Quarantine has presented us with new opportunities to think outside of the box and get creative in how we go about our everyday lives. For me, it was drinking wine in every room of the house and calling it a wine tour. For CBS, it was using Zoom and Facetime to shoot a quarantine episode of “All Rise,” which airs on Monday, May 4.
But don’t be fooled, this isn’t your sorority sister’s Zoom happy hour. Simone Missick, who stars as Lola Carmichael in the show, talks about her experience filming the unconventional episode in a recent interview with WrapWomen.
Are we going to see Lola’s storyline progress in the same way it would have been if the series continued in the normal format?
Similar to you and I, the coronavirus has affected the everyday lives of Lola and the rest of the characters on “All Rise.” In this episode, we will see how Lola is managing her job, marriage and family in the midst of a global pandemic.
It’s not the original scripted storyline, but it very much falls in line with the arc of Lola’s character throughout this season: her commitment to serve justice in varyingly difficult situations.
What difficulties did you face not being able to physically interact with your costars during filming?
The technological aspect–communicating through a screen–was one hurdle. Having to look at the green dot on the camera was another. The courtroom scenes were the trickiest. For storytelling purposes, I had to place the actors opposite of where they were on the screen. I would be looking at Emily (Jessica Camacho), but really talking to Mark (Wilson Bethel). Eventually, I had to print out pictures of everyone and tape them onto my computer screen, which in-turn blocked my view of the actual actors. In one scene, Mark was making a funny face, but since I couldn’t seem him, I had to imagine what he would look like and react accordingly.
Typically, when I’m acting on set, I rely so much on the non-verbal: body language and all the unsaid things that make a connection feel real and alive. Although filming remotely wasn’t ideal, it forced me to get creative and find new ways to connect with the other actors.
How did you prepare for filming by yourself for the first time?
Normally, the most “prep” I do (outside of the actual scene work) is styling my hair or painting my nails. In comparison, this process felt like shooting a guerrilla indie film that I starred in, co-produced and ran 13 other departments for. There was one day that I had three costume changes, two different hair and makeup looks and three locations in my house. I’m moving furniture and setting up the shot all while running lines. It was bananas!
I tell my crew members how much I love and appreciate them every day. But doing this without them made me value them even more. Our art form is TRULY a collaboration, and there are no unimportant members on any crew.
Why is it important for people to watch this episode?
We are all dealing with this pandemic in various ways. For people to see how “All Rise” is handling some of these situations is important. In an industry where most production is shut down, this is our way of trying to connect with people, and to show we are ALL in this together.