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Lizzie Bennet Diaries showrunner Bernie Su speaks to Hypable about the end of the series, auditioning Ashley Clements, dealing with criticism, and more.

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries has been a crazy journey, and no one has lived it the way showrunner Bernie Su has. We spoke to Su the day after the Lizzie Bennet Diaries finale aired. Now we can share Su’s insight with you, from his initial motivations to take on the project, what he would have changed in hindsight, how he deals with criticisms of the show, and much more.

If you need something to fill that Lizzie Bennet-shaped void in your heart, check out Su’s recently launched web series, Lookbook. The series follows the tumultuous world of (fictional) fashion blogging, and stars Lizzie Bennet‘s own Wes Aderhold – known for his portrayal of the sly and manipulative George Wickham. Or if you would prefer to wallow in nostalgia for a little longer, read Hypable’s top 10 Lizzie Bennet Diaries episodes, and see if you agree with our choices.

Hypable’s interview with Bernie Su:

Hypable: How are you feeling now that The Lizzie Bennet Diaries has finished?

Bernie Su: I’m mixed. A lot of good and a lot of sad – there’s no bad, there’s just good and sad. It’s such an experience, and I think as an artist, completing it is really the joy. We finished, we finished. I saw most of the cast yesterday at different times, and I saw the four girls together and took a photo of them. I had to take a moment to be like, “Wow.” Just, you know, feelings.

The outpouring from the fans and all that – my silence over the last couple days shouldn’t be taken as a sign that I have no feelings, I’m just trying to not pour everything out to everybody. Regardless, I feel really good and I’m really proud that we got to finish the show. I’m really proud of how we did. I’m pretty proud of what we have accomplished, as far as the legacy of Jane Austen.

There are critics, and people say we did things right, we did things wrong, we shouldn’t have done that, we should have done it this way. That’s fine, that’s cool, you can say that about the show, but I’ll just say that we gave it everything, we left it all on the table. It’s all there, and we can’t be faulted for trying – that’s the one thing I can always say. I’m just really proud of my team, and everybody, and what we accomplished.

When did this journey begin for you?

The first time I met Hank [Green, co-creator] was in March 2011. We didn’t get to start working on the show until actually after Vidcon 2011, and that’s something that a lot of people don’t know – people think we started working on it right away. It really wasn’t, we talked two weeks after we met for the first time about the show, but then we both realized how busy we both were.

I encouraged him to wait until after Vidcon, and that if we’re still feeling that we should do this after Vidcon (and this was four months later) then let’s go for it. And sure enough, at Vidcon I saw him, and he was still as enthusiastic, and the week after Vidcon he messaged me and was like, “Let’s do it!” I was like, “Well if he wants to do it, I’m in.”

“If anything for me, I just needed to make sure that my partner in this, Hank, would be as passionate as I was – and he was.”

So the real journey of it all started August 2011. Then we were developing it and talking every week or so about the show, and the details and nuances of what we were going to do, until finally it got to the point in November where I went, “Well, we’ve done all the development. We’ve got to either cast this thing, or shoot this thing, there’s nothing else we can do at this point.” The initial casting, they came in for the first auditions in December 2011, and that’s where it really began for them.

Were you in the first auditions?

Yes, I was. I saw every person who came in.

Do you remember Ashley’s first audition?

Yes, I do. Very much so. We had two days of auditions to audition the first four girls, and Ashley came in the second day. Either she was that good, or the other candidates just weren’t working, but she was the only Lizzie that day that was close to what we were looking for; the first day there were a couple others.

But I remember pretty vividly – I remember writing in my notes after she came in that she was the best Lizzie we’d seen all day. And clearly she was. That’s in my audition notes, I remember it very clearly. Mary Kate [Wiles] came in the first day, Julia [Cho] came in the first day, and Laura [Spencer] came in I think the first day as well. But Ashley was definitely second day.

Who was the most difficult to cast, apart from Lizzie?

Well I’ll say that the one that had the most conversation during the callbacks was Jane. Mainly because we had called back more Janes than anybody else, because we had a lot of good candidates. Coming out of the callbacks, there were two very, very strong candidates. That became a discussion that went all the way to the top, as in Hank and Katherine (his wife) had different opinions.

It’s good to have a discussion, but Hank had a hunch and Katherine had a hunch that was different. Hank wanted to go Laura, and I was like, “They’re both great.” I basically wrote a message to Hank, “Here are reasons why both candidates are great, and what each candidate gives you that the other doesn’t.” I think for Laura, she is very doe-eyed, and that really plays for our Jane well. The other candidate doesn’t have the same level of doe-eyed-ness, and not that it hurt her, but it was a different take on it. So I’d say that would be the one that had the most discussion.

“With Mary Kate I felt like, well there’s the benchmark. Let’s see if anybody jumps over it.”

And then Julia as Charlotte was also towards the end of the day on the first day. I knew Julia, I knew of her and I’d met her, and I was like, “Oh this is cool. I like this take on it.” So I was really happy with that one.

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 brings the L.M.D. storyline to a truly wild end. Here’s what to expect from “Self Control”!

You don’t know what’s coming

Yeah, there’s a synopsis for “Self Control” — “Suspicion turns to paranoia when the team doesn’t know who can be trusted as more LMDs infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.” But that’s the equivalent of saying that Iron Man is about a goateed man who can fly.

Sure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 answers a lot of questions about who is and who isn’t a robot. More profoundly though, the episode goes in for a final knead and punch of the ideas that have been floating around all season.

Read full article

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 brings the L.M.D. storyline to a truly wild end. Here’s what to expect from “Self Control”!

You don’t know what’s coming

Yeah, there’s a synopsis for “Self Control” — “Suspicion turns to paranoia when the team doesn’t know who can be trusted as more LMDs infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.” But that’s the equivalent of saying that Iron Man is about a goateed man who can fly.

Sure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 answers a lot of questions about who is and who isn’t a robot. More profoundly though, the episode goes in for a final knead and punch of the ideas that have been floating around all season.

Free will and humanity. Sacrifice and love. The nature of reality — and even of life itself. Beneath the plot, surprises, and pain, that’s what’s really going on in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spring finale.

That, and the characters who get caught in the middle.

Jed Whedon is Not. Playing. Around.

Executive producer and showrunner Jed Whedon is the man behind the pen and the camera in “Self Control,” and he’s there for a reason. Whedon’s first try at the director’s chair on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is operatic, incisive, and perpetually gut-clenching.

Yes, there are lovely and disturbing vistas, an artistry that comes from a deliberate and careful eye. But more important is the unshakable Whedon impulse that animates Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15, that builds through the episode like a cresting tide.

You know that unmistakable sense that someone is laughing behind the scenes? Yeah. That’s why Jed Whedon is here.

What’s next?

Well, that’s a very good question. “Self Control” leaves us with a few razor-like possibilities, all of which lead down spiky corridors of questions. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 is here to leave us thirsty for the season’s final seven episodes, and that’s exactly what it does.

Oh, and to answer your next question…

Cliffhanger?

Uh, yes. Cliffhanger.

Oh boy, cliffhanger.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15, “Self Control,” airs Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 10:00 p.m. on ABC.

What are your top theories for ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ 4×15?

Have President’s Day off? Here are some movies, TV shows, and soundtracks with which to celebrate President’s Day.

‘Hamilton’


Even if you were somehow lucky enough to have already seen the musical, you might as well celebrate today with another listen to the soundtrack. In case you have been living under a rock, Hamilton is a hip-hop, rap, musical about Alexander Hamilton. Yes, Hamilton never became president, but the musical does include multiple would-be presidents. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and even birthday boy himself George Washington are heavily featured in Hamilton. Based on the biography by Ron Chernow, you can get a history lesson while you listen to great music.

Read full article

Have President’s Day off? Here are some movies, TV shows, and soundtracks with which to celebrate President’s Day.

‘Hamilton’


Even if you were somehow lucky enough to have already seen the musical, you might as well celebrate today with another listen to the soundtrack. In case you have been living under a rock, Hamilton is a hip-hop, rap, musical about Alexander Hamilton. Yes, Hamilton never became president, but the musical does include multiple would-be presidents. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and even birthday boy himself George Washington are heavily featured in Hamilton. Based on the biography by Ron Chernow, you can get a history lesson while you listen to great music.

‘Liberty’s Kids’


Liberty’s Kids aired in the early 2000s on PBS. Liberty’s Kids follows three teenagers from varying backgrounds throughout the American Revolution, mentored by Benjamin Franklin. It is geared for children but is still pretty enjoyable for adults. In each episode, the teenagers encounter a significant person or event from the revolution, giving a concise and entertaining history lesson. The show features many important figures throughout the revolution, showing even more presidents than in Hamilton. As one can imagine, Washington is among these.

‘Lincoln’


Lincoln is a 2012, Oscar nominated movie, directed by Steven Spielberg based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s biography of Abraham Lincoln, Team of Rivals. Instead of a biopic of Lincoln’s entire life, Lincoln is specifically about his passing of the 13th amendment. Essentially directed between each of his science fiction blockbusters, Spielberg also made many significant historical movies, Lincoln among them. Lincoln not only shows his power as a president, but also humanizes him through an Oscar winning performance by Daniel Day-Lewis.

‘1776’


Hamilton is not the first musical about American history. Thankfully, though, because this way there are other options, one of which is 1776. Even more conveniently, the musical 1776 was adapted into a movie in the early 1970s. Heavily implied by its name, 1776 is about the signing of the Declaration of Independence. 1776 definitely has a more classical musical theater vibe than Hamilton. The strange combination of American history and musical theater allows for a humorous yet educational experience. However, as reflective of the history of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Washington is not a character in the musical; yet, it obviously includes many other significant historical figures.

‘The West Wing’ or ‘The American President’


Unlike the other items on this list, these two are about fictional presidents. But it would be nice if they were real. Of the many politically charged movies and television shows by Aaron Sorkin, these two are specifically about presidents. If you have the day off and want to attempt to binge watch seven seasons, then you may want to check out The West Wing. The West Wing follows President Bartlet and his staff and advisors during their time in the White House. If you want a movie to help you transition between Valentine’s Day and President’s Day then The American President is worth watching. It is a romantic comedy about President Shepherd, who falls in love with a lobbyist.

How else will you celebrate President’s Day?

The first two cast members for Disney’s live-action adaptation of The Lion King have been announced by director Jon Favreau.

James Earl Jones, who voiced Mufasa in the animated movie in the ’90s, is returning as the character in the live-action adaptation. Interesting!

Meanwhile, Donald Glover — who will co-star in this summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming for Disney and Marvel — will play Adult Simba.

Read full article

The first two cast members for Disney’s live-action adaptation of The Lion King have been announced by director Jon Favreau.

James Earl Jones, who voiced Mufasa in the animated movie in the ’90s, is returning as the character in the live-action adaptation. Interesting!

Meanwhile, Donald Glover — who will co-star in this summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming for Disney and Marvel — will play Adult Simba.

Favreau tweeted the news Friday evening:

According to a statement from Disney, The Lion King “will build on the groundbreaking technology used in The Jungle Book to bring the story of Simba to photorealistic life.”

A release date for the film hasn’t been set. Favreau also helmed the live-action Jungle Book for the studio.

So far casting is off to a great start!