With talents ranging across a broad spectrum of skills, Lauren Taylor is on her way to becoming the next big thing. Prior to landing her dream role on Disney Channel sci-fi series Best Friends Whenever which would catalyze her rise to stardom, the San Diego native already had a burgeoning music career that included working with the San Diego Symphony and opening for Michael Bolton.
In Best Friends Whenever, Lauren plays Shelby Marcus who, along with her best friend Cyd Ripley (Landry Bender), discovers that the duo have the power to time travel together thanks to a science experiment by their friends Barry (Gus Kamp) and Renaldo (Ricky Garcia) that went awry. When Shelby and Cyd are not traveling through time to fix mistakes or peek into the future, they are just normal teenage girls navigating the jungle that is high school.
Apart from Best Friends Whenever, another impressive notch on Lauren's acting résumé is a starring role in Netflix's Richie Rich where she played Harper Rich. In addition to her career in TV and music, Lauren is also an honor student and a veteran competitive cheerleader.
Musichel had the privilege of speaking to this talented entertainer to learn more about Best Friends Whenever, her music, and herself. In this interview, she dishes about superpowers, the origins of this hilarious new comedy, and a romance pairing in the show!
Congratulations on the success of Best Friends Whenever! Tell us a bit about your character Shelby and how she plays into the plot of the show.
Best Friends Whenever is a show about two best friends who are polar opposites who learn that they can time travel. I play Shelby, a positive, kind, intelligent, and determined girl who's best friends with Cyd, a tomboy type character with some edge.
Time travel is a concept that has sparked many great movies and TV shows. What sets Best Friends Whenever apart from the rest of these shows?
Best Friends Whenever is focused on the relationship between the two girls, rather than the fact that they can time travel. But time travel definitely plays a big part in our show!
In the show, we have seen Shelby and Cyd accidentally travel into a white laboratory that completely freaks them out. Can you give any hints to the fans about what's going on in there?
Shelby and Cyd are being experimented on in this "future lab." We don't know who's involved yet, but the girls will try to figure it out though out the season.
Shelby and Cyd are close friends with Gus and Renaldo. Is there any possibility that romance will grow in this group of friends? Would you ship any of them?
Who knows? I would definitely ship Cyd and Barry! I think her cool, tough nature would be a hilarious and sweet combo with Barry's very uptight and emotionless ways.
Is there any truth to the rumor that Best Friends Whenever was originally titled Fairest of the Mall and had a completely different plot? How did that evolve into a show with an entirely different concept?
It is true! Fairest of the Mall was a show about a girl named Holly (played by me) who had to choose between being friends with the "cool kids" who weren't nice to her or the "nerdy kids" who were actually her friends. By the end of the episode, she'd decided to stay with her real friends, one who happened to be Nikki (played by Landry Bender) and one named Barry (played by Gus Kamp). They loved our chemistry, but they weren't crazy about the show's concept so they changed some things around, but it's mostly the same characters.
If you could trade roles with any character on Best Friends Whenever for a day, who would you pick?
I'd trade roles with one of the boys. Whenever we travel, they always get do dress up in the funniest and coolest costumes and get to play totally new characters! I'm so jealous. Probably would pick Renaldo.
Recently, you guys did a '70s-themed episode on the show. Can fans expect to see more themed/era-centric episodes?
Oh yes! We're eventually probably going to hit all of the cool eras. It's so exciting!
Which episode has been your favorite so far?
My favorite episode so far has been our '70s episode, of course! I LOVE the '70s era! The music, the outfits, the people! So exciting!
If Shelby and Cyd ever discover another superpower (besides time travel), what would you want it to be?
The power to morph into any person and/or object. That has always been the superpower that I've wanted so bad!
Apart from your burgeoning acting career, you are also active in music. Do you have any upcoming plans for your music career?
Hopefully I'll be able to release something pretty soon here. Right now, we're working really hard on getting something together.
What is a little-known fact about you that people may be surprised to learn about?
A little known fact about me is that I am obsessed with smells! I love to always smell fantastic and I love to go into stores like Lush and go find my next amazing smell!
Photo credits: Sami Drasin Photography, Craig Sjodin / Disney Channel