YEM Interview: Kyrie McAlpin shares her experience starring alongside Gabrielle Union in “Cheaper by the Dozen”

Kyrie McAlpin is an actress that can be seen in many shows and movies including Disney’s Cheaper By The Dozen. The film is about two parents attempting to navigate their hectic home life as they juggle raising ten children from several different marriages and starting to franchise their breakfast food based restaurant. It is a remake of the 1950 and 2003 movies. Kyrie portrays the part of 8 year old Deja. YEM was able to speak with Kyrie about working on the movie, the similarities and differences the movie has from the originals, and advice she has for aspiring actors.

Young Entertainment Mag: How did you get the lead role in Birdie and were you expecting it?

Kyrie McAlpin: I auditioned for Birdie and, after some hard work, I got the email that I had booked it. I had prayed for it, so I was kind of expecting it and I got it! It was actually an eight-page script, and my mom was like “Kyrie, are you sure you can do this?” And I said “Yes, Mom -I’ve got this!”

YEM: What was it like working with director Gregory Allen Williams and what did you learn from the experience?

Kyrie: It was a great experience working with Greg Allen- he taught me many things. Whenever he gave me direction, he sat down and talked to me in a one-on-one conversation. I learned how to be more natural, and there is something he said, and I quote: “Be the character, be Addie.” I will never forget that! That was the day I knew that I wanted to be a director too someday.

YEM: Were you expecting Birdie to win the Audience Award at the 2020 Deadcenter Film Festival and how did you feel afterwards?

Kyrie: Honestly, I was very excited and surprised, especially because it was my first movie ever!

YEM: What made you want to have a role in Star Trek: Short Treks: The Girl Who Made the Stars and what was it like voicing a character?

Kyrie: What made me want to have the role in: The Girl Who Made the Stars is that I thought-First, I’m going to strive to be the greatest and then, my goal is to book 100 jobs. So, when I got the audition, I really believed this was the one for me and I booked it! It was really exciting voicing young Michael Bernham, and it was really cool. They put little dots on my face to copy my emotions and facial movements.

YEM: How did you feel when Star Trek: Short Treks: The Girl Who Made the Stars was nominated for an Emmy?

Kyrie: I was super excited- I remember I jumped up and down when I got the news! It was my first nomination for an award and an Emmy, so I was super proud of myself, and I was really happy.

YEM: You have a recurring role on ABC’s American Housewife as the daughter of Holly Robinson Peete; what’s it been like working on the show and working with Peete?

Kyrie: It was really fun working on the American Housewife, and it was my first time really interacting closely with a dog! It was also really great working with Ms. Peete; she is really caring as well as very professional.

YEM: Since you’ve been a part of several different streaming services like Netflix (Sneakerheads), Amazon (Them: Covenant), and Hulu (9-1-1 Lonestar), what’s your favorite company to work for and why?

Kyrie: I honestly can’t choose just one-so far, I feel that all companies and productions I have worked with are amazing and great to work with… so I really can’t pick a favorite.

YEM: Recently you were a part of the Disney+ version of Cheaper by the Dozen starring alongside Gabrielle Union; what did you learn from the experience?

Kyrie: I learned how to have fun but also be professional.

 

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A post shared by Gabrielle Union-Wade (@gabunion)

YEM: In your opinion, how is the new Cheaper by the Dozen similar and/or different from the original?

Kyrie: In my opinion, the 2002 version is kind of similar to the newer version. For example, the Bakers moved into a bigger house and were not very fond of their neighbors. Additionally, there are a lot of differences such as the number of kids- the 2002 version has 12 kids and 1 dog while the 2022 version has 10 kids and 2 dogs. Another difference is that both parents have jobs instead of owning their business (restaurant).

YEM: Have you and your brother ever collaborated on a project, or do you want to do so in the future?

Kyrie: Yes, we have collaborated on many things, and we are planning to collaborate some more in the future.

YEM: What inspired you to start helping the homeless?

Kyrie: When I first came out to Los Angeles, I saw the actual world that we live in, and I saw the homeless situation. Seeing how cruel this world can be made my heart sink. I believe I can make a difference, and this just felt like my calling. I actually just wrote a giant essay about helping the homeless!

YEM: What advice would you give to any aspiring actors and/or activists?

Kyrie: Put God first and never give up! A few of my favorite sayings that really inspire me are: “The only two people worth impressing are your 85-year-old version of yourself and the five-year-old version of yourself” as well as something from Steve Harvey: “You have not because you ask not” which means if you don’t pray and ask God for it, you won’t achieve it.

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