Do you believe in fairies? Imogen Cohen does…at least on screen. Playing Zina in Nickelodeon’s live-action reboot The Fairly Oddparents: Fairly Odder, this 12-year-old actress isn’t a stranger to fairy hijinks, funny wishes, and odd adventures.
The Fairly Oddparents: Fairly Odder brings a classic Nickelodeon cartoon back to life with a live-action twist. While the original Fairly Oddparents cartoon followed Timmy Turner and his fairy godparents, Cosmo and Wanda, on adventures inside and out of the fairy world and tackling tween problems from jealousy to bullying, the new show tracks a new cast of loveable characters.
Ty Turner (Ryan-James Hatanaka) uproots his life to reunite with his high school sweetheart, Rachel Raskin (Laura Bell Bundy), in the town of Dimmsdale, thrusting his cautious 13-year-old daughter, Viv (Audrey Grace Marshall), into a new world where she does not fit in. Once there, Viv’s cousin, Timmy (now off to college), entrusts his fairy godparents, Wanda and Cosmo (Susanne Blakeslee and Daran Norris), to help her adjust by taking her under their wings. Witnessing the fairy transfer take place, Viv’s charismatic new stepbrother, Roy (Tyler Wladis), also inherits them, and the two siblings must take turns making wishes. Together, they learn to overcome the obstacles in their path, all with the help from their new wand-wielding and wish-granting fairy godparents.
In this adventure, Imogen plays Zina “the zany, fashionable, loyal BFF to Vivian Turner” and Roy’s stepsister. In a classic crush story, Zina is “hopelessly devoted” to Roy, but he doesn’t seem to notice. Zina is unbothered. Imogen shared that she believes “[Zina] will continue to believe that they are soulmates to the end of time. I definitely think Roy is missing out.”
Imogen fell for the character quirks and excitement of the show even before she knew what it was based on. In fact, Imogen hadn’t watched The Fairly Oddparents until she started preparing to become Zina. “I started watching the original animation, and I immediately understood why it was so iconic!” She told us about her introduction to the series.
While The Faily Oddparents are iconic, the new show isn’t a total remake. In fact, it has whole new storylines and a new twist on the fairy godparent experience. “I was honored to be in the live-action series. The new show has the same witty humor as the original animation and also has new, fun characters,” Imogen shared about the balance between new and old in the series.
It has only been a few years since Imogen started dipping her toes into TV and film roles, but she knows magic when she sees it. A singer, actor, and dancer, Imogen has Broadway dreams and a love of theater. “When I was 6, my dad introduced me to Shakespeare,” she shared about what sparked her love of theater. “I would sit in the audience watching him perform.” Not long after that introduction, at 8 years old Imogen would start going to Shakespeare camp and cementing her passion for acting.
While this show isn’t A Midsummer Night’s Dream strange and fantastic things do happen. (Fairies!) All of our favorite fairies return via animation, but there’s plenty of silliness happening behind the scenes, too. In the pilot episode, Imogen shared that she and Audrey shot scenes with around 30 farm animals. If you think a set crowded with animals sounds chaotic, it is. “In the final cut, you can see me tripping over the alpaca’s ankle!”
The Fairly Oddparents: Fairly Odder is officially airing on Nickelodeon now, and Imogen is excited to see new audiences meet Zina, Vivian, Roy, and the rest of the cast (and the fairies of course). We had to ask what she would do if she had her own fairy godparents, and she shared that she would “definitely wish for a Season 2! Fingers crossed!”
Imogen teased some of her other magical projects while we talked, including her debut Christmas movie. Coming out December 2023, Imogen stars as “the adrenaline junkie, getaway driver” in the Christmas heist The Naughty Nine. “I made a lot of new friends filming this movie and it was super fun! We filmed the movie in the beautiful city of Montreal. The only downside was the freezing cold weather!”
While we count down the days to next Christmas, we’ll be keeping up with Imogen on Nickelodeon.