Grace Gummer and Gia Mantegna from Gigantic
I caught up with Grace Gummer and Gia Mantegna (aka Anna and Vanessa from Gigantic) in New York recently to talk about the show, and their lives, and stuff and junk.
Did you guys spend much time in New York growing up?
Grace: I grew up in Connecticut in a small town and then I moved to NY in high school. Right around Sept 11. Yeah. I lived in LA when I was really little and I went to preschool there. So I was really mad at my parents when we left because it's like the perfect place for a kid. You know, you like rollerblade on Venice Beach and you're outside all the time. But yeah, I grew up on the east coast.
Gia: I was born out here and lived out here but I was so little I barely remember it. And we kind of went all over the place, NY, Chicago, LA... so I consider myself an LA girl cause I sound like I'm from LA.
Grace: I do too, weirdly.
Gia: But I went to high school for a solid four years in LA.
Having famous parents like the characters on Gigantic, did you have any experiences trying to guard your privacy as children or teenagers?
Grace: No. I mean in some instances I would question who were my real friends. But I think that's what every teenager goes through in a way. Same kind of thing if you had blue hair. And you're like does that person like me because I have blue hair? But I like my blue hair. You know what I mean?
Gia: Yeah -- I've never questioned whether somebody was friends with me because first of all, nobody my age would even care about who my dad is.
Grace: But also, for me it wasn't part of my life so I never thought about it.
Gia: It wasn't something that was hanging over my head ever... it was just being a teenager.
What elements of the characters and stories do you feel are true to life for the children of celebrities? And what do you feel are not quite as accurate?
Gia: My character Vanessa on the show never went to school, she was always homeschooled, she was emancipated when she was like 14 or 15. So she never really knew how to communicate with people her own age. So that's what makes her kind of twisted, and that's kind of where her issues are at, that's what makes it so difficult to relate to the other kids on the show. I feel like that's maybe true for some child actors today. But what's true in the bigger aspect of things is the drama that they deal with, relationships and sexuality and...
Grace: ...friendships and drama ...
Gia: That is all completely real. Everybody's had a first love. Everybody knows what it's like to have a break-up.
Grace: Or obsess...
Gia: Everybody knows what it's like to be bullied online.
Grace: Or dream about your perfect date.
Gia: So all of that is true to real life. With a little paparazzi thrown in there.
Grace: And glam, and red carpets.
Which is kind of the point of the show, right? No matter what, adolescence is...
Grace: Really hard!
If you had a friend who was going through what Anna's going through with Joey being sort of inscrutable, what advice would you give to her?
Grace: I think something that I wish I would have known at that age is that you have so much of your life ahead of you and there are SO many other boys. And as long as you stay true to who you are and pick someone who makes you feel good about yourself, I think that's really important.
Gia: Yeah, make yourself feel happy.
Grace: And make sure you have your own accomplishments and goals and you're independent of each other. I think that's something really important that I didn't realize. I used to think that that one guy was the biggest deal and it would never happen. You know?