Whoever said “It’s too late,” “You’re too old,” or “Retire!” hasn’t met senior actor Danielle Kennedy who seems to be on a roll.
“You Are Never Too Old To Set Another Goal Or To Dream A New Dream” – C.S. Lewis
In the month of November alone she took home a nomination for best supporting actress in the award-winning film “Two Witches,” served Carrie Coon and McKenna Grace on roller skates as a car hop in “Ghostbusters After,” and put mean girl Rene Rapp in her place as Pat the college registrar in Mindy Kaling’s new hit comedy on HBO MAX “The Sex Lives of College Girls.” Danielle Kennedy will not be slowing down anytime soon. In tinsel town where ageism often reigns, Kennedy is beating the odds at the ripe old age of 76. Danielle says: “Age is only a number. I have the health, energy and ambition of people half my age so I am quite grateful for these gifts.”
Actor Danielle Kennedy thinks it is not a forgetful moment in time but an “unforgettable chapter” in one’s history whereby life experiences, including wins and losses, and the resiliency of giving one’s full attention along the way culminates into a grand version of who we are. It’s certainly a time to shine. Senior real meaning of the highest order, ready to graduate and in a high and authoritative position.
Acting took a back seat to raising a family (8 children) until she was in her 50s. Oddly enough Kennedy didn’t get back into theatre in L.A. It was Hailey, Idaho, as part of a then booming theatre company–Company of Fools–where she did about 20 shows and got her SAG card (Taft Hartley) playing Bruce Willis’s Mom in “True West” (taped for Showtime). In 2005, Danielle and her husband moved back to L.A. and since then she has 50 film and TV credits under her belt (IMDB LINK), including nine episodes on season 1 of “NARCOS” as U.S. Ambassador Noonan.
BOTTOM LINE – IT’S NEVER TOO LATE
Kennedy says, “I hope I am just getting started because it really takes about 20 years in this town for the big wigs to take you seriously. Nobody wants to hire an actor who cannot hold their own. And all of that just takes time and experience. I’d like to think I can do this for another 20 if my memory and body hold up.”
This is a new beginning, Kennedy already has more projects on the horizon in 2022, including a new film with Jamie Foxx, premiering on Netflix in the spring, next year.
When did you first think about acting?
Definitely as a child. I played dress ups, wrote shows and put them on with my cousins during holidays, had imaginary friends and generally was passionate about being a story teller through the medium of acting and also listening to others tell stories. A big fan of huge, gigantic musicals both on film and in theatre. Debbie Reynolds, Doris Day, Mary Martin, Julie Andrews, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly…the whole gamut.
But also, I believe an actor wants to know what it feels like to be in someone els’s shoes. To try and understand why people do what they do.
I’ve been acting all my life. On and off stage and screen. To act really means to do. And I am a doer. I thrive on action.
Most enjoyable project?
“Narcos” in Bogota Colombia, “August Osage County” on stage in Bangor Maine and in Hailey, Idaho, all the Justin Tanner plays I’ve done in Los Angeles, and a Joe Keyes play entitled “Big Baby.” “Ghostbusters Afterlife,” for just the joy of being a part of the process of putting together an iconic film.
But truthfully, I love everything I have been involved in.
Who surprised you the most working with them?
I think the stars (who will go unnamed) who were just as down to earth and lovely as a terrific neighbor were the ones that gave me the biggest thrill.
Most difficult role?
Definitely Violet in “August Osage,” but also the most rewarding. I had to go to all my inner demons and let them take over.
Do you have any negatives?
Yep. Our own individual minds that can self-sabotage during all the “no’s” we can get. It’s learning how to be the comeback kid. And that means really living in the moment and discarding all the yesterdays.
Retire or you are too old?
“Are you talkin’ to me” (Done in a Robert De Niro Italian accent)
How does someone get started in your business?
Go to class. Get a coach. Go to the best who are dedicated to helping you develop your craft. Stay green and growing as opposed to ripe and rotten. Being a student my whole life (of that mentality) has helped me tremendously.
Do you have any life lessons to offer?
Never give up. Take a breath. Go play outside A LOT. Hang out with the doers, the goofy fun playful kids at heart, stay away from all drama queens and kings, don’t expect people to act in a certain way, give it your best, prepare, prepare, prepare, and LISTEN more than talk.
What would be your dream role?
Sister Aloysius in John Patrick Shanley’s “DOUBT,” at a wonderful venue like Steppenwolf in Chicago. Or any role at Steppenwolf in Chicago!! My hometown.
Play Elaine Stritch if they ever do a Biopic. A series regular on a show that involves a really on the ball older woman. Can be evil or good.