Interview: Kerri Medders

From the interview archives.


Texas native Kerri Medders seems to be popping up everywhere lately. She released her first EP Lot 17 last year and can currently be seen in the hit series SEAL Team as Emma Hayes. Upcoming, you can see her as Gwenny Thompson in the new Netflix original sitcom Alexa & Katie. VULKAN caught up with Kerri to discuss the new show and find out when we can expect some new infectious music. 

How has the experience been for you so far on SEAL Team?

The experience has been so lovely! Every time I’m on set if feels like I’m surrounded by family. I got really lucky with such a beautiful work environment.

How do you think you would cope with having Jason Hayes as a father given his line of work?

I can’t even imagine. I’d be so proud to have a parent protecting our country, but it’s also terrifying knowing that they go into the unknown so often. I’ve only related through my character and to have such a supportive dad is heartbreaking never knowing when you’ll get to see them next, if ever.

Can you give us any insight to the kind of situations we may see Emma in as the series progresses – or perhaps, situations that you yourself would like to see her explore?

I’m all-for an intense driven plot line, so it’d be interesting (and fun to play) for my character Emma to get taken in some way and have my dad rush against the clock to save me. 

Your fans sometimes tweet you different characters they’d like to see you portray. Have any of those suggestions stood out to you as ones you’d like to pursue, and on a similar note, have any of the suggestions ever made you say, “No way, not for me!” ?

I am always game for any role that people see me in. The fact that someone is visualizing me in those roles and took the time to choose me out of so many other talented actors.. it’s pretty awesome.

Your new Netflix series Alexa & Katie premiers in March as well. What can you tell us about Gwenny Thompson?

She’s the archenemy of Alexa and wants to be the center of attention with everything in her control. Consider her an ‘over the top’ version of Regina George.

Given that you have many young fans that looks up to you, what advice might you have for teens making that transition into high school this year?

Don’t take any crap. There will people that will try to change who you are and even if you don’t know who you are yet, you’ll soon figure it out in the perfect time. Don’t let others influence you in decisions you don’t want. It may seem hard at first but trust me, in the long run it will matter.

What kind of positive coping mechanism would you recommend they try when dealing with the complex emotions that come along with the teen years?

Embrace them. Don’t see complex emotions as negative, use them. Use them to stand up for something you believe in; a club, or art. Focus all of those feelings into something of creation or changing the world. We are the generation of change. If you have something on your mind, speak it, use your voice.

Remember that you are always important and you are unique. There will never be someone like you. My favorite quote at the moment is ‘you are not here to fill space or be a background character in someone else’s movie. Consider this: nothing would be the same if you did not exist. Every place you have ever been and everyone you have ever spoken to would be different without you. We are all connected, and we are all affected by the decisions and even the existence of those around us.’

What would you say your first love is, music or acting? Or perhaps something else altogether?

Music has always been apart of my life. I don’t remember a memory that I didn’t have some sort of musical aspect happening. I suppose that answers the question, without actually giving an answer. Hahaha. I love both, but one you bring someone else’s words to life; the other you get to speak your own soul.

Lot 17 had such a fun retro pop vibe. What or who was your inspiration for the sound of that EP?

Lot 17 was very inspired by my inner thoughts of developing into the age of 17. I always had this visual that each year I spent in my life is stored in a storage locker. So instead of it being physical memorabilia when you open it; it’s more ideas and thoughts of the year. You can’t hold it but you can feel it.

Do you have any new music in the works?

I do have new music that I am working on. My inspiration is speaking up about topics I’ve carried around for awhile and now is the time to start talking about certain subject’s current in our society now. #TimesUp

Who is your ideal artist to collaborate with on a new track?

Halsey, Bea Miller, Billie Eilish; pretty much any woman that screams strong.

If you could choose one exotic animal to have in your care, what would you choose?

Why torture an animal lover like this!!! I want every animal in the world, I just want to have a big animal sanctuary and rescue all the animals I can.

What is one thing you hope to accomplish this year?

I would love to be in a film with a strong leading lady role. Those are my favorite flicks to watch, so why not want to be apart of it?

Anything else you’d like to mention for us to keep an eye out for?

I just wrapped on a 4-week film that not only challenged me but I believe it helped me grow as an actress; mentally and also maybe physically (because I did my own stunts). I don’t know how much I can say but my character deals with Stockholm Syndrome and she really shifts into a different person in the film.

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