With a style out of the 1920s, rising actress and model Kelly Devoto has gained modest attention for her elegance and glamour that harks back to the days of classic Hollywood. Despite a relatively short career and only a few screen credits to her name, Devoto has already demonstrated a natural talent through her work in music videos, short films and independent productions. Devoto made her horror debut with a minor role in the 2006 low budget spoof Flying Saucer Rock ‘N’ Roll, the first feature from director Eric Callero and his father/co-writer Joe.
Devoto continued to work on independent projects such as Murder Loves Killers Too, before landing a role in Insidious, the latest horror from Saw director James Wan, in which she would be featured alongside Corbett Tuck as creepy young women, echoing the eerie twins from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. Devoto is also set to appear in the horror anthology Stop, I’m Not Dead Yet, in a story entitled Forever is a Really Long Time.
Kelly Devoto talks about her career to-date and her plans for the future.
You have worked as both an actress and a model, which do you consider yourself to be first and foremost?
Definitely an actress. Acting was something I got into at a very young age. I didn’t start doing photo shoots/modelling gigs until I was about twenty. I definitely enjoy both, but I could never do conventional fashion modeling, because I am only 5’3″. Most modelling agencies won’t hire you if you’re under 5’7 or 5’8. Luckily, I can do commercial and print modelling though! Or just wear really tall shoes and hope they give me a chance.
What would you say is your greatest strength and weakness as both an actress and model?
I believe my greatest strength as an actress would be the comedic work I do. I’m not afraid to make a fool of myself! I think I’m at my best when I’m over the top. I love campy roles, funny voices, and physical comedy. My greatest weakness with acting would probably be nerves when it comes to auditioning. I don’t always get nervous, but when I do it can ruin an otherwise great audition! My greatest strength in modelling would be that I always try to make photo shoots fun for everyone involved. I love just playing around in front of the camera. Sometimes the silliest faces make the best shots! My weakness, like I said before, would have to be the height thing.
Much of your modelling seems to reflect a passion for vintage fashion. What era and style are you most interested in and why?
I have been collecting vintage clothing since I was about twelve. I especially love the forties and fifties. That’s my grandma’s generation, and she probably has a lot to do with why I’m into it. She was a dancer who toured with the USO, and has some gorgeous modelling shots that I’ve always admired. I grew up watching a lot of old musicals with her and absolutely adored the actresses on screen. I just think the fashions, hairstyles, and makeup were so much more glamorous and flattering back then than they are today. And honestly, vintage clothing seems to fit me better, so it’s a win-win situation!
Would you consider yourself a fan of the horror genre and what scares you most in movies?
I am absolutely a HUGE horror fan! I loved reading scary stories as a kid. It’s funny, because scary movies used to terrify me. Even things that weren’t supposed to be scary scared me, like the guy with the red nose in the commercial for the board game Operation (Side note: I just watched the commercial on YouTube and found out Danielle Harris is in it!! How funny is that?). Eventually, I outgrew my initial terror and then I was HOOKED! I used to peruse the horror section at Hollywood Video and just be in awe at all the VHS covers.
I don’t actually find many horror films to be truly scary (I get startled easily, but I don’t think jump scares count as being truly scary). The one exception for me seems to be The Shining, one of my favourite horror films. It’s not even so much what happens in the film (although the events are definitely scary), but what makes it so effective is the way it’s shot. If anyone else besides Kubrick shot this film, I don’t think it would be as scary.
Do you find that being a young actress you are constantly offered roles that require sex scenes or nudity and how do you feel about this kind of work?
I definitely have been on many auditions for projects that involve sexual content of varying levels. Ninety per cent of the music videos I’ve worked on involve me dancing around scantily clad (most of the time you can barely see me because I’m just an extra, haha). Being a young female, I think it just comes with the territory. I certainly don’t mind being scantily clad, and I’m fine with most sexual content. However, I don’t do full nudity and I haven’t yet had to do a sex scene in a film.
Of the roles you have portrayed so far which would you say is the closest to the kind of work you have been aiming towards?
I recently played Columbia in a Los Angeles stage production of The Rocky Horror Show, the original musical that the movie is based on. It was by far the most fun role I’ve had yet. I played it very crazy and over the top, like Betty Boop on crack. I got to act, sing and dance and I’m a huge Rocky Horror fan, so it was an amazing experience for me. I would take a zany role like that in a heartbeat, be it in theatre, film or television.
What would you consider to be your dream role and have you ever considered writing a script for yourself to star in?
My dream role would be something that’s funny, scary, musical and even a little glamorous too. Like a goth version of Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl. I think writing an entire script by myself would be a bit overwhelming, but I’d be open to possibly collaborating or at least helping come up with ideas for something (as long as I got to act in it, too!).
Are there any particular films or modelling work you have done that you regret working on?
I don’t regret anything, but there have definitely been some shoots I’d like to forget! Some photographers can be very creepy – and not in a good way!
How did you come to model for the front covers of Caitlin Kittedge’s novels and are there any other books that you have graced the covers of?
I had worked with the photographer, the talented Chad Michael Ward, before so he got in touch with me and asked me to do it. I haven’t met Caitlin in person, but we did message back and forth online a few times, and she seems awesome! I really admire the fact that she’s so young and is already a published author with her own series, I think she’s a great inspiration for aspiring young writers out there! I have modelled for one other book, titled Icons/Iconoclasts. It’s a book of photographs by Wayne Schoenfeld that pays homage to circus performers of the past. I got to work with a real elephant!
What goals have you recently set for yourself and how do you think these will be achieved?
Right now my goal is just to keep auditioning and hopefully book more jobs! My résumé could definitely use more film and television credits! I recently worked on James Wan and Leigh Whannell’s Insidious, which opens in the U.S. on 1 April 2011. I appear in a couple scenes as a ghostly entity that haunts the main boy in the film (played by Ty Simpkins). The whole cast and crew were amazing to work with and I hope it will open doors to more projects; whether it’s something horror related or not. I guess I should say my main goal is never to have to work retail again!