Angela Kinsey Opens Up About Netflix's 'Tall Girl' & Why Growing Up 'Different' Is Actually Pretty Cool

Angela Kinsey Tall Girl
angelakinsey/Instagram

If you're looking for a feel-good, campy teen comedy that has some amazing performances, a positive message of self-acceptance, is appropriate for the whole family, and available on Netflix right now -- have we got a show for you. Tall Girl is streaming now on our favorite home entertainment service, and is the adorable tale of how 6-foot-1 Jodi eventually embraces her height and gets over the haters.

We got a chance to chat with Angela Kinsey (you may remember her as Angela Martin on The Office), who plays Jodi's mom in the movie, about everything from her own insecurities as a teen to how she's raising her now 11-year-old daughter. 

  • But first, a synopsis of the movie.

    Tall Girl
    Netflix

    Jodi (Ava Michelle) is a 6'1.5" teenager who is incredibly insecure about her height. Having a beauty queen sister, Harper (Sabrina Carpenter), doesn't help matters, especially considering that Harper and their mom (Angela Kinsey) bond over girly, pageant-y things. 

    Her best friends Jack (Griffin Gluck) and Fareeda (Angelika Washington) constantly have her back though, even if they do question her crush on the new Swedish foreign exchange student, Stig (Luke Eisner).

    It's pretty predictable, and the only spoiler I'll give is that exactly what you think is going to happen, happens, but it's still a super fun watch, and one that it worth putting on for family movie night.

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  • I got to chat with Angela Kinsey over the phone about the movie, and it turns out, she has quite a bit in common with her on-screen daughter.

    OK, obviously not the height, since at around 5 feet, 1 1/2 inches Ava is literally a foot taller than her, but that feeling of just being a complete and total outsider. Angela was raised in Jakarta, Indonesia, from the ages of 2 to 14, thanks to her dad's job as a drilling engineer. 

    Fourteen is a heck of time to start a new school, let alone be in a new country, so she definitely knows what it's like to not feel like you have anything in common with anyone. After explaining that she was ahead in several subjects from her school in Jakarta, the only viable option to get her into appropriate courses was for her to split her time between middle school and high school. 

    "I started my day at the middle school, and then at lunch, my mom would pick me up, and I would eat lunch in the car with my mom, as we drove across town to the high school, where I would finish my day," she explained. "So I never got to be part of the middle school ... just fitting in or being social there because I missed all the activities where I would meet people. Then at the upper school I was too young for the after-school activities, so I didn't participate in them."

    Angela said she was definitely someone who wanted to disappear during that time in her life. She shared, "That first year in America was really hard because I was the new kid to two schools ... I just wanted to disappear. I didn't want anyone to even know I existed."

  • The thing that helped her the most during that awkward year? Her own mom.

    "Every morning, my mom would give me these pep talks, and even when I didn't want to hear them, they did sink in," she shared. "She was relentless -- she was like, 'You're not going down on my watch, kid!'" 

    Angela also said that her mom tried to tell her that the things that made her different were the same things she would love about herself someday. She said, "I couldn't stay in Indonesia without my family. My parents did the best they could, and my mom would say to me every single morning, 'Angela, you are fine just the way you are. You're amazing, and it's great that you're different. You're going to love this someday -- you're gonna love that you grew up in another country, and you can speak Indonesian, and these are all going to be really cool things!'"

  • Angela is a mom to an 11-year-old girl in real life, and told us that she related to her character as a parent.

    She shared, "I think I think sometimes as a mom we just think our kids are going to be just like us … but they're obviously not. They're so different and you sort of have to parent your kids individually. I think my character in the movie couldn’t parent her two daughters the same way, and it was a bit of a learning curve for her when it came to Jodi."

    She continued, "As a mom myself, there are times when I’m a little bit clueless, but then I get there and I'm like, 'OK this is who she is, and this is fantastic, and it's not what I thought, but it's it's amazing because it’s who she is.'"


    Tall Girl is available on Netflix now.