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Ingrid Kavelaars Interview

Our intrepid interviewer and newsletter writer extraordinaire, Channe, came up with a prolific (but wonderful) amount of questions for the lovely Ingrid Kavelaars. We doubt you will find a more incisive or comprehensive interview with elsewhere! Thanks to everyone who contributed a question. For more information about Erin and Ingrid, please visit the Cast section of the web site.

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Sharp, Stunning and Sophisticated
Interview with Ingrid Kavelaars (Sept 2002)
Ingrid Kavelaars
Ingrid Kavelaars (photo ©2002 Ingrid Kavelaars)
When you're eighty and sitting on the porch in the Old Folks' Home, what's the one brilliant memory from your time on Jeremiah that you'll tell your fellow octogenarians over and over again?

What I will tell all those old folks about Jeremiah is how well the cast got along. We had some good dinners together. On our weekends we would actually want to hang out together. I believe that says something.

Vital stats: Age, birthplace, education, and notable previous roles?

My birthday is March 20th, 19... I don't think so. Born in London Ontario, Canada. After high school I moved to New York and attended the American Music and Drama Academy.

Have you ever worked with anyone on Jeremiah on a previous production?

I have never worked with any of the other cast, but I have been good friends with Peter Stebbings for a few years. My twin sister and Peter were roommates in Toronto. He left Toronto to do a show with the other twin -- very weird.

Alex [Zahara who plays Ezekiel] and I have the same agent so I see him at the office all the time.

"Every week I used to think was my last, until they would give me the next week's script."

Is there a certain person, production, or moment that cemented your desire to pursue acting as a career, or was it a gradual process?

I would have to say that I knew I wanted to become an actor on my first day of Drama class. I was sixteen and by the end of that class I was never the same. Believe it or not, I was very shy but I found my voice and it became a part of me.

My teacher was great too, Mr. Pat Prou, he told me I could do anything. No one had ever said that to me in school.

Some of our fans have asked what it's like to be a working actor. What's your day-to-day life like? What are auditions like? What was the Jeremiah audition process like - and how did you know you got the job?

I love my life as an actor. I love acting, creating a character, and being a storyteller.

My days start off quite early -- about 5-6 am on a workday. I like to try to get a run in before I have to be on set. What can I say -- I am a morning person.

On my off days, you can find me at the barn riding my horse or in the mountains or running in the woods of Vancouver. Those are two of my passions.

I had read for Jeremiah a few times for different characters. I read for the guest star of "Sail Beyond the Stars" but I didn't get it. However, that night my agent called me and told me that JMS wanted me to come in and do this other character. Her name was Erin and it was only going to be two episodes. I guess they were happy. Every week I used to think it was my last, until they would give me next week's script.

Ingrid Kavelaars
Ingrid Kavelaars (Erin) takes on Christian Bocher (Geronimo) who plays her twin sister's sleezy boyfriend (photo ©2002 MGM/Showtime)
Here comes the obligatory "Mr. Spock" question - was it you or was it Monique fighting Jeremiah in the teaser, and who did the stunts during the sisters' fight with the boyfriend? (Thanks to Marsha Haneiph for the question!)

"Moon in Gemini" was great fun for me to film -- a lot of work but fun. They flew my sister in from Paris to help with that show. She lives and trains there with the French National team -- they are some of the best fencers in the world. She is on the Canadian national team working towards the next Olympics. In the opening scene, it is mostly Monique doing all that great fencing. But the other fighting scene with Geronimo, that's all me.

Many of us, the two of us from THE ABYSS included, have been gunning for an Erin-centered episode ever since we met her. What's your favorite thing about Erin? Are there any special challenges you face in portraying her? Any special joys about it that have been different than other roles you've had? How different are you and she, and how much the same?

Ingrid Kavelaars
Ingrid Kavelaars as the strong and beautiful Erin (photo ©2002 MGM/Showtime)
I really like playing Erin. She is a strong young woman, in a very masculine world. She can hold her own, has an opinion, and wants to be heard. I like to think that Erin and I are alike in those ways. I go to work and hang out with a bunch of boys all day long, so I feel like just one of the guys. That's cool with me.

What kind of sports do you love -- fencing, like Monique, or does something else tickle your fancy?

I like a lot of sports. I am in a baseball tournament this weekend, and I play tennis and golf. My real passion is horse back riding. I rode and competed when I was a young girl, and got back into it not too long ago. I like to ride hunter jumper and dressage.

My sister and I had a dream when we were little to ride a black stallion; we loved the movie. A few weeks ago I just took on a horse -- his name is Mouffee. He is beautiful, large, black and also a stallion. Be careful what you wish for. He is truly magnificent!

"Jeremiah is a wonderful environment to work in."

We did some more digging about and discovered that 'Kavelaars' is a Dutch name. Is your family from the Netherlands, or do you have ties to that country?

Kavelaars is Dutch. Both my parents are from Holland. My father's family is still all there. I keep in touch with them and try to make it over there once a year.

We came upon the site of another Canadian Kavelaars -- a Dr. JJ, who seems to be quite the scientist. Are you related?

Dr. JJ Kavelaars is my older brother, and yes he is quite the scientist. I am so proud of him. He is a great older brother and a wonderful father.

One of our readers asks: "Do you play a musical instruments, sing, or have any hobbies?" (Thanks to Carrie Rocke for the question!)

I used to play the flute and have been working on playing the guitar.

Ingrid Kavelaars
Ingrid Kavelaars (Erin/Lauren) plays a very sexy love scene with Jeremiah (photo ©2002 MGM/Showtime)
What's the most outrageous thing you've had to do while portraying Erin?

The most outrageous thing I have had to do while playing Erin/Lauren would have to be the love scene with Jeremiah. I find those scenes sometimes difficult to do. I am sure a lot of women would love to have taken my place!

We've noticed that many Canadian actors involved with "Jeremiah" have "made the rounds," so to speak, of shows like "Da Vinci's Inquest" and "Stargate SG-1." Have you gotten to know any of your co-workers on Jeremiah through other shows?

I haven't worked with anyone from Jeremiah on any of the other shows shooting in town, but I have known a few of then just from living in the same city and working in the same business.

One thing we consistently heard from the actors on Babylon 5 is the fact that they were really allowed to dig in and play, encouraged to stretch their horizons and the script material as much as humanly possible. Is this true at Jeremiah, as well?

Jeremiah is a wonderful environment to work in. Your thoughts are always welcomed; they sometimes come to you about script ideas.

I have never worked with an actor that was also a producer on the show. Luke takes his job seriously. He has an opinion and will voice it, but he is very interested in what you think.

"I am living my dream. I am a working actor."

We've heard that some scenes are done twice -- one for the uncensored Showtime version, and one for the version eventually intended for syndication. Are there distinct differences? We can't imagine the show without Jeremiah's often-colorful temper tantrums. Have you, personally, been involved with any of these rewrites, and how do you feel it affects the atmosphere of the show?

Having to do a take a second time for syndication can sometimes be more difficult then you would imagine. You have done it in a way that now feels comfortable. You get lost in the scene and then all of a sudden you have to do it again and also think about changing a few words. It can be very distracting. I also believe that the edge of the scene is taken down.

You're at a typical Vancouver bar. What drinks do you order?

When I go out (which is not very often) you will find me drinking a glass of red wine, maybe a Caymus, Robert Mondavi or Joesph Pheleps. Or for fun, l will have a Sour Apple Martini.

Do people recognize you from your roles on television?

I don't really get recognized when I go out. But the other day a man came up to me in the grocery store and asked if I was [Ingrid Kavelaars]. It was very weird. Not sure I am too comfortable in that kind of situation.

You're at a restaurant that serves Italian, Greek, and Chinese. What dish would you be most inclined to order, what would you be wearing, and who would you be with?

Restaurants ...

Italian: Chicken Parmagiana
Greek: Greek Salad
Chinese: Mongolian Beef

I would most likely be wearing a pair of jeans and t-shirt and be with my husband, or a bunch of girl friends.

Ingrid Kavelaars
Ingrid Kavelaars (Erin) gets coached by director James Head in her scene with Lydia (Katelyn Wallace) (photo ©2002 MGM/Showtime)
What are your career goals?

My career goals are to always challenge myself, work with people I respect and have their respect in return.

Let's say it's ten years from now. Where are you and what are you doing?

Ten years from now I hope to be a parent of a few children. Still working, and doing a lot more horseback riding.

If you had a choice of doing any production, anywhere, under any director, in any role - what would it be?

Any production: "West Wing"
Anywhere: Venice
Any Director: Steve Sodenberg

Do you have a dream? What is it? How close are you to achieving it? How are you going about achieving that dream?

I am living my dream. I am a working actor. Do you know how many people told me I would never make a living at this? I am very happy, have a great family and an amazing husband. I'd say I have it pretty good. But if I had to say I wanted a little more out of this life it would have to do more work in the film arena.

"Kissing Luke Perry? That was an easy."

I used to watch him on 90210 as a middle-schooler ten years ago and we used to speculate on this all the time, so you'll really have to forgive this question. What was it like to kiss Luke Perry?

Kissing Luke Perry? Being an actor in a series you can have good days, bad days, hard days and easy days. That was an easy.

What's the first thing you're going to do when you find out Jeremiah has been renewed for a second season - assuming that it has been, or will be?

If Jeremiah gets picked up for a second season, not much will change in how I already live my life. I may start looking a buy a horse but that may be it.

What do you do on a typical Tuesday night? How did you celebrate your last birthday?

Ingrid Kavelaars
Ingrid Kavelaars (photo ©2002 Ingrid Kavelaars)
Tuesday nights you will find me at a movie, definitely.

On my birthday I have a little ritual. I can only tell you half of it because the other half is a little personal. I usually call my twin sister, take a very long walk, think about the year I just had, dance to "Mr Jones" by Counting Crows, write in my birthday journal, and read what I wrote in it the year before. That's all your getting.

Given the choice, would you watch Jeremiah? Do you usually watch your own performances, or is that a no-no in your household? What do you think of Jeremiah's story?

I really don't like watching my work. I may go to the camera truck to watch dailies; those are scenes that you did the day before. I can learn from that, but that too is hard to watch. You always want to go back and do it over again or change something. I love what I do when I am doing it. It is the process that appeals to me.

Has JMS said anything about where your character is going - and if so, how much can you tell us?

JMS doesn't tell you much about what he has planned for you and your character. If you ask, he will just smile and say, "You will love it, trust me." He is always right.

"It was fun going to work those days. It was all so Hollywood!"

Which episode was the most fun to film, and why?

I loved filming "Moon in Gemini" and I worked my butt off. I played two very different characters so it was challenging. Brad Turner was also great to work with. He is really an actor's director.

I also liked working in the final two episodes "Things Left Unsaid" of the season. It was all so big and grand -- the location, the trucks, helicopters, and all the people. It was fun going to work those days. It was all so Hollywood!

You look fantastic - how do you keep in such great shape?

I work out at the gym a few times a week, and run almost every day. I love running. I ride my horse three times a week. That all keeps me in the shape the I need and want to be in.

Boxers or briefs?

Boxers -- no briefs.

Is there anything you'd like to say to your fans (and, yes, you now have them!)?

Thanks for watching our show! We have fun making it.

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