When it wasn’t my scene, I would help direct Miss Tiffany [Haddish’s] scene. You know, try to figure out little things, because I’m there anyway! I’m working with great people. You think I’m gonna go chill in my trailer and eat Chex Mix?
With roles alongside Chrissy Metz in the new Roxann Dawson-directed film Breakthrough, and Tiffany Haddish and Tracy Morgan in TV’s The Last O.G., which just began its second season, 16-year-old Taylor Mosby is having quite a month. But even in the midst of her whirlwind couple of weeks, when we call her on Skype, Mosby is focused and serene.
“I want to make sure I answer from my own perspective,” she says after a moment of thought when we begin with a question about Breakthrough. She isn’t about to give a pre-packaged answer, and she wants us to know that. She moves through discussions about everything from miracles, to teens getting political, to her dreams of becoming a film director with refreshing ease and authenticity. Listen in…
Hannah Loesch: Faith-based films about miracles, like Heaven is for Real and Miracles from Heaven, have done very well in recent years. What is unique about Breakthrough?
Taylor Mosby: I feel like it shows an example of community. Have you ever heard the phrase, ‘It takes a village?’ It is an example of how communities can come together for one purpose. One miracle can take a thousand people, it can take 500 people. You know, God puts people in place for a reason.
Cailin Loesch: You work with an incredible cast, from Tiffany Haddish to Tracy Morgan! What have you learned from being around veteran actors like them?
Taylor: Well, they’re both comedians, as everybody knows … Being around them for months at a time, you know, always together on and off set, I learned a lot of comedic timing. They’ve taught me a lot of things about the business, ‘cause Mr. Morgan especially, he’s been in it for a long time, and he just taught me how to interact with people who watch the show, how to not be afraid of the camera. Miss Tiffany always teaches me to be myself and know no matter what, [to] just stay true to yourself and you’ll be okay.
Hannah: The Last O.G. is co-created by Jordan Peele, who has been widely acclaimed and recognized for his work with Get Out and this year’s Us. What about this show do you think would make viewers say, “Yep, Jordan Peele definitely has something to do with this!”
Taylor: [laughs] I feel like the most Jordan Peele character on this is Bobby. He plays Tracy Morgan’s cousin. The way that they interact with each other, and the way Mr. Morgan’s character is, that’s definitely Jordan Peele, like 100 percent.
Cailin: I know as an actor, sometimes you’re around the producer all the time, and other times you never see him or her. Do you know Jordan Peele personally?
Taylor: When we were filming season one he was around a lot. But season two he was actually working on Blackkklansman and Us. So he was kinda busy at that time.
Hannah: The Last O.G. is about a man who spends 15 years in prison, and then he comes out and he’s the same person, but the entire world around him has changed. What do you think the world will be like 15 years from today?
Taylor: I mean, if this whole self-driving Uber thing is gonna happen, then that’s something to get ready for. I have no idea what Apple is gonna do with their new iPhone, we’ll probably have AirPods 10, AirPods 12. I don’t know. I feel like the one thing that’s really gonna change—it may not, but I think it will—is music. I think music is something that changes in probably 15-20 year intervals.
Hannah: How do you think you will be different in 15 years?
Taylor: I’ll be able to drive, have a car! [laughs] I feel like by then I’ll have accomplished a lot of my goals, like, you know, maybe directing, have my own company, things like that. How will I change in 15 years…probably learn a lot. I mean, right now I’m a teenager, so I know everyone keeps telling us that we think we know everything. Maybe I will know everything at that point. I’ll probably learn a lot about myself, what I like, my fashion side of me might come out a little more.
Cailin: I didn’t know you had aspirations of being a director. Do you think that’s something you can only learn from being around other directors, or how do you think you prepare to go from being an actor to being a director?
Taylor: I know when I’m on any set, regardless of what it is, I always like to sit around and do both, because I never knew actually how to do it! That was my question for so long, ‘How do I learn directing, especially at a young age?’ One day when we were on set, it was Mr. Jordan and Mr. Matthew, the co-directors and producers. They were like, ‘Just come up here with us! Come over here, we’re gonna show you how it works.’ So then, when it wasn’t my scene, I would help direct Miss Tiffany’s scene. You know, try to figure out little things, because I’m there anyway! I’m working with great people. You think I’m gonna go chill in my trailer and eat Chex Mix? Like, no! [all laugh] I’m gonna learn what I can!
Cailin: You’ve been acting since you were very young. What is the most difficult part of growing up in the public eye?
Taylor: I mean, school. School is very, very difficult, and it gets harder as you get older, because you’re almost getting to the age of college. Right now is like the rest of your life. You have to decide what you wanna do, and that’s kind of difficult. And growing up in front of everybody, you just have to be very careful what you do. I learned responsibility at a young age. You know, I couldn’t be ten years old throwing tantrums at Walmart ‘cause I wanted Barbies. It’s not acceptable anyways, but you just don’t have that option.
Hannah: It’s so funny ‘cause it’s so normal, and yet when you’re in the public eye it’s not the same thing.
Taylor: It’s completely different. And things can be blown out of proportion, but you have to remember that at all times. When I’m not in my house, I’m Taylor, but for somebody else I may be Amira, or the girl from Breakthrough.
Cailin: I see so many young actors online… like Rowan Blanchard, for example. She’s been speaking out about equality and women’s rights, and all these things since she was like a young teenager. How do you feel about that?
Hannah: Is there a responsibility to speak on these issues? Do you ever feel pressure to make public statements about your own opinions on these issues?
Cailin: Or is there a certain point where you should just be allowed to be a kid and stay out of all that for now?
Taylor: Whether they’re actors or not actors, I feel like our generation is very observant. We’re a take-action generation anyways. It doesn’t matter what you do. Like there’s kids who go to my school who aren’t in the business at all, and they’re little activists! You know, organizing marches and protests against these gun laws and things happening at schools. It depends on how you look at it. I see the world as, ‘This is my world,’ This is where I live, this is where my friends live, this is where my family lives. So it depends on what kind of change you wanna make. That’s how I always see it. So I guess it wouldn’t be your responsibility, but if I have a platform, if I can—If you can make a change, then why wouldn’t you?
Catch Breakthrough in theaters now, and The Last O.G. airing Tuesdays on TBS!