Taylor Cole – The Art of Us
By: Jamie Steinberg
Q) What are the recent projects that you are working on?
A) Hallmark has me pretty busy. I shot a movie called The Art of Us. I’ll be in Ice Sculpture Christmas. I’m also on “The Originals.” I didn’t really get a pilot season this year because I was working on “The Originals” and this movie. I have just been in Miami hanging out.
Q) Is that how you would justify her actions so she’s not just seen as a villain?
A) I know that The Hollow has nothing to do with her. It is basically using her as a meat puppet to get the job done. We have seen The Hollow before become a spirit or take the form of a character, but never actually become and use the body as a vessel. That’s what she has done to Sofya. So, basically Sofya is in there somewhere trying to stay strong and hopefully come out the end of this. As far as her job and actions of being evil, she did that because that’s her job and she is hired to do it. Her being evil by The Hollow is just her being controlled by her. I think deep down in there it says a lot that she didn’t just kill Klaus and get her revenge. She spared Marcel and found out where he is and located him for love. She’s a great, strong character that is motivated by her job, but also by love because now she is feeling things that are hard to come by.
Q) We have seen you guest star on “Supernatural” and now you are a regular on “The Originals.” Is there a different way you approach your characters for a sci-fi series compared to a light rom-com like The Art of Us?
A) That’s funny you said that because I left set to film the ice sculpting movie and the roles could not be more different. In a twenty-four hour time span I was playing opposite characters. It’s all about putting in the work beforehand and knowing the character enough to be able to switch on and off between them. So, it’s knowing the back story, knowing where she is coming from and what motivates her just helps you. In each world, whether sci-fi or a movie, those worlds to them are real. I don’t approach them any differently. It might sound crazy that you’re a vampire going after a werewolf, but that’s their world and that’s truth to them. I prepare it the same. It’s their truth they’re living in. I just play it as truthful as it is to them.
Q) What made you want to be a part of the film The Art of Us?
A) I usually jump at the opportunity to do Hallmark movies because they have such sweet stories. My grandparents and everybody that I talk to love them. This one, in particular, was based on a book. The author, Teri Wilson, wrote Unleashing Mr. Darcy, which was a huge success for Halllmark. When it is based on a book it is just taken to another level because you have so much backstory, you know the characters more and the story feels more developed. I was really happy with the script and pleased to be a part of it. Some of the details are different from the book, like the ending. It was my favorite Hallmark script I have read so far so I am excited to see it.
Q) What was it like working with Steve Lund?
A) Steve is a character. He is so funny. He’s the goofiest. Honestly, we had one day where we were all inside because it was raining on set. Everyone had a sluggish day. It felt like a Monday, but it was probably like a Wednesday. I looked around and noticed that Steve wasn’t there. I thought, “Maybe…just maybe I gave him a compliment and made his head big,” so we missed him on set since everyone was blue on set without him. He is a big personality, fun and funny. He is as goofy as all get out so it made it more lively and fun. He’s smart. He’s a whistler. He can whistle any tune under the sun and sound better than the song itself!
Q) What did you find challenging about the role?
A) I loved her tenacity and the way she tried to figure out how to keep her job. The whole point of the story is her trying to become a fulltime art professor. She comes up with some crazy ideas and tells a few fibs. It was just so much fun to play her. I tried to keep her a little quirky and goofy at times, but reel it in at times because she has to be professional. That was fun to play with and challenging, I guess. [laughs]
Q) What were some of your most memorable moments from filming?
A) There was one night when we were all filming. It was super late and we had this huge scene that we had to get done. It was eight people in a room at a party and we only had like an hour until we had to wrap and get out of the location since it was someone’s home. We knock on the door to this huge party and my nemesis in the movie answers the door and makes a remark to Steve’s character saying, “I didn’t see any resemblance to Van Gough.” This was during rehearsal and everybody is like intense and pretty strung out since we’re trying to get it wrapped in time. Steve covers his ear and says, “How about now?” I lost it! I just giggled so much. We ended up making our day, but not because of my professionalism. [laughs] I was in stitches! Everybody on the cast and crew was so much fun and so sweet. Stories like that were memorable.
Q) What advice did director Kristoffer Tabori give you during filming that you took to heart?
A) I never worked in this fashion, but the director really liked a lot of movement. In every scene there was always a lot of movement. I was never just standing still. I was moving Point A to Point B, which is difficult if you are not prepared for it. So, I learned a lot from him. He just said some of the sweetest things. I remember the first day on set he would give a compliment and then give a note. I said, “Look, you don’t have to give a compliment. I don’t need that.” Sometimes when before you are given a note you are a given a compliment it sort of feels forced. I know he wouldn’t do that, but it felt unnecessary or like wasting time because maybe I just didn’t need it. I told him, “Tell me what you need.” But by the end of tit, he had given me some of the sweetest compliments. The thing that stuck with me the most is that he said I was so alive and so much fun to watch that I was basically listening and reacting and a natural. He really brought out the natural side of coexisting and being with the other scene partner. He basically told me to throw away anything I had learned about comedy because sometimes when you want something to be funny may be overplaying it or you are trying for the joke or reaching for the joke. Some of the best advice he gave me was just to play the moment real and it is funny because of the situation, not because you are forcing it. That was good.
Q) What do you think it is about The Art of Us that will make it a fan favorite for Hallmark Channel viewers?
A) What I really liked about it was that it was a reluctant love story. Usually, you have two characters that meet and fall in love and there is a problem. They figure out how to solve it though and figure out how to live happily ever after. With this one, she is really focused on her career and getting the job done. She is pushing the whole time and keeping him at bay so things don’t get more complicated. I think that’s really fun to watch. Someone trying to fight what is inevitable. Also, seeing her figure out what she is most passionate about is the thing she was running from the whole time. Finding that person who inspires you to find your passion and what you really love, what was in your heart the whole time, is really endearing and cute to watch. Hopefully, the fans love that.
Q) You are a part of social media. Are you looking forward to the instant fan feedback you will be receiving to the movie?
A) Yeah, it’s funny because I wasn’t huge into social media. I would post every once in a while when I had a project coming out or try to stay on top of it a little bit. When I became a part of The Originals I started to get nervous that maybe I would get some backlash from fans because the Mikaelsons are so loved and Sofya is coming in to mix up things. So, I sort of became more involved in social media because of that. Now I’m doing a lot of Instagram videos to show fans that I’m a human. I’m a person. I’m just goofy, silly old me as well as playing Sofya. I try to really relate to the fans and make them a part of getting got know me and who I actually am as opposed to judging Sofya for her actions against the Mikaelsons. I’m really getting the whole social media world. It’s fun. It’s addictive. It’s fun to see everybody react and see what they say. I always live tweet anything I can if I’m around to watch. I love taking pictures on set and hanging on to them until the air date of whatever it is I’m shooting so the fans get a little behind the scenes action. It’s fun!
Q) Is there anything else you want to be sure we share with our readers?
A) I really want to you to drill in that it is based on a book. Teri Wilson is the author of the book. Tune in Saturday. If you don’t have weekend plans, I’ll be on Friday on “The Originals” and Saturday the Art of Us. So, cancel all plans and order takeout and pizza.