Luna Blaise is a girl of many talents. In addition to starring as Nicole on ABC’s Fresh Off The Boat, the 15-year-old actress is also a singer, dancer, model, and activist. She’s involved in groups dedicated to both environmental and breast cancer awareness. She believes that when one has a platform, he or she should use it to the fullest to let their voice be heard and make a difference. Here, we discuss Blaise’s past acting experiences, dream roles (Maria from West Side Story), and what has been her favorite part of being on Fresh Off The Boat since its inception two years ago.
Cliché: What was your experience like doing Memoria [James Franco’s 2013 indie film]?
Luna Blaise: Working on Memoria was such a learning experience and the defining moment I knew that being an actress was something I would commit to for the rest of my life. I loved the process of immersing myself into a character, interacting and feeding off other actors to bring the film to life. I was 11 years old when we shot the film, but playing a 13-year-old. There were several words that I had to say as my character Nina that I had never heard before. The dialogue and subject matters were very mature. My parents worked with me and explained a lot in the process. Working with Nina Ljeti and Vladimir DeFonteney [the writers/directors of the film] was super cool because they are both young, so there was a certain organic tone that came from that. James Franco is well…basically one of the most respected artists out there today. He was so generous and patient with all of us. I love Indie filmmaking and I hope I am able to work with Mr. Franco again.
Are there any other kinds of films you would like to do in the future?
I really want to shoot a period piece and a horror film.
What would be your dream role?
My dream role would be to play Maria in West Side Story. I love musicals and I am a singer and dancer, so to be able to use all my talents in a movie would be such an amazing and fulfilling dream come true.
You play Nicole on Fresh Off The Boat. Can you relate to her in any way?
I relate to Nicole in several ways. We are both coming of age and this comes with all sorts of emotions, trials, and tribulations. We are both learning about who we are as people and how the choices we make determine the course of our lives. We both love fashion and makeup.
My hope is that my generation will step up and lead the way to saving our environment and really make a difference.
What has been your favorite scene or moment so far on Fresh Off The Boat?
There have been so many incredible moments on and off screen; it’s so hard to choose. Overall, I really love the friendship that has evolved between Eddie and Nicole. I love the strong message that girls can have boys as friends without having to date them or label them. I feel this is so relevant today. They are friends. Period.
I’ve read that you’re involved in a number of different awareness groups. Could you tell us a little about them?
I am an advocate for a healthy environment, especially when it comes to clean and safe water. I read a lot about what is happening around our world in regards to climate change and how this is affecting our ecosystems and natural resources. My hope is that my generation will step up and lead the way to saving our environment and really make a difference.
How did you get involved?
From a very young age, I have always asked a lot of questions about everything I was interested in or didn’t understand, so when I first heard the word “drought,” I immediately started asking many questions. That ultimately led me to climate change and the environment.
What are your aspirations as far as both your career and activism goes?
My aspirations for my career are to continue to love and have passion for what I do and make strong, meaningful choices in every aspect of my career. As for activism, I believe when you are blessed and given the platform to reach people in numbers, you should take advantage of that platform to let your voice be heard and hopefully impact people to make a difference.
What do you have planned for 2017?
I am planning a trip with my friends to the Bahamas and my first time at Coachella. I also have some really exciting things coming up in my career for 2017. It’s gonna be a great year.
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Luna Blaise Talks ‘Fresh Off The Boat,’ James Franco, and More: Photographed by Alex Elena