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Interview with Vanessa Marano of "Switched at Birth" on
ABC Family 8/20/12
Vanessa is a great interview because she is very chatty.
She clearly is very bright and thinks a lot about her show and her
character. She laughs easily, too, and it's obvious that she is very
little like her troubled teen characters. I enjoyed speaking with her
and have followed her career since she was on The Young & The Restless
and Without a Trace.
My questions below are the ones in blue...the others are
from other journalists.
ABC Familyís Q&A Session with Vanessa Marano Ė
SWITCHED AT BIRTH
Moderator What can you tease us about Bay and Emmettís relationship this
V. Marano Well, Bay and Emmett left off on pretty shaky ground
obviously. She found out that he cheated on her with her ex-best friend
Simone, and sheís not too happy about it. In the premiere coming back
thereís a lot of denial until finally the climactic scene of the
premiere episode where she just lets him have it, and thatís kind of the
overall tone of the season is her struggling with accepting what Emmett
did. Accepting that sheís in pain about it and accepting a way to
Moderator Are there any other coming story lines that you can tease us
V. Marano Oh, letís see, well, obviously thereís the Angelo trial drama.
Angelo being Bayís father and is, of course, illegally in the country
and trying to stay in the country, and I believe the big teaser has been
Regina in a wedding dress for the fall premiere. Not to give too much
away but it looks like everybodyís going to head that way, and then,
obviously, the Kennishís are still suing the hospital and that finally
comes to a head this fall season. We finally get a result of who is
going to win, the hospital or the Kennishís.
Moderator So whatís been happening? Could you catch us up with what
youíve been up to since last time we spoke, which I think was in
V. Marano Well, letís see since December we obviously shot the show. We
shot the eight episodes that are premiering in the fall. Itís been a lot
of that. We just got picked up for a second season of 20 episodes that
Iím really excited about. Itís officially our second season so we did 30
episodes of a first season and the second one is around the corner.
Moderator Currently what would you say is coming up with fall with
Switched at Birth that youíre most excited about?
V. Marano That Iím most excited about, well letís see, a lot of new
characters get introduced, and as far as Bay goes she starts turning to
street art a little bit more again, which she did give up for a while
because Emmett got arrested for painting a happy birthday message to her
in street art. And so she was kind of shying away from it because of the
whole arrest thing, but he cheated on her so now sheís back at it. And
she falls into the wrong crowd, and thereís a particular character that
she gets introduced to who has a major bad influence on her so a little
bit of bad Bay which is a lot of fun.
Moderator You learn sign language on the show, did you do that so you
can more accurately portray your character or was that more of a
V. Marano That was I had absolutely no choice decision because my
character started dating Emmett, and if you are going to start a
relationship with somebody who doesnít speak the language that you speak
obviously communication, so I hear, is a big part of a relationship so
you want to be able to do that with a person. Obviously reading lips as
much as he can do, he canít do anything about the fact that he couldnít
hear. It was really up to Bay if she wanted the relationship to thrive
she needed to find a way to communicate with him so she decided to learn
sign language for him, which means the actress portraying Bay, me,
needed to learn sign language.
Moderator Youíve got a background in other languages. Did that help you
with the process of learning sign language?
V. Marano Absolutely not. Absolutely not. Itís so funny. My father is a
language professor and sign language is so different than a verbal
language because it is visual. Actually itís very difficult to learn
another language obviously but Iím a visual learner so I found it easier
than learning anotherólike say I speak a little Italian and I found sign
language much easier to learn than Italian to the point where Iíve been
practicing sign language so much my Italianís just gotten terrible as a
Moderator What do you think is the thing
that is the most worrisome or bothersome for her?
V. Marano For Bay I think itís a fear of not being loved by anyone.
Really and truly itís everything; everything that she finds bothersome
and everything that she fears or anything that deeply affects her in a
negative way is related to her just wanting to be loved by someone. With
the whole switch, from the very beginning, she saw that everyone fled so
easily to Daphne. Daphne was very easy to get along with. Sheís likable
and smart and just lovely and nice, and Bayís not that easy. Bay has a
lot of walls. Bay kind of deflects people with an awkward sense of humor
and that was really hard for her because she saw people so easily being
able to choose Daphne over her.
And then, her boyfriend chooses Daphne over her and everyone in the
world was choosing Daphne over her. When her biological father came back
in to the picture she just wanted him to choose her and finally she
found someone who did. He (Emmett) actually choose Bay over Daphne in a
relationship sense, not in a friendship sense, and that meant the world
to her because it meant this is someone who loves me for me and not me
pretending to be something that Iím not. And then he betrayed her and
cheated on her, which is the ultimate form of choosing somebody over
you, and now sheís really damaged again. I think sheís at a place right
now where she has lack of trust for all people.
Moderator When you were growing up, do you
think you were more like Daphne or Bay?
V. Marano Itís funny because actually I probably would have beenóhereís
the thing. Iím not athletic. I have more of a sarcastic sense of humor.
Iím more artistic so Iím more like Bay in that sense. That being said,
however, Bay and I differ on so many things just from a social
standpoint, just from the way that we deal with our family, from the way
that we deal with human beings in general. Just from the way that we
deal with men, Bay and I are very, very different.
Itís funny. I kind of see a little bitóand I think Katie who plays
Daphne can say the same for herself. I think we kind of see a little bit
of Bay and Daphne in both of us in real life, which is kind of poetic
because Bay and Daphne are actually supposed to be each other in
Moderator In the finale you and Bayís birth father had a very
interesting conversation where it seems that Bayís eyes were a little
bit opened to his flaws finally. Where are we going to go with that
relationship? Is she going to be a little more skeptical about him or is
she still a huge supporter? Can you tease a little bit about that
V. Marano Bay is always a huge supporter of Angelo and I think it goes
back to that needing to be loved thing because this is somebody who
walked out on Daphne and did something completely horrible, and through
that Bays like, ďOh, okay, well, he would hurt me but maybe he couldnít.
Maybe because I am his daughter heíll love me.Ē And therefore I think
sheís always rooting for him to come around or be the changed person
that he says that he is.
You know any child wants their parents together too even though she
barely knows her parents she wants them together. In a way itís sort of
making her whole but you need to keep in mind that with Bay she for 16
years thought of herself as a whole person and felt incredibly guilty
for not understanding why she felt empty. All of a sudden she
understands why -- because she was raised by people who arenít actually
related to her by blood, but to top it off she grew up with a father and
itís completely foreign to her to not actually know her father because
for 16 years she grew up with a dad. And so sheís kind of like the only
one who is still on Angeloís side. She just wants him to pull through,
especially now with breaking up with Emmett itís like the saving grace
for her. Itís the only thing that sheís looking forward to is him
hopefully staying in the country.
Moderator Disney Info Net.com covers Disney channel heavily and you have
a little sister on there, Laura Marano that stars in Austin & Ally. Iím
just wondering how much of an influence have you been on her career?
V. Marano I donít know if the word influence is the right word. My
sister and I started acting at roughly the same time. I wanted to act
when I was 6-years old and my mom was an actress and sheís also an
acting coach and she owns a childrenís theatre. She was in the business
for a very long time and was very skeptical about it. Just didnít think
it was a good idea for a child that young to start and also she didnít
want to drive us around, the whole mix of just not wanting to deal with
stage moms and not wanting to deal with the business in general.
And so obviously to a little kid no means yes so I kept asking and
asking and asking and asking, and finally when I was 8 years old she
took me to an agent who she was praying and hoping would turn me down.
The agent ended up taking me and my little sister Laura who was 5 years
old didnít audition. She was just there and adorable and funky, and said
these words, ďI donít have an agent. Can you be my agent too?Ē And the
agent was like, ďYes. Yes I can.Ē And so my mom ended up having to drive
two little girls around for like ten years.
Moderator Would you be open to guest starring on Austin & Ally or having
Laura star on your show Switched at Birth?
V. Marano I think Laura and I are just open to work in general so anyone
who wants to have us can have us.
Moderator I know my audience isnít going to like this question but I
think it might be time to find a new love interest for Bay, especially
with everything that happened, mix things up a bit. What do you think of
V. Marano I think itís a great idea. Iím all for it. Iím probably one of
the few people who shares the opinion of I donít think Bay and Emmett
should necessarily get back together, especially right away. I feel like
thereís a lot of betrayal that happened that she needs to work through,
and I think a big thing that she could teach herself and teach to him is
maybe a way of finding friendship without necessarily a relationship.
Like the ultimate test of forgiveness is I can still have you in my
life; maybe not in the same way but in a way that still shows
I donít think they should get back together personally. Iím like one of
the only people in the entire world who thinks that, and itís probably
not going to happen because our writers are big Bay and Emmett fans, and
I understand because theyíre an awesome couple. But as an actress also I
think itís a fabulous idea that they just get more romantic love
interests one right after another if they have to. If Iím in that
situation, itís my work, Iíll do what I have to do. In the premiere
episode though Bay does come back with a boyfriend because the Bay that
we all know and love does not stay single for very long.
Moderator Iím really excited about The Secret Lives of Dorks and I know
itís probably going to be a while until we actually get to see it, but
could you tell our audience a little bit about that film and your role
because you have a big role, right?
V. Marano Yeah. Well, I shot that film while I was 17 years old and,
believe it or not, I was on the Young and the Restless at that exact
same time, and so I was doing night shoots on that movie and day like
afternoon shoots on the Young and the Restless and there was a point
where I stayed up for 48 hours. Somebody else was driving me but I was
stayed awake for 48 hours, it was fine.
Anyway, itís kind of a high school comedy. Itís about dorks in general
and my character Samantha is the female dork. I have a unibrow. Yes I
have a unibrow for a good chunk of that movie, and basically itís a
story about coming of age and being comfortable with the side of you
that might not necessarily be the coolest side of you. But itís also a
very, very fun little love story too about these two people who connect
on a really dorky level.
Moderator What was it like working with Gilles Marini this season?
V. Marano Great. Itís always great to work with him. Everyone loves
Gilles Marini. Gilles Marini has a way of walking into a room and just
making you light up; he does. Heís French; he knows it. But no heís
really awesome to work with. Heís very creative. He has an accent,
reminds me a lot of my dad, which is good since heís playing my dad.
Itís always awkward because whenever you say youíre working with Gilles
Marini theyíre like, ďOh, my God, heís so beautiful.Ē And youíre like,
ďYes, heís playing my father, so yeah.Ē
Moderator What is Bayís relationship with the lawsuit that her parents
are involved in and she seems to have been very uncomfortable with it
and resents it and feels like itís a sign that the parents who raised
her donít love her. I was wondering if weíre going to have any follow up
with that this season. Is she going to come to terms with that or is she
going to remain uncomfortable with the lawsuit? Will we see any progress
V. Marano We definitely have seen progress there. Sheís kind of gotten
over it. I think she realized -- that was one of her Bay overdramatic
moments -- that it was not necessarily an attack on her. That it really
was just, if anything, for her. Like she was cheated out of a different
life and maybe it was for the best but maybe it wasnít for the best, and
definitely it didnít necessarily affect everyone negatively but it did
affect everyone and thatís really what the Kennishes want is just an
admission of fault on the hospitalís part.
Bayís kind of gotten over it, but I think the Kennishes come a long way
with it as far as verbalizing it to Bay that they donít regret the
switch, and that they do love her and actually are so happy that things
did work out the way they did because they love her and she is their
daughter. Not necessarily more than Daphne as their daughter but their
daughter in a different way that Daphne will unfortunately never be.
Moderator Is Bay going to be having any reactions to her motherís book
as that progresses, can you tease anything?
V. Marano Yeah. In the season premiere Kathryn is having a book party
and I think Bayís opinions about the book get illuminated, letís just
say. I can say that much.
Moderator You started talking about the relationship between Bay and
Emmett and thatís maybe going to be a long process for her to forgive
him. What do you think that Emmett could do to speed that along and earn
V. Marano He does about everything. That poor boy does about everything
from romantic gestures to just being completely without anyone else to
just constantly reminding her that he is waiting for her and he will
wait for as long as it takes for her to move on. But Emmett gets
introduced to a different love interest this season so weíll see what
happens because-- let me put it to you this way -- a cute deaf girl
comes into the mix and just saying.
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