Celebrity Corner: Alex Ruiz of “Touch” Pops In

10 04 2013

TOUCH fans will recognize him from the episode “Enemy of My Enemy” as Vicente Corliss. He took the time to talk to the fans about TOUCH on Fox and other exciting events occurring in his life.

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Courtesy of Alex Ruiz

Your resume mentioned that you started acting at a very young age. Do you remember your first role?

Yes. Well, professionally, it was a Best Buy commercial. I remember I had to read for the employee part but I had grown a thick mustache for a play I was in called The Bald Soprano so they asked me to read for the father instead. It was until afterwards, shooting the commercial, where I found out that one of the main reasons I got the part was because they found my look hilarious with my mustache.

You have been in commercials, on stage and on television shows. Do you have a preference? And if so, why?

Well, it’s a tricky question for me because they’re all different. It’s a whole different atmosphere and work ethic for each one. I love being on camera, that’s what I really really enjoy and I know how difficult and fun and exciting and thrilling and rewarding being on stage can be but when it comes down to it, being on camera in a show or movie is what I really love and embrace.

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Courtesy of Alex Ruiz

Within the world of acting, do you have a preference as to drama or comedy that you think enhances your talents best?

Another tricky one. Well, I love comedy and I thought that comedy was what I would excel at. And it has, in a way; certainly in the commercial world. But, throughout the years, I learned how acting, in truth, is really feeling and living and I very much enjoy that. I’m a very private person and it seems that I open up completely when I’m acting, and I do that more often with dramatic parts. I’m not scared of comedy at all and I’m not scared to jump around and go toe-to-toe with comedy because that’s what I do most anyway. It’s like a defense mechanism for me and I use it instinctively in a lot of situations so I’m kinda used to it. But drama is something that really pushes me and makes me discover a lot of things in myself that I wouldn’t’ve noticed before. It’s weird, I know, but I guess other actors might know what I’m talking about.

The role of Vicente Corliss on Touch. Was this an open audition or a part for which you were recommended?

Both, kinda. I was called in after being submitted by my agent and fit the description. I came in, read, and immediately was asked to come in later that day to read for the director. I went to Fox Studios a few hours later and read for the main guys. Apparently, they loved it and offered me the part immediately.

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Alex Ruiz as Vicente Corliss on TOUCH

Had you watched the show before you got the part? If not, did you go back and watch season 1, or did you want to approach the role without that knowledge?

Yeah, I was told to watch the show before I came to read for the part to have knowledge of the premise. I don’t ever watch shows or movies or plays before or afterwards because I want to give my own interpretation, unless, of course, I’m asked to. I feel it’s best if you come with your own idea and choice for the part without any prior knowledge. Only if you have pure understanding of what’s being asked of you. But yeah, I watched two episodes and once I got the idea I stopped. I liked it though. But then again, I pretty much like anything Kiefer Sutherland’s in.  [Editor’s note:  ME TOO!]

What were some unique things that happened on this set that you have not encountered on other sets before?

Professionalism. In every way. I’ve been in a lot of sets and worked with a lot of people and the way everything was handled was so professional. From the way they treated David [Mazouz] to how Maria [Bello] came in and rocked her scene to how I was directed. It was a very boom-boom-boom-check the gate process and before I knew it the scenes were done and ready to go. We rehearsed once on a closed set and once we nailed it everyone was brought in to shoot it and bam, the scene was done. They expect you to come prepared and you appreciate that level of professionalism because everyone respects everyone else’s work and time.

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Maria Bello, David Mazouz, and Alex Ruiz’s scene in TOUCH

I like to think of every experience as a learning moment. Did you learn anything on the set (as an actor or on a more personal level) that you can share with us?

I feel like I learn something on every set that I’m a part of. I’m not sure if I can pinpoint exactly what that is but I know it and utilize it the moment I’m there. I think it’s really just listening. Not only to the director but to everyone around you. Literally everyone. The sound guy putting the mic on you has heard a billion things about everything that’s happened on every set he’s worked with so I listen to what (s)he says. On break I’m drinking coffee and the lighting guys talk about work and I infiltrate their conversation and just listen. I try to learn every facet of my job as possible by listening and being aware of how everything works. From the director, they’re all astronomically different and if you listen carefully and adapt to his world then you’ve got another little safe of knowledge stored in your brain that you can open up and use in another situation. The entire process is learning so I can’t really give something specific when it’s there from beginning to end.

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Maria Bello and Alex Ruiz in TOUCH

You know I have to ask…have you had a Touch-like moment in your life, something you felt was more than coincidence?

Of course! My family and I have an apartment that we stay at in Mexico that used to belong to my grandma who’s been deceased for about 15 years. I slept in her bed one night, which we do every time we’re there anyway, and I had a very strong dream about her. My brother was going through some tough times and I vividly saw her in my dream. I won’t go into specifics but it ended with her saying “he’ll be okay, he’ll be okay,” and I woke up screaming and crying. I’ve never had a dream like that before nor since and I’m totally convinced that it was my grandma talking to me directly. It was definitely Touch-like in the sense that my brother is completely happy and somehow my grandma calmed me by knowing it would be so.

Do you have any current projects on the horizon?

I do. I’m doing a Mexican novela called Dama Y Obrero in Miami right now. It’s a remake from a Chilean novela of the same name which had enormous success in Chile. The anticipation for it is quite big and I have one of the starring roles so I’m very excited for that. It’ll air on Telemundo later this year. I’m also in negotiations to star in a film which might have some big distribution but hopefully I’ll be able to film it after the novela. I also did a short called Best of Both Worlds directed by amazing director Michael Dunker a little less than a year ago which has made a big splash in the festival circuit and it’s getting financed to be made as a feature where I’ll be playing the same character. So yeah, lots of stuff this year, thankfully.

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Courtesy of Alex Ruiz

RAPID-FIRE QUESTIONS

What is the most played song on your IPod or MP3 player?

I just looked it up and it’s Cruel Summer by Bananarama. Imagine that. I’m a huge 80’s guy so I guess it doesn’t surprise me.

What is the last book you have read?

I read “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs. It’s creepy as all hell because photographs visualize the narrative. Not a bad book. Right now I’m trying to finish “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn. A friend of mine recommended it and it’s pretty damn good so far.

Best advice that was ever given to you?

Lots of good advice throughout the years. But the most basic and impactful was my mom saying “oye, ve, y calla,” which means “listen, watch, and don’t say a word.” Works in every situation you’re in if you really think about it.

Sunrises or sunsets?

Definitely sunsets.

Favorite sport to watch?

Basketball. Been a Pistons fan all of my life.

Singing or dancing?

I do a lot of karaoke but my voice is terrible (to me, at least). Dancing I like. I’m talking salsa or mambo or anything that moves your hips without you knowing they’re moving.

Favorite TV show (besides Touch, of course 🙂

The British Office is absolute genius. Anything Gervais, really. I’m also a big fan of Forensic Files and crime shows of that sort.

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Courtesy of Alex Ruiz

Thank you so much, Alex, for the generosity of your time and your thoughtful answers. TOUCH fans: Help support Alex by liking his Facebook page and following him on Twitter.

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1991503/?ref_=fn_al_nm_2

Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alex-Ruiz/159956814141798?ref=hl

Twitter: @alex54ruiz





Will “The Following” Be the Next “24” for Fox in January

14 05 2012

(Press Release) THE FOLLOWING

THE FBI estimates there are currently over 300 active serial killers in the United States. What would happen if these killers had a way of communicating and connecting with each other? What if they were able to work together and form alliances across the country? What if one brilliant psychotic serial killer was able to bring them all together and activate a following? Welcome to THE FOLLOWING, the terrifying new thriller from creator/executive producer Kevin Williamson (“The Vampire Diaries,” “Dawson’s Creek,” the “Scream” franchise). When notorious serial killer JOE CARROLL (James Purefoy, “Rome”) escapes from death row and embarks on a new killing spree, the FBI calls former agent RYAN HARDY (Emmy-nominated actor Kevin Bacon, “X-Men: First Class”) to consult on the case. Having since withdrawn from the public eye, Hardy was responsible for Carroll’s capture nine years ago, after Carroll murdered 14 female students on the Virginia college campus where he taught literature. Hardy is a walking textbook of all-things Carroll. He knows him better than anyone; he is perhaps Carroll’s only psychological and intellectual match. But the Ryan Hardy who broke the Carroll case years ago isn’t the same man today. Wounded both physically and mentally by his previous pursuit of this serial killer, it’s been a long time since Hardy has been in the field. This investigation is his redemption, his call to action. In contrast to nine years ago, Hardy isn’t calling the shots on this case. He works closely with an FBI team, which includes all-business and tough-as-nails JENNIFER MASON (Jeananne Goossen, “The Vow,” ALCATRAZ) and young, razor-sharp MIKE WESTON (Shawn Ashmore, “X-Men”).

The team considers Hardy to be more of a liability than an asset. But Hardy proves his worth when he uncovers that Carroll was covertly communicating with a network of killers in the outside world. It quickly becomes obvious that he has more planned than just a prison escape, and there’s no telling how many additional killers are out there. The FBI’s investigation leads Hardy to CLAIRE MATTHEWS (Natalie Zea, “Justified”), Carroll’s ex-wife and mother of the criminal’s 10-year-old son, JOEY (newcomer Kyle Catlett). Close during Hardy’s initial investigation, Hardy turns to Claire for insight into Carroll’s next move. The tension rises when Carroll’s accomplices kidnap his intended last victim from nine years ago. Hardy becomes ever more determined to end Carroll’s game when he realizes that this psychopath intends to finish what he started. The thriller will follow Hardy and the FBI as they are challenged with the ever-growing web of murder around them, masterminded by the devious Carroll, who dreams of writing a novel with Hardy as his protagonist. The reinvigorated Hardy will get a second chance to capture Carroll, as he’s faced with not one but a cult of serial killers.

PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Warner Bros. Television, Outerbanks Entertainment, Bonanza Productions Inc.

CREATOR/WRITER/EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Kevin Williamson

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/DIRECTOR: Marcos Siega

CAST: Kevin Bacon as Ryan Hardy, James Purefoy as Joe Carroll, Jeananne Goossen as Agent Jennifer Mason, Natalie Zea as Claire Matthews, Kyle Catlett as Joey Matthews, Shawn Ashmore as Agent Weston, Valorie Curry as Denise, Adan Canto as Billy Thomas, Nico Tortorella as Will Wilson

Follow “The Following” on Twitter at @TheFollowingFox

Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/TheFollowing

“The Following” is slated to start in January and run for 15 consecutive weeks on Monday nights.

Watch the preview on YouTube at: http://youtu.be/f8H4ewQzKFM





New Drama “The Mob Doctor” on Fox This Fall

14 05 2012

(Press Release) THE MOB DOCTOR

For most physicians, the Hippocratic oath is sacred. But for one Chicago doctor, who is indebted to the mafia, saving lives isn’t her only concern. THE MOB DOCTOR is a fast-paced medical drama featuring a brilliant young female cardiothoracic surgeon who is split between two distinct worlds as she juggles her promising medical career with her lifelong debt as a doctor to Chicago’s Southside mob. DR. GRACE DEVLIN (Jordana Spiro, “My Boys”) is a top resident at Chicago’s Roosevelt Medical Center. Smart and self-assured, she’s heralded as one of the country’s most promising young surgeons. But family ties keep her glued to her Southside roots. To pay off her brother’s life-threatening gambling debt, she makes a deal with the devil and agrees to work “off book” for the mafia men she once despised. During the day, Grace must deal with the emotionally compelling cases at Roosevelt Medical – a toddler in need of a heart transplant, an elderly man desperate to donate a lung to his sick wife, the mass chaos in the wake of a two-train collision on the ‘L.’ But in her other vastly different world, she must juggle an onslaught of mob-related demands, including operating in mob-sanctioned locations, removing bullets from dead bodies to hide incriminating evidence, saving a juiced-up race horse and covertly helping an aging mobster with his erectile dysfunction. All the while, Grace must keep her dual life a secret from everyone: her protective best friend, NURSE ROBERTA “RO” ANGELI (Floriana Lima, “Glory Daze”); her handsome, blue-blooded boyfriend, DR. BRETT ROBINSON (Zach Gilford, “Off The Map,” “Friday Night Lights”); her boss at Roosevelt Medical and Chief of Surgery, DR. STAFFORD WHITE (Zeljko Ivanek, “The Event,” “Damages”); her rival, DR. OLIVIA WATSON (Jaime Lee Kirchner, “Necessary Roughness,” “Mercy”); even her well-meaning screw-up brother, NATE (Jesse Lee Soffer, “As the World Turns”), and her overly dramatic mother, DANIELLA (Wendy Makkena, “NCIS”). The only one who knows the true scope of Grace’s activities is the man to whom Grace owes her debt: the charming and diabolical Southside mob boss CONSTANTINE ALEXANDER (William Forsythe, “Boardwalk Empire”), an oddly compassionate killer whose relationship with Grace is more than it seems. Recently released from prison, the former head of the Chicago mob looks to reclaim his place in the organization, with the help of his right-hand associate – and Grace’s ex-boyfriend – FRANCO (James Carpinello, “The Good Wife”). As Grace tries to heed the demands of these two conflicting worlds – not to mention the needs of her own slightly dysfunctional family – her moral center comes into direct conflict with the very immoral things she’s asked to do. But with nerves of steel and a tough-as-nails exterior, she somehow manages to make it all work – at least for now.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Sony Pictures Television

CREATORS/WRITERS/EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Josh Berman, Rob Wright

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/DIRECTOR: Michael Dinner

CAST: Jordana Spiro as Dr. Grace Devlin, William Forsythe as Constantine Alexander, Floriana Lima as Nurse “Ro” Angeli, Zach Gilford as Dr. Brett Robinson, Jaime Lee Kirchner as Dr. Olivia Watson, Zeljko Ivanek as Dr. Stafford White, James Carpinello as Franco, Jesse Lee Soffer as Nate Devlin, Wendy Makkena as Daniella Devlin

Follow The Mob Doctor on Twitter at: @TheMobDoctorFox

Follow The Mob Doctor on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/TheMobDoctor

“The Mob Doctor” will be on Monday nights at 9 ET/8 Central right after “Bones.”

Watch the preview on YouTube at: http://youtu.be/YDu2q_vjOkY





Fox Reveals New Fall Schedule

14 05 2012

(Press Release)
FOX ANNOUNCES PRIMETIME SERIES
FOR 2012-2013 SEASON

NO. 1 NETWORK ADDS THREE NEW COMEDIES AND TWO NEW DRAMAS TO SLATE

MINDY KALING’S HIGHLY-ANTICIPATED COMEDY “THE MINDY PROJECT” AND DISTINCTIVE ENSEMBLE COMEDY “BEN AND KATE” JOIN “RAISING HOPE” AND “NEW GIRL” ON NEW FALL TUESDAY COMEDY BLOCK

COMPELLING NEW DRAMA “THE MOB DOCTOR” LAUNCHES THIS FALL

KEVIN WILLIAMSON’S RIVETING NEW THRILLER “THE FOLLOWING”
STARRING KEVIN BACON AND JAMES PUREFOY DEBUTS MIDSEASON

INVENTIVE NEW COMEDY “THE GOODWIN GAMES” SLATED FOR MIDSEASON

Award-Winning Phenomenon GLEE Moves to Thursdays Following THE X FACTOR This Fall

New York (Monday, May 14, 2012) – Peter Rice, Chairman, Entertainment, Fox Networks Group; and Kevin Reilly, President, Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company, today unveiled the FOX primetime schedule for the 2012-2013 television season to the national advertising community during its annual Programming Presentation at the Beacon Theatre.

“Television continues to be the most vibrant, emotionally rich platform in the world,” said Rice. “FOX has been the No. 1 network for eight seasons by delivering groundbreaking, engaging and culturally relevant shows that connect with our audience, not only on-air, but wherever they are in the digital or social space.”

“With first-year culture-driving hits like NEW GIRL and THE X FACTOR and strong returning tentpoles like AMERICAN IDOL and GLEE, we were laser focused on our development and it has really paid off,” said Reilly. “I have no doubt that our two genre-defying new dramas, our new FOX Sports Saturdays, and our three new distinctive, sharp and upscale comedies – all fronted by incredible talent – can propel FOX to even greater success.”

This fall, two new half-hour comedies – THE MINDY PROJECT and BEN AND KATE – will join RAISING HOPE and NEW GIRL on an all-new Tuesday night comedy block. Created by Emmy-nominated writer/producer and New York Times best-selling author Mindy Kaling (“The Office”) and starring Kaling, Chris Messina (“Damages”), Anna Camp (“The Good Wife”) and newcomer Ed Weeks, THE MINDY PROJECT features Kaling as a skilled OB/GYN navigating the tricky waters of both her personal and professional life, as she pursues her dreams of becoming the perfect woman, finding the perfect man and getting her perfect romantic comedy ending.

BEN AND KATE, the heartwarming new sibling comedy created by Dana Fox (“What Happens In Vegas”) and directed by Jake Kasdan (“Bad Teacher”), also debuts Tuesdays this fall. Starring newcomer Dakota Johnson and Nat Faxon (“Bad Teacher,” Academy Award-winning co-screenwriter of “The Descendants”), the comedy follows a pair of odd-couple siblings – one, an overly responsible single mom; the other, an exuberant kid-at-heart – and their friends as they push each other out of their comfort zones and into real life.

The compelling new drama THE MOB DOCTOR will debut this fall. Executive-produced by Josh Berman (BONES, “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”) and Rob Wright (“Crossing Jordan”), the engrossing character drama stars Jordana Spiro (“My Boys”) as a brilliant, life-saving surgeon caught in a complex web between her promising medical career and her family’s debt to Chicago’s Southside mob.

Edge-of-your-seat thriller THE FOLLOWING, created by Kevin Williamson (“Dawson’s Creek,” “Scream” franchise) and starring Golden Globe Award-winning Kevin Bacon (“X-Men,” “Frost/Nixon”) and James Purefoy (“Rome”), premieres in midseason. The spellbinding and intense drama follows an ex-FBI agent (Bacon) called out of retirement to track down a devious and diabolical serial killer (Purefoy), the mastermind behind a nationwide string of murders.

THE GOODWIN GAMES, the inventive new comedy from the executive producers of “How I Met Your Mother,” Carter Bays, Craig Thomas and Chris Harris, is slated for midseason. Starring Scott Foley (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Felicity”), Becki Newton (“Ugly Betty”) and Jake Lacy (“Better With You”), the family comedy tells the story of three estranged siblings who return home after the loss of their beloved father (guest star Beau Bridges, “The Descendants”), and unexpectedly find themselves poised to inherit more than $20 million – if, and only if, they can adhere to their late father’s trivial wishes.

It was also announced that GLEE, the award-winning cultural phenomenon, will move this fall to Thursdays (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), following all-new installments of Simon Cowell’s THE X FACTOR (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT). THE X FACTOR returns for Season Two with two new judges, who will join Cowell and L.A. Reid on the world’s largest search to award one global superstar or music group a $5 million record contract.

FOX series returning in 2012-2013 include: AMERICAN DAD (Season 8), AMERICAN IDOL (Season 12), BOB’S BURGERS (Season 3), BONES (Season 8), THE CLEVELAND SHOW (Season 4), COPS (Season 25), FAMILY GUY (Season 10), FRINGE (Season 5), GLEE (Season 4), HELL’S KITCHEN (Season 10), KITCHEN NIGHTMARES (Season 5), MASTERCHEF (Season 3), MOBBED (specials), NEW GIRL (Season 2), RAISING HOPE (Season 3), THE SIMPSONS (Season 24), SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE (Season 9) and TOUCH (Season 2). AMERICAN COUNTRY AWARDS, NEW YEAR’S EVE LIVE and TEEN CHOICE 2012 will also return to the FOX schedule.

Keep up with all the new series on the FOX 2012-2013 primetime schedule at FOX.com or by “liking” the series on Facebook and following the series on Twitter:

SERIES FACEBOOK TWITTER
BEN AND KATE Facebook.com/BenandKate @BenandKateFOX (#benandkate)

THE FOLLOWING Facebook.com/TheFollowing @TheFollowingFOX (#thefollowing)

THE GOODWIN GAMES Facebook.com/TheGoodwinGames @GoodwinGamesFOX (#thegoodwingames)

THE MINDY PROJECT Facebook.com/TheMindyProject @MindyProjectFOX (#themindyproject)

THE MOB DOCTOR Facebook.com/TheMobDoctor @TheMobDoctorFOX (#themobdoctor)

Following are the FOX 2012-2013 primetime schedule and synopses of the new series:

FOX 2012-2013 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE
(All Times ET/PT)

MONDAY
8:00-9:00 PM BONES
9:00-10:00 PM THE MOB DOCTOR (new)

THE FOLLOWING (new) joins in midseason.

TUESDAY
8:00-8:30 PM RAISING HOPE
8:30-9:00 PM BEN AND KATE (new)
9:00-9:30 PM NEW GIRL
9:30-10:00 PM THE MINDY PROJECT (new)

THE GOODWIN GAMES (new) joins in midseason.

WEDNESDAY
8:00-10:00 PM THE X FACTOR (fall) / AMERICAN IDOL (midseason)

THURSDAY
8:00-9:00 PM THE X FACTOR Results (fall) / AMERICAN IDOL Results (midseason)
9:00-10:00 PM GLEE

FRIDAY
8:00-9:00 PM TOUCH
9:00-10:00 PM FRINGE (fall)

HELL’S KITCHEN returns in midseason.

SATURDAY
7:00-10:30 PM FOX SPORTS SATURDAY (fall)

COPS returns in midseason.
ANIMATION DOMINATION HIGH-DEF (new) will join late-prime in 2013.

SUNDAY
7:00-7:30 PM NFL Game (fall) / ANIMATION DOMINATION (encores)
7:30-8:00 PM THE OT (fall) / THE CLEVELAND SHOW
8:00-8:30 PM THE SIMPSONS
8:30-9:00 PM BOB’S BURGERS
9:00-9:30 PM FAMILY GUY
9:30-10:00 PM AMERICAN DAD





Celebrity Corner: Chatting with Michelle Krusiec

16 04 2012

By Hilda Clark Bowen

Science fiction fans will know Michelle from her early work on Deep Space Nine (“Time’s Orphan”) to her recent appearance as shape-shifter Nadine (also named “Seven”) on the cult-hit Fringe. That only barely begins to touch the surface of this veteran actress who has done everything from hosting a show on the Discovery Channel (Travelers) to playing the lead in the film “Saving Face”, from a recurring role on a soap opera (General Hospital) to doing guest spots on television shows and television movies, and writing and performing her one-woman show, Made In Taiwan, which sold out at FringeNYC 2010 (unrelated to the show Fringe, although a cute bit of irony). You will be able to catch her on this Thursday’s episode, “Lost and Found” on the new hit Fox series Touch starring Kiefer Sutherland.

Michelle Krusiec

Can you share with us a little about your character, Lanny Zheng, on Touch?

Lanny is someone who knows what she wants in life but finds herself “touched” and moved by a set of extraordinary circumstances. It’s basically the premise of the show for all of these people whose lives will intersect in magical ways.

When you are preparing for a role, what is your process for remembering lines? Do you learn the emotions/motivations of the character first or do you remember the lines first and then fill in the emotion?

Every character is different. I don’t have a technique for memorizing per se. I just work on what the character needs and look at the words on the pages as ideas. Memorizing can be tough if you just memorize words, but I think I generally look for motivations first and the words as ideas.

The premise of “Touch” expands the Chinese legend of the red string of fate of soul mates into a larger theme of tying the destiny of people together. Do you believe in destiny?

I do, but I think it’s self determined. I used to think that you were pre-destined or fated in life, but now I don’t think that. I think each day, each moment, we are given choices to change and become who we are destined to become.

Do you have your own “Touch” story?

I do. I think the biggest one being that a fortune teller told my Mother my future when I was still inside her womb and it made a big impact on both of our journeys. I’m a bit superstitious as a result.

At the end of the pilot episode of Touch, Jake says, “”Will these words be used to hurt or to heal?” In episode 2 (“1+1=3”) the peanut vendor tries to restore karma back to the time when things started falling apart for him. Do you believe in karma? Do you have an example from your own life of a positive or negative karmic experience?

I do believe in karma. Here’s a good one. It’s long!

I was filming on location in Argentina on Travelers, a Discovery channel show, I co-hosted and when we first landed we lost all of our luggage, so the producer took us shopping. I looked awful. I was wearing a real military coat that I used to love because I loved the industrial look back then and I was at this mall in Buenos Aires and there was this HOT, I mean, one of the hottest guys I’ve ever seen, working at one of the stores. He spoke no English and I didn’t speak any Spanish so it was impossible. I tried to explain that I looked awful and needed clothes, because I lost my luggage and he just kept nodding and smiling. Finally, one of the co-hosts showed up who spoke Spanish and talked to him and she said that he thought I was trying to tell him that I was a flight attendant. That made me laugh, because I realized I must have looked ridiculous in that coat.

Anyhow, this hot guy proceeded to tell her that he wanted to give me his number, but he vehemently refused to give it to me if I did not promise him that I would call. He looked me in the eyes and said passionately, “promise me you’ll call.” (My friend translated!) I was so taken by this guy. I was wearing glasses; I had zits all over my face; I looked hideous. I asked my friend who was translating for us, what am I gonna say to this guy on a date? She looked at me and said, “sweetheart, look at this man, you do not need to do any talking with this person.” So, I took his number but fretted about breaking my promise. I thought he was way out of my league and too hot for me! Finally, I decided to call him, but because I made no money at the time, I tried to call from the pay phone across from our fancy hotel because I didn’t want to pay for the phone charges. So I pulled out the slip of paper with his number and began to cross the four lane highway and that’s when a gust of wind blew that slip of paper out of my hands never to be found again. I guess I was right…he was way out of my league.

My sad karma story.

You just finished writing your play “Made in Taiwan” into a screenplay and said it was now off your bucket list. What else is on that bucket list?

Traveling to Antarctica, completing a major mountain climb, singing “On my Own” as Eponine on Broadway or really ANY song without fear of tomatoes pummeling me in the eye, performing a MJ dance piece as part of a flash mob in some place like Grand Central or Times Square, directing a film in Asia, private dinner with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, being a lead dancer on a major video for someone like Prince, honored at the Kennedy Center, taking my parents to the Oscars.

I see you’ll be working with Joan Chen again (Saving Face) on “Relative Insanity” (the contemporary interpretation of Chekhov’s “The Seagull”). Has that started filming yet?

No, it has not.

You’ve worked in so many different areas. Is there one medium you prefer over another (for example, movie versus TV, TV versus stage acting, TV series versus soap opera)?

I prefer process over non, so it’s more that I like showing up on set and having a creative collaboration with a director. If I can get that from doing one great scene in TV than I’m a happy camper, but if I’m on a job where I’m just expected to hit a mark and go home, that’s not so interesting to me. Usually, films afford you more of a process, but since every production is hurting for money, you can show up on a film set and still have that impersonal experience. Stage really and truly is the actor’s medium, so if you want a full process, that’s the one to experience. I always go back to my stage show or back to theater because it’s where I grow the most as a performer. I’ve had 2 months to prepare for my next film project and it’s been a luxury.

You also have great comedic timing. Do you have a preference between comedy and drama?

Thank you! I love both, genuinely. They each satisfy a different appetite and they’re both so different. Sometimes, I can go from one job and think I’m definitely a comedic actress and then work on a drama and just sit in the “pain” of it all and think, oh, yeah, I’m a drama girl, definitely drama all the way. I’m very lucky I can do both, so I do really try and hone both genres. And truthfully, in life, I really am light and dark, very serious but then really goofy. I think maybe a little “bipolar” runs in my family?

What charitable organizations do you support?

The primary one I am most closely connected to is Center for the Pacific Asian Family. I completed their state certification program to work with Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault survivors as well as volunteering as a SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) advocate. I am currently developing a stage show not unlike the Vagina Monologues focusing on the children of domestic violence survivors. My goal…if you can believe it or not, is to make it entertaining. See, there’s that light and dark again.

Where can we see you in the upcoming future?

I’m about to begin filming a project with Sandra Oh called A Helping Hand and you can see the comedy series Nice Girls Crew, dramatic feature Sunset Stories, both at the Los Angeles Asian Film Festival. Shuffle a magical film about a man living his life out of order will be released later this year.

Random Thoughts

I’m most creative….?

I’m most creative when I’m well rested and well fed.

I often imagine myself….?

I often imagine myself as a big clown with a sad face but happy nose.

I really wish I knew how to….?

I really wish I knew how to make shoes.

I’d love to spend a lazy Sunday…?

I’d love to spend a lazy Sunday with my entire family laughing and telling stories.

My secret talent is…?

My secret talent is calling people by the wrong names.

Best spontaneous decision was…?

Best spontaneous decision was buying my condo in NYC. I just flew to NY on a Friday and bought it on Monday.

Best way to express myself is….?

Best way to express myself is through dance. I love to dance.

The best advice someone gave you was….?

1) Don’t wait to be picked.

2) Smile in the mirror and then grab that smile you see and eat it. Every day. And make sure it goes down to your belly where your passion lives.

3) Find out what you do best in life and then do it like Hercules.

Michelle Krusiec’s biography:  Writer/Performer

The “Chinese American Sandra Bullock” (NY Post). Michelle Krusiec is best known for her starring role opposite Joan Chen in the romantic comedy Saving Face, directed by Alice Wu. The role garnered her a Chinese language Oscar nomination for Best Actress in the 2005 Golden Horse Ceremony.

Ms. Krusiec is sole creator and performer of her original solo show Made in Taiwan (MIT). The show is a darkly comedic coming of age story based on Krusiec’s own family. The show has been workshopped at theatre festivals all over the country including the 2002 HBO Aspen comedy festival, the 2007 New York Asian American Theatre Festival and most recently at the 2010 NY City International Fringe festival. MIT was featured on CBS News as a festival highlight and experienced a sold out run and extension into the Fringe Encores, playing Off Broadway at the prestigious Lucille Lortel Theatre.

Born in Taiwan and raised in America by her Taiwanese aunt and American uncle, Ms. Krusiec works in Los Angeles, New York and Asia. Michelle is known for her intense character portrayals and her uncanny ability to shift seamlessly between comedy and drama. In features, Ms. Krusiec has starred opposite the likes of Michelle Yeoh, Sean Bean, Cameron Diaz, Ashton Kutcher, Drew Barrymore, Eva Mendes, Ben Stiller, Reese Witherspoon, Cristina Ricci, James Cromwell, Christian Slater, Ray Liotta, Donald Sutherland, Anthony Hopkins. In television, Ms. Krusiec globetrotted to over 50 destinations as the host of the popular travel series Travelers for the Discovery Channel. She starred on the NBC sitcom, One World and has graced critically acclaimed shows like Touch, Fringe, Community, Blue Bloods, Secret Life of the American Teenager, Dirty Sexy Money, Nip Tuck, Grey’s Anatomy, Weeds, Mind of the Married Man, Monk.

Ms. Krusiec works closely with CPAF, Center for the Pacific Asian Family, in hopes of advocating on their behalf in issues of domestic violence and sexual assault. She is currently writing her next stage play Nakid on the subject matter. Michelle’s next features are Relative Insanity with Helen Hunt, David Duchovny, Joan Chen and Maggie Grace and A Helping Hand with Sandra Oh.

You can follow Michelle’s blog at http://theprocess.michellekrusiec.com/

Her website: http://www.michellekrusiec.com/projects.html

Michelle’s Twitter: @michellekrusiec

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michellekrusiec

Thank you, Michelle, for taking time out of your hectic schedule for this interview.  Don’t forget to watch Michelle’s episode of Touch on April 19, 2012 “Lost and Found.”  Check local listings for times.





Terra Nova Genesis

25 09 2011

By Hilda Clark Bowen

Forewarning: This preview may contain spoilers, but such spoilers are already readily available on the internet from interviews, previews and the like.

“Welcome to paradise.” And welcome to the one of the most awaited shows in television, a show so ambitiously graphic, the original premiere date was cancelled for this later date, a show so heavily publicized on so many different channels and venues to every possible demographic imaginable, it cannot possibly fail. But as one Twitter friend pointed out, it is going up against Monday Night Football; he felt it was only a matter of time before it was moved to another day. I doubt there is any show that wins over Monday Night Football, but Fox must have great confidence that this show can compete.

After viewing the first 60 minutes, courtesy of Fox VIP, I can say this show has something for everyone. It is not primarily about dinosaurs. There is drama, humor, love, action, angst, heartthrob-status rebellious teenagers, adorable children, betrayal, mystery, idyllic tropical backdrops, and out-of-this-world visual effects.

The show centers on the Shannon family: Jim (Jason O’Mara) and Elisabeth (Shelley Conn), and their 3 children, Josh (Landon Liboiron), Maddy (Naomi Scott), and Zoe (Alana Mansour). That is a problem in 2149 because the air is toxic and population is controlled to a maximum of 2 children. It is an even greater problem since Jim is a law enforcement officer. Their secret is discovered and the family is put through an ordeal that would tear other families apart. Love wins and without giving the details of how it happens, they manage to arrive to Terra Nova for a fresh start, but not without heartache for one of the members of the family. Jim has to prove himself to Commander Nathaniel Taylor (Stephen Lang) before he entrusts him with a secret. Not everyone is in harmony in Terra Nova. Expedition 6 left the compound for unknown reasons, and there is violence between them. The leader of expedition 6, Mira, will be quite familiar to every “Stargate SG-1” fan, Christine Adams. There will be trials ahead for the Shannon family as well as they adjust to their new lives.

The show has the potential to be the next “Lost” with mysteries already being unlocked in the pilot episode. The writers, knowing how intelligent their audience will be, give a great explanation of why the butterfly effect will not occur–this is an alternate timeline. What is fantastic about that is that the writers will not be bound to what our knowledge base is for prehistoric history, being free to create new and interesting theories and–of course–fascinating new dinosaurs (and I’m sure other creatures).

The executive producers on Terra Nova are:  Steven Spielberg, Peter Chernin, Brannon Braga, Rene Echevarria, Alex Graves, Jon Cassar, Aaron Kaplan, Katherine Pope, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank, Craig Silverstein, and Kelly Marcel. The director for “Genesis”, the pilot episode, is Alex Graves. The episode was written by Kelly Marcel, Allan Loeb, and Craig Silverstein. It premieres Monday night on Fox at 8 p.m. /7 p.m. central.

While it is airing in the United States, the finale episode is being shot in Australia. Several of the people associated with production have expressed a desire to try to live-tweet while the episode is occurring if time permits. So follow these Twitter feeds Monday night:

@JonCassar
@Jason_Omara
@TerraNovaonFOX
@joeh90
@NaomiScott
@JoseMolinaTV
@traviswf
@earnestracket
@Simone_Kessell
@TerryMatalas
@allisonemiller
@teamcephalopod