Moss is most familiar to us TDWs for his role as Junk Moretti, a character we first met way back in 2003 in the One Tree Hill pilot. In our exclusive interview, Moss talks about his longevity on the show, improvising in Dear John and the connection he has to Bethany Joy Galeotti’s The Notebook musical.

TeenDramaWhore: Do you remember what your audition for One Tree Hill was like?

Cullen Moss: Yes, I do. It was a surprise. It started with a call from my agent that the [casting agency] Fincannons wanted to see me. I just this past year found the piece a paper where I wrote the details down. I wrote “Jump McCready, 17-year-old baller.” This was when I was 27! My agent, she even told me, “Now, I asked them if they knew how old are you” and she asked if they were sure they wanted to see me and they did. I went in and I found out it was not Jump McCready. But for some reason, that name, Jump McCready, made me go in and do this character-y New York dialect. I guess they liked it. The line was about somebody stinkin’ and needed deodorant. It sounded like something from The Bowery Boys in a 1940s movie. Or somebody out of The Sandlot. It was weird. But when I went back for the call-back, I said, “You know, I can lose that accent. I don’t have to do that” because I realized that it was supposed to be set in North Carolina, and they were like “No, no, no. Are you from New York?” and I said I wasn’t. I forget who was there. [Creator] Mark Schwahn and…

TDW: [Executive producers] Mike Tollin? Brian Robbins?

Moss: Yeah, I think they were both there. I’m pretty sure Brian Robbins was. Anyway, they were like, “No. Keep it. We like it.” So I did. At the time, I was supposed to go over to Japan to visit my brother who was living there but my agent kept saying, “You’re still in the running. You’re still in the running.” It was this long process. So I had to postpone the trip to Japan and then the final audition was a shoot-out. They set up a basketball hoop outside the casting office. I was by no means 17 and by lesser means a baller. I would play little pick-up games with my friends but I was terrible. I had poor form. I would describe my court-style as frantic. I practiced the night before the shoot-out and I tried to pass to one of my friends and my back went out! I was just feeling decrepit and old and useless. But the morning of, I stretched it out and kind of played through the pain. It was down between me and a black guy for the role. He had played high school basketball and stuff but, for some reason, he wasn’t hitting his shots. I was talking trash, needlessly because I was horrible, but all my garbage I was shooting was going in! I remember Mark Schwahn saying, “Your form is horrible! How are you making these shots?” but I couldn’t miss that day. Then I got the part.

TDW: Did you ever expect all these years later that your character would still be around?

Moss: No, I didn’t. Vaughn Wilson, who is such an awesome and cool dude, plays Fergie. Usually when we would shoot, it was like smoke and fire. One of us wasn’t working unless the other was. They would call us in together, Junk and Fergie, Junk and Fergie. I was working at the studios, actually, during the second or third seasons, in the lighting and grip department. I was in the shop, inventorying equipment and fixing equipment. I would deliver stuff to the set of One Tree Hill and try to get the scoop–was I in the next script? I remember somebody at the beginning of the third season saying, “Oh, yeah. You’re coming up soon” and then they looked at the script later and were like, “No, I think it was just Fergie in the script.” It happened another time, too, where he was working and I wasn’t so I thought maybe they were just done with me and I wanted to find out. So I e-mailed Mark Schwahn and said, “Hey, if you’re done with me, I understand. I don’t want to be on edge here. Just let me know if that’s it. If that’s it, that’s fine and thank you for keeping me around as long as you did.” He answered back–and he’s such a sweet dude–he said “You know, honestly, we really don’t know. We don’t have a point of view for your character. We don’t know where we’re going to go so I don’t have an answer for you but that might be it for you. Oh, and you’re not looking so high school.” And I understood that.

So I wrote him back and pitched an angle. I don’t know if it had anything to with his ultimate decision but I pitched it that maybe Junk was this older loser guy. They had never shot me at the high school. I said maybe he’s the older loser guy who hangs out with the kids on the River Court. He never really grew out of his high school years. He doesn’t have anyone his own age so he’s clinging to this group and maybe he’s the guy who buys the beer. I didn’t know. But I pitched it to him and he brought me back in and I thought it was in that capacity, as the older loser guy who found his niche with these guys. I thought it was that until they had me going to prom [Episode 4.15, Prom Night At Hater High] and graduation [Episode 4.20, The Birth And Death Of The Day]. I was like, “Okay. So I actually graduated. I actually went to prom.” They actually had Fergie and I go together. We didn’t have dates. So we walked in together.

Mark Schwahn, he’s a loyal guy. Our characters certainly have not been so integral that they couldn’t have just been dropped at this point. There wouldn’t have been some huge outcry from the general public that watches One Tree Hill, I don’t think, if Junk and Fergie disappeared. But they did keep us around. I was surprised when I found out that there were people who actually knew who Junk was, that people did watch the show that intently. “They’re the old crew. They’re the River Court kids.” I think Schwahn saw that, too, and felt the need to bring back those roots, every now and then, to the River Court and to where the pilot began, the story began. Throughout whatever changes have gone on, he’s brought us back to represent those roots and certainly occasionally for comic relief. It is kind of a surprise that seven years later I’m still playing Junk and that, in the small capacity I’m in, people know who Junk and Fergie are and appreciate us. It makes me feel like maybe if I was gone, I would be missed. I don’t know.

TDW: I think it’s remarkable because the show has had tons and tons of supporting characters over the years and you two have outlasted nearly all of them.

Moss: Yeah. I think part of it might be due to the fact that we’re local actors. They don’t have to fly us in. So part of it may be a budgetary issue. But Mark’s been loyal and kept us in mind when there’s gatherings and weddings and stuff. He’s like, “Even if you don’t have lines in the episodes, you guys need to be there. You’re part of the crew.” He hasn’t forgotten the roots of the show and that’s cool. While we’ve never come in and had very specific storylines or characters arcs, he’s felt us somewhat integral and necessary, I guess.

TDW: Your most recent episode was the John Hughes tribute [Episode 7.15, Don’t You Forget About Me]. Were you a fan of Weird Science and Home Alone before then?

Moss: I was with Weird Science. I hadn’t watched Home Alone in its entirety until this last year. I showed it to my six-year-old son and we got to enjoy that together. But I was a big fan of Weird Science.

TDW: What was it like filming those scenes with Jackson [Brundage, Jamie]?

Moss: It was a lot of fun. He’s always fun to work with. He was such a cool addition to the show when he came in. It’s cool whenever the cameras stop rolling and we get to horse around with him. Actually in the paintball scene [in 7.15], there was a point in the shooting where they used stunt guys. Vaughn and I took the first few hits with special effects guys firing the paintball guns because they were not entirely trusting of Jackson’s aim, not to hit us in the face or the cracks of our padding. But once they got the stunt guys in our places, they let him have a turn with the gun and he did not miss. He was nailing them repeatedly. He was a good shot.

TDW: On some level, that doesn’t surprise me. He’s proven he’s good at like every single thing the show has handed him.

Moss: He is. He’s such a little fella. I’m sure his percentage on the basketball court is better than mine. He puts up these wild shots and they go in. He’s good. He’s a sporty little fella. He’s just a lot of fun. I’ve been doing this show longer than my son’s been around. He was born [in season 1] so it’s an interesting timeline, just to think I’ve been doing this show as long as its taken to this little human being to become who he is. The point of that being is that I’ve got a six-year-old kid and he’s a little younger than Jackson, but I love kids and interacting with them. So Jackson is also a joy to be around.

TDW: Have you heard anything about the chances of there being an eighth season?

Moss: Probably as much as you have. I’ve got two theories. One, we will get an eighth season and my second theory is that we won’t.

TDW: Very scientific.

Moss: That’s as far as it goes. I really have no idea. I know the show was doing well with ratings towards the beginning of this season. I don’t know quite where it is right now. I don’t know who wants it, who wants to continue. I don’t know who doesn’t. So I don’t know what will factor into it but I’d love for there to be another season, of course for myself and for the Wilmington crew, too. From the PAs to the DPs, the grips, the electrics–that’s kind of the only gig in town right now outside of independents. I’m hoping all the talented guys on the crew can stay employed another season. And hopefully by the time the show has seen its last episode, there will be enough other work in town due to the film incentives that were recently passed so they can stay employed and stay in their own town.

TDW: I have to congratulate you on the success of Dear John. You guys took down Avatar in your first week!

Moss: We did. Our special unit dudes tackled those blue aliens. That was a shock. It was pretty cool to be a part of that.

TDW: For that audition, did you go in for a specific one of John’s army pals or a generic one? Because I thought they all had unique personalities but I wasn’t sure if that was determined by the script or if you brought that to the role.

Moss: Well, it was a little bit of both. To answer the first question, I originally auditioned for one of Savannah’s friends. And then they brought me in for Rooster, who was who I got cast as. As far as what I brought to it, that was something again with the name. When I hear names, I put voices to them and with Rooster I decided maybe he was a Southern guy and brought that to the audition. I got called back and the director Lasse Hallstrom was there and I said, “Now I don’t know if you want him to be Southern” but he liked what I had done. He asked where I was from and I said North Carolina and he said, “Oh, but you don’t have an accent?” and I said, “I do but I don’t have the accent I auditioned with.” I made him a little more Southern.

Hallstrom did let us bring a lot to it. Very little of what you heard my character saying was scripted. I’m trying to think of any of it was. There was “requesting to extend my stay as well, sir”–that was scripted. But he would let us improvise a lot. There’s that scene where John drops his letters in the mud before he burns them off. Hallstrom decided at the last minute, “Let’s pop this shot off” and he asked if I would walk by and say something. I asked, “Anything in particular?” and he said, “No, maybe you can just say something smart-ass to him, make a little joke about it. Or ask him what’s wrong. It’s up to you.”  So we went over a few variations of it and did it. And the scene in the humvee just before John gets in a firefight, there was this whole little written monologue about being a little upset about being a soldier sent overseas and there not being any combat where we were. We tried that and he said, “No, it sounds too soldier-y, too military. Can you just tell a story?” And I said, “What kind of story?” “I don’t know. Any kind of story. Something personal.” So I told part of a story from a buddy of mine, a fishing story about a catfish eating a squirrel and the squirrel getting away and swimming to the shore. So I did that in one take and I was just ad-libbing in the surroundings for other stuff. So we all did get to bring a lot of our stuff to it. Hallstrom would just try to breathe life into it by saying, “Forget the script. Here’s the situation. Act as you would naturally.”

TDW: You also have a new movie out now, Blood Done Sign My Name. What can you tell me about that?

Moss: That was a great experience because it was the only time I’ve played an actual real-life person. It’s a true story. It’s based on the memoirs of Tim Tyson. He observed the racial tensions in Oxford, North Carolina in the 1970s, where riots and protests came about when three local white men–a business owner and his two sons–weren’t convicted of brutally beating and shooting to death a young black Vietnam veteran who had just gotten back. I was cast as one of those sons, Larry Teel. It’s an important story. As a North Carolinian and as well as an American, you don’t hear all these stories. You hear about the civil rights movement and it’s kind of confined to this time in the ‘60s but you find out shit was not fixed in the ‘70s and it’s still not. That should be common knowledge but you don’t hear these little stories. It’s not a part of North Carolina history. They teach North Carolina history in their schools and you don’t hear about this. It was cool to be a part of a true story. There were people on set that were there during the riots, during that time, and saw the tension after these three men went on trial and got off scot-free when there were witnesses. It was really interesting. It was a great experience.

TDW: You also worked with fellow One Tree Hill stars on it.

Moss: Yeah, I worked with Lee Norris [Mouth] and Michael May [Chuck]. It was cool to have Lee there. It was comforting.

TDW: Speaking of One Tree Hill stars, you also narrated The True-Love Tale of Boyfriend and Girlfriend, which starred Hilarie Burton [Peyton] and Austin Nichols [Julian].

Moss: Yes, I did. That was really cool. [Writer-director] Nick [Gray] and Hilarie asked me to come in and do that. I think they both had seen me do really broad kind of character-y voices from different things that I have done so they wanted me to come in and provide them with this crusty narrator guy. It was a lot of fun to kind of disappear into that voice.

TDW: If I didn’t know that you were the narrator, I never would’ve guessed.

Moss: Well, thank you. We toyed around with a couple of voices but that was pretty much the first idea and they liked it. It was like a Southern-fried William S. Burroughs.

TDW: I think I read that your girlfriend was on One Tree Hill recently.

Moss: Yes! She’s awesome. Madison Weidberg. She is an incredible actress and quite a talented actor. We actually met doing a play in Wilmington. We met [in 2008] during Debbie Does Dallas: The Musical–real high-brow stuff. But it was a blast. Anyway, she was involved with The Notebook musical, the workshop that Bethany Joy [Galeotti, Haley] did. She played a couple of characters in that and she did a great job. She and Bethany Joy got along really well and so when the opportunity came for back-up singers for the episode where Haley has her big concert [Episode 7.13, Weeks Go By Like Days], she called upon some of the girls that had been in The Notebook.

TDW: That’s very cool. What’s next for you?

Moss: Since Dear John, I got to do a part in The Conspirator, which is a Robert Redford-directed film about the trial of Mary Surratt after the assassination of Lincoln. I play a senior officer in the war department and I get to have a nice scene with Kevin Kline–and under the director of Robert Redford, so that was amazing! To be there and looking at Robert Redford’s face telling me what to do–that was a real thrill. Then I went down not long ago and had a day on The Hungry Rabbit Jumps, which is a Nicholas Cage thriller. It’ll be out in a year or so. And I just got cast in Army Wives; that’s a Lifetime show that shoots in Charleston. There’s a possibility that that’ll be a recurring role.

TDW: That’s exciting.

Moss: Yeah, I just shot that this past week. I guess that’s the next thing that will be seen. Vaughn and I worked on another One Tree episode about Skills [Antwon Tanner] coming back and some drama there with Mouth.

TDW: Is Antwon in that episode?

Moss: Oh, yeah. He is.

TDW: That’s great. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for that and everything else you have going on.

Moss: I’ve got a couple pilots out there that are kind of little independent ventures that I’m hoping will come to fruition. I shot a pilot called Hardwell with some good friends. It’s a comedy we shot and pitched to FX. Nothing’s happened with it yet but we’re crossing our fingers but not holding our breath. And there’s a golf pilot I shot with some guys in town here about a golf pro. Wilmington is really cool. There’s so many creative, talented people in this town that just drum up [projects] when there’s not any big things in town. The independent film scene in town is thriving and alive and will hopefully get realized and make some dough. When there’s nothing big happening, you can usually find something to do, something to act in, some way to work whether it’s for free and the thrill of the project or what.

TDW: I wish you the best of luck of everything.

Moss: Well, thank you so much. Thanks a lot, Shari.

Come back next Sunday for another exclusive interview!

TDW Interview Index





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

31 01 2010

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

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

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

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

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

TDW: How familiar were you with the show previously?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grubbs: I’ve definitely heard that one.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TDW: What’s next for Wakey!Wakey!?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then come back next week for another exclusive interview!

TDW Interview Index





TDW Look Back, Pt. 3

1 01 2010

Part 1, Part 2

ORIGINAL POSTS: Exclusive: Executive Producer Charles Rosin Reflects on 90210’s Early Years (10/4/09) and Exclusive: Executive Producer Paul Stupin Revisits Dawson’s Creek (11/15/09)

WHY I LOVE THEM: When I first started this site, I never dreamed I’d be interviewing anybody, much less the creators of the teen drama genre. (And major props go to Michael Cudlitz for being the first to agree to an interview!) These are the people that came up with the characters, cast the stars, generated the storylines. Sure, there’s also writers, story editors, casting agents. But these “showrunners,” as they’re called, shape the vision, connect the dots and generally turn a bunch of small parts into the large thing we’ve come to know and  love as teen dramas. There’s no greater treat than to hear about the decisions from the decision-makers themselves.

WHERE I’LL GO FROM HERE: Well, I’d like to fill in the holes. That means, Josh Schwartz (The O.C., Gossip Girl), Mark Schwahn (One Tree Hill) and Rebecca Sinclair (90210), step right up because I’m ready and willing to interview ya. And while I’ve already interviewed a number of others, the pool of teen drama role players is seemingly infinite. I’ve had the privilege of interviewing most of the current main stars in person when I interned at PEOPLE in ’08 but I hope to one day be able to do it again explicitly for TDW. And, of course, all the stars of yesteryear, too.





News Roundup: 90210, One Tree Hill and Gossip Girl

23 12 2009
  • Jason Priestley (Brandon, Beverly Hills 90210) did an interview about his new TV show, Meet Phil Fitz.
  • Priestley is also working on a film called The Last Rites of Ransom Pride.
  • I found a little info on Nashville, the new pilot Mark Schwahn (creator, One Tree Hill) is working on.
  • Brooke (Sophia Bush, One Tree Hill), Blair (Leighton Meester, Gossip Girl) and Serena (Blake Lively, Gossip Girl) are still in the Girl on Top tournament.
  • One Tree Hill and Gossip Girl are both mentioned in this TV Year in Review piece. OTH gets a second mention here.




Exclusive: Helen Ward Reveals the Secrets Behind Peyton’s Artwork on One Tree Hill

13 12 2009

As I watch and rewatch certain episodes of One Tree Hill, I never tire of seeing Peyton’s artwork. Even when you take out the connections it has to the storyline, the artistic talent there still just blows me away. I always wondered just who was responsible for it and so I did what all the Millenials do: I googled it.

Lo and behold, I came across the name Helen Ward and tracked her down via her Web site. Helen was kind enough to take some out of her busy schedule to give TDW the behind-the-scenes dish on creating art for One Tree Hill.

TeenDramaWhore: What was the process of joining One Tree Hill as an artist?  Surely it’s not the same as casting an actress, right?

Helen Ward: Before joining OTH, I had already worked as a set designer, storyboard artist and illustrator for a number of films.  But I still had to try out for the job.  I think they asked a bunch of people to give their shot at a particular drawing.  They were pretty specific about what they were looking for. I guess my work was closest. I got the job.

TDW: Did you try to get to know Hilarie Burton (Peyton) before drawing for her character?  Or was it more important just to understand the character?

Ward: I did not try and get to know Hilarie.  She is a talented actress and has done a great job with the character.  But it was the character I was drawing for and I learned what I needed to from the show and the scripts.

TDW: What is the process of drawing for a particular episode?  Does Burton, creator Mark Schwahn or anyone else give any input?

Ward: Mostly Robbie Beck, the props master for OTH, would contact me about drawings for the show.  Mark Schwahn always knew exactly what he wanted and it would be described in the script. So Robbie would send me the info and I would initially do some quick sketches.  Almost all of our communication was via e-mail.  I wish I could say something more exciting, like Hilarie and I would chat about what Peyton would be drawing, but the only time I ever spoke with her was when they were filming at my house in Wilmington (which oddly enough was Peyton’s house on the show.)   But I didn’t mention to her that I was her “ghost artist.”

TDW: In scenes that show Peyton drawing or painting, is she actually just going over your work?

Ward: When Peyton is shown drawing on camera, there would likely be very light lines for her to follow. Often I would give a finished version and an unfinished for this purpose.  If I remember correctly, it was usually the words that I left undone.

TDW: How has Peyton’s art evolved over the years?

Ward: I look back at the first season and think the drawings are awful!  I certainly became more comfortable working in her style, but I think her style also evolved to fit mine. Does that make sense? Initially I was trying to do something that just didn’t flow well from me.  The drawings were too clean. A little forced and not at all the way I liked to work.  But as the show progressed, I began to put more of my own style in them.   I became more comfortable and the work got better.

TDW: Do you have a favorite drawing or episode?

Ward: So my least favorite are just about anything from the first season, and my favorites are the very last drawings I did for the show [Episode 6.19, Letting Go].  Peyton does the panels of certain scenes from her past with Lucas [Chad Michael Murray].  I really had fun with those.  Each page had multiple panels and told a longer story than the single frame images that made up most of the previous work. Plus it was nice to come full circle.  I think my first drawing for the show was “You don’t know me.” One of those last ones was a version of that as well.   That was a fun five years.  I’m a little sad that Peyton has moved on.

TDW: Most people don’t know you’re behind all the artwork, right?

Ward: And who am I going to tell that I am behind the artwork?  I don’t think most people think about all the work that happens behind the scenes.  And it should be that way. The viewers should be caught up in the show.  Anyway, it doesn’t come up much.  I do have a niece who thinks it’s pretty cool.  And I impressed a bunch of third-graders at career day at my daughter’s school.  But they were much more excited by the work I did for the Hannah Montana movie.  Go figure.

TDW: Now that Burton has left the show, does it mean we won’t be seeing any more of your work?

Ward: I have been very busy with a variety of projects. I’ve done a number of portraits for movies, which is probably my favorite type of work. I just finished up work for “The Lottery Ticket,” [which is] currently being filmed in Atlanta.  Some of that work was like what I have done for OTH.  One of the characters is supposed to have created a whole bunch of sketches.  I think they are hanging in his bedroom.  I also did a huge religious painting that hangs in a church scene. (That was fun.)  I will eventually post more of this current work to my Web site.

TDW: What other projects do you work on or will you be working on?

Ward: I feel supremely lucky to do what I do.  I love drawing and couldn’t be happier than when I am working on a project, drawing away and listening to music.  And drawing for OTH was exceptional. It wasn’t just a one-time gig for a movie that is out in theaters for a couple weeks. It was ongoing and evolving. Although I had nothing to do with the concepts behind Peyton’s art, and her drawings are a tiny part of the show,  I have to admit I have loved hearing that people out there have connected with the artwork.  I have received e-mails from OTH fans who say they love to draw and the artwork on the show is really important to them.  How cool is that?!

Come back next week for another exclusive interview!

TDW Interview Index





Exclusive: Access Hollywood’s Maria Menounos Talks One Tree Hill

1 11 2009

With a hand in both the entertainment industry and the non-profit sector (through her charity Take Action Hollywood), Maria Menounos is arguably one of the busiest and most successful guest-stars ever to be on a teen drama.  Both before and after her recurring role on One Tree Hill as Jules, Menounos has been one of television’s most recognizable personalities.

TeenDramaWhore: One Tree Hill was your first recurring role on a television series. What made you want to stray from hosting?

Maria Menounos: I’m the type of person who enjoys wearing a lot of different hats – acting is another hat I enjoy wearing. At Emerson College, I studied both broadcast journalism and film.

TDW: What aspects of hosting prepared you for acting?

Menounos: There are so many aspects. The technical aspects of production – going through hair and make up, having call times, dealing with crew, etc. Also, in my case, it helped me learn more about directing but, more importantly, how to be comfortable on camera.

TDW: What attracted you to the role of Jules?

Menounos: I was really excited to work with the show creator, Mark  Schwahn, who said he had an amazing role for me. I knew any role he would create would be a great one.

TDW: Were you familiar with the show before you joined?

Menounos: I had seen a few episodes but definitely enjoyed what I had seen.

TDW: Most people, plagued by the stereotypes of our society, would have a hard time believing someone like Keith (Craig Sheffer) could get a girl like Jules. That ended up being a significant part of the story. Did you agree with that premise?

Menounos: I most certainly agreed! Keith was sensitive and sweet and handsome in a rugged, real man sort of way. On a side note, Craig was also an amazing actor who had been directed by Robert Redford and co-starred with Brad Pitt amongst other greats. He was generous to work with and lent me acting tips that I implement to this day.

TDW: Did you know right from the beginning that Dan (Paul Johansson) was behind Jules and Keith’s relationship–or were you surprised, just like the viewers were?

Menounos: I knew.

TDW: We never found out where Jules went when she stood Keith up at the altar (Episode 2.16, Somehwere A Clock is Ticking). What do you think happened to her?

Menounos: She ran away, feeling bad for Keith as well as ashamed of herself and what she had done.

TDW: Was it your decision not to continue on the show, or was it dictated by the story?

Menounos: It was dictated by the story.

TDW: Did you keep up with the show after you left? Specifically, were you/are you aware of what happened to Keith?

Menounos: I’m so busy with my other shows that I wasn’t able to watch as much as I would like. However, I did find out about Keith.

TDW: Are you still in touch with any of the cast?

Menounos: I am but it’s the same as with most of my friends. It’s definitely hard to remain in touch with the schedule I keep. The news never takes a rest.

TDW: Are you ever recognized for your role on OTH, as opposed to for being a famous TV host?

Menounos: I continuously get recognized from my work on OTH. Fans are always approaching me!

TDW: After One Tree Hill, you did some voice-over work and more one-episode guest roles. Do you have any interest in returning to acting in a larger capacity?

Menounos: I just wrapped on a starring role opposite Christopher Lloyd and a few other names and talents in a comedy feature, “Serial Buddies” – the first serial killer buddy comedy of all time – lol. I really have to pick and choose roles carefully because I only have so much time each year to act. “Serial Buddies” was one of those super original scripts, kind of a “Napoleon Dynamite”/”Superbad” feel that I didn‘t want to miss out on.

TDW: You are one of an increasing number of celebrities interacting with fans on Twitter. What is one thing you like about it, and one thing you don’t?

Menounos: I like being able to communicate directly to fans, hear their opinions and receive their support.  It’s fun and allows people to get to know “me” better.

TDW: Lastly, for those not familiar, tell me about your charity, Take Action Hollywood.

Menounos: We are an all-volunteer group that essentially utilizes the power of Hollywood to affect for positive social change. We take on a wide range of subjects and causes. I’m proud of what we have achieved for a small group that puts most, if not all, of its donations towards our programs and not administrative costs.

Come back next week for another exclusive interview!

TDW Interview Index








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