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Star Spotlight

On the new Discovery Kids on NBC series Flight 29 Down, Lauren Storm leads a troop of 10 teenagers whose flight crash-lands on a mysterious island. Now, as they face the challenges of life far away from home, they must deal with each other's crushes, competitiveness, jealousies, insecurities, and goofiness. Before you check out the show, be sure to get the scoop from Lauren in our exclusive interview. Here's what she had to say:

Feel like you don't fit in at school? Listen to Lauren's advice.

Q & A

Q: Tell us about your character, Taylor.

Lauren: Taylor is very self-absorbed and very concerned with doing things for her own benefit. Unfortunately, she doesn't have very much brainpower, so it is quite funny when she tries to get her way. Eventually, she grows a little bit of heart by the end of the first season. At the beginning she wasn't concerned with helping anybody or trying to get them off the island. I was kind of scared that she would just be horrid the entire way through. She has a little bit of heart.

Q: Is it hard to play a character like that?

Lauren: At first it is, because it is a completely different way of thinking. When you play a character so unlike yourself or a character that does things so opposite of what you would do, you just have to have a different thinking pattern.

Q: But that is what acting is all about.

Lauren: It was definitely a blast. I have fun playing Taylor because she is definitely the most outrageous. I have known Jeremy James Kissner, the boy who plays Eric, through high school, so when we got [the parts] I had known him for five years already. So it was definitely cool to have that history behind the two characters. It worked really well.

Q: What is the funniest thing that happened on the set?

Lauren: There are a few, but my favorite was that I had a habit of falling asleep. I am very, very comfortable wherever I am and it is very easy for me to just sit down and take a nap when I have worked between 12 and 14 hours a day. So, one time I fell asleep in my cast chair and I woke up covered in people's trash. It was filmed and there were pictures. Everyone took their candy wrappers and soda cans and piled them on top of me. I was just so far out of it that I didn't even know until somebody woke me up. I distinctly remember pictures floating all over set with me totally passed out with a can balanced on my head and like a Funyun in my hand.

Q: Is this the first time that you have worked in Hawaii?

Lauren: Yes, this the first time I worked in Hawaii. My family has a condo on the big island and I have been going my whole life so I know the island quite well. It was pretty cool to work out there and be able to show people all the little hidden spots.

Q: What is your favorite thing about Hawaii?

Lauren: It is such a relaxed and peaceful way of being. I'm not as stressed out when I work in Hawaii. That is because [people are] so mellow. They go with the flow and don’t stress about things, and everything is OK. It was really refreshing as opposed to LA, which is busy all the time.

Q: What is your ultimate film role?

Lauren: I would like to do roles that inspire other people or teach things that people may not know about, like culture or people in difficult circumstances that you may not think about. I would like to do roles that take me out of the box a little bit or roles that are a little uncomfortable. I want to be challenged and learn different things.

Q: You've described yourself as weird when you were a kid and said that you didn't fit in. What is your advice to kids that feel the same way?

Lauren: I am Jewish and I went to a Catholic school because it was the best education you could get in the area. Kids are so mean if you are different. I was one of the smartest ones in the class and I had big, thick, coke-bottle glasses. My teeth grew before my face did and my eyes were huge, so I looked like a bug. It was bad. I just didn't know how to relate to kids and how to speak to them in a way so that they would accept me. It is always a thing that some kids are popular and some kids aren't. Some kids just kind of get along and find the groove of what is accepted in school socially. I spoke to people like I was speaking to an adult because I don't have any brothers and sisters. I would express how I felt and my frustrations and they didn't know how to take it because they were kids. I have to say it builds so much character and strength when you are an adult. If you just keep up your own expectations as far as being a good person, by the time high school rolls around you will probably be a cool person. Kids who are popular in school sometimes don't know how to handle it if they are not accepted in the real world. They grow up and it is harder for them later on.

Q: How did you deal?

Lauren: I made a couple of friends that were not in the popular crowd. Talk to your teachers and your parents. You will feel better when you get a real person's perspective and see how stupid some of the stuff is that goes on in schools. I concentrated on work, school, and being responsible, and I am thankful in the end because so many kids go through so much in high school and that doesn't mean anything in the real world. My advice to a kid who is having a hard time is to be true to yourself and talk to people who aren't involved in the cliques and in the pettiness. You will realize that you are totally good and totally on top of things. Just wait it out because school does not last forever. You will be fine by the time you get out of it.

—Interview by Marie Morreale


Lauren Storm
(Photo: Courtesy of NBC)


Star Calendar
Watch Lauren in Flight 29 Down, which airs Saturday mornings on NBC. Check local listings for details.

Star Stats

Full Name: Lauren Marlene Storm
Birth Date: January 2, 1987
Birthplace: South Chicago Heights, Illinois
Current Residence: Burbank, California
Height: 5' 3"
Hair/Eyes: blond/blue-green
Pets: A fish named Rosebud and a mutt named Tracy

Star Faves
Movies: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Lord of the Rings trilogy
Actors: Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie
Musicians: The Beatles and Renee Olstead
Foods: pizza and pasta
Holiday: Halloween
Colors: aqua and purple
School Subjects: Art and Math