Lyric Ross debuted on This Is Us on the third episode of Season 2, named "Déjà Vu." Her acting chops were all clear to see, receiving plaudits and praise with the show's writer Dan Fogelman declaring "a star is born" in a tweet.
Her fellow cast was also full of praise, with Sterling K. Brown (the actor who played Randall Pearson) commenting, "She's a baby, and to me, it feels like she's been doing this for years. She is so present, responsive, and truthful."
But it did not come as a surprise. Lyric had shown interest in acting from as little as 2 years of age when she memorized many lines from her favorite shows. She would start auditioning with talent agents as early as 5 years old.
It's clear to see that she had put in more than 10,000 hours in her craft. Let's explore Lyric's significant roles.
Lyric as Deja Pearson on ‘This Is Us’
In early 2017, the creatives behind This Is Us launched a nationwide search for a young talent to play the role of Deja. Lyric created her audition tape at home and submitted it. She would get an invite to Los Angeles for a second invite and was cast after the meeting.
Deja is introduced to the audience as a troubled pre-teen with a defiant will. However, she grows to love the Pearsons, especially Randall Pearson, who was also adopted.
The audience also learns that Deja is a child of a young and troubled mother. Deja's mother gave birth to her when she was just 16 years old. Her mother couldn't care for her, so Deja was brought up by her grandmother. Her grandmother was her mother figure while growing up until she passed away.
Subsequently, she went into the foster care system.
After being hospitalized with a bad cut, Child Protective Services officials noticed inconsistencies with her mother's narrative and decided to put Deja in the foster care system.
Her foster care experience wasn't pleasant before the Pearsons.
Deja was rotated in several foster care homes, with some being abusive environments. Other foster homes were over-crowded. Deja is briefly reunited with her mother, who is later charged with possession of an unlicensed gun. She is placed with the Pearsons permanently after her mother gives up her parental rights.
Throughout the series' Seasons 2 to 5, Lyric portrayed the complex character, bringing to life an emotionally complex character while infusing vulnerability and authenticity to the character.
Talking about Deja's transformation heading to season four, Lyric said, "Before, all you could see was the pain and the distrust and all of that. Now you're starting to see this girl is pretty smart. She's going to be something great someday. She's going to have a big house and fancy car and all that." She also anticipated her character's growth, saying, "You're going to see, like, who she really is, who she wants to be."
Katherine "Kat" Koniqua Elliot in ‘Wendell & Wild’
In the stop-motion film, Wendell & Wild, Lyric voices the main character Kat, an emo-esque character guilt-ridden by the death of her parents. She summons Wendell and Wild, two demon brothers. They try to take advantage of Kat after seeing a vision of her and her parents' death. The film is a journey of Kat trying to get her parents back while the demon brothers try to use her to their own benefit.
Lyric’s role as Kate allowed her to explore her voice-acting skills. Additionally, having taken four years to record the film, she was forced to practice voice manipulation in light of her change in voice over the course of the film.
Speaking with Sweety High, Lyric explained the discovery of her vocal range, noting, "I can go to different places and octaves and all of that to turn it younger or older, or whatever I need. I was able to play with that along the way."