Little Voice is a coming-of-age drama about a talented performer struggling to fulfill her dreams. Georgia Humphreys hears more from the lead stars.

Obsessed with music? Then you're going to want to tune in to the latest offering from AppleTV+.

Featuring original songs by American singer Sara Bareilles (who wrote the music and lyrics for Broadway hit Waitress), Little Voice is the story of talented performer Bess King (played by Brittany O'Grady).

As she struggles to fulfill her dreams, we follow her navigating rejection, love and complicated family issues.

A rom-com and coming-of-age drama all rolled into one, an impressive team of executive producers worked alongside Bareilles, including J.J. Abrams (of Star Wars and Star Trek fame).

Add in the setting - the mesmerising city of New York, with its diverse musicality - and Little Voice is sure to be a big hit.

Here, O'Grady, plus her co-stars, Sean Teale and Colton Ryan, discuss relatable characters, life lessons and romance.


When Virginia-born O'Grady read the script, she loved how quirky and awkward the character of Bess was.

"I felt like it was extremely realistic and something that I could relate to, so that definitely made me want to play the role", adds the 24-year-old, who's known for another music drama, Fox series Star.

It was easy for O'Grady to understand Bess's struggles, too.

"I could definitely identify with rejection, fear of failure, for sure.... Feeling afraid that you're not going to be able to reach as many people with what you feel like is in your heart.

"I think it feels really good to be validated when you're an artist."

Fellow American actor and musician Ryan plays Sam, a guitarist living in the Big Apple. After meeting Bess, the two "quickly realise, musically, we're pretty aligned".

"She's kinda my muse, for lack of a better word," says Homeland star Ryan, expanding on his character. "And then it develops into something else too sometimes..."

Then there's Ethan (portrayed by British star Teale); a young, aspiring filmmaker who's had a really tough upbringing, but has "also remained very hopeful, very positive about the world".

"He meets Bess, and gets blown away by her, as anyone would," elaborates London-born Teale, who's starred in shows such as Skins and The Gifted.

"His life, in some aspects, has just been coasting along; he's been in a tricky caretaker role for a while with the people that he love. And Bess just sets his soul alight, in his mind."


Discussing the challenges of the role, smiley O'Grady notes there are so many different elements to a music show.

"Performing the music and learning it and making sure that it's done in the best way that you possibly can - that adds additional weight for sure," she confides.

"There was a lot of preparation and it's very all-encompassing, so I really wanted to make sure I did it well."

This meant a lot of practice and time spent singing, outside of filming.

"We were squeezing in little 10-minute rehearsals here, before this one scene of Bess practicing in her storage unit, or practicing with Colton before we perform, with Sara there, and then also going to the studio. It was a very busy time!"


O'Grady started acting when she was four, appearing in print ads and commercials, before moving on to theatre. She was 17 when she began auditioning for major film and television.

Something she has learned from growing up in the industry is that "the right project will find you, and it's OK to be who you are and yourself".

"I don't think that you want to live your life always trying to be someone else because you think you won't find your authenticity and your purpose, and especially in this business, I think it can be extremely difficult when you have a lot of people giving different opinions and telling you how you should be, or being a bully. Bullies are everywhere."

So, what about Ryan and Teale - what advice would they give their younger selves?

"The most obvious one for me is just, 'Take the dance class'," quips Ryan, laughing.

"If someone offers you to be in their little short film, do it. I guess I was too one-track-minded a lot."

Teale's answer is "to take stock of the fact that things aren't the end of the world" and that if you listen to how much you care about acting, that "there will be longevity in it".

"So, those hardships, although they hit home, and they feel like your heart's being ripped out, that if you're talking about doing this for 30/40 years, this is all a challenge for you, not to you."


Little Voice is a beautifully romantic tale, and so conversation moves onto the love lives of this down-to-earth cast.

Asked what the most romantic thing they've ever done is, Ryan - who met his girlfriend while doing an acting gig in New Hampshire – says: "We all shared the same bunkhouse so we would have to find ways to escape.

"I would put a blanket in the back of my car and there was a lake nearby... We still surprise each other sometimes like that. But we would spend nights by the lake, and we'd sleep there."

Teale doesn't exactly answer the question, but he does detail how he and his girlfriend were "courting ourselves for years".

"It was always really painful because we knew that we had this connection, and one of us would be taken and the other wouldn't, and we wouldn't want to do the wrong thing," he follows, candidly.

"But we knew, and you could tell, and everyone else could tell. And when we finally got together, we fell in love with each other so quickly."

O'Grady recalls how she was 18 when she travelled to Europe for the first time, with her boyfriend, who she'd only known for two months at the time after meeting in college.

"We both got plane tickets and went on our spring break. We went to London, Paris and Dublin, and we stayed with family friends and it was a risk. I was very afraid.

"But I think, looking back, it is very romantic to basically elope with someone - and it worked out! Five years later we're still here."

Little Voice launches on Apple TV+ on Friday, July 10.