Abbott Elementary student actors think their adult co-stars are real teachers
ABC comedy Abbott Elementary School is about teachers trying to work with what they have in a Philadelphia public school. Designer Quinta Brunson stars alongside Tyler James Williams, Chris Perfetti, Lisa Ann Walter, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Janelle James. They also act alongside young actors playing the students of Abbott Elementary. Brunson said students don’t always know the difference.
Brunson appeared on EW The winner podcast on June 13. She shared how the lines blur for the Abbott Elementary School children between playing and teaching. ABC renewed Abbott Elementary School for season 2. He will return this fall.
Abbott Elementary student actors are confused by the decor
Brunson plays Janine Teagues, the 2nd grade teacher. Melissa Schemmenti (Walter) also teaches 2nd and Gregory Eddie (Williams) teaches 1st. Barbara Howard (Ralph) is a kindergarten teacher, so some of the young actors just think they’re going to school
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“So some of the younger ones, it’s their first time on set,” Brunson said on The winner. “And our set also looks a lot like a real school. They’re aware they’re coming to Warner Bros., they’re getting into something. But these are children who are in uniform. They see us with the teacher badges and they also have to step in and say ‘shh’ sometimes.
The set of ‘Abbott Elementary’ is also their school
If that’s not confusing enough working on the Abbott Elementary School set, there’s more. Young actors should always complete their class hours while working. Abbott Elementary School lets them do part of the scene, but they also have tudors between takes.
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“They do worksheets,” Brunson said. “While they’re sitting there being filmed, they’re just doing real school papers. They also have a field school with their studio teachers. So a lot of them have that blurry line.
Quinta Brunson loves the natural energy of real kids
Brunson isn’t shy about calling herself Mrs. Teagues between takes. She appreciates the authenticity of the children who work on Abbott Elementary School. As the creator of the series, she didn’t want precocious Hollywood children. As long as they’re real when the cameras are rolling, that’s all that matters.
“And for what it’s worth, we try to interfere,” Brunson said. “I tried several times to tell them my name was Quinta. They saw Mrs. Teagues, they saw the principal. They are children but they are just adorable. On the contrary, it made them more natural in this mockumentary style show to have these kids who are so new to the game, instead of maybe kids who’ve been doing this since they were babies I gotta have these new starters who were so compelling to the mockumentary style documentary.
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