Ronnie Kroell takes on holiday film, politics and Palm Springs getaways

By Reggie Cameron

Actor and model Ronnie Kroell

Openly gay actor and activist Ronnie Kroell emerged from the Bravo reality series “Make Me A Supermodel” as runner-up and “Fan Favorite.” After walking in countless runway presentations, he was featured in a number of magazines including Instinct and Playgirl. He chats with us from his home in Southern California about politics, family, and his latest film which premieres this week in Palm Springs.

“Scrooge & Marley” is described as “A Christmas Carol” gone gay. How do you fit in to the Dickens’ classic?

I portray the Ghost of Christmas Past in the film and Randy the bartender [chuckles].The movie was filmed in Chicago, where I’m from. Years ago, I worked at a place there called Mini Bar on Halstead Street so there’s a bit of a parallel. It was hard work, but I had a great time.

Filming this was a bit of a homecoming for you then?

I grew up in Chicago and the holiday season is my favorite time of year. My family has several traditions. Each year we go to Mayor Daley Plaza together to enjoy the holiday tree and the multicultural market. It’s something we’ve done since I was a little boy. My father would lift me up and put me on his shoulders [laughs]. Recently, my boyfriend joined me for the Chicago red carpet premiere of “Scrooge & Marley.” This year he joined my family for our annual visit to the Christkindlmarket. It was very special.

How sweet. Switching gears a bit, I know you’re very interested in social issues and public policy. What are your thoughts on our recent elections?

I’m really quite thrilled that Barack won a second term. We have high expectations for our public officials and it’s important that we understand that the president is just one person. The beauty, and what has recently been a challenge with our political landscape, was our checks and balances system. Keeping that in mind, I think President Obama did a fantastic job in his first term.

One of the things as we move forward is that we’re going to have to cross party lines to find resolutions to some pretty serious issues we have in this country. When I watched his acceptance speech in my hometown and saw that he included the LGBT community in his speech it sent chills through my spine. This wasn’t an HRC event, this is a platform where he was addressing the nation, and moreover the world and he brought forth a message of inclusion.

It was a powerful moment.

The thing about this for me is that as we seek acceptance from the public at large, the LGBT community at large can and should be more accepting of one another. As we’re moving forward I would hope we work on our other issues, too. I’m not speaking just to the superficiality of ageism, or notes about race and body type, but I have a very good friend who is transgendered and to see the way she has been treated, not by people outside of the LGBT family, but my others has been really disappointing. As a group we should be able to show the world at large that as a community we are able to embrace one another and find peace.

You’ll be joining us in Palm Springs this Thursday for the premiere of “Scrooge & Marley” at Camelot Theatres?

Yes, I love Palm Springs. As you know, I was there to walk in a fashion show with several designers from “Project Runway.” I’ve come out to the desert with friends and for events like the White Party several times. I’m a seasoned traveler to Palm Springs. I love the people there and always have a good time when I get to visit.

If you go

The Palm Springs premiere of “Scrooge & Marley” is a ONE NIGHT ONLY event, and will include appearances by David Pevsner, Ronnie Kroell and David Moretti as well as one of the film’s producers. The film will be screened at 7 p.m., followed by a Q&A with cast and crew, as well as a VIP Meet the Cast After Party. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to THIS LINK.

Reggie Cameron has contributed to a number of media outlets including Queerty, OUT, The Advocate and the LA Times among others. He recently completed his second turn as the entertainment director of Greater Palm Springs Pride.