Emily Kinney won’t be warding off any zombies in her next TV role, but she’ll be up against something even scarier: the criminal justice system.
The Walking Dead alumna has been cast in Conviction, ABC’s drama pilot about a woman (Agent Carter‘s Hayley Atwell) who is blackmailed into taking a job at Los Angeles’ newly created Conviction Integrity Unit.
Kinney will play Tess Thompson, the CIU’s bright-but-naive paralegal who hides an underlying dark sadness. A former employee of the Innocence Project, Tess is a true believer in the cause of wrongful convictions and thinks she can make a bigger impact working more cases from inside the system.
Since her character’s untimely death on The Walking Dead, Kinney’s TV credits have included Masters of Sex, The Flash and The Knick.
Former Walking Dead actress Emily Kinney (spoiler alert: she dies) is coming to the Social on Friday, Nov. 20, to support her new album, This Is War.
Since 2011, she has released two EPs and two singles in advance of her full-length debut, which has been described by Rolling Stone as “emotive indie-pop.” Kinney joins the ranks of other Hollywood notables like Jared Leto, Zooey Deschanel and Jack Black who started their own bands despite budding acting careers.
Kinney got her big break in 2011 when she was cast as Beth Greene in The Walking Dead. Real life collided with fantasy for Kinney when her character contributed to the survival group by singing to boost morale (see below).
Tickets to see Kinney at the Social start at $17 and can be purchased here.
Since her Beth Greene character met a grisly end on The Walking Dead, Emily Kinney has focused on her music career while also appearing on shows like Masters of Sex and The Flash. The singer-songwriter released her This Is War album in October and will begin a tour Nov. 16 at New Orleans’ Civic Theatre. Before setting out on the road, she took a moment to share some of her favorite recent tunes with USA TODAY readers.
My Wrecking Ball, Ryan Adams
Ryan’s last album was with me during a week I was by myself in Vancouver. I’m in love with his voice. It calms me down.
Shame, Cariad Harmon
For me, this song describes a feeling of trying to make it in life somehow and just being at the end of your rope.
The Last Unicorn, Passenger
This song so perfectly describes the feeling of being with someone physically and still feeling so incredibly alone.
Hands to Myself, Selena Gomez
The list’s guilty pleasure. I’ll listen a few times in a row just because it’s so cute. I can’t help myself. I love it.
The Fool, Ethan Johns
I really love his songs and their simple, beautiful poetry. This is my favorite from his last album, The Reckoning.
Wishing It Was You, K. Flay
I’m pretty obsessed with K. Flay right now. This song is dirty, and I like it.
Lazy Eye, Hem
On a long Christmas flight, I drifted in and out of sleep listening to Rabbit Songs all the way to Colorado Springs.
Behave, Frightened Rabbit
I think the people in this band might be a lot like me somehow. But I could be wrong. I could just be a crazy fangirl.
Bad Moon Rising, Creedence Clearwater Revival
One of my dad’s favorite songs, this makes me think of driving around with him in his pickup truck.
I was so into that Almost Everything … album in 2010. This is a newer song that makes me really happy.
Actress discusses new indie-pop effort, ‘This Is War,’ as well as playing a “sex surrogate” on ‘Masters of Sex’
Toward the end of last year, a part of actress Emily Kinney died. For four seasons, she had played The Walking Dead’s Beth Greene — the wide-eyed, singing-prone, optimistic daughter of a veterinarian farmer — but as is the show’s wont, her character met its less-than-natural conclusion in November.
Now Kinney is focusing on new roles, with appearances slated on Masters of Sex and The Knick, and a new album. For the past four years, the actress has been recording and releasing albums of emotive indie-pop on her own and has a new one — This Is War — slated to come out on October 2nd. She made the album knowing full well that after her run on one of TV’s biggest recent hits, it would be reaching a wider audience, but she didn’t let expectations faze her. Today, she’s premiering a new tune from the upcoming LP, “Birthday Cake,” which continues in the autobiographical, relationship-themed mold of songs from her prior release, 2014’s Expired Love.
Soft and acoustic, “Birthday Cake” finds Kinney singing to a man she’s crushing on and tells of how they eventually attempt a long-distance relationship after a romantic encounter at her birthday party, moving from making out to making love by the time he visits her in New York City. Kinney tells Rolling Stone that the reason it sounds so sweet and hopeful is because it’s based on a true story.
“I wrote it after I’d gone on a date with this guy I liked and I said, ‘Well, come to my birthday party,” she says with a laugh. “He couldn’t come until late, after my friends and I had gone to this bar, but then later I lured him back to my friend’s apartment. I said, ‘You know, there’s still leftover birthday cake at the apartment, so you might want to…’ So he came over to have some birthday cake and then we fell in love.” She laughs and says that shortly thereafter she had to fly to Georgia to film The Walking Dead, so they tried out a long-distance relationship. When Rolling Stone asks if it worked out, she says with a laugh, “In some ways it worked.”
By her own admission, the tune is one of the more cheerful songs on This Is War. As she wrote the record — whose cover sports her face and the album title written on sticker-covered xylophone keys (“It’s, like, a cute war,” she says) — she constantly found herself in the middle of all sorts of situations, which led to tension in the songs. “The songs are me figuring stuff out,” she says. “The title is about stepping up and standing up for myself, in relationships and in my work. Between auditioning and music, it can be tough. There are a lot of ups and downs.”
Fans of Emily Kinney know her for her “melodic, quirky, and confessional pop,” highly personal songwriting, and “honest style,” all of which will be featured on her debut full length album, ‘This Is War’ (8.11). Kinney’s narrative on the album is empowering and confident as she openly speaks her mind to those who have doubted her and those she loves – a departure from the roller coaster love story captured on her ‘Expired Love’ EP.
On the album’s percussion-driven opener and title track, Kinney directly addresses someone who expressed doubt in her career, using her arsenal of strong lyricism and songwriting to prove she’s “a fighter.” All ten tracks on the album share the common theme of taking ownership of your life and leaving nothing unsaid. “I would feel motivated to write songs after I had conversations where I didn’t feel like I could say the things I wanted to say,” explains Kinney. That isn’t to say that the whole album is about disagreements – “Never Leave LA,” a song Kinney says was inspired by a close friend’s story, is about fighting and taking chances for love. The song features the glockenspiel, a xylophone-like instrument that Kinney used throughout the album to contrast with the confrontational songwriting topics. On the album’s closing track, “Weapons,” Kinney details her escape into the sunset as she lays down her guard, surrounds herself with people who treat her right, and remembers that living well is often the best revenge.
Kinney doesn’t shy away from naming names and details about the people involved in her songs, making her lyrics feel like they’ve leapt from the pages of her diary. Her “heartfelt, emotional indie rock” (Rolling Stone) has earned her comparisons to Regina Spektor and Ingrid Michaelson, and is the reason that PopCrush proclaims she “is ready to make her official foray into the music world.”
Listen to the title track “This is War” on SPIN.com: http://www.spin.com/2015/04/emily-kinney-this-is-war-new-song-the-walking-dead-stream/
Emily Kinney, “The Walking Dead” – We did not exactly get a ton of Beth throughout the entirety of “The Walking Dead” season 5, but we are a big believer that sometimes you can do a lot with a little. Much like we felt that Melissa McBride earned a nomination based entirely on “The Grove” a year ago, Kinney is worthy thanks to her anchoring the show in “Slabtown,” and then delivering a powerful performance in “Crossed” and “Coda,” one of the saddest episodes of the entire year.