Andy Warhol once prophesized that, “Everyone will be famous for 15 minutes,” and while former reality T.V. star Donna Wickland’s 15 minutes have passed, she has no interest or intention of going quietly. In fact, she’s convinced herself the cameras are still rolling. Luckily for us, they are.
The hilarious new web series DONNA’S REVENGE: CONFESSIONS OF AN EX-CONTESTANT is the deranged brain-child of writer/star Seana Kofoed and it’s, honestly, one of the funniest shows I’ve seen on the web in quite sometime. Kofoed’s strange, irreverent and inspired satire is everything a web series should be and proves, once again, when pure comedy is allowed to thrive, without any influence or “assistance” from network executives and over-reaching producers, the results can be comedy gold.
If Seana looks familiar it’s because you’ve probably seen her as a guest star on many of your favorite primetime shows including: FLASH FORWARD, THE MENTALIST, LAW AND ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT, VALENTINE and NUMB3RS. She’s best known for her role as Jane on the series MEN IN TREES which ran for two seasons on ABC. New York audiences may remember her from the Broadway shows NIGHT MUST FALL with Matthew Broderick and also for her role in the Tony Award winning play PROOF in which she co-starred with Jennifer Jason Leigh. In 2000 Kofoed was nominated for the Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play for her stand-out performance in the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway drama AN EXPERIMENT WITH AN AIR PUMP. Seana was also featured in Kevin Pollack’s VAMPED OUT, with her fiancÃ© Jason Antoon, which is available on Babelgum.com and definitely worth a few minutes of your time.
DONNA’S REVENGE co-stars Eddie Jemison who you’ll recognize from the films WAITRESS, the OCEANS 11 trilogy and the hit HBO series HUNG.
Recently, I had a chance to talk with Seana about her new web series but, before we get started, you should probably check out the trailer for DONNA’S REVENGE.
Pop Bitez: So, where exactly did Donna Wickland come from?
Seana Kofoed: Well, when I was in New York, I’d gone on one of those auditions, I don’t know, I think it was either for MAD TV or SNL, one of those, and they ask that you come in with three different characters and she was one of the characters I came up with for that audition. After that she just sort of stuck in my brain and I always liked thinking on her because she’s always very happy and positive, even though she’s destroying people in her wake. She’s a very happy girl (laughs) and so, I liked her and then when I was out here in L.A., and we had the strike I had some time to write and she came to mind and a web series seemed like a really manageable way to shoot it and not have to wait for someone else to give me money.
PB: She’s a hoot and what I think is amazing is that for people who know your work from MEN IN TREES, you’re almost completely unrecognizable.
SK: Yeah, I looked a little different on MEN IN TREES. I mean, you’ve got the glasses and of course Jane was very buttoned-up. I love that part of it because I loved playing Jane and then I love playing Donna and they both have parts of me in them, but that’s what I think we lose sometimes in T.V. now, an actor isn’t someone who plays a bunch of different kinds of roles now, you’re just yourself in everything, which I know has value but this is just more fun for me.
PB: And your theatrical background has got to play a big part in that, right?
SK: Yes, totally. I think it allows me to be bigger and still real and, of course, I’ve played so many Brits on the stage….the accent was easy! (she laughs). I think there’s this total misconception that if you make bold choices and become someone other than yourself you’re somehow not being truthful or real but that’s not true.
PB: Do you think that’s kind of a cyclical thing, like through the years, acting styles evolve and come and go….
SK: Well, sadly, I think “mumble acting” is probably here to stay but, I don’t know, there are always actors and actresses who pop a little, like Jane Lynch (GLEE), who manages to be real and also kick it a little. You know, she’s very broad but also very real.
PB: Was this your first experience writing?
SK: Yes, it’s my first produced work. I mean, I wrote a play with some friends in college but, yeah, this would be the first material I’ve actually produced.
PB: Where do you see the future of the web series concept going in the next few years?
SK: Well, there have been some successes but, you know, it hits these pools where it sort of gets stagnant like right now, and people still aren’t quite sure what to do with it. Like the money still hasn’t come, it’s coming more and more but it still hasn’t hit that place where you can properly pay your actors and crew. I think once it’s seamless, where you can actually surf the web on your television, that’s going to level the playing field to a certain degree. I still think it has merit in it’s current form but we just hope for better traffic and more dollars in the future.
PB: Now this series has eight episodes, is that right?
SK: Yes, exactly, we shot eight.
PB: And is there a chance there might be a season two?
SK: I have a second season that could easily follow, if the interest is there, we could totally roll into another one and I know all the actors would be willing to come back for it. Everyone just had so much fun, you know, because we all had total control and that made it so much fun.
PB: You’re the writer, the producer, the star, I’d say that’s A LOT of control…
SK: (she laughs) Yes! I know, it makes us sound power hungry but it’s not like that, you use it for good not evil. It’s nice when you can establish the mood of your set and bring on people you love working with that are gentle and kind and easy with one another. It’s such a nice environment, low stress.
PB: Are you working on anything else right now?
SK: Yes, I’m actually working on a half hour comedy, a pilot, it’s called SEX WARS, and it’s about these four women at different stages of their sex lives, like married sex, divorced sex, dating sex and no sex and they live in L.A. and it just sort of follows them through their daily lives. It hasn’t been sold yet or anything like that but that’s one of the projects I’m working on.
PB: Before you go, I have to ask, do you actually watch any reality TV?
SK: Oh, sure, sometimes JERSEY SHORE and I really like the ones with the cooks, MASTER CHEF and TOP CHEF, a little SURVIVOR from time to time and…the one about the artists, my fiancÃ© and I love that show…Sarah Jessica Parker produced it?
PB: WORK OF ART on Bravo?
SK: That’s it! Love that one!
DONNA’S REVENGE is currently available at Babelgum.com/donnasrevenge and also on youtube. I highly recommend you check them out when you get a chance!