We met actress Daniella Perkins, who stars as Ciara on one of our favorite Nickelodeon shows, “Knight Squad,” while she was in Manhattan recently.
What is it like playing Ciara on “Knight Squad”?
Playing Ciara, it’s really fun because, you guys know, she’s the princess. You know, us girls, we gotta show the world who’s boss. I feel like it’s really cool and she’s very funny, too, at the same time. So she’s not too serious, but she can take power, and I feel like it’s really cool.
How do you like being a princess?
Would you guys like to be princesses? It’s everything you dream of, guys. It’s a lot of fun because you get to wear crowns and dresses and everything, and you just get to be a princess.
When did you start acting?
I started acting when I was about 15, so I’ve been acting for four years. I used to be in musical theater. I love performing. I used to be really shy, though. Growing up I was kind of quiet. And then I just broke out of my shell and I started musical theater. And after that I was like, “Oh, my gosh, I can actually be an actor.” I started auditioning and I booked my job, and that’s how it happened.
What is your favorite episode on “Knight Squad”?
My favorite episode that’s out would be whenever it is when we have guest stars. So, have you guys seen Kira [Kosarinon] from “The Thundermans”? I love that episode. I think that was really funny because I love Kira, she’s one of my very good friends. And Jack [Griffo]. Those are my two favorite episodes, just because having guest stars is always fun because you’re always with the same cast, but when new people come in, it’s kind of like different experiences. My favorite ones, though, are towards the end of the season and aren’t out yet, but they will be coming out.
Do you like playing a mean role?
Yes, I do . . . I really think it’s cool because you know, being like a mixed girl and everything, to be able to land a leading role and be able to show diversity for everyone out there and be like, hey, you can do it. And especially being a girl, and she’s very powerful. So I feel like it’s sending out a very good message, especially nowadays because I don’t know if you guys know everything that’s going on in the entertainment business, but all these girls are taking over. We’re here and we’re boss, and I feel like I’m kind of part of that movement, so it’s really cool.
Who is your role model?
I would say my mom is because she taught me to always make the best out of situations, and if you put out good vibes and think good and you stay on track of what you want to do in your life, that’s going to happen. I feel like that’s really set my way and my career so far. And she’s just an amazing person.
Do you like in the show having parents from different countries?
Yeah, in the show it’s only my dad, but we’re from Astoria, so it’s kind of like, we don’t say it’s like a magical land, but you know how it is. I don’t know where my mom is in the show, but yeah, having my dad is very fun. He’s very cool and he’s kind of goofy, right? He’s very goofy. I feel like I’m the mom. I feel like I’m his mom in the show. I’m like, "Dad, no. Bad." He would say, "Sorry."
How would you describe yourself?
I would say I’m very — some people could call it quirky. I don’t know; I’m very out there. Sometimes I’m very loud or I’m very goofy to make weird dances and do all this stuff in public. It just depends on the mood. You know how it goes, you just feel a little different sometimes, like today I’m going to be funny. It depends.
Do you believe Ciara will eventually tell her friends that she is a princess in the season finale?
That is a good one. There are a lot of secrets that do eventually come out. We don’t know yet. So you’re going to have to watch till the end of the season. I’ll say this: It gets harder for Ciara to keep the secret. Does that make sense? Because people start questioning where she goes and all this stuff.
Do you choose your makeup or do the set workers?
When I am the princess, they choose what dress I’m wearing. We go based on the eye shadow if I’m wearing the purple dress or a green dress. We keep it a little bit more mild. But she does wear more makeup than Ciara because she’s a princess and she wears lip gloss, and Ciara is more like, get to work. I don’t really choose it, but I have a say if I think it should be a little bit more of something, or like, can we use this color. I choose my nails, though. I always have my nails done in every episode. No one probably pays attention, but that’s my thing. I’m like, I’m going to have this color nails this episode.
Other than acting, is there anything else you are passionate about?
I want to be a director, directing and fashion. That’s what I would probably be doing. Well, I’m going to do it, even though I’m an actor. But that is what I want to do for my career.
Have families or organizers contacted you thanking you for promoting biracial families?
Definitely, yes. Moms would come up to me and say, Oh, thank you so much for being this role model for my daughter because when I was growing up, when I was younger— like, a little younger than you guys — I never saw a girl who was the lead in a show and was mixed or anything. I saw girls who were in the show, but it was never her show. And definitely never a powerful role, too.
When you’re not acting or doing social media, what do you do for fun?
I feel like I’m always showing something. See, I have my own camera right here. Even when I’m not in front of cameras, I’m always filming myself. I just love entertaining. Does that make sense? If I’m not working on something, I feel very bored. For me personally, just keeping myself motivated, even if I’m not on set, I like to stay filming something. I just film my YouTube videos, get them out there, still entertain.
Diana Talamo’s fourth-grade class, St. Martin de Porres Marianist School, Uniondale