Guilt premiered on Freeform just a few weeks ago, but there have already been too many plot twists to count. We spoke with star Daisy Head about what it’s like playing the beleaguered Grace Atwood, how viewers (including Sarah Michelle Gellar of Buffy the Vampire Slayer) have reacted to the show, and what to expect next. Read on for our full interview with Daisy Head.
At the end of the most recent episode, Grace finally found some kind of peace after addressing the public directly, and now it seems like social media is on her side. Where does she go from here, and what changes can we expect to see in her?
Daisy Head: She’s tried to make light and make positive of a very negative situation. She was left feeling completely helpless and she had no choice but to turn the tables and turn things around for herself. She wasn’t expecting to be thrust into the spotlight in this way, and it’s the worst kind of attention anyone can imagine – whether or not they have brought it on themselves, but that’s to be discovered! It’s a turbulent thing. You see her progress and you see her making decisions [about] what’s going to be the best thing for her and also what she thinks will be the best thing to be seen to be doing, but sometimes those are the wrong choices. It’s very interesting seeing her try to find a balance and do the right thing by not only herself but those around her. People don’t always react in the way we think that we would or that they should, but everyone reacts differently and Grace is ultimately young and pretty naïve. She’s very emotional, so some of her choices may be slightly erratic and not thought through. You’re left thinking, “Why would you do that? That makes no sense!” It’s definitely interesting and there’s a lot more to come, so stay tuned!
Speaking of Grace being emotional, we’ve seen her go through a lot in just a few episodes, and much of her screen time involves her experiencing strong negative emotions. As an actress, how do you cope with that mentally, and what do you do to separate yourself from the drama once filming’s over for the day?
Very good question! It definitely takes an emotional toll on you – I spent a lot of the past three-and-a-half months in tears! When I was younger, I wouldn’t cry in front of anyone. I realized that [if I wanted] to be an actress, that was going to be a potential problem, so I taught myself that it’s OK to cry and it’s OK to show emotions. Like a lot of people, I’ve gone through emotional things in my life, so accessing emotion has become easier with age and maturity. With that, [so has] being able to separate work from real life. Once the cameras have cut, I just shake it off, relax, think about something completely different and release any sort of tension, then look to the next day as a new day. But it’s definitely hard. It’s not been the easiest thing to be able to dip in and dip out of, but it’s been an incredible challenge and one that I’ve embraced fully and I’ve really loved dealing with.
In terms of distinguishing real life from the world of Guilt, there are some obvious parallels between the show’s storyline and the Amanda Knox case. Did you try to keep Grace’s character and her situation as separate and unique as possible?
Absolutely, because the show is completely unique. The creators, Kathryn [Price] and Nichole [Millard], have both studied law and they have always been fascinated by criminal cases. They’d listened to the podcast Serial on iTunes and watched shows like Making A Murderer, and were just fascinated by how the media and people’s opinions could have such a strong effect on these kind of cases. That’s really where the concept of this show was born. As far as I’m concerned, I had actually read Amanda Knox’s autobiography, but the circumstances of our story and that story are so different that, for me, there weren’t really many parallels. I watched Making A Murderer, and seeing how skewed and warped people’s opinions can be is just mind-blowing. For me, trying to get into that state of mind was helped greatly by watching shows like Making A Murderer.
A few weeks ago, Sarah Michelle Gellar tweeted that she was “astounded” by how great you are on the show! What was it like to hear that, and how have other people been reacting to your performance so far?
It was incredibly humbling. I grew up on the set of Buffy, and I’ve always said Sarah was like an older sister to me. She was so wonderful with me and my sister, and I thank her so much for that. I don’t actually have Twitter, so she tweeted my dad [Anthony Stewart Head, who plays James on Guilt] and he told me, and I genuinely nearly cried. It’s just so lovely to hear something like that and get positive feedback, and people have been so complimentary. I’m passionate about what I do and I love being able to be a part of things that allow people to escape and to enjoy, so it’s lovely when it’s met with such enthusiasm by the viewing public. I really appreciate everyone’s well wishes and congratulations. Thank you, and keep watching!
Thanks to Daisy Head for speaking with us! Guilt airs Monday nights at 9/8c on Freeform (right after The Fosters), and you can keep up with the latest by following the show on Twitter.