Published on April 23rd, 2018 | by Biz Books
The Biz Interview: Kyla Matthews
Thanks to a role as Ruby on CBC’s Anne, Kyla Matthews is taking her first big steps as a young actor. We spoke to her about how she got into acting and the rewards that have come so far in her blossoming career.
Can you start by telling us a little bit about how you got started as an actor?
When I was 8, I joined a free performing arts group in my neighbourhood called Project Limelight. Originally I joined because I thought it would be fun to play dress-up, but then I realized how much more exciting it was to be able to be a different person through each of the characters I played.
For example, the first character I ever played was Glinda, the good witch from The Wizard of Oz. I loved playing her because she wasn’t actually “good”, she was self-centered and vain, but underneath that, she was actually quite insecure and vulnerable.
I like being able to experience life through the different characters I play. I try to see the world the way they would.
Also, Project Limelight is such a safe and encouraging environment, and it gives kids the confidence to step out of their comfort zones. I don’t think I would have been brave enough to perform if it hadn’t been for Project Limelight.
Photo Credit: Ken Woroner
What is the most fun thing about acting?
Apart from the actual acting, the part I enjoy most are the people I get to meet along the way. They’re some of the warmest, kindest, funniest and most interesting people I’ve ever known. I feel so lucky to have met them.
Tell us about you are working on right now.
Right now, I’m just trying to catch up on my school work, and see friends as we are in between seasons of Anne on CBC. I am looking forward to season 2 airing.
You’ve gotten a lot of attention for Anne (AKA Anne With an E). What was the best part of being involved in this series?
I can’t narrow it down to just one thing. Being a small part of helping to make Anne relevant in 21st century was an honour. There are a lot of important issues that are explored in this series and even though it is set back in the 1800s, we are still dealing with the same issues today in our society. For instance, prejudice and inequality are significant themes in Anne.
Also I loved imagining that I was really living in 19th century PEI – that was so cool!
“My main focus is just to keep acting as long as I’m having fun while doing it.”
Photo Credit: Ken Woroner
What are future goals as an actor?
My main focus is just to keep acting as long as I’m having fun while doing it, but I would like to be able to get to play more complex female characters instead of the common, one dimensional, nice role that so many woman are cast in.
Are there any acting-related books that have helped you in your career so far?
I like to read books to prepare me for roles. I read Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables to prepare me for the role of Ruby and I’ve just finished reading a book called Hope’s Wish, which is a true story about a girl my age who had cancer. I was reading it to try to prepare myself for playing Hope. I’ve also just started reading Sanford Meisner on Acting by Sanford Meisner. He writes about how to live truthfully in the moment even if you are in “imaginary” circumstances.
Where can we find out more about you online?
Thanks to Kyla Matthews for speaking with us!
Header Photo Credit: Ian Redd