Sunday I finally had a chance to talk with Laurel Holloman.
With almost two thousand attendees at the L3 Convention,
all of the guests were really busy with photo shoots, Q&A
sessions and autographs. The lines to all the events were
long and endless and the cast members also needed time to
rest and eat; so my only opportunity to interview Laurel was at the end of the autograph session on the last
day of the convention.
interview was brief as she was leaving right after to catch
her plane back home. Still, it was very enjoyable. Laurel always impresses me with her answers because they
are usually so detailed and thoughtful. She is indeed a
true artist who is not just playing her character but actually
is trying to understand who she's playing and why her character
is behaving a certain way.
Some of the questions I
was planning on asking were actually brought up during Laurel
and Eric's Question and Answers sessions, so come back to the
site when the Q&A reports will be posted to find out more
what Laurel had to say about herself and Tina.
I were seated in the room with only her assistant, Hayley, present
and after usual greetings we began the interview.
Tell me about your convention experiences
because this is your third convention, right? And you're coming
in March 2008 for L4.
Laurel Holloman: If my schedule permits, yes.
And you're also planning to go to Germany as well?
LH: Yes, which is a separate kind of thing. It's mixed
with some of the actors from Queer as Folk.
Okay, so tell me a little bit about the conventions,
what makes you come back?
LH: Well, everyone has been really nice and I don't
know, but I think there's like a jadedness sometimes with fans,
not in the United States but maybe just in LA. Not to say that they are not fans because they
are but there's so much enthusiasm over here and it's pretty amazing.
It's just fun to be around for this experience and it's fun just
to experience another country and another culture and maybe that's
why I'm getting tired of being in LA. It's fun to have the experience
of travel and to hang out with my cast members that I'm friends
with and see a great country and meet all the women that are from
all these different countries. Like Eric and I said when we did
the Q&A, we get really isolated in our jobs.
You know, right before this I was at the convention
in LA that Leisha and Kate attended. Leisha had her concert and
pretty much every cast member showed up Friday night after filming
except for you and Jennifer. So the fans were wondering what you
were doing that night. You know how many speculations started
after that? Some fans were saying that you were probably practicing
LH: No, no, no. Honestly, I was shooting all week and
I had my nanny take care of my daughter most of the week, and
so to kind of go out at night and see a concert would take time
away from her. I had already taken hours and hours upon hours.
Also, my nanny has two children, and I went home so she could
be with her kids. My husband's in school so he's not available
Yes, you mentioned before that he's in a graduate
LH: He goes to SCI-Arc, Southern California Institute
So, are you still living in LA?
LH: Completely, yeah.
Oh, because someone mentioned that you have
a house in Vancouver.
LH: No, I don't have a house in Vancouver, at all.
Oh, all those false rumors.
LH: Yeah, false rumors. I'm a 100 percent LA. I just
rent an apartment just to do the show and when the show is over
I leave as soon as possible. Not that I don't like Vancouver,
but I don't want to live there. I want to live in LA.
Okay, now here's a Bette and Tina question.
I'm not going to ask any spoilers because you already told me
that we (meaning, TiBetters) are going to be happy.
LH (laughing): I said you might be happy.
No, you said we're going to be happy.
LH: Maybe I've changed my mind (laughing again).
Please, don't (Laurel was laughing again)
because we have been waiting for so long. If you think about,
it has been four seasons and pretty much only in season 1 Bette
and Tina were really, really together. We are tired of waiting,
but we'll be waiting until the end. Though, if Bette will choose
Jodi one more time, there will be a lot of fall away from the
show. Anyway, here's my question. I interviewed Jennifer Beals
at the Matthew Shepard Foundation, and I asked her this question.
LH: It was really good. I saw the pictures. She looked
Oh, yes. We have a
lot of pictures
on our site, too, because the photographer and I went there.
I asked her a rather lengthy question: how you and she always
said that you wanted Bette and Tina back together, how you love
to do in-love scenes because they are not as hard as the fighting
scenes. When I asked Jennifer if she still wants them back together,
she said that they have to earn it. In your opinion, did they
earn anything so far up to season 4? You know, like they began
their friendship again, and they were kind of getting along, they
LH: They're starting to earn it, yeah.
So you also think that they have to earn to
get back together?
LH: Yeah, I mean, now they're just friends, but Tina
spent a lot of time in season 4 trying to help Bette have a healthy
relationship with Jodi. And when at one point Annabella asked
my character, you know, why am I doing that, who knows? Maybe,
Tina feels guilty. You know, that it's loving someone in wanting
happiness for them regardless of how it turns out, and that's
part of their journey. The earning it...that I think Jennifer
is talking about... What I would say is they need to earn it by
processing some of the things. I think they need to admit some
of the mistakes they've made, and then they need to own them,
apologize for them, and start to try to figure out a way to not
repeat the pattern.
Since we were talking about how Tina was helping
Bette to find happiness with Jodi, I remember you were saying
before that in season 4 there's going to be this huge redemption
theme for Tina, that she will basically sacrifice her own happiness
for Bette's happiness. What do you think about this whole situation
LH: I don't think she's sacrificing her own happiness
at all. I truly don't think at the end of season 4 Tina knows
where her happiness lies. I think Tina's on a journey of what
it means to be alone, and I think she's learning how to be independent.
I think she is actually finding happiness in it. I don't think
she's evolved enough at the end of season 4 to know she's supposed
to be in a relationship again. I think she has feelings, but I
think she's adjusted to what those feelings are because Bette's
in a relationship, and I think she's just actually thinking that
it's time to be alone.
During the Q&A you mentioned the scene
on the beach when Tina was with Kate and she calls Bette. I already
asked you that question before about what she said.
LH: It was pretty obvious what that was about.
Exactly, but they had this little cut that
didn't make the scene when you kissed Kate, why do you think they
cut it? We all, of course, have our own ideas why but why do you
think that kiss was cut?
LH: I don't know, I didn't edit it. It was Ilene's episode,
and she edited that. I think, personally, I know why it was cut,
but I don't want to say.
Well, I was thinking that right after Tina
said, you know, "I want you back, I'm not afraid to make
a fool out of myself…" and then all of a sudden she kisses
Kate, it would look like it would diminish a little what she had
said to Bette.
LH: I think it's a very adult thing. Her ex-girlfriend
is in a full-on relationship, and she's helping her win her back,
and whatever happens on the beach stays on the beach. I don't
think Tina needs to be a saint in that moment because, if you
think about it, she's been out of a relationship for a year or
ten months. A lot of time has passed and they are sharing a child
together. She's not with Henry anymore--and Bette's definitely
the one in a relationship--and Tina's the one on her own. But
I think if she made out with Kate on the beach. it doesn't take
away her feelings, it's just means that Tina is a sexual person
(laughing). But it could've just been a kiss, you know.
I think it was meant to be ambiguous, interpret it the way you
want. Either they head out on the beach and have great sex, or
they don't really click. I think in this scene Annabella plays
it where, you know, she's not too sure of Tina at that moment,
and I think that's going to affect what's going to happen to them.
I think that it also was played so well that
when Tina was talking to Bette, I think Kate was thinking…
LH: Yeah, that she wasn't over it. Yes, I think Kate
was thinking that Tina's not over it.
Okay, well, you already know the term TiBetters,
right? People who want Bette and Tina to be a couple, TiBette,
and you know that this couple has a huge, huge following. There
were polls on different websites and this couple has always been
a favorite couple. Why do you think Bette and
Tina have so many fans and such a huge fan base?
LH: I think it somewhat started in the pilot and I think
there was really electric chemistry between the two of us. I think,
as actors, we fought really hard over the next five years to try
to tell a truth and we tried to bring a lot of history into these
two women's lives. I think they ultimately have all the potential
to be just a really wonderful couple and you know, they want a
lot of really rich deep quality things in their lives, and they
want a certain life style that's very attractive and very appealing.
I just think there's something about them that is very attractive.
You know, when I first started watching it,
I rented the pilot and I thought, I'll see it and if I don't like
it, I'll just return it. And I saw the first scene, Bette and
Tina just sleeping in bed, nothing else and I was like, that's
it, this is my favorite couple (Laurel laughed at my admission and agreed with me). I don't know why, but I felt chemistry even there.
It was really great and I think that's what people keep seeing,
even when you fight, there's always something there. That's why
so many people don't accept Bette and Jodi because there's no
chemistry there. When they laugh with each other and maybe joking,
like friends, I can see it. I can see them as friends but I can't
see them as lovers at all.
LH: Right, yeah.
So many people agree with me, even people
who hate Tina. . .sorry, but there are some who do.
LH: Yeah, when you take a character on a lesbian show
and you flip her over to a guy, then there's no way out of this.
Well, there're some fans who hate Bette or
LH: I think a lot of people identify with some and it
depends on who you are in your partnership. Like, I've had actually
gay men come up to me and say, "I'm just like Tina, and my
boyfriend's just like Bette. He's so controlling and you know,
blah-blah-blah-blah-blah." I think people identify with a
certain aspect of certain roles that you see. One good thing that
Ilene did is that she's throwing those roles out the window now,
and these women are changing -- they are growing and if they do
end up together, they'll never end up being the couple they were.
If or when?
LH: If they do end up together they won't
end up like before. Tina is coming into her own. She's definitely
a late bloomer and she's just in a really great place. I don't
think she was in a bad place, but I think she was still kind of
growing from a girl to a woman when she was with Bette in the
beginning. I think there were some control issues that Tina should've
confronted Bette about but she didn't. And some identity issues,
which, you know, happens. I don't think she's the same person
Yes, you can totally see from season 1 to
season 4 how she changed for the better.
LH: For me, playing her in season 1 was the hardest,
because I would never lose my identity in someone else's. It's
not my personality. It was really uncomfortable to play, like
some of the group therapy scenes.
Oh, I know. Some of them I couldn't even
LH: So, I had a hard time with playing all of her kind
of subservient wifeness. It's not in my nature.
Well, when I said that there are some fans
that hate Tina, there are two sides to that. One of them means
that your character inspires so many emotions. They are not indifferent,
saying that they don't care about Tina. They say that they hate
her because of that or that they love her because of that or that.
So for me actually, it means great acting.
LH: I've never been an actress that has to be liked,
so I'm okay with that (laughing).
the second part to that, like I said, even those fans who don't
like Tina, they'd rather see Bette with Tina than Jodi, because
of the chemistry between them but not the other couple.
You probably talked about this before but
there's six months between seasons.
LH: There's always going to be 6 months between every
season. They have to write it, they just don't pull it out of
their hat. First, they have a break so everybody can take time
off. And in the 3 months break they edit. So, they need three
months after we wrap so from October until about right before
the first episode airs. Like, when I get back, which is one of
the reasons I have to go back, because they are editing the sound
on the last episode. Technically, we are still working, at least
on the sound and so they don't really wrap it up right until we
go to air in January. And then what they do is they air and then
they see how the season goes and then, if we were to go back,
the writers have to probably start around March or we might not
get picked up, which could be very probable.
Well, I talked to Ilene and said that she
show is still pretty strong and she's hoping for season 6.
LH: It's still pretty strong, yeah. It's either going
to be this year or next. It won't go past that.
You mean only up to season 6?
LH: It would be the last one.
Really? I wish it would go on forever.
LH: That's just my bet (laughing) but you know,
you never know. Never say never.