February 27, 2024


Quantum Leap | Raymond Lee (Dr. Ben Song)

Quantum Leap | Raymond Lee (Dr. Ben Song)
Fate's Wide Wheel: A Quantum Leap Podcast
Quantum Leap | Raymond Lee (Dr. Ben Song)

Feb 27 2024 | 01:41:24


Show Notes

In this episode, Sam Fain interviews Raymond Lee, who plays Ben Song on the show. Head over to www.fateswidewheel.com! and be sure to visit jjlendl.com/fwwshop to pick up the season 2 posters and much more! Thank you, Patrons! Al’s Place Leap Fan Site, Bourbon and Boardgames, Carolyn, Cosplay Dad, Joanne Bartlett, Dana Bius, Rich Bourque, Kevin, Carol Davis, Deckslower, Dermot Devlin, Barry Donovan, Brian Dreadful, Troy Evers, Larry Ganni, Jason Geis, Sophie Gilbert, Christina Gist, James Gould, Kelly M, Michelle Hoffman, Amy Holtcamp, Laurie Johnson, Bess A Korey, Lady Eternal, Max the Mental Health Warrior from Madison Wisconsin, MercuryBeat, Oddly Specific with Audra, The Quantum Leap Podcast, Christopher Redmon, Adrian Sal, Karyn Saxon, Jerry Seward, Mike Stoufer, Heather Strbiak, Damon Sugameli, Larry Trujillo, Stuart Williams, Jill Wilson, Our Anonymous Patrons Become a patron or donor yourself: Monthly: Fate’s Wide Wheel on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/fateswidewheel) Feedback? Send us an email: [email protected] #quantumleap #scifi #tv #television #Raymond Lee Takeaways The show has a powerful emotional impact on viewers and has resonated with many. Choosing empathy and compassion is important in today's world. Art has the power to influence and transform the artist. Clowning can be a powerful tool for self-discovery and redefining oneself. The show promotes inclusivity and representation. Embrace changes in the show and find ways to make them work for you. Create a safe and welcoming environment on set for all cast and crew members. Recognize and appreciate the importance of every role in the production. Take care of yourself to create a positive working environment. Chemistry reads over Zoom can still be effective in establishing connections with other actors. Chapters 00:00 Introduction and Appreciation 03:03 The Emotional Impact of the Show 07:49 Choosing Empathy and Compassion 11:49 The Influence of Art on the Artist 14:57 From Kinesiology to Theater 25:09 Being Othered and Inclusivity 39:06 Introduction and Appreciation for the Show 40:02 Initial Reactions to Changes in the Show 41:15 Accepting and Embracing Changes in the Show 42:13 The Impact of the Pilot Script Changes 43:15 The Importance of the Show's Originality 44:00 Creating a Safe and Welcoming Environment on Set 45:02 Navigating Changes in Season 2 46:00 Learning from Past Quantum Leap Actors 47:18 The Impactful Moments in Season 1 48:17 The Chemistry and Connection with Co-Stars 49:45 The Importance of Character-Driven Stories 51:00 Creating a Welcoming Environment on Set 52:12 The Importance of Recognizing and Appreciating Every Role 53:09 The Impact of a Safe Working Space 54:06 Taking Care of Yourself to Create a Positive Working Environment 56:26 Recognizing the Importance of Every Role in the Production 57:52 The Impact of a Safe Working Space 59:06 Creating a Safe Space for Actors 01:01:38 The Impact of Eliza Coupe's Arrival on the Show 01:03:17 Continuing the Show without a Break 01:06:21 The Chemistry Read with Eliza Coupe 01:07:09 Eliza Coupe's Confidence and Performance 01:10:09 The Vulnerability of Characters 01:10:37 Character-Driven Storytelling 01:11:55 Difficult Scenes and Emotional Moments 01:12:31 Saying Goodbye to Co-Stars 01:13:54 Filming in Egypt 01:15:21 Running Towards the Fire 01:19:24 The Perfect Ending 01:20:50 Inspiration and Priorities 01:36:29 What Inspires You? 01:39:34 To Be Continued

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:03] Speaker A: Hello, fellow travelers. Welcome to Fateswide Wheel. I'm your host, Sam Feyne, and it is my incredible pleasure and privilege to be joined on this episode by none other than Dr. Ben song himself, raymond Lee. Raymond, thank you so much for being here. [00:00:16] Speaker B: I am so happy to be here. [00:00:19] Speaker A: And to be talking to just. I'm thrilled. This is amazing. And it feels like it's something that I've wanted to do for so long, and so the fact that it's actually happening now I have to focus and get my good questions in order so that I don't just sit here and stare for a while. [00:00:37] Speaker B: Well, set your expectations super low. This might be one of the most uninteresting interviews you might have ever had. [00:00:47] Speaker A: I highly doubt that. But I guess if we both set our expectations low, then neither one of us will be disappointed. [00:00:53] Speaker B: That's sort of my motto. Very low. Bar anything that exceeds it. I'm like, yeah. [00:01:02] Speaker A: Well, I just have to say, I think you've been exceeding the bar for quite a while now, and I am just so in awe of your work on the show. And I am so thrilled that I have gotten to know that part of you over the past year and a half as the show has been airing. And I think that this season in particular has just been such a phenomenal ride and so moving and something that has, I think, really engaged with me personally and with the audience in general on a level that there's just not a lot of television out there right now that's doing that, if any, quite frankly. So thank you for that. [00:01:37] Speaker B: Thank you. And I love that our show stands for that. And I love that our show can be a light. That's one of my favorite things about doing this show is that we're always trying to present a positive perspective, and you can't ever take too many high roads. This finale has taught us anything. With all the payoff, it's like you can always choose a better option. [00:02:10] Speaker A: Absolutely. And I think that that was definitely one of the things that moved me the most. And I mentioned this, actually. I think when I was talking to Chris Grismr, and I had spoken to Drew Lindo about this as well, recently, and I'm very open about these things. On the podcast, I was in therapy, and I was talking to my therapist, and I mentioned to him that I felt like there was this tidal wave of emotion that was hanging over me, and it was tied to so many things, including the passing of. And, you know, my father passed last year, and there's just been a lot of stuff that's been going on and a lot of other changes and a lot of other things that I felt like had been thrown at me, and yet I wasn't able to really let the emotion drop. And in watching the finale, there was a moment when I was able to see it. Early this past Saturday, there was a moment where I felt like that tidal wave started to fall. And there's more work that needs to be done, quite frankly, of course. But just watching the show and especially the moment where Ben is about to bring the hammer down on the computer and then notices the name and steps back and everything shifts in that moment. And it really was exactly what I needed. And I think on a larger level, it's exactly what, not to sound too grandiose, the world needs right now. And obviously, you have a wonderful script. You have everything set up. But for you, in that moment. [00:03:38] Speaker B: What. [00:03:38] Speaker A: Was that about to you? And what did it mean to you. [00:03:42] Speaker B: In that particular moment with Jeffrey's machine? [00:03:46] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:03:51] Speaker B: Just sort of touching on the things that you've said. We're coming out of some really intense times. The pandemic is something that is completely exceptional in our lifetime. For us actors and everybody in the industry. The strike was, I have friends who have lost homes. I lost some really close family members during the shooting of the quantum league, both seasons. We're all dealing with a lot, and we're all expected to still put on a brave face and go about our day because there are people that are in our lives that need us and we need to show up for them. And when you're working on a show like this that is consistently making you a better know. Ben Song sets an example for me as much as Addison does, as much as Ian does Jen magic that these are the types of role models and figures that I wanted to have growing up in my life. And in reading what these characters have to say and what they're doing, I get to learn about how to make positive choices. And it just kind of in this existence, one informs the other, the person informs the art, and the art informs you. And sometimes roles find you when they need you, and you find roles when something spiritually syncs up with that. And my favorite things to hear is that this show can be a salve to those who are hurt and who are in need of. You know, I've heard Ray Charles's voice be described as honey on sandpaper or something like that. And it's a beautiful sound, right? And it's the realest sound. And in a lot of ways in our wild universe of quantum leap, we still get to make a lot of sense because of the human connections that we're able to build in it. And this show allows me to invest and reinvest in those. It just. It just informs me a lot. But in that specific moment with his machine, I had to just remember that Ben is again making the decision to go with his something. I know this is that. But destroying something is never right. And Ben, in all of his optimism, can always choose to save everybody at once. In his mind, right, he can do it all. It's one of the things that we nigh look up to him for, the fact that he is willing to take on as much responsibility as possible, and somehow, in his mind, he's doing the right thing. So it was another moment where destruction is not it, killing isn't it. He is by nature, a pacifist, whether he has endowed that or not or whether he truly believes it. But, I mean, enough people say that about you. It must be true, right? It's another moment where he's like, I can't imagine that crushing this kid's, everything that he built, his life's work up to that point, is going to be the way out. That just didn't feel right. Ben says this doesn't feel, you know, it wasn't much more than just a gut feeling of this, isn't it? In that moment? [00:07:53] Speaker A: Yeah, no, I love that. And I agree. I think that the world that we inhabit and in our lifetimes, what we've seen, you go back over the past 25 years and just think about all of these huge events, and I think it's true for most generations. I mean, there are those touchstone events that happen that really shape your worldview. And so many of the things that have occurred, I think, in our lifetimes, because we're of similar age, in particular, over these past 25 years, have really caused this split over the way that people handle certain situations. And choosing to respond with empathy and compassion versus responding with that knee jerk spark of violence or hatred is one of the things, I think, that does separate us so much these days. And it's so easy to do one and not the other. And so one of the things that I think is so beautiful about the show is that it reminds us that doing the other, that responding with empathy and compassion, it might be difficult, but it's always going to be the best choice. What does it mean to you personally? At the risk of repeating, of course, to be kind of part of that message and be sort of the vessel of that message in so many ways, because Ben is the one that we see making those choices. [00:09:17] Speaker B: So, know, I'm often asked about the pressures and the responsibility of carrying a show. I think the bigger pressure and the bigger responsibility is to carry the values of Ben. The values of the show is the bigger responsibility, honestly. And then to be that consistently in my life is the bigger responsibility. I've been acting for 15 years. My first acting class was 20 years ago. You know, it's the acting part I was never really worried about, just in terms of what the role is, but to show up in my daily life because I want to practice what I preach, right? Like, I don't want to just be Ben song when the cameras are up and not be that everywhere. And I think trying to live up to what the show means has been my biggest challenge over the past two years. And I've been lucky in my last two jobs. I've had to evaluate the person that I was because my previous show was just about an awful husband. Right? I wasn't that husband, but it was about an awful husband. And at that time, I had to evaluate what my relationship to my wife and my family was in the best way. It's like, have I been Al Bundy my whole life or have I been, you know, what mean? Like, are these sitcom dads that I grew up with? And is that the way that we've sort of been indoctrinated to be kind of, like, just lazy and not helpful and to just make fun of their wives and kids? I had to take a good, hard look at myself. This show made me take a good, hard look at myself. And have I always been choosing empathy? Have I always been taking the high road? Have I been? Have I listened? Do I listen first before responding? And this show has helped me become a better person. So how it feels to carry all of this, it feels like I have to choose to make the positive choice every time. And I'm telling you, and I will tell many others that it will positively impact your life and your relationships and your friendships if you just can put yourself aside for a second, listen to what the person with the bigger need has to say and to sort of go from there, even if it's five minutes to be with somebody. But to have those five minutes be a quality five minutes is more important than 50 minutes of, I don't know, small talk or whatever. But I feel like I'm sort of flailing here with your question. [00:12:26] Speaker A: No, not at all. I mean, I think that that is a wonderful response. And I think that it's incredible the way that art can obviously impact the audience, but I think that sometimes the thing that we don't necessarily talk enough about is the way that it impacts the artist, the artists involved, and the way that that can influence and change your own interpretation of your life and your being. I take that back. We often hear about the dark side. Right. You'll hear about when an actor goes too far or when a writer gets too deep into this or whatever. But I think that the positive influence that it has is something that sometimes we take for granted as artists. Right. We understand that this is life, like this is air to us. Right. But the effect that it can have on us and the way that we can have those experiences that alter our perception of our relationships with the other human beings around us is so incredibly important. And I think that you hit on that perfectly. I apologize, listeners, but just to share this with you for a moment, the show that I'm in right now is about two young mothers. It's called cry it out, and these two young mothers getting together and having coffee. And it touches on all sorts of things about class and gender and the patriarchy. And it's just a lovely show, and I've learned so much of it, and it's caused me to refocus my own interpretation of the past five and a half years, six years with my wife and her as a mother and me as a father, and just the way that affects us and touches us. So I completely understand it, and I do. I think it's valuable information to put out there because it's powerful. It is for the audience as well as the artist. So I know that the show has affected me in many positive ways as well. I can feel shifts in myself just going back to when the show premiered, even, and kind of touching on something and engaging me and reminding me of something that I had maybe disconnected within myself for a while. [00:14:35] Speaker B: Yeah. I love that our show can be a bridge to those feelings and for us to be reminded sometimes of. I can't tell you the amount of times that I've read one of our scripts and I'm like, I should text my mom. I should check in on my friends. Yeah. It's a positive influence. [00:15:01] Speaker A: It absolutely is. And we've talked about some wonderful, touchy feely stuff that I love, and I love being able to get there. And we went there really quick, so I'm going to pull it back a little bit now. [00:15:17] Speaker B: Let's go in. [00:15:18] Speaker A: We will. [00:15:20] Speaker B: Tears. [00:15:20] Speaker A: By the time this is. So one of the things that's really interesting to me is that when you were, according to Wikipedia anyway, so correct me if it is wrong, when you were in college, you studied kinesiology for a time before switching to theater into acting. And I just immediately thought, wow, that has got to be a fascinating point of view to be able to approach the craft of acting from. So I'm curious if that is the case, if you have used anything that you did learn in the time that you were studying kinesiology as an actor and just how that might have also, I guess, what shifted? What caused you to change the major. [00:16:01] Speaker B: Basically, I do want to address that. It's very misleading, because when it says kinesiology, it sounds like when you read it, it's like, oh, he was about to be a doctor, and then he changed professions. No, I was not good in school, and I was at a community college. And kinesiology, I thought at the time, would be the fastest way to be on a professional basketball team. Being like, the next Gary Vee to tape up Shaq's foot. Because the Lakers were like my team, I thought that would be my. I just. I took a theater course, and it just kind of changed the course of everything. But I did have a deep interest in just the way the human body worked. I've been active my whole life. I've played baseball all throughout growing up, and I've just always been a very physical person. And so I had a deep interest in how the human body worked. And that was really the extent of why I wanted to study kinesiology. But that curiosity has not gone away. I still think of acting as a very. I equate it the most to sports, actually. I think it's highly physical, and I think it's highly mental in the way that players can experience slumps in their game and things like that. But, yeah, the decision to move on to theater was really because I found my calling in that theater class. I was like, okay, kinesiology was something that I thought I was interested in, but this is something that I know I love, and it's something that I know that as a kid that I had an interest in doing it. But not seeing enough of myself reflected on the screen, big and small, has kept me away from it. But I was like, you know, oh, why know? And I was lucky to have one friend who was two years older than me that I went to high school with, and he went on to university, and he took a theater course. And he's my background. He's korean, and I went down to San Diego to watch his college. It just, he didn't have a large role, but just seeing him on stage made me think that this was possible. And in my mind, he had already made it. He was a junior in college at that time, and I was like, this is a legit production of Marat Saad. And I'm like, this is it. And that's all I wanted to do. And then I went to Cal State Long beach and watched a production of Titus, and I was like, this is just incredible. And in attaching that to my physical know, I grew up break dancing and stuff and dancing as too. So, like, long beach at the time, Cal State Long beach had this incredible. I think they still do. Why wouldn't they? They have an incredible dance program, and it was very competitive to get into. And so the dancers who couldn't get into the program, the overflow would flow into theater department, and therefore, they just made incredibly, with the lack of production, just didn't have money. They made up with their physical body. So everything was a physical was, you know, light, sound, and movement. And that really resonated with me. And at the time, there was a clown teacher who is now the head of movement at juilliard. He had just graduated from juilliard, and he was looking to relocate to the west coast to sort of teach and things like that. He came to Long beach. He taught for three years. I was lucky enough to catch him those three years, and he became our clown teacher, clown and movement teacher. And so I learned comedia and the art of clowning through him. Theatrical clowning. You have a theater background, so, you know, and that was another big shifting moment of just my trajectory. I'm like, oh, I thought I just wanted to do theater. I thought I was just doing caucasian chalk circle over here. And then he introduced me to clowning. All right, well, this is what I really love, because now I get to use everything, and I get to connect with an audience before there's a fourth wall. You don't do that. And then you learn about how Bresht used to do that and breaking the fourth wall, and then you go on to do clowning, and you're, like, in the audience, and I'm like, this is just so cool. And I got to use my entire instrument. And so me and my friends, after graduating, we created a clown trip, and we toured that clown trip to all the french festivals all the way from here to Chicago. And back in 2011, we did a full clown tour. Wow. Literally packed ourselves into two vans, and then just went on, did 100 shows of our inaugural show, created a company, and then produced ten more productions after that. And that's where I really cut my teeth. Yeah, but before I get too in the weeds with how I got my start in all that, kinesiology was basically just kind of my floating around major. Sure, I like that it's there because people think I'm much smarter than I am because of this. [00:21:29] Speaker A: Well, I think you're pretty smart, certainly when it comes to this stuff, because I think that, again, the training is sometimes something I think they can get a little lost because people see someone on television or they see someone on a movie screen, and they just kind of think that they've always been there. Right. And it's that whole overnight sensation thought, too. It's just sort of like, oh, yeah, they were doing nothing yesterday, but now they're famous. They're a star. And there's so much work. There's so much work. And you mentioned comedia, which is interesting to me because it was something that I studied as well, and just learning that the way that as storytellers for hundreds and hundreds of years, I mean, thousands of years, really. But for hundreds of years, there have been these archetypes, these things that if you do this, then it means this. And I think the wonderful thing now kind of being in this postmodern society, if you will, is that we get to reinterpret a lot of that. So I'm curious, especially, like, doing the clowning, taking the shows on the road. What opportunities did you have to kind of redefine what some of that meant for you and for your company as you were going and producing these pieces? [00:22:43] Speaker B: Yeah, the redefining of that is a very key component because most of the world doesn't know clowning the same way you and I know clowning. They know clowns to be frightening and just sort of a sideshow. And, yeah, they can be frightening. There are frightening clowns. There's theater of the grotesque, and there are place, there's buffooning. There are different art forms within clowning where it can be a little bit scary to be scary's sake, but the clowning that I know is the most innocent parts. Right? You have a childlike curiosity and everything is new. One of the main exercise, the first exercises you learn is, hey, what's that? I don't like that, Matt. Or, hey, what's that? [00:23:38] Speaker A: I like that. [00:23:39] Speaker B: And then you go to it and it's discovery, discovery, discovery. And a clown is the most innocent, in essence, the most innocent being. And I thought that was fascinating. I didn't know at that time how important that nugget would be to inform every single role that I approached afterwards. Because it's all about listening. It's all about discovery. It's all about anticipating what your audience is going to feel if you were to present this. And with clowning, our goal every single time we stepped on stage was to redefine the expectations of what people thought of. They were expecting it, but we gave them children, and we gave them a story about these children growing up in these archetypes and where that would lead them if they stuck with these archetypes. And it was basically our opportunity to share, to hold up a mirror to society and say, this is what the world will look like if you stayed children and never grew up out of this, in this archetype. And we had a nervous clown, a mischievous clown, an angry clown and a sad clown. And I was angry clown. And through childhood, adolescence, adulthood and death, he has been bullied by his older brother. As a child and adolescence, he just still, the older brother was alive, but he follows his older brother into war because he joins the army. And then out of his rage, seeing his brother die, he decides to try to take his own life before trying to mow down everybody else. And that is if you just only chose the path of being angry anyways. So that was kind of our show. But that theme of redefining continues to recur in my life because in some ways, I was sort of hiding behind the mask of a clown because it represented the redefinition that I wanted to do for everybody else being perceived as an asian person that wanted to do things that weren't tied to only telling asian stories. And so once I started doing theater, I wanted to attach myself to playwrights who also wanted to subvert expectations, who also wanted to see themselves. Theater of the oppressed is seeing yourself putting out a better world than you already are in. And so I wanted to always work with people who wanted to create a better reality than the ones that we're living in currently. And so I attached myself to dreamers, asian american dreamers. And this show is no different. Ben Song is a projection of somebody always that he can be better than. So, yeah, the redefining is a very big theme in my. [00:26:50] Speaker A: I mean, and I think that is clear. And it's fascinating to hear it connected, know your theatrical background. But also, like, you mean, I think with quantum leap, with Kevin could fuck himself even with here and know, seeing your work, because before the show aired, I was like, well, I got to get to know our leaper. So I went back and I watched some stuff, and it's fascinating to me because I think one of the things that the character, and I'm not saying that this is intentional necessarily, but one of the things that all of these characters have in common, because, frankly, the character in here now does not have a lot in common with Ben Song, but one of the things that they do have in common is that sort of search to redefine themselves on some level. Right. Kevin fuck himself. Getting sober and dealing with that and reconnecting and then with here and now, it's the same thing. Dealing with these sorts of the traumas of the past and how they manifest themselves in the present and how you can try to get out from under that and live a healthier life. And I don't mean, like, eat more vegetables, although do, but just be able to make healthy choices and make positive choices that allow you to connect with yourself as opposed to disconnecting with yourself at the expense of other people or other things. One of the things that early on, I know, I think I recall you saying an interview, and I'm paraphrasing here, was that it was so wonderful to see not only Ben Song, of course, being korean American, but not even korean American, really, because he's an immigrant. He came from Korea to this country. Could you talk a little bit about the importance of being able to have that be a part of Ben's backstory to you? [00:28:37] Speaker B: Yeah. And I look at Ben Song as the ultimate fish out of water, especially when you find him at the beginning of the show, he has a blank slate, doesn't remember a thing, and just has to figure it out. And every time he leaps, he has to figure everything out in an instant. And although I'm not an immigrant myself, I know what it might feel like to be perceived as such and to sort of conduct myself as such. And I think it just added to that theme of being a fish out of water. You're plopped down in a new place, and English isn't your first language, so you have to be extremely perceptive. You have to listen more than the normal person. Would you also having a single parent mother, which I do have, I've just had to have a heightened sense of awareness from a very young age. And my mom still to this day, doesn't know how to speak English. So you could imagine just to paint a picture. My mom gets her credit card statement. There's something that she wants to dispute. She can't talk to the credit card company, so my 13 year old self has to dial up the credit card company and be like, hey, there is something wrong. This bill. And then that was like, my whole life growing up. So I think it just further placed Ben in a place where actually he was put in to succeed. Because of his past. He had already known how to survive, essentially, how to survive in a very non physically threatening sense, because I don't believe Ben as a kid was ever felt like at least the story that I created for him. He wasn't necessarily bullied, but he always had felt othered. But now, finding himself leaping, he's always in physical peril. So he just has to use his intuition and instincts. And I've always admired stars that were able to do this well. Stars meaning like actors and roles, like, you know, it's just he's flying by the seat of his pants, figuring it out, using his wits. Not the strongest guy by any means, but can just figure his way out of things. And I just saw Ben as being all of that. And him being an immigrant just furthermore made him another. So I think that was great for a building block as a characteristic for Ben. [00:31:31] Speaker A: I'm so glad you used that word othered, because I was literally going to say that myself. I think that whenever you've been othered, I think it can shut you off to this, but it can also create that wellspring of empathy, because you understand what it is to be set apart for whatever reason, to be marginalized. And one of the things that's so beautiful about the show is how inclusive it is in and of itself, unfortunately, makes it so different from so many other shows on television. How important is that piece of the puzzle to you? [00:32:07] Speaker B: And resilient being othered helps you become just. You can take a slur, you can take a rejection, and you can absorb it, or you can choose to spit it back out. And I think that's the definition of empathy, right? If you just absorb it, you just go, okay, you must be going through something, or maybe your day is just way worse than mine, but I will absorb that. Or if somebody just doesn't deserve it, you just give it right back to them. But what it teaches you over time is how to become resilient to all of that. And Ben is. [00:32:57] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:33:00] Speaker B: I don't know if that answers your question. [00:33:04] Speaker A: Is, I'm so glad that you added that to the conversation, because I do think that's incredibly important, and I think it's something know. The fabric of the show is that we see that not only in Ben, but we see it in other characters as know. We see it in magic, we see it in Ian, we see it in Jen, we see it in Addison, we see their know, and we see the things that they have had to fight against, whether it's something that happened before the story ever started or if it's something that is integral to the stories that were seen on television. [00:33:32] Speaker B: And I think that's the bonding agent, too. I think all of us in the quantum leap world have come together on this sort of bedrock of being othered in a way, and therefore want to make a better world for everybody else because they don't want everyone to feel that. And it's a group of extremely resilient people who have been able to stomach all of it and is trying to create a better world for those who might not have the same sort of bandwidth to take all of it. [00:34:11] Speaker A: Yeah, absolutely. No, I do. I think that that's wonderful. I think it's one of the things that is so incredibly moving about it is that you start to realize that you're not alone. And I think that that is such a wonderful and empowering feeling, and I think that it can help to cultivate a lot of that resilience and a lot of that empathy, because you look around and you can kind of say, hey, somebody might not like me, but they can't not like all of us or something like that. Or if they do, it's okay because we've got each other. And speaking of that, and again, that you need to kind of go back to the question that I asked a second ago. The inclusiveness of the show and seeing a cast that I think is not the picture of a lot of other casts that we see on television or we see on screens has certainly been an important part of the show for me, and I've loved just what it's added to, the storytelling and the possibilities. What does it mean to you to be a part of such an inclusive cast, even for yourself, to not be? I think what's expected of a lead on television, as unfortunate as that might be? I don't know. It's been incredibly moving and important, in my opinion, to see, and so I'm curious as to how you feel about it. [00:35:31] Speaker B: I feel exactly the same. I also think it's extremely important and going back to how much the show teaches know. Take Ian's journey, for example, before meeting Mason. As a person, I've maybe known a handful of they thems of trans people and personalizing it, creating a personal relationship with Mason and knowing Mason's personal story and bringing that into the character of Ian and dropping that in to another layer of Ian and Ben being best friends. What did we come together on? Of course, there's a chemistry and a friendship, but what did we come together on? That is, at our core that we got to understand each other so well that we were best friends. And it just makes you look at the world differently. It just challenges you to think about everything you thought you knew, that you were like, this is an absolute truth. And to be like, wow. What I thought I knew was not what I knew at all. And I'll use our episode with, I'm really bad at episode names. I just do them. And I'm also bad at the number, but I know that it's the episode with the siblings in the second season. [00:37:10] Speaker A: The family treasure, 210 family treasure. [00:37:13] Speaker B: And there is that speech that Dean gives, and that was something that I talked to Martin at length about because I was like, the way that it was written on the page, I understood it to be informative, but I was like, okay. I felt like we could go either two ways with this speech where it could just be like, hey, this is what I am, and accept it, or we can use it as a real teaching moment. And creatively, when I watch projects and when things are very like Ted talkie, I have a knee jerk reaction to it that is not positive. And I didn't want it to be, that it needed to be deeply personal. And Martin assured me that, hey, we'll look at this again, but just know that whatever the text ends up becoming, the message is so much more important. And the text ended up perfect, right? And it was shot so beautifully, and I feel like the sun, just the way that everything hit in that moment. It was beautiful when we shot it, and it was just as beautiful to watch it. Ben Barton assured. He's like, how great is it that we get to do this with our show, that our show stands for this on network television, where our main viewer base might not know any people with this background, and being there in that moment, speaking and listening to that truth and being with Shakina and us all just kind of being in tears afterwards, I'm like, it's so special. And we get to do that with this show, with Addison's journey. You think you have an idea of what an army intelligence, someone who's worked in army intelligence might look like, and you get. But then to actually see the meticulous nature of what it means to have served in that capacity and also to serve outside yourself. At the end of the day, if we didn't see Addison as a character, if we didn't meet Caitlin as a person, we wouldn't even know what army intelligence looks like. But he is army intelligence personified. And we know that they're okay with being anonymous person who helped all these people evacuate out of Afghanistan. But now we get to put a face to them, and I am just so blown away that I get to learn this much. While I get so much credit for doing a good job, I'm like, you know what? The credit's all really to the writers and everybody that is involved in keeping this show going, because they created this. Stephen Lillian and Brian woundbrand, they brought this cast together purposefully. They handpicked every single one of, and for that, we are forever grateful, because they knew that, again, they created the world that they wanted to. [00:40:39] Speaker A: Know. It's interesting, so many questions spring from that, but you mentioned something right now that it's a question that I've not had the opportunity to ask often. I actually spoke to Stephen very briefly before the show had ever aired. He actually reached out to me, and we had a brief conversation, and I just thought, oh, I'm so excited this show is coming. Obviously, there were changes, though, after the initial pilot was shot, was there ever a moment for you when you thought, oh, this isn't what I signed up for, or did any of those changes? Was there anything daunting about that? Or did it just kind of feel like, well, this is my job. I'm going to go and I'm going to do this, and it's going to be what it's going to be. [00:41:21] Speaker B: Yeah, certainly when the studio and network wants a new pilot, you're like, why? What's wrong with the one we made? That's the script that we all fell in love with. That's the script I said yes to. And they want another one. And then you realize, okay, they're just going for just more action. They wanted a love story up front. They wanted to show the life before. And I don't respond to change in the best way. Right. Like, it takes me a little bit of time. I go, okay, I thought that was our pilot. I loved what we, we made. That's the pilot that got our show an order, right? I don't understand what's wrong with that. So, yeah, my initial response was, I don't like it. I don't like this new version. And then you do it and then you go, okay, well, if this is the direction that we're going, I'm game. I didn't see this coming, but I'm game. [00:42:30] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:42:35] Speaker B: I was happy to embrace it. But initially the script that I fell in love with was as, you know, what became episode six. [00:42:43] Speaker A: Right. Well, one of the things that I had the unique perspective, and I know that I was a rarity among this, but I actually got the pilot script in February of, what was that? 2023. Now 2022. So I got it before it had been shot. And when I received it and I read it, I was like, I love this. And yes, I want to see this. This is exciting. And so initial reaction when I heard that, it's like, yes, they shot it. It's been ordered. They're going to shoot something else now. But why? What happened? I was upset and to the point where my former co host and I, we actually did an episode of the podcast and then we decided not to actually release it because we felt like we were just too, like doom and gloom about the whole thing. We were like, no, we can never release that. Because there was this part of me that was just like, what are they thinking? Why are they making mistakes? It was perfect, everything I wanted it to be. [00:43:51] Speaker B: I still stand by that episode. I love that. [00:43:56] Speaker A: Yeah, yeah. I just thought it told such a beautiful story. And one of the things that I did love about it that I know that they changed is that I love that we didn't find out that Ben and Addison were engaged until the end. I loved that that was something that came at the end. I thought that was so cool. Know, one of the other things, of course, that the script did at the end is know Sam Beckett is, you know, the idea is it's supposed to know Scott Bacula. And know for me personally, I felt this way before the show ever aired. I feel even more strongly now is know as much as I love, I mean, obviously love the classic series, and I've been doing this podcast for six and a half years and love Scott Bakula and learned so much from Sam Beckett. I just have never felt like the show has needed that because it stands on its own so well and tells so many wonderful stories. And I've fallen in love with song. You know, I've fallen in love with all of these characters. For you, however, I'm curious as to what your, and you don't have to answer this if you don't want to, but I'm curious as to what your thoughts are on the fact that there was that appearance by Sam at the end of the pilot script and the fact that Scott's not involved with the show. [00:45:08] Speaker B: Oh. The script that I got didn't have Sam at the end of. [00:45:12] Speaker A: Oh, okay. [00:45:13] Speaker B: I had another version of it. Yeah. Had I read that version, I would have thought that would be fucking incredible. Yeah. Pay homage. Yeah. Just truthfully, it was a complicated journey that I had to go on in my mind to know that it's hard to live up to anything. Right. Especially something that was so special to so many people. And I, the general response was, you don't need to do this. Just leave it alone. But I saw something in it that I thought I could do good by it. So that's why I said yes to, you know, in the beginning, I was going to. I should go back and watch the entire series. So. I know. And I started doing that out in Vancouver when we were shooting the. It just. It was not good for me because I found myself trying to do a reenactment of Scott Bakula, and that's never good. I'm not doing a biopic here. I'm creating a whole new character and a whole new story, and the world has changed. So I watched as much as I thought it would serve me, and then I put it away for good. Actually, I haven't gone back and revisited it because it just wasn't serving me. But with that said, with the episodes that I watched, I got to get the heart, and I think that's what's the most important. And I got to have many conversations with Deborah, and she informed me, and they instilled me with the confidence to know that the heart is carrying through and you're doing a good. It took, I don't know how it feels like from your perspective, because you're deeper in the cut with that. But for me, it felt like it took 30 episodes for some original fans to come around. [00:47:27] Speaker A: Yeah, I think that is true. Obviously, it didn't take me long at all. I was pretty much sold right away just because there were so many wonderful moments in the premiere episode. And I loved something that has stuck with me since watching the episode for the first time. And again, I was lucky enough to have a screener. So I saw it before it actually aired. And the thing that stuck with me the most is you made me feel safe today. And when Ben says that to Addison, there was just something about that that I was kind of, yeah, that's all right. I'm going with this. Let's see where we then and then with episode was there was this awe, this giddiness that Ben had over being in space and that childlike quality that you mentioned earlier about with clowning and everything, it was just like, oh, I love. Yes, that's. That's my leaper. Right? But the episode that really, really turned everything for me was somebody up there like spen, the third episode when you and John Chaffin are in the jail cell. And that scene, literally, after I saw it, I just was like, that's quantum leap. It's not 1989 quantum leap, but whatever quantum leap is, that's what it is right there, that moment. And that was what changed everything for me. Again, not that I wasn't in right. Of course I was. But that was the moment. [00:48:53] Speaker B: I felt that in that moment as well, I felt, we have, we're guaranteed this many episodes to explore and to explore who Ben means to all of this, the relationship, this leaper to this world. And just like you said, episode two, I got to really discover as Ben, like, wow, this is leaping. This is time travel. This is crazy. And then the reality of having to actually do the leap sinks in and you start personalizing. You start creating relationships. You have to play detective, and you have to put it all together. I'm like, this is fun. This is cool. This is fun. Okay, but we're all going to die, so we should try not to do that. And then. Yeah, episode three, beautifully written by drew in that scene. And what's incredible is that John and I have worked together before. We did a workshop of a play together for a week. And so when he showed up on set, when I saw his name on the call sheet, I was like, oh, my gosh, John. And then I saw him in the makeup trailer, and we just gave each other the biggest hug, and we looked at each other, we're like, this is going to be fun. This is going to be fun. And he gives so much. As you see in that scene, he's just like, you can see the torment. It's not hard to act when you're across somebody who's giving you that much. And he also. I love it when our guest cast can really fill out the world. And he was in the 70s. He had the walk, he had the swagger. And I was like, this just feels right. And what we shared in that jail cell was, I felt like, this is, if folks are watching, this is what our show can do. Yeah, I felt that those three specific instances that you just met, I felt all those instances as well. [00:51:07] Speaker A: Yeah, that's probably why I did, too. One of the things that's so lovely about the show is that you get, especially, I would imagine, for the guest actors, and I've had the chance to talk to a couple of them, but the opportunity to come in and tell these stories and kind of be the co star of the movie. Right? Whereas that's not what happens very often with guest stars on television. Know, certainly, kind of just like you come in, you do the thing. You're mean. Certainly John is one of those people that it's like, oh, gosh, it's too bad that Ben has to leap away from this, because I want to stay with this character for a while. One of the things that I've heard, and I spoke to Nadine Ellis recently played connie in the outsider, and she was phenomenal in the episode and just a joy to talk to. She talked about how you create just such a welcoming vibe and space and about how cool you are. Just somebody to be around, somebody to work with. How do you do that, and why is that important to you? [00:52:18] Speaker B: I think it all goes back to theater. Honestly, when you go through the theater department, you have to take every single class. I had to wash all of our grad students underwears after their performances. I had to go up there, 100ft up to the grid and hang lights. I had to paint the set. I had to strike the set. And then you grow an appreciation, as it's designed to do, for every single department. And you realize that it takes everybody here to make a great show. You can't mess around during tech, the inclination to do that and to want to. I'm not the most patient person. I can't just sit there forever. But they just expect you to kind of, like, hold your position while they light you, and then they set the queue. But you realize you have to know that this is for everyone else. This isn't for you, this isn't rehearsal for you. And when you come into a production with that sort of understanding that every single person here on set is not extraneous, and they all serve a purpose, and they're all on a payroll, and they're all here to make this scene that we're about to shoot the next 30 seconds, the most important thing that's happening right now, you just kind of have a good idea of how much everyone's focusing or should be focusing. And I just want to let everyone know that their job is important in however way that shows up on the day or even before. Not just because I want the day to go well, but because I do recognize it. I deeply recognize it. And like you mentioned, for a show like ours, where it's so guest star heavy, if I don't take the responsibility of creating a safe space for who is about to be my main scene partner for the next seven days, it's not going to do anybody any good. Our episode is probably not going to be great. I know for me, I work the best from a comfortable place. Sure, I've had directors try to kind of throw me off balance, and that might make for a good scene, but it's definitely not going to make for a good arc. It's not sustainable. And with the sort of schedule that our show demands, you just kind of have to get comfortable really fast. And you're probably not shooting the first scene of the episode. We're not shooting in chronological order, so you have to be sunk in right away. So I do try to make it a point to get to know them, and I do have a deep interest. And I love, you know, I love talking, acting, and I'm a total geek for this stuff, and I love different processes. Every actor shows up with their own, you know, just as Ben plays detective, I play detective in saying, okay, does this person want to run lines or. Okay, they got their own thing going on. Okay, so. Oh, that's a warm up. Okay. They're getting into character. Okay, cool. Do they want to have lunch? They're going to their trailer. Okay, cool. I'll go on my trailer. And our show is very specific in that way where if they don't do well, the episode doesn't do well. And luckily, I'm already in a position where I feel like, I don't know, I like to just create a good, safe working space. Also for myself, too, this is where I have to spend all my time, and I don't want it to be just a shitty work environment. And I deeply love everybody that works on our show, too. Perhaps that's what they see or feel. [00:56:13] Speaker A: Well, I mean, again, it's something that I've heard, even not in conversations that I've had with people, but just in reading other interviews, it constantly comes up. And I think your explanation, especially relating it back to theater, is obviously something that I can 100% relate to. Everything that you said. I did every single one of those things, too. It's like I know exactly what you're talking about, and it's true. And one of the things for me, that's always so incredibly important, especially during those times of tech or when you're in dress and you're opening, or whatever the case is, it's just like, just to take a moment to say thank you to the people that are doing all of those other things that aren't out there getting the applause at the end of the night and also let them know that it's like, no, you are getting those applause because I wouldn't be getting those without the work that you were doing. [00:57:00] Speaker B: Absolutely. [00:57:01] Speaker A: It's the reason why I love talking with costume designers so much, because they don't get to necessarily get that same appreciation in the moment. But it's so important to me, the work that they do, because it's everything, right? You think about the way that we look and the way that we dress ourselves, and it's like, that's that person's job for your character now. And it's like, so the choices that they make are going to inform so much about what the audience thinks about who you are. I believe so strongly in everything that you said about the importance of being able to create that environment and create that safe space. Speaking of which, I think over the past five or six years, past decade, but really, these past five or six years in particular, we have been inundated with stories about non safe working spaces for a variety of reasons, whether it has to do with some bit of violence or with sex pests, for lack of a better term or whatever. Because the safety and that trust is so incredibly important to be able to do your best work, and without it, it's so hard, you cannot help but feel that guard, and how can you feel vulnerable otherwise? So I'm curious as to what it means to you to have that environment provided for you, but also how you project that, how you help to create that safe space. [00:58:31] Speaker B: It's a lot less of a conscious effort, as you might think. I'm not always like, how do I create this? How do I make everyone feel warm and welcome? It's really just about. There's a ripple effect that happens that I notice very quickly on. If I'm tired, very quickly I will start seeing people yawning and I'm just like, okay. And I've been fortunate. I've had some great number ones in my had, and I've seen a couple not so savory ones, but I just. Okay, well, that's. I know. I don't want to be that. But, for instance, name drop. When I saw Tom cruise work, I noticed, of course, he's incredible in everything he does, but what stuck out to me was his level of energy and how that fed to everybody else. I don't know what he looks like when he's in his trailer or whatnot, but when he's out the moment, he is visible to everybody else on set, he is present and he is communicating and he is engaged. He's trying to find the best way to tell this story. He's talking to the camera operators and being like, hey, does that swing around here? Is this seeing me right there? How did that look to you? It's very collaborative. It's like, okay, so then when this happens, I would like for it to come over on this way. Is that okay? He's kind of eating things to make sure his energy up. I'm just like, what is that thing? Is that some coconut jelly? I don't know, but I think I want that you see that sort of example set forth and you go, okay, that's a page I can take. And it honestly took me, I think, like, the first five episodes to kind of figure out a good place to work from because I hadn't ever had a schedule this demanding before, and I was just kind of depleting myself by the end of the day. And I think it was not informing the work well. And so I started working out in the morning every day before going to set. I wake up, I do my workouts, and that would fuel me. That would get me to lunch. And then I found out that during lunch, if I just have my lunch in the room, I can take a quick 20 minutes nap, and that's going to fuel me for the rest of the day. And that's just what I stuck to. And just having energy really increases your ability to take in everything and to get my 8 hours as well. So it was never a thing for me to be like, I'm going to create a positive working environment, but I just know that if I'm taking care of myself, hopefully people can see that in the way that I saw it in Mr. Cruz to be like, he didn't have to tell me how to behave, right? He just showed me how to behave. And that was very helpful, especially to have right before doing this, where my first time being number one. I'm so grateful for that experience. [01:01:51] Speaker A: Yeah, I mean, I can't imagine there are too many better examples to probably. [01:01:55] Speaker B: Have, especially in that energy department. [01:01:59] Speaker A: Right? [01:02:00] Speaker B: And the longevity and the durability. [01:02:07] Speaker A: And someone who is clearly so physical and takes pride in being able to do all of those crazy mission impossible stunts. The movie is fantastic, by the way, not that I'm giving anyone new information and if there is a third one, I hope that we see your face a little bit more. So moving away from that, which I really appreciate you talking about that, and I understand exactly what you're saying, and I think that it's one of those situations where you kind of have to secure your own oxygen mask before you can secure anyone else's. And if you do secure yours, you're going to be able to have the opportunity to do that and to have that empathy and whatever else you might need, the detective work, like you were mentioning. But again, I don't want to keep you too long, and I certainly want to move through a couple of other things, so I'll skip forward a bunch because season two has been, I think, just such an incredible story on its own. By the time we get to the end, of course, you realize just how much season one has informed so much of season two. But that said, the circumstances for creating season two obviously were very different because you didn't get a know. You didn't go away and come back. You just kept going. But not only did you keep going, but Martin also decided, hey, you know what would be really interesting? Three years have passed. Everybody thinks Ben's dead. Addison's dating a new guy. Let's go. What were your thoughts, especially, as you mentioned earlier, that change sometimes is know. So I'm curious as to what you were thinking about all of this when you heard about the changes that were coming in season two. [01:03:43] Speaker B: I think when Martin told me, I just took, like, a really long. This is a. So this has just become a marathon. Okay. I thought generally how this works is you end a season, you get a break, and then you get, okay. So I had to do some. Just negotiating with myself and being like, take a deep breath. Okay. Create some more space for energy. But in hindsight, I think it's one of the greatest things to happen to our show for what that time was, because we were rocking at that point and we really were in the pocket. And I don't know if that's something that the audience was able to feel, but I really feel like towards the end of the first season, especially that finale, I was like, I think we got the show in terms of what we're good at. And I loved what Martin and Dean proposed to separate Ben and Addison. And now that we've already established what quantum leap means, how do we invest in the relationships? And that's something that I've always wanted. I love character driven stories. And here we are, finally getting to tell the character chapter we've established the world, and now we get to go deeper into character. And then with the addition of Eliza and Peter, I was like, okay, we're just further galvanizing our legitimacy in the storytelling that we can be capable of doing. And to also have Eliza's experience as being another great number one on a, you know, it's another great page that I got to take from her experience, too. So in some ways, and I don't think I've ever told her this explicitly, but she was sort of a mentor to me, you know what I mean? And also, she never told me how to do anything. It's just by way of watching her conduct herself. If you see her, the moment they yell, cameras up, she is up. She's not dillydallying around, taking the last sips of her coffee, finishing her conversation. It's like, that is the most important thing that needs to happen, because we need to make this day. And I asked her, I was like, I noticed you just wait for that bell to ring. You're just there. And she's like, yeah, if I don't do that, then the rest of the cast will follow suit. If I sit there for another five minutes and the camera operators already are loaded up and doing this, it'll show that that's not important. So I want everyone to feel that that's important. Sorry, I sort of veered off a little bit, but when they initially introduced that and the idea that we're going to keep going, I know that I had to really take a deep breath and go, okay, this is going to be great. This is going to be great. And it turned out to be great. [01:06:56] Speaker A: It definitely did. And I'm so glad you brought Eliza up, because that was going to be the next thing that I wanted to talk about. I've spoken with Eliza a couple of times now, and the first time, one of the things that fascinated me and just kind of moved me as a human being is she talked about the place that she was in before she came on the show and about how she had been a little nervous and she'd had a little bit of a lack of confidence, and she was doing self tapes for the show because she couldn't make it in to actually be in the room with you and all this sort of stuff. And so the first read that you guys had together was done through Zoom, right? [01:07:29] Speaker B: Yeah. [01:07:31] Speaker A: That's kind of incredible. It's mind boggling to me, and I know that it happens, but that she was having this crisis of confidence because her work in the show, and especially in the last couple of episodes, is just mind blowingly great. But how did that work for you, and how did you know that that's the right person over Zoom? Right. And not being able to be in the room with her? [01:07:53] Speaker B: Yeah. I don't love Zoom. I don't think anyone really loves Zoom over a personal cup of coffee with someone. Right. But it is still effective in developing relationship. It is still two people talking to one another as we are. And actually, the chemistry read with Caitlin was also over. Yeah. So we find that we are able to establish chemistry over Zoom, and I think it also served her to also be on Zoom at that time, because that was the first in person auditions since COVID that we have all experienced. The only people in that room were Martin, Dean, and myself. And Martin and Dean were both double masked, not shaking any of the actresses that would come. Like, the infection rate was really high at that time, and this was even a gamble that we were willing to see actors in person. And just as we were out of practice, so were these other actresses. They were all out of practice, so we were all just freaking nervous. We weren't able to do. And then you have your two decision makers sitting there. All you could see are completely imperceptible. Just like, that was really good. I was nervous. I'm like, what if I suck? What if I don't put my best foot forward and I can't find Ben's song for them? I don't want to let them going. We were all going through a. Then, you know, Eliza shows up in a safe space. We're, ah, computers. Okay. We know this. We've been doing this for the past two, and when, you know, you know, and she was just clearly so Hannah. And she drops in like that. I think what's beautiful about actors and artists in general is that sort of vulnerability that we all carry, that we all think we could suck at any moment. We were always teetering on that line between egomaniac and complete loser, and some magic happens right in between there somewhere. And you kind of need both, too. You got to think you're the best. And then you got to also be like, man, I suck. To really rise to that occasion when you have to. But we saw vulnerability in her. We saw everything that we definitely saw Hannah, and we all fell in love with Eliza as everyone. It's just. It was pretty clear. [01:10:44] Speaker A: Yeah, I mean, as soon as you see her in the third episode of season, mean, at least for me, anyway. And then that music plays, and it's just. I'm in. [01:10:55] Speaker B: Yeah. [01:10:55] Speaker A: One of the things that I love, too, and you touched on this with the character driven story of season two, is that we got these incredible moments, especially between Ben and Addison early in the season and episodes three and four in particular. Episode four, another great guest star, right? And Tim Matheson and episode three as well, with mean. That's another thing where it's just sort of like, you guys had such great chemistry, and it's just like watching you and the sheriff, and it's just sort of like, this is awesome. But the story that was told with Ben and Addison, there were some incredibly emotional scenes with you and Caitlin and her scene in Lonely Hearts Club where you're on the sidewalk and she finally just says, I waited. I almost jumped into the accelerator. All that sort of stuff. She told me when I had her on the show a couple of months ago, that episode in particular was very difficult for her because she also realized that she kind of felt like she was saying goodbye to her friend by the end of it because she wasn't going to be the observer anymore. I would love to kind of get your point of view on that because, again, she said it was really hard. It was kind of sad. She didn't really like shooting that scene at the very end of the episode, for instance, where you guys say goodbye. What was it like for you? [01:12:09] Speaker B: Also the same, but I also understood that I just have a little bit more hours logged in terms of knowing that this is just like, it's not real. We can still go have lunch after. But what Caitlin's so incredible at is she sort of lives. She's method and she doesn't know it. And I think her also being so close to Addison and just in terms of their background and their occupation and what they've done before and how she's always had to be in service, I think she's working from a very honest place. And of course, you're saying goodbye to the person. I have the most hours logged with her out of any scene partner I've had in my whole life. Of course, to come to grips with this new reality that we're not going to be just spending actual physical time together is a bummer. But I knew that it was great for stories. So while I was sad to say goodbye or see you later, I was also thrilled at the prospect of knowing that she is developing her own entire arc like she is now getting to in the physical world, getting to be in love with somebody, break up with somebody, work with somebody, bring another person in. And almost now she is the number one in her own story there. And I'm like, I am so thrilled for you, Caitlin. This is amazing. And I know she saw it that way, too. But, yeah, we did have a wistful goodbye. I distinctly remember our holding was, like, on the other end of the soundstage, and we saw Tim Matheson doing his last scene before he was wrapped out, and it was just him in the car doing some inserts in the car. And Caitlin and I were just kind of in the dark, and we sort of looked at each other. We're like, going to miss you. I'm going to miss you, too. And again, it informs the work, and I think it all ties back into it. And, yeah, those scenes were difficult to shoot because our argument scene, we haven't ever had to speak to each other like that with that sort of intensity and sort of like, trying to hurt is an intention that both of us weren't used to doing with one another. And putting ourselves first was not something that we would do a lot with each other in that way emotionally. Right. So it was hard, but such is the nature of those scenes and the arc that it built, and look how incredibly deep the world got because of that. So I totally feel what Caitlin felt, too, but I also felt like, a little bit more of like. But this is like, this is so great for. [01:15:41] Speaker A: So you got to go to Egypt. What was that like? [01:15:48] Speaker B: I wish I could tell you. Whirlwind. Completely surreal, right? You don't expect, I mean, it's a bucket list destination as it stands alone. And then you add the added of being able to work at the foot of the sphinx, and you're like, this isn't real. This isn't real life. And you're just so grateful for everybody who was able to make that happen, for Dean, who essentially dreamt, that wrote that into existence, and then you go, whoa, this is what we're capable of doing. And here's a show that it makes sense. We're not law and order all of a sudden trying to bring somebody to justice in Cairo. We're there. And so it was one of those surreal moments where you go like, wow, this makes sense. It's not outrageous in the way that other shows might make it out to be. I love that we're able to do that. But also, it was four days of just go, go. And sort of the real show was on the other side of the camera. When you're watching trailer or first ad and Grismr and all the local crew just trying to wrangle all the civilians to be like, don't enter the shot, please. It doesn't make sense to them. This is the bazaar where they walk through every single day, and you're like, no, you just can't come this way. Why can't. My shop is right there. These are the things that I was lucky enough to all watch and be like, okay, this is amazing. Well, now we have to act. Okay, cool. Also, the added pressure of having to get the shot because now we have this tiny window where they actually were able to halt traffic. We got to get it. It was intense. I don't know that I got to enjoy Egypt, you know what I mean? But it did serve as an incredible location and backdrop for the story that we got to. [01:17:57] Speaker A: Yeah. I mean, just being there alone, I would imagine just. It definitely adds something. I could only imagine the feel, the vibe of that. [01:18:05] Speaker B: Yeah. And you just don't want to be dwarfed by it, too. Right? You know, the star in this shot is clearly the pyramid. The star in this shot is the sphinx. And I'm just kind of serving as decoration. But you got to also remember, like, okay, but you don't want to disappear into the background. You need to show up for that. And that's a different kind of thing to use the sphinx as your scene partner and what that might mean. So that was a challenge that I didn't anticipate. [01:18:35] Speaker A: That's really interesting. If we had more time, I would ask you more about that, but see it as we to. And I do want to ask you just a couple more questions. I'm going to skip to the end here, so to speak, because one of the things that's so mean against time, I said this to Drew. I said this to Chris Grismr. I think it's perfect. I really do. I just think it's perfect. And the story that gets told, and as we started this conversation, choosing empathy, choosing compassion, you know, over destruction, over hate is just such a magnificent thing to leave people with. Now, of course, on the fan side of thing and just being entertained. Right. We also got just some incredible stuff that we got to see through the course of this story and the payoff of so much of the arc that's been set up for the season and truthfully, the entire series, really. And I think that it's one of those things that Drew had hinted to me a number of times. He'd said, like, I'm telling you, you're going to want to go back and watch everything, not just this season, but last season, and then all the pieces kind of come together, and it's like, oh, yeah, I get it. So, for you, I know when you got the script that you'd put something on Instagram about how the writers were crazy. Drew had mentioned that you had sent him a message after you read it. What was it like getting that script and reading that for the first time? [01:20:04] Speaker B: I couldn't put it down. It was like, whoa, whoa. Okay. Whoa, whoa. And it's never stopped being whoa. Even now, I can't articulate that feeling of being so excited for something where, you know, there aren't so many certains in what we do, right. You rehearse for a play, and then you just hope it goes well. You hope at this moment, this joke lands, and then you just kind of hope for it. But I also have learned to just trust in all the pieces that were built, that this was all constructed in such a way where this episode would just really be incredible. And I knew that it was something that we didn't have to push or force or really do anything else with, because I remember I closed my laptop, and I was like, I need to text Drew, and then I need to text Martin. I need to text Dean. I need to text anybody who is involved in making this to let them know that I will do right by this. And it's not anything that I need to do extra of. Right, like, you've already built everything. Now I just have to go say those words. And I had never been more excited to shoot an episode in my life. And it's just know the whole team was there every the Martin and Dean were there. We had some of our other producers there every day, and it was like we were all watching this thing happen in real time. We were shooting the scenes, we were getting the coverages, and we're just like, oh, my gosh, Connor's so good. That was amazing. That's going to be so great. Oh, Judson, where'd you find. Know every component about that episode was like, we'd shoot it, and it's like James doing his scene, our scene together. Just his energy is so sporadic, and you don't know how he's going to respond. And the moment he comes out of the imaging chamber to see where he's at emotionally, everybody brought it, and I think everybody knew how special that script was. And it's the single best episode I've ever done in my life. Just best in the most general sense. And I'm so proud of it. And, yeah, I'm sorry, I can't find better words to articulate because we just watched it. We had a viewing party two days ago, and I am planning on watching it back again because I am a real fan of our show and I love watching our episodes, too. And it's one that I know that I have to set aside time for and just to watch as a fan because, yeah, as you mentioned, the tying up of all the story, know, bringing Susan back, bringing Georgina back, and it just felt so epic. Magic shows up. Epic. Like one liner. Boom. Hot one liners all over the place. I think a Jen getting shot and dying. I feel like there wasn't a moment wasted. There wasn't a scene wasted. Not to say that we've wasted scenes in the past, but it just felt very cinematic and I think it really showcased everything that we're really good at. And there was so much payoff. And like you mentioned, it's tying in season one with everything we've been establishing in season two. And it's a beautiful hour of television. [01:24:16] Speaker A: Yes, it is. And every one and everything that you just touched on is a part of that. And I love the fact that James is just so incredible as Gideon. That scene between the two of just. It's shakespearean. You know what mean, like, it's like, oh, my. Wyatt Parker, who plays mean. The scene between the two of you outside of the garage is heartbreaking. Time is a thief that know burned into my brain forever. [01:24:50] Speaker B: Now, Wyatt, I just have to say a special shout out to Wyatt because he's is good in a way where he has just great control of his instrument and he knows what the story needs and his ability to also talk about cool. He is a cool dude, and I think the experience shows for it. He knows what the scene is. He doesn't get flustered. And you ask him to give more, he'll give you more. And he knows how to get himself up to what this moment means. And he is such a bright future. [01:25:39] Speaker A: Yeah. It's so funny because Chris said almost exactly some of the same things that you just really about, you know, especially with being able to kind of take the direction do mean. [01:25:51] Speaker B: I watched it all happen. [01:25:52] Speaker A: I was like, right. [01:25:55] Speaker B: And then you gave more. Like, you put some extra on. Thank you. Okay, we're going. We're going. [01:26:02] Speaker A: You know, and even in the episode prior, as the world burns, when he reads the letter, it's one of those amazing moments where it's like he doesn't say a word. And literally, there are things happening between you and Hannah. Right? Eliza's doing her thing and everything, and he's just sitting there reading that letter, and it's just like, yeah, I love those moments in general, like seeing, acting between the lines, or in this case, just in silence. It's just like he is in it. He is absolutely 100% in it. Caitlin has a similar moment in the family treasure where you guys are in the caverns and the camera is just focused on her, and there's this conversation happening. Know, the three of you behind her, but it's on her, and she's just telling the whole story with her face, and it's just love. I love that stuff. So, I mean, you get to basically say goodbye to Hannah at the end, and it's such a beautiful scene, the lighting, Anna is just so wonderful doing that, and it looks incredible. And then, of course, you leap, and we get the amazing stuff back at HQ and Addison leaps. I just need to know what were you thinking during the filming of that little short bit where all of a sudden you're in Europe, World War II, you're standing there thinking all this stuff hasn't worked, and then you look over and see, like, what was that moment like for you? Because even talking about it, I'm just getting a little proclimped, and I'm thinking of the music. I'm thinking of everything. The way Caitlin looks like it's so perfect. [01:27:37] Speaker B: Yeah. It was one of those scenes where I was pretty nervous for, in the sense that I talked about how this script is so good. You just have to trust that all the pieces were built to support this story right in these moments and that the payoff is going to make sense and it's going to feel right. And this know, as far as the journey of Ben and Addison goes, the most important scene in this season, in my opinion, because we're seeing the culmination of the stories that we've both paved individually and now we're coming together. I was like, this has to be right, and it's impossible to know when you're doing it, if it feels right. Right, like you're there and it's something that you haven't done before and you know the reaction that it's going to get from everybody who's been following their journey, and you just want to get it right. And so it was an immense amount of pressure to get it right. And then at a certain point, I was like, I trust it. I trust everything that we've built. Just release into it and do whatever. Don't plan out anything. Of course, you know, you're moving from this mark to that mark, but whatever's going to happen between you two, just let it happen. And I remember our bodies colliding for the first time and us not knowing. It was way more awkward than what made it on the day because it was almost like, what is physical? You're real. [01:29:35] Speaker A: You're a real person. [01:29:36] Speaker B: I remember holding, trying to hold Caitlin's hand, and it was just like, what is? I don't even remember how we used to hold hands. And then it eventually evolved into something that was just more tender and lived in. And I wanted to make sure that it had that feeling of when our hands meet, that it feels precious and lived in and familiar and new. It's hard to do all that, and I just want to make sure it came out right. And I even had a hard time believing when Drew would run up with tears in his eyes. He's like, that was perfect. I'm like, dude, no way. Really? That was good. And I think that's what the scene actually really needed, this sort of feeling of being displaced in the best way and a mix of emotions where it's said, ben had just said bye to hannah just right before. And then here's Addison, and then, how do I play all of that? And the answer was, you don't have to play it. You're just going to feel it. Because also, Caitlin, as Addison, is bringing all of her history, and, yeah, I have to applaud Caitlin's work all throughout this season and the season before and how she's crafted Addison's journey. And, my God, did that scene feel. Yeah, and it was just gorgeously shot. Hats off to the background. The background were great. They were really running from danger, colliding into each. [01:31:31] Speaker A: Yeah, that's a great point, though, because seeing that makes it even more poignant when you and Addison run towards the fire. Right. Like, seeing these people scrambling behind you, running for their lives. Like, if that wasn't there, you guys running towards the fire wouldn't know. [01:31:47] Speaker B: Yes. [01:31:47] Speaker A: It would still be like they're running towards it, but instead, it's just, ah, they're running. [01:31:52] Speaker B: Yeah. And I'm so grateful for Grismr and Drew's direction there too, because initially, I think we were both playing it like, we got to go save this fire in a very dire way. But they were like, why don't you add a hint of, like, we're doing this together? Like, oh, shit. Hey, we're a superhero duo right now. This is going to be fun. And then to just add just that sparkle, even a smirk watching it, I was like, the music? [01:32:34] Speaker A: Absolutely. And I just want to, you know, I mean, I do this a lot, quite frankly, because I think she's fantastic. But I just want to give Caitlin her props, too, because everything that you said is so true. And the fact that there are so many times. And I think it's partly just knowing that this is, like, her first job, basically. Right. And so, you know, watching throughout season one, I would often make comments about, like, oh, it's so great to see this actor grow and just see her become more and more, and she's phenomenal, and she's doing this. And then there's that moment where we get the flashback to the very first episode where you're talking about quantum entanglement and seeing Caitlin's face. It was just sort of like, you dumbass. She's always had it. It's like, sure, everybody grows, everybody changes, but she had it then and now, and it's beautiful. One thing that I heard, I had the opportunity to get this from Drew, is that the final line when she says, don't let go. Okay. And you respond, I won't. That wasn't in the script. Where'd that come from? [01:33:37] Speaker B: Like I told you, I was just know. I stopped trying to control. That's. And that's exactly where Ben and Edison are. Right. They both were trying to control their own destinies, trying to control each other's relationship. And in this moment, they're finding themselves both helpless, in a sense, because we don't know what's going on. There's no holograms there. We have both no information. We're both helpless together and trying to control this in the way that we were almost wrestling with each other and being like, no, let me hold your hand. No, you hold my hand. No, let me embrace you. [01:34:19] Speaker A: No, wait. [01:34:20] Speaker B: Let me put you this way. There had to be a letting go process where it's like, if we fall into each other, the only way this would work is if we fell into each other and don't let go. I won't felt like just the theme of this entire two season arc and going back to the quantum entanglement of holding hands, that was a tight grasp. But immediately after Ben lets go. So I thought, without thinking, too, like, what a great theme to go back to. I love when things end at the beginning, we're embracing each other, telling each other we're not going to let go. And the possibilities of us letting go then presents itself again. When someone promises something. Those are the hardest things to uphold. Right? I guess I'm for the first time thinking about it now, but perhaps those are all the things that I felt in saying that also just a genuine response of not wanting to let go of this friend that I have been so missing and longing to see. [01:35:52] Speaker A: I love that. Is love infinite? We hear that a couple of times. This. [01:36:00] Speaker B: Yeah, yeah. Love is infinite in the way that home is up for interpretation. [01:36:09] Speaker A: Absolutely. Last question. As a community, when we lost Matt Dale, it had a big impact on me. I love him, miss him dearly. He was a great friend and somebody who serves as an inspiration and someone that I try to honor. And I had asked this question once before, I believe, to Eliza. Actually, she was the first person I'd asked it. But since Matt's passing, I've been making it a regular thing because it just feels right to do. And so I just want to know, in closing, what inspires you? [01:36:46] Speaker B: So many things, and it changes. It certainly changed when I had kids. When I had a kid, your priorities change, and therefore, what inspires you and what gets you up every morning changes, too. Currently, what gets me up every morning is trying to get to the gym before the kids wake up so I could take them to school. But that's the thing, right? I want to make sure I take them to school, and that's why I got to get it in on my time, because that's my most important thing, to make sure my kids grow up okay and that my family is taken care of, and it sort of feeds into the work that I'm interested in doing. That's not to say that I will always portray somebody with great values. That's not going to be the case, but I love that for this period in my life right now, when there is so much uncertainty and the world seems to be collapsing in on itself, that we can be a part of something that inspires hope. And I love the fact that I get to be some sort of a conduit for that currently. And it inspires me in a way where I am having to, at times, go outside of myself to become a better person for those around me. So right now, my kids are my inspiration. Their future is my inspiration. Me being a good father is a great inspiration for me. I have to be good. Me being a good husband and a good son, I can answer that question in so many different ways, too, right? Because creatively, what inspires me, too, but I think overall, I just want to be an inspiration for them in some kind of way. If I can control that. But, yeah, I guess that's what currently inspires me. [01:39:20] Speaker A: That's beautiful, and I can't thank you enough for that. And I just want to tell you that your work has inspired me for a while now. And I can definitely safely say after having this conversation, that you inspire me as well. And I really appreciate it. [01:39:38] Speaker B: Thank you. Absolutely. That's very warming. Thanks so much. [01:39:43] Speaker A: This has been a. It really has. And there's so much I never even got to. I wanted to ask know Theater World award, and I wanted to ask about one night in Koreatown, and there's so much more. So I can only hope, whether I have to beg, borrow, steal, whatever the case may be, that we get the chance to do this again sometime. [01:40:03] Speaker B: Don't say goodbye. See you later. I think this is a to be continued situation. I'm very optimistic. I think the journey of our show isn't over, which means our relationship is also not over. I'm very optimistic in knowing that those questions will be answered one day, and we'd have many more things to talk about with upcoming episodes, too. [01:40:38] Speaker A: That sounds fantastic and I would love that. And I feel the same way. As a total outsider, I'm optimistic, so I feel good about it and I can't wait for what's next. And so I will definitely say see you later. In the meantime, fellow travelers, thank you so much for joining. I hope you had a fraction of the amount of fun and insight that I got out of all of this, and I will definitely be back soon with more. But in the meantime, take care of yourselves. Take care of one another. Stay safe out there. And remember, unlike maybe Dr. Ben song, always, always leap responsibly.

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