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Newcomer Lexi Underwood stars in Hulu’s “Little Fires Everywhere”
By Lapacazo Sandoval, Contributing Writer
Published March 19, 2020

 

Lexi Underwood

Hulu’s eight-episode limited series, “Little Fires Everywhere” — based on Celeste Ng’s best-selling novel stars and is executive produced by Reese Witherspoon (Hello Sunshine) and Kerri Washington (Simpson Street) and written by showrunner Liz Tigelaar. The book and the limited series trace the fallout in a small suburban Ohio community when a single mother (Washington) and her daughter (Lexi Underwood) move into the town and shake things up.

Ingenue Lexi Underwood plays Pearl, Mia’s (Washington) strong-willed daughter, a young woman tired of moving from town-to-town.

In her real life, Underwood made a decision early — at ten-years-old — when she took the stage at the Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C., in Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol” that acting would-be profession. She continued to book jobs including being cast as Young Nala in the Disney Theatrical Productions The Lion King in the North-American Touring Company from January to August 2015 and covered Broadway in the same role.

The up-and-coming triple threat (the actress and musician is also an aspiring director) — Lexi Underwood had this to share about working with icon Kerry Washington and maneuvering Hollywood.

LOS ANGELES SENTINEL: Hello, Lexi Underwood.

LEXI UNDERWOOD: Hello, Lapacazo (did I pronounce it correctly).

LAS: Let’s get to it. I loved “Little Fires Everywhere” and I didn’t think that I would.

LU: Really? The book [Celeste Ng] is a page-turner. I loved it.

LAS: Good to know. What made you go after the role of Pearl?

LU: Well, we have a very female production team. The fact that we have two powerful women at the helm of the show, Kerry [Washington] and Reese [Witherspoon] that made it attractive. And then you have Lauren Neustadter of Hello Sunshine and Pilar Savone of Simpson Street. And then we have two female directors, Nzingha Stewart and Lynn Shelton. And then in incredible vision showrunner Liz Tigelaar. It is such an incredible experience to learn from them. And it is very rare. It does not happen often when there is a very female production team.

LAS: Well, I believed that you were Mia’s daughter.

LU: Thank you. Well, Ms. Kerry and I wanted to make sure we presented the authenticity of a Black mother and daughter relationship. In the book, there is no race.

LAS: Really?

LU: Yes, so, I think it’s truly groundbreaking what we did. It’s truly special.n

LAS: Did you enjoy the book?

LU: I did. I read it in two days during the audition process. I had two auditions. Right after my second audition, I read the book. It’s such a compelling story. You don’t want to put the book down. I love it. I walked out of the audition room and said, it was the best audition that I ever had.

LAS: (laughing) And you snagged the role of Pearl opposite the one, the only Kerry Washington or as you call her, Miss Kerry.

LU:(laughing) I did.

LAS: Were there scenes that you felt were difficult to film?

LU: Yeah, Miss Kerry and I have a lot of arguments, our characters argue because the story is starting to play out. Pearl and Mia have a rocky mother and daughter relationship.

LAS: Have you seen all eight episodes of “Little Fires Everywhere?”

LU: I did. I could not stop watching it. Just like the book.

LAS: Did you get words of wisdom from Kerry or Reese? Everyone asks this question, I bet.

LU: (laughing) They do and yes. Especially Miss Kerry, from the first time we met she immediately took me under her wing with advice on the business side of the industry as well. She helped me select a publicist and she was helping me along the way. She pulled something out of me that I didn’t know that I had in me.

LAS: That’s major. Expand, please.

LU: I walked into “Little Fires Everywhere” not knowing my full potential but with Miss Kerry helped me find the confidence that I didn’t know I had in me.

LAS: Is L.A. your home?

LU: It’s kind of my home right now but I grew up in Washington, DC and I love that city.

LAS: What’s next for you? I sense a great maturity in you.

LU: I’m up for a few projects. There is an exciting announcement coming in a few days and I can’t wait to share that with you.

LAS: Oh. Well, let’s make sure that your P.R.team includes us in the press release distribution.

LU: I will tell them for sure. I also opened my own production company and I’ve been working on developing some of my own projects.

LAS: What is the name of the production company?

LU: It’s called Ultimate Dreamer Productions. Ultimate dreamer means an audacious visionary and that means that whatever you set your mind to or your heart to you can achieve it.

To follow Lexi go to — https://www.instagram.com/officiallexiunderwood/?hl=en
https://www.hulu.com/series/little-fires-everywhere-bce24897-1a74-48a3-95e8-6cdd530dde4c

This phone interview was been edited for length and clarity.

Categories: Entertainment | TV
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