Interview with Elaine Hendrix from "Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll" on FX - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

 Elaine Hendrix

Interview with Elaine Hendrix of "Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll" on FX 8/17/15

It's always great to speak with a veteran performer, and Elaine has a lot to say. She's very energetic and answered our questions really well. I enjoyed this chat so much! It's a great show, too.

Final Transcript
August 17, 2015/10:00 a.m. PDT

Pam Beer
Elaine Hendrix


Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, weíd like to thank you for standing by, and welcome to the Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll teleconference call. At this time all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, weíll conduct a question and answer session, with instructions being given at that time. (Operator instructions.) As a reminder, todayís call will be recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to our hostess and facilitator for todayís call, Miss Pam Beer. Please go ahead, maíam.

Pam: Hi, everyone, and welcome to the Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll conference call with our series star, Elaine Hendrix, who plays ďAvaĒ, Johnny Rockís lover. Iíd like to thank everyone for joining us today, and remind you that this call is for print purposes only, so no audio may be used.

Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll airs Thursday nights at 10 p.m. Eastern and Pacific Time only on FX. And as always, we respectfully request that you do not post any spoilers pre-air to help protect the viewing experience for our audience.

With that said, letís go ahead and take our first question.

Moderator: Our first question will come from the line of Nancy Harrington of Pop Culture Passionistas. Please go ahead.

Nancy: Hi, Elaine. Thanks so much for talking to us today.

Elaine: Hi, Nancy. Iím really happy to be here with you all.

Nancy: Excellent. Letís start at the beginning. Can you tell us a little bit about how you got the part on the show?
Elaine Sure. It was a little bit of good old-fashioned auditioning. But it was also very different in that they were not seeing people in Los Angeles for my role, and I live in Los Angeles. So, I put myself on tape, and normally even if you put yourself on tape eventually you have to go into a room with some decision maker. That just didnít happen in this process.

So, my tape got passed around, and then the next thing I know I booked the job, was shooting the pilot, and then the next thing I know weíre on the series, and then the next thing I know here I am talking to you all. So, it was a little old-fashioned and a little modern at the same time.

Nancy: Excellent. So, talk to us a little bit about working with Denis Leary and Avaís relationship with Johnny.
Elaine Itís aó

Nancy: Itís a loaded question.

Elaine: ócomplicated one. Well, first of all, Denis is a dream. I cannot stop raving about him enough. I keep saying I donít know who Iím going to work with after him, because between him and FX it makes the perfect combination for an artist, for the actor side because we have a lot of freedom on this show to really bring ideas, and creativity, and our own unique stamp to the roles, and that just doesnít always happen.

Denis also really starts to write towards us and towards our strengths, and as a woman who does comedy that is the ultimate dream, because, first of all, not everybody, itís not that they donít allow it. It just doesnít really happen that much, and especially from a male perspective. Males donít always write strong, funny women roles. But Denis does, and he champions strong, funny women. So, itís really ideal for me.

And then their relationship, the Ava/Johnny relationship, I think is a very complex one because anything goes with them, and they love that. They thrive on that. Itís whatís kept them together so many years that they just completely accept one another. They could be screaming bloody murder at each other and then in the next second be making out. And so they just are who they are, they accept each other and love each other unconditionally. And as crazy as that can seem in particularly a rock and roll world, I donít know, itís kind of neat. Itís kind of special.

Nancy: Excellent. Well, thank you so much, and best of luck with the show, weíre really loving it.

Elaine: Oh, thanks, Nancy.

Nancy: Thanks.

Moderator: Our next question will come from the line of Rebecca Murray of Showbiz Junkies. Please go ahead.

Rebecca: Good morning, and thank you for doing the call.

Elaine: Hi, Rebecca.

Rebecca: Is there anyone in particular that you modeled her after, or did Denis tell you anyone to look at or investigate when you were trying to get ready for it?

Elaine: Not really. For the show, the general idea, he had guys he had gone to school with and modeled the rockers who didnít make it. That was modeled after people. And I think for Ava it might have been a compilation of people. But there wasnít any one particular person we pointed to. I did a lot of research on rock and roll, I did a lot of research on backup singers, I did a lot of research on drugs actually, and then just brought my own imagination to her, and certainly my own spin to her. I also knew Denisí style of comedy. I knew she had to have some pace and pep to her.

Yes, so thatís the long answer to say no, there wasnít one person in particular. It really was a building process.

Rebecca: Great. Thank you.

Elaine: Sure.

Moderator: Our next question will come from the line of Mr. Greg Staffa of Your Entertainment Corner. Please go ahead.

Greg: Good morning, Elaine. Thanks for taking our questions today.

Elaine: Yes. Hey, Greg.

Greg: Hi. Often in Hollywood people are defined by one word or one role. For you, any time your name is mentioned Parent Trap is also pegged to it, and itís often at the top of the list despite being an actress in countless numbers of roles, a producer, a singer, a dancer, not to mention the activist work you do with the Pet Matchmaker. So, my question is, not to get too deep is, who is Elaine Hendrix [indiscernible]?

Elaine: Oh, wow. Wow. You know, I decided a long time ago I was not going to try to compartmentalize my life. I really think of myself as a creative person, and for me that creativity, it depends on which medium I funnel that creativity. So, for me itís the same with my acting work, and then on the other spectrum with my advocacy work I use a lot of creativity in the way I handle my advocacy work. So, I guess Elaine Hendrix is a creative.

Greg: Thank you. A quick follow up from one of your Twitter followers. What inspired you to become a vegan?

Elaine: Oh, yay. Iím always happy when people ask me about my advocacy work. Thank you. Iíve loved animals my whole life, and when I started getting invited to different charity events as an actress and as someone who was starting to become visible, I got invited to all these different charity events and I felt like I wasnít really making an impact. I was just showing up. But I couldnít really point to anything that I really felt like I could measure where I was really making a difference. And so I sat down literally at my computer one day and I said, ďIím going to figure out what my platform is so I can really focus on that.Ē

And in hindsight, it should have been obvious that it was animals, because Iíve loved animals my whole life. But it did take me finding an undercover fur video, and my reaction to that, it completely traumatized me, totally changed my life. And from that point forward Iíve done everything I could to help animals. And so becoming vegan was a little bit of a progression, as I kept learning about different animal issues I keep, and still to this day I still learn about things that are helping to animals and I try to weed out everything that hurts them. I try to weed any of that out of my life. So, itís been a journey, and itís a continuing journey.

Greg: Thank you.

Elaine: Yes.

Moderator: Our next question will come from the line of Anushika Ganegoda of Please go ahead.

Anushika: Hi, Elaine. Thank you so much for your time today. You look great on the show. My question is, you have such great chemistry with all the cast members on the show, do you have a favorite scene or a funny moment from this season?

Elaine: Sorry, did we have a funny, what was theó

Anushika: Do you have a favorite scene or a funny moment, because you guys have such great chemistry onscreen with everybody?

Elaine: Yes, thank you. I think we do, too, and itís so funny because youíve read about people who hate each other and still have great chemistry onscreen. But we all actually really love each other and like each other. We hang out when weíre not working together. We remain friends. We text each other all the time. We try to see each other whenever we can. So, I think thatís what makes a lot for our great chemistry.

And the favorite scenes, my favorite scenes are typically when Iím with Dennis in the bedroom, just because thatís where I feel like we really get to capture a lot of Ava and Johnny history. And Denis and I, we really just let the reins go and try to get it as real and raw as possible.

And then the other time, in the complete opposite way, when weíre all together is also some of my favorite scenes because of the chemistry we do have. And I love when weíre all just sort of piling over each other, and it gets messy, and weíre interrupting, and fighting, and loving, so itís fun. It makes for a great adrenaline rush, really.

Anushika: Awesome. It definitely shows. You guys are doing a great job. I love the show. Thank you so much.

Elaine: Thank you so much. Yes, thank you.

Moderator: Our next question will come from the line of Suzanne Lanoue of The TV MegaSite. Please go ahead.

Suzanne: Good morning, Elaine.

Elaine: Good morning, Suzanne.

Suzanne: I was wondering, and I know youíve done a lot of dancing and you did singing before and wrote some songs, but I read an interview where you said you were more into southern rock and rap. Has being a heavy metal backup singer influenced you more now as far as liking more heavy rock and roll?

Elaine: No, because I love rock. I think at heart Iím a rock chick, and for me the country rock, even bluegrass, they all generate from the blues. And so I do love it all. And Iíve grown up listening to all kinds of music. I love Bach, as much as I love Pink, as much as I love Dolly Parton. So, Iím a big music fan.

And itís so funny, Iím taking this call right now from Tennessee, Iím home visiting my family, and my dadís in the other room, I donít even know if he can hear me, but two of his favorite guys growing up, rockers, was Jerry Lee Lewis and George Thorogood. So, I grew up listening to that. And Iím just happy to be a part of a rock and roll show. Yes, my roots run southern because I am Tennessee, but Iíll take any of it.

Suzanne: And did you have any input into your look on the show, rock chick, druggie type of thing?

Elaine: Our costumer, Jeriana San Juan, is a genius. And she has dressed so many iconic people and worked on so many iconic shows and tours and whatnot, so we really didnít have to do a lot. She showed up with all kinds of pieces and ideas, and then I certainly had input as we went along. And itís funny, especially when you work on a series, you do get the luxury of building and refining her as you go along, and there would literally be moments I would try something on and weíd go, ďNope, itís not Ava. Itís just not her.Ē And so you start to get into a groove. You start to get into a rhythm of what really works for the character and what doesnít.

Suzanne: Alright, thanks a lot.

Elaine: Sure.

Moderator: Our next question will come from the line of Sandra Perez of Hidden Remote. Please go ahead.

Sandra: Hi. Thank you for speaking with us today.

Elaine: Absolutely. Thank you, Sandra.

Sandra: In a recent interview I saw that you said that you liked to take daring roles, like The Parent Trap and the one you have right now, because theyíre so not like how you would be in real life.

Elaine: Yes.

Sandra: But is there anything from Elaine that you relate to, though?

Elaine: Oh, for sure. And youíre being very kind with the daring roles. I think very specifically weíre talking about b**ch roles. So, I donít know, as an actress I think you have to bring some of you to each role that you do. You just canít. Otherwise, I donít know, you would be, I donít know, you have to, on me I can only create to a certain extent, and thatís also part of what makes, I think, for good acting is that you do bring something thatís truly authentic that you can relate to on some level.

So, yes, I think these women, certainly from The Parent Trap, played out an alter ego of mine where I do get to be the hoity-toity unlikeable one and not care. And with Ava I get to be the fun chick who doesnít care. And sure, thereís definitely parts of me who can identify with that. In taking these two examples, in The Parent Trap I donít go around typically being as mean and sort of conniving as she was, and with Ava I donít tend to be quite as wild as she is, and maybe as free as she is.

Sandra: Right.

Elaine: So, thereís limitations.

Sandra: And just as a follow up question, the casting, you guys have awesome chemistry. Have you guys worked together, like separately before?

Elaine: No. We figured out Denis and I had done a movie years ago together that I think got renamed. It started out Dog, and then we think it became Bad Boy. And we had a few scenes together where I played an ex-girlfriend, but that was so long ago. That was like oh, wow, and we figured that out after the fact. But, no, I had met John Corbett through our mutual friend, Robin Tunney, and everybody else, yes, I had not known until I walked into the table reading when we first started with the pilot.

Sandra: You guys seem to have so much fun itís like youíve known each other forever.

Elaine: I think so, yes. It certainly feels that way. And I feel lucky, because we work hard. We work long, hard hours, and itís not only while weíre shooting, but itís recording the music as well, so sometimes weíre working on the weekends, and then doing all the press for it, and traveling together. So, if we didnít like each other that would really suck.

Sandra: Yes, it really helps the show.

Elaine: Yes. Thank you so much.

Sandra: Thank you.

Moderator: (Operator instructions.) Our next question will come from the line of Bruce Eisen of Here is TV. Please go ahead.

Bruce: Thank you. Hi. Good morning.

Elaine: Good morning, Bruce, was it?

Bruce: Yes, it is. Thanks. Hey, lots of great TV on nowadays, and Iím wondering if thereís any that you particularly like to watch?

Elaine: Yes. Well, let me tell you something, I not too long ago finally finished watching all of the episodes of Sons of Anarchy. I watched every single frame of every single episode of every single season of that show. I was obsessed, so obsessed. So, to be on the same network is just an absolute thrill, because I love Sons of Anarchy.

Also, people were bagging on the second season of True Detective, but I liked it. By the third episode it got me. So, I liked that. Iím really hot for The Brink right now. The Americans, I think is genius. I was lucky enough to do an episode of Transparent, which I think has really revolutionized not just viewing but cultures, ideas, so being a part of that was really special. So, I agree, itís another Golden Age of television right now.

Bruce: Oh, thank you. I appreciate it.

Elaine: Yes.

Moderator: Due to time constraints our last question will be a follow-up from the line of Greg Staffa of Your Entertainment Corner. Please go ahead.

Greg: Thanks again for taking the time for our questions.

Elaine: Sure.

Greg: Youíve had many roles through the years, is there a particular role that youíre proud of that maybe never fully got a chance by the audience, or critics, or even fans that you wish now that youíre more in the spotlight again they could go back and check out?

Elaine: Oh, gosh the first thing that came to mind was a little movie that I did called Good Intentions. And I say little just because it was independent. It didnít have any big studio backing or anything. And I was a co-producer on that. It was myself, Leeann Rimes, Luke Perry, and a whole bunch of other really tremendous actors. And itís just a sweet, fun, feel-good, Southern movie. It was I think maybe one of the only times that I really got to play Southern. And so that was a lot of fun. Iím very, very proud of that movie.

Greg: And a quick follow up from your Twitter followers. Any news of a second season for Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll?

Elaine: I donít know. I donít know yet. Weíre all hoping for it. We all keep talking, weíll do this for the rest of our lives. Weíre good with that. But itís not in our hands. So, weíre waiting as the fans are.

Greg: Cool. Thank you for your time.

Elaine: Yes. And hey, is Lisa from Starry Constellation, did she come on the call? Hi, Lisa. I donít know if youíre here. I donít know if Iím allowed to do that, but hey.

Pam: I donít know if Lisa actually ended up making it on the call.

Elaine: Oh, okay.

Moderator: I would now like to turn the conference back over to Miss Pam Beer for any closing remarks.

Pam: Thank you. Elaine, we will definitely send Lisa the transcript, if that is the case.

Elaine: Oh, okay. I just know Lisa, so I was giving her a shout out.

Pam: Oh yes.

Elaine: But a shout out to everyone, thanks, everyone for joining this. Thank you.

Pam: Yes, thank you so much, everyone, and especially to you, Elaine. We really appreciate your time. And as a reminder, Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll airs Thursday nights at 10:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific Time only on FX.

Moderator: One moment, speakers.

Elaine: Thanks, Pam. Thanks, everyone.

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