A Chat with “Harper’s Island” Victims #13 and #14

It would be fair to say that not everyone enjoyed this past Saturday’s episode of “Harper’s Island,” based on Mr. Paulsen’s recent post, but even if you’re in the same camp that he is, I think it’s a safe bet that, if you’ve been watching the series for this long, you’ll still be returning for the final episode next Saturday (July 11th). While I agree that the subjects of this week’s interview probably should’ve made at least a cursory attempt to escape death rather than lunging headlong into their demise (which is, ultimately, what both of them did, even if one did it in a different manner than the other), it can at least be said that neither of the actors had any problems with their exits.

Yeah, you’re right: I guess that isn’t much consolation for a disgruntled viewer.

Oh, well.

Cameron Richardson: Hi!

Adam Campbell: Hello, Will!

Premium Hollywood: Hey! It’s a pleasure to talk to both of you!

AC: Thanks!

PH: Well, first things first: how did you guys end up on the show in the first place? Was it just a standard audition process for both of you, or did someone know of your work and ask for you specifically?

CR: It was just an audition. I actually went in for Abby, and my whole audition was really kind of silly and funny, so they said, “She’s great for Chloe!” So I ended up getting Chloe instead.

AC: And I initially read for Henry, and then I came in the following week to read for Cal.

PH: Adam, I know you actually did a film with Katie Cassidy before working together on “Harper’s Island” (“Spin”), but I don’t know if you had any scenes together.

AC: That’s a good question. We didn’t actually have any scenes together in the previous film.

CR: I have a weird Katie Cassidy connection, too. Her uncle, Shaun Cassidy, cast me in my very first TV show: “Cover Me,” on the USA Network. So we both have that weird Katie Cassidy connection.

PH: Adam, it looked like you might not even make it into the third episode, the way you got strung up during Episode 2.

AC: I know! I didn’t think things looked very good for me at the end of Episode 2.

PH: When you reached that point in the script, were you steeling yourself for a short stay?

AC: I was terrified, and I thought I was going to be back in L.A. at the end of the week.

PH: Cameron, Chloe made it pretty clear in that same episode that, even though Sully was continuing to make passes, she was very dedicated to Cal. But did you ever think she might stray as the series went on?

CR: In the beginning, I thought “maybe,” because that’s where I thought the character was going, but after that episode, I knew for a fact that she wasn’t going anywhere. And I was actually very happy about that, that they made that choice for us, because it made us more special.

PH: The whole tar-and-feathering scene, where you guys teamed up against Sully, was hilarious.

AC: That reminded me of my days at school.

PH: Were you the victim or the one responsible for doing the tar-and-feathering?

AC: Absolutely no comment. (Laughs)

PH: As you were saying, you guys were somewhat special amongst the characters, in that you had the luxury of playing thing somewhat lighthearted. In fact, my wife wanted me to note that her favorite episode was “Sploosh,” where you two teamed up to get the engagement ring back.

CR: Oh, yeah! We were really lucky. We were almost separated from the group in that way. We were just kind of doing our own thing.

PH: Was that at all weird, or did you feel that it gave you a certain amount of a safety net, since you weren’t as much of a part of the main storyline?

CR: I kind of thought that we helped bring a little lightness to the show, because everything was just so heavy from one scene to the next that we kind of made it a little easier for people to watch our show at times. (Laughs)

AC: I think that’s right…until Episode 10, really, when things started getting really serious, and then there was no lightheartedness or humor. It was genuinely about us trying to survive and be together.

PH: In the scene where it looked like Chloe might leave the album while Cal stayed, did either of you at that point in the script believe that she was really going to leave?

CR: Um…I felt like she was a survivor. I don’t feel like she had…Trish was one of her best friends, she grew up with her, but she didn’t have extreme emotional ties to anyone except for Cal. So why wouldn’t they leave? If it was me, I would’ve left. (Laughs) I’m just saying! But Cal has a conscience…

PH: Adam, you got stabbed mercilessly, and Cameron, you made the decision to jump rather than be killed. Did you feel like that was in keeping with your characters?

AC: I felt like it was fitting that Cal died trying to defend Chloe, but it was also fitting that, as an Englishman, he was a terrible shot. (Laughs)

CR: I felt like my character’s decision to jump was, honestly, the best thing I could’ve asked for in a death on the show. I felt like it gave her a lot more control, in not giving away her power and not letting John Wakefield kill her. After she just saw the love of her life being killed, she couldn’t let him take anything else away from her. He took away her love, but he couldn’t take away her life.

PH: Adam, I don’t think I laughed harder at any moment in the series than I did when you tried to escape but accidentally ran to the wrong side of the car.

AC: Yeah, and the punch line was that I got shot! (Laughs) for some reason, people always pick on the British sensibility, and we always come across as stupid, but remember: we used to run this country!

PH: Believe me, I’m reminded every time I interview someone from England.

AC: (Laughs) Good!

PH: So did either of you consider yourselves to be horror fans before coming into this series?

CR: I’m definitely not. I can’t handle it. The only way I can watch scary movies is if I have the volume turned off.

AC: I never was a fan of horror until doing this show, and now I’m obsessed with it. In fact, this weekend, I watched “Nightmare on Elm Street 2,” just to catch up, and I’m hoping to see “Drag Me to Hell” as soon as I can.

PH: I’m looking forward to catching it myself.

AC: Oh, you haven’t seen it yet?

PH: Not yet, though I really should have, since I interviewed one of the stars.

AC: I’m very excited to see it. Everything I’ve heard about it just makes it sound brilliant.

PH: So how did you guys find out that you wouldn’t be making it to the finale? Did you get the phone call of death from Karim, or maybe the lunch invitation of no return?

CR: I got the phone call. While I was shopping. (Laughs) But Adam got…oh, you say it!

AC: I got the full horror of the face-to-face. And I don’t know if you’ve ever looked into the eyes of Karim…

PH: I have not have that honor.

AC: Well, it’s terrifying in and of itself, but when he also says that you’re going to die, it makes it doubly horrific.

CR: And with a smile on his face, too! Talk about a sociopath!

AC: Absolutely.

PH: Cameron, did you have Karim’s number programmed into your caller ID? Were you tempted not to pick up?

CR: I knew it was him, but, honestly, I’d totally forgotten that he’d call people and tell them. Because I’d been there so long! I just thought it was going to be, like, “Hey, we’re going out to dinner!” But, nope, it was, “Hey, Cameron, you’re dying!” (Laughs) No dinner invitation. Just death.

PH: Do either of you have a particularly fond on-set anecdote that sticks with you?

AC: Um…come on, Cameron, what was funny?

CR: I think it was mostly Karim being evil.

AC: Yeah, Karim…actually, he carried this great weight of guilt on his shoulders for the whole series, because he knew that he was kind of ending people’s careers before their time.

CR: And wasn’t Dan (Schotz), like, the golden boy whenever he would come to Vancouver? It was, like, “Oh, God, Dan, I’m so glad you’re here! Karim’s just a nightmare!”

AC: That’s right. Dan Schotz was always the one who got away with it. They were like bad cop and good cop.

PH: Before we get off the line, I wanted to ask you guys about a couple of your other projects. Cameron, my 3-year-old daughter will be thrilled that I talked to someone who was in “Alvin and the Chipmunks.”

CR: Oh, that’s so cute!

PH: And do I understand correctly that you’re in the “Squeakquel” as well?

CR: No, I’m not, actually. I decided not to do it, so my character became obsolete.

PH: Did you enjoy doing the first one, though?

CR: Oh, I loved it! It was so great, and I enjoy having the young fans, because it comes from such a pure place. They’re so loving, and it’s so sweet to have young fans like that.

PH: Were you surprised that “Point Pleasant” didn’t last any longer than it did?

CR: Actually, this show – the tone and the look of it – reminded me of “Point Pleasant” a lot…and, you know, Dick Burgi was on that show with me as well! I wasn’t that surprised, though. I was actually kind of happy, because I didn’t really like my character on the show. She was kind of one-dimensional.

PH: On a related note, were you surprised that your HBO series, “12 Miles of Bad Road,” has, to date, still not made it to screen?

CR: Honestly, that’s probably been one of the biggest heartbreakers of my career. It was the first time I actually got to play an amazing character that wasn’t basically just myself. I got to play a mentally-challenged debutante. And I got to work with Gary Cole, Lily Tomlin…some of the most amazing and fantastic actors and actresses I’ve worked with in my life. I’m just praying that I get that kind of opportunity again, that it wasn’t in vain.

PH: Do you think it’ll ever make it to DVD at some point?

CR: I hope so. I mean, it’s such a waste! It’s $20 million down the drain, for nothing! But I hope I’ll have that joy again.

PH: I’m very curious about it. Whenever there’s an HBO panel during the TCA tour, someone invariably asks about the status of the show.

CR: I mean, they should just make it into a miniseries or something. People need to see it, because it was hysterical! The only thing is that I think a lot of the jokes might be dated now.

PH: Adam, how agonizing was the whole “Commando Nanny” experience for you?

AC: Do you know what happened with that?

PH: I know a bit about it, particularly about the delay because of Gerald McRaney having his health issues at the time.

AC: Yeah, it was with Mark Burnett, and it got kind of recast, and then we reshot the pilot, and then they canceled it very quickly. That was actually my first job out of drama school.

PH: How bizarre was that, to come over and have it shut down before it ever really got started?

AC: Well, it was kind of mixed, really. It got shut down, but it was also a real surprise and privilege for my first job to be out in America. It was a dream come true, really.

PH: Doing the “Epic Movie” and “Date Movie,” obviously, you can’t complain when you meet your wife on the set…

AC: You know what? Whatever people say about “Epic Movie,” I know it’s probably the best thing I’ve ever done, because I met Jayma (Mays) on it.

CR: Yay!

PH: I’m a big fan of Charlie on “Heroes,” so I’ll second that.

AC: Oh, good! Yes, I loved her on that show.

PH: On the movies themselves, though, did you ever find yourself cringing at the humor?

AC: What, the spoof movies? Nah. Those movies, they are what they are. They’re silly humor, extreme situations, and it may not be exactly my taste in humor…

CR: …but it is my taste in humor. My favorite!

AC: Yes, there you go: Cameron understands. (Laughs)

PH: Last question: can I presume that you’ll both be watching the finale come two weeks from now?

CR: Yes!

AC: We will be. But in separate houses.

PH: Have you been begging anyone to give you the scoop, or are you just prepared to be surprised like everyone else?

AC: I’ve tried to resist rumor and speculation about it. I want to be shocked when I watch it live.

CR: I, uh, made pacts with certain cast members. I said, “I need to know…and you’d better tell me!” (Laughs)

PH: Okay, it’s been a pleasure talking to you both. You did great work on the show, and I really enjoyed it.

CR: Oh, thanks so much!

AC: Thanks very much!

* Missed our interview with Victim #1? Go check it out!
* Missed our interview with Victims #2 and #3? Go check it out!
* Missed our interview with Victim #4? Go check it out!
* Missed our interview with Victim #5? Go check it out!
* Missed our interview with Victim #6? Go check it out!
* Missed our interview with Victim #7? Go check it out!
* Missed our interview with Victim #8? Go check it out!
* Missed our interview with Victim #9? Go check it out!
* Missed our interview with Victims #10 and #11? Go check it out!
* Missed our interview with Victim #12? Go check it out!

  

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