Meet young Fil-Am ‘Fast & Furious 8’ star

Yong Chavez, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Apr 22 2017 05:20 PM

Eden Estrella is only 13, but she has already accomplished a major achievement being part of a movie that has smashed global box office records.

Fast & Furious 8 took the highest global opening record with $532.5 million box office debut, even surpassing Star Wars.

In the movie, the Fil-Am actress plays “Sam," daughter of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson character. Though it was only her first movie, she made a great impression with casting directors during her auditions, thanks to her Filipina mom Joy.

"My mom was giving me advice to be confident and just go for it, and so I just introduced myself as the character and then two days later I found out that I actually got it,” she said.

Estrella was first introduced in Furious 7, and The Rock immediately warmed up to her.

“She was great and it’s always a challenge because of the mix that I just am inherently---I'm half Samoan, and Polynesian and black--so what does my daughter look like? She was a wonderful Filipino girl and she is so smart,” he said.

The actor said performing the Haka, the traditional warrior dance, with Estrella was one of the highlights of the movie.

Impressed by her talent, Johnson's production company also hired her as one of the stars in the upcoming web series "Lifeline".

“He treated me with such respect and he treats everybody so greatly, so kind to everybody and he really taught me the lessons to respect your peers and always just be kind to others,” Estrella said.

When not on the set, Estrella keeps busy with school work and chores at home.

When asked if she gets special treatment at home, Estrella said: "Maybe I do. My grandmother showers me with lots of love, calls me 'Star Princess'," she said.

It was originally her little brother that was approached for a project by her talent agent. Instead, it was Estrella who made her interest in acting known. Since then, her family has been supporting her Hollywood dreams.

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