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Interview: The Cast of Disney+’s ‘Growing Up’ on Their New Show

Director, Brie Larson (front, second from left), with Sophia, Gavin, Alex, Amiri, Athena, Sage, Isabel, Clare, Emily, David and Vanessa of Disney's GROWING UP. (Credit: Disney/Anthony Artis)

Growing Up is a docu-series that explores the challenges, triumphs and complexities of adolescence through ten coming of age stories. These kinds of complexities include being introduced to an environment where people are discriminated for their gender, or race. The series focuses on how these young people felt when confronting said challenges, and how they lead their lives now. Premiering as part of this year’s Disney+ Day Celebration, the show is full of heart and thoughtfulness.

Awards Radar had the opportunity to talk to the people behind this emotional docuseries. Brie Larson who is used to playing a superhero as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, empowered young women by addressing the stigma regarding menstruation that can currently be seen in many places.

“My episode came from a very specific moment when I was on set and I needed to use the restroom and I put my tampon in my sleeve. It was really strange to me, and it suddenly hit me: ‘Why am I hiding this? Why is this shameful to me? It happens every month, it happens to a lot of people. Why is this something that is such a big deal?,” questioned Larson.

Black-ish star, Yara Shahidi, who will play Tinker Bell in next year’s Peter and Wendy, also commented on her experiences with tutors who didn’t take her work seriously.

“I’m grateful that I’ve had a positive educational experience, but there were definitely moments I had to overcome in terms of shaking my self-esteem from tutors not believing I was excelled and having to spend the rest of the year proving myself,” expressed Shahidi.

The series covers a range of topics that affect the youth of today as they navigate this challenging world. Sofia Ongele talked about the challenges of self-imposed expectations in education, Nicole Galovski addressed the importance of coming of age stories, and Vanessa Aryee spoke about how young people of color can feel comfortable in their own skin when faced with hostile environments.

Alex Crotty, Sage Grace Dolan-Sandrino , Emily Flores, Kishori Rajan, Smriti Mundhra, Ashley Eakin, Gavin Anderson, Ekwa Msangi, Elegance Bratton, Amiri Nash, and Rudy Valdez also had plenty to say regarding the show. Be sure to watch all their stories on Growing Up currently streaming exclusively on Disney+ . You can also watch our full conversations with the cast below.


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Written by Diego Peralta

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