Disney actress Kimberly J. Brown, dishes on working with Debbie Reynolds, and recasting of Halloweentown
By: Daniel Hoyos | PHOTOS COURTESY LIz assitstant to Kimberly J. Brown
- Los Angeles, California
We Blab Entertainment Magazine, catches up with former teen actress Kimberly J. Brown about her memories working with the late legend Debbie Reynolds (Singing in the Rain), recasting of Marine Piper in Disney Channel's Halloweentown 4, and advice for breaking into Hollywood.
Most people remember Kimberly J. Brown, from the Disney Channel Halloweentown trilogy. Can you tell us how you got started in the business?
I started in NY w/commercials and print and eventually did my first of three Broadway shows at age 7. My parents had put me in a class in my MD hometown because I loved acting out pretend “plays” in my house, and I was one of the few students encouraged to try auditioning in New York. My parents always told me if I didn’t like it I could stop but I fell completely head-over-heels in love with it and here I am all these years later!
Halloweentown premiered in 1998 which, made you a household name with my generation. What was the audition process like for the role of Marine Piper?
I read a couple of times for the role. If I remember correctly, we did the scene in the beginning with Marnie arguing with Gwen about going trick-or-treating and the scene with Marnie telling Dylan about Halloweentown in her bedroom. I was so thrilled when I found out I booked it because I loved Marnie as a character and couldn’t wait to pretend to have magical powers :)
When filming begun on Halloweentown you were just 14 years old. How did your personal life change after the film became a hit on the Disney Channel?
It’s been amazing to watch the movies’ fanbase grow over the years. I’m so flattered by fans who still come up and quote the movie to me. It’s the greatest gift to have something you’ve acted in enjoyed by people, and have them tell you about it.
After two more successful sequels the Disney Channel chose to recast the role of Marnie. You originally voiced your disappointment; can you elaborate on the recasting for Return to Halloweentown?
Yes, I was disappointed for the fans but I’ve been doing this for over 25 years. My fellow actor friends and I have all had stuff happen through the course of doing this for a living that sometimes you just have to chalk up to being in a crazy industry.
The sudden death of Debbie Reynolds was a complete shock to the whole industry. Can you tell us what it was like working with the legendary Debbie Reynolds?
I can’t say enough about what an incredible human being she was. Getting to grow up with her and become her friend outside of the “Halloweentown” shoots was such a blessing to my life. She was the ultimate supportive, insightful, hilarious performer and friend and I will always miss her.
Also the death of Carrie Fisher who played Princess Leia in Star Wars was quite emotional. How did her untimely passing affect you?
It was quite shocking. She was such a strong, funny, bold woman. Her amazing talent and sense of humor will be missed.
We often speak to kids who want to enter the entertainment industry. What advice would you give someone if they wanted to pursue a career in acting?
People ask me that all the time and I always say to start with training, because it gives you a real idea of what it takes. Many people think that the industry looks fun because of what celebrity looks like on social media but it is work. Fun work, and work that I love and have loved since I was little. So I think taking classes first to see what kind of work it takes is a good start because that fundamental love of acting will drive you through all the ups and downs of the crazy business aspect of it.
Our readers are very interested in what you are currently up to professionally. Can you tell us about any future projects your working on?
I’m currently performing improv at UCB, and write & direct original skits and videos for my YouTube Channel. I also have a film called “The Wrong Side of 25” in post-production, with a couple other films in development. ;)
Kimberly will be appearing at the 2017 Cherry City Comic Con happening April 8th-9th in Salem, Oregon.
Follow Kimberly J. Brown on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.