Interview Transcript July 8
Interview Transcript July 8
Interview conducted by Jenna Busch. Huge thank you to by Tintin (Christian) for the transcript.
JB: Hey, I’m Jenna Busch from Fanhattan. I’m here with Craig W Van Sickle and Stephen Long Mitchell, creators of The Pretender. So guys, I have a bunch of fan questions for you.
JB: So, you guys have been promising us (first of all, before I start) a little more information.
CVS: We did, we did. Yes, sure.
SLM: Yes, sure.
JB: Okay, so cough up. Anything? Anything you want to say?
SLM: The Pretender’s coming back and in a whole new way. It’s going to be reborn. Stick around and we’ll let you know exactly how very, very soon.
JB: Ah! Oooh! Okay. Alright, I want to ask where we are. Tell me about the room that we’re in.
SLM: We’ve managed to get into the secret wine cellar of Mr Parker and we’re in front of his secret files, files with all the secrets of The Centre.
JB: Oh, yeah. I see a particular red file back there.
CVS: There’s several of them there. Actually, these are (as the audience will know) belong to Jarod and his various other (indistinct word).
JB: Is it terrible that I want to steal that on my way out?
CVS: For security reasons, no.
JB: You’d have to kill me?
CVS: That’s right. Yeah, yeah.
SLM: The Centre will hunt you down!
JB: Ah! I don’t want to be hunted by The Centre (laughs). Let me ask you some questions here: First, we have something from Terry, saying, “Do you have a timetable on when this will be back?”
SLM: Yes, yes, we do. Terry, do you want to know what that is?
JB: I want to know what that is!
SLM: We’re going to be launching and announcing the first iteration of the new story will be coming out in the Fall.
JB: Aw, so cool! Mary wants to know, “The Centre has already cloned Jarod once. Why do they continue to look for him? Jarod’s clone – was it really him?
CVS: The clone is still out there. We’re not sure what form he’s out there. He could be evil, he could be good. I mean, it’s all about the environment you’re raised in. So, while he’s physiologically Jarod, we don’t know yet, where he’s landed.
JB: Hmm… Well, this one’s just for me, but is there a chance there’s another clone?
SLM: At The Centre, there’s no telling what’s happening.
JB: This next question is from (and I have to say their last name here) Catherine Parker. That was interesting. “Why was Miss Parker missing from the episode ‘Parole’?”
SLM: Miss Parker was missing from the episode ‘Parole’ because she was off on a very special mission, and what she was doing on that mission becomes very important in the new rebirth of The Pretender. So, you will find out soon.
JB: Okay, so Mary wants to know, “Why’s Miss Parker so important for Jarod?”
CVS: Well, they clearly have some very deep ties, for one thing. Could be familiar, could just be their history which goes back to The Centre. The two of them are linked emotionally, that’s the key thing. And he’s got answers she needs; she has answers he needs. There’s a strong tie there.
SLM: Yeah, and one of the key things is it’s a love/hate relationship, that, as every great relationship, will be volatile and cool and warm and hot and getting a lot hotter.
JB: Ooh, a lot hotter! Okay, well this one’s for me too. How do you feel in terms of characters getting together? Could you?
SLM: Oh, absolutely.
JB: And you think you’d be able to keep them together for awhile?
CVS: Possibly, but there’s a lot more road to explore before we would get there. But that’s definitely a possible place the road is heading.
JB: Oooh! Okay, Sarah would like to know, “Why doesn’t Miss Parker get to win the day for once? Jarod is always coming out on top and it is an insult to her intelligence and ability. So there! I just added that, of course.
SLM: Well, Sarah, in the future we’ll see Miss Parker not only coming out on top but maybe in charge of everything.
JB: Oh! Okay. Alright, so this is from (indistinct word), “Will Jarod and Miss Parker be a couple?” Okay. So, we’ve sort of addressed that, but would we find out more information about Miss Parker, if they do become a couple? I mean, are going to get a little deeper into her background?
CVS: Oh, we’re going to get way deeper into Miss Parker’s background. There’s whole areas of her life that, because the Powers That Be took us off the air too soon, we never got to explore. There’s so much of her life that needs exploring and we will. We’ve got some great stuff planned.
SLM: One of the key things on the whole show was, we looked at Miss Parker and Jarod and their relationship as children; then their relationship as adults. And the in between time obviously defined their relationship as adults. What we want to do is really explore a lot of that. Explore how Miss Parker was trained, the other loves of her life, the other pain in her life, and how she really became this ball-busting, beautiful, enticing, intelligent woman that she is now.
CVS: And what’s great is, you know, in the original iteration of the pilot, we kind of planted that one when Sydney, and they’re in the hallway, when he says, “You were such a happy, little girl. What happened?” She says, “I grew up.” Well, that period of time is something we really want to delve into.
JB: Okay. Well, Heather would like to know Miss Parker’s first name. I would like to know Miss Parker’s first name.
SLM: Everyone would like to know Miss Parker’s first name. Actually, I’ll tell you what. We can…
CVS: The file?
SLM: We’re in the dad’s office, so we’ll just show you that it actually exists. But you have to keep it quiet. Okay?
SLM: Miss Parker’s name and the explanation for what it is, don’t open it yet, will be explored and dealt with in how we come back and people will actually find out, actually people will actually have a way to guess and figure it out for themselves. And maybe they will actually tell us, but they’ll have to guess the name that’s in that file.
JB: Oh, my gosh. Okay. (opens file) Ooh! That’s a pretty name. I really like that.
SLM: It is, and it’s tied to her mother’s heritage. That’s not a clue, I’ll give you that.
JB: That’s really cool. So, anyone who wants to send me presents… I’m kidding. I won’t say a word, they’ll kill me. I will give this to you; you know I want to sneak it out. Okay, so Rick wants to know, of course, what happened to the clone, and Susan wants to know what happened to the clone, and I know we addressed that earlier but is there anything else you want to say about cloning? Because, if they can clone him, they can clone anyone.
SLM: True, and to kind of follow up on what Craig was saying is, you can clone anyone but, and genetically they’re the same, but it’s the environment you’re raised in and who and what you are inside, and that’s one of the things that is key for us in the entire show, is exploring who Jarod is inside, why he has such a moral compass when other people don’t, but you know, Sydney has a compass that he’s always dealing with. Is he going north, south, east or west, especially in his relationship with Jarod? And why? What is it about him? We’re going to explore that, and particularly Miss Parker and all the other characters on the show. Everyone has something that they’re dealing with inside that will help their direction. So, genetically they may be the same, as anybody who may be cloned, but it’s who they are and how they were raised.
CVS: And one of those things we’ve always liked is the idea of the mirror image. We have a lot of twins in this show. I know there was a question, I think, online, somebody asked, “Why did you use the same actors to play a different role?” We loved the idea of the mirror image, of somebody being able to kind of look at themselves, even though it’s a different person. There’s something very insightful in that, we find. We always wanted to do the twins; we always wanted to do the cloning. It’s all tied together.
SLM: As the Pretender, Jarod is a mirror image of himself, in every iteration he is. It allows us all to look at the different reflections we are of ourselves.
JB: Well, Natalie asks, and this is sort of interesting and the reason I asked those clone questions again, is because of this, “Is Mr Parker dead?”
SLM: Natalie’s asked a lot of questions.
CVS: All good.
SLM: One of the questions Natalie asked has to do with Miss Parker’s name and Natalie’s question was so good, we actually, are going to use it. We took her question and put it into what we’re writing, and actually today, I got an email from her giving permission to use her name. So, Natalie’s asked… Oh, wait. So in the show, or in the next stories, as it comes out, not only will Natalie’s name be in the show but she got to choose where in The Centre she works. So, you know, we’ll have to stand by and see what happens, see where she is.
CVS: The snack bar?
SLM: You never know.
JB: Should we bribe her for answers to questions?
SLM: She… will know.
JB: (laughs) Okay. So, Amanda wants to know, “Did Mr Parker love Catherine Parker at all? Or did he just use her, since he planned to have her killed after Ethan was born?
CVS: Well, Mr Parker is a complex man, you know. He loves and he hates.
SLM: He loves and he takes it away, as soon as he gives it. He’s a very controlling man. What we really want to explore with him is Why? And in one way, he might be the most loving person in the whole Pretender saga. And he may be the one person without a heart.
CVS: A man of extremes.
JB: I like that. It’s a good way to describe him. Arianna would like to know, “Is Mr Raines really Miss Parker and Mr Lyle’s father?”
CVS: Again, that’s areas we’re going to be doing more exploration, as we roll out. Anything’s possible.
SLM: What’s nice about it is Jarod knows those answers, and in many ways it’s a nice thing for him to hold over their heads because all he wants to know is who he is and who his mum and dad are. And the fact that he actually knows that about them makes them all the same person, and deal with the same hurts and pains.
JB: This question is from Ask Dr Mike. “What’s the secret behind Mr Lyle and his thumb?”
CLV: Well… He hitch-hiked on the wrong road. No. No, he had a run in with the Yakuza, and I’m trying to remember the name of the episode…
SLM: I don’t remember the name of the episode either, which is a terrible thing to say… So, he had a run in with the Yakuza and when you have a run in with the Yakuza, you lose, sometimes you end up with nine fingers.
JB: No-one comes out of that well. So this is from Wendy. “Who thought up Onisius and why?
SLM: Well, if you notice over Craig’s right shoulder, Onisius just happens to be there and, you know, some people wonder where we got it, or if Mr Parker had it, but the truth is, I stole it. And Onisius is the heart of Jarod, what he is. He fights for the little guy. There’ll be a lot more about Onisius, as we go forward, and what that really means.
JB: Oooh! So, I can’t steal that from here?
SLM: Yeah, we will watch (indistinct words).
JB: Well, yeah. You brought me into the room. Okay, so Mallory would like to know what happened to Ethan, Emily and Zoe?
SLM: They are all out there. They are all parts of Jarod’s heart, they’re running free and he’ll go and find them and put his heart back together.
JB: She also wants to know about Baby Parker.
SLM: Baby Parker’s a whole ‘nother story.
SLM: Baby Parker’s out there. The question is, who is Baby Parker? And what is Baby Parker growing up to be right now?
CVS: She might be right there at The Centre.
JB: Okay, well Quoana would like to know, “Is the nursery rhyme ‘Cree Craw, Toad’s Foot’ more than just a rhyme and if so, what is the significance?”
SLM: This is a great question, that no-one has ever asked. Ever. Yes, ‘Cree Craw, Toads Foot’ – not only is it not a nonsense nursery rhyme, truth is it’s not nonsense at all. It connects Jarod to his parents and, if you can decipher a clue within it, you’ll have a much better chance of finding who his parents really are.
JB: Oooh! I’m about to do some analysis. It’s really cool. Okay, Anne asks, “Is the song that Jarod sings as his very first beginning at The Centre ‘til the end, the only thing he truly remembers of his past life sort of a clue that Margaret gave him, or something? Is this song important to the story?
CVS: Again, it is, and there’s a moment, in what we’re writing now, that ties Jarod into remembering that song and singing it to himself in a way that, it’s a very dire situation, and it actually calms him, tied into his psyche, and it’s important to him.
SLM: And the key is, who’s singing that song, is pretty much the key to who he is. The key of who he remembers singing that song or who he thinks is singing it.
JB: Okay, so Cheryl would like to know, “Why was Mr Cox the Grim Reaper and how he was able to breathe in his high-collared shirts?”
SLM: What makes you think he was breathing or alive? (All laugh) He is not exactly the Grim Reaper but he kind of personifies what is very right and very wrong about The Centre.
JB: Hmm… Well, okay. Amber, this is very long, so I’m going to sum up, would like to know why you insisted on killing Kyle.
CVS: Killing Kyle was an act of sacrifice and our brilliant hero, Jarod, is a man who believes in sacrifice for himself, for other people, and we felt emotionally that was a really strong way to tie Jarod into his brother and, as so often happens at The Centre, maybe Kyle is still out there too.
JB: Jason would like to know if we’re going to see more of Argyle.
SLM: If we’re lucky. He’s a great guy, we love the character and we’d love to see him in the show.
JB: Susan would like to know what secret Angelo is keeping. “Is he the key to everything?”
CVS: Well, Angelo, as we’ll find out, isn’t the only eyes crawling around in the air-vents of The Centre. We think there’s at least three more and they have some key answers for us.
SLM: They know some nooks and crannies we haven’t even explored yet.
JB: Anne Amelia would like to know what was written in the scrolls. I would also like to know what was written in the scrolls.
SLM: All the answers were written in the scrolls. The question is, will we find them? Or will anyone ever find them again?
JB: Okay, so I want to know, Candice actually wants to know this as well, but what specific actors were chosen for these roles? What was there about them?
CVS: Well, when you’re in casting, you sort of have a feel about somebody, and Andrea Parker came in and just had that sort of vibe and energy, bravado that just clicked. I mean, at the time, we were laughing about her last name being Parker and it was just such a perfect fit.
SLM: Yes, she actually walked in and threw the script down and said my name’s all over this script, already. And it was like, damn! She was Miss Parker. As for Michael T, he’s the only actor, and we looked at hundreds of actors, and he’s the only one we wanted and he’s the only one we brought to NBC, which is a no-no. We brought one and we said, if it’s not him, we don’t want to do this show. It won’t work. And luckily they said, yes. As for Patrick, Patrick we cast from a movie he did in Portuguese, that we watched, and then we cast him over the phone he was in Rome. We’d never met him until the first day on set. The camera loved him and he was just a great choice.
JB: I have a question here from Edward Snowden.
JB: You may have heard of him. The rumour is Brazil’s important as the story continues. What can you tell us about that?
SLM: Well, Edward, as I’m sure all of the people at the NSA know how important Brazil is, and, you know, the fact that he’s asking is just kind of rubbing The Centre’s noses or The Centre’s face. Noses in their face? Faces in their noses? Whatever it is, they’re rubbing something! And that’s how he is, he’s rubbing something of The Centre in their face, to show that he knows a lot of the answers. So, if he can be found and be brought back to the United States, he has all the answers.
CVS: And we know he talks.
JB: I am dying to know when you guys are going to make this big announcement.
CVS: It’s going to be July 19th.
SLM: ComicCon. Now, we may not be at ComicCon, and Jarod might not be at ComicCon, but some people who are looking for Jarod will be at ComicCon. They’ll be looking all over ComicCon for Jarod. Infact , there’s some little clues we’ve heard that Jarod may have left around ComicCon… little bread crumbs for people to follow, and the first 20 people who find those bread crumbs, are going to get an advanced sneak peek at exactly what we’re doing.
JB: Okay, so you guys are going to talk to me again, when the announcement’s made?
CVS: Love to.
SLM: We’ll tell you all about what we’re doing.
JB: Whaaahey, I know Miss Parker’s first name, so…
SLM: Yes, well, so I wouldn’t go walking around ComicCon without an armed guard, you’d be in trouble.
JB: Hmm… It’s a very good point. I’ll have to buy weaponry at the Con.
SLM: Thanks so much.
JB: Thanks, guys!
CVS: Thank you.