EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Elyse Maloway Teases Lifetime Limited Series “V.C. Andrews’ Dawn” – WATCH!

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vc andrews dawn elyse maloway

Brec Bassinger, Donna Mills and many more star in the new V.C. Andrews’ Dawn limited series which is set to premiere on Lifetime on July 8 at 8p/7c. We at Survived The Shows had the pleasure of chatting with star Elyse Maloway about her experience in the making of V.C. Andrews’ Dawn Season 1 and what fans can expect from the movie. 

Can you tell us a little bit about your character and how she fits into the story of “V.C. Andrews’ Dawn“?

Elyse Maloway: Clara Jean is one of Dawn’s many obstacles in life. They find out that they’re actually sisters quite quickly and they do not get along. Clara Jean has a lot of jealousy towards Dawn for all the attention that she got because she went missing as a baby, and that’s kind of festered into a relationship that really makes Clara Jean enjoy tormenting Dawn and making her life as difficult as possible.

What initially drew you to the role and made you want to be a part of this limited series?

Elyse Maloway: I auditioned first for the character of Dawn a couple months before and I was like, oh, this is interesting. I wasn’t super familiar with V.C. Andrews myself, which is wild because it’s such a popular series, but it seemed like a cool story. And then I think about a month or so later when I got the audition for Clara Jean, I was like she’s spicy. And I just got to be like the meanest I could possibly be in that audition. I was like, that’s really fun. So I was excited to kind of play in that like area because it wasn’t something that I’d really done before.

How did you prepare for your character and get into the mindset for the role?

Elyse Maloway: It was interesting because even though she is terrible. She’s so mean and I did have to figure out how I could have like a compassionate way in so that I wasn’t judging myself as I was doing the things that I had to do and saying those mean lines. I read the script a whole bunch of times in preparation for it and kind of tried to find the reasons why Clara Jean was so just outwardly hard and closed off and aggressive, and I found that it was a lot to do with her just wanting and lacking the love and attention from compassionate people like parents are supposed to be growing up. And she has decided that her lack of that sort of attention and care is Dawn’s fault. And so that she channels all of that hurt onto Dawn.

What was it like working with the rest of the cast, and did you have any particularly memorable moments on set?

Elyse Maloway: Everyone was so lovely. It was such a fun group. Everybody was very like, relaxed and willing to kind of play and find new moments and just enjoy this like crazy ride that we were all on. I had most of my scenes I would say were with Brec for sure who placed on. And she’s just like such a ball of joy and she’s so adorable and so it was really fun to like work with her and because she cares so much too about the work and about delivering something that audiences are really going to love. So it was cool to work with someone so passionate.

There was a time I think it was part of the second movie, the scene itself. But because we shot the first and second film at the same time, and there was a scene where Dawn’s having a little party with some new friends that she’s made. They’re playing music, they’re dancing, and Clara Jean comes in to ruin the day. And that was a really fun scene to do. But we were just about to go they kind of pumped in this like fog atmosphere that they wanted to have in the scene. Everything was ready and the music was all queued up and they were said action.

And then we got like 3 lines into the scene and the smoke alarms started going off because of the atmosphere and so the fire department came and our wonderful ID Grant was out there saying, like, I don’t know, like into a fire. We’re just making a movie.” So that was pretty funny.

Can you describe your character’s journey throughout the show and how she transforms over the course of the story?

Elyse Maloway: We start out when they’re in high school, so I think she has a lot of control over that sort of social structure. She’s kind of got her posse of girls who she is like queen bee of and she’s really made herself like queen of the castle. And it’s interesting because as they as she and Dawn grow up and we end up in I believe like kind of their early 20s by the third movie. It’s interesting to see Clara Jean lose that ability to control the people around her and to have that sort of like vice grip that makes her feel safe and secure. And yeah, so we really see her kind of unravel towards the end and just desperately try to maintain control over something.

Can you tell us about any challenges you faced while filming “V.C. Andrews’ Dawn” limited series and how you overcame them?

Elyse Maloway: It was just like there were a lot of days that were like quite long. So just trying to like pace yourself and keep your energy up and not get tired. There were a few things that towards the end where we were outside and it was getting cold here in Vancouver. So there were quite a few scenes where we’re trying not to look like we’re really freezing. Yeah, just like battling the elements a little bit. But yeah, overall it was, it was pretty smooth sailing. I would say perfect.

What message do you hope viewers take away from “V.C. Andrews’ Dawn” after watching it?

Elyse Maloway: I think that Dawn’s resilience and her ability to find her way through all of these just crazy circumstances and really awful things that she has to go through. I think people will find really inspiring and it’s like a testament to like the strength that we all kind of have within us. And Dawn really embodies that.

What was your favorite scene to film in the series, and why?

Elyse Maloway: The very first scene that we did has a special place in my heart. We were in the cafeteria at the school, and so that was really fun because there were like so many background actors and it was this big room. And there it was kind of a complicated scene because there was like a couple of boys get into a fight and then Clara Jean over with her posse. It has a little interaction with Dawn and it was just like a lot going on and it was a really exciting way to kind of jump in and start work on such a big, exciting scene.

Finally, what can viewers expect from your character and the overall story of “V.C. Andrews’ Dawn” series, and why should they tune in to watch it?

Elyse Maloway: From Clara Jean you can expect a lot of just stank face. She throws a lot of looks Dawn’s way. You can expect her to just really be the embodiment of that mean girl that everybody knows at some point in their life who is just relentless. So I think people should tune in to see that mean girl, kind of get what’s coming to her, very, very, very fulfilling. To watch her, you know, get what’s coming.

What can you tease about your next projects?

Elyse Maloway: There should be a couple things kind of coming up in the fall that are in the more kind of spooky sort of genre. Yeah, if you like, if you like ghosts, and if you like intrigue and mystery and hauntings.

The interview with Elyse Maloway has been edited and condensed for lenght and clarity. Watch the full video interview at the top of the article!

V.C. Andrews Dawn Limited Series premieres July 8 on Lifetime Channel.

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