Since The Fosters first graced our screens back in June 2013, Callie Jacob’s story of life, love and loss has hit close to home for many viewers and tugged at the heartstrings of even more. Ahead of the summer finale of The Fosters season 3, which airs Monday, August 17 at 8/7c on ABC Family, we chatted with actress Maia Mitchell about that Brallie scene from The Fosters 3×09, what to expect from next week’s episode, and how Callie has changed since the pilot.
The last time Callie had to choose between being with Brandon and getting adopted, she decided having a family was more important. Now, with her adoption back on the table, she’s facing that decision again. The big question is whether things are different enough this time for her to change her priorities. Can you talk about what she goes through as she tries to figure out how to approach the situation and whether to confess that she and Brandon slept together?
The major difference between now and what happened when she was at the funeral and she had this realization that family’s more important is that now, [Brandon and Callie] have had sex, and for Callie, that’s huge. The only kind of sexual encounter she’s had was quite abusive [with former foster brother Liam], and she was still triggered with Wyatt and didn’t feel safe. Now she’s let someone into that part of her, and that’s quite a big deal in her world – and for Brandon as well. They’ve both really let each other in fully; they hadn’t been able to be completely together, but they spent a night together where they completely embraced each other, so it’s a little harder this time for them to immediately see what’s more important or to have some more clarity. You see them really struggling to figure it out. It’s awkward and complicated and tricky and uncomfortable and stressful! You see them really kind of freaking out, so I think they both know what’s right, but it may be too late. Is it better to not hurt their parents? What will hurt Stef and Lena more? Callie in particular struggles with that.
When you got the script for the last episode, episode 9, were you surprised by what happened between Brandon and Callie or did you kind of think it was inevitable, given everything they’ve been through?
I didn’t think it was the end of Callie and Brandon, but I didn’t necessarily think anything was going to happen at this point. It seemed like they were in very different places, although you did get a hint of it in the previous episode when [Brandon] shows up at Girls United, and you see his jealousy where AJ’s concerned – you see him really heartbroken by that. But I really didn’t think Callie would be doing that or that the adoption would go south, so it was definitely a kind of screaming-at-your script moment, but also something I’ve been waiting for. The teenage girl in me was excited!
Callie has a history of making impulsive decisions that aren’t always smart, and that she regrets later. Do you think choosing to sleep with Brandon was one of those or something deeper?
I think it’s a little deeper. Seeing Brandon as an escape route is something that Callie has been guilty of and she does see him as this beacon of light and hope in this crazy situation, but I don’t think she will ever regret it. I think sex for her is a really huge thing, so to have been intimate with someone she loves, I think that’s huge and important for her. I don’t think she’s going to regret it or that it was an impulsive decision like running away. It was definitely more calculated.
The title “Lucky” is an interesting choice for the summer finale given the levels of tension and drama between so many of the characters right now, and it doesn’t seem like many of them feel very lucky. Without giving too much away, can you talk a little bit about how the title relates to the episode?
When I first got the script and I saw it was titled “Lucky,” I was like “How? These characters are so unlucky!” Honestly, I think there was some irony in there, especially where Callie’s concerned. She’s been thrown lots of curve balls, Lena and Stef’s relationship has been tested with Monte and that whole dynamic, Brandon and Callie are going through this whole ordeal… There’s been a lot up in the air and none of the characters are really very lucky right now, but I think what that title refers to is that at the end of the day, they’re still a family and everyone’s there for each other.
The Fosters has been full of twists and turns, not just this season but over the course of the entire show, and many of them have involved Callie. Do you think she’s changed in terms of how she deals with problems and setbacks compared to the Callie we met at the beginning of the series?
Yeah, I think she’s learned to let love in and be able to trust people, so that does mean she’s less inclined to do things like run away and mess things up for herself, which is a default Callie move. She’s become a little less coarse and feels a little more safe to be vulnerable. She does deal with situations differently to when we saw her stealing Brandon’s phone, double-crossing people and running away in the pilot. I don’t think those are her kind of moves anymore, but there’s definitely still a part of her that’s really damaged.
Although next week’s episode is the summer finale, it’s not the end of season 3. Have you started filming the winter episodes yet, and have you met Noah Centineo, who will be taking over the role of Jesus?
We start shooting 3B in October. And yes, I love Noah. We were actually friends before he was cast. I found out that he had the role and I wasn’t able to say anything to him for a while, which was pretty tough. He’s a really cool guy, super talented, really awesome. I had auditioned for a ton of different things with him, so I know how great he is. We’re all super excited for him to join!