The summer premiere of Switched at Birth is finally here!
To get you excited, CelebSecrets4U sat down with Vanessa Marano to get you the scoop on what’s to come from tonight’s premiere. In our interview, Vanessa talks about Bay and Emmett’s rocky relationship, Bay’s controversial sexual assault storyline from last season and who she wanted Rory to end up with in Gilmore Girls.
In tonight’s episode, Bay is haunted by her breakup with Emmett and struggles to figure out where their relationship fell apart. Meanwhile, Daphne’s excitement about her new relationship with Mingo is hampered by her friends’ opinion of him. John and Kathryn’s new accountant has some bad news and Regina digs deeper into the story of Eric’s ex-wife. Plus, everyone is shocked by the news that someone is pregnant.
Make sure to read our Q&A with Vanessa below. The summer premiere of Switched at Birth airs tonight at 8PM ET/PT on ABC Family.
CS4U: The new season starts on Monday, and in a recent interview, Lea teased some financial problems with the Kennish family. Can you tell us a little bit about those issues and how that might affect the kids?
Vanessa Marano: This season we’re going to see a drastic change in the Kennish family in the sense that yeah they might not be as rich as they thought they were, which for a family that has had literally hoards of money for all of their life, it’s going to be something that I think will affect the kids a lot but also mainly affect the parents.
CS4U: Obviously Bay and Emmett have had a very tumultuous relationship. At the end of last season, Bay pretty much made it clear that if Emmett said he didn’t want to be with her then the relationship was over. What are your thoughts about their relationship? Do you like them together? Do you hope it works out in this upcoming season?
Vanessa Marano: I mean, here’s the thing about Bay and Emmett. I feel like obviously the audience is rooting for them and they have this aspect of they are destined to be together. Their love crosses no language, no ability to hear. They get each other in spite of everything being against them. That being said, they are not good for each other. Like I’m sorry, but he cheated on her, he’s leaving her for a girl in California after she was sexually assaulted. There’s a lot of problems there (laughs). If they can get past those problems, great, but I think at the end of the day they haven’t been able to do that and a lot of that comes from the fact that they’re both young and this is their first endless love it feels like and it’s hard to get past issues that are so much more complicated then what they should be experiencing at the age they’re at.
CS4U: Bay’s whole plan last season was to go to LA and be with him. Now that they’re not together anymore, how have the plans changed? What is Bay going to be doing?
Vanessa Marano: Oh, she has no plans. She’s sobbing. She’s sobbing for a good chunk of this season. Bay’s life is in shambles right now. She isn’t in art school. She stopped doing her street art. She’s going to community service for Daphne. She’s given up everything to move to Los Angeles. She has nothing for her own right now, so I think this season is really about her taking back her life and doing things for her once she gets over the massive devastation she’s experiencing.
CS4U: It seems like there’s going to be an unexpected pregnancy on the show. Can you tell us something about it without giving too much away?
Vanessa Marano: John Kennish is pregnant.
CS4U: That would be very interesting.
Vanessa Marano: That’s been my go to. That it’s John. I think a lot of people are like ‘oh my god pregnant, pregnant pregnant. Who’s it going to be?’ The story line isn’t really about who’s pregnant. It’s about what happens after we find out about the pregnancy. I think a lot of people at the beginning of the episode are going to be like ‘oh okay whatever’ and by the end of the episode be like ‘wait what?’ In the premiere episode, the pregnancy thing is answered.
CS4U: What did you think of last season’s Bay and Tank rape storyline? Will that be something that she still has to deal with in this upcoming season? How did you deal with all of the reactions from the fans?
Vanessa Marano: Absolutely. That doesn’t just go away. That’s something that she’s going to have with her for the rest of her life. She can let it hold her down or she can just continue to move forward and just know that that’s a part of her and a part of her story now. That’s still very much a part of this next season. We have awesome fans in the sense that it is a group of such intelligent people who watch this show. We ask them every single week to watch scenes with subtitles. You know what I mean? We ask them to put away their phone and their computer and look at the screen and read every single week, which not a lot of people want to put in the work that that requires. When the storyline came up about the sexual assault, it was crazy because we were asking our audience to be okay with the fact that there wasn’t a clear answer. There was not going to be a resolution and that can be infuriating for people, but I think because our audience is so intelligent, really, they were like no I want this conversation. I want there to not be a clear answer. I want to be able to talk about this and that’s what happened as a result of the storyline thanks to the patience and understanding of the fans of the show.
CS4U: How much time do you spend preparing for these episodes having to learn all of your lines?
Vanessa Marano: I have no life when we’re shooting. Every weekend I’m learning sign language. I mean I spend a lot of time preparing for this show. I definitely spend more time on Switched at Birth preparing for scenes and memorizing than I have on any other show, and I was on Gilmore Girls which required a lot of memorization. It didn’t require me to do it another language.
CS4U: I was actually going to ask you about Gilmore Girls because I’m a huge fan. Quick question…who do you think Rory should have ended up with?
Vanessa Marano: Oh Jess. Jess. She should have ended up with Jess. Here’s the thing. I always get asked about being in it. Right? Like I get it. People have that teenage love affair fan girl/fan boy obsession with a couple, and I understand that because I had that obsession with Rory and Jess. I am so sad that they are not together. It hurts me a little bit. I can’t really talk about it. I’m going to get a little too emotional (laughs).
CS4U: I totally agree with you. I wanted Rory to end up with Jess.
Vanessa Marano: It’s sad.
CS4U: I also hear that you’re a huge fan of the show Empire. If you could play any of the characters from the show, who would it be?
Vanessa Marano: I love Empire (laughs). That’s an interesting question. Obviously, Cookie is the one that you go to, but I would not want anyone playing that character except for Taraji. That’s obviously the best character on that show. I would not want anyone else playing her. She is so fantastic on that show. I love that show. The show Dynasty, right, that was like a show from my parents’ age and everyone would talk about ‘oh my god, watch that show’ and it would just suck you in and you would be like ‘what’s going to happen now.’ Empire is our Dynasty, but instead of it being rich, spoiled, rotten white people, it’s the hip hop community and I think it’s fantastic. I love Empire.
CS4U: Since we are CelebSecrets4U, can you share a secret about yourself that the fans may not know?
Vanessa Marano: A secret about myself? Let’s see here. I mean I really like sleep like more than probably anyone should be sleeping. If I have the opportunity, I will sleep a full 12 hours. Honestly. That’s not good apparently and it’s one of those things were you say that and people look at you like ‘are you okay? Do you need to talk to someone because that’s a sign of depression,’ but I feel so good after sleeping for 12 hours. It’s a little sad. I don’t know if that’s a huge secret but it is an ability that I have (laughs).
CS4U: I totally wish I had that talent to be able to sleep for 12 hours.
Vanessa Marano: I hope it never leaves me.
Photos: Eric McCandless/ABC Family