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On the cover About Grumpy Magazine is an international quarterly digital/print publication curated by Jasmine Perrier. Self-published from Paris since 2016, we aim at covering the cultural landscape across the world and sharing a genuine vision of life that get you out of your grumpy mood. More than just a magazine, we are interested in aesthetically pleasing a modern take on traditional staples and thus offering a unique book capturing thoughtful stories and stimulating sceneries.

Connect Website grumpymagazine.com Facebook Grumpy Magazine Twitter @grumpymagazine Instagram grumpymagazine YouTube Grumpy Magazine Email info@grumpymagazine.com Inbar Lavi by Raul Romo

Grumpy Team & Contributors

Special thanks

Publisher

Jasmine Perrier

Editor-in-chief

Jasmine Perrier

Design

Jasmine Perrier

Anissa Amalia, May He, Larissa Raquel, Lexie Alley, Kendra Powers, Evan Simonitsch, Shalev Lavan, Maya Yogev, Lisa & Tyler J, Veronica Graye, Masha Ossovskaya, Natalie Hoselton, Amanda Lim, Saulú Santana, Sarah Slutsky, Sonia Lee, Kerrie Urban, Sarah Uslan, Kristin Hilton, Grace Phillips, Kelsey Zahn, Kira Nasrat, Kara Bua, Andre Sarmiento, Jayme Kavanaugh, Dana Delaney, Dominique Diaz, Carly Walters Bethel, Richard Collins, Michael Dueñas, Aaron Light, Bobby Eliot, Matt Fugate, Lydia Sellers, Marcia Hamilton, Zach Coco, Alex Gracie, Marci Manklow, Genevieve Aitken, Deborah Gunther, Amanda Friedland at The Chromacabana, The Hollywood Hotel, Gail Thackray at Ranch Indian Springs, Brick House Studios LA, Casement Studio, LAvish Studios, ArtLab Photo Studio, imPRint, Justice & Ponder, Narrative, BWR Public Relations, Atlas Artists, Relevant PR, Viewpoint, Creative PR, The Wall Group, Forward Artists, Starworks Artists, The Visionnaries, Exclusive Artists, The Rex Agency, Tracey Mattingly Agency, Tomlinson Management Group, Crosby Carter Management

Illustrations

Eléa Weibel

Photography Raul Romo, Sami Drasin, Allegra Messina, Shanna Fisher, Ashley Frangie, Emily Sandifer, Storm Santos, Sela Shiloni, Maarten de Boer, Louis Patten Writers Thilda Riou, Parker Schug, Jasmine Perrier Join us team@grumpymagazine.com Submissions submissions@grumpymagazine.com grumpymagazine.com/submissions

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COVER I | MARIE AVGEROPOULOS WEARS MALAN BRETON BACK COVER I | MARIE AVGEROPOULOS WEARS DALOOD JACKET - ADI KARNI VAGT DRESS

COVER III | INBAR LAVI WEARS FARAH AL MESBAH DRESS BACK COVER III | INBAR LAVI WEARS RITA VINIERIS COAT

COVER II | TONY REVOLORI WEARS TOPMAN SHIRT - TED BAKER TROUSERS - ADIDAS SNEAKERS BACK COVER II | TONY REVOLORI WEARS SANDRO SHIRT ZEGNA T-SHIRT - TOPMAN TROUSERS - CONVERSE SHOES

COVER IV | VANESSA MARANO WEARS JOHANNA ORTIZ DRESS (SAKS FIFTH AVENUE BEVERLY HILLS) - ASTRID & MIYU + ADA DIAMONDS RINGS | LAURA MARANO WEARS TEATUM JONES DRESS - DAALARNA COUTURE BODYSUIT BACK COVER IV | VANESSA MARANO WEARS LE PIACENTINI DRESS - THE2BANDITS HORIZON CUFF GORJANA BRACELETS - ASTRID & MIYU + ADA DIAMONDS + UNCOMMON JAMES RINGS | LAURA MARANO WEARS MISS BIKINI DRESS - ADRIANNA PAPELL JEWELRY


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dear readers A

s the hot summer days are upon us, I am delighted to introduce our fourteenth issue which pre-celebrates the publication’s three year anniversary. Grumpy Magazine has been a project that remains very dear to my heart and if you feel how much I care about this magazine, then I will be fulfilled. I still have that whiteboard in my room with my notes and ideas for the very first issue I was planning on putting out in 2016, when I didn’t really know what kind of adventure I was throwing myself into. Let me tell you that nothing turned out the way I imagined, but the unexpected events are often the most surprising and rewarding.

Illustration by Eléa Weibel

Back when I was 18, I decided to move from my small hometown to Paris to start my new life as a student, leaving my family behind and preparing myself to face an unknown world. Today as I am writing this editor’s letter, I am officially graduated and couldn’t be more grateful for the last three years I have lived and all the people I have met along the way, which despite all the positive sides hasn’t been easy to handle both on a personal and professional point of view. I was attending class during the day, and then had to stay up late to work on diverse projects for the magazine which are the reasons why it became what it is today. Running a publication on your own is challenging, even more when you have to deal with the time difference. I shifted directions multiple times, made mistakes and questioned myself a lot, but at the end of the day it was so worth it. I learned to follow my gut, go out of my comfort zone and have more faith in me to dare taking risks to build myself up. Even if it doesn’t mean succeeding every time, that is fine because you grow as a person. Thus for our cover stories, I am beyond thrilled to feature four game-changing voices who trusted their instincts to reach their goals — Marie Avgeropoulos who has blown our minds away since 2014 with her portrayal of female warrior Octavia Blake on post-apocalyptic show The 100, Tony Revolori who, following his breakout role in Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel, kept taking his career in his own hands and can currently be seen in Spider-Man: Far From Home, Imposters’ actress and Lucifer’s newcomer Inbar Lavi who moved from Israel to America to make her dreams come true, and Laura and Vanessa Marano who are one of the pairs of sibling actors in Hollywood who joined their forces to carry a powerful storyline in their upcoming movie Saving Zoë. In this edition, I was able to check off a lot of names that inspired me to keep pushing forward and to work with people I have dreamt to connect with before even starting the magazine. Thank you for trusting me and giving a 21-year-old the tools and opportunities to keep driving through her dreams. Also a massive thank you to all the people who show so much love and support to Grumpy Magazine every day. Without you, I wouldn’t have the energy and passion to keep going and surpass myself to overcome the hardship coming my way. To all the dreamers out there, you can do it.

From Paris with love

Jasmine Perrier Founding editor-in-chief @jazzieperrier


Contents I S S U E N O . 1 4 FASHION 110

CONFINEMENT A series by Louis Patten

FEATURES 122

ALEX FITZALAN

128

NELL TIGER FEE

134

ERIN MORIARTY

140

JAKE MANLEY

146

AISHA DEE

152

AJ MICHALKA

158

JESSICA PARKER KENNEDY

On the impact of ‘‘The Society’’ and his new level of stardom

On ‘‘Too Old To Die Young’’ and mastering her craft

On the world of superheroes of ‘‘The Boys’’ and making passion her driving force

On taking risks to chase the big projects

On connecting to ‘‘The Bold Type’’ and not being the typical Australian girl next door

On turning her love for the arts into a profession and her music duo ‘‘Aly & AJ’’

On her run on ‘‘The Flash’’ and preparing herself for what comes next

COVER STORIES 164

MARIE AVGEROPOULOS

176

INBAR LAVI

188

TONY REVOLORI

1100

On her astonishing journey on ‘‘The 100’’ and supporting girl empowerment

On being ‘‘Lucifer’’ newcomer and making her American dream come true

On ‘‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’’ and taking his career in his own hands

VANESSA & LAURA MARANO

On joining their forces to make ‘‘Saving Zoë’’ and carrying a powerful storyline


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Confinement Photos by Louis Patten

confinement: state of being forced to stay in a place or situation

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MORPHED

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METAMORPHOSIS

Model Johannes Sasay-Wada

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ENLACED

Model Leah Designer Dardana

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DOODLE

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Artist Nikolai Smith

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Alex Fitzalan Words by Jasmine Perrier Styling by Veronica Graye

Grooming by Grace Phillips using Oribe / TraceyMattingly.com

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risbane native Alex Fiztalan was set to break out in a Netflix sensation we didn’t see coming. He describes us how strange it was for him, when fans recognized him while he was staying in Rome in June. When we caught up with him over the phone, he was in the middle of a trip in Europe. He explains he was invited in Milan for the Fashion Week, and then was planning on visiting Paris and trying out the traditional French food. The Australian actor is one of the leading figures of Netflix’s compelling new drama The Society which came out last May 10th, and he is surprisingly calm about everything that came with that and his new level of stardom.

Hailing from the Gold Coast in Australia, Alex Fitzalan was raised in Sydney and Brisbane. Growing up, he found himself

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Photos by Ashley Frangie

an interest in the film industry at an early age. But it wasn’t until his twenties that he finally decided to try his luck as a professional actor. ‘‘Where I grew up was really rude. I remember I was bullied for wanting to be an actor when I was in grade 7. So I buried that dream deep inside myself,’’ he reveals. ‘‘Then when I was 20, I started doing commercials again and I realized how much I loved it and how much fun I could have with it.’’ Before becoming a full-time actor in the United States, Alex was studying at university in his native country, but it didn’t prevent him from falling more and more in love with acting. ‘‘I couldn’t make up my mind what to study. I started with law and I did that for three and a half years. Then I took six months off, I came back and I


(left) Shirt Brixton - (right) Shirt H&M

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started marketing,’’ he mentions. After graduating from his marketing degree, it was time for him and his dreams to move from Brisbane to America. For the Australian actor, The Society couldn’t come at a better time at that stage of his career. ‘‘I was auditioning for a lot of things. It was a really hard time as well because I had finished a movie a while ago. This one came through and I auditioned for it. It wasn’t until this show came around that I worked again and I was in Boston,’’ he shares. ‘‘I remember in that first audition, I went to a room and it just felt really easy. I felt quite connected to the material and then I went back in, like two or three more times with the showrunner Chris [Keyser]. That’s when I was like: something is up, they are definitely interested. It was such a lovely feeling to get something that you are connected to and that you could do a really great job in.’’ The Society became one of the breakout teen shows of the year when it premiered in May. The story follows a group of high schoolers who are mysteriously transported to a nearly exact replica of their Connecticut town named West Ham, but after returning home, they find out the other residents including their parents are missing. Therefore, the plot leads the students to organize themselves and decide who is in charge, in addition to making life and death decisions. Alex portrays Harry, a teenage boy coming from a rich family who aims at being one of the leaders, although he also has some deep-seated demons he has to overcome. ‘‘I think the hardest stuff came at the end of the shoot. I knew it was coming so I prepared for it,’’ Alex confesses, referring to his character’s darker scenes where we see him suffering from depression and an opioid addiction. ‘‘If we want to represent this on a scale like this for an audience of this size around the world, it has to be done right. So I’ve read all about the symptoms that occur when someone is suffering from it. It’s a really scary drug that we get addicted to within less than a month, and become dependent of. Then if you stop taking it, there is a scene in the show that depicts that and I felt like I had to do it right. I think we did.’’ Although we don’t know yet if The Society will come back for a season 2, there is for sure more to deepen and develop on this topic. ‘‘There wasn’t too much of it in this season because it was more focused on politics and who was going to lead, but I think if we are going for a season 2, there would be more focus on that.’’

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(left) Shirt Brixton - (right) Shirt Brixton

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Jacket Brixton - Shirt Brixton - Pants H&M - Shoes Converse

With his charisma, Alex is both striking and remarkable. Combined with his captivating screen presence, we understand why he is a fan favorite. Aside of having fans of the show coming across him in the street and a social media following growing everyday, Alex states that not much has changed for him since the show came out. ‘‘There are a few things in my career that I noticed different. But in terms of my personal life, everything has stayed the same. I’m really grateful for that,’’ he underlines. His biggest takeaway from The Society, Alex expresses, is gratitude and learning about how to make a film or a TV show. ‘‘I learned so much about what it is to be an actor, what it is to be a cinematographer, what it is to be a director, about every other department that goes into making a movie. I have so much respect for that movie making process.’’ Even though he spends a lot of time far from home, Alex is strongly supported by his family and actor friends who are able to understand why they need to be in Los Angeles. ‘’My mom has been incredibly

supportive. Whenever I need her, she is there. It’s hard to live so far away from her. But whenever I’m down, she is there. I couldn’t have done it without her and also my friends that I’ve met all this year. They are actors as well so they understand what it’s like to be so far away from home because they are from Brisbane, Australia. I’m just very lucky with the people that I surround myself with.’’ Now that his career is taking a new bright turn, Alex affirms that he is ready for every opportunity that comes his way while being committed to educating people with films. ‘‘I have been asked that question quite a few times, and I haven’t been able to come up with an answer because there is just so much out there, that I think I would want to do,’’ he replies when being asked about the goals he would like to accomplish. ‘‘I just love being on set, I love making films, but there are specific things that I do look for, and that’s if the people who are making this project care about what they are doing. I think that it has to mean something as well. It has to have some heart or message, it’s not just entertainment for entertainment.’’

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Nell Tiger Free Words by Jasmine Perrier

Photos by Emily Sandifer

Styling by Natalie Hoselton Hair by Bobby Eliot

Assisted by Marci Manklow

Makeup by Kara Bua

Location Casement Studio

‘‘ It was never really the plan to get into acting. But when I started, I realized I don’t think I could do anything else’’

I

t was a warm day in London when Nell Tiger Free spoke to us over the phone. About a week before, we played with her cheerful personality and flowers on our shoot in Los Angeles where also takes place her series Too Old To Die Young which premiered last June 14th on Amazon. Mastering her craft alongside some of the big names in the entertainment world, the young British star who will celebrate her 20th birthday this fall is just getting started.

Nell was 11, when she was scouted and got into acting. ‘‘It was never really the plan to get into acting,’’ she confesses. ‘‘But when I started, I realized I don’t think I could do anything else, I loved it very much and it never stopped which I’m very lucky.’’ What she considers as her very first acting job was a Christmas movie called Mr Stink

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Dress Gucci Earrings Zoe Chicco & Eriness Ring Eriness

based on the novel of the same name by David Walliams, which aired on BBC One in 2012. ‘‘It was my first proper job where I had a line,’’ Nell tells. ‘‘I had an amazing teacher when I was 12, one of the actors Hugh Bonneville on Mr Stink. He taught me how to act so luckily I felt like I had that crutch to lean on.’’ As she made her mark in the acting industry, Nell landed a role on HBO’s hit show Game of Thrones when she was 14 which allowed her to start gaining international exposure. ‘‘I celebrated my fifteenth birthday in Spain where we were filming,’’ she recalls. Nell was introduced in seasons 5 and 6 as young Myrcella Baratheon, who was secretly the daughter conceived by Lannister siblings Jaime (Nikolaj CosterWaldau) and Cersei (Lena Headey). Working on the most critically acclaimed fantasy


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drama television series, was for the teen actress a stepping stone to get a foothold in the acting industry and realize she could get serious with it. ‘‘At the time, it was quite surreal for me. It was such an enormous production and it was a lot to take on when I was younger,’’ she shares. Even though her experience on Game of Thrones was six years ago, it still has an impact on Nell’s life today as it’s a show people talk about constantly and take very seriously. ‘‘I’m 20 now and when people know about me and the show, and they speak me about it, they always talk like it’s real life,’’ she mentions. ‘‘They are like: how does it feel to be poisoned? I’m just: I don’t know, I’ve never been poisoned. People are still fascinated by it. Some think my name is Myrcella. It’s not, sorry to disappoint,’’ she laughs. Continuing her transition from a child actor to being a young woman in the acting industry, Nell joined Nicolas Winding Refn’s 10 episodes limited series for Amazon Too Old To Die Young which debuted at Cannes as the first streaming series to make it to the French festival, and it even received a 5-minute standing ovation. For Nell, being a part of Refn’s project was an opportunity

to take on more mature roles. Too Old to Die Young dives into an underworld which deals with the darkest human beings and tackles themes such as violence and death. It follows a bereaved police officer who, along with the man who killed his partner, ends up in that brutal world filled with blood and murders. ‘‘I loved the script and I loved the essence of the show, and the idea of diving into the criminal underworld of Los Angeles and see that world through the eyes of a school girl who shouldn’t necessarily be involved in it at all. Being able to work on it was definitely an interesting experience for me.’’ Nell portrays Janey Carter, a 17-year-old high schooler and billionaire’s teen daughter who has a shady secret relationship with an LA cop played by Miles Teller. ‘‘Janey was a role that I immediately became enamored with. She was a mystic child, dealing with a lot of adult things she shouldn’t necessarily be forced to deal with,’’ Nell says. ‘‘I loved Miles and I was really excited to work with him and Amazon was a great platform for me.’’ According to her, she had a lot of similarities with Janey which made it easier for her to understand her character and get

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‘‘ Never question your own instincts and stand by the things you want because instinct is the most important thing’’ onboard. ‘‘She reminded of me when I was younger,’’ Nell claims. ‘‘It’s difficult having to step outside yourself, and immerse yourself in something. But I resonated with her. She is a 17-year-old girl which I have been before and I just felt like she is misunderstood, and of course I’m an angsty teenager so I believe I’m always misunderstood,’’ she laughs. ‘‘It was hard for me to leave her and separate myself from that character. But it was easy for me to step into her shoes and see the world the way she does.’’ Nicolas Winding Refn is a unique voice in today’s cinema. Known for his highly stylized visual style, strong aesthetic, and iconic neon color schemes, it’s clear Too Old To Die Young is no exception to that. The story moves at a glacial pace, with characters pontificating on the nature of humanity and existence. ‘‘I feel like when you see the first episode, you immediately well understand how it’s like to work with him,’’ Nell expresses. ‘‘The first episode is very difficult to watch, and they are all quite hard to digest, you really have to put yourself through something to see it, because it’s a lot of brutal images.’’ With its 10 episodes that are ninety minutes each, Too Old To Die Young could be described more as an extended film. ‘‘I guess I approached it differently from anything else I’ve ever shot before because it’s something you really have to immerse yourself in. It was a long experience and originally Nicolas wanted to do everything chronologically so that we could get to know our characters and get to know everything that we were dealing with,’’ she reveals. ‘‘But it’s very helpful as an actor to start from the beginning and work through it.’’ Therefore for Nell, this experience was like staying on a rollercoaster. ‘‘Right before it goes you want to get off and you can’t so you have to push through it and it’s gonna be really rewarding when you get off. That’s how it felt, and that’s how I ended up into it.’’

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In addition to that, shooting Too Old To Die Young was Nell’s first time living away from her home in London and it was for sure challenging for her. ‘‘I would be lying if I said it was an easy task for me to undergo. I moved to a different country and I was away from my mom, my sister and my dad. You get thrown into this very tough situation, where you kind of have to fake it and pretend you know what you’re doing when you absolutely do not. I was hoping no one would find out that I was not meant to be there.’’ However, Nell admits she is now a much stronger woman. ‘‘I had to come up against some challenges emotionally and professionally in the show. I think I took away from that show to just never question your own instincts and to stand by the things you want because instinct is the most important thing I think as an actor, so just follow them and trust who you are.’’ Earlier this year, Nell also completed filming another show titled The Servant, an upcoming psychological thriller web television for Apple TV+ which is produced by M. Night Shyamalan who directed the first episode. Nell will star opposite Rupert Grint, Toby Kebbell, Tony Revolori and Lauren Ambrose as Leanne, a young nanny. Although she can’t tell much about this project, she says, ‘‘Expect the unexpected with The Servant.’’ Before concluding our chat, we talked about her aspirations for the future and music as her followers may have come across her musical videos on her Instagram page. Even though she is passionate about singing and writing, she explains right now she is focusing on acting. ‘‘I just hope people keep hiring me,’’ she laughs. ‘‘I love film and I love TV, I’m open to anything. I felt like I’m quite lucky that every job I’ve done since I was 11 has been different to one another. I hope to keep being able to play different people and step into the shoes of lots of different minds and people.’’


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Erin Moriarty Words by Parker Schug

Photos by Sela Shiloni

Makeup by Kira Nasrat

Hair by Aaron Light

Styling by Masha Ossovskaya Location Brick House Studios LA

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egimented Erin Moriarty has been working hard since a young age to find her place in the acting world. By spending a great portion of her time studying the art of acting as a teen and ultimately developing a love for this career path, she has found ample success. However, this is only the beginning for 24-year-old Erin being that she has an exciting project soon to be released, as well as many more in store for her future.

As a child, Erin’s father and her New York City lifestyle made it hard not to fall in love with acting. Following her parents’ divorce, she spent half of her time with her dad. ‘‘He’s a total cinephile,’’ Erin says. She described that through constantly watching movies, and learning about the different intricacies, she longed to become a part of this magic. ‘‘What preceded the desire to be an actress was to be some sort of creative that was involved with making movies. I wasn’t sure right away what position I wanted to play in that.’’ Erin’s draw to the acting world did not only lie in cinema. Growing up in what she described to be the ‘‘amazing, diverse, melting pot,’’ known as New York, she also found inspiration in live performance. ‘‘Originally my desires to act were mostly to be on Broadway, or in theater because that’s what we had access to.’’ In addition to the exposure that New York provided, Erin felt extremely fortunate to have many acting schools, and teachers in close proximity, giving her the ability to try many and attend the one best suited to her acting goals and abilities. One value that Erin did not lose sight of while pursuing an acting career was her education. ‘‘I just took as many of the quote-on-quote amateur theater jobs that I could take, for the experience of it, while also being able to stay in school and focus on my studies.’’

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While she was resentful towards her parents for not allowing her to drop everything and take up this career, she is now grateful that she had that experience. In regards to the performance field, Erin says, ‘‘It’s such an adult world, and I think if I had been thrust into it any earlier, it would have been premature and I would have been too young and easily influenced.’’

started finding more acting opportunities directed towards spreading awareness of current issues. In playing the character Hope Shlottman in the show Jessica Jones, Erin brought to light the issues of rape and abortion. Additionally, in her role as Lydia Link in Blood Father, Erin deals with issues of gang violence, addiction, and drug trafficking.

Following her studies, Erin began landing larger roles, one of which being Audrey in the series, True Detective. Erin’s character Audrey faced many adult issues at a young age, making this a very serious role for Erin to take on. However, she loved being a part of this series, not for the specific issues she’d be acting about, but for the fact that she had the opportunity to take on a role completely unlike her own personality. ‘‘I had never been able to play a role that was so dark before. She was textbook goth.’’

One project Erin had part in recently, was the film, The Miracle Season, a true story commemorating Caroline Found, a high school volleyball player who lost her life in a moped accident. Erin plays Kelly, Caroline’s best friend, who does everything in her power to honor the life of her best friend, and Caroline’s mother who passed shortly after her daughter’s death. ‘‘I felt really lucky to play that character, and be able to tell that story,’’ Erin says when asked about this experience. The plot takes viewers through the West High School Girls’ Volleyball season following the devastating loss of their teammate and friend. Being that this was such a sensitive topic, Erin did all that she could to ensure the purity of this film. Through this process, Erin got to know Kelly, the girl who she planned to portray, and in doing so made for a more positive environment. ‘‘I developed a relationship with her, kind of got her blessing in a way. It was a really fascinating experience, and an emotional one.’’

Acting in a role so out of her comfort zone gave Erin a sense of accomplishment. ‘‘When you’re playing characters that are similar to yourself, you haven’t totally proven to yourself that you can step it up and properly act.’’ Additionally, by playing Audrey, something unlike anything she had done before, more opportunities arose. ‘‘As soon as I played her, and was able to chanel a darker side of myself, it opened up the door for roles that were darker, and that I hadn’t perhaps been fit for before.’’ Another role Erin conquered was that of Whitney Bennett in the soap opera One Life to Live. Like in True Detective, Erin graced a role dealing with real life issues, and made it comprehensible, and enjoyable to watch. Being that this was one of her first jobs, Erin learned a tremendous amount about technique, and strategy when it comes to acting. ‘‘Soap operas are really intense, like acting bootcamp, in terms of filming schedules and receiving your lines the night before.’’ She worked non-stop to gain a better understanding of the career she was entering and it paid off. ‘‘It was exactly what I needed to prep me for the job, but doing it on a local level.’’ As soon as Erin had gained more confidence in her role as an actress, she

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As for what’s in store for Erin’s future, she has a lead role in the upcoming Amazon Series, The Boys, playing Starlight, also known as Annie January. In this thrilling take on the journeys of superheroes, and their behavior behind the scenes, Erin prevails as an empowered, unstoppable female, unwilling to be taken down by her opponents. ‘‘When you initially meet her, you just project a stereotype on her. She comes from the midwest, and is very earnest and she is innocent. She ends up defying everything that we expect of her and every stereotype box we put her in.’’ Through skilled acting, Erin convinces the audience that Starlight is capable of much more than they believe. ‘‘She’s always pursued a dream and the reality of that is that that dream is not what she expected, but it doesn’t defeat her. She ends up being stronger as a result of that reality.’’ This role


‘‘ I saw the way these strong female leads influenced me when I was a young woman, and I developed the desire to do the same for other young girls’’

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is extremely fitting for Erin, considering the courageous woman she has become. ‘‘I saw the way these really strong female leads influenced me when I was a young woman, and I developed the desire to do the same for other young girls. Playing a superhero is definitely a childhood dream being actualized.’’ In all of her undertakings on and off screen, Erin has learned a great deal. Whether those lessons are from her costars, or trial and error, Erin has taken each to heart. In describing her time spent filming The Miracle Season, Erin mentions, ‘‘Helen Hunt is absolutely incredible so it was surreal to work with her. She is such a lovely human being, so I kind of leap at the chance of working with and observing any actress of that caliber because you learn something just by working with them everyday.’’ Throughout her ongoing journey as an actress, Erin has also learned the importance of enjoying the process. ‘‘Being outcome oriented in this industry is going to leave you really unsatisfied. Go into

auditions and really just try your best to have fun with them,’’ she advises. She feels that way because she has seen that actors and actresses aren’t always guaranteed roles, therefore they must enjoy the work put into obtaining them and learn along the way. In her own experience she’s found that it’s best to have a ‘‘leave it or take it’’ mentality. ‘‘Any time I go through those periods of really resenting the audition process, I’m humbled. I don’t work as much as I want to, and I’m reminded that I just have to be grateful for every acting opportunity I get, even if that’s going into a room and performing a monologue and leaving it.’’ Above all, in her multiple years of acting, Erin has found that it is most important to make passion your driving force in any career you take on. ‘‘It can be grueling and it can be really hard, but ultimately it’s one of the most gratifying things in the world if your desire is to just make these characters come alive, and if you’re willing to go to an emotional place.’’

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Jake Manley Words by Thilda Riou

Photos by Storm Santos

Assisted by Alex Gracie

Styling by Lisa Cera + Tyler McDaniel, Crosby Carter Management Grooming by Kelsey Zahn

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f you don’t know Jake Manley yet, you can be sure that you will be hearing about him in the years to come. As he took on his breakout role on Netflix’s The Order which premiered in March, the Canadian actor is gaining more and more attention in the industry, and has a lot of different projects coming up. As we caught up with Jake over the phone, he proved us that this is only the beginning of his journey.

Like a lot of people in the entertainment world, Jake’s love for acting began at an early age, and got stronger over the years. ‘‘I grew up watching a lot of movies and living in these other worlds.’’ Born and raised in Canada, he decided to move to the City of Angels to pursue his dream job. ‘‘Los Angeles is the epicenter of film and TV, and I wanted to chase the big projects. Also, the climate was a big factor,’’ he laughs.

Location The Hollywood Hotel

After embodying a lot of different roles, the 27-year-old actor worked on his first Netflix project when he landed his role on The Order. ‘‘I went in to read some scenes and we talked a little bit about the project and my character. Two days later I got the call that I would be doing it,’’ he explains. ‘‘It was a pretty painless process which was refreshing, because sometimes you go through a lot of auditions and still don’t get it.’’ Jake plays Jack Morton, a college student who joins the Hermetic Order of the Blue Rose, a secret society that teaches and practices magic. ‘‘He’s very smart and a capable person. He’s driven by taking his revenge against his father because he believes he is responsible for his mother’s death,’’ he tells. ‘‘He doesn’t really fit in with the other people and is creative.’’

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Playing in a supernatural world requires a unique set of skills that Jake had to sharpen, using his own method to embrace this magical world. ‘‘I think it’s just about using your imagination, because you want to make it as real as you can,’’ he shares. ‘‘Usually I study the script and the character, and do different things that I think help enable my imagination, like listening to certain music. When I get there, I try not to be afraid to make a fool of myself and really just use my imagination to create that world.’’ 2019 is definitely Jake’s year, as he has juggled multiple roles so far, all more diverse from one another. Among his projects, we can mention the family film A Dog’s Journey, the World War II epic Midway and Netflix’s romantic comedy Holidate. ‘‘I’m excited for all of them! I like that they are all different things,’’ he says. ‘‘I want to always

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keep changing it up. The Order was a great opportunity, but I don’t want to only do the supernatural stuff, I want to do the drama.’’ While shooting Midway alongside other great actors, Jake felt like a kid, absorbing every bit of information and experience that he could. ‘‘It was like a dream come true, I have to pinch myself every now and then,’’ he states. In terms of learning from the other actors, he mentions a few names. ‘‘I learnt a lot from Ed Skrein. I think he’s a really great example of how a film should be led by a lead actor. ‘‘And everyone else too! Nick Jonas and Luke Kleintank, all those guys, it was just really good to be surrounded by these people.’’ ‘‘It’s a little bit overwhelming but also very exciting,’’ Jakes says on having to work so much in a short amount of time. However, he always does his best to have


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‘‘ Ultimately it’s just the best thing ever to be busy and get to work on these projects, I don’t take it for granted at all’’

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Suit Klein Epstein & Parker Polo Dolce & Gabbana Loafers Angela Mitchell Rings Samuel B.

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‘‘ I did everything I could. I kept taking the risk and hoping that it would pay off. It was difficult for a few years, but it’s starting to get good’’

enough time to prepare for his roles, and to take good care of himself in order to stay healthy. ‘‘I’ve had some good breaks in between and I keep my friends and family close to me,’’ he expresses. ‘‘But ultimately it’s just the best thing ever to be busy and get to work on these projects, I don’t take it for granted at all!’’ When recalling the challenges he has had to face in his career so far, he reports having to support himself in the early years. ‘‘While you are pursuing this, it’s not always easy to find a job that lets you have the flexibility and freedom to be able to go audition and take spontaneous trips,’’ he explains. ‘‘So I did everything I could. I kept taking the risk and hoping that it would pay off. It was difficult for a few years, but it’s starting to get good!’’ ” To get through those difficult years, the actor could still count on his undying love for acting to push him and motivate

him. ‘‘The people that I work with and the experiences that I had motivate me,’’ he tells. ‘‘Also, the things that I watch in my off-time inspire me, I love discovering new actors and filmmakers that I would be thrilled to work and collaborate with.’’ Along with his career goals, Jake reveals that he would love to explore the production side of the industry. As he started producing films before he was acting, he is willing today to use the resources he gained and find stories that he wants to tell. Besides acting, the actor describes himself as a simple guy. ‘‘I try to get outside, and go on hikes and hang out with my friends and family,’’ he says. ‘‘I just love hanging out with my girlfriend, and taking our little puppy to the park.’’ To conclude our chat, Jake lets us know a piece of advice that he would have loved to give to his younger self. ‘‘I would tell him to relax and just keep pushing. Have fun along the way, just enjoy the process!’’

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Aisha Dee Words by Thilda Riou Styling by Sarah Slutsky Makeup by Dana Delaney

Wardrobe assistant Deborah Gunther

Hair by Marcia Hamilton

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nly a few minutes talking to Aisha Dee are enough to realize how much of a warm person she is. Working her way up in the entertainment industry since she was a child, the 25-year-old actress has been portraying Kat Edison on Freeform’s comedy-drama series The Bold Type for two years now. ‘‘I feel very lucky, because I get to go to work and play make-believe. It is the best job ever,’’ she says. First of all, let’s rewind a bit and go back to the beginning of her career, all the way from Australia.

From an early age, Aisha felt like movies were an escape for her, and became

‘‘ We often feel like we have to be this perfect version of ourselves, but all of the things that make us different are actually our most special qualities’’

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Photos by Shanna Fisher Location The Chromacabana

passionate about acting. Seeing herself reflected in those characters, she always thought that being an actress would be something really fun do to. ‘‘Even though I had no way to actually make it happen, it kind of worked out,’’ she starts. ‘‘I stumbled into things and have been really lucky to have continued working.’’ In fact, her first big break on-screen was her main role on The Saddle Club when she was 15. ‘‘It was kind of like boot camp, I didn’t have any experience and the crew was so sweet,’’ she recalls. ‘‘They nurtured all the kids on the show and I’ve learned a lot of what I know from there.’’


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Born and raised in Australia, she decided to move to the United States at 17 years old to pursue her dream. The difficulty of finding work in her home country at that time and the advice of a couple of casting directors drove her to take her chance and hop on a plane. ‘‘I think now if I had to move in my twenties I would be a little more scared, knowing what could go wrong,’’ she laughs. Aisha has been gracing our screens for three seasons of The Bold Type, portraying her character in the most authentic way, Kat Edison, an assistant at Scarlet Magazine who becomes the head of the Social Media department. However at first, the actress wasn’t really sure about how the series would turn out. ‘‘I think I underestimated what the show could be,’’ she explains. ‘‘But when I read the script, it really pleasantly surprised me!’’ Alike the fans, Aisha absolutely adores the friendship between her character, Sutton (Meghann Fahy) and Jane (Katy Stevens), and she believes that this is what makes the show so special. ‘‘I think that people connect to the female friendship, and how it reflects real life,’’ she tells. ‘‘I also think that people see themselves in the show because it is so diverse. To me, all of the show is aspirational. It’s a chance to see life as it could be.’’ ‘‘I just find it so inspiring,’’ the actress states when being asked about what it means to her to portray a woman discovering her bisexuality. ‘‘Kat is exploring her sexuality in such an honest and open way. She’s afraid, obviously it is a scary thing to be in love for the first time, but she is so fearless.’’ Aisha was also overwhelmed by the response of the fans, who have been

inspired to be more confident or to come out to their families and friends. In the show, Kat and Adena (Nikohl Boosheri) developed a strong connection from the moment they met, but after being in a relationship for a while, they decided to break up at the end of season 2. ‘‘I love that Adena was really nurturing to Kat, and never pushed her too far,’’ Aisha expresses. ‘‘Honestly, I know that the fans were really heartbroken when they broke up, and I was too. But I feel like this isn’t the end for them!’’ Another of Kat’s journey concerns her identity as a black woman, and the actress loves that we get to see her character work through that as an adult. ‘‘No matter who you are, when we are growing up, and I don’t think growing up ever ends, we are constantly discovering and rediscovering ourselves,’’ the actress says. ‘‘So that experience in itself was really universal to me and I certainly know what it is like to come to terms with your racial identity.’’ According to Aisha, every episode is a challenge, as she often has to be honest and vulnerable about certain things. ‘‘It can be scary. These are things that I myself still struggle to be open and honest about,’’ she tells. ‘‘The way Kat approached love is really brave, so I feel inspired by her. I aspire to be as strong and confident as her.’’ As The Bold Type came back in April to broadcast its third season and has even been renewed for season 4, the actress feels really grateful to be able to continue on this journey. ‘‘It’s amazing to be on a show that people are watching and connecting to. So I’m really lucky that this is the one that really resonated with people.’’

‘‘ Growing never ends. We look at our teenage years as being the time we grow and then we’re supposed to have it all figured out but personal growth is something that should be a priority for your whole life’’

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‘‘ Growing up in Australia I felt very alone, I didn’t quite fit into the mold that was the typical Australian girl next door’’

Looking towards the future, the actress would love to be making her own movies or TV shows one day, as well as lifting up other actors and creators. ‘‘I definitely feel the call to create myself and to tell stories that really resonate with me,’’ she explains. ‘‘Growing up in Australia I felt very alone, I didn’t quite fit into the mold that was the typical Australian girl next door. So I would love to go back home and make something that feels like my experience.’’ To conclude our chat, Aisha shares with us one piece of advice that she would give to her younger self. ‘‘Be the most genuine version of yourself! We often feel like we have to be this perfect version of ourselves, but all of the things that make us different and that we feel insecure about, are actually our most special qualities,’’ she states. ‘‘Growing never ends. We look at our teenage years as being the time we grow and then we’re supposed to have it all figured out but personal growth is something that should be a priority for your whole life.’’

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AJ Michalka Words by Parker Schug

Photos by Maarten de Boer

Makeup by Andre Sarmiento

Hair by Matt Fugate

Styling by Amanda Lim Location LAvish Studios

Top Monse - Jeans Monse

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ultitalented, AJ Michalka, has embraced her natural gift for performing, and in doing so has inspired many. In addition to having an ongoing successful career in the acting industry, AJ has also a modeled for the American Girl Doll company, co-produced a film, and is currently touring alongside her sister in their pop-rock duo, Aly & AJ. At only 28 years old, AJ has experienced incredible growth due to her drive, and the support she has received from the people around her. AJ was born and raised in Torrance, California, but her time spent living in Seattle, Washington had a great influence on her career. She drew inspiration from the ‘‘incredible green Forest’’ in which her family lived. AJ also found that this breathtaking location inserted in her a different type of passion, keeping her grounded throughout her career. ‘‘Whether it was riding our bikes, playing games outside in the rain,

picking up pine cones, or whatever it may have been, it instilled in us a great love for nature.’’ Besides having part in shaping AJ’s personality, this city also provided her and her sister, Aly with a place to allow their creativity to flow freely. ‘‘Seattle was a canvas for the art scene Aly and I are now in.’’ It was also in Seattle that AJ and her sister Aly got their first glimpse into the acting industry. ‘‘We had noticed a flyer on my mom’s desk for an acting workshop. Those things aren’t always legitimate, but it was something my sister and I really pushed for and we ended up enrolling in this 2 month acting workshop.’’ This program not only introduced the girls to an interest that they would later turn into a career, but it led them to two great agents who would eventually help them along the way. One of AJ’s first major roles was in the Disney Channel Original Movie, Cow Belles, playing Courtney Callum alongside

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‘‘ At the end of the day you really have to listen to your gut and your heart and from there people are either going to accept it or not’’

her sister. This film about two girls helping to save their family business was a very enjoyable story to portray because it signified a step in AJ’s career. ‘‘It was a really fun period of time for Aly and I. We were really doing well on the channel. We felt that we had just come into our own as musicians and we had this opportunity to be in this film with each other which we had never done.’’ Looking back on this starting point, AJ feels that it was a great experience because she can measure her progress, plus it now allows fans to reminisce on the beginning of her career. Another film that AJ worked on was titled Grace Unplugged. AJ played Grace, a young girl, with a strong desire to continue with her musical interests. This role was especially special for AJ because she felt that she could relate heavily to this character. ‘‘Playing a young Christian girl growing up in a small town was not foreign to me. Her passion and love for music and her drive to make it as an artist is also something that was not foreign to me,’’ she says. To be a part of a film or a show where you’re able to play an instrument or use your voice is really powerful because you’re able to bring two mediums you care about into one. That was the first time I had really been able to blend the two. This ultimately proved to be a very unique and beneficial experience. In discussing her take away from the role AJ says, ‘‘Working with that director, and like minded people in a religious aspect was really thrilling and I learned a ton from that film.’’ In addition to starring on-screen, AJ has worked from the producers seat. Following her (now) brother-in-law’s proposal to create a story about AJ and her sister’s journey, she did everything in her power to make this project a possibility. ‘‘My sister and I decided to produce the film

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and raise the money for it. My brother-inlaw wrote a really beautiful script. We got some really incredible financiers onboard and some great friends to star in the film with us and created a movie about our friendship, our bond and our struggle to make great music while figuring out who we are as adults.’’ The title and setting of this film was based off of the street on which AJ and her sister were living at the time, Weepah Way which AJ explains as, ‘‘one of the most iconic places or neighborhoods that you could live in in the 1960s and 70s as a musician.’’ The period in which AJ co-produced and acted in this film, she was learning to act as an adult as well, all doing so alongside her sister. ‘‘We had just left our family house, we were living together. It was kind of the first time we were on our own as adults. I’ll never forget that process, I hope to make that kind of movie again. I’m really proud of that.’’ Lastly, in regards to acting, one of AJ’s most well-known roles is Lainey Lewis in the ABC sitcom, The Goldbergs, and the spin-off, Schooled. AJ’s character Lainey, a high schooler (and now adult) who’s experiencing life in the eighties (now nineties) alongside the Goldberg Family, has shaped her into the comedic actress she is today. ‘‘There’s a confidence [I have] playing that character now that I didn’t initially have. I feel like we’re both extremely confident. We’re both go-getters, we’re both fiery. Laney is really someone that wants to be a problem solver, and I think that’s very much true to me.’’ After nearly seven years of playing this role, AJ feels much more confident in her skills. ‘‘I’ve been playing this character Laney Lewis who I’ve kind of been able to grow up playing. I’ve learned a ton, I’ve worked with some incredible coaches.’’ Additionally, AJ has had the


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opportunity to learn from many of her costars, including Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Bryan Callen. ‘‘I’ve really been able to learn from their form of comedy whether it’s a rhythm thing or a cadence thing.’’ Since starting the spin-off, Schooled, AJ has found joy in being a music teacher, even if it is just on-screen. Plus, she is thrilled to be able to bring together her two passions, music and acting, yet again. As for AJ’s musical career, this is not something new to her life. Even as a young girl, AJ was surrounded by music being that her mother had a love for the art form. In describing her mother, AJ states, ‘‘She was really inspired about music, creative, and was incredible as a vocalist, but never someone that wanted to do it as a profession.’’ Unlike her mother, music was something that AJ was set on turning into a profession. Fortunately, AJ was never alone in her endeavors. Her older sister Aly also had a deep love for music. Together they created the duo Aly & AJ, formerly 78violet. Their journey as a musical group has gone from Disney Channel, to now producing new music and going on tour. Along the way, AJ has picked up multiple instruments including the guitar, electric guitar and piano, but she has excelled in playing the guitar. ‘‘There’s just something about it, playing a string instrument, hearing the way a guitar resonates when you strike a cord. It just does something to my body. Wearing that instrument is so powerful.’’ While performing, AJ plays the guitar while her sister plays piano, creating an unimaginable experience for their fans. ‘‘It’s kind of neat that we each have our own piece of equipment when we’re on stage.’’ As for the inspiration for their most recent releases, AJ says that they derived a lot of influence from, ‘‘Genesis, The Police, Duran Duran and 80’s synth-pop.’’ Both AJ and her sister love being on tour, and using their creative abilities to make music. ‘‘We live and breath music, and have the same love for pop culture. We’ve both been able to do two different careers, separately, and to have had a wonderful run as kids and now as adults is really a blessing.’’

Outside of her career as a musician and actress, AJ describes her personality as very ‘‘simple.’’ She enjoys being with her family and friends, and relaxing while she is not working. AJ also emphasized the importance she places on self care and mindfulness. ‘‘I’m now into meditation, heavily into yoga and pilates, just taking care of my body, and making sure that through exercise and meditation, I build a deeper sense of empathy for others as well as a kindness towards myself.’’ Being that she is involved in what can be a stressful industry at times, she is grateful for the strong support system she has. ‘‘I have my mom and dad, my sister, my boyfriend, my brother-in-law, and my dear friend Raymond Braun who has really been there since the start of my career.’’ And according to AJ, it was her parents supportive, yet not controlling parenting style that helped her get to the point she is at in her career. ‘‘We’ve had parents who never pushed us in one direction, but always supported the direction we wanted to go.’’ When asked for a piece of advice she would give to someone hoping to go down a similar path to her own, AJ states, ‘‘Stay true to who you are, don’t try to form yourself into a mold that other people expect.’’ She feels that it was her hard work and trust of her instinct that has helped her succeed in this industry. ‘‘At the end of the day, you really have to listen to your gut and your heart and from there people are either going to accept it or not.’’ As for the future, AJ hopes to continue acting alongside the people she is working with now. ‘‘I feel incredibly blessed with where my career has headed, I hope to continue this television show.’’ Additionally, AJ is extremely excited about touring, and sharing some of her new music with the world. ‘‘I really want to get out on the road more with my sister, and I really want to put out great music that speaks to our fans and hopefully tour internationally.’’ It is AJ’s charismatic and optimistic personality, as well as her obvious talent that will keep her on this upward path to success. She has much more in store for the future, and is excited to see where her career takes her.

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Jessica Parker Kennedy

Words by Jasmine Perrier Styling by SaulĂş Santana Hair by Lydia Sellers

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Photos by Raul Romo Makeup by Jayme Kavanaugh

Location ArtLab Photo Studio


(left) Dress Baruni Earrings H.CROWNE (right) Bandeau Monica Leigh Trench Shahar Avnet Earrings H.CROWNE

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‘‘ really hope at the end of the day that my work is able to inspire other actors the way that actors have meant something for me,’’ says Calgary-born Jessica Parker Kennedy. The 34-year-old Canadian actress who relocated to California was just done with an audition when she picked up the phone, mentioning she is back in the Los Angeles hustle and has another audition the following week. But only a few weeks ago, Jessica could be seen in one of the most popular superhero shows since 2014, The Flash, in which she has portrayed Nora West-Allen a.k.a. XS for two seasons. Today, she reflects on this life-changing role and what is coming next for her.

Jessica’s initial interest in acting was sparked by her mother who used to take her to a lot of theaters when Jessica was a kid. ‘‘I was really enamored by that,’’

she starts. ‘‘Then when I was 12, I saw Romeo and Juliet and I thought that was just the most brilliant movie I had ever seen at the time. And I loved Shakespeare before that, but I was also really fascinated by film because it was such an incredible combination. I knew it was what I wanted to do.’’ ‘‘This is a strange industry and when you start, you have to be able to have a lot of rejection so you’re going to these auditions and you think you’re doing such a great job, and you’re getting told no times and times again,’’ she describes when speaking about the most important thing she has learned through her long-time experience working as an actress. ‘‘You really have to learn to really believe in yourself and to hold on to make this dream, idea you have in your head, a reality and that can be really

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challenging. And that’s something I learned to do a long time ago, but I’m still learning how to continue to do it everyday.’’ From her appearance as a super villain on hit Superman-inspired TV series Smallville to her starring role on The Secret Circle, it felt like The CW became a home for Jessica and the relationship between the two kept lasting long. ‘‘It’s an environment that I knew I’d be happy in.’’ Sometimes opportunities suddenly come your way and that’s what happened for Jessica who expressed with gratitude how flattered and fortunate she was when she was offered her role by The Flash’ showrunner and producer. ‘‘It’s every actor’s dream to have people offering you work without having to audition for it,’’ she says. ‘‘He pitched me in a way that sounded really exciting. First of all, it’s really difficult in Hollywood when you’re half black in the first place. I had a white dad and a black mom, and so that drew me to it and spontaneously. I liked the idea of being a part of this superhero world because it’s so incredibly popular right now. I look back and be able to say I was a part of that history, I guess, is really fun.’’

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In the time since Jessica’s first appearances in The Flash’s season 4 as ‘‘Mystery Girl’’, she has generated buzz around her. ‘‘It was definitely fun being a mystery. It wasn’t as fun as I thought it was gonna be because I’ve had to hold on the secret for such a long time, longer that I wanted to,’’ she confesses. It wasn’t until the striking season 4 finale that she was finally introduced as Nora West-Allen nicknamed XS, the daughter of main protagonists Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris (Candice Patton) who is a meta-human speedster and time traveler coming from the future. Throughout season 5, viewers got to know Nora’s story and secrets as she joined Team Flash to stop Cicada, a vilain who intended to kill all the metahumans in Central City. Jessica was prepared for the exposure that a show as huge as The Flash in terms of stakes and audience involves, and wanted to make the fans happy. ‘‘I was a little bit nervous about what the comic books fans would think, because the character has an amalgamation of multiple characters. I’m not purely playing XS as written from the comics obviously,’’ she explains. ‘‘I was so happy because everyone


‘‘ I really hope at the end of the day that my work is able to inspire other actors the way that actors have meant something for me’’

(left) Dress Versace Jewelry Bonheur Jewelry (right) Trench Nikita Karizma Jewelry Bonheur Jewelry

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‘‘ This is a strange industry and when you start, you have to be able to have a lot of rejection. You really have to learn to really believe in yourself and to hold on to make this idea you have in your head a reality’’

has been extremely positive and very encouraging. I felt welcome into their cast, but I also felt welcome into that fandom which is a real honor. It’s a fanbase that I really respect.’’ While filming The Flash in Vancouver, Jessica was traveling every weekend back to Los Angeles where she resides full-time. ‘‘I’d take a two and a half hours flight home to Los Angeles so I could be in my home, sleep in my own bed and be with my dog,’’ she tells. Nevertheless it didn’t keep her from feeling close to her castmates and crew. ‘‘I was welcome into The Flash family with open arms. The very first day when I was on set, it was like multiple different series: The Flash, Supergirl, Arrow, and so that was crazy and intimidating because there were so many cast members on set that day,’’ she recalls as one of her favorite days on set Two of the episodes she enjoyed the most shooting were both directed by her co-stars. ‘‘It was episode 100 [What’s Past Is Prologue] that Tom Cavanagh directed because I got to be a really big part of that and then, I really liked Nora’s origin story that Danielle Panabaker directed, that was really fun working with her as a director as well as a castmate.’’ Now that Nora’s story has been told and wrapped, Jessica is back on the audition circuit in search of her next role. ‘‘Every time I finish a job, I panic and don’t think I’ll work again. Ultimately I do,’’ she laughs. ‘‘I’m constantly thinking about the next thing and even when I’m working on a project — not when I’m on set but when I go

home at the end of the night. You never want to feel settled in whatever you’re doing and I think it’s important to have that fire lit under you. It’s important to me that every part I play is quite different from the last part that I’ve played because it’s fun and entertaining, and more than anything challenging for me,’’ she adds. ‘‘I grew up watching Cate Blanchett, and I was and am so obsessed with her because every part she takes she looks different.’’ With her successful appearance on The Flash, Jessica realizes even more the impact that social media exposure could have on her life. ‘‘I’m not someone who particularly like that much attention, but in this industry and this job it’s good for your career so I’m accepting it with open arms,’’ she affirms. Passionate about environment and animals, she aims at using her voice to make a difference. ‘‘I just started becoming vegetarian recently and I’m on my way to becoming a vegan. I learned recently that 45% of climate change is caused by animal agriculture and we have a platform to speak about those things, so I’m gonna be using my Instagram a lot more to talk about those things, like getting people to stop using palm oil because it’s destroying rainforests.’’ Looking forward at the rest of 2019, Jessica would love to dive into new roles and explore more comedies and dramas. ‘‘I have lots of dreams and lots of goal. Number one is definitely to continue to be an employed actor,’’ she says, before adding how thankful she is for the support she has.

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Marie

Avgeropoulos Words by Thilda Riou

Photos by Allegra Messina

Styling by Shalev Lavan for The Visionaries

Assisted by Kendra Powers

Makeup by Kerrie Urban

Hair by Dominique Diaz

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f you have been following The CW’s series The 100 for five years now, you must be pretty familiar with Marie Avgeropoulos. During the course of 6 seasons, the 33-yearold actress has been portraying one of the many fierce female characters on the show, Octavia Blake. ‘‘She is constantly changing into a different character almost every season, so she is such a pleasure to play,’’ Marie lets us know over the phone. The Canadian actress grew up in the small town of Thunder Bay, Ontario, and has forged her love for nature since then. ‘‘We did a lot of outdoor activities, like going camping, sitting around the campfire and fishing,’’ she recalls. Although Marie got a degree in TV Broadcast Journalism and didn’t realize that she wanted to pursue an acting career at first, she was already doing plays in high school. ‘‘I was constantly moving around because of my mom’s job and I kind of got bullied quite a bit,’’ she explains. ‘‘Being able to play different characters on stage gave me the opportunity to jump inside somebody else’s skin for a moment. It felt like therapy to me and that’s when I really found my love for acting and decided to pursue it further.’’

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Marie played several parts in different TV shows in the early years of her career, and she remembers being incredibly nervous during her first times on a set. ‘‘It all felt so surreal to me. I was taking everything in as almost a child would at Christmas time. I couldn’t believe I was actually there,’’ she laughs. ‘‘I feel really lucky to continue to have more opportunities like that.’’ As a matter of fact, all of those experiences led the actress to take on her outbreaking lead role on The 100. ‘‘When I first read the script, I knew that it had an amazing potential! I knew the opportunities were endless and that the story could take a million directions.’’

‘‘ Blodreina was probably the most challenging portrayal of Octavia that I’ve had to be so far’’

The post-apocalyptic series is definitely built on a dynamic story, evolving around authentic characters constantly growing, while they have to survive. Octavia perfectly depicts that search for identity, by quickly creating her own path to become a warrior. ‘‘I was really excited when the writers took my physical ability into account and decided to use those tools as part of Octavia,’’ Marie comments. ‘‘A lot of the stunts and the fight coordinations occur almost like a dance, so you need to be very specific with the different moves.’’ Having to use the sword for so many seasons, the actress feels like it has become an extension of her arm. ‘‘It’s a really useless skill in real life,’’ she jokes. ‘‘But it’s a lot of fun to do it on screen.’’

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As Octavia continues to shape herself through the seasons, she is set to take on huge responsibilities when she has to lead Wonkru in the bunker and becomes Blodreina, using her childhood memories of the gladiators fighting pits to keep order. ‘‘Blodreina was probably the most challenging portrayal of Octavia that I’ve had to be so far,’’ Marie reveals. ‘‘She definitely got carried away with the whole idea, but it was interesting to see the flashbacks of the dark year, and how characters like Abby (Paige Turco) as well sort of pushed her to make these awful decisions.’’

‘‘ It’s such an honor to inspire young women and show them that they can be anything that they want to’’

In addition to that, Marie’s character is involved in the only brother-sister combination of the show, a relationship cherished by the audience and herself. As Octavia’s crime was to be a second child, her brother Bellamy (Bob Morley) always tried to keep her both safe and happy. ‘‘I really appreciate their relationship. When they get to the ground, we can see him continuing to try to protect her, and she becomes the defiant teenager who doesn’t want her older brother anymore. And the rivalry begins,’’ she says. ‘‘Right now, they are at a pivotal place and she is left alone, but you’ll see a very interesting reunion with the Blakes!’’

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Although Marie’s life is pretty different from Octavia’s, the actress always tries to relate to her character as much as she can. ‘‘I just always like to come from a place of speaking Octavia’s truth. I try to relate to something that happened in my life, like a feeling or having to make tough decisions that will impact others,’’ she tells. ‘‘I’m just trying to remain honest with my feelings so that I can tell a truthful story to the audience through the mind and body of Octavia.’’ As she portrays one of the many strong leading female characters on the show, Marie feels very happy and proud. ‘‘It’s such an honor to inspire young women and show them that they can be anything that they want to!’’

‘‘ I’m just trying to remain honest with my feelings so that I can tell a truthful story to the audience’’

Since The 100 is filmed in a rainforest in Vancouver, Canada, Marie couldn’t be more thrilled. ‘‘It’s the best office ever! The forest is so beautiful and the set looks so alive and enchanting,’’ she comments. ‘‘So we spend a lot of time together in the rain, sharing umbrellas, telling stories and admiring the scenery.’’ The cast is genuinely as close as their characters on the show and is always ready to hang out. ‘‘We’re all like family, because we’ve had one another for so long and we’ve grown up together.’’

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‘‘ If you empower a girl, you empower change and you empower the entire community’’

Looking towards the future, Marie is excited to be working on a still-secret project that she teases a little bit for us. ‘‘It’s something that I’ve never done before, but if I can explain it in three words it would be: animated, comic book and exciting!’’ In the meantime, the actress is involved in a charity as well, fighting for a cause that is close to her heart. ‘‘I’m an ambassador of Food For Life Vrindavan, which is a sponsorship program for young girls in India who are unable to go to school,’’ she explains. ‘‘When you sponsor a girl, it allows her to have the power of education, to choose her own career and to uplift her own community. I believe that if you empower a girl, you empower change and you empower the entire community!’’

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‘‘ Being able to play different characters on stage gave me the opportunity to jump inside somebody else’s skin for a moment. It felt like therapy to me’’

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Inbar

Dress Farah Al Mesbah

Lavi Words by Jasmine Perrier Styling by Maya Yogev Hair by Carly Walters Bethel

Photos by Raul Romo Makeup by Sarah Uslan Location The Hollywood Hotel

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F

rom her move from Israel to New York when she was 17, to her leading role in Imposters alongside Uma Thurman, Israeli actress Inbar Lavi made her American dream come true. On top of that, she reached new heights with her debut as former Garden of Eden resident Eve in the highly anticipated fourth season of Netflix’s Lucifer which came out on May 8th. For Inbar, being a part of this show has pushed her to try new things and get out of her comfort zone. ‘‘You constantly evolve, you constantly learn, you constantly change, you constantly shift directions and that’s something I had to learn,’’ she says. ‘‘My life in Israel was very peaceful,’’ the 32-year-old starts. ‘‘I have three brothers and sisters and we’re all very close. We would go to the beach a lot,’’ she shares. As a kid, watching movies with her dad was her escape to pass the time when she was suffering from asthma and had to use an inhaler for 45 minutes. ‘‘I would be sitting there, in the kitchen while my friends were out, running around and having fun. That was my way of having a good time and I thought that was such a beautiful opportunity that movies presented to you. I wanted to be able to do that for others.’’ Because American cinema and television were exotic to her, she felt even more drawn to those productions. She then moved from Israel to the United States where she had to start from square one, far from her home and family, which made it harder for her to deal with the rejection and hardship that the film industry involves.

‘‘You have to prove yourself constantly. When you get knocked down, you go to your people and that person is gonna hold you and say it’s okay, you are good enough, you keep doing what you’re doing. When you’re away from your home and your safeness, you have to say that to yourself. I miss my family and my home every single day and it’s still a challenge,’’ she reveals. ‘‘It has been a long journey and it’s still going. I still feel like I have to prove myself all the time and I think that’s never going to change.’’ Luckily, Inbar can rely on a strong support system to go through the multiple challenges she has had to face thus far. ‘‘I’m very blessed to have an amazing team behind me. They never let me give up on myself and they always push me to try new things and they sometimes believe in me more than I believe in myself. That’s the kind of support you need in this business. And of course my family, even though they are far away they continue to push me and support me. I have the greatest cheerleaders in the world.’’ Moreover in this age of social media, she insists on the fact that fans have become such a huge part of her life. ‘‘I get these little notes of love from them every single day, and these little words of encouragement. Like any other actor, I don’t get every job. And when a fan says how important you are to them or how your work has impacted them in some way, or inspired them, it gives you the fuel to keep going.

‘‘ It has been a long journey and it’s still going. I still feel like I have to prove myself all the time and I think that’s never going to changed’’

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Ever since Lucifer’s new episodes went live on Netflix, the series could expect a warm welcome from the fans whose dedication to the show allowed it to be saved by Netflix after Fox decided not to renew it in 2018. And there is no doubt that the new season has been a hit so far. Even though Inbar was prepared for the multiple reactions her performance could get from the massive community of Lucifer’s fans, she was still amazed by the ferociousness with which they approached her after they got to meet her as Eve. ‘‘I’ve been doing this for a very long time and I’ve been on very successful shows, and this has been a real genuine explosion of love from the fans,’’ she says. ‘‘Lucifer’s fans are out of this world. I’ve never experienced so much love on a show and it’s a difficult character to love because she is standing between the two most adored characters on the show.’’ Throughout the season, Inbar delivered an enthralling performance and brought an interesting energy to the character who left Eden to reunite with Lucifer (Tom Ellis) on earth. As if she was meant to portray Eve, Inbar reveals she actually didn’t audition for the part. ‘‘It was offered to me. One of the writers of the show is a big fan of Imposters and my work on that show. When it was time to cast that role, he talked to the showrunners Idly [Modrovich] and Joe [Henderson] about me and presented me as Eve, and they offered me the role. The rest is history!’’ Of her approach to create her own modern version of Eve who has such a strong background and history, Inbar justifies, ‘‘I feel like we have condemned our first woman for just way too long and I wanted an opportunity to show her side of the story. Eve is a human being, human beings make mistakes. I wanted to give her the chance to show all her beauty and all the wonderful things that make her a woman. Women are gorgeous, wonderful creatures, they’re so loving, caring and those words are the main characteristics that I wanted to show rather than her vulnerability, temptation and cravings, all those things that we speak about when we think of Eve. I wanted to show some compassion. Hopefully, every woman out there can find compassion for herself and if I did that, then I did my job.’’

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Working on Lucifer has been a very liberating experience for Inbar as she enjoyed the freedom she was able to explore to let go. ‘‘It’s not my show so it was really freeing in a way,’’ she argues. ‘‘I have this incredible cast and crew that allowed me to take risks and try different things. Idly and Joe are so welcoming, they let you go wild as long as you have an open communication about it. For me, that’s the only way that I feel free enough to create something good, pure and honest. And then with the cast, I was safe. I could run wild and they went with it. It was magic.’’ Today, Inbar is excited about the upcoming projects she started to work on. ‘‘There is so much I want to explore. I’m diving into production at the moment, I’m trying to produce my own project and there is a lot of stories to be told,’’ she says, before adding, ‘‘Specifically right now, I’ve been introduced to music and that’s taking off. I actually had my first session in a studio with a music producer and I’m really excited about that. There is so much beauty in this world that I can’t wait to unravel.’’ Outside of her fulfilling career, there is another life project she would like to check off her list of her before-you-die aspirations. ‘‘To be honest, right now I’d love to have a family. That would be really nice. I’m away from home, I’m away from my family and I’d love to start my own. That’s something I haven’t done yet, so hopefully soon,’’ she laughs.

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‘‘ Like any other actor, I don’t get every job. And when a fan says how important you are to them or how your work has impacted them in some way, it gives you the fuel to keep going’’

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Tony

Revolori Words by Jasmine Perrier

Photos by Shanna Fisher

Grooming by Sonia Lee for Exclusive Artists using Hanz De Fuko

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‘‘ I have a lot of heroes that I look up to, and of course none of them are perfect but they always have something I can aspire to do better’’

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wenty-three-year-old actor Tony Revolori is aware that he has a lot more than most people have at his age. In 2014, his breakout role as Zero Moustafa in Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel where he starred opposite Ralph Fiennes led him to gain international recognition and be acknowledged as one of the rising teenage stars to watch. As he is committed to controlling his career as much as he can, Tony knows what part he has to play to keep driving through his dreams. This summer, he returns as Flash Thompson in SpiderMan: Far From Home whose trailer became Sony’s most viewed one in 24 hours.

Born in Anaheim, California, of Guatemalan descent, Tony began his career as a child actor at the age of two. ‘‘I’m very fortunate that I’ve come to love it because it was the thing that I wanted to do and I got very lucky to start it at a very young age,’’ he says. As being in this world felt normal and natural to him, he never wanted to leave afterwards. His brother, Mario Revolori, also works as an actor and Tony enjoys having him by his side in the industry. ‘‘You have someone to talk to about all the good and bad parts of this industry, someone who understands what you are going through. And I love my brother so it’s nice to see him working really hard as well.’’ In 2017, Tony joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Flash Thompson in Spider-Man: Homecoming. ‘‘Who wouldn’t want to be a part of it?’’ he states. Initially, Tony auditioned for the role of Peter Parker’s

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best friend Ned Leeds, who ended up being portrayed by Jacob Batalon. ‘‘Jacob is absolutely incredible in that role, and I’m very happy to call him a friend and a costar,’’ Tony shares. Of the role he ultimately landed on the Spider-Man franchise coproduced by Sony and Marvel Studios he is a part of, Tony says, ‘‘I’m just thankful that I was able to get Flash Thompson. And it’s amazing to see a change for diversity.’’ In the comic books, Flash Thompson is introduced as a tall, blonde and blue- eyed character, and he is also known for being Peter Parker’s rival and classmate. However in addition to including more diversity to the cast, the version of Flash that we got to discover in Spider-Man: Homecoming revealed a character who appeared to be more of a psychological bully, and Tony felt a responsibility to portray him accurately. ‘‘Jon [Watts] and I worked in unison to try to figure out in the first movie what is the modern bully because it doesn’t have to be physical,’’ Tony affirms. ‘‘Nowadays there are the cyber bullies, the people who can anonymously say words to break your mentality. So we tried to figure that out, and in this movie we did it a little bit more in a comedic way.’’ After the unqualified success of Spider-Man: Homecoming, a sequel was announced with Tony reprising his role as Flash. Titled Spider-Man: Far From Home, it takes place shortly after the events of worldwide phenomenon Avengers: Endgame and is described as the epilogue of the


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‘‘ I’d be very fortunate to take Flash on a longer journey and a journey that is as beautiful as what it is in the comics’’

phase three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It follows Peter Parker (Tom Holland) who goes on a school trip to Europe with his classmates whose Flash Thompson is a part of as we spot him in the trailers vlogging from Piazza San Marco in Venice, Italy. ‘‘I’m really happy to be coming back. I love Jon and the cast, we all get along so well. We’re friends now so we had a blast shooting. And then a lot of great moments are happening in this film. It’s such an amazing film, in my opinion better than the first one and I’m so excited for people to see it,’’ Tony attests.

‘‘I think it’s always hilarious. It was a lot of fun to play with that,’’ Tony mentions.

‘‘We shot in London, Prague and Venice. I’ve been to Prague and London before but never Venice, and going with that cast and crew we had was amazing because we would always just go out and have fun. It was a great time and an amazing part of my life that I’ll always hold dear,’’ he adds on shooting some scenes in Europe last year. ‘‘I think people are gonna love it, and I’m thankful people are really anticipating it and happy for it.’’

Although Tony has other projects he can’t say exactly what they are at the moment, he assumes this will be a fun summer for him. The weekend before chatting with us over the phone, he reveals he not only wrote, directed and produced his first shortfilm, but also starred in it. ‘‘I had a blast this weekend, and an amazing cast and crew. I thank each and everyone of them for making it possible,’’ he claims. ‘‘I don’t think this is the last you’ll see of me behind the camera. I loved it so much and I’m hoping I get more and more chance to do it. It’s a story that is dear to me. I’m very fortunate that I was able to make it and I’m looking forward to editing it and putting it out there for everyone to see. It’s a different feeling and a different sense of responsibility, but I enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to doing it again.’’

If you have seen Spider-Man: Far From Home’s trailers released over the last few weeks, you probably noticed Tony’s iconic appearances as Flash which highlighted the duality of his character’s personality accused of making Peter Parker’s life a living hell, while having an obsession with Spider-Man who he respects, praising him for doing good in their neighborhood.

When talking about what his character could become in the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he says, ‘‘I’m sure [Kevin] Feige, Jon Watts and everyone at Sony and Marvel have ideas, but right now we’re just focusing on Far From Home. We’ll keep it here and hopefully I’d love to see Flash and Peter become closer friends. I’d be very fortunate to take Flash on a longer journey and a journey that is as beautiful as what it is in the comics. That would be epic.’’

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When being questioned about his dream role, Tony reveals, ‘‘A huge goal of mine is to maybe play Santiago in The Alchemist. That would be something amazing that I’d love to give a chance to play.’’ Where his journey will take him next, he hopes, will lead him to keep doing what he is doing, including taking on roles that interest him and working with people he admires. ‘‘I’d love to start playing maybe a little bit more dramatic and more mature roles,’’ he says. ‘‘Maybe directing my first feature right now is a goal for me.’’ Down-to-earth and caring, Tony’s successful career, strong work ethic and noble values make him the inspiration we never knew we needed. ‘‘I have a lot of heroes that I look up to, and of course none of them are perfect but they always have something I can aspire to do better. I want to be the best person I can be, help every other person I can, and just help make the world a better place.’’

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‘‘ You have to be the person driving, especially in this industry. That’s the lesson I’ve been really trying to implement more in my life in general’’’

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Laura & Vanessa

Marano Words by Jasmine Perrier Photos by Sami Drasin Assisted by Zach Coco

Styling by Lisa Cera + Tyler McDaniel, Crosby Carter Management Makeup by Kristin Hilton & Sarah Uslan Hair by Richard Collins & Michael Dueñas Location Ranch Indian Springs

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‘‘ anessa and I actually have similar voices, so we are trying to make it as less confusing as possible,’’ Laura says after clarifying she has been up for a while before our call, but is still tired. ‘‘We clearly have exhaustion in our voices,’’ Vanessa laughs. Laura and Vanessa Marano are one of the pairs of sibling actors who have each become a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. As they started getting involved in acting around the same time, they were aged six and nine respectively when they first played sisters in front of the camera. But after that, they pursued completely separate careers, both as successful. Laura found herself as an artist through her music projects and breakout role she got at 16 on Disney’s Austin & Ally, while Vanessa was the star of teen drama Switched at Birth. Today, they are excited to promote their upcoming feature film Saving Zoë that finally reunited them on-screen and allowed them to experience their first time as producers along with their mother. Saving Zoë will be released in the United States in select theaters and VOD on July 12th.

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‘‘ It took us so long to get this project made and it got made, which means for anybody out there who is trying to accomplish a goal, it can happen’’

Over the phone, their great complicity and strong complementarity are obvious. When it comes to having your sibling in the same industry as you, they both agree: it’s like having a partner in crime to share your experience with and to rely on no matter what is happening in your professional life. ‘‘It’s crazy. I know a lot of siblings who act in this business together and I feel like Laura and I have a very unique experience, in a sense that we both had very individual careers and we never really worked on the same project,’’ Vanessa starts. ‘‘That was amazing because we both got to build ourselves up as individuals. That’s something that has been so helpful for us, because you see somebody else going through a similar experience but having their own journey.’’ How they ended up making Saving Zoë is the product of more than a decade of reflection and trial. Saving Zoë is first known as a 2007 fiction book written by New York Times bestselling author Alyson Noël. ‘‘My mom got to a point where she was like: You know what? Let’s take our destiny in our hands and let’s option a book,’’ Laura states. ‘‘She got a bunch of different books for me to read essentially, and see if there is anything good, and I read all the books. They were all great but the moment I read Saving Zoë, it was very obvious to me how special it was, and how much I connected to it.’’

‘‘We knew twelve years ago when we optioned the book that this was something that was really important to us to get produced. We’ve had the rights to it for ten years. It was such a slow process over those years. When we finally got a director and writers onboard, it took another year and a half to write the script. Once we were out there, we were shooting within a few months. It took another two years to distribute it,’’ Vanessa says when describing how they came up with the movie being made. Saving Zoë follows Echo (Laura Marano), a teenager girl who looks to discover the truth behind her older sister’s murder Zoë (Vanessa Marano). In addition to dealing with significant themes such as sex crimes and trafficking, it is also a story at the core about the complicated relationship between sisters, and it shows how the bond can endure long after one of them is gone. ‘‘I really related to that beautiful story, Vanessa read it and she loved it,’’ Laura tells. When they met the author Alyson Noël to option her novel, it immediately clicked between all of them. ‘‘She was absolutely lovely. We have never produced anything before, but she trusted us,’’ Laura adds. Both sisters referring to a quote by Lady Gaga, they report that ‘‘there can be 100 people in the room’’ who say no, but one person who says yes. For them, that support came from Alyson Noël.

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‘‘ Our biggest hope with this film is that anyone who has had a story similar to this feels like their voice is being heard’’

When being asked about how their vision for Saving Zoë has evolved over the years, they both laugh when they realize they started talking at the same time with the same opening sentence. ‘‘What’s really interesting is this novel is that this book took place twelve years ago and the main interest source is MySpace which is so hilarious because obviously MySpace is so not part of our daily Internet intake. But the Internet has just grown, and our social media has grown tremendously exponentially, so the movie became more relevant to 2019, even though it was written in 2007,’’ Laura begins. ‘‘The grief, the love of having a sister, the women’s rights elements to the story — that never changed. It was always very true to us. We all read it and had such a clear vision of how the story should be told on-screen, we knew what we wanted the opening scene to be, we knew how we wanted the diary entry to play out, how we visually wanted that to be told,’’ Vanessa expresses. ‘‘It has been incredibly rewarding, not to say that it hasn’t been difficult because every step of this process has been insanely difficult,’’ Vanessa laughs when reflecting on all stages they have been through to get their movie made. ‘‘I think the big reason why we wanted to do this project, why we were so excited that we got to produce it with our mother, was this is really something that we started with from the ground floor, from optioning the book, from getting it actually made to getting it distributed,’’ she adds. ‘‘We haven’t produced movies before. It ended up being something that we worked honestly hard on, and I’m really proud of it. I learned a lot as a producer, being in a state of asking questions,’’ Laura says.

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When it came to embodying these two sisters Echo and Zoë, Laura and Vanessa felt a sense of responsibility to tell the story accurately as they were committed to respecting Alyson Noël’s book as much as possible. ‘‘I really felt this pressure that I was putting on myself to do what I read while reading Saving Zoë, and to do justice to how I read and perceived Echo. And it was definitely taxing emotionally, adding on top of that the fact that we were also producing. It’s not just difficult acting by itself. There were some pretty intense challenges that came, but I think that’s what made it. It’s the most rewarding project I’ve ever been a part of,’’ Laura shares. ‘‘It’s an interesting thing for both me and Laura. We had our own careers, and I have played more darker characters in my career, I have done more in the world of drama. As an actor, you want to do the best job and you can. But you are limited to only what you can do on set. As a producer, you are with this story from the beginning, from the shooting to the editing, to selling it and all of this,’’ Vanessa specifies. While it was important to Laura and Vanessa to make a story they are passionate about for the audience that has supported them for so long, they wanted it to go beyond them and do the survivors of online sexual exploitation justice. ‘‘This topic of online sexual exploitation that the film very much dives into is such an important topic. Even in those hard moments, it was easier to keep going because it was a story that needed to be told. We need to be having this conversation that isn’t really happening right now,’’ Vanessa claims.


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‘‘Our biggest hope with this film is that anyone who has had a story, even remotely, similar to this, feels like their voice is being heard, and anyone who didn’t know anything about this now feels like they can talk about it, educate themselves more. And maybe hope that anyone who is having that conversation in these moments where it’s not easy to have it, has more confidence to talk about it more,’’ she adds. Through the foundation Equality Now the Marano sisters partnered with to bring attention to this global matter, they were able to show their film to survivors of online sexual exploitation which is an opportunity they are grateful for. ‘‘It’s one of the scariest things we had to do. All the characters have their own unique story but at the end of the day, this film is trying to tell a story that goes beyond, a story that connects us all,’’ Vanessa announces. ‘‘It was so well received. They couldn’t have been more supportive and they couldn’t have been more happy that we are tackling a topic that normally people don’t want to talk about.’’

As they are about to see the end of the tunnel with their movie coming out next July 12th, they feel a tremendous satisfaction with what they were able to accomplish and overcome. ‘‘It took us so long to get this project made and it got made, which means for anybody out there who is trying to accomplish a goal, it can happen. We totally understand every stage of the process of trying to make something happen for yourself, the frustration, the rejection, the hopelessness,’’ Vanessa insists. ‘‘Sometimes timing is not your best friend, sometimes it’s like this is the worst time to be doing something, but you have to push through and keep going because eventually, it’s the right time to tell a story.’’ While thanking all the fans and all the people who have supported them throughout the year, they reveal they just got the permission to announce that Saving Zoë will also be on Amazon Prime in Europe in the fall. ‘‘We don’t know when, but it will be out there. We’re so proud of it and we’re just so grateful for all the support,’’ they conclude.

‘‘ Sometimes timing is not your best friend, but you have to push through and keep going because eventually, it’s the right time to tell a story’’

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‘‘ This topic of online sexual

exploitation that the film very much dives into is such an important topic. Even in those hard moments, it was easier to keep going because it was a story that needed to be told’’

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GRUMPY MAGAZINE #14 - Inbar Lavi  

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