‘We’re like a family!’ It’s a sentiment often shared by actors to describe the relationship of the cast. For the cast of The Really Loud House, it’s a sentiment that applies in a multitude of ways.
Game nights are a weekly occurrence amongst the cast, according to actress Catherine Bradley. In the past, Among Us was the usual game played between co-stars while filming A Loud House Christmas. Now filming the live-action series for Nickelodeon, the get-togethers happen at the house of the Allan Twins, sisters Ella and Mia Allan.
“We’re not just like an on-screen family. We hang out all the time,” Catherine says of the cast. In addition to their weekly game nights, she says, “We always do family dinners.”
However, the Allan Twins aren’t the only siblings on set. Catherine’s younger sister Aubin Bradley works right alongside her. The sisters play Luan Loud and Lucy Loud respectively.
“Being able to work with Aubin is so, so amazing,” she says. While all the actresses on set feel like sisters, that special connection truly shines when she acts opposite Aubin. “Especially when we have a scene together, you can really see our chemistry because we are sisters in real life. Also, being able to be on a TV show like this on Nickelodeon, on The Loud House with this amazing fanbase and support, is like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Being able to share that with my lifelong best friend is just so amazing.”
Catherine laughs as she explains that they go home every night together and read their scripts. Her grin is wide as she shares that the two of them get Starbucks on their drives to set each morning. “The whole thing is just so cool because she’s like my little friend,” she says. “We’re always with each other and it’s great. Me and her have definitely gotten close over the span of the TV show and movie.”
The actress continues, “It has really brought us together and I think it’s an experience I’ll never forget, being able to play my real age gap with my sister; she’s my younger sister on the show, she’s my younger sister in real life.”
She goes on to say that the two of them teach each other a lot on set. “Aubin, even though she’s younger than me, I can learn so much from her. Her comedic skills are fantastic. She’s funny and she’s great. I love being able to work with her.”
There’s a pride that takes over her voice as she speaks of watching her sister on set. It’s one that older siblings use well, unique to their relationships with their younger siblings. Catherine’s friendly and bubbly personality shines even brighter as she talks about working alongside her sister, echoing her sentiment of an experience she’ll never forget.
It continues as she mentions watching Brian Stepanek and Jolie Jenkins, her on-screen parents, on set, praising both as amazing people and amazing comedians. “Being able to see Aubin learn from people like that [is amazing]. She has grown from this little girl to this little mature adult in the span of like a month!” She gushes about how their relationship has grown from older sister/younger sister to one more like best friends. “She is so, so awesome. I think us growing up together on set is a really cool and unique experience.”
Expanding The Loud House franchise in its live-action adventures meant working with more than just her sister again. Most of the cast from A Loud House Christmas signed on for Nickelodeon’s The Really Loud House series, bringing familiar faces back to audiences’ television screens every week.
“Being able to see those kids that I haven’t seen in so long who are like my best friends, who I stayed in touch with over the course of the movie [to] the TV show was so cool. I mean, I saw the Allan’s and me and Aubin literally burst out crying,” Catherine confesses with a laugh. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I missed you so much!’” she continues, mimicking her crying as she speaks. Her laughter breaks through again by the end of it. “It was just so fun.”
Audiences also experience a few new actors stepping into key roles as they tune into The Really Loud House every week. “Annaka [Fourneret], Eva [Carlton], and Jolie [are] amazing. Everybody is amazing and I think our cast is so welcoming, especially our fanbase is so accepting,” she says. “Obviously Dora [Dolphin] and Morgan [McGill] and all of them, they’re still in The Loud House family and they always will be,” the actress makes sure to note. “But being able to have those new people in our family was already really cool because I’m so close with Eva, Annaka, and Jolie. It’s great! The more the merrier!”
Just like the cast and fans are adding more members to The Loud House family with the new cast additions, there will also be plenty of new material to enjoy. The Really Loud House, according to Catherine, will dive into each character’s life and personal stories throughout season one.
“In the cartoon, I feel like you get a lot of details about their family relationships and how they are as a family. I think what’s interesting about the live-action version is that [during] the season, each character has their own storyline and you really get to delve into the psyche of the characters and their emotions.”
The actress teases that the show will have “incredible” guest stars and directors that will be briefly joining The Loud House family. “You have Lincoln’s friends, you have Clyde’s dads, Flip,” she starts, before naming a guest star that will surely get older fans excited. “There’re amazing little easter eggs for all the different fans who are very into The Loud House to be able to see [it] translated into the live-action.”
Speaking of her character Luan, she continues, “Luan is always a happy character. I think from the cartoon, you can tell that she’s very focused on comedy. She loves to tell jokes and all of the above. What I think is really interesting about this season is that you actually see the vulnerable side to Luan. I think you see the vulnerable sides to a lot of the different characters throughout the storylines, which is really cool.”
Catherine notes that one of her favorite episodes to film, episode five, is coming up soon. “It’s a storyline basically where Luan meets her idol, Joan Shivers. Which is a play on a famous comedian,” she says with a laugh, the show making a clear nod to the late Joan Rivers. “[Luan] does her stand-up routine in front of this comedian that she values so highly and the comedian tells her that she is bad, that she is garbage, and Luan goes on this whole emotional storyline, seeing if she wants to quit comedy or if she really has what it takes.” While she leaves the description on a teasing note, she alludes to the fact that her parents’ love and support will play a role in what she decides.
“It was really cool to be able to have Luan get to that place where she’s about to give up on her hopes and dreams,” she says, before hinting at the episode’s outcome.
What the episode truly shows, though, is a sentiment that Catherine adores about her character. “I think that’s something that I really love about Luan, is that she stays true to herself and what she loves to do.”
Comedy is a large part of Luan’s character and her connection to it is what makes Catherine’s appreciation of her character so special. “I love Luan’s character. If I was going to say who I related to the most, it would be Luan,” she is quick to mention.
It has really brought us together and I think it’s an experience I’ll never forget.
“I think in a world where girls are so focused on their physical appearance, and society holds girls to such a standard of beauty, that having someone like Luan, who is always focused on joke-telling and being a comedian, and just staying true to herself, is so important for young girls to be able to look up to and say, ‘Hey, it’s okay to focus on something other than what society is telling you that you have to focus on, and just laugh and have fun and be yourself.’ I think that’s something that I love about Luan’s comedy; she’s not afraid to not really care about what she looks like or not really care about what she’s doing, but just to have fun [with] herself.”
The aspect of Luan’s comedy that Catherine enjoys the most is working with Mr. Coconuts, her character’s ventriloquy dummy. “I think it is so fun. It’s basically like I’m playing two characters on the show, which I love,” she says excitedly with a soft laugh. “They both have different personalities. Luan is kind of the joke-teller and Mr. Coconuts is the answerer. I love being able to give both sides of that story in a way. And I think being able to work with something like a ventriloquist puppet, which is so classical to comedy history, is really cool for me and I love being able to do that.”
Catherine’s enthusiastic smile turns into a sly one as she teases, “A couple other characters – maybe my sister – get to actually work with a puppet on the show. Being able to teach her how to do that was so fun.”
TEENPLICITY brings up the idea of seeing the entire Loud family putting on a puppet or ventriloquy show which causes the actress to burst out in excitement and laughter.
“Oh my god, I was talking to the writers about that!” Catherine says. “They were like, ‘That sounds like an absolute nightmare.’ I was like, ‘Well,’” she starts before softly laughing and quieting her voice, “‘Pretty much is.’”
The idea of someone else in control of Mr. Coconuts brings up the memory of an interesting fact Catherine shared ahead of the premiere of A Loud House Christmas last year. At the time, she mentioned that most of her time learning ventriloquism came from watching YouTube videos.
“What was interesting about the movie is that with Mr. Coconuts, we only saw a couple scenes with him.” She says, “As we talked about originally, the only times I had been able to really learn ventriloquism is with YouTube videos for like ten minutes sometimes. On the movie, I would literally be given him right before I went on stage because he is expensive, so I had no time to prepare.”
Moving on to the TV show, Catherine shares that she feels comfortable using Mr. Coconuts and she loves being with him. “Especially in this season, I definitely got better with doing the actual ventriloquism part,” she says.
“What’s really cool [with the show] is that I get to delve more into Mr. Coconuts’ personality, like how Luan uses him as a way to express herself. Mr. Coconuts isn’t just a doll to her.” She continues, “He’s a way to express her emotions and how she feels, and sometimes she even gets angry at other characters through the use of Mr. Coconuts. So I think in a way, I had to realize how emotionally connected Luan and Mr. Coconuts are. It was really cool for me to be able to explore that relationship, especially because it’s kind of like I’m exploring that relationship within my own character with myself, and it’s really fun.”
Getting to explore such depth to their characters is just one of the many changes, and benefits, of bringing the Loud family to live-action in a series. Catherine agrees, saying, “The movie was amazing, but I think there’s a whole new energy to this TV show. The jokes are quick, the camera work is amazing, the crew is phenomenal. Everything, I feel like, is a heightened version of the movie.” She continues, adding the fact that the show gets to explore sometimes up to even three to four storylines in each 20-minute episode while the film had an overarching main storyline.
“[The show] is super high energy, super fast. I think all of our acting skills have definitely leveled up since the movie, from what I’ve seen so far. It’s awesome being able to take something like that movie and make it broader and wider and a better show for everybody.”
Getting to watch the characters grow up on audiences’ screens is another benefit according to the actress. “Putting a face to [the cartoon] and showing real people’s eyes and their connections and how they really look in person is really, really cool,” Catherine says. She notes the success of Fairly Odd Parents and Monster High doing something similar. “I think people being able to visualize The Really Loud House is really cool. Also for little girls to be able to see Leni’s fashion and Luna in real life and how she dresses and how she presents herself, and how that’s really cool in person. Especially Luan. Getting to see the real-life version of the characters come to life [in] a real-life scenario I think is really cool for a bunch of different people.”
She continues. “Luan relates to a bunch of different age groups. She relates to little kids because she’s really funny and great, but she also relates to teenagers.” Though her character isn’t like many other girls her age, there’s no shame or hiding who she is. “She’s really true to herself and I think being able to watch her grow throughout high school is going to be such a cool experience,” she says.
I think that’s something that I love about Luan’s comedy; she’s not afraid to not really care about what she looks like or not really care about what she’s doing, but just to have fun [with] herself.
Catherine shares that she’s a freshman in high school and acknowledges the fact that by the time she’s in her senior year, a lot will have changed. “I think the fans getting to be able to watch that [and her] relationships, like Luan’s first boyfriend, first best friend, and all of her firsts are going to be so cool for all the teenagers and kids at home to see and grow with my character.”
For the actress, she’s already enjoying the fan reactions to the series, though only one episode had aired by the time of the interview. Getting to interact with them with new episodes on a weekly basis has her excited, especially as the audience and the characters grow together.
“Our fans are so active and great,” she gushes before adding, “I’m so excited for kids who watch the cartoon [to] also come over and watch [The Really Loud House]. The support has been overwhelming.”
Her excitement only grows as she says, “The premiere actually did phenomenally well and I think our platform and our audience of The Really Loud House is going to grow and it’s going to keep getting bigger. There’re going to be new fans, new amazing people to welcome into our fanbase. I think that’s so fun for all of us, getting to be able to see the fans [and] what they think of each episode and see their reviews and what they want from the characters.”
Catherine says she went back and read all the comments from the first episode after it aired. “They’re like, ‘Oh, I’d like to see Luan do this!’ or ‘That episode, that part was really funny!’ Also, being able to get their feedback is really, really cool to see, especially as more episodes keep airing because it gives us kind of an idea of what people want to see from us.”
One fan, in particular, would like to see how Luan would encourage someone to follow their dreams, seemingly like how Luan’s parents might do in an upcoming episode.
“Since she’s an older sister, she’s also kind of a mentor,” Catherine begins. “I think if someone was asking her to help with their comedic dreams or whatever dreams they have, Luan would try to do whatever she could to help them. She would show them all her pranking styles, all her jokes, [and] give all her connections because Luan is a very giving person.”
The actress is quick to example an episode from the original series to back up her explanation. “In one of the episodes in the cartoon, Lucy asks Luan to help her with her stage performance. Even though Luan [in the episode’s storyline] wants to win the award, she still helps Lucy achieve her dreams and actually win the award, and gives up her awards to help her little sister. So I feel in a way, Luan would do something like that,” she says. “She would teach them everything. She would always be encouraging. Luan believes in being true to herself and never letting anybody deter her from what she wants. I think she would definitely help her mentees with that.”
Given the fact that The Loud House has had many adaptations to different forms of media, with The Really Loud House being the latest in the expansive franchise, TEENPLICITY couldn’t help but ask what adaptations Catherine likes to see.
She laughs at first, as she admits she can’t share what the first thing that came to her head was. “I love when Broadway shows get taken into real-life movies,” she says. She mentions being on a Broadway show when she was younger (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) and how much she loved seeing Dear Evan Hanson being turned into a movie, calling it her “favorite thing”. “[Having it] reach a wider audience, I think, is so important because Broadway scripts and their music – there’s just something about them and not everybody can travel to New York to go watch that. I think when a Broadway show is [transformed] into a movie, it’s amazing. I would love to see Hamilton as a movie.” She laughs as she says, “I would love to see Harry Potter and The Cursed Child as a movie. I think that would all be really cool.”
Catherine adds, “It’s so good when [audiences] could see it in person and then also on the screen. It’s really cool and I think a lot of people should have more access to seeing Broadway shows and listening to Broadway music.”
The Really Loud House premieres new episodes every Thursday at 7pm/6c on Nickelodeon!
For all things Catherine Bradley, be sure to follow her on Instagram and YouTube!
*This interview has been edited for clarity, length, and spoilers.
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