Kathy Searle [Interview]

 

Hello Folks! All of you regular readers out there are going to really get a kick out of this wonderful interview I have to share today. And for those just logging in, I’m actually jealous of you, because you have some wonderful catching up to do. If I could harken back to long ago, early Fall of 2019 that is, some of you may remember a Saturday Special we did for a brilliant film entitled Empathy Inc. It is an exceptional film, and landed itself in the top half of our Top 50 Films of 2019. It’s a masterpiece of psychological thrillers, and I still can’t recommend it enough.

And one of the main reasons that the film was as good as it was, is owed to the brilliance of one of the film’s leads, the great Kathy Searle! And wouldn’t you know it, we are fortunate enough to get some kind words back from this amazingly talented person and are sharing them with you all today! I’m so stoked to get to know Searle a bit more. Kathy has done some incredible work in the world of film and television and stage, and beyond that she talks a bit about in the incredible responses below. And that’s not even mentioning the fact that I actually failed, and forgot to ask Kathy about some other specific work she has done, which would be providing the voices for local populations in two of the biggest video games of all time with Read Dead Redemption II and Grand Theft Auto V. I’m slipping in my old age!

But, Kathy does give some amazing answers, and we are so happy with this wonderful interview that she has given us. And we are so excited to continue to watch her career flourish with each new project she appears in. So Folks, please enjoy some amazing words from the brilliant Kathy Searle!

 

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What inspired you to get into the world of entertainment? Was it something you have always dreamt of doing as a youth, or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?

If you ask my family I came out of the womb wanting to be an actor!

Ever since I was little I always wanted to make people laugh, I used to stand on this little rock by my family’s house and do silly voices and little plays for anyone who would listen! So my mom and dad knew that this would be my path, they were very supportive. Because they knew I wanted to be in the entertainment industry they let me watch reruns of the not ready for prime time players aka SNL, Carol Burnett, Mary Tyler Moore, SCTV, etc. I would listen to Steve Martin albums and learn from the best! I was so inspired by these phenomenal performers, and in many ways they were my teachers! I’m so grateful to my family for their encouragement!

I always knew this was my path and calling, the sound of laughter was the most enjoyable sound I had ever heard and I knew I wanted to make people feel that way!

  

What was your very first paid gig as a performer? And where there any sort of lessons learn from this experience that you still utilize in your work today?

The very first job I did was a commercial for Seamans furniture when I was 12 years old! I played the daughter and I remember working with a couple who played my mom and dad in the spot, I remember watching how they treated everyone on set with kindness and I knew that was the type of actor I wanted to be. The one that made everyone feel important no matter what your job was. I also relearned that years later working with Kelly Ripa, Faith Ford, and Ted McGinley on Hope and Faith they knew everyone’s name, were respectful to all. I was a guest star of only one episode and they made me feel like I was a part of the cast not just there for the week. It was such a great reminder in my 20’s to continue being that type of an actress and person.

Kindness goes a long way and when it comes from a genuine place it makes working on sets so much more fun!!! Still to this day I ask everyones name and try to make everyone feel special and important, it takes a village to make TV and film magic and we all play such a specific role in that process, we are all in it together and should be treated equally :).

 

 

Recently you appeared in one of my favorite films to be released in 2019, the psychological thriller Empathy Inc. It was so great, and you were especially fantastic in it. So what drew you to the role of Jessica? What really grabbed you about this story that made you want to work on the project?

Thank you for saying that and seeing Empathy Inc!!! That was one of my favorite films to shoot. I truly love that movie! It was the first sci-fi thriller I have ever done and hopefully not the last!!!

I recently did a Q&A after a screening and opened up about when I had gotten the audition. It was a very slow time for me, and sometimes as actors when we’re not working you can fall into feeling like “you’re never going to book again, should I stay in this business, am I talented etc.” Our minds play cruel tricks on us!

Harley Kaplan the casting director had reached out to me and had said he read the script and thought of me, I was so flattered because it’s a type of role that a lot of people wouldn’t have given me a chance to audition for….people think of me as just a comedic actress. I loved that Harley was thinking outside of the box! I knew by page 2 that this was the type of film I wanted to sink my teeth into!

I really worked the material before the initial audition. When I went into the room and met Mark, Yedidya and Josh it solidified me wanting the role even more. They let me play, they collaborated with me, “Jessica” came alive. I went to the callback about a week later, worked with my acting coach and told myself if I book this film it’s a sign to keep going in this business, to not give up (no pressure on myself, right!?! Hahahahaha)

At the time I was working at a little jewelry boutique in Manhattan, and there was a beautiful ring that I was coveting it spelled out in gemstones “to thine own self be true,” I loved the meaning, I loved the quote, and I loved that the character of Jessica says that line in Empathy, inc

I remember staring at the ring when I was at the store, suddenly my phone buzzed and it was Harley to let me know that I had booked the film, I would get to say that line, yay!!!!

I was beyond thrilled, but most of all I loved that this film helped me keep going on my path to follow my dream of being an actress and never give up on myself or my journey in this crazy industry! After all, it’s my calling! Sometimes we just need a reminder. And what an awesome reminder this was, body swapping film…That’s an actor’s dream come true!!! So damn fun and challenging!

I later bought that ring as a gift to myself to always stay true to who I am and every time I wear it I think of the movie and the character with such love!

  

And now that the film is out there in the world, what are your thoughts on the final product? Is there anything about it that sets it apart from the plethora of other work you have done? Even in a minor way?

I love the movie, it’s like an episode of Black Mirror! It’s thrilling, has moments of comedy, it’s a total roller coaster at the end!!

Going to different film festivals and getting to see it and watching it through each characters eyes and see everyone’s journey has been awesome! And I love hearing the audiences reactions throughout!!

The whole cast is phenomenal! Zack who played my husband did such an incredible work carrying this film, Jay, Eric, AJ killed it!

I was so impressed with everyones work. Sometimes I got so lost in watching the movie I forgot that it was me in it, that’s such a testament to the cast and crew where we as actors can watch it and forget that it’s us up there on the big screen and take the journey just like an audience member seeing for the first time!

For me this film was a gift, it was very meta playing an actress in the film questioning her own abilities. I learned a lot from Jessica, she was strong in her beliefs and was incredibly supportive of her husband. She was not the type of woman to give up, and I have taken that with me. I love when you can walk away from a film taking pieces of a character that inspire you to be better. I would say that that’s what sets this film a part from some other work that I’ve done 🙂

Courage over comfort, she took me out of my comfort zone in the best way!

 

 

You have done so much incredible work in the world of television, film, stage, and more. So with that, I am curious to know what your favorite medium is to work in? If you were only allotted the chance to work in one field for the remainder of your career, which would it be?

You are so kind, thank you so much. My dream has always been to do a multi camera sitcom!! Ever since I was a kid I love the idea of doing a 22-minute live play for an audience! There is an artform to that medium and when it is done well it’s so fun to watch!

Funny story, I never thought I would do film, I didn’t think I was “pretty enough”.

Years ago I had the pleasure of working with Jeffrey Tambor in a Sabra hummus commercial, I remember when the makeup artist came over to do touchups on me, he looked at me and said “you know you have the face for film.” I almost cried, one of my heroes at the time was telling me that my face could be on a big screen!?!? And then wouldn’t you know the following year I started booking films!!!

I really fell in love with that medium, it’s incredibly challenging to do page 101 on day one and then page 3 on day 2. Especially if it’s a romantic comedy and it’s like “hey I’m Kathy I’m playing this character and we’re in love with each other nice to meet you”

It’s a great mental challenge of trying to keep your characters arc throughout each day when you’re filming out of sequence! I love it!!

So, if it’s Sophie‘s choice of choosing one, sadly I can’t…it would have to be both TV and film, both equally challenging and rewarding!

 

If you were handed the opportunity to portray any legendary figure in American history in their biopic, who would it be?

Great question!!

Years ago right after Joan Rivers had passed away I had played her in a musical version of a story about the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. I spent a lot of time studying her, learning about who she was, and truly became inspired by the woman and the comedienne. Her discipline was awe inspiring, her joke catalog was amazing. She was a master of comedy.

I would love to pay homage to her. Show the world who she was at her core, how she paved the way for so many of us, her philanthropic work and that she was a beautiful woman inside and out!

I’m so grateful to Joan Rivers and so many other incredible comedic women who allowed people like me to have the opportunity to work!

I will say many of my friends have dreamt that they will make a movie about Clara Bow or Gracie Allen, people say I was not born of this time period and have a vintage look/vibe.

And after doing empathy Inc. I can tell you I love the way I look in Black and white film, everyone looks so beautiful and soft!

 

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?

Hopefully continuing to work, so if anyone needs a quirky 30 something actress, I’m available! Hahaha. I’m really excited about a film I did last year called 8 Slices, it will be out in theaters on March 27th! It’s a beautiful family film! And a true ensemble dramedy. This cast is sooooo talented!

I’m still very close with the cast. It was like lightning in a bottle when we all got on set together, we became a family and you see that in the film. 8 Slices deals with social media, bullying , lost souls trying to find their way, and beautiful deeper symbolism with famous philosophers that inspired our characters. It’s also got this really cool Empire Records meets Mystic Pizza vibe about it!!! At many of the screenings teenagers got the underlining meaning and messages of the movie.

And parents told us this is the type of movie they want their kids to watch and learn from!!! So I can’t wait for the world to see the film! We are all really proud of it!!

 

What was the last thing that made you smile?

The last thing that made me smile was my sweet dog Lily Tomlin aka Lil who when she saw me crying watching a movie she jumped on my lap and started licking my tears away!! It was just the sweetest thing and my tears turned to laughter 🙂

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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