Popular Girl: Cree Cicchino
Aug 20, 2020
Between the second season premiere of Mr. Iglesias, her new Netflix film ‘The Sleepover’, and spending her days educating her audiences through her platform on the #BLMMovement, Cree Cicchino owns this summer.
Cree opened up to Popular TV about her new role, civic engagement, what she’s looking forward post high school, and what Latinx stories she’d love to see told.
1. Tell us about your role as Mim in “The Sleepover”!
Mim is the witty, stressed, and fabulous best friend of Clancy, who reluctantly (but very loyally) followers her on a wild adventure to discover the truth about Clancy’s mom and her mysterious hidden past. She was an absolute party to play.
2. Can you give us three “spoilers with no context” for ‘The Sleepover”?
Beret, Christmas Lights, Laser Pen
3. How much do you relate or see yourself in Marisol Fuentes of Mr. Iglesias?
There are definitely some similarities between Marisol and I. We both really value education and learning, are fairly ambitious, and enjoy a good debate should the occasion arise. I can confidently say, though, that she is much cooler than I am. I really look up to her in a lot of ways.
4. Congrats on being a part of the 2020 class! What is something you’re looking forward to now that school is over? One thing you’ll miss?
Thank you! Now that school is over I’m looking forward to a little bit more freedom and time on set. A good portion of my day on all my jobs has always gone to on-set schooling; so it’ll be nice to not have to switch from set Cree to school Cree throughout the work day. I am however, a real teacher’s pet and someone who always loved being a student, so I’m going to miss everything else. Especially being assigned novels to read and write about. I loved every book I read throughout school.
5. Best memory from filming Game Shakers?
I keep a very tight, small circle of close friends, almost all of whom I met during my time on Game Shakers. Meeting them are definitely my favorite memories from that era.
6. What was the last thing you watched, bought, and listened to?
Watched: Disclosure on Netflix
Bought: A bright red lipstick from The Lip Bar
Listened to: Hozier- “From Eden”
7. Being from Queens, what was the transition like when you moved to LA? Do you consider yourself an east or west coaster now?
Moving to LA was nice; I’ve always found it much quieter, calmer, and more spacious than Queens so it’s always very relaxing being here (even with a busy work schedule.) I’ve been in LA for 5 years now and I plan on being here for many more, but I will always be a New Yorker.
8. You’ve been pretty vocal on your platform about recent events largely pertaining to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) Movement. You’ve continuously signed petitions, mailed letters, and spread awareness. Why do you think it’s important for people to use their platforms right now?
There are a lot of different ways people can become useful right now, (all of which are helpful and important), but having any sort of public platform is both a gift and a responsibility. Social media can be an incredibly powerful tool; it can be hard to realize it through a screen but there are a lot of people looking at you. It’s the responsibility of the people with followings to utilize it in a way to promote things that matter. A lot of what I learned about efficient anti-racism is how many seemingly small daily practices there are both in our personal life and professional one that can support and fight for Black work/lives. A big part of my job is my social media platform. So that’s absolutely going to be a place where I find the ways in which to practice anti-racism and support BLM. We all need to play a part in this; people with platforms can (and must) play a bigger part than we might think.
9. Through all of your research and with spreading awareness, what were some of the most shocking facts that you found?
Some people may feel as though a new movement and new problems have just come about, but that’s clearly not the case. As a lot of us become involved for the first time in a fight that’s always been our responsibility, we’re consuming a lot of content and learning new information. But the helpful organizations we’re donating to, the resources we’re utilizing, and the brilliant educators/leaders that we’re following have been around and doing the work for a long time; since long before these months of protest. I, like many people, was horribly late to finding them and their work (which is harmful in itself). I suppose my ignorance and the lack of education on the subject of anti-racism and the white supremacy of America, was a very shocking thing to find during this time.
10. Being a part of ‘Gen Z’, what are you tired of hearing about “your generation”?
Hearing about my generation’s relationship with technology/social media is exhausting. There’s good and bad in everything, but as toxic as technology and particularly social media can be, my generation is not the one who created that toxicity. Actually, we’re the ones utilizing it as a tool for good. For the most part, I’ve seen people my age use social media/technology as a way to stay in contact with one another, to check in during rough times, to educate and share tools to assist in the causes we’re fighting for, and to share/create art. No system or thing is perfect, and every generation had its “obsession” which the previous generation criticized constantly (while using it themselves, cough cough). I understand the concern, but there is so much good being done online, by brilliant young people who I look up to, that goes ignored. We spent our day on Instagram sharing petitions, hyping up our friends photos, sharing the education our system failed to provide, and cleaning up the mess that previous generations have made. Find another way to shame the youth of today, please and thank you.
11. Across the entertainment industry, and especially at Netflix, more stories from people of color are being told. What is a Latinx story you’d like to see told and what role would you want to be in it?
I’d like to see all kinds of Latinx stories being told. Both ones that are focused on the Latinx culture and experience, as well as projects that are just super cool stories starring and created by Latinx artists. As far as my role, I’m honored to be apart of it at all. I think I’d be happy with any place in Latinx storytelling.
12. Netflix has started ‘Con Todo Netflix’ to focus on shining a light on Latinx talent throughout the industry. Being Ecuadorian, what does it mean to see a platform dedicated to Latinx talent?
Seeing this platform being made and growing has been a beautiful thing. The industry has so far to go in the realm of representation and respect to BIPOC creators, but small steps like this are important. I’m really honored to see Mr. Iglesias and myself have a place at Con Todo.
13. What characters did you see yourself in growing up?
I grew up watching and loving J Lo’s “Selena” pretty hard. That was definitely a big one.
14. What is something you wish you got asked more in interviews?
15. Tell us a secret?
I think snails are adorable.
16. What does Popular mean to you?
“Popular? I know about popular. It’s not about who you are, or your fancy car. You’re only ever who you were.” –MIKA