Jade Pettyjohn shoots for the stars (Exclusive Interview)

Jade Pettyjohn shoots for the stars (Exclusive Interview)
By Michael Aaron Gallagher of StayFamous.Net


Jade Pettyjohn stars in "McKenna Shoots for the Stars"

Actress Jade Pettyjohn stars in “McKenna Shoots for the Stars,” airing July 14 on NBC – Photo by Jessica Pettyjohn.

She may only be in sixth grade, but eleven-year-old Jade Pettyjohn is already a talented actress with a maturity beyond her years. She stars as McKenna in the new American Girl movie, McKenna Shoots for the Stars, which aired on NBC and is now available on DVD.

Based on the American Girl series and this year’s new McKenna Brooks doll, the film also stars Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) and Ian Ziering (Beverly Hills, 90210).

“The movie is about this girl, McKenna, who is a gymnast, but she has a problem balancing her studies and her friends and family,” said Pettyjohn who plays the title role in the film.

“There’s so many things that I loved about making the movie,” she said. “Probably my favorite was the gymnastics part of it.”

In preparation for the role, Pettyjohn trained for three weeks with the Junior Olympic team.

In real life, Pettyjohn has her own collection of American Girl dolls and is a straight-A student, whose favorite subject in school is creative writing. She also enjoys extracurricular activities like contemporary and hip-hop styles of dance, as well as singing and photography.

“I’m actually really into photography,” said Pettyjohn, who uses apps like Instagram to share her photos. “My mom is a photographer, so I guess I kind of take it from her.”

An actress since the age of seven, she has already worked alongside several award-winning actors, including Simon Baker on The Mentalist and Mena Suvari on The Cape, in addition to a recurring role on Steven Speilberg’s United States of Tara.

Although her new on-screen role in McKenna Shoots for the Stars was challenging, requiring her to learn gymnastics and even cry in a few scenes, her discipline to rehearse and put herself in McKenna’s shoes helped her deliver a convincing on-screen performance.

“For me, I just drill a lot,” she said. “That’s one thing you definitely have to do. I just drilled and drilled and drilled. It kinda went easy because I can relate to McKenna. I feel like we have stuff in common.”

Watch the Trailer:

 

The movie is available on Blu-Ray and DVD.

“I’m so excited to see it on NBC and see it in Walmart,” Pettyjohn said.

For more information about Jade Pettyjohn visit her official website at www.jadepettyjohn.com. You can also “like” her Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jade-Pettyjohn/209794165750127 or follow her on Twitter @JadePettyjohn.

Jade Pettyjohn shoots for the stars (Exclusive Interview)
Copyright 2012 by Michael Aaron Gallagher

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