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Screen Queens of The Edit: Tracee Ellis Ross, Cynthia Nixon, Kristen Bell and Michelle Monaghan Talk TV

29 Nov

TV issues of magazines are up there with roundtable discussions in how much I enjoy them (which is to say a lot) and Net-A-Porter’s weekly online magazine The Edit has produced a ‘Screen Queens’ issue featuring Tracee Ellis Ross, Cynthia Nixon, Kristen Bell and Michelle Monaghan to talk all things TV and wear some of the latest fashions.

The thing with The Edit is that it is linked directly to the Net-A-Porter site so you can shop the issue with ease (if your bank balance permits and you are in the mood for a splurge) and there are a whole lot of ladysuit and sequin delights in this editorial. net-a-porterAs well as the Q&A’s with each actress there are also videos on the Net-A-Porter YouTube channel (and below) amounting to about an episode of a network drama and this is exactly the kind of thing I am after as they discuss the topics that typically come up on these things; diversity, ageism, sexism and equality.

This is also a good cross section of TV actresses covering a variety of shows – that they are currently on/have previously starred in – to the platforms they air on with network, cable and streaming all represented.

We are very much in the throes of movie award season, but this doesn’t mean there isn’t space to talk all things TV and you can watch the discussion below.

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Hollywood Reporter Drama Actress 2016 Roundtable: Watch the Full Video

28 Jun

Last night the first process of Emmy voting closed with the initial round of nominations. Those will not be announced until Thursday, July 14 and in the meantime the full versions of the Hollywood Reporter Emmy roundtable discussions will air every Sunday on SundanceTV before being made available on YouTube.

The first one up is the drama actresses and we showcased this chat a few weeks ago when this amazing group of women covered The Hollywood Reporter.

Now watch the whole conversation below.

The 2016 Comedy Actress Emmy Roundtable

15 Jun

Emmy roundtable season continues and The Hollywood Reporter has unveiled the comedy actress panel featuring an amazing lineup of Lily Tomlin, Gina Rodriguez, Ilana Glazer, Niecy Nash, Allison Janney and Rachel Bloom.

Emmy voting is now open and you can see the full list of submissions here; once again Allison Janney has a chance of picking up two awards in comedy (Mom) and drama (Masters of Sex). I’m going to be taking a closer look at the costume design submissions in the not too distant future as a specific episode is listed for each one so keep an eye out for that.THRStyling wise I prefer this (click on image for a closer look) to the drama actress pastels and satin (or bridesmaids as Kirsten Dunst accurately referred to it) with Ilana Glazer’s tuxedo dress and Rachel Bloom’s white ladysuit being my personal favorites.

The actual roundtable (which you can read here) is unsurprisingly great and continues the theme of people I would love to have a boozy lunch/dinner with.THRSo far there’s only a couple of clips on YouTube – there are more on THR – including this fantastic Rachel Bloom video which makes me feel bad that I still haven’t watched Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and it is  also a good reminder that Bloom used to live with Ilana Glazer.

And Allison Janney gives a good lesson in things you shouldn’t say to a famous person or when you think a person looks like a famous person. Just don’t do it.

This has been a really good THR roundtable season also extending to the equally wonderful Tony actress discussion and there will be more Emmy chat on TV Ate My Wardrobe in the coming weeks. Emmy nomination day is July 14 and the Emmys will be held Sunday, September 18.

Variety Actors on Actors or Pick Your Dream Dinner Date (Part 2)

9 Jun

The Hollywood Reporter has their award season roundtables gathering a group of actors/writers/showrunners who are at the top of their game and over at Variety they do things one-on-one getting the actors to interview other actors. Last year I referred to this setup as picking your dream dinner dates and that still stands with the line-up this year.

So far only a handful of the full videos are available on YouTube (you can find them all on Variety) and they are ideal viewing if you are suffering from show withdrawal or if like me you just love this time of year when TV awards chat is in full focus. Courtney B. Vance and Tracee Ellis RossFirst up we have Courtney B. Vance and Tracee Ellis Ross in this almost 40-minute extravaganza discussing everything from college, to the OJ Simpson trial and discussions of race on Black-ish.

And in people I didn’t know went to high school together; Rami Malek and Kirsten Dunst. Also love that Kirsten Dunst would listen to Dolly Parton’s “Here I Am” before scenes in which Peggy was particularly feeling herself.

Talking about producing material and creating their own work with Master of None and Confirmation. Plus audition chat and now I’m left wondering which two shows Kerry Washington got fired off for the horrific reason of not sounding ‘urban’ enough. Is one of them Wonderfalls? On a fashion note I have already mentioned how much I love Kerry Washington’s dress and I will be doing so again.

Jay Duplass tells a very funny story about having more sexual partners on screen in one season of Transparent than he has in his whole life and Emilia Clarke reveals why she ended up dancing in her Game of Thrones audition (always blame Diet Coke).

And finally from two Ryan Murphy projects we have Jamie Lee Curtis and Lady Gaga with Lady Gaga explaining how she got on board the American Horror Story train (she called him) and where Gaga ends and Stephanie begins. Turns out that Robert Durst is the surprising influence for Gaga’s performance on AHS.

It is not just one on one interviews Variety are gifting us this award season and you can watch a supporting actor roundtable featuring Regina King, Jonathan Banks, Miranda Otto, Anthony Mackie, Christian Slater and Maggie Siff here.

Updated to add this super delightful chat between Sam Heughan and Krysten Ritter. Heughan talks about the Outlander costumes and how helpful they are, which leads to Krysten Ritter breaking down Jessica’s unchanging wardrobe. They win my heart in an instant.

Check back for more Emmy chat here soon.

The 2016 Emmy Roundtable Season is Here!

18 May

It is no secret how much I love all things awards from the pre-nomination chatter to the red carpet decadence. Film award season stretches for months dominating the start of the year and now it is time for TV to bask in the glory of all things accolades; who deserves them, who should be nominated but probably won’t and the standout moments from television from the past year. Taking into account what will qualify as recency bias means certain things might get forgotten (anything that aired between June 1, 2015 and May 31 2016) so Mad Men is out (the finale aired May 17), but something like Show Me a Hero is in (which means Oscar Isaac in a tux hopefully). And maybe this is the year Emmy voters started watching The Americans.

The Hollywood Reporter’s roundtable season is one way to mark the official start of the Emmy chat period although Gold Derby has also been on fire with their one on one chats (including this great one with Poor Martha herself, Alison Wright) in recent weeks. A few months ago Jennifer Lopez posted a pictured on Instagram (which she sadly took down) of what turned out to be the drama actress roundtable; pretty much from that point on I have been anticipating the arrival of this discussion because this lineup is on fire.

Diversity or rather a lack of dominated award season and the actress roundtable and subsequent cover was a clear example of how Hollywood is failing, With regards to TV this cover and other recent ones have done a much better job at showcasing a variety of women who are leading the way in both comedy and drama. This isn’t to say TV is always the beacon of light in this department as Kristen Warner pointed out when the 2014 cover was released and it was only last year that a black woman finally won for Best Actress in a Drama Series with Viola Davis crushing it on every level with her acceptance speech. Opportunity is key and TV is currently offering a lot more of this.

Now to this year’s cover and this is an amazing group of actresses covering cable and network shows (and surprisingly no streaming) with Regina King and Kerry Washington straddling both with American Crime/The Leftovers and Scandal/Confirmation.dramasummercoverYou can watch videos from this roundtable over at The Hollywood Reporter including Sarah Paulson talking about sexism in relation to her role on American Crime Story as well as in her career in general, Regina King discussing directing and acting and Kirsten Dunst mentions how hard TV is work load wise in comparison to film (and she also mentions her friend Lizzy Caplan, which I of course adore). Sex scenes, producing, before they found fame are also covered and I’m looking forward to watching the whole conversation.

In terms of styling the drama actress cover tends to go in the dark and moody direction (of last year), black and white (see 2013) or pastels (as with 2014). Bold and bright is for the comedy actresses. Here it is pastels again with some white thrown in for good measure and they all look great facially, but I don’t love that Julianna Margulies and Jennifer Lopez are blending into the background. I think Sarah Paulson’s pleats are fantastic and Regina King’s pink dress is probably my other standout. I think Cannes has set a super high bar for Kirsten Dunst and this is just fine, but just that.

Read the whole roundtable discussion here.

Keep an eye out for more roundtable related discussions/covers in the coming weeks. Plus more Emmys chat soon!

Watch the WGA Awards TV Nominees Panel featuring Mr Robot, The Americans, Inside Amy Schumer and More

26 Jan

Typically all awards chatter at this time of year is geared towards film, which makes a whole lot of sense as we are deep into pre-Oscars territory. Most TV related panels tend to occur at the Emmys business end (so any time from July-September usually), but the SAG-AFTRA Foundation got some of the WGA nominees together for a discussion that covers everything from casting, influences, whether binge watching impacts their storytelling choices to interacting with material written by critics and fans online.

Mixing comedy and drama writers with a whole variety of backgrounds makes this panel even more interesting and it features Sam Esmail (Mr Robot), Joe Weisberg (The Americans), Joel Fields (The Americans), Kim Caramele (Inside Amy Schumer), Adam Rapp (Flesh & Bone) and Dan Lyons (Silicon Valley).

WGASome of these writers are also the showrunners/creators (Esmail, Weisberg and Fields) so this means their input and day to day tasks also incorporate wider aspects of production. Or if you are Sam Esmail you’re directing all 10 episodes, plus writing which is probably why his current day starts at 6 and finishes at 2 the next morning. This sounds good for writing a character like Elliot, but dude will need a long holiday by the time season 2 is over. Writers’ rooms and process varies from show to show with the Mr Robot going all in on the telling each other to “go fuck yourself” in a totally constructive manner (of course), whereas Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields will take long walks to solve any writing issues they might be having.

Kim Caramele goes into some detail about the 12 Angry Men episode of Inside Amy Schumer, which has received all the critical adulation but was met with some resistance when they pitched the idea. The idea of responding to online chat/reviews also comes into play and Esmail admits he reads everything. Joel Fields discusses this idea of how you can’t set out to do something great/original with a spy show because there is so much that has come before it, but you can set out to do something exciting which they are certainly doing on The Americans. They also talk about whether people binge watching dictates storyline and it sounds like FX are really good bosses to have.

Watch the whole thing below.

For more SAG-AFTRA discussions (of which there are many to deep dive in to) head here.

Drama Actress Emmy Roundtable – “I Want to Play Everything I’ve Never Played Before” (Update! Watch the Full Video)

11 Jun

This is the one I have been waiting for and every year the drama actress roundtable is the highlight of The Hollywood Reporter’s Emmy series. It might be a premature declaration as there are still more discussions to come as part of this season, but I am pretty confident in this assertion after reading the transcript and watching the clips which have been made available prior to SundanceTV airing it in full come August (Update – you can now watch the full discussion at the end of this post). I do want to point to the comedy actress chat as another enlightening and fascinating entry into the roundtable Hall of Fame. And now there is another group to add to my boozy lunch wish list.

The line-up is entirely different to last year (sometimes there are repeats) with Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Honourable Woman), Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder), Taraji P. Henson (Empire), Jessica Lange (American Horror Story), Ruth Wilson (The Affair) and Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex). Gone are the questions of ‘how do you balance work and family?’ and instead there is a strong focus on their work from the shows they are currently on to past experiences. There are four Oscar nominees among these women (some multiple) and a two time winner showing the caliber of talent television attracts particularly when it comes to complex roles for women. A mixture of cable and network with ages ranging from 32 to 66 shows how well television caters to a range of experiences.

THRAs the cover so boldly states there is a focus on race, sex, age and nudity with the latter coming up on multiple occasions. Lizzy Caplan and Ruth Wilson joke about the name of their network – “Showtits” – and sex plays a big part in both Masters of Sex (it is in the title after all) and The Affair. Sex isn’t just there for sensationalism or to be gratuitous; it is worth noting that both shows have a female showrunner with Caplan going so far as pointing out that Michelle Ashford is kinda prudish and those scenes can be hard for all involved.

How to Get Away with Murder is Viola Davis’ first starring role on prime time and she talks about her initial concerns when she took the project on including her appearance. There is one point which really sticks with me and is worth quoting in full exemplifying why this roundtable series strikes a chord:

“I’ve been doing this for 27 years. I’ve performed in basements, churches, off-Broadway. I want the work to reflect my level of gifts and talent. I don’t want it to reflect my color, my sex or my age. That’s what I want most.”

The comedy actresses talked about bad auditions and incidents earlier in their careers where they maybe tried to adjust their look for an audition. This is something Maggie Gyllenhaal discusses in terms of her appearance and how she has been judged in the past in terms of being ‘sexy.’ Gyllenhaal also mentions her interest in nudity and what she looks for in a sex scene.

Cookie Lyon has made such a huge impact on the TV landscape this season and Taraji P. Henson jokes “I hate that bitch. She’s stolen my identity! My friends don’t want to talk to me unless it’s about Cookie.” I’m only halfway through Empire but within the first few minutes of seeing this character on screen it was love. Henson also reveals who she sometimes channels when she is playing Cookie and the answer is not who you might expect. There are no boundaries when it comes to want roles Henson wants to play “I want to play a superhero. I want to be a Bond girl. I want to play a man. I want to play a white woman. I want to play everything I’ve never played before.”

There are more clips to watch here before the full thing becomes available in August.

THR drama actress roundtableIn terms of the styling of the group it turns out I wasn’t proved wrong after all with an explosion of sparkle and while Ruth Wilson is the lone person in print (a beautiful Erdem frock), there is some color with Viola Davis’ Lanvin and range of styles suiting the wearer in question. Lizzy Caplan’s Donna Karan ensemble is reminiscent of her Donna Karan Atelier Emmy stunner from last year (Caplan also chose this designer when she wowed at the Met Gala last month). During the chat Caplan wears an oversized tuxedo jacket and looks super cool while doing so. Excellent lipstick game from all the ladies with Caplan’s fuchsia reminding me of my new favorite lip color. And now if you will excuse me I will be drawing hearts around this entire conversation.

Check back for more Emmy related discussions in the weeks/months to come.

Update! Watch the full uncensored Emmy Drama Actress roundtable below.

Emmy Roundtable Season is Here!

28 May

You know the drill by now and while I can pretend I haven’t been checking various industry websites daily (okay sometimes way more than that) for their Emmy discussion coverage, anyone who visits TV Ate My Wardrobe at this time of year will be aware of my love of all things roundtable. The Hollywood Reporter kicked things off a couple of weeks ago with an interesting chat with writers from shows such as EmpireThe Good Wife and The Leftovers and now we turn to the comedy actresses.

The Hollywood Reporter has gathered a roll call of ladies I would like to get a boozy dinner with and covers network, cable, basic cable and streaming platforms; Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live), Ellie Kemper (The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Lena Dunham (Girls), Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin), Tracee Ellis Ross (Black-ish) and Amy Schumer (Inside Amy Schumer) discuss a range of subjects touching on racism, sexism and issues they have encountered in the work place. Sounds like a hoot, right? Oh, but it is.

THR Comedy coverThere’s a lot of jaw dropping revelations which sadly fall in line with some of the other industry stories making the rounds (such as Maggie Gyllenhaal is ‘too old’ and Salma Hayek has an accent). You can read the transcript over at the THR website, which is great and all, but the videos are where the real good stuff is at. In the past the full discussion has been released at the same time as the issue of the magazine, however this year we will have to wait until August when it will be available on THR.com and SundanceTV. For now we will have to make do with the clips they have made available on YouTube, which thanks to some editing makes it seem like the same question gets asked three times. Regardless of this choppy nature there is still plenty to unpack.

First up Amy Schumer discussing the incredible 12 Angry Men episode of Inside Amy Schumer and the inspiration behind it (so much rage/eye rolls at those dudes).

Good audition stories ahoy and by good I mean ‘Holy fuck! Hollywood is a garbage dump at times’ with Tracee Ellis Ross sharing a humiliating experience as well as talking about sexism and racism behind the camera.

Gina Rodriguez shares a similar WTF audition moment and I heart these women and their reactions to the crap they have to endure so hard.

On race and learning experiences Lena Dunham discusses the reaction to season 1 of Girls. Plus she also talks sexism and how her book advance was scrutinized. Plus I really want to know who the Girls guest star who spouted that awful shit is.

For a couple more videos from this roundtable head here and roll on August so we can watch the full thing (this will be my sentiment for all of these posts).

Comedy roundtableStyling wise they have stuck with the bold color palette and this tends to be the signature look for the comedy actress editorial, while the drama actresses usually get something a little more somber or on the more delicate end; see last year’s pastel, satin and lace for more (cue this year’s drama ladies in so much sparkle just to prove this theory wrong).

Check back for more Emmy related discussions in the weeks/months to come.

Papa Pope, Pornstache, Elsbeth Tascioni and more in SAG’s Conversation with Guest Stars

16 Jun

Roundtable discussions tend to focus on leading or supporting characters and so this guest star panel from SAG is a real treat especially as it features pretty much my favorite guest star – Carrie Preston plays the magical TV unicorn Elsbeth Tascioni on The Good Wife.

Guest stars can go from a three episode arc to becoming a central figure (see Michael Emerson on Lost) or they might do a short run and gain legend status. The phrase “potentially recurring” is often mentioned to guest stars and as Annaleigh Ashford can testify with Masters of Sex it can happen; Betty departed early in season 1 and she’s been upped to a regular for the new season.

Taking part in this SAG panel are Annaleigh Ashford (Masters of Sex), Sarah Baker (Louie), Aimee Carrero (The Americans), Joe Morton (Scandal), Carrie Preston (The Good Wife) and Pablo Schreiber (Orange is the New Black).

SAG guest starLevels of experience vary, as does the way they were cast on the shows they have most recently been on with some getting offered the part without an audition like Carrie Preston and others having to go through multiple callbacks, or getting a part that is different from the one they originally went for. Pablo Schreiber was originally offered Larry on OITNB and he didn’t see him playing this role. Schreiber had already worked with creator Jenji Kohan on Weeds and so that relationship was already there, but it was actually a friend on the writing staff that suggested Pornstache.

Schreiber also goes into how they developed the Pornstache look including the process of picking out the right moustache and how bushiness was an issue. Pornstache’s hair is influenced by Dolph Lundgren in Rocky IV and while the ‘stache is fake; the hair is all Schreiber’s.

Carrie Preston mentions the amazing reputation The Good Wife has when it comes to guest stars (both Joe Morton and Pablo Schreiber have also appeared on the show) and how after appearing in the first year she didn’t get called back for a season. Thankfully the writers found an organic way to bring Elsbeth back on multiple occasions; including this very special moment in season 4.

One of the most discussed episodes of this TV season has been Louie’s “So Did the Fat Lady” and while I haven’t seen the actual episode yet (I know, it’s still sitting on my DVR) I have read a lot of the discourse surrounding it, so hearing Sarah Baker talking about the auditioning and filming process, as well as her general experience is really fascinating. Yes, I need to watch this episode.

In terms of how much the actors know when taking on these parts and how long their guest arc will be varies and someone like Shonda Rhimes doesn’t tend to share too much, although Joe Morton did know that his character was Olivia’s father on Scandal. What he doesn’t know is how long Papa Pope will be around for and generally the guest star rule is “If you don’t die there’s always a way.” As we know from other shows, even if a character does die there is still a way.

Watch the whole discussion below for more on general guest star feelings and the shows they have been on.

 

 

Variety’s Drama and Comedy Lead Actor Roundtables

10 Jun

The pre-Emmy nomination roundtables continue and Variety has released a whole bunch of discussions with stars from drama, comedy and mini-series/TV movies. We recently covered the drama actress panel from The Hollywood Reporter so it’s time to take a look at the dudes from drama and comedy. These panels feature actors from shows I watch fervently (HannibalLooking and The Americans) to ones on my catch up list (Key & Peele).

VarietyGeneral topics covered include hardest/most challenging scenes and Matthew Rhys mentions how he made Holly Taylor cry for real when he screamed at Paige during the Bible page ripping scene. He is terrifying in that scene so this really isn’t all that surprising. The answers from the comedy actors are very different and one story involves an anal cover. Terrible auditions come up and Hugh Dancy’s anecdote is pretty hilarious, though they mention that bad auditions are more depressing than funny. Key and Peele discuss casting Donald Sterling and who on this panel they might choose. Josh Radnor talks about that finale and the big final moment if you want to relive any anger/disappointment/sadness.

Watch both videos below. Pretty sure everyone got told there was a blue/grey/black dress code.

 

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