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Why Shahadi Wright Joseph Is Feeling “a Teensy Bit of Pressure” About Her Role in The Lion King

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Image Source: Getty / Johannes EiseleAt age 13, I spent a majority of my free time prank-calling the boys I had crushes on and tricking out my MySpace page with an array of bathroom mirror selfies. Meanwhile, currently 13 years old, Shahadi Wright Joseph is busy appearing in record-breaking movies alongside renowned actors – and she’s just getting started.This year, Joseph scared the bejesus out of moviegoers while starring in Jordan Peele’s latest horror film, Us, which follows a family’s struggle to survive when their villainous doppelgngers crash their beach vacation with a hunger to kill. In the thriller, Joseph plays both the innocent Zora Wilson and Umbrae, Zora’s sinister red-jumpsuit-wearing counterpart, nailing both polar opposite roles flawlessly. Image Source: Everett CollectionIf Joseph’s on-point performance wasn’t enough of an indication, Us wasn’t her acting debut, as she has a handful of other credits under her belt. At just 9 years old, she became the youngest actress to play the character of Nala while appearing in The Lion King on Broadway. She was also one of the original cast members of School of Rock on Broadway, in addition to performing with big names like Jennifer Hudson and Ariana Grande in NBC’s Hairspray Live! production. Next up on her ever-growing acting resum? She’s reprising the role of young Nala in the upcoming live-action reboot of The Lion King, which hits theaters this Summer. Ahead of the film’s July release, we chatted with Joseph over the phone about the challenges of recording voiceovers and how she feels about being cast in a film with so many other stars , and it definitely has us feeling even more ecstatic about nabbing our tickets for the nostalgic movie.

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