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We recently had the chance to chat with the lovely Bella Shepard about working on “A Girl Named Jo,” filming “The Moon and the Night,” upcoming projects, and more!

  1. What has your experience been like working on “A Girl Named Jo Season 2?”  

Season 2 of A Girl Named Jo was different in a lot of ways.  Season 1 saw they cast faced with a life threatening moment that had an impact of all of them.  My character Alice tries to change her back-stabbing ways because she has genuine feelings for another character and what he is going through.  Season 2 also brings in several new cast members whose story lines really highlight some social issues of the 60’s. I really enjoyed shooting season 2.


  1. What has been your favorite episode to film?

The Attaway diner is sold to a very racist man and the students decide to protest.  I wasn’t in the protest scene, but I got to watch it and it was a great scene to witness unfolding.  The editors tied in actual footage from the 1960’s which made the scene that much more real in the episode.


  1. What is a behind-the-scenes secret you can share with us?

Several fans caught on, but I had to wear a wig in season 2!  I had just returned from filming a character on Orange is the New Black, and I went back to my natural, brunette color for that.  Unfortunately, filming started quickly upon my return from New York and I didn’t have time to recolor my hair for Alice! Behind the scenes, my wig kept slipping, and it was hot and heavy.  Most of the cast made a joke of it and it was pretty funny.


  1. Do you hang out with the rest of the cast when you’re not working?

Yes.  We try to hang out whenever we can.  Luckily we all get invited to similar events and have mutual friends, so I get to see them a lot.  This cast is probably my favorite cast to work with. Because we all like each other and have so much fun together, it makes filming feel more like social time than work.  We are all professional, but we laugh a lot on set, and off, too!


  1. What has the fan reaction been like to the show?

I think that most of the fans have enjoyed season 2.  They are pretty divided over some of the new ‘love interest/triangles’ going on though!  This season is also a little dark, we do our best to portray a few of the civil rights issues that were so prevalent at the time.  It’s important to be true to the that as much as a tween show can! I think it was quite eye-opening for many of the younger fans who don’t get to see that presented in a medium they sit down to watch outside of school.  I love that we are the only show on television doing that for tweens.


  1. Have you had a crazy or most memorable fan encounter?

The first time someone asked me to take a picture with them, I looked over my shoulder to see who they were talking to.  Haha! I thought it was so sweet that they found me exciting enough to take a picture with. Now, I really enjoy meeting the fans.  With social media, they will often dm me and say that they saw me at so-and-so, but were too shy to say hello. I always try and dm them back to put them at ease.  I wouldn’t get to work on a show like A Girl Named Jo without them and I really appreciate them all.


  1. How was your trip to Hawaii and your experience filming “The Moon and the Night?”  

It was incredible.  I got to work with an award winning young female director, Erin Lau.  She’s truly a visionary and got every ounce out of me and my performance that she could.  I wouldn’t change that experience in any way.


  1. What is that film about?

It is a drama about rural and native Hawaii and what the island can be like for people who aren’t tourists.  I play Mahina, the lead role, who is in search of her strength and herself. It’s an incredible journey of self-exploration, loss, grief, and triumph.

  1. How is your character in that project different from that on “A Girl Named Jo?”

Mahina is around the same age as Alice.  I feel like Alice and Mahina probably come from similar backgrounds where there is conflict at home, although Alice hides it well.  Also, Alice lives in the 1960’s and Mahina lives today.


  1. Do you have any other upcoming projects?

 I just wrapped a new show on Brat called, “On the Ropes.”  That starts airing on the Brat Network’s YouTube channel on February 25th.  I’m currently filming a feature film called, “School Spirit.” And, you can see me on the final season of Orange is the New Black when it is released in July!


  1. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?  

I take college classes, hang out with my friends and take care of all of my animals.  We have 4 dogs, and 2 guinea pigs. I love animals and would love to live on a ranch or a lot of property where I can have even more animals someday.


  1. How would you describe your style?  

I would say it’s very diverse.  I can go from baggy sweats, crop tops and my tennis shoes, to something really glam.  It really depends on my mood and the day!
13. What are your social media handles?  Follow me at @bellashepard and drop me a DM so I can say Hi!  😊

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