the anti-social network

Popular Girl: Bella Podaras


Mar 3, 2020

Playing an ‘It Girl’ may come naturally when you have the confidence, fashion sense, and can rock a leather jacket like one. Bella Podaras plays popular girl Brooke in Netflix’s new original series: The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia! Check out Bella’s feature to learn more about her character, her perfect day, and what she wishes she could bring home from Houston?

1. Tell us about your character Brooke and The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia?

The show is centered around the teen robotics engineer and rocket scientist, Ashley Garcia, who moves to California for an internship at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Ashley moves in with her Uncle Victor. The story basically follows her life and her journey to becoming a more normal teenager. I play Brooke, Ashley’s childhood best friend. We reunite in the first episode after not having seen each other in a few years. Brooke is super confident and is all about being the “It Girl.” Brooke is also obsessively into fashion and social media. I actually think Brooke is ridiculously funny and pretty fearless. She definitely has a thing for being the center of attention. It’s really cool playing a character who is so bold. It keeps me on my toes for sure.

 2. How are you and your character similar? And how are you different?

We are both extroverts! Brooke and I both say whatever we’re thinking. She is also an extremely proactive social media influencer, and that’s something I don’t think I could ever be all that good at. Overall, we both try to be great friends and great people. I also love Brooke’s style! Brooke dresses a bit more girly, but otherwise we’re on the same wavelength.

3. What was your favorite part about going to set?

The best part about going to set is getting to do what I love daily while simultaneously hanging out with my friends. It’s seriously the best job ever!

4. If there was one thing from LA that you could take back home to Houston what would it be?

The music and movie culture in LA are so prominent and rich, so maybe a little bit of that.

5. We know you’re big into music. If you could plan a festival with 5 of any bands or artists to ever exist, who would it be?

Lana Del Rey, David Bowie, Nirvana, The Doors, and The Rolling Stones.

6. If you could instantly learn one instrument what would it be and why?

It’s a tie between piano and guitar, but since I can get by on the piano, I’d choose the guitar.

7. Best concert you’ve ever been to?

I saw Lana in Vancouver. That was amazing!

8. If you could plan the perfect day, what would it be?

Roll out of bed around 9:00AM, lay by the pool with my friends all day, and go out that night.

9. Did you get anything cool on your shopping trip?

I always try to shop vintage so when I do find something, it’s extra special.

10.You’re going to New York to see your face in Times Square! What are you most excited for on this trip? Have you ever been to New York?

I love New York! It’s one of my favorite cities. I think I’m most excited to be there with my cast and experience this moment in Times Square with all of them.

11. An embarrassing moment?

I don’t even know if I can pinpoint something in particular since I embarrass myself daily. At this point, I’m happy to say I’ve kind of figured how to just roll with it.

12. Your proudest moment?

Booking Ashley Garcia!!!!

13. Can you tell us a secret?

I’ve achieved crazy cat lady status.

14. What does Popular mean to you?

For me, the word popular means getting recognition for being out of the ordinary. Showing the world what makes you different and what makes you who you are.

15. Can you tell us about any other projects you have coming up?

Ashley Garcia Part 2 comes out in a few months. The next eight episodes are so good, my absolute favorite!


If you want to keep up with Bella you can follow her on Instagram @bellapodaras!


  • Photographer Marvin Scott Jarrett