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Syfy and The Asylum Begin Production On ‘Sharknado 5’

Syfy and The Asylum Begin Production On ‘Sharknado 5’

Syfy and The Asylum announced today that Ian Ziering and Tara Reid will again star in SHARKNADO 5 (working title), reprising their roles as shark-fighting heroes Fin Shepard and April Wexler. Principal photography commenced today, February 2, in Bulgaria. The latest film in the hit global franchise, SHARKNADO 5 features the return of original cast member Cassie Scerbo as Nova, a bartender turned badass Sharknado fighter.

SHARKNADO 5, which sees the deadly weather phenomenon of shark-infested storms bombard cities around the world, will film in more than 5 countries, including the UK and Australia. Anthony C. Ferrante, who directed the first four films, is back to helm this latest installment, based on a script by Scotty Mullen.

The original 2013 SHARKNADO film, which introduced a cyclone depositing man-eating sharks on the citizens of Los Angeles, became a worldwide phenomenon and spawned a pop culture franchise. In SHARKNADO 2: THE SECOND ONE, New York City was the target of the disaster, and in SHARKNADO 3: OH HELL NO!, a mega-sharknado made its way down the “Feast Coast” from Washington, D.C. to Florida. In the most recent installment, SHARKNADO: THE 4TH AWAKENS, the shark-infested storms went national. The film ended with the Eiffel Tower ripping away from Paris and crashing down on Niagara Falls – a chilling indication that no one in the world is safe!

Now, in SHARKNADO 5, with much of North America lying in ruins, the rest of the world braces for the inevitable – a global sharknado. Fin Shepard and his family must put a stop to this disaster before Earth is completely obliterated.

About Syfy
Syfy is a media destination for imagination-based entertainment. With year round acclaimed original series, events, blockbuster movies, classic science fiction and fantasy programming, a dynamic Web site (www.Syfy.com), and a portfolio of adjacent business (Syfy Ventures), Syfy is a passport to limitless possibilities. Originally launched in 1992 as SCI FI Channel, and currently in 96 million homes, Syfy is a network owned by NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

About The Asylum
The Asylum is one of the world’s leading brand-oriented motion picture and television studios. With a focus on high-concept, market-driven entertainment, like the SHARKNADO franchise and the popular Z NATION television series, The Asylum finances, produces and releases 25 films per year through its direct pipeline to the nation’s top retailers and its network of international partners. Since its founding in 1997, The Asylum has released more than 500 films and has built a library of over 200 original productions, including top-rated movie premieres for Syfy, Lifetime, and Animal Planet networks. In addition, The Asylum has begun production on Season 4 of Syfy’s highest-rated scripted show, Z NATION, a critically-acclaimed action-horror series.

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IN BLOOM: Laura Vandervoort Talks Career, Breakout Role On ‘Bitten’ and More!

IN BLOOM: Laura Vandervoort Talks Career, Breakout Role On ‘Bitten’ and More!

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Over the past decade, Laura Vandervoort has poured her heart and soul into each project, establishing herself as one of the most versatile actresses in the entertainment industry. She not only crosses over genres, but also changes from character to character flawlessly embracing the essence of every role she plays. From being listed in Maxim’s Top 100 hottest women two years in a row, to spearheading a national PETA campaign, to starring in a hit studio films, it is evident that Laura’s career is blossoming into something wonderous. Best known for her roles on the television shows “Smallville” and “V,” she continues to turn the heads of genre fans and critics alike.

Laura first began her career in background work on Canadian commercials and TV shows, then landed her first speaking role at the age of thirteen, for the children’s series “Goosebumps” and “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” She went on to take acting classes and book other TV guest star roles and at nineteen, while attending York University, Laura landed the lead on the CTV TV series “Instant Star,” a popular series that ran for four seasons.<

Landing the coveted role of “Supergirl” AKA “Kara” on the hit The CW series “Smallville,” Laura became the main focus of the 7th season of the popular sci-fi drama. Following “Smallville,” Laura booked the sequel to the Jessica Alba/Paul Walker feature film “Into The Blue” titled “Into the Blue 2: The Reef.” Following “The Reef,” the in-demand actress went directly into filming “The Jazzman,” “Out of Control,” “Damage” and s miniseries that was the SyFy channel’s re-launch of Philip José Farmer’s “Riverworld.” Laura also booked a series regular spot for ABC’s sci-fi series “V” amongst Elizabeth Mitchell (“Lost”) and Scott Wolf (“Party of Five”). After “V,” she booked and shot five feature films back to back: the psychological thriller, “The Entitled” starring Ray Liotta, followed by McG’s romantic comedy, “This Means War” starring Reese Witherspoon and Chris Pine, the lead in “Desperately Seeking Santa,” with Nick Zano, “Broken Trust,” and the hit side-splitting comedy, “Ted” directed by Seth Macfarlane, starring Mark Wahlberg.

Laura Vandervoort’s latest project is her most ambitious and challenging to date; allowing her to push her limits as an actress. Based on the ‘Women of the Otherworld’ novels by #1 NY Times best-selling author Kelley Armstrong, ‘Bitten’ is an emotionally charged supernatural thriller where she stars as Elena Michaels, the lone female werewolf in existence. Desperate to escape both a world she never wanted to be part of and the man who turned her into a werewolf, Elena has abandoned her pack and taken refuge in a new city. There, she works as a photographer and hides her werewolf existence from her new boyfriend. When bodies start turning up in her pack’s backyard, Elena finds herself back at Stonehaven, the werewolves’ ancestral domain. Torn between two worlds and two loves, she quickly realizes that – when push comes to shove – she’ll stop at nothing to defend her pack.

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Laura Vandevoort to discuss her blossoming career, the challenges of bringing her character from script to screen and what the future might hold for both on-screen and behind the camera!

I wanted to give our readers a bit of background on you. They say a career in the entertainment industry isn’t for the faint of heart, what made you choose to go in this direction?

Laura Vandervoort

Laura Vandervoort: A star of the rise!

I know they say it takes a thick skin to be in this industry but I don’t have that! [laughs] That is something I struggle with on a day to day basis. I can’t say the industry isn’t for the faint of heart because that is me! It is never an easy process being in this industry. I am competitive, I challenge myself and I strive to do my best. I also grew up doing martial arts, so I was very motivated and dedicated to whatever it was I was doing at the time. When I decided to become an actor, it was something that I decided to do at the age of 13 and I asked my parents if I could try it. It was tough and I don’t do well with rejection but I just developed an outer shell. I wouldn’t say it is a thicker skin but an outer shell to deflect negative comments or the ongoing rejection you experience as an actor. I am much better at handling that than I used to be, especially as I have gotten older. Yet, it is still not easy! That’s for sure! [laughs] It is tough for everybody!

Who would you cite as your biggest influence when it comes to being an actor?

I have a distant relative that is a Canadian actor, Gordon Pinsent. He is my third cousin or something like that. He was really the only person I knew who was an actor when I decided to be one or to try it. He is older than I am and he was my mentor in many ways. He visited me on my first set and we would write letters and he would tell me to stay true to myself and work hard. He was definitely my first mentor. Like most actresses, I look up to a lot of people I see when I go to the movies or watch television. Obviously, Meryl Streep is everything! [laughs]

Where do you look for inspiration these days as a working actor?

Laura Vandervoort

Laura Vandervoort

It hasn’t happened a lot lately but if I go to a film and I am truly enraptured with the script, the characters or the female actors, that is something I find very inspiring. I get truly inspired when I leave a movie feeling I need to do something different or step outside of my comfort zone, along with working with other incredible actors who encourage you to do better than you have been doing. I am just inspired to create. I have a lot of Canadian friends who are here in Los Angeles now who are producing their own projects where they are also writing, starring and improvising in them. Taking comedy classes is another thing that has encouraged me to maybe do something like that as well. I have created a kids show that we are working on that will be a TV series. That is something that came from me having a year off and I wasn’t super busy. In that time, I wrote a book and was inspired to create. Now, it will be a live action kids series called “Super Duper Deelia!” That has allowed me to be a producer/creator, which is also inspiring to me. I am learning about everything on the other side of the camera!

That is awesome to hear. I was curious if you wanted to explore the world behind the camera but clearly you already started down that path!

Yeah! It is definitely a little scary because I have been on only one side of the camera for a long time but I’m hoping it goes well and isn’t too terrifying for me. At the same time, I hope that it is and I am constantly learning, that’s for sure!

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‘Bitten’ Returns on Friday, April 17th on Syfy!

It’s important to note you are still very busy in front of the camera, as well. One of your projects is “Bitten” and it is back for its second season. What can you tell us about how you got involved with the project?

“Bitten” was a project that came to me. I had done a show in Halifax, Nova Scotia called “Haven” with eOne. I did a guest star on the show as sort of an evil villain that killed women and wore their skin. It was a creepy character! [laughs] After that project, I think eOne had me on their radar. They had “Bitten” optioned and J.B. Sugar had me in mind for Elena. I was actually at a friend’s viewing party for “Haven” when I was approached by one of the people from eOne about the project. I read the script, spoke to my agents and our executive producer about how he envisioned the show to look, along with Elena herself. I had a great creative conversation with him and the last thing on my mind was the werewolf aspect. I was more interested in how she became who she was and what she had been through. It was a great story and a really strong female lead that I was really excited to be a part of, so that is sort of how I got on board. We did a chemistry reading with a lot of the guys and now we are onto Season 2! It has been a great ride!

Laura Vandervoort as Elena Michaels

Laura Vandervoort as Elena Michaels

How did you prepare for the character in the series?

With Elena, it was trying to understand what is going on in her heart and in her head. Obviously, having the books as source material was helpful but for me it was about understanding where the character is coming from, where they have been and where they are going. Then I try to find what part of me relates to or connects with what that character has going on. With any character, I try to find some sort of parallel with myself and try to inject that wherever possible without changing too much of the character. Physically, I had to be in fighting condition and had to train for it. The majority of the character is being mentally where she is at the moment. In the beginning of the first season, she was rather torn between the human world and the wolf world. She was very confused. She came from a foster care system and had been abused as a child, so I always want to keep those things in mind when she is dealing with people, relationships and trust issues.

As an actor, you bring something special to each character you play. What did you bring to this character that wasn’t on the written page?

That is a good question. There was so much about Elena that I could relate to and it was within me to play. Perhaps I brought a bit of a sensitivity, a softer side or a more motherly, nurturing nature to her when it comes to the pack and the boys. I think that is what I brought to the role, especially this season. With our new young witch that nurturing side of her is coming forward. Ironically, Elena was born the same day I was born in Toronto on September 22nd. She has twins in the book, which is interesting because my mom is a twin and it skips a generation. There was definitely a weird alignment of, “Maybe this was meant to be!”

That is interesting! You mentioned the novels “Bitten” is based on and you were aware of those but were you aware of the dedicated fan base the books developed? How has the response to the show affected you?

'Bitten' Returns on April 17th

‘Bitten’ Returns on April 17th on Syfy

I knew about the books and I knew there was a fan base but I definitely didn’t know the extent or to what extreme the fans were fans of the book but we were definitely determined to make sure they were happy with our portrayal of the characters, the scripts and the look of the show. That is really important because if you are a fan of the books, you have existed within that world before we have, so you have the right to your opinion. We just wanted to make them happy and I think in the end they were. There were a few surprises that they weren’t quite comfortable with or differences in casting but in the end they seemed very happy. It has been great meeting them at conventions and getting a chance to talk to the die-hard fans. They have been so fantastic and supportive! We are definitely hoping for a third season!

There is a great team bringing this show to life. What has it been like to work with everyone behind the scenes and what is the biggest thing you have taken away from this experience?

Laura Vandervoort

Laura Vandervoort

You’re right! Our team is phenomenal! I don’t think I have been on a show where I love every person involved, both onscreen and off, from the crew to the writers and producers to the stunt people. I think we have been very lucky and blessed in that sense. Deagan Fryklind is an amazing writer and a female powerhouse! She is the Holy Grail to me when it comes to dynamic, empowering female themes! J.B. Sugarman, our executive producer, is phenomenal as well and very much one of us. We are all sort of our own little pack and are very supportive of each other. It is sort of rare to have these fairly young, handsome young actors on a set where they all get along and adore each other. I adore them and the entire experience has been fantastic. I think I come away from this show knowing we are doing the best we can, the fans are happy and we are all butting in 100% every day. In the end, I know I have made family and friends for life because of this show!

What has been the biggest challenge for you on the series so far? Does anything stand out to you?

I think I would definitely have to say, in Season One, it was getting comfortable within my own skin. The show is a sexualized show, it is racy and it is about the relationship between a man and a woman, a werewolf and a human. They are very animalistic. I think this was the first role where I had to be more physically comfortable within myself. I love doing stunts and action and all of that but when it came to the more emotional and physical scenes with someone, I was terrified! [laughs] I definitely have gotten to a place where that is easier for me and I trust the people I am working with. I think since hitting 30, a weird switch went off and I am comfortable with who I am and it is what it is! [laughs] This show definitely helped me get there!

When it comes to the action and physicality in the show, what has that experience been like?

We have a great stunt coordinator, John Stead, who is phenomenal. He knows all the actors abilities and knows how determined we are as actors to do our own stuff, so he allows us to do a large portion of it. We have great choreographed stunt sequences that we get to learn on weekends or the day before a shoot. I grew up doing martial arts, so it is something I love to do. It mixes up the day a little bit. Often times, I am very happy with the final product. All of the boys are amazing with their sequences as well!

As an actor, you worked quite a bit in the world of sci-fi. I was curious if there was another genre or dream project you were anxious to tackle in the short term?

Definitely! There is a list! [laughs] Outside of the sci-fi realm, I would love to do a period piece. I would love to do a Victorian era film, something along those lines. I would love to do a blockbuster Marvel film! I would love to do a great indie and completely change the way that I look. Westerns and action films are also on that short list!

The Amazing Laura Vandervoort

The Amazing Laura Vandervoort

You can serve as a great inspiration to young actors. What is the best piece of advice you have been given that you can pass along to those looking to make a career in the entertainment industry?

Honestly, it is fairly simple and certainly not a revelation but it is what Gordon Pinsent had said to me when I was young. He said, “Don’t let the business get to you. Don’t let it change you and remember where you came from!” I think if you follow that advice, people will respect you, love working with you and want to work with you, which will lead to you being a continually working actor. If you are difficult and your head gets too big, you can still be working but you won’t have the respect you would want as an actor. I think remembering where you come from and having respect for everyone, no matter how big or small the project might be, is the key. It’s all about respect!

You have given voice to some truly deserving causes with PETA and the Humane Society International. How did you get involved there?

I worked with PETA a while ago to do two of their campaigns, Exotic Skins and banning Seaworld. Those are things I very much believe in and am involved with. I have always been an advocate for animals. The Human Society International is something I wanted to be a part of and help support for all of the amazing work they do. We are trying to spread the word on a petition signed for banning cosmetic testing on animals in Canada and around the world. In my personal life, I also try to enforce that and on set whenever possible. I think people need to educate themselves on the options for products that are out there that are cruelty free!

Absolutely! Thank you for your time today, Laura! It has been a pleasure and, as a fan of your work, I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us in the years to come!

Thank you, Jason! Take care!

Visit Laura Vandevoort’s official website at www.lauravandervoort.com. Follow her adventures on social media at Twitter and Instagram!

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NOW’S THE TIME: Amanda Schull On Her Breakout Role In ’12 Monkeys’ And More!

NOW’S THE TIME: Amanda Schull On Her Breakout Role In ’12 Monkeys’ And More!

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Amanda Schull is more than just a pretty face; in fact she is one of the most dedicated and hard working talents in the entertainment industry today. A multi-faceted artist on the rise, she made her motion picture debut in Sony Picture’s ‘Center Stage.’ The role combined Schull’s talent as an accomplished actress and technically skilled ballet dancer. Following ‘Center Stage,’ she returned to the San Francisco Ballet for several years before setting her sights on a full-time acting career.  Upon her return to film and television, Schull immediately booked memorable recurring roles on The CW’s fan favorite ‘One Tree Hill,’ USA’s ‘Suits’ and the wildly popular ABC Family series ‘Pretty Little Liars.’ Her feature film credits include a lead role in ‘Mao’s Last Dancer,’ directed by Academy Award nominee Bruce Beresford and featured scenes opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in ‘J. Edgar,’ directed by Clint Eastwood.

Her latest project is her most ambitious to date and has thrust her into the spotlight as the show’s lead. Inspired by the 1995 film starring Bruce Wills, Brad Pitt and Madeleine Stowe, “12 Monkeys” follows the journey of a time traveler (Aaron Stanford) from the post-apocalyptic future who appears in present day on a mission to locate and eradicate the source of a deadly plague that will eventually decimate the human race with the help of Schull’s character, Dr. Cassandra Railly. The doctor is a brilliant virologist whose world is turned upside down when she’s kidnapped by Cole. He claims that in the future she’ll send him a message asking for his help to stop a plague that will kill billions. After he disappears, Railly’s life falls apart, and she questions her own sanity. But when Cole returns, she’s drawn into a mission to help prevent the viral outbreak. As a doctor she has taken a vow to do no harm — but what does that mean when harm must be done to save the world? 

Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Amanda Schull to discuss her unique career path, the challenges she has faced along the way and her break out role on Syfy’s ’12 Monkeys,’ which is set to premiere on January 16, 2015.  

Amanda Schull

Amanda Schull

You had a unique career path. What can you tell us about how you got started on your journey into the entertainment industry?

I think most performers don’t have much of a choice, they were sort of born to do it. I know that from a very early age, I was forcing my parents to watch performances of me in my living room. [laughs] I charged for tickets and created whole performances with costumes, makeup, storylines and the whole bit! [laughs] I think I have always kind of had it in my DNA, whether I wanted to admit it or not! I just can’t deny it anymore! [laughs] I became a performer professionally with the San Francisco Ballet where I was a professional ballet dancer. Right around the same time I got my contract with the company, I was cast in the Columbia Pictures film, “Center Stage.” Everything kind of came to a head at one time and then I continued my career in San Francisco. Seven or eight years later, I decided I would give acting a full time try and I moved down to Los Angeles.

Was making the transition from ballet dancer to actress a difficult one to make?

You know it was in many ways and it wasn’t in many ways. Ballet is a finite career. You can’t do it forever and you can’t decide it is something you want to do in your mid-50s. You have to pursue it while you are young and your body is capable. I did that for a while and I always had this little tickle in the back of my mind saying that I needed to go down to LA and give it a try but I wanted to make sure I gave my dance career justice. When I finally listened to that voice, it was challenging because dance was all I had known up until that point. Forsaking that and deciding to go full throttle with acting was scary but very rewarding in many ways. I think from fear is where you develop character and learn for about yourself and what you really want to do with your life.

For you as a performer, who were some of the people who had a big impact on you along the way?

Oh gosh! I have had so many mentors and people who have inspired me both in dance and with acting. I have been very fortunate that my parents allowed me to go to dance schools abroad to study with wonderful teachers. One of them, Violet Verde, really taught me how to articulate physically an emotion, which is something carried through with acting as well. As an actor you need to embody the character, the physical embodiment as well as vocalizing the words the writers have written for you. I think that dance has helped me greatly in transitioning into acting because I have been able to understand the whole person and not just acting at something.

Syfy's '12 Monkeys'

Syfy’s ’12 Monkeys’

Your latest project is one we are definitely excited about! How did you get involved with “12 Monkeys” and what spoke to you about the role?

I got the script through my representation, so the manner in which I saw the material was pretty ordinary. However, I liked the character from the very first read! I think she is strong, smart and she has a good sense of humor. She is really a likable person but she also doesn’t allow herself to ever feel sorry for herself having this mission sort of thrust upon her. She also doesn’t ever really question herself, which I thought was really interesting. She doesn’t wait for a knight in shining armor to come along to help to save the world. She is absolutely willing to take on the task! A strong female lead is such a privilege to play, so I was honored to get the opportunity to do this. The way in which it came about I had to fight for it. When I was cast, it was very exciting!

What did you bring to this character through your own life experience that may not have been on the written page?

I can tell you that Terry Matalas, one of the writer/creators of the show, told me that as the series progressed and he got to know me better, he adapted the writing to fit some of my own words and the way I speak and, in particular, my sense of humor. I have a bit of a dry sense of humor at times, so he started to incorporate that and would allow me to improvise some of that from time to time. That was really interesting and very much a privilege to have a writer not be so protective of his words but to be open to suggestions from the people who are portraying these characters. He was totally OK with me suggesting things, asking questions or adapting dialog to make it flow more easily out of my mouth.

What a great compliment from the writers to give you that freedom to explore!

Yes. Thank you! I think so highly of them. If they didn’t think it was right, I would absolutely agree with them! [laughs]

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A bit of an obvious question but were you familiar with the “12 Monkeys” film before you became involved with the script?

I was familiar with it. I think I saw it when it originally came out or in the years that followed. I did not re-watch it before we shot the pilot. I specifically chose not to do that because I didn’t want it to influence my performance. The show is not a remake and I didn’t want to imitate Madeleine Stowe’s character or performance. Our characters are very different and it was specifically done in that way. The show is very different from the film in many respects. It has been updated to fit our particular times. It was really only when the show got picked up that I rewatched the film and loved it all over again.

Amanda Schull as Dr. Cassandra Railly

Amanda Schull as Dr. Cassandra Railly

As a fan of the original film and what is happening with the series, it is exciting to see everyone involved carrying it very close to their heart. What have you taken away from being a part of a unique project like this one?

You know what? I have really been very, very lucky on this project. You are very right when you say everyone takes their job very seriously. Not so seriously that we all consider ourselves artists or “only call me by my character name” kind of serious! [laughs] I think everyone has a great sense of humor. We understand it can be, at times, intense subject matter but everyone has a great sense of humor. Everyone does take it to heart and cares about what they are doing. Everyone shows up prepared and puts everything they have into every single scene and every single take. Gosh, it is a luxury to be able to work with people who love and care about what they do. It is really, really nice and makes going to work so much fun! I couldn’t even consider it work on most days!

What do you consider the biggest challenge for you to date on the series?

Good question! Hmmm. I face challenges every single day of my life! [laughs] I guess the biggest challenge with the show has been wrapping my head around the time travel. I have had to get it explained to me a couple of different times because I need to understand it in some regards but I am lucky because Dr. Railly isn’t a time traveler so she doesn’t need to understand all of the specifics. There have definitely been episodes I have read, re-read and then re-read again only to go into the producer’s or writer’s office and say, “How is it that they knew about this before this happened,” and get the whole explanation of the time travel broken down for me.

I am sure it can be a lot to take in, especially in written form!

Yeah! It can be a little confusing at times!

Amanda Schull

Amanda Schull

Whether it is this character or any given project, do you have a process of bringing a character to life?

I do. I have a very specific way that I read a script and break it down. I take quite a few notes along the way. I am very meticulous about that. I make sure I have everything written down on the page so that I can understand it analytically before I approach in an artistic sort of sense. I’m a little bit of a journalist where I try to observe the character before I try to understand her emotions. I think after I understand why she is doing something specific, I can then digest how she would behave in a particular situation. I also have a wonderful acting coach that I frequently call for advice and suggestions. She has always been a wonderful resource for me and the characters I get a little stumped by.

Looking back on your career to date, what do you consider your biggest evolution?

Wow! You know, maybe this project because I see it as a little bit of a game changer professionally. This is my first series regular role that has been picked up for a series. I shot a pilot a few years ago that didn’t end up getting picked up. The way I need to approach this and sort of live as my character has been very different from being able to drop in every once in a while to visit a character that I only do recurringly, if that is even a word! [laughs]

As an actress, is there a role or genre you are anxious to tackle in the long or short term?

I try to find and create characters that are interesting. It is more the role than even the project that speaks to me and that I choose to take on. I think a bucket list item for me would definitely be Broadway for me one day! I think that would be jump out of my socks fantastic! [laughs]

On The RIse: Amanda Schull

On The Rise: Amanda Schull

What about the world that lies behind the camera in the form of writing or directing? Any aspirations to pursue those aspects one day?

Not just yet. I think I still have a lot to learn and a lot of things that I still want to achieve in front of the camera. I do tend to have a lot to say about other people’s performances! [laughs] I usually keep that moderately to myself and I think I should for the time being! [laughs]

You can serve as such an inspiration to aspiring actors. What is the best piece of advice you can pass along to those looking to make a career in today’s entertainment industry?

Work! Just work, in all regards! I had a friend tell me, when I first moved down to LA a few years ago, when things weren’t really going as easily for me, they would want me to go out to dinner with them and I would want to stay home and work on characters or scripts for acting class. They would say, “I am worrying that your life is passing you by and you are not really having fun.” I am having so much now because I put in all of the work before! I think a lot of people don’t understand that acting is work. It is not just getting some hair and makeup done for you and then going out and hoping the emotion comes to you or you know your lines on the day. You need to put in the time and effort. Being disciplined is a very wonderful character trait as an successful actor!

Thanks for your time today, Amanda! I really appreciate it and can’t wait to see what you have in store for us in the years to come!

Thank you so much, Jason! Have a great day!

’12 Monkeys’ debuts on Syfy on January 16th, 2015! Be sure to interact with Amanda Schull on Twitter and Instagram.

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Taryn Manning Talks ‘The Perfect Age For Rock N’ Roll,’ New Music & More!

Taryn Manning Talks ‘The Perfect Age For Rock N’ Roll,’ New Music & More!

You will instantly recognize the always stunning Taryn Manning from her roles in such films as ‘8 Mile,’ ‘A Lot Like Love’ and Hustle & Flow. What you might not realize is that she is more than a typical one dimensional Hollywood actress. From television to film to music to fashion, she does it all! Whether it is gracing the silver screen in her new film ‘The Perfect Age For Rock N’ Roll’ or putting the finishing touches on her upcoming solo album, this free spirit puts her all in to every project, making both critics and fans stand up and take notice! As one of the hardest working women in show business, she shows no signs of slowing down. Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with this multi-faceted artist to discuss her latest film project which melds her love of music and acting, her musical roots, her upcoming solo album, the misconceptions associated with her and much more!

How did you get involved with your latest film, “The Perfect Age For Rock ‘N’ Roll,” and what drew you to the role?

My agent called me and said, “You have an audition for this film. Do you want it?” I read the script and really enjoyed it, so I met with the director where I auditioned like all of the other actors and got the part. As far was what drew me to the role, I don’t know if you know a lot about me but I am a musician as well. That part of my life drew me to the script. Anything to do with rock ‘n’ roll, I love! It is difficult to find strong female roles. So, even though my character makes some mistakes in the film and breaks the cardinal rule, it still interests me to play a road manager because I always play the artist. I thought that it could be really cool because I have had a lot of experiences out on the road with my own band and I can draw from my own experiences and create my own character.

What was the biggest challenge for you in bringing this character to life?

The biggest challenge for me was to find Rose’s redeeming quality because it wasn’t all on the page. I had to do it with my acting. I had to really search for her redeeming qualities because in the script, she kinda causes some problems in addition to being the road manager. If you have seen the movie, the last scene where she makes a huge mistake, I asked the director to just let the cameras role because I was in this place that I will never be able to explain, but I did this improv, this monologue, that the director told me was so powerful, bizarre and real that he wanted to make a short film out of it. In the final cut, it got cut down for the film’s sake but it was very important to me that you could see and feel Rose’s regret and that you could feel that she made a bad choice and that she really did love him. I just hope that it came across because that was what was important to me, to find qualities in Rose.

In your opinion, what did director Scott D. Rosenbaum bring to the project?

Scott is an amazing person! I think that he brought a lot of legitimate education on rock ‘n’ roll, the origins of rock ‘n’ roll and where it stems from. He is just a music fanatic! For the film, we have a lot of really, old-time musicians in the film which gives it a great authenticity and it also incorporates the whole thing about the “27 Club” situation, which is eerie with Amy Winehouse’s passing. I had a similar feeling while working on “Hustle & Flow.” The director really knew what he wanted, he knew the characters and knew his movie. I have worked with so many directors where I have just wanted to say, “Have you read your script?!” Ya know what I mean? I don’t mean that in a rude way but you meet some directors that have a very, very clear vision of what they want to accomplish and Scott is one of them!

Each project seems to be a learning experience for an actor. What did you learn from your time on this film and with its eclectic cast?

What did I learn from this one? I learned how to be around all guys and hold my own! [laughs]

Maybe I am being naive but I wouldn’t have guessed that something like that would be a problem for you!

I have a lot of girlfriends. I am a girls-girl and I have a lot of really tight girlfriends. I can get pretty shy around all guys! I learned strength during this film. I didn’t really realize that I had it in me. It was amazing to find that within myself and utilize it for the character and my real life.

You touched on your own personal music. A lot of people might not know about that side of you. How did music first come into your life?

I was born into music. My father was a musician. I basically grew up in bars and night clubs, sitting on a stool, waiting for him to be done performing, so that I could go to bed because my Mom and Dad had split up. Every summer my father was somewhere else, some other city, because his band was popular locally, on the east coast and in the Washington, D.C. area. So, I saw a lot with my Dad. My Dad was a really interesting guy who definitely took my brother and I on wild adventures every summer. I was around a lot of music and my father was very into Motown and rock ‘n’ roll, like Janis Joplin and The Rolling Stones. He is the one who introduced me to all of those elements and I am obsessed with Motown. He would make me sing all the time and embarrass me by putting me on display in front of all his friends and make me sing. He is really the one that did it!

I bet those experiences lend themselves pretty well to your acting craft since many of your films have musical overtones in them.

Yeah! It has been such an interesting career for me. There are only a few movies that I have done that don’t have my music in it or don’t have a musician in them of some sort. It is very uncanny the way music and movies have been so hand in hand, even with TV shows. It is like it is meant to be for me to be doing both. I won’t choose and I get asked all of the time, “If you could choose to act or sing, which one would it be?” I wouldn’t! I am going to do both! It is what I have been doing! Even when I am an old, old woman, I am still probably going to play my guitar and write songs because it is healing for me.

You have a new album in the works, what can you tell us about that project?

Taryn Manning In Action!

I have got my newest song out right now! It is called “Turn It Up!” and it is doing really well. I have my next single lined up to go. I am doing some touring while I am here in New York. It is my priority right now. I have worked for two years on this album and I am crazy about it. I worked with several different producers and collaborated with all different kinds of writers. It’s not Boomkat, it is just me! But I do have another Boomkat album in the works too. Those albums take a little bit longer just because my brother doesn’t work at the same pace as I do. Whenever my brother needs some time to relax, I just do my own thing. This is what that is, it is my solo album.

What is the biggest challenge in putting a project like that together in today’s climate?

To be honest with you, the music industry is rough and the biggest challenge is the financial aspect of it. My entire career, I have funded myself. I act so that I can pay for my music. I act and then I pay for my entire clothing line. I basically spend money to make money. I just have this thought that it just flows like that. There have been times that I have been in the red paying for studio time, producers and equipment and this and that. My Mom always says, “Taryn, what are you doing?” I just say, “I am doing what I love.” Money is something that you can’t take to the grave. I know that is so clique but it is true. I grew up so poor that when I have money, I invest it in what I love to do.

What do you feel is the biggest misconception about yourself?

Well, ya know, I have been tragically stereotyped as an edgy, drug addicted, always playing pregnant roles and it is frustrating. Even for this film “Manson Girls” that I am about to film, the director wanted to meet with me because all she could see was that “Hustle & Flow” hooker. I guess that I played that so well that people think they plucked me off the streets of Memphis! [laughs] On one hand it is an amazing compliment but on the other hand it has been so frustrating to be pigeon-holed. Even the director of “Manson Girls,” when she gave me a chance, she sat with me and said, “Wow, you are one of the most sophisticated actresses that I have sat with regarding this film and I feel terrible that you are so misconceived.” It is frustrating but there came a point where I was just like, “Whatever!” I know who I am. I know that I am educated. I have traveled around the world three times. I have record deals and clothing lines. I am a business woman. I am smart! I am an entrepreneur and I am not on drugs or a drug addict. I am actually a decent person who is very spiritual and very kind to others! I love my family and I am a good friend, ya know what I mean?

Definitely! I am glad we can help spread the word as we are all big fans of your work.

Thank you! I really appreciate that!

Anything you would like to say to people who might not have had a chance to check out your music yet?

To the people who don’t know my music, just give it a chance. Go online and check out my history and all of my videos from the Boomkat material to the latest stuff. Give it a chance and I think you will be pleasantly surprised!

What else should we be on the lookout for from you in the months to come?

I just completed a movie for Syfy that is going to come out in October with Ving Rhames. It is an action film, a zombie apocalypse film. That was really fun for me to get to do action! I am very physical even though I am small. I don’t get to be seen for action films because they are always like, “She is so petite! How could she possibly do this action thing!” It’s funny because I grew up doing karate and I was number one in the state of Arizona. I like to call myself a little Mighty Mouse. [laughs]

Awesome! We will be on the lookout for that! Thanks so much for your time and we look forward to talking to you again soon!

Thank you!

For all the latest news on Taryn Manning, connect with her on her official website at www.tarynmanning.com! Fans can check out the official site for ‘The Perfect Age For Rock N’ Roll’ at www.theperfectageofrocknroll.com!

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Hilarious New Red Band Trailer For Greg Mottola’s Alien Flick ‘Paul’

Hilarious New Red Band Trailer For Greg Mottola’s Alien Flick ‘Paul’

A hilarious new red band trailer for Greg Mottola’s Paul has be unleashed! The film follows two British comic book geeks who come come across an escaped alien from Area 51 during their road trip across America. The flick features an all-star cast that includes Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kristin Wiig, Jason Bateman, Bill Hader, Seth Rogen, Sigourney Weaver and more! Check out the trailer and the official synopsis below and mark your calendar for March 18, 2011 when ‘Paul’ hits theaters.

Official Synopsis: For the past 60 years, an alien named Paul (Seth Rogen) has been hanging out at a top-secret military base. For reasons unknown, the space-traveling smart ass decides to escape the compound and hop on the first vehicle out of town—a rented RV containing Earthlings Graeme Willy (Pegg) and Clive Gollings (Frost).

Chased by federal agents and the fanatical father of a young woman that they accidentally kidnap, Graeme and Clive hatch a fumbling escape plan to return Paul to his mother ship. And as two nerds struggle to help, one little green man might just take his fellow outcasts from misfits to intergalactic heroes.

Check out the official site for the film at www.whatispaul.com.

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Syfy Unveils Syfy Fanclub To Offer Exclusive Content

Syfy Unveils Syfy Fanclub To Offer Exclusive Content

Continuing the expansion of its online content following the re-launch of Blastr.com, Syfy today announced the ultimate fan experience with the debut of the new Syfy Fan Club.

In making the announcement, Craig Engler, Senior Vice President/General Manager, SyfyDigital, said: “For years our fans have been asking for us to create a fan club that gives them exclusive behind-the-scenes access and great merchandise, and this year we’re excited to launch the official Syfy Fan Club. It’s a great mix of real and virtual offerings that we think will satisfy even our most hardcore fans, and even give them a few things they might not expect.”

The exclusive Syfy membership package ($39.99) includes:

  • A custom designed Syfy messenger bag
  • A collectible button set featuring favorite Syfy shows.
  • Custom designed Syfy Key Chain
  • Personalized Syfy ID card
  • Personalized Membership Certificate
  • Welcome letter from Syfy President Dave Howe.

As well, the Syfy Fan Club offers fans:

  • Exclusive video content
  • Members-only chats with Syfy talent, writers, directors and executives and industry insiders
  • A news section with the latest Syfy announcements
  • A photo gallery featuring behind the scenes shots
  • Discounts for Syfy Fan Club members, including 15% off at the Syfy store, 10% off at the NBC store and access to a full member discount website
  • The opportunity to win autographed scripts, props, and access to Special Events

By joining before July 28, fans will receive a 20% membership discount and be automatically entered in a sweepstakes to win a limited edition Syfy Comic-Con t-shirt prize pack.

Sci Fi Wire, the premiere online destination for entertainment news about science fiction, fantasy and horror, re-launched as Blastr.com on July 15, expanding its scope from a news site to a daily curated smorgasbord of news, features, images, popular science, videos and guest bloggers.

Syfy.com is one of the leading imagination-based websites, averaging 5.5 million visits per month* Syfy.comincludes the lifestyle blogs Syfy Wire, DVICE and FIDGIT; Game Centerfeaturing popular games such asEureka Genius Bowl and the MMOG Dark Orbit; major show sites for the channel’s scripted and unscripted programming, from Warehouse 13 andGhost Hunters to Eureka and Destination Truth, and video hubs showcasing original short form content and video blogs along with Syfy Rewind, which presents full episodes of Syfy’s critically acclaimed programming.

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Debbie Gibson and Tiffany To Star In Syfy’s ‘Mega Python vs. Gatoroid’

Debbie Gibson and Tiffany To Star In Syfy’s ‘Mega Python vs. Gatoroid’

Tiffany and Debbie Gibson in their heyday.

Syfy has done it again! The channel has cast 1980s pop-stars Debbie Gibson and Tiffany in one of the network’s signature Saturday night original features. The network promises an epic battle between the former teen pop stars, who will co-star in Mega Python vs. Gatoroid.

Debbie Gibson will play a fanatical animal-rights activist who frees illegally imported exotic snakes from pet stores, sending them into the Everglades, where they grow to mega sizes. Tiffany will play an overzealous park ranger who uses dangerous methods to save endangered alligators. In the script, the pair are said to brawl at a party, then take matters outside into the swamp.

Both of the 80’s pop icons previously have been cast in Asylum/Syfy originals but the new project will mark their first project together.

Executive vp programming and original movies Thomas Vitale said the idea was hatched by Syfy’s creative team after Tiffany visited their office and said she always has wanted to work with Gibson; the media often portrayed the duo as rivals during their MTV years.

“They loved the idea of taking this perceived rivalry and having some fun with it,” Vitale said.

“Gatoroid” is produced by the Asylum. Mary Lambert (Pet Sematary) will direct from a script by Naomi Selfman (Evil Eyes). The project will begin shooting this month and air in 2011.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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WWE’s Smackdown Headed To Syfy In October

WWE’s Smackdown Headed To Syfy In October

World Wrestling Entertainment® and Syfy announced today a multi-year agreement that brings Friday Night SmackDown® to the “Imagine Greater” network beginning in October 2010. Friday Night SmackDown will premiere on its new home October 1st at 8:00 PM ET. The program, which debuted more than 10 years ago, is one of the longest-running, weekly episodic shows on television.

Syfy’s original Friday night drama series will move to Tuesday night, where hit series such as Warehouse 13 and Eureka have yielded unprecedented ratings success. WWE NXT™ will leave Syfy in October as Friday Night SmackDown joins the schedule.

“WWE® is the ultimate in imagination-based sports entertainment. The fantastical thrills of Friday Night SmackDown provide an ideal addition to the Syfy slate, as it targets the younger male and female demographics, which are the fastest growing categories for WWE,” said Dave Howe, President, Syfy. “With Tuesday night, a proven winner for our original drama series including Warehouse 13, there is bigger opportunity for series such as Stargate Universe, Sanctuary and Caprica to thrive on a night with a significantly larger number of viewers available to watch live.”

“Syfy is a terrific partner and we look forward to bringing our proven ratings winner and ten year television institution, Friday Night SmackDown, to the network,” said WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon. “With this move, WWE is thrilled to be expanding its long-standing relationship with the NBC Universal family.”

Friday Night SmackDown averages more than 3.4 million viewers a week and is currently the most watched TV program on Friday nights among Males under 55 and beats all Friday primetime programming on ABC, NBC, FOX and CW among Men 18-34*. The two hour television program will be presented weekly on Syfy and features a star-studded cast of WWE Superstars and Divas including Undertaker®, Edge®, Rey Mysterio®, Chris Jericho®, CM Punk®, Michelle McCool®, Beth Phoenix™ and Layla™.

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Official Synopsis and Facebook Page For Disney’s ‘John Carter of Mars’

Official Synopsis and Facebook Page For Disney’s ‘John Carter of Mars’

johncarterofmars-2Disney has released the official synopsis for the movie and also started an official Facebook fan page for the film. Production is under way in London for Andrew Stanton’s latest film, which is set to come out in 2012.

Synopsis: From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton (“Finding Nemo,” “WALL-E”), John Carter of Mars brings this captivating hero to the big screen in a stunning adventure epic set on the wounded planet of Mars, a world inhabited by warrior tribes and exotic desert beings. Based on the first of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “Barsoom Series,” the film chronicles the journey of Civil-War veteran John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), who finds himself battling a new and mysterious war amidst a host of strange Martian inhabitants, including Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) and Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins).

Be among the first to become a fan of John Carter of Mars on Facebook! www.facebook.com/JohnCarterOfMars

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Watch The First 8 Minutes Of ABC’s ‘V’ Remake Online

Watch The First 8 Minutes Of ABC’s ‘V’ Remake Online

v-reboot-posterV, the alien-invasion series that kicks off on Nov. 3. Check it out below!

The show will air for four weeks before going on hiatus until March 2010. The series stars Elizabeth Mitchell, Morris Chestnut, Joel Gretsch, Lourdes Benedicto, Morena Baccarin and Scott Wolf.

V is a “re-imagining” of the 1980s miniseries of the same name. It takes place in the none-too-distant future, when aliens rule humanity.

The new V centers on a female Homeland Security agent, dealing with the arrival of a race of aliens.

Check out the official site for the series, where you can find character profiles and other assorted goodies at http://abc.go.com/shows/v

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