A Chat with Cassandra Sawtell (“Harper’s Island”)

You asked for it, you got it: another “Harper’s Island” interview, this time with the young lady who played Madison, the creepiest little girl on the island. Rest assured, however, that it’s a testament to Cassandra Sawtell’s acting abilities that she was able to pull off her role on the series. I spoke with her this afternoon, and she couldn’t have been more pleasant, and she even managed to surprise me with an upcoming film appearance of hers that isn’t mentioned within her IMDb listing…and, wow, what a high-profile film it is!

Stay tuned for…

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The Final “Harper’s Island” Chat: A Killer And A Survivor

Well, kids, it’s over: “Harper’s Island” has reached its conclusion, and we finally know who the killer is. I get the impression, however, that many people had it figured out long ago. As for me, I’ve said it elsewhere, but just for the record, I’ll say it here as well: I never really had a theory, because I was too busy enjoying the ride. As a result, I didn’t have nearly as many problems with the final episode as, say, Michael Slezak over at EW’s PopWatch Blog. Now, that’s not to say that I didn’t spend a fair amount of time saying to my wife, “It couldn’t be that person, could it? That’d be too easy, wouldn’t it?” But never once could I be heard to suggest that I had any real idea as to who was knocking off folks on a weekly basis.

I did, however, find myself growing increasingly enthusiastic about seeing who the Victim of the Week was. It’s hard to tell how many people were reading these interviews, since – with the notable exception of Jim Beaver – the majority of the comments tended to be criticisms of my victim numbering (in retrospect, I never should’ve started counting them in the first place, but it’s far too late to worry about it now), but I’ve certainly enjoyed talking to the various folks over the course of these 13 episodes. If nothing, I feel that, by doing these weekly interviews, I managed to bring “Harper’s Island” to the attention of some of my friends who might not otherwise have been aware of it, so I’ll take my sense of accomplishment where I can find it.

One last observation: if you dug the show, or if you missed the first episode or two and figured you’d never be able to catch up, then you’ll be pleased to hear that the series will be released on DVD on September 8, 2009. Better yet, it will be filled with loads of bonus material, including some of the scenes you may have read about in these interviews which didn’t make the cut. If you want to get your pre-order in right now, all you have to do is click right here.

And with that bit of shilling for CBS/Paramount out of the way, let us move onward and offer up the final installment in our “Harper’s Island” interview series…!

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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.

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A Chat With “Harper’s Island” Victim #12

It was a gut-wrenching death on this week’s “Harper’s Island,” partly because it was gruesome, partly because you were forced to sit there knowing full well that it was impending and couldn’t be stopped, but mostly because it was a character we knew more about than just about anyone else on the show.

This is another one of those cases where, although I wasn’t rooting for this person to get the call from Karim, I was still very much looking forward to talking to the actor in question…and, in fact, I enjoyed the interview so much that, although I’m not going to mention the person until after the jump, I will at least say this much to random web surfers who happen upon this entry: you don’t have to be a dedicated viewer of “Harper’s Island” to click onward. You could just be a fan of the work of David Milch (“Deadwood,” “John from Cincinnati”), or of “Supernatural,” and you’d still enjoy reading what lies after the jump.

So what are you waiting for?

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No new “Harper’s Island” victim interview ’til Wednesday, but…

…I do have a teaser for my upcoming interview with Bill Pullman about his new film, “Surveillance,” which has a “Harper’s Island” connection.

I don’t think many people outside of the TV critic community are aware of this, but Harry Hamlin wasn’t the first actor to play the part of Uncle Marty in “Harper’s Island.” Several months before the series premiered, CBS offered up to critics what’s best described as the pitch reel for the show, giving an idea of how it would kick off and approximately what we could expect as far as the feel of the series. By the time the show actually premiered, however, some of the actors remained the same and some didn’t…and the most notable actor who didn’t make the transition was the first man to fill the shoes of Uncle Marty: Bill Pullman.

Back in January, series producer Jon Turteltaub referred to Pullman’s appearance in the pitch reel as “a ‘While You Were Sleeping’ favor,” referring to the 1995 Sandra Bullock film in which Pullman was directed by Turteltaub.

“He’s a great guy to work with,” Pullman told me. “I don’t know whether he had somebody else or what it was, but it was kind of at the last minute. Or maybe it’s because that’s the way those things happen. Maybe the money only came together at the last minute, TV being what it is. But he knew he wanted to get somebody, and he said, ‘Listen, there is no obligation to do anything with the series afterwards, but I just need something for now. If you do it, fine, if you don’t do it, fine, too.’ But I loved the chance to go up there, and, you know, it was kind of a whacked character. I had a good time, and the actors who were there were good. I really liked Elaine Cassidy.”

So there you go: a “Harper’s Island” factoid you may not have known before. Hopefully, that’ll hold you ’til Wednesday! And as a bonus, here’s the trailer for Pullman’s film, “Surveillance,” which is pretty creepy in its own right:

  

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