Actress and singer Olivia Sanabia shares her excitement on playing Snow White and her plans for a career in music
Olivia Sanabia will headline as Snow White in the Lythgoe Family Panto’s ten-year anniversary production of 'A Snow White Christmas' with Grammy Award-winning recording artist and actress, Michelle Williams, as the 'Wicked Queen' and Tony Award-winning, Neil Patrick Harris, as the 'Magic Mirror'.
After snagging a few guest parts on shows like 'Life in Pieces', 'The Birthday Boys' and 'Extant', Olivia Sanabia caught her first big break when she was only 12. She was cast to play "Kelly Quin" in Amazon's 'Just Add Magic'. Shortly after, she was cast to play the older sister "Charlotte Wrather" in Disney's 'Coop & Cami Ask the World'. In an exclusive interview with MEA World Wide (MEAWW), Olivia Sanabia sat down to talk about the two shows and her upcoming plans for a career in music.
While 'Just Add Magic' was her first starring role, 'Coop & Cami Ask the World' has put her alongside young Disney starlets. So she has a hard time picking her favorite role.
"I don't think I can pick one. I am having great fun exploring the unique characteristics of both. Kelly is a bit more serious and determined. Charlotte also worries but she's a little more fun and likes to have fun with her siblings. So I would say that they're both awesome. I couldn't pick one. I would say my personality is closer to Kelly's because of how she interacts with her friends and tries to do the best for everybody. I relate to Charlotte because she has a big family just like I do. So she definitely takes on that motherly figure [to her younger siblings] so I definitely understand that side of her. So I would say I am a mix of both of them."
Speaking about the shows themselves, Sanabia said she enjoys how different they are from each other, giving her a chance to flex her acting muscles. "Both shows are so different from each other and they both have a different tone. 'Just Add Magic' is a little bit more serious and more mysterious at the same time while, the other show, 'Coop & Cami Ask the World', is sillier and more like light-hearted. So it's been fun to jump between the two of them and get to play two absolutely different roles. The characters are very different from each other, so it's been great."
When she got the script for 'Just Add Magic', she relied on it entirely rather than dive into the 2010 best-selling book by Cindy Callaghan (on which the show is based on). "I actually didn't read the book until a little bit after. I didn't want to study it too much because our script was different from the book and the characters were different. I wanted to stay true to what the writers had created for our show. But the book did help me later to build a bit of background [for my character], so you could say I used the book as a tool."
Sanabia, who has always had a passion or singing, is now getting ready to play Snow White in the Lythgoe Family Panto’s ten-year anniversary production of 'A Snow White Christmas'. Ariana Grande was the last actress to perform the role in the same production.
The musical-comedy stage show will also star Grammy Award-winning recording artist and actress, Michelle Williams, as the 'Wicked Queen' and Tony Award-winning, Neil Patrick Harris, as the 'Magic Mirror'. Featuring new songs and an updated script, the show will run from December 13 through December 22 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.
"Snow White is a character that I have wanted to play for the longest time, growing up. I had fair skin and dark hair, so my parents would always call me 'Snow White' and she was my favorite princess. It is definitely a dream role of mine. When I learned I was going to be playing her, I was so beyond excited and I felt so honored to be able to play my favorite princess."
She told us that she "grew up watching Disney princesses and absolutely loves them all", calling herself a "big princess story fan". She also said that in this new version of 'A Snow White Christmas', there are going to be some changes. A little reluctant to speak about what these changes might be, she is quick to add that "Snow White is going to be a strong and kind-hearted character and a great role model for little girls who come to watch the show".
Speaking of trying to match Grande's vocals, who played this part in the production before her, she said that she has "big shoes to fill". "I am so honored that somebody so incredible has paved the way for this character in this particular show. For me, music has always been what I wanted to do. I have been a singer since I was 2. Slowly, over the years, I have learned to play more instruments. I absolutely love music!"
Sanabia has been "doing a lot of songwriting recently". She officially launched her music career November 22 with her debut single 'Stars Crossed'. The track is now available across all major music platforms.
Sanabia said she wrote the song several months ago: "This song was a labor of love since it’s my first single and I wanted it to be a good representation of who I am as an artist.” The actress and singer said the line "I think we got our stars crossed" popped into her head, and she immediately knew she wanted to share it with her fans.
"It is deeply inspired by my love of Romeo and Juliet, but it’s an alternate take on the timeless classic. My hope is that this song pulls on heartstrings and tells a story,” she said. Sanabia says her music is for fans who have kept their patience while she posted covers of other people's songs on her Instagram for years. So, keep a watch out for some more fun musical projects, super soon!