Fun & Friendly Fashionista
Peyton List is no stranger to the camera. Since the age of four, she has appeared in numerous print ads and commercials. She made her first movie when she was seven with her twin brother, Spencer, when they appeared together in Spider-Man. Peyton spent much of her childhood being a “big city girl” living in Brooklyn, New York, where she learned early to navigate the subway systems and tackle auditions. She credits her modeling and acting success to her talkative, outgoing nature, and her resume is filled with work ranging from Justice catalogs to starring as Holly Hills in two of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies.
We featured Peyton List in the Ask the Stars section of our Inner Beauty issue. Here’s how she answered the question, “What makes someone truly beautiful?”
Peyton: “Confidence makes someone truly beautiful and the way they carry themselves.”
Inner Beauty Tip: A smile says it all! Nothing shines inner beauty more than a happy smile and a positive attitude to your day.
What works for Peyton: My inner beauty shines through when I am around my family… and also drinking lots of water and feeling clean on the inside and out also makes me feel beautiful.
Peyton List was BYOU Magazine’s Be Kind cover story. Read an excerpt from her interview with publisher Debra Gano here:
Debra: Peyton, how much are you like your character Emma on Jessie?
Peyton: Actually when I first read the script, her character didn’t sound like me at all. The show was originally scripted different than how it is now—Emma was initially really smart but kind of a negative person, completely opposite of the bubbly, positive, fun, fashionista character she is now. I booked the part after multiple auditions, we rehearsed for two weeks, and the night before we were scheduled to begin filming, I got a call from the producer telling me they were changing my character. She asked me to watch the movies Clueless and Legally Blond so I could get an idea of the new character. I had to immediately memorize all new lines, but I was excited because I love Emma the way she is now. In some ways she’s like me because I love fashion and I’m more of a happy person, but she can be a little ditzy, and I’m not like that…although sometimes I do have my ‘blond’ moments!
Debra: In the show, you’re part of the wealthy Ross family, whose nanny is Jessie (play by Debby Ryan). What’s it like working with the cast of Jessie?
Peyton: So much fun! The whole cast is close, but I hang out with the kids a lot. We do school together on set, even though we’re in different grades.
Debra: Can you tell us about your real family?
Peyton: Mom and I initially sublet an apartment in LA when I began filming Jessie, but when the show was picked up for longer, my dad and brothers Spencer and Phoenix moved out from New York too. Dad is really good chef, and we’re always in kitchen together. My favorite thing he makes is his breakfast pizza with bacon, eggs, and potato—I can eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! My parents are really cool about letting me have friends over; recently we had a tea party where we all dressed up. My dad made tiny sandwiches and little pastries, my mom baked, and my friend and I made cupcakes. Even my brothers participated and made cupcakes (but ours were prettier!)
Debra: It sounds like you have a great relationship with your family.
Peyton: Yes, I do. I realized how lucky I was that I could talk to my mom and dad when I was dealing with a bullying (and cyber bullying) situation in middle school. The girls started getting caddy and mean, especially about my acting. One girl in particular hated me, and I wish now I would’ve stuck up for myself more, I just sort of took it. My parents suggested saying things to her like “Why are you doing this to me?” or going to a teacher. I was really glad to have my parents to talk to because some girls don’t have that. That’s why I really like to help girls.
Debra: You do a lot with the girls’ organization Girls on the Run, don’t you?
Peyton: Yes, I spend a lot of time with them. I run their 5K races and talk to girls afterwards, and anytime I’m on long hiatus from Jessie, I visit schools and help teach lessons about bullying, gossiping, and other important topics. I love the way they help build confidence through running.
Debra: In this issue, we talk a lot about popularity. I know now you’re schooled on set, but when you attended regular school were you “popular?”
Peyton: I guess I was considered popular. I had my own style and dressed the way I wanted to. I didn’t discriminate against anyone, and had friends that were completely different than me, yet were still kind of the “goody two shoes” like me. Some people bullied this girl I was friends with because of her looks, and that was the saddest thing for me. I just wanted to be her friend. It was hard for me to stand up for myself, but I was able to stand up for her. It’s important if you see someone being bullied that you say something or tell an adult.
Debra: So I have to ask you, what do you think are the qualities that make a person “cool?”
Peyton: Expressing yourself and being yourself every day, dressing the way you want to dress versus what is considered “cool.” I remember a girl I thought dressed really cool and I was tempted to copy her but I decided to stay with my own style and was glad I did. Being a genuinely nice person who doesn’t discriminate and is positive, kind, helpful, and pleasant to be around is also cool. If you’re a nice person and do good things to help others, people will want to be around you. A lot of kids think because of their age they cannot make a difference but they can. And it starts by smiling at someone to make their day.
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