NATHALIE KELLEY ACTOR
When I met Australian actor Nat Kelley through a mutual friend, I admit I was unaware of just how successful she had become in LA, landing roles in numerous series such as The Vampire Diaries and, more recently, starring as Cristal Carrington in the reboot of Dynasty. I was struck not just by her smouldering Peruvian/argentinian beauty, but also by her genuine warmth and clear-eyed approach to dealing with the pressures of Hollywood. An early and unexpected break launched her career, but as she candidly admits, the path is never easy. “When I was in my second year of university I lucked out on an audition — they were looking for the lead in a US pilot and I happened to book this role out of nowhere.that pilot didn’t get picked up, but it did get me my agent, my manager and my visa. Three months after that, I booked The Fast and the Furious:tokyo Drift.
“But what happened after was a long period of not getting auditions because things had happened so quickly for me. In a sense, it backfired having success so early, and I wasn’t prepared or equipped for rejection. In the past 13 years I’ve lived in the States, I have cultivated an ability to transmute the negative experiences into positive ones. It’s been this unexpected big lesson under all of this. My first step is to have a lot of compassion for myself, be kind to myself and nurture myself in order to get back on the horse.the second thing is I treat every challenge as an opportunity for growth. That’s the one thing that has enriched my life the most, because it applies to everything in my life. It’s not just about riding the successes. It’s just as important to know how to navigate the lows. I’m not afraid to look vulnerable. In your twenties, you don’t know that, because you just want to project an image to people. I’m not afraid now of my reality and my authenticity.”
Her ability to stay buoyant means Nat also sees great potential in a post-harvey Weinstein world. “Harvey Weinstein was an open secret. Everyone knew what kind of man he was, and he was one of many. I have felt the discomfort that I’m sure every actress has felt when you’re introduced to someone like that and you have to grovel. The culture of protecting these men who were abusing their power is being dismantled, and now we can go into meetings where there’s no confusion around why we’re there. If we’re at the table, it’s because we’re at the table as artists, not because we’re there to bargain with our sexuality.the men who are still operating out there are aware they’re being watched and their abuse of power is no longer going to be tolerated. The gatekeepers are changing — it’s not so much all old white men, it’s women and minorities now.that’s only going to make for more creativity.this is a very exciting time to be a young actress in Hollywood, or any kind of minority in Hollywood.there’s no confusion as to why I’m there and what I want to bring to the table.”
Kirstie Clements is a fashion expert, author and director of intimates store Porte-à-vie.