If you ever find yourself thirsting for a taste sensation by the same name, Chelan Simmons will know she’s made it.
Viewers first glimpsed the gorgeous Simmons, 25, two years ago in her recurring role as Hillary on ABC’s “Kyle XY,” a Sunday night sci-fi/ teen drama hybrid that takes the angst of feeling out of place during those formative years to a whole new level.
And if her star should ever burn out, she’ll always have her dreams of becoming a gourmet chef. After all, the family has their own top secret recipe for scalloped potatoes said to inspire mythical-type cravings.
At five Simmons landed her first commercial role after her first audition. Three years later she landed a part in the 1990 TV movie version of Stephen King’s “It” as a tricycle riding tot and the first victim.
“It was actually not too scary being a child on a horror movie set,” Simmons said. “I did all my scenes without Tim Curry (who played the infamous Clown). The director just told me how to react and he told me where to look.”
Careful editing makes it look like Simmons appeared on-set with Curry, but eighteen years later she’s still thankful that it wasn’t the case. “I’m scared of clowns still to this day!”
From the start, Simmons idolized child star du jour Shirley Temple.
“When I was little, no matter what restaurant I went to, I always ordered a Shirley Temple,” Simmons says. “(As a child) I wanted more than anything to have a drink named after me. I thought that that meant that you really made it as an actress.”
Simmons also worshipped funny girls Carol Burnett, Kate Hudson and Reese Witherspoon. But Temple held her longtime awe. “I always wanted to be just like her as a child, she was such an amazing triple threat, and I always thought that she just lit up the screen when she was on it,” Simmons says.
The native of White Rock, British Columbia, a suburb of Vancouver, had plenty of chances to strike out into science fiction.
“I just kind of fell into the genre,” she says. “A lot of sci-fi projects are filmed here in Vancouver, so it has just been pure luck that I was able to audition for so many of them.”
The experience helped establish Simmons as a scream queen. “I love any chance I get to scream and run away from some monster.”
With puberty came the opportunity to play a host of sexy, funny teen roles. Her credits include roles like Carol in 2007’s “Good Luck Chuck,” Ashley Freund in “Final Destination 3” and Hot teenage girl in “2gether: The Series.”
Even at 25, Simmons is still regularly cast in roles that require her to shave off nearly a decade.
Harkening back to her high school days isn’t difficult. “I feel more like a teenager some days than I do an adult,” she says. “I love doing high school scenes … I had some of my best times in high school.”
Her longest stint to date is as part of “Kyle XY,” spending nearly four years with the cast and crew of the ABC hit. “The cast is so connected with each other and everyone is so sweet and talented,” Simmons said. “It really makes going to work everyday such a delight.”
That bonding extends to Simmon’s character Hillary, who’s had the opportunity to mature during the run. “I’m really beginning to love her,” she said.
“At first she was always wanting to be the center of attention, she was boy crazy and wasn’t the best friend in the world,” Simmons says. “But now, she has really grown up and has discovered herself a lot more.”
Simmons and the cast will start filming season three soon, though the actress is tight-lipped about any upcoming plot points. “I can’t give you any hints, because the writers don’t even tell us what’s going to happen,” she says.
On the silver screen, Simmons is looking forward to an upcoming role in Hollywood Brats, a comedic portrait of real-life celebutantes and starlet train wrecks directed by Terry Ingram and slated for release next year, where she’ll play Lindsay Lohan.
The film has been touted as strictly based on documents from the public record in the hopes of dodging the potential lawsuit this kind of undertaking attracts.
To brush up on her best LiLo impression, Simmons studied the starlet’s body language and cinematic r©sum©.
She’s no dead-ringer for Lohan, and she knows it. “I know I don’t look identical to her, or sound just like her, but my job was to act like her as much as I could and get the story across.”
When she’s not on set, Simmons keeps her body ripped with Crossfit training, a mix of gymnastics, Olympic weight lifting and sprinting with her personal trainer at Vancouver’s Studio 55. “My trainer, Nathan, works my butt off,” she said.
Down time is reserved for her other loves: spending time with her beloved four-year-old Yorkie Talula, playing Rock Band on Xbox 360 and cooking.
“I am a big foody,” Simmons admits, “and I am most relaxed when I’m cooking.”
Friends and family are already fans of the hobby, reaping the rewards after a day spent slaving away in the kitchen.
Recent culinary creations include fish delicacies and one of her favorites, Simmons Scalloped Potatoes, concocted from the family’s secret recipe. “Once you taste our Simmons Scalloped Potatoes you can’t stop eating them.”
On the web – visit Chelan Simmons on www.myspace.com/chelansimmons or the soon-to-be launched www.chelansimmons.com . “I always love hearing from my fans after a show has aired … it’s so sweet to hear what they thought of the show that night. My fans are the ones that keep me reaching for the stars.”