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Interview with David Lambert from
"The Fosters" on ABC Family 8/11/15
ABC Familyís Q&A with David Lambert
Moderator Can you talk about filming the huge scene
between Brandon and Callie?
David Yes, it was definitely an interesting
challenge, but also a dance that we choreographed. The last
two episodes of this block were directed by our executive
producers Joanna Johnson, who did Episode 9, and Peter
Paige, who did the finale that will be airing on Monday.
When we shot them, we were doing those two episodes almost
as one. These two final episodes have a more even, cohesive
feeling to them. With that scene, there is a part of that
scene that will be picked up in the next episode.
Peter and Joanna had hands on that scene together. It really
was a pretty cool collaboration from everyone to make it as
tasteful and as intense as possible and really gripping. In
terms of comfort and whatnot, Maia and I were focused on
really hitting that high point in this time for Brandon and
Callie and really showing that release and all of the time
and tension thatís been building and building, sometimes
going away and then coming back really aggressively. Itís
this ebb and flow that Brandon and Callie find themselves
in. It was important for us to get that right.
Moderator How is Brandon going to deal with not being
able to protect Callie in terms of sending Rita the audio
for Carmen and not denying her feelings for him?
David I think definitely this is by far the hardest
thing that Brandon has to deal with, being the protective
spirit that he is with not only Callie, but with everyone in
the house. Callie definitely intentionally seals her own
fate, because, in her mind, it was for the greater good to
help Rita. I think she was taking the high road there and
making the ultimate sacrifice to help someone that she
really cares for.
I think ultimately Brandon has to respect that. He does care
for Callie, and, at the end of the day, heís going to do his
best to be there for her and support her. It was her
decision to do that, and heís going to have to be okay with
that eventually. Iím not saying heíll immediately be okay
with it, but itís just one of those things thatís such a
complicated issue and a lot of itís out of their hands.
Theyíre just trying to do their best to navigate and make
the smartest choices most of the time.
Moderator Do you agree that Brandon doesnít have to
face consequences for his bad choices or would you defend
David I understand how it looks that way in some
senses but thereís also a perspective that actual characters
in the show sometimes feel. Mariana has said things to that
degree. Jesus has said things to that degree. I think itís
an awkward place that Brandon is naturally put in because of
Stef and how they had a family before any of this began,
even before Lena. Thereís a subconscious very, very small
space because of that. I think everyone just does their best
to not talk about it and not acknowledge it.
I definitely think Brandonís had to pay his dues for certain
things for sure. He has gone through quite a bit, and itís
not even to do with Callie. Just with music alone, he puts
himself through hell every single time. That just comes from
a place of him wanting to be passionate and do the best he
can. He knows heís skilled; he knows heís talented. He may
not always have the confidence, but genuinely, he is a good
guy and wants to do well and protect his family.
What makes it interesting, and maybe sometimes hard to
understand, is how focused and specific he is. He already
knows what he wants to do, and heís going 100% for that.
Thereís a certain degree of people who canít understand how
he has so much focus with his music Ė Itís really all heís
about. It gives him a sense of a purpose, and I think a lot
of kids in high school and into college are still figuring
out their way. Brandon just got an earlier head start, so he
knows what he wants to do and he knows what he has to do.
Moderator Are you happy with how Brandonís storyline
at Idyllwild ended up?
David Yes! I think it was a perfect ending to what
was a large blow on Brandonís confidence Ė even his focus.
He was pulled in a lot of different directions at Idyllwild.
He lost his mind a little bit there and had to recover and
recuperate. He came out on top at the end and did what he
wanted to do at the beginning, which was play. The composing
was something he adapted to. I think he ended up adapting
quite well, given all the sabotage and all the weird stuff
that was going on. But, at the end of the day, he got to
play his piece and he got to do it his way.
Brandonís the type of guy whoís always going to figure out
what he needs to do by the end. The Idyllwild chapter is a
perfect example of how Brandon can and will rise to whatever
occasion he needs to to succeed ultimately. I really enjoyed
it and thought it was great. He was doing it for him, which
was what he was missing.
Moderator What has been your favorite episode to film
this season on The Fosters?
David I think actually Idyllwild was! It was a busy
episode. We had a few longer days on it, but I find those
episodes always feel so good to do because of the amount of
work, time and the collaboration that youíre putting in. You
always end up with a better product that way. Itís always
fun to go through that experience. For Idyllwild and the
season finale, we were definitely working really hard to
make good TV. In terms of work load, the experience of these
final two episodes was so fun.
I really enjoy working with my producers in a closer fashion
when they come and direct, because even though we see them a
lot, itís different when theyíre on set every day giving us
notes take after take. Itís definitely a different
relationship, so that was also fun for me. So episodes 9 and
10 this season have been my favorite.
Moderator Describe last nightís episode in three
David Victory, temptation, and sacrifice.
Moderator What is it about Brandon and Callieís
relationship that brings about so much passion from the
David There is always that romantic feeling when two
people canít be together. Thereís that grass is greener on
the other side, if you will, or the unrequited love thing.
That epitomizes what Brandon and Callie have become. Itís a
place they shouldnít have gone, yet they couldnít help it,
and I think that whole idea appeals to people, because
youíre acting on emotions that maybe you shouldnít
necessarily act on, impulses.
It creates for very interesting situations. Thereís a part
of people that have the curiosity to know what will happen
and somewhere along the way, they find that they like the
two people, and find themselves rooting for them even
against all the odds. It becomes this underdog story that
you somehow hope will work itself out.
I think all those qualities is exactly what Brandon and
Callie have had to go through and will continue to go
through. Thereís something attractive about that
subconsciously for us. Itís definitely an interesting
dynamic for people to watch, and they like to watch it.
Ultimately, they want to know whatís going to happen to
Moderator In what ways are you similar or different
to your character, Brandon, on The Fosters?
David One of the greatest things about playing
Brandon is that heís definitely the most similar character,
Iíve ever played, to me. Thatís not to say we have our
differences because we definitely do. Yes, I play piano in
my life. Iím not as refined as Brandon, but I have been
playing for seven years now actually, which seems like a
long time to me, but Iím also self-taught.
I donít have the classical training that Brandon does, but
music has been part of my life, about the same time or even
longer than acting. I started in musical theater as a kid in
elementary school, and it always stuck. The music aspect
that Brandon has and that passion and love is not an alien
concept to me either.
Iím also the oldest in my family but I donít have as many
siblings; I only have two. But I understand that older
brother routine and what that means. Iím also quite close to
my mother. There are quite a few parallels that I constantly
draw from to play Brandon, but he also is very much his own
I think heís a little more hot headed than I am and
definitely a little more impulsive just out of wanting to do
something, trying to make a difference or trying to make a
stand or whatever it is. Brandon jumps in head first and
doesnít necessarily always think things out.
The list goes on, but he definitely is very similar, very
close to me. Heís become quite a fleshed out, good
character. I really enjoy playing him.
Moderator Do you have a favorite part about the show
David In general, itís all the people that Iíve met
working on the show, crew and cast. I think itís the fact
that we shoot at a place like Warner Brothers, which to me,
still as a young actor, wonít stop being surreal every time
I go there. Itís that time that you step back and you donít
understand how you got here. I feel that on The Fosters
quite a lot.
The other thing is the cast actually. Everyone that I work
with constantly, all of the Fosters, all of the regulars,
all of the friends that come in and play these awesome
supporting roles, everyoneís really, really talented. Iíve
made a lot of really, really good friends for quite some
time through this show. I have a lot be grateful for that
this show gave me for sure.
Moderator Do you know how AJ and Brandonís
relationship is going to play out, especially now with
things that happened with Callie?
David Thatís probably going to be a hard pill to
swallow truly for Brandon. I think heís making the right
decision by trying to patch it up but I think thatís going
to take some work. I donít know where that relationship will
go between them, but I have a feeling, just because of what
Brandon was saying in the Idyllwild episode to AJ, I donít
think he would just say something without meaning it. I
think he is going to try.
Will there be complications? Maybe. Does he know about AJ
and Callie? He does. There are things that are going to most
likely get in the way at some point, but I, just David
talking, I would like to see them put in an actual effort to
start over and do it all over again. At the end of the day,
AJ and Brandon can be buddies, but as of right now I think
theyíre going to have some stuff to work through.
I donít really know where thatíll go, but it definitely
seems like Mike has really connected with AJ, and Brandon
knows that, too. I think Brandon, even if he doesnít want to
at first, will put in the effort for the sake of his dad.
Moderator What are your hopes for Brandon as The
Fosters continues? Is there a certain storyline you would
like to tackle, or do you just hope he reaches a certain
point with his music?
David I really enjoyed how Brandon went into the rock
band era after he hurt his hand and that he found his love
for music again through that, but I was also very happy that
he went back to classical, because I really think thatís the
character. I actually thought the composing thing was an
interesting quality as well. I would like to see Brandon
continuing to pursue classical music, maybe getting some
sort of cool scholarship and having another opportunity to
play at some sort of school, some sort of long-term school.
Anything like that I think is where Brandon should go and
seems like heís aiming to go Ė itís just a timing thing.
Heís still young. Heís turning 17 at this point in the
story. He still has time, and heíll finish out high school.
Then itíll be interesting to see what happens next. I would
like to see him continue to pursue classical music much like
how heís done in Idyllwild, but maybe on a greater scale.
Moderator In terms of Callieís adoption, does this
mean that Callie and Brandon keep the fact that they slept
together a secret going forward?
David Thatís definitely the ultimate question that
they will be faced with [laughs]. She really thought that
she had no chance of getting adopted. That alone was the
death sentence really at the end. But thatís really what
theyíre going to have to figure out in this finale, and itís
an interesting task, one that they were trying to avoid the
whole time, and now itís staring them right in the face.
Without giving too much away, I will say that is essentially
the struggle, and theyíre going to either have to take the
high road or suffer some major consequences. I donít know if
one of them will give and not be able to take it or if
theyíll be strong and be able to bury this. Honestly either
way itís a very difficult situation. Weíll see the
conversation very soon, because there will be one about this
very topic. Weíll see soon enough.
Moderator What are your thoughts on how Mike and
Brandonís dynamic was interrupted when AJ showed up and how
their relationship can proceed going forward?
David Brandon has a sensitivity with his dad that
weíve seen. It gets triggered. He might be a bit territorial
with his dad but itís also a really important relationship,
and itís one that Brandon didnít necessarily always know how
to deal with. Obviously we saw it back in Season 1, he
didnít always know how to deal with his dad being his dad,
living away, and also having to live with his moms and have
that family. That was something that Brandon grew up having
to figure out.
With an element like AJ, who is an entirely new person that
Brandonís dad connected with him in this odd way, it just
threw Brandon for a loop. I donít think he knew what was
going on, but I think he felt a little pushed off to the
side, put on the backburner. Ultimately he just wants to
have a relationship with his dad and itís not always easy.
Mike and Brandon are pretty different people, which is also
the funny part about it. Mikeís this sports guy, really guy
cop, and he has this very musical son. Itís a funny
relationship, but at the end of the day, neither of them are
going to give up on what they have. They may have their
fights or whatever, but they both truly want to be connected
to each other.
AJ was a curveball for sure and thatís definitely not fully
resolved. Itís getting resolved now, but I think itís still
going to take some work and also some navigation probably by
Mike as well, not just Brandon. Mike needs to step in and
help define what it is, whatís going on here, who AJ is to
Mike, who AJ is to Brandon, and how this dynamic will work.
Itíll be interesting going forward to see that. The dynamics
with Mike are some of my favorite stuff. Working with Danny
Nucci, we have a very close bond, off set as well. Itís
really fun for me to work with him, and we really try hard
to get that relationship right and make it feel real. There
will definitely be challenges for them ahead, but I think
theyíre always going to figure their stuff out.
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