Carla Gugino is one of the stars of Showtime Network’s ROADIES, which wraps its first season Sunday, August 28. Created by Cameron Crowe, ROADIES is a serio-comedic look at the lives of the road crew that keeps their band moving from city to city on a major tour. Gugino’s Shelli Anderson is the road manager for the Staton-House Band, devoted to her job and torn between her absent husband and her very present colleague, tour manager Bill Hanson, played by Luke Wilson.
In feature films, Florida Gugino starred in the SPY KIDS franchise, ELEKTRA LUXX and SUCKER PUNCH, among many credits; on television, she had the title role in the short-lived but beloved KAREN SISCO and has later had regular roles on series including ENTOURAGE, POLITICAL ANIMALS, THE BRINK and WAYWARD PINES.
AX: Is it difficult to get into the mindset of a character who is showbiz-related, but doesn’t want to be creative herself?
CARLA GUGINO: It was an interesting thing, in many moments, of realizing, “Oh, it’s funny to be in an artistic environment, an environment where there are characters that are the artists, and that I am the facilitator for those artists.” That is something that I’ve never quite done before, and I think that’s a really interesting question, because it was a different look at the mindset. Because I think what is so interesting to me is how hard these people work and don’t need any outward glory, any apparent glory from the world, or attention from the world. What they just want is for that show to go off without a hink. And that’s where I think that their obsession with that band [that the roadies work for] and with music comes in, which is, that serves a higher purpose for them. Which is fascinating psychology.
AX: Is there anybody in your real life that you’ve talked with about this, like maybe your assistant or the people who handle your career?
GUGINO: It’s interesting. I’ve never been a person who’s had a ton of people working for me or with me in that way, but innately, you of course will always have managers and publicists and an assistant, perhaps, and different people helping you. And I think I’ve always felt really lucky to have that, and in that way been amazed by – I had an assistant who no longer works with me, I moved to the East Coast and she’s here [in Los Angeles], but she was [Luciano] Pavarotti’s assistant, she was Henry Winkler’s assistant, she’s now in her sixties, she’s an extraordinary woman, her name is Alona. And what blew my mind about her is her greatest joy came from making my life the easiest. And I thought, “What a generous soul.” But it was in her nature. She just was like, “If I can make your life go as smoothly as it can, I am a happy person, I’ve done my job really well.” And so she definitely was highly influential for me in this role.
AX: What do you think your character Shelli is most consciously worried about, and what is she most subconsciously worried about?
GUGINO: I think she’s most consciously worried about the welfare of the band, and she’s the most subconsciously worried about the welfare of her marriage.
AX: And what would you most like people to know about ROADIES?
GUGINO: That we invite you into a world that I think is amazing that it hasn’t been explored yet, the behind-the-scenes of a traveling rock ‘n’ roll band, where this band is everything to these people, and these people make the magic happen. And I think it’s going to be a really fun show to delve into, both as an actor and as an audience.
This interview was conducted during Showtime Network’s portion of the Television Critics Association press tour.
Related: ROADIES: Cameron Crowe talks the Showtime series – interview
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Related: Luke Wilson on New Series ROADIES – exclusive interview
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Article: ROADIES: Carla Gugino talks the series finale – exclusive interview