Elizabeth De Razzo
In the previous post I wrote about the Smallville tribute commercial that fans have been working on this year. I had the opportunity to interview Elizabeth De Razzo, who is a co-producer of the Legendary Chloe project along with Maggie Bridger. De Razzo is an actress currently residing in California. She grew up there and in Texas, where her parents were born. Her family has roots in Texas, Mexico (Monterrey and Zacatecas), and Spain. She also lays claim to Native American and French heritage. Quite a nice mix!
Ms. De Razzo has played several small TV roles. I had the opportunity to see her in Cold Case, a role she is very proud of. She plays a young college student who is an unwitting participant in a cruel frat boy prank. This was her first TV role, and you really can’t tell it is! She is also proud of her work in the Real Women Have Curves on-stage musical, where she had the chance to sing to a diverse repertoire including rancheras, tejano, and pop rock. De Razzo is very passionate about her acting and singing career. Of course she is also passionate about her work on the Legendary Chloe project. Here De Razzo speaks of her charity work, which started with a love for the X-Files, and her job on Legendary.
Besides working as an actress, you are part of a charity organization called IBG, Inc. Can you tell us about that?
IBG, Inc. was something that four friends came up with in a diner. Two of us grew up watching the X-Files (me from the age of 12 and my friend Caileigh, 9) and we really admired the character of Scully and the actress Gillian Anderson. Two of us were inspired to become actresses [because of her]. IBG, Inc. started as a thank you to Gillian for inspiring us to follow our dream. She kind of gave us that first push. We did an event and raised over $6,000 for her favorite charity and we thought this could be really great and something we could actually do. We were all philanthropic in our own way, donating whatever we could. We thought “why don’t we use this passion of being philanthropic and also what we do in the business to make events, try to get people to go meet and greet a celebrity or have something signed by a celebrity, and then all that money can go to charity?” We recently had two successful charity events and raised over $25,000 in November, then one with Rob Bowman, an executive producer of Castle, who donated set visits and we raised $15,000. We want to keep doing this and keep helping underfunded charities. Now IBG, Inc. has five members: four co-founders and our CEO who later joined us.
What genre shows do you like?
I love the X-Files. I’ve been a fan since the show started when I was 12 years old and have been a fan ever since. Scully is my all-time favorite character. She was the first strong woman that I saw on television that was in the boys’ club and taking charge. She wasn’t a damsel in distress! I also love Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack) from Smallville. Other shows that I enjoyed were Dark Angel, and Battlestar Galactica with Edward James Olmos. I really liked Dollhouse, because I loved Amy Acker’s character [Dr. Claire Saunders] and Echo’s handler. A show can disappoint me, whether it’s the direction that they’re taking it or the writing, but I get attached to characters especially if the actors portray them in such a way that you just can’t not watch the show even if you’re dissatisfied with it. That’s what happened with Smallville. I’m characters first- I got invested in characters like Chloe Sullivan, Lionel Luthor, and Lex Luthor. It’s Clark’s story but they brought in all these interesting characters that made Smallville so much juicier. [SPOILER] Now Lionel and Lex are gone and Chloe has been relegated to the background so what I grew to love about the show is kind of slowly fading in Season 9. This really inspired me to help out in this project any way that I could.
What makes Chloe’s character so special to you?
Well the show started when I was twenty; I was just out of my teens. It’s almost like I grew up and became a young adult watching this show. What spoke to me was that she has elements of characters that I already loved, like Scully. She reminds me of a young Scully with her determination and spunk, not afraid to take on the world and fighting for what she believes in, following her dreams and pushing towards that goal. She really resonated with me and that’s who I got attached to from the beginning. I think it’s hard to get invested in the story because one thing that we’re constantly hit over the head with is that that story, that future, has already been written. Even being invested in a character like Chloe Sullivan that doesn’t exist in that story- what happens to her? That’s who I like. I know where Clark Kent ends up. I know where Lois Lane ends up. I want to know what happens to [Chloe]. It’s really hard to take an interest in some of the story lines when that future is predestined. It’s almost redundant, and you’re just waiting for the other shoe to fall.
Working on the project
What has been your role in the Legendary Chloe Project?
I am one of the executive producers. I’m out in LA so I was in charge of gathering everyone behind the scenes- getting the director, the grip, the sound person, and set designer; casting actresses, getting the location, and making sure things were flowing properly. Also I was in charge of reaching out to the CW, Warner Brothers and Smallville production to get permission to do this. I had dealt with Fox before for X-Files related charity events so I knew what I needed. I talked to like 50 different people until I actually spoke to the person I needed. This person was really helpful. They got us permission to use some Chloe Sullivan stills with the highest resolution. They sent us some of the Supergirl T-shirts that have the Supergirl shield the night before we shot the commercial. They knew that this was a fan-driven project, a thank you to Allison Mack for bringing to life the character of Chloe Sullivan, and a thank you to the creators, writing team and the producers for bringing that character to us.
Originally it was intended as a thank you to Allison Mack for nine great years because there’s been rumors that this was going to be her last year. We don’t know if she’s coming back or not. Her character is not promoted as much as others are, so we’re going to promote her! It’s a combination of appreciation, and saying “hey, we want her promoted too.” So, here we are: fans that love her and really want to see her out there.
How long did the commercial take to produce?
A bit stressed during production!
We started in the middle of January. First the idea got thrown out there and we thought “oh, there’s no way we can afford that.” Then when we found out the numbers, we thought it was actually feasible. Then came the process of getting the budget together, permission, getting people- some people donated their time. The actual commercial was shot in one 12-hour day. It’s a full-blown production. Everything was professionally done. Right now we have our editor working on it and we’re adding more. We’re getting our second rough cut Thursday and we’ll go over it again. Once we get that final phase we should have our final cut and then we get our airtime- hopefully within two weeks. It will be 45 seconds long and we’re working to have it air on KTLA, the Los Angeles CW affiliate. We’re hoping to get it to other affiliates, and we’ll get it out for viral release so that people who aren’t in those areas get to see the final product.
What was this experience like for you?
It was a really great experience, getting everyone on board. Once we got on set, the feeling and the fact that people took this and ran with it- some of whom had never seen the show or really didn’t have an idea of what this was for- was wonderful. Once [its purpose] was explained they took ownership of that. Watching it happen, the vision come to life, was extraordinary and satisfying.
What can fans do now?
We’re still fundraising to try and hit other markets outside of LA. Fans can go to LegendaryChloe.com for more information. Also you can follow us on Twitter @legendarychloe. We also have a Facebook Fan Page. Come out and support Chloe and Allison Mack!
Rally on Smallville fans! Thanks to Elizabeth De Razzo for the interview and the pictures! Remember to check the Legendary Chloe official sites for updates. Also, follow Ms. De Razzo on Twitter @ederazzo.
UPDATE 4/16/2010: Catch Elizabeth De Razzo in Season 2 of HBO’s Eastbound and Down as a recurring guest star! She’ll be filming soon in Puerto Rico.
UPDATE 5/17/2010: Full commercial here!