Australian actress on growing up biracial — and playing one on TV.
Aisha Dee isn’t the popular queen bee type, she just plays one on television. “It’s fun to get to play the kind of person that everyone wants to be,” admits the 18-year-old Australian, whose Fox sitcom I Hate My Teenage Daughter premieres this week. She portrays Mackenzie, the product of a divorced white mom and a Black dad, which is a case of art imitating life — she’s biracial as well. “It’s one of the reasons why I loved it,” she says of the show. “And I loved that they didn’t feel the need to over-explain it. It’s just how it is.”
Dee confides that she did face difficulties being of mixed race. “Where I grew up was predominantly white. I was the only dark kid in my entire school. They weren’t really used to seeing that. It was difficult, but you get to a point where you’re not dwelling on that, you move on.”
Having always “been good at making stories and being in [her] own world from the time [she] was very young,” Dee got her first acting job on an Australian children’s series set on a horse ranch. This fall she appeared in the premiere of Terra Nova, which shoots Down Under, and moved to Los Angeles with her mom and younger sister to work on her sitcom. “The drivers here are insane!” she exclaims, but otherwise has acclimated well, and raves about the people she works with and acting before a studio audience. She sees it as good training for theater, since she’d love to do a Broadway show some day. “I love to sing,” she says.
Not surprisingly, her role model is Beyoncé. “She’s done so much in her life and she’s such an inspiring woman,” says Dee, who hopes she can inspire others some day. “I think you get into this industry knowing that people will be watching you,” she points out. “It’s important to live a life that you’d be proud of — whether you’re in the spotlight or not, whether you’re an actor or an accountant.”
I Hate My Teenage Daughter premieres November 30 on Fox.
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