Top Morning Favorite, The Rickey Smiley Morning Show, Extends Its Reach to a New Audience
Lilan Bowden stars as the free-spirited 'Bex Mack' in Disney's award-winning, coming-of-age series "Andi Mack." The show films in Utah (new episodes for Season 3 debuted in September). Bowden plays the mother of the title character played by Peyton Elizabeth Lee. We caught up with the actress who shared not only her love for television, but the comedy stage as well. Describe your TV character Bex Mack? For people who have not seen the show, my character was introduced as 13 year-old Andi Mack's older sister who ran away and comes back home to restart her life. In the pilot episode— it was revealed she is not the older sister, but the mom. Throughout the show, fans see Bex transitioning from not wanting to settle down to becoming a different person. Andi Mack airs on Monday's on the Disney Channel. Why should people tune in to watch? I think Andi Mack is not only a good show for children and teenagers, but it's really good for families. I've gotten a lot of feedback from people my age, people who are parents, and those who don't have kids who say they really like it. I think the reason why is because it's so relatable. This show captures what it's really like to grow up with the things that can be harsh for pre-teens and teens. Another great thing about the show— it's so diverse. You have an Asian-American family and the first of it's kind— a gay series regular, Cyrus Goodman who is played by actor Joshua Rush. We also deal with anxiety attacks and kids not fitting in, which I don't think is always represented in children's television. How involved are the actors, with the writers to keep up the authenticity of the show? We have a really skilled group of writers that actually watch us (the cast) and let us influence how the writing will go for the show. Though we don't have a direct impact on what the content is—I can tell the scripts are influenced by us. For example: There is one episode where Andi teaches Bex how to solve a Rubik's Cube. That whole scene came from the head writer, Terri Minsky. She watched me onset trying to solve a Rubik's Cube with a crew member. A couple of weeks later, I see the dialogue from that interaction in the script (laughter). The mother and daughter chemistry between you and Peyton Elizabeth Lee is so believable. What is your favorite scene together so far? I will say... when we have scenes together we always talk about how much we love it! We are really close which makes my job so much easier. A favorite scene we shot? There is the episode where me and Andi Mack are in a pillow fort taking quizzes in a magazine and we get into a fight. It was great because we actually got to spend days in a fort together, eating snacks leading up to us filming the fight scene. We both said how we were looking forward to it and then not because we really do hate it when we have to fight onscreen. We love each other that much (laughter).Upcoming projects outside of Andi Mack? I am currently in Utah where the show is filmed, but whenever I go back to L.A. I try to get a little bit done. I'll be in the next season of "Future Man" on Hulu. There is also a web series my friends created that I am a apart of called, "The Filth." I saw the trailer and it's really good! I got to film that during my hiatus. I'm a big part of the L.A. comedy theater "Upright Citizens Brigade." I always get in a couple of live shows when I'm there. So for people who really like live comedy and who live in Los Angeles, you can check my Instagram or Twitter and I can tell you when I'm performing. You can also catch me on Lilan and Wilder where my friend and I shoot one-minute comedy sketches.
New episodes of "Andi Mack" airs Monday nights at 8:00 PM on
Disney ChannelBy Twins of Media Feature photo: Eric Schwabel | Inset: Joanna Degeneres
Dorien Wilson stars in the Bounce TV comedy "In The Cut" now in its fourth season. He plays the character of Jason Weaver, a barbershop owner who meets a young man named Kenny (Ken Lawson) the biological son he never knew about. It's a fan favorite sitcom full of laughter and cast mate camaraderie. We caught up with Dorien by phone in between him filming a movie in Florida. Reminding him he will always be known by fans as Professor Olgevee (The Parkers). Read more on why he believes his career has lasted this long and the one actor he has never seen in a bad mood. Tell us what fans can expect more of following Season 4 of In The Cut? More of the funny. I think this is our best season yet. I think we are more solidified in our character and the relationships we have built with each other. We added Kellita Smith (Bernie Mac show) who plays my love interest, Cheryl. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but Jay's status changes in the season finale. It's a really funny show and we're just here to tickle your funny bone for 22 minutes. What do you like most about working with the cast? It's so funny. I was talking about this not too long ago. All of us grew up in the ranks together in this business. I originally played Jackee Harry's boyfriend in Sister, Sister and fast forward twenty-something years and I play her ex-husband on this show. How crazy is that? (laughter)...we all have a relationship. As you know, Ken Lawson and I were on The Parkers together for 6 years. I was stoked when they told me he would play my TV son. As long as I've worked with this brother, I have never seen him in a bad mood or with an attitude. He's just one of the most kindest and professional people I have met in this business and I love working with him. For years, people thought me and John Marshall Jones (Clevon "Smitty" Smith) was the same person (laughs). I was always asked, "Are you the actor from The Smart Guy?" and he would have people greet him "Hey Professor!" Now we're working together side by side on the same show. Better yet, he and I share the same birthday and birth year (laughs). What would you say is the reason you have enjoyed longevity in your acting career? God! It's such a blessing. I don't take anything for granted because it can be taken away at any time. I have been so fortunate and blessed to remain consistent and relevant. It's sometimes unheard of in this type of career. I have been a regular on 6 television shows and it's amazing! I'm also doing more things behind the scenes as well. I am one of three executive producers for a new movie— a romantic comedy called His, Hers & the Truth. It's a very funny movie that I'm also in along with comedian, Cocoa Brown who plays my wife. It debuts Valentine's Day 2019. I'm so proud of the film! It's one of the reasons I was in Atlanta. We're bringing Hollywood to Dublin, GA where two of the executive producers are from. It's a small town and we're going to roll out the red carpet and have a Q&A session surrounding the movie. It will be fun! In all, I'm just reinventing myself as I go along. I just finished a Nickelodeon show—Belle and the Bulldog for three seasons where I played a coach and worked with some really amazing kids! When was the last time you laughed out loud in real life and not on social media? With my kids. They're nuts (laughs). Both of my children relish in picking on dad. They talk about how old I am though they say I look good and don't age. They crack on me for not knowing social media or computers, but the two of them together when they gang up is hysterical. It's all funny until I curse them out...(laughter). We think Dorien Wilson is a pretty happy go lucky guy and we look forward to seeing him acting for many more years.
SEASON 4 FINALE OF IN THE CUT AIRS TONIGHT ON BOUNCE TV 9/8C