January 10, 2024


Quantum Leap | Georgina Reilly (Janis Calavicci) Interview

Quantum Leap | Georgina Reilly (Janis Calavicci) Interview
Fate's Wide Wheel: A Quantum Leap Podcast
Quantum Leap | Georgina Reilly (Janis Calavicci) Interview

Jan 10 2024 | 01:07:37


Show Notes

Help to support Matt's family during this time if you're able - https://www.gofundme.com/f/8fxpz9-matt-dale

This episode is dedicated to the memory of Matt Dale. I wasn't sure about doing this one, but as you'll hear at the beginning, Georgina thought it a lovely way to pay tribute to Matt by doing and talking about something he loved - indeed, something that we'd loved together.


In this conversation, Georgina Riley, who played Janis Calavicci in the first season of Quantum Leap, joins Sam Fain to discuss various aspects of the show. They start by paying tribute to Matt Dale. They then delve into the casting process for Janis and the gap between the classic series ending and the revival series beginning. They explore Janis's isolation and state of mind, her interaction with Caitlin in the episode 'Paging Doctor Song,' and the significance of Janis knowing secrets. They also discuss Janis's actions in episode three, her role in the project, and her relationship with Beth as Al's daughter. In this conversation, Georgina discusses her experience as an actor and the importance of trusting the writing. She shares her thoughts on working with Ernie Hudson and the dynamic between Janis and Magic. The conversation also touches on the antagonistic scenes between Janis and Jen, as well as the cut scene with Mason. Speculation on Janis' character and potential storylines is explored, along with the potential return of Scott Bacula to the show. The conversation concludes with a discussion on the importance of art and empathy. Takeaways -The casting process for Janis involved Georgina receiving an email from her agent and then having conversations with the showrunner to understand the character's background and motivations. -Janis's isolation and state of mind contribute to her overall demeanor and actions in the show. She is torn between her love for quantum leap and the ethical questions surrounding it. -Janis's relationship with Beth is complex, with tension and a sense of betrayal. Janis is more aligned with Al and his work, while Beth wants to keep Janis away from the project. -Georgina enjoyed playing Janis and exploring the character's secrets and motivations. She appreciated the opportunity to be part of a sci-fi/fantasy world and bring the character to life on screen. Trust in the writing is crucial for actors to bring their characters to life. -The relationship between characters can evolve and change as the story progresses. -Cut scenes and potential storylines offer opportunities for further character development. -Art has the power to foster empathy and understanding.


00:00 Introduction and Tribute to Matt

05:14 Casting Process for Janis

09:50 Gap between Classic Series Ending and Revival Series Beginning

16:37 Isolation and State of Mind of Janis

19:34 Interaction with Caitlin in 'Paging Doctor Song'

23:06 Knowing Janis's Secret

26:17 Janis's Actions in Episode Three

29:16 Janis's Role in the Project and Relationship with Beth

32:31 Janis as Al's Daughter

35:49 Building the Mother-Daughter Relationship on Screen

37:35 The Dynamic of Acting and Trusting the Writing

41:00 Working with Ernie Hudson and the Relationship Between Janis and Magic

44:11 Antagonistic Scenes with Jen and Addison

46:43 Cut Scene with Mason and the Humorous Side of Janis

49:55 Speculation on Janis's Character and Potential Storylines

52:49 The Evolution of Janis's Character and the Possibilities for the Show

57:21 The Birthright of Janis and the Potential Return of Scott Bacula

59:43 Speculation on Janis's Neurodivergence

01:04:01 The Importance of Art and Empathy

01:06:32 The Power of Ben's Character and the Opportunity for Empathy

01:08:07 Closing Remarks and Goodbyes

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

[00:00:03] Speaker A: Hello, fellow travelers. Welcome to Fates Wide Wheel. I'm your host, Sam, and I have the pleasure of being joined this time around by none other than Georgina Riley, who played Janice Kalavichi in the first season of Quantum Leap. Georgina, thank you so much for being here. [00:00:17] Speaker B: Thank you for having me. [00:00:19] Speaker A: Yeah, I really, really appreciate it. It has been a rough, rough couple of days, as you well know. And I just wanted to start off by kind of sharing a little bit of our exchange, because I emailed you yesterday to say that I wasn't really sure if we should do this. I thought that it might be comforting. But I know that you, of course, had spoken to Matt, and Matt had talked to you a number of times, and I wanted to be sensitive to that, and I just wanted to try to do the right thing. And I thought it was so lovely because I, again, was kind of struggling with what to do and the shock of it all. And you responded by saying that you had seen the news and that it was obviously very sad and shocking. And if I can quote your email here, you said, he was so lovely, and he did interview me every time. I will follow your lead on this, but maybe it will be nice to dedicate an episode to him. And I think he would want us to continue to talk about something he loved very much. And I was incredibly moved by that, and I felt like you were absolutely right, and I just wanted to thank you for that. And I would love for you to talk just a little bit about your experience with Matt and kind of what you might have said a little bit off mic before we started recording about doing something like this in someone's memory. And what that can. [00:01:58] Speaker B: Was very, as you said, I was very sad and shocked when I saw the post on Instagram. And I also was, as you know from the email you just read, I was torn on what would be the right thing to do. And as we were talking before, obviously, this is my way of paying my respects to Matt, who brought so much joy through his love and his passion for not just quantum leap, many shows, but obviously quantum leap is his main thing that he loved so much. And I feel that if it were me, I would want someone to continue the things that I love on in my memory. And so, yeah, I feel like today is doing something that Matt would really enjoy and listen to and watch. And that's my thank you to him for how much joy and interest he's brought to so many people's lives through his podcast and through his art and his writing and his viewpoint of this show, and he gave me a lot of things that I didn't even think about. I think it's definitely a celebration of a wonderful person who I'm so grateful to have met. And like I said to you, many. I get to meet so many people throughout this job because it's always. [00:03:22] Speaker A: You. [00:03:22] Speaker B: Know, Matt has a special place in my heart, because when I spoke to him, I just enjoyed it so much. He's wonderful, and I hope, I know he'll have a great next adventure wherever he's going. [00:03:37] Speaker A: Yeah, I love that, and I appreciate that. And I know he thought that you were pretty great. I remember, actually, this just kind of came to me. I remember he sent me a message after he had interviewed you for the first time. And I had forgotten. Just in those moments of trying to figure everything out. When I sent the email to you last night, I had literally forgotten. I was like, did Matt interview her? I'm sure he did, but I can't recall the interview at all. And of course, you're like, yes, he did interview me. And now I'm recalling that he sent me a message after he'd interviewed you just about what a thrill it was to talk to you and how much energy you had and how much fun you were. And we had talked about it a couple of times since then, actually. But, yeah, I think that the way that the cast and the crew of this show and the people involved with this show have reacted to this just unthinkable event and this loss of Matt has been quite incredible. And I know that for me personally, it's meant a lot, and it's been a small comfort during this time. And I can only hope that it would, at some point, be that comfort to the people that loved him most and were closest to him the most. So I just want to thank you so much for being here, and thank you for providing that extra bit of inspiration to do this, because I've wanted to do this for a long time, and I'm really looking forward to it. [00:05:15] Speaker B: Okay, good. Well, I'm very grateful to be here, and thank you for having me. [00:05:21] Speaker A: Yeah, absolutely. So let's do what Matt would have loved, which is talk about quantum Leap. So I am very interested in hearing about the casting process for Janice because I'd heard a couple of little things here and there, but I'd never really heard it from you directly. So I would love to know what the process was like for getting cast in the role. And when you first were kind of clued, know who Janice was going to. [00:05:59] Speaker B: Got an I got an email from my agent just being like, hey, there's interest in you for a quantum Leap episode. I was like, oh, quantum Leap, okay. And I grew up in England, and Quantum Leap was actually pretty big in England, too, as we, you know, I had watched some of it as a kid, but not a lot. And then it sort of developed. It was like, oh, that sounds fun. Like, y'all go do an then. But I didn't have any other information then. I think a few weeks went by, and then I got a call from Martin, the showrunner, who was like, hey, and I've worked with Martin before. And I was like, hey, how are you? He was, you know, we have this character, al's daughter. And I was like, oh, okay. And he was know there wasn't a lot of information yet. There was a general idea of who she was, what she was going to mean somewhat to season one. But as you know, with network television, it shoots so quickly and things change and get moved around with, and especially in a new show when you're finding your feet and figuring out, okay, what are all the characters doing? Where are we going with this? What's working? So I didn't have a whole blueprint, but I had enough. And also just, Dean Stockwell is just such an incredible excited. I was very excited to be connected to the original show. That means a lot. And I was like, oh, that's so like his daughter. Oh, my God. And at the end, obviously, of the original show, he wouldn't have had daughters if Sam hadn't changed everything. So it was really cool to me. I was just excited to be a part of something that mattered, and I was just along for the ride. So that was how it happened. It was very lucky. I mean, in this job, it's either there's a lot of hoops to jump through, and then sometimes there's days where you get a call and you're like, after you've jumped through a lot of hoops before, so it's not like you haven't earned it. But it's a funny job in that way that it's not always the know situation that. [00:08:13] Speaker A: Did you at any point during the process and knowing that Janice is Al's daughter, did you ever look at a picture of deed Stockwell and Susan dial and just kind of say, I could. I could totally be their watched? [00:08:26] Speaker B: Yes. When I watched the final, well, the episode where Beth turns her bangs and her short hair, and she's all emotional, and I was, oh, like, for have bangs all the time. They've grown out just with the strike and everything. I never have nails, but we've been on strike for so long that I could do other things. Yeah. When I saw them, I was like, oh, this is awesome. That's another thing that doesn't always happen when it's like, well, this makes sense. This makes total sense. I also watched performances, not to necessarily create my own performance, but just as a research point of like, well, these people are my parents, and so you grow up around these types of qualities. What kind of things do you learn from them and how they are and how they behave? And it was just a different kind of perspective to watch them from. [00:09:26] Speaker A: Absolutely. Yeah. I can imagine that that would be a really unique kind of experience. You don't always get to do something like that as an actor and have kind of this archival footage in a way, speaking of the gap, and clearly, it's something that may be explored at one point, but the gap between the classic series ending and the revival series beginning, obviously, there's a lot that happens to Al and Beth during that time. Did you at any point, or was there a conversation with anyone at any point to kind of fill in the blanks there to what had happened and maybe what Janice's upbringing was like and kind of what led her to the beginning of the revival series when she helps Ben to leap. [00:10:12] Speaker B: There was definitely some conversation had. I wouldn't say, like, super in depth just because I got the call and then I went to set the next day. [00:10:21] Speaker A: Wow. [00:10:23] Speaker B: But the next day was not a huge scene or anything. It was just, like, establishing. But there were definitely conversations. I always had conversations with the writers on set about, especially the scenes between Janice and Beth of where. Where is our relationship, what's been going on? And Susan and I definitely had our own discussions about that, like, what we obviously, you know, those details are ours and it creates nuance for us of where we're coming from. And then you just kind of bleed that into the writing that's already there. Obviously establishes the base of it. But we get to kind of think it's fun for us to think of where we've been. Obviously, when you meet Janice, it's very, um, not a happy know between her and her mother, but that's also because she's. See, I would love to explore. We've never seen Janice, and together. [00:11:24] Speaker A: Yeah, we see them in a couple. [00:11:27] Speaker B: Of flashbacks, and I've always been curious about them meeting. I know they met for a moment in a glitchy hologram situation. [00:11:37] Speaker A: Right? Yeah, I know. You've little faith. [00:11:39] Speaker B: Yeah, but I don't know. I think that's an interesting. They were obviously so close for these six months. They held this secret, this huge secret that they had. They held this huge secret together for six months. And I'd be curious to see. I know that he doesn't remember. He's slowly remembering bits and bobs. But that sort of meeting, I think, would be. It's just interesting, like what they were doing together. And they have a. Like, that's a pretty bond over something pretty. [00:12:18] Speaker A: Know. That has always been fascinating to me as well know. I had seen the pilot script pretty early on, and in the pilot script, it was certainly intimated that Janice was kind of responsible for a lot of this. And the impetus was trying to finish the work that Al and Sam had started, in a way. And there was even that scene at the end of the pilot script between Janice and, you know, your father would be very proud. And so it feels to me, know, Brian, when Brent and Steve Lillian, they had initially maybe plotted out a course, know whether it was in their heads or what. They had an idea for Janice in this relationship that was going to go away that we didn't necessarily see on screen. So before I get to the question about that specifically, though, I will say that it's interesting to me because what we see on screen is that Ben, it certainly seems Ben came to Janice after finding that. That Addison was going to die. And so he sought out your help. And I've always thought that that spoke to the possibility that there was some sort of rapport between the two of them before this had even happened, which I thought was very interesting. And it kind of, in a way, it makes you start to fill in this backstory for Ben and thinking, know, well, when Ben came onto the project, did he decide that he needed to know more about Sam and he needed to know more about Alan. He needed to know more about the science behind it. And so he was talking to people. Did you ever have the opportunity to even discuss anything like that with Ray or with the writers at all about how the two of you might have met? [00:13:58] Speaker B: I mean, we definitely had conversations about our relationship at the time of the six months of working together. But I think what you bring up is so interesting. There's just so much there that I find interesting of, like, yeah, how did he come to her? And is she really interested in continuing her dad's work? What I think she is, but I think she's also torn because it's like, I think finding Sam would be the goal for Janice, ultimately, to bring Sam home and just close it out. And then I think Janice would be satisfied her do her own thing potentially, because that's all her dad would have wanted. So I think you bring up a lot of just really interesting things. Also, when you're working that closely with somebody for six months, you share a secret that you can't tell anybody else. You have a connection that is. I don't know. That's a rare circumstance when you feel like no one else understands you except this one other person. There's a bond there, and I don't know. I'm not saying there's a love there, but these are all these interesting. What was that relationship like for six months? [00:15:14] Speaker A: Right. [00:15:15] Speaker B: Because we only saw the flashbacks of little moments of, like, are you sure you want to do this? It was very small. And I think what was so great about the first season is there were a lot of setups for a lot of different details that could go in so many different ways. I don't know. It's just like a bottomless pit of discussion. [00:15:39] Speaker A: Yeah. No, I completely agree. And I think that it's one of the things that a lot of fans, a lot of people in the community and me, myself included, have had a lot of questions about. And certainly was the reason why there was this hope that season two might get to explore some of that. I love everything that's happened in season two, know, regardless of whether or not we get to revisit Janice or not, it is. There's so much still there to kind of talk about and speculate about. One of the things that's interesting to me about the nature of that relationship in those six months is that similarly, both Ben and Janice are alone after he leaps, like, they share this bond, like you said, the secret. And then when he leaps, he's alone, like, he's stranded out there, and so is Janice. And in some ways, I would argue that maybe Janice is more alone now than Ben was because, at least, you know, Addison checking in know is the hologram and that sort of know in your mind, because there are times when Janice certainly comes off as being fairly bitter or jaded about certain things. How much do you think that that kind of isolation contributed to her overall state of mind in season one? And do you think that there was a state of isolation for her? [00:17:03] Speaker B: I agree with that, was, I think there's just so much misunderstanding of Janice inside herself, too. I don't think she necessarily, like, I think sometimes we can live, sometimes our whole lives or parts of our lives just wanting to be right on something that doesn't even do. We have to be right on it just to make a point because somebody made us wrong once about that thing, and now I'm going to be right about it. Mini versions of that in life, and we have bigger versions of that. And I think that Janice is lonely because it's sort of like, do I want to do this? Am I supposed to be doing know, should it just all be shut down because of what it created? Like, everything it did and my parents and, like, there are a lot of ethical questions to be asked, too. I think ultimately, Janice loves what she does and has such a high interest in quantum leap and what it can do and its capabilities. But I also think when someone's just so brilliant at what they do, they kind of just don't care about it anymore either. You're just like that in my sleep. There's also that element, and I think that's what makes her. She's a complicated character that we've had seen moments of that complication because obviously, in a show where you have a lot of plot to get know. [00:18:28] Speaker A: Sure. [00:18:29] Speaker B: And so sometimes you don't get as much of the character details, you know what I mean? Like, you're putting them, but you can't reach all of them. So I don't know how much we've seen of that with her and her relationship with Addison, I always thought was interesting. That was one of my favorite. The episode that you brought up, paging Dr. Song was my favorite. [00:18:54] Speaker A: Can I can know? And it was one of the things that, when we reviewed the episode initially that we remarked on is how cool it was to see in that environment, to kind of see a captured then and then kind of see her interact with each member of the team. But the scene with Addison in particular, I mean, the two of just, there was so much wonderful tension. I loved that scene so much. Can you talk about your memories of just creating that and the interaction with Caitlin and working on that particular scene together? [00:19:31] Speaker B: Yeah, I loved it. I feel the same way about that episode, mainly because it was nice to. Each scene is in a similar situation, but it's with a different person. It has different meaning behind know with each character and with Addison especially. What I loved is that Janice respects know, but also is like, you don't know everything. You need to. You need to stop hating on me or whatever your game is with me and actually listen to me. It's one of my favorite lines. Like, I need you to stop talking and my memories of that were just mean. She's such a lovely person, and it know a delight to work with her, and she's a hard worker, and she shows up ready to play. She's made decisions when she came in, and we had met a couple of times, but she came in and it was just really fun. It was like, oh, I love actors who come with. They've made choices and they've thought about it, and then we get to play around and switch it up. And we definitely did a few different takes of different ways that this was going, that it wasn't all like this. There's a respect and, I mean, look, it's really fun to be the character that has the lines that are the one up on everybody. We'd like to walk through life like. [00:21:09] Speaker A: Right. [00:21:12] Speaker B: It's also her downfall. It's also Janice's weakness that she assumes too much of situations that maybe she doesn't fully understand. But I just loved it. I loved it. And I know Caitlin and I really would love. I liked how they butted heads. I also liked the idea that there was a bit of a. I personally like to play Janice. Like, there was an affection for Ben that wasn't spoken about out of just what we talked about before, out of a bond of doing something so big and so important. [00:21:53] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:21:54] Speaker B: And we were doing it for her, which just adds this level into it that I think is. I don't know, it's just an interesting. And she feels betrayed. Right. She's like, my guy has been talking know. [00:22:08] Speaker A: Right. Spending all these long nights with somebody. Yeah. Well, it's fascinating to me, too, because one of the things that I love about Janice from the first time that we meet her is that. And it's kind of funny because in this way, it's practical. But I had an acting teacher who always used to say this, it's always important to have a secret when you're out there on stage and such. And for Janice, it's the literal truth. Like, she has a secret the whole time. Was it fun in those early episodes? Sometimes we would only get, like, 15 seconds of Janice or whatever. But you did. You had a secret the whole time. You knew stuff that other people didn't know. Is that fun to kind of be able to walk on set with that notion, like, inside and just be like, oh, yeah, I know stuff. And did you literally actually know those things? The actor Georgina, did you know those things? Or was that stuff that you just kind of learned down the road as well? [00:23:03] Speaker B: Not always. I would sometimes have to be like, I got to know because obviously these things understandably are getting shaped like it's the first season. [00:23:11] Speaker A: Totally. [00:23:12] Speaker B: This is a new world for Quantum Leap. It's not exactly like the old one we're adding in this new angle. And I understood that there were a lot of moving pieces, as there always are in television. Unless a whole series is written right before, like a miniseries you're going to go through, you just can't get attached to any concept. But I did feel there were certain concepts that were important for me to know about just because it would shape how I would communicate some things to some people. So I asked for as much as I could get and as much had been decided upon, because the beautiful thing about this storyline back at, what do we call it? Oh, my gosh. I can't think of what we call the space. [00:23:56] Speaker A: Oh, the project. [00:23:57] Speaker B: Yeah, back at the project. [00:24:01] Speaker A: It's been a while. It's okay. [00:24:04] Speaker B: Back where is the beautiful thing about that part of the storyline back at the project is that you have so many things that can change and be variable. It's exciting for the writers. I mean, they're sitting there being like, well, it could be this, could be that, and those decisions are being made in kind of real time. So I kind of would show up and I'd be like, okay, I'm making this decision. What do you think about this? Whoever was writing the script, and I did my best, obviously. The beautiful thing about editing and shows in general and what's so wonderful about art is that the audience also gets to just, they can put their thing on it. They can say, I think it's this, and then it's not. We don't want everything to us anyway. Yeah. So I came in with my own ideas that helped me in my performance, and maybe they weren't always correct, but they at least the joy of having a secret, I do think is a fun. It doesn't always play, but it at least gives you something that you're thinking about while trying to get your objective. What is your objective in this situation? And that's why with Janice sometimes I wasn't always sure. Her objective is to just be right and get Ben, sort out this situation, because she said she would. And I do think she keeps her word, and I don't think she's some evil villain kind of character, except I kind of would have. I mean, it would have been fun if she. I don't know, it would have been fun for her to maybe become a supervillain at some. [00:25:45] Speaker A: Know, it's funny because I think that the fun thing for me, especially in those early episodes, and we're trying to kind of figure out what's happening. And what does Janice mean to all of this? I never thought that she was a villain, but I certainly always thought that she could be an antagonist to the project. And in some ways, she indeed was. Although I will admit that it's funny because I was at a concert and it was right before the headline act was supposed to start. And I just checked my phone for a moment, and it's the early days of the show, and I was excited to have the media access and see the pictures and the screeners and all that sort of stuff. And I logged on and I was, like, just scrolling through, looking at the pictures, and there was the picture of you standing over Beth on the floor. And I was like, what the hell is this? And so I remember texting my former co host, and I was like, did you see this picture? And he texted me the next day, and he's like, hey, just saw your text. I went, that there's no picture of that. And I was like, no, there was a picture of. I swear I saw it. And he's just like, no, there was no picture. I was like, oh, but I know I saw it. And then the episode had happened and it happened, and I was like, I told you. I told you I saw that. And so all I can think is that they put the picture out there and then they were like, oh, no, take that down. And so it was only there for a small amount of time. Did you at any point think that that moment might be, like, a bridge too far? Like people were just going to be like, I hate Janice now? [00:27:20] Speaker B: Well, actually, what was funny is on the day, that was. What episode? [00:27:26] Speaker A: I think the third episode, wasn't it? Was it the second, second or third? Yeah. [00:27:30] Speaker B: So this was the first scene with first, we'd have moments of seeing her, right? So I remember when we were doing that, I was talking to Drew and I was like, this seems, like really hardcore. Like, I'm just going to let her fall. Should I not help her into her chair? If I'm going to do it? Why not at least be? And it was like, well, no, because we don't want to. And I understood it. You don't want to give away which way this character is going. We're in episode three, and I think we do need to see what she's capable of in the name of something. And like, I think you said about her isolation and her mother created this whole, it was just a betrayal of trust. And so it's kind of like, I'm not going to kill her, but like, right. I'm going to just get this stuff and I need to get it and this is what I'm going to do. And I also think it wasn't. Maybe it's something that Janice didn't even need to necessarily do, but I think it was also her making a point of just don't. Don't question my capabilities and don't question my loyalty to something because I will see something through whether someone tries to stop me or not. I think that is very much a Janice thing, especially early in season one. It's like, I'm going to see this through to make a point, too, because she was banned from joining the program. So it was kind of to magic, too, of like, no one's going to outsmart me on this and that's why Ben came to me. So I'm going to make my point. Like I was saying earlier about being right about something. [00:29:13] Speaker A: Right. [00:29:14] Speaker B: That was sort of her chip on her shoulder that pushed all that through. But yes, I did have a discussion on set of like, this seems very violent. [00:29:27] Speaker A: Yeah. And it was episode three, by the way, somebody up there likes Ben because that was Drew. Linda was the writer of that. Yeah, Drew's fantastic. He's been a good friend as well. There's also the moment at the end of that episode where we find out that you've stolen the hand link, al's original handlink. So in the shot, it's funny because in the shot, we never actually see your face, but I'm assuming it was you, like, holding the hand link and having your own imaging chamber and everything, right? Or did they just do that with. [00:30:06] Speaker B: Okay, and everyone's like, did you get to hold the hand link? Was that the original? Did you hold the hand link? [00:30:10] Speaker A: And I was like. [00:30:13] Speaker B: Did it get pulled out of the boxes? But I loved all that part because everyone was just so excited when she built her own image. And I was just like, this badass. And I was like, I love this. My favorite art to be in is stuff that is beyond my normal life. There's fun, dramatic things where you're playing characters, dramatic, but it is fun when you get to play in Sci-Fi worlds, fantasy worlds, things. We've been watching a lot of Harry Potter lately, and I'm always thinking about, like, man, look at all the Oscar nominees and winners that just came, wizards and witches and just have a good old time. The greatest british actors of all time. I'm like, of course, it's just such a joy to put on a cape and go back to why you wanted to be an actor in the first place. So that whole part when I got the hand link and had my thing and I didn't even say anything in those scenes, but it was just the. I don't know, the set was so cool and it was awesome. [00:31:15] Speaker A: Yeah, it was. And for a longtime fan, I've told this story on the podcast before, but I watched the pilot, the pilot movie for the original series when I was seven years old. Like, when it aired, it just changed me. I was like, okay, this is the coolest thing ever. I'm in. And then, of course, the number of poignant episodes along the way that really just helped to kind of formulate the human being that I was becoming. I've literally told Deborah Pratt, thank you for helping me be me, because without just. I wouldn't. It helped to frame who I am. So seeing was, it was so incredibly satisfying. And knowing that Janice was going to be a know equally and to the point know in my head, I started to kind of envision, especially when it came to the relationship with Beth, it's like, why is it so fractured? Why does Beth want to keep her from the project? And some of those, I think, answers come pretty easily. But I'm curious as to what your thoughts are on why Beth kept you away, on how involved you might have been even before Al died. Was he kind of trying to foster this love of this project in hopes that you would kind of continue on that legacy? Or do you think maybe he was even kind of pushing you to do something else? Because I've always been fascinated by that, and I can only imagine it's stuff that you had to think about at some point, right? Like, why did Beth want you to stay away? What was the relationship know? Was Janice more Al's daughter or more Beth's daughter? You know what I mean? [00:32:54] Speaker B: I say definitely more Al's daughter. Yeah, there was a bond there, and I feel like the other sisters. Because there's four, right? [00:33:02] Speaker A: Yes, correct. [00:33:04] Speaker B: And I just think that she was the one that was interested and would ask questions and had that kind of brilliant math mind. I just think my daughter's really amazing at math. I am not. My husband is. It's interesting how there are those things that for whatever reason, one just, she's so interested in math, and I think that's just something that Janice had, and I think she bonded with her dad over that, and I think she's the youngest calavichi. She is the think, you know, being the baby and the others have already maybe made their decisions about what they're, you know, I think with fathers and daughters, there's an interesting relationship and bond when there's an interest in something together. I don't know. I've seen that and it's beautiful. And I think that's just what it was. I think she was think, think. I. I think Beth obviously went through so much due to the program that she was just, just. And the other kids weren't interested. So it was like, oh, I did not. No one is forwarding this. And then the last kid comes and it's like, I am or Al, this is their final child. And maybe Al was know we're not having anymore. So which one's going to gravitate towards this? Because I do want to find Sam someone to bring him home. That's a responsibility that I don't think he would ever know. How would you forget your best friend? So I think I had all those thoughts, and I think that Beth and her always had a little bit of just. I don't think they butt heads a little bit more. [00:34:53] Speaker A: Yeah. Well, I think that it certainly came across in the few times that we did get to see you and Susan on screen together, and certainly in the writing, the tension was definitely palpable. But it was also the lovely thing about it, especially the last time that we saw you together. When magic comes to the house and you're under house arrest and Beth answers the door, there was definitely this feeling of, oh, yeah, okay, sometimes moms and daughters do not get along, and there's a variety of reasons for that, but it's still a mother and daughter, and that's the relationship. And it came across even in those short moments when you do have kind of like a limited amount of screen time or a limited amount of lines to help to kind of tell that story and inform those relationships. Is there anything that you like to do, or is there any part of your process to help to build that stuff that you might only have when it's all said and done and edited 10 seconds of, to even kind of show that this is what the nature of this relationship is? Or do you just kind of go out there, trust the writing, trust the work, and just go for it and hope it comes across? [00:36:00] Speaker B: When I get the script and I'm reading about it, I just look for what I think is interesting and what I want to share through the scene that I've been given. And I talk to the other actor definitely when I get there, I'm like, well, what do you think? And I feel like we haven't seen each other or I like to have a little bit of a discussion about where that relationship is at because obviously we jump so much through time all the time. And I obviously trust the writing. The writing is there. You have such an interesting job as an actor because you have an overall story and you have an overall world that you're a part of that you're communicating within. But then you also have your little part in that that is its own little universe that's happening while spinning through the big one and making sure that you contribute to the story because that's the most important part, the overall. But while also having your own story make sense and flow with everything. And so the writing, obviously, you trust the writers and what they're doing to forward that. But I kind of just come to play and I normally have made, when I've made a decision on how a character is that's normally done earlier. And obviously each new script informs another detail. I'm like, oh, she's doing this now. Okay, that's interesting. And then I think you also bring your own, when you're cast, you have your own essence and qualities that you bring to something that then the writers notice and they know your strengths and they play too. You know what I mean? So it's this ever evolving thing with tv because characters change as they go through, so which is what's cool about it. And I don't think they kept. There was a part when magic comes to call on Beth. I don't think they kept the moment where like, yeah, that wasn't in there, right? [00:37:51] Speaker A: No, it wasn't. And it's so funny because I remember hearing about when that episode aired about the flirtatious nature between Beth and magic. But I didn't know that Janice was present for any of that as well, which is awesome. [00:38:07] Speaker B: And I'm really sad that I get it. Things get, you have to kill your darlings. [00:38:11] Speaker A: You can't, right? [00:38:12] Speaker B: It's just a part of the job. But I had such joy doing that. I don't care. It's nice when it makes it, but it doesn't change the fact that you love playing and I don't love. I like watching other people's acting. Watching my stuff once it's all finished is not really a part of the joy for me. Of course, if I could watch on set doing playback or when I do auditions, and self tapes when I get to watch that way, that's different because you're still carving something out. But once it's carved and it's put up on the shelf and it's going out, it's not really my. It's been given to be formatted with what works. That's just me saying, I understand, but when I was doing it, I remember I just thought it was just very funny that I was. Jazz was just this moment of just like, we're a war here, guys. [00:39:10] Speaker A: Right? That actually leads me to a question, too, because you get some wonderful exchanges with magic throughout the course of the season. And I would just love to hear your experience, like, working with Ernie Hudson. And on top of that, also in your mind, what the relationship between the two of them was like beyond what. [00:39:32] Speaker B: We saw on, oh, I love Ernie. So, look, he's such a pro and he has such a presence, and I love working with him. It's very fun. And that relationship, it's a fun one because obvious, I think magic has been around. I know about magic, and it's sort of like this person who's been probably in and out and around. I wouldn't say as close as an uncle, but sure, definitely aware. And then also, I think from a younger age of when I was like, well, I'm going to join. I'm going to be in the program and I'm going to do this. And magic, whenever he took over and all that stuff of like, this is why I love. I personally love the origin story of things like Batman. I love seeing how somebody becomes. I like seeing it, though, after I love seeing in the middle of somebody's journey. And then I love, like, oh, because you have all these questions like, how did we get here? And so, yes, all these. That's what's fun about acting. When you hop into it. You're like, where did this all come from? And I think that's why she feels she can kind of talk to him. She's kind of rude to him. That comes from having been young around him, having been until, well, this is a professional situation and I shouldn't be so uppity with him, but I love that. It's more interesting that way when you have this, like, wow, this is really kind of not in know. He's always been. I love working with Ernie, and it's always been fun. And then obviously, the betrayal of not being in the program, but I don't think that was more my mom than him. I think he would have taken me and I think that's a discussion, a scene that we haven't had in a way of like, yeah, I wanted you and your mom because that's interesting. Now that wherever their relationship is, know, that's something I don't think they agree on. Because why did come to me then, right. Ben came to me. Where did Ben get the idea to come to me from? [00:42:02] Speaker A: Right. [00:42:03] Speaker B: How did Ben know that? I was really educated in all of this. The only person who would know that is magic. [00:42:10] Speaker A: Well, and that's the thing, too. That's interesting is that I feel like there are times throughout the season when it feels like as much as magic doesn't necessarily want you out there being rogue, it does seem like magic trusts Janice in a weird sort of way, certainly more than any of the other characters do. Like, obviously, Jen doesn't at all. Which is another thing I'd love to talk to you about. I mean, Nenrissa's lovely. I've had her before. She adores you. Clearly, the way that she's spoken about you, those scenes between the two of you might be the most antagonistic scenes. [00:42:48] Speaker B: I love those scenes because I feel like they're a toe to toe. I'm not as ahead. I love those scenes. Those are really fun. And the interrogation scene, just a joy. Just. And yes, we definitely bring out the nasty one another just, like, rude. And I think as actors, you kind of have to be careful because the joy is like, you're like, I get to do whatever I want. I get to be however I want, and no one's going to say anything about it. That's the fun of watching it. We watch things because we watch people do things that we're not going to. [00:43:39] Speaker A: Right. Right. [00:43:41] Speaker B: If you have manners. [00:43:45] Speaker A: Social awareness of any. [00:43:49] Speaker B: Those are. Those scenes are a joy. But, yeah, I do think that magic trusts Janice, and I think he knows that she's not going to do something to. Why would I ever do something to destroy it right there? And it would be such a betrayal of my. Of my father. I just think that she thinks it needs to be run a bit differently, and that's where they don't quite meet. But I think magic does know that in some ways more. She knows more than him, but he has better control and discipline and leadership skills than she does. [00:44:31] Speaker A: Yeah, well, it's funny, too, because you certainly see at times the side of Al that would definitely buck authority in spite of the fact that he's an admiral. Even the times when, well, the one time that we saw him kind of have to appear in front of a committee, a senate committee, to kind of argue for quantum Leap's existence or just in his nature. I'm curious, were there any. Because you said you'd watch some stuff. Were there any al moments that stood out to you that you connected to the most that you can kind of recall? Like, anything in particular? [00:45:16] Speaker B: Well, definitely the first. I mean, him showing up with his coffee hung over in his robe. It's just everything in one moment and his disposition of just being kind of already tired of it all and watching him. Where he asks Sam to do it, where he asks Sam to tell. [00:45:52] Speaker A: That. [00:45:52] Speaker B: Acting for both of them, I mean, the nuance in that is just. I cry when I think of that scene and the way Stockwell, they both are. I mean, they're both amazing in that scene, but Dean, especially, just his guard being fully down and not being all jokey and actually what he needs, I think, is just. So those two scenes were the ones that really were the pins for me because that's who he is underneath and what he actually does care about, even though he's always, like, having a good time and being funny. Those together were what? Informed, like, oh, that's my dad. That's my. [00:46:37] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:46:39] Speaker B: The toughness and the exterior of things is actually more like Beth because Beth has a totally, you know, and Janice, like, well, ok. And then I think some of the dryness of Janice that we see here and know, or her quick wittedness is obviously growing up with Al, but there's obviously more of a seriousness to Janice in the situation that she's in. I don't think we've gotten. I mean, there's been moments of lighter things. [00:47:12] Speaker A: Right. But it's certainly not something that we got a lot of by any means. There's only a couple of times we got to kind of see that levity. Yeah. Mia, it'd be really fun to see. [00:47:26] Speaker B: Her and Ben in a flashback, like just getting drunk one night, just because it's like, man, we're just working on this thing and just having this sort. The. The Al and Sam, you know what the. Because she would understand being and wanting to do, I'm sure. [00:47:48] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:47:48] Speaker B: Anyway, things like that, where it's like, you see who Janice fully is would be like a cool. [00:47:59] Speaker A: Well, you know, speaking of which, we've kind of talked about scenes with everyone else, but we did leave someone out, and unfortunately, that's because it got left out as well. But there was also a scene between you and Mason, between Janice and Ian, when Janice is captured by the project that unfortunately did get cut for time. But could you talk at all about that scene and just what it was like working with Mason? Because I heard that that scene was definitely a bit more on the humorous side compared to some of the other scenes between. [00:48:32] Speaker B: Didn't a part of it make it in? [00:48:33] Speaker A: Did a part of it make it. [00:48:34] Speaker B: In where Ian brings Janice coffee? [00:48:40] Speaker A: Yes. When they bring you the. [00:48:43] Speaker B: Part of it, I think it was cut. I. I loved that scene because I feel the kindest character to Jan. His ian. [00:49:01] Speaker A: Yeah, totally. [00:49:03] Speaker B: They are more understanding. They're willing to hear out the situation, and I think that that lets Janice's guard down in that scene. And there is a moment of honesty for Janice of, like, I should have been here. This is something that. Because that moment's in. [00:49:21] Speaker A: Yeah. Yeah, you're right. [00:49:24] Speaker B: And I liked that that was a moment where Janice could be vulnerable because Mason allowed that in. In the scene, and there's a shift, and it makes it different, and they have a bond of minds, of being very smart and able and able to see that in one another. I don't think there's a lot of, like, it's more. No, we're on par, and so we work together. And I really liked that because you want differences between the way the characters interact, especially with the antagonist who comes in. And then there was a scene later, in a later episode that I liked, too, where they just have an understanding of one another, which I think is really nice. And there isn't a competition, particularly. [00:50:25] Speaker A: Yeah, right. Because there's that moment when magic brings Janice back. And I think that Jen and Addison are both kind of like, what the hell is she doing here? Whereas. Yeah. Where Ian is much more kind of like, help know. That's the know. It's fascinating to me because I mentioned this a little bit earlier, but it does seem like initially, there may have been a very different plan for Janice. And one of the things that I've always been curious about was that ever articulated to you at all? Did you ever get the sense that there was a different direction, potentially, for the character? Know, what we ended up seeing on screen? And do you have any kind of knowledge of what maybe they had in mind initially with pairing Janice and Sam together in that final scene of the pilot script? [00:51:22] Speaker B: I didn't know that you read. [00:51:29] Speaker A: Didn't know. I didn't know what you had seen or. [00:51:38] Speaker B: I think that ultimately, no, because I think, and I know Martin spoke about this in regards to Janice in season two in an article, and just with answering questions and I think that it went well. Obviously, each time I had a scene, I didn't have the next script, so I didn't have all the scripts at once, and I didn't have an arc at once because decisions were made about which way is this going and how much is Janice responsible and how much does she know and what is Ben's plan and with the leapers and all this kind of stuff. So I would get a script, and then based off of that script, I would have all my ideas. I was like, wow. But I went with the flow of what was going on. And ultimately, I think, like we've said, there's so many unlimited versions of how something can go that I think it's hard for a show, especially in its first season. It's so exciting. I'm sure it's so hard to. You're like, if we go this way, then we can't do this. And you have to think so long term because the beautiful thing about shows, which I'm hoping will be the case because I know with the strike, there's a lot of discussion about how you have a season of a show and then it gets cut and then you do a season of a show and it's so nice to see a show keep going like Quantum leap again, because there is unlimited creation with all these. I didn't. I had my ideas about what Janice could do, and I still think those ideas are valid. Even lost. I think that there's still a lot for Janice to be a partly, and I said this before an interview. I also, though, understand I've been doing this long enough that especially with tv or even in film, certain things contribute to a direction you're going in and certain things don't. And that's just a part of being an actor and being willing to experience the ride in the same way at the beginning of the journey of auditioning. And you're like, I'm so getting this. I'm not getting this at all. It's a part of the ride and being a part of a team. Yeah, obviously. I think there's lots of cool stuff there and that would be awesome. So that's kind of my long answer, but ultimately, yes and no. Yes. There were things. This is what we talked about and then other things. I'm like, oh, this is not what I. But overall, I kind of knew the general journey, but details would change based off of. I mean, this is the thing about quantum Leap. You change one thing and you create a whole problem for yourself that you're like, where are we now? [00:54:36] Speaker A: Well, it's fascinating because one of the things that I love to kind of talk about, and we speculated on a great deal kind of early on in the show, is that there are a number of characters that we could have potentially seen, and we saw two of them specifically because the daughter of the person that Sam leaps into in the very first episode is the second in command of the Space Shuttle, in the space Shuttle episode, episode two. And then, of course, there's Janice. And the thing that I was always fascinated by is the idea that neither one of these people would exist if it weren't for, you know, Sam changing things. And it made me start to wonder if that would be a greater question along the way in season one. And obviously, that's not where it went at all, which I think is understandable, especially without Scott's involvement. But have you given any thought, not even necessarily as an actor? I guess it's not fair to ask, because you are. You're the actor that plays Janice. But what that kind of means and what the potential could be for the storytelling as far as, like, if Scott Bacula came back to the know, not to virgin, to what ifs too much, but what that could mean to explore the idea that there are people living in the world that never would have been there if it hadn't been for him. And that Janice is one of an. [00:55:56] Speaker B: I think that's a beautiful thing to look at. And I think if Scott comes back, I've always felt that it's Janice's birthright to get Sam back or to find mean magic obviously has a big investment in that, too. Like, there's obviously a big reason why know part of the mean. If Scott comes back, I've always been. [00:56:25] Speaker A: Like, my phone better ring. Well, I agree with that. I think Janice would be an integral part of that and would have to be involved in my head and my own kind of fan brain. I've always thought that Sam was there when Al died, that Sam either leaped into the doctor or the nurse or somebody like Sam was present, because I just can't imagine that he wouldn't have been. And I would love to kind of just to hear that and to get that picture anyway, that he would be there for. You know, you've mentioned possibility, and it's one of the things that I've always loved about quantum leap, because I do think that the possibilities can just continue to be whatever anybody makes of them. And I love the fact that we've had in the first season, it was interesting because obviously you know, two people come in and have the passion and the drive to get this show back where it was. And then Martin comes in and kind of helps to craft it a bit. And then it kind of takes a new direction as Martin and Dean kind of take over. And now in season two, we're getting to see them just kind of, like, go all out with the stories that they want to tell. And it's been so beautiful and so different from season one in lots of wonderful ways. And so I think it's a great reminder that it can just continue to be so many different things and tell so many different kinds of stories. One of the questions that I had always wanted to ask you and this know, in part thanks to my former co host, because he astutely and sensitively pointed out early on in Janice's appearances, he wondered if Janice was neurodivergent because of some of the ways that she kind of went about things. And I'm just curious if that was ever anything that ever entered into your process, if it was ever talked about, if that was just kind of that extrinsic thing of watching a show and kind of like making your own thoughts about it or if it was something that you all had ever discussed. [00:58:35] Speaker B: No, that wasn't something we discussed, but I think it's so interesting, like you said, when people watch things that they see reflections of things that they understand in themselves, that's why art is so important, because I've always said I had this realization about listening to other people and how we often are listening, but we're thinking already about what we think about what we're hearing, which isn't really fully listening because you're already deciding what you think about what they're saying. Do you know what I mean? So you're already changing it. Of course. We all do this. I do this. It takes me sometimes a lot to be like, you hear someone's problem, right? And you already kind of have a solute. You're like, well, I have a solution. You're like, let's just listen to what their problem is. And this is something I work on. And the one thing I love about art, and based on what you're saying, is getting to sit there and just observe something, and you've agreed that you're not coming up with anything. You're just going to watch it and see and have empathy and see things in details that make you understand people more. And I think that's why I love it so much. Even in music as well, we just have this moment of being there and it wasn't something that's been discussed, but I just think it's cool that somebody sees something and they're like, that's so interesting to me. I wonder if that is a part of her or not. [01:00:05] Speaker A: Yeah, what a lovely. I love everything that you just said so much. And I think that it's absolutely true. And I know for me personally, I certainly try to approach any piece of art, whether it's this show or a play I'm seeing or book I'm reading or anything, to just kind of let it come to me and let it unfold itself to me as opposed to rushing in with preconceived notions and whatnot. But I love the humanity in what you just said and applying that to people because sometimes I know I forget that I do. [01:00:45] Speaker B: I'm always like, oh. Because it's not my, I'm not in it, which is help one another because we're on the outside. So we're like, hey, I'm looking, but you have to. And it's something we all have to work on. And that's why art is, when people are like, oh, art, is it really that important? It's like, but art is a one place. Like you just said, that you don't pick up a book and decide what the story is about. I want to sit there and find out what the story is. Or when I go to a concert, I want to be there and listen to the song or a movie. That's why people don't like watching trailers sometimes, because they're like, I just don't want to know. I don't want to go in with an idea of trying to figure something out. I want to just watch it. And when you just watch it, even if you disagree or agree or whatever it is, it doesn't matter. In that moment of time, you've become somebody else and you've thought about how they see things, and that is what will save. If we could all do that all the time, genuinely, if we exercise that enough, we'd be able to help better. Because you just be like, oh, man. And it's not about agree or disagree. It's not about right, wrong. It's just about, oh, I understand. And because I understand, here are maybe some options we could do about it if you want to, but you can't get somebody, even if you needed them, to change their mind because it was the best thing for that person to do. I don't know. In a situation, you wouldn't be able to do that if you didn't understand where they were coming from in the first place. So all this is a waste of time. And look, I am not good at this all the time, but I will say that acting has given art. That's what art has given me, is an understanding of how, oh, my gosh, how empathetic one could be. Because when I play a part, I can't be judging. If I judge, I then am like, I'm like, what an idiot. [01:02:47] Speaker A: Right? You're your character's advocate. Really, you're their advocate. Empathy is key, and it's one of the things that art in general can serve as an empathy engine. But this show specifically, I feel like, has the power. Yeah, it has the power to do that in so many ways, but just from the macro level. I mean, that kind of perspective and being able to want to relate to other people in that fashion is beautiful. And I'm just thrilled that you shared that and articulated all that, because it was wonderful. [01:03:27] Speaker B: And that is what quantum Leap is. He literally jumps into other people's. It's like, well, just take a walk at my shoes. And it's like, that is what he is. And he has to see the world, how he is seen being this other person, and make a decision and a choice that I guess Ben thinks based off of the viewpoint that he's been given, is the best decision to make and also have a power of choice. Like, you have a choice before feeling like, oh, I got to do blah. It's like, no, well, wait a second, let's look. Ben does this thing where he's like, okay, I'm going to just look at what's happening and then decide what I think is best. And even that, as watching somebody do that, is also a thing of, like, I can take a moment. I don't have to react to know and just do. I can be like, hey, how could I actually change this? Because he changes cycles. Things that are going over and over. Ben breaks better in some way. And it's a beautiful show for the purpose of the show is a really important one. [01:04:36] Speaker A: Absolutely. One of my favorite episodes of the classic series, sam leaps into a rabbi, and he has to try to keep this family together whose son has tragically died in a plane crash. And one of the reasons I think I love it so much is because it's not about, know, saving somebody's life. There's not any action or adventure or anything. It's really just this family drama, this domestic drama, and it's so beautiful. And one of the striking scenes to me is that they're all back in the family's house, and the father's reading the paper, and he's kind of tuned out in his own grief and mourning process. The mother's doing everything she can to make sure the house is perfect and cooking and cleaning and all this sort of stuff, and their daughter is just clearly kind of lost and adrift because there's no one there for her. And Sam and Scott, it's the way that he does it as well. Walks over and sits down on the floor with know to have this conversation with her and just the interaction, know the opportunity to engage with someone that needs something that they're not know has just always stuck with me. And it's one of the things that I love so much about this iteration of quantum Leap, because as much as I love the classic series and Scott and the character of Sam, I feel like Ben sometimes does that in every leap, and the classic series didn't necessarily get that, but in this show, it's like Ben has the opportunity to have that moment almost every single episode, and it's so beautiful. I'm grateful to the show for that reason. I'm grateful for you being here for sharing all of this, and I'm sure there are million one other questions I could ask, and I'm sure that there's a million and one questions that Matt would probably want me to ask so he could write it in a book somewhere. But I just feel like this is the perfect place for us to part ways for now, and maybe we'll get the chance to do it again sometime and ask all the other questions. [01:06:40] Speaker B: Yeah, sure. I had such a good time. I'm really glad we did this in memory of. Really, really, I'm very grateful that I got to do this with you. So thank you. [01:06:53] Speaker A: Yeah. Thank you so much, Georgina. I really appreciate. [01:06:57] Speaker B: Right. [01:06:57] Speaker A: All right, fellow travelers, I'm going to say goodbye for now, and Georgina is going to say goodbye for now. Do you want to say goodbye for now? [01:07:05] Speaker B: Goodbye for now. [01:07:08] Speaker A: And I will be back soon. But thank you all so, so much for being here and continuing to remember Matt, Dale, and everything that he brought to the community. And I'm so glad that we had the opportunity to share this and continue to talk about Matt and write about Matt and do whatever we can. But in the meantime, take care of yourselves, take care of one another. Stay safe out there, and always, always leap responsibly. Bye.

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