WBRE-TV’s Jasmine Brooks goes serial. Seriously.
First Posted: 3/27/2015
SCRANTON — “Gone Girl: The Killer Musical” is set to dominate the stage of the historic Scranton Cultural Center next month, and the preliminary hype is so intense that if you haven’t heard about it now, you probably just woke up from a coma.
The musical stage adaptation is a passion project for SCC General Manager John Cardoni, whose suppressed dream of writing and directing a theatrical masterpiece is about to come to life.
“When I first came up with the idea my friends and colleagues thought it was wild,” he said.
The plot to the movie — semi-spoiler alert — is outrageous.
Cardoni has recently cast WBRE-TV entertainment reporter and “PA LIVE!” co-host Jasmine Brooks in the lead role.
“People will see a different side to Jasmine Brooks when she takes the stage. Audiences will see something phenomenal,” Cardoni said.
In a recent Q&A, Brooks opened up about the show, her interesting past and how she balances this new endeavor while juggling a successful career in local television.
Weekender: How did this opportunity present itself?
Jasmine Brooks: John Cardoni personally asked me. He wrote this beautiful script and he asked me if I would play the role that Rosamund Pike made famous in the movie. I was honored to be asked. How could I say no? The story is so fascinating, intense and outrageous. It’s one of those stories that make you feel a certain type of way — whether you read the book or watched the movie. When an opportunity like this presents itself, you take it.
W: You’re delivering entertainment news on WBRE-TV in the morning, co-hosting “PA LIVE!” in the afternoon and now you’re busy rehearsing for this show. How do you do it all?
JB: I love my job at WBRE. It’s true, I work a lot, but when you love what you do, it’s not really work at all. Still, it’s not easy to find the time to tackle other projects. I’m so grateful to my boss and my “PA LIVE!” co-host Dave Kuharchick for giving me the flexibility to make this dream of mine come true.
W: Is “Gone Girl: The Killer Musical” your first acting endeavor?
JB: Actually, no. Most people don’t know this, but I starred in a series of energy drink commercials in Japan to put myself through college.
W: On “PA LIVE!” you have a teleprompter to help you remember what to say. How will you handle reciting lines without a teleprompter?
JB:I rarely use a teleprompter at all actually. I research and study my morning topics for the news and on “PA LIVE!” With both shows, I have a lot of freedom. Scripts are not my thing; adlibbing all the way. Anyway, I have been reciting my lines day in and day out … to my family, friends and total strangers. I’ve been staying in character at home, too. Until the show is over, just call me Amy.
W: What else do we not know about you?
Amy: I speak Mandarin Chinese.
W: “Gone Girl” was such a popular movie. Will the stage adaptation follow in the direction of the film or go in a new direction?
Amy: John Cardoni’s vision for this was very simple: if something isn’t broke, why fix it? The plot will be almost identical to the film, but there will be songs added. If you think about it, that was the only thing that was really missing. Good music. Is there a better way to capitalize on a dramatic moment than with a powerful ballad? I doubt it. I highly doubt it.
W: You’re so nice on TV. What is it like playing a character with a mean-streak?
Amy: It’s not easy. I find myself smiling at all the wrong times. It does, however, make the character look just a little crazier, which can’t be a bad thing. The character of Amy is a nut. If I am having a really tough time staying in character, I just pretend the cast was rude to my dog or something; that makes it easier.