Page Kennedy Has Found A Way: Success In Hollywood
You more than likely have become a fan of one of his many infamous characters: the charismatic health conscious drug dealer U-Turn, from the Showtime hit comedy series Weeds; or as the tough former MMA fighter turned officer, Frank Moto, of the crime novelist, Leif G. W. Persson’s book inspired TV series, Backstrom; and Radon Randell, the showboating and braggy freshman quarterback on Spike’s, Blue Mountain State. Your beloved characters, are portrayed by none other, than Detroit’s born and L.A. raised, actor Page Kennedy.
Page Kennedy, began his acting journey while attending Western Michigan University, where he was introduced to Shakespeare. Kennedy embraced and mastered the art of Shakespearean prose, and then went on to attend the University of Delaware’s graduate theater program.
After several months of intense training in Delaware, Page moved back to L.A., only to eventually land his first acting role as Roger, on CBS’s The Kennedy’s in 2001. It was only the beginning of a dream.
Along with a slew of other TV and movie credits to boot: Six Feet Under, The Shield, NYPD Blue, My Name is Earl, and films, Barbershop, S.W.A.T., and Freaky Deaky to name a few; Page Kennedy is back at it again, with a new TV series, Rush Hour. An action comedy series based on the Rush Hour feature film franchise. But, just as the streets of Detroit can be tough and hardcore, the shrewd industry of Hollywood, can be filled with disappointing highs and lows to one’s career. Unfortunately, CBS announced on May 16th, that it would not be renewing a second season for the highly hyped, Rush Hour tv series.
I was able to catch up with the talented and comedic, Page Kennedy, as we talked about his
popularity on social media, what really happened with the Rush Hour series, and his plight as
an accomplished rapper to bring the rap game back to it’s “Golden Era” with his debut album. Page Kennedy, truly lets us know how the strong take a setback and makes it a comeback.
Parlé Mag: I am a total fan of the show, the Rush Hour TV series! But before we get into it, can you clear up some things. It was just recently announced in the media that CBS is canceling the show. Is this true?
Page Kennedy: Well I guess, the long and short of it is, they’re not uhhh… moving forward. There will not be a Season 2, they’re not canceling the show effectively, immediately; we are still airing the last 6 episodes. So ya’ know… you can kinda’ look at it as Rush Hour the mini series.
[laughs] They’re going to actually show all of the episodes that we worked so hard on.
Parlé Mag: Cool! This is awesome to hear, cause like wow, I think it’s a great show!
Page Kennedy: I enjoy it! I feel like the people that know about it and watch it, actually gave it a chance, I feel like they enjoyed it too. I don’t know if everyone knew or had an awareness that it was actually on television.
Parlé Mag: Do you think there wasn’t enough marketing or publicity done for the Rush Hour series?
Page Kennedy: I think that for the placement and the time that we were given, the time and the season that CBS chose to release the show, I think that they felt they did due diligence to get awareness out there. I know as far as the CBS watchers, if you’re a watcher of CBS; they showed promos on the network. So, that I know for sure. As far as outside of CBS–I don’t know, I think there could have been more promotion. As far as billboards, buses, and ya’ know talk shows–and just getting the awareness out there to people who aren’t avid CBS watchers.
Parlé Mag: Yeah cause I watch CBS and that’s how I found out about it. I was excited like… what, the Rush Hour TV series coming!
Page Kennedy: Yeah, yeah so if you don’t watch CBS, then you probably didn’t know it was a
Parlé Mag: It’s awesome to hear the show is still going! The Rush Hour movie franchise had three epic blockbuster hits. What were your feelings when you found out you would be a part of the tv series?
Page Kennedy: I was excited! I thought… ya’ know, as you think with most of the new projects
you do, you think this may be the one. Because, potentially, it always may be the one. That’s what I was hoping for. I was hoping that this was it. But ummm, unfortunately… Listen, we still got a chance to make a great show. For the people who watched it, they still got to experience that. And so for that, it’s great! Ya’ know everyone didn’t get to experience it, but for the
people who did and enjoyed it, that’s something that you will remember. So it was good for
Parlé Mag: On top of Rush Hour having such huge blockbuster hits, there were the big names behind it, such as Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan. Was there any pressure? Like, we have some major shoes to fill.
Page Kennedy: Yeah, that was the uphill battle. When you take a franchise that is as popular as this one, and has characters as iconic as these two—then a certain stigma comes with that. There were people who were upset about this idea before they even took anything from the show. Just because they knew that Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan were going to be there. So we knew we were fighting an uphill battle in the first place; more so John and Justin and myself.
And we were up for the challenge. I thought these actors held their own. And they made the characters their own, to the best of their ability. Then it’s up to the audience to either give it a
chance and allow themselves to be open to new perspective or to be stuck in, if it’s not Chris Tucker or Jackie Chan, I don’t want to see it. But, I feel like we pretty much retained our audience from the time it aired. We lost a few people from the premiere, but we kinda’ were consistent.
Parlé Mag: So let’s talk about your character Gerald. So he’s pretty street savvy, and hilarious, just as yourself. How did you relate to this character?
Page Kennedy: I mean it was pretty easy. This is like one of the characters that I just infused a lot of my own personality into it. I find parts of my personality for all characters that I play, even though they’re different depending on the situation. This one was probably closest to the persona that I portray… uhhh publicly. [laughs] But just the goofy nature, and the sincerity, the earnest heart. A lot of that came from within in me.
Parlé Mag: So I gotta’ know… Chris Tucker’s character James Carter had a cousin in Rush Hour 1, named Luke. He was this street savvy guy, that kept his ear to the street. Was your character, Gerald, loosely based off of Luke?
Page Kennedy: Yeah, Clifton Powell played him; he had the red suit on.
Parlé Mag: Yeah, yeah, yeah… that’s him!
Page Kennedy: I think the character itself, just the idea of having a cousin that was like an
informant and street savvy… I think that. But the way I portrayed the character is completely
different, than him. Like I didn’t watch him before and then try– ya’ know what I mean. It was like a brand new character. And that character was so small in the grand scheme of things; I
don’t think anybody took hold to that.
Parlé Mag: The series is super action packed. A lot of hand to hand combat fighting, winded
running scenes; it’s very physical. Are you doing your own stunts?
Page Kennedy: Well fortunately, I don’t have many stunts. I just have some, sometimes. They leave that to the little small guys who are specialized in that. [laughs] Yeah, I’m doing my own stuff, because for them to find a stunt double that’s exactly my size is probably difficult for them. So it’s pretty much me, when you see me doing stunts.
Parlé Mag: I love the chemistry you guys have on screen. What’s the vibe behind the scene working with Justin Hires, John Foo, and the other the cast members?
Page Kennedy: Everybody just really enjoys each other. Everyone has a good time; we’re like a family. Ya’ know, I’ve said publicly that this was the best cast and crew that I’ve ever had an
opportunity to work with. Clearly all of us will get other work and other jobs, but losing this group of people, is the part that sucks the most. Because you become like community– family.
You end up spending more time with these people, than you do with your own family. You get
Parlé Mag: Which episode did you had the most fun shooting?
Page Kennedy: Probably episode 2, it was Gerald’s episode. It was the 48 hours episode, where they rescue me from prison to help them solve a crime and I go through the entire episode with them trying to figure out what’s going on. That was probably the most fun because I had the most to do on that.
Parlé Mag: Well I saw on your Instagram that you had a lot of fun doing Scarface on one of the episodes. What was that all about?
Page Kennedy: Oh, oh, oh…there was a scene, and the intro to the scene seemed like I was
making some big drug deal, and I was in the Scarface chair, and I had the dark deep voice. And
then when you pull out, and you see I’m just really dealing in illegal sandwich stamps. I’m
making a deal to buy some stamps from Subway. [laughs]
Parlé Mag: You have a strong following on Instagram and Vine, doing these crazy funny skits. But the coolest thing is you do a lot of those skits with your son, Timothy. How did that collaboration come about?
Page Kennedy: Well, I’ve been filming Tim since he was like 2 or 3 years old. And he’s always
been a ham since he was a baby. I have a daughter too. Now, when I turn the camera on her,
she gets shy, runs away, and covers her face. But, ever since Tim was little, every time I turned
my phone, video on him, he just turns up. He starts dancing, he starts being crazy. He’s always
just had that energy, that fun natural thing. It was just a natural progression, that I was doing
things online, like YouTube and Vine and all that. That I would add him to it and that we would
build this Homer and Bart Simpson type relationship. The audience took to it, so we kept doing
Parlé Mag: Not only are you an actor, and comedian, but your older brother got you heavy into rap. Are you working on any music right now?
Page Kennedy: I’m working on my album right now. My album will be coming out soon. I’m
almost finished with it. It’s called Torn Pages. And I’m working with Detroit’s rapper Elzhi. And yeah man, it’s really coming together. It’s just like pages out of my life, and kinda’ like a throw back to the golden era of rap, when it was concepts and stories, opposed to just trap music.
Yeah, it’s an interesting album, and it’s fun. It’s fun, it’s transparent. It’s on my Sound Cloud and my YouTube you can hear a lot of the songs that I’ve done, and videos. I also have a video coming called, “Find A Way”, it’s a song that I’m really proud of. It’s talks about the struggle of getting older, gaining weight, of not being able to figure out a way to get out of your on way.
It’s not about other people, it’s not about haters. It’s about finding a way to get out of your own
way; be the best person that you can be. It’s about knowingness, and making excuses of it, and
finding a way to stop that and change it. So it’s something different.
Parlé Mag: You mentioned Detroit, you’re from there. How often do you go back and visit?
Page Kennedy: Like twice a year.
Parlé Mag: We hear about a lot craziness that’s going in Detroit. Did you solely leave Detroit to pursue acting or was it, I’ve gotta’ get out of this city if I’m trying to stay alive?
Page Kennedy: Well, I left Detroit to go to college. I left college and went to another college, then went to another college. Then I went to pursue my dream. I guess subsequently, it was to not die, but I had bigger goals than just not dying. And I went to pursue those.
Parlé Mag: And speaking of music, your “That’s So Drake” skits became pretty popular. Are you a fan of his music?
Page Kennedy: Yeah, I’m a big fan of Drake. I’ve been a fan of Drake since he came out, I love his music. I play it everyday pretty much.
Parlé Mag: What are your thoughts on his new album, Views?
Page Kennedy: Yeah, I love Views. I go to sleep to it every night. I mean Drake makes soothing music, that doesn’t take much effort or energy to listen to it. Ya’ know, it’s relaxing. It’s like homework music. It’s chillin’ music.
Parlé Mag: I feel you, like that music that’s just relaxing in the background.
Page Kennedy: Yeah…
Parlé Mag: Any other movies, tv series, or future projects that you’re working on?
Page Kennedy: We’re just trying to see, what’s the next step now, since this is not happening. Ya’ know, we always gotta’ go out and find more work. Pretty much, that’s what we’re doing, what are we heading to now.
Parlé Mag: The Rush Hour tv series is still going. Give us three reasons why everybody’s
momma, cousin, uncle should watch it?
Page Kennedy: I think everybody should watch Rush Hour because we put a lot of work into this show. I think it’s still funny, there are still great episodes to come. And ummm… ya’ know, I’m on it. So those are the main reason you should watch it.
Listen and Download “Find A Way” from the Torn Pages Album
Readers Also Liked: