Come Sunday night on CBS after football and 60 Minutes, you are going to have a chance to see a new series in God Friended Me that focuses in part on faith — but that faith doesn’t have to be about just religion. It’s about faith in humanity, about helping others, and also about the people who can completely alter your life.
Brandon Michael Hall stars in the series as Miles, an atheist podcast host who finds everything in his world turned upside down after being “friended” on social media by an account proclaiming to be God. After that moment, a series of extraordinary and impossible-to-explain things happen in his life. One of the important people he meets early on in the pilot is Cara Bloom, an ambitious reporter played by the subject of this very interview in Violett Beane. Following her recent roles on The Flash as Jesse Quick and The Resident as Lily, Beane is a series regular on God Friended Me and this show will allow her a chance to dive deep into Cara. That includes helping Miles to understand the God account or tackling her own difficult past following the devastating departure of her mom when she was young.
Below, Beane touches on many aspects of her character, working with Hall, and also some of what she’s taken away from some of her other roles in the past. This is the first part of the interview featuring Violett; come back in the days that follow the premiere for more on what could be coming on the series moving forward.
CarterMatt – The first episode is already online for people to check out. What’s been the reaction that you’ve had so far?
Violett Beane – The reaction I’ve seen has been great. I think it was really smart for them to put it on social media, with the premise of the show being about social media. I think it also gets the younger crowd involved. I don’t feel like too many people still watch network TV when it airs, so having it online when they don’t even have to click off their social media is pretty fantastic.
After recurring on the past couple of shows you’ve been on, has it been nice to settle in more towards being a regular here?
Yeah. I definitely do think that there are benefits to both and they are just different experiences. I’ve absolutely loved being so hands-on with this show in particular. Also, our creators Bryan [Wynbrandt] and Steven [Lilien] from the get-go have been so communicative of all of us. They want to know what we think of each script; they call us after every table read to ask [for our opinion]. They’re so warm and welcoming which I totally appreciate. It isn’t always like that on shows.
What were some of your first impressions of Cara as a character when you first got to know her?
Cara is a journalist so she’s driven by people and their stories. I think that’s what guides her in life and that’s why the God account is so interesting to her. She is somewhat of a believer compared to Miles. She does believe that everyone is connected and that things that are happening with the God account aren’t just coincidences. She thinks that they are meant to do this and meant to help people.
I saw Brandon on The Mayor last year and I really loved him on that show. I was sad to see it end, but I’m very happy that there’s this new show for him now and that you two are having a chance to work together. What was the process like of starting to work with him here?
He’s been great. I was fortunate enough to do a chemistry read in my audition, which is not always the case. Right off the bat, he was so warm and so friendly. He’s a great partner to be doing this with.
This is a show that raises a lot of questions about things that are rather hard to explain, and you’ve certainly done a show [in The Flash] that touches on similar ideas already. How do you tap into some of the humanity with some of these people when there are such extraordinary things happening around them?
For this show, I think what really keeps us grounded are our relationships with each other. Cara has her relationship with her mom; [her mom leaving her at a young age] is a thing that happens to real people and it makes her emote real things. The structure between the relationships is what really grounds the show, in between Cara and Miles, Miles and his father, and Ali and her relationship. That really keeps the show in reality, because there are all of these crazy things [around them] that you can believe are coincidences or are just meant to be. But, it’s really those relationships and those connections that help to keep the show grounded.
For people who haven’t had a chance to see it yet, since I know CBS does have a pretty loyal contingent of people who still watch traditional live TV, what could you say to them to get them interested?
It really isn’t so much about religion. I think for a lot of people, no matter what their beliefs are, they shy away from something because they feel it might be preachy. I just want them to know that this show isn’t like that and it’s really just there to open up a conversation. At the end of the day, it’s a family drama with jokes in it — it doesn’t have to be about religion.
What did you take away from your time on The Flash and The Resident that you’re applying to your work now here?
I think every set you go on, you learn something new, and with The Flash I was really just learning the basics and what it means to be on a high-production television show. With The Resident, I had the [experience] from The Flash and I was really focused in on performance alone. I’ve been really lucky that I haven’t had to experience anything that Lily had had to go through. That was quite a challenge for me.
With this show, I’m highly involved in a way that I haven’t been before just because I’m working almost every single day and I’m in almost all of the scenes. It’s really cool and I’m making these relationships with the crew and I’m able to learn from them and they’re teaching me. It’s a really fantastic process.
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