Oct27 2015

Don’t Expect Ed Westwick’s Wicked City Character to Be Anything Like Chuck Bass

After starring as Chuck Bass on Gossip Girl for six years, Ed Westwick is no stranger to playing a bad boy. But the British actor’s stint as one of TV’s most manipulative Upper East Siders looks like child’s play compared to his latest role in Wicked City. Westwick portrays fictional Los Angeles serial killer Kent Grainger in the new drama, which premieres tomorrow night at 10 p.m. EST on ABC. While eluding the detectives who are trying to hunt him down, Westwick’s character falls for Betty Beaumontaine, played by Erika Christensen—and the two strike up a dangerous relationship.

It’s not the first time that Westwick’s played half of a scheming onscreen couple, but don’t expect Wicked City’s love story to be Chuck Bass and Blair Waldorf 2.0. In fact, Westwick warns that his latest role is nothing like the lovable yet sinister character that he became famous for playing on Gossip Girl. “They are completely different, and I think people will see that,” Bass told InStyle when we recently caught up with the star over the phone. “They have different motivations, and they carry themselves differently.”

So even though Chuck Bass had a dark side—and it often got the best of him—it’s impossible to compare him to creepy Kent Grainger in any way, according to Westwick. “On Gossip Girl, Chuck was a young boy who was trying to figure out his early manhood,” said Westwick. “But this guy is completely different. He is driven by totally different reasons and aversions, so I draw zero comparison.”

And that goes for Wicked City as a whole. “It’s very different from Gossip Girl, and from anything else that I have done,” said Westwick. The shows may be nothing alike, but he still encourages GG fans to tune in tomorrow night. Why? “To figure out if they’ve got a dark side,” said Westwick.

Scroll down for the rest of our conversation.

What first drew you to this role in Wicked City?
“The script was a page-turner from the get-go. I was quite shocked and kept on edge when I was reading it, and the Sunset Strip was such a cool place in 1982. I was enamored by the whole mood, time, and atmosphere—especially because I’m a fan of that year in music.”

The Sunset Strip plays a huge role in the show. Would you say that it takes on a character of its own, the way New York City did in Gossip Girl?
“Absolutely. A lot of our story takes place in landmarks and venues that most people who know the Strip have heard of. And the music is also a big character in this world.”

You and Erika Christensen play a killer couple—literally. What has it been like to work together so far?
“She’s an absolute charm—and we seem to have a good vibe! I hope it all works out for our characters, Kent and Betty. We’re kind of the Romeo and Juliet of serial killers—and there’s a little bit of Bonnie-and-Clyde in that for sure.”

How did you prep for such an intense role?
“I went out and killed everybody [laughs]. I’m joking. I researched the people we’ve heard about, so the Ted Bundys of this world, if you will. Bundy was a great reference for me because he had the ability to charm and control and manipulate even the most intelligent people—he represented himself in court. So I had things like that to pick on.”

How did you get into character?
“My guy is a bit of a chameleon, so he adopts a different persona depending on who he is talking to, dealing with, or trying to kill. That can be anything from changing his voice to adopting a totally different kind of image and look. We show all sorts of trends from different places in that era—not just people in the Sunset Strip. The rock ‘n roll thing very present, but we play around with different looks. And there’s lots of big hair!”

Was it hard to film such gory killing scenes?
“The extent of my gore stuff has been getting sprayed with [fake] blood packets that were packed inside watermelons. It goes all over my face, and then I get to enjoy trying to get the stain off. I have become a bit of a professional at stabbing a watermelon—it’s been a fun and interesting experience.”

What else can we expect to see in season one?
“Sex, drugs, vice, and dark fantasies. It’s adventurous, and it is going to be a hell of a ride.”

Source: InStyle

Oct27 2015

Ed Westwick on playing ‘Wicked City’s ‘chameleon’ killer

Ed Westwick is following up his six-season run playing scheming lothario Chuck Bass on The CW’s “Gossip Girl” with a turn as a serial killer prowling LA’s Sunset Strip in 1982.

But that’s not to say the 28-year-old Brit has a thing for playing the bad guy.

“These are two different kettles of fish, to be honest,” Westwick tells The Post. “I wouldn’t have ever said Chuck was a villain. It’s not that I’m drawn to that, it’s just I’m lucky enough to come across these really fantastic, juicy parts.”

In “Wicked City” (premiering Tuesday at 10 p.m. on ABC), Westwick’s Kent Grainger is a man who, haunted by a tragic childhood, prowls the Strip pretending to be a Hollywood VIP in order to pick up hapless young women — whom he then decapitates, dressing up their heads to look like Marilyn Monroe.

“Seeing his mother completely destroyed by the idea of fame and the idea of Hollywood … that becomes perverted in his mind and manifests its way … through taking lives,” he says. “It’s also a preservation of her and her memory.”

While Kent’s mommy issues are typical serial-killer back-story fodder, he’s hardly a one-note monster. For starters, he babysits the young girl who lives next door. And he develops a fascination with a woman named Betty Beaumontaine (Erika Christensen), a nurse and single mother of two who displays her own disturbing tendencies.

“He does something that is very uncharacteristic of these types of people — he appears to fall in love,” Westwick says. “[Betty] is curious about control and pain and she’s a bit of a sadist. And Kent, being the guy who senses and picks up on everything, sees her vulnerability … someone who can be manipulated.”

His ultimate seduction will be pulling Betty into joining his murderous rampage. All the while, two detectives are on his trail — veteran homicide cop Jack Roth (Jeremy Sisto) and his weasely new partner Paco Contreras (Gabriel Luna). Kent taunts them by calling in a radio song dedication before killing his victims.

“It’s cat-and-mouse,” Westwick says. “[The cops and Kent] are drawn to one another for reasons that will be revealed.”

And while “Gossip Girls” fans may be disappointed to see Westwick ditch Chuck Bass’ signature ascots and velvet blazers, “Wicked City’s ’80s-era setting does produce plenty of dapper wardrobe choices for Kent.

“It’s an era where there were a lot of striking pieces,” Westwick he says. “My character is a bit of a chameleon. He changes his look — not just his clothes but his hair. He transforms throughout the season.”

Source: New York Post

Oct27 2015

New Wicked City Promo’s!

Wicked City’s premiere episode airs tonight 10/9 c on ABC! Here are two new promo’s, don’t forget to watch!

Oct27 2015

Wicked City Review: Time, Place and a Killer Ed Westwick on Its Side – Spoiler Alert

I normally don’t post reviews or recaps but I just love TVLine so here it comes! Don’t read if you don’t want to be spoiled!!

“That was weird. And kind of amazing,” sighs Wicked City‘s Betty Beaumontaine (Erika Christensen), moments after a sexual encounter remarkable for its unspoken agreement that she pretend to be a corpse.
RELATEDWicked City Star Erika Christensen on Playing a Sociopath: Parenthood Fans ‘Needed to Be Warned’
Like Betty before she fully succumbs to the twisted charms of Ed Westwick’s Kent, you too might experience intermittent misgivings about the one-hour pilot of ABC’s latest crime drama (premiering Tuesday, 10/9c) — albeit for very different reasons. While Kent’s twisted script threatens to push Christensen’s secretly sadistic nurse too far outside her sexual comfort zone, the initial tropes explored by creator Steven Baigelman’s screenplay at first feel all too familiar: The sociopath with mommy issues. The hardened detective (reeling from his partner’s suicide) paired against his will with an ambitious upstart. The plucky reporter who just so happens to find herself at the heart of the case. Stop me if you’re thinking, “I’ve already seen this movie/TV series/novel, thanks.”
But, just as in Betty’s boudoir scene, there is (wink-wink, nudge-nudge) payoff for those who stick around ’til the end of Wicked City‘s maiden voyage.

The action is undoubtedly propelled by Westwick’s creepily compelling performance — his “Kill me, I like giving back!” catchphrase (delivered to impressionable young gals) comes off as so meticulously rehearsed, it’ll chill you to the bone. But the show’s keen sense of time (1982) and space (L.A.’s Sunset Strip) prove equally hypnotic. There’s not a single detail among the woven lampshades, heavy wood-framed clocks and period-piece automobiles that comes off as inauthentic. The show’s costume, hair, set and lighting crews may not see their names on billboards; without their stellar work, though, there’d almost certainly be holes in Wicked City‘s tapestry.

But let’s not let this review devolve into a haiku about macrame. Instead, let’s boil the premise down to a single pithy-ish paragraph:
Charismatic Kent trolls the clubs of Sunset Boulevard looking for financially unstable women, then shifting his backstory (and his name) — he passes himself off as a real-estate mogul, a record-label exec, a studio insider — to better appeal to the women he’s targeting. When he’s sure he’s found a victim, Kent calls in a request to a local radio station, drives his lady friend to a deserted lookout point, and then produces a giant blade while his own, er, weapon remains flaccid despite plenty of oral encouragement. When Kent’s newest victim winds up decapitated and laid out in the same spot where the recently captured Hollywood Strangler’s initial kill was found, veteran Det. Jack Roth (Suburgatory‘s Jeremy Sisto) and whippersnapper partner Paco Contreras (Matador‘s Gabriel Luna) chase down leads — with some help from Roth’s undercover stripper-dealer/narcotics detective mistress. Kent’s circumstances change, though, when he meets Betty — a sweet-faced nurse with a penchant for sadism — and their scenes crackle with the warm glow of two misfits finally finding acceptance, mixed with the cold chill of “Uh-oh, these people really ought to be in a cage somewhere.” Did I mention Jack is married — and has a teenage daughter? Or that Contreras’ work in an internal-affairs case may have scored him a promotion (and caused Jack’s crooked old partner to take his own life)? Or that local reporter Karen McClaren (American Horror Story‘s Taissa Farmiga) winds up having run-ins with both Kent and Jack in the opening hour?

The sense of dread that builds over the hour is heightened by a terrific soundtrack — Joan Jett, Soft Cell, Romeo Void and especially Billy Idol — that practically feels like an extra (and vital) character. In fact, the pilot’s climactic sequence takes place at an Idol concert at the Whisky a Go-Go, where Kent works the room like an invisible predator and Roth’s conundrum reminds us of the terrible (and terrifying) constraints of being attached to a payphone (with its leash-like cord). Baigelman’s story is more interested in exploring the buildup before the gore, rather than dousing us in buckets of blood — which makes Wicked City simultaneously easier on the eyes and more terrifying for the soul.

Hopefully, subsequent episodes will allow Sisto and Farmiga’s characters to develop past the cliché states at which we meet them. Roth, in particular, seems to have been constructed on an assembly line at the Grizzled Detective Factory. Given his backstory, it makes sense that he’d have misgivings about his new partnership with Contreras, but at the rate they’re going, I’m worried we’re headed for a subplot with Roth hiring a skywriter to spell out “I hate you, man!” by Episode 2.
But Kent and Betty present a different kind of twisted love story. Christensen is great at conveying a put-upon single mother’s exhilaration as Kent’s “now for something completely different!” courtship. And Westwick is perfection creating a portrait of a character as a deadly blank space.

THE TVLINE BOTTOM LINE: As Idol’s “White Wedding” so aptly puts it, “There is nothing safe in this world.” Wicked City takes that idea and spins it out in fresh and frenetic ways.

Source: TVLine

Oct27 2015

Ed on Jimmy Kimmer Live – October 26, 2015

Oct25 2015

AOL Build Presents ‘Wicked City’ – October 22, 2015

Ed also stopped by the AOL Studios last Thursday to promote Wicked City!

Gallery Link:
Public Appearances > 2015 > AOL Build Presents ‘Wicked City’ – October 22, 2015

Oct25 2015

Ed at the Sirius XM Studios – October 22, 2015

Ed had a busy day promoting Wicked City last Thursday in NYC! Ed stopped by the SiriusXM Studios, photos in the gallery!
Photo credit: ParisInThe1920s


Gallery Link:
Public Appearances > 2015 > Sirius XM Studios – October 22, 2015

Oct25 2015

Ed on Live With Michael and Kelly – October 22, 2015

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