Southern Vanity Magazine August 2003 - Kelly Stafford


S.V. What motivated you to become an actor?

J.N. Women. When I was in college, all the pretty women were in the theatre &ldots; so I auditioned for a play.


S.V.. If you had not pursued acting, which profession would you have chosen?

J.N. I don’t know &ldots; maybe a landscaper.


S.V.. What are you currently working on?

J.N. I’ve just completed two independent feature films: Lost Angel with Allison Eastwood and John Rhys-Davies, and White Rush with Louis Mandaylor and Sandra Vidal.


S.V.. In choosing a project, what do you look for?

J.N. Anything from the script, character, co-stars, or the director; almost everything can draw or repel me from a project.


S.V..Out of all the characters you have played throughout your career, whom do you feel you relate to the most?

J.N. My job as an actor is to serve the material; therefore, I must relate to all of my characters, pleasant or not.


S.V..And your fans, who do they relate to the most?

J.N. I’m not sure about that. Probably The Breakfast Club because it has been seen by most.


S.V.. In the ‘80s and ‘90s you were labeled as a member of the “Brat Pack,” what impact, positive or negative, has that had on your career?

J.N. The term “Brat Pack” portrays my generation of actors as being unprofessional. It has been my experience that all the actors of my generation that I have worked with have been prepared, on time, enthusiastic, and motivated to do good work. So the term is negative, shortsighted, and ill-informed. In no way could the term have anything but a negative impact.


S.V.. You spent a lot of time in Texas while filming Fandango. What was your impression prior to arriving and after you left?

J.N. I had heard Texas was brown and arid-lots of tumbleweeds and cacti. My first Texas city was Austin, which was green and beautiful. I’ve been to Marfa, Pyote, Alpine, Dallas, and all over the state. I love Texas and Texans!


S.V.. In the film The Dark Backward, which is one of my favorites, you gave an outstanding performance. How long did it take you to prepare for your role?

J.N. I spent about a month working on painfully bad comedy, and getting as thin as I could.


S.V.. You had a sensational run on the sitcom “Suddenly Susan.” After the loss of David Strickland about whom you have been quoted as saying, “David was the funniest person in the group,” and of course a close friend, would you say his death played a part in your decision to leave the show?

J.N. David’s passing was the main reason for my leaving the show. However, I had a great time on the show.


S.V.. What advice would you give a young person aspiring to be an actor/actress?

J.N. Try not to take negative criticism too personally, and remember to be as smart as you are.


S.V.. Having performed in movies, television, and theatre, which do you find the most rewarding?

J.N. I love the rehearsal process in the theatre, and the visceral sense of contact and communication with a live audience &ldots; although a second take is pretty good!


S.V..I know you are an avid golfer; what is your handicap?

J.N. Other than my impatience, about an 18.


S.V.. Occasionally you have played on the celebrity tour. So far, what is your most memorable round and if anyone, with whom were you paired?

J.N. Anytime I finish with the same ball I started with, it’s a memorable round. I’ll play golf with anyone and have a blast-unless they are slow!


S.V.. Is it true you scored 202 at the Marie Lemieux tournament on one round of golf? If so, how is that possible?

J.N. Yes. I did running “Happy Gilmore” swings off all the tees, even with irons. I let any youngster who could fit under the ropes putt for me. The official scorer and the marshall spent the day assessing me 2-stroke penalty after 2-stroke penalty. I also let the gallery choose the clubs for me. It was tough to hit the 3-iron 60 yards, and the lob wedge 225, but no excuses &ldots; I earned that 202!


S.V.. Besides the obvious, what is your definition of golf?

J.N. An exercise in patience and discipline-things in short supply in my bag.


S.V.. What was your first job?

J.N. During junior high I worked part-time at a small candle factory in my hometown of Portland, Maine. My mother loved that I came home from work smelling like flowers and spice.


S.V.. What memory of your childhood do you enjoy the most?

J.N. Being a juvenile idiot and not getting into trouble.


S.V.. Whom do you most admire?

J.N. My father. He is the smartest, most honest and forthright person I know.


S.V.. You devote a lot of time to charities, The Ark Trust, RAAADD (Recording Artists, Actors, Against Drunk Driving), and numerous charity golf tournaments. What motivates you?

J.N. I am drawn to charities that benefit and protect the young and disenfranchised.


S.V..What is one habit you would like to break?

J.N. Smoking while driving naked at night going 120 mph.


S.V.. What irritates you the most?

J.N. Traffic.


S.V..What is your most embarrassing moment, or at least one

of them?

J.N. Way too many to mention. As I see it, if I don’t remember it didn’t happen.


S.V.. What is your fashion philosophy? Do you dress for style

or comfort?

J.N. Comfort, comfort, and more comfort.


S.V..Who is a person you would like to meet, living or deceased?

J.N. Hitler. I would like to meet him when he was 20 years old so I could kill him immediately.


S.V.. What traits do you admire the most in other people?

J.N. Honesty, tolerance, and a strong sense of humor about one’s self.


S.V..What is your proudest achievement?

J.N. . Being self-reliant.


S.V..What is your most prized possession?

J.N. My genitalia.


S.V..Obviously you spend a lot of time in the gym; what is your workout regime?

J.N. The key is making it to the gym. Join a gym that is close to where you live or work and just get your butt there. Then do whatever; it will work!


S.V.. Besides being your companion and best friend for eight years, what other attributes has Tallulah Bighead, your Staffordshire terrier, given you?

J.N. Unconditional love, great enthusiasm, and face-licks!


S.V..What do you hope to accomplish in the next 10 years?

J.N. I would like to continue working in front and behind the camera and stage and get satisfaction from my work.


S.V..What, if anything, do you regret?

J.N. A zillion things &ldots; if only I could remember.



Food: Surf and Turf

Music: The Blues

Car: Anything with 4 doors and a very big V-8

Vacation Spot: Anyplace near the water

Comic Book Hero: The Silver Surfer

Book: Too many to mention

Athlete: Jim Thorpe and Muhammad Ali

Actor: Almost everyone

Golf Club: 60-degree wedge