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Q&A with Beverley Mitchell for ‘The Secret Life of the American Teenager’

Beverly Mitchell from 7th Heaven, guest stars on ‘The Secret Life of the American Teenager’. We had the chance to participate in a Q&A with her where reporters asked her questions about the show and her new role as the new guidance counselor, Katelyn O’Malley.

Here are a few of the questions and answers we thought you guys would be interested in.

Q: What has it been like on set with a lot of the same crew from 7th Heaven there?

Beverly: It has been absolutely amazing.  Everytime I get to go back to work at Secret Life, it’s like coming home.  So many of those crewmembers are like family to me.  So, it’s been a lot of fun.  It’s a very rare thing to happen in Hollywood, so I am blessed everytime I get to go play.

Q: Tell me a little bit about your take on the show and its content.  What made you interested in joining the cast?

B: Secret Life is such an amazing show, and it definitely is a little bit grittier than 7th Heaven and deals with much more mature content, but I think it still does it in a nice way where it’s something that teens are dealing with now.  It’s current.  It’s exactly what teenagers and young people are seeing in their schools.  It’s relevant, and I think it was a great opportunity for me to bounce back into TV and be a part of something great that’s touching people.  I was absolutely thrilled when Brenda called me and invited me on.  Everyone is so welcoming and kind, and the show’s great.  We had huge numbers on Monday, and I’m just so honored to be a part of it.

Q: What excites you about playing your character?  Were there any struggles or concerns or did research have to go into your character?

B: To be honest, I felt very at home with Katelyn.  She’s a girl who’s fresh out of college and so excited to come in and touch the lives of young people, which I can completely relate to.  So, it was really fun and not a lot of research.  It was just a girl who wants the best for the young people around her and just trying to make a difference in the world.  I could definitely relate to that.  So, it was pretty easy to step into Katelyn’s shoes.

Q: I’m so hoping you could talk a little bit more about how long we’re expected to see you on the show for.  Is it through the whole season?  Will there be another season?  A lot of the counselors have been rotating in and out throughout the course of the show.

B: Well I can tell you so far, I’m getting ready to shoot my 8th episode.  So, I’m filtered in and out of the season, and you definitely haven’t seen the last of me yet, which is great, and so much fun.  I never know what she’s going to be up to next, which is always exciting to get the next script and see what’s going on with Katelyn.

Q: I just want to know what a typical day is like on the Secret Life set.

B: Typical day, well usually for me, when I’m working, I’m usually the first up, so I’m usually at work by six, which is great.  I go get an amazing breakfast and get to hang out with the amazing makeup and hair department, who are just dear friends.  Of course, then we rehearse, and usually—this is one of the most efficient crews I have ever had the pleasure of working with—we can take a huge 10-page day and hammer it out so quickly and so efficiently, and we have so much fun doing it.

What’s cool is, there’s a lot of people—nobody’s going back to their trailer and being all by themselves.  Everybody’s talking, conversing, and having fun and catching up because it’s definitely like a family.  It’s just such a pleasure to be able to come onto a set and feel so comfortable and to feel at ease and to feel loved and wanted.  Usually for me, the day always ends with my dear crew singing Happy Birthday to me to make me embarrassed and humiliate me because that has been going on since the 7th Heaven days.  So, years of my birthdays, by this time I’m like 200 years old.

Q: If you could bring back yet another 7th Heaven actor on the Secret Life, who would it be?

B: That’s a hard one.  That’s a really hard one because I love everybody.  You totally stumped me.  Maybe David Gallagher, because David—one, he’s just one of the most phenomenally talented people, and I think he would fit in very well with the whole Secret Life group.  Except for now, he’s kind of gone very scruffy, so he’s kind of the bad boy lately, which actually could be fun.

Q: When young actors and actresses starting out on a show or in the business about the age you were when you started 7th Heaven , what advice would you give to them today since you’ve essentially grew up in front of the camera?

B: I think my biggest advice for young people is to not get caught up in the hubbub around actors and this praising that goes on.  I feel like being a young teen, you can easily take that and your ego can blow up, but I know that my mom always kept me super grounded.  My friends were the same friends that I had before 7th Heaven, and I still am best friends with all of them now.

I knew what was real and what was fake, and that was easy to discern for me, and I always grounded myself in what was real.  And 7th Heaven was a job for me, but it didn’t make me any better than my friends who were studying at school, and I think that made a big difference.  I’ve never fallen into the Hollywood trap, but I also had a phenomenal mom who was ready to knock me down if I ever thought I was too cool to do my chores or to clean up after the dogs.

So, my life never—it’s changed only in the fact that the hours of the day I was at work, but when I went home, I still had rules.  I still had chores, and I still had to get good grades and do my school work.  My mom always said she’s not going to lose her daughter to the business, and she didn’t.  I really feel like parents need to be strong and to not treat their kids any different just because they’re in Hollywood, doesn’t give them license to do whatever they want.

Q: How is working on Secret Life different from working on the 7th Heaven set.

B: I think the biggest change would just be, obviously, the cast is entirely different and so the dynamic between cast is a little different, but it’s awesome and everyone is so amazing.  Obviously, with 7th Heaven, after working with 11 years, you are so close to the characters and so close to the people, there’s a comfort there.  What’s fun about Secret Life is it’s new and it’s fresh and it’s exciting, and everytime I go to work I’m excited to see whoever I’m working with and to connect in a different way.  Because the cast is so big, everytime I come, I’m meeting someone new and learning a little bit more about the bigger family, which is awesome.  So, I guess I would say that’s the biggest change because, obviously, having a lot of the same crew, I fall back into hanging out and chatting about the same things that I used to chat with the crew on 7th Heaven. So, I think the cast dynamic would be the biggest change.

Q: Since you’re a guidance counselor on the show, do you have any advice for fans of Secret Life and really kind of high schoolers who watch the show?

B: My biggest advice for anyone, actually it applies to I think everyone, is just to be nice to one another and to just stay true to yourself, and that being said just still being a good person.  I have always lived by the golden rule like do unto others as you want done unto you.  Anytime someone’s mean to me and I want to fire back with something, I just take a deep breath and realize that just because someone said something to me doesn’t mean that I need to retaliate or say something back.  Being the bigger person is a much harder thing to do, but it’s far more rewarding, and in the long run, you will be very pleased with your outcome, and you’ll have no regrets.  I think that’s a big thing.

Q: Who is your biggest TV crush?

B: You’re trying to get me in trouble with my husband.  Biggest TV crush?  I don’t even know.  I’m trying to think of all my favorite TV shows.  I guess I’d have to say Eric Dane.  He’s the first one that came to me.

Q: If you could change one thing about Secret Life, what would it be?

B: Okay, that’s not that hard.  I’d be on every episode.  I’ll just be selfish and say that.

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