An Interview with Once Upon a Time's Keegan Connor Tracy

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Keegan Connor Tracy has been a well-known actor in Canada for over a decade. She has worked with a number of luminaries in both film and TV, including Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti, Josh Hartnett and Ginnifer Goodwin.

Appearing in numerous features and TV series including; 40 Days and 40 Nights, Bruce Paltrow’s Duets, Final Destination 2 and White Noise with Michael Keaton. She is currently portraying the duel characters of the Blue Fairy/Mother Superior on ABC’s wildly successful series, “Once Upon a Time”.

Playing the Blue Fairy ticks off several things on my actor list. I’ve always wanted to play something fantastical and certainly the powerful Blue Fairy hits that note with her wild jellyfish costume and her ability to change lives with one swoop of her wand.’ Said Keegan.

Not only is Keegan busy filming “Once Upon a Time”, but she has a recurring role on the upcoming A&E series “Bates Motel” as Miss Watson, Norman’s teacher and advisor. The upcoming series “Bates Motel” is the prequel to Psycho and examines the twisted relationship between the young Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) and his mother Norma (Vera Farmiga).

If you think filming two television series isn’t busy enough, Keegan has also been shooting features this year. She graces the big screen in Carl Bessai’s Bloodlines and Robert Redford’s The Company You Keep (an Official Selection at TIFF 2012). Keegan was hand picked by Redford himself to play the part of his secretary. Of working with the icon, Keegan says;

‘Everyone asks what he’s like and I can only say generous, endearing and ridiculously charming. Even in his seventies – he’s still got it!’

I had the pleasure of interviewing the spectacular Keegan Connor Tracy; we talk “Bates Motel”, “Once Upon a Time” and her sex appeal.

Felix: You’ve played the role of the Blue Fairy on ABCs hit show “Once Upon a Time”. Now you have a new recurring role in the highly anticipated A&E show “Bates Motel.” Tell us more about your new character and what attracted you to this role.

Keegan: I love when journalists ask what attracted me to a role, since I’m not nearly as powerful as you think. But I had a thought on a direction for her that attracted me for sure – I thought it’d either be crazy or brilliant. They hired me, so lets hope it’s brilliant!

Felix: Is it difficult to play two completely different characters on two separate shows at the same time? How do you manage a work life and personal life? Your schedule must be insane, what kind of challenges do you find yourself coming across.

Keegan: I don’t find the two characters difficult – heck I’m already so many versions on Once Upon a Time! (Fairy Tale Land, and Storybrooke before and after curse, Rheul Ghorm). I welcome the challenges of both of these roles, of any roles! The bigger challenge for me is the scheduling which is mostly insane. It’s a lot of juggling and is the most stressful part of my job in general. Having a normal job with 2 kids is hard enough, this job just ups the ante!

Felix: I don’t know if you can answer this, but which show do you prefer working on more? “Bates Motel” or “Once Upon a Time”, and why?

Keegan: Honestly, I love both – how could I not? Especially with so many of my friends and colleagues out of work… I am grateful beyond belief to be a working actor.

I must say though, Miss Watson’s arc has been a wonderful experience and I have really enjoyed the challenge of playing her, hopefully well.

Felix: Do you have any spoilers or any dirty little secrets you can share with us about the upcoming show “Bates Motel”? How about on “Once Upon a Time”?

Keegan: Are you trying to get me fired!?

Felix: When you are not filming, what kinds of activities can we find you doing? Any hobbies or just favourite places you like to lounge at?

Keegan: I had hobbies once. Then I had children…

I’m starting to scrape back some time for me. Once in a while I stare at my white water kayak and wonder where the love has gone.

Felix: Let’s get a little personal. You seem like the wild type. I remember taking pictures of you at one of the Vancouver Film Festival Red Carpets events last year, and you wore a sexy laced back dress (picture below). Is this a fair representation of your personality and what you are like off camera?

Keegan: Well, hmmm. I think it’s fair to say in general with me that what you see is what you get – I’m not much of a pretender outside of work. I absolutely put my personality into Red Carpet outfits etc. and I definitely like to be left of centre in most things I do. I’ve never felt very ‘girl next door’ and my style is part of that. I’ve been called an iconoclast and that’s one of my favorite compliments.

Felix: You did a nice spread in Maxim (Stuff) magazine and you looked amazing. When preparing for this interview I did a poll of what men wanted me to ask you, so in all fairness I have to ask; “Are the “twins” real?” – take it as a compliment.

Keegan: You liked it? Honestly, I’m still kind of mortified by that…

I’m a little disappointed that’s all men wanted to ask me? I’m much more interesting than ‘the twins’. Perhaps you should expand your polling participants?

And for the record? They’re real, and they’re spectacular. Or they were before I breastfed two babies. Now they’re just great.

Felix: Moving beyond your sex appeal, you are very intelligent. You have obtained a degree in Social Psychology from the Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. When or how did you make your decision to pursue acting full time? Is there any advice you can give to young actors who want to make it in the industry without sacrificing school or work.

Keegan: Well, thank you for noticing. Did you participate in the recent poll…?

I always wanted to pursue a career as an actor, I just didn’t want to be a waitress (mostly because I suck at it). I wanted to be respected and I felt having a degree would help that. I don’t know how much that actually worked, but education is never a bad choice. I’d like to do a Masters degree eventually, though in what I have no idea. In a dream world, a degree in romance languages or French literature or art. Ah, I sigh.

Felix: Last but not least, as an actress working and living in British Columbia, how do you feel about the entire “Save BC film industry” campaign? Any comments or thoughts you wish to share?

Keegan: I stand united with all my colleagues, friends and fellow workers. I have helped build this industry alongside them for nearly 20 years. This is one of the best places you could find to film; great talent, great crews, great locations. Now if only this government would get its myopia fixed it might see the big picture. Til then, it is our job to hold up a giant lens to the problem, put all that creativity and resourcefulness to work and SAVE BC FILM!

Felix: Thank you for taking the time to meet with me.

Catch Keegan Connor Tracy on “Bates Motel” premiering on A&E on March 18th at 10pm/9pm central. You can see a behind-the-scenes trailer here: http://www.aetv.com/bates-motel/video/

Felix Kay,
Hang with Felix on Twitter: @TheFelixKay

 

Red Carpet Photo Credit: @TheFelixKay

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Felix Kay Entertainment Columnist for Vancity Buzz
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