Interview: Momona Tamada Talks Her Role on ‘The Baby-Sitters Club’ and What Representation Means to Her [EXCLUSIVE]

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Momona Tamada has had quite the year! Starring in To All the Boys: PS I Still Love You as young Lara Jean and Erica in The Main Event, she is taking Hollywood by storm. Now, she’s set to star in The Baby-Sitters Club adaption at Netflix based on the novels by Ann M. Martin, which launched in 1986 and created a surge of success until the conclusion of the final book in 2000. Tamada stars as Claudia Kishi, and Nerds and Beyond had the opportunity to talk to Tamada to discuss her upcoming role.

Courtesy of Jenna Berman at Mandisa Photo

Nerds and Beyond: Were you familiar with the series by Ann. M. Martin before being cast?

Momona Tamada: Yes! I read the books growing up and loved them. It was the first time I had seen Asian representation in a book, so to now be able to play Claudia Kishi on-screen is such an honor. Feels full circle!

Nerds and Beyond: When preparing for your role, did you draw inspiration from the books?

Momona Tamada: Yes, 100%. My mom and I tracked down as many versions of the books as possible before shooting started. I read so much!

Nerds and Beyond: What can fans expect to see out of your modernized version of Claudia?

Momona Tamada: Claudia is pretty similar to how she is the original books, but you will also see new sides of her, as she learns about her friends and family. And of course, she and her friends have cell phones now!

Courtesy of Netflix

Nerds and Beyond: Claudia is an artist, will we get to see her expressing that throughout the series?

Momona Tamada: Yes! Her artwork is amazing! I am super excited for fans to see all of her creativity come to life. I wish I could actually take credit for those … but it’s all in the Art department. Except for the drawing on Claudia’s backpack, that’s all me!

Nerds and Beyond: ‘What Claudia Wore’ is a big part of “The Baby-Sitters Club” fanbase, will that play into the Netflix adaption?

Momona Tamada:  Yes! Her outfits are iconic in the series as well! I’m pumped to see what the audience thinks of them and to see how her fashion influences fans.

Courtesy of Netflix

Nerds and Beyond: Do you feel like you share similar traits with Claudia?

Momona Tamada: I do share a lot in common with Claudia and that’s one reason why I was super excited to audition for the show! She is creative and artsy just like me!

Nerds and Beyond: Ann M. Martin was involved with the behind the scenes of the show, did you get the opportunity to meet her?

Momona Tamada: Yes! Ann M. Martin is a producer on the show, which is awesome! I got to meet her several times and we had great conversations. I was pretty starstruck when I first met her!

Courtesy of Netflix

Nerds and Beyond: Can you talk about what the importance of representation on screen means to you?

Momona Tamada: TV and film influences so many aspects of our lives. It’s super important to see representations on screen. I have seen the impact of diversity on screen and I am honored to be a part of that movement. I love that this series celebrates all types of backgrounds, and think everyone will find a character to relate to in some capacity.

Nerds and Beyond: The characters in the books and previous adaptations were and still are role models to adults and teens alike, how does it feel knowing that there is a whole group of people that are going to watch the show and see Claudia as their role model?

Momona Tamada: It is unbelievable! The pressure is there for sure, but I am really grateful that I get to be a role model for younger generations. I’m ready to take on the challenge! It’s an honor to have the chance to embody such a loved, iconic, and nostalgic character!

Thank you for taking the time to speak with us, Momona. We look forward to seeing Claudia on The Baby-Sitters Club!

The Baby-Sitters Club premieres on Netflix on July 3.

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By Haley
Haley joined the Nerds and Beyond team in 2019 as a Writer and Editor. Her main fandoms include Criminal Minds, Wrestling, and The Walking Dead. You can find her on Twitter @haleyanne_.
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