Caroline Sunshine Talks What It’s Like To Star In New Film “The Outfield” While Going To College
You might recognize Caroline Sunshine from her role as European exchange student, Tinka Hessenheffer, on Disney Channel’s Shake It Up. In real life, not only is Caroline Sunshine a talented actress whose reach goes beyond accents and comedic timing, but after receiving an education through Claremont Mckenna College, Caroline has gained a heavy interest in the pressing world issues of today. She happily chatted with us about her recent project The Outfield, a film she’s starring in alongside social media stars Nash Grier, Cameron Dallas, and Joey Bragg, and even opened up about her college experience with the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights. Sunshine balances a burgeoning acting career with a passion for human rights issues, a Renaissance woman, a lá, dare we say Angelina Jolie?
Galore: How does it feel now that The Outfield is out and number 1 on Itunes?
Caroline Sunshine: I’m so thrilled, I can’t believe it. It’s awesome, I’m just so excited that people have that kind of a reaction to it, I loved the character that I played, I love acting, so I just loved getting to dive into different characters. This character was different than what I played before, so that was fun. I knew going into this movie that it was a baseball film, so I knew there was going to be, you know, lots of young men in baseball pants walking around the set, frequently…
How was this role different from your past role on the Disney Channel?
It was very different, which I like a lot. I know a lot of people always like to ask me about the characters I play, like what are the similarities between the character [and I], but I tend to like focusing more on what are the differences between me and the character, the more differences the more fun I tend to have because I think the way I approach acting is to kind of be able to think like someone else for a little bit. On the Disney Channel it’s intentionally big comedy sitcom acting and it’s intended to be over the top and in film it’s much more subtle.
So you’re in school right now, what made you make the jump from acting to pursuing a college degree as well?
College is by no means the only way to have success or to grow as a person. For me college is a privilege and a source of empowerment. It wasn’t easy; I faced opposition. I remember when I was first going through the application process I brought my application to a free college counseling service and the woman basically ripped my application apart and told me it was a joke that I was applying to the school’s that I was applying too. When I was walking out the door, she told me I would be better off spending my money on a new handbag, which was insulting and stung. And then when I finally got into college, the management company I was working with at the time dropped me when they heard I was going to college, they weren’t going to support that. For me, at a young age that was hard because I felt like going to college is a great accomplishment and to have a management company drop you just like that didn’t feel great. So I try to take it all with a grain of salt and just keep pushing forward.
What made you choose to study International Relations and Economics?
I think I was lucky with acting, I got to travel a good amount, and I loved that I got to go to different counties but also different places in the United States, I love the variety and I love the learning about what life is like for people in different places and the way that governments differ and the way that counties interact with each other and we’re living in such a globalized world and such a globalized economy, so it’s just sort of a natural interest for me.
How did you get involved with the Center for Human Rights and Model United Nations?
When I was in 7th grade I entered an essay contest through an organization called the 1939 society, which preserves testimonies of Holocaust survivors and if your essay placed high enough in the contest you got the meet the survivor that you wrote about and by some stroke of lucky my essay made it and I got to meet the survivor that I wrote about, her name was Ilse Diament. Learning about her story and the time that I spent with her during that day in person and her gentle spirit after all she’s been through really made an impression on me. The opportunity to work at the Center for Human Rights seemed like the perfect opportunity to honor Ilse’s memory and to formalize my interest in human rights.
What or who inspires you the most?
A lot. Right now I’m very inspired by people I go to school with, I get to go school with people from all over the United States and all over the world. I have friends from India, Pakistan, Singapore, Israel, just all over the world. It’s so cool that they have so many different opinions and background and influences, it’s really inspiring to get to call those people my peers. In terms of a singular person right now who I also think is inspiring is Karlie Kloss, she’s working so hard as a model and she’s also a student at NYU. It’s great that there’s somebody else out there who is trying to balance both and she’s just chipping away at it and I really admire her.
Any last things you want to add?
Most people think that my name is a stage name, Caroline Sunshine, but if I was going to pick a stage name I wouldn’t pick Sunshine you know? [laughs] It’s actually my name.
So what would you choose to be your stage name?
That’s a good question. Definitely not something like Caroline Sunshine. I’d pick something French maybe, I don’t know!
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