Conference Call with Gary Scott Thompson, Justin Bruening and Deanna Russo

  GaryJustinDeanna1.jpgAs many of you may know, we at Knight Rider Online were part of a conference call with Gary Scott Thompson, Justin Bruening and Deanna Russo a couple of days ago.  Whilst it's taken us a bit longer than usual, we're now able to bring you the entire transcript, which comes in at a massive 35 pages in document form.

Given the length of the transcript, you'll have to hit the jump to see it in its entirety.


September 9, 2008

3:00 pm CT

 

 

Coordinator:        Hello and welcome to the Knight Rider conference call. At the request of NBC, this call is being recorded for instant replay purposes.

 

                        With us on today's call from Knight Rider are Justin Bruening, Deanna Russo and Executive Producer, Gary Scott Thompson. Also on the call are Carol Janson and Gary Mednick of NBC. You may begin.

 

Gary Mednick:     Hi everybody. This is Gary Mednick from NBC Publicity. First off I just want to thank everyone for joining us this afternoon on the call. As you probably know by now, kicking off Wednesday nights at 8:00 pm on NBC this fall, starting September 24, is Knight Rider, the reinvented and updated version of the iconic 80s television classic.

 

                        We're all incredibly excited about this show and are pleased to have stars Justin Bruening and Deanna Russo, and Executive Producer, Gary Scott Thompson on the phone to answer your questions.

 

                        So let's start now with your questions. Thanks.

 

Carol Janson:      To ask a question, please press star 1 on your touchtone phone. And we have a number of people on the line, so please don't ask ten questions, but you can ask more than two. Okay, we're good to good.

 

Coordinator:        Our first question comes from Joshua Maloni from Niagara Frontier Publication. Your line is open.

 

Joshua Maloni:     Hey gang, thanks for your time today.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        You're welcome.

 

Justin Bruening:   Okay.

 

Joshua Maloni:     Justin and Deanna, my first question is for you and I'm wondering, you know, in terms of momentum as actors, you know, because you shot a movie and not a pilot -- and because you did it several months ago -- how difficult was it to get back into your roles and into the Knight Rider storyline?

 

Deanna Russo:    It wasn't difficult at all.

 

Justin Bruening:   Yeah, it was not difficult at all.

 

Deanna Russo:    Because we didn't take a break from it. I mean, once we wrapped shooting, we were...

 

Carol Janson:      Deanna?

 

Deanna Russo:    Yeah, can you hear me?

 

Carol Janson:      Justin, I'd like you to get closer to the phone so we can hear you better.

 

Deanna Russo:    Got it. How's this?

 

Carol Janson:      Much better.

 

Deanna Russo:    All right, well for Justin and I it - you know, we just kept working on the show from when we shot the two-hour pilot and then we were promoting it. And then we immediately started training into the series, even before we even knew officially. We just wanted to be prepared.

 

Justin Bruening:   Yeah.

 

Deanna Russo:    And, you know, we just enjoyed our characters so much that it wasn't - you know what I mean, we didn't want to leave them behind just yet.

 

Justin Bruening:   And I think deep down we had all confidence that it was going to go to series.

 

Joshua Maloni:     Right.

 

Justin Bruening:   Seeing the...

 

Deanna Russo:    Shoot, it's Knight Rider. I mean, come on.

 

Justin Bruening:   Yeah, that and from seeing the, you know, what the ratings were and everything. So...

 

Joshua Maloni:     All right. And Gary, I wanted to ask you a similar question because, you know, when the movie came out obviously it was, you know, a re-imagination of something we hadn't seen in a long time.

 

                        You know, obviously it sets the stage for a series but at the same time there was a fair amount of closure. So, you know, how challenging is it to excite the audience a second time as a series begins?

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        Well it's not just the second time. It's now in 100 more times because we plan on going a long time with this one. So challenging-wise, it was pretty easy actually.

 

                        We've got great stars here and a great car. We've got a few new cast members, great writers. So it actually was fairly easy. There's a lot of stories to tell.

 

Joshua Maloni:     All right. And finally, what can you tell us about the voice of KITT? Who is that going to be this time around?

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        Same voice, Val Kilmer.

 

Joshua Maloni:     Oh really?

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        Yes.

 

Joshua Maloni:     All right, sounds good. Thanks guys for your time.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        Thank you.

 

Deanna Russo:    Thank you.

 

Justin Bruening:   Thank you.

 

Coordinator:        April MacIntyre with Monsters and Critics, your line is open.

 

April MacIntyre:   Hey Gary.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        Hi.

 

April MacIntyre:   A - talk at TCA was that the series was going to be in no way, shape or form even resembling the pilot, that everything was scrapped and writers were taking on a completely different mythology and storyline. Do you want to talk about that, and if that's true or not?

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        It's still true. We went back to the original series to look at what made that work and (wrote a word). We went through the pilot and then, you know, we don't want to disappoint some of the fans of the two-hour so there was - you know, we have four characters coming from that.

 

                        So we made sure that those four characters clicked into what the new mythology was for the series. Again, it's 25 years later so we have to update the car, update the people and be in touch with the times.

 

                        So I think that's really what we did was just try to bring it up to date.

 

April MacIntyre:   What were some of the new refurbishments for KITT that were not reflected in the pilot as far as KITT the movie?

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        KITT can transform from one vehicle to another. He has more advanced weaponry. What else, guys?

 

Justin Bruening:   Yes, that's (unintelligible)...

 

((Crosstalk))

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        He likes Deanna's character better than Justin's.

 

Justin Bruening:   That is untrue. The - his windshield is now a heads up display which...

 

April MacIntyre:   Oh wow.

 

Justin Bruening:   ...interacts fully with our headquarters, the SSC.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        Right, and we have a headquarters which is - you know, we affectionately call the KITT Cave which is Satellite Surveillance Chamber, which is part of Knight Research and Development.

 

                        And that's our main base of operation. And we can track and follow the car anywhere in the world via a co-opted satellite.

 

April MacIntyre:   I think it was mentioned that KITT is a teenager in rebellion and is growing into himself - Val Kilmer's voice over and the car's personality. Would you talk about that as far as KITT's maturation?

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        It's not so much a teenager as that he's actually learning. It's a developmental process through the course of the first season. The idea is going from you know, as if a child would go from say sixth grade all the way through college.

 

                        So it's the idea of training him and making him learn or having him learn.

 

April MacIntyre:   (The two thing) - from the terrible teen years?

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        Oh yeah, we're - we've got some terrible teen going on right now in the Halloween episode.

 

Justin Bruening:   Yeah.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        He's a little defiant.

 

April MacIntyre:   Look forward to seeing it. Thank you all.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        Thank you.

 

Deanna Russo:    Thank you.

 

Justin Bruening:   Thank you.

 

Coordinator:        Jim Halterman with TheFutonCritic.com, your line is open.

 

Jim Halterman:     Hey guys. Thanks for doing the call today.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        Thank you.

 

Jim Halterman:     Gary, I have a question for you. You know, after doing - you know, I think it was five seasons, Las Vegas, is that correct?

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        Yes.

 

Jim Halterman:     Was this kind of in your plan to jump into another series like right away, to potentially keep you really busy for many years to come?

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        No. I have a lot of features that I still have on hold that I put on hold five years ago. So it was not really my intention. It - you know, NBC sort of handed me the show and said, you know, what do - do you want to do this?

 

                        You know, what do you think? Do you think you can make this work? And I looked at it as a big challenge. So - and the other thing was I started thinking about it and once I started thinking about it I couldn't turn it off.

 

                        And that's usually, for me, a reason why to jump into something because if I'm staying awake obsessing about it, then there's probably a good reason for me to be doing it.

 

Jim Halterman:     All right, okay. And Justin and Deanna, you both have done some time in the daytime world. How do you think that world prepares you for really anything else outside the soap world?

 

Deanna Russo:    Well the - I mean, the pace of the show is much more intense than anything else out there, so it's an entirely different animal than primetime. I mean, we go through like 70 to 90 pages a day for daytime and for primetime, you know, people complain if we've got 9 pages.

 

Justin Bruening:   And yeah, I mean, one thing - it just prepared us, I think, you know, a little more as actors in general and I'm saying that is like finding your camera, you know, learning how to be comfortable in front of a camera because you don't have time to think about it.

 

                        So now it's actually refreshing to have more time to be in a scene and make it deeper, and make it more complex instead of, you know, having to rush through it.

 

Deanna Russo:    Because that like challenges your instincts.

 

Justin Bruening:   Yes.

 

Jim Halterman:     All right, and as far as any like main people coming to the show, I know Hasselhoff was in the movie - is he coming back for any, you know, episodes or maybe William Daniels popping up somewhere, even though he wouldn't be the voice of KITT?

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        We haven't spoken about William Daniels at this point. I have spoken to David and David and NBC, and myself, we're discussing.

 

Jim Halterman:     Okay, great. Best of luck with the show.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        Thank you very much.

 

Deanna Russo:    Thank you.

 

Justin Bruening:   Thank you.

 

Coordinator:        Joe Diliberto with Soap Opera Weekly, your line is open.

 

Joe Diliberto:       Hey you were just talking about soap operas. Justin and Deanna, there wasn't a lot of time for a romance in the two-hour movie, so do - will there be more time for romance in the series?

 

Justin Bruening:   Actually that's kind of part of the story - is, you know, we have to save the world and there's not a lot of time for that, but trying to fit that in, having a life and, you know, going on the missions and all of that.

 

                        That's kind of where sometimes the humor comes in and, you know...

 

Deanna Russo:    Sexual tension.

 

Justin Bruening:   ...and the sexual tension, and all of that.

 

Joe Diliberto:       But the two of you will still be each other's love interest for the series?

 

Deanna Russo:    Well it's more of like the will they, won't they kind of, you know, kind of storyline.

 

Joe Diliberto:       But they're not going to be kind of like, you know, Mike finds, you know, the girl client of the week kind of thing, or he'd just be more interested in Sarah?

 

Deanna Russo:    That's what kind of keeps us apart is all these floozies that keep coming in.

 

Justin Bruening:   Yeah, when you're a spy you sometimes have to go under covers...

 

Deanna Russo:    Sure, under covers.

 

Justin Bruening:   Yeah.

 

Deanna Russo:    Great.

 

Joe Diliberto:       Now with the series being changed around a little bit, is the family connection still going to be important with the father and all?

 

Justin Bruening:   I believe it's always there. Family is very important, you know. It's - you know, I - we haven't talked about it much, but I believe there's times that we're going to have to - you know, I may have to learn from the - my predecessor.

 

                        And definitely, you know, I know with, you know, Sarah's character her family works there. So it's - family is very important. And actually, the whole team is a family.

 

Deanna Russo:    Yeah.

 

Justin Bruening:   You know, we come to - as the series progresses, as you get to find out, you know, what each character means to each of us. And that's - sorry, that's - I mean, that's the thing.

 

                        You know, like in the first episode my character, I think, really does realize that - who everyone means to him and there going to be - that's his new family.

 

Joe Diliberto:       Okay. We do miss the both of you on daytime. And Justin, what's Alexa up to?

 

Justin Bruening:   Oh she's probably walking her dog right now. I don't know.

 

Joe Diliberto:       Well maybe she can come back to daytime.

 

Justin Bruening:   Yeah, she - that's never ruled out. But, you know, she's focusing more on film right now. So...

 

Joe Diliberto:       Okay, thanks a lot.

 

Justin Bruening:   Thank you.

 

Coordinator:        Ian Spelling with SciFi.com, your line is open.

 

Ian Spelling:        Hey there guys. We appreciate you doing this.

 

Justin Bruening:   Thank you.

 

Deanna Russo:    No problem.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        Thank you.

 

Ian Spelling:        All three of you. Deanna and Justin, how often do you guys just crack up on set considering that you're dealing with a talking car day in and day out?

 

Justin Bruening:   No, our show is serious. What are you talking - no...

 

Deanna Russo:    All the time.

 

Justin Bruening:   All the time, especially when you add the green screen in with it. That's a fun...

 

Ian Spelling:        Is it bizarre? Is there somebody standing offline, obviously off to the side reading dialogue for the car because obviously Val Kilmer is coming in and doing it later, right?

 

Justin Bruening:   No, KITT really talks.

 

Ian Spelling:        Oh yeah, it's a real good car.

 

Justin Bruening:   Yeah, everything is real. We do, we have an interesting - a voice double for Val and his name is (John Berdell).

 

Deanna Russo:    And he's amazing.

 

Justin Bruening:   Yeah.

 

Deanna Russo:    He really helps us out. We couldn't do what we do if it wasn't for him.

 

Justin Bruening:   You know, Gary had mentioned earlier about how, you know, KITT learns and having someone there that is a voice actor can always add those elements of what he may be learning or may not be learning. And that really helps us react.

 

Ian Spelling:        Okay, cool. And then Gary, you said there are a lot of stories to tell. Give us a preview. What kinds of stories will you be telling on a weekly basis? Are they standalones? Are they mythology? Will it be a combination?

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        All of the above.

 

Ian Spelling:        Can you break it down a little bit, give us a sense of...

 

Deanna Russo:    Ha ha, cop out.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        A lot - most of them are standalones. It's, you know, boy and car save world. We live in a different world than the original show. In the original show it was, you know, a drug dealer here a runaway there.

 

                        We live in a world now where there's terrorism, where people are trying to destroy and kill each other, and the stakes are a lot higher. So that's what we're going to deal with.

 

Ian Spelling:        And then back on the original show KITT was really a science fiction creation. Today, how much of a science fiction creation do you think the car is or is it even this close to reality? I mean, it seems just a step away.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        It's a - it's very close. You know, everybody already has GPS and OnStar. The cars do talk to you. They're working on cars that can drive themselves using sensors, so they will never wreck. They'll know the speed limit and all that. So it's - you know, it's 10 years away, 15 maybe.

 

Ian Spelling:        Very cool. Well break a leg with the show guys.

 

Deanna Russo:    Thank you.

 

Justin Bruening:   Thank you.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        Thank you.

 

Coordinator:        Hal Boedeker with Orlando Sentinel, your line is open.

 

Hal Boedeker:      Hi Gary. I'm just wondering how different is the series from the movie?

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        It's a lot different. I think the movie just sort of set the table and bridged the gap between the original series and this series. That's how we like to look at it. This is a much faster pace.

 

                        It's, you know, kind of balls to the wall, flat out go, high octane adrenaline. And it's a real rush.

 

Hal Boedeker:      And who would you say it's aimed at? Is it a family show? Is it mainly for younger male viewers? Who's your audience, do you think?

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        Everybody. Everybody loves KITT.

 

Deanna Russo:    Yeah.

 

Hal Boedeker:      And can you tell me about any guest stars you're having?

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        Who have we had? I forgot.

 

Justin Bruening:   (Unintelligible)...

 

((Crosstalk))

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        We've had (unintelligible) - you know, we're in the middle of shooting and we can't remember yesterday hardly. And we're shooting multiple units at the same time. Justin and Deanna are running back and forth between two units, sometimes three.

 

                        We just shot on a Sunday. They shot all day and night, so we can hardly remember what yesterday was, let alone what the guest star of the week was.

 

Hal Boedeker:      Anyone from Las Vegas?

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        We've had people that have been on Las Vegas, but in terms of our stars from Las Vegas, no - not at this point.

 

Deanna Russo:    A lot of babe. There've been a lot of babes walking around.

 

Hal Boedeker:      Thank you.

 

Deanna Russo:    Thank you.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        Thank you.

 

Coordinator:        Bryan Cairns with Newsarama.com, your line is open.

 

Bryan Cairns:      Hey guys. Thanks for doing this interview.

 

Deanna Russo:    Sure.

 

Justin Bruening:   Thank you.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        Thank you.

 

Bryan Cairns:      For Justin, the movie touched on Michael's background and that he was previously in the war. How has that shaped him into the guy he is today and what have you enjoyed about the way they have flushed that history out this season?

 

Justin Bruening:   A lot of - you know, one of the new mythologies and one of the storylines to the series is actually Mike's past. He was in war, but there's also a - he doesn't remember a few years of his life while he was in war.

 

                        There are things that come up from his past throughout the series, people that necessarily want to kill him or, you know, his loved ones. And that really, you know, that affects the missions. That affects the - everyone's relationship with him.

 

                        And for him not to remember there's things that he's done that - you know, the things that he does remember are, you know, not good and the things that he doesn't are probably far worse.

 

                        So there are - there's a lot of more elements and it's a really - you know, it makes the character a lot more complex. So...

 

Bryan Cairns:      Cool. And for Deanna...

 

Deanna Russo:    Yes?

 

Bryan Cairns:      What role does Sarah play in Michael's life and adventures? I mean, do you consider her his trusty sidekick or what makes her important - an important member of the team?

 

Deanna Russo:    Well I mean, she's definitely got mechanic tendencies and I think she's just trying to prove herself as one of the boys. So she's been trained to fight but, you know, winds up getting in trouble and has to be saved a couple times.

 

                        But then in turn, there's a couple times when Mike gets in trouble and she has to save him. So it's tit for tat, perhaps.

 

Bryan Cairns:      Do you enjoy kicking some ass, then?

 

Deanna Russo:    Always, oh man, the best part of the job.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        She does it quite well.

 

Justin Bruening:   Yes, all over me.

 

Bryan Cairns:      Cool. Thanks guys.

 

Deanna Russo:    Thank you.

 

Coordinator:        Troy Rogers with The Deadbolt.com, your line is open.

 

Troy Rogers:       Hi guys. Thanks for doing the call.

 

Deanna Russo:    Hi.

 

Justin Bruening:   Thank you for having us.

 

Troy Rogers:       And Gary, I was just wondering what was the decision behind scheduling the premiere online a week earlier than television?

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        I'll be very honest with you, I didn't know anything about that until someone told me.

 

Troy Rogers:       Really?

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        So yeah, I just found out about that a few days ago.

 

Troy Rogers:       Really?

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        I still don't have official word from NBC on that, so I have no clue.

 

Troy Rogers:       Okay, I was just curious because it's all over the Net by the way.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        Yeah, that's how I found out.

 

Carol Janson:      I didn't hear that question. Could you repeat it please?

 

Troy Rogers:       The question?

 

Carol Janson:      Yeah.

 

Troy Rogers:       I just wanted to know what the decision was behind scheduling the premiere a week earlier online than it is on television.

 

Carol Janson:      Oh, I see. Okay, great.

 

Troy Rogers:       Okay. Actually, another thing - in the pilot movie, the mercenaries are almost successful in hacking KITT's system and I was wondering are you going to install Norton on him for the series?

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        We have Super Norton on him.

 

Troy Rogers:       Yeah?

 

Justin Bruening:   Yeah.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        Yeah.

 

Troy Rogers:       And just one more quick thing, I noticed The Montecito was in the pilot movie, too. Is there going to be any kind of crossover between Las Vegas and this?

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        There is no plan at this point. That doesn't mean there won't be in the future. It's already been there once.

 

Troy Rogers:       Right, so - okay, there's no talk of this. Okay. Thanks guys.

 

Deanna Russo:    Thank you.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        Thank you.

 

Coordinator:        Jenna Busch with UGO.com, your line is open.

 

Jenna Busch:      Hi. Thanks for doing the call. I was wondering about practical effects versus CGI with the car. Are you going to be doing - I know you said green screen. What's sort of effects will you be doing?

 

Justin Bruening:   There is a lot of green screen, but there's also a lot - we have a whole, you know, second unit that does...

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        It's a combination of both at this point. There's, you know, real driving and then there's - because the car is transforming, we need to do that CG. Also, it's just not cost effective, nor can we close down freeways, to drive 300 miles an hour.

 

                        Trying to drive that fast in the state of California is a little prohibitive. So we have to do green screen for a lot of those shots. But we're out doing stunts in highways that we can control. And so it is very much a combination of all of those.

 

Jenna Busch:      Okay, and then as a follow-up to that, stunt driving has - for Justin and Deanna, have you guys had to do any stunt driving or have any training in that area?

 

Deanna Russo:    Yes, and it was the most dangerous thing I've ever done. I still don't know how they green lighted that idea.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        Justin hit a tree.

 

Justin Bruening:   I did not hit a tree. I was (unintelligible)...

 

((Crosstalk))

 

Jenna Busch:      Really?

 

Justin Bruening:   KITT hit it. KITT hit the tree. I - yeah...

 

Jenna Busch:      Thank you guys.

 

Deanna Russo:    Thank you.

 

Justin Bruening:   Thank you.

 

Coordinator:        Jami Philbrick with CBR News, your line is open.

 

Jami Philbrick:      Hey guys, thanks for doing this.

 

Deanna Russo:    Thank you.

 

Justin Bruening:   Thank you.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        Thank you.

 

Jami Philbrick:      Yeah, I wanted to start by asking a question to Gary. You wrote the first two Fast and the Furious films and I was wondering what, from that experience, do you bring to this show and what - if you could talk a little bit about your working relationship with Dave Bartis and Doug Lyman, and their involvement in the show on a day-to-day basis?

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        The experiences from the Fast and the Furious was just drive fast and furious - a relentless pace and that there's an audience out there for cars. We're a huge car society, so people like to tune in for cars.

 

                        We try to remember that when we're writing the episodes. And Doug and Dave, my relationship with them is they're Exec Producers. I'm an Exec Producer and the show runner. So we communicate on all facets of the production from scripts through cuts.

 

Jami Philbrick:      Terrific. Justin, I wanted to ask you a little bit about working with Hasselhoff on the film and if you were intimidated at all. And what was that experience like for you?

 

Justin Bruening:   Oh, the experience was great. We had - you know, I was a little intimidated at first. You know, he was my childhood hero as far as, you know, Knight Rider being my favorite show.

 

                        And so when he came to the set I was fine until we were in the middle of the scene and he introduced himself as Michael Knight. And then I kind of freaked out a little bit.

 

                        But other than that, I mean, it was a wonderful experience and, you know, it's one of those that I get to tell my grandkids about.

 

Jami Philbrick:      Is there any pressure that you feel playing the son of Michael Knight?

 

Justin Bruening:   You know...

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        No.

 

Justin Bruening:   ...not at all.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        I told him he couldn't have any pressure.

 

Justin Bruening:   Yes, I'm not allowed to have pressure. I don't have time.

 

Jami Philbrick:      Well that makes that easy, then.

 

Justin Bruening:   Yeah.

 

Jami Philbrick:      And then last question to any of you, I just wanted to know how do you feel - you know, what kind of - you know, the veteran actors - film actors like Val Kilmer and Bruce Davidson, bring to the show - what level of authenticity and what's it like to work with them?

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        I can't speak for these guys, but it's great as a writer. You know that, you know - Bruce is great because he knows -- and Val as well -- that there's a lot of explanations to be done and that they can do it because they're pros and know how to deliver that information so it doesn't just sound expository.

 

                        So that's great from a writing standpoint. You only have basically 43 minutes to tell a story and at some point, no matter what the TV show is, you have to explain something.

 

                        And to have pros who can pull it off and pull it off in a way that it doesn't seem like it's just spoon feeding an audience is fantastic. Plus, you know, the great thing about Val is he has such a voice that he can sort of, you know, get in this character of KITT and he's able to go all the directions that we ask him because KITT is learning from a point to another point.

 

                        He doesn't speak with contractions. He doesn't do anything like that. And Val's really embraced the idea of - on a weekly basis, he starts to learn something more and in learning he actually imparts much more wisdom in some strange way than our humans do.

 

Jami Philbrick:      And what are those guys like to work with as actors?

 

Deanna Russo:    Well I have to say the best part is lunchtime because the stories that they tell...

 

Justin Bruening:   Yeah.

 

Deanna Russo:    ...well at least, Bruce. We haven't met Val yet.

 

Justin Bruening:   Yeah, we don't work with Val yet.

 

Deanna Russo:    But yeah, he's the most entertaining guy. I mean, the - like the projects he's seen and the stories he can tell.

 

Jami Philbrick:      Awesome. So thanks so much.

 

Deanna Russo:    Thank you.

 

Coordinator:        Neil Epstein with Knight Rider Online, your line is open.

 

Deanna Russo:    What's up?

 

Neil Epstein:        Hey guys. How are you doing?

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        How are you doing?

 

Justin Bruening:   Hi.

 

Neil Epstein:        Hi, good to talk to you again. So I was wondering - we had asked how, you know, the character changed from the pilot. But I'm curious now that you've been several episodes in, in shooting, how are the characters developing through the season? For Deanna and Justin...

 

Justin Bruening:   Want to go first? The - you know, with each script we - I found out more and more about Mike. And, you know, a lot of it - it's fun for me because a lot of it - there's a lot of things that he doesn't remember.

 

                        So every time I get a new script, there's always this little snippet. I'm like oh, look at that, you know, there's something else to add into my personality or, you know, my bag of tricks.

 

                        But his characters gets more - he just gets deeper every episode and he gets more complex.

 

Neil Epstein:        Right. And Deanna, is your character growing like from episode to episode?

 

Deanna Russo:    Yeah.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        We keep Deanna in the dark until right before she's about to shoot, and then hand her pages and go, go!

 

Neil Epstein:        Yes, because it's really at this point you're - you've done more on the new series than you have on the pilot. So it's interesting to hear.

 

Justin Bruening:   Yeah.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        Oh, they've done a lot more.

 

Justin Bruening:   Yeah.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        And, you know, each script there's something different. There's some relationship that's different. There's a little bit of back-story about what the relationships were like in the years past or months, or weeks past.

 

                        And so that they get to play with. Like Deanna just asked me a question - how come my dad wasn't there on my birthday, because we had an episode recently that it was her birthday. And I haven't answered her yet, but I will when we get off the phone.

 

Neil Epstein:        And I was wondering like character-wise, I saw on the production shot, photograph, Justin has this huge tattoo on his forearm. Is that something that's yours, Justin, or is that part of the character development?

 

Justin Bruening:   That's part of the character and it's something that plays into the storyline and continuing storyline of our show. It ends up being more than it seem.

 

Neil Epstein:        Oh cool. And then I was wondering have you seen anything post-production wise since you've been doing all this green screen? I guess is it still (unintelligible) and how close to, you know, finishing the first episode are you guys?

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        I've seen it, they haven't.

 

Justin Bruening:   We're not allowed.

 

Deanna Russo:    Boring.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        We're - we will be working on it up until the last moment actually. We have something like 700 visual spec shots in the first episode and they're complex effects. It's not - they're not just one layer effects.

 

                        They're up to eight and ten layers, so you multiple each effect by that and it's far more than the amount. It's the amount that a, you know, a huge feature would have. And to have that in an hour TV show is unheard of.

 

Neil Epstein:        Great. Well thanks for your time guys, appreciate it.

 

Deanna Russo:    Thank you, Neil.

 

Justin Bruening:   Thank you.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        Thanks, Neil.

 

Coordinator:        Monica Sotomayor with Flash News, your line is open.

 

Monica Sotomayor:   Hi guys, thanks for doing this call.

 

Justin Bruening:   Hey.

 

Monica Sotomayor:   So clearly KITT is a wonderful part of this show. Can you guys just go back and tell me a little bit about maybe the coolest car that you've ever personally owned or, you know, whether or not you named your car back in the day, or anything like that?

 

Justin Bruening:   I had a 1976 Chrysler Cordoba with maroon Corinthian leather.

 

Deanna Russo:    What was its name?

 

Justin Bruening:   It didn't have a name.

 

Deanna Russo:    Boring.

 

Justin Bruening:   Well it's a name that I can say and it was this piece of s...

 

Deanna Russo:    Ah, the POS car.

 

Justin Bruening:   It was a POS.

 

Deanna Russo:    I had a 1992 Hyundai Excel. Everything was manual but the transmission. He was a little white piece of plastic and I called him Elroy.

 

Monica Sotomayor:   Elroy, I like that. Gary?

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        I had a 1958 GMC pickup that my grandfather gave me when I was 12 and there's a long story attached to it, but that was probably my favorite.

 

Monica Sotomayor:   Awesome. Thanks so much you guys.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        Thank you.

 

Deanna Russo:    Thank you.

 

Justin Bruening:   Thank you.

 

Coordinator:        Troy Rogers with The Deadbolt.com, your line is open.

 

Troy Rogers:       Hi, I'm back again. I'm just wondering, Justin what's the - what's your favorite bell or whistle on KITT?

 

Justin Bruening:   Favorite bell or whistle on KITT?

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        It's actually the bells and whistles that are on KITT.

 

Justin Bruening:   It is - as far as bells and whistles, that's a hard one.

 

Deanna Russo:    I think...

 

Justin Bruening:   Well each week we have...

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        There's something new.

 

Justin Bruening:   ...you know, something new each week. You know, I fall in love with something and I get a new script, and there's a new something. So I always - you know, there's new little buttons to push and gadgets (unintelligible)...

 

((Crosstalk))

 

Deanna Russo:    That's not true. I'll speak for Justin. KITT is this like (veers) - like this little like globe...

 

Justin Bruening:   Orb...

 

Deanna Russo:    ...this orb thing that instead of the three lines, you know, lighting up and lighting down, it's now three dimensional orbs and removable. So Justin likes to take it out in between scenes and just like play with it.

 

Justin Bruening:   There.

 

Troy Rogers:       Actually, for you Deanna, how much do you know about nanotechnology now?

 

Deanna Russo:    More than I ever thought I would in my entire life. It's - you know, it's - what's funny is I'd never heard of it before the pilot. Apparently it's a real thing.

 

Troy Rogers:       Actually, speaking of the nanotechnology Gary, how easy is it going to be to fit in new technology as you guys go because just a couple weeks ago they discovered invisibility or something, I was reading.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        Yes, they did. We're on top of that. That's actually in an episode.

 

Troy Rogers:       Oh, okay.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        It's sort of a cloaking device. It's fairly easy because we have a super braniac in Deanna's character who comes up with new technology and is able to program the car.

 

Deanna Russo:    I say big words.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        Yes, really big words. I try to actually make up the words just to see if she can actually say them.

 

Deanna Russo:    (Jerk).

 

Troy Rogers:       Nice. Thanks guys.

 

Coordinator:        Joshua Maloni with Niagara Frontier Publication, your line is open.

 

Joshua Maloni:     Deanna, we know obviously that Justin, you know, was a big fan of the original series and of Hasselhoff, but what was your experience? Had you watched the series growing up at all or what was sort of your background coming into this?

 

Deanna Russo:    Yeah, I'm a little sister of a big brother who dictated everything on television and Knight Rider was always on. That, and the A-Team, and Dukes of Hazzard. I mean, all of it.

 

Joshua Maloni:     All right.

 

Deanna Russo:    No, we didn't watch (Air Wolf)...

 

Justin Bruening:   Come on. You didn't watch (Air Wolf)?

 

Joshua Maloni:     All right, thanks.

 

Deanna Russo:    Thank you.

 

Coordinator:        At this time we have no further questions.

 

Carol Janson:      Well everybody, you better not be so shy because with the way that these guys are working, I don't know when they'll be able to do a conference call again. But that means they have a few more minutes to eat lunch.

 

                        So think quickly. If you have anymore questions, ask them now. If not, (Tanya), can you please give everybody the replay number for the call?

 

Coordinator:        I do have one more question.

 

Carol Janson:      Okay.

 

Coordinator:        Jason Griffin with TVaholic.com, your line is open.

 

Jason Griffin:       Yeah, hi. I was wondering if you guys could each talk about what's been the most fun element for you guys on the show.

 

Deanna Russo:    Every day is kind of fun.

 

Justin Bruening:   Yeah, we have fun every day on this show.

 

Deanna Russo:    Yeah.

 

Justin Bruening:   I mean, that's - you know, I always say that this probably is the most fun show on television. Our entire cast and crew, we're always laughing and we're always having a good time.

 

Deanna Russo:    Because it's about a talking car.

 

Justin Bruening:   Yeah.

 

Deanna Russo:    So we can get away with a lot of, you know, things that wouldn't exist in real life, you know. Like well a question that is why do I have so much makeup on when I'm working at the gym - oh yes, because the show (unintelligible) I can get. It's the punch line of the day always.

 

Justin Bruening:   Yeah.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        Oh sorry, me - just working with Justin and Deanna. They're absolutely fabulous. That's my favorite part.

 

Justin Bruening:   Aw...

 

Deanna Russo:    Gooey.

 

Justin Bruening:   Did they hang up on us?

 

Jason Griffin:       Okay, thanks.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        Thank you.

 

Carol Janson:     Thanks very, very much guys for giving up a good part of your lunch hour. Thanks everyone. It was really an interesting call and a lot of call.

 

Gary Mednick:     Yeah, Justin, Gary and Deanna, thank you for your time.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        Thank you.

 

Deanna Russo:    Thank you.

 

Justin Bruening:   Thank you.

 

Tram Nguyen:     Thanks guys.

 

Carol Janson:      Bye everybody.

 

Gary Scott Thompson:        Bye.

 

Justin Bruening:   Bye.

 

 

END

  • Shani

    I Just love Deanna Russo. She is just so cute.

    Very innocent face.

    The way of acting, just superb.

    Keep it up :) i just want you to contact me at my email add. Just one time :) I will be very happy for this kindness :)

    God Bless You :)

    Take Care Deanna :)

    Regards

    Shani

  • AdamTrek

    Neil,

    Good questions you posed. I also noticed the three of them really were cool to you, especially Deanna. "What's up?" Saying your name twice (Deanna and Gary) and everything! I notice things. Good for you. They know a true fan vs. media all day long.

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