Apple TV+ - season one available from Fri 2 Sep
After going through the ordeal of cancer, a 13-year-old girl returns to school to discover that she is a different person. And filming this US teen drama also turned out to be a life-changing experience for actress Lily Brooks O’Briant, who plays Ella.
‘She was formerly a shy, quiet person who was a follower instead of a leader,’ explains 16-year-old Lily – best known for the Netflix sitcom The Big Show Show, in which she starred opposite WWE heavyweight fighter Paul Wight, as Mandy, one of his three daughters.
‘But now she is much more of a leader and not afraid to be who she is. Cancer has taught her that that’s how she should live life, because going through a year of treatment in hospital, she had to undergo these really scary things that she had absolutely no control over. And as she has been given a second chance at life, she definitely knows that she would like to live it the way she wants to.’
Ella lives with her mother, her overly protective father, and her younger brother, Grady.
‘Her closest friend at school is Kai, who was there for her throughout her cancer treatment. Her best friend prior to cancer was Ximena, but she didn’t visit her at all in hospital and Ella was definitely hurt by that,’ says Lily, who’s originally from Memphis, Tennessee.
Ella is determined not to let fake friends and social media status distract her. And that’s an attitude that Lily shares with her.
‘After The Big Show Show, my social media platform began to grow and there will always be haters on there, but I post what I want to and don’t look at the comments – and that’s something that Ella has to deal with too.’