One of the reasons for the success of the show is the work of Lex Scott Davis. Lex plays Cassidy, the daughter of Rebel and let’s just say they have an interesting mother and daughter relationship.
We had the chance to sit down with Lex to talk about her character, what it’s like to work with Katey Sagal and what fans can look forward to as the first season of Rebel continues.
Pop Culture Principle – Cassidy is such a multi-dimensional character. For you as an actor, you must love the challenge and joy of playing a character like this?
Lex Scott Davis – This role definitely has its joys, and it has its challenges. I think what’s the most challenging is that obviously she is a lawyer, and I am not, so there is a lot of terminology that I had to learn and also even the body language that I have to be mindful of as a professional lawyer and just adjusting to that is the challenge while still maintaining color and vibrance and her unique sense of self.
I think that is the cool part that I get to bring to Cassidy. Having a mother like Rebel, I am allowed to be a little more passionate and out loud and a little more vibrant than your average attorney would be. So, I take advantage of that and since its television, I can paint outside the lines a little bit with it. It’s been a lot of fun.
Pop Culture Principle – One thing that stuck out to us was Cassidy’s wardrobe. Compared to the other lawyers, she always has vibrant and colorful outfits. Was that something that was intentional to set her apart from her colleagues?
Lex Scott Davis – Yes it was. My character’s closet is very vibrant, and we are not afraid of patterns and being bold and being colorful. That was a choice by the creator to have her be that and I like to think of Cassidy as this pop of color in a sea full of black and grey suits. That is all we are used to seeing when we are talking about lawyers and anything procedural. It’s a very stick to the script type of nature of it all.
Again, we aren’t afraid to color outside of the lines with Cassidy and it brings her unique self to her place of business which seems to be true in real life. Today I think more businesses and more professions are allowing people to express themselves whether its religion or its cultural and we try to embrace that with the show as well and making sure that there is representation of all types of people on this show and Cassidy is a great example of that.
Pop Culture Principle – When Cassidy is accused of selling out to go work for her father, she replies with, “I’m not selling out, I’m buying back my freedom.” I thought that was a very clever and telling line. Would you agree?
Lex Scott Davis – Yes, I would. She loves what she is doing, but it’s a little different when you are being told how to do what you love as opposed to being free to do what you love. She is constantly being judged and ridiculed for what she believes she should fight for. Her and Rebel have a lot of things in common, they just have different ways about getting there and that is one of the stories behind that statement of just always having to do it Rebel’s way or Amir’s way. Everybody else imposes what Cassidy should do and think and Cassidy is tired of that.
Lex Scott Davis – Absolutely. When you have a busy single mom or parent in general, they are doing all that they can to provide for you and sometimes the child doesn’t understand the greater good. All they see is the parent leaving or coming home late from work and I think that is something that Cassidy is harboring. There is a lot of resentment for the lack of presence from Rebel, but Rebel was just doing what she needed to do to see her children become very successful. We are not here by accident and she fought very hard for us to get the life that we have. Again, it takes some maturity in order for a child to grow up and see that what she set out to do wasn’t wrong, but it took away time for her to be the nurturing mother that a little girl needed.
Pop Culture Principle – Do you think working with Katey Sagal and her finding her character has helped you find who your character is as well since Cassidy is Rebel’s daughter?
Lex Scott Davis – Absolutely! Of course, once you read the script before you even book the job, you have your ideas and you put things together, but it’s nothing like when you are actually there in your clothes and your make-up and your hair and watching your parents on screen.
I have Katy to look to for that and her mannerisms and how she carries herself in the setting of a law firm. She is the tree, and I am the apple, and I didn’t fall far from it. There are a lot of similarities to how we handle our business which is why I think we clash so much. Anyone really close to being like you for some reason, you bicker. You want the last word, and you want to be right, and you want to be understood. So, we are constantly clashing as a result of being so similar. The older you get the more you become your parents.
I think that is true for James Lesure who plays my father Benji. There are a lot of things that James does with his character that I as Lex look to and learn to pick up those little mannerisms because as my character starts to work for him, there is a “bossness” that he carries that I start to embody as I start to work for his firm. I am constantly combining the two actors and trying to fuse them into this baby which is Cassidy, so I am definitely observing both Katey and James when working.
Pop Culture Principle – Going forward, do you think Cassidy will have trust issues when it comes to her father after realizing he manipulated her primarily for his gain with the Stonemore case?
Lex Scott Davis – I think it will always be in the back of her mind. What’s even more in the back of her mind is with that café conversation saying that you work for crooks and you work for bad people and that will always be in the back of her mind. So, it’s surprising that it happened to me, but it’s not surprising that it happened in general. She’s playing the game and I think Luke gave her some great advice. Yes, he used you, but now you have a seat at the table and now you can use it. That was the freedom you were speaking of, so now what are you going to do with it.
Pop Culture Principle – We recently saw Amir Johnson break up with Cassidy because of her going to her father’s firm and almost costing Cruz the Stonemore case.. Can you talk a little bit about that on screen relationship?
Lex Scott Davis – That was a complicated scene because Cassidy is not a woman that wants to be seen cracking under pressure. She doesn’t want to be a woman who is seen crying even though she might cry in her bedroom. I don’t think Cassidy is aware that she loves Amir because her and her brother share the similarity of having intimacy issues and having trouble saying that they love a person, but I really think that she loves Amir.
It’s really complicated for her to be dumped and stand her ground at the same time. What she’s done goes against everything that he thought that she was about, so her own reflection is being slammed in her face, but she’s trying to be stern and firm in her decision. But, in the back of her mind, she knows she probably didn’t make the right choices and she affected a lot of people who are like your family in the process of being selfish, so that is a very difficult conversation to have when someone is telling you about you and you know they are right, but you are too stubborn to admit it and unfortunately she let him walk out the door.
Pop Culture Principle – It seems as though Cassidy is trapped from all sides and not a lot of daylight for her. Would you agree with that?
Lex Scott Davis – She is having everything thrown at her at once. There is an element to her still finding herself and needing guidance and seeking that guidance from someone like Benji is still affecting all the relationships around her. So, Benji is constantly proud of her, but she’s not even proud of herself, so now what? Now she’s confused as to what her fight even is. She knows she wants to fight, and she knows she has a voice, and she knows she’s good at it, but she doesn’t know how to navigate truly being in the middle of both sides.
Pop Culture Principle – Rebel has several strong female characters from Rebel to Cassidy to Lana. How important is it to have a show like this on the air now with what is going on in the world today?
Lex Scott Davis – Right now, I think it is always relevant seeing strong women portrayed on screen. Just because of the history of not only people, but the history of television. My first show, my character never left the apartment the entire season and I don’t even think it’s something that they even noticed. Every week when I got a new script, I was thinking does my character get to go to work? Do I get to leave the kitchen? Do I get to leave the bed? The answer was no every time. I was the wife and I never got to leave the home.
This is my first time being a part of a show where I am considered a lead character, but my bosses are women as well. So, obviously someone like Katey driving this show and having Erin Brockovich as a producer is amazing. It’s a beautiful time to be a part of something where we have so many strong female driven characters in front of the camera, but also behind the camera. It is truly inspiring.
Pop Culture Principle – What can fans look forward to with the rest of Season One of Rebel?
Lex Scott Davis – There is more mess to look forward to! It’s always complicated with these people! Obviously, there is more unfolding with the Stonemore case and I think at this point we all know who should win, but there’s a journey to watch unfold. Also, more of that interesting family dynamic to watch unfold on the screen!
A huge thank you to Lex Scott Davis for taking the time out of her busy schedule to talk with us. You can catch new episodes of Rebel every Thursday night at 10/9c only on ABC!
**All photos courtesy of ABC/Karen Ballard/Temma Hankin/Pamela Littky**