Isabela Moner relieved to play upbeat teenager in new Dora movie

Isabela Moner played angsty teenagers in Sicario: Day of the Soldado and Instant Family.

Isabela Moner was relieved to play a happy teenager in Dora and the City of Gold because she usually plays troubled ones.

The 18-year-old first gained notice in 2017's Transformers: The Last Knight, before going on to play a kidnapped teenager in Sicario: Day of the Soldado and troubled foster child Lizzy in Instant Family, both in 2018.

In her new movie, Moner plays the live-action version of childrens' TV show character Dora the Explorer, who is always optimistic, friendly and enthusiastic, and the actress admitted it was nice to change it up because she's usually offered grumpy characters.

"It was actually kind of a relief because, usually, those are the roles that I'm offered. You'd be surprised," she told The Hollywood Reporter. "Directors and writers seem to think that only one kind of teenager exists: the angsty and sassy one with attitude. It's fine to an extent, but it just gets boring as an actor.

"So, I was really excited to try something completely different. With this opportunity as Dora, the script itself already had that wit in place - that self-aware kind of humour that was a bit meta for the world it took place in. I just wanted to make her feel like you snatched her out of the animated show and brought her into real life."

The actress was excited to be able to explore comedic timing and do exaggerated facial expressions like Jim Carrey or Will Ferrell, but made sure to make Dora's positive traits seem genuine.

"The tough part was not making it seem sarcastic because it could've easily been taken that way," the star added.

Dora and the Lost City of Gold, which is directed by The Muppets' James Bobin, is in cinemas now.

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