Anais Lee Spills All On “The Sun Is Also A Star”

In theaters May 17th, The Sun Is Also a Star follows the story of Natasha (Yara Shahidi), a Jamaican immigrant living in New York who has less than 24 hours before she and her family get deported. As time runs down, she falls in love with Daniel (Charles Melton), an Asian-American exchange student, and they must fight against the clock to keep their relationship alive. The book-turned-movie has received national attention both for its illustrious cast and tear-jerking storyline--Anais Lee, who plays Young Natasha, can certainly attest to this. Below, the 12-year-old takes readers behind the scenes of the film.

What was the audition process like for The Sun is Also a Star?

My agent contacted me and my identical twin Mirabelle about the audition. When we saw it was with our favorite casting director, Avy Kaufman, we were so happy. Avy cast us in our first movie, Blood Ties, when were five years old. When we found out we were auditioning to play the younger version of Yara Shahidi’s character, we were even more excited because we love her and look just like her! Before I met with her, I read the entire book and loved it. During the audition, I normally get redirected after I perform my scene, which is when the casting director tells me to try acting a different way. But in this case, I read the lines once and was done. I thought I didn’t do well even though I tried my best. But after the audition, I received a callback. Then my agent told me I was on hold for the role! I could barely speak because I was so happy.


Where were you and how did you react when you were cast?

I was at home in Philadelphia and had just arrived home from school. When I found out, I screamed and jumped up and down! I was happy beyond words could say. I love being on set and acting. I like to say that sets are my happy place, so when I get another opportunity to be on one, I’m ecstatic.

How are you and your character similar?

My character, Young Natasha, and I are very similar because we both are kind, caring, smart, and playful. When I received this role I knew it was perfect for me.


What was it like playing the younger version of Yara Shahidi’s character? Did you two connect on set?

Playing the younger version of Yara Shahidi was amazing. I really look up to Yara--she has always been one of my favorite actresses. She was so kind on set, and I am very excited for the movie premiere so I can see her and the cast again!

Any memorable behind the scenes moments you can share?

One of my favorite days was when my friend texted me she was also on set for the movie. I invited her to where I was sitting, and we spent the day together! Between scenes, we would sit in my trailer watching and singing songs from Riverdale. That was definitely one of my favorite days.

Lee with Charles Melton


What message do you hope people will take away from the film?

Even when there are obstacles in life, love can still happen. The Sun is also a Star is truly an amazing film, and I know you guys will love it!