#PhilTalksWebSeries Interview with After Pluto’s Lane Allison & Sara Lafferty

For most individuals, they’ve heard or been asked this particular question at least once in their lives, “Could things get any worse?” Well, for the main character in Lane Allison‘s written & directed web series, After Pluto, things got WAY worse. Co-Produced & edited by Sara Lafferty, After Pluto follows best selling author Truman Welles(Allison) who, just as she settles on the next chapter in her life, has a tragic accident that strips the last 10 years of her memory and forcing her to begin a universal rewrite. After Pluto stars Allison, Lafferty, Christopher Carver, Griffin Burns, Jill Fouts, Jennifer Sorenson, Kate McIntyre, Deb Snyder, Butch Klein, and Tiffany Commons.

Lane Allison(left), Sara Lafferty(right)

Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Allison & Lafferty about After Pluto, what viewers can expect from the show, if there’s any similarities between them & their characters, and more. Check out the interview and the first episode of After Pluto below!

1) When did you both decide that you wanted to pursue a career in the acting and film making business?

Lane Allison: My dad was in advertising and had an actress drop out at the last minute for a commercial shoot. When he needed a quick replacement, my mother suggested he use the very theatrical 3 year old he had at home. I was hooked! My mom really fostered my love of all things involving performance and gave me the best of educations when it came to theater and film. I was that five year old kid who, when you asked, “What is your favorite movie?” would be like, “Fox and the Hound, Ben Hur, and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane“. Also, her idea of a great vacation was taking my sister and I to NYC, hitting up all the box offices and taking in five shows in three days, so it’s not really surprising I ended up here.

Sara Lafferty: I’ve always loved to create! And ever since I was little I loved pretending to be different characters. I’d dress up myself, my friends – even my stuffed animals – and create a storyline to act out. As I got older I started playing around with the family video camera and created my own video shorts. And when I was a teenager I bought my first editing software and things just escalated from there!

2) Who are both of your favorite actors/actresses? Why?

Lane: I just binged the latest season of Grace and Frankie, which is one of the most brilliant shows ever, and I am in profound awe of the entire ensemble. One of the shows my mom took me to on Broadway was Lily Tomlin’s Search For Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe where she plays over a dozen characters of varied age and circumstance that blew my mind a million times over! She is as dynamic, nuanced, and hilariously moving as ever, and then when you pair her with Jane Fonda, another favorite of mine…magic doesn’t even begin to describe it. If you haven’t watched, run to your nearest device with Netflix and cue it up! Melissa McCarthy is another hero of mine. She is phenomenally gifted across the board, turning in a sublimely poignant performance in St. Vincent one moment and making me cry, and then with the comic precision of Charlie Chaplin and Lucille Ball combined, causing me to almost lose bodily function from laughing so hard while watching any of her comedies. I am keeping my fingers crossed for The Heat 2! As for actors, lately I have been devouring all things Iwan Rheon, Ramsay on Game of Thrones, and though his most famous character is wholly unlikable, the acting is nothing short of genius. Another actor I could just watch eat cereal and be 120% fascinated by is Guillermo Diaz, Huck on Scandal. He can create tension with his eyes that makes you glued to the spot, not knowing if you should hug him or run screaming into the night!

Sara: I tend to admire actors who can play a different range of characters. Sarah Paulson is one of my favorites. She is so believable in every character she plays in the American Horror Story series, and she did a phenomenal job as Marcia Clark in American Crime Story. I really admire her a lot. I’ve always had a fondness for Tom Hanks, from Bosom Buddies to now…and who doesn’t love him in Forest Gump?!? I’m one of the people that feels Leonardo DiCaprio deserved an Oscar many many times previous. I felt he deserved one for his role as Arnie in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. He just seems to put his all into every movie he makes. And another favorite of mine is Ewan McGregor. I just love him. He is wonderful in every role he plays, from his more obscure movies like Velvet Goldmine to the mainstream ones like Trainspotting and Big Fish. Not to mention his amazing singing voice in Moulin Rouge! And it doesn’t hurt that he’s super handsome and charming too. 😉

3) How did you both come up with After Pluto?

Lane: Sara and I had met about six years ago when she hired me as an actor on a web series she was producing and we just clicked. I asked her to work on a mock trailer idea I had a few years later and when that went well, we decided to tackle something bigger. It was 2015 and we had kicked around a few ideas before we landed on After Pluto, but once we did, the script really came to life. At the time, my grandmother was nearing the end of her life and was suffering from dementia, which had me reflecting on the fragility of memory. I had written a very silly one act play several years back that explored the idea of a young woman losing her memory in a very comedic way, and though our storyline was very very different from that one, I loved the dichotomy of comedy infused within the tragedy, so I brought the beginning inklings of a new idea to Sara and she and I started brainstorming, which very quickly led to a solid outline for the pilot.

Sara: Yeah, Lane pretty much said it all. We wanted to collaborate on something together and we were going in a totally different direction. But when Lane told me about her idea for this memory loss situation associated with her last memory being Pluto being downgraded as a planet, I loved it. So we changed directions and came up with something way better!

Truman Welles(Lane Allison)

4) Lane, what can you tell us about your character Truman Welles?

Lane: She is a survivor, not just with the accident and subsequent memory loss, but in many aspects that we are really looking forward to fleshing out. She’s the middle child in a family that has had its share of trials and tribulations, and she often acts as sounding board for them, both as group and individually. So with her current circumstance there is a lot of adjusting going on in the foundation of the family structure. Career wise, she is on top and steadily climbing higher as an author of several books, including a series that has the world waiting with bated breath for volume three (but now due to her recovery, is on hold). However, back in 2006 where her memory has returned to, she had barely begun to write professionally, so that is going to be tough for all involved, especially her fans. Also, in 2006 she had not yet met her husband, Ian, with whom she had filed for divorce before losing her memory and who, though she has no recollection of, she’s keenly aware holds answers for her that probably no one else in the world could. But rather than let it all mire her down, she approaches it with determined fascination.

5) Sara, what can you tell us about Charlie Rose?

Sara: Charlie is an intriguing character because she’s quirky and easygoing, but she also has some sense of mystery to her. We haven’t seen all of who Charlie is yet…her character will slowly bloom over the next episodes. She’s going to be a very important person in Truman’s life, and also in some of the other characters’ lives as well.

Holly (Jill Fouts), Wes (Griffin Burns), Jaqueline (Kate McIntyre) and Crew members (Andrew DiCristina, Devin Cutter, Mark Harbeke) prep for the “Surprise”.

6) Are there any similarities between you and your character?

Lane: It’s funny, when we were going over the dailies, Sara, who is also our editor, was getting us all set up to watch and said, “Oh, I apologize. I don’t know why, but when I was organizing all the shots, I used everyone’s character names, but for you – I didn’t realize until I was over halfway done labeling that I had marked as ‘Lane’ instead of ‘Truman’ “. So that is probably the best evidence. Specifically, I think we share a lot in how we view the world and handle shit when it’s thrown at us. I have had a fair amount of drama in my life that could have taken me down, and I don’t think anyone would have blamed me had I allowed it to, but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t get back up and scream into the wind that I’m not giving up, damn it! And, like Truman, I’m lactose intolerant, which slays me because I love dairy!

Sara: Well, I’m definitely a bit quirky myself, so I feel I can relate to Charlie that way. I’m also pretty easygoing.

7) What can fans expect from this season of After Pluto?

Lane: Though Truman’s accident is the impetus for the plot, we really wanted to create an ensemble show, exploring the aftershock for all surrounding her, inner circle wise and the world at large with her fan base. So there are a lot of layers to explore and a lot of relationships to unpack. We can tease that the person Truman had feelings for and played a part in her choosing to file for divorce (and fueled Ian’s drunken infidelity, when he received the news of the divorce via voicemail) will come into play and be a fun wrench thrown into the mix.

Sara: And some other exciting twists and turns too….

8) What’s coming up next for both of you?

Lane: Continuing on this awesomely crazy journey: get the word out, hopefully get funding for the rest of season one, and see just how far we can go with After Pluto. I’m also a member of The Open Fist Theatre Company, here in LA, and it’s a very exciting, busy time and season for the company that I feel very fortunate to be a part of.

Sara: Yes, hopefully continuing the After Pluto journey, as well as becoming a new mom (I’m currently 9 months pregnant). So that’s a HUGE new adventure I have to look forward to!

VISIT After Pluto’s official website for cast info, pictures, and much more.

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