Do you watch A.N.T. Farm, Friday nights on Disney Channel? It revolves around Chyna Parks, an 11-year-old musical prodigy who attends a high school as part of the prestigious A.N.T. (Advanced Natural Talents) program. She, along with her fellow A.N.T.s, Olive (played by Sierra McCormick) and Fletcher (played by Jake Short), must find their place and make the most of their high school experience. Chyna takes reign to convince Olive and Fletcher that they can fit in, despite their age, as long as they take advantage of every opportunity that comes their way. She encourages them to try out for things like the cheerleading squad and school musical, and she even drags them to a high school house party. Meanwhile, Lexi (played by Stefanie Scott), a popular high schooler, doesn’t appreciate this new competition and tries to sabotage Chyna’s chances to outshine her.
We got to talk to the 12-year-old actress who plays Chyna. Coincidentally, her real name is China Anne McClain! Read on to find out what she has to say. . .
Q: What is A.N.T. Farm about?
China: It is about an organization at a high school called the A.N.T. program. That stands for Advanced Natural Talents and everybody in this program is very gifted in whatever it is. . . mathematics, art. . . I play a musical prodigy, and all of the kids in this program are very young, like 11 or 12, and they are in high school. And the high schoolers do not want them there. They feel like they are ruining everything about high school. My character, Chyna Parks, doesn’t really care. She just wants to make the most of her high school experience. But it’s hard sometimes.
Q: How could you relate to your character?
China: Just the whole going to school and trying to fit in thing. The first day of school. . . that feeling that you have. “I hope people are going to like me.” Because the first day of school is pretty much make it or break it. But it’s cool. Everyone pretty much thinks she’s adorable after she makes her big impression on people.
Q: What grade are you in now?
China: I am in the seventh grade. But I am homeschooled. I got homeschooled in the fourth grade and have been doing it ever since. It’s working out well. It’s way more convenient than going to regular school!
Q: What is your favorite subject?
China: Definitely Language Arts. Math — not my strong point!
Q: What about music?
China: I play guitar, bass, piano, and I am learning the violin right now. I get to play actually way more on the show: trumpet, French horn, drums and the harmonica. It’s really fun because she gets to play like 13 different instruments. Actually, that’s my goal. By the end of the show, I am hoping to know all of these instruments.
Q: How did you get into acting?
China: My first audition — I was six. Half my age now! Six long years ago. It was weird because I didn’t even know that I wanted to act, but it was at first just singing because my dad is a music producer. But one of his friends told me about this audition for a girl my age who could sing and act. I didn’t know that I could act. So I went in there and I guess they liked me because I booked it! I winged it!
Q: Have you done the album yet for A.N.T. Farm?
China: We are working on it right now. We haven’t finished it but we’re working on it and it’s going great so far. It will be Pop music pretty much. That’s the A.N.T. Farm side of it. But I just got a record deal with my two older sisters, and that’s pretty much pop/R&B. I am the baby girl. One of them just turned 17 and the other is 14. But we are so close. We love each other so much. Then we actually have a baby brother who just turned 10!
Q: Who are your role models?
China: Selena [Gomez] is my role model so far, because she is just the best. She is the best person, and I worked with her for two weeks on Wizards of Waverley Place. She was always so nice from the get go. She has just been a great role model. You haven’t heard anything about her in the press or anything like that. I just love her! Besides Selena, I just got to meet Bridgit Mendler doing the Disney Channel Friends for Change games. That was so much fun because we were on the same team so we got to do a lot of stuff together, work together. And it is really fun because I love Bridgit. She’s just a sweet person.
Q: Any embarrassing moments?
China: On set, I was saying a line or something and I was supposed to walk out of the room at the end. And I walked out and I tripped over something and fell on my face! It was so embarrassing! Thank goodness there was not an audience, but it was embarrassing and everybody started laughing. It was funny.
Tee hee. I hate to laugh, but that is pretty embarrassing. Let us know what you think of China and A.N.T. Farm in the Comments.
Interview by Gerri Miller
Photos courtesy of Disney Channel