📸 / Shanna Fisher
💄/ Erin Guth
✏️ / Koko Ntuen
Ariela Barer is the anti-hero we all need right now. Since the actress of an exotic breed was cast as Gert Yorkes on Marvel’s Runaways, she has taken the internet, LGBT community and Marvel Cinematic Universe by storm. Last year she traveled back in time ala her Marvel superpowers and gave her bullies of yesteryear a big FU when she spat on Twitter, “Literally everything I do is to get back at the people who called me ugly & gay n middle school. They were right, but it was mean-spirited!”
These days the LA born and raised Ariela is too busy kicking fictional ass, and counting real money and praise and looking amazing, to care about what the haters have to say. We sit down with the Marvel beauty to get a peak of life growing up on set, wild Hollywood stories and why she refuses to give power to the evil fearmongers of the world.
How did you get into acting?
Honestly, I’m not even sure. It was something I wanted to do before I could even form sentences, or maybe even a thought. But I begged my parents to let me act throughout my whole childhood and they just put me in local theater where my manager discovered my sister and I. From there my parents always made sure we put school first and treated acting as more of an extracurricular, but the second I was done with high school I went all in and it’s just been magic since then.
You have been on so many sets and featured in so many shows. Do you have any outstanding memories that you can share? Tales from the set if you will…
We had this PA who would come in every so often on Runaways that I became pretty good friends with. So we were shooting a scene in episode 7 and him and I was kind of hiding in the back and talking before my cue into the scene when he got a news notification on his phone that just said “North Korea launches a missile over Pacific” with no other context. We tried to click on the article to read more but our service was terrible so we just sort of became convinced that we were about to die and that no one else knew but us. I realized my options were either I could try to run and probably still die or I could stay on set and put all of my panics into the scene and die doing what I loved. I chose the latter and after several hours of not being dead, I realized we may have overreacted. So when I got service I looked up the article and it was just another missile text (still scary!) but it wasn’t imminent doom like I thought it was.
What is a typical day like for you in real life and online?
For my real life, I typically sleep in because why wouldn’t I if I don’t have to wake up early? I’ll make myself a fancy soy latte and avocado toast or something because breakfast is my favorite meal, and I’ll spend the day with friends or doing work for scenes I’m doing either in class or for a project. I also write a lot, both screenplays and music. I practice a lot with my band. I also like to read and watch tv and movies. I basically feel like if I don’t do something creative in my day I feel pretty terrible.
Online I tend to check on Instagram or twitter periodically throughout the day, but try not to spend more than 5 mins at a time. Whenever I make a post, however, I tend to spend a little more time. I’m still figuring out the algorithms so I’m really just trying my best to provide decent content for the internet.
What are your favorite things about yourself?
Recently my work ethic has become something I’m very proud of myself for. As a kid, I never really worked hard at anything. I used to have an F in every class I was in then get an A on the final and typically it would even out to a B so I didn’t feel a need to try. I just had a very personal vendetta against homework and refused to do it. (Wow I’m a terrible role model.) But recently homework has become one of my favorite things because I’m only doing things I love. And being really effective in my work is something that brings me a lot of joy.
What does the term “Hollywood” mean to you?
It’s the side of town with a lot of traffic that I hate going to around 3 pm.
Where you a Marvel fan before you got cast in Marvel’s Runaways?
I was! The Avengers premiere was a huuuge deal for my friends and I. I even had multiple friends go to the theater in costume. I can’t say I did that, but I did see it 3 times.
What was it like being cast in such a big project?
I don’t think it’s hit me even still that the show might be considered a “big project” really. I guess there’s the pressure of portraying a character when so many people had preconceived notions about the way she has to be, but ultimately I think you just have to keep the same honesty in a superhero with a dinosaur as you would with any other character.
What would you say your parent’s special abilities are?
My real parents are definitely magical in some way. My dad is a classical pianist and composer with an offensively high IQ and my mom is a visual artist and also I’m pretty sure she’s a witch. Her intuition is on another level.
Can you tell us a time you had déjà vu while working?
I don’t really get deja Vu? I think it’s because anytime I get it I hate the sensation so much I’ll be frustrated about it for way too long. So I try to prevent it as much as possible.
Tell us about The Love-Inns? Love your voice!!
Thank you! The Love-inns is the band I started with my best friend Eden Hain when we were around 16. We started it as a punk band, but we were both a little too soft for that. Our first few songs were just mostly screaming, but we’ve definitely developed our sound since then.
What are your favorite things to sing along to?
Saint Vincent and Mitski are always great because they’re rock and they’re weird, but their melodies are always incredible.
What are your favorite things about your life right now?
I really love all the creative outlets I have at the moment. Between acting, Music, and writing I definitely feel like I get to express myself fully. A question I ask myself a lot is just “Why do I need to do this? Why does this art NEED to be made” and while the answer is ever-changing, I do feel that the answer I’ve landed on right now is very fulfilling.
Did you grow you in LA? How did that “shape you”
I feel like it made me a little more jaded at a younger age. I resented that for a while, but now I don’t because I think everyone needs that phase in their life. And I’m glad I went through mine so young because now I have my entire adulthood to not be that way ever again!
What was the last movie, or song, or piece of art you saw that you related to?
I think End Of The F***ing Word really resonated with me in a way I didn’t expect it to. Every time I think I’m out of my emo high school phase I find myself pulled right back in!
Do you watch the news? And are you freaked out by what is happening in the world?
Honestly, I’m terrified. I don’t like talking about it that way though because I think fear mongering gives them more power and I just refuse to give them that. If anything I’ve let this time fuel my art and the way I live my life and the way I treat people. One thing my teacher once told me was “these bad things happen to fuel our work.” I definitely paraphrased, but I still take that very seriously and believe it to be true.
What is a phrase that you use that most people don’t? Or make one up that should be used.
I really like taking commonly used phrases and completing them. For example “curiosity killed the cat” the full phrase actually ends with “but satisfaction brought it back.” It’s funny to me that the shorter phrases that society has adopted tend to cut out the messages the originals have about individual thinking. Another good example: “great minds think alike, but fools rarely differ”
Who are some people that you want to tell I love you right now?
My parents, my sister, family in general also my best friends. I do try to end every conversation with them even with a simple “love you.” Just cause you never know what could happen. Because of this habit, I do often slip up and tell total strangers that I love them.
What kind of projects do you want to work on?
I really love TV because you get to grow with a character over a long period of time. I think I’d like to do more Film now, though. I just did my first lead in a film in Ladyworld and it was such an incredible experience I’d really just love to build on. I also definitely want to do theater. I’m working on maybe producing and starting in a play next year with some creative people I really love. It’s in the earliest stages so it could easily not happen, but I’d like to do that eventually.
Where do you feel most inspired?
Constantly anywhere I go. But mostly in my car. Probably cause my brain knows it’s the most I convenient place to be creative cause you can’t document anything or even concentrate too hard on anything other than driving. My brain can be a real bitch like that.
How are you friends reacting to Runaways?
They’re huge fans. And I’m not allowed to tell them anything I know so they really react like fans. They’ll sort of text me as I watch it and get mad at me for not revealing any big twists ahead of time. It’s really hilarious.
What do you want to use your voice to say right now?