A few weeks ago Matt and I made our way up to PAX:East. It was a great adventure to say the least, and while there we witnessed one of the best panels we’d ever seen, The “Other” Us. The panel focused on gender, community, and the world of gaming in general. “The ‘other’ us” inspired us to write some articles that hopefully you’ve had a chance to read (Ash and Matt) by now. The mastermind behind the panel was one Allison Thresher, former CM turned junior choreographer at Harmonix. I had the pleasure of talking with Allison about the panel, gender in gaming, PAX Pox, and other shenanigans. Enjoy!
We’re really excited to bring you this exclusive interview with our favorite Cylon (truth), now in full 3D stereoscopic sound (lie). After an epic game of phone tag we were finally able to chat with Alesandra about her all new webseries Husbands, as well as Nerd HQ, Caprica, Attack of the Show, and her secret nerdy obsessions. Enjoy this incredibly candid interview with the ultra-fun Alesandra Torresani. Thanks so much for listening!
Click to listen to Alesandra Torresani: The Nerd Appropriate Interview (excerpts below)
NA-Ash: Thanks so much for talking with us! I met you this summer at the Nerd HQ panel during ComicCon — the panel was one of the nerdy highlights of my entire summer. How did Zachary Levi pull you into the panel, and how was your over panel experience? (Panel Info)
Alessandra Torressani: Oh my gosh, it was so much fun! I met Zach at a TV festival that we did in Monte Carlo that we both got invited to… we had such a wild time. We have such a similar personality, so outgoing, complete dorks who don’t care what anyone else things about them. We bonded over being in this foreign country, being complete ridiculous. We kept in contact and he is such a sci-fi geek like I am. I went to his big party that he threw, NerdHQ had just been starting, we had such a blast. He had been asking to please work with me. I found out about the panel two days before and was like, “amazing”! I wanted to go to ComicCon but had no reason to go… Zach convinced me to do it. What a funny group of people we all were!
Alessandra Torressani: It’s crazy. Jane and I are very close because she wrote Caprica. We bonded and she knows my personality. Jane was like, “this is crazy, you do so many dynamic roles, why don’t you do comedy.” I was like, “eh, it’s not really what I like doing.” It was not something I was ever available to do. People usually like me as the teenager, you know, like fucked-up little girl.
AT: So, I went to see a production with Cheeks which Sasha Roiz (Sam Adama, Caprica) was in too. And I had heard about this guy, Checks, and was like, “oh my god, I need to meet him… you’re the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life.” We just instantly connected and we instantly just bonded. We, then, did a gay bowling video about stopping bullying with Sasha. It was really funny, Cheeks, wrote it. He approached me and really wanted to do a web video, “I can be the gay boy…”
AT: Jane approached Cheeks and said she was serious about it. They came up with the idea for Husbands, a show about two men that get married… kinda of like Mad About You with guys mixed with a little Will and Grace. I’m excited, it premiers September 13 at HusbandstheSeries.com.
NA: You co-hosted AOTS for a little bit. What was your co-hosting experience like? Would you ever want to host a show in the future?
Alessandra Torressani: I would like to, but obviously my first priority is TV and film. But I have such a soft spot for hosting TV shows. I love grilling people and I have such fun. Working with Kevin [Pereira] was so amazing, we have so much chemistry together with our comedy. We’re very similiar, we’re dry comics and complete idiots, just like Zach and I. Like children in a candy store of nerd-dom. I’d have to have chemistry with a co-host, as I did with Kevin, because you can’t find that often.
NA: Where did the whole idea to make it a web series come from? Many of us are leaning towards a-la-carte television, getting rid of cable, watching streaming TV and web video. It seems more openly embraced, especially in nerd communities. Is the web the perfect place for Husbands because its more liberating?
Alessandra Torressani: I think that, honestly, it is a little to controversial at the moment. We’re having [Husbands] take place in a fictional world where gay marriage has just become legal with equality rights and everything. I think that we’re on the verge of that, but it’s not quite there yet. And then you look at Will and Grace and think, that’s weird, because 10 years ago it was so edgy for it’s time. So the fact that they had this (show) for NBC was a great thing. Jeff Greenstein (exec., Will & Grace Desperate Housewives) directed our episode — so Jane got together with Cheeks and said, you know, “fuck the network, we want to do this our own way.”
AT: Let’s make this a show that we would want to watch. If the network responds to it, great. And if they don’t, great. It’s a win-win situation. We’re gonna get the respect we think we deserve because we’re out of the box and edgy, or we show and get a great cult series following.
NA: Having total creative freedom must be liberating. Having a great show like Caprica have bad things happen to it near the end, must made it nice to realize that as long as you stick to this there’s no one to stop you unless you really want to be stopped.
Alessandra Torressani: Exactly, and also web series is where it’s ending up to be. People don’t have time to watch TV anymore. That was the biggest problem with Caprica. SyFy was like, “oh your ratings wern’t high enough“. “Well yeah, no one is home at fucking 9 o’clock to watch TV.” People work, people have lives. So we say, “fuck the network” … not in a bad way, but for us, people could be up at 3 in the morning when they get home and say “hey, I wanna watch the 2 min episode of husbands.” It’s there whenever they want. We’re appealing to the fans, we’re not trying to please advertisers. Being low-budget doesn’t matter if you can get your point across. We have the best comedy, best writing, and best acting. You can’t beat that.
NA: Turning for a moment to Caprica, what was the experience like as a young actress being with such amazing actors?
Alessandra Torressani: I was huge fans of them when I knew that they were cast in Caprica. To me, I don’t look at someone as so famous, everyone is human. Guest starts would sometimes be intimidated, but they’re human… they’re funny. Eric [Stoltz] is my dad, what’s the big deal. As much success as they had, it didn’t comprehend with me how big they were. Eric treated me like his daughter. It was like, “you do wrong on this set, I’m gonna punish you.” It was the best learning experience. But Esai [Morales, Joseph Adama] was like Crazy Uncle Esai, he used to come over to my house, we would cook him food, and have laughs, do Karaoke. He would play the guitar for us.
AT: It was such a family environment. Paula [Malcomson, Amanda Greystone] is like my pseudo-mother. I still talk to her every single day. Sasha Roiz is my best friend, do you know what I mean? It’s a funny dynamic we all had together, but we were all on the same level. There were no egos, no “stars” or any of that bullshit you usually deal with. That was the saddest part about Caprica.
AT: We went and shot this amazing show in Vancouver for a year and a half of our lives. We bonded, cast and crew. Unfortunately, because of ratings it was all taken apart. But everyone moved on and did their own thing: Esai did a successful web series, Eric is directing, Sasha is the star of Grimm, Paula was on Sons of Anarchy and is the new star of Hunger Games. Everyone has made their own mark, so it was a blessing in disguise. Now Jane and I are eating and breathing Husbands, it’s our life.
AT: My friends are so fucking mad at me with the amount of posts I put on Facebook for [Husbands]. Fucking, watch my show, that’s what I’m trying to say. =)
[Do you want to know more? Listen to the entire interview by clicking the link above… ]