Isabella Blake Thomas: “Nothing is Impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”

Constantly push yourself in everything you’re doing. It’s all about working as hard as you can and trying to elevate yourself every step of the way. But, also understanding how important time out is. I live on a boat, so being outside in the fresh air and away from the noise of Hollywood is very […]

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Constantly push yourself in everything you’re doing. It’s all about working as hard as you can and trying to elevate yourself every step of the way. But, also understanding how important time out is. I live on a boat, so being outside in the fresh air and away from the noise of Hollywood is very important. I fill my life with normalcy as much as possible!

As a part of my series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Isabella Blake Thomas.

Isabella Blake Thomas is an accomplished Actress, Singer, Writer, Producer and Advocate. Isabella began her career as the lead in a children’s TV series in the UK and went on to appear in multiple other shows and films before landing the fan-favorite role of Young Zelena in ABC’s Once Upon A Time. Her most recent role is Princess January in Disney+ Secret Society of Second Born Royals, which is set to release in 2020. Isabella is also known for her love of music, with her debut single released in 2018, her debut EP released in early 2019 and her second EP was just released this past September. Isabella’s work as both a singer/songwriter and actress are equally on display in her latest child trafficking awareness short film, UNSEEN, where she stars alongside Rhyon Brown and Yolanda Wood, accompanied by a soundtrack of Isabella’s original songs.

The Official Ambassador of Suicide Awareness with Awareness Ties, Isabella hopes to shed more light on the prevalent issue of suicide and help put a stop to it. Along with her mother Elizabeth, Isabella is a founding member of their production company Mother & Daughter Entertainment, where together they focus on “Making Content That Matters”, creating projects that start a conversation and spark change.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

I grew up in London, England. I was homeschooled most of my life, but I did attend a couple of different schools part time. One school, St Wystans, was an amazing pre-school where I learned the world “metamorphosis” at three years old! I then attended a couple of varying schools in London, before landing at a French school called Hampton Court House. I could only attend part time as I had started acting at age 5, so I was always on set. On our off time, my mum would always take me out to visit galleries and museums and teach me about wherever we were that day. I learned so many different things because of my varied upbringing. I was very lucky to have such a supportive mum. My mum was head of drama at a prep school when I was little before then running a theatre company. It was there that I would attend all of her classes and realize how much I loved drama. It wasn’t long before I started to join in on my mum’s classes. My love for theatre now stems from that particular part of my childhood. Then when I was ten my mum and I moved to Los Angeles due to various reasons, including my accelerating acting career. Both her and I agree, moving to LA was the best thing we’ve ever done.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

Since as a child I was around drama and my mum’s acting classes, I was able to see how much fun it was. One typical day I just decided that that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to “play” for a living. I could be anything I wanted to be, a doctor, a pilot, an archaeologist, all through make believe. I booked my first show at the age of 4 and began shooting just before my 5th birthday. It was a TV show in the UK called The Green Balloon Club. My character was called Lily-Rose. There are still episodes available on YouTube and it’s fun to look back at how little I was. I was then fortunate enough that the other movies and shows I auditioned for, I booked. I didn’t stop working.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

One of my idols is Dustin Hoffman and I was fortunate enough to meet him at a screening I attended. I cried for half an hour in the car afterwards out of happiness.

I have also experienced working with some brilliant actors. In one of my films I had to pretend I had drowned in a life raft. We made this happen in the studio and then also at sea. Everyone got seasick on that shoot, the director, actors and crew.

I also remember shooting in the largest and coldest cave in the world for a film called “Red Faction.” It was meant to be Mars. It was so cold that everyone had to wear head to toe clothing at all times. I also had to react to something awful which involved a lot of make-up and prosthetics. I was only 7 at the time. My mum made sure I saw it all being made and what it was going to look like, however, when I saw it all completed, I forgot it was fake and nearly fainted.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Well when I was 4, I didn’t understand that when someone else was talking on camera, they could still see me in shot. I would sit there and really watch the person and listen to what they were saying as if I wasn’t acting. In some of the clips I’m genuinely responding and listening and sometimes even playing. I learned from that experience to always be conscious of my surroundings and remember the camera is always on you!

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I just recently finished filming a feature with Academy Award Nominee, Terry Moore, titled Evie Rose. It is based on a true story about my best friend Millie who was 100 years old. The purpose of the film is to try and show how important all generations are and that we should make sure we talk to everyone while we still have the chance. I’ve also just shot a horror film, which was fun! I’m looking forward to the release of my Disney Plus movie this year as well, Secret Society of Second Born Royals, where I play Princess January. I also have a slate of films that I’m producing with my entertainment company, Mother & Daughter Entertainment, plus more of my music will be out this year! I released my latest EP “Painless” last September as well as a dance remix of my song “Trying” for the New Year. On top of acting, I love singing and songwriting.

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

I believe diversity in film is important because it’s crucial for the younger generations to see themselves represented correctly and frequently. It’s shown that when people see actors like themselves portrayed well on screen, it not only improves the way others see differing races and cultures, but it also improves the way the viewers, especially the kids, see themselves.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

The first thing I wish I’d been told is: Auditioning is out of your control. The only thing you can control is how hard you try in the room. Once you’ve left, the decision is out of your hands.

The Second: Find a way to relate to your character in a way that only you can. Only you have experienced your life and only you can bring your voice to the character.

The Third: Discover a new way to make your choices interesting. Don’t just do what’s on the page. Create a scenario in your head that covers as your character: who you are, what you need, how you feel about the other person and where you are.

The Fourth: You are there to help casting find the right person for their movie or TV show. It may or may not be you, but by you going in and reading for them, they are one step closer to finding their actor thanks to you.

The Fifth: Really listen to the other person while you are in your scene. Sometimes as actors we get so caught up in thinking about what we are doing next that we forget to react to the other person.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Constantly push yourself in everything you’re doing. It’s all about working as hard as you can and trying to elevate yourself every step of the way. But, also understanding how important time out is. I live on a boat, so being outside in the fresh air and away from the noise of Hollywood is very important. I fill my life with normalcy as much as possible!

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I have an organization called World Onesie Day that each year on the first Friday of December we pick a charity that we then raise awareness and money for by wearing a onesie all day. How it works: people wear their onesie all day no matter what they are doing and then donate to the chosen charity. This allows people to have fun whilst doing some good! I encourage people to use social media as well to share their pictures in their onesies, which helps raise more awareness for the charity that year.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

That person would be my mum. She has supported me since the beginning and taught me to follow my passion. She is a force of nature and I like to think I get those genes from her to help me along the way. Every day she motivates me and helps me understand it’s important to finish things that you start. How you must learn to be mindful and work hard. That other people’s actions are out of your control and you can only control what you do. I have lived with her my whole life and we are best friends. She will always help me strive to be a good, kind, honest, happy and healthy person.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Nothing is Impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” That’s a quote by Audrey Hepburn. It’s a good reminder to never give up and to keep trying no matter what the obstacles.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

That would have to be Julie Andrews. I look up to her in so many ways and think she is so talented. I’m very interested in hearing stories from the sets of the movies she’s been in and learning anything I can about her process. She is an icon and I believe we need to treasure icons like her and learn from them. I think she is a beautiful person inside and out. My mum used to watch her as a little girl and she was a huge influence on her as well.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

My Instagram and Twitter is @isabella_b_t and my Facebook is Isabella Blake-Thomas

This was very meaningful, thank you so much!

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