Kirrilee Berger – The Girl Next Door

Kirrilee Berger is an actress, known for the CBS All Access drama series, “One Dollar”. The 19 year old started her career in the Broadway national tour of Mary Poppins and has also worked on Disney’s “K.C. Undercover”.

What was growing up in a family of entertainers like?
Growing up with parents in the business was such a blessing. Not only did I have two professional coaches in my own home (one in music and one in dance), I also had two “encyclopedias” on the business. When I went on tour for the first time at only 9 years old, they were able to prepare me for exactly what was about to happen. When I was experiencing rejection for the first time, they knew what I was going through.

What are the major differences between performing on stage and television and how was your transition?
On stage, there is no “take two”. It’s live theater. If you make a mistake you have to think on your feet to correct it. I actually think that my basis in theater has really shaped my transition into television as I come from the school of thought of getting it “right” on the first try.

What was your experience like working on Disney’s “K.C. Undercover”?
Working on K.C. Undercover was such a wonderful experience. The cast and crew became my family in such a short amount of time. Often times, coming in as a guest star can be difficult as the cast already has such a close bond but from day one they made me a part of the family and I’m so thankful for that.

What are your favorite Disney films of all time?  Pick 5.
Finding Nemo, Cinderella, Moana, Camp Rock and The Incredibles 2.

Tell us about the CBS All Access drama series, “One Dollar”.
One Dollar takes place in a rust belt town right outside of Pittsburgh, PA. Like most of America, the town is incredibly divided. On one side, you have the steel mill workers barely making enough money to keep their lights on but desperately trying to hold on to what they do have; The town’s history and their family. On the other hand you have the richest 1% trying to gentrify the area, making the rich richer. But, when a shocking multiple murder occurs, a one dollar bill circulates the town revealing that maybe the two sides aren’t as divided as they appear. Curiosity can be a gift and a curse, depending on the subject.

How does your character Danielle handle the curiosity and does it help or hurt her?
The writers of One Dollar did such a brilliant job of writing a balance of incredibly suspenseful drama that really makes you wonder if Danielle could risk everything in that moment but each of those moments have such a powerful lesson that really opens your eyes to a different perspective on life.

Being that so much content is being made available via social media and other streaming services, do you think the fans appreciate entertainer’s hard work as much?
I actually think smaller streaming services like CBS All Access are allowing creators to make content that is like a looking glass into today’s society. It is exactly what One Dollar is trying to do as well as another CBS All Access original, The Good Fight which tackles a lot of topics on today’s political climate. It really circles in on difficult or even taboo issues that have to be tackled unlike many network TV shows that are perhaps more routed in an escape from the world. Such “bullseye” programming isn’t for everyone but the people who seek it truly appreciate it.

Are you currently binge-watching any shows?
I’m absolutely obsessed with American Vandal! The acting is impeccable and the writing is genius!

What can we expect from “I’ll Be Next Door for Christmas”?
Expect a wacky comedy with some wonderful heartfelt moments in between. It is definitely the perfect film for the whole family to curl up to with a cup of hot chocolate.

How will you be spending the holidays this year?
My family is deeply routed in tradition. For years, we’ve always spent Christmas Eve at my aunt’s house. All of the aunts, uncles and cousins get together. We love cooking together, making gingerbread houses and sharing embarrassing stories from our childhood. What else is family for?

What are some of your hobbies when you’re not acting?
I have a huge passion for cooking. I love taking classic dishes and figuring out how to make them vegan. I recently perfected my vegan “Bacon Mac and Cheese.” It is so yummy! In what ways has turning vegan been beneficial in your life? Veganism has changed my life completely. I have more energy, my insomnia went away, I’m in less pain with my endometriosis, my immune system is so much stronger and I’m helping the environment and saving animals in the process. My mother, who also has a chronic illness, also benefits so much from veganism. I could never turn back knowing I’m saving precious animals and our beautiful planet while feeling like a whole new person eating clean and plant based.

What is your favorite series or film that is based in Australia?
One of my favorite movies of all time is an Australian film called Razzle Dazzle. Having grown up in dance, the film is too perfect. I watch it over and over if I need a good laugh.

Why is it important to give back and what organizations are you supporting?
Whenever someone goes through a difficult time, one can only hope they have a hand to hold or a friend to help them through. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people that may not have that. When you give back, you’re giving someone a hand to hold. I’m a huge supporter of Endometriosis research, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Make-A-Wish and Children’s Miracle Network.

Lastly, who are some people you look up to for inspiration?
After watching Lady Gaga’s documentary Five-Foot-Two, I was so inspired. I’ve been a fan of her music since her very first re-cord in 2007. To watch someone I admire go through exactly what I went through (living with a chronic illness) gave me a new wave of hope. If Lady Gaga can write music, dance and give such astounding and inspiring performances in A Star Is Born and do it all with a chronic illness, I can do it too. Thank you Gaga for sharing your story.

Follow Kirrilee Berger on Instagram and Twitter @kirrileeberger.

Photo of Kirrilee By Brett Erickson

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