Zion Broadnax’s latest project Day Shift releases on Netflix this Friday, 12th August, and she will be playing Paige alongside a cast including her on-screen parents Jamie Foxx (as Bud) and Meagan Good (as Jocelyn), with the action-adventure film being directed by JJ Perry. Last year, Zion played Taylor in the Halloween special of Sydney to the Max on Disney, and she has previously played Hope in the short film F8TH, which saw her portrayal of the lead character win Best Supporting Actress at the 168 Film Festival, and for her first feature film, she played Little Holly in Holly Day. It has been announced that Zion is in the cast of the upcoming animated series Transformers: EarthSpark, in which she will be voicing one of the main characters Morgan ‘Mo’ Malto. Recently, Zion spoke to us about this week’s release of Day Shift on Netflix, playing Paige in the JJ Perry-directed feature film and the upcoming animated series Transformers: EarthSpark.
Your latest project Day Shift will premiere on Netflix on August 12th, can you tell us about the film?
It’s an action packed film starring Mr Jamie Foxx (Bud) and Ms Meagan Good (Jocelyn), who play the parents of my character Paige. Bud is a hard-working father, who disguises himself as a pool boy but who really hunts vampires to get their fangs in return for money so that he can provide for me. Also, Mr JJ Perry is the director of this film and was the stunt coordinator for John Wick. So you know there are amazing fight scenes and action and humour in this movie that will keep you on the edge of your seats.
How was it filming as Paige and what originally drew you to the role?
So cool playing Paige and for it to be my first action film, so the high speed chases, the storyline, and seeing the action really drew me to wanting to play this role.
What was it like on set of the film and working with the rest of the cast, which includes your on-screen father Jamie Foxx?
Amaziiing, lol. From the production to the cast was awesome! I was the only kid in the film and everyone was so kind and welcoming. Mr Jamie was so funny, he kept everyone laughing on set. Ms Meagan was so nice… I sometimes had to pinch myself being in disbelief as to how blessed I was to work with such great talents.
What are you looking forward to for the release and why would you recommend watching it?
I’m excited to share this moment with my family and friends. This film has everything from an all-star line up, humour, horror, action, and stunt work, and did I say action!! Lol. Directed by one of the best – Mr JJ Perry, who did such a great job! With all mentioned… who would want to miss that?
Do you have any stand-out highlights from working on Day Shift?
Yes, Mr Jamie would bring his speaker backpack to play music and all of us on the set would just start dancing out of nowhere, so that was pretty fun!… And I also loved seeing how all these special effects work, the fighting scenes, where I’m just ready to do it again!
Last year, you played Taylor in Sydney to the Max, what was this like to do?
Yes, it was cool because it was a Halloween special and I got to dress up and eat lots and lots of candy, lol. I always watched Sydney to the Max so being able to work with them as well was a great experience.
What was short film F8TH like to be part of as Hope?
So, in F8TH, I was the main character who was living in a hospital with cancer since she was a baby. It really made me think about other kids that are going through this in real life. It is sad to know that they have to go through so much, but I wanted to play Hope because I wanted to show the world through her eyes what is really happening to some kids right now.
We understand your performance of Hope won Best Supporting Actress at the 168 Film Festival, how did this feel?
Incredible… when they were saying the names of all the nominees, I was saying a little prayer that I would win. When they said my name, I was so happy, I think I was in shock because I did not hear my name and the director Glenn Plumber nudged me like, that’s you! Lol.
You booked your first feature film role as Little Holly in Holly Day, what do you remember most from working on this film?
I remember being really excited and nervous at the same time because it was my first feature film. I had only been signed to my agent for one month before booking this starring role. I woke up the morning I was supposed to report to set with the feeling of butterflies in my stomach. One thing that really stuck with me was a tip Mrs. Robinne Lee gave me on set about how to cry. I never forgot her secret of how to do it, I would share but it’s our little secret lol.
Can you say about some of the other acting projects you’ve been part of over the years, which has included Abbott Elementary and Game On! A Comedy Crossover Event with Family Reunion?
Well, I am homeschooled so going on set for Abbott Elementary was really nice. I felt like I was really at school with other kids, and being in the class room.
With Family Reunion, the cool thing was seeing my old hip-hop teacher on set from Debbie Allen Dance Academy, her son Isaiah is one of the starring cast members on that show. Also, Mrs. Shondrella Avery played my mom on Family Reunion and she also played my mom in Holly Day. So, it felt like a real Family Reunion for me.
What are some of your favourite memories since starting in acting?
This may sound weird but one of my favourite things to do when I am on set is going to crafty and eating the different kinds of snacks lol… Some of my other favourite moments are people I’ve got to meet and work with over this short period of time. I am so blessed to have worked with so many great actors.
Where does your love of acting come from and how did you start in the industry?
It comes from the heart… literally the Heart (Arts Academy) where I started studying under Emmy Award-winning actress Mrs. Vernae Watson. She told my mom that I “got it”. My mom had been approached before asking if I wanted to act, but she always turned it down. She waited until I was older to see if it was something I wanted to do. When I got a taste of acting at the Heart, there was no turning back. I told my mom that I wanted to give it a shot. I love becoming different characters.
What are some of your favourite TV shows and films to watch?
Some of my favourites are Wild ‘n Out, Encanto, Teen Titans Go!, Secrets of Sulphur Springs, Stranger Things, Sam & Cat, Victorious, Miraculous Ladybug, and any kind of Anime, and old-school Martin Lawrence.
How do you like to spend your time away from acting?
I love dancing, swimming, listening to music, playing Roblox, Xbox, drawing art, playing with my dog, meeting new friends, creating different kinds of smoothie flavour drinks that inspired me to wanting to create a smoothie brand for kids.
It’s been announced you will be voicing Morgan ‘Mo’ Malto in the upcoming animated series Transformers: EarthSpark, what has it been like to work on?
It is really cool, I really scored big being a main character in Transformers??? Wow, I am still shocked. One of the actors – Zeno Robinson, who voices Thrash, is also on one of my favourite shows Miraculous Ladybug, and when I found out he was one of my sidekicks on Transformers, I was like, what???? OMG!!!! Then I learned of all the other cast members and I was feeling the same way like when I was cast on Day Shift. Little old me gets to work with all these greats? I am so grateful and truly blessed for this opportunity.
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