The one-hour drama follows a multi-ethnic family mix of foster and biological kids being raised by two moms. Stef Foster (Teri Polo), a dedicated police officer, and her partner Lena Adams (Sherri Saum), a school Vice Principal, have built a close-knit, loving family with Stef’s biological son from a previous marriage, Brandon (David Lambert), and their adopted twins Mariana (Cierra Ramirez) and Jesus (Jake T. Austin).
Their lives are disrupted in unexpected ways when Lena meets Callie (Maia Mitchell), a hardened teen with an abusive past who has spent her life in and out of foster homes. Lena and Stef warily welcome Callie into their home thinking it’s just for a few weeks, until a more permanent placement can be found.
CelebSecrets4U had the opportunity to chat with David Lambert who plays Brandon on the show. Brandon is Stef’s biological son, a solid student with a passion for piano. Brandon has a warm bond with his two moms and his adoptive siblings, but is a bit taken aback by the defiant, wounded Callie, the newest addition to the household.
Check out the full Q&A below. Don’t forget to watch a brand new episode of The Fosters every Monday night after Switched at Birth at 9:00PM ET/PT only on ABC Family.
Can tell us a little bit about Brandon and Callie’s relationship?
David Lambert: They have a really interesting sort of connection right of the bat. In the pilot he’s really drawn to her and feels the need to help her. It is sort of reciprocated by her, but it’s one of those things where neither really knows what’s happening there. They just understand that there’s this connection. Whether it’ll grow or not it’s kind of up in the air at this point, but they do understand there’s this mutual feeling between the two of them and it’s definitely a special connection. So yes, I guess it’s just one of those things that has to develop over time, but it’s not necessarily set in stone that they are in love or whatever. It’s just one of those odd connections, I would say.
What is it like working with Maia Mitchell and the rest of the cast?
David Lambert: They’re great. This cast is honestly one of the best casts I’ve ever worked with. It’s one of those things where I go to set and I think that’s the biggest thing that I’m looking forward to is getting to work with these people because everyone—with me, I have such a different connection with all of them and neither is better than the next but it’s such a unique connection with every single person. So every scene is very fun. It’s a really fun experience to work with everyone. Maia’s great. Maia’s really, really awesome. She gives it her all just like everyone else does really. Everyone goes above and beyond to make this show as real as possible. It’s a respect thing. I admire my cast. I really respect them and I think everyone’s super talented.
What was the audition process like for The Fosters?
David Lambert: The audition process was—honestly, it started like any other audition for me in L.A. I just went to the first meeting and it was just for casting. From there I got a callback and that was a pretty regular feeling. I just kept coming back and then it was after the third meeting that I was really like, “Okay, this could go somewhere. This is interesting.”
But it felt normal and then it kind of just came out of nowhere for me and then before I knew it I was testing. I feel like that tends to happen. Whenever you book a job you don’t even realize how close you’re getting until you almost have it pretty much. So it was definitely one of those things for me. It almost blindsided me how fast everything moved.
How would you describe the character of Brandon if you had to tell somebody who maybe hasn’t watched the show yet? How would you describe him?
David Lambert: He’s the oldest in his family and he’s the biological son of one of the mothers, Stef, who’s played by Teri Polo. He’s a gifted musician overall, but his instrument of choice is piano. He’s classically trained in piano. He’s always playing really beautiful pieces from Rachmaninoff and all of those guys.
He’s brilliant and he’s a very smart kid and a little mature for his age just due to this unique setup that he has with his mothers and with his dad. He’s essentially raised by three parents so it makes for very interesting situations that he just has to deal with very normally because that’s just how it is for him. It kind of gives him an edge over other kids who don’t necessarily have to deal with that.
He’s a very fun character for me to play. He’s a really good kid though. He means well and he has a really big heart. Family is everything for him. He loves his family and he would do anything for any of them. So it’s a very special character to be playing.
I was wondering if you, in your words, could explain why you think people should tune into this show? Why it’s different from other family dramas?
David Lambert: In this day and age we’re kind of lacking in family dramas overall. I feel like we could use more and sort of step away a little bit from the big explosions and all of this visual eye candy that seems to be in everything these days. This show really sort of slows down and focuses on just the characters really.
Besides just the fact that there’s a same sex couple and we do have all of these relevant and current topics, the show really is a classic show. It has very classic vibes to it, in terms of a family drama, and we hope it’s very relatable.
The show has a way of just introducing these topics and these issues and being very blunt about it, which I sort of love. We don’t beat around the bush. We just say it how it is and we expect audiences to just be able to handle it and see how these characters deal with it, which I think makes for really good TV.
I think it’s a really great show to be a part of. It’s something that excites me whenever I read the new scripts. I think that people will be surprised at just how interesting these people are. And they’re not necessarily doing anything out of the ordinary. The kids go to school and they just deal with whatever it is that’s happening that day.
But it just makes for really interesting stuff because they don’t always do the right thing. They sometimes make mistakes just like kids do in high school but they learn they lesson as well. They always redeem themselves. It’s a very relatable thing to watch, as a person. So for me, I love that about the show. I love that everyone gets his or her chance to make a mistake but then learn from it.
Do you have any good stories from set so far, since there are so many of you especially in the house, in the Foster house and everything?
David Lambert: It’s really funny. We honestly have a really good time on set. Everyone does. From the adults to the kids, everyone is on the same page and we all have the same amount of fun. There’s no real line drawn in the sand or anything like that, which is great because sometimes you run into that on sets, which is really unfortunate. But on this set everyone is very tight knit, very close. I could go up to any of the cast members and have a full-on conversation with them and it’s very comfortable for me.
I’m trying to think of good stories in particular. I know Cierra Ramirez and Jake T. Austin, who play Jesus and Mariana Foster, the twins, had to dress up at one point to take these Halloween pictures, these sort of family Halloween pictures. So Jake had to dress up in this really great jester costume and I actually ended up getting a picture of it just as he was standing right in front of me. I don’t know, that stuck with me so much because it was so hilarious to watch him walk around in this jester costume for the hour or however long he had to wear it for.
What attracted you to the role of Brandon Foster?
David Lambert: I think he’s definitely the most similar to me from any character I’ve played. I think that’s really interesting for me. I haven’t really experienced that much with a character. So for me to be able to relate with him the way I can and sort of very easily imagine how he must feel in a lot of these situations. It’s very interesting for me. It’s not a stretch.
It’s one of those things where I don’t have to, in my preparation, work so hard to make it relatable in some way for me because I’m already mentally there. So it’s a cool role for me in my life because I get to play Brandon but also incorporate a lot of David into Brandon. That makes for really an interesting experience for me I guess.
I play piano in my life. I wouldn’t say I’m anywhere as good as Brandon is, but I’ve been playing for almost seven years now. I’m self-taught so I’m kind of on the other side of the spectrum from Brandon. He’s very precise and classically trained and whatnot, but we do share a love for music. That’s something that’s really cool to sort of portray on camera in the way that I get to with Brandon.
I don’t know; he’s a really interesting guy. I love that I get to have him and get to play him because he’s definitely a really close one to me.
So Talya and Brandon’s relationship, how does that change now that Callie’s in the picture?
David Lambert: I think it’s one of those things for Brandon, at least, that he doesn’t even realize. He’s only now just beginning to realize what it means to have Callie around. That’s an interesting thing for him. I think Talya was much more quick to notice what this may do and to notice that Brandon may be interested or at least care for Callie, which is enough for Talya to lose her mind. It is only going to make for more interesting situations down the road, especially between the girls.
I think Brandon’s a little slower, in terms of picking up on things that are right under the surface. So for him he’s almost innocent in the way that he wants to make sure Callie’s good in this new environment, in this new world that she’s kind of been thrust into, but at the same time he does have a girlfriend. He’s not linking the two yet, whereas maybe Talya is seeing [it] a little differently.
So it’s a fun thing that he has to sort of slowly realize. Like, “Oh, oh, I see that this might look this way and I guess now it’s sort of a little triangle here.” That’s just a fun little situation, one of the many that he is faced with, and I’m looking forward to seeing how that develops.