Chasing Life’s Haley Ramm On Keeping It Real As Brenna

ABC FAMILY/Craig Sjodin
ABC FAMILY/Craig Sjodin

Season 2 of Chasing Life has been especially rough on the Carver family. As if dealing with April’s ongoing battle with cancer wasn’t enough, they’ve also seen the sudden and unexpected death of her husband Leo, and now surprising news about Thomas Carver’s life has come to light. Learning their father’s death was actually a suicide has been especially hard on April (Italia Ricci), but through it all little sister Brenna (Haley Ramm) has managed to push forward have some semblance of a normal teenage life.

Life hasn’t been without challenges though for Brenna. She continues to be questioned about her bisexuality, had to change schools mid-year and has been getting closer to cancer patient/schoolmate Finn (Parker Mack). The TV Junkies got a chance to catch up with Ramm to talk about how Brenna will react to all these revelations, her blossoming relationship with Finn and what lies ahead as we near the midseason finale.

The TV Junkies: How will Brenna react to the news about her dad?

Haley Ramm: The news about her father really leaves a mark on Brenna, as I think it would for anyone if you put yourself in that position. She has a scene coming up in the next episode where she talks about her relationship with her dad and how close they became towards the end. And when Brenna lost her dad she was only, I think 13 or 14, she was pretty young, and those are huge years to lose a parent. It just really makes her think about the whole thing. It’s really a beautiful scene coming up in the next episode about it.

TTVJ: Is there anyone in particular that she turns to for help her getting through it all?

HR: I think it’s a family issue so she talks about it with her mom and her sister, with Sarah (Mary Page Keller) and April, and they talk about our father too and their last experiences with him. I think they are all just trying to figure it out. They’re trying to come to terms with it.

TTVJ: Why was Brenna so reluctant to believe anything bad about her dad? Especially when April and Natalie were so clearly convinced?

HR: I think because it’s her family and you love your family no matter what. If they’re a good person or a bad person, they’re your person so you love them. She didn’t want to believe that her dad was up to anything bad. I think she goes through a lot. But she handles it pretty well. She’s a fun character to play because I think we all go through a lot of shit in life and it’s nice to play a character like that and keep it real.

TTVJ: Brenna and Natalie (Jessica Meraz) have been getting pretty close this season. How is what’s going on with their dad going to affect their relationship?

HR: I think they both see a side of themselves in each other that they just totally get. And Brenna is not at all like April, I mean they’re total opposites. So she found a friend in Natalie and I think she wants to see the best in her. And I think that Natalie has proven herself to be a really nice person who has just gone through a lot. She’s always been the other daughter and not felt as worthy as a person. And Brenna isn’t really in to conflict, especially when it comes to her family because that’s so sacred. She just wants everyone to get along.

ABC Family
ABC Family

TTVJ: Brenna and Finn have been getting closer lately. Can you preview their relationship for these last few episodes?

HR: I love what the writers have done with their story. They started off as complete strangers, and then turned in to friends, and now a little love connection is happening. There are some really great scenes coming up in the next episodes. Brenna and Finn get a little romantic, they go to a school dance, and it’s just the sweetest. It’s like a classic high school love story but there’s more at stake because of the cancer and because of Brenna’s sexuality. I love that Finn has been so comfortable with all of that because there have been sparks flying and mention of interests between the two of them. I love that he’s so cool with that. I think it’s funny that he can’t even say LGBTQAI club.

TTVJ: I’m not sure if anyone can except for you.

HR: [Laughs]

TTVJ: Out of all the people that Brenna could have become friends with when she changed schools why do you think she chose to approach the kid with cancer?

HR: I think that a lot of it does have to do with her sister. She obviously knows what he’s going through because she sees it first hand with her sister and I think there is a part of Brenna that likes to take care of people and help people. It might have started off as something so basic as – Oh that guy has cancer, I should see if he needs anything – but it definitely turns into something deeper. I’m glad that Brenna went up to him and said “Hi” and made a friend. I think starting off with the honesty of her telling him that she wanted to help him out and that she understood what he was going through created a really cool friendship.

TTVJ: Are we ever going to find out that Brenna was Finn’s bone marrow donor?

HR: Keep watching…

TTVJ: We’ve seen Brenna date both guys and girls. How do you feel about her fluid sexuality and will the show continue to explore that?

HR: Yeah, Brenna is bisexual, that’s who she is. She loves who she loves. She cares about who they are and not their gender so I think that is a really cool, beautiful thing. They covered it a bit earlier in the season with the LGBTQAI club when they started questioning her for being Bi. I think that was cool to show that sometimes where there is supposed to be a lot of support there isn’t. So she kind of had to stand up for herself and what she thinks is right. I love playing a bisexual character. Honestly I think that everyone is just on a spectrum and that’s it. Love is love. So yeah, more power to Brenna. I hope that there are more bisexual characters on TV.

TTVJ: Will we continue to see Brenna explore and study film going forward? Will she get more confident and let her family in more on that side of her life?

HR: I think Brenna’s family has so much going on right now and with this she can sort of separate herself from that and go off and do her own thing. I think because it’s something that she actually enjoys. She didn’t feel the need to tell a lot of people about her short film because she isn’t quite sure that she’s confident about it and the pep talk that Uncle George [Steven Webeer] gave her was really cool. He was saying embrace the art that you make. I think it’s something that every artist goes through. There’s always that self doubt and that insecurity.

What do you think of Brenna this season? Are you a fan of her relationship with Finn? Sound off in the comments below!

Chasing Life airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC Family and ABC Spark.