Check out our interview with talented actress Olivia Jellen who can be seen as Young Angelyne in the Peacock series “Angelyne”. Last month Olivia won a Young Entertainer Award for her role in the show.
Follow Olivia @OliviaJellen
Hi Olivia, please tell us a little about you?
I am turning 14 in April and in 8th grade. I live in Orange County, California by the ocean with my parents and my older sister Sofia. I have 2 Pomeranian dogs & 1 chinchilla.
I love surfing, wakesurfing, skiing, snowboarding and riding my e-bike with my friends. I play competitive volleyball on a traveling team & this year I started playing competitive lacrosse.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Fearless, Happy, kind
How did you get started into acting?
Acting was a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. When I was 2 years old I would stand in front of a mirror and make-up a dance routine and ask my family to sit on the carpet in my room so I can perform it to them. I would ask my mom to record me and I am so happy I did because I love watching these videos.
I used to watch the Disney and Nickelodeon channels and ask my mom to be on tv. My parents wanted to wait until I was a little bit older because they knew all the hard work that goes into it. In the meantime, I started dancing and joined a dance competitive company. I was 5 years old when my parents saw my passion hasn’t faded and only grew stronger. They saw how hard working and focused I was with dance and how much I loved being on stage and that’s when I signed with an acting agency.
How has this changed your life?
Acting influenced the way I confidently speak in front of a big audience, my ability to memorize long scripts in a short amount of time, taking directions, criticism and teamwork and I am sure these will be life long positive skills for my future.
How do you prepare for a role?
When I get the script I start the character analysis and try to gather as much information as I can about that person especially if it based on a real life story.
I will then read my lines and read all the other lines that are said to me or about me because that will give me a better understanding of the character’s relationship with others. I also imagine what I’ll be wearing and what period in time this story takes place. And then I start learning my lines.
Tell us about your work in Peacock series “Angelyne?”
To play the role of Young Angelyne, I had a lot of physical preparations to transform into her character. I had to get fitted for a red wig because when Angelyne was younger she had red hair and blue eyes so I also had an optometrist fit me with blue contact lenses.
Every day before I start filming my scenes I would go to the hair and makeup trailer and start the process of transforming into young Angelyne.
The hair and makeup artists would put the wig on me then makeup applied to my face, arms and legs to make me look very pale with lots of freckles and then a special contact lens technician would put the blue contact lenses in. Going through this physical transformation process also helped me get into character and feel more like young Angelyne.
I had the pleasure of working with Emmy Rossum who plays Angelyne and an incredible cast and crew that made my time on set so much more special.
And about your role as Young Angelyne?
I was so especially excited to play young Angelyne because the lines I had to learn were in Hebrew and I speak Hebrew. I also found out that Angelyne immigrated to Israel and lived in a town called Haifa where my mom was born and I go to once a year to visit my grandparents and my mom’s side of the family.
Angelyne’s parents survived the holocaust and my grandfather’s side of the family escaped the concentration camp in Eastern Europe and immigrated to Israel just like Angelyne’s family did.
My favorite scenes that I filmed were running through the hallways of the printing factory and knocking everything down and filming on the iconic Queen Mary when Angelyne immigrated to America.
Now tell us about your Young Entertainer Award? Big Congrats!
Thank you so much! I was so excited to receive this incredible award. I am so honored and thankful. It made me so happy and encourages me to keep working hard knowing that my peers appreciate and love my performance and acting skills.
What other projects you have been part of?
My first acting job was on the Gilmore Girls and I was so excited because it was one of my favorite tv shows. I also had a recurring role on a tv show called Better Things and got the opportunity to work with the talented director Pamela Adlon.
My first commercial was a Disney Dream Big Princess when I was 5 years old and talking about myself, my dreams, my aspirations, my family, friends and what I wish for the world to be like was definitely my favorite commercial I have done.
What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?
I like to play roles that are opposite or very different than who I am. I love the challenge, transformation and how I have to study harder to get into the character to represent it in the most authentic and convincing way.
If you weren’t famous, what would you be up to right now?
I would be an artist because I love to paint.
Which fictional character would be the most exciting to meet in real life?
The Genie from Aladdin. I would use my 3 wishes to have peace in the world, solve world hunger and make everyone happy.
Can you name 3 actors/actresses you would love to work with?
Tom Cruise – so we can do stunts together
Adam Sandler – I’ll have so much fun and laugh a lot
Zendaya – I love her as an actress and inspiration
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
The most rewarding part of my work is meeting and working with incredibly talented actors and directors that I learned a lot from, filming in beautiful locations and the moment when everything comes together to make the finished product and it gets great reviews.
What’s your advice for the newer actors?
I want to encourage new actors to always believe in themselves, work hard and to always give it their best effort.
I would also tell them to have other hobbies and spend time with their friends and just be a normal kid. But most importantly I want them to always stay true to yourselves and do what makes YOU happy.
What would say are the greatest lessons you learned so far in this business?
The greatest lesson I’ve learned so far in this business is to believe in myself and never give up on my dreams. I have memorized dozens of scripts and don’t always get the job but when I do book a role it makes it all worthwhile and proves that you can make your dreams come true if you stay focused and determined.
How would your best friend describe you?
My best friend would describe me as a loyal friend that is always there when she needs me, happy and fun to be around, generous, kind, daredevil, risk taker and smart.
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
The title would be “Live your best life” because I do it myself and I would love to inspire others to do the same.
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
I am still pretty young but I would tell myself that everything will work out if you stay positive, work hard and be patient. I believe in manifesting success and do my vision board every new year.
What book should every entrepreneur read?
The girl who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett and Gary Rubinstein
It is a book about entrepreneurship for kids and the importance of making mistakes, learning and growing from them, and moving on until you succeed.
What’s next for Olivia Jellen in 2023?
Keep my grades straight As and stay on the Honor Roll throughout high school. As for acting, it is pilot season and I have been taping a lot of auditions for some great roles and hopefully I will share some big news soon.
What is your favorite healthy food?
And your favorite cheat food?
What is your own definition of happiness?
Living every day to the fullest!
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I would have loved to meet the Queen Elizabeth II because I read about her fascinating life and all the responsibilities and duties she had taken upon herself after becoming a Queen at the young age of 26 and I would ask her about the best memories she had in 70 years of being the Queen of England.
Best advice ever given?
You are the one that is in control of your own happiness.
Do you support any charity?
I support the American Heart Association and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
I will be in college studying marine biology in Hawaii and acting when I am on a break.
Favorite song? Why?
My favorite song is “Golden” by Harry Styles because it is a happy summertime song that is easy to dance to.
What do you think of Social Media?
I love Instagram and TikTok but I make sure I don’t spend too much time on my phone so I have time to have fun with my friends.
Where we can follow you?
Book: The Summer I Turned Pretty
Quote: “If you can dream it, you can do it” by Walt Disney
Movie: 10 Things I Hate About You
Tv Series: Grey’s Anatomy
Favorite Food: Spicy tuna crispy rice sushi.
Travel Destination: Costa Rica
Sports Team: FC Barcelona