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Q&A with RAVENSWOOD’S Nicole Gale Anderson

February 9, 2014
Nicole Gale Anderson

Nicole Gale Anderson. Photo Credit: ABC Family.

Before the Ravenswood finale aired last week, I had the chance to participate in a Q&A conference call with Nicole Gale Anderson, who plays Miranda Collins on the ABC Family series. She discussed the show and her character, and it made me super excited for more Ravenswood. Fingers crossed that we hear favorable renewal news soon!

Check out the interview below, which features questions from a variety of media outlets. Thanks so much to Crissy and Tash for helping me come up with questions. Some of the excellent questions they pitched ended up being asked by other press. I only had a chance to ask two, and I labeled those. (I asked about ghost fashion and ghost sex, because I’m sophisticated like that.) Read on for some insight into the supernatural drama that has come a long way from its spin-off pilot.

What are your hopes for Miranda in the second season?

Nicole: I would like to see maybe more of her connecting with her uncle again, maybe he’ll be able to start seeing her.  And then maybe something like, I don’t know, a ghost companion.

Did you know before you got the role of Miranda that you’d be playing a ghost character?

Nicole: I did. Yes, I found out during the testing process. So during the original audition I had no idea, during the callback I had no idea, and then when it came time for me to go to studio network and have my chemistry reads with Tyler. The new scene that they added to the audition process was the scene where Caleb sees Miranda for the first time as a ghost. So I was going through it, preparing for the test, and I was just like, “Whoa, wait. What? She’s a ghost?” And then my next thought was, “Oh, wait, so if I get this and then I die I have to make sure that I die in a really comfortable outfit.”

Did you have to do any research about ghosts or the paranormal for your portrayal of Miranda?

Nicole: I did a little bit just for fun. I watched a couple of movies, like Ghost with Patrick Swayze. Yes. But it’s an ABC Family ghost, and I think at the end of the day, Miranda, even though she is a ghost, she still is Miranda and she still was the girl that she was before all of this.  She just has a lot of other problems in her life now. But, yes, I have fun with it.

Were you excited to learn that your character was killed in the first [episode], since it’s something you’ve never really done before?

Nicole: Yes, I think that with the ghost component of Miranda aside, Miranda as a character in itself is just different than anything I’ve played before. I’ve played the hyperactive, bubbly Macy and I’ve played a lot of mean girls before, but never really played a “bad ass,” if you will. And even though Miranda has a sweet side, she definitely is, I think, stronger and more outspoken than a lot of the other characters I’ve played. So, yes, I think I’ve really just been enjoying playing that kind of role. 

How difficult is it to play a ghost? How do you interact with other actors who aren’t able to see Miranda’s ghost?

Nicole: I think my biggest challenge playing a ghost has just been not being able to touch anything. As an actor you want to fill the scene with movement– like if you’re walking through a kitchen you go into the cupboard and get a glass of water and you fill it up, and it keeps a realness to the scene and a realness to your character. But as a ghost I can’t touch anything, I can’t play with anything, and if I sit down on a couch it can’t sink underneath me because ghosts can’t transfer energy in that way. So I think that for me is it’s been a challenge for me being able to feel comfortable within a scene.

Then as far as all of the sneaking up on people, especially with Steven [Cabral], who plays Uncle Collins, we’ve just had fun with it. I’m just always like, “I’m just always snooping on you.” So, yes, that part of it I think is fun.

I get to watch really cool scenes! There was one between Uncle Collins and Mrs. Matheson in the police station, I think it was in the last episode, and it was just a beautiful, well-played scene. Being able to watch them as two actors connecting that way–I just had to stand there and watch them do their thing. So, yes, it’s fun!

How did you handle the spiders being on set for “Along Came a Spider”?

Nicole: It was really creepy! I hate spiders, and I thought they were just going to tease you. I went in and I had no idea that they were planning on having a huge tarantula on set. But the wrangler was so awesome, and he was just taking them out and playing with them and scratching their heads. So that made me feel a lot better, and luckily I didn’t have to have it on me; it was all on Tyler. So, yes, I think being able to have that on set made it easier for me to naturally react to it, because I hate spiders. So reacting in that scene was just easier.

What is it like working with Meg Foster [who plays Mrs. Grunwald]?

Nicole: She’s brilliant, I love her! One of my favorite moments with her is when Miranda decides to haunt Mrs. Grunwald, and she gets up right by her ear and says, “I’m getting better at this,” and that whole moment playing that out with her. She was just giving me tips on acting along the way and telling me certain things about inflections in your voice and little nuances that you could add in to just make it fuller. Every time I work with her I learn something new. She’s amazing.

What do you find most rewarding about playing Miranda?

Nicole: Being able to go in and do what I love to do every day has been really awesome, and to be a part of this really successful team has been really exciting.

But my favorite part about playing Miranda specifically has just been the transition that’s she gone through, being so confident and just really tough and sure of herself to then lose everything, including her life, and then starting from square one. She became vulnerable and scared and timid, and she really lost herself in the way. So I think being able to progress throughout the season and help her get her fight and spunk back. Especially in episode 108 where she enters Remy’s dream and takes on Abaddon, I think that was a really pivotal point for her in terms of becoming more of her own [person] again.

What is it like working with Tyler Blackburn?

Nicole: Oh, it’s the best! I honestly couldn’t ask for a better partner in all of this. Ever since the Pretty Little Liars episode he’s been amazing. He’s been a big support throughout this whole thing. Any time we have questions or concerns or anything, we can call each other up and vent it out and just be there for each other throughout the whole process. So, yes, he’s really collaborative and a huge professional and a really easy person to get along with. I could just go on; he’s great.

What is your favorite part about filming Ravenswood?

Nicole: Probably just working with the cast! We have so much fun. Brett [Dier] is hilarious; anything that he just says, anything that comes out of his mouth I’m immediately laughing. I had a lot of fun getting to know Merritt [Patterson], and we hung out a lot off set and it was really nice to have a gal pal in New Orleans. So, yes, I think getting to know the cast this first season has been a lot of fun.

ABC Family's RAVENSWOOD stars Merritt Patterson as Olivia Matheson, Tyler Blackburn as Caleb Rivers, Nicole Gale Anderson as Miranda, Brett Dier as Luke Matheson and Britne Oldford as Remy Bueaumont. Photo Credit: ABC FAMILY/Bob D'Amico.

ABC Family’s RAVENSWOOD stars Merritt Patterson as Olivia Matheson, Tyler Blackburn as Caleb Rivers, Nicole Gale Anderson as Miranda, Brett Dier as Luke Matheson and Britne Oldford as Remy Bueaumont. Photo Credit: ABC FAMILY/Bob D’Amico.

Do you ever get scared or experience anything supernatural like your characters?

Nicole: I don’t think anybody ever sees anything supernatural. I think that the show has definitely made us paranoid, like if anything slightly odd happens we’re just immediately like, “Oh, my gosh, where’s the ghost? What is happening?” But nothing actually supernatural has happened, I don’t think, but it’s made for a lot of good on set pranks. Steven totally got Tyler just by pranking him when we shooting in a haunted abandoned children’s hospital. It’s made for good pranks, but I don’t think anything has really happened.

Lucia: One question I have related to the challenges of playing a ghost is the costuming. How does a ghost change clothes? And what are the ways that you, the script, and the costume designer approach Miranda’s changing wardrobe (because she has changed her wardrobe a couple times) since she is a ghost?

Nicole: The opportunity that Miranda has to change from the green jacket to the purple sweater was in her dream state, where she was at her parents’ house, and she had that closet and she was changing in and out of her pajamas and everything just felt real to her. So she was able to change in that world. I was like, “Gosh when she was in Remy’s closet in her dream in episode 108 she should have stole a bunch of clothes! She could have had like five different wardrobe changes!” But she didn’t; they were too busy running away from Abaddon, so totally understandable.

As far as collaborating with the costume designer, they’ve had like a good three or four different versions of those outfits, so I don’t have to keep wearing the same one over and over and over again. I think when we chose the purple sweater, even though Miranda was more punk when we met her in the Pretty Little Liars episode–she had the garter belt with the big jacket, the big jean jacket and she just looked a bit more punky–we figured with her being at her parents’ house and her being happier, we wanted something softer, and then it just ended up playing for the rest of the season.

Lucia: And on a related note, in terms of the challenges that your character faces in not being corporeal, Miranda has talked about missing out, not being able to have sex when she was alive—she had the cute conversation with Olivia. Is there any hope for a ghost girl to ever have a physical connection down the line?

Nicole: I think that the huge cliffhanger at the season finale will definitely … slightly leave that window of opportunity open for Miranda. There’s definitely a huge cliffhanger at the end of the season; it’s literally the last scene of the episode, where Miranda could have a ghost companion. So, we’ll see!

What’s your most and least favorite thing about your character, Miranda?

Nicole: My favorite thing about her is that she’s so loyal. She will bend over backwards for anyone that she cares about, and I think that’s a really nice quality to play in a character. The fact that I can really like Miranda and enjoy playing her in that sense has been a lot of fun. My least favorite part about playing Miranda is not being able to change clothes!

What’s your favorite episode that’s aired so far?

Nicole: My favorite episode was the winter return episode, it was episode 106 with all of the flashbacks. I had so much fun being able to change in general, but also being able to dress up in all of the old Edwardian clothing. It was a lot of fun for me! I love historical fiction and Keira Knightley movies, so I was eating it up.

Miranda (Nicole Gale Anderson) and Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) in their Edwardian finery, in episode 106. Photo Credit: ABC Family.

Miranda (Nicole Gale Anderson) and Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) in their Edwardian finery, in episode 106. Photo Credit: ABC Family.

With everybody focusing on the curse and how to break it, has anyone ever considered what could happen to Miranda if they do break the curse?

Nicole: Yes, definitely. It’s all discussed during this huge showdown between the kids of the pack and Abaddon in the season finale. There’s this huge battle between them, and there are a lot of questions that are answered as far as Miranda being able to come back to life or staying dead. It’s all brought to the surface during this whole battle.

Do you think the gang should be thinking about ways to bring Miranda back before they do anything drastic?

Nicole: I don’t think they’ve really thought of it as a possibility up until the showdown. I think Miranda’s finally coming to terms with being a ghost and being content. Well, not content, but just more accepting of her situation. I don’t think they’ve really thought whether or not to be able to bring her back.

I know that you guys shoot in New Orleans. Have you had a chance to go out and experience the haunted city of New Orleans?

Nicole: I visited New Orleans two times prior to shooting Ravenswood, so I had already gone on the haunted history tours and all of that stuff, because I love all of that!

I think while I was down there I was pretty busy shooting the show. But I know that Brett had a lot of weird things happen to him in his apartment; he said that he felt a ghost in his bathroom. So after that I was like, ‘Well I’m never hanging out in your apartment again. I guess hangouts are now in my place. [Laughs]’ I think the city’s really, really cool in that way. You feel it in the energy and in the people.

What do you think is going to happen with Mr. Collins?

Nicole: I think Steven does such a great job at confusing people! His true colors finally show in this upcoming episode and during the season finale, which I think will be very exciting for fans to see.

If you could play any other character on Ravenswood, who would it be?

Nicole: I would probably want to be Remy. I think she’s a really smart and quirky character. Her sleeping nightmares have been a really cool aspect to her storyline as well.

Photo Credit: ABC FAMILY/Patti Perret.

Photo Credit: ABC FAMILY/Patti Perret.

How did you get your start in acting?

Nicole: I started acting when I was 13. It all began with this random pageant that I decided to sign up for, and one thing led to another and I finally come out to LA for one pilot season, and it ended up going well. Ever since then I’ve been taking commercial gigs and print modeling. Then it led to a couple of pilots, and after that I booked Jonas when I was 18; that kind of started everything.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. crissycalhoun permalink
    February 9, 2014 5:37 pm

    thank you for asking about ghost sex and ghost fashion, Lucia! the people need to know.

  2. July 18, 2016 3:56 am

    Thank you for this interview. I love you Lucia.

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