Monster High: The Movie Cast on Identifying With Their Characters
Monster High is a doll brand launched in 2010, and it has had its fair share of success, including becoming the second most popular doll brand in North America behind Barbie. Fans will see a resurgence of the franchise this year with two new projects including a new monster raised animated series and live-action Monster High: The Movie.
Monster High: The Movie is a live-action musical following Clawdeen Wolf, a half-human, half-werewolf teenager. After being harassed by humans, she decides to go to a place she thinks she belongs, Monster High. It’s a high school for monsters of all types with a strict “no humans” policy. Since Clawdeen is part human, she must hide her true identity or she will be expelled.
The movie has a message about being unique, and the actors identified a lot with their characters. Playing Clawdeen Wolf is Miia Harris, who was thrilled to play the title character.
“Clawdeen is half human, half werewolf, and I’m half black and half white, so we share that kind of mixed identity,” Harris told Nerd Reactor. “The problem with Clawdeen and her identity isn’t that she’s necessarily ashamed of her secret part of herself, it’s just that the world forces her to hide it. And so she kind of learns to be ashamed of. But initially that’s not how she is. And I think a lot of people can relate to that, myself included, where you don’t think there’s something that’s wrong with you, and then other people convince you that there is one, so I can really relate to the journey of loving yourself and then reconsidering that and then meeting people who you reassuring saying, ‘No, don’t listen to those who hate you. That you’re perfectly created the way you were meant to be. And I think that’s a journey that a lot of people can relate to and I certainly can do it.
Nayah Damasen plays Draculaura, Dracula’s daughter and also a practitioner of witchcraft. This is not the first Nickelodeon project for her since she is in a pop/R&B group, Good NEWZ Girls, under Nickelodeon.
“Well, so the acting side of Nickelodeon, I think it’s quite different from the singing side,” Damasen said. “But I think with this movie in particular, I was able to bond my two loves. So to be able to play a character that I love but also add a musical aspect with Nickelodeon is definitely my favorite. But also something really really cool is that I got to bring my girl group, Good NEWZ Girls, on the soundtrack, so there are songs in the movie that play behind the scenes that are us, so watch out for that.
Ceci Balagot plays Frankie Stein, a monster made up of different body parts, including historical geniuses. The character also becomes good friends with Clawdeen and Draculaura.
“I feel like every time we ask who most resembles their character, it’s me,” Balagot tells us. “I mean, I’m pretty socially awkward too. I feel like we can all relate to this about Frankie… that Frankie doesn’t always know exactly what to say, or when it’s appropriate to say it. But also, they are very creative and also very optimistic. I am entertained very easily. And I think Frankie too. Anything can excite me or stun me. Plus, Frankie has a lot of knowledge about random stuff. A characteristic of Frankie is that they’ll just go for a walk, and then all of a sudden a light bulb will hit in their head, and they know all this information, and then they just have to spit it out. I do this to my friends all the time.
About Monster High: The Movie
Monster High: The Movie follows Clawdeen Wolf (Miia Harris), who is born half-human and half-werewolf, after arriving at her new school, Monster High. She quickly befriends her classmates Frankie Stein (Ceci Balagot) and Draculaura (Nayah Damasen), and for the first time in her life, Clawdeen feels like she’s finally found a place to go. integrates and can truly be herself, despite keeping her human a half-secret. When a devious plan to destroy Monster High threatens to reveal her true identity, Clawdeen must learn to embrace her true monster heart and find a way to save the day alongside her newfound friends.
Monster High: The Movie premieres Thursday, October 6 at 7 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon and airs the same day on Paramount+.