NBC Live! Online Chat with Alicia Coppola and Anthony Starke of Cold Feet

NBC.com, October 19, 1999

NBCLive: Welcome to NBC Live! Tonight we are chatting with Alicia Coppola & Anthony Starke, who play Karen and David Chandler on NBC's new comedy "Cold Feet." A native of Long Island, Alicia Coppola created the role of Lorna Devlin on "Another World" in 1991 and was named "Outstanding Younger Lead Actress" by Soap Opera Digest Awards in 1993. Most recently, Coppola had a recurring role in the NBC series "Trinity," and she co-starred in the television movies "The Perfect Getaway" and "For the Future: The Irvine Fertility Scandal." Anthony Starke is a native of Syracuse, New York, whose television credits include guest appearances on "Beverly Hills, 90210" and "Cheers," NBC's "The Pretender" and "Seinfeld." He also had a recurring role on NBC's "Suddenly Susan" as Susan's (Brooke Shields) fiance Kip, and was a series regular on "The George Carlin Show." Most recently, Starke starred as Ezra Standish on the network series "The Magnificent Seven." And now a word from our lawyers- BORING BUT NECESSARY INFORMATION You agree not to use offensive language or personally attack any other participants or third parties. You are solely responsible for all of your communications, and you agree not to violate or infringe upon the rights of others. NBC and Talk City reserve the right, but are not obligated, to edit or delete any information that it deems to violate these ground rules. NBC and Talk City reserve the right to suspend access to anyone who violates these rules. NBC and Talk City also reserve the right to republish, disseminate and broadcast any materials posted. Thank you. Welcome Alicia and Anthony!

Anthony: Greetings Earthlings!

Alicia: Thank you for having us!

Marty: Hello. Can you describe what "Cold Feet" is about?

Anthony: "Cold Feet" is about the fears and other struggles that couples go through as they move into various stages of a relationship. Those stages are sort of represented by the three couples in the show. One is a couple just starting to date and contemplating moving in together. The second is about a couple about to have their first child. And finally our characters who are juggling career, a child the whole nine yards. That's what it's about, and hopefully it's executed in a way that's both funny and poignant

Alicia: I also think that we explore the fears and trials and tribulations but at some times have and continue to show the joys of being in a relationship. Starting a relationship, getting married and having children.

Anthony: It's also about 45 min long, not including commercials.

Alicia: So basically if you have questions about relationships you should be watching "Cold Feet", because there isn't one issue that we don't explore.

Canada: Do you like filming the show in Vancouver? It is such a beautiful city.

Anthony: I love it up here! It's gorgeous!

Alicia: As do I! It's a great city, clean . great . fabulous shopping! Everything you could want is right there!

MBMistress: Anthony, I am familiar with your body of work and think you are a magnificent actor! What new challenges does this role pose for you?

Anthony: Actually this character is one of a long line of charming weasels which is something in which I've become something of a specialist. Seriously however, the challenge of playing David is to put across the fact that deep down he's doing his best to be a good husband and father, even though he appears on the surface to be very self absorbed. That, and being funny. Because it's the main aim of the show to give people a good laugh as well.

LStandish: Alicia who is the joker of the cast, I bet it as to be Anthony right?

Alicia: Yes! There are too many stories! I've come to recognize that there's a very specific sparkle he gets in his eyes - he's like a little child.

Anthony: Another clue that I'll give as a warning is that I light my pants on fire!

Alicia: We then know he's going to keep us in stitches!

EZguest432: You both have appeared in a bunch of different TV shows. Do either of you have a favorite roll you have played?

Alicia: Wow! The roles I've played have been quite different. Probably the most different role I've played - and my favorite today is Karen, because she's closest to who I am. To those familiar with my work, I've always played the strong female character or the one with the Uzi. This is a challenge. It's sometimes easier to play someone opposite to yourself as to who you are.

Anthony: I'd have to say if I narrowed it down to two characters, it would have to be the last two that I've played. The last one being Ezra from "Magnificent Seven", and of course David on "Cold Feet". I like them both for the same reason, they're filled with conflicts. They're filled with mutually conflicting desires that they have to work out and they present the challenge of working them out in a way where the audience can see that struggle but also have fun with their deviousness. That, and they both dress well!

Jamielynn: Do either of you have a dream role you would like to play? How about a dream actor you would die to work with?

Anthony: Nothing's worth death!

Alicia: My dream role would be Mary Magdalene or Mary, mother of Jesus. I would like to work with Anne Bancroft and DeNiro.

Anthony: My dream role, I guess, would have to be Mary Queen Of Scots. I've always wanted to work with Daffy Duck - or Yosemite Sam!

Alicia: I think Dame Edna. I think you'd work very well together!

Jga412: To both Alicia and Tony - How is it different working on "Cold Feet" from other things you've done, especially "Another World" and "The Magnificent Seven?"

Anthony: The main difference between working on "Magnificent Seven" and this show is the noticeable lack of forces. You went to work on Mag 7 everyday worrying if you were going to get horribly injured by falling off a horse or one of the gun battles. There were actually lots of stunts. In "Cold Feet", one of the biggest stunts I've done -- -- is working with Alicia!

Alicia: !

Anthony: I don't really think that. Working on Mag 7 was an absolute joy for me.

Alicia: I, unlike Tony, really enjoyed the horses. There really is no difference to me from working on "Another World" and "Cold Feet". In the specific sense I'm surrounded by people who've come to mean a lot to me. We always have a lot of fun on the set! I don't have to cry as much! Which is very nice, my sinuses have thanked me!

Anthony: She asks me to cry for her!

Soapbox: Alicia I loved you in "Another World"! What is the difference acting in a night time drama as opposed to a daytime soap opera?

Alicia: It's really the same answer again. I get to be light and funny instead of being heavy and tearful. The other difference is that on a soap opera we're doing an episode a day so I would have to learn 30-50 pages of dialogue for the next days shoot. On "Cold Feet" we're doing an episode every 8 days, so the prep time is a lot less.

Marty: Hello Alicia and Anthony. Is it difficult to cry on cue?

Anthony: Not for Alicia! Alicia has a peculiar gift for that sort of thing that dazzles me. I sort of have to have a week's notice and begin marshalling my forces. The problem is that I don't cry in real life, so I have to really torture myself to really squirt a few tears out.

Alicia: I have to say that that is not true. I think that adding to Tony's already brilliant gift at comedy, he is quite able to conjure up a little tear. I just think about how much I'm paying my agent!

Nonetoomany: Anthony what made you decide to change from pre-law to acting?

Alicia: Money!

Anthony: I could give a joke answer to that - but the truth is I was a junior in college and I was about to take the LSAT's and I found myself getting very depressed and I didn't know why. And I realized that it wasn't really what I wanted to do. I was just going through the motions to please my parents. I got upset long enough and threw up my hands and said "I've got to do what I have got to do." And the despair and idea of going through three years of law school is what gave me the kick in the ass to start pursuing acting professionally.

Samsmom: I think your show is terrific in dealing with real issues facing today's couples. Do you have any input on the story lines?

Alicia: No, not really.

Anthony: On story lines, no. There is an ongoing dialogue with the writers about dialogue - about how the character would express him or herself. But in terms of story lines, that is something that Kerry Ehrin, our show writer, has been meticulously about. Mapping out for the entire arc of the season so she's way ahead of us knowing where the story is going. By the time we get the scripts it's too late to have any input. she's already mapped out the season, and doing a great job by the way!

LadyTundra: Hello Mr. Starke, I was wondering what brought about your decision to take on the role of David Chandler?

Anthony: Seven months of unremitting unemployment! In other words, I needed a job! Fortunately, my need for a job was met with a really good job, which this is. I would have been happy with it had it come at any point, but it came at a nice point because I've been knocking around since 7 got cancelled. I also like the idea of doing comedy in an hour format. I've done so much in a half hour where all you do is tell jokes rather than explore situations. It's ironic to me that half hour comedy is called as sitcom. I think that show such as ours, without the audience or the laugh tracks, have comedy that comes out of the situation more than jokes.

Karatekid: Anthony, I read you have a black belt in Tae-Kwon-Do. Do you compete in the sport?

Anthony: I don't compete anymore. I studied Tae Kwon-Do avidly from 12 to 22 years and competed. Won a few trophies here and there. I quickly lost my love of the competition because it was killing the love of the art. If I didn't win I was left frustrated and it was just spoiling my joy for studying the art for its own sake. I let go of the competition in HS, but have been studying the various arts since. Everything from kickboxing to jujitsu. I don't view it as a competitive thing, but as a way of self-improvement - a way of rounding myself. It also keeps me from drinking before noon! smile

Brittanyfan: Alicia, I read in your bio that you are into kickboxing. Do you use this to stay fit or do you have a workout routine?

Alicia: Gosh, I try to have a workout routine. I try to stick to it. Lately I've been failing miserably in that area. I do use the kickboxing to stay fit. Believe me, it's just to stay fit. I'm not that good at it. It's great exercise.

Anthony: I also try to help Alicia stay fit by sometimes attacking her on the set. Sort of like Kato in the Pink Panther movies. I'll hide, for example, in a refrigerator on the set, and sort of jump out at her, just to hone her reflexes!

Alicia: My cardiologist loves that one!

LStandish: Anthony, Alicia, what is it like to work with a small child on the set?

Anthony: To be honest it's very tricky. Working with a 2-year-old is a little bit like working with Brando. If he "ain't feeling it, it ain't gonna happen." They're very method little creatures and not afraid to go off script.

Alicia: I think when the children are on the set, it is baby time. So your performance and what you hope to accomplish in a scene goes out the window and it's all about the child.

Anthony: It's all about Don Corleone!

MiladyTaz: Both, what is the characteristic you like most about your character?

Anthony: I particularly enjoy the fact that he's a couple of inches taller than I am. And that he's left handed.

Alicia: I like that Karen is a real person, she feels things she's a bit uninhibited in what she's feeling or thinking. And, she also dresses really well.

Marc: Alicia is a kickboxer and Tony is a Tae-Kwon-Do expert. Do you work with each other happily or use your skills on each other?

Anthony: We use our powers only for good and never for evil!

Alicia: Wonder Twin Powers!

Anthony: We have developed a genuine affection and respect for each other. It's been very nice!

Alicia: Yes, I agree!

Anthony: You'd better!

Alicia: It really is a true partnership!

Anthony: Besides, I outweigh her by about 50 lbs.

Alicia: I realize that I'll never get my way. We get along very, very well! We compliment each other!

Anthony: By that I think she means the shoes match the hat. Rather than flattering each other all day.

LadyTundra: To both of you, do you have a lot of fun on the set?

Alicia: Oh yes! Constantly! It wouldn't be worth it if we didn't.

Anthony: The atmosphere is really relaxed.

Alicia: You don't even notice the hours you're working. You're just having a really good time.

Anthony: When the actor is being framed by the camera by a tight shot - it's sort of a rule that they be naked from the waist down. And the crew is always completely nude. And if you saw us naked, you'd know why we're all laughing!

Alicia: !

Jilly Standish: What is the biggest practical joke Anthony or anyone else on the set has played and to whom?

Anthony: I don't think we've had a lot of practical jokes.

Alicia: It's not that kind of humor.

Anthony: It's like a party at Noel Coward's house. A lot of witty banter.

Jga412: My favorite scene was when Karen interrupted David's conference to demand a nanny. What were your favorite scenes to watch, and to tape?

Anthony: Out of that pilot episode, that scene was my favorite to. We had to go through so much to get that right. It was very tricky on a lot of levels. When we originally shot it, the little boy who plays our son wasn't having a good day. So it threw things off kilter. We had to re-shoot it. They had already done a different version and then I was cast. It was the 3rd time Alicia had to do the scene. It really came together in a way that it tied our characters together.

Alicia: I agree.

Anthony: You were a trooper Alicia!

Jga412: Tony and Alicia, any exciting story lines for you coming up? Any little hints?

Alicia: I think that David and Karen will be going through a bit of a marital crisis, but I believe they will ultimately find their way.

Anthony: It's also revealed that David was behind the military coup in Pakistan.

Alicia: Which made me see my husband in a new light!

Anthony: A scary one!

Alicia: I think that Jenny and Pete will be going through a bit of a scare, and Shelly and Adam are just simply trying not to get in each others way.

Anthony: And Shelly has a big secret that gets revealed in a few weeks. She's a man baby!

Alicia: We can't say anymore than that. It will ruin the surprise!

NBCLive: We are just about out of time for today, thank you Alicia and Anthony for joining us. Any last words for our audience?

Alicia: Tune in Friday!

Anthony: Thanks to everybody for being interested in the show, because that interest is going to pay off. We promise you that the episodes will keep getting better and better. I guarantee that you'll get hooked! This Friday's show is particularly funny, so watch!

NBCLive: A very special thanks to Alicia Coppola & Anthony Starke for participating tonight. Do you have comments or questions about this chat or anything you've seen on the NBC television network or nbci.com? e-mail us: NBClive@nbc.com All of us at NBC.com and Talk City wish you a fantastic evening, and we look forward to seeing you soon! Produced by NBC and Talk City. All rights reserved, copyright 1999. Good Night!

Taken from liveworld.com