Arista Arhin @aristaarhin is a Toronto native currently starring as Young Michael Burnham in Star Trek Discovery airing now on CBS. She’s also got a brand-new show premiering March 2nd called Bajillionaires. She plays Alicia Windsor, one of a group of friends running a start-up out of their parent’s garage.
This 14-year-old started as a model, doing campaigns for Spin Master, Walmart, and Hasbro. At age 10 she began her acting career, cast as Ozlyn in the award-winning children’s live action educational television series ODD SQUAD (TVOKids/PBS Kids) for which she won a 2018 Joey Award for Best Recurring or Lead Actress in a Children’s Television Show.
Let’s find out more about her in our Q&A, below!
Hi Arista, nice to e-meet you! While we know you are an actress, tell us a little bit about yourself outside of show business.
To start, my name is Arista Arhin, and I just recently turned 14. I adore the colour pink at the moment, and I love anything to do with beauty and fashion! I have always loved makeup and dressing up, and I would consider it one of my areas of expertise!
Great! You play a young Michael Burnham on Star Trek Discovery, the child version of the series’ main character. Tell us what it was like your first day on set and seeing all the cool costumes and set pieces!
At first everything was a little intimidating, from seeing the sets to meeting all the amazing actors on the show. However, once the introductions were over and we went through a couple of takes, my nervousness faded and quickly turned into excitement. It truly was mesmerizing seeing the intricate costumes and the complex sets. Knowing how huge the Star Trek franchise is, I felt a lot of pressure, knowing that everything had to be flawless, but once we started filming everything did feel perfect, and that first day will be one that I will never forget.
What’s the best part about being on that show so far?
One part of my entire experience that has left me star struck has been meeting all the amazing actors on the show. The first person I met on set was Sonequa Martin-Green, who was so loving and caring, and who made it feel like we’ve known each other for years. Likewise, all other cast members made me feel very welcome and comfortable, and have made my time working on Star Trek Discovery even more enjoyable. Also, it was fantastic to work not only with fellow actors but with the entire crew who was extremely kind and caring towards me as a young actress.
Did Sonequa Martin-Green help you in any way to get you ready to play a younger version of herself?
From the beginning, Sonequa and I had a very strong connection where I would always be able to ask her for help not only with Burnham, but for other characters too. Burnham’s childhood was very complicated and some scenes were quite hard for me to portray, and Sonequa would always be there to help guide me through the emotions and actions occurring in a particular scene. She has given me some very useful pointers and taught me techniques that will forever stick with me.
You are also known for Odd Squad on PBS Kids, and have a new show coming up on Canada’s Family Channel called Bajillionaires. Tell us about that show and your character?
Bajillionaires is a show about a group of kids who run a start-up company in their parent’s garage and they make inventions to hopefully one day change the world. My character, Alicia Windsor, is the Chief Product Designer of the team, and she is very hands-on, always working on new projects, and is a devoted tech geek who is constantly coding. My character is very easy to fall in love with, and I can’t wait for everyone to see her and the squad in action!
You’ve already wrapped shooting season one. What’s your fondest memory from that set?
I remember one slow day on set that we spent mostly in the school room, relaxing between the shoots. While Mya was in her room, Ricky, Alec, and I were hanging out in the school room. Ricky was finishing up this large jigsaw puzzle that we were all working on for the past month, while Alec and I were attempting to cartwheel over the couches. All of a sudden, Alec felt the urge to completely crush the puzzle while Ricky and I were screaming in horror. For some reason, Ricky then flung the half broken puzzle across the room, and I joined him in throwing the other half. It felt strangely liberating. Needless to say, we spent the rest of the day cleaning up the school room.
Will the show be available to watch in the U.S., or is it only for Canadian TV?
Yes! It is currently available on Family Channel in Canada on Saturdays at 10:00 AM ET, starting March 2nd, and it will soon be available on Universal Kids in the U.S., so stay tuned!
Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you?
I played in a softball league for 6 years and had to quit because of filming Bajillionaires. Yet, it was the best decision I’ve ever made!
Biggest pet peeve?
When people cut me off when I’m talking.
Favorite place to travel?
I really enjoyed Venice! The food was so delicious, and the scenery and architecture were incredible! I hope to visit again sometime soon!
I love sushi sooo much!
Watching Liza Koshy on YouTube! She is so funny and I hope I can meet her some day!
What’s the last movie or show you watched, and give me a review…but you can only use TWO WORDS for the review 🙂
The last movie I watched is Don’t Breathe, and my review would be suspenseful and uncomfortable.
The one thing I cannot live without is__________.
Most embarrassing moment IRL you wish you could do over?
So far, I’ve been quite fortunate not to have one.
What else are you working on or have coming up next?
My new TV show, Bajillionaires, is premiering on March 2nd, and will air on Saturday at 10:00AM/ET in Canada! Also, Season Two of Star Trek: Discovery airs on Thursdays at 8:30PM ET/5:30PM PT on CBS All Access in the U.S., and in Canada, new episodes air on Thursdays at 8:00PM/ET on Space TV.
Could we get a selfie?
I’m sending two because you can’t take just one selfie 🙂 Thank you so much for such a fun interview!