Category Archives: Interviews

Interviews with TV stars!

Interview with Dark Matter’s Jeff Teravainen

The last few years, Syfy has really raised the bar for science fiction television fare in my opinion. Aside from Black Mirror, four out of five of my top five sci-fi shows are on Syfy. I’d actually rank The Expanse & Dark Matter higher in that hierarchy than Black Mirror, despite its extraordinary writing. I guess maybe I am more interested in episodic shows. Or maybe I am captivated more by teams of outlaws fighting impossible odds and usually coming out on top.

Whatever the explanation may subconsciously be, I love a bunch of the shows they run these days, including two that feature Canadian rocker turned voice actor Jeff Teravainen: 12 Monkeys and Dark Matter. My constant use of hashtags and Twitter have led me to a bunch of my favorite TV stars the past year, and sometimes you luck out and they #FollowBack, which leads to chances to ask them to do interviews, bringing us right here to the phone interview I recently conducted with Jeff.

If you’ve never watched either show, now is your chance to binge watch it all. Then come right back and read this fun interview I did just in time to mark the season three finale of Dark Matter, tonight on Syfy!!

PlanetPhoebe: On Dark Matter, you play as Lieutenant John Anders, who has a history as an undercover agent alongside Six, back when he was working for the Galactic Authority. Season three opened with you holding Three in custody while he saved your ass a few times from the attack drone, which was after both of you. It was a chance to see you working closely with Anthony Lemke for a change instead of when we usually see Anders deal mostly with Six played by Roger Cross. What was it like working with Anthony this time around?

Jeff Teravainen: It was amazing. I knew him from before as well. He’s just a great guy. That’s the thing about Dark Matter. For me I always said that they are like the core family and I was like the very close cousin. And I got treated that way: “Come over for dinner. Let’s hang out and all have a great time.” So we have a real relaxed atmosphere with the actors/producers, everybody. We just bounced stuff off each other. It was a real pleasure to work with him just in a professional manner. It’s fun to watch how other people work and see what they do. Yeah like you experiment and stuff. I learned a fair bit on that episode too. Vaughn Murphy, who directed… I’ve known him forever as well, so I was excited to work with him. I learn things like I am told how consistent I am on takes. And I like that, but at the same point, both of them were pushing me to do different things here and there. Since then I don’t think I’ve done the same take twice, and I think that’s basically on their advice. So yeah, we had a ball. We had a scene where he was gonna be on top of me and I remember I was concerned about my breath, ’cause he was gonna be over me for so long. And then on the first take, he went into the snack truck and went for something heavy on the hummus, and I decided, oh then I’ll go grab something there too. For a minute, it was biological warfare there.

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Interview with Tim Tebow from Home Free!

HOME FREE: Tim Tebow. Cr: FOX. © 2016 FOX BROADCASTING CO.Tonight is the season premiere of Home Free on FOX. If you missed last season, the premise is this: Contestants come on the show to compete to win a dream home. Last season, couples competed against one another to win themselves a new house (or in the case of a couple of sisters, a home for their parents). This season is a bit different, in that it’s individual competitors, not couples, AND they are all competing to win a dream home for their personal hero (from a mother-in-law and brother to a woman who donated her kidney to the contestant’s father and a soldier who saved another soldier’s — the contestant’s — life during the war). This season, whoever wins the dream home for their hero also wins $100,000 for themself. The biggest twist (for both seasons)? EVERY contestant (or their hero, in this season’s case) wins a new home! The houses get bigger and better (so they say… Personally, I liked some of the earlier houses in season 1. *shrug*) as they go along. And this season, as opposed to houses in different areas of the city, the houses are all located in a brand new neighborhood development called Home Free Boulevard.

I absolutely loved last season, which was hosted by celebrity contractor Mike Holmes and his son. This season, Mike is back, and with him is new co-host, professional football player Tim Tebow. Tim recently spoke to the press about how he came to help host the show and what it means to him. Check out what he had to say.

On how he got involved with the series

Tim Tebow: When they came and were pitching the idea to me, I was obviously, kind of — I’d heard about this show and knew what they did in Season 1. But then I really understood what they were going to do in Season 2, and they were going to have 11 contestants competing to try to win a dream home for their personal hero, but then one of the twists is that every single one of the contestants gets to give away one of the homes to their heroes. So, everybody walks away a winner. But then you really start to understand the stories of these heroes, and these contestants, and why they’re really special. It’s because the heroes have done so much to sacrifice to get the contestants where they’re at, and now it’s the contestant’s chance to really make a dream come true for these heroes. I think that’s really special. And then you really get to understand the stories of sacrifice, whether it’s Nick, who was the war hero in Afghanistan, who’s competing for the man that picked him up on the battlefield and saved his life and brought him to safety. Or the contestant that we had that was competing for a young lady who does random acts of kindness all the time and donated her kidney to save his father’s life when he was going through dialysis. And I think when I really began to understand the stories, and how the contestants really had a chance to change the lives of the heroes, I think that’s what really gripped me. To really understand the narrative of it, it’s people loving and sacrificing for other people to make a difference in their lives. And when I heard that, I knew it was something that would be a lot of fun to be a part of.
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On how his personal experience with charity work plays into what he’s doing with this show

Tim: Well, I think it definitely plays into it, just coming from the place of wanting to help other people and wanting to make a difference. I think it’s also the theme of what you’re trying to promote, and I think this show promotes to young people, and even not so young people, is that it is such a blessing to be able to help other people, and sacrifice for other people. Whether it’s your money, your time, your energy, your effort, whatever it is, it’s worth it, and it’s not just worth it when they return — they give you a home in return, but it’s worth it because of the lives that you’re able to change. I think that’s something that I’ve really learned through a lot of the work that we do at the Tim Tebow Foundation, and the work that I’ve done in third world countries. I think it’s also just as important to be able to do it here, in our own communities, and our own homes, because people need help, and they need hope. Sometimes that’s as little as a hug, and sometimes it can be as much as giving away a home, but I just think it’s so important. I think to be able to tell that story and have people see that, I think it’s good, especially in a day and age when it can be so much about me, me, me, and how can I get mine, where this show is totally about helping other people and that’s really cool.

On what it was like to be a part of a reality program

Tim: It was fun. It was exciting. I got super close with all the contestants and everybody, all the crew. I think that was really fun building those relationships, and investing in everybody on set. Especially contestants who, they go through so much, right, they put pause on their life to be able to do this and so, to really invest in them, and hear their story, and why they’re doing it, really understand the why behind it all, I think that was really, really cool. And another cool thing about it was, to be able to see some of them grow, throughout the — whether they were there five weeks, or ten weeks, whatever it was, to be able to see some of them grow, whether they’d start to believe in themselves, or find their confidence, or to be able to overcome obstacles. It’s a lot for people to be away from their families, and put their job on hold, and their life on hold, to be able to try to win a home for someone else. It was really cool to be able to experience that with them.

On how it was to host with Mike Holmes

timtebowcall2smallTim: It was so much fun working with Mike, obviously, as everybody knows, he’s the master builder, and I am definitely not. We were — the whole — how everyone competes, is skill, will, and strategy. So you have to learn the skill and Mike’s going to teach you that. For me, it was to try to push them and encourage them with their will to push past their limits. Then for them, it was to figure out how, whatever strategy they wanted to use. But, what was also really important in their strategy was how they treated everybody else. So it was really fun working with Mike, and we’re just so absolutely different, but we got along so well. We would tease each other, we’d go back and forth. He thinks that everybody should know how to build certain things, we’d go back and forth, I was like, people just don’t know how to do this stuff. I would give him a hard time about wearing overalls every day, that I just call a fancy onesie, but he’s awesome. We really did get along really well. He tries to put on that really tough man exterior, but he’s got a super soft heart; he loves helping people. A little tidbit about this show, is you might see him cry once or twice, which he probably won’t like me saying, but he even gets emotional, so you know it’s doing something good.

On his personal heroes he’d build a home for

Tim: Well, I’m blessed with so many heroes in my life, and role models, but I think more so than any, it would be my mom and my dad. My dad for having the most passion and courage I’ve seen out of any man, and then my mom, for being the sweetest lady. They’d definitely be my top two heroes.

On what he hopes viewers will take away from the show

Tim: I hope a lot of things. I think people are going to watch it, and they’re going to see that it’s probably the biggest build show America’s ever seen, so if they like building, it has a lot of that. It has so much competitiveness, which was so fun for me, really fierce competition. It’s obviously got its fair share of drama, but I think, more than anything, I’d want them to take away that it can be cool to be able to love and sacrifice for other people and give for other people. And I just believe that it’s more blessed to give than to receive. I think that’s something that this show really — I think that’s something that it really shows every single week in this show.
Thanks so much to Tim for taking the time out of his schedule to chat. Don’t miss the season premiere of Home Free tonight on FOX at 9/8c. I promise, you don’t want to miss this fun, inspiring show!

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Interview with Kellan Lutz from Bullseye

kellanlutzcall527asmallLast week, I had the chance to speak with big-screen star Kellan Lutz about his hosting gig on the new FOX reality show, Bullseye. I’ve loved Kellan in everything I’ve seen him in, and it was awesome to talk to him and learn how nice a guy he seems to be in real life. Bullseye, which has contestants doing exciting stunts for a chance to win up to $50,000, is perfect for Kellan, and he explains why below. Check out what he had to say…

On what attracted him to the show

Kellan Lutz: Everything. I am an adventure, risk taking junkie at heart, and I just live for action movies. That’s why I do a plethora of action movies. I just love driving fast cars, shooting guns, doing fight scenes, and layering that with crazy stunts like Expendables 3, where I got to ride my motorcycle up eight stories. So, any time I can do something that really makes me push my comfort zone to the max, that’s what real life living is to me.

When Jon Kroll, an amazing producer, brought this to my attention, I saw this as a rule that he had. And I was just floored that they could get a way, production value of making these stunts, because a lot of the stunts that he showed me excelled way past any stunts I’ve ever done in my movies. So, being a part of the show, I wanted to be on the show and I said, “When can I do the stunts?” And he was like, “Well, we’d like you to host it because we know this is right up your alley.” And I’d never hosted before, so I took a little bit of time and I thought about it, and it made sense because how I look at my career is I want to do stuff that I’m passionate about, stuff that just is me, is Kellan.

And hosting a show like this, it just seems right. It seems right up my alley. I’d be really excited every day with every new stunt. And I’m a people person, so I just love encouraging other people to step outside of their comfort zone and push their limits, and really live life the way that I love living, so the show’s very organic for myself.

And also asking them, and the studio, Fox and Endemol if I’d be able to participate and partake in some of the stunts, they were hesitant at first, but they knew that that was the deciding factor for me. I couldn’t just sit on the sidelines and watch everyone else have fun. So, they agreed and we’re off to the races.

This whole project has been such an amazing experience, and I love every day on set. There’s always amazing contestants, and there’s always a new stunt that Scott Larsen creates, and the whole company creates. And the crew’s worked together on Wipeout and Fear Factor before, so I really stepped into a great family unit and they welcomed me with open arms. Then I get to do it with Godfrey [from The Godfrey Complex] who has us cracking up on set. So, the energy on set is just unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.
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Interview with Rainn Wilson from Backstrom

backstromcall122asmallFOX’s newest procedural, Backstrom, hits our TV screens tonight. Backstrom stars Emmy Award nominee Rainn Willson as Everett Backstrom, an unhealthy, offensive, surly—albeit brilliant—detective who sees the worst in everyone. Fortunately—or unfortunately—he’s usually right. He spent five years in the traffic division after being knocked down there for offensive behavior, and he has now returned to lead Portland’s newly minted S.C.U. (or Special Crimes Unit).

Because of that, series lead, Rainn Wilson, recently spoke to the press about his character, how the show/character relates to what’s happening currently in society, and what it was like to work with the others on the show. Check out what he had to say…

On the relevancy of Backstrom, the show, & the characters to the current societal feelings toward the police

Rainn Wilson: Wait a minute, you might be describing a television show that’s actually relevant to modern society? Outrageous. Yes, there’s relevance there. You know, there are a lot of crooked cops—and I don’t think there’s near as many as there used to be—and there are a lot of racist cops, but once you get to know Backstrom, you’ll see that it’s really not racism like you think of it. He hates himself more than anyone. So he’s racist against whites and blacks and any other race; and he is sexist against men as he is sexist against women. He just is an all-purpose hater.
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Interview with Executive Producer Stephen Nathan from Bones

bonescall1211asmallIt’s well-known on TV Is My Pacifier that Bones is one of my favorite shows, and honestly, Stephen Nathan & Hart Hanson are two of my favorite people in the biz. Last week, Stephen took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to sit down and talk to the press about this week’s landmark 200th episode of the series, which is a one-off episode that was filmed and written similar to classic Alfred Hitchcock movies. It’s all about our favorite characters and how they might have met if they lived back in that era and their lives were different (for example, Temperance is a cop, Booth is a thief, Max is Tempe’s boss…). I’ve seen the episode, and it’s a fun look into a completely alternate reality while still keeping so much of what makes Bones a great show. Check out what Stephen had to say about the episode, Emily’s pregnancy, and the future of the show.

On how they came up with the Hitchcock idea and what character would play what role

Stephen Nathan: Well, I think coming up [conceptually] with this, we wanted to go back to something that was classic because after ten years, we’re moving into the classic category; not many shows last for 200 episodes. I think there have only been 24 dramas in the history of television from what I’ve been told. We wanted to do a classic examination of the show and of the romantic nature of the show. This style, this time, really sets it apart and allows us to highlight that aspect of our series in a way no other time really could.

We also got a chance to reintroduce Booth and Brennan, see the initial attraction and the blossoming of their romance, again, in new circumstances. In terms of which character played which parts, Booth and Brennan, essentially, are the same people in different specific roles, but Booth is still this honorable man who had been through the war and who was trying to right wrongs. Brennan is somebody who is stubbornly holding onto a set of beliefs that no one can shake from her, and she will be proven right in the end in this circumstance.

The other characters, we just had a great time with them. We just tried to put them in similar roles, power structure wise, if there is such a thing, and also to see which roles would allow them to have simply the most fun. What’s going to be the most fun for all of these characters, some of whom we can only see for a line or two, others we see for a scene, but what was just going to be the most enjoyable situation to put them in and that’s what we did. This was really a labor of love, and we wanted the audience to share the fun that we were all having doing it.
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