The 15-year-old actress stars as Amber on the Disney Channel series Andi Mack, models for Izzy Be Clothing, and can be spotted hanging out with her Disney cast mates Sofia Wylie, Peyton Elizabeth Lee, Molly Jackson, Joshua Rush, and Asher Angel.
This spring, you’ll be able to catch Emily on the YouTube screen, as she takes on her latest role: Diana in the Brat web series Total Eclipse, which also stars Mackenzie Ziegler, Nadia Turner, Lauren Orlando, and Devenity Perkins.
Emily’s more than just an actress – she’s also an activist, who uses her social media platform to stand up for the causes and movements she believes in. On her Instagram feed, you can spot her standing up to make schools safe from guns, reading to children as part of Read Across America, supporting first responders, walking in the Women’s March – and that’s just in the last 2 months!
Teens around the world look up to Emily for her sincerity, positivity, intelligence, and desire to do what’s right for others.
Everly Mag: When did you start acting? What projects have you worked on so far?
Emily: I have been acting since I was 8 years old in a variety of roles, including Criminal Minds, CSI, The Mindy Projects, Rizzoli and Isles, Disney’s Shake It Up, Austin and Ally, and Nickelodeon’s Sam and Cat. [Now], I play Amber on Andi Mack and Diana on Brat’s Total Eclipse.
Everly Mag: How did you get the role of Amber on Andi Mack? What was the audition process like and how did you feel once you booked the part?
Emily: I was cast in the role of Amber before the Season 1 pilot, but after all the main roles has been cast. I had 3 or 4 auditions before booking the role. One of them was a chemistry read with Peyton and Asher! Of course I was nervous during the audition, but I kept focused feeling my character and being her – this always reduces the nervousness for me, because I am no longer me…but her.
I was SO excited when I found out that I booked [Amber]! It was such an amazing feeling because I really wanted to be a part of Andi Mack!
Everly Mag: When did you meet the rest of the cast? What was it like to work together?
Emily: I met them all at different times! I met Josh first. I was auditioning for the role of Buffy and he was auditioning for the role of Cyrus. I remember them bringing him back to sign papers and guessed he had booked (or was close to booking) one of the roles! We were playing a card game together in the waiting room when they came and got him.
I met Peyton and Asher next, during the final audition for Amber. I met Sofia and Lilian my first day on set, and I met Molly during the filming of the carnival episode in Season 1. The cast is the absolute best and I LOVE working with them! They are encouraging and kind – but are also hilarious and a ton of fun on set!
Everly Mag: Have you become friends with your Andi Mack co-stars? What do you like to do together on and off set?
Emily: I am good friends with the cast both on and off set! Luke Mullen, Molly, and I just recently did a fundraising activity together for the victims of the mudslides in Montecito. Peyton and I love to go to amusement parks like Six Flags and ride big roller coasters, and Sofia and I love going to movies and finding fun places to eat dinner!
Josh and I have attended a couple of events together, like Asher’s concert and InstaBeach, and he is endless energy and always keeps me laughing! Asher and I have had fun trying new tumbling tricks at a trampoline park, and all of us love to hike in the mountains of Utah!
On set we are always joking around, playing card games, and just having a lot of fun! We laugh a lot together.
Everly Mag: What inspired you to start acting?
Emily: I wanted to act since I was very young. I used to pretend play and dress up in costumes for hours every day. I took an acting class and loved it! The teacher of the class pulled my mom aside one day and told her that he wanted to set me up on an interview with an agent in Hollywood. That agent signed me and I am still [working] with them today!
Everly Mag: What’s a funny story from the Andi Mack set?
Emily: In addition to arm wrestling contests, we had corn-on-the-cob eating contests and the caterer provided endless corncobs for us to compete with. Trent Garrett won every single time – he is a master corncob eater and does so at an unimaginable speed!
Everly Mag: What’s the most fun part of acting on Andi Mack? What’s the most challenging part?
Emily: The most fun part of acting on [Andi Mack] is getting to be around my cast mates and filming! The most challenging part is waiting to see which episodes I get to be on. I am always so happy when I get to fly out and film an episode and so sad when it is over and I have to fly back home.
Everly Mag: How are you similar to your character Amber and how are you different?
Emily: I relate to Amber’s insecurities and sarcasm. My dad and I are very sarcastic with each other! But, I don’t relate to her bluntness and how she basically says whatever is on her mind. I also don’t relate at all to her need to control others. I am not like that; however, I do understand why Amber feels the need to interact with others that way.
I am hoping that my portrayal of [Amber] will help others not only understand that often these types of people are lonely and unhappy, but also teach kids some strategies for how to interact with someone like Amber – as well as the value of having a trustworthy, reliable group of friends that have your back and accept you for who you are, [which is] something Amber doesn’t have.
Everly Mag: What advice do you have for teens struggling with insecurity? What do you do to feel confident?
Emily: Although I play Amber, I am actually not always the most confident person and I can relate to teens struggling in this area. I used to feel insecure during interviews and press activities because all eyes are on you and I didn’t want to mess up or say the wrong thing. I am not super extroverted, but I have learned that it is actually best to just be myself – and it’s okay if I don’t always say all of the right things, because in real life I don’t either!
Maybe the best advice I can give others is [that] you are not alone and it is okay to just be yourself with all your glorious faults. Sometimes those faults are what make you more interesting and amazing! Lastly, I find that when I get involved in a charity or community outreach activity, I become more confident and feel empowered because I realize I am capable of making this world a better place!
Everly Mag: What issues are you passionate about?
Emily: I am passionate about helping to brighten the lives of children suffering from childhood cancer or any other disease. I have supported Mattel Children’s Hospital at a couple of events and been involved with Make-A-Wish Foundation, and love doing these things because I enjoy interacting and learning from these strong children who are so inspiring to me!
I am also passionate about the #TimesUp movement because I feel like the women who have so bravely stepped forward to tell their stories are ensuring a safer journey for the rest of us. Lastly, I feel awful about the school shootings that continue to plague our nation. There has to be a solution that both political parties can agree to that will help keep kids safe at school! On March 24, I [joined] my fellow high schoolers across the nation to raise my voice on this issue and ask for change!
Everly Mag: Who are the 5 most important people in your life?
Emily: I can’t limit it to five! My mom, dad, my sister, my childhood friends that I am still close with, and all my cast mates!!
Everly Mag: What do you look for in a friend and what do you like to do with your friends?
Emily: Above all, I look for someone I can be real with [and] be myself. That requires trust. I have had a couple friendships that I thought were special and forever, and turned out not to be. But, I also have friendships that are everything I had hoped for! I treasure these friendships, and I make new friends all the time!
I love to go on hikes, [have] sleepovers, road trips, pizza and movie night, go to amusement parks, ride bikes by the beach, or just grab sandwiches and hike up in the hills by my house and have a picnic!
Everly Mag: What do you think is the biggest struggle facing teens today and how can teens and adults help?
Emily: I know that bullying is a huge issue among teens today, and plays into the issues of body image and self-esteem. Other teens can help tremendously by putting an end to mean gossip, sharing only positive things about others on social media, [reaching] out to that lonely person in your school or neighborhood, and [asking] an adult for help if either you or a friend are in need.
The most amazing thing is that by taking a stand and helping others, you will actually feel better about yourself!
Everly Mag: What are your hopes for your career in the next year, 5 years from now, and 10 years from now?
Emily: This year, I want to continue playing Amber on Andi Mack and Diana on Total Eclipse. I am hoping to book some guest star or recurring roles on other shows! In 5 years, I want to have graduated from high school and I hope to have booked a movie role. In 10 years, I hope to have a college degree in film and still be loving everything about acting as much as I do today! Maybe even directing something? We will see!
Everly Mag: Lastly, if you – Emily – lived in the Andi Mack universe, what would you be like and who would be your best friends?
Emily: I would be the over-thinker and the peacemaker of the group. I would absolutely love Cyrus because he is so free to be himself and his personality is contagious! I would love Buffy’s drive, competitiveness, and unwavering loyalty; and I would love Andi’s inner strength and confidence to be herself and not let others define her.
If there was any arguing within the group, I would be the one who could see both sides and try to bring everyone back together! I would be best friends with the Good Hair Crew!
If you liked this article, you might also enjoy reading:
- Quiz: Which Total Eclipse Star Are You Most Like?
- Interview: We Are Savvy’s Spencer Barbosa
- The 7 Friendships We Are Here for Right Now
- 3 Common Insecurities Teens Face (and How to Confront Them)
Feature Image Credit: Reagan Rosey