Niki Koss is a talented actress on the rise who stars in the upcoming Paramount Pictures film, “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse.” Niki plays Chloe, a typical teenager who is one of the most popular girls in school. Her main concern is boys, her phone, gossip, and her image, but with the town’s zombie outbreak, that quickly changes. The film is set to release on October 30, 2015.

In addition to her role in “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse,” Niki has also recently starred as a psychologically troubled teen in the Lifetime TV film, “Stepdaughter.” Her major roles in several independent feature films include: the Terrence Malick produced, “Red Wing,” “The Appearing,” and “Girl on the Edge.” Niki’s short film credits include leading roles in BAFTA nominated, “A Teenage Drama,” “The Spontaneous Huxleys,” “Losing It,” and “Augury.” Most recently, she has completed filming “Trafficked,” alongside Ashley Judd, Anne Archer, and Patrick Duffy.

Aside from her roles on screen, Niki took her talents to another level and co-created and directed the digital series, “Royals” for the Galaxey Generation. The series won the “Best Web Series” and “Audience Choice Short Film” awards at the Laughlin International Film Festival, and was recently accepted into two additional festivals as the “Programmer’s Choice.” Niki has written and produced a number of short films including “Abud Shama”, “Zoe Beth,”“Assassins,” “27 Plus One,” and “Help Wanted.” She currently has a pilot called “The Monroes” in which she directed, wrote, and starred in. This project is being shopped around to TV networks later this fall.

Originally from Los Angeles, Niki grew up surrounded by art that always encouraged creativity in her life. At the very young age of three, Niki told her mom she wanted to be an actress. She started attending theater classes and signed with a youth talent agency and Ford Models. She soon realized how much dedication the work required, so she decided to focus on being a kid. It was not until she was seventeen years old that she decided to fully to commit to acting.

Niki is a serious advocate for causes including animal rescue, giving back to the environment, homelessness, and female empowerment. She is also an ambassador for GenerationOn.

When she is not working, she loves to work more on writing, directing, and acting in personal projects. She is also a big fan of playing tennis, going to the movies, having out with her friends, and is a self-proclaimed food.

Hi Niki please tell us about you?

Hi there! Hmmm… well the basics; I am a 21 year old actress and I live in Los Angeles. I have a little 3 pound hairless dog named Lola. I am obsessed with old hollywood actresses and the 50s and 60s and I have the weirdest taste in candy ever. Those are the important facts, right? 🙂

Why and how did you get started in acting?

I got started acting when I was three years old. I told my mom I wanted to be an actress and she put me in a local theater class. I was on and off for a long time and when I was 17, I decided I wanted to try and do it professionally.

Do you have or had acting classes?

Yess! I think every actor, whatever point in their career, should go to class. It is so important to tune your instrument. I have always been told that and I am a strong believer in it.

Which role has been the most challenging and which one your favorite?

That is such a hard question! I have connected on such a personal level with every character I have played and every single one is so close to my heart in a different way. However, if I had to pick one that was the most challenging I would say it was “Casey” in “My Stepdaughter”. That was the first lead in a feature I had ever done and I only had about three days to try and understand the mind of a major psychopath. My favorite character I have ever played was “Noelle” in “The Monroes”. She was everything I had always wanted to be in high school, so it was fun to be able to use that in the character.

How’s your experience in castings?

I have a love hate relationship with auditions. Sometimes I will leave on such a high and other times I will be like “oh man, now I’m going to be in a funk for the rest of the day”. I think it really just depends on how much I can connect with the material.

Any tips you want to share with new actors?

There are so many people in this business and some who are not even in this business at all who are going to tell you what to do and how to do it when it comes to your career path. You really just have to pick and choose what you want to walk away with. Some things are going to be really helpful and some are going to be completely dumb. Just smile and know that your gut is almost always going to point you in the right direction.

Tell us about your character Chloe in “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse”?

Chloe is a typical popular high school teenager. Her popularity and her image is pretty much all she thinks about. She is best friends with Kendall and Jeff who are played by Halston Sage and Patrick Schwarzenegger. The three of them are the “popular” clique.

And about your recent short films?

The most recent short film I did was called “Losing It” and I played a lead singer of a band, which was completely terrifying for me. I do not sing or play instruments or anything even close to that so when I was asked in my callback to sing a little bit of a song, I did not know whether to laugh or cry. After I got the part, I told all my friends and they all just cracked up.

Best advice ever given?

Do what you love and it will never feel like work.

What’s your favorite music?

I am such a strange bird when it comes to my taste in pretty much everything, especially music. My mom always makes fun of me because my taste in music is completely different depending on the day. It really just depends on whatever mood I am in. It could be crazy angry rap, funky 60s music, classic Disney songs, weird alternative ballads… it is literally so all over the place. But for the most part, I really love music from the 50s and 60s.

What’s a normal day in your life?

Everyday is different in my life because I do not work at an office in a 9-5 job. My job can take on the most random journeys. I live in the same building as my mom, so usually I will go down to her apartment and have breakfast with her, then I will either go to work, an audition, a meeting, etc. If I do not have an event or dinner or something at night, I will either get together with friends or cuddle and watch “Parks and Recreation” with my dog.

Do you have a role model?

I have a lot of role models. As cheesy as it sounds, I look up to a lot of people in my family, especially my parents.

Who is your favorite actor/actress?

Leonardo DiCaprio. Hands down.

Any future plans you want to share with us?

I just got back from New York for Fashion Week and I am going to be going out of town to shoot a new project in a couple weeks, so I am trying to use the next couple weeks to spend some quality time with my friends and family.

What can you not travel without? 

My sleep mask. I usually bring three just in case.

Do you have a celebrity crush?

Too many to count… Leonardo DiCaprio and Ryan Gosling have always been pretty up there though.

Where we can follow you?

My instagram and twitter handles are both @nikikoss

Favorite movie:

The Aviator

Favorite Quote:

“Don’t let dreams always be dreams”

Favorite Book:

The Alchemist

Favorite Food:

Pickles

Favorite Restaurant:

Sugarfish, or my brother’s restaurant “Zane’s” in Hermosa Beach. It is a tie.

Favorite Song:

I’m on Fire by Bruce Springsteen

Favorite TV Show:

Mad Men

Favorite Sports Team: 

I probably couldn’t even name 5 sports teams right now without using google.

Favorite Holiday Destination:

Rome, Italy