Actress Bridget Regan Of "Paradise Lost" Breaks Down The New Spectrum Original Series

Set in small-town Mississippi, the Spectrum Original, "Paradise Lost," is a southern gothic mystery that follows prodigal son, Yates Forsythe (Josh Hartnett), as he returns to his hometown with his wife, Frances (Bridget Regan) – a woman very new to this very old community. As explosive secrets become unearthed, Yates’ loyalties are tested as he struggles to choose between his past and his future.

Video Transcript

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MATT FORTE: Hello, world what is up. Welcome to "Build At Home." I'm your host, Matt Forte. I'm coming to you from my home, as I believe is our next guest. We'll find out in just a second.

But before we jump in, we've been starting the show lately highlighting the work and efforts of NoKidHungry.org. I don't know if you're aware of this, but millions of children are losing the healthy meals they depend on as the coronavirus closes schools nationwide. According to their site, $505 million meals as of today have been lost. The good news-- No Kid Hungry has a plan to feed them. We just need your help. So head over to NoKidHungry.org. Take a look, and see if you can help feed these kids. They're doing incredible work over there. If you happen to be someone in a position to give back, this is a great place to give. So go take a look-- NoKidHungry.org. Awesome.

OK, let's start our show. Set in small town Mississippi, "Paradise Lost" is a Southern Gothic mystery that follows prodigal son Yates Forsythe as he returns to his hometown with his wife Frances-- played by our next guest. Frances is very new to this very old community. So as explosive secrets become unearthed, loyalties are tested, he struggles to choose between his past and future.

I got a chance to see the show. And it is dark and wild. And it's a really great mystery to get lost in right now. Please, wherever you are, make some noise and celebrate with me, and welcome our guest, star of "Paradise Lost," the great Bridget Regan is here! Bridget, my goodness, hello!

BRIDGET REGAN: Hey! Thanks, Matt. Thanks so much for having me.

MATT FORTE: Always welcome. Thanks so much for taking the time to hang out with me today. I'm super excited to talk to you about this show. The show is wonderful. But more important than anything right now-- how are you doing? How are you holding up? How's life over there?

BRIDGET REGAN: You know what, we're actually doing great. I mean, every day, it's a challenge. I've got two kids.

And I'm trying to home-school one who goes to a bilingual school, and I don't speak the language. So there's a bit of a hurdle there. I wanted to give her an education-- my husband as well, you know-- that I didn't have. And didn't really plan on this happening. So thanks, Google Translate, you've been really helpful. But no, she's on Google Meet every day with her teachers.

And we're actually-- we're getting into a better groove. I feel like we've got our quarantine groove. Except, you know, the kids get squirrely. And you know, I'm trying to do crafts and a lot of cookie baking. Everyday, I'm trying to do something fun with them.

But it's a very intense time as a parent. All being said, my focus is on being thankful for being at home, feeling lucky to be at home. I have friends that are medical professionals and essential workers. And my mindset shifted really quickly. And I went, I'm not stuck at home. I'm lucky to be home. And that's been our focus. And everybody's been healthy. And yeah, we're hanging in there. How are you?

MATT FORTE: I'm doing really well. Thank you for asking that. My wife and I, we're catching up on things we haven't watched. Maybe stuff that she watched without me, we're now watching again together. That's a lot of fun. We're playing a lot of Nintendo "Animal Crossing."

BRIDGET REGAN: Wait, is that the one with you buy turnips from a tiny cat?

MATT FORTE: Oh yeah.

BRIDGET REGAN: I saw that on Vice's Instagram.

MATT FORTE: Yeah, the turnip prices are a big deal on there. And you want to be in that loop. It's really--

BRIDGET REGAN: Got it. OK.

MATT FORTE: So that's one thing that we've been pouring an unreasonable amount of time into. But because we're both very fortunate and very lucky to be working from home. And we live in just like a studio apartment with one bedroom. And so she's kind of commandeered the bedroom, I've taken over the living room.

And so even though we're working from home, we don't really see each other until about 5 or 6 o'clock every night.

BRIDGET REGAN: Wow.

MATT FORTE: Yeah, we're just constantly doing stuff like this throughout the day. So it's a weird existence. But again-- and I was talking to somebody about this yesterday-- just reminding ourselves how lucky we are and fortunate we are, just to be able to do what we're doing. To still be employed and be able to do our jobs from home. And to be safe, frankly. Which is really what everyone is just trying to do.

I don't want to go too far back in the conversation-- you kind of touched on it, but I'm fascinated. I've talked to a lot of people about homeschooling-- you're the first person I've encountered that has to navigate homeschooling at a bilingual school. So I'm just curious-- because a lot of people are like, oh, I forgot how hard math is.

BRIDGET REGAN: Yeah! What's a denominator? You know, all of that is--

MATT FORTE: Have you literally-- do you look at the lesson plan, and then go to Google Translate, and then go-- what has that process been like? It must be wild.

BRIDGET REGAN: This will bore you, but I get the French lesson plan for the day. And then I copy and paste it. I put it into Google Translate. I print it out. And then-- but to be honest, my daughter is nine, and she's pretty fluent. So I depend on her a lot to tell me. I speak a little bit, but I don't know nearly enough.

But her teacher has office hours. So we hop on Google Meet, and we talk it out. To be honest, I'm just so impressed that she is multilingual. I learned in high school. And I didn't retain much of it at all. And when you learn a language, as a little one, they say you retain it forever. And so that was our hope with her.

Anyhow, it's been challenging. The first week, I was like-- because to feel like you can't-- it's a horrible feeling when you feel like you can't help your kid. It's like, I felt really helpless and hopeless. But I leaned on the school and the teachers and my husband. And we got through it. But it was-- I mean, it was-- it also felt material for a comedy series or something like that, you know?

MATT FORTE: Yeah, that's pretty wild. Well, thank you for sharing that, first of all.

BRIDGET REGAN: Sure.

MATT FORTE: [INAUDIBLE]. It's another one of those things-- we were just mentioning this before we started-- just like how this whole experience has highlighted the significance of so many jobs that I think a lot of people would take for granted--

BRIDGET REGAN: Oh my god, teachers. Teachers! They just deserve all the money.

MATT FORTE: But exactly. Like, more so than ever, I think a national appreciation for the valuableness--

BRIDGET REGAN: Yeah. It's not easy. Yeah. It is not easy. It is-- I have so much appreciation for what they do, more-- now-- I mean, my mom's a teacher, my brother-in-law is. I've always been, like-- I've always felt that way. But now, I feel like hugging them and thanking them. And I can't wait for my kid to go back to school!

MATT FORTE: Yeah, exactly. Not a lot of us-- not even walked a mile, like walked 20 feet in their shoes. It's just highlighted so much. I noticed-- I watched a couple, you've been doing these Instagram Live chats.

BRIDGET REGAN: Yeah, yeah!

MATT FORTE: You had [? JImmy ?] on there, you had a great one this past weekend. What a great thing to do right now, just so everyone can kind of hear other people's experiences. And understand that even though we're all alone in our homes, nobody's really alone in this. We're all going through very similar things on different levels and stuff. Where'd the idea come from for you to do that?

BRIDGET REGAN: Well, I have a really awesome fan base from a few of the shows I've previously worked on. And the loudest group at the moment is from "Jane the Virgin." And I played this really over the top criminal who is running an underground plastic surgery ring, but also sleeping with her stepdaughter. And as the series went on, it progressed to have this really hilarious love story between me and Yara Martinez who played Luisa.

And the fan base for that are these awesome, enthusiastic lesbians. And I adore them so much. And they constantly are asking for more contact with me and Yara. And I thought, hey, what a great time to give people something to look forward to, and give back a little bit. I mean, I feel so-- like, gosh, why didn't I go to medical school? I feel like what I do is so-- you know, I want to help.

And I don't know how, other than donating money. And I will be donating to No Kid Hungry after I hang up with you. Thank you so much for bringing that to everyone's attention. So I'm trying more to offer what I can give. And I'm hoping that doing the Instagram Live's-- I mean, I spoke with [INAUDIBLE] in Australia on Sunday. And you know, I think we crave togetherness. I think we crave feeling like we are all in this together. Because there's so much solitude going on right now.

So it's been great to interact with everyone. And I'm going to keep it going. I'm going to talk with Gail Bean on Sunday, who is-- we worked together on "Paradise Lost." And she has an awesome career and really cool shows, so I'm hoping to highlight that, so people are looking for more things to watch of hers. And yeah, I'm going to keep it going.

MATT FORTE: That's awesome. Well those-- if anyone's watches now, just learning about these, you host them on your Instagram. But there's also a YouTube channel where you put the archives up, so people--

BRIDGET REGAN: That's a fan! Some fans--

MATT FORTE: That's not you, fans are doing?

BRIDGET REGAN: Yeah. Shout out to the fans. I would not be able to upload a picture of my foot if I tried to.

MATT FORTE: I was really impressively. I was like, oh man, she's got this all figured out. She's--

BRIDGET REGAN: No, no, no, no, no. I'm telling you, it's the lesbians! They've got it under control!

MATT FORTE: That is incredible. Huge shout out to the fan community for doing that.

BRIDGET REGAN: Love 'em all. Thank you guys.

MATT FORTE: --beautiful. Thank you for that. All right. Well again, the most important thing, and I'm super happy to hear it, is that you're safe and your family's safe, and you guys are hanging in there and doing very well. So I'm happy to hear that. Thank you for sharing all of that.

I wouldn't be doing my job if I let you go without telling you how much I enjoy your new show that's coming on. And I'd like to ask you a little bit about it if that's OK.

BRIDGET REGAN: Yes! Let's talk about "Paradise Lost."

MATT FORTE: "Paradise Lost" is a Spectrum original. It's dropping April 13th, which I believe is next Monday. And I'm just very curious, how did this journey begin? How did this all come together? How did you first get introduced to this world, to Frances? What attracted you to this project?

BRIDGET REGAN: It was actually a really major whirlwind experience for me. I was coming back to work after the birth of my son. And an audition came up. I read the first two scripts-- I think I was about like 10 pages in, and went online to find out what the show was based on. Because I thought it surely had to be based on a series of novels or something.

And it wasn't. It was just this distinctly original, really fully realized portrait of the south, set in-- all these characters that seemed so mysterious. And it was wild!

And you know, I actually-- really my main goal when I was getting back to work after the birth of my son was to-- I really wanted to play a mom. Because I played all these really over-the-top villains, and really bad-ass, awesome characters. But I felt like I had this well of mom life experience to draw from. And yeah, I really-- that's what I really wanted to do. And it was crazy when, you know, you-- it just happens.

And yeah, I was on a plane I think five days after I auditioned, off to Louisiana. Packed up my family, and off we went.

MATT FORTE: You filmed that in Baton Rouge, right?

BRIDGET REGAN: Yeah, yeah. The show is set in Mississippi, but we filmed on all these great locations down there in Louisiana.

MATT FORTE: How long were you guys in there for?

BRIDGET REGAN: I think it was like four months or so. And it was hot. Let me tell you. No. It was no joke.

MATT FORTE: That's what I hear. I haven't personally been, but the consistent review from everyone is it's hot. It's hot.

BRIDGET REGAN: Oh yeah.

MATT FORTE: What time of year were you down?

BRIDGET REGAN: Oh, summer. Height of summer.

MATT FORTE: There you are, that's it. Proper baptism by fire. That is literal, that's it.

BRIDGET REGAN: Yeah, yeah. But the crew was awesome, the cast was like a dream. I mean, I was pinching myself every day.

MATT FORTE: I try to go into stuff like this-- because we have to watch a lot of shows-- so I try to go in pretty clean, so I can get an honest read of the show. And I was like, I don't know, 15 minutes in, I was like is that Nick Nolte?

BRIDGET REGAN: Nick freakin' Nolte! Like--

MATT FORTE: Oh my god! I was blown away!

BRIDGET REGAN: I know. I mean, he's a hero. And Barbara Hershey-- I mean, the whole cast. Yeah. It's like working with-- I'm obsessed with older actors, because they have-- whenever I'm on set with an older actor, I'm immediately trying to scoop my chair next to them. Because they have-- they're so chill. They're so cool, they're so calm. They've just seen it all. And they also have the best stories. I mean, Nick Nolte is--

MATT FORTE: How do you get them to tell the story? Because obviously, they get this shit every set they go to. Somebody comes up to them and is like, tell me all your cool stories. How did you like very slickly get into that zone, and be like, so share all of your amazing film details.

BRIDGET REGAN: Yeah, I could tell Nick-- like when he was in the mood for talking about it all-- he's used to it. You know, he knows what we want to hear about. I mean, the best was actually his stories about Robert Shaw, and shooting "The Deep." Do you know that movie?

MATT FORTE: Yeah, absolutely.

BRIDGET REGAN: I mean, it's Jacqueline Bisset is like, whoa! And they were just-- he's so-- he's got this naughtiness in him that is still there. And it makes him such a playful fun actor to watch. And he's still like that in his work. I mean, the scenes that I had with him, he's still just is like sharp and with it and funny. And yeah, I just felt like super, super blessed.

MATT FORTE: So exciting to see him too-- he just recently, he had done a voice-- I don't know if it was motion capture as well, but he was in "The Mandalorian," and you recognize that voice right away. You know his voice anywhere--

BRIDGET REGAN: (INDISTINCT GRUFF SPEAKING). We all had to resist doing Nolte impressions on set all day long.

MATT FORTE: You know him as soon as you hear him. But it's just so cool to see him. And again, you mentioned there as well, but you can't talk about legends and not bring up Barbara Hershey. I mean, like so many amazing people that you were surrounded by. Is that-- and you're no slouch, you've done so many amazing projects. You were apart of "Jane the Virgin," this huge, incredible show. But are you yourself intimidated by that presence. Old Hollywood, like they've been around, they've seen it all. What does it feel like coming on to a--

BRIDGET REGAN: I mean, totally. I had to-- I mean, in the beginning, I was so overwhelmed with the amount of work that I had to do to get ready to shoot. And I felt that part of my mind going-- you know, that really nasty voice in your head that you have to just shut up, and say no, I deserve to be here. I'm going to bring it, and let's get to work. And let's not waste a bit of energy with that.

Because it was easy to feel intimidated. I mean, Josh Hartnett and Shane McRae-- all these really great actors. And thankfully, everyone was super open, and really available to play off of. And yeah, it was the-- in terms of feeding off of my partners in scenes, I felt like I had, you know, all stars team sort of vibe.

MATT FORTE: Talking about Josh, one of the interesting things watching the show is watching, like, Yates's and Frances's relationship--

BRIDGET REGAN: I know.

MATT FORTE: --bond you'd expect of this whole crazy situation. Talk about where you were professionally in kind of figuring out your dynamic, and what your TV family dynamic was going to be like.

BRIDGET REGAN: Yeah, that's one of those things that I always feel nervous about when you're jumping in. Because it's like chemistry is a hard thing to-- you can't practice it. You can't work hard at it. It's like it's either there or it's not. And I knew that the basis of the show, and believing in the show, is on this relationship, this marriage. And I knew that if you didn't buy our relationship, then we wouldn't really have a show.

So no pressure. But I felt like we just dove in. And you know, Josh and I are both parents, and in relationships-- we're in long-term relationships. So we had a lot to draw from personally, in our own lives. And then, you know, you just kind of dive in.

MATT FORTE: For all the other "Jane the Virgin" fans that are out there, we had to say goodbye. It feels very recent that the show was over and wrapped up. And I'm just curious-- you know, I saw you did the talk with Yara, with Jane, with all these people. Obviously, you guys still keep in touch. How did you guys feel saying goodbye to this amazing world that you got to create and be a part of for so long?

BRIDGET REGAN: Well, I know a lot of the leads on the show, they had been doing-- they'd just done five seasons. And long seasons too, you know? And they were-- they all needed, I think emotionally, a break. And it was time. And I felt like Jenny, the show runner, it was really time. Five seasons was always her hope and her plan with the show. So, so much success to be celebrated, right?

But like me and Yara, I was like we're not done, we're not tired. We can keep going. I mean, I was just-- I was stoked that my character lived as long as she did. I was like-- after I found out that I was [INAUDIBLE], I was like-- you know, every time I'd get a script, I'd be like, oh my god, tell me I don't die. You know, like, I was so nervous.

MATT FORTE: Even if you did die, there was always a chance that you didn't. You know what I mean? Like, in that world--

BRIDGET REGAN: She's a cockroach, you know? She's gonna come back. I mean, I loved the death that Jenny wrote for me. It was so over the top and so great. And I felt-- you know, it's also a part of the telenovela, like it is rule number one, the villain has to die.

MATT FORTE: Has to.

BRIDGET REGAN: It's-- you can't break--

MATT FORTE: Did they tell you that early on? Or was that something you just knew as part of it? At some point, they're going to kill me. I know it's coming.

BRIDGET REGAN: I mean, the writing was on the wall with that one. But the thing that I love so much about this series is that I absolutely think it could have legs for something later on. I mean, these are characters you would want to revisit in 10 years and see where they're at. And as the actors age and you can have the characters age-- I mean, I'd want to revisit that. I'd want to see it. I'd want to know what Jane is up to.

MATT FORTE: 100% I forget which video I was watching with you, but a fan had suggested a spin-off with Rose, and seeing the love story before. There's so much that happened off camera that we didn't get to see!

BRIDGET REGAN: Yeah, like a "Better Call Saul," but Rose.

MATT FORTE: Exactly. Perfect. I'm in. We're there. If that happens, we're watching that.

BRIDGET REGAN: Let's do it.

MATT FORTE: I can't thank you enough for hanging out for a--

BRIDGET REGAN: Thank you so much for having me, Matt! This is awesome!

MATT FORTE: Very crazy, weird, sometimes very scary times. It's awesome to be distracted from the news for a little bit, and have--

BRIDGET REGAN: Absolutely.

MATT FORTE: I really appreciate you taking the time.

I'll remind everybody out there watching, of course, we started off at the very beginning, I mentioned NoKidHungry.org. If you're still with us, I'll say it again, go check out NoKidHungry.org, and help out. Let's buy some lunches for these kids.

"Paradise Lost" is a Spectrum original. That drops April 13th-- that's next Monday. It's a great mystery if you want something else to be distracted by, it's a great place to start.

Is there anything else you want to say before we go out of here, Bridget?

BRIDGET REGAN: I just want to give a shout out to all the doctors, nurses, and health care providers out there. Especially in New York, I know you guys are struggling right now. But thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

MATT FORTE: I couldn't have said it any better myself. Thank you to everyone out there doing what they're doing. And thank you to those who tuned in to hang out with us for a little bit today. I hope you're all staying safe, washing your hands, staying inside, and being well as well. Bridget, thank you again so much. I look forward to doing another one with you soon. All right?

BRIDGET REGAN: Thanks, Matt. Take care, guys. Bye!

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