We met actors Sofia Wylie (Buffy Driscoll), Asher Angel (Jonah Beck) and Joshua Rush (Cyrus Goodman), who star on the Disney TV show “Andi Mack,” when they were visiting Manhattan recently at the Disney offices.
Asher, is it wonderful playing a character who has so much personality?
Asher: I think that we can all learn something from Cyrus. And that’s what’s important. I think a big part of being an actor is learning to play characters that might not be somewhat like you. So I think playing a character who likes another boy is a cool and exciting experience more than anything else.
Sofia, was it hard learning so many basketball stunts?
Sofia: Yes, it was. I’ve been a dancer most of my life. So I’m used to footwork. But basketball is a lot different than dance. So it was a big change for me. But it was really fun to get to do something different. And to exercise while you’re doing lines and all of that, because I love being active. But these two right here — I mean, Josh, he’s got some true basketball skills. Asher’s actually really good, too. They taught me a bunch of things. I’ve been watching Asher do basketball. He’s really good at it.
Asher: I try.
If you guys could add anything to the show, what would it be?
Sofia: I would add that Buffy is a superhero. Awesome all the time. She can do everything. She’s like even cooler than like Superman. That would really change the course of the show. But I mean, this is fictional, so it’s OK.
Joshua: I think we should make Cyrus the president of the United States. And just change the name of the show to “Cyrus Goodman, President.” I think that’s where the show should be headed.
Asher: I’m with Sofia on this one. I want to be a superhero. Jonah is Aquaman.
Sofia: We’re practically changing Andi Mack to Avenger Mack.
Josh: I said president because I’m always the one that gets killed in Avenger movies.
Asher: We’ll save you.
Sofia, when your character made the boys basketball team, did it make you feel empowered?
Sofia: So much, because I am all about female empowerment. I believe that girls can do anything a boy can do, and more. But it really shows how confident Buffy is. And how, when someone tells her she can’t do something, she does it. And she succeeds in so many different ways. So I love being able to represent that for girls all around the world.
How is your character like you in real life?
Joshua: I think Cyrus can be just kind of weird in the funniest ways. I can be like that, too, sometimes. I can make some kind of questionable decisions when it comes to choices for how to keep myself organized and stuff like that.
Sofia: So it’s like secretly escaping.
Asher: Jonah, he’s thoughtful. He’s sensitive and he can be very oblivious at times. But I think what we have in common is, I feel like he’s always happy. He’s always like trying to make people happy.
Sofia: I want to say something that Buffy and I have in common is we both love fashion. And we both love our friends so, so much. If Buffy had a dog, we’d have that in common. But it’s fine. I’ve been asking from season 1 to have a dog. One of my favorite things about the show is whenever we have a wardrobe session, I get to choose different clothes. And I get to experiment with different looks for Buffy.
What was the audition process?
Sofia: It’s different for everybody, it’s different. There’s never the same audition process. I think we could just say like usually you either send in a self-tape, which I don’t think any of us did. But sometimes you do that. Then you go to the casting director. And then you go to the producer route. Then you go to the network round. Then you go to the director round. Then you go to the chemistry test. And then you go to the test. Sometimes for movies it’s a longer process or shorter, it depends on what network you’re auditioning for.
Joshua: Yeah, same. It’s all just a matter of going into a room with a different, and each time it becomes a slightly more important person, like a hierarchy. And each time you go in you do a similar set of lines, and you try your best. And they weed out the ones that they don’t like. And the ones that they did like come back again. And they weed out the next ones. It’s just a matter of getting rid of people who aren’t the best until you’re left with the person who you like the most.
This is for Cyrus and Buffy. Your relationship on the show, are you guys close off-camera?
Joshua: Yes. We ended up this season living in the same apartment building. Last season, too.
Sofia: Last season as well. We practically are together 24/7 even when we’re not on set. But it’s been so much fun filming with each and every one of these people. But Josh is my bestie and so are you, Asher. I love them to death.
What advice would you give to your own character?
Sofia: Oh, the best questions. I would say for Buffy, because she’s had a big roller coaster with her trying to be less competitive and realize that friendship and being kind to people are more important. And she’s really gotten better at doing that throughout season 1 to season 2. But I would say just that I would hope that she would continue to progress in that and get better at realizing that not everything is about living.
Asher: I think Jonah needs to work on — he’s not able to express his feelings. And he’s just like pretending that he’s this happy guy all the time, but there’s really something else to the story. So I would like to see him open up, find his voice.
Joshua: I’d say I think Cyrus is a really layered character. You can peel back all those layers like an onion. I think at his core, Cyrus wants to be himself. And that’s what I try to be every day.
What do you guys do in your free time?
Asher: We do everything together.
Sofia: I think as a unit, we go to the movies. We go bowling.
Joshua and Asher: We go roller skating.
Asher: We have sleepovers.
Sofia: We love to hang out and do what every other kid in the world would do.
Joshua: We have sleepovers together where I go to bed like at 9. Sofia goes to bed at like 11. And then . . . Asher goes to bed like 5 in the morning.
Sofia: Yeah. But I would say we do what everyday people do. Just hang out and enjoy each other’s presence.
Joshua: Play video games.
What was your favorite episode to shoot so far?
Joshua: It’s a tossup between two episodes, I really loved the episode where the finale of season 1, technically the first episode of season 2, which has the scene that Cyrus came out to Buffy, which was so amazing and powerful to shoot. And then also the bar mitzvah episode, that one was super-fun to shoot. I think you guys are going to get a chance to see a little bit of that, too. It would be fun.
Sofia: My answer is exactly what Josh just said. I absolutely adored our season 2 premiere episode. It was so much fun to shoot. And there are so many emotional scenes for everybody, but fun scenes, too. And in the bar mitzvah episode that you guys are about to see. Is it, what’s today? It’s happening this Friday. I don’t know what days are anymore. OK, now you guys want to know why we loved it so much. There are so many cool scenes.
Joshua: That dance sequence was so much fun.
Stefanie Baldante’s fifth-grade class, W.S. Mount Elementary School, Stony Brook