Kristin Carey wouldn’t be the person she is today without her friend group. “I have a very tight friendship circle and really feel blessed to have such strong, compassionate, intelligent and kind women around me,” she says. “Sometimes I look back on friends that I had in my 20s and think, ‘Wow, why did you let someone treat you like that?’ I am still very close with my best friend from high school and my college roommates from USC. Being in Los Angeles, you start to build a tribe of likeminded people who become family. My friends are my biggest supporters and only wish the best for me, and I them. A good friendship is a give and take, there is a balance. In our circle, a friend of ours just lost her husband unexpectedly and everyone stepped up immediately and surrounded her with anything she needed. 24/7. That is powerful stuff. I am constantly in awe of the women around me and the self-sacrifice I see on a daily basis. I have grown and become a better friend because of these women. The friends in my life would drop everything if I needed them. You have no idea how safe that makes me feel and very grateful. They always have my back.” The most precious gesture is time itself. “I love surprising friends with flowers or a note to tell them how much I love them, but what truly makes me happy is when I get to spend quality time with my friends. Hiking is my favorite. Catching up and talking about life. I feel so many problems can be solved by getting out into nature and breathing the air and enjoying each other. I feel my greatest attribute as a friend is my loyalty. I will always show up and be there. I always try to give my time and I am a great listener. I love to hold space for my friends so that they feel seen and heard and loved. As much as I would like to give all of my friends a trip around the world, as I have gotten older, I realize it’s those moments of sharing your heart, your desires, your ups and downs with one another that is the most valuable gift I can give.”
She would even travel to them if they needed something! “It is so important to do that for one another. No one should have to be alone in their grief or whatever they are going through. I remember when my dad died unexpectedly when I was in my 30s and my best friends from college were on a plane within the hour. It was incredible to have that support. I have known these women since I was 17. We have all been through a lot together.” This devotion is fitting given that she plays Mrs. Minogue in The Greatest Beer Run Ever, a story about the lengths one man will go to support his friends. Kristin was enraptured by the role. “First of all, it was an honor to play a real life woman. Her name was May ‘Maysie’ Minogue and she was a strong woman who raised five boys in Inwood, NY. She was a devout Irish Catholic woman and in her later years, she was an usherette in Broadway theater. Her son said she loved scotch and a chicken parmesan – my kind of lady. I had the great fortune of meeting her son Jack while we were shooting and was able to hear all about Maysie. I always love hearing the small details about a person. It tells you so much about a person’s character. It was so cool to work with Peter Farrelly for the third time. He is a force of nature and knows exactly what he wants. My character bookends the film and provides an emotional climax at the end. I am the mother of Tommy Minogue, one of Chickie Donohue’s best friends, and my son is heading to Vietnam, like many of the boys in Inwood were doing. Inwood suffered a lot of casualties. Being a tight knit community, it was a very hard time for everyone. When I find out Chickie is heading over to Vietnam, I give him a rosary to give to Tommy to protect him. You will have to see the movie to see how it ends.” Her experience with the cast was very limited, but memorable nonetheless. “It’s so funny when you do a film with all of these great people and never get to meet them. I only got to work with Zac Efron, which was a thrill. There was a flashback Christmas scene with the whole cast in Inwood, but it was cut. Zac is such a vibrant and open actor. We had so much fun just being there for each other. It is emotional stuff and you need to have trust with each other and know you have each other’s back. Period pieces can be tricky. You have to stay in 1967 and stay in your dialect. Russell Crowe and Bill Murray are so good in this film. Hopefully one day I will get to meet them.”
She really immersed herself in the opportunity to act in a period piece. “I absolutely loved working in this time period. It was before I was born, so I really dove into the research of that time. I wanted to know everything. I love the music and the movies of that time, so that was easy. I wanted to know more about the political climate. After I got the role, my husband and I went to visit Inwood. I wanted to get a sense of it. It is so beautiful. It has changed quite a bit, but still had that small town feel. I also started working on the dialect, which I had so much fun learning. I wish my grandparents were still alive – I would have really wanted to hear their perspective on what was going on with the Vietnam War and how it was having their children over there fighting. And how the protests made them feel. I had several relatives serve in Vietnam and thankfully got home safe. So many didn’t. I admire and respect every man and woman who has served and is serving our country. They are all heroes.” The film teaches us the importance of pushing yourself, especially for those you love. “Chickie had a pure heart. On the surface it was a crazy idea, but he followed through. That is what a true friend does. He wanted to make sure his friends from Inwood knew that we were all proud of them, and that we hadn’t forgotten about them. Chickie really grew up over there from his experiences. That journey changed the entire trajectory of his life. Taking risks in life and stepping out of our own comfort zones can be scary, at first but ultimately the greatest gift of our lives.”
When she’s not acting, Kristin started a nonprofit, The Giving Station LA, which focuses on addressing the hygiene needs of the unhoused in the Los Angeles area. “My best friend Kathrin Middleton and I were making bag lunches during the pandemic for the Hollywood Coalition and we just thought we could do more. We started throwing out ideas and realized no one was doing full size hygiene kits for the unhoused as well as families transitioning into temporary housing from the shelters. We also discovered that children at LAUSD were in need of hygiene kits and backpacks full of school supplies, so we rolled our sleeves up and got to work. The hardest part of having a grassroots nonprofit is fundraising. We do everything. We shop, make the kits, and drop them off. Every cent donated is put into our kits and backpacks. We started reaching out to friends and family. We truly believe as we continue to get the word out, that Angel donors will support us. We are working with SELAH and Health Care in Action and we are dropping off weekly to the LAUSD. If you would like to know more about us you can check us out at TheGivingStaionLA.org. This is a need that has grown even larger because of the pandemic. Our goal is to make sure we can provide dignity and respect for every Angeleno that is in need.” Hygiene is an often overlooked aspect of being unhoused, a gap Kristin hopes to redress. “I think the first thing people think about is feeding people and then shelter, and hygiene falls somewhere after that. All of these things are important. Hygiene is important for keeping yourself healthy. There are many organizations that offer pop up showers, but not everyone can get to these facilities, so we reach out to people and give them something that they can immediately utilize. We felt full sized kits would be more beneficial. The organizations we work with say our kits are a great way to open up a conversation with many of the unhoused. Some are scared and confused and also need medical attention. We feel blessed to be able to provide these kits. Every person deserves to feel clean and we feel honored that The Giving Station LA can be a part of providing dignity to another human, letting them know that they are loved and not forgotten.”
Her dreams for the organization reach far and wide. “Kathrin and I would like to have The Giving Station LA in every city and every country. This is a global problem. We know that so much is going on in our world every single day, but instead of sticking your head in the sand, help another human. I promise it will bring you joy. It’s less overwhelming to start in your own community. Volunteer, donate. Find a cause that is close to your heart. The need from our community is growing daily and The Giving Station LA will continue to do everything we can to be a part of the solution. We want every child to feel empowered to learn and feel good about themselves and every person experiencing homelessness or transitioning from shelters to feel they are seen and heard and that there is hope. The Giving Station LA loves Los Angeles and will continue to support our fellow Angelenos.” As Kirstin knows, sometimes you can make the biggest difference by simply donating a little of your time. The Greatest Beer Run Ever is now streaming on AppleTV+.
Read more Celebrity Interviews on ClicheMag.com
Kristin Carey Honors May “Maysie” Minogue in “The Greatest Beer Run Ever.” Photo Credit: Dean Foreman.