The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Soap Synopses - BY GE­ORGE DICKIE

What made you de­cide to take on tel­e­van­ge­lists in “The Right­eous Gem­stones”?

You know, I moved to Charleston (S.C.) about two years ago and I’d lived in Los An­ge­les for 20 years and I grew up in a pretty re­li­gious house­hold. My fam­ily’s still re­li­gious, my aunt’s a min­is­ter and it was such a big part of our life grow­ing up. And I think I went off to col­lege, moved to Los An­ge­les and just the church didn’t fit into my life any­more. And I think when I moved to Charleston, it was see­ing how many churches were around, see­ing th­ese mega-churches, it just seemed in­ter­est­ing. It seemed like a world that was wor­thy of ex­plor­ing and I threw a bunch of ideas at the wall and this was the one that I kind of just kept com­ing back to, the idea of a fam­ily in this in­dus­try was ap­peal­ing to me.

The open­ing scene in the wave pool was hi­lar­i­ous. Where did you film that?

It was a park in North Charleston and ob­vi­ously the rest of China is vis­ual ef­fects and ev­ery­thing . ... We did it all in one night. And you know, we had to do it at night because it was writ­ten to be day­time and about a week be­fore we were sup­posed to shoot, the park was like, “There’s no way that you guys can shoot this in the day­time with all this film equip­ment and all this stuff. We’ve got kids on wa­ter­slides, there’s just too much li­a­bil­ity.” So we lost the lo­ca­tion like a week away from shoot­ing it and we were like, “What do we do? Do we change this to be like in a river some­where?” Then the idea came like, “You know what? What if we just did it with our clothes at night­time and we just make it like it was a 24-hour bap­tism?”

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