Editor’s Note: This interview was conducted and completed prior to the start of the SAG/AFTRA strike.
Emmy Liu-Wang wasn’t always a fan of slumber parties. She misses the comforts of home, even if she was already there! “My favorite/sort of embarrassing memory from a slumber party is from a sleepover I had when I was 7 years old. I was having a sleepover with my two best friends at my house, and my mom had made up the couch bed for us to stay on. I had gone to other sleepovers at other houses, so sleepovers were never a stressful thing to me. But for some reason, I woke up this night in the middle of the night and just realized that I was homesick. In my own house. I’m not sure what it was that night, but I just convinced myself that I couldn’t stay downstairs the rest of the night. I went upstairs and spent the rest of the night with my parents. In the morning, my best friends woke up to find me missing! I strolled down the stairs like nothing happened and they were like, ‘Where were you?’ And I told them, ‘Oh sorry guys, I got homesick.’ At this point, they stated the obvious and were like, ‘YOU WERE HOME.’ I still laugh when I imagine this moment now.” Times have changed, and she embraces overnight shenanigans in her new film, The Slumber Party, in which a group of friends have to contend with everything from fowl to forgotten events. “It’s about four girls, Megan, Paige, Anna Maria, and Veronica who get hypnotized during their slumber party. They do a bunch of crazy stuff during the night. In the morning, the room is trashed, there is a flock of ducks in the bathtub, and Anna Maria is missing! And worst of all, none of us remember anything! So throughout the movie, Megan, Paige and Veronica go through a series of chaotic events, retracing their steps and trying to find their missing friend.” The significance of being able to star in multiple projects on her childhood channel of choice is not lost on Emmy. “To star in a Disney Original Movie is such a dream come true. I was the biggest Disney fan growing up, I would watch Disney shows and movies like my life depended on it. Now having starred in a Disney Channel series, Raven’s Home, and a Disney Original Movie is so surreal and just a full circle moment for me.”
Emmy’s character page has a lifelong friend in Megan. A strong friendship is all about balance. “Paige and Megan have this beautiful relationship where they’re more like sisters than friends. They have so much fun together, but they also can call each other out and help each other be better. At the end of the day, they always know what to say to make each other feel better and can count on each other for everything.” Each member of the group brings something to the table for the mission. “The girls, Megan, Paige and Veronica, all kind of contribute in their own ways while working together to find Anna Maria. My character, Paige, has taken charge of the journey as the leader and comes up with a lot of the plans along the way. She’s the daring one and doesn’t stop at anything when it comes to finding her best friend. She also comforts Megan when Megan starts to freak out about their situation. On the other hand, Megan is more of the overthinker of the group and acts based on logic, so she’s able to calm the group down in a heated situation. Being the one who hired the hypnotist who started the chaos, Veronica basically unwittingly gives the group clues along the way that lead them closer to finding Anna Maria.” Everyone gains invaluable knowledge about themselves. Paige goes above and beyond to rise to the challenge, evolving quite a bit emotionally. “Aside from the huge adventures the girls go through, I think they all go through their own personal journeys throughout the movie and learn more about each other as well. You see Paige go from being a cool teenager just wanting to have a fun night with her friends, to really taking on the responsibility and maturity of leading the journey to find her best friend. There is a bit of tension between the girls in the beginning, as Veronica is kind of the outsider in their friendship trio. Throughout the movie, they learn more about each other and learn to accept each other for their differences.”
The friends grow to understand one another more. “I think the challenges in the movie totally brought the girls closer together. When Anna Maria first goes missing, you can see some of the chaos that Veronica immediately brings and how she starts to get on Paige’s nerves. I actually think the two have a very funny rivalry in the start of the movie. By the end of the movie, Veronica and Paige come to a mutual understanding and even the beginning of a friendship. Paige and Megan also get even closer as friends throughout this journey. You see how they immediately know how to comfort each other and make each other feel better when a hard situation comes up.” And that bonding took place off the screen as well! “Before we started the filming process, we got to spend two weeks in pre-production together and I immediately thought, ‘Wow these guys are so cool.’ We would hang out on and off set throughout the production all the time! I had so much fun with them.” The Slumber Party will premiere on Disney Channel July 27th, and be available the next day on Disney+.