We’re thrilled to have chosen Jilly James – all of 17 years of age – as the winner of our recent October 2018 Hollywood Immersive competition! Not only is Jilly one of our youngest ever Hollywood Immersive winners, she’s also the first Kiwi to win.
Jilly was selected out of almost 14,000 talented applicants to fly to L.A. and take part in the Hollywood Immersive Acting Immersive programme. There, she’ll train with other aspiring actors and receive exclusive coaching from industry insiders, all while staying in a luxury villa in the Hollywood Hills!
Hollywood is a world away from Timaru, the small city on New Zealand’s South Island where Jilly lives, so we caught up with Jilly to see what she’s looking forward to the most.
When did you first start getting interested in acting?
When I was five, an old shipping container sat in our front yard for months. Every day I would climb on top and perform dramatically as if it was the world’s biggest stage (not knowing all of my neighbours were secretly watching) so, I guess, it was then! It’s fair to say they were my most stellar performances. I haven’t stopped since!
How long have you been on StarNow and what prompted you to join?
I joined StarNow one year ago! Originally I was searching for a way to put myself out there and didn’t exactly know where to start until I found StarNow. It’s wonderful that people have a platform like this when it comes to taking their first steps in the arts.
How did you find out about Hollywood Immersive?
Through StarNow’s job search. I saw the competition pop up and figured I’d give it a shot!
What was it like to find out you’d been chosen as the winner?
It was so unreal. I thought I had dreamt it as I was asleep when Steph from StarNow FaceTimed me to tell me. Thankfully it wasn’t a dream though! I cried happy tears for many, many hours after finding out. This is such a huge first step and I feel so blessed to be a part of this experience. I’m so thankful to the judges, and to all the other crazy talented finalists that smashed it!
What do you hope to get out of the Hollywood Immersive programme?
Everything I can get! It’s so wild that I get the chance to develop more as an actor and meet loads of super cool people trying to do the same. To even experience a glimpse of the Hollywood life is the most mind blowing thing for someone like me. I’m just starting out and I’m eager to show the world what I have got! I’m so ready to absorb all the knowledge and guidance they’re willing to give me – and enjoy every second of it.
What advice do you have for people who would like to apply for Hollywood Immersive?
Do it! I mean what do you have to lose? Anyone from anywhere can do it if the passion is there. You got this!
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Honestly, just being even more wild, dramatic and whacky (if that’s even possible) and hopefully still making people smile. Being a huge overachiever I know that whatever I’ll be doing will be incredible and glorious and I can’t wait to see what the future has waiting!
Oh and maybe, just like, maybe, be one of the world’s greatest movie stars.
Check out Jilly's StarNow profile.
About the author
Kalista Campbell is StarNow's Digital Marketing Executive. She manages StarNow's social media, blog and monthly newsletters, and works with our Ambassadors to bring you useful tips, tricks and advice. In the office she's known for her tidy desk, being fluent in emoji, and her often sassy one-liners. Her best day at work was when everyone dressed up as her for her birthday.