It may be tough being a teen in real life, but playing one on TV is a whole different story. We caught up with
, who plays Ariel Dubois on
, at CBS/Paramount's "Mix It Up with Young Stars" event on June 29 at the Lucky Strike in Hollywood, to chat about her life on and off the set and what's next for her character.
TV Guide: What's coming up for you next season?
Actually, nothing. Nothing yet. It's all going to be a shock for me.
TV Guide: When will you get a script?
I think I'll get a script in about two weeks. Because we usually get a script about two weeks before we shoot and then we'll see what happens. The first episode usually dictates what happens. So I'm really excited but it's as much a shock to me as it is to everybody else. I'm really like, "Surprise me" right now.
TV Guide: How do you feel your character has developed?
She's grown up. When we first started the show she was young and sweet and now she's developed into things that teenagers deal with - boys and school and managing all that at the same time. And we also have her with her sister, which are always fun story lines, so it's really fun to see how she will develop. What happens at school, what happens with boys... all that.
TV Guide: What would you like to see happen?
I don't know what my dream story arc would be. Usually [writer
Glenn Gordon Caron
] just does an amazing job of capturing it right away. It's almost like he reads my mind before I can tell him what I'm thinking.
TV Guide: That seems to be the theme of the show....
Glenn's a psychic. He knows what I'm thinking before I think it. It works. But, I mean, I'd love to see Ariel become a bit more rebellious. We had a little bit of Ariel trying to develop at the end of Season 3, so I'd really like to see her get a little bit more edgy and a little bit more devious. She's Little Miss Perfect right now. We've started to get more of the evil side, and I'd love to see that a little bit more because that's just great to play.
TV Guide: How do you juggle school?
Oh, that's a pain in the butt. That is the worst thing ever. It really is time management and I realized that in the last year because I'm working half the time and I'm at school half the time - and I do go to a normal school. I'm not home-schooled, and I don't do any of those programs. I used to, but now that I'm in high school it's important that I actually go to a high school. The first semester of high school is really, really difficult, trying to manage everything - school and work. Because going back and forth I'd never know what would be the most important subject to catch up on right away. That sort of stuff is very difficult for me, especially in the beginning.
TV Guide: How do your friends deal with it?
My school is very small. There are only 90 of us for four grades. So we keep in touch because there are usually only 19 of us in one class. [That was for] freshman year, I don't know how many it will be for sophomore year. But because there are so few of us, everyone's a lot closer and everybody sort of understands. At first they were like, "Oh OK." They had no idea what it meant to be on a show. I'd come and they'd look at me like I was going insane because I'd be all stressed and falling apart and I'd be studying for finals with the script in one hand, the book in the other hand. I'd almost be juggling, and I know they were like, "OK.... "
TV Guide: Do you feel like you're juggling different characters? School-Sofia, work-Sofia?
In the beginning it was a little bit like that because I was still adjusting to being Ariel and to developing her as a character, but I think the further we've gone, the show tends to adapt the character to you, which is great because it's fun to see a little bit of yourself. The environment on set is very influential in the way that everything happens and I think I've subconsciously developed some sort of system. You can't figure it out. I've never really sat down and been like, "OK, let's figure this out."
TV Guide: What is it like working with Patricia [Arquette]?
Patricia is one of the most amazing people I've ever met and worked with. And she's so kind and so warm and so openhearted. She's always giving and eager to be there when you need her and she cares about you. I've heard that a lot of actors are self-centered and no one on the show is like that. It's so great because we've been so blessed to have an amazing crew and an amazing cast that are eager and willing to be there. They're amazing. There are no words to describe how amazing Patricia is. She is beyond that. -
Reporting by Carlita Rizzo