The Disney dream factory gave Kiersey Clemons her acting break – but the roles she’s taking on now are a long way from fairy tales. For our Autumn 18 edition, ASOS Magazine sat down with the agenda-setting actress during her press tour for her movie Hearts Beat Loud to chat love, life and the future. Read on for excerpts of the conversation, and find the full interview in the ASOS Magazine, available here.
STYLE AND CULTURE
KIERSEY CLEMONS' STYLE FILE
By Lynette Nylander, 3 October 2018
On her approach to social media
It’s interesting, we all carry ourselves differently on social media. My biggest fear is that people know too much about me to the point that they’re distracted by who I am and can’t get lost in a character I’m playing anymore. I work so hard on being an actor that if I diminish that by showing too much of myself, that would be a bummer. But in general [with social media] I’m just trying to make people laugh or post a photo that’s cute or makes people happy.
On avoiding being typecast after her time on Disney's Austin & Ally
I stopped at the point [with Disney], right before it ended. I was getting calls for all the movies and all the sequels… I mean, they are still releasing versions of those movies to this day. I just thought to myself, 'If I do that it means I can be financially comfortable, but later not be able to pick and choose the jobs I want.' You do have to emancipate yourself from that image.
You know, I was talking to my girlfriend yesterday and I was like, 'I just realised how much of a privilege it is that I get to be in a relationship with the person I love.' I don’t even mean that from a political standpoint, but that I get to choose the person that I’m with. And then I actually get to be with them. Like, I wasn’t married off. I know what being in love feels like. There are girls who will go their whole lives and have no idea what being loved feels like. They don’t even know what it feels like to be loved by their mom, they have never experienced that. When you look at life from that perspective you realise that most of what you have is a privilege compared to a lot of happenings in the world.
On her recent theatre stint in NYC
Fruit Trilogy [the new play by Eve Ensler, of The Vagina Monologues fame] is a beautiful piece. It’s actually three plays about the story of women who get their bodies taken away from them, the trauma that causes, and then trying to get them back. It’s also about getting to know yourself, period, almost like facing your traumas and embracing them. My character [and play] is called Avocado, her name’s because she was found in a shipping container and sold as a prostitute when she was 12. Now she’s older and trying to find asylum. It seems unbelievable, but right now in America, a lot of kids are missing. Child trafficking is going on in America, there is a whole movement of modern day slavery. Eve knew about all of this because she works all over the world with girls that have gone through it.
On what's next
I’d like to direct but I would have to learn. I thought about going to school and taking workshops. On set I’ve learnt, but by no means has it been a natural thing. I just want to be the person who has stories to tell. I want people who know me to be like, 'Kiersey makes a good meal' or 'she gives good hugs'. Awards are nice, but there are people who are great and will never make it to an Oscar. I try not to put too much weight on them because that’s beyond my control. It’s just something that makes other people think that you’re great… But I think I am pretty great!