Brianna Brown is good at keeping herself busy – sometimes in spite of herself.
The energetic actress, a Twin Cities native who landed in Hollywood over a decade ago, is currently enjoying the success of her most recent role, Dr. Lisa Niles on ABC’s ‘General Hospital.’ She took over the part early last year in what she calls a ‘Fatal Attraction’ storyline. Her arc piqued so much interest it helped the storyline to be named Soap Opera Digest’s best of 2010.
In a phone interview, the witty Brown fondly describes Lisa as “just really manipulative.” It’s a departure from her earlier roles in film and TV, from lauded guest spots on ‘Criminal Minds’ and ‘The Closer’ to film roles in ‘Spiderman 2' and ‘Knocked Up.’ Lately, Brown says, Lisa is involved in a love triangle that’s “kind of a play on ‘Dangerous Liaisons.’” Lisa is “all over the place,” Brown says with a laugh.
Despite her extensive acting experience, Brown says working on a daytime drama does come with new challenges. “You’re usually given one take, maybe two,” to get each scene right, she says, clearly relishing the experience. “It’s a lot of absorption and memorization,” she explains, and “you have as much freedom as you can with the blocking. You have to stand 50/50 with people” since the show is shot with four high-def cameras. “Sometimes it looks like I’m talking to someone,” she laughs, “and I’m totally talking to the back of their head.”
Another difference from other mediums, she says, is the director frequently must watch the action on a monitor in another room, so direction from the booth comes down like the “voice of God,” she jokes. Like all daytime dramas these days – those that are left – budget cuts have had their impact on production, including condensed shooting schedules and weeks when shooting goes dark, Brown says.
And what’s new for Dr. Niles? Noting that character storylines go from dominant to light in natural cycles, Brown says Lisa gets blackmailed and is involved with a mobster. “It’s an interesting dynamic,” Brown reflects about her character’s experiences. “I don’t want to say she doesn’t have a conscience, but she bends the rules.”
Brown has lots more on her plate than Port Charles. Years ago, she founded The New Hollywood – a successful women’s goal group and nonprofit organization – that is based now in both Los Angeles and New York. The group, which is made up of professional women in the entertainment industry, has a mission of supporting each other’s individual, personal and professional goals. They also headline fundraisers for various charities, with a benefit planned for this fall to raise funds for Free the Slaves. Brown promises it will feature singing, dance and various art forms. She says she is “very thankful” for her experiences with the group.
She’s also a contributing writer and is on the advisory board to the online and hard copy magazine Best Ever You and writes frequent blog posts for her own website, www.brianna-brown.com. She is currently participating in a reading of the play ‘Grief’ in Los Angeles, and co-produced and starred in a short film, ‘The Encounter,’ that her friend wrote and directed, and which she is helping to shop around to film festivals. She even co-founded an investment club and is at work on her own production company Brown Rose Productions, www.brown-roseproductions.com.
Brown, who genuinely describes herself as shy, says, “I don’t really know why I’m so busy, but I like it. Sometimes I think I need to slow down,” she ponders, “And then I’m even busier!”
To read more about Brown, you can visit her ‘General Hospital’ page at:
as well as: