As a bright-eyed and impressionable child, it is everyone’s dream to have his or her very own show on Disney Channel. In my day, we all wanted to visit the Tipton Hotel in Boston while hanging out with Zack and Cody. Now, times have changed and we have some fresh, radiant stars to admire. One of those newcomers is none other than Landry Bender. As bubbly and girly as can be in real life, Bender stars as Cyd on Disney Channel’s Best Friends Whenever. From the normal things like getting into trouble with your best friend all the way to time traveling with your best friend, Bender leads a normal teenage life. Here, we get to know her a little better.
Cliché: You have been a part of several big productions, such as The Sitter and Best Friends Whenever. What has been your favorite role thus far and why?
Landry Bender: I always go to The Sitter first because it was my first role. To have that experience and be able to work with Jonah Hill while everything was so fresh made it my favorite role thus far. Jonah was a mentor and an example to me as to how to handle myself on set and in this business overall. I’m forever grateful to that.
Do you have a favorite actor?
There are so many! First, I really like Betty White because she was my age when she started her career and has maintained longevity. I love Audrey Hepburn, of course, because she’s classy and very iconic. Also Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote Hamilton on Broadway.
Is it true that people called you Laundry Blender when you were in second grade?
I was having a conversation with my agent about it and we decided it was funny to put it as my bio on Twitter. It was just a joke between second graders. I would always laugh it off. It was all in good fun. [Laughs]
What is the best part about being an actress?
I just love the atmosphere on set and I feel so lucky being able to grow up in it. After a while, people really do become a family. It’s super cliché. [Laughs] Everyone says that, but it’s true. I love the atmosphere and the people.
You have done some voice-overs on Lost in Oz and the upcoming season of The Lion Guard. What is the hardest part about doing voice-overs?
I don’t know if I like it better because being in front of the camera is my main love. The hardest part is that it’s almost like doing theatre. Because they can’t see you, you almost have to be even more animated with it. I’m always using my hands and arms to get into character.
You’re only 16 and you have been very successful thus far. With so much potential, what is your dream role?
I have actually been thinking about this lately and I don’t know if I have a dream role. If I had to choose, I would choose someone strong and empowering like a Disney princess or a superhero—something for young kids to look up to would be a dream role.
I just love the atmosphere on set and I feel so lucky being able to grow up in it. After a while, people really do become a family.
In your spare time, what is your favorite thing to do with your real best friends?
It’s so funny when I get asked this because I’m very average. My friends and I watch movies, we go shopping, and we do everything regular teens do. But my life is also unique in that a lot of my friends are also actors, so we oftentimes find ourselves bonding at work and at events for charities we are involved in.
How are you similar or different to your character Cyd in Best Friends Whenever?
It’s cool because I initially auditioned for both parts of Cyd and Shelby. I’m split down the middle. It’s kind of like an “opposites attract” kind of thing. I’m very bubbly and girly while Cyd can be more dark and tomboy-ish. I want to play roles that are unlike myself. What I love about my character is that she’s a go-getter and sets a very good example.
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Landry Bender Talks ‘Best Friends Whenever’ And What’s Next: Photographed by Russell Baer. Hair and makeup by Chechel Joson at Dew Beauty Agency