When preparing for any new role he takes on, Kevin Dary sees himself almost as a detective. He has to research the context of the story, the time period, the relationships, and the nature of his character. He discusses the creative process of each project with everyone involved, getting each different point of view, and he finds it fascinating. When in front of a camera, he forgets himself for that brief period of time, and is completely immersed into the character he took from pages of a script and transformed in his brain, turning them into a real person. That is what he loves about being an actor.
“Remember how as a child, you would get so invested in your playtime and your stories and using your imagination? Being an actor allows me to do that again, and I always learn something about myself through the process of being someone else. It's a weird duality of playing and at the same time it can heal some wounds, spark new interests or challenges, or make me question my own behaviour as a human being,” he described.
The French native is known internationally for his commitment to his craft. Having starred in films such as The Chop Shop, Pandora’s Box and The Swamp, audiences everywhere have been captivated by his talents.
In one of Dary’s most recent films, Prego, he had the opportunity to tell an important story that connects with the LGBTQ community. The film follows April, an African-American lesbian, who in order to avoid coming out to her mother, tells the ultimate lie, that she’s pregnant. Upon hearing the joyful news, her mother immediately begins to plan her next visit. As she frantically attempts to "de-gayify" her apartment with the help of her best friend, Michael, April delivers a hilarious account of her get pregnant quick scheme, to emphasize the fact that she's "oh, so straight", in anticipation of her mother's impending trip.
“I was honored to be offered the part of Michael in the short Prego. It is my first LGBTQ project and I am glad that it was done the right way, by LGBTQ people who deeply care about the LGBTQ rights and the issues members of that community can face. It is an extremely funny piece of comedy that contains very touching moments,” said Dary.
Michael’s friendship and love for April mean that he will do anything to help her, even if that means calling her out on her stupidity. He is her voice of reason when all seems to fall apart around her. Michael identifies as straight, but he is progressive and sees no problem in others' genders, identification, or sexual preferences. He constantly helps his friend when she tries to hide her sexual orientation from her mother. This was one of Dary’s favorite projects of his career, as not only did he find many similarities in his character and himself, but he recognized the story was about acceptance, and true friendship.
“Being cast as a regular guy who actually is a lot like me on the inside and not just because of my style and looks was amazing. When I think about it, I wouldn't expect less from that team, because it is exactly what the movie is about, diversity, and owning who you really are. I loved this and it motivated me even more when it was time to be Michael,” said Dary.
Prego received a private screening for industry professionals at Warner Bros Studios in May of 2017. Since then, Prego has made its way to many international film festivals. It received an award for Best Comedy from LA Shorts Awards, in April 2018, and has won two Awards Of Recognition from the Best Shorts Competition, one for Best Supporting Actor for Dary’s performance as Michael, and one for Best Lead Actress for Tiffany Clare’s performance as April. The film is still in its festival run, currently in competition at the Miami Independent Film Festival, with more expected throughout the course of the year.
“Working with Kevin was great. He’s funny, kind, and just a joy to work with on set. He’s an amazing actor. When I wrote Prego,I knew that I wanted Michael to be played by someone who could really play a voice of reason. Whenever I watch the film, I know we made the right decision in casting. Kevin brought a unique quality to Michael that allowed the character to be naturally funny. Lastly, connecting with him in our scene work and rehearsing really inspired some great moments in the film,” said Tiffany Clare, Writer and Lead Actress of Prego. “Kevin’s ability to stay grounded in his character and connected to his scene partner makes him a wonderful actor. His ability to really listen and stay connected in the scene helps make Prego the film we all envisioned it to be. He received an award for best supporting actor for his performance. In my opinion, it's well deserved.”
Becoming Michael was a very natural process for Dary. He spent a lot of time with Clare prior to filming, allowing their friendship to become similar to Michael and April’s. They got to know each other well, bringing almost all of themselves into their characters. The result on screen looks almost like a documentary.
Beyond all else, Dary is proud to be a part of a film that not only resonated with the filmmakers, but audiences as well. The story breaks through stigmas and clichés and deals with a problem that countless men and women of every age and ethnicity have gone through, or perhaps still struggle with. This story needs to be told to help them, according to Dary.
“I know this story resonates within the LGBTQ community. I am sure it will too with broader audiences because it is only human to succumb to peer pressure. To want to hide your real feelings because you are afraid of being shunned, afraid of disappointing someone you love just because of who you are. These are very common issues, and this film can help people open up to their loved ones. We are always working towards building a more accepting, diverse world, and Prego's story does just that,” he concluded.