Astounding actress by day and sketch comic by night, Lilan Bowden is best known for playing the role of free-spirited ‘Bex Mack’ on Disney Channel’s “Andi Mack,” an award-winning, coming-of-age series which has been hailed for inspiring a social change and for making history with the first Disney Channel character to say “I’m gay.” This introduction caused a ratings surge and marked the channel’s first depiction of a coming-out journey and has since garnered Peabody Award and Writer’s Guild Award nominations and a GLAAD Awards win!
Recently announced on DEADLINE, Lilan is adding the role of ‘Director’ to her resume as she is set to direct the Asian-American comedy short “Becoming Eddie,” the story of a Korean-American boy growing up in the suburbs in the 80’s who makes a wish to be popular with his mostly-white classmates. But when he wakes up with the voice of the world’s most popular black comedian, he must deal with the fame as well as the repercussions. Directed by Lilan, written by Ed Lee (comedy writer for “The Drew Carey Show”), produced by Joyce Liu-Countryman (Running Shadow) and Helen Hong (Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me), the creative team consists of all Asian-American descent and are committed to diverse storylines and Asian American representation in media, which is very important to Lilan. With her mixed race heritage, she has faced being grouped in a certain category auditioning for roles as a minority and aims to tackle Hollywood’s diversity issue. They began filming in June 2019. https://youtu.be/uIP4K_3kHks
Born and raised in San Leandro, California to a Taiwanese mother and American father, Bowden came into acting at the young age of 10 where she enjoyed performing in school plays. She attended Castro Valley High School where she had joined improv and comedy clubs and graduated high school at just 16 years old before attending University of California, Irvine where she decided to focus on her true passions: improv and activism. She joined the university’s improv group Live Nude People* with Clothes On and became a founding member of CALPIRG (California Public Interest Research Group) students’ rights movement. After being offered a job at CALPIRG upon graduation, Bowden turned down the job to move to Los Angeles to pursue acting full time where she joined UCB (Upright Citizens Brigade) and began writing for Funny or Die. Since then, Lilan has also booked roles in NBC’s “Parks & Recreation,” TBS’ “Conan” and ABC’s “Suburgatory,” among many others.
When Lilan is not on set, she is half of the sketch comedy and best friend duo “Lilan and Wilder” in which she and her best friend Wilder Smith have been creating sketches/skits and videos and performing live comedy at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, The Pack Theater, Meltdown Comics, and various festivals around America. They have been best friends and performing together for about 8 years now and their humor consists of being awkward women, best friends, or popular culture/sci-fi characters they live. They have written humorous videos for Funny or Die, College Humor 2, Samsung MILK, and the Casting Society of America. Their latest video has amassed over 2.6 million views. Still a passionate advocate for so many different causes, she splits her free time between supporting local human rights campaigns and LGBTQ+ organizations, and reading about social psychology.