Nathalie Kelley finds new ‘Dynasty’ a rich project
No television show in the ‘80s embraced the opulence of the rich and famous as much as the long-running CBS drama “Dynasty.” From billion dollar deals to towering shoulder pads that were the envy of the NFL, the prime-time soap opera revolved around the latest trials and tribulations of the Carrington and Colby families.
New antics are about to unfold as the CW Network is offering up a 21st century spin on the series. (It premieres at 9 tonight.) The name’s the same and the overwhelming amount of money hasn’t changed, but there are some differences, including shifting the setting from Denver to Atlanta.
Executive producer Josh Schwartz promises the new version will maintain the spirit of the original series, including some very iconic moments. As for the switch of locations, Schwartz adds that Atlanta felt like a more realistic location for this series because the Carrington business interest will now be more on renewable energy than oil. It didn’t hurt that the series is shooting in Atlanta.
Nathalie Kelley, who takes over the role of Cristal (no longer spelled Krystle) that was played by Linda Evans in the original series, is happy the show has been given an updated look.
“Our show reflects where we are as a society,” Kelley says. “If we had re-created the show in the exact way it had been in its original form, with a pretty much all Caucasian cast, that would not relate to most of America.”
Kelley is a prime example of how the new “Dynasty” will have a more diversified look. The actor was born in Peru but her family moved to Australia when she was 2. As a teenager, Kelley spent her summers in Brazil where she immersed herself in Brazilian dance and learned to speak Portuguese. She modeled for the agency L’Equipe before returning to Australia to begin a degree in political science at the University Of New South Wales, majoring in Third World development.
The casting of Kelley fits because Cristal is now originally from Venezuela. Kelley likes having art imitate life because it will give her plenty of opportunities to talk about the geopolitics of Venezuela.
Kelley said she did get to see some of the original “Dynasty” while growing as the series was broadcast Down Under, and what she saw was an approach to being wealthy that would have never appeared in an Australia project.
“This is a uniquely American show. Australians are a little more understated even when they are wealthy,” Kelley says. “It’s interesting. It’s fun to watch. It’s definitely not anything like the world I grew up in, neither Australia nor Peru. I think there’s a reason why we are all collectively fascinated with watching the lives of these incredibly wealthy people who are just as dysfunctional as the rest of us if not more.”