the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

A Very Brief Windfall


Last Thursday Sophia appeared in her first of two episodes of NBC’s “Windfall,” playing a Russian interpreter. I was all excited about the big day. I invited some friends over for a screening party.

After snacking on some wine, cheese, and dessert, we sat down to watch the show. Everyone clapped as the show started. During the opening credits, the group talked about how old Luke Perry got and tried to remember if Jason Gedrick once dated Julia Roberts.

Sophia’s scene came within the first ten minutes of the show. Without going into too many details, there is a Russian lowlife who is accused of killing one of the winners of the Windfall lottery. Sophia plays his court interpreter. The scene began. A few seconds later, the scene ended.

“That’s it?” asked Sophia. “They cut my two and a half page scene to fifteen seconds!”

We told Sophia she was very good. She actually was very good, stealing the spotlight in her brief moment on screen. But Sophia’s mind was still focused elsewhere.

“And there was something else I think I noticed…” she said.

Sophia used her DVR to rewind back to the scene.

“My god, look at that, for half the scene, my face is covered by the NBC logo! Maybe it’s just as well.”

We couldn’t help but laugh. The life of a Hollywood actress!

We reminded Sophia that she is in an upcoming episode, hopefully one with more lines left uncut. Actually, Sophia didn’t want me to tell my readers in advance about her TV appearance because she was upset about the way they made her look for the part. They had dressed her in a dowdy outfit with bad makeup and hair, as if she just got off the boat from Siberia. Sophia hated the fact that they thought being a foreigner or someone over size 4 meant you walk around wearing a potato sack.

“I know a part is a part, and I don’t mind at all being made ugly if it’s necessary, but here?” she asked. Don’t they know?… Court interpreters are always the sharpest looking people in the courtroom!”

Despite it all, we ate and drank and celebrated. Even if you’re on a network show for a few seconds, it’s a big thing. Sophia started relaxing — that is until her mother called.

Sophia’s Mom: “They certainly didn’t do you any favors by how they made you look. And you were only on a few seconds?! Why didn’t you tell me that earlier?”

Sophia: “What’s the difference?”

Sophia’s Mom: “Then I wouldn’t have told all my friends to watch it!”

I’m not sure what is worse for a woman — working in Hollywood or talking with her mother!

A Year Ago in Citizen of the Month: Five is a Crowd


  1. rach

    Sophia looks adorable, and you so supportive.Well done Neilochka

  2. cruisin-mom

    awww, I missed it…I happened to turn on that show about half way through. At least they didn’t cut you out completely Sophia…Hollywood is notorious for that.

  3. madeleine

    i laughed at that last line a lot. mothers eh? who’d ‘ave ’em?

    well we all think she looks gorgeous….

  4. Brooke

    Tell Sophia I remembered to watch and I saw her television debut! She was great – and she looked great. As far as I’m concerned, she’s a network star!

  5. Scarlet

    Oh I wish I had paid more attention and/or not deleted it from Tivo already.

    Awesome, though!

  6. mrsmogul

    We don’t get the show here at all. My friend was an extra on Hope and Faith (we get that here for some reason) and I still can’t find that episode. WHos’ Jason Gedrick? man am I out of the loop!

  7. better safe than sorry

    i’ve never heard of that show but i don’t watch alot of tv in general. she looks beautiful from this shot, wonderful hair, nice clean features.

  8. question girl

    (ok, so i am going on the assumption that along w/ you & me sophia is jewish, and if she’s not, here mom did a GREAT impression of one)


  9. kristen

    You’re right, a network show is something to celebrate and leave it to mom to bring you right back down.
    When I read about the NBC logo covering Sophia, I immediately thought of Mike Wyzowsky (bad spelling I know) from Monsters Inc. and how on TV and in print, he’s always covered. (=

  10. Wendy

    Yea Sophia! She looks beautiful, nbc logo or not – and you are a supportive sweetheart..

  11. MA

    Sophia, there are no small parts. You’re terrific and shame on the editors for cutting down your scene. Here’s to a spin off about attractive court interpreters!

  12. Non-Highlighted Heather

    Rats. That post was before my time. I wish I’d known. Are the two she’s in back to back?

  13. Non-Highlighted Heather

    Not back to back. I mean consecutively.

  14. Neil

    I think the next one is in two weeks.

  15. Tara

    Good for Sophia!

    My ex-husband has been mostly cut-out of almost every film or television show he’s been in. He did a film once where he had tons of lines and by the time it came out, there was only a brief scene where they showed his bare feet. His toes did a great job.

  16. Bill

    The NBC logo never looked better. Do they plan a DVD? With deleted scenes? Commentary? If ever there was a need, surely it’s now?

  17. Danny

    Though her role was abbreviated, I thought Sophia was brilliant. And I loved that glamorous slow pan that introduced her character. As far as I’m concerned, she should have her own show!

  18. emma

    I can relate. Her mom is her toughest critic and she wants to please and yet, somehow, she comes up short. Well done Sophia, that’s what I say.

  19. Fitena

    lol! πŸ™‚
    Sophia looks great! I love her hair!
    Too bad I wouldn’t be able to see the show! *snif snif*


  20. V-Grrrl

    I think Neil and Sophia should have their own sitcom–and Neil should write it. Sophia could be the beleaguered wife of a famous blogger and the show would all be from her perspective.

  21. helen

    Awww, tell Sophia it’s OK. YOu know how many actresses did not even get their few seconds of fame? πŸ™‚

    All the best to her!

  22. The Retropolitan

    I dunno, I Sophia looks pretty good in that photo!

  23. justrun

    I thought it looked good!

    And yeah, the mother thing is worse.

  24. ekramer

    i thought she was great and looked beautiful

  25. girlgoyle

    I think it’s her mother talking to her friends that is the worst! πŸ™‚

  26. treespotter

    we don’t get NBC here… what a shame.
    maybe i’ll download an episode. I’m waiting for your sitcom tho, it does sound like a good idea.

  27. Dustin

    WHAT!?!?! Sophia is an actress!?!?! This is what I get for skipping ever 4th word in your posts. Omg, I just checked her imdb profile…she worked on Serenity!?!?! Neil, you lucky sonofabitch. Did she get to talk/touch/ be in the same room as Nathan Fillion or Joss Whedon???

  28. Trixie

    All I can tell you is that she looks beautiful to me!

  29. fringes

    Sophia does look great in that picture, although, I admit I don’t know what she looks like except for your lovely screen shot.

    I’ll set the TiVo for this new show I’ve never heard of before this post. Boost the ratings by one person and maybe they’ll ask her back as a recurring character.

  30. Lynn

    The pressure! I don’t know how she does it!

  31. Kristy

    Wow, that is so exciting! Congratulations to Sophia! (Tell M.I.L. to loosen up for goddsake)

  32. Annie D.

    Congrats to Sophia!

    And dang…she looks SO YOUNG in that screen shot.

  33. Megan

    I told everyone I knew about it so they would all watch. I was so excited! I thought Sophia stole the show and was wonderful. I can’t wait to see the next one! I was/am so proud.

  34. DebR

    I watched the first couple of episodes of Windfall and then got bored with it, but now I’m going to have to figure out when it’s on and watch the next one in case Sophia shows up!

  35. Bre

    I think she looks lovely in the screenshot! But then I can’t see from there what shoes she was forced to wear, and that’s how I do most of my outfit judging πŸ™‚

  36. Neil

    DebR — Yeah, the show is a bit soap opera-ish. All these young, gorgeous people win millions of dollars and then spend the rest of their lives talking about how “money has changed their lives.” Are we supposed to feel bad for them?

    On NBC, no one old or ugly is allowed to win the state lottery.

  37. Painterbeachgirl

    Okay, I LOOOOOOOOVE Windfall! Kind of like a more grown up version of 90210 (which is my highschool era). Luke Perry and all. I tivod the last two Windfalls and will watch tonight while sanding some stuff…wow, cool!

  38. chantel

    Congrats to Sophia!

  39. Blonde Vigilante

    Talking with your mother is much much worse. You can feel as though you are on top of the world and two words from your mother can bring it all crashing down.

  40. Melissa

    Tell Sophia to take comfort in knowing that my mother does it as well. She isn’t along. And how FANTASTIC that she got to be on tv!!!! That’s awesome.

  41. laurie

    Sophia is really pretty. And now… famous! Congratulations!

  42. Stickyweb

    Never understood the significance of a ‘Windfall’ – I mean, if fruit is ripe enough to be dislodged by a breeze won’t it ‘sploodge’ when it hits the ground? Doesn’t sound lucky to me! (Not for the fruit anyway)
    Regardless – congratulations on the appearance & I’ll look forward to seeing it down-under in 3-4 years (we’re TV deprived down here)

  43. ams

    Ooooh the excitement – congrats!!

  44. Serena

    What an awesome opportunity nonetheless! On the mom front, they definitely know how to push all the wrong buttons.

  45. party girl

    She’s a supa-star!

  46. Jessica

    Poor Sophia! I am certain she did a wonderful job.

  47. Kevin

    My God, they taped her scenes over eight months ago?? I thought there was typically only a six- to eight-week lag between taping and airing.

  48. Michael

    Sophia is totally cute and I like that little peacock tattoo she has. Congratulations!

    I understand her frustration — my tv show is airing daily, which is awesome, but the credits are scrunched to 1/3 of the screen and roll by really fast in tiny font. Blink and you might miss my name.

  49. Neil

    Kevin — the show was supposed to be a mid-season replacement, but they moved it to the summer. Which means they either had a lot of confidence in it, or none at all.

  50. wordgirl

    Mother or Hollywood? It’s a tie.

  51. psychotoddler

    Mazel Tov Sophia!

    Reminds me of that scene in Monsters Inc where Mike gets all excited about his picture on a magazine cover, even though he’s completely covered by the UPC symbol.

  52. TWM

    I missed the show, but I have no doubt the lovely Sophia was the best thing about it. You had better give us a heads-up on the next show — something along the lines of WATCH YOUR TV TONIGHT CAUSE SOPHIA IS ON IT!!! would be nice.

  53. ms. sizzle

    sophia, you look marvelous darling.

  54. Charming, but single

    Was Sophia on Windfall last night? I watched for her, but I was wondering if I missed her somehow …

  55. Neil

    Charming — Thanks for checking out Windfall! Sophia will be on it again NEXT week.

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