Rebekah Kennedy

Women in Horror Month 2019: Interview with Rebekah Kennedy

One of my favorite up and coming indie horror actresses is the incredibly talented and versatile Rebekah Kennedy. There’s really no part she can’t do and she shines in every role she takes on.

Although the Rebeckah is young, she’s already had quite the career. She’s starred in many things including mainstream to indie as well as popular television shows like Criminal Minds and Law and Order SVU. She’s only just begun and is definitely a force to be reckoned with. 

Rebeckah Kennedy from the film Los Angeles
From the film Los Angeles

PopHorror – Hi Rebekah, it’s been awhile since we’ve talked and I’m stoked to catch up. How have you been?

Rebekah Kennedy – Hey Tori, yes it’s been a while. I’m doing well! I hope you are as well. Thanks for including me in another Women in Horror month!

PopHorror – Of course! Let’s start with this. How long have you wanted to work in the film industry?

Rebekah Kennedy – I’ve wanted to act since I was 4, but film and TV came as a nice surprise. I grew up doing theatre, and went to college for musical theatre in FL, and after graduation I had every intention of moving to NYC to continue that dream. I ended up moving back to Texas for a while, where I’m originally from, to save money for a bit before moving. During that time, I continued to do plays and even started teaching at a local theater company. I had also taken a couple of film classes while in college as that was something that started to interest me, but I wasn’t really sure how to pursue that.

I got some advice from some friends who suggested I start pursing film and TV while in Texas. So I did. I started submitting for short film and students and basically anything I could get my hands on. And then eventually was able to sign with some local talent agencies. Things really started to take off in 2010 and I then put theatre on the backburner. I moved to L.A. in 2012 and have continued doing film and TV. I would eventually like to be on the stage again and hopefully that happens one day. But it’s been an exciting adventure so far, and you just never know where life is going to take you.

PopHorror – This is very true. Can you tell the readers a bit about what you do in this business and anything else you may like to do?

Rebeckah Kennedy in Limbo
Still From Limbo

Rebekah Kennedy – I’m an actor. I would really like to produce one day as well as I’ve seen so many actors being able to produce the kind of material they want to be in. It’s really inspiring and definitely a big goal of mine as well.

PopHorror – You’ve worked both on Criminal Minds and Law and Order SVU. Can you tell us how both of those roles came about?

Rebekah Kennedy – Yeah, I auditioned for both of those shows, but the process of the auditions were very different. For Criminal Minds, it was a straight to producers session, so that means I auditioned not only for casting, but also the director and producers of the show as they were all in the room. About 2 hours after my audition, I found out I booked the role. It all happened very fast.

So for Law & Order: SVU, because it shoots in NYC, casting is in New York so I sent in a self tape. I sent in the tape on a Monday and found out Thursday I had booked the role and was flying out Sunday to start working on the show. For TV casting it generally moves pretty quickly, especially for episodes. So it is nice that actors don’t have to wait months to hear. Haha.

PopHorror – That’s awesome to hear. Can you tell about your characters for both shows?

Rebekah Kennedy – The Criminal Minds episode is called “Hostage” and is loosely based on the three women in Cleveland who were kidnapped and held hostage for 10 years. I play Gina Bryant, who escapes from the basement to get help for one of the other girls who is very sick. Gina was incredibly resilient and courageous. She really tried, no matter what, to remember who she really was and to help the other girls remember as well.

Rebekah Kennedy in both Criminal Minds and Law and Order SVU

The Law & Order: SVU episode is called “The Book of Esther” and is loosely based on the Turpin family in California that held their 13 kids hostage in their home. I play Esther Labott, who was extremely malnourished and neglected, and is finally able to escape and tries to get help for her other siblings. Like Gina, Esther was also incredibly brave and even though she was severely brainwashed, she fought to save her family. I was so inspired by both of these characters and even though we were telling fictional stories, the girls in these were not. I feel very lucky to have been able to share these important stories and give them a voice.

PopHorror – You were wonderful in both of them! What was the experience like? Any memorable moments for both shows as well?

Rebekah Kennedy – Thank you! Working on both shows have definitely been some of the highlights of my career so far. The Criminal Minds cast and crew were incredibly kind and welcoming. It’s always a little odd to come into a show that has been on for so long. It can feel like you’re a stranger coming to a family’s dinner. But they didn’t make me feel the way at all. They immediately made me feel comfortable and right at home. The director, Bethany Rooney, was really a champion for us and made diving into heavy material feel safe. I also met one of my now great friends, Amelia Rose Blaire, on that set. She was so kind and so fun to work with. She also helped make me feel really at ease.

Working in New York City was one of my bucket list items, so it was really awesome to be able to check that off. It’s such an amazing city and since I was a little girl I always imagined myself working there. I had no idea it would be on a television show that I was already a big fan of, so that was really icing on the cake. The SVU cast and crew were also so incredibly generous, kind, and welcoming. They also immediately made me feel right at home and were incredibly encouraging. Mariska Hargitay was so kind and kept the set light and she’s really funny. Kelli Giddish was also a dream scene partner. She made it really easy to connect to her. These were my first two TV shows after I moved to L.A. and I feel really blessed to have gotten to work with such amazing talent and on really rich material. I became friends with one of the co-writers, Ryan Causey, on set of my SVU episode and we’ve stayed in contact. He co-wrote such a complex, interesting role and I was thrilled I got to bring her to life. I’m really thankful for both of these extraordinary experiences.

From Criminal Minds
From Criminal Minds

PopHorror – That’s amazing and so exciting! Now that you’ve worked both in film and television, do you prefer one over the other?

Rebekah Kennedy – I don’t have a preference. I’ve really loved working on both. One nice thing about TV, especially if it’s show that is already on, your episode will come out in a few months versus sometimes waiting years for a film to release. But I love both. I hope I’m able to continue working in both mediums.

PopHorror – That’s a great point. You’re a phenomenal actress, but have you ever thought about directing?

Rebekah Kennedy – First off, thank you so much! That’s very kind of you to say. I have thought about it. I would like to one day. I’m not sure I’m ready quite yet to be honest, but I can see myself there at some point for sure.

PopHorror – With your talent, I think you can pretty much do anything you set your heart and mind to. Since it’s Women in Horror Month, who are the women that inspire you?

Rebekah Kennedy – Oh, so many women! It’s hard to even narrow it done so I will list a few. First off, my mom. She’s been with my since the beginning of this crazy business when I was young and she had to drive me to auditions. She lives in Texas, but still encourages me on a daily basis. She continually tells me not to give up and I’m inspired by her positivity. I’m also inspired by Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Jessica Chastain, Natalie Portman and Lupita Nyong’O (to name a few) as far as where they have taken their careers and the kind of work they do. I’m also so incredibly inspired by Helen Keller. I think of her often, and how hard she fought for what we often take for granted. Nothing stopped her. She had the kind of determination I hope I have an ounce of. There are so many inspiring women on and off screen that it gives me such hope for what I’m capable of.

PopHorror – I love that you give credit to your Mom and you fit perfectly alongside those other women. You’re both strong and inspiring. What does being a woman in horror mean to you?

Rebekah Kennedy – Being a woman in horror is an incredible title! I’ve gotten to play some really unique and interesting roles in horror films and they’ve all taught me something about myself. For me, it means being strong and fighting until the end. Facing and standing up to your fears. It means being a survivor. And just because a woman is in a horror movies doesn’t mean she has to be victim. There have been plenty of badass women!

PopHorror – Hell yes! Great answer. Do you have any projects you’d like to talk about?


Rebekah Kennedy – Yeah, I did 3 feature films last year that should be coming out sometime this year. Limbo, directed by Mark Young, with James Purefoy, will be at The Beverly Hills Film Festival in April. In that film, I play someone from Lew Temple’s past. I can’t talk too much about that character yet, but I had a great time working on it. I also worked on The Great Illusion with Selma Blair and Graham Greene. That was directed by Maria Gabriela Cardenas and produced by Amy Williams, both incredible women. I also can’t talk too much about my character, but I play someone who’s incredibly lonely and just wants to be seen. I’m excited to see how it all comes together and had fun working with that cast. I also worked on a film called Los Angeles directed by Mitch Temple in which I play a mute girl who goes on an adventure with an escaped convict (Anthony Bonaventura.) I had a blast working on such a unique character with an awesome cast and crew. I’m really excited for people to see these projects!

About Tori Danielle

Tori has had a passion for Horror and music ever since she was a little girl. She got bit by the writing bug in high school where she was involved in both the school newspaper and the yearbook. While getting her Bachelors degree, she took Journalism and Creative Writing classes where her passion grew even stronger. Now, in between work and family, she spends all of her spare time indulging in music, Horror movies, and nerdy fandoms, all while running/assisting one of the biggest Horror groups on Facebook and writing for various websites.

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