The Cobra Kai star and beauty brand founder talks her journey so far and taking over the acting world.
Peyton List has been known to TV viewers for years now since bursting onto screens via Disney’s Jessie in 2011. Yet, despite developing a vast legion of young fans from the hit show, the best proved yet to come for List, whose turn in Netflix Karate Kid spin-off Cobra Kai saw her land on a rapidly flowing upwards trajectory, one that connected her with even more fans than the sizeable base already acquired, and one that has now hailed her one of the brightest stars to emerge from her generation.
And while we’re not one to predict the future, judging by her already-outstanding success, it would be fair to assume the best is still yet to come for the acting icon in-waiting, who already boasts an impressive 20.5 million Instagram followers. Yes, her stint in the hit Netflix series highlights her affinity for acting, but the star’s most recent diversification into the illustrious beauty business is further evidence of her trajectory, with Pley Beauty hitting cosmetic stores around the world with an almighty bang.
Upon the news of an upcoming role in the sci-fi horror movie The Friendship Game and following the now-undeniable success of her most recent beauty-centric project, Pley, the talent took some time to reflect on her journey so far with Wonderland. Head below to read our chat with Peyton about everything Cobra Kai, her ventures in the beauty industry, and hopes for the future…
Hey Peyton! How are you? Where are we speaking to you from?
Hi! Good, good really can’t complain. I’m speaking to you from Vancouver. I’m filming here through to November.
Let’s start at the very beginning, when did you first realise you wanted to get into acting?
I never really considered any other profession seriously besides acting. I did it as a kid and quickly became obsessive over it. It started off as a thing I would go to try out after school. I’d take the subway into the city and go for auditions whenever I got the chance.
And talk us through your transition into Disney. Was it difficult for you to juggle growing up with your work on Jessie?
I mean, that was how I defined growing up. It seemed super normal to me. The cast of kids were my best friends, and everyone had such authentic souls. I realised it was unconventional when I came out of it for sure. I am definitely a different type of weird homeschooled kid because of it. I was oddly unaware of just how many millions of people were watching every week.
You acquired a sizeable fan base straight away, what was it like dealing with that?
I don’t even know. It was overwhelming at times, people knowing who you are, but it also gave me a way to connect and talk to people that I never would have before.
And since your work with Disney, you’ve starred in multiple different projects. Are there any particular bodies of work that stand out to you? Perhaps one that meant a lot?
This movie The Friendship Game is coming out at the beginning of November this year. We had a very young crew all around. It visually stands out for me. It plays on the idea of fears and desires affecting these kids in a very vulnerable moment in their life.
Some of your recent work includes Happy Together and Light as a Feather which demand very different acting styles. Is there a particular genre you feel the most comfortable in?
I grew up working in comedy, but that isn’t where I am most comfortable. I really enjoy drama and action. I want to move physically as a character, whether that be with stunts or a choreographer within a role.
Are there any genres you have not tackled yet that you would like to?
As of now I am in the middle of filming a season of the show I just started, School Spirits that I can’t imagine anything else. I take projects as the scripts or people working with it come along, and go from there.
How do you decide what characters you play? Is there anything, in particular, that you look for?
I look for a personal connection to the character. I need the character to move me in a way that is inspiring for me to want to take it on and enough that I think other people will want to watch it as well.
Talk to us about Cobra Kai. How was it entering the series in its second season?
I had already watched and loved the first season so I understood the tone I was coming into, but it was my first time entering an established show which is very intimidating. I just had to jump right into it.
Do you have a favourite moment from set?
Filming the All Valley finale in season four, and our massive prom pool fight in heels will go down in my own personal epic karate fight books for me.
And aside from acting, you’ve also launched your own beauty brand, Pley Beauty! Congratulations! What inspired you to make this move?
Thank you so much. I wanted to pursue a passion outside of acting, and it has opened my mind in such a different way collaborating with a team of female developers and artists. I’ve always connected with people in the beauty world. It is a creative outlet, and we’ve created products I am really proud of.
One huge factor about it is that it is totally cruelty-free. Is this something that has always mattered to you?
Yes. Animals should not be harmed or tested on, period. It was a non-negotiable for me.
It’s crazy how much you have achieved already at just aged 24. Do you feel pressure to take on lots of work at a time? Or is it something you naturally do?
I mean, I love working because I love what I do. I never feel like I am doing enough, ever. I think the quiet periods are important, to make sure the work is coming from somewhere, but I have a hard time letting go.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
If I am being completely honest with you, I haven’t thought that far ahead.