Seriously? OMG! WTF?Lea Thompson talks about learning Sign Language for Switched at Birth - Seriously? OMG! WTF?
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[ # ] Lea Thompson talks about learning Sign Language for Switched at Birth
August 24th, 2015 under Freeform, Lea Thompson


Switched at Birth is back on ABC Family tonight at 8p for the second part of its fourth season and there is a lot of change going on. As you have seen in the promos, there is surprise pregnancy coming up. That isn’t the only thing that is happening, Lea Thompson previewed what is coming up for her character Kathryn Kennish.
The Kennishes have always been wealthy and lived a lavish lifestyle, but they will be having some financial difficulties this season. John has always been the breadwinner in the family, but that is all about to change. That role reversal is going to put a strain on their marriage. That isn’t the only problem they are going to have because of their money issues. Thompson explained, “I think it’s going to be a real strain on our marriage because Kathryn and especially John are used to kind of being mama and papa bear, so kind of just like throwing money at problems and we’re not going to be able to do that anymore.”
The role reversal is because Kathryn has gone through a metamorphous since the show debuted. She went from being a stay at home mom to a successful author. Thompson explained, “My character ends up being as kind of awesome surprising Renaissance woman. You think she’s kind of shallow at first and she doesn’t seem that complicated.” Then she added, “She’s a woman of great perseverance and talent.”
A talent she learned for the role is Sign Language. Anyone who has learned a language later in life (as in after you graduate), knows it is a talent. She told me what it was like to learn to talk with her hands. She said, “It’s really difficult in a lot of ways but really beautiful because you realize like in any language there’s a lot of ways to say one thing.” Even though it is difficult to learn, she finds it exciting and wishes she knew it better.
She told me that she thinks people tune in every week to see the cast talk in this beautiful language. As an actress, she enjoys being able to talk with her hands for once. She explained, “When you’re acting, you’re told to kind of keep your arms down which actually feels really handicap because a lot of time when you’re excited, you want someone to understand, you use your hands to help them understand.” Then she elaborated, “So it’s fun to have that freedom to use your hands.”
Not only did she learn the language, she learned about their culture. What surprised her most is, “there’s a whole bunch of deaf people that, if today, a fairy godmother could give them hearing, they wouldn’t do it, but they appreciate being deaf.” Sharing that, “They see it as not a handicap but an actual blessing, virtue. That never would have occurred to me, not in a hundred years.”
As of now that is something that the drama has not touched upon, but there is so much more that it has. It has helped us to hear what it is like to be deaf, and they are just like you and me. Deafness is just one aspect of this show, and there is always a reason to tune it. There are laughs, there are tears, and there is always something entertaining about Switched at Birth. So make it appointment viewing because it has definitely earned that title.

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