On a blustery Thursday evening on the Sony lot in Culver City, Cary Elwes was unwavering in his confidence for Crackle’s first original scripted drama “The Art of More,” in which he plays a prominent art collector.
“There’s nothing out there like this,” the actor said during the show’s Los Angeles premiere. “No one’s tapped into this world before. And when one thinks of auction houses, you don’t necessarily think of drama. But when millions of dollars are exchanging hands in a nanosecond, much like Wall Street, you can imagine people get involved with nefarious things.”
“The Art of More” is a one-hour series hosted on Sony’s streaming network Crackle, where all ten episodes of the first season will be available on Nov. 19. The plot centers around a former soldier played by Christian Cooke who uses his connections with a smuggling ring to gain access to an elite art collecting world inhabited by characters like a real estate mogul with political aspirations played by Dennis Quaid, who is also an EP on the show.
Quaid couldn’t help but notice some similarities between his character and Donald Trump’s recent entrance into politics. “We were shooting six weeks before [Trump] announced he was running, and then it was… fantastic,” the actor laughed. “How are you going to dodge that?”
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Cooke explained that, while the show is scripted, he enjoyed taking some improvisational liberties on-set, and that the other actors were willing to play along. His own body, however, was not so game one night when he was filming a scene in which he has to break a table. On the last take, he broke his hand. “I almost passed out, went straight to the hospital to have it put in a cast,” he said. “Luckily, I had it re-broken and got away with it. We shot around it for a few days.”
Kate Bosworth, who plays an account executive and femme fatale, said the 1994 thriller “The Last Seduction” and Jane Fonda’s performance in “Klute” were her inspirations for the role. “Those are some of my favorites,” she explained. “Whenever I’m taking on a really specific type of female character I want to re-visit those performances.”
And while the cast carried the new drama’s pathos, Crackle’s General Manager Eric Berger said that his research supported bringing the show to fruition as well. “From the data that we have, from all of the content that’s on Crackle right now, it points us in the direction that this is something that our viewers will enjoy,” he said. “We look at the actual content that they view, but we’ve also done a lot of research on not just the demographics, but the psychographics of what they like. We call [the key demo] the ‘Rechargers.’ These are the people at the prime of their career — they work hard, play hard — they stream a lot of movies and TV shows, but they stream to relax. They just want to dive in and enjoy it. This is that type of show.”
“Dive in and enjoy” was a sentiment that carried over from the screening over to the after-party where attendees were treated to a classy spread of tasty bites, live music and libations. A jazz trio performed a full gamut of tunes from standards like “On the Street Where You Live” to jazzy interpretations of moderns hits by Tove Lo and Paramore, which set the mood for guest to sip champagne and devour creative hors d’oeuvres, among them caviar-topped crème fraîche push pops.