The Lifetime channel has just premiered in Canada and the hit TV series The Client List makes its big debut on the network this weekend (Sunday September 2) at 10 p.m. Based on a Lifetime movie of the same name, the series stars Jennifer Love Hewitt as a woman whose husband leaves her and their children and she must find a way to make money to make ends meet. She takes up a job at a massage parlor and things go a little further than just getting a massage. Hollywood hunk Colin Egglesfield (Something Borrowed) plays her brother-in-law, Evan Parks, and as many ladies know, he is definitely not hard on the eyes. Tribute’s Bonnie Laufer spoke with Colin during a quick stop in Toronto to talk about the show and what he has coming up next on the big screen.

You’ve had such a varied career so far. What is your passion right now? Do you want to get back into films or are you loving TV?
Honestly, I just love working. I get really antsy when I’m not working and so everything I do is geared towards just trying to stay busy. The great thing about working with TV is that it’s more of a consistent schedule than film. With a film you book a role and you work for maybe three weeks, six weeks, and then you’re back out looking for work again. With TV, especially with Client List, we did 10 episodes our first season, and that took us about four months to do. I think we may be actually doing 15 for season two, so, very exciting.

Did you watch the TV movie before you started the series?
When my agent called and said they were interested in me for the role, I rented the movie just to get an idea of what it was all about. The whole spa thing, I was like, "Okay, this is kind of interesting" and then the whole drug thing at the end I was like "Okay, what is going on here!?" Then when I went to meet with Jennifer on it, it sounded like it was going to be similar to the movie but, with Lifetime movies they can be a little dramatic. From what she was describing it was trying to be a little more grounded, a serious television show where it was more relatable for real-life people who were going through similar situations; trying to support a family, looking for work, separation between husband and wife.

This is actually based on someone’s true story right?
The crazy thing is a lot of stuff you’ve seen, especially when I was working on All My Children, it was all, "This is impossible! This is crazy! This would never happen in real life!" But then the more people I would talk to, the more they would come up to me during soap opera conventions and be like, "I didn’t know who my real father was until I was 20 years old" or "My dad is a physician. He goes to the Joliette prison and does check-ups on the women there. He found out that a woman buried this kid alive, holding him for ransom and it caved in and the kid died." All this stuff, you think it’s made up and fantasy, I mean a lot of this stuff happens in real life. It’s kind of crazy.

What was your initial reaction to the material and what Jennifer’s character, Riley, has to go through?
The thing that intrigued me about it was it seemed that there wasn’t anything on TV that was like this in the sense that, if you take a regular, working class person and put her in a situation where she has to really decide what is important and fend for herself, you see her make a decision that she probably wouldn’t normally make in any other circumstances. When she gets into the situation where she starts giving these massages to all of these guys, she realizes that she’s a little self-empowered by it, she’s good at it. Not only just with the physical side of it, but emotionally connecting with these guys. So she almost, in a way, is a psychologist to these men and helps them rekindle their love or passion that was missing in their relationships. She doesn’t necessarily go right for the immediate gratification physically; she actually coaches some of the guys and helps them in other areas of their life.

How do you like working with Jennifer Love Hewitt?
It’s not tough, especially when she’s running around in her underwear! [Laughs] No, but it’s great! She provides a lot of energy, doesn’t matter if it’s four in the morning or whenever. She shows up and you can tell she just loves what she does because she brings so much fun and excitement. Acting is a very stressful profession in the sense that you’re constantly being judged and you’re constantly being watched. If you don’t perform, you’re fired. As soon as you walk on set you can sense there is a lot of pressure and then when you have the network executives coming over and just making sure everything is okay, it can be a sort of pressure cooker environment. She just comes in like "Hey everyone!" and just brings so much love and joy and fun to the set that it just makes it easy to just do good work.

You’re playing her brother-in-law who’s always pined over her, that has to bring some obstacles for you?
Unrequited love is always fun to play in acting. Not so fun in real life. I have plenty of experience in that department.

There is one episode where her character gets drunk and you have to  make like a fireman and carry her out over your shoulder. That must have been fun!
It was very fun. It was very fun watching things move around and go in different directions. Helping her go and get into bed, being the gentleman that the brother-in-law is supposed to be. Yeah, that one was fun. We had to do that scene like 10 or so times. It was a tough day. The thing is I don’t get to play the guy that she gives massages to, so it’s not as exciting. These guys walk in with these robes on, you can tell they’re a little, "What’s about to happen?" and they’re all bundled up and then by the time they walk out, the robe's open, they’re all lubed up, big smiles on their faces.

Having somebody like Cybill Shepherd on set must be fun too!
She’s amazing! So cool. So funny too, I never realized what a great comedic actor she is, but she is just so sassy!

The rumor’s out there that you want to play Fifty Shades of Grey’s Christian Grey.
Let me correct you. I haven’t said that I wanted to play him, but I’m definitely interested. I haven’t read the books yet and it’s all hearsay at this point, everyone has their idea of who they think would make a good Christian Grey. It’s kind of fun to hear who they’re thinking about. I mean I’m definitely flattered to be considered for the role as well, but I’m wondering how they’re going to make this movie without making it x-rated porn. Just from what I’ve heard, it’s pretty salacious.

I’ve read all three books, but mainly because wanted to know more about him. I wanted to know more about why he is the way he is.
That would be the thing that would be intriguing about playing this character. It seems like his background, having had this kind of Mrs. Robinson type character, that’s the kind of thing that intrigues me. It could be career suicide. Until I see a script and read it, I don’t know. It could be huge. My mom has mixed feelings about me taking the role. She loves The Client List, she just leaves the room whenever there are scenes with me taking my shirt off or kissing Jennifer.

Still can’t get passed the parents not getting "I’m an actor mom!"
I was always shy growing up and embarrassed to do anything in front of my parents, or even just watching them kiss. Growing up in the Midwest where everything is supposed to be, you know, you don’t show public displays of affection. Once I became an actor it was like, "Wow! I get paid to do this stuff!" It’s pretty cool.

We’re talking about having to take on a job to make ends meet. What’s the craziest job you’ve ever had to do?
I’ve waited tables, I’ve built furniture, I’ve worked in a warehouse where I packaged shampoo and then bound the boxes and put them on the loading crates. I’ve done events where you have to serve.

Can you tell me about your next film Open Road?
That one I did with Andy Garcia, Juliette Lewis, Camilla Belle, great cast. I just saw the final cut of it at the Brazilian Film Festival in Los Angeles about three weeks ago. I think Universal just picked it up but who knows what they’re going to do with it in terms of distribution. It’s definitely a great cast and to be able to work with Andy Garcia was amazing. This other one that I did in Thailand, Stranger in Paradise, that was fun -- cool, kind of action, heist, Thai mafia thriller kind of film where we ran around Bangkok and got chased around. They’re still editing that and putting that together so, hopefully that will come out soon.

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Comments

2 Comments so far

  1. Gloria on September 1, 2012 6:23 PM

    You should've asked more specifics about it being based on a true story. He dodged your question. In another interview, JLH says she got the story idea five years ago when everyone knows it's based on the story of Crystal Burchett from Odessa, TX. She keeps changing her turn on just about everything about the show. You should also ask him why she chose to add his character to the mix. His character wasn't in the 2010 movie version.

  2. Rodney D Rat on September 2, 2012 12:18 AM

    @Gloria
    So what! It’s no secret that Jennifer Love Hewitt’s company LoveSpell Entertainment bought the movie and television rights to the Texas Monthly Katy Vine article "She Had Brains, a Body, and the Ability to Make Men Love Her" about the Odessa house wife turned hooker. These rights were then transferred to Jennifer’s follow on company Fedora Films which produced both The Client List movie and series.

    Owning the rights means that you have paid the original owner to use their story in what ever way you choose. There is no obligation on Fedora’s part to stick to the original story. Their story is an inspiration -- nothing more. Adding new characters, changing names, changing locations -- it is all in the tradition of events “inspired by a true story.”

    IMHO, the changes were made because she felt it would make the show more interesting.

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