Even with a million little things going on in the world right now, rising actress Lizzy Greene is full of heart and continues to share her passion for art. Despite acting taking the lead in her life, the actress has been creating art since she was old enough to talk. To her, it’s simply second nature.
During lockdown, Greene has been drawing inspiration for her art projects from world events — which connects directly to her most recent role as Sophie Dixon in the ensemble drama A Million Little Things, a series that is all about tough topics and the power of family and love. Greene is already a fan favourite from her Nickelodeon days, but she reaches new depths as a stubborn Sophie navigates the many trials of teenage years. Read on to find out what inspires Greene and what she told Schön! about how she and Sophie Dixon are similar in real life.
Off-screen, during lockdown, you have been creating art! Tell us how you got into art and what it means to you.
It’s something I’ve done since I was old enough to talk, and to me, it’s become a mindless thing that helps spark creative thinking. I’ve loved art my whole life, and while acting has definitely taken a front seat, it’s still something that I try to do every day. Whether it be in the green room, or during lunch, or at 3 am, art influences me to create, challenge myself and learn — all of which help me in my work as well.
Are there any art projects that you have done recently that you can tell us about in more detail?
I make it a goal to try and draw something every day, but lately, with the times being quite heavy, I’ve found myself drawing things more related to world events. A few days ago I drew a portrait of a nurse wearing a mask, using her hand to hold her eyes open — as a silent way of saying “Wear masks so they don’t have too.” COVID has brought so much stress upon so many people, but the ones that suffer the most are the healthcare workers. I can’t imagine how hard they are working.
How do you get inspired when you feel stuck?
I had a huge album on my phone of artwork I see on the internet as well as random images I take in my daily life that spark ideas. Like an alleyway that I can picture someone in, or an image of how apples are arranged in a grocery store, colour and placement are what inspire me the most, so whenever I get into a rut I’ll just start drawing people and things around me. I went a good two years without drawing because I got busy with work, but getting back into it has helped me de-stress and become more imaginative, which always helps in this industry.
Let’s talk A Million Little Things! What attracted you to the role of Sophie Dixon and how did you prepare for it?
I was attracted to the role both because of its depth and the strength Sophie has. She has been through so much yet continues to do what’s right; she’s as human as she is a teenager, so there are moments where she is stubborn and headstrong (which I can relate to myself) which is also why I like her. She’s no damsel. Preparation for playing her varies based on the storylines, but I always like to create scenarios in my head to justify her decisions and motives. I keep a book of thoughts and notes on performance and focus the most on the “why” question. Why was she pushed to do this, why does she react this way, etc. Making memories for a character gives you a better understanding. Also, running lines with cast mates always helps.
To those that have not seen A Million Little Things, how would you describe the show?
Our show is a mosaic of many different tough topics, but what makes it special is how it showcases the influence loved ones can have on one another during tough times. The main storyline is about how the sudden suicide of a father and friend affects a group of people. Our show also focuses heavily on more ‘stigmatized’ topics as a way to break the silence around mental health. While that all sounds pretty heavy, the largest theme of the show is family and love. And our writers do a great job of adding comedic relief and great heartfelt moments.
The show touches on a lot of heavy, and real topics… have any stood out to you in particular?
This season definitely has some of the most moving storylines thus far. If I could, I’d name five that stand out to me right now, but for what the audience has already seen, the story of Rome and Regina losing the adoption always hits me. They both portray the aftermath so beautifully, and having already experienced the death of a friend, losing an adoption reopens that same pain.
How are you similar or different from Sophie Dixon in real life?
Sophie and I both love music. I have a playlist for every activity — which I’m almost positive Sophie does as well. But with personality, we are both very similar with what we hold important — family, friends, happiness, and hard work. Sophie has always struck me as someone who could easily command a crowd as she’s a character who’s unforgivably herself, which I can relate to. She’s also incredibly perceptive and doesn’t let things go over her head, which I can relate to as well. She’s a character with a big heart and bigger confidence.
Give us your favourite Sophie moments from season one and two.
Getting to play softball is a massive favourite just because I love sports (it’s really hard to pitch!), but my favourite moments have to be dancing with Rome in Episode 102 and forgiving Eddie in 217. Dancing with Rome was really special for Sophie because the death of her dad had really hit her, but she still wanted to do the “father-daughter” dance as a way to show him that she would be strong. And forgiving Eddie was such an important moment for her; anger can be exhausting to hold in, and once she heard what he had been going through after the death, she realised that life is too short to hold grudges. Both scenes were also a heck of a lot of fun to shoot.
How is Sophie’s character going to develop in season three, and can you tell us what to expect?
My storyline this year is really moving and definitely the most important story I’ve ever done. It’s on a topic that affects more people than we will ever really know, and I’m hoping it will influence more people to share their stories.
What has been your favourite character you have played so far and why?
I don’t think I have a favourite! Each character I play is a learning experience and always resonates with me in some way, so I feel like a little of each is a part of me.
If you had to title this chapter in your life, what would you call it?
I would call it Daybreak because when the sun just starts to rise, we start the day. With so much changing in the industry, me a soon-to-be adult, and new projects on the horizon, I feel like there is something really exciting coming. I love what I do so much — and I have big hopes for the future.
What is the strangest thing you have seen or heard this week?
I forgot to bring my dog’s bowl inside, so three raccoons came up on our balcony and started eating it. They visit every night now!
What are you working on next?
I want to jump into the film industry and would love to remake some of my old favourite movies. It’s really inspiring that people my age are jumping into producer roles in this industry, and I definitely have ideas to create something that showcases my generation from the standpoint of someone who’s a part of it.
This Schön! online exclusive has been produced by
photography. Amanda Pratt @ Art Department
fashion + art direction. Carlee Wallace @ Art Department
talent. Lizzy Greene
hair. Tania Becker @ Nobasura
make up. Paula Lanzador @ Nobasura
photography assistant. Devon Scott Wong
fashion assistant. Coralie Kourany
words. Sandy Aziz