Asia Monet Ray is a true triple threat. If you haven’t seen her acting in scripted TV roles, you’ve probably heard her sing or watched her dance. Needless to say, her schedule is pretty packed, but we managed to catch up with her during a rare moment of downtime. Read on for our exclusive interview with Asia Monet Ray.
This year, you acted on two major TV shows: The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story and Grey’s Anatomy. What was that experience like?
Asia Monet Ray: Well, I’m super excited to say that yesterday I was driving and I saw the billboard that said American Crime Story had 22 Emmy nominations. I was so proud, I was literally crying. Hopefully I get to go to the Emmys! That was an amazing, amazing set to work on. The crew was so sweet, and I loved working with Cuba Gooding Jr. He was the best set dad you will ever have. And Grey’s Anatomy – let’s be real, that’s like my favorite show, so I loved working on that. I got to meet Ellen Pompeo and her daughter and so many other people, and I was just so blessed to have booked that role. Hopefully I get written in [for more episodes]!
Related to that, are there any more acting opportunities on the horizon for you?
Well, cross your fingers! I have a couple callbacks that are still up in the air. They’re really, really good roles, and I am super close to getting them. I’ve been doing a ton of auditions and I got a callback that I cannot disclose yet, but please cross your fingers for me! I’m gonna need it!
Your first TV appearances were on reality-based shows like Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition, Dance Moms, and Raising Asia, then you moved on to scripted shows where you had to pretend to be other people. Do you have any tricks for getting into character and realistically portraying somebody else?
Well, if I’m portraying a real-life person, I look them up on Google. I’m the Google queen – I Google everything! I watch their personality, their mannerisms and how they act. [I look for] what I call “personality sparks,” because there are different sparks in different personalities. For example, someone would watch me and see that I talk pretty fast, I’m super-energetic, and I love animals. Playing Sydney Simpson, there was hardly anything I could find on the internet besides a couple of young photos of her and the fact that she’s OJ’s daughter and she was 8 at the time, so I just portrayed her like I saw on the internet. I definitely had to get into the emotion, because she was super-sad. She didn’t know what was going on, and she didn’t know where her mom was. I think overall, I did pretty good portraying her, but I don’t like watching myself! My mom’s like, “Watch, so you can learn from your mistakes for the next job you get,” but I just don’t like watching myself. I don’t know why!
In addition to being an actress, you’re also a singer. Your cover of Mary, Did You Know? recently hit 500,000 YouTube views, so congratulations on that!
Thank you very much. I have such amazing and loyal fans, and I have to give it to them, because if I didn’t have such loyal fans, I would’ve never reached 500,000 views. I just love them and they always have my back! My career would have never got this far without them.
What can we expect next in terms of your singing career?
Well, actually I’ve been in the studio all week, so you’ll definitely be hearing tons of new stuff coming out! I’m super-excited for you guys to hear it. Hopefully you guys love it as much as I do. I’ve been super-busy in the studio literally every day and night, so hopefully all that hard work pays off!
You dance, you sing, you act, and you also got into modeling over the past couple years. Which of those is your favorite thing to do, or is it too hard to choose?
I think I love all of them equally. I love modeling, I love singing, I love acting, and of course, I will always love dancing. Dancing will always be a part of me. I can’t choose just one out of everything, but right now I’ve been really loving acting and getting into scripted roles.
Speaking of the modeling aspect, a few of the girls from Dance Moms have their own clothing lines, including Kalani Hilliker. Given your interest in fashion and the fact that you always show up at events looking fabulous, have you ever thought of creating your own clothing line?
Yes, I have! I love drawing, and I sketch for fun. I would love my own fashion line, but I’ve heard that it’s hard – fashion designers have to keep new styles coming and coming. If anything, it would probably be a shoe line or purses. You will never see me without a purse, literally. My mom’s like, “I can hold this for you – you don’t need a purse,” and I’m like, “No, I need my purse!” For a clothing line, I would wait a little while longer. Fashion designers have told me personally that if you’re going to start a fashion line, that’s all you should be doing!
On a totally different subject, how is your adorable dog, Mochi?
She’s doing good. She’s actually here right now, so she can hear what you’re saying! We recently had to shave her because she was so matted, and she was so depressed that her hair was gone! My dog is a super-happy, crazy dog who loves babies and any person she sees, but she was all sad and just sat on the couch instead of running around. But she’s definitely getting better. I think she was just like, “What did you do with my hair? Why’d you do it? Was I in trouble?” You guys are gonna think my mom and I are crazy because we actually took her to the veterinarian and made them check her chip to make sure she was the right dog, because she was totally different! But depressed or happy, I will still love her forever!
Your birthday’s coming up soon, so happy birthday! What are your plans for the big day?
Thank you! My mom, my dad, my little sister, and I are going to Hawaii and island-hopping twice for five or six days, and I’m super-excited for that! But I don’t want to do a huge birthday because it’s just another number. I mean, 10 was a huge thing for me, so we did a pretty extravagant birthday, but we’re going to Hawaii, so that’s a big enough birthday for me! I think we’re just going to do a little thing with my dad’s side of the family, a little thing with my mom’s side of the family, and just a little get-together with my friends. I really want to go to Catalina Island with like five of my friends, counting me and my little sister. None of us have ever gone, and I think that would be such a fun experience. I’m so mesmerized by Catalina, and my dad’s like, “Oh, now you have another thing you’re obsessing over.” Anything I really want, I will obsess over!
Well, hopefully you get to go to Catalina, but if not, enjoy Hawaii!
Thank you! I will definitely get a massage, a facial, and relax on the beach in Hawaii. And my mom can actually get the massage she’s wanted for like 50 years!
Thank you so much for the interview! At Pop City Life, we’ve been fans since Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition.
That was so long ago, I can hardly remember it! I was watching [an episode] and I was like “Oh, that was me? I’m so tiny!” I was 6, so I definitely have grown a lot. Nobody thinks I’m turning 11 – everyone thinks I’m like 13 or 14!