So, without further ado...
Cast and crew interview from season 1 DVD
“Few shows could get their leads back together for an interview a year after filming ended so abruptly…
Contender would like to thank Vincent, Paul, and Mike who reunited for this interview because they’re still proud of the show…
We don’t blame them.”
“Cast interview part one”
Vincent and Paul are sitting together on one couch and Mike is in a chair at an angle. It’s fun to watch, because Vince and Paul start out with about a foot of space between them which gradually shrinks to nothing at all. Vince keeps scooting closer. He’s a restless sitter, slouching down and then hitching himself up over and over, playing with his hair and clothes. He’s in constant motion. Paul talks with his hands a lot, but he’s much more still than Vince, mostly just slouching. Mike is doing a lot of watching, and he gets the other two back on point more often than not.
Title breaks in the interview are from the DVD
V- Vincent Ventresca
P- Paul Ben-Victor
M- Mike McCafferty
“A theme, a cement pond”
P- We’re gonna do the first little music for you.
V- He’s kidding.
P- Go Eberts.
*plays air guitar while Mike dadada’s the opening theme music for I-man. Paul tries to get Vince in on it, but there’s no love from that quarter. All three guys have beers, btw, or maybe sodas and just seem so relaxed with one another*
P- *adds a little uh- UH and winds down* Is that it?
M- Pretty much, yeah.
P- That’s the theme song in case you didn’t recognize Ebert’s rendition of it. *claps. V has his hand to his forehead like “I don’t know these people” but he’s smiling* I-man.
V- I didn’t recognize it.
P- I’m sweating now.
V-I really didn’t.
P *wiping face with shirt*
M- All right, this is the beginning of the video commentary. I’ll start out, my name’s…
P- I just saw Springsteen. Man, that guy rocks. So I did my little Bruce. *he totally was, getting in the shoulder action and biting his lip and everything, eyes all squinty with emotion. It was beautiful*
V- I thought you were goin’ for the Monkees.
*P and M crack up a little*
P- *to M* That was very good. You knew dad a dan *I-man theme again* That’s the whole thing? Is that all it does?
M- Yeah, pretty much. But most of it is Vince starting off with the thing ‘There once was a story about a guy who could turn himself invisible.’ Do you remember it still, Vince, or not?
*crickets, from Vince’s side of the couch*
P- You’re not gonna ask him to do it, are you?
V- There once…
M-*helping out, what a guy* There once was a story about a man who could turn himself invisible. I thought it was only a story until it happened to me.”
V-There once was a story about a man named Jed *cracking up, and also cracking up Paul in the process* Kin folks said, Jed move away from there.
P- Said California’s the place you wanna be *total hick accent as he’s singing*
V- *talking over Paul’s singing* Different show. That’s a good show, thought.
P- Beverly Hillbillies
V- *cracking up again* Let’s talk about the Beverly Hillbillies, you know?
P- Because Granny and Ellie May…love those gals…love Ellie May…
V- Hey, I just built a cement pond.
P-*grinning* Did you?
P- He did!
V- Ok, seriously.
P- Naw, let’s talk about your pool for a minute, because I know you’re excited about that.
V- You..You remember the old lady’s name, on the Beverly Hillbillies? Irene…
P and M- Irene Ryan.
V- And you know, she gives the scholarships
P- She’s dead now.
M- She’s dead, but yeah I, uh, I was part of that scholarship.
P- That was a nice gesture to her, uh, *gestures..not sure where he’s going with this*
*V cracks up a little and reaches for his beer*
V- *toasts* Here’s to Irene.
“The first meeting”
V- Long time ago, there was this show called ‘The Invisible Man’…
P *wiping his head again* - Jesus. It’s hot in here.
M- Let’s talk about the Invisible man, let’s talk about how it first started.
P- *talking over M* It’s warm here.
V- It started with…
P- Lot of bright lights where we’re doing this video thing. I’m sweating.
V- You’re a little shiny.
*P looks amused and indignant. V cracks up again. He does this a lot, btw.*
V- No, so, uh, God, man, it was such a good, good script. Matt Greenburg wrote this, it was just a good script and I read it and jumped through a few hoops to get the job and you did at the same time and, um…
P- What kind of hoops did you jump through?
P- Tell us day one.
V- I did this simultaneously, at the same time, you…how many times did you read?
P- I don’t know. Two? Three?
V- I read, uh, *counting on fingers. Nice forearms btw. He’s got his shirtsleeves rolled up on this blue button-down shirt and just…forearms. Guh. Ok, back to transcription*
P- But you were reading with Katzengroves (???) right?
V- No. I met Matt, the writer, and the director was Breck Eisner and I met with them twice and tested for the network and that’s where we met.
P- That sort of test thing.
V- At that meeting. That’s right.
P- I didn’t realize that was supposed to be…
V- Was that…was that it?
P- That the one?
V- You didn’t realize that it…
P- I didn’t realize that that was serious. That’s why I was still fucking around. (they beep out the fucks, but I’m going to put them in, ‘k?)
V- It was really serious, Paul. *M is laughing off camera, btw.*
P- When I went in.
V- Yeah, remember? It was serious to me.
P-It was a big room. *V cracks up, massages his eyebrows with his fingers, shakes his head sadly* But I thought there was a room…I thought there was going to be a meeting after that. I didn’t realize that…that was the network was sitting there. And there they were.
V- Are you kidding?
P- I didn’t know.
V- You didn’t know that that was it?
P- It was another call back, as far as I thought.
V- You know actually what happened, I think that, I tested twenty minutes before you, but I tested against no one. You tested…
P- Who’d you test with? The casting crew.
V- Yeah it was the casting person. And then they sent me out of the room, and a bunch of Hobbeses showed up.
V- And you were the last Hobbes there. *P is smiling* And all the rest were just *you can see him realize what he’s about to say and change it in mid-sentence* very nice guys.
P- They were terrific
V- They were horrible. And I thought ‘Oh my god. Oh my god.’ And then Paul walked in.
P- And what happened?
V- *smiling* Oh my god. You know? *he has this really goofy laugh*
M- And you said he made up most of his stuff there.
P- *indignant* No I didn’t.
V- Yeah, you did. You did.
P- I just was trying to get the ball rolling.
V- Paul put down the script in the middle of his test…he put down the script and just like got up in my face and I was like crying and laughing and then Paul walked out of the room and the whole room was just laughing really hard. And it was obvious that Paul was going to get the job and some network official, actually I know his name but I’m not going to say it…
P-*in a terrible Brit accent* because that would be indiscrete.
V- He goes…
P- Thomas (something, I can’t quite hear because they’re talking over each other)
V- He goes…you made him English. Interesting.
P- That’s my Dudley Moore imitation.
V- Aw, he’s dead.
P- I know.
V- God he was awesome. I saw Arthur…
V- *shakes his head, totally off topic. He’s so ADD*
P- He says ‘I won’t mention her name, because that would be indiscrete. Susan Johnson.’
V- That is good.
P- Remember, he did the Susan Johnson routine? *pointing to the crew* You guys remember that. You guys are Brits.
V and M- Australian
P- You’re Australian too?
V- It’s close.
P- Pardon me.
V- And the guy said, the big network official said, “Well he’s definitely the guy, just make sure you can keep him on book.” *yeah, we can see how well you guys stay on book. NOT*
“A proper-cheese now…”
M- The reason why the show was so good was because you two guys, you just went for it. You threw away the scripts and did whatever you wanted to.
P- Well I wouldn’t go that far…we did some *Mike is laughing like ‘You are such a liar, Paul’* That’s going a little overboard.
V- Well you know I would have…
P- We didn’t throw away the scripts.
V- You know, I would have stuck to the scripts…
P- We worked with the scripts.
V- …but when you’re talking to someone who’s not saying the script *pointing at Paul* you have to…sometimes you have to alter your responses. Am I right?
P- Is that what this is gonna be?
V- No, Paul, no without a doubt I mean creatively…
P- We were terrific.
V- …it was great but you started it. I would have been way too scared to do anything like that. But not him and it was good. It was good and you did the right thing, because look, look, you know why? Because right from the go, from the test you made it just a little bit better than it was on the page. Problem is a lot of people try to do that and they can’t and you could.
P- All right, you know, it’s not a big deal. People work improvisationally all the time, you know? It’s called…it’s called…
P- Second city, it’s called improv, it’s called sketch comedy...
V- Improv. Improvisation. Improv. *talking over Paul. Such a smart ass.*
P- You know. And I just work that way a lot. I don’t work improv comedy but I do work improvisationally whether it be in television, in NYPD Blue, I sort of had this issue…
V- You know who did it?
V- You know who did the first improv.
P- A man named Im…Improv?
P- Thomas Improv.
V- No, but, you know who’s the actor.
P- Thomas Improvisation.
M- I knew that, yeah.
P- Who did the first improv?
V- You guys are bad. Who’s the actor?
P- Thomas P. Improv. He was born in 18…
V- No, no. Brando. Brando. He made up a bunch of stuff.
P- He used to improvise.
V- You do a little Brando, right?
P- *Does Brando. Not well. He’s really very silly.* Only…it depends how old.
V- How old?
P- I’m partial to Brando as he is today. You’re so cute, sir, really. Would you like to sit on my lap? *yes, I’m serious* *V is Crackin’ UP*
M- A lot of this is going to make it to the DVD.
V- This is all…because this is really…uh…
P- *goes on as Brando* Because I’ve been eating a lot of cheese today. Personally, I would love to come over there closer to you, but I can’t get out of this couch.
V- I want a copy of this.
M- Yeah, you let us know, Paul, if you want this to be on the DVD. See if Brando chances across it.
P- *more Brando* Please, if you would, roll in that wheel of cheese…roll it this way. But don’t tell anybody. I’ll just have a little slice.
V- He was on a diet, right? This is a true story. No, he’s serious. It’s a true story, right?
P- Nah, it’s something, I don’t know.
V- He was on a diet.
P- Something. I’m not going to disclose. Just my goofy imitation.
V- So then we got the jobs and we went and then we went and shot it, and then we met him *points to Mike* and…no you weren’t there *pointing to Paul, now* no you were there for the first day of shooting we were all there in that room. The Official’s office. First scene of the pilot…
M- No you weren’t there. He wasn’t there yet. *pointing to Paul*
V- Yes he was.
M- No he wasn’t.
P- I wasn’t in the pilot.
V- No, because I met him. He did the thing when the Official gives him the check.
M- That’s right, yeah yeah yeah.
V- You don’t remember?
P- Yeah, and I couldn’t get the first line out, I was laughing.
V- I don’t think you had a line.
P- Yeah I did, I did.
V- It was a voice over.
M- You didn’t have a line.
P- I had one line, one word.
P- And Eddie was so funny. And I couldn’t believe it. He went *miming the Official being all gruff and grumbly* he did that thing, and I was looking at him and I went *laughs helplessly* He’s funny, and I couldn’t get my line out and I was embarrassed. I had never had that happen, where I couldn’t concentrate. My first take on a show, and I couldn’t get the words out. I was so embarrassed. Were you there? *to Vince*
V- I was in the room, in the Official’s office.
P- And he handed me the check and I had to be like solemn and upset. You guys know.
V- Yeah it was awesome, it was a great moment…and I remember we were in that room…
P- And he was so funny.
V- Everybody was good. The Official was good and that’s where we all sort of met and I knew the show was gonna be good.
P- Cracked me up, my first day. “Here you go, Bobby. Here’s your check.” But it was good.
V- But it’s a voice over. You didn’t have a line. You maybe were talking.
M- Yeah. Might have been that.
V- But they never intended you to. *finger wag, and more laughter from Mike* It’s the moment at the end where I say, uh, “my partner…”
P- Yeah, right!
V- At the end, there’s a voice over, something about my partner.
P- *talking to the audience* How’s it go, folks? Come on. You know the words. *sticks out an air mike toward the camera* *turns to Vince* That was a microphone out to the crowd.
“The best show in San Diego”
P- We had these incredible runs of work without breaks, right?
M- Right. We did.
P- Two seasons.
V- We shot two years in like a year and a half.
M- The first…
P- We probably broke a record.
V- I think we may have.
P- We may have broke an all time Hollywood record for episodes shot…
V- We should check that.
V- It may not be a Hollywood record, but maybe a San Diego record.
M- At least a San Diego record.
V- We always used to joke that we were the best show in San Diego.
P- We were the only show in San Diego.
P- At that time.
V- Mike, you won some local acting awards in San Diego.
M- I did, I did, yeah. Um…I still have those.
V- And, Mike, they found Mike, so then they found me and Paul up here. And then they found you down there. Mike lived down in San Diego. Right?
M- Yeah, basically, I think they had gotten a guy up here and like two days before you guys were set to shoot he fell through.
V- Are you kidding?
M- No, no that’s what happened.
P- You came in on a, on a slide in.
M- He looked at all the tapes from LA and San Diego…
V- Who did? Breck?
M- Uh, Matt. Matt Greenberg. And out of all of them, he said “that’s the guy” and so he called.
P- How cool.
M- Yeah, and the terrible thing about it was…
P- Who knew that story?
V- I didn’t know that story. This is starting to get good.
P- It’s a good story.
V- Let him talk, man.
M- Yeah, I got the call and within twenty minutes after that I got a call for a commercial, for a national commercial. So I had to decide if I wanted to do a one day shoot or a national commercial. I hadn’t done a lot of national commercials either, so they came within twenty minutes of each other. And uh…
P- You passed on the commercial.
M- Passed on the commercial. I remember I was totally distraught about it because I didn’t know what to do and…
P- What was it?
M- It was like…
M- *thinking ‘You prick’* Yeah, it was, yeah. Like the ultra thins, you know.
P- The husband. Was it for the husband to…honey…
M- With the wings, yeah.
P- Was that what it was?
P-What was it for, really? You remember?
M- It was for the Wall Street Journal or something like that.
M- And so I remember I was in there the first day, well my only day there…
V- That’s interesting.
P- Big spot.
M- And I’m sitting there, and I’m going “God, what did I…”
P- What did I do?
M- Yeah. And I went to Vinnie and I said, first day I met you, and I said, “You know I just turned down a national commercial and a lot of money and did I do the right thing? And you said, without hesitation, you said, “Absolutely, you know. This is what you’re here to do. You’re here to act.”
(cut to the scene from the pilot where Darien meets the Official and Eberts for the first time. “Who the hell are you?” “National security prohibits him from giving his actual name, Mr. Fawkes.”)
V- He did the right thing, not doing the commercial. Didn’t you?
M- Yeah, well yeah. Obviously it turned out great. Although I didn’t know I had the part, later on, because it was like a possible recurring
M- So I did the pilot and I didn’t hear about it for like eight weeks later. I didn’t hear anything, anything at all, and I thought, well, I was looking at the casting and I thought they would cast an ethnicity, just to kind of round it out, you know, and like yeah that’s fine. And I got a call from Brack and he said we need you to come in and do some looping. And yeah, that’s fine. Oh and Matt’s right here, do you want to talk to him? He wants to talk to you. And he’s like, “Dude, man! You were fuckin’ awesome, man! I loved what you were doing and we…”
P- Who’s that?
M- Matt Greenberg. And he’s like, “So, do you want to do this?” And I’m “Yeah, I do.” I was sitting around, working at Sea World.
P- Wow. You were working at Sea World?
P- Well now we have to, like, fill in the blanks here a little bit. Matt Greenberg as you may or may not know wrote, created the show. Sea World is our place in San Diego where, ah, big *he’s gesturing something here, I think it’s meant to be leaping dolphins or something but I’m not sure. Mike is laughing.*
V- That’s the first funny thing you’ve said for me tonight. *Liar. You’ve been laughing your ass off, Vince.* That…that’s a legitimate piece of comedy. *Paul is all What? What’d I say?* Bravo, you know? Bravo. *Vince applauds him. Mike’s just drinking his beer. Paul is a little embarrassed. Vince is so messing with him.* This is what the set was like, literally. I mean, it was called the Invisible Man, but the set was really…
P- Anyways. Sea World.
M- Paul Ben-Victor show.
P- *glaring at Mike* Come on.
V- Come on, seriously.
M- This guy would go on…his takes would go on longer than the forty-five minutes we had.
V- We had the best time. I mean, we loved the show.
P-*indignant* That’s not true.
V- The shows were great, but making the shows I mean…I loved the shows, but making the shows were fun, you know?
P- We had a lot of fun. First season especially. That was our honeymoon.
V- Aw, but even when you turned into a demonic monster, that was fun, too.
“For those in the UK…”
V- I knew Mikey was good immediately. I was like, wow. A lot of time’s you’re in a scene with a guy and uuuhh, you know it’s not gonna be so great, but you were great. And then I think you told me you turned down a commercial, and if you…and I had done a lot of commercials. *they all nod* *points to Paul* He’s done a lot of commercials, too.
M- McDonalds. *whispering*
V- Remember those spots?
P- Yeah, they know.
M- This is UK. They won’t remember it.
V- But if you have the opportunity to do a good show, which I thought our show was going to be good…
P-*gets it* Oh, this is for the UK folks, mostly?
M- Yeah, its Region two. This is all becoming apparent. *grinning*
V- Is this going to change now?
P- *doing his terrible Brit accent again* I’m going to start talking like that there. Great to be here. We’re on tour. Got Vinnie Ventresca on bass. Ladies and gentlemen, Michael McCafferty on drums and harmonies and vocals and plays the little harp *miming a harmonica* and such.
M- *talking to the camera* This is what it was like on the set, all the time, by the way. These two guys going for it.
P- Oh, you guys don’t…we’ve never hung with you guys before. I didn’t know this was for the UK.
P- *to the crew* Did you know that? Back there in the grandstands. Did you guys know?
M- Yeah, they knew it.
P-No, I thought this was going to be sort of… *covers face with hands* God, I’m embarrassed now.
M- Why are you embarrassed?
P- Because this is my introduction to these guys. How are you, nice to see you. I’m going to be polite now. The English are, like, a little more polite, aren’t they? No, you guys are crazy.
V- That’s a cliché, isn’t it?
P- *laughs* Cliché. Is that an English word?
V- I think it’s French.
“It’s good to work on an animal”
V- Paul kept it exciting for, for everyone.
P- And Vinnie kept it exciting. And violent. Vinnie…Vinnie broke things.
V- Yeah, I like punched…
P- You’d have to, like, duck to make sure shit wasn’t flying…
V- It was loud. It was loud where we shot because there was an Air Force base.
P- Lot of planes.
M- There was an Air Force base and a local small engine airplane pad.
V- I don’t know
P- I didn’t explain what Sea World was. They’re still sitting there going, what’s…
M- They know what Sea World is.
V- Sea World. Worlds of…of things that are in the sea. They got it.
P- It’s like an amusement park.
V- They got one, don’t they?
P- *to Mike* But what were you doing there, Mike? That’s what I want to know. Taking tickets? Showing people the penguins?
M- No. I did the live…I did the warm up act for the sea lion/otter show.
P- *amused* You did the warm up act? Oh, you were up there, *holding that air mic again* up on stage doing a little dad a dad a, right? *miming dolphins with his hands*
V- Did you get wet?
M- During the night shows, I got spit upon by walruses.
V- So you were looking for another job.
M- *smiling nodding* Yeah, yeah, it was, uh…
P- Did the walruses not like you?
M- It was part of the gag. *poor Mike!*
V- You did a lot of theater, though, right?
M- I did a lot of theater, yeah, that’s not all I did, but it paid the best, so…
P- *amused* So, you’ll be able to use that walrus stuff, sometime, in another performance, I bet.
M- A little, you know, emotional memory coming back.
P- It’s good to work on an animal once in a while, when you’re an actor. *to Vince* Have you done that?
V- No. I’ve heard…
P- You’ve read about it?
V- No, but I’ll do it next week, if you want.
M- Ok, so the show comes out and it’s a big hit. They picked us up before the show aired. We got the thirteen, didn’t we? As I recall, even before the show aired, they picked us up for thirteen.
P- It wasn’t.
M- I thought that they did.
P- Why’d we get cancelled?
V- Why would they do that? Why would you pick up a show before it aired?
M- Because they knew they had something good on their hands.
P- They had something good.
V- They knew…they picked it up…thirteen. No there was a joke we were waiting…
M- For the back nine.
V- They picked up…oh, that’s right…they picked up thirteen.
M- And the ratings were great. We got like a 2.4 which was the best for SciFi at that time. Did really well and…
P- We beat out everybody.
V- We were the most watched show…in San Diego.
M- We were huge in San Diego.
P- No what happened was, and this is pretty exciting, and I’m not sure any of you are aware of, and obviously you guys are a part of, is that there is a huge fan base of the sci fi world and they communicate on the Internet. I’m sure it’s the same in England and everywhere else, and this massive…*Vince cracks up here, for some reason*…I’m just realizing that we’re not talking to our fan base that we’ve been rapping to for the past three years. These are English folks. What happened was, the show would play Friday night, and Friday night late we could log on and get some feedback from the fans. And the fans became an integral part of the show. They were like our critics, our altar ego, our voice, our…help me with this…you know…
V- *not sure where you’re going with this, pal*
P-They were just a strong element, like a third voice to the show. And Monday morning, we’d show up and we’d want to know what the ratings were, of course, but almost more important was what was the feedback from the fans.
V- Cause they were smart. They were really smart.
P- Really smart. Thank you. That’s what…
V- And they loved the show. It was weird…we created…like we were in the show…
P- *to the audience* And you’ve become a part of that, which we appreciate.
V- But it’s people’s love of the show that made us more committed to try and make the show as good as it could be.
V- It was a very difficult show to write, because Matt Greenberg wrote a great pilot, as I said, but the tone, and the subject matter, and the sort of subversive quality that was there from the start…it was kinda hard to write that. And so there were some episodes where it sort of felt like a normal sort of show, and that really didn’t serve what I called the world of the Invisible Man so well, so we sort of went through some bumps and then…Craig Silversteen was this kid that Matt Greenberg had hired and he’d never worked on a television show before and he really became sort of the creative soul of the writing staff, I thought. He really sort of picked up where Matt left.
V- For some personal reasons. Well he went on, and he’s written some movies.
M- Reign of Fire.
V- Yeah. Reign of Fire
P- Yeah, what happened was, was for us a big loss. I’ll tell them a little about what happened. We started the show. Matt Greenberg was the creator. And I guess, right after the first episode of the show, Matt had to leave. Right? Matt’s mom passed away and he sort of went into a dark place and he had to disappear, and he did. And all of a sudden we were down in San Diego is this funky sort of lower budget studio where a lot of shows are done, but it’s a lower budget studio. And we were down there shooting through the night, working seventeen, eighteen, nineteen hour days in the beginning we were like cranking out long hour days. Sometimes longer, I mean the overtime was insane.
P- No breaks, and then that second or third episode, we were down there and we heard like, hey guys, did you hear we lost our producer, we lost our writers. Really? Who’s doing it? Right now, nobody. Well, who’s running the show? Well…nobody.
P- So we were down there in San Diego for a solid episode or two, or even maybe three, like several weeks where they were trying to figure out above ground *waving his arms over his head* above in LA, because San Diego is south, it’s way south, at the bottom of California, in fact it borders Mexico, right, so, so we were right down there in the hubble of San Diego.
*Off screen, Vince is laughing his ass off*
San Diego, California, shooting the show, and we didn’t have a boss.
V- I’m sorry. Yeah we…
P- Is that what you’re laughing at?
V- No, man, the…*copies some of Paul’s geographical gestures*
P- You’re laughing at my little analogy?
M- Your geography.
V- Your geography. *he can hardly talk, he’s laughing so hard*
P- It’s true.
M- Right next to Mexico. For those of you in the UK who don’t know.
V- I thought you should have…a pointer..and…
P- Can I tell you something.
V- *Giggling like a school girl. Swear to god.* …right there…by Mexico…*he’s pointing around with this imaginary pointer and holding his ribs, still can’t talk because he’s giggling so hard*
P- I personally don’t have a clue…
V- Oh! They’re from England, so they might not be sure where…
P- I don’t know…I don’t know where Wembley Staduim is.
V- Is that what you were thinking?
P- I know Wembley.
V- That was nice. *giving props to Paul* You were…that was good. I’m sorry.
P- No, because.
V- No, you did the right thing.
“The invisible holiday”
V- They told us to go home, and they had no more scripts.
P- Is that what happened?
M- Well one of the problems was…
V- You don’t remember?
P- They said go home, that’s it?
V- Remember, they said you’re going to come back in…after the fourth episode…
P- You’re taking a break.
V- We stopped. They were, you’re going to take a break.
P- Did we take a break?
V- Yeah! And I was like, great!
P- How many weeks did we take a break?
M- It was just…
V- Ten days.
M- Was it ten days? I thought it was three or four days. because we stopped during ‘The Devil You Know’ because at that time Matt had left, and taken all the writing people except for Craig, and remember that one was going to cost like $8 million to make in its original incarnation that we wrote. They re-wrote it. You don’t remember that?
V- Which one? ‘The Devil You Know?’
M- ‘The Devil You Know’. Yeah.
V- Was going to cost $8 million.
M- Well, I may have…it was over budget.
V- Over budget
M- Waaay over budget. Like two or three million dollars easy. Way over budget. And Matt had left and so they just shut down for three or four days.
V- That might be right.
M- And then that’s when David Levinson came in.
*Side note, here. Vincent has scooted a little closer to Paul and is resting his hand along the back of the couch. Mostly they both look slumped and casual. Vincent Ventresca is, by the way, all leg. But we have noticed this before. Ok, end of digression.*
“It’s a long way to San Diego”
P- One of the things I wanted to say was, we were down there doing those shows and a lot of that kind of fed into the improvisational quality of it. The fact that we created a way of working.
P- You know, the first two or three episodes…
V- Because we were on our own.
P- We were on our own and we were down there. And just he nature of being down in San Diego, just that in itself sort of led us…
V- We were away. We weren’t on a sound stage in Studio City.
P- Where the producers could come down every day and check up on us and say “Ok, well how’s it going. We saw dailies, stick to this stick to that.” They were two hours north, you know.
V- It’s true.
P- We were down there and like *shrugs* like *shrugs again* you know.
V- It was great. Creatively, it was great.
P- Honestly, you know…do they bleep out bad words, do you know? Because I was “Fuck ‘em. We’re doing our thing.” Beep. *they use Paul’s “Beep” for all the other “Fucks” in the interview, btw.* *he and Vince share a little laugh, here, at the cuteness of his “beep”* Basically not, you know, “Fuck ‘em” but it was like, it was like we’ll do it our own way and…
*Vince falls over laughing, and Mike is laughing off camera. Paul is like “what did I say?” again.* What, it’s not going to the church. The queen isn’t seeing this, is she?
V- No. Did you hear about the guy who went like that to the queen? *puts his arms around Paul’s shoulder and gives him a little hug, grinning like a goon* Did you see that?
P- What happened?
V- He took a picture of the queen.
P- He did? *cracks up*
V- Yeah! You’re not supposed to touch the queen and and like the camera was there and…
P- Did he go to jail?
V- He went like this. *does the hug thing again, mugging for the camera*
*cracks up and slaps his knee*
P- Oh, that is funny.
V- You should have seen the picture. She didn’t care. But it was just a funny shot of this guy *Goofy hug, take three, with Vince grinning like a goon*
P- God. That’s kinda cool, though.
V- Yeah it was great.
P- I wouldn’t mind taking a picture of the queen.
M- Why can’t you touch the queen?
V- I dunno.
P- It’s royalty, man. Have some respect, G.
“Paul got in trouble”
P- This is first season. So what else happened first season? I was having a good time just being down there.
M- Well let me just say this about David and Jonathan, because there’s been a lot of criticism about them. They righted the ship when it needed to be righted. They came in and…
V- Oh, without a doubt.
M- …and they had a degree of experience and expertise to get the ship, to get the show back on its feet and making it move, and you know…now people have different interpretations to what they did creatively to it, but…
P- They actually, who was it I spoke to recently, supposedly if it wasn’t for David the show would have tanked. David Levinson came on to be the executive show runner and if it wasn’t for him…somebody was telling me recently he…I forgot who I was talking to.
V- I told you that.
P- No. No, it was like Paolo or someone like that.
V- Oh yeah, yeah. Those guys knew.
P- They took control of the helm.
V- Dave Levinson is what we needed, when they brought him on.
P- Right, right. And we got along great at first, because they were watching us do what we do. And Vinnie and I did improvise a lot. And, I mean, to me we did, we did the story, you know, and to me if you change it around a little bit it’s not like…but I guess…
V- Paulie got in a little trouble. And then I started getting in trouble, too, because we would change what was on the page.
P- Well, first what happened was we were called up to LA to have a lunch. Remember lunch?
V- I’m not sure we gotta go into all this.
P- Oh, yeah!
P- Don’t you want to know about it? *To the audience. And yes, yes we do. Thank you Mr. Ben-Victor.*
M- The show’s over.
V- *gives up, but he’s got reservations* Yeah, all right. Go ahead.
P- This is interesting. We got called up to LA to have a lunch at a nice restaurant. Seafood restaurant.
V- Yeah but in fairness, you’re the one who’s going to take the fall on this.
P- No this is just…there’s no fall to take.
V- All right, all right. I’ll tell you the story. Let’s see what…I’m curious… *sits back and listens to Paul*
P- We came up there to have a lunch and they said to us, they said “Guys, we like what you’re doing, a lot of improvisation…it’s great…just tone it down.” Because what we learned, and I feel bad about this, and I probably wouldn’t do it again, even if I had to work with Vinnie again, I would change my tune. *Vinnie’s like nodding and making a goofy face, with his fingers making an “ok” sign* I’m teasing. I would. Even if you egged me on.
V- No, they said…
P- Which he did. It’s his fault. Cause he’d be off camera going, *makes encouraging motions*, keep going.
V- That might be true.
P- Keep going. *mimes Vincent cracking up with laughter and going into comedic convulsions*
V- That might be true, but here’s the deal…
P- So I’d keep going.
V- What they said is, Great, we like what you’re doing but…
P- Chill out.
V- Just one time, do what’s written. And then you can do whatever you want.
V- Sounds like a plan.
P- So we said fine.
V- It was a great plan. So the next day we go to work and Paul and I got a scene and Paul’s not doing what’s written. And I’m like “that’s great Paul, now let’s do the scripted one.” And Paul’s like “No.” *Mike and Vince both crack up* Am I right?
P- *is not smiling* No. That’s not true at all.
V- You didn’t like it. You didn’t like it, so he wouldn’t do it.
P- I don’t remember that at all.
V- I’m like “Paul, we’re going to get in trouble.” It was awesome. It was like the classic, like, I always thought we were going to get in trouble, which we did.
P- We got in a lot of trouble. You know, it was like being in school. *Vince cracks up at this. The man laughs with his whole body, I swear.* But I, you know, I just…I wasn’t trying to be bad, I was just trying to do a good job. And I like to do several…
V- Well the problem was…
P- I do a lot of takes…
V- This is what the problem was…
P- I like to do a lot of takes and we didn’t have a lot of time for takes.
V- Well the show…
P- So I improvise while working on the takes, you know, you know it takes three or four to get stuff going, and sometimes you’re finding stuff and it’s getting tighter each time but you don’t have the time on a lower budget television show.
P- You gotta get *snaps* tight in one or two takes.
V- But we did good. We got it. We got it a lot. We…and the problem was that we offended some people in the process and I think as a result of that there were some…you know…if you’re a writer and someone…
P- It’s insulting.
V- Yeah, I think you…
P- It’s not respectful.
V- You hurt people’s feelings.
P- You gotta give ‘em what they wrote.
V- And I think that all of a sudden even if we were doing a good job, even if our improvs were interesting, at the core of them they felt offended because what they wrote wasn’t being done…
V- and we sort of…
P- And it was really was a…
V- It got bad. It got a little nasty.
P- Yeah and it wasn’t really intended to be anything, you know, offensive toward any body.
V- But it was hard, too, because I think…
P- I just work a certain way, and I been in the business a long enough time and I’ve never had problems…
V- But you’ve always worked that way, right?
P- Yeah and directors have always…
V- They trust you.
P- …hired me to do it. You know, they said Paul, just do that thing you did at the audition. Do that, that thing you did. So I was sort of ready to just do…
V- And that’s why they hired you.
P- And then you did, then you became the director.
V- Then you taught me…yeah that’s true.
P- You became sort of that, Vinnie sort of took over the helm of, although he wasn’t directing the episodes, sort of the tone of the show. You were helping to choose directors, you were pushing them to go in a stylized direction. You wanted camera movement, you were bringing in…you were…
V- Well I tried, and then none of it really worked.
P- It totally worked.
(Cut to the exploding beachside condo from “The Devil You Know)
“Paul Ben-Victor on improvisation”
P- Just to put closure on it, I take responsibility for offending certain people, but I wasn’t trying to…I wasn’t trying to offend anybody. It was a way of working. We just do what we have to do.
V- No, and seriously, creatively it was phenomenal. I mean it was like no environment…
P- I’m like why should we stop doing this if it works, and it’s funny and we know it’s funny…
V- Yeah, but the problem was because we pissed some people off, some good stuff I think got left out of the shows.
P- Oh yeah.
V- And so, we know, like we’d see a scene and we knew we did this bit and this bit and this bit and it wouldn’t make it.
P- *mimes cutting with scissors* Lots of good stuff was…lot of funny, funny good stuff.
“Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Bobby Hobbes…”
P- I think we knew it in our hearts that a lot of the success of the show was the tongue in cheek, comedic element that, I’m sure…
V- That really, really always so much wasn’t on the page. We really…it was, sometimes.
P- And Matt put it in…Matt put it into my character. My first ten lines are funny lines, they’re comedic lines.
V- Matt instilled it into the show, and even if the script, like this certain episode didn’t have it, we sort of took it upon ourselves to stick it in there.
P- Yeah, and then the thing is, he wrote this embittered, dark, sort of somewhat angry, cynical, sloppy, misanthropic, goofy guy who’d been sl…you know the character.
(Cut to the scene in the church from the pilot, where Bobby points his gun at Darien for cell-phone rights)
P- And sort of, that’s how I work. I ended up bringing that guy to the set, you know, that’s how I was. Sort of let Bobby Hobbes…you know…it was Bobby Hobbes. *slips effortlessly into character and almost shouts* I’m Bobby Hobbes! *and out again* Wasn’t I Bobby?
V- You’re Bobby right now. You just became Bobby. I just saw it happen. He’s there. Look at that.
P- I was Bobby Hobbes…
V- Just slipped right in to it.
P- …so how could I play Bobby Hobbes and not BE Bobby Hobbes?
V- God, it’s amazing.
M- He’s becoming more and more. *he is, slowly slipping back into character. Sneaky*
V- It happened. Did you guys see it?
V- If you were in touch, like I am, you just…
P- How could I be Bobby Hobbes and not be Bobby Hobbes? You’re asking me to do something that I can’t do. *yelling, full on Bobby rage* I’m not gonna do it!
V- *applauds* Wow.
“Whose line is it anyway?”
V- I never liked listening to another actor that I was in a scene with more than Paul
V- Consequently I think that made me…
P- That’s because…who did you work with, before me?
V- *thinks, makes a ‘good point’ face, and nods* yeah.
P- That’s the problem.
V- It’s true.
P- No, you worked with some good people. I’ll take the compliment.
V- *still thinking* Yeah, yeah. There were a couple.
P- You did ‘Friends’
P- Those guys were good.
V- They were good.
P- How were they, to work with?
V- They were great.
P- I don’t mean to… *Vince has this far away look, like he’s trying hard to think of someone else to compare Paul to. It’s kind of neat, really.*
V- No, I was just thinking, that’s kinda true. Jeez, I’ve never worked with anybody.
P- Yeah you did, you worked with some good people. Friends…
V- You’re the best actor I’ve worked with…
P- That week.
V- …out of all five of them. I did the Menendez short story and you were much better than…who was that guy…
P- The Menendez brothers.
V- The Menendez story?
P- Naw, you did, you did, come on, you did Romy and Michelle. You did some good stuff, good stuff. I’ve watched you act.
V- Yeah, Mira Sorvino was better.
P- That’s true. Did you have to kiss her?
P- You made out with her.
M- How was that?
P- She’s genius. She’s wonderful. I love Mira Sorvino.
V- She’s pretty great.
P- So go back to what you were saying. I was the best…
P- Take it back?
V- Oh you know, this is what it was. This is why I think Paul made good actors of the people around him. He didn’t say what was in the script, so you really had to listen…you really had to listen because, you know, the shitty thing about acting is you know what’s going to happen and really the whole, the whole pretend is you have to pretend you don’t know what’s going to happen. Right? And with Paul, you really didn’t know what was going to happen. So all of a sudden, I think, I think it makes it more active. Like, watch, we’ll do it right now. Let’s play a scene…
M- You’ve been doing it.
P- Well, no, now it’s improvisation. You know, unless you have a page.
V- *crickets* Ok, but let’s say the line is, uh…
P- Yeah, set up the line.
V- We, uh, we have to have a page so we can ignore it?
P- Just give us a page, exactly.
V- All right, there’s a page…uh…um…ok, here’s the page. Three guys sitting in a, in a…
V- A couch, outside of a dentist…dentist…
P- It’s a waiting room
V- A waiting room! We’re all…we’re all getting our teeth cleaned.
V- And, uh…and uh… *crickets again*
P- We don’t do a lot of sketch comedy.
V- Jesus, that’s…
P- It’s hard.
M- Why don’t we come back to that.
V- Cut! *Paul breaks up*
V- Those guys are good.
P- They are so good.
M- We’ll come back to this.
P- Those English guys. Whose line is it anyway?
V- Not mine!
M- The Catevari.
V- It was a really good script. Matt Greenberg wrote it. Um…the actor who played the Catevari…um *Paul starts making claw hands in front of his face and growling, which makes Vince giggle* Dude, you got him. There was a scene where I had to walk in…we both did! We both walked in and he has the Official and…
P- What did he do? What did he say? *Vince falls over laughing and Paul just grins, watching*
V- *Makes a dramatic turn, back toward Paul, and does something equally dramatic with his fingers.* *No, not like that. Get your minds out of the gutter.* *Are we back on track here? Good.* *They’re both cracking up, btw.*
P- What’d he say?
V- He goes *dramatic sweep again* I am…the Catevari! *dramatic voice to match the finger gesture* Something like that, right? And Paul and I were like, holy shit. *facepalm from Vince, more dramatic claws from Paul* We went time out. So we ran over to the director, Ian, who’s really good…why didn’t they bring him back?
P- An Aussie..
V- I think he was from England. It’s confusing.
P- No, there’s a big difference between England and Australia.
V- Oh, yeah.
P- Don’t be one of those people who confuse the two.
V- I would never be, but, but, we were like I think maybe he should, like, bring it down a little bit. And he’s like no, no, it’s great. And ‘m like “you sure? Ok.” So he did it again and…
P- That was very good. How’d you do that?
V- *silly dramatic gesture and much giggling from Paul and Vince.* He did this whole, like, fanfare thing. His wind up. And, and you know, we were right. The network came back and said “tone that guy down.” He had white make up on and it was…eh…
M- I actually didn’t like the script as much.
V- I did.
M- I thought it was a little too along the lines of X-Files.
V- See, I never watched X-Files.
M- Yeah, see, to me it was kinds like the Monster of the Week thing. I was a little disappointed and it was still a good episode. And also the way they introduced the Keeper. With this thing, like, where he says to you, “Man, doesn’t it suck having a Keeper? You know, does she pull that crap on you?” To me it was…they had…you had, you had just met her. So, um…you know what I mean? We shouldn’t like…
*more crickets. Damn crickets. I see what he’s saying, though. Too much too soon with the Keep. We barely know her, but I guess the Catevari didn’t know that, right? Anyway…*
P- Lips have become hypoxic blue.
V- *says something in a dopy voice, but I can’t understand him* Remember that?
P- Yeah, yeah that scene.
P- Hypoxic blue. Remember that line?
V- Yeah, but it was in the stage directions. You were like, “I think I should say hypoxic blue.”
P- That’s right. They wrote this wonderful line in the stage directions. Remember that?
V- Yeah, I remember. And Matt was…
P- And I said, “What a great idea to say the words.”
M- You guys remember the table readings we had? The first three episodes we had table readings?
V- Food was good.
P- Food was great.
M- And they didn’t have any money, so what they did was, they cast basically the top three or four guest stars from LA, and everybody else is from San Diego. So they’d have these table reads and it was the funniest thing, because they couldn’t afford to bring down the guest stars, so they’d have the leads, and then all these people who had, like, one line. And they sat there the whole time, until, like “Yes, doctor.” That’s, that’s all they had *Paul breaks up, and Vince is grinning.* And this one girl, she had that, she had “Yes, doctor.” And we skipped over it. Which was so sad.
V- She came all the way…
M- Sat through the whole day, the whole time, and they’re like “oh, sorry, we forgot your line. Go ahead and say it.” “Yes, doctor.” And it was just…I mean…the only reason I remember it was it was basically me, I had like three or four lines in the first episodes anyway.
V- *to Paul, who has been looking ashamed ever since Mike started his story* You read her line.
M- Yeah, I think you just kept on going, and, yeah…
P- Oh, I see…what did I do?
M- You read her line.
P- What...I was sitting there, eating.
M- Let’s talk about Ralph.
M- Ralph, Ralph is the one.
V- Do you have a tissue?
V- Ralph is so great. Ralph was a great script. Craig Silversteen’s first…
P- First script.
V- First script he’s ever written.
P- And the show then changed. In fact I’ve talked to people who said it was “Ralph” that sort of gripped them into the show.
M- After “The Catevari” I read, I was kinda, well, you know…Ralph was just amazing, because it opened up all these other avenues. It showed you what you could do with being invisible. It was such a new, fresh take, and it was sensitive and it was beautiful, and the girl was great.
V- Ah, she was. That girl was great. What was her name, Landry?
(we’re watching the face painting scene while the guys talk in the back ground, now)
V- Was it?
P- Yeah. She’s just done a big movie.
V- She was good.
P- She’s a bigger star than all of us.
V- Yeah, but that really flashed. I mean, we saw the potential of what the show could be and we saw that the show could switch gears and be much more emotional than I knew the show could have been.
M- Yeah, to be honest, I think it really solidified us with the fans, and also the female fan base which became very fervent for it. I mean, they loved you after that, Vince. They loved you. I mean, if they liked you in the pilot, they, you were the sensitive guy, you know.
M- You know, likes the kids, just needs a good girl to keep him honest.
*Mike, honey, have you ever met one of us? Not so much with the wanting to keep him honest. Really. Naked, maybe…*
V- It was such an easy script, you know. The better the script, the easier it is.
P- It just was good, and now, what’s his name, Adam Nimoy directed that.
M- Adam Nimoy did direct it, yeah.
P- Who is, um, Leonard Nimoy’s son.
(and the paint comes off. Except for that little bit on the end of his nose. *sigh*)
M- In Ralph, I had this whole big thing where I’m briefing you guys with all this stuff and they cut it down to, like, three lines for the whole episode.
P- Oh, yeah. I remember that huge thing. I had this whole monologue I worked on.
V- We worked on.
V- About the sniper.
P- About my whole, being a sharpshooter.
V- It was great.
V- They cut all that.
M- Cut it, yeah.
P- And we were shooting it as the sun was coming down on the walk and talk, we were trying to make it happen, and we got it and they cut the whole…they cut the whole thing.
V- I remember that. That was an education.
P- It was a big education. I have to admit. It was after the second or third episode.
M- The second episode.
P- I had never realized, you know, how quick stuff could be cut. And I worked my ass off on this piece, this monologue.
V- I remember. It was good. I remember, you got to define what it was like to be a sniper, right, you explain to me, to show what a bad-ass Bobby Hobbes was.
P-Right, but then something had happened, in my past that…something had happened, whatever, it sort of told, foretold something, I don’t know.
V- No, you…
P- It was a good piece. Craig wrote it. He wrote a great episode. And then ‘Crack Bang’ was in there.
M- ‘Crack Bang’, yeah, I was just going to say that.
P- Brilliant. It was so cool that he came on board. It was really good writing.
P- I just remember it being so dark and gloomy. We were doing the one with the dreams, with the old man with the beard.
M- Impetus, was that right?
M- Perchance to Dream?
V- *he’s got nothing*
P- Oh, he was funny.
V- Oh, shit. *drawing a complete blank, here* What was that?
P- No, uh…
V- God, the guy, the guy with the white eyes.
M- Oh, oh, Tiresias.
P- That was, like, the second episode.
M- Yeah, yeah. *ahem…fourth…*
V- The network hated it. They sent down the network officials.
P- They hated it.
V- I remember, we were shooting there. They hated it.
M- Did they really.
V- They thought it was terrible, yeah. because, because the director wasn’t moving the camera and they wanted the camera moving. It was so weird. Invisible Man survived sort of in spite of…
V- In spite of, yeah, and really what kept it afloat was the cast and, and you know… We didn’t know, we didn’t know there were any problems. Didn’t know there was a problem with the executive producer, and Matt even leaving, we thought, well, we’ll keep going and we sort of had this blind faith and it sort of paid off, a little bit.
(Cut to the end of Tiresias, with Scarborough in the jail cell and Darien pacing outside. Interesting shot. I never realized until now that it looks like Darien is the one in the cell. Nice bit of symbolism, there. He is a prisoner of his new fate.)
V- We loved it. Remember that? They hated it.
M- The hot donuts.
V- I watched it, thought it was great.
P- “Hot donuts.” *bobbyhobbes!*
V- I was so genuinely, sort of, impressed with the shows. And it was, creatively, it was very nice because for the first time, we didn’t have a lot of input and the show hadn’t aired yet and we could really evaluate them for ourselves. I was really proud of what we were doing. And then, like, that show came out and they were like, “We hate it.” I watched it and was like, “Why, it’s great?” So then I grabbed the tape and said, “Let’s watch it.”
P- And you liked it?
V- And Paul’s like, I think it’s great.
P- We liked it.
M- It was a little darker.
P- *the lights come on* Oh yeah, I remember watching it with you.
V- It was great.
P- And I was watching sort of all that crazy stuff with the rear view mirror.
P- You were, you were like…flashing. You were getting these flashes.
V- And they didn’t like, they didn’t like the director.
P- I loved that.
V- He kinda came in and changed the style, but I thought that the show lent itself for a director to come in and try some new styles, and I thought he did but they didn’t and… It’s hard, it’s hard to do a TV show, because there’s a lot of people…
P- Lot of opinions.
V- Putting, yes, putting their opinions in.
P- And it was, ultimately, they’re the show runners and we’re, in television, you’re pretty much hired hands as actors. You do your thing. But there was sort of so many cooks, and people taking over, and it was just sort of a hodge-podge at the beginning.
V- But we just kept going. Well, actually we stopped after Tiresias, right?
M- We’ll talk about Impetus.
V- Shannon is great. Shannon… got naked, up in her bedroom…Darien was watching…*Mike and Paul are riveted.* Yeah, it was good.
P- Was it hot?
V- Don’t I get old in that one?
M- That’s the one where you get old, yeah.
P- Oh, my god. You turned into Dustin Hoffman in ‘Little Big Man’. *This breaks Mike up, followed shortly thereafter by Vince, who facepalms* That’s what I always thought about.
V- I was hoping to be Henry Fonda in ‘Grapes of Wrath’.
P- ‘Grapes of Wrath?’ Yeah, but did Henry age to an old man in ‘Grapes of Wrath?’
P- Little Big Man becomes a hundred and twenty. Hoffman does, at the end.
P- Do you not know that movie?
V- mmm…nah. Was it good?
P- Ah, you look, you were doing Hoffman. It was brilliant.
P- And it got a little southern for some reason.
V- I was trying for a little Jimmy Stewart. Oh, Claire. *Vince’s Jimmy Stewart is so much worse than Paul’s Brando impression.* Shit, I gotta watch these.
P- It was great. You turned old. Freaked me out. I had to look at you. I think I was in a scene where you got old.
V- That’s the one where you were in the Haz-Mat suit, running. *giggly schoolgirl time again* You remember.
P- Yes. And it was with that old lady.
V- It was the old lady, you remember? You were scared of her.
P- She freaked me out, this broad. We’re in make up and I just, I said “Hello, welcome to the set.” And she just…staring straight ahead, straight at the mirror. And I was like *looking at her* “Hi...I play Bobby on the show. And you are…?” *mimes old lady looking prissy, staring at the make up mirror and ignoring him* “My name is (something garbled and bitchy).” And I’m like oh my god, she was like, she was in her character, working.
V- Oh, that’s too bad.
P- I was all right, I’ll give her that. I don’t want to bother her. She’s preparing for her…but even on the set she was like *priss*. I really think she thought she should have been, like…
V- Greta Garbo?
M- Let’s talk about Separation Anxiety.
V- That’s the one. That was Brock. That’s where, that’s where we had the little problem.
M- That one was all about Bobby. BobbyHobbes.
*the migration continues. Vince is now sitting hip to hip with Paul*
V- That was a..
P- That was…
V- That was a dark, dark, dark moment.
P- I enjoyed it so much. That one scene. God, I enjoyed doing that one.
P- Vinnie, go ahead, ask her ask her!
V- He wants to know…whatever…
P- I enjoyed that.
“The Other Invisible Man”
M- Let’s talk about “The Other Invisible Man”, then.
V- God, who wrote that?
M- That was Craig. One of Craig’s scripts.
V- Geez, that was good.
M- It was Craig and, um, Josh Butler. I thought that was probably one of the best ones we had of the first season. I mean with everything…that and Ralph, I think, were our two best ones of the first season. Great camera moments, and I remember it was the most I had to do up to that point, and I was a little nervous, and I get to be kinda the hero at the end. I get to, you know, shock you and I remember there was this one shot where I’m saying something like “I think it might be someone else. I think it might be Simon Cole.” And there was this long shot way over there in the Keep, and it pushes in *whirring noise* real close on to me. It was a long shot, pushed it like to right here *right in front of his face* and I was nervous as hell, and all you guys had taken off. And then you *Vince* came back and you said, “Mike, you want me to give you that line?” and I said, “Yeah, that’d be okay.” It’s what they use for the second season, you know, for my credits.
M- So I just always remember that.
P- *whirring noise*
V- What was it, what was the scene?
M- It was right in the beginning where we’re saying “Write your name, write your name on this thing” and we’re saying you did this, you did that, and then from over the angle I said “I think it might be someone else”
(We cut to the scene and lines in question, and yes it looks pretty cool)
V- I remember that.
M- That was a great episode. It was great for you *Vince* to play someone else for the first time, um…
P- Was that where you played your brother? *yes, folks, Paul has completely tuned out*
M- No, that’s the one where he played Simon Cole.
M- And you guys went back to the old lab, remember that?
V- Yeah, that was great. Josh did a great job.
M- Josh had great camera angles and…
P- Oh…you were Simon Cole.
P- Who was also invisible.
V- He was the first invisible man, right?
M- Right, right.
V- Interesting, it was interesting.
P- Craig was brilliant.
M- And we had that great shot where three of us are holding you down as, as…
P- As we’re sticking him? *Mike and Paul are both miming a neck injection. Vince is watching and looking a little disturbed. Or possible bored.* She’s stickin’ him. And the show was, sort of overhead, over the shoulder shot.
M- Over the shoulder. Great shot.
P- And the episode ended on that, right, we sort of came up…
V- No, the episode ended with that great scene where you guys all walk in and I say…and the Official says something like “you know whatever happened to Simon Cole is not going to happen to you.” Or something like that. And I’m like “I’m not worried about that. I’ve got something Simon Cole…”
P- I have my friends.
V- I have something Simon Cole never had.
M- Right, right.
V- And then I walk out and you go…
P- What’d he mean by that?
V- What’s he mean? And then the Keeper says, “He has us.”
M- Yeah, that was a great, great way of doing that.
V- Gimmie a hug, would you? *goes to put his arm around Paul, but stops half way*
P- What, now? *to Mike* Ok, let’s keep punching? *he’s looking a little tired and cranky, but he turns back to Vince and says* Did you really want a hug?
(Cut to the scene in question. Such a nice moment.)
*for some reason Paul and Vince have swapped places on the couch*
P- We weathered some storms down there, didn’t we?
V- Yeah we did. Yes.
P- We worked through a strike, didn’t we?
V- I went to a therapist the other day and I talked about everything that’s been going on in the last year and it’s not until you’ve gone back and over it, like we’ve done tonight, that you realize we did. There’s a lot of stuff the show went through, that we had to overcome, and in spite of all of it we, I remember we…I think you were sort of alluding to it earlier that we were sort of doing the show and the fans really sort of took to it, and then all of a sudden there was someone to make the show for. And that was cool. You’re right, it was sort of in between doing a play and a big TV show, sort of a niche, sort of cult following that really their encouragement, and their love for it was sort of contagious and it filtered down to us and all of a sudden we were invested in it more.
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Damn, but my hands are tired.
Love you guys!