by Betty Dravis

Betty Dravis: Hey, Susan. I’m honored that you found time in your busy schedule to be with us and share your life journey. I met you through Tony Tarantino for whom you are writing and who is directing some of your next acting performances. I can’t wait to know what’s happening on the big screen and your other creative interests, but first I want to know about your childhood.

It intrigues me that you were born in Germany because your father was a military man and the family traveled extensively. Chase Von, my co-author, also spent some time in Germany and is the first to call himself a “military brat.” I bet you got a lot of that while growing up. (laughs) Please share some highlights of your childhood, such as when your family returned to the U.S. from Germany and what you dreamed of being when you grew up.

Susan Kennington: Thank you, Betty. It’s my pleasure to be interviewed by such an accomplished writer as you.

Before my family returned to the U.S. we moved to the Philippines when I was about three years old. I have vivid memories of living in a home that was raised above ground with a screened-in lanai underneath. At night, lizards would cover the screens and I would talk to them before I went to sleep. My parents bought the most beautiful bamboo living room set with hand-carved teak accessories. I can still remember the fragrance. At that age, I recall several trips to the emergency room. Everything from high fevers to split lips from trying to roller-skate down the hall. I also climbed the counters and cupboards and reached the baby aspirin… My poor mom and dad! I seemed to have put them in a state of panic on a regular basis. (laughs)

From that location, we returned to the states…to North Carolina. At the age of four, I began to understand the importance of southern hospitality by observing my mom and her friends. And there were more trips to the emergency room: neck injuries and other minor abrasions. Once I split my eye open and I still have the scar from that one. I suppose it’s safe to say I was quite active.

Susan's parents Virginia and Norman Engstrom

Boston was next, where I received an excellent first- and second-grade education, becoming quite a proficient little reader. I’m glad I had the chance to experience what it was like to live in the snow and all the fun that went with it, as well as tour all of the historical landmarks. My father was in Vietnam much of the time, so it must have been very difficult for my mom, but she never complained. We drew very close to our friends whose loved ones were also overseas. My mother was in a state of constant service and we always seemed to have enough of whatever was necessary to help whoever was in need. I will never forget how she so completely gave of herself. She was the strength of all who knew her–a true steel magnolia…

From Boston, we moved to southern California, then further north to Alameda where my little sister was born. Finally I wasn’t the baby of the family, so my parents loosened the reins. I was thrilled to have a little sister to help take care of. After the sudden passing of my father, we moved back to southern California where we had previously purchased a home. It was a sad time for all of us, but my little sister–who was barely a year old at the time–kept us smiling.

My imagination was, and is, very vivid, so I dreamed of life from one end of the spectrum to the other. I had a magic carpet in the living room that I would “ride” when I was four. I would change my name each day, so it made it difficult for my mom to know what to call me. One dream that was always constant was that of being a mother. More than anything, I’m grateful to say that wish came true, and I am living my dream.

Betty Dravis: Traveling sounds like an adventurous beginning to an active, fulfilling life, Susan–but talking to lizards! Yikes, I would have been hopping around, screaming. (laughs) And I can just see the “little tomboy you” taking all those trips to the E.R., riding your magic carpet and then changing your name on a daily basis. You sound so cute and precocious, Susan. Your poor mother–but I bet she enjoyed every second with her precious daughter!

Susan's children, Shane, Tressah and Stanton - Christmas 2010

As for being a mother, I think that’s what most women dream of first and foremost, and I’m glad we both have our beloved children in our lives. That’s what life is all about.

Before getting into the heavy stuff, I have a confession to make. You’ve commented on some of my photos that you think I’m an attractive, elegant lady. When you say that, it astonishes me since you’re one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood. That’s so satisfying to my ego that I go around with my head in the clouds for days. (laughs)

But seriously, Susan, you are gorgeous and have the most magnificent head of hair I’ve seen since the famous actress Jane Seymour (when young) and popular songbird Crystal Gayle. Crystal’s hair is her trademark and I wonder if you’re known for your tresses, also–in addition to your acting ability and great beauty, of course. I imagine those long, golden locks have gotten you many acting roles, but has your hair ever kept you from getting any role you’ve coveted? I imagine not, since you can always pin it up into a bun or draw it back… There are many choices.

Susan's beautiful mother Virginia Engstrom

Susan Kennington: Thank you, Betty. I must give credit to my mom for my hair. She passed on the gene to me and to my children. I’ve thought about cutting it many times, for the exact reason you mentioned… Long hair can sometimes be a distraction. Yes, it can go up or back, so that helps. I don’t pay much attention to it and rarely visit a salon, so it has gotten very long lately. By the way, I love the pictures I’ve seen of you throughout the years. My goodness, I am sincere with my compliments regarding your beauty!

Betty Dravis: There you go again, Susan… But needless to say, I’m flattered. Thank you so much. I also give my parents credit for whatever genes I inherited from them. They were lovely, down-to-earth peopleEveryone wants to know all about your acting career, but before discussing that, I’d like to know when the acting bug bit you.

Susan Kennington: From my earliest memory, I enjoyed entertaining my family, especially my dad. In the living room, at the dinner table, during long drives in the car… It didn’t matter where, we were always “on stage.” (laughs) My dad had an incredible voice and was very funny, so we had a lot of fun together, especially when doing impersonations of celebrities.When I was twelve, I was part of a young women’s organization within our church that I had recently started to attend. Our leader was Susan Laughton. She had extensive professional experience with stage, music, writing and composing and was an exceptionally talented woman. She spent hours with us after school and during vacation time, teaching and training us. I still remember the songs from her musicals. Susan Laughton took a publicly shy young girl under her wing and before I knew it, I was out of the living room and on the stage singing and acting. I can’t stress the importance of how valuable her volunteer service was to me.

Susan at Eva Longoria Parker's Charity Event: Rally for Kids with Cancer. July of 2010

I also took drama, choir, voice and dance classes here and there throughout school and college and performed in various community productions. At the age of eighteen I became engaged and a new chapter of my life started, with my acting and singing re-locating from the stage to the kitchen. That chapter was put on hold for many years while I did other things, and then a few years ago–through a series of interesting events–it became apparent that I would be moving in that direction again.

Betty Dravis: Wow, your memories bring flashbacks of when I entertained my parents by singing Wabash Cannon Ball for Dad and The Ballad of Barbara Allen for Mom. I couldn’t sing worth a darn, but Dad and Mom got pleasure from it and didn’t seem to mind at all. I guess Dad’s keen sense of humor and Mom’s unconditional love for her children overcame our deficiencies. (laughs) And what a huge break it was for you when that incredible teacher took such an interest in you.

Susan, I hear that you’re an awesome mother, so please share what your family means to you. Have they been supportive as you strive to reach your other dreams?

Susan with daughter Tressah in Hawaii in 1987.

Susan Kennington: As I said, Betty, while in college I became engaged and then married a few weeks after turning nineteen. During that period of my life, I was given my dream of having four incredible children that have enhanced my life with indescribable joy. I built several custom homes with my (former) husband.  I enjoyed the entire process of shopping and investigating land, working with architects, procuring permits and seeing the project through to fruition, including the interior designs, marketing and selling the homes…and then moving on to the next. It was an amazing experience that provided a creative outlet, as well as valuable knowledge. Among other things, I also did volunteer work, taught and led youth groups and took college classes when my schedule would allow, and of course, raised my children.

I’m glad you asked about my family because my family is absolutely everything to me. I have always been a hands-on mom and have structured work around raising my children, not the other way around. There is nothing more important than them. They have been my priority from day one. Shane, my youngest, is now sixteen, and I enjoy every minute I can get with my kids. They are supportive, but the entertainment industry isn’t something we talk about often. There are too many other things that occupy our combined thoughts and activities. I guess you could say we live a somewhat un-Hollywood, down-to-earth life.

Betty Dravis: Having had six children of my own, Susan, I certainly relate to that. I also share a love of construction with you. Not that I ever actually built any structures, but I owned Construction Labor News for over fifteen years and fought many editorial battles for working people’s rights. There are no people on earth who work harder than men and women in construction.

Wow, Susan, I knew you were a dynamite actress, business woman and mother, but to learn of your actually building houses is awesome. Another reason to admire you…

Palatial custom home project started by Susan at age 29.

But getting back to show biz, a little bird told me that your very first acting assignment showed you being “transfixed” on George Clooney as he delivered a speech. I read that that scene required a Coen Brothers’ style of humor. Was that scene in the Coen Brothers’ movie Intolerable Cruelty where you played an attorney? Just what is that style of humor, Susan? And how did it feel to be ogling one of the top stars in the world? Not a bad way to start… (laughs)

Susan was cast as an attorney in "Intolerable Cruelty," starring popular superstar George Clooney

Susan Kennington: Yes, Betty, that scene was in Intolerable Cruelty. I find the Coen Brothers’ work interesting and in a realm of its own. As for their comedic style, most people either find it quite funny or they just don’t get it at all. I’m one who “gets” it. I’ve had experience with many of the characters they create, so their films just crack me up. Oftentimes you don’t realize the full impact of their humor until a beat or two later. Quirky brilliance at its best!

Yes, my first day on a set and my assignment was to stare at George Clooney… It does not get any better than that. (laughs) He’s even more handsome in person, very professional and a fantastic actor. He performed the same speech countless times and worked for hours so they could shoot different angles, expressions, etc. I had not been to bed the night before because I was at a bonfire with my boys’ scout troop…in the middle of an orange grove until late in the evening. Then I had to go home, get ready, pack and drive to L.A. in order to be in Beverly Hills by about five a.m. After working all day, I think it was about nine or ten p.m. when someone came over to me and said Mr. Coen wanted me in the front to shoot some close-ups for the next scene. That’s when I was given my special instructions. I was thrilled, but also smiled at the irony of looking so haggard from no sleep. It was a great opportunity that I’ll fondly remember with giggles and gratitude.

Susan thinks back about her role in "Intolerable Cruelty" as she poses with Clooney's "wax image" at a Presidential Inner Circle Fantasy Event. November 2010.

Betty Dravis: I can’t imagine you looking haggard, Susan, but you’re a trouper and came through for the film, regardless. I (and the majority of women) envy you meeting George Clooney, but that’s just one of the perks of your profession. (laughs)

After that, I understand that you joined the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and met many big stars. Do you mind telling us about some of the ones who impressed you the most and with whom you would like to act in the future?

Susan Kennington: I have been impressed with every one that I’ve had the chance to be on set with. Kevin Costner was very nice. I would love to work with him.  Billy Ray Cyrus, David Zayas and Eric Allan Kramer stand out as being exceptionally warm and friendly too. There are several more, but honestly, I can’t think of anyone that was not very kind.  I don’t go up and pester stars, so maybe that’s why I’ve had good experiences with the ones I’ve been around. I’m in awe of directors and crew who manage to keep it all together and run a smooth and productive set.

I would love to have the chance to act–not only with those I’ve already mentioned–but with Javier Bardem, Harrison Ford, Al Pacino, Michael Douglas… I could go on forever. They are all incredible and I think just about anyone would love to work with all of them.

Susan at another Hollywood Red Carpet Event.

Betty Dravis: I’m probably behind the times, but I don’t know Zayas, Kramer and Bardem, but all the others are “household names” by now. Great choices and you named two of my all-time favorites: Harrison Ford and Al Pacino.

With those hunks in mind, Susan, I must ask you a question that’s proven popular with our readers. I hope it doesn’t embarrass you. I have asked a few actresses the same question and it’s a big hit with our female readers. The question: What star that you’ve worked with is the best kisser…onscreen, of course? (laughs)

Susan Kennington: I have yet to experience a kiss with a major star, but I will say I watched a movie recently, Frankie and Johnny, with Michelle Pfeiffer and Al Pacino. The way his character kissed her character was extraordinary. Don’t tell anyone, but acting is also very technical, so without the mutual passion, it may look the same, but nothing beats the real thing. (laughs)

Betty Dravis: Oh, yeah, Susan… A kiss without passion is like a taco without the hot sauce… (laughs) You know, I hate to admit it, but Frankie and Johnny is one of the few Pacino films I’ve missed. Now it’s at the top of my list. As soon as I finish your interview, I’m going to go online to Amazon and order it. I might learn something important. I saw them together in Scarface and they do seem to have that certain onscreen chemistry.

But moving on, I’ve heard you refer to yourself as “a tomboy in stilettos,” and after hearing some of your childhood misadventures, I understand why you said that. Nevertheless, that statement endeared you to me and made me chuckle, but now it brings to mind another question. Susan, since your many public appearances call for a rather extensive wardrobe, if you could buy only two garments for this coming fall season what would they be? Who are your best women friends and do you enjoy doing the girly things together, like shopping at out-of-the-way boutiques and dining at little sidewalk cafes?

Susan Kennington: For fall, I would buy tall, slender boots and a tailored jacket. My best women friends are my daughter and my sisters. I always enjoy my time with them. My sisters are like comediennes, so we cause a ruckus wherever we go. And my daughter is always up for anything fun. We share so much in common, yet have different interests, too, so there’s always something new to talk about and explore.

Betty Dravis: Since you’re tall and statuesque, Susan, those boots sound like the perfect choice, and a tailored jacket is versatile and a real wardrobe stretcher. Good choices… I also like that you enjoy your sisters and your daughter so much. I bet you all have fun, outrageous times together. Girl power!

Now that you’re an accomplished actress with much experience, I would like to share some of your past credits before going on to your current projects. I’m pleased to report that, in addition to Intolerable Cruelty, you’ve had roles in the following films: Memphis Rising: Elvis Returns (G.T.M. LLC/M.Z. Silverz, Director) wherein you played reporter Lyn Martin; Flying By (Eric Abrahamson/Jim Amatulli) where you played a Runion guest named Summer. And then there was Carnivale where you played the mother in a featured family film for HBO.

That’s quite a start, Susan, and now you’re acting in four upcoming movies that we’ll discuss below. I’m excited for you, not only for getting so many good roles, but also for other skills you’ve developed. But first, for the benefit of aspiring actors among our readers, please tell us where you studied. You spoke above about getting started in college, so this question pertains to what happened after.

Susan and Tony Tarantino with the beloved actor Ernest Borgnine. Borgnine is now 92 and recently earned the Lifetime Achievement Award from the RI International Film Festival.

Susan Kennington: Well, Betty, I won’t bore your readers by describing each movie and scene I’ve been in and all the classes I attended, but I studied with various acting instructors throughout the Los Angeles area and participated and graduated from a specialized on-camera training course for actors at Actors Certified Training in North Hollywood, now located in Burbank. I’ve also taken a screenwriting workshop by Linda Seger, taken firearms training by Jim Bowan and attended classes by Joel Coleman, Susan Laughton and Steve Nave, to name a few. I like to give the instructors credit because they are so important to the entire entertainment industry.

The camera captured Susan with actor Marty Kove and Tony Tarantino at a charity event.

Betty Dravis: I can’t imagine you ever being boring, Susan, but I dislike long lists of things when reading, also. And I agree with you about the importance of teachers…no matter what career one is in. But now I’d like to hear about your writing. I’m impressed that you started writing somewhere along the way and have recently turned to producing. I know that you’ve contributed to A-list scripts, are also writing your own original screenplay and producing and developing a film based on historical events, set in the South Seas. What’s the latest buzz with those demanding projects?

Susan Kennington: It’s true, Betty, I am a screenwriter, but I haven’t sought to have my own work published yet.  Everything I’ve done has someone else’s name on it. One dream at a time, and that’s one of my next goals I need to reach before I can live my dreams to their fullest.

The film The Shark Hunter, which is in early development, was written by J. Robert Shaffer and is taken from his historical fiction novel, Samoa, to be released in early 2011. It is set in the islands of Samoa during the late 1800s and is a cross between Braveheart, A Perfect Storm, and The Patriot. Inspired by true events, it is one of the greatest tales of courage, integrity, love and forgiveness–with a starring role played by Mother Nature. The project was placed in my hands by my dear family friend, George Molifua, shortly before he passed away. He and J. Robert Shaffer were extremely close. As you might surmise, this film is of particular importance. There has been some studio and A-list interest, and our website–built by Kodi Zene who was introduced to me by marketing expert Edward Earle–will be up shortly.

La Promessa, also in early development, was sent to me by a dear friend and talented actor and screenwriter Rick Los. It follows a young girl’s life, after the untimely death of her father, as she journeys to Italy and seeks answers that come to her through challenging experiences she shares with a remarkable horse with unusual qualities. We are in negotiations and talks to shoot this film in Italy, if all goes well. So far, that has been the case.

Betty Dravis: Both those films sound like high concept to me, Susan. I’m so excited for you, and I look forward to celebrating with you on the red carpet when your very own film premieres. Woo-hoo…

In addition to all of that, you’re also an associate producer for a fitness DVD that’s in development and for a business strategy show, now in production. Considering the many projects you’re involved with, I’m curious about how you keep on track and remain organized. What’s a typical day in your life like?

Susan Kennington: The fitness DVD was more than a year ago, Betty, as well as the business strategy show, although that’s about to take off again under a new format, from what I understand. It is tied to the consulting work that I do.

Some things overlap and others have taken place during different time periods. In the film business, there is often a lot of waiting for final funding to occur. I don’t wait on anything, however. I always have something else to work on during those times. I stay organized by remaining dedicated, taking one thing at a time and focusing on top priorities.

Betty Dravis: Your fitness video brings to mind another question, Susan. Since you’re five feet, nine inches tall and quite slender, I would describe you as a “willowy beauty.” How do you stay in such fine shape and what are your favorite foods?

Susan speaks at MJ International "Champs for Children" charity event.

Susan Kennington: “Willowy beauty…” Hmmm, that’s a nice way of putting it, Betty. (laughs) I do some form of exercise nearly every day, even if I can only fit in a ten-minute workout. I’ve found that keeping the discipline going is very important. My favorite form of exercise is running, particularly by the ocean. I find tremendous energy by moving water. It’s quite a physical, spiritual and creative experience for me. I also have a small portable stair-stepper that I use at home for quick intense workouts. My diet consists of mostly raw foods: fruits, nuts, vegetables, seeds, herbal plant foods… Lots of salads. When it comes to food, I basically eat what I like, but in small portions, especially if it’s something that isn’t quite so healthy.

Betty Dravis: Your exercise and food choices sound sensible, Susan, and like you say, it does take discipline and the regimen of doing it on a daily basis. I admire anyone who can stick to it.

Since I recently interviewed your good friend and business associate, Tony Tarantino, who is also an important industry figure, IMO, and one of my favorite Hollywood people, I’m really jazzed about your work with him. In addition to good roles in three of his movies that are in pre-production, you’re also a staff writer and associate producer for Tarantino Productions. That must keep you hopping, so tell us something about your work.

I would like to know if the writing evolved out of your acting and exposure to the entertainment industry. And please tell us about your favorite role in a Tarantino production: Is it the role of Margo in Prism, or of Belinda Rhodes in Death Keeps Coming, which Tony produces in association with Karl Adam Entertainment/Derek K Milton?

Susan Kennington: My experience with producing, in general, is very similar to building a custom home, Betty. It takes patience, self-initiative, tremendous drive, vision, hard work, paying attention to details and being organized, as well as being very good at working with various personality types. I’m an endless well of ideas and I have a huge amount of contacts. These are some of the things I’ve been told that make me stand out as an asset on projects.

Susan kicks back on Balboa Island in 2009.

I used to write down my thoughts, often in the form of poetry and song lyrics, and then throw them away. Throughout my life–through natural correspondence and  expression of opinion, emotion, communication and language–I was often asked if I was a writer, and if not, why wasn’t I. When Tony and I became friends, he was very encouraging of my writing skills, and also my acting skills–which he wasn’t even aware of until long after we became acquainted. He happened to be with me one evening during a class I was enrolled in… That’s when he started asking me to be in some of the films he was working on, and it’s just grown from there. Assisting with, and contributing to the screenplay Prism was a wonderful opportunity for me. I soon realized I had the knack and wanted to keep moving forward with it. The same thing happened musically. His sincere feedback and encouragement has fortified my confidence and desire to cultivate that part of my creative nature. I’ll always be grateful to him for that.

As for my favorite role, there are aspects of each character that I will be playing that are of particular interest. I helped to create and develop Margo and had an enjoyable time expressing her wit, intellect and feminine nature, so she is close to my heart. I’ve always wanted to act in a western, so the role of Belinda Rhodes, the wife of a rancher who is confronted by a paranormal presence, will be an amazing experience.

Betty Dravis: I find that with my friends who encourage my writing, too, Susan. The ones who keep their faith in me and inspire me to move forward will always be remembered with undying gratitude. In the end, it always seems to boil down to people helping people. That’s what makes the world go round.

Susan with actor Luke Perry and her dear friend, Actor/Director/Producer Tony Tarantino.

Well, Susan, we’ve spoken about so many aspects of your life and I think it’s been definitely established that you’re a human dynamo…a real Dream Reacher. After reaching the stars and living your dreams, what inspires you to reach for more stars and do something even more extraordinary? And what advice do you have for those who are disillusioned and thinking of quitting?

Susan Kennington: I learned at an early age that life on earth, as we know it, can end very quickly. I have said goodbye to many loved ones as they have passed on, including my parents and my first child.

What inspires me is pure love: love of God, love of family and friends–both here and in the spirit world–love of our existence on Earth, and love for all that is possible.

For anyone who is feeling discouraged, know that with all of life’s experiences there is knowledge to be learned. This alone is a valuable gift, no matter what we are blessed with or what we must endure. Find ways to elevate yourself when feeling low. This might come in the form of music, exercise, an inspiring film or laughter. Develop a talent, release your tears… Whatever works for you. Most of all, I can’t stress enough how vital it is for me to be spiritually in tune and connected.

Betty Dravis: That’s excellent advice, Susan… And please accept my condolences on the loss of your loved ones. I, too, know the pain of losing a child…

But now we need a break from heavy to light, so what is the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you—onstage or off?

Susan with Phil Jones & Mark Valinsky at Squatters TV Party + Coppola Art Gallery Party attended by members of the Presidential InnerCircle

Susan Kennington: Oh, I have a great story… (laughs)  It took place about twelve years ago.  I was with my family at Disneyland, including my sisters, nieces, nephews–the whole gang. The day was winding down and we stopped in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle while waiting for the parade. Actually, it was the parade that never came…because it didn’t, but that’s a whole different tale.

Well, the kids were little and getting restless, so I bought an armful of churros and was feeding them like tiny seals. I had this bright idea to stand on a bench that surrounds the castle, but sat instead on the ledge above it while I fed the kids their treats. Seemed like a good idea, but the ledge was polished stone, so in an instant I slid off and disappeared–except for my feet that were sticking up. I landed in a tree below the bench/wall and couldn’t move. My boys were ecstatic because it was just like Buzz Lightyear when he fell out of Woody’s window into a tree, and they proudly told me this when they stuck their little laughing heads over the wall to get a better look. All my sister could say was Susan!…amid paralyzing laughter. Finally, their dad popped his face over and said, “Susan! What did you do that for?”

Susan's adorable son Shane at age 1 1/2.

It was an “I can’t believe he just asked me that” moment…

What was I supposed to say: “Well, apparently, I thought it would be entertaining to lay jack-knifed and incapacitated in this tree waiting for you to decide when might be a good time to yank me out.”?

He extended his arm and in a split second I was back on “land.” We laughed so hard I thought we might be escorted out of the park. Yes, I still have my Buzz Lightyear scar on my arm and wear it proudly.

Betty Dravis: That’s one of the funniest things I ever heard, Susan…but leave it to you! And dare I laugh at your expense? (laughs) But before I double over with laughter, I better ask the next question: If you were given the chance to spend an entire day with one movie director or producer (besides those with whom you currently work) who would you choose and why?

Susan Kennington: Anyone who has their budget in order and is ready to shoot and get to work!  Dreaming is nice, but doing is better. (laughs)  I recently watched several Al Pacino movies and gained a high degree of respect for his abilities as an actor, which I suspect would translate into him being a fantastic director. He’s directed a couple of films that I’m looking forward to seeing. As for Kevin Costner, he “appreciates the lines on a woman’s face as she gracefully journeys through life.” What an experience that would be, to work under his direction. Pacino and Costner are two that come to mind very quickly, but there are so many.

Susan's handsome eighteen-year-old son Stanton.

Betty Dravis: That seems like a sound way of choosing, Susan. I agree that Pacino is so gifted he could branch out into directing and be brilliant. I bet our readers will readily ditto that thought. (laughs)

But now, since the world is in such chaos at present, if you could influence any one thing in the entire history, the present or future of the world, what would you choose to change and why? This can include how something works, also. For example, you might want to allow automobiles to fly. (laughs)

Susan Kennington: Well, since you’ve mentioned it, Betty, I’ve often fantasized about being one of the Jetsons while traveling from San Diego to Los Angeles. (laughs) But all kidding aside, if I could change one thing, it would be that every child on earth would be born into a loving and tender environment. One that would enrich and support the pure essence and potential of who they are and what they will become. If that were to take place, nearly all other problems of our society would cease to exist and the real beauty of our existence on this planet we share would flourish.

Betty Dravis: That’s the most beautiful thought I’ve heard in a long while, Susan. You are remarkably sensitive and caring of others.

Since you’re an actress, you receive a lot of public acclaim, so can you share one story that is especially close to your heart; something someone said or did that moved you and made you glad you were able to help (or inspire) that person?

Another aesthetic shot of Susan with Phil Jones.

Susan Kennington: Oh gosh, I’m not aware of any public acclaim! (laughs) There isn’t one person in particular, but rather a gratitude that I have for a constant and steady stream of notes and personal conversations that come my way, expressing the inspiration and insight I’ve somehow been able to share with others. I find human interaction one of the greatest things I can do to add depth and meaning to my life. It’s a good feeling to hear that I’ve provoked thought in someone…caused them to think about things they never thought of before. The greatest is when my children share moments with me that affirm in my heart I’ve done well as their mom, and they know they are loved and treasured.

Betty Dravis: That’s the kind of humble answer those who know you would expect from you, Susan. Your entire being is unbelievably kind and attuned to others. Thanks for ending our “chat” on a positive note, but before leaving, I’d like to offer you the chance to discuss anything of importance that I may have missed.

Susan & daughter Tressah walking towards Kodak Center following Presidential Inner Circle Fantastic Celebrity Event of November 2010.

Susan Kennington: I don’t think you’ve missed anything, and I want to thank you, Betty, not only for this interview, but for all that you are and all that you mean to me. You are a treasure, and I’m grateful our lives have crossed paths. I look forward to reading more of your work and to many years of continued friendship.

Betty Dravis: I appreciate that, Susan, and I feel honored and blessed to be your friend.

I’m reluctant to leave you because you’re such fun to be around, but I’ll do so if you promise to send post-production info about your films and news of your other projects. (laughs) I know our readers will want to be kept in the loop. Meanwhile, they can visit your various websites. Since I Googled you and found over half-a-million hits, I’ll save your fans a lot of searching by listing your main websites here.

Susan at the Lili Claire charity event with Tony Tarantino.

Well, Susan, I guess that’s it for now. I’ve had a blast chatting with you. It’s refreshing to know there are still such wholesome, wonderful, caring people in the southern part of our glorious state of California. Thanks for being here and for being you!

Since you’re learning to speak Italian now that you’re spending so much time in that lovely country, the next time you’re there, please give Antonia Tosini a big hug from me. Since she’s the author of the screenplay Between the Olive Trees, you should be running into her at one event or another. And in closing, I hope Tony won’t mind if I borrow his favorite farewell: Ciao, baby…

Susan Kennington: Grazie, and ciao mia amica bella!