Friday, November 21, 2014

Interview: Teri Wyble's Hush-Hush Projects

Unless you live under a rock, then you know about the phenomenon that is AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” And unless you live under the soil under that rock, then you know that Arnold Schwarzenegger and company are returning to the big screen with another installment in the “Terminator” franchise, in the form of “Terminator: Genisys.” Recently I spoke with Teri Wyble — who previously has been featured in “Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” “Nashville” and “Drop Dead Diva” — about both, since she has a feature role in both of these hush-hush, highly anticipated projects.

Celebrity Extra: I was very surprised by how much I liked “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.” It was wonderfully inventive and creative, and the writing and acting were superb. Tell me about your role, and how you got the part.

Teri Wyble: Back when I auditioned for that role, I still hadn’t had a good speaking part, so I was so excited. And then I found out I was going to have to kiss Dominic Cooper, and I was like: “What? OK, now we’re talking. I can handle that.”

We filmed it on a plantation — I forget the plantation’s name — but I think it was in the fall, and the weather was starting to cool off, and I was in this period-piece dress with a corset. I loved the costumes. I love period pieces. So, we’re on this plantation and I have this beautiful wardrobe, and the weather’s wonderful, and I have cute Dominic Cooper by my side. I just thought: “This is amazing. I want to do this forever.” So, it was a great first experience on set. Few things have lived up to that first nice little experience.

CE: Is it true that they expanded your part once they had you on the set?

TW: In the original script, they didn’t have my whole death scene. They didn’t have me getting killed and me getting bitten. It kind of just showed me dead or something. I forget. But (director) Timur (Bekmambetov) threw that on me on the day of. We had filmed my couple of lines, and then I thought that was it. I thought I was just going to work one day. And he was like, “Oh, you’ll be back tomorrow?” And I was like: “Oh, OK. I’ll take it.” So, we ended up of filming this whole scene, I think Timur called it “the death dance.”

CE: How was it working on “Nashville,” which just happens to be one of my favorite shows?

TW: That was great to work on. I hate to say, “Oh this is great to work on and this is awesome.” But I guess it’s just how I approach being on set. And I’m always so happy to be there. On “Nashville,” I played Chris Carmack’s (Will Lexington) girl on the side. I met him for the first time at the hotel that we were staying at, and he and I would go out and run every day. I was like, “Who is this hot, hot guy who keeps running and I keep seeing him?” he introduced himself to me, and we had drinks one evening before we even filmed together. It was nice to kind of get to know him before I hopped into bed with him on the show (laughs). It was great to be on a show that I knew so many people loved. “Nashville” is one of those shows where you can just sit back, get comfy and watch that show, and know you’ll be in for a good time.

CE: I have to imagine that it’s pretty fun to be an actor on “The Walking Dead” set, am I right?

TW: Oh yeah, you’ve got to have fun with all that stuff and all that gore. There comes a certain point where you’re like: “Oh my God. This is so ridiculous — and awesome.” I would see a lot of the Walkers just hanging out, eating a salad. I wanted to pull out my phone so many times and be like, I want to remember this picture of this Walker eating a salad. It’s just crazy.

CE: What can you tell me about your character, and how she fits into the schematics of the show?

TW: I play Officer Shepherd, who’s one of the survivors of the outbreak, obviously. I reside at Grady Hospital, along with some other police officers and survivors. Those other survivors were “saved” by us and have to repay us by working for us. So, yeah, some shadiness is going on. But you don’t really know what’s happening in Grady Hospital. You don’t know if it’s a good thing or what’s really happening here.

“The Walking Dead” as a whole was so incredibly amazing to work on. The cast and the crew — everybody was so welcoming and so nice. It really felt like a family. Andrew Lincoln (who plays Rick Grimes) — I call him Andy — for some reason, we would always get put in the makeup and hair trailer at the same time. And he was always so friendly — he’d come give me a kiss on the cheek or on the head. And he’d put some music on really loud and just lighten the mood and make everybody feel so comfortable. He was just so amazing and so sweet. I’m so thankful to have met him. I didn’t realize he was going to be so darn cool.

CE: I know you can’t say a lot, but what can you tell me about “Terminator: Genisys”?

TW: “Terminator: Genisys” is a reboot of the “Terminator” franchise. It begins with John Connor, who’s continuing the war against the machines. I play a soldier named Mariam, who’s in John Connor’s inner circle of the resistance. I definitely worked with Jason Clarke (who plays John Connor) a bunch. He had such a commanding presence, and I think he is so incredibly talented and so captivating.

CE: How is the rest of the cast to work with?

TW: I was able to meet pretty much everyone for the read-through. We did a table read, and so just reading the script with people like Jason Clark and Jai Courtney (Kyle Reese) and Emilia Clarke (Sarah Connor) and Arnold Schwarzenegger — just being in that room with these people was pretty darn cool. I hope I can just remember little moments like that, just being in that room when Arnold’s saying some of his famous lines.

CE: A lot of people, including myself, are very excited for this reboot.

TW: I’m so excited for it to come out. I had no idea what I was getting myself into working on “Terminator.” It was just insane. It’s such a big-budget film, and I don’t think I’ve ever been on a film set with that kind of power.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Interview: Josie Bissett on the Joy of Giving and Paper Angels

Just in time for the heartwarming holiday season is Up TV’s inspirational movie called “Paper Angels,” which stars “Melrose Place” alum Josie Bissett. In “Paper Angels,” which premieres tonight, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST, abused wife Lynn (played by Josie) leaves her alcoholic husband, Darryl, and with her two kids, Thomas and Sara, she escapes to another town where she works as a waitress to make ends meet. Thomas starts a new school and becomes the target of a bully who is threatened by how well Thomas plays basketball. Unable to join the high school team midyear, Thomas goes to the community center where he meets Kevin (played by Matthew Settle of “Gossip Girl”), and the two of them become unlikely friends through pickup basketball games. Little do they know the tremendous impact they will have on each other’s families come Christmastime through the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program.

The movie is inspired by the hit country Christmas song featured in the movie, “Paper Angels,” by country music star Jimmy Wayne and the same-titled book by Jimmy (with Travis Thrasher). Jimmy also wrote and performed two new songs for the film. I spoke with Josie about the film, and she is thrilled to bring Jimmy’s story to life for her fans … and hopes they’ll open their hearts to those in need this holiday season.

Celebrity Extra: Tell me, what it was about this movie that made you want to be a part of it?

Josie Bissett: The first thing I ever look at in the script is the character, if it’s someone I want to play. And to me, the greatest part of making the decision was the character. That got me because I loved playing someone who was falling apart in the beginning, but then she really takes the reins of her life and her two kids, who were the same ages as my two kids in real life.

CE: So in some aspects, could you relate to her struggles?

JB: I’m a single mom, so yes, I really related to her struggles of being on her own, making a life for her and her kids, and the adjustments and changes that brings to her life. That part was really relatable. And I love the fact that she works hard. This character is not something I’ve ever played before, and I loved getting to play that. My characters are usually pretty put together. As far as the script goes, I really love playing a mom these days, and I just love working with kids. I feel like it brings so much joy to the set, because they are so happy to be there.

Also, I’m a big fan of Jimmy Wayne, and then hearing his story — what a phenomenal person! Knowing that it was loosely based on his life — he’s a country singer who had this absolutely horrific life and who is out there trying to help teenagers who are homeless, who are aging out of the foster-care system. It’s something you don’t really know about unless somebody tells you. And it’s tough. It’s sad.

CE: What’s the biggest message of the film that you’d like to impart?

JB: The biggest message that I know that I want to get out is the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program and all the Salvation Army does to help. (To learn more, go to salvationarmyusa.org.) When you realize how just one simple thing — like picking an angel off a tree and buying presents for a deserving child — can change that child’s life, you think: “Why aren’t these everywhere? Why aren’t we all helping?” Some of these families, they have nothing. As I get older, I really want to give back. I feel blessed to have all the wonderful experiences, health and all of that. I went through a really, really tough four years. Really tough. And I think that when you go through tough times, you truly learn compassion.

CE: “Paper Angels” is a really sweet movie that inspires people to assist those who might need a helping hand. Tell me about some of the charities you’re involved with.

JB: This month, I’m going on a Mission trip. My whole life I’ve been traveling, but I went straight from work to kids and, with kids, there’s not a lot of time for that. But now I’m older, and my kids are older. I’ve joined this incredible foundation; it’s called Starkey Hearing Foundation.

CE: I interviewed Justin Osmond a few years back, and he is very involved with Starkey. It’s such a great group.

JB: It’s a really incredible foundation. I’m going Sri Lanka right after my press for my movie, and I am just so excited. It’s the kind of the direction I want to go, to be able to do more of that, and more of these kinds of movies like “Paper Angels.” Just putting good stuff out there in the world as opposed to, you know I watch the news every morning, and it’s just really scary.

CE: For those who can’t travel, or maybe can’t afford too much, how can we help others this holiday season?

JB: If you can’t afford to buy anything for anyone, the Salvation Army needs help packing the gifts. So that’s another option, helping with your time.

CE: What else do you have coming up?

JB: Aside from working with Starkey and my trip to Sri Lanka, I’m actually going to start my next book series. I’m going to start it while I’m in Sri Lanka, but I don’t know the name of it yet. So, let’s just say that I’m starting research on my next book series while I’m there.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Q and A: Week of Nov. 10

Q: I need some “White Collar” news! — Patrick D., via email

A: I have some good news for you, Patrick. The USA network’s police drama, which was slated to return for its sixth and final season in early 2015, premiered on Nov. 6 instead. So you can enjoy these last six episodes a little bit earlier than expected, and also start the withdrawal/grieving process a little earlier as well. At least we’ll always have the DVDs: Seasons one through five are now available for purchase at all major DVD and entertainment outlets.

Q: I just got caught up on season one of HBO’s “True Detective,” and I wondered if you could give me any scoop about season two. — Kyle L., via email

A: I can tell you that Colin Ferrell and Vince Vaughn have signed on to star in the next season of the hit HBO series, which is rumored to be about the “bloody murder of a corrupt city businessman found dead the night before a major transportation deal,” and will involve three different police officers from different cities working together.

Q: Can you give me any info about the latest 007 movie? Is it still happening? — Paul T., via email

A: The 24th James Bond film is indeed happening, Paul, with actors Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, and director Sam Mendes returning. They start shooting in December, with an anticipated fall 2015 release date. Sam confirmed that the latest film will be the second of a two-part project, meaning it will be a continuation of “Skyfall.”

Q: Now that “Being Human” is over, what is Sam Huntington up to? I was so happy to see him turn up in the “Veronica Mars” movie. — Michelle G., via email

A: The former werewolf star of the supernatural Syfy-channel series is currently working on Jeremy Renner’s new project (Jeremy’s the executive producer) for the Crackle network. It’s a 90-minute, international cyber-spy movie called “The Throwaways,” which also stars the legendary James Caan, as well as Kevin Dillon (“Entourage,” “Platoon” and “The Doors”). The feature follows notorious hacker Drew Reynolds (played by Sam), who is captured by the CIA and given a proposition — work for them or spend the rest of his life in prison. Reynolds agrees to join on the condition that he gets to choose his own team. Instead of picking from the top agents the CIA recommends, Reynolds goes with a group of “throwaways,” those deemed expendable and seemingly the worst in the organization. Led by Lt. Col. Christopher Holden (James), and including gung-ho combat specialist Dan Fisher (Kevin), the throwaways have to track and take down a cyber-terrorist who is threatening mass destruction. Look for the film on Crackle this December.

Q: I am so addicted to “Outlander.” Can you tell me when the second half of season one will air? — Jeanne D., via email

A: Outlander returns from its winter hiatus with eight more episodes beginning April 4 on Starz. You, I and millions of other fans will have to wait patiently for almost six months to see Jamie rescue Claire from Black Jack Randall. I know — it’s going to seem like forever. Here’s to hoping they don’t split up season two like that, right?

Ben Stiller as Derek Zoolander
Q: Is there seriously going to be a “Zoolander” sequel? I loved the first one, but I wonder how good a second one will be. — Justin R. in Oklahoma

A: Rumors have been swirling for years about a sequel, and Will Ferrell confirmed in September that “Zoolander 2” is happening, and that his character, Mugatu, will be a part of it. Justin Theroux is rumored to be directing the movie, which he also co-wrote with Ben Stiller, and Ben and Owen Wilson are set to co-star. The plot has Derek Zoolander (played by Ben) and Hansel (Owen) trying to compete against younger models as an opposing company tries to force them out of the business. I guess the Zoolander Center for Kids Who Can’t Read Good didn’t do so well, and Derek had to return to modeling to make ends meet.

Q: I really like the new series on Hallmark called “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” Can you tell me when I can see a new season? — Adele T., Clyde, Ohio

A: The comedic drama by “Touched by an Angel” executive producer Martha Williamson, which follows the lives of a group of postal workers who transform themselves into a nontraditional team of detectives to track down intended recipients of undeliverable mail, is moving to Hallmark’s sister channel, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. It is also changing its format: It will return to TV as a movie franchise consisting of a series of two-hour original films.

Debuting on Nov. 23 at 9/8c, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered for Christmas” will be the first movie in the franchise, with three more slated for 2015. Returning as the “POstables” crew are Oliver O’Toole (Eric Mabius, “Ugly Betty”), Shane McInerney (Kristin Booth, “Orphan Black”), Rita Haywith (Crystal Lowe, “Smallville”) and Norman Dorman (Geoff Gustafson “Primeval: New World”). According to Michelle Vicary, executive vice president of programming and network publicity at Crown Media Family Networks, “At their core, the narratives on ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’ revolve around mystery and suspense, with compelling characters and dramatic storylines that will be enhanced by an extended format.”

Q: I was happy to hear that “Mistresses” has been renewed for a third season, but sad to hear that Alyssa Milano won’t return. Why did she leave the show? — Eric G., via email

A: Alyssa — who recently gave birth to daughter Elizabeth Dylan, joining big brother Milo Thomas — said in a recent statement: “After two wonderful seasons in Los Angeles, the studio has decided to shoot season three of ‘Mistresses’ in Vancouver, Canada, for financial reasons. It’s with a heavy heart that I have decided that I can’t relocate. I have two babies under 4. Being a mother and wife comes first, and I just cannot uproot my children and separate the family by moving away. I will miss this job desperately and wish everyone the absolute best.”

Q: Please tell me the rumors I’ve been hearing about a “Say Anything” TV series are not true! — Callie F., via email

A: I am thrilled to tell you that NBC’s planned “Say Anything” TV show has been canned. Less than 24 hours after news broke — practically breaking the entire Internet — that a comedy sequel based on the hit 1989 movie (directed by Cameron Crowe and starring John Cusack and Ione Skye) was being planned, NBC pulled the plug on the series. Apparently, Cameron called producer Aaron Kaplan (who was producing the series with writer Justin Adler) and voiced his objections to the project. Aaron and Justin were unaware that Cameron had not been contacted about or approved of the project, so they pulled out of the project. NBC and 20th Century Fox followed suit, and canceled the series.

READERS: I have some exciting book-to-series news for you. Hulu announced that it has ordered a nine-hour series adaptation of Stephen King’s 2011 bestseller “11/22/63,” a thriller in which high school English teacher Jake Epping travels back in time to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The series is being developed by J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions. Of this latest project, Stephen King said: “If I ever wrote a book that cries out for long-form, event-TV programming, ‘11/22/63’ is it. I’m excited that it’s going to happen, and am looking forward to working with J.J. Abrams and the whole Bad Robot team.”

Interview: Rena Sofer Talks Daytime Drama and Amorra Collagen Candle Skincare

When Quinn Fuller blew onto the scene on “The Bold and the Beautiful” this summer, neither her portrayer, Rena Sofer, nor the audience had any idea of what they were in for. Since Quinn has been in L.A., she’s dangled someone over a railing, pushed someone off a bridge, tried to impale someone with a sword, locked someone in a steam room and interfered with and manipulated her son Wyatt’s life seven ways to Sunday. And yet, she’s still around and making life miserable for others — and the fans of “B&B” couldn’t be happier. I spoke with Rena recently about her new role, and she can’t wait for fans to see what else Quinn has planned.

Celebrity Extra: Since Quinn’s been in town, I’d say she’s been causing a wee bit of trouble.

Rena Sofer: Yes. Just a little bit though. Not TOO much (laughs).

CE: You have to be having an absolute ball portraying her.

RS: I can’t tell you how much fun it is. It’s really Brad (Bell, head writer and executive producer), though, who puts it upon himself to decide to take this woman — who nobody knew anything about and has no history of being a bad person that anyone knew of — and really slowly, behind everybody’s back, turn her into who we see now. However, I don’t think she’s crazy. I don’t think she’s mentally unsound; I think she’s just crazy in the sense of she does what she wants without the thought of how it’s going to really affect anyone else. She has this mental diarrhea.

CE: Did you have any idea where Brad was going to go with the character, or did you learn about it just before the rest of us did?

RS: I had no idea. I spent the first three months on the show wanting to keep Hope away from Wyatt. And then I really liked her because she hired us to do her jewelry line. I decided I wanted her to be with Wyatt, and Liam was in the way. I spent so much time not liking Liam, so I started doing little things, like locking him in the steam room when he was supposed to meet Hope. And turning the heat up to the point where he could have died and then letting him out. And I love the fact that she didn’t let him out and run away. She let him out, letting him see her and making it clear, “I’m the one who just locked you in there, and I’m the one who let you out.” To me, that’s gold.

CE: How was Brad able to lure you back to daytime television?

RS: There are so many great things about nighttime television and so many great things about daytime television. And then there are things that are not great about daytime and not great about nighttime. The one thing that daytime affords you is the ability to have a normal schedule, be home, and if you are a parent, like I am, it makes life incredibly easy. I got tired of the grind of not working, and then you’ve got a job that’s in Vancouver for eight days. And in those eight days, I wonder who’s going to take care of my kids. My husband is a director, and he’s out of town a lot.

Very little is shot here in L.A. now. So much is being shot in New Mexico and Atlanta and Vancouver and Toronto and Chicago. It closed the field for me. Then Brad Bell called and said: “Hey, I have this part. Will you come in and meet with me?” He told me about their schedule, which is four days a week, three weeks a month. I’m home usually before 3 or 4 o’clock in the afternoon. I can drive my daughter to school. I can drive her home. On top of all that, I got to create a character from scratch. That sealed the deal for me.

CE: What are some of your favorite things about playing Quinn and being on “The Bold and the Beautiful”?

RS: The great thing about this show, and probably my favorite thing about Brad Bell, is he didn’t have this iron hand about Quinn and who he wanted her to be and who she was. He was never like, “You’d better do this, and you’d better make it this.” None of that happened. This man basically invited me to his show because he trusted me, and then just said, “Here are the words.”

I started playing her lines a little bit off. I was just like, “I’m not a crier, so I don’t want to be crying every five seconds, so stop writing her that way.” I just had them stop writing that. I expressed to them that it’s not my cup of tea. Then they started writing it a little bit differently. And I started playing with their words. I didn’t change their words; I just took them in a different way than I think they expected. Brad saw what I was doing, took hold of those reins and said, “Hey, how about this?” Where do you get that kind of opportunity? In nighttime television, you are the lowest person on the totem pole as far as how you are going to play a character. They hire you to play what they want you to play, and pretty much everyone is replaceable. To be able to have the freedom to do what I do every single day is such a gift to me. It really is a gift.

CE: Hope and Wyatt are pretty fed up with Quinn, and Hope wants her out of their lives and nowhere near the baby she is expecting. How will Quinn deal with that?

RS: She’s definitely not going to give up. Clearly she sees Deacon (Hope’s father) as an asset. That is something that is helpful to her, even though she does kind of like him.

CE: Speaking of Deacon, Quinn used to be obsessed with getting Bill back, and now that that is fading, will she concentrate her efforts on Deacon?

RS: Yeah, she stopped caring about Bill a while ago. You know, when a story’s not going to work for whatever reason, it’s not going to work. You’ve just got to move on. You can’t keep forcing a situation that is not going to happen. So I’m really happy that Brad came up with the idea to have Deacon change his focus to Quinn. And I think it’s so funny that they’ve been living together all this time — since he’s been in town — and nobody knows. They’ve spent a lot of time together, but not romantically. So the fact that all of a sudden — boom! — something happened, it makes sense.

CE: Judging by the online feedback, the fans definitely approve of a Quinn/Deacon matchup.

RS: I definitely think we are going in the right direction. I don’t think I ever heard any feedback regarding Bill and Quinn, about anybody’s interest in that. This is something people are really interested in, and that’s exciting.

CE: Can you give me any clue as to what to expect regarding Quinn and Deacon’s burgeoning relationship in coming weeks?

RS: I can probably say that in upcoming weeks, their little secret relationship isn’t a secret anymore. But you will see how and when that happens.

CE: I’m sure Hope will love that!

RS: Well, she should love me, right? I mean, I love her father now. What’s wrong with that?

CE: Tell me how your collaboration with Dino Morra on the Amorra Collagen Body Candles came about.

RS: Dino Morra has been my facialist for 15 years, and I’ve used his products for 15 years, including his candles. These candles are his baby; he made them for his clients. I told him they should be in every store in America. I told him, “I love your product as is, and I would love to be your partner and get them out there.” And what happened is we really collaborated. We worked on them together and perfected them.

We had three scents in the first place: peony, vanilla and blood orange. And then we’ve added four scents that we created together. But he’s the chemist. I say to him, “I love this smell and this smell.” And then he goes into the lab and he comes out with Nag Champa and Arabian Spice. Or I’ll say, “I want like a really clean, citrusy one like the blood orange but lighter.” And he comes in with his lemongrass scent, which is just incredible. We also have a tobacco, vanilla and cherry-wood scent, which is such a beautiful scent for men. We have this great scent for our recovery candle: It is eucalyptus, mint, amber, menthol, arnica and MSM, which is a sulfur extract. The menthol is healing in when it’s lit, or when you place it on your chest, it will help open up your nasal passages if you’re congested. The arnica is great for bruising, and then the MSM is for inflammation.

With all the candles, there’s no wax and no paraffin. You put them directly on your skin, and they just melt into your skin. And they are so wonderful smelling too. You smell like the candle that you love to have in your house. And they’re great products.

CE: How long does the candle last, especially if you do a combination of burning it for the smell and using it on your skin?

RS: It’s a regular candle with 60 hours of burn time. If you wear it all the time, it’s going to change how long the candle will burn. But then you’re still getting the benefits of it as well. It’s $35, which is a great price for either a skincare product or a candle. The scents offered are really strong. I have my blood orange candle in my dressing area — I just have it out, not burning — and my whole area smells like it.

CE: Are the candles in stores yet, or can they be bought online?

RS: We have our own website, amorrabeauty.com, and it’s just great. You go to the site, and you just pick which candle you want. It’s really easy. And once you get the candle, it’s so fun. You’ll really love it.

(Authors Note: I tried the lemongrass collagen candle, and I have to say, I absolutely love it. The scent is heavenly, and the actual collagen candle made my skin feel so soft and supple. Id definitely recommend this. And what do you know — the holidays just HAPPEN to be coming up!)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Interview: Apolo Ohno Pushes New Boundaries

This weekend, while the majority of us are watching college and pro football, stuffing our faces at bars or outside barbecues, or just hanging out reading a book or watching TV, world-champion speed skater Apolo Ohno will be burning enough calories for all of us. Tomorrow, Oct. 11, Apolo will be competing in the Ironman World Championship, which is a 140.6-mile triathlon competition that takes place in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. He's been training for months to compete in this only-the-strong-survive competition, and I spoke with him recently about his training, and his hopes for the competition.

Celebrity Extra: What was the impetus behind your decision to participate in Ironman?

Apolo Ohno: [Fellow Dancing with the Stars champion] Hines Ward completed his first Ironman challenge in Kona last year, and I was inspired by it. I had been thinking about doing it last year, but I was traveling so much, it didn’t make sense. But I needed a challenge. I needed to inspire other people. I needed to inspire myself. I needed something that wasn’t anything like speed skating. I was a 40-second athlete. I could sprint. I was ballistic. I was powerful. But then after 40 seconds, that’s when my laces came off. Hines said this is the complete opposite side of the spectrum. It’s endurance based. It’s a triathlon. It’s three sports in one.

CE: Personally, I can’t imagine myself ever being able to survive an Ironman, but if I were to try, how would I train? How have you been training?

AO: You know, you think you can’t, but you could. It just takes consistency. It takes dedication. It takes a lot of time. The businesses that I’m involved with require me to be up very late, and I’m traveling internationally. And so it’s all about scheduling. I need this in my life, but I also do it because I want to inspire other people. One of the things that I was really, really adamant about is, I said, “Look, if I’m going to do this, we’ve got to make sure that we chronicle all the steps of the way.” So, that’s what we’ve been doing.

You can see the episodes of my training on gotchocolatemilk.com. There will be eight specific webisodes total. We’re chronicling from when I first arrived in Kona and seeing the transformation process — seeing my mind, my body, my struggles, and the difficulty in training for something of this nature.

It also chronicles my training. It’s different every week. This week, on Thursday I had a very long bike ride, a seven-hour bike ride. I rode like 100 or 110 miles or something like that, solo. It’s going to be very interesting. And then I follow that with a T run — or a transition run — which is a 40-minute run right after I get off the bike. It’s wild. I mean, anytime you bike 100-something miles, it’s a pretty intense day.

CE: Since you are a world-renowned athlete, that has to give you some advantages, but since your previous training is so different, that must present some cons for you as well.

AO: The pros are that I know what training is like. I’ve suffered through difficulty and pain in my own sport. The cons are I’m not an endurance athlete. I’m based around power, explosiveness, speed. Like any sprinter who’s designed for that, we require lots of rest between intervals. I’m very good at doing intervals as long as I have a little bit of rest. But with Ironman training, there is no rest. You’re going nonstop for hours and hours and hours, and you have to complete the entire 2.4-mile open-water ocean swim to 112-mile bike ride followed by running a marathon (which is 26.2 miles). And you have to do that all in under 17 hours.

CE: Wow.

AO: I know. Whenever I say that, it blows my mind. Especially in the conditions that we compete in in Kona, Hawaii. You’re in an incredibly beautiful place, but make no mistake, the conditions are brutal: 100-degree weather; 100 percent humidity; 60-mile-an-hour crosswinds; black lava rocks in which you have to run through and bike through; ambient temperatures upwards of 120 to 130 degrees. It just sucks all of the energy, nutrients, and minerals out of your system, so you have to make sure that nutrition is a key component in that entire process.

CE: How are you preparing mentally for the competition?

AO: I do meditation, and I focus on my breathing, making sure that I have those goals in sight. Any time you have somebody in front of you, you have to make sure you are achieving those goals, whether it is on a daily basis, weekly basis, or monthly basis. And I have specific goals set up. That’s the best way to maximize performance, whether in business, life, relationships, or in sports.

CE: Did Hines give you any advice for the big day?

AO: The first thing Hines said to me was, “Brother, I’m praying for you.” He said to just enjoy it. He said to take my time. It’s once in a lifetime. It’s pretty incredible.

I’m in a whole new place now. I’m more confident; I’m stronger; I’m getting leaner; and I can’t wait to arrive in Kona. It’s a good feeling.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My Visit with the Rock-afire Explosion

Cameron Mathison Goes Undercover in Along Came a Nanny

Cameron Mathison has been one busy guy since his “All My Children” days. He’s the go-to host/correspondent for all the big talk shows; he danced his way almost to the semifinals with Edyta Sliwinska during the fifth season of “Dancing With the Stars”; and he’s guest-starred and starred on numerous TV shows and movies. Cameron’s current gig is that of an undercover nanny. On Oct. 12 at 9/8c on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel (formerly the Hallmark Movie Channel), Cameron stars in “Along Came a Nanny” as Det. Mike Logan, who must go undercover as a nanny in a formerly safe suburban neighborhood to find out who is burglarizing the houses.

Celebrity Extra: What was it about the film, and the character of Mike, that appealed to you?

Cameron Mathison: The comedic aspect was a really big factor. It was one of the first things that hooked me. I also really like that he was this big kid who hadn’t grown up, and he has to take care of other kids. He’s not really taken that seriously at work, but he wants to make a serious change as far as progressing in his job. He wants to move up. In order to do that he has to step it up. It was a moment in his life where he knew he had to take that step into responsibility and learn to deal with kids. I've lived through that phase myself, and I can really relate to it.

CE: While it was a feel-good movie, it was very believable and didn’t come off as pat or saccharine.

CM: Good! I’m glad it came off like that, because that can be a challenge. These movies get shot really quickly. We don’t have a lot of luxuries as far as time goes. To me, it’s important in my life, in general, to be happy and to be a benefit to those around me. We all got along really well. I try to be happy; I try to make the set happy. Sometimes it’s challenging when things are stressed, but with that said, this was a feel-good set. We were just having a lot of fun, a lot of laughs, and there was a lot of silliness. It was probably one of my favorite jobs that I can remember doing. It was a lot of fun.

CE: How was your leading lady, Sarah Lancaster, to work with?

CM: She’s the best. She’s such a pro and so fun and so down-to-earth and genuine. It’s maybe a little intimidating knowing that she’s a big deal. I went in making sure I was as prepared as I could be so that I could just really relax and be spontaneous and listen and react and play off her. Right off the bat she was so sweet and kind and funny — she has a great sense of humor.

CE: This movie had a very “Castle” feel to it. I could see it being a semi-regular series for the channel.

CM: I’m a big fan of “Castle,” so I love that comparison. Let’s see … how do we make this into a series? I guess we have to keep on changing his name and undercover occupation, because I don’t think he could be a nanny in every episode. But if I were, that would be fun. I know that Hallmark loves their mysteries, and I love working for them, so let’s hope for more!

CE: What would you like people to come away with after watching this movie?

CM: That’s a good question. First, I want them to have fun watching it, because there’s lots of comedy in it. I want them to feel warm, because there’s love and there’s growth within the characters through the story. I’d like for them to be entertained by the comedy, warm from the love, and also surprised by the mystery. Those are the three biggies that I would like people to take away.

CE: I know you’re in Vancouver now filming a show. What is it?

CM: It’s called “Game of Homes,” and I’m hosting it. It’s a really fun renovation/reality show where they’re taking four dilapidated houses off their foundations, and moving these four houses to a really cool downtown location. The contestants make up four teams, and they each end up, through a series of events, getting a specific house. Every week they renovate a new room of the house and the aspect of the house. And every week there is a new challenge with prizes. You can win a trip to Paris or a week cruise in the Caribbean. The ultimate goal, if you win, is that you win your house and a piece of land to put it on. It’s a fun show, because it’s reality show-esque: You get to vicariously live with them; they sleep and live in their houses, even though they are being renovated. The stakes are super-high.

Another other aspect about it that I really like is that I graduated with an engineering degree like 700 years ago, and my dream was always to go into a design firm with my best friend, who’s an architect. I was going to be the engineer, and he was going to be the architect. That was always my dream. And then I bailed on him and went in the entertainment world. But since that time, this is the closest gig I’ve ever had that involves design, construction, engineering, load-bearing walls, header beams — all that kind of stuff. For me it’s kind of coming close to my original dream of what I wanted to do with my life.

CE: Do you know when it airs, and when we’ll get to see it?

CM: It’s a Canadian production. Initially, it’s going to air in Canada. But I have a feeling it’s going to appear elsewhere; it’s just one of those shows. I’ll definitely let you know when I know what channel it’s going to be on in the States.