NOC Exclusive Interview: Actor, Miya Cech, of Nickelodeon’s ‘The Astronauts’

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down for a NOC Exclusive interview with Actor, Miya Cech, currently starring as Samantha Sawyer-Wei on the Nickelodeon series, The Astronauts and will have a starring role in the highly-anticipated independent feature film Marvelous and the Black Hole premiering at the Sundance 2021 Film Festival! ENJOY!

The ingénue rising starlet Miya Cech is making her mark in Hollywood with her recent and upcoming roles in film and television projects. 2019 was a big year for Cech, as she guest starred as Young Emiko in The CW’s popular series Arrow, starred as ZhenZhen in Netlfix’s Rim of the World, played the young version of Ali Wong’s Sasha in Netlfix’s hit romantic comedy Always Be My Maybe and starred as Akiko in Nickelodeon’s reimagined ‘90s kids’ cult classic Are You Afraid of the Dark.

Miya is currently awaiting the release of the highly-anticipated independent feature film Marvelous and the Black Hole, which was awarded a grant that gave $1M to shoot the film along with a coveted premiere spot at Tribeca Film Festival. Cech plays teenage delinquent Sammy Ko, alongside Rhea Pearlman, in the coming-of-age comedy that touches on unlikely friendships, grief and finding hope in the darkest moments. She can currently be seen in the Nickelodeon series The Astronauts, the network’s first co-production with Imagine Kids+Family, an extension of production company, Imagine Entertainment led by Hollywood legends, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. Miya stars as Samantha Sawyer-Wei, a young girl who is part of a group of kids who are accidentally launched into space. The Astronauts launched on Nickelodeon in November 2020.

Miya’s most significant role yet has been as fan favorite Zu in FOX’s feature film The Darkest Minds. The film, starring Bradley Whitford, Mandy Moore and Amandla Stenberg and directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson, is an adaptation of the #1 New York Times best-selling book series of the same title. The film follows a select group of children who attained superpowers following a worldwide pandemic that wiped out most of the world’s youth. Zu’ the youngest in the group who gained the power of electricity, chooses to remain mute due to the trauma she experienced during the pandemic. Portraying Zu gave Cech the opportunity to explore acting and performance art on a deeper level, to learn the importance of nonverbal expression, perform her own stunt work and experience Comic-Con fandom for the first time.

Originally from Northern California, Cech, who now resides in Los Angeles, broke into the entertainment industry as a model at just 4 years old. Miya made her television debut in 2015 as a guest star on the CBS drama Hawaii Five-0, an experience that prepared her for her burgeoning career. Shortly thereafter, Cech appeared on several television series including: Nickelodeon’s The Thundermans, season six of the FX horror series American Horror Story: Roanoke, and followed by the ABC comedy American Housewife in which she played Ali Wong’s daughter.

Miya, who was adopted from Japan as a baby and raised with her three siblings, two of whom were adopted as well, looks forward to shedding light on the domestic and international process of adoption as she continues to grow in her career and gain a voice among her increasing fan base. For Cech, it is important to use her platform to normalize the topic of adoption.

As an Asian American in Hollywood, Cech is inspired by industry greats including Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Ali Wong. Striving to be a role model herself, Cech looks forward to carving out her own lane in entertainment and using her newfound fame to pay homage to her heritage. When not acting, Cech spends much of her time supporting the Asian American Girl Club and advocating for greater Asian American representation in the entertainment industry.

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