We interviewed actress Isabela Moner who stars as CJ Martin in one of our favorite Nickelodeon shows, "100 Things to Do Before High School."
How do you feel about your new series?
I'm really excited. I've never been the lead of the TV show on Nickelodeon. So this is awesome.
What inspired you to get into acting?
I was inspired by really old-fashioned actresses like Judy Garland and Shirley Temple. Have you guys heard of them? Well, I watched their movies and I wanted to be in "The Wizard of Oz," the musical. So I started in community theater and I was a munchkin. I was, like, 6 years old.
Do you have any family members in show business that encouraged you to take on this career?
I definitely have family members that encouraged me to take on this career. Not any of them are in show business, but, yeah, my Mom really supports me and my Dad and my brothers. They visit me all the time on set and we really have a great time together.
How many siblings do you have?
I have two siblings. One older brother and one younger brother. I am from Cleveland, Ohio and I still live there. I kind of go back and forth all the time because I want to go back to my friends.
How do you remember your lines?
I'd like to think I have a little bit of a photographic memory, so when I look at things I kind of just remember them. It's not that difficult, but I make sure to run through my lines every night before I go on set so that I know them and I'm prepared.
Are you going to continue your career acting when you are older?
I want to. I want to continue acting for the rest of my life, but at one point I may have to retire, but I might consider teaching people. That would be fun.
Did acting come naturally to you or do you need some time to become acquainted with the other people around you before you can perform?
That's a really good question. Acting was a little difficult for me at first. Because you really need to be comfortable and really into the character. Like you have to get to know your character. Like a new person in your life. So CJ wasn't, I think I'm really like CJ so I don't think it was that hard to get into character. She really has taught me to be a better person. So she goes for what she wants. She's really happy and nice all the time no matter how mean someone is to her because she knows if you do good things, good things will happen to you.
How did it feel to be on the production of "Evita" on Broadway at the age of 10?
Oh, you did your research. It was so amazing. It was actually here right around the corner from this building where I did the show. At 10 years old, it was just amazing, I remember getting the call and my manager called me and he was, like, 'Where are you?' I was, 'I'm on Broadway and 42nd.' He's, like, 'Good, because that's where you're going to be for the Broadway show you're going to be doing next year.'
Out of all the characters that you've been, which character are you most like?
I think CJ. I think I could relate to her the most. At one point I was Wendy in Peter Pan, it was like a different version of Peter Pan, it was called "Fly." And I think the Wendy there was a little bit more like me, but CJ out of all of them I could relate to.
What's your favorite hobby?
Dancing and singing. I also like writing music too.
What do you prefer acting on stage or being on a TV show?
That's a tough question. They're both so different. Like, being on stage you have an audience reacting to what you're saying and doing, but on TV you don't hear anyone. So you don't know how to act, and the camera is really up to your face. So they could watch your every movement, like if you twitch your nose or blink at the wrong spot. I don't know if I could choose between the two.
What was your favorite Nickelodeon show when you were a kid?
I really liked "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide." I also liked "iCarly" and "Drake & Josh."
Are there any negatives about being an actress?
Depends. If you're a really successful actress, you're going to have fans, which is awesome, but you also might have some hate and you also might sometimes [get] a lot of attention you don't really want or you find necessary. But negatives, yeah, I think that's it. Positives, you get to do what you love everyday and it's just awesome. Like, I'm going to New York for this. This is awesome. I miss New York and I get to go to L.A. I get to live there, and it's just a dream come true.
What are your tips for people who want to be an actress like you?
I'd say that you should just go for it, and if you want to be a really good actor, make it your own character. Definitely, just don't go off of other people who try to be other people. Just be yourself because that's original. That's you. No one else in the world is like you. You make it your own, then that's even better.
What's your favorite show?
That's so hard. I like "Once Upon A Time" on ABC. I really like ABC because I watch "Modern Family," I watch "The Goldbergs." I love all of the shows.
Who do you want to be a guest star on your show?
That's a hard question. I would say, the other day I was thinking, maybe Ned from "Declassified School Survivor Guide." Our tutor taught him in the show and he sent him a video of me saying, hey I'd like you to visit set one day. And he sent me a video back, and he was, like, yeah I accept that invitation. I hope he gets to guest-star and becomes friends with CJ. It would be so cool.
What's the best thing about acting?
I'd say craft services on set. You get to eat so much food . . . no. I think, like, being an actress you can have fun and make the character your own and then also you get to work with other people. too. Acting has taught a lot about myself. It actually requires a lot of intelligence and knowledge about a lot of things because you have to be aware of certain concepts that you're put in. Let's say your character just got kidnapped or something. How am I supposed to relate to that? So you got to have a lot of knowledge about things, how you feel about certain things.
Do you like it when others do you hair or makeup or do you do it yourself?
I attempt to do my hair and makeup. I am not as good as some of the people who have done my hair and makeup. Having my hair and makeup done makes you feel like a diva. It's a nice treat on the side.
Do you like to get recognized in public?
I love it, actually. I love seeing people's reactions. If they notice me, it's just so adorable, and I have the greatest encounters with people that have noticed me from the show.