WARNING ! Season 2 Spoilers Ahead!
Momona Tamada is going to be a star. She’s a Canadian actress born to Japanese immigrant parents. She currently portrays Claudia Kishi on Netflix’s The Baby-Sitters Club. This season, the series incorporated more of Claudia’s Japanese heritage into the show.
Previously, she was most well-known for playing a young Lara Jean in the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Trilogy. She also has danced competitively since she was four years old.
TV Fanatic got a chance to chat with Momona about her meaty storylines this season, especially Mimi’s death. We also talked about storylines she’d like to do in the future.
Hi Momona. I really love The Baby-Sitters Club. It’s been a huge favorite of mine. I loved your portrayal of Claudia. Had you read any of the books before joining the series?
Growing up, I read many of the books. Once I booked the role, I went out and bought more of them to refresh my memory and studied Claudia and her character.
That’s great. So what were some of your favorite storylines in the books?
There are so many. I think my favorite will always be the first ones in Season 1 when they formed the business and their characters. I don’t think I could ever pick one. There are too many good ones.
Was that your favorite of the Netflix series so far as well?
I think Season 2 has many great storylines. The chemistry between the cast has really improved, which I think you can see on-screen. We have so many new storylines this season, which we hope the audience will love because they were so much fun to do.
So Claudia has a lot of meaty storylines this season. I really enjoyed seeing as much as we did with Claudia and Mimi. I thought you did a wonderful job with the one with Mimi’s death. How did you prepare for such an emotional storyline?
That was definitely a first for me to film a scene like that. Leading up to that, I studied the script carefully. I tried to keep things as fresh as possible. While I reviewed the script and made sure I understood it, I tried to tap into the emotions so that on that day, it would feel like it was really coming from my true emotions.
Then, I wouldn’t overthink it as much. That was definitely a difficult one, but I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.
I really like the scene between you and Mary Anne when you were talking about grief. That was one of my favorites.
Thank you. It was so great to film that scene. It was so nice to share comfort.
And how many of the Japanese traditions in that episode are accurate?
Before filming any of the scenes, our director, Robert, checked in with my mom to make sure that everything would be shown on-screen accurately. Keeping with that, Claudia learns how to prepare the traditional Japanese tea from Mimi, and then she makes it Claudia’s job to prepare tea for the family. Everything was very authentic.
That is good. It looked very authentic.
Yes, we made sure of that.
And in that episode, we also learned that Claudia’s sister is gay. How did you and the actress that played Janine film such a realistic sibling vibe?
I think just from working with Aya, the actress that plays Janine, multiple times, she kind of just naturally became like my sister. Even off-set, we’re always talking, almost like a real sisters-type bond. I think that bond comes across on screen. I think it’s really cool they included that storyline as well.
I did too. It was not something I expected, but it worked.
I think it’s definitely something that you wouldn’t expect, but I think that story is very beautiful as well.
And in season 2, we also have two more members join the club. So, what did you think of the other members’ reactions to the new members, especially Claudia’s reaction to Mallory at the beginning?
That episode with Claudia and Mallory was one of my favorites. I think it’s so interesting because you expect them to all get along right away, but that wasn’t the case with Claudia and Mallory. They didn’t exactly get off on the right foot.
It was so fun working with Vivian(Mallory) on those scenes because she’s hilarious. She’s always making me laugh on set. I just had so much fun. There were so many neat dynamics between Claudia and Mallory.
It looked very fun.
I couldn’t hold my laughter, and I had to prepare myself before I could speak. Vivian is just incredible.
I noticed that season 2 didn’t follow the books quite as closely as season 1, but they still had a lot of the fun and heart of the books. I wondered if you noticed any of that.
Well, I think even though even though it didn’t follow it as closely as Season 1, the heart of the book was still there. I think with that, we could cover more topics and issues that may not have been possible if it had followed the books more closely.
I hope the audience still likes it because I think it was a good move for them. They still incorporated the message of the books and made a modern version of it.
I agree, and what stories would you like to see for Claudia in the future? Assuming we get more seasons?
That is a great question. I’d like to see Claudia get over her grief with Mimi and continue to get over her hurdle with Janine. I’d like to see Claudia continue to grow. Since Mimi’s death happened so late in Season 2, I’d like to see how she handles things in time.
Do you have any of your specific books you want them to cover?
I think any of the Super Specials would be so fun to film. Those were always my favorite. I don’t think I could pick one that I loved the most. They look like they’d be fun to film, and they were my favorite to read as well.
I want them to do the one “Claudia and the Great Search” when you felt different from your family, and then you started tutoring Kristy’s adopted sister and realized that you were special with tutoring young kids.
Yeah, I think that would also be a good one. That was definitely a big moment for Claudia as so that would add to her character arc.
That was one of my favorite Claudia books.
Oh, really? Yeah, there are so many of them, and they’re all so good.
You can catch Momona in The Baby-Sitters Club Season 2, which is streaming now on Netflix.