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Media Mike Interviews Maurissa Tancharoen

14 September 2011 Leave a comment

Interview with Maurissa Tancharoen Whedon

September 11, 2011 by Mike Gencarelli

Maurissa Tancharoen Whedon is best known for co-writing “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog”. She also was a writer on “Dollhouse” and “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena”. Besides writing Maurissa is currently appearing in the web series “The Guild” and also just worked with her brother Kevin Tancharoen in “Mortal Kombat: Legacy”. Media Mikes had the privilege to chat with Maurissa on her various projects.

Mike Gencarelli: You have worked with your husband Jed Whedon on numerous projects, how is it always collaborating?
Maurissa Tancharoen Whedon: Fortunately it’s a very harmonious working relationship. We sort of balance each other out as far as our creative processes go. I tend to be very detail oriented and over think things at times. Jed is capable of thinking stuff up on the fly. He will often throw out some ideas and I will be the one to pick out which one works and then we massage it into something that we both feel comfortable with. It’s definitely a ying and yang situation. I’m glad it is because if it wasn’t we probably wouldn’t be working together. (Laughs)

MG: How do you feel about writing for such projects ranging from “Dollhouse” to “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena”?

MTW: We are very grateful to have the chance to work on all these great shows. Me personally, when Istarted to get into writing seriously I always imagined myself writing on “Sex in the City” or a CW show. I never thought I would be pulled into the sci-fi/fantasy genre. I love it and am happy that I have discovered it. Of course having Jed who has always liked those things worked out great. Going from “Dollhouse” to “Spartacus” is something I like because it allows us to change things up and we never get bored.

MG: What was it like working with your brother, Kevin Tancharoen, on “Mortal Kombat: Legacy”?
MTW: He is my younger brother but I have always looked up to him. He has just been incredible since he was born. I don’t understand. (Laughs) When we were kids he was always coming up to me wanting to show me what he had done on his computer. He hates when I talk about him being the little brother. Just seeing him on his set with the cast and crew and directing something that he also wrote was great. I was just happy to be a part of it. I would have been there bringing him his water just to get to see him working. Getting to work with him professionally was a great experience. That was the first time he directed me or told me what to do…in front of other people. (Laughs) I was happy to be in it saying lines my brother wrote.

MG: Can you tell us about your work on this season of “The Guild”?
MTW: I have been a fan of the show since season one. I had heard about it when we were looking at casting Felicia Day to play the Penny character for “Dr.Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog”. Joss had worked with her on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and said she would be great and the part and that we should watch her series “The Guild”.  I checked out the show and fell in love with it. The characters and cast are just great. When she asked me this year if I would like to play a part on the series I couldn’t believe it. I was over the moon! This season is really great and it’s much bigger than anything in the past. I feel all the cast are just shining. I can’t wait for everyone to see what happens.

MG: Out of all the songs on “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog”, what is your favorite?
MTW: That’s hard. I really love “Everything You Ever”. That song gives me the chills. We actually recently watched on tape for a stage production done during Comic-Con for “Dr.Horrible”. Seeing people take something we had done and interpret it themselves and then adapt it to stage was very cool. The way they did the last song “Everything You Ever” was really great. It warms my heart that people love that project so much. It’s very exciting that it’s still alive years later.

MG: I love your song with Jed called “Remains”, any plans to release more music?
MTW: Yes in fact. We have been working on an album which has been really cool. I am not exactly sure as to when it’s going to be done but I think we might do a five song EP initially. We currently have three songs done and we are working on two more. I don’t know what’s going to become of it but we are just going to do it! “Remains” was a song Jed and I did strictly just for “Dollhouse”. We had no idea people would love it so much. A friend of ours came to us wanting to direct a video for the song. We basically shot it on the fly and people really responded well to it. The song has been out for two years but some people are just now discovering it which is great.

MG: Any top secret information you would like to leak to MediaMikes.com?
MTW: (Laughs) “The Avengers” is going to be a really cool movie! I really feel it’s going to knock people’s socks off. We have been privy to a lot of the stuff going on with the film and from what I hear it’s going really smooth and is going to be great.

Original Interview at Media Mikes

Support Club Mo in the Walk for Lupus

17 August 2011 Leave a comment

On 24th September 2011 The Lupus Foundation of America are having a charity Walk for Lupus to raise much needed funds for research into a cure and to raise awareness.. Maurissa Tancheroen and her friends and family will be taking part in the walk and you can sponsor either Club Mo as a whole, or individual team members including Joss and Jed Whedon.  Many have already reached their goal, but more money always help. Donate here and help kick some Lupus ass.

Maurissa Tancharoen Joins The Guild

27 April 2011 Leave a comment

Maurissa TancharoenMaurissa Tancharoen has joined the cast of The Guild for the new season which is currently being filmed. She recently tweeted the following:

Had so much fin @theguild read thru last night. I’m beyond happy I get to be a part of this season. @feliciaday + cast + crew rocks.

Source: @MoTancharoen

IGN Interview Maurissa Tancharoen

12 April 2011 Leave a comment

Sing-Along with Dr. Horrible’s Book!

Dr. Horrible co-writer Maurissa Tancharoen talks about the new book about the making of the cult webseries, and her acting role in Mortal Kombat: Legacy.

US, April 9, 2011

Created while most TV series were shut down during the Hollywood apocalypse known as the 2007-2008 Writers’ Strike, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog has turned into a true cult sensation. Directed by Joss Whedon, the webseries, starring Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion and Felicia Day, has seen its fandom grow in the years since its debut, complete with t-shirts, soundtracks and comic books – And now there is even a book to commemorate it. The just-released Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog Book takes a loving, comprehensive look back at the making of the webseries, including a round-table discussion between the writers, the complete script, the sheet music, a ton of photos and much more.

One of those writers is Maurissa Tancharoen, who co-wrote Dr. Horrible with her husband, Jed Whedon, and his brothers, Joss Whedon and Zack Whedon. Dr. Horrible fans will also remember Tancharoen as one of the Captain Hammer groupies in the series. With the release of the book, I asked Tancharoen — who currently writes for Spartacus, alongside Jed — a few questions about Dr. Horrible, via email. I also asked a couple of questions about Mortal Kombat: Legacy, the new webseries her brother, Kevin Tancharoen, has directed, and which Maurissa is acting in.

Dr. Horrible

Team Horrible: Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, Joss Whedon,
Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, Felicia Day and Zack Whedon
IGN: Dr. Horrible was such a small project by Hollywood standards. Is having a book of this sort come out stand out to you as a symbol of just how successful it’s become?  

Maurissa Tancharoen: When flipping through the book, we’re definitely reminded of how small this project was and how incredible it is that a book even exists for us to flip through.

IGN: There are a lot of photos included from the production. Were you guys documenting mainly for fun at the time, or did you know that no matter what happened, you wanted to chronicle the making of this project?

Tancharoen: A little of both. Making Dr. H was such a ride we all wanted to capture the experience. We also knew we should have a professional photographer on set to document everything. Just in case it went big and we wanted to share our experience in, oh I don’t know, a book for instance.

Dr. Horrible
NPH as Dr. H
IGN: What’s your favorite inclusion in the book? Anything you were particularly happy is a part of it?  

Tancharoen: The sheet music. Dr. Horrible fans have been asking for that for a while. Many have transcribed it on their own over the years. It fills us with joy that people love the music that much.

IGN: You were part of a pretty large group of writers for just one project. Even though you guys are really close (especially that Jed dude and you!), were there any disagreements to get through or was it pretty smooth sailing?

Tancharoen: We had nothing but a good time making Dr. Horrible! We were creatively in sync during the whole process! These are not lies I’m telling you!

Dr. Horrible
Day, Joss Whedon and Tancharoen
IGN: For a while we were hearing some tidbits about a sequel, but obviously the participants, yourself included, are all very busy now. Do you think it will eventually happen?  

Tancharoen: We desperately want it to happen. But yes, we’ve all been pretty busy. We have a few songs already written (one that is demoed) and an overall outline for the sequel. So it’s getting there…

IGN: I have to ask you about Mortal Kombat! Anything you can say about what you play?

Tancharoen: I play Kana, Scorpion’s wife. And I had to learn how to speak a little Japanese which was a bonus.

IGN: What was it like working on that project, knowing your brother had been able to make this unofficial short and get so much excitement behind it that it had turned into an official Warner Bros. production?

Tancharoen: Everything Kevin does makes me proud. Probably to the point of annoying him. That short was just too amazing to not turn into an official production. The director/actor dynamic was a new thing for us. I could tell he was a little hesitant to tell me, his older sister, what to do at first. He got over that after take two.

Original Interview at IGN

Crushable Interview Maurissa Tancharoen

9 April 2011 Leave a comment

Monday, April 4, 2011

Interview: ‘Dr. Horrible’ Co-Writer Maurissa Tancharoen on “Breaking” the Help Nathan Buy Firefly Movement and Reviving ‘Dollhouse’

By: Natalie Zutter

Maurissa Tancharoen and Joss Whedon

Last week we shared seven behind-the-scenes tidbits from the Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog companion guide, which featured memories and photos from the cast and crew. Now we’ve got an exclusive interview with Maurissa Tancharoen, writer, actress, and singer, who has been welcomed into the Whedon clan both personally and professionally — she co-wrote Dr. Horrible in 2008 and married writing partner Jed Whedon (Joss‘ brother) in 2009.

Since the musical’s unprecedented success, she’s worked on Drop Dead Diva and Dollhouse, and is currently writing for Spartacus: Gods of the Arena. She’s also appeared on Dr. Horrible co-star Felicia Day‘s webseries The Guild. Crushable spoke with Tancharoen about her geek past and future, including her favorite TV show growing up, responding to the misguided Help Nathan Buy Firefly movement, and upcoming musical projects.

Did you consider yourself a geek growing up? If so, what kinds of fandoms were you involved in?

I considered myself a small Asian girl who was terrible at sports.  So yes?  But I was overjoyed when Dance became part of the PE curriculum during my sophomore year in high school.  I could finally prove I was coordinated.  Growing up, I was a huge syndicated-television fan.  I watched endless hours of I Love Lucy (I had clothing, lunchboxes plural, magnets, figurines, and would walk around saying “Luuuuuucyyyy…”), The Three Stooges, Gilligan’s Island, Fantasy Island, and Three’s Company.

How did Joss approach you to work on Dr. Horrible?

The character, Dr. Horrible, a supervillain who is basically villainy-challenged, was an idea Joss had been toying around with for a bit.  He originally envisioned it as a podcast until he saw the brilliant hilarity that Jed, Zack and I (along with our friend, Nick Towne) posted on the youtube.  I like to call it “the youtube”.  This brilliant hilarity I’m speaking of was one of the countless strike videos that bombarded the internet during the Writer’s Guild Strike a few years ago.  But OUR strike video was a gem. And Joss knows when he needs to grab a hold of something so precious. Covet it, and crush it with love, and then snort it.  That’s just how he lives.  So what was the question?

From looking at your IMDb page, it appears that Dr. Horrible was your first songwriting credit. How, then, did you approach the songwriting process; and was it more exciting, or nerve-wracking?

During my singing group days, I wrote a few songs.  Are these songs I want you to hear?  A resounding NO.  And over the years, Jed and I have written a lot of songs together.  I guess you could say our relationship started in music.  I guess you could also say barf.  But he is the musical genius and I am his sidekick.  I’m usually like, “What if it goes something like this?”  And he says, “Shut up.”  And then I’ll suggest, “Or maybe la la la?”  And he says, “Go to your room.”  That’s basically our process.  It’s totally fun!

an we expect any musical projects from you in the future, either as a lyricist or singer?

Yes.  We’re actually working on a few little somethings right now…

It’s great to see that you pop up in videos like The Guild‘s “Do You Want to Date My Avatar” and the Legend of Neil episode “Les Neilerables”, as well as the Dollhouse series finale. It seems that in addition to being a collaborator with Felicia Day, the members of The Guild, and others, you’re also friends. Can you talk about that group dynamic?

I love being friends with the people I work with.  It makes the job even better.  I admire and respect Felicia and all those folks tremendously, so to be able to collaborate creatively with them and just plain hang out?  It’s awesome.  It’s rare to come across people you genuinely connect with, especially in this business, so I’m grateful.

It was your tweet that effectively ended the Help Nathan Buy Firefly movement right as it seemed like it might get out of control. What was your reaction when you first heard about it? And have you received any negative messages from fans for what they may see as “spoiling their fun”?

Oh man… Yes, I guess I broke Help Nathan Buy Firefly.  I did not intend to. Honestly, I knew nothing about the movement until my twitter feed and facebook email were suddenly filled with questions about it.  I looked into it and thought I was echoing what Nathan Fillion and Jane Espenson had tweeted before me.  But apparently my tone came across as abrasive.  That whole event was… not my favorite experience.  There were many cruel things posted about me and when someone said “Kill the messenger!” I was shocked to say the least.  We all were.  When Joss found out about it, his response was, “Who to the what now?!”  He was going to say something on my behalf but I thought we should just let it be.  Damage done, moving on.

What was your experience like in writing the Dollhouse one-shot comic—was it similar or vastly different from writing for the show?

It’s a blast.  We’re able to continue our love for the Dollhouse story and reveal more about the Epitaphs timeline [the first-season and series finales] without being limited to production restraints.  It’s a win-win.

Original Interview at Crushable

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