Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Jake Frost
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Stanton Daily. Posted by Jake Frost
Bat Boy: The Musical, Beverly Hills, 90210, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles
Currently Known For:
February 1, 1964
A lot of actors are more interested in spending most of their careers on stage instead of on screen. That doesn’t mean that the occasional screen role doesn’t happen, though, with many like Kaitlin Hopkins joining the pack. Though she’s known mostly for her performances in front of live audiences (as well as teaching), Hopkins has also enjoyed a fine career in both film and television, which has included roles in multiple franchises that have produced millions and millions of dollars.
Hopkins was born on February 1, 1964 in New York City, though she didn’t spend much of her early life there. Instead, Hopkins had grown up mostly in London, England before returning to the United States for her teenage years. Hopkins’ mother is Joanne Woodward, who was a stage performer herself, and got Hopkins her first role while she was still in high school in the early 1980s, performing in “The Children’s Hour”.
Afterward, Hopkins wanted to be trained professionally, and headed to the prestigious theater program at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. From there, Hopkins headed back to London to take even more classes at another prestigious school, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Finally ready for her on-screen career, Hopkins made her film debut in 1989 with the movie “Runaway Dreams” as the star of the film directed by Michele Noble. Heading into the 1990s, Hopkins continued her stage career while also popping up on television for the first time in the soap opera “One Life to Live” which was followed up by a guest appearance on the show “Gabriel’s Fire”.
Other guest appearances for Hopkins in the early 1990s included “Another World”, “Beverly Hills, 90210” and “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman”. There weren’t many films during this time, as Hopkins was focused mainly on her TV and stage careers. One breakout for Hopkins on TV came when she joined the massive “Star Trek” franchise, playing a brief role as Kilana in the “Deep Space Nine” series.
For Hopkins, joining the “Star Trek” world was an easy choice. “My stepfather and I used to watch the original ‘Star Trek’ together, and he was a huge fan,” she said. “I remember when I booked ‘Deep Space Nine’; I thought he was going to cry he was so excited. He was an extremely successful film and television writer, so it always tickled me that ‘Star Trek’ and also the ‘Star Wars’ films made him a bit starstruck…I actually think it was largely because I watched all the episodes of all the ‘Star Trek’ shows that I had such a strong sense of how to play the role in the audition.”
More roles over the rest of the 1990s included small roles in films such as “As Good as It Gets” and “Little Boy Blue”, with a TV movie thrown in for good measure. Hopkins returned to “Star Trek” once again at the start of the new millennium, playing Dala in an episode of “Voyage”. For the remainder of the 2000s, Hopkins had continued to guest star in several TV shows, adding TV movies and toward the end of her career had a couple of movies. In 2007, she appeared in “The Nanny Diaries” and had her most recent on-screen acting role in 2009’s “Confessions of a Shopaholic”.
The reason that it’s been a decade now since Hopkins was last on screen is because she got another job in the acting industry. Her long-time husband John had been working at Texas State University as the head of the playwriting department, and Hopkins joined the faculty. The same year in which she appeared in “Shopaholic” was when she joined on as the head of the musical theater there.
“It was quite a big decision,” Hopkins said. “As my husband and I were both working professionally at the time, but it was literally our dream job, so even though it came at an unexpected moment, we couldn’t wait to explore if this was possibly the right fit…There was the challenge and promise of creating the training program I wished I’d had. I liked the idea, too, of condensing my 40 years of life experience. It wasn’t just my career, it was the life I had led – that my family created for me – that made me uniquely qualified.”
Talking about her teaching career, Hopkins says that “I believe in a holistic, individualized approach to artist training,” adding that “A successful artist lives deliberately in the world, using their talents to serve their community and heal humanity. I believe in creating a safe and challenging environment for storytellers to fail forward, and that collaboration leads to continued opportunities for personal and artistic growth. Great work lives in stepping outside of one’s comfort zone, not the pursuit of perfection.”
“I believe as educators, if we challenge ourselves every day to push past what is comfortable and easy,” she continued. “It enables us to create an environment where discoveries can be made in a dynamic but safe environment, allowing students to take creative risks. It is an ever-evolving process to be an effective teacher, and I feel lucky to be engaged in that process.”