Friday, June 12, 2009

Interview w/ Chelsea Hobbs + Ayla Kell (Contest)

Make it or Break It premieres on ABC Family June 22nd at 9/8c

Transcript interview with Chelsea Hobbs and Ayla Kell from the show (my questions are in bold further down)

Reminder: If you read this interview and leave a comment, you get ONE extra entry into the ABC Family Prize Pack Giveaway (ends June 22). If you haven't already entered, be sure too!

Moderator We have our first question from the line of Jamie Steinberg of Starry Constellation.

J. Steinberg Hello, everyone. Thanks for speaking with us today.

C. Hobbs Of course.

A. Kell Hello.
J. Steinberg Chelsea, I was wondering what made you want to be a part of the show.

C. Hobbs Well, I think that it was just a very exciting opportunity based on the fact that Olympics is – the Olympics just passed and gymnastics is something that’s always been so popular, and it’s never been done before. There’s never been a one-hour drama based on the world of competitive gymnastics, so just the whole perspective of that was very, very exciting to me, and fresh and new.

J. Steinberg Ayla, what have you found challenging about your role?

A. Kell I found it very challenging to – for Payson Keeler, she’s finding everything out all over again. She’s never been in that experience, and I get to go back to one and learn about the world all over again, which is fun and challenging in that aspect.

Moderator Next we’ll go to the line of Jamie Ruby with Media Boulevard.

J. Ruby Thanks for answering our questions.

C. Hobbs Sure.

J. Ruby This is for both of you. What got you started in acting in the first place?

C. Hobbs I started acting when I was eight years old. My parents were actually divorced, and my mom put me in it as a creative outlet, so I’ve been doing this since then.

A. Kell I did dance forever, and while dancing, I saw that they were looking for a little boy in an opera. I went to the opera, and that, it just clicked for me, and I’ve been doing it ever since.

J. Ruby You both, from what I’ve read, have done a lot of dancing. Does that help you in these roles?

C. Hobbs Yes.

J. Ruby Or gymnastics?

C. Hobbs Yes.

A. Kell It definitely helps a lot, but there’s so much difference in the posture and the way the arms are that our coach is really on us both.

C. Hobbs But it’s also good just because I think we’re both really aware of our bodies, which is something that’s important, I think, if you’re playing any type of athlete, so it gave us a little bit of an edge, but it’s differently apples and oranges, I think.

A. Kell Yes, I definitely agree with that.

J. Ruby Thank you very much.

Moderator We’ll go to the line of Sarah Fulghum of

S. Sulghum Thanks for talking with me today.

A. Kell Of course.

S. Fulghum For both of you, how do your characters interact? Are they friendly, mean, competitive?

C. Hobbs Ayla, you want to go ahead?

A. Kell Yes, sure. Pretty much I’m kind of indifferent to her, to be entirely honest, because I’m so focused on gymnastics and what I’m doing. There’s so much stuff going on with her, and I really just want to train, but I’m supportive in her getting her opportunity to compete and be a part of the gym, unlike some other people.

C. Hobbs But Ayla is also one of the only people that is warm to me upon my arrival, so I think that our relationship has a lot of growth ahead.

A. Kell Yes.

C. Hobbs I hope so. Yes.

A. Kell Definitely.

S. Fulghum Ayla, how is it working with Peri Gilpin?

A. Kell She’s fantastic. She’s really inspirational, and what I love is that she’s willing to work with anything, and she asks you what you feel about the scene, and it takes you a second, like when I first found out that Peri Gilpin was playing my mother, I was almost like a little sick, I was so excited, and it was just fantastic, and now I see her every day in hair and makeup, and it’s still astonishing that somebody who I watched on TV for such a long time is now playing one of my family members.

S. Fulghum Yes, that is really exciting.

A. Kell Isn’t it? It’s so cool.

S. Fulghum I know. I’m so excited to see her on another series.

A. Kell Yes, and she’s so funny in everything she does.

S. Sulghum Absolutely. For both of you, do either of you experience body image pressure playing gymnasts, you know, with the little costumes and everything?

C. Hobbs You know, yes, it naturally comes with the territory, but it’s also great because we have a lot of gymnasts on set, real live gymnasts on set all the time, and you see that every single one of them has different shapes, but they all work out and have a great amount of muscle mass. Some of them are bigger than others, and they’re just solid muscle. And so, you know, it’s nice to see girls that are healthy at least. It’s not something – if anything, we want to be bigger, not smaller, so yes.

A. Kell When you’re hanging out with people who work out all day, it really just makes you want to work out. It’s not even about what you’re eating when it comes down to it. It’s really about the healthy, strong, feminine shapes that they have in spandex.

C. Hobbs Agreed.

Moderator Next we’ll go to the line of Lauren Becker with Shooting Stars magazine.

L. Becker It’s nice to talk to you.

C. Hobbs Hello.

A. Kell Thank you.

L. Becker Well, my first question, it’s for both of you, and I know it’s a little confusing, so if it helps any, I guess, like Chelsea can go, and then Ayla because, yes, just trying to help out. But my first question was, I know you both danced, but for gymnastics, how much training did you have to do before, and was it really difficult? Do you have to actually do a certain gymnastics, or is it more just like--?

C. Hobbs Well, before the pilot, we had virtually hardly any time at all. I was cast last, so for me it was just a couple of days, so it was a lot of watching videos and trying to pick their brains, all the gymnasts, as much as possible. And then they gave us actually about two or three months after we found out the show was going to series, so we had quite a bit of time to do training. And I guess it’s more about looking like a gymnast and walking and acting like a gymnast.

And we also have been doing a lot of strength training. We’ve been doing beam and learning how to, you know, jump on the bars, so we have been – we’re slowly learning more and more every day, but we still do have gymnast doubles.

A. Kell We do what gymnasts do as conditioning.
C. Hobbs Yes.

A. Kell It is what it is. I’m not all of a sudden doing triple back flips, but I can pull myself up on a bar. Chelsea has got some awesome pull-ups, but it’s that kind of stuff that really helps us understand what we’re doing.

L. Becker Right. Definitely. I was just wondering. Well, my last question was, I know for the past Olympics, gymnastics kind of became the sport that everyone paid attention to because of Shawn Johnson and other people, and I was just wondering if you look to any actual gymnasts for inspiration or if you look back on things that they’d done just to kind of get in the mindset of your characters.

C. Hobbs Our gymnastics coach actually – our coordinator, she sent us a lot of videos, like YouTube videos and several past Olympians and other gymnasts to watch, and we actually had Nastia Liukin come to set, so she’s one that I know we all were like very gobsmacked to meet. We were all very star struck, and we definitely look up to her and Shawn Johnson and all those girls.

A. Kell Yes, and when – it was just something we all watched and every event, and we knew all of the people. When this came around, and Carolyn was saying do you remember when – our trainer was saying, do you remember when this person did beam? And it’s just pulling from the experience we got to see from the Olympics and meeting Nastia Liukin, the best day of my life, and things like that.

L. Beker Thanks.

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Traci Grant with

T. Grant Thanks for being here today. The question that I wanted to know is kind of about the show. Who do you think will be the show’s prime audience? Who will it appeal to?

C. Hobbs I think that – I don’t know. It’s interesting because you have your Greek and Secret Life of the American Teenager age range that is an obvious, but we also have a great adult cast, and I’m really interested to see how that plays because I think that I know my parents are excited to see Peri, and there’s a Full House star.
A. Kell Susan.

C. Hobbs Yes, and Susan Ward, so we have a lot of great people that would bring in an older audience as well, I think. Ayla?

A. Kell I definitely agree with that, and because anybody who puts their child into something that takes up so much time, whether it be soccer, ballet like my family went through, anything down to being a huge math star, your family sacrifices so much to get you to where you need to be, to the financial strains, to the cost for equipment. Everything takes a toll on the family, and it really shows the families who are hurting, like Chelsea’s family really feels a struggle. My family being Middle America really feels the struggle. And I think it appeals to anyone who has had a kid at a high level sport.

T. Grant Definitely. Thank you guys so much.

C. Hobbs Thank you.

A. Kell Thanks.

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Roger Newcomb with

R. Newcomb Thanks. Thanks, you guys, for being here. For both of you, do your characters compare to characters you’ve played in the past, and have you ever played athletes before?

C. Hobbs I’ve played a dancer a few times. Definitely not anything like this. My character, as far as Emily goes, she’s similar to other characters I’ve played, but definitely I’ve never played anyone quite like Emily. She’s got a lot of depth to her and a lot of history, a lot of issues. So it’ll be interesting to see that all play out, for sure.

A. Kell I did professional dance for a long time, and I usually get characters who do something athletic, but it’s usually not this involved, not this much of the character. And when it comes to other character traits, I haven’t really played somebody who is so one focus and really sees nothing else, so it’s really exciting getting to divulge into that and figure out all the little nuances.

R. Newcomb Great. Chelsea, the readers on my blog are really big Susan Ward fans from her daytime soap days, and what’s it like working with her, and how is that mother/daughter relationship playing out?

C. Hobbs Susan is awesome. I am in love with Susan. We all think she’s just so hilarious. She’s got such a great sense of humor. The set is so colorful when she’s on it, and it’s funny because, as much as we have a great banter and there’s something about Susan. We really work well together, but she’s also able to look me in the eyes, and we both can start crying. Like, there’s something about her that is just so magnetic, and she’s just such a talented actress. I learn from her every single time I work from her.

R. Newcomb Great. Thank you both so much.

A. Kell Thank you.

C. Hobbs Thank you.

Moderator Our next question comes from the line of Elizabeth Gilbert with Pink Lemonade online magazine.

E. Gilbert Hello, ladies. Thanks for taking my call. I was just curious. I have a little one right now who is competing at the tops gymnastics level, and she’s just gobsmacked by watching everybody do all this. Do you have stunt people doing your tricks, or are you doing just low level stuff on your own?

A. Kell We have some fantastic people doing our huge, huge tricks, but I know for myself, I do all of my own dance stuff, and I can do some awesome walking on the beam, and we do smaller scale things, and then we have fantastic, fantastic people who do the really, really impressive stuff.

E. Gilbert Awesome. Thank you.

A. Kell Thank you.

Moderator Your next question comes from the line of Jamie Ruby with Media Boulevard.

J. Ruby What is your favorite part working on the show, both of you?

C. Hobbs I just think learning something new and being able to have an appreciation for, I mean, really what these people do. It’s just so exciting to put your head into a whole new world, and really get really close to that and, yes, learn something new every day. It’s so exciting.

A. Kell I totally concur with that, and I do love the people I work with. They make going to work so much fun, and the fact that we all go to that other place in a second is just, it’s so fascinating to me that that’s work.

C. Hobbs I agree.

J. Ruby Can you tell us? I know we haven’t seen it yet, but can you tell us one of your favorite scenes that you filmed or something that’s happened?

C. Hobbs Without giving any of the plot line away?

J. Ruby Yes.

A. Kell I don’t know.

C. Hobbs Without giving anything away, it’s really hard.
A. Kell I know.

C. Hobbs I would have to say the competition stuff is really fun because we get to sit on set all day and just watch Olympians do what they do, so that doesn’t hurt for sure. It’s always fun to do the competition stuff.

A. Kell Yes, I would have to agree. The competition days are the best because you get people like Tasha Schwikert and Steve McCain and just a huge long list of fantastic people who are just like walking around on their hands and stuff. It’s fantastic.

J. Ruby Great. Thank you very much.

A. Kell Thank you.

Moderator We’ll go back to the line of Sarah Fulghum with

S. Fulghum Hello again. I was wondering, have there been any injuries on set?

C. Hobbs I’ve like torn my palm open doing the bars. That’s like the extent of my injury. But we do, we all get little things here and there just from obviously doing things that we’re not used to doing. But I don’t know. Ayla, has there been anything major? I’m trying to think.

A. Kell I dislocated my knee a couple of years ago, and it just random things or sometimes pain, but I don’t think we’ve had any terrible, awful things happen.

C. Hobbs They’re all professionals, so—

A. Kell Yes.

S. Fulghum Let’s hope it stays safe, right.

C. Hobbs That’s why we’re not … yes.

A. Kell Yes, definitely. Please. Chelsea, you sounded like you were calling into a doctor.

C. Hobbs What’s that?

A. Kell You sounded like you were calling into a doctor. I’ve torn my hand.
C. Hobbs Thanks.

Moderator We have a question from the line of Lisa Hiser with Shine On Media.

L. Hiser Thanks so much for talking with us. The first question is, since the show is new and people haven’t seen it, how would you describe it for the new audience?

C. Hobbs I guess I would describe it as a one-hour drama that takes place in the world of competitive gymnastics because it has everything else that all these dramas have, but it’s all based around this athletic component, which is really interesting and definitely changes all the motives and goals of every character on the show, so it’s definitely different. Yes, that’s probably the best way I could explain it.

A. Kell And the sacrifice that everyone around them has to go through.

C. Hobbs Yes. Of course, yes.

L. Hiser Are you all anything like your characters?

C. Hobbs I think that you have to have a little bit of yourself in there. You know, I definitely can relate to Emily, maybe when I was a little bit younger. She’s coming into a new place, and the insecurities that come with that, and the toll it’s putting on her and her family, I can definitely relate to, yes, a lot of that.

A. Kell I totally relate to Payson Keeler entirely. She sees one thing in her mind, and that’s gymnastics, and I know when I was dancing, there was nothing else for me at all, that I woke up, and I stretched my feet. And now for Payson Keeler, she wakes up and just goes straight to the gym. So I agree with Chelsea in that you have to have some similarities, or you bring some of yourself to your character somehow.

L. Hiser And sometimes sports shows and sports movies don’t, like to the actual sports people don’t realistically portray them. Do you think your show does a really good job of portraying gymnastics?

A. Kell Yes. All of our gymnasts are constantly saying this is what happened. That’s the actual name. These are the kinds of tricks that would be happening, so yes. I’m very proud to say yes.

C. Hobbs I also think that we also have the gymnasts consulting with the writers, which is something that’s really important. They’ll go up to the director, the writer, and tell them if something is off or if something is not right, as opposed to just sitting back. They’ve really given them an active part in the show because it’s really important for them that it’s as accurate as it can possibly be on a show.

A. Kell Yes.

L. Hiser Do you have a favorite gymnastic event?

A. Kell Floor, definitely floor.

C. Hobbs Yes, floor and beam.

L. Hiser The show kind of marks Candice Cameron Bure’s return…. What was it like working with her?

A. Kell She’s fantastic. She’s really, really great. She is so sweet and so fantastic, and really comes in and does her work. I remember the first time we all met her. We all were so star struck.
C. Hobbs We couldn’t pick our jaws up off the floor. We all grew up watching Full House.

L. Hiser Lastly, what’s the best advice you would have for upcoming actors?

C. Hobbs I think that the mistake that a lot of actors make is they don’t – they’re not themselves. They put too much on it. They forget when they walk into an audition room or something that when you walk in the room, the casting director wants you to be the right person, and they forget to just be themselves. They’re trying to be what they think the casting director or producers or directors want them to be, and I think that that’s a really important thing to remember is bring as much of yourself and take risks.

A. Kell And you have to remember that auditions are a huge part of the process, and if you aren’t doing your best on auditions, and if you’re not trying your best on auditions, you’re setting yourself up. It’s work at all times. Even if you aren’t getting paid, it’s work.

L. Hiser Thank you so much.

C. Hobbs Thanks.
Moderator Next we’ll go to the line of Jamie Ruby with Media Boulevard.

J. Ruby What’s the hardest part of working on the show for both of you?

C. Hobbs I think that we do feel a lot of pressure to make sure that everything is very accurate. It is important to all of us, so I know for me personally, I’m naturally slight in frame, and it’s something that I work really hard at every day making sure that I have the muscle mass to pull it off, and you know it is a lot of pressure to really make sure that you’re doing gymnastics justice, so we all are working really hard at that.

A. Kell Yes, and on that level, I’m naturally curvy, and I have to be aware that it has to stay muscle since I’m in spandex every day, so the accuracy pressures and, I mean, when you’re doing a show, it’s stressful no matter what. And then doing a show about something so specific and something is such a top elite class know so much about, you have to really, really step it up.

C. Hobbs Agreed.

A. Kell You have to Make It or Break It.

J. Ruby Are there any guest stars we should be watching out for this season?

A. Kell Are we allowed to say…?

C. Hobbs Well, I think, I mean, Katherine, are we allowed to say Kelly Parker, who is playing Kelly Parker?

C. Graves Yes, you can do that.

C. Hobbs What’s her name again?

C. Graves Nicole.

C. Hobbs What’s her last name?

C. Graves Anderson.

C. Hobbs That’s right.

A. Kell Yes.

C. Hobbs I’m so bad. Nicole Anderson from the Jonas Brothers. She’s going to be on a few episodes.

A. Kell Yes, and she was really sweet.

C. Hobbs Yes, she’s really sweet, and that's all we’re saying.

A. Kell Yes, can’t say any more.

J. Ruby That's okay. Thank you.

Moderator We’ll go to the line of Michael Goldberg with We Love Soaps.

M. Goldberg Yes. Thank you for taking our question today. I really appreciate it.

C. Hobbs Yes, of course.

M. Goldberg This is for Chelsea and Ayla. What is it like working with Joanna Johnson? I know she’s an executive, co-executive producer with the show, and our fans really loved her from her days on The Bold and the Beautiful.

A. Kell She’s really, really great, and she is very interactive with her writing, which is so nice because if she’s shooting for something in her head, and she wants to tweak it just a little bit, she still talks to you in actor terms, which makes life so easy, and she’s just so wonderful.

C. Hobbs And she’s hilarious.

A. Kell She is hilarious.

M. Goldberg Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

C. Hobbs Of course.


cupcakewitch said...

Great question! Looks like this was a fun interview!

Summer said...

Good questions. I'll def be checking out this show. ABC family shows for me are so hit or miss. Mostly miss! But I watch out for them anyway.

Erica said...

I can't wait til the show comes out! My tivo's already set to record it!

Kate said...

This was such a great interview. I loved it :D

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Kate: Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed reading.

Erica: Wow, you are all set. I hope you enjoy it then!!

Summer: True, it's always good to try out the new never know. Thanks for the comments about the interview!

cupcakewitch: Thank you, and yeah, it was pretty fun. :)


Ann Diana Dinh, said...

I saw this on ABC once and it looks really good!

Erin said...

Wow, I'd never heard of this show before, but it sounds really interesting. I'll have to check it out!

Paradox said...

I hadn't heard of this show until now. I'll have to check it out!

Polo.Pony said...

I'm really excited to watch this show, it looks neat! And I am a gymnastics fan and have actually been in gymnastics so I'm really excited!

*Samantha* said...

I can't wait to at least check this show out. Gymnastics have never really been a major interest to me, but I am still going to give this show a shot, it looks interesting.
I love interviews like this, so informative, and it makes me want to watch the show more! Nice questions!

Leslie Taylor said...

i cant wait for this show enter me in please please

Timothy Sternberg said...

I cant wait for this show enter me please.

eums [: said...

"Well, before the pilot, we had virtually hardly any time at all. I was cast last, so for me it was just a couple of days, so it was a lot of watching videos and trying to pick their brains, all the gymnasts, as much as possible."

awh ... that's sorta sad .. but i'm glad they had two/three more months!
this new show sounds interesting .. i'll probably have to watch episodes on youtube since i don't have cable, and no cable = no ABC Family. ):

Thanks for posting this. You "opened my eyes" to another show I'll probably get addicted to ;)

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The chap is completely right, and there's no skepticism.