Quick Take With Brytni Sarpy

Credit: ABC

Valerie hasn’t had a story in a long while — but now, with her budding friendship with Kristina, suddenly she does. Are you happy about that? “I really like the storyline; it’s cool, it’s interesting. And Valerie being back is good! It was nice for me to take a little break; I did a movie and got to come back and with the new change in writing team, I think they’ve been a little more interested in Valerie’s story again. She’s tying up some loose ends in her life as far as Curtis goes, and we’re going to see some things with Lulu, and she has a budding best friendship that’s happening [with Kristina] that may turn into something else.”

A lot of people liked the chemistry between you and Lexi Ainsworth (Kristina) at the Nurses’ Ball, when they had something of a sultry conversation about Burt’s Bees products. “We were both laughing because it feels corny to do, like, a sponsor [plug], but we both wanted to make it really casual and conversational. I think because we had worked on the Nurses’ Ball performance beforehand, we had the chance to really play around with each other, to hang out and feel comfortable with each other. Now, Lexi’s like my little sis; we’ve gone to concerts together. We have great chemistry and I think everybody picked up on it, so they wrote it. And I love working with Ashley [Jones] as Parker; she is just awesome, really awesome. I think the three of us have a really cool vibe together.”

Were you worried that Valerie would never have a story again? “I wasn’t that worried. Frank [Valentini, executive producer] and I had a great conversation when I got off contract and I kind of just understood [the move to recurring status]. And I took a breather and got to invest my time in other things and I think that time gave me a fresh approach to these new scenes. Maybe there wasn’t a big change in writing, but for my character, it felt like there was, and the scenes I’ve had in the past three months have been my favorite scenes in a long time. I am in love with Vernee [Watson, Stella], by the way. This new round of people that I’ve just started working with are my favorite people to work with. The energy is really motivating and exciting.”

Do you have more fun playing Valerie in cop mode or when she’s out of uniform? “I think only doing the procedural work for a while was a little harder for me because there was no investment in actual story when I was just doing cop stuff and popping in for cases. It’s really nice to go back to developing who Valerie is [outside of work]. It’s great because there are still things that I wanted to explore with Valerie. I think it’s one of those things where people have to be inspired. I’m just glad that inspiration was refound. I never saw her in my head as a finished story, or even as someone who just pops in to do police work. I think she still has a lot to say and do and I hope that people are happy about that. I certainly am!”

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