If you’re a vampire, you do not like the name Van Helsing. It’s even worse when Kelly Overton is cast to play Van Helsing because she never liked vampires on True Blood either. However, Kelly Overton herself is more than just a vampire’s worst nightmare. She is an athlete, actress, filmmaker, wife and mother. We touched briefly on her in an article profiling the women of Van Helsing but now you will get the whole story of who this talented woman is.
Kelly Overton was born on August 28, 1978 in Wilbraham, Massachusetts. While going to school there, she was an accomplished athlete in basketball, soccer and went undefeated in Western Massachusetts for high hurdles. When she graduated high school, she moved to New York on her own to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She graduated the institution with the Charles Jehlinger Award, its highest honor. Her first acting roles were in off-Broadway productions, regional Shakespeare and television shows. Her first major role came in 2000 where she played Rainn Wilkins on the classic soap opera All My Children. In 2002, she landed her first major Broadway role when she was cast as Elaine Robinson in the Broadway adaptation of the famous film The Graduate opposite American Pie star Jason Biggs and Romancing the Stone star Kathleen Turner. The role was originally supposed to be given to Clueless actress Alicia Silverstone but she dropped out. Kelly Overton lived in New York for five years before moving to Los Angeles.
In 2008, Overton co-wrote and co-directed an indie film with her husband Judson Pearce Morgan called The Collective. It is the story of a woman who travels to New York City after getting cryptic messages from her missing sister which lead to an underground society. She is no stranger to horror/suspense as she starred in The Ring 2. In an interview about The Collective, Overton explained what inspired her to make the film:
“A couple things. One was an article we’d recently read about that Gothic Cathedral on 22nd and 6th which was sold in the late 60’s and turned into a club, The Limelight. That dichotomy, of the sacred and the secular, was an interesting playground for us to place our story. We’d also been having lots of conversations at the time about all these new religions that seemed to be popping up. I remember the one everyone was talking about was from that book, The Secret.”
She went on to explain that the film had quite an effect on the audience. “Well, a pretty well-known producer said he was so scared he had to stop watching it; he finished it the following morning. There is something about the movie that touches on something very real for people; they are more scared by the story because they find it so realistic.” The film premiered May 31, 2008 as part of the Brooklyn International Film Festival.
Overton went on to star in other films like Tekken and In My Sleep but it was television that would thrust her into the spotlight. After All My Children, she had guest star roles on such shows as The Practice, CSI: NY, Criminal Minds and Psych. In 2012, she would once again get a steady role on a television series. Overton got the part of werewolf Rikki Naylor on the hit HBO series True Blood. Her tenure lasted fourteen episodes. She was seen again for a little while on TNT’s Legends where she played Nina Brenner in the show’s second and ultimately final season.
There is so much more to Kelly Overton than just taking down creatures of the night. She is a wife to Judson Pearce Morgan and became a mother in 2011 to a daughter named Ever. She is of Cherokee descent and even starred in the music video to Katharine McPhee’s and Zachary Levi’s (CHUCK!!!) 2010 duet, “Terrified.”
If you’re a vampire and you’ve read this, you know what you’re up against and the results will not be pretty.
Kelly Overton can be seen this fall on SyFy’s upcoming series, “Van Helsing.”
(Joe Grodensky – @JoeGrodensky)