Emily Osment & Kay Panabaker in Cyberbully
Emily Osment & Kay Panabaker star in the TV movie, Cyberbully on July 17 at 8 PM on ABC Family channel. We got to talk to them about the movie and about their own advice for dealing with the sometimes dangerous online world.
Q: What is Cyberbully about?
Emily: In a way it's ripped from the headlines and while it's not based on a true story it easily could be. It centers around my character, Taylor, and her journey through high school. She struggles at home and is extremely insecure, and for some reason, the girls at school say she is the girl to pick on. She is targeted for absolutely no reason. She's picked on at school and picked on online which is why it's called Cyberbully and that is a huge topic right now. It's about her downward spiral, and Kay plays my best friend and I bring her and my family into it. My character is completely tormented and it's very sad. It's about the way to handle cyberbullying and maybe not the way to handle it and has a good moral that we ask for it basically, because we put ourselves out there.
Kay: That's exactly the comment I've been making because you put yourself out there, and people think having such instant access to you they can say whatever they want, and a lot of the times it's positive, and people want to talk to you, but there are those other people that want to make you feel bad to make themselves feel better. Is their advice genuinely the one you should be listening to? My mom always taught me that you need to present yourself privately as you would publicly, so if you wouldn't say the things you are saying online to that person's face, don't say them. And if you can't help yourself, remove yourself from the temptation and take yourself offline. If you can't handle it well like this movie says, take yourself offline and deal with the bullying not online.
Q: Does any of the stuff you read online about yourself affect your confidence?
Emily: I have a very good sense of who I am and I have people who I trust and will tell me something isn't right. Like my mom will say don't wear that dress, so I change, and I trust that. But I wouldn't ask my Twitter followers if this dress makes my butt look big. I would ask people that I know so I don't let it affect me personally. I could find a million things to bully about anyone but I choose not to.
Q: What books do you recommend?
Kay: Ender's Game, Uglies, Stargirl, Thirteen Reasons Why, and The Hunger Games.
Emily: Anything by Sarah Dessen who just came out with two new books, anything by Avi, Ender's Game, of course Stargirl, a book called Loser that is great. Harry Potter is great.
Q: Is there anything you are insecure about?
Kay: Insecurities never go away and even when you know you are at your best, you will still doubt yourself. A lot of people deal with that by calling attention to it but I personally believe that they are your insecurities and you are allowed to deal with them how you want. I don't feel the need to let people in on that struggle with myself and about that growth. Because then there will be those people that just want to make you feel insecure and I don't want to invite that.
Emily: And I like my big butt so whatever.
Q: Have you had any embarrassing moments?
Kay: I make a fool of myself on a daily basis. I trip whenever I wear high heels. It's funny I just went to Vegas to celebrate my 21st birthday and all of my boyfriend's guy friends came. I warned them I was wearing shoes that were impossible to walk in but went really well with my dress, and I had to walk by myself and one of the guy friends was behind me and saw me nearly wipe out. He just started laughing because he played the movie in his head where I actually did fall down and it was a tragic mess. I am not graceful in heels so that's why I wear wedges because they are much more sturdy.
Are you going to watch Cyberbully? I hope nothing like that ever happens to any of you, dear STACKERS!
Interview by Gerri Miller
Photos courtesy of Disney Channel