Check out this Q&A I participated in with Kirsten Prout, who plays Amanda on ABC Family’s Kyle XY. And watch an all new episode tonight.
Now that Amanda is back, how will things evolve between her and Kyle for the rest of this season?
Kirsten: I think viewers should expect to see a definite change in Amanda, because she grew up in New York. I think there were a lot of emotional experiences that happened with her and she’s really become quite defiant. I think, because Amanda is back, viewers are going to see a bit more backbone and she’s going to stand up for herself. She’s stronger.
What was it that drew you to the world of acting?
It’s always a funny story to say but, when I was younger, I absolutely adored Disney movies and I’m 100% sure that watching my “Disney Princesses” and wanting to become one of them was what first formed the initial interest in acting. Then, as I grew older, I realized that I could do that for a career. I could make believe for a career. I guess that’s how it progressed.
What’s your favorite part about working on the show?
Specifically with Kyle XY, it’s having such quality material to work with, as well as such a supportive cast and crew. I come into work every day and I enjoy seeing the people I work with, and there’s a lot of room to grow on that set and a lot of fun to be had. I guess that would be my favorite part.
How did you come into the part of Amanda? Did you audition and why did you accept the role?
When I first read the pilot script of Kyle XY, it read to me like a feature film, and I had just come off doing a feature film and I said to myself, “I’m gonna try to get into film after a movie,” and I wanted to continue on that path because film is definitely a love of mine. But Kyle XY, the pilot script, read so much like a film to me, and Amanda spoke to me so clearly, that I was absolutely thrilled to be called in to audition for it. I suppose just going through the process and really being devoted to the character is what got me the part.
Can you talk a little bit about the differences with working on a movie and working on Kyle XY?
With film, you definitely have a different kind of timeline and there are pros and cons to it. Some of the pros are you get more time to actually progress your character and it’s really imitating life. Every week you film this new part of your character, this new segment in her life, whereas in film you figure out that character and you work with what you have and that current idea. I suppose, in that way, it’s easier to progress, but also in films you have a bit more freedom to actually make decisive changes. You have a shorter timeline. It frees you up for more projects. The two are very different and both are extremely enjoyable. It’s just a matter of the intensity sometimes and the time elements and just how your character progresses, I suppose.
Can you talk a little bit about what your thoughts are about the current writer’s strike?
It’s definitely turned the industry upside down. We’ve got a lot of people who have definitely different stances on it. The one thing about the writer’s strike that I remember when it first happened was, it happened right before Christmas and I didn’t know exactly what they were striking for and I did some more investigation, but what really struck me the most was how the crew was hit so hard with the writer’s strike, and I thought that was so sad because it was right before Christmas and these people that would normally have a pay check, a lot of them didn’t have Christmas presents for their kids. I think that it was really a dramatic change and it’s affecting people’s lives pretty difficultly.
If you had a dream role to take on, what would that be?
A dream role, well, I suppose that sort of depends on the project, but I have read so many projects where you’ve had the quirky, indie character that has a tragic story line and makes the best of her situation, and that is one role, the one character that I would really just love to fall into. Find a script that I just completely fell in love with and was able to connect like that. Probably something quirky and from a different perspective.
You were speaking earlier about how Amanda’s character is going to be changing a lot now that she’s back. It looks like next week she’s going to be hiding out in Kyle’s closet. She may start to find out a little bit about Kyle’s abilities. I don’t know how that’s going to come into affect in the show.
It’s obvious that Amanda is going to go through some transitions and learn about how special Kyle is, but the manner in which I believe that she will find out about his abilities will be in a natural way, as Kyle and Amanda usually are. I think it’ll just strengthen, but there could definitely be some complications.
Following up a bit on that, did Amanda really come back for Kyle or is there another reason?
I think that as the season progress, we’ll find out little pieces of why she really did return.
Are you into science fiction shows? Do you like Sci-Fi or did you just happen to fall into it?
I definitely enjoy all sorts of genres. I definitely was a huge fan of shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, I definitely watched the follow up, and I have no problem with extending my own personal reality and being able to watch something and believe for an hour that that could actually happen. I really do enjoy that. I tend to watch series like Bones and Arrested Development, and The Office and I’m very much either technical or kind of a dark humor. That’s usually my genre.
Do you have any funny moments that you can tell us about from set?
I definitely do have a lot of funny moments, but one from the season I can recall that was absolutely shocking. It wasn’t exactly funny, but looking back on it, I suppose it was. There was a scene up on the roof and it was a stunt sequence with Kyle and Jessi. There were all sorts of safety precautions. It was a really stormy night so they had harnesses and everything, and I was downstairs in the gym and I was waiting to film another scene so I wasn’t working and I was talking to a crew member and all of a sudden I heard this sound and the whole building shook. We were inside a school, and it felt like the scaffolding had fallen down or something. So I run outside and I see a stampede of crew just streaking down. What had happened is, a lightening bolt had almost struck and it struck right next to where we were filming. The whole crew had to leave all their cameras up on the roof. The actors had to be unharnessed in five seconds. We were just sitting in the gym for two hours, had nothing to film, no equipment, everyone was freaking out and it was so bizarre, I’ve never been through something like that in a movie set. Just that element of danger and also, it was almost like we were in school or something. We were all mingling in the middle of a gym and there was prom balloons everywhere. It was a bit of a bizarre scenario.
As an actress, how do you prepare for different parts that you play?
When I do read a script, reading through it the first time, I can usually tell whether or not I connect with the character. Every character that I do play, I try to root in truth and in parts of my personality. That said, I love to analyze exactly what makes them tick, different habits, different mannerisms, and I honestly do feel that preparing for a part is being able to incorporate yourself and amalgamate it with other personality characteristics. I just try to keep it rooted in truth and as real as possible.
What’s been your favorite episode to make so far?
Probably the prom episode. That was pretty much a Gong Show and it was so much fun.
What’s been your favorite role to play so far besides Amanda that you’ve done?
In Elektra, I really did enjoy playing Abby. I played Abby Miller, and that was another role that, again, being on a feature film, I just had so much time beforehand, preproduction, and I collaborated with the director so much that I was able to produce a character and live a character that I really did believe in. I do feel an element of realism to her.
We saw last week that Jessi definitely seems to have feelings for Kyle, or at least a jealousy of Amanda, and I’m curious if this is going to be a lot more of a problem for Amanda or if Kyle, being such a great guy, is just going to be able to clearly show that she’s just a friend?
That story line definitely does play a huge part in the season. The relationship between Kyle and Jessi is an extremely intense one, and clearly does cause some complications. As for if Kyle is able to present that she’s a friend, I think Amanda has to be willing to trust him completely and he in the same sense needs to be able to confide in her. So until he is able to share everything about himself with her, I don’t think that issue of trust will be resolved.
Could expect you and the other members of Kyle XY’s cast at Comic-Con this year?
Kirsten: I have no idea. I don’t know, Catherine, are you there?
Catherine: I am here. This is Catherine Graves, ABC Family Publicist for Kyle XY, and at this moment in time we do not have any plans to go to Comic-Con, New York, but we have had a great presence with the show and the cast at Comic-Con down in San Diego and we hope to make an appearance there this year, too.
What’s the hardest thing about working on the show?
I would definitely say the time elements, because everyone is so committed to their characters and making the show absolutely the best it can be. Sometimes in a short schedule, being able to get all of your intensions across and shoot every single angle and make the show as good as it can be, time definitely does play a factor and I think that’s the one thing that everyone in the industry will tell you. When it gets to crunch time, that is the hardest atmosphere to work in.
What would you like to happen to Amanda next season?
I guess I would like to see what I would like myself to become. I definitely would like to see her grow up and become stronger and really just continue to stand up for what she believes in and become a character that has much more of a presence and an opinion in the show.
You’ve had a couple of years now together with Kyle XY, how is that camaraderie and relationship grown on and off the set?
It’s always fantastic to work with a bunch of people who make you laugh every day you come in set. I honestly have never really worked with a crew and cast who are so in love with each other. Matt frequently throws barbecues on the weekend. We often get together; rap parties are such a good time with the crew. It really is a friendship as well as a work relationship.
If you had the chance, would you ever be interested in writing or directing or doing something like that behind the scenes?
I do do a lot of essay writing and analytical writing just for my advance placement courses in school, but I definitely would leave that to the pros. I’m for being in front of the camera. I don’t know if behind is my thing.