Exclusive Interview with Arielle Kebbel at the ATX Festival

Photo by Jack Plunkett

The beautiful, photogenic, and talented Arielle Kebbel is an American model and actress. Arielle is best known for her roles in movies such as John Tucker Must Die, American Pie Presents: Band Camp, and The Grudge 2 as well as several TV Series including Gilmore Girls, 90210, and The Vampire Diaries. Honest Reviews Corner caught up with Arielle at the ATX Festival recently held in Austin, Texas. Read our interview with Arielle below.

What was your favorite and least favorite part about playing Lexi on ‘The Vampire Diaries’?

“I don’t think I have a least favorite part. My most favorite part was the fact that playing that role gave me a chance to showcase my physical action oriented sided. I grew up doing sports. I’ve always wanted to do action pieces and kick-ass roles, but I hadn’t really been given that opportunity until TVD. I got to combine Lexi who is full of so much heart and faith and joy with choking Damon and throwing cops and doing a lot of physical activities. Lexi was a lot of fun for me. The biggest challenge about doing Lexi was figuring out how to show my audience 300 years of life experience with both Stefan and Damon in only one episode.”

Are you surprised there are so many Lexi fans?

“I am so honored. I was excited to play her, but then to see that three seasons later, although she was killed, she’s still very much alive is completely flattering. I owe it all to my fans and to Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson. They created this amazing opportunity for me so I will be forever grateful.”

What did you think of the season three finale of ‘The Vampire Diaries’?

“I think that Kevin and Julie have a way of ending every episode with a way of gasping. They are really good at the gasp effect. From what I am told in season four there’s going to be even more of that. Honestly I think as each season goes on, the writing gets stronger, and all I can say is be prepared for more gasps!”

You have been on two vampire related shows, ‘TVD’ and ‘True Blood’, how are they different?

“I thought about that when I auditioned for ‘True Blood’, because I know Lexi has a huge following and I would never want to take away from that. To me, I have to look at each job as an individual job. If it’s something calling to me at that time, I feel like I can’t not do it because of what someone else might think. ‘True Blood’ was exciting because although it is a vampire show, I was not playing a vampire. I was playing a type of role that was sexy and dangerous. It was mature. I was playing Sam’s love interest. It was overall a different vibe for me. I think the show was so raw that I wanted to be in that company. Alan Ball is extraordinary and the cast is extraordinary. I’m glad I was able to be a part of ‘True Blood’.  I know they are both vampire shows, but they are not even comparable. Lexi is the most fun I’ve ever had playing a character and the only true vampire I’ll ever be though.”

We are big fans of “Answer This, how did you get involved with that?

“For “Answer This” I auditioned for Chris and Mike Farah.  They are amazing. They hit me me with this god awful audition scene though, which was the moon-bounce scene. I actually bounced in the scene, because the physical jumping up and down created this very fun flirtatious vibe between these two characters that was all played through the moon-bouncing. There’s no way I was going to showcase that in the scene if I didn’t actually do it. Apparently I was the only one that did bounce and they enjoyed it! I had to go back and screen test with Chris Gorham. I thought it was a really sweet script. I did that the traditional way, I auditioned for it, and I won the role!”

You’re doing the web series ‘Audrey’, what is it like working with Betty Thomas again?

“Years later we are reunited! Betty is always going to be Betty, and for that I love her. We worked together on “John Tucker Must Die” years ago.  I got a phone call from her saying “Dude dude dude you gotta do me this favor” and I was like the fact that you are still calling me dude is amazing! There’s  a lot opportunities in web series, it’s a new media outlet. I really wanted to step into that space and see what it’s all about. I had no idea if I was going to like it or hate it, but I knew that having Jon Avnet and Rodrigo Garcia behind it was going to be great. I trusted Betty profusely and I really dug the script. I really loved Leah’s writing. I got to work with Kim Shaw whose a friend from Florida, and I was just really glad to be a part of it. I’m excited to see what happens and I’m excited to be a part of this new wave.”

Can you tell us about your character in ‘Audrey’?

“I play a food stylist, and Kim’s best friend. I guess I have a lot of funny one liners, well I hope you guys think they are funny. I’m just more of the practical one. Kim’s all over the place, she’s like anal retentive and a perfectionist and obsessed with food. I’m just kind of the practical one that keeps her in check. I think we have really fun chemistry with each other.”

Is there a CW show that you are just dying to get on?

“Well, I auditioned for ‘Hart of Dixie’. I love me some good southern material, so I would love to be on ‘Hart of Dixie’. But, as of now, Vanessa came back to ‘90210’ so I’d say stay tuned. Also Lexi is a ghost so anything can happen.”

Speaking of Lexi and Vanessa, which role was more challenging?

“They’re both challenging in different ways. I think that if they’re not challenging then I’m not doing my job right. I never want to be bored. The biggest challenge for me with Vanessa was being ok with people not liking me and using Heather Locklear as my inspiration. With Lexi, the biggest challenge was grounding myself and figuring out how do I have fun and bring joy to Stefan, while also convincing people that I am older and wiser and 300 years old. I had to ground myself in the things that I would have seen and experienced in that amount of time. Really getting familiar that nothing would surprise me, because a regular human’s reaction would not surprise Lexi. Getting my head around that was pretty challenging.”

Do you have a favorite part of coming to festivals or conventions like the ATX Festival?

“Meeting people! For me I never know what to expect, It could be five people or five thousand people. We show up at these panels and anything can happen. I feel like it’s kind of like a free fall and we’re like ok what’s going on where do we go next . It’s full of running into actors and people I haven’t seen in ages. It’s a fun little hub where all these creative people are under one roof for one weekend.”

Besides working on ‘Audrey’, what are you working on now?

“”Think Like a Man” just came out, and I was in Tribeca supporting my  film “Supporting Characters”. I am also developing some things right now that I’m excited about, and then the CW shows start filming in about a month.”

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