In a cramped living room in Gates Mills, about 30 of Laurel Johnson’s family and friends gathered around the screen to watch the premier of the new Spike TV’s show The Kill Point, a series about a group of U.S. soldiers who decide to pull off a huge bank heist.
Johnson, a bubbly, blonde Brandeis graduate, is one of three Cleveland actors appearing in the show, which stars former New Kids on the Block Donnie Wahlberg.
The native Clevelander, who plays Wahlberg’s pregnant wife, didn’t actually appear in the first episode, but no one in the room seemed particularly bothered by that small fact. At the very end of the show, a camera panned to Donnie making a discreet phone call to Johnson. He seemed very deep in conversation, but the audience couldn’t hear what Johnson was saying. Nevertheless, when the phone call ended, everyone in the room cheered.
“Why are you applauding?” Johnson asked confused. “It’s clear that you are a very great listener,” they told her.
Johnson spent two days in Pittsburgh filming her scenes. She was very impressed by the “whole Hollywood” experience. Before The Kill Point, her only other screen credit was as an extra in The Devil Wears Prada. But what surprised her most was the food.
“I walked on set, and [an assistant] asked if I wanted breakfast. I said ‘What do you have?’ and she’s like ‘everything.’ She started listing all these things; french toast, pancakes, omelet’s. I said, um, I’ll have eggs and bacon, please. .. The food was impeccable.”
As for Johnson’s impressions of Wahlberg: “He’s so funny, like, a total goofball. He was always joking, always in a good mood. I’d catch his eye and he’d wink at me. . . He’s just as cute as Mark and a whole lot taller.”
You can catch Johnson in person next in Some Girl(s) at the Bang and Clatter Theatre on August 10. – Rebecca Meiser