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Kendra Leigh Timmins talks to Kidsday

Kendra Leigh Timmins from the Nickelodeon show

Kendra Leigh Timmins from the Nickelodeon show "Ride" with Kidsday reporters, from left, Emma Darmody, JJ Joyce, Max Melnik, and Lauren Smalley. Photo Credit: Newsday / Pat Mullooly

We met actress Kendra Leigh Timmins who stars as Katherine “Kit” Bridges on the new Nickelodeon show, “Ride” while she was in Manhattan recently.

Who’s your inspiration?

My inspiration was actually my mom, because she was a really good role model. She’s a teacher. She teaches kindergarten and [first] grade. So, I always looked up to her because she always worked really hard and she always told me that I could do whatever I wanted to do.

What do you prefer better — acting in a TV series or a movie?

Oh, I prefer acting in a TV series, I think, because you get a little bit longer to figure out your character and you can get more stories in, so we can get into more trouble on set.

When you were young, did you dream of being an actress?

I did. I always knew I wanted to perform. So I did a lot of theater and I was always in the school choir, so I had an idea but I wasn’t sure that I wanted to do film and television until a little bit later, because I figured I wouldn’t have to pick a job that way. If I was an actor I could do all of the different kinds of jobs and then I would never have to make a decision.

What was your favorite Nickelodeon show when you were young?

I really like the cartoons that are on Nickelodeon. So, I love “SpongeBob SquarePants.” I really like “Rugrats.” I also liked the “Power Rangers” — it was one of my favorites. I always wanted to be a Power Ranger.

Did you play any sports when you were young?

I did. I used to try and play a little bit of everything. But I was always short. So I wasn’t very good at basketball or volleyball. But I tried. But I really like soccer. It was my favorite. I used to play that a lot.

What was your favorite TV show or movie when you were a kid?

I think I used to watch “The Princess Bride” with my dad, because that was always his favorite movie. I wasn’t super young when I watched that, but I definitely think that was one of my absolute favorites. And then still I used to watch a lot of cartoons. “Shrek” was a good movie, too.

What’s the best and worst part of being famous?

I think the best part is getting to interact with so many different people from all over the world that I normally wouldn’t get to meet or interact with if I wasn’t involved. And then I think the worst thing is probably when I get surprised every so often when someone recognizes me and I’m kind of wandering around during the middle of groceries and it always is a bit of a surprise. Or I’m like “Oh, it’s so nice to meet you. I’m so sorry that I’m wearing my sweatpants.”

What’s your favorite activity?

I like to do a lot of arts and crafts. So, I have a lot of coloring books that I like to do. And I recently learned how to knit, which is really cool. My grandmother taught me how to knit, so I’m getting a little bit better at that, too!

Is there an actress or an actor that you would like to guest star on your show?

I would like everyone to guest star on the show. I would like to meet as many people as possible, but I think it would be very cool if Ariana Grande came on the show and did a guest spot. That would be pretty awesome. I think it would be really fun if she were on and then everyone can sing and dance for an episode.

Which character that you’ve played has the most in common with you?

Oh, that’s a very good question because I’ve always played people who are fairly different to me so I think Kit might be the closest actually, which is who I play in “Ride.” And just because she’s a little quirky, she’s a little different, and she is a combination of a lot of things. You know, she likes to get dressed up and be girly sometimes. But she’s also a little bit of a tomboy. And she likes to be free-spirited and have no rules but at the same time she’s really determined and when she sets her mind to something, she does it. And I think I’m also a combination of a bunch of different things. I don’t feel like I have to fit in the box anywhere, which is really nice.

Do you have any freedom with your lines in a show?

Yes and no. The writing is pretty good. So for the most part we didn’t need to switch anything up, but the writers were also really wonderful and they wanted us to participate. And if we had an idea to let them know and we can talk about it. And so, it was very much a collaboration. I think the only things that really got changed were lines with the British actors, because they would come in and go actually, the British slang that we would say is more like this.

What advice do you have for a kid that wants to get into acting?

My best advice is to just do it as much as you can because the more you do it, the more you’ll get a feel for if you really love it. So, and it doesn’t have to be professional, either. I started just in school. I signed up for the school play. I signed up for the choir. I used to volunteer speeches in front of the class, just to get practice. And then once you know that you really love it, all you really have to do is really work hard and believe that you can do it.

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