Greetings, all! I'm back from the wilderness of
Men in Trees
[Fridays at 9 pm/ET, on ABC]. Actually, I am back from being trapped in the wilderness, literally! It's as if I was living this week's episode of
Men in Trees
, "The Buddy System," which also involves a couple of characters getting trapped in the wilderness. It's a real cliff-hanger.
Yesterday I went on a hike with Adrian McMorran, who plays Carl on
Men in Trees
. He's the rather morose drunk who's always at the bar next to Jerome (the hilarious Timothy Webber, whom I also worked with on a Spielberg miniseries called
.) Well, it turned out this hike Adrian and I went on was a 10-mile, 1,700-meter climb up to the top of West Lion Mountain. We were a little ambitious, and by the time the sun had set, we were way up on the side of this mountain, in the middle of the forest, where large bears and cougars reside. Even outside of Alaska, bears seem to be a recurrent theme in my life. It took us three hours to find the trail in the pitch darkness, with our flashlights slowly burning out. We tried to make a lot of noise on the way down to scare away the bears, and finally reverted to singing tunes from
West Side Story
, which I'm sure they found quite frightening. Needless to say, we survived, and are living to make more episodes of
Men in Trees
A bizarre side note to tonight's episode, "The Buddy System," is that we have a link to
, of all shows. One day during filming I was sitting around with Lauren Tom, who plays Mei, and Cynthia Stevenson, who plays Chief Celia. They have had such amazing, huge careers that I always try to get them to talk about all the movies and shows they've done, especially the ones I used to watch. Lauren Tom did an episode of
Facts of Life
where she stole Joe's motorcycle! Cynthia Stevenson then told us that when she first moved to L.A., she was a stand-in for
. They were doing an episode where the daughter is bulemic, and the actress, Dana Plato, didn't want to make the throwing-up sounds in front of an entire studio audience. So they got Cynthia to do it instead, which is how she got her SAG card. I don't know about any of you, but I completely remember this episode. Then our director, the amazing boy genius Matt Shakman, walks by, and tells us that he acted on an episode of
when he was a kid. Crazy.
Some of you have asked questions over the past few weeks, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to answer them this week. So without further ado, here we go....
I didn't expect to like the show, but I'm enjoying it. The snoring was hilarious in the last episode. I also really love your character's outfits!! Could you tell me what brands they are, or where I could get them? They're super-cute. The wardrobe designer has a really great eye and taste for fashion, please tell him/her that.
Let me start by saying that we are thrilled to have converted you to
Men in Trees
. And thank you so much for mentioning the snoring, because a lot of people think it was a sound effect added in later because it was so loud, but I swear it's all me. And of course I'm happy that you like Annie's wardrobe. I have been more involved with the wardrobe on
Men in Trees
than I have on other jobs, because I thought it was very important that Annie didn't look like some girl on TV... you know what I mean? Lately it seems like a lot of women on TV are dressing the same, I suppose because they're all wearing the latest designers. So when I started playing Annie, I was really excited to portray someone that could be really different and didn't care about what's in fashion. We have a great costume designer, Susan DeLaval. (I actually worked with her on "Taken" as well.) Unfortunately, the nature of Annie's wardrobe is that she wears all different designers, plus a lot of vintage, so I can't really tell you one place to get them. But I can tell you how we do the look, so if you bought a couple of things and used them with your own clothes, you could definitely have an entire Annie wardrobe!
The first rule is no jeans (Annie has a mild phobia of denim), and if you must wear pants, they should be trousers or tailored shorts. But most of the time we start with a great pair of tights, with an interesting pattern or a nice thick solid, in chocolate brown, gray or an earth tone. Lately we've been layering knee socks over the tights as well for that cold Elmo weather. Over the tights we layer a pretty skirt or a dress (Annie always wears them pretty short) with a patterned blouse and sweater vest, or a great vintage or vintage-looking sweater. The most important part is that none of these pieces should ever match exactly, so be free with your choices! Tie the whole thing together with a chunky heel, a colorful wedge or a nice warm pair of boots for the Alaskan weather, and you're good to go.
Please tell me you are reading these posts. I am such a fan of the music on the show. The music guy or girl really does an amazing job, and I think they should get some space on the ABC site to talk about the songs they choose (like they do on the Grey's Anatomy site at ABC). My iPod is dying to know the artists and titles of the songs that appear on the episodes. What is the name of the music person at your show? Tell them I'm a huge fan, and that I'd really like to get some info on the artists they feature.
To state the obvious, yes, I'm reading these posts. I still can't believe that anyone is actually reading these blogs. I am in the process of getting in touch with the people who do the music for our show, so I'll be passing along your info, and investigating getting a list of the music. I'd like to download some of those songs myself!
In the meantime, I'll give you a mix that we have been listening to in the hair and makeup trailer as we get ready for work:
Work It Out (Jurassic 5)
Don't Tell Me (Madonna)
Pink Bullets (The Shins)
Come on Closer (Jem)
Who Loves the Sun (Velvet Underground)
I Will Survive (Cake)
Bring the Pain (Missy Elliott)
Handle with Care (Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins)
Give Me One Reason (Tracy Chapman and Eric Clapton)
Ain't No Other Man (Christina Aguilera)
Somewhere Only We Know (Keane)
Gone Daddy Gone (Gnarls Barkley)
How Long Is Forever (Willie Nelson)
Bread and Coffee (The Promise Ring)
Ghostwriter (RJD2 featuring Blueprint)
Oh! You Pretty Things (David Bowie)
Speed of Sound (Coldplay)
Hey Emily, I love your show! I recognized you from another favorite, Gilmore Girls, and got excited to see you here. There's so many funny and gifted people in the Men in Trees cast, and I'm having such a good time watching it. Your blog is so fun to read. If you find out about a full-season pickup can you let us know? Lots of us are crossing our fingers that you guys are the next show to get the big news.
Believe me, you'll know when I know! We still haven't heard any official word yet, but we are all kinds of quietly confident. [
As reported on Oct. 27, ABC has ordered four additional scripts of
Men in Trees
.] Of course, this is the world of TV, and in my limited experience, decisions made in that world don't follow any known logic. But we are all loving making this show and it seems like there are a lot of people out there loving it as much as we are. I was hanging out last night with Mr. McTreemyDreamy, James Tupper, and his equally dreamy wife, Kate Mayfield. We were listening to some tunes on my iPod, and all of a sudden Cake's version of "I Will Survive" came on. James and I just turned to each other, grabbed hands, and shouted, "We will survive!" So we are all feeling good up here in Vancouver. Keep crossing those fingers!
I'm hoping you can answer a wardrobe question, or you might know who can answer it. Lauren Tom was wearing one of Marin's ruffle sweaters in this episode, and it attracted the attention of many knitters. We're anxious to find out the name of the designer so we can make one, too! Any chance you could help us?
Knitters unite! The sweater is from DSquared, which is a Canadian label, but I know you can get their stuff in the U.S. as well. I'll take a look at it and see if I can't figure something out. I hate to brag, but I am now a published knitter (Celebrity Scarves 2 for Breast Cancer). There are some great knitters on set, so hopefully we'll figure it out between us.
Saw you on something a couple weeks ago (or was it more recently?), recognized you somewhat, found your name (which sounded even more familiar) and actually had to TVTome you. Shame on me. So, how was it working with Scott Bakula?
To fill in the rest of you, I worked with Scott Bakula on an episode of Star Trek: Enterprise. This was one of the most enjoyable jobs I've ever had - not only did I get actually beamed onto the Enterprise, but I also got my own trading card, which, as everyone knows, is halfway to action figure. Plus, the episode was about a Wild West planet, so it was like I got to make a Western as well.
Scott Bakula couldn't have been nicer. A lot of people on the crew referred to him as "Daddy" because he took care of everyone on the set. I was totally starstruck, but he was just a really nice, regular guy. I do have one minor gripe with him, however: He doesn't let a girl drive her own buggy. We were shooting a scene where I drive away with Scott Bakula on a wagon drawn by two horses. On the day of shooting, the director came up to me and asked me if I had ever driven a two-horse buggy. Now, I'm an actor, so I'm conditioned to tell people I can do anything to get a job. I've told people I can skydive, play the drums, ride a horse, anything, figuring I'd just learn on the fly if I had to. Anyway, the horse wrangler let me drive the buggy around the block a couple of times, and the horses couldn't have been any more docile. Finally it comes time to shoot the scene with the buggy, and the director tells me, "OK, Emily, you get in the buggy, drive it to the end of the road, then turn the corner." Then Scott Bakula tells him we can't do that, because it's too dangerous. I told Scott I'd already driven the horses around several corners with no problem, but he said "Trust me, Emily, I worked with those horses earlier and that one is really wild." I looked over at the horse in question, and he honestly looked like he'd been tranquilized, he was so mellow. But Scott insisted I shouldn't do it. When we actually shot the scene, I turned the corner just a little bit on the last take out of protest.
So, I actually loved Scott Bakula, but I'm a woman who doesn't like to be told how to drive her buggy.
Thanks for the insight into the best new show I have seen this season. I sat on the couch with a cozy blanket (even though it was in the 90s here) and truly believed I was there in Elmo, Alaska. Where is it filmed near Vancouver? I was a huge fan of Northern Exposure and visited Roslyn, Washington, where it was filmed. What a fun fan experience. Keep up the excellent work, all of you on Men in Trees.
Loved reading about your tour of Alaska and the wonderful people you met, but what about more on Squamish and Vancouver? Also, will you be giving more on-set, behind-the-scenes stuff?
I'll definitely start doing some "behind the scenes" stories next week, although, as I've said before, they might be a bit boring because we love each other so much, most of the time we're just complimenting each other. I actually visited Squamish last week when my boyfriend, Tyler, came to visit. If you're ever there you absolutely must do a hike called "The Chief." Just make sure you budget enough time and bring a flashlight just in case, as I have recently learned. I'm embarrassed that when I showed Tyler the real Chieftan bar from Men in Trees, which is also in Squamish, I was really surprised when it looked completely different on the inside. I had no idea that we only used the exterior of the real Chieftan, and the interior is from a bar in another city. Even I was fooled by the magic of television!
Well, that turned out to be yet another gigantic blog. It's funny, TVGuide.com only requires me to turn in 600 words every week, and it usually ends up hovering around 2,000. As my playwright friend Christopher Shinn said, "It's not a blog, it's a tome." So enjoy tonight's episode (did I mention there's a hilarious performance by Mario Cantone?), and I'll check in again next week!