I had the honor of speaking with comedian, actress, and writer Sherry Cola about season three of Freeform’s Good Trouble and her upcoming projects. She has been named a “Fresh Face” at the world-renowned Laugh Factory and “One to Watch” by People Magazine, and let me tell you, she deserves it!
“Season three, baby. I’m just so grateful that we made it here. I can’t even believe it, time has really flown in a sense, right? I feel like I’ve been through so much with this beautiful group of people and I’m like, it’s already season three, like what has happened? We’re just so excited to finally push these episodes out there and keep telling these stories. Especially for my character, who’s really discovering new things in her world this season. But I know the fans are excited and it is definitely worth the wait. Good Trouble, I feel has been that show that’s ahead of the game with the things we talk about on the show and with every character going through specific fights. I feel like we’ve been that show and I hope that in season three, the rest of the world kind of catches up and realizes ‘Oh, shoot Good Trouble is everything.”
Sherry reprises her role as Alice Kwan and says that Alice, along with the rest of the characters will really embody the season’s slogan of “Speak Up and Speak Out”
“I think Alice has always battled with confidence, in every way, whether it’s being taken advantage of by her ex girlfriend, whether it’s taking care of everyone in the coterie or bottling of her emotions. All of the above. So, I think the evolution of her feeling comfortable in her own skin is non stop, it’s definitely not overnight. We’ve seen her overcome some obstacles and stand up for herself a few times, but it’s easier said than done. So I think we’re gonna see her struggle with that a little more and realize that she needs to wear the pants in every aspect of her life. And it’s really cool because that’s a stereotype, with Asian women especially, the stereotype that we’re quiet and we don’t want to rock the boat and we want to keep the peace… that we’re silent, essentially. And in my life, I’ve constantly just tried my very best to break that stereotype and to break barriers and to be the loudest person in the room because I know that’s gonna prove people wrong and I feel like with Alice, she’s still finding that fire inside of her to speak up and speak out. That’s the slogan of season three, ‘speak up and speak out’ and I think that is very relatable to every single character.”
The last time we saw Alice, in season two, she was still debating on whether she should use coterie life for comedy or not. Until Lindsay swooped in and decided that dating someone who lives in the coterie is enough for her to use the material.
“I think there’s always gonna be tension between Lindsay and Alice, considering the history. Lindsay tried to kiss Alice, Alice kind of looks up to Lindsay and Lindsay seems to be manipulating Alice. And obviously, Lindsay’s now dating Sumi, Alice’s ex girlfriend/best friend and it’s a lot. We have people in our lives that just get under your skin. So, they’re definitely still gonna coexist in season three, for sure, as we dive deeper into this comedy world, but there’s also going to be a lot of new faces that Alice meets and that’s exciting as well. It’s gonna be a really fun, eclectic, just layered world that you get into in season three. And it’s not the last we’ll see of her complicated love life as well, Alice is constantly just trying to figure out how to be single, but also, what she wants and what she deserves when it comes to love. So, yeah, all that on top of bunch of fun coterie stuff. It’s gonna be jam packed all around and I’m really excited.”
Whatever happens, we’re always rooting for Alice.
“… I think that’s the cool thing about this show as well. These characters are not perfect. They’re fighting for something and they make so many mistakes, but the audience will root for them through and through. And I think that’s what’s so dope is that these are real people, these are real ass people just trying to figure it out. No one is left out, like every audience member feels seen from these characters. And that means a lot to be part of the show that I’m proud of. And that really is part of the impact and the progress.”
Both Sherry and Alice are comedians and although Alice’s work is scripted for the show, the writers have incorporated parts of Sherry into her routine.
“We have brilliant writers who are so funny and they get me because we’re in season three now. They know my voice, and they know things that I would say. It’s weird, because Alice and I are so similar but we’re also so different. It’s like a Venn diagram, you know, that middle ground of where Alice definitely would say something that Sherry would say, and Sherry would say things that Alice would say. They’re always open to me playing and goofing around and adding my own flavor to it, which is honestly a treat because I love improvising in real life. The script is phenomenal but I get to play with it, which is very cool as an actress and as a comedian. It’s definitely really, really fun.”
Good Trouble was named after civil rights leader John Lewis’ quote, “Good Trouble”
Season three will tackle a lot of the themes and social issues that were in season 2 while also tackling some new topics.
“A lot of questions will get answered, and some things will still be up in the air. You know, we’re gonna keep you on your toes and at the edge of the seats. You can’t spell Good Trouble without, you know, suspense? Yeah, it’s gonna be sexy. It’s gonna be suspenseful, it’s gonna be sarcastic. You know what I mean? It’s gonna be a Sherry Cola. I’m just naming words that start with S now [LOL]. I know we had a few cliffhangers at the end of season two, so, a lot of things will unfold, a lot of our characters will be faced with decisions and crossroads. These are real life humans in their 20s, and they’re just kind of juggling the messiness of that, whether it’s relationships, whether it’s careers, whether it’s just society. Society doesn’t root for a lot of these characters.”
One theme that’s at the forefront of the series is Black Lives Matter.
“We’re absolutely gonna see more Black Lives Matter themes because that’s still real life. Unfortunately, the fight is not over. Good Trouble is our title and it is inspired by John Lewis, that’s really why the show is called that. In 2018, when this show was created, it was inspired by his powerful words, which is why I’m saying that Good Trouble is ahead of the game, ahead of its time. So, we’re gonna continue to explore those stories in season three as well as feminism and just equality in every way. And with Alice, there’s the fight of breaking Asian stereotypes, which is something I’m very passionate about in my real life, being Asian myself, being bisexual, a part of the queer community, being an immigrant, etc. All these things that I represent in real life do carry into Alice as well because she’s kind of juggling what her limit is. She’s being tested in this new comedy world… These are conversations that people are afraid to have and Good Trouble is here to have them.”
Sherry, in one word, describes this season as unexpected.
“I mean, I always say spicy, but how about unexpected? Unexpected. There are somethings that happen that you would never expect in a million years.”
In addition to Good Trouble, Sherry has some really cool projects in the works.
“Yo Sick Girl is so hilarious. And I’m hoping that this is the year the world gets to see it. Obviously, there’s so many things that go into films and it takes time to come to light, but I really hope people get to see Sick Girl this year. It’s directed by Jennifer Cram starring Nina Dobrev, and Stephanie (Koenig) and Haley (Magnus) are phenomenal. I feel really lucky to be able to share the screen with such hysterically talented women. But yeah, hopefully the world will see Sick Girl this year. I feel it, I know it’s gonna happen.”
Sick Girl is a female driven comedy about a woman who feels that she & her friends have grown apart. This is a “be careful what you wish for film” where a simple little lie begins to tear a whole community apart.
Sherry is also currently filming The Tiger’s Apprentice, set to release in 2023.
“Honestly, I’m on cloud nine that I get to be in this Paramount animated film with Sandra Oh, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Bowen Yang, Leah Lewis, Brandon Soo Hoo, etc.. It’s called The Tiger’s Apprentice and it’s based on a trilogy of books written by Laurence Yep. And it’s about a little boy who basically goes through this mystical journey with the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. Which once again, is a huge deal because that’s my culture, we absolutely celebrate Lunar New Year, from as long as I can remember, so it’s really cool to be a part of something that is so culturally specific and with this all star cast. Animated films take a long time to be what they are, so, I think it was announced that it’s going to be out in 2023. And I can’t wait for that red carpet moment with all of these icons. But yeah, it’s in the works and I can’t wait. I can’t talk about my character quite yet. But you do get to see some some comedy for sure.”
Sherry is also developing multiple passion projects, including a “Curb Your Enthusiasm” inspired comedy based on her unique experience as a radio host.
“I have so many things up my sleeve. All of them are comedy projects. I’ve writing a lot in the pandemic. Quarantine has really opened up other skills that I have in my little bucket of magic. What does that mean? I have no idea[LOL]… I basically have been writing a lot. I have a couple pilots in the works. A couple of features and some of them I’m not even in. I just want to be the Asian Lena Waithe, the Asian Issa Ray, to kind of create opportunities for my people. And just make sure that before I leave this earth we are equally as represented as everyone else and that’s an absolute priority for me. I just want to create, I want to create for my people and that’s exactly what I’m doing behind the scenes. So hopefully some of those will come to light.”
Keep an eye out for updates on Sick Girl and The Tiger’s Apprentice! In the meantime, be sure to catch Sherry in Good Trouble.
“Tune in honey, catch up! Good Trouble is that show. I’m just so excited for season three to come out and people really, really seeing it for what it is.”
Season three will premiere next Wednesday, February 17 on Freeform, with episodes also available to stream on Hulu.