BSCkids had the chance to chat with one of the stars of “Every Witch Way,” Autumn Wendel! She talked with us about what it is like to work on the popular series as well as some of her favorite things in her life.
Autumn Wendel discovered her passion for acting at the age of 5 when she began participating in local children’s theatre and school productions. Since then, she has worked on numerous diverse projects, which include commercials, industrials, shorts films, television series, and feature films including The Whisperer In Darkness and The Butterfly Room. Autumn reprises her Series Regular role as Sophie Johnson once again for her fourth consecutive season in Season 4, which just premiered. A dedicated young community activist, Autumn has most recently enjoyed devoting her time to working with children through the YMCA and in helping with Pardon…Me, Inc., a dog and cat rescue organization.
BSCkids: Autumn Wendel
Tell us about your character in “Every Witch Way” Sophie Johnson.
Sophie is a member of the Panthers, the trio of popular girls at her school. She may be one of the “mean girls,” but she is not mean to anyone at all. In fact, she’s more sweet and quirky, so much that other people see her as weird and dumb. The interesting thing about Sophie, though, is that she doesn’t think of herself as dumb. Everything she says and does makes sense to her, and to her, everybody else is weird.
Do you and the character share and similarities?
I admire the character of Sophie in that she knows that she is different and embraces it. What’s important to her is making the most out of every moment she’s given, whether by chasing a kangaroo or dancing in a hallway rain shower.
How do you get into character when it is time to shoot a scene?
Sophie’s energy is a lot higher than mine in my resting state. Her voice and overall personality are also different than my own. For these reasons, I don’t wait until the director says “action” to get into character. I start becoming Sophie in the makeup chair every morning. I often call this being in “Sophie Mode.”
Why do you think the show is such a hit among its fans?
Every Witch Way is definitely different from your average Nick show. On set, we sometimes call it “the American telenovela.” It airs Monday through Friday, and the style is a lot like a Latin American soap opera. It mixes drama, magic, and suspense with youth, which is something many kids haven’t seen before.
What has been the funnest scene to shoot in “Every Witch Way?”
In one scene from Season 2, the Panthers were trying to convince Maddie that she had her powers back after losing them. Long story short, I spent the majority of the scene flying around the set in a harness, covered in a smoothie, screaming my head off. I’ve done a lot of fun things as Sophie, but that would have to be my favorite.
Does everyone get along on set and do you hang out together outside of the show?
When you work six days a week, three months at a time, for four seasons, you can’t help but know your cast extremely well. I have my share of “adopted siblings” from the show, including Louis Tomeo and Ethan Estrada. I taught them how to play the ukulele, and we would hang out after work to write songs together.
Have you always known you wanted to act and did you family always support the decision?
Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I was an actress. I’m so grateful for how supportive my mom has been. She put her life on hold so I could follow my dream, even when it took place 3,000 miles away.
Are there any actors that have really inspired you as your grow your career?
Lucille Ball always has and always will be my number one inspiration. Despite childhood hardships and medical issues, she used her determination and creativity to become a major pioneer in television history. She is proof that it is possible to overcome anything and achieve greatness.
What is your favorite television show right now other than your own of course?
I love Supernatural a little too much. I have seen almost every episode twice, and I quote it regularly. Its ability to combine fantasy with reality is mesmerizing, not to mention its flawless acting and camerawork. Technical aspects aside, I think I just really like how clever it is.
Do you have any movies you really excited to watch this year?
I still haven’t seen Pitch Perfect 2, but I know that I need to. I’ll spare people the pages worth of quotes I have memorized from the first movie.
Tell us about the dog and cat rescue organization that you help with and why it is important?
I have volunteered regularly for Pardon Me Inc., a small dog and cat rescue organization that holds weekend pet adoptions at PetCo. I have been the “volunteer director” for the cats section, showing new volunteers how to set up the cages, clean them, keep the cats happy, and talk to potential adopters. When these animals are found, they are helpless and hopeless, often facing terror at the pound. Providing them a new home gives them the permanent life of love they deserve.
Do you have any advice for young children or young adults who want to act?
You’ve got to love what you do. Whether it’s acting, singing, football playing, or studying to become a doctor, there’s going to be a lot of sacrifices and hard work involved. If you’re truly passionate about what you do, however, it’s not only worth it, but fun!