MADISON ISEMAN [JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE]
Tell us a little about your story. Who is Madison Iseman?
Lets see. I’m a 20 year old girl from South Carolina, now living in California. I moved across the country when I was 16. Before then I was just a normal kid going through the motions of being a kid/teenager. My best friend in highschool signed me up for an opportunity to go to LA through this program as a joke. You know how different programs will come and speak during assemblies at school and recruit a handful of students? Anyway, I ended up going, because why not, and had the most amazing time. I ended up meeting my now manager and moved to California just weeks later. And now here I am! Almost five years later and I’m still here. I pretty much owe it all to my best friend.
How did acting start for you?
I had an opportunity to move to LA and somehow everything sort of fell in my lap. I got really lucky and met the right people, finished high school early, and worked really really hard. Convincing my family to let me do this was probably the hardest thing. I auditioned consistently from when I was 16. I booked some smaller guest spots and small movies, but it wasn’t until I turned 18 when I booked roles that allowed me to support myself financially.
What was your reaction when you found out that you were cast in the sequel of such an iconic movie?
I was getting coffee with some of my friends and pretty much burst into tears when I got the phone call.
Are you anything like your character Bethany?
Not in any way! But I do share some of her insecurities which I think a lot of us do in some way. Behind her cool, popular facade she really just wants to be accepted and understood.
What was it like to film alongside icons like Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart & Karen Gillan?
Absolutely amazing. I really have no words. I grew up watching most of them so the experience was just so cool. Also they’re all so talented and funny, its very hard to keep it together around them.
Based on the trailer, the new Jumanji seems to have more light-hearted feel with the comedy compared to the serious and darker tone of the original film. How do you think the fans will react to this change since the jungle that Alan Parrish was trapped in for 26 years seemed like such a terrifying place?
The sequel definitely has a strong comedy appeal, but you’ll see, it still holds a lot of action and suspense! A cool part about the new movie is you get to explore what Alan Parrish might have gone through being trapped for 26 years because in this movie you go inside Jumanji vs Jumanji coming into the real world. There are also a few hidden easter eggs you’ll have to keep an eye out for.
Do you still play board games? If so, any favorites? And what would you do if you were sucked into that specific game?
Yes, I love board games! I used to play them more as a kid, but whenever I’m home for the holidays the fam will sometimes pull them out and play. My favorites are probably Life and Candy Land. I’d absolutely love to be sucked into Candy Land. I’d eat a lot of candy.
What other board games do you think would make a good movie?
Clue would make a really good movie, but I have a feeling they might have already made one.
Is there any actor (dead or alive) that you dream to work with?
I would love to work with Reese Witherspoon. She’s been one of my favorite actresses since I was a little girl. 90s Reese is my inspiration for everything.
Besides acting, what else do you enjoy doing?
I love reading, hiking, drinking lots of coffee, and being lazy around my home.
Any exciting projects coming up for you that we can look forward to?
I just wrapped the indie film Riot Girls. I’m really excited for that one. It’s a role that I’ve never played before, and both leads are super strong female characters. It’s a post-apocalyptic thriller, so you can expect a lot of action.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Anything chocolate. I’m chocolate junkie.
If you were a book, what kind of book will you be?
I’d be a super cool fantasy novel that takes you out of the real world for a small portion of your day. An escape from reality.
If you had the chance to support any charity/organization/person, what/who would it be and why?
There are so many different charities I support, but one is Start With One Kenya. I started working with them when I was 15 and they completely transformed the way I see the world. They are an amazing organization that does so much for the people in Kenya, and the owners of the organization are some of the most amazing people I have ever met.
Catch Madison as Bethany in Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle!