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Houstonian Isabella Ruby stars in her first feature film, Murder at Yellowstone City.

Houstonian Isabella Ruby, an 8th grader at Second Baptist School, took part in her first feature film, Murder at Yellowstone City, which premiered earlier this summer. Starring alongside a cast of A-list celebrities including Gabriel Byrne, Richard Dreyfuss, Aimee Garcia, Thomas Jane and Isaiah Mustafa, Isabella plays the precocious Josephine Wright, who is determined to find out who murdered her father. The movie, a period piece taking place in 1881, was filmed in Paradise Valley, Montana, and was produced by Houstonians Julie Stagner and Kelly Frazier. We sat down with Isabella to talk about her love of film and what comes next in her budding career. 

When did you realize you wanted to become an actor? It’s been a dream of mine since the third-grade. I tried a musical for the first time, and that first moment on stage made me realize that I was meant to be an actress. My parents were hesitant at first, but they finally said yes. It’s a dream come true.

What was your first role? As the lead of Ursula in the Little Mermaid in my school’s theater program.

How do you balance acting and school? School musicals have their schedule built around the school’s schedule. As far as film goes, it helped that my first feature film was during Covid, and there was a lot of virtual support from my school. I also had an excellent onset teacher.

What do you like best about being an actor? I like the actual acting itself and getting to play a character. 

You were recently in Murder at Yellowstone City. What did you enjoy most about filming this movie? I enjoyed that it was not in the studio but on an actual set. I also loved that it was an authentic setting, and the town of Yellowstone existed in the exact location all those years ago. The actors and director were also a joy to work with, and it was a great first experience. 

What are some of your upcoming projects? I have another western going into production this fall. It hasn’t been officially announced, but I am thrilled to play another tough character. I will get to ride horses and do some more shootouts. I’m really excited.

  • Photo Credit Barry Fantich