Sarah Jeffery's success is a long time coming.
Jeffery—who has been performing since she was 3 years old—started her acting career with the TV hit Rogue where she played the daughter of lead character Thandie Newton. And the YouTube standout recently partnered with director Joshua Caldwell to star in Studio71's upcoming movie Be Somebody, a feature film set to release in select theaters, video on demand, and digital HD on Friday.
Be Somebody is a Gen Y-targeted romantic comedy, and it follows the story of Jordan (Matthew Espinosa) a famous, teenage singer who meets Emily (Jeffery) while running away from a hoard of adoring fans. Despite their differences, the two find they have more in common than once thought and, as IMDB notes, “embark on an unexpected journey of friendship, first love and self-discovery.”
Jeffery says Emily is “quite different” from her own personality. Despite the acting challenge, many of Jeffery’s ventures both on and off YouTube usually fare pretty well—her online videos receive thousands of hits and she has hundreds of subscribers.
The actress says her background as an on-camera personality doesn’t stop her from getting nervous on a Hollywood set.
"I started out as a dancer before I was an actress and so it was always sort of smaller audiences,” Jeffery tells the Daily Dot. “But when you make it in the industry, there’s a broader audience. … I was so nervous during my first film role on Rogue. I was playing … a big role for someone’s first actual part. I’m also a huge fan of [Newton’s] work so I was extra nervous because I wanted to do the role justice, and wanted to look good beside her because she’s so talented.”
Since Rogue, Jeffery has also landed appearances in Wayward Pines, Descendants, Shades of Blue, and Across the Line. While acting has been the focal point of Jeffery’s career as of recently, she says she hopes to go back to her social media roots and acquire more roles that show off the talents that spring-boarded her career: dancing and singing.
She adds that social media has helped her land more prominent—and now starring—roles in Hollywood. Her YouTube channel is is a showcase for her talents, which she says has allowed casting directors who are interested in her to view her work on her own terms.
“[Social media] is also a useful way to promote your project,” she says. “I can promote myself how I want the world to see me, and I can mold myself.”
After the release of Be Somebody, Jeffery says she plan to travel to New York to film season 2 of Shades of Blue where she plays the daughter of Jennifer Lopez. While Jeffery loves working on the big screen and says she “wants to play every possible character [she] can get her hands on,” she still has a special place in her heart for YouTube.
“I would love to make more videos,” Jeffery says. “YouTube is a great way to put yourself out there because you’re your own creative director. Maybe someday I could move on to professional YouTube videos [and] at some point in my life, I’d like to get more into singing and possibly do my own stuff.”
Editor's note: This story has been updated for context and clarity.