Neela Jolene Dishes on Her Role as Grace in Brat TV's New Series, Junior's

If you love a bit of high school drama, you have to check out Brat TV's latest YouTube series, Junior's.

The show stars actress Neela Jolene as lead character Grace and also features Sarah Divina, Jayden James Johnson, Christopher Milano and more in a series about teenagers who work and hang out at the local coffee shop, Junior's. The first episode is out today, Sep. 26, with spicy workplace, school and relationship drama rolled all up in one story—especially as Grace suspects her boyfriend's cheating on her and goes along with her best friend, Vic, and her scheme to catfish him. We got the chance to catch up with Neela and learn all about the new series and herself as an actress, and here's what she shared with us.

Sweety High: When did you discover your passion for acting? Was there any specific a-ha moment that made you realize it was the path for you?

Neela Jolene: It was the first day of my first real acting job that gave me an "a-ha" moment. I had done tons of musical theater, dance and show choir performances throughout my childhood. When I started high school, I had thought acting was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. But it was the experience of my first real job when I knew, without a doubt, that acting is my calling.

Neela Jolene in purple dress against wall

(Photo credit: Dawn Moody)


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SH: Can you tell us a little bit about your new series, Junior's? How would you describe your character, Grace?

NJ: Junior's is a new Brat TV series that is premiering on Brat TV's YouTube channel on Sep. 26, 2022. The show centers around a local coffee shop named Junior's. The main characters are teenagers who work or hang out at the coffee shop. The show's format is basically a soap opera where each episode starts where the last one left off. It follows an eclectic group of Gen Z characters as they navigate intertwining, dramatic storylines. I play the role of Grace. I would describe Grace as an emotional teenager who wants to be independent and strong, despite her insecurities and the baggage she carries from her difficult life circumstances.


SH: How similar are you to Grace in real life? What would you say are your biggest similarities and differences?

JN: I am similar to Grace in that I, too, am a teenager. I can relate to the drama in our lives with friends and family. I can relate to the everyday stress of trying to juggle life's ups and downs. I think where we differ is that Grace has to cope with losing her parents, which, fortunately, I do not. I cannot imagine going through life without my parents around to give me the strong sense of security I need. I feel sad that Grace has to face the level of fear and insecurity that she has from such a traumatic experience.

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SH: What was your most memorable moment from the set?

NJ: Well, my most memorable moment on set is my most proudest moment. One day I was scheduled to film nine scenes back-to-back, with me as the main focus in all the scenes. We typically are not given our assignments with much advance notice, so it was a lot to memorize and perform at once. When we completed the filming, everyone actually applauded for me. I felt like I did a great job and I was very proud of my accomplishment. As we all know, the harder we work, the greater the reward of satisfaction. I will never forget that moment.


SH: Is there any part of this series you're most excited for audiences to dive into when it comes out?

NJ: There's lots of craziness in the show that I hope makes it fun to watch. I'm excited for people to see all the things happening in Grace's life, and I hope that people think about what you would do if you could put yourself in her shoes.

Neela Jolene in purple dress with leaves

(Photo credit: Dawn Moody)


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SH: What are some of your other biggest passions at the moment?

NJ: Between my college classes, auditions and jobs, I don't have much time for any other passions. But when I can find time, I love to decompress and hang out with friends. I also love vacationing anywhere I can surf or ski, depending on the season.


SH: Is there anything else you'd like to add?

NJ: I'd love to give a shout-out to my favorite nonprofit organization, Natural High. They work to teach children to find their "natural high" rather than using drugs and alcohol to create a "synthetic high." Please check them out and please help at least one child in your life
to understand this critical, life-changing mindset.


For more from our favorite actors, click HERE to read our interview with Raphael Luce, who played young 001 in the latest season of Stranger Things.