She most recently starred in Michael Bay’s Transformers: The Last Knight and is set to star in the titular role in Paramount Players’ Dora the Explorer, based on the long-running hit Nickelodeon animated series.
Now, sixteen-year old Isabela Moner stars opposite Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne in Paramount Pictures’ heartwarming comedy Instant Family.
In the film, when Pete (Wahlberg) and Ellie (Byrne) decide to start a family, they stumble into the world of foster care adoption. They hope to take in one small child but when they meet three siblings, including a rebellious 15 year old girl (Moner), they find themselves speeding from zero to three kids overnight. Now, Pete and Ellie must hilariously try to learn the ropes of instant parenthood in the hopes of becoming a family.
Moner portrays Lizzy, the teenager who Pete and Ellie become intrigued by after talking to her at the adoption fair. Director Sean Anders remembers: “Sheila Jaffe, our casting director, told us that Isabela had just done Transformers with Mark where she played a similar role of an orphaned kid. A Skype audition had been arranged and Mark said we should look at her.”
Anders admits: “We had her audition via Skype which is tough to do. She runs through a couple of the scenes and by the time she’s done we’re all completely in tears and we’re like, okay that’ll work and she got the part. She just killed it.”
Adds producer Marc Evans, “Isabela is just kind of a wonder. She is something extraordinary in the making. She gets it, and she’s smart and she pushes herself and she challenges herself. When you’re working scenes with people like Mark, Rose and Octavia Spencer, you better be bringing your A-Game and she does.”
About her character, Moner says, “I make it kind of difficult for them to be let in. They get super excited when our youngest sibling calls them ‘mommy or daddy’, but I’m the complete opposite. And I think what the audience has to understand about Lizzy is that she has good intentions. This character’s story is actually based on a foster child who’s been through it. A lot of her experiences are in this movie.”
“I think it’s quite a relatable story,” Moner continues. “I think that’s what initially grabbed my attention because a lot of people go through not feeling loved or wanted. Even though that might not be the case that’s what struck me. And it wasn’t until I spoke to Sean that I realized it was a passion project. I was really into the script and I wanted to know how I could connect with it more.”
Regarding her co-stars who play her parents in the movie, Moner says: “They’re just so normal and cool.” Moner laughs, “I sound like such a teenager. We joke around and they’ve kept it very interesting and very fun. They could be serious actors but they’re also actors who love their jobs. So, it’s never boring. It’s always fun.”
In Philippine cinemas January 30, Instant Family is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures. Follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/uipmoviesph/; Twitter at https://twitter.com/uipmoviesph and Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/uipmoviesph/
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