Emma Kenney Dishes On Epic!

Emma Kenney is a teen actress who has appeared in a number of TV series and films, and most recently voiced Marigold Girl in the CGI film Epic.

Emma Kenney

We spoke to Emma recently about her history with acting, her involvement with animal adoption, and about the movie Epic, which comes out on DVD and BluRay on August 20!

Emma Kenney started taking improv and acting classes in New York City when she was 7 years old. Emma was part of the youngest group in the classes, which took in kids up to 16. At improv class, Emma met her acting coach, Diane Hardin.

"I think improv is just fun," Emma said. "Who doesn't like to make believe? It's just a lot of fun to do that."

During one of those classes, a manager took notice of Emma's talents and asked to manage Emma. From there, Emma started sending out audition tapes. She booked her first TV show before she was 10 years old.

Emma's father used to work at the New York Post as a sports writer. He recently quit his job to come out to California to be with Emma in Los Angeles, where she spends a lot of her time acting.

"I'm really glad my parents don't come from that show business world," Emma explained. "A lot of kid actors like it that they have family in the business. It gives them a boost. But I like that I've done it on my own without help."

Most recently, Emma was featured in Epic as the voice of Marigold Girl. It was her first foray into voice acting, and made Emma utilize a totally different set of skills.

"It's definitely different from the acting I was used to," Emma said. "You have to portray emotion through your voice. I'm more facial as an actress, so it was a challenge, but it was a lot of fun and I learned a lot."

Another big difference of voice acting is involvement with the rest of the cast.

"The first couple of times I went to record it was just me and the director, Chris Wedge," she said.

Later, Emma had the chance to record her vocal tracks with the animation and other voice work mostly completed. It was the first scene she saw from the move in its nearly completed stages.

"I think it's just a fun movie," Emma said. "It's funny, and there's a lot of pretty and interesting animation. It's good for both boys and girls because there are army figures, the leaf men, and there are fairy princesses for the girls. Plus, the humor appeals to both kids and adults."

When she's not acting, Emma lives in New Jersey and goes to school. When she's acting in Los Angeles, Emma has a tutor on set that makes sure she's up-to-date with her schoolwork.

"I'm going to be a freshman in high school. I'm really excited," she said. "I have a lot of friends who aren't actors, but a lot who are. It's a really good balance."

Emma Kenney is also an advocate for pet adoption.

"I love animals, and my favorite animal is the cat," Emma said. "I got involved with Best Friends, an animal volunteer organization. They take animals from shelters and then help them get adopted. I'm really into the idea of no homeless pets in L.A., or anywhere."

Emma volunteers at the Best Friends Animal Society in Los Angeles, doing whatever she can to help pets get adopted.

"It's really sad sometimes, but I think every animal can get a home," she said. "People should really consider adopting animals instead of buying them."

Emma is embarking on a new project at the end of this month, but said that she can't divulge any of the details.

"I can't really talk about it," Emma said, "but I'm really excited."