‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’ Star Alex Newell on Mo’s Struggle to Express Himself
It goes without saying that each episode of NBC’s musical comedy Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is a melodic delight, and one of its many voices — Alex Newell — is sunshine in equal measures.
Playing the titular Zoey’s (Jane Levy) neighbor Mo, Newell will bring a new side of the character out when “Zoey’s Extraordinary Neighbor” airs on Sunday, March 1. When Zoey hears Mo sing in the way she’s been hearing others — as translations for their inner thoughts and feelings — red flags will go up as the seemingly carefree character will deal with some personal struggles about expressing his true self, and Zoey will do her best to help out.
But what could possibly bring down the bright personality fans have come to know over the past three episodes? It’s hard to “pinpoint,” Newell says. “It’s hard to dim light that shines so bright [but] I think Mo is complex,” he offers.
There will be something that puts a damper on Mo’s metaphorical parade though, but will it take a miracle to come out of the darkness? It could, but not necessarily in the terms someone would expect of miracles. “I think sometimes in our universe we need a sign to let us know that what we’re doing is okay,” says Newell. “I think with Mo trying to find the miracle, it’s just being like, what is my purpose?”
And with this journey, roles will be tested, and as Mo once encouraged Zoey, she’ll be doing the same for him. “I think the roles are going to be reversed this time because Zoey is a reflection of Mo. How can one who gives so much help not accept it?”
“A lot of people can be very confident and still not have faith in themselves in different facets of their life,” Newell adds. “And I think that’s kind of what Mo shows. We have those [best] friends that we show every facet of ourselves to them. But still, somehow you hide one thing about yourself to them.”
Newell, who previously appeared as Wade “Unique” Adams on Fox’s Glee, says that role “was kind of like the appetizer for everything,” hinting at how it helped him prepare for Zoey’s now. As for what fans can expect beyond this pivotal episode, Newell teases Mo’s “dating life” will be explored, but remained tight-lipped about exact details.
Until then, don’t miss Newell’s big episode of Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist when it airs this Sunday on NBC.
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, Sundays, 9/8c, NBC