In Plain Sight’s Nichole Hiltz on Brandi   

Nichole Hiltz stars as Brandi on IN PLAIN SIGHT, the new series premiering Sunday, June 1, at 10/9c on USA.I’ve got a couple more In Plain Sight reviews for you and, I’ve got to say, so far I’m liking what everyone’s saying! Sandie over at Daemon’s TV has seen the first three episodes and is sold and she and I are usually pretty in sync with our viewing pleasures. Plus, Seat42F’s Screener Girl thinks the show delivers the goods and that’s good enough for me!

But if that wasn’t enough to convince you to watch, maybe hearing what Nichole Hiltz () has to say about her character Brandi will? Brandi is Mary’s younger sister and is very much her mother’s daughter and the baby of the family. She lives in the moment, never bothered to get an education and tends to fall for the worst possible men (like mother, like daughter). Unfortunately for Mary, Brandi has moved in and is more than happy to keep her mother company by the pool all day, until Mary lays down the law.

And here’s Nichole’s take on Brandi:

How did you get involved with the show?

Well I needed a job and I read for it. [laughs] Actually, I originally read for Mary’s character, which I couldn’t have been more wrong for. I mean, they are completely opposite characters. And then they had come back in and read for the sister, and that was sort of it. After having to fight through a couple of other contenders, I was lucky enough to get the job.

How was this experience different from your previous roles/experiences?

I think all of them are different. This one has been different because we were away shooting in Albuquerque and I was a series regular. I get to play the ‘girlfriend’ a lot and in this show for me I get to be a daughter and a sister, and that’s been very nice for me. That’s been a whole new avenue of work that means a lot to me and is very exciting. And being away in Albuquerque, New Mexico for four months was definitely a life change. I’ve been on the road before a lot of times, but not to New Mexico, and this to me was more interesting.

Can you talk a little bit about what we can expect to see in your character this season?

Without spoiling it, you can expect some trouble. She starts out sort of lost at the beginning of the season. She actually ends up pretty lost too. But she has a lot of heart, has a lot of fun. You know, fun that gets her into trouble, and the audience can sort of see how she gets there and how she didn’t really mean to fall flat on her face. From an outsider’s point of view, she’s sort of just jobless and useless. But that’s not really the case when you look a little bit further into her world. So we’ll see a lot of that. She’s very heartfelt, and she’s kind of tough and vulnerable all at the same time.

How did you get into the character, what was your entry point into Brandi?

It’s kind of bazaar, because in the pilot it didn’t give a lot about information of how she got there. Basically, all it says is that she has shown up and we see the mess and she’s crying. We get the idea that she has a boyfriend in Albuquerque, but there’s not a lot of information.

She was so bratty – I remember not really liking her, at first. And I had to think, why is she behaving this way? So I tried to come up with these reasons, good reasons why somebody might be in that place and behaving that way, strangely. And then, once we got picked up and the episodes went on, I started learning more and more about her through our writer, David Maples and it all sort of made sense. I just ended up falling in love with her once I got over how bratty she was and I tried to find a good reason to make her bratty.

But at first you really disliked your character?

Yes, I sort of did. I think in playing a character you have to have compassion and love for it in order to play it authentically. And, like I said, I read for Mary’s character and she’s this hero and I was like, “Oh, this is great.” But then I had to go back and reread it with somebody else in mind now. And, on paper, Brandi was just very selfish and spoiled and I was like, “I don’t like this.” But I did like the writing and I did love the show. So when I went back and separated, I actually came to discover that I don’t think there’s ever been a role closer to my heart, so it’s funny how things work out sometimes.

When the show starts your character isn’t really involved with Mary’s work life, does that change later in the season or do you continue to stay separate?

Oh, that’s a good question. I think what is very interesting about playing this character is that I don’t know anything about Mary’s work life. That makes sense, her being in witness protection, she can’t talk about it. But she doesn’t really know anything about my life either. There is an emotional block there that, as family members, they’re not speaking enough and reaching out enough with each other. So I don’t ever really get involved with her work, but our lives start running kind of dangerously close together, without spoiling anything, by the end.

I never really get to know what she does for a living, which makes it sort of a fun read, because I’m reading the script and I know, and then playing the character I have to rethink it and remember that I know nothing about where she goes during the day.

What was your favorite episode this season, either from an actress’ point of view or because you enjoyed the storyline?

My favorite episode altogether, and now I’m forgetting some of the titles, but episode four I really like. There are some episodes that I like all together, because they’re almost written like a play and everybody’s character really comes forward. And the finale, I think, is incredible.

I like the episodes the further along in the season that we get, because I think it becomes more family oriented. In the beginning, we’re still sort of trying to set up the procedure of it all and get to know everybody. Without spoiling anything, I really love ten, eleven and twelve. I think they are just great. And personally my character gets to be involved with Mary a lot more at that point and I enjoyed that, because in the beginning the whole point is that we really just keep missing each other and that we can’t connect. By the end, we sort of have to and that’s where a lot of the better work came in for me.

Don’t forget to check out In Plain Sight: Sunday, June 1, at 10/9c on USA!

2 Responses to “In Plain Sight’s Nichole Hiltz on Brandi”

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    [...] Nichole Hiltz – She plays Mary McCormack’s younger sister on USA’s In Plain Sight and you can read an interview with her over at RTVW. Find out how she got involved with the show, what the future looks like for her character and more. In Plain Sight debuts tomorrow, June 1st on USA. [...]

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    Harper says:

    I loved the show Rae. Very much. TWOPers are comparing Mary to a grown up Veronica Mars (what will the voiceovers and the dysfunction) and I kind of like that.