Vanessa & Laura Marano: On joining their forces to make ‘‘Saving Zoë’’ and carrying a powerful storyline

PHOTOS: Sami Drasin
STYLING: Lisa Cera + Tyler McDaniel, Crosby Carter Management
MAKEUP: Kristin Hilton & Sarah Uslan
HAIR: Richard Collins & Michael Dueñas
LOCATION: Ranch Indian Springs
WORDS: Jasmine Perrier

‘‘Vanessa and I actually have similar voices, so we are trying to make it as less confusing as possible,’’ Laura says after clarifying she has been up for a while before our call, but is still tired. ‘‘We clearly have exhaustion in our voices,’’ Vanessa laughs. Laura and Vanessa Marano are one of the pairs of sibling actors who have each become a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. As they started getting involved in acting around the same time, they were aged six and nine respectively when they first played sisters in front of the camera. But after that, they pursued completely separate careers, both as successful. Laura found herself as an artist through her music projects and breakout role she got at 16 on Disney’s Austin & Ally, while Vanessa was the star of teen drama Switched at Birth. Today, they are excited to promote their upcoming feature film Saving Zoë that finally reunited them on-screen and allowed them to experience their first time as producers along with their mother. Saving Zoë will be released in the United States in select theaters and VOD on July 12th.

It took us so long to get this project made and it got made, which means for anybody out there who is trying to accomplish a goal, it can happen

Over the phone, their great complicity and strong complementarity are obvious. When it comes to having your sibling in the same industry as you, they both agree: it’s like having a partner in crime to share your experience with and to rely on no matter what is happening in your professional life. ‘‘It’s crazy. I know a lot of siblings who act in this business together and I feel like Laura and I have a very unique experience, in a sense that we both had very individual careers and we never really worked on the same project,’’ Vanessa starts. ‘‘That was amazing because we both got to build ourselves up as individuals. That’s something that has been so helpful for us, because you see somebody else going through a similar experience but having their own journey.’’

This topic of online sexual exploitation that the film very much dives into is such an important topic. Even in those hard moments, it was easier to keep going because it was a story that needed to be told

How they ended up making Saving Zoë is the product of more than a decade of reflection and trial. Saving Zoë is first known as a 2007 fiction book written by New York Times bestselling author Alyson Noël. ‘‘My mom got to a point where she was like: You know what? Let’s take our destiny in our hands and let’s option a book,’’ Laura states. ‘‘She got a bunch of different books for me to read essentially, and see if there is anything good, and I read all the books. They were all great but the moment I read Saving Zoë, it was very obvious to me how special it was, and how much I connected to it.’’



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