Going Inside Club Rockville with Alexandra Chando   

Alexandra Chando (left) as Deb and Andrew J. West (right) as Hunter in ROCKVILLE, CA. (Photo Credit: Elizabeth Thorp/Warner Bros. Television Group)If you need help getting past the bouncer at Club Rockville, maybe you should get friendly with Deb, who dropped out of college and has already worked in the music business for a few years despite her young age of 21. Deb may be new to the club when the Rockville, CA premieres tomorrow on TheWB.com but it won’t be long before she meets Hunter and the Club buzzes with speculation surrounding Deb and Hunter’s relationship.

Can. Not. Wait!

Well, I got to spend a few minutes on the phone with Alexandra Chando, who plays Deb, last week. Check out what she had to say about filming the series, the bands she liked best, and who kept her laughing on set.

Thank you for taking time to talk to me today. Can you tell me what was it about this role that interested you?

Alexandra Chando: Well, obviously the fact that Josh Schwartz and Alex Pastavas were involved. Josh Schwartz is a household name and known for creating really great shows and really great material. So that kind of piqued my interest but really what it came down to was the script itself was really great. We were able to read the first two episodes and I just really related to the character of Deb and I just really loved the writing and the idea of the whole thing. It was just so original and innovative. That’s what kind of got me.

Did its being a web series have any influence on your decision to take the role?

AC: I, honestly, I didn’t even really think about it. I was just like, you know, this is really good material. It is a web series, but, whatever. I’m going to be honest, I wasn’t seeking work on a web series, you know? It just happened that it was and the material was fantastic and, so, so be it.

Had you seen an web series before you got this role or did you check any out once you got the role?

Alexandra Chando as Deb in ROCKVILLE, CA. (Photo Credit: Elizabeth Thorp/Warner Bros. Television Group)AC: After we were told it was going to be on TheWB.com, I kind of went on there and checked it out. There are a few shows that are on there now, like Children’s Hospital, which is really funny.

Yes, yes it is! [we both laugh] How long is the typical web series script vs other scripts you’ve worked with?

AC: When I was on the soap opera we usually did a lot of segmenting so we would film different episodes different days, a couple of episodes a day. There were days on the soap opera when I had 30 pages of script to memorize and do it that day. With Rockville, each episode was only about 7 pages long, some even shorter. Seven pages is like a typical scene on any other normal primetime show. That was a huge difference.

Oh, wow, yeah it is. Well, in what other ways is filming a web series different from doing a soap opera or other projects?

AC: With the soap opera, everything is very quick and you really only get one or two takes per scene. So you really don’t have the opportunity to perfect the scene and how it works and play with it because you’re on a time schedule. It kind of takes the art out of it because it’s like a machine. You’re just kind of like pumping out these scenes whereas filming Rockville we had to move quickly because we were on a time schedule but, at the same time, Norman Buckley, our director, really gave us the opportunity to kind of hone the scene and play around with them. There were times where, even though we were on a time crunch, we would get seven takes to kind of mess around with the scene. So it really felt like we were given the opportunity to be more creative and tap into our creativity. Which is really what it’s all about, you know?

I do. How was it working with this cast?

AC: It was so much fun. We had one dressing room for all of us. It was smaller than an average bedroom. I mean, it was small. And it was like a dungeon down there. So it was comical that we were all crammed in this tiny room but, because we were working such long hours and kind of stuck in this club, we really really formed a bond with each other. And that’s what was so much fun. It was like summer camp. We would come every day and have these obscene hours but we didn’t even care because we were with these people and we were getting to know each other and we became a family. It was really nice.

Were you into music before the series?

AC: I was, I’m a very big music person.

What are your musical tastes?

AC: I’m all over the map. What I usually listen to… Or what I’ve been listening to recently, I go through phases. Like I had a Kayne West phase for awhile [laughs at herself] but now my steady music is Dave Matthews, Ray Lamontagne, Radiohead, stuff like that. But the music on this show – they gave us the soundtrack of the show and I’ve started listening to those bands as well. So it’s really kind of broadened my musical horizons but, yeah, I’m definitely into all kinds of music but pretty steady with the DMB and Ray Lamontagne.

Passion Pit performs at Club Rockville. (Photo Credit: Elizabeth Thorp/Warner Bros. Television Group)Do you have any new favorites thanks to the series?

AC: Oh, yeah. Every band was really great but the band that really stuck with me was White Lies. They were fantastic; their performance was incredible. And I actually really like Passion Pit. They were really great. They just make you happy. You hear their song and you’re like, “Okay, that’s good.” It makes your heart happy.

What was it like to basically go to work and go to a concert every day?

AC: It was insane. We would show up even if we weren’t working that day, just to hear the band.

What did you like most about Deb?

AC: She was really witty and kind of dry and sarcastic and I love that. Playing that is so much fun, you can really mess around with it. And kind of the relationship between my character and Andy’s character (Hunter), they really played off each other and were a challenge for each other. So that was a lot of fun, going back and forth with Andy. But, yeah, she was just an interesting girl. She was fun.

What character, besides Deb, did you like best?

AC: I loved Ryan Hansen’s character. He plays The Douche. Which is hysterical. He played it brilliantly. I feel like I probably wouldn’t have liked him if someone else had the character but the way that he played it, he made you love him. He was fantastic and the character is just… Matt Cohen (left) as Syd, Alexandra Chando (seated) as Deb, Ryan Hansen (leaning on table) as Chambers and Bonnie Burroughs (right) as Shawn in ROCKVILLE, CA. (Photo Credit: Elizabeth Thorp/Warner Bros. Television Group)I mean, you know people like that. He would say something and you’d be like, “I know people who would say stuff like that.” It was funny. He was definitely one of my favorites.

Ryan’s good at playing those characters you’d hate if he wasn’t playing them.

AC: Yeah. And it was impossible to keep a straight face. Any time I had a scene with him we would just always try and keep a straight face. There were times when we would get into these laughing jags and they’d be like, “Guys, we have to go!”

To wrap up, do you have an episodes that you liked more than others?

AC: Just by filming, I like the last ten episodes. I think there’s some really funny parts in there that I’m very excited to see. But there’s an episode, it’s called “The Tale of Two Bathrooms,” I think it’s like the 5th episode maybe. It is really funny and I’m very excited for people to see it. All of the episodes have something really interesting and funny about them but I think what I like the most about the last ten episodes is the relationships are more evolved and developed so it’s a lot more comical. The lines between the characters are a lot more comical…

I understand. It’s easier to understand and find something a character does funny once you’ve gotten to know them.

AC: The funny thing about it is people always go, “Oh, you know, it’s a series show and the later episodes you kind of feel more comfortable and in your character more…” But we filmed it like a movie so we filmed scenes from the finale episode a week into it. So we were all over the map, we were all over the place. So it’s just that I think the characters themselves were more evolved so that’s helps.

Right. Well, thank you! I’ve been anxiously waiting for the series and I look forward to watching you in it.

AC: Great, thank you!

4 Responses to “Going Inside Club Rockville with Alexandra Chando”

  1. 1
    Polter-Cow says:

    What, you didn’t tell me there was a cute brunette on this show. You have increased my interest!

  2. 2
    Rae says:

    Heh. There’s also a hot blonde!

  3. 3

    [...] as Chambers a.k.a. The Douche. His performance is guaranteed to keep you laughing if you trust his co-stars. Supernatural fans will probably recognize Young John Winchester as Syd played by Matt Cohen. And [...]

  4. 4
    Just Jody says:

    Great interview! Can’t wait to check it out tonight. Also can’t wait to hear that soundtrack! :)