We met actor and comedian Joey Bragg, who stars as Joey Rooney on the Disney show "Liv and Maddie," at Planet Hollywood in Manhattan recently.
Is your character on the show anything like you in real life?
Yeah, kind of exactly the same, me and Joey. But mostly our names. I do weird stuff all the time. I was just the other day at a golf range with my dad, where we were just hitting golf balls as hard as you can. Not very good. But a couple of little girls were like, "Oh you're Joey from 'Liv and Maddie' " and I was like, "Yeah, I am." I took pictures with them and they were watching me golf, and my first swing from them watching me golf, I go back and I hit the ball and the club goes flying 75 yards. And they go, "You're just like your character." I said, "Yeah, a little bit."
At what age did you realize you wanted to entertain people?
Ever since I was a wee tot, a little baby. I love attention. I've loved eyes on me, I've always told jokes, I've always tried to be the funniest one in the room. I kind of liked the attention, and when I realized I could get up on stage and get a whole room's attention, it was like, obviously that's what I want to do. And so I started doing standup and realized this is awesome and I'm kind of good at it. Or people are at least telling me -- and by people, I mean my mother.
Do you like the people on the set?
No, next question . . . Of course, I love everyone on set. A lot of people that we have, we had since our original pilot, which was called "Bits and Pieces." That's what "Liv and Maddie" turned into. It wasn't even about twins. It was crazy. It was like a sketch show with a family. A lot of people that worked on that when I was like 15 are still working on my show. So I've spent three years with these people locked in this big sound stage for weeks and weeks on end and they just become like closer than friends. They become like family. You get frustrated with people, like you get with family. You miss people like your family. The crew is like my family. I love every single one of them.
What is your most valuable memory from "Liv and Maddie"?
This is hard. There are so many. Tenzing [Norgay Trainor -- who plays Parker Rooney], he's like my best friend. We're inseparable on set. We play basketball in between rehearsing and and one time I was going to do like the longest shot and I go all the way back to the security gate, 60 yards away, and I throw it and it goes in, like no rim, swish. Tenzing and I still talk about that. So glad he was there to see it because no one would have believed it. There are a lot of great things that happen on "Liv and Maddie," but behind the scenes the basketball stuff is the most exciting.
Do you live near the set?
I live in L.A. In L.A., just like in New York, there's always traffic, and on a good morning I can get to work in about 25 minutes. On a bad morning it can take an hour. In the afternoon if I'm going to work and there's no traffic it takes me 7 minutes. I live about 5 miles away from set.
Do you have plans for college and if you do, what college would it be?
Yeah, I do have plans for college. I would go after "Liv and Maddie." Probably I'll end up going to UCLA or USC because that's where my work is, but ever since I was a little, little kid I've dreamed about going to NYU in New York. I would love to go there, but I have work in L.A. I'll go where my industry is.
Do you have another job?
No, I don't. I would like one. I don't particularly need to right now because I'm 18 and I also can't. I would like another job maybe sometime down the line, but right now it's not a fit.
Are you as famous as you want to be?
It was never really my goal to be famous. I never thought it was going to be a thing. I didn't even know that the Disney show was going to be a thing. I still don't really think I'm famous. I get recognized on the street but mostly by kids. I did get recognized in Times Square the other day by two 40-year-old people, who I'm sure have kids. I don't really have a goal of being famous. This creative outlet that I have is with acting and my standup. And I write a lot. That kind of outlet I love. That would be awesome. If I could be more famous and play a superhero in Hollywood I would love to. I would like to be more successful.
Who is your favorite comedian and why?
Do you guys know the new show "Mulaney" on Fox? It's a new show, with this guy named John Mulaney who is a standup. He was the head writer for "Saturday Night Live," and I think he's an incredible standup, I'd love to be a head writer for "SNL." That is something I would love to do ever since I was a little kid because I love writing. I want to be a standup, writing for something also like "SNL" and have my own sitcom.
What is your favorite book or movie?
"Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck. Love it! I read it about nine times. Mostly because it's the only book I can get through without being distracted. My favorite movie is probably "The Avengers." My dad and I saw it three times in theaters and I've been reading comic books since I was a little kid. I also love "The Dark Knight" and "Forrest Gump."
Do you have a brother or sister?
I have a brother. He's older, 20. His name is Jack and no one knows he exists. He goes to UC Berkeley. He's going to go to grad school. Everyone would say when we were growing up, "Oh he's the smart one and you're the funny one." He's cool; I miss him. I don't see him as often as I want to.
In one word how would you describe your life?
Amazing. Right now it's been my dream since I was a little kid to come to New York. I'm in New York and I'm working in New York. I'm working with the best people I could ever imagine; I have the best friends that I could ever imagine. I'm at my peak.
What are your hobbies?
I play guitar a little bit. I don't really sing that much but I just play guitar and have someone else sing for me. But I write a lot. I like playing guitar because it's a creative thing. I love to get creative -- exercise that muscle.