Our interview with talented young actress Grace Kaufman, who can be seen on her role as Kate on CBS Comedy “Man with a Plan” along Matt LeBlanc. “Man With A Plan” is a comedy about a contractor (LeBlanc) who starts spending more time with his kids when his wife goes back to work, rediscovering the truth all parents eventually realize: their little angels are maniacs.
Other projects where Grace have been part of includes her film “Sister”, “Brave New Jersey” and in TV shows like TNT’s “The Last Ship” and “The Closer,” NBC’s “Free Agents,” CBS’s “Bad Teacher” and Disney’s “Jessie,” to name a few.
Hi Grace, please tell us a little about you?
Well, I am a fourteen year old who was born and raised in Los Angeles. I love acting, eating food, going to Starbucks, and my playing with my pets.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Funny, carefree, and kindhearted.
So how did it all begin?
I have always had a passion for acting since I was a baby. I used to put on shows in my backyard and living room for my family. I began to take acting classes and auditioning as well. I got my first professional role when I was seven playing Tootie in a production of the musical “Meet Me in St. Louis” at the Carpenter Center in Long Beach. From there, the journey began!
Any other family member is in the business?
Actually both of my parents have been actors for a long time. Ever since they got out of college. And my little brother is just starting in the business as well! So I guess you could say it runs in the family!
What inspired you to become an actress?
Growing up in an environment such as Los Angeles, I was constantly surrounded by actors (including my parents) who were always performing. I just always knew that was what I wanted to do with my life.
What is the best part of acting?
I love the whole idea of getting to escape my reality and enter the world of the character I am playing. I think that getting to walk in the shoes of another and really feel what they are feeling has helped me grow in my work and also given me a better perspective on the different people of the world. I also find the concept of being able to take in an audience and transporting them to new world full of different emotions is absolutely captivating.
What roles do you like to play? And why?
I love getting to play roles that I can relate to. I feel like it is cool to get to apply little characteristics of myself into the characters I play. That’s really how you play a character truthfully. Taking parts of yourself and putting them into the situation that your character is in. I love characters that are finding themselves up against a lot of odds and have to overcome them.
Who is your favorite actor/actress?
There are many actors/actresses that inspire me and that I look up to. I love actors like Leonardo DiCaprio, and actresses like Anne Hathaway, Hailee Steinfeld, Carol Burnett, Lucille Ball, etc. I just watched Natalie Portman play Jackie Kennedy in “Jackie” and she was amazing. I am very inspired by actresses like her who can draw an audience in and have them feel what she is going through. I want to learn more about the Kennedys now!
Best advice ever given?
Some of the best advice I have gotten so far, was given to me every night by Angela Paton, who played my grandma in a play I did called “Coney Island Christmas” at the Geffen Playhouse here in Los Angeles. It was: “Don’t be afraid to reach for the stars. Go out there and kick ass!” She would say that to me and we would walk on stage at that moment.
Tell us about the CBS comedy “Man With A Plan”? And about your role as Kate?
“Man With A Plan” is show that revolves around the concept of family, and that no matter what may happen, we are always there for one another. My role Kate is very fun to play, because I can relate to her in so many ways. She, like me, is an early teen and has younger siblings. She also has a spunk and sass to her that I love. She loves her family as well.
How did you got the role?
Well, I got the script from my agents and then auditioned for the role. Then, I got a callback and got to read with Matt for the first time. Then I got the part!
How was working with Matt LeBlanc?
Working with Matt is awesome. He is such a nice and just overall down to earth person. Of course I am a huge “Friends” fan, so I am still in awe that I get to work with him. I have learned so much, and have so much fun doing scenes with him. He is very professional with his work, but is never afraid to be a little goofy with the kids and me every now and then!
Any exciting news you want to share with us?
Well, I also do a show called “The Last Ship” on TNT which is currently filming it’s 4th season and will be filming a 5th season as well! I also was at the Austin Film Festival this past fall for a new film that I did called “Brave New Jersey” and I’m excited for everyone to see that also!
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
I hope to have traveled a lot and seen many places around the world. I also hope to continue my acting career and be able to work with inspiring actors and actresses. I love to sing, so I am going to start writing my own songs, and see what happens!
What kind of music do you listen normally?
Not a day goes by that I don’t listen to music. I guess the genre I listen to depends on my mood. I have been loving groups like The Civil Wars and The Lumineers. I also like listening to artists from Drake to Elton John to Frank Sinatra.
Do you support any charity?
Yes, I have particularly been involved with the AutoImmune Disease Charity. Every year there is a walk that raises money and awareness for the disease. This foundation was started by one of close family friends Haley Ramm. I support this cause, because I know many people including my mom who suffer from different AutoImmune diseases.
How’s a normal day in your life?
Normally, days I work, I am on set. On days I have off work, I am normally in school; or if it’s a weekend, I like to hang out with friends and go on hikes or to the beach.
Your idea of a perfect Sunday?
My idea of a perfect Sunday would be sleeping in late and then lounging around in my pajamas and eating loads of food. Then I would go on a hot air balloon ride and watch the sunset. Next, I would go out to dinner, and then go home and watch Netflix until I fall asleep.
Where we can follow you?
Quote: “Remember, you’re the one who can fill the world with sunshine” -Snow White
Book: The Outsiders
Favorite Singer or Artist: I love too many! But I love Rhianna. I love One Direction. A band called The Civil Wars. And so many classic artists like Frank Sinatra, Karen Carpenter, Ella Fitzgerald. So many more. Too many to list!
Drink: Iced Chai Latte
Food: Pizza, Sushi, and Ice Cream
Tv Series: “Gilmore Girls” and “This Is Us”
Sports Team: St. Louis Cardinals (I have lots of family in St. Louis, Missouri!)
Travel destination: I want to travel all over Europe, Africa, and the Bahamas.
Photo Credit: Ryan West Photo