Arielle Kebbel is one of those special actors who really makes a character, no matter who that character is, enjoyable and likeable. She has that special talent that draws audiences in and doesn’t let them go until she is no longer in the scene.
Kebbel has been in everything from Gilmore Girls, winning the heart (for a little while) of Rory’s first love, Dean, to teaching Stefan Salvatore how not to rip people’s heads off in The Vampire Diaries. Now Kebbel is joining the HBO world in her role as a sports newscaster on Ballers.
We have been following Kebbel’s career for quite some time, admiring her every step of the way, so you can imagine how thrilled we were when we were given the opportunity to speak with her about Ballers.
BECCA ROSE: Tell us about your character on Ballers.
ARIELLE KEBBEL: I play Tracy Legette who is a sports newscaster. She is someone who tends to have the inside scoop before the other reporters because she has a great comradery with the guys on the field. She has also proven that she will protect them since she’s built such a special relationship with them. She also happens to be the love interest of Dwayne Johnson. It’s a fun character for me because I go back and forth between my (Tracy’s) relationship with these guys as a sports newscaster and obviously my relationship with Dwayne behind the scenes.
BR: What makes Tracy so unique?
She’s a Florida girl and anyone who is from Florida knows what I mean. What I love about Tracy is that she knows how to be a strong, smart woman in a man’s world. I think that it’s a really fine line because she has to bring her smart and her wit and her femininity to the table but without stepping on any toes, not just with the players but also with DJ. She has to be smart enough to know where the boundaries are with her clients and to make it all seem effortless.
BR: I think that would be such a fun role to play for you, you know being on the other side of the interview process.
AK: It has been and she is definitely one of my favorite characters so far.
BR: Do you have any of the same qualities as your character?
AK: Well, I’m a Florida girl! I played sports most of my life. I actually do hosting when I’m not acting. It is such a different skill set for me and is something I really enjoy doing. For me, when I got this role I was so excited because I got to bring all sides of myself to the character. And so often I don’t get to do that. It’s usually all acting or all hosting but with this role I get to divide the two and that was one of the things that attracted me most to this role and this job. Aside from the fact that I’m working with Dwayne and HBO and working with Steve Levinson and all the show creators. It was that perfect moment where everything aligned and it all felt good.
BR: Do you have a specific sport or team that you’re favorite?
AK: I love watching football and I hope that we bring the Dolphins more luck. My go to teams are the Broncos or Green Bay.
BR: Other than acting, what are you most passionate about?
AK: I grew up riding horses, they’re in my blood. I’m like a farm girl and a beach girl. Growing up in Florida if I wasn’t at the barn riding horses I was in the water. I would do anything from wake-boarding, swimming, tubing to surfing. I love all of it. Water to me, is so healing. Anytime I am feeling stressed I go to the beach and meditate or swim and I feel clear again. That was another wonderful thing about doing this show, we film in Miami. I was born and raised there so I got to see my family when I wasn’t filming and was able to reconnect myself to my hometown roots, which was so nice. I also got to spend a lot of time in the water. I had so many moments where I was smiling because I couldn’t believe that this was my life. I am so grateful that I got to live such a healthy, happy life when I wasn’t filming.
Keep up with Arielle Kebbel and all her work on these social media accounts: