+ Interviews +
... Brittany Daniel
The New York Times Upfront May 14, 2001 , Vol. 133, No. 18
UPFRONT: Is there any specific theater project you're thinking about? BRITTANY: Well, I've never done theater before so I'm not even going to try to attempt to go out for the Number 1 Broadway play or anything. But I was thinking about maybe just trying to get into a small theatre company or something like that. I'm not even sure. I just got here, so . . . UPFRONT: Have you been having fun here so far? BRITTANY: A blast. UPFRONT: Going out and stuff? BRITTANY: Well, I've been really busy with promotions and stuff so I've just kind of been swamped with that, but in the next couple days I'll have some free time, so it'll be good. UPFRONT: You've been in a couple of high school-themed shows. How would you compare the media's portrayal of school, like on Dawson's Creek and Sweet Valley High, to real school? BRITTANY: I think each school is different, so it's so hard for me to say. UPFRONT: What about compared to your high school? You went to Gainesville High in Florida, right? BRITTANY: Yeah, I went to Gainesville High. I don't know, I think Sweet Valley High, I think that definitely some of the things that we dealt with were things that I dealt with in high school. But I think some of it was just kind of a spoof on high school too. You know, I think that my character, who was just so out there, just so full of herself and so, like Š no one would get away with that in high school. You know, I don't think she'd be the most popular girl in school if she was so nasty to everybody. You know? So, I don't know, I think that most of the shows make it a little more extreme than it is, like every situation for the drama or the comedy. I think that's definitely true in Sweet Valley High. But that show's just to make you laugh. I remember watching Can't Buy Me Love and Sixteen Candles and totally thinking that's the way that high school was going to be, and it just wasn't. It was such a letdown, it was never as cool, you know. But, Dawson's Creek, I have to say that show's very realistic, I think. Even though they do write for a pretty mature and smart crowd, I think that it's good. I mean there were a lot of times that I was working on that show that I was pulling out the old dictionary, "What does that word mean?" Because they use such big vocabulary words. But kids are smart nowadays and I like that we don't talk down to them. So, what if they have to look up a word here and there, you know if they're watching it. But, I think that show's very realistic. I love the storyline right now between Joey and Pacey, and not everybody does. People are like, we want Dawson and Joey to be back together. I love them. Do you love them? UPFRONT: I love Pacey and Joey together. BRITTANY: I love them together, they're so good, they're so real. I just watch them and it's like, I kind of know them a little bit both, and it's like they don't even seem like they're acting, they're so natural. I just think they're great. I think their storylines are very realistic. I think that's why it's been such a successful show. I think kids totally can relate to it. UPFRONT: When you were on Dawson's Creek a couple of seasons ago, they kind of implied that your character, Eve, might be Jen's sister. Is there any chance they'll be picking up that storyline again and you'll be back on the show? BRITTANY: I haven't heard of anything. It kind of surprises me because they did build it up to this kind of cliffhanger. But, no, I haven't heard anything of what they're doing. It seems to me they're really focusing on the Joey-Pacey storyline. UPFRONT: So, what was your first day of high school like? BRITTANY: Let's see . . . All I remember is being so unbelievably excited to be in high school. Just because I was boy crazy when I was a girl. I was talking to my mom the other day, and I was like, "I can not even remember a time when I was not boy crazy." Since I was in third grade I remember just loving boys. And I don't know if because I have an older brother and I was just always around him and his friends, but I just remember being so excited to be with like some older boys in high school. That's all I remember. Isn't that sad? That, and I just remember being so excited to join Alpha, the club. Do you know Alpha? UPFRONT: No, we didn't have that in my school. BRITTANY: Oh, well that was like the cool thing to do. And I was really excited to join the volleyball club too. UPFRONT: Were you on the team? BRITTANY: Yeah, I was on the team. And I always kind of felt like I was a little older than my class. I always felt like I just wanted to get out of school, and I wanted to act at that time, too, so I just wanted to get through it and go act, you know. UPFRONT: What was it like to go from a small town like Gainesville, Florida, to being on television and movies? What was the transition like? BRITTANY: I just remember it being very smooth. Now that I look back in retrospect I think I was so lucky. Not that I was all high on myself and I thought I totally deserved anything, I just, I didn't realize how hard it is to make it in this business and to be guaranteed 22 episodes right when I moved out to L.A. at 18. I had booked the show [Sweet Valley High] during my senior year of high school, during a pilot season. So, I came back, graduated, and then flew back to L.A. a week-and-a-half after I graduated, and started working. So, it's like wow,I really had it made. And I had such a supportive group of people around me. I also didn't live right in L.A., I lived about half an hour outside of L.A., and that's where we shot. So, I didn't do the Hollywood lifestyle at all for at least two years or something. I really was focused on work. UPFRONT: So, what do you see in the future for yourself? Movies or TV? What can we look forward to? BRITTANY: Well, it's hard. Television's great because it's such stability. You know how many episodes you're going to do, you know for how long. And that's just kind of what I'm used to. I'm from a very normal family, and that's what's so tough about this business, it's just a roller-coaster ride. There's no stability, and that's the one thing that drives me crazy. So, but right now, because I have been given this opportunity to be, you know, lead girl, in this movie I feel like I should capitalize on it and really push to do more movies. There's just so much politics in the whole entertainment business. If you go back to doing television they say, "Oh, she couldn't make it in the movie world." You know, it's like, "Oh, now she's a TV actress." They completely label you for whatever you're working on for that moment. So since I'm doing movies right now I feel like I should capitalize on that, and then I could one day go back to television. So, right now I'm focusing on that, but I love television, it's been so good to me and I've had so much fun on it. So, in the near future, probably other movies. I'm also working on a show right now with my girlfriend, her name is Heather Pemble, she's kind of this up-and-coming producer. She's come up with this idea for a show that I'm helping her with. It's an interview-based show where we interview inspiring people. And not just actors, people that didn't take the straight and narrow route to their goal in life or their career. They didn't maybe necessarily have enough money to go to college, and then to law school and then become lawyer. Or if they didn't want to, you know, they become, whatever, they could be, like, work for UNICEF, or they could be some amazing painter. So, it's something that they became successful at, but just because they didn't have the money or the desire to go to college they could still make it. MTV is interested in it and the Independent Film station is interested too. We don't have any contracts signed or anything like that, but yeah, we're trying to sell that show right now. And I would host it. Just because I think it would be Š sometimes it's uninspiring just to work, and it's like, me me me, that's kind of how it is as an actor. I was like, I want to do something that's kind of inspiring, and there are so many kids out there who are from single-parent homes and who have nobody to look up to—no one, It's like all they do is watch TV, you know, and that can kind of be uninspiring. So we're putting together this show right now. UPFRONT: Have you had any people on it so far? BRITTANY: Yeah, well we put together a mock version of what the show would be like. But because I haven't gotten any releases signed from the actors, I wouldn't want to say, because I wouldn't want it to be printed. But, no, pretty big people on it, a couple of big directors and a couple of big actors and stuff like that. We're just kind of putting together a test show of what it would be like so the studios can see it. UPFRONT: Well, thanks a lot Brittany. BRITTANY: Thank you. Good luck!
( taken from NYT UPFRONT )