Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Interview (Days) Shelby Young Is Anything But a Mean Girl

Shelby Young is part of the new “youth revolution” on the set of “Days of Our Lives.” What with Will growing up and the introduction of Mia, Chad and a host of other teens into current story lines, you could say that “Days” is experiencing a teenage renaissance.

Shelby, who is a native of Boca Raton, Fla., was thrilled when she got the part of manipulative and scheming queen bee Kinsey. Shelby tells me: “I am not gonna lie to you; I jumped up and down when I found out. I was so excited, not only to be working on such a great show, but to be working with Taylor Spreitler (Mia), who I’ve been friends with forever.”

Fans of the show know that Kinsey is one sassy gal, and she is a hoot for Shelby to play. “I love the lines they give me. They are so mean, but they are so funny. Sometimes I feel like Kinsey doesn’t exactly know that what she’s saying is so mean; it’s just that she doesn’t have a filter. It’s a little therapeutic in a way, because I get to say things that I’d never say in real life.”

So, does Shelby think Kinsey is relatively harmless, or will this bee sting if you get in her way? “If you cross her, she could be pretty vindictive — with Mia, she started these rumors trying to ruin her life just because she didn’t like her from years ago at the other school.

“The best part about acting is embodying the characters and getting to be someone else. So it’s always such a good time to be this mean girl and get inside her head. But I would like to expand from just being ‘the mean girl’ to more scheming, perhaps. She's pretty tough — I want them to give me a catfight; that would be so awesome.”

How do the reigning teens get along — is it all fun and games on the set? “It’s so much fun. We’re all really good friends, so we see each other outside of work, and we’re always goofing around on set. Of course, we take our work seriously, and when it’s time to work, we buckle down and get it done. But when we have some off time, like during hair and makeup, we’re just joking back and forth and having a lot of fun.”

Shelby got her start in showbiz at the ripe old age of 5. “Basically, I was watching TV and I said, ‘Mom, I can do that!’ Luckily I have a very supportive mother who took a lot of her time to help support my dream.”

Commercials in Florida led to musical theater in New York, where she met Taylor and became roomies, and this lead to independent films. “I realized I wanted to do something more episodic, as well as film and soaps, and the place to be is California if you want to do all of those things.”

Her first major casting coup was when she landed the role of Ruby in “Wild Child,” which happened to be Natasha Richardson’s final film. Of Natasha, Shelby gushes: “She was such a lovely woman. She was so beautiful and warm and talented. It is so sad that she had to pass at such a young age.”

Next up for Shelby, film-wise, is “The Social Network,” which also stars Justin Timberlake and Jesse Eisenberg, and is directed by David Fincher (“Fight Club,” “Seven,” “Panic Room” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”). She couldn’t tell me much about the movie or her role in it, as everything about the filming is so hush-hush. But the movie is about the founders of the social-networking site Facebook. “I am such a huge fan of ‘Fight Club,’ so the chance to work with David Fincher, I just couldn’t pass that up.”