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Emily recently did a phone interview with The Canadian Press about her experiences on Brothers & Sisters. There’s also a very small bit about her role in the indie film ‘Norman’ towards the end of the article.
Emily VanCamp ‘terrified’ at first on set of ‘Brothers & Sisters’
by Bill Brioux
Joining a hit TV show after it has already begun is a bit like stepping into a moving car. Make that a speeding stretch limo in the case of 22-year-old Emily VanCamp and “Brothers & Sisters” (Sundays).
The Port Perry, Ont., native had shone as a troubled teen on executive producer Greg Berlanti’s previous family drama, “Everwood.” Suddenly, she was on a new show, thrust into scenes with as high-powered a cast as you can find on television, including series veterans Sally Field, Rachel Griffiths, Calista Flockhart, Patricia Wettig, Ron Rifkin, Matthew Rhys and Rob Lowe.
“I remember her first day on the set,” says Griffiths. “She had to do this whole speech. There’s me and Matt and Ron and Sally and Calista, and I’m sure she was so nervous. She gave a speech and walked out of the room and we all looked at each other and said, ‘She kind of nailed it.’ ”
“I was terrified the first couple of times I went on set,” VanCamp recalled in a phone interview this week.
Into its third season, the series is in production in Los Angeles.
“You just never know in this business,” says the actress, “but there really is no room for egos with the number of people that we have in the cast.”
“Brothers & Sisters” is the story of the Walker clan, a diverse, affluent and sometimes combative Pasadena, Calif., family held together by strong-willed matriarch Nora (Field). VanCamp’s character, Rebecca, was introduced during the first season as the secret love child of deceased patriarch William (Tom Skerritt, seen only in the pilot) and his mistress, Holly Harper (Wettig).
Toward the end of last season, it was revealed through a blood test that Rebecca was actually the daughter of Harper and her former flame David (Ken Olin, married to Wettig in real life and one of the creators of “Brothers & Sisters”).
“It’s so much fun, I adore their family,” says VanCamp of working with Wettig and Olin (and their son, Cliff, a story editor on the series).
The real-life family atmosphere extends throughout the set, where stars like Griffiths and Flockhart are more focused on their own young families than any driving career ambitions. It all makes “Brothers & Sisters” a happy set, says VanCamp.
“It’s nothing like what people would expect, that’s for sure,” she says. “Everyone is loving and kind to one another. I really lucked out.”
All of the drama is on-screen, especially this season between Rebecca and the Walkers’ black sheep son Justin (played by Dave Annable). At first, Rebecca and Justin thought they were half brother and sister, so their attraction toward one another seemed a little creepy, agreed VanCamp.
“People had a really hard time disconnecting from that idea,” she says, although they essentially had only known each other for about a year. “It’s not like they were taking baths together as children.”
Besides Rebecca and Justin’s storyline heating up this season, Rebecca will find herself drawn to the latest love child to enter the Walker mix. The new character, Ryan, will be introduced later this season (as will the actor who plays him). He’s the product of another extra-marital tryst between busy William Walker and another lover.
“Rebecca will be helping (Ryan) through his journey with the family because, let’s face it, she’s been through this,” says VanCamp.
Maybe the actress will also give the new actor lessons on stepping on board a moving limo.
Besides stepping off for a little R&R back home in Port Perry this summer (VanCamp says she tries to fly home as often as possible), the actress squeezed in time to shoot an independent feature. “Norman,” due next year, was directed by Jonathan Segal.
“I play a very flighty, free-spirited high schooler who falls in love with the nerdy kid at school who is pretending to be dying of cancer,” she says.
“It was a really bizarre, quirky, cool little film,” says VanCamp, who welcomes any opportunity to change things up.
“It’s all about challenging yourself,” she says. “If I don’t feel challenged, I don’t really see the point.”
Source: The Canadian Press