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Stefania Owen: Call of the ‘Wilde’

Youth Impact Report 2010: Up Next

In the beginning, Stefania Owen had little interest in “Running Wilde.”

When the chance to audition for Fox’s freshman comedy came along, the 12-year-old Miami-born actress was living with her family in New Zealand and was reluctant to move back to the States. “But my manager was like, ‘You have to audition,’ ” she remembers. “This was, like, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Especially for a newcomer who had only a few commercials and one previous film credit — Peter Jackson’s “The Lovely Bones” — on her resume. And so, after nailing her audition over Skype, Owen packed up and moved to New York to co-star in the comedy from the team behind critical darling “Arrested Development.” The TV novice, who also narrates the series, more than holds her own opposite seasoned stars Keri Russell and Will Arnett.

It doesn’t hurt that Owen relates to her wide-eyed character. “(My character) Puddle grew up in the Amazon, so she’s wowed by everything,” she says, “and in New York, I’m also wowed because we don’t have the same stuff in New Zealand. When we go into the city, I’m like, ‘Oh my God, this is so cool!’ I’m just so happy we came here.”

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