Brown has been a successful working actress for over a decade with works ranging from top-grossing feature films to Emmy-winning television shows, including General Hospital, True Blood, and Homeland. She is also the CEO for the philanthropic non-profit corporation “The New Hollywood” Women’s Goal Group Inc., which she founded in 2006. And now she takes on the role of Beverly Hills socialite Taylor Stappord, in a show chock-full of scandal, murder, intrigue and good laughs.
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Mamiverse: I love what I have seen on Devious Maids so far! What a fun show. What drew you to working on Devious Maids?
BB: I wanted to work with Marc Cherry and (executive producer) Sabrina Wind. I was very excited about playing a character different from myself and also to dabble in comedy again.
Mamiverse: Tell us a little bit about your character on the show.
BB: Taylor Stappord is a trophy wife with a secret. Shhhhh!!!!!
Mamiverse: Is there a specific vision Marc Cherry and Eva Longoria have with Devious Maids? Do you have your own vision about your role on this show?
BB: I think Marc Cherry has a very specific tone to his writing that beautifully blends drama and comedy. I’m just excited to be able to play within his world.
Mamiverse: Some of the initial criticism of the show has been that it stereotypes Latinas. Eva Longoria said “The only way to break a stereotype is to not ignore it.” What is your reaction to the criticism?
BB: I agree that you can’t ignore stereotypes. Lord knows I have played a lot of stereotypes as a blond woman. Most importantly I think these stories are worth exploring and telling. It subtly raises the question of: how do we treat people who make more or less money than ourselves and is that okay?
Mamiverse: Do you think the show will break this perception of stereotypes?
BB: I hope the show showcases the upstairs/downstairs that is happening within our culture. I hope it makes people look at themselves and how they treat people and how they let people treat them. Everyone deserves respect regardless of their salary or where they were born.
Mamiverse: I know with your work with The New Hollywood you want to empower women and destroy stereotypes. Your character on Devious Maids does not seem to have your values (at least initially). How do you approach working on a character like that? How do you see her evolving?
BB: I have no idea how she will evolve. What I love about acting is that you can play people so different from yourself. Honestly it’s more fun to play something vastly different from yourself! With my work within my non-profit “The New Hollywood” Women’s Goal Group Inc. we strive to be an example of women supporting one another and giving back to our communities. As a women’s philanthropic goal group we hope to be role models for other young women. Showing that women don’t have to be competitive and negative to one another to get ahead, and that it actually works better to help and support each other. Within my production company Brown Rose Productions we try to produce socially conscious films and projects.
Mamiverse: Do you see it as your responsibility as an actress to be a good role model? What do you hope people see when they watch (or work with) you?
BB: I hope that when people watch me on Devious Maids they are entertained. I hope when people work with me they have fun and see that I am an effective professional. I try in every role I do to bring humanity despite the characters flaws. I hope that if we can have compassion for others’ flaws we can be more compassionate toward our own flaws too. I believe that anyone who is a public figure has a wonderful opportunity to be a role model. I try my best to be my personal best, to live up to my values and to always have integrity with myself. I feel that the only way to truly lead is to lead by example.
Mamiverse: What advice would you give to actresses starting out?
BB: Work REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY hard. Always listen to that still small voice inside yourself first. Be in integrity with yourself because once you lose faith and trust in yourself, no amount of money can bring that back to you. Be an example of what you would like to see in the world, versus falling into the smoke and mirrors of dysfunction that is publicized within Hollywood. You do not have to be promiscuous, vein, a narcissist or negative to other women to get ahead. Be YOU and know WHY are you doing what you are doing. That will keep you going through the roller coaster that you are about to embark upon. Oh, and learn to be a savvy businesswoman, learn to be excellent with your finances and learn to produce your own projects so you can work beyond your 40s.
Watch Brianna and all the other amazing actresses on Devious Maids Sundays at 10pm EST/9pm Central on Lifetime.