Going to the Lab with Kelli Berglund
by Eric Chase
How did you start as an entertainer?
I guess I've always been an entertainer (one way or another). I started as a dancer at 4 years old, and grew to love it as more than just a hobby. It was my whole world... I loved putting on a show. Friends and family would always approach me suggesting I try modeling or acting, and it just so happened a talent scout was at one of my dance performances when I was 9 years old. They recommended me to an agency, and I thought it might be fun to give acting a shot. Turns out acting became more than a hobby as well. The rest is history...
What is a dream role you'd love to play or artist you'd like to work with in the future?
It would be an honor to have a starring role alongside one of my favorite actresses- Sandra Bullock. She's a legend.
Did you always want to be an actor even as a child? What did you want to be when you grew up aside from an acting?
Growing up, a passion for performing was always in my blood. Hollywood was a foreign world to me, but the minute I had a glimpse into that world, I loved it. Dance was always extremely important to me. I thought I could see myself becoming a professional dancer. I even loved the idea of becoming a make up artist. Either way, I wanted my career to have that "creative" aspect to it.
What do you love most about your profession?
My soul has grown so much since acting became a huge part of my life. It's opened up my eyes to so many things that have taught me valuable lessons. I'm inspired emotionally by characters on screen, as well as the ones I've been able to play myself. There's so much to learn everyday from a new script or an amazing actor... it's never ending, and that's why I find it so fascinating.
What challenges or struggles have you face along the way and what helped you overcome them?
The ultimate struggle in this business is rejection; anyone will tell you that. It's how you handle it that determines what your future will look like. When I was younger, rejection began to force me to look in the mirror and believe I wasn't good enough. I'd compare myself to other girls and forget about all the things that made me special. Now that I'm 19, it's a bit easier to realize that when I don't book a job, I'm simply not a right match for the part. The phrase, "everything happens for a reason", is something I have learned to live by... and it's given me such a positive outlook on not only acting, but every aspect of my life.
Do you work with any charitable organizations? What is your involvement in them?
I've been involved with the Audrey Hepburn CARES center at the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles for about 3 years now. The organization cares for abused children on both the medical and legal levels. I actually originally wanted to get involved because I read a book many years ago about a young boy who had been horribly abused. I was in such utter shock that I needed to do something to help children who have been through similar situations. No child deserves to go through that, and while it may be a touchy subject for some people, the world needs to be made aware and contribute as well.
Of all the work you have done over the years, what is the one thing you are most proud of?
I'd have to say that Lab Rats is something I'm ridiculously proud of. Being on Disney XD (and not Disney Channel), we all had to prove that our show would indeed attract viewers and be a show worthy enough of making Disney XD a popular network. Lab Rats has done things I never imagined... we're 4 years strong with an awesome fan base and everyone is asking for even MORE episodes! It's been a worldwide success, and I'm so grateful for that.
What are some personal ambitions you would like to fulfill?
I'm determined to meet and work with Bradley Cooper and I'd kill to film a movie in Europe. I also think it would be awesome to own a make up line one day.
What do you like to do for fun in your downtime?
I'm all about staying close to friends and family, so I always try to spend time with them when I'm not working. You can usually find me at an amusement park or the beach... if not, I'm online shopping. lol
What is one thing about yourself that the world may not know?
I'm a bit of a nerd... which isn't a bad thing whatsoever! I'm a computer geek; I've always been great with technology. I'm also obsessed with learning about history-- specifically, U.S. History. I'd love to go to college when I find the time.
If you would walk away from all this, what would you take away from it?
1) Wow, I've made some great lifelong friends and memories (of course). 2) I'm so happy I had my friends and family to keep me grounded.
Where are you originally from?
I was born and raised a Cali girl in San Luis Obispo, CA.
What is your nationality?
I'm a melting pot! I'm Italian, German, Irish, Scottish, Swedish, English, and French-Canadian.
Give us 5 words that you think best describe you.
Flirtatious (oops, hehe).
You’re a "sign" (cancer, sagitarius, libra etc), how would you describe your personality in that regard?
I'm an Aquarius, and I 100% believe I possess all characteristics related to an Aquarius! Aquarians are usually quite creative and intelligent, therefore, they dream big. They always think outside the box and are determined to let everyone know they're going to achieve whatever they put their mind to. We're very unpredictable, maybe even a little mysterious too.
What are the recent projects you've worked on?
This past summer, I worked on an independent film called ‘One Night’. I'm currently working on season 4 of Lab Rats, and have a couple films in the works!
What would you say is your best asset?
I'm a very understanding person. I like to say I'm quite good at reading people and seeing things from their perspective; something that helps a lot when auditioning for new roles and having to adapt to that character. I always find myself being the advice-giver... and I'm totally okay with that.
What do others compliment you on the most?
People usually recognize my bubbly personality. I hate awkward situations, so my charismatic side takes over and I can usually turn it into a not-so-awkward situation. I actually get a lot of compliments on my make up as well... I love doing it myself and it feels so good when someone appreciates the hard work I put into perfecting my techniques.
How did you land the role for the Lab Rats?
I had been auditioning for Disney for many years, but something about this role really spoke to me. I could relate to Bree on a personal level; I've been the new girl at school and dealt with my insecurities. However, there was this whole other side to her that I loved... the tough, kick-ass side. I went into the audition very determined, and nothing was going to stop me from booking this. I guess it payed off because the producers believed in me and put me in front of the Disney executives. After several screen tests, I got the phone call that the part was mine.
Tell us about One Night, how is that like?
It was interesting, but I had a really great time filming it. I've been so used to playing Bree Davenport for 4 years that it was actually so much fun to play something completely different. It may have been a small-budget film, but I met some awesome people and was able to expand my skills as an actress.
What do you like most: TV or Film?
Both have a special place in my heart, but I really love film.
What is the funniest thing to happen to you on a shoot?
I'm the first person to admit I'm a major klutz, and it was quite clear when I fell on my face during a scene for Lab Rats. I tripped over my own two feet, and landed face down in front of everyone! The best part? It's on a tape somewhere.
Do you enjoy the constant attention and adoration that comes with being an actress?
I do think it's cool interacting with fans and being recognized for my hard work, but that's not why I'm an actress. I'm not looking to "become famous", I'm not looking to be praised by everyone who crosses my path, and I'm definitely not looking for attention. I love the art of being an entertainer, and no matter what, people will know you for that. You can't prevent the attention, you just have to handle it maturely.
What are some of your hidden talents other than acting?
Hidden talents? I was a pretty good soccer player growing up. I also love to sing, and I'm looking to pursue it a bit more in the future.
Where do you want your career to be in two years?
I want to broaden my horizons and find myself on the big screen playing dramatic, substantial roles. I can't predict what kinds of roles will come my way, but I'm hoping they follow that path. I could most definitely see music in my future as well.
What is the best info you can give a new talent?
It's so worth it to give 110% effort for every audition and every role you book. It pays off, I promise. And people will recognize it. You're bound to have success if you truly believe you're doing everything you can to the best of your abilities.
If you had to walk away, what would you like to be remembered most for?
I think I'd want to be remembered for how much I truly appreciate and value everyone who's ever helped me in this business. I can't express how thankful I am for every manager, agent, casting director, and crew member I've ever worked with. Everyone has contributed in some way, and it's made me love acting so, so much. I try to express to each and every person how gracious I am for them.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
I don't think I'd tell my younger self anything. Everything has worked out the way it's supposed to, and maybe things would be drastically different if I had done one little thing differently. I'm perfectly happy and content with everything in my life, and I think my younger self really needed to experience several life lessons... whether I wanted to or not.
What's next for you?
I can't spill too many details, but I have a couple films that are currently up in the air. One of them would be filmed overseas, and the other is something majorly different from anything I've ever done before. I can't wait to tell everyone more when the time comes.
Feature: Kelli Berglund
Photographer: Isaac Alvarez
Stylist: Alannah Jones
Makeup: Sophia Poch
Hair: Michelle Verdugo