Brooklyn Sudano, when speaking with WWD, was more curious about the weather than anything else. “I was there a couple weeks ago, and it was freezing,” she says of New York. “When you’re trying to find a cab and you’ve got an event to go to, and you’re dressed, you’re like, ‘Oh really! Now it’s gonna pour.’”
Sudano is based in sunny Los Angeles, where many of her acting projects, including her debut role as Vanessa on the sitcom “My Wife and Kids,” are based. “We had a couple of weeks where it was raining nonstop, which was unusual. Now, it’s supergreen here, which is pretty amazing,” she says. “Usually, by this time of year, everything starts burning up.”
The same can be said for Sudano, who took on the role of Asha in the NBC TV series “Taken,” alongside Clive Standen and Jennifer Beals. Asha plays a young environmental lawyer who loses her best friend, the sister of Bryan Mills (Standen). As Asha and Bryan work to regain their footing and discover who was behind the murder, they end up in a knot of romantic tension.
This is the biggest project Sudano has taken on in the wake of her own rainy season, or “a lot of life stuff,” as she puts it. “Over the past few years, unfortunately, I’ve dealt with a lot of loss,” Sudano says, including the passing of her mom, disco queen Donna Summer. “My mom, my grandmother and the woman who’s like my second mom, all passed in a span of two and a half years.”
Not all of it was heartbreak, though. “I also had a baby,” Sudano continued. “I was auditioning in the interim and doing a lot of smaller gigs, but I was hoping that something bigger would come along. It really felt like all the stars aligned and the timing was right for me to take on [‘Taken’].”
Now that she’s back in front of the camera, Sudano is able to bring her own experiences to her role. “She’s just lost her best friend,” Sudano says of her character Asha. “On top of her being a driven, accomplished young woman, I knew her.”
“I really understood what it felt like to be in that emotional upheaval, and it immediately connected me to what she was going through. I was really curious to explore what that process would be like in a character and through my work.” As it turns out, Asha became the perfect vehicle for Sudano to explore her own feelings. “It was cathartic, in a lot of ways, because you’re able to flush out those feelings. And I don’t think people really discuss — not even discuss, but really show — what a grieving process is like.”
Asha’s feelings of grief and loneliness are, however, exclusively Asha’s. Behind the scenes, the set’s familial nature was an optimal working environment for Sudano. “Everybody comes to the table to collaborate with an open spirit and without ego,” Sudano says. Standen among them. “He’s fantastic as an actor, and he’s superopen,” she says. “So, you feel safe in going to the places where you need to go.”
While she worked most most closely on set with Standen, she and the rest of the girls had their own bonding time. “The girls would hang out and go to lunch and work out together, and we’d all get together over the weekend with our families,” she says, adding that the cast mates had a barbecue planned for the coming weekend.
With no more rain in L.A., the cast couldn’t have picked a better time.
More Celebrity Coverage From WWD.com:
Freida Pinto Takes a Stance in “Guerrilla”
Sienna Miller on Motherhood, Being ‘Shy and Weird,’ and Taking on Tennessee Williams
Gavin Rossdale on His New Clothing Line, Making Music and Being a ‘Soft Touch’ Dad
Michelle Branch: Back at Last