Kayden Brenna Tokarski is a talented and captivating 14-year-old actress, making a significant impact in the world of acting. From the age of 10, Kayden has showcased her natural flair for performing, effortlessly embodying a diverse range of characters and emotions. Through dedicated training and immersive theatrical experiences, she continuously refines her skills and delivers performances that resonate with audiences.

Kayden’s commitment to her craft is evident in her fearless exploration of different roles and her ability to authentically portray complex human emotions. Her genuine warmth and humility make her a beloved figure among colleagues and fans alike, and she serves as an inspiration to aspiring actors.

With her unwavering determination and undeniable talent, Kayden Brenna Tokarski is poised to make a lasting impact in the entertainment industry. Her passion for storytelling and her ability to connect with audiences make her a force to be reckoned with in the acting world.

What drew you to the character of Martha Mitchell in “Gaslit”?

Martha Mitchell’s story surrounding Watergate is very compelling and how she was silenced and persecuted for speaking out. She went through so much in her life. Martha is played brilliantly by Julia Roberts, and it was the biggest honor to play a younger version of her in this STARZ original TV series. In addition to Julia Roberts, this Emmy, Critics Choice and Golden Globes-nominated series rime also stars Sean Penn, Dan Stevens, Betty Gilpin, Darby Camp, Shea Whigham and other brilliant actors. You can also see it on Amazon Prime. 

Can you describe the kind of research you did for your role in “Roswell Delirium.”

Directed by Richard Bakewell, this sci-fi movie is set in the 1980s and features iconic actors like Anthony Michael Hall, Dee Wallace, Reginald VelJohnson and Sam Jones. I play a mean girl (who is the opposite of me!) and researched pop culture of the 1980s as well as watched popular movies of that era to really develop my character, her backstory, and motivations. 

How did your experience with Anthony Michael Hall on “Roswell Delirium” impact your performance?

I have always been a big fan of Anthony Michael Hall, and he was so encouraging and supportive especially of the young actors on set. You will be able to see “Roswell Delirium” streaming very soon, so stay tuned! 

In what ways do you find your background in competitive diving influences your acting?

I was fortunate to reach Junior Olympic status on the 1-meter diving board from continual training, practice and a mindset to never give up. It’s a tough sport and is a lot like acting. You have to constantly train, be consistent, have a thick skin and always move forward. 

What aspects of community service are most important to you, and how do you incorporate that into your career?

I think giving back is so important and helps you to become a more well-rounded individual. I was so blessed to part of the Joyful Child Foundation’s “Be Brave” initiative, which was designed to teach kids how to be safe from predators. This amazing organization was founded by Erin Runnion in honor of her daughter Samantha Runnion. They do incredible work to protect kids’ joy. I auditioned for the role, and in addition to teaching me valuable lessons, it furthered my interest in acting. 

How has your singing training influenced your performances in film and television?

I have been training with my wonderful singing coach Corinne Dekker for 1.5 years, and she has really helped me to improve my skills and love of singing. This has really helped me with auditions and roles. 

How do you approach building your characters in films like “Curse of Vandor”?

“Curse of Vandor” is a fantasy family movie directed by Ritchie Allen Greer that stars the amazing Dee Wallace. My character Robbie experiences some big challenges but is very strong-willed and determined, so I channeled her inner strength and vulnerability for the role. 

What does it mean to you to play roles that bring light to issues such as autism and addiction in films like “My Melancholy Baby”?

This movie on Amazon Prime does a great job of bringing the challenges families and individuals face from addiction and developmental disabilities.  I think it’s important for films to show the struggles people face who often do so in the dark and that there are resources available that can help. 

Photo Credit: Ava Cantrell Photography

Can you describe a particularly challenging scene you’ve acted in recently and how you prepared for it?

In the upcoming thriller “Calculated Obsession” directed by Ryan J. Francis, there were many challenging scenes but the final scene of the movie, which I can’t give away, required specific choreography and a mix of intense emotions. I love a challenge and emotional roles are my favorite (as odd as that sounds), so I practiced the choreography and played the scene how I felt the character would. I like to take some quiet time to get into character when doing emotional scenes. 

How do you manage to stay grounded despite your rapid rise in the acting industry?

I don’t think I am rising rapidly at all, but any growth I may have gained, I am immensely thankful for. It’s so important to be grateful for every opportunity and to always be a kind and humble person. I am also very grateful for my acting coaches Michelle Tomlinson and Jillian Reed. Along with wonderful coaching, they are both mentors and huge inspirations to me. It helps to have great people on your side, and I am incredibly grateful for them and my entire team. 

What memorable advice have you received from directors or fellow actors that you carry with you?

This is such a competitive field and it’s easy to get discouraged, but my LA agent Sueanne Edan told me from day one that this journey is a marathon; not a sprint and not to compare my journey to anyone else’s. I always believe if a role is meant to be mine, it will be and if not, that is OK. I also feel it’s important to cheer on fellow actors and their success. Being supportive is a big part of who I am and is something I feel is important in any industry. 

Can you share an experience where a role significantly changed or impacted your perspective?

I play a very sweet yet naïve teen in the upcoming thriller “Mama Bear” directed by Matt Toronto. My character faces some very scary situations that ultimately end up making her a stronger person. Her story made me appreciate how important it is to be aware of potential dangers in life and how a person can channel the will and determination to overcome challenges. 

How do you select the roles you choose to pursue, and what factors are most important to you in that decision?

I love roles that are totally different than I am as a person. I really enjoy being challenged and the opportunity to show range.

What are your aspirations for the future, both in acting and in other areas of your life?

I am so grateful to be working at this craft and am hoping to one day work with my idols like Emma Stone, Meryl Streep, Zendaya, Austin Butler, Pedro Pascal, and Denzel Washington.

What are some ways you prepare for auditions and roles to ensure you deliver your best performance?

I do a ton of breakdown on characters, creating back stories, scenarios and how they react and connect with others. I also journal a lot in first person about my character, their life, and what shapes them as a person. Then, when I’m on set, I let all this work go, which allows it to be free!

How do you see your career evolving over the next few years, and are there any particular types of roles you’re eager to tackle?

I am hoping to work on an A24 film and would love to be a series regular on a drama show. 

Photo Credit: Ava Cantrell Photography

Can you share how you balance the demands of your career with personal time and other interests?

Acting is my passion and I devote a lot of time to training, but I really enjoy spending time with my family, two dogs and cat and my friends. You need to have balance in your life, and I am grateful for the people who love and support me!

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Published by HOLR Magazine

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