We certainly had a fantastic year in 2014 and were able to speak with some of our favorite actors and actresses, which meant we were able to bring you some exciting interviews. We thought it would be fun to recap some of our best interviews of the past year. So here are our top five favorite interviews.
Jim Beaver, A True Talent
You know the name and you certainly know the face of Jim Beaver because this versatile actor has probably been in some of your favorite television shows. His current project, “Crimson Peak,” co-stars Thor and Avengers actor, Tom Hiddleston and is being directed by Guillermo del Toro and incredible cast and fans couldn’t be more thrilled for Beaver’s success.
Beaver is not only one of the most talented actors we’ve ever had the pleasure of interviewing he is by far one of the most genuine and appreciative of his fans. However, this is something that his fans already knew, especially those in the Supernatural fandom where he is one of the most beloved actors of the entire series.
On the hit CW series, Beaver played Sam and Dean Winchester’s surrogate father, Bobby Singer, who also happened to be a demon hunter. The character became an instant fan favorite and is one that fans request the most to return to the series. This is both a testament to the writing as well as Beaver’s incredible portrayal and heart that went into the role.
His talents allow him to play a range of characters in any genre from science fiction, crime, drama and any others that might come his way.
Beaver is a dedicated father, author and an incredibly kind man whom we were thrilled to be given the opportunity to interview.
BECCA ROSE: What can you tell our readers about “Crimson Peak?”
JIM BEAVER: As always with a del Toro film, they’re being a bit cagey about what we can say. I can say that it’s a gothic ghost story set partly in Buffalo, New York and partly on the moors of England. It’s set in 1901 and has a Daphne du Maurier/Henry James sort of feel, but with a good deal of special effects. Mia Wasikowska plays an aspiring writer who becomes involved with a pair of English siblings (Jessica Chastain and Tom Hiddleston), who have come to America on business. I play Mia’s father, and Charlie Hunnam plays a young doctor friend of our family. That’s not much, but it’s about as much as I’m allowed to say, I’m afraid.
BR: What is it like working with the Tom Hiddleston and Guillermo del Toro?
JB: Working with Tom and Guillermo is, in each case, a wonderfully rewarding experience. After only a short time in the presence of them both, I feel very, very close to them, the kind of working relationship that transcends work. Both men are extraordinarily fine humans, completely aside from their sterling talents. Guillermo is funny and incredibly encouraging and warm, and Tom is equally warm, a well-rounded and loving man in whose presence I am extremely comfortable. The fact is that everyone in the principal cast, Mia, Jessica, and Charlie, as well, is a joy to be around. One doesn’t always find that universality of grace, kindness, and collegiality among the big stars in a picture, and to find it in all of them in this movie is very felicitous.
BR: With your wide range of roles is there any one character or role that you feel changed your life?
JB: Nothing changed my life the way the role of Ellsworth in DEADWOOD did. Right before I got that part, I was for the first time beginning to wonder if I might have to do something else to make a living, as work came consistently but not often enough for me to support my family. With DEADWOOD and the role of Ellsworth came not only steady employment, but a hitherto non-existent recognition within the film and TV industry. Ellsworth sent me into the realm of actors who were recognized not just on the street but in casting and production offices, and it put me in a position where much of the work I got was simply offered to me, without audition. CRIMSON PEAK is a good example. Guillermo del Toro was a DEADWOOD fan, and he wrote the part in CRIMSON PEAK for me because he liked what I’d done as Ellsworth. I had never met him previously, yet Ellsworth got me a starring role in this movie. It’s hard to think of another role that has so radically changed my life. Almost all of the really great stuff I’ve done since DEADWOOD, from BREAKING BAD to JUSTIFIED and DEXTER and CRIMSON PEAK has come directly as a result of playing Ellsworth.
BR: If you could change one thing about the requirements that come with being an actor what would it be?
JB: This is a tough question, because there’s not much about acting that I don’t like. Despite my comments regarding the change DEADWOOD made in my life, there’s still a lot of auditioning, and I suppose I would like it if I didn’t have to do that so much. I don’t mind auditioning, but when it’s a straight offer, without audition, it’s such a vote of confidence, so encouraging! But auditioning is how you get to know people who don’t know your work, so it’s not a bad thing. There really isn’t anything about the job that I desperately would like changed. It’s hard to be on the road as much as I am, in terms of being separated from my daughter for long periods, but then again, I like location work, so I can’t really complain. How can anyone who gets to do this job complain about it?
BR: What do you feel was the most rewarding thing about playing Bobby Singer on Supernatural?
JB: Aside from becoming close with the crew and the cast of SUPERNATURAL, the most rewarding thing about being part of that show is the opportunity to interact with the fans who watch it. It’s rare outside the science-fiction and fantasy genres to get to know your audience on a personal basis, but SUPERNATURAL provides that opportunity. I’ve met thousands of people who love the show and are very kind to those of us who are on it, and I’m very grateful for all the relationships I’ve had with the fans and the opportunity to travel the world meeting them. They’re almost uniformly lovely people, very giving and gracious. It’s a joy to be among them.
BR: If you could go back in time and give your teenage self advice what would it be?
JB: Oh, my gosh, there is so much advice I’d give that kid! Most of it’s dating advice! For life and career advice, I think I’d just say that people act out of either love or fear, and the ones with the happiest lives are the ones who act out of love. I’d tell him to be careful what he wished for, as he might get it, and that perseverance eventually opens every lock.
BR: Was there any moment in your life, before you became an actor, when you had that moment of clarity and knew that acting was what you wanted for your career?
JB: I remember the moment I decided to be an actor for the rest of my life. It was also the moment I actually became one. I had been cast in a small part in a college production of THE MIRACLE WORKER. I’d never really been in a real play before, and I had the first line in the play. I remember the curtain opening and the lights coming up and suddenly realizing that the play wouldn’t start until I said my line. I felt such power, mingled with utter exhilaration, and it was at that moment, before I said my first word on stage, that I realized this was what I wanted to do with my life. It was a moment of perfect clarity and resolve.
BR: If you could reprise any role from your past what would it be and would you change anything about the character?
JB: There aren’t many roles from my past that I could play now, and most of them I played about as well as I could at the time, so I don’t feel I would want to alter the performances any. Altering the character doesn’t seem my place, if I didn’t write the character. My job as an actor is not to reshape the character, but to reshape myself to fit what the writer has written. About the only changes I would make to my past work would be to make some of those jobs last longer. Cancellations or getting killed off made some jobs end unhappily. On the other hand, those things probably opened the door for me to do other great jobs, so I wouldn’t want to mess too much with the way things played out.
BR: If you were stranded on a remote island with one book, CD, sports star, what would the book and CD be and who would be the sports star?
JB: If only one book, it would probably be Sterling Hayden’s autobiography WANDERER, my favorite non-fiction book, though the idea of being stuck forever with only one book is horrifying. The CD would either be a good performance of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony or Yul Brynner’s album of Russian gypsy songs, THE GYPSY AND I. Stranded with a sports star? Really? Okay, then, I pick Moe Berg, the polymath catcher for the Red Sox and Indians who was also a spy for the O.S.S. I have a feeling we’d never run out of things to talk about.
BR: Where can our readers keep up with what you are doing and find out more about your upcoming projects?
JB: I’m very active in social media. I’m on Facebook and Twitter (@jumblejim), and I try to interact with people as much as I can. That’s probably the best way to keep track of me and my doings, if that’s your idea of a good time.
Ian Somerhalder - Dedicated to Making a Change
The world of Hollywood has a reputation for delivering exciting films, television shows and talented actors but it also carries with it the misguided reputation of being full of stuck-up celebrities who could care less about real issues. One prime example of how misguided the public can be about celebrities is the work being done by The Vampire Diaries actor, Ian Somerhalder.
You know him as the sometimes irrational and always impulsive vampire, Damon Salvatore, on the hit CW series. But what you might not know, if you’ve been living under a rock, is how dedicated Somerhalder is to bettering the world and empowering people to make a stand and fight for the environment and every living creature on this earth.
In 2010 Somerhalder launched The Ian Somerhalder Foundation with the mission of empowering, educating and working together with others around the world to develop a more positive impact on the world we live in. With his determination and an army of dedicated fans, who also want to make a positive impact, Somerhalder is already creating a change in the world.
Through the efforts of his foundation he has given us hope that the next generation can treat this world with the care and love that it needs to thrive.
In an effort to help spread his message this writer was given the opportunity to interview Somerhalder about his foundation and the incredible work he is doing to empower and educate people all over the world.
BECCA ROSE: For those who have been living under a rock and might not know about it already, can you tell our readers a little about the Ian Somerhalder Foundation’s mission?
IAN SOMERHALDER: The IS Foundation aims to empower, educate and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures. The coolest thing about ISF is that we are a team, a family of people, who view the environment as an interconnected organism of which we are not separate but a part of. We see absolutely no differentiation between all living things - trees, rivers, animals and humans. We acknowledge that we are all one interdependent organism. The global problems and challenges we are facing are infinitely interconnected and co-dependent; therefore, our solutions and actions must be enacted in an interconnected manner. The vibrancy of the ISF Family allows our mission to behave in an incredibly flexible and creative manner, and I love every ounce of energy within it.
BR: Before developing the Ian Somerhalder Foundation was there a moment of clarity when you realized that this was something you needed to do?
IS: Hands down, the Gulf Oil Spill. That tragedy changed my life. I’ve always been in love with nature, but being on the ground witnessing the devastated bayou and the helpless creatures I grew up adventuring with - that really made me feel vulnerable. Witnessing how we, as people, united in the face of tragedy really opened up possibilities for me both creatively and passionately. People from all over the globe were so supportive and allowed me to feel encouraged enough to take the plunge and start ISF.
BR: Since ISF has launched, how much progress have you seen so far? Was there a particular goal you wanted to reach in the beginning?
IS: Listing one particular goal doesn’t even fit within the mission, vision or heartbeat of this Foundation. Genuinely, we have many goals that evolve in their reach with every idea or tactic our supporters bring to the sphere. I love how ISF organically evolves through the diversity of it’s people, so I guess in a sense a goal would be to continue to support this incredibly organic growth.
BR: Explain the feeling when you see so much talk about ISF on social media and how your fans are excited about fixing this planet as you are.
IS: It’s not just exciting, it’s filling. The type of connection social media has allowed me to have with passionate and brilliant people has fueled every hope I've had with ISF. Just reading people’s thoughts and ideas inspires me to take risks, to challenge circumstances, and to think forwardly and without limitations. It’s truly impacted my creativity in so many awesome ways.
BR: If people want to join your cause and be a part of ISF what steps do they need to do to make that happen?
IS: Stop by the website isfoundation.org, and visit our "Get Involved" page. There are so many ways to get involved, but my favorite way is to see people get involved is to start a community crew in their local community!
BR: The Years Of Living Dangerously documentary series is a great way to share ISF with the world especially for those that don’t use social media often. How did it feel to be asked to be a part of that experience with other actors that care passionately about the planet as you do?
IS: The moment I heard that I was being invited to participate in this incredibly important message alongside some truly passionate, talented and authentic people, I had to pinch myself. I sat with that feeling for a good long time, enough to savor and appreciate the immense opportunity, and relish in the potential that this work could create for our planet.
BR: What can people do in their own communities and lives to help spread the message of ISF?
IS: Please do visit the site and get involved, but if we are to change directions dramatically enough to truly save our planet and species we need to change the way we think about everything. We can no longer make choices and pretend that our choices do not end up affecting every life form on this planet. So when you choose to consume, realize that what you consume either fuels a better world or adds to the mayhem of toxic impacts. Every purchase you make is a vote, and believe me, this vote is able to be cast daily - even hourly. Making solid consumer choices forces the money that swirls around this planet to recognize your spending habits, and changing our planet through consumerism is genuinely a very serious opportunity to make impacts in ways we would have to wait years for political systems to accomplish. Vote daily with your choices.
BR: For you, what has been the most gratifying moment since launching ISF?
IS: There hasn’t been a specific gratifying moment, but rather a consistent stream of moments through all the people and projects we’ve travelled into. You can’t imagine how it warms my heart and fuels my fire to meet 7-year-olds, wearing ISF shirts and sharing their intensely creative and badass ideas on how to create a better planet. How could anything else compare to that kind of magic?
What Happens When You Combine A Bag of Sexiness and Talent? You Get…Chase Coleman
If there is one thing The CW is excellent at its creating fabulous shows with characters that captivate the mind and leap into the hearts of audiences all across the globe. It seems that each of their shows has a cast full of talented actors who are all better looking than the next and this writer certainly isn’t complaining about that.
This fact holds true on one of the newest CW series, The Originals, a spinoff of the hit series, The Vampire Diaries. The spinoff followed the original vampires, Elijah (Daniel Gillies), Klaus (Joseph Morgan) and their sister Rebekah (Clare Holt) to their hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana where a clan of vampires are basically running the city. This of course, doesn’t sit well with the werewolves who want to survive to see the next full moon. The spinoff has been captivating since the pilot episode but it got even more thrilling when the Bayou werewolves were introduced and we met, Oliver played by Chase Coleman.
Coleman plays the sometimes-irrational werewolf who is tired of seeing his pack being attacked by the vampires who are not so happy about a pack of werewolves living in their city. While we don’t always agree with what Oliver does we love watching him work because Coleman is one of the most talented actors we’re seen in a long time and encourages you to want more. It isn’t just his talents that we’re drawn to, although he has oodles of it, it’s his sexiness that proves the point that the CW hires the most gorgeous actors in the world.
Clearly the opportunity to interview Coleman was not something this writer, who is a huge fan of The Originals, was going to pass up.
BECCA ROSE: What can you tell our readers, who have been living under a rock, about your character on The Originals? Is there a method to his madness?
CHASE COLEMAN: There absolutely is a method to his madness. For those who are unfamiliar with Oliver, he is one of the leading werewolves of the Crescent Pack of Werewolves that use to run New Orleans years ago before Marcel and the vampires came in, cursed them, and chased them all out. Because of this intense offense on his pack, Oliver, and the Crescents, have major bad blood with Marcel, and vampires in general. Vampires have been an eternal enemy of Werewolves, since the beginning - so one can understand how difficult it is for Jackson and Oliver to come to terms with cooperating and working with vampires in any fashion.
BR: What was the audition process like for the role of Oliver?
CC: I actually went in and read for the role of Jackson, and was then offered the role of Oliver because casting felt he was much more suitable for me as an actor playing his character. I'm very excited to have gotten the opportunity to portray him. :)
BR: Not all spin offs are successful but The Originals has become a huge success, what do you think makes the show work so well?
CC: Having such a great large fan base and audience from The Vampire Diaries definitely helped in the beginning on making this show a success, but also I feel that The Originals targets a more mature audience as well in dealing with the supernatural world we've had set up for us. There's more action and more story driven by the characters beyond plain terms of romantic sweet hearts - and even more so into that of family, blood, loyalty.
BR: If you could be any supernatural creature, which one would you choose? Why?
CC: I think I'd love to be a hybrid! Immortality? Intense strength? Powers beyond reckoning? Sounds fantastic to me. :)
BR: You have played a variety of roles is there any type of character that you enjoy playing the most?
CC: I loved getting to play Billy Winslow on Boardwalk Empire. That was a lot of fun, and I love getting to work on period pieces. For those of you unfamiliar with the show, Boardwalk Empire takes place in the 1920's. Aside from him, I do really love playing Oliver! :D
BR: Aside from acting, what are you most passionate about?
CC: I play music as well. I play guitar and sing, and that is a different form of expression for myself that I am passionate about. I also greatly enjoy playing computer games and watching movies, but also love playing football and soccer!
BR: What projects do you have coming up that we can tell our readers about?
CC: There are a couple of things that I've been looking at and that are potentially on the horizon, however nothing that is signed and ready for production just yet that I'd feel comfortable talking about. Other than these potential projects I may be working on in the near future, I'm having a blast working with the talented and amazingly pleasant cast and crew of The Originals!
BR: Where can our readers keep up with you and any projects you’re working on? Are you on social media?
CC: YES! Add me on these social media outlets. I continuously post and keep everyone up to date on what's going on with the major facets of my life.
Carrie Preston – Bringing Spark and Enlightenment to “True Blood”
HBO’s hit series, True Blood, certainly has had its fair share of ups and downs, with moments of horror and misery, but overall it has been one thrilling ride of excitement, a ride that unfortunately will come to an end after this its final season. It’s hard to imagine what to expect of the final season knowing what we already know about the series. True Blood has viewers on the edge of their seats each and every week, and it isn’t always the outcome we want to see.
In a show with this much intensity it is almost pointless to get attached to a character because odds are they’re going to die sooner or later however, it was almost impossible to grow attached to Arlene played by Carrie Preston.
Preston’s talents of giving a character life made Arlene one of the most interesting characters with more depth than people expected in the first season. Of all the characters throughout the series, Arlene has grown the most and it is because of Preston’s incredible talent, which is why we’re so grateful that we were given the opportunity to speak with her.
BECCA ROSE: Without giving anything away, what can you tell our readers about what’s in store for Arlene this season of True Blood? Which by the way is very sad.
CARRIE PRESTON: I know we’re all very sad. We very recently got the final, final script so it’s different now that we’re hurtling towards our ending. It’s also making all of us try to really enjoy every moment that we still have so that’s good at least. We won’t be unceremoniously cancelled like some shows, we know that the end is coming so I feel like we’re lucky in that way. It’s good and it’s also made the writers really spend a lot of time paying attention to detail and wrapping up story lines and just knowing that they have only a certain amount of time to do that. What you can expect is what you would expect in life there is going to be some wonderful things and there are going to be some sad things. In True Blood fashion its gonna keep you on the edge of your seat. I’m actually quite proud of what the writers have given my character and me so it has been a really interesting and wonderful season for me in that regard. I’m excited for the viewers to see the journey this year.
BR: What was it that first intrigued you about the role?
CP: Honestly it was working with Allan Ball again. I had done a film with him and he is the one who told me about True Blood and it was the thought of working with him again and also working for HBO, that was in some ways more enticing than the role. The role really grew on me as it was developed. I grew up in the south so I understand women like Arlene, I certainly know women like her and I was very interested in honoring that woman and what that woman represents. Also there was a lot of humor with it and I do enjoy doing comedy, especially being trusted with comedy in the midst of a drama and I think what makes a show like ours work is that there is a balance between the drama and horror and comedy, so I think when you have all that it’s what really makes it soar.
BR: Arlene has gone through a major transformation throughout the series, what do you think has been the most pivotal moment of her life thus far?
CP: Definitely the death of Terry, I think that was an earth-shattering moment for her and I don’t know if she really quite recovered from it. But it has also made her really treasure life more and what is important in life and clarifying that and being more present as a mother and as a business owner and really launched into another chapter of her life.
BR: That was pretty hard to watch, even for viewers that was really sad. That was hard to take.
CP: Yeah, it really was and it was by design because it really did make the show ground itself back into the human world because it had been really rotating around supernatural for a long time and then to see a character that was beloved by the viewers and the other characters on the show perish in that way was a wake up call in a way. It was a big old dose of reality and finality and mortality and in a show that is basically about a bunch of immortals. I think it was a very smart move on the writer’s part it was also a tough story line for Todd and myself because we’d grown quite attached to each other as colleagues.
BR: Other than acting what is your biggest passion?
CP: Directing. I’m a director as well, I have a production company I’ve been involved with for over 10-years and I’ve directed two features and started in another feature and I direct a web series that’s out now and I’m shadowing one of our True Blood directors so I can learn more about directing. I just really love it and I find that it’s a perfect compliment to my work as an actor and it keeps me creative and active even when I’m not being hired to act. I appreciate that as something that I can do to empower myself.
BR: Other than True Blood do you have anything else you’re working on that we can tell our readers about?
CP: I do have a web series that I direct it’s called, Darwin The Series. So if you go to darwintheseries.com you can watch it. We have a full season in the can, the first three episodes are out and the remaining nine episodes will be out in the next couple of months. And it’s quite fun and as far as web series go it’s a step above some of the smaller ones. We have really wonderful writers and actors and the production value is good. That’s been a lot of my focus in the last year and as far as acting I reoccur on The Good Wife and so they’re talking to my representatives about hopefully coming back and doing a handful of episodes in their season six so hopefully I’ll be shooting some of that in the late end of fall sometime. Other than that it’s kind of shocking to think that this show that I’ve been counting on that has anchored my year for the last several years and now I’m back on the market. It’s a real wake up call.
Be sure to keep up with Carrie on her social media accounts:
‘Chasing Life’ With Italia Ricci
Life isn’t always easy and sometimes it challenges us in ways we never could have imagined but we have to
keep fighting. We are never given more than we can handle, or at least that is what we’re told and sometimes
we have to push even harder to get through situations where we think we might falter. This is the exact
message that the new ABC Family series, Chasing Life, is trying to give it’s viewers. So how do they plan on
getting their inspirational message across? With the sensationally talented actress, Italia Ricci, that’s how.
We were thrilled when we were given the incredible opportunity to speak with Ricci about the new series and
what it has been like to work on a show that will give people inspiration and hope.
BECCA ROSE: What can you tell our readers about, Chasing Life?
ITALIA RICCI: “Chasing Life” is an inspirational story about living your life the best way you can, even
when it throws you curveballs. My character, April, is 24 and has her life finally coming together just as
she planned when she is diagnosed with leukemia.
BR: What was it about the project that intrigued you so much?
IR: This character was one of the most complicated and real roles I had read for in a while. The story being
told was something I knew a lot of people could relate to, even though I couldn’t really. I knew it was
going to be challenging, but it was a one in a million role for my age and look at the time.
BR: Can you give us a little insight as to what the audition process was like?
IR: I auditioned in front of casting and producers, which I didn’t think went all that well because I was sick.
Then I got the call that I was screen testing. I screen tested later that week and booked the role October 9,
2012. I was at McDonald’s in the Burbank mall when I got the call that I booked it. I ran out and forgot my
BR: The plot of the show is pretty sad, do you think the show has an overall message for viewers?
IR: Absolutely. The show isn’t really about cancer. Cancer motivates a lot of the events, but the drama is
handled a lot lighter than you’d think. It’s so well done and you end up feeling really good at the end of
the episodes. I hope viewers feel inspired to follow their dreams and never give up.
BR: What was the most difficult part about filming for you?
IR: It changes depending on what I’m learning or where my character is. Right now, I’m having a tough
time leaving work and being Italia. I feel so guilty that I can come home and not have cancer when there
are so many brave people out there who don’t get to turn it off.
BR: Other than acting what are you most passionate about?
IR: I love being home. I love my friends and my family. I have a group of such incredible people in my life
that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Hobby-wise, I like to paint, read, and eat.
BR: Where can our readers keep up with you and your upcoming projects? Are you on social media?
IR: “Chasing Life” premieres June 10th at 9pm after “Pretty Little Liars.” I have a film coming out later this
year called The Remaining. It’s a biblically accurate thriller that follows a group of friends as they try to
navigate their faith and reality during the end of the world. I am on Twitter and Instagram (@italiaricci)
and on Facebook I have an official fan page as well. :)