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KRISTIN KREUK
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VANCOUVER’S TREASURED TEEN IS ALL GROWN UP


In Hollywood, the “girl next door” archetype is often a misnomer. The tabloids are always abuzz with stories of fresh-faced innocents checking into rehab, or suffering mental breakdowns as their lives publicly spin out of control. This is not the case with Kristin Kreuk, the girl who won the heart of North American teens with her role as Clark Kent’s lady friend on the hit series Smallville.

For someone who spent the last decade in the public eye, the star has managed to maintain an uncharacteristically private personal life. You’ll never see her gracing the cover of a checkout-line scandal sheet. If it is hard to find gossip about her, this is precisely because she opts to stay out of the limelight when it comes to her life off screen. Instead of gallivanting around town trying to be captured in a paparazzi moment with other celebrities, she has opted to stay in Vancouver, living among her family in the city she grew up in, and among the friends she has had since before her big break.

“I think it’s the only thing I’ve ever known,” says Kristin. “I have a large variety of friends from all different professions, and I like to learn and I like to be in touch with what is going on in the world. I think you can’t be a good actor if you are not in touch with living.”


Unlike many Canadian actors who feel the need to leave their hometowns and relocate to Hollywood to become part of the buzz machine, parting with Vancouver was something Kristin never felt compelled to do.

“I love the way that the air smells, I love the nature, I love that I know where everything is. I really do think that there is a familiarity and a comfort, as well as that we don’t have a big celebrity culture in Canada at all. I really enjoy that. LA is very centered around the film business, which is great when you are there and you can really focus on that, but I like the diversity here.”

Commuting for work is never easy, especially when it involves an international flight. But this is the price Kristin is paying for her down-to-earth life, as she gets swept up for more and more roles. Though she finally parted ways with Smallville after eight years on the show, in 2009 Kristin handled lead-role duties in the movie Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. This year, she is taking part in a TV miniseries adaptation of Ben Hur, directed by Steve Shill (Dexter, Rome, The Tudors). She also appeared in a bunch of episodes of NBC’s hit comedy show Chuck, as the titular character’s love interest. She plays a quiet, smart IT nerd who has recently lost her job and decides to work alongside Chuck in the IT department after meeting him on a plane.

“I had a lot of fun shooting Chuck. It’s a great set. Zach [Levi] is lovely and he sets this really wonderful tone. I kind of think that the lead sets the tone for the show on set, and he is really warm, loving, kind to everybody, and wants to work really hard and make the show the best that it can be.”


Kristin got her start in the soapy dramas but her latest roles have seen her branch out into different genres. With Street Fighter, she proved herself to be a master of martial arts, while Ben Hur will see her tackle a monumental historical epic. Now, with her role in Chuck she is getting an opportunity to showcase her comedic side. “I like comedy because I like to be light. It’s fun and there is a rhythm to it that I enjoy. I like action because I like to stretch myself physically, and I get to learn all these new skills, and I get to jump off buildings and I get to flip around, which is awesome.  I was a gymnast for a long time so I really enjoy that type of stuff. Drama, I like to go really deep with characters and really get into the drama in people’s lives. I think that really is exciting and I feel like I can go really deep with that.”

Kristin, now 27, is also channelling her energy into a new project that she hopes will positively impact teenage girls. She is focusing on a social networking site called Girls By Design meant to encourage young girls to “explore, express, create and realize their potential together.”

To Kristin, being a role model isn’t a choice. Instead, she accepts it as part of her job.   

“The way that I see it is that the minute you choose to do this profession you are a role model – whether or not you acknowledge it is your own choice. Obviously to me it means being the best person that you can be.”
 
Written by: Evan Millar

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