Kira Kosarin was recently back home in Boca Raton to catch up in between shooting Nickelodeon’s The Thundermans, about a suburban family with superpowers. The 16-year-old dancer/singer/actress/musician — who attended American Heritage and Pine Crest high schools — plays Phoebe, a super student and foil to her villain twin brother.
Success is swift when you’re this talented. After moving to Los Angeles in 2011, Kira landed a small guest starring role on Disney's Shake It Up before being cast in the kids’ comedy, which just wrapped its first season.
How fun is it to play your character?
Phoebe is a really powerful superhero who has to be the mature one and keep her evil brother in check. I think there's a lot more to her than just the ‘good’ sister though. She's clever, sarcastic and just overall really smart. I absolutely love playing her; we're a lot alike. We're both the ones who do the right thing even if it doesn't make us the most popular. We also both like math more than any other subject. Oh, and we look a lot alike [laughs].
If you had one special power what would it be in real life?
Obviously flying would be awesome, but practically speaking, I would love to be able to function on only two to three hours of sleep. I'd be a lot more productive — or I'd spend a lot more time on social media.
What is the atmosphere on the set like?
Quite honestly, it varies from day to day! The cast is a family; we spend more time with each other than with our own families most if the time. With that comes a great, friendly, loving environment ... most of the time. Of course, we tease each other and bicker every once in a while (mostly caused by the stress of long hours), but at the end of the day our job really is fun, and we all care for each other a great deal. I'm so grateful to be a part of that cast every day. I love every single one of them (even when we're bickering).
How do you balance school and show business?
It's really difficult. I'm a senior in high school, so AP classes and college preparation courses are especially hard. Basically, what happens is that the Thundermans production schedule allows for us to complete our required hours of school a day on set, which usually means us school kids have to come to work earlier than the adults in the cast and then work in 20-minute chunks throughout the day. I e-mail with my teachers at school to get my work and get help when I need it from my on-set teacher.
What other shows do you watch?
I'm obsessed with The Big Bang Theory. I know every word to every episode that has ever aired. Ever. It's an addiction, I know, but I consider it comedic research. I love most sitcoms; I love to laugh; hence my job on a kids' sitcom! I also love America's Next Top Model and every other show that makes me sound like a typical teenager.
What are your dream projects?
I want to work with the great comedic actors I grew up watching and then be in a dramatic film with the great dramatic actors I grew up watching. I think diversity is really important to a lasting career.
I'd love to do comedy with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. They're absolutely hilarious. Also Julia Louis-Dreyfus. I really admire comediennes who are willing to look silly for the sake of the laugh.
What is advice you would give to another young person starting out in showbiz?
Make sure you're passionate about it. At the end of the day, it is called a job for a reason! It involves a lot of hard work and rejection, but if you're truly in love with what you do, it's more than worth it. Find a class and hone your skills. Find which genre is more your niche, and prepare yourself so that you're ready when opportunities arise.