Kelly Godell, “Krystal”

Tell us about the character you play in Escaping Freedom (no spoilers!).

I play Vincent's estranged sister Krystal. She is a love-able train wreck.

What attracted you to this role and/or film?

After filming the prequel webseries Letters I was a fan of Edd Blott and his approach to the work. He was very open to my interpretation of Krystal. A true artist and collaborator.

Without giving away plot points, what do you see as your character’s longings and desires in life? How do they go about reaching them?

Krystal wants to be an actor, she wants success but she wants it on her terms. She is tired of the cliché and honestly she doesn't know how to reach them yet. She is still looking for her way.

If you don’t mind sharing, what are some ways that you felt you were very different from or similar to your character?

Krystal and I have a similar sense of humor and passion for our careers in the arts. But she is undisciplined and easily distracted. She is still struggling to find her voice and authenticity.

What got you interested in acting?

My mom jokes that I came out of the womb as an actor. I grew up acting in school plays, doing community theater, studying dance, singing in choirs. I am one of those weirdos who always knew I wanted to be an actor and never looked back.

What did you look forward to most when filming began?

I was most excited to work with Patrick. He and I had a very easy, natural rapport. He has enormous talent and such a warm, inclusive personality. I knew that our scene work would be special.

When approaching a role of this nature, what type of preparation do you do?

Preparing for most roles including this one require a lot of focus and solitude prior to the first day of filming to really get the character in my bones. Once you get that piece down you can really open yourself up to listening and being fully present with your scene partner and trust your instincts and responses to be grounded and authentic to the storytelling.

What is the most important thing you would want an audience member to take away after watching Escaping Freedom?

To remember you are never alone. look for your tribe, find community, give as fiercely as you get, and stay open to the wonder and possibility of what is yet to come.

What was the most challenging aspect of working on this film for you?

Krystal has to face some pretty serious demons in this film. It's dark, messy and painful. It is a challenge to allow yourself to feel all the feels without getting swept up in it so I had to be diligent in my ability to carefully tuck those feelings back in a box.

Being an actor, what do you see as your role in the filmmaking process?

My role is to show up knowing my character, my lines, my intention and to be open, generous and brave enough to trust the process, the director and my fellow actors to inform, support or shift anything I thought I knew.

Who are some artists (any field) whose work inspires you?

Anyone out there grinding with a heart full of gratitude for what we get to do inspires the hell out of me.

What’s one memory from this project that you will never forget?

There are too many to recount just one. Despite this film having a lot of serious content we had so much joy and laughter on set. What. a. damn. delight.

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To say you were an incredible addition to the team would be an understatement! You were a champion for Krystal from the very start and it shows in each frame. Thank you for always pushing to make sure she was handled with care and love in those difficult moments. Thank you for the trust you gave us and making yourself vulnerable for her sake. You brought passion and wisdom with you to set every day and used it to take Krystal to the next level. She couldn’t have gone there without you. The world is lucky to have you out there creating. - Edd

Finding the perfect Krystal for the film was a daunting task for Edd and me. And I really think there must have been something meant to be about finding Kelly because neither Edd nor I knew her beforehand. We sat back watching some video auditions and as soon as she was onscreen, my gut knew. She was Krystal. I really couldn't believe we'd found her. Kelly, I've said it before and I'll say it again, you are a force of nature and I couldn't have been more privileged to work with you. You put your heart and soul into your work and it shows. The moments we have of Vincent and Krystal together on screen are some of my most favorite things... there is magic to them. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. - Patrick