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Exclusive Interview with Challen Cates of Nickelodeon’s ‘Big Time Rush’

Challen Cates is an American actress best known for portraying Mrs. Jennifer Knight on the hit Nickelodeon TV series ‘Big Time Rush’. She is a wife and mother of two.  She has been in all four of the ‘Big Time Rush’ films. She also has appeared in Desperate Housewives, Criminal Minds, CSI: New York, Monk, and Lifetime’s Missing.

She sat down with How to be a Redhead to discuss her life as an actress, redhead beauty secrets.. and more.

H2BAR: Why do you love being a redhead? 

CC: It gives me a convenient excuse for being fiery!

H2BAR: Did you always know you were going to be an actress? 

CC: I always wanted to be an actress, but I grew up in the country so I didn’t know how to go about doing it.

H2BAR: You currently play the role of Jennifer Knight on ‘Big Time Rush.’ Can you tell us a bit about your character? 

CC: Jennifer Knight is unflappable, fun, funny, and fiercely protective of her kids.  She is determined to always do the right thing which often ends up backfiring, which is where the viewers get to watch the comedy unfold.

redhead-challen-cates-interview-how-to-be-a-redhead1H2BAR: What do you love most about being on a popular television show?

CC: Our wonderful fans and, of course, being asked lovely questions like these!

H2BAR: You must get your hair and make-up done on set a lot. What is your go-to makeup and hair look while playing Jennifer and being yourself off set?

CC: My character is much more conservative than I am in my personal life.  Jennifer Knight’s makeup is basic, natural, soft, and never too sexy or daring.  We played around with a lot of different hair styles while still staying within character. Off set, I like to experiment with different looks with hair and makeup.  I am a bit of a makeup junkie so when I have the time, I like to play with different products and colors.

H2BAR: Were you one of the only redheads in your neighborhood growing up?

CC: Wow. I never really thought about it, but YES I was!  I never even thought of myself as a redhead until boys in high school started teasing me and calling me Charlie Brown’s girlfriend aka ‘The Little Red Headed Girl.’

H2BAR: Does red hair run in your family? 

CC: Yes. My great-grandmother and my dad were strawberry blondes.

H2BAR: With redheads having such sensitive skin, what are your go-to skin products?

CCL Because I am such a beauty product junkie, I switch things up a lot.  Right now I am into Dr. Perricone’s skin care line. I love Egyptian Magic when my skin is feeling extra sensitive.  Also, I wear tons of sunscreen. I prefer sunscreen that is more natural like Alba or Kiss My Face and sometimes just use zinc oxide.


H2BAR: What are your favorite “redhead friendly” wardrobe colors to wear?   

CC: I like to break the rules!  I am not afraid to rock a hot pink dress. In fact, I wore one to the 2012 Kid’s Choice Awards by Camilla and Marc and it is one of my favorite red carpet looks. Traditionally, I think that my most flattering colors for redheads are green, purple, blue, peach, and black.

H2BAR: What is one makeup product that you will buy over-and-over again?

CC: Jane Iredale mascara is amazing and I love that it is all natural. Egyptian Magic because it works magic on any skin issue.


H2BAR: Do you have any beauty secrets? 

CC: Lansinoh nipple cream is the best lip moisturizer ever—I found that one out when I had a stockpile of it after having my last child and thought I’d try a little experiment for fun.

H2BAR: What’s in store for you for the rest of 2013 and 2014? 

CC: For the rest of 2013, I am getting my kids off to a good start with the new school year, harvest for my family’s winery, and writing a web series. For 2014, it will be all about exploration and possibilities galore!