Video Interview with CULT stars Alona Tal and Robert Knepper
Melissa from Pittsburgh’s CW Green Team had a chance this morning to talk with Robert Knepper (“Shameless,” “SGU Stargate Universe,” “Carnivale,” “Presidio Med” and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”) & Alona Tal (“Veronica Mars” and “Supernatural,” and guest appearances on “Monk,” “The Cleaner,” “Lie To Me,” “The Killing” and “CSI”) about the launch of the dark new drama coming to the CW.
CULT PREMIERES ON THE CW NETWORK, Tuesday, February 19, 9pm et/pt.
Investigative journalist Jeff Sefton (Matt Davis, “The Vampire Diaries”) has learned to live with his younger brother Nate’s relentless string of obsessions, especially his latest rant that a hit TV show intends to harm him. However, when his brother mysteriously disappears, Jeff takes Nate’s paranoia seriously, and in the process uncovers the dark underworld of the TV show “Cult” and its rabid fans.
The fictitious show, centered on the cat-and-mouse game between a charismatic cult leader and the detective who was once a cult member, has become an obsession for its viewers – and now some of its devotees seem to be taking their fixation to deadly extremes in the real world.
In the parallel worlds of the show-within-a-show, the cult’s leader, Billy Grimm, is played by actor Roger Reeves (the double role of Billy/Roger is played by Robert Knepper, “Prison Break,” “Shameless”). Roger plays Billy as a compelling but ruthless leader, a man whose primary agenda is winning back his former follower and lover, Kelly Collins, played by actress Marti Gerritsen (the double role of Kelly/Marti is played by Alona Tal, “Supernatural,” “The Killing”). Since escaping from the cult, Kelly has become an LAPD detective. When her sister is kidnapped, Kelly finds herself drawn back into an investigation of the group’s activities, and she struggles to keep Billy at a safe distance, knowing he would stop at nothing to get her back. As the television show grows in popularity, cast members Roger and Marti feel the effects in their “real” lives – Roger isn’t sure who he can trust, and Marti is beginning to realize that being the star of this particular show may have truly dangerous consequences.
The only person who seems willing to help Jeff with his investigation into this double world is Skye Yarrow (Jessica Lucas, “Melrose Place,” “Cloverfield”), a young research assistant for “Cult” who has also started to grow suspicious of the increasingly dark happenings surrounding the show. Jeff and Skye are both driven by personal reasons to uncover the mysteries surrounding “Cult.” Jeff is focused on finding Nate, the brother he raised following the death of their parents, while Skye is searching for answers about her father, who went missing 10 years ago and is presumed dead. All Skye knows is that her father was investigating Steven Rae, the reclusive executive producer/writer who created “Cult.” In fact, she took the job on the show in order to make contact with Rae and see if he will answer her questions. Jeff and Skye are practically strangers to each other, but they are united by the common goal of finding out what happened to their family members.
Jeff will need all of the investigative skills he honed as a journalist to make sense of the treacherous world he and Skye have entered. It soon becomes clear to Jeff and Skye that the gruesome plot twists on this television show are much more than fantasy for some very unfortunate people. The hardcore fans of “Cult” would kill to see what happens next…
The series stars Matt Davis (“The Vampire Diaries”) as Jeff Sefton, Jessica Lucas (“Melrose Place,” “Cloverfield”) as Skye Yarrow, Alona Tal (“Supernatural,” “The Killing”) as Kelly Collins and Robert Knepper (“Prison Break,” “Shameless”) as Billy Grimm.
CULT is from Fake Empire and Rockne S. O’Bannon Television in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios, with executive producers Rockne S. O’Bannon (“Farscape,” “V”), Josh Schwartz (“Chuck,” “Gossip Girl”), Stephanie Savage (“Hart of Dixie,” “Gossip Girl”) and Len Goldstein (“Hart of Dixie”).
Kelly Collins/Marti Gerritsen on “Cult”
In the CW’s new drama series “Cult,” Alona Tal stars in the dual role of Kelly Collins/Marti Gerritsen. In the parallel worlds of this show-within-a-show, Kelly Collins is an LAPD detective in a fictional television series, who finds herself investigating the activities of the cult she escaped from years ago, and Marti Gerritsen is the actress who plays Kelly.
Tal captured the industry’s attention last November upon beating out Hollywood’s hottest “it” girls for a breakout role in the Allen Hughes directed film “Broken City.” She stars opposite Mark Wahlberg in this political thriller about an ex-cop turned private investigator who trails the wife of New York City’s mayor only to find himself immersed in a larger scandal. This film co-stars Russell Crowe and Catherine Zeta Jones and will be released in January 2013.
Born and raised in Herzliya, Israel, Tal spent two years in the Israel Defense Forces, prior to becoming an actress. Upon graduating from the Army, her first starring role was the lead in Israeli film, “Lihiyot Kochav” (To Be A Star). During the filming of the movie she was offered roles in the soap opera “Tzimerim” and the sitcom “HaPijamot.” Tal did four seasons of the sitcom, which eventually gave her the chance to showcase her musical talent. Following this she recorded several songs with Israeli rapper, Subliminal.
Upon moving to the US in 2004, Tal landed a development deal with Warner Bros. Past television credit include recurring roles on “Veronica Mars” and “Supernatural,” and guest appearances on “Monk,” “The Cleaner,” “Lie To Me,” “The Killing” and “CSI.”
Tal attended the Thelma Yellin School of Arts in Tel Aviv, as well as the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York City. She considers music and acting both equal passions.
She currently splits her time between Vancouver and Los Angeles.
Billy Grimm/Roger Reeves on “Cult”
In The CW’s new drama “Cult,” Robert Knepper plays the dual role of Billy Grimm/Roger Reeves. In the parallel worlds of this show-within-a-show, Billy Grimm is a compelling but ruthless cult leader in a fictional television series, and Roger Reeves is the actor who portrays Billy.
Knepper is best known for his chilling roles as some of TV’s best villains including stints on “Prison Break” and “Heroes.” His other television appearances include “Shameless,” “SGU Stargate Universe,” “Carnivale,” “Presidio Med” and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.”
On the big screen, Knepper’s credits include “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” “Transporter 3,” “Hitman,” “Good Night, and Good Luck,” “Hostage,” “Lady in the Box,” “Phantoms” and “Everyone Says I Love You.”
Knepper currently resides in Los Angeles, California.