What Actress Constance Marie Learned from 'Switched at Birth'
What Actress Constance Marie Learned from 'Switched at Birth'
ABC Family's new series Switched at Birth has been getting a lot of attention, and one of its stars knows why. Constance Marie, who portrays mom Regina, knows that there's plenty to be gained from turning in. 

Constance Marie discussed what Switched at Birth has to offer and what other things we can expect from the series. She also opened up about her role during her recent Q&A session.

What do you think is the single most important thing that you want everybody to get from the show?

Okay.  I would have to say that the most important thing about this show is, the most number one thing, is that it literally teaches America and merges the hearing world with the deaf community.  Since the deaf community is fifteen million strong, the fact that it merges those two seamlessly, I think it's a huge gift to America.  I really do; and that's one of the reasons I'm a part of it is because it's never before have there been like three major leads on a show.  You know, in particular, my character, Regina, bridges the hearing world and the deaf world just seamlessly.  Of course, behind the scenes I'm working my butt off learning sign language.  I would have to say that's the single most important thing, but then if you go into like the three other things behind that is that it calls into question the nature versus nurture question, the racial differences, cultural differences, socioeconomic differences in families.  How, no matter if you're a single parent family, a two-parent family, you have money, no money, you're Puerto Rican or you're white, every body's got issues.  And how the conflict comes from that.  I mean, I think that's amazing.  It is just a melting pot of drama.  It's fabulous.

What do you hope people learn from the show?

What do I hope they learn?  Well, I hope they learn, number one, that deaf people are just like everybody else except they speak fabulously with their hands.  I hope not that they learn, but I hope they question as to what a family really is and how it doesn't necessarily have to be like the perfect mom and dad and 2.5 children, how families are completely different, but yet, the love underneath that is the most important thing however you skin that family cat.

How did you prepare for this role of working in the deaf community?

Oh my gosh; sign language boot camp.  I didn't know anything about it.  I watched a tremendous amount of documentaries and I have a wonderful master's certified sign language teacher, an ALS instructor who came and literally beat me into submission.  I say that in a loving way, but really, I had to hunker down and essentially learn a language that I had no clue as to anything about it. It's so funny because in my Mommy and Me group with my young baby, all the moms, every single mom, taught their child sign language, except for me and of course, I'm the one who ends up having to do a TV series where I have to become fluent in sign language in a matter of weeks.  Ironic.

Do you have a favorite or memorable scene coming up that you can tell us a little bit about?

Oh, let me see.  I just have to say that the episodes that we have coming up, Regina gets busy.  I guess that's my heavy handed way of saying she gets to go out on dates and things.  [...]She also has big secrets to be revealed.  Oh my gosh, there's so much stuff coming down the pike, it's unbelievable.  If I look back on it, I just think, oh my god, these shows are just getting better and better, and more complex, and I think everybody is going to, we won't leave anybody unfulfilled, that's for sure.

Don't miss Constance Marie on Switched at Birth, airing Mondays at 9pm on ABC Family. Below, you can catch a trailer of tonight's episode, "The Stag Hunt".

(Image Courtesy of ABC Family)