At the young age of 10, Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja already has an impressive acting and singing resume. She’ll be starring in the upcoming feature film, After Yang, alongside Colin Farrell, has a recurring guest role in the new iCarly revival, in addition to other projects with the Disney Channel. She began her acting career at age 4 and loves to sing. Her singing the National Anthem at the 2018 L.A. Galaxy Game quickly went viral. Malea lives in L.A. with her parents and older brother.
We’re excited to catch up with her for our L.A. Parent Spotlight column:
Please tell us a little about your role in After Yang.
My role is an adopted daughter named Mika. Mika’s parents, Jake (Colin Farrell) and Kyra (Jodie Turner Smith), bought a human-like robot, Yang (Justin H. Min), to be Mika’s big brother to teach her about her Chinese culture heritage. The problem is Yang suddenly stops working so Mika is struggling to let go of him.
What advice do you have for other young actors?
My advice would be to never give up. As actors we have to keep practicing, keep learning and keep auditioning.
What do you enjoy most about performing?
What I enjoy the most about performing is when people are cheering and giving me compliments. It always feels so good to see people happy and entertained by my performance.
What are the most challenging parts of being a young actor?
It’s always challenging to play a different role, especially if the character is way different from my own personality. It is challenging, but also interesting and exciting at the same time. As a young actor, it is also challenging to manage my time between acting, school and all other activities. Sometimes it feels like 24 hours in a day is not enough.
What are some of your hobbies? What do you enjoy doing when not acting or singing?
I have a lot of hobbies. I love dancing, gymnastics and contortion, which I started to teach myself since the pandemic started. I also love playing musical instruments like guitar, ukulele, piano and violin. And I really like biking, riding the scooter and skateboarding. I love playing sports like soccer and basketball. And I also love reading books, my top two favorite books are the “Harry Potter” and “The Hunger Games” series. And of course I love watching TV and movies too.
What are some of your favorite activities and spots in and around L.A.?
I love going to theme parks! In the past, my family would always go to Disneyland every year. I just went to Universal Studios Hollywood for the first time last week and I loved it so much! My favorite rides are the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Jurassic World. I also like going hiking with my family and L.A. has so many hiking trails for us to explore!