Sabrina Carpenter talks about her role in “Girl Meets World”

Sabrina Carpenter is a 13 years old actress and a very talented musician. She is a Hollywood Records artist and her song “Smile” was released on “Disney Fairies” CD. She was also recently cast in the series pilot for “Girl Meets World”, the sequel to “Boy Meets World”. In Disney Junior’s “Sofia The First”, she voices and also sings for the role of Princess Vivian. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Sabrina about her role in “Girl Meets World” and about the pilot.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your character, Maya Fox, in upcoming series “Girl Meets World”?
Sabrina Carpenter: Maya is Riley Matthews’ best friend. She is a little darker than Riley. She cares so much for her. I think that is what keep her sane is having Riley by her side. They are two opposites but love each other so much and have such an appreciation for each other.

MG: How was it shooting the pilot episode?
SC: It was so much fun. We were also very lucky to have some of the original cast from “Boy Meets World” visit us on set. That was so amazing. We are working with some really amazingly talented writers and producers, along with a great cast. We are so lucky that Ben (Savage) and Danielle (Fishel) are back on this show as well. I think that everybody is going to love it!

Click here to read our interview with Sabrina for her role in Disney Junior’s “Sofia The First”

WWE Superstar Brodus Clay talks about first film role in “No One Lives”

WWE Superstar Brodus Clay makes his first onscreen performance in the Ryuhei Kitamura directed film titled “No One Lives”. Brodus plays the role of Ethan alongside Luke Evans in what he describes as a “bad group meets worse guy” film. Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Brodus recently about the film and what it was he liked most about the process.

Adam Lawton: What can we be expected from the film “No One Lives”?
Brodus Clay: The film is a cool sort of retro flick. It was shot on film which I think is also really cool. The special effects on the film were also done very old school. The story is a bad group meets worse guy and things take off from there. There are some interesting kill scenes that go along with a pretty good story line.

AL: What was it that interested you in doing the film?
BC: The opportunity knocked and I think when that happens you should take whatever is being offered and make it yours. I wasn’t too concerned with what the role was as it was a new opportunity for me. With my persona on TV now the character I play in the film is a complete contrast. I think it’s a good thing to be able to show your different sides.

AL: Did you have a favorite part of the process?
BC: I really enjoyed the fight scene and the rehearsals I did with Luke Evans. We didn’t know each other really well in the beginning and he was worried I was going to hit him so I played with him quite a bit. By the end of it I was real pleased with how things turned out. It’s funny because when we were shooting I kept swinging and hitting this light that was above us. The director would then yell cut and I had someone whispering in my ear to keep doing it. (Laughs) it was just this weirdly lit fight with this other light swinging back and forth. I got to see the scene at one of the premiers and it looked really good.

AL: What were some of the differences you noticed between performing in the ring as opposed to in front of a camera on a film set?
BC: The differences were huge. There are so many camera angles being shot and a lot of repetition goes on. In the WWE were typically doing things in one take because when your shooting live you can’t stop and ask for another take. (Laughs) There is also a lot of behind the scenes stuff going with movies that no one ever sees while the WWE works with a generally smaller crew that is working as fast as they can to get things ready for that night. There’s a lot more preparation in movies.

AL: Is acting something you see yourself wanting to do more of?
BC: 100 percent! I got the bug and it was a lot of fun. I think I can certainly balance the two and I am looking to do more. I had a lot of fun and am looking to try a different avenue next time.

AL: Do you have any other projects you can tell us about?
BC: The WWE is an ongoing project that is nonstop. We literally are working 365 days a year. I am always busy working the grind.

Naomi Grossman talks about her role of Pepper in “American Horror Story: Asylum”

Naomi Grossman played the role of Pepper in “American Horror Story: Asylum”.  She completely transformed for her role in the show.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Naomi about her role in “American Horror Story: Asylum” and her highlight from the show.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your audition for the role of Pepper in “American Horror Story: Asylum”?
Naomi Grossman: They didn’t let on as to who or what the character was… I just knew she was petite, given that I was one of the few non-little people in the waiting room (and well, I’m only 5′). There were two parts to the audition. First was an improv. They gave us a ball, and asked us to persuade the casting director to play with us, like a child. Now, in retrospect, we know that was early Pepper. Then, we did one of Jessica Lange’s monologues from Season One. Which obviously showcased the later, evolved Pepper. But none of this made sense to us at the time. I mean, why read scenes that had already been shot, much less by the star herself? But now we know they just wanted to see if we had range.

MG: Take us through your transformation to become Pepper?
NG: I went in for a good seven or so preliminary makeup-meetings. First, before I was even cast, they took a bunch of pictures of me, which they manipulated to see how I would look as the character. That, and of course Schlitzie from the 1930’s, were their models. Then they made casts of my head and hands– I had to sit very still while they poured silicone over me, which hardened and would later be cut out to make my various prosthetic pieces. There was a specialist brought in to punch in the hair for the eyebrows and arms, and another to create the teeth. I met with an optometrist to fit me for contact lenses. Once all these pieces were in place, they put them together in an initial makeup test. At first, they covered my hair with a bald cap. It looked fine for my money, but these guys are consummate professionals. They (and the camera) see things we non-makeup folks can’t. So it was decided that they would shave my head– which made their job each morning much easier. Not that they had an easy job! Every day they applied the various prosthetic pieces one-by-one with adhesive, then painted them with an airbrush. Then I’d go to hair to get my pony curled, and to my trailer to get into wardrobe. But this was just my physical transformation– becoming Pepper as an actress was a whole other process.

MG: At what point did you find out what the role entailed in terms of the look?
NG: The day I was cast. I went in for my initial makeup meeting and they showed me the pictures of me that they’d manipulated. They told me I would look like this “Freaks” character named Schlitzie, who from that point forward, I watched non-stop.

MG: What research, if any, did you do to get into character psyche?
NG: Obviously, watching “Freaks” was pivotal. I read a lot about microcephaly. I’d practice, emulating Schlitzie’s movements and expressions alone in my apartment. I worked with a coach, with whom I shaped a bit of a back story. Because even though Pepper didn’t say much at first, she needed to be a full character, with a past and dreams and needs like any other. And of course, I wanted to be sensitive since this is a real condition… I was deathly afraid of hate-mail. Especially given my comedy background where we’re encouraged to make fun. But this was obviously not the place.

MG: How was it working with the musical number in the episode “Name Game”?
NG: That was a blast. I was truly in my element. I remember the AD over a microphone saying, “Everyone can go bigger except Pepper.” There were a ton of us packed in that common room, dancing seemingly nonstop, while “The Name Game” played on a loop. We shot top to bottom, the entire song at a time. There was minimal blocking for the principles, and cameras on cranes swirling around. I remember worrying how (with my one working eyeball) I’d navigate through all those dancing extras, without bumping into a big, expensive, moving camera or worse yet, Jessica Lange. I danced up a sweat in that sweater and fat suit, so the makeup people were constantly running out to poke and fan me between takes. Needless to say, I was sore the next day– I hadn’t spent the day crouched over like that since Pepper went pee!

MG: Are you shocked with the fans reaction to your character?
NG: Of course. There’s just no way to anticipate these things. You don’t take a little co-star or guest-star part expecting to be tattooed on people’s limbs! Or made into street art, promoting you as President! I knew it was a cool character, but the cast was star-studded– who’s going to pay attention to me when there’s Chloe Sevigny and Marc Consuelos and Adam Levine? For all I knew I was just one of many pinheads. It wasn’t until my first day on set that I was able to look around and see that I was, in fact, the craziest one in the asylum.

MG: Looking back on the season, do you have a highlight?
NG: All of it. From the moment I was cast, to the season’s end– it was one big highlight. Having zero expectations. Then suddenly, becoming my own internet meme, and taking over Tumblr. Driving by the “Pepper for President” posters around town. Seeing my face tattooed on a fan’s leg and chiseled into pint glasses. Making front page of the “Huff Po,” and “Best of 2012” by Entertainment Weekly. Watching my IMDb star meter shoot from 93K to 3K, then 3K to 300, settling somewhere between Catherine Zeta Jones and J-Lo. Stepping onto the red carpet and feeling those cameras flash. Hearing a fan shout, “We love you, pinhead” from the audience at Paly Fest. Getting my very own chair. Being affiliated with such a high-profile show, nominated for 17 Emmys! Working so intimately with powerhouses like Jessica Lange and James Cromwell. Having such a fun, over-the-top character to play… then watching her evolve, basically getting two roles in one, as well as the chance to really use my acting chops. Singing and dancing and delivering babies and monologues. Never having to do my hair again. From the superficial to the profound, it was all a highlight.

MG: Since Ryan Murphy is good with returning actors, any word about season three?
NG: No word. But even at the height of the Peppermania, I never knew if or when I’d be back. We pinheads are used to being clueless!

Sibel Kekilli talks about her role on HBO’s “Game of Thrones”

Sibel Kekilli currently co-stars on HBO’s “Game of Thrones” as Shae, the concubine and lover of Peter Dinklage. She started as a guest star in the first season and has since become a series regular in season 3. Media Mikes had a chance to briefly ask Sibel a few questions about the show and her character.

Mike Gencarelli: What did you feel your biggest change/challenge for Shae was going into the third season of “Game of Thrones”?
Sibel Kekilli: To survive. Most of the time you don’t know whether your character will survive the episode or not. George, Dan and David are able to write you out easily out; they are the authors.

MG: How is it working with a cast of 28 characters? Do you find it hard to stand out?
SK: I am very fortunate that most of my scenes are with one of the leading actors, as to mention these wonderful actors like Peter, Lena or Sophie. And I do believe that Dan and David pay very much attention to each character’s individuality to ensure that everyone has their moment.

MG: Have you ever had the opportunity to chat with George R.R. Martin about your character?
SK: Yes, I did. And he was telling me, that the Shae on the screen is different but much better than his Shae in the books… well, actually, he was laughing. George R. R. Martin is a great author.

MG: Have you read ahead in the books to see where you character is going?
SK: As the scripts sometimes really differ from the books, I have not read them so far.

MG: How can you reflect on the fandom surrounding this show?
SK: It is crazy. The fans are very unique, with lots of passion about every little detail, and since it is a novel adaption, it is a really tough challenge for them, when something happens that differs from the books. Yet, that does not mean that they don’t like it.

MG: After being involved with the show during production, do you still watch each week during the season?
SK: Not every week. In Germany the show airs a bit delayed.

Sabrina Carpenter talks her role of Princess Vivian on Disney Junior’s “Sofia The First”

Sabrina Carpenter is a 13 years old actress and a very talented musician. She is a Hollywood Records artist and her song “Smile” was released on “Disney Fairies” CD. She was also recently cast in the series pilot for “Girl Meets World”, the sequel to “Boy Meets World”. In Disney Junior’s “Sofia The First”, she voices and also sings for the role of Princess Vivian. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Sabrina about her role in “Sofia The First” and her passion for music.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you land the role of Princess Vivian on “Sofia The First”?
Sabrina Carpenter: There were so many great roles that were sent over to audition for including Princess Chloe, Princess Hildegard, Princess Amber and of course Sofia. Then Princess Vivian came along and for my audition, I recorded a voice over in my studio and it just clicked. So we sent it in and a couple of weeks later, I got the call. I was just really surprised and excited. I really wanted to be a part of “Sofia The First”. It is such an adorable show and I knew it was going to be a hit for young girls (and boys). I am really glad I got the chance to be apart of it.

MG: What was it about Princess Vivian that you connected with?
SC: She is so different from me, which I think is very cool. I have never played a character that is very shy. So adjusting my voices to that was very fun. She also stutters and has confidence problems, so it was a great challenge for me to create these sounds and feelings that she makes. It was really fun for me.

MG: “All You Need” is one of my favorite songs from the show; where you aware of the song when you got the role?
SC: Yes I was, it was in the script. I was very excited that she had a song. Some of the characters on the show don’t sing and I was very fortunate that she did. Once I heard the song, I knew that little girls were going to love it. Since then I hear that a lot actually. I am told constantly how much people love the song and I am really glad about that. I think it sounds great for the duet with Sofia (played by Ariel Winter) and they match very well together.

MG: Can we expect to see more Princess Vivian in the coming episodes?
SC: I think you will definitely see more Princess Vivian. Right after “The Shy Princess”, the episode “Blue Ribbon Bunny” aired and Princess Vivian was in that one also. She had some cameos with her dragon, Crackle, who is a fabulous character. she is so fun and energetic and brings a lot of what Princess Vivian doesn’t have to reality. So I think in the upcoming months you should be seeing more of Princess Vivian. There will be another new song as well from Princess Vivian, so keep an eye out for that as well.

MG: You have a beautiful singing voice; tell us about what inspires you most about music?
SC: Wow, so many things inspire me. There are so many different great songs and artists in this world. I know that I am still very young but I have always loved singing older songs. When I sing, I just poor my heart and soul into it and hope that it comes out. I am very fortunate so far that a lot of people are supporting me on YouTube.

MG: You have released music on the “Disney Fairies” & “Sofia The First” CDs; can we expect a solo album in the future?
SC: I am actually working on my EP right now as we speak. I am very excited for everybody to hear the new music that we have been working on. “Smile” on the “Disney Fairies” CD was such a great experience for me. It was my first song released through Hollywood Records. Now we are just working to make new music for everybody and I hope that they are going to love it!

Inga Cadranel talk about her role in BBC America’s hit show “Orphan Black”

Inga Cadranel is currently playing the role of Detective Angela Deangelis on BBC America’s “Orphan Black”. She is also know for her roles of Aoife in “Lost Girl”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Inga about her TV roles, her love of sci-fi and her turn to start producing movies.

Mike Gencarelli: What drew you to the role of Detective Angela Deangelis on BBC America’s “Orphan Black”?
Inga Cadranel: The thing that drew me to the project was the creators John Fawcett and Graeme Manson. I happened to work with both of them before on different series here in Canada. John Fawcett was the producer/director for another cop show I did called “The Bridge”. That was were I got my chops as the detective type actor and we did a lot of cool research for that show. So when this part of Angela Deangelis came up for this show, it seemed for me to be a perfect fit for me to work again with John. He was really stoked to have me reprise another hard-ass female detective, which is a role I love.

MG: Tell us about the character and what you like most about her?
IC: Well, I can say that she is not the most likable character. She is the one that never seems to get what she wants, which is Beth’s partner Art (played by Kevin Hanchard).  She is gunning for her partner because he is really high up in the precinct. She is a pit of a keener and very by the textbook. But soon enough this will change and she will get more out of it then she wants. I think she is a tight ass. She doesn’t have as many redeeming qualities than other characters I have played. She is good at what she does and is very tough. She is layered, which I was told they are going to explore more of those in the second season and that makes it more fun for me. At this point it is just about her drive to chase after the Beth/Sarah character. So I look forward to getting more into the nitty-gritty of her character.

MG: Compared to your other roles; what was your biggest challenge?
IC: It is really fun and it is hard to think of a challenge. It is a great set and awesome actors to work with. Maybe the challenge is that I have to play against myself in being a bit more of a kiss ass. Her choices wouldn’t necessarily be the ones that I would make. She is not as cool [laughs]. But otherwise, I wouldn’t say any major challenges. I had a great time on the set from every department. It was like a big family.

MG: How was it acting along side Tatiana Maslany?
IC: She is really great. She had such a wild challenge of doing different accents and voices. It was very impressive. The whole show is that actress, so thank God that they picked Tat because she is amazing and I have nothing but good things to say about her.

MG: Tell us about what you like most about playing Bo’s succubus mother, Aoife in “Lost Girl”?
IC: That is a whole other thing. That role is super fun for me. To play a bad guy that everyone hates. You don’t know what her motives are and she is just creepy. I have never played a part like that before. I can play her with more of a character aspect than in “Orphan Black”. It is a really fun part and great show.

MG: What do you like most about working in the sci-fi genre?
IC: I love sci-fi. I am a huge fan. It just gives you such freedom. I have always been fan of thrillers and mysteries as well and that really plays into the sci-fi aspect. The possibilities are endless since it is so broad and out of the realm. You can play out these great stories. Like the cloning in “Orphan Black”, it is not that far from what is happening right now. We are able to clone sheep. It is here. It is exciting, scary and to make to show that it can actually happen in real world is what makes sci-fi cool. My father-in-law, Michael Hogan, also worked in the sci-fi genre with “Battlestar Galactica”. It is funny we keep saying that we are going to run into each other at conventions.

MG: Besides acting you are also an accomplished musician ranging from Opera to touring with punk rock band, Battlestar; tell us about that side of Inga?
IC: It is really different but it was also more of mine passion before I became a mother. I have two kids now. I played in a punk band for many years and then I had my son, so it is just such a different lifestyle. I couldn’t do it anymore. But music is still a real passion of mine. I have been writing some stuff at home with my guitar still but I haven’t tried to do anything with it just yet. But I always see myself getting back to music.

MG: You are also currently producing two feature films and developing a 30-minute comedy series; tell us about those?
IC: My brother, my partner and myself wrote and are developing a 30-minute comedy series about a neighborhood here in Toronto called Kensington Market, the show is called “The Market”. I lived there for 10 years and wanted to do a series about it. Every city has a neighborhood like this. We are in the stage of trying to get our pitch package developed and start shopping it around to networks. The other two features are being optioned and we are in the process of attaching names to them right now and gathering funding. This is a whole new side of the business for me with producing. I see this as a great way to get behind the other side of the camera. I am going to start doing both and I see myself in 10 years focusing solely on producing and possibly directing.


Related Content

Lia Beldam reflects on her role as Room 237’s guest in Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining”

You may not know the name Lia Beldam, but you will know her by her work. She played a very important scene in Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” as the woman in Room 237 and that seduces Jack Nicholson in the film. After the film, Lia never got into acting full-time as she was already modeling. Media Mikes had a chance to track down Lia and ask her a few questions about the film and reflecting on her role.

Mike Gencarelli: Let’s start at the beginning, how did you get involved with “The Shining”?
Lia Beldam: I was a model. My agency were asked to send some people for the ballroom scene a movie called “The Shining”. So I went along thinking I would be in this ballroom scene. Prior to that, I had done a lot of nude shots for commercials and someone from the film saw them and said that they could cast me for another role in the film. I said “Sure”, since I didn’t have a clue what the film was about anyway. I went in to audition and didn’t even have to undress, so that was easy. And that is how I got the job.

MG: Did you know the extend of your scene before signing on?
LB: I knew it was a nude scene and that I wasn’t going to be in the ballroom scene. I had no idea what “The Shining” was about. They just told me it was be a nude scene and I was perfectly fine with that.

MG: How was it working with Jack Nicholson in your scene?
LB: He was very nice. As you know, I am not an actress. My main job was and still is modeling. I told him that he needed to help me. He said he would sit with me and discuss the shot. He was just very nice and absolutely charming.

MG: Tell us what it was like being directed by the legendary Stanley Kubrick?
LB: It was just another job for me to be honest. When I did my modeling, there was always an art director on set telling me what to do. It was just another job. I wasn’t really falling over in amazement being in the same room. I wasn’t familiar with how famous he way. But still he was very pleasant to work with.

MG: Did you have any interactions with Billie Gibson aka “Old Woman in Bath”?
LB: Yes I did. I believe she was about 74 at the time when we shot and was a friend of the Kubrick’s. She wasn’t an actress either. She just did it as a favor to them. She was very nice.

MG: How long did it take to shoot the one scene?
LB: It was ridiculous. I tell you what Mike, it took a whole week. Very often though, it was long waits for me sitting my dressing room. They would change something in the set whether it was the carpet or something else. It wasn’t the actually shoot itself although he did do many many different takes. I didn’t mind the many takes though since I was enjoying kissing Jack Nicholson, that was sure [laughs]. I was paid for a whole week so I was there for a whole week. It was just wonderful.

MG: When you completed this role, did you ever think that we would be still talking about it over 30 years later?
LB: Not particularly no [laughs]. My son recently put up a picture up for me online with me and Jack Nicholson and since then I have been contacted quite a bit. But I really enjoy it and it has been great fun.

MG: After this film and not being an actress, why didn’t you pursue more acting gigs?
LB: I just pursued modeling. I had some very good jobs and I just loved it. I did a few very little bits in films but nothing special at all after “The Shining”. Models are always asked to go on films to bulk out scenes. It would have been lovely if someone had asked me to do more films but they didn’t. So I just kept on working as a model and was completely happy.

MG: Have you ever considered attending horror conventions to meet fans?
LB: Never. I didn’t even know what a convention was until recently. I have never be asked to do anything like that. I live in a very tiny village in the middle of nowhere in England and I have never thought about those things. Sounds like fun though!

Joseph Julian Soria talks about role on "Army Wives”

Joseph Julian Soria has appeared in a variety of films and television series ranging from “Crank 2” and “Fast and Furious” to the hit Showtime series “Dexter” and “Sons of Anarchy”. Soria will be reprising his role as Hector Cruz on the seasons “Army Wives” and Media Mikes had a chance to talk with him about his second season on the show and his role in the film “Philly Brown”.

Adam Lawton: What can we expect from your character this season?
Joseph Julian Soria: You can expect to see Hector struggling with what may be the end of his marriage and his discontent with how the war is being handled. You also get to see him grow up and become a man. He has an interesting storyline this season.

AL: With this being your second season on the show were you allowed to give any input on the direction of your character?
JJS: Yes, that was one of the first things Jeff Melvoin mentioned when we found out the show was getting picked up for another season. He encouraged me to call the writers office with any ideas I had. I made a couple of calls and stopped by the office and gave my input, fortunately we were all on the same page.

AL: What do you enjoy most about being on the show?
JJS: I enjoy having the opportunity to play a character that is going through a lot and that the men who have served our country can relate to. Hector has a lot of internal conflict going on and it’s great to be able to play with those emotions and see how it plays out on the show.

AL: Can you tell us about your work on the film “Filly Brown”?
JJS: Putting it simply, I do not play a nice guy. He is a total jerk to an outsider looking in. But the way I like to look at it is, I play a character who is insecure, vulnerable and willing to do whatever it takes to hold on to his spotlight. And once Filly starts to take away his shine we get to see how far he will go to keep it.

AL: Do you have any other projects in the works you can tell us about?
JJS: I have another film coming out later this year called “Mission Park” which will be released by Lions Gate on all media besides theatrical. I’m really excited for people to see this film. I’m also in talks with a few other projects but nothing I’m ready to talk about yet.

Dallas Roberts talks about role in "Shadow People" and "The Walking Dead"

Dallas Roberts is known best for playing the scientist Milton Mamet in season three of “The Walking Dead”. He is also the star of the new supernatural thriller “Shadow People”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Dallas about his new film and his favorite part of working on “The Walking Dead”.

Mike Gencarelli: What drew you to work on the film “Shadow People”?
Dallas Roberts: I was really drawn to the suspense aspect of the film. It is a thriller with out having to be gory. It felt grounded in the mythology of the story behind it. Once you start to read about it and you find yourself getting sucked in. It will get inside of your head real quick.

MG: Did you do research into SUNDS and the true story behind the film?
DR: Yes, I did my actor’s research. I didn’t pay much attention to the radio story. I wanted to play the part rather than reflect it. Those figures have been involved in mythology in many different cultures for a long long time. That is what I really found very fascinating. I also did a lot of reading about it. The belief that your brain does manifest your reality, I found that to be a really interesting exploration of that idea.

MG: Tell us about your character Charlie Crowe?
DR: He is a local radio personality, back when that was possible before the corporatization of radio like satellite radio. I run this late night paranormal discussion talk show. I tried not to follow the events and really stick with the character in the script.

MG: With “Shadow People” and “The Walking Dead”, what attracts you to the horror genre?
DR: Everybody loves to get those jolts in their seats. I have kids and there is nothing more fun than when we are watching a movie and something shocking happens and it sends them for a jolt. That immediate response to something is addictive. What you are looking for there is that sort of icy chill and sudden intake of breath.

MG: What has been the highlight for you working on “The Walking Dead” this season?
DR: I would have to say David Morrissey. He is an incredible actor and very fun to work with. We have a barrel of laughs the whole time. It is funny, when I signed up to be on “The Walking Dead” up to that point it had been people in the woods fighting for survival. I was sort of set down in a place where it took a long time for Milton to get some dirt on him…let alone blood. Hanging out with David has been very fun.

MG: What else do you have in the cards?
DR: I am around in “The Good Wife” every now and then. I got a film called “The Dallas Buyer’s Club”, which should be coming out soon. Then we are just putting together the pieces on whatever is going to happen next on “The Walking Dead”. One foot in front of the other, as they say.

Sarah Dawson talks about competing on "Survivor: Philippines" and kissing Jeff Probst

Sarah Dawson was a contestant on the recent “Survivor: Philippines” and was voted off the island on day 13 of the show.  She was also the first contestant in the show’s 25 seasons to have ever kissed the host Jeff Probst.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Sarah about her time on the show and, of course, the kiss.

Adam Lawton: What was it that interested you in trying out for the show?
Sarah Dawson: I have always been inspired by the show. Growing up in a conservative household as a vegetarian who spent most of her time camping, living outside and procuring degrees in a BA in Strategic Public Relations and a BS in Psychology really reflected to me the passion that I have for everything “Survivor” is about. I love it all, the scheming, the travel, the excitement of having all of my worldly possessions stripped away from me. I wanted to see how I could perform once all of the social constructs I have in my life were taken away

AL: Can you tell us about your audition process?
SD: I have been a HUGE fan of “Survivor” for years. I spent about 5 years trying to get some of my friends cast on the show and despite getting close, it didn’t work. In January of 2012 I decided that if I couldn’t get myself on “Survivor” I had no business giving anyone else advice on how to get on the show. That Sunday I recorded a one minute video and submitted it online within 10 hours, casting was on the phone with me and I was in LA meeting with producers just days later. During the final casting process I completely went “all in” and showed my genuine energy and passion for the show. Like every other aspect of my life, I took advantage of the situation as much as I could. I freaked out and got so excited when I met Jeff Probst and even petted his hair while saying the Lords Prayer. It was such a fun moment that I will never forget. I may have also grabbed Mark Burnett’s ass while he was walking by me into the casting room. Some chances in life only come once and I lived every second of my casting process so I would not miss one second or opportunity and have no regrets.

AL: Did you do anything to prepare yourself prior to filming? (watch past episodes etc.)
SD: As such a fan of the show, I think for about 2 years I watch previous “Survivor” episodes EXCLUSIVELY. I knew I would be involved n the show at some point and I prepared for years. Once I knew I was cast, I stepped my training into high gear. I gained 12 pounds by eating amazing burritos and doing weight training. I purchased and read 6 books in detail about the game and the psychology behind it. To prepare for “Survivor” I even ate all the ants off my kitchen table to test my commitment to the game! Before eating the ants I did discuss it with them, either they would be removed by my exterminator or they could make themselves part of “Survivor” history. They were thrilled with the opportunity and I came out ready for the game!!!

AL: Can you give us the low down on the Jeff Probst kiss?
SD: There is nothing more I would like to give you the low down on! Man were those kisses heated! When I was voted out of “Survivor”: Philippines it was time for me to have my torch snuffed by Jeff and just like every other moment of my life, I did not want to walk away from that second with any regrets. I stood in front of him for what seemed like hours, the people around me and tribal counsel disappeared from view and I the only thing I could see was the two of us, standing so close with so much energy between us. After a few seconds of me staring at him and trying to build up my courage, I could see the fear in his eyes and the anxiety of him wondering what I was about about to do to him because I obviously would not be one of those contestants that silently left tribal counsel without capturing one last second of such a rare opportunity. I chickened out on kissing him on the lips and hit him somewhere between his mouth and his cheek. It felt so empowering to have that hug back from him on my way out of the show. It was exhilarating.

AL: How about during the live reunion show?
SD: Now, the kiss during the live reunion show in Los Angeles was quite different. HA! I watched my entire season of “Survivor” at home thinking about kissing him during the live show and just like they read my mind, every day my Twitter followers would tweet me that I should kiss him during the live show so I built up my courage for 13 weeks and then finally the night came when I would once again be standing in front of my darling Dimples. I know the live shows happen very quickly because there is so much material to cover and once I had my window of opportunity, it would close in a flash. I was sitting about 6 feet off the stage with two rows of people in front of me between Jeff and I. I navigated in my head the quickest route to his lips and at the beginning of the show I took off my high heels and hid them behind another cast mate because I knew there was no way I could make the jump to the ground with them on. The show seemed to last forever but I knew he would speak to me at some point and that would be my moment. At the very end of the show he looked directly in my eyes and said my name and started asking me a question about the kiss at tribal council. Once he said my name I was in a daze and lost a few seconds just because he was speaking to me. I quickly snapped out of it and thought “MOVE! THIS IS YOUR LAST SHOT!!! MOVE NOW!!!!! It wasn’t shown on the show but I pushed Carter to the left, Put my right hand on Penners shoulder and launched myself over Denise and hit the ground barefoot splitting my shin open. In a flash with one move I lept from that spot to right in front of Jeff simultaneously wrapping my hands around the nape of his neck for the kiss I will always remember. Once I felt his hair in my hands and his skin against mine I put my lips to his and experienced a dream that is held by millions of women all over the world. We kissed for about 25 minutes, my shin was bleeding from my fall, the audience was rolling with laughter and his lips were there with mine, pressed against mine and as he held my arms in his hands, he kissed me back on live television! After the kiss I did a little touchdown dance and told myself I would never allow any opportunity no matter how small its window, to go by me without jumping over people, injuring myself, and risking poor manners to achieve my dreams.

AL: What was the hardest part for you about being on the show?
SD: Playing “Survivor” was a dream of mine. I wasn’t even hungry on the show since I was able to put on so many extra pounds. I was thrilled to be out there. The most difficult thing for me was watching other people complain about being hungry, about being dirty, about missing their iPods… As others would complain I could do nothing but think to myself how grateful I was for the opportunity to leave my television at home, for the opportunity to get filthy, the chance to live outside during 13 days of straight rain. The hardest part of being on the show for me was watching other people be miserable and not recognizing the gift and once in a lifetime opportunity they were given. Man, that grinded my gears!

AL: What are you currently working on?
SD: I moved to Los Angeles! Three weeks ago I packed my clothes one night and relocated myself and my python, Squeeze, to the city of the stars to pursue my dream of being an actress. Since that move I have not stopped chasing this dream. I have already done a considerable amount of hosting, photo shoots, and am working on a new television show! The world has not seen the last of me. Starting with Los Angeles, I am diving into every opportunity lips first! To keep up follow me on twitter @survivordawson!

Casper Van Dien talks about role in "Noobz" and "Mortal Kombat Legacy 2"

Casper Van Dien is known best for his role of Johnny Rico in “Starship Troopers”.  He recently steals the show in the new gaming film “Noobz”, where he plays a comedic version of himself.  Great movie, check it out! He also takes over the role of Johnny Cage in season two of “Mortal Kombat Legacy”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Casper on these roles and what we can expect.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us how you got involved playing yourself in “Noobz”?
Casper Van Dien: I met Blake (Freeman) a couple years before and we hit it off. He told me he wanted to right me into one of his movies. So one day he calls me up and asked me to do a cameo in this gaming movie he was making. He told me he wanted me to just play myself. So I read it and I thought this is a friend of mine and this is what he thinks about me [laughs]. See the movie to understand why. I really think I need to get therapy and look into it if this is the way my friend sees me as. [laughs]. But I agreed and it was really fun.

MG: It’s not always easy play yourself [laughs].
CVD: I had to go to my acting coach cause I was afraid they might recast me [laughs]. I was warned several times but I guess my performance was good enough since they kept me on.  So I guess I lucked out.

MG: Are you a gamer yourself?
CVD: I think I used to consider myself a gamer until I met Blake and his friends. When I go over to hang out and talk shop, Blake and all his friends/business people are all playing online video game tournaments. We will do the meetings while they are playing. So I realized there is a difference between gamers and people that play video games. I also got to meet some of the really serious gamers that we had on “Noobz” with us that actually get paid for this. Robert Paz was in it and he became a friend of mine too. Those guys really know how to play video games and it is a art form to them. But overall, I have always loved video games and have since I was a little kid.

MG: Do you plan on working with Blake again?
CVD: I also just did another movie with him called “Mucho Dinero”. It stars Blake, Eddie Griffin and myself. That one he wanted me to play someone completely different than in “Noobz”. Funny story though, one of the grips came up to me during filming and he said “You ruined ‘Starship Troops’ for me, I’ll never be able to watch it again” and walked away. I am not doing to give details, you have to see it to find out why. I don’t know man, I am either doing something really right or I am really screwing up [laughs]. I am thrilled to be working with Blake again. He is a good pal and I love his awful sense of humor about me and life in general.

MG: Tell us about playing such an iconic character like Johnny Cage in “Mortal Kombat: Legacy”?
CVD: Yep, I just got to Johnny Cage in Kevin Tancharoen’s web series. There are several episodes this year that he is in. I think that Matt Mullins did a great job in the first season. I think he softened it up for me to do more as well. I don’t know what they are trying to say though, since Johnny Cage is a D-list actor, has a bit of an attiude and is a little conceded. So I am not sure why they wanted me and told me that I was perfect for it [laughs]. I had a blast doing this though. There are a lot of incredible marital artists. I fight a lot but nothing like these guys. Another thing is that my character gets into a girl fight. Johnny Cage in a girl fight. You have to see it man, it is very cool!

MG: Any plans you will be involved with the upcoming feature film also?
CVD: You know I would love to be involved. It is up to the director. If he wants me then I would love to do it. If he wants to do something else, either way I will fully support it. I appreciate him wanting me in the web-series in the first place. I had a blast. So we will see what will happen.

MG: It’s been over 15 years since “Starship Troopers”; yet the series is still very alive with “Starship Troopers: Invasion”, which your executive produced. Why do you think this franchise resonates with fans?
CVD: I get more tweets every day with quotes from that film on my Twitter page. I get dozens every day and then when it airs I get hundreds a day. It is just unbelievable how much fans love this movie. It is awesome to have been involved with a film that people quote you from. The film just has some many awesome quotes. Ed Neumeier is an incredible writer. Paul Verhoeven is an amazing director. This film has just had such an amazing life and so many fans.

MG: I love how active you are on Twitter and interacting with your fans.
CVD: Yeah, I love it. I wasn’t announcing that I was playing Johnny Cage because I was asked not to. But one day I went on Twitter and someone wrote “Fucking Johnny Rico is Fucking Johnny Cage. Fucking Awesome”. It was one of the coolest tweets I got last year. I was super excited by that and that is how I found that Warner Bros had released the news.

MG: What else do you have planned for 2013?
CVD: Well like I said I got the movie “Mucho Dinero”. It was a fun film to shoot and it is really funny as well. Blake wrote, produced and directed this one as well. I am going to shoot a film this weekend in Oklahoma, which is another action/thriller. I shot a Hallmark Christmas movie last year that that did really well called “Baby’s First Christmas”, so that was really cool. I have been doing this for 25 years and it just keeps getting better and better!

Lily Rabe reflects on her devilish role in "American Horror Story: Asylum"

Lily Rabe is known best for her role in FX’s series “American Horror Story”. In the first season she played the character Nora Montgomery and in the second she played the devil-possessed nun, Sister Mary Eunice. As the show approaches the end of its second season, Lily took out some time to chat with Media Mikes about her character and her fate at the end of the season.

Mike Gencarelli: What did you find the most difficult part of your role this season?
Lily Rabe: Well, you know, I think some of the murders having sort of in those moments where she was just absolutely sort of in her completely taken over by the devil and throwing these actors around and slitting their throats and stabbing them ruthlessly and all of that sort of, you know I’ve been the victim a lot, so I’ve often played the person who’s getting raped or murdered or abused. And so to actually be raping and murdering and abusing people is a whole different kind of challenge and one that it was very difficult at times and sometimes I would sort of go home from work and just kind of stare at the wall for a couple of hours. But I can’t complain, because easily if whatever kind of knocks you out working is the kind of work that I want to be doing because it’s always those challenges that are the most exciting and the things I hope to get to keep doing in my work.

MG: How did you approach your role because I feel that the combination of comedy and horror and I’m wondering if the director somehow guided you on how to play the devil in your character?
LR: Yes, you know the truth is the way that I approached it really was to figure out before we started shooting the most important thing to me was to really figure out who Sister Mary Eunice was and not really worry about the possession or the devil because to me so much of what a possession is is specific to the person. So that to play the sort of dark side or underbelly of someone or their sort of shadow taking over it’s really about knowing who that person is before that event has taken place of this dark thing sort of taking over. So it was more about figuring out who she really was through and through.

MG: There are many different storylines this season, was there any one that was your favorite?
LR: You know my storyline with Jessica (Lange) was perhaps the most powerful to me because I think it’s sort of the most tragic in a way because it’s actually the one that involved the most love, even though there was a sort of, even though Jessica’s Jude is very cruel to Eunice in the beginning. I always believed that that cruelty was coming out of a place of love and a place of sort of seeing Mary Eunice as seeing her potential and knowing that she wasn’t living it. And so in a way that that whole where we started and where we ended up, that to me is probably the one that was the most sort of powerful; but I have to say all of, you know, my relationship with James and with everyone, everyone I got to sort of work with. I even had a great side plot with Spivey. Mark Conseulos is so amazing and it was such an abundance of amazing actors that you get a chance to work with while you’re doing the show.

MG: Was there anything this season that really has surprised you or threw you for a loop when you saw the episode completed for the first time?
LR: Well, there are certain points of things that are going to happen to you; but there was a lot of mystery and a lot of sort of you have to be constantly taking a tremendous leap of faith and just sort of staying present in the moment of whatever the scene is, because you don’t know exactly you know where that turn is going to end up or what the next episode is going to bring. You know you have these sort of landmark things that you know about, but within the sort of nuance of the storylines. There was a certain amount of mystery. I didn’t watch the show while it was airing because it was too hard to be shooting episode three or I mean the episode seven and watching episode three or however it worked out. My brain was getting really scrambled, but I had to wait till the season had wrapped because there is in the same way that the audience is being surprised, you know we were definitely getting our handful of surprises, too, that’s for sure.

MG: What was it like at the Asylum itself can almost be looked at as a character on the show. What was the atmosphere like on set to work in an environment like that?
LR: Right, I know it is a dark world to live in, but I think the thing that made it so, still so kind of wonderful and a place that I was excited to drive to work every morning and that was because of the people and the crew. It was a very close group of actors and the writers are very, it’s an amazing group of writers. I think Ryan has a way of when he’s at the helm he’s one of those people who just creates a great work environment. I think it’s so much about that person. The leader really has to set the tone for something and make everyone feel safe and he does that in such an incredible way and so everyone, although we were maybe working crazy hours and shooting crazy things, it was always a really nice place to go to work. And for me you know it was the first time I’d ever been, I’ve never done a show as a regular before and it reminded me a bit of doing a play in the sense that you go to the theatre every day and you have your dressing room. And you have the crew and the actors and so I loved that feeling of actually kind of having this family every day that was sort of new for me and very special.

MG: Was there anything that you guys did to break up the tension in between a scene that would be particularly intense?
LR: Oh well, I mean you know Sara Paulson is one of my best friends and has been for years. We already have a bit of laughing problem together, so I would say that that happened a lot. There was often a lot of that and Zach was learning the banjo and I was learning the guitar, so there were also little musical breaks, although he’s much better at the banjo than I am at the guitar at this point.

MG: Did you ever have times that it was hard to deal with the character because of the psychological heaviness of the role?
LR: Yes, but it sort of came with the territory in the sense that I think if you’re going to be; I feel that with all the great jobs or all the really, really great parts, you’re usually going to sort of dark and scary or painful places and that’s just part of it. Although it could be difficult in some way, it sort of comes with, it’s part of the job description I feel, so it’s nothing I would ever sort of want to say was a negative, even though sometimes it doesn’t feel great. It’s sort of to me it’s still part of the job description of getting to play a wonderful role and having to go through things like that. So I’m always very grateful for that even if it means I’m going to go have to kind of collapse in my bed for a little while or whatever or whatever it means.

MG: How far in advance did you know what your character’s fate was going to be? Did you kind of have an idea about that from the beginning?
LR: I had some sense, yes, I knew that she probably wouldn’t have a very happy ending, so I did have a sense and then sort of as we went along the specifics of how that was all going to happen became clearer as we went along.

MG: That scene almost seemed like kind of a relief for your character. Can you reflect?
LR: Yes, I think the death scene, the way Ryan and I really talked about it it’s really sort of an assisted suicide. Her situation really wasn’t survivable in the sense that even if they had done some sort of exorcism or something at that point, we sort of felt that whatever might be left of that girl was so damaged and destroyed and that death sort of became her only way out. Yes, playing that through once the possession happened that was such a wonderful challenge and a sort of dance really to live between with both the lightness and the darkness existing at the same time in that battle and then that losing battle really.

MG: Do you think you will be back for the third season?
LR: I have no idea. I can’t say a word. I’m so sorry. I know it’s such a boring interview sometimes with us at American Horror Story, so that I just can’t say a word. I would certainly love to be back that’s for sure. It’s such a great job.


Related Content

Rachael Ma talks about her role in "Robot & Frank"

Rachael Ma stands at just under 5 feet and can currently be seen in the role of the robot opposite Frank Langella in “Robot & Frank”. If you have seen the film you know that Peter Sarsgaard is the voice of the robot but as Rachael puts it “people…literally think the robot IS a robot”. Thanks to Alterian, which is the company behind the LED helmets worn by the electro duo Daft Punk, Rachael gives wonderful life to this role. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Rachael about the film and what she has planned next.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us how you get started acting, singing and dancing?
Rachael Ma: My mom owns a dance studio in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and was a dancer herself. I was born into it. Being a dancer first, it was very easy to channel physicality into acting and singing. Movement tells a story.

MG: How did you get involved with the role of the Robot in “Robot and Frank”?
RM: The whole process was very quick; from my first casting (interview) to the first day of shooting was, only 2 days. Originally, the robot was supposed to be performed by another girl, a friend of the director, and the suit was specifically built to her body specifications. But the first time she tried it on in its entirety, she had a claustrophobia and refused to go back in it. I was a replacement and was brought in mostly because I fit the costume (and was willing to have claustrophobia).

MG: Tell us about the costume itself; was it different to act in?
RM: The heat, lack of vision and immobility of the parts made bringing the robot to life difficult. The robot is all-encapsulating in two layers: the first layer is a thick, rubber unitard that covers everything- head to toe, and then a delicate, fiberglass shell of body parts, including non-ventilated helmet lined in mesh and foam. No breathing room, no A/C, no fans. Just sweat. And wow, it was hot! We shot 12 hour days, outdoors, during a heat wave in the summer for 5 weeks. I was constantly dehydrated, nauseous and fainting. The helmet was another challenge because it was lined with a thick mesh and decreased my vision by about 70%. When we shot at night, I did everything in the blind. The robot joints are clunky and bulky which also made mobility a challenge. As a dancer, I have a fine understanding of controlling movement and to deliver a robot that appeared smooth, grounded and with precise comedic timing in its gestures, was no easy task. I rehearsed and analyzed its walk, its head quirks and wanted to develop certain nuances that made the robot lovable.

MG: Was there any particular scene that sticks out to you?
RM: In one scene I was supposed to catch a mimosa flute that falls off a table- it was no movie magic- I caught that glass out of thin air 13 takes in a row! Clunky robot hand and all! It was miraculous.

MG:Tell us about taking the show “Nutcracker: Rated R” to Tokyo?
RM: I’m in my 4th season of “Nutcracker: Rated R” and am so excited its going to Tokyo. My friends tell me Tokyo is like being in a city in the future, which is kind of funny because I feel like I’ve already been to the future with “Robot and Frank”.

MG: How do you feel that stage differs from film and TV?
RM: Acting for the stage is a whole different beast. Its film/TV acting on steroids. Shifting between stage and screen takes adjustments in my mindset and body, but I always approach whatever work I’m doing thinking of the audiences perspective. It helps me focus on what needs to be seen.

MG: What else do you have planned for 2013?
RM: In 2013 you can expect to see me in New York City’s Broadway/off-Broadway shows, in Tokyo with the raucous ‘Nutcracker: Rated R’, and the occasional film/TV/commercial stint.

Lizzie Brocheré reflects on her role in "American Horror Story: Asylum"

Lizzie Brocheré is currently playing the role of Grace in FX’s hit show “American Horror Story: Asylum”. She is known for her work in France with about 40 foreign films and TV roles under her belt. As the show approaches the end of the second season, Lizzie took out some time to chat with Media Mikes to chat about her character and what we can expect.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you first get involved in the show?
Lizzie Brocheré: Weirdly, I self-typed from France. I had no idea that I could get the part because it was supposed to be an American part. I did the audition anyway because I never felt safe and my managers here sometimes get mad because I never send anything in, and because also the process of the audition was so much fun. I watched the first season of American Horror Story and have been a big fan, and the audition for the part of “Grace;” it was two scenes. One was a scene taken out of Girl Interrupted, “Lisa’s” character. It was very, very out there. It was very provocative, a very strong character and very …. So that was fun, it was like, wow, what is that character that they’re auditioning for? The other scene was a scene from …, which was a masturbation scene, very provocative as well. I was like; I don’t know where they’re going with that character, but she’s wild. So I did the audition with my friend, and didn’t really believe in it, and then two weeks later I was in L.A. meeting Ryan Murphy … for five minutes and they were talking to me about the part … and that was it. It was amazing. and I didn’t even have a driver’s license.

MG: How do I get into my character to play Grace?
LB: There’s so many different ways, but I think what I worked on the most was that back story you heard, because when we started shooting, we already had the first four scripts, so I had the back story of Grace in the fourth episode. I think that since she was based on this American character, Lizzie Borden, I read a lot about Lizzie Borden. I discovered a source book with her inquest testimony; I loved reading it out loud. I thought she was so smart and strangely fascinating, that character. I don’t know if it helped my acting, but it was necessary for me to know a bit more of that character who was a very important American figure. I had no clue who she was, in fact, …for example. I did a lot of—this is going to sound weird, but I did a lot of stretching, yoga and dancing, almost ballet. I felt, you know, how she’s always–you want her to be moving in a very smooth maybe, and she’s very sexy, so you want her to be moving in a smoother way than I do. So that was a little job, and Grace, I don’t know she’s somewhere in me–apart from that big back story and all that; her sarcasm, her way of seeing life and that little liveliness she has. You know, how she always says amazing lines when you feel like she’s young little Tibetan monk. It wasn’t that hard to tap into her, apart from the killing of my dad and all of that.

MG: Can you tell us a little bit about shooting the murder scenes?
LB: That was so fun. We wanted to–I mean the whole crew was so happy to change my look, and they were really excited about doing some kind of flashbacks and knowing a little bit more about Grace. So everything, costumes and hair, for example, I don’t have the same haircut at all. They really wanted to show Grace as she was before the asylum, and everyone was really excited about that. The actual murder scenes, there was a lot of blood, a lot of different axes. I think we had six different axes that are still in the props office, and they’re all on the walls. You have one that’s a rubber axe, and then you have another one that’s a real axe, and you should never mix up with the other one. Then you have another one that’s a half cut axe, so that you can pretend that it’s in the body. You only have a part of it sticking out of the body. I mean we have so many different axes; it was funny. Then you have, for example, when I kill my step-mom, we have these effects guys that were behind the body of my step-mom … blood on the face each time that I hit her. There were so many people in that closet but it was fun.

MG: How you ever been spooked on the set?
LB: I did get the creeps. Yes, because the story was so dark and all these flashbacks that we shot. For example, when I hide in the closet, and it’s a fake flashback, but still, we did it for real, and I hide in the closet, and I dove back and I go back and I think that I’m saved and then there’s this foot with blood dripping on my shoulder right next to me. So realistic, so realistic. It was crazy. I couldn’t open the closets after that for a week at my place.

MG: How do you shake a show like this at the end of each day?
LB: I have very different ways–the crew, for example, is so much fun–I mean they’re totally disconnected from the cast. Joke with the crew when you get out of set, for an example, that helped me so much. Otherwise, in my day-to-day basis, it would be I guess, a bit of yoga. I go biking, read, watch shows, I go to music concerts. I’ve taken a lot of road trips since I’ve been here. I’ve been to The Joshua Tree. I’ve been camping on the Channel Islands. Each time that I have two or three days off, I’m off somewhere in California.

MG: The asylum itself feels like a character on the show, so how much does that environment help you get into a scene?
LB: It makes the scene. There’s no question about where you are. I remember one of the first days on the set when …–the first scene was something in the solitary, and I’d be visiting in the solitary cells. When you’re in that hallway with all the solitary cell doors; Ooh. You have no question of where you are. It’s such a particular asylum. It’s such a designed asylum. It’s such an interesting–I don’t know you can feel the whole weight of the metaphor that it represents, you know.

MG: What’s coming up for Grace in the upcoming episodes?
LB: What can I tease? So much is happening to “Grace,” poor “Grace.” I don’t really know. My character joins a storyline that I cherish a lot, which is the alien storyline, and that is something that I’ve been really looking forward to. I’m so happy about that because, first of all, when you move to the United States for work, which is what I just did, you have a visa where they call you an alien with extraordinary ability, but still that’s what I am right now. It’s strange, to be like right, in the administration system, you have a label which is a visa 01, which is for aliens with extraordinary ability; good Lord. So ever since I got a foot in the U.S. administration and moving to the U.S., I’ve been like, oh aliens; interesting. Aliens are immigrants. That’s interesting, what is an alien? So when I got the script everything kind of made sense in a way. This idea of foreigners–so I love being close to that storyline because I felt so much myself like an alien.


Related Content

Reginald VelJohnson talks about his role in “TRON: Uprising”

Andrew Evans / PR Photos

Reginald VelJohnson is best known for his role of Carl Winslow in “Family Matters”. Reginald is currently voicing the role of Able in Disney XD’s “TRON: Uprising”. In recent episodes, his character Able had a big reveal and has become a key factor of the show. Reginald took out sometime to chat with Media Mikes about his role and reflect on TV values since “Family Matters”.

Mike Gencarelli: What drew you to the role of Able in “TRON: Uprising”?
Reginald VelJohnson: I’ve always appreciated the animation and when I got the opportunity to audition for the role, I made sure that it was something that I was going to be attracted to. It’s the kind of role I usually play, the father figure and mentor to the programs in the grid. It’s essentially the character that drew me to the project.

MG: Can you reflect on the intrigue that is behind the “TRON” series?
RVJ: I think Tron is one of the first video games so it’s like the grandfather of the video era. Tron represents this everyman and comes across as something so powerful, like the computer. He lives through this world, and I guess people are fascinated by that concept, living inside this computer generated world.

MG: What do you enjoy most about Beck and Able’s relationship on the show?
RVJ: He’s the father figure and Able really thinks of all the individuals in the garage as his children and he cares for them and that’s what I think is lovely about the relationship between Beck and Able. It’s like a father and son type of relationship.

MG: In upcoming episodes, we find that Able has this unknown relationship with a powerful figure on the Grid; can you tell us about that reveal for you?
RVJ: Well, it was interesting to me to find out that he has an outsider relationship with this powerful character, and I think this relationship makes him more interesting.

MG: What is the most rewarding aspect of doing voice work?
RVJ: The hours; you go into the studio whenever you want to. You sit in a booth and do your job and you go home – it’s wonderful. I like that it gives you a chance to really explore your craft with your voice.
Have you completed the recording for the first season yet?
I believe we have, I think I did one last episode. I think the new season begins pretty soon but I think we’ve finished off all the episodes of the season.

MG: Also sticking with TV, you are recurring on “Hart of Dixie”, what do you enjoy most about playing Dash DeWitt?
RVJ: Well, he’s sort of a flamboyant character; he’s kind of elegant in a way. He has this cane and bowtie and he walks around the town getting into everybody’s business and telling everyone about the business. He’s a fun character so I enjoy playing that.

MG: After working on a show like “Family Matters” for so many years, how do you feel that TV values have changed?
RVJ: Wow. That’s an interesting question because I think that things have definitely changed since I did “Family Matters.” I think TV with all the reality shows and the hip-hop generation doesn’t focus on the meaning and feeling of a family – the real relationship between people. I don’t think people are too ready to sit down and watch that. I just hope that it comes back because personally, I think that the reality genre needs to die a slow death. I hope that the family type shows come back because I enjoy watching people share family values and loving relationships between each other. I miss that.