Rising teen sensation Molly Jackson discusses her role on Disney's Andi Mack and, shopping for the perfect outfit
Rising teen sensation Molly Jackson discusses her role on Disney's Andi Mack and, shopping for the perfect outfit. Also, Molly talks about getting an education while continuing her career in Hollywood.
Congratulations on your recurring role in Disney's popular hit show "Andi Mack" where you play Iris, a very sweet and, cheerful girl who has a crush on Cyrus. I personally found the relationship between Iris and Cyrus very intriguing in development of the overall arch of the series. Can you tell us about your audition process for Iris, and describe your character
It was a quicker process than most. I had a same day audition, and found out I booked it several days later. There wasn't even a callback. I flew out to film within the week. Iris is sweet and likable. She loves to look for the best in people.
At just 15 years old you've accomplished a ton of ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement) work on some of Hollywood's biggest franchises including Finding Dory, Thor: The Dark World, and, most recently The Fate of the Furious. What exactly does ADR work on a feature film entail, and can you explain to our audience the process that takes place in the studio?
It usually takes 1-2 days to record. You can either be in the studio for 5 minutes for 10 hours. You are sometimes by yourself, but sometimes with a "loop group". They have you fill in lines, laughs, screams, and background dialogue. It is always a lot of fun.
One of the many things I found fascinating about your life is how seriously you take your education. You skipped the 5th Grade and passed the California High School Proficiency Exam while still working full time in the industry. How do you balance your school work with acting, and if a young teenager asked you about getting an education while acting what would you tell them
It is a hard balance, especially being in the 11th grade now. I tend to fall behind frequently, but I always catch up. I've managed to get straight A's all through high school (we'll see how long that lasts), but it has taken a ton of work. During the school year I don't get much free time/social time. I get to work with my friends though, so that fills in for the social time. A couple years ago I would have told them that school is the most important thing, but my views have shifted.
I definitely still believe in some type of education, but it doesn't have to be traditional. It can be community college, summer classes, or even just traveling. If you know that acting is what you want to do for the rest of your life, then why spend hours upon hours in school, when you could be mastering new skills that are relevant to your career. I plan on finishing high school, because I only need a few more credits, but I don't think I would retake this route. I also plan on still going to college, but not for acting. If I wanted to only be an actress the rest of my life I would probably not spend the money on college.
I'm sure auditions keep you pretty busy, but when you’re not on-set can you tell us what you like to do for fun?
I work out every chance I get. I'm pretty obsessed with fitness. I also love to travel, and do volunteer work. If I don't have time to leave the house I either read or watch "The Vampire Diaries".
You were born in born in Wurzburg, Germany to an American military family, but raised in Texas, and made your first television guest star appearance at the age of nine, playing the role of Little Stephanie in Nickelodeon's Victorious. How did you get starting acting at such a young age and, how involved is your mom in your career?
I started at a youth theater in El Paso, TX. I signed up for a summer camp, and just never stopped. I entered acting on my own free will, fortunately no one forced it on me. My mom is very involved not in coaching me or running my social medias, but managing my schedule and getting me places. I am thankful she doesn't live through my career; she lets this be my thing.
You also play Brianna another recurring character in Nickelodeon's hilarious sitcom "You also play Brianna, another recurring character in Nickelodeon's hilarious sitcom "Ricky, Dicky, Nicky, and Dawn" who runs with the cool fashion obsessed group at Edgewood Middle School. Our readers would be interested to learn what you do to prepare for an audition, and if we're to go shopping with Molly, what kind of clothes would you pick-out?
To prepare, I always memorize my lines and try to create individualized thoughts for each character. After I have that down, I practice the acting 4-5 times. I highly believe in not over-practicing, I feel like it throws me off. If they were to go shopping with me for an audition I would pick out solid color tops, non-ripped jeans, and a pair of converse. If they were to go shopping with me for everyday clothes it would look a little different. I would probably pick up some ripped skinny jeans, dark-toned fancier tops, heels, and a cute accent jacket.
You're also a proud vegan primarily for your love of animals and the added health benefits the vegan lifestyle provides. How many pets do you have, and how has becoming vegan changed your life?
I have 5 rescue dogs and 1 bearded dragon. I have so much more energy, and a lot of health problems that I previously had went away. It has made a huge impact on my health, and I keep seeing new benefits every day.
Watch Molly on the latest season of Andi Mack.
Also check-out Molly on Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn.
Follow Molly Jackson on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Teen sensation Joshua Rush dishes on Disney Channel series Andi Mack,and streaming CNN news twenty-four-seven
Teen sensation Joshua Rush dishes on the popular Disney Channel series Andi Mack, taking us threw a typical day on set for his character of Cyrus Goodman, and streaming CNN news twenty-four-seven.
Congratulations on a leading role in the Disney Channel series "Andi Mack" as Cyrus, one of Andi's BFF! How did you get started acting? Tell us about your acting path that led to playing Cyrus.
Thanks! My mom got me started in the business. At a very young age she set me up with an acting coach in Houston, which is where I lived at the start of my career. Eventually my acting coach told us we should try out Los Angeles, and that was all my mom needed to hear! She had us move to LA for 3 months (I was 6 or 7 years old) and eventually we called her and said "We're not coming home!"
Cyrus is quirky, not athletic and a little bit awkward, but he has a sense of humor that can make just about anyone laugh. What are some of your similarities and differences to the character?
I think Cyrus and I are similar in a lot of ways. Our awkwardness, sense of humor, and general weirdness are definitely similarities. I think something amazing about Terri Minsky is that she's not only an amazing writer, but an amazing observer too! We (the cast) would just be talking around her, and she would just sit and listen. A week or two later, one of our sentences would appear in the script! I'm still waiting for my writer's credits!
Andi Mack" is a coming-of-age show about not only the usual young teen issues, but deals with family drama. Do any fans reach to you out about issues they face, both with family and peer relationships, and how do you respond to those questions?
I've certainly gotten some fans who ask me for some help with their issues and, when I respond, I try to make it as clear as I can that I'm not really a great person to be asking for advice on these things! I try to give them a personal anecdote from my own life and explain how my solution to the problem worked and how it didn't, and what I'd do differently. When I'm at a loss, I get advice from my Dad, who is a psychotherapist!
You played the younger version of Zachary Quinto's character in "Heroes" and younger version of Zachary Levi's 'Chuck' in "Chuck." Did you have to research your older counterparts' characters beforehand, and did you get to rehearse your characters with them? Tell us some special memories of working on these shows.
I don't have as many memories from those shows as I used to because when I worked on "Chuck" and "Heroes" I was only 7 and 8! It's been almost 9 years since I worked on them! I do know that when my episode of "Criminal Minds" came out, I wasn't even allowed to watch my scenes, because my parents thought I was too young. Eventually I watched "Chuck" (I think around age 10) and saw my episodes; I really liked them! But researching the part at that age wasn't much of an option.
You can be heard in hit shows such as "Family Guy" and "The Cleveland Show" and, on the big screen, fans may recognize your voice in movies such as "Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas" and "Mr. Peabody & Sherman". You voice 'Jeremy' on Disney's "Star Vs The Forces of Evil", and 'Toby' on Netflix's "The Adventures of Puss in Boots". Have you done special training for voiceover and what are some of the differences between on-camera roles and voiceover?
I've worked one-on-one with David Kaufman, who coaches me, and has starred in roles like Danny Phantom (basically my childhood!). I think the biggest difference is the time. Working on voice over we can record an episode in 5 hours (for a 45 minute episode, with every character on-mic) while on "Andi Mack", it takes us a week to record a 21 minute episode! We work 9.5 hours per day with an hour for lunch and 10 minute breaks every hour on "Andi Mack", and on "The Lion Guard" — other than the first episode (Return of the Roar, a 45 minute TV movie with a few songs) — I've never taken longer than 2 hours, with a snack break of 5 minutes in the middle. It's a major parallel!
You've had some starring roles in some big budget productions such as "Parental Guidance" alongside Billy Crystal, Bette Midler and Marisa Tomei, and "Break Point" alongside Jeremy Sisto and David Walton. What films, television or VO projects should we be watching for you in next?
I'm focusing on my three shows in the Disney family ("Andi Mack", "The Lion Guard", "Star vs. the Forces of Evil") right now, as well as finishing up the final season of my Dreamworks/Netflix show ("Adventures of Puss in Boots")
I read that you a passion for cars and could name the make and model of many styles of cars at just 2 ½ years old and were featured on the news. What are some of your other hobbies and interests outside of acting, and how do you balance school, friends and family with your successful career? Do you have any charities you are passionate about?
My biggest hobby right now is reading the news! I read and listen to the news about 3 hours per day. I carry bluetooth earbuds where I have CNN streaming 24/7. I read the Atlantic, New York Times, Washington Post, and a few others daily, and I watch cable news probably an unhealthy amount. It's not easy to balance my school, friends, and family, but something really important to me is a strong calendar. Every minute of my day from 6 am to midnight is scheduled out, and I try to give every part of my life as much time as I can, even if it means combining time with friends with work time. For example, Sofia and I work together on lines almost every night but at the same time we play poker and pool. We have to keep it fun!
What advice would you give our readers that are interested in pursuing a career in the entertainment industry?
It's hard but having the right people behind you makes it easier. Get an agent or manager and a coach who is behind you, and who will really help you put the right foot forwards. And always remember this: out of 100 auditions, sometimes you will only book one role. So don't get discouraged if you don't get a callback!