Katie Leclerc has stepped into a new and more mature series, and it is all too fitting for her. With the release of the series Confess, based off of Colleen Hoover’s romance novel, Katie plays the role of leading lady Auburn Reed. Auburn is a complex character, moving to Los Angeles to try to rebuild her life and gain custody of her son. After entering an art studio in search of a job, she finds the ruggedly charming Owen Gentry, and so begins the budding romance that is pricked with secrets and, of course, confessions. This much steamier role is a change of pace for Katie, who most notably played Daphne Vasquez in the teen TV series Switched at Birth.
Katie tells BUST that, much like the role of Daphne, Auburn is a strong woman trying to take control of her life. This new and more mature role comes with some more ties to Katie’s actual personality, she says. “Auburn is funny and ditzy and clumsy, which is definitely me,” she continues. ‘She is strong but doesn’t always know what to do.” Perhaps it’s Auburn’s maturity or strictly her personality but Katie explains, chuckling, “I put a lot of myself in Auburn.”
While Katie is thrilled over her new series and the work put into it, she says she can look back on her career as in film and TV and pinpoint the moments when sexism seeped in. Speaking about some of her earlier experiences, Katie says, “I know that I was hired specifically, and kept on specifically, at a job that I was not qualified for.” She goes on to explain how the hiring happened and the double-edged sword that came along with it. On the one hand, Katie says she is proud of speaking up and being bold enough to ask for a promotion — something that even today many women have trouble doing. But on the other hand, Katie says she knows she was kept there “Because I was pretty to look it.” Katie explains that looking back now, had she known that was the reason she was kept or if it were to happen to her as an adult, she would have left the position.
Sexism isn’t the only hurdle that Katie has had to move past while building her career in the film industry — she also suffers from Meniere’s disease. Meniere’s is a disorder of the inner ear which is thought to be caused by abnormal amounts of fluid in the inner ear. It can cause episodes of vertigo, loss of hearing and intense ringing in the ears. While Katie’s character in Switched at Birth was deaf, she herself is hard of hearing and experiences some episodes of vertigo. While filming Confess, Katie says there were moments when she would have small vertigo episodes. About two or three times while on set, Katie explains had small episodes and her co-star would help to literally ground her. “Ryan [Owen Gentry] would put his hand on my back and he would be holding me still, letting me know where the ground was.” Katie says she tries not to let it interfere with her work too much but overall likes to bring up her disorder to bring awareness to it, saying, “It’s something that is really underdiagnosed and something like three million Americans have it but they don’t know.” While it can be a hassle to work around while trying to film, Katie says she doesn’t let it slow her down. “We all have reasons to be like, ugh, this sucks — this moment sucks,” Katie says, but positivity and a good attitude help her work past it.
Since Confess is a one series show, sadly Katie has put the character of Auburn away but is now looking to write and produce alongside her husband. “I love to work,” Katie says, explaining her passion for her work on Confess and her drive to get started on her newest horror film project with her husband. Until that comes out be sure to check out Confess at Go90, with the full series available now!
Top photo via Go90
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