Indulge me while I do something completely out of character: Toot my own horn. As you know, back in August I publicly pressured Brothers & Sisters executive producer Greg Berlanti to cast his former Everwood ingenue Emily VanCamp in the pivotal role of Rebecca, the 20-year-old byproduct of Holly's affair with Nora's late hubby, William. Jump ahead five months and guess who was just tapped to play Rebecca? That's right - Emily freakin' VanCamp! "The truth is, you do deserve some credit," Berlanti concedes. "The candlelight vigil you've had for her in this role really made a difference." Of course, it'd be disingenuous for me to not point out that VanCamp - who makes her debut on Feb. 18 - also had the support of some other influential players, namely Berlanti, fellow executive producer Ken Olin, and VanCamp's TV mom, Patricia Wettig. "Patty is over the moon," declares Olin of his real-life wife and colleague. "She loves her." So how's the woman at the center of this lovefest feeling about all this attention (read: pressure)? Let's ask her!

Ausiello: Congratulations! Are you psyched?
Emily VanCamp:
I am. It's been so crazy. It all happened in one day, so I haven't really had time to wrap my head around it. But it's so exciting.

Ausiello: You were in the running, out of the running, back in the running, and then you got it. What the heck happened?
VanCamp:
There was talk about it a couple of months ago, first in your column [ Laughs], and then I heard it from some other people. But nothing ever was set in stone. There was never a real offer on the table, so I kind of put it out of my mind. And then it all just came together at the last minute, which is how things typically happen for me.

Ausiello: Did you have to audition?
VanCamp:
No, [which] was incredibly flattering. Greg and I obviously worked together for four years on Everwood, so he has a really good sense of who I am and what I have to offer. I think he had confidence that I would fit in well.

Ausiello: What have you been told about Rebecca's story?
VanCamp:
It's about the dynamic between all these brothers and sisters who grew up together, and then this newcomer who is trying to fit in and understand the family and get to know everybody. I can only imagine it being a very odd experience knowing that you share blood with these people, but you have no idea who they are.

Ausiello: How is Rebecca different from Amy?
VanCamp:
Amy grew up in small-town America, and this young gal grew up in Los Angeles. It's a completely different mentality. And I think there's a lot more maturity there, which is exciting for me.

Ausiello: How long is your commitment?
VanCamp:
I think that all depends on how long they want me. Basically, I'm coming on as a series regular, which is all episodes produced this year as well as next year and the year after. It's quite a big commitment. It was definitely scary jumping into something like this right after Everwood, but it's such a phenomenal show, and with someone like Greg on board... I just have every bit of faith in him. He's an incredibly talented guy. I'm absolutely honored to be working with him again, and excited to work with this tremendous cast. I would rather enter into a show that I already know is of such high quality than try to lead my own show. Plus, the chances of pilots getting picked up are slim to none. I'd much rather be a part of something like this, where I can really learn from it. 'Cause I'm only 20. I've got a lot to learn. [ Laughs]

Ausiello: Do you miss Everwood?
VanCamp:
I do. It was such a tremendous experience. And I love everybody on that show so much. That was the hardest part - saying goodbye to all those people. We still see each other, but it's not the same. We're not all in the same place all the time. That part was really hard. And letting go of our characters that we've been playing for so long... you get really attached to those people that you've created, and suddenly they don't exist anymore. It was very, very hard. But the response from all of our fans was incredible. I couldn't have asked for a nicer way to leave. It's not like we dwindled away and people got sick of the show. People really were left wanting more, and I think there's a lot of value to that.

Ausiello: Do you keep in touch with anyone?
VanCamp:
Greg and I are in touch quite a bit. Sarah Drew and I talk a lot. Tom I still talk to all the time. [FYI: As I reported in this week's Ask Ausiello, Emily confirmed that she and Chris Pratt are no longer dating.]

Ausiello: Tell me about your episode of Law & Order: SVU coming up on Feb. 13.
VanCamp:
That was crazy. I played this girl who's a bit of a drug addict, and [I'm led to believe] that I killed my mother. I was high the evening that it happened, so I had no recollection of the evening, and I convince myself that I did it. It's really, really intense, and totally different from anything I've done before, so that was really fun.

Ausiello: And before that you shot a movie called Carriers, right?
VanCamp:
Yeah. It's sort of this postapocalyptic thriller. It's very dark and weird. I think they're looking at a late spring release.

FYI: Brothers & Sisters is preempted this Sunday (damn you, Super Bowl!). It returns Feb. 11 with the first of three new episodes.