‘Love in the Time of Corona’ introduces co-stars’ daughter Ava Bellows

Freeform’s ‘Love in the Time of Corona’ also stars Rya Kihlstedt and Gil Bellows

Ava Bellows and Rya Kihlstedt

Not only are you starting an acting career, your co-stars are your parents, and you’re performing at home during a pandemic.

Those factors have added up for Ava Bellows, the daughter of Rya Kihlstedt (“Yellowstone,” “The Bold Type”) and Gil Bellows (“Ally McBeal,” “The Shawshank Redemption”). Art imitates life even more as she plays their offspring — though their characters are on the verge of separating, while hers is coping with her own breakup — in “Love in the Time of Corona,” a virtually produced Freeform limited series ending its two-consecutive-night run Sunday, Aug. 23.

“This is not only one of my first major roles, it’s the first,” Ava muses. “I was either going to auditions with my dad or visiting my mom or my godmother (actress Carla Gugino) on a set. That’s the reason I wanted to act. It just felt like what my family was doing … so to be able to do this with the people who are responsible for making me want to do this, and who I am very comfortable with, was incredible.”

Another family member isn’t in “Love in the Time of Corona,” and Bellows says she isn’t surprised that her brother Giovanni is absent.

She reports he had “one serious acting experience, in a movie my dad directed. He was 6 or 7 at the time, and they went through a scene once and shot it. My dad said, ‘OK, that was great. We’re going to do it again.’ And my brother said, ‘Why would I do it again? I did it perfectly the first time.’ He’s a bit of a diva.” (However, Gil Bellows chimes in, “I understood it, as both his father and the director.”)

As well-known and well-regarded as her mother and father are in the acting business, Ava maintains she doesn’t trade on that when she auditions. “I said to my parents at one point while we were shooting this — with tons of love and respect — ‘I seriously hope that at some point soon, I won’t have to be acting just with you in the house.'”


Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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