Check out our interview with stunning actress and singer Jonetta Kaiser who can be seen in the NBC Peacock series adaptation of “Vampire Academy.”
The newly minted hit fantasy horror series (80% positive critical review on Rotten Tomatoes) invites fans to the new and exciting world of St. Vladimir’s Boarding School and a royal society of vampires and half-human dhampirs. Based on the bestselling novel by Richelle Mead, “Vampire Academy” comes a story of friendship, romance, and danger. In a world of privilege and glamour, two young women’s friendship transcends their strikingly different classes as they prepare to complete their education and enter vampire society. One as a powerful Royal, the other a half-vampire Guardian trained to protect against the savage ‘Strigoi’ who threaten to tear their society apart.
Kaiser is a big advocate for mental health and body image positivity, something she personally has struggled with due to her scoliosis.
Follow Jonetta @jonettakaiser
Please tell us a little about you?
My name is Jonetta Kaiser. I am an actress, most currently as Sonya Karp in Vampire Academy on Peacock.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Quiet, kind, fun.
How did you get started into acting?
It started at a young age for me. I would Google casting calls and mail casting offices my headshot and resume. Then I did background work in Louisiana for a year, after graduating high school, to be on set and if I enjoyed it. Then in 2018 I made the move to CA to pursue it professionally.
How has this changed your life?
I know 100% I made the right career choice, I love it so much and I don’t want to do anything else.
What is the best and worst part of being an actress?
The best part to me is getting a new script and getting to dive into it. I love the work and meeting a new cast and crew. The worst part is that realistically you’re unemployed most of the time.
How do you prepare for a role?
My process is never exactly the same, but generally I print the script and read through it a bunch of times and then I start to scribble notes. I write out how I relate to the character I’m playing. I write out thoughts as they come. Hearing the lines out loud helps a lot so I do that a million times. It also depends on the role. Playing a high schooler doesn’t require as much work as playing someone with more life experience.. unless the high schooler has a lot of life experience, haha.
Tell us about your work in NBC Peacock series “Vampire Academy?”
We filmed in Spain. It was an amazing place to film because all of the sets were real. It made the work so much easier to have such luxurious locations. We did a lot of night shoots, because vampires, but for my character I had a surprising amount of scenes during the day. I guess my character has insomnia.
And about your character “Sonya Karp?”
Sonya Karp is a librarian at St. Vladimir. She’s quiet and odd. As the adopted daughter of Victor Dashkov she finds herself attending royal Moroi parties, even though she’s a non-royal. Sonya falls in love with Mikhael, a dhampir guardian. We get to see the lightest and darkest parts of her heart revealed in this season.
What other projects you have been part of?
Right before booking Vampire Academy, I did a Snapchat Original called “Breakwater”. After getting back from Spain I did a thriller called “A Party to Die For”.
What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?
I’d love to play a spy in an action filled mystery film. I love mystery novels, so something like Nancy Drew but more action packed.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
Once it’s out and people can watch it and seeing how an episode or film moves someone emotionally, whether is happy, sad, etc. I love watching something and feeling something, so to me that’s the most rewarding part.
What’s your advice for the newer actors?
Develop a skill that will help fund your dream. Work hard. Don’t give up.
What would say are the greatest lessons you learned so far in this business?
The more dedicated you are to the work and honing your craft, the more opportunities that will come to you. Stay ready.
How would your best friend describe you?
Loving, supportive, loyal.
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
The Chronicles of Jonetta because I loved the chronicles of Narnia.
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
You can achieve your dreams. I probably thought that it would be impossible to be a working actor, so I would tell myself that it’s possible and you’ll do it.
What book should every entrepreneur read?
Rich Dad Poor Dad is a classic.
What’s next for Jonetta Kaiser in the last months of 2022?
Going to visit family for the holidays!
What is your favorite healthy food?
And your favorite cheat food?
What is your own definition of happiness?
Being in a state of peace and joy so that you can share that with others.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I’d want to meet Audrey Hepburn. I think she was such an interesting and kind human. I’d love to just have a conversation with her.
Best advice ever given?
Go to work.
Do you support any charity?
A21 campaign and One Tree Planted.
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
Winning Oscar/Emmy. Making great films with people I admire in this industry.
Favorite song? Why?
The Art by Rachel Lampa. There’s a line that says “life is just the art of living on”. It’s such a beautiful song.
What do you think of Social Media?
It’s a tool for showcasing my work and interacting with the public. I don’t care for it much outside of that.
Where we can follow you?
@jonettakaiser on everything
Book: Sense and Sensibility
Quote: it is finished
Movie: A Day to Remember
Tv Series: Parks and Rec
Favorite Food: breakfast burrito
Travel Destination: Italy
Sports Team: SELU. I love SEC football.
Photo credit: Kristen Moto