Pro­file Vanessa Marano

Af­ter start­ing her ca­reer play­ing a nerd on the Gil­more Girls, this star is now en­joy­ing be­ing the rock chick with a string of cute co-stars, writes Anooska Tucker-Evans.

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - CELEBRITY -

WHEN Vanessa Marano took the role on FOX8 se­ries Switched At Birth she not only had to learn her lines but also an­other lan­guage.

The se­ries fol­lows two teenage girls – Bay (Marano) and Daphne (Katie Le­clerc) – who dis­cover they were switched at birth and must get to know their bi­o­log­i­cal fam­i­lies. Mak­ing the sit­u­a­tion even more com­pli­cated is that Daphne is deaf.

‘‘I didn’t re­alise how in­no­va­tive and dif­fer­ent the show was un­til I did the ta­ble read and saw sign lan­guage be­ing used and that was in­cred­i­ble,’’ Marano says. Sign lan­guage is a prom­i­nent part of the pro­duc­tion with Daphne and her mother, Regina (Con­stance Marie) both com­mu­ni­cat­ing flu­ently in it.

While Le­clerc al­ready knew sign lan­guage go­ing into the part, Marano was made to learn on set.

‘‘I was not ex­pect­ing that to hap­pen,’’ she says. ‘‘Dur­ing the first two episodes my char­ac­ter did not know sign lan­guage and then about episode six they (the pro­duc­ers) were like, ‘Oh Vanessa, you’re go­ing to be learn­ing sign lan­guage now’, and I was like, ‘What?’.’’

And it was far from easy, Marano ad­mits, de­spite hav­ing a team of sign lan­guage masters on set.

‘‘What was nice about it, though, is that my char­ac­ter was learn­ing so I could be as awkward and un­com­fort­able as I am in real life with it,’’ she says with a laugh.

While learn­ing sign has been dif­fi­cult, eas­ing the ac­tress’s pain has been the end­less pa­rade of boys her char­ac­ter gets to date.

As a tough, al­ter­na­tive rock chick with a cool ex­te­rior, Bay is a favourite with the blokes, which means Marano gets to kiss plenty of her co-stars.

‘‘Life’s hard some­times but I power through,’’ Marano laughs.

‘‘My char­ac­ter goes through the boys pretty quickly. But that’s the thing, it’s a fam­ily show but it’s also a mother-daugh­ter show and mothers and daugh­ters, and fe­males in gen­eral, if we can keep the good look­ing men com­ing, then why not?’’

Play­ing a sexy teenager, who’s a hit with the gents has also been a nice change for the ac­tress, who is prob­a­bly best known for play­ing the dorky daugh­ter of diner owner Luke in hit se­ries Gil­more Girls.

‘‘For the au­di­tions for Gil­more Girls they de­scribed the char­ac­ter as ‘quirky’ so I went to a phar­macy and bought th­ese red glasses that were re­ally dorky and I got an aw­ful sweater and rat­ted my hair out and put it in a pony­tail and they hired me for that, which was great. I cre­ated a char­ac­ter which was so cool to be able to do.’’

It was ex­tra spe­cial for the young ac­tress as the show was also her favourite.

‘‘I loved that show. I lit­er­ally got on that set and ran around with a cam­era and started tak­ing pic­tures of Stars Hol­low ev­ery time they yelled cut,’’ she says. ‘‘I was so ex­cited to be there.’’

But play­ing the res­i­dent nerd was a bless­ing and a curse, with the ac­tress stereo­typed as a dork for al­most her en­tire ado­les­cence. Not that she minded much, though.

‘‘I will be what­ever any­body wants me to be,’’ she says. ‘‘If they want me to be glamorous, aces. If they want me to be dis­gust­ing, I will do that too.’’

Her new gig also has its perks though. ‘‘The most fan­tas­tic thing about this show is that ev­ery­one gets along and that’s just so nice,’’ she says.

‘‘I’ve been on shows where peo­ple didn’t re­ally get along, I’ve been on shows where peo­ple hated each other, I’ve been on shows where peo­ple have adored each other.

‘‘It’s nice to be do­ing a show that is do­ing well and that peo­ple are en­joy­ing, but to ac­tu­ally en­joy go­ing to work . . . I’m so thank­ful I’m on a show that I en­joy the com­pany of ev­ery­one I work with.’’

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