Actress Challen Cates lights up the small screen in Nickelodeon’s No. 1 live-action musical-comedy Big Time Rush. Challen portrays the role of “Mrs. Knight,” mother to the hockey-playing, reluctant boy band member “Kendall,” and his younger sister Katie.
The mom-of-two opens up about her kids – son Colton, 6, and daughter Jasper, 3 – who enjoy acting-out scenes from mom’s popular show. She also talks about “raising awareness of the prevalence and consequences of child sexual abuse,” and the “devastating” affects of cyber bullying.
CBS: You’ve just kicked off another season of Big Time Rush. What can we expect to see this season?
CC: “The band is famous now, so you will see how that affects their lives and the lives of everyone around them. And, of course, there will be new songs, music videos, and lots of laughs.”
CBS: How are your kids Colton and Jasper doing? How old are they now? Do they get along well?
CC: “Ohhh, thanks for asking! Colton and Jasper are excellent! Colton is six and just graduated from Kindergarten. Little Miss Jasper is three and just completed her first year of preschool. They get along remarkably well. Colton has embraced the role of the big brother, so he enjoys taking care of his little sister.”
CBS: Do your kids like watching you in Big Time Rush? Do they ever act-out your scenes? Or do they show an interest in performing?
CC: “My kids definitely enjoy watching the show and they do, in fact, act out scenes and repeat dialogue! It always surprises me what they remember … and how well they remember it!
Even though they certainly perform a lot for us at home, I’m not sure they will go into the entertainment business. That said, I will support whatever path they choose.”
CBS: Tell us about supporting the Darkness to Light foundation. What is it all about?
CC: “Darkness to Light is all about raising awareness of the prevalence and consequences of child sexual abuse. They educate parents about the issue as well as teach them how to prevent it by seeing the signs and reacting.
Did you know that one in four girls will be sexually abused by the time she is eighteen? And that 90% of abusers are people who your child knows, loves, and trusts? Check out Darkness to Light at www.D2L.org.”
CBS: Tell us about the Say It 2 My Face Anti-Bullying campaign. What is it all about? How have you gotten your kids involved?
CC: “Say It 2 My Face encourages people to think before they type because cyber bullying can be so incredibly devastating to both the person being bullied and their family.
At ages six and three, my children are too young to be affected right now, but I want to do my part to make sure that they never have to deal with this terrible trend when they are older. Jasper has already helped me in the fight against cyber bullying by joining me on the website. Look for her purple hands—it’s the official color of Say It 2 My Face.”
CBS: What are your upcoming summer plans with the family?
CC: “I’d like to get back to Virginia and let my kids play in the country. I’m also working on a quick beach get away. The kids are doing lots of camps during the summer as well–dance, art, tennis, and soccer to name a few. It’s as though I’m running a resort here!”
CBS: What’s up next for you?
CC: “I just completed work on a horror/thriller film which is scheduled to come out this fall. Working on such an intense project was an exciting departure from comedy.”