It’s a Tough Business, but Rising Young Actress Sophie Mackenzie Nack Already Has What It Takes to Succeed

Finding her light.

  • Category
    Arts, People
  • Written & photographed by
    Kat Monk

Sophie Mackenzie Nack’s star burned brightly early in her childhood. At age 13 (almost 14) and an eighth grader at Valor Christian Academy, the Redondo Beach teen’s résumé reveals an accomplished actress, singer, stunt fighter and producer. 

Sophie appeared as the younger version of the powerful supervillain Kenja Wu on an episode of Chronicles of Jessica Wu, the award-winning Amazon television series about a female superhero on the autism spectrum with martial arts skills. The adult Kenja, played by Aria Song, became an inspiration to Sophie, who appreciates the wider exposure to her own culture and heritage. Trained at J. Lee Taekwondo, a small dojo in Hermosa Beach, she came to the set with some martial arts skills but admits now she prefers stunt fighting. 

She guest-starred as Sadie, her first recurring role, in several episodes of Truth be Told as the daughter of the show’s costars Vanessa Lachey and Mark-Paul Gosselaar. For Sophie, who was 6 years old at the time, her television father will always be Zack Morris—Gosselaar’s character on Saved by the Bell. 

As a card-carrying union member of the Screen Actors Guild, Sophie’s IMDb page is already impressive—including credits like Legion, Henry Danger, Animals, Truth be Told and Tinted Windows. Somehow she also found time to act in commercials and voice-over projects for Disney, Nickelodeon, Mattel, Target, Walmart, HBO and FX/Marvel Legion.

“If you love what you do, it’s not work.”

“When I first came to a musical production here at Family Theatre, I was super nervous,” shares Sophie of her work locally. “But when the audition came, I realized how fun it was.” 

For the last decade, Sophie has starred in many of Family Theatre’s productions, held at the Hermosa Beach Community Theatre. “She has always had that special ‘it factor,’ even when she was 4 years old auditioning for Annie,” shares Suzanne Greely, co-owner of Family Theatre, Inc. with her husband, Craig. “Molly, an orphan in Annie, was one of my favorites,” shares Sophie. 

As she grew in her craft, she began to tackle leading roles such as Olaf from Frozen, Jojo from Seussical, Gabriella from High School Musical 2 and Matilda from Matilda. Despite an already extraordinary professional career, her humility is abundant as she performs at Family Theatre. “[This] is my home,” Sophie says. “All my friends are here.” 

Currently, she is auditioning for the role of Belle in the upcoming production of Beauty and the Beast. “Yes, she still has to audition,” says Suzanne. “It is only fair.” 

If Sophie could work with any actor, male or female, her pick is Robert Downey Jr., known for his role as Tony Stark in Iron Man. Sophie, a diehard Marvel fan, says action movies led her to pursue stunt training. 

While training with her fencing coach in Burbank, they collaborated on an action short film called God’s Purpose. Sophie stars in the film and serves as executive producer. “It is a David and Goliath story, and it means a lot to me because of my faith,” she adds.  

Her toughest and most memorable audition thus far was for the role Summer in School of Rock on Broadway in New York City. “She made it to the second round of callbacks,” shares her mother, Pia. “The character Summer was Sophie’s dream role, and it was an opportunity of a lifetime.” 

According to Sophie, “If you love what you do, it’s not work.”