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SIMPLY JESSICA: Actress Jade Pettyjohn talks about her upcoming film

Jade Pettyjohn wants to show pre-teen and teen girls not to be ashamed of getting your period for the first time. The 15-year-old actress is playing a teen girl in the upcoming film “Girl Flu” that deals with the experience that every girl goes through at some point in her life.

“I think that it’s really important that people hear this message and what we have to say about it,” Pettyjohn said. “It is such a mortifying experience when you first go through it.”

“Pettyjohn is playing Bird, a teen girl that gets her period for the first time in front of her entire class. Many movies portray getting your period for the first time as a means to kill everyone at your prom.

It is that stereotype that made Pettyjohn want to do this role.

“It is important to me that people learn that it’s just a part of life,” Pettyjohn said. “It is nothing to be glorified or ashamed of.”

“Girl Flu” premieres at the Los Angeles Film Festival June 6.

The coming-of-age film allowed Pettyjohn to shoot scenes in the rain.

She was able to challenge herself as an actress.

“I got to shoot really emotionally scenes that allowed me to push myself,” Pettyjohn said. “It was such a cool experience for me.”

Pettyjohn can also be seen on Nickelodeon’s “School of Rock.”

She is currently filming the second season.

“It is fun playing Summer,” Pettyjohn said. “She goes through a lot on the show. Summer and I have certain elements that are similar to each other. We are both efficient and studious. I love playing the sarcastic elements that Summer has in her personality.”

Pettyjohn finds it hard to pick a favorite scene from the show.

She has several scenes that she loves.

“I love the scene when my character finds out that she has become the band manager,” Pettyjohn said. “I love the music scenes and all the freak out moments about having a crush on Freddy.”

Pettyjohn admits it’s not hard to have a crush on Freddy.

Ricardo Hurtado, who plays Freddy on the show, has become a good friend in real life and Pettyjohn loves to talk to and hang out with.

“Ricardo is super awesome,” Pettyjohn said. “He is super cool.”

She admits that having a crush on Freddy gives the show a fun human element that she really enjoys playing on the show.

The music lover has an acoustic guitar name Penny Lane.

She named it after the Beatles song of the same name.

It is also the name of a character in the movie “Almost Famous.”

She has not named her Gibson guitar.

“Playing the guitar acts like therapy for me in a way,” Pettyjohn said. “If I feel happy or sad, I can channel everything into my guitar.”

She loves creating sounds with her guitar.

She has been playing for three years.

“I have always had a gravitational force to creating sounds from a guitar, she added. “ I can’t explain it. I love how it sounds.”

She practices playing the guitar everyday along with writing songs.

“I love everything about writing songs,” Pettyjohn said. “Music allows me to express myself. I love the idea of telling my stories.”

She is working on an album that she plans to release in the future.

Pettyjohn loves all types of music. She even loves music from the 1920s. Her favorite singers are Etta James, Aretha Franklin and Billie Holiday. She loves passionate singing.

“Etta James was a beautiful soul,” Pettyjohn said. “Her music had a sultry vibe to it. She was such a phenomenal singer.”

Music allows Pettyjohn to express herself and to tell her stories.

She loves acting because it allows her to play different people.

She will be starting 11th grade in the fall and turns 16 in November.

Pettyjohn wants to visit England because of the music scene.

“The punk rock scene grew from that area,” Pettyjohn said. “I am excited to see the music scene there and explore that. I also love food so I want to go to an authentic English pub and get fish and chips.”

She loves travel books and loves to talk to local people in towns that she visits. She does not have a dream role that she wants to play but she wants to keep challenging herself as an artist and doing things that put her out of her comfort zone.

Pettyjohn would love to work with Wes Anderson and Meryl Streep.

Her favorite movies are “Dead Poets Society,” “Whiplash” and “500 Days of Summer.” She can watch these three movies over and over.

Her favorite color is red, probably because she loves hot sauce.

“I am obsessed with sushi,” Pettyjohn said. “I have a problem when it comes to hot sauce. I was on set the other day and we were eating a ghost pepper, which is the second hottest pepper in the world. I have had so much spicy food and ate so much hot sauce that it didn’t bother me at all to eat that ghost pepper. My tolerance level is now super high when it comes to spicy food.”

Be yourself. I’m Simply Jessica JcAden. You can reach me at jess.gosnell@gmail.com.