Megan Follows Snubbed Colleen Dewhurst's RTA tribute

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Shelly
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Re: Megan Follows Snubbed Colleen Dewhurst's RTA tribute

Post by Shelly » Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:46 pm

The earliest issue of ATC I have (I was given a bunch of back issues a few years ago) is from Winter 1992.

There was a feature piece in the Summer 1994 issue regarding what the Anne cast was up to at that point, and what they'd done since the first two miniseries; but there was nothing in the section about Megan regarding not appearing in "Old Friends, Old Wounds". I wish I knew the filming order for S3. (To my eye, OFOW was filmed toward the tail end of winter; but I could be completely off, and that could be fake snow on the ground a la HCMK.)

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Re: Megan Follows Snubbed Colleen Dewhurst's RTA tribute

Post by Timothy » Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:44 pm

Fall 1991 (Vol. 1, No. 3) - Mentions Colleen Dewhurst's passing (Aug. 22, 1991).
(Episode airdate: April 15, 1992)
Summer 1992 (Vol. 1, No. 4) - No mention of Old Friends, Old Wounds
Winter 1992 (Vol II, No. 1) - No mention.
(Missing Vol II, No. 2 & No. 3)

I looked through the editions I have above and could not find a mention of the tribute episode until the Summer 1994 Chronicle, and as Shelly mentioned, there was no reference to the episode in the update for Megan Follows. It does provide some details about what she was doing at the time.

Excerpt:
Megan took a little time off in 1991 before coming home to Toronto with husband Christopher in order to give birth to daughter Lyla Ann Porter, born December 29, 1991 at Women's College Hospital.

Soon after Lyla's birth, Megan was back at work. In February 1992, she began rehearsing the role of Juliet in the Stratford Festival's production of Romeo and Juliet, which ran from April to October of that year.

(Volume II, Number 4, Summer 1994)

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Re: Megan Follows Snubbed Colleen Dewhurst's RTA tribute

Post by StoryJan » Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:00 pm

I found a little more information about the Megan Follows/Kevin Sullivan conflict rumors mentioned in the Avonlea Traditions Chronicle article in an old issue of Maclean's from December 7, 1987. In the article "Anne Grows Up," Kevin Sullivan states his problems were more with CBC execs and not necessarily Megan herself. In fact, he praised her performance. Megan, however, seems to have had concerns with Kevin's vision. If anyone wants to read the entire article, I saved it as .pdf.
Filming the sequel was not a smooth process. "It became a chore," said Kevin Sullivan, the 31-year-old independent producer of Anne who also wrote and directed both instalments. "When something is such a huge success, there is an overwhelming desire to cash in. People try to exert control over it, just so they can say, 'I did it.'"
Shooting a lush five-hour period drama on a $ 4.8-million budget required a tight schedule. And as time ran out, tempers began to fray. Sullivan says that filming was delayed by three hours one day because Follows sat in her trailer talking to Harcourt [CBC executive who held creative control over the movie] on the phone plotting changes to the ending. Both Follows and Harcourt deny that the conversation took place. But Follows still maintains that she is not entirely satisfied with the final scene, which ends with a chaste embrace between Anne and Gilbert. "We were rushing things that shouldn't be rushed," she says. "By the time these two get together, you feel like saying, 'All right, already. Do something." Follows notes that she and Sullivan "may not have shared the same vision. It's so much a woman's piece, Anne. There were certain things that meant a lot to me that may not have been as important to Kevin. I cared very much about that show. Maybe I cared too much."

Sullivan spoke warmly of Follows -- but his description of Harcourt was harsh. Charging her with "meddling" in the production, he said she overstepped her mandate as a network executive. "She was so desperate to maintain her input into it she went to extremes," he said. But Harcourt maintained that she was merely exercising the right to creative approval that the CBC's Anne contract had given her. "I felt I had an enormous responsibility to a Canadian classic," she added. "Kevin is a neophyte. He is young and very impetuous. And he's going to have to learn generosity."
Seeing how production ended on a sour note, I can understand why Megan wasn't jumping onto RTA. Perhaps the original script didn't live up to the expectations she had for the character, but after watching Anne 3, I have to wonder... At any rate, "Old Friends, Old Wounds" seems more in line with the original two films than the third , and I wonder if she regrets her decision not to appear in the RTA episode.

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Re: Megan Follows Snubbed Colleen Dewhurst's RTA tribute

Post by hannikan » Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:47 pm

Wow, more interesting info StoryJan! It is so hard to know because we were not there to witness the conversations and we only have third party input because neither KS or Megan will comment on it directly (at least it seems to me). There is so much politics in film and TV industry and if there was any hope of ever working together again, it was best to say something nice about each other or nothing at all. If there was tension between Megan and KS at the end of Anne 2 it makes sense that Megan would have not jumped at the chance to be in OFOW, but I think those feelings alone would not have been enough to keep her from honoring Colleen Dewhurst. I actually think I prefer that Megan wasn't in it because it would have left me yearning for more Anne in the series and that would have been a downward spiral with Megan wanting to do other projects and even the integrity of RTA that was not supposed to be about Anne. As I understand it, KS considered doing the series about Anne and Gilbert's family instead, and decided against it (not sure if that had anything to do with tensions with Megan or not). I can understand Megan's disappointment with the ending of Anne 2. Even though I love how it ended, it was a little bit sad that we didn't get more of Anne and Gilbert together at the end. Still, to me it is a a very fulfilling ending to the Anne movies. I'm not even sure what I would have wanted to see differently I think it just left me wanting more-a 3rd movie that showed them get married and having children. If they'd gotten married at the end of Anne 2, it would have been a very long mini-series. It sounds like KS was also feeling the pinch of a tight budget. In fact the shortened ending might be why Megan agreed to do Anne 3, because she knew fans wanted to see Anne and Gilbert married and together. So even though she may not have liked other things about Anne 3, she would rather do it than not. I am curious what Megan wanted to see differently in Anne 2 and what the exec was trying to push through. The bit about it being "a woman's piece" is interesting because I think the film resonates very well with a lot of different types of women and girls. And there were women involved in making content decisions, too.
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Re: Megan Follows Snubbed Colleen Dewhurst's RTA tribute

Post by Timothy » Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:09 pm

Interesting... I wonder if they later had a discussion over how Anne had a child in RTA and could suddenly be childless in Anne3.

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Re: Megan Follows Snubbed Colleen Dewhurst's RTA tribute

Post by hannikan » Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:10 pm

Timothy wrote:Interesting... I wonder if they later had a discussion over how Anne had a child in RTA and could suddenly be childless in Anne3.
Hee-hee... yes, several children since Gilbert said "Anne has scarlet fever, she got it from one of the little ones who had it first." It's funny to think that if Anne had been on RTA there is NO WAY Anne 3 could have been the way it was. That is an interesting "what if" to consider.
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Re: Megan Follows Snubbed Colleen Dewhurst's RTA tribute

Post by Elhanan_K » Sun Nov 17, 2013 5:30 pm

In the bonus clip, it shows a small clip in which Anne was so sick with Scarlett Fever---Megan Follows is playing the role of Anne---when she learns about Marilla's death. She wanted to be near Marilla desperately, but Gilbert stops her because she was contagious and too weak. I wish they had shown this small clip in the episode of Road to Avonlea's "Old Friends, Old Wounds." For those who want to see this video, it is posted on You Tube's link: http://youtu.be/fMSxHLOXe4g

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