DISCLAIMER: THIS INTERVIEW WAS CONDUCTED PRIOR TO JULY 13TH BEFORE THE ACTORS WENT ON SAG-AFTRA STRIKE
Fans of the 2014 New York Times best-selling novel The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin were treated to a special surprise with a movie based on the novel and adapted by Zevin herself, which first premiered on Hulu in 2022. For anyone looking to learn more about the film and its cast, we have an exclusive interview with Jordyn McIntosh, who stars as five-year-old Maya in the picture alongside Kunal Nayyar, Lucy Hale, Christina Hendricks, David Arquette and Scott Foley. We talked to Jordyn about her role in the movie, the filming process, the beginning of her acting career, and more, brought to you by Young Entertainment Exclusive!
Because the movie has already been released on Hulu, if you are planning on reading this interview and have not watched the series, this article will actively avoid any spoilers regarding the film. For those planning to watch before reading this article, we highly recommend watching it first. And now, onto this interview and its refresher.
The movie, adapted very similarly from the book, focuses on a small-town bookstore owner named A.J. Fikry whose life is turned upside down after his wife’s death. He struggles to grieve emotionally and also struggles financially with keeping the bookstore afloat. He hits rock bottom when his most prized possession, a rare book of a collection of poems by Edgar Allan Poe, goes missing. Yet a new arrival of a young abandoned child (Maya) at his bookstore one day ends up teaching him new lessons on living life and finding love. The film takes place on a fictional island off of Cape Cod. Fikry is played by Nayyar, who is most known for his role as Raj on The Big Bang Theory.
The film follows Maya from age 2 to adolescence and is played by Charlotte Thanh Theresin and Blaire Brown, in addition to Jordyn who plays her aged five.
Jordyn started her acting career at just four years old, moving from Omaha, Nebraska to Atlanta, Georgia to train at the Alliance Theater. She went on to continue to work at The Actor’s Scene in Buford, GA. Her first major role was playing a young Sasha Obama alongside Viola Davis in the series The First Lady and she has also acted alongside Will Smith in the major motion picture Emancipation.
We first asked Jordyn about working with her older coworkers. She talked very highly of them, calling all of them extremely nice and funny and easy to work with. When first introduced to playing Maya, Jordyn said it wasn’t a difficult role to master as she shares many similarities in her personality with Maya in that they are both smart, funny, creative and enjoy reading. Jordyn admitted that while she hasn’t yet read The Storied Life of AJ Fikry, she has a strong relationship with her parents who read the book and helped her to understand the character she would be playing. In her free time, Jordyn said she also enjoys playing video games with her siblings and while on set and in her dressing room, she likes to pass the time by listening to music and dancing.
When asked about what she hopes audience members and fans of the book take from the movie, Jordyn said she hopes people enjoy seeing Maya’s big heart and her building her relationship with her dad.
Thank you, Jordyn, for your time and for speaking with YEM! Make sure to follow her on her Instagram at @thejordynmcintosh (Jordyn McIntosh (@thejordynmcintosh) • Instagram photos and videos). Please also watch the interview below, where we ask her more questions such as her character, the filming process, and more! While you’re there, be sure to like, comment, and subscribe to our channel for the latest news in young entertainment!
- When trying to figure out how to act out a certain scene, try imagining yourself as the character you are playing in that scene and put yourself in their shoes.
For any young kids interested in acting, Jordyn says “Be brave, don’t be scared, nobody will make fun of you. Just be yourself.”