Elisabeth Röhm ('The Whole Truth')
'The New Röhm-Com Queen!'
Angela Masters (Elisabeth Röhm, NBC’s Heroes and Law & Order) is an acting coach who makes it big. Not in Hollywood, but by coaching criminal defendants on how to work the system and win jury acquittals!
Washed up TV celeb Gary Langston (Sean Patrick Flanery, The Boondock Saints I and II) – whose had a crush on Angela for years – continues to work with her, hoping for his next break ... or for her to notice him, whichever comes first!
After helping free ruthless mobster Yaro Maroslav (Eric Roberts, Runaway Train), Angela overhears him plan a heinous crime and he sets out to kill her. Police and prosecutors, annoyed by all the cases she’s turned upside down, aren’t so eager to help.
She must now stand up to the thug. So she testifies against him in court, but – thanks to her own handiwork – Maroslav comes off as the good guy! Frantic to convince the jury otherwise, Angela breaks all her own rules, her wacky testimony making headlines around the world. Will karma, love and justice finally prevail? Watch and see for the whole truth will be revealed!!
Chatting recently with the lovely lady herself Elisabeth Röhm, I first wondered, as 'The Whole Truth' was actually filmed in Seattle way back in 2009, was talking about it today (some 4 years on) a little weird? "I think it's always a little bit weird to talk about a project after a year or two, or even longer. One that you've seen it, done it, and been into it. I've had to rewatch it to remind myself. But certain movies leave an impression on you and maybe they even create turning points in your life as an artist."
"This was the first comedy I've ever done so it was pretty memorable for me. But it's definitely disappointing when something takes this long to come out, because you put your heart into something and it just takes so much time for people to see it. But at least people are getting the chance to see it now. But sometimes you can do these independent films and they disappear forever and no one ever gets to see them," she laughs.
Do you think that people like the character you play actually exist in real life to coach and give character transformations to accused criminals? "I don't know. I would imagine not exactly like this, but I do think there are life coaches. It just so happens that this woman is an acting teacher. Perhaps there are certain people who need to learn how to behave appropriately in public. But I don't think exactly like this. I think the whole thing is kinda far-fetched and over the top."
Why did you choose to do this film? "The reason I wanted to do this film is because it was such an excellent script. Colleen Patrick is a first time director who had a very clear vision which is always important. So, it wasn't as if there was any movie out there that I could see that could prove to me she could make a movie. But her writing is good, the script was so good and so funny and all the other actors would confirm the same thing. It really stood out as a page turner. Really funny, really absurd, and not based in reality. Just over the top. And I think for all the actors like Eric Roberts, Sean Patrick Flannery and myself, we all just wanted the opportunity just to do something a little more slapstick."
"Because most of the time the three of us do more dramatic roles. At least, that's what we're known for. So, we all just wanted to play. And with this movie we all got this great chance to play. It's over the top. It's not comedy-based-in-reality. So, I'll be interested to know if people like it or not."
Funny you should say that, because being filmed primarily in Seattle, it got unveiled at the Seattle International Film Festival and suffered a lot of negative press. Do you yourself ever read bad press on a movie or TV show you’ve just been involved with? "No, I don't tend to like to read things like that, because I think the point is to have confidence that stands outside the projects that you do. And at the end of the day it's not my film and I'm not behind the camera. The director has a vision."
"We had a really fun time making it and so there are only good memories. And for me it was out of my wheelhouse. So, if that was a failure or a flop to other people then so be it. But as an artist I enjoyed the process. And the filmmaker, she was very new to this experience. The rest of us were a little bit more seasoned. But we're still not the ones operating the cameras and cutting the film together and making those kind of choices."
"And so all I can really be responsible for is my own joy. And so I hope that people like certain things. But, you know, you do a TV series like The Client List or you do a movie or you write a book and you just put your heart into things. I don't think you think 'Oh, I hope they like it.' But I would never put anything down in public. Some people just like things that other people don't."
The scene were you are wrapped in saran wrap was claustrophobic to watch - how was it filming it? "It was sort of like having a straight jacket on. It was uncomfortable, but you just breath slowly," she gently laughs.
My favorite look for you in the movie was as Cat Woman, complete with that face make-up! Very sexy!! "Oh good, I'm glad. I'm glad. I'll try and remember that. Maybe they can rummage that up from the archives. I mean that's my whole point. When do you have opportunities to be absolutely silly? And people can make fun of it and say it's the most horrific thing in the world. But for me I got to put a cat suit on with whiskers and kneel on a sidewalk and be silly! When usually I play serious lawyers and cops. I'm an artist. Sometimes you just want to do things that make you feel free. You're not thinking I hope they think I'm the new Will Ferrell," she laughs.
I can see the headline now: 'The new Will Ferrell with boobs!' "Right, exactly. Exactly," she laughs again.
In the court room scene towards the end of the movie when your breakdown begins, wow, you've got some wacky hair going on! Was it a wig or was it all yours with cans of stiff hairspray?! "Hairspray. I know, I've got a lot of hair. Lucky for them," she says with a mischievous smirk to her voice.
Being that you went into this movie nervous of the fact that it was your first comedic role, were you surprised by anything on the set, perhaps? "I thought it was just good old-fashioned fun. And for the first time probably ever I wasn't going to take something so seriously. Everything else I've done, even Heroes and even The Client List, this #1 hit for Lifetime, even though it's funny and campy and sexy, we take it seriously. There's a lot of money behind it."
"So yeah, this is just a fun, independent film where we just came together to have a blast. We just came to throw the spaghetti on the wall and try to do this old-fashioned kind of slapstick comedy. So what I wasn't prepared for was for people to look at it and respond to it so seriously. Like we were in some sort of film critique class."
"I thought Eric Roberts was hilarious in it. Does that make me have no taste? I don't think so. I just thought it was funny. I wasn't analyzing it from the point of view of should it get an Oscar or not."
Talking of The Client List, please tell us more about how things are going for you on the show as Taylor Berkhalter "Well, it's awesome fun, because Jennifer Love Hewitt is truly the best boss in town. She is fun and sweet and kind and encouraging and generous. She's just awesome and has become a really good friend. I love playing my character because she's comedic in the show. So for me that's enjoyable. As you can see I'm trying to explore some more of that."
"And that comes on in March. We're in our second season and so we really feel encouraged and hope everyone really likes the second season. Everybody is just so good and so sweet to each other. It's really unusual, because we've all really become friends. So that's nice."
And please tell us more about your new upcoming book "'Baby Steps' is a book that was birthed out of my blog that I write for www.People.com. I've done the blog for about two years. It's all about my journey as a mom. And the book is a lot about my life growing up, wanting to be a mother, trying to become a grown-up, and then having a daughter. I think it's a book for any mother and daughter out there. And that will be out for Mother's Day and is available for pre-order on www.Amazon.com now."
Funnily enough, I just watched you last night in ‘Officer Down’ playing the wife of Stephen Dorff’s lead character "Yeah, the cast was phenomenal. Every single actor brought their A-game. There was just an awesome cast of actors. I was just blown away by just how brilliant everyone was. I had the best time shooting that movie. I loved shooting that movie. I'm friends with so many of the guys in that movie. I was so excited for that movie to come out. I just love going to work every day."
Indeed, you also have a lot of movies upcoming, such as ‘Aftermath,’ ‘Chlorine,’ ‘Darkroom,’ 'Everlasting,’ and more! What do you do when not in front of a camera?! "Well, I'm a very active mother," she answers proudly, "and I'm with my daughter a lot. And all mom's make scarifices, but she's number one in my life. And outside of that I love to do yoga, meditate and just do some more relaxing things. I've always been an Equestrian. I still ride. I guess I write a lot in my free time too."
"But that's the point I'm saying about 'The Whole Truth' is that doing the things you love doesn't feel like work."
Finally, and throwing you a journalistic curve ball, we here at Exclusive Magazine love Penguins (the birds) … do you or do you have a story to tell about an encounter with one?! "Well, I love penguins too. And I have a sentimental penguin story. I grew up in New York and the Central Park Zoo has been a part of my consciousness my whole childhood. So, of course when they did 'Happy Feet' and he gets captured and taken to the zoo, I think that's the Central Park Zoo, isn't it?"
Yes, I believe it is! "So, yeah, I love penguins - and love those movies. And thought it was funny because every weekend I used to go to that little zoo where there's like five animals in it and three of the five animals were penguins," she laughs. "So it was sweet to see that was put in the movie. It's sentimental. It reminds me of my childhood."
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
Pre-order 'Baby Steps' Book!
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