Actress who played Megyn Kelly in Britney Spears video: 'I'm more of a Maddow girl myself'

Kristina Mitchell recalls portraying Megyn Kelly. (Photo: Arden Ash)
Kristina Mitchell recalls portraying Megyn Kelly. (Photo: Arden Ash)

Long before NBC pulled Megyn Kelly’s show from its morning schedule over her recent comments about blackface, the controversial TV personality made headlines over her criticisms of Britney Spears.

It was January 2009, and Kelly, who was then at Fox News, slammed Spears’s song, “If U Seek Amy,” on the air. She said it was inappropriate for children and, therefore, inappropriate for radio play.

“Selling sex in a bikini is one thing. Getting on public airwaves and essentially spelling out the F-word over and over, when little girls, who idolize Britney Spears, for whatever reason, are listening, is quite another,” Kelly said. She accused Spears of using a “lame code” to get around decency rules. “It is profane. It’s offensive, and radio stations should play it, if at all, only during the hours that children are not listening.”

Two months later, Spears responded by including a character that was obviously modeled after Kelly in her video for the song. Actress Kristina Mitchell, who played the role of areporter in the clip, explained to Yahoo Entertainment that at the time of the shoot, she understood that she was playing Megyn Kelly … whoever that was.

“I hadn’t heard about Megyn Kelly having called Britney Spears out on the song prior to going into the audition,” Mitchell told us. “Actually, I hadn’t heard of Megyn Kelly at all because I was living in London at the time. I had never seen her show, and had to Google her and watch clips on YouTube to garner a sense of her style.”

She added, “I’m also more of a [Rachel] Maddow girl myself.”

Mitchell said she specifically watched the clip of Kelly’s segment on “If U Seek Amy” several times before filming. She also spent a while blowing out her naturally curly hair.

She recalled that the actual shoot at a small studio in London took roughly three to five hours.

“I hadn’t fully realized that it was for an actual Britney Spears video. I thought perhaps it was a little parody for some comedy thing,” Mitchell said. “And after we wrapped, I asked the director if he would send me a copy for my reel. He looked at me and said, ‘15 Million people will be seeing your face next week.’ That’s the moment I found out it was legit.”

As predicted, the video and Mitchell’s short performance as Kelly got a lot of attention.

“A lot of friends from the U.S. texted and said things like, ‘Did I just see your face when I was on the treadmill at the gym?’ I still get texts from friends sometimes when there is a Britney night at a bar somewhere. A friend of mine who does drag asked if I would come reprise my role live in his Britney drag night in West Hollywood. I also was visiting New York shortly after the shoot, and Megyn Kelly had me on her show and interviewed me.”

In the years since playing Kelly, Mitchell has continued to act and perform. She’ll be appearing at the Ice House in Pasadena, Calif., on Nov. 3. She’s also gone back to school, and is now studying for a master’s degree in political management at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She works with Vote Run Lead, an organization working to get more women elected to public office. It was inspired by her work with Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, she said.

Mitchell remains “a huge Britney fan,” and she says she’s honored to have appeared in her video.

She has some advice for Kelly, in light of the TV personality’s recent comments: “I hope that she can take this time to reflect on her thoughts and how she voices them. When you have a platform like that, you best get very clear about who you are and the power you have to both help and hurt people. We need to stand up against racially ignorant comments and racist behavior.”

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