Thanks to our connection with Jasmin Savoy Brown, I’m excited to bring you an exclusive interview with the lead in CBS’ new show “God Friended Me”, Violett Beane!
SMS: Hello, Violett! Nice to “meet” you!
Violett: Hello Paul! Nice to meet you as well.
SMS: You’ll never guess where I was recently – Lockhart, TX. I was part of a small gathering of “Lefties” that made a pilgrimage to Miracle for October 14th (Departure Day). We went around, saw the sites, wore all white, pretended to smoke, as you do when you visit small Texas towns.
Violett: Wow! That’s amazing.
SMS: Anyway, let’s talk first about The Leftovers. IMDB shows it as your first Hollywood acting gig. How’d you get that job?
Violett: Since they were casting local talent in Austin, where I grew up and was living, I was lucky enough to score an audition. I went in and it was just one line. During the audition, I had to pretend that I was jumping in cold water and splashing my friends.
SMS: Had you seen the first season of The Leftovers beforehand? What did you think?
Violett: Yes I had. I really liked it and was a fan.
SMS: Was it weird that Katy Harris played a girl named Violet, and you, an actual Violett, played a girl named Taylor?
Violett: Yes, haha.
SMS: What, if anything, were you told about your character and her role in the season’s plot? (helping to try and burn down the town I mean)
Violett: Not a whole lot honestly. They did not want spoilers getting out, so I learned as I received the scripts.
SMS: From there, it looks like opportunities started popping up. The next role I’d like to chat about is Jesse Quick. What’s it like getting to be a superhero?
Violett: It was awesome. Jesse is so badass. I will never forget the first time I put on the suit and actually became Jesse Quick. It’s not every day you get to play a superhero.
SMS: [nerd question] If you had to race all the TV Flashes and speedster enemies, where would Jesse come in?
Violett: First 🙂
SMS: Harry and Jesse have had a complicated history as father and daughter. How do you prepare to play those angsty, “Don’t tell me what to do, DAD!” scenes like the ones Jesse and Harry often shared?
Violett: I honestly owe a lot to Tom Cavanagh, who played my dad. He is such a giving actor and was always wonderful to do a scene with and helped me sell the scenes.
SMS: Fans know that Jesse is brave and has a big heart, but I bet they often forget she’s a freaking genius. What do YOU like most about Jesse?
Violett: Exactly that. She is a genius and I loved that about her. I wish they would have showed that more often.
SMS: Is there anything about Jesse that you don’t like?
Violett: I wish she would have shown more independence.
SMS: Now, the Jesse question you knew was coming: Will we be seeing more of Jesse?
Violett: I hope so! I would love to go back and make an appearance. So, we shall see.
God Friended Me
SMS: Now, let’s fast-forward to… well, now. You currently star as a lead(!) in CBS’ God Friended Me as Cara Bloom. How’d you first learn about the opportunity for a network lead? Did they come find you or was it more like traditional auditions and such?
Violett: Traditional audition during pilot season last year. I was reading a ton of scripts and going in multiple times a day for things.
SMS: Can you tell us about your character?
Violett: God Friended Me is about an atheist who gets friended by someone calling themselves God on Facebook. He ignores the request because he doesn’t believe in God and he thinks someone is messing with him. Eventually he accepts it and he starts getting these friend suggestions for people. He sort of ends up being a change in their lives.
I play Cara Bloom; she’s an online journalist and she ends up being one of the friend suggestions that Miles gets. In the pilot, you see that she struggles with the fact that her mother left when she was really young. She came to New York in search of her and she’s actually found her, but she doesn’t really know how to take the next step. That’s when Miles and the God account enter. She then decides to stick around after they’ve helped her. Each week, there is a new “friend suggestion”.
SMS: What about the part made you want to play Cara?
Violett: The script was honestly one of the only pilots that I read that really left me feeling uplifted and positive at the end of it. I think with the world we’re in right now, we kind of need something like this. And I loved that Cara was not the type to let anything go. She’s a journalist, so she wants to get to the bottom of everything.
SMS: A little while ago, I had an opportunity to interview your Leftovers Airstream roommate, Jasmin Savoy Brown, and I’ll ask you one thing that I asked her. What’s it like moving from guest star to lead? I imagine it’s a lot of feelings all at once.
Violett: Yes! It’s an amazing opportunity. With Cara, I have been so fortunate because the creators of the show have been so open with us from the beginning about discussing our characters. After each table read, they call us and they want to know if there are things we don’t like, so I think that is really special and has helped me prepare. It is not something you always get when you are a part of a bigger machine or a part of a story that has already been written like some of my past roles.
SMS: So, is it God? Have the show’s creatives told you guys?
Violett: My lips are sealed. You will just have to watch!
Random Hollywood questions:
SMS: If you could pick any actor you’ve worked with to work with again, who would it be?
Violett: Jasmin Savoy Brown!
SMS: Same question, but for the creatives (writer, director, Best boy, whatever, just pick anyone you like 😊).
SMS: Aside from God Friended Me and that top-secret return as Jesse Quick (wink-wink), is there anything else we should be looking for you that may be coming out soon? Maybe a secret project?
Violett: I will be filming a movie next summer that I think fans will be really excited about but I can’t talk about it yet 😉
Big thanks to Violett for taking the time to respond! We at SMS wish her good luck with show and getting season 2!