'The Fosters': Maia Mitchell on Callie's Father Issues and 'Stripped-Back' Season 2

Who is Robert Quinn? The actress tells THR that Callie's biological father, played by "Dawson's Creek" grad Kerr Smith, comes from an unfamiliar world.
Ron Tom/ABC Family
"The Fosters"

The Fosters is about to bring Callie face to face with her biological father and it won't be a smooth transition.

"At the end of the last season, you see Callie reacting to the fact that she has this father she had no idea about. What does that mean for her mother? Was her mother lying to her? You see her reeling over all that," Maia Mitchell tells The Hollywood Reporter of the "stripped-back" season two.

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When the sophomore season begins, Callie has had time to deal with the initial shock to the news — thanks in part to a substantial time jump.

"Where she's at in her mind, she's very focused on being adopted, being a part of the Fosters and being parented by Stef and Lena," Mitchell says. "I don't think she has much interest in knowing who Robert Quinn is or even putting a face to the name. She's pretty set on the adoption. Right now, she's trying to figure out if she can feel like she's a part of the family without a piece of paper saying she is — and without opening a door where she doesn't know what's on the other side."

Ignoring her biological father, played by Dawson's Creek alum Kerr Smith, won't prove to be easy. In fact, Mitchell hinted that the world in which Robert Quinn hails from is in stark contrast to what Callie is used to. (Hint: "big Quinn mansion.")

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"It's been fun for me since I have all of these different storylines [on the show], with Girls United, the Fosters and now Robert and the Quinns," Mitchell says. "Kerr is a great guy. It's hard to not want to be parented by him."

When Jude receives his new birth certificate confirming his place in the Foster household there are mixed emotions for Callie, who spent the better part of her teen years "parenting him" — or at least attempting to. As Mitchell explains, there's some "relief" on her part in knowing that she can now hand off "some of those responsibilities to Stef and Lena."

"For the most part, she's happy he has a stable, consistent living environment," she adds, "but there absolutely is a sense of disappointment and anxiety about whether that's going to happen for her. It makes Callie all the more dedicated in making that happen."

Though Callie and Brandon had a tumultuous run in the first season, Mitchell says to expect the two to attempt to become friends. "Callie and Brandon have a really strong connection. We don't ever see that go away. They're trying to adjust to that and figure out how to channel that in a platonic way. They're definitely there for each other," she says.

One way they try to move beyond their past romance is through their mutual love of music. "Callie is a huge part of Brandon's decision to join a band and not give up his passion for music," Mitchell says. "He's always there for her with everything that's going on with the Quinns. They still act as a support system for each other."

That's not to say there won't be awkward moments between Callie and Brandon. (Mitchell endearingly refers to their unique situation as "sibling-ship.") "There are still moments when you see them — without words — asking each other for permission to keep moving on and keep letting go," she says. "It's a process, for sure."

The Fosters premieres Monday at 9 p.m. on ABC Family.

Email: Philiana.Ng@THR.com
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