A Cookeville native is making her major television debut in a true crime, limited drama series that will air on Peacock beginning Thursday, October 6th. And get this, she is only nine years old. The Cookeville, TN native started dipping her toes into acting in the Upper Cumberland theater scene at a very young age. Of her many roles at the Cumberland County Playhouse over the last several years, Elle claims that Peter Pan was her favorite production.
“Definitely playing Tinkerbell has been my favorite role at Cumberland County,” recalls Elle. “It was so much fun to be this character everyone knows and loves. I was also double cast in this role with one of my best friends, so that was a lot of fun!”
Elle quickly fell in love with acting from Cumberland County plays and acting camps and hasn’t looked back since
“I did my first theater show when I was six and loved it,” said Elle. “During the pandemic, I took acting classes and kept getting more interested. After watching my big brother be part of a short film last fall, I decided I wanted to try on-camera acting. It seemed like a fun way to keep doing what I loved.”
Her supportive parents, Alex and Elizabeth Lisic started looking into ways to make Elle’s dream a reality.
“We reached out to a few Southeast agencies and submitted headshots, resumes, and video examples,” explained Elle. “We had a few meetings and really connected with our current agent. I continued to take classes and have done a few showcases which puts you in front of agents and managers.”
Fast forward to landing her first major acting role. Elle Lisic will portray Susan Broberg in the new limited series, A Friend of the Family, premiering this Thursday, October 6th on the Peacock streaming network. Based on true events, A Friend of the Family follows Robert Berchtold, a close friend of the Broberg family, who kidnaps daughter Jan Broberg multiple times over a few years.
This was certainly a change of pace for the Lisic family who joined Elle on set in Atlanta, GA during filming.
“A Friend of the Family shot in Atlanta, GA,” said Elle. “The episodes that I am in shot over a three month period. There were some weeks where I shot almost every day, and others where I was off most, or sometimes all of the week. The number of hours a kid can work each day is based on their age. We are also required to do at least 3 hours of school per day with our set teacher.”
When recalling her first day on set, Elle says she “was more excited than nervous.” She continued, “of course there were nerves on the first day but everyone helped me and we really just had a great time.”
The series also features successful actors Anna Paquin (Flack), Jake Lacy (The White Lotus), Colin Hanks (The Offer), Lio Tipton (The Edge of Sleep), Mckenna Grace (Ghostbusters: Afterlife), and Hendrix Yancey (George & Tammy).
Working alongside such accomplished actors had to be an out of body experience, especially for a nine year old.
“It was such a honor to work with the cast,” Elle recalls. “I felt like I learned so much from watching the actors and the way they were on set… they are so talented. Hendrix is like a sister to me. McKenna was so fun to work with and Colin sometimes called me by my nickname, Bob because it was the same as his characters.”
On being led by top tier directors, Elle says she learned so much throughout the process. “One of the neat things about this show was that I got to work with multiple directors,” she explains. “Each block of episodes had a different director. It was great to be able to learn from all of them and see their different styles. The showrunner EP and writer, Nick Antosca, was also always so encouraging and supportive.”
Of the many unforgettable moments while on set, Elle notes a few highlights that stood out in her mind. One of them was meeting the real Jan Broberg, who the show is based upon, in real life. “Jan was an executive producer and it meant so much to get to meet her and know that she was trusting us to tell her story,” said Elle.
Elle also rang in her ninth birthday while on set of the show. “One of my favorite things was celebrating my birthday on set. When I walked off of set the whole cast and crew had gathered to sing Happy Birthday! I didn’t realize what was happening at first, but quickly did and it was so fun. Anna Paquin made me a special strawberry birthday cake and Crafty made a big cake for the whole crew. I will never forget that!
With a promising career already taking flight, Elle has no immediate plans of relocating.
“There is a lot of work happening in Atlanta, so Cookeville is definitely our home base, but we do spend a lot of time on the roads between here and there (with regular stops at Buc-ees, of course),” Elle said.
The hardworking actor is not slowing down anytime soon. “I actually just wrapped another project that I’m really excited about,” said Elle when discussing plans for future roles. “It hasn’t been announced publicly yet, but I’m excited to share about it when it does.”
Locals may also have a chance to catch Elle in action this holiday season. “I am starting rehearsals for a super fun Christmas show at the Cumberland County Playhouse and always auditioning for new and exciting roles,” she explained.
Elle’s father Alex, is a Campus Pastor at Life Church and her mother Elizabeth works with an educational non-profit organization, Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity. Elizabeth works remotely and was able to be with Elle in Atlanta during the time Elle was filming. The supportive parents definitely play a huge part in Elle’s success.
Be sure to tune in to Peacock this Thursday, October 6th to catch Elle on A Friend of the Family.