“I love playing Bridget on Ray Donovan because there is something special in having a character and being able to watch them evolve and to evolve alongside them and follow their story. It’s something that you don’t get to do in film, and it’s really special.” In watching Kerris evolve from child star, one could say the same thing about her. After convincing her mom to take her on auditions as a kid, Kerris landed roles in commercials and various films such as Just Like Heaven, Disney’s Girl Vs. Monster, and Alexander’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. “I had really good success from when I first started on—I think when you’re little, when you’re five, you have no filter. You have no insecurity.” Now at seventeen, with Season 3 of Ray Donovan just wrapped, her transition from child to adult star has come naturally.
A musician as well (her EP comes out this fall), her guitar skills landed her the role of Brad Pitt’s daughter, Casey Beane, in the sports drama Moneyball. “I love “The Show” by Lenka. It’s one of my favorite songs of all time, and I felt that it suited the character. So I went in and I auditioned with that, and that was what I think cinched it for me.” While many young girls are pushed into ballet, or perhaps piano, Dorsey had other aspirations. “It’s hard to find a lot of ten to twelve-year-old girls that really play guitar, because piano is what girls do, what they’re put towards. I think it was cool. I was acting, and then it was one of those times when your side hobbies come into play. Bennett Miller, the director, loved the song. So when they cast me, he put it in the movie.” Moneyball was an emotional film, and Ray Donovan is an intense drama. Along with acting and guitar, Dorsey’s gotten pretty good at crying, and even finds summoning tears to be easier than laughs. “Personally, I love drama, and I do it most of the time. But I think comedy is harder… you’re more vulnerable because it’s very apparent when people aren’t laughing and they’re supposed to be.”
Of her role models, Kerris counts those whose work is changing industry standards. “The media is such a huge part of our lives, and it’s so accessible now with all the technology we have. It’s so invasive, the ideal body type and ideal everything – it’s just been put in front of us and we’re supposed to aspire to be that or feel bad if we’re not that. But to me – because I think it’s going to be a while until there’s change in that regard – it’s important to find your heroes and find people that you look up to, because healthy inspiration is really beneficial. I look at St. Vincent, Tavi Gevinson, Claire Danes, or Lena Dunham. People that are cool and normal and not this ideal or romanticized version of what a woman is supposed to be. They’re complicated but real. And also women in my own life, like my mom and people that I work with. I think it’s really important not to lose sight of what’s real and what’s actually in front of you.”
Photography by Pamela Littky for The Untitled Magazine #GirlPower Issue
Stylist: Kelly Brown
Make-up by Emily Moses
Hair by Dimitris Giannettos Photographed at Hotel Wilshire
This article originally appeared in The #GirlPower Issue of The Untitled Magazine (2015), pick up a print edition of the issue today!