Emily Kelly | Actor Highlight | MEET THE CAST | UNWAVERING

Today on the UNWAVERING Actor Highlight series we are featuring the fabulous Emily Kelly.


The role Emily played in UNWAVERING was Nicole. Nicole’s character was caring and easily influenced. From working with Emily in Gretchen’s Lock I knew should would be an incredible asset to have on the cast and she did a wonderful job!

Emily has been involved with many projects in the area and has a strong background in theater. She also has been working with fellow cast member, Jason Klingensmith, on Rivals.

To see her work and recent projects you can visit her Facebook page or IMDB page.

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Here are the questions we asked Emily:

MPF: What was your favorite part of filming for UNWAVERING?

Emily: My favorite part of filming for UNWAVERING was getting to work with such a talented group of actors. It was cool to get to share scenes with some old friends, but it was equally exciting to get to work with so much new talent, too. There’s such a wonderful network of actors in Northeast Ohio, and it’s always fun to see who you’ll meet and what new contacts you’ll make.

MPF: What’s your favorite role you’ve ever played?

Emily: It’s hard to choose a favorite role that I’ve ever played-Between the stage and the screen, I’ve been fortunate enough to build a pretty diverse resume of characters. I definitely had a good time diving into the role of mercenary space werewolf, FANG, in Renee Ebert’s WEREWOLVES FROM OUTER SPACE. I also had a great time playing the perpetually cranky, Jenn, in Menning Photographic Films’ GRETCHEN’S LOCK.

MPF: Which actor(s) inspire you?

Emily: I guess I’m most inspired by classically trained actors. I absolutely adore Benedict Cumberbatch. His performances are always so incredibly calculated and intelligent. He’s simply brilliant. I love Tom Hiddleston. His performances are always so effortless and smooth. On the flip-side of that, though, I love Tom Hardy, for a completely different reason. His characters are always so mesmerizing because he’s so utterly fearless. He’s manic and bold, making character choices that are always innovative and surprising.

MPF: What’s your favorite movie of all time?

Emily: My favorite movie of all time is “The Breakfast Club.” I think we’ve all had that moment in life where find ourselves thrust into an unlikely circumstance, with people we never imagined standing alongside. I’ve always wanted to adapt it for the stage, but it could never be the same. Besides, I’m WAY too old now to play Claire.

MPF: What are a couple of your hobbies?

Emily: When I’m not working during the week or shooting on the weekends, I have a few other things you’ll find me doing. Most days, you can find me at the gym, because I love to challenge myself to be better and stronger. You may find me behind a computer screen, because I’ve been trying to write more. My brain is full of screenplays, it’s just a matter of getting them all out! My favorite thing that you’ll catch me doing, though, is cosplaying with my daughter, Sidney. From DC and Marvel Comics to Star Wars, we love to hit the Comic Con circuit in homemade costumes. I think my favorite, so far, is our recent Deadpool and Cable cosplay at Pittsburgh’s Wizard World Comic Con.

MPF: What made you interested in acting?

Emily: I think the thing that made me the most interested in acting was the feeling of “home” that I got, from the very first time that I stepped on-stage. I was always a busy kid. I was in the band, the choir, cheerleading, church, academic team-You name it. Although I enjoyed all those things, I never felt the sense of truly belonging the way that I did when I was acting. I loved the rush of having all eyes on me. I loved the idea of being someone else for a time. For a kid who secretly wrestled with the social anxiety of fitting in, it was a time when all my worries disappeared.

MPF: Favorite color?

Emily: My favorite color has always been pink. It can be soft and feminine. It can be loud and brash. It’s the perfect color for a girl who loves to slip in and out of different characters. My first car was even magenta. 

MPF: Who is your favorite character in the UNWAVERING film?

Emily: Without giving away too much, I would have to say that my favorite character in UNWAVERING is the collective unit that the girls in captivity become. You never know how you would handle yourself in a situation like they find themselves in, but you pray that you would handle it courageously and with conviction.

MPF: Do you have any advice for aspiring actors?

Emily: As I mentioned earlier, there’s an incredibly special network of actors in Northeast Ohio. The most important thing that I can tell actors, particularly ones around here, is that that network can lift you up or it can bury you. You never know who you’re working with, nor do you know who may see what you’re working on. Always approach every job with professionalism. Always be prompt and prepared. No matter how small the project, it could open the door to something much bigger!

Emily’s daughter Sidney even made a small appearance in UNWAVERING.

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Thank you, Emily, for being a part of this film! For information about the Grand Premiere of UNWAVERING be sure to sign up for the newsletter here:

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Emily Kelly | Actor Highlight | Meet the Cast | Gretchen’s Lock

Today on the Actor Highlight series we are featuring Emily Kelly. Emily has quite a resume that is deeply rooted in theater. The role Emily played in the Gretchen’s Lock film is Jenn. Everyone knows that one person who is very matter of fact and likes to correct things that ain’t right (I can see eye rolls from Emily now, haha!). Emily will even admit to having a bit of Jenn’s personality. As soon as Emily auditioned for the role she knocked it out of the park! Yes, that’s for all of you baseball fans since Opening Day was yesterday. We all immediately looked at each other, wrote “Jenn” on her audition form, circled it, and maybe put a few exclamation marks beside her name also.

During filming she nailed every scene and keep us laughing in between takes. If you purchase a blu-ray of the film she ends the blooper reel laughing hysterically and puts her own take on being injured. Also, it was 1:00 am after three long days of filming so it was a nice comic relief.

Headshot-2Emily graduated in 2003 from Marshall University with a BFA in Acting and Directing.  Following graduation, she relocated to Los Angeles where she worked for eight years in various aspects of theatre and film production.  The bulk of her time as an actor has been spent onstage, although she played a featured role in Dark Alley Film’s “Killer Yacht Party” and also spent time working in post-production sound as ADR/Looping Talent.

Behind the scenes, she has produced and directed projects for a number of theatrical companies, as well as contributed production assistance and costuming expertise to a handful of film projects.  Since her return to the Ohio Valley four years ago, she has appeared in a few theatrical productions.  She is a lifelong horror fan, and someone who loved to explore Gretchen’s Lock as a teenager.

This Summer she wishes to return to the stage in a directorial capacity.

Emily_K_0001Here are the questions we asked Emily:

MPF: What was your favorite part of filming for Gretchen’s Lock?

Emily: My favorite part of filming “Gretchen’s Lock” was definitely the fun that we had. I wish that the cameras had been rolling between takes to catch all of our hilarious, off-color moments on the set. I think that we really fed off of each other’s energy, and it made for a great time. I couldn’t believe the chemistry that we all had, after working together for such a short time. I really think that it will show through in our performances on-screen.

MPF: Did you know anything about the local legends of Gretchen’s Lock before auditioning?

Emily: In high school, I had a small group of friends that were interested in the occult-Supernatural phenomena, mysticism, etc. Hailing from a small town with little to do to occupy ourselves, we would sometimes go to Gretchen’s Lock at night to see what we would see. There is an undeniable energy embedded in the area, and I feel as though it’s magnified at night. I can think of one particular occasion where we all experienced something that none of us could explain. I could tell you about it, but you probably wouldn’t believe me, anyway.

MPF: Do you believe in ghosts?

Emily: I absolutely believe in ghosts. I’ve heard way too many credible stories and even had poignant enough experiences of my own that it would be impossible for me not to. I think that each and every one of us leaves an indelible energy on the ground that we’ve walked and the people that we’ve met, that lingers long after we’re gone from this Earth. That energy may not always manifest itself in the same way, but I’m quite sure that it’s all around us.

MPF: What’s your favorite role you’ve ever played? (Don’t worry; it doesn’t have to be your role in Gretchen’s Lock).

Emily: I don’t think I have a favorite role that I’ve played, so much as I have a favorite show that I have worked on. In the months following Matthew Shepard’s murder, a theatre company from New York City traveled to his hometown and interviewed townspeople about their feelings and experiences surrounding the incident. The play that resulted, “The Laramie Project,” is a powerful examination of the depths of which human beings both love and hate. I’ve been lucky enough to be cast in two separate theatrical productions of “The Laramie Project,” once in college and once during my time in Los Angeles. Both productions featured a small cast, with each actor playing multiple roles. I’ve played roles ranging from a lesbian college professor, to the young girlfriend of one of his assailants. While I’ve always loved entertainment for its quality of escapism, I value this show so greatly for the thought-provoking dialogue that it creates. I am extremely proud to say that the Matthew Shepard Act was signed into law during our run in Los Angeles. No one may ever know if “The Laramie Project” had anything to do with such an important piece of hate crime legislation, but I like to believe that theatrical activism does play a part in raising awareness of vital issues. It’s such an important story, and I hope that I can bring a production of it to this area sometime soon.

MPF: Which actor(s) inspire you?

Emily: I’m always inspired by different actors for different reasons. I LOVE Benedict Cumberbatch. Whether he’s playing a classic, literary detective or a real-life, eccentric mathematician, his characters always feel so multi-faceted and complex. I’ve always admired Robert Downey, Jr. for his versatility. They say that it’s far easier for an actor to make someone cry than it is to make them laugh-for me, he’s one of the most successful actors in doing both.   I’m also a huge fan of Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy, because their performances are always absolutely fearless.

MPF: What’s your favorite movie of all time?

Emily: My favorite movie of all time has always been “The Breakfast Club.” It’s one of those movies that’s held different meanings for me throughout different points in my life. I love writing like that.

MPF: What are a couple of your hobbies?

Emily: What are my hobbies? I love to work out. I go to the gym every morning after work. It’s my me-time, and it’s my time to clear my head. Everything’s better after a good sweat. Music is another good head-clearing hobby for me. I love to play the piano. I’ll sing at the opening of an envelope. I belong to a couple of area choirs, but would really love to sing in a band again, someday. My favorite hobby, though, has to be cosplaying with my daughter. She’s five years old, and she loves to dress up for comic conventions, parties and pretty much any other event she can. We love comic books and sci-fi, so we’ve made costumes for everything from the Avengers and the Justice League, to Star Wars. We’re currently working on our new Star Wars costumes for the Steel City Con coming up in Pittsburgh this April.

MPF: What made you interested in acting?

Emily: From the first moment that I stepped on a stage, I knew that acting was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. There’s something really intoxicating about getting to put yourself away for a while, and be someone else for a bit. As an actor, you can be pretty much anyone you want to be-The possibilities are endless. Being primarily a stage actor, I’ve also always been drawn to the collaborative energy of performing live. When you’re up there it’s just you, your co-stars and the audience. There’s no safety net. Every performance is different. Every audience reacts differently. It’s electric.

MPF: Favorite color?

Emily: My favorite color is pink. Mauve. Magenta. Hot Pink. I love them all.

MPF: Who is your favorite character in the Gretchen’s Lock film?

Emily: Honestly, I think that my character, Jenn, is my favorite character in the Gretchen’s Lock film. When I first read the character descriptions and the sides for the audition, I knew that she was the character that I wanted to play.   I won’t reveal too much about her personality, but she is definitely an important, stock persona to the horror genre. While we’re on the subject, I will admit that I did see a little of myself in her.

MPF: Do you have any advice for aspiring actors?

Emily: If I had to give aspiring actors any advice, I would tell them to be fearless-Don’t be afraid to leave your heart on the stage or the screen. Work on projects that you’re passionate about. Make your own opportunities. Always be punctual, prepared and professional.

Thank you, Emily, for your outstanding performance in the film! We’re so glad that you were a part of the production and you did a fantastic job!

For more information about the Gretchen’s Lock film & for tickets to the ONLY local showings in Columbiana, go HERE. We’re thrilled to bring you a locally made independent film production featuring local legends and made in Beaver Creek State Park! Thank you for your support in our endeavors & we hope to see you at the Grand Premiere of Gretchen’s Lock on April 23. It’ll be a provokingly good time!