‘The Republic of Sarah’ Star Landry Bender Is Done Trying to Please Everyone

WrapWomen LA Blog: “Life’s short you don’t need to worry about it,” says the actress

Have you ever wanted to rule your own country? Growing up it always sounded like a pretty sweet gig, especially if there was an opportunity to ban homework and put your face on a $100 bill. But if it was up to “The Republic of Sarah” star Landry Bender, it’s all about enforcing a 12-7 workweek #BeautySleep. During a recent interview with WrapWomen, Bender opened up about what it would be like to run your own country, the pressure of being a “people pleaser” and the importance of women in leadership. 

Bender’s role as “Bella Whitmore” in The CW’s “The Republic of Sarah” tells the story of a rebellious high school teacher Sarah Cooper (Stella Baker) who discovers a loophole to declare independence so she can protect her town of Greylock, New Hampshire from a greedy mining company. Bender’s character finds herself in a complicated situation, as she’s caught between her father, the mayor of Greylock, and her friends, who are in direct opposition of him and create their own nation, aka the Republic of Sarah. 

Bender compares Bella’s relationship with her controlling father to personal experiences growing up in the industry with producers constantly telling her what to do. “I think it’s trying to merge pleasing people and wanting to do the right thing,” she says. “I find that subconsciously whenever I’m playing a role, it kind of mirrors [my life] in a really weird way.”

Bender went on to explain that similar to Bella, she always finds herself overthinking things. “I think that you can care a lot about how you’re perceived and how you’re viewed and how you’re sort of just hyper focused on things.” Which is why the actress always has to remind herself that “life’s short you don’t need to worry about it.” Playing Bella has helped her realize this. 

In the show, while Bella looks up to Sarah as a mentor for guidance, Bender’s mother has been her number one support system. Surrounded by strong women both on and off the screen, Bender will be the first person to tell you, “representation matters.” 

“I think the coolest thing about social media is to see the world and [gain] exposure to those sorts of things. To be able to grow up anywhere and look at someone and go, ‘oh I can be that if I want to because I’m exposed to it… People can look at Kamala Harris and or Sarah on the show or whatever and be like, ‘I’m capable of doing that because that person did it.’”

Despite her extensive list of IMDb credits and 1.2M Instagram followers, the 20-year-old former Disney star is just getting warmed-up. With a screenplay in the works, the future is bright for Landry Bender. 

See WrapWomen’s full interview with Bender via the video up top. 

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