Meet Bunk’d Star Nathan Arenas

 

If you used to watch Disney Channel’s show Jessie, you might have heard of Bunk’d, a spinoff starring Karan Brar and Nathan Arenas, who plays Ravi’s spirited best friend Jorge. Nathan is a natural comedian–his energy and dedication to his role leaves a lasting impression on his audience. Besides acting, he enjoys drawing; playing piano, drums, and guitar; and performing magic tricks. Read on to learn more about him!

 

R: Tell us how you got into acting.

N: Well for me it started with music. Ever since I learned how to walk and talk (I learned both around the same time) I would ask my mom to film me either singing and dancing or playing my toy guitar to The Rolling Stones or The Strokes. Then my love for seeing myself on camera came along!

R: You play Jorge on Bunk’d. Can you tell us what the show is about and about your character? What is it like working with Karan Brar and the rest of the cast?

N: Bunk’d is a spinoff of Jessie, so basically the Ross kids (Emma, Ravi, and Zuri Ross) end up going to a summer camp in Maine called Camp Kikiwaka, where their parents had met when they were teenagers. There, the kids make friends with head counselor Lou, camp heartthrob Xander, studious Tiffany, and…Jorge. It’s a bit difficult to explain what Jorge is like. You’ll have to meet him yourself! He is well-known for his exaggerated fibs, being outgoing, and of course being, in his eyes, mature, which comes across as a bit weird. It’s really awesome working with the whole cast because I consider them family and they are also role models. They have definitely taught me a lot.

 

R: What is a normal filming day like for you?

N: A normal filming day for me would be going to school, rehearsal, and eventually filming for a bit, then having dinner and going back home.

 

R: What is your favorite part of acting?

N: My favorite part would be that you can express yourself in many ways, and also that you’re doing what you love by making people feel a certain way each time they watch you. Sometimes we have scenes that make people tear up or laugh, and that’s mainly what I like about acting.

 

R: Are there any charities that are close to your heart?

N: Anti-bullying, animal shelters, foster care, and children hospitals.

 

R: What are some of your future goals?

N: I definitely want to start with photography. I also do amateur close-up and card magic, and I would definitely like to improve so that I can get more in the “magic” realm.

 

R: Are you on any social media? What are their addresses? Is there a place where your fans can send you mail?

N: I’m on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Fans can send it to my PO Box:

Nathan Arenas, PMB #10910 Long Beach Blvd. STE #103 Lynwood, CA 90262

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to say to your fans?

N: Thank you for watching guys, I love all of you so much. Dream big!!

 

By Anna Tallarico

Photo credits: Bobby Quillard

 

 

Chit Chatting with Actor Karan Brar

 

Recently, I had the privilege of interviewing actor Karan Brar. A lot of you may know him from the Disney Channel show Jessie. Karan is now on a new Disney show called Bunk’d. Read about him, his new series, and what he looks for in a girlfriend.  

 

R: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into acting.

K: I grew up in Seattle, WA and started taking acting classes when I was seven. I immediately fell in love with it, so I kept taking classes. Around the time I was nine, I started booking some commercials and around ten I booked Diary Of a Wimpy Kid. At twelve, I booked Jessie. Now I’m here!

 

R: You played Ravi Ross on Jessie. What was it like working with Debby Ryan and the rest of the cast?

K: Working with Debby and the rest of the cast was great! The whole four years I spent on Jessie I learned a lot–not only from the cast, but also from the crew. That whole experience really shaped the person and the actor I am today.

 

R: You are now starring in Bunk’d. Tell our readers a little bit about the show.

K: Bunk’d is a spinoff show of Jessie with a story that centers around the Ross kids going to Camp Kikiwaka, the camp where their parents met. It is a really fun show to watch and be on because we get to take our characters and expand on them with a new environment.

 

R: What is a normal filming day like for you?

K: Normally I get a call time around 10am-ish. I go through wardrobe, hair, and makeup, then I head down to set and begin to shoot the show. Throughout the day (whenever I get the chance) I head up to school, which is on set, and do some work. After a few more hours of filming, I’ll wrap and head home.

 

R: When you are filming, do you have to memorize the whole script or do they just have you remember one part of it at a time?

K: For sitcoms, it’s a bit of both. Our scripts change about three times in the week before we shoot, so instead of fully memorizing it word for word, we just familiarize ourselves with it. That way when we receive changes, it isn’t that difficult for us to adjust.

 

R: What is your favorite part of acting?

K: The ability to be in someone else’s shoes, even if it’s just for a few moments.

 

R: Do you currently have a girlfriend? What do you look for in one?

K: No, I don’t currently have a girlfriend. I’m kind of just focusing on work at the moment. However, I do like a girl that is smart, kind, and fun to be around.

 

R: You are Indian American. What are some of the stereotypes that you have had to deal with? How do you deal with those stereotypes?

K: Since I’m Indian American, I’m usually given the stereotype of being the scrawny, nerdy kid with an accent. This is present in both my acting and personal life. Sure, it’s annoying that people think that I can only fit that mold, but instead of looking at it in a negative way I try my best to look at it with excitement. I look forward to being able to prove these people wrong and show them that I’m more than just a stereotype in their head.

 

R: Tell us about The School Fund and Thirst Project.

K: The School Fund and the Thirst Project are both awesome organizations that I’m currently working with. The School Fund focuses on helping students in third world countries collect funding so they may be able to have access to an education. The Thirst Project also aids third world countries by helping them get access to clean drinking water by building wells.

 

R: What are your future goals?

K: I want to switch gears and focus a bit more on drama, then go back to movies. I haven’t done a movie in a while, so I think it would be fun to switch things up.

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses? What about an official website?

K: Right now I’m on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat.

Twitter: @thekaranbrar

Instagram: @thekaranbrar

Facebook: Karan Brar

Snapchat: brar_karan

Website: www.karanbrar.com

 

R: Is there a place where your fans can send you mail?

K: Yeah, they can send it to the address below.

 

Karan Brar c/o Disney Channel

3800 W Alameda Ave.

Burbank, CA 91505

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

K: Thank you guys for the interview. For my fans, thank you so much for the support these past few years. It means a lot to me.

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Chit Chatting with Actress Nikki Hahn

Written by:  Jill Sheets

nikki 1Recently, I had the honor of interview talented actress Nikki Hahn.  She started her acting career at the age of 4 and her credits are moving at a wonderful rate.  She has been in then the TV shows “Jessie, “American Horror Story” and “The Fosters” to name a few. Continue to read and learn more about her, her up and coming movies, how she remembers her script and what she would like to do in the future.

R: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into acting?

H: I started acting at the age of four because I loved to play dress up. I wanted to be Cinderella. My mom submitted my photo to a couple of talent agencies and a month later, I acquired representation by LA Talent/LA Models. Soon thereafter, I hit the audition world and that same year, I booked an international Disney commercial where I played *drumroll* …. Cinderella with dialogue!! Dreams do come true!!!

R: Tell us about your up and coming TV movie “Adventures in Babysitting” and about your character Emily Cooper.

H: Adventures in Babysitting is the 100th Disney Channel Original movie. It’s not a remake of the original. It’s inspired by the 80’s hit, Adventures in Babysitting. It is also the first Disney Channel movie shot at night, and I am the first Disney Emo type character. Adventures in Babysitting is an action-packed wild ride that will have you on the edge of your seat. And you’re gonna love my hair. Emily Cooper is an introverted, independent teen who loves two things; Emo music and the bad boy, Trey Anderson (played by Max Gecowets). Emily doesn’t feel that she needs a babysitter, but she doesn’t have a choice.

R:  How did you find out about the job and what was the audition process like?

H: My manager sent me the audition and the breakdown. When I read the description of the role, I felt that it was right up my alley because I had recently worked on a short film about Multiple Sclerosis titled Venom Therapy, in which I played a frustrated, emo teen. Wardrobe dept, for that film had given me some of the coolest emo threads so I immediately fell in love with the role of Emily Cooper. I gave casting at Disney my best interpretation of the role and hoped that it was what writer Tiffany Paulsen (Nancy Drew) Director John Schultz (Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer) and exec. producer Michelle Manning (Breakfast Club & Teen Beach) had envisioned. 

R: You got to work with an amazing cast.  What was it a like? 

H: As a professional actress I have worked on many sets and have made many friends along the way, but the cast of Adventures in Babysitting was on a whole different level. We basically became a big family and spent even our days off of work, together. We had many singing and dance parties and putting on talent shows for our parents. We are all still very close and make time to get together when our busy schedules permit. 

R: Tell us about “Scales” and about your character Crystal? 

H: Scales is a really cute film about mermaids. I can’t say much about it yet but I can tell you that Crystal plays a very important role in helping her best friend discover the truth about who she really is. I had a great time working on this enchanting summer project and as an actress I learned a great deal from award winning actress Elisabeth Rohm (American Hustle, Joy).

R: Do you have any tricks on memorize the script?  Do you have to learn the whole script at one time?

H: I do read the entire script in order to help me build my character and then I focus on the scenes that we are getting ready to film on a daily basis the night before, as they do not shoot the scenes in order that they fall in the story. It is a very interesting process and I love every step.

R: I saw your cover of Taylor Swift’s “Style.”  Do you have any plans on recording any music or album?  

H: Yes, most definitely.  Music runs in my family. I love singing and have recently started playing guitar under the instruction of my dad, who is a classical guitarist. Recording an album is definitely part of my future plans.  

R:  If you could remake any movie, which one would it be?  What character would you play and who would you like to play opposite for you?

H:  The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton, I would play Sally and I think my buddy Max Gecowets would play a great Jack Skellington.

R: What do you like to do in your spare time?

H: I like to play my guitar and learn new songs, go for a swim or simply hang out with the cast of Adventures.

R: Who has been the biggest influence in your life and why?

H: I will have to say that my mother has been the greatest influence in my life because she has brought me up to stay grounded, to be grateful and to treat everyone with respect because everyone is important and that people might not remember what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel. 

R:  Do you have any causes that are close to your heart?  If so, tell us a little bit about them.

H:  The Children and animals have a special place in my heart. I support several children charities that help provide fresh water, food and medical supplies to the poor. One of my favorites is providing shoes and medical help to the children of the landfills and in appreciation they always send me little brass shoe ornaments for my Christmas Tree. I look forward to filling my tree with little brass shoes. We also help support many animal rescue groups as well as having adopted many pets myself. 

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

H:  I don’t think many people know that I’m a Star Wars geek, that I’m a Swiftie, I love Pandas, I still dress up to go to Disneyland and that my dad still carries me when I can’t see the parade!! 

R:  Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

H:  I haven’t really been asked strange questions yet but someone did ask me once if I could take their picture to my agent. 

R: Are you on any social networking sites?  If so, which ones and what are their addresses?  Do you have an official website and/or youtube?

H: Yes, I was recently verified on all my social media sites:  

Twitter @missnikkihahn  

Instagram @nikkihahnactress  

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialNikkiHahn  on 

Youtube:  Nikki Hahn’s Music Channel and my 

Website: Nikkihahn.com

R:  Nikki, thank you for the interview.  It was an honor.  Have a great day.

Chit Chatting with J.J. Totah

Written by:  Jill Sheets

We got to chat with a very talented 13 year-old from the show “Jessie.” Not only does he love to make people laugh, but he also holds the Autism Speaks charity close to his heart. Speaking of heart, we [heart] him! Read on to find out more about this charming actor.

Picture Credit: Ricky Middlesworth Photography

Picture Credit: Ricky Middlesworth Photography

R:  Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got in to acting?

J:  I am almost 13 years old and I am from San Francisco! But now I spend most of my time in LA with my mom. My dad visits on the weekends and my sister and brother both go to UCLA. I love to make people laugh. I also love filming, writing scripts, directing, fashion and music. I started doing community theatre with my brother and sister and I loved it. I told my mom I wanted to start doing film and television and I downloaded an app that gave me a list of casting directors and I started submitting myself. I was 9.

 

R:  Tell us about your show “Jessie” and about your character, Stuart.

J:  “Jessie” is one of the best shows on Disney Channel. It’s about a nanny raising 4 kids and I play Stuart who is the lovable, geeky, nerd next door who is madly in love with Zuri.

R:  Tell us about the audition process was like for “Jessie” and how you find out you got the part?

J: I had 4 auditions. The last one was called a chemistry read and I got to audition in front of Skai Jackson who plays Zuri. That was so exciting and so much fun and we bonded right away. I found out 2 days later that I got the part when I was at acting class.

 

R: You have a special episode that will be airing soon.  Is there anything that you can tell us about that episode “Where’s Zuri” and when it will air.

J: It is going to air this Friday 6/20 at 8pm so don’t forget to tune in! I will say that Stuart gets a serious wardrobe upgrade but you got to watch to find out. I think its one of the best episodes yet.

 

R:  What was your favorite thing about taping this episode?

J:  My favorite thing is the script. I think the writers went all out for this one. Its tense, its funny, its dramatic and I think the audience will really enjoy watching this one.

 

Picture Credit: Ricky Middlesworth Photography

Picture Credit: Ricky Middlesworth Photography

R:  What is it like working with the cast?

J:  Skai is my best friend but Peyton is right up there too. Us three have so much fun because we are always dancing and singing in the hallways. But this episode, Karan and Cameron took me under their wing and taught me how to shoot some hoops. Debby is a lot of fun on set and she always gives me stage advice.

 

R:  Who are your favorite bands and singers?  What is your favorite song by each one?

J:   Right now its got to be my girl Iggi Azalea but I also really like Becky G, Arianna Grande, Imagine Dragons and One Republic. If you want to listen to a new song, try “Rather be” from Clean Bandit. My sister and I love blasting that one in the car.

 

R:  Do you have any charities or causes that are close to your heart?  If so, tell us a little bit about them?

J:  My older brother has Autism and our family has always been committed to Autism Speaks and the UC Davis Mind Institute. I do whatever I can whenever I can to help them out. Autism speaks raises money and awareness for people and families who are dealing with autism and supports research to find a cure.

 

R: I read that you like to write your own scripts and film movies with your friends.  Is that true, if so tell us about it and where can your fans see the movies?

J:  You can check out my Youtube channel at jjtotah. I post a few videos there! My big projects are still a work in progress.

 

R:  What are your future goals?

J:  My future goals are definitely to go to college. I would love to study film. After I would love to be a part of any creative team in the industry.

 

Picture Credit: Ricky Middlesworth Photography

Picture Credit: Ricky Middlesworth Photography

R:  Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

J:  I wish more people would ask me strange questions cause most people ask me boring questions!

 

R:  What are five things people may not know about you?

J:  I am afraid of the dark, I’m afraid of big rollercoasters (I hate you Griffin Gluck), I learned to snap my fingers when I was 2 years old, I always read the last page of the book first, and I sing really loud in the shower.

 

R: What advice would you give someone who wanted to get into acting?

J:  Start out with a play. Whether it is at a community theatre or at school. Just make sure you love it. If you really really want to be an actor, you should ask yourself if you want it because it’s money or fame. That’s the wrong reason. Passion is the reason I do it everyday. If I’m not having fun, I’ll go back home.

 

R:  Are you on any social networking sites?  If so, which ones and what are their addresses?  Do you have an official website and/ or Youtube page?

J:  Yes, I am on Instagram at thejjtotah, Twitter at jjtotah, and Youtube jjtotah.

 

R:  Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

J:  I love all my fans. I don’t take a single one of you for granite. There’s a lot of hate out there on the Internet and my fans always stick up for me. It means a lot to me. I’m so happy my fans are all on this incredible journey with me. I feel so blessed to have the opportunities and I promise my fans Ill do whatever I have to do to make you proud and to make you laugh.

Chit Chatting with Debby Ryan

Chit Chatting with Debby Ryan

Written by Jill Sheets

Debby RyanRecently, I had the honor of interviewing the talented and hard working Debby Ryan.  When I was finished I realized that she was one of the hardest working people in “show businesses.”  Continue to read on to find out why I feel that way and more about her hit show “Jessie” and her new movie “Radio Rebel.”

R:  How is everything going on the set of “Jessie?”

D:  Everything is so great. We have a crazy amount of fun. We do what we love and it is cool. It is a no drama, family orientated set, where everyone just comes and hangs out and works. We are low-key. We kind of fly under the radar, we show up, shoot the show, hangout, bake a few cookies, do each other’s nails and we would peace out. It is a lot of fun.

R:  What is a typical day like for you?

D:  When we’re taping I wake up about 5:30, check some business e-mails, work a little bit, leave for work at 6:00 or 6:15 and be at work by 7:00. I usually stop by Starbucks and pick up some coffee for my hair and makeup ladies, just because it’s a crazy early-morning. We all need a little help!  We do my hair and makeup, go get changed, grab a little breakfast, and hug all the nuggets. I call the kids [on the show] the nuggets because they are so cute!  We go over our lines, the I will go and get my make-up touched up and we start filming hopefully around 9:00 am.  Then we film until about noon or 1:00.  Then we have about an hour lunch. I usually grab lunch eat for about 30 minutes, have a couple more meetings or maybe a fitting during lunch, and we usually finish work around 7:00.  Sometimes I have to change my outfit 3-4 times throughout the day too!  On the way home, I sometimes have phone interviews so I can do those on the road, I will go over my calendar and when I get home I love to hangout with my friends and then finally get to bed – I sleep in a teepee, and I have a star projector as well that I turn on before I go to sleep.

R:  What has been your favorite episode so far and why?

D:  There is one episode where I am trying to impress my friend back home. It is kind of like Holly Golightly.  I have this “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” moment with a tiara, and then I lose the tiara and it is crazy expensive, so I have to sneak into this apartment to get it back and I end up in a hot tub, dressed up like a spy, in wedges climbing down a rope ladder. They always love making Jessie do crazy things in heels and getting wet and throw water on me all the time. We had a fairy tale episode that was so elaborate and amazing, that was a lot fun. There has been a lot of fun and crazy episodes and our finale — not to give a lot away, but I end up in a ball gown on a billboard in a teacup with hot tea water spraying all over me while I’m about to kiss the doorman, and he’s wearing a powder blue tuxedo.

R:  You are also in the film, “Radio Rebel” which aired on The Disney Channel a few weeks ago, can you tell us anything about it and about your character Tara?

D:  My character Tara is very shy and she’s always nervous.  Despite being shy, she knows who she is and she is a very strong person.  She is afraid of telling people who she really is, but even with that on her shoulders she creates a revolution – she ends up leading a group of people & creating a movement in her town.  She encourages people to be individuals, and it was a really awesome having the opportunity to play Tara.

R I thought that I read that there is a possibly that you may have an album come out on Hollywood records this year?  Is that true?  If so, can you tell us anything about it?

D:  I haven’t gotten the memo (laughs). I have a home studio in my house. There is not a week that goes by that I’m not working on one or two songs, for either for myself or for friends or covering songs or just jamming. I am always making music. It definitely is a part of my life, but I never wanted it be a career.  I never want to be put in a position where I have to sing songs I don’t care about, I always want to be a part of the writing and producing of a project, if I make music it will definitely be mine.  I love to make music though, so don’t be surprised if you hear me releasing a few things in the future.  But for now, it is just a hobby, not a career move.

R:  You are so down to earth and positive.  How do you keep yourself grounded?

D:  I have my family. First and foremost I’m a person and they have always reminded me that I’m a daughter first, a sister first and a granddaughter first, and then an actor and a role model. I think for me it’s all about making my parents proud. It is not living for what I think pop culture’s going to love, or what Hollywood’s going to like.  It is me being me and if it works, that’s awesome. And me telling my story has gone over very well. I don’t think people want 17 of the same generic thing being done. What is interesting about having tons of different actors is having tons of different personalities and backgrounds. Even though I have things in common with those that are out there because obviously we have the same career and we’re in the same world, we are all very different people. Something that I do to stay grounded, is I don’t believe my own hype and I do not read my own hype.  I just live my life. I do my thing. I make my art. I hangout with my kids [on the show] and teach them everything that I have learned.  I’m constantly learning and growing. I tell my stories and that’s it. I spend a lot of time in the suburbs. I don’t like to hang out in Hollywood…I just live in my own little world and I have a world outside of Hollywood. I felt like it’s really helped.

R:  What are some of your up and coming projects that you are working on?

D:  I had so much fun with “Private Practice” [which aired fall 2011] playing a really dramatic role. It was challenging to play someone who is an addict, it is a very real problem.  I did a lot of research for that role.  I discovered that it is never too late to give yourself a second chance.  You can do anything that you want to, if you focus on what you can do productively.  So, I would love to go back and do a few more episodes of that show this year.  In the meantime I am working on “Jessie” – we just got picked up for a second season, and I have a couple of other projects in the works that will likely be announced soon.  I would love to do a feature.  That is something I have been looking to do for a while now…. just waiting on a project that I am really passionate about to come along…  that and I am always making music on the side.

R:  Is there anything else you would like to say or add to your fans?

D:  Thank you for watching “Jessie!”  I hope you guys also loved watching: “Radio Rebel” and I hope you dig the soundtrack.  I worked very hard on that and I produced the music video for the single off the soundtrack, my cover of “We Got The Beat.”  Thank you for tweeting me and Facebooking me and for reading my music blog & thank you to every single one of you that cares about the art that I make.  I am glad that you dig it, because I have so much fun with it.  And, if this is the first time you are hearing my name, check out “Jessie” and “Radio Rebel!”

Chit Chatting with Debby Ryan

Chit Chatting with Debby Ryan

Written by: Jill Sheets

Debby Ryan

Debby Ryan

Picture credit: Everette Perry

When I get to interview someone it is always an honor, and this time there is no
difference. I was excited to have the chance of interview this exceptional entertainer.

Some of you might remember her from our last published issue-Holiday 2009…a true
role model, Debby Ryan. Many of you know her as Bailey Pickett on The Suite Life on
Deck. Debby has made a name for herself not only on screen, but behinds the scene of
her new show Jessie. Continue to read on and learn more about her new show and the
cast.

R: Recently you just turned 18 and you got a really cool gift. Would you mind telling us
about the guitar designed with Skittles?

D: Yeah, that is so funny that you mentioned this because I literally just came in from
outside where I was playing guitar! Skittles decided to give me this beautiful, electric
guitar that they embellished with Skittles all over it. There is a clear coat on top of them,
so they will not fall off. People told me to eat the Skittles – but they are stuck on there!
It is gorgeous and so colorful. I loved Skittles growing up… I actually have a bunch of
essays that I wrote when I was a kid, saying when I am a successful actor I am going to
have tons and tons of Skittles! It was so funny that my dream came true, and I got the
guitar for my 18th birthday – an amazing gift, and it actually plays really well!

R: I love your new hair color. Why did you decide to color it red?

D: Thank you. I loved the boldness of having red hair. The new character I play on TV,
Jessie, needed to have a different hair color than the other characters I have played. I
brought the idea to Disney, and I think they liked it! It was a really exciting thing, and it
is probably my favorite hair color to date.

R: Speaking of your show Jessie. Congratulations. How does it feel to have your own
show?

D: Thank you so much. It feels great. It feels amazing. It is something I have been
developing for the last six months, a lot of soul went into it, and a ton of time and
thought. It is very cool to see if now, all put together, and to have the cast and crew all
set.

Debby Ryan

Debby Ryan

Picture credit Everette Perry

R: Tell us about your new show and when is it going to premiere?

D: It is set to premiere in September 2011 – so keep your eyes open for it on Disney!
The show is about a girl named Jessie, who moves to New York City after graduating
from high school, so she can find herself before going to college. She ends up becoming
a nanny, from a few bizarre series of events. Within the first five minutes of the first
episode, she becomes a nanny for the kids of a high-powered couple on the Upper East
Side. The dad is a famous movie director, and the mom is a super model. They are
always jet setting around the world – Jessie comes in and shows them the importance of
family. All the kids are from different backgrounds – three are adopted, so they have
totally different characteristics and different cultures influencing their personalities –
so Jessie is finding the beauty in individuality in every single kid, while showing them
how beautiful family and unity can be. It is a really cool concept – and I think it will
get a bit crazy too! We have a seven-foot lizard on set, we get into some really funny
shenanigans. The family also has a private helicopter, and a gorgeous penthouse.

R: Did I hear correctly that you helped create the show?

D: I did help develop it. I was pitching around ideas with the executive producer and
show runner, Pamela Eells, who worked on the original “Nanny,” but we worked on “The
Suite Life on Deck” together. We started coming up with ideas together – she talked to
me about this nanny idea, and I loved it. We took it to Disney and I helped come up with
the characters and helped with the casting of the kids. I also was able to help with some
of the story lines. For our first season, I am a consultant on the show, next season I will
be a producer and then the season after that I will be an executive producer, assuming all
goes well and people like the show!

R: What are the major differences and similarities between you and Jessie?

D: Jessie and I are actually very similar. My dad worked with the Department of
Defense when I was younger, so I have a bit of a military upbringing, and I have an
appreciation for the military lifestyle. It was fun to be able to incorporate that, along with
her sarcasm and strength – both are qualities we sometimes share! Jessie is an 18-year-
old girl and I am truly playing an 18-year-old girl – which is nice. She can be immature
in some ways, and on the flip side be sophisticated and mature with things too. Jessie
moved out to the city on her own, so there is a certain part of her that can take care of
herself, and take care of the kids of this family. But, she is not above being taken care of.
So, I feel that we both have that balance.

Debby Ryan

Debby Ryan

Picture credit Everette Perry

R: Does it bother you working with the 75-pound lizard?

D: No, it doesn’t bother me – it is actually a cool thing! I have worked with snakes, nine
cats, two pigs, a rat, and a tarantula – plenty of animals in my comedy career – so the
lizard is just one more to add to the list!

R: What is it like working with the cast of “Jessie”?

D: It is really fun, they are really good kids. I sat in on the auditions and watched them…
how they treated each other, interacted with each other, treated their parents – how they
treated others around them – I wanted them to genuinely be good kids. The four kids that
were cast are amazing, great people, hard workers, and so talented. They could roll with
the punches. A lot of the roles were changed or customized to fit the actor themselves.
We also have great adults in the cast as well, we have a butler, and a doorman – the
whole cast is incredible. The writers and producers are learning a lot about the characters
as we create them, and it is cool to see how we as actors take direction while also doing
things in our own way and bringing life to things. I also try to spend time with the kids
– I took them to Disneyland a few weeks ago – glow in the dark mini golf – we have a
blast.

R: You are a true role model. How do you feel about being a role model? And, what do
you think makes a person a good role model?

D: When I was younger, I would baby-sit and I would always be very aware of the way
I did things. Kids pick up on the things that adults do, so I learned at a young age to be
very aware of how I was in front of kids. Fortunately, being on a Disney show was kind
of preceded by that. My mind is naturally on being a good person, I want to make my
parents proud, and do the best I can at everything I do. There is not an hour that goes by
where I am not thinking about my fans and how something I might be doing will impact
or influence them – however being aware does not hinder me from bring who I want to
be – I think it makes me a better person.

R: Some entertainers feel uncomfortable when fans come up to them asking for their
autograph or talk to them, what advice would you give your fans who would like to come
up and ask for your autograph or just say hello?

D: My fans are some of the coolest people in the world. I love it when people come
up to me and tell me they like the show. Even when I don’t have much time or I’m sick
or tired, I am going to give them a few minutes of my time because they spend time
watching my show and I make it for them. I really work for the viewers and I like to hear
the feedback first hand.

Debby Ryan

Debby Ryan

Picture credit Everette Perry

R: You have great fashion sense. How do you come up with your style?

D: I customize everything. I go to vintage stores, souvenir shops or my brother’s closet
– I love to find things I really like in random places. Ultimately, I love to cut and change
things and make them my own. My friend and I went to a surf shop, and I found this
shirt with “Life Guard” on it – I turned it into this really cool tank top. There are also
tons of ways to be modest, while still being and having fun. Right now I like crop tops,
high waist jeans, and shorts. You can still have coverage with proportions. It is all about
being creative, because you never go into a store setting completely what you want to
wear.

R: What some of your future goals?

D: I would love to write and produce music for a couple of artists – I want to foster and
inspire a creative spirit in people, either through a clothing line, or customizable things. I
have a few really cool things in development right now…. Over the next few months we
will be releasing new news on all of this. Someday I want to be married, have a family,
and I want to travel. Since I lived in Germany when I was younger, I love to travel and
there are so many places I have yet to see, and want to see.

R: You mentioned you lived in Germany, do you speak German or any other languages?

D: I do speak a little German. I was at the beach the other day with my friend and
couple was speaking in German, and I was able to translate some of it to my friend.

Debby Ryan

Debby Ryan

Picture credit Everette Perry

R: Anything else you would like to add?

D: Thank you guys for watching and supporting the show. I have a lot of fun doing
what I do and I wouldn’t be able to do it if it were not for the people who watch. I am
excited for the world to see a new level me, of the heart I put into “Jessie” and the
other things that I have got going on which I will keep everyone updated through my
website “Debbyryan.com

You can also follow Debby Ryan on Twitter: www.twitter.com/thedebbyryan