JoJo Siwa on Keeping Her Sparkle Alive in ‘The J Team’ for Paramount+
Produced by Nickelodeon and Awesomeness Films, Siwa is bringing her signature style to a music and dance-filled extravaganza. The action follows Siwa’s character (also named JoJo) who has her life turned upside down when her longtime dance coach Val (Laura Soltis) unexpectedly retires. Now left to take direction under the super strict instructor Miss Poppy (Tisha Campbell-Martin), JoJo’s sparkle is being stifled.
Below, Siwa teases how her character is overcoming this obstacle, opens up about executive producing, and reveals her favorite tune from the musical movie.
The J Team is one peppy film! What can viewers expect when they tune in?
JoJo Siwa: There is so much that happens in this movie. It is jam-packed full of musical numbers — which I am so proud of — and awesome characters. We have so many different types of people represented. We actually had a kid in the film who is transgender and who is still currently transitioning so that was really cool to have them be a part of the project. It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun.
You’re an executive producer on this film. What was that experience like?
It actually made my job easier. There was a bit of a crossroads of what am I doing, and am I playing a character, or am I just playing myself? Playing a character just didn’t feel right because I looked like JoJo and I was acting like JoJo. Being an executive producer I got to make the call of, “We’re going to be JoJo, not act like it.” And it was cool. I got to have a say in things that normally I wouldn’t have.
As you mentioned, this film has a lot of great musical moments. Do you have any favorites?
There’s a number in the film called “Nobody Can Change Me,” and that song is the best to perform live. Literally, I just did a live performance of that song for our TV show The Siwa Dance Pop Revolution, which comes out later this year. Performing that song live is so much fun, and I am really excited to go back on tour and perform it live every single night.
The film is about keeping your sparkle alive and being proud of who you are. What is something you do to maintain your own sparkle?
I think that I’ve chosen to surround myself with people who let me be me. And I think that that’s really the best thing that you can do is just surround yourself with good people.
Speaking of good people, the film has a fantastic cast. Did you learn anything from working with actors like Tisha Campbell-Martin?
It was fun to get to work with everybody. Everyone on set would always make fun of me because there’s a dialogue coach on set [who is there to help when you forget lines]. But whenever Tisha and I [forgot something]… we would always go back and forth. That was really fun. This was the first time I was a lead in a movie and I think I learned that the energy was on me. If I was happy, everyone was happy.
The J Team, Movie Premiere, Friday, September 3, Paramount+