At just 12 years old, Oliva Maggi has more experience (and better eyebrows) than many people three times her age. This young actor from Melbourne has already graced Aussie screens in various TV commercials and even landed a lead role in a TV series.
Read on to find out how she got her big break on StarNow and what her plans for the future hold.
How long have you been on StarNow, and why did you join?
I've been on StarNow for about five years. I joined because I started acting, realised I had a passion for it and wanted to take it further. It was a great decision because I was scouted for Witches on StarNow!
When did you know you wanted to get into acting and modelling?
From a young age, I was very out there and loud. My aunt suggested I give acting a shot. I absolutely loved it! After a few years of stage acting, I decided to train in screen acting. That's when I started taking it more seriously and realised it was my passion and that I wanted it to be my career.
Photographers contact me quite regularly to shoot and I have an amazing collection of photographs to show my looks and my own distinctive choice of fashion and poses. These photos also show how I can transfer to different character abilities. I like to be different!
One of your biggest roles to date was as Fae in the TV series Witches. What was it like to work on that?
I was contacted through StarNow to apply for the role – it was one of my first big auditions. I will never forget the moment I heard the news. It was about 9 pm, my mum came into my room to let me know I got the part. I started jumping up and down on my bed and then couldn't get back to sleep!
Being on set was a dream come true, I was in my happy place. We were all like family. I got to mark the clapperboard for the first time and experience some amazing things. You learn so much from being on set! It was just the beginning for me.
You've also worked on lots of commercials for big name brands. What advice do you have for other young people about working on set?
It can be overwhelming but you have to stay mentally strong. You have to listen to the directions and know your script.
The most important thing I want young actors to remember is never do something on set if you don't feel comfortable with it. If it endangers you or you feel uncomfortable for any reason, don't be afraid to say no. Your safety is the most important thing. Trust your instincts!
How do you balance your acting training and your acting work with school?
I don't take days off school for acting unless it's very important. I do my acting training during the week at night and on Saturdays. Yes – sometimes I get tired – but hard work pays off.
I love school and I am a part of the Student Leader Board. I am also a part of a science project where I will be in a science room for 30 hours straight pretending to be on Mars and having no contact with the outside world. I also play guitar at school. So I have a lot of things to juggle, but I love to keep busy and try new things.
What three things do you think are important for a young actor to succeed?
Motivation, dedication and focus! You have to have a passion for acting and not just the idea of being famous.
How would you like to see your career evolve in the next five years?
My real dream is to go to L.A. to act. But I have such a passion and drive for acting, I'm happy to start here in Australia and just let it all fall into place.
What is a typical day like for you?
Every day of the week has a different vibe. I have school and then it's either taekwondo afterwards or acting training. Wednesday is my favourite because I have my favourite subjects at school - maths, humanities, art and science.
After school, I get ready to go to acting training at my favourite place in the world – Melbourne Actor's Lab. When I'm there, I'll do my relaxation for 40 minutes, my sensory for 40 minutes and then my character work for another 40 minutes. Then I'll work on the scene that I'll be performing on stage at the Alex Theatre next year. I'm at the lab from 7 pm - 11 pm.
Best moment of your career so far?
The best moment of my career and the best thing in my life was finding Melbourne Actor's Lab. I train with adults and they are my second family. I love training in the Lee Strasberg method.
If you had to choose between acting, modelling or Taekwondo, which would you choose?
Modelling has never been a big exciting thing for me. I don't wear dresses – haha! I am a Doc Martins and jeans kind of girl. Taekwondo is more of a hidden talent of mine. But my real passion and the one I put most of my time into is acting. I would never sacrifice acting. It is my happy place.
Who's your favourite actor and why?
Has to be Jennifer Lawrence because she is an amazing actor and she is tough and strong. She has always been my inspiration, she's everything I strive to be.
Favourite social media?
I don't go on social media often because I am so busy, but the only one I use is Instagram.
Best way to spend a day off?
I don't have many days off but if I am lucky enough to have a free day, I'll sit in bed all day with the curtains closed watching every Harry Potter movie. I am a huge fan of Harry Potter.
About the author
Kalista Campbell is StarNow's Digital Marketing Executive. She manages StarNow's social media, blog and monthly newsletters, and works with our Ambassadors to bring you useful tips, tricks and advice. In the office she's known for her tidy desk, being fluent in emoji, and her often sassy one-liners. Her best day at work was when everyone dressed up as her for her birthday.