10 THINGS – Chandler Kinney

Your career just started a few years ago. What made you decide to get into the business as an actress?

I’ve enjoyed performing for as long as I can remember. At 3 years old, I started dancing at a local competition studio and later moved to the well-known and highly respected Debbie Allen Dance Academy, when I made the decision to dance professionally. It was there that I received an opportunity to audition for a national campaign (which included a series of commercials and an online spot) for the clothing line GAP. Through this experience, I signed with a commercial agent and thus, started taking acting classes and immediately fell in love with it. I was 9 years old. All this to say, I didn’t really choose to be an actor until I already was working as one. All I knew was that I enjoyed making people feel something, and whatever art form I could do that with, was something I wanted to pursue.

Which actors did you look to as motivation and which ones have had a positive influence in your own career?

Honestly, I’m inspired by a wide variety of artists. I think the way in which someone approaches and executes their work is so informative whether they are an actor, musician, writer, filmmaker, etc. Being observant is an important skill for an actor because inspiration can really be found anywhere. As far as actors who have had a positive influence in my own career, my whole cast has contributed to my growth as an artist immensely. Having such a strong support system on set is something I’m so grateful for; we lift each other up. 

Currently, you’re on the FOX series, Lethal Weapon. How were you first introduced to the series and what was it about the script that appealed to you?

I received the material like any other audition, but I was particularly excited about this character because she was so different than anyone I had ever portrayed. The idea of jumping into something new, something more challenging, was intriguing for sure. After my callback, I went home and watched the films. I loved the perfect balance of comedy, drama, and of course, action. That can be a tricky dynamic to achieve and maintain, but I think the franchise managed it so well. I was excited to be a part of the re-creation of that, completely oblivious at the time to how big of deal it was/would be. 

On the show, you play the role Riana Murtaugh. What are the many facets that make up her personality?

Riana Murtaugh is a very layered, complex character, and it has been really interesting for me to explore the many facets of her personality as she grows and changes over the years. She’s strong-willed, outspoken, and determined. She’s almost never afraid to bend the rules a bit to get her way, whether that means getting a fake ID to get a job or blackmailing her dad for concert tickets. She can be quite devious when she wants to be. But she has a good heart, and works hard to not let others, or herself, down.

What do you enjoy most about bringing Riana’s personality to life?

I love how different she is from myself. Many of the experiences she has on the show are ones that I’ve personally never had, so it’s fun to live this very different life through Riana’s eyes. She can certainly push me outside of my comfort zone from time to time.

What can viewers expect to see from Riana and the rest of the cast in the upcoming season?

Riana has matured a lot over the course of the series. In Season 1, oftentimes, she would act out and not consider the consequences of her actions. In Season 3, she has a much stronger sense of self and purpose, which has given her confidence in herself and her ability to succeed. I love that viewers will start to see her become a young woman as she shifts her focus to constructing a brighter future for herself. Personally, I’m quite proud of her progress.

At a young age, you started dancing, learning from the great Debbie Allen. Are there any theater projects in the works for you?

I don’t currently have plans to pursue any theater projects however, I do miss it and would consider doing a show sometime in the future. It’s incredible training for actors, and there’s something so special about the energy of a live performance. 

What can you tell us about your philanthropic work with Chandler’s Friends Toy Drive?

Chandler’s Friends is an organization my mom and I started about 5 years ago with the mission to reach out to youth who may  just need a little extra help. One of my favorite projects that we organize each year is the Chandler’s Friends Toy Drive and Wrapping event. We just hosted our 3rd annual event this past December and we were able to provide a new, wrapped toy for every single student of an elementary school for the holidays. I am actively working on several other philanthropic projects for 2019 and I can’t wait to share more about them soon. 

When it comes to fashion, which designers and styles appeal most to your personality?

I’m very eclectic when it comes to fashion! I think the clothes you choose to wear gives you a unique opportunity to express different sides to your personality. I just make sure with whatever I wear, that I keep an element of class and sophistication.

We look forward to seeing more of you on Lethal Weapon. What other projects do you have coming up?

Thank you! I’m looking forward to more Lethal fun too! I can’t quite talk discuss anything else I’m working on as of right now, but stay tuned for sure.


Twitter: @Chandler_LKinney

Instagram: @ChandlerLKinney

Photo: Benjo Arwas

Styling: Veronica Graye

Hair: Anthony Pazos

Make-Up: Sean Harris