A Quick Chat With IFC’s ‘Bullet In The Face’ Star: Kate Kelton
Of the people who I know that are highly successful, be they musicians, artist, actors or anybody who is a top professional in their field, they all have one thing in common – the are multi talented. Kate Kelton is no exception and if you haven’t seen her art, then you know her as the famous tic tac girl, or maybe you’ve seen her flogging Cadillacs, or perhaps you’ve read her in Making It In High Heels. Regardless of the ‘where’, suffice to say everything Kate Kelton does has a snazzy, biting snap, and ooh lala, wait until you see what Kate’s up to now ~
Kate! I know you’re in NYC for an art show right now, and fresh off the set of Haven, thanks for making the time to do this! I guess this would be a great place to start – your uber busy life; I know you’re either working on a painting or on set somewhere, just exactly how do you stay in balance with art and acting? Or is it those two events that actually keep you in balance?
Absolutely!! :} Because one is so solitary and the other so communal, if I lean too hard in either direction for too long, I inevitably pine for the other, so I suspect all the to and fro is ultimately what keeps me from losing my mind.. or what’s left of it anyway ;}
And being as balanced as you are, I am guessing it provides a bit of stable ground for you and as I’m all about epiphanies these days; what was your most recent life’s-big-lesson?
To trust myself :} For a decade now I’ve known that this summer would present a bit of a breakthrough for me, based only on my love of astrology. When I booked & shot my very first series last year, (IFC’s ’Bullet In The Face’), I had no idea at the time they weren’t planning on airing it until THIS summer, discounting the theory that I’d somehow manifested this all by myself. And yet when I found out I’d be spending most of this summer in Nova Scotia shooting a wonderful, multi-episode arc on SyFy’s ‘Haven’, you could have knocked me over with a feather! Two series. One summer. There were so many times I came SO close to giving up, but trusting myself is likely what ultimately fulfilled this prediction, because when the summer of 2012 was all I had to cling to, it really did get me through the worst of it. Even if it DID still shock me when it finally arrived ;}
Ok yes, let’s get to the fun stuff! With Bullet In The Face coming up on August 16th & 17th, I really wanted to ask about this project as it involves some amazing people, and it’s your first lead -yah!! Anything that stands out about the experience?
I was not prepared for just how EXHAUSTING it would be, actually! I have no idea how Max Williams did it, as he carries the show on his shoulders, primarily. But the incredible part is how much input you have in creating the character, the nuances of performance, the look of her, etc. You have all these remarkable professionals at your disposal who present you with unending variables to choose from, and it becomes this collaborative art form where everyone’s talent gets a chance to shine. That’s a long way from, say, doing a walk-on, bit-part where everything is pretty much dictated and established before you even set foot in a fitting room, make-up chair or set. Actually being continually asked for my opinion and input was completely refreshing :}
I like that, it’s nice to get to that point in any project where you can really be an active participant, and I must say, you were collaborating with an incredible cast and Alan Spencer and Eddie Izzard hello!? I have to ask what it was like working with Alan and Eddie, those are some huge names!
Life-changing, utterly. The comedic minds and cumulative experience of these two men made for an unforgettable experience. Alan is full to the brim with incredible stories and razor-sharp insight, and can, with one phrase, turn a scene on it’s end and expose it’s underbelly to the light of day. And Eddie has at his core a strength, intelligence and resilience I was completely blown away by. The level of sensitivity and dedication to his craft was unparalleled, and working opposite him revealed a new surprise I never saw coming, nearly every minute of every day. Remarkable men, truly, the both of them.
Well I agree completely and you all shine in your performances here, and of course, Alan, genius full stop. I know you’ve been back up in Canada filming for the series you’re on now, ‘Haven’ for SyFy. What’s it like shooting in Nova Scotia?
I had never been to the Maritimes before, so I swear, for the first few days I was here all I did was hyperventilate: inhaling the sweetest, cleanest air I think I’ve ever given my lungs the pleasure of breathing. But then there’s the PEOPLE! So sweet, so kind, so generous to a fault. Every one of them willing to go the extra mile. There’s such an overarching pride in workmanship, and even on the longest days, you’d be hard pressed to find a grouch in the bunch. Is smiling mandatory here? It could well be. But it’s never saccharine or cloying, it’s always heartfelt and true. I feel like I’ve made some lifelong friends here :}
Any Favourite episode so far?
Oh there are so many! Jason Priestley directed our Halloween special, and working with him I was completely unprepared for what a ‘mensch’ he was. I’d heard he was unbelievably gifted as a TV director, and I knew he was an outstanding actor of course, but I was blown away by what an incredible human being he was. His love of the job becomes completely infectious, and I can still hear his sweet giggle erupting into the wee hours of the shoot as I type this. Unflagging enthusiasm goes a long way when you’re in the tiny, airless, cramped rooms of a haunted house for days on end. He made it a sheer pleasure, constantly showing us adorable videos of his kids between set ups, and never tiring of our questions and requests for more stories. Just so wonderful.
Nice! ok, bit of a break from work for a moment, because I recently saw a jar of something on your Facebook page so I have to ask….Any vices or guilty pleasures?
Nutella!! It was my peanut butter having grown up in Europe, and I have zero control around a jar of the stuff. When I shot all those Tic Tac ads, I had no idea Ferrero made not only Ferrero Rocher and Tic Tac’s, but Nutella as well! The lovely VP of Ferrero’s Marketing ended up sending me a CASE of the stuff: 14 jars! Aaand, it took me exactly 14 days to lay waste to every last one of them. Nutella and toast were all I ate for two weeks straight. I mean. That’s a PROBLEM. Hahah ;D
I see no problem there Kate!? Haha – Ok have a WOW for us to end on? (Words Of Wisdom)
I’ve always loved the saying, “Our heads are round so that thoughts can change direction,” by painter and poet Francis Picabia (1879-1953). Becoming too entrenched in any one modus operandi can be a death nell to creativity, so I try to stay fluid and let come what may. Trusting my ability to stay adaptable to any circumstance has helped me in more ways than I can count; in making art, in acting, in traveling, in life really. (I suppose the ONLY thing it doesn’t apply to in my life is Nutella! hehe).
And lastly, there is a little photo you have of yourself as a child with your big glasses and shy smile, and you’ve said a few times that you still see yourself as this girl – and well, the characters we see on screen and the themes in your bold and ballsy art are quite different! Soooo, I’m thinking there was a little bit more spark behind those glasses than you let on. Care to comment?
OMG, you’re probably COMPLETELY right!! Nailed it :} hahaha
Interview reprinted with permission