Vanessa Marano -- JJJ Exclusive Interview!

Vanessa Marano -- JJJ Exclusive Interview!

Vanessa Marano has some pretty big things to celebrate.

Not only were she and her costars nominated for several 2011 Teen Choice Awards, but the cast is also celebrating the pick up of Switched At Birth for 22 more episodes! That’s huge! caught up with Vanessa, 18, to chat about the show. Check out what she had to share with us:

JJJ: Congrats on all the success with Switched at Birth! What do you think makes this show work so well?
Vanessa Marano: I felt a connection to the script just ’cause it was such an interesting idea. It wasn’t until I got the part and I saw the script come to life in a table read that I really got it. The words that the creator wrote were truly meant to be performed. She wrote them to be watched. Watching it and watching the other actors do their scene, I felt a massive connection to it. Seeing it onscreen, it was beautiful, it was awesome.

It’s so different, such a unique show. The characters are so relatable and they have their strengths and flaws and feature character arcs are thought out and put together and then you add the dynamic of two girls switched at birth — there aren’t any shows like that and then you have two of the main characters being deaf. It’s something no ones ever seen before.

JJJ: How did you feel when you first found out Switched at Birth got picked up?
Excited. It’s my first starring role in a series that’s a successful series. It’s really nice to know you can do a pilot and it’s going to get picked up.

(Click inside for the rest of our interview with Vanessa Marano…)

JJJ: Since you began acting at a very young age, you’ve had some experience with TV shows and pilots, right?
: I’ve done a pilot every year since I’ve been 12 years old. Some have gotten picked up and some have not so I’ve certainly had gotten the other side of the spectrum of shows not going or pilots not going. It’s funny, when you do that every year, you pretty much build up a wall. So you prepare yourself for, ‘Ok the pilot got picked up, the show might not get picked up.’ You get very hesitant to get overly excited and the show’s been doing really well so I’m definitely in a new place with that and it’s a really good place to be.

JJJ: Are you like your character Bay in any way?
Bay is completely different from me. Different than the characters that I normally play. Bay is the spirited one. She doesn’t think before she speaks. At all. Which is a great quality to have. She always says what she means. She doesn’t think everything through and I always think everything through. As for similarities, there’s a twinge of sarcasm in Bay that I see in myself.

I think what’s most fun about Bay is she has such a difficult personality and she’s so spirited you either hate her or you love her. You can definitely do more with that than just being the typical good girl. She’s got a little edge and that’s fun to play.

JJJ: What’s the cast chemistry like?
We mesh very well as a group. They’re all so talented and a delight to work so even if the show weren’t doing very well—which it is, it was a joy going to work everyday.

JJJ: What can we expect with the season finale?
A lot of Bay and Daphne drama—a lot of that.

JJJ: What about for next season?
I definitely know that Bay will learn more sign language and acclimate to a different culture and family. Integrating the two worlds together — that’s where I feel like the writers are trying to have Bay go. She’s slowly letting people in. She’s definitely trying to meet everybody halfway. She started out as a taker and now she’s becoming a giver.

JJJ: Anyone you’d love to guest star on the show?
: Helen Mirren. A little bit of a stretch but you know, I’m going for Helen Mirren.
JJJ: Speaking of awards shows, congrats on the 5 Teen Choice Awards nominations!
VM: Thanks! I was so glad all the technical and the show got nominated too! That’s awesome. We all get to go together. We didn’t realize cause Katie and I were set to present an award as well and the first round of nominations had come out and we didn’t think we were nominated. But there was a second wave of nominations that came out so we were surprised. It was a great surprise. This is the first one I’m nominated and presenting!

JJJ: Do you have an acceptance speech prepared just in case?
VM: That would be a good idea so no one babbles on. There’s some stiff competition in our categories so we’ll see.

JJJ: How are you spending your time during the summer hiatus?
VM: Pretty much that’s it — waiting for the show to start. School’s starting in a bit for me. But it’s on when were shooting so I’m trying to make it both fit.

JJJ: What are you majoring in?
VM: I’m majoring in Classical Civilizations. I was obsessed with Greek mythology as a child and the structure of the government of Rome plays a lot into today’s government so it’s very fascinating to me.

JJJ: What do you think you would be if not an actor?
VM: The only thing that I think I could enjoy doing is being a lawyer. Just because it’s very similar to acting. Obviously more education involved but very similar. You have to work with a variety of people that you might not want to work with and you have to present your case, regardless if you believe in it or not.


The season finale airs NEXT WEEK!

DO YOU WATCH Switched at Birth?

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Credit: Bob DAmico, Richard Foreman, Bruce Birmelin, Todd Wawrychuk; Photos: ABC Family
Posted to: Exclusive, Vanessa Marano