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Brandon Barash Interview with, 03.20.03 ...

Born in St. Louis, Missouri and raised in Calabasas, California, Brandon Barash is a relative newcomer to the Hollywood scene. The talented twenty-three year old attended high school in Texas where he fell in love with theatre. Brandon continued to hone his acting skills throughout school and eventually ended up at the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Recently, Brandon has been seen in several episodes of Gilmore Girls playing Paris Geller's first boyfriend, Jamie. Had you watched or heard of Gilmore Girls before you auditioned for your part? If so, what were your thoughts about the show?

Brandon Barash: Well, I have to honestly admit to never having seen the show before actually auditioning. I had heard of it, but never actually seen it. Now, after I was cast, that is a different story. I did my homework and began watching the show so I could see what it was all about. I figured this would help me best in telling the story I was getting ready to tell through Jamie.

ORG: Did Amy Sherman-Palladino play a part in casting you? How is she as a director?

Brandon: "So do you want me to get down on my hands and knees and grovel now, or what?" Those were my first words to the casting directors and producers as I walked into their office LATE. Only by about five to ten minutes, but nevertheless, I was LATE. I hate being late. Fifteen minutes earlier, I was freaking out because I was stuck in this cluster on Santa Monica Blvd. in one of the most horrendous traffic jams I have yet to experience. I was sitting there thinking, "So this is nice. I have a meeting with the producers of this great show, and here I am sitting in a traffic jam…they're waiting for me in their nice air conditioned office…they're going to hate me…I am never going to be on this show," as I sunk lower and lower into my seat. Amy was there when I went in for my "final callback." She was there along with the other producers and directors, and I guess it’s safe to say that they forgave my tardiness and maybe somewhat appreciated my humor. As a director, Amy is brilliant and a blast to work with. It was amazing to me as to how easy going she was. Any set is a highly stressful place, and she and everyone else for that matter handle it beautifully.

ORG: What is the atmosphere on the set like?

Brandon: Beyond pleasant. This is not what I expected. I say this because this was my first job, and I would have expected the set of a major television show to be NUTS. It wasn't. Yes, everything moves at such a fast pace from moment to moment, there's always somebody doing something and it seems like there's always a time deadline. Sounds pretty stressful, but the set of Gilmore Girls is quite the opposite. I don't even think you could find any semblance of an attitude in the place if you turned it upside down. Every person, whether they are a set dresser, actor, producer or director, is an utter joy to be around. Hopefully, every set I work on is like this one.

ORG: Do you think that Jamie watched Paris' "speech" on C-SPAN? What thoughts would have been floating through his mind as he was watching?

Brandon: Great question. Yes, Jamie was definitely watching this so-called "speech." What thoughts…huh. Wow. Well, for Jamie, seeing Paris all disheveled was a shock and a change of pace for her usual well prepared self. After the initial shock and feeling bad for Paris, Jamie's thoughts were focused on "I have to fix this." I think he felt bad, not about what happened, but on the repercussions it was having on Paris.

ORG: If you wrote Paris' and Jamie's future, how would their relationship progress?

Brandon: This is simple, President and First Lady. They're great together, and given both of their political prowesses, each will benefit the other well.

ORG: You and Liza Weil have great chemistry in your scenes. Do you ever hang out with Liza or other cast members in your free time?

Brandon: First of all, thank you for that compliment. Liza and I have never hung out outside of the set. We actually ran into each other by coincidence somewhere in town, which was funny. As for the other cast members, I have never hung out with them either. They're all awesome people, and they'd be fun, but it's just never happened.

ORG: Of the scenes you've been in on Gilmore Girls, which was your favorite and why?

Brandon: That's a tough one, because they have all been a blast. If I had to pick one, I'd have to say that it's the one where I surprise Paris at school and win her back. I say this one because, well, first of all, I was a heck of a lot more at ease since this was no longer "my first time on a set." However beyond that, I'd have to say that it was fun going in there with the objective of "I screwed up, and now I have to get the girl back." I had to take Paris from almost hating me and bring her to become crazy about me. I found that stimulating and fun.

ORG: Will you be returning to Gilmore Girls for future episodes?

Brandon: Let's hope so…wanna start a campaign?

ORG: What is your background in acting?

Brandon: Interesting question. Everything happens for a reason. In high school (my whole life really) I was obsessed with basketball. I carried one with me everywhere I went. Everyone always said they knew Brandon was coming because they heard the dribble of a basketball. I had my hopes set on playing college ball. That all changed on the fateful day my orthopedist told me my sophomore year of high school that in order to keep at the basketball, I needed major surgery to repair my damaged knees or that I just needed to "find something else to do." I chose to find that something. My dad, when I was in high school, was and still is, a strong advocate of those things we call extra-curricular activities. He was all over me to find something to do. Well, without my knowing about it, my girlfriend at that time had gotten me an audition for the school musical. She did this because my family had always encouraged me to explore theatre, since from the time I was about five; I have been entertaining my family with silly impressions and such, so they encouraged me to do something with it. Anyway, I ended up landing the lead in this musical and fell in love with acting. Suddenly, I wanted nothing to do with college basketball. Everything happens for a reason. I then went to perform in every subsequent play until I graduated in 1998. I then went to the University of Southern California and received a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) in Acting. Wow, talk about a long answer to a short question.

ORG: What kind of person were you in high school?

Brandon: I was a drama kid torn between my original dream and plans of becoming a cardiac surgeon vs. a new found love and dream of the actor. I think I gave most of my family a heart attack (no pun intended) when I made the decision. However, they have been 110% supportive of my dream the whole way through.

ORG: If you had three wishes, what would they be?

Brandon: Whoa, I wasn't expecting this one. Well, in an effort not to keep you here for hours, and avoiding an answer longer than the one above, I am going to have to skip that one…trust me you'll be here for hours if you let me answer it.

ORG: When you have downtime, how do you like to spend it?

Brandon: I love music. That has to be one of my most intense passions. I love both playing and listening to it. By playing I mean the piano and I have just recently taken on the harmonica, talk about a fun instrument. I collect original vinyl records, but I have only listened to about half of the ones I own…maybe I need more downtime…na, I don't think so. I also love exercising, tending to my fish tanks (I'm obsessed with fish too, I have three tanks), studying my favorite actors in their movies, spending time with my friends and most importantly, talking to my family.

ORG: Do you have anything you'd like to share with your fans of Gilmore Girls?

Brandon: Well, I'm contemplating if I have bored you from sharing too much. I hope I haven't. What I will leave with anyone reading this is a quote that someone once shared with me and it inspires me every day. "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. would like to sincerely thank Brandon for taking the time to answer our questions. Remember, Gilmore Girls airs Tuesday nights at 8:00pm/7:00pm central on The WB television network.

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