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The Magnificent Seven's
Laurie Holden and Anthony Starke
January 5, 1999


TVGEN: Welcome! Tonight's chat is with The Magnificent Seven's Laurie Holden and Anthony Starke. Welcome Laurie and Anthony, glad you could join tonight.

Laurie Holden and Anthony Starke: Hi! Happy New Year! Hello everybody!

valorey_18: How did you get into the business?

Starke: Well, it was your basic porn route! I was working as a scene painter and a makeup artists, covering any unsightly blemishes, that sort of thing. No, really, I was going to Marquette University in Milwaukee and I found an agent in town who sent me down to meet some casting people. A casting director named Jane Alderman, in particular, in Chicago. And she brought me in for a few things. And after a couple of auditions I got my first job, which was a CBS movie of the week entitled, appropriately enough, First Steps, starring Judd Hirsch. And that was my first job.

Holden: I was Tony's muse! No, seriously, when I was a kid my stepfather, who is a director, was shooting a miniseries for NBC, The Martian Chronicles, in Malta. And the child actress who was supposed to play Rock Hudson's daughter suddenly bailed out. And they needed to find a replacement. I was there, they were desperate to find a replacement, they dyed my hair black, and the rest is history.

Aquila_KLM: Laurie, is it sometimes frustrating to play a late 1800s woman, what with all of the physical and societal restrictions?

Holden: No, I really enjoy doing period pieces. I always have. And as for the corsets, I'm kind of into bondage anyway. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

Threndolyn: Do either of you have any computer knowledge or regularly use the Internet?

Holden: I've been on the Internet a few times; it's usually been a friend of mine's computer. But I've yet to figure out how to turn my own on.

Starke: She's referring to her computer, by the way.

Holden: Tony just bought a computer, and he doesn't know how to use it either.

Starke: But I'm going to learn how, because I have a book that I'm selling on the Internet and I want to keep up with how that's doing.

Clever_Minx: What inspired you to write A Coal to His Lips, and do you plan to write another novel?

Starke: The inspiration for it was that I had been writing poetry for years, and the poetry was becoming increasingly narrative. And by that I mean it was less and less abstract and more and more in story form. And friends were observing that I was moving more in the direction of either writing short stories or perhaps even a novel. And I just sort of found myself 30 pages into this one story, and I said Aha, this could sort of go on, and I made an outline for the rest of the novel. And as far as the subject matter goes, or more specifically the theme of personal transformation, that came out of just years of interest in spiritual subjects and activities like meditation. Thank you, but the fact that you enjoy the work is enough for both of us.

tracybush: I love the show. What's it like to do a show that has a timeline like the Old West? What sort of prep do you need to act for that kind of role?

Holden: I read lots of books on the Old West and watched as many western movies as I could. Just familiarizing myself with the time period, the mannerisms and the history. He's a wonderful influence on me.

Starke: I just hoped that being at a high altitude, naked, facing that direction, would provide me with some sort of inspiration.

Holden: Which explains a lot about your character, Tony. Tony of course!

Starke: LOL!

Holden: I think Chris and Mary have a very special chemistry. And viewers are going to have to stay tuned to see how that develops.

Starke: Chris is going to rescue Mary from a crack house.

tialessa: Tony, Laurie, what will surprise us (character development) this season?

Holden: Ezra is a woman.

Starke: Seriously, I would like to say that the biggest surprise overall is going to be just how good these shows are. By that I mean even if you are a fan of the show, there is a consistently high level of quality to these episodes that is going to be impressive to everybody. It's a wonderful 13 episodes.

EzrasCat: Mr. Starke, I know it is a personal question, but would you mind clarifying what color your eyes are?

Starke: They are green. So are Laurie's.

Holden: We actually have the exact same color eyes.

Lanette_VV: How much input do you have with your M7 characters, and what direction would you like to see them go?

Holden: It's a very collaborative process.

Starke: More so than any other show I've worked on.

Holden: However, speaking only for myself personally, I would like to see my character have more humor next season, if we get picked up. Sex appeal?

Starke: Actually I was going to say outbursts of barking. I'd like to see him start barking in public. That's how I'd like to see him go.

Holden: Be careful what you wish for!

Mag7fanWin: Hi Anthony. My question is, you've played some good guys and some bad guys; what is more satisfying to play as an actor, which is more fun, or do you prefer Ezra's "bad boy" good guy? ;)

Starke: It's that you get to play all the "hero" stuff, and yet the guy is also a bit of a scoundrel. So to answer the question, it's the conflict between a person's dark side and good side, that tension between a person's opposites that is the most interesting to play.

EzrasCat: Ms. Holden, which of the cast members is the most hilarious? The most serious?

Holden: The most serious would definitely be Dale Midkiff. He broods.

Starke: Well, first of all I want to implore you to rethink the Mr. Spooky thing.

Holden: It was great to have you on set and we hope you come back real soon. It always means a lot to meet fans of the show. That's definitely your best moment.

Starke: My second favorite would be community theater in Tujunga.

Holden: Me as well. Any day of the week. Yeah that's definitely something I'd love to do. Shoot more guns, ride more horses.

JDH1961: Laurie, don't you just want to jump on a horse and join the guys, or do you like staying in town?

Holden: Oh, yeah, I definitely want to get on a horse and ride with the boys, go on an expedition.

Mag7fanWin: Hi Anthony. I know that you are an author, but I also wanted to know who is your favorite author?

Holden: Tony's book is awesome, by the way!

jadzia73: I LOVED your book A Coal to His Lips Mr. Starke, and I wish to compliment you on your writing! It's a GREAT book and a GREAT story, and I love the use of imagery that you use in it. I have heard it is only available online, and I was wondering what made you publish it this way?

Starke: First of all, thank you for that feedback. It's very encouraging. The reason I published the book online is that I had sent a few unsolicited manuscripts to publishing houses, and the response I got was basically: It's a very good book, but we're not sure how to sell it. Or, more specifically, what the market for the book would be. So I thought that if I sell some copies on the Internet and show these publishing folks that there is an audience for the book, I might be able to get a good publisher to actually jump on board and publish the book. I basically just want to show them that the book has potential to sell, and hopefully I can accomplish that online.

jadzia73: Did the use of the Net to help bring your series back as a midseason replacement make you think about or rethink how you felt about the Internet, and if so, in what way?

Holden: And boy, were they heard.

befuddled1: Hello to you both! Laurie, I've heard that the character of Mary has changed with the new episodes. How would you describe the differences between the old Mary and the new one?

Starke: The addition of a penis!

Holden: Last season, Mary was in mourning, not only for the loss of her husband, but for her life. She was estranged from her child because she was unable to take care of him properly due to the circumstances and violence in the town. So there wasn't very much room for joy.

Starke: Or a penis!

Holden: Tony! Joy -- or excitement. But this season, more order is restored in town, my son and I are reunited, so my character has really been given the opportunity to spread her wings and let her hair down. She's spunky, vivacious...

Starke: And she has a penis!

Holden: Well, what can I say! Tony has revealed to you all the mystery surrounding Mary Travis. What more can I say?

Clever_Minx: What was it like being the only female member of the cast last season? Intimidating? Easier?

Holden: Tony, please answer! When you spend such a large amount of time with people they become family. I think of these boys I work with as my surrogate brothers. And they've always been very supportive, loving, kind. We have a great team here.

PBWriter3: Anthony, when you take on an acting role, do you look at it from a writer's perspective, trying to determine the motivations, conflicts and goals of that character (such as Ezra)?

Starke: You have to give me a minute, I'm still weeping from Laurie's last answer.

Holden: I'm so glad you're touched!

Starke: What was the question again? I look at this character from the perspective of my horse. I'm looking at Ezra's height, weight and ability to ride, basically.

Holden: You seriously need to be committed!

Starke: No, actually Ezra has sort of been a co-creation between myself and the writers, and we see pretty much eye to eye on who he is and what he ought to be doing.

Holden: Was it your idea that you are a woman?

Starke: Don't give too much away.

hijan: "Manhunt" was my favorite episode, as it has so much conflict and tension built in and had so much emotion and many layers. How do you feel about that episode?

Starke: It was my favorite, as well, of last season. But we have better ones on the way.

Holden: I enjoyed "Manhunt," but it wasn't my favorite.

Starke: Laurie's favorite episode was when Big Ricky and Little Ricky sing "Babalu."

filippomiller: How does acting in The Magnificent Seven differ from your work in The X-Files?

Holden: Oh, they're completely different. We're dealing with two different time periods and diametrically opposed characters. Marita is a cool, evasive, Mata Hari-like creature.

Starke: You worked with Pat Morita?

Holden: And Mary is a spunky, vivacious woman who knows who she is.

Starke: And -- has a penis!

Holden: It's amazing what I learn about myself on an online chat!

Chijan: Tony, how do you like working with Michelle Phillips as your mother, Maude?

Holden: Thanks a lot! What am I?

Starke: I love working with Michelle. It's so nice to have a woman on the set! In all seriousness, she is a lot of fun, almost as much fun as Laurie, and a hell of an actor as well.

Chijan: Are you excited about the prospects for MagSeven's new season?

Starke: I'm very excited and extremely proud of these shows. If you liked the show last year, you are going to love it this year. It's a cliche but it's true.

Holden: I'm excited about this show as well. We have a wonderful series opener and I think our fans are going to be pleased.

LizQ24: Boxers, briefs, or the ever-popular boxer-briefs?

Holden: I'm none of the above. Now he wears a sling!

Starke: I used to wear boxers. I've switched to dalmations, if that makes any sense.

TVGEN: Laurie, Tony, thanks for joining us tonight.

Holden: I just want to thank everybody, all of our fans, for all their continual support, the letters, the web pages on the Internet, because it really did make a difference. I think we're back because of all of your support. So thank you.

Starke: I just want to say I couldn't say that any better, and my thanks as well!

TVGEN: And thanks for all your questions this evening. Check the Yahoo chat schedule for upcoming chats with other stars from MagSeven.

Contact the webmistress at webcat @ anthonystarke.com