At the age of 12, Chloe Coleman already has a strong sense of what she wants out of acting. The rising star—whose new film, Gunpowder Milkshake, debuts on Netflix, says she’d love to play a strong character struggling to find herself and who is a “little bit of a wild thing.” She adds, “I literally would like to shave my head for a role or do something crazy—really be that character—that would be really cool.”
In the offbeat, dystopian film, Coleman plays opposite a bevy of bad-ass heroines who engage in a violent clash with the men who have used them in the past as hired guns. The young actress plays Emily, an 8-year old girl who is taken under the wing of hit-woman Sam (Karen Gillan) after being rescued from kidnappers, which leads to a full-out gang war. Angela Bassett, Michelle Yeoh, Lena Headey and Carla Gugino are among the dynamo actresses cast as part of the female assassin fellowship.
In describing her role in Netflix’s action-packed oeuvre, Coleman, who is currently on set in Northern Ireland filming Paramount’s Dungeons & Dragons, says, “I really like how [Emily] is kind of on her own, and she’s just a kid. I can relate to [her being] just a kid in this environment of adults.” And while she sees Sam as a mother figure for Emily, Coleman adds that her character is smart and capable of taking care of herself.
Stateside, the stripling star resides in Los Angeles with her younger sister, Mia, and their mom and dad—both of whom are “in the business.” Her father is cameraman and cinematographer Stephen A. Coleman and her mom is Emmy-winning TV producer and director Allison Coleman. As a small child, she would accompany her parents to sets where they were filming. “I’d always get to see what they were doing and get a taste of what it was like acting and see other people act,” she says.
Once bitten by the bug, she started her acting journey at the tender age of 5, with guidance from mom, she says. She started with small parts but has since accumulated some more substantial roles, including ones in Big Little Lies, Upload and Amazon Prime’s lockdown hit, the action-comedy My Spy. And, what about those press reports of her re-teaming with wrestler-turned-actor Dave Bautista for a sequel?
“They’re working on it at the moment, actually, which is really exciting because the first one did really well and I was really happy with it,” Coleman dishes.
Though there are several projects in the pipeline, some to be filmed and some awaiting release (such as the Avatar sequel and Jennifer Lopez’s Marry Me, respectively), Coleman still seems to take time to enjoy leisure pursuits like drawing, reading and indulging in the occasional Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. She also finds time to play the role of big sister to 9-year-old Mia, who has her sights set on acting, as well. She advises her sibling, who she says is her best friend, to “just be meaningful about the emotions she feels in the scene and just be in the moment with it” when performing.
In this particular Hollywood moment, Coleman, who is bi-racial, is embracing the diversity that she observes around her. “There’s a lot of more diversity in casting, and I think that’s great. I mean, that’s a really big step, but I can’t wait for the time when it’s just natural and commonplace to represent all types of people, regardless of their race, or religion or gender,” she says.
“It’s important, to me, for people to feel valued and represented in the arts. People from all walks of life have value in these different stories, and it’s amazing to tell them.”