Child Star Saniyya Sidney On Working With Denzel Washington And Viola Davis In “Fences”

While Saniyya Sidney may be just 10 years old, the rising child star has starred in Denzel Washington’s acclaimed drama Fences. Saniyya depicted Raynell, the young daughter of Washington’s lead character Troy Maxson. Along with starring alongside the Hollywood icon, the young actress also worked with Oscar winner Viola Davis, who plays Troy’s wife Rose.

With Fences garnering rave reviews and Davis recently earning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, Real Style spoke to Saniyya about being part of the film. From meeting her Fences co-stars to being awestruck by the powerhouse Washington, here’s everything the charming up-and-coming talent had to share with us.

Fences is now available on Blu-ray and DVD. 

Real Style: How was your experience being in Fences?

Saniyya: It was the best time of my life. You’re just in a ball of joy. Everybody is so nice, and we all got along. That’s what matters, really. It’s not just about working; it’s about being able to be part of a wonderful cast. It’s kind of what makes it special.

Real Style: Tell us more about working with Denzel Washington and Viola Davis!

Saniyya: It was so much fun. He’s just an inspiration. As well, Miss Viola [Davis] is my idol. I love her so much, and I love him [Denzel Washington] so much. They were both so fun. Especially as a director, you could understand what he wanted you to do. Of course, he wanted you to do it right, but he will give you a chance to try again. If he gets the shot, he’s got it. If he wants you to do something different, he will tell you.

Real Style: What was your favourite part of being in the movie?

Saniyya: We all got along, not just the cast, the whole neighbourhood where we shot the movie. We got to know all the kids on the block, and we actually threw a party for the neighbourhood, and it was so fun. Everybody is so nice. My favourite story is one that Denzel actually told. This one time, he knocked on the doors of everyone in the neighbourhood to tell them that we were going to shoot a movie. He said “Thank you, I hope you pray for me” to one woman. She said “Honey, I’ve been praying for you for 30 years.” That’s just an awesome story; people have been following him for a long time. He’s an awesome legend.

Real Style: You’re ten years old, but you’re already a rising star. What made you want to become an actress?

Saniyya: I was just inspired by the way people are doing what they love. That’s what I’m here for. Doing what I love just inspired me to go out there and chase my dreams.

Real Style: What are some of the biggest challenges of being a child star?

Saniyya: Between awards season, you’re going to these different parties and press junkets. What’s tough is I’m not a morning person, so when I get up in the morning, it’s kind of hard. My mom has to get up for work at 3 o’clock in the morning, so she wakes up, I wake up basically. You have to look perfect and you also have to sound perfect.

Real Style: What do you like to do when you’re not in movies?

Saniyya: Go upstairs to my office at my house, put some sweatpants and a T-shirt on, eat ice cream and watch Netflix!

Real Style: If you could be in any film, what would it be?

Saniyya: Drumroll please…Fences 2! Wait a couple of years, I’ll look a little older! *laughs*

Photo: Fences 

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