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Kyle Interviews
*Chat Session Kyle Chandler and Alex Taub 10/15/98

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Kyle Chandler and Alex Taub -- October 15, 1998


TVGDave: We'll be joined by Kyle Chandler in just about 15 minutes. He's still on the set, and will be calling in shortly. In the meantime, we have Supervising Producer Alex Taub to answer some of your questions.

Alex: I apologize for you just getting me for the first 15 minutes and not Kyle, but I look forward to answering your questions as best I can.

Flyerette_89: Not to be a downer, but how would you like to see the series end (in case it ever does!)?

Alex: Well first - I wouldn't! I think I would like to see it end with Gary passing the baton of the paper to somebody else. To me, if it would have to end, it would be nice to be able to resume with another character continuing the work of the paper.

Amy31483: Why did Chuck's character leave the show?

Alex: Chuck left the show for a number of reasons. The actor was interested in doing movies and other things that he couldn't do with the tough schedule of having to put out 22 shows a year. And we sort of came to a mutual agreement. He wanted less involvement, he didn't want to be tied down to a TV schedule, but he will be coming back in guest spots.

Dawn_Eefan: What about Early Edition gives you the most fulfillment?

Alex: The opportunity to write for a wide variety of characters and a range of stories. The show is designed in such a way that we can do a drama one week and a romantic comedy the next. And that gives a writer great latitude.
...

Gilbca: Alex, do you like EE's time slot? Do you think ratings may be better on a different night or time?

Alex: I am happy with the time slot. Who knows? It's a big mystery as to whether the ratings would be better elsewhere. Occasionally it was tried out I think in the first season in a Sunday slot where we also did well. But I'm happy with the 8:00 hour.

Huckies: Alex, in three words, describe Kyle.

Alex: Let's see. Kyle is sincere. And a strong actor.

Browneyedangel_77: Alex, who came up with the story line?

Alex: There was a team of writers named Patrick Page and Vik Rubenfeld who originated the concept. Brought it to a writer-producer named Ian Abrams who pitched it to the network. Wrote a draft and then Bob Brush came in and developed the show.

Runswithfury: This is for Alex Taub, do the writers ever get story ideas from actual newspaper headlines?

Alex: Not very often. Usually we come up with a dilemma, a situation or a story, and find the headlines to support that story. Occasionally, however, for example, there was a story of a girl stuck down a storm drain, our stories are sometimes inspired by actual headlines.
...

Earlydues: Alex, you've had a hand in some of my favorite EE episodes - will you be writing any episodes this season?

Alex: Yes, I've written two already, and I'll be writing at least two or three more.

Angstsquirrel: The Quality of Mercy was such a great episode, are there any planned that are serious like that one?

Alex: Yes, we have an episode coming up that deals with the execution of a wrongly accused man, which should be a terrific episode.

Runswithfury: Will we ever learn where the paper comes from?

Alex: I don't think we'll ever learn exactly where the paper comes from. Hopefully we'll continue to get hints.

Flyerette_89: Alex, is Crumb ever coming back? We miss him!

Alex: Yes, we've been talking about a Return of Crumb episode, we were talking about it just today, and he will hopefully make a re-appearance midway thru the season.

Nonniemous: Are you planning any episodes that focus on Marissa? And, how do you see her character developing with the addition of Erica to the show?

Alex: We are planning episodes designed around Marissa, and her character will develop as they all do. She'll develop a friendship with Marissa, and we will get to know more about her background and possibly meet some family members.
...

SkyDancer1959: Alex, we've had a lot of conversations about the way Erica was written. Most of us think she needs to be turned into social services. What different aspects caused her character to be molded in the fashion she is? She seems like a pretty ditzy bimbo that doesn't love her child as much as most of us single mothers do. (BTW, I loved Collision...well except for Kristy's acting.)

Alex: We liked the idea of introducing a tough, single mother. I disagree, I think her character loves her son quite a bit. If that didn't come across in the episode that was my failing, since I wrote it.

Yasmin378: Alex, how long have you been a producer? And would you say Early Edition is one of your best shows?

Alex: I've been writing for television for about six years. I've only written for four different shows. One was animated, one was a sitcom in Norway, and one was canceled after the first episode. So yeah - I think Early Edition is certainly the best experience I've had.

Gypsy_BellaDonna: Why was a cat chosen to bring Kyle the paper?

Alex: I honestly don't know. Though personally I love the idea, and think the cat is perfect. But I don't know why it was chosen.

Runswithfury: Alex, us EE fans always dread renewal time. Why is it so tough?

Alex: It is a competitive field, and there are a lot of shows out there.
...

Dawn_Eefan: Alex, I loved the season opener with Gary going back to 1871...how tough was that? How long did it take?

Alex: It took a little over a hundred years! All of our shows take eight days to shoot. Though from inception of the story to post-production took a couple of months.

Wildcat72: Alex, what are all the shows you've produced?

Alex: Before EE, I wrote an animated show called Life with Louie. It was on FOX Saturday mornings. Before that I wrote for a Norwegian sitcom, that was basically the Golden Girls, only with men and in Norway. And I did an episode of a detective show called South of Sunset starring Glenn Frey. That show was canceled the day after it's first episode aired. And that's it.

TVGDave: Welcome, Kyle...glad you could make it.

KyleChandler: I'm standing outside on Upper Wacker Drive in Chicago. And we are in the middle of traffic right now! The weather is about 64 degrees, northeasterly winds, and everything is good!

Runswithfury: This is for KC, what's your favorite EE episode?

KyleChandler: I think it was called The Wrong Man. I think that was the name of it. It was directed by David Jones in the first season. And Alex wrote it!
...

Alex: I appreciate that!

Flyerette_89: Hi Kyle! I'm a huge fan of your work. In what ways would you say Gary has evolved from season one? And is there anything you would change about him if you could?

KyleChandler: He's gone from na´ve to grouchy! And I'd like to see him fail once so we can see what he's really made of.

Dipconehoe: Hi Kyle! Love your show! I was wondering if playing the character you play has changed your outlook on life?

KyleChandler: No, not necessarily. My life has changed because I've been doing the show for three years, and just when I started I had my baby. So my life has changed along with the show, but not necessarily because of it.

Browneyedangel_77: I loved you on "Homefront." Do you miss it?

KyleChandler: Yeah, I enjoyed that show very much. As a matter of fact, tonight's director is the husband of Wendy Phillips, who played my mother on Homefront. And we just had Mr. Sloan, played by Ken Jenkins, on this episode as well.

Flyerette_89: I still miss Homefront! Any chance Tammy Lauren will do a guest spot on Early Edition?

KyleChandler: No, probably not. She's on Martial Law right now, she's got her own TV show.
...

Flyerette_89: The ladies of the Kyle Chandler Estrogen Brigade have noticed you're looking quite buff this season! Have you been working out?

KyleChandler: Ladies, yes, I've been working out "Just for them." ("English accent")

Earlydues: Kyle, rumors abound that you have a role in "Angel's Dance" - is this true, and can you tell us anything about it? Thanks!

KyleChandler: Yes, it's true, it's myself, Jim Belushi and Cheryl Lee. And I play a young kid who gets involved with the Mafia to make a hit. It's a dark comedy.

Dawn_Eefan: Kyle, what was it like the first time you were recognized from being on "Early Edition?" Where were you?

KyleChandler: I just don't recall, I'm sorry.

Marty2634: Hello Kyle, what attracted you to your character on "Early Edition?"

KyleChandler: It was the storyline, and the scripts, it was very different from the others, the summer I saw this one, it was more special than the rest. I was also dirt poor, working at McDonald's flipping burgers. And I had just gotten out of jail at the time.
...

Butterflybeliever40: Hi, Kyle!!! Our family loves your show!!! Do you do anything special to get the cat to relate to you??? We're cat lovers and love the way he's used on the show.

KyleChandler: The cat's great, they use three different cats on the show. One of them is very quiet and barely moves because he's older. The other one is young and bouncy. And one is very smart. And depending on what they need for the scene, they'll choose that cat's personality. But I'm not a cat lover per se, I like dogs.

San_Juan_DiVega: Do you do your own stunts?

KyleChandler: Sometimes. Just depending on the stunt, whether it's a danger or not. Most of the stunts on this show aren't that dangerous, so I'll do them if I can. Lately, we've been doing a lot of things with heights, and I don't care much for heights. Although I have been sky diving before.

Nonniemous: Okay, this has been a raging debate in certain circles: what color are your eyes exactly? I get a lot of flack for telling people they're hazel, most people seem to think they're brown. What color are they?

KyleChandler: I call them mud puddle green. It depends on how much I had to drink the night before.

Acclee: Kyle, I've been an extra on EE before, and I always see your head in a book...What do you enjoy reading?

KyleChandler: No, I'm looking at the pictures. I don't trust people who can read.

Fasco2000: Hiya Kyle...great show...I wanted to know if the show ever plans on doing a show maybe in another city, or something, say Gary was on vacation or a scenario similar?

KyleChandler: That's a very good question. And all the cast and crew, especially at the beginning of every winter, thinks Hawaii would be a tremendous place to go. But so far, we've only gotten as far as Joliette.
...

Alex: Isn't Joliette kind of the Hawaii of Illinois?

Nonniemous: You said once you wanted to do an episode where Gary failed, where at the end you just see him sitting in a dark room, like his life is over. Do you still want to do that episode, and do you think we'll ever see an episode like that?

KyleChandler: No, I don't think we'll see an episode like that, although it would be interesting. I don't think Gary would have to sit in a room at the end. I see him as far too heroic right now. But that would mean that the paper had failed him. That's where the comedy saves the show. It's a fine line.

Pinkyball: Hey Kyle, I stumbled upon your show by accident and love it! Are you anything like your character?

KyleChandler: No.

KyleChandler: Please send in suggestions to the website as to what a good name for the show would be. Because a lot of people think it's a news show. We were thinking the other day that a good theme for the show would be What's New Pussycat? A lot of people know it.

Browneyedangel_77: Will your character on "Early Edition" ever have a long-term girlfriend?

KyleChandler: No. Because that would be just too many shows on too many ideas for episodes in the future. Right Alex?

Alex: I agree.
...

Dawn_Eefan: What has been your favorite scene to do?

KyleChandler: I'm not sure. I enjoy the screwball comedy when it presents itself. I like opposites. When it's a serious scene, I like to find the comedy. We have very good writers. And the mixture of comedy and drama, it's a dream for me as an actor.

CECE24_98: Kyle who are some of your favorite actors?

KyleChandler: I grew up watching a lot of the old black and white films. The John Waynes, Cary Grant, David Niven, Jimmy Stewart, all the people from that time period. Brando. There are so many wonderful actors everywhere. I guess I don't have one particular actor, because there are so many and so many different styles. I think one of the best performances I ever saw was Cyrano de Bergerac with Jose Ferrer.

Nonniemous: You made a movie a few years ago with Jon Voight called "Convict Cowboy." (Great movie, by the way!) Did you do any of the rodeo riding in that movie?

KyleChandler: What I recall, no, I did a lot of riding, but not the rodeo, not the bulldogging or anything, that's far too dangerous, it's a dangerous sport. I had a great stuntman on that, it's very hard to tell the difference between us.

Canadiangirl_2:Kyle, what advice would you give younger children in school when they are interested in acting?

KyleChandler: They should join their local or school acting group, and if there isn't one, create one. They should begin by picking plays or writing their own material or skits at lunchtime. Get a group together that watches movies, or maybe goes out to see theater. And very often if a group comes to the theater like that, actors will be happy to spend a few minutes after the show to answer questions. And then read, read, read. The most important thing is to keep reading.

_TeeJay_: Early Edition has been a big hit with audiences in the US, though only had moderate success in other countries like the UK or Germany. Do you have an idea why that could be? Is there anything about the show that just appeals to Americans?

Alex: I think we're pretty popular in a lot of different countries. It should be a show that is universally popular. Maybe it's on too late in some countries.

KyleChandler: I think it's shot real well and has a universal message, but who knows, there could be a lot of reasons.
...

Ocean8992: Kyle how do you feel about being called this generations "Jimmy Stewart?"

KyleChandler: That's a great compliment, I've been called a lot worse, I know that. I don't consider myself a Jimmy Stewart, but I appreciate the compliment. And I hope I'm doing good work.

TVGDave: Thanks for joining Kyle and Alex.

Alex: Thanks everyone for getting involved in this.

KyleChandler: Keep watching and thanks!
...

THE END