Kaili Vernoff is a New York based actress, she got her BFA in acting at Boston University and later moved to New York to pursue acting professionally. After acting for many years in theatre, film and television, she later auditioned for Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2 where she took on the role of Susan Grimshaw, Vernoff’s first video game role.
What have you been up to since Red Dead Redemption 2?
There are two answers to this question, the first one being; interacting with fans. I didn’t have a twitter or instagram account until I started meeting fans. It has altered my days getting to know the fans and answering their questions. The next one being keeping in contact with the cast, we have developed such a wonderful family with each other, we’ve tried to make it a thing where we ZOOM call every week. We have grown so close and have become a literal family like we were in the game. Myself and the camp girls; Meeya Davis, Sam Strelitz and Jo Armeniox have become thick as thieves, we talk daily! It’s so strange being in quarantine where most actors, especially those who do voice acting have turned rooms in their house into studios to continue their work. We have literally made a 4×4 voice over studio in our living room so I can continue!
For those who may not know, who is Susan Grimshaw?
I love Susan so much! The fan response has helped me get to know her, the fans have allowed me to see her in a forth dimension. Susan is driven by loyalty. The “Van Der Linde” gang has become her family and she would do ANYTHING to protect them, everything she does is in the health and well-being of the gang, this is why she wants them to get up and do things. She knows when Arthur isn’t gathering for the gang and wants him to have the drive to do more like she does. Even when Arthur isn’t clean and bathed, she wants him to do so, so he can stay healthy. Susan must oversee the camp girls, she adores Tilly and wants to protect her because of her troubled past, she sees a lot of herself in Mary- Beth, she really wants her to know that there is more to life than her looks, when she gets mad at her over it, it’s because she knows there is potential in all of the women and doesn’t want them to be vain like she once was. Susan is threatened by Karen, she finds her volatile but this is because she struggles to keep her in line.
What was your reaction to the response of RDR2?
Overwhelmed, delighted! They (Rockstar) said “get ready” and I was like “ready for what?” I wasn’t expecting it at all! I remember when the game first came out, I was doing laundry with my husband, he was wearing a Red Dead shirt; we met a neighbour who saw the shirt and said “what a great game!” We kinda looked at each other and said “yeah she plays Susan Grimshaw” anf the man looked so shocked! He just shook my hand and said “I’m so honoured!” It was so thrilling to see how meaningful the game is to so many people, it’s the perfect escape for fans, especially right now. It’s crazy I get videos from fans of different moments of the game and I totally forgot about them!
Tell me about the Lets Play Podcast by the GameHERS
GameHERS is a new platform, elevating female voices within gaming, it’s funny when they approached me to host the podcast, I didn’t think this was something I would see myself doing but I immediately said “YES!” And now it’s something I love to do! In the podcast, I interview gaming stars, creators and streamers, I love to hear their voices and hear their stories and have comprehensive conversations. Through my work with the*GameHERs I’m learning how important it is to hear from women in gaming – producers, directors and game developers. If we are going to see more women in all areas of game development, we need to get girls interested in gaming, get their hands on technology early and let their imaginations run wild!
Are you much of a gamer yourself?
I am not! I wasn’t a gamer at all, before Red Dead came out, Rockstar sent me a code to play GTA V so I could get used to the typical Rockstar controls, it took me a while to get used to driving and NOT crashing into anything! It took me 50/ 60 tries to get through the intro *laughs* Once I start though I don’t want to stop!
What is your favourite quarantine activity?
Baking and cooking with my daughter, we are both vegetarian, we will pick out a recipe together and send my husband to the store to get the ingredients, it really allows time and work together to make something delicious!
Do you have any advice to your younger self?
Just to take it easy and enjoy the ride! I often worried about how things would unfold for me, like Will I get married? Will I have kids? Will I find success? I hated not being able to control it, I found myself worrying about things that would never happen! Just stay in the present and let it happen, because the way things happened when I let it, it was just beautiful, I should try not to take control of the narrative of my life.
We thank Kaili Vernoff for joining us and wish her luck on the Let’s Play Podcast and all future endeavours!
Red Dead Redemption 2 is available on PlayStation 4, XBOX One and PC.
Catch the Let’s Play Podcast by the*GameHERS podcast on all streaming platforms! https://thegamehers.com/lets-play-1
Follow Kaili on her socials!