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INTERVIEW: Actress Abigail Hawk Talks North Fork TV Festival, First Novel, "Blue Bloods" And More

T.J. Clemente

Abigail Hawk is one of this year's North Fork TV Festival jurors. (Courtesy Photo)

Abigail Hawk, actor, screenwriter, producer, future novelist, wife and mother, is at a key moment of her creative, professional, and personal life. She was kind enough to share her enlightened views on the upcoming North Fork TV Festival, as well as her personal life during an exclusive interview with Hamptons.com

The 5th annual North Fork TV Festival will take place on Saturday, October 17. It is to be done safely so that the celebration of the evolution and craft of television continues. The 2020 festival will be in the form of an exclusive drive-in event at the Castello di Borghese Vineyard in Cutchogue.

When I met Abigail Hawk last year at the Festival, she had a composed, stunning aura. Like all stars, she glows. Her smile was powerful, her manner of speaking is text book midwestern [Chicago] communicative. And she was so nice.

In a phone interview, her openness made for a wonderful conversation. She explained, "Last year, I was involved with the Festival's 2019 pilot competition that the Sloan Foundation did. The pilot I was in, Distemper, was actually the first winner of their first pilot competition. I had heard of the North Fork TV Festival, but I had never been or knew too much about it. It was a very exciting experience for me to head out there, it's so beautiful out there in Greenport. It was very exciting to meet Kelsey Grammer and Chris Noth, and hang out with the festival founders and the staff. It was just a wonderful experience."

When asked what her role is in this year's Festival, Hawk revealed, "I am a juror for the TV Festival. I hope to head out there, it depends on my filming schedule, which is resuming. I think it is fantastic they are doing the drive-in option. I think that it will deliver a type of nostalgic effect. I think we really have to figure out what community means right now, especially in the film and TV world. We are really adapting to demonstrate our resiliency in that regard. I am supposed to resume filming in very early October, for Blue Bloods. That will determine if I can come, but I hope to!"

When I asked her what it is to be a juror for the Festival, she said, "I am a juror and I am really drawn to one of the entries, Slayed by Divya, which is a very honest, strong project that I absolutely adore."

Hawk elaborated, "The characters are very likable and relatable and intriguing. There are also wonderful little nuggets of humor peppered in there!"

She explained, "It is a female driven project, I am always drawn to female driven projects. The cinematographer and the AC are both female - not to mention the creator and the lead who plays Divya. It's a fun little project. It's about 16 minutes. Right now, we need things that are going to take us away and this project is just a different universe and a different world than the police world [Blue Bloods] I find myself most of the time. It was a lovely diversion and I was very pleased with it."

I had to ask about the resumption of the CBS hit, because I was fascinated to hear how TV is going to be produced post pandemic. Her response was informative. "We have a lot of hoops we have to jump through, obviously the union is being very protective of its people, so the goal is to just get back as safely as possible. None of us really know what that is going to look like," she said. "I don't know if the actors will be wearing masks, who knows what we will be doing? I know that Law and Order: SVU has resumed filming. Mariska posted a photo of her getting her makeup done and the makeup artist was in full PPE. Everybody is taking it very seriously, which is great and that is what we need."

About the coronavirus pandemic, Hawk said, "I think everyone is suffering from pandemic fatigue, but we all just have to be vigilant and take care of our neighbors. It's funny how I wish Distemper was being shown again because its focus is on epidemiology and pathology, along with LBGT issues. I hope that Distemper gets picked up. I just loved that project. It was one of my favorite things I have ever worked on."

She laughed when Zoom was mentioned, saying her kids "are now taking their Taekwondo classes via Zoom, which is fantastic for my 8-year-old, not so much for my 3-year-old because he has a short attention span."

Then, talk turned back to the present situation. "My Broadway friends are devastated because of this situation. COVID spreads faster when you are singing, so with musicals and people inside of a building, you have to have extra social distance. There was that church choir and 90 percent of them contracted the virus. Because singing you are projecting, you need a bigger radius. If you are talking, you need a six-foot radius. If you are singing, you need more like 12-feet. It's going to be complex. Will Broadway performers need to wear masks that are see through, so they can continue to sing? It's crazy. On Blue Bloods I know we are going to have to get tested once a week."

What besides Blue Bloods is on Hawk's horizon post pandemic? "There are a couple of Indie films that I am attached to that were supposed to be going into production that have been obviously pushed to 2021. Listen, indie TV and indie films, they don't have the budget to do the (COVID) testing. I am an Associate Producer of a film, which focuses on authentically casting and representing people with disabilities. The two leads are two disabled actors. We were supposed to start filing this summer and we couldn't."

Finally, Hawk opened up about her first novel. "I am also working on my first novel, which a lot of people don't know about. I can't give a deadline on when it will be released because I am a mom with two kids... I write poetry as well." When pressed about the novel, she surprisingly said, "It's going to be historical fiction. It is going to be set in the Victorian era, in London. I will leave it at that because it may change." How did she choose this? Did Hawk live there or go to school there? Her response was humorous and disarming, "I am just a crazy person and I want my first novel to be as difficult as possible," she concluded.

One thing that's not difficult is genuine liking Abigail Hawk.

Tickets to the 5th Annual North Fork TV Festival start at $20 per vehicle. Parking opens at 5:30 p.m. and the program starts at 7:00 p.m.

Castello di Borghese Vineyard is located at 17150 County Road 48 in Cutchogue. To learn more, visit www.northfork.tv.

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