Tween actor Aaliyah Cinello is nothing if not an enthusiastic artist. A sci-fi lover and a character-driven creator, Aaliyah is always chasing new projects that allow her to explore new avenues of expression. Her latest role? Charlotte AKA Charley on Apple TV+’s new family anthology series Circuit Breakers. We sat down with Aaliyah to find out what she’s most excited to see brought to life on screen and how the show fits into her favorite sci-fi themes.
Circuit Breakers isn’t Aaliyah’s first work in sci-fi. She has played and voiced characters in sci-fi series and even video games including Warehouse 13, 12 Monkeys, and Far Cry 6. Aaliyah credits movies like Back to the Future that she watched with her parents as a kid for sparking her love of the world-bending genre. “I just liked the excitement and the wonder of sci-fi films. I just love that.”
For Aaliyah sci-fi is the perfect way to explore the future and the fear and wonder of the unknown. That is part of what she loves about Circuit Breakers, too. The show follows a group of middle schoolers exploring kid problems and adventures with a little help from futuristic technology and their own ingenuity. The kids in the show take control of their lives, and Aaliyah is proud of this exploration. “Usually, there are problems going on with kids that adults have to solve, or usually the plot might revolve around adults,” Aaliyah said of the series, “but this time it’s shot in the lense of how a kid would react and their experiences instead of the other way around. I found that really interesting. I hope viewers will be really excited and be really enthusiastic about the show because it definitely has a lot of surprises and a lot of plot twists that will keep you all engaged.”
|Fun Facts About Aaliyah|
|1. “I really like to draw. I’m a really artsy person, not only with acting but also with singing and visual arts.” |
2. “I got into acting when I was really little. I was about three, four months old.”
3. “I’m also a foodie, so I really like food, especially honey mustard. Honey mustard is so good.”
4. Two of her biggest acting inspirations are her mom Raven Cinello and Zendaya!
5. “I find that I really like to play mean girls. I find that it’s [so] far off from who I really am that I really like to play them.”
Aaliyah calls her character Charley “very supportive and witty,” the kind of character that is always willing to support her friends on their best (and worst) adventures. Also somewhat of a “conspiracy theorist” as Aaliyah labels her, Charley is prone to rambling and moments of excitement that Aaliyah loved bringing to life. “I really connected with her because she’s really there for her friends in any situation, dangerous or non-dangerous, and I feel like I’m like that, too. It was amazing to play, and especially when I got the role I was very excited because I just connected with her, and it felt so easy to play her.”
Charley is best friends with Olivia (Georgia Acken), and seeing their relationship play out was another thing Aaliyah loved about this project. Creating stories where two characters rely on one another for support was exciting, but Aaliyah also shared “It was amazing to have someone that was always there in every scene that I could just talk to…It was just really great to have someone there.”
Behind the scenes, Aaliyah and her castmates had just as much excitement as their characters (minus the CGI). There was singing and friendships formed. One moment that Aaliyah remembers in particular is “when we were on set and decided to sing ‘Hakuna Matata’ from The Lion King while we were waiting to go one set. It was amazing.” Turns out the cast of Circuit Breakers is full of The Lion King fans!
Circuit Breakers made its Apple TV+ debut earlier this month, and Aaliyah watched along excitedly with viewers. While she had seen some pieces of the show before its release, she hadn’t seen the final cut. The CGI creatures, scenes from the bakery, and the hologram screens Olivia uses were particular highlights for her, along with seeing the full anthology put together.
“I think [Circuit Breakers] is very unique because this show has a more mature concept, sci-fi scary stuff, but the plot is moved forward by children which I think is really unique,” said of what she thinks makes the show stand out and why she’s excited to see it in the Apple TV+ streaming line up. “It just embodies the curiosity of a child.”
Circuit Breakers is streaming now on Apple TV+.