Brianne Davis plays Lena Graves on History’s highly anticipated miniseries, SIX. Davis recently talked to us about her involvement with the military, her upcoming directorial project, Psychophonia, and what it means to her to be a “nerd.” Check out our chat below, and tune into SIX on History!
Let’s start with the most important question of all: what makes you nerd out?
“I love this question! I am a total nerd, but I’m more like an old lady or a child nerd. It’s a very weird combo. I nerd out over 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzles of candy or food items, because I love to eat. I will look up any restaurant I pass on the street to check out the reviews and their menu. I nerd out over Medieval Times, or the Renaissance Faire, which I have done both on my birthdays, and even a trampoline park where I twisted my ankle with all the kids watching. I love holidays and will decorate my house all out. And last but not least I love a cheesy drugstore romance novel. So if you think about it, I’m pretty nerdy all around.”
The word “nerd” has evolved in recent years. What does it mean to you to be a nerd about something?
“It means to be so stoked and beyond excited for something to occur. That you have marked it on your calendar and are living for that date to happen to make your wildest dreams come true.”
What is currently on your DVR or Netflix queue?
“Honestly, I have been so busy shooting and working that my queue is empty, but I do love to watch Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations or House Hunters Renovation while I’m on location. I also just got done watching The Night of, Stranger Things and PBS’ Great British Baking Show.”
You’ve been on both sides of the camera as both an actor and director. Is there one side you prefer over the other? What are the differences between acting and directing?
“To tell you the truth, I love both sides for entirely different reasons. They both work my mind and creativity in completely different ways. As an actor, I get to engulf myself in the character and be all about that experience which can be a tad self-involved process. I am aware of all the other characters and how I fit into the story, but it’s a very one person kind of experience for me.
Of course, I love working with my scene partner, especially Barry Sloane who plays my husband on my new series “SIX” for History Channel. He was a dream scene partner, and I was beyond lucky to share that experience with him. But for me as a director, I use every experience to create the complete vision of the movie. I use the acting side to direct my actors and break down the script for each character. I get to work in close collaboration with my DP and crew to bring my vision to life. It’s a very collaborative process which when I am directing takes all my concentration and energy. My entire body is alive with creativity, and it’s one of the best feelings in the world. That’s why I’m taking more steps to start directing television. I’m in New York for the month shadowing the Emmy-nominated Lesli Linka Glatter on Homeland for two episodes. My dream is to be on a hit series and directing some of the episodes.
Your latest project, Psychophonia, involves a grieving artist who unravels a mystery following her husband’s death. What about this story drew you to it?
“I would say the love story was the first thing that got me excited, plus all the twists and turns in the psychological thriller. I also love directing fight scenes, and there were two of them in the script. Plus the lead is a very strong woman who is finding her true self through this entire trauma and a huge loss. It was inspiring to direct a strong female character which my dear friend, Vedette Lim, played beautifully. And big news, it was just announced, Psychophonia, is World Premiering at the Sitges International Film Festival October 7th, 2016!”
You’ve been on multiple USO tours in the past, and now you also star in History’s highly anticipated miniseries “Six.” What does it mean to you to star in such an impactful story honoring our military?
“I am beyond grateful to bring Lena Graves to life. I am so proud of our show “SIX” and can’t wait for everyone to see it. It’s an authentic portrayal of what Navy Seals and their families go through on a daily basis. I’m hoping all the military families are proud of our dedication and work to tell their stories. I started my career in Jarhead, which was written by William Broyles, who is also the creator and showrunner on Six. So I’ve come full circle to be in a military show. I honor the men and women who give their lives to keep our country safe. Doing the USO in Iraq and Afghanistan have been a couple of the most rewarding experience for me. Plus with my father being in the Vietnam War, it means a lot to me.”
You have a variety of credits to your name. Is there any one project in particular that stands out, and why?
“I’m proud of a lot of my work, but I have to say ‘SIX’ is one of the best. Also, a movie that was just released on Netflix and On Demand now is a sci-fi love story called “Synchronicity” with A.J. Bowen and Michael Ironside. I play a very complex character beautifully written and directed by Jacob Gentry.”
You act, direct, AND fly helicopters? How did you get interested in that?
“Haha! Acting was the only thing that got me out of my shyness as a young adult. I have ADHD, and it was hard for me to do well in school, and acting was the thing that helped me to manage my disease and bring out my creativity and true self. And directing is all about being OCD about all the details then getting on set and letting all the preparation go and playing with your actors. It’s a great creative rush. And yes, I have flown helicopters, which I fell in love with them flying all over the Middle East for the USO tours. I’ve been working on getting my hours to get my pilot license.”
Do you have a dream role or a dream costar you’d love to work with?
“A dream role for me would be to play a detective or an assassin of some sort, if you can imagine a female Jason Bourne character. Also, a great English Pride and Prejudice would be quite fun to play too. And there are too many talented, amazing actors that I would be honored to work with. I will leave that up to fate to give to me.”
What do you do when you’re not acting?
“Mostly I hang with my husband, Mark Gantt, who is my producing partner for Give & Take Productions. We love traveling around the world, but we’re pretty chill by taking our dogs for walks, cooking dinner together, watching movies and hanging out at our home together. I’ve been on location shooting for so many months, so when I’m home, I just like to relax. But don’t get me wrong whenever I get a chance to travel and see the world, my bag is packed!”