Interview with Josh Kelly from "Unreal" on Lifetime - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Josh Kelly as Jeremy

Interview with Josh Kelly of "UnReal" on Lifetime 5/29/15

I enjoyed speaking with Josh this morning! I loved his character Cutter on "One Life to Live," and he's great on the new show "UnReal" as well. He's just so gorgeous as well as such a fine actor. Don't miss the new show! 

Here is the audio of our interview. I hope you enjoy it!

If the audio is not streaming well, please right-click on this link and save it to your computer. It should work better that way!

Here's the transcription by Gisele.

1. How did this role come about for you?

I auditioned, and I went in and did what I thought was a pretty good job, and then I made a joke on the way out, and they called me back in and said, "Hey, you did a great job the first time, can you do more of what you did when you were leaving?" I said, "You mean more jokey, kind of be more like me?" So then I did that and got the part.

2. Had you worked with any of the other people in the production before?

Ah, no I hadn't. I mean, we shot the pilot in Atlanta a while ago, so before we went to series, I'd become good friends with Freddie Stroma. The series is being shot in Vancouver, Canada.

3. You have to lug a big heavy camera around a lot. Is it difficult or did you have to do any special training to learn how to use it?

It is difficult. For the first two weeks carrying a steady camera, my back was not used to that kind of -- it's just a different muscle group that you've never used before, but then your body adjusts, and it worked out okay. The camera guys were really good about helping me out and letting me know. I like to learn with new roles, so I was receptive to learning, and I asked them specifically things that would make me look stupid or make me look like I know what I'm doing.

4. Did the showrunners give you much background information about Jeremy besides what's in the scripts?

In shooting the pilot, Sarah Shapiro and I talked a lot about Jeremy. It was a pretty natural fit. I talked about my history with girls. She told me about her idea of Jeremy, and we kind of fleshed out the character together.

5. When did you shoot the show and how long did it take?

I auditioned for this show almost two years ago, so it has been a highly-anticipated Monday night, 10 p.m., on Lifetime. It's been a long, long journey. We shot the first pilot in October-November 2013. Then we got picked up. They kept pushing the dates and doing rewriting, which is good. They were making sure the show was gonna be good. Then we went and shot last summer in Vancouver the first 10 episodes. Now we're still waiting. I was so excited to work on the show. It was really great. I really love working for Lifetime -- I did a couple of episodes of "Army Wives" before, and they're such a good network to work with. Then getting to know Sarah and Marti (Noxon), I really felt safe with the job. I was excited. There is limited control you have as an actor.

6. How many episodes are there?

We did 10 episodes for the season.

7. What is the best thing about "UnReal" - why should people tune in?

It's never been explored. I mean, there's been TV shows like Sports Night, Newsroom, & Murphy Brown -- all these shows about people working on a TV show, but there's never been a show about people working on a reality show that wasn't a spoof. So it becomes such a big part of our world -- reality TV stars are the famous people you read about in the magazine counters, and so working behind that, it just lends itself to good storytelling, because all these professionals that have worked in the entertainment industry for a long time they get to see people go through incredibly dramatic situations on a daily basis and then exposed to the world. It's pretty crazy. I don't think that answers your question. [Laughs] I apologize. It's exciting, and it's new, and it's really well done.

8. Have you ever been on a reality show?

No, I haven't -- not really. Well, my friends cajoled me into doing some pilots that it was in our contract that they would never air. So, it was just for fun. It was in LA. I have a lot of friends who have done reality TV shows, but it's never been my -- I think there is an intrinsic real difference between people that want to become actors and want to become reality stars. I wouldn't be very comfortable having the real me just be -- the inside and outside of Josh Kelly -- known to everyone. I prefer to perform and do good work.

9. What's your most memorable fan encounter?

I think it was right when I first started doing "One Life to Live." I have a really good friend, Julie White, who just got nominated for a Tony on Broadway. We used to hang out a lot, and she would always be recognized, so we went to this Yankees game, and it was just so funny that -- I'd never been recognized before really, and every time I went to the concession stand, they were like, "You're Cutter Wentworth from 'One Life to Live'." It was just neat, because she was so proud of me, because she's seen me grow since I had a line in "Transformers" and now we were out together. It was just memorable to me, because she was so happy for me.

10. Jeremy seems to be a fairly normal person compared to the rest of the people on the show. Do you think he has hidden secrets we'll learn about later?

I think he's normal. He's a lot like a lot of crew guys that work on shows. They're really talented and really capable, and I mean, no one's normal, you know? I don't think anyone's normal. He tries to be a moral compass, but you've got to follow your heart. Sometimes your heart leads you into craziness.

11. How is Jeremy different from Cutter?

Jeremy is very different than Cutter, because Jeremy just wants to be an honest guy making an honest living while Cutter did not want to do anything honestly. I think if they'd developed Cutter a little more, he'd have gotten more involved in the mob. I actually really liked Cutter as a character. He was actually trying to be a good guy, because he was always trying to do the right thing for the girl, and he always got in trouble, then he ended up doing what he did best, which was con some people. OLTL remains one of my all-time favorite projects to be involved with. I still remain in touch with most of the people -- almost everyone.

12. You had your shirt off a lot on OLTL; will you be doing that much on UnReal?

That is a funny question. My dad always makes sure when people say, "Oh, I saw your son on TV," he asks, "Did he have his shirt on?" Well, fortunately, I started working out as soon as I got to Canada, because my roommate was Freddie Stroma who played the suitor character -- the guy who's picking the girls on the show. So he and I became roommates. We got an apartment together, and he was in a movie called "Pitch Perfect" where he showed off his abs. He's a very in-shape guy, and I quickly realized if it was going to be realistic for there to be any question about anyone. Rachel, who's the girl that I like on the show. If he honestly was gonna try to get her back, he would need to get in shape. Yeah, I started working out, and later on in the show, I end up having some scenes without my shirt on.

13. Mary from Facebook wants to know if you're single.

I am not single. I have a girlfriend. She is awesome. She came to the premiere. She's really cool.

14. Chris from Facebook asks: Is there anything you can tell us about who Jeremy is (besides being a cameraman and Rachel's ex-boyfriend)?

He's a bit of an artist. He wants to be a director in feature films. He went to film school. He's working on the show to pay the bills and keep himself in the industry. That's part of the struggle, working at a passionless job, and that's something that a lot of people in the industry struggle with, you know? In every facet of it, but he's an artisan. He liked to build things, and he'd love to build movies.

15.  Is "UnReal" the only thing you're working on right now or do you have other projects in the works?

I finished a short film with a friend of mine. He makes his directing debut. It is one of the hardest things I've ever worked on, and something I'm very, very proud of. It's called "Prisoner of War," and it deals with the issues of veteran suicide and the things that veterans deal with on a day-to-day basis. It was very difficult to shoot, very draining, I should say. It wasn't difficult, because he's a great director who worked hard, but it's a very important project.

16. You're a veteran. Do you have a lot of friends who were affected by that?

Yeah, well, that's the thing, you know? You go to war, you get affected. It's how you deal with it and knowing you can deal with it, with support groups and friends, and you can talk to people about issues. You don't have to kill yourself. I was very fortunate to, immediately after I got out of the military, I came to LA and started acting. So I started taking all these classes that encouraged me to deal with my emotions, handle my emotions, so it kind of helped me realize the issues that I did have. War changes everyone. Acting as therapy is a project I've been working on for a long time. I really would love to get a veterans acting organization started, but one step at a time. First, I gotta have an awesome TV show, and it looks like maybe Monday that'll happen.

17. Anything else you'd like to say about the show or to the fans?

It was such a fun show to work on. Everyone really worked hard, and it is a really, really good show. It was cool, every time we'd go into post production for audio looping, just talking to the people that were heavily involved in post production and how excited they were watching the whole episode instead of just the part they were supposed to work on. A lot of guys would say, "Man, I never thought I'd watch a Lifetime show, but I'm definitely watching this thing." It's really good. It's really cool. It's going to appeal to a lot of people, and I'm just very proud. I'm very proud and excited to be a part of it. It's dramatic -- a lot of drama.

Josh on UnReal posterSpotted nearly naked on billboards across town, heightened buzz has been generating around smoldering actor Josh Kelly who is set to star in LIFETIME’s highly anticipated scripted drama series, UNREAL, inspired by Sarah Gertrude Shapiro’s award-winning independent short Sequin Raze. Kelly stars as ‘Jeremy’ in this provocative titillating drama, which gives a fictitious behind-the-scenes glimpse into the chaos surrounding the production of a dating competition program. Set against the backdrop of the hit dating competition show "Everlasting," "UnREAL" is led by flawed heroine Rachel Goldberg (Appleby), a young producer whose sole job is to manipulate her relationships with and among the contestants to get the vital dramatic and outrageous footage that the program’s dispassionate executive producer Quinn King (Zimmer) demands while also having to work on set with her ex-boyfriend/cameraman ‘Jeremy,’ played by Kelly. What ensues is an eye-opening look at what happens in the outrageous world of unscripted television, where being a contestant can be vicious and being a producer a whole other reality. UNREAL premieres on Monday, June 1st at 10/9c on Lifetime. 

UNREAL Trailer

In addition, to his breakout role in the alluring drama series UNREAL, Josh is best known for his role as “Cutter Wentworth” on ABC’s Emmy winning daytime series “One Life to Live.” Other television credits include “Ben and Kate,” “Army Wives,” “True Blood,” and “Dollhouse,” to name a few. His feature film acting credits include JARHEAD 2: FIELD OF FIRE, ZERO DARK THIRTY, TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN and TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON, among many others.

Born in Yokosuka, Japan to a Navy family, Josh Kelly was active in theater from a young age as he moved around the globe. After four tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan as an Army Ranger, Josh moved to Los Angeles to return to his passion: acting. In honor of his military background, Josh is a huge advocate for the Wounded Warrior Project, a charity and veterans service organization that offers a variety of programs, service and events for wounded veterans of the military actions following the events of September 11, 2001. Josh also wrote, directed, produced and starred in the short film COPE, a story of two special operations soldiers who return from war wrought with post traumatic stress.

Read Our Review of "UnReal!"

Josh's movie "Prisoner of War" comes out November 11, 2015. Trailer

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