Tag Archives: “Friday Night Lights”

Saying Goodbye to ‘Friday Night Lights’ Hard on Kyle Chandler

Kyle Chandler NBC photo

Kyle Chandler admits that saying goodbye to “Friday Night Lights” has been “very difficult.” 

The actor who – finally – garnered a long-deserved Emmy nomination for his portrayal of high school football coach Eric Taylor says, “It was a rough few weeks.  We went from shooting Episode 12, which I directed, right into the final episode and, regardless of how enjoyable, it was a lot of work.  So it wasn’t until a few days later that I caught my breath and realized, ‘That stage of my life is done.’  I’m sad to see it go.  It was the happiest five years of my life.”

Of the cast and crew wrap party, he says, “I don’t like saying goodbye.  I don’t like wrap parties for that reason.  But none of that really hit me at the time.  I was by myself when all the emotions and thoughts all came up at once.”

Chandler certainly does have something to look forward to, however:  the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards Aug. 29.  He’s in the running for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series along with Jon Hamm, Michael C. Hall, Hugh Laurie, Bryan Cranston, and Matthew Fox. 

“I’m taking my two wives to the Emmys this year,” says the Texas-based actor with a laugh.  Referring to fellow Emmy nominee Connie Britton, he goes on, “Obviously, my TV wife will be there.  And my beautiful wife Kathryn and I will be coming to Los Angeles, seeing friends we haven’t seen in a white and be two adults in the city of Hollywood, living it up while the kids are at home kicking back.  Of course my wife has to be there.  The person you say goodnight to last is the one you want to say thank you to last.”

As for what he will do next, Chandler says, “Our two children are about to go to the state swimming competition and I’m going to be there and enjoy that.  I’m going to enjoy my horses and I’m going to relax.  Whatever happens with the Emmy, the show was a great experience.”

Asked to name a stand-out moment for him, Chandler is quick to respond.  “I think one memory I’ll always take with me is the very final scene.  Connie and I had to literally go outside this restaurant and do a scene in the parking lot.  When they yelled ‘Cut!’ that was the last one.  The whole crew and the other actors were all out there, and everyone was applauding.”

Out With the Old, In With the New for Adrianne Palicki

Adrianne Palicki

Talk about out with the old, in with the new!  In the last few days, Adrianne Palicki has 1) played her final scene as Tyra Colette on “Friday Night Lights,” 2) joined in a cast and crew wrap party for the acclaimed show, and 3) flown to Dallas in time to begin production on her new series – Fox’s “Lone Star” – this week.

Adrianne tells us she’s glad for the immediate turn-around between the series.  It keeps her from getting too down about saying goodbye to a show and cast she’s loved.  According to her, creator Peter Berg and all of the original cast members of “Friday Night Lights” planned to be on hand for the farewell gathering, which she anticipated as “a good occasion for all of us.  It was such a beautiful thing to be a part of.”

Another series was hardly on top of her wish list when she first heard of “Lone Star,” she admits.  “I’d had such an amazing experience on ‘Friday Night Lights,’ I couldn’t imagine something else coming along of that level.  I was thinking about a movie, which would only be a three-month commitment.”  Then her reps asked her to read “Lone Star,” in which James Wolk plays a con man who has set up two different false lives for himself, including a rich fiancée (Palicki) in Dallas and an everyday home town girl wife (Eloise Mumford) in Midland.

“The character I would normally play is the girl from the wrong side of the tracks, so when they said Cat (the rich girl), I thought I’d love to play someone so different from anything I’ve done before.”  Meeting Wolk sealed the deal, she says.  “You have to have the right actor to play Bob, or the show can’t work.  He’s perfect.”

And there’s a side benefit – fashion.

“Oh, my God!  Even in the pilot alone!  I’ve never worn Manolos in my life and now I have three pairs in the wardrobe.  Amazing Versace and Valentino.  I thought, ‘Why didn’t I put it in my contract that I want to keep the clothes?’  I usually wear jeans, so kind of getting dressed up every day is really fun.”  Maybe she’ll take to it and we’ll be seeing her with a $40,000 handbag soon?  She laughs.  “Not unless it’s a rental.”

SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW:  Mark Olson, whose “Many Colored Kite” album is getting released today, says he’s wide open when it comes to doing more reunion shows with his former band, the revered alt-country group The Jayhawks.  They’ve already done three such shows this summer, and “We’ll see what’s going to happen,” he says.

Right now, he’s busy with his own cross-country U.S. tour for the folky, lovely “Kite” – with appearances from Santa Monica to Brooklyn and numerous points in between lined up this summer in support of the Ryko Records album.  The 48-year-old Olson says, “I have to admit, when people think of musicians, they usually think of coming out of the gate by the time they’re 20 and doing their best work.  I’ve kind of gone up and down, up and down – and it feels like in the past four years, it’s finally all come together.”

Olson’s gone through personal travail including a marital breakup, and his last album, the acclaimed 2007 “Salvation Blues,” was soul-baring and plaintive.  The new album, with his girlfriend, Norwegian singer-musician Ingunn Ringvold, collaborating, has the sun coming out from behind those clouds of the past.

As far as touring, “We’ve done it before and I know we can do it, know the kind of places we’ll be playing.  Getting to play every night — as long as you get to travel under reasonable circumstances, it’s a lovely way to live,” says Olson, who lives in the California desert in Joshua Tree – and in Oslo, Norway.  He’ll return to Europe to tour in the fall.

‘Nights’ Duty a Challenge for Kyle Chandler

Kyle Chandler

Kyle Chandler NBC photo

Kyle Chandler reports he’s been shooting episodes one, two and three simultaneously for the fourth season of “Friday Night Lights” — and that it’s a challenge. 

All three episodes are set at night, “And shooting at night. can be demanding,” he observes and then explains, “Devastating things can happen to the human body when it’s faced with sleep deprivation. It’s like jet lag — one gets thrown off of schedule, especially when one gets up at six in the morning, as I do That’s when my wife and I start fixing breakfast for our daughters, and even if I wanted to sleep in, well, the noise from pots and pans would wake me up.” 

He’s not complaining, mind you. Even though, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, he asks us to believe, “If I had known how much work is involved with raising a family, I would have stayed single.” 

He says he and wife Katherine “make breakfast together, make sure our daughters Sydney and Sawyer, ages 8 and 13, are getting dressed, take turns driving the kids to school. Yep, if I had known about all this work I would have stayed single.” 

He goes on, “I look at those celebrity magazines and I’m jealous. There are pictures of late-night partying at nightclubs and I wonder who’s taking care of the kids. I’m boring compared to those people.” 

But the fact is, Kyle admits, “I wouldn’t trade anything for what I’ve got right now.  I appreciate everything in my life. Every time I turn on TV and see how difficult things are for some people, I’m just grateful for what I’ve got. I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone’s.” 

SHE’S GOT THE LOOK:  “Mad Men” actress Abigail Spencer is tight-lipped as to what’s in store for her teacher character on the acclaimed series, such as her response when we ask what it’s like to do a love scene with Jon Hamm:  “You’ll have to ask his girlfriend, Jennifer Westfeldt.”  She laughs.  But seriously, “Jon’s a wonderful actor, so in any capacity to work with Jon, it’s a wonderful experience, period.  Exclamation point.”

What the 28-year-old actress will say about her character is that because of her, costumer Janie Bryant is exploring an aspect the early 1960s that’s a far cry from glossy Madison Avenue style.  “What we are going to find is that this character is not like anyone you’ve seen on the show.  She’s going to provide a peek into where the ‘sixties are going to go – not necessarily in terms of feminism or Woodstock.  She’s a single woman, very simple in her lifestyle, definitely someone who would want to be a part of the Peace Corps and be for changing the world because of her heart.  What I’ve heard from Janie are things like, in terms of materials, ‘Oh, no. That’s too expensive for her.’  She’s someone who made a lot of her own clothing, wore hand-me-downs, probably only had one coat that she would constantly wear – as much a flower child as she could be in 1963.”

THE INSIDE TRACK:  David Gray, known for his smash hit “Babylon,” took a break from singing for a few years and has recently returned with a new album “Draw the Line.”  The English singer-songwriter, who is currently on tour in the U.S., tells us he needed that time off to gain a fresh perspective.  “You have to live a bit to have something to write about.  I try to find a balance.  There’s no balance now – for the next two years I’ll be giving my heart and soul to this.  I’ll hardly see my family.  I’ve taken the last few years to get to know them again,” says Gray.  “The whole promotional schedule is a lot more involved now.  It takes a lot out of you.  The time I spent slowing down was time well spent.  I’ve got a renewed appetite for everything so that’s what speaks volumes.” 

While it will be hard to match the success of his album “White Ladder,” Gray is equally as proud of his latest work and isn’t worried about how many copies he sells.  “Music is more important than it ever was.  It can be magical, but it seems to have lost its price completely, which is usually a result of gross stupidity of the industry.  It’s just up to me to do my thing, and I’ll let my business people worry about how we put it out there,” he says.  “Doing this album was like starting all over again really but with the knowledge we’ve amassed.  I think it’s got a different feel to it.  It’s a little bit more direct.  It’s like I’ve kicked the door down like some photographer taking snap shots of everything.  It allowed me to get a lot of stuff off my chest that I’d been waiting to say for a long time.”

 WRITE AND WRONG:  Famed wrestler Mick Foley has already written three memoirs in the last 10 years – all of which have been hugely popular.  While he enjoyed getting the chance to tell his story, he’s not sure if another autobiographical book is in his near future. “I might do another book.  I hope the next few years are interesting enough to write about.  It may be that three memoirs are enough,” says Foley with a laugh.  “As much as I’d like to write another novel, I’d really have to feel strongly about it because it takes up so many hours of time and as a father of four it’s tough to find that time.” 

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster

Derek Luke Talks ‘Trauma’s’ Gay Character

Derek Luke is surprised that word has already gotten out about a gay paramedic character being among the personalities on NBC’s soon-due “Trauma” series.  He says he doesn’t even know which character it will be.

Derek Luke and Kevin Rankin in "Trauma" (Photo By Mitchell Haaseth/NBC)

Derek Luke and Kevin Rankin in "Trauma" (Photo By Mitchell Haaseth/NBC)

Could it be Derek’s guy, Boone?  “Not that I know of,” says the actor, who’s playing a family man fraught with issues at work and home.

What he does know is, “As actors, we’re excited. We want the show to be sophisticated, not just surface and one-dimensional.  I appreciate getting a chance to see different ideas and beliefs, and the effect people have on each other.”

He wants to learn what is going to happen from the scripts alone.  “I keep telling them, ‘Wait.  I want to have my own reaction.’”  As far as the gay character’s reveal, “It’s supposed to be in the next couple of scripts.  I’ll have to find out who’s who.”

With a busy career in features – and credits ranging from “Antwone Fisher” and “Glory Road” to this year’s “Notorious” (as P. Diddy) and “Madea Goes to Jail” — Luke wasn’t in the market to do a series when “Trauma” came along.  Peter Berg, who directed him in “Friday Night Lights,” is, however, executive producer of the high-octane “Trauma” show about paramedics who are first responders at catastrophes.  That made all the difference.  Luke recalls that once he met with Berg, he found himself saying, “Dude, I for sure at first was convinced I was not going to do the show….’”

Berg “made me pretty comfortable.  You know what?  Pete is invested in this.  He didn’t steer me wrong in ‘Friday Night Lights.’  He totally had my attention.  And, you know, it’s Pete Berg’s style, no matter whether it’s TV or film — it translates.

“Me and my wife kind of deliberated, and I came to a verdict myself,” he says.

Now he’s happily pulling long, grueling days on the San Francisco-set show:  “I love my job.  I love my life!”

How many episodes have they done?  “I thought I shot 13 but I heard we only shot three,” he jokes.  “I feel like I shot a season already.  We’re starting number four.”

SOURCE OF INSPIRATION: Music is definitely on the front burner for 17-year-old Emily Osment – what with her new “All the Way Up” single out, a video on the way next week, an extended play version of the tune coming up in October, and her first album for Wind-up Records on the way.  Wind-up, Emily reminds, is the alt rock-heavy label of “Evanescence and Creed — so I have to keep up that rock image for them…I think I’ve started in a good way.”

Meanwhile, however, fans of her best-known character – Lilly Truscutt of “Hannah Montana” – would no doubt like some reassurance about her acting plans.

“We’re doing season four next year.  We’ll get back on our really cool soundstage,” she notes  Osment points out that she and Miley Cyrus and the rest of the young cast’s characters are being allowed to grow, “in a good way.  This time between seasons allows the writers to see what we’re going through – and then they can parallel it with stories on the show.  We give them a lot of good stuff,” she says.  Indeed.

TRYING ON A NEW HAT: Voice talent extraordinaire Carolyn Lawrence has performed characters ranging from Cindy Vortex of “Jimmy Neutron” to the so-taboo-even-Adult-Swim-banned-it “Moral Orel” – to Sandy Cheeks, the rootin’ tootin’ Texas-born squirrel buddy of “Spongebob Squarepants.”

Now she’s trying her hand at producing, with a project called “Monstroville.”  Lawrence reports that her in-the-works the animated flick is about “your basic hard-working family who happen to be ghouls and monsters.”  Her “Spongebob” castmate pals including Tom Kenny have already agreed to lend their voices to the indie.
MEANWHILE: The 2004 “Spongebob Squarepants” feature grossed $141 million on a $30 million budget.  So you’d think another “Spongebob” flick would be in the planning.  But it’s not.  “We wish,” Lawrence says of the cast’s feelings about a follow-up film.  “The problem is, because of the way we function, the same team of writers and animators did both the series and the movie – so when we did the production of the movie, we had to stop production of the TV show.  It gets kind of complicated.”

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster