Mae Whitman has had nearly every form of role during her long profession – but her recent Hulu show “Up Here” gave her something recent.
“I can do anything on camera, I don’t care. I don’t even notice that it’s there. I’m crying, I’m naked, I’m dying, whatever,” Whitman, 34, told The Post.
“But in terms of singing, it appears like I’m baring my soul and being completely vulnerable and terrified. So, it’s why I wanted to do that job. There’s not loads unnoticed there to try this terrifies me. If I don’t wish to do something, there’s probably a reason – and I should work out what it’s and do it. There’s growth available, there.”
Premiering Friday, March 24, “Up Here” is a musical rom com set in 1999 Recent York City. It follows aspiring author Lindsay as she moves to town to follow her dreams, and crosses paths with businessman Miguel (Carlos Valdes, “The Flash.”). All of the while, they belt out original songs, within the kind of an old-fashioned Broadway production.
Mae Whitman in “Up Here.” HULU
Lindsay (Mae Whitman) and Miguel (Carlos Valdes) in “Up Here.” HULU
Whitman is a former child star, having acted in a wide selection of projects, including “Arrested Development,” “Parenthood,” “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” “Independence Day,” and “Good Girls.” Due to that, the show’s world of Manhattan within the ‘90s was not recent to her, she said.
“I’m a California girl through and thru, but I feel stimulated in Recent York in a way that I just can’t, here,” she said.
“I did my first movie in Recent York once I was 6 years old. It was an incredible approach to experience it, I used to be young but I registered for it. It was a movie with Goerge Clooney [“One Fine Day.”] We were running throughout having fun, and I went there with my family. I got to have the total Recent York experience at a time once I was absorbing lots of information. It was that exciting time when everyone was wearing trench coats and every little thing was tacky and barely more analog.
“Because I’ve been working since I used to be a child, the late ‘90s was my formative time I still have lots of that nostalgia once I walk around. In LA, we rip every little thing down when it gets barely old, and in Recent York, you construct upon it. I really like that feeling, there’s all the time something recent to explore. It appears like a giant character within the movie of my life.”
Carlos Valdes and Mae Whitman in “Up Here.” HULU
Mae Whitman and John Reynolds in “Up Here.” HULU
Mae Whitman and Carlos Valdes in “Up Here.” HULU
The show isn’t Whitman’s first time singing in public, but “Up Here” marks her first time in a significant starring musical role.
“I’d sing on ‘Parenthood’ occasionally, as my character– her journey was just like mine, which was that singing was terrifying,” she said.
Mae Whitman as Lindsay in “Up Here.” HULU
“I used to be vulnerable and scared, and that show was mirroring real life. I even have a scene where I did open mic night and everybody comes. And it really was like that – the entire ‘Parenthood’ family was there, the crew, a few of my family and friends got here [to set]. So it wasn’t like ‘Go act.’ It really felt like a giant moment for me and my support system. I felt a lot love and support and kindness, it was an excellent way for me to interrupt into the thought of singing on camera.
“Often after auditions, you heard straight to the bar and drink, since you’re depressed, but for this audition [for ‘Up Here’], I felt pleased with myself, like, ‘This level is unlocked.’”