Saturday, April 11, 2009
Stephen and Mary Beth interview
The Diva finally got the magazine today. Good for them for telling it like it is. I added my two cents to their comments.
Here's some highlights:
Q: Where you surprised about being written off?
SN: "...No, because the support and story had not been there since Ed Scott was let go, which, btw, was a huge mistake. Ed's departure sent morale on the set on a downward spiral."
Diva: Scott's replacement, Gary Tomlin the architect of the vet firings.
MBE: "...they had a bottom line that they had to do, and I think that the people who are running it now have an idea of how they want it to be, so that's what they did. I don't think it mattered who was popular or who wasn't or whatever, obviously, so I wasn't surprised."
Diva: Tomlin doesn't give a shit about the fans and who they like.
SOD: no official exit scene
SN: "...that is indicative of a writer who really does not want to write anything for you and a "cut-and-run" attitude that prevails. When they decide they are done with you, they don't bother to give the characters the respect of resolving story."
Diva: Higley is a moron who is too lazy to write good endings to characters she doesn't like.
SOD: how was your return to DOOL?
SN: "...Hogan Sheffer was putting a lot of energy into us. Hogan did research and watched the early shows from our first run...The trouble was, he was the only one doing the research. Writer's assistants were frequently coming to me and Mary Beth, asking us the history of the characters. You would think the show would have those things written down somewhere. Finally, I handed everyone beautifully packaged DVDs that our fans had put together of every episode we were ever in. I must say that the first story (the Ava story) Higley was responsible for overseeing was great. After that, we were dropped like hot potatoes, and once Ed Scott was out of the picture, we were in trouble. He fought for us. I know that much."
MBE: "It's been such a spin there for a while, with just so many people getting fired, and there was just so much going on that it was pretty stressful. Everybody cares about everybody there; it's like a family and to watch all your friends get laid off, it's really hard."
Diva: Sheffer does his research. The assistant writers are lazy as hell. Sheesh, it's their job to do research. I still don't like the Ava story. It's almost impossible to get into a story when you know the actress, Tamara Braun, would only be on for 6 months. What's the point of liking Ava then? Ed Scott is vet friendly. He should have stayed. The production of the show is awful, especially the editing. Vet scenes are cut too short. Stefano's mourning over Tony's dead body would have been better if it were just cut into two scenes, instead of 5 or 6 10 second scenes. It's hard to get into a scene when they keep zipping in and out of scenes every ten seconds.
SOD: missed opportunities
SN: "...Early on, a producer told Mary Beth and me that there would be no more seconds takes for acting. One day, I stood in the booth soon after that and watched two actors in a highly emotional scene do five takes because the producer thought he saw a boom shadow, which no one could identify. 5 takes for a phantom boom shadow! If the acting had been off, they would have moved on. Another actor reported that this same producer had told him that he did not care so much about the acting and that the audience would understand enough about the story by simply hearing the words. Can you imagine? Yet the crew and any actor who cared about what they were doing felt a renewed energy and expressed that to us both. It turned out to be an uphill battle all the way."
MBE: "...I thought that Stephen and I brought value to the show, and I certainly know there was a fan base, and I thought we brought things to the canvas that other people didn't, but it just didn't seem to matter when it call came down. They had to make their bottom line."
Diva: No more second takes for acting. That explains the really really bad Nadia Bjorlin scenes. Isn't it great to have a producer not give a shit about acting? If you want someone to just recite lines, why not hire Dan Rather and a teleprompter? Thaao said similar things last year. Tomlin told him that air time depends on whether or not your pretty, not talent. Good for MBE saying that some of the actors still on the show don't have a fan base and can't act.
Both SN and MBE are busy with other projects. Good for them. There's also a section just to say thank you to their fans. Very classy.
For some of you fans who like what Tomlin is doing, go buy SOD and read what they said for yourselves. The show no longer cares about good acting or good actors or fan bases. Like the Diva has said before, the show is being turned into Passions. It's all about looking pretty and being expendable. God bless Stephen, Mary Beth, and Thaao for being honest.