On MY Block: Interview with Shoshana Bush
Updated: Dec 7, 2020
Everyone who is an avid Netflix watcher should know the name, Shoshana Bush, most recently known as Amber, as in Amber in season two of On My Block! This superstar in the making has worked her way up the ladder of success, appearing on, CSI: Miami, Wizards of Waverly Place, Secret Life of the American Teenager, the teen cult classic, Fired Up!, her breakout role as the star of the Wayan production Dance Flick and now, On My Block! One thing is for certain, Shoshana knows the power of hard work and dedication! We recently had the opportunity to chat with this up-and-coming star and find out all the details YOU have been dying to know!
Thanks for chatting with us! You’ve done many acting gigs in Hollywood, but most recently, you were in the hit Netflix show,, On My Block, in season 2 as Amber! What was it like joining the cast of a hit show during the highly anticipated second season?
"Honestly it was intimidating. This show is highly anticipated because it's a F***G awesome show. These kids are super talented and real life best friends. Coming onto any set featuring an ensemble cast is always rough as an actor because they already have history and repertoire. Lucky for me, the whole cast and crew of OMB not only welcomed me with open arms but are some of my dearest friends today. I consider them family."
There was a TON of drama during “Chapter Seventeen” A.K.A. the baby shower episode. Your character Amber told Monse that she wasn’t in love with Mario, and Mario revealed he had cheated on Amber and only stayed with her because of the baby. What was it like filming that episode? And was it hard knowing that was your last episode?
"One of the many cool things about that episode and really the show in general, is the comedic rhythm in dialogue and physical movement. Respect to Lauren Lungerich the creator of the show (and my mentor in life she is a power house) for having such a specific voice in TV. A voice, in which I really wanted to give justice to by bringing levity, getting out all the fast paced dialogue with precision while hitting very specific beats, marks and facial expressions...it becomes almost like a comedic interpretive dance. The director Ryan Shiraki is hilarious and actually tested me for an MTV show years prior so we were aware of each other and so we were excited to work together FINALLY! He told me to study Drew Barrymore's birth scene in Boys on the Side. So I did my research and put my own spin on it. Danny, who plays Mario was very method during our process and treated me with love and care as though I really was pregnant. It set the tone. So as you see this is a team effort coming together for each episode and character...Oh yes, it was very hard knowing it was my last episode, the scene I had with Sierra about not loving Mario, I had to wake up a few hours later to shoot The Laundromat with Steven Soderbergh, Antonio Banderas, Gary Oldman, MERYL the list goes on so I was mixed with excitement, nerves for the next day and a heavy heart to leave this warm welcoming set."
You play a white girl who is in a different environment than she is used to, where she is a minority surrounding many people of color. Although there is a lot of light-heartedness throughout the show, what did it mean for you to play a character so out of her element, and what message do you want viewers to take away from it?
"It was hard for me to shed light on this kind of person because I am SO not like that. It's hard not to judge your character when you feel so morally at odds with what is being said. So, it was a challenge. A lot of people who are out of their...element can sometimes mean well, they just don't know they're hurting people. That doesn't mean that what they say and how they say things is okay AT ALL but man it's interesting to watch, which is why my character dropped a lot of jaws. The message I'd say to take away from all this, is to look at those people with compassion. Whenever anyone is inappropriate or hurtful or just plain ignorant, before being reactive I try to open my heart and feel for that person. I believe in intention. And if their intention is ill willed or not, I choose to speak up and share my point of view even when it's uncomfortable. With love."
You mentioned in one interview with Mingle Media TV that your dad was a huge fan of the show in season one. What was his reaction to you joining the cast and seeing you on the Netflix show?
"He was ecstatic. I took him to set one day and in the middle of one of our scenes I heard a phone ring go off. We had to cut, go back to one, there was a murmur. I looked at Jason and was like, I bet you a million dollars that was my dad." It was of course, but at that point he had been so sweet to all the producers expressing his love for the show all day that they were like "No prob! It happens." These producers are also very chill and already very cool. But still. LOL. I throw a lot of parties with my family and friends so the whole cast knows my Dad pretty well now. He's stoked."
Although a fourth season hasn’t yet been confirmed, we can infer there will be one, given its immense popularity! Do you think or hope Amber will ever return to reprise her role?
"From your lips to the Netflix God's ears!"
Since you appeared in multiple episodes of, I’m sure you got to know a lot of the cast really well. Do you still keep in touch with them? What was the vibe like between the cast behind-the-scenes?
"Oh yeah. We hang and talk all the time. I feel really honored they opened up their tight knit circle and really welcomed me into the crew. They've hung out with my family too, like literally my parents, brother, cousins etc. In this time of Corona we have relied on major FaceTime hangs. Behind the scenes we were always making each other laugh, Brett was singing, Jason and I were dancing like idiots, we were filming each other doing stupid stuff, running lines, talking about politics, giving advice, and respecting each others space when needed. I adore them."
If you could join any other Netflix show, what would it be and why?
"Ozark. I would love to play Ruth's long lost sassy seedy sister with a heavy drawl shooting guns at men who think they have power over a woman while working for the Cartel on Marty Bird's watch. The lighting on that show, the location, the twists and turns! I want it all. Maybe give Ruth a run for her money."
More recently, you starred in the thriller movie Web of Lies as the main character Whitney Sadler, an internet celebrity / influencer who moves back home and deals with a stalker. Given your own personal celebrity status, what was it like playing one who goes through so many traumatizing events like being stalked and in danger? Did it make everything seem a little too real or possible?
"It was emotional. I went to a dark place. I was very lucky to have Spencer Neville as my costar and director Terrence Hayes as a very compassionate key player. Together we really supported one another. I've had a lot of pain in my life so I got to use it in these intense scenes. We were shooting in Boston. Spencer and I went back to the hotel when we wrapped and he pulled me aside and said "I think I know what happened to you, you don't have to tell me but you did a great f*cking job and I'm so sorry and I'm here for you." Acting is so much more than a scene. You get to really look into a persons soul and hold it for a while. How cool is that?"
You have such a natural comedic charm! That first dinner table scene in On My Block and your performance in Dance Flick… hilarious! Would you say comedy is your specialty? Do you always seek out more comedic roles?
"I absolutely love comedy. You know, I was fighting it for a while with my agent. I was like nah I don't want to be the comedy girl I want a gritty indie at Sundance. I do hope for that in my future but ever since I was a little girl I would put on shows for my family and they were all comedies because I loved to make people laugh...and it worked. When I first got a theatrical agent and I did the scene from The Mask when Jim Carrey gets "shot" and accepts an award like Sally Field. I was 9 years old. HA! The chutzpa! Comedy is my love. I am proud now to declare comedy as my thing."
You’ve been in the spotlight for quite some time, starting off in smaller roles in CSI: Miami, Wizards of Waverly Place, Secret Life of the American Teenager and the teen cult classic, Fired Up!, and then of course your breakout role as the star of the Wayan production Dance Flick. And now, On My Block. What’s been your favorite part of your career journey?
"All these experiences were monumental building blocks for me. What I've learned is that it's important to really pay attention you know? Like it's not just about showing up on time knowing your lines and giving a good performance, it's about observing everyone around you and learning from them. I feel that only in the last couple years of my career I've been doing that and I'm really seeing a difference in my work because of it. Everybody can teach you something. And being great is about growing and learning. My favorite role was one of my first movies called Fling. I got to play a very aloof flirty pawn in a romantic triangle. I'd also say playing Megan White in Dance Flick. I got to be so many different characters, learn dance sequences, different wigs and costumes. I was so young and everything was happening so fast I really wish I took the time to really take it in."
Can you share any upcoming projects with us?
"I do have an upcoming project that I'm SO EXCITED FOR but due to the current health climate everything is on hold for now. In the meantime, I have written two scripts and I'm developing a web series I wrote a while ago with an OMB member attached to produce so MORE TO COME!"
For everything on superstar, Shoshana Bush, follow her @shoshanabush!
Black and White Photos credit to: Samia Kyriakis
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