One of the standout characters from NBC’s musical comedy series Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist was Mo (Alex Newell), who, in addition to rocking some great fashion choices, serves as Zoey’s guide to the many heart songs she starts singing but doesn’t know nearly as well as the music-obsessed Mo. Now, Mo is back in Roku’s Emmy-nominated Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas.
Awards Radar had the chance to speak with Newell about what made playing Mo so appealing, as well as the chance to revisit Mo in a TV movie and potential future follow-ups. On Mo’s home life and connection to church, Newell revealed:
“It was a giant part of me doing the show and what I wanted to portray in this character, because I think we have to normalize a lot of things and understand that it’s there and it’s not taboo and it’s not crazed. It’s very normal and lived-in. One of my biggest things was what my identity was with church and how that was always contrived. I’m taught one thing there, but taught another thing about loving yourself and loving your neighbor and not feeling that love all the time from where I was, and I wanted to show that it’s a real topic people are conflicted with, having faith and being themselves at the same time.”
On getting to work with Jane Levy, who plays Zoey, Newell gushed:
“That’s my best friend. I love her so much. It was so easy. I would say this all the time, I would say, Jane, it’s so easy to look in your eyes and love you. You are the dreamiest little gremlin, little baby that I know, and I want to protect you at all costs. I love her. She gives so much to her art and to her craft. She is so there. It’s truly a dream to watch her work, and to work with her.”
Watch the full conversation with Alex Newell below:
Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas is available to stream exclusively on Roku. For booking information for Alex, click here.