|Julia Spina-Kilar and Ross Grossman do battle as Cassie and Glenn Cooper|
Politicians are always at the top of the list of the most hated, least trusted professions. So playing a politician and making him likeable is a challenge for any actor. In Rumors, Ross Grossman of Farmington Hills plays Glenn Cooper, a local politician who is running for New York State Senator. His wife Cassie Cooper, played by Julia Spina-Kilar, is unimpressed by his politician aspirations (Albany is not exactly Washington, DC), and the two feud constantly throughout the show.
Ross was attracted to this role mainly because of the husband-wife dynamic, saying, “it's not about what Glenn does for a living that I relate to, but the passion he has with his wife, whether the good kind (romance) or the misbehaving kind they show when they bicker. Despite all the other shenanigans, the passion (both good and bad) is so real and earnest and what people have in real life. With your husband or wife, you know exactly where the buttons are, even if you choose not to push them. Glenn and Cassie push those buttons, AND with the passion of a marital spat – out in public.” The fact that Julia and Ross are good friends adds to the realism of their stage marriage, and Ross hopes “that genuine affection will play into the roles as a married couple. Because as much as they bicker, there is a strong attraction in their passion for life and each other.”
Offstage, Ross works as a school psychologist, so it’s natural that he analyzes his character Glenn: “I suspect Glenn represents those among us who want to believe what is in front of them, mixed with his adept ease of trying to slide out of danger. Glenn is not the brightest character of this lot, and he makes a lot of sincere but silly assumptions -- I'd like to think I'm a lot cleverer than him. The challenge is to play those assumptions as genuinely as possible, without looking like the village idiot, compared to his quick and witty friends.”
Ross is especially attracted to the farce genre because “what makes farce funny is the characters taking themselves seriously, but in outrageous situations. Not just something that COULD happen, but more likely something that would never happen, due to the insane number of unlikely situations, plot twists, and incomprehensible choices that the characters make. For me, it is a challenge for a character to take themselves as serious as in a drama, but in these absurd, outlandish situations, where their dedication to making bad decisions and interesting choices spin out of control, and make us all feel better about our own lives.”
The Farmington Players' production of Rumors runs through May 17th and is proudly sponsored by TruVista Wealth Advisors. Tickets can be purchased online at www.farmingtonplayers.org or by calling the box office at 248-553-2955.