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Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

This is an interview that took place on June 16, 2014 with Haley Ramm from Chasing Life.

Chasing Life

Question:
How does the relationship between Brenna and Greer progress through the season?

Haley Ramm:
It's definitely progressing! I'm looking back on filming those episodes; it was really fun to see how they were leading up to what was going to happen. It was like every episode it was almost going to happen, and then in the sixth episode it was really almost going to happen, and then seventh it finally happened. I think a lot of people were really happy about it, and that made me really excited. It's a really fun TV relationship to be a part of, just to play a young girl who is going through that and is trying to figure out herself and her sexuality. It's really cool to be that voice for younger teens. Hopefully if someone is watching it and they don't feel comfortable or sure of who they are, they'll watch it and know they aren't alone.

Question:
What's been the reaction from the LGBT community? How does it feel to be a bit of representation and role model for that community?

Haley Ramm:
The LGBT response has been so exciting and so supportive. I love how much they love this relationship. They're all so sweet; they're all so nice. That's the best thing about it because sometimes when you get responses from people over the internet, people can be mean because they're hiding behind a computer and they say mean things, but this is the opposite. There's so much love; it's a really great response.

Question:
Are we going to see Brenna's reluctancy to relationship labels change throughout the season?

Haley Ramm:
She's never really too pressured by putting a label on anything. The thing that I love about Brenna is she really makes it clear that she is bisexual. She doesn't need to be anything so she doesn't attach herself to anything. It's really cool that she can be a free bird like that. I think everyone wants to be a little bit like that.

Question:
Do you think the writers were conscious of turning that lesbian dynamic upside down? Has it been fun a dichotomy to explore?

Haley Ramm:
I think the writers avoid any stereotypes, which I love. It's a great show about people being themselves, and doing their thing. I do like that they didn't stereotype Brenna and Greer in that way.

Question:
What do you find most challenging about playing Brenna?

Haley Ramm:
I think the most challenging thing about playing Brenna is I've never really been through a rebellious phase like that. I was home schooled as a teenager because of acting so I didn't go to high school and I didn't have those experiences, so that part can be kind of hard sometimes. I think that would be the most challenging part.

She's a really fun character to get to play, and the dramatic scenes are hard sometimes because of the subject matter of dealing with cancer and how emotional that can be. I think that, especially in Episode 5, the scene where our family confronts April and wants to know what's happening, that was really hard. Scenes like that where we're all together and it's really emotional, you can only think what it would be like to be in that situation and a lot of us have been in that situation. Either going back to our experiences with that, or making it up; I think that both of them are hard.

Question:
How are you the most like and the least like your character?

Haley Ramm:
I am most like Brenna because I can be a little disorganized, just a little bit. I forget things; I don't completely have it together yet. I am least like Brenna in a way that I didn't go to high school.

Question:
Is Brenna going to continue on this straight & narrow path that she's been on since finding out about April? Or is she going to fall back into her more mischievous ways?

Haley Ramm:
I don't think she's going to be entirely straight and narrow path, but she definitely does step up for her family. Before I knew where any of the scripts were going I thought maybe they would send her down an even darker path since she was a little rough to begin with, but they didn't. She keeps stepping up for her family, and I think a situation like that really makes you realize the important things in life, and not to dwell on the little things. Even her little high school problems, she doesn't really see as big problems anymore. She can get past it because there's more to life than those little mundane dramas.

Question:
What inspired you to audition for this wonderful show Chasing Life?

Haley Ramm:
When I went in for the audition I really didn't know much about it. When you go into any audition you just know what they've given you, and I didn't have the script yet so I didn't know that part of it. I had a couple of pages of dialogue, and made it up. I knew the story, I knew that my sister was going to have cancer, and she finds out in the first episode. You really don't know much in the audition so you just do what you can and then you get the call back and I got the script so I read the script and absolutely loved it.

I tried not to get too excited about it because that's happened in the past, where you get too excited about a project and it just doesn't work out. I worked really hard on it, and tried not to get too attached, but went in and went to my call back and then found out that I was testing. When you find out that you're testing you can't help but get a little bit excited, especially if you love the script as much as I did. When I found out that I got it I was just so excited, but once again, you only have that one script so you don't know where your character is going. Immediately after I got it I was just filled with questions. I wanted to know more about Brenna!

Question:
Are we going to see more of Brenna and April's half sister Natalie throughout the season?

Haley Ramm:
Natalie will come around a lot more. She will cause problems, but not with everyone. When we first got to know Brenna, nobody really loved her that much. She was kind of annoying, bratty teenager and I think that Natalie's kind of the same way. One of my favorite things about watching the show is getting to know all of the other characters, and see how they unfold. I don't see the other stuff that they film, I'm not there when they're filming it so I like to watch it as a fan. I like seeing the other characters and where they're going.

Question:
What did you draw on for the compassion that your character Benna shows for her sister when she is diagnosed, when she undergoes a procedure and with some really strong care giver thinking about April's treatment down the road?

Haley Ramm:
I watched my aunt take care of my uncle. I helped take care of my mom after surgery. I can't imagine anyone not being compelled to do all they can when someone they love is fighting cancer.

Question:
Have you had the chance, or would you like to have the opportunity to share what you've learn about cancer care giving with others who are in that situation or to learn from them?

Haley Ramm:
I would love to hear true accounts of caregivers. I'm incredibly inspired by the caregiver heroes out there and I know there are millions of them.

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