By the age of 12, Kristen Gutoskie could act, sing, and dance quite well! She began her acting career by doing commercial work and quickly landed television roles on Showcase, CTV, and Global. She’s best known for her roles on Being Erica, Aaron Stone, Rookie Blue, Republic of Doyle, Vacation with Derek, Manson, My Name Is Evil, Moon Point, The Dust Storm, Beaver Falls and Relationship Status. This April she’ll be portraying Katie Frank on The CW’s new limited series, Containment. Containment follows an epidemic that breaks out in Atlanta, leaving the large city quarantined and those stuck on the inside fighting for their lives.
Gutoskie recently sat down exclusively with TNWU to discuss Containment. Read our interview below.
How did you get involved with acting to begin with? You began your career with more of a musical background, right?
My mom was a big part of it actually. I always loved performing and singing. I was always in the school plays or singing around the house. My mom realized how much joy I had doing it. So she said why don’t you try an acting class? I started going to classes, got an agent and went from there. But looking back, acting was always in me I think.
You have had a long career, going back to one of your first auditions and landing the role, do you remember what the audition process felt like?
(laughs). It was really exciting for me. I think it was the first project that got me into the Canadian Acting Union. I audition for the lead role about five times, but they found someone else who they felt was right so I kind of got the consolation role. But it was so nice of them to include me in the project. I got to have my moment to learn a lot and see myself for the first time. I knew I had a lot of work to do, but it was really exciting to get to do that. It was a big deal for me and it was shot in my hometown. So, it was extremely exciting.
You’ve done a lot of shorts, cameos, but I noticed you were in Rookie Blue which was one of my favorite shows of all time.
Oh, you like that show! Awesome. It was such a great show with such a great cast.
You went from that to Being Erica, which has some similar people and then headed over to The Originals (web series). So what was it like for you playing a one-time character versus a character you get to build over a couple of episodes.
It was cool to do the web series. It was a little comedy. It’s hard when you walk in to do a one-time episode because everyone knows each other, they have it all setup and it’s working. So you don’t want to come in and screw it up (laughs). You are only there for a brief moment. But at the end of the day, you just do your job. On sets like that, they work to make you feel at home and help collaborate with you to really produce a good product. It is nice when you play a character that has an arc and you get to play them over time because you get to work on them and discover new things about them. Every episode you get to know them better. So, I love them both because I also love telling new stories. The major difference is how much you know/learn about a character.
So, now, of course, we must talk Containment. This show offers something different from your typical show. How did Containment come across your desk?
It was sent to me during pilot season, just like a lot of other scripts. I read for these casting directors before for previous work so they brought me in right away to see and meet Julie Plec (creator). She was so lovely. You go into auditions and it can be so nerve-wracking. However, she relaxed me and she made it so comfortable for me. I had a great audition experience with her.
Was there anything that drew you to Katie?
I really love how this show writes women. They are extremely strong characters which is nice. She’s dealt with a lot of struggles and she’s overcome them. Just like the other female characters on the show. I think the only difference is that Katie has different responsibilities. She is a mother and she comes with a lot of baggage. Her vulnerability is massive. She is such a complex female and to have the opportunity to play her was just super exciting.
Some of the characters are contained (because of the virus) and in a way are forced to become a family. They try to work together while dealing with the epidemic, the people they’re losing, and of course, the people you are separated from. How is that going to play out?
Yeah, it’s an interesting place. It kind of takes all of your armor off. Even though some of us are contained it’s like the opposite of being protected. You have to be raw as a human, yet you have to be able to protect yourself at the same time. You aren’t safe and you have to be in the moment and work with what you can while it’s real.
What’s going to happen?
It’s a very special show. Even though a lot of shows are dealing with life and death situations, I think this show is really special! I believe the reason is because it’s all based off of love. Yet, it’s really scary at the same time. So you get this thrill ride as a whole. You’ll have your heart-strings tugged constantly and I think the audience will get the best of both worlds watching it.
If you had to describe Katie in three words how would you describe her?
Compassionate, Goofy, and strong.
For fans where can they follow you because you have a ton of new projects coming up.
Yes, they can tweet me @KristenGutoskie on Twitter and on Instagram. I also have a Facebook page with the same name.
Lastly, is there anything you want to say to your fans?
I love the support already. The fans are what drive us to tell these stories and do the things we do. So I’d like to send the fans oodles of love because they are why we do this. I get tweets from fans and they are so loving and it’s just beautiful. I appreciate them so much. So just thank you all so much.