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NOC Interview: Taylor Mosby Discusses Netflix’s ‘Thunder Force’

Taylor Mosby portrays Tracy, Emily’s (Octavia Spencer) daughter, in Netflix’s new action-comedy, Thunder Force. The film follows two estranged childhood best friends that team up to protect their city from supervillains after Emily comes up with a treatment that will give them powers.

While the duo has completely different personalities, their lifelong bond and friendship make them the perfect team. With assistance from Tracy, the pair is ready to battle with the evil “Miscreants.”

Keep reading to see what the actress shared with The Nerds of Color about her role, strong female characters, the message she hopes to give her fans, and what’s next for her!

HOPPER STONE/NETFLIX

What originally attracted you to Thunder Force and what was your reaction when you got the part?
Taylor Mosby: I really loved the fact that Tracy was a young genius. I had never played a character like that before and I was immediately interested in her story. When I found out I got the part, I was in the car on my way home from the grocery store with my mom and I got a call from my manager. She told me that I had booked the job and we started screaming on the freeway. The windows were down too, so all these people were looking at us and I think it’s so funny because it was a very entertaining moment for the entire freeway.

What do you think fans will enjoy most about the film and are there any fun stories you can share from filming?
I think fans will really love Mr. Jason’s (Jason Bateman) role as The Crab because he and Mrs. Melissa [McCarthy] have some really funny scenes together. One of my favorite film stories to share is from the day we were deciding the theme song for Thunder Force. We played the top contender out loud on a speaker and everyone just stopped for a minute and started dancing. I think we all forgot we were at work because we were jamming out to some Thunder Force rock. It was such a great moment. I caught my mom dancing in the corner of the room too.

What was it like working with Octavia Spencer and did you learn anything from her?
Working with Ms. Octavia was an absolute dream of an experience. She is a living legend and so humble. She is very sweet and very down-to-earth, all while cracking jokes in between takes with everyone on set. She works very swiftly and can easily understand the tone of a scene after just one rehearsal, which was astonishing to watch. As starstruck as I was (and still am), she made me feel welcome to be myself. She helped me find my rhythm while we were working, and gave me some key advice that I will be taking with me throughout my entire acting career. She also taught me how to tap into my dramatic emotions when I’m in too much of a good mood to cry.

If you could have any superpower, which would you pick and why?
Without a doubt, I would pick teleportation because I love traveling and I get antsy quickly. The ability to satiate my random cravings for a vacation within seconds? Oh yes, sign me up, please. I would have the best summer break of my life with that superpower.

What was your favorite thing about playing Tracy and are you more similar or different to her character in real life?
My favorite part about Tracy is her natural intelligence and her common sense. I love the way she gets excited over team Thunder Force’s successes, and I love that team player quality of hers. Tracy and I are actually very different because she has a tamed personality where I have a big and vocal personality. I feel like in real life I would be Tracy’s extrovert older sister.

The film is led by strong female characters and actresses, what does that mean to you, and did it make you feel more empowered when doing the project?
To be in a film with such strong women is extremely empowering. I didn’t grow up seeing people like Mrs. Melissa and Ms. Octavia playing superheroes, and personally, I’ve learned that anyone can be a superhero! Representation is crucially important for all ages, shapes, genders, sizes, and colors. To be breaking barriers alongside legendary actresses is a blessing, and they’ve paved the way for so many of us young actresses during their careers. It means the world to me to watch Ms. Octavia play a powerful Black female superhero, and for Mrs. Melissa to play a strong superhero with curves! It really sends a great message to those watching that hindering barriers can and will be broken in the entertainment industry.

Favorite superhero and supervillain?
Oooooo. This is a great question. My favorite superhero is the Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) because of the immense power she has. People often underestimate her, and she is quick to remind them of what she is capable of. My favorite supervillain would have to be Dormammu. The amount of powers he possesses is crazy, and he is very scary. Which is a good thing considering he’s a supervillain. I still stand by the Scarlet Witch because I think she could take him out!

What made you want to start acting?
I have always loved acting and I started doing theater when I was about six. From there I started memorizing commercials and some of my favorite TV scenes and began reciting them in front of my family. I really fell in love with the world of TV and film and after my parents let me try acting classes, it was a done deal. I was hooked. I watched Disney Channel’s A.N.T. Farm with China Anne McClain and she solely inspired me to really give it a try because she looked and acted just like me (again, representation matters). Now, years later, I have a very deep connection with my craft, and I see it as tapping into the world of a character and discovering new parts of yourself in the process. I love it, and it never gets old.

What role has challenged you the most and why?
The role I played in Criminal Minds was definitely my most challenging role. I had never played a dramatic role before and I had to figure out how to tap into some super heavy emotions at thirteen when I had only done comedy roles prior. It was an eye-opening experience because I realized I had to commit to studying drama and emotional scenes more.

What role has been the most rewarding for you and why?
The role that has been the most rewarding has been my series regular role on The Last OG playing Amira. I have been working on that show since middle school and I am still working on the show as a senior in high school. We are in our fourth season and I have spent years alongside people who have become my family and I am so blessed to be working with such kind and friendly people who really put their heart into their work. Working as Tracy Morgan and Tiffany Haddish’s daughter has been the most hilarious experience of my life, and everyone truly does care for each other on set. They often remind me how much I have grown every time we return to film, and it feels like a family reunion every time.

Is there a specific performance that inspired you or you felt you really related to?
Will Smith’s performance playing Chris Gardner in The Pursuit of Happyness is extremely inspirational for me. There are countless messages within the film that can really change your perspective on life, and I find that I learn something new every time I watch it. Watching him in that movie always reminds me how a great acting performance should make the audience feel, and the difference persistence can make in one’s journey. I hope to create staple moments like that in the world of film in order to inspire the next generation as it inspired me.

Any dream roles?
Yes! I really hope to do a singing role in a musical movie like Dreamgirls or La La Land! I love singing and music, so it would be a dream to be able to mix two of my favorite worlds and perform in a musical movie. My absolute dream role is the real-life version of Princess Tiana from The Princess and the Frog. When they do the live-action version of that movie, I will be reporting to the Disney studio the next day with my headshot in one hand and my resume in the other.

What message do you want to give those who look up to you or are a fan of your work?
The first thing I’d like to say is thank you for supporting me because I could never have the support I do without you! Secondly, there is always more than one way to achieve a goal. Just because your journey looks unconventional does not mean you have any less of a chance of success! I have learned so much about myself throughout my career and hope to help you discover new things about yourself by bringing forward more on-screen representation, as well as behind the scenes representation.

How do you stay positive and motivated?
Music is my emotional crutch. I listen to pretty much every genre from classical to R&B to country to heavy metal. I learned pretty early on which genres and artists help me through certain situations and that’s the way I keep myself motivated. To stay positive, I pray, talk to friends, and get out of the house when I can. The outside world is a reminder of all of the bigger things outside myself, and something about that really keeps me in a positive mindset.

What’s next for you?
Let’s hope Netflix has a good answer for that! But in all seriousness, I am planning on releasing some music soon, so stay tuned! Also, I am currently filming season four of The Last OG right now, and it should be airing around winter of this year!

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