Sherry Cola is a multi-hyphenate talent; she’s a comedian, writer and actress who, over the last year, has become one to watch in the entertainment industry. Currently, she stars in Good Trouble as Alice, a first-generation Asian-American who manages The Coterie.
I got the chance to talk to Sherry about who in her life she would credit with helping her decide that acting is what she wanted to do for a living, Alice’s journey on season two of Good Trouble, what she’s nerding out about and so much more! Keep reading to see what she had to say!
Tell me a little bit about how you got into acting originally.
I’ve been passionate about comedy since high school. I made funny videos, hosted the talent shows, and even got voted “Most Outgoing” in the yearbook. Fully pursing entertainment was always in the back of my head, but I didn’t actually go for it until 2016. I started doing stand-up and getting good feedback about my character Lil’ Tasty, and that’s when I realized it’s now or never. I signed up for UCB and just got the ball rolling.
Was there a specific person or experience that you would credit with helping you decide that acting is what you wanted to do for a living?
Absolutely. I’m grateful to have my manager Colin on this journey with me. I originally met him in college when I was doing campus radio, and we kept in touch. I remember him really believing in me even back then. In 2016, when I decided to put 100% into comedy, we connected and pretty much decided to make some moves. The rest is history!
Let’s talk about Good Trouble, which is my favorite new show of 2019. What did you first think about the show when you read the script? What was your audition process like for the show?
Off the bat, I was told that a “first-generation Asian lesbian, not out to her parents, aspires to be a stand-up” was something that these creators wanted to see. So many aspects of Alice mirror my real life, so it went from “I want this role” to “I need this role” especially because of how under-represented this specific story has been. The audition process was a nice challenge because there was a big emotional scene. My background is in making people laugh, so I really had to dig deep. I gotta say, I did the damn thing! I remember hitting it off with the producers: Peter [Paige], Bradley [Bredeweg], and Joanna [Johnson]. There was a handful of rounds I went through. It was nerve-racking because I could freakin’ taste it! I cried so hard when I booked it. Honestly, it was meant to be.
Were you a fan of The Fosters before you got the role, or at least familiar with the show?
I was familiar with The Fosters, but I didn’t watch it until I got the role. I binged the crap out of it, and I truly became a fan. I swear I didn’t sleep for a week because I was on the edge of my seat after every episode. The way the stories weaved together, and how much heart was in the show… I mean, it got me even more excited to be working with these people!
I know a lot of actors bring a bit of themselves to the characters they play, but in what ways do you think you’re similar to Alice and in what ways do you think you’re different from Alice?
There are endless things about Alice that I relate to. I come from an immigrant family, so I totally understand not seeing eye to eye with your parents. Alice and I are both people-pleasers because we value our friendships. We’re both trying to navigate things in our 20s, that’s for sure. I’d say I’m a little more outspoken than she is… and maybe a little more selfish [laughs].
At the end of season 1, Alice finally came out to her parents! But she still has a lot to figure out when it comes to navigating her sexuality out in the open. We’ve seen a little bit of it already in season 2, with Joey wanting to switch to they/them pronouns and Alice not being completely comfortable with that, but what can fans expect from Alice’s journey this season as she navigates her sexuality?
I’m thrilled that Alice finally came out to her parents, but she isn’t even close to holding it all together. She’s barely starting to find comfort in her own skin, and now there are more changes for her to learn about and adjust to. She was with Sumi for so long, and both of them were living secret lesbian lives. Now Alice has a chance to be more exposed to her LGBTQI+ community, and meet new people. Fans will see Alice’s journey as REAL. No relationship is perfect, and she’s figuring it out. There will continue to be a rollercoaster of emotions and dilemmas, especially when Alice steps into the stand-up world.
Kind of going off of that, a lot of your scenes are with Daisy Eagan, who plays Joey. What’s it like having her as a scene partner?
Daisy is super cool. We had comedic chemistry from the jump, so that’s a plus. The first day we met, we had to make out immediately. Ha! We’ve learned to have fun and not take each other too seriously.
One of the things I love about Good Trouble and Freeform in general is that they really put inclusivity first. How important is it to you to be a part of a project and network that embraces that?
It’s unbelievably important. Freeform believes in making sure every single person feels seen. No matter who you are, I know you can relate to at least one character on Good Trouble and that means the world to me. Freeform prioritizes people of color, the LGBTQI+ community, social issues – the list goes on. Portraying Alice has already made so much impact. I feel lucky. I hope to see more and more progress everywhere else.
Which upcoming episode in season two are you most excited for fans to see and why?
There’s an episode coming up that shows Alice is a completely different light. She really breaks out of her shell in a way you’d never expect. Three words: Bang Bang Boom. Stay tuned!
Since Good Trouble is all about what it is like being in your early 20s and figuring out adulthood, what is something you wish you had known in your early 20s?
I know I have to trust the universe’s timing, but I should’ve started acting way sooner in life. So in my early 20’s, I wish someone told me to throw fear out of the window because anything is possible and your dreams are worth chasing!
Lastly, we’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner nerd so what is something that you’re currently nerding out about?
I LOVE AUBREY DRAKE GRAHAM.
Photo Credits: Photography – Shanna Fisher; Hair – Preston Wada; Makeup – Tiffany Lee