Exclusive Interview: “Recovery Road” Actor, Daniel Franzese

Heather Joy Smith Freeform Shows, Interviews, Recovery Road, Top Stories, TV 0 Comments

Freeform’s newest hit show, “Recovery Road” tackles many darker topics, substance abuse being the main topic of conversation. For Daniel Franzese’s character, Vern, he has lived and learned through a lot at Springtime Meadows. I had the chance to chat with him about his character being a mentor, the newest resident, Olivia (Mischa Barton) and what it was like to be giving this opportunity to play Vern. Check it out!

(Freeform/Kelsey McNeal)

In this week’s episode Mischa Barton guest stars, what can you tell us about her character, Olivia, and her interactions with Vern?
Olivia is a Hollywood actress, that famously falls to drugs and alcohol. She ends up coming to the house and Vern is a huge fan of hers! He is so excited that she is going to stay with them, he ends up befriending her.

We get to see Vern’s flashbacks this week, anything you can tease?
Vern was a dancer and a choreographer, who had a severe addiction to cocaine.When he was going through that, he lost his dancing mojo. He fell to the drug, gained weight and lost his way. His high school bestie, Cynthia comes in and shows him where he is at because he doesn’t see it himself.

Do we finally learn how Vern and Cynthia became besties?
Yes, I think in the episode you will see how it all unfolds.

You have become somewhat of a “mentor/older brother-type” to Maddie, is this because Vern has lived and learned? 
For Vern, he knows that this is work and that Springtime Meadows works as a unit and as a alternative family. I think that he is reaching out to Maddie right away because that is what you do in those types of situations. As we go along, I think we will see that Vern needs Maddie, just as much as Maddie needs Vern.

Maddie finally seems like she might be turning a corner in her recovery. 
Freeform actually just released a Gif from the next episode with Maddie actually asking to go to a meeting, so that is very exciting.

Audrey Peeples who plays Harper has a recurring role this season & rumor has it she will be back at Springtime Meadows! Anything you can tease?
Harper is a big part of Wes’ history, so I imagine that we will be seeing her again.

Tell me about the process of getting the role of Vern and how you learned you got it.
I’ve been friends with Bert V. Royal and Karen DiConcetto (Executive Producers and Writers) for many, many, years. Over a decade. Bert and I were actually college roommates. I just had to put up with their crap for a long time and they finally gave me a part! We were very excited of even the prospect of doing a project together. We love each other very much, we’re like family. So it was cool to be able to do this project with people that you spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with. They’re apart of my extended family, so it’s great to have this opportunity.

When researching and preparing for the role, how did you get ready?
I had already had a lot of life experience with this type of thing. I have worked with many people who are famous in sobriety and have dealt with addiction. I lost my friend Brad Renfro, who I worked with on my first film, “Bully,” to heroin overdose. There hasn’t been any shortage of me know what it’s like to either know someone who is an addict or to see someone going through recovery and seeing people’s successes and failures at that. So, I didn’t have to do too much digging to find out what I was going to do, but it is definitely an important subject matter to me.

Lastly, I have to ask about Wes and Maddie, can we couple them up?
Well I think it is definitely sweet to see them be romantic on the show, but part of sobriety is not dating anyone, at least not in the beginning. I think you have to work on yourself and that might pose a problem with them in the future.

I’d like to thank Daniel for chatting with me! Make sure to follow Pop Hearts TV for all of your Freeform updates!

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