Its 3:24 am
Welcome to “8 Questions with….”
What happens when a rising star or even an established star decides to take a step back from Hollywood’s bright lights? We have recently seen a trend of actors who are doing just that. Both Cameron Diaz and Renee Zwelleger recently have done that,both went away for about three years. Many other young actors have attended colleges and universities before stepping back in front of a camera.
Today’s guest,Kristine DeBell was a very popular and fast rising model and TV/film star in her own right starting withbeing a model with the internaionally renowned Ford Modeling Agency.
She had appeared in many well known films and was poised to take the next step when she decided to step back and raise a family instead. She was wise enough to know that you really can’t do that very well in Hollywood and so she and her family packed their bags and went back east. It was there that Kristine settled down and started raising the family she wanted.
But with her four sons doing very well,Kristine’s urge to get back into acting led her to doing several regional theaters productions where she fell in love with her art all over again. She has since moved back to Los Angeles where she picks the projects she wants to do and also keeps busy by working at a non-profit enviromentalist company.
Its a real pleasure to be able to have a chance to ask Kristine DeBell her 8 Questions……
Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about you.
Hi, my name is Kristine DeBell. I’m the mother of four boys, an actor, environmentalist and singer of show tunes.
You grew up on a small farm in New York. What was your day usually like chore wise? What important lessons did you learn while living on the farm?
Farm chores were varied, daily chores were feeding and watering the animals and weekends could be anything from keeping an eye on the baby chicks, helping my dad put in new or replace broken fencing, or putting in a garden. I believe I call myself an environmentalist because of the lessons I learned growing up on a farm. While tending the soil and caring for animals your learn to care about the earth, and it’s inhabitants.
You left Hollywood to raise your own family but came back in 2012,what three things completely surprised you about how the industry had changed?
I think the biggest change was inclusion. Having an agent or trying to get into a union were no longer paramount to ones’ success. Anyone could create an account on Actor’s Access and submit their photos and resume for a part. Young filmmakers can, using their iPhone and computer make a file and try and get it submitted to a festival.
You really love doing live theater,what three roles have you played are your favorites and why?
Three of my favorite roles would be the Witch, in Into the Woods, Blanche, in A Streetcar Named Desire, and Miss Rosemary, in Picnic. Into the Woods because it was such an interesting take on the Brothers Grimm fairy tales, of course Sondheim’s beautiful score, and I love to sing. Playing Tennessee Williams, Blanche Dubois in Streetcar was without a doubt the most amazing experiences in my stage career. As you know, in my film and television career up to that point, I was always cast as the girlfriend or best friend, and hadn’t had the opportunity to tackle a role like Blanche. In Inge’s Picnic, when they offered me the part of Miss Rosemary, I thought wait, I’m no longer the ingenue, I’m not playing the Kim Novak part? Then thought, the Rosalind Russell part. I’ll take it.
Do you find the process of getting into a character eaiser the more you play the role?
Of course, because once you create the character you can easily slip into it. First you do the work, and there are many different techniques, in which you create or research the character, and create the back story. Then from scene to scene what the character is thinking or feeling, what’s going on behind the words.
What excites you as an actor more,doing a revival of a popular play or getting a chance to leave your own mark on a fresh play? What three things do you look for before deciding to do a new production?
Can’t really answer this question as I have never done a new play and have never turned down a role.
What are some of the pros and cons of doing regional/community theater? Have you ever taught theater yourself?
I personally think there are not any cons to doing any theater if you are an actor. I did have a children’s acting group that my children were part of called Acting Up and taught acting in a few after school programs in neighboring towns near were I lived.
What is it like playing grandmother roles now? Do you find it relaxing and more peaceful? Do you find younger performers coming up and asking for advice?
I haven’t actually played a grandmother role as yet. When I was in my 20’s I was playing teenage parts and now in my 60’s I have been playing moms to teenagers, and adult women but not a grandma. Looking forward to that, but as an actor the work is the same no matter what the part is. I have been asked for advise from many up and coming actors. I reiterate what I said above about how the business has changed making it easier for actors writers and directors, as they can make their own films. I have also helped many actors get agents, as that is still a difficult part of the business for an actor starting out.
Since coming back,what have been your three favorite roles you have done and why?
I loved making all the talking animals films I did with David DeCoteau, he has become a good friend. That said, the best was playing the character Goodwill in Hunter for Gregory Hatanaka because she was a dirty cop. Got to stretch my actor wings for the first time in a film, with that character.
What challenges you the most creatively as an artist?
A great role is always a creative challenge but in a good way.
The cheetah and I are flying over to watch your latest film but we are a day early and now you are playing tour guide,what are we doing?
Going to the beach! With a walk from Venice to Santa Monica. Checking out the Santa Monica Pier. A hike in Griffith Park the largest municipal park in the country. Possibly a drive on Mulholland if you’re an old movie buff. Lunch at Musso & Franks on Hollywood Boulevard and dinner at Dan Tana’s in West Hollywood where the Rat Pack and the Brat Pack use to eat Italian food.
I like to thank Kristine for taking the time to talk with us for this interview.
Of course the cheetah is wondering when we’ll be reviewing “A Talking Cat” while I have already put down “Hunter”as the movie I want to see Kristine in.
If you wish to follow Kristine,well she has all of her links at her personal website of which you can find right here!!
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