FELICITY at ATX: Live-Blog - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

FELICITY at ATX: Live-Blog

June 10, 2018 by  

Felicity at ATX

Felicity at ATX. Credit: ATX Festival

FELICITY is celebrating its 20th anniversary this fall, and the cast is reuniting at ATX to honor the series. Follow along with the live-blog as stars Keri Russell, Scott Speedman, Scott Foley, Tangi Miller, Amanda Foreman, Ian Gomez, Greg Grunberg, Rob Benedict, and Amy Jo Johnson, plus director Lawrence Trilling discuss the series.

12:06: The panel starts with a retrospective video showcasing the series. (Set to the theme song, naturally.)

12:10: Moderator Lennon Parham brings out the cast, and notes they were all really happy to see each other on the plane yesterday. “A lot of us who were on that flight yesterday haven’t seen each other in 20 years,” Foley says.

“We did all get along, but we were all so young,” Russell says, noting they were friends in real life. “There was no drama on the set,” Johnson adds.

12:13: “I begged and pleaded to be on the show, and [creators] J.J. [Abrams] and Matt [Reeves] were my best friends,” Grunberg says. He joked they couldn’t do it without them.

Grunberg started as a guest star, and he remembers his first day, he came in with the wrong tone. “J.J. comes to me and says, ‘You’re on another show,'” Grunberg recalls.

12:14: Trilling recalls that Abrams and Reeves’ offices were next to each other. Reeves’ had a sign that said “Make it emotional” and Abrams had one that said “Make it funny.”

12:17: “Richard cared about Noel,” Benedict jokes. “I don’t think Noel really cared or needed him in his life.” Foley recalls Benedict’s reading of “I’m going to report your ASS” made him realize that Benedict would be sticking around beyond his guest spot.

12:19: “I think the next big one, I tend to be very nervous, and I got really nervous and choked,” Russell recalls of her audition. “I remember J.J. and Matt pulled me aside…J.J. was like, ‘What’s going on?! You have to pull yourself together!’ But they made me laugh.”

12:20: Foley was originally cast as Ben. “I think they liked this guy as Ben better,” Foley says, pointing to Speedman. “Nobody could have played Ben Covington better than Scott Speedman.”

12:21: “On television, they really try to write to you,” Speedman says. He says at the time, he was a lot like Ben.

12:23: Parham asks how the cast knows how to draw the line to not be too vulnerable. “I don’t think you do,” Foley says. “I think you go and you’re vulnerable. If you draw that line, you’re not doing the job…if you’re afraid of showing too much of yourself, go back to acting class and figure it out.”

12:25: “I remember I was crying my head off one take,” Foreman says of filming Meghan’s goodbyes. But she also didn’t want them to use it, because Meghan wouldn’t have cried like that.

12:27: What was in the box? Foreman doesn’t know, but she thinks it has to be small enough to fit in the box. She thinks it’s either a finger or a confession for murder. Trilling jokes it was a key to the hatch on LOST.

12:29: “You have to have a steady partner, you have to have a work mate,” Miller says of Elena’s relationship with Felicity. Johnson echoes how nice it was to have female friendship.

12:30: Julie was originally supposed to be a dancer, but the writers knew Johnson was a talented singer/musician, so they adapted it. But, however, Johnson did not do the theme song…it is apparently mislabeled.

12:32: “My favorite thing that I go to do on the show was the documentary,” Grunberg says. The actors had to get used to looking at the camera. Grunberg wasn’t allowed to literally shoot the show due to union rules, which made it complicated.

12:34: “It’s such a good conceit,” Russell says of the “Dear Sally” format. Trilling says it allowed them to use Russell’s voice and show images to capture the emotion.

12:36: “The network canceled us, and then they were like, just kidding, do a few more,” Russell says of the extra episodes. She recalls the producers saying they knew the show was ending, but they didn’t know how many episodes it was going to be.

12:37: The cast is very confused about what may or may not have happened in the extra episodes. The WB was more genre when the series was ending, so the final episodes were more sci-fi. Foreman is the only one who remembers what happens, and the rest of the cast seems absolutely confounded. “Scott had so many sex scenes on SCANDAL he forgot,” Foreman jokes.

12:41: “What he was saying to us was basically a love letter to the cast,” Foley says of Grunberg giving a speech in the final episode at Noel’s wedding. You couldn’t hear it, because there was music over it, but the emotions on the cast’s faces were real.

12:43: “You’re amazing. It was such a pleasure to work with you,” Grunberg says to Foreman.

12:45: “To me, the beauty of the show was always…the chance to change your life completely,” Russell says. “I feel like everyone can look back at ‘I wish I would have chosen him or I wish I had made that choice’…I think that was the sweetness and the beauty of the show. She did. She took the risk. That was what I felt the strength, the core story of the show.”

12:48: About the hair: Russell took a photo in a boy’s wig before hiatus and sent it to the creators as a joke, pretending she cut her hair. But they took it seriously and asked if she’d be willing to really chop it off. “It’s such a typical college girl story,” Russell recalls of Abrams’ call to her. She admits she was fascinated by the reaction: “Felicity was never a fashion plate anyway.”

“It wasn’t the best, but it was so good for the character,” Russell says.

12:51: The cast is asked to share their risky romance stories. Benedict says he asked a girl who wasn’t his girlfriend to prom, and he spent the night away from his friend group. That felt risky!

12:53: Grunberg recalls he took a girl he liked out, but she didn’t realize it was a date until midway through the meal.

12:55: Miller says her boyfriend in college didn’t have good credit. She went with him to help him get a car…and it didn’t work out well.

12:56: Is it possible for a FELICITY movie/reunion? Grunberg says “100%”…they’re all busy, though. But he offers maybe they could do something different together. Gomez suggest they do an episode of GILLIGAN’S ISLAND.

12:58: Foley says he said yesterday, “Don’t do a reboot. I feel the show was so specific to the characters in that time of their lives, to do it again would be an injustice to the show that we made and we loved.” However, after being on stage with the cast and seeing the video montage, “I would love for the opportunity to work with you…I don’t know how it would work, I don’t know what it would be. But I would love it.”

“I missed you guys,” Foley adds.

1:00: First fan question is about working with John Ritter. “He was so fun and into it and excited,” Russell recalls. “He was super cool to come on the show,” Speedman says.

Grunberg gave Ritter a ride to the set. “He was so excited to be on our show. I couldn’t believe it.”

1:04: What would their school honors be? Foley says Speedman would be “Most Likely to Beat Me in Ping-Pong.” Russell says she’d be “Most Spazzy.” Speedman says he’s “Most Likely to be Kicked Off a Set.” Grunberg punts his answer to Gomez, who says Grunberg is “Most Likely to End Up on SHARK TANK.” Foreman says Meghan is “Least Likely to Participate.” Miller says Elena was “Most Likely to Succeed.” Johnson says Julie is “Most Likely to Quit College.” Gomez says Javier is “Most Likely to Remain Fabulous.” Benedict’s Richard would be “Most Likely to Not Leave Your Party.”

1:08: Johnson recalls an off day while filming when Abrams said to her after a take, “Okay, let’s go again, and this time act better!”

1:10: Grunberg shocked his castmates with being nude in one scene. The on-screen reaction was real.

1:11: “It was handled well,” Johnson says of how the show handled Julie’s date rape. “It took a toll on the character on a way that was tough,” Foreman adds.

1:14: How would FELICITY be handled in a modern age? “Maybe she’d have a blog,” Foreman says.

1:16: What was the cast’s favorite of-the-time item? Foreman loved a painting from the set that was from the ’40s; it was a guy in a lagoon. She has it now!

Grunberg got a friend’s artwork on the show; he later bought it back and he has it now.

Benedict has a goofy photo of himself with “Free Pizza Fridays.”

And that’s it!

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