Tag Archives: Canadian Screen Awards

Interview: Andrea Martin previews Sunday’s Canadian Screen Awards

By Chis Jancelewicz

It’s only fitting that one of the most hilarious women to ever grace the Canadian small screen is hosting the annual gala to honour Canadian film and television. SCTV alum Andrea Martin is taking the mic this year to helm the 3rd Annual Canadian Screen Awards on March 1, and promises to bring the funny.

TV, Eh? sat down to chat with the comedic star about hosting the gig (while simultaneously being nominated for her comedy Meet the Engels).

It’s cold out there. What are you going to do if the temperature is like this on March 1?
Andrea Martin: [Laughs.] I’m going to be inside! Or … where WILL the red carpet be? It might be outside. Oh, it is outside. They probably have heaters, though. This IS Canada.

Is there a lot to be proud of this year in terms of Canadian entertainment?
I think it’s so varied! Usually, there’s a lot of French-Canadian films and talent, this year I think there’s more English-speaking films. There’s a nice balance, and a lot of new, young talent.

Have you ever been a host and been nominated at the same time?
I’ve been a host many times, and I’ve been nominated many times. [Laughs.] I’m trying to think! Not in the States, I’ve just won a lot there: two Tonys, two Emmys, a People’s Choice Award … but I’ve never hosted the shows.

Can you reveal any details or surprises about the show to us?
One thing that’s going to be very exciting is they’re putting together packages for each film and TV show, just in case people haven’t seen the productions. The Canadian public hasn’t necessarily seen the stuff up for awards, so they might not tune in if they’re not interested. This way people can be informed.

Is there anything new this year?
It’s not new since the ceremony is already three years old, but I think combining movies and television into one is an exciting, jam-packed evening. It seems there are a lot of actors from the United States included this year, some nice crossover as well.

The Canadian Screen Awards gala airs Sunday, March 1, at 8 p.m. on CBC.

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Canadian Screen Awards: Who should/Will win the TV categories?

It’s the glitziest week in Canadian television. The third annual Canadian Screen Awards consume the entire week in Toronto with a nominee cocktail party on Monday, two nights of industry awards on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Women Who Act with Patricia Rozema screening at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and a Fan Zone on Saturday at the Eaton Centre.

On Sunday, March 1, the two-hour live broadcast concludes the festivities by awarding the top TV and film categories.

With all of that in mind, the editors and contributors here at TV, Eh? have broken down the major television categories, ruminated the talent involved and given our picks for who should—and will—win a Canadian Screen Award.

Who weighed in: Diane Wild, Greg David, Emily Gagne and Chris Jancelewicz.

Best Dramatic Series
19-2
Continuum
Motive
Orphan Black
Remedy

Emily
Should win: 19-2. This show is a true standout in the overcrowded cop drama landscape, as it tackles issues often avoided, whether out of lack of interest, or fear of disturbing viewers. What’s more, it’s beautifully shot and features some truly stellar performances from its leads.

Will win: Orphan Black. The CSAs will want to do everything they can to get Tatiana Maslany on the show while she’s still one of the hottest things out there, right?

Diane
Should win: Orphan Black. It’s not a perfectly plotted show, but it’s entertaining as all get out and touches on social issues in the way only sci-fi can pull off without turning into a mini morality play. The much-lauded performances by Tatiana Maslany are rooted in the excellent characters built by the writers.
Will win: Orphan Black.

Chris
Should win: 19-2. Canadians are always thirsting for new, innovative TV dramas, and here it is right under our noses. While it deserves all the awards and accolades for its amazing cast, inventive cinematography and solid, tight writing, it unfortunately falls off the radar.
Will win: Orphan Black, of course. The most hyped show to come out of Canada (as a co-production) since the beginning of time, there is no doubt OB will take top honours — even though a certain episode from Season 2 signalled a potential meltdown to come in Season 3.

Greg
Should win: 19-2. I do love Orphan Black (which will likely walk away with the award), but Season 1 of 19-2 was far stronger than Season 2 of OB. From the unflinching storylines to the incredible ensemble performances (the show’s cast is nominated in the lead and supporting categories), 19-2 has been simply amazing.
Will win: Orphan Black. The Academy may pull a fast one and choose something else, but I doubt it.

callmefitz

Best Comedy Series
Call Me Fitz
Mr. D
Seed
Spun Out
Tiny Plastic Men

Emily
Should win: Call Me Fitz. This show, run by the awesome Sheri Elwood, was horribly underrated when it was on, which is a total shame because it was one of the funniest—and crudest!—Canadian comedies ever to hit TV. Since this was its last season, it deserves all the attention it can get.

Will win: Anything other than Spun Out, amiright? I mean, after that whole scandal….

Diane
Should win: Call Me Fitz has been one of my favourite Canadian shows since before it began airing. It’s insane in all the right ways.
Will win: Oh please let it be Call Me Fitz in the Academy’s last chance to honour the show again.

Chris
Should win: Call Me Fitz. Creative, funny, smart. Can’t really deny it, especially since the rest of the shows in this category have never made me laugh once.
Will win: Again, Call Me Fitz. If Seed takes this, oh man, I’ll be very concerned for the state of Canadian comedy.

Greg
Should win/Will win: Call Me Fitz. In a classic case of cancelled show wins in the category (sorry Seed, it won’t be you), Fitz is walking away with the award. It’s well-deserved. The writing was sharp, the performances hilarious and Jason Priestley was at the top of his game.

Best Reality/Competition Program or Series
The Amazing Race Canada
Big Brother Canada
MasterChef Canada
The Ultimate Fighter Nations – Canada vs. Australia
Unusually Thicke

Emily
Should win: The Amazing Race Canada. Even people who aren’t into reality TV anymore can get hooked on this show, which captures the same informative, yet engaging spirit of the American series that inspired it.
Will win: The Amazing Race Canada or Big Brother Canada. One of the big names.

Diane
Should win: I hate reality TV and I’m embarrassed our industry keeps pumping out [X] Canada type reality shows. Is the Firelog nominated? No? Then I don’t care.
Will win: Amazing Race Canada, because I guess something has to win.

Chris
Should win: The Amazing Race Canada. A Canadian reality show went international (albeit briefly)?! They deserve to win just for that. Big Brother Canada is a close second, just because of the major drama that went down in that house. It even drew the attention of American Big Brother fanatics, and that says something.
Will win: The Amazing Race Canada. High production values, international travel, good reality-show drama.

Greg
Should win: The Amazing Race Canada. This unscripted love letter to our country was even better in Season 2, spotlighting key locations in Canada and venturing overseas for key moments, like having the competitors run across Juno Beach in France on the anniversary of the D-Day landings and come face-to-face with a Second World War veteran.
Will win: The Amazing Race Canada … but Big Brother Canada could sneak in as a dark horse. I’ll weep for the future of Canadian TV if Unusually Thicke gets it.

Best International Drama
Vikings
The Great Martian War

Emily
Should win/Will win: Vikings. This is a powerhouse show with a hold on both the industry and viewers.

Diane
Should win/Will win: I haven’t seen either one of these shows so … um … Vikings?

Chris
No brainer. Should win: Vikings. The gritty action drama keeps upping the ante with every new season, and it’s not just because (like everyone else) I’m hypnotized by Travis Fimmel’s ice-blue laser-beam eyes. A great ensemble with interesting storylines, not to mention beautiful, well-shot scenery, make this a cinch to win.
Will win: Vikings, for all the reasons above.

Greg
Should win/Will win: It’s not even close. Though The Great Martian War was a very well-done special that combined real-life First World War footage with CGI that made it look like that conflict was really a fight with invading Martians, Vikings will not be beaten. Stunning visuals, memorable characters and wonderful scripts written by creator Michael Hirst means the vikings will claim their golden plunder.

Rick_Mercer

Best Variety or Sketch Comedy Program or Series
Rick Mercer Report
Funny as Hell
Seth Rogen: Hilarity for Charity
This Hour Has 22 Minutes

Emily
Should win/Will win: Rick Mercer Report. Every year, Rick comes up with fresh material to not only keep us laughing, but also to keep us thinking.

Diane
Should win: Rick Mercer Report. It’s been on the air for a million years and is still hilarious, with rants that still make people laugh, think and talk. Mercer for PM, never mind for a Screenie.
Will win: Seth Rogen: Hilarity for Charity because he’s one of the “fresh” names in a category of oldsters, and it was for charity so come on, how could voters be anti-Hilarity for Charity?

Chris
Should win: Rick Mercer Report. Rick has his finger on the pulse of this country, and it shows. Never stale, never lame, the man rants like no one else — and it’s always smart.
Will win: Rick Mercer Report, with 22 Minutes as a possible dark horse. Both are CBC, but I think Mercer resonates with both young and old, while the 22 Minutes audience is … um … not both.

Greg
Should win: I’m going to go out on a limb here and say Funny as Hell. The HBO Canada stand-up series hosted by Jon Dore is indeed funny as hell, spotlighting comedians like JB Smoove, Jim Jeffries and Marc Maron. Come on Academy, let’s mix things up a bit!
Will win: Rick Mercer Report

 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Comedic Role
Gerry Dee, Mr. D
Adam Korson, Seed
Don McKellar, Sensitive Skin
Dave Foley, Spun Out
Mark Meer, Tiny Plastic Men

Emily
Should win: Adam Korson, Seed. I was always a huge supporter of Seed when it was on, and a big part of that had to do with Korson being an expert lead with effortless charm and spot-on timing. His chemistry with Carrie-Lynn Neales was enough to make me want to captain their on-screen ship, Rosarry.
Will win: Gerry Dee. He’s a crowd pleaser and Mr. D really is a great show.

Diane
Should win: Jason Priestley. What? Not nominated? Good grief. OK then, Don McKellar. His off-beat neurotic humour always makes me laugh.
Will win: Adam Korson, because he’s so darn charming, and was on a show more than five people saw.

Chris
Should win: Don McKellar, Sensitive Skin. I know, I know, he was a bit annoying at first, but he grew on me with his neuroses. I actually chuckled aloud at McKellar’s character’s ridiculous urban behaviour.
Will win: Gerry Dee. Everyone loves this guy.

Greg
Should win: I’m going to side with Chris on this one. Normally I’m not a huge fan of Don McKellar, but I really enjoyed him in Senstive Skin. Can I also use this space to complain that Kim Cattrall was robbed by not being nominated in the Actress category? Thank you.
Will win: Gerry Dee.

seed-1.jpg

Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Comedic Role
Joanna Cassidy, Call Me Fitz
Julia Voth, Package Deal
Carrie-Lynn Neales, Seed
Kacey Rohl, Working the Engels
Andrea Martin, Working the Engels

Emily
Should win: Either Carrie Lynn-Neales or Kacey Rohl. I’d honestly be happy with a tie for these two, as they showed us that Canada can do the adorkable leading lady thing too, and perhaps with even more heart than our neighbours to the South.
Will win: Andrea Martin. Uh, it’s Andrea Martin. And this is the only time they can give her an award for Engels.

Diane
Should win: Joanna Cassidy. Everyone in Call Me Fitz is terrific, and if Jason Priestley had to be robbed then his costar should take home the prize.
Will win: Andrea Martin, because even though the show was less than great, she’s Andrea Martin.

Chris
Should win: I’ll ignore the insane snub of Kim Cattrall (c’mon, that’s just plain nutty) for Sensitive Skin, and say Andrea Martin for Working the Engels. Martin is blessed with impeccable comedic timing and one of those faces that just triggers laughter.
Will win: Andrea Martin for Working the Engels. She’s hosting this thing. You do the math.

Greg
Should win: Julia Voth. This is partly my heart talking because I visited the set and met the very nice folks who are involved in it. Plus, Voth had no prior experience as a comic actress and proved to have a natural gift for physical comedy, a big feat considering she was sharing the screen with Harland Williams.
Will win: I can’t decide between Joanna Cassidy or Andrea Martin.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role
Adam Beach, Arctic Air
David Sutcliffe, Cracked
Jared Keeso, 19-2
Michael McLeod, Forgive Me
Dillon Casey, Remedy

Emily
Should win: Jared Keeso. 19-2 might be well-written and shot, but it wouldn’t have the same star power without Keeso and his screen partner Adrian Holmes repeatedly killing it.
Will win: Keeso.

Diane
Should win: Jared Keeso is head and shoulders above the rest, and I say that as someone still catching up with season one of 19-2.
Will win: Jared Keeso or there is no justice.

Chris
Should win: Jared Keeso, 19-2. Keeso is the blood, sweat and tears of this show (along with co-star Holmes), and he’s displayed some serious acting chops in the past year.
Will win: Keeso for 19-2, for the reasons above.

Greg
Should win/Will win: Jared Keeso. Keeso and Adrian Holmes are the faces of 19-2 for good reason. They head up an incredible ensemble cast. Keeso, who was so good playing Don Cherry for CBC’s TV-movies, has come into his own in Bravo’s cop drama, playing a sensitive Montreal cop who means well in everything he does, even if it verges into some grey territory. Want to see Keeso’s comic side? Check out Letterkenny Problems.

orphanblack2.jpg

Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role
Meaghan Rath, Being Human
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
Megan Follows, Reign
Jennie Raymond, Sex & Violence

Jackie Torrens, Sex & Violence

Emily
Should win/Will win: Maslany/one of her clones.

Diane
Should win/Will win: Tatiana Maslany, eight times over.

Chris
Should win: Tatiana Maslany for Orphan Black. Do we really need to go over this? Maslany plays so many characters, without her the show would have like four other credits. Even if you’re not a fan of OB, you can’t deny her ability to throw herself into every single clone role.
Will win: Maslany, Orphan Black. If she doesn’t, the universe will fold into itself.

Greg
Should win/Will win: Tatiana Maslany. Yes, she’s as good as everyone says she is. My only question is: which clone will accept the award?

 

The Canadian Screen Awards gala airs Sunday, March 1, at 8 p.m. on CBC.

What do you think of our picks? Who do you think should and will win? Comment below or via @tv_eh.

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Orphan Black, 19-2 and Spun Out topline TV Canadian Screen Award nominees

The stars and series Orphan Black, 19-2 and Spun Out were among the top nominees for the 2015 Canadian Screen Awards, announced in dual press conferences in Toronto and Montreal.

Space’s Orphan Black was the big winner, grabbing a total of 13 nominees on Tuesday morning (including nods for co-stars Tatiana Maslany and Jordan Garvaris), with Global’s Bomb Girls: Facing the Enemy and City’s Seed nabbing five, Sensitive Skin with six, Motive with eight and 19-2, Call Me Fitz and Mr. D garnering 10.

Among the snubs for this year’s major TV awards? Kim Cattrall for Sensitive Skin, Rookie Blue, The Listener, Murdoch Mysteries, Heartland, Bitten and Republic of Doyle.

Kicked off by Academy CEO Helga Stephenson, part of the presentation was highlighted by a reel spotlighting the series and films created in Canada; it will be shown in Cineplex theatres (check out the trailer below). Canadian Screen Awards host Andrea Martin was on hand to not only accept a nomination for her role on Working the Engels but to express her excitement at hosting.

“This is a really strong year for Canadian television and film and I’m thrilled to be hosting the awards,” she said, while making a nod to attending the packed world premiere event for CBC’s Schitt’s Creek on Monday night.

Announced by Strange Empire actress Cara Gee and 19-2‘s Jared Keeso (who was nominated), here are the key television nominations:

Best Dramatic Series
19-2
Continuum
Motive
Orphan Black
Remedy

Best Comedy Series
Call Me Fitz
Mr. D
Seed
Spun Out
Tiny Plastic Men

Best Reality/Competition Program or Series
The Amazing Race Canada
Big Brother Canada
MasterChef Canada
The Ultimate Fighter Nations – Canada vs. Australia
Unusually Thicke

Best Children’s or youth Fiction Program or Series
Degrassi
The Next Step
Total Drama All-Stars

Best Dramatic Mini-Series or TV Movie
Babysellers
The Best Laid Plans
Bomb Girls: Facing the Enemy
Bunks

Best Factual Program or Series
Cold Water Cowboys
Ice Pilots NWT
Emergency Room: Life and Death at VGH
Scam City
Tessa and Scott

Best International Drama
Vikings
The Great Martian War

Best Variety of Sketch Comedy Program or Series
Rick Mercer Report
Funny as Hell
Seth Rogen: Hilarity for Charity
This Hour Has 22 Minutes

Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Comedic Role
Gerry Dee, Mr. D
Adam Korson, Seed
Don McKellar, Sensitive Skin
Dave Foley, Spun Out
Mark Meer, Tiny Plastic Men

Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Comedic Role
Joanna Cassidy, Call Me Fitz
Julia Voth, Package Deal
Carrie-Lynn Neales, Seed
Kacey Rohl, Working the Engels
Andrea Martin, Working the Engels

Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role
Adam Beach, Arctic Air
David Sutcliffe, Cracked
Jared Keeso, 19-2
Michael McLeod, Forgive Me
Dillon Casey, Remedy

Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role
Meaghan Rath, Being Human
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
Megan Follows, Reign
Jennie Raymond, Sex & Violence
Jackie Torrens, Sex & Violence

The complete list can be found here.

What do you think of the nominations? Who do you think will win? Comment below or via @tv_eh.

Hosted by Andrea Martin, two-hour Canadian Screen Awards air Sunday, March 1, at 8 p.m. on CBC.

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Almost Live at the Canadian Screen Awards

(photos by Derek Langer)

MartinShort2_zps6719b3d2

I spent last Sunday night in the press room at the inaugural Canadian Screen Awards. It was quite the night for Canada. The Sony Centre in downtown Toronto was at capacity with Canadian celebs, writers, directors and producers. The two hour broadcast aired on CBC in staggered time slots across the country, with a half hour of red carpet hosted by Shaun Majumder.

Majumder_zps1ed5a7c3

This was followed by an hour and a half of Martin Short singing show tunes and cracking one-liners. Oh yeah, I think we gave away a few awards in there too.

The biggest question surrounding the event has perhaps been what to nickname the actual award. While some felt that a nickname would present itself as Canadians talked over the event, others believed a nickname should be chosen and presented to the media as the “official nickname” of the awards. Twitter was ablaze with suggestions and theories over what the nickname should be. When I asked the winners and presenters I heard everything from the obvious “Screenie” to the more imaginative “Candy,” “Geminini,” “Ceesah,” “Huggy,” and “Awardy.” It’s safe to say that by the fifth broadcast one nickname will have broken ahead of the pack.

This was the first year that the film-based Genies and the TV-based Geminis merged into one meta-broadcast. While the ratings were up from last year’s Geminis by over 75%, there was some question about whether the separate ceremonies should have been combined at all.

With two industry galas preceding the main event, a plethora of the awards were given out earlier in the week, saving some of the audience favorites for the televised broadcast on Sunday night. While the members of the Academy worked hard to pare down the categories into a manageable amount, they didn’t quite cover everything. Writer/director Sarah Polley requested categories for crew contributors at next year’s event.

DragonsDen_zpsbdc3bd4f

On the subject of combining the two awards shows, Kevin O’Leary (Dragon’s Den) was all for it. He agreed that combining film and tv was the smartest thing to do, creating a wider audience, building ratings and  inspiring a higher level of awareness for Canadian productions.  Spoken like a true Dragon.

A show this big doesn’t happen without its fair share of controversy. This year’s malcontent came courtesy of several decisions that surprised the audience and ruffled a few feathers. The hot-button issue was CBC’s choice to stagger the broadcasts across different timezones. While this is a classic fight between coasts, staggering this event handcuffed media to one of two realities: hold off on live tweets, announcing the winners, and posting photos until the last broadcast was airing, or spoil the results for those further west. I didn’t see anyone doing the former, especially since audience members were offering digital congratulations during the awards.

Another piece of controversy arose when the award for Best Comedy Series was given in the off-air pre-show. Taken by Less Than Kind, the award was given out to an almost empty theatre, while the attendees snagged one last cocktail before the live broadcast. A compromise was made when a pre-taped segment of the Less Than Kind winners on stage was spliced into the broadcast (the same with Brian Williams who won for Best Sports Host).

LessThanKind_zps96439c65

LTK showrunner Mark McKinney had positive words down in the press room. “I don’t hold it against the Academy, as they’ve done a lot of things right and done their job for year one. But next year, they won’t get away with the same thing.”

Despite the controversy, attendees of the awards were in high spirits. The red carpet was bustling with celebs and a wild scrum of photographers before the event. The post-show cocktail party was so popular that it continued until staff from the Sony Centre hustled everybody out to the after-party several blocks away.

The audience engaged with Martin Short, and the spirit of camaraderie was evident in the theatre as well as the press room where not only winners appeared, but nominees and attendees also showed up to hobnob with the media vultures and test out the press room food.

Martin Short proved not only to be a nominee and talented comedian but a true entertainer as well, when he busted out a song I’ve dubbed “Marty’s Night” about his chances at winning an award. When he lost in both categories, he kept his good humour, maintaining that his “rock bottom is everyone else’s dream.” Short wasn’t afraid to press a few buttons, poking fun at Cheryl Hickey’s pregnant “ice cream” belly, and critiquing the Housewives’ collective intelligence level. He also brought back some beloved characters from the past.

FatMartinShort_zps20d9b17aJiminy Glick (The Martin Short Show) joined Majumder during the red carpet broadcast, embodying Joan Rivers and bringing life to the pre-show. Some of the major presenters during the awards included Catherine O’Hara (SCTV), Adam Beach (Arctic Air), Kristin Lehman (Motive), Allan Hawco (Republic of Doyle), Allan Thicke (Growing Pains), Sarah Canning (Primeval: New World), Rick Mercer (Rick Mercer Report), Meg Tilley (Bomb Girls), Jody, Ronnie and Mary (The Real Housewives of Vancouver), Gerry Dee (Mr. D), Enrico Colantoni (Flashpoint) and many more.

The last award of the night was given out for Best Dramatic TV Series. Unsurprisingly the final award went to the team from Flashpoint, making them the big winners. This was undeniably a big honor after wrapping their fifth and final season by their own choosing. The series finale aired in December last year.

Flashpoint also took home awards for acting, writing, and the team was honoured for their achievements in television at the industry gala on Thursday night.

Flashpoint_zps7432a9d7

The Five Best Things About the Canadian Screen Awards:

  1. Martin Short as a bagpipe.
  2. A professional, multi-camera broadcast with an elegant stage, celebrating Canadian achievements.
  3. The sheer volume of media interested in covering this event.
  4. The mini roast beef amuse-bouches served after the awards.
  5. Seeing a theatre filled with diverse Canadian talent, excited to celebrate each other and themselves.

The Top Five “Opportunities” for Improving the Canadian Screen Awards:

  1. One live broadcast, country wide (no spoilers!).
  2. A better balance between Film and TV at the Main Event.
  3. Better media information, press packages, and subtitles on the press room feed during the awards.
  4. A longer live broadcast, or at least some wiggle room at the end for overages. If the Oscars can close in on 4 hours we can at least manage 2 and a half.
  5. PICK A DAMN NICKNAME! Tell the press and market it or they’re going to end up being called The Pointies or similar.

And just for good measure, here’s my buddy Strombo looking steeped (yep, I’m bringing it back!):

Stombo_zps06ff4fdb

What were your favorite moments? What would you change? 

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Seed’s Adam Korson and Carrie-Lynn Neales at the Canadian Screen Awards

Seed

Adam Korson and Carrie-Lynn Neales (Seed) on Writers

(Photo by Derek Langer)

You may notice a trend in these interviews. Since a big part of this Industry Gala was dedicated to writing awards, and I may have a slight bias towards that profession, a lot of my questions focused in that direction.

CLN: “We had the BEST writing team.”

AK: “We really did. What was amazing and still fascinates me today was how they really crafted 22 minutes of television, and did it consistently throughout the entire season. We had 9 people in our cast, and they jam-packed the entire season. Three different story lines going on, funny, relatable, and that still astounds me.”

“I’ve always had respect for writers, and I write myself but now it’s like WOW, I have SO much learning to do, and so much more respect for writers. It was a pleasure to speak their words.”

CLN: “And they took such an interest in how our relationship on set was forming. I think they really wrote for both of us, and for all of the cast. They were incredibly in tune with it, and that really helps.”

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