Juju (Journey) Brener, is an award-nominated Actress, Dancer, Model, & Voice-Over Artist.
Most recently she wrapped filming on the Lionsgate action thriller film “Vanquish” directed by George Gallo & starring Morgan Freeman & Ruby Rose, playing Lily - Ruby’s Daughter.
Journey is currently filming the family comedy “The Furry Fortune” which she is starring in alongside Mason Blumberg & Henry the dog, directed by Justin Ward & based on a bestselling children’s book by the same name.
Currently, she can be seen on Hulu in the retro comedy “VHYes” Starring Tim Robbins & Susan Sarandon & directed by Jack Henry Robbins.
She can also be seen on Apple TV in the animated Lionsgate film “Red Shoes & The Seven Dwarfs” opposite Chloe Grace Moretz.
By the young age of 5, Juju already had 2 films - “Pearl” & “Manolita” at the Cannes Films Festival. Both are multiple award-winning.
Her other films “Point & Dream”, and A Beautiful Day” starring James Brolin and Frances Fisher have also won multiple awards in various festivals.
She appeared in the Pilot for Adult Swim “Your Son Has Been Kidnapped” and has Guest Starred in Funny or Die on episodes “Common Core” opposite Brian Husky and Kate Flannery & “Cannibal Child”.
Journey was handpicked by famed director- Diane Martel and Miley Cyrus to appear & dance in Miley’s “Younger Now” Video. With over 50 million views, she was then cast by them to perform live with Miley at the VMAs.
In the past few years, she has shot over 20 Commercials, Industrials & Videos for companies such as Google, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Kroger- Click List, DITA eyewear, Geico, Rodeo Realty, Unity Point Health, Intex, Little Tykes, and others.
Juju has also voiced several characters on the Cartoon Network Show “Summer Camp Island”.
She has modelled for various brands, currently as the new face of YMI Jeans Girls & BCBG Girls. Others include Joy & Mario shoes, Grace Girls Denim, Little Tykes, Night 1 Dress, Ubooly Toys, Cosco Car Seats, Numero magazine and more.
Journey recently won a “Best Actress” award at the Young Entertainer Awards 2020! She is nominated for X2 best actress in VO category in 2021 at the Young Entertainer Awards & Young Artist Awards.
She is a past X2 Nominee for Best Actress at Young Entertainer Awards & a X2 Nominee for Young Artist Awards.
Juju took time out to talk to K9 Magazine about her dogs, work and passions.
Tell us all about all the dogs you've loved in your life. (this is your chance to tell us everything about your dogs, past or present. Names, ages, breeds - we want to know everything!)
We had a dog named Iceberg, a white Pit Bull. My Dad loved him so much; he was so cool, smart, beautiful and friendly.
His personality was very excited & fun but not with a temper like some Pits. We got him from the actress Shannon Doherty. He loved to exercise and be outdoors and would run all over the park chasing a ball like a soccer or a football player!
Sadly he had a heart condition and had to be put to sleep when he was 4. It was heartbreaking for our family especially my Dad who was so close with him.
I also loved my Grandma’s dog - Mazel. Which means “Luck” in Hebrew.
She was a German Shepherd and very hyper, actually a little too hopped up, she would scratch everything and jump on people not realizing how big she was.
I adore my cousin’s dogs Theo – who is a type of doodle mix black and white and Louie who is a brown French Bulldog. He’s very cute and you can squish his face, he is buff and makes snoring noises.
He is actually one of the buffest dogs I’ve ever seen! And I really fell in love with the dog I just shot the movie “The Furry Fortune” with – Henry. He is my character Zoey’s dog in the film & he is a mix rescue dog.
You will have to watch the movie to see all the cool adventures we get into together & the cool tricks he does. He was so friendly, cuddly and really smart! I got quite attached to him while filming.
You're obviously a huge dog lover. How long have dogs been a major part of your life and how would you explain the importance of dogs to someone who hadn't ever experienced the joy of a canine/human relationship in their life?
I started loving and petting them since I was 1, I had no idea then what they were then, but I knew they were soft and fluffy and cute and when I got older I figured out what they were and started loving them more and more.
Having a canine relationship is really like having a best friend but it’s an animal.
What are your favourite things to do with your dog(s)?
One of my favourite things was shooting a movie with the Dog. Because I love acting and making movies and I love dogs.
Getting to spend my summer filming every day and spending long days on set with Henry was so magical! It was a dream come true to get to work doing what I love, spending my days with a dog.
Even when it was super hot and we were tired I couldn’t stop petting him and hugging him even when we were on breaks and not actually filming.
You have a really interesting career... What advice would you give to the many people who wanted to follow your path in career terms? What are the absolute best (and worst) things about your work?
Thank you! I have been acting, dancing, doing voice-overs and modelling since I was a toddler. It’s really about following your dreams but working hard to achieve them.
I take a lot of classes and always want to learn and become better. My advice is to always keep working on your skills and know that your uniqueness in the world is what makes you special.
I never try to fit a mould or be like other people. Just be true to yourself. More advice is if you want to be in this industry you definitely have to have the basic talent but you also have to work hard to be your best every day of your life.
Picking good people to guide you, having mentors that you trust is also really important. My manager April Mills, my acting teacher Scott Parkin and dance teachers Nick Gilligan & Caoife Coleman have been amazing in my journey.
My sister Mila & my Mom Shirly, who are also actors (Mom is also a producer and acting coach) help and coach me on all my scripts.
Also, my Mom, Dad and Sister are super supportive in general, it’s really important to have a supportive family,
The best thing about my work is that I get to meet incredible new people and make new friends, travel and work on really cool projects that are well written by such talented creative folks!
The worst thing is learning all the new lines for each project ha-ha, I love working on the actual characters but memorizing the lines does get tedious sometimes.
Also if I have a super early call time because I don’t like to wake up too early.
Here are our quick-fire questions, are you ready?
YES! Let's go!
Which do you prefer and why?
Big dogs or little dogs?
Calm, relaxed dogs or dogs who live at 100mph?
Calm, relaxed dogs.
Dogs who do as they're asked most of the time or dogs who do pretty much whatever they like whenever they like?
Dogs who do as they’re asked most of the time.
Dogs who love to walk by your side or dogs who like to race off and cover ten thousand yards in 3 seconds?
Dogs who love to walk by your side.
Days off or days at work?
The fastest route or the scenic route?
The scenic route.
Nighttime or early morning?
Describe the last time you laughed out loud because of something you saw a dog do?
A week ago I was at a friend’s house and there was the cutest baby Cocker Spaniel named Abigail. I was playing with her, running around and then I fell.
She immediately climbed on me and started biting my hair and eating it like it’s a dog toy, she wouldn’t stop. I was cracking up laughing so hard.
What do you like to do in your downtime?
I love amusement parks like Six Flags; I love to go there with my sister and friends. I’m obsessed with roller coasters and not scared at all.
I also love to travel. We have been to so many cool places like Thailand, Miami, Israel, Mammoth, Mississippi, Arizona etc. I love exploring new countries, states or cities, eating cool local foods, doing fun adventures.
In Thailand we zip lined, in Miami, we took a roller coaster boat ride, at Mammoth we snow ski. Another thing I like is to explore dessert places.
Currently, I’m super into all cool Boba places and Crumble cookies; I also just love to chill and make slime with my friend Sienna or have a movie night at home cuddled with my sister and a bunch of snacks.
Let us in on a secret that very few people know about you?
I actually have Invisalign. I was one of the youngest kids ever to start with it. I’m really happy I did though because my teeth have gotten really good thanks to it.
What is your current favourite…?
Outer Banks, Never Have I Ever, Ginny & Georgia.
Anything from Billie Eilish or Arianna Grande.
Life of Pets, Night At the Museum, Luca & Taken.
If you had to choose just one, what product or service would you say has most changed your life do you think and why? (can be technology, beauty, food, pet-related, book - anything)
Amazon! Seriously we buy EVERYTHING off of it, not just electronics or specialty stuff, we even buy furniture, food, toiletries and cleaning products.
Me and my sister order school supplies, slime ingredients, toys, clothes, phone cases and specialty candy we like to find. It escalated during the pandemic when everyone was quarantined.
But now it’s become a regular thing in our daily life... we spend a lot less time going to stores and wasting time driving around looking for things we need.
It definitely simplified a lot of necessities but it also makes you buy a lot of stuff that you might not really need ha-ha!
Actually, another thing that changed my life is Tik Tok! I watch videos and find cool food, cookie or Boba places and learn about all kinds of trends in travel, music, fashion and entertainment.
Also, it has super funny videos that I watch and make me laugh before I go to sleep.
Tell us about some of your most memorable moments from your work?
An epic moment was getting to work this past year with Morgan Freeman in “Vanquish”. He is one of the greatest actors of our generation and such a nice person.
I’m so thankful I got to share screen time with him and learn so much while spending a few magical weeks in Mississippi on location.
I think the whole experience was memorable because we were one of the only productions shooting right after the pandemic closures ended. It was my first experience with Covid tests (daily) and masks on set.
At 8 years old I feel it was a capsule of a moment in history that I was part of and will probably recap throughout many years of my career later on in life.
Another memorable moment is when I recorded “Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs” I play the wooden little bear in the movie which also stars Chloe Grace Moretz and Sam Claflin. I was 4 when I did the first recording, I couldn’t even read!
My sister Mila came with me and worked with me in the booth helping with the dialogue. It takes sometimes years with animation to finalize, so it was really exciting when it was finally released this year, but because movie theatres were still closed, we didn’t have a premiere.
My parents organized friends and family screening premiere at a screening room in Hollywood. I got to invite people I love. It was fun to be able to see it on the big screen with an audience. It’s now available on Apple TV.
My other memorable moments were working with all sorts of animals. Because I love animals so much! All kinds! It’s so special and unique to get to work with them.
I shot a Google commercial with a baby goat, a fashion campaign for BCBG Girls with small size Alpacas, & a pilot for Nickelodeon with a piglet and rabbits...
Finish the following sentence, "dogs are...."...
And finally, this is always a tough question and often requires some serious thought….If dogs had the ability to speak and you could ask your dog just one question and one question only, what would you ask them and what do you think that they'd say?
I would ask them: “If they knew what they were and do they like living with humans?”.
I think they would say that “they love us as much as we love them and they know they are a different species”.
This is an opportunity to talk about any causes, projects, business ventures etc that are important to you and you'd like us to tell our readers about.
Currently, I can be seen on Hulu in the retro comedy “VHYes” Starring Tim Robbins & Susan Sarandon & directed by Jack Henry Robbins.
I can also be seen on Apple TV in the animated Lionsgate film “Red Shoes & The Seven Dwarfs” opposite Chloe Grace Moretz.
I am currently filming the family comedy “The Furry Fortune” which I am starring in alongside Mason Blumberg & Henry the dog, directed by Justin Ward & based on a bestselling children’s book by the same name.