Exclusive: Switched At Birth’s Katie Leclerc On Tonight’s Exciting Spring Finale, Script Techniques & Second Season News

Katie Leclerc

Tonight’s is the spring finale episode of the ABC hit series Switched At Birth and as we promised yesterday, we have some juicy details to dish out straight from the source so to speak, i.e. the beautiful and talented Katie Leclerc.

In our second interview with the up and coming star (see our first interview here), Katie talked about what viewers can expect in tonight’s spring finale episode “Venus, Cupid, Folly, and Time”, her own experiences on the show and some exciting second season news.

Check out what she had to say below and don’t miss tonight’s episode of Switched At Birth “Venus, Cupid, Folly, and Time” which airs 8/7c on ABC Family.
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Since we spoke last time you were working through the twenty plus episodes added to the season. How did all that go?

Katie Leclerc: It’s been so rewarding and so fun. I’m just glad that I don’t have to be in the writer’s room coming up with brand new plots all the time. They do a great job, but we just get to show up and spit words out and try to do a good job. It’s been really fun. We’ve been on hiatus since February and we go back on April 18th. We go back into production for the last bit of this first season and we’re all really excited and looking forward to it.

The spring finale is coming up with a lot of things coming to a head. Prom and some secrets being revealed. What can you tease about the upcoming episodes?

Katie Leclerc: I can definitely say that Daphne’s and Wilke’s relationship changes dramatically. I think the two of them have been headed in a certain direction during the season and there might be some surprises there. I know that John and Kathryn have been headed to kind of a weird place. We’ve done a couple of episodes that showed that they were going through something and that sort of takes a turn, if you will. The Emmett and Simone thing threw people for a loop. We got so many responses on Twitter, like, ‘Why Emmett why?’ I think that text ‘Why Emmett why?’ was trending for a while.

I think the show has surprised people along the way, this last batch. The writers have their challenges ahead of them, but I think in this episode they’ve definitely got some surprises in store for the audience still. So, we’re really excited about it and I can’t wait to see how the deaf problems turned out. I’ve heard from a couple of people that have seen it that the Disneyland Sign-In In The Street event that they had yesterday and I heard back from people who got to stay for the screening. They said, ‘This is the best episode we’ve seen so far.’ So, I’m excited to see it myself.

I saw the preview of the episode. Was that Gilles Marini that I saw?

Katie Leclerc: I think it was, yeah. Angelo makes another appearance. We start off with hearing from him, and so it’s more for Bay’s sentiment to be thrown off kilter a little bit from his presence. I think that Daphne at this point has been kind of done with Angelo.

He strung her along for so long in our lives that I think she’s just kind of like, ‘Whatever you have planned I don’t want to be a part of it.’ So, Bay sort of gets a looped into that situation more than Daphne, but he does make another appearance. I just love when he’s onscreen.

Have you developed a technique or process to keep all the writing straight or are you just reading what’s in front of you?

Katie Leclerc: There’s a little bit of reading what’s in front of you, and then the creators keep us out of the loop as much as possible. As the secrets come along we don’t get to know about them beforehand. So, as they come we also get surprised and I think that just creates some excitement on set, but for me personally, my scripts as we go along, like for the last shooting days of the episodes are just wrecked. I highlight my script with three different colors.

The lines that I speak are only in yellow. The lines where I’m signing and speaking at the same time, they’re in pink, and then the lines that I’m just using sign language are in blue. There’s notes on the margins and questions. I write everything down. So, by the end of the episode my script is just a disaster in the best possible way. I keep my scripts and so it’s fun to look back, especially at the pilot episode, and flip through and be like, ‘I remember developing the character of Daphne and really falling in love with her.’ It’s nice to look at where she came from and where my influences came from in developing that.

I’m seeing an eBay opportunity here.

Katie Leclerc: There we go. On the hundredth episode of ‘Switched at Birth’ maybe I’ll sell my pilot script.

You said it here first.

Katie Leclerc: Absolutely.

Is there a decision that you made about Daphne for yourself that you never talked about?

Katie Leclerc: That’s a really good question. I think there definitely has to be. I can’t think of a great example right now, but just sort of as we go along the writers have a really, really strong presence on set. They’re always there during rehearsals. Lizzy [Weiss] is always there for rehearsals. The rest of the writers are around as the day is being shot especially if it’s their episode that they’ve written. I think there’s some nuances that might be uniquely discovered by me, like maybe some of the exchanges that Bay and Daphne have which are references to inside jokes that Vanessa [Marano] and I have together.

That’s more done in the looks that we give each other. So, as far as the words that come out of our mouths, those are all very calculated by the writers and very meticulously watched. But there’s extra stuff where I give her a thumbs up at the end or something. The little quirky things are what we get to put our personalities into, but other than that I think they’re pretty calculated. They don’t want us to go off book too much.

It was announced that the series will be coming back in the fall and that will finish up the first season, right?

Katie Leclerc: Well, the fall is actually still the first season. I know that ABC Family does it that way, but it’ll end up being a thirty episode first season. We did this batch of twelve which we’re finishing up tomorrow and then we’ll come for another eight and it’ll still be the first season.

Any news about a second season?

Katie Leclerc: I saw the creator today at the Up Front function in New York and I was like pushing her for info. I was like, ‘Lizzy, give me something to work off of.’ The only thing, and she might actually kill me for telling you this. I think she’s going to be really mad at me. I’m so sorry. Now I teased you.

You can’t not tell me.

Katie Leclerc: She’s going to kill me. Gilles Marini comes back in this episode and I think that he’s going to try to make a presence in the next season. That’s as much as I can say, and I’m probably going to be yelled for you.

If you had the opportunity to step back in time and talk to yourself before joining the series, what advice would you have given yourself?

Katie Leclerc: This is the first time that I’ve been a lead in the series. So, the entire experience has been a complete and utter whirlwind. I would look back and say that the easier answer to explain the past year and a half of my life is that it’s a dream come true. It truly is, one hundred percent, authentically, no BS. This is what I wanted my entire life, and for it to finally come true and for it to finally happen and for these things to become tangible it’s overwhelmingly awesome.

So, I would tell myself to strap in and try not to control everything and just go with the flow, go along for the ride. I try to do that and sometimes it’s just hard. I’m pretty Type A. I’m pretty OCD. So, it’s hard to say there’s a lot of moving pieces in what’s going on and to step outside of yourself, but you just have to take every day with a positive attitude and really kind of make the best of it. I try to do that, but I would beat myself over the head with it.

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Katie Leclerc

(Photo credit: ANGELO KRITIKOS)