When a film script lands in Peyton List’s lap, there’s an important scale she uses to determine whether or not the show is the right fit: a cringe barometer.
“It’s rare that I read a script and I don’t cringe,” says the 25-year-old of what drew her to Paramount+’s new murder thriller, School Spirits. “The writers really understood the age group and captured the awkwardness and the otherness of high school.”
Authentic storytelling is important to Peyton who, since departing from the hit Disney show Jessie, has been finding her voice on and off screen.
“The impostor syndrome I felt [after leaving Disney] was pretty strong,” she recalls. “I was at an age where people are trying to tell you who you are, which is really confusing.”
Fortunately, landing a role in the highly anticipated Karate Kid reboot, Cobra Kai, was the perfect antidote to the actor’s self-doubt. Despite coming into her own as an accomplished actor, Peyton admits that allowing herself to speak out publicly was a harder challenge.
“I used to feel that it wasn’t my place to speak out on political issues,” she says. “Then I asked myself, ‘Why do you think that your voice matters less than anyone else’s?’ I decided that if I was going to have this platform [20.8 million Instagram followers and counting] I need to use it, because I want women to have freedom and be better protected.”
When asked how she would feel if she were granted the power of invisibility (like her ghostly character in School Spirits) Peyton reveals that when people comment horrible things on her posts she often feels invisible. “Social media can make you feel like you are a ghost sometimes.”
School Spirits is streaming now on Paramount+.