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Interview: Rebecca Marshall

To say the cancellation of the Hallmark Channel series Cedar Cove after three seasons was totally unexpected is an understatement.

Not only were fans of the series surprised at the cancellation, but many of the cast and crew were as well. One of those cast members is actor Rebecca Marshall who played Alex Baldwin for two seasons on the show.

The Canadian born actress has already built quite an impressive resume in just a short period of time. On the small screen, she’s appeared in series such as Motive, Supernatural, Arctic Air and most recently in an episode of the Bravo hit series Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce.

On the big screen, she’s appeared in films such as Saw 3D: The Final Chapter, Raze and can be currently seen starring opposite WWE Superstar Dean Ambrose and Roger Cross in the film 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown.

Today, we sit down with Rebecca to talk about her time on Cedar Cove and its cancellation, the mental and physical demands of her role as Phoebe in Raze and her advice to up and coming actors.

Pop Culture Principle – When did you find out that Cedar Cove had been cancelled?

Rebecca Marshall – I received an email from the producers of the show. I was actually at dinner with my family who were in town from Toronto. We were at a Mexican restaurant and recieved the emails from the producers and my agent. I was super bummed and not expecting it. I have to say I was very surprised. We all thought we would get at least another season.

The ratings had been good and we had finished the third season. We kind of had this feeling when we all left that it was definitely not a goodbye and that we would see each other next season. Everyone felt very confident about it, so I was pretty shocked when I got the email. When I went on Twitter and some fans had already sent Tweets about the show being cancelled. I had assumed that the news had been released. Then I saw that Andie McDowell posted something as well. I was pretty upset about the cancellation.

Cedar Cove Episode 3003 Final Photo Assets

Pop Culture Principle – Your character had seen a lot of growth in just two short years on Cedar Cove. How did you enjoy playing that character and what will you miss most about her?

Rebecca Marshall – It’s funny, because when I started on the series, when I was cast for Alex, I was really curious as to the choices I could make for her because it was such love triangle with the two other leads. I felt like I would have to really find a connection with her and make her strong even though she is this lighthearted cowgirl, but she’s also tough. When you come in and get involved with a lead character, it’s really hard to get the audience to like you, so I really tried to play her in such an endearing way. But, when you kiss someone else’s man, you really have to admit… it’s just bad.

When we came back for the season, I was really curious to see where we were going to go with Season three and I honestly thought that they were going to write me off the show. So, you can imagine how surprised I was when I read the first couple of scripts and the transition that Alex took. I was so grateful to Sue the writer and I was so excited because Alex had grown into this really strong and incredibly smart character who like most women and men, have made bad choices in certain aspects in their life, Alex’s was her love life. When it came to career, wrangling horses and working for the Saget Company, she was a really strong character and someone to be admired and I really liked that. The audience, especially women, can find something to admire in her.

So, in the third season, I just fell so much in love in finding her and it just became so easy to relate to things. My relationship with Warren was so much fun and I so wanted to see where it was going to go. They had this love/hate relationship where Alex couldn’t not like him, but at the same time, she wanted to kill him.

With Jack and Alex, Dylan and I sat down and discussed that from the get go that these two characters were just going to be friends. I think the audience was fearful that Alex might steal Jack. We decided that this friendship between them was much needed and we both made that choice as actors seperatly, which I really loved and it ended up working out well.

Pop Culture Principle – Do you think that there may have been something more in the future between Alex and Warren?

Rebecca Marshall – I think the audience wanted it to go somewhere romantic and we even said next season that it possibly could. We were actually waiting to see what the audience’s response would be to a relationship. However, on set and what we were kind of feeling, I thought that he was more like a brother to me, but having said that it might have gone somewhere romantic, but at the time of that season, we were just toe to toe with each other. I think in the third season there wasn’t really a love connection, but more of a love\hate relationship, but it could have led to something. The thing is, Warren definitely needs someone in his life. The running joke on set was that Alex has to find a guy that wasn’t unavailable. So, something between Alex and Warren was left open.

Pop Culture Principle – What will you miss about being a part of the series Cedar Cove?

Rebecca Marshall – The cast and crew were incredible. I got to work with some of my favorite directors who I had worked with on a previous television series. It was kind of like a reunion as well as just loving the people that you work with. It was a job were you woke up every day and was excited to go to work. When you got to set, it was fun and it was never a rushed shoot. There was never any blood or any really dark moments and it wasn’t anything that was really heavy that all of us got to really enjoy every day. It was a very close knit family, which I loved.

Pop Culture Principle – The cast of Cedar Cove was known for really interacting with its fans and live tweeting during episodes. How did you enjoy live tweeting with the fans?

Rebecca Marshall – I really enjoyed live tweeting. I have to say the fans for Cedar Cove were some of the best fans that I have ever had for a series. The fans were so committed and they knew so much about the characters and there was never anything bad. Certain projects that I have worked on some of the fans feel the need to tell you bad things, good things and unsupportive things. Every single fan for Cedar Cove was just completely supportive.

I so looked forward to doing live tweets with the fans. People really cared and loved the show and there was never anything unkind which I really loved. The fans had questions that were kind of outside of the box which showed that they were really paying attention and not just asking standard questions. A lot of girls would be very supportive of Alex’s character and her strength, which I really loved.

Pop Culture Principle –You have a film out now called 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown. What can you tell us about this project and your character Captain Matthews?

Rebecca Marshall – Captain Matthews is a very strong, independent woman, but has a big heart and it gets in the way of her job sometimes. She is someone that has a lot of heat coming down on her, so she’s trying to run this very smoothly. So, when the lockdown takes place with Roger Cross’ character and Dean Ambrose’s character, she’s trying to run things as smoothly as possible to get out on top. I think that the relationships in this movie are very clear.

She was an enjoyable character to play because it was a very straight forward for the most part. I’ve played cops before, but I’ve never played someone who was a Captain. She was an interesting character and was wonderful to play. Working with Roger Cross and Dean Ambrose was an abundance of joy and we all formed a serious friendship. I had a lot of fun on that shoot.

Pop Culture Principle – Can you talk to us about the film Raze and how you prepared mentally and physically for such a demanding role?

Rebecca Marshall – That by far has been the hardest thing I have ever done in film for sure. It was a tough shoot and about a month before the shoot we started training. I did an hour of strength and conditioning, an hour of boxing training and three hours of fight training about five days a week. I lost about thirteen pounds to play this role. We all did our own stunts, so we were working with a stunt coordinator every day and everyone was just working their butts off.

When the film started shooting, it was really difficult because I had to bring such a sociopathic energy and emotion to my character, so I had to work on that as well. I studied a lot of stuff about sociopaths and met with a couple of psychiatrists and worked through that.

Doing my own stunts actually helped because I could just stay in character and I didn’t have to cut out or work with a stunt double, so that part was great. Going home and soaking in a bathtub full of ice for three hours after and crying because my limbs hurt so much and I was in so much pain.

I was also crying because I was such a terrible character, but as an actor I couldn’t judge her. I had to understand where she was coming from and it was so emotional for me. On top of that, my body just hurt and I felt like I had whiplash twice. After each fight scene, it took us a couple of days to recover because I was so sore. I would stay in bed a good two days because I just couldn’t move.

Having said all of that, it was so much fun. Roles like that do not come along very often for women. When the role was first offered to me, my first response was “Who did you want me to play?” I didn’t think I was right for the role of Phoebe, but the director, who I knew, called me and said that he had full confidence I could do it. I was so terrified and just thought if I am going to do this, I’m going to do this. People are either going to love it or hate it. I had to make strong choices and be 100 percent committed all the time. I just felt very raw and vulnerable shooting that movie because it was a side to me that I didn't think even existed. I had to really dig deep to come up with that. I can honestly say that I worked so hard on that movie. If I look back on my career in twenty years after doing projects that was by far the hardest project I have ever worked on.

Pop Culture Principle – Can you talk to us about your experience working on the popular series Supernatural?

Rebecca Marshall – They are really great guys! They have been doing that show so long. I’ve been on sets were a show has kind of run its course and you can tell. The cast and crew are tired because they have been there so long. When I got to that set, those guys acted like it was their first season.

They are happy, they’ve got their lives, they have this great show and you can tell they are very grateful. I was just there for a week, but from the first day on set, I felt like I had been on the show all season. It’s always like the first day of school and you are a little nervous, but they were so welcoming. Mark Sheppard is a character in his own and he is a really funny guy. I was hoping that they would bring Lola back one more time, but it never happened.

That show has a serious fanbase and they don’t play around. My favorite is the fans that tweet you because they think your character actually exists and I don’t even know how to respond to that. They don’t see you as Rebecca Marshall, but as only Lola the character on the show.

Pop Culture Principle – What advice would you give to someone who wants to become an actor?

Rebecca Marshall - I would say, keep your head down, work hard and just keep plugging along. There are going to be a million people that are going to tell you that you aren’t going to make it and the ones that do make it, don’t listen to those people. If it’s something that you really have a passion for it, don’t give up. But do it for the right reasons. Because you love it. Not because it pays well or you want some sort of validation. Do it because it’s in your heart and there is nothing else you can see yourself doing.

Pop Culture Principle – Any upcoming projects that you can tell us about?

Rebecca Marshall – I did an episode of Girlfriends Guide to Divorce that aired on December 22nd. They shoot in Vancouver like Cedar Cove, so it was a quick shoot for me and I had a great time on that show. Other than that now that Cedar Cove is done, I’m getting ready for pilot season.

Pop Culture Principle – When you aren’t working, what do you do like to do in your spare time?

Rebecca Marshall – I paint and have a little art studio. I do some writing and have a couple of projects that I am working on right now. One is a graphic novel and the other is a screenplay. I have my hands in a bunch of different things.

Pop Culture Principle would like to thank Rebecca Marshall for taking time out of her busy schedule to talk with us. If you would like to keep up with all of Rebecca's latest news and projects, you can follow her via her official Twitter and Instagram accounts by following @becksinla.

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