Interview originally conducted in 2012.
Meet Courtney ‘Coco‘ Jones – tipped off to be one of Disney’s next up-and-coming massive talents! She started off her career as part of Disney’s “The Next Big Thing” competition – a great platform for unknown artists to get their music out to a number of fans; it’s an indication of what an artist is capable of. At the time of TNBT, Coco was just 11 years old but knew that the entertainment industry was one she wanted to get in to. She is now 14 years old and stars as ‘Roxy’ in a new Disney Channel Original movie, Let It Shine. Coco‘s character is a teen singing sensation who sees herself torn between two guys; Cyrus (Tyler James Williams from Everybody Hates Chris) and Kris (Trevor Jackson). Cyrus is a talented yet shy musician – he watches his best friend, Kris deliver his hip-hop and rap verses to Roxy. The movie is a retelling of ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’ but with an influence of rap and hip hop.
We were lucky enough to chat with Coco and get some exclusive details from the set on what went down with filming:
What was it like for you to be in Disney Channel’s Let It Shine?
It was really great being in the movie, Let It Shine. I think because we had such a talented cast and such a great director. Paul Horn (Cheetah Girls; Camp Rock) directed and Dawnn Lewis, Courtney B. Vance, Tyler James Williams and Nicole Sullivan (The King of Queens; Kim Possible) [were a part of the cast]; all these people were so experienced and so they were always willing to teach us stuff and help us become better actors and we were all so willing to learn. I know that from listening to everybody’s tips and stories I have become a better actor.
Can you relate to the characters in the movie?
I think at the beginning of the movie, Roxy is very insecure, she is a people pleaser, she doesn’t have a say in her career, she wears what she’s told, she sings what she’s told, she’s not happy where she is. She doesn’t stand up for herself – she doesn’t speak her mind. I guess she is like a robot but she has to find herself and find her voice, and just realise that ‘I just want to be me and if people like me then great and if they don’t, who cares’. That is when me and Roxy come together as one when she finds that mind set of confidence and she realizes that she is a better as herself than trying to be someone else.
What was filming like, are there any funny stories you can share?
I don’t really have a funny story but we filmed in Atlanta and my parents and their families all live in South Carolina and Tennesse, so everybody got to come up to Atlanta and see behind the scenes. All my family watched me shoot the music video for ‘What I Said’. They got to stay in this awesome hotel and we had so much fun together – we were shopping in Atlanta. It was a great time!
Who are your role models?
I like Selena Gomez – I like the type of person that she is. I think singing wise I like Beyonce, Jennifer Hudson, Aretha Franklin and acting wise I like Cameron Diaz, Angelina Jolie, Gabrielle Union. I mean, there’s a lot. I really like people that when it comes to acting they have those things that nobody else can copy – they have their own characteristics you just know that’s them. They’re so good it’s just impossible and the same with singing, just those songs that really get stuck in your head and make you want to do what you do better and just inspire you.
What message do you have for your fans and what can we expect from you in the future?
First of all, the message to my fans is sort of like Roxy’s message in the way that when she finds herself, at first she is insecure and then she really finds herself. All girls know how it feels to be insecure and all girls know how it feels to follow the crowd and be told that you’re ok being somebody else. You have to be yourself. All girls need to know that they’re beautiful as they are – they don’t need the make-up or the flash clothes or anything. People will see this message come through in Let It Shine.
Follow Coco on Twitter @TheRealCocoJ – she loves talking to her fans!
May 31, 2017
Interviews, TV & Movies