WIGS is reaching a new milestone. Starting yesterday, the critically acclaimed YouTube channel is bringing its content to Hulu. The WIGS series Jan, starring Caitlin Gerard as the title character, is now on Hulu with multiple episodes edited together to form TV-sized 45-minute installments. To ring in this new platform and format, BFTV revisited Jan with Laura Spencer, who played Jan’s BFF Vanessa, a role she’d go on to reprise in Vanessa & Jan.
“It was amazing,” she said of getting to play the character across not one, but two WIGS series. “Actually when we were first filming Jan, the show was originally going to end a little earlier than it did. And Jon decided he wanted to tell a bit more of the story to round it out. The dramatic scene that ended up happening toward the end of Jan was a newly written thing. That was this opportunity that Jon gave me in particular to be a little more than a sidekick in the show. That then gave the opportunity to delve deeper into the character in Vanessa & Jan.”
“I’m proud of everyone in general on the show,” continued Laura, who actually auditioned for the role of Jan before she assumed the part of Vanessa. There are absolutely no hard feelings: “I think that the audience is going to fall in love with Caitlin,” she added. “She’s incredibly interesting to watch.”
Laura told us that she took away “quite a bit” from making Jan alongside Caitlin, Virginia Madsen and Stephen Moyer. “It was a huge learning experience in a bunch of different ways,” she said. “One thing was that Stephen taught me quite a bit about professionalism. He showed up to set like he would on True Blood. He never once made Caitlin or myself feel like we [were] green in any sort of way. He was polite to everyone on and off the screen. He’s phenomenal and it was a very lucky thing to have gotten to witness so early on in my journey.
“And [there was] also working with [WIGS co-founder] Jon [Avnet] and the countless other people in the show.”
Even at the relative beginning of her career, Laura is already a veteran of web-based series, having a significant role in the hugely popular Jane Austen project The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, which she was working on around the same time as Jan. “It’s a completely different character, completely different style of show, and that was what was really exciting about it at the time,” she said of her TLBD role as Jane Bennet. “It helps show the range that I am already getting to play out there.” You can currently catch her in a guest part on the ABC Family series Switched at Birth.
Yet she’s hoping that a new audience will now discover Jan through its second incarnation. “I think it’s a really interesting show, because it’s written by Jon Avnet who has years of experience in the industry and it’s written from his perspective on a person’s life when they’re just starting out,” she explained. “Caitlin and myself are in that point in our lives currently, in real life, as young ambitious artists. I think audiences will be able to see the show from different perspectives. It makes you think, it explores people. There’s a lot of stuff – looking at it from my perspective – that I can relate to.”
Episode one of Jan is embedded with this article; you can watch the rest of the series on the new show page on Hulu, or on the WIGS YouTube channel. You can also keep up with Laura on Twitter (@ItsLauraSpencer).
(c)2013 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.