You know Maiara Walsh as teenager Simone Sinclair from her hit ABC Family series Switched At Birth. Now get ready to see her in a bit more of a cryptic role – she plays a teen who has died in the movie Last Hours In Suburbia that airs tomorrow (September 22) on the Lifetime network.
When she isn’t acting, this busy 24-year-old is also a singer and a dedicated human rights activist who speaks most passionately about her efforts to help those in need. Maiara talked exclusively with Celebrity Teen Scoop about all of her pursuits, and how she hopes to bring them together to change the world.
Celebrity Teen Scoop: In Last Hours In Suburbia you play Jenny, a young girl who has died in a car crash. Tell us a little bit more about the movie.
Maiara: The movie is about a girl named Grace who is accused of killing her best friend in a driving accident. The movie takes place on the day Grace is heading to jail. Grace does not remember that night and my character Jennifer comes back from the grave to help her piece together what happened. Jennifer is a wild, adventurous and fiercely loyal friend.
CTS: What was it like playing someone who was ‘dead’?
Maiara: It was really fun! I had a lot of freedom with the charachter and it really made me grateful to be alive!
CTS: How old were you when you started acting, and how did you get your start?
Maiara: I acted in school plays my whole life, but didn’t get an agent until I was 14. My first big break was Disney Channel’s Cory In The House when I was 18. It took a lot of determination, patience and hard work.
CTS: You spent part of your childhood in Brazil. What do you remember most from this time?
Maiara: I would definitely say my family. The people in Brasil are very warm and embracing. Oh, and also the warm weather!
CTS: How do you juggle your personal and professional life?
Maiara: I have a solid group of friends from all different backgrounds who I trust dearly. I love being creative, and acting is a part of that. I don’t necessarily mind when the two worlds come together.
CTS: What’s coming up for your character Simone in Switched At Birth?
Maiara: This season for Simone is a bit of a rollercoaster. She reaches an all time low but there’s always hope for redemption.
CTS: What other film projects do you have coming up?
Maiara: Switched at birth will begin filming again this October and I’m also working on my music, which I can’t wait to share with you!
CTS: You are also a singer – have you ever sang in any of the TV shows you’ve been in?
Maiara: Yes! I sang on Cory In The House, however, it was not my style of music and I’m really looking forward to putting out my own stuff.
CTS: We know you are a human rights activist and dedicated philanthropist. Tell us about this part of your life.
Maiara: If there’s anything I’ve learned from all my travels, it’s that people are people no matter where you go. I look at everyone like they’re my family. I sometimes get overwhelmed with seeing the unnecessary suffering of others when I know we can all make a profound difference in each others lives. As of right now, I’m working with ‘Give Kids The World’ (www.givekidstheworld.org). They are a non-profit resort in Orlando, Florida who bring children with life threatening illnesses and their families from around the world for a cost free, week long vacation where the kids get to be kids.
CTS: Finish this sentence for us: In ten years Maiara Walsh will be _________________.
Maiara: On a world tour, acting, writing and directing while advocating for human rights across the world.
Last Hours of Surburbia will premiere on Lifetime on September 22nd at 8pm ET/PT.