Nathalie Kelley brings some multi-culti kick to The CW’s Dynasty redux.
Nathalie Kelley just knew what she was fated for. Born in Peru and reared in Australia, the actress was 12 when she saw Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet—Shakespeare’s proto-soap opera—and was still crying when she got home. “My mom was like, ‘What is wrong? You’ve read the play!’ I’m like, ‘I don’t think I’m crying because they died. It’s because I finally saw what I want to do when I grow up!’ I had never had that realization before.”
That sense of destiny ultimately led her to Dynasty, The CW’s update of Aaron Spelling’s glossy, shoulderpads-and-catfights prime-time soap sensation of the ’80s, on which she has been cast as a multicultural take on Cristal, a smart, driven and complex Latina who marries into the Carrington family. (In keeping with kismet, an unaired Spelling pilot, the last the TV master was handson with, initially brought Kelley to Hollywood over a decade ago.) “Cristal has all of my best qualities,” says the not-so-small-screen’s latest “it” gal. “I’ve been waiting to bring that to a role for so long.”
With the virtues come some classic vices: “It turns out I am good at a specific type of fighting: catfighting,” she laughs. “There is something really primal about it. I ended up enjoying myself a lot more than I expected!”