Interview: Michelle DeFraites of BET’s The Quad

Photo Credit: Brandon Showers

You’ve seen her in Project Almanac and Lifetime’s Pregnancy Pact but most recently, Michelle DeFraites is killing it as a series regular on BET’s The Quad. Michelle plays Madison Kelly on The Quad, currently in its second season and she recently took the time out to talk to Hollywood the Write Way all about the college-set series, her own experience attending university, and more. Check it out:

We’ve seen you on the screen many times before but with The Quad being your first series regular role, I’m curious to know what you’ve discovered about Madison along the way as you’ve been given more time to really develop and get comfortable with this character. What’s been your favorite discovery about Madison so far? 

– I love how from first glance she seems rather passive but as the seasons have gone on you see that she has a fire to her that I love. She will fight for what she believes in and tell you when she thinks you’re wrong.

Speaking of what she believes in, being a good friend comes to mind. What has been your favorite element of the best friend dynamic between Madison and Sydney (Jazz Raycole, “Faking It”)? What elements remind you of your own dynamics between your real life best friends?

– I love how they challenge each other and push each other to be the best versions of themselves and I think Jazz and I do that with each other as well!

Definitely. As far as challenges go, the show tackles so many relevant and yet at the same time, timeless, tough issues and I love that Madison is open to learning about the nuances of a perspective other than her own. Can you speak on the importance of this and how it’s an essential part of the college experience but isn’t contained to that?

– I think college has just as many life lessons as it does lessons in the classroom. Learning about other people and their life experiences is one of the beautiful things about college and Madison is definitely doing her best to take advantage of that opportunity this season.

So is there a tough subject matter you’d like to see covered on The Quad in the future?

– I love the activism we have this season and I think talking about movements like March For Our Lives would be an interesting topic.

I’m curious how your college experience changed over the years and what you would say was the biggest transformational moment that may have helped you bring the character of Madison to life?

– Well I was in the middle of my junior year and had to put that on hold when I booked the show. I didn’t have the traditional college experience though because I’ve been working so I really had to just imagine what all of that would be like for Madison since I never really had it.

Oh wow! Now early on in your career, you worked on various shows (House, Glee, Bones, CSI: Cyber, Rizzoli & Isles). What set would you say you learned the most from or was the most inspiring in exemplifying how a great show is run behind the scenes?

House was one of my favorites because it’s what opened my mind to drama. Before that I had only done comedy and I had no idea I would love drama so much. Everyone was so nice and professional and talented I looked up to all of them.

I read in an interview that you were watching the Disney channel when you thought, “I could do that” in regards to acting. Cut to you actually working on Hannah MontanaThe Suite Life on Deck and Good Luck Charlie. So. I want to know. What else can you do? Let’s speak it into fruition. 

– (Laughs) I sing and dance too and I would love to do more of that in additional to my acting!

Finally, along with TV & movies, Hollywood the Write Way also covers books and Broadway, so I’m wondering what you’ve read recently that you love or a play or musical you’ve seen recently that you’d recommend.

– I know it isn’t a play yet but I just saw The Greatest Showman and I would love to see that turned into a Broadway show! It would be terrific!

Watch The Quad Tuesdays at 10/9c on BET. Be sure to follow Michelle DeFraites on Twitter & Instagram.