One of my favorite new comedies of the 2015-2016 is The Grinder on Fox starring Robe Lowe, Fred Savage and Mary Elizabeth Ellis as well as young starlet, Hana Hayes who I had the pleasure of speaking with recently.
Hana plays Lizzie, the sixteen-year-old daughter of Debbie (Ellis) and Stewart (Savage) and she talked all about her favorite moments on set, which persona she wouldn’t mind being stuck with in real life, voice over acting, books, and more below! Check it out!
HTWW: Congratulations on the success of The Grinder! So what have been some of your favorite moments on set during this first season?
Hana: Oh my goodness! When we got picked up for a back nine episode, that was a really exciting time on set. Everyone was jumping around, especially me and my fake little brother played by Connor Kalopsis. Another fun moment is when we have scenes when we’re all eating breakfast… I’ll usually be doing homework or something and Mary Elizabeth Ellis will usually be helping me but instead of doing homework, I’ll just be writing down like Nicki Minaj song lyrics or something. (laughs) That’s always fun!
HTWW: It’s so much fun getting to watch Debbie and Stewart navigate raising two polar opposites. What’s your favorite dynamic to play? The daughter or sister to Ethan?
Hana: I think coming up in more episodes, you’ll get to see me play the sister more often and I like both of the dynamics a lot. I like how Lizzie is so quirky and out there and I get to do a lot more in the upcoming episodes so that will be interesting to see.
HTWW: Lowe’s character, Dean Sanderson is Lizzie’s uncle who also happens to be a huge star TV that stuck in the persona of his best known character. So which character from the show do you wish you could live with or be best friends with in real life?
Hana: Definitely William Devane’s character, Dean Sr. I love him! I think he’s so straightforward and hilarious.
HTWW: I love that the show opens with a scene from Dean’s show, The Grinder. It’s so meta! So what’s been your favorite scene from the show?
Hana: Actually, the most recent opening (Episode 1.15 “The Ties That Grind”) when Dean is buried in the ground and digs himself out of the grave is one of the funniest scenes. I wasn’t working that day but I really wanted to see it and it was a big, big operation that day. It was so fun to watch and I thought it was hilarious!
HTWW: Already there have been some phenomenal guest stars, most recently, Maya Rudolph. Who are some comedy greats that you hope to see on the show in future seasons?
Hana: I was so excited for Maya Rudolph, she’s one of my comedic inspirations so that was awesome. Carol Burnett…if Carol Burnett were on the show, I think I’d pass out. I don’t know if I could get through the day working with her, I’m such a big fan.
HTWW: Now do you ever find yourself off set ironically saying, “Grinder rests”?
Hana: (laughs) Sometimes, yeah! A couple of times, I definitely have when me and my friends were joking around.
HTWW: Ha! So moving on, many may also be familiar with your voice as Sarah in Sony/Playstation’s “The Last of Us” video game. What drew you to voice over work and video games in particular?
Hana: I auditioned but at the time that I auditioned for it, I didn’t know how big of a deal it was. So I didn’t feel that pressure… but when I first told my brother, he was freaking out. I feel like he didn’t really care about my acting career that much until I did something with the Kardashians video game and he was like my biggest fan. So excited.
HTWW: Now as Spring nears, a lot of people are gearing up to work out and get in shape but not often talked about is skin care. So what are you doing to take care of yourself in this way?
Hana: I got some really amazing tips that I got from my friend. Instead of using a toner in between your face wash and moisturizer, she uses hydrogen peroxide. It’s unbelievable. It helps clear up blemishes, it’s great!
HTWW: So a lot of our readers are huge readers and I hear that you’re a big fan to. So what are your most favorite reads and who are some authors you’ve read recently that you’d love to read more from?
Hana: I love John Green, he’s my favorite author. Paper Towns was my favorite book. I’m currently reading The 5th Wave. I also love biographies. I’m reading and loving Amy Poehler’s biography and I recently read Lena Dunham’s biography.
HTWW: Finally, what are your upcoming projects?
Hana: I’m doing a film this summer called, “Rebel.” It’s about a teenage vigilante and I can’t say what my role is yet but it’s really interesting and empowering for teenagers so I’m really excited to work on that!
Watch The Grinder Tuesdays at 9:30/8:30c only on Fox.