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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Groovy Reader of the Month: Adrian Rennie


As a way to thank my readers for their support, I feature a new groovy guy or gal each month - and the winner of this prestigious title for September is Adrian Rennie of Santa Monica, who is the creator of one of my favorite indie web soaps, The Cavanaughs. The series, which follows a group of friends who reunite to create a TV sitcom, begins its third season this Thursday, October 6. Adrian has also worked in finance for many television shows and films, including his current position at CBS's CSI: NY as well as stints with MGM and Spelling Television (Charmed, Summerland). I'm delighted to have the talented Mr. Rennie here on the Dish to get Deeper with us by answering a few questions about The Cavanaughs, his life and pop culture.

What inspired you to create The Cavanaughs?
It originally started as a stage play that was full-out comedy. I love ensembles and how everyone has their part to play. It was very Noises Off-inspired where it followed the events of an opening night play that turned into a literal train wreck. It played over two summers in Hollywood, and it was pure fun. Cwennen Corral (who plays Maddie) was constantly urging me to keep at it, so we decided to make a TV pilot from the stage play. The end product was hysterical but sadly no one wanted a pilot from nobodys. So once again, Cwennen wanted to keep it alive - and we decided to go another avenue via the Internet. The only twist this time around was to make it a soap within a sitcom. It allowed us to tell a story from the beginning.

The story concept of creating a family amongst friends is something I can relate to very much. Main families such as the Hortons or Capwells were something about soap operas that I loved. And I see everywhere how people, who don't have big families, bond together with friends with common desires and dreams and somehow make a family of their own. So I wanted to create a story along those lines, where the main characters loved, laughed and had goals together, and the journey that would help them grow into stronger individuals.

What delicious drama can we expect to see in The Cavanaughs' third season?
Finally the series can get to the storylines we originally wanted to tell. The drama will go up a notch as the crew shoot their first season sitcom. Mark (Grant Landry) is going to struggle on whether he wants to pursue a romance with Scott (Daniel Rhyder) or pursue his career - and he will fall into the clutches of Hope (Camille Bennett), who is still aiming to win Justin back and will use Charley as a pawn. A secret that will be revealed is Bryan's part in the death of his ex-lover Shea (Ryan Kibby), and that may just destroy his relationship with Shea's sister, Maddie (Cwennen Corral). Charley will be outted as a lesbian by a gossip blogger - and we will learn more about Noreen's alter ego life out of drag and her surprising connection with a current character.

Did you always want to be a writer?
I think so. I was always writing stories from when I could remember. I was a huge fan of the Days of our Lives from the early 80's - and it inspired my love for the soap opera genre. But I'm not just a writer. My parents and mentors were very adamant that I try everything, so I write, dance, sing, act, produce, direct and play piano. I was taught to do as much and give back what you know. There's still so much to learn.

What has been the most memorable moment you have had while working in television and film?
It sure hasn't been dull. I have loved walking through the lot of Paramount Studios at night and breathing in that atmosphere and history. Or talking to Drew Barrymore on the set of Charlie's Angels, when she was dressed as a man and not having a clue about it. Or meeting Megan Mullally at the GLADD Awards and when we went to take a photo, my camera broke! But right now I think it has to be filming the Season 2 finale of The Cavanaughs where we had the whole main cast in a scene, and we were just laughing and there was just so much love there. It's an honor to be around such a talented bunch of people who are doing what they love.

[Below is the Second Season Finale of The Cavanaughs. To catch up on the first two seasons, check out its YouTube Channel.]



My five favorite soap operas of all time are:
Days of our Lives, Santa Barbara, Dark Shadows, Dynasty and Another World.

Five movies that I think everyone should be required to watch are:
A little touch of everything hurt no one - so how's this in random order - Clue (1985), Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003), Casino Royale (2009), Lifeboat (1944) and Pride and Prejudice (2005).

If I were asked to choose the Sexiest Man Alive, it would be:
Jason Statham. No wait, Matthew Macfadyen! No, Grant Landry! No, Ryan Kibby! Ugh! Dylan McDermott. Oh, I can't choose just one. Next question!

If I could have anyone in the world - living or dead - be a guest at my dinner party, I would invite the following three people:
Ruthie Henshall (to sing with), Elaine Stritch (to hear her Broadway stories first-hand) and Andrew Lloyd Webber (to play the piano).

What's next for Adrian Rennie?
I'm just staying busy, in addition to my daily duties working on CSI: NY. The Cavanaughs is on a month hiatus before we go back to complete the rest of the third season, which is not to be missed as each episode builds and builds. In the meantime, I'm joining the ensemble for a local musical theatre production of Kiss of the Spider Woman and helping a few other writers produce their webseries. And, of course, finding time to hang with my friends at the local WeHo pub!

Thank you, Adrian, for being one of my grooviest readers! You can follow Adrian on Facebook and Twitter. For more information on The Cavanaughs, go to thecavanaughs.wordpress.com. You can also become a fan of the series on Facebook and Twitter.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice