Hello gentle readers and fellow travelers of the blogosphere. Kristoffer Polaha here with the creator of your favorite family drama Life Unexpected, an amazing writer, the leader of our crew, the mama of our little grubby family, the one the only Miss Liz Tigelaar!
We decided to get together today, and take a little walk down memory lane...
Liz and I have been working with each other since Dec. 2008. We shot the LUX pilot in Jan. 2009, sweat out the season one pickup together in May 2009 and kept each other sane with phone call after phone call. She was in Los Angeles while I was waiting it out in Florida, and we both decided to fly to New York City to face our fate together. And it was literally upon landing when I found out we got the pickup.
We hashed out season one together script by script on our Sunday night phone calls, and celebrated the success of our Jan. 18, 2010 premiere together. We sweat out our season two pickup, and my wife and I drove with Liz from LaGuardia Airport into the city together for Upfronts. And now we are wrapping up season two together.
Liz is here in Vancouver, we are having dinner together, and we now get to rehash our journey here with you. So sit back, relax, and enjoy our little trip down memory lane:
Kris Polaha: Let's set the scene for the folks at home: You and I are sitting in Vij's on a cool, dry, Vancouver Sunday night, both of us stricken with a mild case of Bronchitis. We sound like 50-year-old smokers. I'd like to first say thank you for this amazing opportunity, not the dinner or the Bronchitis (which you claim I gave you), but for the chance to play Baze. Thank you. It has been my heart to play Baze and work with you for the last two years. You are an amazing team leader, a collaborative boss, and it's been the best working experience of my professional career so far.
Liz Tigelaar: Aw, I'm touched! And not just because I've had twelve ounces of wine. Now let's clear a few things up: One, you did give me bronchitis. You coughed all over me last week in the loft. Now, I will no longer refer to you as Kris or Polaha—you are now the Outbreak Monkey. So Outbreak Monkeyness aside, it has been an amazing journey. I remember you coming in to audition—you couldn't decide whether to sit or stand, but you decided you had better luck when you stood. And in that moment, you were so Baze. And every time you read, you just embodied him even more. By the time we shot the pilot, I couldn't imagine we had ever auditioned anyone else. That part was yours the minute you came in. You also managed to make Baze so endearing and likable, less douchey than I'd initially imagined. Baze has qualities of every ex-boyfriend I've had combined into one. So while a part of me hates him, I deep down love him.
K.P.: That's sweet, Liz. So when you look at me, it must be a conflict of the heart. So much hate coupled with frustrated love. Our date is a little bittersweet; sweet because I love getting a little time with you, getting the chance to blow off steam with my boss and check in on the writer's gossip, but it's also the first time I've seen Liz since the nasty news of our back nine episodes not being ordered. What the heck is up with that?! (To make matters worse, we just ate red pickled-peppers—the hot kind, and we are crying real tears. Hot, spicy tears.)
L.T.: (As I'm answering this, my tongue is burning and ear canal might explode. These peppers are hot!). So not getting picked up...hmmm. I have a lot of thoughts on that—maybe I'll share after another twelve ounces of wine. But for now, I'll just say we were so ready to do a back nine and we have seasons and seasons of these characters left to experience. I, for one, am not ready to stop writing their stories and I'm certainly not ready to say goodbye. Don't think it's weird, Kris, if you and your wife just find me camped out on your doorstep, like Lux in the pilot outside the bar.
L.T.: Since we're strolling down memory lane, I have to ask: What's been your favorite moment onscreen during the course of the series?
K.P.: One of my favorite moments onscreen was a conversation I had with Lux. It was out on Baze's deck. The episode was "Crisis Unaverted."
L.T.: One of my favorites, hands down.
K.P.: Giving Lux a car was my way of telling her that I loved her, without having to or being confident enough to say the words. And in that moment, she knew I did. In the end, she asks me to give her something she wanted more—help for Tasha.
L.T.: The Tasha/Lux stories and how they weave in with the others are among my favorite moments in the show because their relationship is so specific and unique. And that scene you did on the deck with Britt [Robertson] is definitely one of my favorites of the series.
K.P.: For me, it was a moment that exemplified the sweet spot of the show.
L.T.: I always love the little things you do with Britt—when you put your hand on her head or call her "kiddo." It was always just something you did and then we started to write it in. Same with Baze calling the guys in Lux's life "Little Dude." All you.
L.T.: What about your favorite offscreen moment?
K.P.: Offscreen? Upfronts in New York City at Madison Square Garden was a pretty exceptional moment. It's not just a moment, but the cast as a whole. All of it is warm and fuzzy and camp-like up here. How close we all are, how we don't play games with each other; we have each other's backs and we enjoy working with each other. What about you?
L.T.: I totally agree about Upfronts. Season one, I was sitting in my place in Santa Monica with a bag packed, pacing, wondering whether or not I was going to get to go to NYC the next day. I had a ticket and was prepared to take the leap of faith and hop on the plane. I got the call at 6 p.m. and raced to the airport, got on a red eye, and rushed to meet Julie Plec (who co-created Vampire Diaries) who was going to let me get ready in her room. We went to Madison Square Garden together and were so last minute, I didn't even think they'd announce us. Then our cutdown came on and everyone clapped and cheered, and Kevin Williamson, who was next to me, had tears in his eyes. (Keep in mind, I was a production assistant for Kevin on Dawson's Creek, so it was the ultimate feel-good moment—that someone I admired so much could be moved by anything I was a part of). It was the most magical day. I don't think I stopped smiling, and I was so happy to finally arrive at the party and see you and Shiri Appleby and Austin Basis. We did it! I also remember the next night, Kevin decided he was going to throw a party on the roof of 60 Thompson for all the Vampire Diaries people and we were invited, too. It was completely last minute and it felt like the most glamorous night of my life. Just looking around and seeing all of us, celebrating, being a part of it. That's probably my most pure, happy memory because we were all just so blessed and happy and together. As far as onscreen, I could never choose. Certain things make me really happy, like the bong lamp. I love the heartwrenching stuff most of all—the night before the wedding with Baze's dad, Lux returning home to Cate's, Cate and Ryan's breakup, Lux begging Cate to take Tasha, and I absolutely loved the basketball game this season! There's still so much good stuff yet to come. I'm slightly obsessed with writing Baze and Emma (Emma Caulfield) right now because it's a new dynamic that's been fun. And there's a new character who's pretty fun to write with Lux. You'll meet him very soon!
K.P.: First impression of me? And not just the stand-up, sitdown story. I'm talking first impressions. Mine of you was that you were a little cutie face. Most writers in Hollywood have a very certain, shall we say, look. Writerly. Not true in a lot of cases, but when I met you and found out you were the writer, I was like, damn, she's hot! We are about the same age, and you had a written a really great script. I'd say my first impression of you was favorable.
K.P.: So, what was your first impression of me, Brittany, Shiri, Kerr, and Austin?
L.T.: Okay, let's see. Britt rushed into audition before she left town. She was lost somewhere on a lot and finally made her way to us. She came in and she was this little tiny thing in these gigantic work boots. I was super against casting the first person we saw and the second I saw her, I knew we could stop looking. She was it. With Shiri, I was super excited for her to come in because I knew her from Roswell. I couldn't believe how well she auditioned—she really was this character. She was on the fence about the part though, so I got her number and left what was the first of many messages about "Cate" to Shiri. What's fun is that now, I can't imagine Shiri not being Cate and I love all the fun we have dissecting Cate.. Kerr I was also excited to see because I knew him from Dawson's... though not well. I didn't even consider him for Ryan because I didn't think the part was big enough but he agreed to do it if we expanded the role and that one decision changed the entire dynamic of the show, in the best way possible! With Austin, we have different ways to go with the role. Math could have been the funny-jokester-sidekick or a more real guy, and when we saw Austin, we decided to go with more real. As for you, in the beginning I was just surprised by you. You are the first person I felt an instant camaraderie with and I knew that I'd be friends with you whether the show went or not. I was struck, first by the fact that you are ridiculously hot, let's be honest, but more than that, you're a good person. Just like you have impressions of writers, we have impressions of actors. But what I love about you is that you're a great person first. In the early days, I was struck by your kindness. As evidenced when you called my dad for his birthday and pretty much made his year!
K.P.: Two words: Doctor Tigelaar.
L.T.: He's the best. I don't know who's more upset that the show could potentially end: me or him. He's always been this quiet support to me. Maybe that's why I love Lux and Baze's relationship so much.
K.P.: I love your dad. I love that your mom and dad come to set and support you and are into what you're doing. It's actually one of the things that made me feel very grateful to be working for you during the pilot. Hollywood can seem so anti-family at times, and as a family man it was very comforting to see the creator share her professional life with her personal life. Plus, your dad is actually a really smart and interesting guy. I enjoy his set visits because I get to talk to someone about non-actor things. He's supersmart. I heard he's flying from London to be an extra in the last episode. He loves his baby girl.
Jack Rowand / The CW
L.T.: Okay, before we go, you have to answer the following questions: Bug vs. Jones?
KP: Jones. I like Bug, but he was mean to Lux. He was broken and you can't really blame him, but because he was so wounded, he lashed out at Lux. Jones is the quarterback, he's Little Baze.
L.T.: Cate vs. Emma?
K.P.: I don't know, they both have served a very specific purpose in Baze's life. One made him want to be a better man, the other made him a better man. But history will favor Cate. L.T.: Baze vs. Ryan?
K.P.: Liz, really? BAZE!
L.T.: Firm vs. Bar?
K.P.: The Bar. I hate putting on the monkey suit. Baze is a bar man.
L.T.: Abby vs. Paige?
K.P.: Abby. Cate's sister was more into it than Ryan's sister.
L.T.: Attic vs. Shower Curtains?
K.P.: Shower curtains, but that scene in season one when Baze brought the bong lamp to Lux was pretty cool, and tons of good Cate and Lux stuff—actually the attic. The shower curtains are kinda ugly.
K.P.: Alright, you've successfully turned the proverbial table on me, but I like to do a little thing called the Kris Ten. You beat me to the punch, but it now seems appropriate to lay ten questions on you. Here we go: Best place on earth?
L.T.: Cayucos, CA.
K.P.: Favorite color?
L.T.: Lime Green, right now (that's what my fingernails are today).
K.P.: Current favorite band?
L.T.: I've rediscovered my Guster love! But also, Ben Lee, Joshua James, Brandi Carlile, Regina Spektor.
K.P.: LA or NY?
L.T.: LA baby! But I love NYC.
K.P.: Friday Night Lights or anything else?
L.T.: Friday Night Lights, hands down.
K.P.: Season one of LUX or season two?
L.T.: Oooh, that's hard. You always love your first...
K.P.: For Baze—Cate or Emma?
L.T.: Oh, Cate ultimately. Emma right now. For a while.
K.P.: Rolling Stones or The Beatles?
L.T.: The Beatles. Although I always forget one. John, Paul, Ringo... who? George!
K.P.: Are you Cate or Lux?
L.T.: Half of each, for sure.
K.P.: And finally, the question everyone is dying to know the answer to: Ryan or Baze? L.T.: Wait and see.
And there you have it, peeps! Thank you Liz for playing along. Tonight's episode "Plumber Cracked" was written by Patti Carr and Lara Olsen, and directed by Jerry Levine. Stay tuned for next week, it's a big one!
Thanks to all the awesome folks at E! Online. Until next week, this is Kristoffer Polaha signing off!