If you think about it, actors get to portray anything they want. They could be a doctor, a zoologist, teacher or a wrestler throughout their life. Granted, these aren’t their real professions but it’s cool to play the part for a little bit, isn’t it? You get to know what it’s like to be in a certain career without calling it your real profession. Sounds pretty cool, right?
As Devious Maids star Brianna Brown puts it, she gets “paid to pretend.” That’s so true. Actors get to pretend to be anyone they want and as for Brown, in her role as Taylor Stappord in the hit Lifetime TV dramedy, she plays a trophy wife with some crazy plot lines. However, that’s not all Brown gets to play. We’ve seen her as a doctor in General Hospital to a CIA informant in Homeland. Um.. How cool is that?!
The Daily Quirk had the opportunity to chat with Brown about her character in Devious Maids, what she’ll be doing while we wait to see if the show will be picked up for Season 3 and about her amazing organization she started!
The Daily Quirk: Season 3 of Devious Maids seems to be a great comeback for your role as Taylor Stappord! Was it difficult getting back into the swing of things or did it all naturally fall back into place?
Brianna Brown: I was blessed to play a variety of characters between seasons one and three of Devious Maids, so it did take a beat to get back into the swing of playing Taylor Stappord and adjust to the tone of the show. I’ll admit I was a little nervous! Before my return I watched season one to become acquainted with the many storylines, and Taylor’s body language and mannerisms. Thankfully it only took a few scenes before I was back in her skin and in the flow of the show.
TDQ: Since the finale just recently aired, looking back at all of Season 3 and having some secrets revealed, what has been your favorite scene to film for your character?
BB: That’s a difficult question because I had so many meaty scenes opposite fantastic actors. I loved playing opposite Ana Ortiz, Dania Ramirez, Roselyn Sanchez, Rebecca Wisocky, Tom Irwin, Grant Show, Brett Cullen, Gilles Marini, Cristian de la Fuente, Naya Rivera, Alejandro Vera and Gracias Merino. To choose just one scene is literally impossible!
TDQ: As we wait to hear whether or not season four will be picked up (fingers crossed!), what do you have planned in the meantime?
BB: I’ll be shocked if it doesn’t get picked up for a fourth season, fingers crossed!! After we wrapped production in July I booked the ABC Family pilot, “Stay,” directed and produced by Jon Turteltaub. I did a film called “Kiss Me Kill Me” and Season 2 of a fantastic web series, “Eastsiders” will premiere in September. I am co-writing a book about finance for women with Natalie Pace, Elana Ginsburg and Dele Ogundiran. I’m expanding my non-profit The New Hollywood into the LGBT community alongside Kit Willamson. I’m speaking on multiple panels in New York City: All American High School Film Fest and Brooklyn Web Fest. I’m thrilled to be co-hosting The National Women’s History Museum brunch with Ana Ortiz on Sept. 19. I’m speaking and co-hosting The Legacy Series: Live Your Legacy Now by Lisa Haisha in November. Lastly I’m planning our annual Hollywood Gives Charity Event that benefits Toys for Tots, co-hosted by The New Hollywood. After all that I plan on taking a vacation before the holidays because I will definitely need it!
TDQ: To add onto the previous question… If Devious Maids were to be picked up for Season 4, what would you like to see happen for your character?
BB: I predict Taylor will still be on the run during Season 4. She may come back and surprise everyone, as she did in season two, but I don’t see her being an intricate storyline again. Marc Cherry, Brian Tanen and the rest of the phenomenal Devious Maids writing team are masters at keeping the suspense with fun twists and turns, so there’s really no predicting what they will create next!
TDQ: You’ve had a very impressive career so far and it continues to grow. Looking back at all your roles, is there a type of role that you’d like to play that you haven’t portrayed so far?
BB: I would love to play an onscreen role that required me to sing. Performing alongside Broadway legends and my dear friend Alexis Carra at “What a Pair!” brought me back to my younger musical theater days when I first fell in love with performing.
TDQ: After reading more about you, I’ve basically come to the conclusion that you are such a positive role model for girls to look up to! Who was your role model throughout your life?
BB: When I was younger I naturally idolized the women in my family. I recognized the outstanding accomplishments of many iconic females throughout history, but I found it difficult to relate to those women. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I encountered exceptional women who truly influenced me and shifted the trajectory of my life. These women made me wonder, “If they can accomplish …x…y…z, perhaps I can too!” I’m a big supporter of Oprah, Geena Davis, Alexis Jones, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Maya Angelou, Marrianne Williamson, Erin Cottrell, and countless actresses I’ve worked with over the years who I felt were not only genuine but also leading by example.
TDQ: Your organization “The New Hollywood” is a wonderful thing you are doing. The support you provide to other women is remarkable. When you started it in 2006, what was your main goal to achieve then? Is it still the same or have things altered a bit?
BB: When I started the organization in 2006, my main goal was to create a support system when I was struggling within the entertainment industry. I was told to “sink or swim” by my parents and desperately needed accountability to stay focused while being in a non-linear career. This simple accountability group quickly expanded and became a profound group of women who were stepping into power, achieving their goals, and embracing one another through the inevitable rollercoaster of life. As an organization we realized the limiting paradigm of being competitive, negative and catty toward other successful women as an Achilles heels within our culture. Our goal is to diminish that and I’m excited to watch our movement expand over the next 10 years. I’m hopeful we will expand globally with branches around the world for women, men, and the LGBT community. Sign our PLEDGE to join our online community and movement: www.thenewhollywood.org
TDQ: Being a woman in the entertainment industry, as you may know, there are so many things that many women advocate for to change in the industry. What’s one thing you wish to change?
BB: My biggest wish is for women to unite and support one another. It’s vital for women in the entertainment industry to create programs and establish protocols that allow creative individuals a healthy balance between a booming career and a family. I would love it if all studios and networks utilizes materials and studies curated by Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and The Representation Project so we would all think outside the box and be more conscious when storytelling… as well as create stronger partnerships between men and women.
TDQ: What advice would you give to young girls aspiring to be part of the entertainment industry?
BB: Be careful what you wish for and be aware of your motivations behind your actions. It’s important to be conscious of your purpose, and to know what you want to create and what you are willing to sacrifice. Always trust your intuition and don’t allow people to take advantage of you. Learn how to manage your emotions. Emotional intelligence and self-awareness are vital to navigate the business side of the industry and reduce burning bridges and self-sabotage.
I strongly advise you to start creating your own material. Learn how to write, produce, direct and how a set works above and below the line. Creating your own material and creative vehicles is empowering. Feel free to join The New Hollywood’s online community by signing our pledge page as well as I Am That Girl. These communities will keep you inspired, creative and focusing on making a difference in this world.
TDQ: Lastly, The Daily Quirk embraces all things quirky! What’s one quirky thing about you that others may not know?
BB: People are often shocked to realize I’m a complete goofball! Those closest to me will tell you how I spontaneously burst into bizarre voices in the middle of sentences and oftentimes will break into song while on set. If you asked my Devious Maids cast mates they would tell you how silly I can be despite all the crying scenes I did in Season 3!
The Daily Quirk would like to thank Brianna Brown for taking the time chat! To find out more about Brown, you can follow her through Twitter, Facebook or Instagram! Be sure to keep your fingers crossed for a Season 4 of Devious Maids otherwise, catch Brown keeping busy with her future projects!