Transcript of the 2/11/2000 TV Guide Chat with Gina Torres

OnlineHost: “TVG Gina” has entered the room.
TVGLive2: Welcome Gina! Thanks for coming!
TVG Gina: Hello everybody out there!
Question: How much are you and you character, Hel, alike?
TVG Gina: LOL! Other than being 500 years apart...I think we both have a strong sense of responsibility and morality. I don't have the weight of the world on my shoulders so I can sort of relax about it, more so than Hel can. But I would say that is our strongest bond.
Question: gina, I watch your show all the time, its the best! But how long did it take to develop?
TVG Gina: So glad to hear you are watching all the time - makes me very happy! I would say that this conceptually this idea has been floating around in the head of Rob Tapert and RJ Stewart for the better part of two years. They knew they wanted a show that had strong women in it and a lot of action. As well as the humour that you come to associate Hercules and Xena with. But it really wasn't until the beginning of last year that it really came together in their heads as what you see it to be today.
Question: Where is Cleopatra filmed?
TVG Gina: New Zealand, Auckland. Picturesque.
Question: Gina I love the show!! Are they developing any romances for your characters?
TVG Gina: Everybody whats Hel to get some and that is so encouraging! There are no plans for a romance for Hel, but, you know, write those letters! Anything can happen! She has a lot of things on her mind and right now I can't see how the creators would see her focus on her on the missions. She has her hands full keeping Sarge and Cleo in line.
Question: how was it working with Kevin Sorbo, Lucy Lawless, Michael Hurst & Renee O'Connor?
TVG Gina: Great! I spent most of my time working with Kevin and Michael, as you know, mostly I did Hercules. And the Xena episode I was in Lucy and Renee weren't in it at the same time. SO we actually shot one scene together. But they were lovely.
Question: you are very gorgeous lady,is there a man in your life? TVG Gina: Yes. And that's all I'm gonna say! But thank you very much!
Question: Gina, you are magnificient. I heard you sing at the Pasadena Xena Convention cabaret. You were awesome. Do you plan to pursue a singing career?
TVG Gina: Singing is something that has always been part of my career. And I did musical theater almost exclusively for five years. And toyed with a singing career for a minute, for all of a minute. But acting is my first love. And not to the exclusion of singing, and should the opportunity come up to incorporate my singing into any kind of work, then, yes, that would be a wonderful thing. But thank you so much, I appreciate so much that you like what you heard in Pasadena.
Question: hi Gina! Thanks for answering my question in Pasadena. It was "How DId You Get Started?" I also told you about the colored envelope. I wrote you again with another color envelope. Did you get it?
TVG Gina: I haven't gotten the second one yet, but I may, if you sent it to the same address, then it may very well be waiting for me in LA.
Question: Out of all the roles you've done, which has been your favorite, or most challenging?
TVG Gina: Ooo. I have to say that at the moment doing this show is the most challenging. It is so physically demanding, more so than anything I've ever done. So I have to say as far as pushing the envelope in that way, it would have to be Hel in Cleopatra 2525. Emotionally, I played a runaway slave who had to kill her own child. That was quite a challenge and very difficult to do. For obvious reasons.
Question: How do you get along with the rest of the cast?
TVG Gina: Great! We're still all alive! LOL! The rumours aren't true! We do, we get along really, really well. Which is surprising to most people because we are three completely different women. But the one thing that we have in common is our sense of humor. They're very similar, we love to laugh and tell jokes, and that's what gets us through our 14, 15 hour days.
Question: What do you like to do in your spare time? Any hobbies?
TVG Gina: Sleep. Sleep is big. I write. I cook. I read. I'm a lover, almost obsessed ,with old movies. And all movies I should say.
Question: is it true u do your own stunts? do u get hurt a lot?
TVG Gina: Yes and kind of. LOL! We do most of our own stunts and we have had injuries on set. And it's par for the course. You can't expect to do the kind of action that we do without getting bruised and bumped and sprained a little bit.
Question: What is your favorite episode of Cleo so far? How many episodes have you filmed? TVG Gina: So far we've shot 14. I'm not exactly sure what my favorites are. I know Flying Lessons aired last week and that was a lot of fun to do. But it's hard to tell. We shot a lot of great episodes, a lot of fun episodes, and I'm going to get to see and experience them along with everybody else because so much of this show is done and completed after we're gone. Between special effects and all the blue screen stuff and the editing and the music. It's almost a different animal by the time it hits the TV.
Question: What has been the most humorous thing that has happened while filming? TVG Gina: Oh gosh! It's week by week. We tend to get, especially towards the end of the week, really punchy, so anything can happen! LOL! And what usually happens is that Vicky and I have these alter egos which sort of come out to play. And they are kind of punch drunk boxers! LOL! And we have a lot of fun with them, and the crew doesn't always know what to do. But they bear with us! And hope and pray that Gina and Vicky do their jobs between action and cut!
Question: What made you decide to go into acting? TVG Gina: It wasn't a decision. It was something that I had to do. It was just something that I knew that I wanted to do all of my life. And I toyed with the idea of doing other things, mostly because I knew my parents weren't thrilled with the idea, but there was no other choice for me.
Question: Are you going to do any movies?
TVG Gina: I hope so!
Question: Who has been your role model in life?
TVG Gina: My mother was a big role model for me. Professionally I look at everybody. Everybody's work. Personality, spirit. There is really no one person that comes to mind.
Question: What was you first big break as an actress?
TVG Gina: Hmm. I'd say Personally was my first job. Because it was the lead in a very popular musical at the time. And the fact that I got it was sort of this sign from God, it was like here's a test for you, cause it wasn't an easy to do. And the fact that I was able to do it, enjoy it, conquer my fear, go for it and excel, for me personally was a huge break, because it meant that I was doing exactly what I was meant to be doing. That was Dream Girls. And Cleopatra is a huge break as well, but I have to say that it is a culmination of all the work that I've been doing in the business all these years, to sort of prepare me for that.
Question: With all of us wondering how the show (Cleopatra 2525) is going to unfold, can you sneak in a few secrets to your loving fans? :)
TVG Gina: LOL! Flattery will get you nowhere!! I think you'll learn more about Sarge's past. As well as Hel's past in the next few weeks. But no earth shattering secrets that you can't wait for!
TVGLive2: Thanks Gina for joining us this evening! We had a great time!
TVG Gina: GOODBYE! Thank you everybody for watching and I hope we continue to entertain you and that you will allow us to. And that you are having as much fun watching us as we are doing the show.