Sharon Belle – Couple-ish
By: Krista Ann Freego
Q) How, if any, do you think Rachel has changed from Season One to Season Two?
A) This is hard. This is hard right now because there are only a few episodes of Season Two out right now and what you’re seeing is this like heartbroken person. She is just angry right now and she’s hurt and so that’s what you’re seeing. There is definitely growth happening. She is building a home and I think that is what she’s been looking for. Having to leave her home and not really staying in contact with her family much, she is really looking for a family. She is finding that stability here. It is still a little all over the place right now, but you see in Season Two. I don’t really want to ruin anything, but I think she is definitely, you’ll notice. There is definitely some maturing happening. You’ll see it. [laughs]
Q) How much time has passed between the end of Season One and the beginning of Season Two?
A) That would be a question for Kaitlyn [Alexander], really. Not long I don’t think. I think we needed some time to pass. Because I mean like, my hair is longer. So, I think we said something like a couple months. I mean a couple months is long enough to not be talking to your sibling that you see every day and be like, this is a problem. So, I think around that, a couple of months.
Q) At the end of Season One, with the cliff hanger, where Dee and Rachel kissed and Amy walked in on them; in your mind, what happened next?
A) Ugh. Heartbreak. Oh my gosh. Oh, I hate that part. I hate thinking about it. I remember the three of us watching the rough take after we had immediately filmed it, just on the camera and us just going like “Uh-uh” and like Mercedes [Morris] was just like “No, no”. It is just so hard to think about. Honestly, I think Rachel just kind of spun into some kind of blackhole and probably just ran away. Not away-away. She’s a runner. You know people say, when you are faced with a situation, like fight or flight? She’s flight, she’s a runner. I think that happened and I think she just took a lap of the town, maybe. That’s rough. That wasn’t supposed to happen. It just happened. Sometimes things just happen and she came in at the wrong moment and that was not supposed to happen. I hate that episode. [laughs]
Q) Were you aware that for Season One, one of the ships was “Hatchel” a/k/a Rachel and her hats?
A) Nope. [laughs] That is so great! [laughs]
Q) One of readers sent in a question, asking if in Season Two Rachel had broken up with her hats?
A) [laughs] I think it was, I remember reading Kaitlyn’s interview and someone being like “Where did that hats go?” Kaitlyn said, I don’t know if it was a joke or not, “We really didn’t have anyone to do hair so we put a hat on Sharon.” Monica [Pavez] had so many people to process. So, I think it was a time thing as well. A lot of non-union things, you end up using your own clothes. Acting in so many things with your own clothes, you are still trying to create these new characters, but in your same clothes. It’s hard because clothing really can put you in a character. Dressing like that person. I think it was partly my decision too because I just really need to feel like a different person and I have worn all these clothes before and I just don’t feel like Rachel in them. I put on a hat and I just felt like a different person. I don’t usually…Well, I am wearing a hat right now, but that’s just because I walked here. But I bike everywhere. So, I pretty much just wear my helmet everywhere. I think it was just me trying to find a different character. In Season Two we had a bigger budget so we spent a little more time on wardrobe. And you know what, bottom-line with hats, it really restricts the camera. I’m wearing this hat and we are doing this scene and I’m sad so I’m going to look down, you don’t see my face. So that was a big thing. The other thing is that Rachel doesn’t need hats to define herself. While I was waiting for you, I literally just watched the episode that posted today and you see one of her hats on the box and I was like, “Aw! Rachel’s hat.” I do miss “Hatchel.” I do. I ship it. I think it is good for characters to have growth and it is nice to just see it sometimes, too. Who knows, maybe her hats were like her baby blanket. [laughs]
Q) Describe Season Two in three words?
A) I feel like that is going to ruin it too, because I want to say it is…Heartwarming. I just want to say, Passion. Passion, that is my word, in every way!
Q) How was filing Season Two different from filming Season One?
A) Well, I’m sure you’ve heard all the stories of being locked in like a sweatbox for like a week filming Season One. It was like the middle of the Summer and we were in a basement. At first, we were like, “At least we are in a basement. No, it doesn’t matter it was still like awful and so hot!” Everyone was like walking around with their shirt off. It was nuts. Lights were falling from the ceiling because the tape was just melting. We filmed most of it there, too. So, that was a challenge. We definitely had weather on our side for this one. Like really mild climate and we had a little more money so we had a bigger space. That was so nice. We had some really cool locations. We do…Wait, I can’t say that yet.
Q) You have the flower shop, which is new.
A) The flower shop is awesome! Yes. That is so cool. It was just like a little comfier for space and locations. Also, it was union, so like I said. When it’s non-union you’re working fifteen hour days sometimes and that is just. It is not just for the people with the money, it is kind of for everyone. You just join the crew and you’re like, “We’re going to get this done.” You team up and it feels really great because you are all pushing together. But you can really exhaust yourself really easily. So, this season we had a sign-in and a sign-out time, which was nice. I didn’t feel exhausted, ever. It was really nice too because we have a new cast. We have Premika [Leo]. I friggin’ love her! It was nice. We had some old crew and some new crew. It is always great getting everyone back together again. It is like this sense of family that I love. I love creating a series, like with Carmilla and Swerve. Just coming back together again and doing it again! Every time the bond gets stronger and stronger. It was also more comfortable too, all around more comfortable. [laughs] So, it was really good and I really enjoyed it!
Q) What was your favorite part of Season One to film?
A) The bar. No okay. Wait. It’s hard. It’s hard. My favorite. Okay. Two favorites. The bar scene. I initially say it is my favorite because it was fun and there was punching and I got to break up a fight. I love doing scenes like that because they are so passionate. So that was so much fun. But also I get such a kick out of doing those heart-wrenching scenes so that last episode with Kaitlyn when Mercedes walks in is also my favorite because like, oh man, it was just so intense. I love that scene. It was just so interesting. We ended up rehearsing it a bunch of times and then when we were filming it, we were almost at a whisper, filming the scene. I don’t know. We didn’t expect it to happen, but we just dropped in and discovered new things with the scene. That is what is super exciting when you can know a scene; memorize a scene; rehearse a scene, and then when you are doing the scene you’re discovering new things. That is so much fun! Those are equal fun.
Q) What was your favorite part of Season Two to film?
A) Alright, let me think. I think there is one that I kind of want to say, but I don’t want to answer it. So, I’m just going to say something else. I really enjoyed filming in the apartment we had. Dee and Rachel’s apartment. It was just so spacious and lots of couches. There was ice cream. [laughs] Just even like the opening scene. Just lying in the bed with Dee snoring. I don’t know, there is just something about knowing that was like the first scene in the first episode, that it just – it’s so funny. It’s just so important too, setting up the dynamic. I really enjoyed that. Also, who doesn’t enjoy a scene where you are in your pajamas and you’re just laying on a bed, all day? The bed actually broke once. They were like “be careful of the bed” and I’m like “I am always careful.” Then, I sat on the bed and one of the little legs snapped and I was like, “Oh my gosh! This is Airbnb we have to fix this bed!” [laughs] So, that was fun. That was good times. Good times in the bed. [laughs]
A) I give you props for being able to keep a straight face in that scene with Annie (Briggs).
A) Oh my God. Like Annie, can you stop? Can you please stop? I’m trying to keep a straight face here. You know every time, every time she said something else. It was always like butthole, but then like once she said, “My dog ate my butthole and now he’s sick. It’s a medical emergency. I need another one.” Like what does that even mean? I don’t…[laughs] I’m like “Shut up!” Every time she came in with something else and I was like “oh God.” Yeah, that was hard. That was really fun. Yeah, I really enjoyed that scene. Oh my God, just having another actress come in and just being all up in my space. That was a lot of fun. Okay, I might change my mind. That was a lot of fun to film. I’m just literally standing there and everyone else is like “Wah Wah” and I’m just like standing there. So yeah, that was really fun.
Q) Who is your favorite ship from Season One?
A) I like my ships man. I like my ships.
Q) You have multiple ships. I think you have more ships than anyone else in Season One.
A) I did. Rachel got around. The girl was busy! [laughs] So, what do they call it. Do they call it Ramy? Rachel and Amy. That was my favorite one.
Q) Who is your favorite ship from Season Two?
A) It is definitely, what do they call Dee and Cal. “Decal?” That is my favorite. That is my favorite because those two are just so fuckin’ cute. When she comes in and gives Dee a little pop on the cheek. I’m just like, “Are you for real?” Oh my gosh, I filmed with her and I watched it happened, but it wasn’t until I watched the episode that I was like, “Oh my God! Like marry me!” That is definitely my favorite ship so far!
Q) Rachel is British. Do you have to do any preparation to get into the accent or can you just slip in and out of it?
A) No. I pretty much talk a week straight in the accent beforehand. I’m just doing it on my own and just watch all the interviews with Idris Elba and that gorgeous, gorgeous woman, what is your name? Who’s in Gone Girl? Rosamund Pike. So, I just listen to those interviews. I’ll just find all of them and listen to them. I know that all of those accents are different. It just kind of like, I will just talk back at them, pretending I’m having conversations with them. [laughs] And find my own medium somewhere.
Q) Did you already know how to speak in a British accent or is that something that you learned for Couple-ish?
A) Not really. In acting school, with your friends you just (imitates a British accent) speak in a British accent. I hadn’t actually done one before. So, yeah it was the first time I had actually worked on it.
Q) You have portrayed at least two characters with mental health issues and at least three characters that deal with positive LGBTQ+ representation, you have provided such important, positive representation. Is an important societal message something that you seek out when deciding what roles you are going to take?
A) They are not something I seek out. When you are just a young actor in general you really just throw the net out. You’re just like “someone hire me.” So, you just try do as much as you can. These roles somehow just come to me. I am so happy that they do because I LOVE to do shows and movies about something and about people that matter! Comedies are fun, but look at Couple-ish. You can have a funny show, but it can still have a lot of heart and have a lot of good messages. I have honestly been so lucky to have met directors and writers who see me in these characters and cast me in these characters because I just, it’s important to me. Like, the mental health and like LGBTQ+ representation, they are just two things that I have gotten to represent in a positive way! I’m just very, very passionate about getting representation out there for both. I just feel so lucky!
Q) You do an amazing job that you have already been able to amass so many roles with an important message and that provide very important representation, when there do not seem to be many roles like that out there.
A) Honestly, I have had a couple people be like “Well you’ve done a few web series with queer representation, aren’t you scared you’re going to be pigeon-holed?” And I’m like “NO. I’m not.” And, also, is that really a bad place to be? I would LOVE to be representing my community like FOREVER! If I could do that, that would be so GREAT! It would be so great if I could continue doing that, so no I don’t feel pigeon-holed. They are not all the same characters. All the characters are so different. All the characters since Carmilla have not just been Danny. I’m not just playing a version of Danny for every character.
You can follow Sharon Belle on the following social media platforms:
on Twitter @sharongrumbelle
Facebook Sharon Belle @sharongrumbelle
Also don’t forget to follow Couple-ish Season 2
And on YouTube