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Kristen Henry King

Interviewed by Amanda Lenker Doyle, CSA

1. Has there been a Casting Director that has encouraged and/or supported you in your career?

I would say all the Casting Directors that took a chance on me when I was new to LA and had zero TV or film credits. The ones that stand out are Christy Dooley, who a year after going to her casting workshop, called me in (with no representation) for a co-starring role on The Bold and the Beautiful. She is the reason I attained my first agent. Alyson Silverberg gave me my first prime-time credit with How I Met Your Mother, then direct booked me for Baby Daddy, and then later brought me in for a co-star on Jane the Virgin, which became recurring. Christine Shevchenko, Alexis Koczara, and Amanda Lenker Doyle added to my resume shortly after that. But once Jason Kennedy brought me on to NCIS: Los Angeles in 2019, I felt like I had hit a milestone. I’ve found that anyone who gets on that show will eventually make it, it’s just a matter of time.

2. What work are you most proud of?

Taking on and duplicating different parts of humanity. I love the challenge of getting a role in which I have to do research because it’s “not me” and finding that person in real life, interviewing them, and then taking on their viewpoint. But the job I’m most proud of booking is a recurring role on Station 19. I came into the audition room with a completely different character choice than what the breakdown said after reading the script, and it ended up working in my favor.

3. What or who inspired you to pursue acting as a career?

To be honest, I never wanted to be an actor. I went to university to become an opera singer. I was terrible at auditioning for musical theater because you had to act, but living in NY, that was where my opportunity lied at that age. So I took my first acting class. I was hooked ever since, and I always thought, these stories needed to be told, so here I am telling them.

4. What was your first IMDbPro credit and how did you feel when you saw it?

AAAAAAHHHHH! I made it! My first paid credit was for The Bold and the Beautiful. I still remember that day! I made a video for my VERY conservative parents showing them my trailer, and what it was like to be on set, because this was the proof that I COULD make money as an actor, and that alone was the fuel to keep me going.

5. How has IMDbPro helped you market yourself to filmmakers?

I usually lead with that, when it comes to my e-signature and my promotional materials. I like how it shows you who you have worked with and when. I just recently found out that I’ve crossed paths with a director who was on Grown-ish (another show I was on) who also directed my first episode of Station 19. IMDbPro connects you with industry professionals, and makes them more real and less distant when you realize you have a lot in common.

6. Tell us a interesting story or fun fact about you outside of acting.

I am an MS (Multiple Sclerosis) survivor. I was told I would be in a wheelchair, as I was paralyzed on the right side of my face and the left side of my body. I took a year off from acting to get stem cell treatment and recover from the nerve damage MS had caused. I’m happy to report, I have gone into remission and am symptom free since 2014.

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