Maggie Elizabeth Jones: The ‘Zoo’ girl

Youth Impact Report 2012: Up Next

After stealing scenes opposite Matt Damon in last year’s family drama “We Bought a Zoo,” 8-year-old Georgia native Maggie Elizabeth Jones is now a series regular on Fox’s upcoming single-camera comedy “Ben and Kate.” Although the series revolves around an adult brother and sister, Jones was the first to be cast in the ensemble according to creator Dana Fox. “My friend (and ‘We Bought a Zoo’ co-writer) Aline Brosh McKenna said to me, ‘You absolutely have to cast this girl. She’s amazing, extraordinary, somebody’s gonna snatch her up,’?” Fox remembers.

All it took was one look at Jones’ audition tape, and Fox knew she’d found the right fit for single mom Kate’s naturally adorable daughter Maddie. “(Maggie) was incredible with the (dialogue), but the thing that really struck me was she was so naturalistic between the lines. I just thought, ‘I am in love with this girl. I don’t care what the rest of her family looks like, I’m casting this girl.’?”

On the feature side, Jones also appears in teen romancer “The First Time,” which premiered at Sundance, and next year’s Seth Gordon comedy “Identity Thief” opposite Jason Bateman, Melissa McCarthy and Jones’ sister Mary-Charles.

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