Devyn McDowell is an actress. She is in the film Annette, and is portraying the title character. Annette premiered in theatres August 6th and was made available on Amazon Prime two weeks following. Devyn is also in the film The Good Nurse which is premiering in 2022. YEM was able to speak with Devyn about her favorite projects she has worked on, what a typical day looks like for her with work and school, and her favorite place that she has filmed.
Young Entertainment Mag: You began performing on Broadway when you were 4, what’s it like being so young and acting in front of such large crowds?
Devyn McDowell: I was scared out of my overalls before going on stage, but once I got on stage it was super fun, especially working with Ogie (Jeremy Morse) and the other cast and crew. They helped guide me while on stage, and the lights were so bright that I could barely see the crowd.
YEM: What’s it like being so accomplished at such a young age; what can you share with others who want to do what you do?
Devyn: That’s a good question! I am still so early in my career that I don’t feel accomplished just yet, maybe after my first true lead role. I would tell others to work hard and don’t give up. I’ve been told, “No” more than I have been told, “Yes. Your big break can be just around the corner!
YEM: How does acting on stage prepare you for acting in movies?
Devyn: I don’t think it does. To me, it’s been two different styles of acting. On stage I have to follow strict directions and there’s not much room for improv, plus you only get that one chance each show to get it right. On film, you have more flexibility with improv and you have multiple takes to get the scene how you want it.
YEM: What made you start the annual birthday fundraiser?
Devyn: My mom started it when I was a baby. She’s always been big on philanthropy and wanted me to be involved in helping others at an early age.
YEM: You recently wrapped filming on “The Good Nurse.” What was different from that movie than anything else you’ve done?
Devyn: We did a lot of improv, which was great because the scenes turned out so real and natural, and I had a lot of fun. I had been taking improv classes with Jeremy Morse, the actor who played Ogie with me in Waitress, and his wife Alex and I think that helped me a lot with that role!
YEM: What is one of your favorite projects you’ve worked on?
Devyn: I would say The Good Nurse because I loved having a set sister (Alix), but Jessica, Eddie and Tobias were all just so fun and amazing to work with.
YEM: What does a typical day look like for you between work and school?
Devyn: I am homeschooled so we have a lot of flexibility when it comes to work, I am able to learn anytime and anywhere. We take some of my school books on the road and before COVID, would go visit museums, zoos and other places to learn when traveling. My mom teaches me about business management, banking, computer, and more with my own work as well.
YEM: You travel a lot, what has been your favorite place to film and why?
Devyn: I would say Belgium and Germany because I got to do tons of fun things while over there, like AquaLand, a chocolate factory, eat lots of mussels and sushi, got my favorite stuffie Lollipop and more!
YEM: Your next movie is “Annette.” Was there anything different from the other musicals you’ve worked on?
Devyn: Annette was much more difficult. I had to adjust to the different time zones and practice the main song for three months. Because it was live action, we sang and acted the whole scene out what felt like a hundred times, and because I had practiced it the same way for so long, the little last minute changes were hard to do.
YEM: What was it like working with such a talented cast – Adam Driver, Marion Cotillard, and Simon Helberg? Were they able to give you any tips of the trade?
Devyn: It was really nice working with them. I worked with Adam a lot more than Marion & Simon. I learned how to focus and be in the zone with Adam, and to ask for help when I don’t understand something.
YEM: You are in a lot of musical films and shows, what is your favorite thing about performing in a musical?
Devyn: I love music and I love to sing! Being able to do that for a job at my age is amazing!
YEM: What was the most challenging thing for you filming Annette and how did you overcome it?
Devyn: I said some of the challenges above but definitely the biggest would be that I was only five years old so I didn’t really understand the scene and why Adam was in prison! A lot of it was way over my head. I overcame that by asking a lot of questions so I could better understand.
YEM: What’s next for you?
Devyn: I am currently filming Jerry & Marge Go Large, starring Bryan Cranston and Annette Bening!