It’s hard not to be charmed by Brea Grant. The young, sexy newcomer on Heroes plays the fast-talking (and fast-walking) Daphne Millbrook, a character whose allegiances are flexible. Though this is her big, breakout role, TV fans first fell in love with this sassy actress as Jean, the adorable nerd in love with Landry Clark on Friday Night Lights last season. Heroes represents a whole new look and a whole new attitude for the star.
BuddyTV spoke to Brea Grant about her role on Heroes. The star spoke about how Friday Night Lights helped her get on Heroes, the choices Daphne will make about being a villain or a hero, and the joy of shoving Masi Oka’s face. Continue reading to listen to the interview and for the full transcript.
Hi, this is John from BuddyTV, and I’m talking to Brea Grant, one of the new faces on Heroes this season. How are you?
I’m doing fine. Thanks for having me.
Great to have you. I’m wondering first, when you first got onto Heroes, what were your expectations, and how has actually being on the show compared to what you expected it to be?
When I was auditioning for the show and I was waiting to hear back, I remember I called my dad and I was like, “Dad, if I get this, it’s going to be really, really big. It will make my career, I promise.” And he was like, “It’s a TV show,” he didn’t know what it was and stuff. And I think I was pretty spot on. I mean, things have moved at a rapid pace since I got the show. I had gone from basically nobody knowing who I was to TV shows here and there and doing a lot of indy movies to doing this, which is like, people come up to me on the street and they’re like, “I love your character.” It’s just insane. It’s like a totally different world.
Well, probably some people didn’t know you, but here at BuddyTV, we were all really big fans of your guest spot on Friday Night Lights as Jean.
Did that help at all, working on NBC? What was that experience like?
I somehow ended up on two NBC shows, but that was by accident. The writers on Heroes are big Friday Night Lights fans, so when they were writing the role of Daphne the speedster, they kept saying, “We’re kind of picturing someone like Jean from Friday Night Lights.” And they kept saying that and at some point, someone was saying, “Why don’t we bring in that girl who played Jean on Friday Night Lights?” And they did. So that was kind of story. And then I still had to audition and do the whole thing, but every writer came up and told me, “Oh, we talked about you a lot because you were the person we were thinking about from the beginning.” So that was really cool.
That’s definitely cool. So far on this season, in the beginning, you had a lot of scenes with Masi Oka. At least from a tonal perspective, they were sort of like an older school, ‘40s screwball comedy, almost. Was that the intention? Was there a specific tone you guys were going for in those scenes?
I think that’s right. I think that was the goal, to be very comedic and slapstick in a way. Especially the very first moment we have together, we put a long time into working it out physically. I would be circling him. It started with him pushing me back with his chest and then it moved to him pushing back with his face because we thought that was more ridiculous. It definitely has sort of a kooky, it’s funny in a slapstick sort of way. I love that kind of stuff, and I think it ended up really working well for the two characters. My character is a very physical character and he’s fun to push around.
Since then, you’ve branched out now, and we’ve seen Daphne interacting with a lot of the other Heroes, especially in the future when she’s married Matt and she’s in the group with Claire. Have you had a chance to work with other actors there? Are we going to see you with more of the cast as this season goes on?
Yes. Tonight’s episode, chapter six, is going to be a huge episode where you see Daphne run around and talk to a bunch of different Heroes as she collects them for one of the men who she thinks she’s working for. So I got to interact with a lot of different people, which was really, really fun. It was fun to branch out and everyone. It does go back to where she sticks with her core people at some point. But right now, getting to run around and play with everybody.
This volume is called “Villains,” and Daphne would appear to be a villain, but really, so far, she’s just gone where the money is, really. She doesn’t seem to have an agenda. Are we going to see her grow a conscience, either one way or the other, and pick a side that she wants to be with rather than just doing it for a paycheck?
Yes. You’ll get to see her face more moral dilemmas. At some point, she does realize she has to choose sides. Even until this point, you see Daphne do what she has to do to get by and it’s kind of, whatever. But now she’s meeting all these people, and some of them are really bad and some of them seem like good people, and she has to make a decision about which side she wants to be on. But there’s definitely something deeper going on with her too. So you could just see all of this stuff happen. You see why she chooses what she chooses.
-Interview conducted by John Kubicek
(Image courtesy of NBC)