“Anaconda” rapper Nicki Minaj had some exciting news Friday: The actress who will play her younger self in the ABC Family comedy “Nicki” was cast. Her name is Ariana Neal! She’s 11 years old.
Minaj, 33, gushed about the future star in an Instagram post. “I literally cried watching her taped audition,” she captioned a picture of Ariana singing. “I demanded to meet her! Sat in a room with her teaching her how to rap by doing a beat on the table and forcing her to stay on beat!” She added: “Then pulled out all the attitude she had in her lil body. Haha! She's tough! And so sweet and cute.”
The rapper followed up that post with another picture of the actress and she simply captioned it with a hashtag of her name. Fans seem to be excited about the casting decision, with the picture garnering more than 210,000 likes from her 42 million followers.
It’s not Ariana’s first acting gig. She has previously appeared in “Fruitvale Station,” “Get Hard,” “Repentance” and “Christmas on the Bayou.”
— Celebrity News Feed (@_CelebNewsFeed_) December 18, 2015
She’s been acting since the age of 3, according to her Internet Movie Database profile. “When she is not in front of the cameras she enjoys going to school and spending time with family and friends,” her biography reads. Some of her favorite musical artists include Beyoncé, Adele, Demi Lovato, Michael Jackson and Alicia Keys, according to her website.
Earlier in the day, Minaj sparred with Miami plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Salzhauer, but took a break from the beef to break the news about her sitcom. “I am honored and excited to announce that I've literally hand picked the main characters of my scripted series ‘Nicki,’ ” she wrote. The show will air on ABC Family, which is changing its name to Freeform next year.
“I've been going to the auditions falling in love with some incredible people. Looking forward to unveiling this groundbreaking new show for you guys in 2016,” she finished the post.
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