Great Q&A with Cassie Scerbo who will be guest starring on ABC Family’s “Baby Daddy” episode “Romancing the Phone” which airs this Wednesday (February 26, 2014)!
Q: What attracted you to the role of the frenemy character you will be playing on “Baby Daddy?”
Cassie: I knew Chelsea before I even read the part of the show! I just love her, I think she’s great. I was really excited to work with her. My character basically comes in and stirs up a bunch of trouble for Chelsea’s character [Riley]. I tend to have a lot of fun with these characters and happen to be cast as this type of girl very often so it’s very fun for me — I guess I play it quite well! It was just fun to hop back on board and play another fun, catty character and stir up some trouble.
Q: Were you a fan of “Baby Daddy” before you got the role?
Cassie: Yes! I was actually just laughing about this with somebody. I was on ABC Family for a couple years on Make It or Break It, and I’m that person that is such a fan of their own network. When I was on the show, I would watch so many shows on the network, “Switched at Birth,” “Pretty Little Liars.” Now, I’m very into “Twisted.” So, I was very aware of “Baby Daddy” and I was a fan. I’m a fan of all the shows. I think they’re great!
Q: How does your character on “Baby Daddy” compare to your character on “Make It or Break It?”
Cassie: We all know that my character on “Make It or Break It” [Lauren Tanner] was pretty snarky and catty. She was kind of the “B-word” of the show [laughs]. Make It or Break It was a drama and Lauren Tanner had a lot of layers. She had a very vulnerable side, and I think as the show progressed, people were able to understand why she was so promiscuous and always causing trouble. There were a lot of things in her life that had caused her to be that way.
With my character on “Baby Daddy” [Heather], it’s a comedy. She just comes in right off the bat super snarky. It’s just one of those girls you’re like “Ugh, I can’t stand you!” [laughs].
Heather is just better than Riley in everything by a little bit and it’s really funny. There are just so many funny things that happen throughout the two episodes, but I would say they’re both very catty; yet, the difference is that on Make It or Break It, I was playing a much younger character. In this show, I’m playing a young attorney, and it is a little bit of an age difference and whatnot. It’s a comedy opposed to a drama, but it’s just another one of those fun catty characters that you just can’t help but to hate.
Q: How was it working with the “Baby Daddy” cast?
Cassie: I honestly had the best time! They are such a down-to-earth cast. They’re so much fun. I still keep in touch with all of them, I think they’re amazing. They’re like one big family. Definitely one of the most amazing casts I’ve ever worked with by far.
Q: How did your guest appearance on “Baby Daddy” get started?
Cassie: I actually had gone out for a bunch of auditions that week and they had all went really well, and I’d been waiting. I was waiting around like every actor does to hear feedback and to figure out if I booked one of these jobs. Then the phone rang and I was like “Oh, so which one was it, which one that I auditioned for” and they’re like “No, we actually have a different offer on the table,” and I think the fact that I’ve been a part of ABC Family for a couple years now, they just felt that I would fit this character really well and they had offered me the role. I didn’t actually audition for the role of Heather, but I was so excited when I got that phone call. I was like “Look at that, I’m sitting here around my phone wondering what on earth it’s going to be and it’s the one I didn’t audition for,” but I was so excited and it was such a surprise. I said yes right away because I already knew Chelsea and I love her. I think she’s an amazing girl. I was so excited to work with her and I was happy to be back on ABC Family.
Q: Do you prefer working on TV or films, since you’re really well rounded in both areas?
Cassie: It honestly just depends on the script. People sometimes ask would you rather pursue film in the future, is it going to be TV, and it’s honestly just whatever script comes along that intrigues me that I get to try something new and pursue a different character.
Q: How did the cast welcome you to the show?
Cassie: The first day on comedy you start off doing your table readout on Monday, and I had to come in so sick. I had food poisoning the night before, of course [laughs]. I walked in and thought “Oh my God, this is so embarrassing! It’s my first day here, I’m clearly ill & pale just trying to battle this terrible sickness [laughs],” and everybody was so welcoming. They were all asking if I needed anything to help me out. It was so good to see Chelsea. It was so fitting!
Because it’s ABC Family, there were a lot of the same people in the room. I know some of the executive producers very well, and our dialogue coach, Eva Charney was there. Also, the costume designer is the same costume designer for Make It or Break It. It felt so familiar to me because I had known a lot of the faces in the room, and then on top of it, everyone was just so welcoming. Everybody was so kind, and they’re just so fun. They’re just such a fun cast.
Q: Who was the biggest jokester on set?
Cassie: I think everybody is so funny on that set! Melissa Peterman, she’s so great with improv and she’s always throwing the most hilarious lines out there — especially during the live tapings. It’s such a different adrenaline rush, so some of these fun & different things come out. It’s really exciting and it’s obviously different from “Make It or Break It,” which is a drama. They’re both great, but it was just cool to try something different and to have this live audience. So many things are just so exciting, you have this adrenaline running.
I can’t think of specific moments, but we all had a great time. We would laugh constantly and try different things while shooting. There’s this one scene in my second episode, “The Bet”, where Ben is in a hospital bed and there’s one line he says that I lost it every single time [laughs]. It was even on the gag reel at the wrap party a couple weeks back. I could not keep it together. It’s just the little things with comedy and with live audiences that give you this rush.
Q: Are there any other acting genres you are hoping to get into?
Cassie: Yes, every genre if I can! I think that’s the best part about being an actor is that you get to step out of the box and try out all these different characters. You also learn so much about an array of people playing these different characters and researching how they would act in certain situations. I think that’s the beauty of acting. I would love to take on many different types of characters and roles.
I want to play the furthest thing from who I am, that’s always the most fun. That’s why I took those science fiction roles because they were just so fun and they were just so different. I finally get to play a tomboy – and mess with guns and sharks and random sea vampires, and I mean that’s what I think it’s all about. It’s just having fun, trying out different things. I would like to dabble in many different genres.
Q: Who has influenced you the most in acting?
Cassie: There’s so many! First of all, I don’t know any young actress who wouldn’t say Meryl Streep. She’s incredible. I would do anything to work with her, just to be on set and learn from her. I’m a big fan of Leonardo DiCaprio from his roles in “Titanic,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Gilbert Grape,” so definitely big fan of him. I love Ashley Judd.
I love some of these younger actresses out there that are so incredible. Blake Lively, she has had a great career path. I think it’s so cool the different things she’s done, going from “Gossip Girl,” which is a fun & younger audience with all of the clothes and teen drama — to “Savages and The Town” with the really gritty roles. There are so many.
Q: What was it like filming in front of a live studio audience?
Cassie: It’s so fun! My parents actually were in town visiting that weekend and they got to be there and watch right front and center. Your nerves are in knots, but it’s so exciting. It’s so different because you have a couple of takes, but just the fact that there are people watching you. It’s just really exciting.
You have the director, the producer, everyone behind the scenes and they’ll give you different notes here and there and you try different things out and it’s really exciting to do that in front of an audience. It makes it so much more fun to act just knowing that you’re entertaining people. It raises the bar a little bit and makes you a bit nervous but excited.
Q: What are some of your talents outside of acting?
Cassie: Sometimes it surprises people because I come off as this blonde, bubbly girly-girl, but I’m actually really into boxing. I’ve been boxing for seven years. That’s one of my favorite things to do, one of my favorite sports. Ever since I skydived two years ago for charity, I’ve been really into that. I love skydiving now. My mom hates the fact that I love it [laughs]. Oddly enough, my roommate is a professional skydiver, so I’m dabbling in that. It’s crazy but it’s so much fun. I did karate for a very long time. I was a high Brown Belt in Taekwondo. That sometimes surprises people, and another thing is I also played soccer for nine years. So, I’m actually kind of a tomboy underneath the girly appearance and the high heels.
Q: Do you have any other upcoming projects?
Cassie: As of now, it’s just pilot season. I’m just auditioning. There are a couple of great projects I’m crossing my fingers on that I’m really excited about. I’m on a cartoon on Disney Channel. It’s a new cartoon. It’s called “Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja” and it’s just so fun. It’s just a different thing, and you can go in your pajamas and just have some of the different voices. I play Heidi Weinerman.
I’m getting back into my music. I finally released a very simple fun cover video because I told my fans when I reached 100,000 followers on Twitter that I would. So, I released my first one and I look forward to continuously releasing some others.
Q: What are some of the hardest thing about adjusting from the east to west coasts?
Cassie: For me, it’s being away from my family. I have a very big Italian family. It’s like the Scerbos’ Sunday dinners. Every time my parents are in town, they cook a huge pot of sauce and a ton of meatballs and pasta and everyone’s like “Oh, can I come this Sunday, can I come!?” So, it’s just being away from my family and we have a lot of traditions and we’re a very close family. So, that’s hard for me.
It’s just a different pace too. California is a lot more laid back whereas—even though it’s the entertainment industry and all, but the vibe is way more laid back. On the East Coast, especially in New York, which is where I was born and I grew up part of my life before we moved to Florida, like every other New Yorker, New York is so fast paced. It’s just very different. So, I would say that would be the main difference really.
Q: Do you ever get the chance to visit the Disney parks in Florida?
Cassie: Yes! That was my favorite thing in the world was to go to Orlando and go to all the different parks and water parks. ABC Family had hooked it up and I spent my 22nd birthday there! I have loved Disney my whole life. So, I got my family and a couple friends out, and I just went there almost two years ago now for my 22nd birthday and had the best time. Ever since I was a kid I’ve been enjoying the parks.
Q: What’s your favorite Disney Park?
Cassie: I would say Magic Kingdom.
Q: What is your favorite Disney attraction or ride?
Cassie: I really love Space Mountain. It’s just so cool. It’s super dark with all the stars and I’m just really into all that.
Q: What is your favorite Disney character?
Cassie: If we’re going to do princesses, I’d have to say Belle. When you’re a little girl, you want to look like the princess that looks like you and I was always like the blonde little girl that just wanted to be Belle. I just wanted to be Belle. So, she’s always been my favorite.
Photo credit: ABC FAMILY/Bruce Birmelin