We recently talked with Fort Worth’s child actress, Quinn Copeland, 9, about her sassy role as Izzy on Peacock’s reboot of Punky Brewster. Her mom, Katie, joined in.
Quinn’s mom is an Aggie and dad is a Longhorn. Little sister, Poppy, also loves to perform. The family likes to joke that they have their Ps and Qs.
On the show, Quinn’s mom is played by the actress who played the original Punky Brewster, Soleil Moon Frye, who is all grown up now.
Catch up tip:
The current Punky Brewster show is a follow-up series to the 1980s sitcom about a young foster child named Punky. Now she’s grown up with kids of her own.
You have several theater credits to your name. What’s the biggest lesson you learned on the stage that you’ve brought to your work on screen?
There are so many things happening behind the scenes to make a show come together. I remember my first experience with Waitress, I was amazed by all of the action happening backstage. Then when I started filming Punky Brewster, there were even more people that worked to make that happen than on either of my stage shows.
You’re currently one of the stars of the Punky Brewster reboot. Tell us about the series, your character, and what drew you to this project.
The series is about a perfectly imperfect family and all of the different challenges we face in our lives. More than that, I feel like the show is about love and family. You don’t have to have the same last name or same skin color to be family – you can choose your own family!
My character, Izzy, is a sassy little lady who acts like she is all grown. She protects herself from sadness and being alone by being strong and smart, but she is constantly learning how to be part of a family in her new home.
KATIE: When we found out Quinn was chosen to be in Punky Brewster, I don’t know if excited is a powerful enough word. I knew immediately our lives were going to change, but we were always prepared for it because I knew it was inevitable. I knew it was only a matter of time before people in the entertainment industry realized how incredible she is.
How similar or different are you to Izzy?
QUINN: I am super similar to Izzy! With all of the sass and all of the cozy warmness of the clothes she wears, I feel like Izzy and I have a lot in common. One major difference between us is that Izzy is definitely way more independent than me. I can’t imagine trying to make it on my own like Izzy had to in the orphanage.
KATIE: My first instinct is to say she is not at all like her onscreen character because in real life she is very girly and she wears different girly outfits or costumes several times in one day. It’s a lot of laundry. Of course there are similarities like Izzy’s confidence and fearlessness and ability to get what she wants from people.
This is your first time being a series regular. Has anything surprised you about the experience?
I’ve been on set for commercials before but being on set for a show was totally different. When I did shows on stage, I was performing the character the same way each time. As a series regular, my character gets to experience new things each time. The more time I spent doing new things as my character, the more confident I felt as an artist to try new things.
KATIE: It’s still hard to believe it’s real, especially because everything happens so fast. At the end of the day we are so tired that we don’t often reflect until the weekend when we realize all the cool things we did that week and what’s coming in the next one.
Pop-Culturalist Speed Round
Favorite TV shows? Stranger Things, Sofia the First, LoliRock
Favorite movies? Harry Potter, Maleficent, Beetlejuice
Favorite book? The Baby-Sitters Club
Favorite play or musical? Into the Woods, Matilda
Band or artist fans would be surprised is on your playlist? Melanie Martinez, Billie Eilish
Dream role? Anything in Stranger Things!
Cover photo courtesy Evans Vestal Ward/Peacock
Bob Valleau is a freelance writer living in McKinney, Texas.