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The Brett Cullen Web Site Chat — Legacy

12 April 1999 No Comment


Moderator: Brett will be joining us via telephone shortly. Marion Zachary will be on the telephone with Brett. At 9 p.m. ET, the room will become a moderated chat room. At that time the only ‘voices’ you will see will be the Moderator(s) and Brett’s. You can still type your questions in below at any time but they will only show up on your screen and the moderator’s. The Moderator will send your questions to Brett.

Moderator: Welcome everyone, we have switched to Moderated Chat.

Moderator: Brett is about to enter the room.

Moderator: Please begin sending through your questions

Brett Cullen: I‘d like to welcome everybody to the chat and thank you for coming and hope I can answer all your questions.

Moderator: SJ: Brett, have you ever been invited to play in the AT&T Pebble Beach Golf Tournament? Would you like to play?

Brett Cullen: No, I’ve never been invited and I’d certainly like to play! (laughs)

Moderator: Jen: Hi Brett! Are there any similarities between you and Ned Logan?

Brett Cullen: Um, Hi Jen, and yes, there are…because I have a daughter and I think it’s important to be a good father figure to your children. That’s one of the reasons I took the part, because of the family aspect of the show.

Moderator: janett-marie: My husband and I really enjoyed “Legacy” –we miss it…my question is 2 fold.. 1) as an actor, is it difficult and frustrating to create a character such as Ned and know how the story and character can develop only to have the show canceled and 2) what has been your most challenging role to date?

Brett Cullen: It’s not so much difficult as frustrating — to fall in love with a character and then to have a network not appreciate it. And then to cancel the show without actually having them see the rest of episodes not shown. And the most challenging role to date would probably be either playing Dave Scott in “From the Earth to the Moon”…or Ned in “Legacy.”

Moderator: amy23: Hi Brett! In “Search Party,” Ned went through such a gauntlet of emotions, how did you prepare yourself for that episode, (you were so great in that, btw)

Brett Cullen: I guess I was primarily motivated by….what I focused on was imagining that my own daughter was taken and what that would feel like. And those emotions were very real to me because I dearly love my daughter.

Moderator: logans_legacy: I hear you are good friends with Meatloaf… do you call him Meat… Mr. Loaf… or by his real name?

Brett Cullen: I call him Meat! That’s his name! That’s what he wants to be called. And also, Meatloaf, Meat Loaf, is two names.

Moderator: SJ: What is in the works for future projects?

Brett Cullen: Hmm..Meat and I have a production company and we are trying to produce 2 or 3 films right now — we are looking for financing. And the name of the company is Yellow Rose. Also, we are waiting to find out about some other projects, but I’d rather not talk about them until I know more for sure. And we will post them on the web page as soon as I know.

Moderator: Jess: Brett, do you keep in touch with any of your former cast mates from “The Young Riders?”

Brett Cullen: Um…I kept in touch with Travis Fine for a period of time, but I haven’t heard from him in a while. And I saw Stephen Baldwin before I left for Virginia at a golf course. Melissa Leo, of course, was in “Emma” and “Search Party.” And I dearly love her.

Moderator: violin_girl23: Hey Brett! I have enjoyed your work since “Falcon Crest.” What was it like to work with Jane Wyman and the rest of the cast?

Brett Cullen: It was a real treat to work with her and I enjoyed the role that I played. And it paid for my very first house, so I loved it!

Moderator: Gevra: Hi, Brett, have you heard anything about the likelihood of the show staying alive on another television station?

Brett Cullen: Um..I talked to Chris Abbott yesterday and there is the possibility that another network might be interested, but we won’t know for a while.

Moderator: logans_legacy: Is there anything you would simply not do on screen?

Brett Cullen: Ah…full frontal nudity! (laughs) But seriously, I have a hard time doing anything that I have to explain in depth or apologize to my daughter for.

Moderator: nursepat12: Brett, just thought I would ask if there was any other little thing Ramona and Mare could do for you?

Brett Cullen: Have a network buy our show!

Moderator: logans_legacy: Where did you grow up?

Brett Cullen: I was raised in Houston, Texas — lived there until I graduated from the University of Houston and then moved to California… Los Angeles..

Moderator: amy23: I love the Ned/Lexy relationship, they have such a strong, unique bond. Are you close with Sarah off camera?

Brett Cullen: Yes, I’m very close to Sarah, in fact, she and her family were at my house yesterday and we went out to dinner. She is my daughter’s idol! I think she was one of the best actors on our show. I love her very, very much.

Moderator: logans_legacy: Who have been your biggest influences in acting or life?

Brett Cullen: In acting it would be Cecil Pickett, who was my acting teacher in college, who just passed away and is really missed. In life, it would be my parents, my wife and daughter, and my dear, dear friends who have supported me. But mostly, my wife and daughter.

Moderator: Sandy: In “The Hired Heart,”” you looked very much at home behind the piano. Do you have any musical training?

Brett Cullen: I’ve played drums for eight years, and I play a little guitar and had to learn to play piano for that role, and it was very challenging (laughs)…but I have a lot of friends in the music business, and I watch them and can tell how to act when you are playing.

Moderator: Jen: Have any “Legacy” cast members asked you for personal advice?

Brett Cullen: Yes, they have. Ron and I are very close, and I’m close to Jeremy, and I, in many ways, am a sort of sounding board for them, not in terms of acting, but in terms of their personal life. You become what you play, and I sort of became their dad in many ways.

Moderator: logans_legacy: Of all the characters you have played, which is most like you?

Brett Cullen: Hmmm…let me see….You have a situation that occurs when you play a role and it starts to come through in your personality, and I’d like to think I’m a lot closer to Ned than some of the other roles I’ve played. But I think the character I played in “Orleans,” with Larry Hagman, was very close to me, he had a dark side, and it touched on the that side of my nature…but I’d rather be thought of as being closer to someone like Dave Scott, who is a wonderful man, and who likes to run and drink beer, just like I do.

Moderator: BunkhouseGal: Which of the characters you’ve portrayed would you want to portray again and why?

Brett Cullen: Umm, I would think probably Ned. I would dearly love to continue to play him. I love the show and would want to work with Chris Abbott again, who I adore — and I would love to play Dave Scott again and the character from Orleans. There’s a show I did, called “Keys,” a 2-hour movie of the week, and we talked about doing a sequel, but it never aired in the United States. I played a cop..I had a flat top.. you’d never recognize me. I would love to play that one again.

Moderator: Allene: Brett, I just wanted to say that you are my favorite actor, I was wondering if your are going to stay with “Legacy” if it goes to another network?

Brett Cullen: Thank you, thank you very much, and I would definitely go to another network!

Moderator: Maribeth: Hi Brett! If you did not have an acting career what would you be doing?

Brett Cullen: Ah..(laughs) I would have tried to be a pro baseball player, which was my goal before acting — if not that, I would have tried to write.

Moderator: Sandy: What rodeo events did you participate in while on the pro circuit?

Brett Cullen: I was never on the pro circuit — I did charity events for Ben Johnson, I was a team roper and a team penner. And we would do one pro team and one actor team.

Moderator: logans_legacy: Was working with Julia Roberts intimidating or just a whole lot of fun?

Brett Cullen: It was not intimidating, it was a whole lot of fun! She’s just a good ole Georgia girl and we would go out two steppin’ and we had a lot of laughs.

Moderator: Gevra: Brett, have you heard any news of success with the “Keep Legacy Campaign?”

Brett Cullen: We’re not sure about the success, but it does have some impact, because it has renewed Alliance’s vigor in trying to sell the show.

Moderator: amy23; How long have you been riding horses?

Brett Cullen: Since I was a child.

Moderator: What are some of your favorite Legacy scenes?

Brett Cullen: My favorite scene in “Legacy” was the scene with my daughter in Homecoming — at the very end when I go in to tell her what her mother sounds like.

Moderator: BunkhouseGal: What was the funniest thing to happen to you on the set of “Legacy?”

Brett Cullen: (laughing)…one day Ron and Jeremy took my car and I was “wrapped” and they had to work, so I moved their car, and they had two different cell phones and I switched them! And also, things that couldn’t be aired like the horse would fart or go to the bathroom and we couldn’t use the scenes.

Moderator: Holly_in_KY >>is nervous because she has never done this before…I just wanted to express my enjoyment of your character on Legacy and was wondering if you will be coming to the Kentucky Derby with the other celebrities this year.

Brett Cullen: Um..don’t be nervous…I really appreciate that you enjoy Ned on “Legacy,” and I don’t know that I am coming to the Kentucky Derby, but if I get an invitation, I would happily go.

Moderator: Evalina: What is the general spirit among the “Legacy” cast? upbeat, nervous, hopeful…?

Brett Cullen: I would say a little nervous and hopeful at the same time. Frustrated…would be another adjective I’d use because we would all love to do the show.

Moderator: Phyllis: Brett, what inspired you to choose the acting profession?

Brett Cullen: A man by the name of Cecil Pickett inspired me to become an actor…and after I did my first serious play and saw what affect it had on the audience, and in the process, began to learn so much about myself, that I realized it would teach me to learn how to become a better person as well as learn to create other worlds and other characters. Also, I don’t think acting is something that an actor should do for himself, I think it should be something he does for the audience..if he is doing it for himself, he is just self-absorbed…without an audience, one doesn’t work.

Moderator: Allene: Hi Brett, I read that you are a big history buff, are you in any history reenactments?

Brett Cullen: No, I’m not in any history re-enactments…but thank you anyway!

Moderator: Evalina: Do you feel like you’ve “arrived?” Do you feel famous?

Brett Cullen: (laughs)…I’ve worked as an actor for 20 something years and I don’t think I’ve arrived…no I don’t feel famous, I feel like a working actor.

Moderator: Jen: Has there been a time when you disagreed with the writers as to the how Ned would handle a situation?

Brett Cullen: I wouldn’t use the word disagreed, because I think Chris works as a collaborator — I would read the scripts and give her my ideas as to where Ned should go emotionally and for the most part, she agreed. When push came to shove, Chris was the boss, but usually, we were in agreement.

Moderator: Phyllis: How do you feel about the fans rallying to bring the show back on the air?

Brett Cullen: It makes my heart soar. I’m very grateful…

Moderator: Evalina: What is your dream role?

Brett Cullen: I would like to play this character by the name of Monty Walsh..a book written by Jack Shaefer, he wrote “Shane.” I would like to make it into a miniseries…that’s been a dream of mine for years.

Moderator: Sandy: What do you like to do when you’re not working?

Brett Cullen: Umm..I love to golf, I love to surf, and I love playing with my daughter and wife — not necessarily in that order.

Moderator: ddixon: Have you been playing more golf since you returned to California? Have you ever played with wooden golf clubs? I have some that were my grandfather’s–antiques, but its much harder to use because your accuracy has to be precise.

Brett Cullen: No, I haven’t been playing much since I came back to California because I’ve been traveling. And I have played with wooden golf clubs, that’s what I started playing with — they were my aunts and they were antiques, but I hope to be playing soon again.

Moderator: Jess: Do you ever visit any other web sites devoted to you, or TYR (The Young Riders)?

Brett Cullen: No, I haven’t actually, because I just became computer literate ..Meat and I got on line so we could communicate from different continents.

Moderator: Allene: Did you enjoy filming in Richmond, VA?

Brett Cullen: I loved filming in Richmond. It was a unique area that hadn’t been used before in a television show. I was there for eight months and was never in one traffic jam, and came back to LA and was in two the first week I came back. I love Richmond.

Moderator: SJ: Do you have an office to request autographed photos, or just a photo?

Brett Cullen: The Gersh Agency, it’s on the web site…

Moderator: acqed: Do you have an interest in recording, or was Life’s a Lemon just a fun thing to do with a friend?

Brett Cullen: It was actually a fun thing to do ..my wife and I went in with another couple and had a blast in the studio… I was there for a lot of the recording…Meat was in LA instead of NY.

Moderator: AmeliaRose: How would you like a new network to handle “Legacy” differently than UPN did? What would it take to get the audience it deserves?

Brett Cullen: I think the new network would have to publicize the show more fervently and I think that an audience is out there waiting to discover the show. I wish UPN would or could have been more patient because if they had I think the show would have succeeded. I personally think it’s the best show UPN has on its lineup. The classiest and best show…but I’m prejudiced!

Moderator: Jen: Which “Legacy” scenes were most difficult for you? Why?

Brett Cullen: hmm…I think there was a character that the network brought on the show to be my wife, I think that playing scenes with her were difficult for me, to buy that Ned would marry her without knowing her very well — that was difficult for me as an actor, but I took it and ran with it and did the best I possibly could.

Moderator: Merry: What was your first acting job?

Brett Cullen: My very first was..I worked in a theater..my first paying job was a dinner theater production of “Guys and Dolls” and I played Rusty Charlie. And the first paying TV film job was a small role in a small role in a TV show called “Girls in the Office.” The first job in California was a series called “The Chisholms.”

Moderator: myscribe: What kind of impact does the fans supporting “Legacy” after UPN cancelled it, have on you?

Brett Cullen: It is extremely flattering to the whole show and to me and I hope it has an impact on the production company. And I thank everyone for supporting it.

Moderator: ddixon: Who owns the rights to the last four episodes already taped? Will UPN show them? If not, who did your character end up marrying?

Brett Cullen: UPN owns them and will show them in the summer. Just watch and you’ll see..it’s a very unsavory character.

Moderator: Jen: What are the most difficult scenes to perform? Why?

Brett Cullen: Well, scenes that are exposition, because you’re just telling info…you’re discussing it.. to the audience.

Moderator: janett-marie: Since you enjoyed playing Ned Logan and Dave Scott (two strong, intelligent men) do you have a romantic side that we as fans would ever get to see?

Brett Cullen: Well, if you saw “Something to Talk About,” and the “Hired Heart,” you would definitely see a romantic side! Ned and Dave didn’t, and they are the only ones that really didn’t have a romantic side…the rest have been romantic…

Moderator: Jen: How many pages of dialog did you have to memorize daily? How did you manage it?

Brett Cullen: Anywhere between 5-8 pages and is not difficult, because if you’ve done theater and worked on stage and done Shakespeare…memorizing a TV script is child’s play!

Moderator: SJ: Hi, Brett! Since you wanted to try being a pro, what is your favorite baseball team? The Astros?

Brett Cullen: Abso-lutely! (laughs) The Astros! Maybe one day they’ll win the championship!

Moderator: Lilah: At one point on “Legacy,” it looked like you were filming at Westover on the James. Was it Westover, and where was the Logan house?

Brett Cullen: We definitely filmed at Westover and it was the Winter’s house, and we also shot at Berkely, and the Logan house was Tuckahoe Plantation and that is where Thomas Jefferson lived between the ages of 2 to 9.

Moderator: Jen: Are there any “Legacy” characters that you would like to see modified? How?

Brett Cullen: No, that’s Chris Abbott’s area!

Moderator: Tammy: Did you enjoy working with your wife on “Legacy,” and have you two worked together before?

Brett Cullen: I adored working with my wife, I would love to do it more and we worked..we’ve done several projects together..she was in Apollo 13 and she ended up being cut out…she is a wonderful actress, my wife.

Moderator: Sandra: Hey Brett, where do you like to surf and what kind of board do you ride?

Brett Cullen: Umm, I like to surf Point Dune, I like to surf Venice Beach and Baja, California, in a spot that will remain unnamed, (laughs) and Kauai, Hawaii. And the board that I ride is a 7’4″ Johnston surfboard that was shaped by my friend Andy Johnston and I have a 7’10” Becker that I surf on and a 9 foot 6 Becker Long Boy.

Moderator: sprite: Do you act on the stage at all? If yes, how different is it?

Brett Cullen: Yes, I’ve acted on stage a great deal in the past. But I haven’t been able to the last few years. And the difference is it’s an immediate reaction to the audience as opposed to television. Once the curtain goes up, there’s no “Cut!” and “Take two.”

Moderator: nursepat12: Do you own any animals?

Brett Cullen: Yes, I have a cat.

Moderator: ddixon: Do you really read your own fan mail?

Brett Cullen: Yes I do!

Moderator: Jen: Have there been any practical jokes played on the set?

Brett Cullen: I would always tell Jeremy Garrett that he was wanted on the set and he wasn’t, and he would come storming back in, cussing me!

Moderator: Jen: What a unique perspective! In what way does acting teach you to become a better person?

Brett Cullen: When you play a role, you first have to look to yourself to find a connection to that character. For instance, if you’re playing a racist or a bad guy, you have to find something in yourself to find that connection, so it is real — and then exploring that, you discover things about yourself and it forces you to confront them and overcome them, because in my mind, you believe it’s the kind of person you want to be.

Moderator: SJ: What was it like when you filmed “The Thorn Birds?” Were you actually in Australia? What season, and for how long? That was another great cast to work with, I would think.

Brett Cullen: It was a real thrill to be in “The Thorn Birds.” We shot in Simi Valley and Hawaii. And it was half a season — it was a great cast to work with, I was very blessed with that!

Moderator: BunkhouseGal: Which character you’ve portrayed was the least like you.

Brett Cullen: Umm…there was a TV movie I did called “Complex Fear,” a true story that took place in Atlanta. I played a serial rapist…it was not a pleasant experience to play that character.

Moderator: Jen: Do people recognize you on the street? Are they intrusive?

Brett Cullen: Sometimes they do…but no, they are not intrusive, they have always been polite! An actor that doesn’t expect that shouldn’t be an actor.

Moderator: violin_girl23: I read that you were in a band with Dennis Quaid. Did you ever record an album?

Brett Cullen: No, I was not in a band with Dennis Quaid…he had a band and I was just friends with the band and watched them perform. So, no, I never recorded an album, and neither did Dennis!

Moderator: BunkhouseGal: Would you let your daughter go into acting?

Brett Cullen: Hesitantly…but if that is what she chooses to do with her life I would support her 100%.

Moderator: Jen: If “Legacy” returns, do you have any aspirations to write any episodes?

Brett Cullen: Yes, I would try my hand at that…I am trying to do that now — writing another script, not Legacy.

Moderator: logans_legacy: If you could work with anyone, who would it be?

Brett Cullen: I would love to work with Gene Hackman, Clint Eastwood. Directors I would like are Larry Kasden, and Ron Howard, Tom Hanks, and the list goes on forever of other people.

Moderator: Jen: Have you ever had any bad experiences with horses?

Brett Cullen: Not really! I’ve only been thrown twice in my life and that was my fault. And that was while I was roping.

Moderator: ddixon: I have really enjoyed watching you as Ned Logan. You are able to use your body language so effectively to convey emotions. Is that something you learned at the beginning of your career or did that develop over time? That little hat trick where you twirl your hat was cute. Was that your idea?

Brett Cullen: Body language…that just comes with time…and the hat trick was mine — I taught the boys how to do it.

Moderator: Jess: Has it been your experience that most of the casts you have worked with in various shows have been close knit, or is it kinda like, everyone does their own thing?

Brett Cullen: It’s been my experience on most of the shows I’ve worked on, that a family-like atmosphere takes over on the set — the cast and crew become merged with one another in a strong ensemble. And that it’s a wonderful, creative process that everyone enjoys.

Brett Cullen: I have to go…but I want to thank everyone, especially Ramona and Marion, for putting this chat together, and hopefully we’ll be able to do it again in the future. And I deeply want to thank all the fans of Legacy for their continued support, and I hope we can continue performing for you! And I must now go cook dinner for my family!

Moderator: Thank you, Brett, for coming here and talking with us!

Moderator: The floor is now open for general chat! Check the web site for the latest news on Brett Cullen.

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