We have been looking forward to the upcoming Disney movie Upside-Down Magic since we first heard about it. Now with the movie coming this summer we were lucky enough to get a chance to speak to Izabela Rose who will play the lead, Nory Boxwood Horace in our exclusive interview.
African American-El Salvadoran-Italian superstar in the making Izabela Rose is poised to follow in the footsteps of Disney legends Zendaya, Selena Gomez, and Demi Lovato as she leads the cast of the new Disney film UPSIDE-DOWN MAGIC (Summer 2020), based on The New York Times best-selling Scholastic fantasy fiction books of the same name. UPSIDE-DOWN MAGIC centers around 13-year old ‘Nory Boxwood Horace’ (Izabela Rose), who discovers she has the ability to transform into animals, as she enters the Sage Academy for magical studies with her friend Reina Carvajal (Siena Agudong), who can manipulate flames. Izabela Rose gives a standout performance as the funny, charismatic, and optimistic heroine, whose unwavering belief that her unusual talent, along with those of her wonky friends, are just as valuable as those of her peers.
BSCKids: Tell us a bit about your character in Upside-Down Magic and how you got the role?
Izabela Rose: I play Nory Boxwood Horace in Upside-Down Magic. Nory is an optimistic and enthusiastic 13-year-old girl who arrives at Sage Academy of Magical Studies excited to perfect her abilities as a fluxer. When she is faced with rejection, she refuses to give up. I went through many rounds of auditions in order to get this role. It was an emotional roller coaster! And when I was in the chemistry reads – I was able to meet the other actresses up for the role. When I met Siena (who plays Reina, Nory’s best friend) at the last round we really clicked. Then I found out I got the role and I was beyond grateful! It was a dream come true!
Do you have anything in common with your character Nory?
Yes, Nory is like me in so many ways! We are both positive, determined, unique, and we are not afraid to be different.
Tell us what it was like on set? Are there any fun behind the scenes stories you can tell us that happened during filming?
It was an incredible experience working on this set. We all became a huge family! When we weren’t filming we spent a lot of time together. We went to Victoria for a full day and did laser tag. None of us had ever been to Vancouver before and had such a blast discovering new activities there. We sweated so much during laser tag, then had sushi, which I used to not like. Now I am a huge sushi fan! We created so many amazing memories together and keep in touch on group chat!
We love Siena Agudong, how was it working with her?
Siena is very supportive as an actress and person in general. She is always there for everyone, and she has become one of my good friends.
How was it filming with all the special effects used for the film?
I had to get really creative because I had to imagine everything around me when in reality there was nothing there. You have to film in an area that is just a green screen. It is twice as hard as an actor because I didn’t even know what the special effects team were going to do with the magical elements or what they would end up looking like. This is really important when it comes to spacial awareness or when something is interacting with me that is a special effect. I had to remember where all these imaginary characters were and there was a green ball they would swing around like the dritten was flying. When I was transitioning from a dritten to Nory – these were very fast action shots. I had to get used to that. Suzanne Farwell, Susan Cartsonis, Joe Nussbaum, and the entire production team did an awesome job of acclimating me to work with green screen and making me feel comfortable with the process.
How did you like the wardrobe of the movie, did you have any outfits that you just loved?
Yes, I loved Nory’s wardrobe the moment I went into my first fitting! Barbara Somerville our costume designer is so talented. My favorite outfit was a jean jacket ensemble. Nory has a signature look including mixed matched socks, a headband, and purple Doc Marten boots (which I wish I had in real life).
What is something that people would be surprised to learn about you?
My Dad is a boxing trainer and I started boxing when I was four years old! Boxing is my main sport and it keeps me active!
How familiar with the Upside-Down Magic books by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, Emily Jenkins were you? Did you read them or get a chance to talk to the authors prior to filming?
When I first found out I booked the role of Nory, I wanted to get deeper into her character, so I read the first book, Upside-Down Magic. I am now in the middle of reading the second book, Upside-Down Magic Sticks & Stones. I actually met all three authors on set while filming. It was such an exciting surprise! I was really looking forward to meeting them because they created this magical world. I can understand how they would have made these books because they are so incredibly talented and kind.
If you could guest star on any Disney series currently showing or in the past which one would it be and why?
Raven’s Home because I absolutely love Raven-Symoné! Her comedic timing is amazing! I have so much respect for her as an actress and what she has done with her career! She also seems so down to Earth and sweet.
Tell us a bit about your work with the Atlanta Mission?
I haven’t worked with the Atlanta mission yet, but I want to in the future. Helping end homelessness in Atlanta is so important to me and I believe in their cause. You can learn more about them here: https://atlantamission.org
Why should everyone tune in to watch Upside-Down Magic?
Upside-Down Magic is an exciting fantasy movie and it is a must-see! Some of the main messages in this movie involve believing in yourself, owning being different, and never giving up – I think it will really help a lot of people. Also, who doesn’t love magic?
Why should everyone be excited to watch you in Sulphur Springs?
Sulphur Springs is a supernatural time-travel mystery drama that will keep you guessing and wanting more!
Thanks to Izabela Rose for talking Upside-Down Magic with us…you can check out the trailer before and make sure to tune in this summer.