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Rookie Review: Charlette Kilby

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Cosplay Name: Charlette Kilby
How long have you been cosplaying? About a year
Favorite Cosplayer? There are so many! But I love Yaya Han, Variable, Harley’s Joker, Jessica Nigri…the list is endless!!
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Strathie Film
Paul Beard Photography

Charlett Kilby is an actress, cosplayer, and all around creative soul out of the Essex. She has drawn from her acting and performance background to venture into cosplay. She enjoys the ability to express herself and transform into an alternate person, a dream I would imagine that most of us can relate to. Our fantasy of escaping ourselves, even if just for a few hours.

Kilby is a well-rounded and practical personality with a no-nonsense approach to life in general. And that translates into everything she sets forth to accomplish not only with her cosplays, but her acting and performing career. But don’t let the level-headed nature of Kilby fool you, she can throw down with the best of them. The former roller derby player is not afraid to get her hands dirty and try to knock your teeth out. How cute.

We caught up with Charlette in between projects and had a chance to ask her a few questions about her essence of awesome.

What about cosplay do you like the most? To me, cosplay is freedom of expression. It enables you to become someone or something that you might not normally be in everyday life. It’s an art form. The ability to create, build, explore, reinvent, re-imagine and inspire.

What characters would you like to cosplay next? I’m working on a new Daphne Blake series at the moment. Exploring her in the way that can be seen with Barbie dolls. I.e. “Disco Daphne, Cowgirl Daphne, Space Cadet Daphne” etc. I’m also working on a Mary Jane Watson cosplay, too.

What’s the cosplay community like in Essex and the surrounding areas? I know that there are a couple of small communities around the Home Counties that support specific games/movies/genres etc. There must be loads of cosplayers in Essex and the surrounding areas, so if your from Essex and are reading this, please get in touch with me!

Is there anything about cosplay that has been challenging up to this point? Only 2 very simple things that we can all relate with. Time and Money!

What’s your take on body image and the pressure to look a certain way in cosplay? Now this is a very interesting question. If I am completely honest, I do feel like I should have a certain ‘look’ in order to cosplay. For me I feel like I should have larger ‘assets” (i.e. boobs!) to make my work more popular with the cosplay community.

Look at the likes of Yaya Han, Jessica Nigri, Liz Katz. All brilliant cosplays. All very popular. All have massive boobs. And yes, I have considered having surgery in order to make them bigger, not just for cosplay however, but for my own personal reasons.

However, I also think that cosplay is for everyone, regardless of body shape and size. Just because these girls have a certain look, and cosplay in a certain way, doesn’t mean you have to copy them. Cosplay is freedom of expression and art. It’s about having fun and meeting new people. Getting out of your comfort zone and just enjoying life.

Do you think that a woman can get out of hand with the sexual nature of a cosplay? Another tough question! We all know that sex sells. Our instinct draws us to things that are visually and mentally pleasing. And the same goes for cosplay. Cosplays that focuses on the sexual nature of a character is definitely more popular than the more realistic version. I have experienced this for myself.

My Dana Scully cosplay, which was a true depiction of the character, which didn’t show any boob, bum or have any sexual gravitation, was not nearly as popular as that of my ‘sexy’ Daphne Blake Lingerie cosplay. In my mind, the Dana Scully cosplay was a ‘true’ cosplay, keeping real to the character, whereas Daphne lingerie was not. However, if you think about it, the comic book characters that we all love to dress up as, are often highly sexualized.

In the words of the sex symbol herself, Jessica Rabbit, “they’re just drawn that way”. So of course women are going to accentuate their assets to keep true to the character. Although, this can be taken a step too far by some. And you know what. That’s ok. If that’s how they feel they should interpret the characters, then good for them. Like I said before, cosplay is freedom of interpretation and art.

Tell us about your acting career and your upcoming projects? Acting is a definite love of mine and one that I have had to put on the back burner for a while. My first love is Film Producing, which of course consumes all of my time. My upcoming project is a sci-fi feature film called “SOLIS” – You can check out the Facebook page here and the twitter.

Fan boys of ‘old-school’ sci-fi films, like “Star Wars” and “Alien” should definitely check it out. We’re using methods that these films did like filming on 35mm Film Reel instead of digital and using old school effects like matte paintings and miniatures to create our ‘special effects’.

I watched the short film, “Elliot”, how did you and the rest of the team come up with that concept? If you haven’t seen it view it here.  The director and writer of “Elliot” Carl Strathie is an incredibly brilliant screenwriter and director, as he creates incredibly emotional and engaging stories and concepts.

“Elliot” was essentially captured the essence of our insecurities and fears of rejection by the ones we love and society. It is also about the way in which we fail to effectively communicate with each other, which essentially leads to the breakdown of relationships. It was purely by chance that I landed the role of “Megan”.

The original actress which was cast pulled out the night before because of health reasons. With only 24 hours to go until the crew were on set, and with no other replacement, Carl asked me to step in.

Also, top trivia factoid! The guy who plays “Elliot”, Liam Loughrey (or Collins as he used to be known) was Tom Hardy’s photo double for the character “Bane” for “The Dark Knight Rises” film! His IMDB can be viewed here.

What’s your nerdy guilty pleasure? I don’t really have any guilty pleasures, as I don’t feel guilty doing them! When I was much much younger I used to play Tomb Raider and Sonic the Hedgehog religiously on the family Sega Saturn. But now my geeky-ness has gravitated away from gaming and towards films. I love going to the cinema, reading books and tinkering around with computers and websites.

So, you have an interesting pastime in Roller Derby. What position do you play? Again, I have had to take a back seat on the Roller Derby because of my Film commitments, even though I love it and really miss it! The position that I loved playing was Jammer. Even though my stamina and fitness was never cut out for it! I also loved playing Blocker. So I guess I played both equally.

What’s your best derby hit up to this point? Only one! I’m pretty rubbish on the hitting side of things as I’m quite small framed. But I remember this one time, the captain of another team came in to coach us (who was pretty tough and mean) on blocking and hitting. I was picked for the demonstration to outline the objectives to the rest of the team, in which basically was a step over move, which put your body into a good position to take the other person down. It was quite tricky but the planets must have aligned that day because I sent her crashing to the ground! A pretty pathetic hit but a proud moment never the less. I’m usually the one being winded and generally beaten up.

You have a very interesting dichotomy. What’s next for you? Awh well thank you! And I must say that your questions have been equally provoking! Next for me is to make “SOLIS”. Find time for more cosplay, inspire others, make new friends, see new places, live life to the fullest.

Photo credits: Paul Beard Photography, Pengelly Photography, Emma Louise White

 

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