From the time she landed her first stage role, which was in a community theater production of The Music Man, Kat Kemmet has stayed focused on an acting career. After working with an acting coach for a while after her stage debut and doing more theater, Kat made her film debut in Bryan Boykin’s 2016 short thriller, These Dark Days. The Florida native’s acting resume now lists over 20 credits that include several short films, the most notable of which is Spencer Sealy’s Unexpected Intruder, in which Kat plays the perfect victim, who is unknowingly cast by a scheming duo.
As this goes to press, Kat has just finished a short film entitled Identity and is in pre-production for another short that she wrote and will be directing herself. Neither of the two aforementioned are listed at her IMDb page yet. Learn more on Kat, including her upcoming projects that are still under wraps, in the following exclusive interview she gave to Idol Features. Above photo by Jessica Pierpont.
KAT KEMMET: I left the project for personal reasons. I would like to simply leave it at that. I wish them all the best in their project.
CHRIS: Fair enough. So now let me get this out of the way: Am I the only one who’s ever told you that you look a bit like Amanda Seyfried?
KAT: (Laughs) Actually, no. I have heard that a couple times. I used to get that quite a bit when I had lighter hair.
CHRIS: So, I understand you first started acting in community theater. When did you start?
KAT: I actually started in the theater community in 2015. I was 25 at the time. I started out on a whim, in musical theater.
CHRIS: From that point on, did you set your sights on an acting career?
KAT: I knew the second I took on my first play that acting was different for me than anything else I had considered pursuing. I was cast as ensemble in The Music Man and I dove headfirst into finding ways to do justice to my role. I bought acting books, read articles online, I even wrote a full background for my character, giving her a name, relationships to the other people on stage, and reasons for singing what she was singing. I knew from that point that I wanted to pursue it at a more serious level, so I hired an acting coach and haven’t looked back.
KAT: I don’t know that I really have a second career choice. Acting is really all there is for me. For a little while when I attended college, before I got into acting, I toyed with a few ideas. I considered getting a doctorate in psychology or studying chemical neuroscience. I still have my own personal studies outside of acting, and I consider myself an autodidact, but I don’t think I would be happy doing anything else.
CHRIS: You have a few films that are currently listed as filming or in post production. What are you currently working on?
KAT: I just wrapped a short film called Identity and I am currently in pre-production for a short film I have written and will be directing myself titled Perception. I will also be heading down to Miami late September to shoot a project called Skum.
CHRIS: I see you also have a couple of camera operator credits. What are some other behind-the-scenes roles you’ve done on films?
KAT: I have mostly done PA work behind the scenes. I started taking crew roles last year to learn more about the filmmaking process and get a better grasp on the crew side of things. Filmmaking is a collaborative process and I think it is incredibly important to have an understanding and respect for what everyone has to do to bring a script to screen.
CHRIS: You’ve done quite a few short films. Do you have a favorite?
CHRIS: Many indie film actresses gravitate towards horror, whether it’s their favorite genera, or simply because that’s where most of the work is. Would being labeled a “horror actress” or “Scream Queen” be something you think you’d embrace or try to avoid?
KAT: I do love a good horror flick, but I don’t think I would like to be the next “Scream Queen.” In truth, my tastes in film tend to lean more towards historical drama. I would love to pursue more roles in that genre, but above all I would simply like to be a well-rounded actress. I want to play very diverse characters in very different genres, without sticking too close to one particular style. Portraying a WWII era woman in the midst of everything and then playing a bad-ass action hero, then maybe a lighthearted comedic role. I want to do it all, and do it all well.
CHRIS: If you were offered a good part in a film, but it included a nude scene, would you consider it?
KAT: It entirely depends on the project. Earlier this year, I started to get more offers than I could take on in the indie film scene. So I had to start figuring out what my personal limits were and what I would consider as a factor in declining or accepting a role. I don’t have any issues with nudity in film, but I also don’t want to take my clothes off in every project. For me, mostly it depends on the script. If it is a good project with a valid reason for the nudity, then I am fine with it. It is entirely on a case-by-case basis. Does the story need this scene to drive the message home? Is it done tastefully? Is this a project that I would be happy to show off and share, even with a scene like that included? Does it add something to the film, or does it feel unnecessary and irrelevant to the overall script? All this being said, I have only accepted one role with nudity to date, and it shoots later this year.
KAT: Most of my favorites have already jumped into bigger projects. I very much admire Franka Potente, whom I most recently saw in The Conjuring 2, but I originally saw her in Run Lola Run, which is a wonderful German indie film from the late 90s. In recent years, I love watching Perdita Weeks. If you want a good horror flick, check her out in As Above, So Below. She rocks it. I am definitely keeping my eye on her for inspiration.
CHRIS: Is there anyone in indie films, on either side of the camera, you have not worked with yet, but really want to?
KAT: I have a very long list of actors and directors and writers that I would love to work with. I really want to work with Behn Zeitlin. His film, Beasts of the Southern Wild, really floored me. Locally, I would love the opportunity to work with director Michael Bekemeyer, I have had the good fortune to become friends with him personally and his work and his passion for his craft inspires me. He has incredible attention to detail and his stories are interesting and well developed.
CHRIS: Are there any film festivals, premiers, or events you’ll be attending in the near future?
KAT: I would certainly like to. It entirely depends on my schedule. I try to keep my calendar fairly flexible in the event I get an offer for a project, which happens from time to time. I would like to attend the Florida Film Festival in April. I also have a premiere coming up in the fall for The Watchman’s Edict that I will be attending.
KAT: Oh so many! I am always picking up new hobbies and things to try. I love to crochet, especially afghans. I have been working on a granny square afghan since July. I also love cooking, but unfortunately I don’t often have the time. Studying as well, I’m always looking for new things to learn, especially in the areas of philosophy and science.
CHRIS: With that, I’ll thank you again for doing this, Kat. In closing, any shout-outs to anyone?
KAT: I would love to give a shout out to my acting coaches and teachers! Scott Hodges, my first acting coach that really inspired me and encouraged me to go for this and always pushing me to do more than I thought I could. Marco DiGeorge and Robb Maus at Truthful Acting Studios for helping me along my journey and lifting me up when I felt like I wasn’t good enough. Tom Proctor, my coach in LA for believing in me and helping me to finesse my acting, and helping me look for new ways to approach my roles.
CHRIS: Oh, just one last question: Have you ever been covered in honey when it was not for a photo shoot?
KAT: (Laughs) No, I have not.