Did you guys catch the Nickelodeon movie Rags this week? Rags is a modern-day fairy tale starring Keke Palmer as Kadee Worth and Max Schneider as Charlie Prince. The movie is a modern New York City version of the classic Cinderella story. Charlie Prince is an orphan living with his mean stepfather and spoiled stepbrothers. Charlie’s dream is to be a singer, and while he is vocally talented and can write music, he can’t seem to catch a break. Kadee Worth, on the other hand, is the daughter of music mogul Reginald Worth and is an international pop phenomenon. While the world knows her as a glamorous superstar, she is secretly frustrated with singing other people’s songs and wearing clothes other people choose for her. Kadee wants the world to hear and see her true talent.
Despite every obstacle that gets thrown in their way, once Charlie and Kadee find one another, they each finally get what they have been looking for – a voice, a stage, an audience, and each other. And they live happily ever after. . .
We interviewed Keke Palmer to get her take on the new rags to riches story.
Q: Tell me about Rags and how it’s similar to the Cinderella story.
Keke: Well the guy is like Cinderella – that would be Max’s character. Except in this one, it’s a male. And just like in the fairy tale, they have dreams but they’re being held back by their evil stepfamilies. Through his relationship with a princess, he gets help to find a way to do what he wants to do.
Q: Describe your character Kadee.
Keke: I like her drive. I like her sincerity. Even though she has all this going on, she’s a really sincere person and still remains true to the people around her. Her only hang-up is that she wants to be her, and everybody around her wants her to be this kind of bubble-gummy pop type character. But that’s not all she is. She wants to do a little bit more with her music. I appreciate the humility in her and that realness and not wanting people to control her all the time.
Q: What are your co-stars like? Avan Jogia, Max Schneider, and Drake Bell?
Keke: Avan is extremely silly and funny, just a character. Max is really cool and he’s so helpful. Drake is just really chill and it’s so funny because I’m used to him as Drake from Drake and Josh. But he’s like very cool and just chill and professional.
Q: Were you bullied in school?
Keke: I was bullied in school from kindergarten to third grade. And for whatever reason, by the time I got to third grade, things kind of mellowed out. But from like kindergarten to second, it was just a really hard time. Kids used to make fun of the way I talked, my hair, just everything. I guess I was just really different from them. I had a little bit of a Southern accent; I didn’t talk very proper. I used gel in my hair. You know how when you use gel your hair kinda gets hard after a while? They used to make fun of my hair. I was very sad and cried to my mom. But I never really became an introvert. I still kept letting myself shine and for that I’m proud of myself. I just kept trying and being nice, trying to be friends.
Q: What can kids do to prevent bullying?
Keke: You can actually take the oath saying that you’ll try wherever you are to make a difference and to stop bullying. If you see it, stop it. If you know what’s going on, you can be a part of stopping it and ending this epidemic.
Q: If you had to pick your all-time favorite book, what would it be?
Keke: It would have to be between A Wrinkle in Time and Everlost. They both are like science fiction. Well, maybe not necessarily science fiction, but enchantment. They’re enchanted. Something happens in both them where it’s almost impossible. Like, in A Wrinkle in Time like the family turns in… something comes over the place and everybody’s being controlled. And things like that. And then with Everlost, these kids kind of passed away but they go into this world called Everlost – that’s kind of like what would be considered maybe a heaven for children. It’s like an imagination type of book. I don’t know, but it was interesting and I liked both of them.
Q: Do you have a personal motto or a favorite quote?
Keke: “You are what you repeatedly do. Then excellence is not an act, but a habit.” I love that quote so much because if you’re repeatedly excellent, that is what you are. That’s who you are. If you repeatedly lie, you are then a liar. It’s not something that you just do once. You’ve done it so many times that that’s who you are. But if you repeatedly do excellence, if you repeatedly try your best and you put your all into everything you do, then that’s who you are.
Q: Do you have a pet?
Keke: I have a pug-beagle mix. His name is Charlie. He tried to eat his poop yesterday. He’s a baby. He’s a baby dog, like he tries to eat his poop. He’s also a very excited beagle. He’s growing and growing and growing and he’s getting more hyper by the second. He’s just bouncing off the walls, jumping on you, jumping on and eating your food. He’s just a handful.
Q: What music are you listening to lately?
Keke: I’ve just been listening to Brandy’s new song that I just absolutely love. I just love Brandy. I don’t care what she does. She just came out with a new version of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” I just found out that “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and “A-B-C-D” are the same melody?! [Sings "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and "A-B-C-D"] How unbelievable is that?
Whooooah! She’s right! It is the same song! Why did no one tell me that until now? I feel cheated!