If you missed The Sound of Music last Thursday, you now have another chance to catch it on NBC! The Sound of Music will be rebroadcast Saturday night, December 14th, at 8:00 p.m. Be sure to set your DVRs!
Stephen Moyer and Anna Paquin are officially back in Venice and the paparazzi wasted no time photographing the family on Sunday, December 8th … their first full day home in almost two months.
Not at all! E! Online titled it as such, but in reality it’s just some fun conversation with Stephen Moyer and Anna Paquin during a small interview from last week’s Free Ride press day. Steve and Anna do talk some True Blood, but the most interesting information to be disclosed is Steve mentioning that he’s read the first three scripts. So, watch the video and enjoy watching and listening to the Emerys, sometimes … that’s all that’s needed.
Will there be a new puppy to follow in Splash’s footsteps?
There were a lot of very disappointed Stephen Moyer fans last week when his scheduled appearance on Kelly and Michael was bumped up from Wednesday to Monday. Thank the internet gods that Julie Sky has uploaded his interview onto Youtube. The picture freezes in parts, but the audio is good and the interview itself is fantastic. Lots of topics discussed, and Steve is his usual entertaining self. And there is photographic evidence that even Steve fell victim to some horrific 80′s fashion trends. Not sure which is more of a fashion crime: the MC Hammer pants or the white jazz shoes …
After almost 2 months of living in New York City Steve and Anna wasted no time packing up the family and leaving NYC to return to Venice, California on Saturday, December 7th. Of course, Steve and Anna have no time to spare before work begins on the new season of True Blood, so let’s hope Steve gets lucky and finds at least 24 hours for some R&R first.
Enjoy more candid photos of Steve and Anna at paquinanna.com
This little video clip that was shot during The Sound of Music wrap party Thursday night can be classified as plain old fun. But, look closely and see if you recognize anyone in the crowd. We’ll even give you a hint. Lower right corner …
See how easy we make it for you?
The first interview to come out of Free Ride’s press day is here, but funny enough it’s not about Free Ride … it’s about The Sound of Music. Steve, Anna and ABC News discuss numbers and performance highs.
Stephen Moyer and his wife Anna Paquin are still beaming about the ratings success of Thursday night’s “The Sound of Music Live.”
“It was more like 18 [million] actually,” Paquin, 31, joked to ABC News when debating how many viewers the live revival pulled in. The “True Blood” stars sat down with ABC on Friday to talk about a new movie Paquin’s starring in titled “Free Ride,” which hit theaters next month.
Moyer, 44, who took on the role of Captain Georg von Trapp in Thursday’s musical, said he’s still on a high from his recreation of the 1950′s Broadway hit and 1965 Oscar-winning movie.
“I think whenever you come off doing a run of something … you kind of go through this ‘Woo hoo, oh my God’ elation and then,” he said. “I’ve only just got back, we stayed out there last night because we were in Long Island, so I’m kind of coming down I feel.”
Moyer added that bringing in those kinds of numbers – 18.5 million according to Nielsen ratings – made co-star Carrie Underwood, the cast and the network very satisfied with the experience. “It was very good, I know they were very happy,” he added.
The push is officially on for “Free Ride”. Stephen Moyer and Anna Paquin spent Friday, December 6th, attending photo calls and press day in NYC to promote their first film endeavor. Enjoy some of the end results!
Before Stephen Moyer and Anna Paquin head back to California to begin filming the new season of True Blood they took some time out for … work. Never a day off for Steve it seems. Today the couple went to Radio Tag to promote their film, Free Ride. It’s to be released in theaters on January 10th, so there’s no time to waste.
Radio Tag is a boutique, New York-based, full-service agency dedicated to securing high-profile visibility for clients, through both traditional and highly creative marketing and publicity initiatives.
Director Beth McCarthy-Miller was interviewed by The New York Times and reflected on her experience of working on the massive undertaking of The Sound of Music and how they managed to pull it off. One stand-out comment was how NBC introduced people to live theatre who might not have the opportunity otherwise. “What’s exciting is that there was a whole television audience that would never go to Broadway that watched that last night and saw people like Christian and Laura and Audra perform in a way that they’ll never see them perform on a sitcom, or ‘Private Practice,’ or even ‘Smash,’ ” Ms. McCarthy-Miller said. “I think that’s a good thing.”
Q. How do you feel right now?
A. Very relieved and very happy that it’s over. And pretty flabbergasted that it went off without a hitch. Or with only a hitch or two.
A. A dialogue flub when the admiral came in, and a jib snuck into a camera shot in, I think, Act 8. And we saw, in a close-up of Frau Schmidt, Ariane [Rinehart] sneaking to get to the window to climb in as Liesl in Act 3 where they do “Goatherd.”
Q. Have you read the reviews?
A. I have read a couple of them. Very mixed. Any of the negative reviews that I’ve read on Carrie I think are pretty unfounded, honestly. I feel like she created a little character for herself. I think it was a lose-lose situation for her because I think everyone had such memories of Julie Andrews. I think it’s so hard to try to recreate such an iconic role, but I was blown away by her, and I’ve never seen anyone work harder in my life.
Q. Did you look at any of the Twitter reaction?
A. [Laughs] I wouldn’t even know where to look, isn’t that horrible? Our script supervisor was on during the show and said it was tracking like crazy.
Q. Now that you’ve done this once, what would you do differently the next time?
A. We barely got the show blocked before we started run-throughs. I certainly would give a little more time to the camerawork so we could finesse it a little bit more and give the actors more time to create the moments and hit their marks. They did an amazing job. But I shot certain things a little more conservatively than I would have, based on the time we had. Also, it’s such a huge show for audio. I think next time I would have used two audio people because it’s such a monumental task.
Q. It did sound sometimes like the singing was underneath the music.
A. I just think it was an impossible task, you know what I mean? I think we should have EQ’d [equalized] the mikes on one board for the dialogue and then EQ’d the mikes on a completely separate board for the music.
Q. What was that persistent white noise or hissing sound?
A. Sometimes it was the fountain. Sometimes it was just because of the nature of the show. Normally you would have boom mikes that would pick up the dialogue and different mikes that would pick up the music. [Last night] everything was wig mikes — basically there were little lavs [lavaliere microphones] that were mounted in people’s wigs. You had to have microphones open for dialogue, that was much softer, and then microphones for the music — there were so many people talking and then singing and then talking and then singing. It could have been that, just having so many microphones open.
Q. What went right?
A. I think everything went right. Everybody set out to retell a timeless classic and refresh for everybody what the original play and the original story was. I thought everyone did an amazing job at that. I felt like Audra’s performance as Mother Abbess was amazing. I felt Laura brought a humanity to Elsa that wasn’t really in the movie. It was great to see that originally the play was a little more political. People weren’t really sure what to expect, and it either brushes them one way or another. That story is such a timeless classic, and I think that more people than not enjoyed it. I hope more people will do things like that in the future because it’s exciting. It’s live television.
Q. Did you have any favorite moments?
A. I thought the transition when Carrie left the house and went back to the abbey was really cool and looked really cool. I thought the last act when they were hiding from the Nazis looked really, really cool. I loved the first act, I thought it was beautiful.
Q. The ratings were great. If NBC called you tomorrow and said, “O.K., now we’re doing ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ are you in?” What would you say?
A. Ohhhh. [Long pause.] I would tell them I need to take a nap first and then call them back.
Miss The Sound of Music last night? The good news is that NBC has released the full episode on their website. The bad news is that this is likely only viewable to those in the United States and Canada. We’ll continue to keep our eyes peeled for the release of The Sound of Music for our international friends.
The results are finally in, and they are really, really good! So good, that The Sound of Music is being referred to as “a true victory” for not only NBC, but for network television in general. Because of the success of The Sound of Music, it would appear that there may be more events like this in the future! Here’s how the numbers were broken down, via Media Insights:
It was a true victory for NBC – and network television – with the live production of “The Sound of Music” lifting NBC to its most-watched Thursday (excluding sports) since the series-finale of “Frasier” on May 13, 2004. In adults 18-49, this was NBC’s highest rated Thursday (also excluding sports) since the series-finale of “ER” on April 2, 2009. “The Sound of Music Live” averaged 18.47 million viewers and a 4.6 rating/13 share among adults 18-49, with the 8 p.m. half-hour out-rating competing mega-hit “The Big Bang Theory” on CBS (a first since “American Idol”) by 2.30 million viewers (17.56 vs. 15.26 million). The peak half-hour was 8:30 p.m., with 19.70 million viewers and a 5.0/14 in the demo. The hills, no doubt, were alive with the sound of must-see TV on NBC Thursday!
Don’t know about y’all, but we at Simply Moyer were thrilled with the show last night. And needless to say, we think that Steve knocked it out of the park with his multi-layered portrayal of Captain von Trapp. And these fantastic ratings are just icing on the cake! Well done to the entire cast and crew!
It’s probably safe to assume that this was the moment from The Sound of Music that those of us in Stevedom had been waiting for. And NBC was kind enough to share it on their Youtube channel! Thanks, Daddy NBC!
NBC has been adding several of the musical numbers on their Youtube channel. We’ll post those that include Steve as they become available.
Steve was interviewed by Christopher John Farley of The Wall Street Journal and proved himself to be a very smart husband when discussing Carrie Underwood’s work ethic. “I’ve worked with my wife ["True Blood" co-star Anna Paquin] and Carrie Underwood is one of the hardest workers I’ve ever worked with in my life. Carrie is right behind her I would say. I wouldn’t put her above my wife–you can’t do that!–but she’s right up there! Carrie’s a gifted girl–she never settles for anything but perfection.” The rest of the interview follows:
How did you get pulled into this project?
My agents rang me. I was in the middle of rehearsals for “Chicago” and my agents rang me….It was a straight offer. It was weird because I was expecting a phone call about another job, and so when my agents rang me, I was thinking “Ohh–I wonder if this is that call?” And it wasn’t, it was this call. At first I thought, “they’re doing what? Are they crazy?” But I went and met [executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron] and spoke to [director] Rob Ashford on the phone and heard about what it was they were trying to achieve.
You attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. How did that training prepare you for this, if at all?
God! I don’t think anything can get you ready for something like this. That’s no disrespect to my alma mater. This is unique. This is TV and theater but it’s not either of them. It is its own extraordinary thing. The performance that goes out on that night is the performance that it will be…This is our first night. Our first preview is our closing night. That is a very unique situation to be in. It’s scary and exciting all at the same time.
Will you be playing the guitar for the song “Edelweiss”?
Yes, I’m playing the guitar.
How are your guitar skills?
I literally know about three chords.
That’s all you need to start a punk band.
Exactly right man! That’s all the Beatles had when they started off! I’ve managed to make those three chords stretch a long while. This is a completely different thing. Playing live, singing live is a completely different situation…I start the guitar solo and then the orchestra joins in.
When you’re someone who has played a long-running character like Vampire Bill on “True Blood,” is it difficult to escape some of the mannerisms from that role when you’re playing an entirely different character in a whole new universe in a play like this?
That’s a great question. Nobody’s asked me that. Look, I think however extraordinary Meryl Streep is, when she’s playing a part she’s still Meryl Streep. You don’t go like, that’s not Meryl Streep that’s George London, you know what I mean? However amazing Judi Dench is, you don’t not go that’s Judi Dench up there being a character. So I think it’s very hard to get away from your own mannerisms, the things you do in your every day life. There are some things that you can bring that are specific to that character. But ultimately it’s you up there. So I’m sure that the critics of this world will see all sorts of things that they want to see inside it. But I’ve built the character from the ground up, and to me, he’s nothing like Bill. But I’m sure people will make their own conclusions.
Is there a moment in the show that you fear? That you think will be tough to pull off live without making a mistake?
There’s a a couple. Obviously ”Edelweiss” is one because I’m playing and singing and it’s just me.
So after “Sound of Music Live!” ends, you’ve got to go end “True Blood.” That’s a lot of letting go.
Would you believe I start prepping on Monday? I fly back to L.A. and I’m up at 6 a.m. in the morning because I’m directing the first ep. So it’s pretty intense.
The interviews just keep rolling in as we draw closer to showtime! Steve was interviewed by EW’s Tim Stack and while some of his answers will border on the familiar, there are always little tidbits that we haven’t heard before. One thing is seeming more and more certain: Steve definitely seems to have an interest in continuing with theatrical endeavors in the future!
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did this come to you?
STEPHEN MOYER: Interestingly, I got the offer before. It came through at the end of the first week of rehearsals, so weird. I had just finished True Blood literally the week before. I was waiting on quite an interesting gig, and my agent rang me up and he said, “Hey, are you available for a minute for a chat?” I thought it was going to be something else completely and it was The Sound of Music Live! Not quite what I was expecting.
Were you a fan of the movie?
Absolutely. I don’t think there are very many people that aren’t, and that’s for good reason. It’s great. I get asked this question a lot about when was the first time that you saw it, how did you feel, what does it feel like walking into other people’s shoes, etc. But, you know, Julie Andrews wasn’t the first person to play it, neither was Christopher Plummer. This was a musical for six years that was extraordinarily successful before it became a movie — and that’s the version we’re doing. We live in a comparative society; people are going to compare. I’ve seen a couple of productions of this over the years and it’s just a brilliantly constructed piece of theater.
If we just look at it from the Captain’s point of view, what I was interested in, going back to the book, was that he is a conscientious objector. He’s a war hero who is a conscientious objector, which is kind of mad when you think about it. He morally stands up against something he doesn’t believe in. So, there’s that part of the story, which you kind of remember, but it’s not what you think of. Right at the bubbling heart of all of this is this man, this war hero, who lost his wife and is grieving and has been grieving for five years and he’s shut off every emotional tap. He won’t let the children listen to any music. There is not music in the house, there’s no dancing, there’s no fun at all. In fact, he doesn’t spend any time with them. He spends all his time in Vienna. He comes back and replaces the governess, and then goes back to Vienna again because he can’t be around these children because they remind him of his wife.
It’s deep stuff. One of the things that the musical director, David Chase, which I really love, is that we’re all used to saying “The Sound of Music.” It becomes a little glib phrase that we all remember and think of, but the whole show is about how music transforms people’s lives. It’s about this place where it’s shut off and when she brings music into this house, the sound of music, it opens everybody up. It opens up all these emotions, and I love that.
What’s been the biggest challenge of this so far?
I can’t think of anything at the moment. You know why? The reason I can’t answer that question — I’m not scared of answering. It’s because they gave us a proper rehearsal period.
[Producers] Neil Meron and Craig Zadan have done a brilliant job of doing it like a Broadway show. Literally two days ago, we started blocking on set. The camera boys are looking at it today. Tomorrow, the sound design starts. There will start being microphones everywhere so that we can hear each other. That’s going to change it all again. Then, next week, on Monday, the cameras start. The cameras start blocking where they’re going to be and that’s going to be a whole other…one of the things that has happened is that you get to the point where you’re, “Oh, we’re doing really good,” and then you go, “Oh Jesus, now we’ve got to do this and we’ve got to change the blocking because it doesn’t work for camera.” So, you have these little false moments of…but that’s like building a show. I think the thing that’s probably the most concerning would be that our preview is our first night, is our last night. I’m sure we’ll get loads of chances to run it, in costume, with sound, as if it were real. But without an audience, you don’t know where the laughs are, you don’t know when the end of a number ends.
I was with Hank Azaria on Saturday, who’s an old friend of mine, and Hank had done this for George Clooney [for 2000’s Fail Safe]. He said they were all terrified! And then it started and they were all great. They were like, “Oh my god, this is great!” Then there’s this commercial break. So, you’re all on a high, then you get to a commercial break and all the fear starts again. That’s going to be an interesting aspect of it.
Is that daunting at all to step into an iconic role? I asked Carrie the same thing.
Of course you did, it’s an important question. I think that, truthfully, for me, I’m a huge fan of Chris Plummer. We actually worked together on a film called Priest about four years ago but we didn’t have any scenes together. But I’m a massive fan and always have been. I was thinking about it yesterday because somebody asked me a similar question and afterwards I was thinking, “God, there’s a career I’d love to…” Because he did a bunch of theater, he did a bunch of Shakespeare; he did Hamlet at Elsinore Castle. He then did this. He built up this career — probably spent 25, 30 years trying to get rid of Von Trapp, truthfully — and then finally in the last 10 to 15 years did. But what a great career. He’s done everything and he’s respected and much loved. So I am a huge fan, but I can’t be Christopher Plummer. I’m not Christopher Plummer. It’s going to be different and consequently, I haven’t watched the movie because I think it would be sort of torturous to do that to yourself. I can just try to do the best I can do with it and try and tell the story as best I can. It’s a great piece.
How has it been working with Carrie because she’s definitely sort of the novice, in terms of acting? How’s that been?
Look, she came in totally prepared. I mean, I was doing affiliate tags with her yesterday and I was just sitting there watching her. She’s just a pro, man. She can sing the sh– out of it, obviously, goes without saying. But I hope there’s been moments when I’ve been able to help her. She’s very keen to learn and be as good as she can be, so she’s kind of open in that way that you would want. There are some things that she hasn’t done before, which I can hopefully help here. She was a great help to me. We were in the studio — we get on really well. We laugh a lot, she’s very funny. She’s a spunky girl and she’s quick.
Why should people tune in for this show? What are they going to get? Sell it to me!
They’re going to get the possibility of it all going wrong…live. We all love a car crash, you know? We’re all huge rubber-neckers [Laughs]. But what that also brings, is a kind of viscerality — if that’s a word – that it is really happening now. If there are little moments where it’s probably not as good as it was in the dress rehearsal that proves that it’s happening now. There’s very little like that in the world anymore. Everything is so slick and clean and we expect our entertainment to be this glossy thing. I’m really excited about the fact that it isn’t that and it’ll be what it will be on the night and that’s the only time it will ever be. And I think that’s exciting.
I really hope that this sort of spawns a tradition of live performance again because when I grew up, we used to watch this thing every Sunday called Sunday Night at the London Palladium. It was a variety show and it was live from the London Palladium every week on ITV. They’d cut to breaks and they’d come back and it would be a comic running it and there’s people coming on and signing, stupid little, you know, juggling acts and stuff. I love that sh–! I love it. I think that’s something that isn’t around anymore and we live in this world where everything is so immediate. I’m excited by it and I think it should be fun. If you’re tuning in to watch the movie, watch the movie, because this is not it. It’s going to be very different. We’re not in Vienna, do you know what I mean? We’re in Long Island in a shed [laughs]. It’s about seeing it for what it is and it is this amazing piece of work. Hopefully we’ll do it some justice.
You must be thrilled to show a different side to you for people who only know you as Bill from True Blood.
Yeah, and it’s been really fun singing, it’s been really fun — this is the first time in, I mean, years that I’ve used my own accent. Years. Feels a bit weird. Because I use an accent sometimes as a disguise. It’s another part of the costume in a way. So, getting used to hearing my own voice has been interesting. Yeah, just showing another side. I got into this business because I loved theater. It was all I ever wanted to do and this is a great kind amalgam of what I am now and what I used to be.