Real Audio Chat
The transcript is of a Real Audio Interview with Christopher Ralph and Brooke Nevin on January 7, 1999. This chat took place at 9:10 am EST. If I'm not too sure of what was said, I'll put what I think I heard in brackets .
Real Audio Guy: ...little bit for a moment while we get these slugs out of our ears.
Christopher Ralph: Yeah, yeah..
Brooke Nevin: *laughs*
RA: Who's idea.. er... was the concept of the Animorphs?
BN: Well actually, um... the TV show is based on a popular kids series by Katherine A. Applegate, and she actually came out with the books a couple of years ago so they've been [fighting] for a while. And umm.. our TV show is based on the books but we have the same characters, the characters have the same personalities, the same sort of evil bad guys. But we do have our own stories, and episodes do deviate from the books and I think that's more interesting for the kids, especially the ones that have read the books, just so that they have something different to watch from what they've read.
RA: I think it's so interesting because actually this program kinda takes some of the old fables, the old tales that we used to, when I was a little kid, the things that we used to read about, but there wasn't that high tech aspect like uh..what you're talking about, touching somebody and then acquiring their DNA. We didn't know what DNA was in those days...
CR: Yeah, yeah..
BN: That's right.
RA: So you're.. it's kinda of a high tech fable type show then, right?
BN: Yeah, I mean.. um.. as we approach the millennium, you know, there's the space travel and everything, and so it's got all these modern aspects I suppose with space travel and DNA and all those things.. so you know, it's suited to the times I guess you could say.
RA: Now, getting into a program like this and then playing characters like these how do you feel about that personally, is this kind of a way to live out a fantasy and at the same time, I guess, get paid for it, right?
CR: Um.. it's certainly fun to get into this world because there's such an awesome responsibility placed on these kids but at the same time, it not, uh.. it's not things that you think about in everyday life.. you know.. war, and hunger, and all that sort of thing, which are obviously very important themes, but it's a fantasy. And it's fun to just think of like five kids bonding together and fighting these evil aliens who's trying to take over the world. There's a real feeling of camaraderie there and sort of 'us against them', and 'good vs. evil' and all that. It's a great world to live in for a little while.
BN: I think it's just a way also of you know like, any artist, whether that be a painter or a musician, it's just a way to express yourself and I think the neat thing about acting is that you can express yourself in so many ways as different people, and I think just like what Chris was saying it's fun to put yourself in to that world and think maybe just for a moment, that this is really you. And that you can always be safe in that world because it's not a reality, but sometimes it's fun to think it is.
RA: Absolutely, I think that's what very... a great many of us wish we could do everyday, you know.. (laughs)
CR: Sure... it's a great job.
RA: ..it's not a great world, you'd kinda like to escape from time to time.
RA: Tell me more about the storylines, now, you have this particular one that you were talking about. Now is this a continuing event or does the storylines change? Are they like a serial or do they change each week into a different storyline?
BN: Well I think the episodes are definitely connected in that they help you understand what the whole overall plot of the [something I didn't catch], you know, their lives, and the stories are in the sense individual stories but they are connected. And for the people who actually haven't seen the first episode it might be harder to understand, but Saturday, January the 9th they can catch up on all the episodes that have ever been aired. So this is called Animorphamania and then the next day on Sunday, January 10th they're airing a whole new hour special new episode called The Capture part 1 and 2 and that's on Sunday at 8pm which also starts a new timeslot change for Nickelodeon.
RA: Okay, now let me ask you this: see this program reminds me somewhat, now don't take this as an insult because it's not at all. I've got two little grandsons who love to watch this sort of program and they love your program by the way, but I think back to the Mighty Morphing Power Rangers I think kinda started this concept of young people in groups that are fighting for the good. Is there a comparison there?
CR: Well there's definitely that sort of theme again, the good guys vs. the bad guys and everything in sort of a intergalactic playing field carries over to our show but I mean, I was never one to watch that show, a fun show I'm sure it is, but I think we have more of a character focus. Yeah an emphasis on the characters and on the lives of these five people because it's not just they were, you know, showed up to work one day and their assignment was to defend the world we sort of.. you know, they fell into this and they're struggling with this. They're the only ones struggling with this because the rest of the world doesn't know about it, and that's part of their job as well to keep it secret, so nobody panics, so sure similarities, but I think, very important differences as well.
RA: Well I think that Power Rangers too is more of a physical thing and it sounds to me like yours is more of a mental approach.
BN: Definitely, and I think that this is important because I think it gives kids the sense of empowerment that, you know, it's a special thing that these are five kids doing it as opposed to adults and they have, umm... they are smart enough to outwit these bad guys, and I think that's an important factor in our show. And I also think that as opposed to other show too, our series is a bit more complex, and it also widens the age range where kids can watch because it's a neat show for younger kids to watch with all the special effects and the suspense, but also on a larger level for the older kids because they can relate to the characters and the stories are more continuous and I think that even though it's a sci-fi world it's very realistic in a way.
RA: [I] was talking about younger kids too. Younger kids have this tendency to look up to the older brothers and sisters, and I think that you must some way, sort of approach that field, I think, here.
CR: Sure, absolutely, yeah, yeah. And I guess this is probably a good time to mention that on Friday night at 7pm there'll be an opportunity for fans of the show, and maybe people who haven't seen the show to learn more about it and ask questions to get online and ask questions of Tobias, Marco and Cassie, or rather the people that play them and it's on America On Line and the keyword is NICK. For anyone out there who wants to call up and ask any sort of questions or make any sort of comments they want about the show.
RA: Just www.nick, N-I-C-K at AOL?
BN: [..C-K]. I guess all you have to type in on AOL is NICK and it'll bring you right to the chat.
RA: Just the four letter word?
RA: Oh great! That makes it just super, now you beat me to the punch on the question. I was going to get to that, but explain a little bit more about that website by the way.
BN: Well, this actually isn't necessarily a website, this is just a chat, online event. Scholastic actually does though, have a website about the Animorphs at http://scholastic.com/animorphs and it's a really good website. It's got all the information about the books out and the characters in the books, but also a whole section on the TV series and episodes and about us too, so it's a neat place to go as well.
RA: Alright, spell that Animorphs for us if you will.
CR: That's it.
RA: Go on just www.animorphs.com, right? Is it .com or...?
BN: Actually it's http://scholastic.com/animorphs/
CR: Pretty simple..
BN: You can also just type in on your server, Animorphs, and it will give you a list of all the sites 'cuz there are a lot of sites and then just go to the Scholastic site.
RA: Oh there you go, now there's the easy instructions.
BN: Yes. (laughing)
RA: Let me ask both of you now and you can answer in whatever order you want to, did you ever, when you were beginning to get into this acting business, ever think that you would be doing something like this?
BN: I think that your.. [says something I can't make out]
CR: Umm.. the answer is absolutely no. No, I didn't have any clue that I'd be doing anything like this, and not that I didn't want to because I'm just having the best time, really, but I never did any film. This is my first film job and I'm just having a great time and I'm thankful for the experience and can't wait to get back at it for next season.
RA: Of course it's a great job too because, as we were talking about earlier, you can live out some of those fantasies you probably couldn't live out any other way.
CR: True. Absolutely, yeah, yeah.
RA: Do you have any uh... can you give us any [hints to] of some of the things we're going to be able to see in the new season?
BN: Well, the new season is a continuation of this season, but I think you'll see more special effects, you'll see some spaceships and you'll see some really cool morphs and I think overall, it's a more exciting half to our season and I think that kids will really enjoy it.
CR: Yeah, and I think that just dealing with my character, alot of the, sort of, mysteries surrounding Tobias will be explained somewhat. So any of the people who don't know where he's coming from will find out exactly where.
RA: Something I should have asked you a few moments ago, but it's not too late. We keep talking about these kids, now what is the average age of the Animorphs?
BN: Well, uh... I would say they're 14-15 years old and just a normal bunch of teenagers and they're all good friends and they're, you know, they have to do their homework and they have to fight aliens and I think it makes for a pretty good show.
RA: Are they going to put together a rock band [here] in the future?
CR: You know we might do that actually, yeah..
BN: Yeah, I think...
CR: We'd play all the interstellar gigs and stuff..
RA: Okay, I'll be your agent.
CR: Great, great..
RA: Oh.. let's get back again to this weekend, now this is a big weekend. How many hours of Animorphs will be available?
BN: Well from 1pm to 6pm is when they're showing all the episodes that have ever aired, and that's Saturday, January the 9th called Animorphsamania and especially for those who perhaps missed the first couple episodes or tuned in just lately it's a good way to catch up on the storylines and I think it's a good introduction to the second part of the season. [something] for those who just want to see all the episodes again because they're fun to watch.
RA: Are they going to be in order?
BN: Yes, I think so.. I believe so, yes.
RA: Okay, good. I know a couple little boys who will be watching. I expect somebody in that house is probably going to be taping, is that okay with you?
BN: Oh that's fine with us!
CR: Fine, yeah, go ahead! (laughs)
RA: Okay, well, I do want to thank you so very much for joining us today and talking with us about the Animorphs series and I don't want you to go away now because I have a special personal request I want to talk to you about here in just a second.
RA: Once again, we've been talking to Rachel and Tobias of the Animorphs and one more time as a reminder if you will give us the websites and once again also the times for the weekend spectacular, as we'll call it.
BN: Okay, well, the online event...
CR: Is Friday night at 7pm, and it's on America On Line, and the keyword is NICK and you can get online and ask questions from three out of five Animorphs and three out of five ain't bad.
BN: And also on the weekend Saturday, January 9th, is Animorphamania from 1 to 6pm. The Animorphs marathon and you can watch all the episodes ever aired and then Sunday you can see a brand new episode of, part one and two, an hour special of The Capture and this actually starts a new timeslot for Nickelodeon so Animorphs is on Sundays at 8pm.
RA: Okay.. is that going to be, that Sunday night slot all the time?
BN: Yeah, that's the new slot so for all those Animorph fans they can view Animorphs Sundays at 8 on Nick from now on.
RA: Okay.. is that eastern or central?
(and the interview ends here, but I believe the time is Eastern)
Transcript by Pam