SWITCHED AT BIRTH star Katie Leclerc gives us the scoop on the rest of Season 1!

When we last left the Kennish-Vasquez family, the combined-and-dysfunctional group on SWITCHED AT BIRTH, things were in turmoil.  A long absent father (Angelo) had thrown things into chaos.  Bay’s relationship with Emmett was doomed because he did the unthinkable and slept with Simone, causing Bay to head to the Galapagos Islands for a little perspective.  And after weeks of struggling with the Bay/Emmett relationship, Daphne had finally found happiness with her real brother’s best friend, a delinquent named Wilkie, only to have him shipped off to boarding school.  The family is back tonight on ABC Family (9/8c) and some time has passed – Wilkie is gone, Daphne is job-hunting, and things are good on the Daphne/Bay relationship front.  I had the chance to speak with Daphne herself (Katie Leclerc) about what’s coming this season, why people should watch the show, and what guilty pleasure show she has on her DVR!

So excited for the rest of the Season 1 episodes!
Yay, me too!! [laughs]

Isn’t it crazy that here we are still talking about Season 1, so many months later?
You know what I love?  Is that we got our second season order like a week ago, so I love that!  [laughs]  Even after these 8, there’s another 20 coming, so I couldn’t be more excited!

It is exciting!  We had so much drama at the end of the last run of episodes!

What can you tease about where we ended, and where we begin – how much time is between what we saw and what we’ll see in the premiere?
It’s a summer’s time.  So basically, since we last left our characters on SWITCHED AT BIRTH, we join them pretty much in real time.  School is about to get started.  Some of the kids are looking for summer jobs.  Bay got back, she went to the Galapagos to sort of escape the drama for a couple months, and she’s back.  So we jump right in.  There was no shortage of drama last season, and of course we’re not going to let you down this season [laughs].

Going into this run of episodes – what will we see for Daphne this time around?
So Daphne is on the hunt for a job.  It’s a really interesting topic of discussion.  She wants to work in a kitchen, in a restaurant kitchen, with hot flames, and knives, and people everywhere, it’s so busy.  She can’t hear verbal cues from people behind her, so there’s a lot of potential for danger.  She sort of has to jump over the hurdle, and prove herself, which she is very good at doing.  She’s a strong girl.  She gets involved in a romantic relationship that might seem somewhat questionable to some people.  It’s steamy; there’s drama, and it’s exciting.

On this show, you have the romantic relationships, but one of my favorites is the relationship between Bay and Daphne. They seem to be in a good space – how are they through the rest of the season?  More of a sisterly bond, or will we continue to see them butt heads?
I don’t think we see a whole lot of sparring in this eight between Bay and Daphne.  Angelo, his potential for being around means that Daphne has to deal with Angelo on a level that she’s not very used to.  I think that she has Bay’s best interest at heart, and Regina’s best interests at heart, but she’s gotta deal with this dude that she really doesn’t like, and Bay understands that.  I think Bay gets that Daphne is sort of extending herself, and Bay also gets involved in a new group of friends, so we’ve sort of been paired off with new characters, new storylines, and in the process, Bay and Daphne sort of just stay happy with each other [laughs].  The only solid ground that each other has right now.

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You shot the end of the first season before you knew for sure about Season 2 – how does this season end? Are there cliffhangers, storylines dangling?
You know what, I’m so thankful that I’m not a writer on this show [laughs].  They do an incredible job.  We end this eight episodes with figuring out what’s going to happen with the lawsuit and how the family, win or lose, what the courts decided.  The outcome of the trial has a lot to inform what happens next season.  Just how things divided up, and what people might go their separate ways.  It sets up really well for the next season.

The show has been so good at informing the world about something that we’re not all exposed to – the deaf community.  It hasn’t been explored on TV.  What kind of feedback are you getting from people in the deaf community watching this show?
I was really nervous about it, to be completely honest.  When we first started, really excited at the opportunity to share this amazing culture and beautiful world with so many people who wouldn’t have been exposed to it otherwise, the response that we’ve gotten has been so powerfully wonderful.  I love going on Twitter, and I’ll see messages from people that say “my cousin is deaf, and I never had a relationship with him, and because of SWITCHED AT BIRTH, I’m going to learn sign language and attempt to have a relationship with him.” Or, I am aware that the new for ASL proficient psychiatrists, or ASL proficient dentists, whatever the world is, there are deaf people everywhere, and I think the show has created excitement, because it’s a really cool thing; it’s a beautiful language.  Really expressive.  I think it’s really cool that people have taken it beyond that, and gone and learned sign language.  Even in the small form, if you just learn how to finger spell, if you run into a deaf person at an event who needs help, you can help, because you can finger spell! That’s all it takes!

Why do you think this show, going into the last 8 episodes, and then obviously beyond – why is this a show people should be tuning in to?
Because I think that it shows family in a way that is really honest.  I think family is not easy.  But, at the end of the day, they’re the only people that are going to stick around forever, and I think that it shows the struggles, but it also shows the happy moments, the triumphs of family.  Family in this definition – I don’t know anybody that has been switched at birth, but I definitely have friends that have been adopted, and that is their family.  I think that it’s relatable in that sense.  But I also think, like you said, the deaf community, the hook, is killer. It’s so fascinating, and otherwise, 90% of Americans might not get the opportunity to see a deaf character on a weekly basis, and get exposed to something new and exciting.

When you get some time, when you’re not working, what are some things you like to watch?
I, like everyone else, am addicted to BREAKING BAD right now!  Walter is crazy!!  [laughs]  I watch a lot of like, Food Network. Totally guilty pleasure, have never said this to anyone ever, and I’m pretty embarrassed about it, but I really like that TABATHA TAKES OVER show! [laughs] If I’m going to watch reality, I really like Tabatha!  I think she’s a badass girl who doesn’t take any crap [laughs].  That’s embarrassing!


For up to date information on SWITCHED AT BIRTH, head to ABC Family’s SAB site!

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