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Check out our interview with stunning actress Johanna Liauw who can currently be seen in the highly anticipated film Tall Girl 2, Netflix’s sequel to its wildly successful teen romantic comedy Tall Girl, which landed more than 41 million views in its first four weeks on the streaming platform. Johanna plays Stella, the Swedish sister of Griffin Gluck’s exchange student housemate Stig, alongside Ava Michelle, Griffin Gluck, Angela Kinsey and Steve Zahn. Her role offsets the drama taking place in the follow-up film and provides a much needed comedic balance.

Liauw is a former competitive swimmer, who was home-schooled from Sophomore to Senior year of high school. She is an avid reader and gamer, but also enjoys cooking, baking, and traveling. Johanna is an animal rights activist (has two cats, one of them three legged) and mental health advocate, as well as passionate about helping unhoused individuals get a fresh start and off the streets.

Follow Johanna @johannaliauw

Please tell us a little about you

My name is Johanna Liauw, those closest to me call me Jo or J. I grew up in Atlanta and south Florida with my older sister, Alyssa. I used to work as a massage therapist for a brief moment of time before I got into acting. I enjoy philosophical conversations and late-night car rides.

Describe yourself in 3 words?

Open-minded, loving, and a dash of sass.

How did you get started in acting?

I went to a few acting classes and that fully sparked my interest in the craft. I completely fell in love with it. Shortly after I did a panel where I crossed paths with my manager and he took me under his wing and helped me get to where I am today!

How has this changed your life?

I now feel like I have something to look forward to when I wake up, I have a purpose that drives me to continue doing what I’m doing. I no longer feel lost, like I’m floating around in limbo. Life is brighter and filled with hope again.

What is the best and worst part of being an actress?

The best parts are getting to be creative and having the time of my life on set with others. I love the bonding moments I’ve had with people who I now consider very close friends. There are also opportunities for travel and seeing places I never thought to visit and experiencing all that place has to offer. In the same breath, traveling and being away from my furbabies and loved ones can be pretty tough and lonely at times. But it never takes away from my excitement haha.

How do you prepare for a role?

I don’t overthink when it comes to a character. I get the dialogue down and run through it a couple of times. I leave room for exploration when I go into a scene on set. I want to naturally flow with the other actor(s) and play off of their energies as well as play around with my own interpretations on how to play my role. I always have a baseline set up and then a jump off from there.

Tell us about your work on the highly anticipated film “Tall Girl 2?”

I am super duper proud of myself for partaking on this journey with Tall Girl 2. I stepped out of my comfort zone and accomplished something I thought I’d have to do right off the bat. I’m incredibly grateful to have met everyone involved, they showed me so much kindness. My heartfelt so full.

And about your role as Stella?

It was so fun to get to play a comedic character. Her mannerisms were similar to how I am in my own life haha. She’s goofy, in tune with herself and everyone around her… a bit awkward but still very much confident.

What other projects you have been part of?

I worked on a project called ‘Dyad’ which I am super stoked to come out. It involves the topic of the Illuminati. When I read through the script I was completely on board after the first page, it’s badass. Everyone’s going to really dig it.

What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?

I love both dramatic and comedic roles. My dream role is something dark, action-packed with a twist. I want to do things that haven’t been done before, I want to keep people on their toes when they watch.

If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?

Diary of a Psychopath in Heat. It’s a satirical autobiography.

What advice would you give to your younger self and why?

I’d tell her that I understand that all she wants is to love and be equally loved in return. But instead of giving all that precious energy to certain individuals that took it for granted, save it, nurture it, and only share it fully with someone who you know was always meant to share it with you. And during that in-between time, focus on yourself. Follow those big, beautiful dreams, and don’t listen to anyone trying to keep you down on their level. You came here to spread so much love and light. Go forth with zero hesitation because you so got this.

What’s next for Johanna Liauw in 2022?

More amazing adventures, lots of love, and laughter.

What is your favorite healthy food?

I wanna say falafel but I’m not sure if that’s necessarily considered a healthy food haha. I do really enjoy salads though. Greek salads are my absolute favorite, with extra feta cheese. Ughh so yummy!

And your favorite cheat food?

How much time you got? Hahaha! I have an affinity for snack foods. Ummm… Ok so there’s a dutch spice cake called Ontbijtkoek and you put a little butter on a slice… it’s absolutely delicious and addicting. I can easily eat four slices in a sitting.

What is your own definition of happiness?

Feeling absolutely free and safe to be who I am without judgment. Living in a state of absolute harmony within myself, surrounded by my family and best friends.

If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?

I would meet with my dad and have the reconciliation we never got to have.

Best advice ever given?

DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS.

Where do you see yourself and your career 5 years from now?

I’ll have accomplished and checked off some big goals. Bought my first house, adopted a dog… another cat… traveled to places on my bucket list. Continued success in my career… just a whole lot of divine abundance and love flowing effortlessly into my life.

Favorite song? Why?

This must be the Place by Talking Heads. It’s one of those feel-good tunes. The super catchy beat and the lyrics just hit all the right spots. I always say that melodies are what draw me in and the lyrics are what make me stay and want more.

What do you think of social media?

Just like with anything thing in life, there are good and not so great aspects to it. It’s lovely in the sense that you can stay connected with people you’re close to, you have an abundance of knowledge at your fingertips and I love memes just as much as the next guy… but you know, there’s the toxic side as well. You have online bullying, social media where you can fall victim to comparing your life to others. That’s why I’ve been limiting my time on social media, especially when I first wake up in the morning. A lot of us have made it a routine to check our phones first thing when we wake up. I’ve been retraining my brain with healthier habits like playing music or hopping in the shower to start the day fresh. And when I’m spending time with my friends or family I don’t go on my phone. I want to be present at the moment with the people I’m with. It’s kind of a pet peeve of mine now when I’m hanging with someone and they’re on their phone and I’m trying to have a conversation with them. Especially when I see them scrolling on social media haha. But I’m understanding because I know it’s an unconscious addictive habit but we all have the power within us to break free from it. Nothing is better than living in the moment, I promise. There’s so much beauty you’re missing when you’re staring down at your phone.

Where can we follow you?

Send me funny memes on Instagram: @johannaliauw

 

Favorites:

Book: Peach Girl (Change of Heart) manga series

Quote: “You are a piece of the Universe experiencing itself.”

Movie: The Labyrinth

Tv Series: Sex and The City

Favorite Food: Spicy chicken sandwich

Travel Destination: Santorini

 


 

Photo Credit: Ben Cope