Former Fifth Harmony singer Ally Brooke returned to Nickelodeon to reprise her role as a pop star, but that’s not the only way she relates to her character.
In “Operation Popstar,” the latest episode of the second season of the animated series The Casagrandes, Brooke lends her voice to Alisa Barela, a lovable pop singer. She calls on the main character Carlota (Alexa PenaVega) to serve as her makeup artist when she is in town for a concert.
Brooke, who is Mexican-American, played Alisa in an episode during The Casagrandes’ first season. She also recorded the theme song for the series. In the new episode, Alisa is torn between being a celebrity and her freedom as an average person living everyday life. It’s a feeling Brooke herself has experienced before.
“I can totally relate to that,” Brook told Remezcla during a recent interview. “While I was recording this episode, I was really homesick and feeling very similar to Alisa.”
Brooke said the most challenging part of being a famous singer and actress is being away from her family and hometown of San Antonio, Texas, and missing out on particular moments and celebrations.
“When I am able to see my family, the time is that much more precious,” she said. “When I go home, I feel like me. I love being able to be home because that time is so cherished. It’s like two different versions of me, but they’re all the same.”
While she gets homesick, Brooke is happy that she can work on projects like The Casagrandes, where she gets to be a part of an animated series representing a Mexican-American family. It’s not something she saw on TV as a kid, which made her feel like “the odd girl out” when she went on auditions.
“Now, having that representation and being a part of it is something that means so much to me,” she said. “Thinking about my little cousins seeing this and seeing themselves represented is so special.”
The Casagrandes episode Operation Popstar aired Friday, July 16, on Nickelodeon and is currently available to watch on nick.com.