Monday, September 8, 2014
EXCLUSIVE Actor Spotlight: The Thunderman's Kira Kosarin
We recently had the honor to interview Kira on her acting career. Here is what she had to say.
When did you start acting?
My mom was a Broadway actress/singer/dancer, and my dad was a music director, so I grew up around theater and always loved performing. I did every school play I could find when I was a kid and planned on pursuing musical theater. When I was 11, I took an on-camera acting workshop in my then hometown of Boca Raton, Florida and fell in love with it. I came out to California to give the business a try, and four years later I’m still here. My parents were super supportive, which really made it all possible.
Was it your dream to be an actress?
I always, always loved performing. Funny enough, I absolutely loved watching Nickelodeon growing up and I idolized the actresses on the network. I used to dream about meeting Victoria Justice or Miranda Cosgrove. When I started acting, the first thing I dreamt of was to have a Nickelodeon show. It’s so surreal to truly be living my childhood dreams.
Are there challenges pursuing an acting career?
It’s definitely hard. The decision to move across the country and start a new life was terrifying in itself. I remember being scared of the little things, like finding a new ballet school I liked or leaving my gymnastics friends. There’s also a lot of rejection in this business, which can be really hard. I had to learn how to pick myself up and continue working harder and harder after each job I didn’t get. It really taught me a lot about hard work; every single bit of work paid off and I’m so grateful now to be where I am today.
What was your first acting job, tell us about it?
A few months after I moved out to California, I booked a pilot presentation called “Today’s Tiaras,” where I played a modern day 12-year-old version of Snow White. I learned so much on that set. Then I did a short piece on Funny or Die with Chloe Grace Moretz, followed by my first television job—a small guest starring role on “Shake it Up.” I was so nervous to be on the set of a show I watched on television all the time. After that, it was lots and lots of auditioning until I finally booked “Thundermans.” When I found out I booked that, I was so happy I cried right in the middle of a restaurant. It’s been an amazing four years and I love working on “Thundermans.”
You play Phoebe Thunderman on the Nickelodeon series 'The Thundermans' tell us about your character?
Phoebe is your typical teenage girl in most ways, with good grades, a quick wit, and an annoying brother, but most importantly, and not so typically, she has a bunch of superpowers, like freeze breath and telekinesis. She’s mature and usually the good girl, but pushes the boundaries a tad and messes up and gets in trouble every once in a while, which I love. Perfect is boring!
Are you like your character on 'The Thundermans' in real life?
We’re similar in quite a few ways, which isn’t exactly a coincidence. When the show started out, we had a few things in common: we both like math more than any other subject, we’re a little sarcastic, and try to be as mature as possible. Since then, the writers have written my character to be even more like me. Phoebe and I are both a little (okay, a lot) clumsy, we both sing, and we’re both ballerinas. We kind of inform each other. Phoebe acts like me and I learn from Phoebe.
Tell us what relationship you have with the other cast members?
My cast is my second family. Of the four of us kids, three of us are only children, and Jack’s siblings are half-siblings that are much older. We’ve all attached to each other as siblings; we take care of each other, we love each other, and sometimes we drive each other a little crazy. All in all, we’re a really close set, which makes the job a whole lot more fun.
Are they easy to work with?
For the most part, yes! Of course it gets hard now and then. Addison and Diego are only 10 and 12, and they work adult hours and have adult responsibilities. They are absolutely amazing, even if it does get hard now and then when they have to stay still for 10 hours at a time. They really do constantly impress me with their maturity, though, and I love them so much. Jack is also really fun to work with, especially since we’ve been friends for four years now. He is completely and totally the brother I never had.
What do fans have to look forward to in future episodes of 'The Thundermans'?
Second season has so many exciting episodes! We have special guest stars like MKTO, brand new sets, and a bunch of new cast members. Phoebe gets new crushes and Jack gets a band and some friends. We also have some really awesome special event episodes. I can’t wait to share the episodes with everyone. We had so much fun making them and are really proud of them.
'The Thundermans' has had two seasons for fans to enjoy. What are some of your favorite episodes so far?
Funny enough, most of my favorite episodes are in Season 2. There’s one in particular where Phoebe tries to act like a bad girl to impress a guy. I had so much fun playing with hair and makeup and clothes to be punk rock, and the episode itself was really fun to shoot. The Christmas special we just shot is also really cool.
Do you ever watch episodes of 'The Thundermans'?
I always watch the episodes, mainly to see how the special effects turn out. Most of our special effects are done with CGI (computer-generated-imagery), so I love seeing that. Also, quite honestly, I spent a lot of time looking up to the teenage actresses on Nick as a kid, and it’s still really exciting and surreal to see myself added to that group. Every once in a while I’ll turn the TV on and see my face or hear my voice and it still freaks me out a little!
If so, is it weird seeing yourself on TV?
It’s so weird! Every once in a while I kind of get used to it, and I just have to remind myself how amazing it is, and then it’s exciting and crazy all over again.
What does the cast do to get ready for scenes?
We do speed reads in hair and makeup, where we try to recite the scene as quickly as possible without looking at the script to make sure we know the lines.
Besides 'The Thundermans', are you working on any new projects?
Maybe… That’s classified. I’m kidding of course, but in all seriousness, the next few months hold some really exciting stuff. I can’t wait to share with everyone.
Do you have any advice for those wanting to start a career in acting?
Find yourself a class and find your strengths, weaknesses, and what you enjoy. Make sure you understand what the career entails, including the hard work that goes along with the fun. Most importantly, make sure you’re prepared, so when the opportunity arises, you’re not caught unprepared.
What do you hope your fans can take away from your acting?
A smile. I definitely enjoy doing a good dramatic scene now and then, but my favorite part of acting, by far, is being able to make people laugh and smile. I love when a show or film can make me forget about the stresses of life and just smile for a while, and my goal is to do that for others.
It's hard to find free time while busy on projects. When you do have free time, how do you spend it?
I have very little free time, but when I do, I usually spend it dancing, singing, or being with friends. I love writing music on piano and guitar. Also, the whole Nickelodeon family is really tight, so we hang out a lot since we have very similar schedules.
Do you have a family and friends that supports your acting?
My family is so unbelievably supportive. They made sure I was able to have a normal childhood before attempting to pursue a career, and once we made the decision to try to work, they were so supportive. They encouraged me through it all and are still so amazing.
Who inspires you with your acting?
I find inspiration from lots of places, but I especially admire some great comediennes. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler are definitely on the list.
What do you hope to accomplish with your acting?
I want to have variety in my career and try my hand at as many facets of performing as possible. I want to do films, theater, sketch comedy, and hopefully more television. Quite honestly, I have no idea what’s coming next, but I’m okay with that. This journey is amazing, and I just hope I can continue to explore this crazy dream I’m living.
Is it hard for you to remember your lines? How do you remember them?
Not really. We rehearse an episode for a week before shooting it, so by the time we shoot, I usually have it down. I’m lucky enough to have a pretty good memorizing ability, which makes it a lot easier.
Are you passionate about any charities, if so, why?
I’m currently involved with an amazing charity called Camp Del Corazon. It’s a camp for kids with heart disease. All the counselors are trained nurses, and the camp gives a normal, fun experience to these amazing kids who go through so many struggles no kid should have to go through. It was founded by our neighbor, and when she told me and my parents about it, we absolutely loved it and wanted to help in any way possible.
Is education important to you?
Education has always been hugely important to me. I skipped two grades when I was younger, ended up starting high school at 12-years-old, and graduating as class valedictorian at 16. I was so nervous to give my valedictorian speech, which was really ironic; somehow I don’t get nervous to perform on live television, but I was nervous to speak in front of a couple hundred good friends! Go figure.
Do you have any other talents?
My main passion outside of acting and singing is dance. I’ve done ballet, hip hop, contemporary, and lyrical for quite a while, and I love it. It’s hard to dance as often as I used to while working on the show, but I try to go whenever I can to keep it up. I also play five instruments, so I love music. I always joke that, in my house, everyone speaks two languages fluently: English and music!
Is there anything else you what our readers to know about yourself and acting?
I want everyone reading to know that even a dream that seems ridiculous and out of reach can happen. When I was 9, I said, “I’d so love to be on television, but that could never happen. That’s crazy!” Here we are almost 8 years later and I’m so grateful to be living my dreams, so don’t ever discount yourself. You can accomplish some pretty amazing things with enough hard work and dedication. Fill your life with things you’re passionate about and kick some butt!
We can't wait to see Kira and the rest of the cast new episodes of 'The Thundermans' on Nickelodeon. You can follow Kira on Twitter by clicking here.