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Haley Tju Discusses Her Role on Netflix’s New Comedy Sketch Series ‘The Who Was? Show’ (Exclusive Q&A)

At only 17 years old, actress Haley Tju has quite a number of gigs under her belt. Having started in the entertainment industry at four years old, Tju followed in the footsteps of her older sister, Brianne Tju, who is also an actress. Her first big break was starring as Pepper on Nickelodeon’s Bella and the Bulldogs several years ago. Since then, she’s been in the Nickelodeon series, Monsters vs. Aliens, and Disney’s K.C. Undercover. She will also be contributing her voice to the upcoming Disney XD animated show, Big Hero 6: The Series. 

Her Campus chatted with Tju about her very versatile role in Netflix’s The Who Was? Show, her admiration for her sister and where she hopes to attend college in the future.

Her Campus: You’re a part of the cast for Netflix’s upcoming series, The Who Was? Show, which is set for release this month. Can you tell us more about this show and your role in it?

Haley Tju: The Who Was? Show is a new comedy sketch series on Netflix based on the Who Was? Penguin book series. It basically takes you on a journey of historical characters but in a comedic, fun way. Each episode features two historical characters, and they kind of compare and contrast them in how different they are but yet how similar their work was done at that time I guess. I play myself, as well as various other characters. It’s a lot fun!

HC: In addition to on screen acting, you’ve had the opportunity to do voice acting as well. How do those experiences compare? Do you prefer one over the other?

HT: Voice acting I would say is a completely different art. A lot of people love it; a lot of people hate it. I personally love it, but I don’t think I’d personally choose it over on-camera acting because I love them both equally. They’re so different even though they’re in the same industry. But being in a booth you don’t have to dress up for voice-overs, which is pretty awesome.


One more from @theartofhairstyling

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HC: What’s your favorite role that you’ve had so far? Is there a particular role that you want to play in the future?

HT:  I’ve been pretty lucky with playing really fun, intricate, complex roles lately, which in my eyes are the most fun to play because they’re just like real people. Recently, I did a pilot called Tremors for Syfy, and I have to say, I played a fun, cool character that I never got the chance to play but I’ve always wanted to play. I played Pepper on Bella and the Bulldogs and that was fun as well. I would love to play a really complex girl who is not lovable at first or even isn’t a likable girl, but she has positive and negative sides to her. I feel like I haven’t really gotten to play that kind of character, so that would be a really nice change and something the audience will enjoy.

HC: Who in the entertainment industry do you look up to the most? Why?

HT: My older sister Brianne. She’s an actress as well and is in the entertainment industry. I really do look up to her. Of course, I look up to actors like Saoirse Ronan or producers like Shonda Rhimes—but really, my sister has taught me everything I know, basically. She’s just been incredible and hasn’t given up. I think that’s something that I really take away from her.



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HC: You’ve been in the spotlight from an early age, have you always enjoyed acting or was there ever a point when you considered quitting?

HT: I’ve been acting since I was four years old, so I guess I have been in this industry for quite a long time. I didn’t reach the spotlight until during the Bella and the Bulldogs years, which was like age 12, 13, 14. That was a dramatic shift in my life for the best. I’m so grateful for everything Nickelodeon did for me. Before I was just doing guest stars on shows like Go On and stuff like that, but my Instagram never increased or anything. Of course, I didn’t really care, but it’s just nice to have a platform to be able to talk to people. I really do love this industry for the art aspect. I think acting is such a craft and such an amazing source of entertainment for people and to tell them a story. I think that’s amazing. I guess what I’ve experienced is not what Beyoncé has ever experienced, so I’ve never had the super incredible hate toward me or just that huge fandom. The people I’ve gotten to talk to, the people that have looked up to me, the people who just follow me to get inspiration from anything, are amazing. I love to spread a message, whether that’s just simple or something great like an organization. I think the platform I have is great. There are always going to be mean comments, but I don’t care about them anymore.

HC: Do you plan on attending college in the future? If so, where would you like to go and what would you want to study?

HT: I’m currently actually in community college online. I graduated high school early, and right now I’m in online college. I’m hoping to get my associate’s degree and then transfer to a four-year college. I’m not sure exactly where, but my mind is set on USC, where I’ll major in film. One day I would love to be part of the creative aspect. Even though actors do have a little bit of that control, they don’t have the full control, and I would love to be the one that directs or heads the control.

Emily Schmidt

Stanford '20

Emily Schmidt is a junior at Stanford University, studying English and Spanish. Originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia, she quickly fell in love with the Californian sunshine and warm winter temperatures. Emily writes a hodgepodge of pieces from satiric articles for The Stanford Daily to free-verse poetry to historical fiction. Just like her writing repertoire, her collection of hobbies are widely scattered from speed-crocheting to Irish dancing to practicing calligraphy. When she is not writing or reading, Emily can also be found jamming out to Phil Collins or watching her favorite film, 'Belle.'
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