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:: S H O W T I M E  L I V E  C H A T ::
with Laurel Holloman Jan. 25, 2004

sho_moderator: Thank you for participating! Laurel Holloman will be joining us following the episode. Welcome to tonight's event, a chat with Laurel Holloman. She will be joining us following the episode. We're sure you have plenty of questions for Laurel Holloman. To participate, type your question in the text box at the bottom of your screen and hit Enter/Return. Your question will be submitted. If it is responded to, it will appear in the chat window during the chat, followed by the response. Good evening everyone. Thanks for logging on. Laurel is now ready to begin the chat. Let's get started!

laurel_holloman: I'm just really excited to talk to everyone because I know that the tone and the style of this episode is very different from the pilot, and I would love to know what people think.

ebb2002: Laurel, thanks for taking the time to chat. What would you say is the biggest surprise to you about your experience of doing the show?

laurel_holloman: I would say the biggest surprise was how amazing this ensemble of women fit together. I had no idea that that many women could be that cohesive.

kitkat: Do you feel like your character is defined by her quest to get pregnant?

laurel_holloman: As the series moves on, I think you'll see that there are moments that my character does define herself by the quest to have a baby, and she sees how dangerous that is. I wanted to explore what happens to a woman, and Eileen Chaiken wanted to explore this also, what happens to women when they have high-powered jobs and they quit them, all just to get pregnant. And I think that the mistake that Tina might be making is that she's quit everything in order to be pregnant, instead of just continuing her work and letting her pregnancy fall into place. I think what will be explored in the entire season is the ramifications of what that does to somebody.

mostlywild98: What about your role as Tina do you find to be the toughest to portray authentically?

laurel_holloman: I find the hardest thing to play about Tina is her centeredness and her easiness and her lack of fight for control. Because I'm a control freak, and I'm very different from Tina in a lot of ways. So there are some elements that I find very difficult, some of her softer qualities. I'm more brash than Tina. I have a much quicker temper.

latinamimi2: Laurel, what qualities do you like about Tina's character?

laurel_holloman: The best thing about Tina is her loyalty. She is fiercely loyal in her relationships and in her friendships. I think she has a soulful quality and a spiritual quality that is often lacking in Los Angeles. I think those qualities are lovely and fun to play.

kimtowin: How did you prepare for the role of Tina?

laurel_holloman: I was cast in this very quickly before it shot, so sometimes you do a lot of preparation and sometimes you don't do as much, so you hope that whatever you bring to it is going to be good. The majority of my preparation was in conjunction with Eileen Chaiken and Rose Troche in creating a history for Tina. The history for Tina was very different than what I thought in would be, in terms of her sexuality. I can't say anything else more because I would reveal some of the aspects that will be revealed later in the season. But other than preparing the history for the character, basically I just started working out like crazy because I knew there would be nudity, and trying to learn all the dialogue I could. As far as playing a lesbian, I had no issues, because I had already played the lead in The Incredible True Adventures of Two Girls in Love, and it basically jump-started my career.

cruise13: What direction would you like to see your character go in?

laurel_holloman: I would like to see my character become more independent. I'd like to see my character find more balance in her life. But the beauty of being able to find those things, to me, is great, because all of these characters are flawed. For an actor it's really great, because it's really boring to play picture-perfect television characters. And that's not what anyone's going to see on The L Word.

oxymoron: What is your response to the criticism surrounding straight women playing gay women? Personally, as long as a man isn't playing us, I don't care.

laurel_holloman: Yeah, in a perfect world, maybe there would be an all-lesbian cast playing all lesbians. I kind of feel we get back to the same place, which is why does an actor's sexual orientation have to match the character? Should gay actors only be able to play gay characters, or shouldn't they be allowed to play straight or gay characters? I feel like it's important to focus on the characters and celebrate the show, and hopefully we will create an atmosphere in Hollywood where people are comfortable with being out.

oswegomv: Was filming the Country Club Mission scene as much of a hoot as it came across on screen?

laurel_holloman: Yes it was a complete riot, the whole day that we shot in the country club. Making out with Jennifer in the country club was delicious. When we had to walk down and see Tammy Lynn Michaels, she cracked us all up by mooning us. And that was the tone of the day, just to really have fun.

beth: How much input do you personally have in Tina's character?

laurel_holloman: We all have a lot of input in our characters. Eileen is a great listener, as I should say, are Rose and Gwen. And we're allowed to bring a lot to the table.

slzsu: What areas of the relationship between Tina and Bette would you like to see explored this season?

laurel_holloman: The power struggle that happens in same-sex relationships, or even hetero relationships, when one person is financially supporting the other.

semiaimes: I'm sure most viewers can see parts of themselves in some or all, mayhap only one of the characters, regardless of orientation. If you weren't portraying Tina, which character would you identify with most?

laurel_holloman: I think I would identify with Shane.

kendra: From reading articles I can see that the cast and crew all realize that what they are doing is very important socially... have you been able to experience first hand the kind of positivity the show is generating for the gay and lesbian community?

laurel_holloman: To me, the first sign of the social importance was in the New York magazine article and what the New York lesbian community had to say. And that our show, being a Los Angeles show, still could be celebrated in all other sub-cultures in the country, especially New York, which is a very different place from LA. From my own experience, when I did The Incredible True Adventures of Two Girls in Love, I had a huge response from gay teenagers, which was wonderful because the suicide rate is high for gay teens, and I think our movie did have an impact. But it was an independent film, so it reached a smaller audience. So to me it's exciting that a television show can reach such a broad audience. And hopefully pave the way for more lesbian characters to be on television.

mam: I loved the Mission Impossible/queer eye for the"Lesbian"scene of the show tonight. Do you prefer the humorous scenes to the more dramatic?

laurel_holloman: I like a balance between the humorous scenes and the more dramatic scenes. There are some days when the really heavy dramatic scenes can be exhausting, so it's refreshing to go into a new day where there's a lighter scene. I think the writers mix the comedy in very nicely with the more serious subject matter, and as the season moves on, the show will explore more serious, darker subject matters, Then to be followed with a more playful episode.

scubachele: Is this your most intense role?

laurel_holloman: I can't say that there is one role more intense than the others. I've done a lot of independent films that people haven't seen, so there's been intense roles there. But this is the most intense television role I've ever had.

longtime_l_wife: Will Tina and Bette tackle the topic of gay marriage?

laurel_holloman: Keep watching. It could happen. I think it would be great to tackle that.

tkzoo: Are you or any one else in the cast concerned about stereotyping, since it is so prevalent in Hollywood?

laurel_holloman: I cannot answer for anyone else in the cast. As for myself, I am completely not worried about stereotyping. I feel that it is my job as an actor to have as wide a range as possible, and so if I were to be typecast too many times, I would only blame myself because I'm not a good enough character actress, which is what I would like to be. From my own experience, I did 25 features after Two Girls in Love, and I never felt anyone typecast me as an eighteen-year-old baby butch lesbian. I also believe that there's not a lesbian type, and that's what's going to show up on our show.

turtle2: Do you think that "butch" lesbians are portrayed on the show?

laurel_holloman: In the episodes that you've seen, no, you haven't seen that many butch characters. Will you see more? Yes. Can we get a representation of everybody in two episodes? No, it's impossible. But I hope that people will continue to watch, because I think that there's going to be a large mix of everything, and it's a shame to judge it so quickly. Just see how it unfolds.

carriebomb: You would identify with Shane? How so?

laurel_holloman: I identify with androgyny, tomboyism, fear of intimacy, and a sense of freedom.

blueberry: Are you prepared for your sudden status as an 'icon' in the gay community?

laurel_holloman: No, I'd have no idea how to prepare for that. I'm way too shy.

warriorgrrl: Will there be a time that we get the back story on Bette and Tina's relationship for the past 7 years?

laurel_holloman: Yes! Stay tuned. There'll be an episode where you'll get to hear everyone's coming-out story. You'll get lots of history on more than just Bette and Tina, but you will get their history. It's an excellent episode.

foxmists: Is there a particular social statement or message that you want to get out to society in this show?

laurel_holloman: I think the main statement is to show that alternative lifestyles are not that different. I think that our show will show that these lifestyles are not to be judged, feared, or pigeon-holed. For me personally, I'm really proud to be representing a possible alternative family on screen. To show other families that this lifestyle isn't so different.

soccergrrl: Laurel, great job on the show. I love it! I would like to ask who would you like to see make a guest appearance on the show?

laurel_holloman: Angelina Jolie. Selma Hayek. Diane Keaton. Jodi Foster. I know, it's a big wish list, but what can you do?

hawkeye: What do you personally think the L Word stands for?

laurel_holloman: Love.

heroinhairweave: When will you know if there's going to be a season 2?

laurel_holloman: I don't know. Keep your fingers crossed for us. Watching helps!

foxmists: Is there a lot of improvisation on the show as we've heard in various ads?

laurel_holloman: Yeah, there is. The more important, more dramatic scenes are less improvised, and small things like telephone calls, driving, talking on the cell phone, little blurbs that seem really natural, can be improvised. But if we have trouble with the scene, we may improvise to work it out, but then we lock it in with permission from the writer.

ber: Once the season is over with, what do you personally take away with you. Not objects, but emotions.

laurel_holloman: I took away a lot from this first season on an emotional level. Exploring Bette and Tina's relationship had a profound emotional effect on me. Exploring Tina's desire to have a child and the journey that her and Bette take to have a child hits very close to my heart. Because I want to start a family. I'm really grateful that people are watching and that we are having such a positive response. I hope that we have many more seasons, because I think we have many more stories to tell.

sho_moderator: Thank you for chatting with Laurel Holloman. We hope you've enjoyed the chat and tonight's episode of The L Word.


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