Arista Arhin has been turning heads with her recent roles on Star Trek: Discovery and Bajillionaires.
The talented young actress joins us on Close-up Culture to chat about these exciting roles, her favourite inventions, bonding with Sonequa Martin-Green, and more.
Q: You play Alicia on the Family Channel’s show ‘Bajillionaires’. This is such an empowering and likeable young female character. What do you enjoy about playing Alicia?
A: My new show Bajillionaires is a comedy following a group of kids who run a start-up company out of a parent’s garage. The show promotes positive messages such as youth empowerment, the importance of friendship and believing in yourself.
I play Alicia Windsor, a Chief Product Designer and the team’s newest member. I really enjoyed playing Alicia. She is a DIY engineering genius who constantly makes prototypes and codes. She is smart, innovative, but also secretive as she likes to keep her personal life to herself while trying to be everyone’s best friend.
Q: I imagine you’ve spent a lot of time with Alec Dahmer, Ricardo Ortiz, Mya Singh and the rest of the team. What are the dynamics like between you all?
A: We had an instant bond from the first day on set, and the remaining three months of shooting flew by. We had so much fun that at times it didn’t even feel as if we were working.
Q: Alicia is not a nerd who techs, but a tech who nerds. What is your favourite invention featured on the show?
A: My favourite invention would have to be Trolljammer! It is an app which removes negative comments and trolls on the internet and replaces them with nice comments. It would be great to have such an app to have in real life.
Q: If you could invent something to make your life easier, what would it be?
A: A robot that would fold my clothes and clean my room.
Q: In a recent interview, you mentioned that you’ve been loving ‘The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ on Netflix. What show would you love to star on in the future?
A: Stranger Things!
Q: You play a young Michael Burnham (older version played by Sonequa Martin-Green) on ‘Star Trek: Discovery’. Can you tell us about your interactions with Sonequa Martin-Green and how she helped you with the role?
A: I was very fortunate to have an instant bond with Sonequa. Portraying Young Michael Burnham’s complex story was both inspiring and challenging, and Sonequa helped me a lot in terms of understanding her character. She has been such an amazing mentor to me and someone I could talk to not only about my scenes in Star Trek: Discovery, but also about other projects that I’ve been working on.
Q: I imagine it to be exciting and rather daunting to be part of the Star Trek family. How has the experience been for you so far? Have you felt the love from the Trekkies?
A: Being part of the iconic Star Trek family has truly been an unbelievable experience, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to portray Young Michael Burnham, a strong and complex character, at such a young age, and over the course of two seasons of the show.
I am truly honoured to be part of it, and Trekkies have shown a lot of love and positive feedback for my playing Young Michael. I did put a lot of pressure on myself as I felt responsible for delivering an authentic portrayal of Young Michael, and I’m so happy to see that I didn’t disappoint the viewers and especially Trekkies.
Q: You’ve trained at the prestigious Second City and LB Acting Studio. What has been your biggest lesson so far in the world of acting?
A: Apart from learning various acting techniques, one of the most important things that I have learned in the world of acting is to be patient. It may feel like forever between auditions and callbacks, but being patient, taking classes and pursuing other interests prepares you for that perfect role. Good things take time.
Q: I hear you like to spend summers in Montenegro. Do you have any ambitions to work in Europe one day?
A: I would love to! Working in Europe and other places would complement my love for travelling.
Q: What is next for you?
A: I’m back to auditioning and, in the meantime, you can see me in Bajillionaires, which airs on Sundays at 10:00AM/ET in Canada, and in Star Trek: Discovery on Thursdays at 8:30PM ET/5:30PM PT on CBS All Access in the U.S., and in Canada, on Thursdays at 8:00PM/ET on Space TV.
Title photo by Mark Binks