The stunning Ayla Kell, who plays dedicated gymnast Payson Keeler on ABC Family’s hit show Make It Or Break It, talks to us about being a former ballerina, how to shop for vintage clothes and why she won’t wear bubble skirts.
Her Campus: Your character in Make it or Break It, Payson Keeler, is really serious. You pull it off really well. Are you serious or more fun-loving?
Ayla Kell: I generally consider myself to be more fun loving but it’s a level of commitment that I connect with. I buckle down when I need to focus
HC: Do you have any other similarities with Payson?
AK: I’m just as headstrong. She knows what she wants, and I think I’m that way to.
HC: You were a ballerina for a long time; do you still dance even if it’s just for fun?
AK: At this point it is just for fun, because it takes up so much of your time.
HC: Do you miss it?
AK: I do and I don’t. It’s such an all inclusive part of your life. It’s the same as gymnastics, which is what makes me like Payson, too.
HC: Has acting always been what you’ve wanted to do, or is it something you just fell into?
AK: I’ve always done it alongside school and ballet, but it became more of a focus recently. I went to a regular high school. It wasn’t a glamorous thing.
HC: I read in an interview that Arrested Development is one of your all-time favorite shows. Any chance you’ll break into comedy anytime soon?
AK: I would love to I can name every episode of Arrested Development, Seinfeld or Mr. Show. I love that, so hopefully at some point I’ll get to play around with it. I have a great time doing dramatic acting, so I can only imagine how great a time I’ll have doing comedy.
HC: You have a fan site dedicated to you: is that flattering or a little bit weird for you?
AK: It was really, really strange when it first started off. I know what I do and where I go to work, but it’s weird that other people know that two. This girl came up to me and she was stuttering and didn’t know what to day. I was like “I don’t know what to say to you!” But a lot of people love to imitate me online. I have no control of what this person can control. I have no say in it; it’s not fair.
HC: There are a lot of people who impersonate you on Twitter.
AK: I don’t even have a Twitter. I don’t know why I would encourage people to stalk me. I guess you can call me a traditionalist. I don’t like the internet frenzy when a social conversation is not a social conversation. I do blog to encourage an open dialogue with my fans. (Check out her blog here!) You got to have a web presence if you’re going to be any type of actress. I’m active.
HC: Your style on the show is pretty much a leotard and track pants, which is realistic, but not really flattering, how would you describe your style outside of the show?
AK: My style as vintage-eclectic-Americana. I like to where what I call Oxford colors: maroons browns, corals, watercolors. It’s very Americanized and always vintage with some odd prints. I do a lot of Goodwill, I do a lot of American Vintage (a vintage store in LA). I try to go to a different city and just shopping at some random mom and pop stores.
HC: What’s important to look for when you go vintage shopping?
AK: I always look for the bones of the dress. What does it have structurally that isn’t like anything else I have? It’s more the print that I’m not going to find anywhere else, but I have to know 100 different ways I could wear it.
HC: Do you use a stylist for events, or do you like to take the reins?
AK: I do it myself. I try to wear vintage for red carpet, but it’s expensive you’re in the $1000 range. I don’t like to go above $20 for a dress. If I have to buy something new I look for a classical style with a modern flare.
HC: Is there anything you know just wouldn’t look good on your body and you would never wear?
AK: Bubble skirts: it’s just not going to happen. I will not wear something with additional fabric! Also gladiators- I don’t like to do trendy.
HC: Are there any beauty products your absolutely love, or tips you can share with our readers?
AK: I’m a big fan of Clinique because it’s easy on your skin and they really emphasize the three step process.
HC: Do you ever trade tips with your co-stars about beauty and style?
AK: Not really. We’re completely different styles, but Cassie, Josie, Chelsea, and I all wear the exact same shoe size, so there’s usually a fight over who gets to wear what shoes.
HC: How did you feel making the jump to being a brunette? What inspired that decision?
AK: It was really fun. I talked to my colorist and used the same colors I usually used for lowlights. Also as soon as I dyed it, I look so pale. My parents freaked out for the next couple of the days, because they didn’t realize it was me. But I’m working my way back to blonde now.