Ciara Riley Wilson recently charmed viewers as Athena in the Disney Channel Original Movie Kim Possible. Next up Ciara can be seen starring as Letti Ramirez in the upcoming series L.A.’s Finest.
We had the pleasure of chatting with Ciara about her latest project, learning from Jessica Alba and Gabrielle Union, her background in dance and sketch comedy, and what viewers can look forward to from her next.
Read on for our exclusive interview with Ciara Riley Wilson below:
What motivated you to initially pursue acting as your career? Was there anyone who influenced or inspired you?
Looking back, there wasn’t a single moment, movie, or actor that inspired me to become an actress. I had always been a performer since a very young age growing up with dance, but I sort of fell into acting. I found the psychological aspect of getting into different characters’ heads extremely interesting and wanted to dive into it as much as I could. Then, I put all my energy into this newfound love and it grew into a passion that I want to pursue for the rest of my life.
I hear you also enjoy different genres of dancing. Would you like to incorporate more dance into your acting career as well?
Dance was my very first love! I grew up dancing all styles in a competition setting and continued to pursue professional hip hop on the side when my focus switched more to acting. My favorite acting roles are the ones where I can incorporate dance or any athletic aspect. Recently, I had the opportunity to play a dance team captain on the show Coop & Cami Ask the World. We even had an epic dance scene in one episode! It’s amazing when I can combine my two passions.
Can you tell us about your role in the series L.A.’s Finest and what viewers can expect from her as a character?
In L.A.’s Finest I play Letti Ramirez. She’s a loyal friend to Izzy (the daughter of Jessica Alba’s character Agent Mckenna) and stands by her side with whatever adventures she finds herself in. Viewers can expect the friendship between Izzy and Letti to grow throughout the season as well as many shocking twists and turns. L.A.’s Finest is an incredible show. I’m so excited for viewers to see the action, adventure, and girl power.
Did you do anything special to prepare for your role? Would you say you are similar to your character at all?
I have a very academic approach to acting, so I do a lot of written scene work to prepare for my roles. For Letti, I had to get into her mindset and find experiences in my own life so I could relate to what she was going through. I would say I am similar to Letti because I have a positive outlook on life and care tremendously about my friends.
How has the experience been working alongside the cast?
It was a dream come true working alongside this powerhouse cast. Jessica Alba and Gabrielle Union are girl power icons I have admired, and it was a pleasure learning from them on set. Sophie Reynolds, who plays my best friend Izzy, was a childhood friend of mine through dance from my hometown in the Pacific Northwest, so it was an amazing opportunity to reconnect and play on-screen friends.
You also have a background in sketch comedy. What do you enjoy most about performing comedic scenes? Would you say that you prefer it over more dramatic roles?
I have always loved sketch comedy and improv because there’s no limit to your creativity when it comes to characters and setting. You can create whoever you want to be and let your imagination run free. My whole acting career has mainly been comedic roles, so lately I’ve been gravitating toward more dramatic work. However, sketch comedy will always be one of my passions and my number one dream is to someday be on Saturday Night Live.
Viewers may also recognize you from your role as Athena in the Disney Channel movie Kim Possible. Were you a fan of the original series before you joined that project? Is it exciting to be a part of the Disney family?
Growing up, I always looked up to Kim Possible as the ultimate girl power icon. When it was announced they were making a live action movie, I was so excited to see how the world of Kim Possible was going to come to life. As you can also imagine, I was ecstatic when I found out I was cast as Athena. Because I had watched the series growing up, seeing all the characters, set design, wardrobe, and stunt choreography come together while filming was surreal. The Disney family is so one of a kind and really takes care of their talent. I have also met my best friends for life on Kim Possible and I am good friends with other Disney Channel actors as well.
What else are you working on? What can your fans look forward to next?
LA’s Finest premieres on May 13th on Spectrum and more episodes of my recurring role on the show Coop and Cami Ask the World are set to come out soon.
Thanks so much to Ciara Riley Wilson for taking the time to answer some questions with us!