Fourteen-year-old actress Skai Jackson is part of an ascendant pack of Disney Channel teens who are already plotting their next moves in Hollywood. After a head start to success with voiceover work as a child, she scored her own show “Jessie” that later turned into the spin-off “Bunk’d.” Here, the New York native dishes about her on-set life, her beauty secrets and her return to the big screen for DreamWorks Animation.
WWD: What’s a normal day like for you?
Skai Jackson: Since I’m filming my show “Bunk’d” I’ll wake up around 7 a.m. I’ll get ready for my day and school, and drive to set with my mom. From there, I rehearse all day, do some school work, and when I go home I catch up on Spanish that’s probably left over from school. The next day, I’ll do the same thing over again.
WWD: What are your favorites places in New York?
S.J.: I would say go to Two Bros. Pizza because it’s a dollar a slice and it’s really good. It’s amazing. You can’t find any better pizza than New York’s.
WWD: Being a part of the Disney family, it seems like a foolproof way to success, but what you want to do after?
S.J.: I’d definitely branch out and do something in the acting field, but not necessarily in front of the camera. Directing would be a great opportunity. I’d eventually want to do something in the fashion world like creating my own line. I learn from my stylist Law Roach.
WWD: Who do you look to as a role model?
S.J.: I love Ava DuVernay. It would be cool if I got to work with her one day. She seems like a humble person. I would love to do a period piece with her. I also love Oprah, I’ve seen so many films that she’s been in. I think she’s an amazing actress and she actually stands for something.
WWD: How do you handle social media as a teenager in the public eye?
S.J.: Being that my name is attached to Disney, especially when it comes to social media, I always have to be careful with what I post. Even if there’s a post that’s been deleted, a second later someone’s already taken a screenshot and it’s to the next blog. I was taught at a young age — even with Disney we have classes — about what you should put out there what you shouldn’t, and the importance of keeping your name clean and not being associated with anything negative.
WWD: What’s your beauty routine?
S.J.: I don’t touch my hair too much because I don’t want to put too much stress on it, so I just keep it in a bun and use coconut oil, Jamaican black castor oil and jojoba oil. I also drink plenty of water and if I ever wear makeup, I take one of those little motorized brushes and clean my face. I also like to watch makeup tutorials in my free time. I love NikkieTutorials, Jeffree Star, PatrickStarrr and Manny Mua.
WWD: How do you stay fit?
S.J.: I’ve been practicing ballet since I was three years old. People don’t really know, but I went to Dance Theatre of Harlem in New York. It’s such good exercise and the art is really beautiful.
WWD: What’s your next acting project?
S.J.: I’m doing [an animated project] with DreamWorks. It’s called “Wee Dragon 6.” I just did the pilot. My character is funny and ditzy in a way that I love. She has a twin sister who gets her out of a lot of problems. I’ve been doing voiceovers for a while. I think people will enjoy not seeing me in front of the camera.
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