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Emily on ‘The Early Show’ + More BtB Articles

Emily made her appearance on ‘The Early Show’ this morning to promote ‘Beyond the Blackboard.’ She looked gorgeous, as always. Really love her hair. You can watch her entire interview below!

Screen captures from her appearance on the show have also been added to the gallery.

074 x Emily on ‘The Early Show’ (04/21/2011)

Also, I have another article about the movie with quotes from Emily as well as another review, this one from Variety, that praises Emily’s performance in the film. Check them out:

VanCamp returns to (faux) Salt Lake City
By: Scott D. Pierce

Emily VanCamp’s life and career have come full circle, right back to Salt Lake City.

Well, to Albuquerque masquerading as Salt Lake City.

For four seasons, VanCamp co-starred in the made-in-Utah TV series “Everwood.” Now she’s starring in the set-in-Utah Hallmark Hall of Fame movie “Beyond the Blackboard,” based on the real-life experiences of Utahn Stacey Bess.

The telefilm is based on Bess’ book Nobody Don’t Love Nobody, which recounts her experiences as a young teacher struggling to connect with homeless kids in a one-room school at the shelter.

“I loved it. How could you not?” VanCamp said. “It’s such a beautiful message about a wonderful woman who’s done incredible things.”
It was also a chance for her to reunite with “Everwood” star Treat Williams, who has a small role in the movie.

“I loved working with him again,” VanCamp said. “We all just had a great bond. It was an incredible family unit when we were all shooting out in Utah.”

While being home-schooled during “Everwood,” VanCamp made a film for an English credit. “One of the themes was the haves and have-nots of America and the growing gap between the rich and the poor,” she said. “I actually interviewed several homeless people at the homeless shelter by the Gateway. You have the mall where everyone’s overspending. And right beside it is one of Salt Lake City’s homeless shelters. I thought that was so interesting and kind of tragic and sad.”

Her surroundings in “Beyond the Blackboard” looked familiar to her — even though it was produced in New Mexico.

“They added in the mountains and really did a great job making it look like Salt Lake,” she said.

In “Beyond the Blackboard,” set in 1987, Bess receives little support initially from the Salt Lake School District. She’s scared and overwhelmed, but she’s tougher than she looks.

Bess, who still lives in Salt Lake City, wasn’t sure she wanted her story made into a TV movie. Visiting the set, Bess said she “almost didn’t want to let it happen because I just don’t like all of who I am exposed.”

But her husband and mother convinced her “if it will teach one person to do something right — to reach out to kids, to try to be more caring — then it was worth it,” she said.

In addition to tugging at heartstrings, “Beyond the Blackboard” is funny in spots, such as when VanCamp as Stacey has to deal with a rat in her classroom.

A trained rat on set, that is. Sort of.

“I guess as trained a rat as you can get. I didn’t realize how much I dislike rats until I had to work with one,” VanCamp said with a laugh. “They’re pretty gross, I’m not going to lie.”

And the review from Variety.com:

Variety Reviews: Beyond the Blackboard
By: Brian Lowry

The Hallmark Hall of Fame isn’t known for controversy, though it’s latest movie is auspiciously timed — exalting teachers and the nobility of the homeless when both groups have come under siege as Republican lawmakers try slashing state and federal budgets. That said, this Reagan-era fact-based story is undeniably stirring in a “To Sir, With Love” kind of way, with a radiant Emily VanCamp as the caring young educator determined to reach homeless children. In other words, unless you’re a heartless bastard, “Beyond the Blackboard” ought to help sell Mother’s Day cards.

Stacey Bess (“Brothers and Sisters'” VanCamp) is a Salt Lake City wife and mother who has harbored dreams of being a teacher. The only available position, alas, is overseeing homeless kids — lumped together in grades one through six — at a rundown facility where they’re warehoused with their parents.

“Six years of school did not prepare me for this,” Stacey laments to her understanding husband (Steve Talley) regarding an assignment her boss (Timothy Busfield) dismisses as “emergency schooling to transient students.”

Not surprisingly, the kids are hard to reach, the administration sees the whole exercise as an obligation, and the parents are skeptical. Yet after considerable frustration, Stacey begins to find avenues to connect with her charges — investing her spare time in redecorating the classroom, enlisting the adults to assist her (in a pre-Hillary Clinton “it takes a village” manner) and even taking one kid whose father gets booted out of the program into her own home.

Happily, a new administrator (Treat Williams) brings a more helpful attitude from above, while events at home somewhat complicate Stacey’s personal situation. For all that, the movie (ably directed by Jeff Bleckner from Camille Thomasson’s adaptation of Bess’ book) is refreshingly free of histrionics or fabricated wrinkles to heighten the drama.

Stacey represents one of those too-good-to-be-true movie teachers, but VanCamp possesses such innate likability that she can make that sense of commitment believable. Nor does it hurt that the producers did an impeccable job casting the various students, including Liam McKanna and Paola Andino as two of Stacey’s more significant pupils.

Despite the quarter-century lapse, the subject matter certainly feels like it could be unfolding right now: Children falling through fissures in the social safety net, while a teacher lobbies for resources to help the neediest and most at-risk kids.

With their semi-sweet undertones, Hallmark movies are usually designed to play in Peoria. Given the current environment, this one might be particularly well-suited — right now, anyway — to play in Wisconsin.

2 comments

  1. ForVanAngel April 21, 2011 | 1:14 pm |

    Woah! Thanks a million times, that interview is really great, not really new things, but Emily looks so beautiful (the blonde hair is back, yay 🙂 ) and she seems to be so happy. They showed that clip, that was fun. 🙂

    I find it astonishing, that so many newspapers and media report about BtB and Emily, but it’s well deserved, Emily never was in the center of a single movie (not a tv show or a small role), and she totally deserves it and the movie does too, it’s always great when such an important topic gets its own movie. And I’m glad that many reporters seem to like Emily’s performance, only a couple of days left.

  2. Valerie April 25, 2011 | 7:23 pm |

    What a wonderful movie. I just loved you in Brothers and Sisters but what a beautiful job you did telling Stacy’s story! Truly inspiring!

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