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Wingman Wednesday

Brendon Zub

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Photo By: Noah Asanias

Growing up with a passion for baseball, aspiring Major Leaguer-turned-actor Brendon Zub envisioned a day where he’d be running base paths professionally. But like life tends to do, it zigs when you anticipate the zag, and now the Vancouver native is sharing screen time with caped crusaders in The CW’s “Batwoman.”

I remember getting chills the first time I came to set and saw the Batcave rebuilt with Easter eggs to all previous Batman shows hidden about,” Zub said in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace. “It was jaw dropping.”

We recently sat down with Zub to discuss script reveals, cast whale watches, and why streaming platforms help to keep his family informed on his career.

TrunkSpace: With the premiere of “Batwoman” behind you, does it feel like you’re now able to share your experience on the series with the world? Does it feel more real when it is out there and is being enjoyed?
Zub: Definitely! We shot the pilot back in March, so it was a challenge to stay quiet about it with all the excitement surrounding it until the show got picked up. Now that it’s aired, it definitely feels more real since we can talk more about the show, engage with fans, and share some of our behind the scenes pics and experiences from set.

TrunkSpace: Did you find yourself scouring the socials to see what the first impressions of the series were to long-time fans of the characters and how those characters were handled in a cinematic sense?
Zub: I see what comes my way, but honestly I didn’t go out and search social media myself. I still consider myself a newbie in the social media world. I’m not on Twitter and find managing my Instagram account challenging enough. (Laughter) I get tips and advice from my castmates on “Batwoman.” Camrus (Johnson), who plays Luke Fox on the show, is a good friend and tends to send me articles and help me when I have questions. That guy is a wizard on Insta and Twitter.

TrunkSpace: What would 10-year-old Brendon think about his future self getting to play in the DC Universe? Would it seem unfathomable to him at the time?
Zub: Yes, 10-year-old Brendon would have been completely shocked and probably even more confused. You see at that age, despite being a bit of a class clown in school, I was crazy into baseball. I lived and breathed that sport and all I could dream of at the time was growing up and playing in the Major Leagues one day.

TrunkSpace: When you’re working on a project like “Batwoman” where, although grounded in reality, anything is possible… do you have those pinch me moments on set where you look around at the costumes and set pieces and go, “How is this my life?”
Zub: For sure, you can’t help but have those moments when you get to work with such a stellar cast and play around in such a legendary location as Gotham. I remember getting chills the first time I came to set and saw the Batcave rebuilt with Easter eggs to all previous Batman shows hidden about. It was jaw dropping. It wasn’t till Ruby Rose donned the Batsuit and we got to do our first scene together that the reality of it all truly sunk in… I was now apart of the DC Universe.

TrunkSpace: Your character Chuck seems to be carrying a few secrets with him. How much of his journey did you know going into your first day of shooting, and has that journey surprised even you in places as you have gotten further into production on Season 1?
Zub: I knew nothing day 1 except that Chuck Dodgson betrayed the Crows and was Alice’s lover. How that all played out, and his and Alice’s backstory, was a complete mystery to me. I had my theories but the writers kept their cards close and didn’t reveal much of anything early on. Over the course of the season, however, more of Alice’s and Dodgson’s relationship and backstory is revealed and fans will learn more behind their motivations.

TrunkSpace: We would imagine it’s fun to play a character where “not all is what it seems” because you’re getting to peel back those layers for the audience week after week. As a performer, does that episodic reveal make it just as interesting for you to shoot a project as it is for the viewers to watch it all unfold?
Zub: Yes, in fact, we feel much like the viewers ourselves week to week. Only difference is that we’ve just experienced things a few months earlier. Every time we got a new episode sent to us we’d all talk about it and share the same shocked reactions and theories that fans do now.

TrunkSpace: For fans, the final product of a film or series is always the most memorable part, but for those involved in a project, we’d imagine it goes much deeper than that. For you, what is something about your time working on “Batwoman” thus far that you’ll carry with you through the course of your life/career?
Zub: For me, it’s the friendships I’ve made on this show. Since most of the cast were new to Vancouver, I had the unique opportunity to show them around town and introduce them to all the fun and unique activities that Vancouver, BC has to offer. As a result, I grew pretty close to many of them on and off set. There’s been cast BBQs, and even a whale watching tour we all did together… memories I won’t soon forget. I will cherish the friendships made on “Batwoman” for a lifetime.

TrunkSpace: Beyond the weekly premieres, “Batwoman” will live on in streaming platforms where people can catch up or watch again as many times as they’d like. As an actor, do platforms like Netflix enhance the experience for you in bringing a character to life, knowing that they’ll live on for people in however they wish to consume the content down the line?
Zub: Yes. It’s especially important to me since many of my family and friends are scattered around the world in different countries and can’t watch it on TV. It’s been nice to just tell my brother, who’s halfway around the world and my biggest supporter, to just turn on Netflix and watch my show. Makes things easier.


TrunkSpace
: What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
Zub: Well… a few months ago I’d probably say my Hallmark/Lifetime Christmas lead romance roles but now I’d have to say “Batwoman.” It’s quickly overshadowing my previous roles now… especially as the season progresses.

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Zub: Oh, that would be hard to turn down… but I kind of like not knowing what is around the corner for me though. It keeps me motivated to work hard for each and every thing in life and to seize every opportunity. It’s been an exciting roller coaster ride so far and not knowing what tomorrow brings is the fun part. Having said that… I may just take a quick peek.

Batwoman” airs Sundays on The CW.

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Wingman Wednesday

Anand Desai-Barochia

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For Anand Desai-Barochia, the journey to landing a role of substance – in this case, Janzo in “The Outpost” – was a long and winding road, but like so many things in life, the good always comes to those who wait.

Being an impatient creative, you always hope it happened faster – quicker,” he said in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace. “I wont lie, I’m glad it didn’t happen straight away. Now I genuinely appreciate the work I have because it wasn’t handed on a silver plate.”

We recently sat down with Desai-Barochia to discuss post-production llamas, growing with a character, and the joy of eating affordable truffle gnocchi.

TrunkSpace: We previously spoke with your “The Outpost” costars Jessica Green and Jake Stormeon during the series’ Season 1 run. Now that you’ve wrapped up Season 2, what can you tell us about how this show has impacted your life and career the most? Has it brought substantial change to your door?
Desai-Barochia: Firstly (is firstly a word?) I’d like to apologize for your interaction with my cast mates. I know how tedious they can be. Now to the question at hand. “The Outpost” has allowed me the fortunate privilege to now only spend my time on material and projects that truly interest me. Like most actors, before landing something of substance, I had to audition for anything and everything, even if the casting breakdown said “60-year-old Chinese man with a pet llama.” Because, you never know. I’m brown – they could always FX in a llama.

TrunkSpace: Playing Janzo is the longest time you have ever spent with one character on screen. What is that extended journey inhabiting one character like? Has who you understood Janzo to be changed from that moment you first signed on to play him to where he is today throughout the course of Season 2?
Desai-Barochia: Before “The Outpost,” I always thought that I preferred film over TV – purely for the fact I could see a character through from beginning to end. Now in our second season, my thoughts on this are definitely changing. I’m incredibly protective of Janzo – he is a character that has grown as I have. He started off as a shy, intimidating wee soul… just like me.

I could be wrong, but I do believe our shows’ creators have adapted our roles to the actors that play them. That being said, the more you know your character, the bolder you can be in your choices. The beauty we have as a show is that it is completely original material. The show isn’t based on any film or book series. All of the characters have changed and grown since Season 1.

TrunkSpace: You have said that the writers of “The Outpost” have given you the freedom to help sculpt Janzo and make him your own. What is an element of him that you knew you wanted to bring to life, and that perhaps was not initially intended for the character?
Desai-Barochia: It might have to do with having a British sense of humor – and maybe something our writers at first didn’t intend on, however, the second I read Janzo’s lines in the pilot, I immediately read them as him being extremely dry and blunt. I’ve always seen him like that – now it might not have been how the writers initially saw him but I’m glad they’ve allowed me to run with it.

TrunkSpace: We would imagine it can be both exciting and (possibly) nerve-racking to receive new scripts, not knowing ultimately where your character will go on both his personal journey and the narrative journey within the series. Does a moment come to mind where you were reading a new script and got so excited by what you read that you couldn’t wait to get to set and shoot it?
Desai-Barochia: The scene where I killed Garrett was particularly exciting to shoot.

TrunkSpace: For fans, the final product of a film or series is always the most memorable part, but for those involved in a project, we’d imagine it goes much deeper than that. For you, what is something about your time working on “The Outpost” that you’ll carry with you through the course of your life/career?
Desai-Barochia: It sounds corny but its true; my relationships I’ve built with cast and crew. It happens with every job I’m on – whether it’s being a receptionist behind a desk, or having a show shooting in Serbia, the people are what I value the most. To this date, some of my closest friends are from work.

TrunkSpace: You had previously worked on “Day of our Lives” for a few episodes. Soap operas are known for their breakneck shooting schedules, so we’re curious if getting to spend some time on an established one like Days served as a bit of a boot camp of what was to come for you later in your career?
Desai-Barochia: Days is a beast I’ve never been part of before. Marnie Saitta watched/read an interview of mine that I tagged her friend in on social media so more eyes would see the piece. She requested I come in to meet her, so I guess it kinda worked. I wouldn’t have the balls to do such a thing now. I guess when you’re eager for work, unemployed, you’ll try anything. I ended up playing a one liner for a few episodes after.

I remember walking onto the NBC lot just grinning from ear to ear. My first gig in the States. Walked onto set – director showed me my movements, rehearsed it. “OK! Thanks for your work today!” That’s how quick it was. I thought the take was the rehearsal. After pumping myself up for the last two days for this “big break” it was over in five seconds. I didn’t even have a TV at the time it aired. I went to the gym and watched my one line on the treadmill, grinning like an old lady with no teeth.

TrunkSpace: You fell in love with acting when you were 10 years old. What would 10-year-old Anand think of his journey as a professional actor thus far?
Desai-Barochia: He’d be pretty chuffed. However, it’s actually the opposite for me – I look back on some of the things I did before getting steady work and wish I was more like that guy. He was fearless. I’m still pretty spontaneous in life; I’ll always have my passport in my back pocket just in case an adventure pops up.

Professionally, it took a lot longer than I thought/hoped it would. Folks always say it takes 10 years after you have graduated theater school to start getting the real work. I graduated in ‘07. I booked my first series regular in ‘17… so they weren’t wrong. Being an impatient creative, you always hope it happened faster – quicker. I wont lie, I’m glad it didn’t happen straight away. Now I genuinely appreciate the work I have because it wasn’t handed on a silver plate.

TrunkSpace: What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
Desai-Barochia: Eating truffle gnocchi twice a week for $7.00 in Serbia.

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Desai-Barochia: I wouldn’t. Nerves/apprehension/flutter in your stomach/not knowing if it’s going to work out. That’s what keeps me on my toes. I think it’s always good to not be so sure of yourself.

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Wingman Wednesday

Burl Moseley

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If Burl Moseley ever wants to explore a career beyond acting, motivational speaking may be a seamless transition. The “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” star is confident in both himself and his abilities, projecting that self-assurance onto others in a way that helps to build them up as opposed to knock them down. And unlike many creatives, he doesn’t put unnecessary pressure on himself, especially in the casting room, preferring to go in with a clear head and deliver an audition that is tension-free.

A great teacher of mine once said that the world will beat you up plenty so you must not do it to yourself,” he said in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace. “So, I don’t.”

We recently sat down with Moseley to discuss the impact of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” performing at Radio City Music Hall, and the correlation between martial arts and acting.

TrunkSpace: You have been working on “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” since 2015. Where has your life and career been impacted the most by joining the series?
Moseley: Oh, wow… on the life side, the cast, we all became a total family. I can’t tell you how much joy has been a direct result of just knowing each and every single one of these uber-talented people! We get together for dinners and go to amusement parks… it’s just wonderful. On the career side, the show has opened up quite a few doors that were previously closed to me. This past pilot season was my best one yet!

TrunkSpace: You have spent nearly 20 episodes portraying Jim Kittsworth on the show. As an actor, what are some of the benefits of getting to spend such a long time with one character?
Moseley: I really got to know the character inside and out. The timing of Jim’s reactions and responses was something that I always had fun exploring, within the framework of any given scene. Another benefit is that memorization is a breeze because I’d often read a script and go, “Of course Jim would say that! Haha!”

TrunkSpace: How has the character grown and developed since you first read for him all of those years ago? What has surprised you the most about your journey getting to play Jim given what you knew then and what you know now?
Moseley: Jim initially started as an antagonist on the series and grew to be much more of a friend. Given his beginnings, I was quite surprised to see him go from teasing Rebecca and Paula in say the first season, to employing Rebecca and being a sometime co-conspirator with Paula by Season 4. Watching earlier seasons is such a blast because I forgot what a jerk he used to be!

TrunkSpace: Fans of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” are very passionate about the show and its characters. In your opinion, what is it about the series that has turned viewers into long-lasting fans? Is it the writing? The tone? The characters? Something else entirely?
Moseley: I think it’s all of the above. The “something else” being how candidly the show talks about mental illness. The show does a fantastic job of discussing the topic without shame or prejudice, and really helps remove the stigma that’s usually associated with talking about mental health.

TrunkSpace: What are you most proud of about your time spent on the series?
Moseley: (Laughter) Definitely the song “Don’t Be A Lawyer.” It was a beast and I feel like the entire team just knocked it out of the park. Also, after the series wrapped, I got to perform the song live in front of 6,000 screaming fans each night at Radio City Music Hall this past spring – a banner moment that I’ll never forget.

TrunkSpace: You’ve been training in martial arts for years. What are some of the lessons you learned in the dojo that can be applied to a career as an actor? Are there any parallels to the two journeys?
Moseley: Ooh… that’s an interesting question that I wasn’t expecting! I see you, TrunkSpace!! Well, I think the best lesson is also the first lesson that you learn in any martial art – diffuse the situation. The most direct parallel I feel starts in the casting room. Some actors I’ve spoken to feel great pressure in these rooms. Pressure to impress and so forth. But, I feel if one can sort of release that feeling and understand that casting usually only wants the best for you and the project, the tension leaves the room.

TrunkSpace: Beyond the dojo, what is a piece of advice that you have received over the course of your career that you have carried with you moving forward, and possibly, passed along to others at some point?
Moseley: Know your worth. Give yourself a raise. I once ran into the actor Mykelti Williamson at the Parker Hotel in New York City and that was the advice that he gave to me. I’ve been passing it along ever since. Also, something that I personally espouse is to have a hobby! Don’t let acting (or any job in the entertainment sector) be the sole focus. Take a break and recharge by doing something enjoyable that has nothing to do with the business.

TrunkSpace: Creative people, particularly those who seek perfection from themselves, can be very hard on their own work. Where are you hardest on yourself?
Moseley: I’m not. A great teacher of mine once said that the world will beat you up plenty so you must not do it to yourself. So, I don’t.

TrunkSpace: What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
Moseley: Radio City Music Hall, without a doubt.

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Moseley: To quote Doc Brown from the movie “Back to the Future,” “Please, Marty! Nobody should know too much about their own destiny!!” So, nah, I’ll take a pass on that time machine. Buuut, then again, Doc DOES end up reading the note in the end and it saves his life, so… maybe just a quick little peek.

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Wingman Wednesday

Adam Tsekhman

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Photo By: Shanna Fisher

Having never expected to spend quite so much time shirtless when he first signed on to play Gary Green of The Time Bureau in “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,”Adam Tsekhman is ecstatic to have been given the opportunity. Originally intended as a three-episode guest star, the Winnipeg native with a love for comedy has reveled in the expanded role, even when things got full on nipple crazy in Season 4. (No nipple spoilers for those who have not yet binged their way through it!)

We recently sat down with Tsekhman to discuss luring unicorns, Biff buzz, and peering into the future of “The Gary Green Chronicles.”

TrunkSpace: What would 10-year-old Adam think about his future self getting to play in the DC universe? Were you a comic fan and has your fanboy self come full circle?
Tsekhman: 10-year-old Adam would LOVE the fact that he gets to play in the DC Universe, however he would probably be a bit sad that he wouldn’t have any superhero powers. But adult Adam loves that he doesn’t have super powers (easier on the knees and hips). I wasn’t really a comic fanboy growing up. I wasn’t into comics growing up, but I was definitely into the comic book movies that sort of started for me with the Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson “Batman.” I loved that movie and I was hooked!

TrunkSpace: As we understand it, your character Gary Green was originally only supposed to appear in a handful of episodes. When did you get a sense that it would become more than that and did that open up the character for you in terms of getting to explore areas of him that you never thought you’d have a chance to when you first signed on?
Tsekhman: I only knew for sure that I would be on the show for three episodes so when they wanted me to be involved in more than that, my excitement levels shot up immeasurably. I was never really certain how often Gary would appear so I was both eager and hopeful to get more chances to play this fabulous character. This season has been particularly fun and challenging in terms of the areas we get to explore. For example, I didn’t expect to be shirtless so often. It’s very freeing! (Laughter) But I do think we will get to see more emotional depth with Gary – while still maintaining his gloriously sunny outlook on life.

TrunkSpace: As far as your own personal journey with the character, what have you enjoyed most about getting to inhabit Gary and see him developed out more and more over time?
Tsekhman: I am naturally drawn to comedy and I get such a joy out of all of the hilarious situations that the writers have created for Gary. The beautiful thing about Legends is that not even the sky is the limit in terms of where this show can go and it’s so much fun getting to read the scripts that our brilliant writers churn out every week. They are the real superheroes of this show!

TrunkSpace: Anything can happen in a world where time travel and super heroes exist. What’s been your biggest “pinch me” moment on set thus far where you had to stop and go, “Wow, this is really my life now”?
Tsekhman: Yeah, I think being topless, holding a pomegranate and luring a unicorn out of the forest would have to be a “pinch me” moment. Also, getting to work this season with Tom Wilson who is immortalized as Biff Tannen has been incredible. He’s a hilarious and amazing guy full of great stories!

TrunkSpace: Do you find that this business subscribes to the old adage of work begets work, and if so, do you see your portrayal of Gary on “Legends of Tomorrow” opening up more doors for you in the future?
Tsekhman: I absolutely agree with that old adage! I certainly hope that Gary does open more doors. Perhaps a spin-off? “The Gary Green Chronicles” or “The Legends of the Time Bureau.” Wouldn’t that be fun? But, seriously, the attention that the show has garnered will hopefully open more doors. I suppose only time will tell.

TrunkSpace: You have a degree in finance from the Wharton School of Business. Was pursuing acting a serious change of gears for you, and if so, did you have to convince yourself that you were making the right choice? How hard was it for you to take the first step on the path you’re currently traveling?
Tsekhman: Yes, I do have a degree in Finance from Wharton and taking that first step was challenging. I had an investment banking job offer from Lehman Brothers that I chose to forgo in order to pursue more creative endeavors. Luckily for me, my parents were very supportive of my decision, which I recognize is very rare and I’m extremely grateful to them. I was so in love with performing at that time that I may have been slightly delusional to think that I could succeed as an actor. Perhaps you have to have these delusions to choose to go into this industry. Who knows? The numbers are certainly scary, many more actors than jobs. You don’t need a finance degree to recognize that.

TrunkSpace: There’s a lot of rejection and self-doubt that comes along with a career in the arts. That said, does the creative space fulfill you personally more than a career in finance could have ever achieved – even if you had reached the pinnacle of success in that industry?
Tsekhman: I certainly think so. That being said, I did enjoy finance, but the fulfillment I get from acting and writing is immense. However, I am sure that reaching the pinnacle of the financial world would be quite fulfilling as well. I am biased because I chose this path and I am ecstatic with my choice. But maybe I would have been happy to stay in finance as well. Perhaps my positive outlook on life would have brought fulfillment regardless of career choice. At least if I stayed in finance, I would have kept my nipple intact! (Laughter)

TrunkSpace: What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
Tsekhman: “LEGENDS OF TOMORROW,” BABY!

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Tsekhman: No, I wouldn’t take that jump because it’s the 10-year journey that is the fun part. Knowing the destination would make the journey less fun and it would take away the mystery and hope that comes from this business. You never know what opportunities might come your way tomorrow and seeing what things look like in 10 years might negatively influence your decision making today. Although, jumping 10 years into the future and right onto the set of Season 7 of “The Gary Green Chronicles” would be pretty cool!

Season 4 of “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” is available now on Netflix. Season 5 will return to The CW later this year.

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Wingman Wednesday

Chantal Thuy

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Photo By: Storm Santos

Scene stealer Chantal Thuy has left a lasting impression on fans of the CW series “Black Lightning” since joining the ensemble cast in its first season. Not only is her character Grace Choi inspiring young girls to embrace who they are, but in return, those viewers are educating the Montreal native on proper comic book care.

They are not only super encouraging but also teach me things like not to fold a comic book in my back pocket, ever.”

We recently sat down with Thuy to discuss Grace’s influence on the LGBTQ community, watching her develop season to season, and why the joy of the journey may lie in the mystery of what comes next.

TrunkSpace: What would 10-year-old Chantal think about her future self getting to play in the DC metahuman universe? Would she be surprised?
Thuy: Ten-year-old Chantal could not have dreamed that she’d be in this fortune position – it’s a dream come true! And maybe also 10-year-old Chantal was too busy playing on monkey bars and building snow forts.

TrunkSpace: Your character Grace Choi is a comic book fangirl. What has the experience been like of getting to interact with the real world fangirls and fanboys who follow the series?
Thuy: I’ve been incredibly lucky to have the most supportive and loving “Black Lightning” fans that I’ve grown incredibly fond of. I talk to everyone on social media but look forward to meeting them in person. They are not only super encouraging but also teach me things like not to fold a comic book in my back pocket, ever. The girls also make really great fan art, and write lovely letters.

TrunkSpace: Grace seems like such an important character in that she represents the LGBTQ community and is not bogged down by cliches that other series tend to fall back on. Does it feel like your portrayal of Grace is giving young people who identify as part of the LGBTQ community a cinematic role model that they can relate to?
Thuy: Yes, a million times yes. One thing I hear a lot is how much it means to the girls to have Grace take ownership of the word “bi”, and having it specified and spoken in a throw away, non-apologetic way. And I love that I can make them feel seen and acknowledged, because that has always been a primary motivator for me as an actress, was to help further representation across the board.

TrunkSpace: As far as your own personal journey with the character, what have you enjoyed most about getting to inhabit Grace and see her develop further over time?
Thuy: I love that week by week, I get to discover more about Grace through the eyes of the writers and showrunners; they don’t tell me much in advance, so I am always wowing and awing at the character development. It’s all very, very exciting.

TrunkSpace: Has Grace taken on a life of her own in a way that wasn’t originally intended? Are there aspects of the character’s personality that exist now that weren’t there when you first signed on to play her?
Thuy: Yes, there’s definitely really interesting developments happening for Grace in Season 2 that I didn’t know were coming last year. And as the story develops, I am digging deeper into Grace’s own life story, which is very full, dark and complex.

TrunkSpace: You’re playing the lead role in the theatrical production “Linda Vista,” which premiered recently at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. Does performing on stage give you a different creative thrill than working in front of the camera?
Thuy: This is actually a Steppenwolf ensemble play with all the original cast members, lead by the fantastic Ian Barford. Performing on stage is a whole difference experience because you get the audience as a thrilling component in the storytelling process. It’s been incredible to work with such an amazing cast, Dexter Bullard (director), Tracy Letts (playwright) and the Center Theatre Group.

TrunkSpace: What is the most challenging aspect of taking on “Linda Vista” for you as a performer? Where do you feel you will be stretching yourself the most?
Thuy: It’s stretched me in some aspects of my physical comfort zones, as I have never done an intimacy scene like the one in the play. And I’ve also never worked a space like the Mark Taper Forum (which, I think, is 739 seats), so there’s a fun challenge.

Photo: Carin Baer/The CW — © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

TrunkSpace: Speaking of challenges, what are the biggest challenges of pursuing a career in the creative arts in 2019 and do you think those who were working 30 years ago faced the same set of challenges?
Thuy: There’s still a limited number of roles for Asian American actresses, and the depth and complexity of the roles available are varied. So I feel very lucky to be exploring the characters I am currently portraying, and I hope that the richness and amount of roles available for women of color will continue to rise as we continue to more accurately represent our current society. But we are still fortunate in our present day circumstances because I know it was even tougher for Asian actresses 30 years ago.

TrunkSpace: What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
Thuy: I think this past year has truly been a blessing. I’ve been praying to be able to make an impact as far as representation, and also hoping to work in theater more. Being able to do both these things this year feels surreal.

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Thuy: I think I’d always like to know, out of curiosity. But I most likely would say no, because I’ve learned that part of the process of life is having to surrender to the good and the bad. I think not knowing makes you have to develop more faith, more strength. And maybe not knowing makes the journey that much more fun and rewarding.

Black Lightening” airs Mondays on The CW.

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Wingman Wednesday

Hartley Sawyer

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Photo By: Storm Santos

It’s been one year since Hartley Sawyer joined the cast of “The Flash,” and what a year it’s been.

Taking on the over-the-top personality of Ralph Dibny, aka Elongated Man, would stretch any performer, but for this lifelong comic book reader, settling into the part meant showing the iconic DC character’s heart, and judging by the fandom’s response, he’s bending him in the right direction.

We recently sat down with Sawyer to discuss humanizing Ralph, the joy he gets in interacting with the fans, and why a Gingold on the rocks is in order this Halloween.

TrunkSpace: “The Flash” has a passionate and very loyal fandom. How soon after signing on to play Ralph Dibny did you feel the reach of that fandom and in what ways has it touched your life?
Sawyer: It was almost immediately. In the weeks leading up to the airing of Ralph’s debut episode, I remember the shoots around the city of Vancouver. These were often at night, many times into the wee hours of the morning. Will never forget the first time I saw the crowd of fans behind police barricades, cheering and calling out whenever they got a glimpse of one of the cast. The fandom is a wonderful group of people, and my interaction with them has been an honor and a joy.

TrunkSpace: Ralph is a very popular character in the DC Universe. Did you feel any pressure stepping into his stretchy shoes and how long was it before you felt ownership in him, at least as far as the series is concerned?
Sawyer: I felt the pressure to do Ralph justice, and to bring him to life in live action. I’m a lifelong comic book fan. I know what it’s like to have extremely strong opinions on an actor being cast as a particular character. I was aware of that pressure, but it didn’t overtake me in any way. The writers, as usual, did a brilliant job with Ralph’s first episode. And with Tom Cavanagh at the helm, by the end of Day 1 I felt like I had an understanding of Ralph that was deeper than I expected. This only progressed as we worked our way through Ralph’s arc in season four.

TrunkSpace: Throughout your journey in discovering who Ralph is, did you tap into any of the vast source material that exists in the comic books?
Sawyer: I didn’t get into it too much. I didn’t want to fixate on anything and feel like I had to play something a certain way, or avoid something because it had been on the comic book pages. I was aware of “Identity Crisis” and had read that some time ago. That was helpful to me in the sense that from the first moment I knew the depth of caring and emotion that Ralph as a character is capable of. It’s shrouded in his sarcasm and his sense of humor, but that is always there.

TrunkSpace: What has the long-term character journey been like for you, getting to see him grow and develop between Season 4 and Season 5?
Sawyer: It’s been great. One of my goals was always to humanize him whenever possible. He’s always going to be a bit of a walking Tex Avery cartoon, but when that “mask” is taken away, we get the Ralph he really is – the one that Sue comes to know and love in the comics. Barry Allen was Ralph’s mirror in Season 4, reminding him of who he really is. He’s all heart.

TrunkSpace: We get to see a lot more of the detective side of Ralph this season, which is a part of his persona that the readers of the comic always enjoyed. How has it been exploring that side of things and having a different focus this year?
Sawyer: We’ve done some of it, and there is a lot more to come. Tom’s new Wells, Sherloque, plays into that quite a bit. The detective side of Ralph is easily one of the parts of him I enjoy the most.

TrunkSpace: How has appearing on the show impacted your career the most? Has getting the opportunity to play Elongated Man opened up new doors that weren’t available prior to slipping into his elongated skin?
Sawyer: It’s a great role on a great show. It’s sheer joy for me and I’m very lucky. It’s rare in acting to get a great role on a show that has fans this passionate and this wonderful. I’m loving the ride.

Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow, Hartley Sawyer as Dibney and Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW — © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved

TrunkSpace: Your first episode premiered on Halloween night of last year. Any plans to celebrate your first Flasherversary this October 31?
Sawyer: I haven’t thought about it much. But now that you mention it, a Gingold on the rocks might be in order…

TrunkSpace: What would 10-year-old Hartley say if he was told he’d be playing a superhero some day?
Sawyer: “Is it Batman?”

TrunkSpace: We’re Boston based, and we know you spent some time in Beantown while at Emerson College. How did the city help shape your artistic focus and game plan? Did it influence you at all?
Sawyer: In hindsight, Boston was really my warm up for Los Angeles. It was the first time I was away from home and “on my own.” I found many things in that city. I met some of my closest friends during my time in Boston.

TrunkSpace: You’re also a writer. With your current focus on “The Flash,” are you able to pursue that side of yourself right now, and ultimately, do you hope that the two avenues converge more in the future so that you’re balancing both sides of your industry interests?
Sawyer: I’m working on some things I’m really excited about. It is a goal of mine to have those two avenues converge more in the future. But I’m in no rush.

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why? (And a bonus question, how would Ralph Dibny answer that?)
Sawyer: I would not take that journey. I don’t even watch movie trailers anymore – too much is given away. Ralph wouldn’t take that journey either. Time travel is a very delicate and dangerous thing. Just ask Barry Allen.

The Flash” airs Tuesdays on The CW.

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Wingman Wednesday

Sarah Jeffery

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She is a charismatic young actress with an effortless ability to steal a scene, but Sarah Jeffery has her work cut out for her this year, tackling two iconic characters from our pop culture past that promise to force fans to sit and watch with a fresh set of eyes. First she’ll slip into the purple-loving skin of “Scooby-Doo” character Daphne for the live action origin story of how she and Velma first met and began their sleuthing ways. Then in the fall, things will get downright magical for the Vancouver native when she joins the cast of The CW’s reimagining of “Charmed.”

Thankfully, not only is Jeffery up for the task of pumping new blood into old characters, but she also has the acting chops to make it work. We recently sat down with her to discuss the wiggle room in bringing teenage Daphne to the screen, why there are always two sides to the reboot coin, and what advice she gives to actors breaking into the industry.

TrunkSpace: As far as the “Scooby-Doo” gang is concerned, the majority of them have their established catchphrases and mannerisms, but Daphne seems to have more room for growth because while who she is has been established throughout the life of the franchise, she hasn’t been tied to defining lines likes “Ruh-roh” and “Jinkies.” As a performer, do you feel like you had an opportunity to bring something unique and new to the character that hasn’t been seen before, and if so, what approach did you take to making such an iconic character your own?
Jeffery: First off, I’m extremely grateful and honored to be portraying such an iconic character. I’ve always loved Daphne so much, so this has been wild. But like you said, there was a bit of room to create a more versatile Daphne and I think you’ll see just that. She’s well rounded, not just the stereotypical fashionista or girly girl. She’s multi-faceted and maintains her love for fashion and all that the original Daphne had, while also using her brain and wits. She’s clever and she’s funny.

TrunkSpace: The story that “Daphne & Velma” lays out takes place within a portion of the characters’ timelines that fans haven’t really seen yet. Did the fact that it predates most of what people know of Daphne and the rest of the gang allow you more freedom to make her your own as well?
Jeffery: We definitely did have some freedom to play with our versions of these characters being that it’s pre “Scooby Gang” days. They’re still in high school and still discovering themselves, feeling the highs and the lows, and it was a lot of fun playing a youthful version of Daphne.

TrunkSpace: While having some freedom to play with Daphne, is there still an element of nervousness going into portraying someone who has been seared on the minds of fans of the franchise for so long, even if that memory that people have is in the animated space?
Jeffery: Oh definitely. I’m still nervous to see how the film is received, and I most certainly hope people embrace my portrayal of Daphne. But at the end of the day, this is my take on her and I hope people see that we have honored the original series while bringing in some great new elements and layers.

TrunkSpace: Kids are the target audience for “Daphne & Velma,” but there’s no doubt that long-term fans of “Scooby-Doo” are going to check in on the movie as well to see what some of their favorite characters are up to. The film recently screened alongside some of those fans. Did you attend, and if so, was it nerve-racking seeing it in real time with a group of people so passionate about the history of the franchise?
Jeffery: I actually wasn’t able to attend the most recent screening, but I definitely imagine that I would’ve had some nervous butterflies watching alongside Scooby fans, old or new. I just want to make them happy!

TrunkSpace: As far as performance is concerned, is there something extra fun about bringing an animated character to life? While grounded in a reality, it’s still a heightened reality. Does that allow you to approach things differently than you would on another project or piece of work?
Jeffery: I think what’s great about our team on this film, particularly our wonderful director Suzi Yoonessi, is that we all had a similar vision. A fun, exaggerated reality but still as grounded as possible with our subject matter. That being said, we definitely have some larger than life moments that directly reflect the animated series, and that was a blast.

Jeffery with Sarah Gilman in “Daphne & Velma”

TrunkSpace: Outside of your work on “Daphne & Velma,” it was also recently announced that you’ll be bringing another well-known property back to life on the small screen, this time the long-running dramaedy “Charmed.” As a performer, is there something kind of freeing working on a project that you know will automatically have a built-in audience? Does it make the hard work prior to a project’s release mentally easier knowing that, at the end of the day, people are going to tune in?
Jeffery: In all honesty, sometimes having that builtin audience is a little more nerve-racking. I definitely appreciate the fact that these are characters that are near and dear to the fans’ hearts, and I want to do right by them. But also, it is comforting knowing that people will tune in, and hopefully connect with the project.

TrunkSpace: On the opposite side of that coin, reboots are always faced with comparisons to what came before. Is it important for a show like “Charmed,” or even a movie like “Daphne & Velma,” to establish themselves as their own thing (with their own tone and vibe) as quickly as possible so as to tell the audience, “This is what WE are, that is what THAT was?”
Jeffery: I think with working pretty heavily around reboots/revivals, I’ve come to realize that there are indeed two sides to the coin. You’re going to have people who are against it, and you’re going to have people who are there for it. I try to gently remind viewers and followers that yes, while we are being respectful and mindful of the original project, this is our take on it and there will be elements that are different, and there will be elements that stay very similar.

TrunkSpace: You’ve been playing Jennifer Lopez’s daughter on “Shades of Blue.” First and foremost, with Mother’s Day recently being celebrated, that’s a heck of a screen mother to have, but secondly, what did you take from her – someone who has accomplished so much in so many different mediums – that will stay with you for the rest of your career?
Jeffery: Getting to work with Jennifer intimately on “Shades Of Blue” was such a wonderful opportunity, and a huge lesson on professionalism. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot from her about what it means to be dedicated to your craft, and what it means to be a hard worker. She shows up to work so prepared and so on her game, which is even more impressive because of how insane her schedule is. I give her mad props and I have loads of respect for her.

TrunkSpace: You have spoken out against the mistreatment of animals and you are an advocate for adopting a vegan diet. What inspired you down this path and for those with similar views but feel they don’t have the platform, how can they also help spread the word?
Jeffery: I was inspired to adopt a vegan diet for quite a few reasons, but primarily for ethical reasons. I just couldn’t get behind the cruelty involved in the meat and dairy industry, and I wanted my actions to reflect that. Even if you don’t have a platform or a large audience to share your views with, you can still make sure those around you are educated and are aware of the effects a meat-based diet has on our environment, our bodies and the animals which it comes from.

Jeffery with Melonie Diaz and Madeleine Mantock in “Charmed”

TrunkSpace: Finally, Sarah, we just spoke about some things that you took away from your time working with Jennifer Lopez. For those with less experience working alongside of you now, what advice would you give them from lessons that you yourself have learned through your own experiences, things that you feel would be of value to carry with them through the rest of their own careers?
Jeffery: Over the years of working in this business, one of the most important lessons I’ve taken away is to always be curious. Asking questions about my craft has been probably the most important tool I’ve discovered. I’ve learned so much just by observing people I look up to, and not being too proud to ask about things I may not know. Be bold and curious enough to take risks. Another big thing to keep in mind is how you present yourself and how you take command of your work space. Be respectful, be professional, and be kind. No one wants to work with negative people. It sucks. So that being said, particularly as a lead, I always want to set a tone that is comfortable and cultivates success for all departments. It changes the whole experience.

Daphne & Velma” is available tomorrow on DVD, Blu-ray and VOD.

Charmed” premieres this fall on The CW.

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Wingman Wednesday

Kim Rhodes

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If you steer clear of people with yellow eyes, call your car Baby, or recognize the value of salt in places other than the kitchen, chances are good that you’re fan of the series “Supernatural.” And if you are, you know that the Winchester brothers have had their fair share of friends and family come into their lives throughout the course of the show’s first 13 seasons, though none have left an impact quite like Sheriff Jody Mills. Now the maternal ass-kicking ally, portrayed perfectly by Kim Rhodes, is on the verge of spearheading her own spinoff series, “Wayward Sisters,” which viewers will get a taste of tonight when “Supernatural” returns to The CW following its mid-season hiatus.

We recently sat down with Rhodes to discuss her “Supernatural” road so far, the power and magic of the fandom, and what she’s most excited to explore with Jody in the new series.

TrunkSpace: “The road so far…” is a popular phrase associated with the series. Could you have ever expected that your “Supernatural” road would lead you here today, on the verge of your own spin-off series, “Wayward Sisters?”
Rhodes: I was so grateful every single second on that set. It never occurred to me to wish for more. And then when people started whispering, “Wouldn’t this be a good spin-off? Wouldn’t this be…” like, in my darkest heart there was a tiny little flicker of, “Yes, please! Please! I want to do this forever!”

But really, no expectation. No belief. I am astonished and I have no idea how this happened, with the exception of a group of powerful, vibrant, unbelievably joyous fans that were like, “No, no, no. We’d like this. Look what we can do.”

TrunkSpace: Obviously the fandom is very strong, but to be able to have a creative say and help a network venture towards a particular idea or concept is a very rare thing.
Rhodes: I’ve never heard of it happening before. Ever. Now, “Supernatural” has a very unique relationship with its fans. I remember being on a different show, and they actually said, “You’re here because of your fandom. We want to know how to do that with our show too.” I was like, “You can’t.”

I think the magic of “Supernatural” and the relationship with the fans, it cannot be recreated, because you can’t tell people what to do. This is the other thing. The fans are all individuals. It’s not a hive mind. You can’t just feed it. It is not a foregone conclusion that this spinoff will go. Because you can’t just seed somebody something and say, “Here, we call this ‘Supernatural,’” and have them say, “Yes, we love this.” They’re smart. They’re opinionated. They’re vocal. And they’re powerful. And it all comes from different ways of expressing love for the show “Supernatural” and for themselves and their own relationships and place in that. It’s pretty miraculous.

TrunkSpace: And because of that, it is called the SPN Family for a reason. They’re not afraid to say what they love and they’re not afraid to speak up when they don’t love something, but even then, it comes from a place of love.
Rhodes: It is, in all aspects, a family. I was talking to somebody else and I was like, “You know, nobody pushes your buttons like your family because they installed them.” It’s very easy for fans to be passive in this world, because nothing’s expected of them. But the “Supernatural” fandom expects a lot of itself, and they are passionate. I love that. It makes me identify. I’m like, “Yep, you’re me, I’m you! Yes!”

TrunkSpace: We know creatively the table has been set for “Wayward Sisters” throughout the course of the season, but this week’s episode really serves to put viewers at that table. Are you experiencing any sort of nerves in terms of how it will be received by the fandom?
Rhodes: You know how Holly Hunter cried in “Broadcast News?”

Supernatural — “Wayward Sisters” — Pictured: Kim Rhodes as Jody Mills — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2017 The CW Network, LLC All Rights Reserved

TrunkSpace: Yeah.
Rhodes: There you go. That’s me. I was fortunate enough to have four episodes on a completely different show, playing a completely different character. I’ve been on “Criminal Minds” for the last couple months, and it kept me distracted. Today is the first day I’m not on “Criminal Minds.” I was like, “Oh, maybe I’m not completely okay. Maybe I’m just repressing all of the terror and hope I’ve ever felt in my entire life that has culminated in this moment.” Yeah, that’s far more likely is that I’ve just been repressing it.

TrunkSpace: Would you say tonally that tonight’s episode of “Supernatural” is going to be representative of what “Wayward Sisters” will become?
Rhodes: Boy, I wish I could answer that. I don’t know. They haven’t told me anything because they know I don’t keep secrets well. That said, what is definitely indicative of everything they’ve said they want is how high the bar is set. We didn’t cut corners as actors. We didn’t cut corners with storytelling. It is brutal. The fights are hard, the work was tough. We trained, all of us, trained. Both physically and with weapons. The bar was set high. I can safely say that should this go to series, we will only keep raising the bar for ourselves. We want to exceed the fans’ expectations. And their expectations are pretty damn high.

TrunkSpace: That’s the thing. Sometimes expectations can be a blessing and a curse, because people are excited but at the same time they have their own set ways of what they envision something will be.
Rhodes: Yes. Now that is definitely something we are aware of. I had said before, I would like to say again, give it a chance. Just because you don’t see all of your expectations met in one episode doesn’t mean we aren’t laying the groundwork, particularly in terms of representation. “Wayward Sisters” has really opened up the number of voices and perspectives that the stories are being told from. Within that, if you don’t look at something and go, “Oh, well they forgot this…” Maybe not. You can’t eat the entire meal in the first bite.

TrunkSpace: Yeah, it’s not a movie. It’s not an hour and a half. It’s a long journey.
Rhodes: Yeah. And also, you’ve seen the episode so you know what I mean when I say there’s probably going to be a moment when the fans feel a little betrayed. When they’re going to be like, “Wait a minute, you did it again to us?”

TrunkSpace: Right.
Rhodes: Just hang on. And that’s going to be my motto for the entire journey, is just hang on. Just hang on. You think you know. You don’t know. Just hang on.

TrunkSpace: Obviously you’ve seen the character Jody grow over the course of your time on the series. What are you most excited about from a character’s journey in terms of what we could possibly see her go through over the course of her own series?
Rhodes: I am so excited to see Jody make some mistakes, and watch other people have to clean up her mess. Jody’s been pretty on-target so far, because that’s how she’s served the show. We know she’s made mistakes, but we haven’t needed to watch any of them because that wasn’t pushing the storyline of “Supernatural” forward. I would like to think that within “Wayward Sisters” Jody’s going to make mistakes. And she’s going to have to learn some stuff, which is hard as a senior member of a group. Because a lot of my identity as a person when I’m in a situation like that is, “Oh yeah, I got this. Let me tell you how to get this.” And Jody’s going to have to realize that she ain’t always got it and she’s going to have to learn from the girls around her. I’m looking forward to seeing what she learns from them.

Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW — © 2017 The CW Network, LLC All Rights Reserved

TrunkSpace: Jody’s always been very supportive of Claire, Alex, and Patience in terms of them taking on the responsibilities of being Hunters, but as she becomes more invested in the group and as dangers increase, do you think she’ll have second thoughts about that?
Rhodes: I think that’s always going to be with her. I think that’s definitely a note to her, because she’s experienced loss at the hands of the supernatural. And really, nobody else has lost the kinds of things that she’s lost. Jody is the one who’s painfully aware of what’s at stake in this kind of life and so she’s always going to have to struggle to allow people to be who they need to be, to fight the fight that needs to be fought.

TrunkSpace: She’s taken these girls under her wing at a time when they needed her, but we would imagine that Jody needs them just as much, if not more given those holes left to be filled in her personal life?
Rhodes: Well, I also think for me, I prefer to phrase it not so much filling the hole – because those holes have unique shapes and nothing will ever fill them – but to remember that someone’s capacity to love, and I have personally experienced some pretty traumatic losses in my life, the loss will never be replaced. But the love continues to be expressed when I choose to love someone else. And love myself. I think that is something that Jody is aware of. She’s never going to replace her husband and her son. However, being of service and finding hope again is the best thing she can do for their memory. And those girls give her both of those things. She can love again, and she can hope again, because those girls are in her life.

TrunkSpace: Finally, Kim, you sort of touched on this at the start of our chat… how grateful you were to be on the set each and every time you got the call. Everybody we have spoken to who has been involved in the series or who has worked on the series, they all have that same point of view, which is that they genuinely love the experience and being a part of this universe. Having been in this industry for as long you have, is that rare? Because it seems pretty rare from an outside perspective.
Rhodes: Do you believe in love at first sight?

TrunkSpace: Actually, yeah.
Rhodes: Have you experienced it?

TrunkSpace: Yes.
Rhodes: That’s pretty fucking rare isn’t it?

TrunkSpace: It is.
Rhodes: It’s like that. It exists. People who have never experienced think it’s a myth. People who have experienced it know how precious it is and how rare it is. It’s magic.

Supernatural” returns tonight on The CW.

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Wingman Wednesday

Miranda Edwards & Michael Jonsson

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Photo By: Erich Saide

We’re sitting down with Michael Jonsson and Miranda Edwards of “Arrow” to chat all things Longbow Hunters after joining up with the series in Season 7. Buckle up villain fans!

TrunkSpace: “Arrow” has a very passionate fandom and is based on characters and a world with a very rich history. When you’re working on a project that means so much to so many people, does it carry a little bit more weight? Does it start to feel like more than just your average job?
Jonsson: “Arrow” is WAAAAAAY more than just an average job. These fans are awesome and they observe and cherish every part of the show. Trying to live up to those types of expectations is daunting but I am going to try as hard as I can to do just that.
Edwards: I really do walk into every project with nerves. None of it is average to me. I want what I do to be as authentic as possible so I have a high standard for myself. But I found entering into this world to be quite freeing. Because I know that so many people watch and love the show. I’m really just thrilled to show up and have fun with this character. Of course, I hope the fans like what I have to bring but I’m pretty excited to bring it!

TrunkSpace: What would 10-year-old Michael and 10-year-old Miranda think if we were to zip back in time and tell them that someday they’d be playing supervillains in the DC Universe? Would they be surprised?
Edwards: Umm. 10-year-old Miranda thought she was already a superhero but she was actually exploring her wicked side. So she might be surprised to be a villain but my family would say, “No, that’s about right.”
Jonsson: Yeah! 10-year-old Michael always played the good guys. He was Luke, Indiana or a Goonie, which is funny, ‘cause my son is seven years old and he likes being Kylo Ren, Thanos or Darth Vader. The kid has the biggest heart and sweetest smile but wants the power to choke you to death.

TrunkSpace: You both joined the series for the first time in the episode “The Longbow Hunters.” What can you tell us about Kodiak and Silencer and how the two get caught up in the super shenanigans to take out Oliver Queen?
Jonsson: We do whatever Diaz tells us to do. He is the boss and it makes for some awesome fight scenes. *Spoiler* – The fight in our first episode in the train car was so much fun! Taking out a whole crew of A.R.G.U.S. was very satisfying from a supervillain perspective. BUUUT, it was that day I realized I need to start training those front kicks a little higher.
Edwards: Silencer loves any scenario where she can dispose of the annoying little obstacles in her path with a quiet quickness. The opportunity to assist Diaz in doing that suits her perfectly. Never hurts to have some partners in crime when you’re doing dirt. So we compliment each other well as the Longbow Hunters.

TrunkSpace: How closely do your characters resemble your comic book counterparts in terms of powers and abilities and did you visit the source material at all in your search for discovering who they are?
Jonsson: Kodiak, in the comics, is the leader of The Shield Clan and is part of the Outsiders War. He IS huge, is a meta with super strength and carries a badass shield. He is also sarcastic and pokes fun at Oliver. I hope we see a lot more of that. The big difference – he’s shirtless and wears an antler skull headpiece. It’d be cool to see an arc transforming him into that.
Edwards: Well, the Silencer has to be able to create silence – that is her thing so that’s an unwavering commonality. She is also adept at taking down her foes skillfully and efficiently both in the comic and on the show. I began reading the Silencer series right away! I was excited to see the backstory that was there for me to draw from.

TrunkSpace: What did you enjoy about getting to bring a comic book character to life? What was it about your character specifically that you liked getting to inhabit?
Edwards: I like the hero vs. villain relationship. It’s always high stakes. As Silencer everything I’m doing from moment to moment is life or death. What a great place to play in. Since she is the one who is deciding who dies and when – by the very nature of her job – she always feels powerful. And of course, in her eyes, she’s always right. Unless she’s being challenged, then she’s fighting for her life. Still life or death. Always interesting to play.
Jonsson: Being tough enough to punch people across rooms and through train doors is spectacular. I get to chuck a lot of people. That’s my thing… I chuck people. I have a cool sounding shield and I chuck people. That and the sarcasm. My humor is dark and sarcastic and is probably why I identified so well with him.

TrunkSpace: Both Silencer and Kodiak were created in what is considered the “New Age” of the DC Universe so there isn’t as much of them in print as there would be for some of the more iconic characters who have been around for decades. Does that take a bit of the pressure off, especially when you consider how the comic fandom has been known to dissect the portrayals of iconic characters over the years?
Jonsson: No way! These fans want and deserve the best and I’m going to work my tail off to make sure this is what they get from Kodiak.
Edwards: I love that she is a new character. I enjoy having the freedom to decide where to go with her. I think there is still mystery around what drives her to do the things she does. That leaves something for me to explore. I like that the fans care about these characters and I look at their attention as a positive. It’s what keeps the DC Universe alive.

TrunkSpace: What has been the most enjoyable part of your “Arrow” journey thus far?
Jonsson: Hanging with one of the best cast and crews around. Everyone on the show is so fun, especially my fellow Longbow Hunters. Miranda and Holly (Elissa) crack me up the whole time. They are not only talented and fierce actors, but they also have incredible personalities making them easy to get along with.
Edwards: Lot’s of action, fun cast, great crew and getting to watch the show and see how it’s received is fun too. Putting on a costume and becoming this other woman is THE most fun!

Photo By: Ellyse Anderson

TrunkSpace: We’re suckers for “Supernatural” here, a show that you have both appeared on throughout the course of its run. (Michael, you actually played two characters if we’re not mistaken?) Is it a bit of a rite of passage for Vancouver-based actors to make a stop in that world, especially given how long “Supernatural” has been on the air?
Edwards: I think so. When I was on and since, I’ve met so many actors who’ve appeared on “Supernatural” once or twice in their careers. It’s such a tightly run ship and everyone is so on top of their jobs that you just dive right in and go for the ride. It’s amazing what can be accomplished in just two short days. I was an angel, I killed, I fought, I died. I had a blast!
Jonsson: (Laughter) Yeah, sooner or later, if you are working in Vancouver, you will be on “Supernatural.” Playing the two characters, I guess I was on it sooner and later. Playing Gog was hilarious though… here are these two giant warriors from 2000 years ago, bickering in Canaanite while wearing diaper-looking loincloths.

TrunkSpace: What is your favorite thing about acting beyond the work itself? What keeps you excited to wake up every morning and pursue this as your career?
Jonsson: Getting to do something different and nuanced every time. I feel like I am always being challenged which is a necessity in everything I do. When challenged, you are forced to become better, find another part of yourself and expand. Isn’t that what life is about?
Edwards: The variety and the challenge. I love doing something different every day, it keeps things fresh and interesting, and there are plenty of challenges. I have to push myself to explore something I didn’t realize I was capable of doing. So I’m growing and learning as I pursue this career. I appreciate all of that.

TrunkSpace: You’re both no strangers to shows with passionate fandoms. Miranda, you’ve worked on “The Magicians” and “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.” Michael, you’ll be reprising your role as The Burier in the third season of “Van Helsing.” With so much great television being made these days, especially those shows that are geared towards an existing audience, is it just as interesting of a time in television for you, the performer, as it is for us, the audience?
Edwards: Yes! And, I am a member of the audience too. I love TV and you’re right, there is soooo much good stuff out there. So, when I have the opportunity to take a great a role on a compelling show, I’m doubly pleased. I’m taking part in the creation of something I’d want to watch and then I get to share it.
Jonsson: Following up on the last answer, it’s fantastic to have a lot to audition for. This means being able to play a bunch of different characters and testing your limits. I love it!

TrunkSpace: Time machine question! If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Jonsson: No! I am a big believer in life being the journey, not the end goal. Every day we are presented with opportunities to better our lives. Sometimes we are aware of those little gifts and sometimes we aren’t, or we are aware but stop ourselves from accepting them. Or we don’t want to accept them cause we see the “gifts” as bad. If I know what is coming in ten years, I might not challenge myself to accept all the gifts. Being brave enough to accept more of life’s gifts, good and bad, is what it’s all about. That’s how we feel alive.
Edwards: Nooooo, I wouldn’t want to get in my own way. Knowing me I’d try everything I could to try to shape my own future and then ultimately mess it up. I know that there are great things in store and that there are challenges ahead. I’ll just wait to find out what exactly they are at the moment they happen. And I’ll still try to stay out of my own way.

Arrow” airs Mondays on The CW.

Featured images: © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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Wingman Wednesday

Evan Roderick

EvanRoderickFeatured
Photo By: Carly Dame

While his first dream was to play professional hockey, Evan Roderick, who portrays Nick Anastas on the superhero series “Arrow,” found himself being drawn to a more creative career. As an actor, the Vancouver native relished the expressiveness that the medium offered, and while he ultimately hung up the skates, he credits hockey for preparing him mentally for a life of performing.

We recently sat down with Roderick to discuss where “Arrow” has impacted his life the most, front flips off two-story buildings, and what he thinks about sandals with jeans.

TrunkSpace: “Arrow” is a fan favorite show with a loyal following. How much has the series changed your life since you stepped into the role of Nick Anastas?
Roderick: Well, I think more than anything this role has given me an eye into the industry. I finally feel like I’m inside this machine that IS “Arrow.” And to have people reach out through social media and tell me how much the show means to them has been incredibly meaningful.

TrunkSpace: Beyond the work itself, what has been the most rewarding part of this journey for you thus far?
Roderick: Other than the work, I’ve really treasured the lessons I have learned from the other actors on the show. I’m so lucky to be surrounded by a cast that has so much experience, and they have shared a lot of stories and advice about the industry. They have taught me so much.

TrunkSpace: Right and wrong is pretty black and white to Officer Anastas, at least when we first meet him. As his own views and positioning on things like vigilantism changed, what was that character adjustment like for you? It definitely feels like he’s in a place now that is much different from when you started your journey with him.
Roderick: For sure. I think a lot of the progression you see is a combination of me (the actor) growing more comfortable on the show, as well as the writers giving me more responsibility and featuring my character more.

TrunkSpace: Being on a series with cowls and capes must offer some surreal run-ins behind the scenes. What has been the most “pinch me” moment for you throughout your time on “Arrow” thus far?
Roderick: The stunt guys. They are incredible. I’ve watched them do full front flips off two-story buildings, get hit by cars… it’s hard to believe they are all trained to do this stuff!

TrunkSpace: What would 10-year-old Evan think about his future self getting to step into the DC universe and play alongside of super heroes in Star City?
Roderick: He’d be proud. I always really wanted to play a cop, plus the opportunity to play one in the DC Universe is a huge bonus.

TrunkSpace: Prior to acting you were pursuing hockey. Was that your first dream and what lead you away from the sport and into acting?
Roderick: It was my first dream. But the truth is, in the end I just wasn’t satisfied with playing hockey. At one point I was scheduled to play in the NCAA for UMASS-LOWELL, but the feeling wasn’t going away. I knew for a long time deep down that I was going to pursue acting instead. There is just something creative and expressive about acting that hockey doesn’t offer. Ultimately, that’s why I made the decision.

TrunkSpace: Are there any parallels between hockey and acting? Is the focus and training similar? The pursuit of an end goal? Where do the two intersect?
Roderick: Totally. Funnily enough, I approach acting in a very similar way as I did hockey. For example, when I am preparing for an audition or a scene, I have to psyche myself up and talk myself through my preparation. I envy actors that can just dive into their character with the snap of a finger – I’m just not like that. I’m grateful I had a sport like hockey to help me find a process to perform.

Photo By: Carly Dame

TrunkSpace: You’re also a songwriter. Do you hope to expand your love for music into a separate career avenue or is writing and recording more of a hobby?
Roderick: I absolutely want to have some kind of a career in music as well. I think I work and stress too much over my music to call it a hobby! To play a musician in a film and/or write songs for a project would be an ideal situation in my mind.

TrunkSpace: We read that you have no problem wearing boots with shorts, BUT, what about sandals with jeans?
Roderick: You’ve just described by quintessential summer wardrobe. (Laughter)

TrunkSpace: Finally, Evan, you’re still at such an early point in your career with so many future roles still ahead of you. Are you someone who wonders what lies ahead or is important for you stay focused on the present. When it comes to your career, do you plan for the future or is it too difficult in an industry where so much is out of your control?
Roderick: I do think about the future, a lot. Hopefully not to the extent that it pulls me out of the present, but I think it’s important to work towards something. It’s true, sometimes the future of an actor is unpredictable, but you can still control how you want to brand yourself and what parts you decide to go out for.

Arrow” returns October 15 on The CW.

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