Sara Rue – Impastor
By: Lisa Steinberg
Q) What are the recent projects that you have been working on?
A) I’m reoccurring on the show “Mom” and I worked on the show “Bones” as well. Also, I have a three year old so if I can I take as much time off as I can to be with her.
Q) How balance work with being a mother?
A) It’s definitely hard. The mom guilt is really intense. The struggle is real! Every time I leave her I think, “Is this important? Should I really be going?” The truth is I love what I do and I’m so lucky to be able to get to do what I do. I hope that even though now she might not understand why I’m gone, when she looks back on it as a teenager or a grownup she’ll be like “Wow! My mom was cool! She was working and doing great things for the family and providing me with this life. And I’m so lucky to have it!” That’s the dream scenario. Who knows if that will be her take. [laughs] But I hope so.
Q) With the season premiere of “Impastor,” it seems like Dora is moving closer to finding out about Buddy. Talk about what is to come this season.
A) I think for Dora it’s really difficult, but she has the hardest time seeing the truth because it means she messed up somehow. In her mind, she was solely responsible for hiring this guy. She has pushed him on the rest of the congregation believing in him and wanting him to be there. The fact he turns out he is not so great at his job, it’s hard for her to really admit it to herself and see that. Also, his lie probably effects her the greatest in this town because she is the one who could lose her job over his deception. I think that’s why she represents the audience’s suspension of disbelief and I think it works so well because she has a lot invested in him working out – in this new pastor working out for this town. So, it works wonderfully for the storyline to have this naïve woman thinking, “Oh, well that was a little quirky of him. I’m sure he has a reason for everything,” and just to move on. You believe it because she really needs it to work.
Q) What has been your favorite part of Dora’s character development?
A) My favorite part of playing Dora is all of the broaches she gets to wear. I think it’s fun to get to play someone as naïve and sheltered as Dora is, but also as progressive in her thinking as she is. For someone who grew up in a small town and probably hasn’t left it much to want to hire an openly gay pastor to revive and rejuvenate the congregation is a really cool thing. And I love how I’ve seen her come into her own a little bit. She found her voice and it’s probably from Buddy being there and being so quirky and outspoken with him not being the normal man of the cloth, so to speak. She has found more strength and has found little moments to stand up for herself. I think there is going to be more of that and it is really fun to play when Dora sucks it up and says, “I’m going to do what is right!” I love that side to her.
Q) What has it been like for you to work with Michael Rosenbaum?
A) It’s funny because we are totally different in terms of how we approach the work. As actors, our styles couldn’t be more opposite and yet for some reason we are able to come together and it just kind of gels and works. I think the key to it is that I feel like we’re a team together when we are in these scenes. Comedy is such a delicate balance. It is finding the reality, but also finding the laugh and the humor. And Michael is great at giving you input, listening to you and wanting to make it better as a team. He’ll have an idea and I’ll have an idea and we’ll talk about it and then go do it. You can say to him, “On my coverage, don’t this because it was distracting,” and he is so game to just be like “Totally! Whatever you need!” We got lucky in that even though we approach the work differently that when we come together to do it we are both a team mindset. We’re both just trying to make the best show possible and I think that is what really makes us work so well together. We both have the same end goal, which is to make people laugh and keep it grounded in reality.
Q) What makes TV Land such a good fit for the series?
A) They are amazingly supportive! They have said that they wanted to change their brand and go from a network just airing repeats of sitcoms to making their own sitcoms (in a more sort of old fashioned way). Now, they are totally doing a 180 and they want to make dark, weird, funny, intense shows. They have really put their money where their mouth is and let us push the envelope. They want the show to be good and what the original intent of the show is. They are really supportive. So, I love working with them. Their notes are right on. The executives at TV Land are also really funny people. When you talk to them in real life they have good senses of humor and are real, cool people. I think that comes into the work too because they are the ones giving us notes. It’s kind of a nice relationship. TV Land has really no fear. They are going for it and I love it!
Q) Since you are a part of social media, do you enjoy the instant fan feedback you get during episodes?
A) This is really the first show that I have ever really live tweeted. To get the instant feedback from the fans has been really wonderful. Sometimes when you do a show the only feedback you get for a while is from the television critics and then eventually it is on for a while and people come up to you on the street or whatever. That was kind of the only feedback you got, especially during the first season of a new show. So, for us it was really cool to be able to have the show come on and instantly hear what people loved or what they thought was crazy or a twist they didn’t see coming. Positive or negative, it’s just kind of fun to hear what people have to say. I like also the feeling of connecting with the viewers. It’s nice for them to know that it was the cast sitting in my living room almost all of last season live tweeting. We plan on doing that as much as we can this year, given everyone’s schedule and location. I think that was fun for the fans and fun for us to share the experience. Normally, after shooting the show, you watch the show alone in a very sad and lonely room. Last year we got to order Chinese and hangout! It really gave the sense of completion with each episode since we would watch together and tweet about it. It was just nice to feel like there was a sense of community with us as a cast and further reach out in terms of the audience that was watching.
Q) Who are some guest stars we will see on the show this season?
A) People ask that a lot and I think I love the guest cast on our show because we don’t do stunt casting or hire big stars to come in and do a scene because they are big stars and will tweet about it. Our casting directors are great about finding good, interesting actors to come in that they are right for. I love that! As a working actor, I hope that continues and it is not just about getting a movie star who isn’t necessarily right for the part, but comes in because we’ll get more eyeballs. They really try to cast actors who are right for the roles and are good. This year we have a bunch of people back from the first season who were great and we have some new faces – all working, solid talented actors. Maybe you won’t know their names, but I think you’ll know them when you see them. I think the work they do on the show is not only really wonderful, but it is important for the show. They help to further the storyline and create the journey into the world of Buddy’s life. That is of course a testament to the writers, producers and our fabulous casting directors.
Q) What moment are you most nervous or excited for fans to see how it plays out on screen?
A) I’m just so excited that people are going to finally see it! We shot it a while ago. We shoot the show kind of like a movie where it is all at one time and all on location. Then, they finish it and edit all the episodes before we go on air. So, I’m just excited for people to see what we did. I thought when we were shooting it that it had the potential to be really good. Now I’ve seen most of it cut together, I’m really proud of it and really excited for people to hopefully find us again. It’s a long time in between seasons. I think that’s a bummer about doing a limited series on cable. You have to have people who are willing to tune in a year later with what is going on with these characters and that’s a lot of time to sort of wait and remember. Hopefully, people will binge watch the first season and then come in for the second season. I think they’ll enjoy it just as much if not more than the first season because the second season gets juicer and I hope funnier. It’s just fun to finally be able to share it with people.
Q) What have you taken away from working on the show?
A) The greatest thing I’m taking away from this show are the friendships I have made on a personal level. I have become such close friends with some of the cast. My daughter actually thinks we are related to them because we spend so much time together. And that’s really a gift. I’ve worked on shows with people that I have liked and have had friendships with, but it has never been like this where even now when we are not on location we spend a lot of our free time together. That is really, really special. It doesn’t happen every time. Especially with Mircea Monroe and I…Sometimes women on sets can be catty and not cool to each other. When you see her, she’s incredibly beautiful and she’s funny and quick. You never know. Maybe she isn’t going to be that nice to me…But she has been a God send! She is such an incredible woman and she supports you. She is the first person to tell you that you look pretty today or say, “Hmm. Maybe not that sweater.” And I so appreciate that because no one will ever tell you the truth. She and I have become just such good friends and I’m happy to have her in my life.
Q) How did your show “Popular” have an effect on teen based dramas of today? It was the first show where you could relate to characters and had a feeling of a connection – it was at the forefront.
A) I’m glad you liked it! Ryan Murphy has proven himself to be quite a genius. I think it was definitely ahead of its time otherwise I think it would still be on the air. (Maybe not. That’s a bit of an exaggeration. [laughs]) It was short lived, but I know it has impacted a lot of people who watched it. The fact you are still talking about it fifteen years later is really a testament to the writing and some of the performances. It definitely came at a time when teenage drama was the rage with “Dawson’s Creek” and “Felicity.” But I guess we were sort of the weird one. We were the weird, quirky stepchild of those shows and I think the people that it spoke to it really had a deeper impact than any of us were aware of at the time. Even now, people are rediscovering it on DVD, OnDemand and online. I’ll have young girls come up to me saying the love “Popular” and I’m like, “But you weren’t even alive when it was on! What are you talking about?” So, it has continued to have multiple lives after the fact and I’m glad that it spoke to a lot of people and resonates with them.
Q) Is there anything else you want to be sure fans know about this season of “Impastor?”
A) I just hope people will give us a chance. If you missed the first season, I would recommend finding it and checking it out. I would not say this about most shows, but I can’t imagine watching the first five episodes and saying, “Nope. Not into it.” Everyone who have found us and tuned in are really excited about it – just as excited as we are. We just hope we can get some more eyeballs and people tuned in because there is a cliffhanger at the end of every episode and a sort of murder mystery thriller element that goes through as a through-line. I think it is most satisfying if you binge watch us from the beginning and then tuning in for Season Two because you’ll miss out on some great stuff. I hope people will take the extra effort to punch us into their DVR and check us out.