Straight Up Hollywood podcast features a couple of firsts this week: The inaugural interview for This Is Us newcomer Lyric Ross and the opening concert on Grace VanderWaal's first tour.
TV reporter Bill Keveney (@billkev) opens the podcast discussing his interview with Ross, who plays 12-year-old foster child Deja on NBC's hit drama. Keveney talks about the Illinois eighth grader sweetly describing how her classmates now think she's famous.
He also relates how Susan Kelechi Watson, who plays Deja's foster mother, Beth, praised the young actress's brave decision to cut her hair in an emotional scene from the show.
Entertainment reporter Carly Mallenbaum (@ThatGirlCarly) got backstage access with 2016 America's Got Talent winner VanderWaal at L.A.'s legendary Troubador, the first stop on her Just the Beginning concert tour.
The 13-year-old ukulele player tells Mallenbaum about the excitement — and nerves — that accompany performing on stage, releasing an album and starting what looks to be a stellar career.
Finally, Keveney talks about SMILF, the new Showtime comedy that announces another woman, Frankie Shaw, as Hollywood's latest multi-hyphenate: creator-writer-director-star.
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