Gwendoline Yeo (American Crime, Grey’s Anatomy) has been cast in the upcoming third installment of Amazon’s original American Girl live-action special, An American Girl Story – Ivy & Julie 1976: A Happy Balance.
Ivy & Julie is set in 1976 San Francisco and centers around 10-year-old Ivy, a Chinese-American girl who struggles with finding a balance between her two cultural identities: Chinese and American.
Yeo will play Marilyn Ling, a strict, but loving mother to Ivy. As a first-generation Chinese-American, Marilyn raises her three children to embrace Chinese traditions and values. Between being the perfect mom and acing her law classes, Marilyn in many ways can relate to Ivy and her struggle to find balance. The special will follow Ivy, her family’s Chinese traditions and obligations, and how she wishes to be like her all-American best friend, Julie Albright. When her gymnastics tournament and family’s big Chinese New Year dinner land on the same day, Ivy relies on Julie to guide her with a difficult choice.
The special, written by May Chan, is part of a multi year, multimillion dollar production deal with Mattel subsidiary American Girl to produce four live-action specials based on the company’s popular American Girl line of dolls and books and to be streamed on Amazon Prime. The first special, released back in October, was Melody, 1963: Love Has to Win, an American Girl Story and starred Black-ish actress Marsai Martin. It was then followed by An American Girl Story – Maryellen 1955: Extraordinary Christmas, released in November of last year.
Yeo’s acting credits include roles on American Crime, Grey’s Anatomy, Switched at Birth and Castle. She’s also a voice actor on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series and has voiced characters in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Wolverine and the X-Men. Yeo is repped by Pakula/King & Associates.