Finding the right mindset: Get to know actress Lexi Janicek
Lexi Janicek is ready to take the world by storm. The young actress has not been working long, but what she’s managed to during her short career has been nothing short of incredible. She appeared in the shows Ordinary Joe and Action Pack, and is slated to star in the upcoming Nickelodeon series The Really Loud House.
Film Daily was fortunate enough to sit down with Janicek and discuss a number of different topics, including her audition process for The Really Loud House, her biggest influences, and her plans for the future. Here’s what she had to say:
What has been your history in acting? How did you get your start?
I am the only person in my family in the entertainment industry, so we didn’t have any experience when I first started. When I was little, one of my friends worked on a nursery rhyme web series. My mom thought it would be a fun activity for me because I was really outgoing and I liked to perform. She thought it was something we could just sign up for like soccer or ballet, but that’s obviously not how it works! My friend’s mom referred us to a local talent agency and things progressed from there.
Who were your biggest influences growing up?
My parents and my brothers have had the biggest influence on me for sure. Of course, my parents because they’re always encouraging me to do my best, celebrating small victories and helping me reach my goals, no matter what I’m doing. My brothers have also been influential because I’m the youngest of 4 kids and the only girl. You can imagine what that’s like- lol! They love and support me, but they also love to joke around and tease me too! I actually appreciate that because I’ve grown up knowing how to laugh at myself and not take little things too seriously.
You star in the upcoming Nickelodeon series The Really Loud House. What was the audition process like for such a major role?
I originally auditioned for Lisa in early 2021 for the A Loud House Christmas movie. Like most first auditions, I submitted a self-tape. I honestly didn’t expect anything to come of it because I don’t look anything like Lisa! I was shocked when I got a call back a week later. We were still very much in pandemic mode at that time, so the callback wound up being a Zoom meeting with the casting directors and our current director and executive producer, Jonathan Judge. I still thought it was a long shot for me to book the role. You never know how many other people are being considered or who you’re up against. Plus there are so many things that the network and executives have to consider behind the scenes. I was totally shocked when my agent and manager called to tell me I had booked the part- such a great feeling!
What makes the character of Lisa Loud stand out from your past roles?
There are so many things that make this role stand out from others that I’ve played in the past. First, Lisa was a fully developed, animated character before I became her live action counterpart. I always enjoyed the animated show, but I started watching it from a ‘character study’ perspective when I booked the role. In some ways, it was easy to get into character because Lisa was already so fully developed. I just had to understand her and bring her to life. The second thing that is different about this role is that I don’t look or sound anything like myself when I’m in character! I wear a brown wig, glasses and speak with a lisp when I play Lisa. These things were all new things for me, but it’s been a blast!
You’re also set to play a young version of Kristen Bell’s character in The People We Hate at the Wedding. Did you get to spend time with Bell to work on your performance?
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to spend time with Kristen to prepare for my role in The People We Hate at the Wedding. The movie is based on a popular book, but my mom wasn’t sure if it was appropriate for me- haha! She quickly listened to the audio book and was able to help me understand the adult version of Kristen’s character, Alice. From there we talked about how Alice might have felt and behaved as a child and that’s how I developed my role as Young Alice for the movie.
Do you have any routines or tricks to help you get into character?
When I’m preparing for an audition or a role, I develop my character’s personality based on the information provided. Sometimes we don’t get too much information, so making character decisions can be a really fun part of auditioning. I’ll take notes on the character so I’ll stay consistent if I’m lucky enough to get a callback or book the role. For any particular scene, I try to understand what my character’s role is within that scene and then look back at my notes to make sure I’m getting into the right mindset.
Some actors hate watching themselves on screen. Do you like watching yourself in past projects?
I actually don’t mind watching myself in past projects. I don’t watch myself excessively, but I definitely want to see how my scenes turn out. I sometimes notice things that I wish I had done a little differently, but that helps me grow as an actor. I try not to be too critical. I also see things that I’m proud of!
You have a supporting role in the upcoming series Echo 3. What is the biggest difference between working on a film versus a TV show?
Filming a series like Echo 3 is similar to filming a movie because they both have a continuing storyline. I think the biggest difference is the length of time that it takes to film a two-hour movie versus a series that has 10 hour-long episodes. In the end though, they’re both telling one longer story. I see a bigger difference between those productions and a series like The Really Loud House where each episode is a shorter 22-minute story in itself. While some things remain constant throughout The Really Loud House, the circumstances, story lines and guest roles tend to change with every episode.
Are there any actors or filmmakers you’d like to work with in the future?
Oh wow- I feel like there are so many cool people I’d love to work with in the future! Some of the most obvious would be Millie Bobby Brown and Noah Schnapp. I love Stranger Things and Enola Holmes, so they would be some of my top picks.
What has been your greatest professional achievement?
So far, being cast as Lisa Loud in The Loud House Christmas movie has been my greatest achievement. I had gotten close on a couple of projects before that, but that was my first big SAG role. It’s hard to beat that. When my agent and manager called to tell me the news, they said ‘can we speak to Lisa, please?’ I was totally confused and thought they had gotten my name wrong- lol. They clarified and asked to speak to Lisa Loud and I suddenly realized what was happening: I was Lisa Loud! Such a cool moment!!
What about a professional setback? What did you learn?
I got so close to a really big and popular series at one point before The Loud House. I had done 5 or 6 intense auditions and met with some really cool people over the course of about two months before learning that they went with another girl. I was heartbroken at the time because with that many callbacks and interviews, you really start to think it’s your role. The biggest lesson I learned from that experience is not to look too far ahead or have any expectations. I also learned to celebrate every callback. Even though I didn’t book the role, there were obviously people behind the scenes who thought I was doing a good job. They kept moving me forward to the next round, so we celebrated that each time.
What advice do you have for aspiring actors?
My best advice for new actors is to not take things too personally. It’s not always about you. There are so many factors that go into casting a role and there’s really no way to know what makes one person more ‘right’ for a role than another. The best thing you can do is keep working and preparing for opportunities down the road. For every actor you see on TV, they’ve each had tons of auditions that went nowhere. It wasn’t because they weren’t good enough. It’s more likely that someone else was a better fit for each of those particular roles.
Can you tell us about any other upcoming projects?
Right now, I’m still focused on The Really Loud House. We have a few more episodes to film before we wrap in December. I also have three projects releasing this month; The Really Loud House, The People We Hate at the Wedding and Echo 3. After that, I’ll take a little break for the holidays and see what 2023 brings!
What is your favorite movie of all time?
My favorite movie of all time is still the live-action Aladdin movie. I was 8 when it came out in 2019 and I was absolutely obsessed. I adored the music and the story and everything about it. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve watched the movie and listened to the soundtrack.