Interview with Actress Kylee D. Allen
Today on What On What’s Good with Jovin Tardif, I am here with Kylee D Allen. The 11 year old Atlanta actress Kylee is making her acting debut in The Underground Railroad which is premiering this weekend on Amazon. The film is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Colson Whitehead. Kylee plays ‘Molly,’ one of the three children featured in the series.
1. When did you first discover that you wanted to be an actress?
When I was much younger, I loved watching all of the different shows on Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel. I would get caught up in the fantasy worlds and one day I told my mother that I wanted to be on TV too. She started me out in our school’s drama club classes and I absolutely loved it. I knew I wanted to be an actress when I was 6.
2. Describe what it was like casting for the role of ‘Molly’ in “The Underground Railroad”?
When I first auditioned for The Underground Railroad, it was for a different role. I worked super hard on that audition tape and felt really good about my performance, but I didn’t get it. At first, I was disappointed, but I ended up getting another audition for the same show!
I was really excited because this audition was in person, and I feel more connected to the casting director when I’m right in front of them. A few days later, I found out that I booked the role! I just couldn’t believe it because I had worked so hard and this role was the hardest audition I had ever auditioned for! It was definitely meant to be.
3. What did it mean to you to be a part of this prestigious project?
My mom had already read the novel, so when she told me about the plot, I knew that this was going to be an important project. I knew that it wasn’t a true story, but a lot of the story shows what my ancestors went through in this country at that time. I feel so special to have this be my first big role!
4. What was it like working with Academy Award-winning producer/director Barry Jenkins?
Working with Barry Jenkins is definitely something that I will never forget. I was super nervous when we first started filming, but he gave me some great advice. He told me that “the audition is over. You already booked the role! Now put your nerves aside and transform into your character.” That was so true and very encouraging. From then on, he would always joke around with me on set and pull me to the side to have one-on-one talks with me before each scene to make sure I was cool before we started filming. Working with Barry was the best!
5. Do you have a dream role? What would it be and why?
I would love a role in Stranger Things on Netflix! It’s one of my favorite shows and I can not wait for the new season. I could totally see myself running from one of the demogorgons, riding bikes with the kids or hanging out in the mall or arcade. I always wondered how the actors on that show performed the scenes with all of the special effects.
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- Kylee D Allen in The Underground Railroad (2021)