Checking in with Shantel VanSanten
During her days as Quinn on "One Tree Hill," Shantel VanSanten didn't foresee herself as an Angel of the Apocalypse, but she's getting used to that role.
The actress is back on The CW in the Friday drama series "The Messengers," playing Vera, one of five diverse people affected by a strange force that may enable them to prevent a rapture in which many others would disappear. Just as "One Tree Hill" was an ensemble piece, VanSanten likes sharing the load with others in the new show.
"I think that each character brings a different perspective," she says, "a different set of beliefs or non-beliefs, their own personal stuff along with it, and it allows for it to get more complex as a story." Part of that complexity comes from the fact that as a "Messengers" character, VanSanten explains, "You're a human being. You're not a superhero. We're not playing superheroes that can put on a suit and have this power. We also don't have the choice of when we have the power, when we get to use it. And there's also downfalls to it. There's this moral dilemma for some people. There's physical dilemmas. So it's interesting to have that."
Having worked for The CW before, VanSanten appreciates that the network is "very loyal to the actors who have been on their shows" -- including her main "One Tree Hill" acting partner Robert Buckley, who's now on "iZombie."
"I think that this show being on The CW and it finding its home is going to draw in a fan base that maybe they didn't have before," VanSanten says. "And it creates some new energy. And I'm grateful to be back."
Birthdate: July 25, 1985
Birthplace: Luverne, Minn.
Current residence: Los Angeles
Marital status: Single
Other television credits include: "One Tree Hill," "Gang Related," "Beauty and the Beast," "The Night Shift," "The Glades," "CSI: NY" Movie credits include: "Something Wicked," "A Golden Christmas 3," "You and I," "Remembrance," "In My Pocket," "The Final Destination"
On projecting how it would look to be caught up in an otherworldly force field: "There was a lot of that on the show, where we wouldn't always know how to play something and you'd have to play around with it and try something. And it may feel silly, but you would watch it and you were like, ‘Wow. That worked.' "