AE: Speaking of the fans that might relate to Brenna, do you see a lot of the fan response? Do you read their responses on Twitter?
HR: I do read Twitter a lot! I mean, I’m not the best tweeter. I never know what to tweet, and I don’t think that people want to hear what I want to say anyway. [laughs] But I do read it! I keep up with it ever since the show and seeing people’s responses. And a lot of people do reach out and say they can relate a lot to Brenna. They don’t really specify in what way, but I think there’s a lot of ways that anyone could relate to Brenna. But yeah, it’s cool she’s so relatable.
AE: Do you have a favorite fan moment that you’ve experienced so far?
HR: Favorite fan moment…hmm. I don’t get recognized a lot. I guess because I don’t look like Brenna, really. My hair’s not usually that dark and I cut it recently, so it’s short, and I don’t really dress like her, so that doesn’t happen to me too often. It’s happened a couple times. I went into Forever 21 and the woman who worked there, she gave me a hug and started giving me things to try on. [laughs] That was funny.
AE: That’s amazing.
HR: Overall, everyone who does come up to any of us and say something, they’re very nice, and they usually have a story, whether they’re talking about someone who has had cancer in their life, or if they’ve had cancer, of if they’re like Brenna…usually someone feels like someone on the show. Every character is so relatable and there’s something for everyone, so get really good reactions and really sweet, heartfelt moments, which I really appreciate. And it’s great to just strike up conversation with those people.
AE: The show is a really great balance of the heavy stuff and lighter moments. Do you have different ways to prepare for the different types of scenes? Is it tough to get into the headspace for the emotional scenes?
HR: It is hard, because, I mean, to do those scenes, you are either going to a place where you’ve been there, a lot of us have been in that situation where you find out someone you love is sick, or you’re making it up in your head, and I think equally, both of those are really hard to do and both really emotional, but you gotta get the emotions across. It’s hard, but what you do— I don’t know if it’s just because I’ve been doing it since I was little—but you have to turn it off. Like, right after, there’s an emotional scene and then it’s like, “Okay!” You can’t really get too wrapped up in it afterward or else it will eat you up.
AE: Where we last left Brenna and Greer, they were told they weren’t allowed to see each other anymore. Is there anything you can tell us about what’s in store for them, either in the Christmas episode or the second half of the season?
HR: Grenna’s not—[laughs] Grenna! Greer and Brenna—I’m so used to seeing Grenna, because I see it all the time, on Twitter and Instagram. Greer will be around more, it’s definitely not the end of her. I think if anyone has been in the position where they’re 16 years old and being told you’re not allowed to the person that you really like, I think, you know, you’re going to see the person anyway.
AE: It’s implied that part of the reason Greer and Brenna got in trouble was because of Ford, and her deteriorating relationship with Brenna. Do you think there’s any way Ford could learn to live with Greer and Brenna?
HR: I think there’s a way that Ford and Greer and Brenna can all get along. When you’re sixteen and going through high school drama, it’s hard to see outside of that drama. You get so wrapped up in it; but I think Brenna has a different view on life now because of April, and she sees things a lot differently and doesn’t take things for granted anymore. So I think it would be up to Ford to come around and try to make things right. It’s high school, people change and people can realize their mistakes. I would think there’s definitely hope for all of them.
AE: Do you have any shows besides Chasing Life that you’re watching and liking on TV right now?
HR: I just started House of Cards! And I understand why everyone is so obsessed with it. I’ve been told to watch it for so long. My mistake is turning it on at 11 o’clock at night and I’m so tired and I get frustrated that I have to force myself to stay awake. [laughs] But yeah I’m really enjoying House of Cards. And I’m about to finish the second season of Orange is the New Black. I LOVE it. I love how there’s that many women on screen playing such powerful roles and I think that would be a cool show to be on for a woman. So yea, I do keep up with TV, but not too much, because I don’t have cable so I don’t really watch anything that’s on right now. I’m a big HBO Go fan.
AE: Thank you so much for chatting with me today, our readers are huge fans of yours and of the Brenna and Greer storyline.
HR: Oh, good! I’m glad everyone’s liking it!
Chasing Life will be back for a Christmas episode in December. Check back here on AfterEllen for a conversation with Chasing Life creator/writer/executive producer Joni Lefkowitz and more information about what’s coming up for Brenna and Greer in the back half of the season!