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An Interview with Brigid Brannagh (Pamela, 'Army Wives')


Brigid Brannagh
Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images
Did you know that out of the 120,000+ members of the SAG, only a small percentage ever make a name for themselves in the industry? Many actors spend years auditioning and often are forced to take small bit roles just to keep a roof over their heads. Occasionally, an actor will find that one role that gets their foot firmly in the door and if they're really lucky, they'll land other great roles that will eventually make them a household name.

Almost from the moment she delved into the entertainment biz, Brigid Brannagh landed her first major television role in the series True Colors. Once that series wrapped up, she went on to guest star in popular shows such as Angel, 24 and Over There. Luck struck once again for the talented actress when she landed the role of her dreams on Lifetime's hit series Army Wives.

I had the fortunate opportunity to chat with this incredibly sweet actress about working with child stars, filming difficult scenes, upcoming projects and what she likes to do in her free time...

Q: Did you always know you wanted to be an actor?

"Pretty much. I grew up in a very big family; I am child four of nine and there was so much chaos going on. You had to define yourself early on and know what you wanted or you couldn't get it at all because there were so many people who could get ahead of you in line for attention. I think around 11, I started taking pictures and playing little roles in my head with my neighbor across the street. For my 13th birthday present, my mother sent my photo from one of my little girl photo shoots to an agency and I started auditioning after that."

Q: If acting had not worked out, what sort of career path would you have followed?

"If acting hadn't worked out for me, I think I would have had some serious problems. I'm kind of a one-trick pony. I was not a great student and the only other things I could have imagined doing would still be in the business -- I could have done costumes or make-up."
Q: Before Army Wives, you appeared in a number of TV series; which role was your favorite?

"It was something I did a million years ago called Chaos Theory, it was a pilot for MTV that never aired. I did the series Over There and I think that's one of the most satisfying roles I've ever had. It was challenging and different. I played a very bad army wife who had a drinking problem. I got to practice slurring and falling down; it was a lot of fun."

Q: What's it like working with so many child actors?

"Because I started really young, I always look at child actors first as a co-worker I should respect and second, as a child I should help along. The kids on the show are great."

Q: The scene where Chase proposes to you was so genuine, almost as if you ad-libbed the scene...

"I'm pretty sure Jeremy Davidson, who plays Chase, offered whichever one of them got more excited a dollar. He does that a lot; he just became a father. They're such sweet kids, but the funny thing is they get paid to be there, but getting a dollar in their hand is the most exciting thing. Chloe, who plays Katie, always says, 'you're just going to give it to both of us to try and be fair, is there really any point.'"

Q: What episode has been your favorite to date?

"There are episodes I'm proud of for different reasons. The Fourth of July episode years ago I thought was really nicely written. As an actress, I really enjoyed doing the episode when Pamela and Chase broke up. Anytime I work with Jeremy in an episode I'm very happy. He's such a good actor -- and fun. The episode where Jeremy Sherwood dies was very tough to do. I haven't even watched the episode because it's too hard to watch, I've only seen a rough cut. The reality of army life is that soldiers sometimes die, so the idea of it was really moving. I also loved the pilot of the show."

Q: Do you think Chase it going to have a problem at some point with Pamela being a cop?

"Of course, absolutely without a doubt. It's in the nature of Pamela and Chase to challenge each other. They're the couple who shoot guns, they compete against each other. He gave up Delta for her, so I think it's a natural progression that he'll want her to stop being a cop."

Q: Do you have any projects in the works?

"I have a Hallmark movie coming up on June 18 called Crush on You. I'm going with the USO to Afghanistan as soon as I'm done here. There's a fun project I might do that starts shooting when I get back from Afghanistan, but I haven't decided on that yet. There's another independent movie that I did called Not That Funny that should be coming out soon."

Q: With your busy schedule do you have a chance to follow any TV shows on a regular basis?

"Brian McNamara, who plays the general on the show, and I met up for Top Chef night. We both like to cook, so we make these intense meals, something we've never made before, and watch several episodes of Top Chef. That's one of my favorite things to do."

Q: Anything to say to the fans?

"Thank you for watching. I think the applause and appreciation should go to the army wives and soldiers and their families. If we do anything that shines a light on them, I'm very grateful and that's what it's really about."
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