Saturday, July 17, 2010

Triple Threat Alona Tal On Singing, Acting, and Creating Character Arcs...

Fans of Alona Tal probably already know that the girl can sing. She has recorded songs with Wyclef Jean and showed off her pipes at fan conventions' karaoke nights around the world. But she doesn't usually get to marry her two loves (music and acting) on-screen, even though she says she always looks for roles which will allow her to do so. This Sunday, though, that will change when she guest stars on Leverage as a country singer involved with a shady producer who needs the team's help to get her stolen demo tapes back.

"I love the show," Tal gushed exclusively to My Life, Made Possible by Pop Culture. "I think it's a great show. I know it has a pretty wide audience, so for me, to get to as many people is also a good idea," she added when asked what made her want to sign onto the TNT drama.

"[But] also the character, you know?" She explained. "For me, at this point, it was different...That kind of girl I didn't have under my belt. The accent was a challenge, and it was all very quick. I don't know how long people [think it takes] to work on guest spots, but it's not very long. So to get to do that, with the time constraints that we had was a challenge. And, you know, to marry the two [of singing and acting] with a real character behind it in a fun show-- when it presented itself, I was like 'Yes, please'!"

Tal admitted that country music is very different from her usual style, but working with show star Christian Kane, who also wrote the song she sings on-screen, was a lot of fun as well as a learning experience. In a way, he took her under his wing to help her nail not only the notes but also the emotion needed to make the performance as believable as possible.

"He told me the story behind writing the song. He told me the story behind the episode and how he's used it in his life, and he told me a lot about his career, and he kind of just let me roll with that," Tal shared. "And then the other pointers were more technical. But his support and guidance was more about his presence there while I was doing all of those things because I really wanted to make sure he was happy with it, seeing as how it was so close to home for him."

Tal actually sings twice in the episode, the first time being one of those rare cases where the actor is actually singing live in the scene. Usually when filming a big musical number, the actors record the song in a studio for the "perfect" track to get laid over the scene in the post-production process. But in the opening of the episode she has an acoustic moment that she says was "technically impossible to do any other way" than live.

Considering Tal hopes to get to sing on-screen more often, she probably wouldn't be opposed to resuming her role as fallen hunter Jo Harvelle on The CW's Supernatural and doing so there. But the fan favorite clarified that she didn't know if that was really a possibility for the most basic of reasons: she hasn't officially been asked back yet.

"I have not heard a single word. So, is it a possibility? Of course; there's always a possibility. They mentioned back [during season five] that they would like to have me back if it works out."

Tal stressed that the key to her reappearing on Supernatural is "if the writers decide to go in that way." Rumors flooded Twitter after her appearance at a fan convention in New Jersey that Jo's return was imminent, but Tal explained that was because someone took something she said she had heard as a fact: "A fan behind the stage told me that they read an interview with the two writers and that they had mentioned that there might be a possibility for Jo and Ellen to come back. I didn't know that."

And to date, she still has not received the offer, though the show began production on the sixth season last month up in Vancouver. Similarly, Tal isn't currently signed on to any more conventions, but that is not to say she won't later on. "Whenever they call and ask [if I'm available] I usually say yes," she said. So if you want her there, write in and request her!

But with all of these elements still up in the air, My Life, Made Possible by Pop Culture thought it would be the perfect time to ask Tal what arc she would want Jo to embark upon if she does come back. Tal took a moment to ponder and then said very definitively: "I don't want her to come back as a ghost. I almost want to have God give her a second chance because she sacrificed herself for all of this, but I'd like for her not to remember a thing."

I asked for clarification on that, as well. Did she want Jo not to remember her death and where she went after or her whole life before it, too?

"She wouldn't remember her life," Tal was clear. "I wouldn't want her to remember anyone. But then I would have her be put in compromising situations and find this new strength that has nothing to do with anyone but her own. I think it also opens up new possibilities for whatever "clean" relationships with the boys without any weird past."

But of course the boys would still remember, which Tal considers the even more interesting part. She ran with the idea: "And then maybe you'd have moments where you think she might remember, or maybe they'll try to make her remember. Maybe Dean's a little frustrated because she can't remember the kiss. I just thought of that!"

Maybe Sera Gamble should bring her back not only as an actor but also as part of the writing staff because the show can get a lot of tension and mileage out of that story arc! Something tells me that all the fans voting for Dean and Jo for The CW Source's "Best Kiss" would be on board!

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