Can you tell us a little bit about An American Girl Story: Ivy & Julie 1976 – A Happy Balance?
Nina: The special is about Ivy, a 10 year old gymnast, who has to make the tough decision of choosing between her gymnastics tournament and her family’s Chinese New Year dinner. Her parents leave it up to her to decide, which puts her in a rough spot, but thankfully she can lean on her best friend Julie for help.
Your short film tackles issues that have been prevalent in the world for years. Specifically with this political climate I think your film is unbelievably important. What inspired you to take on the project?
Nina: I loved the story line and everything about it right from the moment I read it. Even if I hadn’t been cast, I would have watched it.
Hannah: The American Girl brand is about girl power and I love that! The message is always positive and empowering and we need that now more than ever.
The American Girl brand is about girl power and I love that! The message is always positive and empowering and we need that now more than ever.
Does the subject of the short film relate to the two of you?
Nina: I think it does, yes! Everyone has to face tough choices, whether it is a decision dealing with school, sports or even friends. I also relate to Ivy as an Asian American.
Hannah: I’m always trying to balance the different aspects of my life: school, family, acting, friendships, etc. so in that way, I can relate.
What would you say to young diverse girls who are struggling with pressures to make themselves white?
Nina: Do whatever makes you happy, but know your limits! Put yourself first and try not to care what other people think.
Hannah: BE YOURSELF AND BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! It doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks. Love who you are.
What can we expect next from you guys?
Nina: Our show is on hiatus at the moment for Bunk’d, but I’m excited to find out if we’re coming back for a new season!
Hannah: Lately, I’ve been auditioning for a lot of cool projects. I don’t know what’s in my immediate future though.
What was it like to get to work with American Girl dolls?
Nina: We got to play these fantastic American Girl characters and it was amazing! I felt really included in the American Girl family and it was so much fun telling her story.
Hannah: I’m a huge American Girl doll fan! I spent countless hours playing with the dolls as a young girl, so it was really special to get to bring one to life.
Any fun stories from set?
Nina: Lance, who played my brother in the special, always brought his guitar to set. Any downtime we had, we were always singing and having little jam sessions. It was so much fun!
Hannah: Singing with Lance during school breaks was always a blast! Gwendolyn’s jokes had me laughing on the floor. And of course, hanging out with Nina and the girls was ALWAYS a ton of fun.
Favorite snacks when filming?
Nina: I loved the Chow Mein on set, it was so delicious. There was lots of tasty Chinese food always around!
Hannah: One day, the director and writer had a Boba truck come to set! That was my favorite!
If you guys could star in any movie, which one would it be?
Nina: The new live action Mulan would be amazing, or if they did a remake of Pocahontas that would be so cool too.
Hannah: La La Land or Beauty and the Beast
Do you have a favorite movie/TV show?
Nina: I really like Dr. Who, but it’s not on Netflix anymore which is sad. I’m a fan girl, so anything in that world I love!
Hannah: Once Upon a Time and Gilmore Girls
Why did you both start acting?
Nina: A lady approached me in the mall one time and asked if I ever thought about acting. She invited me to an acting workshop and it went on from there!
Hannah: I saw my best friend perform in Free To Be You and Me, and I was so inspired. I thought to myself, “I want to be doing that too!” So my parents signed me up!
What motivates you?
Nina: My family and my friends for sure!
Hannah: Being challenged and doing what I love is what motivates me.
The New Amazon Original Special An American Girl Story: Ivy & Julie – A Happy Balance streams on March 24th.Like this