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On Location with Dolly Wells

Inside the Santa Clarita, California set of Blunt Talk

Blunt Talk, the new Starz series that follows a British newscaster as he attempts to make his mark on Los Angeles, films in Santa Clarita, CA, but for actress Dolly Wells it all began when she met the show’s creator, Jonathan Ames, in Brooklyn.

“We had never seen each other before, even though we lived in the same neighborhood, and the day we were supposed to meet, I was meeting someone else for breakfast and he happened to be sitting there,” Wells explains. “And it was getting really awkward, like I introduced myself because we were supposed to meet later, and by the time we met in the afternoon, we were like, I feel like I’ve seen you all day long.”

Wells landed the part of Celia, a producer for the newscaster (a delightful Patrick Stewart) and moved to Los Angeles for filming, but the coast had its own challenges for the British-born actress. “I have a terrible fear of driving, and I had to drive 35 miles there and back every day and that was terrifying,” she explains. “I thought I was going to lose half my weight from sweating going to and from work.”

Luckily she got used to the commute, and life on set—where Ames had also relocated from New York—proved to be what Wells calls a wonderful experience. “It just got better and better: the cast is phenomenal—we’ve got Patrick Stewart, who I’ve never worked with before but has done things I admired, and Jackie Weaver, who I couldn’t believe,” Wells says. “It’s been nothing but fantastic.”

So, while she’s been spending her summer in Provincetown, Mass. with her family, Wells says she’s looking forward to heading West again in early 2016 to film the series’ second season.

“Filming in Santa Clarita, you didn’t really need to go anywhere else, but none of us were really living around Santa Clarita,” Wells says. “We were very excited to be living in Los Angeles for a while, it was great. We had a really fantastic time. It was like the family you see on the screen—except none of us know as quite much about the news as we pretend to in the show.”