We had the great pleasure of visiting with Haley Ramm from ABC Family’s “Chasing Life” at the end of February 2015, and can I say, she is just a super sweet girl!
Miss Haley dished on her character Brenna and what we can expect in upcoming episodes, especially her relationships with family and friends. Also, Haley revealed which episode has been her favorite to film, what her relationship is like with Italia Ricci off set and so much more.
Be sure to tune in to watch Haley this Monday (March 9, 2015) in a brand new episode on ABC Family!
Take a peek:
Q: Can you talk a little bit about where the relationship between Brenna and Greer is headed?
Haley: They’re not romantic at the time, but I think that no matter what happens between Brenna and Greer, whether it does go romantic again or if it doesn’t, they’re always going to be friends because they’ve confided in each other a lot at this point; and they’re holding each other’s secrets, which is really sweet and I think it’s bonded them together. So no matter what, I think they’re going to be on good terms.
Q: What was your reaction when you found out about Brenna’s terminated pregnancy and the origins of her friendship with Ford?
Haley: It made a lot of sense to me. I thought it was a really interesting path to go down because it explained a lot about why Brenna was the way she was in the beginning. We like to bring up topics, serious topics like that, on the show and I think that’s great because there are people going through those situations that we portray on TV everyday; and for people to be able to turn on the TV and feel like they can relate in a situation where they would normally feel alone, is my favorite part.
Q: How does it feel to be part of a show that raises such great awareness around the cancer community?
Haley: It feels so wonderful. I myself have been around family members that have been affected by cancer and I know what it’s like to be on the caretaking side of it all. Just to have a show where, like I said, people can turn on the TV and feel like they’re not alone and they’re relatable is really cool, so I’m happy, very happy. I feel very lucky to be on a show about topics that are very real.
Q: How do you get into character before you film? Is it just as emotional for you to act in the show as it is for us to watch?
Haley: I really think that the whole cast and crew makes it feel very natural, so walking onto the set feels awesome. I walk into the bedroom they built for me and the set decoration is just so good that I honestly feel like I’m 17 years old sitting in my bedroom [laughs]. If I have a scene with Italia [Ricci], we have a sisterly connection, so it all comes very naturally. We just have good vibes!
Q: Do you think Brenna is over her “wild child” phase that fans saw so much of in the beginning of Chasing Life?
Haley: I don’t think Brenna is done with her young wild, reckless phase quite yet. She’s still in high school, so she’s going to rebel a little bit more. And especially having Natalie around, who knows what kind of influence she is going to have on Brenna. Her path has changed a lot since the beginning because of April’s cancer and it forced her to step up and mature and help out the family a little bit more. But I don’t think that she’s goody, goody forever, but she always means well.
Q: Can you talk about the relationship between Brenna and her half-sister Natalie? Is that heading in a good direction?
Haley: I think that it’s a good relationship to Brenna because she sees herself in Natalie. April and Brenna are so opposite from each other, she can relate to Natalie more than she does to April, but Natalie might be influencing Brenna in a not-so-great way. In the next episode, Sara is going to try to get Brenna to take school more seriously because college is right around the corner and there are no signs of Brenna backing down — and Natalie isn’t helping the situation.
Q: Do you personally have any similarities to your character [Brenna]?
Haley: As I mentioned, Brenna can rebel a lot but she always means well! I can rebel a little bit like Brenna, but not nearly as much. What we have in common, is my mom went through a cancer stage. Just going through that and not knowing what’s going to happen and having questions in your head and worrying about someone who you love so much, I think that that’s the biggest that we have in common, so that part of the character wasn’t a struggle to get into.
Q: What has been your favorite episode to film so far?
Haley: My favorite episode, that is so hard, there are so many! The finale is really great, actually the next three episodes; the last episodes I think were my favorite. I don’t know if that’s because they’re the ones that are most fresh in my mind, but a lot of great stuff happens.
Q: What’s the dynamic like on set with covering such heavy topics?
Haley: It’s pretty relaxed on set and everyone keeps to themselves if we have a dramatic scene, but everyone is super respectful. The crew is just amazing for being so respectful when we have our dramatic scenes, and doing their job quietly, which is hard because they work so hard. It’s hard to carry like 100 pound items around quietly, but they do, so we all really appreciate that [laughs]. Everyone works together so well, so our chemistry I think comes naturally because we’re all really fond of each other in real life.
Q: What is it about the show that draws in high school viewers?
Haley: Brenna draws in the high school part of our viewers because she’s in high school and she’s just your average 16, 17 year old girl trying to figure it out and trying to get herself out and her sexual identity and who she is. I feel very happy to play a character who’s comfortable with themselves and to hear the feedback that I’ve gotten on social media about real life “Brenna’s” has been amazing. There’s this girl who tweeted me saying that she wouldn’t have met her girlfriend if it wasn’t for watching Chasing Life and that just melted my heart.
Q: What is your relationship like with Italia off set? Are you two as close as you are on the show?
Haley: Yes, everyone is super close. There’s really no outcasts [laughs]. She does feel like an older sister to me. Every time we’re filming in Boston and we go shopping together, she gives me her shopping advice and I’ll give her mine, too. It’s funny when she tells me that I shouldn’t wear something because it comes from an older sister place, which is really sweet.
Q: Are you personally team Lapril [Leo and April] or Dapril [Dominic and April]?
Haley: I don’t know! I want to say Dominic just because he was there in the beginning and you want to root for the first guy when things don’t go his way. But then Leo is so charming. I can’t pick between the two guys!
Q: Do you have any teasers for upcoming episodes that you’re able to share with viewers?
Haley: Yes, as far as Brenna goes, she’s going to start thinking about college soon and having Natalie in town isn’t the best influence for her. So at the end of an episode, Brenna does make a decision about school that’s a very “Brenna decision” [laughs].
Q: Do you think the fans will be happy with how the season ends?
Haley: Yes I do, in some ways. But I think the topics that we’re dealing with are very true to life and sometimes life doesn’t go your way or the way that you hope that it would go, so I think that I would just compare it to life in general. There are parts people are going to be happy with and parts that are going to keep people watching next season; so many questions!
Q: When do you actually start filming season two?
Haley: We start in March, mid-March.
Q: Do you think there’s a chance it could get more episodes for season two?
Haley: As of right now, I know that we’re at 13 episodes, but I know all of us would be over the moon to do more, so fingers crossed!
Q: Who’s the funniest person to work with on the set of Chasing Life?
Haley: Probably Aisha Dee or Richie Brancatisano, both of them. I don’t know if it’s because they’re Australian [laughs], they have this certain personality that’s so different and hilarious, especially Richie. He can be such a goof ball, like have you in stitches and then when he knows that he’s got you laughing, he doesn’t stop, so then you feel like you’re going to throw up because you’re laughing so hard! And Aisha, of course, she makes me laugh on a day to day basis, we talk almost every day.
Q: If you could have a guest star on the show, who would it be if you could pick anybody?
Haley: I think Kristen Bell would be really cool. I think that she’s a cool person!
Q: How do you think that the girls will react if and when they find out about their mom and George?
Haley: I think it would be a mixture of every emotion possible. I think there would be confusion and lots of questions. Maybe Brenna would find it hilarious [laughs].
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time when you aren’t acting?
Haley: I love to write! I don’t write seriously, but I just write for myself and for fun. Maybe one day I’ll turn it into something serious. Hiking is really fun. I’m thinking about getting into water coloring. I thought of how much I loved it as a kid and I think it would be a cool adult activity, so that’s going to be my next venture.
Q: Besides Chasing Life, what other TV shows are you currently watching?
Haley: I just finished Transparent and I loved that. I thought it was so great and such an important topic — how we cover being bisexual and transgendered, is along those lines, so I thought that everyone was talking about these topics. Also The Comeback, I’m finishing the second season of that and it’s making me laugh so hard.
Q: Can you talk about the expectations Brenna has on her from her sister and family?
Haley: Brenna comes from a family of very successful people. Her mom is a therapist. Her dad was a famous writer and April is well on her way to doing the same as her dad, so I think that she’s the black sheep in a way. Not that she’s not accepted by her family, because they’re so loving and sweet and understanding, but she definitely is different and I think is more artistic and free spirited, which she gets from her mom. It’s just like what I think every time Mary Page [Keller] walks onto set as Sara, she just looks like a total free spirit. The expectations are building up and we’ll be seeing a lot of in next week’s episode. I think that no matter what, Brenna is going to handle these situations in her own way; and she’s lucky that she has her family behind her. As much pressure as they can put on her, they’re going to love her no matter what and support her. They love her differences — especially Grandma. I think that Grandma and Brenna should like go clubbing or something [laughs]. Grandma always sticks up for Brenna. I think that Grandma was a lot like Brenna when she was younger.
Q: Do you watch the show every week? And if you do, who do you watch it with?
Haley: Yes, I do! The past few weeks I’ve been watching with Abhi [Sinha] who plays Danny at his house because he gets the East Coast feed — So if I watch the East Coast feed, I can tweet it. But other than that, actually I have a cable guy installing cable in my place right now, so I don’t have to go over to my parents’ house or Abhi’s house when it airs.
Q: If you could play another character on the Chasing Life, who would you want to play and why?
Haley: I don’t know if I could play another character, just because I love Brenna so much [laughs]. I think Beth is a really fun character and Aisha Dee does such a great job playing her. She brings that fun, funky energy, so I think she’s one of my favorite characters to watch.
Be sure to tune in to a new episode of “Chasing Life” on Monday, March 9 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT!
Photo credit: ABC FAMILY/Craig Sjodin