Actress Vivian Kerr has been popping up in a lot of living rooms these days. The young character actress has landed 9 TV roles in just the last 18 months. And, in case you’re not aware…that’s considered a large number by industry standards.
So, what television shows are we talking about? Well, Vivian has been on “Castle,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “American Horror Story: Asylum,” “Franklin & Bash,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “The Tonight Show” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
Coming up on August 10th, she will be appearing on the sizzling hot Showtime series “Masters of Sex” and later this fall she’ll be in an episode of the hit CBS crime drama “Criminal Minds.”
A Sacramento, California native, Vivian originally made her way to Los Angeles to study at the University of Southern California. After earning her BA in Theatre, she went to London to study Shakespeare at BADA and then returned to Hollywood to pursue acting professionally — and hasn’t looked back.
We recently caught up with Vivian Kerr to find out about “Masters of Sex,” “Criminal Minds,” and more.
Tell us about your role on Showtime’s “Masters of Sex”.
VIVIAN: I play Ingrid McCaffrey, one of Dr. Masters’ patients. I’m a young housewife who’s a bit under my husband’s thumb.
What was it like working on such a scandalously delicious show?
VIVIAN: Well, luckily I am not one of the study participants, so there was nothing too scandalous involved! But I was a huge, huge fan of this show before I booked it so there was definitely some jumping up and down when I got the call. I just love the time period and subject matter, and obviously Showtime just does things on such a high artistic level. It’s a brave show, and really is much more about the emotional nudity than the physical. In the scene I’m in there is a moment with some dialogue that’s a bit shocking, and it was interesting because we filmed it two ways, so I can’t wait to see what take they use.
Any juicy stories from the set you can share with us?
VIVIAN: I remember sitting in the make-up trailer a few days before I filmed for a hair test, and poor Lizzy Caplan was basically getting a nude full-body spray-tan behind a curtain at the other end of the trailer, cracking jokes. I don’t know how she does it – that girl’s got guts! She and Michael Sheen both do. They were both very cool to work with.
Also, what can you tell us about your role on the CBS hit “Criminal Minds”?
VIVIAN: I play Emily Hazley, the grieving sister of a victim. It’s pretty dark, emotional stuff.
Any interesting take-a-ways you discovered from walking onto such an established show?
VIVIAN: Absolutely! I remember we were doing my close-up and the director was about to move on, and I just wasn’t happy with it, so I asked for an extra take. I’ve never done that before as a guest actor, because you never want to be perceived as wasting people’s time or being self-indulgent, but Karen Gaviola, the episode’s director, was so cool about it and let me try it a different way, and A.J. Cook was really supportive. It was a great reminder that everyone’s there to collaborate and make the best show possible, so you can’t be afraid to toss out an idea.
You seem to be on a roll with roles lately; any thoughts on why you’re so hot?
VIVIAN: I’d say it’s just that thing with casting directors getting to know you over a period of time. I think I read for three different roles on “Masters of Sex,” and this was my sixth time reading for “Criminal Minds.” You just keep plugging away the best you can, and sometimes you actually get the job if you’re lucky.
Are you worried about sustaining that momentum?
VIVIAN: Now I am! Just kidding, but sure, all actors think every role is somehow going to be their last. But also, I know I’m going to be an actor for the rest of my life, so while I’d love to get on a series or book a big feature tomorrow, I know there’s going to be peaks and valleys in my career. I can’t control any of that, so it’s best just to give all that anxiety up, and just do the best I can with what’s in front of me.
Of your recent roles, which one is your favorite and why?
VIVIAN: That’s tough! I’d actually have to say “Castle.” I played Amanda Lowery, a serial killer, last year and I got to perform a stunt in which Nathan Fillion hits me on the head with a jug of holy water. I had never been smashed over the head with breakaway glass before! In the close-up of it the look of shock on my face is totally real! It was really fun to work that out with my stunt double and Nathan because we could only do a couple takes. I also just thought the role was super-interesting, how someone that young could be so damaged.
Anything else you’d like to share with your new fans? And, please tell us how everyone can keep up with your career.
VIVIAN: A short film I’m in with Janeane Garofalo, “The Assistant,” just had its world premiere at LA Shorts Fest and should be doing more festivals soon so look for that!
You can keep up with me on Twitter @VivianKerr
and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/vmkerr
Thanks, Vivian. We’ll definitely be trying to keep up with your busy career!