Jennifer Beals as Maj. Jo Stone in “Lauren”

*With its increasing stable of original scripted programming, YouTube is trying to be as much of a go-to channel for viewers as NBC or HBO.


Not only is it becoming an increasingly popular destination for viewers fed up with the what the networks spoon-feed on traditional television, but film actors craving quality scripts are finding the experience surprisingly rewarding.

At roundtables for her new film “The Odd Life of Timothy Green,” Jennifer Garner discussed her short film “Serena,” one of a series created for the YouTube channel WIGS. “I did it while I was pregnant. It was one day. It was heaven,” she told EURweb. Asked if she cared that the Rodrigo Garcia-directed film was going straight to YouTube, she said, “I just liked the writing. I just wanted to do it. I’m not a snob that way.” [Scroll down to watch “Serena” in its entirety.]

Jennifer Beals, whose three-part web series “Lauren” premiered on WIGS today, told the TCA press tour in July that she found the YouTube experience liberating.

“What I loved about the whole process is that it feels like playing,” said Beals. “You still have the discipline of work, the same kind of discipline you would have on any set, but there’s a collaboration and a sense of freedom. And I don’t mean that in a willy-nilly, slappy way. There’s a lack of fear because there aren’t so many people saying, ‘Oh, your hair should look this way.’ Like, my hair and makeup was 20 minutes for this show. That’s never happened to me.”

Troian Bellisario (L) and Jennifer Beals in “Lauren”

Directed by Lesli Linka Glatter, “Lauren” illustrates the challenges faced by women service members who are sexually assaulted and try to report it. Troian Bellisario stars in the title role as a female sergeant trying to find justice after being raped by three soldiers. She finds no sympathy in her commanding officer Maj. Jo Stone, played by Beals. [Scroll down to watch in its entirety.]

Actors who agree to star in these WIGS shorts, among them Julia Stiles, Allison Pill and America Ferrera, must also deal with the substantially smaller paycheck that comes along with any Internet production. Below, both Beals and Bellisario were asked if that’s ever an issue. Bellisario speaks first.

The 11-minute episode below opens with Stone nit-picking at a report made by Lauren about her assault. Stone asks Lauren if she ever thought about becoming a fiction writer, then asks her to recall the number of drinks she had the night of the “incident.” Before dismissing Lauren, Stone makes it very clear that the young sergeant may not want to pursue the matter any further.

After Monday’s debut, the second and third episodes in the series will be available Wednesday and Friday. Watch part one below. Scroll down to watch Jennifer Garner’s stand-alone short, “Serena.”