You may recognize actress Kimmy Shields from the latest season of Arrested Development or roles on Girlboss and GLOW, but now she can be seen on a new Netflix series, Insatiable. The show premiered on August 10th and delivers many powerful messages, including on the topic of bullying. Outside of Kimmy being on set acting, she can also be seen doing volunteer work and working at a pizza shop. We chatted with Kimmy about her character, Nonnie, and what she wants her audience members to take away from the show.
Cliché: You grew up in a family of entertainers. Would you say your desire to be an actress stemmed from following in your family’s footsteps or was that a path you would’ve followed regardless?
Kimmy Shields: I would say both. I definitely started performing after watching my parents perform. So I began acting at a very young age and by following my family’s footsteps, it just instilled this passion in me to become an actress.
Your new show, Insatiable, is about to make its debut on Netflix on August 10th. What was your experience like working on the television series?
It was a remarkable experience. Everybody was just so lovely and it was a very welcoming and warm set. It was really nice to see a crew made up of diverse people. We had people of color. We had some really terrific female directors and a lot of women in the writer’s room. So it was really cool to see them have that integrity in terms of the process of making the show.
What’s your relationship with the rest of the cast like?
It’s great. Debby Ryan and I met on my first night in Atlanta for the CW Pilot. We pretty much fell in love immediately. She is one of the most tremendous people that I have ever met. In addition, she is also the smartest person that I have ever met. The fact that I was chosen to be her sidekick on and off the screen was one of the greatest gifts of the entire thing.
Can you describe your character, Nonnie?
Nonnie is collected, she has a really cool style, very artistic, and is dry. She also has a great sense of humor and is very smart. But certainly, the main trait of Nonnie is that she is fiercely loyal to Patty, which could get her into trouble as she tries to pursue other relationships. Last but not least, Nonnie and Patty have been friends since they were 3-years-old.
Do you relate to her at all?
Umm… Definitely. We both love to put a flare on our outfits. We also both love a good pin and a good patch. In terms of the emotional aspect, I love my friends as if they were family. So I definitely know where that loyalty comes from and I kind of love that about her. She sticks to her people like glue.
What would you say the message of the show is and what do you want the audience members to take away from the show?
There are several messages. I think one of the truest ringing ones is that our show is, in fact, a cautionary tale. We see Patty go on this semi-violent attack and seeks vengeance for those who did her wrong. But then we see that it doesn’t make her feel that much better. I would say the message is to certainly learn to forgive the people who have hurt you and just bubble down. It is important that you figure out what it is that you love and what you are passionate about. Once you do that, you don’t even notice if somebody tries to take the wind out of your sails. Or, if someone is saying something mean because you are already so focused on living a life that you want and a life that is healthy for you. So I am hoping that people will understand while our show is a dark comedy, it is certainly not meant to be taken literally. We are just encouraging support of healthiness mentally, emotionally and physically. So that people can really take care of themselves and just be their best fabulous selves.
Which actors and actresses are you most inspired by? And why?
I am inspired by actors and actresses that are really good at disappearing into whatever role that they are in. I love the character actors as well as the performers that handle privilege with care and use it to just improve the world around them. Whether it is for charity work or volunteer work because they have the resources to do so. I love the performances that still have a nice grasp.
What’s your advice to your fans looking to follow the same path that you took?
That is tricky. People get into this business in so many different ways. I would say get an education. I valued mine very much and I was very lucky to get into school for what I loved. As a result, that later opened the doors for me and I started to pursue acting. It can be a very tough business and it can be very discouraging. But as long as you know what it is that brings you joy every day and you pursue that, both through your auditions and your jobs, and just make sure to cultivate this life of joy. So get to know yourself and follow along with yourself.
What’s the transition like going from acting on set to working at Pedone’s Pizza & Deli?
It’s actually a very smooth transition. Just because I like serving people, so doing television and film, it’s sort of this delayed gratification. You don’t know who and how you serve someone until the show comes out. Whereas when I work at a restaurant, I can literally see myself handing someone food and pouring somebody a drink so that they are taken care of. So whatever working environment that I am in, it stills deserves as much kindness or respect as the other ones. I try to do that by being just as cheerful and communicative as I am on set as I would be at the pizza shop.
What are some things you enjoy doing away from your two jobs?
I really love reading. I am a pretty avid reader. I also really like listening to podcasts. I am always trying to grasp more and more culture and learn as much as possible at one time. I love going to the movies. You can find me dancing at concerts, and can certainly find me roller skating once a week at Moonlight Rollerway. L.A. is pretty much my happiest place in the entire world. So anything that lets me get out of the house and go play for a little while is something that I am going to be very interested in.
Are you currently working on or will be working on any future projects?
I just shot a couple of scenes in a film called Charlie Says that should be coming out next year. Now that Insatiable is out, I hope this will create some opportunities, and if not, I am ready to audition for anything. I am ready to do whatever is asked of me.
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‘Insatiable’ Star Kimmy Shields Talks the Show’s Important Message and More. Image Credits: Molly Pan