Interview with Vanessa Marano of "Switched at Birth" on ABC Family - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite
 

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By Suzanne

Vanessa Marano

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 season?

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 forgive him.

Moderator Are there any other coming story lines that you can tease us about?

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 December?

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 personal decision?

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 result.

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 different lives.

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 relationship?

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 that?

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 friendship.

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 there?

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 her forgiveness?

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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