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.
You might know Emily Kinney from the TV phenomenons The Walking Dead (R.I.P. Beth) and Masters of Sex. Now the actress is releasing an LP, This is War, on Oct. 2.
While it’s obvious that Emily has many talents, did you know that she used to be a barista? So it’s only fitting that she took our “What Kind Of Coffee Are You?” quiz when she stopped by BuzzFeed LA.
Paul Gallant and Jim Mudd talk with former member of The Walking Dead and current cast member on Showtime’s Masters of Sex about her shows, her future with music and the new spin off of “Fear the Walking Dead.”
Kinney was killed off the Walking Dead last season as her character Beth was shot in the head (No we didn’t say spoiler alert, IT’S THE NAME OF THE PODCAST!)
“I was sad to leave the show,” Kinney told Spoiler Alert. “I worked on the show for about four years or four seasons. I’d seen (Beth) grow seen her change. There are a lot of parts of me that are like Beth.
“The fans of Walking Dead are so incredible and it really was such a ride, it was such a journey for me. I’ve never been part of something that had such a reach.”
Starting August 23rd on AMC the first season of The Walking Dead spinoff/prequel “Fear The Walking Dead” takes a look at Los Angeles as the zombie outbreak begins. Kinney is excited for the show, even though we don’t think Beth would pop up in LA at all.
“Someone pitch it,” Kinney said of having Beth on Fear The Walking Dead. “Maybe she went to LA for a music audition or something.”
Kinney is now appearing on Showtimes “Masters Of Sex” which is a different animal to be in than The Walking Dead.
“Very different from Walking Dead,” Kinney said. “To me that definately appealed to me. I loved working on Walking Dead but i sort of liked the idea to of going to work and, like, people not getting shot in the throat. To me I welcomed the break of not necessarily exploring people getting torn apart but instead exploring relationships and sex and drama and people falling in love.”
Emily did a great interview with “A Drink With”. Here’s a snippet.
At just 25 you got the role as Beth Greene on “The Walking Dead”. It sounds like there weren’t too many days working in the coffee shop.
Yeah, you know, right away when I got to New York I didn’t waste a lot of time in terms of waiting to audition. I can remember the first night that I got to New York that second time and I didn’t have an apartment or my job at a coffee shop yet, but I was already planning on going to an open call the next morning. At first I didn’t love New York City either. Now I love it. Now it’s my home. It’s one of my favorite places in the world, but I was there for a very specific purpose and that was that I wanted to work in theater and I wanted to work in the biggest way possible – theater and music. To me, the best place for that was New York City.
WHY SHE’S FOXY: Because she’s an inspired lyricist on the rise who also played a kind-hearted sex kitten zombie killer on the hit TV show “The Walking Dead.”
ON HER CURRENT RELATIONSHIP STATUS: “I’m single. You know, I’m traveling so much, I find it sort of difficult to date and get to know someone. It gets serious very quick or goes away very quick. Planning to travel to see someone puts a specific pressure on the whole thing. I am totally open to it though. I would love to find the right person. I’m sort of awkward sometimes and require a lot of time to myself which I think freaks guys out in the beginning or makes them frustrated/think I don’t like them. When I feel like I have a special connection with someone it’s rare for me. Right now, I’m really digging hanging out with my little sister, or my friends.”
ON HER IDEAL RELATIONSHIP/PARTNER: “I think I really want to be with someone that inspires me and my work. I’d rather be with someone that is into their own thing as well. I’m craving that – someone who inspires me to be excited about things happening in my life, not needing me to apologize for when I have to be away. Musicians typically. I end up preferring to date other artists/actors/musicians because they understand the schedule and its randomness. I picture both of us working on things that we like. Inside jokes from the daily little things, a best friend but someone that is independent. And making me better in some way.”
Until her untimely death on last November’s mid-season finale of The Walking Dead, Beth Greene, portrayed by the actor and musician Emily Kinney, was one of the AMC zombie mega-show’s most prominent characters. Devoutly religious and optimistic if initially naive, Beth was such a fan favorite that the blogosphere exploded when she was killed off the show. Naturally, Kinney is not Beth. But don’t tell that to the countless fans who come to Kinney’s concerts; if it were up to them, she’d be Beth forever.
Yes, such are the consequences of moving between the worlds of acting and music. Kinney has been singing since her childhood, and she got her first big break in Spring Awakening on Broadway, but only in recent years has the multi-talented 29-year-old made a legitimate run at a music career. She’s released a pair of EPs, each showcasing the musings of a gentle singer-songwriter in the vein of Ingrid Michaelson. In the fall, Kinney releases her full-length debut album, This Is War. Kinney recently talked to us about her message-heavy LP, jumping from stage to screen, and how she has come to terms with her Beth persona.
People know you best for your acting. Tell us about your lifelong love of music.
I’ve been singing since I was really little. I was probably seven when I did my first talent show. Singing was definitely my in to performing more so than acting. Music definitely came first. As a little kid I was thinking that was the route I was going. And then I started to really fall in love with theater and I realized what I love about music is the stories and the words. I can actually remember someone coming up to me—’cause I used to sing a lot at church and stuff like that—”I love when you sing at church because I feel like I can feel the words.” That stuck with me. I was realizing there was something besides just the music. It was more about telling stories. So I started shifting my focus a bit.
You already know Emily Kinney’s singing from The Walking Dead. As Beth Greene, farmer’s daughter and zombie slayer, her character’s occasional musical interludes brought emotional depth and resonance to a frequently brutal television show. She talked with STACKEDD about her tour, geek culture, and her parents’ super rad taste in music.
CR: Your music is so much fun! How long have you been a songwriter?
EK: I’ve been writing poetry longer than songs, but I remember writing some of my first songs in high school.
CR: Who are some of your musical inspirations?
EK: I love a lot of artists, but most of my inspiration to write songs comes from my musician friends, or local Brooklyn bands I see around NYC. Jaymay, Bright Silence are a few….I also get inspiration from my romantic relationships or my friend’s relationships. Walking around NYC inspires me to write songs. And I get inspiration from my parents. My parents’ taste in music has definitely influenced me. We would listen to The Carpenters and John Lennon, Chicago, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Eagles, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rolling Stones, James Taylor, Carole King, etc….the list goes on a bit. They have great taste in music I think. 🙂
CR: Which musicians would like to work with in the future? Do you have a dream collaboration?
EK: I don’t know. There are so many great artists out there. I already feel lucky to have gotten to work with some awesome musicians on this album, like Caleb Shreve, Elliot Jacobsen, and Simon Kafka, who are also good people and good friends. But I do have a fantasy about Nicki Minaj doing a remix of one of my songs. So maybe someday that call will come. haha.
CR: How has the transition from working on The Walking Dead to focusing on music been for you?
EK: It’s been non-stop since leaving The Walking Dead because I have been trying to really take advantage of the momentum in both my acting and music career. The Walking Dead became a home base, an anchor for a few years, so now I’ve been trying to find that anchor again in my life. So some days I feel a little scattered. The family that has developed within the band through touring is beginning to feel like an anchor. I think I want to tour more after the album comes out.
CR: The episodes of The Walking Dead featuring you singing were some of the more emotionally resonant episodes. Was it exciting for you to be able to sing on the show? How did that come about?
EK: Of course, it was exciting! I love singing and I love that the audience was able to connect with Beth through music. It was just something added to the campfire moment in Season 3 and then it was established that Beth liked singing. It was the showrunner’s idea.
CR: What did you learn about geek culture from working on a cult show like The Walking Dead? How do you feel about how women are treated in geek culture?
EK: I’m not sure I totally know specifically who you are referring to when you say “geek culture”, but I love the Walking Dead fans and I do meet a lot of comic book/ superhero/horror film fans when I go to conventions. They are loyal and fun and positive and supportive people in my experience. To be an artist with a listening audience like The Walking Dead has is quite a fortunate thing.
CR: Tell us about your upcoming acting projects.
EK: I’ll be appearing in the second season of The Knick, and I have few other things in the works, but right now as I’m writing this interview I’m on the road with my band!
This is an older interview but I wanted to post it because it deals with her Walking Dead departure.
Posted December 1 2014
The Walking Dead midseason finale ended with a bang on Sunday night. Unfortunately, that bang was the sound of Officer Dawn Lerner’s gun blasting into Beth’s head after Beth stabbed with her some scissors to protest the Grady Memorial Hospital leader insisting on forcing Noah to stay in exchange for Beth. In the past we may not have seen Beth be so bold, but this was Beth Greene 2.0, who showed herself to be a much more outspoken and daring version of her former self. Of course, that daring is what ultimately led to her demise. We spoke to a still very emotional Emily Kinney — who will now turn her attention to her music career with a new single and video titled “Rock Star” due Dec. 9 and a new album in 2015 — to get her thoughts on Beth’s evolution and end game. She also tells us about Norman Reedus getting a bit handsy, talks what she will miss most about working on the show, and reveals that she has yet to even watch her final episode. (Also make sure to check out our deep dive with Andrew Lincoln, midseason finale Q&A with Norman Reedus, and burning questions with showrunner Scott M. Gimple.)
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Tell me how and when you got the bad news.
EMILY KINNEY: The season finale was episode 508 and I found out during 507. So I found out a few hours before they released the script to everyone.
Showrunner Scott Gimple gave you the call?
I actually talked to him in person.
So did you go then tell your castmates or did they find out on their own?
All I know is how I found out, which is that day a few hours before the script came out. So different people from the cast reached out to me after that and that was really nice.
Tell me about that. What was it like when the reactions from cast started coming in?
They seemed surprised too. It’s always really hard. We’ve worked together for years now. So, it’s really sad.
Read the rest of this entry »
Emily Kinney is known for her role as Beth Greene from the hit series The Walking Dead, but she has much more under her belt than that one show. She’s been in numerous television and film spots, as well as on Broadway in Spring Awakening and August: Osage County. Kinney has also been busy with a budding music career, and we’re eagerly awaiting a new album from her this year, titled This Is War. I got to talk to Emily about her upcoming tour, album, and how acting and music have worked together in her life:
A lot of people know you from The Walking Dead, but you’re also an accomplished musician. Did acting come first, or was music/acting a joint venture for you?
Music in some ways came first as far as like, when I was little […] I loved music and the radio and singing and singing for people and even just starting when I was seven, I was singing in talent shows and at church. But then, as I grew up, I started getting involved in theater and musical theater and the TV shows I watched, I would think, “Oh, that’s kinda what I’m looking for.” […] They both have been a part of my life for quite a while, I would say music kinda got me in.
When I moved to New York, I was definitely moving to pursue acting and music was just something I’d always do no matter what. I started singing backup for bands, I went to go see a lot of music, started writing my own songs. It took me a second to start deciding to actually record my own music. I guess professionally, acting came first, but what hooked me into performance was my music.
Your music has a very playful nature to it. Even with your songs that take a more serious tone, there’s still this, I want to say ‘innocence’ to it. Do you find it easier to write your music that way?
I do think that it’s very playful and happy, like a lot of people will tell me, “Your songs sound so happy, but then when I really listen close to the words, they suddenly are very sad.” I just tend to think about the actual words themselves, and I think for me, music or writing music is a way for me to feel better and work out what I’m going through, so I don’t know if that becomes part of the process, it starts out trying to be really honest about what I want to say, and saying those things in a very honest way, but then when I sing them wanting them to feel happy and feel like a release.
So I think that’s why they might come out in that way. I also think my sense of humor comes across a little bit in my songs, and even if I’m upset about something, I do tend to make fun of the thing I’m upset about, and I don’t think that any of my problems are maybe all that awful. Usually, most of the issues I’m writing about are things like boyfriends and love and really things that I’m lucky to have had in my life. Sometimes, I try to find a way to sort of make fun of the problem.