You may remember back in November last year the Maryland Theatre Guide interviewed “Walking Dead” actress Kerry Cahill. Well, it seems the accolades just keep on gathering for Cahill as she scoops up a Best Actress award for her role in “Grounded’ at the 2017 Big Easy Theatre Awards.
At the time of interviewing her during the run of “Grounded” in Loyola’s University-Lower Depths Theatre Cahill had also made her debut on the hit tv show “The Walking Dead.”
It was a bit of a marathon, but I was glad I got to prepare in that way…
“The last two years have been phenomenal for me on and off the stage and screen. Becoming the spokesperson for AMVETS was a tremendous honor for me. Also this year I have partnered with Help Heal Veterans (Heal Vets) to a design a wristband in memory of my father that will now be part of the therapeutic craft kits,” says Cahill.
Cahill’s father, Michael Cahill, was shot and killed in 2009 at Fort Hood, Texas in the biggest mass shooting on any American military base in U.S history.
The Big Easy Entertainment Awards of 2017 kicked off in style as always this year at The Orpheum Theatre in New Orleans. Now in its 29th year, the awards honor local music and theater talent.
“Grounded” Written by George Brant and Directed by Larissa Lury was the regional premiere of the show.
“The award ceremony is a great event since they combine the theater and music awards. We get to hear folks like Deacon John and Irma Thomas perform as well as see some great musical performances from the city. It’s an excellent cultural representation of our city. It was a demanding show. We started rehearsals five months before the first performance, and I began working with the script in May of 2016 (I performed in Nov. of 2016),” says Cahill.
Cahill played a fighter pilot who is sidelined due to an unexpected pregnancy. She is reassigned to operate military drones from a trailer in Nevada.
Cahill adds, “It was a bit of a marathon, but I was glad I got to prepare in that way. With 64 pages to work with– it was great to be able to let the text live in my head and let it marinate. I was working on the script a lot during filming for “The Walking Dead,” so I would sit in my cast chair and look a little crazy while I ran lines. My cast mates were great about sitting next to me talking to myself. The thing I remember the most from this production is that it was the first time I had to take days for vocal rest. I have a beautiful, strong voice and have worked a lot in theater. But I talked for an hour and a half straight with only one drink of water in this production, and it made me take extra care of my voice and body.”
Imagine being the decision maker behind hitting one button that could obliterate hundreds even thousands of people. Cahill finds that balance. She is a hot- shot pilot in a male dominated world, but rarely looks phased.”
In an exclusive interview with the guide, Cahill said, “I am always looking for my next challenge as an actress. This one-woman journey is just that a challenge.”
Cahill joins the ranks of actresses like Anne Hathaway in playing this loud, defiant yet at times torn character; Hathaway is rumored to be adapting the play for the big screen.
“Grounded” was Cahill’s first performance at Loyola an alumna.
On the difference between theater and television, Cahill says TV moves much faster. “It’s about technique and preparation time. I got about seven months with the script for Grounded and often in TV you get about a week to 2 days with a script. It’s just a difference in how you build your character and whether you are letting the camera catch you or connecting with an audience. TV moves a lot faster than theater.”
Cahill added. “I was thrilled to be back on campus and working with Loyola’s drama department once again; it was a place I loved and learned so much. I have lots of connections and affiliations with military organizations, so this play was the perfect role for me. I got to see a small glimpse of what life may be like on the inside. ”
“The women I was nominated with were stellar actresses. I have looked up to Carol Sutton ever since I moved to New Orleans in 2000. To even be in that category with her was something that made me grateful for how far I have come as an actress. It’s always an honor to win but to win after putting so much into a role like this one; it meant a lot,” adds Cahill.