When you think of the past you may have imagery of something old but Annette Bette Kellow takes the vintage golden era and turns it into something fresh, new and exciting. A triple threat as an accomplished actress, model and dancer her career has taken her all over the world working on screen and stage from India to Italy.
2016 has proven to be a busy year so far as she has just finished shooting new Discovery series Harley and the Davidson’s, shot entirely on location in Romania and airing on Discovery later this year. Previous to that she played the role of Vestris in new BBC series Taboo. Both were period roles of which she also got to show her vintage dance in.
‘I often think stories interlink,’ she explains when talking about her successful multi-career. ‘It is not so popular now but it used to be stipulated in the Hollywood studios that an actor also knew how to dance. I wanted to make sure I learnt as many skills as possible when I started out. Indeed skilled she is, currently gearing up to play the lead role in new London show Glitterati this summer. A mix of comedy, dance and acting it takes inspiration from great American artists such as Sally Rand, Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth, combining a grand spectacular through the ages.
Annette has always loved all things from the past. ‘Ever since I can remember I have been passionate about films and actresses from yesteryear such as Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and Vivien Leigh. Even when Annette acts in commercials for high profile brands such as Colgate, Visa and Schweppes she gives a classic look of elegance. ‘One of my favourite commercials was for Betty Crocker set in the 1950’s which was shown all over the UK and Europe. I did have to eat a lot of cake that day, which I particularly enjoyed up to a point!’
Annette can also pay serious dramatic roles and has recently played the lead female in feature film Spo0k which was released worldwide last year and is currently number eight in the Googlecharts and available on Netflix. ‘This film was exciting for me as they had actors from all over the world in it and we shot the film in one of the oldest castles in Spain.’
But I was intrigued to know how Annette’s passion for performing and hard working attitude of perfectionism started. ‘When I was little I had a wonderful teacher who used to be a famous Tiller girl, Betty Blackmore. She was endless with her motivation and a lot of students couldn’t handle her hard work. But for some reason I thrived on it! My passion for performing has never left and I think the key to success is to love every moment of your job. That and to never stop learning!’
And indeed Annette has not stopped learning, after graduating from Central School of Speech and Drama, with alumni that includes Judy Dench and Laurence Olivier amongst its successful students. Even whilst she was still at drama school she was modelling for many luxurious brands and magazines including What Katie Did, Fifi Chachnil and Oliver Goldsmith. She has just finished shooting Maguy Di Chadirac’s new collection as well as Emma Harris lingerie.
In-between her busy lifestyle she manages to fit in making her own films. They have debuted at the Cannes film festival and her last one, Broken Obsessions, was a finalist at the MASA International Film Awards whilst she has a dedicated following at the Huffington Post who she regularly writes for.