Popular web series Old Dogs & New Tricks is back for a third season! We talked with show creator/writer/star Leon Acord about what fans can expect this year.? [Spoiler Alert: Don?t read until you?ve seen their Season 3 premiere ?Fortunes Flip? at http://youtu.be/KpNH4wWuggY]
After many delays, ODNT is finally back for a third season. You must feel relieved!
Like I just swam the English Channel, as Marilyn says in All About Eve!
Season 2 ended in April 2013. WeHo Horror Story came out in May 2014. And now, Season 3 is debuting in November 2014.? Why the long gaps between shows?
Well, we?re a web series. We?re constantly trying to raise money! Actually, there were several reasons. Our deal with Wolfe Video [which distributes the first two seasons on DVD] took a lot of time and focus.? Once we raised funds for a third season, we originally planned to shoot ?WeHo Horror Story? as part of the season.? But there were scheduling issues. I knew we couldn?t wait until we could all get together for a full season?and because ?WeHo Horror Story? was kind of epic?we decided to shoot it as a ?stand alone? in order to give our audience something!
Were you afraid of losing viewers during the breaks?
We probably did lose a few. Fortunately, we also attracted new ones in that same time.
You write, produce, and act in the show. You cast the show. I hear you?re in charge of costumes. You?re basically the show runner.? You promote the show tirelessly. ?How do you do it? Has it taken over your life?
Yeah, in a way.? But I have a lot of help from my fellow producers, particularly Laurence [Whiting his husband], Arvin Bautista, Stephen Curtis, our directors. But I was able to do a play this summer, after we wrapped shooting, and I just started blogging occasionally for Huffington Post, so I try to squeeze in other things. You know, when I can.
Regardless of whether we do a fourth season, though, I really need a good vacation.
How does Season 3 differ from what we?ve seen before?
I?ve joked that season 2 was a souffl?, while season 3 is a rich, sweet pound cake. In the past, the guys spent most of their time reacting to stuff that happens to them. This season, they are driving the stories, not just reacting to them.? And we?ll see more of the guys in their professional lives, as well as their love lives.? We also see them dealing with holiday drama.
You directed an episode this season too. What was that experience like?
Yeah, our third episode, the Thanksgiving episode. Truth be told, it wasn?t that much different. I think I gave maybe two pieces of direction the whole time, because the actors know these characters. And I trust the crew so much; I often didn?t even look at the frame before we?d shoot. I also kept forgetting to call cut at the end of the scenes!
Nathan is taking Damian?s disappearance very badly.? Will he move forward this season with Jake Tyler (played by newcomer Curtis Wayne Brown)??
Nathan will try to move forward, but it won?t be easy, because he hasn?t completely gotten over Damian. In many ways, Jake is the perfect guy for Nathan. But timing is everything. It doesn?t matter if you meet Mr. Right if you?re processing what happened with Mr. Wrong.
So Brad is going broke. Muscles is back, looking for love. Ross is getting a divorce, and his happy-ending massage was videotaped without his knowledge.? Nathan?s business is in trouble.? What else can happen to the dogs?
You don?t really expect me to answer that, do you? (laughs) ?I can say that Brad spends the entire season dealing with his situation.? Ross? ?sex tape? will surface later, at the worst possible time.? And Muscles?poor Muscles?just stay tuned!
How did you get Mo Gaffney to guest star?
We?ve been friends on Facebook, so I just sent her a message.? She replied in five minutes, not only accepting the role but saying she?d seen the show and loved it! I asked her, ?Have you ever seen a gay man jump 10 feet into the air?? because that?s how I reacted. She said, ?Honey, you?d be surprised what I?ve seen a gay man do!?
How was it like to work with her?
Well, Jennifer Saunders says Mo is the funniest person on earth, and I?d agree completely.? The part was originally written for another actress as a very dry, humorless ?Law & Order? type of attorney. So when Mo said yes, I did something I?ve never done with another actor?I told her to ad lib at will.? She didn?t change much, but she added some great stuff.? Everyone off camera was doubling over, trying not to laugh, while shooting that scene.
What was the biggest challenge in this episode?
Because we resolved all the season-two cliffhangers in ?WeHo Horror Story,? we start the season with a clean slate. That became the biggest challenge, keeping the episode interesting while planting the seeds for four new plots!? So this first episode isn?t quite as outrageous as the rest of the season. But trust me, as of next week, you?re off on a ride!
Throwing a cup of hot coffee in your face wasn?t challenging?
It was actually a cup of cold Coke! That was a tough scene to shoot?I?m driving, talking on the phone, drinking, and had to time the ?crash? just so. Plus, I?m in a car with our director, our sound guy and our cinematographer, all trying to not be seen. Poor Kiko [ODNT?s cinematographer], he really slammed into the dashboard a few times. When we got the scene in the can, he said he?d just been in an accident and was feeling a bit PTSD!
Is it too soon to inquire about a fourth season?
Yes! (laughs) This is our third season, but we?re still in the same year as far as the stories go! Season 1 was set in spring. Season 2 was set during summer, and season 3 takes us through fall to winter.? I started the show at 47. I?m now 51. But Nathan has been 50 all this time!? So if we do another season, we will have to jump forward in time a bit!
Watch Old Dogs & New Tricks new?episode titled “Fortunes Flip,” this the first of eight new episodes this season, which will post every Wednesday at www.ODNT.tv.
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Group Photos Credit: Dexter Brown