On the first day of production for Son of Clowns, actress Anne-Marie Kennedy (Ellie) cried four times. She didn’t cry out of frustration or because the director was a jerk. She cried four times because a scene required it. Anne-Marie’s performance was so moving each time that the crew was silently crying with her.
Anne-Marie grew up in Raleigh and was part of a women’s chamber choir in high school. She began acting when her choir director encouraged her to audition for a part in the musical Annie. After one audition, Anne-Marie knew she had found her passion, and she decided to pursue acting in college. She was accepted into the Professional Actor Training program at East Carolina University and went on to win the Outstanding Senior Award, presented by the School of Theatre and Dance, before she graduated in 2015.
Although her love of acting began on the stage, Anne-Marie is now equally passionate about acting for film. Her internal process of preparing her characters is similar for both the stage and film, but, externally, the process is very different. “Whereas stage requires the whole body, film is primarily focused on the face and the vast range of emotions that can be revealed in the smallest expression,” Anne-Marie explains, “One is hyperreality; the other is the essence of real life.”
Director Evan Kidd recalls discussions with her about how she used the Meisner Technique to prepare for her role as Ellie. The Meisner Technique allows an actor to respond authentically to the other actors and to the environment. Kidd says Anne-Marie’s approach made her a delight on set: “Anne-Marie was so technically proficient, and yet she was also able to change up the lines or improv when I thought we needed to. Her combination of talents made my job easy.”
Son of Clowns was Anne-Marie’s first feature film, and she hopes to continue finding similar opportunities to make meaningful art. “No other feeling can compare to having an illuminating moment on set or a character breakthrough,” she says, “My hope is to stay involved with the writers out there who are looking to tell these kinds of stories that make people see what true art is really about.”
Anne-Marie now lives in Atlanta, but she would happily come back to North Carolina to work with Kidd and the rest of the Son of Clowns cast and crew again. In the meantime, she is excited to return home for the premiere on a date soon to be announced!
You can keep up with Anne-Marie on IMDb.
SON OF CLOWNS is a feature film by Raleigh native Evan Kidd. Check out our IndieGoGo campaign, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and return to sonofclowns.com often to read future blog entries about the film and the cast and crew who made it.