Megan Ward Sheds Light On The Mysteries of 'Dark Skies'
Where did you grow up and how did you get started in your career in the entertainment industry?
MW: I was born in a town outside of Los Angeles but my parents moved to Hawaii when I was 5 years old. I grew up in Hawaii, believe it or not. My parents had been actors and that is how they met, but my Dad had a real job to pay the bills and basically that is why they moved to Hawaii. They started an acting school once we moved there. All of my youth was spent growing up in community theater, basically 'Waiting For Guffman', that is my childhood. [laughs] When I was 9, my mother was working in a modeling agency. She started sending me and my brothers and sister out for commercial and print work. So from the age of 9, I was working very steadily with Japanese and local commercials. It was sorta handed down, I was naturally put in to the business in a way because my parents were involved. I went back and forth to Japan during my high school years and moved out here, basically the day after I graduated and hit the pavement running and tried to get working in the big pond!
It certainly seems that it is working out for you so far!
MW: Yeah! It's going OK! Yeah! [laughs]
Aside from your parents, I am curious to know who has been most influential to you as an actress?
MW: Ya know, I was almost kinda old fashioned I guess. As a young person, I watched a lot of the old classics like 'The Sound of Music,' 'The Philadelphia Story' and 'The Wizard of Oz' — all these old but very well known movies that would play each year on TV. I had my hairbrush in my hand singing the songs to all the musicals and I really wanted to be an old fashioned movie star! [laughs] Unfortunately, those times have kinda changed and I didn't quite get that when I got here! But it was very much the Audrey Hepburn, Katharine Hepburn, Grace Kelly type of actresses that I admired.
When you look back on that time in your career, is there something that stands out as a great moment from just being involved with the series and its talent?
MW: You know, there were several! It has been a number of years, so it is hard to remember them all. I was able to go back and watch a lot of the shows before I did my audio commentary for the DVD release. It was just shocking how many things that we did that I had completely forgotten! There was one moment that I look back on and really love! The pilot was exceptional. It was a lot like making a feature film. During the series, there is a time where the characters are involved with the Beatles appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. We shot the scenes at an old theater downtown. We have a scene where we are standing on the sidelines and the Beatles are doing their songs for the Ed Sullivan show and the episode involved the New York blackout. That was such an amazing moment because it felt so real! I had several moments like that but that was the most memorable because it was a fun and happy moment as opposed to laying flowers at the Eternal Flame for JFK. It wasn't a somber moment. It captured a huge moment in history that had I been alive for, I would have loved to take part in!
On 'Dark Skies', you got to work with the late JT Walsh. From what I have heard he was quite a character. What can you tell us about working with him?
MW: Ya know, both Eric Close and I were very young when we did the show. I think that our roles were the biggest responsibility that we had had at that point in our careers. JT was so wise and experienced. He had such strong opinions, which could make for a very difficult situation as well, but he was so certain of himself and the material. I always looked up to him and appreciated being in scenes with him because he was so clear. At that point I was still trying to figure out what a line meant or what a scene was about. He just always knew. The confidence that he had really meant a lot to me because I was able to look up to him, even if I didn't have that much interaction with him. I felt very privileged to work with him. He was great even though he was difficult and tough but he was so talented and sure of himself. He had lived such a great life and I was very fortunate to work with him and to have learned from him.
You cut your teeth in the industry with some roles with Full Moon Productions such as 'Crash and Burn' and 'Trancers II'.
MW: That's right!
As a fan of sci-fi and your early work, I was wondering what you learned from your time on these lower budget productions?
MW: It has always been my dream to be on stage and to do Broadway. That just seems so elusive to me right now because I have two young children and New York is very far away! But to me, every job is new, whether it is a commercial, television series or a feature film. With each role, there is something new to discover. It always feels fresh, even if I am playing a widow… again! [laughs] Physically, I would love to be on the stage and have time to rehearse. I feel like that is what I will do when my kids go to college! I don't know, maybe that is going to be my final chapter! [laughs] I really do look forward to doing something like that. I have been on stage as a young actor a lot but not on a large venue with lots and lots of people! That would be the dream for me but I feel that I have a few decades left to do it!
What other projects do you have coming up that we should be on the lookout for and where is the best place for people to find out what's happening with you?
MW: I have an episode of CSI: New York coming up soon. I believe it will be airing in February of 2011.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out on a career in the entertainment industry?
MW: Do it for yourself! Don't look at results because at times they are incredibly arbitrary, do it for yourself!
Great advice! We thank you for your time and we wish you all the best!
MW: Thank you!