Thursday, August 5, 2010

My True Story by Kellie Martin

Just imagine -- you're a young actress on the rise, the star of a successful TV series. You love your job, you love all the people you work with, you don't even mind those five a.m. (!!) wake-up calls that get you to the studio before the rest of the world is even stirring. You'll do ANYTHING for your work, you love it THAT much.

So what happens when a producer, director, writer, or anyone else "in charge," asks you to do something that you're opposed to? What if it were something you feel is truly NOT what your character would do, and certainly not something YOU'D do?

Well, this is just what happened to 16-year-old Kellie Martin, who plays Becca Thacher on ABC's "Life Goes On". Listen to her story...


Becca has undergone some major changes since Life Goes On premiered in 1989. Remember her big red-rimmed glasses? Her long hair and bangs? Remember Tyler Benchfield, her old boyfriend (played by Tommy Puett)? All are long gone. These days, Becca's grown her bangs out, mourned the death of Tyler, gotten contact lenses and a new boyfriend, Jesse (Chad Lowe). His HIV-positive status makes their relationship a very challenging one. When she's dealing with THAT, it's very clear: Becca has grown up!


Of course, Kellie herself has had something to do with this. On the "Life Goes On" set, she's always stuck her two cents in about Becca, especially when it comes to her personal style -- which Kellie's based largely on her own. This season especially, Becca's "look" became more sophisticated, and Kellie's happy about that. "I made a fuss about my clothes this year," Kellie told SUPERSTARS, "Because if I don't feel good about how I look, then I can't do a good job." Becca's clothes aren't the only thing that underwent a major overhaul this year. She also got inches taken off her hair. Unfortunately, she wasn't happy about it.


Cutting her hair was more of a problem for Kellie, who liked her tresses below the shoulders and did NOT want to change it! "A week before I went back to work last season," she explained, "The producer called me up and said, 'Kellie, can you cut your hair?', and I was like, 'sure, a couple of inches?' and he was like, 'no, shorter, like Bridget Fonda in SINGLE WHITE FEMALE.' Well, I'm very bad at saying no, I always try and do what they want me to do, so I said 'OK, let me get back to you on that.' THEN he said 'OK, AND we want you to do a nude portrait.' Jesse's an artist on the show, and in one episode, he's going to paint Becca's portrait. I was totally stunned -- and REALLY upset. Then I stepped back and tried to decide. 'Which one am I more upset about here, the haircut or the portrait?' "


At this point, Kellie was pretty deep into her personal "No can do" territory. What did she end up doing? Well, when it came to the hair, a compromise was struck. She got it cut a few inches above her shoulders, and when the writers wanted it even shorter, she held her ground and simply told them "NO!" As for the Nude portrait, she revealed to 'SuperStars', "I told them, first of all, I don't want to do it, and second, no- body wants to see a nude portrait of me, so no! Then we com- promised. We worked it out, and ended up doing it very taste- fully" (Kellie posed in a bathing suit.) But the bottom line is, as you can see, compromises aren't always easy to come by, and for any actor or actress, working on a TV series or movie can jeopardize your own values and opinions. As Kellie herself admits, "Being an actress is kind of hard, because they hold your life in their hands. You have to become a certain character, even if it's not you, and if they want you to do something, you have to do it. But, that's what goes along with being an actress, and that's what makes it exciting and challenging!"

1 comment:

  1. Kewl. Kellie Martin is one of my favorite actresses. She's on facebook and twitter, you know.