In case you missed it (because there is a lot going on in the world), Netflix recently dropped a show called The Big Show Show and starring The Big Show himself. Talk Nerdy with Us had the chance to ask his thirteen year old on-screen daughter, Lily Brooks, a few questions about what it’s like working with a 7 foot tall, 400 pound co-star and some of her “nerdy” qualities. Keep reading to see what she had to say!
Can you tell us about your character “Mandy” on the new Netflix series The Big Show Show?
Without giving too much away, Mandy is determined, smart, positive, a little anxious and VERY driven. She wants to change the world and make a positive difference but she doesn’t know how to do it just yet. She has her life planned in 5 year increments. In the first episode, she is having a full on identity crisis because even though she loves her older half-sister, Lola, who is moving in with the family for the first time, Lola moving in means that now Mandy is not the oldest daughter in the family. This completely turns her world upside down because she doesn’t see herself as ‘a middle child’.
What are some “nerdy” characteristics your character may have?
Mandy loves school. She is absolutely an over-achiever, she over-analyzes almost everything and she is a little too adult for her tween everyday world. Mandy’s idols are RBG (Ruth Bader Ginsberg) and Amy Poehler’s character on Parks and Rec, Leslie Knope. Mandy looks up to them because they want to make change for good in the world and Mandy also wants to change the world, but Mandy sometimes is so focused on changing the world that she forgets about everything going on around her.
What was the audition process like before you landed this role?
I lived in New York City before moving to LA at the end of July 2019 for The Big Show Show. When my agent sent the audition for the role of ‘Mandy’, it was for a self-tape, but I was actually in LA for a couple of weeks last summer for a voiceover project and to spend time with some friends. My manager called casting and they literally squeezed me in to see me in person. It went amazing but I didn’t hear anything back until a few weeks later when I was home in NYC. It was 9pm and my mom got an email from my agent that casting wanted me to come in for a producer’s session the very next day in LA. We had to send a self-tape because I couldn’t get to LA that quickly. I woke up the next morning and had a stomach virus. My mom had to leave work to pick medicine up for me. I did the tape while I was sick. We heard a couple of weeks later on my 13th birthday, while I was at camp in Tennessee, that the producers wanted me to come for testing. We flew to LA the next week and I found out I got the role the next day. We had nine days to move from NYC to LA. We drove because my mom wanted my siblings and our dog with us. It was a crazy cross-country adventure.
How was it working with The Big Show? Did you all feel like family while filming?
Working with The Big Show was amazing!! I was a little nervous because he is over 7 feet tall and in his wrestling pictures he looks a little (ok, a lot) intimidating. But when I met him, he was so sweet and kind to me. He is the very best TV dad and is really protective of me, Reylynn and Juliet (my sisters on The Big Show Show). My sisters on the show and I became like actual sisters almost instantly. Allison Munn, who plays my mom, is a multi-cam veteran and was an INCREDIBLE role model. She taught us so much. We really do love each other like family and I miss them! We haven’t been able to do the press that had been planned together because of Covid-19 and I’m sad I haven’t been able to see them. We are all looking forward to getting back together soon.
What can we look forward to for your character Mandy during this first season?
Mandy’s world is turned upside down in the first episode. She really loves and looks up to her half-sister, Lola, who has only spent holidays with the family, but now with Lola moving in, Mandy becomes the middle sister instead of the ‘big’ sister. Mandy likes order, rules, consistency and Lola moving in changes Mandy’s place in the family which causes an identity crisis for Mandy. Mandy also decides to take on school politics and then has some tween social ‘life’ events.
How is it for you juggling school, and your shooting schedule, and spending time with friends and family?
During filming, we are on set 9 1/2 hours a day, and then many weeks, I had school to make up on set on Saturdays. I attend a virtual school, Dwight Global, that allows me to have a flexible schedule when I need it. I did school on set on Mondays and Tuesdays at least 4-5 hours when we were rehearsing. Wednesdays’ school time depended on how rehearsals were going. On Thursdays and Fridays when we were filming, I was only able to do one hour of school each day. I usually did school all day on Sunday and my family would go to the beach together every Saturday.
You’re very multi-faceted actress, from being in broadway to now being a series regular on a Netflix show. Was the transition hard or easy? And why?
The Big Show Show is a multi-cam sitcom and films in front of a live audience. For me, it was like the perfect combination of what I love – film and theatre. I started out doing theatre when I was five years old. I BEGGED my mom to let me do film and tv acting for eight months straight when I was 7-8 years old. She finally said ‘yes’ and I did a film with Dolph Lundgren when I was eight. That year, I was also cast as ‘Matilda’ in the National Tour of the Broadway show Matilda the Musical and was on Matilda for over eight months. After we moved from Memphis, TN, to NYC, I did a lot of staged readings for new plays and musicals and kept doing a lot of theatre. I also did a TON of short films. Because The Big Show Show is filmed in front of a live audience, it is like a blend of the best of the two worlds I love.
What was your favorite thing about being on the set? Did your whole family get to visit you or just mom or dad?
My favorite part about being on set is everything. I really love being on set. My mom is always on set because I am only 13 years old and have to have a guardian on set with me, but my brother, sister, and/or dad came to almost all of our live tapings on Fridays.
What are your hobbies?
I love playing guitar, singing, baking, spending time with my family at Disneyland and the beach, and taking trapeze lessons.
If you could choose any current show to have a guest spot on, what would it be and why?
That is a tough one. I LOVE watching Grey’s Anatomy and would be thrilled to have a guest spot in a drama series. Also, This is Us is amazing! I have friends on Disney’s Sydney to the Max and on Netflix’s Family Reunion, so those would be fun comedies to be a guest star on.
Our website is called “Talk Nerdy with Us” because we embrace our inner nerd. What is something you’re super nerdy about? What’s your favorite fandom or hobby? What keeps you busy during shoots?
I’m super organized. I make lists about EVERYTHING. I have three planners. I have watched the entire series of Gilmore Girls like five times I think, maybe six, but who’s counting?! We are so busy on set with rehearsals and school but my sisters and I like to play games in the classroom and play in the courtyard to get some sun and PE.