Jack Rowand/The CW
Jack Rowand/The CW
Hello fellow travelers, Kris Polaha here, and I'm back again with my very special guest, Life Unexpected's Miss Shiri Appleby, all the way from sunny Vancouver, B.C. I asked Shiri if she'd like to be interviewed for my E! Online blog, and she was very cool about it. We had a lot of fun working on this week's entry, sitting around her computer—the very same computer she uses to post the on-set photographs that get posted to our Facebook page (check it out!)—and hashing this out over a couple of hours.
So, here it is, my loyal readers, the first ever Polaha-Appleby interview (cue trumpet fanfare!):
Kristoffer Polaha: Hey, Shiri. So I'm gonna interview you for my E! Online blog, are you cool with that?
Shiri Appleby: Cool with that? The real question is, what took you so long?!
K.P.: No, you're absolutely right. If I was a smarter man, you'd have been the first interview of my first blog.
[Note from Shiri: This interview was going really well until Kris and our director Liz Allen got into a serious conversation about how Kris is about to break through to the "next level". I agree he is, but I'm a bit confused why Liz and I aren't having this conversation. Let's just say, his peacock feathers are out. Especially when Liz tells him how magnetic he is...]
K.P.: All true. But let's get back on point. How is it day after day you bring the pain? I mean, you tow a lot of the emotional weight of this show, and it is your job to bring the pain. Any tricks? How do you do it? Because it's pretty amazing to me, and I'm usually within a few feet of you while you're doing it, and I still can't break the code.
S.A.: That's very sweet of you to say. I don't know, I just do it. There was a scene early on during the first season of Roswell and I broke down crying. Since then, I've always just been able to do it. On this show, I have broken down really accessing my anger and frustration. Once you have cracked any emotion open, it makes it much easier to do it again and again. Kris, why don't you tell everyone how you work on your scenes at home. You've said you envision what you're going to do. Explain that, if you don't mind.
K.P.: Sure. Mind you, it's all actor-speak, but when I read a scene I'll visualize what Baze is doing, where he is and what action he's attempting to accomplish, like pouring a drink. I'll hear the scene play out, listening for the rhythm of the scene, the words and tempo make up something like music, and in my mind's eye I live it out. In seeing and hearing it beforehand, I can start to work out the reality in which Baze lives in. Of course, when I walk onto a real set I need to part ways with a lot of my homework to make room for what you and our fellow actors bring and what the director sees for a scene as well.
K.P.: You told me something interesting awhile back about a character secret that you came up with for Cate's relationship with Ryan. You want to share that with us?
S.A.: You mean that I'm really a man?
K.P.: Yeah, that one, and what'd you come with for Ryan?
S.A.: Okay, you got me. Kerr [Smith] and I figured out that our character's relationship was based on sex (it is the CW after all) and how well we work together. Other than that, Cate and Ryan don't have much of a relationship, which is why they have a difficult time in their marriage. That said, I decided that Cate is emotionally closer with Baze, which is where all the problems in her life arise from. Other than her kid, who is a compulsive liar. So, yeah...
S.A.: Mr. Polaha, let's play a little game called "Finish My Thought". I'll start: If I were a squirrel—
K.P.: I'd eat nuts. But if I were a nut—
S.A.: I would be Shiri's favorite snack—trail mix that is. I would love to run—
K.P.: Along side of her in a little plastic baggie. Maybe she will—
S.A.: I don't know what this means! Explain, please. No one understands you. Be specific.
K.P.: Alright, let's play the Kris 10-in-One game. Favorite Color?
Jack Rowand/The CW
K.P.: Favorite band?
S.A.: Right now I'm into Kings Of Leon and Phoenix.
K.P.: Favorite director?
S.A.: Cameron Crowe.
K.P.: Happiest school year?
S.A.: Ninth grade.
K.P.: Any recurring dreams?
S.A.: Always dreaming about my house. Always.
K.P.: Best job ever?
S.A.: Six Degrees.
K.P.: High school crush?
S.A.: J.T. Not Justin Timberlake.
K.P.: New York or Los Angeles?
S.A.: My home is Los Angeles. New York is my love.
K.P.: New York or Paris?
S.A.: Paris is my next city. I want to rent an apartment there this summer and take cooking lessons. Heaven. Whenever I am daydreaming, that's what I'm thinking about.
K.P.: Ryan or Baze?
S.A.: You want me to say you—just admit it!
K.P.: It's true, I do. And since we're on the subject of me, let's talk about us, you and me, but more to the point, let's talk about Cate and Baze. What's the deal with Cate and Baze?
S.A.: I was actually just thinking about those two, and my question is this: When are they gonna start having an affair? Go with me on this. Fun, sexy, hidden kisses. Plenty of drama will obviously ensue. And let's be honest, we do make cute kids.
K.P.: That's funny and 100 percent on point. It's the question people want to know the answer to. Cate and Baze are a hot TV couple on par with Bert and Ernie, Peg and Al Bundy, Marge and Homer—we are making history here.
S.A.: Did you really want to see Burt and Ernie hook up? That's the thing. Once we get together, do you people stop caring? As our LUX radio boss says, "Married people are boring." Maybe we should just pine for each other.
K.P.: Safe, but smart. Truth is, the longer you keep these two apart, the more the tension builds.
S.A.: Stay mysterious. So, no, Kris, I hope we never have to hook up.
K.P.: All right, we'll let's put this subject to bed. No pun intended, or maybe it is.
K.P.: Thanks, Shiri Appleby.
There you go, kids. Let's give it up for Miss Shiri. She's a great sport and a helluva interview. And that's the inside scoop and a little peek into life on the set of Life Unexpected. I'll see you tonight on the CW for "Honeymoon Interrupted," written by Christopher Fife and directed by Sanaa Hamri, and then back here next week, same time, same place. To everyone at E! Online, thank you. And all you LUX fans, keep spreading the good news about the show. It's working!