Kelsey Chow is taking the television world by storm. You may know her as Gigi from One Tree Hill, Mikayla from Disney Channel’s Pair of Kings, or as Tracy, a zombie chimera in MTV’s Teen Wolf. Tracy has to juggle figuring out her supernatural abilities and defeating the treacherous Dread Doctors, all while trying to graduate high school. After Tuesday’s episode Damnatio Memoriae, we saw a dark side to Tracy that was a stark contrast to the sweet girl that we were introduced to in the first half of the season. We had amazing the opportunity to talk with Kelsey about the new direction that her character has taken as well as what’s in store for the other members of the pack.
You starred in Hayley Kiyoko’s Girls Like Girls music video, did you anticipate the huge positive reaction that it had in the LGBTQ community? (The video currently has over 22 million views)
“I had no idea. Hayley is a really good friend of mine, I’ve known her for almost five years now and she asked me to do this video and I was just like yeah of course I’ll do it! I hadn’t met Stefanie [Scott] before and I remember we had lunch and she sat down and told me the premise and I really liked it. I liked how important it was to her. But it was just kind of like a friendly thing and then when it was released I remember my sister texted me and said, ‘Kels you’re blowing up on Tumblr!’ I was like what! (laughs). She showed me all the different things and even to this day Hayley, Stefanie and I are totally blown away. It’s something that I’m really, really proud of. It was one of my highlights from last year for sure.”
Tracy was the first chimera that we encountered in Season 5. Did you expect for Tracy to play such an important role?
“Honestly, no. I didn’t actually see it going the way it does in this last half of the season. It’s really fun to be a villain. I didn’t know that she would turn that way and she’s kind of become full villain. To actually play this transition has been really fun!”
Did you think the character was truly killed off during the first half of the season or did you always know you would come back as a zombie?
“I had signed on for the two original episodes (502 and 503) and I had a really good time with the cast and crew and the story arc was really fun. I had no idea they were going to bring me back. As the episodes came to me I had no idea what was going to happen. I was really excited, but also really grateful to come back, especially in this way. I know that it’s maybe not going to be so popular with the fans.”
There’s a saying that say if they hate your character, that means you’re doing something right!
“(laughs). Exactly! I’m going to go with that! I was scrolling through my Twitter feed last night and I was like oh no they don’t like Tracy! But you know, what can you expect!”
I know that Jeff Davis usually sends scripts pretty late, did know that Tracy was going to be completely evil?
“I knew that she was starting the season as evil, but I had no idea where that would really take me. I knew that I was kind of Theo’s right hand gal, kind of like a ride or die, but I don’t know if that feeling is mutual. We’re actually doing pick up shots, I do my last bit of Season 5 on Friday. The last bits are still coming through, so you’re really holding on until the last-minute to know what’s going on.”
What role does Tracy play in the pack? (Via Twitter user @godraeken).
“I think what is really great about most of the chimeras is that they have something human to pull them back into that other life. Hayden has Liam, which will be a really important influence. Something that’s kind of sad about Tracy, she killed her dad, so she really doesn’t have that influence. So the only person she really has is Theo and she seems almost to have no moral conscience in the pack, she’s just incredibly loyal to Theo.”
We interviewed Cody Christian at New York Comic Con this year and he said that if the zombie chimera pack had a squad name it would be the “Legion of Doom.” Do you actually use that name or did you have any others?
“No, that’s really good! I think we’ll stick with that or something like ‘Natural Born Killers.’ I’ll ask Cody what he thinks about that one!”
What was it like working with Cody? (Via Twitter user @CHlMERAZ).
“It’s funny because Cody and I didn’t have any scenes together in 5A. Most of my scenes this time around are with him. So it’s been really good. He’s honestly incredibly professional. He knows every line, he knows everyone else’s lines, and he’s also really fascinated with the other goings on of the process. He’s really interested in things like the camera work and that to me is interesting when I’m working with him. He’s always like, ‘Hey bud what scene are we in?!’ I think it’s really cool and really important for an actor to be well versed in the ways of looking at other departments.”
Do you see yourself ever branching out beyond acting, to writing, directing, or producing?
“Oh gosh! I’m a terrible writer! (laughs). I wish I could write! I’d be awful at that. Maybe directing. I feel like I have so much to learn with acting so I’ve been putting most of my focus to that. As I get older I can delve into another field. I just read Robert Evans book, A Kid Stays in the Picture, and he’s one of the most famous producers of all time. It is really fascinating what goes into being a producer! I have a lot to learn, so we will see what happens!”
What is the makeup process like for creating your creature? (Via Twitter user @adelaidekanies).
“The makeup takes about an hour and 45 minutes to put on. Luckily there’s an amazing special effects team, so it goes by pretty quickly because it’s a good time in the makeup trailer. Then it takes about 45 minutes to take off. The teeth are really incredible because they have the mold impression, kind of like when you get braces. You have a really specific, just-for-you set of teeth for the fangs. The physicality of the creatures are a whole different aspect of creating the character that I had never had to do before. I remember the first episode, the director Russell Mulchahy was like, ‘Okay snarl!’ But I was like actually I don’t think this is working for me! I don’t know if I’m doing this right! (laughs). But then I started to become more comfortable and spend some time in front of the mirror in fangs and kind of work it out. It’s something I’m still mastering.”
What is the greatest challenge (physically, mentally, emotionally) in playing Tracy? (Via Twitter user @ijanelleski).
“Those first two episodes were challenging because Tracy’s a tragic character, she’s really tortured in those first two episodes. A lot of the scenes are just her in her own head and nobody really understands what she’s going through. I think that my most challenging thing will be on Friday because we’re filming something really good between Tracy and Theo. But playing a villain is definitely a different head space.”
What has the fan reaction been like since you joined the Teen Wolf cast?
“Teen Wolf has a really incredible support system. The fans are incredible! I think one of the best parts of doing this show is for the show to air and see the feedback from everyone. They’re so invested in it and they have fun watching it which makes it fun for us. We become so much more invested in our characters. I get excited when Tuesday rolls around and either they totally hate Tracy or just a little bit.”
Hopefully she can redeem herself later on this season!
“I don’t know, it may only get worse!”
Are there any shows or movies you are currently nerding out about?
“I actually flew back from England yesterday and was super jet lagged so I woke up at about 4:30 and I was going to watch Making a Murderer, but instead I ended up watching Black Mirror. It’s on Netflix and it’s really good. They had a special with Jon Hamm and it’s sort of like a modern-day Twilight Zone.”
You can catch Kelsey’s amazing portrayal of Tracy Stewart on Tuesdays at 9pm/8c on MTV.