Tania Gunadi is best known for playing Mojo in the made-for-TV movie, Go Figure, but now the cute actress is taking on a different role in Disney XD’s new live-action series, Aaron Stone.
JustJaredJr.com got a chance to sit down with Tania at the New York Comic Con last week and chatted with her about Aaron Stone, winning the lottery and fave Disney movie. Check it out:
JJJ: What’s your character like on Aaron Stone?
TG: I play Emma, Charlie’s friend. She plays the girl-next-door gamer who plays the drums. Right now, my character is the girl-next-door, but later on the relationship between my and Charlie may change…a little bit.
JJJ: Do you play the drums in real life? Are you good at Rock Band?
TG: Yes! I play and I’m pretty good at it, I think. And YES! I’m really good at [Rock Band]! Although, sometimes it’s difficult at the beginning, because you don’t know what colors, and you have to remember it again. But yeah, the guitar is a little difficult on Rock Band.
JJJ: Did you grow up with music?
TG: I grew up in Indonesia, so things come to our country a little later. So, I’m a little behind in music.
(Click inside for more of JJJ‘s exclusive interview with Tania Gunadi…)
JJJ: When and why did you immigrate here?
TG: I came about eight or nine years ago. Then, it was back and forth for two years, and then I finally stayed. I won a green card lottery!
JJJ: Did you always have a passion for acting?
TG: Actually, no…I knew nothing about acting. When I was in Indonesia, my sister and brother were already here in the States, but my parents didn’t have enough money to send me. So my sister applied for the lottery, and I won. My mom was so excited! “You won! You won! You might as well go!” I was 16 or 17 and I knew nothing.
JJJ: Are you the youngest sibling, and what do your siblings do?
TG: I’m the youngest! My brother is a professional badminton player who went to the U.S. Open a few years ago, and my sister is an Orange County comptroller.
JJJ: How does it feel to play a girl younger than yourself?
TG: It doesn’t feel that long ago at all because when I grew up in Indonesia, I didn’t do much. So when I got here, it’s almost like all of a sudden living a new life. I feel like I’m 19, I’m totally serious. It’s all totally new experiences. I’m learning everything — English, making new friends — and I’m just learning everything all over again. So I don’t think I’ve experienced my 20s yet.
JJJ: What was the audition process like for Aaron Stone?
TG: Exciting. Nerve-wracking. I was really nervous! I went to the audition for the casting director and she liked me, so she sent me to another casting director next door. She liked me too and then I got a call back the next day for all the producers. Then I came back one more time to read for someone else.
JJJ: Was the role for Tania created for an Asian girl?
TG: No! And she’s so cool. Okay, I’m going to tell you a secret. I saw the role in the breakdown, and I said that I wanted to go for it. In the breakdown, it said, “18 or older to play 16-year-old all-American girl.” My manager didn’t think that I should [try out for it] because I’m not 16 or 18 and I’m not all-American. I’m Asian, you know. But I still really wanted to try and I made it, I was so happy. So, I don’t give myself any limitations because of my ethnicity. Anything is possible! It’s what you bring to the character…and they can always change it, just like this one.
JJJ: What’s your favorite Indonesian food?
TG: Indonesian food used to be my favorite. but now I am a vegetarian. Indonesian food has fish, fish sauce, and shrimp. But I like Thai food! There’s a lot of vegan Thai food. I love vegan pad thai. I also love American restaurants…there’s this one vegan place that sells delicious food!
JJJ: Why did you decide to become vegetarian?
TG: Because I love animals! I have two cats, and I used to have dogs, and I volunteer at the animal shelter. So I’m always like, “aww!”
JJJ: What’s your favorite Disney movie?
TG: Enchanted! Enchanted is the best…with Amy Adams! And Lion King…you cried, right? I cried.
JJJ: What’s your favorite Disney Channel show?
TG: I think Hannah Montana and Wizards of Waverly Place. Is that everyone’s answer? (laughs)
Aaron Stone premieres THIS Friday, February 13 at 7 p.m. on Disney XD.