If you haven’t heard the name Mia Challis, we recommend you get very familiar with her. The Australian-born actress is solidifying her place as a worldwide acting superstar. Her latest Netflix series, ‘Clickbait’ , has her working alongside the likes of Zoe Kazan, Betty Gabriel and Adrien Grenier, to name a few. However, this isn’t uncharted territory for the Australian starlet.
Mia Challis got her start in the highly acclaimed film ‘Two Fists One Heart.’ Challis has dazzled the screen many times thereafter and has many more highly anticipated projects awaiting. She will be the first Macedonian-Australian actress to lead a Netflix series. Keep up with the actress through her Instagram or IMDB Page. We were able to catch up with Mia Challis before she returns back to set to resume filming for ‘Clickbait.’ We talked quarantine, ‘Clickbait’, and so much more!
How have you been spending your time while quarantined?
We are super fortunate here in Perth, Australia with now zero COVID-19 cases, so stay at home orders have been almost completely lifted. At the beginning of the pandemic when things weren’t so great, I pretty much did what the rest of the world did. I baked some banana bread and binge-watched Netflix shows until I had nothing else to watch. Oh and lots and lots of puzzles. Luckily, I managed to creep out of my quarantine hole and refocus and try to use my time effectively.
During lockdown you also became an Ambassador for ’The Education Collaborative’ – you’re in good company as they only invite established actors. How was that experience?
Yes! I’m super excited about it. The organization focuses on breaking down socioeconomic barriers, especially in the arts. Every month I create an acting lesson and then have a zoom call with underprivileged kids from all around Australia. Each month I have a guest actor who leads the class with me. Next month I have Marianly Tejada joining me, who is the series lead on the new show ‘One of Us Is Lying’.
Tell us about your upcoming Netflix series, ‘Clickbait’. I understand shooting was paused due to the pandemic, are you excited to get back on set?
‘Clickbait’ is an eight-episode character based thriller. It explores the ways in which our most dangerous and uncontrolled impulses are fuelled in the age of social media. Each episode is told through a different character’s perspective. This makes solving the crime that much more exciting. I’m really excited to get back on set – although the break has been a nice change of pace. I’m just really itching to start working again.
I know this isn’t your first rodeo but what’s it like working alongside actors such as Zoe Kazan and Betty Gabriel?
I’m a really big fan of Zoe and Betty’s work so getting the opportunity to work with them was super cool. To be amongst strong, talented and like minded women is pretty much the perfect work environment. They have been in the industry longer than me, so being able to just watch them do their thing and take on their advice was such an awesome experience.
You have been acting since such a young age. Your first role was in ‘Two Fists One Heart’ when you were just 10 years old! What drew you to become an actor?
When I was growing up, I changed my mind on what I wanted to ‘be’ almost everyday. There is one specific moment, I remember, when I was coming off stage after a school play and even then was filled with so much adrenaline and happiness. I remember saying ‘I want to do this for the rest of my life.’ I honestly haven’t looked back!
What was it like working on the comedy series ‘Raindance’?
‘Raindance’ was such an awesome project to be in. It was actually shot in the southern wheat belt of Western Australia. So being in my home country and sharing a story about real life Aussie people was awesome. The series was written and produced by Bec Bignell whose series ‘600 Bottles of Wine’ has just hit NETFLIX in Australia. Her writing had me in stitches so when she offered me the part I was so excited. It’s definitely a change of pace from the more dramatic roles I’ve done in the past but I loved it. I played a very uptight office worker named ‘Sharni’ who takes her title as the ‘Office Fire Warden’ a little too seriously. The role involved heaps of physical comedy work, which was pretty new to me. In one scene I did the ‘Stop! Drop! And Roll!’ technique in 6 inch stiletto high heels. I’ll definitely be adding that skill to my resume.
What do you look for when considering a new role? It is the story line or the character that sticks out to you first?
The character. I’m all about choosing characters that challenge me. The movies I love the most are all character-focused. That is definitely what draws me to sign on to a project. I find whenever I wrap a film, the character I play next is almost the complete opposite of the previous one! I think that comes from my need to always be exploring new things.
What’s next for you?
‘Clickbait’ is looking to restart shooting next month in Melbourne, which I’m super excited for! Straight after that I’ll be hitting The Gold Coast in Queensland to shoot a feature film called ‘Light Warriors.’ It’s an adventure film where a group of teenagers have to save the world. After Queensland I’ll be saying goodbye to Australia for a while and will be heading back to the United States. I’ll be filming a feature film, and then a TV series called ‘Free’, which has a really important storyline about sex-trafficking. An Emmy-nominated team is producing it, so I’m excited about that one.
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Images Provided by Stef King