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Features

One to Watch Actress Everleigh  McDonell 

One to Watch Actress Everleigh McDonell 

One to Watch under 21 Actress Everleigh  McDonell 

Photographer Ben Ritter

Dress: LoveShackFancy Cardigan: The Animals Observatory

Shoes: Golden Goose. Hat: Light+Nine

HBOMax’s newest series “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” please tell us more about your character you play?

I play Clare Abshire when she is a child, and she is adventurous, curious and very upbeat, even though there are some weird things going on with her life. She has no problem walking up to people and making friends, and she asks a lot of questions. Clare’s role in the story is the time traveler’s wife, not the time traveler; the wife of the time traveler. She gets to know the time traveler, Henry DeTamble, since she was little, even though he actually met her for the first time when he was like 30 and she was maybe 20ish. They fall in love and get married, ya know…I was just about to say, normal love story, but no, no, it is not a normal love story because he is a time traveler! He doesn’t know when he gets to time travel, and it makes Clare feel alone and kind of sad. But my version of Clare has the dates that Henry will be back to visit in her notebook, so she knows when she gets to see him.

 

How did you find out about the role and what drew you to taking it on?

At first, it just started off as a normal audition. It sounded like an amazing role and I loved all the funny lines, like Clare asking if Henry has seen dinosaurs; obviously not because that’s like a bajillion years ago! I was like, “I have a great feeling about this audition,” because I thought it was super funny, and I like being funny. A couple weeks later, maybe a month later, I was downstairs and my mom yelled down the stairs that I got the job. I was like, “Wow! I get to go to New York, and meet all these amazing people?!” That was the most amazing part of my day that day.

How long have you been acting and what was your first acting job?

I’ve probably been acting…let’s see…well, I was literally born this way. I started doing auditions when I was about 3, maybe. So I’ve been doing this for 6 years and - wow! 6 years? That seems like a lot! Anyway, the first job that I remember is a commercial for Skinnypop Popcorn. It was really funny and I liked filming it. I had to sit in my car seat, and at a red light, my fake mom had to climb across the car to the trunk to get her popcorn. There was a guy in a car next to us, watching her, and he was like, “What the heck? What just happened?” Then there was a green light, and my mom was like, vroom! I felt like I accomplished something that day. I was only 4 years old, but I felt like I did something great and I think I worked awesome at that commercial. I knew I liked it!

What's your favorite actor or actress and what?

I actually have 2 favorite actresses, and they are Millie Bobby Brown and Sadie Sink. I just finished Season 4 of Stranger Things and it was amazing. Millie Bobby Brown and Sadie Sink are both great actresses. Millie Bobby Brown is really funny; I watch a lot of behind the scenes videos and she seems hilarious. The actors on Stranger Things seem like they are one big happy acting family, and they look like they are having a fun time; that’s what I want. I want to be on a show like Stranger Things. In Season 4, Sadie Sink’s acting is like, wow. In episode 9, one of the funny but scary parts is when her character, Max, asks Eleven, “Are you real?” and I thought that was a bit funny because they hadn’t seen each other for a million years. 

Are you ever nervous before a scene ? If so, how do you overcome this?

I’m more excited to film a scene, not nervous. When I know I actually get to film, I can’t wait. When I do an audition and I know I have to do this to get the job, and I only have one or two shots, that’s when I get more nervous. When I’m on set, it’s really fun and I like setting up the scenes and doing the actions. I don’t mind doing scenes over and over again. There are no fears to overcome on set. Even if I work all day, I go home energized and I dance a lot. Sometimes when I leave set, I feel like I don’t want to go home.

Do you come from an entertainment family?

Well, kind of. My mom did a little bit of acting when she was young. She did some commercials, like a chicken commercial and a Denny’s commercial. The Denny’s commercial was a lot to handle because there were lots of kids singing about Denny’s breakfast, but her acting was pretty good. My cousins, Asher and Brayden McDonell, used to do acting, but they don’t do it anymore. They are identical twins so they got to work a lot, ever since they were babies. They have been on Big Little Lies, Shameless, True Blood, Lip Sync Battle, General Hospital, The Young and the Restless, The Thundermans, Mr. Mom and commercials. My favorite job was when Asher was on General Hospital and he had to say, “You know what, you killed me,” and he sounded so funny and cute that we still say it to him to this day. When Asher and Brayden were on Big Little Lies, we all got to go to Monterey and it was super fun. I was 5 years old at the time and they were 4, and I supported them a lot! I helped them with their lines, and we had dance parties in our hotel room. They don’t act anymore because they live in Idaho and do other stuff, and they’re not obsessed with acting like me. My little cousin, Alina McDonell, was in a show called Splitting Up Together, and she played Oliver Hudson’s really cute, tiny, little baby.Brayden says he wants to go back to acting but I don’t think he realized how much work it is.

What's your full day like from am to pm?

On a usual day of a wild Everleigh in the summer, I wake up between 8 and 9. I go downstairs and eat either pancakes or cereal, then relax for a second. I might get out my bathing suit, meet up with my cousins, and go find somewhere to swim in the river and have fun. Sometimes we go fishing. We have a lunch of sandwiches and my Grandma’s homemade chocolate chip cookies. Then I go home and take a shower, get cozy and play Uno with my family. I call my friend Sky, who is also an actor and lives in California, and we are on the phone for hours, playing games and crafting. Then I eat dinner, a delicious dinner, probably something my Grandma makes on the Traeger. My uncles and aunts and cousins come over to eat with us. Sometimes my Grandma makes us hamburgers shaped like hot dogs in a hot dog bun and I love those. Then we go night swimming and take a walk in our neighborhood. Finally, I go to bed and listen to Peter Pan on my Alexa and I sleep, and then it starts all over again!

How do you stay focused? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I stay focused for auditions by trying and trying to read my lines over and over a million bajillion times until I know them. My self tapes are usually due, like, the next day, so I have to read the sides nonstop, then take a chill pill, then read them again, then eat dinner, then read again, then sleep on it and think about it in my dreams, then wake up and read it again before I film it. I tell myself that I need to get this job because I want to get this job; I do. I really, really do. I get really excited if the job is filming somewhere cool because then I get to mix those two together - travel and acting - that’s like the greatest thing ever, so I motivate myself. 

In ten years, where do I see myself? I wanna say Europe, but I’m not sure. I really want to be a world traveler. I have a lot of places I want to go but I can’t just yet. I picture myself on an airplane, traveling first class to Scotland or France, maybe Ireland or England. Being an adult means a lot of acting jobs, because I have seen that the more you grow up, the more jobs you get, the more fun you have, and the more good roles you get. I really want to be the star in something with action, or something scary. I also really want to be in something that seems normal, but then - uh oh! — drama walks in the door, like nothing else. I want to be the center of attention. I want to be the drama of it all. I want to be caught in between two people fighting, and be like, “Guys, guys! Stop!”

Where can fans reach out to support you via social media?

Well, that is a question for my mom! But, I do know that on some apps, I have pictures and stories, like Instagram, and I think my account is “EverleighMcDonell.” My mom has another account on Facebook for me that I’ve never seen. Literally, I’ve never seen my Facebook page. And then I have a Twitter account, which I’ve also never seen, but my mom tells me nice things that people say. My mom runs all of them. To people who support me, I want to say thank you! I’m always up to something new, weird, crazy and exciting to do with acting, everyday, all day, every hour, every second, every minute and it’s fun to share videos and pictures. Thank you for wanting to support me because I love that. I support you back!