Posted May 21, 2013 by Amy in Interviews

Games Fiends Interview: Katie & Kellie Cockrell of Star Trek Into Darkness


The latest Star Trek movie has been widely anticipated by movie lovers and trekkies alike. Today, we’ll visit with Katie and Kellie Cockrell, twin sisters who had an…interesting encounter with Captain Kirk in the film. From what it’s like to work with J.J. Abrams to making a name for yourself in acting, we’ve got it covered in our latest Games Fiends interview.

Star Trek Into Darkness released on May 17th in the U.S. Tell us about your parts in the film.

It’s pretty secretive, but what we can say is our characters are not human, we are based on characters from the comic books. Our scene is a fun, playful, sexy scene with Chris Pine – Captain Kirk. We can say that a lot of girls will be jealous of our scene with him! ;)

Star Trek Into Darkness was both directed and produced by the award winning J.J. Abrams. What was it like working with such a respected director?

JJ is an incredible director. We are huge fans of his work – particularly LOST. It was and still is probably our favorite TV show. So meeting him, was amazing! We shot for one full day on Star Trek but we did 10 or more 12-hour days of make up tests to make sure we looked exactly like he imagined. That’s just one example of how precise JJ is and how much he cares about every character and aspect of the film being just right.
Watching him work with the other crew members and other actors was also an experience in itself. He’s hands on and makes sure everyone feels comfortable. I mean, working on Star Trek with these famous actors can be hugely intimidating. He brought it down to a real, human level, like “Let’s have fun. Let’s create something awesome.”

Before taking on the Star Trek Into Darkness roles, were you fans of Star Trek, or was it all new to you?

We grew up watching Star Trek with our parents. I think we were a little too young to fully appreciate it but definitely grew up aware of the movies and tv series. We knew how big and epic the franchise is. It’s a huge honor to be involved with the story and be a part of Star Trek!

As sisters working in the same business, are the two of you quite competitive with each other?

We are competitive but also know that family is more important than a movie part. We often audition for the same parts and try to help each other to do our best. It can definitely be challenging though.

How has being a set of twins affected your work as actresses?

Being a twin has definitely been an advantage. It’s helped us have an edge and stand out. We probably wouldn’t have gotten Star Trek or some of the other projects we’ve done without being a twin! Also, I think we make a great team. We love working with each other because it’s more fun and we help each other do our best work.

How did you first get into acting? Did you always know you wanted to be on the big screen?

We started dancing when we were 4 years old so the performance bug hit pretty young. When we were in high school we were met with a local talent agency in Utah to attend acting auditions. One of our first big auditions was for a Disney Channel Original Movie (DCOM) called Return to Halloweentown. We ended up booking it! We played the mean “Sinister Sisters” Sage and Sapphire.  We’ve always loved performing and have wanted to continue throughout our lives. So to act and dance for a job is really a dream come true!

Of the various projects you’ve worked on, what have been your favorite roles? The most challenging?

Star Trek was amazing – definitely one of the most inspiring projects. We also loved working on the MTV movie “The American Mall”. It was shot in Utah and a lot of people we know worked on it with us. It was really fun! As far as challenging, I would also say Star Trek just because of the heightened stakes and hugeness of the project.

In addition to acting, you both have a strong background in dance. In what way has that influenced your careers to date?

We started dancing when we were four. It was our first experience with art and performing. I think understanding how much effort, practice and long hours it takes to become a dancer helps with acting because you’re already used to and know how demanding it can be. Dancing also helps with body coordination which is helpful in acting – you feel more comfortable with your movements and can integrate elements of dance into your acting. Acting is also so competitive, having the skill of being a trained dancer just helps to give you an edge.

Do you have any projects in the works you want to share with us?

We just finished an indie film called, “Feels So Good”, where we play the two popular, mean girls of the high school and end up falling for the nerds. It was an incredible shoot. We filmed with really talented young actors like Matt Shively (Paranormal activity), Brendan Robinson (Pretty Little Liars), Hutch Dano (Disney’s Zeke and Luther), Rock Anthony (Glee). We all become really close on set. Our director, Josh Stohlberg (Good Luck Chuck with Jessica Alba and Dane Cook) was fantastic. We stay in touch with Josh all the time through Instagram and Twitter.

What kind of advice can you offer to young people looking to get into acting?

We would tell young people interested in acting to train, train, train! If you love acting and you want to do it, it really helps to be as prepared as possible. Gain as much experience as you can – in theater, dance, singing etc. And then when it’s time to make the move to LA, realize it’s going to be hard, really hard. Save your money for the move, prepare yourself mentally, and work to maintain perspective – realize that yourself worth is not determined by the amount of jobs you book. Also find a great group of friends to support you and surround yourself with.


U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)