Darby Native Hopes for a Long Kennedy Administration on WB”
“Will I be on the cover of the Upper Darby Press?” television and movie star Jamie Kennedy hopefully asked. Making the front page of his hometown paper is just one of many accolades the 1988 graduate of Monsignor Bonner high school has received since making a splash in hit horror movie “Scream” in 1996. Kennedy was back in town promoting his new television show, “The Jamie Kennedy Experiment,” a “Candid Camera Meets Wayne’s World” comedy on WB Sundays at 8 p.m. “JKX,” which debuted January 13th has performed well enough to earn an additional four-episode order from the network.
Kennedy broke into show business as an extra in the Robin Williams movie “Dead Poets Society,” which filmed in Delaware in 1989. Loving the atmosphere of the movies, Kennedy moved west that year and did everything from delivering pizzas to washing windows before getting work in commercials. After getting his big break by playing the geeky horror-movie expert in “Scream,” Kennedy parlayed that into roles in several other small parts in big movies including “As Good As It Gets,” with Jack Nicholson, “Three Kings,” with George Clooney, and “Enemy of the State,” with Gene Hackman, as well as the two “Scream” sequels. So is Kennedy living the Hollywood life hanging out at Clooney’s bachelor pad? “No, I don’t eat foie gras from the butler’s table. Sometimes I get to go to celebrity parties and meet cool people like Tom Hanks, but there are also times when I am sitting at home and playing “Playstation,” he said.
Though Kennedy was doing fairly well in films, he said since he wasn’t a big enough name, he “still had to hustle to get parts,” so he was happy to take the television opportunity. “This is the perfect show for me. I can be very creative,” said the sometime stand-up comedian. Kennedy said he hopes eventually to take one of the characters from his show to spin off into a movie.
When asked if he has a girlfriend, he joked, “have you heard of a lady named Jennifer Lopez?” His went on to mention his actual girlfriend is actress Sarah Shahi, who appears on “Alias.”
Kennedy is the third Upper Darby native to hit it big in show business in recent years, as former “Saturday Night Live” regular Cheri Oteri and current “SNL” “Weekend Update” anchor Tina Fey are also from the area. “I believe it. Upper Darby has a lot of funny people,” Kennedy laughed.