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.
Break-out Nickelodeon star Alex Hook dishes about her new series I Am Frankie, and filming on hectic 12 hour days
Break-out 15 year old actress Alex Hook dishes about her starring role on Nickelodeon's new series I Am Frankie, and filming on hectic 12 hour days. Also Alex gives us advice for up-coming teen actors.
Congratulations on your new Nickelodeon series "I Am Frankie" that debuted this past September 11th which, is about a teenage android attempting to pass herself off as a normal school girl. Can you take us through your audition process for Frankie Gaines, and do you remember what you were doing when you got the role?
The audition process took about 3 months, end of August to beginning of November. I first auditioned with a self tape that contained two different versions of the script. This gave the casting directors an idea of multiple ways that Frankie can be portrayed. I then got a callback a few weeks later with a new set of lines to be read. Once these were sent in and watched, I was asked to fly down to Miami for what they call a producers session in early November. This was my final audition for the character so I knew I had to give it my all.
I remember leaving pretty confident as I was the last one called into the room, all that was left, was to wait. I got the call on a Friday at the end of school. I was in the hall with my best friend and while I was on the phone with a huge smile on my face, she knew what I was about to say. We both freaked out and I have to admit, we cried haha:) that has to be one of the best moments of my life!
I was quite interested to learn the series "I Am Frankie" is actually the first global series to be produced at the new Viacom International Studio in Miami, Florida. What does a typical day on-set look like, and can you describe the character of Frankie Gaines?
Yes it is very exciting for both the IAF cast and Viacom, we were stoked to be the first one! A typical day on set is pretty hectic haha. My day starts early, around 7am and finishes 12 hours later, 7pm. In those 12 hours, I film, eat and “go to school” (basically just a small room in the building with a desk and chairs). But our daily schedules were very organized, I knew where I had to be at exactly what time, of course with some help from my talent coordinators. They brought me to and from the set making stops at my dressing room, wardrobe and hair and makeup.
All in all, there’s no time for resting, I was always on the move. Frankie Gaines is a teen android who must keep her secret. Yet this whole “secret keeping” is new to someone who was just created recently by her mom. Frankie is very literal and takes all of the high school slang very seriously. It takes some time to learn, but that’s what she’s all about. Frankie learns something new everyday, wether it’s about her crush cole, or best friend Dayton. Frankie is definitely quite the character, yet slowly but surely she learns to be a typical teenager, just with a little secret.
I think our readers would be very interested to learn that you're actually Canadian having been born in Toronto and, first booking commercials with The Family Channel. How did you first get started acting, and were your parents very active in the early stages of your career?
I was born in Toronto in 2001 and lived 6 years of my life there. When I moved to Kingston, this made auditioning a little more difficult because of the distance from the big city, 2 and a half hours. Because of this long drive, my parents had to be very active in my career. I can’t thank them enough, especially my mom who was the designated “acting mom” haha. My mom was the one who introduced me to the industry when I first moved to Kingston. I signed up with a theatre group that did plays, but I soon realized that I wanted to pursue more of a film and television style.
My mom took me to and from each and every one of my auditions, yet some were self tape making things a little easier. But because of my whole family’s commitment and effort put into all that I do, getting the part is always a huge accomplishment for all of us. Even a small commercial is totally worth the long drives, and multiple rejections. To this day, my parents are still extremely supportive with what I do and love that I get to live my dream.
I'm interested to learn more about your co-stars Carson Rowland and, Kyson Facer who both play Frankie's love interests in "I Am Frankie." Can you tell us some more about their characters and, do you guys hang-out offset?
Kyson’s character Andrew is the bad boy of the show. He’s more rebellious and outgoing, yet he develops feelings for Frankie that create conflict between him and Cole. Cole Reyes on the other hand just wants to impress Frankie. He’s more of the good boy and fun loving. Frankie has a little bit of butterflies when it comes to Cole but Andrew also gives her this feeling of connection. Kyson and Carson play these boys very well and we’re just as close on set as we are off. The whole cast loved to hangout, wether it’s going downtown, out for dinner, or shopping, we’re always having a good time. Kyson, Carson and I always have a blast and still to this day keep in touch over social media. Even though we live in different countries, we always make sure to check up on each other and see how things are doing:)
You've been doing a lot of promotion for "I Am Frankie" since the series premiered on Nickelodeon. At just 15 years old how do balance school with your acting responsibilities?
While I was on set, school was made easy since we had tutors available and a classroom in the building. Although I still have to do some press and travel to advertise for the show, I would only ever miss a couple days at a time. This makes it easy to stay on top of my work as I will bring some homework with me. Whenever I am free, I can read my book, do some math, or whatever else is asked of me. As much as we all dread school, is has to be done, but Nickelodeon luckily makes it easy for me to stay on top of things.
What advice would you give teens looking to break into acting?
Acting is an industry that takes a lot of commitment, and anyone looking to pursue it has to be willing to put in the time and effort. Although it may be a lot of work, it is one of the most rewarding jobs you could probably have. The experience on set is incredible, along with the opportunity to meet wonderful people that could end up being some of your best friends. Yet all of this doesn’t happen overnight, it all takes time and of course an open mind.
You have to be willing to take some courses and get in some practice before auditioning for big roles. Of course, you will never get them all, but that’s not something that should be taken personally. An actor could be rejected simply because of their height or other uncontrollable factors. All you can do is keep your head up and get ready for the next one. I can assure you that with a little bit of effort, a positive attitude, and maybe some luck, you can accomplish pretty much anything.
I'm sure the filming schedule for "I Am Frankie", keeps you pretty busy so when your not on-set can you tell us what you like to do for fun?
Yes filming always kept me on my toes. But when I’m not on set I love to go out with friends or family, and either hangout downtown, or go to the movies, or get food etc. I’m also pretty athletic as I love to play sports like hockey, soccer and volleyball. Not only do I enjoy team sports, but whenever I go to my family cottage in the summer, I always have an amazing time. We go tubing, water skiing, swimming, knee boarding, wake boarding, hiking and much, much more.
Hanging out at the cottage with family is never a boring time that’s for sure. But sometimes, I just need to chill at home and relax. If I’ve been on my feet all day or have been busy with sports, i will never turn down a day designated to sitting on the couch and watching tv. Then again, who would ever turn that down haha.
Watch full episodes of I Am Frankie on Nickelodeon.com
Follow Alex Hook on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
School of Rock's Lance Lim talks about hit Nickelodeon TV series, and filming Independence Day: Resurgence
School of Rock's Lance Lim talks exclusively about his hit Nickelodeon TV series, and filming Independence Day: Resurgence. Also Lance shares details about the animated feature film Duck Duck Goose.
Congratulations on playing Zack on the Emmy nominated series "School of Rock!" So exciting! Tell us what some of your favorite on set experiences have been on the show for the past two seasons and the upcoming third season.
Gosh! This is such a hard question to answer! We have countless memories on set that were too good. I think one of my favorites would be whenever we all get on a stunt pad and just lay down and talk. It usually happens in between scenes but it's just the most layed back feeling.
You play the lead guitarist and get to perform on the show! Do you play other instruments? Did you do anything special to prepare for the role and what are some of the similarities and differences between you and Zack?
I picked up the drums recently and love it! I watched the original movie for research purposes but nothing in particular for the role. The funny thing about me and Zack is that we're so different which is what makes playing him all the more fun! The only similarity I can find is our love for guitar.
What was the audition process for the role of Zack and what is a typical day on the set of "School of Rock?"
It was about a 3-month process. I went in originally and then the casting office changed and I had to go in again, and then chemistry reads and a network test. A typical day would be arriving on set heading to hair and make-up, then go to school, go on set and start shooting!
You were in the hit blockbuster "Independence Day: Resurgence." Is there more pressure being in a sequel to such an iconic film? The films bring a sense of optimism for the future in a very Sci-fi way. Do you think it would take an alien invasion to unite our current world?
I think there's always a feeling of pressure to any sequel, but the first Independence Day was one of the most iconic alien movies so, yes but I think it turned out great! I think an alien invasion would definitely unite our world, but hopefully it doesn't take an invasion to do that.
Not only do you play guitar on "School of Rock" but you also play and sing covers such as "Treat You Better" by Shawn Mendes, "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" by Frankie Valli, and "Like I'm Gonna Lose You" by Megan Trainor and John Legend! Are you writing your own songs and possibly working on an album? If so, what is your creative process for creating your songs?
I actually am working on some solo music so stay tuned! I think for me, I tend to write my music best at night when I'm in my feels.
The animated film "Duck Duck Goose" is to be released in April of 2018 and it stars you alongside Zendaya and many other A-listers. Can you tell us a little bit about the film and your character, 'Chao'?
This film is about a goose who loses his flock during migration, and ends up finding these two ducklings who also lost their flocks, and end up building an unusual bond with each other and end up becoming a family. Chao is one of the two main ducklings, he's the younger brother of Chi (played by Zendaya) and he's this small fat duckling, who happens to always be hungry and happy. He's basically just a cute little fur ball.
The next season of "School of Rock" and "Duck Duck Goose" are both set to be released in 2018. What projects should we expect to see you in next? Do you have any dream roles you'd love to play? Any dream musical collaborations?
Well, besides Duck Duck Goose, I am coming out in an indie film, called The Crossing. Yes, I say this all the time but I would love to play a serial killer. To be able to do something with John Mayer would be amazing. He's my music idol.
Watch full episodes of School of Rock on Nick.com
Follow Lance on Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on Youtube.