Developed by Alison Brown and Linda Videtti Figueiredo, Stuck in the Middle follows middle child Harley Diaz (Jenna Ortega) as she and her large family navigate through life. The second oldest in the Diaz clan is the athletic Georgie Diaz played by sixteen-year-old, Kayla Maisonet.
Following the route of past Disney Channel show such as Even Stevens, Lizzie McGuire, and Phil of the Future, Stuck in the Middle is filmed as a single-camera sitcom. “What sets Stuck in the Middle apart visually, is that it is shot differently,” Kayla commented about what she thinks sets Stuck in the Middle apart from other current Disney shows. “Other than that,” she continued, “I think the premise is a lot different. Disney has never had a cast this big, and hasn’t had a family concept quite as unique as this!”
Despite, herself, coming from a small family that Kayla exclaimed was, “a lot different from the Diaz family,” her family strongly impacts her goals and ambitions in the same way that the members of the Diaz family do each other. “My family has shaped who I am in the way they support me, and make me feel as if I can conquer anything,” she spoke endearingly about her family. Coming from New York, Kayla’s family moved to California as she began acting, “Their support means the world, and coming all the way from the east coast to support me shows me how much they care.”
Disney is currently working towards creating more diverse programming from KC Undercover, which focuses on an African-American family of spies starring Zendaya to their upcoming series Bizaardvark starring Madison Hu and Olivia Rodrigo. Stuck in the Middle contributes to this effort as well with its focus on the Diaz family, “I think having a show like Stuck in the Middle has been a great thing for the Latin community because the Latin community has only had one show on Disney like this before, and it has been off the air for a while (Wizards). So to have a new Disney show, that is diverse, and is a Latino show for kids, and a family show is great!”
“The main project I am working on now that Stuck in the Middle season one is wrapped is catching up on sleep and getting everything done that I couldn’t get done while shooting. As well as, traveling and seeing family,” Kayla exclaimed about her plans since the cast and crew have wrapped on season one of Stuck in the Middle. She also teased, “I also have a few projects I am working on so stay tuned!”
While it’s yet to be said if there will be a season two, fans of the show can look forward to seeing a Gerorgie arc in the current season, “I think you will see many layers of Georgie as the season progresses, in a great way. She learns a lot and grows a lot towards the end of the season.” Kayla admitted that she contributed a lot towards her character and hinted that at the end of the season viewers could expect a temporary change in wardrobe. But while she ahs contributed towards the final product of Georgie, she has also learned from her as well, “I think the one thing I’ve learned from Georgie is to try hard, and never give up. Words she lives by!!”
Along with Stuck in the Middle, Kayla has Mulaney, Haunted Hathaways, and her role as Lindsay in Dog With a Blog for additional credits on her acting resume. “I look for a character either super similar to me or the complete opposite,” she said about how she decides on the roles she wants to audition for. Her dream role, however, is to be a lead in a horror film referencing the Blumhouse production company known for their films such as Paranormal Activity, The Purge, and Sinister.
“I think the main change I’d like to see is people wanting to be in the industry because it’s what they love, and not for fame,” she exclaimed about how she would hope to see the acting industry evolve. She added, “I’d also love to work with more female directors.” Kayla is still fairly new to the business, but she also shared what she’s learned so far, “I think the most important thing I’ve learned from being an actress is being around so many different types of people you learn (sometimes even when you don’t want to lol!) how to deal with uncomfortable situations. That’s just part of the game, and being an actress you’re in a lot of them!”
Kayla cites actress and producer Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel, The Departed) as her acting inspiration, “She’s incredible, and I really think that she’s a great actress. For example, she changes her attitude and role in Bates Motel so much! She’s happy one minute and upset the next and mad the next in a way that is so real. Love her.”
“Of course! People are very competitive and are always looking to get ahead and that can get to you,” She explained about how and why she’s had doubts about acting before. Kayla also offered advice about how to overcome that fear and keep going, “You’re always trying to better yourself, you’re always trying to book the role, and do your best and sometimes you just have to let things happen and cool down! Don’t compare your chapter 1 to someone’s chapter 20. You have no idea how many No’s it takes until you finally receive that one YES!”
Teenplicity: If you could create a playlist for your character, Georgie, what songs would be on it?
Kayla Maisonet: Hmm… Anything to do with working out! Probably Apple Music #GymFlow! Haha!
New episodes of Stuck in the Middle air Fridays on Disney Channel at 8:30p EST
(Photo cred: Russell Baer)