FYIG Chats With Taj Cross of Hulu’s PEN15

0
180
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
 

I’m fifteen years old, I’m in the 9th grade at a private school. I have a 20-year-old sister named Cammy, and I like to watch movies and hang out with my friends whenever I get the chance. I just got into Quentin Tarantino a couple of months ago and I love all the movies that I’ve seen of his. And of course, I love hanging out with my family! We laugh with and at each other, we support one another, and most importantly we play board games. We’re all very competitive, and that’s the fun of it.

How did you get your start as an actor? Was it always something you were looking to make a career out of?
 
I didn’t even think about acting when I was younger. I was playing 4 sports at a time, two practices every day. Eventually, when I was 9 years old, I was doing too much and my heel bone broke and I had to wear a boot for almost 2 years. It was at the start of wearing my boot when my mother saw I was sad because I couldn’t play sports, so she sat me down and said: “everything happens for a reason, maybe something good will come from this.” The next day I hung out with my friend and she brought me to her theater acting class. That was the first time I experienced the feeling of acting. It was so different than anything I’ve ever felt, and I fell in love with the feeling, so I signed up and that feeling became a passion.
 
How difficult is it to balance school and acting?
 
Balancing school and acting is a lot harder than I thought it would be. It takes a lot of discipline and focus to keep up in school and also audition and learn scripts two to three times a week. It’s really a lot, but when I’m on set and feeling the acting groove, all that hardship goes away.
 
What drew you to take a role in Hulu’s “PEN15”?
 
When my team called me to tell me that I had the opportunity to audition in Hulu’s PEN15 and explained the content, it seemed hilarious and very unique. So. I was instantly intrigued by the character and the amazing writing. I was so excited about the audition that I ran to my mother and said, “This is my favorite audition that I’ve had!”
 
What can audiences expect from your character and the show in season 2 of PEN15?
 
They’re currently in the writing room so I don’t know what they have in store for season 2 but knowing the writing from season 1, I know it’s going to be amazing. Can’t wait to see what they do with it and how they develop it!
 
What other projects are you looking to get into?
 
Because I did comedy in PEN15 which was so fun to do, I would like to do something different from that, like horror, or heavy emotional drama. Something outside my comfort zone.
 
What’s next for your career?
 
My next goals are to book a film or a cool TV series; a new opportunity to work and do what I love. Being on set and seeing everyone step into their characters and the energy they spread while doing what they love is indescribable. And I am so happy for Maya, Anna, and Sam for getting nominated for their amazing comedy writing in PEN15. They deserve all that is given to them. 
 
What advice would you have for aspiring actors?
 
Daydream. 
 
What’s your life like outside of acting?
 
I’m entering into a bilingual high school where I’ll be learning a new language. I’ve always wanted to learn French and I’ve always wanted to go to Paris. I’m very excited about starting at my new school and what it has in store for me like new experiences and new challenges. I just started skateboarding about a month ago and it’s so fun, but I’ve only been able to ride my skateboard twice. The reason for that is because every single time I skate I injure myself. The first I wasn’t even on it, I put it down to pick something up and tripped over the board and jammed my knee. That took three long weeks to heal. Finally, by the time that was healed, I went back on my skateboard but this time I had a helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads… I fell and sprained my wrist, the ONLY area I didn’t have protected. Looking forward to injuring myself again.
 
Let the readers know where to find you online.
 
Instagram: @taj_cross