Get ready, because Miya Cech is about to become your new favorite young star!
The 11-year-old actress can currently be seen on the big screen alongside talented teen Amandla Stenberg in new movie, “The Darkest Minds.” Adapted from the hit YA novel of the same name, the movie follows Miya, Amandla and other young kids with powers on the run from the government that is trying to take away their future, and is full of totally-relatable, inspiring moments about sticking together and fighting for each other!
We recently caught up with Miya, and she gave us the inside scoop on her character, Zu, a young runaway with the ability to control electricity with her mind and an affinity for staying quiet! Keep scrolling to learn about everything Miya and “The Darkest Minds,” from diving into the science fiction genre to her favorite on-set moment with the super-fun cast!
How would you describe Zu in three words?
Miya: Loyal, protective and innocent.
How was this role different from the previous acting work you’ve done?
Miya: This was my first feature film, so I had never gotten to work on a set for so long and with the same cast and crew for several months. I learned so much and grew as an actor. I loved everything and learned that when you become really close to a cast and crew, it makes it sooooo hard to say goodbye when you finish.
What was it like playing a character with great powers but limited speech? Did you do anything in particular to prepare for it?
Miya: I had to really learn how to “speak” and get my point across with facial expressions and movement rather than words.
Had you read the book series before being a part of the film? If yes, how did you translate that on-camera?
Miya: I did read the book before we started filming. I love to read and Alex[andra Bracken, “The Darkest Minds” book author] is an amazing author, so she made it easy for me to connect to Zu’s character and become her. I felt from the first day that I was Zu and so it was easy for me to imagine what expressions she would make.
Have you always been drawn to the science fiction/dystopian genre?
Miya: I have always loved Sci-Fi, like “Star Wars” and the “Star Trek” movies. And my first-ever project as an actor was actually a screen test for a Sci-Fi thriller, so I guess it was meant to be!
What was it like working with such a young and talented group?
Miya: I think that this was a really special cast of actors. I looked up to all of the older kids in different ways and I feel so lucky to know them. I made lifelong friends on this film.
Do you have a favorite on-set memory?
Miya: Just hanging out in Betty [the van the runaways travel in] and chillin’ out with Amandla, Skylan and Harris. Also, sitting with [director] Jen Yuh Nelson during the scenes I wasn’t in and learning about directing. She is such an inspiration to me!
What would fans be surprised to know about filming the movie?
Miya: If you look closely in the scenes with [the van,] Blue Betty, the artwork on the walls is actually mine. Before we started shooting, the props department noticed me drawing in the production office and asked if I wanted to help decorate the van with my own drawings!
Is there anything else you want our readers to know?
Miya: “The Darkest Minds” is great! Go see it!
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