Get the scoop on the show, her forthcoming EP, and more!
On Sunday April 10, Nickelodeon will premiere The Other Kingdom with a two episode back to back special at 7 pm. The star of the show is Esther Zynn, who plays Astral, a fairy princess from the kingdom of Athenia. In the first episode, Esther, who is enthralled with the world of humans who she refers to as ‘the others’, decides to leave Athenia to walk as an ‘other’ in our world and attend a human high school. At school, Astral has to learn how to fit in and how to navigate friendships, crushes, and everything else that comes with being human. At the end of ninety days, she will have to choose whether she wants to remain a human forever or if she would like to return to Athenia and become queen. The show also stars Callan Potter, Celina Martin, Taylor Adams, and Josette Halpert as Astral’s new classmates. We recently had a chance to sit down with Esther and discuss her show, her career so far, and her passion for music and songwriting.
How are you today?
Esther Zynn: I’m really good! I’m really happy to be here and finally talking about The Other Kingdom, it’s been a really long time.
How long have you been working on it?
Zynn: Well we started filming in August, and then we wrapped mid-December, so up until then… Even before the beginning of August when I found out I got the part I wasn’t able to really talk about it with anybody. So it’s exciting that it’s finally coming out.
Do you have anything big you want to say now that you can finally talk about it?
Zynn: Mostly just telling people that I’ve been a part of it, being a part of a show. Everything from who my character is, she’s a fairy princess who comes from a magical kingdom called Athenia. But she gets the chance to live her dream and be a regular human girl for ninety days. At the end of the ninety days she has to decide if she wants to stay human and abdicate her throne and give up her powers or go back to the fairy world. So in the meantime she learns about friendship and crushes and everything that goes along with being a regular teenage girl. Even just talking about that, it’s so fun that the world’s finally going to see it.
Do you find yourself relating to your character a lot?
Zynn: Definitely. Astral’s really bubbly, she wears her heart on her sleeve, and I think I share those qualities with her. So initially she comes to the human world and she’s like a fish out of water, and I know personally going to film this was my first big project. I’ve done some smaller projects before. I think living in New York, filming in Toronto, shooting in a whole studio, I felt almost like I was on my other walk as I was filming Astral’s journey. So there are a lot of things that I relate to.
You mention doing a couple things before. How old were you when you actually started acting?
Zynn: I started getting involved in school musicals when I was eleven years old and that’s when I started songwriting too and writing music and singing. And then I finally convinced my parents to sign me up to a local acting class when I was twelve and when I was fifteen I got signed to a manager and I just started auditioning. But it all really started from that one class I did. But I’ve wanted to do it since I was, like, five. I’ve always known this is what I wanted to do.
So you’ve been songwriting as well? What kinds of songs do you write?
Zynn: Like pop music, but less sugarcoated and more alternative. I’m actually releasing my first single April 24 which is super exciting and working on my EP. So I’ve been writing and recording in LA and New York for the last couple of months. I’ve always been writing but now I’m finally working on my project and it’s so exciting.
Can you cite any musical influences?
Zynn: For sure! I love Carole King. She was someone when I first listened to her music I was so inspired. Artists that I love right now are Jon Bellion, Ryn Weaver, I love Robyn, Flume, Louis the Child, I could go on and on. I love music. I’m always drawing inspiration from everywhere.
And as far as The Other Kingdom goes, what’s the dynamic like on set?
Zynn: It’s so good. I mean, we’ve become a family. We’re so lucky that we’re a cast that truly gets along. Cal always says this, Cal who plays Tristan, but there’s really no one in the cast who I wouldn’t call my friend. And we spend a lot of time outside of set and we spend a lot of time laughing on set. We spent Canadian Thanksgiving together, which was big for me because I wasn’t able to be home for American Thanksgiving. So they really were my family! Hanukah, we did an escape room, we went skating, we spent so much time and I think people are really going to pick up on the friendship that we had when the cameras weren’t rolling.
And did you escape the room? Did you make it out in time?
Zynn: No, no we didn’t! It was a really hard room! That one was really difficult… I weirdly did a lot of escape rooms when I was in Toronto. It’s not any bigger there than in New York or LA but I think we just got really into it. When it’s set up really cool with lots of special effects it’s so fun.
So you’re working on the show right now and you have your EP. Are there any other projects coming up in the future?
Zynn: Not that I know of now. I’m being really picky about the different acting projects that I have just because of time limitations. So just The Other Kingdom and I’m so excited for the launch. I’m really focusing mostly on that and writing music.
Do you have any tips for other young girls wanting to get into this business?
Zynn: A big thing is that my parents never discourage but there was never really something that they took the reins on. They made it very clear when I got signed or even when I had the chance to audition for an agent that – and I was very young, you know, I was in high school – and they made it very clear that it would be something that I would have to do on my own. You just need to set goals for yourself, anything to get yourself out of your comfort zone whether it’s auditioning for a school play or finding a local acting class that you think would really benefit you, just keep setting goals for yourself. It’s all about those baby steps and then reaching them and kind of working off of that and really it’s all possible, it really is.
Speaking of age, you say you were in high school when you auditioned for your agent. What is it like now, looking back on high school, and having to play a girl just starting out in high school?
Zynn: Everything that Astral goes through I think everyone can relate to completely. Whether it’s fitting in or worrying about what people think or hiding certain parts of herself, which is, in the case of the show, being a fairy. But I think all those things are things that I know I deal with and all my friends deal with people of all ages deal with. So I relate to it a lot and I think that kids watching it and anyone of any age watching it will be able to relate to her and her journey.
Is there anything else you want to add?
Zynn: Only that it premieres Sunday, April 10 at 7 pm, two episodes back to back. Oh and me and my friends are having a fairy-themed party for the premiere so I encourage everyone to do the same!
Photo credits: The Slanted.