‘The Proud Family’ is back and ‘louder and prouder’ than ever. HL spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Soleil Moon Frye about bringing back Zoey after over 15 years and how Zoey’s revival came at a time of ‘metamorphosis’ for Soleil.
Soleil Moon Frye is one of the original cast members who returned for The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder, which is now airing weekly on Disney+. Soleil is the voice of Zoey, who is one of Penny Proud’s best friends. For Soleil, there was no hesitation in coming back to the world of The Proud Family and playing Zoey again.
“I always loved Proud Family so much, and it’s always been such a part of my heart and my soul,” Soleil told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “Playing Zoey has been a dream come true. I get to work with such incredible creative people, and I’ve always felt like Proud Family’s so timeless and so for sure my dream was that someday we can bring our family back, and it’s so amazing to do so. I feel like one of the things that’s so special about Proud Family is how incredible the storytelling is, how relatable it was at the time then, and how connected and relatable it feels now. They are timeless stories, and I’m so grateful to Punky and now Proud Family to be a part of shows that have so much deep meaning and connect with people in that way. That’s been a really great joy in my life.”
As Soleil noted, Zoey is “still so Zoey” after all these years. Even though it’s been 17 years since The Proud Family last aired, the characters are still the same age as they were in the original run. The show has just been updated for modern-day audiences.
“She’s such a fun character to play and the dynamics with her and her friends are so fun to explore,” Soleil said. “She’s still so quirky yet grounded and just a true light to bring back into the world. Everyone has really been so wonderful in carrying these stories on and growing with the time and to be able to be creative and bring this back to people is a true gift.”
When the Punky Brewster alum signed on to The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder, it was during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Soleil said getting back into character was “really surreal” for her. “It was really a special experience because it allowed me an outlet during this time of quarantine to really escape into a world and the world of Proud Family,” she told HollywoodLife. “It was so fun to just rediscover her again and reconnect with her again. I think also, just on a personal level, I was going through such a metamorphosis of coming back into my own space. It was really beautiful how it timed out to be when Zoey was also coming back.”
In March 2021, Soleil released her documentary film Kid 90, a look back at her life growing up in Hollywood in the 1990s. She captured hundreds of hours of video and reminisced about her younger years alongside her famous friends. Kid 90 is a gorgeous and thought-provoking time capsule of ’90s teen stars we know and love.
“My dream with the documentary was that people would be able to watch it through their own lens, and I’m so grateful that people really watched it through their own perspectives and through their own views and that they made it their own,” Soleil said. “That’s such a dream as an artist to make art that is meaningful and that people can connect to and relate to, so to hear people’s stories and to hear their experiences and what they’ve overcome, it means so much to me and has really been a life-changing journey. The whole experience of the documentary really changed my life, fundamentally, in so many ways, so I’m so grateful to have it connect with others.”