That Girl Lay Lay stars Alaya High as Lay Lay; Gabrielle Nevaeh Green as Sadie; Peyton Perrine III as Sadie’s brother, Marky; Tiffany Daniels as Sadie’s mom, Trish; Thomas Hobson as Sadie’s dad, Bryce; and Caleb Brown as Lay Lay and Sadie’s classmate, Jeremy. (PHOTO COURTESY OF NICKELODEON)

Arts and Entertainment

Q&A: Nickelodeon launches new series ‘That Girl Lay Lay’

Friends can be found in unlikely places, and in the upcoming Nickelodeon series “That Girl Lay Lay,” this can be especially true. The series follows Lay Lay, an avatar from a phone app, and Sadie, a girl who is struggling to make her mark in school and in need of a best friend to talk…
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/miadowdell1/" target="_self">Mia Dowdell</a>

Mia Dowdell

September 23, 2021

Friends can be found in unlikely places, and in the upcoming Nickelodeon series “That Girl Lay Lay,” this can be especially true.

The series follows Lay Lay, an avatar from a phone app, and Sadie, a girl who is struggling to make her mark in school and in need of a best friend to talk to. After Sadie wishes upon a star that her hype-girl avatar Lay Lay was real, she magically comes to life, and the two friends learn that when they are together, they can accomplish anything. “That Girl Lay Lay” also stars Peyton Perrine III as Sadie’s brother, Marky; Tiffany Daniels as Sadie’s mom, Trish; Thomas Hobson as Sadie’s dad, Bryce; and Caleb Brown as Lay Lay and Sadie’s classmate, Jeremy.

I spoke with Alaya High (That Girl Lay Lay), Gabrielle Nevaeh Green, Peyton Perrine III and Caleb Brown about their work and excitement for the series.

That Girl Lay Lay:

HSI: What does it feel like to have put so much work into the show and finally getting to see it being released to the public?
It feels amazing.

Lay Lay: It’s something I’ve always wanted and something I’ve wished for for a long time. And it feels really good to be watching one of my favorite TV shows on television, SpongeBob, and see my commercial come on after! 

HSI: How did you find out that you would be doing a show?

Lay Lay: I found out a month or two before we started filming and it was like, wow, this is happening so quick! I can’t believe I’m doing this. I was nervous because this is my first big acting gig, but in the end it was amazing and I want to keep doing it.  

HSI: Going into music, did you ever find yourself wanting to act?

Lay Lay: I’ve wanted to act for a long time but when I was first coming into the acting world, I would do a lot of auditions, but I wouldn’t get them. So I would start to get a little discouraged and after a while, I felt like I don’t want to do it anymore. I would put so much time and effort into it but nothing would come out of it. So, having my first acting gig be my own Nickelodeon show is pretty epic. 

HSI: What did you like most about acting in a TV show?

Lay Lay: The part I love acting the most in my show is that I get to be myself. I love the outfits. Oh, I love the outfits! I cannot wait for everyone to see them. They kept me blinged out! The character really is me, I don’t see much of a difference. 

HSI: What has this experience filming for the show taught you?

Lay Lay: I love acting and I can’t wait for people to see the show! I was nervous at first but it came naturally. 

HSI: What is it like working with your castmates for the show?

Lay Lay: I can’t wait for everyone to see how we all interact in the show. They’re so awesome and without them, the show wouldn’t work, because it takes a team. It takes a crew, it takes everybody to cooperate to make something work. So, I’m so glad that we all meshed very well together.

HSI: How much is music incorporated into the show?

Lay Lay: Music is incorporated in the show. There’s a bunch of dancing, a bunch of rapping, and every song you hear is recorded by me. Including the dance songs! Being able to bring my music to the acting world was on 10! 

HSI: Have you always felt that music is something you’ve wanted to make?

Lay Lay: I first started rapping when I was about 5. My dad is a music artist as well so I’ve always picked up music here and there from him.

HSI: What made you want to start making music and posting YouTube videos for it?

Lay Lay: One day I just wanted to do a freestyle video. He recorded it and posted it and then it ended up going viral! It led to me becoming the youngest female signed to a rap label. 

Gabrielle Nevaeh Green:

HSI: How is this experience different from All That?

Green: This experience is different in quite a few ways. I mean, on All That you know me for a myriad of characters, but with “That Girl Lay Lay” you guys get to know me through Sadie throughout each episode. So that’s really the biggest thing that’s different because I’m playing one continuous character throughout the entire duration of the show. But the other reason it’s different is that we have an amazing, amazing cast and this is one of the few shows that stars two female African-American leads. It’s a huge honor and feels amazing to be a part of such an incredible project. 

HSI: Can you briefly describe your characters? 

Green: I play Sadie on our show. She’s an environmentalist, she loves school but she also has anxiety. She likes to be in the back, she’s a little bit of a wallflower, which is why she needs Lay Lay to boost her confidence and get her out of her comfort zone. 

HSI: What has been your favorite thing about shooting the series?

Green: My favorite thing about shooting the series is definitely seeing how all the special effects come together. Because Lay Lay definitely has superpowers in the series, and it’s interesting to see how we freeze time and how we go invisible. I can’t wait for you all to see all the hard work that the visual effects team put into making this final product for you guys. 

HSI: Why should people tune in and watch the show? 

Green: People should tune in to watch the show because they’ll see a wonderful story of friendship, a wonderful story about growth. It’s a fantastic coming-of-age story. You see these two characters really push and pull against each other in a really hilarious way. We all hope that viewers will see a little bit about themselves in each of our characters and we hope that you’ll be able to grow along with us. 

HSI: What do you love most about the show? 

Green: I would say that I love the friendship dynamic between Sadie and Lay Lay. And then I love all the music that’s implemented throughout the show. I love the different dynamics musically with Sadie and the rest of her family and with Lay Lay. Sadie becomes Lay Lay’s DJ, which is how it all gets tied together. And eventually Lay Lay is able to boost Sadie’s confidence enough to get her to perform with her later in the season. 

HSI: What do you hope fans take away from the series?

Green: Specifically for Sadie, I hope that fans can take away that even if you’re on the shy side, or if you’re in the background, you can still achieve what you want to achieve and do a great job in school and become the person you want to be. 

Peyton Perrine III: 

HSI: Congrats on the show! What is it like being on a Nickelodeon series? 

Perrine: It’s pretty cool being on the show. I mean, working with Nickelodeon… I was a huge Nickelodeon fan when I was little, and I still am today. “PAW Patrol,” “The Fresh Beat Band,” which Tommy, who plays our dad, is also on. “SpongeBob…” It’s just amazing working on a Nickelodeon show. 

HSI: Can you briefly describe your character? 

Perrine: My character, Marky, is the younger brother. He’s a 10-year-old businessman who will stop at nothing, and I mean nothing, to get his money. He ropes his family and Jeremy into his plans, but they always have a good time. 

HSI: What has been your favorite thing about shooting the series?

Perrine: My favorite part would have to be the stunts. The stunts are top-notch. Like it’s been so much fun! 

HSI: Why should people tune in and watch the show? 

Perrine: The friendship story on the show is very powerful and I hope people also love that the characters are so funny together. The chemistry is there, and it doesn’t come across as fake. It comes across like we’re actually family which is really cool! 

HSI: What do you love most about the show? 

Perrine: My favorite part of the show would have to be the cast. The chemistry is amazing. We’re like best friends and family. And then also I just love Trish’s nicknames and the jingles. I can’t get over them! It’s just been an overall great experience. 

HSI: What do you hope fans take away from the series?

Perrine: The message that I want fans to take away from the show is that having friendships is so important because you’d be lonely if you didn’t have them. Also, I hope they get the lessons out of this story. And also that they just love the show.

Caleb Brown: 

HSI: Congrats on the show! What is it like being on a Nickelodeon series? 

Brown: It’s a dream come true! I grew up watching Nickelodeon, like me and my sister grew up watching “iCarly,” “Drake & Josh” and all of it. It’s like a dream. 

HSI: Can you briefly describe your character? 

Brown: Jeremy Miller is Sadie’s friend from childhood. He calls her his “Ride or Die.” He’s kind of the oddball out in school. He’s the smart one, he’s good with science, he’s very aware that he’s not the coolest guy but he’s into doing what makes him happy instead of just fitting in with everybody else. And he’ll do anything for his best friends! 

HSI: What has been your favorite thing about shooting the series?

Brown: I think my favorite part is that it’s so unpredictable. We come to work every day not knowing what we’re going to do… whether it’s a stunt, or we’re on a stage, or what environment. It’s always something different and it gets my adrenaline pumping. I love it. 

HSI: Why should people tune in and watch the show? 

Brown: I hope this show is an outlet for kids, for teenagers, and for people in general because we all need that outlet and I think “That Girl Lay Lay” is going to be that escape for everybody. It’ll give them that boost that they need. It’s a powerful story for sure.

HSI: What do you love most about the show? 

Brown: I would say my favorite part about the show is the character chemistry. The comedy is amazing and that just brings the comedy to a whole other level. Sadie and Jeremy have the funniest moments I think, and Marky and Jeremy are always on crazy adventures that I’d never expect them to be doing. So I think just the characters and how they go together is my favorite part. 

HSI: What do you hope fans take away from the series?

Brown: I think that we’re all so different from each other in so many different ways, yet we all fit in together so well. I hope people take away that no matter who you are, or who you have around you, you can make your life be what you want it to be. I think that’s what Lay Lay did for Sadie, and she was able to come out of her shell and become the person that she wanted to be, which I think is amazing. I hope that’s the message that spreads.