Up-and-comer Brooke Wexler, 21, is starring in Netflix’s newest series, Richie Rich, which debuts today. Richie Rich is the live-action TV adaption of the celebrated Harvey Comics’ comic book character Richie Rich, the richest kid in the world, created in 1953.
Born and raised in Toronto, Wexler plays Irona, Richie Rich’s robot maid. She spoke to The CJN from her current home in Malibu.
“Irona was portrayed very differently in the comics than she is by me. I think they wanted to create a younger companion – not on the same level as the kids. A modern portrayal of the comic book,” Wexler explains.
Irona is not the robot people expect her to be.
“There is no silver! Irona doesn’t like to clean, and has a little attitude, but she is still considered a friend, not just an employee,” said Wexler.
Wexler comes to the role following another TV series, Sequestered, a courtroom drama produced by Sony Digital that aired on Apple and Crackle TV.
The two projects could not be more different from one another.
“I went from acting in a heavy drama in Sequestered to high comedy. It was very exciting to delve into different characters and genres as an actor,” she said.
Richie Rich is brought to television by DreamWorks Animation’s AwesomenessTV with a modernized version of the traditional story. The new edition follows Richie as he adjusts to life as the richest kid in the world. However, unlike the original version where Richie Rich was born into wealth, here he is self-made, creating his fortune by inventing and selling cool green technology.
Following his overnight triumph, he moves his father and his sister into his newly-built mansion. He also shares his success with his two best friends, Darcy and Murray, embarking on a series of adventures such as exploring Antarctica, making a movie with his friends, and meeting celebrities.
“I think the characters are being emulated from the original content but it’s more modern because technology has really taken off. The writers and executive producers worked hard in being creative and coming up with new ideas. Each episode is different from the next with new gags and story lines to keep it interesting and fun. To work with the Netflix team was an honour,” she said.
Geared for kids eight to 14 years old, the 21-episode series is available in Canada, the United States and Latin America.
“It’s like watching Disney, in that families will watch it together. The show will appeal to everyone. There are some jokes slipped in for adults, who will probably end up watching parts of it.”
Wexler moved from Toronto to Los Angeles when she was 18, and is a third-year student at Pepperdine University, where she studies media production.
In Toronto, Wexler trained at the Toronto Academy of Acting. As a young student, she attended Bialik Hebrew Day School, and later the girls’ school Branksome Hall.
She exhibited a flair for drama performing in shows such as Twisted, Hercules, Willy Wonka, and Dream Girls from 2005 through 2007. She also modeled swimwear on Sports Illustrated.
Once in California, she continued acting lessons and appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in a comedy skit. She was also in a video by boy band The Vamps, Somebody to You, featuring Demi Lovato.
“I love going to movies, I am an avid reader, and enjoy watching lots of TV shows – it gives you a sense of different people and different stories. When you get an audition there is so much more to pull from to be creatively inspired. I have always known acting is what I wanted to do,” she said.
Wexler tells young actresses that perseverance is key. “There will be people and situations that will prove as obstacles due to the challenges of breaking into the industry, but the main person that will push you forward is yourself. Always believe in yourself and your dreams,” she emphasized.
Asked what she would do with Richie Rich’s millions, “I would definitely buy material things like a new car or a beautiful beach home but I would get more satisfaction from spending my money on the people I love and on charities I believe in.
“If I had millions, I would want to make some sort of positive impact on the world,” she concluded.