Well, look who it is! It’s my good buddy and former co-worker: uber-talented/super-successful actress Jennifer Finnigan. She’s in town shooting a movie (with my other pal, Cas) and dropped by the other night to say hi, eat some rotisserie chicken and, of course, check out the Dark Matter comic book (soon to be television?) series. Turns out she’s looking for an SF project and this could be the one!
I worked with Jen way back when we were both first getting started, on a teen sitcom called Student Bodies (Student Bodies (TV series) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). Once the show ended, she moved to Hollywood where she landed the part of Bridget Forrester on The Bold and the Beautiful, playing the role for 3+ years and winning three consecutive Daytime Emmy Awards along the way. From there, it was on to Crossing Jordan were she recurred as pathologist Dr. Devan Maguire, then to her own series, Committed, and, eventually, on to CBS’s Close To Home where she headlined as deputy DA Annabeth Chase. She recently wrapped production on David E. Kelley’s Monday Mornings and, after finishing up this latest Lifetime movie (which will take her to Brazil and India), she’ll be producing her first feature alongside hubby, Jonathan Silverman – provided she finds the time between work, travel, and games night at her pal Nathan Fillion’s place.
Anyway, it was great catching up with her these last couple of days and here’s hoping we do get the opportunity to work together again sooner than later.
Meanwhile, Jen’s castmate on the Lifetime movie (and my house guest) Cas left today for a con appearance in Detroit. Detroit! Yeesh. You’d think he could come up with a better cover story than that. He’ll be gone until Monday and, in that time, he has asked me to read a pitch document and the first ten pages of a script he wrote for a personal project. Over lunch today, I made it clear to him that if he really wanted me to read his stuff – REALLY wanted me to read it – then, I certainly would…with the understanding that I would NOT be critiquing it as his good buddy Joe but as former Executive Producer/professional writer Joseph Mallozzi. It’s the same fair warning I give everyone who asks me to read something they’ve written. I don’t want to waste their time and, more importantly, MY time reading something simply for form’s sake. If you really want my opinion, I’ll give it to you – but be prepared for the worst. I would consider it disrespectful of me to pull my punches. The whole point of the exercise is to identify the flaws and weaknesses of a concept or script and maybe offer suggestions as to how they can be addressed. It is certainly NOT to offer blanket congratulations on a job well done.
Cas apparently understands this and has given me the go ahead. So I’ll start reading it tomorrow – AFTER I finally sit down to read my friend Trevor’s outline which has been sitting in my inbox far too long.
Again, I assume this sort of thing isn’t limited to show business. I’m certain you’ve all found yourself in situations where friends or family members have requested honest input on some thing or other. So how did you respond in situations where, quite clearly, tough love was required? Were you painfully honest or was discretion the better part of valor? Do tell.