Check out our interview with rising teen starlet singer, classical violinist and actress Kensington Tallman who can be seen on the leading role in Canada’s Family Channel “Home Sweet Rome!” playing the role of Lucy.
“Home Sweet Rome!” centers on 13-year-old ‘Lucy’ (Kensington Tallman), who moves from California to start a new life in Rome with her dad and stepmom, ‘Francesca’ (Eleonora Facchini) – who happens to be an Italian pop star! With new friends, amazing food, haute fashion, and a best friend who is thousands of miles away, Lucy discovers what the meaning of “When in Rome” is all about as her adventures abroad get underway. As Lucy learns to adapt to her new city, new school, and new life, she’s also navigating through the growing pains of being a teenager while discovering her own musical talent.
Kensington is currently working on several projects both animated and live action and you can see and hear her on Nickelodeon and Disney shows.
Follow Kensington @heykensington
Hi Kensington, please tell us a little about you!
Hi! I am 14 years old and a freshman in high school! I have lived in Denver, Philadelphia, New York City, and now Los Angeles. I have a little brother named Zealand. I am also an actress, singer, and writer who loves creating characters. I love animals and I am also a vegan! I would love to have my own vegan, affordable brand. I want people to feel good about the products they use while protecting animals and the environment. I love aerial dance and all forms of art. I am also an Italian student.
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Kind, Silly, Loyal
How did you get started in acting?
I started my journey by playing the violin and competing in my school poetry festival. It helped me gain more confidence and sparked a love for performing. My brother was actually the first one in the family to start acting. I once went to an audition with him for moral support, and the casting director asked me if I was auditioning too! I immediately said yes and ended up booking the job! From there, I realized that acting was my new passion. When I moved to LA, I started training weekly for TV and Film to pursue my love of performing.
How has this changed your life?
Acting has taught me so many things about the human experience. It shows me what complex emotions really look like. It’s also given me incredible life-changing opportunities to learn and grow through all the fantastic people I have met along the way. Traveling has been such a blessing as it’s given me a new perspective on different cultures and it has pushed me out of my comfort zone. Acting is also very therapeutic for me.
What is the best and worst part of being an actor?
The best part is portraying someone else and bringing their story to life. I love being able to help people laugh and process their feelings and emotions. The worst part is finishing a job. It’s so hard to say goodbye to all the amazing people I meet.
How do you prepare for a role?
When I prepare for a role, I use different techniques for every character. However, I always read the script and write down any details about the character. From there, I will analyze what they need and want. I will write down what information the character directly says as well as the information they don’t share out loud. Then I will always make sure I know the intentions underneath each line because someone can say one thing and mean a completely different thing! After I memorize I try to just be free and in the moment so I can really connect with my scene partner knowing that I have done the work and built the backstory. I take improv classes on Sundays so that I can continue to work on my listening skills as an actor and to be more free. To prepare for Home Sweet Rome!, I trained 6 days a week in voice and ukulele lessons and also studied Italian so I could speak with my Italian crew and cast. Lucy is a very physical character so I would always make sure my body was warmed up by doing yoga before I would go to set.
Tell us about your work on “Home Sweet Rome!.”
Yes! I just wrapped a new show called Home Sweet Rome! You can watch it in Canada on Family Channel on April 7th at 7 pm. You can also see it next year on HBO MAX! I play Lucy, and the show focuses on Lucy moving from America to Rome, Italy! The show tackles complex topics such as loss, adapting to new situations, and having new family members. Lucy goes on this adventure with her new Italian pop star stepmom (Played by the fantastic Eleonora Facchini!) Lucy is also thousands of miles away from her best friend, Kyla (Played by the incredible Ava Ro)! The show has so much heart and will make you laugh and cry all in one episode! There are also many original songs written by the amazing Chen Neeman and Alex Geringas. I am so excited for everyone to see this show! We got to film in Rome, and I learned a lot of Italian from our amazing Italian crew and cast.
What other projects have you been a part of?
I am a recurring character on Nickelodeon’s “That Girl Lay Lay” where I play Tiffany Highlander! I was also a series regular on another Nickelodeon show called “Drama Club”! (I play Bianca Magic.) I have guest-starred on Nickelodeon’s Side Hustle, TBS’S Chad, and Showtime’s Black Monday. Additionally, I do a lot of animation. I play Gauge in Disney Jr.’s Firebuds and Honey Bear in Nick Jr.’s Bossy Bear. I am currently working on many upcoming animation projects and am about to film my first live-action Feature Film.
What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?
I have loved all the characters I’ve played because they are so unique, and I get to tell a different story through each. But I would love to do more dramatic work and work in an action film. Dramas are beautiful because there is so much underneath the character, and it’s cool to discover a character’s hidden secrets. I would love to be in an action movie or TV show because it maximizes your acting abilities. You must focus on the character, constantly do stunts, and act with green screen technology all in one take. That seems so exciting to me!
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
The most rewarding part of acting is having the opportunity to share someone’s story. When I am watching a film or tv show it takes me out of my reality and makes me laugh or can even help me process different emotions that I may be experiencing. I love getting to be a part of that journey for someone. It’s also really special that I get to use my platform to inspire and encourage other young people. I love showing people that everyone should stay true to themselves and embrace the imperfection.
What would you say are the greatest lessons you learned so far in this business?
One of the greatest lessons I have learned is that when one door closes, another opens. This business can have many ups and downs, and knowing this one sentence can really help. Everyone has a purpose, and God has a unique plan for everyone. So what is meant for you is meant for YOU!
Can you name 3 actors/actresses you would love to work with?
There are so many talented people I would love to work with and learn from. I would love to work with Zendaya! I have always been a fan of her work and would love the opportunity to learn from her. I would also love to work with the comedic genius Catherine O’Hara. She is so comedically gifted, and I have watched everything from Home Alone to Best in Show to Schitt’s Creek. A duo I would love to work with would be Martin Short and Steve Martin. I have been the biggest fan of both of them for years and have seen so many of their movies. They are both brilliant at physical comedy, and I would love the opportunity to learn from them. Okay, technically that was four, but I tried really hard!
What’s your advice for the newer actors?
My advice for new actors is to never give up! If you keep trying and working hard, there will be something out there that’s just right for you. Set big goals, even if they seem impossible! And allow yourself to chase those dreams! Three years ago, I wrote down in my journal that I wanted to be the lead of a TV show but it took many ups and downs to get there. Just keep going, and don’t let anyone take your light away.
Where does the love for music come from? And how did you start playing the violin?
Growing up, I lived in New York City and was constantly surrounded by art, music, and creativity. I was greatly inspired by classical and contemporary style, which led me to the violin. Playing the violin sparked my love for music and helped me get over my stage fright! I now play the ukulele. My character Lucy in Home Sweet Rome! also plays the ukulele so that was really fun getting to play on screen.
How would your best friend describe you?
Generous, considerate, positive, kind, passionate and creative.
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
If I were a book, the title would be “Unapologetically ME!” I say this because I love embracing my fun and silly self, and it’s important for other teen girls to know it’s okay to be themselves! Staying true to yourself should always be a top priority.
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
I would tell my younger self, “it’s okay not to be perfect.” I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist and have realized that our mistakes make us stronger. They give us character and determination and help us live in the moment!
What book should every entrepreneur read?
To be honest I haven’t read a specific book for entrepreneurs, but I just started reading Girl on Fire by Cara Alwill. I can’t wait to tell you about it when I am finished reading.
What’s next for Kensington Tallman in 2023
“Home Sweet Rome!” premieres in 2023 which I am so excited for everyone to see! I am working on several animated projects and I am filming a movie this Spring/Summer. I am also co-creating a kid’s multi-cam TV show with my best friend, Samantha A. Smith. Additionally, I just started the process of writing music with our incredible music producers/songwriters from Home Sweet Rome!, Chen Neeman and Alex Geringas.
What is your favorite healthy food?
My favorite healthy food would have to be a Vegan Açaí bowl.
And your favorite cheat food?
Vegan ice cream. My favorite thing to do on a Friday night is to watch a movie with my vegan mint-chocolate-chip ice cream!
What is your own definition of happiness?
My definition of happiness is knowing that I have done everything I can that day to bring joy to others to have fun doing what I love.
If you could meet anyone living or dead who would it be and what would you ask them?
Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was such an important role model for girls and paved the way for equality. I would love to ask her how she dealt with all the men telling her no or that she couldn’t do it. I would also love to ask her what her biggest piece of advice is for young women.
Best advice ever given?
The best advice I’ve been given is to embrace imperfection. Mistakes shape us and help us grow. It’s essential not to be so focused on perfection because it’s impossible to achieve. We’re human! So love yourself for your mistakes because they will only keep you learning and growing!
Do you support any charity?
I do! I support several charities, including No Kid Hungry, St. Jude Hospital and The Gentle Barn.
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
In 5 years I see myself having my own vegan brand and continuing to grow in all genres of acting. I see myself producing meaningful projects that highlight strong females. I also see myself co-starring opposite my best friend Samantha A. Smith in our TV show that we wrote that uplifts the younger generation. I see myself going to University to study acting and business.
Favorite song? Why?
Smile by Katy Perry is my favorite song, because it has such a great message.
What do you think of Social Media?
Social media is a great tool to advocate for things you are passionate about and encourage others. The danger is when you start to compare yourself to others. It’s important to stay true to yourself and embrace your voice.
Where we can follow you?
On TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter @heykensington
Book: The Diary of Anne Frank
Quote: “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.” RBG.
Movie: Best in Show
Tv Series: Only Murders in the Building
Favorite Food: Vegan truffle pasta (from Rome!)
Travel Destination: I love Rome, Italy! I would love to go to Japan. That is next on my travel bucket list.
Sports Team: The LA Rams and the Philadelphia Eagles.
Photo Credit: Gretchen Easton @gretchephoto