Exclusive interview with Bianca Lawson
September 4, 2012 | Bianca Lawson has been part of the three current teen mystery hit shows "The Vampire Diaries", "Pretty Little Liars" and most recently "Teen Wolf". But she gathered experience already in cult tv series "Buffy". In our interview she talks about the differences between her characters, her work on specific scenes and she tells us which her favorite tv shows are.
1.When you were cast for "The Vampire Diaries" were you reminded of your time on the cult TV show "Buffy"? What is different in working on a vampire show now from what it was then?
No, I wasn't reminded of "Buffy", actually. Probably because, tonally, they feel like such different shows to me. VD feels a little more serious, where as "Buffy" was more humorous and tongue n cheek, I think. Plus, the characters are just so different. Emily is very internal and still , with like a un-graspable water quality. Where Kendra was very physical, emotionally inexperienced and solid. But I suppose an answer to the question could be where special affects and social media is right now vs. then... there really wasn't a huge difference for me in the vampire genre aspect, though.
2. Is it true you were originally cast for Cordelia Chase? Did you watch the show and sometimes wondered how your Cordelia would have been different?
Yes, but I was committed to another show at the time. And, no I didn't think about how my Cordelia would have been different because Charisma's portrayal was wonderful. She was the perfect Cordelia. And, might I add - was lovely to work with.
3. Emily Bennett on "The Vampire Diaries" is a powerful witch. Which of her powers do you find the most dangerous and / or beguiling: the mind control, telekinesis, precognition...?
Well, I think that all of her powers are awesome, beguiling and dangerous. But "most" - mind control.
4. Your "Pretty Little Liars" character Maya died last season, but we've been seeing you in a few flash backs and video sequences since. Is there more to come?
The last video will be in the season 3 finale.
5. How different is shooting your scenes now? Do you still get to see the other members of cast?
I shot all of the Maya videos, surveillance footage and website pictures in one day with a separate film crew unit. It was different in the sense that it was just myself and the crew. It was extremely fun to do, but also kind of heartbreaking because of how they would fit into the story line in future episodes - someone so full of life speaking to you from the grave in a completely intimate, unguarded way. Nope, I didn't see any other cast members outside of the make-up trailer.
6. Fans were really disappointed when Maya died and sent pens with the message "We want Maya alive & written back into the show" to Marlene King. Some of these pens found their way into the season 3 summer finale. How did you feel about the fact that fans are so attached to your character?
It genuinely moves me that people feel so connected to Maya. I thought that was such an amazing thing for them to do and I'm really excited for them that the pen is going to get featured!
7. What is working with Shay Mitchell like and what do you wish for Emily to happen?
Shay is great. I think that Emily has had a really interesting arc. She has had so many ups and downs, but is really coming into her own- really blossoming and finding her strength and her voice. I guess what I would wish for Emily is already in motion: she connected with someone that had already been where she was previously and could help her come out of the shadows and challenge her out of love to not dim her light. And now she has kind of found her sea legs, and his helping someone else out of the shadows.
8. There aren't a lot of U.S. TV shows with a lesbian couple, in fact "Buffy" was one of the first. Was the aspect of playing a lesbian girl on a teen show especially interesting for you when you auditioned?
I actually didn't audition for Maya. I auditioned for Hannah and they offered me Maya. I didn't know anything about Maya until after that, and totally fell in love with her while reading the books. The fact that she was a lesbian just added an extra dimension to her, in a positive way. That definitely made her more interesting in my eyes. And also, the way in which it was so lovingly and delicately written. It felt so personal and real. In reference to Buffy: that show was so ahead of it's time.
9. In the "Teen Wolf" season 2 finale we saw the cliffhanger with you and the vet. What can we expect from your storyline in season 3? Are you some kind of supernatural investigators?
Hmm... this one's a bit difficult to answer because Morell has been so mysterious and kind of cryptic up until this point- anything I could say would be a spoiler really, lol. There is a changing of gears and veils being lifted. You will definitely have a better idea of who they really are, and what sides they're on. She's gonna be more of a badass, I think. And maybe more leather...
10. One of the best character scenes all season was the opening scene of the penultimate episode with you and Dylan O'Brien talking in your office. How do you create the atmosphere for such a simple but striking scene?
Thank you so much! I LOVED shooting that scene. We actually got that scene at like, midnight the night before. And it was really hot in that room. We were sweating are butts off. But it was incredibly effortless in the sense that Jeff Davis is such a brilliant writer and really gives you everything you need with his dialogue. You just open your mouth and say it, really. And also, Dylan O'Brien is so amazing as an actor and a person that it's really easy to create chemistry with him and just sort of bounce off of. I really just tried to be present and listen and let it create itself. I think that there is a reason behind everything that Morell offers and asks. Nothing is accidental or random in my opinion. She has purpose and a point of view about everything. even seemingly innocuous things. Nothing is happenstance or unimportant. She's always thinking, processing, assisting...
Fun fact: Dylan memorized that entire scene in an hour, I believe. I think he may be a robot.
I also need to add that, everyone (director, producers, prop guys, lighting and sound guys, camera crew) every single person was so invested in getting the details just right and really cared about that scene. They all painstakingly spent the entire day creating the magic that ended up on the screen.
11. myFanbase is an online magazine about U.S. television shows. Do you have one or more favorite show(s)?
I looooove "Homeland" and can't wait for the next season. Claire Danes is a genius on that show. Hulu has a really fantastic show called "Battleground". It's like a cross between "The Office" and "The West Wing". I got obsessed with it and watched the entire season over a weekend. "Downton Abbey" is a favorite, for sure. I was a huge fan of "Rome". I've seen every single episode of "Murder, She Wrote"! Love "Frasier" and the "Golden Girls". Years ago, when I didn't have Internet or cable, local broadcasting would do marathons of this syfi show called "Sliders". My best friend and I were SO into it! But only the first season.
Thank you, Bianca, we wish you all the best for your new projects!
Nicole Oebel - myFanbase
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