Like many girls growing up, Christa B. Allen knew at a very young age that she wanted to be an actor. Unlike many girls growing up, Allen’s dream actually became a reality. Which is precisely why following her big break that found her cast as a young Jennifer Garner in 13 Going on 30, not to mention a handful of guest spots on everything from THE SUITE LIFE ON DECK to WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE Allen’s tenacity and talent has paid off, resulting in her latest gig that has her playing Charlotte Grayson on the hit ABC series REVENGE. So just what is it like to be one of the stars on a hit show, and what’s in store for the complicated daughter of scheming matriarch Victoria Grayson (Madeline Stowe) as the Fall’s most addictive nighttime sudser kicks it up a notch? Find out for yourself in our exclusive Q&A after the jump.
REVENGE has quickly become one of the Fall’s most buzzed-about new shows, did you have any idea it would catch on like it has?
Christa B. Allen: As a person in this industry, I’m sure you’re familiar with how TV works and how fickle they [Networks] can be with what they decided to keep on the air or what they decide to air as at all. So none of us knew but I personally had a feeling from the moment I picked up the pilot script because the a characters are so well fleshed out, the writing is so good and the story lines are so intriguing.
Is it challenging working on a show that is so shrouded in mystery. One imagines it’s hard walking around with all these secrets knowing you know everything!
Oh absolutely! People are hounding me all the time for information and it’s so hard because I have to keep track of what everybody’s seen because I know the future!
Well, on the subject of the future, your character of Charlotte Grayson is dating a boy from the wrong side of the tracks [Connor Paulo's Declan Porter]. What kind of struggles will she face as she’s drawn further from her parents world of wealth and power?
The beautiful thing about Charlotte is that while she has come from this incredibly wealthy and powerful background, she still has a good sense of reality and a good head on her shoulders. And I think that’s part of the reason she’s so attracted to this boy from the docks, Declan, because he is a genuinely caring person. Any individual who’s treated that way and cared about by one person while being treated the way Victoria [Charlotte's mother] treats her, it’s kind of easy to choose.
Is Charlotte and Declan’s road to happily-ever-after going to be a rocky one?
Charlotte and Declan are just kind of finding their footing and as with any young budding romance when you’re 17 it’s all kind of new and exciting as they figure it out with another person. Charlotte’s had Adam and the artificial relationship before but I think this is the first guy she truly cares about.
On the subject of Charlotte’s mother, how much did REVENGE creator Mike Kelley fill you in on the true nature of the mother-daughter relationship before hand?
We talked about the dynamic and how things were going to get tense between them, but I had no idea it would get that difficult and that tough. For any kid to hear that your parents didn’t want you or doesn’t want you is pretty much the most painful thing you can hear because all we want is our parents love and acceptance and that’s the revelation she doesn’t have it… it was hard for Charlotte to hear.
That being said, would it be safe to assume that as Emily continues her plan for revenge against the Grayson family, she might find an unexpected ally in Charlotte?
[Long Pause!] I’d say that is not a completely outlandish assumption. it hasn’t been revealed yet but there is a certainly a direction that I’ve thought about it taking.
As someone who spent a lot of time trying to pry answers out of actors who are extremely tight-lipped about future story lines we’ve always been curious, in this new age of social media, do Producers and Showrunners sit casts down and formally go over things like what not to Tweet or share on set?
Absolutely! it’s something that is written at the beginning of every script, it’s talked about nearly every day. From the makeup trailer to the sets to the production office, it’s something that’s constantly on everybody’s. mind. With technology these days, everything is so in your face and so easily accessible that if one thing leaks the whole world can know within a matter of minutes. So everyone has to be really careful and stay on top of where we are in airing the episodes and what people know. After-all, we all really care about protecting our stories so no one has leaked anything yet. Will Emily get her revenge? What’s going to happen with the body on the beach? Who’s safe and not safe? We have a lot of things to protect.
Since you understandably can’t talk too much about what’s going to happen to your character, perhaps you can talk about what you’d like to see for Charlotte. Putting on your writer’s cap on for a moment, where would you like to see the character taken?
I would just like to see for Charlotte to finally have some freedom from Victoria’s tyrannical reign and feel like her own person. One that doesn’t have to answer to anyone and is free to explore a relationship with a boy from the docks.
As someone who has very much enjoyed watching Emily Van Camp’s career take off since her days on EVERWOOD, what’s the experience been like watching her handle everything that comes with being the star of a hit TV show?
I see like “Em” like a big sister. We have a lot of the same values and morales and we really relate on a lot of stuff. I’m so happy that the show has been what it is for her because if anyone in Hollywood deserves it, it’s Emily. She’s so talented and so grounded and such a good person.
And finally, as a young actress who dreamed from an early age about getting the opportunity to star on a hit TV show, what has been the most exciting aspect about the experience thus far?
The best part are the phone calls that I get Thursday morning from people saying, “Oh my God that was such an amazing episode, I’m so hooked on the story!” When people start to put their hearts into it, actually become involved and start caring about the characters that’s such a reward. When people begin to identity what what Charlotte’s going through it makes me feel like our work is not in vain and we’re connecting with people.
REVENGE airs Wednesdays at 10PM on ABC (CityTV in Canada) and stars Emily VanCamp, Josh Bownman, Christa B. Allen, Charlotte Grayson, Madeleine Stowe, Henry Czerny, Ashley Dvaenport, Nick Wechsler, Gabriel Mann and Connor Paolo. Catch up on past episodes you may have missed for free online at clicktowatch.tv