Madison Hu – Bizaardvark
By: Lisa Steinberg
Q) How was the show originally described to you?
A) We had filmed a pilot back in May of 2015 and when we got the call it got picked up our Executive Producer explained the plot had changed a little bit and now it was kind of centered around social media and a YouTube like setting. He was telling me that everyone was staying and they were going to recast some people. I think the thing that really stood out to me was when he said there would be YouTubers on the show and how we would play them while having some as guests. That got me really excited because I’m obsessed with YouTube and YouTubers. I remember reading the description of my character and thinking “Oh my gosh!” She was just like me. They described her as brash and also the classic duo while they were both a bit tomboyish, which I thought was really cool.
Q) The series also deals with a lot of issues like haters, bullies and self confidence. Why do you feel that is important?
A) I feel talking about bullies and self confidence is really important because, especially online, people can take bullying to the next level. They feel because they are anonymous they can say worse things than they would probably say to your face. So, kind of addressing that is important especially on a show that is about social media. Some scenes that we will talk about is probably some family and friend scenes. Later in the season, our parents are introduced and we kind of go about that. Especially because we are teenagers so we’re changing and our relationship with our parents is, too. We just had a friendship theme and it was kind of about how we took our manager forgranted and how we didn’t really treat him as a friend. And I think that’s important because some people are taken forgranted and it goes along with the bullying.
Q) Talk about your relationship with Olivia Rodrigo.
A) I don’t even know where it comes from. We met and instantly became really good friends. I was really lucky to be able to find someone that became such a great friend and one the of my closest friends. I get to work with her every single day. A lot of people ask if we knew each other before the show and we didn’t. We had seen each other in auditions because we’re in the same age range, but we never really talked before the pilot. No one ever believes us because we’re so close! I think that Olivia and I are such good friends because I’ll crack a joke and if it is not funny Olivia will laugh really hard. Having this person for so many hours in the day laughing at all my jokes is great!
Q) You have great comedic timing. Is it something that is a natural ability or have you had to work at it?
A) When I was little I always loved cracking jokes and when people would laugh at them. If people don’t laugh at my jokes I end up laughing at them myself for self esteem purposes. I had always done acting classes. I started them around age ten and they were always super long, but I think the acting classes that I really, really loved were improv because I had so much creative decision in what I wanted to do and it was always so fun to kind of make situations with another person and crack all of these jokes off the top of your head. Improv is so fast. I think it is something I really, really enjoy. On the show, sometimes we improvise lines. Sometimes it makes it into the show, but usually they say, “That was great. Now, this is the script.” So, I think it is a mix of doing improv classes and it naturally being there.
Q) I also love the great songs on the show. Where do they come from?
A) The writers create them for us. They write the lyrics and someone else composes the music. We just kind of go from there. Usually, we get the songs the night before. I think we got “The Comeback Song” probably two days before the recording. You don’t have to memorize it because you are in the studio and you just do segments so you’re always reading off the paper. After you have done it so many times for the recording it’s super easy to memorize and then you can lip sync it when you are shooting the music video. Our writers are the best!
Q) The show is a lot about YouTube and the creative aspects. Who would you want to guest star?
A) I have been Colleen Ballinger for the longest time. What the writers do is ask us what YouTubers we would like on the show and which we really enjoy watching. The one person at the top of the list would be Colleen Ballinger. She hasn’t come on yet. They are working on it. Hopefully, one day we get to have her on the show. Then, I have been watching a lot of YouTube channels.
Q) Is there anyone you would like to see the girls collaborate with?
A) I think they have collaborated for Amelia (DeVore Ledrige) for the best friends tag and that didn’t really go very well. I think it would be really fun to kind of collab with that. I think for Season Two that would be really fun. I think collaborating with Bernie (Ethan Wacker) would be really funny because they write him as a guy who always fails at everything. So, it would be kind of cool to see how that goes.
Q) What has been your favorite episode to film?
A) I think there are two on my list. I really like an upcoming episode called “Puff and Frankie.” It has cats in it and I really love cats even though I’m allergic to them. That was really fun. Then, there is another episode where I get to dress up as a pancake for most of the episode and be the comedic relief. I really liked that episode because I got to be a pancake for most of it.
Q) What have you learned from your time working on the show?
A) I have learned a lot over the past couple of months of filming because we have had so many different directors. I’ve learned so many ways that people like it when you act and do comedy. Some people like it when you overlap a person and a fast back and forth. Others like it when you drag out a joke so much that it is not funny anymore but for some reason it is funny. It was really cool to be able to explore a bunch of different ways I could do comedy. I have met a lot of people, which is really great. I met a lot of people at Disney and people I used to watch on TV, which was really great. I have learned a lot about this whole acting thing. Especially as a child actor, I have to balance my schedule a whole lot and make time for school while also making time to act and make time to be a regular kid. I had to learn how to balance those things.
Q) You are a part of social media. Do you enjoy the instant fan feedback you receive?
A) I have learned that I love going on my social media to see what people kind of think about the show. The things that people mostly send me and what they want me to see is usually very, very positive. Sometimes it is the occasional “I don’t like your show,” but it doesn’t really effect me because people have different opinions and I respect that. Some people take it over the top and try to insult us as people. I think that is kind of the downside to this where people think they know you and try to bring you down. That’s kind of the hard part of social media. I try to focus on the positive.
Q) Is there anything else you want to be sure fans know about what is to come on “Bizaardvark?”
A) We will have a lot more YouTubers that you love and know on the show. I’m really excited about it because they are on the list of the people we gave the creators we wanted on the show. So, I’m super excited to get to meet them and get to see them on the show.