Figures. I was about to play some Happy Jump on my phone after I finished my Turkey Hill ice cream when actress Megan Stevenson, who plays April Quinn on Get Shorty series, sent in her interview questions.
I forgive Megan though, because she's so upbeat and fun that she makes me smile!
Your character April Quinn on Get Shorty is a high powered studio exec who used to be Rick Romano's assistant. Tell us about your audition(s) and timeline from your audition to you getting the message that you got the part.
When I first got the audition I had the Katy sides [part of a script] but the casting director, Rachel Tenner, knew me very well (she had previously cast me in a Comedy Central show) so she switched me to the April sides and I just stood in the hallway trying not to panic and learned it!
A week later I got the callback with creator Davey Holmes and director Allen Coulter. That was crazy because we did it like five different times in the room, ranging in levels from very comedic to serious drama. I felt like I was in the room for 45 minutes.
After leaving, I got a call within two hours that I would be doing a chemistry read with Chris O'Dowd the next day, which was a Saturday (very rare to have Saturday auditions!). Then on Monday my reps told me I was testing and they were using the tape from the chemistry for Network and Studio and we would have an answer within a week. Three VERY nerve racking days later I was sitting in my dermatologist's office having my annual mole check appointment, totally naked other than the flattering paper smock they give, when I saw my phone light up with my agent's number – so started sweating immediately.
My dermatologist burned off some suspicious moles, I clothed myself, rushed out to the street and on a three-way call with my agent and manager they told me I got the role. I went into the elevator at the parking garage so I could properly freak out, and then called my mom to tell her first. :)
Did you have any concerns taking a role in a 10-episode original series that was previously a feature film (1995 starring John Travolta, Danny DeVito, Gene Hackman and Rene Russo). Did you and other actors or production people do any comparisons to the movie or the book?
I really didn't. I was mostly just excited to jump in and get to work. I was a big fan of the 1995 movie but I took this show as its own thing and really never compared it. Both the movie and this series were inspired by Elmore Leonard's book, but having different writers and directors involved on each, I knew the series would be unique and have its own interpretation. The show is more dark and gritty than the movie and being an hour long series, the tone is a bit slower. I feel like Davey (Holmes, creator) has really channeled Elmore Leonard in the writing of this show and loved having the Get Shorty world coming to life again.
You moved to NY, and after booking your first pilot, high-tailed it over to LA. What made you feel that it was the right time to relocate? Did the move meet your expectations?
That was a hard decision because I had been living in NY for seven years and was officially "sucked in" to the grind of living there. I moved there when I was 18 so I went through those pivotal early 20 years in the city and sort of found out who I really was, so I had a nostalgia for the city. I met with a manager when I was shooting the pilot in LA and really connected with him and wanted to work with him. He convinced me that I needed to be in LA because all the shows I was going out for at the time were shooting in LA and it would serve me better to be in the room versus being put on tape from NY. So, I made the decision to move within an hour of leaving that meeting and didn't think twice about it (for fear that I would change my mind.) It was definitely an adjustment moving here, but I already had some really good friends from the pilot who helped me find a place to live, etc. and my dog was super happy because we could go to the beach and go hiking... so the move did meet my expectations. I grew up in San Diego, so I'm a southern California girl at heart. :)
If money was no object, what would you focus your life on?
Oh great question! Mine would be rescuing animals. I would go around the world and help to set up rescues and rehabs in places that need them most. Offer free spay and neuter if there's a serious stray dog and cat problem so the population could be controlled. Help to get every single dog, horse, cat, etc off the streets and into a place where they could be taken care of. I would pay everyone who works at the rescues and shelters very good money, since most are unpaid volunteers. I know plenty of people who dedicate their life to just this and they're my adult version of superheroes.
What are your thoughts on gas-powered cars vs. electric powered cars, such as the Tesla.
Well obviously from an ecological point of view, electric powered cars are the way to go. If I'm being honest, I always wonder how they don't run out of charge easier and what do you do if you aren't near a plug in? Obviously I need to do more research on them. I also despise getting gas so that gives the electric powered cars another plus from me. I'm just not quite ready for the price point of the Tesla, even though that's my favorite design. What a predicament!
Ever get into a fight in school?
Yes! Verbal fights. Ironically they were with my best friend, Lindsay. We had weekly fights where we would swear off our friendship, go days without speaking, get as many of the other friends to side with us as we could, and glare at each other during class. It was always over something petty and jealously related. We were never suspended but our parents were called and had to have many meetings with the principal about our constant "quarrels". Girls can be vicious to one another. The good thing is we always made up and were friends for a very long time. We were both very strong personalities so it made sense that it was an on-going thing.
Did you have any pets as a child? Name every single one and talk about their personalities.
Oh wow, brace yourself as this one will be long!
Buffy & T.W. (aka Tee Tee) were my mom's first pets that she got as a single girl in her 20's and they both lived well into their 20's. We had a special song to sing to T.W. that went "double her pleasure, double her fun, T double T double T double mint gum." [ https://youtu.be/SAcO19aS7Po ]
Buffy was too sophisticated and didn't want her own song.
Little Baby, the sweetest runt of a cat, she was grey and white and loved getting her belly rubbed and chased balls like a dog. She died very early from organ failure and it was devastating.
Patches, my sister's first cat. Orange, tan and white and adored my sister.
Lucky Shadow, whom I found wandering the street alone when I was riding bikes with my friends so clearly I brought him home. He was black with green eyes and I dressed him up in my dolls outfits. He was the first pet that I was solely responsible for. He lived to be over 20 and I still miss him. I would take him on walks with a leash. So strange.
Rodney was our chow that we found living on the streets. We think he had been abused because he wasn't in good shape when we first found him. He turned into the sweetest, most happy boy. He would come cradle his head in your lap to give you love. I would bring him to Show and Tell at my elementary school and tell the class that he was my miniature pet horse.
Skier was our American Eskimo that my parents got for my brother after he had to have surgery as a child. Skier was the happiest boy. He loved going on family trips to Sun Valley with us and running in the snow.
Chrissy, adorable white fluffy dog that we got from the shelter. A dainty, beautiful little soul.
Rodents and other small animals:
Mickey and Snickers were my chinchillas. They lived in a big cage in my bedroom. I would let them run around my room. They liked to hide behind the dresser and chew on things they weren't allowed to chew on.
Willy was my brother's rat and he was BY FAR the favorite pet. He was so sweet and would give you little kisses. He would crawl into your shirt and just peek his head out of the neck hole. He was very clean and kept his cage spick and span. When he was really old, we knew he was going to die soon but we had to leave for a week, and I swear that little rat held on while we were away just so he could see my brother one last time because he died in my brother's arms on the day we got back.
Browny, Pinky, Mama and Papa were our guinea pigs. The only problem here was, they all kept having babies. We would put them in cages with each other thinking they were the same sex but would come home from vacation with fave new baby guinea pigs! At one point we had "guinea pig apartments" and found good homes for all the babies once they were old enough to go off on their own.Whew! I think that's it. Believe it or not those were just the pets from childhood, ha! I bet you're regretting asking me this question now, aren't you? [Yep, sure am! :) ]
Who was your first celebrity crush?
Hands down Leonardo DiCaprio... and he still is!
At what point in your life did you connect with acting, or was it just the stage performance that attracted you?
Around 11years old I became obsessed with watching I Love Lucy, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls. I owe all the credit to those female comedic geniuses and to my mom for watching the shows on repeat and getting me hooked. I wanted to jump into the TV screen and do what Lucille Ball was doing. I still watch the show and have the same urge to jump into the screen.
Anything else you'd like to say?
I'm a huge animal advocate so my biggest shout out would be to please consider adopting an animal from a shelter or rescue instead of buying one. And these are the top five rescues / non-profits that I'm extremely passionate about:
Animal Hope & Wellness Foundation. Founder Marc Ching is fighting to end the Asian Dog Meat Trade. animalhopeandwellness.org IG: @animalhopeandwellness
The Beagle Freedom Project: They rescue laboratory animals (Beagles) and are working to end all animal testing. IG: @beaglefreedom
Marleys Mutts Dog Rescue. They match death row dogs with inmates inside California State Prisons and over a 14week rehab course both the man and the mutt gain skills to better their lives and stay out of prisons / shelters - respectively. The goal is to reduce inmate recidivism [the tendency of a convicted criminal to reoffend] by providing them a viable skill, while at the same time saving the dogs lives. IG: @marleysmutts
National Mill Dog Rescue and The Puppy Mill Project They rescue, rehabilitate and re-home retired commercial breeding dogs from puppy mills and are working to end puppy mills. IG: @nationalmilldogrescue and @puppymillproject