In typical indie form, you shot the film in only 23
days.Were there any moments during production
that were particular grueling?
Travis got really sick. We shot all over L.A.,
and there was one location in Whittier that caused
a ton of sinus infections from allergens. We brought
a doctor on set to check out everybody, and Travis
ended up going to the hospital at 2 a.m., with a 6 a.m.
call the next day.
I couldn’t even talk, I had such razor blades
in my throat.
It’s moments like that where you’re, like,
Thank God I have a good producing partner,” be-
cause otherwise we would have had to shut down
Also, we know each other well enough that if
I’m at the monitor and she asks, “Do you want to do
this or that?” if I say, “No,” she’ll back off. Or, “Oh, I
hadn’t thought of that.”
There were a couple of times I asked him,
Are you sure you got everything you needed from
this scene?” And he said, “No. You’re right. Let’s do it
one more time.”
She also knows I’m not going to make choic-
es that sabotage the film.
Like say “I want an aerial shot” at the last
minute! One time he did ask for a projection shot [a
film projector’s image flickering on a wall], and the
line producer said, “No way. It’s going to cost a thou-
sand dollars.” I said, “Wait. Let me call around. Oh, it’s
only 80 dollars? Let’s get you your projection shot.”
Any Day Now
played the festival circuit last year and
won nine audience awards.What is the status of the
film now?
We had a U.S. theatrical release in
December, and it’s still in some theaters, primarily art
houses. It comes out on DVD April 23.
It played in over 50 markets, which
is great.
What’s been the most meaningful feedback you’ve
received about the movie?
Definitely from Isaac when he talks about
how he got to be “a movie star.” I loved watching him
experience the process.
Kristine, is there anything you’d change about your
producing approach for the next movie?
I would probably ask Travis more often,
Are you really sure you have what you need?” There
were a few times he kicked himself in the editing
room. “Damn, I wish I had a few more options.” But
I’m actually amazed we got what we got in the time
we had. I guess we really are a good team.
published its last dispatch on Darby in 2009, the
Mad Men
had just wrapped a juicy arc on the Emmy-winning AMC drama and was pon-
dering her next move.
Another series? Maybe a movie? More of those lucrative hair commercials?
She didn’t need to ponder for long: Writer/producer Shonda Rhimes (
handpicked Darby in 2010 to join the ensemble of her now megahit
which follows a clandestine D.C. crisis-control firm operated by
Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) and a crew of shrewd cohorts, among them
Darby’s character, Abby Whelan.
The leap from guest star on a basic-cable drama to co-star on a network
juggernaut (
regularly attracts 8 million viewers) has been a rewarding
challenge, to say the least.
Being able to develop a character over a period of time—it’s the
closest on-camera experience to the rehearsal process of theater,” says Darby.
Abby is complex, dysfunctional, and opinionated. Playing her keeps me
very engaged.”
And then there’s that whole fame thing that comes with making it in Hol-
lywood. “Yes, I’m definitely getting recognized more, especially when my hair
is down!” she laughs.
Though her struggling-artist days appear to be behind her, Darby hasn’t
forgotten the hard-knocks wisdom she gleaned as a student at Puget Sound,
and beyond.
I learned to not be too reliant on the opinions of others,” she says. “It
wasn’t until I found the courage and gumption to fully commit to being an ac-
tor—regardless of the odds, my lack of experience, or what the opinion of the
outside world was about me—that things started to take off, slowly but surely.”
Catching up with
star Darby
Stanchfield ’93
Craig Sjodin