Interview With Lindy Zucker

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Photo credit: Pierre Gautreau

Lindy Zucker has played a

host of fascinating theatrical and indie film roles (among them, an evil

clown), but AfterEllen.com readers best know the out Toronto actor as B.J.

Fletcher, bumbling-but-talented private investigator on the web series B.J. Fletcher, Private Eye.

Zucker is a comedy

veteran with a theater degree and plenty of improv experience, and she brings it

all to the role of B.J. We recently chatted her up about B.J.’s roots, the

importance of web series for queer audiences, and why it’s always a good idea

to have a giant tape recorder handy.

AfterEllen.com: You’ve done tons of theater and indie film. How does a

web series compare to that?


Lindy Zucker: Well, a lot of the

film stuff I’ve done has been independent, so it’s pretty similar. Doing a web

series, it’s obviously a lot faster — we’ve had to sort of juggle our lives in

an amazing way to be able to shoot this stuff, especially the amount of scenes

we’ve had and different locations. Because we have a new one that launches

every week, we’ve sort of been just running around like crazy people trying to

get it all.

Whereas on a film, you’re

shooting until it’s done — perhaps with or without a deadline in mind. But when

you have something you need to have up every Tuesday, you have to have it done,

and so it’s kind of wild to do. But it’s been good, we’ve had a lot of amazing

people volunteer their time and it’s working out well.

AE: So tell me, how did you become B.J. Fletcher?

LZ: Well, Regan [Latimer, producer

and director of the series] is a good friend of mine; we’ve actually worked

together in the normal world of box office, which is what most Toronto actors

are doing. She had been doing all kinds of little films and we wanted to work

together, and she told me about the [web series] contest [on AfterEllen.com].

I said: “Sure, let’s

work together. I’ll develop a character and you can write scripts.” We

came up with this really ridiculous P.I. character who has really terrible

cases, but thinks she’s “bigger” than she is. So we came up with this

series.

AE: Whose idea was it to use the giant tape recorder? Because it’s

fantastic.


LZ: [laughs] the tape recorder was

mine. We were trying to think of props and things, and it was actually my

grandfather’s tape recorder from, like, the ’70s. I suggested to Regan that

B.J. Fletcher does her own film noir-esque voiceovers on the tape recorder, and

then I showed her this tape recorder that I had, which is huge, and we all sort

of loved it. It’s just a ridiculous thing to carry with you.

Zucker (right) with co-star Dana Puddicombe



Photo credit: Jonathan Thomas

AE: The series has a lot of physical comedy — have there been any

injuries or really funny outtakes yet?


LZ: [laughs] Oh, there are a few.

Regan actually started to put together an outtake reel that we might put on the

site with the final episode of Series 1. There haven’t been any major injuries

— it’s a lot of physical comedy, and I haven’t done a lot of training in physical

comedy. I’m just sort of inclined to find like the wrong way to go over a table

or something, stuff like that.

So it’s a lot of bruises,

but nobody’s broken anything. We’re not leaping off of roofs or anything like

that. [laughs] There have been a few moments when we slap each other and there

are a few outtakes where the slap is too hard, but it just makes us laugh more

than anything else.

AE: You just mentioned “Series 1” — is there a possibility of

a Series 2 on the horizon?

LZ:
We really want to make a Series 2, it’s just sort of — all of us for

various reasons are very busy this summer, but we’re thinking in the fall we’d

like to do it. It’s just a matter of trying to find a way to make some money

off that — we might do some fundraising. Just because we’ve done all of Series

1 for maybe fifty bucks.

For Series 2 we want to

be able to pay people. It won’t be, like, union rates or anything like that,

but something where we can take the time to do it properly, whereas now we’re

sort of working around our various jobs. We’ll see what happens [laughs].

AE: Fair enough. … It seems like you’ve been really involved with the

producing aspects of the show. Do you think the web series phenomenon is more

important for the lesbian audience, since we don’t see ourselves — very often,

anyway — on TV?


LZ: I’d like to think so. We

definitely don’t see that on TV, but even without the lesbian content of the

show, I don’t think we’ve ever seen a show where, as a woman, I would be cast

as an inept detective. It’s naturally a male role, even without the queer

content at all.

But definitely, it being

queer, it appeals to a lesbian audience, because obviously they’re not going to

see that on TV. They’re not going to see the lead lesbian not taking her clothes off, being in this weird sort of comedic

role.

So, it’s kind of fun that

we can do that — I totally appreciate the audience we have, and that we can do

this sort of thing and we can make this queer series and people like it. Or

maybe people are just waiting for another horrible season of The L Word and they’re bored! [laughs]

I mean, queer audiences

are very dedicated, so it’s great. You have to respect their devotion, and we

try to give them something awesome to watch, and so far, people seem to like

it.