Monster High: The Movie Cast on Identifying with Their Characters

Monster High is a doll brand that launched back in 2010, and it has had its fair share of successes including becoming the second-most popular doll brand in North America behind Barbie. Fans will be seeing a resurgence of the franchise this year with two new projects including a new Monster High animated series and the live-action Monster High: The Movie.

Monster High: The Movie is a live-action musical following Clawdeen Wolf, a teenager who is half human and half werewolf. After being harassed by humans, she decides to go to a place where she believes she’ll belong, Monster High. It’s a high school for monsters of all types with a strict “no human” policy.” Since Clawdeen is part human, she has to hide her true identity, or else she’ll be expelled.

The film has a message about being your unique self, and the cast identified a lot with their characters. Playing Clawdeen Wolf is Miia Harris, who was excited to play the part of the lead character.

“Clawdeen is half human, half werewolf, and I am half black and half white, so we share that sort of mixed identity,” Harris tells Nerd Reactor. “The thing with Clawdeen and her identity is it’s not that she necessarily is ashamed of her secret part of herself, it’s just that the world is forcing her to hide that away. And so she kind of learns to be ashamed of it. But initially, that isn’t how she is. And I think that a lot of people can relate to that, including myself, where you don’t think that there’s something wrong with you, and then other people convince you that there is. So I can really identify with the journey of loving yourself and then reconsidering that and then meeting people who reassure you that, ‘No, don’t listen to the haters. That you’re perfectly created the way you were meant to be.’ And I think that’s a journey a lot of people can relate to and I definitely can.”

Nayah Damasen portrays Draculaura, the daughter of Dracula and also practitioner of witchcraft. This isn’t the first Nickelodeon project for her since she is in a pop/R&B group, Good NEWZ Girls, under Nickelodeon.

“Well, so the acting side of Nickelodeon, I think it is pretty different from the singing side,” Damasen said. “But I think with this film specifically, I was able to mesh my two loves together. So being able to play a character that I love but then also adding a music aspect with Nickelodeon is definitely my favorite. But also something really really cool was that I got to bring my girl group, Good NEWZ Girls, onto the soundtrack. So there are some songs in the movie that are playing behind the scene that are us, so definitely watch out for that.”

Ceci Balagot plays Frankie Stein, a monster made from different body parts including historical geniuses. The character also becomes good friends with Clawdeen and Draculaura.

“I feel like every time we ask who’s the most like their character, it’s me,” Balagot tells us. “I mean, I’m pretty socially awkward too. I feel like we can all relate to that about Frankie… that Frankie does not really always know exactly what to say, or when it’s appropriate to say it. But also, they’re very creative, and also very optimistic. I am very easily entertained. And I think Frankie is too. Anything can excite me or flabbergast me. Also, Frankie has a lot of knowledge about random things. A feature of Frankie is that they’ll just be walking around, and then all of a sudden, a light bulb will hit in their head, and they know all this information, and then they just have to spew it out. I do that to my friends all the time.”

About Monster High: The Movie

Monster High: The Movie follows Clawdeen Wolf (Miia Harris), who was born half human and half werewolf, after she arrives at her new school, Monster High. She quickly makes friends with her classmates Frankie Stein (Ceci Balagot) and Draculaura (Nayah Damasen), and for the first time in her life, Clawdeen feels like she has finally found a place where she fits in and can truly be herself, despite keeping her human half a secret. When a devious plan to destroy Monster High threatens to reveal her real identity, Clawdeen must learn to embrace her true monster heart and find a way to save the day alongside her new friends.

Monster High: The Movie premieres Thursday, Oct. 6, at 7 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon and streams that same day on Paramount+.

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