The actress Kelly Frye from the series “Secrets of Sulfur Springs”
Photo: Disney Channel, Disney Channel / Disney Channel
In the new Disney Channel series “Secrets of Sulfur Springs”, Kelly Frye plays a young mother whose family has just bought and moved into a supposedly haunted hotel. His character, who is skeptical of any supernatural shenanigans, called for a bit of action on Frye’s part.
“Ghosts are real,” swears the Houston native. “The other side is there. You are either in a place [where] the haze is thinner than normal, or you are not.
Frye, who grew up in West University Place and Clear Lake, swears his childhood home in West U was often visited by spirits who were quick to make their presence known. The family appealed to various clerics to rid the house of offensive apparitions, to no avail.
“Our house was totally haunted,” she says. “I feel bad for whoever lives there now. Everyone who stayed in this house saw a ghost.
Frye modeled as a child, before moving on to advertisements for Academy Sports + Outdoors and Titleist golf balls. Her other on-screen credits include the legal drama “All Rise,” the Disney sitcom “Sydney to the Max” – playing a woman prone to falling into the language of babies – and several episodes from the later seasons of “Criminal Minds” from CBS.
When: Premieres 7:15 p.m. Jan.
Or: The Disney channel
Frye, whose older brother is Catastrophic Theater co-artistic director Jason Nodler, caught the acting bug in her senior musical at Clear Lake High School, which she calls a “quintessential high school giant” Varsity Blues ” , where no one really knows you other than the people in your party.
She played Rusty, the town cut-up.
“I remember walking down the halls after our opening weekend, and all these people come up to me like, ‘Oh my God! You’re so funny !’ », Remembers Frye. “You want to be seen as a teenager, and that was probably the first time I really felt seen in a giant high school. People saw me for the awkward person I can be.
In “Sulfur Springs,” which premieres Jan. 15 at 7 pm, Sarah Campbell of Frye; her husband, Ben (Josh Braaten); and their three children take over the Tremont, a sprawling hotel in the small (and fictional) town of Sulfur Springs, Louisiana.
Once a thriving resort and summer camp, the property is now derelict and derelict. It’s full of dark hallways, strange noises and hidden rooms, not to mention a spooky – and consequent – fallout shelter in the basement. Rumors abound that the hotel is haunted by the ghost of Savannah, a girl who went missing 30 years ago.
“I think that [with] the Tremont veil is thinner than normal, and we’re starting to experience that with the Campbell family, ”said Frye.
At least at first, “Sulfur Springs” centers around the explorations of Campbell’s eldest child Griffin (Preston Oliver), creepy old Tremont, which becomes more complicated when he and his new friend / classmate Harper (Kyliegh Curran ) discover a portal that allows them to travel. in time.
According to Frye, the series’ adventurous and nostalgic tone reminds her of movies she grew up with like “Goonies” and “ET,” although she notes “there are no aliens that I know of”. She also admires the ability of screenwriters to balance comedy and suspense.
“Sometimes there’s something around the corner that says, ‘Whoa! What was that ?’ Says Frye. “And other times it’s one of the twins, Zoey or Wyatt – or both – doing something so funny that the tension that has built up is released with the laughter.”
“It’s a really fun show to watch, and it’s not just for kids,” she adds.
The show also creates subtle notes of tension between Sarah and Ben, who stayed at the Tremont in its heyday. He cashed in his savings and uprooted the family in Chicago, Louisiana, without telling them much about his motives – or his past connections to Harper’s Mom and the mysterious Savannah.
“This is where I think the show will be more accessible than maybe other younger programs for all family members,” Frye said. “You see their interactions and their struggles, and the veneer fades a bit between the couple.
“And how they do it – which I think is good to see, not only for parents, but also for children,” she adds.
Chris Gray is a Houston-based writer.