Check out our interview with Bunk’d actress Shelby Simmons who can also be seen in Disney film Stargirl. The film is based on the best selling novel by Jerry Spinelli that explores the tense emotions of teens in high school. This coming-of-age story is directed by Julia Hart and also stars Grace VanderWaal and Graham Verchere. Shelby plays “Hillari Kimble”, a mean girl who struggles with her own trauma that she pushes them back on others through bullying.
Follow Shelby at @shelbysimmons
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Outgoing, loyal, deep.
Who is your role model?
I have many, for religious purposes my mentor and friend Beth. For acting Saoirse Ronan. For self acceptance and internal peace my manager Constance Tillotson. And for persistence my mom.
How did you get started into acting?
My grandparents actually introduced me to a program that isn’t around anymore that taught me the basics of acting. My cousin Brandon Stacey who’s also an actor brought me to my manager Constance! She’s taught me everything I know about acting. We have an acting Tribe at Sterling Studio.
How has this changed your life?
Acting has brought a fulfillment to the purpose I feel that I have, which is to touch people’s hearts. It’s giving me something to work hard at and be proud of. It’s also given me the opportunity to meet so many different kinds of people, including my best friend!
Tell us about your work in upcoming Disney film “Stargirl?”
“StarGirl” was the most beautiful movie I’ve worked on so far! It was awesome shooting in gorgeous New Mexico. And being able to play a role that was against Stargirl but not a bully herself. The movie portrayed the message of being yourself so uniquely and it just grasps at your heart; truly beautiful movie that I am proud to be apart of.
And a bout your role as Hillari Kimble?
Hillari is a girl who adjusted herself to fit into social norms. She comes off as aloof. Some could judge her as a mean girl. Until they learn her backstory and see she’s actually in the pain of loss.
What is the film is about?
The film is about embracing who you truly are and owning it! Stargirl comes to a quiet town with nothing really special about it and shows people that everyone is important as their unique selves.
How was working with such a talented cast?
I loved working with everyone in ”Stargirl!” I met some good friends on the set and everyone gave it their all so we each had respect for one another’s talents and craft. This movie really mattered to all of us and that’s what makes it so special.
What other projects you have been part of?
I was apart of a Christian film called “Selfie Dad” that will be airing soon! I have done a lot of Disney and Nickelodeon work like “Game Shakers,” “Andi Mack,” “School of Rock,” and “Henry Danger.” Also a great Netflix series “Prince of Peoria.” I’m currently working on “Bunk’d” which has been so much fun and such a great learning experience for me!
What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?
It is my dream to play in a period piece of any kind! I’d prefer a movie like “Little Women” or “Mary Queen of Scots.” I’ve always been in love with movie like that, the wardrobe, the hair, the struggles of women it all fascinates me and I think it would be an exciting challenge!
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
The most rewarding part of my work finishing a great episode or a great film that I know will impact lives. That moment when I see it for the first time and just know that me and my cast killed it!
What is your favorite healthy food?
Granny Smith Apples!
And your favorite cheat food?
Mac n Cheese
How would you explain your fashion style?
Simple and chic
How would your best friend describe you?
Charismatic, Spontaneous, and Emotional.
What’s next for Shelby Simmons in 2020?
Well I plan to master my English accent and advance in my craft but I’ve also got season 5 of Bunk’d to look forward to and I can’t wait to see what new adventures await us!
What is your own definition of happiness?
My personal definition of happiness is living your life for something greater than yourself and pursuing the most authentic version of who you are.
How is a normal day in your life?
Haha a normal day in my life right now is sleeping in untill 10am and starting my day off with bible study, mediation and stretches. Then it’s pretty up in the air from there but I have a a book I’m writing with my mom and a manga I’m drawing so I definitely make time for those. I usually spend 80% of my time on FaceTime with my best friend and in the afternoon we like to watch anime together. At night I like to end my days with hanging out with my grandparents and my bunny, then staying up way too late just cause I can!
What is your idea of a perfect Sunday?
Oh I love Sundays! Waking up and teaching a church, going on a hike in the mountains, watching a great movie/show or reading a good book, then having a nice cup of tea while sitting outside with a fluffy blanket and my family enjoying the sunset.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Robin Williams for sure! I admired his work so much growing up and even more so today. I’m also very interested in psychology and the human mind so I’d love to just talk with him and understand how he thought and who he was as a person and his process as an actor.
Best advice ever given?
The best advice I’ve received is from a song by Gene Wilder, “If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it. Anything you want to do it. Want to change the world? There’s nothing to it.”
Do you support any charity?
Supporting a charity is a life commitment in my eyes so I’m very particular and picky about which one I will support. I do volunteer at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County and I absolutely love hanging out with the kids there!
Name 3 things you can’t live without?
My bible, a jacket, and juice
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
Well in 5 years I will have done an amazing period piece and me and my acting tribe will be well known around the world! I personally will be living in my own apartment, that I have meticulously designed, and I will know exactly who I am. I will also have become really good at being calm in all circumstances.
Favorite song? Why?
“Send me on my way”’ by Rusted Root because it makes me happy and I just wanna go on a walk and dance when I hear it.
What music do you like?
I’m really into alternative pop from like the early 2000s, 80s and 70s music, and artists like Billie Eilish, Maggie Rogers, and Julia Michaels.
What do you think of Social Media?
I think it can be a wonderful way to spread positivity and gratitude but I think it’s too important in our society today and too often used to express hate and unnecessary judgments.
Where we can follow you?
Just on instagram @shelbysimmons
Quote: “The Godly may trio seven times, but they will get back up again.”(Proverb 24:16)
Favorite Singer/Artist: The head and the heart
Movie: “Little Women” 2019
Travel Destination: Greece and Saint Tropez
Sports Team: Don’t have one I’d rather play a sport then watch one!
Tv Show: Violet Evergarden
Book: Eleanor and Park or the original Frankenstein
Photo Credit: Bjoern Kommerell