Why are French people so drawn to it? Why do they dance so enthusiastically to it? The great thing about ballet is it can be very expressive and very moving. They do a bunch of different thing with the feet in ballet. I think ballet can convey a lot more than a lot of dance.
AVC: Do dancers try to hide the fact they’re ballet-lovers?
JP: I don’t think they can. They are so in love with it. They feel like they live in it and have this huge impact on the world and so it would be ridiculous to think that they wouldn’t love a show about them that’s just about them.
AVC: So much of the material on the show is about the characters’ journeys. What appealed to you about the material?
JP: The story has such a lot of meaning for the characters—the characters don’t even realize that much of anything is going on, but to be honest I just liked the drama. I thought to myself, “There are so many stories you can tell in the show. And the people you’re telling the stories about aren’t necessarily always the people you’d imagine.”
AVC: What struck you most about playing Elena, the character who’s really interested in her parents’ death?
JV: To be honest, I think it’s a great role—I’m so excited to get to do it. I can’t wait to get to know her. I love playing her. I think she’s just a phenomenal actress. She’s just so smart and she’s such a sweethearted person. She’s incredibly talented.
AVC: She’s so funny and so smart, and she also brings drama to it.
JV: She is a little bit like a young Joan Crawford. I think she plays that really well. She adds that little bit of humor to the show which is a real gift. And the fact that she’s an orphan. Elena’s got the gift of survival. I think that she’s like a very young Joan Crawford in that she doesn’t want to learn about the world, she just wants to survive through drama. I’m excited to find out how that plays out in the show.
AVC: You know there’s going to be a lot of stuff going on in this episode. How did you and your co-stars decide what to do?
JV: We’re talking about it