By Zach Johnson
Prepare yourselves, Space Otters, because Disney Channel’s groundbreaking series Andi Mack will start airing its final episodes Friday, June 21, at 8 p.m. To celebrate all three seasons, D23 talked to stars Peyton Elizabeth Lee (Andi Mack), Lilan Bowden (Rebecca “Bex” Mack), and Joshua Rush (Cyrus Goodman) about their favorite memories of making the hit comedy/drama.
“It’s a lot of mixed emotions,” Bowden said at Disney Channel Fan Fest in Disney California Adventure Park. “We have a lot of very passionate fans and they’re just as sad as we are that it’s ending. But also, they have a lot of love for us, so we’re sharing that joy with them as well.”
Created and executive produced by Terri Minsky, Andi Mack debuted on Disney Channel in 2017 and went on to win a Television Academy Honor, a GLAAD Media Award, and a US-Asia Institute honor, among other accolades. The series, hailed for inspiring social change, has been a labor of love for everyone involved. Lee, for one, told D23 she is especially proud that Andi Mack is centered on a biracial, multigenerational family. “I think it’s really important that everyone is represented in the media,” argued Lee, who will appear alongside Skylar Astin in Secret Society of Second Born Royals, a contemporary story that will premiere on Disney+. “Seeing someone who looks like you or someone you connect with onscreen is very important.”
“For me, it’s been twofold,” added Rush, whose character made television history earlier this season. “Being able to play this gay character has been absolutely incredible. It’s something a lot of older people did not have when they were growing up. And for these kids out there who are just having that realization in their own minds and are maybe internalizing it, I’m excited to give them an opportunity to see themselves portrayed. The other side of it is Cyrus being a Jewish character—a strong Jewish character. Because for me, when I grew up, Passover, or Pesach, was ‘Jewish Easter,’ and Chanukah was ‘Jewish Christmas.’ And it’s great to have a character out there who shows that Judaism is its own thing and that we are our own people.”
Bowden shared her co-stars’ sentiments, as the coming-of-age story is known for exploring complex issues. “It’s wonderful to be on a show that normalizes so many things we don’t see a lot of represented in the media,” Bowden said. “We have the gay storyline, we have an Asian American family on TV, and the show is led by the three female characters. And on top of that, we have learning disabilities, we have a deaf character… Bex is a teen mom! For us to show so many different kinds of issues that real children and families face is so meaningful, because I can tell when I talk to our fans that it means everything to see themselves represented on TV.”
Fans won’t be disappointed when Andi Mack airs its final episode July 26. “There are so many wonderful storylines that wrap up in such a beautiful way—and I’m talking visually as well as emotionally,” Bowden said. “So, I can’t wait for fans to experience that.” Rush, meanwhile, doesn’t see the series finale as the end of Andi Mack and its colorful characters. “I’m excited for fans to get to imagine a future for the characters,” the actor told D23. “The way the show ends is really wonderful in that Cyrus, Andi, Buffy (Sofia Wylie), Jonah (Asher Angel), Bex, and Cece (Lauren Tom) are going to keep living in their own world. I’m really excited for fans to see that.”