ABC’s new show “Motive” focuses not on who committed each crime, but why the crime took place. The killer and victim are identified at the start of each episode, leaving viewers with a twist on the typical who done it type of show.
I was able to talk with actor Brendan Penny who plays Detective Brian Lucas. His character is a young and eager officer fresh out of working in financial crimes looking to make a name for himself.
Brendan gave me some insight into “Motive” and how he prepared for this role.
Brendan Penny: The best way to describe ABC’s new show “Motive” is, it is a whodunit. Right away you see get to see who the killer and the victim is, so the whole show is figuring out how they are connected, and what was the motive for the crime.
I play Detective Brian Lucas. He is a young, ambitious man, fresh out of financial crimes, looking to get his feet under him as a new homicide detective. He is a very “good” person with good morals, and has many quirks.
AE: The show is produced by the same people who worked on “Dexter” and “The Mentalist.” Do you see any influence from those shows on “Motive?”
BP: The similarities between “Dexter” and “The Mentalist” with “Motive” that stand out for me is that it is very suspenseful writing with great detail. I am a big fan of both those shows.
AE: Your character is an up-and-comer looking to learn from his colleagues? How did you try to portray that in your character?
BP: As for preparation for this role, it was really nice to have a meeting with the writers and get a good sense of what they thought about the character. To be honest, it was really right on the page and I just connected with him and the dialogue.
I was lucky enough that the writers and producers really gave me the freedom to make Lucas different from the other detectives in our group. I did more in depth analysis of the character than anything else.
AE: Did you talk to any police detectives before you guys starting shooting the series to get some perspective on your character?
BP: We did meet with some detectives who work for VPD. It was very informative and they were very open to discuss everything from day to day procedures to handling working in such intense environment. They were really nice people
AE: The show identifies the killer and victim in the start of each episode. Usually that is not the case with these types of shows. Does that put any pressure on you and the rest of the cast to keep the audience involved in the show?
BP: I don’t think it adds any pressure at all to keep people involved. I believe that the way the show is set up, you are instantly sucked in, and so you want to see the next scene. You just have that feeling like you have to.
AE: You work with a very talented crew. How is it to work with actors like Lauren Holly, Kristin Lehman, and Louis Ferreira?
BP: Working with Louis, Lauren and Kristin is a privilege. Louis is one of the funniest people around, and Lauren is an absolute treat. Did I mention she is in my favorite movie of all time, “Beautiful Girls?” So I was pretty pumped to work with her.
AE: Have you gotten any feedback so far from fans of the show?
BP: We have gotten some great feedback from the show, which is always nice. Also, we got picked up for a second season, so that speaks volumes in its own.
AE: I also read that you are filming a movie called “The Virginian.” Can you talk about that movie at all?
BP: “The Virginian” is a movie that I just shot with Trace Adkins, Victoria Pratt and Ron Pearlman. It is an old style western about murder, deceit and love. It was an absolute blast, and the cast was terrific to work with.
Celebrate July 4th all summer long with the new Patriot Pack by Reebok Classic.
With six Classic models to choose from including the Pump Twilight Zone, Question Low, Ex-o-fit, Phase One, Workout Mid and Workout Mid Plus, this seasonal pack lets you rock your own red, white and blue style.
The Patriot Pack bursts into stores this Friday, June 28th at key retailers Foot Locker, Finish Line, Champs, Expressions, DTLR, Shoe City, and Reebok.com.
Pricing (from L-R in above image):
Phase 1 – $75
Workout Plus -$70
Workout Mid – $75
Ex-o-Fit Plus Hi – $75
Pump Twilight Zone – $125
Question Low – $125
Benjamin Charles Watson recently joined the cast of AMC’s “The Killing.” Watson plays the character of ‘Rayna,’ an outspoken cross-dresser who longs to be loved and accepted for who he really is. He co-stars with actors Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman.
You might have seen Ben in the short lived, CW series “The L.A. Complex” that aired last year. He played the role of Tariq. Ben’s film credits include a lead role in “The Limits” and the short film “Pooka.” His other television credits include SyFy’s “Warehouse 13″ and the TV movie for CBS “Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost.”
Watson was nice enough to answer my questions about his new role on “The Killing” and his past TV experiences.
Art Eddy: You joined the cast of AMC’s “The Killing” this season. Tell me about your role and what your character brings to the show?
Benjamin Watson: I play ‘Rayna’ on this season’s “The Killing”. She’s an outrageous, full-of-life, transgendered teen trying to find acceptance and love in her world. What Rayna brings to the show is vital because she sees something she isn’t supposed to see, and ultimately could put her street credibility in jeopardy.
AE: Were you a fan of the show before landing the role of Rayna?
BW: Absolutely! I was a huge, huge fan of the show!! The writing is spectacular, I loved the clever bravado of the characters, and not to mention the story itself, plus the outcome of season two had me in tears.
AE: What type of research and preparation did you do this role?
BW: I read a ton of books and online journals to understand the psychological mindset of someone coping with being the wrong gender. I also watched several YouTube videos of individuals going through the same changes. They talked about the journey and how they were discriminated against, which was very important because Rayna had been hugely discriminated against and abused by her stepfather.
And let’s not forget that I had to walk in a lot of high heels, so that preparation resulted in lots of ice packs and soaking of my feet!
AE: How was it to build up a chemistry with the cast of “The Killing?”
BW: I found building a chemistry to be pretty easy, because being a part of the street kids felt like we were a family. We would also hang out and have dinner and movie nights together, which helped our bond show through naturally on screen.
Mireille and Joel are such talented and amazing actors, and actually make you feel as if you’re a part of the family. So from that aspect, it was like working with amazing old friends.
BW: Everyone so far has said that they didn’t recognize me and that this character is so different from what they have known me to play. But so far all positive responses!
AE: You starred as Tariq Muhammad in the TV series “L.A. Complex.” Was that your first show as a regular cast member and if so what was that experience like?
BW: Yes, it was my first time being a series regular, and the experience was terrifying but also incredibly amazing and stimulating. It gave me the opportunity to grow with my character over a longer, sustained amount of time, and I understood and felt so much of Tariq and his desire to find love. It was truly a remarkable experience!
AE: Do you still stay in touch with the cast of “L.A. Complex?”
BW: When opportunity presents itself I do keep in touch, but with schedules and being in different cities it gets complicated.
AE: You also were on the SyFy’s “Warehouse 13″ which has a geek cult type following. What do you remember about doing that show?
BW: Wow!! I remember getting on set in downtown Toronto where we were transported to “Egypt” and I was simply amazed!
AE: Are you currently working on other projects?
BW: I’m currently working on a few of my own projects at the moment. I have been writing a script for the past 3 years that is close to my heart, and I’m getting closer to getting it on camera.
There have been colognes made for actors, athletes, and singers. Now there is a brand of cologne that is perfect for the fanboys. Stan Lee, who is a living legend in the comic book world, now has his own signature scent. He was the president and chairman of Marvel Comics. He was the genius behind characters such as Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, Thor, and many more.
Stan also makes a cameo in all of the latest Marvel Comic movies like “The Avengers” and “Iron Man.” For a guy who has been a comic book writer, editor, publisher, media producer, television host, actor, and voice actor it was about time he got himself a cologne. Lee teamed up with JADS International to create the perfect scent for Stan.
Stan Lee’s Signature Cologne is as sophisticated as “Smilin” Stan Lee himself. The fragrance is as adventurous as Stan’s superheroes, yet it can make you feel a bit villainous. Stan himself wanted it that way for his beloved fans.
“Fans know me best as someone who creates superhero characters and stories for comics, movies, TV and the web, so this is a highly exciting step for me to expand into the cologne world as well,” said Stan Lee, Founder of POW! Entertainment. “Not only do I want fans to look sharp like their favorite superhero and their Generalissimo here, but I thought wouldn’t it be fun to offer them the chance to smell like one to whether they have a date or a rendezvous with an ally.”
It has Stan’s personal touch as it possesses crisp blends of bergamot, ginger, white pepper, basil, and violet layered in with accords of cedar, vetiver and musk. This enticing scent will make you a “True Believer”.
I spoke with JADS International CEO, Andrew Levine about working with Stan to create the cologne. He said, “We’re ‘true believers’ and deeply honored that the one and only Smilin’ Stan Lee teamed-up with JADS to help produce a signature cologne reflective of his talents, creativity and contributions to the awesome world of comics and superheroes.”
Andrew also told me that Stan was the one who approached him during a comic convention when they were showcasing the Avengers cologne line.
“Stan was very impressed with our products and wanted to get a scent of his own. He is a great guy and meant so much to the comic book world. We are happy to work with him every step of the way. The cologne smells great and more importantly Stan was happy with the end results.”
The scent was even put on display at the Philly Comic Con to see what fanboys and fangirls thought of Stan Lee’s cologne.
If you are looking for more comic book scents try the Avengers line. There is the Patriot which is the scent of Captain America. This is a cologne that pays homage to the confident, stand-up-to-bullies, hardworking average Joe in every man.
Next is the Mark VII, the scent of Iron Man, a resolutely sophisticated cologne forged from the sea, the sun, the earth, and a touch of devil-may-care whimsy. Transparent, aromatic, and modern in nature, Mark VII combines mandarin, neroli, nasturtium and jasmine layered with light patchouli to create a contemporary expression of “I don’t play well with others” confidence.
For those with a god complex you can try Worthy, the scent of Thor. This woody citrus cologne is a unique, meaningful combination of bergamot, frozen ginger and wheat grass blended with a hint of fresh natural grapefruit and layered deeply with aromatic cypress.
For those who have an angry side try out SMASH! This is the scent of the Hulk. Very unusual and rare materials have been brought together to create a woody aquatic cologne evoking both a serene sense of timeless freedom and a single-minded, unbridled passion for life.
This little beauty has become the centerpiece of my pocket downsizing movement. The high quality leather and practical design hit me right in the sweet spot of form and function. The CashStrap feature holds my money tight while the dual card pockets fit my essential plastic easily. Easily two thumbs up from the MANjr team.
“Under the Dome”, which premieres Monday, June 24 10:00 ET/PT on CBS, is based on Stephen King’s bestselling novel about a small town that is suddenly and inexplicably sealed off from the rest of the world by a massive transparent dome.
“Under the Dome” stars Mike Vogel, Rachelle Lefevre, Dean Norris, Natalie Martinez, Britt Robertson, Alexander Koch, Colin Ford, Nicholas Strong, Jolene Purdy and Aisha Hinds.
One of the producers and showrunner of this series is Neal Baer. Neal has helped to produce hit TV series such as “ER” and “Law and Order: SVU.” Not only did he make a name for himself in Hollywood, but he also received graduated from Harvard Medical School.
Art Eddy: “Under the Dome” is an adaptation of the 2009 Stephen King novel with the same name. Can you give me a brief synopsis of the series?
Neal Baer: Imagine living in some small town in the United States and one day inexplicably an invisible dome falls over your town. No one can get in and no one can get out. How would that change your life? That is the basis for the novel and the basis for our show.
We are trapped under the dome and life changes in ways that the citizens of Chester’s Mill never expected.
NB: No, I have never worked with him before. I’ve always been a huge fan of his work going all the way back to “Stand by Me,” “Carrie,” all these great books and short novellas that were made into films. It is really a thrill and honor to work with him.
He came to the set. We shoot in North Carolina for the first few episodes. That was really fun for everybody to see and meet him. He watches all of our episodes and reads our scripts. We chat with him about ideas. It has been really fun.
AE: Is there much difference to the show and your interpretation of the story compared to his novel?
NB: We really see the book as a stepping off place. It allows us to have this really unique format. We have the town of Chester’s Mill. We have a lot of the characters who appear in the book. We have the whole situation.
Then the television show can go week by week and explore in a different way than a novel can. What the lives of the characters are like through dialogue and behavior. Whereas a book is much more descriptive and tells of course what people are thinking.
There is a big difference between the two in that way. We are fortunate to be able to draw on many of the things that Stephen has in his book, but with his blessing we are able to go in other directions as well.
AE: Tell me about the process of casting for this series?
NB: We started casting in November. We cast Dean Norris from “Breaking Bad” as Big Jim Rennie. Rachelle Lefevre from “Twilight” as Julia and Mike Vogel, who was just recently on “Bates Motel” as Barbie.
We have some young actors Britt Robertson, Natalie Martinez, Colin Ford, and Nicholas Strong. A new actor, who literally came into audition for his first audition after college, a guy named Alexander Koch. We cast him as Junior. We cast him off his first audition for television, which really never happens. It must be Hollywood, you know. That is a Hollywood story.
We were so impressed with him. We just think that he is phenomenal. He was doing a lot of work in college and theatre. So he had a lot of training. It is really great to bring on someone who no one has ever seen before.
NB: There are a number of things that I think are fun about the show. One is that there are a lot of mysteries that we introduce in the first episode. We will give you hints and clues and take you through the mysteries and certainly solve a lot of them.
Then there is the mythology of the dome and what it means and what’s it about as our characters start to explore that. Then just the character elements of being in this hot house under the dome. It is very intense. Secrets that could have been easily kept where you could disappear or leave town. Now you are stuck and secrets start to leak out.
AE: I find it very fascinating on how you studied at Harvard Medical School to become a doctor and you have been the executive producer of hit shows like “ER” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” Can you tell me a bit about that journey?
NB: I am from Denver, Colorado. I used to go to movie as a kid. I would take a bus to go to downtown Denver to see movies. I thought I would end up being a doctor, but even before becoming a doctor I was a graduate student at Harvard in sociology. I started taking film making courses because I wasn’t really happy with sociology.
I fell in love with making documentaries. That led me to go to film school in California at the American Film Institute. That led me to start writing. The first show I wrote on was “China Beach.” I also did what was back then called an ABC Afterschool Special that I wrote and directed called “Private Affairs.” That was my first project.
I thought that was what I wanted to do, but I got cold feet when my son was born. I ended up going back to school to medical school at Harvard. When I was in my fourth year, my childhood friend, John Wells, hired me on “China Beach.” He then sent me the script for “ER.” He said ‘What do you think?’ I said it is like my life only it was outdated because Michael Crichton wrote it in 1969. This was 25 years later in 1994.
Stephen Spielberg owned it so he decided it would make a great TV show. John asked me to come back from Boston to work on it for a couple of months to bring some authenticity to it. I ended up staying seven years, but I finished my M.D. and I did residency at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles while I was on “ER” and part of the two years when I was on (“Law and Order) SVU.”
AE: I have always wondered while watching shows like “ER” if the medical jargon the actors are saying is really what a doctor would say. I read that you would help out shows like “ER” with that. Is that correct?
NB: I did the medical stories the first seven years. We always had two doctors on the set. So when Noah Wyle, George Clooney, Eriq La Salle or Anthony Edwards would sew up a wound it looked real. They actually learned how to suture on chicken parts. They would be sewing chicken pieces. Eriq and Noah got really into it. They were taught to make it look real by real emergency physicians who were always on the show from the very beginning.
AE: Speaking of the cast members of “ER.” I heard that George Clooney is known to perform pranks on some film sets. Did he ever do anything like that on “ER?”
NB: Oh yeah! He once took a latex glove and filled it with lubricant. Julianna Margulies had to put the glove on in the scene. It was amazing to see her expression when she grabs the glove and slides her hand in it. She was like, ‘Oh my God.’ That was one of the many things that George did.
To hear the entire interview click here!
Have you ever taken a picture on your phone and couldn’t believe how great it turned out? These days some of us take pictures with our phone over a camera. If you ever wanted to immortalize a picture on your phone well there is an app for your iPhone and now your Android device.
Pixuru, a smartphone-to-wall art app, allows users to send photos from their phones to Pixuru’s printing facility, choose the type and size of print, and receive the order within a week.
The app is extremely user-friendly. Simply take a picture or choose one from Instagram or Facebook and the app guides you through the rest of the process, simulating size and style on a wall background. Once users select the size and style of their wall art, they are led to a simple checkout process. The app will remember a user’s information to streamline the process for subsequent orders.
There are four different types of wall art to choose from: canvas, metal, wood and framed. With the canvas, metal, or wood materials, you have the option of splitting one image into a three or four-panel split from one image. Each print is inspected before going out to ensure the professional quality Pixuru guarantees.
Pixuru has a patent-pending printing process and technology that can produce large prints while keeping the integrity of the picture. Pixuru produces professional quality wall art at consumer prices. The smallest print, a 6”x6”, is $20 and a 16”x20” is $55, all with free shipping.
I always wondered what would happen if a fan got to grabby with a performer during a concert. I now know what Rihanna would do in that situation.
During her stop in Birmingham, England on her worldwide tour a fan clung on too long for Rihanna’s taste. While singing “We Found Love” she was prancing around the stage and went into the crowd.
As she was giving high fives to her fans one member of the audience grabbed onto RiRi’s hand. As a result she hit him with her microphone. So next time you go to a concert don’t mess with Rihanna. Here are a few videos from people in the audience.
‘The Third Date’, Written by Deborah Gross, Directed by Doug Hannah, is a funny and original one act play featuring Peter Cilella (Evan) and Megan Raye Manzi (Allie). The likable pair meet at Evan’s apartment for their infamous third date, filled with nerves and expectations for the night. The expected awkward banter is interrupted by the appearances of Barrie (Rebecca Mader) and Helmer (Antonio Alvarez). These ghosts of relationships past proceed to charm, distract and antagonize our young would-be lovers from each other’s arms while their fears and neuroses are revealed to each other and the audience.
Megan Raye Manzi and Peter Cilella do good work as Allie and Evan, portraying the clumsy early moments of a relationship without becoming caricatures. Rebecca Mader plays Barrie with enthusiasm, giving “the hot exotic ex girlfriend” character both charm and humor. Antonio Alvarez, who stepped in for Chris Wylde on our night, was convincing and likable as Helmer. Both Barrie and Helmer were written and played as likable yet pompous, finding camaraderie with their ‘competition’ while also sabotaging their efforts from within.
At 40 minutes, this well written and subtly directed piece deserved it’s full and raucous house. The one act satisfies it’s mission and leaves you entertained and amused.
Pete Holmes is a very funny comedian and he is being rewarded for that fact as he will have a show on TBS right after the Conan O’Brien show. The show will launch in the Fall of this year. The new show will be produced by Conan O’Brien’s Conaco production company. It will follow Conan’s schedule with shows airing Mondays through Thursdays. If you can’t wait until the Fall, well Holmes has an outstanding podcast called “You Made It Weird” on the Nerdist Podcast Network.
Pete has studied and performed at Chicago’s Improv Olympic and Playground theaters, as well as Boston’s Improv Asylum Theater and New York City’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.
He is also known for his voice of the e*trade baby. One of my personal favorites from him is his Batman parodies on the website CollegeHumor. Pete was named one of Variety’s Top Ten Comics to Watch in 2011. If that is not enough Pete also draws cartoons for “The New Yorker”, and has written for shows such as NBC’s “Outsourced” and FOX’s “I Hate My Teenage Daughter.”
Last month he released his DVD “Nice Try, The Devil.” In his first hour-long special on Comedy Central, Pete does a phenomenal job as he displays his signature brand of comedy. His skits on Pierce and Juan, Good Time McDonald’s, Atlanta, Dropped a Dog, and Gay for Gosling are superb.
Me and my boys from the Masters of None Podcast show had the pleasure to talk to Pete. We talked about his new show, drinking wine on stage, and why his show is perfect to follow after Conan. He even helped us out with our show topic on the worst fictional dads of all time. To listen to the show click here.