Interview with Cody Kennedy
(photos by Nick Rasmunssen)
1. I know you, but some people may not.
So could you please introduce yourself to the world?
“Hello, my name is Cody Kennedy. I’m an actress, model, and writer on my good days.”
2. What was your first job in the entertainment industry?
Also, what did you do before that?
“I started off working as a child actor so I did a bunch of print ads and commercials that I hardly remember. But the first job that got me my SAG-AFTRA card was a Sears commercial. Funny enough I almost didn’t even make it to the audition. I was in high school at the time and both my parents were working and unable to drive me into West Hollywood where the audition was. As I was desperate to make my appointment, I had to ask the only older friend I knew that had a car. They were kind enough to take me after school. We arrived extremely late to my audition - I was the very last actor they saw. I remember rushing into the room before they ended the session and having to improvise the entire scene. Next thing I knew, I was on set being directed by the great Janusz Kaminski (Steven Spielberg’s cinematographer).”
3. Did you study acting before getting into the industry?
“I’ve studied acting my entire life, ever since I knew what television was. I did school plays growing up, but I needed more. I begged my parents to let me take an acting class. So when I was eight years old my mom enrolled my three sisters and I into professional acting classes. From there I signed with a manager and have been studying with private acting coaches ever since.”
4. If you could work with anyone you'd want,
who would that person be and why?
“I just want to work haha! But of course it’s much more enjoyable to work alongside generous actors who are grateful to be there. Famous or not, I want to work with people who love what they do and want to do the best work possible.”
5. What does a normal day in your life looks like?
“Most days I try to focus on working out my mind and body. I think it’s important not to focus 10000% of your attention on the entertainment industry. It’s soul sucking. Everyone needs to have other interests and a side job to keep them from turning into an obsessive, one-dimensional artist. I’ve worked in restaurants for years in order to audition during the day. When auditions are sparse, I always make sure to work out at the gym, hang out with positive friends, read a book, listen to podcasts, ride my bike, and indulge in self-care. So much of being a good actor is being a confident person, so you have to nurture yourself before anything.”
6. Where is your favorite place to be and why?
“My bedroom is my sanctuary. I’m more of an introvert, so I love being alone and watching Friends.”
7. If you could, what would be the one advice
you would want to give to your younger self?
“I am enough. I think for so many years I had these crummy agents and managers that always tried to change me – my hair, voice, my overall personality. I wish I would have just embraced who I was from the get-go and never tried to be like someone else that was having a moment in the spotlight. I will forever embrace that I am a funny, sarcastic blonde who can handle my own.”
8. What is one of the best advice that you've got?
Who was the person that gave it to you?
“Years ago a friend of mine, Richie Keen (actor/director), and I were discussing how difficult the business can be and how to handle it with a realistic view. I will never forget him telling me, <If they’re not on your team, they’re in your way>. I’ve held that close to my heart since then and it has helped me filter out disingenuous people who have crossed my path.”
9. What is your biggest accomplishment so far?
“I don’t think it has happened yet! No I’m kidding. I’ve accomplished so many goals I set formyself early on that I did in fact achieve. In high school all I wanted was to graduate from USC and act on a sitcom. So I worked my butt off and got myself accepted into USC (my parents did not buy my way in unfortunately – would’ve saved me hours of studying), graduated, and have worked on four network sitcoms. My two favorite showshave been working on “The Suite Life on Deck” on the Disney Channel – I fell in love with the live audience and the over the top character I played. The Junior Chess Champion of Russia, Sasha Matryoshka, she came out of nowhere and I had no idea I could even do a Russian accent. Then last year working alongside Danny DeVito and Charlie Day on “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”. It was surreal. Those guys are real pros and make hours of improvisation look like a walk in the park. I’ve never tried so hard not to laugh in the middle of our scenes.”
10. If you could book any role in the next years to come,
what would that dream role be?
“I was built to be on a sitcom. If someone will write a role for the perfect combination of a young Lisa Kudrow with a mix of Lady Gaga, my dream would be made. I don’t care about becoming a movie star, I just want to make people laugh every week. Sitcoms have brought me so much joy in my darkest moments and I want to be able to do the same for an audience of people.”
11. Is there anything you can disclose about any new project?
“I could, but then I’d have to kill you.”
12. What is the best part about life on set?
“How much time do you have? If I could live in a soundstage I would. There’s a magic that lives in movie studios that’s unlike anything else. There’s nowhere I’m happier than a place with my name on the door. The trailers, crafty, wardrobe, lights, set design, actors, cameras, crew, everything gives me the most beautiful sense that I’m exactly where I need to be. It’s home.”
13. In the end, is there anything you'd like to say to the people who support you?
“Thank you for being on my team, I won’t let you down. Also, thanks mom and dad for paying for those ugly headshots and driving me around to auditions all those years.”
Cody Kennedy is an American actress, best known for her work on projects like: Upgrade U, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Intruder, Making Babies, Girls Like Magic, Runaways, Beautiful Fools, Murder Bullet, Out of Focus, Perfect Girl, Law & Order: Los Angeles, CSI: New York, The Suite Life on Deck etc.
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