Celeb News

"It’s a heavy weight on your shoulders" Disney’s Kelli Berglund opens up about being a role model

The actress stars in new Aussie film Going For Gold.

By Rachael Gavin
Kelli Berglund has a massive following thanks to her role in popular Disney Channel series Lab Rats. And the American actress knows that means she is a role model for many whether she likes it or not.
While the 22-year-old admits she feels the pressure she knows it comes with the territory.
"It's a heavy weight on your shoulders because you want to be the best person you can be for them," she says. "Being on Disney Channel, you know what you're signing up for."

But Kelli takes it all in her stride and looks to the positive influences she had growing up for inspiration.
"I was so happy with the people I was surrounded by growing up and my parents always taught me to be a respectful person," she says.
"So I think having a good head on my shoulders and knowing the kind of standard I want to live up to myself, I want to be the same way to all these other people that are growing with me and loved the show."
And Kelli is likely to have a whole new legion of fans looking up to her now her new movie Going For Gold is in cinemas. She plays American teenager Emma who moves to Australia with her dad and joins a cheerleading team.
Disney's latest film, Going For Gold, is set Down Under.
For the former competitive dancer and gymnast, filming the routines in the movie was almost like a trip down memory lane.
"If you put the two together it equals cheerleading," Kelli laughs. "I miss competitive dancing, like that was my life so to be able to learn a dance routine and some cool acrobatic moves was really nostalgic for me so that was fun."
It's the second time Kelli has made a movie in Australia – the first was Raising The Bar – but she's not quite ready to be considered a local yet.
"I think once I master saying a sentence in the accent is when I will be an honorary Aussie because I cannot do the accent to save my life," she laughs.

Kelli might not be able to nail the Aussie accent but she admits to being one of few Americans to like our nation's favourite spread.
"Vegemite is my favourite thing in the entire world," Kelli says.
"People are like 'you're an American and you like Vegemite?' But I literally ordered it and it was shipped to my house a week ago. I love Vegemite. I have my boyfriend on Vegemite now, we all love it."

But Kelli is not the only actress to follow up their Disney show by making a movie in Australia.
Debby Ryan, who rose to fame on kids' series Jessie, starred in 2017 flick Rip Tide which was filmed on the South Coast of new South Wales.
Kelli laughs when asked if doing a movie Down Under has become a rite of passage for actors transitioning from children's TV. But says she'd love it if more of her colleagues follow her and Debby's lead.
"I recommend it to all my Disney friends, like 'you should go to Australia and meet some awesome people and film a movie'," she says. "I'm glad we've started a trend, let's get everyone on it."
Going For Gold is in cinemas now.

read more from