Your new TV series The
Cobblestone Corridor - in a few words, what is it about?
The show takes place at a quintessential New England boarding school an
centers on the newspaper club as they investigate the most thrilling and
forbidden mysteries on campus. Think of them as a modern day private
investigation firm comprised of descendants of The Hardy Boys and
were your inspirations when dreaming up The
We have a ton of them. At its
simplest, the show is Dead Poets Society meets Gossip Girl and The
Maltese Falcon. We also have the playfulness and hyperreality of 90s
cartoons like Hey Arnold! and Recess - and the
black comedy, social commentary and dark edges of Brick and Scream
Cobblestone Corridor is based on a short of yours of the same name
[click here] - so
what can you tell us about that one, was it always meant a a launching pad
for a series, and will the series be a direct continuation of the short
(including characters, cast, etc.) or did you make changes to serialize
things more smoothly?
The series is a relaunch — or
better put — a reimagining of the world of Alfred Pierce Preparatory
School (where the show takes place). The short was created as a standalone
piece, but we soon realized that there was a lot more story to tell. In
crafting the series, we massaged some story elements in order to
facilitate a long term narrative and to incorporate new ideas.
So how did the series get off the
The short premiered on CPTV (the Connecticut
PBS affiliate) in July 2015 to really great ratings and a uniformly
enthusiastic response from viewers, after which the network and I began
discussions about the viability of a series adaptation. Long story short,
we entered production last winter!
A basic question probably: Why a prep
school? And connected to that, do talk about your school locations, and
what's it like filming there?
A prep school gave us the
opportunity to play with high stakes at the micro level, which allowed us
to oscillate to between a tone that was, at times, tongue-in-cheek and, at
others, deathly serious. I’ve also always been drawn to the aesthetics
and cultural significance of academia. It’s so rich for storytelling.
Our primary locations, UConn Law School and The Ethel Walker School, were
incredibly supportive in bringing Alfred Pierce Preparatory School to
Cobblestone Corridor does play with film noir motives - care to
elaborate on those?
We definitely pay homage to the
classics and reinvent conventions for a contemporary time. We utilize many
noir tropes and play on that "ping-pong" style dialogue seen in
You also play the lead in The
Cobblestone Corridor - so do talk about your character for a bit,
what do you draw upon to bring him to life, and did you write him Allan
Archer with yourself in mind from the get-go?
Allan and I
have definite similarities, and, in a larger ideological sense, he shares
many of my beliefs and passions — the pursuit of truth, the value of
tradition, a love for a good story well told. There are definite
differences too. It was in the back of my mind that I might play him, but
it wasn’t decided until a lot of other elements were already in
you tell us about the rest of your main cast, and why exactly these
I first have to say that we had a really fantastic
cast that worked on the original short film, and I’m incredibly grateful
to them for all of their work. However, in crafting the series, we had to
move several chess pieces around for the “long game”, which meant
changing certain character qualities and eliminating some characters
completely. As such, we have many new faces that I’m very happy to have
as part of the school community!
Do talk about the shoot(s) as such, and the
We had a really aggressive shooting
schedule, but the atmosphere was always very professional, playful and
positive. It was a joy to come to work everyday.
The $64-question of course, when and
where can your series be seen?
We premiere on CPTV on Sunday, October 16 at 7:30 p.m. EST.
Any future plans for The
Cobblestone Corridor? And/or other future projects you'd like to
We’re all hoping that the regional premiere in
Connecticut will make a dramatic splash. The plan is to go national as
soon as we can! Stay in the loop by liking
What got you into acting in the first place, and
did you receive any formal training on the subject?
I’ve been acting since I was very small and, throughout my life, have
taken many classes, seminars, workshops, you name it! But at the end of
the day, I think acting is a grand game of pretend. We’re illusionists
that conjure stories instead of pulling rabbits out of hats.
made you pick up directing as well eventually?
It's another muscle for storytelling. There were things I wanted to say
and worlds that I wanted to create that I could only do as a director.
I’m lucky to be able to bounce between mediums (both in acting and
directing) to be able to find fulfillment on varied artistic
would you describe yourself as an actor and as a director?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
I love surrounding myself with smart, talented, and passionate people
with whom I can collaborate. It’s paramount that there is always a
sense of buoyancy and trust on set so that we can make the best work
actors, whoever else who inspire you?
In totally random
order: Christopher Nolan, Wes Craven, Richard Linklater, Steven
Spielberg, Robert Zemeckis, Stephen King, Phil Lord, Chris Miller, Vince
Gilligan, most recently, the Duffer Brothers — and many, many, many
In totally random order: School of Rock, Forrest
Gump, Boyhood, Fright Night, Scream, Titanic,
Die Hard, Gone Girl,
Back to the Future, Sing Street, The Dark
Knight, The Descendants, Spotlight, and many, many, many more.
... and of course, films you really deplore?
series' website, Facebook, whatever else?
for the interview!
Thanks for letting me share how excited I am about this show!