What’s more fun than giving an interview at 7 AM on your birthday? Um, a lot of things. Yet, Mia Challis was more than happy to meet with Mud to discuss her role in Netflix’s highly-anticipated thriller, Clickbait.
“This interview is a perfect way to start the day,” she said looking like an absolute goddess in the early hours of the morning.
Aside from being a kick-ass actress, Mia plays an abundance of roles off the screen as well. I’m thrilled to give you a glimpse into Mia’s current life in Perth as she balances her acting projects from a distance, deals with time in quarantine, and shares her philanthropic work to help provide arts education to underprivileged children.
While chatting with Mia, I instantly saw why she shines so brightly in her various projects. Sure, her talent is unmatched; this is obvious to anyone with eyes. Her performances in the highly acclaimed film Two Fists One Heart and the hilarious comedy Backstabbers are just a few projects that have left audiences in awe. Mia’s roles in these films dazzled audiences for her incredible renditions. It is clear that her range stems from the passion she brings to every role.
“It’s all about empathy. Figure out why these characters are doing the things they’re doing and going with that. The most fun characters are the ones who are completely different from my personality,” Mia said.
Instead of shying away from challenging roles, Mia embraces them. Her most difficult–but also her favorite–role was a neurotic office lady in the Australian comedy series, Homespun. Mia is so laid back and loves to have a good time, so she really had to dig deep to find her inner “Vogue editor lady.”
Although Mia has favored dramas and comedies in her recent projects, she’s always dreamed of taking an action role. She painted me a vivid picture of her ideal scene, which made me hope that we can get this girl in an action movie as soon as possible.
“I’d love to be in a movie where I’m on the front seat at a car chase. I feel like it’s every actor’s dream to be in a scene like those in Fast and Furious,” Mia said with the biggest smile on her face.
Overall, our conversation about the different roles she’s done and the ones she hopes to pursue in the near future is another indicator of the range Mia possesses as an actress.
Here’s something we all know: when Netflix comes up with a new TV series, they only bring in the best. With one of the industry’s most renowned writers and directors leading this project, there’s already a ton of hype forming around Clickbait. Mia joins a star-studded cast that includes Entourage’s Adrian Grenier and Get Out’s Betty Gabriel in what’s become one of the hottest projects since Netflix went Down Under.
Here’s what we know: eight different characters connect the pieces of a gruesome crime that was fueled by social media. According to Mia, we’ll get a glimpse of what can happen when uncontrolled impulses go unchecked in the age of the internet. Mia couldn’t share much given that the project is still in production, but she did say that throughout the episodes, viewers will follow along the characters to figure out who, what, and why everything happens.
“Jenny is an interesting character, that one. I can’t say much, but she really likes to get her hands in all the pies,” Mia said about her character, Jenny Henson.
With a COVID-defined world, Clickbait represents the type of show that will no doubt entertain anyone who’s playing it safe inside, allowing viewers to vicariously experience the thrills of the key characters like those played by Mia and Adrien. As to what will happen in future seasons? The pandemic has impacted productions all over the world, but Mia remains optimistic. “It’s all up in the air, but we’ll see what happens soon,” she said.
From drama to comedy, Mia navigates each role with ease, bringing to life characters that are so intriguing, yet very different from one another. In the highly acclaimed comedy film Backstabbers, Mia plays Asha, a high school girl who along with her friends takes bullying to the next level. In order to maintain their status at school, Asha and her friends start murdering their peers. The group of friends rules the school under the unsuspecting noses of the entire staff and students. Yet, when trouble sparks from within, Asha and the other girls are forced to face the fear they had inflicted on everyone else. Mia’s role in Backstabbers is another testament to the unique talent and commitment that she brings to the screen.
The Avid Traveler
Perth. Vancouver. Los Angeles. Spain. Italy. Greece. You name it.
Mia’s been there and has fire Instagram pics to prove it. Known for its sandy beaches and sweeping views, Perth is a hot spot during the summer months. Not that we’re traveling anytime soon, but learning that Australia is doing A LOT better than the U.S. when it comes to COVID might have made us fantasize a little bit about an impromptu trip to visit Mia.
Even as an avid traveler, Mia’s globe trotting tendencies are mostly sparked by acting.
“At first, I left winter in Australia and then went directly to winter in Vancouver. I thought to myself...two winters? What did I just get myself into?” Mia said.
Then, Mia’s career brought her to the Southern California heat. In some ways, life in LA reminds her of Perth. In other ways, not so much. In Perth, Mia feels that acting is approached differently. Her work ethic aligns more with the hustle and bustle of LA rather than the relaxed Aussie vibe from home.
“Living in LA is amazing. This is the city where I can actually fulfill my dreams,” Mia said.
When I asked Mia about the biggest culture shock she’s experienced since moving to LA, she said, “One thing I’ve taken away is you definitely need a car. Traffic is terrible!”
Although she was forced to return home to Australia due to the pandemic, Mia is hopeful that things will return to normal soon, and that she’ll be able to travel again. Her favorite destination aside from LA? Mytilini, Greece. This gorgeous city located on the island of Lesvos is the home of her parents and grandparents.
“The little fishermen go out and catch their fish. On the beach, I’ll relax all day drinking ouzo and see little squid in the water. Oh, it’s the best. If I could teleport anywhere it would be Mytilini,” Mia said.
The Altruistic Ambassador
Mia took on the role as the first ambassador for the Australian branch of “The Education Collaborative.” This nonprofit organization focuses on breaking down social-economic barriers in arts education, granting life-changing opportunities to underprivileged children. Mia leads weekly Zoom meetings with kids from all over Australia, and guides them to connect with their creative side.
“It’s a humbling experience. I’ve been lucky enough to work in acting, so I want to share as much of my knowledge as I can. Teaching them is so inspiring and it makes me want to become a better actor,” Mia said.
Mia’s role as an ambassador exemplifies her genuine and empathetic nature. She uses her talent to help improve the lives of others. Her selfless and compassionate character is a role that she will never stop playing.
Our conversation draws to an end, and even though it’s getting dark on this side of the world, Mia has an exciting day ahead of her. It’s now around eight in Australia, which means that after we hang up, Mia will head straight to meditate, then do some yoga to de-stress before hitting the city for a fun night out. These habits help her balance the hectic lifestyle that being an actor brings.
Whether she’s memorizing lines for a new role, hanging out at the beach with her friend Mel Wozniak, or vlogging (“It’s hard. I’m not down with the kids!”) to prepare for an upcoming project, Mia continues to show the incredible range she possesses. Although she will continue to play different roles throughout her career, my and her fans’ favorite role, both on and off the screen, will always be Mia herself.