When Netflix and Mindy Kailing’s Never Have I Ever came out, expectations were high. The story of Devi navigating high school, relationships, and the loss of her father quickly became a hit, being applauded for its diverse representation of characters and stories, including that of Rebecca Hall-Yoshida. Introduced as more than just the love interest Paxton’s sister, she won over hearts with her big personality and winning fashion line. Actress, model, and disability advocate Lily D Moore is an Athens native and was thrilled to play the role. She was kind enough to participate in a Zoom interview with me and talk about acting, her Never Have I Ever experience, and Athens. Here's what she had to say:
Hey Lily! Have you picked up any new “quarantine hobbies” over the past few months?
“Yes! I have started playing the ukulele and upcycling old t-shirts.”
That’s cool! What’s your favorite song to play on the ukulele?
“Right now, I really like Riptide by Vance Joy.”
That’s a good one! Have you always wanted to be an actress?
“Yes, I have! When I was about six years old, me and my family moved to Austria for six years. I took an acting class there and fell in love with it. Once we moved back, my mom found an agent for me and I started trying out for acting gigs!”
That’s super cool! Do you still speak any German?
“A little bit, but I’m not fluent anymore.”
Do you have any directors or actors that you’d love to work with in the future?
“Probably Zac Efron or Dove Cameron… basically any Disney Channel actor!”
Based off of that, do you want to be on a Disney Channel show?
“Yes! I’ve been to a few auditions, so fingers crossed on hearing back!”
Hopefully you do! What’s your biggest dream in the acting world?
“I want to be the first actor with Down Syndrome to win an Oscar.”
Do you have any advice for aspiring actors who want to “make it”?
“It’s a journey, not a race! Whatever you want to do, go for it!”
Switching topics, what was the audition process like for Never Have I Ever?
“My family and I were in Hawaii and my agent sent over the audition. We taped it, sent it in, and a couple of days later, as we were waiting to come home, we got the call that I got cast!
Do you think you’re similar to Rebecca? How so?
“Yeah, I think so. We both speak our mind, are fun, and sassy!”
Do you have a favorite costar?
“Definitely my brother, Darren Barnet!”
Were you able to take anything home from the set?
“No. I was a little surprised, but we couldn’t take anything home from set. I did get the cast gift of a really cool Sherman Oaks High School sweatshirt!”
Are you Team Paxton or Team Ben?
“Team Paxton, all the way. He’s my brother, I have to root for him!”
Have you been called in for season 2 yet?
“Nope, nothing’s official for season 2. I keep getting comments on Instagram posts asking if I’m in it, but I promise I don’t know anything yet. I’m hoping to get a call soon!”
I hope you get the call, too! Have you thought at all about where you would want Rebecca’s character to go in the second season?
“I would definitely want to see more about the fashion line and if it succeeds. I’d also love to develop more of her and Paxton’s relationship as siblings on screen.”
And now, a few Athens-related questions. What’s your favorite spot in the Athens area?
Do you have a favorite local coffee shop in Athens?
“I actually don’t drink coffee often, but I love to get food at The Grit.”
Even though you don’t drink coffee often, do you have a go-to Starbucks order?
“My mom’s gotten me a Frappuccino before and I really liked it, but it’s a treat that I don’t have too often!”
And finally, Canes or Chick-fil-a?
“I’m going to go with Chick-fil-a. I always get their nuggets and fries!”