Minka Kelly is the only child of former Aerosmith guitarist Rick Dufay, and single mom, exotic dancer, Maureen Dumont Kelly. She spent her childhood moving around the country until her mother finally settled down when Minka was a teenager in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Best known for her role as spirited cheerleader Lyla Garrity on the critically-acclaimed series Friday Night Lights, Minka now stars as Eve on the updated series, Charlie’s Angels, which is being produced by Al Gough, Miles Millar and one time Angel, Drew Barrymore.
This version of the franchise spotlights Abby (Rachael Taylor), a Park Avenue princess who became a world class thief, Kate (Annie Ilonzeh), a Miami cop who fell from grace, losing both her career and fiancé; Gloria, a disgraced army lieutenant and Bosley, (Ramon Rodriguez), a hot, young computer hacker. When one of the angel’s missions ends in Gloria’s death, Charlie Townsend, their elusive boss, persuades them to partner with Gloria’s childhood friend, Eve (Kelly), a street racer with a mysterious past.
Were you looking for a series to do after Friday Night Lights?
I wasn’t necessarily looking for another series. I was just looking for another job. This was just very attractive to me. I thought it was a great script and I loved the people involved. I was very excited for the opportunity to work with Drew Barrymore; just the level of passion that she had for it made it impossible for me to not want to be a part of it.
I’m very attracted to the camaraderie of the three women and the fact that we all have broken pasts is something that I like, and being able to turn your life around and do good with it is something I’m excited about.
It seems like you really fit Eve’s character well. Of course you weren’t an orphan or a car thief, but you did move around a lot as a child. What was it about your life and your background that you tied into this role?
The thing about Eve is that, because she was an orphan and she was on her own her entire life, she had to fight for herself, fend for herself and survive. I think I have a lot in common with her on that aspect.
I am an only child, and I was raised by a single mother, and we moved around a lot. And I understand what that’s about. I also understand what it is to create your own family. And I’m really attracted to that aspect of the show, as far as making these girls and Bosley my family.
I think that I’m not alone in that. I think there are a lot of girls and guys out there that have that in common with Eve. And it’s just one of the many things that I find to be very relatable to people, and why it will be really enjoyable to watch. Along with the eye candy, there’s a lot of depth and emotion as well.
How did your experience growing up shape you?
I think it’s made me very adaptable. I’m very proud of the fact that I think you could put me in any room and I would be okay. I think I’ve done a lot more than many people my age have and seen a lot more. And so I think hopefully that will help bring a lot of depth to this character and give her a lot of layers. Very deep questions, I appreciate that.
Abby doesn’t really trust Eve, what will it take to win her over?
I think in any solid, good relationship it takes a while to trust someone. It’s going to take a little time proving myself and building the bond.
What do you have coming up that excites you?
I have a salsa dance coming up, which I’m very excited about. Bosely and I are going to go undercover as salsa dancers. I’m looking forward to that.
What kind of skills have you enjoyed picking up for the show?
I learned how to scuba dive, which is something I’ve always wanted to do. I learned how to English-style horseback ride, which is very hard by the way, I had no idea how challenging it was. I’ve always ridden horses, but western, which is like riding a horse in a rocking chair as opposed to English, where you hold on for your life. Learning how to salsa dance will be really fun. Every day is a new adventure.
What costumes are you looking forward to wearing?
Every day is new, every costume is new; it’s fun. That’s another exciting aspect of the show. But, at the same time, with all the beautiful clothing there is the realness and the emotions of it and the relationships, which gives you everything.
The three of us are dressed very differently. We all have our own individual styles. I was just very excited to get into the tomboy aspect of it. Eve is the least girly of the three. I wear a lot of combat boots and cargo pants, and because I’m the new Angel I have to get into dressing a little bit nicer, as opposed to just combat boots all the time. She’s more of the hippie, urban girl.
What do you like about shooting in Miami?
I think Miami is such a beautiful sexy place, I love it there. The people there are wonderful. The only thing about it is the weather, the humidity. Shooting outside when the humidity matches the temperature is always special, when we’ve got hair sticking to the sides of our faces.
You’ve become somewhat of a sex symbol over the past few years, how do you feel about that?
Oh gosh. I think that’s hilarious. It’s incredibly flattering, of course, but if you knew me on a daily basis you would laugh too.