ABC Family has brought another original hit show to our television screens with their newest addition of Ravenswood. From the minds of the executive producers of Pretty Little Liars comes this new drama that is centered on a town that has suffered under a deadly curse for generations. Five strangers find themselves connected by this curse and need to work together to find out about the town’s fatal history before it claims them as well.
Recently, I got the opportunity to chat with Merritt Patterson, who plays the beautiful Olivia. Olivia was once a very happy and trouble-free girl, but recent experiences have left her searching for answers and evaluating what’s important in life.
Let’s see what this talented young lady had to say about her character, the show, and life in general.
Her views on Olivia
Merritt: Olivia and I are really similar, which was great as far as our tendencies and how we deal with things. I think I brought more of a subtle characteristic to her because she is prom queen. And I think when you think of prom queen, you think of over-the-top. Itâ€™s in my nature to be a little bit more subtle, so I think I added that to her character.
I like that sheâ€™s a very caring person; she cares a lot about all the people around her, and sheâ€™s very protective of them all, and I enjoy that about her. Sheâ€™s not this crazy popular girl who lives in her own world. Yet sheâ€™s still homecoming queen.
Jump ahead to read more.
On what we can expect from Olivia in the first few episodes
Merritt: Oliviaâ€™s kind of in a different social bracket at the beginning of the show, which is why I think sheâ€™s a little bit more separate; but obviously, as the curse continues and they continue to find out more, sheâ€™s brought together with the other four. She continues to do research on her fatherâ€™s murder, and she also has a supernatural experience for herself coming up, which is pretty exciting; so Iâ€™m looking forward to both those events.
On her preference between TV and film
Merritt: Iâ€™ve always been drawn to film just because thatâ€™s what I love. As far as being on the sets and working with peopleâ€”I love being on a set and being a character and doing a story. Each one is so great because youâ€™re learning about a different character, so you get to learn different aspects that you might not have otherwise known. Iâ€™m open to everything.
On how the cast relaxes after all the drama on the show
Merritt: This is new to meâ€”the dramaâ€”and the first few episodes were very dramatic. Weâ€™re introducing the storylines and the characters, which makes it action packed. That was a bit crazy, but now things have started to get into a different pace. All of the cast gets along really well. So as soon as theyâ€™re saying cut, weâ€™re laughing and making jokes which keeps things really light; so itâ€™s really great.
On her relationship with her twin brother Luke
Merritt: I think their relationship right now is strained. I think the whole family is strained. Theyâ€™re going through a lot with the murder of their father, and her mom has been hiding out. Sheâ€™s obviously struggling, and I think Luke deals with it by being very angry. I donâ€™t think he knows how to deal with it; neither does Olivia, but sheâ€™s trying to pretend like everythingâ€™s okay. I donâ€™t know if it has fully hit her yet, but I think their relationship is very strained because of that. She doesnâ€™t understand Lukeâ€™s process and how heâ€™s dealing with the events. Thereâ€™s some miscommunication there, but ultimately theyâ€™re twins. Theyâ€™re family and they love each other and theyâ€™ll always have each otherâ€™s back. I think itâ€™s like any relationship with siblings. I think itâ€™s very up and down.
On the relationship dynamics of the characters
Merritt: We all have stronger connections with different people. Olivia and her brother have a strong connection; and then Luke has a strong connection with Remy, because theyâ€™re dating. Itâ€™s a bit rough right now with their parents, but they have that. Remy and Caleb kind of bond, you see in the first episode that theyâ€™re immediately drawn together because they both want to find out more information on this curse. Then, obviously Caleb and Miranda have a connection, and theyâ€™re friends right off the bat. Itâ€™s like we each have a stronger connection with someone else in it. In the third episode, I build a stronger bond with Miranda, which was really exciting; I was happy for that. Thereâ€™s a bit of a riff between Caleb and Luke, because Luke is very protective over myself and Remy. I donâ€™t think he knows Caleb yet, so he doesnâ€™t really know what to think of him. For the most part, we all get along, which is good, because weâ€™re all going through this together.
On the town and her father’s murder
Merritt: The town of Ravenswood thinks that our mother killed our father, so the whole family is being ignored and hated. They think that our mom murdered our father and therefore weâ€™re all connected to this murder. I think theyâ€™re just putting us out there on our own. Nobody really trusts or respects our mom, and therefore the kids are being painted that way as well.
I think Luke and Olivia are trying to figure out who murdered their father, because it doesnâ€™t seem like the cops or anyone in the town is. Theyâ€™re really pushing to find out who did it, so they start to take things into their own hands and they find clues along the way. Once the murderer is revealed, that will obviously help and make people realize.
On the set creeping her out
Merritt: Oh, for sure! The great thing about New Orleans is that itâ€™s on location, and the locations here are amazing. Thereâ€™s so much charm and history to this city. Weâ€™ve filmed a lot in a graveyard, which surprisingly isnâ€™t that creepy, theyâ€™re really beautiful. We have filmed in an abandoned hospital and we heard stories that part of it was haunted. There was water dripping from the ceiling and people have heard footsteps. So there had definitely been a few times we were like, “Oh, did you hear that?” Iâ€™m sure weâ€™re getting ourselves worked up, but itâ€™s for sure on our minds.
On finding inspiration and support from the cast
Merritt: We all get along really well, and I think weâ€™re really lucky to have the cast that we have, especially the core five. Everyoneâ€™s done a lot and theyâ€™re well rounded in all different aspects of television and film. Tyler obviously has been through this already with ABC Family and Pretty Little Liars, so he understands how the whole process works. Thatâ€™s all new to me, so itâ€™s good to have him and watch how he deals with it. Then, obviously Meg, who plays Mrs. Grunwald, has been in the industry for a while, and sheâ€™s really talented. Having her around is really great, and hearing her stories and having her opinions. Sheâ€™s a really great person to have if you have any questions or if youâ€™re concerned about something, talking to her is really great. Sheâ€™s wonderful. I actually have a scene with her that we just filmed and it is my first one-on-one scene with her. Sheâ€™s so intense that she would throw me and I would lose my lines because she was just in my face. It was crazy and wonderful, sheâ€™s brilliant.
That’s all for now from this rising star, but be sure to tune in to ABC Family Tuesdays at 8/7c. You can follow Merritt on Twitter at @MerrittPattrsn and the show at @RavenswoodABCF.