Brea Grant: 'Dexter' Lets Me Be Sexy
While the projects Brea Grant has been a part of vary widely -- Friday Night Lights, Heroes, Halloween II -- the characters all seemed to be cut from the same quirky, best friend cloth. That's why the actress is so elated by her gig as Ryan: Masuka's seductive, death-obsessed, mysteriously motivated assistant on the current season of Dexter.
And while her super tight outfits leave little to the imagination, Brea tells me that Ryan's true motivations will remain mostly masked as she continues to play all sides of the fence for a few more weeks, as she gets ahead in Miami Metro. But a gig on TV's most darkly delicious drama isn't the only reason 2011 has been good to Brea -- she also just took home Best Actress for her role as a soldier in Homecoming. I found out why Brea chose that film, in addition to what's coming up on Dexter, when we chatted earlier this week.
Insider.com: When people talk to you about Ryan, is the costume the first thing they go to?
Brea Grant: Pretty much [laughs]. At the very least, Dexter is letting me play sexy, which is something no one has cast me in yet. I've always been the nerdy best friend, or even if I have a love interest, it's never sexy. It's like they're just good buddies [laughs]. This is the first time I've been able to express any sort of sexuality, which is crazy fun.
Insider: Do you think Ryan knows what she's doing with those clothes and poses?
Brea: Oh, it's total bait. [laughs] Especially leaning over in that horizontal line skirt. My dad was not thrilled with that ensemble. But yea, I think she's 100 percent conscious. In a lot of ways Ryan is a social climber and knows how to use what she's got to get what she wants. She's not a bad guy, or dumb, she just knows that her intelligence is not what's always going to help her get ahead. Sometimes, it's gonna be her ass.
Insider: So should we be worried about seeing her date with Masuka this week?
Brea: You probably should be, yes. We don't go on the date with them, but we see how things are after the date. And, I don't want to completely demonize her, I think there's a part of Ryan that genuinely enjoys Masuka's attention. He brings her all these things about death and she loves that stuff. In that way, she is a little charmed by him, but she s someone who always has something else going on. I'm sure everyone knows girls like that.
Insider: Sure, but we don't all know girls who steal arms from the morgue. What's up with that? Kleptomania? Necrophilia?
Brea: [laughs] I like the idea that it would be necrophilia. You never know with Ryan, she's a little kinky. She has a reason for everything she does. It might not be the best reason, but she has a reason. You'll find out what that is very soon. I'm sorry, I'm always on these shows with all the spoiler warnings, like, "don't say a damn word to the press!" [laughs] It feels like there's always a firing squad waiting for me.
Insider: I also wanted to offer up my congratulations for winning Best Actress at the FirstGlance Film Festival for Homecoming. What attracted you to that movie?
Brea: Thank you! I don't come across a lot of projects where they're interested in me playing a soldier coming back from war. When people know me, they think weird, quirky, spunky – this is such a different story. We see so many male driven soldier returning home stories, or PTSD stories. This is very much a story about what it's like being away from your family and then to find out how much everything has changed when you come home. It's so relatable, even if you’re not a soldier. You take a big risk when you do an indie, but I really wanted to do this movie -- both as an artist and in terms of the story. I liked doing something besides scream and cry for 18 hours a day in a horror movie. Not that I don't love genre work, but it's nice for people to see I'm capable of more.
Dexter airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on Showtime, while you can get more information on Homecoming by clicking here!