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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Kit Williamson and John Halbach Revisit 'EastSiders' Season One (Out on DVD!) and Preview What's Ahead

Kit Williamson and John Halbach.
Season One of Indie Series Award-winning EastSiders was released this week on demand and DVD. EastSiders offers a peek into the life and friends of a gay couple in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. In the first season, Cal (Kit Williamson) finds out Thom (Van Hansis) has been cheating on him, and their relationship is turned upside down. Serial Scoop caught up with EastSiders creator and star Kit Williamson, along with executive producer and cast member John Halbach (who plays Ian), who revealed their favorite moments from Season One, and shared what's ahead in Season Two. Read our exclusive interview below:

SERIAL SCOOP: Are you going to to tell me what's happening in every episode in Season Two?
JOHN HALBACH: We are going to tell you everyone who has sex, everyone who dies.
KIT WILLIAMSON: A lot of people die.
JOHN HALBACH: Everyone has an evil twin.
KIT WILLIAMSON: A lot of evil twins killed. [Laughs]
SERIAL SCOOP: Yes! That's what I was hoping for. Sex! Murders! Plot Twists!
JOHN HALBACH: We're going Game of Thrones. No one is safe.

SERIAL SCOOP: So what can we really expect from Season Two? [Laughs]
KIT WILLIAMSON: I will say that everybody is coming back which is really exciting.
JOHN HALBACH: Brea Grant is returning as Bri, Jeremy's sister, and her role is expanding.  We are going to see a lot more of her and her home life with her wife, played by Vera Miao. We are also introducing a love interest for Steven Gaurino's character, Quincy, who will played by William Beli from RuPaul's Drag Race and Nip/Tuck.
KIT WILLIAMSON: The character of Douglas is going to appear both in and out of drag. That’s something that is a really a fun part of that character. We so often see drag performers portrayed exclusively while they are working. But obviously they have lives, heartbreak and experiences outside of the gay bar. It was really a fun character to write.

We also have Satya Bhabha and Adam Bucci joining the cast. Satya Bhabha plays an aspiring sex therapist who works at the restaurant with Thom.  Adam Bucci is returning in his role from Season One; we saw him very briefly as one of Thom’s customers.

Hilary, who I won’t say too much about except that she is Cal’s sister and she sort of returns to her family after pretending to be away doing Teach for America for the last two years. And another character we are introducing along with Hilary is the role of Derek, who is a hot doctor I’ll say [Laughs] and a potential love interest for Jeremy (Matthew McKelligon).

SERIAL SCOOP: So Poor Jeremy is going receive some loving? Thank goodness!
JOHN HALBACH: We'll see. We always call him "Jeremyforeveralone."
KIT WILLIAMSON: We just say that to tease Matt. [Laughs]

SERIAL SCOOP: It's nice to see a lesbian couple featured on the show. What can you tell me about their relationship?
KIT WILLIAMSON: Well, they have been together for eight years. They have two children and have a really really stable family life that may not be as stable as initially appears.
SERIAL SCOOP: Oh, now I want to know more.
KIT WILLIAMSON: Their life is perhaps further disrupted by Jeremy moving in with them.

SERIAL SCOOP: John, anything you can reveal about Ian and Kathy?
JOHN HALBACH:I can say that people might be a little surprised by Ian. And "I don't give a shit Ian" from Season One might go to the next level. [Laughs] Is that fair to say Kit?

SERIAL SCOOP: What I like about EastSiders is that you are showing all sorts of relationships.
KIT WILLIAMSON: The thesis of Season Two is we want to explore a lot of different kinds of relationships, a lot of different ways that people connect or don’t connect with one another, or sabotage a connection. My goal for all the characters from the beginning was to tell a story with gay characters that I could relate to who were flawed and complex and I want to extend that same courtesy to the lesbian characters, to a character in drag, to the straight characters. I want everyone to be equally messed up.

SERIAL SCOOP: Looking back at Season One, what were your favorite moments?
KIT WILLIAMSON: It’s really hard to choose, because there are some things I really love as a director and then there are some things I really love as an audience member. I would say one of the more satisfying moments for me watching it is when Kathy really tears into Cal in Episode 7. I really liked experiencing that when I went through and watched that again. You’re kind of waiting for somebody to lay it all out there to the character. For me as an actor it’s hard to not get choked up at the end of Episode 1. When Thom comes home, it was such a strong thing when I was acting it, I kind of relive it when I watch it.
JOHN HALBACH: My favorite section of the show is when Ian is out with Quincy and David. And Kathy is off at the free clinic. It was such a thrill for me to finally get to work with Stephen Guarino. He and I had been friends from New York for years and years and I think that was the first time we ever actually acted together. I just loved that section of the show. It’s really cinematic and beautiful how it all builds up to that amazing song from Little Brutes, "Where I Used to Be." All those pieces coming together to that really devastating climax of that episode where Ian comes home to Kathy and says, "We need to talk."

SERIAL SCOOP: There are so many web series out there that are great, but what do you think it is about EastSiders that has touched so many people the way it has?
JOHN HALBACH: I think it's a show that I would want to see. If you gave me a description of EastSiders on paper and called it something else I personally would think that sounds really cool. I would want to watch that. We also had a lightning in a bottle situation with our cast and our crew. We are so lucky to have the people that we have. It's really special. I'm really glad that people have responded and want to see more of it.
KIT WILLIAMSON: Me too! [Laughs] I give a lot of credit to the actors because I feel they bring as much seriousness of purpose to the production as they would if it was a television show where they were getting paid a $1,000 a day. I think what a lot of people don't understand about acting is the amount of money you get paid for an independent project versus a project on a TV show is so drastically different. It really helps separate who is in it for the art, and who is in it for the money. It's clear to me that everybody involved in this project is in it for the love of it, and I think it's really powerful.

SERIAL SCOOP: Kit, who is your favorite actor on the show, other than John?
KIT WILLIAMSON: Oh that's not fair! [Laughs]
SERIAL SCOOP: I have to ask the tough questions!
KIT WILLIAMSON: I would say my favorite actor is also the most difficult; that was Albee my cat....our cat, excuse me, our cat. [Laughs] He made a brief appearance in Episode 1 but refused to actually come to set whenever there was crew, so had to be written out of future scripts.
JOHN HALBACH: Not in it for the art.

SERIAL SCOOP: Can you tell me what is going to happen in Season Three?
KIT WILLIAMSON: Haha! In Season Three we take a really long nap, and the cliffhanger of the show is we start to wake up from that nap and then we decide we're never waking up. [Laughs]

EDITOR'S NOTE: The first season of EastSiders is now available on DVD or for download at the following places (and more):
* Wolfe Video
* iTunes


Anonymous said…
Awesome interview. Now I'm even more excited about season 2. Buy the EastSiders season 1 DVD. It's an absolute necessity that you have it. Don't miss out.

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