Cree Cicchino was propelled to child stardom when she debuted in the Nickelodeon show Game Shakers in 2015, but she's not a kid anymore. In 2019, Cree Cicchino moved from Nickelodeon to Netflix, marking one major step in the 18-year-old's transition from kid actor to young adult. Now, with a new movie on the way and a passion for activism fueling her off-screen life, her evolution continues.
You probably first met Cicchino as Babe Carano in Nickelodeon's middle school comedy Game Shakers. When the show ended last year, she seamlessly transitioned to high school, playing Marisol Fuentes on the Netflix sitcom Mr. Iglesias, which released its second season in June 2020.
Unlike other former kids' show stars who have tried to distance their adult selves from their younger selves (think Miley Cyrus after Hannah Montana), Cicchino has a different outlook on her career as she gets older. "I don't feel the need to separate myself from anything. I think of it more as an evolution, as a growth ... I’m proud of what I've done," Cicchino tells Elite Daily. But that's not to say she's not open to change. "As I grow, I want to broaden my horizons and do new things," she adds.
On Aug. 21, Cicchino makes her first-ever film debut in Netflix's The Sleepover. The action-comedy, which stars Malin Åkerman and Joe Manganiello, is about two siblings — Clancy (Sadie Stanley) and Kevin (Maxwell Simkins) — who discover their mom is a former thief in the witness protection program. When she's forced to pull one last job, the kids team up to rescue her. Cicchino plays the role of Mim, the "classic, witty best friend" to Clancy.
The role is an exciting one for Cicchino. "What I really enjoyed about her is she’s sort of reacting how I think everyone would ... in this crazy adventure the kids are going on," she explains. Cicchino also had a hand in creating her character's dialogue. "I think a decent amount of [Mim's reactions came from] me on set with our director being like, 'This is crazy, why are they doing this?' and some fun stuff made it in."
Already, it sounds like Cicchino could have a showbiz career that extends behind the camera. When asked if she was interested in writing or directing one day, said it was "impossible" to find an actor who wouldn't want that opportunity. "I think right now I’m still figuring out this whole acting thing," she explains with a laugh. "But yeah, I'd definitely love to explore writing or directing in the future."
Cicchino has also found a calling outside her career in Hollywood: advocacy. On Instagram, where she has 1.8 million followers, she uses her platform to raise awareness and help others get involved with social justice causes she believes in. Specifically, she's been focusing on the anti-racism movement following the police killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, consistently posting images to raise awareness and provide suggestions for how to take action with her. "You don’t need to be in the millions [of followers] or [be] verified or any of that," she says. "You do have a responsibility to amplify the things that need to be amplified and speak about the things that need to be spoken about."
For any recent high school graduate, figuring out what's next can be daunting. But whether it's making career transitions or identifying what's important to her, Cicchino is crushing this whole "growing up" thing.
Cicchino's latest project, The Sleepover, debuts on Netflix on Aug. 21.