2 Broke Girls’ Russian Cook Oleg – Not What You’d Expect
Jonathan Kite, Oleg in 2 Broke Girls, has always had a passion for both comedic and dramatic acting. His background may surprise you.
In my scan of series premieres for fall, 2011, I stumbled upon the CBS comedy 2 Broke Girls, starring Beth Behrs and Kat Dennings. It looked like a funny enough sitcom, so I tuned in and found it quite entertaining.
Oleg Makes His Appearance
You know the story. Former ultra-rich Caroline takes a job in the Brooklyn restaurant where Max works. They become roommates and, eventually, despite their vast differences, friends.
A fixture in this restaurant, The Williamsburg Diner, is Russian cook, Oleg, played by Jonathan Kite (who in real life speaks with an American accent).
Kite Is a Comedian from the Start
When Kite and I chatted recently via email, I took the opportunity to ask him how he got involved with 2 Broke Girls.
He told me about his meeting with producers Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City) and Whitney Cummings (Made of Honor).
“When I arrived at the producers’ callback, I came dressed in a pair of spandex/cotton pants that had a brown and black tiger stripe print on them. There was a cluster of sad glitter on the right thigh as well. I hemmed the pants so they looked like hand-me-downs, had on a pair of old sweat socks and dumpy leather sandals, and sported a mustard stained tank top. To top it all off, I wore a hair net. I shook everyone’s hand in the room like a recieving line at a wedding. When I got to the end, I shook Whitney’s hand and thanked her for seeing me as well as expressed how much of a fan of hers I was. As I stepped back to take my place in front of the camera, I realized I had just shaken everybody’s hand, including Michael’s, but had only said something nice to Whitney. I then said to the room, “I realize that I have just shaken all of your hands, but I only said that to Whitney. That’s because I haven’t heard of the rest of you. My name’s Jonathan Kite. IMDB me. Let’s start this audition.”
Everyone seemed to have a good laugh. I then auditioned with the prepared material, got a callback, came back to audition for Warner Bros., then tested for CBS. All along the way, I did my Russian accent, so when we all met for the first time as a cast and crew, I think that many of the people who had a hand in casting me did not know I spoke with an American accent.”
Family Members Offer Strong Support
Kite told me he has always had a passion for both comedic and dramatic acting. He said he believes he got his love for performance from his father, who “shared his love for cinema with me from an early age.” Kite also was a regular at Chicago theaters with his mother. And, he says, “As I got older, my friends and I started frequenting Second City, because we wanted to explore the newness provided by their satire on current events. It all kind of bundled up and supported each other and made me want to be a part of it all.”
Variety is Kite’s Spice of Life
Love for performance led to a variety of projects in all genres. “When I moved to L.A.,” he said, “I just wanted to act in projects that I was passionate about, and that hasn’t changed. I love telling stories, period. I don’t prefer one (comedy) or the other (drama), only what suits the project. I have done a lot of dramatic work, mostly on stage.”
He is also very appreciative of his role on 2 Broke Girls and says he couldn’t be happier with the role. As for the future, he says, “I hope to keep telling stories I believe need to be told, no matter what, in film and television.”
Kite can be seen in the Jamie Foxx now-canceled project In the Flow with Affion Crockett as well as an upcoming feature film project called The Walk On, about which he is quite passionate. Though he wasn’t at liberty to tell me much about it, he did say that “it does the rare job of telling a story with incredible amounts of comedy and drama because that, I believe, defines real life.”
Kite can be seen in 2 Broke Girls on Monday nights on CBS.
Cheryl has been a freelance TV/film writer for more than 10 years. Simultaneously, she has worked in PR for Bon Jovi Productions in NYC, PolyGram Records (also in NYC), and Rogers & Cowan Public Relations. Cheryl has published articles at suite101.com, “Sci-Fi Entertainment” magazine, and “Soap Opera Weekly.” She was also a credited researcher for English author Denis Meikle’s JOHNNY DEPP: A KIND OF ILLUSION. Cheryl enjoys writing for the entertainment industry and meeting new people. She is also an animal lover.
Article originally posted at Suite101.