Teala Dunn is only 25 years old, and has already achieved what most people could only wish they could in a lifetime. A true definition of a multi-hyphenate, the New Jersey-bred, Los Angeles-based actress and social media star boasts nearly 11 million followers… and that doesn’t even begin to cover the milestones she’s achieved.
Getting her start as an actress at the young age of 6, Dunn has been in the limelight for the majority of her life. And while she’s a staple in the entertainment industry, she has since branched off into numerous ventures, from being a coveted content creator to launching her own skincare line called Creme De La Cube to now her newest endeavor, hosting her own podcast called “Anonymously Yours With Teala Dunn”.
The podcast is produced by Brat TV, bringing in special guests and reading real fan confessions and stories with a layer of anonymity that is much appreciated. Dunn not only gives advice to her listeners, but subconsciously inspires audiences all around the world to work hard and follow their dreams.
Plus, you may have seen Dunn all over the small screen, most recently in Hulu’s new film Crush.
Sheen Magazine had the pleasure of chatting with Teala Dunn to discuss her acting career, being from New Jersey, getting her start on social media, going viral on TikTok, launching her own skincare line, love for fashion, her new podcast, and more!
Acting at 6 years old, how did you get into it so young?
Well, my oldest sister did it before me. If you ever watched Arthur, I was D.W. growing up. I was so by the book, that annoying little sister that also wanted to follow in everything her older sibling was doing. “This looks so fun. Mom, dad, I want to do it.” My parents said “we don’t know if you’re gonna like it. We’ll start you out with some commercials, but if you don’t like it, we’re taking you right out.”
I started booking a bunch of national network commercials, then I said “I want to do TV!” I started doing Law & Order and Law & Order: SVU. I booked Wonder Pets!, which is that Nick Jr. show. I did that from 6 to 13, then my life transformed completely. I had to be homeschooled because I was missing so much school just being on set constantly. I thought ‘Wow, I’m really in this now.” I booked this TV show called Are We There Yet? when I was 14. That was a sitcom, we did 100 episodes of that show from 14 to 16. I moved to LA when I was 16 with my whole family, so it’s crazy. [laughs]
First of all, how was it when you first saw yourself on TV?
So fun, I loved it! It’s so funny because one of my first TV roles was Law & Order: SVU. I did this whole episode called The Dolls where I get kidnapped. I’m this little 6-year-old girl that looks like a little doll. My kidnapper is the guy from Stranger Things, the main detective guy. He played my kidnapper, which is insane because he’s absolutely killing it.
But it was the first time that I’ve ever been out that late at night. We filmed at 1am and I was obsessed with Barbie dolls. So the later we had to keep filming, the directors kept giving me actual Barbie dolls to take home. I was the happiest kid ever. I literally left that set with 15 vintage Barbie dolls, I was so excited. It was so cool.
What does it mean to be from New Jersey? A lot of stars come out of that area.
I love it. I love that I’m from the East Coast. No shade to anyone from the West Coast because obviously I love the West Coast, I live here now. But there’s something about people from the East Coast that keep it really real and authentic, and are a lot more straightforward. I’m really happy I came from the East Coast. My mom’s from Brooklyn, my dad’s from Jersey, so it’s all East Coast family.
How did you get your start on social media?
Funny story, I used to make stop motion music videos. So embarrassing. I have a stop motion music video to the Kesha song “Your Love Is My Drug,” my dad helped me film it back in Jersey. It took forever because I’d do stop motion. I’d have to film every single clip individually, which is ridiculous. That was before copyright was such a big thing. If I were to post that now on YouTube, I’d get a copyright infringement and my account would be gone forever.
I’d make all these embarrassing music videos, they’d get the most 1,000 views and I’d be like, “wow they went viral!” [claps] Then I realized that there was a whole beauty community on YouTube that I had no idea even existed. One day, I wanted to go shopping with my sister and go to Sephora. I didn’t know what to buy, so I looked up “Sephora haul “on YouTube. So many videos came up! I thought “Wait, people post this? People post what they buy at the mall? Haul?”
I went to the mall and then I said “huge Sephora Haul!” I showed everything I got, that got 10K views. I thought “Whoa, well that’s a lot more than my music videos.” I kept up with it, started doing makeup tutorials. Started doing morning routine videos. It wasn’t until I started making my morning routine videos that it went viral. I posted my morning routine, getting ready for school, and it hit a million views. I’m like whoa! That launched my YouTube channel, I started getting millions of views. The lowest views I’d get would be maybe 500K, but it was crazy to start from getting 1,000 to going that viral. It was crazy.
How does it feel to be able to first of all be a content creator, then inspire so many people that follow you that they can do it too? I’m sure a lot of people want to know how you ended up here.
It’s super inspiring, it makes me feel really happy because I’ve been doing it for so long. A lot of people don’t really know that because I went viral on TikTok last year. The people that didn’t know me from acting or YouTube said “Oh, she’s just that TikTok girl that gets millions of views on TikTok.” Which is fine, but I’ve been doing this for years!
Because I’m 25 now. I’ve been doing social media since I was 16, so I’ve been doing it for so long. To still be somewhat relevant, still get recognized and still get such amazing opportunities means so much to me. Because it’s really hard to do, to keep up because there’s so many new creators that come and go. Slow and steady wins the race, always.
Someone please teach me
What did you go viral on Tiktok for?
Oh God, I made this video back when I lived at the Clubhouse last year. Last summer actually, exactly a year ago. I posted this video and I said, “Fun Fact, actually really really sad fact, I don’t know how to swim.” Then I showed the pool. That got 35 million views on TikTok. I wasn’t poppin’ on TikTok at all, I probably had 300K followers on TikTok. Crazy. [laughs]
I know you have your own skincare line. What is your skincare routine?
I realized that my skin is definitely more on the sensitive side, which is so crazy because I did not know that at all. For the longest time, the last couple of years I was using such harsh products on my skin. Thinking “oh, I have normal skin.” My skin would break out because it was too much. I started using really really light and gentle MILK cleansers, not using makeup wipes and really taking care of my skin.
I used to have really bad cystic acne back in 2020. I wanted to collab with a skincare line that’s affordable and that isn’t harsh on the skin at all, that’s cruelty-free. I created Creme De La Cube that just came out 9 months ago. Young people like it as well, but a lot of moms love it. The mom community loves Creme De La Cube, which is so cool. A lot of my friends’ moms have bought it. So dope, but it’s so affordable too.
It’s just at Walmart, which is what I love. I love skincare, but a lot of times the best products are $80. Nobody got time to spend $80 on a moisturizer, that’s so not relatable. Everybody shops at Walmart at some point, I just love Walmart in general. I grew up going to Walmart with my mom, buying little toys and getting clothes. To have my own skincare line at Walmart is so surreal, it’s so cool.
First of all, talk about being as young as you are and having your own product in Walmart!
You’re so sweet. [laughs] It’s such a blessing, God is so good. I’m really really happy I get to do what I love, and inspire others. Especially inspires people of color that you can do anything you put your mind to, that you don’t ever have to put yourself in a box. I’ve been really blessed to not be in a stereotype box ever.
I recently did this Hulu movie that just came out, it’s called Crush. It’s a really cute movie. When I got the breakdown for my role, it was “Stacy Clark, supporting lead. Popular girl, rich, star of the track team.” Her name was Stacy Clark, it said “open to all ethnicities.” Stacy Clark?! Tell me you want a white girl without telling me you want a white girl. I’m going to audition for this, I don’t care that the odds are against me.
Stacy Clark is black, anything is possible! I don’t like stereotypes, stereotypes are so stupid. It’s very important for everybody to have representation, because there’s so many different types of black women. There’s not just one type of black woman, that’s so important. Especially to have in a beautiful, fun, coming of age, gay movie as well. Thinking of Crush makes me so happy, I get chills just thinking about it. It’s so important across the board to have that representation, especially growing up. I didn’t have that when I was like 14 growing up, that didn’t exist. So, I’m glad that that is starting to happen.
Real quick, back to the skincare line. Why did you call it Creme de la Cube?
I just wanted a different name. The last thing I wanted was to have a skincare line that was The Teala Dunn Line. I wanted something different, that’s catchy. It sounded fun. I wanted it to have the word “cube” in it, because I worked very hard on the design. I told him “I want this line to look so expensive, but it’s not.” I want it to be the type of skincare that you can leave on your nightstand because that’s how pretty it is. If you look at the design of everything, it looks like a diamond. A diamond moment, even though it’s inexpensive. That’s why I wanted it to say “cube” in it, because they all look like little diamond cubes.
What’s the reality in launching your own skincare line?
It took a very very, very long time. I don’t think people realize how long the process is. It came out in November/December of last year, and I’ve been working on it since 2020. It was a very, very long process, plus things were slower because of COVID obviously. We had to run so many different tests. They had to keep sending me: “okay, do you like this texture? Do you like this consistency? Wear this for a whole week.” It was a whole thing, but it was worth it in the end.
Talk about your podcast, “Anonymously Yours with Teala Dunn”.
Yes! I have a new podcast, it’s called Anonymously Yours. It’s on YouTube.com/PastYour Bedtime, which is Brat TV’s older age company. It’s also on Spotify and Apple Music and all those streaming services that do podcasts. It’s all about anonymous submissions that fans get to send in, which is so cool because I wanted a podcast where my fans can be more involved.
I did a podcast a year and a half ago, which was so fun. It was called Adulting. It was a Spotify exclusive, so you couldn’t see our face or anything. It was amazing, but I said “Okay, the next podcast I do I really want to include my viewers so it’s more fun.” So every single week fans get to submit stories of either themselves or their cousins, somebody that they know. And it’s all anonymous, so we’re not exposing anybody, but we’re exposing the stories. Me and my guests, we just react to the stories and we give advice. It’s really really fun.
Have you gotten some crazy stories?
Girl, you would be surprised! Yes, insanity. A lot of cheating scandals, a lot of drama. I’d expose one of the stories but I don’t want to give it away because the episode hasn’t aired yet. Let’s just say it’s taking cheating to a new level, and this girl’s in high school! It was crazy.
Do you have a dream guest you would want on?
My all-time dream guest would be Dylan O’Brien. I’ve always had a crush on him from day one. He’s the first celebrity to ever follow me on Twitter. He followed me on Twitter in 2014. He’s so sweet. I met him in person in 2017, the sweetest guy. Fully remembered me, knew how to pronounce my name. I fully fangirled.
Another dream guest of mine would be Sadie Sink. She is incredible. I just got into Stranger Things for the first time, she’s so talented. She did a music video with Dylan O’Brien so they’re connected, they can just all pile up in one. That’s a fantastic actress. We have a lot of mutual friends too so it wouldn’t be too crazy. She’ld be really fun, and I’d love to know how she’d react.
What do you feel when you act?
I just know this is what I was meant to do. Anytime I read a script, I’m like, “This is what I was meant to do.”