Interviews

Josie Bissett – Paper Angels

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Q) What are the recent projects that you are working on?

A) I am just about to start my next book series. I am going to Sri Lanka to do some research on it. It’s a children’s book series. That is going to be my next project. I’m also teaming up with a nonprofit charity called Starkey Hearing Foundation and they provide hearing aids to poor countries. I’m going to be learning how to fit hearing aids into their ears and I’ll help them out.

Q) How did you get involved with Paper Angels and what made you want to be a part of it?

A) I was given the script and I just for so many aspects of the script I loved it. Including, it’s a true story and written by a country singer. I didn’t know Jimmy Wayne at first and then I started researching his life. He’s such an incredible person and has the most inspiring story. His whole life is to give back and help homeless teens. I loved that I got to meet him and I talked to him about my character and what really happened. And I really enjoyed a character that was very similar to my kids. I have two kids that are similar in age to the characters in the story. I have definitely had some experience with the separation; however, we’ve been divorced forever. But there is always little transitions. So, I understood where she is coming from in the sense of trying to make it on her own. I enjoyed playing a waitress, even though there was not really a scene. I just loved the aspect of her being a real person. Most of the characters I have played like Jane on “Melrose Place” and Kathleen on “Secret Life” are very put together, just with their clothes and all of that. Poor Jane had a lot going on, but she was still successful. I loved playing this character that in all ways was trying to keep her family and herself together and okay. She was making a new life for them.

Q) How hands on during the production of the film were writers Jimmy Wayne and Travis Thrasher?

A) Travis wasn’t there and Jimmy was there for a few of the days. Jimmy loved telling stories and he loved getting people on board and teaching people about the help assistance program. When he was on set, he wasn’t concerned at all about anything except for getting his message out. He was so cute because he was so grateful that his movie was being made that every second he could he would thank them for doing the movie.

Q) Which scenes in the movie were some of your favorites to film?

A) I really loved the scene with Russell Porter (who plays the husband) at the end of the movie. He comes back into town and shows up at the restaurant. He’s explaining that he is seventeen days sober. He was incredible in it and I honestly loved working with the kids. I had so much fun working with them. There is something about working with kids on set. They just bring a lot of life and joy on set. There was a little Christmas scene in it where me and Farryn [VanHumbeck] (my daughter) are dancing around. We don’t even have any dialogue, but we are dancing around and singing Christmas songs. It was just a fun moment for us.

Q) What makes the UP Network such a great fit for Paper Angels?

A) This film is really, truly about giving back and giving. It’s giving to someone less fortunate and consciously making one small gesture, one small thing that changes their Christmas dramatically. That is the message really. It’s love, family, Christmas time, growth and giving. And triumph! All the characters triumph through issues in their lives and that is neat to see, too.

Q) The film nicely ties in with the Salvation Army and their Angel Drive. How can people get involved with it?

A) The best way is to go onto the website at http://salvationarmyusa.org/. You can find out where the trees are going to be and I think you can request one. I know I am going to try and get one in my kids’ school. Then, if you can’t afford to buy anything for anyone you can help at the facility. They need help packing them and putting them into the trucks. There is that option, too!

Q) Since you are a part of social media sites, are you looking forward to the instant fan feedback you will receive when the film premieres?

A) I am! This kind of movie will really only attract certain people. It’s that fanbase that is family based, wholesome people who are wanting to make a difference and trying to make a difference as best as they can. People like that appreciate movies like this. I do love to hear from people!

Q) Why will people want to take their time to see the film?

A) I think it is a movie that after you finish watching it you feel inspired. You have learned (at least for me) how simple it can be to change someone’s Christmas. We see those trees out, all of us have. You don’t realize how from the other side of it – You don’t get to see them open the presents and you don’t get to see the families. It’s just such an incredible gift and so easy on our part to buy something. It’s also important to really get your kids involved!

Q) What would you like to say to everyone who is a fan and supporter of you and your work?

A) I would like to say thank you! Our fans, anyone who is in the public eye, they are there because of people who love them. And I appreciate that and I love that. I think the best thing I can say is I appreciate that. Without them, we’d be nothing! 

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