ABC’s The Family Cast Interviews #TheFamily #ABCTVEvent

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Disclosure- I was invited by Disney/ABC to attend this all expense paid press trip but all opinions are 100% my own.

The Family Sunday's on ABC 9/8c Tonight’s episode of The Family is a really great one. We had the opportunity to screen it last week when we were in Los Angeles for the #CaptainAmericaEvent and the #ABCTVEvent. It gets even more mysteriously shocking, twisty, and exciting. The pictures below give you a little taste of what it was like being in the room with 3 of it’s stars and 2 of it’s executive producers- Zach Gilford (“Danny”), Alison Pill (“Willa”), Floriana Lima (“Bridey”) and Executive Producers Jenna Bans & Laurie Zaks. It was so surreal to watch this episode sitting in the same room with the actors, watching their expressions as they were watching themselves on screen. They were all so laid back and easy to talk to.

Photo Credit- Coralie Seright from Lovebugs and Postcards

The Family Executive Producer Laurie Zaks, Zach Gilford (“Danny”), Floriana Lima (“Bridey”), and Alison Pill (“Willa”) (Jenna Bans not shown) Photo Credit- Coralie Seright from Lovebugs and Postcards

The Family Executive Producer Laura Zaks, Zach Gilford (“Danny”), Floriana Lima (“Bridey”), Alison Pill (“Willa”), Executive Producer Jenna Bans  Photo Credit- Coralie Seright from Lovebugs and Postcards

The Family Executive Producer Laurie Zaks, Zach Gilford (“Danny”), Floriana Lima (“Bridey”), Alison Pill (“Willa”), Executive Producer Jenna Bans Photo Credit- Coralie Seright from Lovebugs and Postcards

“The  Family”  stars  Joan  Allen  stars  as  Claire  Warren,  Alison  Pill  as  Willa  Warren,  Rupert  Graves  as   John  Warren,  Margot  Bingham  as  Detective  Nina  Meyer,  Liam  James  as  Adam  Warren,  Andrew   McCarthy  as  Hank  Asher,  Zach  Gilford  as  Danny  Warren,  Floriana  Lima  as  Bridey  Cruz,  Madeleine   Arthur  as  Young  Willa  and  Rarmian  Newton  as  Young  Danny.       Guest  starring  are   Grant  Show  as  Governor  Charlie  Lang,   Michael  Esper  as  Pock-­‐‑Marked   Man/Doug,  Judith  Ivey  as  Mrs.  Asher,  Matthew  Lawler  as  Agent  Gabe  Clements,  Zoe  Perry  as  Jane   Cardone,  Lucy  Owen  as  Randi  and  Rosyln  Rugg  as  Patty  Lang.      “Sweet  Jane”  was  written  by  Nicole  Paulhus  and  directed  by  Colin  Bucksey.


Alison Pill and Jenna Bans Photo Credit- Coralie Seright from Lovebugs and Postcards

It was so interesting to listen to Jenna Bans share how the show came about:
“I lived in a house and across the street was a sex offender and I freaked out and got really scared.  So part of it sort of came from there.  The other part was ABC had been wanting to do this idea of an imposter and make it into a mystery thriller.  So I married the two ideas.”

We asked if they shoot all the ten years ago scenes and then go into present day and this is what Jenna told us:

“We figure out the present stories we want to tell and then we look at what flashbacks could possibly inform those stories because ideally, they’re always connected together- thematically sort of tied together, where the past story is directly telling you something about the present story. We tried not to be tied to “we must have six flashbacks an episode”. We really only use what we needed to use because we didn’t want it to feel tired and wanted it to feel important when you were watching the past.  There’s a reason we’re telling you the story.”


Alison Pill Photo Credit- Coralie Seright from Lovebugs and Postcards

Alison Pill was so sweet, and funny, and normal. So different from the uptight, religious, b*tchy character she plays but as the episodes go on we can see what has caused Willa to become the woman that she is. Alison does such a great job portraying her character Willa.

We asked Alison how she gets into character and this is what she said:

“First of all, we have really good writers, and it really makes sense to me.  I think the sort of touchstone for me is the moment when me and Madeline Arthur (young Willa) switch places on the bed in the motel.  She’s fully frozen at thirteen.  She is somebody who will do anything to keep her family together.  Everything else that is built up- all of this armor is only to get to her ultimate goal, which is having her entire family under one roof again. That’s it.  And every- literally, everything else is driven by that, so when anything threatens that, that is like the worst thing that can happen in the world.  So all of the emotion just comes from that thought of being thirteen and trying to keep your family together. I was a very emotional thirteen year old as most are. I also love the fact that she’s written in this way that, it was a slow burn with Willa, of like not understanding her and just being Willa. She hates her brother, she’s too uptight, and she’s really religious and all this stuff and then [we] just slowly get to know her emotional life which is so deep and huge. It’s been fun.”


Zach Gilford (“Danny”) and Floriana Lima (“Bridey”) Credit- Coralie Seright from Lovebugs and Postcards

Floriana Lima is so down to Earth and sweet. It was so much fun seeing her interact with Zach Gilford almost in a brother/sister way teasing each other. At one point Zach (who doesn’t have a Twitter account- BOOO!) took Floriana’s phone and was tweeting pretending to be Floriana. It was so funny. Hopefully Zach will get his own Twitter account soon.


Zach Gilford Photo Credit- Coralie Seright from Lovebugs and Postcards

Zach Gilford was so adorable and funny, like a playful older brother (although I’m pretty sure he’s younger than I am). He told us how so far in the show he never exchanged dialog with John (who plays his father). So now “it got to the point where if we even [Zach and John] make contact, we’d start laugh- eye contact, we’d start laughing.” There are scenes together where they acknowledged each other’s presence but they haven’t actually had lines together. Crazy, right?


Executive Producer Laurie Zaks Photo Credit- Coralie Seright from Lovebugs and Postcards


Photo Credit- Coralie Seright from Lovebugs and Postcards

Can you find me in this picture? That’s me on Alison Pill’s left. 🙂


Alison Pill (“Willa”), Zach Gilford (“Danny”), and Floriana Lima (“Bridey”) Photo Credit- Coralie Seright from Lovebugs and Postcards


Executive Producer Jenna Bans, Alison Pill (“Willa”), Zach Gilford (“Danny”), Floriana Lima (“Bridey”) and Executive Producer Laura Zaks Photo Credit- Coralie Seright from Lovebugs and Postcards

You can tell in the picture above just how much the cast liked each other and had fun with each other and with the 2 Executive Producers. They were cracking each other up the whole time. They told us how not only is Joan Allen a great actress but she is so nice, too. She made a hundred and fifty cookies from her grandmother’s recipe on her day off and brought them in before their holiday break.  “Cakey, amazing cookies with delicious icing”. She also made a potato bar for the cast and crew to enjoy. Sounds like she likes to take care of everyone.

I didn’t realize that tv shows often have different directors on each episode. Andrew McCarthy directed several of the episodes this season and Alison Pill remarked how it was nice to see a familiar face. “It’s really weird going back and forth to different people and having Andrew [McCartney] a familiar face, because he came and did [episode three and then five and six] and having him for all of those you’re just like, oh, at least you’re not a stranger.  Because often the  annoying part is by the time you’re done eight days of shooting, you finally know this person and their vibe, and then they’re gone.” Not only is Andrew McCarthy a great director, but Jenna and Laurie told us how Andrew McCarthy “kinda does that physical transformation when he’s Hank. He walks different as Hank.  He’s so stiff [like when he] when he eats the sandwiches. He’s obsessed with his walk.”

Alison’s cast mates shared with us that even off screen she still puts in a great performance. Even when the camera will be on the other actors she’ll still cry and show emotion so the other actors have something to work off of. Floriana remarked that Alison is “a very giving actress”.

Photo Credit- (ABC/Giovanni Rufino)

Photo Credit- (ABC/Giovanni Rufino)

Alison Pill delivers a raw and memorable performance as Willa in tonight’s episode entitled “Sweet Jane” when confronted by her mother, Claire, played by the talented Joan Allen. In this episode Claire struggles with the aftermath of  Willa’s  scheming and how to deal with everyday life with Adam now that she knows the truth. Nina starts to follow Adam as he disappears every night from his home. Can you guess where he’s been going? Meanwhile Clements tries to figure out Jane’s connection to Doug (the pock-marked man). Will Jane find out what Doug is up to? What do you think her reaction will be? The Governor’s wife wants to get Claire out of the governor’s race so she threatens to reveal Claire’s drinking. Willa handles the situation in the media but not really in a way that Claire probably would have chosen. And hold on tight for the last few shocking minutes. I don’t want to give away spoilers so all I’ll saw is DON’T MISS THIS SHOW!!! The Family airs SUNDAY,  APRIL  17  (9:00–10:00  p.m.  EDT)  on  the  ABC  Television  Network.

Make sure to view your favorite ABC shows within 3 days of airing (even on your DVR) for your view to count towards the show’s ratings. Want your shows to be picked up for another season, make sure to tune in!!!


Can you imagine having Hank as a neighbor? Photo Credit ABC


What is Adam up to? Photo Credit ABC

Twitter:  @TheFamily  @ABC_Publicity @TheFamWriters
Hashtag:  #TheFamily

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