Check out our interview with LA based DJ and stunning model Tahlia Paris.

Makenzie is best known for her RECURRING role as YOUNG DEJA on the award winning NBC series THIS IS US. She is also a SERIES REGULAR on the new NETFLIX series EMILY’S WONDER LAB.

Makenzie is also an award winning author. Her book Kickin It With Kenzie won a Moonbeam Award: November 2019 (Makenzie was 8 years old) and a Next Generation Indie Books Award: June 2020 (Makenzie was a finalist along with Kobe Bryant’s 2 books). Makenzie takes her book into classrooms to teach children about her journey to become an author and to follow their dreams. She also brings mini books and supplies for the children to create books of their own. She has partnered with Afrikicks to help provide shoes to children in Africa.

Follow Makenzie @makenzieleefoster

Describe yourself in 3 words?

Funny, kind, determined

So how did it all begin?

I think my acting career started when I was about 1 or 2 when I signed with an agent in the Bay Area. There wasn’t much acting work in the Bay Area though so my Mom submitted me for representation in Los Angeles when I was about 4 or 5. It took a little bit but 1 agency replied and signed me via email and I have been with them ever since. I’m so thankful that I landed with my agency because they have worked so hard for me.

Any other family member is in the business?

Right now I am the only family member in acting but I have a cousin named Kyanna Lee in Atlanta that is starting her journey too! She has the biggest personality and I can’t wait to see where her journey takes her!

Who was your role model as a child? 

My Mommy! I want to be strong just like her when I grow-up. She makes me feel so special even when she isn’t feeling good. We are a team and I know she gets me and has my back.

How’s a typical day in your life?

Well…since Covid-19 my routine is pretty much the same. Summer is over now too so I start with breakfast and school work. I’m usually done with school around 1/2pm. Then, my Mom will run errands or we will go outside and I will ride my bike or play with toys in the garage. It’s hard to find things to do outside of the house right now since everything is mostly still closed around us.

Who has made the biggest impact on your life so far, and why? 

I’d say my Mom. Everything I tell my Mom I want to try, she supports. She doesn’t feel too good sometimes because of MS but she still takes care of me. She helps me follow my dreams.

How do you prepare for a role? 

Usually I prepare for a role by looking over the lines and the role description. Sometimes they will give the entire script and I try to go over it with my Mom so I can get a feel for the role. My agent does a great job of giving me details about the role too. I will read over the lines on my own and then “run them” with my Mom. If the role is REALLY MAJOR my Mom will get me coaching sessions. Another thing I might do is watch a movie or listen to music that is similar to the role to help me understand it better.

Tell us about your work in award winning NBC series “This Is Us?”

Being cast in the show “This Is Us” was a HUGE surprise! I remember being at the store with my Mom and she got a text from my agent asking for my sizes. She wrote back and we didn’t really think much of it. Shortly after my agent called and said I BOOKED IT! We both kind of sat there in shock for a little bit and then started screaming. Working on set with such amazing actors and actresses was amazing! Seeing them in action made me want to try harder when it came to my acting career. I remember that was the first role where I had my own trailer on the studio lot! MIND BLOWN!

And about your role as Young Deja?

Playing Young Deja was so special to me because I got to meet “Big Deja” before I filmed my scenes. She was so nice to me! I wanted to do such a good job because I knew she would do a good job. I wanted to make her proud. I also knew that my “GG” would be passing away in the scene but I also knew that she was just acting and was ok. I still kept it in my head that I had to be strong for my “Mom” (Joy Brunson) though. Pam Grier was so kind and we talked about her horses and other cool things! I love horses by the way.

Now tell us about your work in the new NETFLIX series “EMILY’S WONDER LAB?”

Emily’s Wonder Lab was one of my dream jobs! I got to be myself and do things that I loved doing every day. I love science and I love making new friends. I got to do both of those things while working on the show. I got messy and did things I could never do at home. Like, swimming in a huge pool of unicorn slime! It was awesome! Emily was so nice! All of us kids enjoyed working with her. She was pregnant but still played with us and danced. She even got messy with us!

Do you ever get nervous?

Oh, yes! I have learned how to deal with it better now though. Realizing that all I can do is my best and leave it at that has really helped. Sometimes when there are a bunch of people in the audition room I get nervous if they are all looking at me but then I just treat them like we are all in school together and we are all friends. That really helps!

Any advice to new young actors?

My advice to new young actors would be to make sure that you’re enjoying what you are doing. If it’s not fun to you, it won’t last long. Also, don’t take it personal if you don’t book a job. It could have come down to you being just a little too tall or they need a child that matched the parents better. Give each audition your best and just leave it at that. If the role is meant for you, you will get it. ☺

What other projects you have been part of?

Some other things that I have worked on was a small part in the show “Snowfall”. I got to play the role of a little girl crying. I also had a role in “Don’t Look Deeper” on Quibi, “Truth Be Told”, and a movie called “The Broken Rose” on Amazon Prime.

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

Definitely roles that fit things that I already like. That means roles where I can do magic or science! Also roles where I get to be my regular silly self and have fun. Those types of roles wouldn’t feel like work to me. Just like when I was working on Emily’s Wonder Lab. It’s didn’t feel like I was working at all. It just felt like I was heading to set to play with friends.

What is next for Makenzie Lee Foster in the last months of 2020?

Right now, I’m not really sure. Everything is so crazy. I’m focusing on my 2nd book and trying to find ways to continue helping other kids even though we are all stuck at home. I’m still able to audition for roles from home but only time will tell if anything sticks for me.

Which project is still on your bucket list?

Hmmmm…I still want to be on a fun show like Bunk’d or Raven’s Home. Any show like that. I also want to play lead in a movie. Who knows…maybe I will come up with a movie of my own someday. Also, I think it would be cool to work on a project that requires me to travel and stay in another state or country. I love exploring new places.

Who is your favorite Actor/Actress? And why?

China Anne McClain, Sofia Carson, Sammi Haney

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 year?

In five years I see myself inventing somethings so incredibly awesome that no-one would ever believe it! Something like a robot that will help people! I also see myself still acting and creating inspiring books for other kids.

What was the last book you read?

I just finished reading “Diary of a Wimpy Kid-The Getaway”. That series is what really got me into ready.

What is your favorite healthy food?

My favorite healthy food is baked spaghetti squash. My Mom adds pasta sauce and chicken. It’s really good! I also love carrots.

And your favorite cheat food?

I have so many of those. I would have to go with ice cream though!

What would be the dream holiday, and who would you go with?

My dream holiday would be one where all of my family was there. We don’t see each other very often so it would be amazing to have us all hang out again. I love Christmas so a big family getaway during Christmas would be cool. Like a cabin in the snow or something.

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

I would have to say my older cousin, Anthony. He passed away earlier this year. I met him when I was a baby but I don’t remember that day. I just want to say hello and spend some time with him.

What do you do in your free time?

When I’m not acting or doing school work I like to draw and do science experiments. I also love playing with my dog, Josie. She runs around really fast so it’s fun chasing after her.

What do you like to watch on Tv?

I like watching Pokémon, Motown Magic, The Worst Witch, Sam and Cat, and Brain Child.

Idea of a perfect Sunday?

My idea of a perfect Sunday is just being lazy around the house. We usually get a pizza and watch movies. My Mom lets me pick the movie and sometimes we will make a special dessert too.

Do you support any charity?

Yes, currently I support a charity called Afrikicks. They help collect new and gently used shoes and other supplies to ship to less fortunate kids around Africa. I helped sort and match hundreds of shoes to ship out and I donated shoes as well. I’m hoping to be able to donate much more to them this year. I would love to connect with more charities as well. My Mom is working on finding more local charities as well.

3 things you can’t leave home without?

I would have to say my Nintendo Switch, a reading book, and a drawing book because I like to draw cool things that I might see when I’m out.

What do you think of Social Media?

I think social media is a great way to connect with other people. It’s also a great way to advertise and get your businesses and work seen. People just have to make sure they are being nice and not using it to hurt anyone’s feelings. Just remember to be kind.

Where we can follow you?

I can be found on InstagramFacebook

 

Quote: “Right is right and it don’t wrong no one!” My Great Grandma use to say that to us.

Drink: Water

City: My favorite city so far is New York.

Movie: Mrs. Doubtfire, Dennis the Menace, Feel the Beat, Upside-down Magic, and all of the Descendants Movies.

Sport Team: The Lakers

Song: “Master Blaster” by Stevie Wonder and “I’m Still Standing” by Elton John

 


 

Photo Credit: Shakondi Lee