Interview with Kathryn Davis
(photos by Haui Davis)
1. I know you, but some people may not.
So could you please introduce yourself to the world?
"My name is Kathryn (nickname "Kat") Davis, I am a classically trained actor working primarily in tv, film and video games. I was born in the UK and raised between Bath, England and Kelowna British Columbia, I am a self proclaimed "Brit-nadian". I am now based out of Toronto."
2. What was your first job in the entertainment industry?
Also, what did you do before that?
"My first professional acting job was working with Ubisoft on an early concept of the video game that later became Assassin's Creed Syndicate. It was my first time working on a professional set in an hybrid performance type.. called motion capture. Before that, most of my work had been in theatre school performances and amateur community theatre productions."
3. Did you study acting before getting into the industry?
"I am a graduate of Ryerson Theatre School, with a BFA in Performance Acting with Honours."
4. If you could work with anyone you'd want, who would that person be and why?
"That is such a hard question. There are several names.. in the tv and film world.. that I would love to work with based on their creative minds, artistic talents and production styles. Christopher Nolan as a director, producer, filmmaker because of his vast imagination.. he has created different worlds and transcended the structure of time, broken conventional story forms; battles between the dark and light, the stark to vivid. It would be incredible to step inside his creative brain just to understand the evolution of his projects from early concept to final product. And along with Christopher.. I would love to work with his brother Jonathan Nolan. Peter Morgan as a screenwriter, playwright.. I admire how he takes historical figures and popular culture events and movements and puts them to film or the stage. It may be the history dork in me! In terms of actors. that list may never end. For some actors I admire their rawness and bravery on camera, their innovation. For others I love their acting choices on camera - their nuances, their voices. Geoffrey Rush, Richard E. Grant, Leonardo DiCaprio, Andy Serkis, Maggie Smith and Ian Mckellen.. to name a few."
5. What does a normal day in your life looks like?
"My normal days can vary a lot and always require a little balance. On days when I have an audition, I will to wake up early, work out (yoga/pilates) to ready and align my body. Auditions usually occur with less than 24 hours notice. When the script and breakdown comes in.. I usually dedicate the rest of the day to learning it. I like to workout, it is a stress reliever and helps to balance my brain. I am not a fan of running, however I do force myself to do some cardio. Yoga and pilates. Sometimes I will practice singing, however finding private space can be a challenge. I work in the hospitality industry in between acting projects, therefore parts of my day become dedicated to that. Also, I like to read every day, spend time with my family and walk my dog."
6. Where is your favourite place to be and why?
"In every day life, I am a home body, I do find solace in my own living space, however I love walking in nice weather especially in my neighbourhood.. in particular the music gardens in downtown Toronto. Away from home my favourite places to be are those that are steeped in history, whether standing in the grounds of Hampton Court or walking the ancient streets of Pompeii. I love traveling, learning and immersing myself in the history and culture of places."
7. If you could, what would be the one advice
you would want to give to your younger self?
"There are a few pieces of advice that I could give my younger self when it comes to my career. When casting, it is beyond your control. Do not take it personally when you do not get a role. There are so many contending factors when a production is making their choice on who to cast. You just have to do the work, be professional, go in to the audition room, try your best and then walk away. You cannot have any control past that. It can be hard to remember to walk away, sometimes you really connect with a character and you can convince yourself that you are the only person in the world that could possibly play the role, it can be hard to let it go."
8. What is one of the best advice that you've got?
Who was the person that gave it to you?
"Advice comes from so many different avenues.. whether life advice or career advice. There is no end to what a person can learn. When it comes to tips for an actor in an audition room it would be the casting director Deirdre Bowen, she taught me how to use my voice properly in a room. Also, Edie Inksetter (casting associate and actor), every audition I learn something new from working with her. For some life advice I have to credit my first year acting teachers Peter Wylde and Marianne McIsaac, they encouraged me to go and get some life experience. How can I possibly step in to the shoes of another person and situation if I do not know how to live myself?"
9. What is your biggest accomplishment so far?
"I am always the harshest judge of my own achievements. I am still working to build my career however thus far.. I think I can be proud of approaching my acting work in a professional, patient and gracious manner.. at the end of the day there is no business like show business."
10. If you could book any role in the next years to come,
what would that dream role be?
"That is another really hard question to answer, there are so many roles and projects that would be a dream come true to work on. However, at the top of that list it would have to be part of a meaningful project, one that incites thought and change; one that tells the stories of the oppressed and those forgotten or marginalized by the history books. Projects that tell the other side of the story. That pushes people to emphasize and think beyond themselves. I am a student of history.. I love period and historical projects. Being mixed race, I would love the chance to tell stories of those that have been expunged from the historical record and been written out of history. Historical projects do not always portray the true multicultural quilt I would be honoured to step in to the shoes of a real life figure and tell their story on the screen. Also, I LOVE combat.. and would love to be a part of any swashbuckling adventure film.. an ultimate dream role would allow me to horse-ride, sword fight and do some archery. I would relish in all of the training!"
11. Is there anything you can disclose about any new project?
"Unfortunately, two out of three of my upcoming projects have Non-Disclousure Agreements involved so I cannot reveal anything there, but I can tell you that one project is with Ubisoft and the other is with Netflix. The third is a sweet independent Canadian film project called Once Upon a Time in Tehranto. It has romance, heartbreak and beautiful culture. It was a local Toronto project with local talent and local production crew, that I was honoured to be a part of."
12. What is the best part about life on set?
"Learning and getting to know people.. I have a curious brain and I am always keen to learn how the experts of every department do their jobs and how things work. How they got involved in the industry, how departments work with one another and how everything comes together in the end to make the project. An actor’s part in a project is minimal. We wouldn't be able to our job if not for every other member of a set coming together and doing their part. I know that later in my career I would like to put my own stories on the screen.. and having a strong understanding and appreciation of how every department works will help to put the best project forward."
13. In the end, is there anything you'd like to say to the people who support you?
"Just a deep hearted thank you.. for never doubting me, for always being my support, for never giving up on me."
Kathryn Davis is an actress, best known for her work on projects like: Jupiter's Legacy, The Wedding Planners, Premisa unui dezastru, Christmas with a Prince, No Escape Room, Taken, Open Heart, Reign, Open Heart etc.
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