He’s All That, a reinterpretation of 1999 rom-com She’s All That, just got a release date: It starts streaming on Netflix on August 27th. Addison Rae will make her theatrical debut in the film, marking the first time a TikTok-bred celebrity has starred in a major motion picture.
But beforehand, she sat down with Rolling Stone to break down she built her multiplatform brand, which now spans social media, music, cosmetics, fashion, audio, and video, for the latest installment of the 101 series.
Launching a film career is daunting enough to pack anyone’s calendar, but the 20-year-old Rae decided to do so while simultaneously recording music for the first time and running a cosmetics company, Item Beauty. Rae, who started professionally dancing at age six, has said that she’s always seen herself as an entertainer; TikTok was just a stepping stone that unlocked a world of opportunities. “It’s really hard, in the world of social media, to [define] who you actually are and not let that waver with what people have to say about you and what people think,” she tells Rolling Stone, adding that she relates to her He’s All That character who is “struggling to find herself.”
But Rae says she was “always one to handle a lot of things at once” — a trait she learned from her parents, growing up — and consciously chooses to focus on the “things that let me express myself and get out my emotions.”
Although she didn’t start filming for He’s All That until November, Rae had to undergo intense acting training and take script analysis classes in preparation for the role. (She had never professionally acted before.) Last summer, she began studying cinema in between business meetings for her newly launched merch line, tapings of her weekly podcast Mama knows Best, and near-daily trips to the recording studio. Needless to say, Rae understands that today’s fans crave an abundance of content.
For as many followers as Rae has, she’s also accumulated haters who are quick to condemn TikTok stars, claiming that virality doesn’t involve talent or work ethic. Yet Rae — who has studied the art of performance since she was a dancer — prefers to wave off the critics and let the success of her business enterprise speak for itself. The unwavering confidence and optimism that exudes from a self-made millionaire who didn’t grow up with much is charming, to say the least.
“I just always want to be working my brain,” says Rae, who wakes up at 5 a.m. every day to give herself time to relax, play music, and get ready for the day ahead. “I’ve always wanted to be working all the time, [being] productive. Juggling kind of always came easily to me. These are all things that are very important to me and a part of who I am, so learning how to handle them all at once hasn’t been too much of a struggle.”