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Weirder Stuff Project #6

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It's that magical time again.  As Episode 6 moves onwards toward the thrilling climactic showdown, I'm dishing out a new Project in which you can earn bonus XP.  So here it is, what you've all been waiting for:

Weirder Stuff: Behind The Scenes.  

Go behind the scenes of Nutflix's newest hit series.  Come take a look at the actors and actresses of this wild show when they are off the camera. Write a scene of your character as an actor on the hit TV show 'Weirder Stuff'. It can be solo, or written with other players, of course. They could be demanding rewrites or more screen time, arguing with their agent or other actors, looking for another job, forcing a smile as they do a press junket, meeting fans, reading fanmail, filming a scene, whatever.

Interpersonal relationships could be similar to their on-screen ones or totally different.

The actor can be entirely different in personality from the character they portray...  'Devin' might actually be a studious, serious-minded actor who masters the facets of his character.  'Sean' might actually be a girl playing the part of an intersexed boy, who incidentally knows nothing about computers at all.  'Cade' might be a class-A jock douchenozzle.  'Cass' might be a total thot.  'Marissa' could be a total sweetheart who spends time between takes apologising for all the mean shit the script has her saying. 

Or they might have been typecast!  So before writing interaction with someone else's 'actor', confer with them to get an idea of what tack they're taking.

Award:  I will award between 2 and 5 XP for this Project.  Criteria will be individual effort, coherence as a group, collaborative effort and, of course, the entertainment value.

Time Limit:  The Project will run until Episode 6 comes to a close and is locked.  So plenty of time to come up with ideas and chatter in Discord.

Where:

Posts for this Project will go in this thread below.  If you have any questions, ask me in Discord. :)   Have fun!

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Hello everyone, Julia Hernandez here with an E! Exclusive.

Try and imagine it. Shelby Montana, which you might know as 'Shelly' Montana from the hit Nutflix show Weirder Stuff. [images of Montana's scenery and natural beauty] Rolling hills, mountain peaks, and some of the cleanest air you would ever breathe. In the immortal words of one Agent Coulson, 'it's a magical place' with friendly people and few, if any of the common luxuries you or me might be used to in our everyday life. The local grocery store is only ten aisles and has five lanes and no self checkout (can you imagine?). Great Falls is, in fact, an hour and twenty seven minutes away and is the closest the people of Shelby are to an outlet mall.

So, unless you're speeding down the interstate at ninety miles per hour like Devin Jauntsen, or cranking up the old Charger and revving it up to top speeds like Jason Bannon, chances are you are an hour and a half from anything you or I would consider 'civilization'. So, how do they do it? How do the cast and crew of Weirder Stuff cope with the long months of filming in cramped hotel rooms and are they ready to kill each other yet?

Great news, because I managed to secure an exclusive interview with one of the stars of the show, Marissa Jauntsen!

[Waves with both hands and a big smile] Marissa: “Hey there, Superfans!” [laughs]

Julia: “Thank you so much for inviting us along on this trip, wow. First, let me say that you guys are insane on this show! How did you get involved in all of this?

Marissa: [laughs] “Right!? Oh, wow... um, well it was my brother who actually approached me with the script and asked me to read it. I fell in love with the insanity but I honestly didn't know about being able to play a mean girl. Also, the rich mean girl and the extreme sports, edgy sarcasm guy, were not siblings, originally. The further into weeds I got into the project the more I realized how 'adult' the themes were. Sex, violence, betrayal, conspiracies, bigotry, teen angst... I mean the writers were really pushing the envelope and I was totally in love with it at that point.”

Julia: [nods] “So, you weren't scripted as siblings, you and your brother? How did that end up happening?”

Marissa: “Well, Devin and I are real life twins, so when we auditioned and read our lines we did it together but as non-siblings. Essentially we shared a scene where Devin and Marissa were supposed to argue. [rolls her eyes and laughs] So, about half way through, Joss (Whedon) stopped us. We'd worked with him on the Marvel MCU stuff and The Mandalorian. We asked to be extras since our studios were next door for some of the shooting and Joss was totally cool with it since my brother is a total Star Wars nerd. [laughs] So, he stops us and asks us to read the same lines... but argue with each other on everything the other is saying. So, we did, and as siblings if there's one thing we could do it's argue. Later we got the call that we would be cast as siblings, which we're used to.”

Julia: “Does that ever bother you? You and your brother always getting cast as siblings?”

Marissa: “Oh, god no. It works great and like Eric (Kripke) said: 'when I want to do an evil twin scenario where one pushes the other down an elevator shaft, we have authentic twins. Nobody's got that!' It's outside the box thinking like that that really makes Weirder Stuff unique.” [giggles]

Julia: “What are the other cast members like to work with?”

Marissa: [sighs and rolls eyes] “Woah, wow, we are a hot mess. It's always funny because what people get is the finished product, they don't see how many takes it took to get it right or the laughing or mangled lines or the tripping on set...[laughs]. I love these guys. On screen we never agree and are quite possibly always fighting about one thing or another. Off camera it really is all laughs and hugs.”

Julia: [smiles] “Now, there are hints that Marissa is a closet super nerd. How big of a nerd are you?”

Marissa: “So, here come the mean Tweets. [laughs] Um, zero. I am not a nerd. My brother is a massive Star Wars fan, and MCU fan. He's absorbed by anything involving special effects. Me on the other hand, I had never heard of Dungeons & Dragons until this project, which is an interesting story in and of itself.”

Julia: [looks inquisitively] “Oh? Do tell.” [laughs]

Marissa: [nods and chuckles to herself] “Okay. So, Sean, the super geek on the show, was in the same boat as me: neither of us were nerds. So, in order to get our parts right and be more legit, we hit up Amazon and ordered the core D&D books, right? We thought 'how hard could this game be', right? So, we double up in our hotel rooms while shooting, and it's me and Autumn and Courtney and Sean which is great because those two hate each other on the show and yet are roommates off camera.”

“So, Court and Sean come by one evening so we can learn this game. Court and Autumn are doing their own things and Sean and I are lost within ten minutes. Courtney is going over a skin care routine with Autumn and let me tell you, she is our salvation when it comes to skin care. The woman is a genius. So, we're not 'getting it' which draws in their curiosity... and before you know it the four of us are figuring out Dungeons and Dragons in our hotel room and within the hour we've decided to make characters and play the starter adventure in the back of the book. Mind you, none of us know a thing about this game but we're all like: 'hey, we're actors, how hard can it be to pretend?' So my brother stops by, sees what's going on and runs off to tell the guys. And we're all trying to figure this game out together, because a few of the guys had heard of it, but never played.”

“So that happens. Now, the next day, Eric and the writers find out about this mess and that's how Sean's table-top games got included in the show. It was originally scripted as a 'thing that was happening' where all the fans knew Sean was this gamer and he held a gaming session, none of the other Fellowship were supposed to be really in on it because it didn't make sense for a few of them to be gamers. Sean has even managed to do a few re-writes too where the gaming information wasn't accurate in the script, so she changed it to be more accurate for the fan base. See? We love you guys!”

Julia: [looks expectantly] “So? Who was your character in this D&D game?”

Marissa: [laughs, hiding her face in embarrassment] “Argh, I knew you were going to ask. Not was, [laughs] is. We are still playing that game. I have an elven Sorceress who is pretty much just like Marissa on WS. She is mean and manipulative and fairly evil. She has the hots for Jason's chemically dependent alchemist.”

Julia: “Speaking of, is there any chemistry between you and Jason?”

Marissa: “The fans put you up to this, didn't they? [laughs] Uh, wow, yeah, um, Jason is amazing. He's a method actor so he is always in character while on set. Usually with everyone else we discuss the scene and hash out the emotional state and tempo of everything and give it a go. Jason, always being in character means we're just ready to go. I can freak out and vent at him and he'll just look at me blankly like I need to get my act together and hide my crazy. Then we can do the scene with all the same things and he'll look at me blankly like I need to get my act together and hide my crazy. So it works out.” [laughs]

Julia: “So, is the character of Marissa based on anyone real in your life, or that you've met? Where is the angst and vitriol inspired from?”

Marissa: “Oh, so... yeah my mother is very much the inspiration for Marissa when she is in her 'go getter' mode and is out to get something and not letting anything stand in her way. Our family has always been very supportive of what Devin and I do, so I learned a lot about focus, drive and being awesome from her. A lot of the angst comes from being Devin's actual sister in real life. Those scenes where you see us together on the rooftop are pretty legit. We actually talk like that to each other and I don't know how many times we've both found a quiet place to sit and vent to one another throughout our lives. So a lot of those anger driven scenes are me thinking back to the times when my brother has peeved me to the point of losing my mind.”

Julia: “Do you and Marissa have anything in common? Interest-wise, or behavior-wise or outlook-wise?”

Marissa: “Yes, most certainly. I think there is a little part of us in all the roles we play, so Marissa's drive for success and secure future are certainly some things I can relate to. We are both shameless shoppers, I'm all about fashion and I can't believe how many outfits they've selected for Marissa that I've just fallen in love with.”

Julia: “Are you concerned about setting a bad example for impressionable young women?”

Marissa: “This show is so out there and the characters are so over the fence on crazy that I don't feel one, young women,or anyone for that matter, should be taking it seriously, at all, and two, I think people understand that we are tropes on that screen. Let's be real, the Jauntsen twins on WS are borderline sociopathic. [looks at camera] So, if anyone out there is using Marissa as an example on how to live their best life, please don't do the crazy stuff. It will end badly for you. Now, I do hope that young women take from Marissa that she is strong, confident and completely at peace in her skin. Sure, she has her own hang ups in the show, especially when it comes to her mother, but those are what make her human.”

Julia: [smiling and laughing as she holds up a few index cards] “Okay, so, we've collected a series of questions from your fans and we'd like to take a shot at getting them some answers, what do you say?”

Marissa: [hiding her face and laughing] “Oh my god. Okay... wow, let's uh, sure. Let's do this. Like my brother would say: come at me bro'.”

Julia: [chuckles] “Okay, but you asked for it... [laughs]. So, @KrewlGurl56 asks: “you are the show’s queen of mean, but have there ever been scripted put-downs you just couldn’t deliver? Wow, that's actually a good one, I'm curious myself.”

Marissa: [groans with a smirk] “Ugh, god yes! So, at the beginning of the season Marissa was in really deep with the other females in Shelly, there was a lot of hate going around and at one point Clara and Marissa shared a few choice words at the meet up where Lilly had to walk out or risk pulverizing our resident Queen Bee. Well, in that scene, I was scripted to call Clara a... well, a 'C' word and I just couldn't do it. I tried and we were all laughing at my attempts, especially Autumn who is Australian in case you didn't know, so it's a common word for her over there... and on set. So we managed to make something else fit and now Autumn does her best to prank me with that word as much as possible. It works, too.”

Julia: “Yeah, definitely a different meaning here. I remember my first time to Europe, it totally caught me off guard too. [laughs] So, now we have @Numba1MariFan saying... You are awesome and my idol! Who do you look up to as an actor?”

Marissa: “Aww! Thank you, so much. It still is so strange when people say they look up to me because I don't see myself as anything more than me, you know? So, Numba1MariFan, you just keep being you and be good to yourself and others, and we'll be awesome together. As for who I look up to as an actor? Oh, wow... There are just so many because as an actor I pick a little from so many performances that I end up admiring so many people. Um, if I had to totally pick one though, I'd have to say Gwyneth Paltrow? I, uh, met her briefly at the Iron Man 3 premier when I was twelve and oh-my-god, she completely blew me away. She was just so amazing and friendly and larger than life that I walked away feeling like I had just been in the shadow of a goddess. Also she once said: 'Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick.' Boom. Girl totally nailed it. Mic drop. I'm a fan-girl for life.”

Julie: “She is amazing, and so friendly, too. Switching it up @PrinceCharmless87 wants to play a game... so, Kiss, Marry, Kill with the WS cast, go.”

Marissa: [laughs and appears embarrassed] “Oh my god! You guys are horrible! I love it. [laughs] Okay... so... let's see... Marry? I'd have to say Sheriff Alister. Ugh, that man is 'wow'. [points to camera, laughing] You can edit that out, right?” [Julia: “Oh, yeah. Yeah, totally, we'll edit it out.” [laughs]] “Kiss? Um... well, Marissa is kind of a sloot, so I have a feeling I'll be kissing a lot of people in the episodes to come, but... Autumn? [sheepishly looking to the camera] I totally think she'd be a great kisser. Kill. Ouch. Um, let's see... uh, Charlie? Too soon? [hides her face, laughing] Sorry! I don't know... that's so hard to answer!”

Julia: [laughing] “Wow, ouch. Yeah, poor Charlie. Are we going to be seeing more of him?”

Marissa: “Have to watch and see! No spoilers!”

Julia: “Boo. [giggles] Okay, now @FashionedInIdaho says: Like, OMG, your style and clothes on Weirder Stuff are AMAAAZIIING! Classy, Sassy, and a teensy bit trashy. Do you - and the rest of the Cast - get any input in what you get to wear? And do you get to keep it after the season is over? That's a really good question, with all the trinkets and props do you have mementos?”

Marissa: “Oh, that is a good one and the answer is: yes.. and no. So, we do get a lot of input into our outfits. Marissa was originally going to be a lot of black and mean which seemed too monochrome to me and certainly too 'Disney Villain'. So we set up more colors for her to wear but express her brand of villainy through always having something that is either black, or leather or a bit trashy, like her heeled boots. Because villains are always in black and wear leather, and the attractive females are usually fond of heels unless they're the bruiser type villains like Gina Carano's Angel Dust in Deadpool. So her leather jackets, or the tight pleather leggings she wears while mingling it with different, brighter colors, gives her the dichotomy of a villainess in transition. The maroon lip-stick too, thank you Gwyneth Paltrow! [laughs] Sadly, we do not get to keep the wardrobe. However, the bracelets that were recently discovered in the story... you can't see it, but each of us received one of those that is ours to keep, a gift from the producers, and on the inside there is an engraving, just for us that says something to remind of Season One.”

Julia: “What does yours say?”

Marissa: “Mine just has the 'C' word in quotation marks. [sucks her teeth] Yeah. Can't beat friends like these, let me tell you.” [nods, smiling]

Julia: “I can imagine. Here's a good one, @RainbowProudBoy asks: Are you and Devin actually siblings/twins? You two have that perfect chemistry, I can only assume that you two must be related. Also, can you get me Devin's number? He's so hot.”

Marissa: [buckles over with laughter] “Oh! Oh, I am so tempted to do it! [claps her hands laughing] Oh, wow. He'd kill me. Yes, though. We are actually siblings, twins even. He's older by a minute. A freaking minute! Everything you see Devin and me doing together on screen is taken a lot from our personal lives, like he rooftop talks the arguing, even us swearing at each other and the insults. All real insults we've used on one another. I generally don't swear except around him, because, brothers, right? No one pushes our buttons quite like family.”

Julia: [raises a hand in solidarity] “I have a sister, I totally sympathize with you there. [laughs] @ABC123 asks: we haven't seen Sophia's body yet. By cinema rules, that means she - probably - isn't dead yet. Are we going to see her again this season?”

Marissa: “Hey now, no spoilers! You'll just have to watch the season and see how it all wraps up.”

Julia: “Aww, no fair. @LostInTheLight says: I'm an avid fan of this show and all the weirdness it's entailed so far. Are there any scenes that have been difficult for you to shoot?”

Marissa: [laughs, nodding] “Oh yeah. The Cade/Marissa love making scene stands out. So, I'm five-eight and he is six-four. Have you noticed the set for his room includes a twin-sized bed? So, it was hilariously awkward getting that scene to work. After awhile Cade said: 'yeah, he would have just sprung for a hotel by now'. It's also a great example of how we've had to adapt to the scenes and situations. It was supposed to be more romantic with cuddling and clenching the sheets in orgasmic throes, but in a twin bed? Seriously? So, that's when he and I pitched that Marissa is not really the cuddle type. She'd be more assertive and it'd be easier if she was on the top and they didn't focus too much on the romance their fist time together.”

Julia: “Is that why she left her boots on?” [smirks]

Marissa: [laughs] “No. Fun fact: the zipper on the left boot got stuck and we couldn't get it unstuck, so... I wore those heels in that bed for almost nine hours until we got that scene right. Fun times.”

Julia: “Ugh, I can't imagine. I feel for you. [laughs sympathetically] Are there any scenes that you or others just 'went with' after something or someone just went off script?”

Marissa: “Oh, yeah, it's called 'everything so far'. [laughs] Um, so... we get a lot of leeway with the script and when we're doing scenes they let us use it as more of a guideline than something etched in stone. My brother is famous for ad libbing, usually with his quips and insults. All the monster names, like vagisaurus? All him. For example, when Devin and Cass see the monster in the forest that first time and he finally makes his first comment on it poor Cass couldn't stop laughing. As for me? The one scene that sticks out was when Jason and Marissa had, what has been dubbed, the 'DDR Incident'. Jason wasn't supposed to kiss me in that scene so the reaction you see from me is genuine, including that momentary pullback as my brain was like: what's he doing'? I think it made the scene more visceral and real. That anger you see in Marissa is anger I was able to channel from the notion of how angry I would be if some guy just kissed me like that. [looks to the camera] For the record, I'm not and never was actually mad at Jason. We're professionals and that move made sense for the characters, it made the scene really pop, and it's a great example of how taking a risk can really improve the work that you do. So no nasty-grams to Jason about personal space or patriarchal oppression,”

Julia: “As we wrap this up, is there anything you'd like to say to the fans or hints you'd like to drop for Season 2?”

Marissa: “Of course! I want all of our WS fans to know that we love them and appreciate all the social media feedback! We do listen and have a lot of creative freedom so who knows? Your ideas might get used! As for Season 2? Oh, gosh, see I don't want to spoil anything but I will say we have a ton of special guest stars showing up! Lots of actors from popular shows and movies that you are used to seeing as good guys... well, here on WS they are the bad or really, really, mean guys. The relationships and drama will only get better, or worse, depending on your point of view, so keep watching and submit your ideas and remember, we love you guys!”

[Credits roll, Julia and Marissa sit in their chairs laughing and making idle chatter]

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Into The Eye Of The Monster

 

Article from ‘Empire’ magazine.

an interview with Jason Bannon, By Roger Jurgen:

Weirder Stuff’, in the beginning attacked by its critics for being “yet another teen supernatural drama”, has beaten the odds and risen above the competition - and how!  The direction, writing and most of all the young actors who comprise the show’s central cast have, in the first season, shown the critics that they were wrong to dismiss the strong pool of talent that the show’s producers assembled.  It boldly tackles issues from sexual assault to teen drug use to the simple difficulties of coming of age, set against a backdrop of a world that is just like ours - only a lot weirder.

I recently got to sit down and interview the show’s resident bad boy, at least on-screen.  Genius, high-functioning psychopath - the character of Jase Bannon is the wild card of the Fellowship.  Potential anti-hero or fledgling monster, one thing the fans can’t do is not discuss him. The actor who plays him is similarly a subject of much discussion.   Described in the past as ‘enormously talented’ and ‘a prodigy’, he has made his mark playing roles that test both actor and viewer psychologically, making us ask moral and ethical questions about ourselves and the world around us and, on several occasions, giving us a good scare.

It is a blustery Montana day when I am driven up to the near-iconic ‘Bannon House, an actual farmhouse standing at the summit of a gentle hill that overlooks the surrounding area.  Picked for it’s isolated appearance, it radiates - not loneliness, but apartness - an air of self-containment that asks nothing and takes courage to approach, much as does the fictional character that lives within.

Much as does the actor himself.  Jason Bannon, in person, is perhaps not as daunting as his fictional namesake, and for obvious reasons, but as a method actor (he lives in the Bannon house even when not filming, and rumor has it he is thinking of buying the place) I am struck by the pale gaze that measures me unwaveringly, giving me his full attention without any sign of either friendliness or hostility.  His handshake is as one might expect from the character too - brief, polite but unlingering: a clasp, two shakes and then done, as if lifted directly from a book on ‘How to Greet People’.  I find myself moving very deliberately and choosing my words with care, my awareness of the character coloring my interpretation of the actor’s expressions and words.  I have to remind myself that ‘Jase Bannon’, the telekinetic who can crush a car with his mind, is not real.

We sip coffee in the lounge of the farmhouse, the shelves piled with books which, my host assures me, he does read in his spare time though not, he admits, with the speed or voraciousness of his character.  As he admits this he smiles, a touch of warmth enters his expression and I get the sense that, at least in part, his mask is being set aside for me, as a professional courtesy.  I find I am now able to relax, that the monster is not actually in the room.  By common consent, we use the name ‘Jase’ when speaking about the character, to avoid confusion.

Roger:  Now, you’re the cast member that’s most private, but what fans do know about you is that you don’t break character so long as you are in a given role.  And yet you’re giving an interview?

Jason:  Yes.

Roger:  How does that work, exactly?

Jason:  Well, obviously I am not a super-powered alien genius.  Nor am I an actual psychopath.  What I do is maintain the-  framework, let us call it.  Jase’s speech patterns, his way of perceiving the world, how he thinks and reacts.  It is an entire persona, carefully constructed over readings, rehearsals, and many many discussions about the character with the writers, the director, and even my co-stars.  I don’t retreat into my memory palace between takes, or go and tend my flower garden - because those are things Jase can do that I cannot.  Likewise, I’m not hard-wired to be fearless and find violence easy - but Jase is.  When wearing his persona, I can immerse myself in that without feeling the need to act on it.  I try to interact with the world through that filter.

Roger:  You’ve a history of playing roles which some would describe as simultaneously troubled and troubling, both on stage and film.  Was that what drew you to accept this role?

Jason:  Definitely a large part of it.  I find the character to be simultaneously complex and yet simple.  He’s not insane, or a compulsive personality, or irrational.  Every action he takes has at least three, and usually more reasons for him to do it.  He rarely if ever acts without thinking, but his pattern of thought is… well, alien.  That forms the basis for a large part of his personal conflicts with others.

Roger:  Such as Devin.  Some describe the ‘frenemy’ relationship between your character and that of Devin to be similar to that of Professor Xavier and Magneto.  Friends who nevertheless cannot agree on certain central positions, who will clash over those.  What do you think?

Jason:  Devin has a strong moral base underlying his exterior.  He’s the Hero, in the classic sense.  Flawed, certainly, but he knows he can and should be better.  Jase is the anti-hero - he’s on the good guys side, but he isn’t moral and doesn’t have a conscience as we understand it.  Devin, in stepping up to lead, has had to point out to Jase that he needs to think through the consequences of his actions on the emotional wellbeing of the others, not just their physical safety.

Their contrast is an interesting one to play out.  In the future, they might become like Professor X and Magneto - or they could be like Kirk and Spock.  They’re teens, at a crossroads, and it could go either way.

Roger:  Do you get along off-screen?

Jason:  Yeah, we do.  He’s a lot of fun - serious about working on the show, unafraid to goof around a bit between takes.  Him and Cassie are always trying to get me to crack.  Especially Cassie.  I think she takes it as a personal challenge.

Roger:  Do you ever goof around?  Play pranks back?

Jason: (smiling) I don’t not goof around.  I feel I have to maintain character to a degree, though.  I believe that acting always betrays truth - Jase is supposed to be somewhat aloof, unreachable in an everyday sense.  He has a sense of humor, but it is wry and understated and not-quite human.  And the others are never sure where the line is with him - they can be pretty sure he won’t hurt them, but they don’t know what does and doesn’t offend him or get under his skin.  I try to keep the chemistry similar to how the Fellowship are with me on-screen.

Roger:  Chemistry, yes.  Jase has been described as somewhat of a dark horse romantic character.  You have never played a role with a romantic side before - was that a challenge?

Jason:  It was at first, for sure. (chuckling)  I initially questioned the veracity of someone so cold and detached even being able to express passion.  The writers took me through their process, describing the subtle but defined differences between a regular psychopath and what Jase is.  It took me a long time to balance his inner landscape, to get the persona correct.  I think the results speak for themselves, though.

Roger:  They do, yes.  Apparently you’re trending on all manner of social media platforms and the character has made several top ten lists in young adult media.

Jason:  I didn’t know.  Jase doesn’t usually haunt social media, so nor do I.

Roger:  You sound surprised.

Jason:  I am!  Devin is the Kirk character. (He laughs.)  Hmm.  But it actually makes a certain amount of sense.  The character provokes emotions - there are well-documented links between the thrill of fear, a sense of danger, and fascination. Who hasn’t wondered what it would be like to pet the tiger when it isn’t acting in a threatening manner?  Even when it seems at peace it’s still a tiger.  Still deadly.  It just has no reason to harm you right now.

Roger:  So is that how you see Jase?  A tiger?

Jason: (nodding) Sort of, yes.  A big cat in a human suit, an apex predator by wiring, smarter than pretty much everyone around him and with a boundless capacity for violence.  Morals or social pressures have limited sway on him, especially if they come from outside his chosen circle.  Hmm, perhaps a lion would be a better description.  More in-group oriented.  He ‘cares’ - in his way - about those he chooses as friends.

Roger:  ‘Boundless capacity for violence’?

Jason:  Capacity, not necessarily inclination.  The human psyche has a limit to how much stress, violence and fear it can endure. It’s not a matter of ‘if’ the limit gets reached, it’s a matter of ‘when’.  Psychopaths - and by extension Teulu: as a fictional near-human race designed for war - do not have that limit.  This is why you will find psychopaths doing well in high-stress, high-danger fields.  Special operations soldiers, firefighters, police officers, surgeons, and of course career criminals…  The stress and trauma of their job doesn’t touch them and they are able to perform as they need to.  I chose to do a lot of reading on the phenomena when I undertook this role: it’s a fascinating field of study.

Anyway, back to your original question - I think it is that sense of contained danger that gives Jase his allure.  I can’t take all the credit for that.  The writing team do an absolutely brilliant job for all the characters - it’s like putting on a suit that is perfectly tailored.  And of course, the cast all have excellent chemistry with each other.  We fall very naturally into the roles of misfit friends.

Roger:  And, of course, chemistry is Jase’s special area of knowledge.  Now there’s been some romantic subplots between your character and a couple of the ladies on the show.  Where do you see that heading?

Jason:  No spoilers, but I can say keep watching. There’s bound to be twists and turns, and nothing is certain - even the cast and writers aren’t sure where things are going sometimes.  When you’re working with talented writers and actors there’s a lot of improvisation and inspiration, especially when they’re heavily engaged and interested.  So many times you’ll get Devin improvising some banter - he’s really good at that - and the director will just be like ‘Hey, that’s good, I’ll allow it’. And the personal chemistry between the cast will influence things too - sometimes the writers like to work with that to give the work more ‘punch’.

Roger:  So your chemistry with Marissa and Autumn in the show - is that similar to off-screen?

Jason:  No comment. (he laughs)  Seriously, they are both great actresses: enormously talented and each brings a great deal of vibrant life to their part.  In person they’re lovely people - not at all diva-like and very down to earth.  Marissa is a sweetheart, and Autumn is passionate - very much present in every moment, whether on or off-screen.  She’s perfect for her role, really.  I do have to give kudos to Marissa though: she is very unlike her character in some key ways, and watching her go all ‘Evil Queen’ when the cameras are rolling is inspiring.

Roger:  And your other co-stars?  How do you get along with them? 

Jason:  We get along well.  Or at least, I like to think so.  They’re all very good to work with - good work ethic, minimal drama and screaming even on bad days.  And as people, they’re pretty chill and fun.  Like our characters, we are very different people thrown together to be part of something greater, so the dynamic works very well.

Roger:  What’s next for Jase, do you think?

Jason:  Jase is like every member of the Fellowship - potentiality.  The only way to find out what comes next is to travel along the road.

Roger: And for yourself?

Jason:  (He smiles) Same answer.

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Julia: [smiles for the camera] "Hello, everyone. The next in our cast interview series is the 'will-they/won't-they power couple of Weirder Stuff. One is an irreverent, thrillseeking teenage troublemaker...the other an intrepid reporter in-training. One of the big surprises this season was how, despite getting on each other's nerves so much, they seem to be looking to forge some kind of relationship together. I am of course speaking of Cassandra Allen, and Devin Jauntson." [turns in her chair to face to the side as the camera pans over to show the two actors sitting next to one another on a pair of canvas seats]

Cassandra: [grinning excitedly] "Hi, Julia! Thanks for doing this for the show, and the viewers and...and everyone! Mwah!" [she blows a kiss to the camera] "I'm Cassandra, and I play the character of Cassandra Allen on Weirder Stuff." [looks over at Devin's actor](edited)

Devin: [waves] "Heyo, everyone. Thanks for taking time Julie, these meet and greets have been awesome. I am Devin Jauntsen and I play, well, myself. [laughs, looks to Ellen] When did we become a power couple? I thought we were still in the plucky comic relief zone."

Cassandra: "We can be the plucky power comic relief couple!" [holds up a finger] "Not that I'm confirming we're a couple. That would be spoiling. After the lectures Autumn gets, I am not stepping in that puddle."

Devin: [Laughs] "Nope. She needs constant supervision."

Julia: [nods, smiling.] "Oh, we've all heard she is a handful. So, out of curiosity, how does the couples thing work? How does the show determine who 'hooks up' with who? Writers? Producers? Do you have any say in it?"

Cassandra: [shrugs] "The director and writers seem like they're open to comments, but we're not really on that team, you know? Like, mostly we can say something like, 'I think my character would say this instead of that' or that kind of thing. Not so much 'I think I should fall in love with someone else.' Because that would change the whole story."

Cassandra: [laughs] "Which is just fine with me, by the way! These guys are WAY better at writing that kind of thing than I am!"

Devin: [nods] "There's a lot of meetings about the story, too. We get a lot of say, but ultimately it boils down to what's best for the story. Like, the Cassy/Devin has on the fanbase's mind since that first night they held hands running for their lives... but even we shrugged and thought 'eh, these two really don't have a lot in common, there needs to be more story', so it was added as more of a writing tool and we've flirted and joked since to build that rapport. Now, the fanbase is going nuts and we're not telling." [grins as he looks to the camera]

Cassandra: [nods] "Like, right from the start it was them, on that first night when everything went crazy, you know? When the monster shows up and that air force guy...they sort of dived into that swimming pool together, even more than with the others in the team."

Julia: "As actors, do you have any kind of emotional investment in this fictional relationship? Independently of the fan response? Is this something you're pulling for?"

Devin: "Wow. Breaking out the big guns. Um, I would say yes. I mean, we really have a lot of fun and we really get into the emotion and the ups and downs of these teenagers' lives. There are a few episodes that I was so invested in that sometimes I felt like I knew the characters more than the actors. We were just delivering the emotion, you know? So, to finally have Cass and Devin out in the spotlight it feels good. These two are the characters who really have the potential to get themselves into trouble with a lot bickering. Could be funny."

Cassandra: [lifts a thumbs up] "I am a total fan of the direction this show is going right now, including and especially Cass and Dev. They are super cute."

Devin: [shrugs, looking innocently] "Plus, let's face it, no woman escapes Devin. They all want him, it's just a matter of time."

Julia: [lughs] "He does have that certain measure confidence, doesn't he? How alike are you to the persona you play? How much of yourself is into making the character and the show work?"

Cassandra: [laughs] "Devin, you go first on this one."

Devin: "What? Why me? [Laughs] Uh, I honestly am not a whole lot like Devin. I am a gymnast, but that's about it. Devin is very anti-nerd has no filters or shyness to him. Me? I'm big into a few nerdy things, like my Star Wars and MCU. I just love special effects, which is what pulled me to this project. I was actually embarrassed that scene where Cass touched Devin's chest... it tickled and her hand was really cold. I'm more mellow and reserved, like my sister. To be honest, I don't think I could put up with a guy like Devin for very long, but that's the appeal of the trope."

Cassandra: [nods] "I'm very different too. I could never do the kind of things Cassandra in the show does. I freak out very easily. That whole thing where she and Autumn go into the town hall?" [shakes head] "Nope. Uh uh. I'd take, like one look at it and move right out of town. I mean, no joke, that whole scene took forever because I had to calm down between half the takes, and I knew it was just a story."

Devin: "We loved filming that day, watching those two be creeped out by a scene we all knew was fake was a serious hat tip to the effects people."

Julia: "That's a good segue. How does the cast of this show get along behind the scenes? You clearly know how to work together, but you're also playing a bunch of teenagers. Is there any real life teenage drama that goes on?"

Cassandra: "I mean...it's not high school or anything. We're a pretty tight crew, we're all friends. Even the people you don't see every episode, we all see each other basically every day. The only real drama is what we put in front of the cameras."

Devin: [nods] "True. I mean we all have our quirks, like if Jason breaks character it takes him an hour to get back in the game, which is frustrating, but then again, they all put up with my pranks and gags and Autumn and me trying to make them laugh during their scenes, so fair is fair."

Julia: "Devin I spoke with your sister and she said you presented her with the project and she fell in love with it. How did the you and Cass get involved with this?"

Devin: "Uh, well, I got a tip from a friend who said this project was coming up, and I had the opportunity to see a few highlights of the proposal and it seemed so... wonky. The sci-fi/horror/super heroes aspects of the show really appealed to me, and I just had to see those special effects, y'know? Originally I wanted the role of Bannon, because my sister and I are always cast as the well-off teens or popular kids, but after Mari and I got the call Eric (Kripke) was like: 'dude, we have the perfect power set for you, you're going to love it'. And I do.

Cassandra: "As for me, this is my first big role." [grins eagerly] "I got into theater in high school, and decided to really push myself with it when I went to college, so I didn't just take courses...I did community theater too. One of my friends wound up being involved in the production and he gave me a tip about the auditions being planned." [shrugs] "There was a lot of luck involved, but in the end, the director and producer really liked what I did, and here I am."

Julia: "Devin, you said you wanted the role of Jason Bannon. Are there any other roles in the show you might have been interested in? What about you, Cassandra?"

Cassandra: [shyly] "I knew who I wanted to be from the start. Just reading like...the first cold read lines they gave us for the audition. I just sort of locked on."

Devin: "Cade, actually is the role they considered for me. Jock, bit a sweetheart, big and lovable. When they merged mine and Marissa's role's into the twins, they selected me as the Devin character who was the loudmouthed opposite to Marissa's mean girl." Julia: "So, all this energy on the set and all the shenanigans. Give the viewers a couple of examples awkward blooper that have occurred, either between you two, or another cast member. My Twitter feed has been blowing up with that one." [grins]

Cassandra: [buries her face] "Oh god."

Devin: [laughs, looking at Cass] "This I gotta hear."

Cassandra: "Okay." [looks up, very redfaced] "This is going to get me into trouble, so I hope you and everyone appreciates this." [she laughs nervously] "So, as I said I came here from community theater, and there things could be kind of...rowdy. Like, it was really common to play tricks on each other, and I didn't really get right away that those aren't always as appropriate here? Anyway, there was originally a shot in the town hall scene where Autumn has to reach into a hole in the wall because we saw something in there. She was supposed to pull out an old, wrecked teddy bear, but I swapped it with..." [somehow turns even redder] "A...different item. Between takes."

Cassandra: [laughs again] "So she is expecting to see a teddy bear, and instead she pulls out this...thing for ladies? Can I say it?" [looks offscreen]

Julia: [laughs] "A dildo?"

Cassandra: [covers mouth again and nods] "The funniest part was that she didn't really know what it was at first, so she FREAKED OUT for real, thinking it was a snake or something. I had to go apologize to her, and then we spent another ten minutes laughing until we cried, and every time we tried to do the scene we couldn't keep a straight face. So they had to just cut the scene completely."

Devin: "Cass and Autumn really do not need to be in the same room together. They're always plotting and scheming. So, when Devin takes Laurie on the trip and he is trying to coax her into swimming out to the boat, the scene sort of ends. Well it's assumed he eventually talks her into just jumping and letting go of some of her fears... but we weren't supposed to jump." Cassandra: [thumbs to Devin] "But genius here..." Devin: [laughs] "I'm getting to that. So, I though we were supposed to actually jump... so I did, and everyone just freaks the hells out. It was quite the drop, but thought I was supposed to go first... turns out I was wrong and we had the whole EMS situation happening. I was fine. No injuries, but sure scared the hell out of everyone. Also, I ad-lib, a lot." Cassandra: "By a lot, he means makes the scrip us as he goes." Devin: "I works! I think we ran the total... almost 89% of all my made up lines have made it in so far. Because I forget my lines. Also a lot."

Cassandra: "Because you miss rehearsals!" [playfully shoves his arm]

Devin: "I wouldn't say I miss them." [laughs]

Julia: "Okay now, here's a question I know a lot of people are interested in, including myself. Devin and Cassandra, you say you're very different from your television personas. What kind of real experiences do you draw from the most to create these characters? Where do you find them inside yourselves and how do you bring them to life?"

Cassandra: "For me, it's mostly just sort of...fantasy I guess? Even when I was little, I always used to, you know, play make believe and stuff about being an explorer or adventurer or whatnot. Like I was super into Raiders of the Lost Ark. Partly because my dad was, but after awhile I liked it because of this...idea it had. One person, basically on their own, trying to solve a mystery on one hand and stay alive on the other. So now, even though I have a clearer idea of how dangerous that kind of thing would be, there's still that place way down deep that remembers what I felt. That's what I draw from. On the show I can be sort of...girl Indiana Jones. I love it."

Devin: "My sister and me grew up Disney, so acting is something we're used to, however, this experience has been completely different, since it is the fist non-Disney production we've done. I pull that from my people out here with me. In that scene, after the giggles and bad takes, you get the one perfect scene, I can feel that moment. Jason doesn't let you act, he comes at you in a scene and you have to be prepared. Cass is always smiling and you get a serious feel for how up beat and plucky she's trying to be while hiding pain... I can empathize and sympathize with everything my fellow stars are throwing at me. I will say that Autumn is a little more difficult because of that control she has on her accent. One second it's all WS Autumn and then the scene cuts and she yammers away in the thickest Aussie accent I've ever heard... she destroys us."

Julia: [laughs] "I have to get her in one of these chairs! She seems great. So this whole thing seems to be an epic project, there's no telling where your roles will take you, but we've all seen it before in cinema, someone has to go evil at some point. Chip in the head, possessed by a demon, From Willow to Supergirl, everyone gets their time to play the villain. Who do you think it will be, and if not you, why?"

Cassandra: "For Cassie, the only thing I think that might get her to turn on her friends might be her dad. We find out partway through the season that..." [air quotes] "...rumors of his death and so on, might not be all they're cracked up to be. So that's a big point of leverage over her, potentially. I think an experience like that would be literally the worst thing in the world for her though. I'm actually a little afraid just thinking about trying to act that."

Devin: "See, I love that though about this show, the Fellowship are not all besties, and they all have a slew of their own problems. The alliance is flimsy, at best, and something like Cass's father could easily pull her and possibly another member two in opposite directions with the others. They're the good, guys, sure, but like Marissa would say: 'never confuse good, for nice'. I see any number of things tearing Devin off onto his own thing, but evil? Aside from mind control, I just don't see Devin as having the heart for evil. Even as a bully he just picked on people and he's carrying the guilt a long way. As for who would turn? My money is on Marissa, that girl is shiesty."

Cassandra: "I'm actually kind of jealous of Marissa...the actress, I mean. This script is really sticking it to her character, but she's giving her performance so much heart that even when she's at her worst, I still love her. It's just incredible."

Devin: "Season 2... the Cassandra/Marissa team up episode... sugar and spice. I'd totally write it in."

Julia: [laughs] "You say you don't share much with your onscreen character, but I can definitely see some resemblance. Now Devin, you mentioned your background at Disney and I can't help but wonder...how does this experience, making a show that covers some very dark and gritty ground, compare with what you were doing for the Mouse?"

Devin: "Ah, it's been a completely different experience. Marissa and me grew up doing a bit more wholesome programming, but when this opportunity hit, I mean, we're nineteen now, we can't be at Disney forever. We honestly took a risk on this show, we carried a few fans with us and others didn't want to make the journey, but if Marissa and Autumn's social media accounts are any indication, the fan base is blowing up for this show, and for that I'm glad. This is why I got into this line of work, to entertain. I'm glad that we're doing that for so many."

Julia: [nodding] "The popularity of the show took a lot of people off-guard. Now I have to ask...even in just the first season we've seen that the writers aren't afraid to use a character's death to drive home the 'horror' aspect of the narrative. Do any of you know which episode on the show will be your last?"

Cassandra: "Oof, I know I don't. But you know, even the cast doesn't always see the biggest twists coming way in advance. Annnnnnnnd even if they did..." [smiles] "Spoilers..."

Julia: "All right all right, spoilers aside...Are there any plot twists from the current season that came out of left field and you didn't expect?"

Devin: "I thought Marissa and Charlie were going to be a hook up. Nerdy drama kid with the mean girl... I was voting for that one, but it just didn't float, I guess."

Cassandra: [nods] "That, and I'm still kind of shocked over what happened to Charlie and Sophia. It's kind of like...we knew the stakes were high, and the bad guys meant business...but he's one of us. The knights in shining armor aren't supposed to have that kind of thing happen to them."

Julia: "I felt that way myself, and from the comments and social media reactions, so did a lot of people. As long as we're on the subject though, out of all of these scenes, what was the most difficult for you to film this season?"

Devin: [laughs] "Uh, me and Avalon. That was my first intimate scene that wasn't just a kiss... so, yeah. In between takes I was all 'that okay', 'everything okay', 'do I need to change it up'? She was awesome though, we kept making jokes and keeping it light, so it made the experience easier. Still though, I mean, she's a co-worker, and even as an actor, it always feels weird kissing or faking-out with a co-worker. It's still a stranger, you know?"

Cassandra [nods] "I'm still really nervous about that too. Anyway, for me? It may sound kind of trivial, but the scenes where Cass fights with her mom are really hard for me, because that is so not my relationship with my parents. I can barely imagine talking to them like that, or just...being that angry at them. It legit made me feel really uncomfortable. I mean, there's been scary scenes...and sometimes acting with the CGI is hard...but the most difficult was just lipping off with mom." [smiles] Fortunately, Teresa is super cool between takes."

Julia: [smiles understandingly] "Going the other way then...what was your favorite scene to do so far?"

Devin: "The Devin/Jason spar. Jason is a solid method actor, but we were having the time of our lives being hooked to the wires all day. Also, any scene where all of us are in it, like Bunees or school. Get us all together and the you can see the chemistry. We really all rock together."

Cassandra: [thoughtfully] "Yeah...for me, it's down to that whole sequence at Jase's place, or the camping trip, or the town hall. And as much as I love the whole cast together, I'm going to have to go with the town hall. When we got to the room that had the big, you know, the..." [gestures upward threatningly] "...the picture? And we found all the stuff the previous victims left behind... Me and Autumn were just so inside that moment. It really kind of summed up what the character of Cassandra is to me, and kind of what this show is to me too."

Julia: "Thanks, both of you, for joining me here and giving everyone a tantalizing glimpse of the people behind this phenomenon called Weirder Stuff. Do either of you have anything else you want to tell your fans before we're done?"

Cassandra: [puts hands over heart] "Just that I've been completely blown away by how...just how positive the fandoms and communities growing up around the show have been, towards us, towards the writers and directors and the characters. They've all been really patient with me, social media noob, and encouraging...and that's made a huge difference for me. Thanks to everyone for making me feel welcome like that."

Devin: [Gestures to Cassandra] "I mean, that. We're certainly having a lot of fun doing this but it's all the fans that make it worth while, so yeah, we love you guys and keep doing what you do so we can keep delivering what we do."

Julia: "Speaking as a fan myself, we love you too and definitely keep it up. Thanks for taking this time to talk."

Cassandra: "Thanks, Julia!"

Devin: [waves and smiles to everyone out in DVD Extras land]

Edited by Cassandra Allen
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[Intro music plays]

 

JH: Welcome back, everyone! I’m your host, Julia Hernandez, here with another exclusive. Today we’ve managed to wrangle two more stars of “Weirder Stuff” into the studio: one of whom is famous, or perhaps infamous, for his reluctance to speak publicly, and the other for… Well, for exactly the opposite. It’s my pleasure to introduce the elusive Mr. Jason Bannon, and the effervescent Miss Autumn Keane. Welcome, welcome! Thank you both for joining me today!

 

Autumn: Thanks, Julia. [grins as she settles into her chair and glances at her co-star.] Yeah, he’s my chaperone today, so no spoilers this time. [noticeable pause, followed by a wider grin.] Probably.  

 

Jason:  [dry tone and a smile]  I think the studio has too much faith in my abilities.

 

JH: [laughs]  How did they manage to twist your arm to get you into a live interview, Jason?

 

Jason:  [deadpan] There was some begging and crying.  Kripke actually offered his first-born son if I would come on just to stop Autumn talking about next Season.

 

Autumn: His first-born? Oh, that’s gonna be awkward at the holidays, isn’t it? [laughs, leaning back in her chair] I mean, after last time, he did threaten to have someone follow me around with tranquilizer darts, so this is definitely better for me. 

 

JH: Tranquilizer darts?!

 

Autumn: I mean, I’m sure he was kidding! [waves her hands placatingly, still grinning] It’s fine. Probably fine. More than likely totally fine. I’d like to think I’ve learned my lesson after the Jauntsen reveal, anyway. That was… [grimaces slightly] When I’m really excited about something, it’s easy to just get caught up in the moment, y’know? And during the Q&A stream someone asked about my character’s relationship with Marissa, and… [hesitates for a moment] And I think I was just so psyched to talk about how I think the relationship between my character and the Twins might develop, it just didn’t occur to me that the big Blight battle hadn’t aired yet, and people wouldn’t already know they’d survived the fight. Sooo… Yeah. Team Holland strikes again. [grins sheepishly]

 

JH: Rumor has it that Tom actually got in touch with you recently. What was that about?

 

Autumn: Oh! [claps her hands together excitedly and leans forward] Oh, yeah, because of the joke, right? And honestly, it was perfect. So, we’ve had this sort of running joke on set about making t-shirts for the cast, different hashtags and all that, and so he sent me one that just said #TeamHolland on it. It was awesome, totally brilliant. [laughs] Now when I start to say too much on-set they’ll just tell me to go put my shirt on, like it’s a cone of shame or something. Totally deserved, of course, don’t get me wrong. It’s just really hard not to want to share all the crazy stuff we’ve been doing.

 

JH: I can only imagine! [smiles] Now, obviously you’re not the only one who’s guilty of letting slip a spoiler or two about the show during what has turned out to be a wild first season. Has that made things difficult for the cast at all, or changed the atmosphere on-set?

 

Autumn: Hmm. [tilts her head thoughtfully, considering] That’s a tricky one. Can I pass for a sec, and come back to that? 

 

JH:  Oh absolutely.  We can move right onto the big story and, let’s be frank, the reason I’m so stoked to have you both here in the hot seat.  Most of us have seen that InstaSnap post… you know the one.  So the big questions on everyone’s lips are “How long have you two been an item off-screen?” and “Who else in the cast and crew knew?”  Was it a surprise to everyone else when social media went berserk, or was it just one of the best kept on-set secrets ever?

 

Autumn: [laughs, shaking her head] I take it back, I take it back! I change my mind! Oh, god. [covers her face for a moment, shoulders shaking with laughter] Okay, okay. [composes herself, exhales] Right. So… To answer your last two questions first, “Yes.” At least, it was a secret, sort of, and everyone was also surprised. We just… I mean, we didn’t really talk about it, and it didn’t change much of anything at work, you know? Granted, in some cases, I think it might’ve helped the scene. [glances at Jason from the corner of her eye, grinning mischievously] But, yeah. The producers knew, but it wasn’t something we really shared with the cast. We’d talked about it, but there were concerns it might affect the group dynamic, or how the audience viewed certain interactions. The story in WS is always changing, and we didn’t want viewers to feel that a particular pairing was “locked in,” or that the outcome of an event is predetermined, if that makes sense.

 

Jason:  That was very important to both of us.  [nodding]  One of the marvellous aspects of Weirder Stuff as a story is the very organic nature of the script, especially when it comes to the interpersonal stuff.  A lot of that is down to the actors and the writers working really closely together.  For instance, the initial concept of Devin and Jason is that they would immediately be best friends with enough differences to keep the dynamic interesting.  But when we were going over the lines together, Devin proposed that rather than them just naturally falling that way, they should be these two guys who were different, and worked really well together when things came down to crunch time, but had this huge gap of personal understanding between them that would take ages to bridge.  Autumn and Jase becoming a “thing” in the show was very much another one of those “Hey, writers, what if we…?” moments.  [grins teasingly sideways at Autumn]  Which sort of ties into the “how long” question, doesn’t it?

 

Autumn: It does, yeah. [cuts her eyes at him with a crooked smile] So… When Autumn and Jason went camping after he showed her the greenhouse, that whole thing was just supposed to be between friends. New friends, at that, who are just beginning to work out how to relate to each other. Maybe some teasing or banter, even a little bit of the tension from the talk they had at the Bannon farm, but nothing concrete. It was just supposed to be a bit of a bonding moment for the characters, and a chance for the audience to learn more about them by seeing how they interacted with their environment and each other. To give them a little insight. 

 

JH: Well, it certainly seems to have been, as you said, a “bonding” experience. So it wasn’t scripted?

 

Autumn: Mmm, not at all, believe it or not! As Jason said just a moment ago, one of the most engaging and exciting parts of the show, from a professional perspective, is how dynamic and fluid the show can be. Devin’s famous for ad-libbing, for example, and loads of times it winds up working really well. So there’s a sense that we have a lot of input into how things go, a lot of creative agency and freedom within the context of the script we’re given. People get together all the time to run lines, especially since there’s not much time between being handed an episode and that episode being filmed- sometimes only a day or two. Jason and I were working on the, um. The campfire scene. 

 

JH: Oh, trust me, I know the one. How could I forget?

 

Autumn: Right, that one. [laughs] Well, we were talking through the part where he sort of leans in, which was this really great moment of tension that was meant to be defused by a joke, and then everything would settle back into the camaraderie they were establishing. And I thought about the talk they’d had, and the little flirtations, and Autumn’s impulsiveness, so I said, “Wait. What if, instead of cracking a joke and backing down, what if she leans into that moment and just kisses him?” So… [shrugs a little, cheeks going pink as she smiles] So we gave it a shot to see how it felt in the scene. 

 

Jason: It was a convincing demonstration.  [smiles a little as Autumn goes a touch more pink and elbows him]  So it was sort of a realisation for us both, that moment.  That the chemistry we’d developed between the characters was itself reflective of our chemistry as people.  So yeah, we were definitely attracted to each other, so we kept it on the down-low after that evening because, well as we said we didn’t want to straitjacket the show’s writers.  If they didn’t like the idea of Jase and Autumn, we didn’t want to make it awkward if they paired the characters up with other characters.  Separating the professional from the personal is kind of important to us both in that regard.  So we approached the writers with the kiss idea, and they loved it.  I honestly expected they’d have it stop at a kiss then make it this awkward will-they-won’t-they for a few episodes or more, but they decided that didn’t really fit either character.  The campfire scene became totally different, and they re-worked some subplot ideas to incorporate the new romance, which was more than we expected.

 

Autumn: Mhmm. [nods enthusiastically] Even though it meant revising so much of what had been scripted, they jumped right in and ended up creating what felt like a more authentic, more dramatic story than just a friendly camping trip. It was pretty amazing.

 

JH: And so you kept it low-key until…

 

Jason:  The selfie heard around the world.  Yes.

 

Autumn: Sooo, going back to your earlier question, about spoilers and changing things on-set. [grins wryly] Can real-life have spoilers? Is that a thing? 

 

JH: [laughs] In your case…

 

Autumn: Right?! [laughs brightly] We’ve all got our talents, I suppose, even unconventional ones. In all seriousness, though, that selfie really was completely an accident. I mean, I didn’t take it accidentally, I just didn’t think anyone would be able to tell who was in the background. I woefully underestimated the curiosity and dedication of the show’s fans, I think, which is totally fair. If I saw a shadowy photo of what might be a really good-looking guy, with gorgeous green eyes, draped in a sheet, I might wonder who he was, too. Actually, hang on. I have seen a couple of photos like that. [grins impishly, nose crinkling slightly] There are definitely some advantages to having gotten everything out in the open, but dealing with the aftermath of that one post was one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of my life. What would the studio, and the producers, and the cast, and my family, and everyone else think? Would I be out of a job? Would the viewers resent me, or him, or both of us? Jason and I had just really started dating kind of seriously not long before that, too, and I was really worried about how he’d react. He’s a much more private person than I am, and on top of that, it might have seriously affected his career. I mean, it’s easy to laugh now, but things could’ve gone totally sideways on a number of levels. 

 

JH: Were there any negative repercussions to the revelation?

 

Autumn: Hmm. [frowns slightly, settling back into her chair again] On my end, I would say some, yeah, but nothing out of the ordinary. Mum was pretty hurt that I hadn’t said anything to her, and kind of jokingly annoyed that I hadn’t made a pass at Cade instead. She thinks he’s just adorable. [smiles faintly] She hasn’t had a chance to meet Jason yet, so, yeah… Back to your question though. Some fans were understandably pretty upset, because it’s easy, I think, to conflate the actor with the character in a show like WS, where we all use our own names and so much attention is devoted to authenticity. Realistically, though, even if it’s not how I’d have liked people to find out, it could’ve gone a lot worse. I’m happy with the way things have worked out so far.

 

JH:  And how about for you, Jason?

 

Jason:  Well, other than Autumn’s mom being disappointed I wasn’t Cade…  [he grins]  No, seriously, I didn’t mind overmuch once the surprise wore off.  I’m happy in my work and I’m happy in my personal life, and my mom thinks Autumn is an absolute darling.  Like Autumn said, there was some pushback from fans - but honestly, we’ve had a lot more positive feedback than negative, at least so far.  I understand people are talking all the time on social media and there’s whole Readit threads debating how the Autumn/Jase relationship will pan out, with factions forming around their pet theories.  And some buzz about how we’ll pan out, too.

 

JH:  There is indeed.  How do you see it panning out?

 

Jason:  [smiling faintly]  It’s not just up to me.  Suffice to say that I am right where I want to be for the foreseeable future.

 

Autumn: [rests her fingertips briefly on his forearm, the touch lingering for a moment as she smiles]

 

JH: Aww.  Okay then, on to some other questions since we’ve embarrassed the two of you enough.  These ones from Chirper and Readit.

 

Autumn: Ohboy…

 

JH:  The Ethical Drinker - interesting handle that - wants to know: “As a fine lass from a place like Aussieland, with several years experience, do you have a drink of choice?  Same for the American lad, if he’s allowed to drink yet.”  Sadly, I’m not even going to attempt the Scots accent the question was delivered in.  I’d just embarrass myself and offend the Scottish.  Autumn?  What’s your favourite drink?

 

Autumn: “Aussieland.” [swings her feet, laughing] Oh, that’s perfect! And, good question. Hmm. Actually, I’m not really sure I have one, to be honest. It depends what we’re doing, you know? And it’s different here than back home, the whole culture around drinking is just- it’s kind of confusing. Like, Christmas is gonna be weird as because obviously it’s cold and no one’s gonna be sitting on the deck getting day drunk on white wine and soaking up the sun. So, hm. Maybe a vodka cran or something when the girls go out, or a glass of beer with dinner, but… Yeah. I wish I had a more specific answer, but I’m still finding things I like. [smiles and shrugs a little] Ask me again in a few years and I might be able to say, yes, one hundred percent a… I dunno, a Lagavulin 16 or something, but for now I’m not really that heavily invested in it. I like my liver. [smiles more broadly] What about you, Jase?

 

Jason: “If he’s allowed to drink?”  I’ve been legal for a couple of years.  Well, at least I look youthful.  [chuckles]  It depends a lot on whether I’m working, and what the character would drink if anything.  I think this is the first character I’ve played who actually drinks at all on-camera, come to think of it.  Jase likes to sample tastes and smells, and by preference goes for a decent rum or good bourbon, something fragrant.  As for me… hmm… similar, I suppose?  I don’t drink a whole lot, but I like a nice beer with some meals, or a glass of good wine.  And a good bourbon or scotch from time to time.  Like the lady said - get back to me in a few years when I’ve had time to develop serious preferences.  [smiles at Autumn, then the presenter]

 

JH:  Fair enough!  Next question is for Autumn:  FR33B1RD wants to know “What was the biggest adjustment, working in Montana, compared to Down Under?”

 

Autumn: Oh, another good one. Well, this one’s easy. The biggest adjustment is that you’re all backwards. Or upside down. Or… both, possibly. [she squints a little, tilting her head, then breaks into a broad grin] Obviously the landscape’s massively different in the mountains of Montana than on the coast of West Oz, the climate’s different, and you’ve all got this weird accent, but I think the biggest adjustment I’ve had to make was something I mentioned earlier. The seasons are totally inverted, right? It’s kind of surreal to be talking about snow in November, and I won’t lie, it messes with my head a little. Like, I’ll ring the family back home, and we’re all making holiday plans, but those plans look completely different. That being said, there’s a lot of similarities, too. Small towns are more or less the same wherever you go, I think, and just like at home, there’s plenty of opportunity to get out and do things, enjoy the sunshine and the fresh air and challenge yourself. And while I’ll maintain that my hometown has the best, nicest people anywhere in the world, I’ve gotta admit Shelby’s giving them a run for their money.

 

JH: I can imagine that would be disorienting, yes! How about another one? Let’s see… Oh! This one touches on something of a minor controversy about WS. CapnScarlet posted, "Are you a natural redhead? Asking for a friend."

 

Autumn: I- [blinks, then laughs and grins at Jason] Not a word. Although you have been really talkative today, so maybe I shouldn’t discourage you...?

 

Jason:  [mimes zipping and locking his lips with a smile]

 

Autumn: [shifts slightly in her chair, still smiling] Yeah, yeah I am. The hair and makeup folks do tweak it a bit, so it’s very slightly brighter and reads better on camera, but, yes. I am a natural redhead. It’s actually one of the things that got me jobs when I was a kid, doing ads for sunscreens and so on, since we soulless and freckly types do tend to be more sensitive to the burning light of the day-star. 

 

JH: That’s certainly been a hot topic on the Readit forums. There seems to be an… Well, let’s call it an unusually high number of redheads on the show. Do you know if that’s intentional?

 

Autumn: You know, I think- [hesitates, glancing at Jason before sighing] Sorry, I’m not allowed to speculate in public anymore. I have the t-shirt. [grins apologetically]

 

JH: Aha, that’s true! Well, let’s hope there will be an answer to that question in a future episode, then! Or not, as the case may be. Just one last question, then, and it’s… Well, maybe you’ll know what it means? 

 

Autumn: Ohboy. [chuckles] Let’s hear it, then.

 

JH: A user called Jaunt asks, "When is Sir Popenloque going to get that 250 gold you owe him?"

 

Autumn: When is…? Oh, my gosh. [laughs] All right, Devin Jauntsen, you are banned from Readit. [shakes her head, grinning] Wow. So, I think when you had Marissa on, Julia, she mentioned a Dungeons and Dragons game we played to learn some background for Sean’s campaign in the show. “Sir Popenloque'' is the name of Devin’s character in the game, and my character borrowed some money from him for totally legitimate, above-board reasons that had nothing at all to do with paying off gambling debts.

 

Jason:  And a huge bar tab.

 

Autumn: ...And that. [grins at her co-star]

 

JH: Speaking of Sean’s game, we haven’t seen much of it so far. Do you think it’ll make a reappearance, or have recent events and changes in casting made it obsolete? 

 

Autumn: [bounces in her seat, glancing briefly up at the lights overhead] Aaagghh, so that's- I wish I could tell you! I really do! There’s so, so much that- ugh, just… [rests her hands on her head] It’s gonna be amazing. Minds will be blown! Hearts will be broken! Secrets will be revealed! The whole cast and crew have fallen in love with this crazy ride we’re on, so keep watching, and keep conspiring and gossiping and speculating, because I promise, the writers and producers do pay attention, and we’re so grateful that our fans love this as much as we do.

 

JH: I feel like we could just keep talking about this all day! I’ve said it before, but I’m a fan myself, so this has been absolutely wonderful. Unfortunately, as much as I would love to keep the two of you here, I think that’s all the time we have. Autumn, Jason, thank you so much for joining me today, and for giving me some of your time, and I hope you’ll come back to visit me again soon!

 

Autumn: Absolutely! Thanks very much for having us, Julia.  

 

Jason: It’s been a pleasure.

 

[The three continue to chat with varying degrees of animation as the outro music plays, and the shot fades to black.]

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 My name is Eric Carson, It's a warm Montana morning as I sit in a small studio apartment with Cade Allistair, one of the main cast of Weirder Stuff.    Looking around, the place is largely in line with my expectations, and across from me, my host smiles. Today Cade's made time to discuss his health routine, said to be the most extreme among the cast's, with for Men's Health journal.

EC:  "Good morning Cade."


CA:   Good morning Eric, thanks for waiting.  

EC: I take it you finished your morning routine already?

CA:  Yes, I get up early for fasted cardio, then a healthy breakfast, then an hour of weights, today was a strength day, so it went fairly fast."

EC:   So tell me, was it a big adjustment when you were cast?"

CA:  In some ways, yes.   I grew up playing football, and baseball, so the role itself is pretty natural for me.   I didn't look like I did back then so much though.  The diet and workouts are much more targeted now.

EC: So your workout is more or less intense?

CA: Way more intense, in that I have to care far more about my diet, which is generally much, much healthier than anything I ate growing up.

EC: Generally?

CA:  Gotta have cheat days, Eric.   I just make sure to work harder to burn them off.

EC:  What is your diet like?

CA: I go high protein, close to 5k calories a day, eggs in the morning,  usually chicken and beef for lunches, and again for dinner, though I do like to switch up and cook some fish for variety.  

EC: what about protein supplements?

CA:  Yeah, I do at least two shakes a day, but I try to get most from what I eat,  it certainly forced me to learn how to cook a larger variety of dishes.

EC:  You cook all your own food?  where do you find the time, with the filming, and the workouts?

CA: I make time, not like I've got anyone else to do it for me.   I knew how to cook beforehand anyway, though I admit it wasn't the most healthy methods. Lots of fried foods,  barbeque, and grilling.

EC: Your cheat days?   
 
CA:  Fried foods, seafood, chicken, and piles of bacon,  pizza  pretty much anything most find unhealthy.

EC:  You really take it serious both ways, don't you?

CA:   I work hard, and I play hard.

EC:  So you have a very intense workout, and you mentioned fasted cardio....

CA: Yes, I get up and run five miles before breakfast.  I find that works great for really melting away any excess fat. 

EC: Even during filming?  Do any of the others join you?

CA:  No, most aren't awake when I get up for it.

EC:  Does it bother you that they don't have to follow such a rigorous training regimen?

CA: Not at all, we play different characters, and each brings their own difficulties with the role.  I feel blessed in that Cade's life is very similar to how I grew up, so it's not hard to get into his mindset.

EC:  I see.    What about all the animal scenes?   

CA: Well the best were actually the squirrels. They're tamed and well trained believe it or not.   They've never bitten me.   The ferrets however, are hell incarnate.  I always end up getting bitten by them, and of all the animals, they've caused the most reshoots.

EC:  What about the badger?

CA: That was different,  but it was well behaved.

EC: You've mentioned being similar to your character, do you share any of his hobbies?

CA: Some, yes. I admit, I'm totally lost on the anime and Manga front,  I remember watching some shows like Dragon BallZ growing up, by I'm not into it like he is.   I Do love to fish and hunt, so I do share that.

EC:What about your castmates?   

CA: well we do some things together, my favorite has been the RPGs.   I wasn't really into them growing up, but the higherups thought we should all look like we know what we're doing, so they got us to play, and we still do so, even if that part of things has been more in the background in more recent episodes.

EC:  So you got into some of the "Nerdy" stuff too.   

CA: Well yeah, some of the others are way more into it than I am, and there is that whole time crunch issue, outside my rest/cheat days.   

EC: If someone wanted to follow your regimen, what would you say?

CA:  It works, but it requires commitment.   Know your limits, everyone's are different.   Do the best that you can.  

EC: That's pretty considerate of you.

CA:  Well in this day and age, it's not hard to find a good workout that's going to get results.   This is mine, and if it helps anyone get into shape the way they want, well I think that's pretty great.

EC: Thank you for your time Cade, and for allowing us to print your routine for those who are curious about the exact details.

CA: You're welcome, Eric.

Following the interview, a full breakdown of Cade's Diet and weekly workout plans are printed.
 

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[Intro music plays]

Julia Hernandez: Hey there, everyone! I'm Julia Hernandez and this is another episode of Beyond Weirder Stuff. Tonight, we have one of the more experienced actors among the young and talented cast visiting us, Sean Cassidy. [gestures off stage]

Sean Cassidy: [sashays on stage in a pair of Christian Louboutin platform sandals and a revealing, asymmetric Alexander Vauthier dress.] Thank you, Julia for having me on the show. [waves to the audience and blows them a kiss, before sitting down and crossing her legs] But experienced? You wound me. [holds a hand to her chest, then laughs] I'm only twenty-six.

JH: And by Hollywood standards, you have aged so gracefully [both laugh]. I must say, we haven't seen Sean dressed anything like this on Weirder Stuff. You look absolutely stunning.

SC: Not yet [smirks]. Thanks. It's nice to glam up after a day of shooting, especially when your wardrobe on set is usually jeans and hoodies.

JH: Not yet? Are you hinting at something?

SC: [winks at camera] Not a thing. I don't have Autumn's shirt. But who knows? Marissa could end up a very bad, or a certain manner of good, influence on certain members of the Fellowship. If you want to find out, stay tuned for season two.

JH: With the spectacular success of season one, I don't think anyone on the show has to worry about losing any viewers to a sophomore season slump. But speaking of success, your way onto Weirder Stuff was hardly a straight line.

SC: You can say that again. [sighs and rolls eyes]

JH: You way onto Weirder-- [Sean laughs, Julia grins], but seriously, the character you are playing isn't who you were expecting to play, was it? How did you get involved with Weirder Stuff.

SC: You can thank Eric [Kripke] for that. I had done a three episode arc on Supernatural, and in apology for killing me off in a spectacularly gory fashion – Thanks Eric, I didn't get enough of that on Living Dead Girls three-through-six [waves at camera] – when development started at on WS, he sent me a synopsis of the show and the script for the pilot.

JH: And what did you think of it?

SC: [purses her lips] I was... dubious at best. [shakes her head, then waves a dismissive hand] No, I thought Eric had lost his damn mind. It was preposterous. Ludicrous, even. I could handle ludicrous - I'd been in the film adaptation of Lollipop Chainsaw - but Weirder Stuff felt like it was trying to be too many things at once. They tried to make Lollipop Chainsaw into a series, but the pilot didn't get picked up - which was too bad, it was a lot of fun. But looking at WS, all I could see was it going down the same way, a pilot never seen, buried forever and forgotten.

JH: [leans forward, reaching a hand towards Sean] I for one, would love to see that pilot for a Lollipop Chainsaw series. It might not have done well in theaters, it did turn into a bit of the cult classic. Unapologetic, ridiculous fun you don't see often anymore.

SC: [smiles wryly] If you bring the wine, I'll see what I can do. Private viewing only. [rolls wrist] Rights and all that.

JH: I'm going to hold you to that. Back to WS, clearly, you changed your mind about it. How did that go about?

SC: Persistence [holds up a restraining]. Not mine, Eric's. He talked a big game, and I'll admit, his enthusiasm was infectious. Eventually. More convincing, it was going to be on HBO and the budget was... impressive. That was part of the problem with Lollipop Chainsaw, the budget, and it got smaller when Jim [James Gunn] left for Marvel. Jim gave me the part of Bereet, at least, so i stayed my hand at burning him in effigy. Eric swore he wasn't going anywhere. [shrugs a bare shoulder] He convinced me. And it was better than dying again in Living Dead Girls seven. They wanted the zombies to be the heroes this time! [shudders].

JH: Now, now, who knows, they might make it work. [Sean mock glares] Alright, probably not. Now, you agreed to audition for the show. What part did you audition for?

SC: First? It was Marissa's. It went... [hesitates, chews on an underlip, waggles a hand] okay. Could have been better, but, not naming any names, the guy Joss [Whedon] and Eric paired me up with? No chemistry. Anti-chemistry. Christensen, Portman in Star Wars level of chemistry.

JH: Ouch. A subject still touchy to many Star Wars fan.

SC: Devin is the big Star Wars fan. As an actress, those scenes just hurt. The writing didn't help. The writing on WS, however does. Anyway, after Marissa and Devin locked down their audition, I tried out for Courtney. That went better, and Courtney and I where neck and neck for the part. Ultimately, she got it - not going to lie, I was bitter for a while. I thought the typecasting would give me the edge, but... [shrugs] Joss suggested Max, but such a bit part was a considerable let down when I thought I was going to be a regular on what might be the next HBO smash hit.

JH: And then you were offered the role of the intersexed computer genius... which didn't come without controversy.

SC: [snorts in exasperation] Largely contrived controversy. It wasn't like the crew didn't try to cast someone who had... more in common with the character, say. But genderfluid, intersexed, and transgendered, aren't interchangeable, and two of the three are in very short supply in the industry, and the other is still a niche category. There was one transgendered actress who tried for the part. Young and lovely, but it was her first audition for a lead role and, well, it was very evident.

JH: That's too bad. Everyone has to start somewhere.

SC: They do, but not in a starring role when you've practically just started. She just needs more experience, and I hope the rejection doesn't discourage her. I know exactly how she feels. You need a tough skin in this industry. Anyway, after her, then put out feelers to more established actors. Ruby Rose was a bit older than they were looking for, but she'd been in movies and was asking too much. While in negotiations, she ended up signing on to play Batwoman. Hope that goes well for her. Lachlan Watson is killing it on Sabrina. Brigette Lundy-Paine was still signed to Atypical. Bex Taylor-Klause passed for other projects they were working on.

JH: So, it wasn't that they didn't try and be respectful of the LGTBQIA community -

SC: - as they were getting to desperate to cast someone and get the production rolling. Eric saw a short film I was in, based of a short story called Changeling, and thought I could pull the part off. There's still pushback about a straight, cisgender woman playing the part, but my social media accounts aren't total dumpster fires anymore, and I've being given a chance with the role, if cautiously and skeptically.

JH: Sean has been an unusual and unconventional delight on the show. How do you prepare for the role, and do you share anything in common with the character you are portraying?

SC: For the role? I've attended a fair number of genre conventions, and I assembled quirks and mannerisms I noticed that were common among the attendees. And of course, the writers helped immensely. Also, some deep dives on certain Readit threads and spoken with individuals in the community. I've learned a lot. Especially when to shut my mouth. [mouth firms into a tight line, fingers drum on the arm of the sofa for a ten count]

As for what I have in common with the character? Very little in truth. All the math and computer stuff? I memorize that and try to regurgitate it with authority. I'm handy with my phone and filters, for InstaSnap and Chirper, but that's about it. [Julia opens her mouth to object] Yes, okay, as others have mentioned on the show, I've - we've gotten into RPGs. They didn't mention how much alcohol helped at the start. And yes, I've studied the rules and have far more books than I ever expected I would. I don't want to get busted not knowing the answer to a technical question at ComiCon. I saw that episode of the Simpsons, and it totally happens. I'll admit, I might have gotten into it earlier if I'd known Joe Manganiello was a big D&D nerd when I was on True Blood. [whispers conspiratorily] Don't tell the others, but while I know the rules, I barely use them. The game has helped me a great deal with my improvisational skills, though. I prefer being prepared on set, and any improvisation to be organized improvisation. Devin, and Cassandra to a lesser extent, love ad-libbing or just trying to make their co-stars crack. [frowns with mock menace] I made a good target. And the more I protested, the better one I made. Trying to herd the others like cats during a table-top session helped immensely with making myself less of a target for their antics.

JH: Less of a target?

SC: Just less, yes, and better with going along with it. I still don't like it when they spring surprises on me, though [waggles a finger]. And now, more often, they'll talk with me before the scene, to warn me what they have in mind. [smiles wryly] But not always. Seriously though, it has been great on set. Mostly. There's bound to be ruffled feathers when you are around the same people for so much time each day.

JH: That seems to be the general consensus with the rest of the cast. [smiles, holds up a tablet] Do you have time for some questions from Chirper and Readit?

SC: If I said no, how angry do you think they would be? [Laughs, beckons with her fingers] Fire away.

JH: Lemongeddon asks, 'Where we you born, and where have you lived?'

SC: [arches a brow] Didn't I answer this on my AMA? Okay, while I grew up in one of the less nice suburbs of Toronto, I was actually born in Puerto Rico. Dual-Citizenship for the win. I might have been the whitest girl on the island, but I'm fluent in Spanish - my French is barely passable though. We moved when I was five. Six? When I got serious about acting, I moved to Vancouver, then LA. I'll admit, the general silence of Shelby freaked me out at first, but it's growing on me. I'm considering buying a getaway here.

JH: That's a recurring sentiment among the cast, I've found.

SC: Spend an extended time here, and you'll see why. Might be missing some amenities, but the views are to die for, and it hasn't been inundated by tourists and celebrities like Jackson Hole, jacking up prices and ruining the place for the locals.

JH: I'll keep that in mind, next time I feel the need to get back to nature, but not too close. Next, from 80085, 'As anyone can see from your InstaSnap and SuperFans, you love fashion and dressing up. What do you miss most, dressing so differently on WS?' Oof, that's a good one.

SC: [instantly, kicking up a foot] Heels, no contest. I might be envious of what Marissa and Courtney get to wear - even if half of it wouldn't work for me - but it's heels I miss. On all these cops show and doctor shows, most of the women are still wearing heels and it makes absolutely no sense, but I totally get it. Add to that, I don't know what they feed the people in Montana, but seems there isn't a short extra in sight, and even the regular cast skews taller than average. I was inordinately happy to have Kat join the cast. Yes, definitely heels are what I miss most.

JH: I feel you girl. They'll have to pry my Manolo Blahnik's from my cold, dead hands. Hmm, this one could be interesting, but ugh on the name. IckySpyder asks, 'What's a talent or skill nobody would expect you have?'

SC: Hmm. I'm, or at least believe I am, a pretty decent baker. Which Sean on the show shares with me, not the other way around. But I shared that on my AMA, which lead to a long tangent on r/Baking. Let me think, something less known... [sighs in apparent defeat] This isn't going to help with making not look like the old lady on set, but I love knitting and quilting.

JH: Really? That... It's certainly unexpected. There's nothing on your InstaSnap about it.

SC: It's a hobby I picked up early when I started acting. Sometimes, there's a lot of waiting, especially as an extra, and when you are in costume and make-up, often, you can't go anywhere, so I took it up to pass the time. Thought I'd get frustrated with it, ended up really liking it, something just for me, that I shared with at my whim. Usually made things for cast members that I like, gifting them at the wrap parties. [pauses] I may have made a mistake though.

JH: How so? Dish the deets!

SC: Well, Devin was being, well, Devin between takes. I threatened to stab him with one of my needles and when the stick didn't work, I offered the carrot. He wanted a hat like Jayne's. From Firefly? So I made him one. And he loved it. I promise you, you'll see it on the blooper reel. I'm pretty sure he hasn't managed to sneak it on camera-

JH: [looking at her tablet] I'm being told you can see it in Devin's room in episode four.

SC: [shrugs helplessly] There you have it. The problem is, now the rest of the cast are making requests, and seeing who can come up with the silliest or most outrageous one I'm willing to do. I'd tell you what Jason asked for, but there would be a lot of bleeping. Okay, maybe not, it was highly technical and descriptive, but it should be bleeped.

JH: That is wickedly adorable! Can I make a request too?

SC: I'm not starting an Etsy shop here! [folds her arms gruffly, but grins]. We'll talk after.

JH: Oh, yes, we will! CapnScarlet is wondering, 'Are you a natural red' -hey! [turns to look off stage] Who curated these? We already had this question last week... Seriously? It got through? Well... [turns back to Sean] Do you mind...?

SC: Not at all. If you've seen anything I've been in CapnScarlet, it would be a good guess I wasn't a natural redhead. I haven't been my natural hair colour in years, and last time my hair was red, I was fifteen I think, and it was candy apple red. My natural hair colour is super blond, practically white, but I've been dying it since I was twelve. I've had practically every colour of hair there is at one point or another, but I usually went with brown or black professionally, unless the part demanded otherwise. Autumn and Courtney have been wonderful with teaching me #redlife.

JH: Do you know why there are so many redheads on Weirder Stuff?

SC: I have theories, but who knows? I think it was just a fluke with casting at first. And then maybe an inside joke about how red hair is a mutation - see, I can remember some of the sciency stuff - and either pairing it with Sean's genetic issues, or as a subtle reference to a genetic component in determining who has Shine. Not that red hair equates to having Shine, just that there's a genetic component to it. But that's a wild guess.

JH: A mystery for season two perhaps. I think we have time left for a pair of questions. This one is from FuMaKi, and ouch! 'You've died an awful lot on screen, some wonder if you're gunning for Sean Bean's record. After Charlie, are you worried you're next on the chopping block?'

SC: [shakes her head in disappointment] You have got to know I'm not going to touch the latter with a ten-foot. As for the former, it's wasn't my intention, it just sort of... happened. I don't know the exact number - ask the internet. Okay, that's not true, I do know the number, I'm just making you work for it a little, but if I have to keep dying on screen to have a career as long and respected as Sean Bean's, I'd count it a fair trade.

JH: Sean Bean has it in his contracts now that he doesn't die, so you have a great chance to catch up.

SC: I know. He mentioned it on the set of Game of Thrones. We didn't have any scenes together, it was just in passing at the catering table - OMG, they ate well. I went for the part of Margeary, I got brothel whore - oops, can I say whore? - brothel worker number whatever, if the part had a name, I don't remember it. Two episodes and [runs a finger across her neck]. The trick he said was to get to a point where you can negotiate not getting killed into your contract.

JH: And your contract...

SC: Is sealed by an NDA. [smiles]

JH: Just wanted to have you say it. Our last question, by way of m00nm00se99, is  'If you had the chance to do something over again, what would it be?'

SC: Hmm, jokes about Chronokinesis aside, I can't say I'd change anything. Some regrets and mistakes, sure, but they are part of me, made me the person I am. If I changed them, I'd be a different person. That's a bit of a cop out, so I'll talk about a pair of the biggest turning points in my life, if that's okay?

JH: Of course, Sean. We're all ears.

SC: The first was marrying Bob [Ogden, prolific and prominent produce, Sean Cassidy's ex-husband]. I was too young, it was his second marriage. It was a glorious disaster. We were much better as friends, friends with benefits even, than as husband and wife. They say looks don't matter, but it's a lie. We both thought we could advance our careers as a couple... [sighs] It helped, some, but it also turned us into worse people, bound by a contract rather than a real relationship. Our divorce was acrimonious, so we couldn't even go back to being friends. [smiles sadly] I had the better lawyers though, and both of us wanted it done, so it ended quick rather than getting dragged out. Hopefully, we both learned something during out time together. He got back with his first wife, last I heard. I truly hope he's happier now. I hardly even dream of committing felonies on him anymore.

The second turning point, though it came before the first, was [raises her shoulders] the boobs. Nothing against cosmetic surgery at all. I just happened to be impatient. Here's the thing - I moved to LA when I was eighteen. Think about any actor or actress you've seen and know, with just a bit of effort, you can find a prettier version on the street or in the coffee shops and restaurants of LA or Hollywood, they just didn't get the break or the talent to make it. I naively thought I had the talent, given the time and chance, to be the next Streep, or Blanchett or Weaver, Scarlett Johansson, whathaveyou. I just needed an edge to open the door. So I went with the most obvious and easiest to acquire. Joke was on me though, I was a late bloomer, so I ended up doubling up on the most common super power. Thing was, doors did open. Practically by the time I recovered from surgery, I had my first movie role. Okay, it was Pirahna 3DD, and yes, I died in it, but it opened other doors for me. Maybe not the doors I wanted, but doors all the same.

JH: How did you envision your career trajectory going? Meryl Streep?

SC: [laughs unabashedly] I'm not Meryl Streep. I was thinking more like Christina Hendricks - absolutely love her in Mad Men - along with the accolades and blockbusters of, say, Charlize Theron. Instead, I ended up a more genre driven version of Sophia Vergara. On the other hand, she's made bank of what feels like twenty seasons of Modern Family, doesn't look a day older than when she started, and she married Manganiello, so what do I know? But the doors I've gone through have lead me here to Weirder Stuff, and I don't regret that at all.

JH: That's about all the time we have for tonight, folks. Thank you, Sean, for such a lively and forthcoming time. If I had my way, we'd go into the next time slot whenever we had someone from Weirder Stuff on the show.

SC: It's been fun and refreshing. I'd love to be back after you've done the rounds of the cast.

JH: You can count on it! Maybe I can talk them into a double long episode of Beyond Weirder Stuff with the entire Fellowship. But this is all for tonight. See you all next week, when we have Eric Kripke and Joss Whedon on the show.

[Outro music begins to play, Sean gets her phone from her clutch and moves over beside Julia, they talk as Sean swipes through pics, then throw back their heads in laughter as the screen fades to black]

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[Intro music plays]

JH: Welcome back, everyone, to the next of our E! exclusive cast interviews! I am Julia Hernandez, and this afternoon, we managed to get a hold of the latest addition to Weirder Stuff's main cast. She comes from France, she's adorable, some of the fans even started calling her the [airquote] Pocket Powerhouse [airquote]. Let me introduce you to Catherine 'Kat' Barras!

KB: [from offstage] Is this when I'm supposed to go on stage and say hi- oh. OH! Mic's on... Here we go! [as she arrives on stage, dressed in skinny jeans, a pink Paul Smith shirt and a pair of black knee-high boots] Hi everyone! [looks at the cameras and raises a hand to her chest] Boy! I'm barely starting to get used to these! [giggles] Hi Julia! How are you doing?

JH: [chuckles] I'm doing great, thank you! How about you?

KB: [sits down and winces comically] I'm nervous. I've never done these before! Thanks for having me, by the way. I'm a big fan, I've watched the show from the start and, oh, that epic battle in the last episode, would never, ever, have seen it coming! [laughs]

JH: [laughs] Right! I have been told your first appearance on screen is in Weider Stuff. Is that your first role?

KB: Yes. At first, I had an internship with the team, pulled some strings back in France so I could get my free trip to the States, and one day they told me to put the coffee down, dragged me to the makeup artist and stuffed a script into my hands. Aaaaand, it worked. I didn't really see myself as an actor, but, not to throw flowers at myself or anything, [grins] I apparently do a decent job. My first scene never made it to the screen, but it is probably what convinced the producers to offer me a contract.

JH: Really? What happened in that scene?

KB: [zips lips and winks] Can't say, I kind of forgot everything about it. Wait for the deleted scenes to be leaked or something.

JH: [smiles] Fine, I'll have to be patient then. You never really saw yourself as an actor, you say, but what exactly did you see yourself as, before [motions vaguely] Weirder Stuff happened?

KB: Originally, I wanted to be a comedian. I did work on some jokes back in France, and exhibitionned myself to immense crowds of, like, fourty people? To be honest, acting for a screen really feels different. The good - or bad - part, I never know, of a live crowd, is that I get to see the people's reactions and work with them. Right now, when I'm on stage, I never know if the fans will like what I do until the episode is out and people start lighting up gasoline all over social media. It's kind of scary. [pauses] But totally worth it, don't get me wrong! It's like really wanting for some ice-cream, not knowing if you'll get some, and finally getting ice-cream. An exciting... sort of... scary.

JH: An interesting comparison, to say the least.

KB: [nods] I really like ice-cream.

JH: [chuckles] Speaking of gasoline on social media, your character is the only openly bisexual character on show, and is starting to grow as an icon in some circles, how are you feeling about that?

KB: Oh, that's one tricky question. [ponders] I've never really got into these kinds of conversation. All I can say is that the character is almost a tailor-made fit for me - I can't thank the writers enough for that, they're doing a great job - and, if you're saying I'm inspiring people through the way I act Kat, the teenage girl, well, I'm flattered. Really. And yes, I'm bisexual. [mimics crowd ovation] Go crazy, Internet.

JH: Another sensitive topic about your character is ADHD. In the show, Kat suffers from undiagnosed ADHD and it's been made quite apparent on screen. How important is this part of the character to you?

KB: Oh, very. My Dad has ADHD - my real Dad, not Josh, who is adorable by the way. Such a nice guy. So yeah, I grew up with one, and sort of spreading awareness about it is important to me. There's a lot of people out there with some minor Attention Deficits, who don't know they have these and don't know how to deal with it, and I know it can be real hard for some. My Dad only got diagnosed when I was thirteen. That's seven years ago! And understanding what it was, and ways to live through, or with it, actually helped him and improved his, our life! At first, Kat wasn't supposed to have ADHD, and the subject came up during a chat with the writers, and they loved the idea!

JH: It really hits home to you.

KB: It does! [blows kiss at the camera] Love you, Dad!

JH: [nods] Alright, onto the less serious, but as important part. Kat and Courtney, Kat and Sean, Kat and Jase question mark, what's happening? The fans deserve to know!

KB: [winces] I don't knoooooow what's happening either. Okay, okay, okay. We can talk about what has already happened. Uh, last first, Kat and Jase, nothing is happening so far, right? All we've seen is a strange girl in a strange town getting red-cheeked whenever she makes eye-contact with the local predator. Maybe she has a crush on him, maybe she hasn't. I'm... not... saying nothing will happen at all, they're teens, but... Gah! Nothing is written in stone for teens. Now, Kat and Sean, Kat and Courtney, well, she obviously likes both, spends a lot of time with Sean but would? like to spend some more with Courtney - and we all saw why, but Courtney and Sean sort of hate each other, so there is this sort of love-hate triangle? I don't really know how to describe that. But yeah, definitely a relationship I'm happy to explore because it is so interesting to develop. Sean and Courtney are amazing actors and I'm really glad to be there with them.

JH: What about the rest of the teens?

KB: Oh, everyone's been so nice to me since I arrived. Sometimes I feel like I'm the lost puppy of the crew... which would not be that far from the truth, to be fair. They always pick me up when I'm feeling down. These guys know how to relax after a few thousands of takes. I love every single one of them as equally as the others, only some more equally than others. [chuckles] Recently there's been this running joke about squirrels...

JH: Does it have anything to do with Cade's little friends?

KB. Yes! They're so cute! It's part of my routine now, they're the firsts I visit every morning. And every now and then, between takes, Devin or Autumn stalks up to me and yells "SQUIRREL!" [laughs] while pointing at the ceiling, and every single time, they make me look. [shakes her head]

JH: [laughs] It does sound like they adopted you! Well, I believe we're running out of time, fan questions will have to wait for next round. Thank you for being here, Kat, it's been very nice to finally meet you!

KB: [a wide grin full of dimples] Yes! It's been very fun, sign me up for round two! [waves to the cameras] Bye bye!

JH: This was our E! exclusive cast interview for Weirder Stuff, with Catherine Barras. Thank you for watching, and see you next week!

[Screen blurs, outro music plays as they both continue their conversation while heading offstage]

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Project 6 is now closed.  XP awards are below.  As stated in the starting post, I am grading on individual effort, cohesion as a group, collaborative effort, and entertainment.

Devin & Cassie - Great team-up, really good energy between the actors, entertaining: came across as a proper TV spot for a hot new show.   5XP

Marissa - Flying solo, but crowdsourced questions from the other players and put together a fun one-on-one interview with everyone's favorite mean girl.  5XP

Jase - Solo magazine interview and collaborated with a fun TV spot, ranging from serious in-depth analysis (magazine) to more conversational light banter (TV).  5XP  

Autumn - Good collaborative TV spot and an awesome magazine article.  Quite apart from a consistent representation of the outgoing nature of the actress, the effort put in to create an actual layout with photos is worth an extra point.  6XP

Sean - For a last-minute work, this was very good.  'Sean' comes across as career-minded, hard working and having fun with it.  The questions were good, but might have been pepped up by some crowdsourcing if you'd left yourself more time. Still, great work.  5XP

Cade - Not going to lie, it was kind of flat.  Cade was giving one- or two-line answers, not really talking about himself.  We don't really get a sense of the actor as a person: they are simply present and answering questions with the minimum of personal involvement.  The discussion of personal fitness was perfunctory and there was nothing about their work prior to WS, nothing about what they like about working on the show, or how they get on with co-stars.  Like Cade in the interview, this entry just... turns up and does the minimum.  It was thrown together last-minute, which I don't have a problem with by itself, but it shows 2XP

Kat - Kudos on a good interview!  Thought went into this, and the actress comes across as charming and really stoked to be there and part of WS.  I liked her energy.  Also kudos on pulling the squirrel out of the hat last-minute and with a hangover. - 5XP

Edited by GDP_ST

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