Talented actress, dancer, and model from Mission Viejo in Orange County, California, Emily Skinner @emilyskinner__ is widely known throughout the world thanks to her role in diverse top-rated television series, in movies, and in music videos. Even though the majority know her as Amber in Disney’s Andi Mack, she unveils a little more about herself, her career, and her upcoming projects to Teenlionaire.
Today, we have the beautiful, multi-talented Emily Skinner who can be described with three words: charming, vibrant, and pre-eminent. She is known for her roles in Andi Mack, Austin & Ally, Criminal Minds, Total Eclipse, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, Shake It Up, The Mindy Project, Sam and Cat, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, NUMB3RS, Days of Our Lives, Rizzoli & Isles, Sodales, and the list goes on with TV shows, web series, short films, and music videos… With more than a million followers on Instagram, Emily has a wide range of fans who enjoy the characters she plays on television, or are fascinated by the fact that such a nice girl can play a villain so well. First, Emily, how did you first start in the industry and what led to your success?
My mom put me in acting classes when I was six years old because honestly, it was the only thing I would agree to do. I was not interested in any sports, but I did want to go to acting classes. I was actually quite shy, but loved imaginary play, so my mom thought that it would help me come out of my shell. So she was very surprised after a few months, when my acting coach pulled her aside and asked her if she would take me to LA to meet with a couple agents he knew in the industry. She actually thought it was some sort of a scam and decided not to pay for headshots, so we just took photos ourselves and printed one out to bring to the meeting. I ended up signing with Abrams Artists Agency that day and we are still with them today! Once you get signed with a theatrical agent, they send you out on tv and film auditions, so I have been auditioning ever since. Social media really wasn’t a part of my life during my young acting years. I wasn’t allowed to have an instagram until I was 12 years old; and it was private. After I did the Avicii music video “Broken Arrows” at 13 years old, my representation began talking to us a little more about social media and my mom allowed me to open up a public profile. Since that time, booking the role of Amber on Andi Mack and Diana on Total Eclipse has made me a more recognizable actress, in both cases by playing a mean girl role.
Hmm… In all honesty, you possess a very extensive portfolio. If you were to be some sort of a corporate employee, several companies will be on the lookout for a gem like you… And on that note, what are the greatest accomplishments you’ve had since you began acting?
I think one of my greatest accomplishments was booking the role of Amber on Andi Mack because it is such a progressive Disney show and I am proud to be a part of it! But honestly, in this industry it is very competitive, so I consider any and all bookings as blessings and cause for excitement! I love acting so much! I have loved every part I have ever played, from acting in student films to television roles on multi camera and single camera shows, to working with Brat on webisodes, to film work! Any time I am on set, I am happy!
Interesting… So, Sodales—let’s talk about this short film… Since it is still one of your favorite works so far, tell me more about it—the filming, the production, your role, those you had to work with, and just about everything that made it a recherché project.
Sodales was part of a series of short films produced by Glamour magazine called Glamour Reel Moments. Readers were asked to write and submit a story about something in their past. Five were selected to be turned into short films. Then Glamour selected five actresses to direct each of the five stories with the intent of enticing more females to become directors. Jessica Biel was chosen to direct one of those stories called Sodales and I was cast as one of the leads of the film. The story was centered around two eight year old best friends who are heartbroken when one of them (my character) has to move away. They engage in a world of pretend play to help deal with their emotions surrounding this move. As part of the pretend play, they fight against the evil Crimson Queen (my mom in the film, played by Julie McNiven) who is trying to tear them apart. Liam Neeson is the voice of the girls’ wise and fearless leader/teddy bear! Check it out on you tube:
Another cool project is Andi Mack, which is probably your most popular project… Everyone loves “Amber alert! Amber alert!”… Can you tell me about a funny or inspiring moment that happened when filming this show?… It could be a funny moment, behind the scenes, a special episode, an exclusive occasion, or anything at all.
My favorite episode of Andi Mack was the Snorpion because we got to do a night shoot at a carnival! It was hilarious because Peyton had to ride the ferris wheel over and over again! After we wrapped for the night, the crew ordered pizza for all of us and we had a big, late night pizza party! But the thing I will remember most from Andi Mack was that we were one of seven programs that received a 2018 Television Academy Honor. This award celebrates programming that impacts society by presenting and dealing with current social issues. It was overwhelming to be recognized amongst so many ground breaking shows, and amazing actors and actresses! I will never forget how inspired I felt that night as I saw how television shows can truly play a role in changing the world for the better.
Well, that’s enough about acting… Tell me, what are some memories of growing up in Orange County that you don’t ever want to forget?… I’m guessing you enjoyed the theme parks, surf culture, historical points of interest, and—most importantly—growing up with the Skinners.
When I was young, my favorite thing to do was put on dress up clothes and pretend play. I would do this all day long. Maybe that is where my love for acting began! My sister, Lauren and I also loved having picnics at the park and doing arts and crafts in our backyard. But even as a young child, I loved amusement parks and roller coasters, and I still do today! Some of my favorite memories are going with friends and family to Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm and Six Flags Magic Mountain. I will go on each and every roller coaster in the park and really enjoy going with friends who will go on all of the crazy roller coasters with me! One of my other favorite past times is going to the beach with friends. I love spending the day at the beach and then barbecuing hot dogs and smores by the fire once the sun goes down! Our family also enjoys going for hikes in the many canyons surrounding our home and more recently my sister and I have learned to snow board and love taking family trips to the mountains in the winter! One of our favorite places to go in the summer is Lake Tahoe with friends; as we also enjoy inner-tubing, rock jumping, boating, and water sports on the lake!
And do you have anything new on the way?… We all like surprises, should we be expecting anything new from Emily Skinner anytime soon.
I am currently filming season 3 of Andi Mack, season 2 of Total Eclipse, and I am on hold for a lead role in an independent film project filming at the end of summer so fingers crossed it works out!
Do you have some advice for upcoming teenage entertainers…?
Enjoy the process. Be thankful for each and every audition because it’s a chance to practice becoming a new character. And don’t hold onto failure. Look ahead and get excited over new opportunities instead of dwelling on things you didn’t book in the past.
And last, a beauty tip from Emily.
Always remember that beauty is on the inside and when you are using your skills and talents to help others, you will feel the most beautiful, confident, and happy!