Interview w/ Z Nation’s Pisay Pao

Photo Credit: Vince Trupsin

Photo Credit: Vince Trupsin

The Syfy series, “Z Nation” returns tonight with the premiere of season 2. To ring in the new season, I had the opportunity to interview Pisay Pao, who plays Cassandra.

Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

Yes. I was born in Thailand but I have lived most of my life in Seattle, Washington where I got to spend a lot of time outside in nature, being imaginative or inside doing something creative like dancing or painting. When I say those things out loud it, sounds pretty normal but I actually felt really different growing up. I do not know if it was because of my background or just wanting to separate myself from the crowd but I think that is what pushed me into acting and pushed me towards the role of Cassandra. From the very beginning I felt and knew she was going to be a unique character to play.

What is it like on set not only when the cameras are rolling but also while they are off?

It is honestly a mix bag. I think that is why I love being on set so much. You never know what to expect but it is usually the funniest, most magical, unbelievable moments. Like when Anastasia and Nat start singing Whitney Houston in the makeup trailer or when we are shooting on a farm with kittens and they are all running away from the zombies on set. Those moments make up for the long and sometimes frustrating days – like when we lose power for 3 days in a row because of thunderstorms. The cast and crew are completely passionate and professional about their work though -another reason why I love being on this set specifically.

What is a typical day of shooting an episode? How is it shooting in Spokane?

The only thing typical about shooting Z Nation is that it is at least a 12 hour day or more and that there is always zombies on set. Otherwise, there is nothing typical about the show or the way we shoot it. We move really fast and things are constantly changing. It definitely keeps us on our toes so I can not imagine how the audience feels. As far as Spokane goes, it has been amazing. I can not believe all the places we have substituted it for and people have been really gracious and welcoming.

What are some of your hobbies? Favorite places to shop and eat?

I love hiking, watching movies of course, cooking for friends and family, dancing, making stuff with my hands like, sewing my own costumes or writing letters to my fans with personalized stationery. I probably sound like a dork -which is good. Dorks are underrated. As far as favorite places to shop and eat? I live in both Seattle and LA, so that list could be very very long but here goes…

SEATTLE

Shopping: Nordstrom, Goodwill and any vintage stores. I love the flagship Nordstrom. The selection is unparalleled and I feel like the vintage stores here are the most reasonable priced I have seen compared to other metropolitan cities.I love mixing old with new.

Food: Momiji, Walrus and Carpenter, Il Corvo, Cafe Presse, Spinasse & Juice Box

LOS ANGELES:

Shopping: The Grove -it is an experience really. The downtown H&M and Abbott Kinney which is also an experience because it is the only place I know in LA where you can jaywalk and people don’t look at you like you are crazy or try to run you over.

Food: Pine & Crane, Sqirl, Gelina, Sugarfish, Alimento, & Bestia

For someone who has yet to see Z Nation, how would you describe the series?

Z Nation is about a group of survivors transporting the only known human to have survived a zombie bite from NY to a blood lab in California. That human is Murphy (played by the talented Keith Allan) who is a complete jerk (the character not the actor). Still we all somehow love him and we love killing zombies so we have a heck of a time finding thousands of different ways to do just that, like our infamous liberty bell scene. It’s a ton of fun.

For someone who has seen their fare share of movies and series within the zombie culture, what separates Z Nation from other programming?

I think the biggest thing that separates Z Nation from other shows is that it does not take itself too seriously. We make a lot of jokes and reference a lot of different parodies but the show never becomes a parody itself. People really care about the characters and the storyline.

Z Nation is on Netflix and season one can be binge-watched. What series out there have you binge-watched or would like to binge-watch?

I love Once Upon A Time, Grimm, and Gotham. I could not stop watching True Blood when it was on. I would totally binge watch The X-Files again. You are probably seeing a pattern here. I really dig the sci-fi/fantasy genre. I can not believe I am on a show on Syfy network!

What can fans expect from season two of Z Nation?

Bigger, better, badder. Seriously a lot more zombies, and zombie kills and a lot of new and interesting characters to mix up the group dynamic. Karl Schaefer (the show’s creator) never wants any of else to feel safe, which is very heartwarming.

If you weren’t acting, what is another profession you could see yourself doing?

I’d like to be an International spy. Either that or own a restaurant and write children’s books.

Thank you Pisay for your time, how can people find you and is there anything you’d like to say to our readers? Welcome to the Blended Family!

Thanks so much. Thank you for reading. I can not wait for people to see the new season. People can find me on Twitter or FB @pisaypao. Thank you Blended!

Will Smith’s “Concussion” Movie Trailer

As if the NFL and Roger Goodell didn’t already have enough issues to deal with. “Concussion”, starring Will Smith, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Luke Wilson,  and Alec Baldwin is based off the 2009 GQ article, Game Brain. Head injuries will once again be at the forefront of the NFL as this film gets closer to its’ release date. The film will tell the story of Dr. Bennet Omalu (Will Smith) who discovers CTE in the brains of some NFL players, which later has life-ending effects. Roger Goodell and the NFL will receive a gift not anticipated as this film releases right on Christmas Day.

“Empire’s” Jussie Smollett Featured In Sean John’s Fall/Holiday 15 Campaign

SJ_JimMoore_GQRAW43_4227[1]

Sean John announces the launch of their Fall/Holiday 2015 ad campaign, entitled Dream Big,the brand’s longstanding mantra.

Sean Combs lives by the words, DREAM IT, WAKE UP, DO IT. When he created the Sean John line, it was with this mission in mind.  This is a brand for those who not only dream but dream far beyond their limitations,” explains Jeff Tweedy, President of Sean John. “Our fall campaign concept truly celebrates those young men who bring their dreams to fruition. Jussie and Quincy are quintessential examples of the Sean John man and are true role models for our Dream Big concept.

Jussie Smollett has broken ground starring as Jamal Lyon on FOX’s mega hit show Empire. An accomplished singer/songwriter, Smollett wrote the songs “I Wanna Love You” and “All of the Above” as well as co-wrote the hit “You’re So Beautiful” on the Original Soundtrack from Season 1 of Empire The single debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart in March 2015. In the Sean John campaign, Jussie exemplifies the Sean John lifestyle wearing a range of looks from suiting to sportswear and accessories.

Coined as the Little Dreamers, the boy’s imagery features LeBron James Jr. (10), Bryce James (8), and Kiyan Anthony (8), sons of NBA superstars LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. The three are a great fit for the Sean John Boys brand and truly represent the next generation of big dreamers.

“As a brand, we look to the future of fashion. The Dream Big concept best communicates our brand positioning by examining those who, like Mr. Combs, had a dream and made it a reality,” Dean Arcuri, VP Marketing & Creative Services, added. “We are excited to partner with GQ in presenting our latest Dream Big campaign. The Sean John man much like the GQ reader strives for nothing but the best and these men in our campaign exemplify that ideal.”

Sean John’s Fall/Holiday 2015 collection will be available at Macy’s store across the country and online at macys.com beginning in August 2015.

Blended Entertainment Fashion

Interview w/ Roberto Aguire

Roberto

Photo by Marc Cartwright

I am back again with another interview. This time with Roberto Aguire. He can been seen in the movie, Boulevard alongside Robin Williams in what would be Robin’s final on-screen role. Roberto made his onscreen debut in the Chris Colfer film Struck By Lighting. Written by Chris Colfer (Glee), the film received fantastic reviews since it’s premiere. In the film, Roberto plays Emillio, the school’s resident foreign exchange student from El Salvador and consequently, a die-hard womanizer. Check out my interview with him below!

Hey Roberto! So correct me if I’m wrong here. You were born in Los Angeles but spent time in your life being raised in Switzerland. If true, can you explain how long you spent living in Switzerland and the dynamic of living there as opposed to here in the United States?

That is correct! I was born in Los Angeles, lived for a couple of years in Mexico, and then moved to Geneva when I was 11 for about eight years. Living in Switzerland was very different to living in the United States. I would say one of the biggest differences is the multi-cultural prevalence that there is in Switzerland. My high school had 152 different nationalities, so you can imagine how exposed you are to different cultures, languages, religions, and ways of life. It is great because in a sense everyone is a minority, since no one ethnicity is big enough to feel like it looms over the others. Also traveling to different countries is extremely simple from Switzerland because it’s basically in the center of Europe. Getting to Germany, Italy, France, etc usually takes either as little as 10 mins or on the longer side 2 hours. The big thing that you really miss from the US in Switzerland is the availability of anything really. All stores in Geneva close at 6pm on the dot and are only open half days on Saturdays. Absolutely no stores and very few restaurants are open on Sundays. Merchandise runs out quickly, and ordering things takes forever. In the US, anything you need is available 24/7 and if it’s not, you can usually get it within a day or two. When you are trying to buy someone a birthday present, you have to plan weeks ahead to make sure you can get something good! Haha.

Talk a bit about “Boulevard”, your latest film that was released in a few major cities in July?

“Boulevard” is a story about a man coming to terms with the person that he has been pretending to be his whole life and the person that he actually is and wants to be. It also shows that it is never too late to change and start living the life you have always wanted to live. The character I play Leo is actually the catalyst for change in Nolan, the main character’s life. Both Nolan and Leo are broken in their own individual ways, but together they give each other a hand and start to move forward out of this stagnant monotony that they are stuck in.

Now you had the opportunity to work with the late great Robin Williams, what was that experience like?

Indescribable. I really lack adjectives to do him justice. He was the most generous and hard-working actor, both talented and dedicated. He was extremely humble despite his lustrous career, and the kindest human being you’d ever met. He had an incredible intelligence mixed in with a never ending ability to make people laugh. Watching him act was watching a genius breathe profound reality into fiction. I think getting to meet and work with him will have been the most memorable experience of my life.

What have you taken away from from your experiences working on both  “Boulevard” and “Struck By Lightning”?

I think both experiences have just fed my passion for acting even more. They were both so different but at the same time they were both incredible. There’s nothing else I would rather be doing in my life. As actors, we get to walk in different people’s shoes for a living, truly getting to inhabit a moment in their lives and live as they would be living. It is a phenomenal process and immensely enriching, as well as just plain fun. I think both movies have just solidified that this is what I am definitely doing for as long as I’m able to.

Do you consider yourself a more of a comedic actor, or one better suited for the dramatic role? Do you enjoy tackling more serious roles in nature?

I enjoy doing both! They are both so invigorating. When you are making a comedy, you feel like you are playing. When you are making a drama, you feel like you are working. So it is nice to have a balance between working and playing. But I think Robin showed the extent to which you can do both successfully. He was the perfect example of someone who could bounce between both comedy and drama with extreme ease. I would like to be the same way!

What would you like to do next in your acting career? What kind of roles would you like to play?

I am kind of a geek, so personally I would love to be part of a movie that deals with fantasy! Something with dragons, or magic! Another Hobbit or Lord of the Rings! Haha. But professionally I want to tackle roles that really scare me. I think if you keep doing roles that you’re afraid of, it will make you keep growing and you will continue to mature as an actor.

What TV series would you like to be a part of?

Along the lines of what I first said, Game of Thrones would be amazing to be part of! But Modern Family and House of Cards are two of my favorite shows so anything like those two would be great as well!

Thank you Roberto, welcome to the “Blended” family. Is there anything you would like for our readers to know?

Thank you so much! I think we covered it all! Hopefully we will get another chance to chat soon!

San Diego Comic Con

This past weekend marked the end of The San Diego Comic. Though it is officially over, there are a lot of panels that I need to catch up on since I have yet to attend. I wanted to bring to your attention a few trailers that interested me. The Walking Dead season 6 promo was shown at the event as was an official promo for the companion series, Fear The Walking Dead. We also got a look at Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

The Walking Dead(may contain some NSFW)

Fear The Walking Dead

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Russell Westbrook and Marshawn Lynch

Being that this is the blog where all forms of entertainment meet as one, I wanted to share my thoughts about two athletes and video game related news. First and foremost, you have one of professional basketball’s superstars from the Oklahoma City Thunder in Russell Westbrook. Although OKC missed out on making the NBA Playoffs this year mainly due to injuries, Russell Westbrook was big time. He is a superstar and for that he was rewarded as cover boy of NBA Live 16. The upcoming basketball game from EA Sports will try to dethrone the NBA 2k series and reclaim a crown that once belong to them. Despite missing fifteen games this past NBA season, Westbrook posted career high per game numbers in points, assists, rebounds, and steals. So while NBA 2k16 will have three different cover athletes in Steph Curry, James Harden, and Anthony Davis, NBA Live will have just one. I’m more of a fan of just having one cover athlete but four top notch athletes will be rewarded this year. I want to know if the necessary improvements are going to be made in NBA Live 16 to make it worthy for me to buy it. The graphics are looking better but I do need to see more of what this installment has to offer. Can Ea Sports create a great basketball game again?

In other news, Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks has done some motion capture work and will be included in Call of Duty: Black Ops III. The game is due later this year and will feature him in a villainous role. I am interested in seeing how this will play out. This is something that has not been done before. To take an athlete and use them in this capacity is sure to peak the curiosity of “Beast Mode” fans who may only play as his likeness in the Madden video game franchise. This is not only interesting but congratulatory as well for Marshawn. He has taken so much flack for his interactions or lack thereof with the media, so to see him get this honor to be in one of the most successful video game series ever is truly a good distinction. Both video game franchises are trying to push the envelope. Only time will tell to see if either game is a must buy.

espnmarshawn