Landing a role in which you're portraying a world-renowned actress like Black-ish’s Tracee Ellis Ross is no small feat. But when you do, you make sure that you celebrate the opportunity in a big way. And that’s exactly what Mixed-ish’s lead actress Arica Himmel did upon hearing that she’d landed the role of young Rainbow Johnson on the Black-ish spin-off.
“The day after I found out, I went to Disneyland with my dad,” Himmel told PEOPLE.
Landing the role also meant that 14-year-old Himmel had big shoes to fill. It was no surprise then that Himmel was a little nervous at first. “This is my first opportunity to do something like this, so at first I was a little nervous,” she told PEOPLE.
Fortunately for Himmel, her castmates turned out to be super sweet which made it easier for the New York City girl to settle into her new role. “We’re always cracking jokes with [everyone on set] and have fun with one another,” Arica said.
Of course, the job comes with great perks, like meeting Tracee Ellis Ross. Ross, whom the series is centred on, also narrates the show which Himmel the chance to meet and work with the actress. “She’s just like her character in a way,” she said. “She’s got that comedic timing, she’s hilarious and has a positive energy that you always want to be around.”
And what would meeting an award-winning actress like Ellis be if she didn’t offer some great piece of advice? Himmel shared some of the advice Ellis gave her:
“She [told] me to work hard, and even though I am playing the younger version of her, [Tracee Ellis Ross told me] not to focus on what she does in Black-ish, but to also add my own flavour to the character,” Himmel concluded.
Don’t miss Arica Himmel as Bow Johnson on Mixed-Ish Thursdays at 19:00 exclusive to One Magic.