Interview With Actor Kiefer O’Reilly, “Who Killed JonBenét?”

By Ruth on November 5, 2016 in Interview, movie, television
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There is nothing quite like a talented youngster, and I was completely enthralled with the young man who starred in both October Kiss and All Yours on the Hallmark Channel. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with the gifted actor who breathed life into his memorable roles in both beloved films, Kiefer O’Reilly. As I chatted with this boy, I was captivated with his unparalleled love of the acting profession, the versatile range of the roles he has portrayed, and his innate inclination to immerse himself within each character he has been chosen to play. Furthermore, we chatted about his upcoming role in Lifetime’s movie, Who Killed JonBenét?

photo credit: Ian Redd

photo credit: Ian Redd

RH: Kiefer, let me start by saying I was so excited to learn that I have seen you in many more things than I realized. You have been in some of my favorite things. 

KO: Thank you very much.

You have been acting for a while now. Why did you decide to become an actor?

When I was around two, I liked to watch movies and TV. So I asked my mom, “How do I get to be on TV?”  And then my mom helped me from there to start to become an actor.

So, since your mom was okay with you being an actor, what did she do first?

When I was three years old, my mom got me into background acting.

Wow, that was a smart move on your mom’s part. I noticed one of your earliest works was on When Calls the Heart

Yes, that’s where I got my first line.

Can you tell us about what was going on in the scene when you said your first line?

In the story, my “mom” was having a baby. I got to go to a big festival in town, and I told my “mom” that I was going to eat three funnel cakes. At first, I wasn’t supposed to have a line, but the director asked if I could handle saying a line, and I did.

After your appearance on When Calls the Heart, what happened next for you?

I got an agent. I auditioned for what would become my next role, Young Joe in  Floating Away. He was a shy kid, and he didn’t really talk that much. And his mom and dad divorced. It was kinda hard to play a part that was sad like that, but they said I did a nice job.

 Photo (Left to Right): Ashley Williams, Hannah Cheramy, Sam Jaeger, Kiefer O'Reilly Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Bettina Strauss

Photo (Left to Right): Ashley Williams, Hannah Cheramy, Sam Jaeger, Kiefer O’Reilly Credit: Copyright 2015 Crown Media United States, LLC/Photographer: Bettina Strauss

I remember seeing you in October Kiss. Hallmark fans and I absolutely loved that movie and still talk about it today. What can you tell us about this movie?

That was my first real movie role, and I was only eight years old. I got to work with Ashley Williams on this  show. She is an awesome lady.

And then you were in another of my top favorite Hallmark movies–I couldn’t believe it. You were in All Yours earlier this year. What was special about this movie for you?

I got to work with some awesome people–Genea Charpentier, Nicollette Sheridan, and Dan Payne. I got to rock climb with Dan Payne.

Cass (Sheridan), a high-powered attorney and single mother of two, is on the hunt for a new nanny after her precocious kids ran off the last one. Meet Matthew (Payne), a world traveler who cannot settle down, until his father challenges him to plant roots. To prove to his father he can stay home and handle domestic life, Matthew interviews for a job as a nanny for a tough client -- Cass. Cass refuses to hire him as her "manny," but is forced to when she can't find anyone else to take the job. Matthew wins over the hearts of her kids -- and eventually the boss. Photo: Kiefer O'Reilly, Dan Payne, Genea Charpentier, Nicollette Sheridan Credit: Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Bettina Strauss

Photo: Kiefer O’Reilly, Dan Payne, Genea Charpentier, Nicollette Sheridan Credit: Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Bettina Strauss

That’s right, I’d almost forgotten! Had you gotten to rock climb before?

I did it a couple times before.

Well, you’ve done it more than I have. I haven’t done it all!

It was really hard to leave this film after it was done because we all got close to each other. We were like family. It was a special movie for all of us, and I was sad to say goodbye.

I understand that you were also on three episodes of Legends of Tomorrow

That one was cool.

What’s the story with this show and your sisters?

When I auditioned, it was two weeks later when I told my sisters I was going to be in a superhero show, and they didn’t believe me. My friends didn’t either. Actually, I didn’t even know what show it was going to be until two days before I started filming when I went to get my costume. But I knew it was a superhero show.

Do you have any memorable filming stories from Legends of Tomorrow?

The person who played the bad guy in the show was actor Caspar {Krump}, and he doesn’t usually do real movies with cameras. So we took the first shot, and I didn’t really spit in his face like I was supposed to. But when we were setting up the camera for the next shot, Caspar said, “Kiefer, you actually need to spit in my face because in my world, there is no special effects.” And so during the next take, I really did spit in his face!

Wow, Kiefer, I don’t think I could have done that. That was really brave of you. {pause} Now, I understand that your parents own a very cool animation company called Arcana Studio. 

Yes, and I have gotten to do voiceover for two of their animation works–Pixies and Howard Lovecraft & the Frozen Kingdom.

A lot of child actors I have interviewed have not done voiceover work, and here you are your age doing voice work. What do you think of voice work as compared to on-camera work?

I think voiceover is different from and easier than on-camera work ’cause you have the script right in front of you. But, of course, I love doing both!

Courtesy of Lifetime

Courtesy of Lifetime

So let’s talk about your role of Burke Ramsey in the Lifetime movie Who Killed JonBenét?  What can you tell us about your character?

Burke is another shy dude, and he’s a little odd.  Burke can be described as emotionally detached. When we were filming the movie, I had three interrogation scenes.  I was in a psychiatrist’s  office. In one scene, the psychiatrist took a sip of my coke, and since it was my coke, I got really mad. It was kind of a hard scene to do, but I did it.

w/ Michel Gill, w/ Julia Campbell, w/ Payton Lepinkski, Courtesy of Lifetime

w/ Michel Gill, w/ Julia Campbell, w/ Payton Lepinkski, Courtesy of Lifetime

Was this your first time to play a real-life person?

Other than Howard in Howard Lovecraft. Howard is a real-life person too.

Wow, I had no idea! That makes me more excited to see that animated film. But going back to Burke Ramsey, what can you tell us about your character and filming this movie? 

As many people know, JonBenét Ramsey was a blonde, pageant girl who was tragically killed. I play her brother, and that’s who Burke is. When I was filming the movie, there was a scene where I had to cry at a funeral for JonBenét. I wasn’t sure if I had to cry or not. Then the morning we were going to shoot the funeral, I asked the director, “Does Burke cry?” Since she was still his sister, I thought he might cry. The director {Jason LaPeyre} agreed with me. The director made me feel really comfortable like I could go and ask those kinds of questions.

How impressive that you thought that out on your own and at the age of nine and that you approached your director and asked. Well done. 

 

w/ Michel Gill, w/ Julia Campbell, w/ Payton Lepinkski, Courtesy of Lifetime

w/ Michel Gill, w/ Julia Campbell, w/ Payton Lepinkski, Courtesy of Lifetime

After my conversation with Kiefer, I have to say that I am immeasurably impressed with this boy and his budding career. It is as though this little guy was born to be a star, and as directors, producers, and casting directors continue to see him work his magic on the screen, there is no doubt that his career will only continue to accelerate with even more phenomenal opportunities. While it is true that not every actor is born with the penchant for acting know-how, it is fully evident that this boy has that aptitude in spades. Be sure that you tune in the Lifetime Channel today (November 5th) for his much-anticipated film Who Killed JonBenét? Furthermore, be certain that you check out all the links below and follow him on social media so that you don’t miss a solitary moment of his promising career!

FOLLOW KIEFER

IMDB 

Facebook  

Twitter

Vimeo Acting Reel 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth
42-year-old single mother of an active 13-year-old girl Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA Entertainment Writer Available For Interviews and Reviews Substitute Teacher

5 Comments

  1. Samantha November 8, 2016 Reply

    Wow so young and so accomplished already. And so much time in front of him

    • Author
      Ruth November 8, 2016 Reply

      Amazing, isn’t it? Thanks for stopping by Samantha!

  2. Cheryl Everitt November 19, 2016 Reply

    I impressed with the amazing talent of this young man. I bet we will be seeing more!

    • Author
      Ruth November 19, 2016 Reply

      Agree 100%

  3. June S. November 30, 2016 Reply

    (Interview With Actor Kiefer O’Reilly, “Who Killed JonBenét?”) I did not know that they were making a movie about this case, I am going to have to see it for sure. This case has always bugged me ever since it happened years ago. I believe that it was someone tied into the pageantry scene that is somehow involved.

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