Amanda Leighton has been brightening up television screens since her acting debut in 2005. Viewers may recognize her from a stint on The Young and the Restless, as Wendy Capshaw on the final season of ABC Family’s Make It Or Break It, and a guest starring role on Pretty Little Liars. Amanda returned to ABC Family in her recent role of Emma on the hit drama series The Fosters. Starring alongside Jake T. Austin, fans have come to love the quirky and fun character.
We had the chance to chat with Amanda Leighton about her time on The Fosters and what else fans can look forward to from her next.
Read on for our exclusive interview with Amanda Leighton below:
What inspired you to get into acting? Is there anyone who influenced or inspired you?
From a very young age I was exposed to a lot of films and tv, it’s something my family has always enjoyed. I think that exposure is what lead me to fall in love with acting. I was completely blown away when I figured out I could play so many different characters in different films and on tv. Some of my inspirations are Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Rachel McAdams, Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Lawrence.
If you could pick anyone, is there someone you’d love to work with someday?
Any one of the inspiring women I just named would be phenomenal to work with but, if I could only pick one it would be Meryl Streep.
Can you talk a little about your character Emma on The Fosters and what attracted you to the role?
Emma is a person who is true blue to herself. She’s the only girl on the Wrestling Team and tends to hang with the guys. Needless to say she’s a tomboy but she is sensitive and wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s the best friend/girl next door type so, her relationship with Jesus was a friendship first. She genuinely cares about Jesus and his well being but is not afraid to tell him how she feels or that she disagrees with him and that’s caused some problems. She can also tend to be a little bossy but I think she’s working on that! Lol! I was attracted to the role because I have a lot in common with Emma and I’ve had the guy best friend turned relationship experience so I knew where she was coming from.
What do you think it is about The Fosters that sets it apart from other dramas out there?
It touches on some very important social issues that teens are dealing with today. When I get those Tweets from people saying things like you gave me the courage to be myself or to stand up for what I believe, that just kills me…in a good way! Lately, I’ve gotten Tweets from girls telling me they went out for the Wrestling Team or they are the only girl on a Team, too. That’s cool because my storyline directly affected them in some helpful way and it’s what really matters. There aren’t a lot of shows out there that you can say that about.
Your character spends a lot of time filming with Jake T. Austin. Does the natural chemistry make it easier while filming?
Yes, that definitely helps knowing that the chemistry is there. It’s really what we hope for. We’ve also worked together enough now to develop a sort of rhythm between our characters. You do spend a lot of time on set so, if you get along with your costar it makes it much more fun.
Were there any challenges you faced while filming?
Learning to Wrestle and be flipped many, many, many times was a big challenge. You really have to trust your partners!
How has the experience been working with the cast? Have there been any memorable moments for you?
They are so much fun! I love when we all get to work together. We had our wrap party at Disneyland and we all had such a blast! At one point we were all dancing the slide and having a great time. We followed that up with rides…you can’t beat that!
Emma and Jesus may not be together anymore but will we be seeing your character again in the future?
I don’t want to give to much away but I will say Maybe! Lol! There really wasn’t much closure between Emma and Jesus….so I’m hoping, that door is still open plus they were friends first.
How has the fan support been so far? Are you enjoying interacting with them on social media?
Yes, it’s been great having the opportunity to read people’s thoughts on social media. I’ve had the opportunity to talk to fans and get great feedback. I’ve meet some really awesome people from all over the world. I’m grateful for their support and even the inspiration they give me on days when I’m not feeling 100%.
What else are you working on? What can your fans expect from you next?
I just completed an Indie film called The Better Half which is a Family Comedy. I am also getting ready to start work on a Horror film called the Fifth Victim which I’m excited about. For TV I completed an episode of Bones just last week, that should air sometime in October.
Keep up to date with Amanda Leighton by following her on Twitter @MandyPandyLeigh