Brenda Song Loves Her New Role On Hulu’s Dollface And Relates To It More Than You Think

“Yay, me!” is the catchphrase Brenda Song was known for as London Tipton on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody—the popular American teen sitcom on the Disney Channel. She played a spoiled, selfish socialite teenager, with no work ethic and an absentee rich father for 10 years, from when she was 15 to 23 years old. Growing up on the screen, Song was living her dream, but today she’s playing her dream role as Madison on Hulu’s new series, Dollface. The comedy TV show that follows the lives of four girls explores the importance of female friendship and identity, both of which are important to Song. Even though Song has several roles under her belt including, appearances on Scandal, New Girl and the Netflix Thriller, Secret Obsession, there’s something special about her role as the successful, driven and stylish Madison Maxwell that she relates to.

“When I played London I was transitioning in my personal life at 15 years-old up to when I was 23. I feel like Madison represents where I am now—in my early 30’s, hanging out with my girlfriends who also live in Los Angeles,” said Song. She stars alongside Kat Dennings, Shay Mitchell and Esther Povitsky, who according to Song are best friends in real life, too. “We text each other all the time. The other day Shay sent us ice cream when she was in Vancouver. That’s how we bond, our love language is food. I even brought Kat chicken soup when she was sick the other week,” said Song.

Photo Credit: Rowan Daly

Brenda joked about how they all largely act like their characters. If they were all to go to lunch together, she’d be the one starting the group text asking for everyone’s availability, Shay would recommend an amazing spot that nobody knows about yet, Esther would be asking about the menu options since she doesn’t eat meat, and Kat would be the one asking if it’s nearby because she doesn’t want to leave the house. According to her, going to work was more like going to hang out with your girlfriends. “Kat and I are the high energetic ones whereas Shay and Esther are more relaxed, but we all talk on set, in the makeup room, in the carpool—sometimes we get in trouble because we’re talking too much and not focusing on set, but it’s just that kind of friendship with these girls,” she said. “We’re like our characters, just playing different versions of ourselves.”

When Song first heard about Dollface and read the script, she fell instantly in love and was determined to get the part. However, Song was in the middle of filming Secret Obsession, a Netflix thriller, when she auditioned for the part and at first, didn’t think she would get it. “I remember I was in a night shoot until six a.m., came home slept for a few hours then went to the audition and felt like a mess. I honestly thought I blew it and even called my manager to tell her. The next thing I know, I got a callback to read and landed my dream role,” said Song.

Photo Credit: Rowan Daly

Speaking of relating, Song said Madison is an extreme part of who she is. Madison is straight and extremely driven, but she is also harsh and vulnerable. On her path to perfection, Maddison harbors secrets of her own and aims to create an image that only she wants others to see. “I’m also a driven person, but I have also put up walls to keep myself from getting hurt and to put up a front,” she said. Song’s mom is also a four-time breast cancer survivor much like Madison’s mom, who as we find out in the show was sick. Song added, she has control issues like Madison. “If I was going to lunch with my girlfriends, I’m usually the one to text the group and organize a day and time.”

Apart from the girls’ misadventures, Dollface teaches us the importance of female friendships and explores feminism. Song believes having girlfriends is an important aspect of being a woman. “Your girlfriends are a great representation of who you are and what you love in life,” she said. Jules getting dumped and reconnecting with her girlfriends is similar to what Song went through when she dated someone who everyone in her life thought wasn’t a good match.

Photo Credit: Rowan Daly

“When you get caught up in a relationship, you live your boyfriend’s life; and it’s not like you lose your girlfriends all together, but you do lose a part of your life. I feel like my girlfriends are my best self. Boys come and go, but girlfriends are always there for you—they tell you when you’re not acting like yourself and they always tell you the truth, even when you don’t want to hear it. I remember being in a relationship everyone wasn’t sure about but I had a girlfriend who said I don’t like this person for you. I was upset at her and was wondering why she couldn’t be happy for me, but then six months later, I called her and said to her, ‘thank you for your honesty after realizing the situation I was in,'” said Song.

The show’s first 10-episode season was a hit, yet there is no confirmation on a second season. However, Song said she would love to see the show delve into the characters. “I want to see Jules at work more and Stella in business school,” she said. The show was originally conceived as a resume sample by Jordan Weiss and picked up by none other than Margot Robbie and her production company, LuckyChap. It’s the pink-filtered female empowerment show that has charm and reminds of us of our own misadventures with girlfriends. Here’s to hoping it gets renewed for another season.

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