Geeking Out: Meet the besties of Fangirl!


Fangirl, by Manda Leigh Blunt, features the adventures of Lila and her three best friends as they prepare for an epic adventure at Comiccon. The actresses playing the trio of besties (Shelby Maticic as Sophia, Nichole Macak as Mitra, and Karla Benitez Orellana as Sara) sat down to get to know one another better…and you get to hear all about it!



Nichole: Okay I’ll start. Shelby, if you could be any villain who would you be and why?

Shelby: Malificent. She’s fierce, she knows what she wants, and she can turn into a dragon. No man is gonna keep her down. Speaking of… Nichole, if you were to suddenly be imbued with super powers, which would you want?

Nichole: Teleportation. I could travel anywhere. It would be awesome. Karla, if you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

Karla: There are lots of places that I want to go to. Darn it. Right now, I’ve been thinking about going to the Harry Potter World. There’s also one in London where they filmed it…I want to go. Shelby, what is your ideal vacation?

Shelby: Europe. I’ve never been out of the country before, not even Mexico…even though I’ve lived in Arizona all of shelbysophiamy life. Brian and I are tentatively trying to plan a Europe trip for when I finish grad school. Karla, if you woke up with a super power tomorrow…what would you hope it would be?

Karla: The ability to generate a super power at will that you need that day…and then it fades away. Speaking of traveling…Nichole, do you plan on staying in the valley?

Nichole: No, I’d like to move to Seattle after I get my masters someday. I’ve heard that the theatre community out there is bigger and really vibrant. My mentor, Chris Hamby, used to work out there. Shelby, why did you start doing theatre?

Shelby: I’m a creative person, and I was a super creative kid. I started dance classes at 5. I was a flautist. My sixth grade teacher karlasarahad me write a play to occupy my time when I worked ahead too quickly in class…so that was really the start of this. I kept up involvement through middle school, high school, and beyond. Nichole, you shared with us that you’re passionate about theatre for young audiences. What is your dream show to direct in this field?

Nichole: Charlotte’s Web. I just really love the message that it sends to kids about being yourself and the power of friendship. Shelby, who is your real life best friend?

Shelby: Brian is the obvious answer. He is though. We were close before we ever started dating. He’s been one of my best friends for about 8 years now, and knows me better than anyone. I also have a small “circle of trust” that I’d consider my best friends. They let me vent, they tell me when I’m being silly, and they give me positive reinforcement when I’m feeling down. These are the people that can tell when something is wrong, who buy me a sandwich or a latte when I’m low on energy…or send me silly snapchats to cheer me up. It’s changed a lot over the years, but I’d say…Megan, Anjali, Jessica, Mat, Fernando, Carolyn, and Devon. They’re my peeps, and they keep my stress level lower. Nichole, what do you do when you’re stressed out?

Nichole: I paint or run. I just started recently painting. My roommate Bertha got me into it. Shelby, besides theatre…what else do you like to do?

Shelby: I keep pretty busy with grad school and Brelby, and my other jobs…but I love to play video games, I’m an avid swimmer, I play with my puppies, and I really enjoy baking…and crafting. Karla, describe yourself in three words.

Karla: Cute. Expressive. Loyal. Nichole, what is your favorite movie/tv genre?

Nichole: Huh. Genre. I don’t know. Well, considering I just watched Friends and it has everything in it…I would definitely say sitcom. So sidenote, I’ve been really into “chopped” lately. Sometimes I pretend I’m on the show. Karla, what other interests do you have besides theatre?

Karla: Hmm…obviously, I’m in this show…I’m really into fandoms and stuff. I’m addicted to the Internet. Shelby, if technology were gone and you couldn’t recover it, what would you do?

Shelby: Well, luckily my husband and my brother are both Eagle scouts. I’m fairly scrappy too. I’d probably continue to create art, and if society devolved into a post-apocalyptic dystopia…well we’d build an arts commune, where we could all live and garden and rebuild. Karla, would you rather be the Doctor’s newest companion, or Sherlock’s second sidekick?

Karla: To be completely honest, I don’t think I could handle Sherlock. He’d dissect me in ways that my poor little heart couldn’t handle. The Doctor would probably be more fun. Nichole, do you plan to continue with the performing arts later in life?

Nichole: I am going into theatre education. The big dream is to have a theatre where kids can come and learn theatre for free. We’d put together shows. I want to give back to the community. Karla, if you could go on a date with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?

Karla: You should know this answer. He’s married, but…in my scenario he’s unmarried. Definitely, Benedict Cumberbatch.

Shelby: Adorable. Nichole, who is your celebrity crush?

Nichole: Nick Jonas. I think he’s bae, and not a bad actor either. He just keeps getting better and better with age. Karla, who inspires you the most?

Karla: I have several role models. One would be my mom. She’s been through so much, and she supports me through everything. Professional? Julie Andrews, Meryl Streep, Scarlet Johansson. Nichole, what do you do when you want to feel pretty?

Nichole: I like lipstick. So if I want to feel feisty, I have a specific drawer at home that’s full of lipstick. I think that my lips and eyes are pretty nice, so I like to make my eyes pop.

Shelby: You sound like Megan. Karla, what is your dream role?

Karla: I’ve always liked playing villains. I don’t have a specific one. They’re more complex and more fun to play. Shelby, what is your favorite dessert/food?

Shelby: I LOVE spaghetti. Italian food, period. My perfect meal would be tortellini in a homemade red sauce, a good glass of wine, and top it off with homemade cheesecake. Mmmm.

Karla: Shelby, do you have an ultimate favorite thing that you would recommend to anybody?

Shelby: I highly recommend pursuing your dreams and passions with a talented group of individuals who support your ambitions, and want to be a part of your future. It’s kind of the best.



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