During the several months Kristen Renton has been portraying Morgan Hollingsworth on Days of Our Lives, she has taken the character from a one note sorority sister to a tough daddy's girl who holds her own against Philip Kiriakis.
Coming to L.A. while still in high school, Kristen and her mother moved to the West Coast from her home state of Florida. The young actress was one of three selected at a 350-person cattle call to come out to California to try her hand at acting. She decided it was worth a shot and has been enjoying the ride ever since.
With the support of her mother who lived with her in L.A. until she was eighteen, Kristen self taught herself to graduation and landed a commercial just a few short months after her arrival. Quite impressive considering most actors struggle for years before their first big break!
In between that first gig and landing on Days, Kristen has had memorable guest starring roles on "The OC" and "CSI: NY," as well as in the movies, "Come Away Home" and "In the Mix" with R&B star, Usher. Kristen also has a movie coming out on the SciFi channel entitled, "Ghouls," where she plays a college student who goes to Bucharest and discovers she is the missing link to keeping a long blood line of ghouls alive. Definitely a far cry from Salem!
I recently spoke with the sweet and energetic actress, who slipped in and out of her southern accent while we discussed her life on Days.
Lori Wilson: You've been on the show for several months now. Do you feel like you've settled into the character and have a good sense of who she is?
Kristen Renton: I'm still everyday kind of finding new quirks about her and that's part of the fun of it all to be honest. She's quite feisty and every now and then there's a new little thing I find out about her. But we're a lot alike in a lot of different ways, so I do feel like I know her.
Lori: How do you feel you are alike?
Kristen: We're both very tough. We don't let things slide. We definitely stick up for ourselves, but she's a lot more feminine, she's a lot more kind of sexy and comfortable in her own skin and I'm much more in reality a tomboy. I don't get all dolled up to go to the grocery store and no matter what she's doing, she has to look good doing it. She's always got her hair and her nails and her makeup on and all that good stuff.
Lori: A little southern belle.
Lori: And you had to adopt a Southern Accent for the role.
Kristen: I actually spent the majority of my life in Florida, so I had a slight accent just from being there and when I moved to LA I lost it fairly quickly. But it's always been easy to fall back into it, especially if I go back home for an extended period of time or if a girlfriend of mine comes out here. So when the character called for a southern accent, it was actually kind of fun to be able to pull that and play it and kind of maybe ham it up a bit, because (with thick accent) she's from Georgia.
Lori: There's a lot of drama surrounding her and her father. Can you share what's going to happen with Morgan and her family?
Kristen: She's still finding things out. She looks at her father like I think every daughter looks at her father, like he can do no wrong and he is the ultimate Superman. And her love for her father, you know she loves him unconditionally, yet she's very angry with everything that's kind of going on in the family and the drama surrounding her and her mom and all of that and she doesn't want to believe that he could do anything wrong regarding what he's been accused of in Salem. She's still discovering that there's another side to her father and what people are saying might actually be true and he might not be the super human being that she thought he was.
Lori: Are we going to meet her mother at any point?
Kristen: I hope so! Because that would be great. I hear things kind of down the pipeline, but I honestly don't know what's going to happen there. I think right now it's more sort of her relationship beginning with Philip.
Lori: Yeah, that's definitely interesting! So is that where the story is headed? Pairing the two of them up?
Kristen: It's very much oil and water with them right now, but she's very intrigued by him. She wants to get to know him more and I think she's using the tension about and her father and the Kiriakis family to kind of get in and under his skin a little bit, because she definitely has the hots for him.
Lori: You're working with all these veteran daytime actors, such as Jay Johnson (Philip), Linden Ashby (Paul) and Thaao Penghlis (Tony). How are you enjoying working with them?
Kristen: It's been absolutely amazing. It's been a dream come true. They all have welcomed me with open arms and they're all so sweet and kind and generous and really give me pointers without even knowing it. It really is like going to acting class every time I work. I could not ask for anything more and the fact that they're all so sweet on top of that is amazing. From Deidre Hall (Marlena) to Thaao to Jay, they've all been tremendously welcoming and amazing so it's just been great.
Lori: And you have been pre-nominated for a Daytime Emmy...
Kristen: That was a very surreal moment for me. Joe Stemmer (pre-production coordinator) from the show called me and he had really been like my right hand man in helping me go through the process because I was very green to it all because I had only been on the show for two or three months. He really helps me and spent a lot of time doing the Emmy reel with me and when he called me and told me, 'You got the pre-nom,' I was like, 'What are you talking about?!'
Lori: What scenes did you select to submit?
Kristen: I did an episode where Max and Morgan go out on the date she had won at the auction. She won Max, quote unquote, in an auction for charity and I put out that episode and the episode where he breaks her heart.
Lori: Is there anyone you would like Morgan to interact with more or that you haven't worked with yet that you would like to?
Kristen: I love her and Jay and kind of the whole, again, the oil and water bit they got going on and how he really does put her in her place. He's the first guy that ever really has and she's very taken aback by it, but at the same time kinda turned on by it. So I'm really loving the unusual chemistry there. You know, in the future who knows, but right now I'm really enjoying kind of feeling all of that out.
And we are too! Soaps.com would like to thank Kristen for taking the time to talk to us and can't wait to see where her character goes from here.