Check out our interview with stunning Paramount+ series “Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies” actress Charlotte Kavanagh who plays the role of Rosemary. The series takes place in 1954 — four years before the events of Grease — and tells the origin story of the Pink Ladies. Charlotte plays Rosemary in the prequel, who is part of the rival social group to the Pink Ladies.
Follow Charlotte on IG @itischarlottekavanagh & TikTok @charlotteskav
Hi Charlotte, please tell us a little about you?
Hello! I’m Charlotte, friends call me Char. I am a Canadian born artist from the beach town White Rock, BC, I’m a Cancer Sun on the cusp of Leo which I feel tells a lot about me. I started my career off as a film and TV dancer and have now transitioned into the wonderful whimsical world of acting.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Caring, driven and goofy!
How did you get started into acting?
The first twinkle of acting started in my modelling career when I was a teen, auditioning for commercials, then more when I started working as a professional dancer at 19, My agent highly suggested I get into acting classes as she saw the potential in me, I am thankful she did, I was so nervous to start but I had an immediate connection and I never looked back.
How has this changed your life?
Acting has changed my life in so many ways, growing up I was a very shy kid, and I still have some shy tendencies which I believe is perfectly OK but acting has let me crawl out of my cancer crab shell and show the world who I really am. I’ve realized how capable I am at learning new things at whatever age I am, and that all those years as a kid playing pretend really paid off.
What is the best and worst part of being an actress?
One of best parts of being an actress, especially today in 2023, is getting to play roles telling stories of women BY women. More writers, directors, producers and showrunners are pushing stories that have not been told for much too long. Being able to play and portray them is so fulfilling and straight up fun. Even with haters giving backlash to women taking up more space, it drives us even more, so thanks! Worst part? The 4am call times.
How do you prepare for a role?
I like to do a brief summary on who I think my character is and then any questions I think pose importance to the role I will discuss with the director and/or the show runner. Once I’ve got all my basic info, I will write a whole essay on what their childhood was like, relationship to parents, friendships, love interests, where they live, what they eat for lunch everyday, every single detail. I also like to write a journal entry as them to help me get into the mind of the character and not just be an observer. Also research! Playing a teen in the 50’s is much different than playing one in 2023, how to stand, slang terms, do’s and don’ts for “proper” girls etc.
Tell us about your work in the hugely anticipated forthcoming Paramount+ series “Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies?”
This is my biggest role yet in my career, I am acting and dancing in one of the most iconic stories ever. This show is a winning lottery ticket, I worked hard to get here but the universe was for sure on my side on this one. I got to work with some of the most talented people I have EVER met, I am forever inspired by everyone involved in this series.
And about your role as Rosemary?
Rosemary is a frightening, deceiving, cheerleading Soc girl attending Rydell High. Starting the show off, the Socs rule the school being the “moral” models of the school. She is number 2 in the Soc girl hierarchy and gets away with murder (not literally). Popularity is important to her, so keeping up with who is in and who is out is always on her radar. Kitty got claws.
What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?
I love comedy, so continuing to lean into more comedic roles would be amazing. It’s what I watch the most of, I think comedy can also tell stories just as well as dramas can, it’s just through a different lens. I also aspire to play a Marvel superhero/villain. I see myself in a thrilling combat scene in a fit super suit.
If you weren’t famous, what would you be up to right now?
I really don’t consider myself famous, but if I were not an actress, I would keep dancing, teaching, and choreographing!
Which fictional character would be the most exciting to meet in real life?
I’d love to meet Charlie’s Angels (Cameron, Lucy and Drew). They were my idols growing up.
Can you name 3 actors/actresses you would love to work with?
Charlize Theron, Pedro Pascal and Meryl Streep
What’s your advice for the newer actors?
If you want to be an actor, promise yourself to never give up, don’t set a deadline to when you will stop and start a different career. If you have that mentality you have already given up because A) You don’t believe in yourself enough and B) You haven’t found a way to enjoy the process of just auditioning, not getting the job and just playing any way you can. I told myself that if I still haven’t booked anything in the next 5-10 years, that’s okay, I still love what I do and I don’t want anything else as much. Being an actor is not just booking jobs.
What would say are the greatest lessons you learned so far in this business?
These shows are put together by collaboration, don’t be afraid to speak up and be apart of the creative process when it involves you! With that said, always look at the bigger picture, it’s easy to get self involved in your experience but there are so many moving pieces in a production, be a team player. Taking care of your physical and mental health is a key tool to keeping up with this business. Most importantly, it’s okay to say “No, I’m not comfortable with that”.
How would your best friend describe you?
“A fire cracker who knows what she wants”
“She is like a mi goreng noodle, spicy and sweet and lots of layers, she is like the spice I put on the noodles but also is artistic like the oil I also put on it”
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
“How to not give up” I think throughout my life I was given a lot of reasons to quit and not pursue the career I have by many circumstances and people. I have weaved my way through all of those challenges and found myself exactly where I want to be despite all that.
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
Even though you are not getting 1st place and hitting goals at the same time as your friends, it’s OK you are on a much different path that is going to bring you to where you need to be at the right time. Don’t be so hard on yourself because life will surprise you with all its magic that is special and specific to you. Keep on being you and doing it your way. The shoes of the person next to you will not fit the same and that’s for good reason!
What book should every entrepreneur read?
How To Not Give Up by Charlotte Kavanagh coming in 2033 lol
What’s next for Charlotte Kavanagh in 2023?
Currently auditioning lots and anticipating all the amazing productions coming this year. Thrilled for the world to watch Grease and meet Rosemary, and hoping for a season 2!
What is your favorite healthy food?
Can’t go wrong with a crisp green grape and a perfectly ripe strawberry.
And your favorite cheat food?
I don’t believe in cheat foods, you do you boo. I’ll eat indomie noodles any day!
What is your own definition of happiness?
Freedom to live how you want, to be supported by your loved ones, and to let your inner child out every once in a while!
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Might be cliché, but Marilyn Monroe. I’ve been a fan of hers for a long time. I think she was brilliant but beaten down and misunderstood by the industry. I’d love to hear about her process as an actress and what she had planned for herself for the future over a cup of tea.
Best advice ever given?
Your health is the richest thing you’ll ever own. Protect it like your life depends on it.
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
I see myself playing roles I think I would never see myself play now, which is super exciting. I have the habit of thinking something is not for me, and then diving head into it a year later. It keeps life interesting I guess. The past year I fell in love with music, maybe because I was in a musical series? I’m learning so much about the craft and can see myself performing in a live musical, which I have never done before! Also still manifesting being cast in a Marvel movie.
Favorite song? Why?
Right now it’s actually a song from our show, it’s in episode 2 sung by Marisa Davila written by Justin Tranter. It’s not out at the moment so I’m not sure if I can reveal the name yet but it’s about allowing yourself to desire more and to not just accept what you are served. Don’t let shame rule your life!
What do you think of Social Media?
I think social media is like magic, it can be used for good or bad. It lets everyone express themselves creatively, and create worlds outside of reality. It can also be used by trolls to barrel through the comment section and bully behind an invisibility cloak.
Where we can follow you?
I’m on instagram @itischarlottekavanagh
And TikTok @charlotteskav
Book: Twilight Breaking Dawn
Quote: We accept the love we think we deserve – Stephen Chbosky
Movie: Mean Girls
Tv Series: Archer, The Office, Rick and Morty and Friends
Favorite Food: Mi goreng or a really well cooked Perogies
Travel Destination: Pai, Thailand
Photo credit: Richie Lubaton @richielubaton