With a business degree from Loyola Marymount University, Kelly Frye made the decision to try her hand at acting professionally, something she said she always had an interest in thanks to her love for storytelling. With support from friends and family, Frye made the leap, and since starting, she has made appearances in shows such as Rake and The Mentalist, and she participated in a staged reading at the 2014 Sloan Film Summit in November. She also recently joined the DC world as Plastique on episode five of The CW’s The Flash, which premiered October 7.
When she’s not auditioning, working, or spending time with family, she’s trying to visit as many places around the world as she can. But don’t make her try to pick a favorite place; she loves many countries for multiple reasons.
Frye chatted with Cliché about ultimately deciding to act professionally, joining the DC world, what shows she’s obsessed with, her love of new cultures—she spoke Spanish before English and studied French and Japanese in college—and her passion for traveling.
Cliché: How’d you go from business to acting?
Kelly Frye: I come from a family filled with storytellers. My mom is one of the best, and my oldest brother is actually a playwright, theater director, and founder of the Catastrophic Theatre in Houston. But, I’ve always performed. I was a figure skater, too. In the back of my mind, I had always wanted to do this. The sensible part of my brain thought I needed to be a lawyer, so I went to school for business. Then I had a conversation with myself and my family and asked them what they thought. They agreed with me and told me that I only have one life, so I might as well try it. Thankfully, it’s worked out, and I knew if it didn’t, I could go back and still be fine. I love it, though. It’s really fun to inhabit another person.
How was it coming into the comic universe?
It was amazing! The people involved are so fantastic and wonderful. Everyone—the actors, producers, creators—is amazing. And when I learned more about Plastique, I just fell in love with her. She is such a badass.
Before the role in The Flash, were you a fan of the DC universe?
My oldest brother is a DC fan. When he was younger, he thought he was Batman, which is hilarious, but because of it, I was around comic books. I wasn’t reading comic books though. I have learned that there are a number of strong, female characters, which I am all about in terms of both watching them and playing them. After I got the role, I got a tour of DC Comics and got to learn so much about this world. I am being exposed to these women that have been around for decades, and I’m so excited.
Aside from the tour, did you do any research on your own?
Yes. When I was going in for the role, I called my oldest brother, and he gave me a brief history. He remembered riding his bike and picking up the issue when she first appeared in Firestorm in 1982. It was neat hearing his take. I also did research online, but it is a little more different in the show than in the comics, so I stuck to the pages they gave me. What is cool about her in the show is that she has a military background. Brooke, one of the writers, had a military background, and she was in Vancouver with me. It was amazing having her there, because it was like I had this encyclopedia sitting with me. I could go and ask her questions about the military jargon and such. I wanted to make sure I was doing that world and the comic book world justice.
Do you have a favorite superhero?
Oh my gosh. Well, of course I love Plastique, but when I was going through DC Comics and looking at everything, I saw Batwoman on somebody’s desk, and I thought if I was going to dress up as someone, I would be her. She has this great red hair and red boots and a red insignia and looks awesome. But she’s also so strong. She’s [the figurine] now sitting on my desk, and she is my inspiration for the day.
What do you love to do for fun when you’re not working?
I love my family, and they are mostly in Houston, so I like to visit them. I also have one brother in Washington, DC. I like to travel a lot. If I have time off, and I’m not busy with work or auditions, that’s what I’m doing.
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Kelly Frye Interview: Photographer: Quavondo, Makeup: Lysette Castellanos, Hair: Gui Seloperdido, Styling: Alexus Shefts