INTRO BY MELISSA TUCKER
INTERVIEW BY CAMI LIBERTY
At the age of three, Leila Jolene attended The Nutcracker ballet in Pennsylvania. After she saw the production, she immediately decided that she wanted to become an actress. Whether it is being in front of the camera or performing on stage, the Pittsburgh native continues to amaze audiences and impress production studios with her talents. Leila plays the lead role in the Netflix series “Seven and Me” as the charming character Snow. This driven starlet takes her academics just as seriously as she takes acting. She has her sights set on attending UCLA and hopes to become a producer in the future. Now, Leila Jolene is making big moves and there are only great things ahead for this determined young star.
When did you first get involved with acting? What do you remember from your first audition?
"I started off with a Doritos commercial submission produced by Shaun O’Donnell, when I was three years old. And ever since then, I have always wanted to be on camera. I did a lot of local auditions and work for several years before venturing out to New York and LA. I remember my first audition was really simple. I had to say a few words, pick up a book, then sit down and smile. Throughout the years the audition process has changed compared to my first audition. Now it’s a little more complicated than that."
You currently star in the children’s program Seven And Me. In the show you play Snow, who is the modern-day descendant of Snow White. Can you tell us a little more about the show? What’s it like playing Snow?
"This show is the first hybrid animated TV series that brilliantly incorporates a family sitcom with 3D animated characters. It features the Snow of today with the dwarfs and how they make her world magical! Snow’s life becomes an adventure and a fairy tale in itself, with modern day problems and modern-day solutions that help her overcome barriers and obstacles. But even with the dwarves’ mischief, Snow always finds a fun and creative way to set things straight. Her sweet and kind personality really shows how she cares about the entire world. And that's really what makes her so special. I love playing her because her personality is quite similar to mine, and it's so much fun to just be myself even while filming."
What do you love most about working on the set of the show?
"My favorite part of filming on this set is interacting with the dwarves. It's like I have been transported into another dimension and it's only me and the other people in the scene."
Of the episodes that you have filmed, which one did you have the most fun filming?
"Probably either the Marvelous Exchange or Back to Childhood are my top two favorites. While shooting Back to Childhood with my parents, it was the hardest thing in the world to not just burst out into laughter because of some of the things they did. Even the crew was trying so hard not to laugh!!! But the Marvelous Exchange was different from any episode I had ever done before, because my mom and I switch bodies, and the experience of being able to play both my mom and Snow was so much fun!!! I had to study a lot with her so I could understand how she plays Blanche. It was so exciting!!!"
When you aren’t acting, what do you like to do in your spare time?
"I have so many activities that I love to do in my spare time, such as dancing, singing and I really love horseback riding. I also enjoy drawing, reading and traveling."
If you could work on a TV show or movie with anybody, whether it be the cast or crew, who would it be and why?
"I have always wanted to be in a film with Julia Roberts. I think she is an amazing actress and I would love to be in a movie with her. I would also love to be in a movie directed by Steven Spielberg."
What are some goals that you hope to achieve in the future?
"I plan on going to ULCA to learn how to be a producer while continuing to act. I would really love to work on a project as a producer with Luc Chalifour as the director. That would really be fun!"