Eric Lavallee: Name me three of your favorite “2015 discoveries”.
Royalty Hightower: K.C. Undercover. Flying. I got to take my first airplane ride to Venice, Italy (it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be!). Stephen Curry as the best basketball player in the NBA 2015.
Lavallee: I’d like for you to go back in time and think about when you auditioned for the role of Toni…how did you land the role?
Hightower: I just remember being really calm during the audition. I tried to see if Anna liked any of the same things that I did, so I asked her if she liked to dance. I really felt like I was going to get the part the whole time. I had to do a scene, improv and answer questions. One person had to pretend be sad and the other person had to try and make them laugh. I liked trying to make the other person laugh better.
Lavallee: What characteristics in Toni do you identify with, and what were some of the key instructions Anna gave you when playing the part?
Hightower: I felt like a totally different person when I was Toni because everything was new for me. But, I love dancing, so I know why she would want to be on the team. Anna and I talked about my relationship with my brother, that he was more like a parent who watched over me. In each shot, Anna would tell me how Toni was feeling and I had to make myself feel that way. She would show me how to fix my face and tell me where to put the feeling in my face. We talked about what to be thinking about and what position to put my hands and my body. My sister and friends started calling me Toni at home so I would get used to hearing her name.