Abbie Cobb – Boy in the Attic
By: Jamie Steinberg
Q) What are the recent projects that you are working on?
A) My August has been pretty busy because I have had a lot of stuff airing. They will be re-airing the episode I was in of “Patricia Heaton Parties” on the Food Network. We did the movie Mom’s Night Out and this was our reunion episode with myself, Patricia, Sarah Drew, Andrea Logan White and Kevin Downes from the film. The five of us get together and it re-airs on Sunday, August 21st. I have Boy in the Attic on August 20th and I’ll be on season finale of the show “The Night Shift,” which airs August 31st. So, it’s a busy August of stuff coming out!
Q) What made you want to be a part the movie Boy in the Attic?
A) I love Lifetime. I’ve been able to work with them several times, most recently on their “90210” film, where I played Jennie Garth. The boy in Boy in the Attic played Jason Priestley. So, when the offer came in and they were tossing around names of who should be the boy in the attic. I jumped at the chance at to shoot in Vancouver again and with one of my best friends, Max Lloyd-Jones. Then, I love Lifetime. They have been really good to me. I think their movies are really fun. I was really excited about the script, too. The cool thing about Boy In The Attic is that it doesn’t quite know what it wants to be and you just kind of go along for the ride. As the story unfolds, you wonder if it is a mystery, horror, love story, action/adventure or a coming of age movie? It’s sort of all those things and a thriller on top of all of that. The first few pages read like a horror movie and then it finds its way into all these other genres along the way, which is something I haven’t seen before in a script so I loved that!
Q) It must be nice getting to work with an old friend.
A) Max is fantastic so it was so fun to get to work with him again.
Q) Was there anything you added to your role that may not have been scripted for you?
A) We had a jam packed filming schedule with pages and pages every day and there was not a lot of rehearsal time because our filming schedule was so tight. It really helped that Max and I knew each other and had a great relationship. We would jump into these scenes right away without sacrificing the awkward time of getting to know someone. So, I guess what we brought to it and brought to life was the familiarity of these characters and already knowing one another, already knowing how to work together having banter and being able to bounce things off each other. So, the chemistry was there from day one. We didn’t have to find it along the way.
Q) What did you find challenging about the role?
A) I think it was tricky because of the conditions we were working in. It was really heavy rain in Vancouver and we were working in these haunted locations and creepy forests that no one had been in for decades. It was freezing cold in the middle of the night with fog, sleet, snow and mud. So much mud! So, for me, the challenge was learning twenty-five pages a day and being able to be able to memorize and be completely in the moment, especially in the morning when you are freezing cold and no cell service. So, it was a really good challenge for me as an actress to ignore the elements and do what I love to do and try to do everything with excellence.
Q) Did director Paul Shapiro give you any advice during filming that you took to heart?
A) Paul is awesome! He was really fun and we have a great relationship still. He is one of the few directors I’ve ever worked with that under such a time crunch he was able to get it all done and not sacrifice quality. I love that he trusted his actors to do what we do and he was able to make decisions really quickly and move on when needed to really quickly and trust us, which was really great. He let us do our thing and stepped in when he needed to. And there are a lot of directors I worked with that were afraid to let us try things without being micromanaged and Paul was really giving in that way, which as an actor I appreciated the trust he put in Max and us and Gina [Holden.]
Q) What was it like working with Gina Holden?
A) Gina is a dream! She is an absolute dream! She has become a great friend and she has so much experience. I was thrilled to be able to work with her, learn from her and soak in all of her advice. Just watching her work made me better and made me want to be even better.
Q) What were some of your memorable behind the scenes moment?
A) The house we shot in was really, really beautiful and kind of magical. We spent a lot of time in this old abandoned greenhouse. To be in Vancouver, this city that I love…I feel like I left my heart in Vancouver. I love it so much. To dance with Max in this greenhouse and laugh with him and create moments and memories with some of my best friends in the city that I love while doing what I love, you can’t match that. There was also some really fun moments in a car. There is a car chase scene and I got to drive this amazing old 1970’s Lincoln. I was racing it around with cop cars chasing me and that is always fun because when in my life would I ever get to do it?
Q) What makes working for Lifetime so enjoyable?
A) I just love Lifetime! I love the way they tell stories. I love the way they know their audience. I love the way that find new and creative ways to tell stories that they know their audience wants to see and hear. And I’m happy to be along for the ride! Lifetime movies are almost a genre in and of themselves and it makes it really fun for me to not only have a great relationship with the network, but to jump in and tell a fun story – a story that is actually exciting to me. The acting in the movie – I was really challenged by my fellow actors, but I feel the cast they got were top notch along with the director and DP. So, the quality of the people I got to work with they really raised the bar with people I got to work with and that makes me excited as an actress.
Q) What do you think it is about Boy in the Attic that will make people want to watch?
A) I think because it appeals to fans from different genres. It appeals from different fans who love different genres. The horror genre, you’ve got that. The romantic movie fans, you’ve got that. You have the love story. You have the young women finding herself. You have the mother in peril trying to help her daughter. You have a thriller. You have car cases. You have terror. You have action. You have murder. There is an investigation of the crime. So, it has a large appeal to a wide variety of fanbases, which I think is really exciting. I think it is exciting that we can appeal to more than just the typical Lifetime movie fan.
Q) You are a part of social media. Are you looking forward to the instant fan feedback you will receive?
A) I think so! [laughs] I think people will like it, I really do. You know what you are getting when you sit down to watch a movie like this and I think the movie will surprise viewers too because there are some twists and turns and surprises along the way. I think everyone will enjoy it. It’s a lot of fun!
Q) You mentioned being a part of the Unauthorized Beverly Hills, 90210 What did fans have to say about your portrayal of Jennie Garth?
A) I think overall the fans really liked it. “90210” fans are really loyal and really fun. I think it was sort of a walk back into nostalgia for them. They liked seeing the characters they loved so much come to life once more. I felt it was a little unfair and to my advantage because I look so much like Jennie that I think it excited fans. They liked that the resemblance was spot on. So, fans we were really kind of my acting and I could not be happier with how it turned out.
Q) Did you ever hear from Jennie about your performance?
A) No, I didn’t. We expected them to be quiet. I think they were all respectful and supportive in their own way. That’s okay with us. It was just fun for us. We didn’t say anything that wasn’t true and I think everyone got a fair shake in the way we told the story. So, I hope they enjoyed it or at least the fans that loved them enjoyed it.
Q) Is there anything else you’d like to be sure fans know about Boy in the Attic?
A) I’m really excited. I think people are going to like it and are going to be surprised by it. I’m looking forward to hearing what the fans think.
Q) What would you like to say to everyone who is a fan and supporter of you and your work?
A) Pop the biggest bowl of popcorn you ever had. Sit down and enjoy. Let us know if you enjoyed the ride!
Boy in the Attic premieres on Lifetime Saturday, August 20th at 8/7C