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Kelsey Scott talks Fear the Walking Dead: Passage, Viola Davis (Includes interview)

Passage is different from any other project I’ve worked on in that the physicality was so much a part of the narrative. The stunts, the special effects, and the FX makeup are intricately intertwined to create the world of these characters. In that way, it’s been a unique experience. It was also rather empowering for this female-driven story to focus more on these women’s fortitude and intellect, than their appearances,” she explained.

In 2017, she garnered a Primetime Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series” for her portrayal of Sierra on Fear the Walking Dead: Passage. “Happy seems too pedestrian a description of what I’m feeling. ‘Giddy’ might be closer. But, suffice it to say, I am immensely pleased and ridiculously humbled. To be honest, I’m still processing the weight of it. Every time I think that this is the moment ‘surreal’ will become ‘real’, I’m mistaken,” she said, about her 2017 Emmy nod.

In addition, she played Rose in How to get Away with Murder, where she worked with Academy Award and Emmy winner Viola Davis. “Rose has a special place in my heart. I love playing characters who are eons outside of their comfort zones. Characters who are barely hanging on, and desperately scratching their way back up onto the ledge. The well-being of Rose’s son was all that mattered to her. Even the end of her life was a calculated move to protect Christophe. She is tragically beautiful and I was honored to bring her to life,” she said. “I think it’s an actor’s responsibility to grow, to push. Putting yourself in the company of craft masters is one way to do that. Viola Davis is a craft master. She can convey more in her silence than some attempt in a page-long monologue. Sharing the screen with her remains one of the highlights of my career.”

Regarding her future plans, she revealed, “On the performance side, there are no boundaries. Television and film have so many voices to offer, through this new multitude of distribution options. My performance roots are in theater – so I never stray far from the stage. And the digital domain has been very good for me lately! So I want to continue to explore the creative opportunities there. I’m also a screenwriter. So I have several passion projects in the almighty world of development. On a personal note, I intend to travel more. There’s too much that I haven’t seen of this earth! I’ve decided to make it a priority to breathe new air and enjoy unfamiliar cultures.”

For aspiring actors, Scott encouraged them to center themselves. “This is a long road with all manner of terrain. Your mental, physical and emotional health are paramount. So find ways to quiet the noise and hear your own voice. It will sustain you through the tears and long after the applause,” she said.

Digital transformation of entertainment

On the impact of technology on the entertainment and acting industry, Scott said, “I remember when Netflix only mailed DVDs, and when YouTube didn’t have ‘channels’. Until relatively recently, web-created content was considered amateur. Technology has equalized the field for content creation and distribution. It’s not just a wealthy person’s playground anymore. Filmmakers can shoot footage on a cell phone and end up with theatrical distribution for the finished product. I didn’t see that coming. The ‘open code’ nature of it all doesn’t always give birth to enviable content. But it does allow for a greater diversity of storytelling. And that can be nothing but positive.”

When asked how she uses technology on a daily basis, Scott responded, “How don’t I? I’m gleefully addicted to my cell phone, laptop and iPad. I stream 95 percent of my programming. I cook, clean and shower by the music blasting from my Bluetooth speakers. My home phone is Internet-based. I use a heart monitor when I work out. I even control my home lighting with my cell phone. I’m kinda plugged in.”

To learn more about actress and screenwriter Kelsey Scott, check out her official homepage.

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