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How Grown-ish's Amelie Zilber Is Making Her Own Rules On TikTok

In an exclusive interview with E! News, influencer Amelie Zilber explained how she balances her Grown-ish role, school, social media and a romantic relationship with Blake Gray.

By Mike Vulpo, Olivia Modarelli Feb 25, 2023 1:00 PMTags
Watch: Influencers We ADORED in 2022

Amelie Zilber has a platform and she's not afraid to use it.

At just 20 years old, the activist has nearly 10 million followers across TikTok and Instagram eagerly waiting for her next post. But instead of simply focusing on beauty and fashion, Amelie decided to share a socially conscious message on her platform in hopes of making a difference.

"One person doesn't singularly need to own one niche," she told E! News in an exclusive interview. "Specifically, women can be both—engaged in fashion and culture and simultaneously be intellectual and curious and passionate about the world. There isn't one way that a woman has to present herself on the internet, especially when the internet becomes your identity."

Her work certainly hasn't gone unnoticed. In November 2022, Forbes placed Amelie on its 30 Under 30 Social Media list. And this past fall, she joined the cast of Grown-ish to expand her artistic experiences.

"It gave me the space to be creative and not feel like I'm constantly performing the way that all people do on social media," she said. "It really gave me the space to become self-aware and dig deep into who I am."

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So, who is Amelie away from all the likes and reshares? In her chat with E!, the influencer gave fans an honest look into her passions and priorities. From her relationship with Blake Gray to her experience at Georgetown University, Amelie's story is so much more than what meets the main feed.

Jason Mendez;Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

E! News: You have found success as both a digital creator and an actor. What was the biggest difference between the two?

Amelie Zilber: The work hours, for sure. Being a social media digital creator is notorious for yes, you're on your phone 24 hours a day and you're constantly working. But it really is at your own pace and at your own speed. Being on set is truly from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m., five days a week. 

E!: Did your experience in social media help you in any way when entering the world of acting?

AZ: Being a social media creator means you're constantly on camera and being an actress means you're constantly on camera. I have that ability to turn it on when the camera starts rolling. That's a skill that people have to work on. Having done it for two, three years prior on social media, it came effortlessly, which was really amazing.

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E!: There's no denying your large community on social media. What's your mindset regarding followers and popularity?

AZ: I really don't put too much pressure on it. I feel blessed that people care about me enough to want to follow my journey. And if they don't, that's OK. I'm not here to force anyone to care about my life. I put up the news and if people want to follow me because of that, all the better. The more informed generation we are, then the more successful our chance is in changing the ways of life that we don't think fit anymore.

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E!: Why do you think it's important for social media to have voices like yours sharing messages on politics and activism?

AZ: We have to meet people where they're at and where my generation is at is on social media. We don't watch the news. We don't read the news. We scroll on social media and most people get their understanding of what's going on in the world through social media. There are so many incredible voices on social media that people need to be paying attention to, because they have their own unique experiences and takes and understandings of the world that I will never be able to share on my platform. I really hope that social media continues to become a space where more and more people speak about the really important serious things happening in our world and how we can change them. 

Jason Mendez;Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

E!: How have you been able to balance your career with your education?

AZ: I'm on a gap at the moment from Georgetown University. I have been really going back and forth trying to figure out how to make my educational path merge with my creative and occupational journey. It's been difficult finding the adventure that merges both. I see myself graduating, getting my degree and doing it at my own time and at my own pace. I think that the stigma around college degrees—and needing them or else you aren't intelligent, successful or worthy of a successful occupation—is dissipating. People will see me going back to school. I just can't guarantee that it will be right away, as my focus is on my job right now.

E!: With such busy schedules, how do you and Blake make time to see each other? 

AZ: We both travel a lot. But in the times that we're not traveling, we spend a lot of really good quality time together. We really make sure that the time we spend together is meaningful and not surface level. We communicate often when we're not with each other. We make sure to prioritize each other in our lives when we are available. We've figured out a way that works for us. And I'm really grateful that we're both so open and receptive towards each other's needs.

Grown-ish airs Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m. on Freeform and next day on Hulu.

(This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.)

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