Twenty Minutes With Vacation With Derek's Michael Seater And Ashley Leggat
I guess you lose something in a phone interview. There's no room for Vanity Fair interview-esque descriptions of what how the interviewee takes his coffee, or how that famous British actor smiles sheepishly, or how that tiny little actress can put away an entire pizza in one sitting. But, you know, Life with Derek's main step-brother and step-sister duo, Michael Seater and Ashley Leggat, tried to bring a little bit more to the interview than just the phone conversation. The two - who are @AshleyLeggat and @MichaelSeater on twitter - were kind of enough to take a twitpic of what they were doing during the interview.
Clearly, they were very excited.
Life with Derek's four seasons ran on Family in Canada, and was a sort of modern-day Brady Bunch; the story of the newly blended Venturi and MacDonald families and how they combined and how they clashed, most notably in its two main characters, Derek (played by Michael Seater) and Casey (played by Ashley Leggat).
Two years later, the entire cast came together to film an original movie, Vacation with Derek, which will premiere on Family on Friday, June 25 at 8 p.m. ET/PT and will be available on Family.ca following the broadcast premiere.
I asked Ashley to give me a quick 1-minute synopsis of what fans can look forward to with this Brady Bunch meets Dirty Dancing meets Summer Rental (which neither of them had ever heard of and seriously dated me) movie. She explained that the movie opens with the Casey and Derek that everyone knows and loves - the Casey and Derek who can't stand each other, only now they are stuck at Casey's grandmother's lodge. There's lots of drama that comes with the blendedness of the two families and when the grandmother runs the risk of losing her lodge, everyone comes together to try to help save it. It's sort of a more grown up version of Casey and Derek. (Sidebar: I asked that now that we are seeing this grown up version of the step-siblings, what would Casey say that Derek's best quality was. Ashley's answer? "No matter what, in the end, it's clear how much Derek cared about his family and is always there to help them." When I asked Michael what Derek would say about Casey...his answer was that Casey's best quality is that she always does well in school; and Derek can steal her work. Typical, that answer. Heh.)
"And they've taken it on the road," Michael interjects. "Out of the 70 episodes of Life with Derek, only one scene was shot outside. This time we've taken it out into the bush which was kind of interesting and exciting from a production standpoint. When you run the risk of, you know, things like BEARS. Shooting on location is hard."
And there's some dancing. Nico Archambault, who you may know as the winner of So You Think You Can Dance Canada, makes an appearance in the movie as a handsome waiter and Casey's dance partner. (See? It's all very Dirty Dancing, in the best way possible.) When I asked Ashley what that was like, if it was intimidating at all, she said it was just the opposite. She went in a bit apprehensive because Nico is such an amazing dancer, but he was nothing but accepting and such a pleasure to dance beside. She says, "There was no acting going on in those scenes. We were genuinely having a good time. The entire cast was, actually."
It's clear that Ashley and Michael have a very different relationship than the characters they play on the silver screen. Michael told me that people may not know that Ashley loves to draw purple ponies. And he assured me that her drawing-to-scale ratios are really very good. And Ashley told me that people may not know that Michael demands a cup of lukewarm soy sauce on set for dipping. And if he gets angry enough, he may drink it.
It's clear that this project was for the fans of Life with Derek, but it seems like it was a great reuinion for the entire cast as well.