We Just Found the Next Victoria Justice!
Actresses like Victoria Justice are hard to come by. Let’s face it, it’s not everyday that you come across a super talented triple-threat! That’s why we are SO excited about Hollywood’s newest addition, Isabela Moner. Not only does she look to Victoria as one of her acting role models, but at just 13 years old, Isabela has already gotten her big acting break on Nickelodeon’s newest series 100 Things to Do Before High School. Sound familiar? That’s because Victoria’s rise to fame all started around the same age with her first big gig as Lola on Nickelodeon’s Zoey 101. And as they say, the rest is history.
We talked to the Cleveland native and she spilled on life, friends, some things on her own bucket list and tons of fun stories from the 100 Things to Do Before High School set. And, don’t worry, it doesn’t look like there are any Victorious feuds in the making:
Congratulations on 100 Things to Do Before High School! Do you remember where you were when you found out your would be playing CJ?
“Yeah, it’s a funny story. The week before I told my mom that if she was ever going to tell me that I got the role it had to be a surprise. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to tell the story. So, I was with my dad on a racetrack to race carts. It was my first time and I was really excited. The worker there told me all about how to use the cart. And then he said, ‘You’re going to be using cart 315, which is the channel that your new show is going to be on.’ It was so overwhelming that I started crying. I didn’t even think that I was going to cry but then all these emotions came at once. I couldn’t even imagine doing this three years ago and now I’m finally here. My mind is blown.”
Did you have a favorite Nickelodeon show or character that you looked to for inspiration when you found out you got the role?
“Yeah, I definitely look up to Victoria Justice, Miranda Cosgrove, Josh Peck – he’s hilarious. I love all those stars”
Can you tell us more about CJ?
“CJ is very determined, outgoing, friendly and she’s very persuasive. She knows what she wants and how to get it — not in a manipulative way, but she knows how to get a team going and working together. She’s like the peanut butter to the jelly sandwich. You could have the bread and the jelly, but you need the peanut butter to stick together. That’s kind of how I think of Owen (Joyner), Jaheem (Toombs) and I. Jaheem is the bread, Owen the jelly and I need to be the peanut butter in the middle to keep them together. Otherwise, I don’t think the three of them would be friends because they all have their differences.”
Jaheem and Owen play your two best friends — Fenwick and Crispo — did you get a chance to meet them before filming started?
“I didn’t get to meet them before auditions.We met at the mix and match, which is kind of seeing which kids work together. It’s a cool process because you meet a bunch of other kids and we’re still friends with them too. When I first walked into the audition room, Jaheem was the first person I talked to. I was kind of nervous because I’m not the type of person that can walk into a room and be friends with everyone. He even told me that he thought I was going to get the part. We just became friends automatically. I didn’t talk to Ownen much, but as soon as we got comfortable with each other, we started sharing snacks and talking. So, yeah it wasn’t really awkward when we started filming. We were friends and now we are like brothers and sisters. I spend every day with them. We haven’t really had any fights. We have had feuds but it really is like brothers and sisters fighting.”
What are some of the things that would be on your bucket list?
“1. Face my biggest fear — not sure what my biggest fear is yet but I want to face it. I think my biggest fear may be writing a song and performing. I write songs but performing it for people is something I just can’t do.
2. Go to prom. I want to do that. It’s probably also a fear of mine!
3. Cook my family a meal. I don’t know how to cook so I need to learn how to cook. I’m a pro-microwaver! Mac N Cheese is my go-to.
4. I would like to meet Ellen.
5. Go to a Beyoncé concert. I love her and she’s one of my idols.
6. I want to master the guitar. I know how to play a little, but I really want to master it like Ed Sheeran level.
7. Make a YouTube channel. I’ve done live streams with my friends, which is kind of like a YouTube channel but easier way of doing it.”
Has it been difficult balancing school and acting?
“Yeah, because school and acting don’t really go together that much. But, I think I have a good balance between them. I like to work ahead and I’m working ahead in my level. We need at least three hours of school a day on set. It’s two different mind sets that you have to put on. You have to be really serious for school and fun on set.”
What about time for fun? What are some of your favorite things to do in your down time?
“My favorite thing to do is probably watch Netflix. I have to take advantage of my downtime. But I also really love to go hiking and I love views. I think those are the most memorable moments of your life. You’re in the moment and take tons of pictures of it. I love going to places that no one has ever been before and finding little secret passages. When I’m in New York I love going on rooftops or if I’m in LA I’ll go hiking by the Hollywood sign.”
When you go back home for a little while, what’s the first thing you do?
“Definitely microwave food and contact my friends that I haven’t seen in a long time. I really miss them all the time. I’m also bad at texting back so that’s a bad flaw of mine. But I try to keep in touch with them. I do like going to NY because it’s just very real. In LA everyone is so nice and it’s just not real. You need a dose of reality in there every once and a awhile and a dose of mean people.”
Growing up you did a lot of singing and acting in Broadway shows. Is that something that you hope to pursue?
“Yeah, I definitely want to continue dancing. And if I can do the singing thing too then I can dance in music videos, which would be fun because I don’t know if I would have the discipline to go to dance school for several years. I take classes though. I want to keep going with acting. Maybe I’ll win an award some day. My absolute dream is to perform at the Grammy’s!”