Fans are so excited to see the show return to ABC Family. Personally, I thought the season 2 finale ending was beautiful and really set the show up for great things. How did it feel to finally get the green light on a new season?
Thank you so much. We loved Worlds, too, and we loved shooting it. We shot the ending last, and when the girls got their medals, the actresses actually cried – almost as themselves, not even in character, it was so moving to all of us. It represented so much hard work. Obviously, it was fantastic to finally get a pickup but was a little nerve-wracking to wait as long as we did. We know the network has a million parts to consider that we don’t know about, and our creative execs have been so supportive this season. It’s generally accepted that this is the best season yet.
What was it like to be back on set?
I can honestly say, better than ever. The cast and crew genuinely love working there and they love each other. It was like a reunion of good and respected friends. The best thing about this season is the chemistry between the girls which is so real and true. I think a big part of that is they just missed each other.
How did you first come up with the idea for the show? Did you ever think it would evolve into the fantastic series it is today?
I am a huge fan of the Olympics in general, and gymnastics is my favorite event in summer. I loved the idea of a lifetime of work that really comes down to one day. The payoff for all that work is so delayed – you have to be so dedicated – and it’s so capricious. Anything can happen. Injuries, your body changing, money issues. So much inherent drama.
Are you a fan of Gymnastics yourself?
Huge. I love this notion of an individual sport that relies so heavily on team. It’s a great metaphor for being a teenage girl or a woman and the conflict with being yourself vs. having close friends or being part of a group of friends.
Will you be watching the 2012 Summer Olympics? Are you rooting for anyone?
Hells yeah. Obviously Jordyn Weiber is brilliant, thrilling, and has all the mo at the mo. I personally like McKayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas to round out the team, and have a huge sentimental love for the comeback girls – Alicia, Shawn and Nastia – because that’s so brutally hard. Nastia has been on the show and we love her. Russia has some very exciting women so it will be a killer O. Even the men’s team is interesting this year, lol.
Last season we saw the girls compete at the World Championships. With the new season starting Monday, what can we expect from the girls on their quest to the Olympics?
It’s such an exciting year because the stakes are raised. This year its all about fighting for a spot on the Olympic team – and we’re doing it exactly as that is happening in real life. And it’s super exciting in both places.
The most popular question we received had to do with Neil Jackson and his busy schedule. Will we be seeing Sasha and his hypnotizing accent this season? We adore him.
How can you NOT adore Sasha??? Neil in person is even more charming than Sasha. Neil was shooting Upstairs Downstairs in London but was so sweet about flying back and giving us every second he could. I think he genuinely loves the character, and how could you not? Last year the staff made “WWSBD?” bracelets we all wore.
The reality of the sport is that your club coach is often not your big event coach, so it works out organically.
What about his love life? Is there any hope for him and Summer?
There is indeed. We love that relationship. In real life, Candace is a Christian, obviously very distinct and different flavor than she plays on the show. And in real life, Neil is a pagan. Exactly as he is on the show. And in real life – on the set – they have fantastic chemistry, just like on the show.
Speaking of love, Payson and Max had a great moment in the finale. With Joshua Bowman filming Revenge, will we be seeing him this season?
Nooooo! Which is so sad. That’s the hard part about being off the air so long. Payson does deal with the relationship, however. We really wanted to do a teenage bisexual story line.
We’ve been hearing about a new coach and gymnast that may challenge the girls. What can we expect from them?
The stakes are just so much higher. The new coach is very demanding and he really needs to prove himself as well. We absolutely love our two new girls, Chelsea Taveres, who plays Jordan, a hardscrabble girl, and Amanda Leighton, who plays Wendy, an annoying young ‘in. They really mix up the vibe. And its great to have Nicole Anderson (Kelly Parker) in a more regular role.
There have been some amazing guest stars on the show. Will we be seeing any other gymnasts in the future?
Would LOVE it. We had some chats but many of our cameo gymnasts are a little busy this year. However, several of the Olympic girls want to be on the show and we’d LOVE to have them. For gymnastic fans there is an amazing love letter to Olympic gymnastics in episode 4. We have some of our fave non gymnastic guest stars back – Sean Maher, who plays the conflicted but principled NGO head, and Kathy Najimy, who plays Kelly Parker’s nightmare mom.
You’re great about interacting with fans on Twitter. We love it! How supportive have the fans been during the show’s journey?
Unbelievably so. I just really feel the fans are part of the fabric of the show, just like any of us. The kind of dedication they have, to wait 8 months last time and 12 months this time for new episodes? It’s just so gratifying.
How would you describe the new season? What can fans look forward to?
Fun. Thrilling. High Stakes. Jam packed. CUTE BOYS!
Finally, can you spill a little spoiler on the new season? Are there any surprises?
There are some huge surprises. And you’ll get a whole handful of them in the premiere, so you have to watch.
Editor of Pop City Life. Professional Worrier. Harry Potter enthusiast. Lover of all things Disney, Dinosaur, and Jeff Goldblum.
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