Cousins for Life centers on 12-year-old cousins Stuart (Dallas Dupree Young) and Ivy (Scarlet Spencer), best friends who come from very different backgrounds, and learn to navigate life under one roof with their families. After Stuart’s mom is deployed overseas, his fun-loving dad Clark (Ishmel Sahid) decides to move the family to Portland to live with his uptight brother Lewis (Ron G) and his family, which includes Stuart’s confident, socially active cousin Ivy and her younger, overly-curious brother Leaf (Micah Abbey).
Now living in a brand new city, Stuart embarks on a variety of endeavors with Ivy that lead to hilarious adventures. Although the cousins do not always see eye-to-eye, Ivy and Stuart learn they are better together, and when they team up, they are unstoppable.
Scarlet Spencer stars as Ivy, a confident, socially active girl living in Portland
Did you meet your co-star Dallas Dupree Young when you were both on Shameless?
No, we worked on the same season of Shameless but different episodes. We met the first time at the audition when we were doing a chemistry read.
You play Ivy on ‘Cousins for Life’ what is your favorite thing about your character?
My favorite thing about playing Ivy is that she looks at the positive side of everything and she always
wants to save the world. I’m a pretty positive person but I wish I was more like her sometimes. I also
love her wardrobe! She has the best collection of jackets!
If someone was to play you in a movie what would they love about portraying you?
I love Broadway musicals and break out into song frequently, I am incredibly awkward in social
situations where I don’t know people and I think an actor would have way too much fun playing the
awkward girl singing, as she walks around.
How do you balance school and remembering all your lines?
We have the greatest set teachers and I feel like I’m getting the best education I’ve ever had! We’re in school a minimum of 3 hours a day and if we’re not in as many scenes one week we do extra schooling and “bank” those hours for a later date. We memorize lines by lots of repetition. We get the script for the new episodes on Friday once we’ re done shooting, and then we have the weekend to go over it few times. On Monday we start by all sitting down together and reading through it, and then we keep going over it on set and block it with the director several more times through the week.
But even after all of that we all have trouble remembering all of our lines. You should see the blooper reel!
What made you want to be a part of this sitcom?
At the same time I was auditioning for ‘Cousins For Life’, I was a recurring character on another show but this meant I could be the lead of the a show! I really liked Ivy and I thought it would be a lot of fun to be a part of Nickelodeon. I’m really young to be offered an opportunity like this and I couldn’t not take it!
Once I started seeing more scripts and got to know all of the characters better I knew I made the right choice. Cousins For Life is a lot of fun but it also talks about doing the right thing and the importance of family first.
Who is your favorite family member and why?
Arthur, because he is so cute and one cool pig!
A Los Angeles native, Spencer developed a passion for acting at a young age. After beginning her career in theater productions, Scarlet then booked guest roles on Awkward (MTV), Teachers (TV Land), Colony (USA Network), Black-ish (ABC) and Shameless (Showtime). Last year, Spencer was seen playing the daughter of Will Smith’s character in the movie Bright (Netflix).