Tiffany Vogt

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SLEEPY HOLLOW Redux: Talk About Finishing off the Season with One Helluva Finale!

In * Contributor article, * TV Addict, Sleepy Hollow on January 27, 2014 at 12:10 pm
"Sleepy Hollow"

“Sleepy Hollow”

(Article by: Jennifer Schadel)

Talk about going out on a cliffhanger. Thank goodness SLEEPY HOLLOW has already been picked up for its second season or fans would be mailing mini Bibles to FOX begging them to bring our beloved show back. Luckily, SLEEPY HOLLOW will be returning this fall to, hopefully, answer the questions that are now burning in our minds. Will Abbie get out of purgatory? Will Ichabod be buried for centuries? Does Jenny survive the crash? And, what on earth is going to happen to Katrina? Not to mention Captain Frank Irving and poor Andy Brooks. Will Sheriff Corbin remain in flash-backs and dreams, or will he come back from the dead? Is Moloch down for the count? And, finally, now that we know who the second horseman of the apocalypse is…what more hell-on-earth is he going to bring?

SLEEPY HOLLOW has been the series to watch since it debuted last fall. Starting off with its pilot that was written, directed and produced by four of the biggest heavy-weight names in Hollywood. Len Wiseman, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Phillip Iscove are the respected talents behind this show. Many pilots start off with a bang and then go downhill from there. Not so with SLEEPY HOLLOW. It has continued to be as entertaining, dramatic, nail-biting and on-the-edge-of-your-seat thrills and spine-tingling chills. With its talented cast, creative writers, creepy villains and some of the best visual effects on television, this show has left us with anticipation and eagerly awaiting for SLEEPY HOLLOW to return this fall. It will be eight agonizing months.

The series finale had all the twists and turns which we have come to expect in SLEEPY HOLLOW. The biggest was the revelation that Henry (the amazingly-talented John Noble) was, in actuality, Ichabod (Tom Mison) and Katrina’s (Katia Winter) long-lost son, Jeremy. I was enthralled with what Henry said to Ichabod and Abbie (Nicole Beharie) right before they went into purgatory: “I’ve come to care deeply about you both. You gave me reason to hope again. And now I implore you to cling to that hope. Remember you’re link with each other. Purgatory will try to make you forget it but hold on to each other in your hearts and nothing can separate you. You were chosen for this moment. I look forward to meeting your wife.” It was one of the most beautiful speeches heard on television. At first it seemed it was just a slight glimpse of hope for all the Ichabod/Abbie shippers who oh-so-dearly want to see these two together as a couple (and, for you shippers, how was that parting line Ichabod said to Abbie in purgatory, “Remember our bond. I’ll come back for you. Have faith.”). But, it didn’t make much sense to me why the writers added on the “I look forward to meeting your wife.” It wasn’t until we discovered that Henry is Jeremy and we realized he was looking forward to meeting his mother. It was just another little nugget of Henry revealing who he truly was. Henry was reunited with his parents and it was not a warm welcome for poor Ichabod and Katrina. This grudge-filled son is out for revenge and is doing it on quite a spectacular level.

So for now, thank you SLEEPY HOLLOW for the thrilling ride of the first season. We cannot wait to see where the journey will go next season.

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"Sleepy Hollow"

“Sleepy Hollow”

ENLISTED: Star Geoff Stults Talks the Delicate Balance of a Comedy Portraying Military Life

In * By Tiffany Vogt, * Interviews, * TV Addict, Enlisted on January 17, 2014 at 12:00 pm


Fox’s new comedy series ENLISTED offers a humorous look at life on a military base, showcasing the misadventures of three brothers stationed together stateside.  With the cool casting Geoff Stults, Chris Lowell and Parker Young as brothers that will do anything to help each other out, ENLISTED shines with humor and heart.

In recent press conference call, star Geoff Stults talked about his character Pete, the challenges of portraying military life as a comedy while still honoring those who serve for our country, and whether there may be the seeds of a romance blossoming.

Have you gotten any kind of response from veterans or currently serving military members about the show?
GEOFF: It’s inevitable people don’t like to be made fun of and the military, and there’s a reason that the U.S. Army hasn’t officially endorsed the show — because they’re just not sure exactly what it is yet and they don’t want to be made to look silly.  Hollywood has taken advantage of the military many times before and portrayed them in ways that they would rather not be portrayed.  We’ve been pleasantly surprised.  We have gone out of our way; admittedly, we made some errors when we shot the pilot. The terminology, uniforms, the way we addressed the superiors, just little things that if you’re not in the military, you’d never pay attention to, but if you are, they’re glaring mistakes that annoy the [sh*t] out of you.  Our military advisor gave me an analogy one day, he said he knew I was a former athlete and he said, “You know when you watch a movie, be it baseball or football and they cast an actor to play the quarterback who can’t throw a football more than ten yards, doesn’t that bother you?” And I’m like, “Oh my God, it drives me frigging crazy”; and he goes, “That’s what happens when I see somebody not wearing their patch in the right place.”  I was like, “I get it; I get it.”  So as far as those are simple things, but then just totally being perceived as silly or because it is a comedy, we’ve got a lot of flack for it to start with, but those that have vocalized it to us, we’ve sent more episodes along and their opinion has changed because they saw that we made an effort.  We got squared away.  We really made an effort to change things and you can see the difference between the first episode and the second episode.  It’s noticeable even to somebody that doesn’t know what to look for.  So you’re never going to make everybody happy.  There will be those people that get up and they turn the channel because they feel like we’re making a mockery of the military, but we’re absolutely not.  It’s a workplace comedy set behind-the-scenes at a base in Florida.  And with any real workplace, there are high jinks, particularly one as big as the U.S. Army.

Do you feel more of a responsibility to show that these are real human beings with senses of humor?
GEOFF: Honestly, it’s a combination of both. Then you add the other kind of interesting little dynamic to that, which is we need to do both of those things.  But we also need to do a show that’s funny so that the general public watches and continues to watch, so we can stay on the air.  If we can’t stay on the air, then we can’t do justice to our service men and women by doing a show about them, so it’s a fine-line for us.  We have to do a show that’s funny that people can just watch.  The U.S. Armed Forces makes up about one percent of our population, so we need more than them to watch the show and we need more than them to like it.  But at the same time we chose to do a show that’s set in the military, so it’s our obligation to be respectful and to do everything that we can to do right by them and portray them correctly.

As the series goes along, we see that Pete is dealing with some PTSD.  How did you prepared for that and how is it different than what you did with your character Walter on THE FINDER?
GEOFF:  Totally two different characters.  Obviously, it’s a similar through-line.  Sergeant Pete Hill from ENLISTED is a little bit more grounded in reality.  Walter Sherman of THE FINDER was a little bit more out-there.  I got to play with Walter a little bit more and I hesitate to use the word crazy, because that’s not it.  He had unorthodox ways of going about things and it was always kind of his excuse or the way he got around it was just like that’s just Walter being Walter.  He was private and he was paranoid and he was a lot of the things that are talked about as symptoms of PTSD, like Walter had.  But we took dramatic license with them and then just sort of figured it out.  What we didn’t have to worry about as much is we weren’t doing a show about the military. It was MAGNUM PI-ish.  Sort of this guy with a unique ability to find things down in the Florida Keys.  So we had a lot of other colorful things around and with Michael Clarke Duncan’s character was such a steady, straight man that I was able to play with the PTSD and Walter and his kind of antics a lot more.  Now with Sergeant Pete Hill and ENLISTED, this is a guy that is a current active American Army soldier.  He is a sergeant in the Army.  What we were trying to play with was the sincerity and the realness that he comes back and there’s nothing wrong with him.  He just knows that he’s different.  He sees things differently.  He feels things differently.  He doesn’t know how to describe it.  He doesn’t know what it is and, that’s what we found with our research and our conversations with people, that is sometimes the way it works.  Now originally, everybody was just thrown into one box.  You just had PTSD and what they realized is there are just different versions of that and people suffer differently from it.  So I did as much as I could to be honest about that.  Fortunately for me, but unfortunately my best friend, he is in the Marine Corps.  He served four tours and he suffers from PTSD and he’s got symptoms that are very similar to what Sergeant Pete Hill has.  This is important to me to do right by that and it’s very important to Kevin Biegel and Mike Royce and the rest of the writers. We’re not just addressing this and shoving it down the viewer’s face and it’s not the hot topic in every episode.  It’s just you start to see little traces that something is different in Pete and he’s not sure exactly what it is; and throughout the course of the season, we see how he goes from unwilling to accept that there’s anything wrong, to accepting it, to seeking help, to thinking he’s got it under control, to finding out that maybe he doesn’t quite have it totally under control.

What’s been your biggest challenge on the show so far?
GEOFF:  Gosh, there are so many of them, but I got to tell you I feel so blessed to have just so many.  I know this sounds cliché and cheesy, but I’ve never felt more protected on a show before; meaning I’ve just got really good people around me.  You can say that my biggest challenge is to show up every day and bring it, because there are people that are better than me around me everyday.  So, for me, it’s been a blast with Parker [Young] and Chris [Lowell] and Angelique [Cabral] and Keith David.  Every time I get to work with [Keith], I sit back and watch and then again the rest of those guys, the whole platoon, all these really funny stand-up comedians.  So the challenge for me is probably not laughing when I’m supposed to be taking it seriously.

Do you have a favorite scene that you can tell us about from the show so far?
GEOFF: That’s tough for me to say, but I think as far as just one quick scene, and it’s not very quick, but the finale scene with my two brothers and Keith David and I is really poignant. [It] is the finale of the last episode, the last scene of the last episode and it’s really poignant for my character and for the arc that the whole show goes on sort of being sort of seen through my eyes in a way or driven by Sergeant Pete Hill.  But on a day-in/day-out basis or episode-by-episode basis, my favorite scenes are always the scenes that include the whole platoon because I just am so entertained. I got so much respect for our whole cast of characters, the whole platoon, all the comedians and everybody.  So, for me, it’s just fun to be in those scenes, because I’m like you guys; I’m an audience member when it comes to that watching these guys do their comedy.

What do you find is so unique about your character, and why do you enjoy portraying him?
GEOFF:  I could get in trouble for saying this, and I can tell you that my publicist with Fox is afraid of what I’m going to say right now.  There aren’t a lot of “men’s men” on television right now.  What I think Pete is, he’s a “man’s man.”  He loves his country.  He loves his family.  He’s devoted to his job.  He’s willing to die for his country and he’s willing to die for his brothers.  He’s very devoted to them and devoted to his job.  He wants to go back overseas and be in theatre, as they refer to it, with his brothers in arms.  What I think is unique about him is he is this is a guy that is for all intents and purposes, he’s a super soldier.  He’s perfect.  He’s strong.  He’s strong.  He’s referred to as the strongest guy that many people had ever seen, physically, mentally, all those reasons. But we find out that there are chinks in his armor too.  What I like about that was not only did we find out that there were chinks in his armor and that he needed help, but he got to a point where he realized it was okay to ask for help and he dealt with that.  As we find out as the season goes on, he feels like he fixed himself and everything was all good, but he may not have fixed himself quite as much as he thinks he did.  Unique? I’m sure there have been other people on TV, but I feel like the dynamic between him being a soldier, him suffering from PTSD, him being his brother’s boss during the day, and just a big brother at night trying to work that fine line and with that strange dynamic, there’s just a lot of stuff that I get to play with that makes Pete very interesting for me.

How was boot camp?  Since you’re a little bit older than the average recruit, did they go easy on you?
GEOFF:  I think they still accept — up until 42 I think they accept general enlistees.  Now I couldn’t go be Special Forces or something like that, thank God, because I’d have to work out more.  It was awesome.  It was awesome and nerve-wracking and scary.  We got a chance to really kind of dive-in and for a tiny, tiny bit of time, live a little bit like an Army soldier.  It was scary — meaning like just like the not knowing — but I had a great time.  It was a great, great time.   It wasn’t easy.  Sleep deprivation and waking up in the middle of the night having to work-out and forced to memorize things and recite them in front of people that were very intimidating with guns; nothing easy about it.  There’s nothing easy about something you haven’t done before.  But we all felt like it was very important for us to do and try as hard as we could even if we failed because the people around us had done it and continue to do it for those that were there before us and those that will be there after us.  We’re actors and we got to leave at the end of the week and they were still there.  They were supportive of us and welcoming and encouraging, so we worked our [asses] off just to try to in our smallest, tiniest way to pay some respect to them.

Are you going to have any real life military people guest star on the show?
GEOFF:  We already have.  We have military people on the show every single day.  All of Jill’s squad is former Army.  There are Air Force people on set.  There are former Rangers on set that are background that have speaking roles.  One of our military advisors played a role in it.  We have military on set every day from morning ’til night.

About the Pete and Jill relationship, because of the “no fraternization” policy in the military, you can’t really do a “will they/won’t they” story.  But you and Angelique Cabral’s characters both have so much chemistry together.  Did that just sort of happen?
GEOFF: It just sort of happened.  I think originally when you’re putting a TV show together and you’re pitching it to a network, it’s like, “Here’s all the players and then where’s the love interest and all that kind of stuff, and who’s the lead going to be.”  Then there’s Sergeant Pete and Jill.  They don’t like each other; they like each other; they don’t like each other.  And what we found out was obviously while fraternization kind of doesn’t work that well in the military, technically they would be allowed to since they’re of the same rank. So they’d be allowed to date and that’s kind of the way they categorize things.  We’ve also just realized that, for now in the show, that it’s just not nearly as interesting as other things that we could be doing, them flirting and then not liking each other.  We touch on it just a little bit, but for now we’re going to keep those two things as a little nugget that we’ll get into later on.

To see how Pete and Jill’s light flirtation leads to an epic competition challenge and more of the wonderful adventures the entire unit, be sure to catch all new episodes of ENLISTED air Friday nights at 9:30 p.m. on Fox.

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Shining the Spotlight on ALMOST HUMAN’s Michael Ealy

In * By Tiffany Vogt, * Interviews, * TV Addict, Almost Human on January 13, 2014 at 12:00 pm


Michael Ealy (photo credit: Jennifer Schadel)

Michael Ealy (photo credit: Jennifer Schadel)

Fox’s new futuristic sci-fi series ALMOST HUMAN may be a fun buddy-cop show, but it also manages to address interesting issues of human/android tensions in working relationships.  During press interviews at the Warner Bros. Mondo International Press Tour, star Michael Ealy shared what is like portraying an android in a human world and the joy of playing a character with such surprising humanity in his life.

Karl Urban talked about how Dorian’s been teaching Kennex to be kind of more human.  Do you have a different take on that?
MICHAEL:  No, absolutely right.  Every day I try to teach Karl how to be a human. (Laughs) No, I think one of the things that was so compelling about the show was this idea that a machine could have more humanity than a human.  It seemed so farfetched to me at the time, but that’s what also made it challenging.  In hindsight and in learning what I’ve learned about Dorian ‑‑ and I constantly call him, a reflection of the humanity that we all take for granted ‑‑ and there are days when I personally am not the best human being that I can be –I now understand how we tend to neglect the humanity that makes us all equal.  We tend to neglect that because we’re in a bad mood because somebody pissed us off and all these other things, and we don’t feel like we got a fair shot or whatever.  That’s what Kennex is going through, and Dorian doesn’t have that baggage.  That’s what’s so special about him.  He doesn’t have that baggage.  So what he brings is kind of a fresh openness that I find is, hopefully, more refreshing and influential when it comes to Detective Kennex.


"Almost Human"

“Almost Human”

Dorian’s not exactly a blank slate.  He is always constantly referring to his previous occupation as if it was some, like, tainted existence that he had before.  Like he’s trying to distance himself and trying to be a better person himself from before he was decommissioned.
MICHAEL:  Oh, yes.  What happened to Dorian before is interesting.  What happened to his kind is even more interesting.  Did they tell you what happened?  No. So I’m not going to screw that up.  (Laughs) But when we explore what happened to the DRN model, it’s fascinating.  It’s absolutely fascinating.  And it kind of helps you understand why Dorian is so eager with his second chance at being a cop and why he can be a little bit more concerned about going down the possible path that other DRNs went down and why he was decommissioned in the first place.  So, he’s got a lot to prove, being the only one that’s doing police work.

Addressing the subject about discrimination, how do you see that aspect in the show, like the relationships between the human and the android?
MICHAEL:  Personally, I’ve always been a person who didn’t understand reverse racism.  I don’t kind of understand.  Prejudice is prejudice.  Discrimination is discrimination, and you can be discriminatory against somebody because of their gender, because of their race, because of their sexual preference, their height.  Whatever you want ‑‑ if you want.  If you choose to be discriminatory against somebody, you can be discriminatory against them.  And I think what we’re doing here. There’s, obviously, some discrimination towards the machines.  But depending on what kind of machine you’re talking about, the DRN model, as of right now, is the best example of what potential can be between man and machine.  But there are other machines in the show.  You’ll see other bots in the show.  You’ll see other holographic machines.  It’s crazy.  But not all are used for good.  And that’s a reality too.  But what I find is the discrimination against Dorian is no different than the discrimination against a woman, a homosexual, or a transgendered person.  Discrimination is discrimination. I just think that in 2048 what we’re saying is right now there’s an issue between and machine; and not everybody’s discriminating against machines, just certain people.  Just like not everybody is discriminating right now.

What has been the most interesting conversation that the show has brought up?
MICHAEL:  Interesting conversation.  Off camera?  A cameraman asked me if we would ever deal with race on the show.  And I told him, “I hope not.”  I feel like if Dorian were white, it would never come up.  It would be about class at that point, I guess; right?  So just because Dorian is being played by a black actor doesn’t mean we need to go run down the race episode.  You know what I mean?  So that provoked a lot of thought, actually, because nine times out of ten when you see a black man and a white man in a show, we’ve got to deal with racial issues. Or you see a white man and an Asian man; we’ve got to deal with the racial issues.  It’s just that’s the American way, apparently.  But this is interesting.  This is 2048.  This is the future.  And I think it’ll be much more interesting if we walk away from that and just let it be what it is, because Dorian is a machine ultimately.  He is a machine being portrayed by a black actor.  But when does that stop making a difference?  When does that not matter? So that was probably one of the more provocative conversations that came up on set off camera.

Home video offers us through DVDs, through Blu‑ray, through digital ways to watch television shows all at once.  Is that something you like to do?
MICHAEL:  Absolutely.  I do.  I watched HOUSE OF CARDS in about three nights.  You know, when I first started in television, my first show was SLEEPER CELL, and Showtime put it out there.  This Netflix thing isn’t new.  Showtime did that with SLEEPER CELL.  We put it out there, all eight or ten episodes, all at once.  You could either watch them weekly, or you could watch them all in one sitting.  So I like to think that we were a little bit ahead of the curve at that time.  And right now people watch, I guess, when they can.  They watch when they can.  And that affects certain shows.  There’s no doubt about it.  That affects certain shows.  You need people to watch live.  You really do.


"Almost Human"

“Almost Human”

What do you think are the advantages of being able to see several episodes, one after the other?
MICHAEL:  I think when you’re able to see multiple episodes, you’re able to get a better idea of whether or not the show is for you, bottom line.  If you see four or five episodes and you’re like, “I still don’t connect,” don’t watch the rest. You might see one and be like, “I love it,” and then the next two aren’t that good.  And then you see another good one, and you’re like, “It’s a little inconsistent.  I might watch it.  I might not.”  You might see one and hate the rest and be like, “No, thanks.”  But I just think it’s important that if you want to watch it ‑‑ and we’re asking people for their time — so we gotta make a product that’s worth their time.  And I feel like people will watch when they have the time.  That’s just a sign of the future.  It’s not going back the other way, to the way it used to be.  That’s for sure.

There’s some big sci‑fi names working on this show. Did you feel like there was something that you needed to know, like picking their brain?  Or do you feel like you just went your own way with it?
MICHAEL:  Good question.  When I first got this role, I thought, “Okay.  I need to go just imbibe as much as sci‑fi as I can,” because I’m not a big sci‑fi guy.  I’ll be the first to tell you that.  I don’t have a huge background in sci‑fi or comic books.  I just don’t.  And after my initial response, that I want to watch this and I want to watch that, I watched “RoboCop.”  Let me correct myself.  I tried to watch “RoboCop.”  I loved it as a kid.  I couldn’t sit through 10 minutes of it as an adult.  And it just made me stop and say, “You know what?  At the end of the day, this show, while it does have a sci‑fi component, it’s about the relationship between Dorian and John and man and machine.”  So I’m just going to play it ALMOST HUMAN and not worry about the technology that’s going to go on around me.  I’ll let the experts deal with that.  But what I’m going to bring to it is a fresh sensibility, if you ask me, that is not rooted in a deep sci‑fi tradition.  That might not work.  But it’s the choice I’ve made to approach this character and this show.;

All new episodes of ALMOST HUMAN air Monday nights at 8:00 p.m. on Fox.

"Almost Human"

“Almost Human”

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