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Interview with Beverley Mitchell of "The Secret Life of the
on ABC Family 3/30/11.
The questions in red are from Krista. The rest of the
questions are from other journalists.
ABC Familyís Q&A Session with Beverley MitchellĖ The
Secret Life of the American Teenager
Moderator What has it been like on set with a lot of the same crew from
7th Heaven there?
B. Mitchell It has been absolutely amazing. Everytime I get to go back
to work at Secret Life, itís like coming home. So many of those
crewmembers are like family to me. So, itís been a lot of fun. Itís a
very rare thing to happen in Hollywood, so I am blessed everytime I get
to go play.
Moderator How do you think Lucy would have reacted to Katelyn OíMalley?
B. Mitchell I think Lucy would have definitely liked Katelyn OíMalley. I
think she would have gotten maybe frustrated with her because Katelyn
wants to do whatís best for the kids, but sometimes that comes with a
little needling. So, if Lucy was in high school and Katelyn was her
counselor, I think they would have had a few battles.
Moderator Tell me a little bit about your take on the show and its
content. What made you interested in joining the cast?
B. Mitchell Secret Life is such an amazing show, and it definitely is a
little bit grittier than 7th Heaven and deals with much more mature
content, but I think it still does it in a nice way where itís something
that teens are dealing with now. Itís current. Itís exactly what
teenagers and young people are seeing in their schools. Itís relevant,
and I think it was a great opportunity for me to bounce back into TV and
be a part of something great thatís touching people. I was absolutely
thrilled when Brenda called me and invited me on. Everyone is so
welcoming and kind, and the showís great. We had huge numbers on Monday,
and Iím just so honored to be a part of it.
Moderator What excites you about playing your character? Were there any
struggles or concerns or did research have to go into your character?
B. Mitchell To be honest, I felt very at home with Katelyn. Sheís a girl
whoís fresh out of college and so excited to come in and touch the lives
of young people, which I can completely relate to. So, it was really fun
and not a lot of research. It was just a girl who wants the best for the
young people around her and just trying to make a difference in the
world. I could definitely relate to that. So, it was pretty easy to step
into Katelynís shoes.
Moderator Last week I talked to Shai, and she mentioned that Amy did not
really deal with Katelyn, so I noticed that you talked with Ashley on
Monday. What other characters will you be working with during the
B. Mitchell At some point, I talk to everybody. I donít get to spend a
lot of time with everybody necessarily, but Iíve definitely gotten to
work with almost all of theólike Iíve worked with Daren, Iíve worked
with Adrian, and Iíve worked with Kenny, and Iíve worked with Ashley.
So, Iíve gotten to talk to everybody. At some point, Katelyn will find a
way to discuss something that she thinks is important with each one of
the characters, which is totally my recollection of what high school
counselors were like. It totally stays true to that.
Moderator Also, I noticed Mackenzie was on the pilot as well, so did you
get to work with her on that day or see her on set?
B. Mitchell I did get to work with Mackenzie and we had an absolute
blast, and it was super fun. It was kind of sweet that we did that
little kick back to 7th Heaven with our look in the hallway. What was so
funny is, it was so awkward for both us because weíre stepping into new
characters, but it was so super fun. Itís always great to see Mackenzie.
I see her often just in regular life, but itís still fun to get back to
work and to be on the set together, especially with all our crew around.
Moderator Iím so hoping you could talk a little bit more about how long
weíre expected to see you on the show for. Is it through the whole
season? Will there be another season? A lot of the counselors have been
rotating in and out throughout the course of the show.
B. Mitchell Well I can tell you so far, Iím getting ready to shoot my
8th episode. So, Iím filtered in and out of the season, and you
definitely havenít seen the last of me yet, which is great, and so much
fun. I never know what sheís going to be up to next, which is always
exciting to get the next script and see whatís going on with Katelyn.
Moderator I just want to know what a typical day is like on the Secret
B. Mitchell Typical day, well usually for me, when Iím working, Iím
usually the first up, so Iím usually at work by six, which is great. I
go get an amazing breakfast and get to hang out with the amazing makeup
and hair department, who are just dear friends. Of course, then we
rehearse, and usuallyóthis is one of the most efficient crews I have
ever had the pleasure of working withówe can take a huge 10-page day and
hammer it out so quickly and so efficiently, and we have so much fun
Whatís cool is, thereís a lot of peopleónobodyís going back to their
trailer and being all by themselves. Everybodyís talking, conversing,
and having fun and catching up because itís definitely like a family.
Itís just such a pleasure to be able to come onto a set and feel so
comfortable and to feel at ease and to feel loved and wanted. Usually
for me, the day always ends with my dear crew singing Happy Birthday to
me to make me embarrassed and humiliate me because that has been going
on since the 7th Heaven days. So, years of my birthdays, by this time
Iím like 200 years old.
Moderator You kind of touched on this when you were talking about the
crew, but what was it like working with Brenda Hampton again?
B. Mitchell Brenda Hampton isó I canít say enough good things about her.
She is one of the most phenomenal human beings I have ever met in my
entire life. She has been so amazing and has been so supportive and has
always been there for me since I was 15 years old. Even through the
years after 7th Heaven, weíve always stayed in touch. Weíve gone to
lunch. Weíve checked in. Sheís just, honestly, such a rarity in
Hollywood. She is so true to the people that she loves, and she takes
care of people and it is justóI am so blessed that she came into my
We were talking about it, I met her when I was 15, thatís insane. Thatís
15 years ago, and she has been a huge part of my life ever since the day
I met her. She will continue to be a huge part of my life for many years
to come, like for the rest of my lifetime. But one of the most brilliant
and kindest, and has a heart bigger than anyone Iíve ever met. I totally
would love to be any partóif I could grow up and be a woman like Brenda,
itíd be phenomenal. Sheís amazing.
Moderator Speaking of 7th Heaven fans and of course Secret Life fans,
what kind of reaction have you been getting from your role? Obviously,
youíre on Twitter, you can kind of get some instant feedback that way.
B. Mitchell Itís amazing. Everyone has been so supportive and so
shockingly nice. Iím so used to so many haters so I was kind of
expecting a little bit of a backlash of some sort, and I havenít
received any. I feel the Secret Life fan base and the 7th Heaven fan
base are very similar, and I think itís amazing just how many people are
excited and new fans are coming to Secret Life and old fans are finding
me on Secret Life, which is also amazing. So, itís been kind of fun.
Itís wonderful. I went to an event last night, and I was shocked to see
a whole bunch of adults coming up to me saying how excited they were I
was on Secret Life. It was very surprising how broad the fan base is,
which it just goes to show you what good writing and great actingówhat
it brings to people, and how it touches people.
Moderator We havenít gotten to see you in any projects recently. This is
kind of like the first project that weíve gotten to see you in really
since 7th Heaven. Are you auditioning? Are you working on other projects
B. Mitchell Iím working on a project that Iím actually also producing.
Itís a film that I did with Hailey Duff called Pennhurst. Weíre working
on reshoots right now, and hopefully, weíll have something out by this
fall. Iím also moving into the producing side and creating things. Itís
been a really fun few years of just kind of diving into something
different and being able to create projects and find things that inspire
me and hopefully, will inspire others. So, Iím bouncing all around.
I was on the show for 11 years, so Iíve given myself a little freedom to
go be goofy and figure out what I want to do next. Secret Life is
definitely putting the bug back in me about getting back to TV because I
just absolutely love it. Acting is like breathing to me, so being on the
show and being with such amazing people just definitely gets me calling
people saying, ďAlright, Iím back. Letís go.Ē
Moderator If you could bring back yet another 7th Heaven actor on the
Secret Life, who would it be?
B. Mitchell Thatís a hard one. Thatís a really hard one because I love
everybody. You totally stumped me. Maybe David Gallagher, because
Davidóone, heís just one of the most phenomenally talented people, and I
think he would fit in very well with the whole Secret Life group. Except
for now, heís kind of gone very scruffy, so heís kind of the bad boy
lately, which actually could be fun.
Moderator Are you going to get the chance to use your musical talents on
B. Mitchell Not as far as I know, but then again, the one thing I did
learn about working for Brenda is anything that Ö sheíll come and
surprise me, so who knows, but as of right now, no. I think Katelynís
just going to stick to her job of counseling and being an adviser.
Moderator How did you get involved in acting? I know youíve been doing
it since you were a child.
B. Mitchell I got involved in actingóI was four years old, and Iím a
person that is very food based. I was with my aunt, and she was
shopping, and she felt the need to keep shopping and not feed me. So I
followed the other kids were doing, and they were throwing temper
tantrums. So I threw myself on the ground, fists and all, and screamed
at the top of my lungs, and apparently, someone thought that was cute,
and a manager came up and said that I had spunk and I should be in the
business. Meanwhile, my aunt wanted to kill me. Who knew that it would
turn into a career path at the age of four, but Iíve been in the
business ever since and never looked back.
Moderator When young actors and actresses starting out on a show or in
the business about the age you were when you started 7th Heaven , what
advice would you give to them today since youíve essentially grew up in
front of the camera?
B. Mitchell I think my biggest advice for young people is to not get
caught up in the hubbub around actors and this praising that goes on. I
feel like being a young teen, you can easily take that and your ego can
blow up, but I know that my mom always kept me super grounded. My
friends were the same friends that I had before 7th Heaven, and I still
am best friends with all of them now.
I knew what was real and what was fake, and that was easy to discern for
me, and I always grounded myself in what was real. And 7th Heaven was a
job for me, but it didnít make me any better than my friends who were
studying at school, and I think that made a big difference. Iíve never
fallen into the Hollywood trap, but I also had a phenomenal mom who was
ready to knock me down if I ever thought I was too cool to do my chores
or to clean up after the dogs.
So, my life neveróitís changed only in the fact that the hours of the
day I was at work, but when I went home, I still had rules. I still had
chores, and I still had to get good grades and do my school work. My mom
always said sheís not going to lose her daughter to the business, and
she didnít. I really feel like parents need to be strong and to not
treat their kids any different just because theyíre in Hollywood,
doesnít give them license to do whatever they want.
Moderator I read that one of your encounters was with someone who was
interesting in being homeschooled. I just wondered what your thoughts
were on homeschooling versus public school.
B. Mitchell Well, I feel whatever is best for the childóI, obviously,
was a super outgoing kid. I wanted to be a part of everything. Even when
I was on 7th Heaven, I was a cheerleader for the first two years of the
show, so homeschooling was never something I was comfortable with. I am
too interested in being with other kids, and in my mind, I called it
being normal because I was with adults all day long.
However, Jessie and Mackenzie did homeschooling and that was what was
right for them. They were more comfortable doing homeschooling, and they
didnít need the encounters with kids and they saw them elsewhere.
Mackenzie saw them when she was horseback riding, and Jessie saw them
when she was playing soccer. So, I really feel that whatever is right
for the individual is important.
I donít think itís fair for me to make a basis on whatís right for
someone else when I donít know them, but I do feel itís always important
to still have encounters with kids your own age. So as long as youíre
having encounters outside, whether itís through sports or through other
extracurricular activities, I think itís fine. Whatever is going to get
you to have the best education and give you the most potential to move
forward and to hopefully head to college is totally based on who the
Moderator Since you went to public school, do you think that you missed
out on anything as far as growing up in Hollywood? Do you feel like you
had a pretty normal life?
B. Mitchell I didnít miss out on anything, to be honest. I went to all
my school dances. Granted, it was a little confusing. I went to school
once every eight days all throughout my high school, and the only thing
that was frustrating is coming back and not knowing who broke up with
who and who was dating who, and who didnít like who. I put my foot in my
mouth a few times just because I didnít get the daily update. But you
know what? Itís all character building, and it was fun, and I would not
change one thing about how I grew up. It was absolutely perfect, and it
was amazing. Every experience that I went through growing up has made me
who I am today, and I like myself so I think it was okay.
Moderator How is working on Secret Life different from working on the
7th Heaven set.
B. Mitchell I think the biggest change would just be, obviously, the
cast is entirely different and so the dynamic between cast is a little
different, but itís awesome and everyone is so amazing. Obviously, with
7th Heaven, after working with 11 years, you are so close to the
characters and so close to the people, thereís a comfort there. Whatís
fun about Secret Life is itís new and itís fresh and itís exciting, and
everytime I go to work Iím excited to see whoever Iím working with and
to connect in a different way. Because the cast is so big, everytime I
come, Iím meeting someone new and learning a little bit more about the
bigger family, which is awesome. So, I guess I would say thatís the
biggest change because, obviously, having a lot of the same crew, I fall
back into hanging out and chatting about the same things that I used to
chat with the crew on 7th Heaven. So, I think the cast dynamic would be
the biggest change.
Moderator Since youíre a guidance counselor on the show, do you have any
advice for fans of Secret Life and really kind of high schoolers who
watch the show?
B. Mitchell My biggest advice for anyone, actually it applies to I think
everyone, is just to be nice to one another and to just stay true to
yourself, and that being said just still being a good person. I have
always lived by the golden rule like do unto others as you want done
unto you. Anytime someoneís mean to me and I want to fire back with
something, I just take a deep breath and realize that just because
someone said something to me doesnít mean that I need to retaliate or
say something back. Being the bigger person is a much harder thing to
do, but itís far more rewarding, and in the long run, you will be very
pleased with your outcome, and youíll have no regrets. I think thatís a
Moderator Were you a fan of Secret Life, had you watched it a lot or
been interested in starring on it before you ended up getting the job?
B. Mitchell I definitely was a fan and I definitely was watching. As
soon as I found out Brenda had the show going, I was watching and
following and thought it was a great show. So when Brenda came and
talked to me about coming on, I was thrilled, and it didnít take long
for me to figure out what my answer was. So yes, itís such a great show.
Itís so much fun to be a part of and such amazing people are a part of
it, and itís a lot of fun. So, yes of course, I was very excited.
Moderator Who is your biggest TV crush?
B. Mitchell Youíre trying to get me in trouble with my husband. Biggest
TV crush? I donít even know. Iím trying to think of all my favorite TV
shows. I guess Iíd have to say Eric Dane. Heís the first one that came
Moderator If you could change one thing about Secret Life, what would it
B. Mitchell Okay, thatís not that hard. Iíd be on every episode. Iíll
just be selfish and say that.
Moderator Do you have any interest in doing anything behind the scenes:
directing, writing, producing?
B. Mitchell I absolutely do. I have been doing a lot of writing. Iíve
got a few TV shows that Iím finishing up. Iíve got a pilot written. Iíve
got a few films that Iím working on, but I absolutely will pretty soon
start moving on into the producing and directing side as well. I think
Iíll always be in front of the camera as well. Iíll definitely continue
acting because I canít imagine my life without it, but I definitely have
an interest to start creating and producing and being on the other side
because thatís also fascinating and exciting and totally different but
so fulfilling and amazing. Iíve gotten to do that with Pennhurst, the
film that weíre producing and that kind of has tapped to a side that is
excited and wanting to do more. So, you will definitely see a lot of
projects with my name in a few different spots, hopefully from the
producing and directing because I would love to start moving on into the
directing side as well.
Moderator If you werenít an actor, what is it that you think you would
B. Mitchell Oh my gosh, thatís such a hard question because you know
whatís funny is everyone when theyíre four years old kind of has an
idea, like they want to be firefighters. The funniest thing is, my whole
entire life Iíve always wanted to be an actor, so Iíve never even
thought about doing anything else. I think the only thing that has kind
of peaked my interest, which was when I was going through college, was
maybe psychology and helping people and kind of working people through
things that theyíre going through, maybe that would be. But again,
thatís a hard question because ever since I knew what an actor wasóI
mean I used to tell my mom I wanted to be in the TV before I knew what Ö
were. Itís pretty ingrained in me.
Moderator Can you tell us a little bit more about Katelyn? How would you
B. Mitchell Katelyn is a super enthusiastic young woman, who has come to
Grant High School really hoping to make a difference and to impact
studentís lives. She has a huge heart, and she just wants to be there
for everyone, and experiences a little bit of a push away where the kids
arenít as welcoming as she thought they were going to be. She thought,
sheís young and that people are going to trust her and feel comfortable
with her, and that doesnít exactly happen right off the bat, but she
keeps trying. Sheís not going to give up, and she takes her job very
seriously. First and foremost, she just cares about the kids and wants
to make sure that she does right by them.
Moderator Then, I know weíve touched a little bit on the 7th Heaven
cast, and youíve obviously seen Mackenzie, but do you keep in touch with
any of your other former costars?
B. Mitchell I absolutely do. Everyone kind of laughs at me because Iím
kind of the glue. Iím the one thatís constantly calling everyone and
making sure everyoneís okay and what everyoneís doing. Jessie is one of
my best friends. Mackenzie, we see often, we go out to dinner as often
as we can. Stephen, I stay in touch with. David Gallagher, I just sent
him a big note because his birthday was in February, and weíre supposed
to be doing dinner soon. Barryís a little bit harder to get ahold of,
and Catherine also.
Itís amazing when youíve worked with someone for so long and youíve gone
through what nobody else can understand except for the seven of us and
what we went through, thereís a bond there that can never be explained
nor can ever be destroyed. So, whether we like it or not, weíre all
stuck together. Sometimes we can go awhile without talking, but whenever
we get together itís like nothingís ever changed, which is just amazing
and just goes to show you how phenomenal Brenda was with putting the
cast together because we truly have become family. Iím an only child but
I have inherited many siblings, who I love and adore and would do
Moderator Will there be a love interest for Katelyn this season or next
B. Mitchell I donít know but that would be fun.
Moderator What was your most romantic moment or what has been your most
romantic moment in your life?
B. Mitchell Well, itíd be a tossup between my engagement and my actual
wedding, which our wedding was in Italy and couldnít have been more
romantic, and we couldnít have been any goofier, which is perfect for us
and speaks volumes for our relationship, which is we just are all about
having fun and being silly and being goofy. But we got married in Italy,
and we got married at this beautiful church. We walked through the
streets of Italy, and we had music playing, and our guests were
following us, and the locals were throwing flower petals and candy at
us, and that was pretty magical and romantic and amazing and shared with
all the people who we love so dear, which makes it even more romantic.
Even though itís not just the two of us, it was kind of everyone, but
being filled with and surrounded with so much love made it an extremely
Moderator What Secret Life couple are you most rooting for: Ben and
Adrian, Ricky and Adrian, Ben and Amy?
B. Mitchell I think the couple that Iím most rooting for would be Ricky
and Amy, just because theyíre so cute together. Theyíre so cute and
obviously having a child together is awesome, and Iíd say them. But,
thatís a really hard question because then now, Iím kind of like Ben and
Adrian too because, obviously, theyíre having a child as well. So,
thatís a tricky question.
Moderator The prior school counselor, Dr. Bink was really goofy but she
never really won the kids over and befriended them. Will Katelyn become
closer to the Secret Life gang, like more of a friend to them?
B. Mitchell I think thatís Katelynís goal is to become a friend but
still do her job. So far, itís not necessarily always working out that
way. Itís definitely fun because thereís a lot of looks on whether or
not sheís a counselor or whether sheís a student, but she definitely
gets through to them and starts to create relationships, which is nice.
I wouldnít necessarily say sheís like their best friend though. That
definitely hasnít happened yet, but who knows. Weíve got plenty of
Also, be sure to tune-in on Mondays at 8/7c for all new
episodes of Secret Life!
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