EXCLUSIVE! Kylie Cantrall talks Gabby Duran & the Unsittables and all things fashion
OK, let's get real for a second: Is anyone more confidence goals than Kylie Cantrall?
The 16-year-old all-around performer (yep, that's dancing, singing, acting and social media) brings ~*everything*~ she does to life, whether that's babysitting extraterrestrial kids on Disney Channel's Gabby Duran & the Unsittables or taking on the latest TikTok dance trend. And she does it all with unfailing positivity and enthusiasm that makes us want to know, well, where she gets it from.
"My mom is a dance choreogropher and my dad's a music producer, so you could say it's in my blood," Kylie says with a laugh, wearing (ofc) a totally aesthetic outfit, even on Zoom. "I've been in love with performing since I was in preschool—I always knew it was what I wanted to pursue."
Girls' Life talked to Kylie *all* about the second season of Gabby Duran & the Unsittables (catch two new episodes Aug. 6 on Disney Channel), plus what inspires her endless motivation and so much more...
Girls' Life: Tell us about your experience on Gabby Duran & the Unsittables.
Kylie: The show is so amazing and I'm just so grateful to be a part of it. I've really grown up on the set—I started when I was 13—and the cast and crew are just so fantastic. It's been really cool seeing the arc of my character. I've grown so much as an actor and a person in three years, and Gabby's grown so much, too. We really get to see Gabby find her identity with her Latin heritage, discover her expertise in the babysitting world and navigate love and friendship. She deals with so many relatable teen things and it's so cool to see how she's evolved.
GL: Any fave Gabby Duran scenes you filmed this season?
Kylie: Definitely coming back for the second season. We pick right back up from the clififhanger in the first season's finale. It was so cool to have all of us back together right where we left off. It's so rare that we all have a scene together as an entire cast so it was chaotic but so much fun.
GL: When it comes to fashion, how do you relate to Gabby?
Kylie: We're both pretty fashion-forward for sure—big fans of everything '90s. Cross colors, overalls, bucket hats, mix CDs...there's a little bit of me in there. Overalls are such a classic so you can't go wrong with them. We also love Timberland boots. She wears a lot in this season.
GL: What's your dream supernatural power?
Kylie: Shapeshifting! I'd definitely become a cheetah.
GL: How do you manage your acting with social media?
Kylie: It's definitely hard to manage because they're both pretty demanding. They're both basically full-time jobs. But I try to stay as active as I can—I think that social media is such a great platform to connect with others, whether it's through DMs or comments or just seeing fan art and edits that I'm tagged in. It's a great way to connect on a more personal level. Since I'm a dancer, I also love TikTok and the chance to be creative and make content there. My favorite trend this summer—it actually went viral on my account—was the "Usnavi, all night" challenge from In the Heights. So much fun.
GL: And how do you hope to use your platform to inspire others?
Kylie: I think I'm a direct product of dreaming big—and then actually making those goals a reality. I hope that I can inspire young girls to know that their biggest hopes and wishes can come true. I've been manifesting since I was young. I made a vision board when I was ten years old saying that I wanted to have my own Disney Channel show and release music and have a record deal signed by age 16—and I just signed a record deal. I hope I'm showing young girls that you can make literally anything possible.
GL: So, what's on your vision board right now?
Kylie: I really want to go to Europe, I've never been there. And to Japan, too—all the most amazing fashion comes from there. I'd love to just be part of the whole scene. I definitely want to go on tour and travel, and hopefully film a movie. An action film would be incredible. Being, like, a young Wonder Woman would be sick. And I'd love to meet Rihanna, Beyoncé and all of my (many) musical idols.
GL: Last, what's your best advice for teen and tween girls today?
Kylie: It's so hard, especially with social media, but try not to compare yourself to others. I catch myself comparing my own life to other girls'—Oh, look at all the jobs they're booking, the beautiful places they're traveling, their lifestyle. It's important not to get wrapped up in that. We're all on different journeys, so live in your own world—while supporting others, of course—and look out for the people in your own community. Try to stay on your own path and don't let other people's lives affect where you're going.
Images: instagram.com/kyliecantrall. Parts of this interview were edited and condensed for clarity.