Exclusive Interview: Switched At Birth’s Katie Leclerc Talks Upcoming Episodes, Fan Reaction and Becoming A Zombie

‘Switched At Birth’ is coming back tonight to the delight of the fans who can’t wait to find out how the drama between Daphne and Bay is going to unfold.

Daemon’s TV was lucky enough to chat with the delightful Katie Leclerc who took some time out of her very busy schedule to answer our burning questions. In the following Q&A, she goes over quite a bit including the drama we can expect for the rest of the episodes, the fan reaction and why she can’t choose between being a human or a zombie on ‘The Walking Dead’.

Check out what she had to say below and don’t miss the winter premiere of ‘Switched at Birth’ “Starry Night” which airs tonight Tuesday, January 3 at 8:00 – 9:00 p.m on ABC Family. Also check out photos and preview of the episode along with our advance review of “Starry Night”.
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How many episodes have you shot so far?

Katie Leclerc: We are shooting episode sixteen of thirty two right now. We did our first ten and now we’re six episodes into our next round. It’s been great. It was weird because with the first ten everything was knew, especially for me.

Everything was new every single day and there was an overwhelming amount of information and people and all of that, just figuring out how to have a personal life and have a career and all of that. Now, with this second round it just feels like everyone has gotten into a groove and it’s just kind of become second nature. It’s kind of cool. I didn’t really expect that.

What can you tell us about the upcoming episodes?

Katie Leclerc: Daphne, Bay and Emmet continue their love triangle saga. Daphne has to figure out. In the first part of the season she walked away making Bay feel like that was it, like, ‘You’re going to lose.’ She’s a very competitive girl. So, there’s going to be some angst there.

I’ve gotten to play a whole lot of basketball this year. We introduce a new character who’s on the basketball team and she’s just a big ball of fun. Then with Angelo sticking around there’s lots of turmoil there and trying to rebuild a relationship that was just so damaged from the start.

Are all the twists and turns challenging to deal with as an actor?

Katie Leclerc: It can be, absolutely. I think that’s life. There are ups and downs in life and I think that it can be challenging as an actor to have those big emotional scenes. For me the challenge is really the day to day, to remember your lines and hit your mark and do everything that an actor is supposed to do, to speak in English and speak in American sign language at the same time while using an accent. That’s my challenge.

How did you train to get the accent because you really nail it

Katie Leclerc: Thank you. Very early on I had conversation with Lizzy Weiss, the creator, and we definitely wanted to make sure that because I don’t speak in an accent that we did it very respectfully and very accurately.

So, we hired a dialect coach. The coach and I sat down and we actually mapped out Daphne’s hearing loss on an audiogram. We sat down and figured out the specific sounds that she’d be able to say and the specific sounds that she’d not be able to say. There was lots of work that went into it, and thankfully everybody is saying that it’s working.

Do you find yourself saying your lines as Katie?

Katie Leclerc: It’s funny, after the last ten episodes that we shot I had an audition. I picked up my script to rehearse my scene with my boyfriend. We always go over lines for auditions and stuff, and he looked at me and said, ‘Why are you doing the Daphne voice?’

I had gotten so used to having a script in my hand and doing that voice that it was automatic. I feel like maybe the reverse is more true. Maybe I use Daphne’s voice more than my own.

If you could get your way, what storyline would you want for Daphne?

Katie Leclerc: Oh, man. What would be really cool, I get to play a lot of basketball like I mentioned and it would be really sweet for Daphne to get that tribute moment of saving the game in the last two seconds with this sweet pass, flying in the air and slam dunking it and oh my god and everybody goes crazy. That would be sweet. That would be really cool.

That seems reasonable.

Katie Leclerc: Right? We could totally make that happen.

What’s it been like working with the entire team now, a pretty big ensemble cast?

Katie Leclerc: Absolutely. I feel so blessed. I feel so lucky to work with the people that I do on a daily basis. They’re funny and they’re talented and everyone comes to work with this attitude of, like, ‘All right, we’re going to do it. It’s going to be awesome. Lets just get it done.’

It’s a great working environment. Everyone supports each other and challenges each other at the same time which just makes the show better as a whole. I really believe in the process of trying to become a family onscreen you sort of become one off screen.

What’s a typical day on set like for you?

Katie Leclerc: We start early, very early. Most days my call time is like six fifteen in the morning. So, we’ll get there real early. Right away you go to hair and makeup. You put your wardrobe on and then you’ll go rehearse a scene, let them light a scene and then you’ll go film it. Depending on how many scenes you have that day determines how long you’ll be there. You could be there if you only have one scene for four hours and if you have scenes all day then you’re in there for the fourteen.

Do you find that you guys stick to the script a hundred percent of the time or is there any improv?

Katie Leclerc: It sort of depends on the writer and how particular they want to be. I feel like some of the actors on the show stick to the script more precisely than others. Some people like to riff a little bit. That’s fine and crazy and fun, too, but for the most part pretty much the words are on the page if they’re coming out of our mouths.

You got a full season order early this year. Has there been any talk about a second season yet?

Katie Leclerc: No, not yet. It’s kind of weird. ABC family does their back twenty two which sort of feels like a whole new season to me. I have to keep remembering that it’s this extension of the first season, but for now we’re halfway through. We’ll be working still, be employed until July. So, probably around summertime they’ll start talking about that. I guarantee that two is going to be so fun.

How has the fan reaction been for your character, especially from the deaf community?

Katie Leclerc: Fantastic. We thought that what we were doing was really special and I think that probably every show feels that way, especially a family drama. Everyone wants to pat themselves on the back and we definitely were. I remember the night of the premiere that Constance [Marie] and I were right in the middle of this huge, dramatic, emotional crying scene and we found out that we were trending number three on Twitter. Both of us dropped our phones and were jumping up and down and hugging and screaming. We were so happy and so excited.

I think like I said that we thought we were doing something cool. To find out that the fans appreciate what we’re doing and that the show resonates with them is just phenomenal. We feel so lucky and we feel so blessed. With the deaf community, I think that they’re just thrilled that there’s a show that really represents what the deaf community is about and does it with respect intact and humor at times, too. I think if you can’t laugh at yourself you’re going to make yourself crazy. So, we try to have a little bit of everything. I’m just very proud to be a part of a show that can do something good.

Do you have any other upcoming projects you can talk about?

Katie Leclerc: Not at the moment. They keep me on those fourteen hour days pretty regularly. I don’t have time to think about much else.

There’s a question we ask everyone we talk to which is if you could guest star on any other TV show, your pick of the litter, which one would it be?

Katie Leclerc: Right now it would be ‘Walking Dead’ hands down.

Human or zombie?

Katie Leclerc: I don’t care. I would love to be a zombie someday. I want to do the zombie walk, like, how they do those in different cities. I want to do that, but if I could be on a show and be a zombie that would be sweet. How about I am a character that turns into a zombie halfway through the episode. There we go. Best of both worlds. I love it. We’re making it happen.