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  • Writer's pictureRua Fay

Interview with "Kinds of Kindness" Newcomer, Krystal Alayne Chambers

This week, Yorgos Lanthimos' new film, Kinds of Kindness finally hit theaters after months of patiently waiting from fans around the world. Today, I got the amazing opportunity to sit down actress and model, Krystal Alayne Chambers, who played the role of Susan in her first principal role. Together, we discussed her blooming career, working with Willem Dafoe, and the weirdest day of her life on set.

Rua: "Welcome, Krystal, can we start by you introducing yourself?"

Krystal: "I'm Krystal Chambers, I'm kind of a newcomer in the acting scene, it all happened really fast I was just an extra doing some background roles and then I was picked for this role where I had no idea what I was auditioning for or who I was auditioning for. The next thing I know I'm on the set of Kinds of Kindness with some of the most incredible actors in the game, it's crazy it all happened so fast."

Rua: "Wow, and before that you were an extra in Emma Seligman's Bottoms?"

Krystal: "Yeah."

Rua: "Oh my god, I love that movie, how did you end up landing that gig?"

Krystal: "In New Orleans there's like a website where you sign up to be an extra and you reply to casting calls. I made an account several years ago, y'know I did a few NCIS: New Orleans episodes as background and I totally forgot about it because I was working on cruise ships for about four years and then when I came back, somebody told me I should get back into film again, so I updated my photo and they scouted me from that. They were originally interested in me for a role that didn't have lines but did have a name, and her name was Krystal. So when they initially called me they asked for my availability but I had just started a job at the airport so I was really missing the availability they needed. Afterwards I googled the film and saw that it was being produced by Elizabeth Banks and-I love her so much, everything she does is amazing, so I just thought it would be so cool to work with her. I just thought it was so funny that they called me for a role with my same name in a queer film, as a queer woman it just felt really...on purpose. Like, not on their end but it just felt like the universe was trying to get my attention, y'know?"

Rua: "Aww, so it was just like...your time!"

Krystal: "Yeah, it was kind of like a sign. So I was like, I'm gonna apply for it and see what happens because this could be a really big thing, it wasn't but they called me and said 'you didn't get the part but we still really want you to be in the film, would you be a Fight Club Girl?' So I was just sort of a featured extra in some of the fight club scenes, nothing crazy, but I had such a great time on that set, everybody was so wonderful to work with and it just kind of felt right to be on a film set, and...I fell in love with it! I just thought: 'y'know what, this is what I want to do, this is where I want to be.' And I'm in a place where I'm a caretaker in my family and I have the ability to do background work and do some of my other side gigs, I do some modeling, I do some photography, and some other stuff. I'm kind of a freelancer right now, so I'm very very lucky that I'm able to pursue this and I don't want to waste this opportunity."

Rua: "Of course, and that's incredible for you. How would you describe the film scene in New Orleans as an actor?"

Krystal: "Umm...I think right now everywhere is a little quiet because of the strikes, but the film scene in New Orleans is pretty fun. Most of the time we have a few productions going at once and, y'know it's very hot down here that's one of the challenges, you can't always get another filming location. But, everyone I work with is wonderful, I really love all the people I work with around here. And we have such beautiful locations to film at, y'know the city is just so stunning and we have a lot to offer!"

Rua: "Nowadays I keep hearing about more and more projects being filmed in cities like New Orleans and Atlanta, it's really awesome. And after Bottoms you got cast in Kinds of Kindness, this time with a named role with considerably more screen time. What would you say was the biggest difference between your experience filming Bottoms and your experience filming Kinds of Kindness?"

Krystal: "Y'know, what's interesting is that I think I spent more time on the set of Bottoms than I did on Kinds of Kindness. I probably spent a week and a half on Bottoms and Kinds of Kindness took four days. I had two scenes that were primarily including my character, and then there were a few scenes where I was just in the background. And it was fun because during Bottoms I was still very new and I didn't really know people as much, but by the time I did Kinds of Kindness I knew basically everybody in our local extras community, it was a lot of fun."

Rua: "Yeah, that sounds really fun. And Kinds of Kindness is a really star-studded film. pretty much every actor is an A-list celebrity so at any point on set did you find yourself starstruck?"

Krystal: "Surprisingly no. I think that when you've worked on sets for a while, people are just people. I've always tried to be very respectful in an actor's space because they're at work and they're just trying to do their jobs, they don't want to really converse with just anyone on set. I definitely have more reverence than anxiousness now when it comes to being around other actors. But, y'know, it was such an amazing team to work with, they were all so sweet and down-to-Earth, it was really a pleasure to work with that team. They all made me feel very welcome on set, which is crazy because these are people I've watched in films for years and it was very interesting to now be working with them."

Rua: "I just feel like you see so many horror stories about famous actors on set being mean or rude so it's nice to hear that you had such a positive experience with people who are so accomplished and well-known. Was it shocking to you just how humble and welcoming people were on a film set that big?"

Krystal: "In a way, yes. I've definitely heard a lot of horror stories but everyone was really incredible and they really go out of their way to make you feel special. Y'know, Willem Dafoe has been acting for longer than I've been alive, so it was amazing to see just how warm and kind he was, he was such a joy to work with on set. Particularly, Yorgos Lanthimos has a great reputation for sort of curating good sets, he tends to work with a lot of the same people repeatedly, and who doesn't like to work and be with wonderful people? He's very committed to having a good work space with a lot of positive attitudes around, and it just creates such a warm, friendly environment to work on. Everything seems to run so smoothly because everyone respects each other."

Rua: "I mean, he's essentially created a career where he just gets to work with his friends all the time."

Krystal: "Isn't that the dream?"

Rua: "Right? Absolutely. So, I know Bottoms was your screen debut but Kinds of Kindness was your first principal role, and it premiered at Cannes, the largest, most prestigious film festival in the world. What was it like to finally be able to see it premiere in the Grand Lumière Theater?"

Krystal: "Honestly, I think I'm still processing it. It's not entirely computing in my brain but I'm very very excited and grateful for the opportunity. I think that the cast did such an amazing job and I was just glad to have played my small part in it. It was really beautiful to see all their hard work come together."

Rua: "I can't imagine how incredible that must have been. And did you attend any form of professional acting education prior to you landing jobs?"

Krystal: "No, I didn't do any of that, which is another reason why I feel so immensely fortunate to be given these opportunities. But I do think I've had a lot of really broad life experiences that have prepared me for some of it, which isn't the same as an acting education, obviously, but for this particular role in Kinds of Kindness it was really helpful because I grew up in an evangelical religious community and I've had experiences similar to what my character had. So, it was easy for me to draw from that and it was also very healing for me, as well."

Rua: "I gotta ask, what was it like to be on a movie set and get licked by Hong Chau on camera?"

Krystal: "That was one of the weirder days of my life. It was strange because it's such an unusual scenario but I also couldn't talk about it for over a year while waiting for the film to come out, so it was like a fever dream that I kept to myself. Hong is so lovely and it was all very professional it's just an odd thing to have happen for your first role. What you can't tell from watching the scene is that it was around 40 degrees Fahrenheit that day so we were all trying very hard to not look cold. I'm really proud of how great everyone did, background actors included, because in the film it looks like a hot summer day."

Rua: "So, after all that, what is next for Krystal Alayne Chambers?"

Krystal: "I am working on some music, I've been writing music for a long time and I would like to get an album out. I'm still in the writing process but that's something that I want to get together in the future."

Rua: "That's amazing! Definitely let me know when that comes out! Now, Kinds of Kindness came out a few days ago in the US, so...sell it to me! What would you say to someone who is trying to decide what to see at the movies this weekend?"

Krystal: "It has everything! It has gore, cults, tennis racket heists, dogs doing people things, me being licked in a bizarre ritual, fast cars, weird relationship dynamics, group sex, people with supernatural abilities...what more could you ask for?!"

Rua: "I mean, I've already seen it, and it truly is something that needs to be seen to be believed. Everyone, make sure you get your tickets! Now, the last question I like to ask all my guests is...what is your favorite swear word?"

Krystal: "'Bitch', by far."

Rua: "Wow, that was quick. Great answer!"

Krystal: "It's a great word, you can use it negatively but you can also use it to hype your girls up. It can be very empowering!"

Rua: "It can be positive, it can be negative, it's for men, it's for women, it's the ultimate, versatile swear word."

Krystal: "Exactly, and y'know it was originally used as like a way to degrade women and I think we've taken it's power back a lot. I think it's fun that we've sort of reappropriated it and used it in a loving way whenever we speak to each other in a lot of cases."

Rua: "Now, are there any last things you'd like to say?"

Krystal: "Umm..go see Kinds of Kindness, go watch me get licked!"

Thank you so much to Krystal for taking time out of her day to speak to us! Make sure you see Kinds of Kindness in theaters! If you'd like to catch up with Krystal, her instagram is @krystalchambersofficial . As always, thanks for reading and remember to never stop watching!

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