Lilan Bowden plays Bex on Andi Mack and we just love the character and her portrayal of Bex. We got the opportunity to find some time to speak with Lilan about her role on the show and we could not be happier.
Astounding actress by day and sketch comic by night, Lilan Bowden stars as the free-spirited ‘Bex Mack’ in Disney’s award-winning, coming-of-age series “Andi Mack” which has since garnered a Peabody Award nomination and a GLAAD Awards win.
BSCKids: Tell us about your role as Bex on Andi Mack?
Lilan Bowden Bex is a wild child at heart, but at the start of Andi Mack she challenges herself to become more of a grownup and take on the responsibilities she left behind when she ran away. Bex is fierce and fun, but is also vulnerable and doesn’t like to see her loved ones upset. She’d rather avoid a problem than deal with it, but still tries to do the right thing.
BSCKids: Do you have anything in common with Bex in real life?
Lilan Bowden I love adventure and new experiences, just like Bex. I always love to challenge myself with new things that are hard for me, and I think we see Bex doing that a lot in the series. She gets a new job, goes back to school. She doesn’t have to be good at something right away, but she’s willing to try.
BSCKids: When you got the role, were you surprised by the reveal that you were Andi’s mother?
Lilan Bowden I actually auditioned with the lines “I’m not your sister. I’m your mother!” Reading the script surprised me, and it made me feel extra motivated to get the part of Bex.
BSCKids: How has the show changed for you from the first episode to now?
Lilan Bowden There were so many intense moments for Bex Season 1 (which means there were a lot of intense moments for me too)! Sometimes it felt like an emotional roller coaster shooting the scenes. Now that we’ve settled into the show more, Bex (and I) can relax a little!
BSCKids: Do you get recognized as Bex by fans often?
Lilan Bowden I do! It can be anywhere and everywhere. The post office, craft stores, the roller rink, after yoga class when I’m all sweaty and tired and definitely not looking my best! 😀
BSCKids: Have you had any fan interactions where people feel that your show has helped them through difficult times?
Lilan Bowden In New York, Disney held a special screening of the episode where Buffy’s mom comes home from being deployed overseas for military families. Afterwards we got to talk to the families and a girl came up to me and said that some days were hard for her, but on days she felt more anxious or upset she could watch an episode of Andi Mack and it could make her feel better. It really affected me.
BSCKids: What has been your favorite episode of Andi Mack so far?
Lilan Bowden I have a lot of favorites actually! I love the original episode, but I also like the first hour long episode of Season 2, where Cyrus comes out and Bowie proposes with pizza. I also love the episode where Jonah sings to Andi and they share their first kiss.
BSCKids: We heard you spend some time supporting local human rights campaigns and LGBTQ+ organizations, can you tell us a bit about that?
Lilan Bowden Yes! When I was a teenager, I started getting involved with school clubs like the GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) and Amnesty International (which helps with human rights globally). When I was 17, I knocked on doors to raise money for Environment California and the Human Rights Campaign. I think it’s important to be active in the causes you believe in. A lot of my time is spent just acting now, but I still like to be active in my community! Last month, Joshua Rush and I volunteered with a local voter registration campaign to get people registered to vote!
BSCKids: If you could guest star on any show, which one would it be and why?
Lilan Bowden That’s tough! I have so many shows I love. I have a lot of pride about Andi Mack revolving around an Asian American family, and would love to be able to be a part of other similar shows like Fresh Off The Boat.
BSCKids: Who do you feel has taught you the most in your acting career?
Lilan Bowden Maybe the people I do improv comedy with. I have had many amazing acting teachers, but being able to watch people learn how to act at the same time you’re learning is so helpful.
BSCKids: What advice would you have for people trying to make it in the industry?
Lilan Bowden Prepare for hardship! It’s a tough industry, and a random one, so it may take many years to pursue your dreams. However if you love acting and performing, those years won’t feel wasted.
BSCKids: Where can we find you on social media?
Lilan Bowden I’m @yourfriendlilan on Instagram and Twitter.
BSCKids: Outside of Andi Mack, is there anything new you have coming that you can tell us about?
Lilan Bowden I bought a new gown from a vintage store (so I guess it’s not new) and I’m just looking for the right place to wear it. So I have that coming up!
Thanks to Lilan Bowden for taking the time out of her busy schedule to talk to us. Make sure to tune in to see her on Andi Mack, and you can check out our interviews with Joshua Rush, Asher Angel and Peyton Elizabeth Lee.