Interview With Katie Leclerc From Switched at Birth

January 2, 2012

The ABC Family breakout hit show Switched at Birth is back and things are going to be crazy. I know this because I got the chance to interview the oh so lovely Katie Leclerc, who plays Daphne, the other day.

Katie Leclerc

If you are a fan of the show then you know that Katie is an amazing actress but what some of you may not know is that she is an awesome person as well. I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to participate in a Q&A interview session with Leclerc and she was a pleasure to talk to.

Of course a good part of the conversation had to do with the return of Switched at Birth, which just so happens to be tomorrow night at 8PM EST. Katie shared that there’s a lot of rebuilding for Daphne and Angelo, actually more like starting to build a relationship. Daphne will have to figure out what she cares about, what she wants and it will force to her go after what she wants. Life is going to continue to be a struggle for Daphne that is for sure. Things aren’t all bad though for Daphne she does find success in her personal life in many different areas. She focuses a lot of energy on basketball too. Plus there is going to be a little cattiness about her, which is going to be fun for everyone.

The actress who is now a household name shared some different insights to the role that she seems born to play. First of all her favorite thing about Daphne is that she is never a victim. She is a normal high-school girl who struggles with boys, gets good grades, plays basketball, has all these day-to-day activities that anyone can relate to and she happens to also be deaf. There is no sorrow and wallowing for her in what some people might see as a huge challenge. Then there is the fact that Katie and Daphne have very similar fashion styles, with one exception Katie is not a cardigan girl like her alter ego.

When it was my turn to get the chance to speak with Leclerc I wanted to know a little bit more about not only the actress but what we the fans don’t see on the show.

Rachelle: Do you have a favorite episode from season one?
Katie Leclerc: I think we start off the return of season one incredibly strong. We got to watch the first episode yesterday at lunch and wow. As for my favorite I think maybe episode four where we have the big fundraiser party at the Kennish house. That episode has so many shots where you can see everybody; so everybody was on set all the time and we all kind of got to hang out together. That one has a special place in my heart. Plus, Emmett on the drums is just awesome.

Rachelle: Is there a behind the scenes moment from filming that you can share?
Katie Leclerc: In episode nine of the last season there’s a dream sequence where Daphne is dreaming about what her life would be like if she had never switched. I speak in my regular voice and there’s this weird moment where Daphne is dressed in a Buckner Hall uniform. In the process of filming that, I got to wear the Buckner Hall uniform and in that same episode we had a stunt double for Vanessa. Our hairdresser had sewn together two wigs to match Vanessa’s hair and it was sitting there in the makeup chair enticing me. So, I’m like, we’ve got to take advantage of this. I asked the hairdresser to put the wig on me and then Vanessa found out about our endeavor and went and found a Carlton High School uniform and we made up some mock hearing aids. We went to the table read and the director for that episode, David walked over to me and shook my hand and said, “Hello, Vanessa. I’m David. It’s a pleasure to be working with you”. Then he turns to Vanessa and says, “Hello, Katie. I’m David”. Neither of us had the heart to tell him for like a couple of days that we had played this prank on him. It was pretty terrible actually but he was a good sport about it. We love him. We’re forever bonded to David after that.

Rachelle: Can you talk a little bit about how you got involved in acting?
Katie Leclerc: I was Annie in eighth grade. I just kind of fell in love with it. I was living in Colorado at the time and bullied by a group of girls, so we decided to move to San Diego. I went through the begging phase of asking my parents to make the two-hour drive to L.A. Ultimately we ended up doing it about four times a week before we moved to L.A. about two years later. It was a process and thankfully, my parents were supportive along the ride.

Rachelle: What was it about Daphne that made you want to play her?
Katie Leclerc: I had never seen anything like what we were doing on the pages of Switched at Birth. It really resonated with me to be true and honest. Even in the pilot we talked about issues related to deaf cultures; the cochlear implants and the uphill battle and the humor that can go along with it too. Because deaf people are some of the funniest people I’ve ever met in my life. It just shined a light on a culture that I loved and was familiar with and wanted to share with everyone else.

Katie was more than open about just how much her life has changed since the show debuted last summer. She was working as a receptionist before landing the role of Daphne so this is literally, a dream come true for her. She has gotten to go places and experience things that she never would have if this opportunity had not come along.

It was a pleasure to get the chance to speak with Katie Leclerc. Be sure you tune in tomorrow night for the winter premiere of Switched at Birth.

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Photos: www.wenn.comPNP/Nikki Nelson/Apega/Starbux/FayesVision

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