Tiffany Vogt

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BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: The Curse of The Sophomore Slump

In * By Tiffany Vogt, * Opinion columns, * TV Addict, Beauty and the Beast (CW) on March 10, 2014 at 12:00 pm


"Beauty and the Beast"

“Beauty and the Beast”

There is a popular belief in television that most TV shows experience a creative lull in their second season, which gave rise to the phrase “sophomore slump.”  Accordingly, many TV shows have been cited as examples of shows, which knocked it out of the park creatively in their first season, to only fall prey to a period of sluggishness in their second year.  Many reasons are attributed to this second season curse, everything from writer’s block to actor fatigue to fan restlessness.

But looking specifically at the CW series BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, I want to propose a few reasons why the show has suffered significantly in its ratings in its second season:

Moving Show to New Night/Timeslot

Perhaps, first and foremost, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST suffered from being moved from the plum primetime timeslot of Thursdays at 9:00 p.m., right behind the CW’s top television show THE VAMPIRE DIARIES.  Because BEAUTY AND THE BEAST had the privilege of getting such a prime timeslot for its freshman season, it never had to fight for viewers the same way it did in its second season.  For its first year, it competed against GREY’S ANATOMY and PERSON OF INTEREST.  These shows did not exactly compete for the same viewers, as BEAUTY AND THE BEAST was a strong genre series with genetically created beasts and a strong romance theme.

However, in its second season, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST was moved to Mondays at 9:00 p.m., following the CW series HART OF DIXIE.  There may have been a misconception that HART OF DIXIE and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST both catered to the same viewing audience since both relied heavily on romance for their stories.  But who could have foreseen that HART OF DIXIE would change its creative format so dramatically in its third season, steering away from the romance stories, and focusing more on its comedy storylines?  Having a mis-matched pair of television shows significantly hurt viewership for BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.

In addition, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST was directly competing with the new fantasy genre series SLEEPY HOLLOW, which offered not only a rich supernatural world of stories, but also a strong undercurrent of romance between its lead characters.

So the new night and new competition was first and foremost one of the biggest reasons that BEAUTY AND THE BEAST suffered in the ratings from the get-go of the Fall 2013 season.

Loss of Vision

Another distinct handicap on BEAUTY AND THE BEAST was spoilers had trickled out that the lead character Vincent Keller (Jay Ryan) had his memory-wiped and did not remember his grand love-affair with Detective Catherine Chandler (Kristin Kreuk).  One of the strongest appeals of the first season of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST had been its core romance.  From the second Vincent and Catherine met there was an undeniable pull of attraction and that led to a swoon-worthy romance that ran throughout its first season.  To have that romance stripped away from the outset of the second season, left the fans wondering where the show was going.

In addition, Vincent Keller came back a different man.  He was not just without his memories, he seemed to be a killing machine.  The soulful hero of the first season was unrecognizable.  The writers had chosen to erase the pivotal parts of both the show and the character that fans had fallen in love with.  It was supposed to be a storytelling reset, but instead it seemed to have gutted the show of the very essence of what the fans had fallen in love with – and their reason for tuning in.

What seemed like a strong creative decision for the writers to sustain a new story arc for the second season was seen more as a betrayal and too extreme a deviation from the story/characters that the loyal fans had committed to in the first season.  It was a huge loss of vision from what the show was initially and as a result audience-retention evaporated.

Loss Of Hero

One of the key elements to success to any television show is its hero.  In BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, it had two strong heroes:  Vincent and Catherine.  These were the characters that fans fell in love with and rooted for devotedly and with every breath they took during the first season.

Yet in the second season, both Catherine and Vincent were nearly unrecognizable versions of the characters.  Vincent had no memory of who he was and Catherine had forsaken much of her identity in devoting her life to searching for Vincent, and once she found him, he was not the fan she had fallen in love with either.

It can be argued that both Vincent and Catherine fought to get back their prior strength and the qualities that fans loved from Season 1; but as Season 2 continued, even the small steps back to being the characters fans knew from the prior season seemed to erode before their eyes.  Vincent regained his memories, yet willingly chose to embrace his inner beast and struck up an out-of-the-blue relationship with another woman who also shared an inner-beast.  Then Catherine, having located Vincent and having helped him recover what memories of his former life he could, discovered he was still an entirely different man and one who was more beast than man – and one who wanted to embrace his beastly nature.  So Catherine reacted in a way that seemed untrue to her nature as well: she turned to the nearest available male who had been pining for her and entered into a clear rebound relationship.  Neither Vincent or Catherine were acting in ways that the fans found recognizable.  For thirteen-plus episodes, the heroes had become less heroic and more damaged, making choices that alienated the fans.

That left literally no hero to root for.

Collapse Of Love Triangle

Another critical aspect to any TV show founded on a strong romance is the need for a strong love-triangle.  In Season 1 of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, that was answered by Catherine falling for Vincent, with Evan (Max Brown) hovering around hoping for a chance to swoop Catherine off her feet.  Season 1 carried the love-triangle perfectly until Evan gave his life to protect everyone.  It was a heroic and noble death.  Plus, Evan always knew his place; he knew that a future with Cat was unlikely, but he always hoped.  His unrequited love was the perfect touch for the classic love-triangle.

Yet in Season 2, the series offered as the new unrequited love the character of Gabe Lowen (Sendhil Ramamurthy), a reformed villain who had tried to kill Vincent in the first season.  Unfortunately, Catherine had saved his life and he felt indebted to her and then he also fell in love with her.  Worse yet, no one really ever bought into the idea of Gabe as a possible love interest for Catherine.  No one could forget his villainous nature and crimes of the first season.  His eager efforts to rehabilitate his image in Catherine’s eyes only made him look like he was hiding something more.  So when Catherine finally decided to give Gabe a chance, fans were literally screaming at their television sets in agony and frustration.  Maybe Gabe’s heart was true, or it was written to be that way, but fans just did not buy it.  He would always be viewed with suspicion and as undeserving in their eyes.

It only served to weaken the fans’ faith in Catherine as a hero when she made such a poor romantic choice; particularly as it was at a critical juncture when Vincent was struggling to put aside his beast nature and choose to be more human again.

For the entire second season, the love-triangle has floundered and only felt off-putting.  Every good television romance needs a viable love-triangle candidate, not one that it foist upon the audience who will never buy it in a million years.  Unfortunately for Gabe, his character could die today and fans would not grieve his absence.  He looks like a sad opportunist, and not a someone worthy of the heroine’s love.

DVR Time-Shifting

Just like the move to a new night with a new pairing hurt BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, likewise DVR time-shifting significantly hurt the ratings for the show.  Fans were not turning in to watch the show “live.”  They were recording it on their DVRs or streaming it at a later date and time.  Maybe they were not inclined to watch a romance Monday nights at 9 pm, or maybe they were watching SLEEPY HOLLOW (or one of the other competing TV shows airing at the same time).  Whatever the reason, fans did not feel the need to watch “live” anymore.  In Season 1, fans were breathless with anticipation and watched every episode “live” unable to wait one more second.  In Season 2, fans for a variety of reasons, opted to watch BEAUTY AND THE BEAST later in the week.  The DVR ratings were substantial, but that hurt the show in advertising revenue which is significantly higher for “live” viewers versus viewers watching on DVR days later.

Disappointed Fans

Finally, the final nail in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST’s coffin during its sophomore slump has been the negative reaction of the fans.  Not only on social media, but as reflected by those who simply check-out and never checked back in, the Season 1 fans simply never came back or fell-off with each episode that aired in Season 2.

One thing a television can never do is disappoint its fans.  Once lost, those fans never come back.  They cannot be wooed by enticing promos or even positive word of mouth.  Once the line has been crossed, they just move on to other shows – or obsessively rewatch Season 1 on DVD aching for the good ole days.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST faltered greatly in its second season.  It is not attributable to just one factor, but many.  But it also serves as a great reminder as to how easy it is to kill a successful television show.  Writers and showrunners have to always remember that viewers vote with their remote control, they just turn the channel when they are dissatisfied.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is not dead yet, but with its final episode airing this Monday night before going on extended hiatus with no firm return date for its final six episodes of its second season, its fate seems dubious.  Despite the efforts of the more committed fans (those who are still watching), BEAUTY AND THE BEAST has suffered a huge retention loss.  It is unlikely to ever make up what it has lost, even with a two-month break to give its fans time to experience the “absence makes the heart grow fonder” longing.

While BEAUTY AND THE BEAST conceivably could be renewed for a third season depending on what timeslots are available on the CW’s Fall 2014 broadcast schedule, the huge loss of viewership makes that hard to imagine it as a viable candidate to attract interested advertising dollars.

Dedicated fans may need to embrace their sense of faith and say a few prayers that a third season is a possibility.  However, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is the perfect example of a television show that succumbed to the sophomore slump.  Let’s hope this is not its death knell.

"Beauty and The Beast"

“Beauty and The Beast”

GRIMM: Reggie Lee Talks Sergeant Wu’s Big Case and If It Opens His Eyes To The Wesen World

In * By Tiffany Vogt, * Interviews, * TV Addict, Grimm on March 7, 2014 at 11:50 am




In the new episode “Mommy Dearest,” the entire world of Sergeant Wu has a bit of cataclysmic shift when he comes face to face with a creature from his own nightmares. It  remains to be seen if that completely opens Wu’s eyes to the entirety of the Wesen world and if he becomes entrenched even further with GRIMM’s resident “Scooby Gang.”

So in a recent press conference call, co-star Reggie Lee talked about how this encounter may change Wu’s perspective on the supernatural side of life.

Up until this episode Wu hasn’t known about Wesen. How important do you think it is to the story that there’s someone who is constantly ignorant of that fact?
REGGIE:  It’s a constant back and forth.  I think for the creators and me and for the audience, I think that it’s important that there’s some kind of a balance, and because of that I think they’ve strung it along up to this point because of that particular reason. And who knows what they’ll do from here on out? And who knows what will happen?  But if everyone knew, I think it would be less of an effect, right? If there was no one that was like, “Huh?” the balance wouldn’t be there. I think that’s really important for the show. That being said, you had shows like BUFFY where everyone kind of knew, and everyone was in the fray and doing their thing. So for the creators, I think they’re kind of weighing the options in terms of that and seeing what would be best. But I think from the audience point of view, it’s kind of interesting to have some kind of balance in the show where someone doesn’t know and some people know. It needs that because if everyone knew it would just be all about solving the crimes versus, “Oh, God, we’ve got to keep this secret from some people and not tell them.” So with this episode you’ll see what happens.

For this week’s episode, the creature is based on something that Wu’s grandmother has told him.  How real does that make it to him and is it really based on a real Filipino myth?
REGGIE: The creators are so wonderfully collaborative. They actually came to me and said, “Do you know any Filipino folklore?” I said, “Yes. We have actually quite a bit.” So I gave them a list and it included the Aswang, which is probably the most popular one in Filipino folklore. It was always told amidst relatives and it’s believed in. As a matter of fact, it’s very big in the Philippines. So it’s very real.  As to what Wu saw and how real that is for him, I mean as a kid you’re growing up thinking that this stuff is real. And of course, like anything, it’s like Santa Claus, right? At some certain point you’re like, “Oh, no, whatever,” and “that’s not real.”  But then speaking as Wu, I think what he saw seemed pretty real to him. So he’s got to figure that out for himself.

Do you have a favorite other Filipino legend that you’d like to see them bring to GRIMM?
REGGIE:  Yes. But there is there’s so many. There’s one popular one called the Manananggal, which is also an Aswang, which is kind of a person that separates in half that goes flying around. So that’s the other really popular one. I would love that and there’s also one called the White Lady, which is akin to La Lorona, the Mexican folklore that we did, which is really freaky that we’ve all grown up with. So maybe they could do a version of that. Because I think they really enjoyed doing this one. Hopefully we’ll have another one sometime.

If you had found out your character was a Wesen, what kind of creature would you want to be?
REGGIE:  A weasel. I’ve always said that. I’ve said I wanted to be a weasel. It’s interesting because the Grimm writers were like, “I think Wu might be a marsupial.” But, no, I’d be a weasel. (Laughs)

This season you guys really have taken it up a notch. How does it feel for you when you get your scripts? Do you feel like they’re ahead of what you were last year?
REGGIE: Definitely. At the beginning of this season, I think they might have given us like five scripts before we even started shooting one. So they were way, way ahead, which makes it joyous for the rest of us because you can do your homework. You can do your preparation for all this stuff. Especially David and Russell, who work every single day. I think it was really great for them to have that jump on it. The great thing is too, I think what they’ve decided this year to go international.  I think that that’s the key. They’re really scoping out all the folklore in different parts of the world, which is really great for me. I mean how often really do you get a Filipino storyline in a show? Not very often. I can’t think of any. So how great for them to really focus on that? And I’ll tell you what, the Filipinos are excited. They’re excited about it. So it was really a joy for me to be the one to break that kind of news to them and go, “Listen, GRIMM’s doing a Filipino episode.” And just everyone’s excited. So they’re real conscientious about that and they’re going out and scoping out the entire world.  We’ve got so many fans that love this show all over the world, I think once it hits their country and their folklore, I’m sure they look forward to that. And I’m sure that the closer to them it gets, the more they can relate. So I’m hoping that we do that even more, and I think they will.

Now we’re obviously getting to see more focus on Wu and it looks as though there’s got to be more of an arc. What about the future? Do we have any idea if there’s going to continuing in the future?
REGGIE:  Wu’s definitely a sharp guy. He’s a sharp guy and the writers are smart. So there are little hints here and there that are kind of funny scenes that you’ll see. So, yes, this effect on Wu lingers. It’ll linger for quite a bit. And it’ll probably linger through the rest of the season.  But he’s a sharp guy, so there are some real wonderful moments here and there as we go through the season that he’s like, “Hmmm. Hmmm. What are you doing here? Why are you spending so much time with this person? I have no idea why, but there’s something here.” So I just laugh at those moments in the script because I’m like, “Wow, for those that follow the show on a very close basis it’s going to be a treat.” It’s a treat to see these little moments that Wu has through the season. So, yes, there will be more things.

Is there anything maybe coming up for Wu, like a romantic interest or anything like that? And would you want that for him?
REGGIE: Of course I want that for him. That’s something people always ask me about l what I’d love to do in the future, and that’s actually on my bucket list of things that I want to have in my career: a love interest in one way or another. I think that you may see it. I think again, we all have our lanes on the show. There’s a certain lane that we’re in and I think there needs to be a balance on the show of couples and people that are not coupled – just like a balance of people that know and people that don’t know about Nick.  So how they keep that balance, I don’t know.  How they want to keep that balance, I don’t know. I know they’ve said, “We like that he’s a single guy. We like that.” So there may be that, but it’s inevitable for the future that something like that will happen. So we’re hoping for it, but they do like that balance. But it’s something that I want. So depending on if they want to tip the scales, they will. And they’re not afraid to.

Can you just talk about when Wu does find out that there’s this secret world of Wesen, how do you think that that will affect him, change him, as a character?
REGGIE: I think that the way it will affect him initially because it’s something that he had heard of before.  So it’s very different from anyone else’s reaction because I think it’s certainly things that they hadn’t heard about before, but they’re seeing. It’s so incredibly realistic in the Philippines. I mean it’s an island country so people get really, really entrenched in these stories and believe them. So in the outcome that it has on Wu, I think it’ll linger quite a bit before he starts to kind of not want or want to figure it out for himself. But the effect of it will be humongous for Wu. I think that’s going to have to subside before he will decide one way or the other. And you’ll be surprised at which person in the cast sways me to one way or the other because it’s not one that you’d expect. And that’s to come.

It sounds like everything is going to change with this royal baby coming up soon. How is that going to change the entire sort of landscape of GRIMM?
REGGIE:  It’s going to be complete chaos. It’s been forthcoming this entire season and people have been expecting it. So I think it’s interesting because it’s such a part of a world that I’m not privy to, but privy to only in that I read. I read them in my scripts.  But the things that I’ve read have really been fantastic in terms of the way this baby is used to sway emotion in so many different people. And it’ll hit probably almost every single cast member, this baby.

If you could play any other character on the show other than the sergeant who would you like to be?
REGGIE: Definitely Adalind. No, I’m just kidding. No, I’m not kidding. It’s fun. I mean I love playing that aspect of any person because I really don’t ever think that there’s a bad, bad person. I think that I’d want to be Adalind. Let’s not kid about that. But I think that there’s a great deal to be said about the way the writers have really [written all the characters]. There’s a gray area to everyone’s character on the show. There is good and there’s bad. It’s really moral ambiguity, which gives the show its life because that’s like in real life.  You question, “Am I being good? Am I being bad? What am I doing? What am I trying to do? I’m trying to be a good person.” And I think everyone has that. But, boy, I think Adalind has a lot of fun. I’d like to step into those shoes.

What were perhaps some of the initial acting challenges you found stepping into the Sergeant Wu character? How have you seen your character grow and develop since the beginning?
REGGIE: I think the hardest part was there wasn’t a lot.  I think that was the most difficult part because I think the more you’ve got on the page, the more you can build. So when there wasn’t a lot, I needed them to give me some kind of spark. Even before I started to do any kind of homework on this particular character, I needed them to give me where he’s come from. Even that was very kind of there are three bullet points; he’s been a cop for this many years, he’s good at his job, all this stuff. But where I really started to develop him was a line in the pilot where Nick just bumps into Wu because he’s staring at a creature that’s morphing. Nick bumps into Wu and I go, “I guess I should have worn my airbags today.” And from then on I was like, “This is a sarcastic dude. He’s sarcastic and sardonic.” So I built from there. I actually researched sarcasm and I went, “Okay, psychologically where does that come from”? And people that are the most sarcastic, it comes from an insecurity. I don’t know if you knew that or not. But it comes from insecurity. So I started to work on: “Why am I insecure?  Why do I do my job so well? Am I afraid? Am I wanting to be good because there’s that Asian factor?”  Like you’ve got to be perfect at what you do. Perfect, perfect, perfect, whatever it is. You’ve got to be beyond perfect. So I started to work with that and it started to get more exciting. So as they built upon it, and I think this next episode has given me the most as you’ve seen in his background. But even the stuff where Wu went through eating couch cushions, that gave me a lot of insight into who he is. Figuring out in second season that he was really good at video games, seeing his apartment and  what was in it gave me a lot of clues and I got so excited. I can talk to you about this forever by the way. Because it excites me. This is what is exciting to me about this.  But from the get-go there wasn’t a lot on the page so I really had to build. It almost became like a real collaboration that way because the way my performance would be from that build, then the writers would look at that performance and take from it and build even more. So Wu became just more comfortable with the sarcasm. They could write more one-liners. They could see what kind of character he was becoming, which posed a difficulty for me in this particular episode that you see coming up, because there are so many colors of Wu that I hadn’t touched base on. Like the vulnerability and the being out of control. Those were really new territory for me. For that to be so evident and for me to show it to other characters, I don’t show that. Normally. I don’t show vulnerability nor do I show that I’m out of control. So for me to experience all that was like candy. And I love candy. So that was like candy when I saw this episode. It was great.

To see how wonderfully Wu handles dealing with his own Wesen case and perhaps not realizing it, be sure to tune of for an all new episode of GRIMM on Friday, March 7th at 9:00 p.m. on NBC.


THE RED ROAD: Allie Gonino Talks About Her Character’s Journey In A Town Full of Dark Secrets

In * By Tiffany Vogt, * Interviews, * TV Addict, The Red Road on March 6, 2014 at 12:00 pm


In the new Sundance Channel original series THE RED ROAD, a brewing conflict erupts when a young teenage Native American boy is killed and caught in the crosshairs are a policeman’s family and the tribe seeking justice. Adding to the volatile situation is another missing boy, a criminal drug enterprise, and two young teens in love. With suspicions running high, a possible cover up in the making, and everyone seeming to have a secret that they need to hide, it becomes impossible to stay out of the rising conflict.

In an exclusive interview, co-star Allie Gonino talked about her role as Rachel Jensen, the eldest daughter of the policeman struggling to keep his family out of the erupting danger around them.

So you’re on THE RED ROAD now. That’s quite a bit change from your role on THE LYING GAME. Can you talk about what drew you to such a dark show?
ALLIE: After reading the script, the first thing that I really liked about it was that it had a political and social commentary with the conflict between the Native American tribe and the neighboring community. I liked bringing light to that situation. So that got me excited. Then I just found all of it fascinating with Jean’s (Julianne Nicholson) storyline. Rachel and I have very experienced similar boyfriend issues with the parents. So that kind of drew me to the character.

We see right away that Rachel is pushing her boundaries. She is doing anything she can to kind of test her freedom and figure out who she is. What is driving her to do all that?
ALLIE: I think just a desire to be her own person and sort of get out from under the authority of her parents. She’s 17 years old and feels like she’s smart enough to be making her own decisions and her mom’s been basically an absentee parent for most of her life due to her mom’s alcoholism; and now that Jean is starting to put her foot down, Rachel is like, “Wait a minute. Where have you been for the past 17 years?” Like, “I’m the one who’s called the shots in my life.” So I think she’s finding herself through her relationships and there is a danger-element with Junior that she gravitates towards as well.

Given that Rachel’s mom has her own drinking issues, you would think Rachel would steer clear of alcohol. But she kind of wildly embraces it.
ALLIE: That’s true. You’d think she’d learn. But I think at that age, she’s just wanting to rebel. I think ultimately Rachel is a smart girl, which you’ll see if you keep watching. I didn’t really know how she was going to turn out when I first started playing her. I thought she would just go down a really bad path and just unravel and become similar to what her mom has become. But you’ll see. She makes some interesting choices — unexpected choices.

Also unexpected was Rachel’s relationship with her mom. Again, Rachel seems rebellious, but she seems close to her mom, which is interesting as well.
ALLIE: There’s no relationship like a mother-daughter relationship and Rachel does care about her mother. It’s not like she completely disregards the fact that her mom loves her and she loves her mom. So like I said, the choices Rachel makes further into the series reflects that. I think she’s just having a hard time balancing wanting to be her own person, but also being loyal to her mom. I think that’s true for anybody.

In upcoming episodes, Rachel finds the cassette tapes left by her uncle. What drives Rachel to be so obsessed with listening to all those tapes?
ALLIE: I think she’s just really trying to understand more about her mom and is kind of doing it in a secretive way, and it’s obviously more exciting because it’s like no one knows and it’s her own little discovery. She never knew her uncle either, so I think she wants to know more about her mom and her uncle’s relationship. I think that drives her to go snooping around seeking answers.

Do you think Rachel is searching for a way into this adult world because it seems very separate from life? It seems like she is pushing her way in any way she can to get into it.
ALLIE: It doesn’t really seem like Rachel is currently involved with school. There’s nothing really motivating her in terms of her passions or a career of any sort or anything like that. So it feels like her only choice is to get caught up in the drama of her home town. I think that happens to a lot of people when they don’t really know what they want and don’t know what they are good at. They sort of drift and get involved with the drama that is going on around them.

Surprisingly, Rachel’s one refuge seems to be — at least initially — her relationship with Junior (Kiowa Gordon). That’s actually a kind of beautiful relationship, but then she kind of has issues with him and that may unravel as well.
ALLIE: It is beautiful. Rachel had a boyfriend before Junior, but it wasn’t really the same kind of sweep-you-off-your-feet kind of infatuation, as it is with Junior. It breaks her heart when everything starts to go downhill with them. But I also think that Rachel is pretty strong. She’ll figure out a way to navigate through things.

What do you most admire about Rachel?
ALLIE: It’s funny because at the beginning of getting this role, I didn’t know where her character was going. I thought she was a much different character. I actually think she is pretty strong and that is probably my favorite thing about her. I like that she stands up for her mom, later in the show, and she stands up for herself and ultimately decides that family matters more than getting involved with shady guys. So I like that she’s strong.

It seems she has a distinct clarity of mind in some ways.
ALLIE: She sure does. With all the chaos, she at least knows what she is doing in the moment even if she doesn’t know who she is or what she ultimately wants out of life.

We have seen Rachel intertwined in the world of Philip Kopus (Jason Momoa) in that little drug world. Did you get to work with Jason Momoa or was that just peripheral to her life?
ALLIE: It was great. We had a few scenes together. He’s super professional and he’s a great actor. He’s really fun to have on set. He’s like a really big, giant presence and a lot of fun. I enjoyed working with him. I thought he was going to be really scary and intimating at first because of the character he played on GAME OF THRONES. You’d think he would be really serious all the time. But he’s actually very fun and outgoing.

Were you surprised by some of your other co-stars that you worked with as well?
ALLIE: Yeah, when I worked with Julianne [Nicholson], I hadn’t seen any of her work prior to this show and she’s just so professional and she has such control over what she’s doing and yet it doesn’t look she’s trying. So she’s just magnificent to work with and watch her work. She was having to do such huge emotional scenes during the entire time we were shooting and I was so impressed that she was able to execute it every time.

How would generally describe the journey for Rachel this season?
ALLIE: In the beginning, she’s sort of selfish, self-centered and then towards the end, she does change. She sort of realizes what matters in her life and what matters to her and she definitely grows over the course of the six episodes.

That must have been a lot for fun to play for you.
ALLIE: It was. I had a really great time working on this show. I hope we get to come back.

What would you say you took away from that experience?
ALLIE: Just trust that I belong there.

It is such a serious project.
ALLIE: It is a serious project, but the material is so great and the company that I am working with are so great. You’re like, “Oh my gosh, those actors are so great!” and it’s a separate thing. Then you’re like, “Oh wait, I’m here working on this too. Better not screw up!” That’s what it was like in the beginning, but now I have the confidence as I know more about Rachel and I have a lot of support around me, so I feel more confident. So it’s just trusting that I belong there.

Would you like to offer a teaser of what’s upcoming in the next five episodes so fans can anticipate a little of what will be going on?
ALLIE: There’s going to be lots of drama, lots of fights. Someone might get hurt, really, really badly. And that’s all I’m going to say! (Laughs)

So with that teaser of intense drama and action to look forward to, be sure to see what lies in store for Rachel and her family as THE RED ROAD continues on Thursday, March 6th at 9:00 p.m. on the Sundance Channel.


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