Meet 11-Year-Old Breakout (and YouTube Discovery) Royalty Hightower

Courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories
'The Fits'

'The Fits' actress, who was spotted by director Anna Rose Holmer in online videos of her dance troupe, wows in the indie film as a quiet, introverted girl whose fellow dance team members begin suffering mysterious fits. What's next? "Acting, dancing and sixth grade."

WHO Royalty Hightower in The Fits (in limited release in N.Y.; out June 10 in L.A.)

WHERE YOU'VE SEEN HER BEFORE You haven't. Hightower, 11, makes her debut in Anna Rose Holmer's critically lauded indie, playing a quiet, introverted girl whose fellow dance team members begin suffering mysterious fits.

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE NOW Hightower, whom Holmer discovered via YouTube videos of Q-Kidz — the Cincinnati dance team Hightower joined at age 6 and which is featured in the film — is being hailed as one of the most exciting screen discoveries of the year thus far. "The gorgeous Royalty Hightower brings preternatural self-possession and quiet depths to the central role of Toni," wrote THR critic David Rooney in his review after the film's premiere at the Venice Film Festival last fall.

HER DREAM DIRECTOR Though she counts the Chucky movies and Kenneth Branagh's live-action Cinderella as her favorites, there's one man at the top of Hightower's list of people with whom she wants to work: Steven Spielberg.

WHAT'S NEXT FOR HER "Acting, dancing and sixth grade," Hightower, who recently signed with Paradigm, tells THR, though her longer-term plans sound more glamorous: "I'm going to move to L.A. I'm going to have two dogs, a big pool, bring my whole family with me and build a new studio for my dance team."

This story first appeared in the June 17 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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