Disney channel ended its hit television show Jessie after four seasons earlier this year. Good news for Skai Jackson and two of her co-stars, though, is that they will be starring in a new spin-off series called BUNK’D, which premieres today (July 31).
BUNK’D follows siblings Emma, Ravi and Zuri Ross as they embark on their summer at Camp Kikiwaka, a rustic summer camp in Maine where their parents met as teenagers. Blackcelebkids.com recently sat down with Skai to talk about her revamped role as Zuri Ross and much more. Check out the interview below!
“BUNK’D is a spin-off of Jessie. I play the same character, Zuri Ross, who we all know is sassy and she knows what she wants, and she’s very outgoing. … So it’s kind of like we go from this huge penthouse to this not so nice camp in Maine. And it’s kind of fun watching Zuri adjust to the different lifestyle.”
Similarities and differences between Zuri and Skai.
“I would have to say me and Zuri are similar because we both pick out great clothes, I would have to say that. Sometimes I can be a little sassy. Our differences? I would have to say maybe the colors we wear. She wears really bright colors and I like bright colors too but I don’t wear too many bright colors. For the most part, we have a lot of similarities.”
The last day on the set of Jessie and finding out about BUNK’D.
“It was really sad, the last day of Jessie because we didn’t know at first we were getting the spin-off. So we thought we weren’t going to work together again. Maybe we would, of course, hang out with each other but not like on a set 24/7. So we were definitely crying about that. But then a couple of weeks later we heard that we were getting this spin-off, which was super exciting and I was just super happy to be working with most of the same people.”
Getting the gig on Jessie.
“I was nine years old and auditioned for that in New York. Usually with auditions you kind of are done with it, you don’t really think about it anymore. It’s kind of like, ‘If they cal, they call. If they don’t, they don’t. Ad I’ll just probably move on to something else.’ So they didn’t call at first and maybe it took, I’m going to say, two months, and they [called and] were like, ‘Oh we want you to screen test in L.A.’ So we flew out to L.A. the next day and I screen tested. Then we came back to New York, and two days later they told me that I got the role.”
Balancing school with a thriving career.
“Usually I am home schooled. When I’m onset I’m not doing school but when I am off of set, when I’m not in a scene or something, I just go straight upstairs and I have two teachers up there, and we all do school in a classroom. So we’re all in like this same school program. It’s not as hard as people think with balanc[ing] out acting and doing school, but whenever I’m not rehearsing, or I have like a little break, I’ll just go up to school. And that’s how I manage it. We have to do four hours [of school] by law, so actually it’s pretty fun being in a classroom with the whole cast and we sometimes joke around. It’s not that hard.”
What she does with her spare time.
“I like to hang out at my best friend Jacob’s house. We always go roller skating together, or we’ll go to Six Flags, or we’ll just hang out by the pool, or we’ll just like walk down the street and get something to eat. Usually I just like to relax because I am working most of the time and especially because I’m working throughout summer. So when I have a couple of days off to sleep in and relax, I try to do so.”
How a career in show business came to fruition.
“When I was a baby, my mom submitted my pictures to some modeling agencies because my family was like, ‘Oh submit her pictures and we’ll see what’s going to happen.’ She did and two modeling agencies wanted to take me so we chose one, of course. I kind of first started doing print when I was a baby, and then when I was like one or two [years old] I started doing commercials. I started doing movies as I got older; like four, and five and six [years old]. So I’ve been working basically my whole life.”
Other passions outside of acting.
“Since I was really little I’ve liked fashion. So when I was like four [years old], I would have Barbie dolls and make dresses out of ribbons. So if I wasn’t acting I would try to start maybe an online clothing company, which I would love to do now. I do love fashion and a lot of my fans say, ‘Oh, you should make a YouTube channel. You should make like this, a clothing line or whatever.’ I’m hoping to do [it] soon so my fans can rock some clothes by me.”
“On a daily basis, when I’m not working, my mom does my hair. On Wednesday night (before shoot days), my mom twists my hair to press it and I’ll sleep on it. The next morning I’ll go to the studio and they’ll take it out. But when I’m not working my mom usually does it, and my go-to style is usually the twist out I do, or when I just want to give my hair a break I’ll do some braids or a bun.”
Words of wisdom for aspiring entertainers.
“I would say never give up on your dreams, and if you really want to do something then go out and try. It’s not going to happen right away. I didn’t get on Disney channel right away. It took a couple of years later. But I just kept on believing in myself and I said to myself, ‘I’m going to accomplish my goal, and I’m going to try auditions for Disney.’ When I auditioned for ‘Jessie,’ if I didn’t get it I wouldn’t have been sad because it’s like, ‘At least I tried.’ So never give up on your dreams.”
Follow Skai Jackson on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Catch her and her fellow co-stars in the premiere of BUNK’D on the Disney Channel tonight. The series makes its debut after Descendants. Check out a sneak peek of the show below!
Spotted! Halle Berry and son Maceo were photographed while enjoying a day at the Westfield Mall in Los Angeles, California, on Thursday. The actress and her son were in casual mode as she wore baggy sweatpants and he rocked shorts with a red shirt. Halle was the prepared mom who had snacks for Maceo to enjoy while shopping at various stores in the outlet.
Although she enjoys working on the set of various movies and television shows, Berry never lets the hype that is Hollywood get in the way of family matters. “I love going to work so much,” said Halle during a recent interview. However, “when I am with my kids, I’m really with my kids.”
Halle also talked about the props that she received from portraying Storm in the hit X-Men series and how she thinks that the beloved character should have her individual stint in the spotlight. “Someone has to call the people at Fox and tell them that’s what they should do and they should cast me in it,” shared Berry. “Storm has always been one of the most beloved characters of that comic book series so she deserves her story.”
Maceo is Halle Berry’s son with husband Olivier Martinez. The actress also has a daughter named Nahla from a previous relationship.
Congratulations to Evan Ross and Ashlee Simpson who welcomed a daughter on Thursday, July 30, 2015. Us Weekly confirmed the couple’s newest addition with a family friend on Friday.
Evan and Ashlee announced their expectancy last December after getting married a few months prior. Ashlee, who has a son from a previous relationship, later told media that being pregnant again was different.
“I think that no matter what, with every child it’s different,” said Simpson to PEOPLE. “It feels new to me too, and it’s been six years, so I’m like, ‘Here we go! We gotta learn how to get the swaddle on again!'”
Evan also commented on his growing family during a conversation with Wendy Williams. Although he and Ashlee had a few names in mind at the time, Ross refrained from sharing any of their thoughts with fans.
“We have a few ideas, but we’re keeping that for us,” shared Evan. “No, it’s not going to be [a Hollywood baby name like] Apple, Orange or anything like that,” he added. “We got some ideas. It’s going to be different though.”
Ashlee was spotted out and about with Evan just days before giving birth to their daughter. The couple have not yet shared their baby girl’s name with fans.
At just 10-years-old Cha’iel Johnson, daughter of star athlete Chad Johnson, is making a name for herself in track and field. The tween recently won a gold medal at the AAU National Championships for completing the 800-meter race in just over two minutes and thirty seconds.
The meet presented little competition for Cha’iel who finished her race six seconds ahead of the second place winner. Such performance definitely made her father beam.
“Good day for @babychaiel_85 today, she ran a 1:04 in the 400 meters, 2:28 in the 800 meters & 27.33 in the 200 meters,” shared Chad on Instagram. The star athlete also uploaded a picture of him and his daughter showing off her medals. Cha’iel also competed in the 200-meter race in which she ran the course in just under thirty seconds. “29 seconds ain’t bad for 10 years old,” said Chad. We agree.
Johnson is the proud father of five kids. Cha’iel is one of four daughters that he has, and the former NFL star has a son who is named after him. Watch Cha’iel compete in the AAU National Championships below.
It’s official. Sofia Richie is the new face of Madonna’s ‘Material Girl’ clothing line. The teen recently did a photo shoot in celebration of the brand’s five year anniversary.
“It’s such an honor for me to announce that I’m the new face of Madonna and Lola’s Material Girl,” exclaimed Sofia on Twitter. The young star also shared a snap shot from the campaign and told fans that she couldn’t “wait to show you the awesome ads we created in NYC.”
Miss Richie told media earlier this year that she had an interest in fashion and wanted to do more in the industry. “I got super interested in pictures and runways [on Tumblr],” shared the star with Popular TV. “I started following a bunch of model blogs and runway blogs and then I just started following designers.”
Although she has attended New York Fashion Week as a guest on numerous occasions, Sofia hopes to one day be a model who walks the runway at one of the shows. Sofia is singer Lionel Richie’s youngest daughter.
Jill Scott is taking her son, Jett, along as she tours the nation and spreads her message of hope and maturity through song. The artist has a new album out called Woman in which one of the tracks is written and sang by Jill for her son.
“He is the impetus of my own accountability,” says Scott of Jett to Essence.com. The singer’s hit single ‘Back Together’ is about her life as a mom and the immense joy and responsibility that parenting brings.
“I don’t want to bring people into his life who aren’t healthy for him,” shares Jill. “It matters to me how he views me. It matters that I’ve done the best I can to make a good decision because everything that I do is shaping who he is. I love him more every day and I want to be an example.”
In being an example, Scott takes on an active role in Jett’s life. “I bring him out on the road with me because I want to be with him and he wants to be with me but this existence is hard,” explains the star of her decision to have her son with her during concerts and other promotional events.
“I needed him to see what it’s like to work,” adds Jill. “I need him to see the payoff in the audience singing along, but I also need him to be in rehearsal so he can see the work that goes along with it. I don’t want my son to be the kind of person who doesn’t have a work ethic.”
Jill Scott’s latest album is in stores nationwide. Jett is her only child with former fiance Lil John Roberts.
Along with motherhood comes the art of multitasking. Amber Rose knows this, and was photographed putting the concept into action during a shopping day in West Hollywood with her son, Sebastian, on Wednesday. The celebrity mom held her little one while keeping a firm grip on her handbag and shopping tote. “Mommies do it all,” captioned Amber underneath the pic on Instagram.
Sebastian was sporting a cute hair cut in the candid. While the top portion of his mane was long, the back was cut a bit shorter. The little one took in his surroundings while being carried by mom. Isn’t he adorable?
Although she has been given numerous opportunities to hire a nanny to care for her son while she develops her career, Amber has told media that she prefers the more active parental role when it comes to Sebastian. “I’m not comfortable with anyone else raising my son besides me,” said Rose during an interview with VladTV.
The artist also told the media source that she had a myriad of songs but refused to record and promote them if it meant being away from Sebastian for extended periods of time. “He shouldn’t be out traveling,” explained Rose. “He should be home. He should be comfortable and he should be home.”
Sebastian is Amber’s only child with her estranged husband Wiz Khalifa. He celebrated his second birthday in February. See more candids of the tot below!
Fatherhood takes on a different look when your kids are teenagers and young adults. Rick Fox knows this all too well and recently talked about his experience as a dad now that his son and daughter are exploring independence.
“My daughter’s 15 [years old], my son’s 20 [years old],” said the celebrity dad on the Boris and Nicole Show. “Communication is key,” added Fox. “[It’s important to know] the truth of who you are and understanding that it has value, and standing up for that.”
The actor further explained, “In the case of my daughter, I’m constantly making sure that she has an example of a man in her life that she deserves. So I try to be that daily for her. In the case of my son, just allowing him to become his own man but also really own his passions; knowing that the things that he has passion about have value and if he stands for them there’s a woman out there for him that’ll really get behind him as he would get behind her with her passions.”
See what else Rick had to say about fatherhood and the possibility of him getting married again in the interview below!
It was a girls day out in Harlem as Angela Simmons hosted a beautiful GirlTalk Takeover event at a neighborhood Boys and Girls Club on Wednesday, July 29, 2015. Diggy Simmons, Mo’ne Davis and Justine Skye came out to support the event.
Angela and her foundation’s partner Kerri Levine gave the girls great entertainment, a few goodies and a whole lot of information on health. The women addressed everything from sex education to the importance of fitness during the event and gave attendees large handbags as keepsakes.
Mo’ne Davis was a surprise guest who stopped by to lend support to Angela and empower the girls. “Thank you @monee_011 for stopping by and surprising the girls ! They love you,” shared Angela on Instagram. She also doted on Diggy Simmons and Justine Skye who came out to help with the entertainment aspect of the gathering. “Big thank you to my brother @diggysimmons and @justineskye for coming by,” wrote Angela.
Last year the Boys and Girls Club of Newark was shutdown for a GirlTalk Takeover charity event. “This is my passion,” tweeted Angela after the gathering. “Over these last months my partner Kerri and I put so much work in. I do it for them. Bringing health, fitness, fashion, sex Ed, community activities, performing arts, yoga, glass roots art, self expression, nails, hair, what girls want and need! #girltalktakeover.”
See more pictures and video footage from this year’s takeover below!
David Banda is going places. The son of Pop star Madonna recently showed of his musical skills while singing and playing the guitar to ‘Devil Pray.’
Little David was picking the strings and singing all of the right notes in the video footage. One fan even had to ask if the youngster displaying such talent was David because of the immense expertise put forth by the tween. “Teach Me How To Pray……,,,,,thats what children do,” wrote Madonna.
This isn’t the first time that David has been in the spotlight. The youngster made a memorable appearance alongside his mom at the 2014 Grammy Awards that impressed fans and critics of Madonna. David wore a tuxedo that was in fashion sync with his mom’s suit. “For this look, I followed his lead,” said Madonna of her decision to wear a tux like her son. “He dressed me tonight,” added the star. “He wanted me to dress like him, so I obeyed him.”
David is one of four kids that Madonna parents. Watch the youngster play the guitar and sing the lyrics to his mom’s song below.
Yandy Smith and the kids enjoyed a day of adventure with dad Mendeecees on Wednesday. The Reality TV star took her little ones to see their father at work in Hrlem and the youngest member of the clan, Skylar, was definitely in the spotlight.
“We’re at work with daddy today,” captioned Yandy underneath a picture of Mendeecees holding their daughter. The little one gave the camera a pose while resting in her father’s arms. Mendeecees also doted on Skylar by telling Instagram fans that she was “Daddy Lil Girl.” The rapper gushed about his sons as well saying, “My Lil Guys Are Getting Big Fast.”
The Love & Hip Hop star strives to be an active father, which is something that Yandy cherishes. “The way he loves his son taught me how to love my children,” said the celebrity mom during a recent interview. “When I met this man he was always bringing Lil’ Mendeecees, at the time he was a little, little baby and he was everywhere.”
Having his son with him at all times made Yandy fall for Mendeecees. “I just loved how he loved him so much, and I was plotting like when I have kids I’m going to have kids with him, because he knows how to be a daddy,” shared the reality star.
Yandy and Mendeecees have two kids, Skylar and Omere, together. Mendeecees Jr. is Mendeecees’ son from a previous relationship.
Omar Epps is promoting fatherhood. The actor recently partnered with Purleland Pictures to produce a documentary that encourages dads to be active contributors to their children’s lives.
The film, entitled Daddy Don’t Go, follows four fathers who are on a mission to remain involved in their kids’ lives through the good and bad times. These dads refuse to abandon their children and, through their struggles, hope to spread the message of endurance to parents nationwide.
Thousands of children in the United States live in fatherless homes. Although this trend of single parenthood is growing in popularity, statistics prove that children who live in homes where the mother and father are present have better socio-emotional and academic experiences.
As the father of three kids, Omar Epps knows the benefits associated with being an active dad. In fact, he reaped a few of them earlier this month when his kids, along with his wife Keisha, threw him a birthday party.
Omar has two daughters, Aiyanna and K’mari, and a son named Amir. Watch the trailer for Daddy Don’t Gohere.
Kiyan and La La Anthony are getting a head start on back-to-school shopping thanks to Crazy 8 children’s clothing store. The company recently shared a picture of the television personality and her son on Instagram in promotion of their newest arrivals for fall.
“@LaLa and her #Crazy8Kid did quite a sweep to kick off back-to-school shopping,” captioned Crazy 8 underneath a picture of La La and Kiyan leaving the store with bags of clothes. “Kiyan is looking extra cool in our navy plaid shirt.”
Mrs. Anthony also commented on her and Kiyan’s shopping spree saying, “Just stocked up Kiyan’s back to school clothes with this #shoppinghaul thanks to @Crazy8 – I love their stuff & the deals are amazing! He’s definitely a #Crazy8Kid!”
In addition to promoting the children’s apparel chain, Kiyan did a photo shoot alongside good friends Lebron James Jr and Bryce James., in support of Sean John’s clothes for autumn. “These young men never cease to amaze me…… So proud of them today on the set for the first time w/ Sean John for their Fall/Holiday shoot,” shared Savannah James, Lebron’s mom, with Instagram fans. The basketball wife also uploaded a picture of her boys modeling one of the brand’s hoodies.
La La doted on her son as well. “I’m a proud mom,” exclaimed the star. “Kiyan is a natural on set at the Sean John #SJBOYS Fall/Holiday shoot! #DreamBIG.” Mrs. Anthony also shared a picture from Kiyan’s recent basketball game in which he took home a big trophy.
See more pictures of Kiyan and the James boys below. Kiyan is La La and husband Carmelo Anthony’s only child.
You know that you are doing the most when you win a game so many times that officials ask you to leave the venue. Such was the case for Gilbert Arenas and his kids a few days ago when they visited the Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa, California.
Gilbert played the basketball hoops game and won fifteen times. The former NBA star probably would have engaged in a few more matches had officials of the fair not intervened and asked Gilbert to stop playing. “We just got banned from all the basketball hoops at #orangecountyfair,” shared Gilbert along with a picture of him and his kids with a myriad of prizes. “Every one screamed #theRimsarebent I screamed #hibachi …#ArenasFamily #CountyFairRockstars.”
Arenas told media last year that he was planning to return to the NBA after being away from the court for a number of months. “I’m in the middle of training now,” said the star at the time. “I said I’m gonna give it one more chance. I told Nick [Young] I’m gonna actually put some heart into it. You know, I lost it there for awhile.”
If Gilbert’s performance the fair is any implication of his newfound passion for basketball, then his return promises to be amazing. Arenas has five kids.
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