Dynasty’s Brianna Brown on Claudia’s ‘Pretty Woman’ Moment: ‘It Was So Fun to Play’

Brianna Brown
Brianna Brown attends the 10th Annual Action Icon Awards at Sheraton Universal on October 22, 2017 in Universal City, California. Harmony Gerber/Getty Images

Warning: this post includes spoilers form the Wednesday, November 29, episode of Dynasty.

Holy turkey! Brianna Brown spoke to Us Weekly about filming the shocking Thanksgiving dinner scene and Claudia’s Pretty Woman-esque transformation in tonight’s episode of Dynasty.

“I think certified unapologetic villains are the most fun roles to play on a night time soap, or any soap really,” Brown, 38, tells Us about playing Claudia. “Well, what’s beautiful is I had such a great arch that you think Claudia is this victim with this neurological disorder — she was seen as a sad woman that had terrible things happen to her — and the last two episodes, we see her under go, not only this Pretty Woman like transformation and actually brush her hair, but you start to see that she’s more with it than you realized.”

Brianna Brown Dynasty
Brianna Brown as Claudia on ‘Dynasty.’ Mark Hill/The CW

Here, Brown breaks down the episode and what’s to come for Claudia with Us:

Us Weekly: This was such a momentous moment! Actual insanity, tell me about when you first read the script from last week and tonight’s episode. How much did you gag? What did you think?

Brianna Brown: Well I didn’t gag too much because I have a background in soap operas — I was on General Hospital and played a love to hate villain, Dr. Lisa Niles — so I’ve learned how to take the craziest of circumstances and have it make sense in the characters crazy, warped brain and even try to give them some compassion. For example, my character on General Hospital was taking syringes and trying to infect everyone with HIV, so I’ve seen and played some crazy villains and Claudia’s big reveal this episode was so different because of what happened with her husband and she’s actively involved in all the bad things that happened in the show.

Us: She’s a certified villainess now.

BB: Yes! And I think certified unapologetic villains are the most fun roles to play on a night time soap, or any soap really. Well, what’s beautiful is I had such a great arch that you think Claudia is this victim with  this neurological disorder, she was seen as a sad woman that had terrible things happen to her and the last two episodes, we see her under go, not only this Pretty Woman like transformation and actually brush her hair, but you start to see that she’s more with it than you realized. In the previous episode, she’s in Blake’s bathtub and he jumps in thinking it’s his wife and she blames her neurological disorder, but in this episode you find out all of it has been a huge manipulation, she saw an opening for revenge and really went for it. The big Thanksgiving scene we shot like a one act play, we shot all of those scenes together over and over again, it was my character being meek and then having a gun and kill people, it was such a blast to be able to play that scene, especially as a one act play and it served the story because it held up momentum.

Us: What was your favorite part of this whole Thanksgiving scene?

BB: When I had to shoot the turkey, it was a squib, but I had to shoot the gun in this gorgeous Alexander McQueen dress, covered in a plastic poncho with a helmet and shooting the turkey, like this is what Im doing today, shooting turkeys in designer gowns after being crazy all day.

Us: What about the clothes and Pretty Woman transformation?

BB: Usually I play more of a glamorous, put together roles. On Devious Maids, I was a trophy wife, everything was more fitted and very done up, so it was great on this to get in the hair and makeup trailer and take as long as the guys and I can eat a sandwich today and no one can tell because my clothes are so baggy, as an actress it was fun for me. And  then I got to live in this luxurious world and try on all these amazing designer clothes and shoes, and that is cool for most people to try on shoes that cost as much as most people’s rent. I thought that was so fun that Claudia got to play with all of that and have all these experiences and it made her loathe crystal even more. Crystal gets everything, Claudia doesn’t have anything nice or a husband. It was so fun to get to wear these beautiful clothes and shoes. I was so schleppy for a while.

Us: Now you get to play a person who’s not pretty.

BB: Yes! I love to play different roles, I’m on this great show called EastSiders, an LGBT show, and I get to play this weird quirky type of character and it’s cool to play that it’s so different from myself. My physicality of the show was so cool, the whole first part of Dynasty I was hunched over and when I wore that McQueen red dress I finally can walk with confidence and hold myself in a different way and show different sides of the character.

Us: Tell me about what happened in tonight’s episode.

BB: Ok, so from Claudia’s point of view it’s payback and karma and from my point of view, it’s a crazy woman seeking revenge and coming up with her crazy plans.

Us: Do you think fans had an idea about your character?

BB: People who watched Dynasty before, people that have been fans of Dynasty know that this woman is unstable, a huge villain and would come in and out of the show, it was huge shoes to fill for me because so many people loved this character. I think the show did a great job of hiding that until episode 7, we find out it’s not by accident that the dog swallowed the pills, it was all her!

Us: And tell me about the shocking moment with the gun.

BB: That’s when everyone is really shocked and it was so fun to play to come out after being this sad, sad character to this woman in a red dress holding a gun! It felt powerful and the surprise about her husbands’ death and seeing how unhinged she is in the episode and how she has been plotting the whole time. Hopefully at the same time, if I did my job correctly, fans will feel bad for her, they’re going to hate her a little, but hopefully feel a little bad for her.

Us: What can you tease about your characters arch will be coming up?

BB: From what I have heard, Claudia, there’s a reason she will not be going to prison. She wasn’t killed and she’s not going to prison, so if the original Dynasty follows the new one, Claudia will be back!

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