A couple of weeks before the TV series Eastwick debuted I was invited to the set at Warner Brothers Studios to meet up with Lindsay Price and Sara Rue. Lindsay portrays Joanna, an overworked wife and mother who is a local reporter discovering she possesses certain bewitching powers; Sara plays her co-worker and best friend Penny.
Based on the John Updike novel, and the movie The Witches of Eastwick, the actresses met us on an empty soundstage and weaved their magic as they enthusiastically spoke about the series.
Did you look at the original film and did it shadow your performances?
Lindsay Price: I didn’t want to watch the movie before I got involved because I didn’t want to have that shadow hanging over me, but I remember this movie so well. It was hard not to think about it.
We’re derivative, obviously, of that movie and also the novel. It’s a wink and a nod to those things but to try to emulate another actor’s performance is really dangerous. We’re different girls, and we’re not playing the exact same characters.
Sara Rue: I had seen the movie, I hadn’t read the book, and I was told not to read the book, and I didn’t. I was a fan of the movie but the thing that I find to be a bummer about that is people have these expectations that you kind of want to meet but, at the same time, you also want to be your own thing. So if people are expecting a version of the movie that’s not what this is. This is not a remake of the movie. This is its own separate entity.
What do you like about Joanna?
Lindsay Price: So many things. But mostly she’s a character who allows me to not have to think about being cool or think about being graceful. She’s kind of a train wreck in many ways and that’s liberating and fun. She’s got that plucky ambition. I would choose to be friends with her. She’s that kind of girl
Sara, can you talk about your character?
Sara Rue: Sure. I play Penny who’s basically Joanna’s. I don’t know what my power’s going to be or if I’m going to really have one or not, but I’m sort of the naysayer. I’m the one that wants everything to stay the same and not change. I’m representing someone who grew up in a small town and wants it to remain the same and remain comfortable, to keep her friend and not have these crazy magic things happen all around her. She’s not into it.
Is there a power you’d like to have?
Lindsay Price: We get this question because it’s the fun one, and I put some great thought into it. At first I said flying because I have some very intense flying dreams and to actually do that would be amazing. I’m sort of a thrill seeker. But that doesn’t do anything really great for the world. Then we said teleportation, because it’s green
What power would you like to have Sara?
Sara Rue: I’d like to be able to convert things, an alchemy sort of thing. To take water and turn it into something else
In real life, my real life superpower is I can smell anything and I can identify it. And it’s really a problem because I have a lot of cats. You can smell the pee from outside, so if someone has an accident I know instantly, from rooms away. It’s a pretty good superpower
Why do you think shows about the supernatural and paranormal are so popular right now?
Lindsay Price: There’s the fantasy, the escape and a certain amount of wish fulfillment. And also in the story I think there’s great metaphor too. You can actually touch on issues and themes that we go through day to day in our lives but are in this fantasy realm. I think for these women that have powers, they’re actually just, in a metaphorical way, coming into their own power and taking charge of their own lives
Sara Rue: And having a strength that they didn’t have before, or realizing their own strength. There’s a lot of female empowerment in the show, which is pretty cool
People are already making comparisons to Charmed.
Lindsay Price: Well it’s obvious they’ll make those comparisons because it’s a story about witches. But like everything, people want to identify what it is with something before because that lets them know what they’re going to be watching. But once they start to watch they’ll see that it’s a completely different show.
Sara Rue: I think it’s very different from Charmed. I think Charmed is so much more tongue-in-cheek and there were creatures and other worlds and demons and there’s not really that here. I think that maybe we’re a little more grounded in reality
Lindsay Price: A lot of our stories are very grounded. They are real, and we focus on the relationships and very intricate plot. It’s a very quirky little strange show. For lack of a better word it is a charming show, but it’s not Charmed