At only 11 years old, Miya Cech has already taken Hollywood by storm, with appearances on favorites like Hawaii Five-O, American Horror Story and The Thundermans. And now Miya plays Zu in the film adaptation of Alex Bracken’s hit YA novel The Darkest Minds, where teens develop mind abilities and must flee from the government attempting to detain them in camps. Miya dished about the movie and caught us up on her upcoming projects, too!     /// by Daisye Rainer

• Tell us about The Darkest Minds. The Darkest Minds is about a United States where 98% of the children have died from a mysterious disease and the remaining 2% are left with dangerous powers. The adults are scared of these kids and classify their powers by color: Red (fire), Orange (mind control), Gold ( electricity manipulation), Blue (telekinesis) and Green (intelligence). The kids are taken from their parents and put into camps where they are hidden from the public. In this story, Ruby, one of the last remaining Oranges, is on the run with three other kids trying to find a safe place to live.

• What was the best part about working on the set of The Darkest Minds?  The whole experience was amazing.  I loved all of the different sets.  I really got close to my cast mates and made wonderful friends.  I also got to learn so much about directing from Jen Yuh Nelson. I felt so lucky getting to work with such a patient and talented director.

• What are three words you would use to describe your character Zu? Expressive, young, loyal.

• Zu is mute, which obviously makes her such a different character to portray on-screen. What was it like playing Zu in the film? Was it hard to connect with her? No, I felt very connected to Zu. The biggest difference was that I love to talk . . . a lot, in real life. Zu has lots to say, but I just had to figure out how to get her point across with expressions instead of words.

• This movie is so action-packed with stunts and special effects. Have you ever been a part of a film like this before? Did you do some of your own stunt work? 
I had never done anything like this film before.  I did get to do one stunt on my own and it was so much fun. I leaned how to take a hard fall on concrete.

• I think that it is so awesome that you are really vocalizing the topic of adoption to normalize it. I know that for many it can be awkward to talk about, but it’s so cool that you are using your platform to connect with others. What do you hope others gain from this important conversation?  My mom and dad always talked to me and my siblings about our adoptions openly and celebrated that we were always meant to be a family.  My mom said I was born in her heart instead of under it.  I think it’s important to celebrate where you come from and your own unique story. Just like Ruby, Liam, Zu and Chubs, families come together in all different ways but the common theme is unconditional love.

• What are some things that fans may not know about you? I can wiggle my ears!  😉 Also I love art, especially painting and sketching.

• Who is your celebrity inspiration? I really look up to strong Asian-American females in the industry like Jen Yuh Nelson and Ali Wong.  They are both great role models to me and I’m so lucky to know and work with both of them.

• If you had the day to do anything you wanted, what would it be?  I’d want to be my cat Pepper.

• What else can fans expect from you in the near future?  I just finished filming an Asian romantic comedy with Ali Wong and Randall Park called Always Be My Maybe for Netflix.  I’m also currently starring in another feature film directed by McG for Netflix.  Both will be released in 2019.