Recently filming for a new episode of the Disney hit series Raven’s Home, sequel to the original That’s So Raven, Briana Roy will soon be seen on the web series Soci-Circle due for release later this year. In 2014, Briana starred as Nina in Reclaim, alongside John Cusack and Rachelle Lefevre, which can still be watched on Amazon Prime in the UK. Catching up with her last week, Briana tells us about her first major role, filming for Disney’s Raven’s Home and her new show.
You’ve recently filmed for an episode of Raven’s Home, what was it like on set?
First of all, I can say being on set of the Disney TV show Raven’s Home was a tremendous blessing from God and, by the way, a big thank you to Miss Amber Horn, the Disney casting director, who believed in me. On set everyone was professional, respectful and fun, from the cast to the crew etc. Also, I want to add, Raven-Symoné has a great personality and she is very professional and fun to work with at the same time.
Did you know much about the series or the original – That’s So Raven – before being cast?
As a matter of fact, I was happy when they said they were coming up with a That’s So Raven spin-off, and then boom, a few months after Raven’s Home started, I got the opportunity to co-star for a week on the show for a specific episode.
What was the experience like working on a Disney production?
It was a tremendous experience, the whole shooting, hair and makeup, catering, revising the script to the director giving direction etc. Overall it was a great shoot and a remarkable experience.
Is there anything you can tell us about Soci-Circle?
Soci-Circle/Elle Twelve is a web series that I shot as the role of Kendra, which is going to come out sometime around August/September, and it was so much fun shooting with a group of pre-teens like me. By what I was told by the writer, it’s a true story which everyone can relate to, like what young teenagers go through in their everyday life, discussions about their ethnicity, judgements they receive about their style, skin complexion, their hair etc. As a proud Afro carrier, it was important to me to be part of this project wearing my hair in an Afro because I wanted to create an impact on young Black girls like me to not be afraid to wear their natural hair and show it off…
You played the role of Nina in the 2014 feature film Reclaim, how did you get the role and was it your first major acting experience?
Yes, it was and it was also a great experience working with all these experienced actors such as John Cusack, Ryan Philippe, Luis Guzman, Jacki Weaver and Rachelle Lefevre etc. There was a nationwide search for the role of Nina and my agent submitted me and they had requested me to do a Skype audition, first with the director and one of the producers of the film, followed by three other Skype auditions and three in person auditions, then a pre screen and, after that, I booked it… It was a very long process, I must say… Everyone was waiting on a phone call – my agent, me, Mom, Dad and my two sisters.
What do you remember most from working with the rest of the cast?
I remember a few scenes very well like it was yesterday, for example, there was a pool scene with my on-screen adopted dad, played by Ryan Philippe, and I got a piggyback ride from him and I was so happy, the whole time I was screaming “Yay free piggyback ride!”.
What was it like attending the film premiere?
It was a nice premiere in Hollywood at the Harmony Gold Theater and I had a blast ❤️.
How different do you find being on the set of a film opposed to a TV series?
The difference between being on set of a film opposed to a TV series is that when you’re shooting a film, you stay longer on set for one straight period of time to shoot the whole film but you can navigate through several other locations for different scenes, even other countries. However, for TV series they have a studio where they build recurring locations for different scenes and they shoot by season.
Do you have a technique for learning scripts?
For me, the technique I use to learn and memorise a script is, I just go through it with a blank read and then read it two more times to be familiar with it and then start really learning it while getting in character. Then get comfortable with it and then a final memorise so I can deliver the script 100%.
How old were you when you got your first audition?
I was five years old when I got my first audition in Miami, it was for a print ad.
Have you attended any award ceremonies during your career so far?
I haven’t attended any award ceremonies yet but it’s coming by the grace of God and when it comes I can promise you that as a fashionista it’s either GO BIG OR GO HOME for me.
We understand you’ve also worked as a model, do you still do modelling?
Totally, modelling is one of my passions and I see myself growing in it and building a brand.
You appeared on the game show Idiotest with your sister Jenasha, what was this like to do?
Our appearance on GSN game show, Idiotest, was so much fun. My sister Jenasha and I got to do our special handshake every time we answered a question right and we got to meet the host Ben Gleib, who might I add, is hilarious by the way.
What advice would you give to other child actors?
My advice would be to stay focused and have your eyes on the prize like I do…
Do you have any projects you are filming soon that you can tell us about?
No word yet on any projects that I will be filming soon, but you never know, I’ve just attended a few auditions, callbacks and producer sessions, so fingers crossed. In the meantime, I’m creating some cool videos for my Funimate followers, as well as my Cameo followers who request customised shoutouts from me from time to time, answering my Shimmur followers directly and separately, not to mention dropping some cool selfies, pics and videos on a daily basis for my followers on social medias including Musical.ly (@RealBrianaRoy) and Snapchat (@Realbrianaroy) so yaaasss, stay active with me and follow my journey!
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