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.

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