Don’t let anyone’s words affect you. People are always going to hate on you no matter what you do. It’s your life. You are only living for yourself and no one else! -Skai Jackson
Don’t judge Skai Jackson by her small stature! The petite actress packs a massive amount of talent and confidence and has already landed on Time Magazine’s prestigious “30 Under 30 list.” Quite an honor at only age fourteen! The television star is best known as Zuri Ross on the Disney Channel series Jessie and it’s spin-off show, Bunk’d, but on the red carpet and social media, Skai is definitely her own person and is remarkably self assured. Whether she’s defending people from online bullying on Twitter or rocking a unique outfit at a movie premiere, this young woman is not afraid to take risks. Put her on your radar now because she’s not going anywhere!
The Untitled Magazine’s style director, Phillip Bloch, chatted with Skai about what it’s like to find fame at such a young age and how to find your own unique style. Speaking of signature looks, Skai channel one of her idols for our exclusive photo shoot. Read the interview below and view the photos, featuring Skai as Diana Ross from the classic fashion film, Mahogany.
Phillip Bloch: You were recently named one of Time Magazine’s ‘30 Under 30‘ and one of Ebony Magazine’s ‘100 Power Players in Hollywood.’ That’s a lot of pressure for a fourteen-year-old. What’s the positive and the negative side of that kind of acknowledgement at such a young age ?
Skai Jackson: The positive side is that I get to do what I love, experience so many things, and be acknowledged from many magazines and on social media. The negative side of it is that people judge everything I do, people think that I have a lot of pressure on me (which I don’t) and people always have something negative to say! But I don’t let that affect me and I keep doing what I’m doing.
PB: You and your mom are best friends and she manages your career, how do you separate what’s right for you as compared to what your mom and manager thinks is best for you?
SJ: My mom, manager and I are always on the same page about what I do. I know they all have my best interests! Anything I do – it’s always my choice so that really isn’t a major issue.
PB: Being close to your parents and becoming friends with them as you grow is important for us all but everyone at your age doesn’t always think that’s cool. What would you suggest to other tweens to help bridge the age difference and be closer?
SJ: It’s fun to be friends with your parents! Of course, your parents are always your parents and that comes first but there is nothing wrong with having fun. Teenagers don’t think it’s cool to hang with their parents but I don’t see anything wrong with it. Even going to lunch or planning a fun shopping day always goes well!
PB: So many young kids that gain stardom at such an early age seem to be overwhelmed by fame and end up in rehab for drugs and alcohol or have emotional issues. Why do you think that happens and why will you not fall into that cliché story?
SJ: I think that those issues start to happen if you don’t have the right guidance and support in life. I have my mom and family so that won’t ever happen to me.
PB: Social media is so important now, but so many people tend to over share and expose way too much. How do you decide what to share and what to keep to yourself?
SJ: I always share what I am comfortable with. Of course I want people to see what I do everyday and how I live my life, but some things just need to be kept to yourself. I think that I do a good job in keeping my privacy, but also sharing certain things from my day-to-day life.
PB: Social media can be a great way to meet millions of people and for them to meet you. Recently you took to Twitter to defend someone from online bullying. How did that experience change you as a person and how you relate to people on social media?
SJ: I have always been a person to stand up against bullying and one of the perks of social media is getting to express that. After I spoke out against bullying on my twitter, people felt they could relate to me more as a person and that my words helped them with some of the issues they were going through.
PB: What advice can you give to people that don’t have star power on how to combat being bullied – whether it’s in the real world or in social media?
SJ: I would say don’t let anyone’s words affect you. People are always going to hate on you no matter what you do. It’s your life. You are only living for yourself and no one else!
PB: When I first got to Hollywood in the nineties I began my career with a great group of actresses – Sandra Bullock, Halle Berry, Salma Hayek and Jennifer Lopez. These women were all in their late twenties but so many of your peers are hitting it big in their teens. Why do you think that has changed so much?
SJ: I think so much has changed in the last ten years including fashion, and social media. I think it’s great that younger girls and teens are making their way into the social scene and making a good name for themselves.
PB: Girls like yourself, Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus and Zendaya are all style stars, but you are just teenagers. Why do you think the fashion game is so important in a young girl’s career?
SJ: I think the fashion game is important because so many people are paying attention now. Fashion is so huge and there are so many trends going on! It’s great to get into fashion at a young age because that’s something that you can always carry when you are older.
PB: You have worked with some of the biggest stylists and glam squads in the business. Your team works with great stars, like Taraji P Henson, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige and Beyoncé. How do you find your own personal style? How important is it for an actress to step up her style?
SJ: To find my personal style I look at different magazines to study fashion and see different pieces that suit my style! I think it’s important for an actress to step up her fashion game because anytime you walk a red carpet you want to look good and have on a great outfit.
PB: What’s your favorite food?
When you just got a few minutes what’s your favorite quick recipe?
What are your favorite TV shows past and present ?
What’s your favorite vacation spot?
What’s your favorite fashion trend?
SJ: My favorite food is Indian.
My quick favorite recipe is a good BLT. Those are quick, easy and so good!
My favorite TV show is Face Off
My favorite vaycay spot is Cabo!
My favorite trend right now would have to be mixing different prints with your outfit.