"Switched at Birth" - Katie and Vanessa on the New Episodes

"Switched at Birth" - Katie and Vanessa on the New Episodes

On January 3rd on ABC Family, the series about teen girls switched at birth, now trying to blend families is back with new episodes. The DVD of the first half of the season is now out if you want to catch up on this cool teen-centric show.

Here is the latest from Vanessa Marano and Katie Leclerc.

TeenTV: What is up for Bay and Daphne in the upcoming episodes?

Vanessa Marano and Katie Leclerc in "Switched at Birth" | ABC FamilyVanessa: What’s in store for Bay Kennish in the second half of season one is she kind of is making a decision whether or not to give up street art.  There is a situation that she runs into where it almost costs her something pretty major in her life and that makes her start thinking about is it really worth the risk of illegal activity. It’s a big part of her identity that she must be losing.

Katie: For Daphne there’s a lot of rebuilding for her and Angelo to do, or building to start.  It’s She needs to get over a lot of things in regard to him and she really starts to figure out what it is she really cares about and what it is she really is going to go after. 

She’s a very competitive person and I’ve also gotten to play a lot of basketball so far this season.  So, that’s been a lot of fun.  That comes with new friends and new lessons to learn.

TeenTV: How have your lives changed since the show came on?

Vanessa: I honestly wouldn’t say my life has changed that much, other than the fact that I have a job, which is awesome.  It’s a job with fantastic, talented, wonderful people and I’m so pleased that I’m part of something that really has hit home with both the hearing community and the deaf community.  I feel like I’m a part of something that people genuinely love and are genuinely caring about.

Katie: For me, it seems quite a bit.   I was working as a receptionist before this job and I was able to, literally, have my dreams come true.  I was able to quit.  I became successful in something that I had worked for ten years to achieve.  I’ve made incredible new friends.  I’ve gotten to go places and experience things that I never would have otherwise.  Every day is a new lesson in gratitude.

TeenTV: What do both of you like best about your character?

Vanessa Marano in "Switched at Birth" | ABC FamilyVanessa: What I like most about Bay is that people don’t always love her.  She’s kind of difficult.  She’s a little bit socially awkward.  She says what’s on her mind without really thinking about it.  She has a sense of humor that a lot of people don’t get and she really just genuinely wants to be loved and accepted by people but she has a really hard time with it.

Katie: My favorite thing about Daphne is that she’s never a victim.  She is a normal high-school girl who struggles with boys and she gets good grades and she plays basketball and she has all these day-to-day activities that anyone can relate to.  No matter who you are, you can relate to it; the struggles, the ups and downs, and oh, by the way, she happens to also be deaf.  It’s almost secondary to the rest of her life.  She thrives in people and not in sorrow and wallowing in what some people might see as a huge challenge.  But she gets over it.

TeenTV: What, so far, has been a fave fan reaction to the show?

Katie:  I Tweet and I love Twitter.  It’s just the immediate response that is so readily accessible.  I love going on and we’ll get comments from fans that are small mementos like, ‘I learned how to be patient with my deaf cousin because of Switched at Birth’, or big mementos like, ‘I understand the importance of and the need for interpreters so I changed my major to ASL [American Sign Language] because of Switched at Birth’. I think the response has just been overwhelmingly positive.

Katie Leclerc in "Switched at Birth" | ABC FamilyVanessa: Katie and I both did a signing at Planet Hollywood in New York and it was amazing to see the hearing fans and the deaf fans; how many of them there were and to see them together and to see that there is not necessarily a divide between the communities. We have such a colorful group of fans because they’re hearing, they’re deaf, they’re teenage, they’re mothers, they’re male - a lot of them which is surprising.  And I think that that’s great.

TeenTV: Bay and Daphne have different styles on the show. Do you two relate to what your character is wearing and just can’t believe it?

Katie: I feel like I have a very similar style sense to Daphne.  I am very much a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal when I’m hanging out at home and Daphne does that.  Daphne wears a lot of cardigans, though.  I’m not so much a cardigan gal.

Vanessa: My style is very similar to Bay, if it was multiplied by a thousand.  I like the color black and Bay likes the color black, too.  But Bay’s honest, so she gets crazy artistic with funky, kooky skirts and the combat boots and everything and it’s awesome. If I would see it on a mannequin, I would be like, “Yes, that’s really cool”, but would never be brave enough to wear in real life.          

TeenTV: How do Bay and Daphne deal with Angelo’s return this season? [He is Bay’s biological dad].

Vanessa: They deal with it really differently.  Bay just wants him to be awesome.  Wants him to love her and in a way, she even wants him to accept her more than he does Daphne.  Because in the long run, everybody has accepted and loved Daphne and while everybody accepts and loves Bay, it’s a little bit harder to get to know Bay.  She just wants the Angelo thing to work and she wants him to live up to her expectations so much that she is almost blinded to anything negative about him.

Katie: Daphne never had Angelo in her life but she had a place to put every ounce of anger, every ounce of distrust in humanity, every negative.  Daphne is a very optimistic person but I think it is a result of her stashing away every negative feeling she ever had and blaming it all on Angelo, and at the same time, blaming all of his decisions on herself because she has guilt and anger and sorrow and loneliness and so much to deal with, with him.  There is a lot of rebuilding to do.  So I think it starts slow and you have to take him with baby steps. 

TeenTV:  Do you have a fun behind-the-scenes story for us?Vanessa Marano and Katie Leclerc in "Switched at Birth" | ABC Family

Katie: 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 been switched.  I speak in my regular voice and there’s this weird moment where Daphne is dressed in Buckner Hall uniform and it’s just strange.  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 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 walked over to me and shook my hand and said, “Hello, Vanessa.  I’m David.  It’s a pleasure to be working with you”.  And 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. 

TeenTV: So who is going to be with cute Emmett [Sean Berdy]? Give us pros and cons.

Vanessa: I know that Katie is Team Bay and Emmett and I’m a little bit Team Daphne and Emmett, which is weird.

I think Bay and Emmett belong together because they both have very similar views on the world and they both care enough about each other that they’re kind of stepping outside of their comfort zone to learn a different language or to speak.  Both of them, I don’t think, would have done that under normal circumstances but they care so much about the other person that they’re going to do that.

The reason why I think Bay and Emmett don’t belong with each other is that they have very similar views on the world and it’s almost too similar.  I don’t know that they balance each other out enough.Vanessa Marano in "Switched at Birth" | ABC Family

Katie: I think Daphne and Emmett should be together because Emmett saves Daphne.  I think she will always have this adoration for him that will be unquenched by anyone else because he was the person who showed her who she could be with the deaf culture and introduced her to a language and a people that she really very much is a part of.

And they shouldn’t be together because it’s really hard, I think, to make the transition from best friend to relationship and especially, I think, in high school.  I think the long-term final outcome would be that maybe they wouldn’t end up together, finally.  I don’t know.

TeenTV: Can you share any family holiday traditions with us?

Vanessa: For the holiday season, every Christmas Eve my sister and my mom they cook Christmas cookies and just bake.  My mom bakes fudge and my dad actually makes like a seafood feast; like shrimp and calamari.  That’s kind of our holiday tradition is Christmas Eve is cookie and seafood night.  Yummy.

Katie: My family, I think the biggest one is we’ll open Christmas presents on Christmas morning listening to the Nat King Cole album, the Christmas album.  I don’t know; it’s just like a staple in our family every year. 

We will do that and feast.  My family loves food.  We’re big eaters.  So we’ll just prepare a feast and every year there’s something different.  Like we’re going to try something new, but we always have cream corn as a staple, which is kind of weird because most families don’t like it, but we make a delicious one. 

And then for this year, I’m super, super excited.  I get to go home to San Antonio and then Vanessa and I get to go to New York City to do New Year’s Eve on MTV Live.  This year, our tradition might be a little bit untraditional.  I’m really excited.  Katie and Vanessa take New York, New Year’s Eve.

Vanessa: Check it out.  MTV!

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