INTERVIEW: Katie Leclerc on Kissing Justin Bruening, Her Most Challenging Scene and Eating Crickets!

Photo by Angelo Kritikos
Actress Katie Leclerc has continued to amaze in SWITCHED AT BIRTH this fall. Her characer, Daphne Vasquez, has become involved with the sexy (and much older) Chef Jeff, played by ALL MY CHILDREN alum Justin Bruening. We Love Soaps caught up with the talented young star and found out what it's like kissing Mr. Bruening, her most challenging scene to date and what it's like to eat crickets for a dozen takes.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Katie, it's so cool to talk to you again, I've missed you! My first question is a doozy: How did you react when you found out Daphne was going to get romantic with Chef Jeff? And what is your off-screen relationship like with Justin Bruening?
Katie Leclerc: Well, first of all, I think ABC Family does a wonderful job casting eye candy, and I couldn't have been more happy in going forward with Justin Bruening. He's an excellent actor, and he's such a doll, and he's so much fun off-screen. It's a little bit odd to go from talking about our families - and just good old, normal, everyday life - to making out with him. But I was excited for the opportunity to share some off-screen time with him.

I was a little bit nervous about the storyline, but I think [it's okay] as long as you show that - you know, there are consequences to every action? And this relationship could be considered promiscuous. And so, as the finale episode comes, there's a lot of things that are exposed - and there are always repercussions.

Photo courtesy of ABC Family
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: How would you describe Daphne & Jeff's relationship, and where do you think it's going?
Katie Leclerc: Well I think Daphne has very high hopes for it. Daphne wants it to continue, and Chef Jeff is kind of on the same page, so as long as obstacles don't get in the way, I would be optimistic about it.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: I understand you're doing a series with my friend Sean Hemeon, and actually, there are a ton of great actors involved--it's called MY
SYNTHESIZED LIFE. What can you tell us about it?
Katie Leclerc: I am really excited about MY SYNTHESIZED LIFE!

The script is super funny. It's about a guy who basically, magically, gets this voice change, so he talks in auto-tune when he gets nervous, and so I run across this character in a spoken word contest sort of environment, and my character is a poet, and a little bit boy-crazy. I'm super pleased to be a part of it!

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: I'm sure your fans want to know more about Gus, your dog. Tell us about him!
Katie Leclerc: I hope so, Gus is my favorite! [She laughs.]

Gus is actually deaf, which is crazy - we didn't know that, when we got him. We taught him sign language, so he knows about 20 signs. He can sit, and lay down, and eat... we're proud parents!

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: You've made about 30 episodes now; looking back, what would you say was your most challenging scene? It's a hard question...
Katie Leclerc: It is a hard question!

There's a scene in the finale episode, with Regina; we are butting heads, and it's a really emotional scene. It's very, very powerful and strong, and it stands out to me because it’s one of those experiences - sometimes I really like those heavy, dramatic, yelling, lots-of-emotions sort of scenes, you know, it's sort of cathartic.
But that day, I just remember feeling - how much I love Constance Marie as a person, as an actress, as a woman, and as a role model. I love her. And having this scene with her was really very hard for me.

There's also another scene that stands out, on a lighter note, where I have to eat crickets, and it was really hard!

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Oh my goodness, what?
Katie Leclerc: Justin and I are sitting there and everything is okay, I have like, three under my belt, and there's like, ten more takes that we have to do. I'm doing okay and Justin looks at me and goes, "Look, it's just a leg."

Then he sticks out his tongue and there's just this huge leg on his tongue! So he ruined me, he wrecked it. [She laughs.] Because everything was okay, but then he just destroyed me. It was really hard to do the rest of those takes.

RELATED:
- OUT ON THE TOWN: Katie Leclerc Supports Gilles Marini At DANCING WITH THE STARS: ALL STARS

Kevin Mulcahy Jr. is a Harvard alum who is currently working as a staff contributor at welovesoaps.com writing theater and web series reviews as well as other in-depth features. Read all his Web Series reviews here. To contact Kevin, email kevin@welovesoaps.com.

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