- Full Name Ella Jay Basco
- Occupation Actress, Songwriter
- Nationality American
- Birthplace California, USA
- Birth Date Sep 17, 2006
- Age 16 Years, 2 Months
"….on the other hand, I have been bullied for my race by kids at school. Trying to break that mentality and the model minority myth is really important to me — especially teaching other girls, hopefully my kids, the next generation. We're not just a stereotype. We're more important than that."
Ella Jay Basco | Biography 2021Anti-Racism Activist
Ella Jay Basco landed her breakthrough project, the DC Comics-based superhero action movie 'Birds of Prey,' when she was 13 years old. The movie was released on 7 February 2020. She landed one of the first Asian characters written in the DC comic universe, Cassandra Cain.
Ella Jay Basco is an actress famous for starring Cassandra Cain in the DC movie 'Birds of Prey.'
Who is Ella Jay Basco?
Basco was born in an Asian family in California. Her mother is Korean, and her father is Filipino.
Growing up in a traditionally rich Filipino family, Ellay Jay was often bullied in school for being Asian and her mixed culture. For this reason, she became an active advocate against racial prejudice in American society and opposed stereotyping of female beauty standards.
Basco's family members were involved in the film industry, and so she had positive role models to pursue her artistic capabilities while growing up. Her career began when she appeared on a commercial while she was six months old.
Then, before acting in Birds of Prey, she appeared in minor characters on shows like Veep & Superior Donuts, Happyland, season 9 of Grey's Anatomy, and the 2015 short film Glimpse of Heaven.
In 2020, she appeared in the comic-based movie Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn, alongside Margot Robbie and Ewan McGregor.
Basco has also pursued a career in music. She released her first album Middle School in 2020 and singles' Nadu', 'Screaming in the Rain,' and 'Gold' in 2021.
Ella Jay Basco was born on 17 September 2006 in Los Angeles, California. Her father, actor, and acting coach Derek Basco is from the Philippines, and her mother is from Korea. She is the second child among four siblings. Also, she is the niece of American actors Dion, Dante, Darion, and Derek Basco.
Basco wanted to become an actress from a young age. She grew up watching her family members work in the film industry that made acting and singing a regular sight for her. She also received positive enforcement and support from her family, making it easier for her to pursue her interest without hesitation.
Growing Up an Asian
Growing up in a traditional Filipino family, Basco's childhood was filled with frequent family gatherings, followed by karaoke nights with singing and dancing. Basco had shared on many occasions that growing up in an Asian family with the freedom of expression in music and art kept her confident in her abilities and to pursue them from a young age.
"Growing up I had a very supportive family, so on one hand I received a lot of positive enforcement… I was kind of born into the industry, just because I was surrounded by a lot of actors in my family. My uncle Dante played Rufio in Hook, so I think it's second nature to me, just because we were always doing auditions and acting exercises."
Basco was bullied for being Asian at school. And this made her strong to support her culture and race and believe it would help eradicate such stigmatization towards Asian people.
Basco has been an advocate against racial discrimination as she had faced the hate as a mixed raced Asian girl, "….on the other hand, I have been bullied for my race by kids at school. Trying to break that mentality and the model minority myth is really important to me — especially teaching other girls, hopefully my kids, the next generation. We're not just a stereotype. We're more important than that."
Basco started her career in the show business from commercials. She was six months old when she appeared in an Old Navy print advertisement. After that, Basco did several commercials and acted in minor characters on TV shows such as Veep & Superior Donuts and Happyland. Basco appeared on season 9 of Grey's Anatomy when she was five years old. In 2015, she starred in the short film Glimpse of Heaven.
'Birds of Prey'
Basco landed her breakthrough project at 13, the DC Comics-based superhero action movie, Birds of Prey, originally titled, Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn. The movie was released on 7 February 2020.
She landed one of the first Asian characters written in the DC comic universe, Cassandra Cain. Cain is an orphaned petty thief who often swears to show that she is tough but has a soft heart for the people she loves. In the movie, Cain, by mistake, pickpocket's Roman Sionis's important diamond and suddenly becomes the center of attention. She is then recruited by Harley Quinn, who mentors Cain to be a better fighter and protects her from Sionis. Cain and Quinn's conquest is then joined by their fellow superheroes Black Canary, Huntress, and Renee Montoya.
The character Sionis was played by Ewan McGregor, Harley Quinn was by Margot Robbie, Black Canary was by Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Huntress was by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Renee Montoya was by Rosie Perez.
When Robbie first played her character of Harley Quinn in the 2016 movie Suicide Squad, Basco was only nine years old and could not watch the film as it was rated as PG-13. However, to Basco, working with Robbie was a dream-like situation.
Preparation for Cassandra Cain role
Basco read through the DC's original comics to learn more about the role. Then, as suggested by Robbie, Basco watched mentor-mentee relationship movies like Natalie Portman's Leon: The Professional and Taxi Driver. She also went through rigorous martial arts training and pickpocketing tricks to master Cain's habits.
Basco released her first EP, Middle School, in 2020 with six self-composed songs. She also appeared on the music video of one of the soundtracks of Birds of Prey, titled 'Sway With Me.' The song was specially composed for the female superheroes by the artists Saweetie & GALXARA.
In 2021, she released back-to-back singles, 'Nadu' and 'Screaming in the Rain.' Her third single in 2021, 'Gold,' was presented as a mockery to the existing beauty standards - to have fair and clear skin for women/girls. The song was co-written with her brother Daryl Basco and rapper Ruby Ibarra.
Besides acting and music, Basco is committed to her studies. Though she finds it challenging to balance her career and school, Dasco calls herself a nerd as she likes mathematics and history.
She also had a personal tutor while shooting for Birds of Prey and tried to complete her scenes in the early months of shooting to get back to school.