Q&A: Laura Leighton & Colin Egglesfield Dish About The New, Dark & Edgier 'Melrose Place'
Starpulse: The show reads like a standard daytime soap. Do you see any real difference?
Laura Leighton: It is definitely a nighttime soap, but this version is definitely modern and much more sophisticated than in the 90s, and I was there for that one. It's more sophisticated cinematically and its more dark and edgier. It's been everyone's pleasant surprise to tune in and say, 'Wow, they've done some interesting things with the show.'
How does "Melrose" stand out cast and narrative wise from other hour-long dramas on the CW, especially "90210" and "Gossip Girl?"
Colin Egglesfield: Well, we are an older group of characters. I mean, those shows are based in high school, where ours it out of high school, beyond high school, and with people starting their careers and trying to figure out their lives as adults. That is how we are different. Apart from those other two shows, it's almost like those same characters five years later.
Then it is darker than One Tree Hill if you are comparing age ranges?
CE: Absolutely, because you are starting to deal with issues that are more adult and affect more the direction of where you will go. As young adults the decisions we make affect our lives more long term than the decisions we make in high school. The consequences and stakes are higher. You make the decisions that much more difficult and more people can relate to the situations our characters find themselves in, you know career choices, and what we are willing to do to get what we want out of life.
Image © The CW Television Network
Laura, what changes do you see from the original "Melrose Place" and the new generation of viewers?
LL: I do see it as an updated super-modern reflection of the times that it is. I'm in a much different position now, I'm not a 20-something right off the boat kind of character, I'm the jaded, I've been around for awhile character. I have the gift of retrospect. Personally I went through the experience of having a television show, which was an amazing experience, and now to see it come back around and functioning differently. I think the show is modern and edgy, and it is a nighttime soap so it is fun. I think it's also smart, and it has a noir quality. There is also some retrospect, telling the story in flashbacks, which I think is an interesting way in changing perspective.
Do you think the show will work for the male demographic?
CE: With all of the sexy women we have on the show? Absolutely. We have some of the sexiest women on TV. Yeah, just to be able to work with them has been difficult to say the least.
LL: I think guys typically use it as an excuse and say that their girlfriend made them watch it. That's how guys handle it. For however and whatever reason, they will find it to be appealing.
Starting the show with a corpse is typical of a crime drama format. Are they going to elaborate on that or is it just a plot device for the first season?
LL: I don't think they want the murder mystery to be the theme, it is a backdrop for the first season that will be solved within the first season.
So the show is more of an arc format that episodic?
LL: You know, beginning a new series the pilot has to have a lot of oomph. And in the first 12 minutes of ours it does.
Colin, how do you interpret your character? He is described as a "sensitive sous chef with a dark past." That borders reducing the character to a stock cliché. How do you think the character should really be described?
CE: Well, without giving you too much, I do have a checkered past in that my character has a side to him that is very impulsive that gets the best of him, that in his past he wasn't able to control. It led to things he regrets and wishes he could go back and change, but he can't. He has been trying to learn from those mistakes and has met people, like Sydney, who have helped him get on a path doing the right thing, fulfilling his dream of becoming a chef. What I have learned with alcoholics in particular, there is a void that needs to be filled, whether it is alcohol, drugs, sex, or in this case he uses cooking food and surfing to fill that void. He runs into characters and situations that can tempt him back into that deep, dark place. That is what is interesting about this character, you see him struggling with this.
How do you think the current advertising is portraying the show? With lines like "Ménage a Tues" and "Tuesday is the new hump day," what type of audience is that getting?
LL: I can't speak for the marketing department on their objectives, but I know the "Gossip Girl" campaign with successful and got people talking. Part of it is to get people talking. The CW's tagline is giving people something to talk about. Our taglines for our posters are grabbing. When I first saw them I laughed out loud.
CE: I couldn't believe they got away with it.
LL: You know, it is shocking and bold and therefore successful. It's funny because generationally, some older people don't get the double entendre of "hump day" and the new generation doesn't remember the old "MP" tag, "Monday's are a bitch."
Tune in to new "Melrose Place" at Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 9 p.m. on The CW.
Image © The CW Television Network
Story by Sarah Lafferty
Starpulse contributing writer
Follow Sarah on twitter at starbuckscout.
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