Okay, space cadets! Here it is! The long-awaited interview with film and theater actress, model, and scream-queen favorite Kaylee Williams is finally off the launch pad! Easily looking the innocent victim as well as the heroine or femme fatale, Kaylee is a talent with many faces. The star of Once When I Was Dead, The Perfect Letter, The Lashman, Porkchop 3D and more tells all about everything you want to know–everything from how she got into acting to her starring role in Temple of Boobs: An Indiana Jones Burlesque. Kaylee even tells all about things you’d never think to ask–like how she had Happy Birthday sung to her, lying naked on a bed! With that thought, strap on your seat belts, hang on to your clothes and lay in a course beyond the stars. Ahead is an out-of-this-world ride with the once (but-no-more) shy girl from Chicago–Kaylee Williams!
Kaylee, how did you get into acting?
Kaylee: Growing up, I was always super shy and quiet. In high school, some friends of mine dared me to try out for the school play, thinking I would never go through with it. Not one to back down from a dare, I showed up at the audition. As I waited for my name to be called to go on stage and read the scene, I was shaking like a leaf and feeling like I wanted to bolt. But then I heard my name, and I made my way to the stage. Once I got up there, I suddenly felt this sense of calm come over me. Standing on that stage, I felt comfortable. It felt like that is where I was meant to be. I got cast in a small part in that show and actively pursued an acting career after that.
In your biography on IMDb, I read that you were “shy and introverted” as a girl. Tell us how you overcame your shyness to be an actress and be on stage.
Kaylee: See question 1. Honestly, I feel much more comfortable on a stage or in front of a camera than I do in real life. I’m still very shy and awkward in real life, haha.
Who are your influences or roles models?
Kaylee: When it comes to where I want to go in my acting career, I always look at actresses like Tiffany Shepis and Debbie Rochon. They work hard and work a lot. I’d love to be as busy as they are. And as talented! I’ve gotten to work with both of them and they are fabulous.
Also on IMDb, I notice that you have been in a whopping total of 32 films! That is quite an impressive filmography for anyone, especially someone younger like yourself; that’s a lot of accomplishment in a short time. What do believe has made you so successful as an actress?
Kaylee: Thanks for the kind words. I’ve actually been involved in over 50 films, but only 32 of them are listed on IMDb at this time. I feel like working hard, networking, and auditioning as much as I can is how I’ve gotten my resume to be so extensive. I actually haven’t been working on very many films the past two years, because I have been focusing on theatre. But I think I would like to start getting myself back out there as a film actress in 2015.
Do you have a favorite movie or stage production you’ve been a part of? If so, tell us about it and why it’s your favorite.
Kaylee: Oh no, no, I could never pick a favorite! That’s like asking a parent to choose their favorite child, lol. Each project that I have gotten to work on has been something that I have worked very hard on, so I am proud of every film/show I have been a part of.
Every actor has behind-the-scenes stories that are well worth telling. Tell us a story about something unexpected that happened on the set of a project you worked on. Perhaps something didn’t go according to plan that would make a good story.
Kaylee: Ahaha, I’ve got a funny one. We shot my segment of Psycho Street in January 2012, on the weekend of my birthday. I spent most of the weekend tied to a bed naked. After we shot my last scene, everyone suddenly disappeared from the room we were shooting in. So I’m just chilling on the bed, and all of a sudden the entire cast and crew bursts into the room with cupcakes singing Happy Birthday to me. And here I am lying naked, still tied to the bed, because they forgot to untie me. They quickly threw a blanket on me, but I will forever remember the time I got sung Happy Birthday to by a room full of people while I was tied naked to a bed, LMAO. Good times. I don’t think anyone can top that birthday experience, haha.
Seeing your filmography on IMDb, it looks like most of your work is in the horror genre. Is horror really your favorite movie genre and, if so, why?
Kaylee: Horror is definitely one of my favorite genres. My favorite sub-genre of horror to both watch and act in is comedic horror films, like Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. I’m also a big fan of sci-fi films, one of my favorites being Serenity.
Since this is Space Jockey Reviews, I have to ask you this: What is your favorite horror film and why?
Kaylee: You know, I don’t really have a specific favorite, but one of my favorites is listed above (Tucker and Dale vs. Evil). I absolutely love comedic horror films, especially if they’re done right.
What is it that makes a horror film truly scary for you?
Kaylee: Films don’t scare me. Maybe it’s from being on so many horror film sets and working at a haunted house, but I’m pretty desensitized to horror films. There are some aspects of certain films or characters that I find creepy (like that little kid in Pet Sematary and the clown in It), but nothing truly scares me. It’s probably because I know how everything is done behind the scenes.
IMDb also lists science fiction as a film genre you’ve acted in. Space Jockey Reviews loves sci-fi, so I have to ask you about that too. What sci-fi films have you worked on, and what is your favorite film in the genre?
Kaylee: I’ve actually only gotten the chance to work on one sci-fi film so far, but it is by far one of my favorite genres and I really hope to get the opportunity to work on many more in the future! The sci-fi film that I worked on is a short film called Citizen in the Temple and it was shot here in Chicago. I played one of the villains, which was fun, because I don’t normally get to play the villain. I play the victim most often in my films, haha. My favorite sci-fi film is mentioned above in question 7 (Serenity).
On Facebook, I see that you are in a stage production called, Temple of Boobs: An Indiana Jones Burlesque. With a title like that, I have to ask you what it’s about and, particularly, how “boobs” relate to the story.
Kaylee: It’s a burlesque show that parodies Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Boobs are a big part of the show because….well…..it’s burlesque, lol. It’s a fun show, and I play a variety of different characters including Professor Henry Jones, a mischievous monkey, a getaway car, a bug, a sacrifice victim and a map.
As a follow-up about stage acting, which do you like most and why—film acting or theater, and why?
Kaylee: Honestly, at this point in my life I find theatre to be more fulfilling. There’s just something about the entire process of putting a show together that I love so much. I’ve been spending the past two years focusing mainly on theatre, only taking on select film projects, but I’m hoping to start getting back into film again in 2015. I’ve been pretty picky about which films I choose to be a part of. I’ve been looking for strong scripts with interesting characters. Hopefully a few of those will come my way in the coming year. In the meantime, I will continue to perform at Gorilla Tango Theatre every weekend.
Of all the work you do, what do you prefer most: acting, modeling, producing, or perhaps something else?
Kaylee: Acting, definitely. Acting is my passion.
What is the most challenging thing about being an actor?
Kaylee: Forcing yourself to go to really dark places in your mind. There are always dark corners in people’s minds, where they hide away their painful memories and feelings and having to bring that out in front of a camera and crew is very difficult. It makes you extremely vulnerable.
What do you find most rewarding about being an actor? What makes it more than just a job for you?
Kaylee: It just makes me happy. I love performing and entertaining people. I can’t imagine doing anything else as a career.
Kaylee, from your photos on Facebook, we see that you attend a lot of horror conventions as a celebrity. Have you done any cosplay at conventions and, if so, what character were you?
Kaylee: I dressed as Catwoman at a convention years ago, and I also dressed as a sexy version of the Green Ranger at Wizard World Comic Con a couple years ago.
What is in the future for you? Do you have plans that would, perhaps, be surprising or not the typical Kaylee Williams?
Kaylee: I wrote a script for a short film years ago that I would like to direct and act in. My main reason for putting it off is that I need to make sure I can get the budget I need so I can hire the crew members and actors that I want.
Is there anything else you’d like to add, before we go? This is your opportunity to talk about anything I haven’t asked…which, as I always say, is surely quite a lot!
Kaylee: Thanks for the fabulous interview! You covered a lot of ground so I can’t think of anything else I would like to add.
Now, Kaylee, we have what I call “Five Random Questions” designed to get to know you better, personally. So, here’s the first one: If you could go anywhere in the world you’ve never been before (or anywhere in the universe—since this is Space Jockey Reviews), where would you go and why?
Kaylee: Can I go to a fictional place? Because if so I would have to say Middle Earth.
If you prepared your favorite meal for a special guest, what would be on the menu?
Kaylee: Pizza and brownies and cupcakes. I’m a junk food junkie.
If you could travel back in time and interview a famous person from the past, who would it be and why?
Kaylee: I think I might like to talk to Orson Wells. He was an actor, director, and producer who worked in both theater and film (and radio, too) and across many genre. I loved the fact that he always had an almost hidden cameo on-film shot in every film he produced.
If you could play your favorite character in your favorite movie, what would be the movie and the character?
Kaylee: I would like to have played Buffy in Buffy, The Vampire Slayer or any of the female characters in Firefly.
What do you most like to do in your free time?
Kaylee: Read. I’m a HUGE book worm. I just love curling up in my bed and getting lost in a good book.
“She may look sweet, and she is, but she would make you regret the day you ever decided to turn mindless cannibal and shamble around your gated community. When it comes to kicking zombie ass she’s Samuel L. Jackson with a vagina.” ~ IMDb list of Indy Actresses Who Would Make Zombies Cry in the Corner
A big congratulations to Kaylee! She recently received an award for Best Supporting Actress at the 2014 Indie Horror Film Festival! Awesome!
Finally, don’t miss Kaylee Williams’ out-of-this-world demo reel below!
Yes! Kaylee Williams launches ten rockets every day, at Space Jockey Reviews!