Exclusive Interview: Heroes Alumn Brea Grant Talks Dirty Jokes on Dexter Season 6, Comic Con and Mad Men

Brea Grant

Season 6 of Dexter returns this fall bringing many surprises including a familiar face: Brea Grant, who played the super fast Daphne Millbrook in Heroes, will be joining the Dexter cast as sexy and foul mouthed Ryan Chambers who will be a counterpart to always “charming” Masuka.

As Brea is preparing to go to Comic-Con, she took the time out of her very busy schedule to talk to Daemon’s TV about we can expect from her in the upcoming season of Dexter and also why she loves genre work so much. Check out what she had to say below and don’t forget to tune in to see her when the new season of Dexter returns this fall (Or if you happen to be at Comic-Con this week, here are all the places where you can see her)

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Can you talk about the casting process to get the role on ‘Dexter’?

Brea Grant: That was a weird one for me. It wasn’t like a normal casting process. I was actually in Texas for my grandmother’s funeral and I get a call that they wanted me to come in and read and I couldn’t go. So, I got my mom to videotape me on her iPhone and I got my brother to read across from me. Then I just uploaded it to Vimeo. Actually, I sent it to my boyfriend who uploaded it to Vimeo. They sent that over and they hired me from that. It’s crazy.

This is the first instance of an iPhone audition. You should make an App for that.

Brea Grant: I might. Maybe Apple owes me money, or maybe I owe them money. I’m not really sure. Because I end up traveling a lot I have to record auditions occasionally, and the the newest iPhone works pretty well because it shoots in HD. So, I’ve done it quite a few times, but this is the first time it’s ever yielding anything.

You’re sitting on a gold mine.

Brea Grant: Maybe, but the iPhone might start taking a percentage of everything that I make if they find that out.

Can you talk about your character, Ryan Chambers on ‘Dexter’?

Brea Grant: Ryan Chambers is the newest lab intern on ‘Dexter’ in Masuka’s lab.

Do you work more with Masuka and Dexter?

Brea Grant: With Masuka, almost exclusively.

The character of Masuka tells a lot of dirty jokes and so it must be interesting to play with that kind of dialogue.

Brea Grant: He is, but I think that Ryan can keep up with that which is good. It doesn’t bother her and he’s basically found his match in that way, that the crudeness she thinks is funny or she can play along.

That must means that you probably have some interesting lines.

Brea Grant: I do, and some of them have been cut. We do the table read and everyone is like, ‘Oh, too much,’ but for the part it’s fun. I get to play this, like, kind of sexy, a little bit sleazy girl. It’s fun.

Brea Grant

How many episodes have you shot so far?

Brea Grant: Four.

What’s it been like working on the set?

Brea Grant: Good. It’s going really well. Everybody is really nice. There’s something really amazing about watching these amazing professionals work, like Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter and all these people that have been doing this for so many years. So, that’s been incredible, to sort of be there and be around it. It’s such a machine at this point. It has this huge following and this huge crew. It’s a huge production.

You were on ‘Heroes’ for quite a few episodes, speaking of a following. Do you still hear from fans of the show?

Brea Grant: Oh, my God, constantly. Via Twitter a lot. There’s a lot of people that I’ve made friends with because of that and we’ve kept in touch. ‘Heroes‘ fans are rabid and loyal, and so they’ve followed me through everything that I’ve done since then and now they’re excited about ‘Dexter’. It’s amazing to hear from them again. They have a lot of the same fans, too, which is cool.

And I heard that you’re going to be at Comic-Con this year, right?

Brea Grant: Yeah, I’ll be at Comic-Con.

I know you’ve been there for your own work, but what are you there for this year?

Brea Grant: A little of everything. I think that I’m going to do a ‘Dexter‘ signing and then I’m doing some signing for my own comic book. I’m writing currently the ‘Suicide Girls’ comic book. That’s what I’ve been writing. It’s out on IDW right now. Then I’m also doing a horror panel, a horror comic book panel with Steve Niles, David Quinn and Tim Seeley and a bunch of really cool guys that I’m really excited about. I’m going to talk about the first comic book that I co-wrote with my brother which is called ‘We Will Bury You‘.

You work on a lot of different things; movies, TV, comic books. If you had to choose one to do for the rest of your life, which one would it be?

Brea Grant: I don’t know. The thing is that I feel like one feeds the other for me. Don’t make me choose. I like to write because I’m not always busy as an actor. I’ll have weeks in which I don’t anything at all or not even an audition or something. So, the writing really keeps me fulfilled on the creative side and gives me some measure of control because I think that actors have such little control over their career.

The more you act and the bigger you get as an actor you have more control and you get to go out for things and say no to things, but at the beginning you literally are waiting for a phone call everyday. You’re waiting for someone to call you and let you come audition for something. That sort of sucks. So that gives me some measure of control. If I had to choose it would probably television, but I’d also want to be writing some of the episodes, too. Can I do that?

Sure

Brea Grant: So, I’d pick a television show, but I’d actually be able to write it as well, be involved in the creative process as well as starring in it.

You’re also appearing in the film ‘Homecoming’ which has already won some awards. What was working on that like?

Brea Grant: Great. Completely different. It’s an independent movie we shot last year for a miniscule budget. It’s the smallest thing that I’ve ever worked on for sure, but it was great and it was really different for me. Because I do a lot of television and a lot of genre work it was interesting to do something that was a complete departure and play a character that was totally against type for me. So, that was fantastic because as an actor that’s exactly what you want to do. You want to be able to go from one extreme to the other. I’m pretty much the luckiest girl in the world because I get to do that all the time.

There are some elements of horror in television right now, but not a horror series, per say. Do you think as a writer you could come up with something to fill that gap?

Brea Grant: Yeah. Do you know someone I should be talking to? I’m kidding. I would love to do something. I feel like there’s even more genre stuff this year with the pilots coming. There actually is a horror series coming out now called ‘American Horror’ or something like that. I can’t remember what it’s called, but it looks like it’s going to be fantastic. It’s got some actors from ‘Friday Night Light’s and from some other really good shows in it. Then ‘Dexter’ is somewhat horror and there are a bunch of shows that are definitely sci-fi, but not necessarily horror. Yeah, that would be amazing, and yes, writing a horror series would be fantastic. That’s the dream, I think.

Are there any upcoming projects you can talk about?

Brea Grant: I just did a movie called ‘Baytown Disco’ with Eva Longoria and Billy Bob Thornton. That’s sort of a southern action movie which I’m pretty excited about it. That should be coming out. We just shot it a couple of months ago and so it’ll be coming out sometime later this year or hopefully next year. I also co-write a movie that we’re hoping to shoot later this year in Texas called ‘Best Friends Forever’ and that’s a sci-fi horror movie.

Is there a question that you’ve been dying to give an answer to that no one ever asks you?

Brea Grant: I mean, I talk about women’s roles in the industry, the comic book industry and in horror, a lot of times people don’t ask the question why stay in genre stuff? Because it’s usually a place that a lot of actors get their start. For me it’s definitely been a choice to sort of stay in that genre.

Obviously, I want to do other things as well, but I love the world of sci-fi and horror and I think it’s one of the few places where women get amazing leading roles that actually have some substance to them. It’s more and more, obviously, with things like ‘Bridesmaids‘ and in comedy, things like that, but I feel like it’s a great place for women to be the leading role and to show their strength, in sci-fi and horror. That’s something that no one ever asks me about.

And if you could guest star on any TV show you wanted which one would it be?

Brea Grant: ‘Mad Men’. After I said all that weird stuff about genre, I love ‘Mad Men‘ so much. I’m obsessed with it. I love period stuff. I’m an art history major, and so I freak out over that horror stuff. So, yeah, ‘Mad Men’ which I’ve never even auditioned for, but if I could that would be the place.

Brea Grant