Punkey Power! The revival of the hit 80s show Punkey Brewster just premiered this week on Peacock. The sequel series stars Quinn Copeland alongside Soleil Moon Frye (who reprises her title role) and Freddie Prinze Jr. The new series finds Punkey as a single mom of three with Freddie playing her ex-husband. Quinn Copeland plays ‘Izzy’ and takes on the role as the new little ’Punkey Brewster’ of the family. She stands out from the crowd, not just her for her spunky attitude but also her unique dress, just like her mother. YEM spoke with Quinn Copeland about what it’s like to star in the new series.
Young Entertainment Mag: How exciting is it to be a part of the series reboot of Punky Brewster? What was it like to get the call that you got the part?
Quinn Copeland: It is so exciting like on a scale of 1 to 10, it’s 1 million. It was pretty crazy, and I loved getting to hear my agent call me Izzy on the phone to tell me I got the part. I was actually about to take off on a plane with my mom, Mamaw, and little sister. So it was really special because they were all there with me. My Mamaw started crying, and we laughed at her. We were actually headed to Atlanta for an audition for a movie.
YEM: Were you familiar with the original 80s show before you were cast?
Quinn: Not really, but before the audition my mom showed me one of the episodes to show me how to act like Punky, but still myself.
YEM: Your character Izzy reminds Punky of when she was younger. How are your characters similar?
Quinn: One of the things that I loved was that we both had Punky and Izzy Power at the end of the pilot.
YEM: Punky Brewster is remembered for her bright fashion style and spunky personality. Does Izzy have her own signature style?
Quinn: Yes she does. She wears a beanie. It’s very comfy and cute. Also, stuff like ripped jeans and clothes she probably found in the lost & found at Fenster hall.
YEM: Like Punky, Izzy goes through a rough time in the foster care system. What can Punky Brewster teach us about resilience and positivity? How does Izzy learn to stay strong during bad times?
Quinn: That you shouldn’t always run away. You should at least try to stick with one thing for a while and see how it works.
Izzy creates a tough circle around her that protects her because if anybody is mean to her or hurts her feelings she puts up her barrier and stays strong.
YEM: In the original series Punky was adopted by an older man and in the reboot, she’s raising three kids as a single mother. How does the series illustrate that all families can be different?
Quinn: Because you don’t have to be born into the same household to become a family. You don’t have to have the same last name to be in the same family.
YEM: What was it like working with Soleil Moon Frye who also played Punky when she was younger?
Quinn: It was AWESOME! It felt like playing with the moon and stars. She was so much like a child and on set I felt like I was just playing with a bunch of kids.
YEM: What’s a great memory you have of working on the set of Punky Brewster?
Quinn: My favorite thing was when the dog playing Brandy (Sampson) sneezed on me and Ollie while we were playing with him off set. I loved playing with the kids and pranking everybody. But the very best thing was when I was filming a scene and I had to eat a crazy sandwich, the director, Jonathan Judge, told me that if I took a big bite of the sandwich, then he would eat anything on the table that I chose. I picked Thousand Island dressing and he drank it like water.
YEM: So, do you ever use “Punky Power” in your own life? How?
Quinn: Yes. I use Punky Power to overcome hard challenges and to also have fun. I have learned that Punky Power and Izzy power can help you get through a really hard time.