September 30, 2001, we chatted with Chris Demetral and Jonathan Walker (Sam
Clemens in “The Ballad of
Steeley Joe”). The chat began at 3 PM ET and lasted for roughly 3 hours.
Chris Demetral (from LA):
mentioned that he liked the
episode order that they are using for syndication, putting “In the
Beginning” before “Queen Victoria and the Giant Mole”.
asked him about the movie “For Hope” that is scheduled to be shown this
week. He said that it was one of his favorite roles, playing the son of a
woman (played by Dana Delaney) who has scleroderma.
Hunt (Rebecca Fogg) does not like to be called Frannie.
Walker (from Toronto):
costumes for SAJV were all hand-made clothes, made to be as authentic as
possible. They were considered important for the series, and they actually
flew him cross-country from this home in Vancouver to Montreal for a day
just for fittings.
likes costume roles, for the sense of character they provide. Costume roles
can be a bit difficult, since they are made to be authentic. In SAJV, he
found that big coats and trousers made of thick wool can be very hot in the
studio under lights. The boots were custom made just for him and he wished
they had let him keep them.
asked about his accent that sounded predominantly British, Jonathan
explained that he was born in England and lived there until his family moved
to Canada when he was 12. He finds that the British part of his accent gets
stronger when he is around fellow Brits.
wanted to keep Jules’ leather jacket, which looked modern, but he was not
allowed to. The jacket was made to look slightly modern because Wardrobe
wanted Jules ahead of the curve for the time, even the fashion curve.
producers didn’t think that Chris’ real hair looked period enough, and
so they ordered it permed. It did eventually wear off, so that it looks
curlier in some episodes than in others.
had curly hair at the age Jonathan was playing him, and Jonathan’s hair is
straight. They decided not to make him wear a hair piece, though, and went
with his regular hair.
sideburns were appropriate for the time period. Originally Jules’
sideburns were fake. The unwritten Sideburn Rule is that the longer Jules’
sideburns are in an episode, the better the episode worked.
says he tries to put a little bit of himself in all the characters he does.
He says he doesn’t feel as smart as Jules must have been, but he does
think he has somewhat the same touch of innocence and wonder at the world
around him that Jules exhibits.
favorite episodes to film were “Dust to Dust” and “Rockets to Dead”.
the pilot script, Jules was suppose to be somewhere between the ages of
27-30. But the producers decided they wanted him younger, so he became the
age Chris was at the time of filming, 23-24.
Jonathan spoke on this:
asked about the documentary he is writing about his dad, and his dad’s
experience as an orphan in an orphanage in England, Jonathan said that it is
going very well. The research is progressing well and they are arranging for
funding now for the production.
asked about the Toronto Film Festival, he explained that the festival which
he attended had been going strong, but basically ground to a halt on
September 11th with the news of the terrorist attacks in the US.
is hoping to come to the next chat with the actors on October 28th,
but he’d like to lurk at that one and listen to the other actors talk
about their experiences on the set of SAJV.
wished everyone success in getting a second season for the show, then had to
leave for a prior engagement.
was a fun guy to film with, who made some very long hours on that shoot go
by very quickly.
original sets are still there at the studio in Montreal, so they would be
available for a second season.
hasn’t heard anything about the actors adding material at the new SAJV
told his parents that he wanted to be an actor or a wizard as a kid. He and
his family moved to California at age 7 from Michigan. After his first
audition, the casting director sent him to one of the top LA child actor
agents who signed him that day. He considers himself very blessed and lucky
for the opportunities he’s been given.
says it can be difficult for an actor to date when the older brothers and
father assume that you are disingenuous because you are an actor and just
pretending to be nice
sweat you see in “Queen Victoria and the Giant Mole” was a really sticky
glycerin mixture they put on their faces. It was, itchy, uncomfortable,
caused breakouts, but looked good on camera.
was a lot more conversation than this, some very informal and all of it a lot of
fun. We particularly want to thank Jana Demetral, Chris’ wife, who was present
and agreed to participate and answer questions. A great and often hilarious time
was had by all. If you want the full chat details, join us for our next chat.
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