PHOTOGRAPHY BY EMILYNN ROSE
CREATIVE DIRECTOR & STYLING BY ROBIAT BALOGUN
MAKEUP BY ARCHANGELA CHELSEA FOR CELESTINE AGENCY
STORY BY MIN A. LEE
LOCATION at ROSE STUDIO LA
When it comes to the bright-eyed actress, Meg Donnelly, one can’t help but smile. Her tenacity for her two passions, acting and singing, are why we were excited to interview her for Composure’s 24th cover story. She’s taken on the major role of Taylor Otto in ABC’s hit television show American Housewife since 2016, while simultaneously playing the lead in Disney Channel’s Original Movies Z-O-M-B-I-E-S and soon Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 2.
In a short amount of time, Donnelly’s talents and work ethic have propelled her onto screens everywhere. As her career continues to grow, she also dived into the music industry with the successful singles “Smile” and “Digital Love.” Now, her debut album Trust has dropped to the excitement of fans everywhere, and to the new fans who are falling in love with her powerful, smooth vocals.
At only nineteen years old, Donnelly has shown the world that she is determined to find that perfect equilibrium between two aggressive industries. As time progresses, we know she’ll become an unstoppable force that will continually impress us with the roles she takes on and the music she will create.
To begin, you portray Taylor Otto in American Housewife. Taking on a primary role at a young age and eighty-one episodes in, what did landing this job mean to you?
Everything! I am forever grateful for getting the opportunity to play Taylor Otto. It was my big break! I am blessed to be part of such a wonderful cast and crew!
Now in its fourth season, what were some of the best moments you’ve had with your fellow American Housewife castmates?
Oh my, there are too many to name! We are one big family and have so much fun as we work really hard together. A few do stick out in my mind, though. We all love to sing and dance during breaks – cast and crew! We had some great bonding moments. If anyone does something out of sorts, we will all stop and sing “Happy Birthday” to recognize we are all in it together. I also graduated high school on set, and they surprised me with my diploma, a cake and gown. Katy Mixon made a wonderful speech, and everyone cheered. I will never forget that special moment; it meant so much to me, still does.
At the same time, you’ve starred in Disney’s Z-O-M-B-I-E-S. The sequel film releases on Valentine’s Day, and your sneak peek on Instagram has fans insanely excited for Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 2! How was it working with a new group of cast additions, aka The Werewolves?
Amazing! We did not skip a beat, and we became a family instantly. We are all based in LA, so we are able to hang out all the time.
Filming between a comedy series and Disney’s musical movies, how do you like the change of pace between the two?
Taylor and Addison have been dream roles for me. I love comedy and being part of American Housewife. I have learned so much about timing and delivery. I grew up a theater kid, so singing and dancing in the Zombies and Zombies 2 DCOMs bring that all together for me. Additionally, Addison is a strong female character, and I love playing her, as so many young girls look up to her.
You’ve branched into the music industry with your singles “Smile” and “Digital Love.” How did these first experiences lead up to your new album Trust?
I have been writing my thoughts and feelings in my journal since I was a kid, and as I grew up, these writings eventually became lyrics. “Smile” and “Digital Love” really helped me focus on what I wanted to say and helped me create my sound. It’s such a journey, and hopefully, the songs will continue to evolve with new experiences.
It’s now been a bit over a month since Trust dropped. How does it feel?
So surreal! I’m so happy that I was able to drop a body of work that my fans can relate to it.
Can you tell us some of the inspirations behind your new songs?
Of course! There are two types of songs on the album. First, those about past or ideal relationships, and then I have a good mix of dance songs that I hope people can vibe out and dance to.
Any plans for a second album or singles this year?
I am always in the studio making music when I get time off from American Housewife, so you never know what new things may be released!
As you continue to grow as a recording artist, do you hope to focus more on music in the future or find the right balance between your acting career?
[Text Wrapping Break]Such a hard question because I love them both. Acting allows me to immerse myself into another person/character. Whereas, music lets me express what I feel. Both are grounded in creativity and extremely therapeutic to me. Hopefully, I can continue to pursue both.
With a solid filming schedule and the album release, has it been challenging or perhaps more exciting?
I am blessed with all that I have going on, and it is extremely exciting! I would not be here if it weren’t for the support and love of my family, especially my mom and dad, friends and my fans!
To end with, any last words you’d like to share with your fans and following?
I love you all!! You are the best, and I am forever grateful for you!!