Brea Grant is a relative newcomer to the world of television and film, but has certainly been working hard to make a name for herself in the industry. With the prominent role of Daphne Millbrook in season three of the highly successful ‘Heroes’ under her belt, Brea is about to make a big splash on the silver screen in Rob Zombie’s sequel to ‘Halloween’. Not too bad for a small town girl from Marshall, Texas. With an arsenal that includes a charming personality, amazing looks, and undeniable talent, Brea looks poised to have a huge career. Steve Johnson of Icon vs Icon recently sat down with Brea to discuss the differences between working in television and film, her work on ‘Heroes’, her experiences on the set of ‘Halloween II’, and most surprisingly, her upcoming comic.
Where did you grow up?
Marshall, Texas, which is in Northeast Texas. I went to college in Austin.
When did you realize you wanted to pursue a career in film?
I did a lot of community theater as a kid and then left that whole world to pursue a career in academics. After a year of hating graduate school, I started taking acting classes and decided that that was what I really wanted to do with my life.
Did you have any influences, be it other actors or otherwise?
My influences are mostly personal. I am so lucky to have some of the most amazing, inspiring women in my life. As far as acting goes, I like women who take risks and who make me laugh. I love Julianne Moore, Parker Posey and Tina Fey.
You’ve had roles in motion pictures and on television series. Which format do you prefer?
I like them both! I love how quick television goes and the quick turnaround. You do an episode and it’s out a few months later. Plus, you get to see the character develop. I love film too because I can explore a character for a finite time so I know exactly where I’m going with her.
You starred as Daphne Millbrook on Season 3 of ‘Heroes’. How did you get involved in that project?
I was on ‘Friday Night Lights’ before that and some of the people from ‘Heroes’ saw me there. They wrote the part of Daphne and thought I’d be great for it. I auditioned for it and was on set about a month later.
Did you have any input into that character or was it laid out for you in the script?
It was pretty much all figured out before I got there. The writers for ‘Heroes’ are amazing and did everything as far as shaping how that character goes. As they got to know me more, they infused her with a bit more of my personality though. I’d be reading the script and think, “Wow, that sounds like something I would say!”
The ‘Heroes’ cast is full of amazing actors. What was it like working with the other members of the cast?
Everyone on ‘Heroes’ is really nice. Masi and Greg are such giving actors. The first day I was there, Masi told me to ask him for anything, even directions to the nearest place to get coffee. And everyone loves Greg. It’s great to show up to set and everyone is happy to be there and happy to be working.
Any interesting stories or challenges while on the set of ‘Heroes’?
The day I got shot, I was really nervous. I had never been around the fake bullets or it was the first time I had had squibs connected to me for the bullet effect. So when you see shock register on my face during that scene, it was real. I was actually very nervous and scared when the shots were fired.
You are starring in the upcoming ‘Halloween II’. How did you get involved with that project?
I went in and auditioned like everyone else!
Were you a fan of horror films before you got involved in ‘Halloween II’ and had you seen any of the other ‘Halloween’ films?
Yeah! I’m a horror fan and ‘Halloween’ was a part of my childhood. I was stoked to be involved in a movie that had played such a big role in scaring the crap out of me as a kid.
What was it like working with Rob Zombie?
Rob is amazing. He’s an innovative director that lets his actors have time to play and work out a scene. He really knows what he’s doing.
Would you consider working with Rob in the future?
Definitely! Like I said, he’s an amazing director who loves actor input, which is very freeing as an actor. He is also just a generally rad guy.
What can people expect from ‘Halloween II’?
It’s a beautifully shot, really scary movie!
You star as Mya Rockwell in the film. What can you tell us about your character?
I play Laurie’s new best friend, a sort of bad girl who has a good heart. She’s the girl who was a troublemaker in high school, but is trying to get her life together. She’s also trying to help Laurie keep it together.
Did you have any input into that character or was it laid out for you in the script?
The character was already in place, but Rob definitely tailored her a bit to fit me. I’m vegan and he put a “VEGAN” tattoo on my arm. He also made me the more politically correct of Laurie’s two new friends, I think because it fit me well.
Did you do any special preparation for the role?
For a lot of the movie, I’m dressed as Columbia from ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show.’ I told Rob I had never seen it and he freaked, so I had to go home and immediately watch it. Other than that, I went back and watched some of Rob’s movies and some of the later Halloween movies that I hadn’t seen. I love that preparing for my job involves watching movies!
Some of the cast has been together for two movies now. As a newcomer to the cast, how was the relationship between you guys while on set?
Everyone was super nice. They were like a big family, but completely welcoming. It felt like everyone was just showing up to hang out with each other. Plus, I actually knew one of my co-stars, Angela Trimbur, before I went. It was a complete accident, but I had seen her perform at Upright Citizens Brigade in Los Angeles, so I felt like I had a buddy going into it.
What was the biggest challenge while working on the set of ‘Halloween II’?
Running around in a sequined bustier for most of the movie!
Do you have any interesting stories from the set of ‘Halloween II’?
On Halloween night in the movie, we go to this amazing party/show. All of the extras were locals from the Georgia area and they brought their own costumes! Remember that when you’re watching the movie because the costumes were amazing! We spent most of those shoots just checking out everyone’s costumes. They went all out. It was really amazing. So the whole night was that much more fun to us.
Tyler Mane is a huge guy. Did you find him intimidating when in full Michael Meyers costume?
Definitely. The fear you see is partially real because what could be more scary than a huge guy in a Michael Meyers mask? Tyler is really nice though.
As an actress, what are your feelings on this latest trend in Hollywood of remaking movies?
I’m split on it. I love the originals of certain movies and start to take it personally when they want to remake some of my childhood favorites. On the other hand, I do feel like I want to see a younger generation experience them as well. I can’t imagine expecting kids now to understand ‘Halloween’ the way I did when I first saw it, so yeah, I think it’s great to revamp a franchise because the originals will always be there. Maybe it’ll inspire people to go see the brilliant originals.
You have an upcoming film entitled ‘Trance’. What can you tell us about that project?
That’s actually something I shot three years ago that’s still in post-production hell, so I don’t know if I’d call it upcoming.
Other than ‘Halloween II’ and ‘Trance’, what other projects are in your immediate future?
I have a comic coming out next year called ‘We Will Bury You’ that I co-wrote with my brother. IDW is publishing it.
What’s the biggest misconception about yourself?
People forget that I’m really just a small-town girl. I have that small-town mindset. I’m friendly to strangers and generally pretty nice. And I like to know my neighbors. I think people assume that I’m similar to the characters I play and that’s not exactly true.
Do you have an advice for anyone who would like to get involved in the film industry?
Don’t give up and do something every day that helps your career. Treat it like a career and not a hobby.
Do you have any last words?
Go see H2!
Thanks for your time and best of luck!
Jason Price founded the mighty Icon Vs. Icon more than a decade ago. Along the way, he’s assembled an amazing group of like-minded individuals to spread the word on some of the most unique people and projects on the pop culture landscape.