Lily Mae Silverstein, who we know from BUNK’D and Walk the Prank, provided us a absolutely fun and informative interview about her career and the new movie Alex & Me. We have to say she really took some time to answer these question and this might be our favorite interview yet! Take a look below and learn a little more about Lily.
Lily Mae Silverstein is a beach girl from sunny California. Lily is known for her recurring roles as “Lydia the Weasel” in the Disney series BUNK’D and “Katie” on the Disney XD series Walk the Prank. Lily stars as “Penny” in the Nickelodeon/Warner Bros. July, 2018 release of Alex & Me starring Alex Morgan (US Women’s National Soccer Team).
BSCKids: Lily…tell us a bit about your character in “Alex & Me” and how you got the role?
Lily Mae Silverstein: Penny has high expectations for her team, “The Breakaways.” She is not afraid to share her opinion and can be quite assertive at times. But, that is only because she cares for her teammates and only wants what’s best for them. She believes in each player on the team, and has the right balance of caring and wanting to win at ALL costs.
I got the role after auditioning for two characters and a couple rounds of auditions. I sometimes get very nervous before auditions. Not this time, as I knew that Penny was a really good fit for me and I clearly remember not have butterflies when I met with the “Alex & Me” casting director. I believe I was going out for the role of Lexi, played by the wonderfully talented actress Mikari Nichelle, at the first round of auditions. It was a great role, but definitely didn’t fit my usual style of acting. I tend to find myself playing very snarky characters like Lydia on Bunk’d. For the second round of auditions, I went in for Lexi and Penny. When I walked into the audition room, Siena Agudong, who perfectly portrays the role of Reagan Wills, was reading with everybody. The audition was amazing, and I was asked to stay behind and read with a couple of the other girls. Finally, a group of girls were put together and most of team “Breakaway” was formed that day. It was true magic and we felt a connection at the audition. A few days later I got the call and was officially offered the role of Penny.
BSCKids: Were there any cool things that happened behind the scenes while filming?
Lily Mae Silverstein: My cast-mates and I truly turned into a family. Every night was a sleepover, and every morning was a play-date with this group of actors. We shot the movie in New Orleans, and everyday was an adventure. We went on a swamp tour, ate at amazing restaurants in the French Quarter and had several beignets (French donuts) at Café du Monde. I can speak on behalf of my friends to say we all had the time of our lives making this movie. We made funny inside jokes like how the director would end each shot with “Cut. Good. Got it!” We would all repeat it after him to get a good laugh.
My favorite behind the scenes moment was when our fantastic director, Eric Champnella, said his final “Cut. Good. Got it!” to us girls. I never cried so hard when wrapped from a project before. We all felt this way. We had formed a bond! We shared laughs, sweat, and tears together. We were officially a family.
BSCKids: How was it working with Alex Morgan? Do you have to use any soccer skills in your role?
Lily Mae Silverstein: Alex Morgan was an amazing actress and kind of mentor to us girls. Alex was also great with teaching us some soccer moves. On my actual AYSO soccer team, I play defender. My character, Penny is a forward. Alex was great with giving me soccer tips and helping me in my new position on the field. Also, we had a scene where Gia, played by the fabulous and amazing Ava Acres, had to take a soccer shot to the goal. Ava was having a little trouble with her kick, so Alex came to the rescue and took the shot for Ava. Also, Alex came to set when she really didn’t need to as her lines were off camera. She did this to help us shoot the scene and actually giving us something to react to instead of just “pretending” Alex was there. She is a great role model to look up to and I can’t wait to see her in the finished movie!
Two important milestones happened during this shoot: Colin Chritchley’s birthday (Colin plays Ben, Regan’s friend) and Halloween. We combined both events and rented a 15-passenger van to go trick-or-treating and to a haunted mortuary/haunted house. So fun! Alex Morgan joined us for most of the festivities. She’s truly a kid a heart. It was really one of the best, scariest, nights of my life.
Yes, I did have to use my soccer skills as Penny, because the director wanted authentic goal shots for the movie. In addition to Alex Morgan, the on-set soccer coach, Stephen “Macca” McAnespie, was also a big help. A hilarious behind the scenes moment is when, on video, I took a ball right to the stomach while playing goalie. It didn’t hurt that much and everyone got a good laugh as I doubled-over and fell to the ground. I’ll leave goalie duties to Makari/Lexi.
Through this experience, I became an even better soccer player and got to really show off my moves in this movie for sure.
BSCKids: How supportive of your acting career is your family? What advice would you give to kids on helping balance their career in acting and school and friends?
Lily Mae Silverstein: I have had my fair share of it all. I have been acting for 12 years now, and I must say that my parents have been there for me every step of the way. My parents drove me to each and every audition. They paid for each acting class and dance lesson. My parents are beyond supportive of my acting career. My brother, Kyle Red Silverstein, is an actor as well and we have been going through the audition process together. I’m so glad to have him by my side because he understands what I’m going through. This industry is very competitive. At the young age of 14, I have gone through a lot of rejection. When you’re lucky enough to land a role like Penny in “Alex & Me,” one feels especially blessed and cherishes the experience that much more. Not only did I get to work with Alex Morgan, there was endless laughter and character discovery us actors work so hard for.
When it comes to friends and school, some kids might tend to have problems as an actor. To minimize this, I try to keep my acting life separate from my school life, because honestly my friends don’t want to hear it, and I am not that person. I don’t gain friends from being an actor, my friends know me as Lily Mae Silverstein, not Lydia from Bunk’d, or Katie the Reporter Girl from Walk the Prank. Most of my auditions are after school. I try not to miss school for auditions, because it is harder to makeup classwork than it is to be there in the first place. I keep my acting on the down low, and my grades up. It is important to show others that you can be a model student while working hard for your dreams. I believe that is really important.
BSCKids: You have also played Lydia in BUNK’D one of our favorite shows… how did you get the role?
Lily Mae Silverstein: I had been auditioning for the same casting director (Howard Meltzer) for many years now. Obviously, when you’re just right for the role the casting director knows it. I truly understood the intensity and comedic timing of the role of Lydia. I went in for the audition and left with a role that I would carry for many years now. I auditioned for Bunk’d in sixth grade, and now played Lydia again and again throughout my three years of middle school. I got lucky with an amazing role of “one mean gal” and have made lifelong friends on that show. Lydia is such a funny character that is close to my heart.
BSCKids: What was the most fun while being on the set of Bunk’d?
Lily Mae Silverstein: I recently shot an episode for season 3. Working late one night, Skai Jackson and I would go back to the school room and have a little music party. We laughed so hard and just danced as we enjoyed our dinner break. That show brings so much laughter and smiles, and I am so lucky to have gotten to be a part of it. I especially remember the amazing crew members who let me slate to camera multiple times, and offered me advice on my personal student films. My overall favorite part of being on Bunk’d is getting to do most of my own stunts. I got to jump out of a tree house and be lowered slowly on a cable to the ground!!! It was so much fun to work with the stunt coordinator and exercise my knowledge of gymnastics, which I usually never get to use.
BSCKids: What has been your hardest role to date and why?
Lily Mae Silverstein: Hmm…I have to say that I have never technically had a hard role, however, Micki in OowieWanna was my first independent film, and my first lead in anything. I had to keep my concentration under control because I was very young as well (7 yrs. old). It was the first time I had to learn lines. I just didn’t know what I was in for. It was a great experience though. I got to work with a legendary actress and Academy Award nominee, Karen Black. She gave me a lot of advice on set. She never spoke her lines out loud until the camera was rolling. She wanted her delivery to be real and unrehearsed. Also, she told me to, “never wear red, it wasn’t my color.”
BSCKids: We have heard you enjoy making your own films…tell us about one of your favorites?
Lily Mae Silverstein: I love all of my films in a way that only the creator can. At the cinematic arts program at my middle school, I go through the steps of writing, directing, filming and editing each one of my ideas. One of my personal favorites was the film I did for my poem project. It was a project where you take a poem and make it into an innovative film idea with a voice-over of the poem.
I used “Us” by Shel Silverstein. It is about two heads that share a body and have completely different personalities. I created a figurine, and started making a stop motion film with really cool transitions. It is still one of my favorite films that I have made. But, on more of the serious side, I recently made a documentary for the “March for Our Lives” protest, which personally made me cry while editing it. It was the first film I made that really touched me personally, because I was sharing something with people through my eyes. It was meaningful; because I was trying to speak on behave of everybody in the rush of students chanting. That documentary is definitely my favorite film.
BSCKids: What do you find harder being in front of the camera or being behind the camera?
Lily Mae Silverstein: I find it harder being in front of the camera, because behind the camera you know what you want. When you are in front of the camera, you always need to be on your toes and ready for changes and adjustments from your director. But, from my years of acting, I know what I want as a director, and the best ways to treat my actors when giving them directions. I have picked up directing pretty easily, but I will never stop learning as an actor. But, whether behind or in front of the camera, they are both my passions.
BSCKids: Do you get noticed when you go out and how do you handle the fame?
Lily Mae Silverstein: I actually don’t get recognized much outside of school. There are multiple times when my friend and cast-mate, Nathan Arenas (who plays Jorge) and I will go to Knott’s Berry Farm. He is always getting noticed and recognized by the kids at the theme park. When I am with him, little kids seem to recognize me. I’m pretty sure that without the black eye makeup and tough-girl wardrobe, it’s really hard to recognize me as Lydia. Nathan and I have gone on rides with fans and signed a couple of kid’s shoes. We have a lot of fun with fans and actually make new friends. Bunk’d fans are really great!
BSCKids: If you could guest star on any show which one would it be and why?
Lily Mae Silverstein: I would love to guest star on Impractical Jokers. I know this sounds funny, but my family has been a fan of the show for many years now. It is one of the funniest shows I have ever seen, and would love to be gutsy and play with the jokers on that show. It is a show of four life-long friends who compete to embarrass each other with pranks and dares that they must complete. I am a huge fan of the each guy and I would be so happy if I got to be on an episode of the show. But, they rarely have guests and I’m pretty sure they don’t hold auditions when they rarely have kids on the show. But, it is definitely a laugh out loud show for the family.
BSCKids: Where can we find you on social media?
Lily Mae Silverstein: It’s pretty easy to find me as my handles are not too difficult!
I have links to social media on my website: www.LilyMaeSilverstein.com, also you can find me
Fridays, on Instagram #failfridays is where I post funny fail videos from my trampoline or any other apparatus I tripped over and was caught/recorded. I try to be positive and a good role model on my social media. No haters please!!
BSCKids: Tell us a bit about your charity work at shelters that you do on your birthday?
Lily Mae Silverstein: I have volunteered at different animal shelters every year for my birthday. Instead of presents, I ask for donations from my friends so I can give it to the shelter as I volunteer. It all started with the idea for my 8th birthday and it is still happening seven years later. It makes me feel a part of the community and helping animals that can’t help themselves. All they want is a home and a loving family. I want that for every animal. So, until those animals can get that, I will be donating and volunteering.
BSCKids: What do you have coming up in the near future you can talk about; you look to have a very busy upcoming schedule?
Lily Mae Silverstein: I’m going to be in Bunk’d, season 3 and I am excited for Alex & Me coming out in June. I currently have 3 commercials running; one is for Halos oranges with Peyton Lee, star of Andi Mack. We are walking a tightrope wire at a circus – and yes, we were really 50 ft. in the air!
My brother and I just had 5 auditions in 4 days. I keep moving forward like everyone else in the business with auditions and callbacks hoping for another perfect role. I’m happy to report my future does look bright!
Special thanks to Lily for giving us some GREAT answers and taking the time out of her busy schedule. Stay connected to her on social media to learn more about her and find out what is coming up next for her.
When Lily is not acting, she’s behind the camera telling stories and creating films as a member of an award winning cinematic arts program at her middle school. Lily is passionate about animal pet rescue and has adopted two dogs, Marley and Buster. Every year since turning 5 yrs. old, Lily and her friends collect donations and volunteer at various shelters to celebrate her birthday.
“Alex & Me” is available digitally on June 12 and on Blu-ray and DVD on June 19.