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Interview with Lucas Grabeel of "Switched at Birth"
on ABC Family 5/16/11.
ABC Familyís Q&A Session with Lucas GrabeelĖ Switched At
Moderator Can you talk a little bit about how you got involved with the
new series and why you wanted to do it?
L. Grabeel I auditioned for the pilot last fall and itís just another
one of those things that you hope that you get and all this kind of came
together. I was really excited to work in LA and I was really excited
the actual concept of the show and we came together and it seems like
weíve been doing it for a very long time. It was awesome. We were just
kind of an instant family and when we got the news that it got picked
up, it was doubly awesome.
Moderator I think a lot of people are looking forward to this show. What
do you think it is about the show thatís going to draw so many people
L. Grabeel I think itís got a lot of heart. Itís kind of an interesting
concept because its not something that we think about on a day to day
basis. We woke up one day and found out that the people who raised us
our whole lives were not our real biological parents and that we had
been switched at birth. Kind of a crazy thing to be put in as that
position, but also coming from the parentís point of view, raising this
child that you think is your kid. You call this love and you think
youíre doing everything that you can to be right and everything flips
upside down and you kind of have to deal with the madness. So, itís a
very interesting concept. I think thatís really drawing me to loving the
project even more.
Moderator You play the brother of the switched at birth girlsówill we be
getting to see much of your character in the spotlight, or are you going
to be taking on more of a supporting role?
L. Grabeel Yeah! I would say Iím a good supporting role. Itís
interesting being the brother of both of the girls in such a way because
at the same time, Iím very brotherly and kind of joking back and forth
with each of the girls, but also Iím kind of an outside perspective to
the whole situation thatís going on so I can kind of be a good listener
at times, or a shoulder to lean on.
Moderator That would definitely affect your character. How much do you
think weíre going to see of that?
L. Grabeel I think a lot. Eventually this is going to affect everyone.
So, the show is definitely going to see the impact on trends and family
and everyone involved.
Moderator How does this show differ from other projects that youíve done
in the past?
L. Grabeel This is my first experience working on a TV show on a regular
basis. Iíve done guest spots before on television series, but Iíve never
been a series regular, so itís really different in a sense that I kind
of have a normal job. You knowóMonday through Friday. Thatís really
cool. Iíve been doing a lot of travelling with shooting other projects
and things. So, itís nice to be home and kind of sleep in my bed at the
end of every day.
Moderator Your days are probably really crazy, so what is a typical day
like when youíre shooting a show?
L. Grabeel I probably wake up at 5:30 and get there by 6:30ógo through
hair and makeup and go rehearse the scenes, then shoot them and come
home around seven. Itís a pretty great thing. We move very quickly in
television so days fly by.
Moderator Did you grow up watching Back to the Future?
L. Grabeel Totally.
Moderator Yeah, who wouldnít, right?
L. Grabeel Right. Exactly. I love that movie. Or, all of them.
Moderator Are you a big fan of Lea Thompson and how is it working with
L. Grabeel I am a huge, huge fan. I watch Caroline in the City as well,
and it was pretty crazy when I got the news that she was going to be my
mom. Sheís amazing. Sheís just so kind and laid back and, she gave me a
pillow for my trailer the first week of shooting and itís in the shape
of a whale. I just opened up my trailer door and thereís this pillow
there and I find out later that she had given everybody little pillows
for their trailer and I thought that was really sweet.
Moderator Being an actor, you change styles and hairstyles a lot. Is it
weird or no big deal?
L. Grabeel Yeah, you know, Iím getting used to it. You know, just in
life with being an actor getting your hair changed all of the time. So,
yeah, I love it. I love to change and see what I look like in different
Moderator Fun to experiment, right?
L. Grabeel Yeah, exactly.
Moderator What can you tell us about Toby? What can we expect to see
L. Grabeel Toby is the biological brother of Daphne who was deaf at the
age of three and he is the switched brother of Bay who is a tortured
soul. So, he is just like everyone else in the family. Heís kind of
caught up in the craziness at the beginning when it all happens. But,
since heís not a parent or the actual child, I think heís got a kind of
objective point of view of the whole thing and is slowly taking it in
and getting to know his new sister and getting to know this new
situation. But, yeah, heís a pretty normal teenage guy with exemplified
problems because heís rich.
Moderator What is the one thing that you are most excited for people to
see in the premiere?
L. Grabeel Iíve only seen the pilot myself and watching it, I was
surprised at how everything wasóthe feeling of the whole show is not
fantasy. Itís just real and when you watch it, you kind of get taken on
this journey and you get to know these people and you want to know more.
So, hopefully, thatís what other people take from it. Because, I loved
it. So, Iím excited for people to see it.
Moderator Do you have a favorite soapy sort of TV show?
L. Grabeel You know, I did catch myself watching a ton of River
Monsters, which is a really crazy show about this guy who goes around
the world and fishes, finds these crazy fish in natural rivers and
streams. Itís pretty crazy.
Moderator Youíve been in a lot of different roles. What would you say is
the most challenging role and how does that compare to Toby?
L. Grabeel I would say the most challenging role Iíve had was on Milk
simply because I felt like I was kind of in a room full of amazing
talent. Many of them kind of stepped up and made sure that I deserved to
be there. And also, playing a real person who is alive and I could talk
to and ask questions was a completely different acting experience for me
that I never had before. But, you know, Tobyís a little bit more of a
normal teenage guy. So, I kind of think a lot about how I was when I was
sixteen and seventeen back in high school.
Moderator How would you describe yourself as an artist?
L. Grabeel I like to do a lot of different art stuff - I paint and write
music and I play music. I dance and all that kind of stuff soóI guess, I
would say Iím adventurous because I like to try everything. I donít like
to say no. I like constructing things and building things and seeing
things come to fruition and you knowótelling stories.
Moderator If you could record a song with any artist, who is it?
L. Grabeel Oh wow! Thatís a good one. Maybe, Jason Mraz. That would be
kind of a cool mash up.
Moderator How did you get started in the business?
L. Grabeel I started doing theater when I was a kid and so I knew that I
really wanted to perform. I didnít know exactly in what way I wanted to
do it, but before my senior year of high school, I came out to Los
Angeles to check it out to see if I wanted to do that instead of go to
New York or go to college and I ran into this guy. He came up and asked
me how old I was and I said I was eighteen and he was like, ďAh, you
look youíre fourteen.Ē I get that a lot. Heís like well, you got a look
- Iíve been in the industry for thirty-five years and I know what people
are looking for. Have you ever thought about being an actor?Ē Iím like,
ďYeah, thatís why Iím here, isnít everybody?Ē So, yeah, heís my
manageróBob Thompson. That kind of started things. I went back to school
to finish high school and then came back out a year later and you know,
started auditioning and got really lucky, started booking things right
away and High School Musical changed everything in 2006.
Moderator On the current show, are there any pranksters?
L. Grabeel I donít know yet. Weíre still kind of like settling into the
groove and getting used to things. I havenít seen any pranks yet,
butóyou knowóIím keeping my eye out for it.
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