"Eliza And I Are Almost The Same Person"

The ZOMBIES are coming to the Disney Channel this weekend. Only Disney can create a fun film that explores the concepts of inclusion, acceptance, and respect all while avoiding controversy.

Zombietown is filled with individuals affected by a nuclear mistake that divided Seabrook several decades ago. Now, thanks to new technology, the kids from this rundown portion of the region can be reunited with their human counterparts who attend high school on the better part of town. Unity, however, is only a myth unless those interested in having such bond work to achieve it. The human kids at Seabrook soon understand this concept and are challenged with the notion of either being prejudiced against their zombie colleagues or getting past pre-conceived notions to learn something new. Its an uphill battle and Disney Channel viewers have front row seats to all of the drama.


We recently caught up with Kylee Russell who portrays Eliza, main character Zed’s zombie friend, in the television film. See what she has to say about ZOMBIES and more below!

Why is this movie important to you and what positive messages do you hope kids and families will take away from the movie?

ZOMBIES is so important to me because it has messages that remind me that I am worthy of self-love. I hope kids and families take home the message of LOVE and ACCEPTANCE. No matter how different we may appear on the outside, we are all the same on the inside and should all love and accept each other for who we are.”

What does it mean for you to have an African-American female as an executive producer on the Disney Channel Original movie?

“For me, it means change is happening. She (executive producer Effie Brown) is helping to open doors for women of color so that there will be more of us sitting in the big chairs. Being able to meet and work with her was an honor. Having an executive producer who I felt comfortable with, who always understood where I was coming from and had my back was a blessing.”

In the movie, your character Eliza is a rebel at heart. How are you similar or different from the character you play in the film?

Eliza and I are almost the same person. We both stand up for what we believe in and we want equality for all. The only difference is she hates cheer and I don’t. Oh, and she’s a computer genius and I’m not.”

What advice would you give to little girls that would like to follow in your footsteps?

“Do it because you LOVE it. Don’t do it for the fame or the money because you won’t be happy. But most importantly, never give up. In this industry you hear ‘no’ a lot but you can’t let that discourage you. It’s all about timing. Whatever role is meant for you, is for YOU. So there’s no need to compete and it’s always more than okay to lift and SUPPORT other women!”

In addition to acting, you are a singer, songwriter and dancer. Wow. Out of all those, would you say that acting is your first love? Would you like to pursue a singing career in the near future?

“Out of acting, singing, and dancing, I would actually say that singing is my first love. For some odd reason whenever I was in front of a camera I was fine but as soon as I had to sing I’d suddenly get stage fright. Now that I’m past that, I would absolutely love to peruse a singing career in the near future!”

What other projects do you have coming up?

“Right now I am working on my music. As far as acting goes, you’ll have to wait and see.”

Catch ZOMBIES tonight at 8 PM EST/PST on the Disney Channel!

Photos: Courtesy of Disney Channel



Sarie is a writer and editor for BCK's Los Angeles division. She also shares stories on Medium that are meant to encourage thought and discussion. You can catch her outside enjoying nature and classical literature. Pop culture is pretty fun, too!

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