BSCkids recently got the exciting chance to talk to Jessica Marie Garcia, the actress who plays Willow on the popular series “Liv and Maddie.”
BSCkids: Jessica Marie Garcia
Can you tell us a little about your character on Liv and Maddie? How do you think you are like Willow and how do you think you are not like Willow?
Willow and I are a lot alike! We both are strong women with a great love for sports, boys and our friends! She has such a positive and enthusiastic view on life and I always try to remember to be that way. I would say what sets us apart is her flirting tactics with Joey. She is a little bit more loud and aggressive with him than I would be, just a little bit!
When did you first decide you wanted to act? How did you get the part of Willow?
I have always wanted to be an actor. Whenever I would think that maybe growing up I wanted to be a doctor or lawyer, I would just snap out of it and say to myself “I’d rather play one on TV”! When I got an email from my agent saying I had an audition for a Disney show, I freaked out! What kid hasn’t dreamt about being on a Disney show!? So, when I found out I got the part, I flipped out and had a solo dance party in my living room!
What sports are you into, did you have to “practice” any sports for the role?
I love all sports! I grew up playing softball, soccer, and some basketball. I didn’t have to practice any sports for the role but they did ask me my basketball experience. Don’t tell anyone I told you this, but I may have told them I was better than I really am! shhhh!
Were there any funny behind the scene stories you can share with us while filming?
Well there was the one time I had to dress like a chicken and “Bak!” in front of a live studio audience, that was pretty hilarious. we have stopped production to sing songs from musicals in their entirety! Anytime I am working with Joey, I know that I am going to be laughing all day long.
Is acting something you want to do when you get older?
Absolutely! I love to act, and help tell another person’s story. I know that I would eventually like to start my own production company, and direct and write my own films someday.
If acting and performing hadn’t worked out, what alternate career choice would you want to be?
With the entertainment business aside, I would have loved to have been a psychologist. Being an actor has made me fascinated with the human mind, and the way people think, and why they think the way they do.
How was your time on “The Middle”? What did you learn with that role?
I love working on “The Middle”. The cast and crew are such a family and they welcomed me so warmly. I loved playing Becky, because she was such a spitfire. She was a tough chick, who didn’t mind beating up anyone to protect her friends. I learned that I could perform a choreographed dance routine, that’s for sure! Never thought I could do something like that, so that was a lot of fun!
Any advice for other children getting into acting?
It is not easy! You have to work really hard so you have to study. I would make sure you read tons of books on acting and auditioning. It is not an easy career so make sure that you love to act, and not just want to be famous.
What is/was your favorite Disney Show, besides your own show?
I love “K.C. Undercover”! I think that it is so funny! The fact that it is about a girl spy, who is smart,funny and tough is just the coolest. Makes me want to be a spy.
Tell us why everyone should tune into “Liv and Maddie”?
Everyone should watch “Liv and Maddie” because it is hilarious and heartwarming. A story about sisters who would do anything for each other and brothers who destroy everything! Who wouldn’t want to watch that!?
Tell us about your journey after you found out you were pre-Diabetic. What would you like to tell the other children going to something similar?
About two years ago now I was diagnosed pre-Diabetic, and I was just shocked. I never thought anything like that could happen to me. But then I was overwhelmed with determination to change my life. I am always the one who talks about being a strong woman, and this was my time to show that. I knew I couldn’t give up on myself.I also had to remind myself that it was going to take time to get better, I wasn’t going to lose the weight overnight, and it is really easy to get discouraged when you’re not getting results right away,but once I got in the rhythm of eating healthy (not dieting!) and exercising regularly, it became a lifestyle change and it became much easier. My advice is to see your doctor regularly for a check up. I hadn’t been to the doctor in a while,and that is never the way to a healthy life. Also, I encourage everyone to educate yourself on nutrition and healthy eating. I never cared about the foods that I ate and because of that, I became very unhealthy. It was the moment that I realized I was worth the effort that I changed my life. Please know you’re worth the effort to get healthy.
I love music!
- Kanye West
- Taylor Swift
- Jessie J
- Fifth Harmony
- The Band Perry
Favorite ride at the Disney Park?
California Screamin!! Joey Bragg and I went on this ride last week 4 times! I love it!
Who has been your favorite actor/actress you have met and what have you learned from them?
I had the pleasure of meeting Jim Caviezel a few years ago, when I was starting out. We have the same amazing acting coach in John Kirby. Mr. Caviezel taught me how he prepares for a difficult role, and how he deals with the struggles of the industry. He told me to always stay true to myself, and remember why I wanted to act in the first place. I will always remember what he said and will always admire his dedication to his craft.