Check out our interview with actress Kayden Muller-Janssen who can be seen on Disney Channel’s series Villains of Valley View.
The story follows teenage supervillain Havoc who is forced to relocate to a Texas suburb with her family under a new identity as “Amy Madden” after standing up to the League of Villains. Muller-Janssen plays Hartley, Amy’s outgoing classmate and neighbor who unknowingly befriends the villainous Madden family. The cast also includes James Patrick Stuart, Lucy Davis, Isabella Pappas just to name a few.
A multi-talented performer, Muller-Janssen has also made a name for herself as a talented singer-songwriter with her deeply personal songs about relationships, self-worth, and empowerment. Her debut single Kiss Kiss Baby landed a #1 spot on Radio Disney and was a top 5 most requested video on Music Choice along with her song Walk.
Follow Kayden @kaydenmuller
Hi Kayden, please tell us a little about you?
Growing up, I was always the odd ball of the family. I was very outgoing, loved to make a scene out of anything, and sang my heart out. So, when I decided I wanted to become a singer and actress, my parents knew it was the right path for me and were very supportive. When I’m not working on my career, I spend my time fostering animals, helping around my family’s farm in Florida, traveling and I always love a good thrift store.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Honest, charismatic, driven.
How did you get started in acting?
I began my acting career in theatre. My first two musicals were Dear Edwina Jr. and the Wizard of Oz. In middle school. I attended a school of the arts that gave me the opportunity to go to an acting showcase in LA where I was introduced to my agent and my acting career began from there.
How has this changed your life?
This is my first big role, so this show has for sure changed my life. I’ve been acting for 7 years, was auditioning, and working on music, while serving at a golf course before I booked this role. So having to leave my friends and family in Florida, move to a completely different state and work on a Disney show everyday was life altering. Having that opportunity to work and learn from such an amazing cast and crew has been a dream come true and I have these memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
What is the best and worst part of being an actress?
The best part of being an actress is after finally booking a role, being able to actually do the job you love is just the best feeling ever, and of course the endless different characters you have the chance to play. The worst part I would say is the auditioning process, it’s hard when you do hundreds of auditions and never hear anything back or getting super close to booking a role and then losing it to someone else. It can get to you, but as an actor you have to learn to not take it personal and that the perfect role is out there somewhere, so don’t give up!
Tell us about your work and your role as Hartley on Disney Channel’s highly-anticipated series “Villains of Valley View”?
It’s been so much fun tapping into the role of Hartley every day. She is a very interesting character; she reminds me a lot of my younger self. She is very out-going, kind, likes to help others and her community, so when she meets the Maddens, she must show a little bit of her dark side of in order to protect the ones she loves.
What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?
I would love to play Princess Tiana in a live action remake or a Marvel superhero/villain! I always dreamed to be in a Disney movies, especially The Princess and the Frog since she was the first black Princess in Disney.
What’s your advice for the newer actors?
Don’t ever give up. No matter how many no’s or auditions that you didn’t book, don’t stop trying because the perfect role for you is out there!
What would say are the greatest lessons you learned so far in this business?
I would say the greatest lessons I’ve learned so far is the harder you work, the farther you will go. Acting/singing is not an easy job, the work hours are very long and exhausting. It’s a very physically and mentally demanding career, but if you are motivated enough and never give up, you will go far in this industry.
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
If I were a book, I think my title would be “No Nonsense”. I’m a very straight forward person, always have been since I was a kid. I don’t like to “beat around the bush” and am very direct with people so I think that would be my book title.
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
Don’t take life too seriously because the things that seems big and important now, most likely won’t be in a year or so.
What’s next for Kayden Muller-Janssen in 2022?
I have some really cool projects coming up and I am currently working on a lot of music!! My next single “Crave” is releasing July 22 and my debut EP coming in October! I’m really excited for everyone to hear it.
What is your favorite healthy food?
I am obsessed with cucumber salad and kale chips!
And your favorite cheat food?
Literally anything with carbs and cheese!
What is your own definition of happiness?
My definition of happiness is when you are doing the things you love, surrounded by people who are positive and supportive, and you are content with who you are as a person. I always felt best when I was with the people I loved, doing the things that I enjoyed so that is true happiness to me.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
If I could meet anyone dead or alive, it would have to be Amy Winehouse. I am obsessed with her music to this day. She always had a way of putting so much emotion in her songs, her lyrics are very poetic, and I would love to ask about her writing process.
Do you support any charity?
My family and I have worked with Brooke USA, a charity dedicated to improving the welfare for horses, mules, and donkeys in developing countries. One doesn’t know how important a mule is for a working family to survive in these areas. These animals help carry heavy duty equipment, water to several villages, and work in harsh conditions in farming. This foundation helps these communities by creating water lines and educating families on how to properly shelter and care of these amazing animals. Since I grew up working with horses, it was the perfect foundation to support!
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
Hopefully I will be in a movie on the big screen, touring the world, and performing my music!
Favorite song? Why?
One of my favorites right now is Taste of You by Rezz, featuring Dove Cameron. It’s very upbeat and has this rhythm that you can’t help but just dance, it’s a great workout song!
Where we can follow you?
All my socials are @kaydenmuller
Book: Charlie Bone and The Castle of Mirrors
Quote: “Choose a path that makes YOU happy because who wants to be miserable for the rest of their life?” – My Mother
Movie: Catch That Kid
TV Series: Merlin
Travel Destination: Portugal
Sports Team: Miami Heat