The actress breaks down the 4 day shoot for this popular, internet based show
Coastal Dreams is an exclusive new show only on NBC.com. It is a drama featuring two young women living, working and playing in the scenic seaside town of Pacific Shores. Love and danger unfold as their friendship is put to the ultimate test over the course of 24 interactive episodes.
Zoe needs to escape her Texas hometown after her boyfriend goes more than a little psycho on her. She packs up her bathing suit, grabs her best friend and fellow college grad Stacey and heads to California to visit her wealthy cousin April. Staying in April's seaside mansion seems like the dream vacation, especially after the girls meet April's hot boyfriend Christian and the dreamy local deputy, Will. Things take a turn for the worse quickly though when Zoe starts receiving menacing text messages from her ex...and the locals reveal their ulterior motives.
Recently, we had a chance to chat with Tanee McCall who plays Stacey on the show.
Could you describe for readers the character you play on Coastal Dreams?
Tanee McCall: Stacey is actually Zoe's, played by Danica Stewart, best friend. They went to college together and she's just applied to Law School, she's about to go into Law School. She's just smart, and sassy and fun. She's just trying to have a good time with her friend on their last summer as kids, and she's always very worried about her because she has a stalker. So she's protective as well.
What attracted you to Coastal Dreams? Was it the character and all the things you thought you'd be able to do with her or the subject matter?
Tanee McCall: I honestly really just loved the idea of the new form, the internet. I just bought an iPhone yesterday and I have a computer sitting in my lap right as we speak. I pretty much, from the second I wake up to when I go to sleep, I'm on the computer for some reason. I just thought it was a great new medium for entertainment television. As well as, I really did like the character of Stacey. Just her being so smart. I find it really hard to find good roles for African American women my age, that don't show us in a negative light. I really liked that she was headstrong, street smart but also book smart, that was important to me. She went to SMU and I actually went to SMU, oddly enough. There's a lot of similarities other than the fact that she's a lawyer and I'm an actress.
Was making something for the internet a different experience compared to working on the other things you've done?
Tanee McCall: We shot it really fast. We only had 4 days. Mark (Cole) the director did a great job. We got as much coverage as we could, everyone was professional, other than the speed of it everything was pretty much the same. We did a lot of behind the scenes things as well to keep it interactive for the target audience that we have. I think that they really enjoy it. There's a lot of cool things for them to enjoy, other than just the show.
During that 4 day period did you guys knock out all the episodes for the first season of the show?
Tanee McCall: We did! We had about a 65 page script and four days and we just shot it as quickly as we could. We tried to give the viewers what they wanted. We had fun but it was intense. I actually prefer things that way... get it done with than to spread it out. We got to bond a lot for our cast because when you're in those kinds of conditions you've got to, "Hurry, hurry, hurry." You have to really be trusting of the person sitting across from you. I literally met Danica two second before we did our first scene... and we're suppose to be best friends for life, you know what I mean? It worked out that way.
Is there a direction you would like to see the show take? Maybe something you'd like to see your character do?
Tanee McCall: That's a really good question... I don't want to give away the ending of the series. The one that came out yesterday, I asked out Will (Ken Luckey) and you'll see what goes on with that relationship and what transpires there without giving too much away. I think that she may find herself more independent. I'll just put it that way. And I think that route is a good route.
What you like viewers to take away from the show seeing as how it is, like you mentioned, a new form?
Tanee McCall: It is. What do I want them to take away? I hope that the fun that we had on set, they feel that when they watch it because we really had a good time and came together. It was really collaborative and I loved that. Mark was very open about ideas it wasn't like everyone was telling us what to do, we had a lot of say. I hope that that comes through to the audience as well.
What do you have coming up next?
Tanee McCall: Right now, I'm just writing, actually. I wrote a full screenplay but I condensed it into a short and just submitted it to Sundance. It's called Strange Fruit and I'm also starring in it and I wrote it and produced it. Hopefully that gets into Sundance. The actor from Stomp the Yard, his name is Columbus Short, he directed it. We're just hoping to be in Utah in January, so that is what I'm working on right now.
Coastal Dreams is currently airing exclusively on NBC.com.