November 23rd, 2010 by thetvchick
I adore “Parenthood.” Any show that puts Lauren Graham back on my television on a weekly basis will automatically win me over. But what started as a show with an enormous cast and too many stories to tell has really blossomed into something I love and look forward to every week. It has found its voice and perfect balance of drama and comedy, and week after week, The Braverman clan touches my heart. One thing I really love about this show is that the kids have a presence on the show and they don’t necessarily fit into the typical kid mold. Max (played by Max Burkholder) has Aspbergers (a form of Autism) which affects his entire family in different ways. His sister Haddie (played by Sarah Ramos), appears to be well-adjusted for someone going through her family life, but there’s a lot of dimension to her as well. I recently had the chance to chat with Sarah Ramos who talked about what drew her to the role, being a big “Friday Night Lights” fan and what she wants to see from her character going forward. She even teased what’s coming up for her and her new love interest.
What originally drew you to the role of Haddie?
She’s a lot like a lot of girls at my high school, so I understand what’s going on there, because I’m recently out of high school so I can recall memories from that. But what drew me to the audition was just liking Friday Night Lights, and I was so excited to go in. And I think the excitement about that is really what helped [me get the part].
Are you anything like Haddie?
I would say, I’m for the most part, not like her. I’d say we’re pretty dissimilar but she is also very young and immature and growing up, and I’ve already gone through that. And it’s kind of a painful part of your life (laughs), so you kind of divorce yourself from it as best you can. But I probably was at one point more like her than I am now, or would like to admit.
She has a very interesting family life with her brother Max. Did you do any research about Aspergers or siblings with Aspergers?
Yeah. I have a brother, I don’t have a brother with Aspergers. But there’s so much that you can look at now, so much literature, people who have written memoirs about — like Augusten Burroughs’ brother has Aspergers, and I had read some of that unrelated, but it gives you good insight into that. But the show also hired an expert on Aspergers’ who’s son has it, and we had an in-depth conversation about it. And Max always goes in and has these meetings. We talked to a lot of people who have actually dealt with it. And also, when you see Max — Max is so good at it, because of all of this. There’s no way to understand with out actually living it, but it feels close when you’re doing that kind of stuff. Because it’s crazy to see a little kid act like that sometimes.
How do you think you would handle Haddie’s family life?
She does it pretty well. She’s pretty well-adjusted, way more well-adjusted than I was. She does so many extra-curricular activities. I don’t know. I was so reserved. I would probably — I couldn’t say. It’s such a specific thing. Maybe that kind of thing does drive you to try to be busy. Also, her dad is so busy. She’s very much a product of her parents, so there’s so much that goes into a person from the get-go, that I couldn’t put myself in that situation without being like “Well, I’d be just like Haddie.”
Your character, Patty on “American Dreams,” was very book smart and Haddie is very into her schoolwork as well. What has it been like playing these two very smart characters who have a lot of dimension to them as well?
I would say though that they are very different, because I feel like Patty was too smart, and so mature [and] ahead of her years. And I feel like Patty, people would always say “You’re what? 11 or 13?” Or however old I was, going on 40. But then Haddie is like 16, and she’s going on 15. She does the annoying teenage girl stuff. But she will end up okay because she’s pretty grounded as well. But she’s a little more irrational and emotion-driven.
What would you like to see from Haddie going forward? Do you think we’ll see her break her perfect student and daughter mold a little bit more?
I would love that. I would also love for her to get a little bit more mature (laughs). Just because the part of it that we were just talking about — how smart you can be, and how responsible [she is], that’s the part I find more interesting than like the girl who’s taking somebody for granted. I’d like to see her growing up, and this is the time that it will happen.
And what has it been like working with your TV family? Peter Krause and Monica Potter play your parents.
It’s absolutely wonderful. It’s really good. I had never seen “Six Feet Under” before, and everybody was making such a big deal about it. So the first season, I just watched all of them, and unbelievable. I feel like it’s unbelievable, and any scene that I do with Peter, I love. I’m always happy to do scenes with him, and I trust him a lot. And Monica too. We’re very similar, it’s very strange. We all have weird senses of humor and we get along well. It just works well, and I always feel comfortable working with them. And I love Max. He’s like the weirdest coolest kid.
The cast of the show is pretty big, so is there someone who you’d like to have a scene with one-on-one that you haven’t had already?
I don’t ever get to work with — I’ve said this before — with Miles [Heizer] who plays Drew. And he is the funniest kid. If they let him do whatever he wants to do, he would blow everybody’s mind. And I wish that we could have some weird interaction that would be fun. I don’t know if it will happen. But I love working with everybody, really.
And Haddie and Amber have also gotten closer this season. Will we see some more cousin bonding as the season continues?
Not as much as I would like — that’s partly an answer to the question before. But you will see more of her giving me advice and all that. And I love doing scenes with Mae at any point. I’m actually at a coffee place with her right now. But there will be more of Haddie/Amber. But hopefully there will be even more than there is now.
Well that would be good. And Haddie’s latest storyline, she has a crush on the guy she works with at the homeless shelter. How are we going to see that continue to develop?
Well, as you know, it’s a rough situation that they’re in. He’s got a strange past. It’s going to be a little rocky because you know she’s 16 and that’s a really big deal. And sometimes teenagers think that they can handle more than they can handle. I mean, sometimes people, not just teenagers, think they can handle more than they can handle. But I don’t know, people do weird things when they’re enamored with somebody, so we’ll see where that goes. I don’t want to give it away too much.
Do you have a favorite moment or scene you’ve filmed on the show so far?
Does it have to be with me in it?
No, it doesn’t have to be with you.
Well, in the episode that was [a couple weeks ago] I cannot believe how amazing the scene was — the whole thing with Peter [Krause] hitting the guy. That was unreal. Shockingly good and I knew it was going to happen. And his scene with Craig [T. Nelson] later, where he’s telling him how he’s trying not to be like him, was just heartbreaking.
Obviously, I really love the show, but what do you think sets Parenthood apart from other dramas or family dramas that are out there?
I don’t even know that many family dramas that are out there right now.
That’s true. Good point.
It keeps a light tone to it, even when it gets dramatic. It’s always going to be happy at the end. It’s never going to get you too down, because the family’s always going to be there, and that’s what’s it all about. Bottom line. They’re trying to really drive home family.
And you said one of the major draws to this project was “Friday Night Lights” so what has it been like working with Jason Katims [Executive Producer)?
It was pretty cool. They get people from Friday Night Lights to come work here.
Right -- Minka Kelly, for one.
Right. When she came, I wrote a sign. This is kind of stupid, but I wrote a sign on the makeup trailer that was like "Welcome to Parenthood, Garrity." I was trying to get Jesse Plemons, who plays Landry to play my boyfriend, when I just knew it was going to be my boyfriend, I didn't know he was going to have a past. I have suggested him for so many parts, and it hasn't happened yet. But I was really excited to work with Michael [B. Jordan, who plays Haddie's love interest], because I like Vince. So there’s a whole lot of crossover. And Katims has brought the spirit of “Friday Night Lights,” which is very on your toes, to “Parenthood,” which is exciting and makes it better.
And I know you can’t spoil too much, but can you give a little teaser of what’s coming up in the next couple of episodes for Haddie?
It’s going have a lot to do with this new guy she likes, and how her family deals with that.
Be sure to tune in tonight for the Thanksgiving episode of Parenthood at 10 pm on NBC.Tweet