TV Guide Chat — Legacy
TVGEN: Welcome! Brett Cullen, star of UPN’s new drama series Legacy, will be chatting live with us tonight. Hello, Brett. Glad you could join us this evening.
Brett Cullen: I’d just like to say hi to everyone and hope that they’re enjoying Legacy. I hope they’re enjoying watching it as much as we enjoy making it.
Cardinalseven: Hey Brett. What’s up?
Cullen: I’m about 6’2″.
hypergirl98_98_98: How old are you?
Cullen: Old enough to play the father of these kids!
Cardinalseven: Tell us about your show.
Cullen: It’s a period drama in 1881. The story of a single father trying to raise his children on a horse ranch. The day-to-day drama of raising a family, the heart, drama, and complexity of this life.
trevorlockwood: How long have you been in the acting business?
Cullen: I’ve been making a living as an actor since 1979.
Sexy_69_98_1998_98: Who is your favorite actor?
Cullen: I have several faves. Spencer Tracy and Gary Cooper, and for more modern actors, Robert Duvall, Gene Hackman, Robert DeNiro.
WhiteTiger_21: What would you tell someone who wants to go into acting?
Cullen: To study acting in a university situation. Read as much literature as possible and do as much theater before TV and film as possible because that’s where you get your experience. An educated actor is the smartest thing an actor can become.
BSBsuperfan: I am a big fan and I would like to ask how you deal with the fame and attention and more importantly the media?
Cullen: Hmmm… I have up to this point in my career not had to deal with fame so much because I manage not to publicize myself so much. The work comes first. At my age (whatever that might be) I believe I’ve worked long enough and been around the business long enough to know that the stuff people are saying about you is their opinion and that you have to stand by your work and believe in it as I do in Legacy. It’s still flattering to know that people recognize you and like your work. It tickles me.
Chee_key: Please tell me you’re not married?!!
Cullen: Unfortunately for your sake, I am married, and happily at that. I have a daughter as well.
MiwaHi: How did you get your role in Legacy? An audition?
Cullen: No, I was offered the part. I read the script and really loved it and had a phone conversation with Chris Abbott, the producer. We talked, and I said I’d get on a plane to fly out to Richmond, VA, where we shoot the show.
Ramona25H: Do you have input into the show? I noticed that you have worked with Ron Melendez on another project.
Cullen: I have some input in that Chris respects my opinion, but the producers, including Atlantis Films, have final say. There’s an upcoming episode in which you get to meet my dead wife, which resulted from conversations between myself and Chris. And yes, I have worked with Ron Melendez on an NBC movie of the week, The Perfect Body. Obviously they weren’t talking about me.
Quintara17: Are you really good friends with everyone on the show?
Cullen: Yeah. The cast is extremely close. I play golf with my “sons.” We go out to a karaoke bar and some nights we play poker. Ron Melendez thinks he’s the big poker player, but naaah.
B_S_G_98: Hi, this is Nina and I love the show. I watch it every Friday. I’m skipping a party on Friday so that I can watch the show. Tell me a little about your character.
Cullen: First of all, thanks for missing the party and watching the show. My character is Ned Logan, a widower who’s wife died giving birth to his youngest daughter. I breed racehorses and I want to keep my family tight together, and I haven’t remarried because my children are far more important than finding a wife. It says something about Ned that he puts his family first.
MiwaHi: You played Sam in Young Riders. You seem to often play good guys. Would you prefer to play bad guys?
Cullen: I would like to think that there’s a grey area of a good guy occasionally making a wrong step. But playing men of good values who you can look up to is rewarding, although playing a bad guy is fun!
Monica_87: What is your favorite thing about show biz?
Cullen: The freedom it allows me. You get paid fairly well, travel a lot, and meet a lot of interesting people.
BSB_LOVER20: What is to come in the future of the show?
Cullen: I think you’ll see the characters becoming more involved with each other. You’ll see my dead wife in an episode, “Homecoming,” a four or five hankie episode. There’ll be more horses and racing as we grow closer to the Kentucky Derby.
WhiteTiger_21: What else have you played in?
Cullen: I did Apollo 13, and Something to Talk About with Julia Roberts. I did Orleans (a series with Larry Hagman), From the Earth to the Moon (a series with Judith Light), The Young Riders, The Thorn Birds… a lot of one-hour dramas and miniseries. I was in the director’s cut of Wyatt Earp but got cut from the theatrical cut.
WhiteTiger_21: When does the episode “Homecoming” air?
Cullen: I don’t know the date, but keep your eyes peeled. There’ll be an episode in which I go into a coma, and that will lead into it. I think it’s the ninth one — closer to Christmas time. My daughter asks me about what her mother sounds like, and I can’t answer that. I actually get the head injury and go into the coma in “Homecoming.”
Lady_Skylar_ofthe_DarkRose: Are you from the South, ’cause you sound like my North Carolinian hick friends.
Cullen: That’s so charming! I was born and raised in Houston, TX, but moved to CA in 1979. I pride myself on being able to do a lot of accents.
MiwaHi: What would you expect from the character you play now? More romantic situations?
Cullen: Yes, and that’s forthcoming… so keep your eyes peeled.
wolfpack999: Are you involved with any other projects right now?
Cullen: I’m involved as a producer with several projects, unnamed at this point, with my own production company.
MiwaHi: Have you considered directing one of the episodes of the show?
Cullen: Yes I have, and there have been discussions, but nothing concrete. We want to make sure we have a solid audience base first, and then I’ll take a stab at that. I’d like to do that so as a producer I’ll understand what the director is going through and facilitate the director’s process.
rosebudgogo: How many hours a day do you work?
Cullen: I generally wake up around 5 and work through 6 or 7 pm.
Skater345: Is it hard for you to see your family when you are filming all the time?
Cullen: My family is with me in VA, and sometimes my daughter and wife come visit on the set, hang out, and have lunch. In fact, my daughter has her own chair with her name on it. She’s friends with all the cast, and when she noticed everyone’s names on their chairs, she said, “Where’s my chair?!” So I had the propman get her a chair.
_Oneofakind_: What is your favorite episode?
Cullen: I think, probably the pilot and the “Homecoming” episode are my two faves so far. I like the two-parter that just aired a great deal. We were very fortunate to have Melissa Leo play Ron Melendez’ mother. She was outstanding.
mar35_98: Who is the person who had the most impact on your life?
Cullen: Four people. My mom and dad, my artistic father Cecil Picket — my acting teacher at the University of Houston. He just passed away. And my wife — my best friend. Oh yeah — my daughter, who opens up my eyes to stuff I missed.
CRUSHADAMS: Whatever happen to The Omen, the series pilot you did?
Cullen: HA! Fox decided not to do a series based on it… ah well…
Garett60: What was your best part ever?
Cullen: I think I’d have to say three so far. Ned Logan on Legacy, Apollo 13 as part of that great cast, and From the Earth to the Moon to portray Dave Scott, with whom I’ve become friends. It was a privilege. He was an advisor.
Nickey_Carter: What was your most embarrassing moment?
Cullen: I don’t know if I have one that bad, but there have been many. I did something called Dead Solid Perfect for HBO about the PGA tour. I was lining up for the first tee, and I managed to hit a ball into a woman’s foot. She had to go to the hospital. This was unlike me, because I play a lot of golf. I have a 10 handicap. I guess I was nervous.
CRUSHADAMS: Are you related to Bill Cullen, the game show guy?
Cullen: Not that I know of. I’m related to the Cullens of Texas, a fairly well-known family down there.
jayjay5_98: Did you like working with Julia Roberts?
Cullen: I loved working with her, and had more fun off set when we’d go dancing and have dinner. She was a joy to work with, and being from Georgia, a good proper Southern girl.
Ramona25H: Is there a website devoted to you or do you shy away from that sort of thing?
Cullen: No, there isn’t one yet, but you can check into the Legacy one through a link at www.upn.com.
TVGEN: Thanks for joining us tonight, Brett.
Cullen: I really appreciate you watching the show.
TVGEN: Please join us again.
Cullen: Tell your friends, and I feel in my gut that this is a fine show to watch. I appreciate it.