Booking the role of Kim Possible in Disney Channel’s upcoming live-action movie on her first in-person audition in Los Angeles, rising actress Sadie Stanley was born to be a star. To 13-year-old Stanley, acting was a natural instinct and passion that she wanted to pursue after falling in love with performing in her local theatre in South Carolina. Stanley recalls, “I literally was googling ‘How do I become an actress?’ and then I brought it up to my parents. They were very sweet and supportive, but I don’t think they realized how serious I was about it. So it took a while and a lot of conversation to realize that I wasn’t going to let it go.” From there, Stanley got her first agent, met her manager, and flew to Los Angeles, where in a matter of weeks she was getting callbacks for Kim Possible. Now, at 17 years old, Stanley is dividing her time between South Carolina and Los Angeles, where she is continuing to audition for projects and celebrating the release of Kim Possible today. Read an excerpt of our conversation below and order a copy of the Winter 2019 issue here.
So you star as Kim Possible herself in Disney Channel’s live-action movie, which is based on the iconic TV series. Just for those who haven’t seen the show, what should viewers expect?
Well, Kim Possible is just a regular teenage girl. At the beginning of the movie, she’s starting high school, and at the beginning of the live action movie, she’s on her first day of high school. So she deals with all of that stuff: making friends, figuring out who she is, trying to fit in, and all of this stuff that normal people deal with. But she’s also fighting crime and fighting evil people with superpowers. So that’s where she differs from a lot of people. She got into this by, well it’s kind of a long story how she got into it, but basically she just fights the evil people who are after her and trying to take over the world. So she has to balance all of those things, which is kind of crazy, but she does it with her best friend and sidekick, Ron Stoppable.
Have you seen any fan reactions to the release of the movie preview?
We have released a teaser and we released the costume. They redid the costume, and it’s a really great adaptation from the old classic cartoon to a revamped modern style. I really love the costume that they worked so hard on it, and it turned out amazing. I think it’s so important to focus on the positive reactions and the positive comments that you get and not focus so much on the negative ones because there are some negative ones when people who aren’t super happy with the way the costume is or they don’t think I look the way they have her envisioned in their mind, and that’s okay, but they haven’t seen the movie yet. I’m hoping that once they see the movie, and they see everything together, and they watch this story, they fall in love with Kim Possible again.
How do you like to use social media to connect with fans and promote positivity? What are your favorite aspects of it?
My favorite part is talking to fans. They’re just so sweet, and they [haven’t even seen the movie yet]. They’re just amazing, and they’re going to grow up to be such beautiful people because they’re so positive and so kind, and that’s so cool. They make these edits that take so much time, and I just am so thankful for them.
So with the release of the movie coming up in 2019, what are you the most excited about?
I think I’m just so excited for everyone to see this movie because I just know how hard everyone worked. It was such an amazing three months during which we all worked together to create something so beautiful. This script is so beautifully written, and it’s such an awesome story of female empowerment.
What is the craziest experience you’ve had since joining the Kim Possible cast?
Well, something that really surprised me and kind of caught me off guard was when we were in Vancouver filming, I would be out with some of the cast and there would be paparazzi with cameras across the street. They would see us and know who we were and then take pictures of us; that was so crazy to me. I had no idea that was going to happen. So there were pictures showing up online that I didn’t even know that anybody was taking, and it was just me like coming back from eating lunch or going to Michael’s. It was weird.
What advice would you give to newcomers and young actors?
There’s going to be a lot of people who tell you that it’s not realistic to want to be an actress and that it’s really hard and that the chances are one in a million. You should know that it’s going to be hard and you should know that you’re going to have to work for it, but you also shouldn’t let those things stop you from pursuing what you want to do. I just knew that I wanted to be an actress. I knew with all of my being that this was what I wanted to do, and I know now that I want to do it for the rest of my life. That’s a really good feeling. When you have that feeling, you can’t ignore it. You’ve got to go for what you want.
So how have you been balancing your life as an actress with spending time with friends and family back in South Carolina?
I love FaceTime. FaceTime is the best invention ever. I spend a lot of time texting and on FaceTime and calling my friends and family, just trying to stay involved in their life even when I’m across the country. I think what’s super important is both parties making an effort to stay in touch and to stay in each other’s lives, even when I’m gone for two months or three months. It can get hard and I miss them, but I know that when I do get home, I finally get to hang out with them face to face, and that makes those moments even better and even more fun. So I think it makes you cherish that relationship even more so.
Outside of acting, what are some of your hobbies?
I’ve always loved singing. I’ve done that since I was super little, so that’s one of my hobbies. I play the ukulele and piano, and I’m currently trying to learn how to play the guitar. I’m not very good at it, but maybe one day we’ll get there. Music has always been a really important part of my life. I also love to draw and paint. That’s also something I really love doing. It’s really therapeutic for me. I also danced when I was younger. I pretty much love everything to do with the art.
STORY JANICE KIM
PHOTOS LINDSEY BYRNES
Read more in Volume IV, Issue No. 001 – Winter 2019.