Actresses Peyton Elizabeth Lee, who stars as Andi on the Disney show “Andi Mack,” and Lilan Bowden, who stars on the show as Bex, were in Manhattan recently. We talked to them about their TV show. “Andi Mack” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on the Disney Channel and is always available on the DisneyNOW app.
What is your goal for the way the show should end?
Peyton: We talked about it a lot, and it all depends upon how long we go — which we hope is forever. Season 305! That is a really hard question, but it would be really cool to graduate [from] high school as our finale. That would be incredible.
Lilan: So much has happened the last two seasons, and so much more is going to happen in season two. I would just love to see where these characters grow and what interests them and what their other passions are after high school. I would love to see Bex and the family unit expand.
How often do you see your family?
Peyton: We work in Utah and my family lives in California, so that is a little difficult. But my parents switch off, so I see my parents every three weeks. My siblings I see once every two months.
Lilan: I see my parents every time we have a break, so it’s probably once every four months.
How do you relate to your character?
Peyton: I think we can all relate to our characters. They all pull certain traits from the characters that they watch. But I think with Andi, the coolest thing that I totally associate myself with is figuring out who you are from everyone around you. Andi has her family and her best friends, and they are all influencing her and they are sculpting her personality. I can relate to that because, like Andi, I have a lot of people that I love and care about.
Lilan: How I can relate to Bex is that she is always trying to improve herself. She knows it is going to be difficult, but it is always going to be for the better. That is something she didn’t do before she came home and told Andi she was her mom. She is trying to embrace all of that. She is trying to be a good mom and trying to find a good job. That is what I want to do, too. I never want to get too comfortable, and keep pushing myself.
What is your favorite aspect about your character?
Lilan: That she rides a motorcycle. My favorite aspect of Bex is she is not afraid to engage in conflicts and she is not afraid to make mistakes. She is OK failing sometimes. And, she can cause trouble.
Peyton: My answer is similar. Andi is confident in herself and she is also not afraid to ask for help.
How have your lives changed since you have become actresses?
Peyton: A lot! I would say the most different part is just walking out on the street and all of a sudden someone wants a picture with you. It is incredible to see the people who have enjoyed the show. But everything has changed: school-wise, my family, my friends. It is all different. It has been exciting.
Lilan: I have gotten to meet a lot more kids. Not a lot of kids in my family — we are all pretty much grown-ups — so with the show I have gotten to meet a lot of families and kids, and it is so much fun meeting them all.
Who influenced you to be an actor?
Peyton: Well, my dad is an actor, so that is definitely part of it. There was a feeling I got when I watched shows and movies and different actors and actresses: I wanted to have an outlet to express myself that could help everyone else. Acting was a super-interesting way to do that.
Lilan: I really liked watching “Saturday Night Live” and other comedies. I always wanted to do theater when I was in elementary and middle school. When I got to college, I did a lot more comedy, and I never stopped.
Do you get to have any input on your character’s storyline?
Peyton: Definitely. We have an incredible writer-director-producer, Terri Minsky, and she is really an incredible observer, and I think that she sees things that we don’t even see in ourselves. When she writes these scripts, she takes that into account as to what Peyton might say or Lilan might say. I don’t think we contribute to it voluntarily, but involuntarily.
Lilan: Do you remember the episode with the Rubik’s Cube? That started when Terri came on set and she saw that we were all learning Rubik’s Cubes, and someone in the camera section was teaching me. Terri was like, “Wow, that is really interesting,” and she was writing down how we did it. The song that Bex sings? I helped to write that!
If you could choose to be another character in the show other than yourself, who would it be?
Lilan: I think I would be Cyrus because he is so funny and adorable. He has so many jokes that make fun of himself, and I can totally relate to that.
Peyton: I think I would like to be Bex. I have an appreciation for how careless and free she is. Although it gets her into trouble sometimes, it seems to work out for the best.
What are some of the other things you did besides acting while growing up?
Peyton: I was a dancer. A ballet dancer. When I booked “Andi Mack,” that was put on the back burner.
Lilan: I am not done growing up, and I have only done acting. In my spare time, I like to draw and play guitar. When I was younger, I would skateboard a lot. I could skateboard around but I couldn’t do any tricks.
What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?
Peyton: I like spending time with my family and my friends. I like relaxing.
Lilan: I like to make crafts, and we do crafts together.
Peyton, are you as creative as your character?
Peyton: I think I am as creative but just in different ways. I think that I am creative in acting and in dancing. It is a different way of expressing creativity.
Lilan, what training did you have to ride a motorcycle?
Lilan: You are going to be so disappointed — it’s not me! That is one of my goals before season three, to really know how to ride a motorcycle. But in the meantime, just to keep me safe, they won’t let me.
Maggie Rago’s fifth-grade class, McKenna Elementary School, Massapequa Park