A new family sitcom, focusing on the life of a retired professional wrestler, debuted on Netflix Monday. The Daily Fern caught up with one of the show’s stars, Lily Brooks O’briant, who explains why “The Big Show Show” should be next on your to-watch list.
The Daily Fern: Tell us about “The Big Show Show”, and your character in the series.
Lily Brooks O’briant: THE BIG SHOW SHOW is a fun family show that has a little something for everyone. It follows WWE champion, The Big Show, and his loud, witty, and always busy, house. My family and I LOVE watching TV together and sometimes it’s hard to find a show that is appropriate for everyone to watch together. THE BIG SHOW SHOW is that show you can watch as a family.
I play Big Show’s middle daughter, Mandy, who is determined, smart, super optimistic, quirky, a little anxious, VERY driven & too adult for her tween everyday world. Mandy’s idols are RBG and Amy Pohluer’s character on ‘Parks & Rec’, Leslie Knope. Mandy 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’. The 3 Wight sisters are completely different, but they come together as a team to help each other. Just like normal siblings though, there are some bumps along the way.
The Daily Fern: Can you explain the audition process? And what was it like learning you got the role?
Lily Brooks O’briant: I lived in NYC 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 staying 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 & 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 (Best 13th birthday gift ever!), while I was at camp in TN, that the producers wanted me to come for testing. We flew to LA the next week & I found out I got the role the next day. We had 9 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. were excited to hear about six minute podcast, tell us more about your work on the show
The Daily Fern: What has filming been like? Are you enjoying your Cast mates?
Lily Brooks O’briant: We were on set from late July through early November and it was absolutely AMAZING. We instantly became a family and still Facetime and get together for dinner. Big Show took the family to the Ariana Grande concert for a Christmas gift. We had VIP tickets and it was the COOLEST experience to have with my Big Show Show family. I feel so lucky to have these people in my life.
Working with The Big Show was Amazing!! I was a little nervous because he is over 7ft 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 BEST TV dad and is protective of me, Reylynn and Juliet (my sisters on The Big Show Show). We had some awesome, fun time times on set. My sisters on the show & 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 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.
Big Show is SO funny & is such a great Dad. During one of episodes we had to have wrestling mats on the floor and Big Show taught the daughters some wrestling moves. He would joke around with us all of the time, was always encouraging and told us he was proud of us no matter what happened. Juliet loves candy & would stash it everywhere - in every pocket & on set sometimes. Big Show would bring candy in for us, sneak it to us & then would take the wrappers so there was no evidence we had eaten candy.
The Daily Fern: Are you currently working on any other projects?
Lily Brooks O’briant: I organized & hosted a benefit concert called ‘Songs for St. Jude’ on February 22nd to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. We had 22 young talent from Hollywood perform music by Tennessee artists. We raised $3,000 & had an amazing time raising money for a cause that is very important to me. My family has had 3 family friends with children who battled cancer and were treated at St. Jude. I hope we are able to host the event again next spring and have loved serving as a St. Jude youth ambassador.
The Daily Fern: How has quarantine impacted you, and what are you doing to stay busy?
Lily Brooks O’briant: The school I attend is virtual, so school hasn’t changed for me, but I really miss seeing my friends and being able to go out to the beach, Disneyland, even to a restaurant. We have been in quarantine about 10 days longer than the official California order because my mom and I have asthma & have to be extra careful because we don’t have great lungs. Other than school, I have spent a lot of time playing guitar, recording some songs at home, collaborating with other friends on music via zoom, taking online dance classes and cooking - A LOT. I also have been worried about my friends in NYC (where I used to live) and friends throughout the country. I just started a series called ‘QuaranTEEN Questions’ where I’m interviewing Teens from every state to see how Covid-19 is affecting them, how they are staying occupied, adjusting to virtual school and positive things going on in their community. It will be on my instagram & Youtube channel. I think Teens hearing from other teens is important because this virus affects everyone.
If you'd like to learn more about Lily Brooks O’briant, be sure to follow her on social media!
This article was written by Allysia Britton