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Happy Ever After: Ever Anderson gets quizzed by London teens

Ever Anderson photographed by Maxime Imbert for ES Magazine (ES Magazine)
Ever Anderson photographed by Maxime Imbert for ES Magazine (ES Magazine)

For a 15-year-old born and bred in LA, Ever Anderson has a very slight, unexpected, London twang to her voice. Not exactly cockney, but an eloquent Californian drawl that occasionally slips into early 20th-century, upper-class Londoner. There are two explanations for this. The first: she grew up obsessed with Ab Fab’s Patsy and Eddie. The second: because she is the latest actress to take on the role of Wendy in Disney’s upcoming remake of JM Barrie’s beloved tale, Peter Pan & Wendy.

When we speak, she is in her sun-soaked Hollywood Hills bedroom. A huge doll’s house looms behind her and scribbly paintings cover the walls. The backdrop looks more like a scene from Where the Wild Things Are than it does anything to do with Neverland. The parallels between her and Wendy are obvious. Both are the type of character who loves a good adventure, but keeps their head firmly screwed on. Moving through life with courage, but a respectable sense of caution. Ever is nervous about this interview. You would be too if you were 15 and hadn’t had much experience with the press before. That being said, it must help when your mum is supermodel and actress Milla Jovovich and your dad is sci-fi film-maker Paul WS Anderson.

Ever made her acting debut at just nine years old in Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, directed by her father, playing the younger version of her mother’s character (she really is the spitting image of her mum. They share the same doe-like features, choppy, dark hair, and have the exact same bluish-grey eyes). Since then, she’s entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe playing a young Scarlett Johansson in Black Widow, and become the latest face of Miu Miu too, entering the cool girl ranks of Chloë Sevigny, Mia Goth and Léa Seydoux.

She has no reason to be nervous for this particular interview. The questions haven’t come from me, but from teenagers this side of the Atlantic, including 18-year-old Lily in Southwark and twin sisters Chidera and Chiamaka, 16, who have just got home from school in Hackney. Though they come from different walks of life, there are still a few teenage tropes that prove universal: a love of TikTok, iridescent Starbucks beverages, ice cream and lipgloss. Oh, and the thing that unites all teens, a disgustingly messy bedroom.

Photography by Maxime Imbert for ES Magazine (Photography by Maxime Imbert for ES Magazine)
Photography by Maxime Imbert for ES Magazine (Photography by Maxime Imbert for ES Magazine)

What were some of the challenges you faced growing up as a young star? Chidera, 16

I definitely don’t think of myself as a young star at all, especially when my mum is yelling at me to clean my room. But balancing school and work has been a big challenge because my grades are very important to me. Not only do I want to work professionally but I also want to get a higher education and get into a good school. A lot of my weekends and holidays are dedicated to school work but I honestly love what I do so I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What was your favourite moment when filming Black Widow? Chiamaka, 16

My favourite moments were the scenes in Cuba. That was when I had the most action and I didn’t have a stunt double, so that was super fun.

Photography by Maxime Imbert for ES Magazine (Photography by Maxime Imbert for ES Magazine)
Photography by Maxime Imbert for ES Magazine (Photography by Maxime Imbert for ES Magazine)

What was it like to be accepted into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and are there any secrets you can tell us? Joel, 18

Being accepted into the MCU was such a massive honour, especially because I’m such a big fan. Marvel has a lot of secrets and they keep them closely guarded, for example, when we were filming Black Widow it had an alias which was Blue Bayou so that nobody knew we were filming it. So, to answer the question, yes Marvel does have many secrets — but they don’t care to share them with me!

What’s your favourite TV programme from childhood and how do you think that affected your career growing up? Eva, 15

My favourite TV show as a kid was Absolutely Fabulous because it really changed my perspective on comedy at a young age and would one day help me learn a British accent for Peter Pan & Wendy .

Ever Anderson photographed by Maxime Imbert for ES Magazine (ES Magazine)
Ever Anderson photographed by Maxime Imbert for ES Magazine (ES Magazine)

What are your hobbies outside of work? Marcel, 15

Definitely reading. I’m an avid reader so most of my time I have my nose in a book. But I’ve also been studying taekwondo since the age of four, which has really helped me with my stunt scenes in both Peter Pan and Black Widow. I’m also studying Japanese in my free time because I really love learning languages. And I can also play a very mediocre version of the Succession theme song on the piano.

What is your go-to drink at Starbucks? Jasper, 12

Ooh, I love that question! Right now it’s a pineapple drink that they have with coconut milk and sweet cream foam on the top — but if you get it, you have to get it with raspberry sauce because it’s really good.

Photography by Maxime Imbert for ES Magazine (Photography by Maxime Imbert for ES Magazine)
Photography by Maxime Imbert for ES Magazine (Photography by Maxime Imbert for ES Magazine)

How often do you get your nails done and do you get your own make-up done when you’re not on set? Molly, 14

I love getting my nails done but I don’t get them done nearly enough. When I’m not working I always do my make-up myself, but I’m not really good at it so I tend to keep it to highlighter and lipstick. Oh and my favourite lipstick is called Black Honey — it’s the one that Molly Ringwald wears in The Breakfast Club. I thought that was really cool.

What was the last film or TV show that made you cry and how much time do you spend on social media ? Leila, 12

It was Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I watched it on the plane and I sobbed the entire flight. And with social media, I think it’s a great tool for work, but in my personal time I try not to be on it too much because I don’t think it’s good for anyone’s mental health. But honestly I’m definitely on TikTok a lot more than I’d like to admit.

Ever Anderson photographed by Maxime Imbert for ES Magazine (ES Magazine)
Ever Anderson photographed by Maxime Imbert for ES Magazine (ES Magazine)

What are the advantages of finding fame and success at a young age and are there any drawbacks? Ruby, 17

I don’t really think about fame, I’m more focused on doing the job that I love and the amazing people that I get to meet and work with. For example, my castmates on Peter Pan & Wendy, we became this close-knit family and I wouldn’t change that experience for the world.

What is the hardest thing about being a teenager? Chantelle, 16

In my experience, the hardest thing about being a teenager is becoming self-conscious and self-aware. I think that I still struggle with being self-conscious but what really helped was reading and finding myself through literature. My favourite book would have to be The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.

My favourite lipstick is called Black Honey — it’s the one that Molly Ringwald wears in ‘The Breakfast Club

Does your acting career impact on you doing regular things and if you had a superpower what would it be? Amber, 16

No, I don’t think my career impacts on regular things. To me, working is this amazing, amazing thing where I wake up every morning and I’m excited to go do it. But I’m also happy to come home and make mac ’n’ cheese and hang out with my sister, so I think there’s a balance between the two. My superpower would be invisibility — to get out of awkward situations.

What is your funniest fan encounter? Margot, 13

It’s all very new to me, so I don’t have any funny encounters to report, but it’s surreal anytime anyone says that they’re a fan. I’ve definitely had some fun experiences meeting people at frozen yoghurt shops. They’ve all, coincidentally, been at frozen yoghurt and ice cream stores. It’s all very special to me.

Ever Anderson photographed by Maxime Imbert for ES Magazine (ES Magazine)
Ever Anderson photographed by Maxime Imbert for ES Magazine (ES Magazine)

Do you feel like you’ve missed out on any teenage things because you’ve been so invested in becoming a successful actress? Arabella, 16

Acting doesn’t leave me with a lot of free time, but with said free time I appreciate it a lot more and cram everything I want to do into it. I have time to do what I love to do.

What’s your worst habit? Lily, 18

Not keeping my room tidy — you can ask my mum all about it. I get told off all the time, but whenever it gets to a particularly, really messy state, that’s when I take matters into my own hands and really get it together. My splattered, painted walls add to the frantic vibe in my room! We moved into this house not very long ago, I wasn’t very comfortable in my room so what really made me settle in was painting. I really just did whatever came to mind. I love painting.

Photography: Maxime Imbert

Stylist: Peghah Maleknejad

Hair Stylist: Vi Sapyyapy at MA+Talent using Leonor Greyl

Make-Up Artist: Lauren Bos at Artlist Paris using Dr. Barbara Sturm and Glossier

Photographer’s Assistant: Vassili Boclé

Stylist’s assistant: Natalia Shkurkina

Production Assistant: Charlotte Thirion

Photographed at Hôtel de l’Abbaye Saint-Germain, Paris.