Patrick Ecclesine / The CW
Patrick Ecclesine / The CW
Hello gentle readers and fellow travelers of the blogosphere. Kristoffer Polaha here with another blog for your reading pleasure.
I'm writing this late Monday night, well not so late, but it feels late because the end of daylight saving time has made 4 p.m. seem like 7 p.m. Especially up here in Vancouver where there are longer days in summer and shorter ones in winter.
But I digress. It's Monday night and I have two monologues to learn for work tomorrow—it's the big final episode, number 13, and wait till you see what happens...
The writers have really done a great job of spinning the different threads out slowly this season. Each storyline has been allowed to breathe and develop. (Well done, writers!)
And now I have half an interview with the great Miss Emma Caulfield, which I will give you a little taste of right...now!
Jack Rowand/The CW
Kristoffer Polaha: Hi Emma.
Emma Caulfield: Hi Polaha.
K.P.: What has your experience on Life Unexpected been like?
E.C.: It came at a great time for me. I had just sold almost everything I own and was about to head off for my own Eat Pray Love moment. Instead I came to work on the show, which, I came to realize, was part of the adventure. I've met some wonderful people here, you included, so I consider myself very lucky to have this time.
K.P.: Wow, you went straight for the heartstrings on that one, didn't you?
Sadly, Emma and I only got a little further before time (and life) cut us short. I'll bring you all the rest soon. Consider that blip an appetizer, or is it an appeteaser? To tease or tize? Anyway, more digression...
Earlier this week, I had a really great idea about sharing with you a song I sang for Life Unexpected in this week's blog. I sang a version of "Ice Ice Baby" at a party to woo a client into signing with my dad's firm. The client is played by Krista Allen, who worked on Days of Our Lives with my wife back in the day (and also dated George Clooney, but you did not hear that juicy piece of gossip from me!).
Baze starts to play the piano to liven up her party, and in doing so, he wins her trust. So I sang "Ice Ice Baby."
But last week Lizzy T (Liz Tigelaar) told me the song has been cut because the tag at the front of the episode was funnier. I took it in stride (you have to in this business). It is nothing personal and the editors have the final say over performance anyway. Unless you're in that room, you as an actor can only do what you do on the day. So sadly, the song is cut.
So, I'm stuck with a dilemma: I want to give you, my readers, a great blog every week. The interviews with the cast are fun for you and me to do, and Emma Caulfield is on deck for one, so are Britt Robertson and Kerr Smith. But what about this week?
I'm at a loss, kids, so I'll leave you with an interview you won't find every day—my interview with me.
Kristoffer Polaha: Hi Kris!
Kristoffer Polaha: Hey man.
K.P.: I'm sitting here alone, with my computer, and I'm having a great time with me. It's been a lot of fun being me lately. I've gotten to play this really great character named Baze on Life Unexpected. Do you want to tell us a little bit about it?
K.P.: Sure, where do I begin? I guess every story should start at the beginning. It was December of 2008 and my agent sent me a script called Light Years. I thought it was sci-fi so I read it last, but when I finally read it I was blown away by the amount of heart that the script had.
I was totally drawn into the characters and their journey, and it became clear to me that this was a story about a modern family, simple in its form, but told in a really new, wry, singular fashion. The writer had a very strong voice and I looked at the cover page again to see what network it was for. I thought it was ABC, like October Road was, but it was for the CW.
K.P.: Which is funny because my first thought was then "This will never get picked up for the CW" or "It's gonna change the face of the network," and I thought it was that good.
K.P.: Me too! So I went into audition, met with Liz Tigelaar, Gary Fleder (who is, by the way, an amazing director. It's his artistic vision that took a really great script and translated it into a really great show. He made it feel and look like an independent film), Jeff Meshel, and Robin Lippin. I did my little dog-and-pony show, they ate it up, and I was offered a test deal.
K.P.: Yeah, but wasn't there more to it than that?
K.P.: Not really. I auditioned on day one of casting, so by the time they'd seen everybody I was one of many on a list of guys they liked. I didn't have it locked, but when I went to test at CBS I hit a grand slam! The rest is history.
K.P.: Cool. I like that.
K.P.: Me too.
Jack Rowand / The CW
K.P.: What about the pilot?
K.P.: Nothing but fun. Britt and I hit it off from day one. We had mad chemistry and really played the heck out those first scenes together. I remember seeing her in Swing Town and thinking she stood out. She's a very talented young lady and I have a good feeling about her. I think we'll see her for years to come.
K.P.: I agree. Obviously.
K.P.: So what stood out to me from the pilot ep?
K.P.: Two scenes: The one where we are watching Christian the Lion together and I look at her. As I looked at her, I was looking for things about her face that looked like me; her nose kinda does, her eyebrows, her lips. I was searching her face and in that moment, the audience saw Baze fall in love with Lux.
And my other favorite moment was when Lux walked off with Cate. I played it like it was the last time Baze would ever see Lux and he didn't want it to be. Baze wanted to be her dad, and there is a look at the end of that scene that has propelled my character all the way to the end of episode 13 in season two. The look says this: "I am her dad and I will do anything to make her know that she is loved. I will take responsibility for this child." The show is at its best when it stays true to this drive.
K.P.: Favorite moment from this season?
K.P.: On camera? In episode five, Baze sits down next to Emma and I slap my neck as if it's being bitten by a bug. There was no bug. I was making it up because later Emma complains about being eaten alive. Texture! Truth! Off camera? I'd say it was during a take in last week's episode after Ryan and Baze chug beer at the pool table in the loft.
We drank at least 10 cans of fake beer by the end of shooting that scene and we were on one of our last takes when halfway through a line an explosive belch erupted out of me— like a bomb exploding! It was huge and deeply offensive, but it was Friday night and the crew was tired and we lost it. All of us—the cameramen, the grips, the electricians, Jerry Levine the director, Kerr, Austin Basis and Reggie Austin. It was one of the best moments ever. We laughed so hard and couldn't pull it together for the rest of the night.
Another off-camera moment that rises above the rest? I bought a keg of beer and after work on a Friday night to thank the crew a few weeks ago, so we tapped it and shared a beer together. It was my way of saying thank you to guys who work really hard to make this show what it is, who get no credit, who are not seen, and who spend 14 hours a day away from their families. They are the best and I am deeply appreciative of each and every one of them.
K.P.: Well said, Kris.
K.P.: Thanks, Kris.
On that note, I'm gonna wrap up. I have those lines to learn and a pregnant wife to tend to. I'd love to stay and chat all night, but maybe we can all do it again some time real soon.
Thanks to all the fine folks at E! Online, and until next week, this is Kristoffer Polaha signing off!