Interview with the Star Trek Into Darkness twins, Katie & Kellie

katie and kellie star trek into darkness

Meet Katie and Kellie Cockrell. They are twins who are going to be in the big blockbuster sci-fi flick, Star Trek Into Darkness. What role will they play in the movie? Let’s just say it involves Chris Pine’s Captain Kirk. We had the chance to chat with the lovely twins on their experiences with the movie including meeting J.J. Abrams and Chris Pine. We also talk about their time doing Disney movies.

John “Spartan” Nguyen (Nerd Reactor): Hello Katie and Kellie. How’s it going?

Katie & Kellie: Good, how are you?

Nerd Reactor: Doing good. You guys must be really excited for Star Trek Into Darkness.

Katie & Kellie: Yeah, we are really excited. We can’t wait.

Nerd Reactor: Before we talk about that, let’s dive in deeper into the history of the twins.

Katie & Kellie: Mmhmm.

Nerd Reactor: You guys have taken dances classes and have been in commercials, so I was wondering, what made you guys decide you wanted to go into acting?

Katie & Kellie: Well, we started as dancers, like you said. We were on the dance team in high school, and we were doing photo shoots for the dance team. The photographer was like, “Oh, you guys should look into modeling.” So we went to this local agent in Utah – we didn’t really think anything of it. We just thought we’d see how it went. They decided to take us, but they said, “You’re too short to be in modeling, but you can do acting.” We weren’t sure if we wanted to do it or not. So we just decided to audition. One of the first auditions we had was for the Disney Channel movie Return to Halloweentown. We ended up getting it, and we were honestly terrified. We had no idea what we were doing, but we were so excited and that was our first experience with acting.

Nerd Reactor: You’ve done that, and High School Musical 3, Camp Rock 2, a lot of the Disney-type movies. Disney seems to be your calling.

Katie & Kellie: Yeah, it is. We started in Utah, that’s where we grew up. They have a small film industry there, and they film a lot of these Disney movies there. That’s kind of why a lot of our preceding resume has a lot of Disney things in it. We were out there before we moved to LA. It was fantastic to do those things. I was in High School Musical 3, and we got to dance with Vanessa, Ashley, Zac and all the main actors. We worked with Kenny Ortega, Bonnie Story, and Chucky Klapow, the choreographers. It was just absolutely fantastic and such an honor to be a part of those films.

Nerd Reactor: For those movies, do they cast you guys as twins? Have you guys doubled each other?

Katie & Kellie: Usually we’ve been cast as twins. We’ve never actually done a double or a stand-in which would be cool though. But we’ve also done individual roles as well. I think being a twin has definitely helped us.

Nerd Reactor: So how do you transition from the Disney to something like Jack and Jill (starring Jim Carrey)?

Katie & Kellie: You know, as an actor, you’re just auditioning for what your type and what your look is. When you’re younger, the Disney stuff really fits, but as we’ve gotten older, we definitely want to expand and do new things. The Jack and Jill and the Star Trek role is a new side of us that we’re really excited to show audiences, and really excited to play new sorts of roles.

Nerd Reactor: Oh yeah. Before you guys got the part to be in Star Trek Into Darkness, you had no clue it was going to be for that movie?

Katie & Kellie: No, we didn’t at all. The audition process was very secretive. We didn’t know what we were auditioning for at all. We just went in and there were a bunch of sets of twins, like there are in a lot of twin auditions. We were friends with a lot of them. So we went in and we thought we did a good job, but we didn’t hear anything for a month, and then we had a callback which was a photo shoot. So we went and did the photo shoot. We again thought that went really well, but didn’t hear anything for about another month, and they called and we had a meet-and-greet with J.J. Abrams. At that point, we still didn’t know if we had the part, so we just went onto the Paramount set and there was the Star Trek Enterprise, there were all the actors walking around. We were just in awe. Then we met J.J. and he said, “This is awesome, we’ll see you guys on set.” We found out we got the part from J.J. himself on set.

Nerd Reactor: That must have been really cool, and you guys had to probably try hard to contain your excitement?

Katie & Kellie: Oh, you know what? I can’t even describe how excited we were. We were trying to keep it together when talking to J.J. “Oh yes, that would be great!” You know, talking correctly and as soon as we left, we called our manager, we called our parents, just freaking out. “I think we got it! He said ‘We’ll see you on set'” To be part of such a cool franchise really is the highlight of our career, so far. We can only hope to do other things that are as cool as this.

Nerd Reactor: Can you give us a little bit of information on how you’re involved in the movie?

Katie & Kellie: Yeah. Basically we’re two characters based off of the old comic books. We can’t tell you which one, but you’ll see which one when you watch the movie. We’re not human, and we have a fun, playful scene with Chris Pine that shows his character, who he is. It’s just really fun and a lot of girls are going to be jealous. We’ll just say that.

Nerd Reactor: How many days were you on set for that scene?

Katie & Kellie: We filmed the whole scene in one day, but we were on set 10 to 12 days doing makeup tests. I think that really just shows what kind of director J.J. is, and how seriously he takes this project. He really wanted us to look organic and like these characters. This is who they are and not just actors in costume. We were working for the special FX team for 10 days doing prosthetics and doing face molds and etc. It was amazing. Like I said, it just really shows the kind of passion and dedication that J.J. has for this project.

Nerd Reactor: The process for the molds and all that, have you guys experienced anything like that before?

Katie & Kellie: No, we’d never experienced anything like that before. It’s kind of scary actually. When you get the plaster all over your face, you have to let it harden. You can’t see or hear anything, and it takes ten minutes of that – it’s scary. It was a cool, once in a lifetime experience.

Nerd Reactor The process is pretty long for each day, right?

Katie & Kellie: Right, yeah. The makeup days were at least 10 to 12 hours each day. The makeup artists would try several different things, and once they were done, we would go show J.J. on set. They would do lighting, they would film some of it, they would do it from different angles, and then he would say, “We need to rework this, we need to do this.” We’d go back the next day and rework it.

Nerd Reactor: I don’t know how you guys do it. Sitting and having your face, your body just tested with. Then later, when it’s done, you still have to show off the look.

Katie & Kellie: Mhm. Yeah. But we’ve become really good friends with the Special FX people, so that was fun. I loved hanging out with them and talking to them. One thing that was really cool that we took away was that everyone who worked on Star Trek is the best of the best. These people are the best Special FX people in the industry, the best camera people, the best lighting, the best TAs. So it really is such an honor to work with them.

Nerd Reactor: And now you can add the best twins.

Katie & Kellie: Yay!

Nerd Reactor: How was working with Chris Pine?

Katie & Kellie: It was awesome. He’s cute on screen, but in person, he’s just ridiculous. So handsome and really nice and really easy going. Working with him is really an experience. It was really fun and very intimidating at first. Again though, he’s so nice and easy going, it helps you.

Nerd Reactor: Is he like his character on screen?

Katie & Kellie: You know, that’s hard to say. We didn’t have any super in-depth conversations,. I wouldn’t want to say, “Yes he is like that” or “No, he isn’t.” From what we could tell of him, he was incredibly nice, very easy going and just very handsome. He is not bad on the eyes.

Nerd Reactor: Were you guys Star Trek fans before the movie?

Katie & Kellie: When we were growing up our parents liked Star Trek, and we’d heard of it our whole lives, but we weren’t necessarily huge fans or anything. Once we heard we got it, we watched the recent ones, and really got into it. It’s such a cool, epic franchise. It’s really fun.

Nerd Reactor: You know what this means, right? Once the movie comes out, I think the fans are going to be expecting you to be at conventions in the future.

Katie & Kellie: Well, you know what? That would be fun. I think the Star Trek conventions would be fun to do.

Nerd Reactor: Have you ever been to a convention like that?

Katie & Kellie: We went to Comic-Con a few years ago. I thought it was so cool – I just love that people are so passionate about things. They were all so into it. I’m like, “Rock on! That’s so cool.” Yeah. When it comes to Comic-Con, I loved that people were in costumes.

Nerd Reactor: After Star Trek, what do you guys have planned? More acting?

Katie & Kellie: We’re definitely focusing on acting. We just finished wrapping an indie film called Feels So Good. We play the two main, popular mean girls in the movie. It was with a lot of really great up and coming actors like Matt Shively from Paranormal Activity and Brendan Robinson from Pretty Little Liars. We just finished that, and we’re back to auditioning, working the acting scene.

Nerd Reactor: Do you gals get to choose what type of movies you’re going to be in, or do you have a preference?

Katie & Kellie: I don’t think we have a preference of upcoming movies right now. You’re auditioning and if you get the part, you’re excited and you’ll do the part. Hopefully one day, we get to the point where you can pick and choose what types of films you work on.

Nerd Reactor: Will you gals have more individual roles in the future?

Kellie: Yeah. I think we definitely would like to do more individual stuff, but we also like working together a lot. It’s really fun. Katie’s my best friend, and it’s fun to work with your best friend, and work together. As you said, it would be nice to work individually as well, but we are a good team.

Nerd Reactor: Since you guys are twins, most of the roles people ask you for are twin roles, right?

Katie & Kellie: Yeah. When you’re auditioning for the twin roles, there are specifically twin parts in that movie. So we go out and a lot of times it’s funny, because you go to these twin auditions, and it’s the same set of twins that you’re auditioning against for all of these twin-type roles. So you see each other, and you’re like, “Oh, hey!” Or you know, “That set got that role. We just booked this role.” It’s the small little niche of industry.

Nerd Reactor: Twins against other twins.

Katie & Kellie: Yeah, but you know, we’ve actually become very good friends with them, with a lot of different twins. We see them all the time and it’s fun.

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