EMILY KINNEY: THE CHAMELEON

ANDREA RAYMER

Imagista recently sat down with Emily Kinney, the multitalented actor-musician and star of TV’s hit series “The Walking Dead”, to see what makes gets her moving and to find out how she manages to keep it all in balance.

Imagista: Why did you decide to become an actor? Did you choose the profession or did the profession choose you?

Emily Kinney: It just felt like the natural thing to do. When I was growing up I watched TV shows and movies, and thought that is what I want to do. I would spend a lot of time practicing and acting out the scenes from various movies. If there was a community theater play or high school play going on, I auditioned to be a part of it. It seemed very obvious to me, despite the fact that I would get nervous and can actually be very shy. It’s just what I like spending my time doing. I also believe that theatre fulfills something very spiritual for me. I definitely decided to pursue acting though as a career. I moved to NYC, and started going to open calls and auditions.

Imagista: You’ve become very well known for your role as Beth on “The Walking Dead.” What do you love about playing that role? Have there been any specific challenges with the role?

EK: I’ve loved getting to know a character for so long. I’ve never played the same person for four seasons… that’s a long time. I’ve liked watching her grow and change and I’ve changed with her! I love the writing for this show. There are these huge action sequences, so there’s a lot of variety in what I get to do every day when I come to set!

Imagista: How has playing the role of Beth changed you as an actress? 

EK: It’s made me better, It’s made me more comfortable in front of the camera. The other actors on the show are so good. So, to match them, the bar is set high, and I think I bring that kind of passion and commitment and capability to even my auditions and other work more so now than I did before the show.

Imagista: Is there any one person, either alive or dead, that has been an inspiration to you as an actor?

EK: Growing up, I really loved Claire Danes, and Leo Dicaprio, and Kate Winslet, and still do! But I also find I am most inspired by my family and friends. Little bits of them show up in my work when I am creating characters. When I find a script that reminds me of someone in my life, it’s exciting to me.

Imagista: If you weren’t a full time actor, what would you be doing? Would you be focusing more on your music career? Anything else?

EK: Does teaching or directing actors count as an alternative? I think I would just be making stuff. Writing songs,writing poems, playing shows… I work even if I’m not getting paid for it. I would find a way! I love acting! It’s hard for me to imagine what I would do without it. It’s basically been a huge factor in every life decision I’ve ever made. I don’t know if I cared really about moving to NYC when I moved from Nebraska. I didn’t know if I liked the city as a place to live, but I just knew I wanted to act and sing, and at the highest possible level, and so I went to what I thought was the best place for that because I wanted acting and singing to be my life. If I wasn’t a full time actor, maybe I would have a bit more time to have a boyfriend. Having a for-real, serious boyfriend is a dream of mine that I still feel like has not happened for me. Sometimes I think it would be fun to be in one place for a while and set up a house and have a boyfriend and a baby. Right now, though, my career tends to drive most of my life in a certain way.

Imagista: Who do you think is the most underrated artist (any type of artist: musician, chef, etc.) in the world right now?

EK: I don’t know. There are a lot of beautiful artists in the world that don’t find an audience.

Imagista: What is your most valued possession?

EK: I don’t have a lot of stuff. There’s not a lot of stuff I would cry over if it got burned in a fire. It’s nice to have nice stuff, but I know it’s not permanent and, ultimately, I just don’t really care. My valued possessions are the people in my life and things that aren’t really possessions. My family and friends, my health (physical and mental), my work, and my music.

Imagista: What are your three favorite places on the planet?

EK: A cold theatre in tech week, Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Rockwood Music Hall in NYC. I travel a lot, but I haven’t been so many places that I can know for sure what my favorite places are.

Imagista: If you were a bumper sticker, what would it say?

EK: You + Me – Julie = True love, I’m actually making that bumper sticker and it should be available at my show and on my online store in the next couple of weeks.

Imagista: Is there anything else you’d like to mention?

EK: I really hope everyone enjoys Beth’s storyline this season and please check out my album, “Expired Love”!

Follow Emily:

@emmykinney

www.facebook.com/EmilyKinneyMusic

Fashion Links and Follows:

www.blackdnyc.com @blackdofficial

www.rubinchapelle.com @rubinchapelle

www.diepparestrepo.com @diepparestrepo

www.fleurdumal.com @fleurdumalnyc

www.noirnyc.com @noirjewelry

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CONTRIBUTORS

Actress: Emily Kinney
Photographer: Tina Turnbow
Fashion Editor: Wendy McNett
Makeup: Tina Turnbow

Hair: Marc Mena
Stylist Assistant: Farah Alimi
Retouching: Becky Siegel