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

13 09 2010

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

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

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

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

TDW: Did you celebrate on set?

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

TDW: Really? I’d love to try it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eggold: Oh, wow.

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

Eggold: Yes!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eggold: I like your interpretation better.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TDW Interview Index






Exclusive: Cari Moskow on Being a True Teen Drama Whore

11 04 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TDW: What are you doing there?

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

TDW: Are you originally from the Wilmington area?

Moskow: Yes.

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

Moskow: Yep.

TDW: What do you love about Wilmington?

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

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

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

TDW: Are you on Twitter?

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

TDW: Baby steps; one thing at a time.

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

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

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

Come back next Sunday for another exclusive interview!

TDW Interview Index





Exclusive: 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: 90210, Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill and More

3 02 2010




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





Exclusive: Get Reacquainted With One Tree Hill’s Lindsey McKeon

10 01 2010

Well, One Tree Hill fans, we’re in the home stretch! The show comes back from hiatus one week from tomorrow. As the promo for 7.13 shows, we’ll be seeing a familiar face: Taylor James, sister to Haley (Bethany Joy Galeotti) and Quinn (Shantel VanSanten).

Taylor, played by Lindsey McKeon, was introduced in season 2 (Episode 2.11, The Heart Brings You Back), when she returns to Tree Hill after getting kicked out of college. Her homecoming turns sour when Nathan (James Lafferty) recalls that Taylor was the first girl he ever slept with, complicating his relationship with Haley. After causing a bit more damage, Taylor leaves town (Episode 2.13, The Hero Dies In This One)–but Nathan meets up with her later in the season (Episode 2.18, The Lonesome Road). Viewers actually had a chance to vote in a poll on whether the two characters would sleep together. Fans voted against it and we haven’t seen Taylor since…until now.

It seemed only natural, then, to seek out McKeon for an update on both her whereabouts and Taylor’s. Here’s hoping this wets your appetite just enough to get through the next eight days:

TeenDramaWhore: Do you remember what first attracted you to the role of Taylor?

Lindsey McKeon: The fact that she is “free spirited,” says and does things that I or most people wouldn’t do and that she shakes things up a bit!  To me, it’s great to play a character that “allows me to act out of character.” That’s what’s so brilliant about this art!!

TDW: Fans have been hoping for Taylor’s return for years. How did this come about?

McKeon: Grace… You know, I’m not sure exactly, but I’m glad it did!

TDW: What can you tell us about your appearance? Will it be for more than one episode?

McKeon: Taylor returns for at least 3 episodes and does what she does best!!!  😉

TDW: What do you think Taylor’s been up to in the years that have passed? Is she still the James family’s wild child?

McKeon: I believe she’s traveled around and tried to “find herself” in many different places, which has given her an experiential yet sometimes painful life.  And though home is where the heart is for her, I believe it’s one of the most difficult and challenging places for her to be.

TDW: Many fans are also familiar with you from your prior roles on Saved By The Bell: The New Class and Guiding Light. What are you most recognized for?

McKeon: It’s funny to me that all these years later I still get recognized from Saved By The Bell. I have no idea what I get recognized for the most, though I’ve heard ‘It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’ ‘One Tree Hill’ and ‘Saved By The Bell’ a bunch. But mostly I just get people telling me that I “look familiar” or “remind them of someone famous.”

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

McKeon: It was something that had been buzzing around the set when I was still there [in 2004], so it wasn’t a big shock.  For me mostly, I’m just interested to see what path everyone’s new lives will be taking!

TDW: What other projects are you working on now?

McKeon: There are a couple films that are in the works and a couple in the process of coming out!  Repo and The Land That Time Forgot being two of them. You can always stay up to date by checking IMDB.com!!

TDW: What do you like to do in your spare time?

McKeon: I love to travel, yoga, meditation, workout, dance, see LOTS of movies and spend time with the ones who are closest to me.

TDW: Many celebrities have gotten Twitter accounts to interact with their fans. Have you thought of getting one? Do you have an official site I can direct people to?

McKeon: Sorry, I do not have a Twitter account and I no longer have an official website.

TDW: My research also led me to this MySpace account that claims to be you. Is it actually yours?

McKeon: No, I have never had a MySpace!

Come back next week for another exclusive interview!

TDW Interview Index





News Roundup: Gossip Girl, 90210 and One Tree Hill

30 12 2009
  • Taylor Momsen (Jenny, Gossip Girl) is on the cover of the February issue of Seventeen. The picture is very “early season 1 Jenny.” The accompanying video is…not.
  • Momsen also created a playlist on MySpace of music she “can’t stop listening to right now!”
  • E! Online has a brief interview with Leighton Meester (Blair, Gossip Girl). I assume the pregnancy she mentioned on the show is actually Dorota and not quite the spoiler the interviewer thought it was. We’ll see, though!
  • Hate linking to them but apparently Meester and Kellan Lutz (George, 90210) were at a club opening the other night and the photo is kind of cute.
  • Lutz will also be hosting JustJared’s New Year’s Eve event.
  • The CW is hosting a contest where the winners get a trip to the set of One Tree Hill for the season finale. Note the word “season.”
  • Hilarie Burton (Peyton, One Tree Hill) has a new vlog on the SoGoPro site.







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