Prior to the release of the film “Beast”, 12 year old actress from Novi, Leah Jeffries, hosted a screening in Detroit Saturday night for friends and family to watch her role on the big screen.
“I’m so happy to see them (friends and family) after a long time being gone filming other shows and movies,” Jeffries said. “I cannot wait for my family to see this, I’m just super excited.”
The thriller film, directed by Baltasar Kormákur and starring Idris Elba as Dr. Nate Daniels, will hit theaters on August 19. Jeffries plays the role of Norah Samuels in the film, one of Elba’s character’s two daughters. The role of his other daughter is portrayed by Iyana Halley.
After the recent loss of his wife, Dr. Daniels travels with his daughters to a game reserve in South Africa owned by a friend and wildlife biologist. However, the trip takes a turn when the family becomes threatened by a violent, man-hunting lion.
Jeffries discussed the experience of working in South Africa during the creation of the film.
“I loved filming with the cast, especially, and just filming in South Africa and seeing all the beautiful views and just having the time of my life filming with the people I love.”
Prior to her role in “Beast”, Jeffries can be recognized from her previous work in “PawParazzi”, “Rel”, “Faith Under Fire” and “Empire”. She said she is looking forward to her future roles in “Something from Tiffany’s” and “Percy Jackson & The Olympians”.
Jeffries grew up in Novi and now lives in Los Angeles. She said at first, it was difficult to get used to seeing her face on the big screen. However, now she finds it fun and exciting to watch herself act.
“At first, I was like ‘oh my gosh, my face, ew’ but now I love seeing my face on the big screen like ‘wow, this is really it’,” she said.
Jeffries’ cousin, Carin Poole, Southfield, 49, shared her anticipation to see her relative in a big film. As a close knit family, she expressed they feel Leah has fulfilled her purpose in this world as an actress.
“Just seeing her on a larger platform than we ever imagined,” Poole said. “We’ve gone through all of the journey with Leah, from the commercials, to Empire to now the big screen. We’re just so proud of her talent…she’s just a poised and well prepared young lady.”
Additionally, Jeffries’ grandmother Carol Stacks, Farmington, was eager to watch Leah in “Beast” for the first time.
“(It’s been exciting) just seeing her grow from starting as a little girl in commercials and hair products, to series and movies, and now to this.”
Joining the crowd at the Emagine theater in Royal Oak, Jeffries’ hair stylist since she was two years old, Peaches Johnson, was thrilled to attend the screening.
“(I’ve) seen her grow up and become the intelligent young lady that she has became,” she said. “She’s very, very outspoken and she knows what she’s talking about. She’s very confident in herself, so I know she’s going to be very successful.”