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By Suzanne

Julie Benz

Interview with Julie Benz of "Ricochet" on TNT 11/21/11

TURNER ENTERTAINMENT
Moderator: Chrissie Eckhardt
November 21, 2011
1:15 pm CT

Operator: Good day and welcome to the Turner Entertainment hosted Julie Benz conference call. Todayís conference is being recorded.

At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to Chrissie Eckhardt. Please go ahead.

Chrissie Eckhardt: Good afternoon everyone. Thank you for joining the Julie Benz conference call. Ricochet premiers Wednesday, November 30 at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time and Pacific Time on TNT.

The conference call is now open for questions. Please press star 1 to ask your question. Thank you.

Operator: And weíll take our first question from Mike Gencarelli with Mediamikes.com.

Mike Gencarelli: Hey Julie. How are you?

Julie Benz: Iím good. How are you?

Mike Gencarelli: Okay so much for taking out some time. The first question I got for you is, you know, I guess were you familiar with Sandra Brownís (novel) prior to working with the film?

Julie Benz: I was familiar with Sandra Brown. I had read Ricochet a long time ago like a while ago and really enjoyed it. Iím an avid reader and I love her books.

Mike Gencarelli: Sure I mean the character, you know, of Elise is such a, you know, kind of a little mysterious, little kind of, you know, a little bit of a trouble maker. I mean what did you like most about playing her? And how did you prepare for the role?

Julie Benz: What I loved was how for me with the challenge of playing Elise was how close she keeps everything inside and you donít know if sheís good or bad and youíre never sure exactly what sheís thinking and...

Mike Gencarelli: (Oh).

Julie Benz: ...that was a real challenge for me to play. And I had to work really hard on an accent. So I worked very hard on my accent for the movie as well. And that helps me really get into Elise because with that specific type of Southern accent she moved slower and talked slower than I do and that allowed me to actually be a little more serious that makes me (tend to)...

Mike Gencarelli: Thatís cool. That sort of (that) - it makes a lot of sense. I thank you very much.

Julie Benz: Thank you.

Mike Gencarelli: All right take care.

Julie Benz: Thanks...

Operator: And weíll take our next question from Suzanne Lanoue with the TV MegaSite.

Suzanne Lanoue: Hi Julie. How are you doing?

Julie Benz: Iím good. How are you?

Suzanne Lanoue: Good itís really an honor to talk to you. Youíre one of my favorite actresses actually...

Julie Benz: Thank you.

Suzanne Lanoue: ...oh Iíve followed your career ever since ďHi Honey Iím HomeĒ and I have a Web site about that show...

Julie Benz: Oh.

Suzanne Lanoue: ...so.

Julie Benz: Oh my goodness.

Suzanne Lanoue: I know going back...

Julie Benz: (Honey Iím Home)...

Suzanne Lanoue: ...a ways.

Julie Benz: ...is way too long.

Suzanne Lanoue: I was wondering in this movie you have to sort of - we donít really know whether your character is a good girl or a bad girl through most of the movie. Was that difficult to play?

Julie Benz: No I mean it was challenging to play but it wasnít difficult in the fact that I mean I understood what her intentions were sure. I mean the way she got around to doing stuff wasnít necessarily all that normal. But in her heart everything like her intentions behind it all was pure. So but you had to actually admit too sheís a little crazy for what she did.

Suzanne Lanoue: Well youíre good at playing crazy ladies like Starla and Angel.

Julie Benz: Thank you.

Suzanne Lanoue: All right thank you.

Julie Benz: Thanks.

Operator: As a reminder if you would like to ask a question, press star 1 on your telephone keypad at this time. And if you are using a speakerphone, please make sure that your mute button is turned off to allow your signal to reach our equipment.

Weíll go next to Lisa Steinberg with Starry Constellation Magazine.

Lisa Steinberg: Good afternoon Julie. Itís wonderful to get an opportunity to speak with you again.

Julie Benz: Oh hi itís great to speak to you too.

Lisa Steinberg: Well the - since the movie is an adaptation from the book how much will we see compared and contrast with what we get to read?

Julie Benz: I think it does an amazing job of adapting the book into the movie. It - the book I mean thereís so much information in the book so you actually, you know, get a lot more back story but the film itself follows the action quite specifically.

Lisa Steinberg: And you have such a really wonderful online following through Twitter. How has social media really been playing into the promotion of projects like Ricochet for you?

Julie Benz: Oh I mean itís always so great. I know I can - anytime, you know, TNT puts up a new promo for the show I can just Tweet it and everybody goes and looks at it. I love social media. I think itís a great way to not just promote the work that you do but also to have direct contact with fans as well as, you know, promote any kind of charities that youíre involved in.

Lisa Steinberg: And with this film what do you think it is that will draw viewers in?

Julie Benz: You know, first the story. The story is really compelling in the way that itís shot itís very much as a film ((inaudible)). And then of course I mean you have John Corbett and Gary Cole so whatís not to watch?

Lisa Steinberg: A lot of great things to watch. So Iím looking forward to it. And thanks again for speaking with us this afternoon.

Julie Benz: Well thank you.

Lisa Steinberg: Happy Thanksgiving.

Julie Benz: And thanks you too.

Operator: And weíll go next to Jay Jacobs with PopEntertainment.com.

Jay Jacobs: Hi Julie nice to talk to you.

Julie Benz: And itís good to talk to you too. How are you?

Jay Jacobs: Iím great thank you. Well you just mentioned Gary Cole heís always such a fascinating actor. What was he like to work with?

Julie Benz: Oh heís the pro man. I mean thereís - (which) is an ultimate gentlemen and second just a pro just watching him grasp his character and have - he chose to - the choices that he made to play Judge Laird itís like being in a master class watching him work.

Jay Jacobs: All right now over your career itís seem to have got in a lot of roles that have to do with crime or killing or punishment. You mentioned that youíre a veracious reader earlier. Are you into that type of fiction or films or stuff like? Or is that just sort of like a coincidence that youíre always playing that role? That type of role...

Julie Benz: You know, I am - I do love a great mystery. And so yes I guess itís just whatís - how itís panned out. I mean I, you know, I started in the business I wanted to do romantic comedies and then I was surprised by the fact that I could actually do more than that. And Iíve always been a fan of especially mystery novels. Just Iíve read every single one probably out there. I love trying to figure it all out and I love being scared.

Jay Jacobs: Okay now also recently after you spent so much time on series work like ďDexterĒ and ďOrdinary FamilyĒ and now ďA Gifted ManĒ how was it different to just sort of work off on a one off film where just sort beginning, middle and...

Julie Benz: Well itís a little overwhelming at first because, you know, we shot it in 18 days so itís a pretty fast process, pretty fast filming. So you have to really do a lot of homework before you arrive on set and really do a lot of your character development, you know, before you get there. And make choices and do as much research as you can. Rather than when you are in a TV series they start kind of crafting the role for you. And they start writing it in your voice after youíre cast and tailoring it to who you are.

So, you know, itís a little different in that aspect. But itís - I would - I love doing television because I love being on set everyday with the same people. So itís sad when you have to say goodbye.

Jay Jacobs: Right, okay well best...

Julie Benz: And...

Jay Jacobs: ...of luck with...

Julie Benz: ...I love playing Elise so much so.

Jay Jacobs: ...yes, okay well best of luck with the movie.

Julie Benz: Thank you.

Operator: As a final reminder if you would like to ask a question, press star 1 at this time. Weíll go next to (Courtney Cashman) with (Rate) Reviews.

Courtney Cashman: Hi thanks so much for talking with us.

Julie Benz: Hi how are you?

Courtney Cashman: Good. So I did notice you had to ((inaudible)) a bit of a Southern accent for this. How important was setting for this movie?

Julie Benz: Well I think it was very important. I mean we - it - Elise is a very specific type of Southern woman. She was, you know, very specific to Georgia and a lot of that is what makes who she is who she is. Does that make sense? Like where she came from? So it was a very important part. And that - and then playing in the heat was just the heat of it all. You know, we start in New Orleans it was very hot. And even though it wasnít Georgia it has a lot of similar qualities.

And just playing the constant heat you move slower, you talk slower, you know, youíre sweaty.

Courtney Cashman: Well do you have any particular plans for Premier night?

Julie Benz: I plan on watching it. I havenít seen it yet. So I plan on sitting in front of my TV like everybody else and watching it with, you know, my loved ones and my dogs of course will be watching it.

Courtney Cashman: Well great thanks so much.

Julie Benz: Thank you.

Operator: Weíll take a follow up from Jay Jacobs with PopEntertainment.com.

Jay Jacobs: Thanks for talking again Julie. This is a little bit off topic but you just mentioned watching it. I was wondering since youíre no longer on ďDexterĒ with the new episodes do you ever like watch the shows since youíre not there anymore? And whatís it like? Do you ever think wow I remember that I wish I was still doing that or anything like that?

Julie Benz: Oh, you know, I have not had a chance to watch it since my demise. And, you know, Iíll relate it to being, you know, invited to Christmas dinner and then asked to sit outside.

Jay Jacobs: Right, yes.

Julie Benz: Itís that kind of - itís bitter sweet. I mean I still support the show and I think itís a fantastic show and the work on itís great. But, you know, I donít - I mean I - at the end of the day, you know, they chose to kill Rita off and itís opened so many doors for me career wise. But, you know, I donít live with regrets.

Jay Jacobs: Okay.

Julie Benz: So I donít look backwards I only look forwards.

Jay Jacobs: Oh I mean and also sorry about looking a little bit backwards but I was also a huge fan of ďNo Ordinary Family.Ē In fact I spoke with Autumn last...

Julie Benz: Yes.

Jay Jacobs: ...year about it and I was really hoping that would be the new. But what was that show like? That was an - a very different type of show. But was that fun to do?

Julie Benz: Oh that was dream job for me in many ways because not only was I challenged emotionally I got to be challenged physically as well. Iím a exercise fanatic and a workout junkie and I love doing stunts. And I love having that kind of physical challenge everyday. So it was really the perfect marriage of all the things that I could do as mastering, you know, comedy and drama and then also some of the action stuff.

So it was so much fun to film and I think we were all sad that it did not get to go on for a second season. But we had a really great first season. And, you know, at the end of the day no one can take that away from us.

Jay Jacobs: And one last thing. You had mentioned earlier that you originally got started expecting to be in romantic comedy. Would you like to do more light type of work?

Julie Benz: I donít know now. I mean now itís - I mean I love doing comedic work. I would love to explore more of that but at the same time Iím still used to being challenged in a different level. So I think it would - I would like to play more roles that have all those elements kind of wrapped up in one...

Jay Jacobs: Right.

Julie Benz: If that makes any sense but.

Jay Jacobs: Oh yes.

Julie Benz: But I think for me that Iíve evolved more into a dramatic actress to my surprise and Iím enjoying it.

Jay Jacobs: Okay great well thanks again.

Julie Benz: Thank you.

Operator: There are no further questions in the queue at this time. I would like to turn the call back to Chrissie Eckhardt for any additional or closing remarks.

Chrissie Eckhardt: Thank you so much everyone for joining todayís call. As a reminder, Ricochet premiers Wednesday, November 30 at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Pacific on TNT.

A transcript of this call will be available within 24 hours.

Thank you Julie and thank you everyone for participating.

Julie Benz: Thank you.

Operator: This does conclude todayís conference. We thank you for your participation.

Chrissie Eckhardt: Julie.

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