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Moonlight: Set visit and cast interviews

by Kristin Sample, posted Apr 8th 2008 1:02PM
Me & Alex O'Loughlin Yesterday I went to Warner Bros. studios in Burbank to visit the set of CBS's Moonlight. I must admit... with the exception of the pilot, I actually haven't watched the show. But after talking with the cast members, seeing the set, and hearing about the four episodes that will air starting April 25th, I think I might be a fan of Moonlight.

And I know for sure there are some Moonlight fans here at TV Squad. You are going to love what I have in store for you after the jump. Read on and find out about my day at Stage 9 and Stage 14 of Warner Bros. and my interviews with Jason Dohring, Eric Winter, Sophia Myles, and *swoon* Alex O'Loughlin.

Beware. There are some spoilers...

Before I start recounting the events of yesterday in earnest, let me get one thing out of the way. The show has not been renewed as of yet. Moonlight does have four episodes ready that were ordered in late 2007. Like I said before the jump, these episodes will air on Friday nights at 9 PM starting April 25th. Check back with TV Squad for news updates and reviews of those episodes.

Set Pictures:
We saw all the sets of Moonlight but I only got pictures of a few stages because the lights weren't turned on in Mick's apartment or BuzzWire. Below are some pictures of Josef's office (in the rebuilding stages -- remember it was blown up before the hiatus).

This first one is the picture that will hang on the ceiling of Josef's office.

Painting for Josef's ceiling
Josef's artworkJason Dohring at his desk
I also saw Beth's beachfront apartment. I was informed that Moonlight, a show that does a lot of on-location filming, was just at the beach this week shooting scenes. This is the livingroom from outside the stage and there are two more smaller pics of Beth's apartment down in the Tidbits section.

Beth's apartment from the outside of the set.

First Episode Teasers

Jason Dohring outside Stage 9In the episode airing April 25th, Mick regains his vampire powers. The interesting part about his turning back into a vampire is the way it happens. I actually found out exactly how Mick turns from a "human" to a vampire but I was sworn to secrecy. I can say that it doesn't happen the way you're expecting (i.e. it's not because the salve wears off).

Moreover, Mick is enjoying being human. There is a montage with him sleeping on a couch, awaking to sunlight, and drinking some orange juice. He's really enjoying being with Beth as well.

Jason Dohring was excited about the first episode, "I'm not bullshitting. You guys are going to love the next episode." He also mentioned the beautiful score for the episode, saying how moving it was. Finally, he was excited that Josef "goes vampire" on April 25th and gets to kick butt with Mick. Dohring was so enthusiastic to don the vampire make-up that he got ready four hours early and walked around out on the street to enjoy the reactions of passers-by.

And there's a new character joining the Moonlight gang; Eric Winter will play Assistant District Attorney Ben Talbot. Winter said of his character's first appearance: "He makes a statement right away."

What They Were Filming Yesterday

On the set yesterday, they were shooting flashback scenes set in the 1940s in Mick's old neighborhood. In the episode, Mick gets a case that brings him to the place where he grew up. We will get to see Mick before he was turned into a vampire and learn about his time in the army. We will also meet Mick's best friend Ray and his wife Lilah. Mick will be in a heavy combat scene with Ray.

Interview with Jason Dohring (Josef)

I asked Jason Dohring what it was like to go from playing a teen on Veronica Mars to playing a centuries-old vampire on Moonlight. He said his approach to the characters was so different. On VM, his character had such a limited experience to draw from. But on Moonlight, Josef doesn't get to experience any new situations having lived so many lifetimes.

Dohring hopes that we find out more about Josef's and Coraline's past in these upcoming episodes. He's intrigued by the different bloodlines. He wonders who's more powerful (Josef or Coraline).

Alex O'LoughlinWhile Dohring wouldn't change anything about Josef's hedonistic character, he says that if he was a real vampire, he would follow Mick's path. Dohring would "find a way to do something good with it."

Someone asked who Jason looks to for inspiration in the field of acting. He answered, Marlon Brando. He thinks anyone interested in acting should just take one scene and watch it like twenty times. He says Brando "did cool stuff in every bit of film" and moved with grace.

Interview with Alex O'Loughlin (Mick St. John)

Alex started by saying that he's a big fan of the vampire genre: "I've always been enamored with the shameless sensuality in the genre, unlike any other genre." He said he's fascinated by vampires' heightened sensitivity and compared them to cats. O'Loughlin also divulged that he's been captivated by the stars and the concept of infinity since he was a young boy. So, Mick's immortality was intriguing to him.

Someone asked if Beth and Mick will get together, O'Loughlin warned that it's a different story if that were to happen. They'll no longer have the tension. They will no longer have the Romeo and Juliet feel or the story about unrequited love, as he put it. Alex assures us that if the two did get together, it would still be interesting. But, for now, he really likes the tension between Mick and Beth.

Many have commended Alex for his willingness to do his own stunts. He says that he loves the fight choreography. On the subject of fighting, I asked whether he thought Mick St. John or Angel would win in a fight (remember that Vs. post of Isabelle's). "Mick would win. I can't help the facts," he quipped.

Someone also posed a hypothetical question: If you were a vampire in real life, who's path would you follow? Josef's or Mick's? He said he would follow Josef's then be immensely guilty and follow Mick's.

Interview with Eric Winter (Asst. D.A. Ben Talbot)


Winter brings a new element of tension to the show with ADA Ben Talbot. He describes his character as "driven by his work." Talbot wants to solve the crimes that plague the city. He has an immediate fondness for Beth Turner, but Winter himself doesn't know the true motivation behind Talbot's interest in Beth's character.

Eric Winters plays Ben TalbotThere is a possible love triangle brewing as well. Talbot, who is attracted to Beth, is haunted by his need to expose Mick. From his very first scene, you'll see a tension between Mick and Ben. Ben wants to be top dog and desperately wants to know Mick's secret.

Someone asked if Ben was a vampire, Winter laughed, "Not that I know of." He clearly thinks getting to play a vampire would be great. "It's just a cool genre," he said. Then he joked, "I think they're real. No, just kidding."

You probably know Eric Winter from his work on Brothers and Sisters. I asked if he'd be returning to that show and he answered, "I assume you'll probably see me again." But his concern is scheduling. Winter mentioned that the writers have had a hell of a time trying to write him on and off the show to accommodate for other projects (i.e. Viva Laughlin and Moonlight). He seems confident that his character will return to Brothers and Sisters if only for closure.

Winter also has a movie coming out this year called The Ugly Truth with Katherine Heigl and Gerald Butler.

Interview with Sophia Myles (Beth Turner)

Sophia Myles plays Beth TurnerOn whether or not she liked the vampire genre, Sophia said frankly, "Not really if I'm honest." She then stated her preference for sci-fi over anything vamp. Furthermore, she says she doesn't see the fascination with drinking blood and can't understand why anyone would think it's sexy. So, why do Moonlight? Sophia explained that she was intrigued by theme of immortality, especially as it pertains to Beth and Mick.

A relationship between the two characters, however, would be so difficult. They can't have children. She would age and he wouldn't. "I don't see how there is a kind of happy future," she said. So, will Beth get turned into a vampire so the two can be together? Sophia thinks it's an option Beth would consider. (Sorry about the picture. I don't know why they had her stand by that light. She's on the BuzzWire stage, though.)

Tidbits

  • Beth's livingroomWe won't find out anything else about Coraline and her family (at least nothing too soon).
  • Everyone I met (cast members, behind the scenes folk, publicists) was overjoyed by the fan reaction to this show. "It was unbelievable," Jason Dohring exclaimed. Sophia Myles agreed, "It's blown my mind, the success of it all." Myles also said she was touched at the fans' willingness to donate blood to the American Red Cross to show their support for the show.
  • Fans of Sophia Myles should know that she's donning a short bob now after months of extensions ruining her hair. She explained that for the four episodes they are working on now, she is wearing a 3/4 wig.
  • Alex and Jason will be in the Moonlight booth at ComicCon in New York.
  • Sophia Myles disclosed that the best way to get Alex O'Loughlin to laugh is to, "talk about poo."
  • Mick is afraid of people and their capabilities. Eric is both infatuated with and afraid of sharks. Sophia is afraid of deep water and humans. Looks like a love triangle could be creeping into the story whether the writers like it or not, eh?
  • By the way, Jason Dohring said his biggest fear was burning alive. And all this talk got me wondering what my biggest fear was. I'm pretty scared of sharks (I have to agree with Eric there). I think drowning or suffocating (i.e. being buried alive) really freaks me out the most though.
  • Beth's kitchen When asked who she'd love to work with, Sophia Myles answered Christian Bale and Tim Burton.
  • Eric Winter didn't originally want to become an actor. In fact, he has a degree from UCLA (a double major in psychology and biology).
  • Winter laughed that he has two premieres on April 25th: Moonlight on CBS and the new Harold and Kumar movie for Sony and Lakeshore.
  • Alex is Jason's favorite person to work with on the show.
  • Jason Dohring has been acting since he was eight-years-old. He got into the biz because he has both a set of twin sisters and twin brothers who were working in commercials.

Overall, I had a great time. I hope this was informative for all you Moonlighters out there. Don't forget to tune in on April 25th!

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vampyreloverlisa

I don't care what anyone says I loved that show from the first 10 min into the first one. I really love Vampires I wish that they were real if there are any out there please find me!!!!!!! I can't wait for the show to go to dvd. I can't get enough of moonlight who ever created this show you are brillant.

April 15 2008 at 12:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jen

Kristin,

I *just* got a chance to read this and I *review* Moonlight! Can I just tell you how amazingly jealous I am!?!

This was a GREAT piece! Lucky duck!

Jen

April 11 2008 at 3:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Suzanne

Thank you for the story on Moonlight. This is my favorite show and I cannot wait for its return. Moonlight has something for everyone. Drama, romance, and action all wrapped around a mystery of the week. This show could really take off if given the proper promotion. CBS has a winner here, I hope they realize it.

April 10 2008 at 10:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Christine Dooley

I'm from the UK and have been watching Moonlight from the beginning. We're only half way through the series here but I'm now so addicted I've had to watch the rest on You tube. I try to resist any info or articles relating to the upcoming episodes in the USA but I can't! This was a great interview. I will be distraught if the series is not renewed. I hope the network takes into account the overseas fans too.

April 09 2008 at 7:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Christine Dooley's comment
Isabelle Carreau

No to burst your bubble, but they never take overseas into account. They don't even take Canada airings into account and we get the US channels with the US commercials! lol

April 09 2008 at 12:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gagagirl

I loved this article! I have to say that I was never a fan of the Vampire genre before Moonlight. I have since, however, been turned! I was thrilled to hear Alex talking about Mick and Beth getting together, like it could someday be a possibility; not that I need it to move too quickly. ;-) I love this show, I have the deepest respect and admiration for the cast, (especially Alex), and I have really come to care about these characters!
Jason mentioned the score, well I think the music on this show is brilliant, and it adds so much to every scene! The show is also visually stunning! And I feel the need to thank the writers for creating characters that we have come to know and love! I can't say enough about this show! It absolutely needs a second season, and a chance to "turn" more viewers into unsuspecting addicts, uh, I mean fans. ;-)

April 09 2008 at 12:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Argus

Its really interesting hearing Alex and Sophia's thoughts on the vampire genre. Alex says he appreciates it and qualifies it with a sentence showing that he also understands it, while Sophia says she does not appreciate it and qualifies it with a sentence showing she does not understand it.

"Furthermore, she says she doesn't see the fascination with drinking blood and can't understand why anyone would think it's sexy."

The act itself is a metaphor for sex. That's why its sexy and why female vampire victims often have an orgasm face when being bitten.

Drinking blood is fascinating because it breaks the taboo of cannibalism and because of the large presence of blood in many religions. IE, drinking Christ's blood to get eternal life vs. Vampires drinking blood to get eternal life.

Religious stuff has long been in Vampire lore, and the original texts such as Dracula were strongly Anti-Semitic (both Ethnically and Religiously.) Dracula's description was based off of stereotypical Jewish characteristics and the discredited science of physiognomy. The anti-semitic parts are obviously pretty much gone from current fiction, but ethnic tensions are still seen periodically.

I could go on. Want me to do a vampire primer TVSquad?




I also love the fact that Vampires have always seemed in this show to be less motivated by an animalistic desire for blood than the same altered version of Epicurus' philosophy that the French nobility embraced. And now with the Coraline stuff it all makes sense.

April 08 2008 at 10:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Argus's comment
cobby

yes, I would like more info.....I don't know anything about vampires but I love Moonlight.

April 10 2008 at 10:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
justmick

Thanks for the wonderful interview. I am a HUGE Alex and Moonlight fan. The rest of the cast is pretty awesome too. I am so looking forward to the new episodes. It's getting very hard to wait. I certainly hope CBS realizes the treasure it has in Moonlight and gives us a renewal for a full second season.

April 08 2008 at 4:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nattyff

poop...

April 08 2008 at 3:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kristin Sample

@ Tara and Paul: thank you very much for catching that.

April 08 2008 at 3:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cobby

I've been a BIG, HUGE fan since day one and I'm happy to know others are being turned onto it too. However, I'm just tired of hearing about "it had a slow start but it got better or is getting better".....hello, the show was WONDERFUL from day one. A lot of viewers did nothing but compare it to Angel, Buffy, etc. and never accepted it for what it was...therein lies the problem. I do hope ML gets a larger audience so it can have a chance for renewal...it deserves it. All the actors have worked their as*es off and deserve nothing but acolades for it.

April 08 2008 at 3:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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