Last weekend’s If There Be Thorns, fans of Lifetime’s V.C. Andrews film adaptations got their first look at Bart Winslow — a sallow, worried boy whose sibling jealousies got a serious boost from his grandma Corrine and her creepy butler who moved in next door to Bart’s mom, Cathy, and her husband, Chris. Who are also brother and sister. Bart’s real dad is Grandma Corrine’s late husband and … well, you can see why the youngest of Cathy’s surviving sons might have a couple screws loose here and there.
Which, says former Big Time Rush star James Maslow, who plays him in Sunday night’s Seeds of Yesterday, is what makes the now-grown Bart so much fun to play.
“He basically was raised by a pretty evil person who blamed all of these almost sadistic beliefs on his version of a Bible, on Malcolm’s journal,” says Maslow. “Bart grows up and graduates from a wonderful college and inherits all this money. He’s articulate and he’s obviously smart, so it’s strange that somebody at that level of intelligence can actually believe something so seemingly crazy — but that’s the scariest part. He genuinely does believe until the very end of the movie when he realizes that, ‘Wow, maybe this hasn’t been the right approach.’”
We asked the “Seeds” star to sow some answers to our “7 Questions.”
If your TV carried just three shows or networks, what would they be?
One of my favorites is House of Cards. It’s such a well-done series — so intriguing and captivating from beginning to end. Homeland also. I gravitate toward shows like that. I’m a big Family Guy fan. I could watch that for a lifetime.
What are three things you have to have in your fridge or pantry?
My refrigerator and my pantry are the quintessential bachelor assortment of things, so there’s usually eggs. I can eat eggs breakfast lunch and dinner. I’m a big fan of tequila so I feel like if I’m going to have only a three things in there, tequila is a good choice. It works well for me. And I love steaks — if I had steaks always supplied in my fridge, I’d be psyched. I feel like I could actually do that as a full-time diet!
Tell us about your strangest fan encounter.
I’ve had some interesting ones. I mean, being on tour on the music side of my life, you get some interesting and dedicated fans to say the least. Once, I had a group of girls ride in the elevator — how they got a keycard, I’m just not sure — for six hours. I was going to the gym or something and the door opens to screams. It was just photographs and selfies and calling their friends, and it didn’t get me upset. Strange way to meet people, but you know what? Good on them. They put in some work!
You act and sing professionally, but reveal to us your hidden talent.
Ooh, that’s an interesting one! I’m good at accents. I haven’t had too many opportunities to do them, but it would be fun to do a voice-over or play a character that is a different ethnicity or something extreme. I grew up with my friends and my brother and my sister just doing accents and being other people and geeking out!
What is a movie you can watch over and over again?
I wish that I could give you something educational, but I gotta lean toward Zoolander. That or Old School. Don’t hold it against me. They’re great films!
Since you have a brother, what did you think of Bart’s brother skills?
That was the one battle that I had in playing Bart is that I believe Bart genuinely loves his brother. I do! And I have an older brother so I was able to draw on some personal experience with this. In any family dynamic there is always going to be a sense of jealously because at least growing up they’re the most immediate competition you have. There is this strange dynamic of you love them because they’re your brother and if someone were to pick on them, you’re going to jump in, but at the same time, you want to better than them at sports, and in school, and every aspect of competition.I think it’s similar with Bart, but he just takes it so much further because losing is simply not an option for him, especially when he grows up. He’ll do absolutely anything — even harm somebody — just to win, and I don’t think he’s fully understanding that that’s not OK. The most important thing to him is to have the attention is to be number one, and is to be the best.
But yeah, Jory is the only family member that really doesn’t do anything directly to spite him and hurt him. He has always — despite Bart’s outbursts and terrible attitude towards him — been the good, older brother. Deep down inside Bart knows that. He still continues to fight with him and want to win and want to be on top, and be upset that Jory’s the golden child as he puts it — but I think deep down inside there is still a little bit of an, I don’t know, a soft spot in Bart’s heart for Jory. That relationship was pretty interesting and sometimes tough to portray, but because Anthony [Konechny, Fifty Shades of Grey] himself, who plays him, is just such a sweet guy. That translated well to the character of Jory. None of these relationships were simple. Every single bit of it is complicated!
Probably none more so that Bart and his mother. Tell us about playing this highly charged mother-son relationship with Rachael Carpani who is just so good in this film and in If There Be Thorns as well?
Rachel is amazing! I mean, talk about a wonderful actor! There is a 15-year span between If There Be Thorns and my movie and she really went through the most incredibly minor prosthetics. She was so conscientious of the fact that she would be not old enough to play my mom, but Rachel is a real actor and I just applaud her and our dynamic is very interesting. The book goes into the relationship and potential obsession with Bart for his mother a little bit more so than our movie had time to do. But having said that, it’s something that she and I and the directors talked about quite a bit. The way I speak to my mother is the most kind and endearing tone that Bart can possibly muster, but I think that relationship is probably more in the details and the moments of our movie than blatantly written out. Hopefully anybody who is expecting that can see all the work we put into that relationship — because we were highly cognizant of that strange dynamic!
Seeds of Yesterday premieres Sunday, May 12 at 8/7CT on Lifetime.
Photos ©2015 James Dittiger/Lifetime