It's Kelly Rowland vs. Freddy and Jason! The Destiny's Child singer says she's making room for acting, but not a new addition to the group

By Liane Bonin
Updated August 14, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT
Kelly Rowland, Freddy vs. Jason
Credit: Freddy vs. Jason: James Dittiger

Beyoncé (a.k.a. Foxxy Cleopatra) isn’t the only Child of Destiny making the transition to the big screen. In ”Freddy vs. Jason” (Aug. 15), Kelly Rowland plays Kia, a trash-talking scream teen who raises Freddy Krueger’s ire by dissing the size of his, um, dream machine. talked to Rowland about her R-rated dialogue, her action aspirations, and why European elevators are scarier than legendary slasher-movie villains.

You’ve said you’re terrified of horror movies. So why do one?
I wanted to see how I would react. I didn’t think I would actually get through my fear as fast as I did. But was I scared of meeting Robert [Englund, who plays Krueger] in makeup? No…well, yes, I’m lying. I don’t want to admit it because I’m 22 years old, and that’s ridiculous. But I was scared for about a year after I saw one of Freddy’s films when I was 7. I wasn’t supposed to be up, but I snuck behind my brother’s chair. And right as I got to the chair, Freddy’s face popped up. I had to go sleep with my mom. And when I say sleep with her, I was probably on top of her.

[WARNING: SKIP TO THE NEXT QUESTION TO AVOID SPOILER] How did you feel about filming your character’s confrontation with Freddy?
The dying thing was not bad. The day we shot it, my aunt and my mom prayed with me, because they just didn’t like the sound of that. They’re going to see the scene at the premiere, and they’re going to be all like: ”Oh, my God, I don’t want to see my baby dying!” But they’ll be okay; I’ll be sitting right next to them.

Since you’re no longer frightened of Freddy Krueger, is there anything that keeps you up at night?
Spiders. I cannot stand spiders. If I’m in a room with a spider, I will leave and let the spider have the room, because I don’t want it to fall on me. That’s happened before. And I’m claustrophobic. I can’t stand elevators, especially in Europe. I have to take the stairs because they’re so small. So when I’m stressed, I have a dream where I’m in a small little room full of spiders.

Kia uses some pretty brash language in the movie. Were you concerned about what Destiny’s Child fans might think?
I did an online chat with the fans to tell them there was a lot of cussing in the movie. I don’t know what parents are going to think, but I wanted to tell them myself so it didn’t come as a surprise. We’re role models first, and that was something I felt the fans, the young ones, had to know.

This year you released a solo album, ”Simply Deep.” Are you itching to do more work on your own?
I definitely want to do it again, but I was rushed a little bit with the making of this record. The good thing is you live and learn, and for the next one I’m going to think of ways to make my music different from everything else that’s out. And I want to do something else with Nelly. We’re talking about that now.

Is there any truth to the rumors that Solange Knowles will be joining Destiny’s Child?
Not true at all. The band is just Beyoncé, Kelly, and Michelle [Williams]. I think if you have a formula and it works, go with it. If anything, we’re even more successful as a threesome than we were as a foursome. If we did have four, it wouldn’t be right.

You’re getting back together with Destiny’s Child to record a new album at the end of the year. Has going solo changed the three of you?
The dynamics are going to be awesome. It’s a gut feeling I have, because everybody has been through a lot personally and business-wise. So it’s just going to take us to the next level. And I recently found out I have a higher register than what I’ve been singing. I didn’t even know. I was in the studio doing a song for my next movie, ”The Seat Filler,” and I just started singing huge and loud. And everybody in the studio said, ”You’ve never done this before!”

And speaking of something you’ve never done before, in the ”The Seat Filler” [an indie romantic comedy due for release early next year], you have your first on-screen kiss with Duane Martin. How was it?
I remember when I got the movie, I was like, ”Oh, my God, I had the biggest crush on him when ‘Above the Rim’ came out!” So at least my friends are excited about our kiss. But Duane is silly, plus his wife [Tisha Campbell of ”My Wife and Kids”], who wrote some of the script, was there. I was very nervous for a minute. But Tisha was like, ”Girl, you better kiss my husband.” She was really cool about everything.

Now that you’ve done a horror movie and a romantic comedy, what’s next?
I want to do an action movie. I think it’s great we’re seeing more powerful women, because we are such precious creatures. For God’s sake, we have babies. Men don’t understand that.

Freddy vs. Jason

  • Movie
  • R
  • 98 minutes
  • Ronny Yu