Interview with Morris Chestnut and Todd Harthan from "Rosewood" on FOX - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Interview with Morris Chestnut and Todd Harthan of "Rosewood" on FOX 9/18/15

This was a very nice call with these two gentlemen. I hope their show is a great success! I do enjoy watching it.

Final Transcript
FBC Publicity: Rosewood
September 18, 2015/9:00 a.m. PDT

Michael Roach
Morris Chestnut
Todd Harthan


Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Rosewood conference call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later we will conduct a question and answer session; instructions will be given at that time. (Operator instructions.) As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

Iíd now like to turn the conference over to your host, Mr. Michael Roach. Please go ahead.

Michael: Good morning and welcome to the Rosewood conference call with Morris Chestnut and executive producer, creator, and show owner, Todd Harthan. Just as a reminder, the series premiere of Rosewood is Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m./7:00 p.m. Central on Fox. Weíve got photos and press materials at for anybody that needs that, and I guess thatís about it. Without further ado, we can turn it over to Morris and Todd.

Stacey, I think weíre ready to go.

Moderator: Thank you. (Operator instructions.) Weíll go to Suzanne Lanoue with The TV MegaSite. Please go ahead.

Suzanne: Hi, good morning.

Todd: Good morning.

Morris: Good morning.

Suzanne: Hi. I enjoyed the pilot. It was really good. I liked the setó

Morris: Thank you.

Suzanne: óin Miami and everything; itís cool. Maybe you can clear up a mystery for me that Iíve been wondering because I saw the pilot months ago, right, and I noticed Anthony Michael Hall in there and nobody could tell me why he wasnít listed on the website. I kept expecting maybe he was going to be the murderer, but then he wasnít. Is he going to be a regular on the show?

Todd: This is Todd Harthan here, and I can answer that. We loved Anthony in the pilot and had a blast working with him. Iím not sure, I think it hit the trades not to long ago, Anthony got a pretty darn good role in a Brad Pitt movie, and we had a little bit of an availability issue. Thatís not to say that Detective Willet [ph] may not be making an appearance in the show down the road, but it just came down to him not being available for us and it was just a conflict of dates. But thereís a chance youíll see him again in the show; it just wonít be in this first batch of episodes.

Suzanne: Cool. Thank you for that. Iíve been wondering for months. Morris, how did you get into this characterís head especially since he has a medical problem that shortens his life?

Morris: Iím actually still trying to figure that out. No, you know what it is Todd and our writers, they do great research, so I talk extensively with the writers as well as we have technical advisers on set and doctors, and so they actually help me during those very complex scenes in terms of whether itís medical procedures or itís how to pronounce all of the medical jargon.

Suzanne: Okay. Well, thank you. Iíll let someone else ask a question.

Moderator: Weíll go to the line of David Martindale with Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Please go ahead.

David: Thank you. Hi, guys. Thanks for doing the call. I enjoyed the pilot. I saw both versions and I think the second version was funnier, so I approve.

Todd: Oh, great.

David: Question for Morris. What was it about the premise of this show in general and about your character in particular that turned you on, made you want to be part of this?

Morris: I would have to say, first and foremost, it was really about the character. I read the first couple of scenes of the script that Todd wrote, and the character was smart, he was witty, he was empathetic; he had so many characteristics that I respect, and I just wanted to be a part of a particular character in a TV show. After I read that first scene, I was like, wow, this is really good. Got a little nervous because sometimes as an actor you read the first couple of pages, the first 10, the first 20, and if itís good itís like man, I hope it ends good, and it was consistent all the way through.

I had to beg. I slept outside of Toddís house and begged him for the role, and I got it.

David: Cool. He describes himself in the pilot as the Beethoven of private pathology. I guess his confidence and cockiness are two sides of the same coin, arenít they?

Morris: Well, thereís a very fine line between confidence and cockiness. I would definitely say heís confident. I wouldnít say his cocky. I think in large part, most people who are cocky they kind of have a lack of respect for people and itís all about them. I think his confidenceóhe has an extreme amount of confidence, but heís extremely considerate of people and especially of women.

David: Okay. Thatís well put. Thank you very much.

Morris: Thank you.

Moderator: Weíll go to the line of Daedrian McNaughton with Premier Guide Media. Please go ahead.

Daedrian: Hi, guys.

Todd: Hi.

Morris: Hello.

Daedrian: First question is for Todd. Todd, what is being depicted in this season that differentiates you from the other shows?

Todd: Iím sorry, you broke up a little bit. Say that one more time.

Daedrian: What is being depicted in this season that differentiates you from other shows?

Todd: Well, one of the things that really starts to bloom in this first season especially starting in Episode 2, is this really does develop into a family drama, and thatís also infused with a lot of soap elements. I think one of the things that will really separate us from other shows will be that youíre not just showing up to see a cop and a pathologist solve a case a week, youíre showing up to watch the ins and outs of this Rosewood family, and then as the season goes on, the sort of depths of the Villa family as well.

What weíre doing here is kind of a serialized procedural, if you will, that has a lot of different notes that I donít know if youíll find in a lot of other procedurals, and luckily Fox has sort of encouraged us to do that so that it doesnít feel too familiar.

Daedrian: Okay. Morris, my question for you is what do you take away from the role to apply in your daily life?

Morris: I think the one thing about Rosewood is that he really encourages people to live in the moment and enjoy every moment. I think especially with myself, I mean there are so many things to do, I have this job, and where my family situation isóso many things going on at any given point in time in all of our lives to where we just donít stop and appreciate the moment, and thatís what I take away. Sometimes at work when Iím in certain scenes, and heís encouraging people just to do that, it makes me think about and it makes me reflect on my own life. Sometimes I just have to stop and just enjoy the moment.

Daedrian: Okay. Thatís all, guys. Thank you so much.

Todd: Thank you.

Morris: Thank you.

Moderator: Weíll go to the line of Sarah Curtis with Please go ahead.

Sarah: Thank you so much. Hello, gentlemen.

Todd: Hey. Howís it going?

Morris: Hello.

Sarah: One quick question, Morris, for you. What do you think are the reasons that Rosie, I call him Rosie, if thatís okay?

Morris: Oh, thatís cool. You can call him Rosie, you can call him Rose whateveróRosie bag of bones, you can call him anything. Sounds okay.

Sarah: What do you think are the reasons he professionally for now pursues Detective Villa? What makes her stand out?

Morris: Well I think firstóokay, aside from her obvious beauty and sexiness and all of that, I think he definitely respects her because sheís good at her job, and he realizes that professionally both of them togetheróobviously he feels that heís very confident, feels that heís good at his job, but professionally together they both can achieve great things.

Sarah: Okay. Great, and then a quick follow-up. Who has the better wardrobe, you or Rosie?

Morris: Well, it depends on where youíre going and what youíre doing. I mean right now I think Rosie has the better wardrobe, but Iím catching up. Iím going to try to catch up.

Sarah: Well, thank you both so much. Loved the pilot, and I wish you all the luck in your Empire timeslot.

Todd: Thank you.

Morris: Thank you.

Moderator: Weíll go to the line of Kristen Clarke with Pop Culture Madness. Please go ahead.

Kristen: Hi, guys. Thank you so much for speaking with us today.

Todd: Sure.

Morris: Thank you for speaking with us.

Kristen: My first question is for Morris. Iím curious, as you continue to delve into this character, is there anything that youíre surprised to learn about yourself as an actor?

Morris: Iím surprised to learn about myself. Wow, thatís a good question. I think so. I think the challenge of being the lead of a one-hour drama on television is much more challenging then I could have ever anticipated, and each weekóI believe weíre in our sixth episode now going into our seventh next week, and Iím just trying different things to really adjust to the challenges of it. Iím definitely learning some things.

Kristen: As a quick follow-up, what do you feel it is about the show that will resonate the most with viewers?

Morris: Actually I think there are a lot of things about the show, but just a couple of things. I think first and foremost is the characters. All of our characters are really vivid, real characters, and weíre all completely different, and put together it makes up a beautiful cast. Iím not saying this just physically, but just everything. The characters are so deep, and we work well together. Just in terms of our story, I think that we shift tones so much. I mean the show is comedic and then the show is dramatic, and itís heartfelt. We have so many different elements wrapped up into each hour; hopefully people donít want to miss that.

Kristen: Great. Thank you, guys, so much.

Todd: Great. Thank you.

Morris: Thank you.

Moderator: Thank you. (Operator instructions.) Our next question, weíll go to Suzanne Lanoue with The TV MegaSite. Please go ahead.

Suzanne: Hi, again.

Morris: Hey.

Suzanne: Todd, so the show, is it filmed in Miami?

Todd: No, we actually filmed the pilot in Miami, and we shoot the series in Manhattan Beach in Los Angeles.

Suzanne: What was the decision like for you to set it in Miami?

Todd: Well, it was actually born from the character of Rosewood and because heís this eternal optimist and has this sort of glass half full look on life. It was just trying to pair up his attitude with a city that was just as vibrant and sexy and would sort of complement the mood in which he goes through life. Miami is also a really diverse city, and it seemed like the right fit for the title character.

Suzanne: Yes, itís great. I miss it ever since Burn Notice went off the air; itís nice to see another show set there.

Todd: Great.

Morris: Great.

Suzanne: Morris, now do you live near where the show is being filmed in Manhattan Beach?

Morris: Iím there right now temporarily. Iím normally in the Valley, but I am there temporarily.

Suzanne: And how do you like it?

Morris: Todd cracks the whip. Todd cracks the whip, so I have to be close. Whenever he says jump Iím here to say how high.

Suzanne: How do you like it there?

Morris: I love Manhattan Beach. Actually Iíve really never spent much time there, and hopefully the show will have some success, and it can go for a number of seasons. I might get a place out there because I really love theóitís very tranquil and all the people are very, very friendly.

Suzanne: Well, thanks a lot, you guys.

Todd: Thank you.

Morris: Thank you.

Moderator: Weíll go to the line of Sarah Curtis with Please go ahead.

Sarah: Okay. Great. Todd or Morris, either one, can you talk about what it feels like to be paired up with Empire starting out?

Morris: Iím going to tell Todd to take that.

Todd: It doesnít suck. I donít know if youíve heardó

Morris: Very eloquent, Todd. Very eloquent.

Todd: óbut Empireís veryóthank you. Empireís doing alright for itself. Itís an amazing timeslot. We were happy to have it. The promotional campaign that Fox has put together both for our show and some of the crossover promotion stuff with Empire is incredibly great and helpful in trying to get as many people to come and check out and hopefully fall in love with Rosewood as possible, but itís amazing. Itís amazing to be on before a huge juggernaut.

Sarah: Right, and when you named the show after the title character sometimes I think it makes it hard, in my opinion, to have an ensemble feel, though the cast certainly has the chops to do that even based on the pilot. How are you going to balance that between Rosieís storylines as the main character and then storylines for other characters?

Todd: I have to say, it has actually happened kind of naturally. It might just be born from Rosewood has such a connection to other people around him, and that in our writersí room has kind of just sparked natural stories for other characters that arenít always solely about him. Itís either about Lorraine Toussaintís character Donna who is the matriarch [audio disruption], his sister Pippy. Obviously we have a very strong female lead in Jaina Lee Ortiz. Itís just one of those things that our episodes have sort of bread stories that are not always solely about whatís going on in Rosewoodís life, and for the most part, we feel like here, before everybodyís seen it, we feel like itís really working.

Suzanne: Great.

Morris: Let me just elaborate on that really quickly because thatís actually one of the things that I love about the cast and what Todd has assembled because each one of our cast members, not only are they very strong actors, but the characters are so deep and theyíre going to be developed so much to where eventually you can see one character, any of these characters having an episode focused completely on them, and it will be carried out seamlessly. The actors are so adept at what they do that thatís what I love about being part of the show.

Suzanne: Great. Thanks so much.

Todd: Thank you.

Moderator: Weíll go to the line of Christina Smith with Please go ahead.

Christina: Hi, guys. Thanks so much for taking the time, we appreciate it.

Todd: Sure.

Morris: Thank you.

Christina: This question is for Morris. With such an amazing cast, how is the chemistry on set, and then what was it like to have Lorraine Toussaint cast as your mother?

Morris: I feel the chemistry on set is incredible. I think we all genuinely enjoy being around each other, we like each other, and just the way Todd has written these characters, we all just fit together and itís very seamless. Lorraine ToussaintóI mean there are not enough good things that I could say about Lorraine Toussaint. Sheís definitely in the top three actresses that Iíve ever worked with in my entire career. I love doing scenes with Lorraine. Sheís so colorful and emotional. Sheís so rich in talent; itís just a joy to do scenes with her.

Christina: Alright. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

Todd: Thank you.

Morris: Thank you.

Moderator: (Operator instructions.)

Moderator: Actually, at this time there are no questions in queue.

Michael: Great. Well, I think weíre good for now. Thank you, guys, so much.

Todd: Okay. Cool.

Morris: No problem.

Michael: Thank you.

Morris: Thank you, guys. Appreciate it.

Michael: Just a reminder, the series premiere is Wednesday night at 8/7 Central on Fox. Thanks again for taking the time out today.

Todd: Thank you, guys.

Morris: Thank you.

Moderator: Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude your conference for today. Thank you for your participation and for using AT&T Executive TeleConference. You may now disconnect.

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