I chatted with Taylor and Allen Williamson about their careers and their new film “Hope’s Legacy.”
When did you know you wanted to be an actor?
Taylor: Probably when I watched Shirley Temple’s life story as kid. I wasn’t allowed to audition for anything except for school plays until after high school.
Allen: I fell into doing acting with some friends. I got bit by the bug one day and never wanted to do anything else since.
Allen, you were in an episode of “How To Get Away With Murder.” What was it like playing ‘Drunk Dude?’
Allen: It was interesting. It was the Pilot episode and we kept getting rain. We had to build a big bonfire but it kept getting rained out. So the crew had to get creative. We used a lot more off-screen voice work and just implied there was a bonfire. We were shooting in Philadelphia so the weather didn’t cooperate for those first few scenes.
Taylor, you mentioned you were in school plays. Which was your favorite?
Taylor: “Oklahoma” by far. That was loads of fun. It was cool being Ado Annie because she is so outlandish and so polar opposite of myself.
I saw you both were in episodes of “A Haunting”, but never together. Do you believe in ghosts?
Allen: That’s an interesting question.
Taylor: I don’t really..no.
Allen: I’ve been inside actual haunted houses, so the verdict is still out for me.
“Hope’s Legacy” is a sequel to “A Christmas Ranch.” What is it about?
Taylor: Lizzy’s grandmother passes away and leaves the ranch to Lizzy. She’s trying how to take care of it. The logical solution for her is horse events and competing. Lizzy and James get engaged as well. Other things happen including family drama and old girlfriends showing up.
I hate when that happens.
::Allen and Taylor laugh::
What was it like filming in Maryland?
Allen: Maryland is GORGEOUS. I loved the rolling hills. Coming right from Los Angeles into Maryland, it was a breath of fresh air.
What was it like being around all those horses?
Taylor: Oh, it was awesome. It was always a dream to ride a horse. I actually came out a few weeks before Allen did to train at a local equestrian center that trains Olympians. It was super cool. It was amazing getting to learn how another creature works, how to direct them, what their ticks are.
You got to bond with them too I’m sure.
Taylor: We were doing an exercise with the horse and my boot got stuck on something on the ground. The horse that played Hope was speeding right behind me. There was no reason for the horse to leap out of the way. The trainers said that it was an act of bond and that he was protecting me.
You got to work with Dyan Cannon on this project. Did she give you any advice about the business?
Allen: Every step of the way, she was giving tons of advice. She’s been in the business for decades so she really was a wealth of information.
Taylor: Even when we got back to Los Angeles, we reconnected and got to hang out before quarantine.
Speaking of that, how have you guys been managing quarantine?
Taylor: Pretty well I guess. It has its up and downs but on the whole we’ve been using the time to explore other avenues in the film industry.
Allen: When it comes to doing other productions, we’ve gotten a lot of Covid tests. We’ve gotten to be pros.
So on your bio now you can put “Expert at the brain scratcher test.”
::all laugh:: It’s horrible to laugh at it, but it’s true.
You actually worked with a friend of mine on both films, Ken Arnold..
Yup! What was it like working with him?
Taylor: He’s fab.
Allen: We’ve gotten to work with him a couple of times. He’s like a big brother to us.
Taylor: His family is awesome. One of his kids was on set and we hit it off.
Are you excited about the release of “Hope’s Legacy?”
Allen: Oh yeah! I’d like to see where it goes. Can’t wait to see the reaction and the fan base it generates. The first film received great reviews and feedback from the horse community, so Doug really took that to heart for the sequel.
“Hope’s Legacy” is now available to stream online and on VOD services!