KaDee Strickland stars as Annie Bell on Fox’s newest show by David E. Kelley, The Wedding Bells. Though she has been in the business for quite a while, KaDee loves working on this set because it is just so much fun. So much fun, in fact, that even though she has two upcoming movies she has been having too good a time to look at anything else right now. BuddyTV had a chance to talk KaDee about how she landed her role as Annie, working with a great cast and crew, and her upcoming projects.
BuddyTV: KaDee maybe you can just start off by telling us a little bit about your background? How did you initially get involved with acting?
KaDee: Well I did a one act play my freshman year of high school and it sort of sealed the deal for me. I just feel in love with acting and everything that had to do with the creative process of it. And that was kind of it; there was no other option after that.
I know you’ve done a lot of work in film, starring roles in some high profile Hollywood films like Anacondas, The Grudge, but up until now you haven’t done a whole lot of television. Given your experience so far, what do you enjoy more, do you prefer doing one over the other?
I don’t. I think it’s all-individual with the piece that you’re doing and you know the thing that’s great about this is it’s completely different. You cannot compare the two mediums, except that there’s a camera on you and you say dialogue and you’re acting. That’s kind of a silly thing to say but it’s true. The speed with which television is done is just remarkable and in terms of being an actor, you don’t have any down time whatsoever once you start working. You know when you show up to work you’re working, especially on this production because David Kelley has such an incredibly fast pace on his sets because he works so quickly with great ideas that the minute the come into his head and you get pages, you shoot them. And that’s it. So for me, I love this character and I love this cast and crew so much that you know I sort of forget that I don’t have time to think. And that’s also a really interesting part of playing the game of television; you don’t have time to think so as an actor you can get really too in your head about what you’re doing you sort of have to go off your instincts and hope for the best and go in there with every ounce of commitment you can to your crew and to your fellow actor you’re in the scene with and just let it fly. And we’ve been lucky because we’ve had great directors that have been working with this company for decades now, you know for over a decade in some respects. And it’s just remarkably instinct oriented and I think that’s great because actors need that, it keeps them sharp.
That’s fantastic. You know how did you initially get involved with The Wedding Bells and eventually land your new role as Annie Bell on the show?
Well it’s funny, I had gotten married two weeks prior to going in an meeting the producers and I went in so alive with my own wedding experience, which had been very intimate and personal and I think I just kind of knew a lot about the subject and I think I was so, frankly joy filled about the subject of love and marriage and family and the complications that happen when you tie the knot and all that. I just sort of kind of went in there with more confidence then I have and maybe it’s because I felt like a bit of an authority having just come off the experience. And David’s writing was so good that between the two things I think it was just kind of predestined and I walked in and met them and the pages were just unbelievable and they changed a lot. And I thought well god, this is just gonna challenge me in every way possible and I love what makes this lady tick, that is Annie Bell. So I went in and all things kind of fell into place, it was very fortunate for me.
I’m curious, what’s the atmosphere like on set you know behind the scenes, behind the cameras?
Well like I was referring earlier, the crew’s amazing and you know you hear people say it but I can’t tell you honey, these people that I work with are such good human beings. The cast is incredible, most of them have you know wives and husbands and children and just the family feeling and the commitment to doing good work and then going home and being a good partner sort of fuels everybody around here so there’s a lot of that type of simpatico. Everybody’s on the same page, everybody has a really good life and everybody’s grateful that they have this particular job because we have so much fun doing it. I think when you deal with a subject matter like weddings and love and the challenge of what happens when you get to one of the “biggest days of your life,” a lot of these people have personal experience to bring to that and I think we’re all just very happy that that’s what we’re working on. You know it’s not tortured, it’s not supremely complicated other than it being a matter of the heart in most cases when complications do happen and it’s done with such great humor that the attitude around here is typically just one of having a good time. And I tell ya, I mean I work with a bunch of maniacs and we do, we have a great time all the time. We’re constantly messing with each other and just giving each other a good laugh and when it comes down to the work, everybody’s so on their game, you just get to come to work and enjoy it. And trust, there’s a lot of trust here, there’s a lot of safety, which I think you know is pretty special and not to be taken for granted.
I know your character, as Annie Bell is a little bit different from some of the characters you’ve played in the past. Do you have any types of favorite characters that you enjoy playing the most?
You know, this one’s different for obvious reasons, it’s in this world and it’s with this kind of humor and I guess this kind of emotional landscape. She’s a little more pent up at moments and lets go in different moments and that’s fun for me. But I really, I just love good writing and it’s as simple as that. You don’t get any better than a David E. Kelly piece if you’re going to do television, in my opinion. And you don’t get any better than, you know, getting really humorous dialogue. So this is fun for me because it’s really, it’s challenging to make it based in reality when some of the situations just keep up cracking up in between takes. I love a good drama. I love a good horror. I mean at the end of the day darling, if the character is well-written and the people that have signed up for the job show up, there really isn’t anything I wouldn’t want to try on film you know within the realm of having some personal integrity involved. Meaning I’m not really interested in ever doing anything gratuitous but I’ve been fortunate and I’ve protected myself from that and so have other people so. Really, if it’s well written, I don’t care who I play as long as I get to have fun doing it.
One last question: what other projects do you have in the works right now and can you tell us about anything that you have going on that fans can expect from you?
Well they can expect two films to come out certainly. The first I know for sure has a release in November, which is American Gangster with Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington. And the other is The Flock with Richard Gere and Claire Danes but I think they’re moving that release date around a bit and I’m just not frankly sure when because I’ve been a little engrossed in playing Miss Annie Bell. But those are very different films. In one of them I’m a female sex offender and the other I’m Russell Crowe’s lawyer and a bit of a female interest to say the least. So they’re a lot different than a wedding planner but that’s what’s coming up. But other than that, I’ll tell you what, I haven’t picked up anything but the scripts they give me around here. Because I just have frankly been enjoying this too much and until I get a little down time, I’m not interested in looking what’s next. I think probably within the next few weeks I’m going to start looking but right now I’m having way too much fun at the current moment.
(Interview Conducted by Royce Yuen)
(Photo courtesy of FOX)