Before nabbing her role on the fan-favorite throwback series, Ciara didn’t even want a career in acting. “I was very into horseback riding and I wanted to be a jockey when I was older,” she told Teen Vogue in 2014, before explaining how she became an actress. “I took the opportunity and ran with it. I started to fly out to California in the summers and for a few weeks during the school year, and I would audition and audition and audition. After about four or five years of that, I booked BTR, which was awesome. I got to be on that wonderful, wonderful show with amazing people for four years.”
Ciara grew up on the Nickelodeon set, with the show having premiered when she was 12 years old. After four seasons and one movie, she said goodbye to playing Kendall Schmidt‘s little sister and started auditioning for other roles. In 2014, she was cast in the show Red Band Society, which only lasted for one season. Although the show was short-lived, Ciara told Teen Vogue that she really related to her character, Emma Chota.
“I really respect how driven Emma is, and I think that’s something we definitely have in common. She believes her education is incredibly important, which I also agree with, but the difference is she uses it as an escape, and that’s not the case for me,” the actress explained at the time. “School is not my escape — movies and TV and entertainment, that’s my escape.”
Throughout her career, Ciara appeared in many TV shows. After Red Band Society was canceled, she went to star in Second Chance, Wayne, A Teacher and more. As for movies, had supporting roles in Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, To the Bone and The Long Dumb Road before starring alongside Tom Holland in the 2021 drama Cherry.
During a February 2021 interview with Entertainment Weekly, the former child star recalled auditioning for the AppleTV+ film and said, “I was like, ‘Oh, this is so out of my league, there’s no way I’m going to be considered for this.'” In the end, she proved herself and got the role.
Over the years, Ciara has grown up a lot when it comes to both her personal and professional life. Scroll through our gallery to see her entire transformation.
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