You’re getting to do all kinds of stuff. While doing this research I learned that your parents are author Joyce Maynard and artist Steve Bethel. I had to go back and look at the cover of one of your mom’s books to figure out which one you were. These little tow-headed kids.
And I wanted to just commend you for that note you wrote that appears in the forward of her book, “At Home in the World.”
Yeah, it’s funny how that note lives on. I still occasionally get emails from readers of my mom’s who read my defense of her and were very moved by it. Yeah, it’s a proud moment for me. It’s not every day you get to defend your parents from misguided angry attacks.
Right, exactly. So was your getting into acting part of your parents being artists?
No, not in that direct way anyway. But yeah, I think you can certainly say that for people who grew up in artistic households there is maybe more freedom to pursue those artistic careers in the arts. My parents never offered anything but support for my at times seemingly misguided pursuit of an acting career. I think that is a lot more than a lot of people can say.
We live in a culture that is so unsupportive of the arts in a lot of ways that I feel really, really blessed to have parents who just encouraged me every step of the way in that regard. But no, other than their love and moral support and the kind of household that I grew up in as far as it’s also engendering creativity there was no direct link between my getting started in this business and my mother.
Who did get you started?
I guess you could say I have always had a very theatrical bent from a very, very young age and I think anyone who knows me for a long time would corroborate that. I have a lot of energy and have a propensity toward making drama wherever I go, making scenes. And then I got into doing theater and plays when I was really young, 7, 8 years old and had some really wonderful opportunities even in growing up in rural New Hampshire of being surrounded by enough really cool, creative, interesting people and going to kind of funky interesting schools that supported art and supported theater. I don’t know. I have always had a very strong connection to it.
That’s great. Thanks for your time Wilson. Why don’t you give me your pitch for the show as a final note?
“Heart of Dixie” is a purely entertaining show in a way that doesn’t leave like the kind of saccharine aftertaste of a lot of shows that maybe that are too kind of sickly sweet. It also manages to not ever leave you feeling like you just saw something you didn’t want to see. It has all the kind of brightness and charm I think of the fabled South and all these characters that are just so much fun to watch and so much fun to watch develop in their relationships and individually.
And do you get along with Burt Reynolds?
To be fair I have not met Burt Reynolds yet. I'm really disappointed by it, but I hope that one day I will get to wrangle with that alligator.