Photo Credit – Wendy Darling Photography
Hey Raquel, So excited to be chatting with you!! You started your acting career at a very young age, what inspired you to pursue acting?
I think mostly, always being in front of the public eye. I grew up with my family being part of a “famous” family because of my dad. It wasn’t crazy where I couldn’t walk outside but we definitely always were raised to represent the Justice family in a good way. The main thing that inspires me is the feeling of being in front of that camera saying those lines and becoming that person.
You are known for your role on the Disney series “Andi Mack”. Can you explain the process of how you got this role?
This was a great role from the get go. It called for an athletic basketball girl and although I’m not in the NBA I can shoot a few hoops. I had been auditioning for this show ever since it first got pitched to disney so for them to finally find a role that fits me and could show off my acting was great. I went in for a main call, then a call back, and then one more after that. I remember shortly after, being pinned, and then about a week or two later, when I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to get the part, my agent, manager, and mom put me on a call and told me I got the role.
Can you explain the character you portray?
Kira is a very confident, strong willed, cocky character. She can be manipulative at times and she knows and gets what she wants. But I do believe she has more layers than she shows. I can’t wait for more people to peel them back and see what she’s about.
What do you think makes this show standout from other Disney shows?
Andi Mack is VERY inclusive with religions, learning disabilities, military families, teen pregnancies, LGBTQ+ community, anxiety and panic attacks, and more. I think it’s extremely important to have these shows out there, especially now that it’s geared more towards a younger audience, to show them that this can be the normal. That they aren’t alone and these people that they see on tv can relate to them through these real life problems. Kids need to see this, because they should be growing up in a state of mind where they don’t have to hide from these things.
Since getting the role, you must get recognized in public a lot more. What was that change like for you?
Honestly when I’m in San Diego or Los Angeles it’s not that bad. I’ve only been recognized a few times. But when I’m filming in Utah and I’m with the cast of course we get spotted easily, and honestly I love it. Love taking pictures and meeting people. But I don’t think it’s to the point where it’s drastically changed my life at all.
Did having your father already in the public eye because of his career help prepare you to be recognized in public by your own supporters?
Most definitely. I think growing up with people always asking my dad for pictures and autographs really helped me see and observe how I should react or behave when I’m asked for that kind of stuff.
What’s your favorite part about being on “Andi Mack”?
Being embraced into a new family, who truly are some of the greatest people I’ve ever met. To have an awesome job working with my friends. It’s the dream.
What’s your favorite part about being on set?
Lunch time, or anytime the cast could sneak off to eat and goof off.
How do you and the other cast members get along? Do you guys have any rituals before filming?
Great! Everyone is great with everyone., You don’t find that very often so when you do it’s very refreshing. I would say a ritual of ours is just like being in each others presence before filming, and for me it’s just getting in the right positive headspace.
What’s an average week like on set?
School, lines, hangouts playing video games, dinner nights, movie nights, lunch, food, food and more food.
Did you want to be an actor when you were little, or did that develop later on?
I definitely had a knack for being in front of the public eye. I would always love to be the center of attention and I really loved entertaining others and making people laugh. But I never realised I fully wanted to be in this business until I was about 9. From then I begged my mom for a year, until finally at the age of 10, I got into this acting world slowly but surely.
Have you ever been starstruck by anyone you’ve met so far?
The most starstruck moment I’ve had, actually occurred two times. Both times when I met Zendaya. She is such a powerful woman and I really look up to the way she carries herself, what she stands for, and her career.
Are there any other projects in the works you can tell us about?
I can’t say anything particular but I can say to keep and eye out.
What are your friends and parents thoughts on your career in acting?
My friends and family are the most supportive people I know. I’m so glad to have them and they never fail to remind me how proud they are, or how they will always stand by me.
What goals have you set out for yourself in your career and in your personal life?
I wanna push my limits and enter the dramatic side of acting. And personally that’s my favorite side. I would love to be involved in marvel studios one day or a horror movie.
What would you say has been your biggest accomplishment so far in your career as an actor?
Andi Mack has been my biggest accomplishment so far. I was on Nickelodeon and Freeform, but Disney was my first actual recurring role. And I could not be more thankful.
Overall, how has this whole acting career experience been for you so far?
Amazing. Acting has changed my life for the better and I couldn’t imagine what I would be doing without it. It’s challenged me in my personal life and sort of helped me to grow a matured type of mentality.
You have also made a name for yourself in the social media world. Why do you think social media is so important for teen artists today?
Social Media is a crazy thought to me, because it’s the main source of communication. People all over the world connect with each other through these apps like twitter, insta, or snap 9e.t.c). It makes it that much easier to create a platform and use it to speak to all ages, about what’s right and to influence them for the better. With that it’s also a lot easier and better for promoting. Whether it be a clothing brand you’re modeling for. Or a new job you just got.
What social media platform do you use most to stay connected to your fans?
Instagram for sure.
How do you want your relationship to be with your fans?
I love interacting with them. I want to be able to try to talk to each and every one of them. I mean think about it. Without them I wouldn’t be here or have the small platform I have today. They make it all worth it.
Does your fan base have a name?
No. hahahah, I’ve never really put thought into that. I also feel like you can’t name your fan base. They can either name themselves or remain nameless.
What was the craziest fan encounter you have had?
I honestly have never had any crazy fan encounters so far.
Do you plan to branch out into singing as well?
crazy enough, I actually am a singer already. I came out with two songs a long time ago but I’m in the process of trying to get back into the song making process. I’m also going to start posting more covers on my youtube.
What’s your favorite song at the moment?
I love you -Billie Eilish
Do you have any other talents other than acting?
I horseback ride, Dance, and Draw. I also love playing sports and upcycling old clothes into new ones.
What 5 words would you use to describe yourself?
Loving, Confident, Audacious, Sympathetic, and Understanding.
If your life was a movie, what would be the title?
One Hot Mess
Who would you want to play you?
Do you have any last things you want to tell your fans?
I love you all more than I can express, and I hope to talk/meet u all soon! Thank you for everything! <3