In occasion of this exclusive interview, we spoke with amazing actress Parker McKenna. Surely, most of you will remember her as a little girl in My Wife & Kids where she played the part of Kady Kyle. However, since then, McKenna managed to pursue her acting career to new and exciting levels. With Games People Play’s second season coming out this October and several other projects (about we discussed).
Coming along the way, we spoke to her about her career as an actress, about inspiring other people pursuing their dreams. A purpose she achieves through the work of her foundation Heartstrings Collective – and most importantly about motherhood and the importance of bringing the realness of this amazing part of one’s life on screen and social media.
Games People Play is coming with a second season in October. Can you tell us more about this project and your character? How’s the experience on set?
Games people play is actually a show based on a popular book “Games Divas Play.” It’s an inside look on the high life of LA with LOTS of drama! I play Laila James who desperately wants to make it as an actress in LA. The show touches on a lot of different topics, REAL topics. From sports, to love & relationships, to something as serious as sexual assault.
How was working on set for A House Divided? Do you have any anecdotes related to the shooting?
I love working on A House Divided. I previously worked with some of the cast and crew prior to this show, so it’s almost like we’re family! Makes 15 hour days way easier lol! But, it’s great working with Lisa Ray. She’s said since day one how much I remind her of her real daughter so filming can get really intense sometimes, because our relationship on screen has some really crazy ups & downs. Emotional! Good energy to play with for our scenes.
Have you always wanted to be an actress? What are the challenges that push yourself forward and overcome your limits?
You know acting is all I know, it makes me happy! It’s what I wanted to do since I was 3 years old, and I’m fortunate to still be here 20+ years later– still fighting for my career. My motivation to overcome is simply thinking of the little girl who had a dream! Gotta keep going for lil P!
Nowadays, acting is not only giving voice to a screenplay, but it’s also a political act. How much do you think the entertainment industry need to do to address more clearly and effectively social issues related to gender and women’s rights?
I think if you have a platform or people value your opinion you should not only use your voice to spread a little bit of love in these CRAZY times, but also educate others on these matters. Because truthfully there’s a lot of misconceptions and blatant ignorance out there and I think helping educate people is the main key to getting on the road of gaining equality for all.
We remember you as a little girl in My Wife & Kids, what do you remember about that period? Do you have a favorite episode or moment you would like to share?
Of course!!! That period of time was so joyful for me!! I was a kid doing exactly what I wanted to, literally living a dream. I think the episode where we had the fat suits on was the best!! Hands down!! It was just amazing to be so little and be able to do all these cool FUNNY things on camera.
In these last 6 years you’ve worked with the Stand Up to Cancer Foundation and founded the Heartstrings Collective. Can you tell us a bit more about this inspiring project?
Heartstrings Collective is a foundation based on giving back to the community while introducing the youth to different programs related to fine arts. That’s what my background is, so I focus on how I personally can be an ally for other kids who have a dream!! We provide access to opportunities within music, film, and art for marginalized communities and underprivileged kids. We strive to create programs that not only give opportunities for exposure and skill development, but structure that focuses on connection, resiliency, and self-expression.
According to you, what would be the best way to address motherhood in films? We know women’s body can change during and after the process of giving birth, but sometimes those changes are not made very visible or even legit in the public eye.
I think more women specifically on social media need to stand in their truth and stop putting this UNREALISTIC narrative out there that weeks after giving birth you’re supposed to automatically look like your old self, or even feel like your old self. It’s another unhealthy standard that’s been pushed on society. You are a whole new woman after giving birth and I just think we need to show that; show that rawness and most importantly own it!
Aside from your brilliant work as an actress, you are also a businesswoman. How was the idea of a swimwear line born?
Funny enough I was working on another project, and meeting some really cool people in the fashion world…it was just an organic conversation one day and everything seemed right about it. I went with my gut and really enjoyed every step of the way creating Honeydip!
With a haircare line coming soon, according to you, what are the best sustainable practices when it comes to hair caring?
Less is more!!! Natural products and ingredients have really helped me get my hair back together. After years of damage, literally burning all my hair off, and then dealing with postpartum hair loss it’s gone from a genuine necessity for me to learn to now wanting to help other women with what I’ve learned, to something even bigger! I can’t wait to share my new baby with you all!
When this pandemic will be through (hopefully!) What are your plans? Is there a place you’ve always wanted to visit, or any adventurous activity you would like to try?
Ahhhhhh!!! I cannot wait to leave the country again. There’s a few more places I have left on my bucket list, but now I’m even more excited that I’ll have a new travel buddy with me. So I gotta double back to a couple places like Morocco, Amsterdam and Belize!! I have made some great memories there and I can’t wait to go back and experience it with her.