It was really great to chat with Ms. Zuniga, especially
after seeing her movie. She was very nice, if a little "spacey" at
times, but it's clear that she really cares about the environment and
enjoys her work. I hope you get a chance to check out the movie because
it's very funny.
It was a pretty long interview...The parts that I had a
little trouble hearing from my recording are in italics for you. I was
the first person to ask her questions in our "conference call".
Suzanne: Hi, Daphne.
Daphne: Hi, Suzanne.
Suzanne: Thanks for meeting with us.
Daphne: Yeah, my pleasure.
Suzanne: So what was your favorite part of the movie?
Daphne: Oh, um...you know, I love so much of it. I love
doing the physical comedy, and I love...I just had a flash before we did
this interview, that was so fun, falling off the ladder, and getting up
in the bushes. I don't know why that flashed in my head, but I really
enjoy doing that kind of--.there's a warm-heartedness, obviously, in the
movie, but there's a physical comedy to it that I really, you know, with
all her trying to do everything at once, and it not working. We had some
funny moments, like when they tried to pass off these store bought
cookies as their home-made ones. I really like doing those a lot.
For me it's just play time, so that's what I really loved, mostly.
Suzanne: Yeah, you all looked like you were having a
Daphne: Yeah, we really were. You know, the producers
and the man who wrote it, he was always on the set, he always brought a
really good energy to it, so all of us wanted to really be a part of it.
Suzanne: Yeah, that's great. Not all of the holiday
movies can be this great, and some of them are kind of sappy, but I
thought this one was really funny. I laughed out loud quite a few
Daphne: Oh, glad to hear it.
Suzanne: I love the cookie scene where they were making
the cookies, and they were like, "Gluten free flour"! I thought that was
Daphne: Yeah, yeah. I like all that, too. I just like
the way it was written. There's a really heartfeltness in the guys
trying to do it right and I just loved it. I love that.
Suzanne: I think that a lot of "housewives" or mothers
can probably relate even in this day and age, with all the stresses at
Daphne: Yeah, I mean, I found just being on the set or
talking to other actresses...Julia Duffy, who plays my mom, she totally
related. I'm not married, and I don't have kids, so I couldn't believe
this went on.
Daphne: I'm like, are you kidding me? Who's gonna do it
all? That's crazy? And then I talked to other people and heard more
about it. "Oh, yeah" and then, I thought, I can totally see it.
Hello, we have to do everything anyway, the rest of the year. I'm sure
it piles up around Christmas.
Suzanne: Oh, yeah, and you want everything to be so
magical and wonderful at Christmas. October comes, and you're like, "Agh,
I haven't even though of Christmas yet" and it all sort of piles up from
Daphne: That's the one thing I liked about this script.
She needed to pull back and really see her fault. She thinks she does it
better, and she does it more quickly, it gets done. But then she figures
out, we all do, that if she wants to let them do it, because she wants
them to, then she has to let them do it.
Suzanne: Exactly, you can't be a control freak about it
and then complain on top of it.
Daphne: Yeah, yeah.
Moderator: Next we have Jamie from Star Magazine.
Jamie: It's a pleasure to speak with you.
Daphne: Thank you, Jamie.
Jamie: I was wondering, what made you want to be a part
of this film?
Daphne: Well, I read the script and I really liked
how--I have a niece and nephew, and they are basically the children in
my life. They're 8 and 12, and it's not often that I've gotten to be
part of a project that they can watch, and so I did a Thanksgiving movie
which they can watch, and this, I thought, "Oh, it's so great!", you
know, something they can enjoy. I just really liked the script and I
liked being a part of something that the whole family can watch. And, it
fit right into my "One Tree Hill" schedule, so, it was like, perfect.
Jamie: Okay, and, why do you think people will want to
take their time and tune in to watch?
Daphne: There are a lot of movies this time of year, and
I think people have a need to kind of curl up, cozy up, turn on the TV
and be entertained. Sort of like a reprieve or break from the realities
in the world. I feel that this one has a lot of warm-hearted physical
comedy, and it really works. This is the kind of movie where you don't
have to be embarrassed to watch. It's not a sappy movie, it's
funny, and it's the kind of movie that everyone can relate to it. It
doesn't have to be the kind of, oh, we've heard it a thousand times, or
a sappy kind of two hours. It feels fresh, and it feels entertaining.
Moderator: Ella from MyLifetime.com
Ella: Hi, Daphne, thanks so much for talking with us.
Daphne: Hi, Ella.
Ella: Hi. Can you tell me, what are your favorite
Daphne: Hmm....what are they...hanging out in my
sister's kitchen, who's a great cook, especially with desserts. Trying
to pitch in and help. You never leave it to me because it'll never come
out. My sister has two kids, and I love visiting her, and that's where
my family feeling needs get filled. This year I'll be spending
some time before Christmas with her, and we'll get stocking stuffers,
then I'll help her with her Christmasy stuff. Everything gets turned
off, I get to disconnect and just be with the people I want to be with.
Not even looking at the clock, days will go by, and I'll kind of lounge
around in the morning...I love that.
Ella: Sounds good to me. This is separate from the
movie, but...Jill is juggling a lot in the movie. You're very involved
in environmentalism. How do you manage that along with your acting
Daphne: I'm glad you asked because I get the chance to
talk about something that's so important to me. I want to speak about
the environment that doesn't make it an "issue" because "issues" we can
either clue in and be a part of or we can choose not to be. But we are
literally sitting on a planet that's burning. There's a timer ticking.
We're losing ecosystems. People are being poisoned. The amount of
chemicals, carcinogens, toxins...okay, this is totally a break from the
movie, just give me two minutes. One minute. (Laughs) We're so
filled with pollutants ourselves, and it's because of our lifestyles. I
really feel...there's a group I'm working with right now that is getting
a lot done in the way of trying to prevent big corporations from
polluting illegally. They're an environmental justice group. I
feel like people in the same way that we need to disconnect and cozy up
with our holiday movies and friends and loved ones, we also need to
really feel down in our core what scares us the most about what's
happening. It's not going away. We all need to feel that and act
on it. Do something, anything, in your own life. Try not to use
chemicals. Those chemicals go into the water supply. Try not to
use too much plastic. That gets thrown and it's never going away.
It's killing the ocean. Try not to waste energy, turn off the
lights...all kinds of things that we can all do. I feel that Christmas
time is supposed to be about hunkering down with the people you love.
Getting it. Feeling inside in your heart, engaged with others and the
world and the truth. That's what Christmas is about. That's
hopefully what this movie can help people to feel their hearts expand
with their own families. But right now, this group I'm working with does
amazing work. They don't get enough money or press. I just feel like
people in general need to say, okay, it's not about the shopping, you
know? How I do it, I live my life, I try to be as conscientous as
possible every day, I try not to use extra plastic (although sometimes I
have to, or I do). I try to be honest with myself because ignoring it
doesn't mean it's going away. It's ticking away, things are
getting worse. Unless we all wake up, things are going to get worse for
our children, for the next generation.
Ella: Well, I'm sure you'll inspire some people for
their new year's resolution.
Daphne: I hope so. I feel like there are a lot of people
right now, myself included, who go, "Where do I fit in? What's my role?
What do I really feel?" I just hope people realize that it's not that
complicated. Just close your eyes and check in, see what moves you, see
what draws you, what things you want to read, who do you admire? And
take a step. Engage in the things that light you up with the intention
of helping human beings and the planet. Human beings need a lot of help.
The trees have gotten a lot of press, but human beings -- we could use
some fixing up, too.
Ella: Very true.
Moderator: Now we have Katya, who's one of our Lifetime
Moms, who's blogging for us.
Daphne: Hi, Katya.
Katya: Hi, so nice to be talking to you. I kind of want
to go back to how you were saying, I like how you were talking about
being human beings and finding the light inside you. What lights up, how
do you live life to the fullest in your life?
Daphne: I remember an acting teacher--I've been acting
since I was so young, and in the early years, before I actually started
working in the business, I went through a lot of acting classes, and
there was a lot of self-exploration. A lot of exercises and hours spent
getting to know one's self, getting to know your emotions and your
interior walls. Ironically, when you start working in the business, that
sort of slows down, and it's more focused on external, like how you
look, or what jobs you're getting, who are you seeing, what are you
saying, blah blah blah. So I remember this one wonderfully acting
teacher, Larry Mott. He said, if you want to be
fascinating, be fascinated. I really believe that we are all fascinating
inside. There's this mystery. I think that we are so starving for
something outside. I just remember these days and those classes, and
watching other people do their scenes or their exercises. They were so
interesting, you know? And I found my own interior world, like, Wow! We
didn't need so much on the external side. I still have that, I can still
do that when I can act. If I'm doing Victoria, or Joy Robertson in the
Christmas movie, I try to go inside and find the landscapes of these
characters a little bit. Bring their own juice to it. I have to say that
is always what's got me going, is acting classes and medication as well.
Boy, that is a heavy duty thing. You think it's so calming and quiet,
and nothing happens, but it's not.
Katya: That is the hardest time, to just be calm in a
Yoga class, or Pilates.
Daphne: I'm like, oh my God, I'm trying to relax, but I
start thinking, how can you relax?
Katya: That's tough.
(crosstalk, something missing here that I couldn't
Daphne: Yeah, because your brain, we're so--
Katya: How often do you do it?
Daphne: I used to do it long-term, eight to ten days of
Daphne: But now--the last time I did it was probably
three or four years ago. But in February, I'm going to do a 28-day...I'm
going to do an exercise with my meditation teacher, Sharon Saltzburg.
She's just wonderful...one of the leading teachers in the country, and
she, basically...Woo! It was hard, the first one. Let me tell you the
secret. It's not that complicated. We're so inundated with, how do we do
that? How do we do this? And you have to read this book and you have to
take a course. But the truth is that you have to sit down, close your
eyes, and notice your breath. That's it! So just keep noticing your
breath, and every time your mind takes you off to, "Oh, am I doing this
pose right?", say, oh, there's my mind again, chatting away, don't want
to do do that, and come back to the breath. If you can do that, for
longer periods of time....there's a calm but there's also an inner
excitement that I like, and, um, I wish more people did that.
Katya: Yeah, I totally agree. That actually comes very
close to the next question I have, which you almost answered already,
but do you think that today's women have too much pressure to be
perfect, and what can we do to help others not feel that pressure?
Daphne: Yeah. I feel like societally speaking, it's been
coming for years. I know when I was a little girl, my mom was already
working in the work force, and that was a big liberation for the 70's.
Like, "She's working!" But she also had us. And when I was coming
into my own, becoming an adult, I had a career. I was working. So
it's like, now, 2010, I feel like so many women walk down this path, and
yet we're supposed to be the woman in the relationship, but much of what
we do is also traditionally male. Then there's the kids, and I feel
like, for me, anyway, you have to notice your inner perfectionist and
you have to not let it run the show. Like Joy did, you have to be
willing to not be perfect, I have to be willing to just be me. One
person in the room, let all the others be them. They're in the room,
too. I feel like saying to my perfectionist, "Go take a nap". Wouldn't
it just be so good if doing my best was enough. Just being here,
being a valuable person, in this relationship or in this family is not
enough, and you have to ask for help. You have to ask for help. I push.
I have to sometimes remind my boyfriend. I know I'm self-reliant, I know
I've been doing this since I was a kid, miracles happen and I can work
14 hour days, and I can do this in-between. But, I also need to just
fall down and have someone pick me up. I need you to do this. Men, I
believe, need to hear specifically what we need. Whereas women, we
multi-task. "Don't worry about it, I got it".
Katya: Sometimes women don't want to ask and think that
men should read their minds. And they huff and puff and hope that men
will notice what they need. So that's really a very good point.
Thank you so much.
Moderator: Suzanne, do you have anything else that you
want to ask Daphne?
Suzanne: Yeah, actually, I really liked the interaction
between the other actors who played your husband and your sons. It
seemed very realistic. Did you guys do anything to get comfortable with
each other and seem like family, or...?
Daphne: Um, no, we didn't. I think we just had a dinner
the night before we started shooting, and I feel like...It's kind of
funny, I think that is the oldest age I've played a mom to, you know,
so...it was kind of like...They're playing 17 or 18, right? I think Evan
had worked a lot before and there's a natural comfort between us. All of
us. David Sutcliff, who plays my dad. (Corrects herself) Dad! I feel
very young (Laughs) He plays my husband and we...I feel like
there's a natural feeling that kind of came with it.
Suzanne: It sure came through on the screen, that's for
Daphne: I'm so glad.
Suzanne: Did you have any special thoughts about working
with Julia Duffy? She's great...
Daphne: Oh, yeah, I was thrilled. You know, she's kind
of subtle with her comedy. She'd done Newhart, you know...
Daphne: I feel like she's so good, she's so sure in her
mind and the way that she is, you know? Things just kind of come across.
She gets this look in her eye, and she's not even trying too hard.
She's worth watching.
Suzanne: Yeah, she had that great little twinkle in her
eye (during the movie). It was almost like, watching it....it's a
Christmas movie, and the way she was kind of winking at everyone, it's
almost like the woman in the know, kind of guiding everyone alone. I
almost expected that she was going to turn out to be magical or
something in the end, you know?
Daphne: I know, she does have a twinkle in her eye. And
the way that one scene was, where it was mother-daughter talking
honestly, and boy, you're thinking in the scene, what do I do? If you're
working off of this good an actress, you just have to listen to her, and
speak honestly back. That's what I felt that I could do with her, you
know, and hopefully capture that.
Suzanne: It was great. Thank you very much.
Moderator: Are you good? Do you have anything else?
Suzanne: I was just going to ask how it was working on
"One Tree Hill" and how you're enjoying that.
Daphne: I love working on "One Tree Hill"! I
mean, I just love the lines that I have, I love being surrounded by
these younger beautiful people who are tweeting and teaching me how to
shop on my iPad, and I really like it. It keeps me young. I love
it. I really love it. I was really glad that "On Strike for
Christmas" just fit right in my schedule, during the couple of episodes
I wasn't in, so...
Suzanne: Thank you!
Daphne: You're welcome!
Jamie: Do you have any typical Christmas traditions?
Daphne: Just the usual. I wasn't from a very traditional
or big family growing up, but my boyfriend has three kids, they're all
in college, or just out of college. We're going to spend time with them,
and his mom, and my sister, so it's really, just...if we can just get
around to seeing everyone during the holidays! But other than that, I
don't really have a lot of tradition. I look forward to how this
Christmas will be different from the last Christmas, you know?
Jamie: Thank you so much!
Ella: You were just mentioning One Tree Hill, and the
Ella: And we know you have done other movies. I was
wondering if you have one that you prefer, movies vs. TV series.
Daphne: Oh! No, I feel really fortunate this year to
have done two TV movies and to have that structure to come back to. I
love doing One Tree Hill because it's such a family, and it's a very
well-oiled machine. I mean, it just moves so fast, and everyone fits in
so well. It's really beautiful. It makes my job just not stressful
at all. And yet, all of a sudden, to fly off to location and do this
brand new story and brand new characters -- I love that, too. So,
I guess I should figure out which I like better. I like the structure,
but I really like the unknown factor of doing the different movies. So,
I'm lucky, I'm doing both.
Ella: Thank you so much.
Daphne: Uh-huh. Thank you!
Katya: Speaking on more on that, what is next for you?
More TV, more movies?
Daphne: I'm working on developing the rights to another
book--I prefer not to mention the name. I'm working with the producer
right now. I think it would be a wonderful series. Also, I'm
working with a director to do a play, in the theater.
Katya: Oh, great.
Daphne: An original piece that we want to do in L.A.
It's a comedy, a piece of theater, so I hopefully can get back into
Katya: That sounds great. Have you done a lot of
Daphne: Well, when I was little, that was what I started
out doing. The last play I did was about three or four years ago in San
Francisco when we had a writer's strike in L.A. I went up there and did
an original play.
Katya: Oh, I did read that, actually.
Daphne: Yeah. It's terrifying, but at the same
time....the lights would come down, and I knew there were no second
takes, and I was just thinking, "What have I done? I want to be on the
set of a TV show. It's safe, where if you mess up your lines or forget
them, you can just go again" (Laughs) And yet, it's also very
exhilarating and rewarding, you know?
Katya: Well, thank you so much. Happy holidays.
Daphne: Happy Holidays to you. Thank you!
Moderator: Thank you, Daphne. I know that we all
appreciate your time. Very inspirational answers there.
Read my Review
of the movie!
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