Wednesday, August 3, 2011

15 Fun Facts about Constance Marie

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Since Switched at Birth is coming to a close for the first stint (don't worry, it'll be back with a much larger order!), I thought I'd post some fun facts I learned about Constance Marie during an interview earlier this summer. I know that when I started watching Switched at Birth (which my most-anticipated new summer show!), I was intrigued with the return of Constance Marie to television. I was never a giant fan of George Lopez, but I did like her as Angie in some of the reruns that I've caught over time.

On this show, Constance Marie plays Regina Vasquez, a hairdresser who is a member of AA. Her best friend (Melody) is deaf, as is the daughter she raised (Daphne). As the pilot of the show (and the title, for that matter) explains, Regina's daughter and Kathryn's daughter were switched at birth, resulting in each raising the other's child until they are in high school, when Bay realizes something is amiss after a blood test.Throughout the season, viewers have found out that Regina found out about the error when the girls were three, but never acted upon it because she was afraid that she'd lose custody of both ladies.

Now, onward to the fun things about Constance Marie... first personal and then related to Switched at Birth

- Her baby uses cloth diapers, soaps with no sodium lauryl sulfate (supposedly causes cancer), as little plastic as possible, and eats all organic food. At age two-and-a-half, she's just about to start her vaccinations.

- Ironically, she was the only one in her Mommy and Me group who didn't teach her child sign language, and she's the one who ends up needing to become fluent.

- Speaking of which, Constance Marie does hope to be fluent in sign language one day. When speaking with a participant whose sister is an interpreter, Constance Marie asked how she manages the pain from the muscles when you sign. The participant just noted that her sister has been doing it for so long she's not sure that it's an issue anymore.

- As the mother of a two-year-old, Constance Marie finds herself a little more Type A, bossy, controlling, and mothering with the young adult actors on-set.

- She watches True Blood and Dexter. Those scripts are a bit "dark" for her, but "vampire lust is pretty awesome" when you can watch it and visit it, as opposed to live in it.

- She finds Marlee Matlin to be a sexy signer, as she does "full body sign" and "it's beautiful to watch." She was a big fan of Matlin prior to Switched at Birth, and now they're twitter junkies together.

- You may not be aware that Constance Marie got her start in show biz through dancing... breakdancing. But, when asked if she might breakdance on Switched at Birth, she responded that she's 45 now, and break dancers don't age well. She might be able to bring a bit of salsa to the show, tho!

- In comparing her character Regina to her character on Selena (Marcella), Constance Marie noted that Marcella had Selena's father "to be the bad cop so she could be good cop. Regina needs to be both, so she has to be a lot more upfront, a lot more in-your-face." If she was doing a celebrity boxing match or death match, she'd put her money on Regina.

- Constance Marie has recycling bins set up behind her trailer on-set, and they also have bins all over for plastic bottles, paper, etc. Also, in the makeup and hair room, everyone brings their own cup, as she donated a coffee machine so everyone can have fresh coffee without using paper and plastic cups as much.

- Constance Marie did not know anything about the deaf community prior to this show. She watched a tremendous amount of documentaries and has a fierce instructor.

- Her instructor (Anthony Natale) also acts as the "signing police" on-set. He manages all of the sign language, as everybody has a different way of signing and he monitors to make sure they're using the same dialect and that it's uniform.

- when asked what the single most important thing she wants everybody to get from the show is, she responded that "it literally teaches America and merges the hearing world with the deaf community." The deaf community is 15 million people, and there's never been three major deaf leads on a show before. Her character, Regina, "bridges the hearing world and the deaf world just seamlessly" though she's "working [her] butt off learning sign language." Additionally, the show questions nature vs. nurture, racial differences, cultural differences, and socioeconomic differences in families. "Everybody's got issues."

- when asked what she hopes people learn from the show, Constance Marie responded that she hopes they learn that "deaf people are just like everybody else except they speak fabulously with their hands." She also hopes they "question as to what a family really is."

- She wanted Regina's name sign to be the sign for "beautiful" but nobody else bought the idea. "Beautiful" is her favorite sign because "it's just done with such flair across your face, like a dance move." She learned that a deaf person has to give you your name sign, and hers is a dancing C. 

- She sees herself as a hybrid of Bay and Daphne... she was "young and rebellious and artistic and feisty," but also wanted to "work really hard and do well in school" and "never wanted to get in trouble."
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

really.... please like her facebook page like that page please thanks :D