The cast and creative team behind Everwood, the WB show that made a lot of people cry from 2002-2006, reunited last Saturday at the Austin Television Festival, minus Emily Van Camp (Amy Abbott) and Treat Williams (Dr. Andy Brown).
Chris Pratt WAS there. Sort of.
-The show was about a man who set out to be a progressive doctor in a conservative town. Creator Greg Berlanti said, “He went to the town to become an abortionist,” essentially, but he couldn’t play it up in the first episode.
-Tom Amandes (Dr. Harold Abbott) said that when the CW/UPN merger happened, the show was asked to send an episode that represented the show. They sent the episode that featured Irv Harper’s funeral, and the response was, “Why would you send something that skews this old?” That eventually led to its cancellation.
-The cast is so close and loving. They played videos from VanCamp, Williams (who couldn’t make it because of a One Direction concert in Europe), and Scott Wolf (Dr. Jake Hartman) apologizing for not making it. Debra Mooney (Edna Harper) referred to John Beasley (Irv Harper) as her second husband.
-Pratt texted writer-producer David Hudgins and then FaceTime’d with him and the audience from the Jurassic World set, where, he joked, he was filming a porn in the swamp, and that he was wearing a three-piece suit in the bayou.
-Because Vivien Cardone (Delia Brown) was so young, and Williams was away from his family, he told her, “If you’ll be my temporary daughter, I’ll be your temporary dad.”
-Gregory Smith (Ephram Brown) actually didn’t play piano. For pulled back shots, a professional piano player basically stuck his hands through Smith’s arms and played the piano.
-In the “Birds and the Batteries” episode where Delia discovers Nina Fenney’s vibrator, Cardone was told it was a foot massager, and didn’t know what a vibrator was. Backstage, she would sing into it. She learned at the panel what it actually was and looked horrified.
-According to writer-producer Rina Mimoun, there was an alternative ending for the finale, if the show got picked up, where Ephram would’ve tried to make it with Madison.
-Edna Harper is still one of the highest testing characters in WB history.
-Williams is a pilot, and would try to make Smith throw up while in the air. He was successful once.
Afterwards, the Everwood family held a press conference, and here’s what we talked about:
[On funny Chris Pratt stories]
John Beasley: [Pratt’s] car got broken into several times.
Stephanie Niznik: Do you remember when he went hiking, and he almost got hit by lightening? He came back, and was like, ‘That was so cool.’
Beasley: He was hunting and he cut himself with a knife.
Tom Amandes: No, no, as his father, no. He went hunting on his 40 acres. This was months later. He was trying to separate two frozen elk steaks. They weren’t going, so he got his freakin’ hunting knife out to separate his steaks and went right into his hand. He was like, “Huh, my finger doesn’t work anymore’. He actually sliced [gesturing through his palm].
Debra Mooney: Do you remember when he went to Vegas and he got thrown out because he could remember all the cards?
Amandes: We went on a mountain biking ride. As we were riding, he got uneasy, ‘Are there rattlesnakes around here?’ ‘Eh, it’s Utah, I suppose they have rattlesnakes here.’ A minute later, he drove over a leaf and it got into his spokes and it went [screeching noise]. He screamed the highest scream I have ever heard. Then he looked at me and said, ‘I just screamed like a little girl.’
Rina Mimoun: I just remember that he’d sweat. He was an amazing flop sweat-er. It was the opening of season 2 and we were doing ‘The Dream,” where if Colin was really alive or not. We were out in the hot sun. He was also very pale, so Greg wanted him to be tan. I’m like, ‘This guy does not tan.’ So we sprayed him, but he was sweating so bad that his skin never got the spray. He was just dripping and his hair started to turn brown. I just remember the streaks.
Amandes: How much he would eat.
Sarah Drew: Especially when we were shooting scenes.
Amandes: At many Abbott family dinner scenes.
Greg Berlanti: Every time in the dailies, we would watch and be so impressed. He would eat every plate that was on the table.
Amandes: When the cameras were turning around, he’s still eating.
Niznik: We had to eat like four or five Thanksgiving dinners
Amandes: And it was just like prison.
Drew: And he then he would always complain about how his stomach was hurting. I remember multiple times telling him, ‘You might want to stop eating right now because I’m going to hear you complain about it in about five minutes.’
Amandes: I think the problem was that those meals were the only decent food that his body ever ingested.
[On Emily VanCamp stories]
Drew: Emily and I would dance backstage often. We were dancing and coming up with a routine backstage on the set, and then her knee, ‘Uh uh.’ ‘What is it?’
Drew: Her kneecap shifted to the side, so all of a sudden, we’re like ‘La da da da da,’ and she’s like ‘Aahhh!’ It was pretty awful. She was in so much pain. We had to shut down production. She had to be rushed to the emergency room. It was really really intense. I felt really guilty because i had been dancing with her when it happened.
[On the future of their characters]
Beasley: Dead. [Everyone laughs.]
Mooney: I think [Edna] might’ve taken off in that RV. I think she might be going around the world in that.
Amandes: With a young cabin boy.
Mooney: Driving Miss Debra.
Beasley: A young black cabin boy.
Mooney: I think Irv and I were the first mixed married couple on television. I don’t recall anyone before that. What I loved was that wasn’t the big deal about it. No, it was about our relationship.
Smith: I don’t know, I never really thought about that. I think Ephram and Amy would try living in New York for a little while, but ultimately find a way back to Everwood.
Amandes: Didn’t Dr. Abbot and Rose adopt? So that child would be 8 or 9 years old now. That’d be interesting.
Vivien Cardone: Probably doing something equestrian. She loved horses, right? Something professional equestrian. A jumper or something like that.
Drew: I think Hannah would’ve been a writer. She probably would’ve gone to grad school for it. She would’ve been a novelist. I think she would’ve ended up with Bright. I think they would’ve ended up together. I remember talking to Chris about where he thought our characters would go. ‘Bright would stick around and be a fireman, marry Hannah and they’d have babies.’ So maybe that would’ve happened. I could see him as a fireman.
Mimoun: I think she would’ve moved on, I hate to say it.
Drew: She would’ve gone to grad school, to an Ivy League and and gone from there.
Mimoun: Not happening. First marriage maybe.
Drew: Hannah wouldn’t do that. Hannah would’ve stuck to that number one marriage.
Niznik: I think we would’ve gotten married, Andy and I. Wonderful times. I’m sure Nina would have plenty of opportunities to educate him on the correct way to do things. I always had a feeling they would’ve gotten a cabin in the woods together. A little nest.
[On cast rituals and traditions]
Drew: We went Christmas caroling.
Amandes: We did do Abbot family dinners pretty regularly, which was actually really wonderful. Remember we did Canadian Thanksgiving? [grunted] Chris brought the meat. I think that was another fresh elk or something that he had hunted.
Mooney: I used to have domino parties with the girls. We’d have a great big dinner and salad and then we’d play dominos.
Cardone: I invented the swear jar and we actually stuck with it. We’d have a certain amount of money for certain bad words. Then, at the end of a certain amount of time, we’d pull the money together and we’d buy something nice or do something fun. Treat put the most, probably.
Berlanti: We did an episode where Delia said shit.
Cardone: That didn’t count.
Blake Neely (who did the music): The ritual that I remember from the LA side was that Greg would always have a party for the first episode of the season, every year. So everyone could get together and and cheerlead and ‘Here we go into another season.’ That was cool. Nobody does those on any other show that i’ve worked on.
[On the finale]
Amandes: I’ve never seen the finale. Couldn’t watch it then and I’ve never been able to. I won’t watch finales of my favorite shows.
[Photos by Nadia Chaudhury]
Nadia Chaudhury and a friend plan on rewatching Everwood book club-style as soon as possible.