Shantel VanSanten was born in Cullman, Alabama, and grew up riding horses competitively. When she was 11, her parents moved to Simi Valley, California, where she started acting in school plays and on local theater productions. Shantel VanSanten on being Becca Butcher
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The role of Becca in Damien
Omen II was a key turning point in my career. Although I had some minor roles beforehand, it was that performance that got me noticed by Hollywood. Damien: Omen II was not just my first major studio film, but also my first horror movie. The character itself is quite complex.
Why she took the role
We’ve all seen Shantel VanSanten as our favorite swim-and-spy expert Patty Hewes, but she’s also been busy with her role in The CW’s newest show, The Messengers. In case you missed it, here’s what is sure to be your new favorite guilty pleasure: a conspiracy/horror thriller about a mysterious object from space crashing down to Earth and releasing demons. And who are these poor souls that have to battle against these demons? A preacher and five strangers?
The dramatic change in her character
In season one, Rebecca was pregnant and in love with her husband, FBI Agent John Rebecca Butcher. She struggled to cope with his sudden absence when he disappeared during an investigation of The Seven. As a grieving widow trying to keep herself together for her son and complete her husband’s work, she learned that there is more to John than even she knew as she went head-to-head with The Seven in a desperate attempt to uncover his whereabouts.
Working with Bradley James
Bradley James has played Arthur Pendragon, who becomes King Arthur in Camelot (A&E), and he also portrayed Jesse in Disney’s Tower Prep (ABC Family). However, his biggest acting achievement to date was portraying Jeremy Gilbert in The Vampire Diaries. Bradley was born and raised in Blackpool, United Kingdom. He played a wide variety of sports during high school, but eventually found that acting was his true passion.
What makes Damien different from other shows
At its core, Damien is a horror story. There are no superheroes or comic book cliches—there are just ordinary people struggling to figure out what they’re supposed to do when faced with powers beyond their understanding. What we can say about Damien right now: The character arc of Damien as a boy and into adulthood is an interesting one—and I’m not sure that it’s over yet. In fact, I have a lot of ideas about where it could go from here.
Looking back at her career
I was always a fan of mysteries and crime shows, so when I saw that Kevin Williamson was creating a TV show in that genre, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. That’s how I got involved with The Following. It’s been so much fun getting to play an FBI agent and working with such an amazing cast and crew. What was your reaction when you first read about Becca’s story?