The Light from the TV Shows: A Chat with Megyn Price (“Rules of Engagement”)

After a season on “Lateline,” five seasons on “Grounded for Life,” and seven seasons – so far – of “Rules of Engagement,” Megyn Price ought to know the process of putting together a sitcom inside and out by now, so it’s not entirely surprising to find that she’s decided to step behind the camera and direct an episode of her CBS series. Price chatted with Bullz-Eye about what it took to transition into directing and how her castmates helped her efforts (there’s a bit of a spoiler in the mix, so be wary) while also reflecting on some of her favorite and not-so-favorite aspects of the show’s seven seasons to date. Before getting down to business, however, I’d promised to pass on a message…

Cats & Dogs

Bullz-Eye: First of all, I’m supposed to tell you that Donal Logue says, “Hello.”

Megyn Price: Awwwwwww… I love him! We’ve been going back and forth on Twitter. My former TV husband…

BE: Yeah, he and I just did an interview in conjunction with his debut on “Vikings” for the Onion AV Club.

MP: Oh, you did? Oh, great! That’s fun. He’s such a great guy, isn’t he? Did you have a 400-hour interview with him? ‘Cause he can not stop talking. [Laughs.]

BE: Well, actually, it started out a phoner, and then we ended up doing a bit more by email. It was for a feature called Random Roles, and I wanted to try to cover as many of his roles as possible. Lord knows he’s got enough of ‘em…

MP: Oh, God, I bet he loved that! He has the best stories. He used to tell a story about being on “The Patriot” anytime wardrobe would come up to us on “Grounded for Life,” about how there was this stampede, where everyone was getting run over by horses, and he said that wardrobe would come up to him and fix his collar. He’s, like, “Okay, you don’t need to fix my collar. I’m about to get run over by a horse!” [Laughs.]

BE: Okay, on to the topic at hand: your directorial debut. What took you so long to get behind the camera?

MP: It’s hard to get the shot, y’know? There are no small directing jobs. There are small acting jobs, but no small directing jobs. Somebody’s really got to be generous and kind, like our producers were on this show, and give you a shot. And, y’know, I think I had to earn it a little bit. A) I had to have the experience, but B) I had to do a lot of research and a lot of studying with other directors and prove that I was serious about it all.

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The Light from the TV Shows: A Chat with Clive Standen (“Vikings”)

Given the astounding success that History Channel found with its previous based-on-stuff-that-really-happened dramatic effort, “Hatfields and McCoys,” it’s no wonder that the network is throwing such a profound promotional push behind its latest endeavor, “Vikings.” Granted, the cast of this one can’t quite compare with headline names like Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton, but don’t be so hasty to dismiss it just because you don’t know as many of the actors off the top of your head. After all, at the very least, it’s got Gabriel Byrne, who’s quite good (as anyone who’s watched him on HBO’sIn Treatmentor any number of his many cinematic efforts can handily testify), but, seriously, there’s a lot of other solid actors in the ensemble as well…like, say, Clive Standen, for instance. Bullz-Eye had a chance to chat with Standen about his work on “Vikings,” but we also managed to chat a bit about his work on “Camelot“  and “Doctor Who as well as a slightly less fondly remembered effort called “Heroes and Villains.”

VikingsCliveStanden

Bullz-Eye: To start with the inevitable, how did you find your way into “Vikings in the first place? Presumably it didn’t hurt that you’d already worked with the creators.

Clive Standen: It was a long process for me. I was fighting them, kicking and screaming, to try and get seen for this. [Laughs.] I was filming with one of the producers of Vikings, Morgan O’Sullivan, when I did “Camelot,” and I remember him and Michael Hirst talking about it quite a lot then as a new, exciting project they’d been working on for ages. Michael had been invested in the Viking saga for a long time. Right from the beginning, I think they were looking for big names, and they had their kind of wish list, with people like Viggo Mortensen and…well, it was a completely different breed. And I was stuck in “Camelot,” and I was just so jealous. When “Camelot” was finished, I was writing letters and, as I say, kicking and screaming, saying, “Can I get seen for it?” And they wanted to see me for Rollo, which is the part that I played, but for some reason I went on this whole journey of doing screen tests and things for the part of Ragnar. At the very end, though, they offered me Rollo, which was the part that I wanted in the first place, so I must say it made me very happy.

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