First appearing on screens in Celebrity Wife Swap in 2014, Raquel Justice soon found her passion for acting and has since booked roles in a number of popular TV series including Nicky, Ricky, Dicky and Dawn and Recovery Road, playing the younger version of Jessica Sula’s lead character, Maddie. Last year, Raquel began her latest role as Kira in Disney’s Andi Mack, where she will continue to be seen throughout the current season. Having chance to chat with Raquel, we asked her about her time on the Kids React YouTube channel, being involved with Celebrity Wife Swap and her role in Andi Mack.
What’s it like having a recurring role in Andi Mack?
It’s amazing. I love having recurring roles because it gives you more freedom to venture and work more. I also couldn’t have asked for a better show to be a part of.
Who’s your character Kira and what is she like to portray?
My character, Kira, is a confident, strong-minded, snappy teen, whose story mainly started surrounding basketball. Until I was called back and told they wanted to incorporate her more and that’s kind of how she slowly got pulled into the TJ and Cyrus storyline. I love being able to portray Kira because I can have so much fun with her. Our amazing showrunners, directors, and everyone involved allows the cast to make our characters our own. I can’t wait for people to see more of her.
How did you feel when booking the role?
When I first booked the role, I kind of was just shocked. I didn’t know what to say, and until my first day walking on set, I was kind of still in this dream state. All I remember is that I just couldn’t stop smiling.
Had you watched the show previously?
I had seen a few episodes and I actually had liked the show. I thought it was truthful and a pretty accurate depiction of real life. Then once I found out they introduced Disney’s first gay character, I just knew this show was going to be great.
How different was this to film to your previous work?
You know, it wasn’t so different. Everyone was so kind and welcoming and immediately invited you to hang out after work. So, I would have to say the differences would have to be how many times I went back to film more episodes – generally allowing me to grow closer to the cast and crew.
What was the experience like on set of Nicky, Ricky, Dicky and Dawn?
It was awesome. It was my first time doing comedy and I really enjoyed how open they made it.
What do you remember about playing Young Maddie in Recovery Road?
Playing Young Maddie was my first ever role and I was super excited, mostly because I got to study and act with such amazing people that I look up to. Especially Haley Lu Richardson and Jessica Sula. I’m still in touch with Jessica and what I remember is everyone just making the set so welcoming and comfortable and new. I loved it.
How was it being involved with Celebrity Wife Swap?
Celebrity Wife Swap was great. At the time, it was just my excuse to get out of school. But as the week progressed I truly liked it and didn’t want it to end. It was so much fun for my whole family and I have very fond memories of it.
What was your most and least favourite aspect whilst appearing on the show?
My favourite thing was getting new material to memorise and really working on it. And of course hanging with the cast outside of set. I don’t have a least favourite. Everything was amazing.
Had you considered an acting career before Celebrity Wife Swap?
I had never fully considered acting before. I had always loved to entertain and put on shows with my friends when I was younger but up until Celebrity Wife Swap, I had no clue what it was actually like. And thankfully I fell in love with it.
What TV shows do you enjoy watching and do you have a favourite actor/actress?
I enjoy watching almost everything under the sun. My favourite actress is Amandla Stenberg, and obviously Zendaya, who I’ve looked up to for a long time. My all-time favourite actor has and always will be Will Smith, but Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Downey Jr, and Samuel Jackson have a very big impact.
How was it filming for popular YouTube channel Kids React?
Kids React was so, so much fun. I had a really great time filming it and being able to do super fun activities. I would love to go back and do it again for fun.
How long were you involved with the channel?
I was involved with Kids React for, I think, a year. I had a great time.
Do you have any roles you are currently filming or have coming up in the near future?
I’m currently up for the lead in some great shows that you will hopefully hear more about.
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