At the time Arielle Kebbel scored the role of the ambitious (and aptly named) sideline reporter Tracy Legette on HBO’s breakout sports drama Ballers, in which she plays the love interest to none other than Mr. Dwayne Johnson himself, the 31-year-old sports nut found herself perfectly at ease. “I’m thankful that my research requires me to sit with my friends and watch football every Sunday,” she says. “Tracy lives in a guy’s world, but she’s also a gal—it’s important that I give her a feminine aspect.”
Set in Miami, Ballers brings things full circle for Kebbel—a Floridian herself, born and raised near Orlando. It’s the latest in a string of impressive TV gigs for the former model, including recurring roles in HBO’s Entourage and True Blood and the CW’s The Vampire Diaries. She’ll extend that supernatural streak with a meaty part in NBC’s new Midnight, Texas, a spooky mystery replete with witches and otherworldly stuff, which premieres this fall.
You’ll also see her taking over a seriously major film franchise in 2018, when she’ll star in Fifty Shades Freed, the third in the Fifty Shades of Grey series, which is already in production. Lucky for us, Kebbel relishes playing sexy as much as she does playing smart. “In Fifty Shades I’m a top architect who just happens to flaunt her body a bit much when she’s around the Greys,” she says. “She has these bright-red nails and loves touching everyone with them; it feels like a character for whom nothing would be too much—and that’s so much fun.”
Spoken like a true baller.