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I had a very special opportunity to sit down with April Matson from the ABC Family series, Kyle XY this past week. April plays Lori Trager, Kyle’s “sister” in the series. Aside from Kyle XY you may remember her from her run on the Fox network television series Quintuplets with Andy Richter.
For those of you who have not seen Kyle XY, I strongly recommend you catch up on Season 1 & and the first half of Season 2 (they have a marathon starting at 11/10AM today) because the second half of Season 2 starts tonight, January 14th at 8/7C.
April: That’s so interesting because I never really thought about it that way. The thing I love about Lori is that she sort of has a way of being bigger than everything else and being right and moving on and bucking up. That was definitely a lot of episodes of being really angry and going through everything.
But definitely in the second part of the season, what you’re about to see starting on January 14th, she sort of makes peace with everything, She does definitely work it out and gets back to her sort of … moving on, songwriting again, and just lets go of all that anger, so definitely I think we’ll get back to the Lori that we all love.
Nads: How about Lori’s love life? Is Lori going to have a new love interest? And what about Declan?
April: There’s definitely a new guy in the picture that is a possibility. His name is Mark, and he’s played by Josh Zuckerman, who is such a breath of fresh air. He is so fun to work with and so good on the show. I think everyone is going to love his character. We have a really great chemistry together, so you can look forward to that.
There is definitely some back and forth with Declan as well that becomes a possibility. Declan and Lori sort of talk about it and are sort of exploring that road again. I don’t want to give away what ends up happening, but at the end of … Lori … does what she does best for herself. I have to say that is one of the things that I love about her the most is that she loves Declan, but she loves herself more, and she sort of just does what she needs to do. She really makes the choice that’s best for herself, and I love that.
Nads: Do you like playing a character that’s still in high school? Do you feel like you’re reliving your past and doing things that you weren’t able to do, as Lori?
April: Definitely in ways. I mean because I’m an adult now, sometimes I’m sort of like, okay, it would be nice to play somebody – you know what I mean, like a grown woman with maturity and who is complicated. I think about that, but it is really therapeutic because I’m sort of working out unresolved issues through Lori.
I had a Declan. I think almost every girl has had a Declan, like that guy that just gets under their skin, and it’s back and forth, and they make good friends, but they want to be more. And it’s confusing. I definitely had a Declan, and so in a weird way, this helps me resolve a lot of what that was all about to be an adult sort of going through it again through her.
Like I said before, I learn from her too in the weirdest way, like through the writing, but also just through what I find with she’s really become this other person that I love. I know that sounds weird, but I discover so many things while shooting that she’s like a girl that I would want to be friends with. I always tell people that Lori Trager is so much cooler than I am. It does come through the writing, but she just comes through in a weird way and teaches me lessons. I do like that part of it because I feel like I’m not necessarily going backwards to this immature place, but I’m learning from this young woman, this character that I play. She’s mature and she has a mind of her own and I’m really getting a lot out of it.
Nads: Are we going to see more music, your music on Kyle XY, and is your music something you want to pursue as a career, aside from acting?
April: I never thought I would ever say that, but yes, because I just was so terrified of singing before I had to do it for the show. I didn’t think I could. But I’ve always loved music and played guitar and wanted to write songs. This definitely generated that for me.
I do sing again in the show. They recorded it actually just a couple of weeks ago. On the season finale, there is a new Lori Trager song. It was written, and then I sort of worked with another songwriter, Brandon James, who is amazing, talented, and you will see him out very soon. But we sort of collaborated to rewrite a little bit just to make it a little more personal to Lori’s experience. There were a lot of people involved in writing this song, and it turned out to be something that I was really proud of.
Actually, Brandon James was playing at The Mint in L.A. two nights ago, and he called me up on stage during his show and made me sing the song with him, and I was so mad at him, but I was so in love with him at the same time because he was like, you need to get over it. You can sing. I’m still struggling with live performance singing, and it’s something I want to do so bad, and so he did that.
Then he busted out, Will You Remember Me, the first song, and I sang that. I, like, played a gig. It was so funny. I was like calling my parents. Yes. I did a gig last night. They were like, what? Who are you? What do you think you’re doing? I’m definitely going to pursue it more, and that was really exciting, and I felt like a big breakthrough for me that I sang live for a bunch of people at this show.
I started taking voice lessons since I’ve been back in L.A. and have been working with Brandon James writing a couple new songs for fun, but we want to write and record together an EP or something, like five or six songs. I’ve written a couple outside of the show, so it’s definitely something I’m pursuing.
I never thought I was going to be able to do it. It’s really, really exciting to just, I guess, get over a fear and something that you tell yourself you can’t do, and you limit yourself for so long. Then you realize, wait a second. I really can do anything I want to do. Why do I limit myself and tell myself I can’t do that? People do it all the time. Why can’t I do it? And so I just sort of just did it, and I don’t know. Hopefully I’ll stick with it and continue to grow. It’ll be just another art form, another way to be creative and say something to the world.
Nads: That’s so cool!!! I look forward to hearing more of your music on the show and off the show! Now, on the show, Lori knows the truth about Kyle, can we expect to see some changes in their relationship, how she feels about him?
April: I have to say, I feel like it’s pretty consistent. I feel like everything remains mostly as it was between Kyle and Lori. They have the same brother/sister bond where they give each other advice and help each other out. He’s very consoling, wise, and they still have that same sort of connection.
Some of my favorite scenes to shoot are the ones with Kyle and Lori on Lori’s bed talking about whatever drama is going on in her life or what is he going to do about Amanda and all that. I feel like, even after everything that happens, they have a pretty consistent bond, and once she decided to love him and let him in the family, he is her brother, and she just sticks by him. If anything, they probably get closer because there’s not this weird mystery. There’s not this, why are you hiding, and why are you going after Jessie? She feels very betrayed, but I feel like once everything is revealed, that definitely helps them to get closer.
Nads: What direction would you like to see Lori go in?
April: I would like to see her have – I don’t know. I mean it would be nice to see her go to college and sort of become a real adult because I feel like it’s almost time for that. That would be fun, and definitely explore her music. But any time I ever think I know where I want Lori Trager to go, the writers always come up with something better. I’m just excited.
I’m sure they … I know that music is definitely going to be in the future.
Nads: I know that you’ve been picked up for a third season, but what about the strike? Is that currently affecting your production schedule?
April: We were on hiatus right now. So it hasn’t really affected us, but if nothing happens in the next couple of weeks, then it might postpone things a little bit. But that would probably be the worst of it for us, as far as I know.
I want to thank April for taking the time to talk to me! I’m looking forward to watching the second half of Season 2. I didn’t catch on to the show until Season 1 was almost completed, but then I got hooked. April was awesome! I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of her in the future.
Check out the second half of season 2 of Kyle XY premiering tonight, January 14th at 7:00/8:00 central on ABC Family.