Interview with Josh Stamberg of "Drop Dead Diva" on Lifetime - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite
 

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By Suzanne

Josh Stamberg

Interview with Josh Stamberg of "Drop Dead Diva" on Lifetime 6/29/12

SONY PICTURES
Moderator: Robyn Harney
June 29, 2012
11:30 am CT

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Josh Stamberg for Drop Dead Diva conference call.

During the presentation, all participants will be in a listen-only mode, and we will conduct question-and-answer session. At that time, if you have a question, please press the 1 followed by the 4 on your telephone. You will hear a three-tone prompt to acknowledge a request.

I would now like to turn it over to Robyn Harney with Sony Pictures Television, Drop Dead Diva publicist. Please go ahead.

Robyn Harney: Hi, everyone. Thanks for joining the call with Josh Stamberg who plays Jay Parker on the series in an upcoming...

Josh Stamberg: Hi, everybody. Oops, sorry.

Robyn Harney: No problem - in the upcoming episode airing Sunday, July 9 at 9 pm on Lifetime. Jay (lands) at his ex girlfriend and mother of his son, Elisa Shayne played by Brandy Norwood intends to take their son to Canada so Jay takes her to court for custody.

Today, Josh will be speaking about his role in the episode as well as his character and its developed - and how itís developed so far over the fourth season of Drop Dead Diva. (Ronda), we can now open it up for questions.

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, if you would like to register for a question, please press the 1 followed by the four on your telephone. You will hear a three-tone prompt to acknowledge a request. If your question has been answered and you would like to withdraw your registration, please press the 1 followed by the three. If you are using a speaker phone, please lift your handset before entering your request.

And our first question comes from the line of Melissa Chapman with LifetimeMoms.com. Please proceed with your question.

Melissa Chapman: Hi, Josh. I was just curious, you know, what (have) you drawn to play this role? I mean I donít know if youíre married in real life. I was trying to find that information about you. I couldnít really get any information like personal stuff. So, you know, to you, like how did you draw in this custody battle, you know, to play this character?

Josh Stamberg: Yes. Thanks, hi. Great question, and Iím glad that nobody can find information about me. Thatís very good to know (unintelligible). So I am married and I have a four-year old daughter. So whatís been really fantastic this year is being able to draw experiences that are happening now in terms of parenthood and figuring out how to be a good parent and sort of the challenges of that daily.

I have absolutely no experience, thank god, with custody battle other than what Iíve read in books and what Iíve seen in movies. So, you know, what you do from an (acting) perspective is just draw on the sort of what if other of it all or sort of horrible notion of hypothetical and the idea of having my child taken away from me, I think, and from anyone, is hugely painful. You know it (drags) lots of different emotions that I could draw from and just kind of was fantastic to have such a human story (on the play) after sort of what Jay Parker has been for the three seasons which is mainly just kind of a womanizing jackass. Itís been nice to have something thatís so human.

Melissa Chapman: Thank you so much.

Josh Stamberg: Sure.

Operator: As a reminder, if you would like to register for a question, thatís a 1 followed by the 4. You will hear a three-prompt to acknowledge the request. If your question has been answered and you would like to withdraw your registration, please press the 1 followed by the 3. If you are using a speaker phone, please lift your handset before entering your request.

And, again, itís a 1 followed by the 4 to register for question. And our next question comes from the line of Jennifer Smith with the freelance blogger. Please proceed with your question.

Jennifer Smith: Hi, how are you? I know you like tennis and I know that Serena Williams guest starred. So I was wondering how was that experience for you work with her?

Josh Stamberg: Hi. Oh my god, Iím so glad you asked that question because the absolute, the second biggest highlight of the season, Iíve been playing sort of more of the dad role was that I actually got to play with Serena Williams. She came to set to do a work and came with her hitting partner (in the sky). Heís like this 6í2Ē, you know, Serbian (cat) named Sascha and they were talking about training for the French Open and sheís heard that I played a lot of tennis. And she said, you know, you should come work out with us today. I was like, come on, you donít want to scrub out there while youíre training getting ready Roland Garros.

And sheís like, you should definitely do it, come on, weíre here, letís do it. So around the corner from the studio in Peachtree City is a place called the Peachtree Tennis Center which is a huge facility, lots of different types of court, and she was getting ready to play on clay and Iíve similar surface, and I literally thank god I had my racket in my trunk. I went to wardrobe, I grabbed the craziest outfit of all time like just look like a complete loser, weird shorts, ill-fitting t-shirt, shoes werenít mine, got to the court and there are of course 200 people, kids and adults, crowd around watching me playing.

I was calling my wife in the car, like I got to play with Serena Williams, I got to play with Serena Williams, freaking out like a teenager. My heart pounding I almost ran three people down driving over there. I got out of the car, sheís like, come on up and warm up, we warmed up a little bit. So fun, she was, I think, surprised, sheís like, oh you can actually play. I have this invitational - itís a big fund raiser that I do at home in Florida. You got to come play with me, blah, blah, blah. Then they got - so they worked for like an hour and a half, which was almost as incredible as hitting whether they got to see her training.

And then she invited me back on court, so we got a 45 minutes of playing. It was unreal. And in fact, I already have little crush on her so it was even better. Brandy knew I had a crush on her, and theyíre super good friends, so she was making fun of me all the time, and I think thatís maybe why (unintelligible) that Serena was taking pity on me (unintelligible).

Jennifer Smith: Thatís exciting. How did you get into tennis in the first place?

Josh Stamberg: Thatís the Serena Williams story. You know, I played growing up and always played sort of lots of different sports, every sport, and I played a lot of soccer mainly. I played soccer in college and I played in Europe for awhile, and I still play. But the other sport I played the whole time was tennis, not as proficiently, but, you know, as you get older, soccer isnít a great sport because you get slow and tennis is. And so, itís sort of been one of my favorite outlets.

Jennifer Smith: Thatís exciting. That must have been a great opportunity. Do you have any other hobbies?

Josh Stamberg: I love most any cultural experience. I really love getting into museums and obviously film of any kind, music, live music. Huge foodie, love to check out restaurants and travel. Those are the basic ones though because I have sort of family life, you know.

Jennifer Smith: Okay, thatís great. Thank you so much.

Josh Stamberg: Thank you.

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, as a reminder, to register for a question, please press the 1 followed by the four on your telephone. (Youíll hear) a three-tone prompt to acknowledge your request. If your question has been answered and you would like to withdraw your registration, please press the 1 followed by the 3. If you are using a speaker phone, please lift your handset before entering your request.

Our next question is a follow-up question from the line of Melissa Chapman with Lifetimemoms.com. Please proceed.

Melissa Chapman: I have to ask you this because my husband, like, he really is not a huge fan of Lifetime and, you know, heís like, you know, it feels like it bashes men in a lot of the movies, in a lot of the shows. When I did get him to watch the show and he really does like it. Iím wondering were you a fan of the Lifetime Television Network and movies and series, you know, before you took on this role that youíve now had. I mean this is the fourth season, so itís a long time being a part of, you know, the Lifetime family. (Unintelligible), you know, never watched any of the movies like, you know, the famous, you know, Betty Broderick story or anything like that, or if your wife likes it also.

Josh Stamberg: Hi, thanks. Yes, thatís a great question. I was certainly aware of Lifetime. I canít say that I was particularly well versed in terms of the programming and hadnít spent a lot of time watching Lifetime programming.

But I do - I did have concerns about it. I think, yes, I mean just from a gender perspective, but I also thought...

Melissa Chapman: Right, exactly.

Josh Stamberg: ...it was maybe (an opportunity) - it maybe an opportunity to sort of build an audience that I donít think I feel like I had exposure too.

Melissa Chapman: Okay.

Josh Stamberg: And also, itís like - I know the (right) we get is really - itís really good in terms of storyline. And someone like do take issue with - I know this isnít exactly asking but someone that do take issue as sort of how dimensional the male characters are versus the female but I think thatís the best...

Melissa Chapman: Right.

Josh Stamberg: ...you know, given the state of 13...

Melissa Chapman: Sure.

Josh Stamberg: ...I think thatís actually probably a good problem, and that puts, you know, itís - women, thereís so few great roles and Lifetime finds and creates great roles for women which is crucial.

So I wasnít - I hadnít seen a whole lot. I was aware of Army Wives and, you know, I was aware that thereís some good movies. I also feel like in four years that Iíve been working for Lifetime, the quality has - not just you got the Drop Dead Diva, but I think theyíre across the board to achieve the really prize in terms of what I see, you know, in terms of the movies that are getting made for Lifetime and other series...

Melissa Chapman: Thatís great.

Josh Stamberg: ...I think itís gotten better and better. So thatís really encouraging. Itís nice to be a part of that, you know, part of a network thatís really - that feels like itís on the rise.

Melissa Chapman: And I - one more question I have to ask you. You know, the whole premise of the soul going into another body like, do you have any kind of - I mean what does your spirituality, you know, feel on that? Do you believe in that kind of stuff? Do you think itís total (hoowee)? You know, what do you - you know, whatís your personal view on that, you know, on that being possible?

Josh Stamberg: Yes, I mean. Yes, itís - I mean in terms of possibility, I donít know. Iíd like to believe that lots of things of are possible. I think itís kind of a...

Melissa Chapman: Okay.

Josh Stamberg: ...beautiful concept and an unusual one. And I think that, you know, I donít know, having a child and being a parent and seeing, you know, a daughter was born and almost exactly as my father was dying, and thereís something that any (lesser) parents experience in terms of life cycle. Seeing my father everyday in my daughter, I mean thatís - that definitely a yes to me.

And I donít know, I like to be optimistic, you know, (believing) things thatís lots of things are possible. So, you know, we take that to an extreme on the show and Iím okay with that.

Melissa Chapman: Thank you so much.

Josh Stamberg: Thank you.

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, as a reminder, to register for a question, itís a 1 followed by the 4 on your telephone. You will hear a three-tone prompt to acknowledge your request. If your line has been answered and you would like to withdraw your registration, please press the 1 followed by the 3. If you are using a speaker phone, please lift your handset before entering your request. And again to register, a 1 followed by the 4.

Our next question is a follow-up question from the line of Jennifer Smith, freelance blogger. Please go ahead.

Jennifer Smith: Hi, Iím back. I was just curious, how is it working with Brandy once again?

Josh Stamberg: Iím crazy about working with Brandy. Brandy is a real pro and sheís had lots and lots of years of experience as a TV star and as, you know, award-winning musician. So she always comes totally prepared, and sheís a pro. And sheís just like a lovely energy to have around. And the best part of having her around for me is weíll just be on set, between takes, sheíll start singing and literally numbs you. Her singing is insane, her voice. Itís angelic.

So like, I love that, and I just had a great time with her. I really like having her around. And I think that itís a good dynamic, sort of what that storyline is. Itís too bad thereís not anymore.

Jennifer Smith: Right. And you mentioned that you have a young daughter. Can you talk a little about what being a father has taught you and what your favorite part of being a father is?

Josh Stamberg: Ooh, wow, tough one, tough. Well, big question. I think itís taught me - the hardest time I had I think the other is just slowing down. I like to be really active, I like to feel like Iím getting a lot done and accomplishing a lot. I like to set really high goals. And all those things still happen to a degree but itís really been a great lesson for me to just have to slow down, take things on a pace, unplug, decompress and be really pressing in that way. You know, not so...

Jennifer Smith: Right.

Josh Stamberg: ...not to directly share on too much because you always talk about serve the moment a moment but that is the best lesson and the hardest part. And also, you know, you sort of, I donít know, if youíre a parent but you - just as youíre sort of beginning to master the one phase that (unintelligible) to me like (unintelligible) and itís moved on. So thatís sort of like ongoing challenges. It can be really frustrating and also, I guess, gratifying.

The best part, I donít know, it makes me so happy just waking up with her everyday, like to her in her life and going to sleep. And the minute sheís there and thatís the best stuff, and just, you know, all the stuff that happens in the day. Sheís got a great sense of humor, so just trying to make her laugh or self silly makes me really happy.

Jennifer Smith: Thatís great. And so, I feel like that must have really helped you in terms of, you know, being a character with the custody battle. And can you talk a little more about that?

Josh Stamberg: Yes. It really did help. I mean fortunately the kid who plays my son on the show, Jaden, is - heís just fantastic. Heís super cute. Heís not sort of one these weird actor kids. His mom is fantastic in life and theyíre like great people. So I love spending time with them, and it was easy to develop a friendship with them and some caring.

You know, that I think (unintelligible) if we donít scream. Again, you know, just sort of what you do is you sort of use your experiences as much as you can and you draw hypothetica.

Jennifer Smith: Right.

Josh Stamberg: So just, you know, the notion of not having my daughter and my life everyday. And I experience a little of that in Atlanta obviously because I go back and forth and they stay in LA for the (bulk of the shooting). Itís just sort of drawn on what itís like not to have some things so defining in your life (unintelligible) how that - how the threat of that feels or might feel.

Jennifer Smith: Right. And I know Jay Parker was a total womanizer before this, and now heís all about being a father. Do you think the storyline is going to have a permanent change? Or do you think heíll go back to his old ways?

Josh Stamberg: I have a bad feeling that heíll probably go back to his old ways.

Jennifer Smith: Oh no.

Josh Stamberg: I think that, you know, I donít know how far - do you, guys - I donít know how much I can talk about sort of what happened down the line in terms of episodes or how much youíve all seen.

Jennifer Smith: Okay.

Josh Stamberg: But suffice it to say, I think thereís some shifts back. It depends on swings back and then thereíll be a very, very fascinating twist at the end of the season.

Jennifer Smith: And well then, that just makes it more exciting. Thank you.

Josh Stamberg: Yes, sure, sure.

Operator: As a reminder, to register for a question, please press the 1 followed by the 4 on your telephone. You will hear a three-tone prompt to acknowledge your request. If you question has been answered and you would like to withdraw your registration, please press the 1 followed by the 3. If youíre using a speaker phone, please lift your handset before entering your request.

And again, itís a 1 followed by the 4 if youíd like to register. And weíll pause a moment for any final question.

We have a follow-up question from the line of Jennifer Smith, the freelance blogger. Please go ahead.

Jennifer Smith: Hi, sorry, I have tons of questions.

Josh Stamberg: Sure.

Jennifer Smith: I want to know what can be in store for Jay Parker and Kim Kaswell? Can you give us any hints about that?

Josh Stamberg: Thereís a lot of back and forth there, and thereís - letís see how best (unintelligible). Thereís a big shift in that storyline.

Jennifer Smith: Really?

Josh Stamberg: And weíll comment (unintelligible) season 4, yes, yes. It definitely - itís sort of away from each other for awhile, I think having the kid around brings them closer on a way and then I end up moving much further apart. She hasnít ever heard of a direction and then I think by the end of the season thereís a lot happening.

Jennifer Smith: Okay. And my last question, Iím so sorry, tell us about Brooke Elliot and what it looks like working with her. Your characters have such a good dynamic on like hate-love often dynamic relationship, and I just want to know a little bit more about that.

Josh Stamberg: Yes. I mean, you know, Brooke and I like to talk about it in terms - itís been even a fit or strike anyone as elsewhere thatís why in terms of at its best, the Moonlighting relationship thatís Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis had.

And when the writing is really working, it has that great (unintelligible) dynamic and it is completely like you nailed it. Itís that love-hate thing. So as far as our - how our characters fit, I love that dynamic. I love when we get to work together. We didnít have a whole lot this season unfortunately and we both are looking at each other as we were finishing thing. We going to get more back next year, we got to get more two together because itís so fun and I feel like theyíre going (spoil) to each other in real - itís like really evenly matched good fun.

Jennifer Smith: Thatís interesting. Does she sing on set like Brandy does?

Josh Stamberg: Yes, she does. Not necessarily as much, but again like always feel like sheís the happy one. Sheís a - and sometimes it will happen in the makeup trailer, you know. And itís just funny, the voice is insane. Obviously, her voice is totally amazing.

Jennifer Smith: Do you sing?

Josh Stamberg: I do but nobody really wants to hear it.

Jennifer Smith: Oh no.

Josh Stamberg: Iíve done lots of...

Jennifer Smith: Okay, well that was honest of you.

Josh Stamberg: Yes, I mean lots of plays in New York that I did and not a lot of stuff where I - it called singing, they werenít musical, per se. And I could, you know, get by, but Iím certainly not anywhere near the level of what those ladies are or even in musical pictures as much as I might enjoy it.

Jennifer Smith: Well, then you can just enjoy it. Thank you so much for letting me talk to you.

Josh Stamberg: Yes. Of course, thank you so much for great questions.

Operator: As a reminder, if youíd like to ask a question, itís a 1 followed by the 4 on your telephone. And weíll pause a moment while we wait for participants to register. And at this time, Iím showing we have no further questions. Iíll turn it back to you.

Robyn Harney: Okay, if we have no further questions, then I think weíre done. Thank you, Josh, so much for your participation.

Josh Stamberg: Thank you all so much. I really appreciate your time and interests.

Robyn Harney: Wonderful, have a great day, Josh.

Josh Stamberg: Take it easy. Bye.

Robyn Harney: Bye.

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