Amara Miller Interview: Breakout Actress On Her Quick Success In ‘1600 Penn’ And ‘The Descendants’

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At just 12 years old, breakout actress Amara Miller has already found success in both television and film. In just a short few years Miller has found herself on the big screen in the critically acclaimed project The Descendants and also starring alongside Josh Gad in the latest NBC series 1600 Penn. Talented in both drama and comedy, it’s no wonder that director Alexander Payne immediately picked her out from an audition video to play George Clooney’s daughter in the 2001 film.

Now playing Marigold Gilchrist in 1600 Penn, Miller is excited and grateful for the experiences she has had so far. In my latest interview with the up-and-comer, Miller revealed how she got into acting, her favorite moment so far in the industry, and who she would love to work with one day.

How’s it been working on 1600 Penn so far?
AMARA MILLER: It’s definitely a lot of fun. Everyone there is really hilarious. Everyone is really welcoming and it’s really like a family.

What was the audition process like?
I was with the producer, the casting director and the writer. It was last year. it was quite a while ago. The script for Penn came around last year during pilot season and I decided, ‘Why not audition?’ I mean I had been auditioning for some movies and I was like, ‘Well, why not audition for a TV show? Plus, it’s hilarious.’ So I decided why not? I went in and auditioned and I got the part.

Josh Gad and the rest of the cast are just hilarious too. What’s been one of your favorite moments on set?
Oh, there’s so many of them! I mean a lot of them are definitely when everyone—every episode usually has a scene when we are all together and usually that’s eating breakfast or we are all hanging out in the living room. I think those are always the best because everyone’s there.

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At such a young age, you’ve already been a part of some amazing projects. When did you know you wanted to act?
I was about 7 or 8 years old and I was with my aunt. We were driving around and she said, ‘So, what do you want to be when you grow up?’ And I said, ‘I want to be an actress.’ And she said, ‘Okay, well you should probably do some acting lessons.’ And I said, ‘No I don’t need any acting lessons. I’m just going to be an actress.’ And she asked what college I want to go to and I said, ‘I don’t want to go to college. I’m going to be an actress.’ [Laughs] So it was definitely something my aunt and I were laughing about later. Then a couple of years went by and I got a call from my other aunt who also lives in L.A. and she was at a party and heard they were looking for the next girl to play the daughter of the main character in a next movie and so my aunt called the agency and said I wanted to audition for the movie.

What was it like working on The Descendants?
Oh, definitely amazing. It was an incredible experience. It was so much fun and I’m so grateful that my very first project was such a good quality movie with quality actors, quality directors, and quality scriptwriters. Every single thing on that movie was just fantastic. I just feel very lucky and grateful.

How about working with George Clooney?
George is amazing. He’s a really, really fun guy. I mean he’s hilarious, of course! He’s really energetic and super playful. He definitely made me feel really welcome and I learned a lot from him. It was fantastic working with him on my first movie.

Who else would you love to work with one day?
Emma Stone. She’s really a great actress that I would love to work with. Emma Stone and Jennifer Lawrence. I mean they are just amazing women. They are both so real and they can both do comedy as well as drama and I think they are two very amazing actresses.

Your co-star Martha MacIsaac said Stone is one of her best friends!
I don’t think we’ve talked about that! That’s really interesting. That’s so cool.

So now with your quick success, what would you say has been your favorite moment so far?
I think definitely when I was on the red carpet at the Oscars. When we got into the theater and everyone was quieting down and the curtain lifted and Billy Crystal was there, everything was just so amazing. It was a dream. It definitely was one of my favorite moments.

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