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Just for Kicks
By Marie Morreale

(Left to right) The stars of Just for Kicks—Katija Pevec (Lauren), Francesca Catalano (Alexa), Jessica Williams(Vida), and Mallory Low (Freddie)
(Photo: © Nickelodeon)
Soccer fans unite! Just For Kicks has premiered on Nickelodeon, and Scholastic News Online "scored" interviews with the show's talented stars—Mallory Low, Francesca Catalano, Jessica Williams, and Katija Pevec. Check out what these young stars had to say about the show, their lives, and fun, fun, fun!

See what the stars of Just for Kicks had to say:


Q: How would you describe your character, Freddie?
Mallory: She's a klutzy tomboy—kind of like the comic relief in the show. She is a fun character to play. She slips and falls in mud, but she is supposed to be really good on the field. She loves the game.

Q: What do you like best about her?
Mallory: I like that she has moments where she is funny and klutzy, but she can also be a very sincere person. I love the she's so serious and she knows exactly what she wants and what she wants is to play soccer. That is her passion.

Q: Do you think in real life you would like her to be your friend?
Mallory: Yeah, I think so. First of all, she cracks me up, because she is funny. She just seems like a really nice person and I bet we would get along well, because we both know what we want to be in life.

Q: You had to learn how to play soccer for the show—do you like it?
Mallory: Oh yeah, at first [it feels] foreign. They say "Dribble it," [but] you can't use your hands to dribble it! But it's cool because you use different parts of your body and work different muscles. Learning and playing all the time on set, I have begun to like it. When I am not shooting on the weekends, I actually go and play soccer with the costars.

Q: Did you have to have a boot soccer camp before you started?
Mallory: Yes, we did. Two of the girls played soccer when they were little. Jess and I were the ones who played basketball, so we had no experience whatsoever. We had this week of soccer boot camp, and it was intense . . . we learned a lot.

Q: Could you describe your costars Katija, Jessica and Francesca?
Mallory: Katija? I love that girl, period. She is spunky. Francesca is a very outgoing person. Jessica is probably the funniest person you are ever going to meet. I love them all so much. When we were on the set, we basically became like sisters, because we would always be together—even on the weekends.

Q: Do you like to read?
Mallory: Yeah, I do love to read. I like Harry Potter. At first you think it's such a big book, but after the first chapter you are hooked. The movies are great, but the books, for me, are more interesting, because I can use my imagination more.

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Q: Tell us about your character, Alexa.
Francesca: Alexa has trouble balancing the two worlds of soccer and cheerleading. She's got two groups of friends and she acts differently with each group. She is very charismatic. She loves fashion and wears a lot of pink. She is also very funny [and] goofy—I think the soccer girls help bring that out of her character.

Q: What is it like to play Alexa?
Francesca: What's great about playing Alexa is that I am the complete opposite. I am more of a music person. It's so funny—when we [were] auditioning for roles, they had me auditioning for Lauren the entire time, and at the last minute they picked me for Alexa.

Q: According to your bio, you weren't a great soccer player . . .
Francesca: I played soccer in elementary school, but I wasn't very good. I was a forward and a halfback and I also had asthma, so that kind of put a damper on things. But before we started shooting we had a week or two weeks of soccer boot camp and it brought everything back. I was kind of force-fed soccer—I had to be good and it made me.

Q: So do you like it now?
Francesca: I love soccer. Soccer is my favorite sport besides shopping.

Q: You like to read history books. Is there a particular era of history that you're interested in?
Francesca: World War II is my thing. My grandfather fought in World War II, and my dad knew a lot about it—he always used to tell me stories. Something clicked with me in school when we were learning about it and made me just want to learn more and more.

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Catch the new show, Just for Kicks, on Nickelodeon.
(Photo: © Nickelodeon)
Q: Describe Vida, the character you play on the show.
Jessica: Vida is very forthright and headstrong. She is a natural-born leader and she's athletic. She takes soccer, her family, and her friends seriously.

Q: What do you do during downtime on the set?
Jessica: Well, Mallory and I are still in school. When we're not [studying], we usually hang out, or Francesca and I play jokes on people, or we just sit in our trailers and have movie marathons.

Q: Why do you think kids are going to like Just for Kicks?
Jessica: People are going to love Just for Kicks, because it is something that everyone can watch. It is [more realistic] than other shows, and it's a sports show. A lot of girls aren't playing sports, because they don't see girls on TV who actually play sports. I think it's a show that girls can relate to and parents can watch with the kids.

Q: What are some of your favorite books?
Jessica: I love the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, all six books. I just finished reading it. I just read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, and I thought it was a nice book.

Q: Do you have a special time you like to read?
Jessica: I read everyday for a half an hour, but my favorite time to read is inside, when it's raining, by a fire.

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Q: Tell us about your character, Lauren.
Katija: Lauren Zelmer is being raised by a single mother who has given up a lot to give her daughter opportunities. Laura wants to show her that she really appreciates it, so she works so hard at everything she does. She comes out of her shell as the season goes on and it's just great to watch it.

Q: How is she similar or dissimilar to you?
Katija: I was a lot like her when I was younger. I was born and raised in Hawaii and I was [always busy]—taking singing lessons and dance and acting. I was part of a dance company and I played soccer and [studied] piano and I did a lot of reading.

Q: What soccer position did you play?
Katija: When I used to play I was always a forward, but on the show we don't have set positions. I have been a forward and a halfback. I have been a forward on the opposite side and the halfback center. We move all over the place.

Q: Have you had any injuries while doing the show?
Katija: I was on the field and I went up to kick a goal and I kicked the ball so hard and my leg just did something and I collapsed on the field. I am not one of those people who cry when they get hurt, but I could not hold it in.

Q: Is there anything you miss about Hawaii?
Katija: The warm water. Last summer I went back to Hawaii with my best friends—just for vacation—and it was so much fun. It is so different now than when I lived there, but it's beautiful.

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