Fans of Netflix have been buzzing over Tall Girl 2, the new romantic comedy that’s the follow-up to the film that was streamed over 40 million times. The sequel premiered in February, with Johanna Liauw being added to the cast as Stella, Stig’s (Griffin Gluck) sister. Her character provides a large part of Tall Girl 2‘s laughs, and we spoke about the fine art of comedy and what it means to serve as the comic relief in a movie.
She also happens to be far more versatile than audiences may have realized. We also discussed her move from being in Lifetime thrillers to a role that’s so openly joyous, and the next things she wants to pursue both on and off screen. Get to know Johanna in our interview.
Brittany Frederick: What was it about Tall Girl 2 that interested you originally? Was there a particular hook for you with Stella?
Johanna Liauw: Definitely right off the bat it was the fact that Stella wasn’t a villain. I was playing villains previously, so that was what initially drew me to the role. I was like, cool. I can be bubbly. I can be myself basically. It felt kind of easy in that regard, like I didn’t have to put myself in a weird mindset. And other than that, I really liked the dialogue of the movie; I thought it was funny. It tapped into my emotions. I resonated with the script in general. All around, I thought it was a great project to be a part of.
BF: You had done some Lifetime movies before this, which have a very specific and much darker tone, and like you said, you were playing the villain. Was it slightly jarring to transition to this role?
JL: It’s fun to play the villain as well. I’m glad I got to start off that way. Drama is a whole different realm of acting. I felt comedy was a little bit intimidating for me. I’ve been told that I’m funny in my personal life, but that’s just because I make weird faces, or I do funny off the bat things on my own. I don’t do it for comedy’s sake. I just do it to do it. But to do it in an acting sense, I felt pressure a little bit. With the Lifetime movies, I feel like I learned a lot. Just starting off acting, I didn’t know what to expect, so I think that was a great way to introduce me into this industry. So it’s all fun to me.
BF: It’s not just that Tall Girl 2 is a comedy, but that your character is specifically used for comic relief. You have some of the funniest scenes in the movie. How was it to have your first big comedy role be one where you’re also the comedic standout?
JL: I didn’t realize that until after the movie came out. (laughs) Until my family and friends told me, “You were basically the breath of fresh air, the comedic relief in the movie.” And I was like, “Oh, you know what? That kind of makes sense.” I didn’t even notice it when I watched it, but I feel like a lot of other actors are like that. They don’t like to watch themselves. When I watch, I’m watching it from a hyper-analytical sense of, “Oh my God. Why did I say it like that? I should have said it like this.” So I didn’t catch onto that until people told me.
BF: Was there a favorite scene for you that you found particularly hilarious, or that you just loved in general?
JL: I like the karaoke scene. I had the most fun in that scene for sure, just the whole process of it. We actually had to get vocal training for that, and I’m over here like, “I can’t sing.” This is karaoke, and how I envisioned it was like Cameron Diaz in My Best Friend’s Wedding. That’s what I’m trying to channel—not the best singing, but you love her for doing her best and trying and being off-pitch. All around, that scene is by far my favorite.
BF: With Tall Girl 2, you’ve shown that you can move from thriller to comedy. Any other genres that would be next on your list?
JL: I’ve been putting it out into the universe that I want to be a lead in an action flick and do my own stunts, just because I’m a thrill seeker. I love the adrenaline rush. If I could just do all of those stunts, I feel like I would be so in love and so happy. That’s a top-tier goal for me.
BF: Anything else about you that you want viewers to know? Any other sort of hidden talents or just things that are important to you?
JL: Something that I want to get back into doing—for some reason I stopped doing it—is just dancing. When I was younger, I was all about it. When I was in elementary school they would have dance competitions, and I would take the cake. I would win all the time. And I’ve always wanted to take dance classes, like hip hop classes or even those pole dancing classes or where you dance in heels. I feel like I would break my ass if I danced in heels. (laughs) But they look so badass, and I just think that’s something that I want to get into.
Tall Girl 2 is now streaming on Netflix.
Article content is (c)2020-2023 Brittany Frederick and may not be excerpted or reproduced without express written permission by the author. Follow me on Twitter at @BFTVTwtr and on Instagram at @BFTVGram.