The Ghostwriter Season 3 cast: Princess K. Mapp, Daire McLeod, and Nour Jude Assaf spoke to The Natural Aristocrat® about the children’s series featuring adult themes like racism. They also discussed the Apple TV+ series’ modern take on The Wizard of Oz.
This interview contains spoilers for Apple TV+ series Ghostwriter Season 3.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT (NIR REGEV): Princess, there’s a scene in Ghostwriter Season 3 Episode 1 where a woman spots your character Nia Barnes in a truck and accuses her of theft. She threatens to call the police almost instantaneously.
I was not expecting such a mature theme like racism to be featured on a children’s show. What was it like for you to film the moment?
PRINCESS K. MAPP: Honestly, it wasn’t really hard to get into that mindset because I have gone through that in real life.
And although it really sucks, it definitely helped me in my acting. Dealing with that stuff in real life… Although it takes a toll on how I feel and how I did in elementary school and middle school, it definitely did help me.
I’m actually kind of happy that it’s in the show because it’s showcasing that this is a true event. This happens to so many other girls and so many little boys, so many other people.
I’m happy that kids can know that they’re not alone. It can probably help them to look up to someone who’s also going through this, you know?
NOUR JUDE ASSAF: I’m actually really proud about how in this season they included these real world issues. Like how refugees are treated and racism. I really am proud it’s featured on a kid’s show.
I feel like little boys and girls around the world can be going through the same thing. And even the people who aren’t going through the same thing should be aware that this thing is happening around the world. It is serious and it needs more attention brought to it.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: On a lighter note, did you learn those Ghostwriter magic tricks for real Daire?
DAIRE MCLEOD: I did! So I actually learned a couple thanks to our magic coach Ben Train. He not only taught me, but he also taught Leo aka Josh Zaharia! And we know some real tricks.
So first of all, my favorite trick has got to be either my coin vanishing and appear trick. They can vouch! It’s good.
NOUR JUDE ASSAF: It was good!
DAIRE MCLEOD: And I think my favorite second favorite trick would probably be my floating ace trick.
And it starts by… (laughs) Well, of course, I’m not going to tell how because a magician never gives away their secrets! No spoilers!
PRINCESS K. MAPP: No spoilers! (laughs)
NOUR JUDE ASSAF: When Charli would be performing her magic tricks, we would ask her, “How do you do this trick?” She’d be like, “No! I want you to watch it. I want you to think about how would I do it?”
And we were actually surprised. We had no explanation to how her magic tricks worked.
PRINCESS K. MAPP: It was kind of funny because in the scene we were filming, the kids were not amused at all.
DAIRE MCLEOD: Oh my God! It was so bad. They literally sat there and were dead silent for the first trick. I was like “Tough crowd!” (laughs)
NOUR JUDE ASSAF: Yeah, in one of the scenes, Leo has to help Samir perform because Charli and Nia were going through something.
So Samir had to fill in and he didn’t know how to do any of the magic tricks. When I was walking into the scene, I accidentally knocked over the magic box and it turned out that they used that for the actual take. Which was pretty funny!
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: What were your original auditions like for Ghostwriter Season 3? Did you know you were reading for parts on the Apple TV+ series?
NOUR JUDE ASSAF: Yeah, when we got the callback for Ghostwriter for one of the takes, we were all in the same Zoom call together. They put us all in the same room.
And as soon as we started reading the lines altogether, instantly we felt that chemistry.
PRINCESS K. MAPP: Yeah! We all knew that this is the group, this is the crew right here.
DAIRE MCLEOD: The connection was there! As soon as we did our take. My dad was actually sitting on the couch next to me when I was doing my callback.
He sat there and he literally, without seeing a face, without seeing anybody’s names or who it was, he was like, “That’s the group! That’s it.”
For my final audition, which wasn’t even with you guys, it was by myself. I went in and my mom… Love you mom! Because she made me not nervous, I was so stressed out.
She’s like, “No, no, no, no, it’s just going to be another chemistry test. It doesn’t matter.” She psyched me out of being psyched out.
I was at Disney World and I was like, “Okay!” So I just did the final thing. I didn’t even think about it and I booked it. It was pretty cool!
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: What was it like walking around the CGI lion all season? I heard there were some kind of pipes or something built up it.
DAIRE MCLEOD: We absolutely loved it because the CGI team and everyone who was working on it went the extra mile. They wanted to make sure that we knew exactly what the lion was going to look like.
So we had a giant foam lion head that was covered in clay and it had no pupils in his eyes. So it kind of looked scary a little bit, but it was cute.
PRINCESS K. MAPP: And we had like tennis balls, styrofoam stuff, mirror balls.
DAIRE MCLEOD: We also had the classic tape!
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: Princess, the dinner scene in the Season 3’s first episode with the grownups looked quite awkward. What was it like filming that scene?
PRINCESS K. MAPP: Oh yeah, with the lion! Definitely loved filming that scene.
I found it really funny because there was nothing there. I was swinging at the air almost. And I just found it really funny! The lion CGI was just really cool to do because they had these little props and stuff that we had to look at for it to work.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: How did you get stuck with the lion? You would think if this was real life and you all drew straws to see who goes home with who, the lion wouldn’t be the first one you chose right?
PRINCESS K. MAPP: No, yeah, definitely not! (laughs) I would probably choose like the Tin Girl (Esther Ming Li).
DAIRE MCLEOD: The Tin Girl is awesome! or the scarecrow! He’s a vibe though, HE IS A VIBE!
PRINCESS K. MAPP: He’s like a surfer dude!
NOUR JUDE ASSAF: I would still pick the lion. I love his personality!
PRINCESS K. MAPP: He’s cool.
DAIRE MCLEOD: The lion’s cute. Actually though, one of my favorite scenes was with the Scarecrow!
Because, my sister, who I love her to death Josette (Halpert). She’s amazing! Muah, love you! I had to basically be with my sister and she’s moving into my room, it’s all brooding and dark and we’re like yelling at each other…
And then all of a sudden the scarecrow was like “Oh, I’m gonna scare her! I’m going to make her go away!” and puts his hands right up but she can’t see him.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: How many of you knew of The Wizard of Oz before you were booked for Ghostwriter Season 3?
PRINCESS K. MAPP: (laughs) That’s my elementary school stuff right there!
NOUR JUDE ASSAF: I think we all watched the movie in elementary school.
PRINCESS K. MAPP: Yeah, like two hundred times!
DAIRE MCLEOD: It’s one of my biggest inspirations ever! So I’ve definitely watched the movie more times than I can count. It’s classic.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: Thanks Everyone!
PRINCESS K. MAPP, DAIRE MCLEOD, NOUR JUDE ASSAF: Thank you!
– Ghostwriter Season 3 is streaming now on Apple TV+.
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