Actress Catherine Bradley plays Luan Loud, the popular prankster on Nickelodeon’s “The Really Loud House”. The show is gearing up for its second season and Catherine couldn’t be happier about being part of the Loud House Family! I recently interview Catherine about her start in the business, her role on The Loud House, and her upcoming projects.
What drew you into acting?
Actually, it was theater that sparked my love for acting. As a really young child, my mom would take me and our family to Broadway shows. I remember seeing Wicked, Matilda, Cinderella, School of Rock, Les Misérables, Dear Evan Hansen (when I was little older) and Annie. These shows were magical – the acting, singing, dancing, and costumes and sets. I remember the excitement when the theater would go dark and the anticipation. After watching my first Broadway show, I was hooked. I remember thinking that is what I want to do with my life! I also started off as a dancer at two years old and I learned through dance that I loved to perform and tell stories! In my very first dance competition when I was seven years, I had a musical theatre dance duet and was Ursula from “The Little Mermaid” in the song “Poor Unfortunate Souls.” That was fun! I also remember getting turned down for a local community theater in New Jersey when I was eight, so my mom said let’s just go for Broadway! She started taking me to New York for open calls with hundreds of kids and all the hard work finally began to pay off. I believe that if you can see it happening, you can make it happen!
What is your process for breaking down a character?
Auditions are one of my favorite parts of being an actress and the majority of what working actors do. So as soon as I get a script or scene each week, I break it down into tiny sections, not only breaking down the lines, but the beats in between the lines. I consider what my character would feel in any given situation. Another thing I try to do when auditioning is creating moments that aren’t written on the script. I also try to find moments where part of me truly identifies with that character. Most importantly, I have learned to trust myself and my instincts.
What do you look for in a film or TV role?
Right now, I am working on a comedy that is for kids. I love playing characters that young kids and teenagers look up too and hopefully will “cherish” over time. I love comedy and making people laugh, but I really also love drama and especially great stories. Not all stories have happy endings, and many stories talk about the light as well as the darkness in humanity. I want to play those characters – both dark and light – as it is important that our world never forgets our greatest moments and some of the greatest mistakes and tragedies. I want to play the hero who against all odds perseveres and the flawed villain who is still human. Also on a lighter note, If I could have the perfect role for myself today, it would be a role reminiscent of Blair Waldorf on “Gossip Girl”. I would love to be a part of an iconic teen show just like “Friends” or “Pretty Little Liars”. I would love to play a fashionable, cool, but not mean girl (although I can portray a great mean girl.). I would also love to star in a horror movie. I would want my role to be the one that lives, obviously. In horror movies, I always enjoy the smart, underdog character. I am really good at “conjuring” emotions (like crying, being scared) on demand.
Tell us about your role in The Really Loud House.
I play the roles of Luan Loud and her alter-ego puppet, Mr. Coconuts. Luan is a funny, loving, and silly teenager who is obsessed with stand-up comedy. She is a comedian extraordinaire, the ultimate prankster, a master of disguises, a ventriloquist, and a total theatre geek. Her pranks can be extreme and she sometimes can border on lunatic when she loses control with these pranks! Underneath all of this, she is also just a normal teenage girl with normal teenage problems trying to figure out who she is and her place in this crazy world. It’s important to me that the audience takes away from the series and her character that Luan is just real and is comfortable being her true self. Social media today is so focused on physical beauty, and Luan is focused on her inner beauty and what she loves to do — perform and make people laugh! I love that Luan is confident in herself and is not changing for anyone. I hope Luan inspires everyone to just be themselves and that is more than good enough!
Photo Credit: Photographer: Kelsey Hale Make-up: Courtney Hart Hair: Dicky Collins
What is your advice for keeping a healthy work/life balance?
Keep doing everything else you love beyond acting. I love school. I love being social and hanging out with my friends. I love dancing. Keep being a kid or a teenager, in my case. Also – try and surround yourself with a great support system. I am still in a regular high school and taking 6 to 7 classes a semester, so I go to school when I am not traveling on set. We have incredible teachers on set, but it is really hard to get hours of homework done and class time done when you are also working every day. My teachers at my school in New Jersey have really been there for me and so has my mom. She literally relearned Honors Physics and Geometry for me this year! Even when I am not on set, managing multiple auditions each week with school is tough. So, I have a great acting coach, Theresa, who is always there for me. I just have to be very organized, stay focused and not get overwhelmed. I also make a huge effort to prioritize my friendships and relationships off set. When I leave for set, I really miss my friends, so I try and connect with them every day and have a lot of fun with them when I am home. My life is pretty crazy, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s like I live two different lives and I LOVE each one of them.
Tell us something people would be surprised to learn about you.
I love Rom-Coms. They are perfect for any situation. One of my favorites is the Devil Wears Prada, not only because I love fashion, but I love Meryl Streep. I am also obsessed with bikinis; I think I have like 50 of them. I really love summer – must be the Jersey in me – although I was born in New York City and lived there until I was five. So I am definitely a New Yorker!
What are your goals for 2023?
My goals for 2023 are to end my freshman year of high school with straight A’s and enter my sophomore year strong! I want to finish season 2 of The Really Loud House and hopefully film another movie. If time permits, I would love to return to the stage, Broadway, even if for a short run. And if not 2023, one of my goals is Saturday Night Live!!!!!!
Any upcoming projects you can share?
Right now, I am immersed in the world of Nickelodeon’s and Paramount Plus’s new series “The Really Loud House” and . . . I am so excited that “The Really Loud House” has been renewed for Season 2 with 20 more episodes with some super exciting guest stars, one of which I will get to work with a ton! The fans are going to love these new episodes!!! Also, there is going to be a Halloween Movie that I am beyond excited about!!!
Where can we follow you on social media?
You can follow me on Instagram at @catherinebradley_ and on TikTok at @catherinebradleyy