Lucas Grabeel & Vanessa Marano Chat 'Switched At Birth'

Lucas Grabeel & Vanessa Marano Chat 'Switched At Birth'

Lucas Grabeel and Vanessa Marano play switched siblings Toby and Bay Kennish in the upcoming ABC Family series, Switched At Birth.

The duo recently sat down with press to talk about the appeal of the show, the deaf dynamic and starlet in the making, Katie Leclerc. Check it:

Vanessa on Bay: “Bay is a difficult character to play. She’s a very spirited teenager, and she’s very stubborn and harsh, and I think the biggest challenge for me was playing her as a protagonist versus an antagonist because you have Daphne who’s so full of life and is happy and light and smart and just really wholesome and good and easy to deal with, and Bay’s very much the polar opposite of that but isn’t a bad person. And I think that was the most difficult thing going into playing Bay for me.”

Lucas on the show’s appeal: “I think it’s got a lot of heart. It’s kind of an interesting concept because its not something that we think about on a day to day basis. We woke up one day and found out that the people who raised us our whole lives were not our real biological parents and that we had been switched at birth. Kind of a crazy thing to be put in as that position, but also coming from the parent’s point of view, raising this child that you think is your kid. You call this love and you think you’re doing everything that you can to be right and everything flips upside down and you kind of have to deal with the madness. So, it’s a very interesting concept. I think that’s really drawing me to loving the project even more.”

Vanessa on working with Katie: “[She] is just a rock star and is so talented and lights up the screen. We have a variety of deaf actors on the show like Sean and Marley, and they have interpreters. Katie started losing her hearing later in life, so she’s a bit more adept to deal with situations, but we’ve all been trying to learn how to sign on set, and just because upward education background and because we have so many actors who know sign language and use sign language as a way to communicate, we’ve all been trying to do that. It’s been very hard because it’s another language, but we’re trying.”

Lucas on Toby: “Toby is the biological brother of Daphne who was deaf at the age of three and he is the switched brother of Bay who is a tortured soul. So, he is just like everyone else in the family. He’s kind of caught up in the craziness at the beginning when it all happens. But, since he’s not a parent or the actual child, I think he’s got a kind of objective point of view of the whole thing and is slowly taking it in and getting to know his new sister and getting to know this new situation. But, yeah, he’s a pretty normal teenage guy with exemplified problems because he’s rich.”

Vanessa on the deaf dynamic of the show: “It’s great. It ups the stakes to a point where I don’t think anybody really realizes or even thought about going there with. We always do polar opposites like; this one’s feisty, this one’s shy. This one’s smart, this one’s artistic. This one’s poor, this one’s rich. This one’s pretty, this one is ugly. Like we always do polar opposites that way, and we never think to be like, well this one speaks one language, this one speaks another language. This one grew up in a completely different culture. This one grew up in a different culture than that one. I think it’s such an educational thing for actors to be playing and audience members to be viewing, but at the same time, you don’t even realize that you’re learning something. You’re just so captivated and drawn in because you’re introduced to a completely different world that fits perfectly into the story and adds a completely different dynamic that’s really intriguing to watch.”

Switched At Birth premieres MONDAY, June 6th @ 8PM ET/PT on ABC Family.

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Credit: Bruce Birmelin, Andrew Eccles; Photos: ABC Family
Posted to: Lucas Grabeel, Switched At Birth, Vanessa Marano
  • interestedviewer

    I like this show and I do think it has potential. One thing that is bothering me, however, is that Bay’s parents are all about getting close to Daphne and making comments about their input into here upbringing and even stating they were going to a lawyer to take her. Daphne’s mom is fighting to hang onto “her” daughter. Who is fighting to get Bay? Regina doesn’t even seem overly excited to get to know her. Do the Kennish parents even realize that if they fight for Daphne, they would most likely have to give Bay up? Do they care?

  • emmaw

    i agree. but at least bay got toby B4 she got bitchy on him!