Catherine BradleyFilmdailyInterviewThe Really Loud House

Catherine Bradley stars in ‘The Really Loud House’: What’s next?

Catherine Bradley is Luan Loud in the hit Nickelodeon series The Really Loud House. We were privileged that she took time away from filming the second season for this in-depth interview about her character and her career.

Your portrayal of Luan Loud in The Really Loud House has gained a lot of love from audiences. How do you approach bringing this lively and fun-loving character to life, and what aspects of Luan’s personality do you find most enjoyable to explore?

Playing the role of Luan has been one of best experiences in my career and especially the love I have received from kids and teens around the world has been so special to me.  Luan is the comedian and prankster of the family and a master of disguises and an incredible impersonator. This season I have really loved exploring the real human side of Luan. She is a teenage girl with the typical teenage insecurities who is also unique and true to herself.  This season she may have her first crush and experience some crucial teenage milestones.  My portrayal of Luan is still hysterical, but you will see she has a huge heart.  I hope young girls see a role model who is comfortable in her own skin and being herself and doing what she loves and makes her happy.

Having transitioned from Broadway to television, with roles in “City on a Hill” and “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,” what adjustments did you make in your acting style, and do you have a preference between stage and screen performances? 

The transition back and forth between more grounded dramatic roles and comedic roles has not been a huge change for me.  Each character I play, I find ways that I relate to them and figure out what makes them special. It’s not about changing my acting style but being true to that character.  Of course, for Luan, she is a walking Saturday Night Live skit at times and part Lucille Ball, so I embrace that part of her personality and love bringing that to life!  I love film, tv and stage equally.  Nothing can replace the feeling of performing live, but also playing a role that children around the world watch and relate to is equally special!  

Congratulations on your Broadway debut in Harry Potter and The Cursed Child. How did it feel stepping onto such a prestigious stage, and how has your background in theater influenced your work in television and film?  

Broadway and then Harry Potter was a dream come true!  I had my Broadway debut as Lily Potter Jr., the daughter of Harry Potter, which was just so crazy.  Just two years prior, I didn’t  have an agent and I was just going to my first open calls with hundreds of actors.  My mom has always told me to dream big and that if I can dream it, it can happen.  It was always my dream to be on Broadway, and achieving those dreams at such a young age made me realize anything was possible. Performing in front of hundreds of people with such an incredible cast was  life changing for me.  It made me realize that this is what I love to do!  My background in theatre I really believe differentiates me.  I have played on the stage such a versatile range of young women from Mary Lennox in the Secret Garden to Small Allison in Fun Home and of course, Annie! Playing these types of roles at a young age gives you stamina and teaches you how to give it your all every single minute every single performance. I also know when to ground myself for more serious tv acting (which is smaller and more nuanced) and then how to enhance my performance so that the person in the back of the theatre can feel and relate to what my character is doing at that moment.  It’s always easier to ground yourself than to learn to just go for it and truly be in the moment!

In addition to your acting, you’re an award-winning dancer. How has your dance background enhanced your performances, and do you see any parallels between your experiences as a dancer and as an actor? 

I began dancing at two years old and discovered a love for musical theatre jazz, tap, hip-hop, and all the dance genres.   I quickly learned that what I loved the most about dancing was the storytelling aspect of dance.  I believe that is why I achieved success in dance at such a young age. My first two acting jobs, a ballet girl in Billy Elliot and an aerobics fanatic in the off-Broadway workshop of Spandex the Musical, were booked because of my dancing and performance skills.  Tapping is my favorite and I have worked and learned from some incredible artists like John Manzari, my favorite from the revival of Broadway’s Funny Girl and my first mentor, David Meenan from Broadway’s 42nd Street.  The absolute highlight so far of my dance career was being cast in a music video for an international recording mega-star and Grammy winner, J Balvin, where I freestyle hip-hop danced with him. I was 10 years old and terrified.  There is no question that dance has played such a meaningful part of my career and I plan to dance and train for the rest of my career!  

You’ve demonstrated your musical talents by singing and playing the ukulele at venues like Birdland Jazz Club and Feinstein’s 54 Below. How did you discover your passion for music, and do you have any plans to incorporate your musical talents into future projects?

Once I got the acting bug, I realized if I wanted a career on Broadway, I needed to be a true triple threat and began training my voice.  I found I loved singing in front of audiences and  have been fortunate to play some of the iconic kids roles like Annie which are extremely vocally challenging, but I had to work really hard at it.  There will always be stronger singers than me, but when I sing it is less about the riffs and showing off what my voice can do and more about communicating the emotion of the song with the audience, whether it be joy or pain, and taking them on a journey with me while I am singing.  That is why performing at historic venues like the Birdland Jazz Club, 54 Below, The Green Room 42, The Triad, and the Broadway Comedy Club is so special to me.  I am able to connect with audiences in such a unique and intimate way.  I have already incorporated singing and dancing into the Really Loud House, where I have sung in multiple episodes.  I hope to continue to find roles where I can use my voice as well as continue to sing for live audiences and maybe eventually produce some of my own music (when I have a moment to breathe!)

The Really Loud House has a unique premise as a live-action adaptation of an animated series. What challenges and opportunities does this present for you as an actor, especially when bringing beloved animated characters to life in a new format?  

Bringing together a beloved character from one of the most watched Emmy award winning animated series was a huge challenge but also the most amazing opportunity.  I had to stay true to the spirit of Luan who is a comedic and pranking lunatic at times and who also has a best friend who is a puppet, Mr. Coconuts, that she actually operates as a ventriloquist.  Making something like that seem believable was a challenge, so I had to bond with the puppet and come up with my backstory for why this puppet meant so much to Luan and why she needed him.  Mr. Coconuts was real to Luan and needed to be real and present in every scene. Also, I have brought a human side to Luan.  Fans see the pranks and jokes that they love from the animated series, but they also see her cry, face disappointments, and see the human underneath the comedic exterior. They also see her grow and change and perhaps become more secure in herself and less reliant on her puppet.   

Your involvement as the voice of Deema in “Bubble Guppies” showcases your versatility. How do you approach voice acting compared to on-screen acting, and do you have a favorite aspect of each? 

I have been so fortunate to work with Nickelodeon for such a long time.  Playing the singing and acting voice of the iconic and sassy drama queen on Bubble Guppies was too much fun! Voice acting feels just the same to me.  When I was in the sound booth, I became her and was fighting the pirates or was a genie on a magic carpet.  I really love doing both on-screen and voiceover acting!

You recently starred in Nickelodeon’s original holiday movies A Loud House Christmas and A Really Haunted Loud House What can fans expect from the movies, and did you enjoy exploring Luan Loud’s character in a festive setting?  

Filming these movies is the best.  These movies are like 90 minute capers where all of the family comes together!  We just released the Halloween movie and the dancing and costumes in that movie are ridiculous! Mr. Coconuts becomes a huge Frankenstein and I become a mad scientist.  My sister Aubin who plays Lucy Loud literally is a vampire and in one scene transforms into a bat at the finale of the big musical number. It is hysterical! 

As a TikTok sensation with over 500k followers, how do you use the platform to connect with fans, and what type of content do you enjoy creating the most? 

I love social media as a way to connect with fans and just be silly and real.  I love to share with my fans what a day looks like for me on set and just goofing around with my friends back home and my cast mates. My fans really love it when I post!

Being a multifaceted artist with experiences in acting, dancing, and music, how do you balance these different aspects of your creative pursuits, and do you have any upcoming projects that you’re particularly excited about? 

It can be challenging at times; especially when I am on set for months to find time to dance and sing especially with full time school.  So I try to go to LA and drop into classes on the weekends and do a lot of singing on my own! I am  excited to share Season 2 of The Really Loud House and our new one-hour special premiere musical episode called “A Musical to Remember” which airs on February 19th.  There are literally 20 different songs and dances in this musical and a special tap “vaudeville” number with my sister Aubin and me.  Also, Season 1 just dropped on Paramount+.  


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