In 2008, Jordana Beatty made the cut to portray the classic children’s book character Eloise via a worldwide search for the film “Eloise in Paris.” Then the project stalled out. But the story has a happy ending because scribe Megan McDonald remembered the energetic, Sydney-based redhead when it came time to cast the lead for “Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer,” based on her bestselling tomes.
The Australian actress auditioned for the role by Skype. “She took direction so well and had this amazing spark in her eye,” says producer Sarah Siegel-Magness of Smokewood Entertainment, who didn’t meet the young actress in person until she had already signed on as Judy Moody.
The character seems to fit Beatty to at T, from the fictional Moody’s red hair and freckles to her winning personality. The only element missing: an American accent. “I caught on pretty quickly. It’s not hard when you’re surrounded by Americans,” Beatty explains from the film’s L.A. set. “It just comes naturally.”
That natural talent was in evidence from the age of 4, when Beatty (now 12) began working in commercials and later on Australian television. She made her feature debut in “Superman Returns” and really “loves being on set.”