Sappleby.com’s 10 Years Special – Q&A
It was February 28th 2004 when we first launched Sappleby.com and we never could have predicted the success the following ten years would bring. Since then, we have proudly grown into the leading fan resource for reliable and respectful news.
To celebrate this milestone, we are pleased to share a new Q&A and hope you will enjoy reading it. We were extremely excited when Shiri Appleby, agreed to answer our questions about her past projects and even share her personal experience of a successful work-life-balance.
Katrin: First of all I’d like to congratulate you on your newest family member! You gave birth to a wonderful daughter, Natalie. Amazingly, this has not stopped you working consistently on new projects such as NBC’s “Chicago Fire” or HBO’s critically-acclaimed “Girls”, not to mention your latest movie “Kristin’s Christmas Past”. How do you manage to balance work and family life and how do you handle those stressful situations?
Shiri: Thanks so much for saying that. I’m lucky that I have a very supportive partner, that my parents live nearby and that we have a wonderful nanny for Natalie. Everyone does their part to make sure she is taken care of when I’m not around. Honestly, I don’t know what it’s like not to work and the times that I’m not working are the hardest for me because I’m constantly worrying about my career. When I’m on set and engaged in the work I’m doing, I’m the best version of myself and now that I have a family of my own, my life feels very full, which is the way I like it.
On days that I’m not with Natalie I feel guilty but I also try to remind myself that I’m providing her an image of a career woman so she can see what that looks and feels like. Not that being a stay at home mom is easy – quite the opposite!! Sometimes going to work feels like time off because of how demanding and challenging full time mommy work can be.
I try really hard to carve out time for myself, and my relationship. I’m having to learn a new way of being now that I am a partner and a mother. My days are not nearly as indulgent as they used to be. It’s constantly about change and learning to be flexible and hoping that I’m doing right by all of us. And when all else fails, I pray.
Lena: Following your posts on Facebook and Twitter, it is clear that you have a passion for reading. By the way, we miss your regular book recommendations! Have you ever read a book and fallen immediately in love with one of the characters and thought that she would represent the perfect role for you in a movie adaption of the story?
Shiri: I absolutely loved the Natalie Wood biography, Natasha: The Biography of Natalie Wood. I would really enjoy the opportunity to bring her life to the screen. We share a lot of similar experiences growing up in the business and I feel connected to her pain.
Katrin: In November 2012, I was thrilled to watch your mini Roswell re-union with Colin Hanks for the Yahoo sketch “Got the Check?” You got to sit in the director’s chair for this short movie, how was that experience? How would you describe your directing style and what ideas, techniques and experiences did you draw on from other directors that you have worked with during your career?
Shiri: I am completely drawn to directing and hope to do more of it. I loved working with Colin again. It had been years since we had last been on set together and he is a wonderful actor, comedienne and friend.
When I am directing, visually I know exactly what I want. I have a complete shot list and am able to see the piece in my head. I like to create an environment where the actors can be as loose and free as possible. Since we shoot digitally, I’ll leave the camera on and do as many runs as possible. This helps to get the actors out of their head and more focused on doing because they lose control a bit.
Since I am just beginning to cross over, I depend on the advice of the people I am working with. I like to hear my DP’s suggestions and take the best ideas and incorporate them into my plan. You never know where good ideas come from. It is important to establish a creative environment where everyone enjoys collaborating. As an actor, that’s when I’ve given the best performances and what I hope to create in my directing adventures.
Lena: I am also very curious to know how Colin Hanks got involved in the project, which was also written by your “Dating Rules” co-star Alison Becker?
Shiri: I reached out to Colin to see if he would be interested and I was very lucky that he was open to working with me on the other side of the camera. He really made that short and role come alive and it reminded me of the time we spent laughing during the Roswell years.
Katrin: Often short films are the combination of the passion of the director and writer, and filmed with a small crew and an even smaller cast. You worked behind the camera for “Got the Check?” and just starred in the short movie “Seven Minutes to Save the World”. From those experiences, do you feel that working on close knit productions allows for a stronger collaboration between filmmakers and actors?
Shiri: I’m not sure that the size of a project is what determines how close the collaboration between filmmaker and actor is. My feeling is that a want needs to be there from both people and if it is, the creative collaboration will exist. I have seen it on the biggest projects I have worked on and also the smallest. I have seen people going through the motions on big and same projects alike; I really think it all boils down to personal passion, the thrill of collaboration that cannot be forced and a genuine excitement for the process of filmmaking.
Finally, we have one question submitted from Crashdown.com that we could not resist asking:
Crashdown.Com: A few months ago, about 55,500 people donated $3.6 million to the Kickstarter campaign for a “Veronica Mars” movie, based on the cult TV series of the same name. With the success of this crowd sourced project many Roswell fans have felt the desire to follow the same path and attempt to bring the show back as a movie. For all Roswellians out there, we need to ask if you would you be interested in seeing a similar campaign for Roswell and in addition, what would fans need to do to make a movie possible?
Shiri: Honestly, I had the same reaction that the fans had to the Veronica Mars campaign. How could I not? What they achieved was inspiring. I began to wonder if a Roswell movie was possible and asked some people I worked with what they thought it would take to make it a reality.
I know Jason Katims involvement would be incredibly helpful to getting the project off the ground. I haven’t reached out to him as I know he is busy with 2 television shows and his family but if he was interested in continuing the story that would definitely help matters as he is the genuine voice of the show. After that, getting 20th Century interested in the idea would be core since I believe they have the rights to the series – I’m not quite sure about the book and how any of that really works… as of yet.
I have put some documents together that can show everyone’s passion for the show even all these years later and it’s as thrilling as ever. Do I think a movie is impossible? No. Do I know the best way to go about it? No. It would be a process, that I know for sure.
Date: February 28th, 2014