Q: The season premiere of "Breakout Kings" is around the corner, what can you tease about what we'll see this season and with your character Erica?
A: Well, with season one you kind of got an idea that she has some anger issues, but thereís definitely a softer side to her as well with her daughter. Sheís kind of getting a soft spot for the team, which is interesting. You may see that open up a little bit more this season where sheís still tough as nails, definitely kick-ass kind of chick, but the team is starting to become a bit more of a team. Yes, we still have fights. Yes her and Lloyd, thereís still a lot of tension there, but you see them working together in ways that they didnít in the first season, so thatís kind of cool. Itís less of a procedural show. We still have the procedural elements, but thereís more of a storyline to it. You get to know a little bit more about the characters. You get to see love interests that are coming into the show as well which is really interesting. So thereís the good old Erica, and thereís a whole new side to Erica that you havenít seen yet.
Q: Is it fun for you to get to play the different dynamics for her?
A: Oh yeah. Part of what drew me to the character at the beginning was just the diversity within her, and thatís why I love working for such great writers. One minute sheís snide and snippy, and the next sheís a loving mother, and the next sheís punching somebody in the face. Itís sort of a schizophrenic character, but in a way itís kind of like real life. Your emotions just take you wherever they take you. So itís fun. I love playing the diversity of Erica. I come to work every day excited.
Q: Do you get to do some of your own stunt work or do any kind of the training for that?
A: Yeah, I do about, I would say 99% of my own stunts. The only one I wasnít able to do this season was jumping into a moving truck, like running along side of it and jumping into a moving truck. They thought that was a little too dangerous for me. Everything else you see is me. I go through a window. I do a bunch of fighting. I do all that stuff, so I started last season training with and then Iíve continued on just training as well in Baton Rouge and now Iíll start again back here in L.A. when I get back. I leave on Sunday for Cambodia. Once I get back then Iíll start to train again.
Q: What is it that you find really challenging about the role?
A: Only getting to do ten episodes? I donít know, thereís nothing thatís really challenging about her. Not in a negative way, in an extremely positive. It's also welcomed if ever there is a really emotional scene or itís a tough scene, you just start to really love this character. After the first season youíre kind of getting her into your bones. In the second season you really know who your character is and I think thatís what happened on set. Everybody just got really settled into who their character was, and we played a lot. We had a lot of fun. Youíll see that come up a lot with Lloyd and Erica. Thatís great, itís so much fun. There hasnít been anything thatís really tough, just extremely pleasant.
Q: I was going to say, you, Brooke and Jimmi and everyone, you just have this really great flawless chemistry when we watch you all on screen. It seems like you guys have been doing this for four or five seasons.
A: We are so lucky. I say that almost every day, or whenever I talk about the show. Iím so blessed to be a part of a cast thatís so wonderful, not as just actors, but also as human beings. I know that sounds so corny and so ďOh I love my cast,Ē but I really do. We basically lived in a mall this season, which was very bizarre. We lived in the grove but upstairs, in apartments, but we all were in the same building this year as opposed to last year when we were separate. I probably only ate five or six dinners alone. The rest of the time we were up at Domís house having spaghetti, or Jimmi would be making all of us this amazing soup that he makes from scratch, and Malcolm would be telling hilarious jokes, or Brooke would have us over for vegan pizza, or I would have them over. We would just have these amazing get-togethers and every weekend it wasnít just the cast getting together it was the cast and the crew and the director and the guest stars. We just had an amazing, amazing time this season. It was lots of fun.
Q: Speaking of guest stars, is there anyone that you can dish on that weíll get to see this season?
A: Oh, thereís quite a few. Jason Behr, who plays Damion, who you will see in the first episode, he is an awesome, awesome human being but also a really wicked actor. We really enjoyed working with him, and he came out with us a couple of times. We were all sad to see him go. He was amazing. There are so many. Dash Mihok, he was an amazing one we had. Oh, thereís so many. I could literally go down the list of all of them and they were phenomenal. We had Ian Bowen, who comes on and plays a guy, Keet. We had just such great guest stars this season, and I feel so bad because now Iím trying to remember them all because each one of them was so good I donít want them to be like "you didnít say anything about me!" We had such a good time.
Q: The show really has become this great addiction to so many people. What do you think it is that captured so many viewers?
A: Firstly, I have to thank all those people that watch because I get to go to work every day because of them, and I love that people have an appreciation for the show. We really love it, and every day we go in and really try to do justice to these characters. Itís so rewarding knowing that people care. I think they might get the humanity of the show. There are a lot of procedurals out there about bad guys, people chase them, catch them, and then go home. This brings an element of a personal touch to it because youíre starting to get to know the characters and theyíre all quirky and theyíre all running from something. The theme of the show is running, is breaking out, is escaping. In the first season you saw what everyone is escaping from. Erica is escaping from her past, Charlie is escaping from a heart condition and from being type-cast as a weak person that needs to be behind a desk, and Ray is escaping from the money problems, and taking the money from a sting. Everybody has this element of running from something and itís coming together, culminating into this really interesting story and managed to care about that love connection between Lloyd and Jules. There is so much humanity in it, I think, and you get to watch explosions and crazy fight scenes and blood and all this manly stuff, and you can be a girl and watch it. The story line between Erica and her daughter, and Jules and Shea and his girlfriend and Lloyd and his mom, and thereís something else to watch as well but I think we cover a few bases, which I have huge respect to the writers for that and giving us this depth. I think thatís what they kind of get from the show. We really call ourselves a ďdramedyĒ because weíre a drama and a comedy sort of mixed together, so itís not just this heavy kind of drama show. We have Lloyd who just is like the funniest person in the world. I love going to work with Jimmi every day. Heís just one of the best people I know, and heís so funny. So I think that might be it. If itís not, then the people can tweet me and tell me why they like it, because otherwise, I just have no idea why you guys like it. Maybe itís just to stare at beautiful, beautiful Laz, or beautiful Dom, or beautiful Malcolm, or beautiful Jimmi. Theyíre beautiful boys.
Q: Donít count yourself out there Serinda. I mean, not to try to discount you, but come on, youíve got to include yourself.
A: Well thank you, I really appreciate that. I like this character because of the fact that her outer look, her beauty, is not what she relies on. Itís not another one of these characters where Iím in high heels and it takes me an hour-and-a-half to get ready in the morning, with big hair. A lot of the time I walk in and they, you know, throw my hair in a pony tail. I get five minutes, literally. My regimen in the morning was I would go in, my wonderful hair-girl, Amy, she would give me a head massage because they would allot half an hour to do my hair, and thatís like the minimum they give you because theyíre like, well, it has to take half an hour, and we do pony tails. We would just leave my hair naturally. So I would get this amazing head massage in the morning because there was nothing else to do, and thatís crazy. I mean, when I was doing "Hawaii Five-O" it took an hour-and-a-half to do my hair because it had to be curled, it had to be whatever, so I love this girl. I love Erica and her simplicity. Itís great.
Q: You mentioned getting to go to Cambodia shortly, and we know youíre really actively involved with helping with sex trafficking, and I wanted to find out a little bit more about why it is important for you to be involved with this and what other people can do to be active as well.
A: Absolutely, thank you for asking. Itís wonderful to have people care and spread the word, so thank you. Basically, I actually got involved last year when I was in Toronto shooting ďBreakout Kings.Ē I kind of sat there and was watching television, and I realized that nowadays celebrities can have more of a voice than politicians. They certainly have a bigger outreach with social media. I found that it would be really important to say something with that voice. To have something that was meaningful and that could change the world, make a difference in any way possible, just basically do what you can where you are. So I started a nonprofit called ďFriends to MankindĒ which is basically doing what you can where you are. If youíre not travelling then find something that you could help with here locally. Weíre building a database right now so you can click where youíre living and all the nonprofits around you pop up, and whether itís just donating clothes or donating your time or your old laptop, whatever it may be, weíre trying to make it so that people can do that because I feel more often than not, I just want to help and I just want to, I just donít know how. It was interesting because I was starting to get fan mail in and around that time and I was like, why? This is amazing, but Iím probably just as excited to meet fans as they are for me, because Iím like, wow, you like what I do! Thatís amazing! I love that! I just wanted to make sure that I had a voice so I just started researching and finding what resonated with me, and there was a CNN special on sex trafficking that night, actually, and I just turned it on and probably cried for the full two hours that it was on. I was so shocked and horrified at what was going on so as soon as I was done shooting I started organizing a trip, just me and a backpack, and headed out to Malaysia, Cambodia, and Thailand for, just go over. I love to go and have personal research and just go see what was really going on and work with a couple of different organizations out in Cambodia. Then at Christmas time I went to Bali to go work with an amazing corporation called ďSecret ChildhoodĒ who was trying to build a shelter, sanctuary, in Bali for victims of sex trafficking which is really quite horrible out there as well. I just think itís a problem thatís not just abroad, there are over 100,000 women and children that are in sexual slavery right now in the United States, and we donít know about this, itís kept from everyone because itís such a horrific thing, itís so secretive, and we need to bring light to that. We have more slaves nowadays than we ever had in history and thatís a huge a problem. That is something that awareness needs to be brought to. Whatever rights I have are not truly my rights unless everyone else has them. Itís just important to me to use my voice, whatever voice I may get from this job, to say something positive and bring awareness to what I care about. With ďFriends to MankindĒ weíre picking a bunch of different nonprofits, we have a few that weíre really interested in right now. One called ďFalling WhistlesĒ which deals with child soldiers in the Congo, one called ďPencils of PromiseĒ which builds schools and education in Guatemala and different places like that, so Iím just trying to do whatever I can with the voice Iím given through acting because itís a very amazing byproduct of my job, and not a lot of jobs give it, so Iím trying to make sure that I can use that to the fullest and help these women and children that just donít have a voice. I want to at least give them mine.
Q: I would like to say that youíre doing a really beautiful job, and I know during the sky diving event you were raising money and I definitely donated I wanted to say you're doing a great job.
A: I love that! I really appreciate it. Thank you. That was my first fundraising event and your support means the world because that was just, that was a scary one, I mean 10 days basically to try to raise that, so everybody came together and this was like a resounding yes, it was like, weíre going to help. I remember right before I jumped out of the plane, I was like peering up and like, basically being like, wow, this is phenomenal. If everybody bands together, even if you pass on an email, you donít even have to donate, even if you pass on email to someone who might, that in itself is a gift toward these girls just to bring awareness to what is going on so I appreciate that, thank you so much! This oneís going to be a little more difficult, riding across Cambodia. I think the skydive was like twenty minutes in total, and this is like three-hundred plus miles, so this oneís going to be a little more different, difficult, but it means so much to me. Iím excited to leave on Sunday and there will be lots of pictures and videos, and Iím going to be updating it all on Twitter, and Iím actually going to get a Tumblr that will have updated pictures and all that from my trip and all that kind of stuff. Iíll make sure if anybody wants to kind of keep track of what Iím doing in Cambodia can check out those as well.
Q: For people who are huge fans of the show, who love getting to see you all in action and have really campaigned for season two, what would you like to say?
A: Thank you, and those words donít do my feelings justice. I am so blessed to be able to go to work every day and have this amazing job and play this amazing character, and really, without you guys I wouldnít be able to do that. It sounds dramatic, but itís just, thereís just so much appreciation there. I donít even know what to say to you guys other than keep watching, this season is going to be crazy. I promise you, you are not going to regret watching it. Itís insane from square one, from the first episode. Itís like a roller coaster so youíve got to stick to the season because there is some craziness that happens. We appreciate it so much, weíre going to try to do a lot of live tweeting throughout the shows and just really give back to any fans that are online and willing to talk to us, and weíre going to do lots of competitions for signed head shots and whatever we can do. We just appreciate you guys so much, and we love it, we love when you guys tweet us to talk about it because weíre passionate about it. We work fifteen hours a day on this, this is our baby, and so when other people care and it resonates with them itís really rewarding, itís really cool, so yeah, thank you so much for watching and caring and writing about it, itís lovely. Itís really, really great.