Interview with Sarah Brown

Sarah BrownTell us about your character.
My character is Katherine Wesley. She was born and raised in Boston and her father is a very powerful political figure. She has grown up in a political world and has politics running through her blood and when we meet her she is working in non-profit and has disavowed all politics from her life. She is openly gay and in love with this young woman Sarah Preston, also from a political family. Katherine is sort of a free spirit, an artist and altruistic kind of soul.

What was it about your Beacon Hill character that appealed to you?
I loved the idea of a challenge and to play something further away from me. It really gives me a place to find out about new experiences. I enjoy playing characters where I can learn something about people who are different from myself and so I liked the idea that Katherine comes from a political family and that I could investigate politics for my job. I’m a curious person and I liked the idea of learning more about not only politics but a lifestyle different from mine.

What appealed to you about this project and how did you get involved?
Crystal brought it to me and asked me if I would read the script and see if I had interest in an internet show, exploring new media, new platforms and new options for getting jobs. I love Crystal Chappell and I really respect her as an actress and her work floored me. Seeing her on DAYS, I said she better a win an Emmy. And so I was really interested and it sounded like something fun, new and different. I liked the idea of getting involved in something from the ground up. There is more creative freedom.

What was it like shooting on location?
Really fun. We had a great time. The time change made it somewhat difficult. I loved being in Boston and seeing some of my Family who spent time with me on the last day of location. And I hadn’t been to Boston since I was a baby. I love being on location… it’s a lot more fun than being on a sound stage.

Can you tell us how shooting a web series compares to some of the other mediums that you have worked in?
It really is different and yet really similar. You don’t think about the platform that the work will be presented in when you are shooting. So, it is very similar to anything that I have done on location for film and TV. It is very different from daytime that is shot indoors.

We know that the schedule was accelerated. What challenges did that pose to the way you approached your work?
I had a lot of prep time for this project since we knew we were going to shoot in 5 months. And so I was able to do the research that I wanted to. I had a lot of work to do and a lot of time to do it, so I like that.

Can you give us a hint as to what we can expect from your character this season?
I think you will see that Katherine is a very good person in a really tough spot. And you as an audience member get to go along on the journey of love, betrayal and politics as her life sort of unravels in this first season. You get to watch her start on the top and then be taken apart.

Where would you like to see your character’s story arc go as the series progresses?
I’m excited to see her get into a political office where she can make a real difference and see her iron out some of the kinks in her personal life.

Thanks Sarah!


Interview with Alicia Minshew

Alicia MinshewTell us about your character.
My character's name is Sara Preston. She is a reporter from NYC. She comes from a very dysfunctional family and that haunts her. She was once madly in love with Katherine-Sarah Brown's character. Now she is back in town in Beacon Hill to do a story and has to face Katherine again. She is very torn. Sara is one to hide her feelings and run from situations when they get too emotional. She left Katherine when things got tough and now she has to face that.

What was it about your Beacon Hill character that appealed to you?
I loved that Sara had a lot of different emotions going on at once. That is always interesting to play. I also liked that she was a strong gay woman. I have never played that before and it was great to with Sarah Brown. I was happy that I got to play scenes with so many different characters-from her lovers, to her family, to her friends. It gave me so much to play.

What appealed to you about this project and how did you get involved?
What appealed to me (aside from the great writing and fun characters) was the cast that was involved. I have always been a fan of Crystal's and was excited at the chance to work with her! Plus when I saw the rest of the cast-including Sarah Brown-that was a big draw for me. I also loved that it was not just a love story-but a political story as well. With so much going on in the world today-it felt like great timing for this project. Crystal emailed me and sent me the script. I read it and that was it! I knew I wanted to be a part of it!

What was it like shooting on location?
I always love shooting on location. It feels more like film. I like that it is out of a studio-as it just feels and looks more real. It is real! I like that you have sunlight and all of the natural elements to deal with . Of course those elements can be tricky too. The noise, the weather. That weather can send my hair in a tizz!! Thank God for hats! I loved being in the city of Boston. It is so beautiful. And the other places we shot were so charming as well!

Can you tell us how shooting a web series compares to some of the other mediums that you have worked in?
The web series felt like a cross between an indie film and a soap. I loved it. Being on location gave it a very film feel. But the pace was very much like a soap-with the amount of dialogue and the fast pace. I have done both films and soaps-so I felt very at home. I loved every moment.

We know that the schedule was accelerated. What challenges did that pose to the way you approached your work?
I am actually used to a very fast pace. Towards that end-"All My Children" was a crazy fast pace. It kind of prepared me for this. I really made sure I knew my material inside and out and really studied my scripts. I think the key was for me to be extremely focused and prepared each day-as I knew that time was money and we had to get the shots. I also tried to rehearse with people-as that always makes the day go smoother. I was really just in work mode.

Can you give us a hint as to what we can expect from your character this season?
Well, Sara is in love with one person and also is in an intimate relationship with another. She may be forced to choose! She also has some very powerful, close encounters with a few family members!

Where would you like to see your character’s story arc go as the series progresses?
I would love to see Sara make a choice about who she is going to be with. I would also like to see her address her family members that she has issues with and stand up for herself! Plus more scenes with her brother would be great!

Thanks Alicia!


Interview with John-Paul Lavoisier

John-Paul LavoisierTell us about your character.
My character takes care of the things for the family. He waits on his grandfather no matter what he needs. Although he made not always WANT to do it, he knows he NEEDS to do it for the sake of the household. He doesn't have much of a social life, but that's "okay" with him. He honors the family name in the highest regard. He can be trusted.........

What was it about your Beacon Hill character that appealed to you?
What appealed to me was the people involved and the subject matter. I was THRILLED to hear from Hillary when she reached out to me and the chance to work with her again, fantastic. I have always been an AMC fan, so knowing I'd play Alicia's brother was VERY selling. And the basis being political was ear perking...reason being, I am NOT a political guy at all. Politics are not in my wheel house. So the idea of having to learn, as an actor, was inviting. I knew I'd be entering unknown territory. THIS appealed to me. As far as the character...Quite simply, I've never played a guy like this before. Honestly, that's the answer. A new character to create. To feel. To be. And some of the dialogue was "new" for me. The wording. This was attractive.

What appealed to you about this project and how did you get involved?
Aside from my answer to the last question, I received an email from Hillary telling me about a project with her and Crystal and that there was a character for me if I'd like to read the script. Even prior to the script, I knew I'd probably be saying yes. I had always heard of Crystal's Internet success and assumed this would also be a positive experience.

What was it like shooting on location?
I am an East-coaster. All the way. I miss NYC 24 hours of every day of my life. Cold weather is my heaven. So being able to be in Boston during "cold weather" was amazing. I could have slept outside the house we shot in. I smiled for 3 days straight. Getting on the plane to come home was not very fun.

Can you tell us how shooting a web series compares to some of the other mediums that you have worked in?
Honestly, shooting the web series was not much different than anything else that would be outside a closed studio set. There was no "we are shooting a web series" feel. It could have been a movie, a commercial, a TV show. Anything.

We know that the schedule was accelerated. What challenges did that pose to the way you approached your work?
There were no challenges at all. Once you have Soap Opera work in your toolbox, everything else is cream cheese.

Can you give us a hint as to what we can expect from your character this season?
Hints? HINTS? You might see a glimmer of "inappropriate temptation" in Eric's eyes.

Where would you like to see your character’s story arc go as the series progresses?
I'd like to see Eric do some "unexpected" things that the Preston's would frown upon. Maaaaaybe, something, illegal???

Thanks JP!


Interview with Rebecca Mozo

Rebecca MozoTell us about your character.
I play Laura Parker who is Katherine's best friend and occasional bedmate. She's a loyal friend and cares deeply for Katherine. Feelings have started to develop for her on a romantic level, and she's struggling with navigating through that.

What was it about your Beacon Hill character that appealed to you?
I am no stranger to falling in love with your best friend or unrequited love for that matter. I felt for Laura being in that position. Her heart seemed to me to be in a conflicted place yet she can't help the way she feels. I'm attracted to playing that kind of duality. When two things are at odds within you.

What appealed to you about this project and how did you get involved?
Sarah Brown (who plays Katherine) is a dear friend of mine and she actually recommended me for the part. So I read for it, and they offered it to me. I was drawn to the script tremendously due to the characters. They have such complex and intricate relationships with each other and I find that incredibly compelling.

What was it like shooting on location?
I loved being back east in the fall. As a Jersey girl who's been living in L.A. the past several years, it was wonderful to experience that east coast weather!

Can you tell us how shooting a web series compares to some of the other mediums that you have worked in?
Shooting a web series can be such incredible fun because there's such creative freedom. It's a very collaborative and open process which can sometimes be rare in other mediums.

We know that the schedule was accelerated. What challenges did that pose to the way you approached your work?
I showed up and did one day so it didn't much affect me. I only had the one scene this season so I had it easy!

Can you give us a hint as to what we can expect from your character this season?
I think Laura is going to really put her heart out there. And she might be willing to fight for what she really wants.

Where would you like to see your character’s story arc go as the series progresses?
I'd love to see her get the girl, of course! But we shall see...there's a lot to navigate there.

Thanks Rebecca!


Interview with Ron Raines

Ron RainesTell us about your character.
Senator Preston is a very tough, very driven senior Senator of Massachusetts. He has an agenda of great things and he will do anything he has to do to achieve the power that he wants in his career of politics and his family. His passion is to become to President.

What was it about your Beacon Hill character that appealed to you?
I did not know anything about this character. Crystal asked to be a part of this and asked if I would be interested and I said absolutely for you. We have a history and I trust her completely.

What appealed to you about this project and how did you get involved?
Well, it's the new frontier and Crystal has been a real pioneer in this form and has done extremely well and is successful I'm thrilled to be a part of this new project that she and the ladies are presenting.

What was it like shooting on location?
I love it. And I think shooting in the area of Boston is very smart and has the geography, flavor, flexibility and the New England feel to it that you cannot do on set.

Can you tell us how shooting a web series compares to some of the other mediums that you have worked in?
It is very similar to shooting a film and they way we shot Guiding Light. We were on location. With the technology and camera quality and lighting, they have worked out how to do that on a less expensive budget and make it look beautiful.

We know that the schedule was accelerated. What challenges did that pose to the way you approached your work?
Look, when you have done a soap opera for 15 years, you are wired to work very fast and are conditioned to work very quickly and actually, we got to film the scenes 4-5 times whereas with a soap, at the end of the day, it is very fast. This was more relaxed and more like prime-time and film.

Can you give us a hint as to what we can expect from your character this season?
I think you almost have to ask the writers!! I believe the first season you will just get a sense of who the Senator is and you will see the world he will be maneuvering in and trying to manipulate and control. You know he is somebody to be reckoned with, but you haven't you really seen him yet.

Where would you like to see your character’s story arc go as the series progresses?
I will leave that up to the writers. I think we will have to wait and see where the writers and fans take this character. I'm just excited and thrilled to be a part of this and look forward to finding out more about the Senator.

Thanks Ron!


Interview with Louise Sorel

Louise SorelTell us about your character.
I play Emily Tanner. She clearly has a sense of humor and interest in politics...probably a bit of a loner who drifted to Boston and is nosy and sensitive in a different way.

What was it about your Beacon Hill character that appealed to you?
Because of the character and working with good people.

What appealed to you about this project and how did you get involved?
I love Crystal and working with her on anything is a joy.

What was it like shooting on location?
It's always fun to do location - it's more authentic and fresh.

Thanks Louise!


Interview with Scott Bryce

Scott BryceTell us about your character.
Senator Wesley is a driven and very smart man who manages the intrigues of his family much the way he handles the intrigues of his political life. Angling to manipulate results while maintaining “Plausible Deniability” that he has done so.

What was it about your Beacon Hill character that appealed to you?
The politics. I am fascinated by those that live that life.

What appealed to you about this project and how did you get involved?
One call from Hillary Bailey Smith is all it took. That covers both parts of the question. I love her.

What was it like shooting on location?
I always like seeing new places and meeting new people. So long as I’m not away from my family for too long.

Can you tell us how shooting a web series compares to some of the other mediums that you have worked in?
It's not that different at all. The delivery mechanism is different, but our work as creators, producers, directors and actors is fundamentally the same. The budget constraints make the job a bit tougher and the time frame gets pushed, but again, it's still story telling.

We know that the schedule was accelerated. What challenges did that pose to the way you approached your work?
Just had to be prepared. Do my home work and arrive ready to go. People from a daytime background, the good ones, do that anyway. The cast is wonderful.

Can you give us a hint as to what we can expect from your character this season?
I absolutely can....but I won't!

Where would you like to see your character’s story arc go as the series progresses?
That his ambitions crash into his family dramas with scandalous results. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

Thanks Scott!


Interview with Melissa Archer

Melissa ArcherTell us about your character.
Evelyn is a girl from the wrong side of town with lots of ambition. She wants it all, but really the only thing she wants....she never gets.

What was it about your Beacon Hill character that appealed to you?
She's a fun character to play because she's clueless to her lack of elite social skills, and I really love her vulnerable moments.

What appealed to you about this project and how did you get involved?
Crystal called me and told me briefly about the project and about Bella Books. She sent me the script & I was immediately in love.

What was it like shooting on location?
LOCATION!!! My favorite way to shoot!! I think that says everything.

Can you tell us how shooting a web series compares to some of the other mediums that you have worked in?
Honestly, it wasn't any different than shooting a film.

We know that the schedule was accelerated. What challenges did that pose to the way you approached your work?
It wasn't a challenge at all. Doing soaps for so many years, you get used to a fast pace.

Can you give us a hint as to what we can expect from your character this season?
I don't want to give anything away, but let's just say you really get a sense of who Evelyn is this season.

Where would you like to see your character’s story arc go as the series progresses?
I have a feeling that whatever they write, Evelyn will have a fun ride. She's already "lady of the house" so it can only go up from there.

Thanks Melissa!


Interview with Ricky Paull Goldin

Ricky Paull GoldinTell us about your character.
I portray Andrew Miller, Chief of Staff to Katherine Wesley played by Sarah Brown. It's enough to say he's got an agenda.

What was it about your Beacon Hill character that appealed to you?
Apart from getting to work with this amazingly talented group? It's always fun to step into a character type you've not played before, all the more so if he's a bit of a of villain.

What appealed to you about this project and how did you get involved?
Well, it's the first time I've ever been offered a gig via Twitter. I've known Crystal for a long time. She literally DMd me and said 'wanna work together?' I was honored to be asked. Listening to Crystal describe the series, meeting the team, I was on-board!!

What was it like shooting on location?
Going back to Boston was fantastic for me. It was also unexpected considering I'd just spent most of the year there executive producing a series for HGTV - Spontaneous Construction - which is still being aired by the network. We became part of the community for a while and got to know the locals. Everyone was kind and welcoming. It was also wonderful to reunite and collaborate with dear friends - Ron, Crystal, Tina, Alicia - and to make and work with new friends.

Can you tell us how shooting a web series compares to some of the other mediums that you have worked in?
It's much faster and the team and budget is smaller. I really enjoy the production process so was thrilled to be able wear my producer's hat (or cap, actually). It felt good being back producing a web series again.

We know that the schedule was accelerated. What challenges did that pose to the way you approached your work?
We were all up for the challenge of putting together a ground-breaking show in the time we gave ourselves. We knew we had a tight schedule but that's part of what makes it exciting. It was like coming together and opening our own studio. We were responsible for EVERYTHING and we took matters into your own hands.

Can you give us a hint as to what we can expect from your character this season?
It won't take long for people to see what Andrew is up to and where his interests lie.

Where would you like to see your character’s story arc go as the series progresses?
I'm going to leave that to our fantastic writers. Maybe Mr. Miller will dig himself into a big mess. Who knows, but I'm excited to find out what's in store for him.

Thanks Ricky!


Interview with Crystal Chappell

Crystal ChappellTell us about your character.
My character is Claire Preston. She's the daughter of Senator Preston played by Ron Raines, and the mother of Sara and Eric Preston played by Alicia Minshew and John Paul Lavoisier. Claire lives in a world of pretense and booze. She's lived in a privileged world but also in emotional poverty. She has secrets.... And she has very severe hair.

What was it about your Beacon Hill character that appealed to you?
I love Claire. Other than loving a character with secrets, I love her acerbic tongue. Not that I would know anything about that.....

What appealed to you about this project and how did you get involved?
Bella Books contacted Open Book in January of 2013 about a partnership in producing Beacon Hill. It was a wonderful opportunity to do what we'd never done before...produce someone else's show. Beacon Hill is a political/romance drama with Boston as its backdrop…a very different show for us. We shot in and around Boston which was thrilling! And the ladies at Bella plied me with wine. That usually works.

What was it like shooting on location?
It was exciting to be on location! We shot in Beacon Hill, various places in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It took a bit more prep work since we weren't familiar with the areas, but I think it adds a great, rich quality to the show. And since most of us had to "live" together the entire week, there was a real sense of camaraderie.

Can you tell us how shooting a web series compares to some of the other mediums that you have worked in?
Coming from Soaps, the pace is similar. We move at quite a nice clip. With Beacon Hill though, we shot single camera for the most part...shooting a master and then close ups. Some multi camera when the schedule got tight. Some people didn't love me when we had to do that. : )))

We know that the schedule was accelerated. What challenges did that pose to the way you approached your work?
Shooting single camera does take longer than multi camera in its set up. Lights have to set and then reset so there's plenty of down time in between takes. I think you end up with a richer visual texture in shooting like this. Still, it doesn't change the pace of the day.

Can you give us a hint as to what we can expect from your character this season?
Claire's hair grows increasingly tighter... We discover that she's in search of something or someone. But what...?

Where would you like to see your character’s story arc go as the series progresses?
Well, I don't know about where I want her to go but I'd love to see her keep her edge as she's headed there. The Preston Family is full of entertaining chaos! So, it's gonna be a fun ride!

Thanks Crystal!


Interview with Jessica Morris

Jessica MorrisTell us about your character.
My character's name is Diane. She is an actress living in New York with her girlfriend Sara (Alicia Minshew).

What was it about your Beacon Hill character that appealed to you?
What I like about Diane is that she is a loving, passionate person and girlfriend. She only wants the best for Sara and believes that she is it. She is not afraid to be who she is, speak her mind, and fight for what she wants.

What appealed to you about this project and how did you get involved?
I love that fact that web series are getting so popular. I was also drawn to this particular series because the combination of romance and politics makes it steamy, smart, and intriguing. I've never done anything quite like it.

What was it like shooting on location?
Shooting on location is my absolute favorite. It helps me to fully live the experience and get wrapped up in the character's world 100%. Plus I had never been to Boston so I got to check that off my list of places I need to go. I do adore those sexy Boston accents.

Can you tell us how shooting a web series compares to some of the other mediums that you have worked in?
I don't feel that shooting a web series is all that different from shooting anything else. Other than the fact that, many times, it moves very fast. I worked on a WB web series called Sorority Forever in Washington and that one shot very fast as well. But then again I've worked on a soap opera and independent films that moved faster than the speed of light.

We know that the schedule was accelerated. What challenges did that pose to the way you approached your work?
Since we worked very quickly, I made sure that I was really prepared. Spent a lot of time thinking about my character. Jumping in with Alicia and developing fast feelings was easy though because she is such a beauty, inside and out.

Can you give us a hint as to what we can expect from your character this season?
This first season just kind of gives you a tease of Diane and Sara's relationship. You will feel some complications brewing but more will be revealed in season two.

Where would you like to see your character’s story arc go as the series progresses?
I would like to see Diane get everything that she wants :). But if that is not possible... I would like to see her, at some point, accept those defeats, bounce back and find happiness on her own two feet.

Thanks Jessica!


Interview with Tina Sloan

Tina Sloan as Louise TannerTell us about your character.
Louise is an owner of a charming cafe where people come to sip coffee and chat- chat is the most important quotient to Louise who loves people's intrigues and loves to advise them and protect them. Her patrons are her children.

What was it about your Beacon Hill character that appealed to you?
She is different than anyone I had ever played. She is a snoop and busybody and fun. Her interaction with her longtime friend and co-owner is rather hilarious.

What appealed to you about this project and how did you get involved?
Crystal called and Tina answered. Hillary called and Tina answered. Then I read the script and loved it, so I was involved.

What was it like shooting on location?
Lovely -Though I have been shooting on location all the time since Peapack days and Venice days and movies I have been doing. This location was in a real coffee house so there was nothing that didn't feel real. I did believe I owned it and made all the baked goods. I loved the location on a street in a charming Massachusetts town.

Can you tell us how shooting a web series compares to some of the other mediums that you have worked in?
Movies, theater , soaps and night-time are all wonderful and a web series is just easier and more collegiate as we are all pitching in...in all the areas to make it work. This script is great and having the writers and producers at the scene of our shoot was really great. Everyone seems to care enough to be involved and I loved that.

We know that the schedule was accelerated. What challenges did that pose to the way you approached your work?
I prefer the acceleration as it allows so much improvisation. And I adore the freedom of improvising. So I saw no challenge - I just saw the joy of doing it.

Can you give us a hint as to what we can expect from your character this season?
Comedic work would be something to expect from Louise.

Where would you like to see your character’s story arc go as the series progresses?
I really would love to be psychic and have an ability to see the pitfalls and joys ahead for other characters. Of course like Cassandra at the Gates of Troy, they wouldn't hear me or perhaps one character would as what I would tell her might come true and it would. Might be fun to have ditsy Louise really have some wonderful ability even she isn't aware of that she can change the course of lives. That is a bit over dramatic but would be such fun.

Thanks Tina!


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