Jojo Regina makes her big screen debut in Where the Crawdads Sing and critics everywhere are singing the praises of Jojo’s powerful performance, which truly tugs at the heartstrings. “Love is something we all need,” she says of her biggest takeaway from the film. “We shouldn’t exclude people because they’re different.”
In an exclusive interview, the Los Angeles-born, Houston-raised actress opens up about her inspiring journey and shares advice for aspiring actors. Check it out!
YSB: Hi Jojo! First things first, tell us a little bit about yourself and where you grew up!
Jojo: Hi! I’m an adventurous and outgoing girl. I love animals and nature – horses and dogs are my favorite. My favorite color is yellow! My favorite food is sushi! I was born in Los Angeles, but moved to Houston when I was three years old. So, I’ve kind of grown up here.
YSB: How old were you when you first discovered your passion for acting?
Jojo: I was four years old when I started acting. It’s actually a funny story. My dad has a degree in theater and does some acting, too. One day he was doing a voice-over audition, and I heard him making funny voices. I walked into his office and asked what in the world he was doing! He told me, and I asked if I could try, so he let me. He said I did well and sent it to his agent. After a fun interview with her, she signed me. That’s how I got started.
YSB: When did it go from a fun hobby to a professional career?
Jojo: I think that happened after I booked my first project. It was a print job for Walgreens’ Red Nose Day, and I got to be a part of their mission to end childhood poverty. That was so awesome! It was also super fun to see my face on billboards and in Walgreens everywhere. I had family and friends call to say they saw me too. It was such a cool feeling to connect with everyone through that. So, I kept at it and kept booking stuff. I’ve done work for Kid’s Meals, a non-profit whose goal is to end childhood hunger. I’ve also worked on a handful of other commercials for Kendra Scott, T-Mobile, and McDonald’s, to name a few. I’ve done a short film and been on The Chosen TV Series. Where the Crawdads Sing is my first feature film ever!
YSB: What advice do you have for other kids who want to be actors?
Jojo: Read, read, read, and play, play, play! Use your imagination! Go on adventures! Practice memorizing lines from your favorite characters. Have your parents listen to your reading or scenes and ask you to do it in different ways. If you do all that and still love it, get some headshots and get an account on Actor’s Access. Then submit for everything you like. You can look for an agent too, but a lot of times, they’re going to want to see a sample of your work first.
YSB: What is the biggest message or theme that you want viewers to take away from the movie?
Jojo: Love is something we all need. We shouldn’t exclude people because they’re different. Also, we should remember that we have the power to be our own hero. Kya was. Despite every obstacle she faced, she found a way to not only survive, but thrive. She fell in love, got mixed up in a love triangle and even entangled in a murder mystery. She kind of did it all. LOL!
YSB: What did you learn about yourself through the experience of making it?
Jojo: I learned that I love driving a boat and I learned that Livi Newman is a great director! She’s so kind, loving, and supportive. And, having someone like that by your side makes those intense scenes a lot easier. I learned that acting is even more like a big playground than I thought it was. All of the actors I worked with were so amazing! Daisy was like a big sister. Taylor and Harris are like big brothers. Garret is like a goofy uncle! And, believe me, I know. I have a goofy uncle in real life. Those are the best!
YSB: What do you have planned next?! Any summer trips, or upcoming roles?
Jojo: I’ve actually booked my next movie! I’m so excited about it. It’s a drama from Hungry Bull Productions and Above the Clouds. Hungry Bull produced the critically acclaimed film PIG, and Above the Clouds produced Lansky, starring Harvey Keitel. So, I think I’ll be in good company! I’ll be playing a lead role opposite another amazing actress in this one, but I can’t say who it is yet or much more than that. Stay tuned and follow me on Instagram for updates!
YSB: Do you want to finish the interview by sharing some inspiring words with our readers?
Jojo: Trust your heart. Be your own hero. Never give up on your dreams. And, as Kya’s mama always said, “Go as far as you can—way out yonder where the crawdads sing…where the critters are wild…”
Where the Crawdads Sing is in theaters now.