Giovanna ‘Gigi’ Cesare is a name you may not be familiar with at the moment, but will certainly know in the future. Gigi is a 12-year-old actress hailing from Hershey, Pennsylvania, and has starred in numerous motion pictures, independent films and television series – including the award-winning film The Kids From 62-F and Street.
It is no doubt that she will soon become a household name, especially after her nomination for a 2017 Imagen Award for Best Actress in a Feature Film, nominated alongside Hollywood stars Salma Hayek, Eva Longoria and Edy Ganem.
Read on to glimpse an insight into Gigi’s world!
What or who has inspired you to become an actress?
Watching Victorious as a little girl I knew immediately I wanted to be a part of what I was watching. I really admire what Angelina Jolie has done with her professional and personal passions using her platform as an actress in countries and communities that need help. It’s funny, one of my agents was Angelina’s very first agent.
How difficult is it to adapt a character from the page into reality?
It’s not that it’s hard to adapt a character from page to performance, it’s really fun. The “hard” part comes in “losing you” in the process of trying to become the character. I played a not so likeable girl in a feature film once and it was hard to play someone so unlikeable and stay in that place of being well, negative.
Which movie do you wish you could have been in?
The White Pony – it’s an Irish film. Anything European, unique and unusual and anything with horses. I have a European agent so I’m excited to do really artsy, interesting projects. It’s always funny watching a role on-screen you auditioned for, I can tell you there’s a few I’m glad that I didn’t get!
What advice would you give to other young actors?
Always remember how lucky we are to do what we do. There’s a million kids that would trade places with us in a second! Aaaand try to remember that when you get 3 auditions in 48 hours and need to be off-book or have to miss out on something you love to do! Stay grounded, stay humble, don’t read negative stuff about yourself on the internet. And most of all, once you leave the audition room, never look back, so if you get a call it’s icing on the cake but otherwise, you should never think about that one again.
What is your favourite thing to do when off-set?
I have a few! Ride horses, swim, gymnastics and sing. I also write short stories when I’m traveling for auditions or filming.
Which role has been your favourite to play?
I love each role for different reasons but I can’t NOT say playing Casper Smart’s little sister Jessy in “Street” and dancing and joking with him on set, because it was the best thing to happen to any tween girl. He is so cute and he’s even nicer than he is cute. And I get to play Jessy again and again thanks to Lyle Howry and the team writing me into the film franchise sequels. And I have to thank Willie Nelson’s LUCK FILM partner Kerry Wallum for “discovering” me on an indie set and recommending Lyle cast me.
What is your favourite thing about working on a movie?
Oh everything! Your trailer or dressing room, wardrobe, the hair and MUA people, the sound and lighting people, the director, the food, all of it. So my answer would have to be “everything.”
Would you ever be interested in acting on stage?
It’s so funny you ask that because last year my mom tried sending me back to brick and mortar school and I took theater. I had to sit out most of the class because well, I act for a living. But they gave me a small role and few lines to say and it was so different being on a live stage than being in a movie! And I had to practically yell my lines, that was really different from film and tv. I would do anything to play Cosette in Les Miserables one day but aside from that, I don’t see myself moving to stage anytime soon. I have a lot of respect for stage and musical theater actors. I auditioned a lot for Broadway when I was little in NYC, its really hard…really hard. I kept missing my cue when the accompanist hit the piano key note!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
I will have emancipated or LEGAL 18’d early, fast track through school so that I can spend all my time on a set if I am lucky to still be doing this. I may even turn my short stories into short films, who knows and definitely taking a European vacation with my family and bringing along my manager and his family. He deserves it, he’s so awesome. I hope by then I have a platform and a voice to do things like Angelina.
If you choose your favourite book to be turned into a film adaptation, what would it be and who would you play?
I love movies with Mermaids and I would really like to play Emily in the Emily Windsnap series by Liz Kessler, but its a tie with the idea of playing Clara in a version of the Nutcracker. The Nutcracker version I have in mind though, Clara would get to stay in the dream sequence a lot longer, maybe not come back!
What’s next for Gigi?
We loved chatting to Gigi and can’t wait to see her reprise her role in Street 2 Death Fight alongside Mark Ryan coming soon!
Who would you like us to interview next? Let us know on Twitter @CelebMix !