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Introducing... Jessica Parker Kennedy

Spotting emerging talent is one of the enjoyable parts of the film industry and such is the case with Jessica Parker Kennedy.

If you're an avid Smallville fan you may remember her as the troubled teen who blew things up in the season eight episode "Plastique". While she doesn't possess any superpowers in real-life my guess is that her career will be heating up with plenty of roles.

Up next, you can catch Kennedy playing a Gospel singer in the premiere of VisionTV's Soul.

The following is my Q&A with her:

1. You're pretty new to the American scene. Could you share a little bit about your background and life in Canada?

I was born in Calgary, Alberta and lived there until moving to Vancouver in 2006. I’m an only child. While I was growing up, I traveled a great deal, seeing most of Canada and much of the United States. In my teenage years we began to travel outside of North America. We visited South America, Thailand, Israel and Europe. I attended French immersion school through to grade twelve. My favourite classes were Drama and English.

2. People get into acting for a lot of different reasons. What drives you?

As a child, my mom and I attended a great deal of theatre and I knew at a young age that I wanted to be a performer. Every play I watched, I wished I was up on stage with the actors. At the age of six I had the opportunity to be in a part of a play at my summer camp. We performed The Jungle Book. I was a fairly shy kid but I felt great up on stage. I loved the attention and it gave me great confidence. Now, I’m driven by the challenge of making a character come alive. I feel in my place when I’m on set or on stage. There is a great amount of freedom in putting on a mask and letting go of who you are. Acting has become my passion.

3. How did your family react when you told them you decided to be a professional actress?

I have the best family in the world. They have done nothing but support and encourage me from the moment I told them I wanted to be an actor. My mother especially.

4. You've done Shakespeare in the park, film and TV. In which format do you feel most in your element? And why?

As long as I am acting, I feel in my element. I love them all and hope in my career that I will have the opportunity to work in each field of acting.

5. What's your process like when you prepare for a new role?

With any role research is of course important. I always make sure that I create a background story for my character whether there is one given in the script or not. The closer I am to my character the better. What I mean by that is it’s like getting to know someone. I need to know details about my character in the same way one knows details about one’s closest friend. For example how she might order a cup of coffee and does she take cream or sugar? How would she react if someone lifted her purse while she was going for a walk on the street?

6. Not a lot of people can say they were rescued by Clark Kent/Tom Welling. What was it like working on the set of Smallville?

The cast members of Smallville are a pleasure to work with. They are kind and giving actors. Everyone is very friendly and welcoming. I really felt a part of the show while I was there. On top of that I had a ridiculous amount of fun. I also had the joy of being directed by Rick Rosenthal who is a really gifted director. I would love to work with him in the future.

7. What elements have to be in a script to make you say "I have to audition for that role"?

To be honest, I’m not really at that stage yet. For actors at my level, we often don’t have the privilege of even seeing a script before we audition for a character. In the future, if I could read a script and pick and choose what I wanted to audition for, I would look for characters that challenge my ability as an actor. Something that would take me out of my comfort level and make me stretch and reach further.

8. What do you do to cheer yourself up when you don't get the part?

As soon as I leave the audition room and step outside, I leave it behind. I throw it over the back of my shoulder. I’ve prepared and done the best job I can and it’s out of my hands. Of course it’s always disappointing not to get a role but heck, I’d be cheering myself up all the time instead of using that precious time to get organized and prepare for my next audition.

9. Outside of acting, what inspires your creativity?

I watch a ridiculous amount of films and that’s where I get a lot of my inspiration. Just watching actors who I worship do their thing on screen is intoxicating. People-watching is great inspiration as well. I also daydream a lot about random characters that I want to play.

10. What actors/directors are you most interested in collaborating with?

There are a huge number of actors and directors that I would love to work with. Some directors that I think are brilliant are Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese and Michel Gondry.

Some of my favorite actors are Cate Blanchett, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Benicio Del Toro, Sean Penn, Kate Winslet, Paul Newman. I could go on forever. There are so many.

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Anonymous said...

wow..she seems very interesting. Good article.

James said...

she seems really interesting and i think she will do well with her acting. she is very attractive. i would venture to say that she is the most attractive woman i have ever seen

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