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Print Exclusive: 'Grown-Ish' Actress, Daniella Perkins

Interview by Stephanie E.

Grown-ish, stylized as “grown·ish,” is an American sitcom series that serves as a spin-off from the ABC show “Black-ish.” This single-camera comedy focuses on the Johnson family’s children as they navigate their college years and embark on the journey to adulthood, discovering that life away from home doesn’t always go according to plan.

The initial four seasons primarily revolve around Zoey, the eldest daughter portrayed by Yara Shahidi, alongside a talented ensemble cast including Deon Cole, Trevor Jackson, Francia Raisa, Emily Arlook, Jordan Buhat, Chloe Bailey, Halle Bailey, Luka Sabbat, and Chris Parnell.

From the fifth season onwards, the series shifts its focus to Andre Junior, Zoey’s younger brother played by Marcus Scribner, as he enters college following Zoey’s graduation. Notable additions to the cast include Diggy Simmons and Daniella Perkins.

She’s SINGLE Magazine had the chance to catch up with Daniella for a very lighthearted & fun Q&A!

SSM (1): Do you mind telling us a bit about yourself? Where are you from? Where did you grow up? Do you have any siblings? And are you currently in a relationship?

D. Perkins: Thank you for asking! It's a pleasure to talk to you. I grew up in Fullerton, a city in Orange County, California. Since I was a child, I've always had a strong sense of creativity. I would put on plays for my entire family, create a makeshift Disneyland in my living room, and even write my own little "novels."

Whenever I played with my sister and neighbors, I would try to develop a script for our activities. Some may have seen it as me being controlling, but I saw it as preparing myself for the future role of director that I aspire to become. I have one sister named Devenity, and we are three years apart—I am the older sister. And yes, I am currently in a relationship with my boyfriend.

SSM (2): You've been on the scene for quite some time, dating back to 2014, but it wasn't until 2018-2019 when you landed a recurring role on the series Knight Squad that audiences from around the world got to see more of you. Could you share with us what that journey was like for you? How was the audition process? Were there any memorable experiences that may have helped increase your chances of getting the role?

D. Perkins: My journey, especially with Knight Squad, has been quite long. I booked my first acting job when I was 15, which was a mini-series for Nickelodeon called Legendary Dudás. After that, I participated in two Nickelodeon pilot presentations.

One centered around kids attending an academy for elite athletes, while the other was titled Knights of the Astoria. I filmed both pilots, eagerly waiting to hear if either of them would be picked up as a series. Unfortunately, both projects got shelved, meaning they didn't move forward.

About a year later, Knight Squad resurfaced and received the green light for a series. Despite already having secured a role a year prior, I had to re-audition. The entire show had changed by then. I went through multiple auditions, and I remember one of my ex-boyfriends auditioning for another character, but the role went to Owen Joyner.

One of the final auditions was a mix-and-match session. They gathered a group of actors who were being considered for the roles, usually about three to four actors per role. They organized us into different groups based on how well they thought we would work together and had us read scenes.

The process was somewhat intense, especially for a young teenager. After a few rounds, they would call out names, and if your name was called, it meant you didn't progress further. I vividly remember the sinking feeling when my ex-boyfriend's name was called.

But that's the nature of the business! In my mind, I never even entertained the thought of not booking the project, and I believe that mindset helped me. You have to be incredibly confident and believe in yourself so deeply that it resonates with others and makes them believe in you too.

SSM (3): Fast forward to now, you've landed the role of Kiela Hall on ABC's 'Grown-ish.' What is the character like for you? How do you prepare yourself to portray her on screen?

D. Perkins: Kiela is undoubtedly a strong woman who possesses a clear sense of what she wants. She is determined and relentless in making sure her voice is heard.

Before diving into a scene, I adopt the persona of a confident and knowledgeable individual, embodying the essence of Kiela Hall. This approach allows me to fully immerse myself in the character and bring her to life on screen.

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