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Interview: Taegen Burns on ‘The Gateway’ + Working with ‘Sweet’ Olivia Munn

Taegen Burns began her career as a model and commercial actress before booking her first role in the film I Can Only Imagine at just nine years old. Since then, she has cemented herself with roles in the brand-new Disney+ series The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers and the upcoming film The Gateway.

The Gateway follows a social worker assigned to the care of the daughter of a single mother who intervenes when the dad returns from prison and lures them into a life of crime.

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Recently, I got to talk to Burns about the movie, tackling acting at a young age and what it was like playing the daughter of Olivia Munn.

Nashville Noise: I know you got started at a young age. What was your first gig in Hollywood?

Taegen Burns: I started out with modeling and commercials and I moved into film and my first film role was in I Can Only Imagine

NN: You play Ashley in The Gateway. Tell me about the moment you found out you got this part.

TB: It was a lot of excitement, I auditioned for it and I had to do a FaceTime with the Director (Michele Civetta) and do some scenes and talk about the character. I felt really good about it, but I put it out of my mind. When I found out about it, it was so much excitement and it was right around my birthday and it was a really awesome birthday present!

NN: How did you prepare for this role in particular?

TB: On set and the environment I was in was great in helping me go into this setting and this movie and my character — and develop her. The director and everyone I worked with was great. I think for me, I had to really think, “How would Ashley feel about this”” or “How would Ashley think about this?” I would rehearse my lines with Olivia and Shea before we went in.

NN: Olivia Munn plays your Mom in the film. What was it like working next to her?

TB: It was amazing. She was so sweet. I worked with her and she kind of helped me get into my character a lot. She taught me some new things and was so welcoming on set and I loved working with her.

NN: As you mentioned, your first role was in I Can Only Imagine. What was it like that when you saw yourself on the big screen for the first time?

TB: It is an insane experience! When I first saw I Can Only Imagine in theaters, we went to a theater and I am in my normal movie theater and I am on screen right now and this is reality. I was so excited. It almost doesn’t feel real, like that’s me on the screen.

NN: That’s so amazing! I can’t wait to see what else you accomplish. Do you have any upcoming projects you can tell me about?

TB: The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers was renewed for season two and I got that coming up.

The Gateway hits VOD on Sept. 3 and comes to Blu-ray and DVD on Sept. 7. Check out my interview with Taryn Manning about The Gateway here.

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