Momona Tamada Is Doing It All Right from The Start
From her iconic role as Claudia Kishi on The Baby-Sitters Club to saving the world in The Secret Headquarters, Momona is leading the next generation of Hollywood greats.
Momona is beautifully creative and full of smiles. That’s how I want to start this piece, because sitting down to interview a 15-year-old going through the peaks and valleys of Hollywood feels unreal. Unreal that this young teenager is doing things that most adults cannot even fathom taking on: working long days and nights while still in school, navigating social media and the pressures that come with having a large platform, taking care of herself, staying grounded, and everything you could imagine would arise from, in more easily-understandable terms, being the most popular person in high school.
It comes with perks, but a whole lot of attention and expectation.
And I hate to be yet another person to put pressure on Momona, but the truth is, we see her going places — a young woman to keep on your radar.
And it’s not just the glow and talent she has in the industry but the way she’s handling it, someone managing a graceful grip on an ever-changing and entirely public landscape.
The young Japanese-Canadian Actress hails from Vancouver, and is currently in the thralls of her project, “The Secret Headquarters” which came out this past Friday. With utter excitement, Momona recalled how the sets were fully functional and realized it made the experience all that more special.
“Who gets to work in a secret headquarters, right? Like a childhood dream,” Momona said.
The Secret Headquarters is centered around a group of friends who while hanging out after school, discover the headquarters of one of the most powerful and famous superheroes. When obstacles arise and villains of the superhero attack, Momona's character and her friends must join forces to save the world.
The project includes notable actors like Owen Wilson, Jesse Williams, and Walter Scobell, and was, for Momona, a well-paced and collaborative effort. One of her favorite aspects of this project was that the directors allowed her to share, create, and develop her ideas in the process, and even confessed that one scene she filmed with a costar was improv for them.
“It was this one scene I worked on with Abby James. And we just did improv. And then we ended up actually shooting that, and it's in the movie now, which is so cool, right?” she said with excitement.
Extremely cool, I think, that early in her career she is presented with opportunities to discover new things about herself and her acting, particularly as she emerges from her last huge project, The Baby-Sitter’s Club which was a highly-successful global hit that aired for two seasons on Netflix.
“I was so new to acting at that point-I didn’t know what to expect…So I’m really lucky that, you know, I got a character like Claudia who I was just so similar to,” Momona reflected.
In this series, Momona played the iconic novel’s character Claudia Kishi, the fashionable and artistic spunky personality in the show. As Momona and I chatted about this experience, we got to dive into some really cool character work, the atmosphere that was created on set and among the cast, and especially wonderful, the culture that she shares with this character.
We opened our interview with her favorite thing to cook with her family: Temaki sushi: a build-your-own Japanese dinner where they create their own sushi rolls. Momona says that as one of her favorite things ever, she loves to combine all the different ingredients in unique ways, giving her the space and freedom to be in touch with her family and her Japanese culture.
We see some of these customs on screen in Claudia Kishi’s life too. It unites Momona and her character, creating a basis for her acting that allowed her to become one with Claudia. Momona also adored learning about art and fashion on set, admitting that Claudia’s fashion sense changed her own wardrobe!