Her first acting role was in a Chuck E. Cheese’s commercial. Since then, Fort Worth native, Mallory James Mahoney, 14, has co-starred in several movies and is now a regular character on Disney’s popular sitcom, Bunk’d.
Why did you become an actress?
When I was 4, my parents took me to see a Stuart Little play. When I watched it, something told me that is what I want to do. I was very shy at the time, so when I told my parents they were worried that I wouldnʼt like it. I ended up asking them for a year until they finally decided to enroll me with a local theater, thinking I would see that it was scary and not for me. Next thing I knew, the director called my parents to offer me a solo. Shortly after that, I realized I wanted to be on TV and in film. Then my career just kind of grew from there. I have received a lot of support from my parents and my grandparents.
Do you prefer acting for film or TV?
Honestly I love them both. I love being on a TV series because I get to grow my character and have her develop more through each episode. Plus, I get to work every day, which is very exciting for me. :I love making movies because it is all-consuming for a few months and so intense and amazing. Then I go back to Texas and continue my everyday life.
How did your role of Destiny on Disneyʼs show Bunkʼd come about? What do you like or dislike about the character you play?
Actually, when I first got the role she wasnʼt Destiny Baker the beauty pageant queen. She was a girl who was really into theater. But the creator, Pamela Eells, and all the writing staff did a Skype meeting with me and decided it would be fun to take my character in a different direction. They asked me if I had ever been in beauty pageants. I said no. Then they asked if I knew what a pageant was? I answered, “Iʼm a girl from Texas. Of course I know what they are!” They asked how I felt about if they changed in direction for the character. I was thrilled! I hadnʼt seen anyone on Disney Channel play a pageant girl, so I felt it was a very exciting opportunity.
Is Destiny anything like you?
We are both girly girls who love fashion and accessories. We love our friends and will always protect them. We both can be a bit sarcastic.
How do you prepare for Destiny?
I try to think about why Destiny would say those words. I love to create a backstory. My acting coach is Cathryn Sullivan who coached Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato when they were young. She helps me with all my acting. She is such an important person in my life. On and off screen.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to read. I love to do arts and crafts, as well as furniture refurbishing and decorating. I enjoy puzzles. And playing with my two giant dogs whom I named Botticelli and Bark Wahlberg.
What are your plans for the future?
I am thrilled that we are now in the middle of filming season 4 of Bunkʼd, and Iʼm loving all the fun that my character Destiny is having. I really hope to continue filming more TV shows and movies. I would love to play a person from a true story or event someday. ).
Name one fun thing most people would not know about you.
Iʼve been a vegetarian for eight years. I care so much about animals and our planet. Also, I love school.
What would you say to other kids who want to act?
Be patient and work hard. Also, surround yourself with people who believe in you, but still makes you work for it.
If you couldn’t act, what would you want to do?
I canʼt truly imagine being anything else. But, I guess, maybe an environmental engineer. I would love to figure out ways to save our planet, and I love science.
Cover: Cast lineup, Bunk’d Season 4. Courtesy photo
Bob Valleau is a freelance writer living in McKinney, Texas.