Celebrity

Meet Maia Mitchell

Five reasons why we love Aussie actress (and new Disney star) Maia Mitchell. Watch your back, Selena Gomez!

Maia Mitchell, Aussie actress

Maia Mitchell is somethin’ special. She grew up in Lismore, NSW, and now she’s Disney’s Next Big Star – trust us when we say you should watch this face. When she calls from LA for a chat, MM is sweet, articulate and genuinely so delightful we find ourselves squealing down the line like teenagers. She’s 19 years old, and we kinda want to reach down the line to protect/cuddle/high-five her. Because she’s the real deal; that genuinely exciting star we wait for, search for, and adore. (When she accepts her first Oscar in a few years, you remember that Cosmo warned you she was glorious, won’t you?)

Maia got her Disney on in Teen Beach Movie – which you can catch on the Disney Channel on 14 September at 7pm. And she’s in The Fosters on Fox8 here at the moment, and everyone’s mad for it. It’s like the gritty, dramatic version of Modern Family, or a very distant, edgier version of Home & Away (in so much as it has foster kids in it… and an Australian). It’s also produced by a little known star by the name of Jennifer Lopez. We’re guessing you’ve probably heard of her. So, here’s to Maia Mitchell and the ludicrous success coming her way. This is why we were so impressed by her…

#1 She still says cute teenager things

“My mum would totally kill me if I had an American accent! So I’m working really hard to keep my Australian one!”

#2 She sings, dances and acts

“I did dancing growing up, for fun and for myself. I never get competitive with it – it’s the same with music. I do it because I love and I enjoy it, no other reason!”

#3 She has great taste in role models

“My ultimate person to work with is Meryl Streep. I’d be terrified, but I would love to pick her brain. And if I could emulate one person’s career, it would be Natalie Portman’s. I love Jennifer Lawrence too; I’ve fallen completely in love with her because she’s so grounded and humble. The guy I’d most want to star opposite would be Joseph Gordon-Levitt - even in his 10 Things I Hate About You days.”

#4 She has an adorable audition story

“I was moving to Sydney to start my independent life and pursue acting. I’d just made the decision not to move to America, ironically. The day I moved, my management in America sent through the script for Teen Beach Movie. They really wanted me to audition. I said ‘No, I’m moving right now!’ but they convinced me. Then I had to keep sending tapes of myself off to LA and eventually it turned into Skype sessions, which were really awkward because of the time delay. We’d have these technical mishaps and I would be in my living room, screaming at Hollywood producers, ‘Can you hear me?!’ For the final round of auditions, they flew me to America and I went on my own and it was my first kind of adult trip. I literally got off the plane and went straight to the audition. I was so delirious and jetlagged, I didn’t even remember auditioning – so I was very surprised when I got the part!”

#5 Her first TV show is AWESOME

The Fosters is about two mums raising a family of biological, foster and adopted kids. It’s darker than Modern Family, and what I like about it is that it deals with subjects we don’t see very often – like the foster kid thing. That’s something that’s really close to my heart and my family’s heart as well [Maia’s said she has a family member who went through the foster system].”

So, is Maia Mitchell on your girl crush list?

Interview by Kate Leaver.