Freeform’s newest show Recovery Road is definitely more than meets the eye.
The drama series follows a group of young adults who have all seen their version of rock bottom and are now looking to better themselves. The main character, Maddie Graham (Jessica Sula), is a party girl and an addict in denial. After her school’s guidance counselor catches her with alcohol, her mother makes the courageous decision to seek help and send her daughter to a rehab facility.
CelebSecrets4U recently caught up with Daniel Franzese (Mean Girls) who plays the role of Vern, a dancer and recovering cocaine-addict. During our exclusive interview, he talked all about Recovery Road including Mischa Barton (The O.C.) making her return to the small-screen for tomorrow’s episode.
In “Parties Without Borders,” the residents of a nearby upscale rehab facility have to temporarily move into Springtime Meadows. When Vern finds out that his favorite actress Olivia O’Brien is among them, he’s excited to have her around until he realizes that she isn’t exactly what he expected.
Meanwhile, Maddie is feeling distant from her friends and high school life, so she decides that her boyfriend Zach’s birthday is the perfect opportunity to reclaim her place. However, when the celebration turns into a wild party, Maddie is faced with the temptations that got her into Springtime Meadows in the first place.
Check out the Q&A below and don’t forget to tune in to Recovery Road on Mondays @ 9/8c on Freeform.
CS4U: Your new show is all about recovering and bettering yourself. Do you recall ever having to battle something that was holding you back?
Franzese: “I had a period of time when I was working in the nightlife and club industry in New York City. I was working at this one particular party when all the staff members decided to get sober and go into sobriety. I just remembered what that moment was like when I joined them and did a 90 days cleanse. I didn’t actually have a problem, but I was helping them through it all. It was definitely a deep moment for me so I understand what it’s like to be with a group of friends who are trying to be sober. It was definitely something I used as inspiration towards this role.”
CS4U: In the last episode, Maddie got a real look at what her future could be like if she doesn’t get sober. We also got to meet Wes’ ex-girlfriend who is the reason why Craig doesn’t want Maddie and Wes to date. Is this the last time we’ll see Harper or will she be back some time in the season?
Franzese: “I think Harper is a huge part of Wes’ life so I’m sure she’ll definitely be in and out of his life as the story continues to unfold.”
CS4U: Next week, Mischa Barton will be guest starring on the show and guessing from the preview, you two don’t get on well. Can you tell us more about her character, the upcoming episode, and why Vern thinks she’s a jerk?
Franzese: “Mischa’s character Olivia and her friends are coming from Malibu and are taking a very different approach at sobriety. The people in the house are used to doing it on a much more lower scale of the economic ladder than what the new kids are accustomed to.”
CS4U: Okay, so it’s pretty much like a bunch of snobby kids coming into the house and messing up the chemistry?
Franzese: “Yes, exactly! There’s another character who’s like a real housewife and all these other characters who are coming from wealth. They’re used to a more “resort” type of place. I can’t wait for you guys to see it!”
CS4U: Every episode, we find out more about each member in the house, but we haven’t learned much about Vern. Can you tell us more about him and his story?
Franzese: “Vern was a dancer and choreographer who had a losing battle with cocaine. He gained weight and was losing his mojo, he was spiraling down. Then, his high school best friend Cynthia comes to the rescue. He’s relying a lot on the program to maintain his sobriety, but it will be interesting for you to see this next episode where we see him before he entered the house.”
CS4U: Since we are CelebSecrets4U, can you tell us a secret about yourself, your character, or the show that fans may not know about?
Franzese: “I don’t know what kind of secret I would tell since I’m not allowed to give away any pop points or spoilers! I guess I would have to tell everyone that David Witts has an amazing singing voice. People may not know that, so that’s a secret about him. We’re currently living next to each other and I hear him singing quite often. Like when he’s warming up, he has a great singing voice! He’ll probably kill me for saying that because he’s really modest, but it’s true.”