It’s been ten years since the principal Bears from the hit Bear-centric LGBTQ web series Where the Bears Are graced the very first cover of Bear World Magazine. Since we are celebrating ten years as the number one online Bear lifestyle magazine, we decided to catch up with some of the guys to see what they’ve been up to.
The next cast member we caught up with was Rick Copp. Check out the interview below to get the scoop on what his best moments from the show were, how his character, Reggie, came to life, being a successful novelist, and the possibility of a WTBA Stage show!
Richard Jones: Rick, it’s been ten years since you and the WTBA principal cast appeared on our very first cover, and WTBA is about a month older than Bear World Magazine, can you remember what led up to the creation of season 1?
Rick Copp: Ben, Joe and I had been friends for a long time and we were all kind of frustrated after years of working in Hollywood and facing so much rejection. We had all had some success, I was very lucky to have written for successful projects like THE GOLDEN GIRLS, WINGS, THE BRADY BUNCH MOVIE, SCOOBY DOO and TEEN TITANS. But that was always under the watchful eye of big corporations and studios with an endless line of creative executives whose sole purpose was to water things down. We were itching to do something just for ourselves, for the bear community at large, which we were all a part of, and in my jacuzzi one night while drinking margaritas, the three of us hit upon the idea of doing a serialized web series with bears. I had written a series of gay mystery novels, so we thought, a murder mystery might get people hooked beyond those just wanting to see a show representing bears. And it worked! I remember Ben saying if the pilot episode on YouTube got 5000 views, then we should be very happy. And now, over ten years later, that one episode has over 14 million views!
RJ: How did your Character Reggie come into being?
RC: We had decided to loosely base our characters on Dorothy, Blanche and Rose from THE GOLDEN GIRLS. Ben was the neurotic, put upon Dorothy, Joe plays dumb really well so he was a natural as Rose, so that left me to play the slut Blanche. LOL. I came up with the name Reggie because we wanted to make him a self-centered bitch as well and I always loved the Reggie character from the Archie comics who has always dissing Archie so that’s how he came to be born. I like to think I’m kinder than Reggie, but oh boy, did I love doling out those sarcastic mean lines for seven seasons. I found it oddly liberating.
RJ: What have been some of the best moments in playing Reggie across 7 seasons of the show?
RC: I have to say, in season 3, when we were on board a jumbo jet flying to Australia in a full size airplane set, that was pretty amazing for a little self-funded web show! It really showed us how far we had come in three seasons. Wood had to land the plane and I was pretty much in the background during that whole sequence, but it was super fun and I remember we were all so proud of that whole sequence. Everything clicked, the set, the story, the jokes, the guest cast. And unlike a few other shoots, most notably the drama we endured shooting on a yacht docked off Catalina Island the following season, everything on the airplane set went so smoothly.
My other favorite moments playing Reggie were any scenes I had with George Sebastian, one of my closest friends in real life. We had a natural chemistry, and it was fun playing off each other, trying to top the other’s bitchiness. I also loved my scenes with my boyfriend/later husband Rami played by Serdar Kalsin in the later seasons.
However, my all time favorite scene with Ben and Joe had to be in the morgue during season 3 where we are trying to hide a naked dead body and it’s this fun slapstick Three Stooges type scene. I loved when we got to do physical comedy like that!
RJ: What’s next for Rock/Reggie?
RC: I’m not sure what’s next for Reggie, when we left him, he had moved to Istanbul to be with his husband Rami but he’s too ruthlessly ambitious and self-obsessed to stay put for too long, so who knows? We have been tossing around ideas for a possible WTBA stage show.
As for me, I am busy with my mystery novels. I write under the pen name Lee Hollis and the books do very well at Barnes & Noble and on Amazon so they will be keeping me busy for the foreseeable future. I’m also working on a possible TV adaptation of one of my book series and a couple other film projects. I guess, as they say, stay tuned!