IAWTV, THE PICKS: "Best Female Performance"
As we enter a month that will be full of celebrations with those we love, it is only fitting that we begin the month by celebrating one of the characters we've loved from the very beginning, and the talent that brings her to life: Jo Bozarth as Eros. Embodying someone as unique and strong as Eros was a natural fit for Jo and with the completion of Season 1, it is aparent that this was a match made in Olympus.
Find out which episode we felt showcases Jo's acting talents after the jump.
THE CATEGORY: "Best Female Performance"
THE PICK: Episode 8, "No Good Deed..."
SEE IT HERE: www.cupidanderos.com
ANDY: Although I spend most of my time on the East coast right now, Los Angeles was my permanent address for awhile and the apartment where I lived had a thriving micro-community - it was an oasis in the big city. Jo Bozarth, our very own Eros, lived in the same building and was one of the first persons I met. We immediately connected and the two of us would spend warm evenings by the pool talking about the happenings of the day, what projects were currently in the works and all the while laughing. We knew we would work on a project some day but we didn’t know exactly when.
As mentioned in previous blogs , see “Of Short Films and Series” and “The Journey Begins From the Other Side”, Jo was part of the group where the Cupid and Eros idea grew into the web series. And during this time, I got the chance to form a working relationship with her and to see her breath of acting that I was not aware of as we’d sit and enjoy our wine on a warm California evening. Yes, we talked of our dreams, me producing and directing and for Jo, acting. But our creative collaborations and passions came into being with the Cupid and Eros project.
I don’t have to say it as you can see clearly from the videos, but Jo has a natural beauty and sexual energy that you notice as soon as she walks into a room. But underneath lies a great actress. In playing Eros, Jo has done a wonderful job of bringing a three-dimensional character to the screen. Looking at the first three episodes, Jo brings us a kick-ass Eros. She doesn’t care what people think and accepts her sexual energy proudly. Then as we move into episodes 4 through 6, we begin to see how much Eros cares about her sidekick Cupid and although there are times Eros is ready to throw him to the wolves, so to speak, it’s all a guise. Then in episodes 7 through 9, we see vulnerability. This is very touching to me because it brings out the variety of human emotions that we all experience – even the most confident person needs help at some point in their life.
It’s a little redundant for me to say that I had a difficult time choosing the episode for this category because I had a difficult time for all of them. That’s really good when I think about it because it means I’m extremely happy with all the episodes in Season 1. So I chose episode 8 because it shows a broad range of emotions that Jo gave to Eros. From being vulnerable and alone in the mortal world, slightly dropping the sexual energy. We also get to see some great comedic timing elements as Eros makes Cupid think she’s happy with the way the night is going, even though she’s hurting inside. This culminates in the final realization for Eros that something bad has happened and probable she’ll be needed to clean it up. So many of these emotions are written on her face, conveyed without words – acting at it’s best. I hope you agree and have had a chance to watch episode 8. If not, please do and let us know what you think.
AVI: OK, full disclosure. A lot of you know that Jo Bozarth isn't just an actress I enjoy working with (though I do), she's also my girlfriend. Yes, I cast my girlfriend as a goddess of love who is, as our press kit describes, “...the ultimate personification of passion and unbridled sensuality.” A lot of my friends had a good time ribbing me for that one. And yes, I know that on paper that sounds like the epitome of a terrible hollywood cliché. Director meets girl, director falls for girl, director casts girl in roles based solely on his feelings for her. And while I know that I did not cast Jo for any reason other than how great a performer she is, you could be forgiven for being skeptical . Unless you've seen her portrayal of Eros. If you've seen our first season (or any of our companion series “An Evening With Eros”) then you know Jo owns this role.
The reality is, it would have been easy for Eros to be kind of a one note character. She could have been little more than an excuse to play against type by having a woman speak lines normally reserved for male characters. But even in our early episodes, when Eros is perhaps at her vampiest, there's an undercurrent of intelligence and warmth that Jo brought to the role. Yes, her Eros is sexy, liberated and prone to speaking her mind with little regard to what other beings think, but she's also fiercely loyal, warm, and fun. For me, what makes Jo's performance so great is that no matter what's going on in a scene or who the script is dictating she flirts with, the core of her performance is always Eros the friend, not Eros the goddess.
Andy and I both agreed that episode 8 was a great example of this. Here is an Eros with her guard down and off her game. But it's still Eros. Jo doesn’t fall into the trap of conveying Eros' state by making drastic changes in the way Eros carries herself or behaves. Instead it's little things. The snark is still present but the smile behind it is dimmer. The confidence is there, but diminished, her posture slightly closed instead of open and inviting. Jo plays it all truthfully and because she does the humor of it all comes through. Just watch the horror wash over her face as she realizes that she could be mistaken for, horror of horrors, a virgin.
It's hard for me to imagine that there was ever a time when I thought that Eros should have been a god instead of a goddess. A male Eros may have been funny, but I don't think it could ever have been as great as Jo's Eros.
So there you have it, our Eros, our Jo Bozarth and our selection for this category. Please tell us your thoughts in the comments below because we love hearing from you, our fans. Be sure to come back Tuesday as we'll be discussing our pick for the "Best Male Performance" category. Have a great weekend and thanks for making Cupid and Eros a part of your day!
Spreading the love;
Avi and Andy