Check out our interview with actress Liliana Inouye who can be seen starring as Brandi Colwin in the Apple TV+ highly anticipated original kids and family series, “Amber Brown”.
Based on the beloved best-selling books by Paula Danziger, “Amber Brown” is an unfiltered look at a girl finding her own voice through art and music in the wake of her parent’s divorce. Liliana will star alongside Sarah Drew (Grey’s Anatomy, Cruel Summer) and Carsyn Rose (The Rookie, Cousins for Life), portraying the role of Brandi Colwin, the best friend of Amber Brown. Brandi is a bubbly, eccentric, independent spirit, and takes pride in her quirky personality.
Follow Liliana @lilianainouyeofficial
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Energetic, creative, innovative
How did you get started in acting?
I’ve been performing, singing, and dancing for as long as I can remember. (My mom shows me the most embarrassing videos from when I was 3 years old!) I started taking classes at Acting For Kids and Teens in Portland when I was 5. I think what I fell in love with was having the space and the freedom to play and be fully expressed. I also loved the friendship and sense of belonging that comes with being a part of a group of other actors. It was always about having fun, camaraderie, self-expression and self-discovery.
How has this changed your life?
Whether on set, or in classes, training and auditioning, acting has given me both the discipline and the thrill of being able to explore so many different facets of human emotion. It’s also connected me with some of the most amazing people in my life, from coaches, fellow actors, directors etc.
What is the best and worst part of being an actress?
Best — being able to “pretend play” for work!
Worst — missing out on things that my other friends get to do because I need to learn lines or audition. For example, after I’d already done a callback and 2 chem reads for Amber Brown, I was literally stepping onto the BC ferry about to head to Vancouver island for a fun weekend with my cousin, when my mom called and said that they want to see me for ONE MORE chem read the next day. I said goodbye to my cousin and turned right around to go home moments before the ferry sailed.
But it was so worth it!!!
How do you prepare for a role?
Besides reading the script and really digging into the character’s motivation, I always choose which crystals will “fit”/help me tap into a specific character and have them near me.
Tell us about your work in Apple TV+ highly anticipated original kids and family series “Amber Brown?”
I play Amber Brown’s neighbor and new best friend, Brandi Colwin. Amber Brown is the sweetest most heartwarming show about a girl (Amber Brown) who is navigating her parents’ divorce and lots of changes, and my character, Brandi brings her eccentric personality to the mix, making life and friendship more interesting and more fun!
And about your character “Brandi Colwin?”
Brandi (with an I!) is the funnest character I’ve ever played. She is an independent spirit, kinda quirky, and always sees the positive side of things. She has a mischievous spirit but is also such a sweet and loyal friend. She also loves crystals and has an eclectic boho-chic sort of style (like me!) What I love most about Brandi is that she never conforms to conventional standards of popularity. She is so true to herself and proud of her quirkiness and what makes her, her. I wish we could all have that Brandi trait of just being unapologetically who we are and embracing the quirky in us.
What other projects you have been part of?
I had the honor of playing a role in Nicole Perlman’s short film “The Slows”. It’s such a powerful drama about a dystopian future where children are “accelerated” and people no longer pro-create. I got to play one of the kids from the only remaining compound where kids were still wild and carefree and women gave birth the “slow” way. It was typically pouring rain during the shoot in the forest in Oregon, and I loved every moment of playing the wild child– running, playing, and teasing the younger kids.
What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?
I’d love to play a dramatic role. Maybe a thriller. Something that really stretches my emotional range.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
When you’re in the moment with a scene partner and you’re really connected, there’s nothing more magical.
What’s your advice for the newer actors?
Keep auditioning and don’t give up!
What would say are the greatest lessons you learned so far in this business?
How important it is to stay grateful and grounded and kind.
I feel so blessed to get to work with some of the most talented yet humble and grounded people on Amber Brown, from director and show-runner Bonnie Hunt to cast members Carsyn Rose, Sarah Drew, Darrin Brooks, Michael Yo, and Ashley Williams.
Another lesson from the amazing AB bunch is that you can totally have fun and be goofy AND be a total pro and ready to work.
How would your best friend describe you?
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
Partly because I have an impatient streak, but mostly because I’m always excited to go and do and see new things.
Book #2 would be “My Life with BOBA” (no explanation needed)
Or “Food by Liliana”, a cookbook featuring creamy pastas and beautifully decorated multi-tiered cakes.
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
Trust the process:
Because my younger self is impatient and wants everything to happen yesterday!
What book should every entrepreneur read?
The Little Prince by Antoine de St. Exupery
What’s next for Liliana Inouye in 2022?
Right now I’m focused on Amber Brown (fingers crossed for Season 2!!)
I’m also planning on traveling more with my family and continuing to learn new languages.
We’ve just spent the last 4 months in SE Asia, living in Thailand, Bali, and Vietnam.
What is your favorite healthy food?
Caesar Salad (well, kinda healthy; it’s still salad right?)
And your favorite cheat food?
My weakness is gummy bears. Best when they’re microwaved just a bit and they’re all soft and gooey.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Traveling, being with my family, baking and shopping!
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Oh, I would love to meet (and work with) Zendaya! She’s such an incredibly strong actress that portrays such a wide range of roles and emotional range.
Best advice ever given?
“You never know”. Like, you never know why you got or didn’t get a part, you never know what other casting directors are watching your auditions, you never know if this is what they’re looking for or not, you just never know, so you might as well always show up fully and give it your all.
Do you support any charity?
I’m really passionate about environmental sustainability. I’ve traveled all over SE Asia with my beeswax wrap and wooden dish scrubber!
Where do you see yourself and your career 5 years from now?
At age 18, I see myself playing a diverse range of roles, in both film and TV, living in Thailand part-time… And onto season 10 of Amber Brown, haha!!
Waterfalls by TLC because it’s such a vibe! Also, Bloom by Nirvana and anything by Mitski
What do you think of Social Media?
I think it’s a great tool to stay connected and showcase what you’re up to but it can really suck you in and take you down some serious rabbit holes. I *try* to not get too caught up in it.
Where we can follow you?
Book: Green eggs and ham by Dr. Seuss Quote: Know your worth
Movie: Train to Busan, The Florida Project
Tv Series: Schitt’s Creek, Grace and Frankie Favorite Food: pasta and sushi
Travel Destination: Thailand
Sports Team: no idea!
Photo credit: Jason Benson