Interview With Actress Brianne Davis, “SIX”

By Ruth on September 13, 2017 in Interview, movie, television
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While it might seem a bit unusual, on occasion, I savor the joy of discovery through “Twitter scavenger hunts” in which I explore new projects and actors. In the case of Brianne Davis, although officially I had been following her work for some time, I had not investigated her works in detail. When I discovered that her star was on the steady ascent as a result of the hit show SIX, I immediately contacted her for an interview to which she joyously accepted. Recently, she took a moment from her hectic filming schedule (they are in the midst of shooting season two) to answer a few questions about how she got started in the business, her work on the show SIX, and her passion for directing and producing.

Photo Credit: Bobby Quillard

RH: Brianne, it is so good to be able to talk to you today.

BD: My pleasure, Ruth.  I’m actually filming today.

I figured you would be filming so I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to talk to you this soon. 

Oh, I have some time. We’re currently filming in Vancouver for season two of SIX.  We were filming in Wilmington {North Carolina} last season.

I thought I had read that you were filming in Vancouver for season two. Thank you so much for making this work out today. I greatly appreciate it.

Well, thank you for reaching out.

I have not had a chance to watch SIX as of yet, but I’ve noticed the buzz about it.

I hope you get the chance to watch it soon. It’s really good.

So Brianne, how did you get started as an actress?

It’s actually a very interesting a story. I started because I was completely shy. I had trouble talking to strangers and I guess I just couldn’t find my footing with humanity.  In high school, I got to choose between taking volleyball or drama class.  When I took the drama class, it completely brought me out of my shell.  I think that becoming other people allowed me to access a part of myself that I couldn’t have otherwise. As I studied humans and human behavior, that brought me closer to myself. I would say that I started acting pretty late since it wasn’t until high school. I wasn’t a child actor. At the time, I was modeling, and then I started getting into commercials and all that. But my first big TV job was Dawson’s Creek. I played “hot assistant Ashley.”

As I was reading about you, I thought I saw something that mentioned you had a role before Dawson’s Creek. Is that true?

Well, technically I got two lines on the movie Remember the Titans. When they were filming it, they were shooting for like four or five months in Atlanta, Georgia. I got a speaking part that was like two little lines which got cut out of the movie. Isn’t that just the way it goes? But that was my first experience on set. I think I was there for about a month from around 4 P.M. to 4 A.M. because they shot all the football stuff at that time. I played a cheerleader–maybe Cheerleader #1 or something like that I think. I didn’t even have a name. I just remember being on this set and watching all these people come together and create something bigger than themselves. So that was my first big venture into the acting world. And I knew that I wanted to be an actor as a result of this experience. I loved it. I didn’t want to leave set.

Okay, good, I’m glad to know I didn’t miss you in Remember the Titans. I was trying to remember your character, but I did not realize your part was cut out. 

Yeah, and so Dawson’s Creek was my first official role. You won’t see me in Remember the Titans.

As I examined your credits, I have to admit I am not familiar with most of your works, but it looks like you have been in some amazing projects. And while I have heard of many of them,  I haven’t had the chance to watch them. So what would you say you are most known for or which ones really stand out? 

 I am still at that point where I haven’t broken through as of yet. I think SIX is probably the role that is finally going to get me to that point. When people do recognize me…which honestly they rarely do because I feel if you look at my work, they’re all completely different characters. I don’t get recognized a lot, but people do know me for Prom Night. And Synchronicity was really big. I’ve had a lot of people say they love that movie. Jarhead is another movie I’m known for. Interestingly enough, I’ve been in the business fifteen years, but I’ve really just been pounding the pavement. But I feel really blessed because I’ve been working consecutively for fifteen years and making a living. I really can’t complain.

Photo Credit: Bobby Quillard

How did you get involved with SIX?

I got involved the typical actor way. I came in and I auditioned for the show runners and the creators and Lesli Linka Glatter, our executive producer that directed the first two episodes. Really, I just came in and auditioned. The beautiful thing is…I was probably in the room for an hour and twenty minutes. I’m sure the other actors out in the waiting room probably didn’t like having to wait. But for me, it was amazing because you don’t usually get that much time in an audition. The first time I went in, they probably had me do it twenty different ways. Then they said, “Come back in and do it again.” They wanted me with no makeup on and wearing a T-shirt and jeans. So I came back in and I was probably in there another hour and a half. Our creator and showrunner, William Broyle, wrote Jarhead. He didn’t realize till the second audition that I had worked with him. He was like, “Oh my gosh, you’ve grown up!” And after all that, I got the part. So this audition was not as painful as other times when I’ve been auditioning and gotten the part after putting me through the wringer, but I did a good three-hour audition if you add both times together.

I did find it interesting to discover that you are a big supporter of the military. And now being a part of this show, it’s like you’re a part of something you’re already pretty passionate about.

I know! I think of my father who was in Vietnam and my grandfather and great-grandfather all have served.  I think I’ve always been a supporter of the troops and that even if you don’t support the war, you support the troops. Definitely, after I did Jarhead and I went to the Middle East–I went to Afghanistan, Iraq, and I toured all these different military bases. In fact,  I recently went to Camp Irwin in California. I’ve always been one who believed that you have to support the men and women who support our country, even if we don’t agree with politics or the war.

I think it is funny that now I’m doing SIX also.  It’s like that’s my path and I’m very happy to take that stand and support our troops and be the voice for the women behind the men.

I think that’s so true. We sometimes forget about the women behind their men serving our country.

Right, and the family! They have sacrificed just as much as the soldiers do. The families really do sacrifice. Some of the women I’ve talked to, especially the field wives, they’re the strongest, most independent women I’ve ever encountered.

I did happen to watch a little bit from one of your reels so I could see your character in action. While I know the writing is amazing, are there other things you have used to help you get into character?

Yeah, I think there’s a little “Lena Graves” in everyone. I think for me it’s pulling from that quiet strength. I tend to be very vocal when I’m passionate or direct when I’m upset about something, and with my character, I have to go the opposite way. To play her, my voice gets softer. She is more still than I. And I think talking to this military wife really helped me see that as a woman, playing a SEAL wife, you have to be very strong and contained. If you show your emotion, your husband can’t do his job.  So it’s this balancing act of being connected to this man that goes off and risks his life but also telling your truth. I think Lena has a struggle with that. Her and Joseph have been together since they were sixteen. This next season, you’re going to see a totally different side to her. There’s an evolution coming. It’s going to be very interesting. {laughs} That’s all I can say. I can’t say any more.

Right, you don’t want to give anything away. So what has your interaction been like with the fans, and what feedback have you received in regards to season one?

Oh, they love it. We were a little nervous going into it, representing these families because the SEAL families haven’t had their story told. It’s always about the missions, which, you know, half of our show is about the missions. I think season two, you’re going to see more of the family. What the families have said is, “Oh my gosh, you finally got it right! That’s my story! My husband and I have had the hardest time having a child.” We are showing that they have miscarriages. Even that the families break up. They say like two out of every three field marriages break up. It meant a lot that we told their story. That was very important.  Our technical adviser was very specific about how things went with the mission and at home.  I’ve honestly gotten nothing but amazing responses from people.

I’m so glad. I have yet to sit down and watch an entire episode, but now that’s it’s been renewed, I really need to take the time to do just that. I was surprised that even my mom had heard of the show and was interested in it. 

Hopefully, we’ll do even better this second season, but we were the number one new show on cable this first season. We’re really proud of it.

Have they officially announced when season two will premiere?

Well, I’ve asked. They haven’t been specific yet because of the Winter Olympics coming, and we don’t want to have a conflict in timing with the Olympics. So they’re still trying to figure out when the best time is for the second season premiere. So we’ll see, but it’s gonna probably be early 2018. We’re not finished shooting season two until December.

Photo Credit: Bobby Quillard

I also noticed that you have a production company. I noticed you’ve produced a few works with your company.

Yes, that’s right. We’ve had the production company about two and a half years. We’ve produced three movies. I’ve directed two of them. The movies were bought by Anchor Bay, and so that company has distribution rights. The way it all happened was truly something. My husband sold a big show to Sony, and we got asked to produce a big movie together. Because we worked perfectly together, we decided to start a production company. While I am an actor, I’m also very proud to be behind the camera. I want to direct television. I’m shadowing a couple of our directors on season two of SIX.  I also shadowed on Homeland for five weeks. I want to be in front of the camera and behind the camera.

I think actors are always very wise to do that. And I’m so glad when it works out like it does. I also think it’s great that you’re a woman in the business because we need more women behind the camera. 

I agree. I think we have a powerful voice. We tell a story differently, but just as powerfully as the men. We make up half of the population, so we should have a voice.

I agree completely. I think it’s so good that you’re jumping in and doing that. Do you think you may be doing some writing in the future as well as directing?

I wish I was a writer, but unfortunately, I am the worst writer known to man. I write like a five-year-old. {laughs} I will leave that to the professionals.

All right, then, hopefully, we’ll be seeing more of your directing efforts along with producing. It certainly sounds like you keep yourself busy and that you’re enjoying what you’re doing. 

I really don’t think just acting can sustain you in this business anymore. I feel like you have to always be creating outside of that–whether it’s producing, writing, directing–always creating outside of just acting.

Absolutely, I couldn’t agree more. So when you do have free time, is there anything you like to do?

I like to hike and hang out with my husband and my dogs. I like to travel a lot. We like to go around the world. And eating–I love to eat when I’m not working. {laughs}

Brianne, I thank you so much for your time today. It sounds like you have a full, active life, and you are thoroughly enjoying everything you’re doing. And I think that’s the way it should be. 

Ruth, thank you so much for spending some time chatting with me today and taking an interest in SIX as well as my directing and producing. I really appreciate that.

How can we watch season one of SIX if we want to catch up?

Season one is on Hulu right now. I think after season two comes out, we’ll probably go on Amazon and everywhere else.

Good to know. Any other projects you want to mention that you have coming up?

Yes. I am attached to direct an independent movie called A Place Apart. We will hopefully be shooting in 2018. I’m also pitching a show right now called Cul-De-Sac with my producing partner, and the show is a high-stakes, high-action drama. I’m also hoping to pitch this Lifetime movie that I will be directing under this A & E/History tentpole that I’m in. I’ve got a lot of stuff in the works.

Wow, that is impressive! I’m just so excited for all these projects, and I wish you all the best with everything.

Well, we’ll see which one happens. Hopefully, they’ll all work out the way they’re supposed to.

Photo Credit: Bobby Quillard

Even thought Brianne has been in the business as a working actor for so many years, it is fully evident that nothing has squelched the positivity, energy, and joie de vivre that irradiate from her innermost being. It was such a pleasure for me to be able to hear and understand Brianne’s passion and perspective, and I’m grateful to her for taking those moments out of her busy filming schedule to talk to someone who was as woefully unfamiliar with her works as I. Furthermore, I’m glad to have discussed the show SIX with one of the actors attached to the project because before I spoke with her, I was rather ambivalent about the merits of the show. I remember reading the buzz, but my thoughts were always, “I’ll watch this one later.” However, due to Brianne’s sincere and overwhelming promotion and enthusiasm for the show, I have already placed this as a priority on my watchlist, and I greatly anticipate having the moment to sit down and binge season one in preparation for season two. It definitely takes a special lady like Brianne who can engender within me such zeal for a show about which I was originally undecided.

Having said that, Brianne is more than just an advocate and actor involved with a hit TV show. Brianne is a genuine professional who is multifaceted and not afraid to speak her mind in no uncertain terms when necessary. Notwithstanding, her kindness, authenticity, and sensitivity permeate everything she does and says, and without a doubt, she is one who believes in making things happen rather than just sitting around and letting things happen. She is a trailblazer in a sense, and her exhilaration is undeniably infectious. While I am eager for SIX, I am even more thrilled for what her future holds in terms of directing and producing, and I have no doubt that in due time, she will be one of the top female directors in the business, striving towards being the top director period. She has that kind of initiative, and she is constantly challenging herself to improve and reach higher. It is people like Brianne who effect sincere and abiding change in this world.

As we look towards 2018 and the second season of SIX, I would invite all of you to check out the first season of this celebrated show as well as all of Brianne’s links listed below. In my humble opinion, not only do we need women like her in the entertainment business, but we need people like her in this world in general. It is dreamers like Brianne who add spice and sparkle to a world that would otherwise be rather dismal and drab, and I can hardly wait to see all she accomplishes in the months and years to come!

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About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth

43-year-old single mother of an active 14-year-old girl
Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA
Entertainment Writer
Available For Interviews and Reviews
Substitute Teacher

4 Comments

  1. Ashley Mains September 14, 2017 Reply

    Shes like me, husband and dogs! Love it!

    • Author
      Ruth September 14, 2017 Reply

      Thanks Ashley

  2. Lujuana Miller September 20, 2017 Reply

    Brianne Davis is a Treasure! She does so much with acting and she’s beautiful! 😁 👍

    • Author
      Ruth September 20, 2017 Reply

      Thank you so much Lujuana for stopping by and commenting. She is awesome!

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