In the magical world of Katie Leclerc, life has delivered her the role of a lifetime. Playing Daphne Vasquez on the ABC Family series SWITCHED AT BIRTH, Katie is able to stretch her creative acting wings while portraying a young deaf teenager. Having been diagnosed herself with Meniere’s disease, which causes fluctuating hearing loss, the role is something very close to Katie’s heart.
Briefly sharing what drew her to the role of Daphne, Katie said that she responded to a nationwide casting call and she was just lucky enough to land the role. What initially drew her to the role was Daphne’s incredible strength. She said, “Daphne’s the strongest person I’ve ever been able to play and I love that she is such a challenging role.” In fact, in elaborating on the challenge of the role, Katie confessed, “I’ve never been more challenged than by playing Daphne. I’ve got to hit the marks — while trying to be deaf. I’m challenged every day and it’s great!”
In describing what it is like to work with her co-stars D.W. Moffett, Constance Marie, Vanessa Marano and Lea Thompson, Katie was quick to share that over the past few months that the experience of working so closely with them has made them a “family.” She happily added, “We laugh more than anything, and Vanessa and I have become really close.”
Sharing one particularly fun or funny scene from SWITCHED AT BIRTH, Katie said, “One night we shot until 1:30 a.m. — it was one of the best days of my life. Everyone’s dog-tired and everything became funny at the same time. We were giddy and couldn’t stop laughing. We were on top of the world!”
As to her experience of working with so many talented and very attractive young men on the show, such as Charles Michael Davis, Blair Redford and Sean Berdy, Katie laughingly admitted, “ABC Family knows how to hire good-looking men! You just look at Blair and melt; and Charles is the smoothest person I’ve ever talked to.” She also said that Austin Butler (formerly of “Life Unexpected” and “Ruby & the Rockits”) was also joining the show, thereby ratcheting up the “hot” quotient a bit higher for the already swooning young teens watching the series.
Because Daphne is an avid basketball player on the show, Katie revealed that she has played basketball since she was 6 years old. In fact, for a better part of a decade, it was her primary athletic activity. But in high school, she finally had to choose between her love of basketball and acting and, while acting won that round, she is delighted that she found a role that allows her to play a bit of the sport she loves.
Talking a bit about the complexities of Daphne’s life now that she and her mother are living with the Kennish’s (her biological parents) and whether Daphne will start to show some stress-signs from the unusual living situation and the pressure to now meet the expectations of so many parents in her life, Katie admitted that while Bay (played by Vanessa Marano) “takes the lead on the rebellious phase, it is hard for anyone to have to go through this being deaf.” By far the one thing Katie admires the most about her character is, “[Daphne’s] never the victim of her hearing loss.” In her mind, Daphne is a hero by embracing her life and having such a positive view on life.
Katie is also really proud that Daphne has adopted some of her heritage. She explained, “[Daphne] has a subtle Puerto Rican flair. Her grandmother would talk in Spanish, so Daphne learned Spanish through reading her lips. So, I guess you could say, she’s tri-lingual!”
In teasing what to look forward to next on the show, Katie revealed that not only is Austin Butler going to be on the show, but to keep an eye out for the reveal of who Bay’s birth father is.
Finally, when asked if she had another upcoming projects that she is looking forward to, Katie laughed and said, “Right now I’m staying focused and look forward to seeing what happens!” With the overnight success and popularity of SWITCHED AT BIRTH, Katie is undoubtedly going to have her hands full and a lot to keep her busy.
To see more of Katie’s extraordinary performance as Daphne in SWITCHED AT BIRTH, tune in Monday nights at 9:00 p.m. on ABC Family. If you’re not already riveted by this heart-warming tale, you will be!
Tiffany Vogt is a contributing writer to TheTVAddict. She has a great love for television and firmly believes that entertainment is a world of wondrous adventures that deserves to be shared and explored – she invites you to join her. Please feel free to contact Tiffany at Tiffany_Vogt_2000@yahoo.com or follow her at on Twitter (@TVWatchtower).