by Ashley Fisher
She may not be a household name just yet, but Grace Fulton is certainly starting to turn heads. The sixteen-year-old up-and-coming actress is most known for her portrayal of Young Melinda on the television show Ghost Whisperer and Celina Rice in the movie Badland. Currently, she can be seen as Young Victoria on ABC’s hit show Revenge.
“Lineage,” the eighth episode of season two of Revenge was full of many surprises, but Victoria Grayson’s lethal reveal was by far the biggest shock. Flashing back to when she was just fifteen years old, we learn how and why the Hamptons Ice Queen became the manipulative master we all love to hate. Being forced by her mother Marion to shoot her presumably soon to be stepfather, Victoria is then sent to an inpatient psych ward for six months. When she returns, Victoria gets thrown out to the streets after her mother’s boyfriend turns out to be quite the pedophile. It’s clear that Marion is to blame for the downfall of her daughter’s innocence and it’s no surprise that Victoria executed a charade in which she hired an actor to seduce and then dump her mother during Thanksgiving dinner.
Q & A with Grace Fulton
Bay Eagle: How does the younger Victoria compare to the older one?
Grace: We’re seeing Victoria before she’s been affected. So she’s definitely more innocent and just wants to please her mother. Her mother’s love was so conditional. You really see in the episode how she became the way she is now. You can see how messed up her life was and how it just tore her world apart and caused her to be a survivor.
Bay Eagle: People have been mentioning that you look a lot like Charlotte, Victoria’s daughter. Did anyone on set think so?
Grace: Oh that’s so funny because when I got on set, some people from hair and makeup and wardrobe said that I reminded them so much of Charlotte. People were saying I sound like her too! I think it’s because I was studying not only Victoria, but Charlotte as well. Like the mother-daughter dynamics and how a daughter picks up on a mother’s behavior.
Bay Eagle: What do you think was Victoria’s breaking point when she was younger?
Grace: Well, thinking about how much trauma it would be to walk in and see a man dead and that your mom shot him… The first thing going through my mind when I was going to play the role was, I’d be afraid my mom was going to shoot me next. To shoot anyone, you’re unhinged. So I think that was a huge breaking point for Victoria.
Bay Eagle: How did you prepare for such an intense role?
Grace: I just pretend I’m in that position right away. I was shaking so bad when I was filming; it’s just a really shocking scene. When you think about what’s going on, it’s so alarming. I mean this girl has never seen anything like this before. Her image of love must be so warped now. She thought her mom liked this man and now she shot him? Then she’s having Victoria shoot him… It’s just really confusing. My lip was trembling so badly during the scene. I have no idea why! It was just a really emotional time.
Bay Eagle: Why do you think Victoria shot the man?
Grace: I think how it works is, because Marion shot him, she’d be taken away from Victoria and possibly charged with murder. Whereas if Victoria shot him, she would just get charged with self-defense. That’s how it was in Marion’s mind at least. Victoria didn’t shoot him to be “hailed as a hero,” as Marion put it. She did it because her mom said, “They’ll take me away from you.”
Grace Fulton in Revenge.
Bay Eagle: What do you think was the most important part of the flashback?
Grace: Well the best thing about that flashback is that it’s the first time you’re seeing Victoria when she’s young. And for the first time, you really just feel this pain for her. You start to understand her a little bit more and how hard she had it. That was really the job of the flashback.
Bay Eagle: Did you get to meet Madeleine Stowe?
Grace: I actually, amazingly enough, met Madeleine years ago because her daughter danced with me at Westside Ballet Academy. My mom knew her from The Last of the Mohicans and Twelve Monkeys and they would talk and visit and Madeleine would have a script on her lap. When I got this audition, I hadn’t seen her in years. I went on set and the AD said she wanted me to meet someone. Madeleine came around the corner and she goes, “Grace, it’s so good to see you!” It was so sweet because she said, “I’m so happy it’s you.” It’s such an honor to be playing a young her.
Bay Eagle: How does playing Young Victoria differ from playing Young Melinda on Ghost Whisperer?
Grace: Two entirely different characters. When I was playing Young Melinda, I was handling someone who saw ghosts. The thing about Melinda is that she was very confused – she didn’t understand why she could see ghosts and no one else could. She had a little bit more spirit and spunk and curiosity, whereas Victoria has been raised in a household with an extremely overbearing mother. You can just imagine the situation of being raised by Marion. Victoria was willing to do anything for her mother and it just shows how much she cares about family.
Bay Eagle: For anyone who has never seen Revenge, why should they watch?
Grace: It’s an amazing show! It hooks you in. The plot twists and the emotions – there are these high highs and all of the sudden it drops you in the next scene. It’s just a really complicated drama and it’s really intelligently written. You really don’t expect what happens most of the time.
Bay Eagle: Who is your favorite character from the show?
Grace: There are so many good characters, but I have to confess, I really love Victoria. I don’t know if it’s Madeleine Stowe’s acting and how brilliant she is, but I love watching her in every scene.
Bay Eagle: Who’s better at revenge? Emily or Victoria?
Grace: I think two can play at that game. Emily does a really good job of using resources and Victoria’s really good with words. She’s good at cornering someone and making them feel so little with her words. It’s intimidating.
Bay Eagle: Who would you be more intimidated by? Emily or Victoria?
Grace: Emily’s something you don’t expect and Victoria’s passive-aggressive. They’re both equally frightening.
Bay Eagle: Will we be seeing more flashbacks of the younger Victoria?
Grace: I don’t know. I hope so! She has a big backstory so who knows?
Bay Eagle: What’s next for you?
Grace: I’m actually writing a script right now. My dad gave me the idea of using the resources I have to make a film so that I’d have what I need to make it. For instance, we have a motorcycle, I have a friend who has chickens, we’ve got a church I could film at, there’s a beach in town, I’ve got tons of teenage friends. Then it’s just about creating a story. It’s basically just a cliche, silly story that I’m working on bringing more metaphor and depth to.
Bay Eagle: Anything else you’d like to say?
Grace: I’m sixteen. Everyone thinks I’m fifteen, it’s really funny. All these websites are saying, “she’s actually fifteen,” but I’m sixteen.