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Interview with Katie LcClerc of "Switched
At Birth" on
ABC Family 3/4/15
ABC Familyís Q&A with Katie Leclerc
Switched at Birth
Moderator: What has been Daphneís biggest challenge and
whatís coming up for her down the road?
Katie: Daphne has been through a lot this season. I think
what was hardest for Daphne was what Bay went through. In
seasons past my character kind of fell off the deep end and
I got to explore different sides of this character, and this
season was all about Daphneís compassionate side, and that
doesnít let up in the finale episode either. Daphne is one
of the kindest human characters that Iíve gotten to play,
and Iím so glad that Iíve gotten to. She loves with all of
her heart, she has the biggest heart of anyone that Iíve
ever not actually met. In the finale episode I think her
compassion gets tested again with her friends sort of in a
different way than it has been with her family. But her
connection to her sister is so strong that I think
everything they went through was very difficult for Daphne
Moderator: Where do you see her in five years?
Katie: You know what I love about our story is that our
creator, Lizzy Weiss, keeps inventing and she keeps coming
up with different new paths for these characters to explore.
I think Daphne is steadfast going after her goal of being a
doctor very strongly. In five years I feel like sheíll
probably be very close to getting there. We all know it
takes eight years, so I think sheíll probably be in school
still. But I donít know as far as her personal life what
could change, because these characters evolve so quickly
that I could barely keep up.
Moderator: Do you think Daphne made the right decision to
attend UMKC instead of Gallaudet?
Katie: Oh, heck yes! I think Daphne is one of those people
who bloom where sheís planted, so I think she would have
been great at Gallaudet as well. But especially because of
everything that happened with her family this season I think
it was really monumental for her to be close to her family.
Sheís so emotionally close to them that I think being that
far, I think it would have worn on her, so I think itís good
she stayed at UMKC. Plus sheís with Melody, so thatís even
better. I get more Marlee Matlin time.
Moderator: Do you think weíll see her college experience
lighten up at all?
Katie: I think so. The sorority thing was an interesting
thing for Daphne to try. That probably would have lightened
her up a little bit, but sheís very intense so Iím not sure
she lightens up too easily.
Moderator: What is the vibe like on set when you have to film
those serious scenes?
Katie: Our cast is not very serious most of the time. We all
love our job so much because we get to go to work and we get
to play, and we do play for 12 hours a day together, which
ultimately just makes us very close. The vibe is usually
very similar regardless of what weíre filming, maybe with
the minor exceptions of the Bay and Tank scenes, but that
didnít necessarily take the whole day it was just a couple
scenes throughout the day. Weíre very silly, and I think
when you are dealing with such a heavy subject you have to
be able to be sensitive to that subject and make sure that
mentally you can also get through it. We love the table
reads the most, because everybody gets together in the same
room and we all can laugh at each otherís jokes, but it
doesnít mean we stop cracking jokes when no oneís around. I
make myself laugh more than I make anyone else laugh,
Moderator: Is it hard to get back into the scene if you broke
for a blooper or something funny happened?
Katie: I think it depends on the situation. For example, the
scene with Mingo and Daphne where certain preventative
health matters. Okay, letís be real, the condom got stuck,
and it was a really funny moment [laughs]. That scene in
particular was harder to be serious than it was any other
scene that weíve ever done, because we were just cracking
jokes left and right.
Moderator: What do you hope happens with Mingo? If Daphne
could be with any character who would you want her to be
Katie: Iím going to answer the second one first, because itís
such an easy answer for me [laughs]. I miss Wilke, I miss
Austin Butler; I loved that storyline. I thought he cared
about Daphne in a way that a lot of the other boys that she
had gone after did not. I do, I miss Wilke. I love him.
I love Mingo, though, too. Adam Hagenbuch is the actorís
name. Adamís great. Heís hilarious, because I mean you look
at him and you see that he is, what, 6í 3Ē and a beast of a
man and a personal trainer and you could do laundry on his
abs [laughs]. He is one of the most intelligent people Iíve
ever met. While the cameras are not rolling, while weíre not
cracking jokes, weíre talking about things like physics and
science and different theories about the planets, which is
something that maybe I didnít necessarily expect right away.
I do love Adam, and I do love the Mingo storyline.
I know that the fans love the Daphne and Josh storyline, so
Iím not really sure where weíre headed in terms of what
Lizzy has planned for them next. But Iím good with either
way. I think that Austin Cauldwell, who plays Josh, does a
good job acting as a Coto. Iím blessed to work with really,
really good actors, and they are all really attractive, too,
so Iíll take what I could get [laughs].
Moderator: Will we be seeing Josh in the finale?
Katie: I have a feeling that heís not going anywhere anytime
Moderator: Whatís your relationship like with Vanessa [Marano]
Katie: Oh, sheís absolutely, hands-down one of my favorite
people in the entire planet. Sheís one of my closest
friends, and definitely when it came time for me to buy a
house she was like ďWhy donít you come live by me,Ē and I
was like ďHmm, okay, itís 45 minutes out of the city, no
problem!Ē She and I live about 10 minutes from each other.
Somebody asked us if we saw each other as much when we were
on hiatus as we were when we were filming, and we both
realized that we see each other more when weíre on hiatus,
because when weíre filming usually we donít have scenes
together. So, yes, very close with her, love her dearly.
Moderator: Whatís it like working on set?
Katie: Itís amazing; it is my dream job, it is a dream come
true. Every day I get to pinch myself. Sometimes at 4:00 in
the morning Iím pinching myself. Thatís how much I love my
Moderator: How do you feel that you and your character are
Katie: As I mentioned before, I love Daphne. I want to be
like Daphne. Sheís feisty and sheís strong willed, but she
stands up for what she believes in. Sheís brave, sheís
normal, she doesnít get caught up. Sheís normal in the sense
that, for example, sheís sad the sorority doesnít want her,
but sheís also realistic in the sense that in the big
picture itís not really that big of a deal.
I donít know how much Iím like Daphne but I want to be like
Moderator: Is there any advice that you would give to a girl
in college or going into college from the experiences that
youíve gone through with your character?
Katie: Absolutely. I just touched on it just now; itís all
about the big picture. I didnít go to college necessarily, I
took classes to stay on my parentís health insurance for a
long time [laughs], but I didnít necessarily have a major. I
knew I wanted to be an actor, so I was really taking classes
as a supplement.
For me, college was a really good experience; it was way
better than high school and it was 10,000 times better than
middle school. I think as you grow up things just get
better, it gets easier, you gain perspective, and if you
have the patience to let whatever the situation is play out
in the big picture -- in the long run things that feel so
heavy and so important donít necessarily stay as highlighted
when you look back on your life. My advice would just be to
stay positive and try to think about the big picture.
Moderator: Will Daphne and Emmett ever get back to the
friendship that they used to have?
Katie: I think thatís definitely possible. I donít think
thereís necessarily a whole lot of romantic feeling in
either of their brains anymore, but definitely friendship
wise. Itís really hard, because Emmett was Daphneís
lifesaver at a very young age and now Bay is Daphneís
sister. So itís one of those things where you can be a good
friend to multiple people in different places at different
stages in their life.
I think Daphne and Emmett could absolutely be friends. It
also depends on timing how the Bay and Emmett situation
plays out. If they end up on good terms then absolutely
Daphne and Emmett could be friends right away, but if it
doesnít actually go the way that Bay is hoping it might be a
little bit harder for Daphne. Sheís pretty defensive of Bay.
Moderator: If you could play any other character on Switched
at Birth who would it be and why?
Katie: We have a lot of really great guest stars this season.
Sharon [Pierre-Louis], who plays Iris, is really, really,
really sweet and really fun. I like her spunky personality.
I think she matches well with Daphne.
We donít really have any villain characters, like a Chip
Coto character. I want to like twist my imaginary mustache a
little bit [laughs]; I want to play that kind of character.
Moderator: If you could have any guest star come on the show
who would you pick?
Katie: Kristin Chenoweth, absolutely hands-down, 1,000%,
donít even have to think about it [laughs]. Could somebody
call Kristin Chenoweth and get her on our show? She is
amazing, she is perfect, and cute, and adorable. I feel like
her and Marlee Matlin are friends in real life. She could be
in ďBatter Up the Musical.Ē She could play Kathrynís [Lea K.
Thompson] character in the musical. Things are coming
together. Letís get Lizzy on the phone, because this is just
gold. Letís get Kristin Chenoweth. [laughs]
Moderator: Could you tell us a surprising thing you may have
learned about yourself through playing Daphne?
Katie: I had been acting for eight years before I got
Switched at Birth, and definitely had been stretched and had
been challenged in performing different types of roles.
Switched at Birth was the hardest thing Iíd ever done. It
was the biggest thing that I had ever done in terms of being
like ďWow, I am on a real TV show and I was the lead
character, and Iím a series regular, oh, and Iím speaking
two languages at the same time with an accent that I just
barely learned,.Ē I have to keep my jaw closed because Iím
working with all these awesome people like Lea Thompson and
Constance [Marie] and Lucas [Grabeel] and all these people.
It was the most challenging thing Iíd ever, ever, ever done.
Now itís sort of second nature, like I can flip the switch
on and do the accents and the foreign language and I can
wrap my brain around it, but to start off was so
challenging. The thing that I learned about myself is that I
can do it. I had always dreamed of being on a series as a
series regular, as a lead character, but I think itís one of
those things where until you actually get thrust into that
situation and itís sort of either sink or swim you figure
out how your professional business is run. I want to run my
business as professionally as I can. I show up with all of
my lines memorized 10 minutes early. What Iíve figured out
is how to be myself, how to be Katie:, at the same time as
navigating this really overwhelming industry. And Iím really
proud of that.
Moderator: Do you have any mantras or confidence boosting
tips or tricks that you do to psych yourself up?
Katie: I totally do. Music is a really big motivator for me,
so sometimes if I have a big day at work or if I have a big
audition I will put on some sort of ridiculously happy pop
song, most of the time itís Taylor Swift -- or actually
right before I got the job for Switch at Birth it was a High
School Musical song, which talk about irony when Lucas
walked in the room I almost lost my mind [laughs]. So I will
blast music as loud as I can and dance like no one is
watching. But thatís usually what I do.
And if that doesnít work I think about the best advice I
ever got, which was from my father before this huge acting
competition. My mom and I were in New York for five days.
The first day my dad sent up a fruit basket with a card, and
the card said, ďDefine the moment -- donít let the moment
define you,Ē and thatís something that Iíve held onto
forever. Itís the best advice Iíve ever received. I really
think that we are in power of our environment, and I believe
in manifestation and if you can visualize success it is so
much easier to attain. I just try to keep those things in
mind, and try to do it with some spunk and positive energy.
Moderator: Who is your favorite character other than Daphne?
Katie: I would say John Kennish. There are times, for example
- when Bay found out her secret was spread and there was a
big campus wide investigation -- D.W. [Moffett] came over
and sat with her. He just has these really tender moments.
But man he can be hard, he can be scary, and especially if
anybodyís seen Friday Night Lights he is terrifying
[laughs]. He has these very real moments of caring and
tenderness. Maybe he just reminds me of my dad in the sense
that you can be tough but you can love at the same time.
Itís not hard to do that emotionally as a person, I think
weíre all feeling two things at once, but for D.W. to
portray that is really difficult, and he does such a great
job with it.
Moderator: Whoís the silliest on set?
Katie: Actually I would say D.W. as well. Heís such a
conundrum, this man. I love him so much. He is absolutely so
fricking silly, and the moment they call cut heís the first
one to start busting into jokes or silly dances or whatever.
Lea will dance sometimes, but itís more like sheís just
dancing because sheís a beautiful dancer. D.W.ís dancing to
be silly. The funny thing about D.W., though, is that he
will always get me to break character. In five years I have
attempted numerous times and Iíve never gotten him to break,
but mark my words before this year it is over, I am going to
Moderator: Do you have any hobbies that you love?
Katie: I love hiking and running. I love being with my dog. I
love just telling stories, thatís my favorite, but mostly
with my dogs.
Moderator: If you could switch places with anyone, for one
day, who would you want it to be?
Katie: Can I just be Queen Meryl Streep for a day and see
what thatís like? Iíll try that on. Polish my Oscars and
sing and feel good about my life.
Moderator: Do you love live Tweeting with fans during
Katie: I do love live Tweeting, I really do. I donít always
get to do it as much as I want, but when I can I think itís
so much fun. Fans are so excited and it makes me so excited,
and Iím easily excitable and then usually that excites
people, so itís just really exciting.
Moderator: Any chance thereís a PLL and Switched at Birth
crossover after fans saw the picture of you and Keegan
Katie: I just really enjoy Keegan! I think heís just a really
sweet kid, a hunky man. Heís really sweet and heís very
artistic and really passionate about his work. Iím really
excited for him; he just released his book.
Mostly, that picture was from when we had this great
opportunity for literally every ABC Family show to be in the
same building over a 48-hour period. Some shows we got to
cross over with and some shows we didnít really get to, but
the ones we did see itís always great to see each other. We
run into each other at the ABC Family Christmas party and
stuff like that, so we see each other pretty regularly but
itís not often that we get to have lots of downtime and then
make a snap chat, so that was really nice as well.
Moderator: If you could dream cast yourself in another ABC
Family show what would it be?
Katie: Oh, you know what I would love is a Pretty Little
Liars/Switched at Birth crossover, like letís just make
Tuesdays super epic! Itís pretty epic right now, but letís
embrace that craziness. I would love to be on Pretty Little
Liars. I love the sitcom schedule, so Iíll take a day on
Baby Daddy. Really Iíll take anybody who wants to employ me
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