Some South Jersey kids just amaze us with all they can accomplish before they even graduate high school. We took some of these awesome achievers to Paws Discovery Farm for some down-home fun on the farm. After all, they may have incredible success stories (already), but we know they still want to have fun!
Aaralyn Anderson, 9
At 9 years old, Aaralyn Anderson’s resume was already impressive: She’s starred in commercials since she was 2, appeared on “The Good Wife” and “Access Hollywood.” Now she can add Netflix star to the list.
The young actress recently starred in the new Netflix limited series “Maniac,” alongside famed actors Jonah Hill and Emma Stone.
“It’s really exciting,” says Anderson. But during auditions, she wasn’t exactly sure what role (or even show) she was auditioning for and was invited back for a director’s session and chemistry read. It wasn’t until she was booked and her mom was signing papers that director Cary Fukunaga introduced her to Hill and Stone. At the table reading it finally sunk in: She was a part of the principal cast.
“What we didn’t understand was she booked multiple roles that day,” says mom Heather.
“The role originally was one line, one scene. Then when the director and writer all met Aaralyn at the call back, they decided they were going to expand her character. The character went from one line, one scene to multiple lines, multiple scenes,” something the casting director, her agent and manager said doesn’t normally happen. But that’s all in a day’s work for the third-grader who is quick to gush about working with Hill and Stone (who she now looks up to) and how their shared love of improv led to some funny moments on set.
“Cary had me memorize 50 jokes in about two minutes,” she says. “The hard part was, Cary said ‘Ok in this scene, don’t smile at all. Even if the joke is really funny.’ And I’m the one saying the jokes, so it’s hard not to smile. Then when we would go into this one take, the baby actually started crying and Jonah improvised with it, like ‘Oh come on! Now you made the baby cry because the jokes were so terrible.’ And then as soon as Cary yelled ‘Cut!’ we all started laughing.’”
When it comes to getting ready for a role, the young actress is seldom nervous (but she does bring her stuffed bear, Teddy, with her to all her auditions and even to the premiere of “Maniac”) and she takes getting into roles seriously and loves a “good, hard, challenging script.”
“I just read the script and read the character description,” Anderson says. “I close my eyes, and I open them, and I’m in the scene. That’s how I get into it. I just pretend I’m the character, and this is my normal life.”
Original publication :”Kids To Watch 2018” By Madison Russ, Photography by David Michael Howarth, Shot on location at Paws Discovery Farm in Mount Laurel