Imagine living in a bomb shelter. Now imagine watching TV while in a bomb shelter. Now, imagine watching a web series of people in a bomb shelter. While you may think that we're talking about a web series in the ‘60s, you need to realize there was no web in the ‘60s. As such, it's this fun and hilarious plot that the makers of the web series The Bomb Shelter have made available to you in the here and now, lucky web surfer. Our interview with the creators of the series will leave you searching for shelter upon its completion (some would say, our interview is the bomb).
To view episodes of The Bomb Shelter go to: thebombshelterseries.com
TH: Will the preceding events be described in future episodes or is it more enjoyable to leave that up to the watcher's imagination?
Marcus: The story was originally intended as a short film with the idea being that you had no clue who these people were or why they were in the shelter. Once it switched from a short to a series I wanted to keep that concept intact. I think it lends to the absurdist nature of the show and the fact that that these characters seem to have been completely unaffected by whatever events brought them there. However, that being said, I have an ending for the series in mind that will pretty much explain everything.
TH: Mindy, in the pilot your character has to passionately kiss a man who isn't your husband; this being semi-ironic since Marcus is your husband in real life and in the show. As an actor, this pretend dalliance has no weight, but alas fans often wonder if it's difficult to perform. May we get your take on this?
Mindy: Marcus and I have had the opportunity to work together on several projects - the majority of them involving me kissing another man in front of him. However, this was the first time I was kissing someone else because he wrote it into the script. On one hand, I didn't have all the usual queries about who the guy would be, what all would the kiss entail, was it really necessary, etc. However, it was also the first time my husband has directed me to kiss someone, which definitely made for a more awkward situation for me. I believe "Just keep your mouths closed!" was the main direction given.
TH: Marcus, your character sports one of the best beards in entertainment (dare I say Norris-esque). Although it's fake, I'm sure the care for such a delicate item requires special attention. Is it safe to say that it resides in a cryogenic chamber during takes or have you devised a different method for its care?
Marcus: Ha! No, nothing so intricate as that. I actually have three Swedish women who take care of it for me. One of them, Hvelgstrman (lovely woman) gently washes it after each shoot day while her assistant, Svetlaargsa, carefully blows it dry with her own breath, exerting no more than the delicate pressure of a whisper. Finally, the facial hair is handed over to Marija for a bit of styling wherein each hair is carefully arranged to form the look you see on screen. The beard is then transferred to a small satin pillow where it is lightly sprayed with lavender oil. It's no big deal.
TH: Mindy, how has filming on a web series differed from your previous work?
Mindy: The majority of my work has been in theater (I trained in musical theater in New York). This cast was all theater trained, so it felt more like a theater production than other films I've worked on (I find theater people are a different breed than film/TV folk). It's also more geared toward theater in the sense that there's an invisible fourth wall, so you're dealing with a space similar to one onstage. One of the nice things about working on this series was that we were in our own space - no location shooting, which was one less headache to manage.
TH: Marcus, as a writer of the show, are you ever tempted to give your character the best lines?
Marcus: It's a great idea but it never seems to work out that way. While I really like writing for all of the characters, the one I laugh at the most is Frank. The story, contrary to what people may think is coming based on the first episode, is not about the relationship between a husband and wife, but about these two men, Bill and Frank, fighting for a place of dominance. Bill is a genuinely good guy who cares about other people and the way they see him while Frank is somewhat the opposite. Frank tends to say and do things without worrying about the consequences. A character like that is a lot of fun to write.
TH: Mindy, can you tell us more about the location used for filming or is that perhaps secret? Also, given the apparent tight confines, if an actor stormed off-set, would they be able to get very far?
Mindy: We were lucky enough to rent a warehouse in the San Fernando Valley - where our warehouse neighbors apparently thought we were filming porn (I'm afraid they were a bit disappointed to discover the truth). It was definitely a small space - the getaway spot was usually the front area where our dressing room was - it was a smaller space so the easiest to keep cool (note to all: when filming in the valley in the summertime, find a place that has central air). We did have a nice parking lot (a definite bonus for L.A.!), but sometimes it was just as hot outside as it was in. The irony to the summer heat was that one week we were filming an episode involving a pool and should have cherished the minimal clothing, but instead the temperature dropped and we found ourselves freezing in the water.
TH: Marcus, how soon will it be before one of the actors from your show demands their own spin-off or leaves to "pursue their film career"?
Marcus: Why do a movie when you can be in a web series?! I don't think any of my cast would ever consider "slumming it" like that. However the idea of a spin-off is a possibility. I think it would be based on Jeff and Tanya's characters and would all take place in the far left corner of the shelter. We could call it 'Jeff Loves Tanya!" or something fun and zany like that. Whatever the title, it would definitely have to include an exclamation point.
TH: Mindy, as an actor who happens to be a brunette, do you find yourself pigmentally challenged versus female counterparts who are blonde?
Mindy: I used to think so - especially in theater. However, I find that it seems the "girl next door" look is primarily brunette these days. Though don't get me wrong - I've often considered buying a blonde wig and taking some headshots with it to try my chances. Not many actresses out here are natural blondes anyway.
TH: Marcus, since the show is naturally going to be a big hit, I foresee E! creating an E! True Hollywood Story: The Bomb Shelter. Who will they hire to play all of the cast members (I'm guessing Bradley Cooper for you and Sheryl Crow for Mindy)?
Marcus: Mindy and I are flattered by the people you've chosen to play us but I think that my dream cast would be comprised of Sidney Poitier, Ralph Fiennes , Liam Neesen, Lindsey Lohan and, of course, Dame Judi Dench.
TH: We like to end all of our interviews with word association. So if I say wombat, you say...