This year TVW’s Matt Gannon published thirty interviews with talent from all of your favorite shows & films, detailing their favorite behind the scenes stories and what industry moments impacted them the most. From Anne with an E‘s Glenna Walters to One Day at a Time‘s Gloria Kellett, here are the pieces with the most views of the year, as well as Gannon’s picks.
TVW’s Matt Gannon spoke to Walters about her role on the beloved Netflix series ‘Anne with an E’. She highlighted the familial bond between the cast (especially star Amy Beth McNulty), her favorite memories from set, and her reaction to the fan movement to save the show after its cancellation.
“Anne with an E was actually Walters’ first-ever TV audition, and after all the buzz and excitement in getting the role, she did admit that she did have a bit of a tough time, especially in those first few days of production. ‘I had never been on a professional set. I didn’t know that I would have a trailer or what a craft truck was.’ It wasn’t until the second season that she really settled into that hectic world of filming.”
Newcomer Caleb Malis certainly made his mark in HBO series ‘The Plot Against America’, starring alongside Hollywood greats Winona Ryder and John Turturro. Less than two weeks after sending in an audition tape, Malis’s life was completely upended as he was launched into a high scale set.
“Malis admitted to being “absolutely terrified” of the accomplished people on set. Turturro would do his takes over and over, always trying to get the perfect performance, and Ryder shook Malis to his core when she asked for his phone number. He made it his ‘life’s mission’ to have a full conversation with David Simon, who he described as incredibly smart. Even though it was an intense production, everyone on set was really nice (even through misunderstandings and accidents like falling window frames).”
Netflix’s reboot of the beloved series ‘Lost in Space’ comes with space travel, robots, fights, and danger. Outside of the script, however, star Maxwell Jenkins has his own adventures, including his personal favorite: a snowmobile ride down a glacier for his very first on-set birthday. At just fifteen years old, the actor has had an incredible start to his career and plenty of behind the scenes stories.
“As a self-described nerd, it was ‘a dream come true’ for Maxwell to attend fan and press events to promote the show. Netflix went ‘all out’ for the first season’s press tour, sending the cast to cities like Dubai and Tokyo. Some of his favorite celebrity encounters at events like New York Comic-Con include KJ Apa and Milo Ventimiglia. For all the Gilmore Girls fans out there, yes, Maxwell is firmly Team Jess (which, in this writers’ opinion, is absolutely the correct team). However, he said that ‘the fan reaction is even better.’ While the cast and crew put in so much work, he emphasized that the fans are really the people who ‘make the show what it is,’ and getting to meet them and hear about all of their thoughts is the most gratifying part of the process.”
This year teen drama ‘Euphoria’ took the world by storm, creating a whole new wave of excitement about the series through music, makeup, and of course the anticipation for the bridge episode. HBO executive Kathleen McCaffrey details the process behind finding that beloved cast, Sam Levinson’s “bonkers” effects, and how they knew the ‘Euphoria’ team knew they had created something special.
“‘I admire his brain,’ McCaffrey said about Levinson. ‘He must be exhausted… Sam is an ideas man; he would sleep and wake up with this bonkers idea, like a rotating room, and we’d be like ‘Oh my god, this is so crazy.’’ However, one of Levinson’s talents was getting things done in an economic way. Some of his ideas of rotating rooms and elaborate sets sounded off-the-wall, and McCaffrey was admittedly a little nervous at first, but he never pitched anything he couldn’t reasonably support and create without breaking the bank. ‘There was a lot of rehearsal and a lot of: ‘Trust me, you’ll see.’ And we do.’”
After the immense success of their 2018 film ‘Searching’, Chaganty and Ohanian teamed up again to create Hulu’s thriller ‘Run’, working with star Sarah Paulson and newcomer Kiera Allen to make a film no one could forget. They explain the script writing process for a modern thriller not dependent on gore, plus influences from legends like Stephen King.
“As mentioned before, the more traditional Run may seem like an unexpected step after such a complicated debut, but that was exactly Chaganty’s intention. ‘I made something [in Searching] that was very complex and modern… I needed to prove to myself that I could make a normal movie.’ He’d seen other creators fall into routines of making the same projects multiple times. Once you’ve developed a reputation for making one type of film and that’s what people want and expect from you, it can be hard to deny that, so his main goal with Run was to avoid those easy pitfalls. ‘I didn’t want to be the filmmaker who was only put into this box of making tech stuff.’ Now that he has officially broken that mold and explored the world outside of the laptop screen, ‘it feels like there’s a whole other space of stuff that I feel like, on a purely personal level, I’m able to go out and tackle.’”
The past presidential term has brought about one of the most intense political landscapes America had ever experienced, with a growing divide between Democrats and Republicans. This never ending fight was perfectly encapsulated by over a thousand teen boys in Texas participating in the annual ‘Boys State’, participating in a mock government program voting on real legislative issues. In an overwhelmingly white and conservative sea, Bernie supporter Steven Garza defied all odds using passionate speeches and taking the high road.
“The most surreal part of Garza’s experience came with watching the doc for the first time at Sundance with his mother. ‘She cried a lot, and I cried a lot, and when we did the post Q&A, they passed the mic to me… I couldn’t get it out, what I wanted to say… All I got out was, ‘Hi, Mom.’ And the entire audience got up and gave her a standing ovation… It was the best day of my life… That’s forever. Whatever happens, there’s a film, and people can look at that a hundred years from now, and be like, ‘That kid really loved his mom.’”
Showrunner Gloria Kellett behind the beloved series ‘One Day at a Time’ has had the ride of a lifetime, from cancellations & rescues to working with the legendary Norman Lear. She shares her favorite behind the scenes stories, what’s coming next for her, and her hopes for the future of diversity in Hollywood.
“She… thought back to seeing Norman Lear watching the shooting and ‘being such a big fan of the show… We’d be doing a scene and he’d just whisper into my ear, ‘This is fucking fabulous.’ There’s things that happen where you’re like, ‘What is life? What is my life right now?’ Kellett admits to still being surprised about Lear in new ways every day, like when she discovered that he was a producer on The Princess Bride. ‘It’s amazing how many things I’ll constantly find out Norman had his fingers in [as] such a prolific producer.’”
January 29, 2020: Based on Roald Dahl’s children’s novel, a new version of Matilda will be coming soon to Netflix. The first Matilda movie came out in 1996 and was later adapted into an on-stage musical production.
July 31, 2020: The star from the comedy ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ has decided to star in a new series titled, ‘Killing It’.
January 28, 2020: The team behind Netflix’s popular horse TV series ‘Free Rein’ is ditching their saddles for skates for this upcoming drama.
“I was unconvinced by this show at first, feeling that a lot of the initial plot lines and character types were cliché and predictable. And don’t get me wrong: I was able to predict much of the first season’s main plot points before they happened. But this show, reminiscent of Juno’s quirky dialogue and characters and Carrie’s coming-of-age telekinetic powers and iconic gore, grew on me quickly and before I knew it, I had flown through the entire brief, 7-episode first season. The series ended very open-endedly, and though there’s already talk four days after the show premiered of a season 2, I’ll be waiting with bated breath to see if we get to find out what’s in store for this stellar series and lovable, colorful band of characters.” –Frankie Fanelli
“It’s no secret that TikTok has quickly become one of the largest social media platforms on the planet. Launching in 2017, the video-sharing app uses a democratic algorithm, meaning that the more users who interact with a video (liking, sharing, commenting), the more people that video is shown to. This has made it easier than ever for just about anyone to find internet fame and an exponentially growing follower count, and the industry is starting to take notice. With over 800-million users worldwide the pool of talent runs very deep and so, today, we at TV Wasteland would like to highlight our favorite users who we feel have the talent to make it in the industry.”
“I used to always say as a joke ‘I’m going to be famous when I grow up’ just because I’ve always wanted to be a professional dancer… or ‘I want to be Kylie Jenner’… but now, having a platform, it’s not what I expected. It’s been really great to dip my toe into the dance world after being in the Say So music video. Something I always wanted to do was be a professional dancer and then I got what it’s like to be a professional dancer.”
Haley Sharpe, @yodelinghaley
“TikTok, which is mostly known as a home for dancing and comedic content, has also provided a platform for Gen Z to organize Black Lives Matter protests, register voters, and even sabotage one of the President’s rallies. One teenager in particular, sixteen year old Aidan Kohn-Murphy (@politicaljew), works tirelessly producing educational (and funny) political videos. We sat down with the creator to talk about all things politics and what teenagers can do to participate in this year’s election.”
“I think a lot of politicians are going to start using it to engage the youth audience. I helped run Senator Ed Markey’s TikTok, who just won his primary, and he was the first Senator to have a TikTok. What we found out on Ed Markey TikTok is it’s a great resource to engage young people, which is such an underrepresented demographic.”
“I was immediately sold on Christina Applegate, Linda Cardellini, AND James Marsden all in one ensemble, and all living in my hometown; I flew through both seasons before I knew it and will most definitely be watching any more in the future. From start to finish, Dead To Me is witty, surprisingly poignant, and refreshingly relevant. The soundtrack keeps it lighthearted at the right times and adds the right touch of sentimentality where it’s needed.” –Alix Page
See you next year.