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Chandler Kinney

Cool and Chic

Rising star Chandler Kinney plays ‘Riana’ in the hit Fox show Lethal Weapon, based on the film series of the same name. The show was recently picked up for a second season, which is great news for Kinney and her castmates. Read on to learn more about this vivacious and sweet native Californian.

LT Tell us about the show, your character, and the audition process. What drew you to the character of Riana, and what was the audition process like?

CK Lethal Weapon is centered around two LAPD detectives named Murtaugh (Damon Wayans) and Riggs (Clayne Crawford) and their crazy, but lovable, partnership. We have a wonderful dynamic on our show that is the perfect mix of comedy, drama, and, of course, action. I play Riana, Roger Murtaugh’s daughter. She is somewhat rebellious and witty, but has a heart of gold. I wanted to play this character because she is very different from who I am, which makes her so much more exciting to play. I remember going in for the role and feeling pretty good about my audition. A couple of days later, I was called back in for a session with producers and our showrunner/developer Matt Miller. They told me to watch the original Lethal Weapon movies and they would see me again. Shortly after that, I did the camera test and then we filmed the pilot. The whole process was fairly quick.

LT You’re a black bet in Tae Kwon Do. Were the casting directors really impressed by that?

CK Yes, I’m a black belt! I’m not sure if the casting directors were aware of that or not. However, they definitely know now, and I am hoping that I get to use my skills moving forward into Season Two!

LT You’re also a trained dancer. What has dance taught you about discipline, fitness, and life?

CK Dance taught me so much, and has also been a huge force in shaping the person that I am today. It’s shown me how, and why, to persevere through tough times. It has made the significance of discipline so clear to me. It also has taught me how to take care of my body and mind. And, of course, it sparked my love of art, emotion, and entertainment. These are things that have become a special part of who I am that I will carry throughout the rest of my life.

LT In what ways do you ‘give back’?

CK Philanthropy has always been something very important to me and my family! I have my own organization, Chandler’s Friends, that reaches out and helps children at any kind of disadvantage, whether hospitalized, foster, or homeless, and lets them know that they have a friend in me who cares about them. We work hard to host different events throughout the year to help children and families in need.: I also sponsor a young girl in Ethiopia. We write letters back and forth and send pictures. My sponsorship helps provide her with better education, food, clothes, and healthcare. “Paying it forward” is extremely important because to give is to love, and we could all use some more love in this world. Also, if you’re in a position to help someone else who needs it, why wouldn’t you?.

LT What book have you read recently that you adored?

CK Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell is the sweetest, unexpected high school love story about two misfit outsiders. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a cute teen novel with beautiful little moments.

LT What’s something people are surprised to learn about you?

CK I love baking and I’m pretty good at it! I bake all the time, everything from cookies, to brownies, to cakes. Whenever my friends come over, they want me to bake for them.

LT What’s next for you creatively and career-wise?

CK We’re so incredibly excited about Lethal Weapon’s Season 2 pick-up. We’ll start working on that sometime later in the year. In the meantime, I hope to squeeze in a couple of other projects. I can’t talk about anything right now though!

LT What advice do you have for aspiring actors?

CK Honestly, my best advice for aspiring actors is this; if you truly love the art of acting, don’t let anyone or anything stop you. The chances of obstacles getting in your way are high, especially in this wonderfully, magical insanity that is the entertainment industry. But do not allow to anything stand in between you and your goals. Keep going no matter what. Keep chasing after your dreams until you catch them.


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