September 2, 2020 Interview – Keegan Connor Tracy
Chances are if you saw Keegan Connor Tracy, you would be able to name at least a dozen films or television series she has been involved with. A seasoned, award-winning actress, some of her most known works include 2003’s Final Destination 2, a key role in A&E’s Bates Motel, and, of course, her portrayal of the Blue Fairy in the ABC’s Once Upon a Time. Keeping matters diverse through the decades, now she takes a leading role in the nail biting new Horror film Z.
Making a buzz at film festivals before finding its way to Shudder, Z now arrives on VOD, Digital, DVD and Blu-ray as of September 1st to an even larger audience. A project that broadened Tracy’s interest in the Horror genre, she recently sat down to talk all about the experience, shed some light on a new film she will be directing, reflect on her books, plus a lot more.
Cryptic Rock – You have been involved in the arts for over 20 years and counting. Starring in a list of films and television series, you have also directed as well as authored books. First, tell us, what inspired you to pursue a career in entertainment?
Keegan Connor Tracy – Insanity, stupidity, hubris, naivety. (Laughs) I don’t know. I just have an artist’s heart I think.
Cryptic Rock – Well you have certainly done a lot and have been very diverse in the process. Do you enjoy the ability to work in different genres?
Keegan Connor Tracy – Absolutely. Would I rather be the serious lead than the reoccurring? Absolutely, but I chose to stay in Canada which certainly affected that. One of the good parts about that is getting to play a lot more different people. I have somehow managed not to get pigeonholed into any one place. Even when I look at it, sometimes I think the amount of different things I’ve played is pretty impressive.
Cryptic Rock – You have definitely spread yourself all over, from Horror to Drama to Fantasy and beyond. You have worked in Horror films such as 2003’s Final Destination 2 and now the film Z. Do you enjoy working in the Horror genre?
Keegan Connor Tracy – I wouldn’t say it was a genre that particularly drew me in. Then when the script came for Z I really liked where I saw I could go with the character. In doing it, I would have moments where Brandon Christensen would say, “I need you to hold that look a lot longer.” I would reply, “It feels stupid to me.” To which he would say, “It’s genre,” and then a light bulb went on for me.
When we got through the movie I then got to go to festivals and see how audiences gobbled up those moments. It really made me have a new appreciation for it and the skill it takes to pull off those big jump scares. Now I will be directing a Horror film hopefully later this year, so my learning curve is really growing.
Cryptic Rock – Very interesting to hear how it has developed for you. How did Z come about for you in the first place?
Keegan Connor Tracy – I just got a call one day from my agent saying, “They are looking at you for this lead, do you want to read the script?” I read it, saw what I knew I could do, and where I could really challenge myself in it. That’s how it came about.
Cryptic Rock – You did a great job with your character and that makes the film even more effective. There is also a interesting dynamic with yourself and Jett Klyne, who plays your son Joshua. What was it like working with him?
Keegan Connor Tracy – I felt like it was an easy one. He’s a super professional young man who’s spent a lot of time on set. I have kids of my own so I felt like it was easy to develop that rapport with him. It was great working with him!
Cryptic Rock – That is good to hear. You mentioned about creating jump scares, and Z has plenty of them. Previously not particularly being a big fan of the Horror genre, were you surprised to see how it all came out in the end?
Keegan Connor Tracy – I think I was pleasantly surprised. You just never know: you could have a huge-budget film and it just doesn’t come together, then sometimes you can have these tiny movies that have no money. I think as a team we really pulled this off.
Cryptic Rock – Most certainly. Z is now out on VOD, Digital, DVD and Blu-ray, so there are plenty of ways for a larger audience to check it out. Being this was an independent project, how would you compare it to working on bigger budget projects? One can imagine there is more red tape when it comes to bigger studio productions.
Keegan Connor Tracy – Oh yes. Honestly, they took care of us on Z. We had what we needed, but it was definitely on the opposite end of the spectrum from coming off something like Once Upon a Time; which was just giant! What I think is wonderful is it is much more collaborative when you work in independent films. I was able to say, “This doesn’t work for me, this doesn’t make sense, and here’s why.” I am able to say, “I would like to see her do or say this.” When you work on studio projects, if you want to say “the” instead of “that” they’ve got to call everybody and get permission. There is a certain independence that comes with independent film, which is really great. I appreciated being able to collaborate more closely with what was going on with my character.
Cryptic Rock – Having that creative freedom is a very positive thing. You mentioned Once Upon a Time, which you were a part of from start to finish. What was it like being a part of that very successful and well done series?
Keegan Connor Tracy – It was great. It gave me a lot of things that, as a young girl, I imagined and wanted to be as an actor. I feel like it opened a lot of those doors for me. I get to travel the world, get to meet fans, and go to conventions. Nowadays you can get cancelled after one episode, so to have any show go seven seasons is a remarkable thing. I was just glad to be part of it.
Cryptic Rock – It was a superb series and your character stood out. You have also authored a couple of books, including This Is a Job for Mommy! An A-Z Adventure. This is a great book because it gives young girls empowerment to understand there are no doors closed to them for jobs. We are living in a society where, sometimes, someone might nonsensically say, “That is not a job for a girl.” This book teaches that, as a girl, there should never be any limitations on who and what you want to be.
Keegan Connor Tracy – Thank you, that’s exactly what I hoped it would do! It’s the book equivalent of an independent film; it was a small press. I just loved to get the word out about it. It really came from sitting around one day and thinking about all the different things I’ve been as an actor. I’ve been a surgeon, scientist, lawyer, princess, fairy, etc. I imagined how, as a mother, you have to be all these different things; as a mother you have to be the doctor, the maid, the teacher, etc. I just had this slash of inspiration, as I do often with my creative pursuits, and that’s what was born of it.
Cryptic Rock – It’s a great book that moms and dads should check out for their children. Before we go, what can you tell us about the forthcoming film you are directing?
Keegan Connor Tracy – It was actually an offer that originally came in for the lead in the film. They then saw I directed and asked if I would like to direct it, as well. I just felt I couldn’t serve both of those roles at 100% together, so I chose to direct and played a smaller role.
It’s a Horror film, which was interesting to me coming on the heels of Z and what I feel like I learned from that experience. I’ve just jumped in with both feet. I am looking forward to, hopefully, shooting in the fall. I have a meeting about it soon. We are just trying to chug along and hopefully make it happen.