Chandler Kinney is a strikingly beautiful rising actress, dancer and philanthropist who happens to be one of the stars on FOX’s People’s Choice-nominated hit series “Lethal Weapon.” She plays ‘Riana Murtaguh’ – the daughter of LAPD detective ‘Roger Murtaugh,’ portrayed by Damon Wayans. This action-packed drama series is based on the hit movie franchise of the same name and is set to return for season two in Australia.
We recently caught up with Chandler Kinney courtesy of The Anderson Group and here’s what went down:
How were you actually ‘discovered’? A chance encounter on the street? Audition?
I was “discovered” when the clothing company GAP was looking for dancers to take part in a commercial for their holiday campaign and they gave me my first big break. My dance studio sent me to the audition I was cast. To this day, it is the biggest commercial I have ever done. Through that experience, I signed with a commercial agent. I started taking acting classes around that time and immediately fell in love with it. My acting coach sent me to audition for a theatrical agent, and they agreed to work with me. Afterwards, I just started auditioning and working my way up to bigger projects with each job I booked. It truly has been a slow and gradual process.
What do you like most about acting?
I believe my passion for acting stems from my love for learning and human interaction. I’m a people person, so I’m always curious about how/why people think and behave the way they do. Forgetting about yourself and becoming a whole new person is such an interesting experience. I honestly don’t think I could ever become tired of it. It’s a field in which you are constantly forced to listen, change perspective, and live in the moment. Acting is therapeutic in a lot of ways.
What’s it like being a cast member in Lethal Weapon?
Working on Lethal Weapon has been absolutely the most fun I’ve had working on any project. On our set, it is apparent that every person there not only has a profound understanding of what they’re doing but also a passion for it. Behind the scenes of what you see on screen, there is a group of people that come together every day to do their best work. I’m so honoured to be a part of a family in which there is so much love and creative energy. It’s an amazing learning environment.
What do you like most about working in the Lethal Weapon set?
I love the people I work with the most! I get to work with some of the brightest, funniest, and smartest people in the business. I could not be more grateful for a wonderful cast. I also can’t even begin to explain just how hard our cast and crew work. Everyone is quite lovely. I especially love getting to work with my Murtaugh family – I’ve learned so much from my TV parents Damon and Keesha. They’re brilliant at what they do and I have a deep respect and admiration for them both.
The downside to being an actor?
I’d say the downside to being an actor is the number of sacrifices that are made. I’ve chosen to give up a normal childhood for my job. I’ve made the decision to continue to move forward into the entertainment industry with the understanding that it can be a very isolating business. My family has made many sacrifices as well. My mom drives me everywhere I need to go and is a part of everything I do. My brothers have given up a lot of their time with my mom in order for me to pursue my dreams. It’s a very difficult journey, and you have to let go of many things to achieve your goals.
What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?
I’ve had a lot of memorable moments this past year, from being nominated alongside the cast for a People’s Choice Award and a Teen Choice Award, to having the opportunity to meet and talk with influential stars within the industry that I greatly admire, to filming and releasing our second season. This has been the best year of my career and I am extremely excited to see what 2018 holds.
Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?
Edward James Olmos is a very wise, acclaimed actor, and I had an interesting conversation with him at a dinner. Kelly Ripa is a strong, intelligent woman whom I had the opportunity to speak with. I’m also a big fan of Terry Crews who is one of the kindest, most genuine people I’ve met. Every time I see him, I love getting to chat with him!
I’m guessing you’ve been in the entertainment industry for a few years now, what has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned. This can be about the industry or about yourself. Or both!
I have gained a tremendous amount of information from my experience within the entertainment industry, and I’ve grown so much. In fact, I’m a very different person now than I was two years ago. I think one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that you don’t fail until you give up. This not only applies to my job but also outside of my work. A few other valuable lessons I have learned is persistence really does pay off. It’s possible you may not make it even if you try your best, but you’ll definitely never make it if you stop trying altogether.
Working in an industry whose only emphasis is on the outside characteristics of a person, how have you stayed grounded?
It can certainly be hard when there is an emphasis placed on your physical characteristics rather than your abilities and skill. However, it’s something you learn to deal with. Operating in this business is the matter of learning to not take things personally in a very personal environment. I think with time it simply becomes accepted as part of the job because it definitely is.
Is your family supportive of your career?
My family is extremely supportive of my career. They have all sacrificed so much for me to achieve my dreams and I’m forever grateful for their love. My mom is my biggest supporter, she has been, and will continue to be right by my side every step of the way.
What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.
I plan to continue to pursue my career in acting, taking on more challenging characters and continue to tell more complex stories. As well, I plan on to attend a college that will work in conjunction with the show. I want to study psychology and drama.
Now, 5 questions for the ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:
Last good movie I’ve seen: The last good movie I saw was Thor: Ragnarok!
What do you consider beautiful and why? True, genuine kindness and confidence are radiantly beautiful.
What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? I really want to do an action film. That’s on my bucket list.
Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d…” probably go skydiving!
What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? The one “flaw” that I wouldn’t change about myself is my perfectionist attitude. It keeps my standards high and always pushes me to be the absolute best I can be.