By: Rachelle Henry | PHOTOS COURTESY Birdie Thompson
Hair/Make-up: Allison Noelle
- Los Angeles, California
Rising star 19-year old Dana Gaier chats exclusively with We Blab Magazine, about Despicable Me 3 and working with pop singer Miranda Cosgrove. Also Dana talks about working towards her fight against bullying.
Congratulations on playing Edith in the Oscar-nominated, BAFTA, winning, Despicable Me franchise! Despicable Me 3 is going to be released June 30th, and you and your minions are as popular as ever! How did you go about creating the lovable tomboy, Edith?
The idea for the character was all the writers' and creative teams' doing. I just brought her to life. She's a lot of fun to voice because she's really versatile. She may be sassy one moment and protective the next.
Your IMDb has 7 Despicable Me titles listed. Which one of the Despicable Me films/shorts is your favorite, and why? Why, do you think, people connect so much to your character, as well as the franchise?
Training Wheels would have to be my favorite. Agnes is just so cute in it and the girls are so protective of her. I think people connect so much to my character and the franchise because both are very family-centered. No matter how mischievous Edith is being she is always there for her family.
What has it been like working with Miranda Cosgrove and Elsie Kate Fisher? Do you see each other outside of when Despicable Me premieres and enjoying the Minions Mayhem ride at Universal?
Miranda and Elsie are so great. A few years ago actually Elsie's school had a minion-themed day and Miranda and I went as a surprise to the students. It was a lot of fun! Everyone who works on the movie is really just so kind and it is so nice when we get to see each other.
You were discovered when you went with your sister to her audition. Had you been interested in acting before that opportunity, and what made you realize that you wanted to pursue acting professionally?
I was definitely interested in acting before that day, I just wasn't sure that I wanted to do it professionally. When I went in on that audition with my sister I walked out more excited than I've ever been. That's when I knew that I wanted to try to act professionally.
What's your advice to young people who see your success and want to pursue acting or something in the entertainment industry?
I think that there's a lot of rejection in the industry and it's so important to just keep persevering and never lose sight of why you love acting. If you do that, you will never feel defeated.
You recently filmed the horror short film, The Ice Cream Truck. Do you prefer acting in live-action films or doing voiceover and what can you tell us about the film and about your character, Brie?
I don't really have a preference. I think that they're so different that you can't really compare them. The Ice Cream Truck is about Mary, who moves back to her old suburban town and notices something strange about the ice cream man. My role, Brie, is small, but important and I'm really excited for people to see me in my first onscreen role.
I love that you just finished your second year at UCLA! Can you tell us about your plans with your sociology and communications degree coupled with a minor in film studies?
It's definitely a challenge, but I'm really excited about it. I want to make sure that I don't limit myself and that I use my time at UCLA wisely. I have such an amazing opportunity to study at one of the greatest universities and I'm not going to waste it.
You have music clips on your website, www.danagaier.com and are passionate about the bullying social issues that people are experiencing. I know you are working to bring about change and make a difference. What advice would you give those that are being bullied?
I would tell them to find somebody they feel comfortable confiding in. Having a person to vent to is everything and it's important not to close yourself off regardless of how sad you feel. I also think it's important to branch out and find something that makes you feel happy. Do not let other people define you. They don't get to do that.
Despicable Me 3 will be released in theaters on Jun 30th, 2017.
Follow Dana on Twitter, and Instagram.