TWIST recently chatted with Jade Pettyjohn, star of the upcoming American Girl movie McKenna Shoots for the Stars! Jade told us about the new movie, her favorite American Girl doll, and even gave us some exclusive deets on her new single! Check out the interview below!
TWIST: What can you tell us about McKenna Shoots for the Stars?
JP: Well I can just say that it was a lot of fun to film. All the cast and crew were so amazing! Nia Vardalos is so animated and so fun. She really did feel like a second mom to me. Ian Ziering is amazing, of course. I have pictures of he and I making goo goo faces on my iPod! And all the kids were amazing. It was really cool to step into a whole new world because in gymnastics, I've never done that stuff other than me doing cartwheels in my front yard. And so it really did feel amazing!
TWIST: What can we expect from the movie?
JP: I think you guys are going to be pretty excited about it! I think you guys will like it because it has a really nice story and it shows the balance in life that you need to have. I think it's also really heartwarming, so you guys are going to really love it!
TWIST: How did you relate to your character McKenna?
JP: I feel like we have a lot in common. We both have really good supporting families. We're also both really determined, her with gymnastics and me with acting. In acting, you definitely want to have everything perfect in every way. You really want to make it your own. And in gymnastics, she really wants to get this perfect move right and make it so her and so amazing. So I feel like we both related in that way.
TWIST: Did your dance background help you with learning the gymnastic moves and routines?
JP: I think it actually did because I've done some ballet and jazz and hip-hop. I really do feel like it helped me with that because when I auditioned, it was a dance scene instead of a gymnastics scene, so I think the dancing probably helped.
TWIST: Do you have one funny moment or prank that happened on set that really stands out to you?
JP: I remember on set, there's one scene with Kerris [Dorsey] and I when we're tutoring at the cafÃ© that my mom works at, and she would give us this vanilla stuff. So we'd drink it and we'd get all this foam all over our faces and so we'd be laughing the whole time! I thought it was a lot of fun to do that. So Kerris and I would have all this foam on our cheeks and our noses and our lips and stuff. It was really fun!
TWIST: Did you have a favorite American Girl doll growing up?
JP: Before the movie, I had a look-alike doll. It didn't really look like me. I just thought she looked really pretty, so I got her! I really love her because my aunt got her for me for my birthday. I really like playing with her and doing her own hair. And then on set, before the McKenna doll came out, they actually gave us Julie Dolls. I thought that was really awesome because Julie is so pretty and I really love that doll! So I was ecstatic to get that and then I got the McKenna Doll in the mail. I was so happy to get that because it has a lot of sentimental value to me.
TWIST: Can you tell us a little bit about your first single, "I'm Too Young"?
JP: My piano teacher wrote the song and he said he would really like it if I would sing it, so I sang it for him. It's not on iTunes anymore, but I'm actually coming out with a new one called "Don't Make Rain"! I'm recording that right now, so it's going to be on iTunes soon. It's really cool. It's a really fun song!
TWIST: Thanks, Jade!
JP: Thanks, TWIST!
Photo: Courtesy of Jessica Pettyjohn