MEET WRITER, PRODUCER AND ACTOR, KATHLEEN ROBERTSON
As an actor, Kathleen Robertson is set to star in Netflix’s anticipated family drama NORTHERN RESCUE which is set to premiere March 1st. Robertson recently starred opposite Taye Diggs on Steven Bochco’s critically acclaimed TNT character-based crime drama MURDER IN THE FIRST for three seasons. She simultaneously had a pivotal, recurring role opposite Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore on A & E’s acclaimed Emmy-nominated BATES MOTEL as a free-spirited, hippy drug lord. She also garnered much attention for her starring role on the Gus Van Sant, Golden Globe-winning political drama, BOSS as the brilliant, broken and duplicitous Kitty O’Neill, Mayor Tom Kane’s (Kelsey Grammer) press aide. Prior to this succession of shows, she starred on IFC’s Award-winning mockumentary style improvisational comedy series THE BUSINESS, for which she also served as Executive Producer.
As a writer and producer, Robertson is building an impressive slate of both television and feature film projects; inclusive of a first-look pact with UCP. On the feature side, she is currently adapting THE POSSIBILITIES for Fox Searchlight and Academy Award nominated filmmaker Jason Reitman who is attached to direct. In addition, she is adapting LITTLE BEE for Amazon Studios and Academy Award winning actress Julia Roberts attached to star. Robertson was also recently brought on to adapt the comic book series LADY KILLER for Dark Horse and Michelle Mac Laren(Westworld/Game of Thrones) directing.
On the television side, in a highly competitive situation, Robertson recently signed an overall deal with Universal Cable Productions to both create and produce original content. She also sold YOUR TIME IS UP to Lifetime with Academy Award winning producer Gil Netter (Life of Pi/the Blind Side) producing and Christina Applegate set to star. In addition to this she also sold an adaptation of SWIMMING WITH SHARKS to USA Network, SHOOTING STARS to E! and HOLLYWOOD BABYLON to Warner Brothers with John Wells set to direct and exec produce alongside Robertson.
As an actor, Robertson also starred in psychological thriller THE VATICAN TAPES as a psychologist with a secret past alongside Michael Pena for Lionsgate/Lakeshore. She has appeared in such varied films as Focus Features’ HOLLYWOODLAND alongside Academy Award-winners Ben Affleck and Adrien Brody for director Allen Coulter; IFC Films’ sexual drama XX/XY opposite Mark Ruffalo, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival; New Line’s I AM SAM in a key role alongside Sean Penn; the Sally Field directed comedy-drama BEAUTIFUL with Minnie Driver; John McNaughton’s comedy SPEAKING OF SEX opposite Bill Murray; and a starring role in the sequel to Dimension Films’ blockbuster, SCARY MOVIE, for director Keenan Ivory Wayans.
Other notable television credits include a starring role alongside Zooey Deschanel in SyFy’s TIN MAN, a re-imagining of THE WIZARD OF OZ, which received multiple Emmy nominations and garnered the highest ratings in the network’s history, as well as a starring role in the Weinstein Co.’s SEAL TEAM SIX from the producers of THE HURT LOCKER.
A five-time Canadian Screen Award nominee for Best Actress; Robertson’s first nomination came for her starring role in TORSO, playing notorious Canadian murderer Evelyn Dick in the grizzly 1946 true story. Next came her nomination as a struggling single mom who undergoes a “falling down” style mental and physical breakdown in LAST EXIT; and most recently for her portrayal of ‘Colleen Howe’, controversial wife to hockey legend Gordie Howe and the first female agent in sports history in MR. HOCKEY. Robertson also received a Leo Award for that performance.
A native of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, Robertson currently resides in Los Angeles.
RAINE: From an early age your love for art flourished allowing you to entertain the idea of making a living being creative. Can you describe your experiences and how they helped fine-tune your craft?
KATHLEEN: A vivid memory as a kid was when my dad took me to the Art Gallery of Hamilton. I was probably around eight or nine at the time. I grew up in a steel town an hour outside of Toronto. Nobody in my family was in the entertainment business. There was a Paul Knee Exhibit and I remember being oddly moved. It sort of crept up on me and I was curious. It was the first time I remember being awake to that kind of feeling.
RAINE: If someone asked you how could they stimulate their creativity, what advice would you give?
KATHLEEN: I think we all know what we are instinctively drawn to. Listen and trust the things that pull you in creatively; whether it’s a specific photograph or a song or a book. Allow yourself time to find and cultivate the things that inspire you.
RAINE: What wellness tips do you swear by?
KATHLEEN: Cliché but tons of water, tons of walking, and tons of time in nature with people I love.
RAINE: What do you want to be when you grow up? Has this stayed the same or changed throughout the years?
KATHLEEN: Well, I grew up wanting to be just an actor and now I’m an actor, a writer and a producer – so it’s changed and grown a bit from when I was a kid.
RAINE: Word to the wise: What advice would you lend to a budding talent on the rise in your chosen field?
KATHLEEN: For writers, I always say it’s very simple – just write, a lot. Most of it will be bad, some will be mediocre, but all of a sudden something may be good and that growth is fun to experience.
RAINE: How have you overcome the setbacks, let downs and obstacles of your career?
KATHLEEN: Keep your blinders on and keep digging ditches. Acting and writing are both not for the faint hearted. It’s a ton of rejection and people telling you you aren’t good enough. You really have to love it and desperately want to do it, or it’s just not worth it. But work ethic is number one.
RAINE: We love transformation. If you experienced a personal or professional evolution, what was the inspiration behind it how have people reacted?
KATHLEEN: When I first decided I wanted to write professionally, people thought I was crazy. I was on a successful TV show (“Boss” with Kelsey Grammer) and the idea of an actress wanting to be taken seriously as a writer felt foreign five years ago. I’m glad I didn’t listen to all the noise and just went for it. Being a writer has changed everything for me.
RAINE: If there was one thing you could have changed during your journey as a creative entrepreneur, what would it be and why?
KATHLEEN: I wish I had let people read my stuff earlier. I could have been doing all this for the last 20 years.
RAINE: What has been the most valuable tool in your arsenal of apps, gadgets or software?
KATHLEEN: I love the app Headspace for grounding, Voice Memo for notes and script ideas and Genius Scan is a lifesaver.
RAINE: How does being an independent brand or artist allow you to have more creative freedom?
KATHLEEN: Writing allows me to be creative on my terms unlike acting, I don’t have to wait for an incoming call to get hired to go act. I can wake up and sit at my laptop and make stuff – that feels really good.
RAINE: Do your fashion choices affect your success in meetings or pitches?
KATHLEEN: Well, I have to say after so many years being in front of cameras, I am not big on spending any time I don’t have to in hair/make-up and wardrobe. It’s literally my least favorite part of my job! So, my joke/goal with writing has always been; I just want to be in sweatpants and my glasses sitting at my laptop. That is success to me.
RAINE: What is your favorite city for work and play and why?
KATHLEEN: I love Toronto. It’s close to my hometown of Hamilton where all my family is. It has everything. If only it wasn’t so bloody cold.