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Interview with Katie LeClerc from
"Switched From Birth" on ABC Family 8/19/15
ABC Familyís Q&A with Katie Leclerc
Switched at Birth
Moderator: How do we see Bay and Daphne, along with the rest
of the blended familyís relationship develop and change in
the second half of this season?
Katie: The heart of the show has always been Bay and Daphne
and when Daphne had her downward spiral, her family really
jumped in and saved the day for Daphne in a huge way. I
think Daphne is still feeling guilt from that and sometimes
guilt is bad and sometimes guilt is a huge motivator. So for
Daphne, having so much at stake and having her family really
risk their livelihood for her, it puts her in a place where
she is highly motivated for school and to become a doctor.
Her pre-med quest is really fueled by the love of her family
and the fact that she doesnít want to disappoint them again.
Pre-medís super hard regardless of whether youíre deaf or
not, so for Daphne, I think, the big challenge this season
and the way that Bay and Daphneís relationship changes is
Daphne comes to the realization that she can do it and itís
going to be a struggle, but sheís always got Bay there
supporting her and always behind her.
Moderator: What was it like when you returned to set to film
the rest of Season 4?
Katie: Itís always a good feeling to get back to set. I think
what will be extremely exciting is if we get a Season 5. The
return to set for Season 5 is going to be super
jump-for-joy, awesome! Itís always good to be with family
and itís also good to take a breather from family, too. Iím
sure everybody can relate to that. Our little mini hiatus
between Season 4A and Season 4B was only about six weeks
long, so I was able to do a film during the off-time. It
actually starred Lea Thompson, so itís another example of
how your familyís always close by [laughs].
Moderator: What is it like to work with the cast of Switched
Katie: Oh my gosh, itís the best! We have just giggles, on
giggles, on giggles every single day at work. We truly love
each other and itís really exciting that especially since
itís my first big project, and I really feel like I was
embraced by this family and I was welcomed into this family.
It all happened at the same time.
I have incredibly strong women to be able to look up to, Lea
[Thompson] and Constance [Marie], and of course, Marlee
Matlin. As well as, good strong business figures like D.W.
Moffett and Gilles Marini, who is one of my favorite human
beings that ever existed on this planet. I really feel
incredibly blessed that I was able to spend so much time
with this group of people and really become a family
off-screen as well as onscreen.
Moderator: Is there anything you can tease about this
Katie: Well, you know, as we all know, someone is pregnant.
The big shocker is that itís actually D.W.ís right?
Of course Iím kidding.
Moderator: What would you say has been the biggest change for
Daphne over the course of these seasons?
Katie: I think thereís been some pretty large changes for
her. I was about to say switches, but I guess that wouldnít
really apply. I think when she had her food truck and she
and Travis were robbed, I think that was an incredibly
life-changing experience for her. Sheís become more guarded
and more protective and also sees some of what the evil in
this world canóthe damage that that can do.
I think before that, she grew up maybe in a rough
neighborhood, but she was never part of the violence. So, I
think that was a huge thing, but then also, having that
person return and having her treat that person, based on a
doctorís code; I think that was really full-circle for her
in a big way. It created the space for her to have the
confidence to do the job regardless of what was in front of
In a similar way, I would say when Shareeís mom stabbed the
head doctor at the clinic, [Dr. Jackson], and she punctured
the lungs so the air could get into his lung, I think that
was also a really big shift for her. Itís another example of
just, you know, whether youíre deaf or hearing, thereíre
challenges and you canít let you own challenges get in the
way of what has to be done.
Daphneís really realized that over the course of the four
years. Sheís never been one to back down, ever. Thatís one
of my favorite things about this character. Sheís strong in
every single way possible. I think as she grows, that really
becomes solidified in her and her confidence gets even
Moderator: Overall, do you think sheís a better person now
than when we first met her?
Katie: Interesting question. I think sheís a little bit more
rounded and she really has grown. Iím excited for fans to
see what this season brings and Iím excited to see what
happens after this season. This season weíre dealing with
Bay and her loss and Daphneís really exploring all of the
ways that she can be supportive to her family, in the ways
that they have to her in the past. This season is really
difficult for Bay and for the rest of the family and itís
time for Daphne to step up and be the cheerleader that the
family really needs.
It should be really fun. One of the other things I love
about our show is that we never shy away from a hard
subject. You know, Bayís character with the Title IX
incident and all of those things along the way; cochlear
implants and our creator, Lizzy, is never afraid to bring up
a tough topic. This season has that in spades. Itís
incredibly tough what the family is about to go through and
itís very real. I personally have friends of my family who
have had similar experiences and I think that itís your
reaction to the problem that really sets the course of how
youíre going to be able to deal with it. I wish I could tell
you more [laughs].
Moderator: How has your approach playing Daphne changed
throughout the seasons?
Katie: I think now its very second nature. I know this
character like the back of my hand. When I first started, I
had been acting for about ten years, but Iíd never been a
series regular. So, my homework at home to learn lines and
stuff like that was incredibly intense and my script had
three different highlighters; one for speaking parts only,
one for signing parts only, and one for SimCom parts. Iím a
little OCD so I definitely used that to my advantage in that
case, but now I can show up to set and I know already whatís
going to be SimCommed and whatís going to be voice off.
If weíre talking to a character who is hearing and has no
sign language experience, of course Daphne wouldnít sign to
them. Then, as Daphneís relationship with other characters
change, so does the amount of sign language that I will use
with another character. So, thatís definitely changed.
Weíve always joked around on set from the beginning so
thatís not really new, but weíre very comfortable with each
other, myself and the rest of the cast now, so I think we
tease pretty hard. Just like a family really does [laughs].
Moderator: How has this project changed your life throughout
the course of its seasons?
Katie: Iím so grateful for this project. Iím so incredibly
blessed to be a part of something that is so impactful as
well as creatively fulfilling. I got married over the past
four years. Iíve purchased a home over the last four years.
Itís incredible how quickly life changes and how it really
does feel like a blink of an eye.
I remember one of the very first days on set, one of the
makeup artists was like, ďYes, this showís going forever.
Weíre going to see peopleóweíre going to have marriages on
this set, weíre going to have kids on this set.Ē Some of our
crewmembers have had babies and itís really neat and really
fulfilling to be a part of a project that means so much and
is so much fun. I get teary-eyed sometimes. I go on Twitter
and I see people talk about what Switched has done to their
lives and to me that fills my heart with so much joy just to
be a part of a project like that.
Moderator: What is it like for you changing courses with
Daphne and she and Mingo being that new stable couple?
Katie: I cannot tell you how happy I am that Daphne has a
solid boyfriend. Sheís always been a bit boy crazy. ABC
Family is no stranger to having some hunky eye-candy dudes
around. Adam Hagenbuch is a wonderful actor, a great human
being, super hilarious. I really enjoy having scenes with
him and just talking about films. Weíve really bonded. Weíve
really become close friends and I really love Adam.
Itís been really great for Daphne to have a stable boyfriend
and to see what sheís like in a solid relationship. You know
what I mean? Sheís not bouncing around from thing to thing,
sheís really grounded and she really knows what she wants
and has it right now. Itís been really nice to let Daphne
settle a little bit.
Moderator: Is there a scene from the upcoming premiere that
youíre most excited for people to see?
Katie: Thereís a scene that I have not yet seen and I believe
it starts the episode. I think itís the first scene in the
episode. Iím not in the scene, so itís just Vanessa [Marano]
and itís the many versions of Bay and sheís having a mental
crack. I think itíll be really Orphan Black-ish. Itíll be
really cool to see how the editors do it and how the many
versions of Bay are very different. We can really see how
Bay has changed over the last few months as well. I believe
thatís the first scene in the episode, but I canít be quite
sure but I know itís very early on.
Moderator: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Katie: My husband and I have two dogs that we are just
totally in love with, so we spend a lot of time with the
dogs. I am a wonderful cook, if I do say so myself, so I
spend a lot of time in the kitchen as well. Iím always
trying to come up with something new to cook. Not so long
ago it was macaroons. I had this lofty idea that I could
make macaroons and they worked once, but then the next five
attempts they didnít work, so it was torture [laughs].
Iím always trying to find something to do thatís creative,
outside of acting, but my goal every hiatus is to book a
job. As much as I can, I just want to keep working. I feel
like Iíve been blessed to have such a huge launch pad and
such a great opportunity that Iím just trying to take
advantage of it as much as I can.
Moderator: What are your top three favorite TV shows?
Katie: Freaks and Geeks is totally a classic. I grew up
laughing with that with my brother and the talent in that
cast is crazy. Other favorite T.V. shows. Iím super nerdy,
so I like comic book shows. I think Orphan Black is the best
show on T.V. right now. I love that show. I love what they
do. Tatianaís an incredible actress. Breaking Bad was
I watch more T.V. than I watch films just because theyíre
smaller increments and if itís a good show, you get an
incredible story line and character development. Friday
Night Lights is totally one of my all-time favorites. The
fact that D.W.ís my dad in Switched at Births is hilarious
to me. I could go on and on about T.V.
Moderator: What is the overall consensus of whether Bay and
Daphne switchsters or swisters?
Katie: See, itís a struggle for me. I think there are more
swisters than there are switchsters. See the problem lies in
the fact that Vanessa and I call ourselves switchsters and
always have but I think the fans vote swisters. But Vanessa
and I, who are the switchsters, are voting switchsters. Itís
I donít know what to do about it because I feel like, well I
could give up my belief, but if anybody has a thought, it
should probably be Vanessa and I. Or maybe even Lizzy
[Weiss]. Thatís what it is; Lizzyís got to be the
Moderator: How does Daphne feel about Reginaís relationship
with Eric and are there going to be any issues with Regina
trying to balance her time between these different families?
Katie: Well, you know, I think the first time that Daphne saw
Regina with Eric was a challenge. We saw that happen
onscreen, so that was a fun moment to play. Thereís a
natural grownup-ness about Daphne now that sheís matured a
lot and she wants her mom to be happy in whatever way that
Regina is pursuing that happiness.
Now that Daphneís in college and living in the dorms, itís
natural for Regina to feel like the ďempty-nester.Ē The fact
that Regina isnít really experiencing that because she has
the coffee shop to keep her occupied and to keep her busy
and Eric and Will as well, is a really good thing for Regina
as a character. I think Daphneís totally supportive of it,
but mostly because Daphneís also wrapped up in her own
Moderator: Can you tell us anything about the rumors of a
character returning to the show?
Katie: I donít know if Iím allowed to say who it is or not,
but the fact that you donít know who it is makes me feel
like I donít think I can [laughs]. Oh shoot. I actually
think I Instagrammed a photo of this person, so I donít
think itís a huge reveal, but Daphne has made some enemies
over the past four seasons. Maybe not necessarily enemies,
because this person is in a position of power and Daphne was
a teenager at the time. Daphne doesnít have any direct
interaction with this character, but Bay does. So, Bayís
malice towards him is definitely palatable, but our girl Bay
has a way of getting her way, so I wouldnít worry about it
too, too much.
Moderator: What can we expect from Daphne this season?
Katie: Daphne is in a really good place. Sheís really solid;
sheís making super good choices, which is awesome. She is
super happy with Mingo. Like I said before, sheís really
just the cheerleader for the family. The family struggle
right now is real. Itís real in the sense that itís a
looming thing for the family, but the storyline is something
that Iíve dealt with in my personal life and I know itís a
very tough subject for a lot of families to deal with. So,
Daphneís really there to be as supportive to the family as
she can be and I think that comes in many different ways.
Sheís there physically with her family, but also just
sending good vibes and positivity towards them.
There is one really cool moment that I have to say, I think
itís in Episode 7, a very close friend of mine makes a
really quick cameo. Thereís a scene where thereís a
fundraiser at Scratch, the town bar, and itís western night.
So my friend Caron Butler, who just got drafted to the
Sacramento Kings in the NBA. He came to set and we shot him
as if he was just thrown off the mechanical bull, and he
stands up and he throws his arms in the air and he cheers,
and then walks off and he and Daphne look at each other. So
heís this really quick cameo, featured background role, but
if anybodyís a basketball fan, definitely keep an eye out
because Caron Butler is in the house [laughs].
Moderator: If you could star on any ABC Family show, which
one would you pick and who would you want to play?
Katie: I would say Young and Hungry. I really like to be in
the kitchen. Iím a pretty darn good cook and they seem like
they have a lot of fun. I really like the idea of the live
studio audience. I would totally do that and itíd be really
fun. I love Emily and so I would probably play her friend.
Moderator: What has been your favorite relationship of
Katie: If youíd asked me last season, I would have to say my
favorite relationship was with Wilkie for Daphne. Wilkie was
super supportive and definitely didnít have ulterior motives
like say, Jace did. Daphne kind of falls into this pitfall
of guys that arenít necessarily looking out for her.
Mingo, though, is totally on Daphneís side and I love Mingo
for Daphne. He pushes her and motivates her in ways that
none of her previous boyfriends have and heís really good
and I like that we didnít know whether they were going to be
friends or enemies at first. They definitely have each
otherís back and I think itís a really beautiful
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