BIRTHDAY: NOV. 13
PLAYS: SCIENCE WHIZ TAYLOR McKESSIE
HOW WOULD YOU SUM UP YOUR HSM EXPERIENCE?
Definitely life-changing. Before this movie, we were all just actors who had done different things, some of us struggling more than others. Since the movie, it’s completely changed my life and my ability to be visible enough to support different charities and to speak out about things. Plus my lifestyle has changed drastically, and I’m a little bit better at speaking out for myself and saying what I want.
WHAT’S ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE HSM MEMORIES?
Performing in São Paulo for 60,000 people. That was pretty amazing—I felt very lucky.
WHAT WERE YOU KNOWN FOR ON-SET?
People would make fun of me. When I get sentimental, they call them “Mo moments.” It’s like, “Okay, she’s having one of her Mo-ments!”
AS THE OLDEST EAST HIGH SENIOR, HAS IT BEEN FUN WATCHING YOUR COSTARS GROW UP?
Corbin has facial hair! He has to shave. That’s pretty cool. The cast started out as really wonderful, talented actors, and now everyone’s just a little bit older version of themselves.
DO YOUR YOUNGER CASTMATES LOOK TO YOU FOR ADVICE?
We all learn from one another. Vanessa has taught me style tips. We had a photo shoot one day and I asked the costume designer, “Do you care what we wear?” She said no, so I took Vanessa to the wardrobe trailer and made her pick out an outfit for me.
WHO ELSE DO YOU ASK FOR ADVICE?
There’s no celebrity who has passed down the torch or anything like that, but when I was on Dancing with the Stars with Jerry Springer, he told me not to change the people around me. I said, “I don’t know how to be a celebrity!” He said, “That’s the way to do it, don’t do anything.”
HAVE YOU HAD ANY STRANGE FAN ENCOUNTERS?
Recently someone came and sat with my mom and me while we were eating dinner. That was pretty funny. She was talking to us for 30 minutes. It was actually kind of beautiful. I could tell she wanted to know how she could do the same thing I did and that by meeting me she felt like she was a little closer to her dreams. I just made her feel comfortable and let her know that whatever she wanted she could achieve if she worked really hard.
YOU JUST RAN IN A TRIATHLON. WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO DO THAT?
I’m always motivated to try new things and to push myself physically. And because the triathlon goes to support the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, I thought it’d be a great thing to do.
ANY IDEA WHAT’S NEXT?
No idea. Of course, I’m an actress, so I’m going to be dramatic and worried about it. But I feel blessed—this has been a great ride, and it’s important to make smart, positive choices after something so big. So I’m being patient.
WHAT FILM ROLES WOULD YOU KILL TO PLAY?
I would’ve liked to be in Million Dollar Baby or G.I. Jane.
ANY ADVICE FOR THE NEXT BATCH OF HSM STARS?
Enjoy this time in your life. As quickly as you become successful, you can lose it. Take care of yourself and work hard.