Lily Chee is a star on the rise.
The 14-year-old actress and model has made a name for herself on social media, where she has over 330K Instagram followers, and in the performance industry. Supporters and followers love Lily for her genuine positivity, clear talent, and authentic, kind vibes, even as her career grows.
Everly Mag talked to Lily all about how she got discovered, her dreams for the future, her experience on social media, and more!
Everly Mag: How did you start modeling and performing?
Lily: This is actually one of my favorite stories! I was discovered when I was 9 years old in the potato aisle [of] my local grocery store by my agent, Teri! I kind of fell into it and haven’t stopped loving what I do since. My earliest project was a Nike campaign followed by TV commercials for Old Navy [and] Target.
Everly Mag: What have been the top 3 most important moments of your career so far?
Lily: The first important moment was going to my first screen test. At the time, I had no idea what this was, but it turned out to be a really good learning experience. It showed me how capable I could be if I put my mind to it. I also met one of my best friends, who got the part!
Another important moment was flying to Hong Kong to shoot a Nike campaign. This was a really incredible experience and I got to do and see so many things while I was out there. The culture really fascinated me, and I hope to go back there soon. And, the fact that I got to do [what] I love AND have a vacation was the best part!
[The third was] when I began to study acting and learned how to really get into character. Having that “a-ha” moment where you actually lose yourself in the character and let the character take over. I remember my coach and I were both in tears. It was an amazing moment that taught me that this is definitely what I want to do with my life.
Everly Mag: What was it like when you first started on social media? What kinds of things did you post?
Lily: This one is funny. I posted things like food, my lip balms, keychains, weird selfies, and collages all in those weird Instagram-made filters. When I started, I had no idea [social media] would become so important!
Everly Mag: What are your favorite things about the social media apps you use?
Lily: I love using Snapchat to stay in contact with all my friends from NYC, to other parts of the world, every day! I love using Instagram so I can communicate with my supporters, but I also love posting new content every day and keeping my supporters updated. YouTube is something I’m still working on as I find it hard to post every week, but so far I really have a passion for the editing part [and not just] the filming.
Everly Mag: When did your following start to grow? Why do you think you grew to such a large following?
Lily: My following started to grow in the winter of 2016. This was mainly because of the live streams I was doing when Instagram first came out with this new feature. I also built [connections] with friends who were already considered influencers. I had no idea what an influencer was – I was responding to people who seemed interested in me and what I was doing. My Instagram had already been around for a while – it started to pick up as I got older and developed more content!
Everly Mag: What’s the best part of social media for you? What’s the most difficult part?
Lily: The best part of social media is being able to express myself and relate to my followers. The love and support I have from my [followers] is so motivating to me. I am so thankful for each and every one of them. The most difficult part is probably the fact that everything we do is online, and sometimes things can be interpreted in the wrong ways.
Everly Mag: How can teens make social media a better place?
Lily: Teens can work together to spread more messages about KINDNESS, use social media as a platform for positivity, and eliminate comments and posts that are negative or directed at certain people.
Everly Mag: Describe your personality in 5 words.
Lily: Honest, hardworking, loyal, funny, and quirky.
Everly Mag: Who inspires you in your career and everyday life?
Lily: People like Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, and Olivia Jade inspire me in my career. My mom inspires me every day in my life. She is very hardworking and is kind to everyone.
Everly Mag: You’re the oldest of the Chee sisters. What’s it like being the oldest? What do you like to do when you’re with your sisters?
Lily: I’m proud to be the oldest, but sometimes it can get tough. Is it just me, or do the older sisters get blamed for everything?! It’s cool being able to experience everything first, and being [in] charge (when my parents aren’t home). Mabel, Nuala, and I all love to do YouTube challenges, have little dance parties, and watch movies together.
Everly Mag: What makes you feel positive and confident?
Lily: Playing soccer, dance, applying myself at school and getting good grades. I’m one of those people who can’t sit still! I have to be active and work out to stay sane. I feel like it helps clear my mind and makes me feel strong.
I’ve always loved being in front of the camera. Even before I started working, you can see I was such a ham. People would tell my parents “get that kid into acting” all the time! To maintain positivity, I keep notes and reminders on my phone using an app called Google Keep.
Everly Mag: What’s your best advice to teens looking to grow their following on social media and for aspiring models?
Lily: To grow a following on social media, you have to be really active and posting content consistently. This includes photos and lots of story updates, mainly on Instagram. If you manifest what you want, everything will come to you with lots of hard work.
My best advice for aspiring models is to stay true to yourself, always keep a positive mindset, and treat every job as the same.
Everly Mag: Tell us 3 fun facts about you that might surprise our readers!
Lily: I was born in Atlanta, Georgia and have dual Canadian [and] American citizenship. I get a lot of questions about my ethnicity – my parents are both Canadian, my dad is [of] Chinese [and] Malaysian descent and my mom is of Irish [and] Scottish descent. I’m 14 years old, and just finishing my first year of high school. I am always working on my craft! What you don’t see is that I am always auditioning and taking classes. My favorite type of fan edits are video edits!
Everly Mag: What are your hopes and dreams for the future of your career?
Lily: I really want to book a feature film or be a part of a show as a lead or series regular! If I keep my positive mindset, I know I can get there someday.
Everly Mag: Finally, what are some of your favorite things?
Lily: Favorite place to travel? My favorite place to travel is Iceland – it’s so beautiful and there’s so much to do there. School subject? I love Biology, History, and US Government. I have all A+ [grades] in those subjects! TV Show? I’m currently obsessed with The Office, but Grey’s Anatomy and Gossip Girl are also amazing.
Book? I’ve read the Harry Potter series a million times! I also love the Selection series and recently read Catcher in the Rye and absolutely loved it! Food? I am obsessed with coconut bowls – they’re amazing. Anything else? I love the ocean, to surf and swim in it, and [am] pretty sure I’m part mermaid!
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Feature Image Credit: Lee Clower