If you’re a Sharknado fan, there’s a good chance Nova Clarke is one of your favorite characters. It’s hard not to love her fierce personality. Cassie Scerbo, the face behind Nova, is just as admirable as her role. She’s not only a brilliant actress and strong woman herself, she is also a multi-talent with many passions. BELLA sat down with Cassie to talk about the upcoming (and last) Sharknado movie, what female empowerment means to her, and her efforts to put an end to bullying.
How do you feel about your upcoming role in the final installment of the surprise hit franchise, Sharknado 6?
With every movie I do, I feel like my character grows a lot. In the last film, you see that Nova Clarke gathers a sisterhood of women from around the world and creates her own army, so to speak. In this film, she goes all the way from the prehistoric era to the future, slaying and just being her badass self! Nova is one of my favorite characters I’ve ever gotten to play. She is a leader, very strong, powerful and independent and brings heart and vulnerability into the film.
In the movie you’re a symbol for female empowerment. What does that mean to you, personally?
With everything that is going on in the world and in Hollywood, I think it’s important to have these strong female characters. I have always been a strong woman who stands up for herself, so personally, it’s important to me to play these roles. It’s nice to be able to portray a strong female in a film.
What inspired you to break into acting?
For me, I’ve just always loved performing. As a little girl I loved telling stories in any way that I could, whether it was through acting or dancing or singing. I got my first agent when I was 10 years old and ended up going to LA when I was about 14 years old. I decided to give up all of the other things that I loved at the time, like soccer, because my passion was performing. It has always been something that excited me, to take people on a journey and to put a smile on their faces, and to also have a platform to give back in multiple ways.
How did your breakout role in Bring It On: In It to Win It shape your career as an actress?
That was so much fun! It was the first bigger film I had done. I think being on set working with actors and directors, and just the experience that comes with any film, makes you grow. From then on, I started auditioning for Make It Or Break It and I think the experience I had from Bring It On helped me with that and gave me a confidence boost.
What really shaped me were the acting coaches that I got to work with in Florida. I was very committed at a young age, so I also really learned a lot from researching and studying. The time that you put in will kind of work itself.
Can you share a little bit about your philanthropic group, Boo2Bullying?
We are a nonprofit anti-bullying group from California and have grown tremendously in the past few years. I’m so proud. We have multiple programs, from our mentorship program to our pilot program to art therapy. We are very committed to our mission: eradicating hatred and bullying, having a voice for those who feel they don’t, and spreading awareness and positivity. It’s important for our youth to see that you can always make a difference, make a change and move forward, forgive and be forgiven and try to be good.
We just had our fourth annual Take A Bite Out Of Bullying event which I created because I wanted to marry my two worlds of acting and entertainment with my charity work. The logo is a shark (for Sharknado) and we hold it during Shark Week every year. It’s incredible to see those two worlds come together and to get so much support from all these people coming out.
Can you tell us about the video you and your friends sent out earlier this year, and how the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting affected you?
I am a Marjory Stoneman Douglas alumni. So that was a very difficult time for me and still is. There are no words to describe how horrible and heartbreaking that scenario was for me. I was in LA and had to fly to Romania to shoot Sharknado when I got the call. I was so far away and felt helpless. I felt like I needed to do something to help. I started plotting and planning whenever I had lunch breaks and decided to make a video to raise awareness, with as many influencers and actors and sports players etc. involved to send their support and understanding, and to let the kids know that we would try to do anything we can to raise funds and make schools safer. I had to do something, I couldn’t do nothing. I am so grateful for everyone who took the time to send a message. I am also working on producing a documentary about it.
What are your upcoming plans?
One fun thing is music! I’ve been working with a producer to put out an EP and the first song of the EP will be in the Sharknado movie! So I’ve been really busy with that. I am hopping on the music train! I’ve dabbled in it my whole life, but I feel like right now I’m in a good place to do music so it’s the perfect time.
How do you define beauty?
I think beauty is being free. Doing what feels right to you and never swaying from that. Being 100 percent authentically you and ultimately allowing yourself to be free – I think that’s the most beautiful thing.
Don’t miss “Sharknado 6: IT’S ABOUT TIME”, premiering August 19th on SYFY, and join Cassie live on Twitter during the premiere to chat with her about the new movie! Follow her on Instagram @cassiescerbo.
Photo by Kevin Thomas